For the purpose of the GoVertical workshop, we have decided to focus on two blockchain technologies: Ethereum and Hyperledger. There are plenty of other really interesting blockchain protocols out there like ZCash and Ripple and we recommend you check them out. We picked Ethereum and Hyperledger because they are two of the best supported blockchain technologies. They also have very different philosophies and goals, which make them suited for different types of applications.
Ethereum, which is the second most popular blockchain behind Bitcoin, borrows heavily from the Bitcoin architecture - like Bitcoin it is a public blockchain with a built-in crypto-currency called Ether. Ethereum faces similar scale issues to Bitcoin and is in the process of moving from a Proof of Work validation system to Proof of Stake. Ethereum’s major breakthrough is the ability to easily write and deploy Smart Contracts - bits of code that are executed on the network. Ethereum’s native currency and public nature make it a natural fit for developers building decentralized organizations like Etheria or crowdfunding sites. You can find a list of Ethereum DApps here: https://dapps.ethercasts.com/
HyperLedger Fabric is a private blockchain framework that is setup as a permissioned peer-to-peer network. It is an open source collaborative project hosted by The Linux Foundation, made up of 138+ members, of which IBM is a premiere member. It is designed from the ground-up for enterprise level application and confidential business-to-business transactions. The privacy of the network requires that participants are registered and enrolled. Like other blockchain implementation it has Smart Contracts called chaincode and shared replicated ledgers. It is differentiated from other public blockchain implementation in that there is no built-in native cryptocurrency and therefore no mining (or miners) which allows for a scalable consensus algorithm that is capable of handling high transaction rates which most enterprise application requires.
Public Network: Read/Write access to all peers
Built-In Cryptocurrency: ether
Can create custom tokens via Coin API
Consensus is reached by mining: Proof of Work (soon to be Proof of Stake)
Smart contract usually written in Solidity
A transaction fee must be paid using the notion of gas
Private Network: Read/Write are permissioned
No Built-In Cryptocurrency
Can create custom tokens via chaincode
No mining: Pluggable Consensus Algorithm - Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT)
Chaincode usually written in Golang
Transaction doesn’t have to be paid