The first decentralized cryptocurrency, bitcoin, was created in 2009 by pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto. It used SHA-256, a cryptographic hash function, as its proof-of-work scheme. In April 2011, Namecoin was created as an attempt at forming a decentralized DNS, which would make internet censorship very difficult. Soon after, in October 2011, Litecoin was released. It was the first successful cryptocurrency to use scrypt as its hash function instead of SHA-256. Another notable cryptocurrency, Peercoin was the first to use a proof-of-work/proof-of-stake hybrid.
↑ «Decreto Constituyente sobre criptoactivos y la criptomoneda soberana Petro». Travieso Evans Com. Archivado desde el original el 16 de mayo de 2018. Consultado el 16 de mayo de 2018. «Artículo 10. Toda persona natural o jurídica, pública o privada, que pretenda crear un criptoactivo, deberá hacer público un documento donde exponga todas las condiciones de su creación, funcionamiento y eventual respaldo. El Ejecutivo Nacional, publicará el "Libro Blanco" de la Criptomoneda venezolana Petro. En la que se regulará la fase inicial, las condiciones e incentivos, los procesos iniciales de subastas y asignaciones directas que se realicen y el destino de los fondos.»
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Ethereum's blockchain uses Merkle trees, for security reasons, to improve scalability, and to optimize transaction hashing. As with any Merkle tree implementation, it allows for storage savings, set membership proofs (called "Merkle proofs"), and light client synchronization. The Ethereum network has at times faced congestion problems, for example, congestion occurred during late 2017 in relation to Cryptokitties.
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As the industry continues to investigate blockchain platforms, it’s apparent that Ethereum is becoming a de facto leader. For example, a few days ago JPMorgan publicly open-sourced its Quorum platform, architected and developed around the Go Ethereum client by Jeff Wilcke and his team. Several other major banks are using Ethereum, and Microsoft is anchoring its Bletchley platform on it as the foundational blockchain element. Industry, both publicly and confidentially, continues to contribute to Ethereum and work with us and others to help our promising, toddler-age codebase reach maturity. Stay tuned for news on this front.