The Blockchain Life Cycle
Blockchains originated with the creation of Bitcoin. It demonstrated that a group of individuals who had never met could operate online within a system that was desensitized to cheat others that were cooperating on the network.
The original Bitcoin network was built to secure the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. It has around 5,000 full nodes and is globally distributed. It’s primarily used to trade Bitcoin and exchange value, but the community saw the potential of doing a lot more with the network. Because of its size and time-tested security, it’s also being used to secure other smaller blockchains and blockchain applications.
The Ethereum network is a second evolution of the blockchain concept. It takes the traditional blockchain structure and adds a programming language that is built inside of it. Like Bitcoin, it has over 5,000 full nodes and is globally distributed. Ethereum is primarily used to trade Ether, make smart contracts, and create decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). It’s also being used to secure blockchain applications and smaller blockchains.
The Factom network is the third evolution in blockchain technology. It utilizes a lighter consensus system, incorporates voting, and stores a lot more information. It was built primarily to secure data and system. Factom operates with federated nodes and an unlimited number of auditing nodes. Its network is small, so it anchors itself into other distributed networks building bridges across the carries blockchains.