As wonderful as Bitcoin is, it has limitations, most significantly is it’s capacity for processing transactions, which is measured in Transactions Per Second ‘TPS’. Bitcoin developers are working on second layer solutions like the ‘Lightning Network’ and these offer significant TSP.
But it is not just TPS that limits Bitcoin’s utility, the core code is not sufficiently flexible to easily allow other applications to be built on top of the base layer. In order to address the TPS and other limitations a number of alternative blockchain platforms have arisen, the most significant of these being Ethereum. A good way to think of Ethereum is that it is to Bitcoin what the Smartphone is to the pocket calculator. This is not a perfect analogy as Bitcoin is – and I believe will be for a very long time – the greatest store of value asset currently available.
The best place to start to get to know Ethereum is with an interview with the Founder, Vitalik Buterin. I set out here two to choose from, I would recommend both. This 10 minute video was recorded when he visited India for the first time in 2016. This longer one was recorded by the Center for International Governance Innovation in January 2018, it covers Ethereum in more detail but in an understandable way.
For those who like to read, the best book on the subject is ‘The Infinite Machine’ by Camila Russo.
Aside from Ethereum there are many other smart contract distributed ledger platforms and hundreds of innovative projects in this space. The innovation is moving rapidly and it is a constant challenge to stay up to date. The best way to do this is via so called ‘cryptotwitter’ my handle is @BCAssetsfund if you follow me you should be able to get the latest news.