To understand Ethereum, you have to remember that a blockchain network is primarily software in the form of lines of computer code. These will dictate a certain number of rules which will define the characteristics of a given network and determine its fields of future applications. Where the Bitcoin blockchain allows relatively simple actions, Ethereum is a platform allowing the creation of advanced autonomous contracts.
They are called “smart-contracts”. These contracts are nothing more nor point than computer code that looks like the one that runs your applications every day. However, once injected into the blockchain, they become autonomous. This means that anyone can use them for their own applications, view their operation, and that these will be available 24/7 without possible interruption. Let’s take a concrete example. Insurance may reimburse if certain conditions are met. The reimbursement rate will be decided in advance and can be set according to different criteria.
For a plane delay, below 2 hours delay, the customer receives nothing, between 2 hours and 4 hours, he is reimbursed by 20%, and above 4 hours he is fully reimbursed. All without having to make countless steps to after-sales service. The insurance company AXA has already implemented a product of this type called Fizzy. We can imagine this as a global public computer and very secure on which everyone can deploy their programs. This allows the emergence of a new type of decentralized applications called dApps.