Ethereum Classic World Computer Transactions Explained

4/28/2017 Christian Seberino

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The Ethereum Classic (ETC) blockchain makes possible an unstoppable, reliable, auditable, trustless and secure world computer. It exists to serve people. For this reason, it will turn out the system requires payments leading to transactions and receipts. These enable people to: send data, send funds, install programs, and, execute programs. All data, funds and programs are associated with accounts.

Payments

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People initiate all activity. (Internet devices may also interact with ETC, but, they are always doing so on behalf of humans.) Therefore, an access control system is necessary. The ETC access control system relies on payments. These are made with transactions.

Transactions

Transactions are data structures containing six elements: an address, datum, gift, offer, nonce and signature.

Addresses

All transactions are sent to and from accounts. Accounts are specified by addresses. Transactions contain receiving account addresses. These are not used in program installation transactions as they require the creation of new accounts.

Data

Transactions send data to accounts. Account programs (smart contracts) operate on the data they receive. In program installation transactions, the data are the program constructors. Constructors allow additional flexibility in program installation like programs that vary with block numbers.

Gifts

Transactions can send monetary gifts to accounts. The amounts are denoted in units of aETC (10⁻¹⁸ ETC) or weis.

Offers

Resource requirements to execute transactions are measured in gas. Execution gas requirements may be unknowable beforehand, and, the required mining fees can vary. Therefore, transactions contain offers. These specify prices willing to pay per gas unit, and, the maximum gas units willing to purchase.

Nonces

Accounts have counters denoting the number of transactions they have written to the blockchain. These counters are referred to as nonces. Nonces are included in transactions partially to protect against replay attacks.

Signatures

For security reasons, sending accounts must digitally sign all transactions. Digital signatures are specified with three values using the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA). The sending addresses of transactions can be determined from the digital signatures.

Receipts

Transaction execution details are available in data structures referred to as receipts. Receipts are used by search engines and other applications.

Conclusion

Transactions are foundational to ETC. They allow humans to interact with it in a usable manner. Understanding transactions will help you become an ETC guru.

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Acknowledgements

I would like to thank IOHK (Input Output Hong Kong) for funding this effort.

License

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This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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