Just like full nodes in a cryptocurrency, masternodes can be run by anyone. However, there is an entry barrier in place to ensure that the system doesn’t get malicious. The entry barrier is what one needs to commit or collateralize certain units of that particular cryptocurrency to runa master node.
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A crypto exchange is an online website that provides a platform for the buying, selling or exchange of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ether and litecoin for fiat money like USD, EUR and GBP.
Types of Cryptocurrency Exchanges
There are basically three different types of cryptocurrency exchange platforms. The difference is due to what determines the price of the cryptocoin on the exchange platform.
These websites are marketplace where potential buyers and sellers of cryptocurrency can place “buy” or “sell” orders. The buyers and sellers do not interact with each other. Each person only interacts with the platform. The service charges fees upon the conclusion of every transaction.
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Exchange Platforms
Instead of interacting solely with the platform, these services connect buyers and sellers directly. There are no fixed market prices as everything depends on the two parties coming to an agreement. The role of the cryptocurrency exchange is to provide escrow and transaction mediation services.
These function like forex broker services. Potential buyers can visit these platforms and purchase cryptocurrencies. Broker sets the price of the cryptocoins.
Like many ideas in the blockchain industry, a general confusion shrouds so called 'smart contracts'. A new technology made possible by public blockchains, smart contracts are difficult to understand because the term partly confuses the core interaction described. While a standard contract outlines the terms of a relationship (usually one enforceable by law), a smart contract enforces a relationship with cryptographic code. Put differently, smart contracts are programs that execute exactly as they are set up to by their creators.
Smart contracts are self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller is directly written into lines of code. The code and the agreements contained therein exist across a distributed, Blockchain network.