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Wei

Give me the basics

Wei is the smallest unit of Ether, the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain. It is equivalent to one quintillionth of an Ether (0.000000000000000001 ETH). Wei is used to measure and transact fractional amounts of Ether, such as fees for transactions and smart contract executions. Ether is often represented in units of Wei when it is stored in wallets or exchanged on cryptocurrency exchanges. Understanding Wei and its relationship to Ether is essential for anyone who wishes to participate in the Ethereum network, build smart contracts, or conduct transactions using Ether.

In-depth explanation

In the world of cryptocurrency, Wei is a term used to represent the smallest unit of ether, the cryptocurrency used on the Ethereum network. One ether is equal to one quintillion Wei, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 Wei.

Wei is named after Wei Dai, a computer engineer and creator of the cryptographic protocol b-money, which was one of the precursors to Bitcoin. The Wei unit is used in Ethereum to represent the smallest possible denomination of ether.

While most cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets use ether as the default unit of measurement, it’s possible to display balances in Wei, particularly when working with smart contracts or performing more complex operations on the Ethereum network.

For example, when creating a new smart contract, it’s often necessary to specify the amount of ether that will be used to fund the contract. This amount is specified in Wei, and must be converted from ether to Wei using the appropriate conversion factor.

In addition to Wei, Ethereum also uses other denominations of ether, including Gwei (1,000,000,000 Wei) and Finney (1,000,000,000,000 Wei). These larger denominations can be useful for measuring larger quantities of ether, particularly when dealing with large-scale transactions or other high-value operations.

In conclusion, Wei is a term used in the world of cryptocurrency to represent the smallest possible denomination of ether, the cryptocurrency used on the Ethereum network. While most exchanges and wallets use ether as the default unit of measurement, Wei is commonly used when working with smart contracts or performing more complex operations on the Ethereum network. Understanding the different denominations of ether can be useful for investors and developers working with Ethereum and other blockchain-based platforms.