Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

Previous discussion https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9987142

Give me any ethereum use-case & I'll tell you how to do it with bitcoin.

Is it advantageous if a DSL is turing complete? It is not that bitcoin 'cannot have' a turing complete script but that it is unsafe & there is no need to do so. Turing completeness can be applied on an upper abstraction.

There is nothing that ethereum can do that bitcoin cannot! The proof of it is RootStock which is ethereum implementation using bitcoin.

Ethereum is full of buzzwords and the key one of them is DApps. Here [0] is how to build a dapp using bitcoin. Basically you can tell me any application of ethereum and I'll tell you how you can do it with bitcoin. Skynet type input requiring applications can't be done inherently by either ether or bitcoin but can be done by both using third-party oracles.

Then are bitcoin & ethereum equivalent. No, they key is origin of money. Bitcoin is mined, ether was sold.

The recent rise in price has attracted all kinds of attention but talk to any of the core-devs and they'll tell you that Vitalik used to come up with complicated explanations which they spent time studying and responding & then he'd come back with something even more complicated until they stopped caring.

[0] http://startupboy.com/2014/03/09/the-bitcoin-model-for-crowd...

> Give me any ethereum use-case & I'll tell you how to do it with bitcoin

That's like saying give me any HTTP use-case, and I'll tell you how to do it with Gopher. To me Rootstock is like putting the WWW on top of Gopher. You can do it, but why?

"We don't need GUIs, command lines can do everything!"

"We don't need Java/Python/Ruby, you can do it all in C!"

"We don't need C, you can do it all Assembly!"

Ease of development and implementation really matter. If I can accomplish creating my block chain app on Ethereum in a fraction of the time and complexity of the same thing on Bitcoin, I'd have to have an extremely compelling reason to choose Bitcoin instead.

You are right, ease of use matters but it is so because ether was sold and got a lot of money whereas no such body exists in bitcoin. With that money ethereum could fund coding.

That is a good thing unless the whole point of the system is decentralization. This is similar to Amazon selling AWScoin and launching a SETI-like software so anyone can run their system as an AWS server & earn AWScoins.

I'm not sure what you're arguing? Ethereum is fully decentralized and open source. There happens to be a well funded non-profit that the community funded in order to speed up development (EthDEV). Ethereum and EthDEV are not one in the same thing. If EthDEV disappeared, ethereum would continue. That's a little different than some Amazon owned and operated "AWScoin".

Bitcoin also has the "Bitcoin Foundation" which employs lead developer Gavin Andresen, so it's very similar.

Gavin is no longer lead developer and hasn't been for years now.

Yes, he is no longer "the lead" developer, but he's still a core contributor, and is Chief Scientist of the Bitcoin Foundation, so the point stands.

He is not a Core contributor anymore. He's been effectively frozen out.

I meant lowercase core, not uppercase Core. His most recent contribution is to the "Bitcoin Classic" fork rather than the "Core" fork. He's still a key developer in the Bitcoin community. I wasn't trying to wade into the Bitcoin political issues. It's all "Bitcoin"

Whats relevant to first post is that Bitcoin Foundation is a non profit aimed at bettering the Bitcoin ecosystem, similar to EthDEV, not some corporate owner of Ethereum IP, and they help move forward development of "Bitcoin"

Saying bitcoin is less centralized than Ethereum is a joke given the current civil war on block size, and some devs being "frozen out". Also, some core devs made a lot of money with bitcoin and that's funding their commitment. Same same, but different.

> Give me any ethereum use-case & I'll tell you how to do it with bitcoin.

Is this your opinion because you truly believe it or because you have a horse in the bitcoin race? I'm not saying that Ethereum is superior to bitcoin but at least from a brief look over it, it seems to make quite a bit of sense. Whereas my experience with bitcoin is that it's an incredibly hacky and questionable system that primarily survives because of the collective investment into it, not on its technical merit.

Yep ethereum has been out for what 6 months and look at all of development on top of it already. BTC has tons of VC money and I see nothing interesting beyond a few regulated exchanges.

But oh ya we are all suppose to believe BTC can do all of this but apparently nobody really knows how. It's really just a bunch of people that think BTC is special because it was first, but it lost it's first mover advantage.



The list of dapps is remarkable... That was my first glimpse into the hackability of Etherium and I am very intrigued now.

As a total outsider to all this, I suspect you are right.

Bitcoin is very hacky, as almost all successful first systems are. Etherium is a second system.

First systems: By force of will you cobble together a viable prototype and if you are lucky it gets traction. Then it's an exercise in patching to keep the system running.

Second systems: longer dev cycles based on lofty goals for better architecture and features. Many second systems fail here. But if/when the second system gains traction, it's potentially a much better solution since it could learn from mistakes of the first system.

It's clear that the tools are better in Etherium for building block chain apps. It also looks like it's getting good adoption.

Like all things crypto currency it's interesting that there is money on the line. Bitcoin won't fall out of fashion as quickly as other systems for that reason.

Please give me an ethereum use case & I'll try to tell you how you can do it with bitcoin.

I have previously answered a few use cases here [https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10846788]

Last week I built an dapp called 'GameOfTrolls', it is an attempt recreate the /r/GameOfTrolls subreddit which was banned by reddit. The idea was to make a game out of trolling people(as in just lying and making up stories).

I did it in one week, it uses Oraclize.it (which I believe is also available for bitcoin, so that's nice), and I am sure it can be built on bitcoin too, but the biggest problem remains this:

* While doing development in Solidity, and using HTML/CSS/JS for client, I am able to rapidly build a dapp.

* Writing the code in a higher level programming language created for the purpose of blockchain apps, allow me to think at a higher level abstraction.

* Training people to write in Solidity is far easier than training them to write in C/C++.

* Faster and rapid dapp development(RDD) will unlease a new age in blockchain innovation, and if you have been in tech for a while, you know that 'crack up boom' of innovation we see when Rapid application development became possible.

Case in point, Augur. Paul Sztorc has been doing development of Truthcoin for far longer than Augur people and even has funding from Roger Ver, but Augur has managed to rally a lot more people around it by delivering working prototype sooner than later, and now they're already in Beta, targetting 2016 election.

Look, I love bitcoin and I was one of the earliest adopters of bitcoin (2009 Dec era). But I have been a software developer for far longer than that, and I can tell you, bitcoin's code is not made to make the things we desire to make now.

BTW, here is an argument against Ethereum. Any app built on it, will be inherently slow because of the price they'll pay for building it in a higher level abstraction platform. This means, that Augur will eventually hit performance wall, at which point, every successful Ethereum app will have to be developed in C/C++ and natively to get more performance.

Generally agree, app development is great. Regarding your last point, apps in Ethereum run on Ethereum's specialized VM. Every opcode has its own transaction fee. There's no way to write an Ethereum app in C++.

"by Ethereum app in c++" I mean writing that logic in C++, of course it won't run on Ethereum network anymore after that point.

Ah makes sense, sorry for my confusion.

Sending money to someone and having 99.9% certainty after a minute that the transaction is mined and will be in the chain long term.

Even though ethereum's 15 sec blocks are nowhere near as secure as Bitcoins 10 minute blocks, the fact that you can 4 blocks after a minute already gives pretty decent doublespend security, from a statistical standpoint.

Easy scripting language. And don't tell me about rootstock, it's not on top of Bitcoin.

Can you elaborate on rootstock not being on top of bitcoin? That was my understanding...

the bitshares, nxt, insert any blockchain project all say the same thing yet none of them comes even close to the amount of dev taking place on ethereum. hmm why is that....

Vitalik became famous cause of his journalism. Then the sale gave ether founders loads of money. Now it is being used to market cleverly. One example around me here in India is BlockchainU. Blockchain university has taught in almost all prime Indian IT companies pumping ethereum & thus atleast most, if not all, corporate devs are working on ethereum here, whereas there is no central advertising foundation for bitcoin.

Are you suggesting that Consensys, Microsoft, R3CEV and Red Hat are only developing on Ethereum because of clever marketing? There isn't some technical merit to the platform that means they are doing this?

Why didn't these companies develop their products on Bitcoin? Are they incapable of due diligence in this space?






To be fair, only Consensys and R3CEV are "developing on ethereum"... Microsoft and Red Hat are merely offering machine images with ethereum software pre-installed for their users, as they do for many other software tools- Though I'm happy to be corrected, if you can point me to a Microsoft and/or Redhat-authored smart contract.

The news for ethereum is positive enough right now, no need to exaggerate the facts.

Sorry, I got excited and imprecise. I suppose I mean "developing on and around".

I'm just trying to counter the idea that the excitement around ethereum is somehow manufactured by 'clever marketing'.

I have both bitcoin & ether apart from hundred other coins; earning profit is different from technical merit. I spent a long time studying ethereum as a promise for something incredible but in the end I realized its just the power of blockchains & can be done using bitcoin too. What I do not like in ethereum is the nature of origin of ether which makes it just an IPO coin.

> Give me any ethereum use-case & I'll tell you how to do it with bitcoin.

I'm failing to see your point. Does the fact that things are possible with bitcoin make the technical merits of Ethereum less in some way?

> What I do not like in ethereum is the nature of origin of ether which makes it just an IPO coin.

The "makes it just an IPO coin" statement also seems to discount any of the technical merits of the platform due to your dislike of how the initial coin distribution occurred.

Disclaimer: I stand to benefit financially if the platform succeeds.

Did not mean to say that ethereum is 'less' than bitcoin in capability, just that ethereum is being sold that way. Yes I dislike it for political reasons & yet I own it because profit.

>to discount any of the technical merits of the platform due to your dislike

That is what I wanted to argue about, there are no additional merits to ethereum over bitcoin as people seem to believe

This is the sort of discussion I have zero interest in taking part in personally.

Facts on the ground are already overtaking misinformed opinions, so why bother arguing?

I'm of the minority opinion that the Turing-complete nature of Ethereum is an anti-feature. [1]

The features that matter in my mind are things that make Ethereum superior to Bitcoin:

1. Shorter block times without compromising security -- GHOST was proposed for Bitcoin, but it's a long way from happening.

2. Every block contains the Merkle root of the balance tree, so proving account balance becomes a one-node + proof problem instead of an "entire blockchain" problem -- the only way that I can verify that a UTXO is valid is to have the entire blockchain forward from the UTXO block. In ethereum, I just need the root plus a proof at the top of the chain.

3. No reward halving. The fee schedule is constant, which means that the marginal rate of growth is diminishing, but the logic across the board for utility calculations is incredibly simple.

4. Easy offline transaction creation -- the properties in #2 means that all you need to generate a transaction is the nonce(s).

5. (possibly) ASIC-resistant proof-of-work. I'm not completely sold on this one; all it really means in my mind is that the cost of such ASICs is higher on a per unit basis, which means that the power is more likely to be consolidated than the double-SHA256.

[1] Why do I think the whole Turing-complete thing and smart contracts are useless? Because fully-funded contracts are economically uninteresting. Basically, only zero-sum contracts can be encoded. If I borrow money from you at a given interest rate, I can do economically productive activity to make more money, and both pay you back and come out ahead. If I am instead forced to keep the total payback amount in escrow, then I have no capital to use, and the transaction is meaningless. Things like cryptographic ownership tokens (colored coins, etc.) have some limited utility, but as you say, those are easily done on the Bitcoin blockchain.

You can definitely enforce non-zero sum contracts, the problem being whether they are actually useful. If you're handing out loans, nothing stops the borrower from vanishing and creating a new identity or otherwise resetting their 'credit score'. It seems like a solvable problem though, you could then depend on some identity or credit oracle, and that could be built on trust (eg. in a government or facebook id), or some meaningful reputation scheme.

I guess the trick here is whether you consider "losing credit score if you don't re-pay" enforcing the contract or not. Doing anything stricter, like programmatically garnishing wages or handling bankruptcy, seems like it would require a hard 1:1 mapping between a person and their ethereum presence, which is much more than trusting an oracle to provide a unique ID or reputation based credit score.

> SatoshiDice is a dapp that was built using bitcoin.

But SatoshiDice was not trustless; it was only provably-fair. By sending your dice bet to satoshidice, you were trusting them to actually pay you if you won instead of just keeping your money (though you didn't have to trust that they were using a fair die).

An on-chain dice contract is completely different, because there's no central operator that you have to trust to pay out the winnings.

You are right my example was wrong. Yet dapps can be done using bitcoin nevertheless.

I agree in some respects, i.e. RootStock basically plugs onto Bitcoin what the Ethereum decentralized execution model does. You can actually run your Ethereum-developed apps on top of it, they mention it is fully compatible.

SatoshiDice is not quite the same as a Ethereum app, the former requires the central website to be online and operating whereas the latter would work even when the site is down since the execution is not centralised. Add Rootstock however and the same applies.

Source: Just finished building a couple of "games" on the Ethereum platform, http://the.looney.farm - one is SatoshiDice-like but not one of them needs the website to be up to operate.

Where you are 100% right - there are multiple ways to solve a problem, so to a user there should be no difference between gaming on something like SatoshiDice or something like mine. Central or de-central, the user probably won't care in the longer term. If you transfer value, you can do it on any crypto, however there may just be with a different way of implementing it or going about your business getting it up.

> they mention it is fully compatible.

As far as I know, Rootstock is still just a whitepaper. So this is just a promise to be compatible. Nothing exists yet, it's vaporware at this point.

> Give me any ethereum use-case & I'll tell you how to do it with bitcoin.

I generally agree with this sentiment--the biggest value blockchains provide to decentralized applications is an inimitable 100%-replicated log (where inimitability is provided by PoW in these two cases). Once you have that, nodes in a decentralized application use it it to record their externally-visible state transitions, thereby giving each node a global, total ordering of all of the application's prior states. Then, the usefulness of one blockchain versus another is simply a function of how secure it is (i.e. how inimitable it is), how much bandwidth it offers (i.e. how much state can be recorded in a block), and how fast it can add new blocks.

This is the approach Blockstack DNS uses, for example (full disclosure: I'm its lead engineer). It's designed to be portable across blockchains, so we can migrate it to a more secure one if the one it's currently using proves insufficient.

> I generally agree with this sentiment--the biggest value blockchains provide to decentralized applications is an inimitable 100%-replicated log

You're coming at this backwards. Once you have the most valuable cryptocurrency unit of account, you have the most security and the highest availability log in the world. On that basis, you can do just about anything, e.g. sidechains or payment channels.

A "highly replicated log" is a prerequisite of that, and Bitcoin is currently winning that battle due to first mover advantage. Hence, anything can be built on top of that basis.

If you have small competitor to Bitcoin that aims to do more, it's more valuable for the majority to snipe the features from the small competitor and make those features available denominated in the majority owned asset.

Ethereum and Bitcoin can, and should, coexist. Both have something to offer to one another.

For example, check out btcrelay.org. While you're waiting for Bitcoin to "snipe the features from the small competitor", that small competitor can lend a helping hand to Bitcoin.

Global electronic cash is a zero sum game. Money is pure network effect and only one unit of account can have 90% global market share at a time. I want that to be BTC. You want that to be ETH. Let's just agree to disagree?

I want BTC to fulfill our need for global electronic cash and Ethereum to fulfill our need for a developer-friendly Dapp environment.

The bigger Bitcoin becomes, the more we all benefit from a stable universal currency. The bigger Ethereum becomes, the more we all benefit from a rich set of shared resources for developing apps that use BTC in ways that we've been dreaming of for years.

Bitcoin's killer apps might be Ethereum Dapps. That wouldn't mean that Ether "failed" as a currency or that Bitcoin "failed" because Ethereum was used to build the killer apps. It'd mean both are succeeding!

Life is more colorful when it's not just black and white.

> Give me any ethereum use-case & I'll tell you how to do it with bitcoin.

A dapp reaching into the state of another dapp.

Using atomic-swap protocol

I don't understand that. Can you elaborate?

>Give me any ethereum use-case & I'll tell you how to do it with bitcoin.

How do you implement a trustless SatoshiDice with bitcoin?

You can do it using the appcoin concept [http://startupboy.com/2014/03/09/the-bitcoin-model-for-crowd...]

Bias detection: How many BTC do you own?

Since I cannot prove anything and you'll have to take my word for it, I'll gain more from the ether I hold than bitcoin I hold for same percentage rise. This is because I believe in ethereum's marketing more than bitcoin's. But this is HN & my point was that ethereum's USP is not U.

ok i need to pay a crew of freelancers immediately without the confirmation delays of Bitcoin. I can do that with Ether. The payments are instantaneous.

Go ahead, tell me how you can do that with Bitcoin.

lightning network or sidechains

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact