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Ethereum Homestead release (ethereum.org)
106 points by ConsenSys on Feb 29, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 36 comments



If I wanted to create some kind of kudos/points economy for my local hackspace would Ethereum be a good choice or should I rather look into creating an altcoin?

I am not interested in hooking it up to the global networks just providing a way for people to earn points for running workshops, cleaning and doing maintenance that they can spend as time on the laser cutter or 3D printer or similar (which we currently charge for).


Yes using ethereum would be great for that. See issuing your own cryptocurrency tutorial

https://ethereum.org/token

Then you can turn your hackspace into a DAO

https://ethereum.org/dao


I haven't read the full thing. But a DAO is still connected to the global Ethereum network and leverages it? Does it have to be?


Well if you don't want to be connected to the Ethereum blockchain then you probably should just use a webserver. The advantage of using a blockchain like Ethereum is that it is very secure and very reliable compared to a webserver - also it is perhaps less work maintaining a DAO than a webserver.

So if you want to issue tokens for your hackspace, it would be nice if they existed on a public blockchain so that users could trade then and see their balance at any time - no need to worry about server uptime or vulnerabilities.


A DAO is a smart contract on the blockchain. Note that Microsoft and Redhat make it possible to run a private ethereum chain in the cloud if you really wanted to. But as the other commenter pointed out I don't see the point in that for your use case.


The whole point of Ethereum is computation without trusting the computers doing it. Your problem sounds like it would be better served with a regular old program running on your own, trusted computers (or even a more low-tech solution, like manufactured tokens).


Yes, seems like this isn't the best use-case for blockchain technology.


There is also Counterparty: https://counterparty.io/


Create an altcoin simply by forking many available coins, with ethereum you'd have to pay to be bounded to the system, which is a special use-case.

Here are a couple of tutorials to make your own altcoin in a few minutes:

https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~baisang/LearnCoin.pdf http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:2ylzCBr...


I find it amusing that you spend so much time commenting on every Ethereum post on hacker news. For someone who is so dismissive of Ethereum as a technology, you sure spend a lot of time criticizing it.

But more directly to you post: forking an altcoin would be a terrible idea for this person's usecase. Do so not only requires more work (creating and deploying clients) but also is completely insecure as such an altcoin would have no mining power behind it.

Creating a token on an existing blockchain, like Ethereum, would be a much better idea since the clients would already exist and the network would be much more secure. Moreover tokens on the Ethereum blockchain are light-client friendly and have access to smart-contract functinality.


I comment on almost every blockchain related post I have something to add. I am not dismissive of blockchain technology but ethereum is not a technology but an implementation & I recognize its only benefit as ease of use.

The security that you mention is surely a good thing but rather an overkill in a hackspace environment. If he was purely behind mining power then he should rather start a sidechain based on litecoin.

I find it amusing that you take technical criticism so personally that you target me commenting on just a couple of ethereum post with your ad hominems. Coming to the point, I will argue based on technical viewpoints because this is HN & rather have you keep it clean too please.


I agree with your initial appraisal to some extent. However, forking bitcoin/ethereum or modifying some other coin for a hacketspace would likely be a learning excercise so the tech/coin used should be related to their interests. Hackerspaces are as much about learning as creating and given the usecase and context learning would be a focus likely more than the actual token usage.

> ethereum is not a technology

By definition is a technology a case could be made whether it is a protocol or simply an extension of an existing one. I understand what you are saying here, and once again to some extent, I agree.

However what does "easier" mean. Obviously they used blockchain technology so by definition, blockchain can do anything ethereum can do and it is likely bitcoin can or will be able to as well.

Ethereum is the first company to provide a widespread platform that is secure, easy to use, well documented and designed to build distributed apps and smart contracts. If we assume it works the way it is intended, it is important technology.

Bitcoin is the first implementation and to my knowledge, the designer itself worked on it personally. It also has a cap of coins produced.

I am not looking at the numbers, but commerce on the internet is near 10% in america and i think 4% now.

Just haphazard napkin calculations would mean that if the world accepted bitcoin at a similar rate it would be too concentrated, valuable and need too much mining to work.

Amzn did the first sale in 94.

There is ~5-6 trillion in the world.

Sonewhere between 5-10 percent of all transactions are online.

If we assume adoption to occor similar to this, that would mean 5-10 percent of the economy becomes bitcoin. I think a trajectory like this is possible.

Bitcoin was designed as a currency and ethereum was designed as an energy product.

All coins are priced in bitcoin because you can not buy most directly. Soeculators must buy bitcoin and convert it into something else.

Bitcoin will be much more of a wealth store and peg than the underlying consumable resource used in decentralized application (directly).

So that is why ethereum is important. It is an easy cheap way to allow high throughput access to a distributed database.

It would be annoying if ethereum failed to meet expectations. If bitcoin does not, it will certainly diminish ALL coins and slow blockchain develoment years (or be catastrophic if already widespread)

So yes, ethereum could or could not be a cool hackerspace token. Either way the technology is amazing in blockchain, mining, etc so it would be a good project


If he creates his own blockchain, he has to pay to mine that blockchain.


If all he wants is for users to be able to send kudos back and forth, he could make the difficulty trivial, mine a few million/billion coins on a network of 1, and then distribute as he sees fit.


If the difficulty is trivial, there's no point in a blockchain since you can double spend cheaply


Then simply hike the difficulty way up afterwards.


Hike the difficulty, how? Hard fork? And even if you could hike difficulty with consensus, then you'd be locking yourself out of mining any new blocks, and your blockchain would stall! An altcoin is not a good solution for the proposed use case.


Then nobody can mine new blocks (not profitable enough).


More energy would be used up by the ethereum network to verify this token rather than an individual hackspace miner, so it should be cheaper than buying ether.

Another choice is PoS; one of the tutorials I listed is for a PoS coin. Yet another choice is instamining/pre-mining.


But I could set the cost of mining low enough to make it feasible no? Seems like the attraction of creating an altcoin vs using Ethereum is that it's a simpler system. If I am not interested in leveraging the existing networks, that might be a better way to go?


It depends what exactly the point of this token. To be honest, it seems like just having a spreadsheet makes more sense than a blockchain


Haha, yeah, I've been thinking that too. I was kind of more looking at interesting applications of blockchains but it seems like this isn't really the best use case.


Using Ethereum to create a token would be a good option. by doing so you get the security of the Ethereum blockchain (i.e. you don't need to mine yourself) and you can use smart contracts for blockchain logic.

https://www.ethereum.org/token


The release announcement mentions that the Go and C++ clients are compatible, but the Rust client (Parity) has also just added support for the new version of the protocol: https://twitter.com/gavofyork/status/703624799944310784

I'm happy to see that Ethereum encourages multiple implementations, I'm curious how they managed to achieve this given that Bitcoin seems to have had so much trouble doing the same.


I'm not speaking as someone familiar, so someone who is should superecede me. But, I understand that it was a goal from day one not to fall into the same trap Bitcoin is in with their reference implementation. They did it by developing a spec, and having three official clients developed at the same time in three different languages.


Bitcoin's problem is not that it has a single reference implementation. It can be forked, at least in a technical sense.

Bitcoin's problem is that a tiny number of people managed to convince key players that they are irreplaceable "experts", despite having repeatedly proven that they aren't experts at all (go check out the Bitcoin forums today to see the wailing of users due to the giant tx backlog).

This isn't something Ethereum has any solution for. If Vitalik stepped back and after a few years some random developers had managed to manipulate the Ethereum community into doing something stupid, having 3 implementations instead of 1 wouldn't save them.


Pretty much sums it up. The majority of Bitcoin developers have always had the mindset that alternative consensus implementations will never be able to match, bug-for-bug, the reference implementation (and there is no official spec other than the reference implementation). Ethereum was developed with the mindset that having multiple implementations will help catch bugs in the official spec (yellow paper) before they are released.


Even still, AIUI the problem with Bitcoin is that a buggy implementation is capable of accidentally hard-forking the blockchain (as demonstrated by https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/bitcoin-network-shaken-... ). The existence of a protocol specification document alone wouldn't have prevented that. My question is whether Ethereum actually has some clever mechanism to ameliorate this threat, or whether it's just hoping that the existence of multiple implementations means that no one client ever gains more than 50% market share (and hence any hard-fork that results from an incompatible implementation wouldn't require a central authority to step in to determine which was the "true" chain).


Vitalik has actually said he now feels having three clients (written in go, c++, and python) was a mistake as it took up a lot of development energy in the early days.

Parity is actually not one of those three but was only recently created by Gavin Wood after he recently left EthDev. Gavin Wood was one of the principal authors of the C++ client.

He shared some of his thoughts on using Rust for the new client here: https://www.reddit.com/r/ethereum/comments/44y9vv/announcing...


https://bitcoin.org/en/developer-reference#not-a-specificati...

Case in point is the March 2013 bitcoin fork. Ethereum is not as battle tested yet.


Does anyone have any information about Ethereum costing?

That is, on an average machine, how long does it take to mine a block, and how much processing/storage do we get with that block? Do we need to mine a complete block before we can get any work done?

My concern is that if I want to build an app with a simple message bus and a small amount of transactional state, each client might need to mine for a prohibitive amount of time before it can actually start participating in the network.


I am not sure regarding the block times, but for connecting clients for the purpose of running a simple app, you may be interested in the light client protocol, which according to the link below only requires processing of ~1kb of network data every 2 mins.

https://github.com/ethereum/wiki/wiki/Light-client-protocol


Just out of curiosity, how profitable is mining ethereum, and can you do it with a GPU or is it mostly ASICs? I have a brand new gtx980 ti on the way for the oculus, and was curious if I could run it to help pay for it.


It's GPU memory intensive, so no ASICS yet, and an ETH ASIC would just be a general purpose computer. It's fairly profitable to mine, assuming your electricity cost is reasonable.



Thanks. Changed from https://blog.ethereum.org.




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