So if, for example, you had a big 3d animation sequence that you wanted to have rendered, you would not just send that code off to the network to be processed. You would have to pay to have every single person on the network process that job for you, and it would be so big the network wouldn't even accept it. Rather, you would create a simple contract that says "if you render this animation for me and prove that you did it right, I'll pay you X amount of Ether". Someone would take the job and the Ethereum network would process your contract and handle the payment. You would end up paying that person to do work for you, and you'd pay the network (using something called gas) to process the contract.
You could use Ethereum to create all kinds of interesting contracts for financial purposes, voting systems, insurance, or whatever else. But it's not some giant compute cluster that will run some big program for you.
Every blockchain is essentially a shared database. E.g. Bitcoin is a database which keeps track of address balances (as a first approximation) and enforces particular authorization rules. It's a fixed-functionality blockchain.
On the other hand, Ethereum can serve as an arbitrary, user-defined database. Ethereum smart contracts are essentially like stored procedures in SQL databases -- they can be used to enforce arbitrary consistency rules.
And the reason why transactions are quite expensive is that you're paying to update everyone's database. You can modify things locally for free, but if you need everyone to see your information, you gotta pay for it.
And computation is there just for the sake of enforcing arbitrary constraints.
You never work with it directly, instead, you deploy a contract, which is sort of a collection of stored procedures. On the low level contracts are executed as imperative bytecode with special opcodes for reading/writing data to KV store.
There are also high-level languages which compile to this bytecode. Particularly, Solidity lets you to develop contracts using object-oriented metaphor: contract is an object, its store is accessible via object's fields. Besides primitive types, it supports types like structs, arrays and associative arrays, which can be nested. Compiler takes care of mapping field access to raw key-value store operations, particularly, it relies on cryptographic hash functions for layout mapping instead of deterministic allocation.
Contracts can also call each other, there is an opcode for it. Calls are done synchronously, so it looks exactly like OOP.
Since this database exists in multi-user environment, access control is necessary. The system identifies users using cryptographic signatures and exposes this information to contracts via `msg.sender` field. Contracts can use it to implement custom authorization policies.
The database is transactional, of course: a user-submitted transaction is either executed in its entirety (incl. all nested calls) or fails with all side-effects reversed).
Transactions are executed serially, one at time. So high performance is not a feature of the system, it is more like "high security".
Reading data can be done via "stored procedures" (well, I think technically you can read raw data from key-value store, if you want to). Also there is a separate "event log" mechanisms: contracts can generate custom event logs, which can be later read externally.
Distributed consensus: Each node has a complete copy of the database, so adding more nodes doesn't increase scalability.
Currently Ethereum uses proof-of-work consensus. That means that any (mining) node can propose a new block of transactions to be executed, and eventually they converge to a single chain. So it's stochastic.
There are also "private Ethereum" systems which let you to use different consensus mechanisms. Typically they have Byzantine Fault Tolerant consensus, likely inspired by PBFT. It's kinda like Paxos but with more digital signatures.
Read the whitepaper and watch the videos if you want to learn more.
I guess that's solvable by requiring payment for verification runs and just splitting up your work into much smaller pieces.
The authors already thought about how to incentivize verification runs. It's really cool. Check out this informative podcast with some of the team members: https://youtu.be/QY0OUTaIWIc
There's an active downside of random people being able to see your data, not to mention randomly sized boxes and shoddy network connections (which is a big deal for the microservices which they are touting as a use case, and also for big data. Data transfer is one of the slowest bits of data science). Running a web service on random devices where keys, sessions, whatever end up in memory on some box would be a security nightmare. The government doesn't need a back door if all they need to do is host some compute nodes.
Is it just that for some tasks that are very parallel and not sensitive it might end up cheaper?
Perhaps a digitally signed NDA could be verified by a smart contract? Then, to prove the NDA was breached, a quick court case (standardized NDA) leads to a published ruling that the digital contract can check.
Combine the clear guidelines of a standard NDA with a proper court adjudicating the more complex disputes, and you have the foundation for a strong reputation system for Eth-cloud services. Is reputation already a thing in the Ethereum network?
The network bandwidth will be a real problem regardless. Latency too. Single digit millisecond scale database roundtrips are awesome. 50-100ms would be just terrible. If that's a fundamental limitation then applications can only get worse, not really better.
Overall, what fundamental problem are these solving? If they aren't solving a real pain point with a worthwhile cost, uptake is going to be nonexistent.
Yep. Unfortunately the creators of Ethereum marketed it heavily as a "world computer" on promotional roadshows, claiming it would replace Facebook and whatnot.
Perhaps more interesting is that, in my view, Ethereum has it wrong: re-executing computation is a really foolish way to do what it can actually do-- which is conditionally allow changes only if a stated predicate holds.
Check out this presentation by my colleague:
> contracts for financial purposes, voting systems, insurance, or whatever else.
Many of these applications are severely harmed by the lack of privacy in the recompute-everything model.
Ignore it and move on. Block the user from your personal feed if you want.
> In many parts of the world that has a legal requirement to be blocked which would seem to either require a way to rewrite history or the entire system being blocked in that jurisdiction.
How has that worked out against BitTorrent?
That doesn't address the questions:
1. How can you ignore something which is causing you or someone you care about harm? Will you operate a node which keeps that content available against the wishes of the target? (For that matter, how many people will use a network which prevents you from removing mistakes?)
2. You can't just ignore things with legal implications — e.g. if someone uploads legally restricted content, everyone participating in the network has to expect legal consequences even if they personally aren't troubled by it. If you're in Germany and someone else can get Nazi content from your system, do you really think “I didn't upload it and there's no way to block it” is going to lead to a court reaction other than an order to turn it off until the underlying technology is fixed?
3. Ignoring that many places do block BitTorrent, it's different in the key aspect that torrents are independent. Someone who hosts Linux ISOs doesn't have to worry about getting sued because a different user is distributing copyrighted movies. That doesn't seem to fit with a blockchain model and it seems like a major problem growing a social network beyond the immediate founders if everyone has to find a private cluster to join.
If it is really causing you harm, you can always sue for libel. If it is just something you dont like, deal with it. The internet is not a "safe space".
> Will you operate a node which keeps that content available against the wishes of the target?
If it is anything like DHT, yes. I don't give a shit. Whoever has a problem can take it up with the originator of the offending content. If they can trace them and prove it is illegal in a court.
> For that matter, how many people will use a network which prevents you from removing mistakes?
Everyone. Do you use git? Do you correct mistakes using a new commit? Congrats, you now know how to correct a mistake on the internet.
> if someone uploads legally restricted content, everyone participating in the network has to expect legal consequences even if they personally aren't troubled by it
In such cases the law is wrong and must change.
> If you're in Germany and someone else can get Nazi content from your system, do you really think “I didn't upload it and there's no way to block it” is going to lead to a court reaction other than an order to turn it off until the underlying technology is fixed?
The way German law treats Nazi sentiments is highly anti-free-speech. Cannot continue for much longer (~50 years). The correct way is to allow free speech but prosecute criminal acts (free-speech is not a criminal act). IMO, irrational laws in countries that are against free-speech should not impact adoption of technology, just as bittorrent is still widely used even though US law is against it.
> Ignoring that many places do block BitTorrent
I am curious how that is done. Are you talking about China? I do not know any way to block the bittorent protocol itself apart from DPI.
> That doesn't seem to fit with a blockchain model and it seems like a major problem growing a social network beyond the immediate founders if everyone has to find a private cluster to join.
I agree. Maybe someone can come up with a solution. Maybe we can encrypt everything so that nodes can not possibly know what the content is. I don't know.
If you have a computer serving that to other people (i.e. a real durable P2P system), you're going to be pulled in as a collaborator. Even if you're willing to risk the police and are willing to go to jail rather than compromise an absolute free speech position, which I highly doubt, almost nobody else is and that's kind of the death-knell for a P2P network.
If you want to build things people will actually use, following the law is more important than naive techno-utopian fantasies about being able to force your desires on nation-states.
Basically a digital metaphor that you own your 'space' (eg home) and grant other people a temporary right to come in and see/use an item or hear/participate in a conversation. Strong emphasis on the legal aspect since no gov or law enforcement should be able to peek inside without proper authorization (warrant, probable cause, etc).
Diaspora indeed was an interesting idea in theory (good first step I'd say) but the execution sadly was flawed (too cumbersome to sell it to anyone, even free as in beer).
As far as I'm concerned, no social solution satisfies these tenets yet, and so that's an open 'market' as we speak. Blockchain is conceptually a good basis for history/logging (I'd considered torrent to be a good candidate before that).
Monetization of user data could be achieved on an individual basis by granting rights to commercial entities (eg Xbox, Spotify, clothing brand...) to monitor specific activities (eg my gaming metrics, my listening metrics etc). You'd have per-user contracts (eg Spotify authorized by x million people to monitor their musical habits, paying each a few cents per week possibly deducted from their bill if subscribed to the actual premium service).
No middleman, or at least not necessary by design if you can in-house the whole monitoring/marketing (but agencies would likely appear, such as Google adword or Facebook ads operate currently). In this design, even Facebook or any social media would have to be granted rights to read your data, and could not hold/copy it beyond said authorization (in storage space, also in time).
The whole point being to transfer physical and legal ownership back to users, thus able to revoke all rights to anyone, and operate solely on a peer-to-peer basis (maybe I just want to talk to a few people and that's it).
Newsfeeds of sorts can also be envisioned on a per-user basis if said user runs some dedicated software which sorts and presents data this user has viewing rights to, hopefully in a much more customizable way than current Silicon tech monopolies.
At least that's the idea. I'm pretty sure we'll eventually have something like that, we can't keep on digitalising our world with ever less control, it's a bit of a country without public space and no individual private space either, only corporations (not far from the ontology of fascism, although consensually accepted here since you're not obligated legally, only socially pressured into using said networks).
But from this idea to actual execution, there is still a pretty huge gap, notably because any worthy solution needs to be actually adopted by a majority of users. It needs to be sellable to the highest extent (even if it were free), and thus provide actual value over existing solutions. Tooling, ease of use, clarity so as not to trick users, all aspects matter.
Ten years ago I thought this would be long done by now. I evolved into thinking this is actually somewhat of a hard problem (per real-world constraints of all kinds, ie social, political, ethical, not strictly technically) that I want to actively try to tackle personally, whatever I can bring to a solution.
Even just simple 'sharing' things get to me: I want to get a huge bunch of files from my computer to a friend. For semi frequent transfers I just give my friend credentials to a guest account on a VPS so he can rsync them down.
I wonder if we'll ever get a fundamental method of moving files peer to peer that is as easy as email (and similarly open). Something like Resilio (Bittorrent) Sync or Syncthing but more ad hoc?
About moving files it also numbs my mind that we still haven't really solved this as we close the 2010s. I think it'll get easier as we gradually move mainstream storage to clouds but it begs the question of ownership; the now-old meme of dropbox etc being "someone else's computer". I strongly believe that a decent cloud provider should encrypt everything before data leaves the user's screen and until it reaches some end user's (blind transport and storage, just like the post office doesn't peak on your letters and boxes). Provided decent API and tooling some of these providers could indeed allow peer-to-peer management. Local storage is dying for the mainstream as networks get better, and it's ok if we tackle the privacy issues the right way. I think.
A notable act would be to join the course of an ongoing project, if one which is flexible enough to build onto exists.
For cost reasons, quality, and security, I think it should absolutely rely on open-source pieces (and be an open-source project itself, to allow for public review and efficient feature growth). Whoever (individual, group) assembles said solution should therefore become a de facto contributor to all projects used, if only for the sanity of the arch-project.
The matter of profitability bugs me though, because it should not be for profit but you need full-time devs and actually a whole company to run the project with excellency (it needs to be 'sold' to users, I mean promoted to be known and used, a bit like NGOs, and supported/maintained), so I think opt-in marketing (ads, or taking a cut on peer-to-peer contracts like Spotify I mentioned) could be one way of doing it. Ideally, the corporate structure would be not-for-profit so there's no dividends (people and businesses get value but the actual structure doesn't beyond paying employees and contributions, that should be enough incentive for all actors, B or C or states, to root for its neutral continuation, kinda like DNS or email). The point being that everyone had motives for it to exist but no one would profit directly from it, only through it. It's like the police, or the state itself, or public streets: collectively supported.
The Open Source community needs an open committee founded on promoting projects of this nature. -- [Open committee over closed since such a foundation could easily be corrupted by personal interests]
SGX would also enable hidden contract data. Right now, you can't publish a contract like "guess my weight and win $100", because the guess code is public (has to be, for miners to exec it). With an SGX-enabled system, this is now totally doable. (Though, you must trust Intel, and assume hackers can't reverse engineer the Intel chips with magic physics or other breaks. So it's probably safe for a few millions but not billions of dollars. (Upper bound, for a few hundred billion you could acquire Intel and compromise SGX secrets.))
SGX is pretty exciting and I'm in the early stages of getting at least one project working with it. There's also research called "Town Crier" to enable TLS-retrieved website data into Ethereum contracts.
For all the people that cry about SGX being big, bad, DRM, it really has its upsides. Too bad Intel requires special licensing to use it - it should just be enabled for all purposes. Maybe they're worried about malware backlash?
Also, an SGX-enabled Ethereum, apart from the Intel/SGX trust issues, means you can skip the computation and just verify the result. It also means you could replace the proof-of-work multi-hash with a single iteration plus a sleep.
It is a viable additional client protection, especially against remote malware, software-only tampering (unless there are implementation bugs or backdoors), but not a viable server trust substitute.
The idea is to program your money. Here's a dollar that can only be spent on healthy food. Give these to your kids for doing their chores or whatever.
Are such restrictions meaningful though? One huge feature of these currencies/tokens is how easy it is to trade them; maybe your kids will trade their "healthy food dollar" for $0.75 of some unrestricted currency, hence "a dollar that can only be spent on healthy food" is actually "about $0.75, with an extra transaction step".
The token would just need to check against the whitelist in its transfer function.
Ethereum has value even if it doesn't involve somehow replacing all real world services with cryptographically proven algorithms. Interfacing smart contracts with external actors is a really interesting frontier; see for example Vinay Gupta's latest venture, Mattereum. http://internetofagreements.com
gas is ETH. It is simply a term they chose to refer to the ETH fee paid to execute the code. I don't like their terminology. Calling it "gas" make it sound like it's a different currency. They should have just call it the "ETH fee".
Each op code in the EVM has a gas price, depending on the complexity of the instruction. Eg. A store op costs more gas than a comparison op.
When you do a transaction, you specify how much ETH you will pay for one unit of gas. Typical transactions use 21k gas, but contracts need much more.
More info about why it's like that:https://www.cryptocompare.com/coins/guides/what-is-the-gas-i...
I often see 'gas required' 'gas limit' and 'gas price' terms confused, so careful what you read in the comments on the internet ;-)
gasCost -> cycles
gasLimit -> max cycles per transaction
gasPrice -> ETH per cycle
The fact you need so much text to explain gasCost, gasPrice, etc, perfectly illustrates my point that their "gas" metaphor is the wrong one. Also as xur17 said, "cost" and "price" are too confusable.
Note that there is also one more limit, the max gas per block limit..
Personally, I quite like gas, not too hard for a casual dev like me to understand. However, perhaps in the future it could be something that is totally abstracted, since asking everyone to understand how gas works is too much.
Having non-CPU cycles is extremely common in emulators and VMs, you can just say it's a "virtual cycle of the eth VM", something along those lines.
At least "cycles" and "ETH per cycles" makes it very obvious that you should multiply them to find the fee. On the other hand it's completely unintuitive you should multiply "price" and "cost" to calculate the fee. If gasCost was called gasQuantity, at least it would have been a little more logical (multiplying price with quantity).
Also gas is not its own unit. gasPrice is the unit. Or... actually it's not even a unit. A "unit" implies a constant. But it's not constant since each tx can set its own gasPrice.
The more I think about the cycles metaphor the more I love it. Sorry I have zero sympathy for "gas"
If you define the term gas as a unit then it refers to both a value, and the unit of that value, which is where most of the confusion comes from. The language "1000 gas" could mean either "1000 wei/szabo/whatever of gas" or "1000 gasCost" which are 2 completely different things!
"The price of this book is five dollars" vs.
"This is five dollars" (meaning "this book's price is") vs.
"This is five dollars" (meaning "five dollars are sitting here on the table.")
I know what you're saying, there is ambiguity, but these make sense to people based on context.
Perhaps you could but currently no one does. There's still not a single real world legal application that needs cryptocurrency. Much as with the pro-life debate (to name a bad phrase) or with global warming now renamed climate change (to name a good phrase) the name of the thing frames the discussion. Calling it a "currency" makes people think it's not a Ponzi or a scam when it's decidedly one of them.
Clearly you haven't done enough research. Have you looked at the ethereum token (ERC20: https://theethereum.wiki/w/index.php/ERC20_Token_Standard) launch contracts? They raise large amounts of money (its actually scary!) and securely and transparently tokens are distributed to participants. These tokens can then represent anything (really anything) from stock (blockchain capital etc), to voting rights in the organisation (districtOx), to a utility token (golem, basic attention token) to allow use for what ever protocol is being developed.
There already are private secure voting systems being researched. Here for example: https://github.com/stonecoldpat/anonymousvoting ZK-snarks is used to ensure privacy.
You can see some of the other applications here: https://dapps.ethercasts.com/ (most of these are just fun ideas, but you don't have to look far to see the potential in them).
There is real utility to Ethereum, it is just very very young as a technology, and all the issues of scalability etc are a work in progress. But if you want to use the trust-less and secure computational power to execute your code (smart contract) you need to buy Ether first. Is that a Ponzi? I think you are unfairly grouping ethereum in the same category as a large number coins that very much are ponzis.
There are quite a few private blockchains that are now running in the financial and healthcare industries at a pretty large pilot programmes that are very functional and bring destinct advantages.
A blockchain isn't magic, I'm currently working on a project with the royal mint that will be used for correspondent banking applications.
Think of it this way you have a database that is guaranteed to be consistent across all nodes, offers you full tracking of any action performed on that database, offers you non-repudiation and much more.
Sure you can probably hack it over an existing standard DB but at what cost?
At least MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQL Server, DB2, Oracle surely can.
Private blockchains do appear to be useful among a consortium of companies who don't completely trust each other, and don't want to pay a single company to maintain a central database.
Banks lose billions each year and i mean lose as they have no idea where the money went. Account consolidation within a bank is a huge enterprise.
Even within a single entity like a bank a blockchain that governs all accounts and transactions is hugely beneficial because of the consistency and the trail any action within it leaves.
Actually not true, the phrase 'climate change' has been coined more than half a century ago. The idea that there was a rebranding of the phenomenon is false beyond doubt, and actually hurtful to the process of acknowledging we have a big problem.
I don't trust anything that 4chan is telling me to buy.
1) Extremely vague and handwavy, or
2) Links to extremely long documents.
Neither one is an explanation, something that hits the key points and gives you enough to know what to ask to get greater detail.
Edit: toned down criticism.
I should work on an "I'm a software developer who wants an intermediate technical understanding" or something like this.
Thanks for the resource!
This is actually a sign that something innovative is happening, because it can't be explained in terms of something that already exists.
When I wrote understandingbitcoin.us, I explained it as a global ledger with mutiple versions floating around where everyone agrees to trust the version (out of the valid ones) with the most proven work invested in it. That provides the overall structure and allows me to dive into:
- How you sign transactions (public key crypto basics)
- How you know how much work has been invested in something (the guessing game and the crypto version with hashes and nonces)
- Why people invest work in it all (mining and transaction fees).
- Why people agree to follow these rules at all (dynamics that encourage people to follow vs reject a protocol and what effects that has for the network)
(I would like to see something similar for ethereum.)
If I were explaining the internet to someone in your example, I would explain what functions computers can perform, then introduce the concept of them communicating with each other and what that allows, and the flesh out the details of how the communication happens in a distributed way.
(The linked page also doesn't provide that kind of explanation.)
This isn't a precise analogy for various reasons. Bitcoin has the UTXO model (though Ethereum actually does have userid/balance), and Ethereum is more like an object database than SQL.
Not one where I have to watch a 3 minute ad and a 23 minute video of someone reading off slides.
The document mentions creating a crop-insurance application that would depend on a weather feed.
The problem is if the weather feed isn't something that's uniformly secureable the result could be bad given that the insurance application would take action automatically and no appeal to any higher authority concerning the fraud would be possible - without a "fork" as happened earlier. Hack an insecure feed, an insecure site or whatever and viola, free money.
And this seems like a problem any interface with the "real world" would face. The idea of automatically occurring, no-appeal financial transactions sounds but I would claim it's always going to be problematic - only a fool or a crook would put their money in this kind of system and the crook only puts in enough money to remove the money of the fool.
The ideal of say, money, is it belongs to you, where you is a broad but understandable concept. Something that belong to "whoever has X, Y, Z pieces of information about you" may sound great until someone beside you gets that information and there is no recourse. Indeed, the person who had the information "did nothing wrong" if the account really, really did belong to "whoever has this information" rather than belonging to you.
You still end up trusting a human - an "oracle". You trust the weather feed, or you trust some exchange to give you the accurate price of some other asset. If that oracle is mistaken (bug, intentional misinformation), the smart contract can be manipulated.
However, I know of at least 1 promising project on Ethereum (Augur) that provides decentralized oracles, and you can trust these oracles due to some clever game theorish mechanics.
The gist is randomized Reporters submit real-world information to the blockchain and earn a fee for their service. Reporters purchased a cryptoasset to have this priviledge, and if a certain Reporter submits information in conflict with a majority of other reporters (e.g. they lied) then they lose a portion of their cryptoasset giving them incentive to play by the rules and get paid for it.
And even further, if majority of Reporters report dishonestly then people will not use the Oracle service, the Reporters will not be able to earn fees, and the cryptoassets they purchased to allow to be reporters become worthless.
To be precise: it gives them incentive to submit the same information as majority of other Reporters. This is a huge difference.
Now, imagine that team B somehow win the match. How can the system prevent the overwhelming majority of team A backers from submitting a fake result claiming that their team won? They will vastly outnumber the people backing team B, and also outnumber any of the casual observers who might also contribute to the results. So the market will get settled as if team A won, thanks to the 'wisdom of the crowd'. The minority backers will be robbed.
In a lot of ways, it seems like you could create something like a theory that it impossible to create a system that distinguishes "real world input" from "noise that I get from outside" without that system having a model of said real world.
Further even if you did that and by random chance are selected to report on your sporting event, you have to hope that majority of other reporters who were also chosen do the same thing you do (keeping in mind you don't know who they are), so if you still choose to report a lie you further risk losing a portion of the REP that you previously bought.
The only practical way to game the system is to have a majority of all REP holders collude and they would in truth control the outcome of all events. However it would be a waste of their money to do so, because the value of REP is derived from trading fees, and their trading fees would be non-existent because no one would use Augur if the reporting wasn't reliable, so the value of their REP holdings would plummet.
It's just like a 51% attack on Bitcoin, it's physically possible but you're financially incentivized against it.
You could program whatever logic you want into the insurance. For example, some kind of dispute resolution system that appeals to a higher authority.
How do insurance companies deal with this problem today? Why do you trust the insurance company not to lie and say that the weather was fine? Whatever that mechanism is, it can be programmed into a smart contract.
The legal system. It can put people in jail for fraud if necessary.
Do you really want "smart" "contracts" to have the power to put people in jail? Really?
A contract dispute is where both parties are truthful, but disagree on the resolution of the contract. This is the part smart contracts fix.
And it's how insurance companies deal with these problems today.
I'm just saying that it's possible to solve the problem the same way that it is solved today.
Since this is the exact thing that the double spending algorithm would check against this wouldn't be allowed, and therefore you can't have normal insurance in a blockchain world.
In general I see two really hard challenges with smart contracts. Getting them bug free (i think formal verification which is worked on will help a lot) and getting the incentives right to punish dishonest behavior. (So far I haven't seen a lot work being done here, I also don't know how you could automise that, maybe some kind of simulation with AI based actors)
If people even know of the existence of a dispute, it's almost certainly because they have some personal stake in the outcome, and they will vote for the outcome that benefits them.
* Making the trust-liability explicit
* Building a trust-less core system that can swap out 'trustful' sources of data as needed
* Streamlining the processing and accounting of something that depends on a 'trustful' source of data
Not to mention that trust-less data is potentially achievable with prediction markets. This is obviously not a trivial innovation, and they may not be practical, but writing off the whole system is unfounded at this point.
Protocols and decentralized applications around decentralized file storage, decentralized computation and decentralized prediction markets, among dozens of other such concepts, have the potential to substantially increase the efficiency of the computational industry, and provide a massive boost to other peer-to-peer protocols by adding for the first time an economic layer
I believe blockchain technology is important and I think Ethereum is a strong contribution in its own right. But the more I read of Vitalik's Sokal-style writing the more I wish he would stop and let others handle it because he is making it sound like he's going to scam the shit out of everybody.
The question for Ethereum, like any technology, is what real-world problem is it uniquely suited to solve? Personally, I don't think Ethereum will ever live up to the hype surrounding it because its founders have promised more than it can deliver.
Computation: pretty much the whole point of the Ethereum VM, plus there are a couple projects that put proofs on the blockchain of larger computations than the blockchain can handle.
Prediction markets: Gnosis and Augur
Efficiency: at least developer efficiency, in my experience
Economic layer: because you have reliable currencies on the network, both ETH and roll-your-own.
It might sound like buzzwords but at this point it's all real code.
Real code that doesn't provide the stated advantages doesn't mean much, right?
I have long-term hopes that decentralized currencies let us build some interesting products, but there's massive volatility against fiat when holding crypto, which makes it hard most people to want to use these auxiliary services
But it doesn't say "computational efficiency." It's talking about efficiency of the industry, which is a completely different thing.
As a developer, I have various ideas for startups that would handle money. The easiest way to implement them is to build on Ethereum.
The way you transfer a bitcoin from one person to another is by creating a Bitcoin transaction that contains an input script that fulfills an in-blockchain output script with which a number of bitcoins are associated. The output script may say "provide a public key that hashes to <some_hash> and a signature, over a transaction (which sends the bitcoins to a new output script) that redeems this output, that verifies against this public key".
Bitcoins script language -- conditions be fulfilled to transfer tokens associated with one output script to a new output script -- is not Turing-complete, which means it's limited in how complex a condition can be set up for redemption. Ethereum's script language is Turing complete, allowing arbitrarily complex conditions for fulfilling an output script (which allows you to transfer coins/tokens from that output script to a new one).
The main problem with a Turing-complete contract language is that it becomes impossible to statically verify runtime properties, so a node can't know how long it will take to verify a transaction it receives. This opens up for denial-of-service attacks, e.g. embedding a transaction with an infinite loop in a block in the blockchain.
However for practical purposes nodes only compute up to a certain amount of instructions. This is known as the "gas limit". Additionally it costs Ether to get them to run code so any DOS approached in this way is prohibitively expensive.
I never know if the person who just worshipped or criticized a specific currency has a vested interest.
Somebody who sits on billions of ETH will write totally different tham someboy who is shorting/margin trading ETH.
This whole cryptothing feels like gambling, 'put all your money on red, red will win..'
On the other hand, people will continue to run ponzi schemes as long as there are greedy/ignorant people to attract, so it might as well be done all visibly. At least then the guy running the ponzi can't just tell everyone "sorry, feds raided the bank, all the money is gone" when he actually just moved it offshore.
Or a serious reputable journal reviewing the literature comprehensively?
If I'm unable to find filling for the gaps in the study I seek, I'm inclined to think that I have a good chance of being able to work towards a (sincerely and despite being tempted by the ad rates) non spammy simple site to collate the references, this summer. So if you have any suggestions for the effort I will with about 70% probability undertake, I'd be happy to hear from you as well.
Would totally get headlines if someone put $1M worth on an SD, then laughed and ate it live on TV and said good luck finding it. Or tossed it out of an airplane, or boat, etc. People show off wealth in all sorts of ways...
It would be cool to make coins out of bits of recycled computer chips and resin, and only allow the e-waste recyclers to mint them. The global poor become our new bankers. ='D
I think we are close to the top, how much worse than this can it get?
Everyone has realized there's crazy mania, and so now everyone is capitalizing on it. In a few months, the number of projects to fund will no longer be smaller than the amount of money being put towards funding.
There are some attempts at serious trading subreddits, but so far nothing that seems that informative to me.
As a Node.js developer, it was effortless to start coding with Solidity. But that's part of the problem; it seems so easy, but there are no safeguards and a lot of traps. That's why we get so many flawed contracts that were taken advantage of/hacked and ICOs delaying their distribution or processes because a bug was found.
90s cypherpunks that gave birth and worked on these ideas of smart-contract etc. saw the things a bit more responsibly, instead of development velocity on something that proves unsustainable even from a security perspective not to mention scalability-wise.
Here is are some thoughts from one of the originals - Christopher Allen co-author of TLS standard.
I'm disappointed in the corruption of the term Smart Contracts. Bitcoin's Script, and in particular P2SH is a good start to them, but massive multiple execution of arbitrary code is not (aka IBM's Chain Code), and I would even argue that Ethereum's languages are not smart contracts either—just another chain code. I do agree that business logic is hard to do with Bitcoin's Script, but for all of us talking about Smart Contracts in the late '90's (Szaboian Smart Contracts?) we desired cryptographic composabilty, that the code could be analyzed at multiple levels to be secure (from language proofs to high level business logic atomic validation), limitable (i.e. expression complexity & evaluation cost can be determined) and could often just be validated by consensus of parties not every node in the world (which only at most need to see proof of execution, not the full contract). These would be true cryptographic Smart Contracts!
Anyway, I think that would be a big leap.
On the other hand you have Hyperledger, it's "contract" code is Go. Widely adopted language that was basically designed for networking efficiency.
If you're interested in why there's also a token named "Ethereum Classic(ETC)", you can search "DAO" on Google to explore more about why the first largest Ethereum application DAO was failed and why this leads to the hard fork(ETH => ETC, ETH) of Ethereum.
As far as decentralized storage is concerned, there's production-already a blockchain-based product named Sia (http://sia.tech/ ), but Swarm (which is a similar thing based on Ethereum) is still in very early stage.
Firstly you don't know if AWS has actually run your code. They could potentially replace your code with their own modified version which does something malicious (like add a bias). For example in a voting system, code could be modified to ignore X percentage of unfavourable votes, or change unfavourable votes to a more favourable candidate.
Secondly I don't know what your code on AWS does. This isn't great for financial and voting systems that should be audit able.
With Ethereum you can view the code for a contract to validate it does not "cheat". You can also trust the contract was executed correctly because the miners have validated it and added it to the block chain.
In the case of siacoin, at face value it seems to be significantly cheaper than AWS or Google Cloud for providing bulk cloud storage.
ICO tokens are digital commodities/assets that are more similar to app credits or in-app mobile purchases than securities.
Unlike with Ethereum apps/dapps, you can't trade traditional app credits/in-app purchases on an exchange but imagine if there were farmville ERC-20 tokens a few years backs, people will buy thousands off speculation alone, it'll be interesting to see how the SEC will regulate this
Good luck in the long run
> here’s what we’ll talk about: (with links if you want to jump to a specific section).
Holy smokes, it's got links! Good thing he pointed it out to me since I never could have figured that out by the visual indicators that every web browser adds to links.
"Support this website! Send ETH to: 0x1c4d1804AD9d47de0D4209882843998E03E30dF9"
Outside of trading it between each other based on price speculation, is there a real world thing that isn't a prototype that people are using as part of the smart contract system?
Blockchain tech is evolving...
EOS value proposition is: "a platform for building DApps beyond PoW (using DPoS) and industry-ready TPS (with Graphene)".
Both DPoS and Graphene are inventions of Larimer. For many this is enough, and that reflects why it's already a top 15 crypto.
>Ethereum had one: "a cryptocurrency with a programming language beyond opcodes"
It didn't have one until it had working code.
And that is the reason why I bought in both crowsdsales. Your call...
Last century gave us things like the personal computer, the internet, and so on. What about this one? Fancier webpages? Selfies? Tweets?
All of this blockchain and cryptocurrency and JS hype is tiresome to see. What happened to making real stuff that works and solves real problems?
The innovations you listed in "last century"- PC, internet, etc - both went through their fringe, hobbyists-and-nerds-only phases, during which their future value to society was totally unclear and uncertain.
Only in hindsight are these technologies impacts obvious.
While I couldn't agree more about the fact that there's ridiculous hype and (most annoyingly) greedy speculation in crypto, I for one am hugely excited and optimistic about the potential society-changing implications of the this tech.
Cloud computing is pretty great too.
There's too much inflation and uncertainty for it to be a fiat currency. I mean the value of BTC fluctuated 1000% in the span of just a couple of years.
During the 1840's to 1860's we created billions of dollars out of thin air by mining gold from the ground in California. Fiat currency saves us the digging.
Money is not a static "thing" that definitely exists. Markets need liquidity. QE has provided that liquidity as the vast majority of capital in our society has become locked up by the top 1%. If anything, they could increase the flow of QE because of how low inflation is right now.
(Also, they're arguing against QE, not the entire concept of fiat money.)