In 1872, a man named John Keely demonstrated a machine that operated on what he called the "vaporic" or "etheric" force:
The same year he raised 5 million dollars, equivalent to about $100M in today's money. Two years later he demonstrated a model that was described as a "hydro-pneumatic-pulsating-vacu-engine" with "quadruple negative harmonics". No doubt he'd be a blockchain entrepreneur today.
(Edit: Someone actually maintains a big wiki dedicated to Keely's "Sympathetic Vibratory Physics" and "Etheric Elements":
Amazing that an investment fraud from 150 years ago is still producing "research"! A sobering reminder of the power of lies.)
Of course, Vitalik Buterin knows that so he resorted to "weak subjectivity", basically saying that if you are not online often enough, you need to trust someone with providing you check points to decide which fork is the "true" one.
The proofs of Gödel's theorems work by encoding the axioms and inference rules of the system in a way that can be dealt with within the system, and using that to encode statements like "this statement cannot be proven within the system" within the system.
I am not sure what the analogous thing would be if you were to attempt to carry the proof over. I am not even sure what it would mean to try to do that.
To prove that, there is no proof that can be carried out within proof of stake, that there is no proof of Falsum that can be carried out within proof of stake?
What would that even mean? What would it even mean for proof of stake to prove Falsum?
I am not asserting that proof of stake can work well, but I am not convinced by the line of reasoning that you lay out, with its current level of detail. Perhaps if you went into the details I would find it more convincing.
Proof of Stake strategy is to make it where attacks on the blockchain are impossible in the economic sense. Proof of work strategy is making the attack infeasible by making the work required impossibly large.
Now is PoS possible? No idea. That possible fork attack seems like an impossible barrier to overcome. But we will see.
Humans can be rational or irrational. That is how they are born. So far, we can only make tools and books to prevent irrationality.
It's completely circular. It's like the Bible trying to proof itself. With no anchor to the physical world, you can't actually ever know
I'm not saying that requiring clients to log in every 4 months is a reasonable security assumption, just showing that hand-waving it as "completely circular" is incorrect. It's more nuanced than that.
Good luck with that https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Too_big_to_fail
With Ethereum PoS. It is dependent on ETH being distributed to many individuals. If only a few individuals own most of the ETH, then they will then have the power dictate what is the "truth" in the blockchain. Right now, ETH is very well distributed around the whole planet.
As you can see, one is oligarchic, the other is very democratic.
Ethereum is not a Corporation that is designed to make profits. It is non-profit, it's not even a company, it's simply a protocol implemented in Free Software.
I don't think its very good for the cryptocoin community, but hey, I'm up to see the grand experiment unfold.
That said, talking about this "fairness" is totally missing the point. As I mentioned, in the grand scheme of things it's all "rich get richer" and that's how capitalism works. The truly important question is how immutable an stable the ledger is, because that's what makes these blockchain projects meaningful.
If you ask anyone who has a thorough understanding of these technologies they would say PoW is superior to PoS in this sense. And Yes, this includes even the guys who are working on PoS blockchains. The only reason people bother with PoS is because PoW is having a hard time scaling and many people think maybe there may not even be an ultimate solution just with PoW.
You probably didn't even read my comment. Because it wasn't about whether PoW or PoS is more efficient.
“doesn’t scale” usually refers to technical difficulty with throughput. If you meant that Bitcoin et al cause massive environmental damage, you sure didn’t say it clearly.
I suggest that you would get a lot of mileage out of improving your writing skills first before trying to flame people. As it is, you’re just playing yourself.
I mean, in theory the market should push the profit down to a minimum, forcing the miners to spend their revenues in order to keep mining.
It won't be perfect. But it is definitely tons better than the current capitalism.
Another very important feature here is the ability to easily fork. So if we need to fix something, it can easily be done (no need to wait for an organized citizen revolution)(although this is probably better attributed to the idea of Free Software).
A low-income person getting into Ethereum today has no hope to ever get as much ethereum as anyone else in the early adopters.
Hell, a low-income person was too busy trying to buy food today and/or pay off credit card debt to even think about investing into Ethereum, the Stock Market, Bonds, or other securities.
If you wanted to be an early investor of facebook and you are a pleb, then you're out of luck. And you should have a big capital to join.
If you wanted to be an early adopter of Ethereum, then you only need an internet connection and a computer. You invest put practically any amount, so any pleb can join.
There's also a law that requires you to be big capitalist before you can do early big investments right?
Pretty sure this is better than stock market.
Robinhood offers free trades on anything in the Stock Market. Literally free, you can't beat that.
> There's also a law that requires you to be big capitalist before you can do early big investments right?
That's not the stock market. That's venture capitalism. The stock market is literally open to everybody with an internet connection from a variety of well trusted sources (RobinHood, E-trade, TD Ameritrade, Vanguard, etc. etc.) and a variety of pricing schemes. ($0 for Robinhood, although it seems like their execution is not as good. You get what you pay for afterall)
Furthermore: the stock market is regulated. The National Best Bid and Offer (NBBO) system in the USA ensures that everyone in the USA pays relatively consistent prices, or at least more-consistent than BTC / ETH. Unlike ETH or BTC, no one is going to steal your money Mt. Gox style as the SEC is a strict watchdog.
You get no assurances with Eth or BTC. Coinbase has different prices than Bitfinex. And some of these exchanges look like they're running scams (ie: Bitfinex's support of Tethercoin).
I think more "plebs" have been burned by Mt. Gox and other such failures in the cryptocoin marketplace. Its a hugely unregulated, and highly risky market. Cryptocoins are just not mature enough for mainstream speculation yet.
I wanna note though, regarding crypto exchanges. One does not need to use them to invest. Use your own wallet. Use decentralized exchange if you don't wanna risk using centralized exchange.
Funny you'd say that:
"Vitalik's project immediately before Ethereum is that he was collecting investments from people to fund building a computer program to solve NP-complete problems in polynomial time, supposedly by simulating a quantum computer."
"Buterin later said he had “greatly overestimated” the likelihood of the team breaking mathematics"
I tried to verify your sources, it seems to go back to Gregory Maxwell and an anonymous source, BitcoinErrorLog. David Gerard cites BitcoinErrorLog. zero proof.
Jorge Timón was pitched it
> Was he soliciting investment though?
> Jorge Timón @timoncc Yes, he and another guy were claiming the classical computers simulating quantum would be a mining revolution.
interesting, but that sounds quiet differently from the claims from maxwell and your original post.
He has never denied trying to get money for a quantum project. If rumors were floating around that I had I'd instantly deny it 100%
perhaps because not a single person was dumb enough to fall for it?
How about this- for 4 years people have been talking about this, not once has he simply replied "I never tried to raise money to build a quantum bitcoin miner"
But if we're going to make the analogy to the present day, it's important to frame it right. Blockchains are just a subset of distributed databases, and the lasting "Benzes" of the field might be projects like FoundationDB rather than blockchain-anything.
This paper does a pretty good job of laying out a formal, mathematical proof that pos doesn't work
Ethereum is three years old. ICE is 200+.
Ethereum works today as well.
I think you missed the point of the analogy.
1. Sharding is fundamentally impossible; in any public blockchain, all computers must validate all transactions, and the scalability trilemma cannot be avoided, or
2. Sharding is possible, but the solutions outlined in the FAQ are unnecessarily complicated; a much simpler solution exists
You haven't provided arguments for either, and I can't even tell which argument you're making.
On a higher level, I could agree with the general sentiment that complicated solutions tend to be wrong or at least very suboptimal, but only as a heuristic. It's a heuristic that doesn't even hold very well in this space; in the space of PoW fork-choice rules, bitcoin-style longest-chain is simpler than Somplinsky's GHOST rule (https://eprint.iacr.org/2013/881.pdf), which is in turn simpler than ethereum's current "modified GHOST", but in each case the added complications really were necessary and lead to better properties.
The Ethereum designers don't want to recant their outlandish promises, so they keep proposing increasingly complex bells-and-whistles fixes that sound impressive in a 10,000 word FAQ but won't bring the "global supercomputer" substantially any closer to reality.
> Lieut, Zalenski's mirth interrupted him at this point. "Now," he resumed," when I started for Philadelphia I was careful to take with me a 10,000-pound gauge. That was my little equipment. This, as I suppose you know, or if you don't must take my word for it, is a standard instrument. Well, as soon as the Keely people saw this gauge they said to me, 'You had better not show it to Keely. It would only anger him!' Much I cared about angering him! I wanted justice. One of his partisans, however, informed Mr. Keely that I had brought this gauge with me, and the great man replied that he would not use it. In the course of his experiments he said he had got 50,000 pounds pressure. But—observe the but—he then remarked that he had broken all the pressure gauges he had. I then quietly rejoined that I had a pressure gauge which was only capable of registering 10,000 pounds. Said I, 'I would like to have you put it on, and break it for me.' Mr. Keely made no immediate reply to this. Shortly afterward, however, he remarked, with an air of feeble assertion, 'I do not believe in pressure gauges, anyhow.'"
> The subject appeared to be excruciatingly funny to Liet. Zalenski.
"And the energetic gentleman laughed in the same strain in which the cat was heard when she feelingly exclaimed, 'Hi, Hi! I have eaten the canary!'"
"The 'etherealized vaporic force' which was so liberally poured into the ears of a large and gullible public..."
I can't get enough. It's wonderful.
The sharding stuff, however, is still iffy at the moment (I've studied it pretty closely) ...but if vitalik is confident he can make it work, I'll bet on v every time.
There are some small efforts, but I'd rather have formal methods from the beginning, not as an afterthought.
The problem is that market forces favor releasing early rather than releasing correct things. It's the MIT vs NJ paradox again, or worse is better. But this time the potential risks are much bigger.
solidity, etc sure maybe... but at that point, releasing early is probably a good thing so that you can get a whole community working on things and getting ideas and collaboration from a large group of people
*edit: unless you mean like geth, or some minimal reference client should be formally proven
There are more agile options. For example, model checking all protocols is pretty easy in comparison to theorem proving. Still a significant effort, but perhaps an order of magnitude easier.
Just because a bridge is still standing today doesn't mean it's safe. Ethereum has been almost religious in violating best practice blockchain design.
The entire .eth registar runs in a smart contract. You put your ETH in to claim the domain, others also bid during the bidding period, the winners ETH is locked away and returned when they release the domain, the rest get refunded.
Considering DNS is continually politicized and still subject to points of failure (the CAs), distributed ENS is a far better design IMO
"solid track record" meaning cloning bitcoin and giving yourself and friends a bunch of free tokens worth $7,764,000,000:
"12 Million Ether were created to the development fund, most of it going to early contributors and developers"
Can you name one thing he built/invented that does anything? Beyond collecting bitcoin.
The concept of memory-hardness is not really novel either, see: bcrypt/scrypt.
You've got everything that looks essential to me: add/sub, mul/div, logical and/or, bitwise, string, crypto, etc.
No disagreement that the Bitcoin development process is broken as fuck though.
And what does all this complexity buy? Cryptokitties. We sure this is a worthy tradeoff? Would they Eth guys even be able to recognize this considering what's invested personally and monetarily? There's plenty of suckers, so I'm sure the "next year" kicking the can down the road cycle can go on as long as it's needed, but I'm interested to see if we ever get something of value out of it.
The other evolutionary route interests me, but I'm too busy, lazy, ignorant, and disturbed by the entire space to test it out. Maybe some day.
etheraffle.com also seems like a relatively good use case for a ÐApp.
In fact there are thousands of good use cases.
I don't think you're familiar enough with the space to be providing meaningful criticism. Your reductio ad absurdum to "just cryptokitties" is fairly telling.
If there are, then we'll surely see them. You're providing more of what I'm talking about - it's always next year, always coming, but the mainstream adoption is nascent.
Whether or not you "believe" raffles/lotteries to be a useful system does not change the fact that it was a system with a $280BN market cap in 2015. Lotteries on a blockchain with smart contracts solve three problems with traditional lotteries: transparency (provable fairness), easy and secure participation, easy and secure disbursement.
We'll surely see them.
I can tell you that the team is the least diverse (not just race/gender but in age/possible life experience) I've ever seen, which doesn't bode well. How different can their perspectives be?
The vast majority of those apps are cheap moneymaking schemes. Again, they have a place, but I'll very much take a wait and see approach, which I believe is realistic and more than warranted.
Those things were a bit slow to access over dial-up (porn in particular), but millions of people were using the web daily by the time Netscape IPO'ed.
There's no similar moment in sight for Ethereum's hypothetical "Web 3.0".
2. Even if we accept your statement as true, the world wide web became generally available in 1991. Blockchain technology has now been around for a decade. The web certainly showed its practical usefulness in its first 10 years, yet blockchain remains largely in the realm of hype.
Ethereum was the first blockchain with smart contracts and it only went live in July 2015...
I have yet to see any good use case for smart contracts, except for, of course, launching your own speculative asset.
I just want to see a real use case that has nothing to do with launching more tokens.
There is genuine innovation in this space and it is going to impact a lot of areas. Decentralization, immutability, protocols monetized with market forces, fee-less payments that cannot be prevented, to name but a few interesting areas.
And of course there are numerous downsides. Difficulty of keeping keys safe, bugs that cost millions of dollars, issues with scaling.
But these are problems that people are solving right now. As a technologist, you should be looking at the possibilities! Now is the time to start a new company or project, not 5 or 10 years from now when the tech has matured.
Outsiders start to learn that "blockchain" = "get-rich-quick nonsense", and miss the interesting technical discussions (which often come from the Bitcoin and Ethereum spaces).
The pretty obvious reality is that smart contracts and cryptocurrencies are truly interesting and novel technology. Does that mean they're good investments? No. Are they going to take over the world? Maybe, maybe not. But they're definitely 'cool', in the technological/hacker sense. They're cool in the way the internet was cool - they enable a fundamentally novel form of human interaction. It remains to be seen if that form of interaction will be economically meaningful. But the novelty and possibility of it is definitely interesting, and anyone who says otherwise either doesn't get it, or has been jaded by the scams. An understandable response to all the greed and general chicanery of course, but the reality is still that this stuff is actually pretty cool tech, even if you never use it to buy a latte.
This is it exactly. People are naturally suspicious of anything that is widely promoted for the profit of the promoters.
Actually, I'd rather start the new company 5 or 10 years from now when the tech has matured. It's the same reason the company I'm currently on relies primarily on boring PHP stuff and the more boring parts of Docker, not the newer tech that I'd rather be using. The time that could be spent chasing stuff that might be fads or might be an advantage is better spent directly working with customers to better understand their problems and exploring directly-business-relevant parts of the solution space.
That and the blockchain really is "just" a distributed database. It's potentially very useful, because of the way it tackles the trust problems, but if you're not sure whether you need it or not, then you probably don'.
I look at get-rich-quick schemes and call them get-rich-quick schemes.
I look at how blockchain don't solve a single problem that hasn't already been solved more efficiently on much grander scales, and I call them out as such.
Your words, and images of grandeur, and promises of great things to come are just that: words, and images, and promises, and I call them as such.
Blockchain is not "the next Internet that haters cannot see", as the overused saying goes. So far it's nothing but the next Tomagotchi or Pets.com, and nothing that's happening in blockchain can prove it otherwise. And so, we call it as such.
This position is the most confusing of all the blockchain FUD out there. It's easy to show that it's false: today, people are able to purchase proscribed plants and medicines in a way that completely subverts the efforts of state to prevent that.
Now, I'm not saying that's sufficient to prove the kind of meaning you're looking for, but doesn't it give you the slightest bit of pause? Doesn't it make you say, "Wow - that's something people have been trying to do since the garden of eden and nothing has ever done it so successfully. I wonder what else this thing can do?"
I think that for most open-minded observers, something like this thought process is what keeps our attention.
I think that undermining drug prohibition is a wonderful thing and an obvious net good for the world. But I also think that it's a sign that there are more mundane / lawful-good elements that will arise in time.
Porn has largely driven the internet forward at various critical junctures. But if we had stopped and said, "oh, is this thing just about porn? How useless," then we'd be in a much worse place.
Give it some time and an open mind.
No it doesn't. This is the kind of absurd nonsense that earns blockchain proponents this level of scorn.
People could buy drugs before. Sure they can use cryptocurrency instead of cash, but the old problems remain: getting the product from the buyer to the seller. The state can, and sometimes does, prevent that because until teleportation is invented getting the drugs you bought online into your hands opens you to risk. Buying drugs is certainly easier, but it doesn't help to talk in these ridiculous terms. I bought pot in college just fine. If I buy drugs and have it shipped to me I'm at the same risk whether I used cash or Bitcoin.
>"Wow - that's something people have been trying to do since the garden of eden and nothing has ever done it so successfully. I wonder what else this thing can do?"
You've got this backwards. It's been 10 years. People have been asking all that time "so what else can you do", and the answer so far is...nothing, really. This despite the relentless, utopian hype all during that time.
If proponents want people to keep an open mind and not be so cynical, maybe they shouldn't have spent years promising that blockchain technology is the digital coming of Jesus that will completely change everything in every way and usher in an endless golden age of peace and prosperity.
I agree with you that you still have to get the product to the person, and blockchain doesn't solve this. But it doesn't claim to.
What cryptocurrencies do is solve the payment part of it, so that you can send money to someone without your bank finding out and freezing your account.
If I send money to coinbase, buy Bitcoin, and then convert that to Monero, the only thing my bank knows is that I sent money to coinbase. And coinbase only knows that I sent money to a different exchange.
By instantly you mean "up to 200 hours"? https://blockchain.info/charts/avg-confirmation-time (at the time of writing this comment the spoke on the chat was at 12000 minutes).
> the only thing my bank knows is that I sent money to coinbase. And coinbase only knows that I sent money to a different exchange.
Money laundering is as old an art as the banking services themselves. I guess blockchain made it easier then? True innovation.
Obviously, if you pay too low of a fee, it could take a long time.
> Money laundering is as old an art as the banking services themselves. I guess blockchain made it easier then? True innovation.
Indeed it does. The whole point of bitcoin was to enable censorship resistant financial transactions.
And it turns out, that the people who most want to have access to censorship resistant transactions, are the people who are CURRENTLY being censored by the existing financial system.
I have no idea how I'd be able to quickly send cash to someone on the other side of the world, in a way that is censorship resistant. Bitcoin enables this, though.
Obviously, though, if you don't care about fighting financial censorship, then you wouldn't see the usecase for a toll that helps you make censorship resistant transactions.
It is perfectly fine for you to not care about subverting financial censorship. But you should be aware that there are other people with different values, who care a whole lot about this cause.
Proper healthcare system and legalisation of cannabis for example.
Are people seriously supposed to what, wait until all the political misconfiguration of the world is solved to have relief?
Darknets and cryptocurrencies are disrupting these prohibitions today. How is this not cause for celebration?
You: But you can buy drugs! Be open-minded!
So yes, ten years in, nobody has come up with a use for blockchain: https://hackernoon.com/ten-years-in-nobody-has-come-up-with-...
Oh, and yes, porn has advanced the internet. Please show me how blockchain "has driven the internet forward at critical junctures". No, buying drugs isn't it.
Firstly: yeah, can you squarely address the simple fact that blockchain tech has helped people acquire prohibited plants and compounds? People who previously didn't have access? That alone is enough to prove that the vehicle is not in neutral - it hasn't achieved literally nothing.
And second, you seem to have entirely whooshed over the point about porn and the internet - and to be clear, I didn't make this point up, but you seem not to have ever heard of it? Or something?
It's simple: porn pushed the internet forward. That doens't prove that the internet is worthless (or that it is worth only as much as the porn it can carry). Drug sales have pushed blockchain tech forward. That doesn't prove that blockchain tech is only as interesting as the drug commerce it can facilitate.
I'm just saying: be patient. Ten years isn't a very long time in this context. Well-intentioned, thoughtful people are working on it. The fact that it can seemingly overcome a long-time and entrenched evil in the world says that there's something there. Let's work out what it is.
Why so quick to judge?
Second. What whooshed is your understanding of what I wrote. I know that porn had advanced the internet. What I asked is for you to provide examples how blockchain has advanced the internet the same way porn has.
Ten years is eternity in IT.
For a much better overview I refer you to the aforementioned article, https://hackernoon.com/ten-years-in-nobody-has-come-up-with-... and its second part, "Blockchain is not only crappy technology but a bad vision for the future", https://medium.com/@kaistinchcombe/decentralized-and-trustle...
The second part talks about drugs as well.
You are seriously dodging the conversation here, but I'll try one more time, just to make this clear:
* First: Imagine my answer, for the moment, is "no." So what? Disrupting drug prohibition is already not nothing.
* Second: Yeah, you whoosed. I didn't say that blockchain tech had advanced the internet (like porn has), but that drug commerce has advanced blockchain tech. See? In both cases, the resulting boost isn't limited to porn or drugs.
> What I asked is for you to provide examples how blockchain has advanced the internet the same way porn has.
I didn't make that claim. I don't think that it's clear that blockchain tech is even cognizable as part of what we today call "the internet." So I'm not making the statement you're asking me to defend.
What I am saying is that it's not reasonable to conclude "Well, it doesn't do anything but facilitate drug commerce" any more than you can sensibly conclude, about the early days of the internet, "It doesn't do anything other than facilitate porn."
At least with Pets.com you could order a 40 pound bag of dog food and get it delivered to your door. It may have been a bad business model but it still tried to solve a real problem.
Blockchain doesn't even solve real problems. It is just a technology in search of a problem. So far, the only "problem" it solves is providing a world-class platform for fraudsters and scammers to conduct business on top of.
Ethereum, in particular, is an excellent platform to spin up an ICO, take a bunch of suckers money, exit scam, and then go move to a country with no extradition treaty with the US...
I think that’s the frame rails this whole messy thing is built on, loveingly maintained by scammers and some True Believers.
Blockchain is a world class way to solve the problem of how to part fools and their money.
What about the problem of running an immutable log using compute power around the world without paying for the costs? That's what santoshi accomplished. He stopped mining many years ago and it's been committing logs every 10 minutes for years.
Will Blockchain technology as we know it eventually go on and become something we all use / interact with? Nobody knows... but a technologist doesn't write off new technology just because it's not in use by everyone on the planet after less than a decade.
In the end it's just another data structure. It may have its niche, but as yet it seems to be hype over substance.
We are in the adoption chasm of blockchain architecture right now; if we make it to the other side we'll have a new wave of innovation in the distributed software space.
True, although "you get root on it", "it takes 2 minutes to set up", and "it costs $10/mo" were properties that never really lived together before "the cloud". The value prop for cloud VMs was immediately obvious for a lot of people. And, at least in the crowd I roll with, managed systems like Google App Engine had very obvious utility out of the gate too (I can just push Python code to it and it'll manage all the servers for me? Woah!)
But even so, there are lots of modern assets in the world that are deflationary. Stocks is a great example of a "deflationary" good. Or commodities.
There is surmounting evidence that this is not true and that Bitcoin and Ethereum are actually quite centralized and would benefit from being more centralized .
I'm not sure if you've heard of theDAO fork , but basically transactions on Ethereum are not final. They can be reversed if a select group of powerful individuals decide to do so. Maybe it's "immutable" in the sense that the history can't be changed, but it's not "immutable" in the sense that the history can't be reverted arbitrarily by someone other than yourself.
> protocols monetized with market forces,
What do you mean by this? Older protocols like TCP weren't made operational for free, they were funded by many institutions, both public and private. Are you sure this is something new?
> fee-less payments that cannot be prevented
Cryptocurrencies aren't fee-less. There are transaction fees, exchange fees and volatility/liquidity risk. If you're in the US and want to send money (real money) to your friend in Japan, you must buy crypto (exchange fee), send it (transaction fee), and sell it (exchange fee and volatility or liquidity risk).
Finally, as you've seen with theDAO fork, crypto payments can be reversed, which prevents the transaction from being final. I'd love to see any research on how crypto payments can't be censored, though, if you have any.
There is no innovation happening. Distributed is not decentralized. Ethereum's blockchain is a mathematical proof of it being mutable (and thus not a blockchain?). Tell me any "dapp" and I will tell you the point of centralization. (Before you even mention it's probably 'the origin of money' )
And, despite your silly claims of jealousy, the real reason blockchain technology now receives such scorn is precisely because for years after its inception it received absurd hype. What you're seeing now is the backlash against the utopian, almost religious praise of the technology when it first came out.
It's precisely because it's been 10 years and the reality hasn't nearly matched the early hype that people have cooled on the technology, and now want solid results instead of more empty talk. It's long past the point where telling everyone big things are coming is enough, it's time to show those big things.
To be fair -- it's 10 years since Bitcoin. People didn't start innovating (widely) on blockchains until Ethereum came along and paved the way for generalized blockchains.
> It's precisely because it's been 10 years and the reality hasn't nearly matched the early hype that people have cooled on the technology, and now want solid results instead of more empty talk. It's long past the point where telling everyone big things are coming is enough, it's time to show those big things.
Excessive hype is normal and expected for any disruptive technology. AI took decades to become fruitful, the Internet took a few decades to become mainstream. We're seeing hype with cloud computing, VR, IoT, synthetic foods, and all of these have very vocal nay-sayers.
IMO, blockchains are revolutionary but also very primitive -- there's a ton of innovation in this space, and its spawned a variety of new areas for very interesting research (in trustless consensus, decentralized economies, stable currencies, algorithmic governance, and cryptographic applications.)
Of course, all of this is my opinion, and only time will tell.
(/me spent a decade working on distributed consensus infrasatructure at Google.)
It's funny, all these technologies you listed are all ones that are hyped for hyped sake before having an actual use case. What actual, useful purpose does Blockchain provide? Like really. Apart from "a computationally burdensome way to hate the government." Because all I ever see things like "blockchain-backed sex contracts" or "mangocoin - how IBM helped Walmart and farmers". I thought the most promising use case was when the Australian securities regulator announced they were going to put all the shares in the blockchain, but then I just realised that there's no actual concrete benefit from it - nothing they're doing can't be achieved by a simple, centralised database.
Plenty of hype for things that didn't make it though. Excessive hype isn't an indicator of success....
IMO, blockchains are worthless energy sucking devices whose only purpose is to take money from rubes and transfer it into the pockets of scammers. It's the worlds greatest platform for financial fraud and that is about it.
Engineers love to play devil's advocate. Now that the posts/articles about cryptocurrency are becoming more frequent, those dissenting opinions are also becoming more frequent.
1. Are they fundamentally safe or are the scams?
2. Will they get shut down by governments?
Both of those questions leave me feeling very open to risk. People willing to assume that risk before either issue has been resolved may reap whatever reward early adoption gives them. But if you build a business on the wrong tech you could get bankrupt or worse.
Most of the big dotcom 1.0 companies disappeared (or are dying before our eyes, RIP Yahoo). Maybe it is better to be a crypto 2.0 business.
Think pets.com vs the internet
It's no longer what it claims to be, and increasingly moving away from decentralization while at the same time the high priests creating propaganda that it's OK to be a "little bit centralized" for the "greater vision". Looks like most uneducated people genuinely believe this because they have no idea how Ethereum works underneath, and even many entrepreneurs who DO understand how Ethereum works are so invested in the ecosystem as to be blinded by their own interest, so "choose" to believe in it, but if they all stepped back for a minute and look at what has happened they will all realize this is not the platform they were excited about in the first place.
I generally hope the idea itself will work out, but doubt the current team and the entourage (also known as "ecosystem") around them will get there.
Can we approach this with an open-mind? These technologies have major promise. I do not see the use in being reactively closed mind and negative towards the efforts here. As an Ethereum - not a "crypto" - supporter, I feel brow-beat each time one of these threads comes up.
Let's take a deep breath, explore it, and try to help it realize its potential instead of instilling doubt and criticizing. This is a community for forwarding thinking builders...
I'm a bit ambivalent, there's clearly a lot of scams and way too high valuation. But something useful will likely come out of it all. And that something will likely be what can stand up against the backlash.
At a fundamental technological level you are increasing the size of available memory by using the memory of other nodes. And there are ways you can query other nodes about their subset of unspent transactions by using a merkle tree. If you trust the root of a balanced merkle tree you only need O(log(n)) computations  to prove that a leaf belongs to it.
This sharding mechanism could be added to bitcoin where the root of the merkle tree of the unspent transactions is added to each block. Nodes on the network can store a sub-tree of arbitary size and validate part of each block. Whether this scheme would be robust to dishonest miners is still an open question though.
I'm somewhat sceptical of that claim, for the reason pointed out in the blog post, and I think you can get away with much simpler solutions for quite some time.
- You can use many heuristics to decide which UTXO data to keep in memory. LRU + deprioritizing addresses where the balance is too low to pay the current transaction fees seems like a good start. Research shows that there is a high percentage of stale data.
- With a block time as high as 10min, you can definitely spend 1ms on read latency for retrieving UTXO data from disk.
- Even if you don't manage to retrieve UTXO data from disk quickly, that just means that the transaction missed its chance to be included in the current block. It could still be ready in time for the next one.
Overall, UTXO set growth is, of course, a problem since it increases centralization, but I don't think the problem of _in-memory_ UTXO sets is as big as it is often made out to be.
For almost a decade, evangelists have flooded tech forums promising to change the world, and for almost a decade they have failed to deliver.
TLDR, split up a blockchain into a bunch of smaller blockchains sharded by something (let's say address), and then a different tier of nodes which only operate at the shard level can exist -- they call these "collations". collation-internal transactions can be managed by only the nodes in the collation, and they even lay out an initial proposal for how to do cross-collation transactions, leaning on merkle proofs for verification. They also propose making it transparent as a part of an auto-loadbalancing part of the blockchain so developers wouldn't feel any difference.
This paper was actually pretty interesting. It's pretty thoroughly researched, and the solution that they come up with (sharding) is actually pretty promising as a solution to the centralization + throughput issues of the blockchains up until now. I certainly learned a lot about blockchain systems by reading it, and more importantly learned the current problems with the state of the art and how this group plans to address them.
At this point, I also look at blockchain as a generic distributed database problem -- so I get the feeling these finndings will benefit the field some day. Surely something will come out of the research energy that's being dedicated to blockchain right now that will be beneficial to future researchers.
> developers wouldn't feel any difference
The details haven't been decided yet, but developers will need to deal with some kind of locking or "yanking"  mechanism in order to communicate with accounts on foreign shards.
There is lots of complex cryptography, game theory and economics involved in working out if a robust solution really exists. The most commonly stated solution is something called a "Threshold Signature Scheme". Threshold signatures schemes (and threshold cryptography in general) have two main problems.
Firstly they don't scale well. As you add participants you need lots of extra rounds of communication and computation.
Secondly they aren't resistant to Sybil attacks. The proposed way around this is to link participation to a stake of coins (yep back to proof of stake) such that launching a Sybil attack requires lots of coins. This is not trivial however because of the "Nothing at Stake" problem where stake can be used to participate in many forks of a scheme at the same time.
The slashing function is in the contract  but there is actually no incentive to duplicate votes on the testnet since there is only rewards for voting (block rewards are given to proof of work miners).
An attacker cannot predict how their number will affect the result, since they would need to compute the delay function first. By the time they finish the computation, they'll have missed the window of opportunity to contribute a number. (They could add their number on a very old fork, but other clients would not accept forks beyond a certain age. This is important anyway to prevent stake-bleeding attacks.)
A obvious candidate for a delay function is an iterated hash function like sha3^10000. A few researchers are looking into "verifiable" delay functions , so that not every client has to do the computation; most clients can download the result along with an easily-verified proof (perhaps using a SNARK) that the result is correct. Besides saving some computational resources, this would help new nodes catch up to the network quickly, without needing to compute all the historical seeds.
People are going to look back and say that the HBO show 'Silicon Valley' was 'prescient', but really they are just catching up to developments in Ethereum and similar projects.
Long live the real PiperNet (well they have some significant differences but also some similarities).
But evidently all this means nothing if it's possible to mutate the blockchain itself through social and political engineering.
You are effectively saying you'd prefer mob rule over due process.
(if anybody has more useful conclusions, I'd love to hear them, most of the threads seem to be alternating "blockchain yay" and "blockchain boo" comments, neither of which tend towards being desperately informative)
Bitcoin being stuck at 7 TPS is embarrassing, but if they could get up to a few hundred TPS, that would probably be adequate.
Not only are cryptos still used for transactions (the dark web marketplaces are still used after all) but they have ambitious goals for widespread adoption through dapps and larger financial integrations.
In theory you could build a decentralized Twitter/Facebook using Ethereum but without 10k+ TPS there is no practical way to get enough users using it.
Eh? Scarcity? Ever looked at all the forks of bitcoin?
Blockchain absolutely does not enable scarcity. This has been proven time and time again...
Ethereum Sharting FAQ.
Have a nice day!