Ether coin - Ethereum Crowdsale Underway (22nd July for 42 days)


#1

Vitalek Buterin Ether crowdsale announcement (blog post):

  • Developers take 0.099 of the crowdsale as reward for work so far
  • Non-profit foundation takes 0.099 of the crowdsale.
  • No more than 0.26 of crowdsale will be issued per year afterwards
  • No mechanism for trading Ether at least until the network is live
  • Network will go live “Winter 2014-2015”

Crowdsale is at https://www.ethereum.org ( ~4,000 BTC so far - no limit, just 42 days crowdsale cut-off)

Ethereum Subreddit


#2

lol…you beat me to it - I was just about to post same thing. Having watched the video at https://www.ethereum.org/, and watching money flood from maidsafe (masterxchange) apparently to Etherium, I wondered if we can summarize the differences? It was stated somewhere on this site that Etherium might not scale, however they claim by using “ether” to lubricate the system (similar to safecoin), they have overcome this problem. I can’t really myself put a cigarette paper between them in a lot of respects apart from one uses blockchain tech and the other ANT tech. Can anybody list any other major differences? Both are now due out around same time so first mover advantage appears to now play a significant role in future success. I’m not a techie so please don’t rip into me too much for my ignorance. Cheers


#3

#4

AFAIK the pitch is going to be very different, especially in the initial phases:
Ethereum = smart contracts
SAFE = free/very cheap secure, private storage

I haven’t read up yet, but being blockchain based seems a major limitation to me. Potentially in scalability (unless fixed as you say), but if not that, then in using proof of work computation which is energy inefficient. I also think that Ether is highly priced (~20p quick head calc) for 1000 steps of computation (using the example in the current white paper). That’s a hell of a premium and I doubt it is sustainable against competition (from forks, or SAFE if the same capabilities are added later, and they surely will be unless Ethereum is more efficient).

EDIT: I read the white paper and they give an example of 1000 steps per Ether, so I’ve updated the above (from 100 which is what I mis-remembered). My 20p estimate price / Ether is about right, so I think the price of a computational step is still pitched very high. The issue here is the cost of aquiring Ether to run contracts. If the contracts can be run cheaper elsewhere, they will go, so Ethereum can’t assume a monopoly and if they have competition whoever runs the contracts cheapest will set the price. Seems like a risky proposition to me.

EDIT: I also noticed other risks in the white paper. They are building their own blockchain, with measures to mitigate against centralisation. However, they will require every node to have a full blockchain, which they acknowledge will lead to centralisation as the resources to have a full blockchain will in time grow to TB (currently bitcoin blockchain is 25G - VB quotes it as 20GB so he’s not updated it for a few weeks!). They mitigate against the risks of fraud by the centralised full nodes, making it detectable by SPV (nodes that rely on a server copy of the blockchain. What they don’t mention is the other risks of centralisation - if those centralised nodes fail, become inaccessible, get blown up etc. They also seem to not mention the scalability limitation related to transaction time and rate issues that are fundamental to the proof of work approach (which is essentially unchanged, except for a measure to make ASICs less attractive).

EDIT: When I first heard about Ethereum I thought wow, this is brilliant. It was just before I learned about MaidSafe. I would have invested in it, but now I’m really skeptical - its very hard to see how the Ether value will be set. Maybe that’s not much different from Safecoin, except that investing in Safecoin is not just about value, but values. I think most people who are here, and who invested, will be happy if SAFE works and takes off, even if they don’t make a profit on their Safecoin.

I will come back and update this if need be once I’ve read the latests stuff, but those are my first impressions. EDIT: Done!


#5

Ethereum has a very high opportunity cost for investors. It might be better to mine it.


#6

Can’t really list differences. Basically SAFE is a decentralised secured data and communications network. Ethereum is a crypto scripting language to create contracts etc. I see them both as different things, the compute capability I talk about is a script capability on SAFE and ethereum talk of a dropbox in 5 lines of code, so there is confusion for sure.

I see them as very different though, 90~% plus of our effort is a network and 90% of Ethereum’s effort is a crypto secured scripting language system, currently secured against a blockchain (I am not sure bitcoin’s or their own). With a scripting language though its like a programming language, its hard to say what the limits are, i.e. is c++ a space shuttle nav system, or a Tesla engine management system? it’s hard when its described like that, So capabilities are probably near infinite if you have a programming language and this adds to the confusion I think, As ethereum will be secured it means the outputs are fixed and clear, so contracts etc. become like a digitally signed contract today, but lodged against a blockchain rather than signed by keys validated by a company like verisign. (like mutable maidsafe data is crypto secured against the network and not verisign etc.). This is where the confusion is I think.


#7

Ok, thanks David, I think I’ve got it now. Cheers


#8

The thing is both ethereum and SAFE are aiming to have web browsers, storage and a currency. So there is some overlap. But from what I can tell SAFE should be the more scalable and efficient system for all three of these.


#9

Yes, they were the similarities I was talking about too. Do you have a reason for believing SAFE will be more scaleable, or rather why Etherium might not scale?


#10

Maybe dirvine can explain this for you. But basically it comes down to the fact that ethereum are rebuilding the blockchain to be a development platform whereas SAFE is designed from the ground up to handle these sorts of use cases.


#11

in simplistic terms:

Maidsafe = rebuild internet from scratch

Bitcoin = create a tradable coin based on a decentralized ledger - aka the blockchain
(or the flipside, ledger-centric view: there’s a coin creating / incentivizing a decentralized ledger, which can then be used for more than just ‘coins’)

Ethereum = rebuild that ledger from scratch, make it so it’s not just coins but rather generalize it from the start (the fundamental ‘unit’ being a digitized contract. Build in a Turing complete programming language too - meaning you can program ‘anything’)


#12

Well put @nikster great explanation.


#13

Ok, thanks everyone for helping me out. So, essentially Etherium can’t rebuild an entire internet based on the blockchain tech, whereas safe network could incorporate similar functionality to etherium (in a different manner) to provide the smart contract aspect etc in the future?


#14

That’s how I see it, but I’m a simpleton compared to VB and DI.


#15

Ay up… what’s this too…looks like Etherium got competition pretty quickly…lol

http://www.coindesk.com/ripple-labs-unveils-proposal-new-smart-contract-system/


#16

There was speculation on Reddit that this is what triggered Ethereum to start the crowdsale. VB responded and said it was a factor in the timing, along with a couple of other things, but the main thing was that it was now ready of course.


#17

I can believe that, ripple do seem to be pretty competent and well connected to the establishment, not my cup of tea for various reasons but will probably be successful.


#18

Wasn’t it ripple that got shown up by one of the founders for being super greedy - he dumped all his XRP and tried to get others to rescind thiers? I’m not certain - have a flaky memory but pretty sure. It was all over reddit. Anyway, my hopeful theory is that in a properly decentralised system, greed becomes toxic. Reputation will I hope triumph through transparency, verification (zero knowledge proof, concensus etc.) and greed will just become too risky. Then its change or die. Ahh, I can dream can’t I :slight_smile:


#19

Yes, I have similar vague recollection and like I say I think they appear (to me at least) to be catering for the established greedy financial powers too…no ethos, values or philosophy to go along with it - nothing that inspires me personally anyway.


#20

Ripple at this point is nothing special technologically. It was back a year ago when it was the most advanced despite being so centralized but now we have Bitshares and Nxt which are decentralized yet can do the same as Ripple.

Since I’m not part of the establishment as you say, I don’t have any reason to promote the centralized alternative when I can promote the decentralized alternative which has a lower barrier to entry for me and others like me.

Ethereum is going to be more powerful than Ripple but we wont see Ethereum until early to mid 2015. The problem with it’s late arrival is Nxt and Bitshares will have a lot of momentum by that time and Storj, SAFE Network, and others will be making their debut at around the same time.

Ethereum is going to have a lot of competition and Ripple isn’t a threat or even competitive anymore. The smart contract technology is certainly interesting but it’s too late for Ripple I think.