EF Blog

ETH top background starting image
ETH bottom background ending image
Skip to content

the ethereum project: learning to dream with open minds

Posted by Mihai Alisie on July 14, 2014

the ethereum project: learning to dream with open minds

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” Friedrich Nietzsche

Ethereum as a project is more than just a technology, even if technology is at its core. In the rush of creating, co-creating and debugging everything you sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture. You need stop for a second, take a step back and observe in order to fully appreciate what's going on.

The project started as an idea in Vitalik’s mind. Ethereum, has now expanded into thousands and thousands of other minds around the world, thanks to this interconnected digital mesh called Internet. A sea of minds brought together by the idea of a turing complete general purpose blockchain is creating, as you’re reading these lines, the minecraft of blockchain tech.

In all this excitement we have had to think also, about how we can best ensure that the vision is not corrupted, while delivering the technology itself. This post is the first in a series that attempts to explain both the ethos and motivation behind the project as a whole.

soulsearching: for profit or not?


From inception, our intention was to deliver a technology aligned with the community at large and to encourage a meritocratic culture based on trust, openness and respect - not only for our fellow ethereans but everyone - united by raw passion for positive world change.

Over the past few months the model of our organization and the very nature of this project has been in discussion - both amongst ourselves and between ourselves and the community. They were healthy discussions and I would like to personally thank everyone who cared enough to share their thoughts on our forums, in a blog comment or a reddit post.

It has been an intense and interesting journey. Along the way it made us reflect upon our values while looking at ourselves and asking what this project really means to each and all of us. During these long soul searching sessions we realized that most of the dichotomies boiled down to a single question: for profit or not?

After researching a number of models and organizations, we arrived at the conclusion that in order to keep the protocol and the software as pure as possible the only real option was to build a non-profit structure with a declared mission to develop, maintain, nurture and explore the potential of this new technology. Motivated not by money but radiant passion for this crazy idea of a free, open and decentralized world. That’s what make us happy in the end and most importantly what makes us get up and work on this project, proudly saying today we're building tomorrow.

Details regarding the non profit structure chosen will follow in a series of blogs. However this blog post is not about details, more about the bigger picture and why we’re doing it in the first place.

continuing the experiment

continuing the experiment We all come from different backgrounds and life experiences, but in the end we're all connected through this meaningful project which enables us to explore our passions and ideas through code, art, hardware or sometimes something completely new.

By design this project is breaking new ground in a way that has not been tried before. This by definition is a trial and error experiment, looking to continue the experiment started by Bitcoin, on multiple levels. Since this has never been tried before, there are no right or wrong answers or concrete experiences to fall back on. We are deep into uncharted territories.

Even if we do not yet grasp the full applications and implications, the sheer number of ideas and initiatives sparked by the core idea itself is encouraging, and gives us a glimpse at the limitless potential of our minds - we are architecting and co-creating our own future "reality".

I like to look at the ethereum project as a blank canvas, where anyone can create digital masterpieces. The technology behind it serving as a catalyst, enabling people to unfold their innate playful creativity. If the network and blockchain were to be the canvas, then the paints and colors would be the lines of code running transparently and censorlessly on top. Everyone is invited to cocreate.

The genesis sale represents the next step in this epic journey that lies ahead, and a way to bootstrap the ethereum ecosystem. The collective intelligence of the swarm will then have its collective fingertips at an amazing open technology, capable of unleashing waves of innovation across the web, and etherweb. With a technology like this available, centralized, corrupted monopolies that siphon from the blood and tears of humanity face rapid obsoletion.

portal into greatness

portal into greatness

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Howard Thurman

Most of us are aware that the current planetary operating system is pushing us into extinction as a species. Finance seems to be the current paradigm humanity has to transcend on its path from a civilization type zero into a civilization type one.

When a technology like ethereum exists, I feel like we almost have a debt to ourselves and our fellow species to explore its potential in the search of solutions. We truly have at our fingertips the power to craft the future we desire through code and purposeful action - if you see something you don’t like, contribute with something you do like. We believe it is important, especially at this critical point in time, to follow our heart instead of meaningless extrinsic rewards. This is how, perhaps, we can open a portal toward our maximum potential, both on an individual and collective level.

I suspect that Sir Timothy Berners-Lee was most likely unable to envision something like Bitcoin running on top of his hyper text unified network protocol back in early 90’s. Just as we are unable at this point to fully grasp the implications of the ongoing crypto renaissance running across the ubiquitous digital mesh that connects more than 2 billion minds.

How far can we take it?

What's the limit?

Is there really a limit in the first place?

From our humble beginnings as foragers and hunters, we have arrived at a point where we are able to contemplate the nature of infinity. Able to grasp the idea that we’re made from trillions of atoms vibrating in unison on a pale blue dot, all this while permanently connected through a digital planetary consciousness grid. We are learning to dream with open minds, just as we are dreaming with closed eyes. We are on the cusp of changing the world with our minds through lines of code dancing with atoms at the edge of singularity. The interesting part is just about to begin.

How many rivers will we have to cross before we'll find our way?

Subscribe to Protocol Announcements

Sign up to receive email notifications for protocol-related announcements, such as network upgrades, FAQs or security issues. You can opt-out of these at any time.