More Thoughts on Scripting and Future-Compatibility

My previous post introducing Ethereum Script 2.0 was met with a number of responses, some highly supportive, others suggesting that we switch to their own preferred stack-based / assembly-based / functional paradigm, and offering various specific criticisms that we are looking hard at. Perhaps the strongest criticism this time came from Sergio Damian Lerner, Bitcoin security researcher, developer of QixCoin and to whom we are grateful for his analysis of Dagger. Sergio particularly criticizes two aspects of the change: the... [Read More]

Introducing Ethereum Script 2.0

This post will provide the groundwork for a major rework of the Ethereum scripting language, which will substantially modify the way ES works although still keeping many of the core components working in the exact same way. The rework is necessary as a result of multiple concerns which have been raised about the way the language is currently designed, primarily in the areas of simplicity, optimization, efficiency and future-compatibility, although it does also have some side-benefits such as improved function... [Read More]

On Transaction Fees, And The Fallacy of Market-Based Solutions

Of all the parts of the Ethereum protocol, aside from the mining function the fee structure is perhaps the least set in stone. The current values, with one crypto operation taking 20 base fees, a new transaction taking 100 base fees, etc, are little more than semi-educated guesses, and harder data on exactly how much computational power a database read, an arithmetic operation and a hash actually take will certainly give us much better estimates on what exactly the ratios... [Read More]

Conference, Alpha Testnet and Ether Pre-sale Updates

Important notice: any information from this post regarding the ether sale is highly outdated and probably inaccurate. Please only consult the latest blog posts and official materials at ethereum.org for information on the sale Ethereum received an incredible response at the Miami Bitcoin Conference. We traveled there anticipating many technical questions as well as a philosophical discussion about the purpose of Ethereum; however, the overwhelming amount of interest and enthusiasm for the project was much larger than we had anticipated.... [Read More]

Ethereum: Now Going Public

I first wrote the initial draft of the Ethereum whitepaper on a cold day in San Francisco in November, as a culmination of months of thought and often frustrating work into an area that we have come to call “cryptocurrency 2.0″ – in short, using the Bitcoin blockchain for more than just money. In the months leading up to the development of Ethereum, I had the privilege to work closely with several projects attempting to implement colored coins, smart property,... [Read More]

Slasher: A Punitive Proof-of-Stake Algorithm

The purpose of this post is not to say that Ethereum will be using Slasher in place of Dagger as its main mining function. Rather, Slasher is a useful construct to have in our war chest in case proof of stake mining becomes substantially more popular or a compelling reason is provided to switch. Slasher may also benefit other cryptocurrencies that wish to exist independently of Ethereum. Special thanks to tacotime for some inspiration, and for Jack Walker for improvement... [Read More]

Bootstrapping a Decentralized Autonomous Corporation, Part 3: Identity Corp

In the first two parts of this series, we talked about what the basic workings of a decentralized autonomous corporation might look like, and what kinds of challenges it might need to deal with to be effective. However, there is still one question that we have not answered: what might such corporations be useful for? Bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik once suggested that one application migh be a sort of decentralized Dropbox, where users can upload their files to a resilient... [Read More]

Bootstrapping An Autonomous Decentralized Corporation, Part 2: Interacting With the World

In the first part of this series, we talked about how the internet allows us to create decentralized corporations, automatons that exist entirely as decentralized networks over the internet, carrying out the computations that keep them “alive” over thousands of servers. As it turns out, these networks can even maintain a Bitcoin balance, and send and receive transactions. These two capacities: the capacity to think, and the capacity to maintain capital, are in theory all that an economic agent needs... [Read More]

Bootstrapping A Decentralized Autonomous Corporation: Part I

Corporations, US presidential candidate Mitt Romney reminds us, are people. Whether or not you agree with the conclusions that his partisans draw from that claim, the statement certainly carries a large amount of truth. What is a corporation, after all, but a certain group of people working together under a set of specific rules? When a corporation owns property, what that really means is that there is a legal contract stating that the property can only be used for certain... [Read More]