research & development

An Open Source Mining Pool Bounty and DEVgrant

Ethereum’s present reliance on Proof of Work (PoW) mining is not ideal, and while we continue to work with gusto towards a Proof of Stake solution (PoS), we have to live with PoW as gracefully as possible (at least until the eventual switch!). Meanwhile, in the interest of overall network health, mining decentralization and diversity is a clear imperative: [caption id=”attachment_2623” align=”alignnone” width=”622”] Mining Pool Diversity from March 28 via https://etherchain.org/statistics/miners[/caption] Though there are some instances of open source Ethereum...
research & development

Serenity PoC2

After an additional two months of work after the release of the first python proof of concept release of Serenity, I am pleased to announce that Serenity PoC2 is now available. Although the release continues to be far from a testnet-ready client, much less a production-ready one, PoC2 brings with it a number of important improvements. First and foremost, the goal of PoC2 was to implement the complete protocol, including the basic corner cases (slashing bets and deposits), so as...
research & development

Homestead Release

Update: We’ve released version 1.3.5 including networking hotfix for homestead 1.3.4.  Development of Ethereum started in December 2013 when two developers and a college dropout researcher decided to put their heads together and develop this amazing piece of technology. We were later joined by many like-minded individuals. Our first Proof of Concept (PoC) came on February 1, 2014. By the time we started our crowdsale on July 23, we were up to PoC 5 with a protocol that was almost finished,...
research & development

From Smart Contracts to Courts with not so Smart Judges

Ethereum is often described as a platform for self-enforcing smart contracts. While this is certainly true, this article argues that, especially when more complex systems are involved, it is rather a court with smart lawyers and a judge that is not so smart, or more formally, a judge with restricted computational resources. We will see later how this view can be leveraged to write very efficient smart contract systems, to the extent that cross-chain token transfers or computations like checking...
research & development

BTC Relay included in Ethereum Bounty Program

Following hacking @ DEVCON1,  Martin Swende is Nr. 1 on the leaderboard of the Ethereum Bounty Program. The bounty program is ongoing and the last bounty awarded amounted to 5 BTC. The program is open to anyone. With BTC Relay getting ready for launch on Ethereum and its importance for many DApps, we want to highlight its ongoing security audit by including it in the Ethereum Bounty Program. BTC Relay is an Ethereum contract that implements Bitcoin SPV: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Thin_Client_Security The...
research & development

Ethereum DEV Update: C++ Roadmap

Although this is my first post in this blog, many people might already know me as the person behind Solidity. I recently took on the lead of the C++ team and would like to share my vision for the future development. Ethereum is a free software project that anyone is free to use and improve. From what we have seen at our conferences and meetups, there are so many people working on projects on top of Ethereum, but we only...
fallback

Cut and try: building a dream

Last month marked the 2 year anniversary of Ethereum’s public announcement at The North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami, Florida, USA. Amid much rumour and excitement, a sizeable crowd mobbed the young Vitalik Buterin after his on-stage announcement, questioning the merit and his desire to build such a system. It can be hard to truly appreciate how far we’ve come in the last couple years. Sometimes it feels as if the cryptoeconomic sphere moves at such a blistering speed that...
research & development

Ambients Applied to Ethereum

Part I Sometimes Ethereum is compared to a singleton Virtual Machine.  While this is correct in some sense; I think it is a bit more. First of all what is a singleton in a distributed system? It is merely a set of values that some threshold of participants have come to consensus on.  A Virtual Machine is a computational environment that is isolated from the physical computer and from other environments. A hypervisor allows the physical machine to be multiplexed...
research & development

Privacy on the Blockchain

Blockchains are a powerful technology, as regular readers of the blog already likely agree. They allow for a large number of interactions to be codified and carried out in a way that greatly increases reliability, removes business and political risks associated with the process being managed by a central entity, and reduces the need for trust. They create a platform on which applications from different companies and even of different types can run together, allowing for extremely efficient and seamless...