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Author Topic: Newby thinks Ethereum doesn't work  (Read 1788 times)
alberthendriks (OP)
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January 24, 2016, 07:47:14 PM
 #1

After learning some things about ethereum, I've formed an initial opinion about it. You might insert "(correct me if I'm wrong)" after each word in the next argument.

In a Dutch beginners bitcoin meeting, we had an idea that later appeared to not work out, but it serves very well as background example.

The idea was to create a bitcoin transaction, whose outputs can be spent by solving a computational problem and not by knowing a private key. The solution of many NP-Complete in practice can be checked in linear time and in fact we managed to create such a bitcoin transaction, where the bitcoins could be claimed by solving a SAT-instance.

Two remarks were made by people with more experience:
1. It doesn't work, because miners can "steal" the solution by inspecting it and changing the address the coins will be sent to when mining a block.
2. We should look into Ethereum.

As I see it, the main plus of Ethereum above Bitcoin is to pay to perform computations. I think, however, there are some limitations to that. When reading https://github.com/ethereum/wiki/wiki/White-Paper#code-execution, performing computations is a by-product of mining and validation. It cannot be used for intensive computations, as per
Quote
An attacker creates a very long infinite loop with the intent of forcing the miner to keep computing for such a long time that by the time computation finishes a few more blocks will have come out and it will not be possible for the miner to include the transaction to claim the fee. However, the attacker will be required to submit a value for STARTGAS limiting the number of computational steps that execution can take, so the miner will know ahead of time that the computation will take an excessively large number of steps.

I do believe that computing power can become the leading currency within 20 years. With this in mind, I'm very interested in Ethereum and I'm wondering if it can become the computing platform of the world.

Also, the article mentions that for validation, each ledger needs to redo some of the computations. It doesn't need to redo *all* of the computations that were ever done for ethereum, as the transactions are stored in a tree. However, I think it's still infeasible for any ledger to do log(n) computations, where n is the total number of computations done in the world.

Next, Ethereum may use less memory than the bitcoin blockchain even though Ethereum stores variables, but I still believe that storing a portion of the intermediate values forever will not work if you want to be a computing platform (because of memory explosion).

Last but not least, in case the gas value of some computation still has monetary relevance, it seems to me that such a solution can still be stolen from one miner by another miner.

My questions:
1. Where do I go wrong with my observations?
2. Respecting (1), do I still have a point?
3. May it be possible to develop a crypto where you can claim coins by solving a generic problem description (as we tried in the beginners bitcoin meeting), as opposed to ethereum (where you just need to follow the steps defined by questioner)?
4. Has anybody yet done significant computations in the Ethereum blockchain that helped him and he couldn't do on his own computer?
5. If I'm mistaken and Ethereum is not meant for solving compute-intensive problems, should we then start a coin that is?
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TPTB_need_war
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January 25, 2016, 04:37:57 AM
Last edit: January 25, 2016, 05:07:50 AM by TPTB_need_war
 #2

I have already explained in my Decentralization topic thread, that Ethereum (and Bitcoin) are broken by a Tragedy of the Commons on the economics of mining. A miner which wins more block has less cost per verification of each script than the miners with less hashrate because the gas is either burned or paid to the winning miner. There was a long discussion about this which I won and so Ethereum is a dead man walking (or will end up centralized).

Too many ignorant fools trying to speculate on shitcoins they don't understand.

Here are the links the discussion I am referring to:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1319681.msg13577100#msg13577100

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1319681.msg13612172#msg13612172

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January 25, 2016, 05:40:58 AM
 #3

I have already explained in my Decentralization topic thread, that Ethereum (and Bitcoin) are broken by a Tragedy of the Commons on the economics of mining. A miner which wins more block has less cost per verification of each script than the miners with less hashrate because the gas is either burned or paid to the winning miner. There was a long discussion about this which I won and so Ethereum is a dead man walking (or will end up centralized).

Too many ignorant fools trying to speculate on shitcoins they don't understand.

Here are the links the discussion I am referring to:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1319681.msg13577100#msg13577100

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1319681.msg13612172#msg13612172

what are your main coins you see winning out in the long run?
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January 25, 2016, 05:50:41 AM
Last edit: January 25, 2016, 06:12:42 AM by TPTB_need_war
 #4

If you are asking me, I am not going there because for one I don't know of any such coin at this moment (even Bitcoin is in a block chain Tragedy of the Commons scaling crisis and is being at least partially controlled by a mining cartel in China) but there are many I haven't studied closely for example CounterParty. And secondly I still hold out hope that some coin(s) I can't currently recommend (e.g. Monero/Aeon or others) might actually do something that I agree with (e.g. if Zerocash turns out to be viable and they adopt this and make it viable for corporations to have RELIABLY private block chains). And third, because if I say anything, I am going to be attacked.

All I will say is don't be so eager to hand your money over, unless you are just gambling on the P&D. To find a coin that can really make good on a big time market breakthrough is a probably at least as bad as the odds of winning the exacta at the horse betting. I will estimate is not as miniscule odds as the Lotto though, given you have done your homework on technology, marketing, and the key people making it happen.

Ethereum could also potentially still transition in many different ways but I haven't tried to enumerate their realistic options (and although I wrote in my thread that it appears they are layering on more complexity for the moment trying to make the impossible possible, which from my design senses smells big time failure on the horizon). It is difficult to predict exactly how this "well it all needs to end up centralized any way" (refer to my thread for elaboration) is going to work out. One person could be correct that it can't remain decentralized, but that might end up being irrelevant (although I don't think so, because it is decentralization that makes all what we are doing any different than everything else we already had available or at least afaics). For example, I think Peter Thiel backed Vitalik with $100,000 originally.

Also I am still in the midst of researching these issues and so I haven't formed my final opinion yet on all matters, since I like to formulate my conclusions based in objectivity and fact to the best of my imperfect human failings ability. It will help the more smart people do more open discussion on these matters, since no one person is omniscient.

Apologies that I didn't give you the direct answer you asked for. I usually prefer to be direct, but in this case I am handicapped by the sheer complexity and volume of undigested information of it all.

There is a chance my final conclusion will end up being decentralized crypto failed entirely, but I am hopeful that is not the final conclusion.

alberthendriks (OP)
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January 25, 2016, 08:31:33 AM
 #5

TPTB interesting... it seems I came up with a similar objection against Ethtereum independently after you. I think we could have a  "computation-coin" as suggested in my OP(3), which does not have this issue. Do you have any thoughts on that? (Ignoring issues that all coins have?). The main issue with this computation coin of course is how to prevent someone from stealing a solution. That needs cyprography more advanced than bitcoin, if even possible.

I was thinking along these lines.

1. Someone posts a checking algorithm to quickly check any possible solution for a problem he has (e.g. a SAT instance).
2. He adds a public key; solutions need to be encrypted with it.
3. Somehow it must be possible for everyone to check that an encrypted solution is correct (unless there's a pre-hash collision, in which case someone who finds that can falsely state he has a solution and get the coins. There's nothing to do about that, but it might not be a big issue, because finding the solution should be easier than finding a prehash).
4. The poster of (1) can decrypt the solution using his private key.

Then we're facing (3) and we also still need to add that the address of the solver should be posted and be in the encryption (otherwise they can still steal the encrypted solution).
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January 25, 2016, 09:19:11 PM
 #6

Their wallet is also crap, wth 24/7 maintenance to run on for exchange kinda deal?  Flaky code is flaky.
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January 26, 2016, 08:36:10 AM
 #7

y0 newbs, you talking about issues with mining? Did you know ETH goes POS this year?

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January 26, 2016, 09:23:33 AM
 #8

y0 newbs, you talking about issues with mining? Did you know ETH goes POS this year?

Yo clueless n00b, do you not understand the PoS doesn't rectify the fundamental flaw in the economics of the verification of long running scripts that I explained upthread and for which I have been banned for trying to point out in the numerous threads pumping Ethereum that spammed the Altcoin Discussion forum today.

Doesn't Theymos understand that you can never silence a person who knows he is just and correct. A person will fight to the death when they know truth is on their side. And will eventually win. Those who try to obscure truth will always eventually lose.


Theymos banned you?
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January 26, 2016, 10:20:52 PM
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y0 newbs, you talking about issues with mining? Did you know ETH goes POS this year?

Yo clueless n00b, do you not understand the PoS doesn't rectify the fundamental flaw in the economics of the verification of long running scripts that I explained upthread and for which I have been banned for trying to point out in the numerous threads pumping Ethereum that spammed the Altcoin Discussion forum today.

Doesn't Theymos understand that you can never silence a person who knows he is just and correct. A person will fight to the death when they know truth is on their side. And will eventually win. Those who try to obscure truth will always eventually lose.


Theymos banned you?

Of course that is what he deserves for spamming a lie about Ethereum being broken. And he will never stop and has continued his FUD at Reddit. How else to squelch a loony who refuses to stop the insulting tirades against upstanding members?
alberthendriks (OP)
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January 30, 2016, 08:55:51 AM
 #10

I don't like the personal issues in this thread. There's a valid objection about the long-running scripts that makes logically sense. Let's discuss that concerning content. So far, I haven't seen a reason why it wouldn't limit ethereum.
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January 30, 2016, 02:28:04 PM
 #11

One of main problem of any altcoin is popularity among Websites. Till now only Doge have good results. I do not see any other so popular altcoin, also Ethereum  Grin
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