Tuur Demeester's Ethereum claims


#21

Claim: For a while, Microsoft veteran Lucius Meredith was mentioned as playing an important role in ETH scaling, but now he is likely distracted by the failure of his ETH scaling company RChain.

Source: https://twitter.com/TuurDemeester/status/1078687267475066881

Argument/Evidence: [see replies to this post, or add your own]

Status: Rejected

Summarized arguments: Preethi refutes both parts of this claim: “I have not seen Lucius Meredith being mentioned as being important for ETH scaling anywhere. Please share where this was purported?” @cyber_hokie also refutes the second part of the claim about RChain being an ETH scaling company. “Rchain is not an “Ethereum scaling company,” it’s technically a competitor, and a completely separate blockchain platform”


#22

Claim: Rather than creating an open source project & testnet to work on these interesting computer science problems, its founders instead did a securities offering, involving many thousands of clueless retail investors.

Source: https://twitter.com/TuurDemeester/status/1078687274030772225

Argument/Evidence: [see replies to this post, or add your own]

Status: Rejected

Summarized arguments: @preethi and @cyber_hokie refute both claims in this statement:

  1. Ethereum did testnets and open source github repos all along. @cyber_hokie adds that the Github repos were made available as early as 2014. As evidence, the first Go-Ethereum POC was added in February 2014
  2. Ether is not a security offering. The SEC even deemed this this year.

#26

Agree: Weak subjectivity is a well-known weakness of Proof-of-Stake: https://github.com/ethereum/wiki/wiki/Proof-of-Stake-FAQs#what-is-weak-subjectivity*.

However, there are various approaches to overcome this (e.g. https://blog.ethereum.org/2014/11/25/proof-stake-learned-love-weak-subjectivity) but the claim is valid none the less.


#27

Disagree: The SEC has declared that Ethereum and its digital coin ether, are not securities: https://www.sec.gov/news/speech/speech-hinman-061418. Moreover, there were testnets and open source github repos all along:


#28

Flagged: This is a highly subjective and emotional claim and there is really nothing worthwhile to argue here. Let’s focus on objective stuff.


#29

Agree: Technically, this claim is accurate. Casper was peer reviewed by Muneeb and others at blockstack. More details here: https://discourse.trustory.io/t/ethereums-cbc-casper-consensus-protocol/

The caveat is that the paper doesn’t claim to guarantee liveness in the first place. The paper is apparently still in progress. Let’s wait and see until a fully fledged paper is released to see if the same liveness guarantees are not possible.


#30

I don’t know exactly what he means by “compartmentalizing”, but in general I agree with this claim. The main difference is turing completeness: BTC script is not, ETH contracts are. Lots of interesting dialog on this topic just happened here: https://ethereum-magicians.org/t/article-the-evm-is-fundamentally-unsafe/2219. It’s a fundamental design difference: ETH is a general purpose platform so the onus of safety falls on the developer, not the underlying platform/VM.


#31

I half agree, half disagree with this claim: “By now the Ethereum bloat is so bad that cheaply running an individual node is practically impossible for a lay person.” It’s exaggerated, but it’s true in spirit.

I run several Eth full nodes on AWS, and the cost ranges from $100-370 per month per node (see detailed numbers below) which puts it beyond the reach of most humans, even most who are technically savvy. You can no longer run a full node on anything but SSD hardware, and even then if you get unlucky with your peerset you may end up with a node that never manages to sync to the head of the chain. Fixing this, or at least limiting the damage, is the main thrust of the Eth 1.x initiative.

“ETH developers are also imploring people to not deploy more smart contract apps on its blockchain” - this was a one-off tweet by Afri and I don’t think it’s representative of “ETH developers” in general.

UPDATE: I double-checked the numbers. The actual cost for running a geth full (non-archival) node on AWS today is $100/mo. You could probably bring that cost down by ~half (I’m guessing) if you’re clever, pre-bid for compute, etc. For a full archival node (which as we know adds no additional security) the cost is in the neighborhood of $270-370/mo. See https://twitter.com/lrettig/status/1080459897500778498.


#32

Disagree: I can’t find anywhere in the documentation or website where Solidity is porported to be as easy as JavaScript.


#33

Argument/Evidence

Well the Ethereum website opens with the statement “Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third-party interference.”

While https://bitcoin.org/en/bitcoin-for-individuals opening page for individuals seems to focus on low cost transactions, ease of use payments, security/control over your money, works everywhere, fast, private, with user determined fee structure.

Clearly each of these protocols are going to have several overlaps where they have things in common, but are centrally focused on different areas of “neo-fintech” (just to state it more broadly than accurately).

This claim seems to imply that since newcomers mistakenly see Ethereum as blue-chip in the space, they give it a level of trust that bitcoin only deserves, which opens them up to a greater chance of fraud?

As it pertains to TruStory, it would be rejected solely based on being opinion on top of opinion.

But also as an opinion on Twitter the author should take care not to unfairly “color” the perception of what Ethereum represents as well; I mean if you can get smart contract architecture to scale, you’re onto something entirely groundbreaking as well.

Neither are going anywhere though, so buy and buidl :wink:


#34

Strictly counting by the number of nodes, this is true in letter if not in spirit. The node count has fallen from ~30,000 a few months ago to ~9,600 today.

It’s disingenuous in spirit because Ethereum is not “centralized” - to anyone who understands Ethereum development or governance, this is an absurd claim. Obviously also highly subjective and probably not worth debating.


#35

Disagree: People like Emin Gun Sirer, Phil Daian, Greg Colvin, Nick Johnson, and others show that this claim is just a low blow. Also, please show me the credentials of the Bitcoin development community.


#36

Agree: “A topic not emphasized enough with PoS protocols is their lack of resilience in dealing with worst-case scenarios [1]. For example: extraordinary events that could knock offline or partition a significant portion of the network, or even the entire network. Or the risk of stolen/purchased private keys […] In PoW, the nodes will automatically self-organize & and eventually gravitate towards one single chain: the chain with the most accumulated PoW (and the most secure). It will be painful, since some chains will get wiped out in the process. But it will work, and the behavior is deterministic […] In PoS, the nodes would have no idea which chain is the more “correct” chain. Unlike PoW, PoS has no objective yardstick to compare the “realness” between 2 chains. Behavior is indeterministic & impossible to automate away without introducing some arbitrary rules that increase the attack surface. The split might become permanent, as some PoS protocols make it impossible to go back too far into the past.” https://medium.com/@hugonguyen/proof-of-stake-the-wrong-engineering-mindset-15e641ab65a2


#37

The “Russian government meeting” claim is completely overblown and a red herring. It has zero bearing upon Ethereum and its governance today. The “semi-closed meeting” was a one-off experiment and the experiment was abandoned. To anyone who knows anything about Ethereum and its governance today, the claim “Ethereum is centralized” is ridiculous and completely subjective.


#38

Disagree: You can use ERC20 on Raiden, for example. Others as well:

Raiden ERC-20 included: https://raiden-network.readthedocs.io/en/stable/index.html

Plasma Cash ERC-721 by Loom Network: https://ethresear.ch/t/loom-network-plasma-cash-for-erc721-tokens/2385

Connext Network/Hub ETH and ERC-20: https://medium.com/connext/our-first-hub-is-live-on-mainnet-b5660486635e

All three are mainnet.


#39

Disagree: I have not seen Lucius Meredith being mentioned as being important for ETH scaling anywhere. Please share where this was purported? Also, RChain is not an “ETH scaling company”. Not sure where that claim came from either.


#40

Here’s a link to my tweet-by-tweet reply on Reddit:

Claim : ETH’s architecture and culture is opposite that of Bitcoin, and yet claims to offer the same solutions: decentralization, immutability, SoV, asset issuance, smart contracts. ETH is considered a crypto ‘blue chip’, thus colors perception of uninformed newcomers.

This tweet by itself isn’t a criticism, it’s only a criticism if you couple it with the implication that Bitcoin culture, and specifically the parts that are opposite to Ethereum culture, is good.

Agree : Technically, this claim is accurate. Casper was peer reviewed by Muneeb and others at blockstack. More details here: https://discourse.trustory.io/t/ethereums-cbc-casper-consensus-protocol/

Two issues here:

  1. Casper CBC != Casper FFG. Conflating the two risks people thinking that it’s Casper FFG that got unfavorably reviewed. Casper CBC is not core to ethereum 2.0’s success, though it is a nice to have.
  2. Vlad’s paper was deliberately maximally abstract, and was not proposing a specific algorithm. This post, on the other hand, does come close to proposing specific algorithms.

#41

Disagree:

While Lightning Network has some meaningful activity (e.g. the network capacity increased in 2018 to hold $2 million in BTC), it is still considered to be “early beta software” with meaningful issues in user experience.


#42

Disagree: What broken promise are you referring to? Also, hard forks are definitely not as easy as you make it sound. You have to get the nodes, users and market to agree or abstain.


#43

Agree: I agree that Ethereum has had a lot of hype in 2017. I agree that Ethereum’s market cap is inflated.

A caveat I’ll note though is that this is the same for Bitcoin. What exactly is Bitcoin doing differently and better that justifies it a market cap of $68 billion as of this writing (which is 5x the market cap of Ethereum’s $14 billion market cap at the moment). This claim feels so one-sided. But it’s valid.