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Bitcoin Businesses The Almighty Buck Technology

Why Ethereum Is Outpacing Bitcoin (venturebeat.com) 150

Even as Bitcoin hits its all-time high, people's interest in other cryptocurrencies hasn't waned, especially Ethereum. But what makes Ethereum popular among some? From an article on VentureBeat: Despite its recent appreciation in value, as a technology, Bitcoin has stagnated over the last three years. Two rival factions have emerged with violently opposing views on what should be done to allow the Bitcoin network to handle more transactions than it can right now. While Bitcoin has been paralysed by indecision, Ethereum has raced ahead with technology that not only does everything Bitcoin can do faster, in higher volume, and at lower cost -- it does a lot more besides. [...] Bitcoin is really only useful as a store of value. Even then, its usefulness for actually transacting value is limited. In a world where people are used to online payments being confirmed instantly, Bitcoin transactions can take anywhere from tens of minutes to several hours, depending on how busy the network is. It's also expensive -- especially if you're only sending small amounts. The average transaction currently costs about $1.50. Ethereum, on the other hand, was never intended as a Bitcoin competitor. Ethereum is actually a platform for new kinds of decentralized (often financial) applications (dApps) that run on a peer-to-peer network of computers. These dApps are designed to disintermediate the kinds of relationships and transactions for which we have traditionally required things like banks, public registries, and the legal system. For technologists, this is exciting stuff, and a vibrant community of software developers has enthusiastically embraced it. Hundreds of projects, startups, and companies at every scale -- including the likes of Intel, Microsoft, and Samsung -- are building software using Ethereum.
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Why Ethereum Is Outpacing Bitcoin

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  • Answer: Marketing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 12, 2017 @09:19PM (#54606825)

    Seriously, please stop the virtual currency spam.

    Yes, I get it: 1% of /.ers had high end gaming rigs back when Bitcoin first started, so some old /.ers are Bitcoin Millionaires and want to dump their coins. But the other 99% of us aren't Bitcoin Millionaires, and we're getting really tired of this shit on the frontpage all the time.

    #FuckThe21stCenturyTulipFarmers

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Bitcoin and Ethereum are competitors, which invalidates your point. Logically Bitcoin millionaires would be against Ethereum, not advertising and promoting it as a replacement. Please change, or you will always be poor.

      • Which one does Elon Musk prefer?

        Or if he's busy bilking the taxpayer, umm I mean being entrepreneurial, then ask Bennett Haselton.

      • At this point, Bitcoin is so difficult to mine that only people with "mining farms" with dedicated equipment and cheap electricity in China can make a profit at it.

        Ethereum is still relatively new, and can still be profitably mined with a gaming rig filled with high end AMD video cards. It makes sense the miners would switch over to the latest cryptocurrency that gives you the best profit.

        Back when I used to do mining, I went from Bitcoin to Litecoin to Feathercoin (remember that worthless crap?) because I

    • Yes, I get it: 1% of /.ers had high end gaming rigs back when Bitcoin first started

      So it is 1% against 99% all over again!

      • by Anonymous Coward
        I am one of the 99% who did not get in on the bitcoin craze early on, so I am not a multi-millionaire. I think this is totally unfair. We need government to take away all that bitcoin from the 1% and re-distribute it to the rest of us! I'm sure that the only reason they are now rich is because of their "tech privilege" while the rest of us were using inferior desktops. Something must be done about this INJUSTICE.
    • That, and also: I see no reason why I would want my money transactions to be anonymous, which seems to be the only advantage of this. In fact, I want my payments to be visible, so I can prove that I made a payment, or on rare occasions, can reverse a payment if a service wasn't delivered.

      • by GNious ( 953874 )

        Either I'm completely not understand the public-ledger part of bitcoin et al, or this isn't anonymous at all.

      • In fact, I want my payments to be visible, so I can prove that I made a payment, or on rare occasions, can reverse a payment if a service wasn't delivered.

        You don't have to give up anonymity (or rather pseudonymity, as all the major cryptocurrencies use public keys as identifiers) in order to prove that a payment was made, as the blockchain clearly shows what payments were made to which addresses. Recommended best practice is to use a different receiving address for each order, so this will generally be sufficient. You will, of course, need to support the claim that the merchant requested payment to a particular address, since the request is not part of the b

    • So you think that decentralized general computation as a means of payment for services on one side and as a means for achieving such computation without buying extra hardware on the other side isn't interesting for this site?
    • I'm sure that some of the Ethereum miners are realizing that we're in a cryptocurrency bubble at this point, and that the value of their Internet funny money is about to crash. It makes sense for them to make one last big push to get give their get rich quick scheme some publicity in the tech blogs before unloading their holdings to the any new suckers who are reading them.

      Seriously, the cryptocurrency traders have been doing these pump and dump schemes with Bitcoin/Litecoin/Dogecoin/etc for years.

    • I don't understand why a tech news / forum site like this should exclude virtual currencies.

      Perhaps you think they're too ubiquitous to be considered news worthy now?

      My knee jerk reaction is to just assume you're evaluating this politically and want the government to stealth tax everyone with monetary policy where the government can control the currency.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Can we stop reposting press releases verbatim? VentureBeat has been a shill site since its inception.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Someone at /. clearly has a lot of Ethereum coins and isn't happy about the price.

      Why do I keep seeing stories about Ethereum on Slashdot? Stop it already!

      https://slashdot.org/index2.pl?fhfilter=Ethereum

      • by NFN_NLN ( 633283 )

        Ethereum went from ~$10 to ~$400 in a year. That is a 40x increase and far greater than bitcoin.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Well, until they decide to arbitrarily roll back whatever transactions they feel like.

        • And a 400x increase in less than two years.

          A currency with a built-in effective inflation rate of negative 99.75% isn't useful as a currency at all.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Yes but no but fiat currency is literally theft and unconstitutional.
            --
            urdacha

  • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Monday June 12, 2017 @09:25PM (#54606851) Homepage Journal

    Despite its recent appreciation in value, as a technology,

    Bitcoin has stagnated over the last three years.

    - 3 years ago I think the price was about 640USD or so, today it's about 2640USD.

    Bitcoin is really only useful as a store of value.

    - value of what? Bitcoin cannot keep value, it can move by 20% up or down in a single day.

    Even then, its usefulness for actually transacting value is limited.

    - all speculative crypto-currencies are of limited value of transacting, as they appreciate they become more expensive to deal with and nobody actually wants them, people want to get some money that is more stable (even though AFAIC USD is inherently flawed and failing as money, it is still more stable in intraday trading so far, it doesn't jump up and down by 20% in a day)

    Ethereum, on the other hand, was never intended as a Bitcoin competitor.

    - of-course not. All crypto-currencies that are not backed by anything exist for the reason of creating inflation in the crypto-currency world (expansion of the money supply), the only real difference is who gets their hands on the newly created coins first. So people who are interested in mining Bitcoins but are too late in that game come up with a different currency of their own, then this repeats. Bitcoin itself may be limited in total number of coins that can be created but the supply of crypto-currencies in general is absolutely limitless. A new one can be started every day (or more often than that).

    Hundreds of projects, startups, and companies at every scale -- including the likes of Intel, Microsoft, and Samsung -- are building software using Ethereum.

    - until they all jump ship to another one.

    • Bitcoin cannot keep value, it can move by 20% up or down in a single day.

      Heh, so can gold, or any other commodity. Place yer bets...

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by Orgasmatron ( 8103 )

      even though AFAIC USD is inherently flawed and failing as money, it is still more stable in intraday trading so far, it doesn't jump up and down by 20% in a day

      Then again, there was that one day [infogalactic.com] when the dollar lost nearly 70% of its value.

      But that was an intentional act of government. Shifts in the value of bitcoin happen by market forces.

      The "price" of bitcoin is the result of people trying to buy and sell it. Naturally, the bigger the market, the less effect any one transaction has on the price. Dolla

      • Bitcoins today, dogecoins tomorrow, catcoins the day after, etc. The bandwagon will jump ship and move to another coin that promises *more* instability, not less. What is the use of bitcoins that are 'stable' in dollar value? There isn't any, people will dump those and will move to another crypto-currency not backed by anything else if that crypto-currency promises huge swings in prices that is basically gambling.

        Whenever you are born you will observe yet another (many) crypto-currency being used for the

        • A public blockchain that allows validation of transactions/contracts of all kinds is a very powerful concept that provides real value. The "money" aspect is likely to prove garbage, for basically the reasons that you state. Why be tied to someone crappy imaginary currency when I could (someday) use a blockchain kind of technology to move any kind of real money or bullion credit between accounts in a Swiss bank?
        • Other than your irrational hatred, do you actually know anything about this topic at all? I only ask because you are making predictions about things that happened in the past, but you seem to be unaware that doomsday never came.

          There was a time several years ago when new crypto-coins were popping up nearly daily, and speculators were indeed driving the exchange prices of those coins up and down to fleece suckers. Dogecoin was one of those, but I haven't heard of any of those gaining any traction to speak

          • Show me where do you see any stability and I will show you lack of value. Dogecoin is not valuable but it is stable. Bitcoin is valuable but it is not stable. This is inherent in the virtual currency not backed by anything and it has nothing to do with any form of hatred, where did you read hatred?

            If a virtual currency becomes stable people leave it to move to another currency, thus the stable currency loses value because everybody wants to sell and buy something else that is more valuable and in the wor

      • In short, the swings in the price of bitcoin are the result of you being born when you were, and not because bitcoin has any sort of inherent instability. If you had been born a few decades later, either you'd see a much larger and more stable bitcoin market, or you'd only ever see the name in the history books.

        That right there is most certainly a "sort of inherent instability" -- the fact it is very easy to imagine the value of all bitcoin going to exactly zero in a manner that few other currencies do not suffer from, except for hollywood scenarios involving flesh-eating zombie hordes. It is easy to badmouth real currencies for being imperfect, because they are imperfect. But real currencies have the advantage of being tied to economies in a manner that gives them some significant degree of inherent stability.

    • " Bitcoin itself may be limited in total number of coins that can be created but the supply of crypto-currencies in general is absolutely limitless. A new one can be started every day (or more often than that)."

      This is a key point. The last stage in any investment bubble is the appearance of me-too investments that are marketed as being available for people who missed out on buying South Sea tulip farm mortgages over the Internet on margin when the bubble started.

      Those investments have a history of crashing

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Thank goodness we have the good people of slashdot and Venture Beat (TM) to alert us to these important investing opportunities! We should Act Now because Prices Will Surely Rise!

  • Isn't Ethereum something you mine for in Azeroth or something?
  • by somenickname ( 1270442 ) on Monday June 12, 2017 @09:43PM (#54606929)

    It doesn't matter which one is technologically superior. The one that will become the most adopted is the one that is most widely accepted for the purchase of drugs and other illegal goods.

  • Even as Bitcoin hits its all-time high, it has waned people's interest in other cryptocurrency,

    What the? Do you mean interest in Bitcoin has waned? Or are you trying to say it is whetted or perhaps piqued people's interest in other cryptocurrency? That's what the rest of the story is stating, while the above seems to state the exact opposite.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Thank you posting about Ethereum. Most news sites only talk about Bitcoin. As a nerd, I like hearing what's next and what tech works better.

  • I can't believe the average Bitcoin transaction fee is (currently) $1.50. I swear I read a couple years ago it was a few satoshis (fractions of pennies). How did a decentralized system become more expensive than the credit-card oligopoly's processing fees? Epic fail, Bitcoin. I guess that explains why it wasn't being used for micropayments. I have a feeling this is like the real-estate market, where everyone wanted the prices to go up, and then people wonder why noone's buying homes anymore.

    • Bitcoin is too effin' slow to be used for micropayments.

    • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

      As I understand it, the validation of transactions becomes increasingly more expensive with the number of transactions previously validated.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        As I understand it, the validation of transactions becomes increasingly more expensive with the number of transactions previously validated.

        Not previously validated, that would be silly. But there's issues with the number of concurrent transactions, the blockchain processes those with the greatest fee and you can only push through so many at a time. With the dollar value increasing the BTC values get smaller and the number of transactions bigger, but they don't manage to serve the "long tail". So the fee is kept high, maybe also from some self-serving interest but also to keep the number of transactions down to a manageable level. There are sol

    • I think it costs a fraction of a bitcoin. When they were worth a few cents, this transaction cost was negligible.
    • The high transaction fees could be solved but there is currently a deadlock within the Bitcoin community.
      Two feasible solutions are on the table, but there is no consensus:

      a) Increasing the block size [bitcoin.it], allows for more transactions to be processed within each 10 minute block. The downside is that the blockchain will grow at a multiple of the current rate. Generally favored by large miners. Decentralizes the network [bitcoin.it]. Is only a short-term solution because it only scales linearly.

      b) SegWit & Lightning [cointelegraph.com]. As f

    • Yep, the high fees of btc are a bitch at the moment. My personal (and slightly tin-foil-hat) belief is that it has been infiltrated by either people wanting to make money from side-chains OR people (read: government) who want to see it fail.

      A simple increase in the blocksize would fix the high fees instantly as more transactions could be handled in a single batch.

      Disclaimer: I'm not an expert on Bitcoin by any stretch, so please feel free to correct me...unless you're one of the two types of people mentione

  • by jamesmartinluther ( 267743 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @03:43AM (#54607935) Homepage

    Disclosure: I am a contractor at the Ethereum Foundation. We have no marketing department and almost everyone there are researchers and developers.

    Ethereum is simply growing. Who cares if it is outpacing Bitcoin? Bitcoin might be as big as it needs to be, and if not, more people will adopt it. Forget all of the hype, price discussions, its position vs. bitcoin or other technology. Just check out what it can do for you, either as a technologist or just someone using technology.

    Basically, Ethereum offers a vast, shared memory and computation space, secured by cryptography and economics, and this enables smart contracts to run without interference or modification. There are clients enabling users to interact with Ethereum smart contracts, either on their phone or on their desktop. That is all functioning now, and busily powering and even funding dozens of startups.

    Under active development by Foundation devs and the community are some new pieces: sharding, faster and cheaper transactions with state channels, off-blockchain file/data storage, real-time signaling, and a decentralized name service.

    • by dada21 ( 163177 ) <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @06:47AM (#54608431) Homepage Journal

      This is a bit bullshittish.

      ETH and ethereum are two different things. ETH is a cryptocurrency traded that runs on ethereum.

      But saying "Big banks and entire countries are interested in ethereum" does not mean that they are interested in ETH, which people are investing in.

      A big bank can hard fork the ethereum protocol for their own internal needs and ETH will not be affected. It won't help ETH, it won't hurt ETH, it will be a second protocol fork used by the bank, or country, or private group for their own purposes.

      Don't assume that people interested in ethereum are also interested in buying or trading ETH.

      • A big bank can hard fork the ethereum protocol for their own internal needs and ETH will not be affected.

        This is happening now (and has been happening for at least a year).

        A good friend of mine in Investment Banking is working on blockchain technology for their customers. The big thing (apparently) is to stop using the U. S. dollar as an intermediary for foreign exchange transactions and instead use a blockchain as an intermediary currency (if I understand things correctly).

    • by tdc_vga ( 787793 )

      @jamesmartinluther

      Oddly enough, I posted an article last night detailing some thoughts that crossed my mind about potential legal issues looming for Ethereum ( https://www.linkedin.com/pulse... [linkedin.com] ) and I'd love to get some feedback from someone connected with Ethereum on how the issues are being address--if at all.

      I really don't see how Ethereum gets around their DAO issue when a legal challenge arises seeking a hard fork, it really seems like a sticking point to me.

      Best regards,
      Tyler

    • by Anonymous Coward

      While Ethereum is a interesting concept with some good fundamentals to back it... Roughly 70% of ETH was minted in a pre-mine. What's the deal with that?

    • by GNious ( 953874 )

      hmm... Now you're making me ponder if I should book someone to come on and talk Ethereum, incl "vs Bitcoin" ...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @07:02AM (#54608471)

    Ethereum is getting a lot of attention because developers think they have a new language to code away every problem. Except, as we already saw with the hard fork and creation of Ethereum Classic, a turing complete language that is bound to *real value* is not safe.

    This very important point aside, the devs pre-mined 12 million coins! There are 21 million bitcoins ever. From the start they printed over half of the tokens the bitcoin network has. Then, because actual circulation is low, we have tokens worth $100. Check it out.

    https://etherscan.io/stat/supply
    https://www.etherchain.org/tx/0x9c81f44c29ff0226f835cd0a8a2f2a7eca6db52a711f8211b566fd15d3e0e8d4

    Genesis block makes up still the majority of the network, and they have printed 4.3 times as many tokens as bitcoin will ever have.

    This is a straight Tulip pump built on a dangerous promise. We have already seen them roll back the chain once. This can and will happen again.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Double check "There are 21 million bitcoins ever. " I think you have ETH and BTC confused.

    • They sold the pre mined coins off prior to launch to fund development. Hardly a scam, and everyone knew the distribution and what they were getting into.
  • If I had spent only a few hundred dollars to buy bitcoins... I didn't even need to mine the damn coins, I would have been a millionaire right now LOL !!!
  • I understand that ethereum has its fans, and rightly so. However, vaporium is much more widely accepted. Who wouldn't prefer being paid with vapor instead of ether?
  • Hundreds of projects, startups, and companies at every scale -- including the likes of Intel, Microsoft, and Samsung -- are building software using Ethereum.

    Citation needed

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