EB58 – Vitalik Buterin: Ethereum, Proof-of-Stake, The Future Of Bitcoin

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At just 20-years young, Vitalik Buterin is one of the most brilliant minds in the cryptocurrency space. Previously, a co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine, he has conceptualized Ethereum, the most radical and ambitious cryptocurrency project since Bitcoin. After raising $18m in a crowdsale, a team of over 30 are working on launching the project by March 2015. In his work on designing a system for the future, he has been grappling with many of the hardest problems in the cryptocurrency space over the past year.

In a fascinating discussion, we covered:
– How Ethereum has evolved since the white paper
– The problems of Proof-of-Work
– Why Proof-of-Stake is the future of consensus protocols
– Why his main focus has been on consensus issues and scalability
– Why Bitcoin will never be stable enough to price things in
– The flawed ideology of ‘Bitcoin maximalism’ that prevents people from considering Proof-of-Work alternatives

Links mentioned in this episode:

– Ethereum:
– How to get started: Your first DApp in under one hour:
– Ethereum Proof-of-Concept 7:
– Proof of Stake: How I Learned to Love Weak Subjectivity:
– Slasher: A Punitive Proof-of-Stake Algorithm:


– Gems:
– Shapeshift:
– Fairlay:

Show notes:

Epicenter Bitcoin is hosted by Brian Fabian Crain & Sébastien Couture.

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22 Comments on EB58 – Vitalik Buterin: Ethereum, Proof-of-Stake, The Future Of Bitcoin

  1. Proof of Stake if the future, i see many PoS coins getting lots of attention when Ethereum joins the ranks.  The only PoS coin i see working on something similar to Ethereum is I/O Coin , one to keep a eye on  ;o)

  2. “… basically, what bitcoin is doing is paying 600 million dollars a year in hardware and electricity on a 5-of-10 multisig, because ultimately there’s maybe 5 or 10 big mining farms and mining companies that control the entire network… it’s this incredibly inefficient protocol that basically involves miners literally competing to see who can waste the most resources the fastest, and on the other hand it’s not getting us all that much decentralisation because we have this ASIC specialisation problem… ” ~ 12:45

    Gotta love this man! 😉

  3. At 53:05 he says that it’s a misconception that the majority of hashing power controls the protocol because a new version could just say that blocks mined with the old version are invalid. But how does that work exactly ? Why would then not the hashing power majority just use the old version and keep adding new blocks with the old version. I’m probably still missing something. But what majority exactly does get to vote on the validity of a block if not the majority of computing power ? Isn’t that what consensus is based on in the bitcoin network ?

  4. “..the word contract is kind of bad terminology at this point to be honest.” Yep, gotta agree there.

  5. 18:10 Node centralization problem in Bitcoin, and how Ethereum aims to have more working nodes (to help with decentralization).

  6. I like the idea of the stable coin – volatile coin. The stable coin damps out the vol coin. Two sides of the same coin?

  7. Chief scientist? Who appointed him? Does not instill confidence at all. Not peer reviewed? Very expensive college project indeed

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