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Ambitious Goal of Vitalik Buterin
Young genius Vitalik Buterin is a Russian guy, living in Canada from age of 6. His children’s “toys” were Excel tables, where he was exploring the world with the help of statistical analysis. His first acquaintance with coding happened in the age of 10 from C++ - Vitalik wrote his first game. By the end of school Buterin coded several games, from simple versions to quite serious 3D-project. Vitalik says that his first game had only five users, next ones – several hundreds. But his goal was creating something that would have millions of users. And, it seems, he achieved his goal.
Buterin’s idea about Ethereum would sound like utopia, if it was not about the team of extremely talented programmers headed by Vitalik.
In 2009 the world market saw an openly distributed code of unusual digital currency – Bitcoin. Bitcoin didn’t have a single emission center, nor had it a server where the data were collected and processed. Fast, free, safe and belonging to no one – these principles seemed quite promising to Vitalik. So he decided to make the Bitcoin idea as abstract as possible – so that its principles could be used to any project.
In 2013, the first lines of Ethereum code were written. And soon the project became interesting for many investors. However, Buterin didn’t feel enthusiastic about it – he believed that the project on this market must remain independent. However, money was needed anyway, and Ethereum started to produce and sell its own crypto-currency – Ether. The trading showed the real position of the Ethereum on the market – people are really enthusiastic about the project. Ethereum became one of the highest funded crowdfunding projects ever.
Why people buy coins of some unknown company, you may ask. Well, imagine you’re a talented musician. On Facebook, people like your page, showing their interest and admiration. Ethereum gives you the possibility to create your own crypto-currency, and people, by buying it, show their interest, just like “liking” your page on Facebook. However, the second option is advantageous for you and your fans, and not for Facebook (on your popular page, liked by many users, Facebook puts the ad and has money from it, you have nothing). Vitalik created something that is really admired by public, and that’s why Ether gathered $12 million in just 42 days. It seems, his initial goal of having millions of followers, is fulfilled.
DAO Is Launched
A week ago, the project DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) started to work. This is a unique investment platform, based on the blockchain technology and smart-contracts. This happened despite the critics of some experts that revealed some deficiencies in its structure, potentially vulnerable to hacker attacks.
In a nutshell, DAO is an automatic investment fund, the functioning of which is determined not by employees and managers, but program code. The source code of DAO is published on Github, and all operations are fulfilled without any human interference and are totally open – everyone can check what is happening. DAO is built on the basis of Ethereum, the platform for smart-contracts.
There are reasons to believe that DAO will become a crypto-currency analogue of Kickstarter. Everyone will be able to provide his projects for public consideration, and the owners of DAO tokens will be able to vote “for” or “against”. The projects that will be outvoted, will receive financial support, and the part of their income will be divided among “investors” – token owners. Voting, financing, and income dividing are happening automatically.
The realization of tokens was held during all May and gathered more than 150 million dollars. This made DAO the biggest crowdfunding project in the history.
Before several hours to project start some experts published the revealed vulnerabilities of the autonomous system. Here are some of them:
- rapid attack – the fraudster that controls a sufficient part of tokens, will be able to succeed in receiving financing for the fraudulent project, adding many votes “for” in the last moment.
- track attack – the owners of DAO tokens, that do not take part in the DAO work, get dividends through the common blockchain Ethereum. The authors of the reports found out that a fraudster can interfere in this process and prevent funds withdrawal.
- attack on token price – while watching the blockchain, one can notice the moment when investors exit the project. Fraudsters can use it to spread panic among the project members, decrease the price of tokens and buy them for the lowest price.
- attack buy diving the majority – the researchers noticed that the precautions that are taken by DAO to fight votes manipulations, are effective only in the case when a fraudster acts on his own. If the attack participants are more than one, the protection won’t work.
- attack by “tied hands” – the members of the voting are denied of access rights to their funds, until the decision will be made. If the fraudster creates a project in this moment, which will compete with the existing one, but with the shorter voting period, then many members won’t be able to vote against it.
The authors of the report appealed for postponing the project launching until the rules will be fixed, since after the DAO start it will be very hard to change its rules. DAO representatives agreed that the rules are not ideal, however, refused to postpone the launching of the project.
Ether Wallet on Mobile
Right now Ether is not so widely recognized as Bitcoin. That’s why it’s quite hard to find an Ether wallet, which would be functional and convenient at the same time. However, a free mobile app for Android Peerther is the variant we look for. It is simple in use, it needs few personal data, and it starts running right after the download.
Since during the last few weeks the market rate of Ether has increased sufficiently, more and more people become interested in Ethereum and look forward to buying Ether. The Internet has numerous options of trading platforms where one can buy or sell Bitcoin, Ether or other crypto-currencies. So the logical question where to save your crypto-wealth emerges. If you google a Bitcoin wallet, you will have no problem finding a suitable option. With Ether, before Peerther creation, it was not so easy.
The main advantages of Peerther are:
High privacy level, in contradiction to Bitcoin wallets. Probably, it’s because Ethereum platform is still on its initial stage and Peerther, and maybe other Ether wallets, are not directly connected with banks and don’t require a big amount of personal data.
The application is very user-friendly. There are three main windows – receiving Ether, sending Ether, and receipts journal. When you open the app, you see the infographics with your balance, current rate of Ether, how much is received and sent, and the time of every transaction. Also, it gives the possibility to scan a QR-code for Ether transfer between mobile devices.
There is one important thing to remember. Since you have no personal account and you didn’t provide any identifying information about yourself, the only thing that gives the access to your Ether savings is a secret key, which must be remembered and saved in a good place. If the application is deleted from your mobile phone or you lose the access to your account because of some program failures, the secret key will be the only way to unblock your costs.
At the moment Peerther is available only for Android, however, developers are planning to release iOS version as well.