Problems With Ethereum, a 100 Billion Dollar Protocol

This post is for cryptocurrency folks who take an active interest in ethereum.

To be clear, I’m an engineer, not a developer/programmer/or software architect.

I do not read code, but I have a way with reading communities to understand systems and I often participate to learn more.

Here’s what surprised me about Ethereum by forming a group.

I’ve chatted with a lot of blockchain developers I have in a small fb group about ethereum. I had 2 PhD students in distributed systems that I made Admins. They turned down 300+ member applications to the group.

The group currently has 50 people in it.

The developers all seem to have the same set of complaints that have seemingly gone unaddressed for the past few months…..

  1. Speed up TXs by improving DAG Architecture.
  2. Fix JSON RPC problems.
  3. They need to build a real javascript framework.
  4. Replace Web3 with better JSON RPC API.
  5. Need to reward developers to have better incentives to contribute.
  6. Difficult to integrate with server side systems because extracting transaction data is very complicated.
  7. Ethereum seems to need a lot more developers working on the problems of sharding, proof of stake, plasma, etc….
  8. Ethereum didn’t incorporate a checksum digit to ETH Addresses
  9. Solidity was just audited in November
  10. The Ethereum foundation has 300M USD, but it seems mismanaged, especially the developer onboarding.

Now, I didn’t know if my survey of developers was good enough, but at the very least I recorded their observations. I tweeted it to one of the founders of ethereum – Vlad Zamfir.

To my surprise, he actually responded.

On Friday I sat in a bank.

I was once a professional drummer in New Orleans doing random tech gigs as I could find them for all of 2013. This post is 4 years old, but is even more relevant now that there’s a huge class of new coins.

On Friday I sat in a Wells Fargo bank for 2 hours and watched 36 people enter and leave.

Thinking about Bitcoin, War Zones, and Banking
I was there for 2 hours waiting for a client to finish setting up an account and talk to the banker. Four hours earlier, my mind was on bitcoin and war zones because I had spoken with the founder of Coin Market and was researching VPN stuff because of Cryptoseal, founded by a war zone entrepreneur I met a year ago or so. Ive also been reading a bit about Standard Treasury. I personally use Stripe. Ive always thought banking has been broken after visiting Europe. Online banking in the USA seems to consist of moving money between my checking and savings account.

Traffic Data
As I sat and waited, I made tallies of 36 customers who walked in and did my best to classify their actions and grievances.
From my sitting perspective, customers appeared to do one of 5 things:

  1. Make balance inquiries
  2. Shuffle papers- potentially CDs, depositing a check, doing stuff with bonds, or other issues.
  3. Deposited cash and reporting issues. One of these was humorous given that it was parking meters, hot outside, and looked cumbersome.
  4. Reported issues with pending transactions
  5. Replace a debit card. This process seemed ungepatched by onerous state to state regulations. One customer took to an angry tone with the service rep.

This is my tally.

  1. 8 customers
  2. 10 customers
  3. 4 customers
  4. 10 customers
  5. 4 customer

Side note: I had recorded inter arrival times but my client took the paper to jot down information and I never got it back. I remember in minutes that the minimum was 02:34:00 and the maximum was 35:00:24.

The whole affair got me thinking, if bitcoin is faster than pending, what will happen with mass adoption? What functions of banks will disappear or become irrelevant?

War Zone banking and procurement is tough.

In war zones, finding functional banks can be tough. Ive spoken to a war/combat photographer and remember anecdotes of carrying risky sums of cash long distances. I assumed this answer was a result of operating a business in a war zone. In Iraq, the US government flew in something like a billion dollars a week to finance stuff.

Im curious, beyond banking in war zones or pending transactions, what are the sweetest use cases of bitcoin?

Customers Talking About Crypto Exchanges on Twitter