Week in Ethereum News
October 16, 2016

News and Links


  • Yogi Berra’s aphorism “when you come to a fork in the road, take it” has never been more apropos.  As predicted last week, we came to the fork in the road.
  • So we’re going to take it. Twice.
    • Just like we have a few times before.

Fork for Freedom (from spam)

  • This week’s spam attacks were about cheaply creating many new accounts and bloating the blockchain.
    • Consequences: at one point, thousands of pending transactions and thus blockchain bloat.
  • Fork 1: At block 2463000 to reprice opcodes in the Ethereum virtual machine. That block should happen early afternoon Tuesday in Europe.
  • Fork 2: Un-bloat the state.
  • Vitalik on how the re-pricing will affect existing contracts – likely only extreme edge cases.  Or in Vitalik’s words, “the size of that set is possibly nonzero.”
  • More Vitalik: On Gas Price Markets. Short version: static re-pricing in the near-term; more flexibility long-term.



Token Sales

  • Golem releases a draft whitepaper.  Definitely will be commenting on this in the future.
  • Decent bit of ether.camp kerfuffle this week.
    • Lots of sockpuppet accounts.  So many there needed to be a post about banning them.
    • $50m crowdsale cap
    • In general, the announcement of their crowdsale didn’t feel well thought out or explained. Technologists often seem to forget (or simply disregard) business in favor of technology. That doesn’t incline me to want to put value at risk in their business.
  • Gnosis promises to release its code at least a month before their crowdsale begins.


Dates of note    
  • Oct 20 – ether.camp ICO begins
  • Oct 26 – Inchain crowdsale begins.
  • Nov 1 – Beyond the Void game crowdsale begins
  • Nov 14 – SEC has a fintech/blockchain meeting
  • Nov 15 – vDice crowdsale begins
  • November TBA – .ETH name system goes live
  • Dec 7 – Inchain crowdsale ends
  • Dec 15 – vDice crowdsale ends
Token Sale Standards

Plenty of activity this week:

  1. Raising money only on the basis of intent
  2. Dennis Peterson proposes pro-rata portions of an ICO that goes over its cap, possibly by using security deposits.
  3. Reddit thread: We should create minimum viable ICO standards
  4. Nick Tomaino: Discussing cryptotoken best practices

To cap or not to cap?

Where I’m at right now: I feel like the best two crowdsales have been Ethereum and Augur.  Both of which were uncapped, with relatively low early bonuses. Later funders could calculate what percent they would get, knowing that further dilution could occur and that the early funders got a better deal than they did.

I’m also tempted towards the idea that founders should get more % of a project as more money is raised.  That way the marginal incentive to fund another dollar/ether decreases as more money is raised.

There are downsides to this model, however.  To name just a few: funders have no influence once a crowdsale has finished, raising money as a one-shot deal encourages over-estimation, no vesting schedule for founders, no lockup period, etc etc.

As a community, we should try to find a way to fix those downsides.