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Vitalik Buterin on Governance, Infighting and Human Fallibility

Published February 10, 2017

On February 8th, Vitalik Buterin appeared on a little known “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) at Of the many questions that were answered, one in particular gave great insight into the inner workings of Vitalik’s mind and worldview. For those not familiar with Vitalik Buterin (founder of Ethereum), see his Wikipedia page.

I feel like I’ve been very fortunate over the last few years to have been paying close attention to several parallel situations at the same time: US politics, increasingly Asian politics, the Bitcoin block size debate, and the various issues inside of Ethereum, and I feel like this is increasingly giving me insights about how the world works, and how the world will work no matter who is running it because it arises out of laws of economics and social psychology that apply to everyone.

Many people, including very early on myself, thought that Bitcoin would somehow liberate us from the foibles of human politics, but the Bitcoin block size wars of the last 2 years have, in my opinion, proven conclusively that that has utterly not happened at all, and that the situation is in fact highly political from all sides. Backdoor negotiations between Bitcoin Core and Chinese miners, censorship, sketchy meetings that claim to be open to those from the other side, but where in reality the other side is only invited to fly halfway across the world 36 hours in advance – all of it is in there. I sometimes find myself visiting the /r/btc and /r/politics subreddit in the morning, and wondering “ok, seriously, which one is crazier today?”.

What all of this means is that corruption and political squabbling are not something that happens because a particular set of evil bankers is in charge, but rather they are natural results of incentives in large-scale social systems and the way human beings respond to them. Solving the problem can thus only be done by changing the underlying institutions. I spend a lot of time thinking about this, but so far I can only tell that the problem is deep and difficult. One sub-problem that I think we can make substantial progress on within a shorter time scale is building tools and institutions for epistemic self-defense – helping people figure out what is true and what is false, even in the face of powerful actors trying to give you a wrong answer or just plain confuse you.

Aron Fischer On Ethereum’s Global Impact

Published January 13, 2017

Dr Aron Fischer is the lead engineer at two of the most anticipated Ethereum-based projects, Swarm and Colony. In this interview he discusses these two projects, as well as the possible impact that the Ethereum blockchain could have on society.

Downtime on 4th January

Published January 5, 2017

We experienced an outage in our data collection for roughly 15 hours between 2017-04-01 14:56 to 2017-05-01 08:41. Data is now being collected accurately again. Apologies for the inconvenience caused – we are now working on a better system to ensure data is kept live 24/7.

Happy New Year: Ethereum, Bitcoin, Monero

Published January 3, 2017 Opinion

The start of 2017 has kicked off with a strong performance from a number of the biggest coins in the market. Ethereum, after a prolonged lull in price, took its largest one-day gain in 6 months, and a “little known” coin called Monero, continued a very strong rally after a couple of years of relative dormancy. Stealing the show of course, has been Bitcoin, which after nearing its 2013 all-time-high (on less dramatic terms) has demonstrated itself as a legitimate global store of value.

Monero’s value is arguably being driven by fall-out from Bitcoin’s highly reported price increase, but the cause of Ethereum’s price increase has not been so clear. Ethereum is generally not considered a store of value, and predictions for Ethereum’s future center on its computational ability and transactional capabilities – certainly not “digital gold”. That being said, Ethereum is facing a number of dramatic improvements in 2017, including the new proof of stake algorithm (dubbed “Casper”) as well as the release of Metropolis – the Ethereum release which aims to make the network accessible to non-technical and mainstream users.

It is unlikely that Ethereum’s price is the result of the “currency wars“, but such an increase in attention for crypto in general can only be a good thing. Update

Published October 28, 2016

Update 2017-13-01: We have now also added Augur REP –

We’re providing the same great ETH data from CryptoCompare, but with an entirely new code base for much faster load times and better graphing.

Using this new code base, we have also launched sites for a number of coins, including ZCash:

Happy investing!

p.s. please also send any suggestions to

Ethereum Headed for Another Hard Fork

Published October 6, 2016

This time it’s not so controversial. For the past few weeks a denial of service attack has been exploiting a ‘loop hole’ that forces Ethereum clients to do more processing work than the gas ‘fee’ pays for.

Ethereum developers are now planning a swift hard fork to overcome the exploit. It has also been suggested that they will be considering the possibility of combining such a fork with the introduction of Metropolis (AKA “release step 3”).

Full article can be read here.
Reddit discussion.

Devcon2 Shanghai

Published September 20, 2016

Devcon2 kicked off on Monday September 19th with huge anticipation, and for good reason. Over 500 people have begun attending the event held in Shanghai, with speakers and audience members ranging from developers to entrepreneurs and big business.

The biggest news to come out of Devcon2 so far? Santander have announced its plans to tie fiat currency to a digital token – an Ether token to be specific.

The rise of ‘blockchain’ as a protocol for handling digital value has seen enormous media attention. However, the two largest public blockchains, Ethereum and Bitcoin, have often been disregarded in favor of private blockchains. Much like private intranets, private blockchains have their own unique benefits, but a public blockchain offers a lot more by way of security and eventually, scalability. Santander is the first major bank to announce plans to use a public blockchain, and this news should prove enormously exciting for anyone close to or involved in Ethereum.

Other news from Devcon2 also includes Ethereum founder, Vitalik Buterin’s presentation of the ‘proof of stake’ model, which has been heavily developed and tested over the past year. While there is no timeline for introducing proof of stake (speculators anticipate an early 2017 launch), this new consensus algorithm could prove monumental for scaling Ethereum, eliminating Proof of Work inefficiencies and also allowing users of the network to earn ‘interest’ (feeling technical? Vitalik’s “Ethereum 2.0 Mauve Paper” can be found here).

Ethereum Classic. It’s Complicated.

Published August 2, 2016

Anyone with a finger on the pulse of Ethereum will see that the community relationship between the newly hard forked Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC) is complicated. Having successfully forked the protocol in late June and achieved what was initially considered a success, anti-governance Ethereum users have adopted ETC, the untouched brother of ETH where the ‘hacker funds’ are still residing.

The rise of ETC has resulted in enormous uncertainty for ETH, wiping out the original price gains that were made from the hard fork. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has commented on the new coin, stating that he welcomes the new version of Ethereum, but will continue focusing his efforts on ETH and in particular, the upcoming Proof of Stake protocol (called Casper – read how it works).

While ETC is causing some problems for ETH investors right now, ETC does not show any sign of producing a serious development team. Without this clear leadership or a unique value proposition, there is little more that ETC can do outside of being traded or held as a ‘protest vote’. In the current circumstances, the long term outlook for ETC is not all that positive; but with so much attention, perhaps leaders will emerge with a compelling vision.

Hard Fork is a Success

Published July 20, 2016

Update: Full guidance for retrieving a refund from The DAO can be found here:

Block 1920000 was mined and the hard fork was implemented. The longest chain became clear almost immediately, and the rest is history.

The DAO funds will be returned to users when the contract is made available. Watch this space.

Hard Fork Incoming

Published July 18, 2016

A new community-created blockchain will be available for activation at block #1920000, which is expected to arrive on July 20th 2016, in which the Ether balance of the contract relating to “The DAO” and all of its descendants will be moved to a withdraw contract due to an exploited bug in the original contract. This should restore funds from all contracts linked to the exploit and allow authenticated holders of “The DAO” tokens to redeem it for ether.

It is advisable to read the update and download the latest version of Mist here. The simplest option is to scroll to the bottom of the page and download the appropriate version for your OS.

With confirmation of a Hard Fork, the price of Ether has recovered somewhat, increasing from a 60-day low of just above $10 up to $12. Should the Ethereum community choose to move to the new ‘winning chain’ immediately (i.e. the new chain proposed by the hard fork), we may see recovery continue further. Alternatively, should the anti-hard fork sentiment hold strong, we may see 2 versions of Ethereum running side-by-side (ETH and ETHc) which would bring with it a huge number of unknowns.

Cast Your 0ETH Vote

Published July 11, 2016 has created a community poll for voting on the Ethereum hard fork. Over 500 votes have been cast so far and any user with ETH can have their say by sending a 0ETH transaction to the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ contract address.

For full information and instructions, visit the Carbonvote homepage.

As of this post’s publication, the vote stands at:

YES: 85%
NO: 15%

Forking Uncertainty

Published July 8, 2016

The community is still split over how best to resolve (or not resolve) the issues created by The DAO. While it seems a hard fork will take place, how should it be implemented? And if it is implemented, will we see those who have been against hard forking moving away from the Ethereum network? Perhaps the side that ‘loses’ will continue using the ‘pre-fork’ Ethereum protocol and we will see Ethereum split into two separate entities, each progressing along a different path with different development teams holding different ideals.

While a consenus-driven solution seemed pretty certain shortly after The DAO’s collapse, that certainty has been dispelled and Ethereum is now passing through an extremely uncertain period in its development. The impact that this is having on Ethereum’s price over recent days is clear.

Further reading:

Ethereum developer Vlad Zamfir’s call for consensus’s hard fork proposals revisited

DAO Vulnerability

Published June 17, 2016

Update: 28th June 2016 12:52 GMT

A soft fork to ‘blacklist’ the stolen Ether is looking increasingly likely. On June 30th block 1,800,000 is expected to be mined, and if at this point enough ‘votes’ are in favor of the soft fork, the stolen funds will be made forever unusable.

This process has received a lot more backing from the community, as it avoids a controversial hard fork that might cause other issues for the network.

The voting continues, please use the two links below to see an overview of the current preferences of miners.

Update: 20th June 2016 13:37 GMT

You can follow voting on the Ethereum softfork proposal for both Ethermine and Ethpool here: Votes Votes

Update: 17th June 2016 12:09 GMT
Stephan Tual –

In summary, a hardfork will retrieve all stolen funds from the attacker. If you have purchased DAO tokens, you will be transferred to a smart contract where you can only retrieve funds. Since no money in the DAO was ever spent, nothing was lost.

On June 17th 2016 a vulnerability in the DAO was found and a large amount of ETH was siphoned off to the address of a presumed hacker. As of 11:10 GMT on June 17th 2016 the total amount taken stands at roughly 2.6 million Ether.

Developers are currently considering several options to secure and restore the DAO; one such proposal suggests hard forking the protocol to ‘lock-out’ all stolen funds. However, this has highlighted controversy – should the mistakes of a contract running on Ethereum really have such a massive influence over the Ethereum network as a whole.

Temporary measures have already gone into place, including a spam attack on the current DAO contract to block DAO transfers passing through.

Note: the vulnerability lies entirely with the DAO, Ethereum remains secure.

For more information please join the Slack channel at or visit the subreddit.

The price of Ether has subsequently crashed by 25% from its all-time high of over $21 to $15, however the price has shown signs of recovery.

We Real-Time Now

Published May 19, 2016

Ethereum is going through an exciting period in its development. The success of The DAO has attracted the attention of major media outlets including Fortune Magazine and CNBC, which can only be assumed to have driven the most recent demand for Ether.

This onslaught of new users, and increased activity from existing ones, has given Ethereum a bitcoin-esque roller coaster ride to enjoy – and our website wasn’t keeping up…

We have now switched our API to use‘s data and updates will now happen in real-time every 5 seconds. We have also included these real-time price updates in the tab on your browser.

Happy investing, and thank you for using this website.

Enter, The DAO

Published May 13, 2016 Opinion

At the time of writing, $64,197,982.19 has been raised by Ethereum-based decentralized autonomous organization, The DAO.

The average person on the street would have no idea what to make of that sentence outside of “oh, some guy has just made an absolute fortune”. They’d be right in so far as it’s a lot of money, in fact The DAO is arguably the largest second largest crowdfunding campaign of all time – but that’s a whole separate debate around the semantics of ‘crowdfunding’. Of course no one has actually made any money; cryptographic value has simply been shifted into a decentralized investment fund that is owned by anyone who chooses to take part., the company that initially created the code to make The DAO possible, has absolutely no more or less power over The DAO than any other token holder. In fact, the team will be submitting a proposal to The DAO in return for funding – should The DAO decide not to invest in then, well, they won’t receive any funding.

This new form of investment is certainly exciting for anyone in the cryptocurrency space, but the implications are so much farther reaching. This is the first major use-case of the Ethereum blockchain over that of Bitcoin’s, and The DAO has already drawn the attention of Bloomberg, MSNBC and The Winklevoss Twins (who recently added Ether to their Gemini exchange platform). All of this attention has undoubtedly attracted high volume investment into Ether and The DAO – likely leading to the Ether rally we’re currently experiencing.

The most exciting part? This is quite literally only the beginning. Should The DAO be successful, it will provide a constant flow of funding into the Ethereum space, fuelling further blockchain-based commerce and leading to more investment into The DAO – and so on…

With The DAO’s crowdsale running until May 28th, who knows where this bullish run will top out.

EthereumPrice Sponsored by…

Published May 4, 2016

As a free running service we are extremely grateful for all donations and support we get from the Ethereum community. We are now extremely proud to announce our first website sponsor,, whose donation is being put directly towards our server costs – allowing us to continue running banner-ad free. A note from our sponsor:

Bitcoin Gambling Comparison
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The DAO Pre-sale Bumps Ether

Published May 3, 2016

The DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) is a use-case of Ethereum that founder Vitalik Buterin has been championing since the creation of the crypto-currency. By operating as a DAO, an organization is able to remove the possibility of corruption whilst also cutting out the need for bureaucracy and allowing users to engage directly with each other and without friction. A DAO operates entirely on the blockchain (in this case, the Ethereum world computer blockchain) and is funded by shareholders.

A DAO is currently a concept, an ideology; however the project in question (The plans to turn this concept into a reality. Users can buy into The DAO by purchasing DAO tokens with Ether and DAO tokens act as shares, allowing users with these tokens to cast votes – typically to back new projects or introduce new features to The DAO.

The DAO tokens (as with all tokens on the Ethereum blockchain) are a derivative of Ether. During the current pre-sale, which started on May 1st and lasting 28 days, users are able to buy DAO tokens for Ether. Once the pre-sale is over, no further DAO tokens can be created, however users will still be able to exchange them freely on a number of popular crypto-currency exchanges.

As for the price of Ether, the recent climb in price could well have been fuelled by The DAO’s pre-sale – users wanting to get in on The DAO’s deflationary token will have had to have bought Ether to exchange said Ether for DAO tokens. With the pre-sale lasting 28 days, who knows where this climb might stop – and how the price of a DAO token may change once creation has ceased…

Ethereum’s Bubble Bursts

Published April 13, 2016

On Monday April 4th, Ethereum’s 2016 first quarter gains showed signs of weakening. Following a smooth roll out of Homestead (Etheruem’s second major version release) as well as Microsoft’s inclusion of Ethereum onto their Azure platform, the price of Ether went to an all-time high, increasing from less than $1 in January 2016 to peaking at over $14 in March.

Such a vast increase in price will very rarely escape without a crash, but at what point and how severely? We can see now that April 4th was the beginning of a downturn, likely being led by early adopters who chose to cash in on their unprecedented 1000%+ gains. Long term investors may consider the current low of $7.22 to be ‘cheap’, but many short term speculators will consider this bear-run far from over. Launches 14th March 2016

Published March 14, 2016

The website has now launched and will be providing visitors with up to the hour market data on the price of Ethereum, all available to see in a clear one-page summary. We’ve built the page to be fully mobile responsive so that you can easily follow the price of Ethereum from any device.

The website will be updated with stories on key events within the industry and the pricing tools available will be expanded over time.

Visitors who are new to Ethereum should read the basics at and for more information on getting set up with Ether as well as more technical information please dive into the Ethereum subreddit FAQ.

Thank you for stopping by, whether you are an investor, a user or developer, we hope you find the website useful.