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Ethereum is a project that implements a bitcoin/cryptocurrency like block chain used for sending around "contracts". It sounds similar to sending around bitcoins to wallet addresses, but in addition to an amounts of coin you want to send or notes, the contracts can also execute code.
Purpose: The stated purpose of the Ethereum project is to "decentralize the web" by introducing four components as part of its roadmap: static content publication, dynamic messages, trustless transactions and an integrated user-interface. Each of these services is designed to replace some aspect of the systems currently used in the modern web, but to do so in a fully decentralised and pseudonymous manner.
Blockchain energy costs
- It is yet to be known if Ethereum addresses the astronomical energy consumption issues that bitcoin has.
Unclear blockchain structure
- The structure of the blockchain is unclear at the moment.
Unknown selfdogfood status
It is unknown if the founders/creators of Ethereum are themselves actively using it to publish their own content (selfdogfood) in a decentralized manner.
It is unclear if the Ethereum project has a single implementation of its components that everyone is expected to use (monoculture), or if there is an attempt to foster multiple interoperable implementations of the components.
Update: The wiki.etherium.org URL below does not currently appear on the homepage currently. Instead, the wiki link points to https://github.com/ethereum/wiki/wiki. 2015-11-05
The home page ethereum.org links to https://wiki.ethereum.org/ which does not exist. E.g.
Unable to connect
Firefox can't establish a connection to the server at wiki.ethereum.org.
Do you have experience with using Ethereum for independent publishing on the web? Please document it here!
- This could enable things like block chain backed video game economies.