I began turning bullish on Ethereum last October when I met the Consensys team in Bali. Until then, I hadn't done enough research to convince me it was truly worth investing in for the long term. Though being in the presence of the lead team of Ethereum dapp developers, I caught a wave of their excitement and foresaw just how big Ethereum could get.
Turned out, investing then at $12/ETH was a wise decision.
Price aside, it's also been announced that Ethereum has been catching on big in China, Dubai, Singapore, Russia. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance has gathered some major players in support of developing Ethereum and its ecosystems. Several new projects have been launching ICOs on the blockchain, including some real cool game-changers. All-in-all, it seems like Ethereum is growing steadily - if not outright booming.
Is there actually the substance to back up all the hype?
Taking all these recent developments and news into account, one might think so. But then again, such news stories probably wouldn't cover all the finer details of what might not fit the sensationalistic hype of Ethereum as the idealized future of the internet.
Yet recently, there's been some debate.
Some have (begun - or continued) questioning Ethereum's core strengths, potentials for scaleability, and whether it truly has the capacity to become the backbone for the myriad of applications being planned for it.
Today, I came across the Medium post, raising some valid concerns:
Of course, much of the article is opinion and speculation. Yet, included are some perspectives that ought to be considered in the debate.
Sure, Ethereum is hot.
Though, what actual applications have been fully-developed and are smoothly functioning on it...?
Ok, there might be a few small ones. But of all the 9-figure ICOs that have blown the crowdfunding world away, how many have successfully moved from an idea articulated in a whitepaper to a proven-concept?
And sure, it's still early. Good things take time to build.
Though how much has been built, really, besides a system to create and distribute tokens via smart contracts, which has successfully been used to provide startups with way more capital than actually required to get their ideas into motion?
I'm not totally sure. And it feels kinda weird to not be able to answer that.
Maybe doubting or questioning at this point is merely a consequence of impatience. We are in the early days of blockchain technology, and can't expect everything to come together super-quick when it's all so new.
Though then again, there are blockchain projects - such as Steemit - that have proven their concept and been building their track record of functional usability, while Ethereum seems to have only built more hype.
Granted, maybe there is ALOT going on in the Ethereum domain I don't know about.
Though if it's really the bomb-diggy, wouldn't there surely be at least a fraction of the news coming out on its tangible developments as there is on conceptual advancements, partnerships, and fundraising.
Some might ask, in light of all the recent debate: is Ethereum all some big scam?
Of course fucking not.
Many people have sunk their blood, sweat, and tears into this project. Do your research, and you'll find that while there are no doubt shadier projects riding the ICO wave and milking Ethereum's popularity for their own benefit, there are also a shitload of dedicated programmers, visionaries, and entrepreneurs working their asses off to bring about amazing innovations on Ethereum.
Nonetheless, what's really backing all the grand visions, from a technical standpoint? Yes, high hopes and big visions of changing the world are great. But is the technology really that great that it's actually feasible? Or is it still too early to accurate tell?
I and other Ethereum-supporters might like to believe that a huge worldwide group of Ether-heads would be smart and talented enough to tackle all the challenges they arise, work out all the kinks, and get things running flawlessly to support the growth advocates have forecasted within the stories of the most-optimistic outlooks. But reality doesn't give a fuck about what we believe or want.
And, in digging deeper, some of the opinions come from the inside circle aren't all that confidence-inspiring. And while I've often stated before that opinions are typically worth shit, when they come from the people who are most-intimately involved with a project, suddenly these viewpoints might begin to hold some weight. i.e. Those from one of the key Ethereum developers, Vlad Zamfir:
Though is that to say such is an absolute, authoritative, forecastive statement? Obviously not.
And sure enough, Vlad got some heated response to that post, calling out what may have been an immature statement undermining the immense complexity of the matter that could hardly fit into a 140-character synopsis when the tech is still obviously in its infancy.
But then again, are we to take absolutely everything Vlad tweets as factual reporting?
Or might one be wise to second-guess the absolute seriousness of everything he tweets - given the "Absurdist Troll" status on the account?
Though, Pontus Lindblom, author of the "I was wrong about Ethereum" article did put together a collection of some of his other tweets that might fill in a bit more of the picture:
So what are we to conclude about this?
How about, nothing.
How about we conclude that conlusions based on incomplete facts and one-sided stories don't paint an accurate representation of what is and what will be.
So what... one of Ethereum's key developers has publicly expressed what might be seen as pessimism. That's no crystal ball reading. If anything, it's some respectable, transparent honesty.
Yeah, there might be concerns.
How new is this tech again...? Of course, there are going to be concerns and kinks to get ironed out.
How will they be addressed? I have no fucking clue. Probably no one does.
Hopefully, the formation of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance has behind it some strong organizational architecture that elicits the best and brightest of the partnering organizations to collectively solve what challenges arise - because it is a pretty fucking amazing vision of what the internet may become, should Ethereum flourish into its fullest potential, as thousands of devoted advocates, developers, and entrepreneurs have invested their heart, soul, time, energy, and spirit into.
Or maybe it will all fall to pieces at some point. Maybe #EOS will emerge as stronger in countless ways and step in to pick up where Ethereum failed. Or not. No one can tell.
Nonetheless, we all march forward together in this blockchain revolution, doing what we each can to serve the advancement of developments that may make the world a more brilliantly awesome place to be alive.