Smart contracts and dApps make no sense

in #ethereum4 years ago

I just read another article promising the year 2018 to be the year of Ethereum. It mentioned the price, the leadership of Vitalik, virtues of Proof of Stake consensus algorithm vs Proof of Work and a few buzzwords like: Plasma, Sharding etc… This is typical for someone pushing Ethereum. Yet the author totally forgot to mention all those successful smart contracts/dApps that already exist… There are none? Maybe there’s a good reason for this. The reason — you can do cryptokitties as web app and no one will try to censor. Therefore, all the resources spent on de-centralizing the cryptokitties was wasted. All the CPU time spent on thousands of nodes to run the smart contract — was wasted. Because no one tried to stop those transactions. The only “innovation” of dApps is a massive subsidy for cloud infrastructure, so anyone can deploy his app to the cloud for symbolic one time fee and then let someone else to pay for maintenance and network bandwidth. And let the users to pay the fee per each call. But this is no sustainable. Whoever hosts Ethereum full nodes need to pay thousands of dollars per month (if not more) for the machines and the network bandwidth, and all this to be sure that no one double spent some shit coin or that no cryptokitties were stolen… But why..? The subsidy will end eventually. And the users don’t like to pay for the content. People like free stuff, even if it only looks free… This is why EOS offers “free” stuff, but token holders will pay the price via inflation. . And EOS does not pretend to be de-centralized, just host a few servers that sign transactions and you can scale almost infinitely. Because centralization = effectiveness.But let’s go back to smart contracts/dApps, do they make any sense at all? What is “smart contract”? A program deployed into the cloud, highly available and immutable, all this to allow people to trust it to be there when they need it to trust it will not steal their money. But then, how do you add new features? Fix bugs? You can’t, so smart contract, cannot be a “contract”. Or it should be something really dumb and thus get it all right and correct from the fist try. Now, what is dApp? Well, it is just a massively de-centralized web app. No claims to be totally immutable. So, why would you need a dApp? To de-centralize processes and create trust between parties don’t trust each other somewhat but not totally and not always. OK, so how do you trust the dApp? The devs will make sure it works as expected and the auditors will make sure they devs don’t lie. But then you just trust the devs and auditors. So, dApp can be implemented as a regular web app where auditors sign every build. Or maybe for transaction to be valid you demand that it will be signed by both the devs and auditors. Great, but we can do this with regular multi-signature contract on Bitcoin. Or, so called “scripless scripts”. We can eve do this over Lighning Network. So, IMO, smart contracts/dApps are just a very hyped non-sense. They don’t work and will not work. The only real use of censorship resistance is Store of Value, as governments will censor Store of Value if they only could. But maintaining the censorship resistance is really expensive, therefore, only very important transactions that can pay the fee to maintain massive copies on thens of thousands of nodes and serve it possibly forever over the network can actually be stored on the blockchain. This is why the fees cannot be zero. But really, do you think that your “coffee” transaction should be censorship resistant? This is the importance of Layer 2. Due to unique property of digital Store of Value, it is digital and bearer instrument at the same time, contrary to digital fiat which has counterparty risk and can be cancelled at a later date by the authorities. Lightning Network is a real breakthrough, it enables speed and scalability while still without requiring trusted third parties.So, in summary, smart contracts/dApps make no sense. Once can use multi-sig contracts over Lightning Network using “scriptless scripts” technique to run business logic over the network using predefined level of de-centralization without any need for fancy (and very buggy) programming languages and with more privacy.I hope this article helped you to understand the logic of Bitcoin Maximalism.

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