Dillon Vincent — Atra Blockchain Service https://atra.io
It’s March 13th, The World Wide Web just turned 30 yesterday, and Facebook’s family of application has down for an extended period of time while I write this. I’ve spent the whole morning and most the afternoon developing on the Ethereum platform, not even realizing the world has been having a party on Twitter #facebookdown .
Ethereum is decentralized, Facebook is centralized. A single person can disconnect a wire at Facebook and take down the entire network in theory, I understand it’s much more complicated and protected than that, but the point is it could happen. We are witnessing a network that is not decentralized struggle to bring itself back online because it has a single point of failure or a bottleneck somewhere someone has exploited to slow the network to halt. If Facebook was running on top of Ethereum in theory, an employee could disconnect a wire and it might take an Ethereum node offline, causing no issues to the network besides a little hit to the overall hash rate. The same employee could also pull a different wire and take down their website but while running on Ethereum, all the data stays online and a simple mirror of the client front-end would be able to bring the application back to users. This is a huge advantage for applications built on Ethereum, or other truly decentralized platforms (excluding AWS/IBM/Microsoft blockchain as a service).
Ethereum is too expensive to use
This statement is somewhat true for most companies contemplating whether or not to build an application on Ethereum right now. At what point do the benefits of what Ethereum provides outweigh the cost of usage, development, and maintenance? Building a simple web application was not viable at one point in time either, what changed?
What changed was how websites were being built. Building a website started out as a very manually process with lots of manually upkeep and not many features that would benefit the time and effort spent on such a thing. With the rise of web hosting, companies could build application and deploy them to someone else’s server, cutting the cost of running a site significantly. The evolution of hosting simple html files to complex business systems with virtual machines gave way to new use cases that didn’t have to justify the insane cost and labor, they could be fun and pointless.
There is a very important lesson to understand about the viability of technology.
A technology never starts out viable until someone or some company takes it upon themself to make it viable.
Ethereum will only become more and more viable as a solution and a platform. The Ethereum protocol will not be solely responsible for the success of failure of itself either, it will lay on the shoulders of those who attempt to make it more viable for others to use. ConsenSys is a huge advocate for these types of ventures, and they are pouring money into companies that are attempting to make the Ethereum technology more viable and we thank them for that.
For those of you wondering, “well, how long do I have to wait to see this magic solution?” It’s not just one solution that’s going to be able to make Ethereum more viable it’s a whole movement that’s being built right now. In the next years to come we will see companies succeed and companies fail to make Ethereum more viable.
This subject is very close to me as I’m personally building a solution in attempt to make Ethereum a more viable technology to build on because I believe it has the characteristics of a technology I’d like to be using years from now.