Ethereum Q&A: Why I’m writing ‘Mastering Ethereum’


“People are worrying that they’re going to
lose you, Andreas, to the altcoin sphere.”
Oh no!
“Peter says, “Recently I’ve seen more and more
people, especially on Twitter, commenting on…
whether you will remain faithful to Bitcoin.”
“In certain ways, I empathise. You certainly
have never been in this for the money.”
“That’s what I truly and thoroughly believe.”
“It makes me wonder why you would spend so
much time on Ethereum and even write a book
about how to ‘master’ Ethereum.”
“I’ve always looked up to you as a person with
a deep technical understanding, not only about
Bitcoin but distributed systems in general.”
“Looking at Ethereum from various angles,
it just makes my heart bleed.”
“It’s saddening and goes against so many ideologies
you’ve been proclaiming and teaching over the years.”
“I guess the question is, why?”
“Not for the money, not for the fame, and
undoubtedly not for the technology. So why?”
Peter, undoubtedly it is the technology.
I’m sorry to disappoint you but the reason
I’m interested in Ethereum is because…
I’m interested in the application of blockchain
technology to consensus networks
that resolve the state of smart contracts.
I’m interested in programmable blockchains.
I’m interested in blockchains that use a virtual
machine to resolve the state of smart contracts,
so as to expand the possibilities and make
programming blockchains much more flexible.
Don’t be under any illusion that what I’m
doing in writing ‘Mastering Ethereum’ is about
why you should invest in the particular chain launched
by Vitalik Buterin and many others back in 2014.
I’m writing a book about blockchains that
use smart contracts within virtual machines.
The book I’m writing may be called ‘Mastering
Ethereum’, but it also applies to Ethereum Classic,
Rootstock, Lisq, EOS, and a variety of other virtual
machine, smart contract-based blockchains.
I am fascinated by this technology, not because
it provides better answers than Bitcoin,
but because it provides different answers than Bitcoin.
These technologies, as a whole, are about changing
the trade-offs between security and flexibility.
Bitcoin is by far the blockchain that is the most secure,
decentralised, and provides a robust monetary system.
That’s not the purpose of Ethereum.
It doesn’t compete with Bitcoin at that.
The purpose of [Ethereum] is to take
that trade-off and shift it to the other side…
where it is more flexible, in order to do a much
broader range of programmable smart contracts.
These programmable smart contracts are not
going to be as secure as Bitcoin’s.
That’s a given, that’s how the trade-off works.
They’re not going to be as scalable as Bitcoin,
because scalability is much more difficult
to achieve when you’re dealing with all of this state.
They’re not going to provide the
robust monetary guarantees of Bitcoin.
Again, because that is not the
trade-off that was aimed for.
That doesn’t mean this technology is useful or useless.
That is for the market to decide.
Whether you want to write applications and smart
contracts, DApps, and things like that, is up to you.
Does it mean that this technology is interesting? Absolutely.
Whether you agree with these trade-offs or not,
they do open a whole new realm of technology
research, experimentation, and innovation.
Right now, most of that research, experimentation,
and innovation is being used to make shitcoins
by the truckload.
That is not good. But that’s not the technology.
The technology has opened the door.
The fact that a whole bunch of idiots have
tried to rush through that door to make shitcoins
has nothing to do with the underlying technology.
Before Ethereum, people were making
shitcoins using Bitcoin’s [code].
Don’t fool yourself! There will always be people
who are unscrupulous and want to make shitcoins.
I’m interested in technology and I’m open to reading
and learning about all [kinds of] different technologies.
Even if I don’t agree with their governance models,
the choices they’ve made about how to fork,
how to fix problems and bugs.
Even if I don’t agree with the level of centralisation
or decentralisation they have.
They’re not alone in this space. They’re competing
against a variety of other technologies.
The technology of using virtual machines, consensus
algorithms, and blockchains to run smart contracts
— that technology exists independently from
Vitalik Buterin’s Ethereum, any current implementation
and whether that succeeds, fails,
has a high price or a low price.
It is independent of whether these things
compete or don’t compete against Bitcoin.
In my opinion, they don’t.
That technology is interesting. There’s a real
technology there and I’m interested in it.
If you think that I’m going to be “faithful”
to Bitcoin by limiting my intellectual curiosity,
by refusing to read or learn about technologies
that may (in some people’s minds)
threaten the “supremacy” of the one-true doctrine…
That’s not science, that’s religion, and I don’t do religion.
That’s a litmus test, a loyalty test,
a purity test, and I don’t do any of that.
I’m going to remain intellectually curious.
If ideas threaten you, then you need to learn
more about [those ideas], not stop learning.
This is not a faith-based system, at least I hope it is not.
I’m not interested in faith-based systems.
Does that mean I’m no longer interested in Bitcoin?
Absolutely not. I’m absolutely interested in Bitcoin.
I’m also interested in Ethereum.
I’m interested in half a dozen other chains, layers,
protocols, all swirling around this amazing [space].
We are so focused on setting up the circular firing
squads and litmus tests, we’ve forgotten the real enemy.
The real enemy is not the not-quite-decentralised
system just across the road which other people
use cryptocurrency technologies to build.
The real enemy is totalitarianism, fascism, corrupt
crony capitalism, and destructive banking systems
that are absolutely centralised, share none of our values,
and are causing enormous damage to the world.
Stop worrying about whether Ethereum is
or isn’t going to compete against Bitcoin.
This entire cryptocurrency space is growing.
If you don’t like Ethereum, that’s fine!
I don’t have a problem with that. Don’t use it.
It’s an open market and nobody is forcing you to use it.
The reason I am writing a book about this
technology is first and foremost because
I want to learn all the intricate details of how a virtual
machine, a blockchain, and a consensus algorithm
can be used to execute smart contracts.
Not because I’m interested in one implementation, but
in all of the possible implementations of that idea.
They provide a very broad and rich
domain for experimentation.
You can do that with a variety of
monetary and governance policies,
in centralised or decentralised networks.
You can do it across the board.
That’s why I’m writing ‘Mastering Ethereum.’
I’m still very much interested, invested,
and working on Bitcoin and other open blockchains.
I will continue to work on open blockchains every day.
I will continue to be curious, interested, and playful
with technologies so that I can learn as much as I can.
If that makes me “disloyal,” that’s okay. I don’t mind.

100 thoughts on “Ethereum Q&A: Why I’m writing ‘Mastering Ethereum’

  1. Based on the value and detail provided in Mastering Bitcoin, I wouldn’t trust anyone else with an Ethereum book. Andreas doesn’t just have the technical knowledge, but also the communication ability to make it understandable.

  2. It’s like been disloyal to Debian by starting to use Ubuntu it’s all linux at the end as long as it has the same kernel of values at the end.

  3. I used to a Bitcoin maximalist until I found out about privacy coins and monero.

    I have no problem with you diverisifing to another cryptocurrency. There's plenty of space for both.

  4. Amazing scholar ! I thoroughly enjoy every video you put out!
    Have the utmost respect for your brilliance Andreas !

  5. There must be room for at least hundreds of coins after all the jostling comes to an end.
    I'm diversified. Always will be. One coin of anything is a huge personal danger.
    We can't predict the future, people.
    We can only ride the waves.

  6. I respect andreas highly, but yes i agree that he should have named the book “mastering smart contracts” instead.
    Maybe he wants eth people to also love him?
    Smart contracts do NOT need to be decentralized (they pretend to be), they just need to be GOOD for the users.
    Now.. money has to be decentralized, otherwise its not money.
    Sadly, all of smart contract cryptos want to be money. And that is scammy

  7. Please please please Andreas, make more videos about ETH. I was already bored by the BTC ones. Lets evolve and get to the next level of the blockchain.

  8. This guy is genius, analyzing other coins so he can eventually give the information and technology of what will work best in the future then relay it to the bitcoin devs. LMAO. Burying your head in the sand never works 🙂 The worldwide monetary system is the biggest problem in this world at this moment in time, Andreas didn’t forget

  9. There are lot of people who are only interested in the value of the coins they have bought purely for the investment purpose rather than the propagation of the technology as a whole.

  10. Well said. This stuff is fun!!! I started with #Bitcoin over 9 years ago now, and it still fascinates me.

    The ability to alogrhythmically, digitally shape and rearrange atoms into similar atomic properties of precious metals, diamonds and other gemstones. Fascinating stuff. #Cryptocurrency #Bitcoin..👍😊

  11. NOBODY SHOULD BE TELLING YOU ANYTHING ABOUT LOYALTY, THE KEY ACTION HERE IS FREEDOM FOR HUMAN KIND, SO WE CAN EVOLVE AS A SPECIES

  12. @4:00 y'all remember Quark coin??? Pre-mined shitcoin???…..hmmm other examples that could exist today in similar aspect….maybe BEEEETCONNNNEEEECCCCCTTTT!!!!!!!! or Verge??? Tether??? Tron???? IOTA??? Sadly EOS as well. Yep shit coins are a dime a dozen

  13. Andreas, but Bitcoin will eventually have smart contracts like you mentioned multiple times. Why would Ethereum smart contracts be better? I know you said we need at least 1 POW blockchain but thus will 2 if I’m not mistaken. Concerned severely. I base my decisions around what you would do. Ethereum has not produced much and smart contracts are coming to bitcoin per your prior statements. DAPS are pointless are this stage. Maybe someday but you r wasting you valuable time on Ethereum. Please reconsider. Let the next generation worry about daps.

  14. Bought the Book about a year ago, cant wait until it arrives!!! Keep up the great work, and don’t listen to 12 year old Maximalist Fanboys !

  15. "Faithful to Bitcoin"? It's not about faith. It's all about reason – dear commentators. It's a "fight" for technological and ideological arguments.

  16. In your book will you cover "viper" to write smart contract? I come from the python world and I am not keen to learn solidity.

  17. Do you think the Govt's would ever allow a decentralised system of currency, considering that it fundamentally, undermines their own legitimacy ?

  18. Please listen to Andreas explain why he is into Ethereum. It makes no sense. Its just techno babble..

    "Im intersted in the application of blockchain technology to consensus networks that resolve the state via smart contracts" Its a total bullshit sentence

    And why even bother differentiating between "Bitcoins technology" and "Ethereums technology". Its the excact same thing with only a minor tweaks between the two which is why people who actually know what they are talking about consider Ethereum a gimmick.

  19. No way I would put money into a pre-mined coin, even for the science! 75% for the founders of Ethereum: That's madness! I'm sure there are lots of other innovative technologies which are more decentralized, more fair (75%!!!) that you could promote

  20. Mastering Smart Contracts would be a better title for the book if it wasnt about ethereum but platforms around SM…

  21. Well.. here r some answers to a bitcoinmaximalist…
    I want to hear what tone vays, jimmy song, jiacomo, saifedean- what they have to say …

    Its Amazing to have chance to follow all of them. 10nx

  22. Please, make a video about Hashgraph and it's possible superior technology as a better distributed ledger than blockchain. Thank you.

  23. I have yet to see how smart contracts are useful (yet alone a decentralized solution) to any problem whatsoever, while needing an oracle. A much more efficient central database with no blockchain needed seems a much more logical solution. I'm open to change my mind, but nobody has done this yet.

  24. Stay safe Andreas, if i was rotshild/HSBC/JPMorgan/GoldmanSachs i'd be hating on you (like i'd hate on satoshi&vitalik)!

  25. Staying Curious will make one Impartial, and thus your advise will be even more valuable. Thank you for being here for us.

  26. I can't believe he had to make this video. Saw a lot of people giving him shit about it. The guy has provided free content for years. I really don't understand what everyone is complaining about.

  27. Hi Andreas, once again great video, your words actually saying to me to contact you about using that technology to overcome this corrupt system.

  28. The blockchain has unlimited potential, Just look at things like P3D and its wealth and ecosystem it is creating, Ethereum is so much fast than Bitcoin also

  29. Andreas sir, I have read your books and much respect. I got on Twitter to follow you and few other people, but you blocked me bc a comment on the coinbase-wikileaks situation. I was only trying to help. Please unblock me on Twitter 😁 @rlharwoodthwake

  30. This is such a breathe of fresh air to hear from you Andreas. I've been worried that you'd converted to the religion of the BTC maximalist. Loved reading 'Mastering Bitcoin' — I'm very excited to read 'Mastering Ethereum'!!!

  31. You deserve all the respect and admiration, my man. Thanks for Mastering Bitcoin and soon enough Mastering Ethereum. Can’t wait!

  32. Andreas you said you have had a background in finance in London which is a hub for the banksters and royal tyranny. Please tell us how you came to switch sides?

  33. I was sold on etherium.. And it's being used. Used to short crypto for fiat mostly but it's disruptive and thats good news regardless of the misleading usd amount which has dropped about 80% since January 2017. I see etherium making a big comeback and surpassing bitcoin eventually and possibly replacing bitcoin in 10 or 15 years

  34. I love Ethereum, Bitcoin is a great currency and a store of value. But Ethereum has the potential to transform the internet! Smart contracts on a decentralized blockchain will change the world ⚠️
    Pandora's box has opened

  35. "It's not a faith system, at least I hope it's not." 🤣
    "…I'm not interested in faith based systems." You've got your faith in an ironic position here Mr. AA

  36. Hey I'm thinking about buying Mastering Ethereum.
    Can anyone tell me if this book is readable for non-developers like me?

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