How does ethereum compare to maidsafe?

Hello Friends, I probably lack insight into the details but I am extremely excited since I started understanding the blockchain protocol better and have this insanely strong feeling that this will be the base to catapult humanity forward. Especially David Irvines comments gave me hypes of excitement because he managed to put the shadows that emerged on my mind into something tangible.
However, seems to be only a proof of concept but isn’t it even one thought further then maidesafe? Has somebody looked into it?

Blurb from their page:
Ethereum is a platform and a programming language that makes it possible for any developer to build and publish next-generation distributed applications.
Ether, Ethereum’s cryptofuel, powers its applications and acts as a ‘token of exchange’ on the decentralized network.

Ethereum can be used to codify, decentralize, secure and trade just about anything: voting, domain names, financial exchanges, crowdfunding, company governance, contracts and agreements of most kind, intellectual property, and even smart property thanks to hardware integration.

1 Like

I read up on Ethereum and followed them until their crowdsale was first delayed (from January 2014 for one month) and now seems to have entered some kind of suspended animation.

Their aims at the time were fairly simple. To provide a way to extend bitcoin functionality with a forked blockchain technology, that had a more complete computing model, with automatic charging for computation and storage (at the instruction and byte level!) for those contracts. It wasn’t anything to do with the general purpose storage and app platform, but a fairly simple (yet still a bit mind boggling - contracts - smart - err new paradigm for me) extension of bitcoin functionality which already has most of the functionality needed - but lacked the scalability I think.

So, in summary. Ethereum is quiet, and when it last made noise it was more like bitcoin+ than SAFE. Still a neat idea, and one I was then keen to invest in. However, I sustep SAFE will be able to provide the same functionality and in a much more scalable and efficient way, so I would not be as keen to invest in Ethereum if it does wake up again. Vitalek Buterin seems a smart guy though - one to follow for sure. :wink:


I looked into Etherium awhile back but their documentation is seriously confusing and they can’t seem to decide what language they’re basing their program on.

Ethereum’s central premise is contracts / “featureless blockchain”.

You’ll commonly hear the phrase “currency is just the first app of bitcoin” (which is true). It is possible to do many things with the BTC blockchain beyond the transfer of value – it’s not so much just a coin, but a new kind of ledger. BUT… it wasn’t truly designed to handle all of these different applications from the start.

ETH goal was to create it featureless from the beginning - a blockchain not specifically for currency - built with a Turing complete programming languange and so what will be built in the future is truly open / unknown. IE: smart contracts that allow for sub-currencies, decentralized organization and such. Btw, Turing complete has its risks. Bitcoin is secure because it’s “simple”. Gavin Andresen had a great counterpoint post about this recently.

Whether or not Ethereum succeeds – all I know is that Buterin is a living genius. I’ve read his whitepapers and posts. His ideas/writing has the clarity and wisdom of a 50 year old academic but he’s just 20 (he was 19 when he started Eth).

And there are extremely smart people on that team - Ralph Merkle (yeah, the guy who came up with the Merkle trees used in bitcoin…) is part of their team.

I’ve been looking at this space for a while. It’s always some new coin. But to me it’s never been about new coins – it’s about new platforms.

Both SAFE and Ethereum have the potential to be the platforms of the future. I am excited for both.


I have to quote this just to agree with you. I have read a lot of articles by Vitalik over the last few years and it is very impressive coming from anyone, extremely impressive coming from an 18-19 year old.

Me too. One big difference is that Ethereum is using the blockchain technology introduced and proven by Bitcoin. Using this technology every node will perform the same action, receiving and validating all transactions (Bitcoin) or executing all contracts (Ethereum). This makes scalability a big challenge.

MaidSafe is trying to do something else, to create a network that is decentralized in the sense that we’re used to in the “real” world. In this network an action that I perform (handing someone a ten dollar bill or whatever) doesn’t have to be processed by the whole world. This makes a huge difference when it comes to scalability. Let’s hope that we can get it to work. :slight_smile:


Thanks for the feedback, it didn’t go unnoticed. I agree with you, Ethereum in essence is a decentralized computation protocol agnostic to its programs (contracts).

  • Which is exciting, together with the incentive framework from Bitcoin as most blockchain developments these days
  • is a serious blocker, I don’t have details but I believe it will bog down quickly.
  • It is Serpent, that seems to be some archaic clone of Python :smile:
  • indeed, this added complexity introduces unprecedented systemic risk, but it appears necessary for advanced autonomous agents.
  • This is what I don’t quite understand. If we only have storage, processing of information still needs to be dealt with by some kind of centralized authority. This seems extraordinary dangerous and exposes us again to 3rd party risk.

As Ethereum uses the blockchain, storing data there is immensely expensive and reduces scalability and efficiency.
In my nativity I think ETH can be a computation engine that allows for true trustless execution, SAFE contributes some sort of storage and could be the back-end of a ethereum contract. Or am I wrong?

Eventually we wont only have storage (I hope). And processing can happen a lot on the client machine until then…


Even storage is a good bit of calculation, has to deal with mutating data, sig checking etc. Adding some primitives for calculation is not going to be a long jump. With zk-snark we can even guarantee calculations (although mainly simple booleans so far).


Gosh, I just learned that Bitcoin has actually already a primitive scripting language baked in, … and now you take me down the rabbit hole with zk-snark … that needs time to sink in.

No worries, bitcoin purposefully has a very basic scripting language. It was discussed in the early days and was decided the blockchain protocol should not have advanced scripting. It was called a scripting language because Satoshi thought that people would know what a script was rather than the actual purpose, which was a predicate.

So bitcoin script is actually a predicate mechanism, therefor close to the purpose of a zk snark, but without the security. Dues to lack of securing scripting in bitcoin (due to the side effects, which could be immense) a very certain and limited amount was allowed. You can find this info on the bitcoin forums if you search for satoshi and gavin discussing script.

hth :smile:

1 Like

I thought seeing Ethereum latest developments and it parallels to SAFE this would be a good thread to start up again - i was hoping that some of the techy’s could shed some more light on the comparison.

No it would not really.

Use this recent topic that is doing exactly what you suggest

Closing this topic since there is another more recent one.