The blockchain paradigm when coupled with cryptographically-secured transactions has demonstrated its utility through a number of projects, not least Bitcoin. Each such project can be seen as a simple application on a decentralised, but singleton, compute resource. We can call this paradigm a transactional singleton machine with shared-state. Ethereum implements this paradigm in a generalised manner. Furthermore it provides a plurality of such resources, each with a distinct state and operating code but able to interact through a message-passing framework with others. We discuss its design, implementation issues, the opportunities it provides and the future hurdles we envisage.
ethereum, decentralized systems, security
Jul 14, 2014