For those of you who are fans of cryptocurrency and particularly the exciting possibilities of the Ethereum blockchain architecture, I thought I’d post this article to just let you know what I am finding myself in my own exploration of the same.
I came at this whole problem from a vastly different direction to Ethereum, and long before it existed, but back in those days, neither project was yet entirely possible as we lacked the technological developments, though it was obvious the technological wait wouldn’t be too long.
The main difference that I can see philosophically, is that Ethereum challenges yet accepts many paradigms of the existing marketplace, particularly with the respect that it is entirely agnostic as to what purposes it may be put toward … So as far as Ethereum is concerned, the big banks of the world can use the blockchain to entrench their power even further, governments can use it to entrench their own power, and any other organisations can use it to streamline their own processes in order to save costs, sack more staff, and thus entrench their power also.
I don’t think this is the ideal they want, but they haven’t taken any significant stance against it, and instead they leave that up to the marketplace of developers to do things with their Ethereum blockchain which can combat the consequences of these other agendas … the sad thing is of course, where the money goes the power follows, and hence the aforementioned agendas of the entrenchment of power are well on the way to their goals, while other more noble projects struggle with much smaller budgets (if they have any at all).
The other major difference philosophically before I get into the specific architecture is that Ethereum contains no built in mechanism to assess the ecological and social consequences of any actions taken, again this is left to the developer community … it is simply an agnostic blockchain.
For me, the above are failures of Ethereum, but I understand why the decisions were made.
[Update – 20/03/2016::16:47-Melbourne] … I just realised another major difference, which is of course that:
- Ethereum puts all the choices in the hands of individuals and groups without influence, whereas in Open Empire some of those choices are taken out of our hands and placed in the hands of an algorithm based AI framework;
- Others are in our hands but we are influenced (though not controlled nor commanded) to minimise ecological and social harm, and to maximise ecological and social benefits;
- Others are in our hands, as there is an evolving body of knowledge generating influence, such that where the body of knowledge is lacking, there exists no present influence.
BUT on the upside is the architecture, and though I have come at the problem from a totally different perspective, ie:
- My definition of the problem and it’s scope is different;
- My objectives are different;
- My inspirations / motivations were mostly different;
… nonetheless, I’ve eventually ended up at the same position where:
- A blockchain approach is required;
- This utilises multiple internet protocols;
- An Open Empire Virtual Machine will be required;
- There’s 2 type of account (automatic vs. manual in my own terms);
- It enables both trusted & trustless engagement between entities;
- Contracts are used for manual engagement, versus instruction sets for automatic;
- The blocks of the blockchain are comprised of maps of maps;
- The entire blockchain looks more like a 3D/4D (space-time) network of blocks.
So the big differences architecturally SEEM to be (at this stage of my understanding of Ethereum):
- The blockchain is more 3D/4D in Open Empire versus 2D/3D in Ethereum;
- Each node does not have to hold a copy of the entire blockchain, it can instead just hold one (or multiple) segment(s);
- Ecological and Social consequences are quantified and incorporated into transactions at the core of Open Empire;
- There is no preference or advantage given to or enabled for the status quo of the existing property/trade/currency-based economic paradigm of the world, yet it is interfaced with in such a way as to prevent undermining the objectives of positive ecological & social outcomes from all undertakings;
- The Open Empire organisation will do more than just be guardian of the evolution of the code, instead it operates a complex organisational structure which is ever evolving, and automatically includes everything done under the framework … though similarly no one is the owner, yet everyone is the owner … the difference between Open Empire and Ethereum here, is that “everyone” includes other species, also including “everything” in terms of living, non-living & even conceptual objects … Open Empire itself has a state objective and organisational structure (plus strategies) designed to ensure the minimisation of ecological & social harm, the maximisation of ecological & social benefits, and all for the benefit of everyone and everything (ie: a non-species-biased approach).
So are Ethereum and Open Empire competitors?
Yes and no.
- YES: in the respect that we are living in a world dominated by a system of resource scarcity, debt and ownership … Ethereum has effectively partnered with that world without overtly working to undermine it, except in the respect that it enables projects that can do so … as such, Ethereum will likely be favoured by that existing paradigm and it’s vested interests, and certainly has resources and partnerships way beyond my own;
- NO: in the respect that, I can borrow from their code being open source, I can even build models on their framework (perhaps, I’m yet to decide if it’s compatible) … and certainly if I succeed, even if that means building an alternative model, all their things could plug-in &/or port over … I highly suspect that anyone involved with Ethereum would either immediately or eventually approve of the differences and objectives too, especially given the fact anyone with any understanding of what is going on in the world ecologically and socially is likely very concerned about increasingly probable consequences on the horizon; problems which desperately require solutions that are presently too slow in coming about.