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Issue #798: To self verify, simply run the numbers

Issue #798: To self verify, simply run the numbers

Aug 7, 2020
Marty's Ƀent

Issue #798: To self verify, simply run the numbers

In case your freaks haven't had this developing story on your radar yet, it seems that there is very conflicting data out there in regards to how many ETH have been distributed to the market to date. Highlighting a few things. First, many who are excited about Ethereum heavily rely on centralized third parties to verify information about the current state of the network. Second, those third parties don't have consistent data between them with each site showing a different number of ETH in circulation. Here's a thread that highlights that:

And lastly, it seems that it's never been easy for an individual user to audit the current supply of ETH over the ~6 years it has been in existence. Most ETH users don't run full nodes and aren't able to verify for themselves. On top of that, there's no query within the full node stack that allows one of the few people who happens to be running a full node to verify the supply trivially. This is not ideal for a project that is attempting to build a "decentralized future". The current total supply of ETH on the market is truly not known at the moment. For all we know there are many many more ETH that have been distributed to the market than the centralized services are reporting. Self validation seems extremely hard or even impossible at the moment. This is very similar to the Federal Reserve system we are attempting to get away from.

Compare this to Bitcoin, which allows full node operators to run the command "gettxoutsetinfo" to verify the total amount of BTC currently on the market with ease. Our friend Michael Goldstein shared the results of this query on his node earlier this afternoon.

If you dive into that thread, you'll see many other Bitcoiners, myself included, who were able to verify the total amount of bitcoins on the market independently. If you look close enough, you should notice that many in the thread took screenshots of their node queries at the same block height and are returning the same amount of total bitcoin. As should be the case.

The goal of Bitcoin is provide the world with a distributed peer-to-peer digital cash system that enables individuals to verify the data within the ledger for themselves. I am happy to report that eleven and a half years in this goal is being met. The same cannot be said for the Ethereum project at the current moment. What does that say about the prospects of the ability of Ethereum to remain (being generous here) decentralized in the future? Nothing good in your Uncle Marty's humble opinion.

There is a bounty out to make this query possible for full node operators. We'll see if a solution is brought to market. And then we'll see if the solution is able to produce uniform results across many full nodes.

None of this makes sense or is worthwhile if individuals can't verify blockchain data for themselves. One must be able to run the numbers.

Final thought...

Stop trying to be God.

Enjoy your weekend, freaks.


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