In this 2nd video interview with Vitalik Buterin (one of the co-founders of Ethereum (ETH)) at the first Texas Bitcoin Conference held in south Austin, we ask Vitalik how and why the public should invest in Ethereum.
From an investors’ perspective, we want to know:
- How the ethers (unit of currency used inside the Ethereum network) will be distributed.
- How many ethers will be available?
- How will the ethers be distributed fairly?
- What is the launch window for the sale of ethers?
- How many ethers will an investor get for each Bitcoin they put in?
- How will the ethers be used to develop Ethereum?
I hope these series of videos about Ethereum will help you make a better and informed decision whether or not to invest in Ethereum.
Here is video interview (2 of 6) with Vitalik conducted by myself, Leon Fu, and James D’Angelo from the World Bitcoin Network:
Here is the interview we did with Vitalik:
Tai Zen: What’s up guys? This is Tai Zen again with prisonorfreedom.com.
It is a blog where we talk about the tools, the techniques, and the strategies and the technologies that is available to help people find freedom in their life.
And with us here today is James D’Angelo from the World Bitcoin Network, and we also have here Vitalik, with the Ethereum project.
These are some of the guys that is in the forefront of helping people find freedom when it comes to the currency world.
How old are you Vitalik?
Vitalik Buterin: I just turned 20, month ago.
James D’Angelo: Congratulations!
Tai Zen: Okay, good job! Hey, is it /vay’talik/ or /vita’lik/?
Vitalik Buterin: /vay’talik/
Tai Zen: /vay’talik/ Okay. And last name, Buterin?
Vitalik Buterin: Yeah.
FAQ About Investing
In Ethereum (ETH)
Tai Zen: So, from a non-technical perspective right?
From someone like myself, who is not a coder, not a programmer, or anything like that and I do not understand all your white paper. I can understand the words, but not the entire sentences and paragraphs.
So, for the audience that are non-technical people right?
And they want to invest into Ethereum, first of all, how does that work?
You guys are going to launch in February now. It has been put off and delayed…
Vitalik Buterin: We are going to start the Ether pre-sale in a couple of weeks. So, the Ether pre-sale will be an opportunity for anyone to purchase Ether. Ether is the internal currency inside of the Etherium system, sort of like the XRP in the Ripple network.
Tai Zen: Now, is there a big window of opportunity for people to get in or just like a one-day opportunity?
Vitalik Buterin: No. It is something… We are thinking of, it might be 45 days, it might be 30, it might be 60 days.
Tai Zen: Okay, so that is plenty of time.
James D’Angelo: A sort of the incremental things will be earlier if you go in.
Vitalik Buterin: Yes, the earlier you get in, the better price you get.
Leon Fu: So, I know you had mentioned a thousand to one. Like a thousand ethers for one Bitcoin.
Is there any cap on that?
What is the value, like if you sell hundreds and millions of ethers?
Will you take that or is there a limit on the number of ethers per person?
Vitalik Buterin: We decided we are going to take it.
Basically, the issue that we had was that, if we set a cap for example, if we say, we are not going to take more than 50 million.
And then, what if someone like Roger Ver, who has a lot of Bitcoins.
He is an Ethereum enthusiast, and comes along and says, “I am going to seize that entire pile.” And then, you got a currency that is basically “premined” by one person.
Tai Zen: Let us say, you are one of the founders of Ethereum and you colleague Charles, right?
What is to prevent one of you guys, to load up and get half of the ether’s for yourself?
Or do you have to “buy in” to those ethers also?
Vitalik Buterin: We are – like exactly how much ether we are going to get, that’s still undecided, but it will be very public and it will be a rather a small portion of the entire amount.
Tai Zen: When you say small portion, are you talking about, like ten percent of the total? Five percent?
Vitalik Buterin: Yes, right. So it will be something…
Tai Zen: Are you guys are still undecided? It is not going to be like fifty percent, is it?
Vitalik Buterin: Yeah. So, in terms of the amounts that the organization is going to give itself, there is only “two slices” (portions) right.
There is a slice which is sort of like, an initial reward slice (portion). At this point, it seems like that [portion] is going to be smaller…
…. and there is also going to be a long-term slice, which will basically provide some long-term capital for development and research.
So, what we are hoping is, a sort of similar of what happened with MasterCoin.
If that slices is something like twenty percent, and then the value of ether goes up by five, we will have the entire initial BTC-E that we got all over again.
So, the compensation for the founders will be smaller and we are actually also, at this point, thinking in doing some kind of, like a progressive rate system, where let us say it is twenty percent up to some small threshold than ten percent up to a certain point…
Tai Zen: So that, there is an opportunity for everybody to get in?
Vitalik Buterin: Yes. Opportunity for everyone to get in and also, the more people get in, then the larger a share everyone who gets in will get.
James D’Angelo: Likewise, they are all putting Bitcoins in…
It all has to be provable, so on the date that it begins, all Bitcoins that arrive after that certain time are the stockholders.
Tai Zen: So you can see in the transactions, his Bitcoins and yours and mine?
James D’Angelo: Yes so it is provable that no one is pre-mined. Because of that system, they have eliminated that possibility.
Tai Zen: Okay. I like that transparent aspect.
Vitalik Buterin: First of all, just on the pre-mining points.
So, there will be some ether that got created, without Bitcoins, actually getting put in. So the long-term slices [portion] is one example of that.
But you are correct in that it is completely transparent and we’ll be showing exactly what these slices are in it so it is impossible for us to secretly just introduce any more [into the system].
James D’Angelo: Right. That all makes sense.
Tai Zen: You said that, you guys are looking to incorporate and do this out of Switzerland but you live in Canada, right?
Vitalik Buterin: Yes.
Tai Zen: So, you’re purposely not doing it in Canada, and your purposely not doing it in the U.S.?
Vitalik Buterin: A large part of that is regulatory reasons.
So with Switzerland, they have a very long and established tradition of, first of all, very friendly banking laws also, a tradition of stability. So, it is not some tiny tax haven that is going to turn against us with the U.S. government wants them to.
Second thing is that, they also have a tradition of direct democracy, very accessible government. We have contacts with Open Transactions, and through them, we actually have been talking with direct government officials.
Leon Fu: So, is any of your team has to be physically in Switzerland? Or…
Are you going to have to be in Switzerland?
Vitalik Buterin: No. Well, a large part of our team is currently in Switzerland. We are establishing a substantial base of operations there.
Leon Fu: Okay. But you will still be based out of Canada.
Vitalik Buterin: Yes. So, part of us will be in Switzerland, part of us in Canada. We are already a globally distributed.
Tai Zen: What else do people need to know about the launch or the release of Ethereum?
Is there anything that people have misconceptions about that we have not yet covered?
Vitalik Buterin: In terms of biggest misconception, I would say, we talked about Goldman Sachs. LOL!
Tai Zen: Okay. That tickled you huh? LOL!
Vitalik Buterin: Yeah. LOL!
From a technical standpoint, some people have this idea that if you are in this distributed sort of like cloud-computing system, where you can just offload computations that you can’t do by yourself.
That is completely false.
You cannot do anything on the Ethereum bock chain that you cannot do on a smartphone in 1999.
The point of the Ethereum block chain is consensus, essentially.
It is providing a way to do computations, in such a way that they are trustworthy because they have been repeated and backed up by thousands of miners. So, that is a technical point.
Ethereum and NXT
Tai Zen: When you look at the Ethereum versus the other alt coins that is on the market, let us take for example, like NXT.
Now, full disclosure…
I help on the marketing with NXT. So, what makes Ethereum different?
From a non-technical perspective, from me okay, a non- technical person, the things that you talk about, they talk about the exact same thing in NXT.
So, what is the difference?
Vitalik Buterin: I would say, the difference is that, from what I have seen of NXT.
NXT implements a lot of those features explicitly.
They have transactions for all these different things whereas, with Ethereum we have, this programming language and you can just write…
Tai Zen: Write all those features?
Vitalik Buterin: …in the programming language.
It seems like there is no difference between the two paradigms now because I’m sure we all support all these centralize exchange, financial derivatives and all the buzz words, but…
If somebody comes up with something completely new that no one has ever thought of, then if you have a block chain design, that is just based on having specific transactions that is not going to fit in.
Whereas here [in Ethereum], you just write it in the program language.
Leon Fu: I know software development.
I am a software engineer myself. When is this going to be ready?
Vitalik Buterin: 1.0 is probably in about six months or so.
Leon Fu: Six months?
Vitalik Buterin: Yeah.
Leon Fu: Okay.
James D’Angelo: The [Ethereum] testnet is running right now.
Vitalik Buterin: The testnet is fine. You can actually write contracts on it.
Tai Zen: Thanks for spending time with James D’Angelo from the World Bitcoin Network and myself. We wish you the great luck.
Vitalik Buterin: Thank you.
James D’Angelo: Thanks Tai for putting it all together.
Tai Zen: All right guys, thanks for joining us and what I will do is I will get Vitalik’s Bitcoin address and leave it at the bottom of this video, and James D’Angelo also.
If you guys appreciate their work, I invite you guys to support them and send donations their way.
James D’Angelo: And Leon’s as well. LOL!
Tai Zen: And Leon’s as well. LOL!
James D’Angelo: The cameraman. LOL!
Tai Zen: Yeah. And send them some coffee donations or soda donations. I am pretty sure you drink a lot of soda when you are programming.
Vitalik Buterin: No, actually.
Tai Zen: Coffee?
Vitalik Buterin: Green tea.
Tai Zen: Green Tea?
Okay, there you go. Send some green tea donations to him. All right? So, thanks for joining us and I will see you guys in the next video.
Click the link below to watch part 3 of our conversation with Vitalik where he addresses the rumors about Goldman Sach’s involvement with Ethereum:
You can support and donate to our efforts on our donations page.
Be sure to also donate Bitcoins and support the work of James D’Angelo and the World Bitcoin Network at his BTC address: 1javsf8GNsudLaDue3dXkKzjtGM8NagQe