What is Ethereum (ETH) Mining?

In this 5th video interview with Vitalik Buterin (one of the co-founders of Ethereum (ETH)) at the first Texas Bitcoin Conference held in south Austin, we talk about mining Ethereum with Vitalik.

In Bitcoin, “mining” serves 3 distinct purposes:

  • To PROCESS Bitcoin transactions.
  • To SECURE the Bitcoin network/protocol.
  • To MINT new Bitcoins.

Many people in the competitive cryptocurrency market are attracted to mining so being able to mine a coin can attract lots of new users and adopters of Ethereum.

Therefore, we want to ask Vitalik:

  • Is there any mining involved in Ethereum?
  • Who can participate in the mining process?
  • Is Ethereum ASIC resistant?
  • What prevents Ethereum mining from becoming centralized like Bitcoin?
  • What is unique and different about Ethereum mining?
  • Etc.

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 (5 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.

Tai Zen:   Since you have brought up the miners, right? Is there mining inside Ethereum?

Vitalik Buterin:   Yes.

Tai Zen:  Is it similar to what the mining is in Bitcoin?

Vitalik Buterin:   Yes. Originally, we wanted to have some kind of mining algorithm that helps fight against centralization.

So, originally, we were looking at memory hard ideas like Dagger. So with Dagger, I came up with an algorithm that is like two hundred times more memory hard [intensive] than script, while simultaneously actually being slightly easier to verify then script.

Tai Zen:   What is the purpose? Is that, so that you have a decentralized mining network?

Vitalik Buterin:   So, the process of that is, to make it more difficult to create ASIC’s chips for it.

So, as it turns out, Dagger is great mathematically, but it is not all-that great when you have GPU’s with shared memory.

From there, we have moved on to a different Proof of Stake ideas. Our latest idea actually, is interesting and it is a Proof of Work based on executing random transactions on random data from the block chain.

The point of that is, in order to be a miner, we have to store the entire block chain and you have to have a functioning Ethereum scripting engine.

From that, you basically remove a lot of centralization because right now Bitcoin’s mining system has always been heavily centralized, because you have Bitcoin miners that are just grabbing block headers from places like GHASH.io and they are just mining on them without even thinking about their mining.

So GHASH.io has a lot of control over the whole system.

Here, that is not really possible. If you want to mine, there is no real benefit into mining in that pool mining setup.

James D’Angelo: That is great.

Vitalik Buterin:   The other issue is, first of all, it is memory hard.

It is going to be harder to make ASIC’s, but it is not probably going to be impossible.

The nice thing is that, if ASIC’s exist, then those ASIC’s are going to simultaneously be the same ASIC’s for processing transactions. That would actually help our scaleability problem.

James D’Angelo:  So, doesn’t that mean that if you are digging into the block chain, to my understanding, that you are actually going to parse the the block chain much more, with a little more error in it?

Right now, the Bitcoin block chain is so packed that I can’t get in it on my Bitcoin D just to grab stuff.  It’s been a common complaint.

Vitalik Buterin:   Well, you can grab stuff. Like in the Bitcoin D block chain, if you set the TX index equals 1 flag, then you can actually query any transaction.

James D’Angelo:  Are you serious?

Vitalik Buterin:  Yeah.

James D’Angelo:  I got to write this down.

Tai Zen:  So, that is to show he is qualified.  LOL!

James D’Angelo:  Say that again exactly what it is.  LOL!

Vitalik Buterin:   So, Bitcoin.directory in the Bitcoin.con, you set the flag TX index equals 1.

James D’Angelo:   And I can now query every transaction?  LOL!

Vitalik Buterin:   Yeah.  LOL!

Tai Zen:   Just rewind the video and watch it again if you missed that one.

James D’Angelo:   It is not me who has lost a lot of time. It is a lot of people that have been working on parsing.  I haven’t really jumped in that.

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 all these 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.

Tai Zen:   And Leon’s as well.

James D’Angelo: The cameraman.

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 our 6th and last part of our conversation with Vitalik where we talk about the differences between Ethereum and other alt coins:

Part 6 – What Is The Difference Between Ethereum Vs. NXT Or Any Other Alt Coin?

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

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