Proposal: Ethereum

Hey folks,

I see that your proposal is gaining quite some speed, and wish you best of luck!

However, I was wondering, whether you are aware that questions about all cryptocurrencies are on-topic on Bitcoin.SE (see our About). We do have a tag Ethereum with a few questions there already, and you would be welcome to add as many questions and answers as you'd like.

If you are exclusively interested in Ethereum, you can receive E-Mail notifications by subscribing to the tag by hovering over its symbol and clicking the Subscribe link in the opening box.

In case you were already aware of Bitcoin.SE also allowing questions about Ethereum, I was wondering why you'd rather not post there?

Please tell me, if you have any suggestions what we could do to make you feel more welcome on Bitcoin.SE.

Best regards,

Murch (mod on Bitcoin.SE)

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up vote 17 down vote accepted

One major reason to have a separate proposal is that there are lots of Ethereum-specific questions (i.e. about smart contract design and general Dapp design) that will probably be considered "programming technique" and therefore off-topic for Bitcoin.se, but that would certainly be on-topic for this proposal. The top five example questions, for instance, would probably all fall in this category, and I count about 10 more among the other example questions. Rather than have those Ethereum questions on Stack Overflow or Programming.se, and non-programming related Ethereum questions on Bitcoin.se, putting them all in a single place will enable the site to attract the right experts who can answer both types of questions effectively.

The Ethereum proposal also has a different audience than Bitcoin.se, as we can see from the fact that only 5.8% of this proposal's followers have been active there, and that roughly half of the proposal's followers have not previously created Stack Exchange accounts of any kind. Probably, this is because Ethereum is not "about" cryptocurrency in the way that Bitcoin and Bitcoin.se specifically aim to be. Ethereum is about creating a platform for further distributed development--the cryptocurrency ether is really only a cog in that larger machine, rather than the focus. This means that we can expect a different nature of question to dominate the new proposal, and this characteristic will only grow as more and more Dapps are released on Ethereum, making it more "app-store-like" and less "currency-like". Ethereum is designed to be a very large ecosystem, and the universe of Ethereum-related questions will diverge further and further from current Bitcoin.se content over time. Does Bitcoin.se want to try and encompass all that?

One final, if small, consideration: because of the name "Bitcoin.se", it's confusing for inexperienced users to think of that site first (or to google for it) when they want to ask a question about Ethereum. If the site was "Blockchain.se" or something like that, then this confusion would be reduced or eliminated. But as someone who spends a lot of time explaining concepts to people, it's highly confusing when I first clarify that Ethereum is a totally different network than Bitcoin, with a different objective and a different blockchain; then I tell them to go to Bitcoin.se to learn more about it. Is Bitcoin.se willing to undergo a name change?

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See also discuss.area51.stackexchange.com/a/19300/35447 as it addresses a similar scenario imo. – eMansipater Sep 9 '15 at 5:31
    
I've always understood the restriction of "programming technique" to exclude questions about general programming tasks that happen to be for a bitcoin project, but to allow cryptocurrency specific programming questions: We have plenty of questions about creating raw transactions, reading blockchain data, etc. Maybe we should clarify that further in our meta. We already have a tag for smart-contracts. I would assume that we don't have a lot of content for Ethereum, because the project has just reached a sufficient maturity to generate broader interest. – Murch Sep 9 '15 at 12:59
    
Bitcoin.SE is currently getting about 5 questions per day, far from the levels that would even allow it to exit Beta. I can't tell for sure, but I have the impression that commitments for the Ethereum proposal have slowed somewhat. Before you guys don't have a place to post your questions, I'd rather accomodate you on Bitcoin.SE. I've talked to my fellow moderators what they think about revisiting the discussion of renaming the SE to "cryptocurrencies.SE" (or another name). If we'd create a few more tags, and adapt our FAQ/Help a bit, I don't see why it wouldn't work out just fine. – Murch Sep 9 '15 at 13:01
    
However, I do understand your point about Ethereum being to Bitcoin like Coffee to Seasoned Advice. If your proposal takes off, I am sure it would work out well self-contained. I'm crossing my fingers, but to be honest, I'd be surprised to see it happening judging from the small amount of activity Bitcoin.SE gets. – Murch Sep 9 '15 at 13:38
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Bitcoin is not just Bitcoin. Ethereum has a different blockchain from Bitcoin, but it is still part of the Bitcoin movement. Bitcoin is about more than just currency, and even as currency goes, it's about more than just the Bitcoin currency. – Meni Rosenfeld Sep 13 '15 at 14:49
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I definitely understand the sentiment you're expressing, but in terms of how I observe the vocabulary evolving amongst the general public, the term for "the broader Bitcoin movement" these days is definitely "Blockchain" rather than "Bitcoin". – eMansipater Sep 17 '15 at 15:44
    
To get back to you guys about my above suggestions. I had talked with SE staff about potentially changing the name of bitcoin.se already a while ago but encountered staunch opposition. I was told that name changes had been tried before and the sites in previous attempts lost great amounts of traffic and users, all but destroying the sites. It seems that a name change will be unlikely, but you are still welcome to ask questions about Ethereum there, until you get your own site. – Murch Dec 12 '15 at 13:13

Ethereum is actually not all that similar to any other altcoin - a good reason to have it's own separate stack exhange is b/c it allow for the development of dapp which can't happen on other alt coins including bitcoin.

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It's anyway a moot point now, since Ethereum is about to start it's beta. – Murch Jan 19 '16 at 22:44

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