Intro to Ethereum lecture ― [video] [slides] ― 50 minutes

Meaning of Decentralization ― Explanation of the types of and reasons for decentralized systems; clarification of commonly conflated terms; theoretical analysis of decentralization ― 11 minute read

Programmable Blockchains in Context: Ethereum’s Future ― “By the end of this article, you’re going to understand blockchains in general (and Ethereum, a next-generation blockchain platform, in particular) well enough to decide what they mean to your life.” ― 25 minute read

Thinking Outside the Blocks ― “This essay outlines how the economics of transaction costs and trust could be reshaped by tokens and blockchains and by the stacked architecture on which they are built. The aim is not to prescribe exactly what leaders should do (every business is unique, and the devil is in the details) but to provide a strategic context to help executives frame the right questions.” ― 30 minute read

Whitepaper ― An accessible high-level description of the Ethereum system. Most important subsections: all subsections under “Ethereum”, all subsections under “Miscellanea and Concerns”, “Scripting” subsection, and “Conclusion” section. If you do not have high-level background knowledge of Bitcoin, the first section is also important.  ― 67 minute read

R3:  Ethereum Platform Review ― “An exploration of different trade-offs in the Ethereum design, upcoming technical developments, and its applications in private systems. For developers using Ethereum or Ethereum-derived solutions, Buterin’s commentary will serve as a useful reference. For business practitioners, the paper will provide further grounding in the complex nature of distributed systems.“ (from executive summary) ― 85 minute read


Design Rationale ― “The purpose of this document will be to detail all of the finer potentially nonobvious or in some cases controversial decisions that were made in the process of building the Ethereum protocol, as well as showing the risks involved in both our approach and possible alternatives.” ― 36 minute read

Yellowpaper ― The technical Bible of Ethereum, a formal definition of the protocol, very math-heavy; a rigorous discussion of Ethereum’s “design, implementation issues, the opportunities it provides and the future hurdles” envisaged ― 54 minute read

Mauve paper ― Technical discussion of in-development scaling features of Ethereum, namely, a combination of proof-of-stake and sharding ― 27 minute read

GHOST Protocol ― Seminal 2013 paper that introduced the GHOST Protocol, of which Ethereum implements a simplified version, and which combats the security and centralization issues of fast block time blockchains ― 56 minute read


Monetary Policy ― Analysis of cryptocurrency monetary policy possibilities to best meet objectives of network security, aligned incentives, and supply predictability ― 15 minute read

Gas Economics ― Explores the question, “does [the Gas Economics model] provide the right incentives and protections to miners, verifiers, clients, and the system as a whole?” Also explores “the ways in which Ethereum programs can be composed, with an eye towards managing the incentives and risks experienced by the cooperating/competing program authors.” ― 55 minute read


ETHash ― Formal specification for Ethereum’s GPU-friendly, ASIC-resistant proof-of-work hashing algorithm ― 8 minute read

Analysis of ETHash ― Thorough analysis, including overview and analyses of its design, feasibility, and randomizing functions ― 37 minute read

Why Patricia Trees ― Quick introduction to how merkle trees work, their present and future value for blockchains, and basic reasoning behind Ethereum’s “Merkle Patricia Tree” ― 9 minute read

Patricia Trees ― Detailed specification ― 8 minute read


Privacy on the Blockchain ― Discussion of how to increase privacy on the blockchain (cryptographically secure obfuscation, secure multi-party computation, low-tech approaches), and the future of privacy ― 20 minute read


Oyente paper ― Proposal for fixing security flaws in Ethereum smart contracts ― 52 minute read

Proof of Stake:

Proof of Stake FAQ ― Guided FAQ, best read in order ― 42 minute read

Minimal Slashing Conditions ― Explanation of slashing conditions that allow Casper, the protocol for Ethereum proof-of-stake, to achieve economic finality ― 14 minute read

Understanding Casper  ― Explanation of Casper PoS Economics ― 20 minute read

Casper, as I understand It ― 3rd party analysis  of Casper compared to Tendermint consensus.  ― 5 minute read


Sharding FAQ ― Another guided FAQ, best read in order ― 52 minute read
Sharding v1 Proposal ― Ethereum sharding specification ― 8 minute read


Challenges ― Explanation of the abundant technological, consensus-related, and economic problems the blockchain community has yet to solve ― 60 minute read