Gavin Wood, co-founder of the blockchain-based network Ethereum project, today announced the roll out of the “eπ” Ethereum-on-Raspberry Pi Program.
As part of the program, Ethereum is offering a kit for placing a full Ethereum Internet node on a Raspberry Pi mini computer.
Included in the kit is a Raspberry Pi (version 2), power connector and SD card preloaded with all software required to run an Ethereum Frontier node. The only thing that must be supplied by the applicant is power and internet.
With the low specs of the miniature computer, Ethereum-on-Raspberry Pi is obviously not designed to be a miner. The move by Ethereum is more about showing the robustness of its platform.
Before you ask, no they won’t make a good miner – aside from anything else, they don’t have nearly enough GPU RAM. However, they’ll act as archive nodes, verify and transmit blocks and transactions and generally add to the party atmosphere.
Available through an online form, Ethereum is particularly looking to provide the “eπ” to schools, universities and remote communities around the world .
For enthusiasts who do not make it into the program, Ethereum has provided a “how-to” on GitHub. Interested parties can download an Ethereum “everything-is-ready” image on to their on personally acquired Raspberry Pi’s, which are only US$50.
Wood also commented on Ethereum present pre-release, called Olympic:
In other news, Olympic is whirring away and there still plenty of Ether to be won by people willing to mine or code a few scripts to hammer the network with transactions. I’ve set up an Ether Faucet on Olympic (named as such in the Ethereum name registry), so go ahead and bag yourself a bit of free Ether!
Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum founder and famed cryptocurrency developer, summarized the Olympic pre-release:
The purpose of Olympic is to reward people who try to test the limits of the Ethereum blockchain during the pre-release period, spamming the network with transactions and doing crazy things with the state, so that we can see how the network holds up under high levels of load. At the same time, application developers, data providers, exchanges, and users are encouraged to develop and deploy on the testnet and run nodes – and if you have multiple virtual private servers, spin up as many nodes as you can.
One week ago, Buterin announced Olympic, which will have a total prize fund of 25,000 Ether – Ethereum’s proprietary cryptocurrency.
The four prize categories are “Transaction Activity”, “Virtual Machine Usage”, “Mining Prowess” and “General Punishment”. Each category includes a main prize of 2,500 Ether, in addition to one or more smaller prizes at 100 – 1,000 Ether and possibly tiny rewards of 0.1-5 Ether simply for participating. Each category will be judged by Buterin, Wood and core developer Jeffrey Wilcke, probably with significant assistance from “automated blockchain analysis tools”. In addition to the Ether rewards, prize-winners will be entitled to have their name immortalized in the Ethereum Genesis block.
Olympic is part of the last phase of the Ethereum development process before the initial formal release of Ethereum, dubbed Frontier. The project directors their network has become stable but the testing and auditing period before the release is not concretized.
Buterin described the countdown until the formal release:
…as the network is currently proving to be highly stable at its current size of 20-100 nodes, all major clients have been staying in consensus and we are approaching code freeze pending testing and auditing inputs. It is expected to last close to 14 days, though we reserve the right to shorten or lengthen it based on technical considerations. When we deem that we are ready, we will provide a 48 hour countdown for the Frontier 1.0 launch.