Ethereum received an incredible response at the Miami Bitcoin Conference. We traveled there anticipating many technical questions as well as a philosophical discussion about the purpose of Ethereum; however, the overwhelming amount of interest and enthusiasm for the project was much larger than we had anticipated. Vitalik’s presentation was met with both a standing ovation and a question queue that took hours to address.
Because we intend on providing an equal opportunity to all those who want to be involved, and are reviewing the relevant logistical and regulatory issues for a fundraiser of this scale, we have decided to postpone the Feb 1 launch of the fundraiser. We will make the announcement of the new fundraiser launch date on our official website: Ethereum.org.
The Ethereum project is also excited to announce the alpha release of the open source testnet client to the community at the beginning of February. This will give people an opportunity to get involved with the project and experiment with Ethereum scripts and contracts, and gain a better understanding of the technical properties of the Ethereum platform. Launching the testnet at this date will give those interested in the fundraiser a chance to better understand what the Ethereum project is about before participating.
The testnet will include full support for sending and receiving transactions, the initial version of the scripting language as described in our whitepaper, and may or may not include mining. This will also be the first major cryptocurrency project to have two official clients released at the same time, with one written in C++ and the other in Go; a Python client is also in the works. A compiler from the Ethereum CLL to Ethereum script will be released very soon.
A note on security
The fundraiser will NOT be launching on February 1st and any attempt to collect funds at this time should be considered a scam. There have been some scams in the forums thus please use caution and only consider information posted on Ethereum.org to be legitimate. It is important to reinforce to all that only information released and posted at Ethereum.org should be trusted as many are likely to impersonate us.