You may or may not have noticed that BitCoin.SE and Ethereum.SE have narrowed their scope. Nowadays that means that they only accept questions that are about their specific crypto currency and block chain respectively, whereas they previously allowed any question about those topics.

That however leaves questions about generic crypto-currency and block chain in the dark on which SE site to use. Unless a new one makes it past the Area 51 starting line, the most likely answer is "none" - just like any other topic without specific site.

Should we allow block chain questions even if they are not evidently about cryptography? If not, how should we close them?

  • $\begingroup$ I think we should distinguish between questions about cryptocurrency and questions about "blockchain" and not lump them in together necessarily. "blockchain" is a cryptographic data structure that supports read and append access, and so in that sense appears to be pretty clearly on-topic for us. Such a datastructure can also exist outside of the context of cryptocurrency (meaning, there could exist other non-currency applications that are made possible by such a datastructure), so it doesn't seem accurate to count "blockchain" as a sort of synonym for cryptocurrency. $\endgroup$
    – Ella Rose
    Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 19:14
  • $\begingroup$ I kind of directly assumed that questions about crypto-currency that are not cryptography related should be closed. I only lumped them together because both sites narrowed their scope recently and we are likely to get questions from both. $\endgroup$
    – Maarten Bodewes Mod
    Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 21:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ How about the distributed nature of blockchains and the consensus parts? Do we need to redirect them to CS.SE? Consensus algorithms are often relying on crypto stuff too. $\endgroup$
    – Lery
    Commented Nov 18, 2019 at 16:44
  • $\begingroup$ I guess we need to look at that from a question to question basis. If the solution is a combination of both then I guess we could migrate them to CS.SE - although I haven't checked yet where such questions are most welcome. I'll try and find out. $\endgroup$
    – Maarten Bodewes Mod
    Commented Nov 18, 2019 at 17:34

1 Answer 1


Should we allow generic questions about block chain?

If it's about cryptography, yes. For example, How did the signature malleability flaw in Monero work?, or What is the impact of quantum computers on the Bitcoin blockchain?, or How is the “Keccak-256” function used in Ethereum different from SHA-3?, or What are the security requirements for the hash function in a Merkle tree?.

If it's just about designing a system of economic incentives like Bitcoin or Ethereum that happens to use cryptography, no. There's no more reason for that to be on-topic here than there is for a question about Facebook app design to be on-topic here, just because some Facebook apps happen to use TLS or the Signal protocol which involves cryptography.


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