Category Archives: Ethereum News

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Joseph Lubin: Blockchain Good for Journalists

Joseph Lubin_ Blockchain Good for Journalists

Journalists and content creators can take advantage of decentralization and blockchain technology, according to Joseph Lubin, creator of ConsenSys and co-founder of Ethereum. Lubin discussed various industries that are taking advantage of blockchain technology in a video released this week.

Lubin said that blockchain would allow artists to get rid of middlemen while attaching stipulations and policies to content to make sure that it is shared and consumed according to the artist’s choice.

It is claimed that in the music industry, big record companies secure around 70% of the total profit, giving only 11-12% to the artist. A smart contract on Ethereum platform can replace those record companies, maintained Lubin.

However, he admitted that there will still be intermediaries, required for tasks such as promotion. Nevertheless, they will be unable to “get to a commanding position” and blockchain will not allow them to extract enormous profits.

He urged the “gutted” journalism industry to deliver content directly to the consumer by using blockchain platforms such as Civil.

In that way, the industry can “return ethics to journalism” as well. Newsrooms can form a code of ethics by using blockchain platform, he suggested. Later, that security bond can be staked on the platform. In case anyone breaches the code of conduct, their listenership or readership can challenge their stake and have them removed from the platform.

 

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Vitalik Buterin Dismisses Constantinople Security Rumors

Ethereum

Vitalik Buterin has said that the upcoming Ethereum Constantinople hard fork will not have any negative security implications. The co-founder, along with other core developers, dismissed any such rumors during a recent core developer call.

Ethereum is set to release its latest smart contract feature, with the main criticism centered on a new feature named as Create2. The feature has been designated as Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP 1014) and is expected to allow integrations with a contract which is still non-existent on the blockchain.

Many developers have raised questions regarding the addition of a potential attack vector to the network due to the implementation of Create2. After being deployed, smart contracts can be coded to change their address. One expert suggested that after implementation of Constantinople, any contract with a self-destruct feature will be more vulnerable than before.

During the discussion, developer Jeff Coleman highlighted the point regarding the counterintuitive nature of Create2. He maintained that it is possible, in theory, that redeployments can alter the contract byte code as the address is just a commitment to the init code. However, the public should be conscious of the fact that init codes are a part of auditing whereas the problem is caused by non-deterministic init codes.

In addition, Buterin maintained that Create2 is a part of the platform’s long-term plans. He believed that when thinking about deletion and rents, one should keep in mind a futuristic approach. One needs not to solve these issues in the next few days. However, keeping these issues in mind will help once ETH 2.0 is sharded to a VM spec in near future, he added.

 

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Ethereum Transaction Volume Hit Record High in December 2018

Ethereum Transaction Volume Hit Record High in December 2018

According to the latest report from the crypto analytics firm Diar, the on-chain transaction value of Ethereum (ETH) soared to an all-time high in December 2018.

The on-chain transaction levels of ETH, which is the third largest cryptocurrency in market capitalization after Bitcoin and Ripple, reached 115 million in December  2018, which is a record high if you exclude the surge following a hard fork after the DAO hack in 2016. Dair’s report stated, “Regarding transaction count on-chain the ‘supercomputer’ has found stability since October bobbing between 16–17 million monthly transactions.”

On the other hand, the US dollar value hit a 22-month low on the on-chain transactions, going to USD 815 million from USD 1.1 billion in 2017. Diar’s report adds:

“A 97% drop in on chain transaction value from the peak in January versus December 2018 was, by and large, the cause of an 80% drop in Ethereum’s price.”

Recently, the Constantinople hard fork in the Ethereum Network was postponed after a major security vulnerability was discovered that allowed a reentrancy attack. The lapse was detected by a smart contract audit firm and demonstrated how the Constantinople upgrade led to cheaper transaction fees for many operations on the Ethereum network.

The vulnerability to the reentrancy attacks through the use of specific commands in ETH smart contracts allowed potential hackers to nip off crypto from the network’s smart contract by repeatedly requesting funds while feeding false data regarding malicious actor’s actual ETH balance.

Although the developers have fixed the bug, Diar’s report states that the Constantinople upgrade and these complications will reduce the fees for certain types of transactions to allow for better use of the storage. But it also adds that the reduction of the fee is unlikely to interfere with Ethereum’s growth as it already has one of the lowest fees for on-chain transactions.

 

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The Constantinople Hard Fork May Be Delayed Until 27th February 2019

Ethereum

The Constantinople upgrade may be delayed until 27 February according to the latest news from the Ethereum community.

The news came out on Friday after a developers meeting where several new proposals related to the code changes in EIP-1283 were discussed and would result in the delay. The decision to delay the fork until 27 February means that the second version of Constantinople will not hit the network just yet.

Previously aborted Constantinople network upgrade had caused some issues for the network. On one hand, some miners continued to mine thinking that the hard fork had already taken place. Whereas, on the other hand, the developers’ community was unable to figure out a way to proceed with the upgrade, which is aimed at achieving lower transaction fees.

In the recent developers meeting, the issue of including EIP-1283 again was not even discussed. The developers along with the community have been scarred from the damage done by the initial security vulnerability.

Media reports claim that developers discussed a “two fork” strategy in order to make sure that the whole network is ready for the next planned hard fork. Moreover, a special treat for the miners who have continued to mine a falsified Ethereum Constantinople chain was also discussed.

Furthermore, the discussion included a change of name for the upgrade which was ignored by members. They believed that the name of the upgrade wasn’t that important.

During the meeting, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin suggested that due to an upcoming difficulty bomb, it is better to launch the new upgrade as soon as possible. It is expected that actual block times will be affected by the difficulty bomb. However, the users may not be able to detect it.

He added that in the next six weeks, the block times may go up to 20-21 seconds. He maintained that even right now block times have been increased by 9% from the ice age. In his opinion, a six-week timeline is realistic as the upgrade will involve more work than just removing the EIP-1283 related codes.

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Mexico to Conduct First Public Procurement Procedure on Blockchain

A blockchain project birthed at a Mexican hackathon in April 2018 has, in turn, led to the Mexican government to begin conducting a public procurement procedure via a blockchain network.

The project

This will be Mexico’s first use of the technology for this purpose and is a bid to bring transparency to a public tender; the organizers will be publicly releasing the white paper and object of tender in late August.

According to Mexican business news outlet El Economista, the governance model of the network is a collaboration between several government entities, notably the Coordination of the National Strategy and the Digital Government Unit as well as the consultancy of Mexico’s blockchain industry and international experts.

Additionally, public institutions, universities and civil societies will be part of the model’s horizontal structure; these parties will supervise and validate the transactions within the blockchain.

The project is to utilize Ethereum to create several smart contracts that operate at each level of the procedure. Firstly, the “Buyer Unit” is a registration contract for the government agency purchasing services or goods, while the second is the registration of suppliers and it stores the data of companies looking to take part in one or several bidding processes.

Within the second contract, another then verifies the reputation of a participant based on the data of their previous bidding actions. After this, a fourth smart contract stores the important data, beginning from registration to the tenders results, and a fifth contract executes to evaluate the registered proposals requirements and awards the project to the winner.

Promoting trust

The project began at the Talent Land 2018 hackathon. Coordinator of the National Digital Strategy, Yolanda Martinez Mancilla, said, “The objective is to continue strengthening the prototype that was presented in April of this year, within the framework of Talent Land 2018, and to launch in August the model of governance of the public network.”

She added, “It is a joint action aimed at developing an open governance network where it does not cost users the development of applications and continue as a pioneer government in the inclusion of emerging technologies to improve public services.”

The project to increase transparency in public contracts has been in a matter of discussion since December of 2017 after a high-profile scandal involving a South American construction firm and the then-president Enrique Pena Nieto.

The Mexican government appears to have a reinvigorated interest in blockchain solutions and is beginning to ramp up efforts to improve its poorly-rated global blockchain ratings.

 

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Amazon Launches Collaboration with Consensys: An Easy Blockchain Deployment Service for Enterprises

One of the world’s most innovative e-commerce companies, Amazon.com, is venturing further into the realm of blockchain after announcing a new startup partnership called Kaleido.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the cloud computing subsidiary of the online retailer; for a subscription fee it provides individuals, companies, and governments with a cloud computing platform. The service offers a myriad of solutions and is making blockchain part of the service.

Recently, Bitcoin News reported that Amazon had begun taking on blockchain proposals from partners on AWS. In April, it had also launched ‘out-of-the-box’ blockchain templates for Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric via the platform.

Boosting enterprises into blockchain

The announcement was made at the 4th annual blockchain technology summit in New York called Consensus 2018. Now, in a new collaboration with leading blockchain incubator company Consensys, the startup called Kaleido will provide a new Blockchain Business Cloud, which is designed to speed up and simplify the blockchain integration and operation process for any enterprise.

In a press release, Kaleido founder Steve Cerveny said:

“If blockchain doesn’t become dramatically easier to use, then companies will have to walk back their investments and our society will be far too slow in realizing blockchain’s significant promise. We designed the Kaleido platform from scratch with new user experiences and tools to radically simplify the entire enterprise journey.”

He added, “They can focus on their scenario and they don’t have to become PhDs is cryptography, we give them a simple platform to build their company on blockchain.”

The company is aiming to provide AWS customers with an “easy button” to access the underlying technology that supports Bitcoin; it is also the first blockchain based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution on the AWS marketplace.

Ethereum co-founder and founder of Consensys, Joseph Lubin said, “We are now entering a new era of simple and inclusive access to blockchain technology that cuts through the hype to advance stronger, more collaborative, business relationships previously out of reach.”

Implications for future enterprises

Simplifying the onboarding process for enterprises seeking to participate in the blockchain boom is a crucial step at this stage; while the value of Bitcoin has garnered institutional and investment attention, the technology that underpins it is also getting more industrial attention than ever, going beyond the financial fascination of digital currencies.

The value of this partnership and blockchain development is far-reaching; Consensys is a founding member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), a group of over 500 organizations dedicated to meeting the specific needs of companies with Ethereum. With Amazon and AWS backing the effort, Kaleido could completely shift the landscape for businesses involved in blockchain.

 

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