Ethereum (ETH) News – How can Ethereum (ETH) smart contracts and social media go hand in …

The only social networks who have stood the test of time are the ones that have evolved on a consistent basis. That is why, if social networks need to …
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The only social networks who have stood the test of time are the ones that have evolved on a consistent basis. That is why, if social networks need to stay relevant, they need to grow on a continuous basis. Only when they evolve on a constant basis, it will be possible for them to remain relevant. In this regard, smart contracts will inevitably fail.

How can Ethereum (ETH) smart contracts and social media go hand in hand?

Many social networks still do not allow to pay for the advertisements in cryptocurrencies. The truth is that many entities and individuals would like to advertise on the social networks. They can certainly pay in cryptocurrencies, but since most of the social networks do not support the same, it is tough to advertise for such individuals. It is high time that social networks consider accepting cryptocurrencies as a payment mode.

Moreover, the use of cryptocurrency in the gaming world is also consistently going up. Many of the social networks offer games as well. It is time that they integrate cryptocurrencies into their games so that the gamers can buy in-game assets quite easily. Many gamers prefer to pay in cryptocurrency. That is because they already have cryptocurrency portfolios. That is why, if the social networks integrate payment in cryptocurrencies for the games, the in-game purchases will surely rise. The social media networks can even use blockchain technology to verify these payments. As a result, the payments can be verified in no time at all.

The next paradigm for the social networks is the blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. The faster they integrate with the blockchain world, the easier it will be for them to stay relevant and grow their user base. Once it happens, it will be easy for them to increase the user base at a consistent pace and ensure that none of the other social networks which offers such integrations get ahead of them.

The integration of social media networks with the smart contracts by Ethereum (ETH) will not just help the social media networks but also Ethereum (ETH). It will validate the effectiveness of the Ethereum (ETH) smart contracts. When that happens, Ethereum (ETH) will be able to gain back much more users which it has lost in the recent times to the other blockchains. It is time that social media networks evolve and think about integrating cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology to make it easier for users to advertise.

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Ethereum (ETH) On-Chain Transaction Volume Hits All-Time High in December 2018

According to the crypto and blockchain analytics firm Diar, Ethereum’s on-chain transaction volume hit an all-time high in December 2018. The data …

According to the crypto and blockchain analytics firm Diar, Ethereum’s on-chain transaction volume hit an all-time high in December 2018.

The data compiled by Diar goes as far back as Ethereum’s first transaction in 2015, and according to the analytics, Ethereum reached 115 million on-chain transactions in December 2018. This signals an all-time high for Ethereumtransactions, excluding activity following the hard fork caused by the DAO hack in 2016.

As stated by Diar:

“In terms of transaction count on-chain, the ‘supercomputer’ has found stability since October bobbing between 16–17 million monthly transactions.”

Analyzing Ethereum’s On-Chain Transaction Data

Image Source: https://diar.co/volume-3-issue-2/

As seen from the data represented in the graph above, Diar compiled on-chain transaction data from as far back as Ethereum’s first transaction in 2015. Disregarding transactions around the DAO hack, Ethereum’s transactions increased steadily from 2015 to the beginning of 2017, then tapered off until the beginning of 2018.

Through 2018, the number of Ethereum’s on-chain transactions decreased, hovering around 16-17 million monthly transactions, until November and then December where they reached an all-time high of 115 million monthly transactions.

The increase in transactions can be attributed to Ethereum’s volatile trading action with a massive sell-off resulting a low price of $83 on December 15, followed by a surge in price to $155 on December 24. This price move represents a near-50% increase in price, which is one of the largest moves by Ethereum in 2018.

US Dollar Value of On-Chain Transactions Hit 22 Month Low

While Ethereum on-chain transactions hit an all-time high in December 2018, the US dollar value of these transactions hit a 22 month low during the same month. The total US dollar value on-chain was $815 million last year, which is down significantly from $1.1 billion during the crypto bull run in 2017.

Image Source: https://diar.co/volume-3-issue-2/

As stated in the Diar analytics report:

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

Constantinople Upgrade Will Reduce Ethereum’s Already Low Fees

Moreover, regarding the continued growth of on-chain transactions on the Ethereum blockchain, Diar stated that fees are unlikely to interfere with Ethereum’s growth as the blockchain already has the lowest fees for on-chain transactions.

Also, Ethereum developers intend to keep their fees low, as the upcoming Constantinople upgrade will bring down Ethereum’s fees even further for certain types of transactions. Developers are lowering fees not because they need to, but because they’re thinking very long-term.

As previously reported by IIB, the Constantinople upgrade has been delayed after auditors found a vulnerability in the code. The bug that was found would allow for a reentrancy attack, which would allow the attacker to siphon users’ funds by sending the same function multiple times.

Since the vulnerability was found, Ethereum developers have decided to push back the upgrade until February 27 at block number 7,280,000. Developers have already decided how they will fix the bug and implement the Constantinople upgrade, but they are further pushing the date back to ensure there are no more bugs.

Will 2019 be another slow year for Ethereum on-chain transactions, or will we see an overall increase from month to month? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

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It’s Raining Cryptos in Disneyland!

It might not be of much use currently but its good to keep it on your list. It could very well become a contender in the smart contract’s market.

Although we admit that we’re a little late to this fantasy but back in 2014, Disney came up with its own blockchain called Dragonchain. Many of you might not be aware of it, or at least that’s what I’m hoping, but it was developed for internal purposes. Their reason for developing was similar to most; transparency.

These new and exciting applications of blockchain remind us that there is more than just one way to use this innovative technology.

What is it used for?

It’s quite similar to Ethereum as the basic function remains the same that it can be used by companies to secure transactions and protect their date. However, this is easier to work with as it allows developers to work on existing coding languages like Java, Python, Node, etc.

Apart from that, Dragonchain is built in a way that you can test out new projects before implementing them. It also operates as a marketplace where smart contracts allow easy flow between the vendors, experts, and resources. Some of the ways it can be used in are; ticketing system, legal contracts, loyalty programs, online booking system and etc.

Is Dragonchain a currency?

Now here is where I was confused as well but to clear any doubts, it is a blockchain network and not a currency. However, it is powered by a token called Dragon (DRGN) which can be exchanged on the network in order to complete certain tasks.

Although, the value of the token does increase and decrease much like any other crypto coin.

Can you buy anything with it?

Well… this isn’t cut out for that function. If you really looking for something like that then you must check out Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin etc.

However, there are other ways you can make use of it in such as identity systems, ticketing, decentralized processing, computing and storage framework, voting systems, smart contracts, reporting and compliance, funding and accountability, and even reservations. This platform could really help those suffering from frauds and scams.

What do YOU do then?4

While you can’t use Dragonchain to buy a cup of hot chocolate but you can use them for the products and services built on the Dragonchain blockchain. They are used to grant more voting power in certain projects.

To put it simply, the number of Dragons you have and the amount you hold it for determines the amount of voting power you possess in Dragonchain projects. The voting power is referred to as Slumber Score.

But they are more useful to the programmers working on active projects in the blockchain.

It might not be of much use currently but its good to keep it on your list. It could very well become a contender in the smart contract’s market.

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Samsung Joining The Crypto Bandwagon With Galaxy S10: Leak

This means, essentially, that one of the most popular phones in the world will have an easy-to-use cryptocurrency wallet built right in. Given that many …

Leaker Gregory Blake recently took to Twitter, replying to fellow leaker Ice universe, to show off what seems to be a Galaxy S10 running a cryptocurrency wallet and full-on blockchain key storage software to back it up. This means that the device will hold your unique crypto key, and presumably the keys for currency bits in your possession, right on the device. This may be accomplished using dedicated hardware, or through AI means, such as using onboard machine learning to generate codes on the fly.

Background: Samsung is currently the world’s largest smartphone vendor, and the Galaxy S flagship lineup has achieved stellar sales time and time again. This means, essentially, that one of the most popular phones in the world will have an easy-to-use cryptocurrency wallet built right in. Given that many consumers have yet to jump in partially because of the relative difficulty of setting up a wallet, this could be a big development for cryptocurrency.

Samsung’s software, as seen in the leak, seems to be focusing on user friendliness and accessibility. The types of currencies it supports don’t seem to be revealed just yet, so only time will tell how useful it will be to those who already have cryptocurrency wallets set up.

What’s a bit more fascinating is Samsung’s word choice in the feature set. Specifically, it calls one of the features “Samsung Blockchain Keystore”. This could mean that Samsung is planning to make use of blockchain principles on the device in ways besides simply allowing the storage and use of cryptocurrency. What those features may be is anybody’s guess at this point.

Impact: Samsung Pay uses MST to remove the need for businesses to make a move to accept its payment method, extrapolating payment data into something similar to what would be read from a debit card. If this becomes the case with cryptocurrency, that means that anybody can pay for just about anything with cryptocurrency, and keep a wallet right on their phone.

Samsung Pay adding in support for cryptocurrency, if it happens, would likely not be a move to target those new to the scene, though Samsung could scrape a bit off the top by converting transactions. Rather, it would attract people to Samsung Pay with more payment options compared to the competition.

Naturally, how well that plays out will all depend on what currencies are supported. Cross-compatibility with third-party tools and wallets would also be a boon, but given security worries, it may be difficult if not impossible to effectively implement within the time frame Samsung is going to have to really push the feature.

Other blockchain use case possibilities abound, but one of the first ones that jumps to mind for onboard use in a smartphone is blockchain-based cybersecurity measures. An encrypted key could be calculated and decrypted for booting the phone, for example, or placed on trusted machines to prevent the phone from giving up its internal files or allowing debugging from any computer that doesn’t have the right key file stored. All of this is, of course, speculation for now.

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Ethereum Essentials: Node Nuances

Considering the rapid decline in active Ethereum nodes (down ~66% since the start of 2018), the costs of minimizing trust may be getting too high for …

Quick Take

  • In order to be an active block and transaction verifying participant in the Ethereum network (a majority of dapps, miners, Infura, etc.), the disk size required to run a full node currently sits at ~130 – 150GB
  • The growth in Ethereum’s chain size is well known (+200% Y/Y), however the size itself isn’t the only friction, as fully synced nodes require constant cryptographic-linked verification in order to confirm transactions.
  • The cost to run a full node will vary dramatically across an end-user. For many, users can run a full node on AWS for anywhere from $50-$100 a month, or even a local instance (~300 GB of SSD) for as low as ~$30/month.
  • Considering the rapid decline in active Ethereum nodes (down ~66% since the start of 2018), the costs of minimizing trust may be getting too high for the average active network participant.

by Ryan Todd

9 hrs ago · 7 min read

This report, with the help of the TokenAnalyst team, is an indirect follow-up to our recent Infura piece, exploring the costs to run nodes for various users in the Ethereum ecosystem and how the cost tradeoffs impact trust.

What is an Ethereum full node, and which users run one?

One of the bigger points of confusion surrounding Ethereum is the distinction between ‘full nodes’ and ‘archive nodes’. A full node is any computer or server that is connected to the Ethereum network, downloads the entire blockchain, validates the state to comply with the consensus mechanisms for the protocol, and can serve the network with data requests and block validation. An archive node is a full node that also includes a data archive of snapshots for every historical state at any given block, commonly used by block explorers and deep analytics on the Ethereum network.

The main node clients are Geth and Parity, both of which offer full node implementations:

  • geth: The default Geth sync setting, which allows a faster sync by reordering the download of the state database prior to filling in block bodies and receipts.
  • geth–syncmode full: A slower geth sync mode that verifies all blocks and transactions starting at genesis.
  • parity: The default Parity sync mode which downloads a snapshot of the recent 30,000 “best blocks” (chain of last valid blocks with the greatest amount of accumulated work behind it) and the current state database. Once this snapshot synchronizes, the parity client moves to a full sync of prior history — once this sync occurs a parity default node becomes a full node.
  • parity–no-warp: A slower parity sync mode that verifies all blocks and transactions starting at genesis.

Source: EthHub

In theory, anyone can run a full Ethereum node on their computer, which entails validating transactions and blocks on the Ethereum blockchain, provided entry hardware and bandwidth requirements are met. The confusion of these requirements primarily arises due to the varying perceptions of the total size of data downloaded (when considering what is the ‘entire’ blockchain) and the hardware and bandwidth requirements needed to maintain node sync. The fact that there’s a multitude of different node client implementations, each having their own parameters and configurations to set up, is another cause of confusion.

Three Types of Ethereum Nodes with typical end-user and disk size requirement


Sources: EthHub, TokenAnalyst, The Block

Note: Light clients store just the header chain, and request everything else on demand. Used for low capacity devices, like mobile.

In short, in order to be an active block and transaction verifying participant in the Ethereum network (a majority of dapps, miners, Infura, etc.) the disk size required to run a full node currently sits at ~130-150 GB.

What does historical ‘state’ information include?

The growth in Ethereum’s chain size is well known (+200% Y/Y), however the size itself isn’t the only friction, as fully synced nodes require constant cryptographic-linked verification in order to confirm transactions. These proofs, combined with the 50 million-plus unique address accounts (with their own respective list of associated data), make up a complex data structure known as the state trie. While some may consider ~130GB of memory relatively non-intensive (high-end consumer laptops typically have anywhere from 500GB – 1TB of disk disk), the need for a fully synced node to continually verify constant changes in state adds a higher burden on the node operator to maintain sync.


Sources: Etherscan.io, Blockchain, The Block

For this reason, the growth in both chain and state size are two separate considerations to consider when looking to maintain a fully synced node. The current state demands require the use of SSD drives instead of magnetic drives, and the pace of growth in both chain and state could force new hardware requirements in the coming years, however, these issues can be corrected to a degree by scheduled ETH 1.x scaling upgrades (better caching, data structures, etc.).

Futhermore, while the full node contains the full historical dataset of all the core components of the blockchain – blocks, transactions, logs, and receipts – archive nodes maintain this core info as well as the ‘state’ of the blockchain at every point in time (across every block height). This extra ‘state’ information includes:

  • Transaction traces (used to see function calls between smart contracts and events that are propagated as a result of computation on a contract)
  • Historical address balances
  • Smart Contract creation, code, and historical changes in code
  • Smart Contract storage throughout history

While only a few end-users will require the need for an archive node (chain analytics, auditors, block explorers, etc.), those users will see additional data size requirements to store ‘state’ related information beyond the typical chain size. According to TokenAnalyst, an on-chain infrastructure and data provider, the total extra ‘state’ related to information within TokenAnalyst database is approx. ~640GB.

What are the costs to run full nodes for different users?

The cost to run a full node will vary dramatically across an end-user. For many, users can run a full node on AWS for anywhere from $50-$100 a month, or even a local instance (~300 GB of SSD) for as low as ~$30/month. Meanwhile, for the select few users that require running an archive node, standard archive with 2-3TB can be ~$270 -370 a month.

You could probably get away with downgrading that to a medium instance once the initial sync is complete. That would bring it down to $60-70 per month total. An archival node needs 2-3tb, which would be around $270-370 per month.

— Lane Rettig (@lrettig) January 2, 2019

Elsewhere, on the extreme end of performance requirements, users that require maximum efficient nodes in order to speed up the retrieval of traces, balancediff, and storage diff data across entire Ethereum blockchain (real-time deep historical analysis and audit functions), will require a multitude of full-sync archive nodes dedicated to different sections of blocks across the entire Ethereum blockchain, which inevitably push costs to the extreme. An example of this is in a monthly snapshot of TokenAnalyst’s AWS bills for the month of December, where they scaled up to 95 full-sync archive Parity nodes, and at one point spending approx ~$3,400 per day.

Source: TokenAnalyst

The caveat is that the costs above reflect not only the nodes, but also a few tertiary machines that helped facilitate the data pipeline and accelerate the process of raw onchain data. Additionally, this intensive setup is a case study of the highest possible requirements for data retrieval – getting every possible granular data point from the entire blockchain – including the state at every historical block/point in time, in a matter of two weeks. Furthermore, a significant proportion of these resources was expended to extract the information from blocks 2.3M – 2.8M, where Ethereum experienced a DDOS attack which essentially bloated the blockchain and stuffed transactions in that timespan with thousands of traces.

The costs of trust

While running a full node does allow the user to independently verify the validity of the network, it still requires you to trust the client implementation (Geth or Parity in most cases) to some extent. What does trust really mean here? Trusting the work of an independent set of developers actively working on these clients – whose code is not infallible – as demonstrated at times in prior client bugs.

One argument can be made that true trustworthiness and accountability requires the need to export the full data in a decipherable, non-hashed format and verify for yourself that the “numbers add up” – especially after chain re-orgs, forks, and network upgrades – and not leave the brunt of the validation to the respective node client, to an Infura, or to an Etherscan. This, however, requires significant compute and hardware resources, and is becoming increasingly more challenging for an average user with a consumer laptop. Considering the rapid decline in active Ethereum nodes (down ~66% since the start of 2018), the costs of minimizing trust may be getting too high for the average active network participant.


Sources: Ethernodes.org, Coin.dance, Webarchive, The Block

Alternatively, if the end goal of the user is to minimize trust to its purest point, one could strive to connect to more diverse node client peers, diversifying nodes across geography, client implementations, and node providers. This combination of utilizing both diverse full nodes and pulling and verifying data from archive nodes allows trust to be dispersed across different vectors, albeit at a much higher cost. Recognizing these tradeoffs allows users to better understand and evaluate the higher costs of stronger trust-minimized verification, if so desired.

For many dapps, miners, and infrastructure providers, one full node at ~130 GB is fine enough for now.

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