Beyond Bitcoin (BTC/USD) Price: 5 Real World Benefits of Blockchain Technology

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology containing permanent and tamper-proof records. Its defining characteristics is that it is decentralized, …

In 2017, there was a massive rise in the value and price of Bitcoin, a digital currency based on blockchain technology. However, the sentiment suddenly turned sour in 2018 and now people are beginning to question the true value of blockchain. The problem is that blockchain is often misunderstood, preventing quicker adoption by companies.

Let’s clear this up for once and all.

Simply put, Bitcoin is not blockchain. More accurately, Bitcoin runs on blockchain technology. If Bitcoin is a computer program, then blockchain is the operating system on which Bitcoin runs.

Before we dive into the business benefits of blockchain, we need to first understand what it is, and what types of blockchains are available.

What Is Blockchain Technology?

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology containing permanent and tamper-proof records. Its defining characteristics is that it is decentralized, permanent, and requires consensus to validate transactions. With low trust levels in our societies, blockchain is an emergent technology that aims to restore trust when doing business with others.

block chain

Imagine a spreadsheet to which many people have access. Instead of storing this spreadsheet on a single and centralised server, access to this spreadsheet is distributed—or decentralized—as each person has a copy of the same spreadsheet. If a person wants to update a spreadsheet entry, every other person with the same copy must reach consensus and approve this update. This is done automatically without any middle intermediaries.

The problem with centralized data storage or with using third parties is that there’s nothing stopping these intermediaries from behaving maliciously. A company running a centralized server could tamper with the stored data. An intermediary might play favorites or get corrupted by opportunists. It’s no wonder many have issues trusting other parties when doing business.

Blockchain solves this problem by tamper-proofing all records, eliminating single points of failure, and removing the need for intermediaries. People could do business with each other using smart contracts on the blockchain. A smart contract is a digital contract that automatically executes once pre-agreed conditions have been met.

Data exchange on the blockchain involves digital currency transactions, legal agreements, or valuable information between two or more parties. Instead of a single authority, blockchain uses a peer-to-peer network of computers (or nodes) to verify transactions using consensus mechanisms such as Proof-of-Work (PoW),Proof-of-Stake (PoS), or a hybrid of the two. The purpose of these consensus mechanisms is to prevent tampering and to ensure that all nodes are in sync.

There are several subtypes of blockchain:

  • Public
  • Private
  • Consortium

Each has their pros and cons, with the consortium blockchain incorporating the best features of both public and private blockchains.

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Ethereum Core Devs Delay Constantinople Upgrade Till Late February

Ethereum core developers met on Friday in a call meant to help the team reach agreement on how and when to reintroduce the Constantinople …

Ethereum core developers met on Friday in a call meant to help the team reach agreement on how and when to reintroduce the Constantinople upgrade.

The upgrade is now set to go live within the next six weeks, probably between February 26 and February 28. Consensus for the timeline was felt to be sufficient for testing of clients.

Constantinople is a system-wide upgrade that was pulled earlier this week after smart contract audit firm ChainSecurity discovered security vulnerability linked to one of the Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs).

As we anticipated (and owing to the said vulnerability), the reintroduction of Constantinople is now set to exclude the buggy EIP-1283 by reissuing the upgrade in two separate but simultaneous parts.

The first upgrade will see the introduction of all five EIPs as was in the flagged issue, but a second simultaneous part will remove EIP 1283.

The excluded EIP, which involves network data storage costs, will have to undergo further testing and refashioning before being introduced at a later date.

The reintroduction and simultaneous elimination of the vulnerability is a strategy that is meant to help everyone who had upgraded to simply downgrade, one of the Core devs Péter Szilágyi explained.

The move has however led to the need for further discussions relating to upgrades to the EVM semantics when some of these upgrades show incompatibility with pre-existing smart contracts.

ChainSecurity COO Mathias Egli, for instance, highlighted that the EIP 1283 vulnerability was likely not detected by core devs during testing as it impacts smart contracts and not the EVM core development

Activating Constantinople as soon as possible was also necessitated by the Ethereum ‘difficulty bomb’- an embedded code that increases mining difficulty (as well as slowing down block times).

Its implementation is included in one of the EIPs, and as it is already activated, the Constantinople upgrade becomes range bound.

As noted earlier, Ethereum core devs decidedly agreed to have the upgrade activated somewhere between February 26 and February 28. Lane Rettig, one of the core devs, stated that the likely block number will be 7,280,000 if “sensitivity analysis” is used.

That puts the activation at tentatively on February 27, though the core developers will reevaluate this in one of their bi-weekly call sessions in coming weeks.

Once Constantinople is activated on the Ethereum mainnet, EIP 1234 will take effect, delaying the difficulty bomb for another 12 months.

In the interim, the developers delayed any discussions or decisions regarding ProgPow implementation. According to Hudson Jameson, who chaired the discussion, the consensus within the group was that “dev calls are a bad forum when discussing ProgPow decisions.

As such, the core devs will continue with the discussion on this in the future. However, he couldn’t say whether the discussion will take place during the next call.


Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.

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Cornell Professor says “TRON is no operating system,” Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Supports Criticism

Emin Gün Sirer, a professor at Cornell University and a famous influencer in the crypto and blockchain sphere, blasted TRON (TRX), Justin Sun’s …
Cornell Professor says “TRON is no operating system,” Ethereum's Vitalik Buterin Supports Criticism
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Emin Gün Sirer, a professor at Cornell University and a famous influencer in the crypto and blockchain sphere, blasted TRON (TRX), Justin Sun’s blockchain project for claiming to be one of the “largest blockchain-based operating systems in the world.”

Sirer made this known on his official Twitter account saying that TRON is not an Operating System (OS) while declaring his expertise in Operating Systems.

I know Operating Systems.

I have built Operating Systems.

Tron is no Operating System. pic.twitter.com/JhRhodijKl

— Emin Gün Sirer (@el33th4xor) January 21, 2019

Aside from saying that Tron is not an operating system, Prof Sirer also gave what he called “blockchain Rule #73,” which states that “anything billed as a ‘blockchain operating system’ is an embarrassing mess.”

It is not surprising to see that the Cornell Professor is knowledgeable about OS as Sirer is famous for his brilliant contributions on technological topics such as P2P systems, computer programming, and operating systems.

Confirming his claims of developing Operating systems, Sirer is the brain behind SPIN kernel, an Operating System that he developed as a graduate student.

Vitalik Buterin’s Contributions

Replying to Sirer’s Blockchain rule, Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin tweeted a question with an answer to the Professor saying,

“But what about legitimate blockchain operating systems like $AVA and $SUB? (I *think* that’s how one of the more recent twitter shilling tricks works…)

The trick is to throw your coin into a list of other coins that you know the recipients of your shilling already approve of and get them to associate your coin as “one of the pack”. Also the dollar signs. The darned {{deity}}-awful dollar signs…”

It did not also come as a surprise to see 24-year old Buterin, joining forces with Professor Sirer to criticize TRON since it is a known fact that Buterin is no fan of Sun and his project.

In fact, Buterin and Sun are known for criticizing each other’s project. In December last year, Tron founder threw a big one at Buterin stating that the developers at Ethereum and Consensys are suffering layoffs and they should apply for jobs at TRON as they will be happily welcomed.

Meanwhile, TRON TRX is the most significant gainer among the top 10 cryptocurrencies. TRX is recording more than 6% over the last 24 hours while Ethereum ETH is down by 0.98% at press time. Both coins have a market cap of $12,334,799,679 and $1,680,618,988 respectively.

What’s Your Thought On This ?, Let Us Know In the Comment section Below.


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12 DApps Specified By Consensys As Money Making Platforms

The next one is MakerDAO CDP, which allows users to borrow DAI using ETH, where the ETH remains locked in a smart contract until the burrowed …

Jan 21, 2019 17:54&nbspUTC

| Updated:

Jan 21, 2019 at 19:23&nbspUTC

By&nbspRishma Banerjee

Enterprise Ethereum Company ConsenSys, which was founded by Joseph Lublin, and is an organization which aims to solve real-world problems with Ethereum blockchain solutions for organizations of all sizes, recently listed 12 decentralized applications (DApps) and platforms on the Ethereum network that can be used to make money. The list consists of DApps for bounties and freelance work, lending and staking platforms, and prediction markets.

The first on the list was Gitcoin, which provides an easy of monetizing or incentivizing work in open source software by enabling contributors to explore and work on existing bounties. They have assisted 763 unique coders to reach 305 funders since November 2017.

The second DApp mentioned was Bounties Network which helps users by creating bounties for any tasks with transactions using ETH and ERC-20 tokens. As per reports, they have generated $400,000 in total bounties till date thus enabling asks spanning across the grassroots social action to freelancing opportunities.

The next one on the list is Cent, which is another bounty network, that is built on the concept that social networks run on content but don’t provide enough value to the content creators. Creators, on this platform, can share and connect with users calling themselves Centians and uses the term ‘centing’ for putting a bounty on something.

The fourth DApp to make it to the list is Ethlance which enables users to find work they like or can do. They get paid in digital currencies and moreover, the platform doesn’t charge any fees for the users while allowing them to create an unlimited amount of jobs. Users post jobs in IT, writing, web development, app development, and other such categories.

The next one is MakerDAO CDP, which allows users to borrow DAI using ETH, where the ETH remains locked in a smart contract until the burrowed DAI is paid back.

The sixth DApp is ETHLend, which uses their native token LEND, and allows users to enjoy zero-fee lending using smart contracts where digital assets are provided as collaterals.

Compound Finance, the seventh one on the list enables users to supply their idle crypto holdings to its open-source protocol for money markets on the Ethereum network. The algorithmic markets adjust the interest rates users can earn depending on the demand and supply of available crypto assets.

The eighth DApp is Dharma which is yet another Ethereum-based lending and borrowing platform. It comes with a wide range of smart contracts that let users approve ERC721 tokens as collateral for loans.

Gnosis Olympia, which is the 9th Dapp on the list, enables the user to make predictions and subsequently win GNO tokens every time they are successful. The alpha version of the platform is designed to let users try their hands at trading. They also have a developer contest called Gnosis X offering up to $100k USD value in GNO coins to the winners.

The tenth addition to the list is Augur, which allows users to stake ETH and make predictions about a wide range of topics- ranging from elections to the price of a cryptocurrency.

Pdotindex is the eleventh one to be on the list. It is a price-weighted index which brings unique derivatives based on celebrities. It is derived from speculative positions on the Augur markets and has indices based on basketball star LeBron James, pop singer Ariana Grande, and many others.

The last one to make it to the list is Veil, which is a derivatives platform and peer-to-peer prediction market that is built on Ethereum, 0x, and Augur. Veil’s newest instant settlement feature allows users to settle before the market is finalized on Augur.

Rishma Banerjee

Rishma is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and has a special place in her life for sifting through all sorts of random trivia, thank you very much.

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Ethereum’s UpFiring Targets TRON’s BitTorrent As Sun and Buterin Draw P2P Battle Lines

UpFiring, a file sharing dApp on the Ethereum network, announced its launch on the same day that Justin Sun’s TRON-affiliated BitTorrent announced …

Ethereum’s UpFiring Targets TRON’s BitTorrent As Sun and Buterin Draw P2P Battle Lines

January 21, 2019 by Paul de Havilland0 Comment1445 Views

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UpFiring, a file sharing dApp on the Ethereum network, announced its launch on the same day that Justin Sun’s TRON-affiliated BitTorrent announced that BitTorrent Speed–formerly Project Atlas–would be ready by summer. This is the latest episode in the Sun vs Buterin war of words… and platforms.

Also read: Bakkt Acquisition: Backend Buyup to Boost Crypto Amid Payments Wars

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The Empire of the Sun

TRON founder Justin Sun acquired BitTorrent Inc. in June last year for a reported $120 million USD through Rainberry Acquisition Inc., a San Francisco-based company Sun owns. The purchase created a fair amount of conjecture about the future of BitTorrent and the ambitions of its new owner. The popular p2p platform saw a number of employees depart, including high level managers and inventor Bram Cohen.

Distrust of Justin Sun is not misplaced. TRON and network affiliates have notoriously made announcements bordering on fictitious, such as the integration of Poppy into the Clover POS system. And Vitalik Buterin’s legendary tweet accusing Justin Sun of plagiarism in the TRON whitepaper (an accusation leveled by many) has become the stuff of legend:

8. Better white paper writing capability (Ctrl+C + Ctrl+V much higher efficiency than keyboard typing new content)

— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) April 6, 2018

But the TRON network, to Sun’s credit, is a very active one. As “one of the largest blockchain-based operating systems in the world” in its own words, it enjoys an active ecosystem of apps, tokens, super representatives, and voting coin holders. Blocktivity ranked it third for usage in mid-December last year, albeit trailing EOS significantly:

https://t.co/KoSLzp1qzY#eospic.twitter.com/ZtCi60FvGl

— Scott Diamond 🌈💫 (@scottcarat) December 15, 2018

(It has since fallen from the 20 most active blockchains, with EOS still first and Ethereum at 6.) Disciples of Justin Sun are also ferocious defenders of their emperor, as demonstrated by the anger-fueled response to this Bitsonline article from April, 2018:

“… anyone with half a brain and just a little research can see that you are purposefully writing to influence the price of TRX most likely because you were too blind to see the value before the price went up a little.”

Needless to say, the accusation was baseless and entirely irrelevant. (It also failed to proffer any of the “research” its author suggested could be identified.)

The Return of the Non-Giver of Ether

Ethereum’s woes over the past 18 months have been well-documented. It almost ground to a halt as a result of the trading of CryptoKitties in December, 2017. And dApp activity on the network paints quite a glib picture, as reported by Bitsonline last month.

According to State of the DApps, My Crypto Heroes is the Ethereum platform’s most active dApp, with less than 4000 users. Strikingly, IDEX ranks second, at less than 600. Its highly anticipated Constantinople hard fork was postponed to February only last week:

[SECURITY ALERT] #Constantinople upgrade is temporarily postponed out of caution following a consensus decision by #Ethereum developers, security professionals and other community members. More information and instructions are below. https://t.co/p2znO8HGxf

— Ethereum (@ethereum) January 15, 2019

But UpFiring has given Ethereum something to get excited about. It is no doubt set to compete directly with Sun’s BitTorrent as a p2p protocol with tokenized incentives to seed, and its date of release of January 17th coincided neatly with the news of the later-than-anticipated launch of BitTorrent Speed. Maybe, a little too neatly.

Upfiring’s Blockchain File-Sharing Dapp is Live in Open Beta: https://t.co/uJYnrVw1G2

— Upfiring (@UpfiringHQ) January 17, 2019

In The UpFiring Line

Buterin’s passive-aggressive aloofness makes for an interesting contrast with Sun’s gasconading tendencies, and their rivalry makes for an interesting sideshow to the serious business of decentralized platforms:

Heuristic #103: anyone who puts a dollar sign followed by a ticker symbol in their tweet is basically a self-identified shill and not worth listening to.

— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) December 2, 2018

There is no love lost between the two, and new battle lines have now been drawn in the p2p protocol arena. UpFiring has upped the Sun vs. Buterin ante. May the force be with both men.

Who would you rather have a beer with? Justin Sun or Vitalik Buterin?


Images via Pixabay

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