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Vitalik Buterin: “Very confident” about phase zero of Ethereum 2.0

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Vitalik Buterin: “Very confident” about phase zero of Ethereum 2.0

Vitalik Buterin is “very confident” about launching phase zero of Ethereum’s mammoth scaling project early next year, but less so about the incentives driving people who will use the blockchain.

Ethereum’s co-founder made his remarks. and a host of others—on subjects as diverse (and unconnected) as altruism and Facebook’s Libra coin—during then 80,000 hours podcast on Tuesday.

The non-profit podcast is focused on solving bottlenecks in the world’s most pressing problems, which is something that the 25-year-old Buterin enjoys discussing.

He said that while the technical aspects of Ethereum’s scaling magnum opus were well in hand, and the network aims to run at “tens of thousands of transactions a second.”

But it was the real-world interactions—what would happen when theories were let loose in the wild—that still worried him. And many of his fears were based on whether people would use the new Proof of stake proof-of-stake network in the decentralized way for which it was intended—or take the easy option, and assign their “stake” to an exchange.

“For example, are people just going to be lazy and run all their staking nodes on AWS,” Buterin asked. “Are people going to be lazier and just do all their staking by sending their money to Binance, and Binance is going to stake for everyone? Are people going to stake in ways that are insecure and lead to a bunch of people getting hacked at the same time? And how decentralized is it actually going to be?”

He added “that some of the uncertainty is starting to be resolved already: “I’m pretty confident that there aren’t any showstoppers,” he said, adding that the platform would be the first of its kind.

Buterin also admitted that Ethereum developers had learned “quite a bit” from watching events unfurl at competing for blockchain, Cosmos, which launched its own proof-of-stake blockchain recently.

“Of course,” he added, “when, Ethereum 2.0 launches, we’re taking this kind of multi-pronged strategy where we first launch proof-of-stake, then we let it run for a bit, prove itself, then do sharding.”

During the recording, Buterin’s excitement about the coming changes to Ethereum was palpable. Sharding will enable the blockchain to be faster than any current platform.

“Blockchains as they currently exist are in many ways a joke, right? Like 15 transactions per second… you’re not going to run the world economy on top of that… So I’m definitely just really excited about turning Ethereum into a system that we can really, fully, be proud of,” he said.

Buterin’s plans for Ethereum are hugely ambitious. In the past he has said that “Ethereum 1.0 is a couple of people’s scrappy attempt to build the world computer; Ethereum 2.0 will actually be the world computer.”

And, to date, he believes the focus for blockchains has almost entirely been on cryptocurrency, but it’s what lies beyond that really excites him.

Ethereum News

Ethereum 2.0 is seemingly moving faster than expected

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The development of ethereum 2.0 is seemingly moving faster than expected with all major clients now connected to each other in a Local Area Network (LAN) setting.

The development of ethereum 2.0 is seemingly moving faster than expected with all major clients now connected to each other in a Local Area Network (LAN) setting.

According to Adrian Manning, co-founder of Lighthouse’s Sigma Prime, various different eth 2.0 node clients written in different programming languages can now “talk.”

Manning publicly said Status’ Nimbus, PegaSy’s Artemis, Trinity, and ChainSafe’s Lodestar are all interoperable with each other.

“We didn’t expect 3-4 clients being able to communicate so early in the interop locking so we didn’t plan for that,” Mamy Ratsimbazafy of Status stated when asked of a time estimate as to when a testnet might be expected.

“We’ll release one when a sufficient number of clients are comfortable with all parts of the spec,” says Jacek Sieka, another eth 2.0 dev from the Nimbus team.

An eth 2.0 implementers call is now to be held on Thursday with the agenda to be published shortly.

That’s when they may discuss what needs to happen to get the testnet running with the Interop Meeting still continuing.

“We’re still in the middle of it and really the best time would be during the Eth2 implementers’ call,” Ratsimbazafy says in regards to a summary of the progress made so far at the meeting.

Apparently you can ask questions in the chatbox during the implementers call, with it unclear whether we might expect any surprises, like an actual testnet launch.

By the sound of it, it looks like a testnet of sorts between the clients only is already running with more than 100 epochs (a group of 64 blocks per epoch) finalized between two or more clients.

Opening that to the general public then creates the lab like environment where eth2.0 is basically running, but with play coins.

That should be out at an undetermined time but maybe sometime this month or before Devcon, with the testnet then to run for about 3-4 months prior to the main-net launch when you can transfer your eth through a deposit contract to the Proof of Stake Beacon Chain.

So it looks like this is now sort of finished, with just final touches left, refinements, strengthening up the code, getting rid of any bugs, an audit at some point, and then the launch.

The launch has a target date of January, perhaps soon after the new year, with the many implementation teams seemingly making sufficient progress to reach the target provided the testnet period goes fine.

Once out, anyone with 32 eth can just park it on the stake chain to earn more eth at a rate of 5%-8% per year.

Those with less than 32 eth can probably use a pool with companies like Coinbase likely to provide staking services.

Just what all this will look like from an end user’s perspective may well be explained further at Devcon next month when the deposit contract launches.

At that point the process begins as people start transferring eth to the deposit contract, so taking out some supply from circulation.

A lot more supply will then be removed later next year when finality is added to the Proof of Work (PoW) chain if they can manage it, at which point new supply will be reduced by 2/3rds.

Full-on sharding then follows somewhat soon after that in 2021, with it all looking like perhaps it is all coming together after about two years of research and development so far.

 

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Blockchain News

Wells Fargo Launches USD-Backed Coin: “Not a Crypto”

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Wells Fargo Launches USD-Backed Coin- “Not a Crypto”

Announced Tuesday morning, Wells Fargo, an American financial powerhouse, revealed that it will be launching a stablecoin backed by the U.S. dollar. While called “Wells Fargo Digital Cash”, making it sound like the name of any old crypto asset, the firm has asserted that it shouldn’t be defined as a “cryptocurrency“.

The digital coin will purportedly be used for internal transaction settlement for cross-border branches and partners, allowing funds to be moved easily between Wells Fargo locations around the globe. “[There is] a growing demand to further reduce friction regarding traditional borders, and today’s technology puts us in a strong position to do that,” wrote the head of the Innovation Group at the bank.

This platform will purportedly involve digital ledger technology (DLT) — corporate America’s term for blockchain and similar innovations — to move money in “near real-time”.

Wells Fargo is the latest mainstream financial institution to have jumped on the bandwagon of entering the realm of ledger technologies.

Deutsche Bank, one of the world’s largest banks, recently joined a blockchain consortium headed by JP Morgan. The network is meant to allow for the sharing of key transaction details between institutions to reduce transaction times and potentially reduce costs, which is important in an industry where processes are analog and are subject to human error.

Also, JP Morgan, earlier this year unveiled JPM Coin — a stablecoin based on Quorum, the bank’s take on Ethereum technology that is private to improve efficiency and privacy.

Wells Fargo Not the Biggest Crypto Fan

Wells Fargo’s decision not to call its digital asset project a “cryptocurrency” might be for good reason.

The Silicon Valley-based bank has seen a number of run-ins with members of this budding industry over the years.

In 2017, Wells Fargo was sued (case later dropped) by Bitcoin exchange giant Bitfinex, with the exchange accusing the bank of blocking Bitfinex-issued transactions from Taiwan-based banks.

More recently, Wells Fargo made it clear on Twitter that it doesn’t allow its clients to deal with cryptocurrency transactions, becoming one of the only U.S. banks to explicitly have made such a move. By naming its new project a cryptocurrency, it may have been deemed hypocritical.

Stablecoins Under Fire

Wells Fargo’s product launch comes as stablecoin projects have come under fire from central bank leaders from across the globe. On Monday, representatives of the world’s monetary authorities convened in Switzerland to talk about the potential threats stablecoins pose.

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Blockchain News

BitPay to Allow Clients to Accept Ethereum: ETH Fundamentals

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BitPay to Allow Clients to Accept Ethereum- ETH Fundamentals

Ethereum Supported by Crypto Payment Giant

Announced Monday, clients of BitPay will be allowed to natively accept Ethereum (ETH) payments for online goods and services henceforth. A press release from BitPay revealed that this integration with allow ” wallet users [to] be able to store and use Ethereum in a BitPay wallet and BitPay Prepaid Visa Cardholders can top-up debit cards.” BitPay CEO Stephen Pair called the integration of ETH the “next logical choice” in a press comment.

Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum expressed his excitement for the integration by saying that this move “opens up a new world of possibilities for the Ethereum ecosystem”, especially in terms of building real-world use cases for this asset class.

This is Ethereum’s latest positive fundamental event.

Previously, as this outlet covered earlier, Spanish banking giant Santander revealed that it had settled a $20 million bond through ERC-20 tokens, which represented custodied cash, on the public iteration of the Ethereum blockchain. Its been previously reported:

Previously, the World Bank issued a similar blockchain bond but used a private version of ethereum. French lender Societe Generale issued a bond earlier this year on the public ethereum network but said nothing about cash on-ledger.

An executive of Santander’s digital banking initiatives later lauded the pilot transaction, claiming that he sees value in settling bonds on public blockchains like Ethereum.

This comes as Ethereum has seen a growing network usage metric.  Just look to the chart from Etherscan below, which shows that for the first time in about forever, the network’s utilization (defined by average gas per block used over the gas limit per block) has consistently trended in the 90s.

BitPay Under Fire

While this move marks a positive step forward for Ethereum lovers, BitPay has been under fire as of late.

Last week, Tom Grundy of the crowd-funded Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) called out BitPay. In the tweetstorm that can be seen below, the journalist wrote that funds from Bitcoin donations being held are a result of the use of SWIFT and “horrible customer service” and “abysmal communication” on BitPay’s end. Grundy, accentuating his concerns, even wrote:

“Never use BitPay, folks. Truly the worst experience you can imagine – poor reputation, abysmal communication, horrible customer service, *very* high fees. Almost any alternative will be better. I’ve sent you & Steve a LinkedIn message. Am ready to go to war with publicity and legal action – sort it out, guys!”

 

 

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