All about Ethereum
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    27 March 2018
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With Journalists on Ethereum, Will Fake News Meet Its Match?

Before discussing the launch of a blockchain platform for newsrooms, there was one thing I had to clear up with the Matt Coolidge, co-founder and communication lead at the Civil Media Company: was he planning to put me out of a job?

«Our visions of world domination stop short of disrupting CoinDesk,» he said.

A truce achieved, it was time to move onto the details.

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Testing for Ethereum's Coming Consensus Change Is Moving Ahead

A hotly anticipated change aimed at ridding ethereum of its bitcoin-inspired mining process is moving forward in testing, with the platform's popular software clients now participating in review.

Following on an April software release that saw the idea formalized in code, the upgrade looks to transition the world's second largest blockchain into a new way to keep those running its software in sync. However, the current iteration of the idea (called Casper FFG) finds ethereum's developers proceeding with a plan that would enable both its new and old consensus algorithms to work together to protect the network from unexpected attack vectors that may arise during the transition.

Under the proposal, smart contracts will link miners that secure the network with a new set of participants called «validators.»

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What to Expect When Ethereum Classic Diffuses Its 'Difficulty Bomb'

Ethereum classic (ETC) is set to fork in the coming days as part of a bid to diffuse a so-called 'bomb' in its code.

Set for block 5,900,000, the change, in which all users of the original ethereum blockchain will need to update their software, is meant to disable a feature that is designed to increase the difficulty of mining the protocol's rewards ahead of a shift to a new consensus algorithm.

Such changes, originally envisioned as part of the roadmap now continued by the ethereum blockchain, would render ETC mining unprofitable if allowed to persist.

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A Daily Show Comedian Showed Up to Roast an Ethereum Conference

«No one knows what the fuck is going on.»

That's according to Ronny Chieng, senior correspondent on the satirical news program The Daily Show, who took the stage at Ethereal Summit on Saturday with ConsenSys founder and CEO Joseph Lubin and Kavita Gupta, founding managing partner at ConsenSys Ventures.

Chieng, who spoke with Lubin in December on the show, again criticized the big promises and hype of the industry. He argued that many people in the industry use complicated jargon and words that were «invented» two or fewer years ago to camouflage the fact that they don't actually know how the technology will change the world.

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Moral Food: A Fish's Trek From 'Bait to Plate' on the Ethereum Blockchain

It's a little bit like «Finding Nemo» — except at the end, you get to eat the fish.

During the Ethereal Summit, hosted May 11-12 by ethereum startup/incubator ConsenSys in Queens, New York, attendees were given an immersive experience to highlight the benefits a blockchain could have of tracking goods as they move along the supply chain. While blockchain's use for supply chain management is being tested for a whole host of products by startups and tech heavyweights alike, during the summit, Viant, an ethereum-based supply chain management startup, focused on tuna.

The experience started by showing attendees a short documentary film called «Bait to Plate,» that charted the journey of a person-sized Yellowfin tuna caught in the waters off Fiji, an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean.

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Ethereum Summit Attendees Commit to Governance Plan

Notable stakeholders in the ethereum community are pledging support for a governance plan produced by attendees of a recent conference focused on the technology.

Organizers behind the EIP:0 Summit committed to four new governance steps on Wednesday, according to a statement. Notably, Parity Technologies, Aragon and the Web3 Foundation have already pledged their support in signing the statement of intent.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, the two-day summit hosted earlier this month addressed governance issues in the ethereum ecosystem resulting from the network's growth and diversity of opinions on technical direction. At present, it is difficult to gauge sentiments among the different parties developing, investing in or securing the software.

To that end, the plan's signatories have committed to creating a statement of shared values for ethereum, supporting the creation of «open-source tools to collect key signals and metrics,» having a governance call every month and organizing a second, larger EIP:0 meeting.

Key signals include ethereum transaction volume, the number of deployed contracts, the number of GitHub contributions and other factors.

One way to incentivize that technological development could be through grants, the statement said.

Perhaps most notable, however, is the support that a second EIP:0 Summit is receiving.

For instance, Afri Schoedon, a developer and communications officer at Parity, said in a tweet that "[the Summit] must be as inclusive as possible. And if 350,000 people show up, we have to deal with it."

The statement similarly noted that a future summit would have to build on the existing model, including by «expanding opportunities for interaction from viewers not in physical attendance (time, location and participants to be determined).»

The full list of signatories to the statement includes L4 Ventures, developer Lane Rettig, Giveth founder Griff Green, Ethereum Foundation member Hudson Jameson and startup Gnosis.

Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Is Back - And It's Got a Roadmap to Prove It

Since its formation nearly a year and a half ago, it's safe to say that the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) has been quiet.

Apart from a steady stream of new members, there has been a lull of live projects, one that has led some to theorize the consortium might not deliver on standards for enterprise use of the world's second-largest blockchain. In a Medium post last month, for instance, the CTO of competing DLT consortium, R3, even went so far as to stake such a claim, contending that the lack of progress proves ethereum is unsuitable for enterprise.

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Even Ethereum's Top Developers Think A Blockchain Split Might Be Inevitable

Ethereum may be on the brink of a blockchain split.

At least, that was the mood at a meeting of top ethereum developers late last week where a discussion around a code proposal called EIP-999 led some to speculate that the creation of two competing blockchains is now a possibility. Indeed, it's now believed the proposal, which which seeks a technical fix that would return $264 million in funds lost due to the error of their owners, is so contentious, a minority of users may chose to defect.

Those in favor of the proposal point to frequently lost ether due to buggy code, arguing that the platform should ensure against such mistaken losses. But on the other side, many warn that editing code after deployment could damage not only the security but also the integrity of the platform.
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The Code for Ethereum's Consensus Change Is Now Ready for Review

New code written to change the way the ethereum network reaches consensus is now ready for review, developers said Friday.

Ethereum improvement proposal (EIP) 1011, known as Hybrid Casper FFG (short for «Friendly Finality Gadget»), would implement the first step in a long-planned shift away from the energy-intensive mining process and toward an allegedly greener method sometimes called «minting.»

Ethereum's current consensus protocol — the way the network agrees to add a new block to the chain — is called proof-of-work and requires resources to be expended as its «proof.»

Ethereum's creator Vitalik Buterin and other developers have discussed eventually moving to a proof-of-stake model, in which users lock ether up in special wallets and risk losing these «stakes» if they don't follow the consensus rules. That planned transition to proof-of-stake is known as Casper.

EIP 1011, if implemented, would be a first, partial step toward the full move to Casper, introducing a hybrid system that combines proof-of-work and proof-of-stake, an approach discussed in papers unveiled last year.

Casper, while long in the making, is still controversial in some quarters — for example, a security researcher at VMware called it «fundamentally vulnerable» last month.

Yet Danny Ryan, one of EIP 1011's authors, along with Chih-Cheng Liang, told fellow developers during a meeting Friday that the proposed code is «ready for review, community discussion, etc.»

Ryan added that development work for ethereum clients could begin soon and that he was corresponding with the formal verification engineers.

«As these pieces of the puzzle are getting closer to being completed,» he said, «I'll signal that it's time to start talking about fork block numbers.»

As Ryan suggests, the change will not be compatible with existing ethereum software, meaning that the network will have to undergo a hard fork to be implemented. That said, there's still some way to go before that happens.

«In terms of testing… I don't know when exactly that happens,» Ryan continued, adding that he would «leave the EIP up for discussion a little bit longer before we start doing testing on that side.»

New Ethereum Tech Calls on Slavic Gods for Security

The Slavic god of lightning, Perun, is entering the ethereum ecosystem (in spirit at least).

Inspired by bitcoin's lightning network, a group of researchers hailing from Warsaw have unveiled a new white paper entitled «Foundations of State Channel Networks,» which outlines a protocol designed to help ethereum scale to support higher volumes of more complex smart contracts.

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