Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin Publishes ‘Plausible Roadmap’ Addressing Scalability

Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin Publishes 'Plausible Roadmap' Addressing Scalability

In recent times the Ethereum network has received a lot of criticism about the protocol’s data transfer fees and scalability. In a blog post called “Endgame,” published on December 6, the co-founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin discussed plans to improve scaling, the upcoming proof-of-stake transition, and censorship resistance.

Buterin Outlines Plausible Ethereum Scaling Roadmap in Endgame Blog Post

Vitalik Buterin, the prominent co-founder of the Ethereum project, has outlined his thoughts about a “plausible roadmap” that could address the network’s scaling issues. The blog post dubbed “Endgame,” explains a few concepts like a “second tier of staking with low resource requirements,” and introducing fraud proofs or Zk-Snarks where ETH users can “cheaply” acquire block validity. The roadmap Buterin summarizes aims to improve the blockchain without giving up censorship resistance.

“What do we get after all of this is done? Buterin asks in his latest blog post. “We get a chain where block production is still centralized, but block validation is trustless and highly decentralized, and specialized anti-censorship magic prevents the block producers from censoring.” Buterin further adds:

It’s somewhat aesthetically ugly, but it does provide the basic guarantees that we are looking for: even if every single one of the primary stakers (the block producers) is intent on attacking or censoring, the worst that they could do is all go offline entirely, at which point the chain stops accepting transactions until the community pools their resources and sets up one primary-staker node that is honest.

Buterin Discusses an Ethereum Rollup-Centric Roadmap, Big Block Chains, and Cross-Domain MEVs

Buterin’s recent blog post follows the discussions that took place at the end of November when Ethereum developers talked about concepts such as EIP-4488. The plan could reduce data transfer costs five times less, and Ethereum developer Tim Beiko shared his thoughts on EIP-4488 and lowering the costs of rollups. In the Endgame blog post, Buterin also talked about leveraging rollups and this technology’s “possible long-term future.”

“Ethereum is very well-positioned to adjust to this future world, despite the inherent uncertainty,” Buterin stresses. “The profound benefit of the Ethereum rollup-centric roadmap is that it means that Ethereum is open to all of the futures, and does not have to commit to an opinion about which one will necessarily win.” Buterin further added:

Ethereum researchers should think hard about what levels of decentralization in block production are actually achievable. It may not be worth it to add complicated plumbing to make highly decentralized block production easy if cross-domain MEV (or even cross-shard MEV from one rollup taking up multiple shards) make it unsustainable regardless.

In terms of “big block chains” Buterin says “there is a path for them to turn into something trustless and censorship-resistant, and we’ll soon find out if their core developers and communities actually value censorship resistance and decentralization enough for them to do it.” Buterin’s blog post ends by saying that “it will likely take years for all of this to play out.”

“Sharding and data availability sampling are complex technologies to implement. It will take years of refinement and audits for people to be fully comfortable storing their assets in a ZK-rollup running a full EVM,” Buterin’s Endgame post concludes. “And cross-domain MEV research too is still in its infancy. But it does look increasingly clear how a realistic but bright future for scalable blockchains is likely to emerge.”

What do you think about Vitalik Buterin’s Engame blog post concerning scaling and possible roadmaps? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Reddit Introduces ETH-Based Community Points Beta Program With Custom Tokens for Subreddits

Reddit Introduces ETH-Based Community Points Beta Program With Custom Tokens for Subreddits

The popular forum and news aggregation web portal Reddit has revealed the firm’s Community Points beta program where Reddit users can “own a piece” of their community with “custom tokens” for subreddits.

Blockchain-Backed Reddit Community Points: ‘The First Step Towards a Different Future for Online Communities’

At the end of July, Reddit announced that the platform’s Community Points system would leverage the Layer 2 (L2) protocol Arbitrum. This week, Reddit revealed a new website that features the Community Points beta program, which says that Reddit patrons will be able to leverage native crypto assets tethered to unique subreddits. At the time of writing, there is a waitlist and users can sign-up via a form Reddit created.

“Community Points are the first step towards a different future for online communities,” Reddit’s description of the new beta program notes. “These tokens live on the blockchain, which means they are truly owned by the community. Over time, your community will benefit from even greater control and independence… on and off of Reddit.”

Reddit says that users can “Earn something valuable for all the hours you put into your community, [and] unlock special features.” Redditors can “buy community features with Community Points, like special memberships and awards, [and] encourage better content and conversation,” the company details. Furthermore, Redditors can use polls and systems to figure out the Community Points distribution process. Reddit’s website adds:

Each subreddit creates its own Community Points token, with a custom name and symbol.

Cryptocurrency Subreddit Likes the Community Points Concept, Most Popular Bitcoin Subreddit May Not Be Too Fond of Ethereum-Based Subreddit Tokens

In addition, Reddit says that people can “own” their reputation as the points system will be a “measure of reputation” in a certain community. “In the subreddit, they are displayed next to usernames, so the biggest contributors stand out from the crowd,” Reddit explains. Community Points have been discussed in specific forums like the subreddit r/cryptocurrency and a great number of the subreddit’s subscribers liked the idea.

It will be interesting to see whether or not r/bitcoin implements a Community Points token as discussions of alternative crypto assets are banned from that subreddit. Moreover, many r/bitcoin subscribers are not too fond of the blockchain Ethereum so using it for a Community Points system could be considered hypocritical. It’s safe to say that many other crypto and non-crypto-related forums on Reddit will likely have no issues using the Ethereum-based Community Points program.

What do you think about Reddit introducing the new Community Points program where subreddits will be able to create their own custom tokens? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Three Arrows buys 156K ETH in the weeks after CEO ‘abandoned ETH’

Only a few weeks ago, CEO Zhu Su was blasting ETH on Twitter for high gas fees and accessibility issues. Now, his company is buying the dip.

Crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) has bought more than half a billion dollars worth of Ether in the time since CEO Zhu Su publicly slammed the cryptocurrency on Twitter. Do the purchases mean he’s changed his mind, or was he just taking advantage of a market crash to buy the dip?

In an anti-ETH tirade between Nov. 20 and Nov. 22, Zhu tweeted about why he had “abandoned Ethereum despite supporting it in the past.” The thread came in response to a tweet from Synthetix founder Kain Warwick, who’d called out people who have “sold out in pursuit of profit maximization.” During the tweet storm Zhu claimed that Ethereum culture “suffers massively from the Founders’ Dilemma” and that “everyone is already far too rich to remember what they originally set out to do.”

However, after attracting wide attention, he made a U-turn saying he wanted to “soften” his original stance and that “I love Ethereum and what it stands for.”

In the 17 days or so since the threads, approximately 156,400 thousand Ether (ETH) or $676.37 million has been transferred to a wallet that blockchain analytics firm Nansen has associated with 3AC.

Almost all the funds entering the wallet during this period were transferred from Binance, FTX exchange or Coinbase.

Zhu confirmed the transactions earlier today in response to a tweet from Chinese blogger Wu Blockchain, saying that although Ethereum layer-one is still “unusable for newcomers,” he’d still “bid hard on any panic dump like this weekend.”

The wallet shows 3AC made the majority of its purchases during the weekend price crash.

When the anti-ETH tweets emerged, many Twitter users believed he was trying to pump rival project Avalanche (AVAX), which 3AC has invested in. In response to a user asking if the ETH purchases meant he’d dumped his AVAX holdings for ETH, he said that he has “never sold AVAX” and simply “bought this ETH from whoever was financially illiterate enough to sell this weekend.”

In early November, Three Arrows Capital was announced as an investor in Blizzard, a fund to promote the development of AVAX. Following Zhu’s initial tweets, AVAX pushed out Dogecoin (DOGE) from its spot as the 10th-largest crypto by market capitalization. Zhu tweeted a graph of AVAX’s growth captioned “top 10” in the hours before his U-turn.

Related: Three Arrows Capital executives launch NFT fund

At 23:34 UTC today, 93,791.894 Ether was moved from the wallet belonging to 3AC to an address that appears to belong to a major trader. Smaller amounts have been moved to other addresses, including 500 Ether moved to an apparent NFT investment wallet shortly.

Coinbase adds ‘ETH2’ despite tomorrow’s Ethereum upgrade postponing difficulty bomb

But ETH2 is not a new cryptocurrency and the exchange appears to be prepping for Ethereum’s transition to Proof-of-Stake.

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has added a mirrored version of the Ethereum blockchain’s native token Ether (ETH) to its crypto price index, just ahead of a key network upgrade on Dec. 10.

Dubbed “ETH2,” the symbol appeared to have been tracking the original Ether market data synchronously. For instance, the cost to purchase ETH2 came out to be the same as that for ETH. Meanwhile, their market capitalization, volume, circulating supply, and price changes were also identical.

Nonetheless, unlike the original, the ETH2 token had no Trading Activity, Popularity Score, or Typical Hold Time, underscoring that its role — for now — is to merely track the ETH market data at least until mid-2022.

ETH vs ETH2.0 market data. Source: Coinbase

That is probably as ETH2 seems to have been posing as the native token of Ethereum’s ongoing upgrade, dubbed Ethereum 2.0, which expects to go live fully by June 2022. But the Coinbase’s index listing appears closer to “Arrow Glacier,” a fork that would give developers more time to prepare for Ethereum 2.0.

Before Ethereum 2.0

The Arrow Glacier update aims to delay a so-called “difficulty bomb,” an incentive hardcoded inside the Ethereum blockchain since its launch in 2015, which would make it difficult for people to mine Ether. In doing so, the BOMB, if triggered, would slow down the Ethereum network, for as long as it remains proof-of-work.

Tim Beiko, one of the core developers working on the Ethereum upgrade, noted that Arrow Glacier might be the last upgrade before Ethereum 2.0 goes live next year. Meanwhile, Coinbase appears to have been treating the Arrow Glacier fork as a confirmation that they would exist a new token called ETH2 after the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade.

In detail, Ethereum 2.0, also known as “Serenity,” would enable significant changes to its design, including a full-scale transition from energy-intensive Proof-of-Work (PoW) — also used by Bitcoin (BTC) — to Proof-of-Stake (PoS).

In the current version, nodes must validate every transaction to maintain Ethereum’s public ledger. But the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade would launch “sharding,” which would divide the network into various segments (called shards) and would randomly assign nodes to each shard.

Beacon Chain and Sharding. Source: Vitalik.ca

That would remove the need for each node to scan the entire chain, theoretically improving the speed and costs required to maintain the network. Meanwhile, individual shards would share the transaction details with a so-called Beacon Chain, which serves as the backbone of Ethereum 2.0.

ETH2 is not a new crypto

Beacon Chain, which went live in December 2020, would validate the transactions on each shard, thus assisting the entire Ethereum 2.0 network reach consensus. It would also detect dishonest validators and initiate penalties by removing a portion of the validator’s stake from circulation.

Related: Vitalik Buterin outlines ‘endgame’ roadmap for ETH 2.0

At the core of Ethereum 2.0’s PoS design would be ETH (or ETH2), which primarily serves as a staking token for validators to participate in the network consensus and, in turn, to receive block rewards for it.

Beacon Chain’s deposit contract has received over 8.42 million ETH tokens from 55,300 unique depositors (validators) since its launch in December 2020.

The balance of the Ethereum 2.0 deposit contract divided by the total ETH supply. Source: CryptoQuant

That being said, ETH2 is not a new coin and would not change the ETH amount one holds. Instead, as Coinbase’s index listing suggests, ETH2 may end up becoming a rebranded version of the original Ether, without needing holders to swap one version for another.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Delaying the Ice Age — Ethereum Network Participants Prep for Upcoming Arrow Glacier Upgrade

Delaying the Ice Age — Ethereum Network Participants Prep for Upcoming Arrow Glacier Upgrade

The Ethereum network will be undergoing a scheduled upgrade soon called “Arrow Glacier,” a change that aims to mimic the “Muir Glacier” upgrade. Essentially, Ethereum’s Arrow Glacier changes the parameters of the network’s Difficulty Bomb delay to June 2022. This will give the Ethereum network another six months until it leads to the “Ice Age” proof-of-stake (PoS) transition.

Arrow Glacier Aims to Postpone Ethereum’s Ice Age

At Ethereum block height 13,773,000 the network will implement the Arrow Glacier upgrade which aims to postpone Ethereum’s Difficulty Bomb. The bomb mechanism has been around since 2015 and makes the network’s mining difficulty increase over time. The end result will lead to the Ice Age, a moment in time when the blockchain stops proof-of-work (PoW) block production and the chain is 100% reliant on proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus.

The Difficulty Bomb was supposed to happen 4,000,000 blocks or 611 days after the Muir Glacier network upgrade. However, Arrow Glacier will push the bomb back further to June 2022. This will give ethereum PoW miners another six months to continue mining the Ethereum blockchain until the June 2022 change. Once the Difficulty Bomb does happen the mining difficulty will make it so PoW miners get phased out because it will be too difficult.

Arrow Glacier is expected to happen between now and Wednesday, December 8, 2021. “The Arrow Glacier network upgrade, similarly to Muir Glacier, changes the parameters of the Ice Age/Difficulty Bomb, pushing it back several months,” Ethereum developers expain. “This has also been done in the Byzantium, Constantinople and London network upgrades. No other changes are introduced as part of Arrow Glacier.” The announcement adds:

The Difficulty Bomb only affects proof-of-work networks, and hence only exists on the Ethereum mainnet and the Ropsten test network. With the recent progress towards Ethereum’s transition to proof-of-stake, it was decided to only delay the bomb on mainnet for now and to try and run the proof-of-stake transition on Ropsten before the bomb goes off on that network.

Ethereum Hashrate Taps All-Time High, Ether Is the Second-Most Profitable Coin to Mine in 2021

While Ethereum network participants have been waiting a long time for the Ice Age PoS transition, ethereum miners have been enjoying the PoW incentives. During the early morning hours of December 7, Ethereum’s hashrate reached 1 petahash per second (PH/s). The recorded metric is the highest the hashrate has ever been and currently Ethereum’s processing power is coasting along at 900 terahash per second (TH/s).

Additionally, besides kadena (KDA) mining, ethereum (ETH) mining is currently the second-most profitable cryptocurrency to mine today. At $0.12 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and today’s ether exchange rates, a 1,500 megahash per second (MH/s) machine can get around $91 per day. Mining ethereum with the most profitable ether mining rig is 68.85% more profitable than mining bitcoin (BTC) with today’s best performing SHA256 bitcoin miner which gets a touch over $28 per day in profits.

What do you think about the upcoming Arrow Glacier upgrade? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Survey says crypto popular holiday gift for Americans — NFTs not so much

Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Ether lead the list as the most popular cryptocurrencies Americans plan to gift during the holiday season.

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Dogecoin (DOGE) and Ether (ETH) are set to become the gift of choice for people of the United States, a new study by crypto lending firm BlockFi revealed.

Conducted in October among more than 1,250 U.S. residents, BlockFi’s “Real Talk: Happy HODLdays” survey found that nearly one in 10 Americans would give crypto to their loved ones as a holiday gift.

Bitcoin is the most popular gift by a large margin (75%) for people who plan to give or receive crypto as a present during holiday 2021, followed by Dogecoin and Ether, respectively. Nonfungible tokens (NFTs), on the other hand, still need time to be accepted as a gift alternative as only 2% of respondents are interested in receiving them as a gift.

Moreover, crypto will likely become a hot topic at family dinner tables, as one in three respondents prefer talking about their popular digital assets instead of politics during the holiday season, the survey showed. While boomers would still prefer to talk politics, Gen Z and millennials plan to open the conversation with crypto.

The survey pointed out the lack of knowledge on how to actually give crypto. Less than a quarter of respondents actually knew how to send crypto to someone as a present. This shows that crypto is becoming a popular topic but further education would benefit an even bigger population, BlockFi co-founder and SVP of operations Flori Marquez said.

Related: A quarter of Aussie crypto users plan to buy crypto Christmas gifts: Survey

BlockFi also asked respondents about their new year plans. A third of millennials plan to buy crypto in 2022 while it decreases to 25% in the older generations. Some 15% of respondents said they plan to buy an NFT in 2022. One thing to note is that Gen-Zers, born after 1997, prefers to buy Dogecoin over Ether.

A similar survey, conducted in Australia by Crypto.com, found that a quarter of Aussie crypto users plan to buy crypto gifts for their loved ones ​​this Christmas.