Connect with us

Bitcoin

Bringing True Decentralization to Ethereum (ETH): Infura Has Got to Go

Published

on

For a long time, Infura has been one o Ethereum’s most popular, but also most controversial, technologies. It is responsible for handling over 13 billion code requests every day, and it also allows developers to enter the blockchain without running a full node. However, according to experts, it is also the reason why so many dApps were created on ETH network, due to the simplicity of interaction.

So, what is the problem? Well, the problem is that Infura is operated by one single provider, which is the ConsenSys development studio. Not only that, but it also relies on Amazon’s cloud servers. As such, many consider it to be the weak spot of the Ethereum network, one that might bring to its failure if left unresolved.

Simply put, every dApp that has any connection to Infura would stop working if Infura was ever turned off. This is a big concern, and while Infura’s contribution to ETH ecosystem and its importance to the network is undeniable, a centralized service cannot be allowed to serve as a pillar of the developer community.

This is why numerous developers have decided to try and distance Infura from Ethereumby attempting to bring forth decent alternatives. However, while there have been numerous attempts to achieve this, a proper method that can fully replace Infura has yet to emerge.

dApps Depend On Infura
Right now, there are around 11,803 full nodes on Ethereum. About 5-10% of them are Infura-based. However, Infura is under constant maintenance, which makes it highly reliable, and also more than capable of handling huge amounts of traffic. In other words, the issue is not how Infura does its job. The problem lies in the fact that it is a centralized service.

The reason behind using a service like this is its ability to handle large quantities of data in the first place. A full active node on Ethereum needs to be able to handle as much as 1 Terabyte of data, which is clearly much more than a regular laptop can handle. By using Infura, developers can focus on the software, and not worry about hardware or storage.

The same is true for users who often use a tool called Metamask for holding their coins. Metamask depends on Infura just as much, which means that almost all dApps do too.

Another issue regarding Infura is privacy, as it uses Amazon’s storage. Also, if Amazon ever decided to cut ties, most of the functioning dApps on Ethereum would stop working.

Reaching True Decentralization
As mentioned, there are numerous attempts to reach an alternative to Infura and cut the network’s dependence on it. One such potential solution is a new code library called LightJS, which was released by Parity Technologies. The goal is to convince developers to create light clients instead of relying on Infura. Light clients require less storage and less dependence on hardware, while the degree of decentralization increases.

The hope is that less and less future dApps would choose to connect to Infura, and would instead go for light clients.

Other projects that are trying to reduce dependence on Infura include VIP node, Dappnode, D-node, and others, all of which aim to convince people to run their own full node. Many believe that this is not already the case as there are no rewards for running full nodes. This is something that VIP node aims to change, and hopefully, attract developers.

D-Node aims to create a market between node operators and developers, but it also wants to decentralize their economic relationship. To achieve this, it uses DAO — Decentralized Autonomous Organization.

As for Dappnode, it was created in order to allow developers to set up their local networks and design it in a way that will make dApp deployment easier. Some of these projects, especially VIP node, also receive funding from Infura itself.

Solving The Problem
ConsenSys, the firm behind Infura, is also one of Ethereum’s largest startups. It also announced that it is funding an Incubator project, which is to cut Metamask’s dependence on Infura. And even Infura itself is attempting to help by adding different cloud providers so that Amazon would not be in full control of all ETH dApps.

Everyone is trying to add more decentralization to Ethereum, even Infura itself. It originally became popular thanks to the nature of Ethereum’s platform, which is capable of producing and executing dApps instead of just using the cryptocurrency for making transactions.

In addition, the hardware is of great importance for Ethereum network, as Ethereum also stores a sum of all computation that happens on the platform. This is called “state”, and it keeps growing as more users interact with the platform. This makes hardware more expensive, as well as more difficult to use, which also doesn’t encourage users to get involved.

These issues have been noticed and recognized a long time ago. While different methods were developed in order to resolve them, they all have their own flaws that need addressing. Even Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, proposed a method of fixing some of these issues which comes down to rewriting the underlying incentive so that users would get rewards for running a full node.

This is one of the changes that were included in a new upgrade called Ethereum 1x, which is expected to be implemented at some point in 2019.

Advertisement

Bitcoin

Will Bitcoin (BTC) And Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Payments War Destabilize Market?

Published

on

With bitcoin (BTC) back above $8,000 and set to accelerate higher, the last thing crypto needs is a fallout between the bitcoin developer and business community and the diehard Bitcoin Cash (BCH) believers.

Bitcoin fork BCH, whose supporters insist that it is truer to bitcoin’s original mission of digital cash, fears bitcoin people want to shut it out of merchant payments. All this as BCH continues to track bitcoin as does the rest of the market, maintaining the outperformance margin opened up at the beginning of April.

 

Bitcoin Cash has outperformed Bitcoin over the past two months (Courtesy Coinlib.io

That performance difference, however, is unlikely to be because the market assesses BCH to be a better product than bitcoin.

Bitcoin is still king by a very wide margin

Far from it, judging by the network fundamentals of BCH vis a vis bitcoin.

Although Roger Ver, a vociferous supporter of BCH, is able to point to its low fees on the network compared to BTC, that’s not for a good reason.

Perhaps most dangerously for BCH, it is not very decentralised, with the secretive BTC top mining pool based in China recently accounting for more than 50% of the hashrate, although that has decreased now. At the end of April their was the case of an entity using the name “Satoshi Nakamoto” that had 40% of the hashrate.

BTC.top had a 50%-plus share 24 hours ago

BCH has made itself a six-monthly target for attackers

Then there’s the six-monthly schedule of upgrades which seem to have turned into an opportunity for attackers to make mischief. That’s what happened on 15 May, when a bug was exploited that led to empty blocks, 10 in all.

It didn’t end there.

On the same day it has been speculated that there was an aborted attempt by short sellers to crash the price, with 179,202 BCH or BAB (the ticker on Bitfinex for Bitcoin ABC aka Bitcoin Cash) borrowed on Bitfinex to take a leveraged short position. The build up in BCH borrowing was spotted by redditor frozen124.

It didn’t work out for the shorters as the price rose, but the timing was suspicious according to folks at coinspice.io who have been doing some digging around. The borrowing by the shorters took place 12 hours before the empty blocks attack.

Additionally, 110,000 that had been borrowed ended up not being used to take a position in the market, leading observers to surmise that whoever was behind the borrowing, was linked to the block attack and for some reason had decided against executing.

It was a costly miscalculation on their part because all that borrowing of BCH drove the interest rate demanded by the lenders to 30%, so the unallocated borrowing cost 79 BCH or $31,500 at the price at the time.

Someone’s got it in for BCH.

Roger Ver sure thinks so, or at least the Bitcoin.com twitter account does:

For those new to crypto, bitcoin.com is controlled by Roger Ver and stands accused by bitcoin people of deliberately confusing the difference between the one and only original and the BCH fork.

But let’s not take sides.

Payments Protocol – BCH and BitPay versus Bitcoin core?

Nevertheless, the network attack and the apparent co-ordinated but half-cocked shorting effort may partly explain the timing of an incendiary broadside against the Bitcoin “maximalist” community in an op-ed published on bitcoin.com by Tomislav Dugandzicdescribed as an “independent bitcoin cash (BCH) user and currency speculator“.

Titled “Core vs Gavin – Bitcoin Payments Are Being Bulldozed for Political Reasons, Dugandzic is convinced that Bitcoin core are out to sabotage the way payments are processed for nefarious political reasons – a serious charge indeed.

At the centre of the brewing dispute is the Payments Protocol, which was some tidying done by Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn in 2013 in the form of bitcoin improvement proposal 70 (BIP70).

The changes allowed a payer to be messaged by the receiver (merchant) and introduced code to specifically guard against “man in the middle” attacks where a bad actor gets between payer and receiver and inserts the fraudster’s address.

For merchants, the payment protocol removed the inefficiencies with, to take one example, paying refunds.

In a nutshell then, BIP70 makes handling payments more efficient for merchants and provides a better user experience for payers.

It turns out that not all wallets are supporting BIP70 but most major popular ones do including those for Bitcoin Cash.

BitPay, the largest bitcoin payment processor and a handler of both bitcoin and BCH payments, imlements payments protocol and it says it has reduced errors in payments by 98.6%.

So that’s all good. What’s the problem?

BitPay is what Dugandzic describes as a BCH-friendly payments processor and it is this that he claims lies behind a “political” move by bitcoin core ( which controls the official bitcoin website, bitcoin.org) to stymie the prospects for BCH adoption.

Bitcoin developers have deprecated BIP70, which is coders speak that it is being to be phased out.

Something of a war has broken out between those who want to keep BIP70 and others who want to revert to the earlier BIP21 for handling URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers) and encoding of payment request information.

Samurai wallet is focused on by Dugandzic as an example of the anti BIP70 crowd as it came up in a video featuring Andreas Antonopoulos, who could be described as bitcoin royalty as the author of the seminal The Internet of Money.

Antonopoulos is what Dugandzic sees as a typical (as in political) “Bitcoin Core advocate”.

Here’s a quote from the op-ed, which provides a flavour of how these disputes quickly turn nasty:

The Samurai wallet team tweeted that they approve of Bitcoin Core advocates “viciously attacking” Bitcoin Cash advocates and that Bitcoin Cash advocates are “lunatics” and “frauds.” That’s a pretty strong choice of words to describe a group of people that have a difference of opinion regarding how Bitcoin should scale.

Thin line between welcome competition and senseless tribalism

For mere mortals these disputes can all seem arcane but unfortunately they are important tests of the maturity of the space regarding cooperation on standards and resolving disagreements over competing technology solutions in the absence of an industry policeman.

The way these issues are fought out does nothing to help crypto adoption, be it bitcoin, one of its forks or one of the myriad other competing crypto projects.

Those critical of BIP70 seem to be suggesting that it cedes too much power to the likes of BitPay, which some presumably think is too closely aligned with the BCH camp.

Confusion in the marketplace and at the level of users actually trying to buy stuff with bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, is no good for anyyone.

The BCH price may well continue to outperform bitcoin and even catch up on the former’s market cap, as it briefly seemed to be closing in on flippening BTC in November 2017.

But as BCH continues to motor, up 17% today at $425 it will be doing so probably more because of brand association with bitcoin rather than because of its technological superiority or, for that matter, the vitriol its supporters (and to be fair its detractors too) trade in.

Bitcoin has some weak points, like scaling. But governance and general inter-coin relations and its breakdown – which is how Bitcoin Cash came into being in the first place and then Bitcoin SV – is a headache for the crypto ecosystem, not just bitcoin or BCH, and it shows no signs of going away.

 

Source:ethereumworldnews

Continue Reading

Bitcoin

Bitcoin Bounces To $8,100, Yet Analysts See Potential For Healthy Pullback

Published

on

No one expected what Bitcoin (BTC) did in the past 24 hours. According to Messari’s OnChainFX, the leading cryptocurrency is up 9% in the past 24 hours, finding itself at $7,950 after touching $8,100 earlier today. Altcoins have experienced similar gains, with most rising by nearly seven or eight percent.

While some have claimed that this move is decidedly bullish, especially considering the context of the seeming Bitstamp manipulation, some are fearful that this is just a precursor to one final drawdown.

Bitcoin Could See A Pullback

Josh Olszewicz, a leading technical analyst that frequently posts articles to Brave New Coin, suggests that the Ichimoku Cloud, a series of technical indicators meant to determine trends and key levels, is saying that Bitcoin is “insanely overbought”.

He goes on to add the Cloud is “calling for $6,150, looking to the fact that one of the indicator’s leading lines, which acts as support in bull runs and resistance in bear trends, sits at that price level. Olszewicz also notes that the Relative Strength Index (RSI) reading on the one-day chart is at 90, which is well overbought, hinting that a move lower may be inbound.

He isn’t the first to have pointed to signs that BTC may soon see a reversal. Bravado’s lead analyst, Bitcoin Jack, recently noted that BTC has yet to break above the $8,400 resistance (signaling a local top), potentially setting the stage for a drawdown to $5,000.

The Other Side Of The Equation

Some, however, have drawn attention to signs that this ongoing move is bullish. Olszewicz notes that according to a textbook chart pattern, the fact that BTC fell for three days, then saw a massive reversal candle to the upside may hint at “bullish continuation”.

What’s more, there isn’t much resistance from current levels, $8,000, to $10,000, giving credence to the theory that if BTC breaks above $8,400, another run-up would just be a matter of time. As Crypto Rand, a well-followed chartist on Twitter, explained on Sunday: “Bitcoin [is] heating up for $10,000”.

Josh Rager, a representative of fledgling crypto exchange Level, explains that this recent rebound confirms that Bitcoin is looking strong. BTC has continued to see higher lows in the current consolidation pattern, preparing the crypto market for a continuation to the upside.

On the side of fundamentals and sentiment, NewsBTC’s Joseph Young has noted that the simple fact that BTC rebounded to $8,000 is a confirmation that many investors are bullish.

-News Source

 

Continue Reading

Bitcoin

S&P 500, Nasdaq, Dow Jones Unlikely to Reach New Highs — Time to Bet on Bitcoin?

Published

on

On Oct 3, 2018, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at an all-time high of USD($)26,828.39. In April 2019, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite similarly reached their respective all-time highs, as well. Bitcoin (BTC), on the other hand, reached its all-time high of $20,000 on Dec 17, 2017.

According to MarketWatch, the so-called Godfather of chart analysis, Ralph Acampora, does not believe that all-time highs will be reached for the stock market in the near future. Furthermore, without reaching new highs, he believes it unlikely that the stock market will return to the bulls.

bull market

Bitcoin Making Moves in 2019

Currently, the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq Composite are all trading near their all-time high levels. Bitcoin (BTC), however, is doing quite the opposite.

After reaching its all-time high, Bitcoin steadily declined throughout 2018. The price bottomed out on Dec 15, 2018, with a low of $3122.28 on Bitstamp. Bitcoin Price 2018 to Present (Bitstamp)

Since the bottom was reached, Bitcoin has been steadily increasing. Throughout 2019, there have been at least three major increases.

Pushing to $4000

The first was a gradual increase which took place between Feb 8 and Feb 24.

On Feb 9, the price closed at $3359.33. It jumped to a high of over $3700 the next day. Price mostly traded sideways for the next eight days.

After closing at $3625.60 on Feb 17, the price pushed upward to a high of $4000 on Feb 19. The price gradually increased until Feb 24 to $4190.

It dropped suddenly but increased gradually throughout March.

April Bulls

The second major increase occurred much more suddenly. On Apr 1, Bitcoin closed at $4136.32. A high of over $5000 was reached the next day. By Apr 3, Bitcoin had peaked at $5345.

Prices fell and then gradually increased.

Breaking $8000

On Apr 30, Bitcoin closed at $5269. Rapid gains brought Bitcoin to a high of $8390.95 on May 16.

Like the first noticeable rise, this one took place on a longer time-frame than the second. However, the gains experienced during this most recent rise are the most significant of the three.

It is worth noting that, on May 17, the price dropped to nearly $6000 — but has since rebounded to over $7200 at the time of writing.

bitcoin growth

Is Bitcoin Beating Dow Jones, Nasdaq, and S&P 500?

Despite these three gainful periods in 2019, Bitcoin is still trading well below its all-time high. At the current time, the price of Bitcoin is worth 40 percent of what it was worth on Dec 17, 2018.

Thus, while major stock indices are pushing close to their all-time highs, Bitcoin has plenty of room to move before reaching that point. Unless the bulls take over the stock market, it appears that it may be poised for a downward turn.

However, if any of the three indices above are able to reach their all-time high, a continued bull market may emerge. This is what Acampora suggests at the very least. However, he does not seem confident that this is going to happen.

Perhaps the best moving at the current time is betting on Bitcoin. While the cryptocurrency appears to have room to grow, the stock appears ready to fall.

-News Source

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Open

Close