By Danny Paez January 16, 2018
Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum — the world’s second most popular cryptocurrency, trailing only bitcoin — has left the China-based venture capital fund Fenbushi Capital on Monday.
According to the report, his reason are to rededicate his time to making sure Ethereum runs at full potential and to taking a larger role in shaping the future of blockchain technology in general.
Buterin was never a full-time employee at the VC firm, as he spent a lot of his time working for the Ethereum Foundation. Instead, he had the title of general partner, according to Fenbushi’s website. Now he has confirmed to TechCrunch that he will be taking a step back but maintain an advisory role with the firm.
In a statement to Tech Crunch, Buterin says that 2017 has brought so much hype around blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies that it is actually stifling their growth. That is mostly because of the growing transaction fees that crypto enthusiasts are forced to pay when they want to move their tokens.
“2017 really has been the year where hype in crypto, including financial hype and social hype in general has far exceeded the reality of what existing blockchain systems can offer,” Buterin told TechCrunch. “There is a lot of attention, and a lot of eager expectation, but as far as reality goes the practical usability of blockchains has in some cases even regressed due to rising transaction fees.”
More at: Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Leaves VC Firm to Focus on Crypto’s Future – Inverse
By Lucas Mearian January 5, 2018
The creator of the open-source blockchain platform Ethereum is exploring ways to fix an innate issue with the technology – the inability for processing capacity to effectively scale.
And the Ethereum Foundation is seeking outside developers to help solve the scaling problem.
Ethereum and Hyperledger are the world’s leading blockchain platforms and the basis for a myriad number of applications, from cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum’s Ether to “smart” or self-executing online contracts.
Due to its chain nature, each new record inserted into a blockchain has to be serialized, which means that the rate of updates is slower than traditional databases, which can update data in parallel.
“This expensive and slow process is justifiable for a global network where all participants are potentially malicious,” Bharath Rao, founder of Ethereum exchange Leverj, said in an earlier interview with Computerworld. “In a corporate environment, where all participation is controlled, it does not make sense to spend a lot of energy and time for essentially no additional benefit.”
More at: Ethereum explores a fix for blockchain’s performance problem – Computerworld
By Jeremy Nation January 3, 2018
The Ethereum Foundation announces two subsidy programs to spur scalability development, favoring a multi-pronged approach.
An announcement made by Vitalik Buterin on January 2, 2018, cut right to the core of the scalability issue, unveiling two subsidy initiatives designed to reward participants for committing their resources to sharding and second layer protocols.
The foundation invites teams of developers, companies, and universities to apply for subsidy amounts between $50,000 and $1,000,000, rewarding participants for committing their resources to expanding the capacity of the ecosystem. Subsidies would be awarded based on merit, alongside the scope, scale, and quality of the project’s impact.
Acknowledging that scalability was perhaps “the single most important keytechnical challenge” for blockchain applications to reach mass adoption, Buterin noted that the two main paths to scalability – sharding and second layer protocols – are “complementary with each other.” As a result, the Ethereum Foundation will support a multi-pronged approach towards scaling Ethereum out to meet demand, which has grown to nearly 1 million transactions per day.
More at: Vitalik Announces Ethereum Foundation Subsidy Programs To Tackle Scalability – ETHNews.com
By Jamie McKane January 3, 2018
With a little bit of work, you can turn a Raspberry Pi into a functional Ethereum node, complete with a built-in wallet.
While using an online wallet is convenient, using your own wallet allows you to hold your private keys and have direct control over your cryptocurrency.
This isn’t the only advantage however, as running an Ethereum node allows you to interact directly with the blockchain and store any compatible ERC-20 tokens.
More at: How to turn a Raspberry Pi into a crypto wallet – Mybroadband
By Jack Filiba December 19, 2017
Today, Ethereum made history by processing one million unique transactions in a 24-hour period.
Ethereum is the first digital currency to pass this momentous threshold. The news comes after previous reports that the digital currency already processes more transactions than all other digital currencies combined.
In some ways, the one million transaction milestone seemed inevitable.
The currency observed a rate of growth continuously boosted by its own momentum. This snowball effect reached its highest point with CryptoKitties, an Ethereum-based blockchain game that recently congested the network due to its popularity.
The high volume of transactions could have significant impact on the future of the fintech industry, as it signifies growing adoption and reaffirms the need to future-proof the currency’s supporting technology.
More at: Ethereum Breaks One Million Transactions in a Single Day – coinsquare
By Jared Polites December 13, 2017
In case you thought 2017 couldn’t get any weirder, the world is now obsessed with virtual cats. CryptoKitties is a virtual game that allows players to collect and breed digital cats. In the game’s short lifespan (it launched on November 28th) it has already drawn interest from players across the globe. Many users are drawn to the game because it is completely personalized.
The “cats” an individual breeds or collects are uniquely their own and cannot be cloned by other users. When users breed their own cats they can add distinctive colors, facial features, or backgrounds to distinguish their cats from other users’ on the marketplace. Once a cat has been bred, its creator can sell it on the marketplace. As of December 11th, 2017, these virtual cats had generated an estimated $12 million in sales.
Although the trading of virtual cats might seem like a silly, fleeting trend, the transactional aspect may have long-term implications. What really sets CryptoKitties apart from other addictive online games is its Ethereum foundation. The marketplace, developed by AxiomZen, was built on Ethereum’s blockchain ledger, and users buy and sell cats on the protocol using Ethereum’s proprietary token, Ether.
CryptoKitties has quickly become the most popular smart contract on Ethereum, and as of December 10th, 2017, the marketplace accounted for almost 15% of Ethereum’s total network transactions.
More at: What CryptoKitties Reveals About Ethereum Scalability Issues – CryptoCoinsNews
It’s like Beanie Babies, but somehow even weirder.
By Daniel Oberhaus December 4, 2017
In October, I tried my hand at an early version of CryptoKitties, a game in which players breed digital cats on the Ethereum blockchain by executing smart contracts. At the time, it seemed would be a fun (and short-lived) way to introduce newbies to the way smart contracts work on the Ethereum network.
But when CryptoKitties was officially released on October 28, it unexpectedly became a multi-million dollar digital kitten mill—perhaps the strongest ever confirmation that a fool and their Ethereum are easily parted.
At the time of writing, CryptoKitties is the busiest smart contract on the blockchain, accounting for a little over 11 percent of all network traffic.
As TechCrunch put it, “we now have people using Ether, an asset with arguably little tangible utility to purchase an asset with unarguably zero tangible utility.” Still, CryptoKitties is the closest thing to a “killer app” to be released so far on the Ethereum network, which has mostly been used to fund sketchy multi-million dollar investment rounds for applications that don’t exist.
Read More: I Bred ‘Crypto Kitties’ on the Ethereum Blockchain
Over the weekend, over $2.5 million (about 6,200 ether) passed through this smart contract as a result of people breeding, buying and selling these digital kittens.
More at: 11% of Traffic on the Ethereum Blockchain Is Being Used to Breed Digital Cats – Motherboard