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Ethereum devs discuss gas optimizations, but it will probably be too little too late

Developers see the problem, but there is little they can do right now.

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An Ethereum All Core Devs call was held on Friday to discuss a variety of Ethereum Improvement Proposals as gas fees on the network remain historically high.

The agenda included several discussion points on high gas prices and ways to mitigate the issue. Alexey Akhunov, an independent Ethereum researcher, opened with a comment on the existence of gas tokens and how they could push prices higher than normal.

He highlighted how the mempool is often filled with transactions bidding a certain gas price to mint these tokens, and compared this approach to order book exchanges where traders fish for dips with low price orders. But according to him, the fact that gas bidding orders cannot be easily cancelled could mean that prices remain artificially high as any dip is bought by default.

While a proposal to eliminate the refund mechanism that underpins the gas tokens was floated around, Akhunov acknowledged that the magnitude of gas token minting can only account for about 2% of current gas usage. This would suggest that any negative contribution they might have could be limited in size, but he said that he would need to find more data before formally discussing options to eliminate this mechanism.

The remaining topics were less immediate in terms of gas price discussion. One of them included a recently introduced EIP championed by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and core developer Martin Swende.

Filed as EIP-2929, the proposal substantially increases gas costs for certain storage operations. However, this is being done as a protection against potential Denial of Service attacks and the specifics of the change mean that some operations could actually become cheaper. Nevertheless, Akhunov was skeptical about some of the more complex changes and exemptions that this proposal entailed, suggesting to continue discussion on these finer points.

Raising gas costs appears counterintuitive in the current environment, but doing so could help Ethereum developers feel more confident about future gas limit increases. The strong threat of DoS attacks previously held back more aggressive increases from being implemented.

A further EIP that could have the strongest impact on the general user experience is EIP-2711. The proposal could let one account pay for someone else’s transaction fee, create batched transactions that are guaranteed to be executed in the order they were submitted, and an automatic time limit for transactions hitting the mempool.

The latter change could also result in gas savings, as such systems are already implemented at an application layer on platforms like Uniswap, developer Micah Zoltu said. Doing so through smart contracts means that the transaction will still be included as a failed transaction, while under this proposal it would simply be removed after expiry.

However, the proposal was only discussed on an introductory basis and no decisions have yet been made. 

Overall, these changes are being discussed primarily for inclusion in the Berlin hard fork, originally expected to come this summer. However, many proposals still need to be tested and approved, suggesting that the hard fork is still some time away.

For the time being, the Ethereum fee market will remain entirely at the mercy of surging demand.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/ethereum-devs-discuss-gas-optimizations-but-it-will-probably-be-too-little-too-late

Blockchain

NextGen Blockchain Platforms Self-Organize to Win Government Contracts

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Over the past year, blockchain development communities have turned their attention towards winning government contracts.

Washington, DC. There is a huge opportunity presented by increased government spending on blockchain projects. According to Bloomberg Government BGOV200 Report, federal government spending reached $597 Billion in 2019. However, since new businesses face barriers gaining direct access to government contracts, many have joined the Government Blockchain Association (GBA) to introduce their cutting-edge blockchain platforms to the public sector.

Traditionally government program managers choose to work with the same few legacy companies. For example, there are currently over 4.1 million US Federal government contractors but of the $597 billion in prime contracts awarded in FY19, the top 10 government contractors received $173.4 billion according to Bloomberg Government. However, the COVID-19 Global Pandemic was a catalyst that necessitated governments from around the world look at bold and innovative new ways to solve problems from a more diverse community.

 In March of 2020 the US Department of Health and Human Services hosted a virtual Pandemic Response Hackathon. This hackathon idea completely changed the former process of government acquisitions. The slow pattern of the past was rewritten to adopt to the chaos, uncertainty, and urgency of COVID. Government contracts went from a centralized channel to open and decentralized solutions coming in from completely new sources. A new way of doing business was introduced to the world stage, and in November 2020 the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), National Informatics Centre (NIC) held their own up a GovTech Hackathon. Throughout 2020, countless examples of crowdsourcing solutions contested the traditional procurement processes.

Along with new paradigms in acquisitions, 2020 brought explosive growth of decentralized development communities and platforms. Decentralized communities operate on independently run servers, rather than on a centralized server owned by a business. Initially, most blockchain solutions were private-permissioned blockchains dominated by a single vendor. One of the most popular government blockchain solutions is Hyperledger Fabric. Though it is technically an open-source project, almost 80% of software changes to Hyperledger Fabric came from IBM, demonstrating an ongoing dependence on IBM to maintain the code.

Lately, next gen blockchain solution providers have been self-organizing into working groups and communities to compete in the contracts space. The largest and most engaged of these decentralized communities is the Government Blockchain Association, with members in over 500 Government Offices, thousands of public and private sector members in 120 Chapters, and more than 50 Working Groups, and 25 Communities of Interests. They also host regular online and in-person events to introduce blockchain solution providers to government officials, promoting this new diverse community.

Some of these next gen blockchain leaders include:

  • DragonChain – DragonChain is an enterprise and start-up-ready platform to build flexible and scalable blockchain applications. It has business-ready applications and developer-friendly integrations that support many applications including learning management systems, decentralized identity, and anti-fraud and compliance solutions.
  • NEM – A community that has developed two blockchains. They are NEM NIS1 and Symbol. NEM NIS1 is the original blockchain offering from NEM, created by the community, and optimized to be a developer’s sandbox. With zero downtime or major outages since 2015, NIS1 is the blockchain you can trust for all your project needs. Symbol is the next-generation enterprise-grade blockchain solution from NEM, purpose-built to help businesses cut costs, reduce complexities, and streamline innovation. With major upgrades in flexibility, security, speed and ease of use, the Symbol platform is the best-in-class blockchain enterprise solution.
  • Simba Chain – SIMBA Chain is a cloud-based, blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, enabling users across a variety of skill sets to implement decentralized applications (dapps). These apps allow secure, direct connections between users and providers, eliminating third parties. The easy-to-use platform is tailored for users, developers, government, and enterprises to quickly deploy blockchain dapps for iOS, Android, and the web.
  • TON Labs – TON Labs is the core developer of Free TON, comprised of a decentralized team focused on developing the infrastructure and free software for TON OS. TON OS is a full-fledged, vertically integrated technology stack that helps developers work easily with the blockchain and makes it simple and intuitive for users.

Decentralized blockchain projects include the Government Business Blockchain Platform (GBBP). This multi-blockchain platform allows solutions built on any blockchain to connect and become available to governments around the world. Sub-set eco-systems include Emergency Management, Healthcare Delivery, and Citizen Services. Blockchain applications can interconnect on the GBBP, providing identity management, logistics, asset management, payments, and many other blockchain services.

These examples demonstrate how blockchain providers are working together, self-organizing into decentralized entities to build public-facing blockchain solutions. GBA groups regularly host online meetings to discuss their projects. Anyone interested in joining the discussion can find out more on the GBA Events Calendar or Events List. Later this year the GBA will be bringing World-Class Leaders to Washington, DC for Government Blockchain Week on Sept 27 to Oct 1, 2021.

For more information attend a free online event called NextGen Blockchain Platforms on March 17, 2021 or send an email to support@GBAglobal.freshdesk.com.

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Blockchain

Robinhood Reports 6 Million New Crypto Traders in 2021

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In a blog post on Feb. 26 titled “Crypto goes mainstream” the retail trading app revealed that it had seen six million new customers on Robinhood Crypto so far this year.

The number of new monthly customers buying from its crypto platform in 2021 is 15 times the 2020 average.

“By comparison, this number peaked at 401,000 in a single month last year, with a monthly average of about 200,000 customers trading on Robinhood Crypto for the first time during 2020.”

Robinhood, which had to halt trading in late January due to overwhelming demand, offers just seven tradeable crypto assets; Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin.

There are no trading size limits though it added that the average transaction size is around $500. The chart provided indicates that the average trade was around half of that at $200 to $250 for the previous year.

Retail Traders Surging

The app offers an intuitive user interface and educational articles that explain cryptocurrencies. It is targeted at newbies that may not have the technical knowledge to operate more advanced trading platforms.

It also offers zero-fee trading, but makes money on spreads between makers and takers.

The report reinforces the premise that retail has arrived after months of steady institutional investment which has pushed many high cap crypto assets including Bitcoin and Ethereum to their highest ever prices.

“The numbers are clear: 2021 has started with a crypto bang.”

In a Feb. 18 note from company CEO and co-founder, Vlad Tenev, it was revealed that the total value of customer assets on Robinhood (for all markets) exceeds the net amount of money they have deposited by over $35 billion. He added;

“While markets fluctuate, this tells me that our business model is working for everyday Americans.”

Crypto Correction Deepens

The Robinhood numbers are bullish for overall sentiment, but the crypto correction is deepening and March is usually a bearish month for markets.

Since its all-time high of $1.78 trillion on Feb. 22, total market capitalization has declined by 18% to $1.46 trillion today according to Coingecko.

Bitcoin has been leading the drop as usual with an 18.7% fall from its $58k peak last weekend to just over $47k at the time of press. Meanwhile, Ethereum has been hit even harder, retreating 27% from its ATH of over $2k to below $1,500.

Another 30% correction could be on the cards, echoing the one that occurred in early January when Bitcoin prices dropped below $30k before recovering to a new high. The bigger picture still paints a bull market.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/robinhood-reports-6-million-new-crypto-traders-in-2021/

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Blockchain

Kraken Daily Market Report for February 25 2021

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Overview


  • Total spot trading volume at $1.86 billion, near the 30-day average of $2.08 billion.
  • Total futures notional at $780.0 million.
  • The top five traded coins were, respectively, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, Cardano, and Polkadot.
  • Strong returns from Lisk (+16%), Litecoin (+11%), Synthetix (+12%), Kyber Network (+11%), and Kava (+11%).

February 25, 2021 
 $1.86B traded across all markets today
 Crypto, EUR, USD, JPY, CAD, GBP, CHF, AUD 
XBT 
$50966. 
↑2.4% 
$762.3M
ETH 
$1632.3 
↑0.19% 
$296.7M
USDT 
$1.0006 
↓0.04% 
$200.7M
ADA 
$1.1165 
↑6.3% 
$184.1M
DOT 
$34.439 
↑2.2% 
$81.3M
LTC 
$201.51 
↑11% 
$48.0M
USDC 
$1.0002 
↑0.0% 
$32.8M
LINK 
$28.183 
↑0.17% 
$27.8M
XRP 
$0.4724 
↑0.9% 
$25.2M
XDG 
$0.0548 
↓3.8% 
$20.9M
BCH 
$548.38 
↑3.9% 
$12.8M
ATOM 
$19.931 
↑1.6% 
$12.7M
FLOW 
$20.923 
↑0.6% 
$10.5M
KSM 
$247.75 
↑1.9% 
$9.43M
UNI 
$25.939 
↑2.7% 
$8.71M
ALGO 
$1.1156 
↑5.2% 
$8.13M
XLM 
$0.4195 
↑3.7% 
$7.97M
GRT 
$1.9406 
↑2.3% 
$7.9M
XTZ 
$3.7846 
↑7.1% 
$7.01M
LSK 
$3.2797 
↑16% 
$5.94M
XMR 
$212.06 
↑3.4% 
$5.39M
AAVE 
$379.16 
↑3.1% 
$4.4M
DAI 
$1.0013 
↓0.02% 
$4.22M
TRX 
$0.0495 
↑3.4% 
$4.18M
EOS 
$4.0613 
↑4.6% 
$4.06M
DASH 
$241.44 
↑1.6% 
$3.81M
SNX 
$21.426 
↑12% 
$3.64M
ICX 
$1.7554 
↑4.4% 
$3.14M
QTUM 
$5.6487 
↑6.4% 
$3.13M
NANO 
$5.9207 
↑2.0% 
$2.97M
WAVES 
$10.571 
↑7.5% 
$2.67M
FIL 
$36.790 
↑0.5% 
$2.62M
ZEC 
$137.80 
↑5.2% 
$2.48M
YFI 
$34949. 
↑3.3% 
$2.13M
BAT 
$0.5247 
↑2.1% 
$2.03M
SC 
$0.0110 
↑1.7% 
$2.02M
OMG 
$4.9844 
↑5.3% 
$1.84M
OXT 
$0.5219 
↑2.9% 
$1.8M
MANA 
$0.2640 
↑6.8% 
$1.77M
KAVA 
$3.7938 
↑11% 
$1.24M
COMP 
$447.99 
↑2.5% 
$1.19M
KNC 
$1.8100 
↑11% 
$1.0M
ETC 
$11.998 
↑1.0% 
$927K
PAXG 
$1786.2 
↓1.3% 
$845K
REP 
$35.801 
↑8.3% 
$840K
KEEP 
$0.3718 
↑7.3% 
$838K
CRV 
$2.2404 
↑3.9% 
$629K
ANT 
$4.6311 
↓2.3% 
$546K
GNO 
$141.87 
↑5.5% 
$436K
STORJ 
$0.6493 
↑9.3% 
$412K
BAL 
$39.290 
↑1.9% 
$345K
REPV2 
$28.291 
↑11% 
$305K
MLN 
$40.612 
↑3.0% 
$277K
TBTC 
$53227. 
↑0.9% 
$85.0K


#####################. Trading Volume by Asset. ##########################################

Trading Volume by Asset


The figures below break down the trading volume of the largest, mid-size, and smallest assets. Cryptos are in purple, fiats are in blue. For each asset, the chart contains the daily trading volume in USD, and the percentage of the total trading volume. The percentages for fiats and cryptos are treated separately, so that they both add up to 100%.

Figure 1: Largest trading assets: trading volume (measured in USD) and its percentage of the total trading volume (February 25 2021)

Figure 2: Mid-size trading assets: (measured in USD) (February 25 2021)

Figure 3: Smallest trading assets: (measured in USD) (February 25 2021)


#####################. Spread %. ##########################################

Spread %


Spread percentage is the width of the bid/ask spread divided by the bid/ask midpoint. The values are generated by taking the median spread percentage over each minute, then the average of the medians over the day.

Figure 4: Average spread % by pair (February 25 2021)



.


#########. Returns and Volume ############################################

Returns and Volume


Figure 5: Returns of the four highest volume pairs (February 25 2021)


Figure 6: Volume of the major currencies and an average line that fits the data to a sinusoidal curve to show the daily volume highs and lows (February 25 2021)



###########. Daily Returns. #################################################

Daily Returns %


Figure 7: Returns over USD and XBT. Relative volume and return size is indicated by the size of the font. (February 25 2021)



###########. Disclaimer #################################################

The values generated in this report are from public market data distributed from Kraken WebSockets api. The total volumes and returns are calculated over the reporting day using UTC time.

Source: https://blog.kraken.com/post/8057/kraken-daily-market-report-for-february-25-2021/

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