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ChainLink launches Mainnet to get data in and out of Ethereum smart contracts

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Blockchain may be one of the most promising technologies today, but that may just as well be the reason why there’s also a lot of FUD around it. Speculation and crypto-winter aside, however, there’s a number of technology issues to address before blockchains can get real, and data access is prominent among them.
In a nutshell, blockchains are not very efficient as a data storage and retrieval mechanism. This is why people have been experimenting with various approaches to use blockchains as a database, including altering its structure.
Regardless of how successful these turn out to be, however, one thing is certain: Most of the world’s data today does not live on a blockchain. The vast majority of application data live in some database, and some of that data may be accessed via APIs.
How, and why, would the world of databases and APIs talk to the world of blockchain? Enter ChainLink.
Smart contracts and the connectivity problem
You may have heard about smart contracts. You can think of smart contracts as programs that execute exactly as they are set up to by their creators on the Ethereum blockchain. Smart contracts enhance Ethereum with the ability to execute tamper-proof code, in addition to storing tamper-proof data, turning it to a "world computer."
Together, smart contracts and data form the building blocks for decentralized applications (Dapps) and even whole decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). There is a programming language (Solidity) used to develop smart contracts, as well as a development framework (Truffle) that can be used to build smart contract applications.
Despite the fact that this is still not a 100% mature stack, people are using it to develop Dapps and DAOs. Smart contracts can interact with each other, and they can also store and retrieve data on the blockchain. But what happens when they need to interact with the outside world, and retrieve (or store) data from/to databases or APIs?

The Smart Contract Connectivity Problem, as ChainLink defined it, is the inability of a smart contract to interact with any external data feed or other resource that is run outside the node network in which the smart contract itself is executed.
This lack of external connectivity is inherent to all smart contract networks, due to the method by which consensus is reached around blockchain transactions, and will therefore be an ongoing problem for all smart contract networks.
ChainLink, co-founded by CEO Sergey Nazarov and CTO Steve Ellis, aims to solve this problem by developing a so-called oracle, officially launching today. ZDNet connected with the ChainLink team to discuss what this is all about.
ChainLink, the blockchain oracle
An oracle is a gateway between a blockchain and the real world. Oracles can get data off the blockchain and pass it on to smart contracts. The problem with this, of course, is that oracles introduce the need for centralization and trust in the decentralized, trust-less world of blockchains.
ChainLink’s whitepaper, published in 2017, tries to address this on the technical level. Part of ChainLink’s implementation runs on-chain and part off-chain. There are provisions for Service Level Agreements (SLAs), mechanisms for data source selection, result aggregation, and reporting.
There is an API data providers can use to feed their data in ChainLink’s oracle. There are also decentralization approaches and security services outlined, to ensure that ChainLink is robust and secure. One of the things we inquired about was how close today’s launch is to the vision outlined in the ChainLink whitepaper [PDF].
The smart contract connectivity problem: how do smart contracts interoperate with data and APIs beyond the blockchain? Image: ChainLink
The ChainLink team noted that the initial launch is focused on allowing smart contracts to retrieve external data from ChainLink nodes based on the number of individual requests they create. While this is an essential first step, it does not fully implement all of the features discussed in the white paper. ChainLink believes that’s a process that can and should be gradually upgraded as development progresses.
In order to assist smart contract creators today, they went on to add, ChainLink provides documentation and contract examples on how to create requests to multiple oracles and aggregate responses. The Service Agreement Protocol, currently in development, will allow a requester to define parameters for their requests in a setup step, such that a single request can receive responses from multiple oracles.
In other words, there is a certain degree of technical forethought that has been built into this, although it’s not fully implemented yet. Part of it is there to ensure the oracle is resilient (i.e. it does not crash under heavy load), and part of it to ensure it’s decentralized (i.e. there’s no single point of failure/arbiter of the truth).
Building an ecosystem
ChainLink is launching with three endorsed oracles, including its own. The other teams are Fiews and LinkPool. These teams have been running a ChainLink node on the Ethereum test networks for around a year, and have assisted with the development of the ChainLink node. ChainLink noted they will also have an on-boarding process for endorsed ChainLink nodes to be listed in official documentation.
Other third parties are able to run ChainLink nodes themselves, as ChainLink code is open source. Third parties may use other listing services (currently in development) in order to receive requests from smart contracts.
Any service provider can use ChainLink oracles for their smart contracts. If someone wants to use their own data for their smart contracts, they are free to connect to their own data source. Furthermore, the ChainLink team added, this depends on your perspective:
ChainLink is not just providing the infrastructure to help the development of smart contracts, but also building an ecosystem around this itself. Image: ChainLink
"As a data provider, how do I sell my data to smart contracts? The answer is to create an external adapter for my API, run a ChainLink node, and allow smart contracts to create requests to my oracle. As a general node operator, how do I sell data for X API? They would either need to create an external adapter themselves, which may not be viable if they’re not a developer (which is not a requirement), or they can find an open source implementation of an external adapter for the API they’re wanting to provide. We’ve built the ChainLink node to be modular by-design, so external adapters can easily be added by node operators to extend the functionality of their node without needing to know how to write programs."
The ChainLink ecosystem, today and tomorrow
Part of the value ChainLink brings is by providing the infrastructure for anyone to run an oracle, and part of it comes from its own oracle and ecosystem. There have been various names flying around, including a proof of concept project with SHIFT, and alleged "white label" partners such as Salesforce and Microsoft Azure.
The SHIFT proof of concept pulled interest rates from five banks (Barclays, BNP Paribas, Fidelity, Societe Generale, and Santander) and fed the data into a smart contract, which was used to make a payment that translated into a SWIFT payment message.
ChainLink clarified there are three types of projects that the ecosystem: Data providers, platforms/blockchains, and projects that use ChainLink oracles. Although ChainLink refrained from pointing to a comprehensive list, they pointed to a Decrypt article which mentions many collaborators and projects. There is a lot of speculation in the industry, they added, and they only confirm when official.
ChainLink provides more than the technical infrastructure here — they also provide an instance of this infrastructure, with vetted data providers onboarded. ChainLink emphasized that they work with top data partners for officially created adapters such as crypto price data, supply chain, etc.
Essentially, there are two layers of selection there: One on the oracle network, and one within each oracle. Users can choose which oracle(s) to use in the oracle network, and oracle nodes can choose which external services to connect to.
This also poses some interesting technical challenges. Essentially, oracles will act as data hubs, with data flowing in and out of them. How will the different data providers and data streams be cataloged, integrated, and managed? And what about issues related to data freshness, correctness, and performance?
Data selection and schema matching
ChainLink currently operates with a schema system based on JSON Schema, to specify what inputs each adapter needs and how they should be formatted. Similarly, adapters specify an output schema to describe the format of each subtask’s output.
Schema management at scale with data coming from various domains and sources is a sufficiently researched and documented topic, but that does not make it easy to deal with in practice. Especially when using JSON Schema, which is not the most advanced solution when it comes to schema management.
ChainLink has been used in a proof of concept to clear payments with SHIFT and global banks. Image: ChainLink
So what happens when there is no sufficient metadata on the data flowing through ChainLink? Not to mention, even sufficient metadata can be erroneous / misleading. What happens if i connect a data provider and claim it’s about topic A, but others say it really is about topic B, or C, or D and E? ChainLink says this is where decentralization plays a key role in the oracle problem:
"Just like how smart contracts are secure because they’re ran on multiple machines (blockchain nodes), you can secure the inputs to your smart contracts by having that input retrieved by multiple ChainLink nodes. So if you’re a requester, and you want data from a particular API DPA, you define how many ChainLink nodes you want to retrieve that data. To further decentralize your inputs, and if there are additional data providers with the same topic of data, you could have additional ChainLink nodes retrieve from another API DPB to assist with validation."
However, we would argue that while that does indeed address the topic of data source selection, it does not address that of schema matching: The terms used to describe what DPA and DPB is about could be different, and yet their data could be about the same thing. Based on JSON Schema, without a mechanism to align the metadata in place, nobody would ever know.
Data flow
From a data architecture perspective, ChainLink looks like a data hub through which data will flow transiently. However, a published list of use cases, interacting with databases and data in the cloud is mentioned.
We wondered whether there are implementations of such use cases to show for today. Plus, if this takes off, the amount of data flowing through ChainLink will be considerable. Would ChainLink consider storing any of that data in the oracle, for example for caching?
ChainLink’s view is that they like to think of it as an on-chain protocol that allows smart contracts and node operators to work with one another in a trust-minimized way:
The ChainLink oracle acts as a data hub, enabling data source selection on 2 levels: oracle and external data sources. Image: ChainLink
"This means that any endpoint that a node operator can access can be used by a smart contract through our protocol. We have a number of working implementations that give smart contracts the ability to retrieve data from authenticated data sources. Storing or caching data within the oracle is not currently a consideration since there are a number of security concerns associated with that. Data providers already have the facilities to store data long-term, and have the history and reliability of providing that data."
And what about the other way round? If a smart contract wants to send data to an external source, rather than store it on the blockchain, can ChainLink do this?
A ChainLink node can relay information from a smart contract to an external source. However, this would introduce an array of issues, as storing data in an external system means the tamper-proof aspect of data storage on the blockchain no longer applies.
So how will development for smart contracts on ChainLink look like? Does it come down to writing Solidity — which is not the easiest thing in the world for most people? Currently smart contracts create their requests from on-chain, and that request is picked up by the ChainLink node.
In the near future, ChainLink said, they will allow for requests to be initiated from off-chain services directly to a ChainLink node. This allows for requests to be created faster than the typical block time of the Ethereum network.
It also opens the door for faster blockchains to receive data at their native speed. ChainLink nodes can already query data on other blockchains with external adapters, the only caveat is a requester would need to use a ChainLink node with connectivity to that blockchain.
All in all, this is a much welcome development for smart contracts, Ethereum, and blockchain at large. It means the next step in the evolution of this ecosystem is now possible.
Granted, not everything is rosy, and smart contract and oracle development is bound to hit some of the same issues tantalizing software development and data management for decades. Hopefully known solutions to those issues can eventually be applied to foster the growth of this ecosystem, too.
Blockchain may be one of the most promising technologies today, but that may just as well be the reason why […]
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Co je Ethereum, jak funguje a jak koupit Ether

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Ve stínu Bitcoinu – Ethereum
Pod pojmem kryptoměna si laická veřejnost obvykle představí jediné – Bitcoin. Svět blockchainu je ale mnohem rozmanitější a najdeme v něm celou řadu zajímavých projektů. Některé z nich se významněji do dějin nezapsaly a upadly v zapomnění, jiné naopak v čase obstály a neustále se rozvíjejí. Do druhé skupiny můžeme s klidným svědomím zařadit i krypto číslo dvě – Ethereum a jeho měnu Ether.

Právě současnou dvojkou co do kapitalizace začneme nový seriál věnovaný světu altcoinů. Určený je hlavně nováčkům, kteří se dosud s kryptosvětem potkali pouze na novinových portálech. Zajímavé informace ale možná naleznou i zkušení a protřelí uživatelé a investoři. Souputníci věhlasného Bitcoinu se totiž mnohdy netají obrovskými ambicemi. Otázkou je, zda se jim je kdy podaří naplnit.
Podobný, přesto úplně jiný
Když v roce 2013 představil tehdy 19letý Vitalik Buterin decentralizovanou platformu pro tvorbu a provoz aplikací, vyvolal tím mohutnou vlnu nadšení. Během několika měsíců se tomuto ICO (Initial Coin Offering) podařilo nashromáždit dostatek zdrojů pro dokončení vývoje a spuštění systému. Principiálně se od svého staršího sourozence, Bitcoinu, příliš neliší. Stejně jako on vychází ze systému decentralizovaného blockchainu.

Stačí ovšem druhý pohled, aby vám bylo jasné, že rozdílů mezi oběma platformami existuje celá řada. Bitcoin představuje jedinou aplikaci navrženou pro provádění decentralizovaných plateb, jeho hlavní hodnota spočívá v roli směnného prostředku a uchovatele hodnot. Zato Ethereum představuje samostatnou platformu pro vytváření nových decentralizovaných aplikací fungujících jako alternativa komerčních programů. Měna – Ether, představuje jen jeden z mnoha produktů fungujících na systému tzv. chytrých kontraktů.
Skutečně chytré kontrakty
Možná se teď ptáte, co si vlastně pod pojmem chytrý kontrakt – smart contract představit? Princip je jednoduchý – jedná se o kód určující směnu peněz, obsahu, majetku, podílů a dalších cenných komodit. Potřebné informace se zapíšou do blockchainu a k realizaci daného příkazu dojde v momentě, kdy jsou naplněna předem stanovená kritéria. Všechny kroky jsou využívají kryptografii a jsou prováděny prostřednictvím decentralizované sítě. Transakce se stává platnou momentem zapsání jejího výsledku do blockchainu.

Hlavní devíza systému chytrých kontraktů spočívá v její univerzálnosti. V prostředí etheru můžete vytvořit jakoukoliv situaci, v níž dvě strany uzavřou transakci. A nejedná se jen o finance – k interakci dvou a více stran přeci dochází i během voleb, vzájemné komunikaci nebo dojednávání služeb. Stačí jen vytvořit odpovídající kód a stanovit podmínky…
Bez Etheru by to nešlo
V čem tedy spočívá role onoho tokenu zvaného Ether? K tomu, aby mohly být chytré kontrakty realizovány, je zapotřebí výpočetního výkonu. Kdo by ale dával své cenné výkonné jednotky všanc, aniž by za to dostal odpovídající kompenzaci. V tento moment vstupuje do hry Ether označovaný jako palivo. Právě ten slouží pro uhrazení výpočetního výkonu zprostředkovaného těžaři při provedení chytrého kontraktu. Označení palivo není úplně přesné, neboť nedochází k jeho zániku.

Systém těžby Etheru je tak velmi podobný jako u Bitcoinu s jedním podstatným rozdílem – neexistuje žádný strop v podobně maximálního množství vytěžených coinů. Stejně tak nedochází k žádnému snižování intenzity těžby, na její rychlost ovšem mají vliv proběhlá rozštěpení a vznik nových měn na základě stejného blockchainu.

Ether si v průběhu posledních let vybudoval na trzích silnou pozici. Vedle Bitcoinu se jedná o nejvíce obchodovanou měnu, kterou lze navíc zakoupit i za fiat (zákonné) peníze. Kurz se v současné době (konec května 2019) pohybuje okolo 280 USD/ETH.
Jak a kde koupit Ethereum – Ether
K zakoupení a uchování Etherea budete určitě potřebovat vhodnou peněženku, stejně jako u ostatních kryptoměn. Z pohledu jednoduchosti instalace a nakládání s ETH jsou vhodné mobilní peněženky – aplikace na Android a iOS, jako je např. Coinomi (která navíc umožňuje ukládání desítek dalších kryptoměn a funguje i jako desktop verze).

Z pohledu bezpečnosti rozhodně doporučujeme pořízení hardwarové peněženky, v případě ETH je nejvhodnější Trezor, o tom, jak funguje si můžete přečíst v této Trezor recenzi. V Trezoru jsou uchovány privátní klíče od ETH, transakce samotné pak probíhají v peněžence MyEtherWallet, která s Trezorem při těchto transakcích kooperuje.

Pokud jde o samotný nákup a prodej Etherea, při menších částkách lze využít online směnáren, které v ČR představují 2 nejznámější – tradiční Simplecoin a WBTCB se službou BitcoinBanking, případně lze koupit ETH také v některých bitcoinových bankomatech za hotovost.

Při větších částkách, nebo pravidelném obchodování se už vyplatí zaregistrovat se na kryptoměnové burzy, z pohledu uživatele, jednoduchosti a bezpečnosti lze doporučit např. Coinmate, budete-li se zaměřovat na likviditu a rychlé obchody, tak dnes asi největší krypto burza Binance.
Možnosti a výhody Etherea
V čem tedy spočívají praktické výhody ETH, a jak je možné, že si dlouhodobě udržuje pozici dvojky na kryptotrhu? Decentralizovaná síť počítačů totiž skýtá hned několika podstatných výhod stojících v pozadí obrovského úspěchu této měny:

Jednoduchost – tvorba chytrého kontraktu je maximálně jednoduchá a nevyžaduje žádné specifické vzdělání
Univerzálnost – Ať se jedná o hry, srovnávače nebo transakční systémy, vytvořit lze cokoliv a vše si udržuje naprosto decentralizovaný a anonymní charakter
Možnost úprav – platformu lze upravovat podle libosti, přizpůsobuje se současným pohybům a potřebám trhu
Necenzurovatelnost – žádný nápad ani design není předem zavržený a je možné jej realizovat

K těmto základním myšlenkám stanoveným již v tzv. White Paper můžeme směle připočíst čtyři další významná pozitiva typická pro Ethereum:

Imunita vůči pokusům třetí strany o provádění změn
Absence jakékoliv cenzury
Široká ochrana proti únikům dat a hackům
Omezená možnost výpadků či dokonce vypnutí služeb

S rychlostí zatím moc nepočítejte
Již ze základních pilířů, na nichž technologie ETH stojí je patrné, že kromě velkých pozitiv bude existovat i pěkná řádka záporných aspektů. Kvůli specifickému systému tvorby kontraktů nelze počítat s kdovíjak výraznou rychlostí. Jednou vytvořené kontrakty již nelze měnit, ačkoliv by se to mohlo zpočátku zdát jako dobrý nápad. Počkejte však, dokud ve svém systému nenaleznete chybu, s níž už nepůjde nic udělat…

Některým rovněž nemusí být po chuti neustálé změny způsobené aktualizacemi a implementací nových systémů. Neopomeňte je proto aktivně sledovat a adekvátně reagovat na proběhlé změny. Nezapomeňte si též dát dobrý pozor při tvorbě kontraktů, jelikož není samospasitelný. V některých případech se zkrátka existence případné třetí strany, i přes ztrátu anonymity, může velmi hodit.
Aplikace, to je oč tu běží
Na řádcích výše jsme zmiňovali, že Ethereum ztělesňuje lákavou platformu pro všechny potenciální tvůrce decentralizovaných aplikací. Jeho ambicí je stát se protiváhou velkých technologických gigantů, kteří nezřídka zprostředkují citlivé údaje svých klientů třetím stranám. Toho se bát nemusíte, neboť celý svět kryptoměn je postaven na snaze o maximální decentralizaci a anonymitu.

V současné době existuje více než 2 600 DApps, aplikací fungujících na platformě Ethereum. Za zmínku stojí hned několik z nich, které dokonce představují zajímavou náhradu běžně používaných systémů třetích stran:

EtherTweet – necenzurovaný komunikační kanál, umožňující aktivní komunikaci mezi uživateli
Gnosis – prognostický predikční market – platforma pro předpovědi výsledků voleb, počasí nebo vývoj ekonomiky
TenX – možnost propojení se zákonnou měnou a rozšíření platebních možností Etheru při současném zachování anonymity, platební karta
EthLance – pracovní platforma pro freelancery, kterým je za jejich služby placeno v měně Ether
Coakt – startupová platforma usnadňující crowdfunding začínajících projektů

Zdá se vám, že se nejedná o nic nového? Ve většině případů mezi DApps nenaleznete nic revolučního, nic, co by již nebylo vymyšleno obrovskými technologickými koncerny. Hlavní rozdíl spočívá v decentralizovaném charakteru těchto aplikací plně zachovávajících intimní data a anonymitu jednotlivých účastníků. A v případě systému pracujících s financemi potom zásadním způsobem omezují riziko zpronevěry.
Ethereum a rozštěpení – hard forky
Stejně jako Bitcoin, i Ethereum prošlo za dobu své existence rozštěpením. Komunita se nedokázala roku 2016 shodnout na dalším postupu během skandálu s projektem DAO. Ten získal komunitním financováním více než 150 milionů dolarů, jenže neznámému útočníkovi se podařilo odcizit Ether v hodnotě více než 50 milionů. Hrozilo tak, že statisíce investorů, kteří vložili své peníze a důvěru do projektu zůstanou bez jakékoliv kompenzace.

Členové komunity se rozhodli získat ztracené zdroje provedením hard forku, který by odcizené peníze přesunul do nového kontraktu. Oklamaní investoři tak měli možnost své finance získat zpět. Celá řada aktivních členů komunity se ovšem postavila proti, neboť tvůrci platformy Etheruem tímto vytvořili nebezpečný precends. Hlavní argument směroval na fakt, že nelze měnit pravidla hry a anonymitu kdykoliv dojde k přesunu velkého množství peněz či jejich ztrátě. Tvůrci tak stáli před dvěma možnostmi – vrátit investorům peníze, nebo trvat na principech stojících za samotnou platformou?

Velká většina hlasujících nakonec rozhodla pro první možnost a finanční prostředky byly oklamaným investorům navráceny. Jelikož s tímto rozhodnutím nesouhlasili všichni, došlo k rozštěpení komunity na dvě části a vzniku nového systému – Ethereum Classic. Oba blockchainy si zachovávají stejnou historii až do doby, kdy došlo k odštěpení. Od tohoto okamžiku začal jejich samostatný vývoj.
Jak vypadá budoucnost a cena Etherea?
Zvažujete investici do kryptoměn, a právě Ether upoutal vaši pozornost? Lákají vás bombastická tvrzení některých osobností předpovídajících milionové hodnoty?  Nebo vás naopak vyděsily katastrofické scénáře předpovídající úpadek platformy? Pravda je jako vždycky někde uprostřed.

Ethereum se za dobu své existence stalo natolik etablovanou platformou, že jeho zánik je v nejbližší budoucnosti s velkou mírou pravděpodobnosti vyloučen. Oznámení a představení projektů cílených na zrychlení a zvýšení počtu prováděných transakcí (Proof-of-Stake, Raiden) nebo snížení požadovaného výpočetního výkonu pro jejich realizaci (Plasma, Sharding) přibývá a především se na nich opravdu pracuje a postupně dochází k jejich realizaci.

Potenciální investory samozřejmě zajímá zejména cena. Zde vám příliš neporadíme, neboť volatilita všech kryptoměn je natolik výrazná, že k překreslení cenových map dochází prakticky každý den. Ethereum je navíc stejně jako ostatní altcoiny hluboce svázán s pohybem Bitcoinu. Vzhledem k oznámeným novinkám a neustálému rozvoji kryptoměn a jejich implementaci do standardních platebních systémů ale někteří experti očekávají růst, který může během několika let překonat i hranici 1 000 USD/ETH (bez záruky 🙂

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Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC) Communities See a Unified Future Despite Past Split

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In a classic rivalry story, the tale of the two Ethereums is well known. In June 2016, about $50 million USD worth of Ether was stolen from various accounts.
It used certain vulnerabilities that had been raised in a research paper, just a month prior, that discussed a list of security concerns with the system. As a countermeasure, the Ethereum community voted in July to implement a hard fork in the Ethereum code.
This would move the Ether taken away to a new smart contract and would subsequently be restored to the original owners. The only problem, as some members pointed out, is that it violates the principle of immutability, the blockchain cannot be altered. Thus some in the community continued to use the unforked version, the Ethereum Classic.
These seeds of a dispute between the second and sixteenth largest cryptocurrency, stemming from the above mentioned DAO hack has ensured ongoing tensions in the crypto verse. The separate Ethereum networks have stayed mostly aloof of the other, apart from the occasional snide remark. However, recent comments and actions seem to suggest that this might be coming to a long-awaited end.
Ethereum Foundation recently made a comment: “The divorce was bitter, the narcissism of small differences will continue to raise its head within our two communities. But deep down, the ETC community will always be a part of us by both history and vision.”
This was in reaction to the news that the Ethereum foundation had discovered about 15000 ETC in a cold wallet. Of all the things they could have done, they chose the high moral ground. The platform announced that they will be donating all of the 15,000 ETC to their Ethereum Classic Cooperative counterparts.
The foundation feels it is time to move on and begin the healing process. To this end, investing in ETC will ensure the maintenance of a long-term positive-sum relationship. In addition, the Ethereum foundation acknowledged that the move could unite both the platforms or at least help “to bury the hatchet” to a certain degree.
The hope is that this will create an opportunity, to see the shared vision and technology that exists between these once unitary communities. Thus help foster the understanding that having a positive working relationship is in both their mutual interests.
This donation, according to sources is also because the Ethereum Foundation also implicitly acknowledges that Ethereum Classic has some quality engineering. Some of the new and exciting projects that are on the horizon such as SputnikVM and the Emerald Platform are of particular interest. SputnikVM is a more efficient virtual machine for a multitude of Ethereum-based blockchains. While the Emerald Platform allows developers to create tools for Decentralizes apps.
While the intentions seem genuine, however, it remains to be seen if this nascent step to reintegration is reciprocated or rebuffed. Any effort by the communities to collaborate will only help towards a better ecosystem. With the established power of ETH and the intriguing projects in ETCs pipeline, it will be interesting to see how this story pans out.
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Aragon Launches on Ethereum Mainnet: Killer Application of DAOs

Click here to view original web page at www.newsbtc.comAragon version 0.6 is now live on the Ethereum mainnet and the release comes seven months after the company announced Aragon version 0.5.
The release is considered a major milestone for Aragon, a blockchain startup that managed to raise €25 million in under 1.5 minutes during their ICO.
Aragon is a tool, that allows entrepreneurs, blockchain communities and developers to create and manage DAOs. But, unlike previous Ethereum tools, the open source tools of Aragon are more advanced and enable the management of more robust organizations.
More about Aragon DAOs
The idea of DAOs is to create autonomous organizations without any form of hierarchical management by running hard coded rules on top of blockchain platforms. To this end, a DAO is simply a complex set of smart contracts where the by-laws and token governance rules of the organization are embedded into the smart contract. Autonomous organizations are virtual, efficient but still allow for human collaboration while by-passing controlling legal systems. All transactions are executed on the underlying blockchain through smart contracts.
With the launch of Aragon 0.6, Alba, more robust DAOs can be created on the Ethereum mainnet with minimum fuss. Several Aragon organizations such as the company’s Survey App and DAppNode, have been running on the Ethereum mainnet in the last six months without facing any security or technical glitch.
The Benefits of Aragon DAO
This mainnet launch ushers in a period of improved human collaboration where entrepreneurs get access to greater features and interact with the ecosystem with improved user interface. Aside from the features, Aragon organizations enable seamless collaboration between investors as venture capital firms or community members plugging into the Aragon organizations have a common user interface to cooperate.
Developers desirous of creating governable applications can quickly make use of Aragon’s tested permission and proxying setups via AragonOS which provides a robust API for Aragon DAO integration. To avoid security lapses, AragonOS has been audited and is currently in version 4.
Aragon merges all features of a traditional company including voting, governance, administration and even identity. For full functionality, Aragon is made up of a card-based voting system for collaboration, a token manager allowing for membership and organization ownership and a transparent finance option enabling Aragon DAOs to own assets. Apart from the upgraded user interface, permissions infuse dynamism and allows for creation of customizable organizations.
Momentum is picking up and Space Decentral, a decentralized platform for devising and funding the next-generation space initiatives while linking scientists, astronauts and engineers, is using Aragon.
The Successful ICO and Set of Users
After a successful ICO back in July 2017 when they sold 70 percent of all their ANT tokens, Luis Cuende believe that three main users will begin using Aragon:
The first people that will interact with Aragon is blockchain projects that will use the platform to govern their products, we already have many in line, waiting to start using it. The second wave of users will be open-source projects, where people can contribute to open-source projects and pay/reward with tokens of the project to get governance over the product being built. Until now, monetization of open-source has been hard, we hope to change that.The third wave will be distributed companies that can for example easily pay their employees in the Ethereum tokens.
Even as companies begin creating DAOs, Aragon Foundation is encouraging users not to store large amounts of fund for security reasons. A bug bounty program is in progress.
Tags: Aragon, DAO, ethereum
The release is considered a major milestone […]
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Aragon Project (ANT Token) dApp Officially Goes Live On Ethereum Mainnet

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The open source project, Aragon, which is under the Aragon Foundation, went live on the mainnet after the O.6 update. The project is running on the aragonOS V 4. The company revealed this in a blog post on October 30, 2018.
Decentralized organizations just got real, Aragon 0.6 is now live on Mainnet! Using Aragon 0.6, named Alba, you can now create Aragon organizations on the #Ethereum Mainnet. This is a new era for human collaboration and #DAOs. — Aragon (@AragonProject) October 30, 2018
Aragon 0.6
This update was made just after the company released Aragon 0.5 seven months ago. Aragon is a decentralized autonomous organization that offers neutral jurisdiction to those who wish to create their organization using blockchain technology.
Since Aragon 0.5 was released in 2017, there have been more than 2500 organizations created. In all versions of Aragon, there have been over 15,000 organizations created. Despite the many organizations created, all of them were still on the testnet. Thus, they had no real-world use.
Aragon 0.6 or Alba will make it possible to create organizations on the mainnet of Ethereum. This new update will make it possible to create a new breed of organizations.
Details Of The Update
According to the blog post made by the company, the framework that powers all organizations on Aragon; aragonOS is now in V4. The smart contracts have been audited several times and they will be launched soon.
In the last six months, the organizations have been on the mainnet and DAppNode has been powered by aragonPM during that time, which is a DAO. While tests reveal that there are no major bugs in the system, the company will run a bug bounty on the mainnet. This will help eliminate any unforeseen risks.
The practical implication for users is that the company upgraded its building blocks. For instance, things such as voting, finance, token manager, and many others have received a fine-tuning to ensure that the user experience improves a great deal.
The Most Important Upgrade
A significant part of the updates is the permissions. Aragon decided to add permissions since they are a powerful tool for customization. They make it possible to control who can gain access to various resources in the organization and how they can use them. With permissions, it is possible to implement a unique governance process for each organization.
The voting system has also been overhauled. It is now a card-based interface, which makes it possible for users to see all the votes with just one click. This is supposed to encourage more engagement within the community, according to the company.
The company says that aragonOS 4 is the most stable and secure method for developing smart contracts. However, it is worth noting that it is untested. Hackers may take advantage of a flaw they missed to steal funds. Thus, Aragon has warned people not to place huge amounts of money in the Aragon 6.0.
They are encouraging people to wait for the bounty program to yield results. This way, they can confirm that there is no risk to anyone. However, they have done extensive audits and are sure there are no bugs. If it becomes necessary, one may deposit huge amounts of funds and hope there is no leak.

While We Talk Diversity In Blockchain, CryptoChicks Are Doing The Work

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Ethereum might offer the opportunity to change the distribution of power, but that requires including the people most disenfranchised by existing structures, and try as we might, we haven’t been great at it. Maybe it’s time to talk less about hearts and minds and more about money.
There’s been a lot of dialogue this week at Devcon about the potential for blockchain technology, and Ethereum specifically, to (r)evolutionize social, political, and economic structures to create a more inclusive and equitable society. This can be partially credited to this year’s agenda, which includes a Society and Systems track with daily panels, workshops, and talks about the implications and potential for the technology and community.
But it’s more than just the daily Devcon schedule. These concerns permeate the social fabric of the Ethereum community and have dominated the conversation at many events surrounding the conference.
On Monday, at the Ethereum Magician’s Council of Prague, Magicians came together to organize around a whole host of technological and social initiatives, including specific EIPs, network security, user experience, localized and remote hackathons, and education and onboarding for users and hackers. Across this broad range of topics, Magicians continually emphasized the need for increased diversity and inclusion – and discussed strategies to these ends.
In the Education ring, we discussed strategies for onboarding developers and users. The general sentiment was that blockchain technology is really hard to explain to people. How do you get people to care about something so esoteric? It was generally agreed that people are best reached through their hearts and minds – that if people just understand the values Ethereum (both the technology and the people) represents, and if they can conceptualize what the technology might actually do for them, then they might join the Ethereum community.
There’s this commonly held belief that blockchain technology can empower the disenfranchised. It can bank the unbanked, and unbank the banked. It can act as a tool of free speech and censorship resistance. For entrepreneurs whose home country lacks solid financial or government infrastructure – or whose government and financial institutions are hostile to them – DAOs offer the opportunity to grow their own business.
But how do you onboard them, and why do so few people seem to care?
Money Is a Great Motivator
At an after-event on Day 0 of Devcon called Open Hearts & Open Minds, I had the opportunity to speak with a team from CryptoChicks, including its founder Elena Sinelnikova, co-founder Natalia Ameline (yes, that’s Vitalik’s mom), CryptoChicks’ Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies Education for Kids program co-founder Nataliya Hearn, and board member and event organizer Tracy Leparulo.
Founded by Ameline and Sinelnikova in 2017, CryptoChicks is dedicated to educating women in blockchain technology. As a woman at Devcon, the need for such efforts is oppressively obvious. I haven’t done the numbers, but I think this photo I snapped on Day 0 is illustrative of my point.
Men at Devcon
And CryptoChicks has been surprisingly successful at getting women on board. It’s a relatively new organization, but it has already facilitated at least two hackathons, one in Toronto and the other in New York, with 70 and 200 female hackers, respectively. But it isn’t just the United States and Canada; it’s truly an international organization with projects and events in Russia, Pakistan, the Bahamas, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic – and it organizes major hackathon events sponsored by technological and financial powerhouses like the Royal Bank of Canada, Deloitte, Microsoft, and IBM. It has also expanded its education efforts to include children, working with private and charter schools in the US and Canada.
CryptoChicks’ basic strategy is to approach a given institution – a bank, school, or membership-based coding organization – and offer to provide education in blockchain technology to their female employees or members. Then CryptoChicks organizes a hackathon where the women can compete to create the best blockchain-based system or app or produce a related business plan. The organization also includes representatives from blockchain projects to teach these classes, and companies interested in hiring developers.
Having been surrounded at Devcon by conversations about user narratives and selling people on values, as well as having a background in literature and rhetoric, I came to the conversation wanting to know, "What story are you telling these women to get them to participate? How do you get people to care?"
To these questions, the team responded that their programs are mutually beneficial for both the women receiving education in blockchain, and for the companies who pay for it. They told me that companies will help fund these events because they already want more diversified workplaces, and have a hard time finding women who are educated in how to code for blockchains. CryptoChicks provides a way for those companies to invest in the team they already have and trust, and to promote internally.
Similarly, CryptoChicks also works with blockchain companies who want to hire more women, or just developers generally, and in exchange for their lessons in coding and running a blockchain business, CryptoChicks provides these potential employers with the women’s resumes and the opportunity to gauge the strength of their skills at the hackathons. Doubly beneficial to blockchain companies, they can teach the women how to code for their specific blockchain. In short, companies are happy to pay for these education opportunities because there is a shortage of skilled developers in the space, and there is already a hunger for more workplace diversity. For the companies, institutions, and groups funding these programs, it is an investment in their product or company.
For the women receiving the education, it’s a free opportunity to learn and potentially make a lot more money. It’s pretty simple. There’s not much selling or storytelling involved. CryptoChicks does not need to sell anyone with high values or inspirational stories. The interest is already there.
Financial opportunity seems to be the selling point for CryptoChicks, straight up. And that’s not a bad thing. It took me a while to understand this, though now it seems rather obvious. How do you motivate people who are systematically denied equal opportunities and power? You give them access to opportunity and power. Full stop. It’s not always that complicated.
Alison is an editor and occasional writer for ETHNews. She has a master’s in English from the University of Wyoming. She lives in Reno with her pooch and a cat she half likes. Her favorite things to do include binge listening to podcasts, getting her chuckles via dog memes, and spending as much time outside as possible.
Like what you read? Follow us on Twitter @ETHNews_ to receive the latest CryptoChicks, Ethereum or other Ethereum ecosystem news.

Santiment to Incorporate New Ethereum Mining Metrics (Pools Analysis)

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Santiment, a platform that mainly focuses on sharing cryptocurrency insights, accessing data, and learning everything about the crypto markets for smarter investing, recently partnered with cyber•Drop.
The partnership aims at creating customized mining-related metrics functional on the Ethereum network. An accurate, comprehensive overview of the ETH mining ecosystem was necessary to start the development phase of the project.
The analysis of the many intricacies of Ethereum mining pools was done by cyber•Drop developers. They also researched miner transactions, reward distribution, and other closely-related topics.
The findings are important since they will work as foundations for the upcoming mining metrics on Santiment. Here’s some of the most crucial insights.
Ethereum Mining Pools Analysis
The time frame focused for analysis begun with the launch of the ETH network rising to block 6,781,512 that was created on November 27, 2018.
The mining pools received a lifetime cumulative total of 0.4M ETH in transaction fees and 31M ETH in rewards during that period. A total of 4,700 addresses got a mining reward in the entire focused Ethereum lifespan.
Nonetheless, not all mining pools get developed uniformly. Reward inequality exists with the top 3 pools grabbing over 50% of all available mining rewards.
Reward Distribution among ETH Mining Pools. cyber•Drop chart.
Some pools remain largely unchanged for even months after getting established early on into the network launch. It is noteworthy that the mining rewards are the key sources of inflow for the mining pool balances.
But, non-reward transactions to these pools are also significant capping at approximately 4M ETH across the whole network. Most incoming transactions mirror outgoing flows with the cumulative balance of the pools facing a constant decline lately just like the ETH market capitalization.
The combined balance of all mining pools has declined from the 1M ETH peaks at the start of 2016 to just 0.2M ETH currently. Nevertheless, most of these pools control a considerably larger amount of funds in their hot and cold wallets.
The mining pools can further get subdivided into two unique groups based their outgoing transactions’ average value.
Those with less than 10 ETH account for 82% of lifetime mining rewards and a total of 91% in the last year. The pools with more than 100ETH account for 11% of all lifetime mining rewards and a mere 8% in the last year. The recent cyber•Drop focuses on the group with less than 10ETH.
Ethereum Miners Analysis
The miners’ transaction volume remains significantly stable over a long period with an average tx volume ranging from 15K to 20K ETH/day.
ETH Mining Pools: Combined Transactions Value. cyber•Drop chart.
On the other hand, the outgoing transactions feature strong outliers. The maximum outgoing tx volume was recorded as 125K ETH on July 19, 2016. Miner balances are increasing constantly contrary to the mining pools balances.
Their 1M ETH balance amounts to approximately 5% of all lifetime mining rewards. HODLers account for just 2% of all mining rewards but claim up to 40% of their total balance.
The DAO hardfork of July 20, 2016, impacted the cumulative balance of Ethereum miners considerably.
The 2017 Bull Run set up a ‘balance rally’ that has endured until today in spite of the recent downward correction.
New Ethereum mining metrics will get incorporated into the Santiment platform according to many results from previous researches conducted by cyber•Drop.
The new Ethereum mining metrics are expected to join Santiment’s newly-launched ‘ETH Gas Used’ dashboard.