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Cryptokitties Made Us Realize These Biggest Industry Challenges

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You may not be in the loop but Cryptokitties have just surpassed the major distributed cryptocurrency exchange such as EtherDelta to become the largest smart contract on the Ethereum network by gas consumption. As of writing this, the Cryptokitties are accounting for slightly more than 14% of the Ethereum’s transactions in over 1,500 blocks according to ETH Gas Station.

This is a staggering volume of traffic for an online game that, on the surface, appears quite bland. But the popularity of this cryptocollectible has underscored one of Ethereum biggest downsides which were never envisioned: lack of scalability. According to Etherscan, Ethereum transactions have increased six-fold since the game’s release on 28th November 2017.

Already some investors are raising concerns that this frivolous game is crowding out more genuine and serious business users in the network. But how exactly have Cryptokitties phenomenon congested the Ethereum network?

Well, in “Cryptokitties Made Us Realize These Biggest Industry Challenges” we dive deeper to explore how the Cryptokitties phenomenon has contributed to Ethereum’s scalability challenges. Let’s jump in.

Challenges of Cryptokitties

Here are some challenges the Cryptokitties phenomenon presents for the Ethereum ecosystem.

#1: Scaling challenges

While the sensations of Cryptokitties is great for Ethereum adoption, the pressure it has placed on the Ethereum blockchain means that developers have to work out a scaling solution. The traffic is making it extremely difficult for users to play the game, and many transactions such as buying and selling of cats are taking a lot of time to process with some demanding multiple attempts.

All of these intricacies are related to the Ethereum blockchain’s throughput limit that is set at roughly 15 transactions per second. Until the throughput limit is expanded, Cryptokitties have to contend with the current 15 seconds which is shared among other popular smart contracts as well. There’s no doubt that Cryptokitties has become popular within a short time and raising the bar for gas auctioning in Ethereum.

With Ethereum protocol soon hitting its capacity, research into new scaling options to help the distributed technology scale is needed soon. But this scaling issue isn’t the only problem Ethereum protocol has to contend with.  Cryptokitties is just one viral game that hasn’t even spread across the tech universe. In fact, it was just launched a couple days ago (28th November)!

If Cryptokitties (one viral game) can slow down the entire Ethereum network, what will happen when the blockchain grows to accommodate real-world apps? Obviously, a long term solution is required. The Ethereum community can’t afford to have scaling challenges whenever a great smart contract hits the decentralized web.

#2: Divergent opinions about Ethereum growth

Just as is the case with the bitcoin scaling problem, we’re starting to see cracks in the Ethereum blockchain community as each side takes diametrically opposing sides about how to scale the network. For some time, bitcoin has been experiencing near or sometimes full blocks with transactions taking nearly 20 to 40 minutes to be validated on the blockchain.

Some Ethereum enthusiasts are already suggesting that miners should increase the so-called gas—a measure of computational effort in Ethereum—limit (just as is the case with bitcoin’s block size limit).  Ideally, the gas limit determines the kind of operations such as the addition of numbers, calculation of hashes or even sending transactions that you can compute in Ethereum.  Each operation has a fixed set of gas attached to it.

By setting the gas limit, we’ll be capping the maximum amount of gas which can be included in Ethereum block. With a maximum of gas in place, the block size and the speed of the network will be greatly be impaired. Ideally, this proposal is hinged on the philosophy that developers shouldn’t decide on the ideal gas limit but market actors such as the miners, the applications, and the investors.

As you are aware, the block size and speed of the network are at the core of Ethereum protocol. Altering any of them completely does away with Ethereum’s vision. Also, Ethereum miners are unlikely to agree to this proposal as it has its own undesirable effects. As of writing this, the Ethereum network uncle rate is already peaked at over 30% compared to the network DoS (Denial of Service) attacks.

This implies that at present, every third block gets orphaned. Now raising the gas limit is most likely going to make the current mining situation even worse. Without considerable enhancements on how large blocks will be processed using current implementations and decentralized in the network, increasing the gas limit isn’t feasible just yet.

While high-end systems will still be able to validate the heavy blocks within several 100 milliseconds, low-end systems are already gobbling up few seconds to validate their transactions and distribute the block.

#3: Other ICOs are at a risk

The Ethereum gas market is an unknown equation that allows users to increase gas and ensure that transactions such as the sale or breeding can take place in time. At present, Cryptokitties cautions users of keeping an eye on gas consumption, to avert high prices. An acutely high gas price would, in fact, expedite the transaction but make it flop completely.

The lackluster performance and gas speculations may make users abandon the Ethereum network completely. Bitcoin has been attracting speculative investments lately because of the unprecedented high prices that have been hovering north of $15,000. Now the presence of Cryptokitties and their network demands places hundreds of ICOs implementing their projects on Ethereum network at risk.

The specifics of the cryptographic computation may imply that smart contracts will never quite work to the levels anticipated by investors in the ICOs. This means that these ICOs are likely to fail because of the scaling challenges presented by Ethereum network.

Bottom Line

It’s no secret that Ethereum—and its smart contracts—has literally revolutionized applications. However, the launch of Cryptokitties has raised more controversies regarding the future of Ethereum protocol. The Ethereum protocol was once viewed as a perfect replacement for Bitcoin. But at these rates of network jamming, users are becoming cynical.

While I am not a futurist, one thing is certain: there are tell-tale signs of Ethereum fracture. Amidst all the hype and uncertainties about the scaling problem, it’s only proper for you to continue speculating before investing in Cryptokitties.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 9 rated postsHira Saeed is a tech geek girl with a passion to write on latest technology trends. She is the Founder of Tech Geeks community in Pakistan and also runs her copywriting and social media agency, Digital Doers. Follow her on @heerasaeed.




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Cryptocurrencies

Can EOS Overcome the Bear Market?

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Since concluding its year-long crowdsale, EOS has quickly emerged as one of the world’s leading cryptocurrencies. This was highlighted not only by its rapid growth during the bear market, but by its ability to attract hundreds of developers and enterprises to its protocol. As the bear market drags on, there are several compelling reasons why EOS could have staying power in an industry facing constant pressure and change. (Note: the author has no investment stake in EOS or its parent company, Block.one).

EOS: A Look at the Benefits

Block.one, the company behind EOS, recently published four reasons why developers are migrating to the EOSIO protocol. They include scalability (15-20 transactions per second), speed (very low latency compared to other blockchains), practically zero fees (eliminates the need for transaction costs) and environmental sustainability (66,000 times more efficient than bitcoin).

Against this backdrop, there are at least 260 projects being built on top of the EOS platform, a strong sign that the Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) model was appealing to a wider range of developers. Although the company didn’t elaborate on the types of projects being deployed, the general view among industry is that EOS allows users with very little technical background to leverage blockchain technology.

At the same time, EOS’ strong development capacity has been well documented by industry observers and even government entities. A widely consumed blockchain index developed by the Chinese government has routinely ranked EOS as the world’s top cryptocurrency based on technology, application and innovation. As of December, EOS had once again dominated the ranking with a total index score that was nearly 20 points higher than Ethereum, the second-best cryptocurrency based on the same value metrics.

EOS was designed with scalability in mind. As such, it is a direct competitor to Ethereum, whose shaky position may have pushed developers toward EOS and other protocols. In fact, decentralized application volumes on Tron and EOS have already overtaken Ethereum by a considerable margin. (The author would argue that EOS has a much stronger value proposition than Tron for reasons too numerous to name here.) According to Dapp Radar, the largest Ethereum dapp by volume is ranked 37th, with EOS and Tron accounting for the first 36 spots.

The EOS blockchain is also well funded, with the network paying for development through a maximum 5% inflation. A portion of that is earmarked for block producers but token holders get to decide on how the rest is allocated. Options include burning tokens to reduce overall inflation or allocating funds to pay for popular projects.

A Look at the Risks

While no blockchain project is without risk, EOS faces several unique challenges that have been well documented by the cryptocurrency community. Concerns about voting cartels, block-producer incentives and even regulatory scrutiny have weighed heavily on investor sentiment. Those fears have been exacerbated by the second-longest bear market in crypto history.

EOS creator Dan Larimer has more or less admitted that he botched the protocol’s constitution by giving the network arbitrator too much power. In proposing a new constitution last summer, Larimer said, “I have learned a lot about human nature by watching the disputes, the witch hunts, the ‘bring everything before the ECAF mindset.” ECAF is the EOS Core Arbitration Forum.

The platform recently launched the EOSGO referendum tool, which some analysts speculate may result in constitutional changes. In the meantime, a group of EOS developers have already joined hands to create a new alliance for collaborative decision making. According to the official EOS Alliance website, the group “will be held accountable to the community under the EOS Constitution.”

Read: Spiral of Bad Incentives: EOS Block Producers No Longer In Profit.

EOS has also faced controversy over allegations of irregular block producer voting, which critics say undermine the network’s “free and democratic election process.” Evidence purporting to show voter collusion involving Huobi, a Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange, and other block producers surfaced last fall, forcing Block.one to take decisive measures to end the so-called voting cartel.

Then there’s the issue of EOS’ original funding mechanism, which managed to raise $4 billion in a highly irregular, year-long crowdsale. EOS may have skirted federal scrutiny during its token sale, but that could change if the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chooses to re-evaluate the ICO. That’s the view of Charles Hoskinson, founder of Cardano.

Speaking at a press conference in Edinburgh, Scotland in November, Hoskinson predicted that the SEC will bring punitive measures against Block.One for its “egregious” token sale.

Market Update

EOS has not been immune to the bear market inflicting all cryptocurrencies. Despite demonstrating inverse trading patterns during the early stage of the bear market – namely, after the cryptocurrency was launched – EOS has more or less traded in the general direction of its peers.

The EOS price has declined nearly 50% since mid-November. The total cryptocurrency market cap has declined by roughly the same over that period.

At the time of writing, EOS/USD was valued at $2.43, having gained 3.3% compared with Tuesday. At current prices, EOS has a total market cap of $2.2 billion, placing it fourth among active blockchain projects.

Daily trade volumes amounted to $666 million, which is fairly consistent over the past week. Bibox is the largest market for EOS, with trades against Ethereum accounting for 12% of total market volumes.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 743 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Altcoins

Dash Price Analysis: DASH/USDT Downside Risks Linger Despite Trust Wallet Support Announcement

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  • DASH/USDT price action is moving within a narrowing range formation, subject to further downside risks.
  • Trust Wallet, Binance-owed crypto wallet provider, announces support of DASH.

Price Behavior

DASH/USDT has been trading within a $6 range for the tenth session in a row, at the time of writing. The upper part of this range should be noted at $73. Looking to the downside, the lower support of the formation is seen at $67. The price, like many of its peers within the cryptocurrency market, is stuck within a narrowing range block. They are all currently demonstrating strong downside vulnerabilities, given the current behaviour.

This trading range came after a steep fall in the market last Thursday, 10th January. Double-digit losses were seen across the board after moving within a prior narrowing range formation. DASH/USDT had a strong run from 15th – 24th December, gaining as much as 81% within that time frame. Following the high print towards the latter part of that period, at $102.50, price cooling was seen and then begun to trade sideways.

Between 26th December 2018 – 9th January 2019, DASH/USDT was moving between a narrow $86 at the high and $73 at the low. This led to the explosive breakout to the downside, where the price dropped around 20% on 10th January.

Trust Wallet Supports Dash (DASH)

Trust Wallet, a mobile crypto wallet owned by Binance, announced earlier this week that it has added support for Dash. The announcement followed after just a week ago, when the wallet provider revealed the support of Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin (BTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). In addition, the app also supports Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Tron (TRX) and others.

The team at Trust Wallet, upon their DASH support update, also left users somewhat excited about further announcements lined up. They stated, “Going forward, we will monitor the performance and stability of our Dash release very closely, and if everything works well, hopefully, we can surprise you with more new coins in the coming weeks!”

Technical Review – DASH/USDT

DASH/USDT daily chart.

A breakout of the key mentioned levels that make up either side of the range, $72 and $67, will likely determine the next committed trend. Firstly, in terms of the next major area of support south, eyes will be on the December low area, $58. To the north, drop supply remains heading into and just above the psychological $100 mark.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 112 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s Year of Accumulation

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Although bitcoin looks poised to extend its January losing streak to five consecutive years, 2019 will be a year of slow accumulation for the virtual currency, according to Eric Thies, a well-known technical analyst. In the meantime, traders can expect the bear market to reach its climax once a new yearly bottom is breached.

Accumulation Year

In promoting the view that 2019 will be an accumulation year for bitcoin, Thies directed our attention to the major bear trend that emerged in 2015. That was the year bitcoin exhibited significant volatility, albeit in a lower range. Following the latest breakdown in price, bitcoin could be in for a similar trading pattern this year.

“Similar to 2015, 2019 may be the year of accumulation,” Thies said, according to CCN. This means bitcoin is likely to be an attractive investment in $2,000-$4,000 range – even with wild swings priced in.

Bitcoin’s volatility regime has changed dramatically in the last two months. Following a period of unprecedented calm, volatility surged to nine-month highs in the back end of December. Volatility will likely remain a factor for the foreseeable future as the technical tug-of-war continues. More on this: Bitcoin Maintains Narrow Trading Range as Recovery Faces More Resistance.

Circulation Grows

That bitcoin will remain highly volatile is supported by the recent influx of digital currency into circulation. Anonymous owners of dormant bitcoin wallets have been trading with greater frequency since October, which means their activity may have predated the November price collapse.

Data from Flipside Crypto recently showed that long-dormant bitcoin wallets have accounted for about 60% of the market’s circulating supply in the last 30 days alone. What’s more, active bitcoin supply has increased by a whopping 40% since the summer. This, of course, feeds into higher expected volatility.

If that’s not enough, consider that 1,000 addresses hold 85% of available bitcoin. As Bloomberg recently noted, many of these holders remained on the sidelines during the 2017 bull run and its subsequent collapse. If dormant accounts are becoming active again, there’s good reason to suggest that the whales are looking to re-enter the market.

Not Overnight

It’s reasonable to expect that bitcoin will become more attractive at lower prices, especially as more institutional investors access the crypto market in the coming year. But that doesn’t mean the accumulation will happen overnight. Previous bear cycles have taught us that downtrends can stretch for 1-2 years before any noticeable accumulation takes place. The only difference this time is there are more people involved, and more eyeballs on the price.

Additional reading: Crypto Winter and the Fed?

To demonstrate bitcoin’s potential at current levels, and why 2019 will be an attractive year to boost one’s holdings, it’s worthwhile to reflect on the cryptocurrency’s yearly lows rather than its highs. Below is a quick snapshot of bitcoin’s yearly bottoms stretching all the way back to 2012:

  • 2012: $4
  • 2013: $65
  • 2014: $200
  • 2015: $185
  • 2016: $365
  • 2017: $780
  • 2018: $3,200

Traders tend to focus on bitcoin’s lack of new all-time highs as evidence that the market is going nowhere, but these figures clearly show that BTC is a solid investment at almost any period in the last seven years (of course, this isn’t the case if you bought during the peak of 2018).

Make no mistake: technical analysis and market sentiment clearly show there is more pain ahead for bitcoin and the broader cryptocurrency market. But as the long-term value proposition continues to hold, there’s strong reason to believe we haven’t seen the last bull market. In the meantime, 2019 prices could represent a unique buying opportunity for those who missed the boat two years ago.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 743 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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