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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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Altcoins

60 Minutes Showcases Potential of DNA and Genetic Genealogy; Opportunity for Crypto Investors

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DNA Storage

Throughout the years, 60 Minutes has been responsible for reporting on some of the biggest stories in the world.  Many of the most memorable episodes have involved world leader interviews, stories on endangered animals, profiles of famous celebrities, and occasionally, segments on promising developments in business and science.  A week ago, 60 Minutes had a very interesting report on how the authorities used Genetic genealogy to solve the case of the Golden State Killer, and how the authorities plan to keep using this new field to solve more cold cases in the future.

On April 25, 2018, authorities in Sacramento announced that they had solved the notorious case of the Golden State Killer.  Authorities were able to use a promising new technique called Genetic genealogy to help identify 72-year-old former police officer, Joseph DeAngelo, as the suspected killer.

Genetic Genealogy

Genetic genealogy is a mixture of high-tech DNA analysis, high speed computer technology, and family genealogy.  The end goal is to determine the level and type of genetic relationship between individuals.

In the case of the Golden State Killer, DNA came into play because the killer had committed at least 12 murders, 50 rapes, and many home burglaries.  Investigators were able to obtain DNA from the killer at one of the reported crime scenes.  After many years of frustrating dead ends, a cold case investigator submitted the obtained DNA sample to GEDmatch.  GEDmatch is the largest public genealogy database in the world.  After uploading the sample, authorities were able to generate a handful of leads which eventually led to the front doors of Joseph DeAngelo.

In addition to the Golden State Killer case, authorities have used Genetic genealogy to make arrests in at least 11 other cold cases.  While the science appears to be sound, there is a legal question that has yet to be answered.  There is no doubt that attorneys for the accused will raise the question of privacy and whether using databases, thought to be private, should be legal.

Opportunity for Crypto Investors

While I’ve invested in equities and crypto for many years with varying degrees of success, I’ve never had the opportunity to invest at the beginning of a new frontier.  Fortunately, the opportunity has come.  Encrypgen (DNA) is a genomic blockchain network that provides customers and partners with best-in-class, next generation, blockchain security for protecting, sharing and re-marketing genomic data.  This creates a fair marketplace for a person’s DNA that can be stored private and sold (if a person wishes to do that).

Over the past few months, Encrypgen has been gaining attention in the mainstream media because of their revolutionary technology as well as the fact that their closest competition is still years away.

In August, Encrypgen released a beta version of its Gene-Chain.  The Gene-Chain allows consumers to upload their genetic profile and for researchers to purchase that genetic data.  Within the next 2 weeks, the company plans to release the full version of the Gene-Chain which will officially make them a new pioneer in the field of genomic blockchain security.

With the DNA token hovering at approximately 5 cents, the time is running out to accumulate at bargain basement prices.  I fully expect the token to achieve utility in the next several months which will cause a rocket-like explosion in the token price.  There is no looking back now, only forward, and I love what I see.

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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Fantom – The Next Big Thing?

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Fantom (FTM) is a a Directed Acrylic Graph (DAG) based smart contract platform in which the more nodes participate in the network, the greater the transactions per second. The project is aiming for 300,000 transactions per second, which would be applied to multiple industries such as food technology, financial services, telecom, logistics, etc. Fantom is designed to offer instant payments, near zero costs, and unlimited processing scalability. Like Ethereum, Fantom supports Smart Contracts but they run on the Fantom Virtual Machine vs the Ethereum Virtual Machine. Why is that important? Because the FVM will allow developers to write dApps that support smart contracts just like ethereum but run light-speed times faster.

A lot of new blockchain projects talk as if they will challenge the top blockchains and take over their spot. While this is speculation and mostly hot air spoken by many projects, Fantom has a great shot at taking off as one of the top blockchains. Andre Cronje, well respected in the ICO scene as a technical blockchain expert, was added as part of the technical team recently. Having a team and community as strong as Fantom does gives it the extra push needed to take off. While other projects are implementing directed acyclic graphs (DAGs), Fantom is the first to do this with smart contract support.

Fantom operates on a system called OPERA, which is divided into three layers:

  • OPERA CORE LAYER – processes transactions, maintains consensus across all nodes via the Lachesis Protocol
  • OPERA WARE LAYER – supports smart contracts, executes functions
  • OPERA APPLICATION LAYER – supports third-party applications, provides publicly available APIs for dApps

Partnerships with credible companies definitely help the legitimacy of an ICO and Fantom has already made numerous significant partnerships such as the Korea Food-Tech Association and Oracle that will significantly enhance their chance of success. The company, in collaboration with NEM Blockchain, has recently announced it’s expansion outside of Korea into Australia. Fantom has chosen Australia due to their innovative culture and supportive government. Fantom is committed to working with local communities and governments to utilize Fantom technology across multiple industries. They are focused on creating real-time use cases of their platform by on-boarding Australian businesses in the next twelve months. Australia has hundreds of merchants who already accept cryptocurrency including the first airport in the world to do so. Fantom has already been working behind the scenes engaging with payment providers about using Fantom token as they expand globally.

Multiple blockchain projects are claiming to be the fastest with the highest tps, but have not come through on their promises. Fantom has an excellent shot at actually accomplishing this and immediately becoming a major player surpassing those that have fallen short.

Unlike many recent ICOs, which are constantly delaying and postponing the release of their tokens due to current market conditions, Fantom is unlocking and listing on October 29th. The project recently released a recent Technical Whitepaper concerning the Lachesis Consensus Algorithm, making another version of the Technical Whitepaper detailing the Fantom Framework ready, and preparing a testnet demo video to be available soon.

With major funds invested for the long haul and markets such as the USA, China, and Korea unable to participate in the much-hyped ICO, there should be quite a bit of immediate interest and demand upon listing on exchanges. The last ICO with similar hype was QuarkChain which also did amazingly well in this market. Fantom had a hard cap of $39 MILLION at the time of ICO raise and is expected to perform well.

Diclaimer: The author has invested in Fantom.

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 53 rated postsKent Hamilton - Co-Founder of CryptoDayTrader.io, where we are building Pro Crypto Tools




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Why Investors Should Pay Attention to Blocknet

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Even in the “crypto winter” we are currently living in, the blockchain industry is still growing. This is a good thing for the industry in many ways, but all of these various networks have developed in a siloed and separated way.

Some companies have emerged that seek to help the various networks work together and harvest synergies. If blockchain was meant to be a new manifestation of the internet, these networks could be considered a new manifestation of blockchains. One such company is Blocknet.

Blocknet’s Mission

Blocknet is often referred to in the colloquial as “Block” and functions as a decentralized platform-as-a-service service. The basic goal is to connect the nodes of different blockchains to create a network of networks. The endgame here is to make it possible for applications to be developed on one blockchain but be used on another.

The network is composed of three key components: a node exchange, coin exchange, and data exchange. The XBridge is the blockchain router than connects nodes on different blockchains and makes it possible for them to communicate with each other.

The XBridge also enables cross-chain atomic swaps using a coin exchange protocol. We will go into more detail into this in a bit, but it is essentially a DEX. Finally, there is the inter-chain data transport that allows for feature sharing and smart contracts to be executed across chains.

Market Demand

Blocknet was founded in 2015 and finally launched their mainnet in September 2017. The market has been looking for a solution like this. There is competition from other networks like 0x, but they have already started to integrate their networks with Blocknet. By seeking to be a super-network, it is eliminating the idea of competition.

A big part of Blocknet is the decentralized exchange (DEX) that it runs. What makes it special and sets it apart from the competition is that it is more than just an exchange for ERC-20 tokens. It enables the trading of every coin that is integrated into the network.

The Blocknet DEX will be designed to enable an unlimited amount of trading pairs, and will enable complete anonymity for users. Additionally, by avoiding a central entity, you always retain complete control over your funds.

BLOCK Token

The token has two functions. First, they are used to pay trading fees and for the operation of applications on the network. Second, they are required to be staked as a service node or staking node. These are the nodes that distribute trade fees or confirm network transactions.

BLOCK trades on Bittrex, and in terms of recent performance, we have seen a heavy decline from the highs that BLOCK reached last year. However, it seems to have reached a bottom and found a support level. As we head in the last quarter of 2018, it could be time for a recovery, and BLOCK seems poised to take advantage of this.

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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