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Education not Speculation: Message from the Blockchain Training Conference

Source: bitcoin

Education not Speculation: Message from the Blockchain Training Conference

In a conference at Toronto, the heart of the Canadian blockchain industry, technologist and author of Mastering Blockchain, Andreas Antonopoulos, gave a chilling keynote urging technologist to invest in core skills around blockchain and not to worry and speculate about price swings of virtual currencies.

Also read: Smart Guns on the Blockchain, Introducing Blocksafe

He made many parallels around past technologies, where technologists who invested in learning the core technologies like .NET, Java, and HTML made significant progress in their careers.

He speculated that a similar trend is happening now in the burgeoning blockchain industry, where startups are struggling to find talent to put to work to implement the use cases that would entrench blockchain and the ‘Internet of value’ into medium and large enterprises.

Antonopoulos writes:

When introduced to bitcoin, most people see it as a speculative asset, like a stock. But stocks have volatility and risk and the skills required to invest in them are highly specialized. Instead, I propose that these new inventions should be approached primarily as technical innovations. The primary focus should be investment in education, skills and career building. Those skills are transferrable across crypto-currencies, asset-tokens, smart contracts and the entire ecosystem.

Blockchain Training Conference: Education for Everyone

After the keynote speech by Antonopoulos, the conference was divided into two tracks: one technical (DevCore), and the other non-technical (Alliance).

The conference was collaboratively hosted by three nonprofit organizations: the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada,  Bitcoin Foundation and CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium.

MC Pamela Morgan and organizer Michael Perklin worked tirelessly to stage a conference that brought leaders together to educate, inspire, and connect enthusiasts in the blockchain industry. They not only ran the entire logistics of the conference, but also were speakers at the conference.

Technologists attending the conference were exposed to a broad range of topics in the Bitcoin and blockchain world — such as blockchain data structures, Segregated Witness, CLTV, and Lightning Network Channels. Many of the topics were hands on and were well attended by engineers from many vertical industries.

Non-technical attendees had many topics to choose from, including a talk on Ethereum and presentations about AML, “Systems of Record vs. Systems of Authority,” and “Accounting with Blockchains.” There were plenty of investment nuggets and ideas for non-technical attendees to think about and take it back to their employers.

Furthermore, arrangements were made on-site for anyone to take the examination for getting a “Certified Bitcoin Professional (CBP)” professional certification. Covering 75 questions from 33 topics in only 20 minutes, CBP is both rigorous and fast-paced.

The entire conference and the presentations will be made available for free on YouTube at a later date.

What are your thoughts Antonopoulos’ message? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Andreas Antonopoulos.

The post Education not Speculation: Message from the Blockchain Training Conference appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Education not Speculation: Message from the Blockchain Training Conference

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DAO Soft Fork Revised to Allow Generic “Blacklisting”

Source: bitcoin

soft fork

The soft fork proposed to fix the sticky situation The DAO has dragged the Ethereum community into is here, and is a perhaps disproportionately drastic to the problem. The proposed solution to the DAO attack is to freeze all funds in the contract by blacklisting the hashes that correspond to the stored Ether. Want to withdraw funds from the DAO or “split” from the failed experiment? Be prepared to do so on an alternate Blockchain.

Read Also: Exiting The DAO Legitimately Would Take 67 Steps, 48 Days

Soft Fork Praised Within, Decried by Ethereum ‘Outsiders’

 

The interesting facet of this development is the recent update to the blacklisting methodology being used by the Ethereum devs. It has become a “generic function” as of today. This means that Miners can discriminate against entire regions or groups of Ethereum users, effectively banning them from doing business on the network by freezing their funds:

“This will also allow anyone to make a proposal to the majority of the miners to ask them for help for any future possible soft forks by allowing them to ignore blocks that take certain actions undesirable by the community.”

While this soft fork comes as a boon to the Ethereum Community, as this intervention is certainly better than letting The DAO (and possibly Ethereum, by extension) crash and burn, It continues to be contentious in the wider Crypto community. The fear is that this solution has too much potential for abuse. For example, The blacklisting protocol could be used as an anti-competitive measure against disruptive DAOs, Dapps and Ethereum users by entrenched Ethereum miners and Users with large holdings to leverage.

Another possibility, discussed by Andreas Antonopoulos on Twitter, is that law enforcement or regulatory bodies could split the Ethereum Blockchain by region or along other lines with mandatory “blacklisting” legislation.

The strong measures taken by the Ethereum Devs are a very divisive issue, and while intervention was arguably needed to effect a positive outcome after The DAO’s collapse, the long-term concerns that the soft fork raises cannot be dismissed out of hand. Whether or not this new feature of Ethereum’s infrastructure is abused, or used effectively remains to be seen, and is largely dependent on what the masses involved with Ethereum deem “undesirable actions.” The new realities the resolution presents for DAO and Ethereum Dapp developers, individuals with significant ETH holdings will be complex and far reaching regardless of the outcome.

 

Thoughts on the soft fork? Let us know in the comments!


Images courtesy: The DAO, Ethereum Foundation, Jan Miranda

The post DAO Soft Fork Revised to Allow Generic “Blacklisting” appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

DAO Soft Fork Revised to Allow Generic “Blacklisting”

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Andreas Antonopoulos Makes Bold Prediction on Bitcoin Consensus

Source: bitcoin

Antonopoulos

Andreas Antonopoulos surprised a crowd at a Berlin Bitcoin conference last week by claiming that, by the end of this year, Bitcoin’s consensus algorithm will be totally changed.

Also read: BitcoinAverage Report: Bitcoin Price Hits 2016 High

Antonopoulos: Bitcoin Will Become a ‘Hybrid’

The prediction comes after a much-publicized block size debate in which developers have disagreed on how to update the Bitcoin system in order for it to keep pace with growth in transaction demand.

Antonopoulos.com

“By probably the end of 2016 Bitcoin will have a hybrid of Proof-of-Work proof of stake system,” Antonopoulos told conference attendees in a video available on YouTube. “Because Lightning Network is a Proof-of-Stake system, and people haven’t yet realized that Lightning Network is a proof-of-stake system.”

The repeat Joe Rogan guest continued: “In order to set up a functioning channel on Lightning Network, you have to commit money to a multi-sig address, and the more money you have committed to a multi-sig, the [higher] transaction rate it can handle and the more fees it can generate locally. Only it’s a completely trustless proof-of-stake system based on Bitcoin transactions running on top and guaranteed by Bitcoin’s proof-of-work.” Antonopoulos notes he only realized this six months ago.

“I had to go to one of the developers who is writing it, just to make sure I am getting this right. He said, ‘yeah you could call it [a Proof-of-Stake].’”

According to Antonopoulos, Proof-of-Stake could play a large role in Bitcoin’s consensus algorithms in the future. He claims it could allow the Bitcoin network to scale with increasing transaction rates better than does the current Proof-of-Work model.

Proof-of-Stake is an alternative to Proof-of-Work consensus algorithms. They are both similar in that they attempt to provide consensus and prevent double-spending.

Proof-of-Work involves some type of work in order for a block to be produced. Proof-of-Stake requires users to put up some amount of coins which correlates with how much digital currency they can mine.

Bitcoin’s Proof-of-Work currently cannot scale due to the block size limit. Certain Bitcoiners say this might be solved with a Proof-of-Stake system.

A Proof-of-Stake system theoretically results in lower transaction fees as less computing power is needed to produce blocks. Bitcoin’s Proof-of-Work entails producing data, a time-consuming endeavor. Difficulty in Proof-of-Work systems can vary. Oft a random process, this trial-and-error method of computational problem solving can be designed  for a low probability for a block to be produced, as is the case with Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s Proof-of-Work  is based on the SHA-256 cryptographic hash function.

Lightning Network strives to use smart contract functionality in the blockchain for instant payments across its network of participants. The Lightning Network is designed as an added layer to the blockchain. It combines Bitcoin’s blockchain transactions with its native smart-contract scripting language. According to the Lightning Network, this means a “secure network of participants which are able to transact at high volume and high speed.”

Lightning wants to conduct transactions off-blockchain, removing the limits of using the blockchain: By making the transactions and scripts parsable, the smart-contract can be enforced on-blockchain. Only in the event of non-cooperation is the court involved – but with the blockchain, the result is deterministic.”

In February, Antonopolous tweeted: “I don’t get all the animosity and conspiracy around Lightning Network. I think it’s really [an] amazing innovation & great solution to scaling.”

Developers on Bitcoin.StackExchange are not as convinced as Antonopolous is about designating Lightning Network a pure Proof-of-Stake system. Staking usually entails updating a network’s status. One earns fees by helping to validate and secure the network. Lightning Network also offers a smart contract platform. Participants can earn fees by providing liquidity. Nodes on Lighting Network forward payments. Lightning Network does not verify nor secure transactions. Consensus, rather, is created by Bitcoin’s Proof-of-Work.

Bitcoinist.Net reached out to Lightning Network but did not hear back before publication.

What do you think about Antonopoulos’ comments? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of LondonReal, Andreas Antonopoulos. 

The post Andreas Antonopoulos Makes Bold Prediction on Bitcoin Consensus appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Andreas Antonopoulos Makes Bold Prediction on Bitcoin Consensus

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