Led 12

Crypto Conference Industry Remains in Bull Market, New Data Shows

More often than not, the first thing to be cut out of the budget is marketing. When the going gets tough and the coffers start emptying, the first head on the chopping block is usually the marketing intern. Followed by PR and event organization. But while the industry’s certainly seen a few layoffs in 2018, crypto conferences are still going strong.


Crypto Conferences Bucking a Trend

According to cryptocurrency researcher TradeBlock, even in the crypto bear market, when you may have expected to see a correlating decline in conferences, that was far from the case.

In fact, with the exception of December, crypto conferences hit their highest numbers toward the end of the year in October and November.

What Does This Mean?

Even in a bear market, industry events did not die out (in fact, there were some 53 and 52 conferences in November and December respectively).

The other month with the highest number of crypto conferences in 2018 was May. This saw some of the industry’s best-known and highest-attended conferences, such as Consensus in New York and Silicon Valley’s Global Disruptive.

Bitcoin conference in Prague, 2018

The conference scene slowed down a little throughout the summer unsurprisingly, but picked up speed again in September, with some 39 conferences. These included World Blockchain Forum in London and Berlin’s Dezentral.

October and November saw conferences with more focus on regulation. The hotly-awaited Malta Blockchain Summit saw an attendance of around 8,500 delegates. And Web Sumit in Lisbon as the world’s largest tech conference pulled in some 70,000.

Despite many studies pointing to a dwindling interest in crypto from the public, it seems the industry is still keeping the home fires burning.

Crypto conferences are not cheap either. A regular ticket at a mass event like Consensus or Web Summit will set you back around $2,000.

That the crypto conference bull run didn’t end in 2018 is a positive sign for the industry. There may be less popular interest, but more and more industry investors are keen on entering the market.

According to the annual SFOX Volatility Report:

While public discussion about crypto has waned since the start of the year, we’re seeing sustained interest at SFOX from institutional investors who want exposure to crypto.

Crypto Is Alive and Kicking

The same report places the crypto market at ‘moderately bearish’ as we enter 2019. But while prices look to be on a downward spiral once more, blockchain companies are busy building key infrastructure.

Solutions for scaling will find real use cases this year, Walmart and Wall Street will place more confidence in blockchain tech, and clearer regulation in the US should help ease uncertainty. So let’s hope the conferences keep up the pace throughout 2019 as well. And that they keep on serving free drinks.

Will 2019 see a change in the bull market trend for conferences? Share your thoughts!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Čvn 07

Swirlds Addresses Blockchain Limitations With Hashgraph

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Swirlds

Swirlds is a startup claiming to solve the limitations of blockchain technology, while harnessing the power of the cloud without servers. Ping Identity has announced their seed investment in this company, to leverage the power of blockchain without limits.

Also read: Industry Report: Is Security in the Finance Sector Too Weak?

Many people see the blockchain as a way to achieve distributed consensus in a variety of industries and through different use cases. Moreover, this concept can generate distributed trust, albeit there are some limitations to take into account as well. Untrusted members of the blockchain network, for example, force the adoption of proof-of-work mechanisms to create a majority consensus.

Swirlds Creates Mysterious Bitcoin Blockchain Competitor

According to Swirlds, this is a waste of resources and introduces high lag rates. The company also criticizes blockchain for not having trusted timestamps or proof of receipt. A lot of people will take offense to the “not having trusted timestamps” part as the Bitcoin blockchain is immutable thanks to its proof-of-work algorithm.

Constellation Research’s Steve Wilson stated:

“The real impact of blockchain was always going to be its inspiration. Blockchain ‘squared the circle’ in digital currency and that was amazing. But the first generation algorithm is not efficient or practical for other applications, What the community needs is real research and development that will begin to solve these challenges — not solutions that arbitrarily jam the blockchain algorithm into every pet problem. This collaboration of Swirlds and Ping Identity is fresh, focused R&D and a very significant advancement for moving Identity forward.”

Swirlds claims they can create the next generation of distributed consensus through their hashgraph platform. While still promoting fairness and distributed trust, it is also resilient to DDoS attacks. However, it does not require proof-of-work to achieve any of these goals, which makes it rather peculiar.The associated whitepaper does not mention specifically how the company delivers this technology

It is well worth noting the Swirlds solution is not permissioned, contrary to what some people might have expected. Anyone can participate in this new distributed consensus model, which is a positive sign. However, without clear evidence of how the technology works and whether or not it can be trusted, it remains doubtful the Swirlds concept can work in real-life situations.

What are your thoughts on hashgraph? Will Swirlds be a company to keep an eye on? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Swirlds

Images courtesy of Swirlds, Shutterstock

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Swirlds Addresses Blockchain Limitations With Hashgraph

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Úno 24

F2Pool Threatens To Withdraw Consensus Support Over Adam Back Allegations

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Roundtable Bitcoin

For those people who were under the impression the Bitcoin block size debate was over, you are sadly mistaken. That being said, things are getting interesting, as F2Pool announced they will withdraw support from the February 21 roundtable consensus unless things are sorted out on the Adam Back front. There is never a dull day in the world of Bitcoin politics; that much is certain.

Also read: Five Bitcoin ATM Operators Switched Over To Bitcoin Classic

Adam Back and Blockstream

Various Bitcoin community members have been claiming how Blockstream is planning to drive Bitcoin Core development in a different direction than was originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto. While it is incredibly hard to verify those claims, there is something strange going on with this company, to say the least.

Based on a post made earlier by F2Pool earlier today, Blockstream President Adam Back has changed his official position title to “Individual” at the last moment when a consensus was reached regarding the block size debate on February 21st.  While it is rather strange to see such an event unfold, the bigger question is what motive has been the driving factor in this decision by Adam Back.

Looking at the Blockstream website, Adam Back is still listed as the company president. That same title and job function is listed on the official Medium post detailing what this consensus means for the Bitcoin ecosystem. However, the announcement by F2Pool seems to indicate something changed at the last moment, even though there does not seem to be any evidence to verify this statement.

F2pool feels betrayed and cheated by Adam Back’s decision to take this – allegedly – sneaky approach. So much even that they are planning to withdraw support from the roundtable consensus unless Adam back steps forward and explains this ordeal to them and the rest of the Bitcoin community.

Some Bitcoin community members are arguing it does not matter how Adam Back positions himself as a part of Blockstream, as all that matters is his support. In a way, it makes sense to list oneself as an individual rather than a company president on delicate matters like these, as it is unknown whether all Blockstream employees are on the same wavelength.

Mining Pools Don’t Need Handholding

In the end, it all comes down to who one can trust in the Bitcoin world. The answer to that question is rather simple: no one but yourself. There is no need to rely on opinions presented by others, as it is impossible to verify whether or not their intentions are honest.

This announcement marks another significant step in the scheme of Bitcoin politics that are running rampant in the digital currency ecosystem right now. All everyone should want is a workable solution everyone can agree on. All of this bickering and possible backstabbing needs to end before things get out of hand.

What are your thoughts on the announcement by F2Pool? Is it such a big deal as they claim it is? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: BitcoinTalk

Images courtesy of Blockstream, Shutterstock

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F2Pool Threatens To Withdraw Consensus Support Over Adam Back Allegations

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Led 11

Bitcoin Core Releases Statement on Hard vs Soft Forks

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoin Core Releases Statement on Hard vs Soft Forks

Bitcoin Core, an “open source software project that is a direct descendant of the original Bitcoin implementation”, released a statement late last week on its website. The main focus was how Bitcoin consensus rules were changed, which is typically through soft forks and hard forks.

Also read: The Bitcoin Foundation Unveils 2016 Plan, Might Shut Down Instead 

Hard forks and soft forks do virtually the same thing, so Bitcoin Core argues that soft forks are to be preferred as they do not cause the amount of harm on the Bitcoin network as a hard fork can potentially do since users can choose to upgrade to new features when they want to, or remain or the current Bitcoin core version that they are on.

“Soft forks allow compatible changes. With soft forks, old and new software can co-exist on the network. Soft forks can introduce new features without disruption because users who want to use the new features can upgrade, while those who do not are free to continue as normal.”

Hard forks, on the other hand, can be compared to a turn you must take when driving, compared with a soft fork that is like a shortcut. The shortcut is both beneficial and optional, allowing users the chance to either take the shortcut or stick to their current route.

Here the “original road” represents Bitcoin Core before a soft fork. The “shortcut” would represent the soft fork, optional but highly recommended.

Besides the simple convenience factor that soft forks have over hard forks, there’s no disruption in the network that comes from everyone upgrading to the latest version. When there’s a majority of people on two different versions of Bitcoin core, it can lead to dangerous situations where Bitcoin transactions are accepted on one fork, but not on the other.

“Hard forks break compatibility of all previous Bitcoin software and require every participant to upgrade to the same rules by a deadline or risk losing money. Such events can also harm network effects by pushing participants off the network if they take no action, and by potentially breaking downstream software and applications.”

As debates continue to progress regarding new BIP proposals as well as the block size debate, another concern is how any changes to be made on Bitcoin are implemented. Bitcoin Core brings a strong case by suggesting soft forks be used the majority of the time, and hard forks to only be used when a proposed implementation is universally accepted.

What do you think? Should Bitcoin use soft or hard forks? Let us know in the comments below!


 

Photo Source: Wikimedia

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Bitcoin Core Releases Statement on Hard vs Soft Forks

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