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World’s Fifth Largest Electric Company Using Ethereum (ETH) DApp

EDF Ethereum DApp Cryptocurrency

The world’s fifth largest electrical company has announced a partnership with Ethereum app iExec that will involve the company utilizing the decentralized application (DApp) in a project test.

EDF, which operates a $33 billion market capitalization, has launched GPUSH on iExec, a visual simulator software that is now available through the DApp operator. EDF reports that launching there program through a DApp gives them access to the Ethereum Mainnet, which, among other things, will allow them to test the software in the context of a blockchain.

GPUSH involves a simulation software for modeling fluid behavior, which EDF plans to use to study and evaluate the effects of hydroelectric dams and other sources of liquid-based energy. In particular, the company is looking to Ethereum’s mainnet and the feature of blockchain to see if it is able to improve upon the simulator, compared to the standard GPU computing platform.

Speaking in an interview with CoinDesk, EDF blockchain engineer Gilles Deleuze explained that Ethereum’s network features has the potential to improve the utility of the simulator,

“In a wider perspective, […] development of distributed computing is a credible scenario for the future, and blockchain may be a nice lever in this scenario. So, let’s explore it.”

Deleuze also hinted that his company has larger plans for using Ethereum and decentralized applications in testing their projects,

“The plan is to continue with other open scientific codes requiring possibly other types of workerpools.”

iExec is one of the oldest applications on Ethereum’s network, first launching in 2016 as a way to explore the potential of cloud computing on blockchains. Cloud computing, in its current iteration, is largely under the control of massive corporations with a large supply of resources to devote to the technology. iExec wondered if cryptocurrency networks, utilizing blockchain, could provide an economical and efficient method for decentralized cloud computing.

iExec’s Head of Innovation and Adoption Jean-Charles Cabelguen told CoinDesk that their DApp was advantageous for GPUSH and other project simulators, as it allows for a more “clear monitoring of the state and computational power of the app and increased ‘resilience,’” by running on a decentralized network.

However, Cabelguen complained that Ethereum’s network has drawbacks in its present form, particularly in terms of scalability–an issue that is being addressed in the massive Ethereum 2.0 overhaul.

According to Cabelguen,

“The heavy computing is done off-chain and does not overwhelm ethereum. Afterward, blockchain is used to reach a consensus on the validity of computation’s results. A hash of this result is stored on the blockchain.”

With Ethereum’s transition to Proof of Stake and the 2.0 update, scalability should become less of an issue for decentralized applications running on the network. In addition, the DApp market is continuing to rise, even if newcomers TRON and EOS are bringing substantial competition to the space that was once entirely controlled by Ethereum. Within the next few years, DApp-based project launches such as EDF’s GPUSH could be a regular occurrence by industry.

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Vitalik Buterin Proposes Gas Fee “Norm” For Ethereum (ETH) Wallet Transactions

Ethereum co-founder and cryptocurrency industry mainstay Vitalik Buterin has proposed a controversial method for increasing ETH developer fund support: imposing gas fees on wallet transactions.

On Mar. 8, Buterin tweeted his proposal, making a clear distinction that his plan would involve the creation of a “community norm,” which users could choose to follow as opposed to being mandatory. However, the idea of the gas fee standard is to encourage the fee being paid on wallet transactions, while discouraging the current practice of users attempting to circumnavigate fees.

I propose we consider supporting a community norm that client/wallet devs can/should charge a 1 gwei/gas fee for txs sent through their wallet, we don’t try to circumvent such fees, and we support protocol changes to make such fees easier (eg. abstraction enabling multisends)

According to the numbers Buterin presents, increasing average user gas costs 7 percent would equate to at least $2 million per year in increased funding for Ethereum developers, without going through the traditional routes of securing more capital that could involve market bias.

While Buterin was floating his idea to the community as opposed to announcing an actual development by the Ethereum team, the proposal was met with conflicting opinions. On user pointed out that an imposed gas fee negated the ability of wallet devs to set their own transaction prices, thereby limiting free enterprise.

“So much for free enterprise? Shouldn’t wallet devs be allowed to charge what they want, even if this is zero?”

Other users were quick to counter that Buterin’s plan involves creating a “community norm” around wallet transaction gas fees, rather than making it a definitive part of transactions. Buterin reiterated this point in a subsequent tweet, clarifying that he was not advocating a mandatory fee increase, but rather hoped to jump start an ETH community initiative to support devs through an alternative method of fee collection,

“To be clear, I am NOT advocating a norm *mandating* the 1 gwei fee. I am arguing for a norm diacouraging overly complaining about and/or trying to circumvent the fee if/where it exists.”

Buterin’s plan, despite the controversy it may have stirred among Twitter responses, does provide a community-generated source of funding for Ethereum developers that promotes decentralization over other forms of fee-collection. However, as some users pointed out, it’s a tough sell to get people to pay for something they were previously receiving for free, even if it comes with good intentions. While wallet operators are free to impose fees to compete on the market, a blanket gas fee–even one that is imposed through community good will or Buterin’s “norm”–would be hard to gain broad adoption.

Despite the lackluster response to Buterin’s proposal, Ethereum has benefited from positive news in the last week surrounding its development. Over the weekend, as reported by EWN, research firm Electric Capital published data showing Ethereum led the industry in active developer support, with over twice that of second-place Bitcoin (BTC). Ethereum has also benefited from the successful launch of its long-awaited Constantinople upgrade at the end of February. 

 

Title image courtesy of beatingbetting.co.uk

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Report: Ethereum (ETH) Has Twice the Monthly Core Dev Support as Bitcoin (BTC)

A new report confirms the industry belief that Ethereum has the largest coding development support of any cryptocurrency.

Despite sitting in the number two spot by market capitalization, and trailing Bitcoin by $55 billion, a report published by crypto management firm Electric Capital on Mar. 7 found that Ethereum has the most developers working on its protocol of all cryptocurrency projects.

Ethereum, helmed by co-founder and industry figurehead Vitalik Buterin, has consistently been one of the top cryptocurrency projects to attract both core and community development, particularly when evaluating its monthly core commits. Research collected by Electric Capital reviewed 20,000 code repositories with 16 million commits to obtain data in their evaluation of different coin projects, determining that Ethereum averages 216 developers contributing code each month. Electric Capital also included in their post that this figure is likely less than the actual number of developers, because their review did not include community-base projects such as Truffle, one of the leading sand boxes for Ethereum and smart contract testing,

“This is undercounting the number of Ethereum developers since we do not include ecosystem projects like Truffle.”

The report also found that Bitcoin has amassed a healthy developer ecosystem, nearly a decade after being launched. While Electric Capital calculated BTC developer support to be 50 per month–around a quarter of what they found for ETH–the company again noted the figure to be likely under-represented, considering they do not account for cryptocurrency wallet projects.

When looking strictly at contributors to both coin’s core protocol, the numbers become more even, albeit with Ethereum still holding a significant lead. Electric Capital reported finding ETH to be “by far” the most active project, averaging 99 monthly core developers–more than twice that of BTC which claimed the second place spot at 47 core devs per month.

Overall, the report is extremely positive on the industry of cryptocurrency and its current development pace. Despite coin prices falling more than 80 percent over the last year, constituting a “crypto winter,” development support has continued to be on the rise. Electric Capital reported that the number of devs working on public coins has doubled in the last two years, with total industry figures being 4,000+ developers per month contributing code to 2,800+ coin projects.

In addition, the report found that development interest has largely been immune to depressed coin prices, a sign of both industry adoption and growing interest,

“Developers who entered the crypto ecosystem have continued to build despite market conditions. From Jan 2018 to Jan 2019, the number of monthly active developers fell 4% while the markets fell more than 80%.”

Electric Capital also found that the majority of abandoned coin projects are currencies forked from existing “high network value coins,” citing Bitcoin Diamond and Bitcoin Gold as both having fewer than 5 developers per month since Oct. 2018. Core protocol development for platform currencies have also drawn the most interest in projects observed, with the report finding 25+ monthly devs for EOS, Cardano and TRON.

With Ethereum trail-blazing the industry in developer support, the cryptocurrency welcomed the launch of its long-awaited Constantinople upgrade two weeks ago.

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ICOs Being Blamed for Ethereum (ETH) Sinking Price

Ethereum (ETH)–After a 16 percent decline in value over 24 hours, the price of Ethereum sunk to its lowest point in nearly a year. Trading a $265 as of writing, the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has completely retraced the gains made following the beginning of the year’s massive bull run. While some have pointed to the overall state of the cryptomarkets as being bloated and unhealthy, with altcoins across the board experiencing double digit losses on the week, the head of crypto hedge fund BloomWater Capital is placing the blame on ICOs cashing out.

As Bloomberg points out, the massive number of ICOs being built on the Ethereum blockchain was the primary catalyst for Ether’s price gain throughout last year, in addition to the significant amount of development interest it generated. Now, the very same usability is leading to price decline that is outpacing Bitcoin, as investors who were previously purchasing ETH to participate in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are staying out of the market.

Considering that the majority of ICOs to come out in the past year have been built as ERC-20 tokens, it has made sense for investors to buy in with existing Ether coins. In addition, Ethereum has lower mining fees and faster average transaction times than Bitcoin, while still being a highly recognized coin. While previous reports have seen the ICO market double in volume through the first half of the year over 2017, existing ICOs are cashing out in massive volumes to cover the costs of the sinking crypto market. The result is a forced selling of Ether, driving the price of ETH down ahead of other top of the market coins like BTC.

Biswas Das, director of BloomWater Capital, blames the amateurish development filling the ICO space, which has far less regulation than typical startups and overall lower barrier to entry–both contributing to headaches for investors and would-be project speculators,

“These startups are raising a lot of funds but they don’t have treasury management or enough cash management experience, so they’re selling too early and causing a lot of pressure in the market. It was fine last year but right now the the market is so fragile that it causes a lot of pressure.”

As Das puts it, the fragility of the current market is unable to withstand the forced selling and downward pressure of ICOs cashing out to cover costs, causing Ethereum to drop to price levels not seen since the middle of last year. Bloomberg also points out growing concerns over the ability of Ethereum’s network to handle transactionary volume in addition to the ICO’s being built on the platform. The end result has been other platform-focused cryptocurrencies springing up in the interim, such as Cardano’s ADA and TRON’s TRX, to fill the void in investor skepticism over Ethereum being capable of handling the development volume.

Bloomberg also quotes Spencer Bogart of Blockchain Capital LLC, saying that general disillusionment in ICOs, in conjunction with growing stories of scams and outright profiteering has caused some backlash towards the platform that hosts the ERC-20 based tokens,

“Investors are increasingly disillusioned with tokens and ICOs, most of which have been launched on top of Ethereum and we’re seeing this play out in the market with continued downward price pressure.”

ICOs have managed to thrive despite the bearish market of 2018, however not without controversy. A study published earlier in the year found that 80 percent of ICOs could be classified as ‘scams.’

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