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Ethereum (ETH) Foundation Publishes Blueprint for 2019 Development

Ethereum ETH Foundation 2019 Update

The Ethereum Foundation has published its official Spring 2019 update, shedding details on the planned development for the next coming year.

In particular, the report focuses on how the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization plans on allocating the $30 million designated for use by the Foundation in further developing the currency. The foundation reports “tremendous progress” being made for the currency over the last twelve months, and congratulates the collective efforts of developers, entrepreneurs and users of ETH. Despite growing competition with TRON (TRX) and EOS, the Foundation also claims Ethereum to be the “de-facto platform for decentralized applications,”–although research has revealed that ETH’s stranglehold on the DApp marketplace is slipping.

Interestingly, the Foundation reports having a shift in attitude towards its mission statement, owing to a refinement in focus. Compared to previous years, the line “Doing what is best for Ethereum” no longer means “trying to do everything for the currency.” Instead, the Foundation claims to be keyed in on affecting change where it can add the most value, while leaving the remainder for developers and innovators more attuned to tackle the problems they are effective in solving. The Ethereum Foundation claims its updated role is now “a resource allocator, a voice in the ecosystem, and an advocate for Ethereum to the world.”

According to the latest report, the Ethereum Foundation is in control of 0.6% of all ETH, in addition to holding cash reserves. However, the group claims that their resources will decline over time, with the largest valuation being invested into “critical work” across the ETH ecosystem. The Foundation also relays to investors that they understand the importance of the capital they command, and intend to use it wisely,

“It is our responsibility to ensure that every last dollar and wei is spent effectively.”

The 2019 update also includes an initiative to grow the Ethereum ecosystem’s funding base beyond the Foundation, which they define as,

“Encouraging other organizations besides the Foundation to support high-priority projects, and supporting innovative mechanisms for funding, including Gitcoin grants and MolochDAO. Efforts like these give us better leverage from our existing resources, and help build a sustainable path for funding vital projects far into the future.”

While cryptocurrency projects tend to tip-toe around the issue of decentralization, the Ethereum Foundation factors itself as a benefit to the currency and potential voice of authority. Writing to investors,

“We understand that many look to the Foundation as a valued voice even as we move to proactively empower others. That voice is a resource that can be used effectively to advance Ethereum. We are able to, for instance, bring attention to important but relatively unknown projects, share valuable information about Ethereum’s progress with the public, and encourage the growth of regional Ethereum communities.”

The Foundation also reports an intention to be a “more active” voice in the Ethereum community moving forward, and has recognized the need to take more initiative in growing the cryptocurrency. The 2019 update outlines increasing on-boarding for developers and improving the developer experience as two potential in-roads for the Ethereum Foundation to tackle in the coming year, particularly as the currency undergoes its massive 2.0 update.

The post Ethereum (ETH) Foundation Publishes Blueprint for 2019 Development appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Here Is How Tron’s (TRX) Daily Transaction Volume Could Surpass that of Ethereum

In a tweet just yesterday, August 8th, Justin Sun noted that the amount of daily transactions on the newly released Tron (TRX) network numbered 128,438. He would go on to mentioned the daily transactions on the Ethereum (ETH) network as being 636,342 on the same day. His conclusion was that the Tron network being 1 month old, was en route to surpass Ethereum – which is 3 years in the making – in terms of how many daily transactions it handles. The full tweet can be found below:

Further investigating Justin’s numbers on Tron Scan, we find that the daily transactions on the Tron network have increased to 215,811 since he made the tweet. This is a percentage increase of 68% in less than 24 hours. The total number of accounts has also increased from 147,623 in Justin’s screenshots, to current levels of 157,777: a percentage increase of 6.87% in less than a day. (Screenshot from Tronscan can be found below).


Checking the transaction volume on Ethereum’s EtherScan, we find that the daily transactions on the Ethereum network have dropped from yesterday levels of 636,342 to current levels of 565,663. This is a percentage drop of 12.5% in 24 hours. (Screenshot from Etherscan can be found below).


Doing the math, and if Tron’s daily transaction volume continue to increase by 68% on a daily basis, it will take only  2 days for the daily network transactions to surpass those of Ethereum. Using a conservative percentage increment of 10% per day, the Tron network will take around 10 days for its daily transaction volume to exceed that of Ethereum.

This is however expected given that the Tron network has been designed to handle 2,000 transactions per second. This means that it is capable of a maximum of 172,800,000 transactions per day at full capacity. In the case of Ethereum with a maximum of 25 Transactions per second, its network can only handle 2,160,000 transactions per day at full capacity.

In conclusion, Tron is proving to be a faster, more efficient platform than that of Ethereum. This has been shown to be true with the rate at which the daily transactions on the Tron network are close to surpassing those of the Ethereum network. It is only a matter of time until its daily transactions exceed those of ETH.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to give financial advice. Any opinion herein should be taken as is. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the numerous cryptocurrencies available.


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Crypto Non-Profits Are Flawed – Zcash Thinks It Can Change That

On the eve of the Zcash Foundation’s first major gathering, cryptocurrency aficionados worldwide are watching to see if the year-old non-profit can rehabilitate a long-maligned model of governance.

Earlier this month, dozens of privacy tech fans from across the ecosystem, from lawyers to monero community veteran Justin Ehrenhofer, joined the foundation’s online forum to vote for two new additions to the board of directors by the Monday deadline. The election will bring the total number of board members up to five, in addition to one elected runner-up in case any member steps down.

The ballot results will be discussed at length during Zcon0, which kicks off the next day in Montreal, drawing 145 attendees.

The election is noteworthy for several reasons. One is the relative transparency of the process. The community panel voters, many of whom are not affiliated with the Zcash Foundation or the startup that created zcash, are clearly listed on the foundation’s online forum.

More strikingly, one of the nine candidates for the two board seats is Robert Viglione, co-founder of zencash – a competing privacy coin that uses some of zcash’s source code.

His presence on the ballot is no fluke: Zcash Foundation director Josh Cincinnati has made a point of inviting members of competing projects to help govern his cryptocurrency’s community.

Despite the bitter rivalries between crypto tribes, Cincinnati told CoinDesk his foundation would also gladly sponsor research related to other rival projects, such as monero.

He explained:

“Having privacy and fungibility technology on a payment system, worldwide, is a net benefit to society. Whether that work comes from zcash or monero or mimblewimble, it doesn’t matter to us in the end which coin has the higher market cap.”

By offering such opportunities for external input, and taking other steps to ensure transparency and independence from the company that created zcash, Cincinnati said he aims to dispel the notion that crypto foundations are nothing more than a legal workaround for nepotistic funding or free marketing for startups.

“I hope we can demonstrate over the long-term that this is not the case,” he said.

Shaky foundations

Yet the foundation model to date has been plagued by countless mishaps related to governance and management.

Stepping back, the Zcash Foundation is one of a long line of non-profits that have been created around cryptocurrencies since the Bitcoin Foundation was established in 2012. These early organizations have had varying degrees of success (with the Bitcoin Foundation even failing entirely).

However, the idea was given new life when ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin established the Swiss-based Ethereum Foundation with proceeds from a token sale in 2014, with many projects following his footsteps to Switzerland.

In the view of skeptics such as Stephen Palley, a partner at the law firm Anderson Kill in Washington, D.C., some of them did so to exploit legal workarounds.

“People looked at the Ethereum Foundation’s model and thought, ‘if we want to avoid U.S. securities laws we can create this thing in Switzerland and use that to sell in the U.S.,'” Palley said.

Regardless of motive, using a distant foundation to manage a cryptocurrency created by a startup complicates governance.

For example, the Tezos project illustrated a worst-case scenario after its $232 million token sale when the president of the project’s Swiss foundation had a falling out with the California-based token creators, leading to a complex legal battle that delayed development for almost a year.

Despite the Ethereum Foundation’s numerous accomplishments, Twitter trolls often disparage Buterin and ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin, who currently heads the startup empire ConsenSys, because events sponsored by the nonprofit offer superb marketing opportunities for startups like ConsenSys and OmiseGo, the latter of which Buterin is himself an advisor for. (The Ethereum Foundation declined to comment.)

Several other foundations suffered from rumors of deliberate secrecy and nepotism. For instance, critics accused the Bitcoin Foundation’s board of keeping quiet about early evidence that the early bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox was bankrupt.

“There seems to be very little advantage to setting up a foundation at all,” monero project lead Riccardo Spagni told CoinDesk. “It just seems to create this facade of being a super benevolent, decentralized, not-for-profit.”

Funded, yet independent

The Zcash Foundation is hoping to avoid the pitfalls of its predecessors, in part because it has an unusual setup.

For example, instead of a token sale, its main source of funding is a fixed share – 1.44 percent – of all the zcash that is mined. This comes out of the 10 percent “founders reward,” collected from all zcash miners, that goes to the creators of zcash, several of whom work at Zerocoin Electronic Coin Company (ZEC), the startup that still indirectly profits from and promotes the currency.

ZEC’s CEO, Zooko Wilcox, joined half a dozen other zcash founders in signing contracts compelling them to donate the 1.44 percent directly to the foundation. This structure imposes more discipline on the foundation than a token sale in a white-hot market would have, according to Cincinnati.

“Since the founders’ reward is structured like a four-year vest, the foundation’s access to capital is much more restricted compared to other crypto foundations, which encourages a longer-term view and more measured spending,” Cincinnati said.

Beyond the financial arrangement, though, Wilcox isn’t directly involved with the foundation or the community election. This, too, is unusual: Buterin, who has a roughly analogous figurehead role in the ethereum community, was still the president of the Ethereum Foundation board as of last year, Swiss records show.

Explaining his preference not to join the Zcash Foundation, Wilcox told CoinDesk:

“Zcash users need an independent organization that can serve as a check-and-balance on the actions of the Zcash Company that I lead.”

That said, Wilcox has openly challenged the foundation to establish its own trademarks, hire staff software experts, and find sources of independent funding.

And when it comes to the controversial debates about whether and how to combat the centralizing effects of specialized mining chips, the foundation already takes an independent approach.

Rather than wait for Wilcox, who is not prioritizing software updates to help zcash resist mining consolidation, Cincinnati is hiring a developer to build tools for reducing corporate influence on the network.

This mining issue is also an issue in the election. In addition to choosing new board members, the digital ballots due Monday also include a question asking if the foundation should prioritize so-called ASIC resistance. “It’s going to be a good moment for the foundation to figure out what the community will is for where we go forward,” said Cincinnati.

Privacy above profit

Another way the Zcash Foundation stands out is by eagerly courting contributors from other crypto communities. The nonprofit says its ultimate goal is to promote privacy tech as a human right, regardless of whether the ultimate solution benefits Wilcox’s startup.

One such effort is allowing a community panel, separate from the foundation board, to approve funding for research grants. Despite the well-publicized rivalry between zcash and monero, that review committee includes Brandon Goodell from the Monero Research Lab.

“It’s a weird hybrid between having a group of insiders decide everything, which is the way that most organizations are run, and entirely crowdsourcing our decisions,” said Sonya Mann, the Zcash Foundation’s communications manager, acknowledging that the model is an experiment.

“At this point, it’s an open question whether our approach will be effective or whether it will be a good way to direct our efforts going forward,” she said.

One more departure from the norm: The Zcash Foundation is registered not in Switzerland, but Delaware. This helps with transparency, because as a U.S. nonprofit, it must share financial documents such as employee salaries and some tax forms.

“It’s all public information, as it should be,” Cincinnati said.

Being located in the same country as Colorado-based ZEC may produce a further benefit: it could simplify the legal process in the event any zcash founders attempt to renege on their funding obligations to the foundation, reducing risks of a Tezos-style fiasco.

It remains to be seen if Cincinnati’s unorthodox methods will give his foundation a unique role in the broader ecosystem, beyond its namesake cryptocurrency.

But William Mougayar, the founder of Token Summit, said so far the Zcash Foundation appears to have one of the most mature foundation models in the industry.

All of the cryptocurrencies that sprouted up in the wake of ether need “a neutral party that will look after the community before anyone else,” Mougayar said.

“Eventually there should be a separation” between such stewards and the issuers or creators of the coin, he said. “I think Zcash is working on it.”

Flower growing through cracks image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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New Ideas Energize Ethereum Though True Signaling Solution Still Elusive

Put enough heads together and you might just solve governance.

At least, that was the idea behind a private, two-day meeting of top researchers, who met in Toronto this week to discuss how decisions should be made on ethereum, the world’s second most valuable blockchain network.

Named “EIP:0,” a nod to the platform’s process for accepting codes changes – the meeting consisted of members from a variety of startups and non-profits working to advance the technology, with notable members including Parity Technologies, the Web3 Foundation, the Ethereum Foundation, Giveth, Aragon, Consensys, MetaMask and others.

Designed to give participants a protected space to discuss one of the platform’s hardest problems, much of the focus was around a handful of issues that have caused controversy over the past few months. Whether it was the debate over how to return frozen funds, whether to limit ether issuance or to reject mining hardware advances, developers have struggled with how best to measure and enact the will of the diverse and polarized community.

But for such a theoretical unknown, the meeting proved highly productive, participants said.

“One thing that immediately became apparent through the workshop was the question of community,” core developer Lane Rettig told CoinDesk. “I think it is the single biggest takeaway from this event.”

According to Rettig, much of the discussion surrounded how to better identify what constitutes a community member, or someone who should have a say in just how ethereum develops, and how to accurately measure their sentiment.

Toward this, Rettig said several companies at the event expressed an interest in funding the development of open-source, sentiment gathering tools, that could better measure the will of identified parties when it came to contentious change.

“There’s general consensus that we need better signals,” Rettig told CoinDesk.

And while the choice to keep the working group small and invite-only has already ruffled some feathers on Reddit, with some warning that such a formula contradicts the openness of the platform, it was clear from the event documentation that aligning to the community was the central concern.

Rettig told CoinDesk:

“The community is critical to all of us, I can speak as myself as a core developer, I care a great deal about what the community thinks, but I do struggle to gauge sentiment. The single to noise ratio tends to be very low on channels like Reddit.”

Better signals

Of course, it’s well-known by now that social media can be a noisy and hostile place.

“Everyone on the internet needs to chill out and not be so mean to everybody,” community manager Hudson Jameson said at the public panel following the event.

Several others echoed this point, stating that while channels such as Twitter and Reddit can be filled with abusive uproar, it’s not clear whether the loudest voices fairly represent the opinions of all.

And when it comes to the platform’s hardest decisions, such as whether to hard fork to return money lost in the Parity fund freeze of November last year, clean signals are crucial.

“There’s a very strong voice for immutability on channels like Reddit,” Dan Finlay, from ethereum wallet MetaMask, said at a later public discussion. “I’m seriously suspicious of those. Maybe they’re sock puppets. I didn’t see them very well represented here.”

As such, event participants put their heads together to better isolate the various groups that have different stake within the platform, including protocol developers, application developers, application users, miners, investors, full nodes, governments and regulators.

The diversity of signals can be collected with purpose-built tooling directed towards each group, and possibly aggregated onto a website, that would visibly depict the different leanings and inclinations.

“What we really want are signal aggregators or bundles of signals,” Retting told CoinDesk in an interview.

And there was a lot of creation discussion on how to achieve this, too.

Speaking in the public panel following the event, Griff Green from decentralized charity Giveth suggested mirroring the efforts deployed by bitcoin in the midst of the scaling debate, using tools like the website Coin.Dance, where the signals sent out by biggest mining pools were neatly depicted.

Rettig also expressed other ideas, that could extend beyond the biggest players to the smaller ecosystem members as well, by including an option in wallet software to signal a position with a simple transaction.

Rettig explained:

“By reducing friction maybe you’ll increase participation. Any single signal is by definition not sufficient.”

Crypto’s magic power

And when contention remains, there’s always the option to split.

Speaking at the event, several attendees expressed that far from being feared, the ability to create a new version of the ethereum blockchain in the case of divisive decisions is the ultimate, non-coercive tool for dissident groups to enact their opinions.

“Forks are absolutely essential,” Rettig said.

Indeed, in allowing communities the possibility of exit, Rettig and others expressed that the option to split off in case of contention is one of the key advantages that blockchains have over traditional governments.

As such, a dedicated working group on Tuesday discussed how to make forks “less dire,” ways to cheapen, increase security and destigmatizing community divides when they do inevitably occur.

“A fork is going to happen. I mean eventually there will be a fork,” Rettig said, though he stressed this sentiment is more theoretical than a commentary on current events.

However, while a split is a clean way to settle disputes, there’s messy, technical complications when it comes to enacting such a divide on ethereum.

Because ethereum is not just a blockchain, but a computation platform as well, every decentralized application would simultaneously co-exist on both versions of the platform.

As well as proving complicated for the many, many businesses that rely on ethereum software, this could spark unanticipated strangeness in other types of decentralized applications as well.

“What happens to a stablecoin?” Rettig asked. “Does it stay at one dollar on both blockchains, and now you have two dollars? Or is it 0.25 cent on one blockchain and 0.75 cent on the other?”

Rettig said that like many of the sessions that occurred over the two days, the result was non-conclusive, but attendees will be running a monthly online meetup dedicated to such conversations.

And it is clear that in spite of risks, splits are a still a value fallback method.

“The fact that in a bloodless way we can neatly fork, and each group can go off and do their own thing, and we can bisect along the lines of values, that is a magic power,” Rettig said.

He concluded:

“We should not be afraid to use it, because that is our magic power.”

Griff Green courtesy of Lane Rettig

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Ethereum Foundation Awards Millions In Grant Funding

The non-profit dedicated to advancing and maintaining ethereum’s software  has officially announced the recipients of its first wave of development grants.

A total of 13 projects received more than $2.5 million combined to work on scalability, security, development experiences, user interface study and other derivatives of the ethereum blockchain, according to a Wednesday announcement.

The grants will help the ethereum community better develop distributed applications (dapps) and smart contracts, according to the post. The Foundation also noted the different topics each of the recipients is researching, and said “we hope that these grants will signal to the community what we think are the missing pieces in the ecosystem that need more support.”

The Foundation continued, saying it “is here to serve teams and individuals that are working to prevent a tragedy of the commons.”

Notably, the Foundation acknowledged that the grant program had changed its focus since its first announcement in January. At the time, it was aimed at developers working on scaling ethereum’s network, as previously reported.

On Wednesday, the Foundation explained the change:

“We decided to broaden the support to projects that are doing great work across scalability, usefulness and security. These projects have no ICOs, no token sales, and focus simply on building useful products and experiences.”

Nor are the grants strictly related to the main network. The Foundation noted that some of its grants went to “hackternships” for members of the community who proposed a useful side project.

That being said, some of the largest grants went towards scalability research – L4 Research earned $1.5 million to work on state channels, while Prysmatic Labs earned $100,000 for work on sharding.

Stained glass image via Shutterstock

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