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Discussion Against Cobra For The Ownership Of Bitcoin.org Heats Up In Github

The Bitcoin (BTC) community in GitHub was quite busy after an announcement posted yesterday looking for a solution to remove Cobra’s control over the Bitcoin.org domain.

On July 26, “beyourself” posted the ad as a follow up to a discussion that had already started on Bitcoin Core #UASF Slack channel:

“The Problem: A number of individuals (including myself) feel that @Cobra-Bitcoin has become an unreliable person to own the Bitcoin.org domain name, mainly given his public support for BCH (as well as other things, but this is not supposed to be an attack on Cobra). We fear that Cobra:

1. May suddenly start propagandizing BCH as ‘The Real Bitcoin’ and re-purpose Bitcoin.org to promote BCH.

2. Sell the domain to someone else, who’d use it for malicious intent. The fact that he’s only known only by his pseudonym would make this relatively easy and have no consequences for him whatsoever, there’s only a lucrative upside for him.”

The Proposed Solutions

In short, following some comments from Cobra about the benefits of Bitcoin Cash, several users began to distrust its role within the community, thinking that it could be the same as Roger Ver (formerly known as Bitcoin Jesus), who later began to promote Bitcoin Cash (BCH) as the real Bitcoin (BTC).

This decision led coinmarketcap.com, the reference website for information about cryptos and their marketcap, to remove bitcoin.com from the list of official pages of the Bitcoin (BTC) Project.

To avoid this problem, there are two proposed solutions, both agreeing that Cobra has no control over the domain bitcoin.org:

“The Solution: The domain name should be placed in the hands of the community. The solutions which had been discussed in the Slack discussion were the following:

1. Cobra transfers the domain back to @theymos and therefore relinquishes his ability to perform either of the above two actions.

2. A select few veterans within the Bitcoin community would be chosen to form a non-profit, and the domain would then be transferred into this non-profit.”

Comments on the matter were not long in coming. The majority of users were in favor of the second option. A slightly more decentralized idea, however, given that the names of these “selected veterans” are not yet known, several users expressed their mistrust, pointing out the danger that this could entail.

Cobra Shares His Thoughts About Bitcoin.org

Little time passed before Cobra himself entered the discussion. His calm, objective tone surprised many users, who appreciated the mature way Cobra was taking matters in hand.

Cobra spoke out against the second option categorically. In his opinion, it is impossible to guarantee that a group, or even a fraction of that group, will be utterly incorruptible:

“Ouch. This is going to be a pretty intense thread. But I guess these things have to be discussed. Let me first say that option 2 is a non-starter, I don’t trust anyone with that responsibility except @theymos. I have serious levels of respect for him, and believe him to be incorruptible, so if I were to ever leave bitcoin.org, I would have to have him still involved, and if he doesn’t want that role, I would trust him solely to pick a suitable successor or make arrangements as he deems fit. There’s no way on earth I would transfer the site to random people I don’t know or respect.”

He pointed out that in his opinion, mentioning that Bitcoin Cash has some positive aspects does not mean that it will become “some raging “Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin” lunatic.”

He took the opportunity to defend himself against the accusations made against him, noting that until now he has never failed the community of Bitcoin (BTC) despite issuing certain controversial opinions:

“I won’t deny I can be erratic at times, but there’s a difference between “difficult to work with” and outright malicious intent. Maybe go on Bitcoin.org, and try to find something egregious enough that even comes close to the type of garbage and outright fraud you see on Roger’s site. I’m sorry if I don’t call Bitcoin Cash “Bcash”, or hate it with a fiery passion (I used too), or I don’t have exactly the same set of opinions as you. But that doesn’t mean you can attempt to pressure me into handing over the domain to some random group (of strangers no less!).”

He concluded with a reflexion saying that his behavior has been moderating over time, and called on the community to focus more on unity and sharing perspectives.

“It’s people like you that make your own enemies, but you won’t make me an enemy of Bitcoin, no matter how much you try to smear me, discredit me, or get me replaced.”

Theymos Speaks Out

The discussion maintained a reasonable level of objectivity, bearing in mind the arguments of both Cobra and Beyourself. Some users were in favor of Cobra after learning of his views.

In the final comments, @theymos published his opinion, changing the perspectives a little. He commented that Cobra does not have unlimited power over Bitcoin.org and in case of an accident, he could take some control over the domain.

He also mentioned that according to his opinion, Cobra is an incorruptible person whom he trusts more than any other group of people chosen to manage Bitcoin.org:

“I don’t see any urgent need to change the status quo. I am not very concerned about Cobra going rogue (see my comment here), and I am concerned that any non-profit would be more likely to be eventually corrupted than Cobra is. There are disadvantages to having the domain ultimately controlled by one person, and it may be possible to design an entity carefully enough that the risk of it being corrupted is sufficiently low, so I won’t completely rule out future changes.”

The discussion so far is purely hypothetical. Even beyourself commented that he has no expectation of anything happening, but considered it appropriate to do a community opinion poll.

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GitHub Reportedly Acquired By Microsoft

News reaching Ethereum World News indicate that there are plans by software giant Microsoft Inc. to acquire popular software repository platform, GitHub. Rumors have been in the air for quite some time now of the intentions by Microsoft to seal the deal with respect to buying GitHub this year.

Credible sources indicate that the deal could be announced as early as today, Monday June 4th. This act by the software giant would be a move described by many, as going back to the roots of how Microsoft started in the first place. Bill Gates and Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft with the aim of developing software products for personal computers to give hobbyists an avenue for seamlessly programming their own projects. The company has since grown to feature video game consoles (Xbox), consumer electronics, personal computers and cloud services (Microsoft Azure).

The current CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, has been actively involved in courting coders and initiating coding initiatives since taking the helm at the company in 2014. Last year, he was noted as saying the following during the company’s annual developers conference:

The opportunity for developers to have broad impact on all parts of society has never been greater. But with this opportunity comes enormous responsibility.

His words were meant to remind developers that there are unintended consequences of technology that can only be solved by the creators themselves. He was quick to refer to the classic novel, 1984, to further his argument with respect to responsibility in technology:

Orwell, in [the novel] 1984, described a society where technology was used to monitor and control and dictate, and Huxley [in Brave New World] talked about distracting ourselves without meaning or purpose. We don’t want that.

By acquiring GitHub, Microsoft will have access to over 27 Million software developers many of whom are not thrilled by the acquisition for it might hinder decentralization of code which is one of the chief reasons that the platform thrives.

Most, if not all, blockchain projects, use the platform to upload its code. This in turn means that any disgruntled blockchain coders might find an alternative to GitHub if the acquisition follows through.

Microsoft’s Corporate V.P of communication, Frank X. Shaw, was asked about the acquisition by TechCrunch to which he replied:

You know we don’t ever comment on this sort of rumor.

This means that we have to wait for official communications from both Microsoft and GitHub to confirm the acquisition.

[Photo source, betanews.com]

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Here Is How Tron’s (TRX) MainNet Will Be Better Than Ethereum’s Platform

Despite all the issues of the Tron (TRX) token value taking a nosedive during the MainNet launch on the 31st of May, the project is on course to achieve its goal of being the platform of choice for Decentralized Applications in the future. The TRON MainNet is now available for download on GitHub for developers from around the globe to test it and also to see if they can find any security vulnerabilities before the declared Independence day of 25th June.

This day of the 25th, is when the first Genesis Block will be launched on the TRON platform that aims at improving on the challenges faced by users in the Ethereum platform.

So how will The Tron MainNet challenge Ethereum?

Firstly, and from the get go, the number of commits for the TRON Odyssey 2.0 is admirable for such a young project. TRON has already accumulated 2,153  commits on Github. The MainNet has also accomplished to merge 547 forks, released 15 software iterations and added 103 new features. The team has also carried out 384 unit tests to ensure code security, done 461 functional tests, reviewed the code numerous and determined it is ready.

Secondly, TRON introduces the first democratic governance system that ensures decentralization. This means that through Super Representation, every user will have a say of what is going on in the platform and project. TRON solves community governance by letting users leverage their tokens to vote and have a choice in the community. No single developer or foundation will have full control in the traditional autocratic system of ETH.

John McAfee even lauded the TRON project because of its planned democratic system. Mr. McAfee had this to say:

If you are in the Tron community, vote for @team_tronics. Why? Because they are one of the few teams attempting to give back to the crypto community. Also, there are a couple of beautiful women on the team who promised to send me their phone numbers. So vote for them or else!!

Thirdly, TRON MainNet will be able to support a new generation of Decentralized Apps that were not supported on Ethereum. These DApps function on the decentralized governance earlier mentioned. Also, the high gas fees experienced in the Ethereum platform will be a thing of the past. The transactional coin burn everyone has been asking about, is only 0.1 TRX when creating a new account on the platform and transfers cost 0.001 TRX. This is amazingly cheap while compared to the ETH platform.

Fourthly, and not necessarily the last reason why TRON MainNet will be gunning for Ethereum, is the current period of vigorous MainNet testing that has been stimulated by a bug bounty program. This means that for the next 24 days up until June 24th, every developer out there stands a chance of cashing in on up to $100,000 for discovering bugs on the platform. Such an incentive will guarantee that the MainNet is 100% secure before being launched fully on the 25th of June.

In conclusion, the TRON Project is one to keep a keen eye on in the following days and months. The project also stands a chance at eventually replacing Ethereum as the choice platform for the developers of DApps.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to give financial advice. The 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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Verge (XVG) Software Patch Uploaded On GitHub, Concerns Still Linger

A Software patch from the Verge (XVG) development team was uploaded on GitHub just yesterday, May 25th. The announcement was made via Twitter and by Kris Chase who is an adviser for the XVG project in terms of marketing and operations.

In the tweet, Kriss informed the Verge Family the following:

A patch has been deployed on Github (10 hours ago). Update has been successfully pushed to GitHub. Please keep in mind process to reactivating exchanges etc. may still take some time.

This was welcome news to the Verge family and project but there were still questions and concerns expressed by XVG HODLers and users. The concerns were aired in response to the tweet by Kriss. Most users were concerned that the patch might not work as planned and that the solution was not adequate.

One user known as @BrianPotter had this to say:

I see no communication to reassure me that this “patch” won’t result in another hack. What exactly was done to convince the community that this time warp exploit won’t happen again?

His sentiments were echoed by @Wax_B who tweeted the following:

changing the drift is not a proper fix to prevent these attacks. He spent 3 days on this simple fix to change the drift interval? This is laughable.

@LariNoar was not impressed with the patch also:

This “patch” doesn’t fix the exploit… this was already said beginning of april. You should stop risking your investors money… #vergecurrency #altcoins #xvg #cryptocurrency

The patch helps in that it gives a solution to the vulnerability that caused the previous hack. However, with the concerns highlighted above, one can only suggest that the XVG development team come up with a bug bounty program as hinted earlier by Ethereum World News. Such a program would involve the Verge fam and would be an avenue for all the amateur and professional developers out there, to try their luck at finding more vulnerabilities with the project’s code. Any such vulnerability found and reported would in turn be accompanied by a reward to the developer who found it.

One twitter users @delordsQuest made one such suggestion to improve the code:

Kindly talk to @jaredctate & team to help implement #digiShield. You & yours will have peace of mind from thereon. cc @DigiByteCoin

In conclusion, the crypto-verse will on occasion be plagued by hacks and vulnerabilities. This is normal for any code that is in use today. One way of solving this issue would be to have a bug bounty program and also to have the community alert the crypto-verse whenever there is a hack as was witnessed with the one just experienced by XVG.

The post Verge (XVG) Software Patch Uploaded On GitHub, Concerns Still Linger appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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The First Version of Ethereum's Casper Upgrade Has Been Published

A new version of the code behind Casper, a planned change to the way the ethereum network reaches consensus, has been published for wider scrutiny by auditors and client developers.

Danny Ryan, the developer behind Casper FFG, posted a version 0.1.0 “first release” of the code to GitHub Tuesday, noting, “v0.1.0 marks us more clearly tagging releases to help clients and external auditors more easily track the contract and changes.”

(Short for “Friendly Finality Gadget,” FFG is the first iteration of Casper, and will possibly be followed by others.)

Ryan followed up with a reply to a Reddit post on the update, in which he wrote:

“More than just the research team is using the contract now — auditors, client devs, etc — so we wanted to start issuing clearer versioning and changelogs to help everyone stay organized.”

The move signals that momentum is building behind the protocol change, as ethereum software clients can begin scripting the software into their individual coding languages and testing the software.

Vitalik Buterin, who created ethereum, addressed the Casper upgrade at a conference in Toronto last week, calling it “hopefully one of the more joyous experiences in ethereum in a fairly short time.”

Once implemented, Casper FFG will alter ethereum’s software so that updating the blockchain involves a combination of proof-of-work – the electricity-intensive “mining” familiar from bitcoin – and proof-of-stake. The latter employs validators to update the ledger through a voting system within which users, sometimes called stakers, put down deposits of ether, which they risk losing if they attempt to cheat.

In its initial stages, Casper will retain ethereum’s current proof-of-work protocol to do most of the heavy lifting, using proof of stake to validate “checkpoints” periodically. Because the network can only handle so many validating nodes, the minimum deposit will start off at 1,500 ether, or $1.1 million at the current exchange rate.

The plan is eventually to move to a fully proof-of-stake system and to lower the minimum stake, but there is no definite timeline for that transition at present.

For now, this first stage of Casper has to be audited, and the network cannot implement it until more code has been written for ethereum clients, the programs users download to run the cryptocurrency’s protocol. Since Casper will not be compatible with earlier versions of ethereum, the network will need to hard fork.

Ryan told a meeting of developers last month:

“As these pieces of the puzzle are getting closer to being completed, I’ll signal that it’s time to start talking about fork block numbers.

Code 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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Ethereum Developer Resigns as Code Editor Citing Legal Concerns

Yoichi Hirai has resigned as an ethereum editor citing concerns that a contentious proposal may be in violation of penal law.

Named EIP 867, the proposal defines a method to better facilitate the return of lost funds on the platform.

Speaking on GitHub, the developer wrote:

“Some EIP editors look nonchalant about legal consequences of this draft, but I have warned them, and I have no capacities to do anything more than warn them … I resign from the post of an EIP editor.”

Writing his comments yesterday, Hirai said that the EIP may be in violation of a Japanese law named the “Unauthorized Creation of Electromagnetic Records,” stating “I have a doubt that, if the proposal is followed in practice, the process might constitute a crime.”

The law in question deals with cases of computer-based fraud, in particular the unlawful creation of data “with the intent to bring about improper administration of the matters of another person,” a legal document states.

Last week, Hirai blocked the proposal due to its failure to align with the “ethereum philosophy,” a requirement based on the code acceptance process, as detailed in EIP-1. The developer has since retracted those statements, writing: “I was able to ignore my interpretation of ‘the ethereum philosophy’ but I cannot ignore the penal code.”

As previously detailed by CoinDesk, the proposal is led by developer Dan Philfer from Musiconomi, an ICO issuer that saw 16,475 ether lost in the Parity fund freeze last year.

Philfer’s proposal has sparked controversy among developers, with some urging the public to get involved with the debate. The proposal is also said to have accelerated efforts to improve the platform’s process for accepting code changes.

Prior to his resignation, Hirai was one of six ethereum developers with the rights to accept software changes onto the platform.

According to data on GitHub, Hirai was prolific in this role, with 5,219 contributions in the last year – a figure that tops the sum of all other editor contributions combined.

Broken pencil image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

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Deloitte Report: Over 26,000 Blockchain Projects Began in 2016

More than 26,000 new projects related to blockchain were created on code repository GitHub last year, according to data collected by Deloitte.

For its new report – titled “Evolution of Blockchain Technology: Insights from the GitHub Platform” and published today – the professional services firm drew information from the development platform, which plays home to the code for over 86,000 blockchain initiatives, including major projects like bitcoin.

As a whole, the study charts the course of development of the technology through various implementations (beginning with bitcoin) dating back to 2009.

Deloitte’s report indicates that 2016 saw the most new blockchain projects (by both organizations and individual users) to date. By comparison, fewer than 15,000 were created in 2015. The data for 2017 includes only the first six months of the year, yet nearly 25,000 GitHub projects were created over that period.

The report also included data on the top blockchain code repositories on GitHub. Of those, bitcoin has (perhaps unsurprisingly) seen the most activity, with 627 total contributors and nearly 12,000 followers. Go-ethereum (or Geth), the software client maintained by the non-profit Ethereum Foundation, has drawn 149 contributors to date with 5,603 followers.

Another major data point in the report is that the majority of blockchain projects seen to date are largely inactive on GitHub.

Deloitte explains:

“The stark reality of open-source projects is that most are abandoned or do not achieve meaningful scale. Unfortunately, blockchain is not immune to this reality. Our analysis found that only 8 percent of projects are active, which we define as being updated at least once in the last six months.”

The authors add that organizations are a “positive differentiator” in the data, saying “while 7 percent of projects developed by users are active, 15 percent of projects developed by organizations are active.”

The report further offers geographical insights into the pace of blockchain development thus far, noting that San Francisco plays home to the most blockchain-related GitHub repository owners, with 1,279 users and 101 organizations. London scored the second-highest with 919 projects in total, followed by New York with 774.

“It is also worth noting the high level of activity in China, specifically, Shanghai and Beijing. In both of these cities, most of the projects pertain to cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency exchanges, with an emphasis on scalability,” the report goes on to say.

Code on screen image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.