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Sharding Coming: Vitalik Buterin Announces

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Vitalik Buterin who is the creator of ethereum has announced “SHARDING” the much-awaited scaling solution for the Ethereum blockchain protocol.

SHARDING, WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Sharding is a solution that optimizes the process of verifying transactions and smart contracts by splitting the blockchain network into partitions called shards. Instead of having every single node go through the entire transaction history of the Ethereum blockchain network, Sharding allows certain nodes to be assigned to certain shards, optimizing the process of nodes verifying transactions.

HOW IT WORKS

Currently, in all blockchain protocols each node stores all states (account balances, contract code and storage, etc.) and processes all transactions. This provides a large amount of security, but greatly limits scalability: a blockchain cannot process more transactions than a single node can. In large part because of this, Bitcoin is limited to ~3-7 transactions per second, Ethereum to 7-15, etc. However, this poses a question: are there ways to create a new mechanism, where only small subset of nodes verifies each transaction? As long as there are sufficiently many nodes verifying each transaction that the system is still highly secure, but a sufficiently small percentage of the total validator set that the system can process many transactions in parallel, could we not use such a technique to greatly increase a blockchain’s throughput?

Previously, James Ray, an Ethereum developer working on a scaling solution called Drops of Diamond, said that the requirement of nodes to verify all transactions in a blockchain network limits the ability of the blockchain to scale. He noted:

Based on the restrictions of scaling, that is why Bitcoin is limited to ~3-7 transactions per second, while Ethereum is  7-15 transactions per second etc. However, this poses a question: are there ways to create a new mechanism, where only small subset of nodes verifies each transaction?” With services from the likes CryptoKitties and decentralized exchanges such as Kyber Network and AirSwap broadcast substantially large amounts of transactions to the Ethereum network per second, even with the use of off-chain methods that reduce the burden on the main chain.

According to CCN.com, On Reddit Ethereum, an online community wherein Ethereum users, investors, enthusiasts, and developers discuss various projects and solutions, Buterin published a more in-depth description of the proof of concept he released this week.

According to Buterin, the fundamental idea of the current version of Sharding’s proof of concept surrounds the implementation of a proof-of-stake beacon chain or full Casper, that is merged into the main Ethereum blockchain network.

“The basic idea is based on a concept of dependent fork choice rules. First, there is a proof of stake beacon chain (in phase 4, aka full casper, this will just be merged into the main chain), which is tied to the main chain; every beacon chain block must specify a recent main chain block, and that beacon chain block being part of the canonical chain is conditional on the referenced main chain block being part of the canonical main chain,” explained Buterin.

He added that the proof-of-stake beacon chain with Sharding enabled can issue new blocks every two to eight seconds, which is significantly faster than existing proof-of-work blockchains like bitcoin, which has an average block time of 10 minutes.

SCALING IS REQUIRED

In order for Ethereum to support decentralized applications with millions of active users, it will need to improve by more than 100-fold in terms of scalability; Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam said.  Currently, the expectations are high as developers expect Sharding, Casper, and Plasma to bring the scalability of Ethereum to the next level to support large-scale decentralized applications and smart contracts.

 

 

 

Do you believe this scaling would help improve transactions? Post your comments, idea and contributions in the comment section below or on our social media platforms.

 

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President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro Calls on Public to its Newly Opened Petro Supported Casino

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The President of Venezuela has announced the opening of crypto supported casino in the country. This announcement was made on the 17th of January, 2020.

According to the President, the Ávila National Park’s Hotel Humboldt will soon be home to an international casino which will make use of the Petro (PTR) – the country’s cryptocurrency.

Nicolas Maduro went further saying, the proceeds from the casino activities will fund the country’s public health and education sectors. 

Betting has been halted in the country for several years prior to the administration of the current President Nicolas Maduro. Prior to this administration, betting places were ordered closed down because of being dens of drugs and other criminal activities. 

Giving details on the operation of the Casino, President Maduro said he has authorized legal bets with petros. According to him, the Hotel Humboldt will have an international casino and everyone will be able to place bets using the petro.

He went further explains, “You can come to bet. There will be offers, special prices. You buy your petro tokens, you can buy them if you bring yuan, if you bring yen, dollars, euros or any other cryptocurrencies … buy your petros and make your licit bets allowed by the state as contemplated by national laws.”

Owing to various sanctions hitting the oil filled country, the current President, Nicolas Maduro created the petro cryptocurrency to evade these sanctions and better position the economy of the state. 

The announcement of President Maduro to open the casino evidently is an attempt to provide more use cases for the petro to improve acceptability amongst the populace and global community. 

This move by the President will most likely fuel the emergence of new casinos across the country since it has been almost a decade casino activities were halted in the embattled state. 

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Binance to Support IOTX MainNet Token Swap

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The IOTX mainnet token swap to be supported by leading cryptocurrency exchange, Binance. The crypto ecosystem giant made this known via its blog.

Withdrawals will be suspended from the 15th of January, 2020 by 0:00 AM (UTC) pending till the token swap is completed.

IoTeX describes itself as an open source platform, building the Internet of Trusted Things, where all physical and virtual ‘things’ — humans, machines, businesses, and DApps — can exchange information and value at global scale. It was founded in 2017.

Binance also revealed it will handle all technical requirements involved in the swap process for all users holding the IOTX token in their Binance accounts.

Whenever even after the mainnet migration a user sends ERC-20 IOTX tokens to Binance, Binance guarantees the tokens will be converted to the mainnet IOTX and the user will not be able to withdraw the ERC-20 IOTX Tokens after the swap.

We will make a separate announcement after the mainnet swap is complete to notify users when withdrawals for IOTX (native coin) will open, Binance concluded.

In November 2019, IOTX revealed via a blog post the roadmap it intended to follow in ultimately bringing staking/voting using the IOTX token to its mainnet.

In the post, it gave a summary of schedule for staking/voting using the IOTX token.

Iotex

Mainnet Alpha (Apr 2019 – Oct 2019): staking on Ethereum using IOTX-E (ERC20) only

Mainnet Beta (Nov 2019 – Q1/Q2 2020): staking on both Ethereum and IoTeX using IOTX-E (ERC20) and IOTX (Native), respectively

Mainnet GA (Q1/Q1 2020 and on): staking on IoTeX using IOTX (Native) only. Note: all existing votes/tokens on Ethereum will be automatically converted to IoTeX

IoTex also stated that exchanges with IOTX-E currently listed will at their own different time perform official token swaps to IOTX (native) currency throughout Q4 2019 & Q1 2020.

The Internet of Trust Things platforms also stated that the final cutoff to swap IOTX-E to Native IOTX will be announced in Q1 2020.

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CEO of MTN Group Speaks Out on MTNCOIN, Calls it Fake.

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The CEO of MTN Group, Rob Shuter has spoken out on the document circulating the internet showing the Telecom giant, MTN Group to launch a utility token – MTNCOIN.

The CEO calls the document and unsolicited proposal and the Telecom firm will not consider it.

The document which was dated 29th of October, 2019 and titled “MTN COIN – Building Africa’s Universal Financial Services & Rewards Ecosystem” proposes a crypto token that will be used as a universal digital settlement currency for all financial.

In a statement published by MTN Group, it said it wishes to distance itself from the document as well as the services and offerings mentioned in the document as they are not provided by the firm.

According to the statement, MTN said the document was an unsolicited proposal submitted by an entity called Eureka Africa and it wasn’t adopted.

However, the Telecom giant affirmed its continual engagement and collaboration with various vendors, and if necessary it said, use official MTN channels to communicate such partnerships.

The document proposes the launch of a Stellar blockchain based cryptocurrency, MTNCOIN that will serve as a universal digital settlement currency for all financial users cases for all parties.

According to the document, It also intends solidifying and expanding MTN’s position as Africa’s leading communication services provider by staying at the forefront of digital transformation; capitalize on the Global Financial Technology revolution and lead the disruption of the traditional financial and insurance sector in the continent to protect current and create new revenue streams.

The Telecom giant has requested publishers to refrain from sharing the document or its contents on any public platforms.

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Telecom firm, MTN Could launch a token MTNCOIN on the Stellar Blockchain to become Universal Digital Settlement Currency

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A document showing Telecommunication firm MTN is set to launch a token –MTNCOIN on the Stellar Blockchain has been making waves on the internet since it was released.

The document which was dated October 29th 2019 and titled “MTN COIN – Building Africa’s Universal Financial Services & Rewards Ecosystem” posits that the African Financial sector is ripe for disruption.

It measured the financial flow of money through Mobile Money and Remittance. MTN through the plans to lead the disruption of Africa’s financial services industry to redefine financial inclusion.

This it intends to achieve by launching MTNCOIN as a universal digital settlement currency for all financial users cases for all parties. It also intends solidifying and expanding MTN’s position as Africa’s leading communication services provider by staying at the forefront of digital transformation.

It also wants to capitalize on the Global Financial Technology revolution and lead the disruption of the traditional financial and insurance sector in the continent to protect current and create new revenue streams.

MTN will to create a pan-african open platform and ecosystem and set the standards for trusted, direct, low-cost and instant financial transactions, bringing together various players in the financial industry such as banks, insurances, Fintechs, Retailers and major technology providers to drive interoperability and convergence.

The digital currency, MTNCOIN according to the document will be created and issued on the Stellar Blockchain Network.

It will serve as universal exchange currency, highly scalable, secure bridging currency across the African continent supported by the established MTN treasury functions.

It will serve data and airtime redemption assurance which according to the document will reduce counterpart risk as token holders.

The token will be a utility token controlled by MTN and it shall feature fast, no-cost remittance, automatic loyalty program benefits with ecommerce embedded shopping advantages.

The document compares MTNCOIN in superiority to other forms of payment such as MTN Money and M-Pesa. The coin will have a digital wallet, allow P2p transfer, cross border payments, bank integration, adoption by third party apps etc. MTNCOIN based on the document stands out from both MTN Money and M-Pesa.

The choice of choosing Stellar according to the document which compared it to the Bitcoin, Ripple and Ethereum Blockchain networks, was that Stellar is a platform that connects banks, payments systems and people, it allows fast, cross-border transactions between any pair of currencies. It is much cheaper and faster than bitcoin because of its unique consensus protocol etc.

CryptoTVPlus through one of its representative has reached out to MTN Nigeria for comment on the document as at press time but haven’t given response. Updates will be published as it comes.

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