Serenity: Ethereum 2.0 with Increased Speed and Scalability Nears Launch

In Devcon4, Vitalik Buterin called Ethereum 2.0 or Serenity a more decentralized world computer

I refuse to use the word shasper because I find it insanely lame. We’ll call it Serenity.

Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum co-founder

(Shasper is a synthesis between sharding and Casper.)

In a keynote presentation, Buterin explained that Serenity is the accomplishment of what they have been working on for four years. The Serenity platform envelopes Ethereum’s core team projects such as Casper, Virtual Machine Improvements (eWASM), sharding, improvements to cross-contract logic and to protocol economics. All these converge in a unified whole under Serenity.

Before Launch

Buterin informed the Devcon4 audience that the release for Serenity is ‘really not so far away’.

Developers need to continuously steady out and review the development of the protocol through further testing. Security audits will also be made before it can be ready for unveiling.

Serenity Features

Serenity is a pure PoS consensus. Speed is one of the protocol’s main attributes: offering faster synchronous confirmation time, having a fast VM execution through eWASM, and a 1000x scalability increasing tps to 14,000.

Future Developments for Ethereum 2.0

Ethereum developers will continue to upgrade and develop Serenity beyond its release. Some of the expected developments will include adding a layer 2 execution engine, a stronger foundation for cross-shard transactions, and an upgrade to STARKs.

Serenity Implementation Phases

Phase 0: Beacon chain PoS is the phase between testnet and mainnet transition.

Phase 1: Sharding.

Phase 2: Enablement of state transitions and switching to eWASM.

Phase 3 and what’s up ahead: More improvement and development for the technology.

Reactions from the Community

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New Crypto Scam Forthcoming as Apollo (APL) Grows 418% in a Week But Founder Gets Exposed

While nobody gets surprised with how prices go up and down in the crypto industry anymore, sometimes a certain token appears and calls out everybody’s attention. This week, this is exactly what happened with Apollo Cryptocurrency (APL), a token that has seen its price rise over 400% in a single week now. What Is Apollo? Apollo is a token that was created in 2017 as an all-in-one type of crypto. It has a bit of everything: smart contracts, sharding, privacy features, etc. However, there is just one slight issue, it does not actually do what it promises most of the time. The base token is a fork from NXT with block time reduced by 2 seconds and other smaller changes to the code. The idea was to make a single powerful crypto by combining many features, but the critics of the token affirm that this is not what actually happened. Behind the team of Apollo is a powerful marketer: John McAfee. The notorious crypto troll is listed as the chairman of the company and has mentioned it in his tweets before. Everybody knows that McAfee is kind of notorious for making exaggerated claims and he’s not fully reliable, so this does not add a lot of legitimacy to the token, despite how famous the man is. The main clash here is that some people call Apollo a pure “Shitcoin” while others defend it and affirm that it helps the user to hide its IP better and that the token is good. Among the haters, they believe that Apollo has only changed some lines in the code of NXT and rebranded it. One of the main arguments against Apollo can be seen in this Reddit post: Here, the poster affirms that what is currently happening right is a pump and dump scheme. The creators of Apollo are pumping the tokens everywhere and telling people that the prices will rise soon, which is causing the prices to actually rise a lot. After they do it, they want to dump their tokens while their price is high. The Founder And The Telegram Group Apollo’s founder is a man called Steve McCullah. He was accused of being a scammer in the past and of dumping coins using Telegram. According to the post, the Telegram is a completely brainwashed place. He was also accused of constantly changing his LinkedIn profile to make people believe that he is more experienced than he actually is. People are banned for saying anything literally remotely looking negative. Some comments highlighted in the post asked, in a completely acceptable way, whether the token was the same as NXT or not and it was banned. People are banned for asking questions or for making comparisons like asking whether they think this is better than Monero or not. Asking literally any question about the technology will also get you banned, it seems. The founder constantly keeps asking people to share fake news about Apollo and asking them to talk good things about the tech (the one you can’t ask anything about) on Twitter. People, as was being affirmed at the Reddit post, are sharing fake news and saying that Bitcoin is dead and that APL is the future, too. The Conclusion We are yet to see information that backs the idea that Apollo is actually the future of something. The technology of the company does not seem to be very good, according to the information we have gathered, and, unfortunately, we have some doubts about the people involved in the project. Unless you are a speculator who thinks you can make a profit quickly, you should avoid investing in this token. The risks are, in our opinion, pretty obvious, so sticking to Bitcoin might prove to be a better idea. Remember to always be well informed and to never get into the hive mentality of suspicious Telegram groups.
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Examining the Proposed Validator Economics of Ethereum 2.0

Part One of a series unpacking Proof of Stake, validator markets, and the future of Collin Myers at ConsenSys VenturesSince the formal announcement of Serenity at DevCon4 in November we have seen a strong self organization of minds come together to debate and better define the specs of Ethereum 2.0. Topics such as network inflation, economic incentives, slashing, withdrawal period, attack vectors and worst case scenarios are all receiving a healthy debate, amongst many others.With the recent surge in participation in Ethereum 2.0, it is now timely and critical that we effectively incorporate diverse viewpoints to arrive at the best solution. The beauty of an open source protocol is that anyone can participate in its journey and shape the network. 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In the initial deployment phases of Ethereum 2.0 the only mechanism to become a validator is to make a one-way 32 ETH deposit contract on Ethereum 1.0.Activation as a validator happens when deposit transaction receipts are processed by the beacon chain, the activation balance is reached, and after a queuing process. Exit is either voluntary or forced as a penalty for misbehavior.In return for staking ETH, attesting to correct blocks, signing off on the validity of a block, and proposing blocks, the validator will be rewarded with ETH through a network wide interest rate as well as receive a portion of network transaction fees.For more reading on Ethereum 2.0 check out the following articles:Two Point Oh: Explaining ValidatorsTwo Point Oh: The Beacon ChainRocket Pool — Eth 2.0ETH 2.0 Master SpecState of Ethereum Protocol #2: The Beacon ChainBelow you will find a list of the teams actively researching or developing a beacon chain / shard client:Artemis — developed by PegaSys the protocol engineering group at ConsenSys, written in Java. The team is focused on key Ethereum challenges including scalability and privacy for both public and private chains.Prysm — developed by Prysmatic Labs, written in Go. They have an excellent bi-weekly update on their progress.Lighthouse — developed by Sigma Prime, written in Rust.Nimbus — developed by Status, written in Nim.Lodestar — developed by Chain Safe Systems in JavaScript.Harmony — developed by Ether Camp, written in Java.Trinity — developed by the Trinity team (led by Piper Merriam), written in Python.Economics & RiskWhen discussing the economics of anything (especially financial products) one of the first areas we should address is the risk profile of an opportunity. Modern portfolio theory makes the assumptions that investors are risk-averse, meaning they prefer a less risky portfolio to a riskier one for a given level of return. In mature markets the risk return profile is normally (with a few exceptions) up and to the right — the more risk involved should lead to a higher reward.Sovereign Debt Yield CurvesThe graphs below represent the yield curves for different nations sovereign debt. Global sovereign debt markets are some of the most liquid and deep markets in the world. Magnitudes more liquid than ETH, especially ETH that is locked in a staking contract. In the examples below investors are compensated for the risk that a specific nation will be able to repay its national debt at maturity. Sovereign bond yields are primarily affected by creditworthiness, country risk, and exchange rates.Investing in sovereign debt is considered to be the most ‘riskless’ investment in global financial markets, with the three-month US treasury yield (2.43%) used globally in various valuation models and risk adjusted return ratios every day as the ‘risk-free rate’.When incentivizing actions it is important to remember that a rational validator has a decreased chance of participation if the opportunity exhibits:Weak profitabilityRisks outweighing rewardsHigh barriers to entry (knowledge, time or resource based)Uncompetitive yields (on a risk adjusted basis)Eric Connor recently published a piece on ethhub that addresses the risks of performing validation, which can be summarized below.Staking Costs and RisksComputing costUsers will need to run validator clients and likely beacon nodes. This requires computing resources.Beacon Node: similar to running geth/parity todayValidator client: lightweight and need one per 32 ETH stakeCapital acquisition and lockupThe user must first acquire 32 ETH..There exists a grace period before users may withdraw their funds. However, this time has come down considerably in the latest versions of the spec. The minimum withdraw queue wait is currently 18 hours, subject to delays imposed by network congestion.Code RiskPrograms may have been incorrectly constructed. This risk is mitigated over time through correct usage despite substantial economic incentive to compromise the system. 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This article will focus on the net yield for small scale validators.Beacon node onlyBeacon node + validator client (small scale)Beacon node + multiple validator clients (large scale)Small Scale Validator AnalysisThe purpose of the sensitivity analysis’ below is to look at the net yield potential for a small scale validator using a cloud or hardware infrastructure on a yearly basis. All network assumptions are based on the current ETH 2.0 Master Spec, while cost assumptions have been sourced independently. Further sensitivity analysis’ for each infrastructure option can be found below.Cloud EconomicsHardware EconomicsConclusionTo wrap up, let’s look at a few scenarios that result in a ~2.59% net yield, which represents the current yield of a one year US treasury.Cloud EconomicsETH Price = $125Network ETH at Stake = 1,000,000Network Fees/Day = 500Net Yield = 2.90%ETH Price = $350Network ETH at Stake = 3,000,000Network Fees/Day = 800Net Yield = 2.68%ETH Price = $750Network ETH at Stake = 10,000,000Network Fees/Day = 1100Net Yield = 2.65%Hardware EconomicsETH Price = $125Network ETH at Stake = 7,000,000Network Fees/Day = 900Net Yield = 2.60%ETH Price = $300Network ETH at Stake = 10,000,000Network Fees/Day = 600Net Yield = 2.47%ETH Price = $550Network ETH at Stake = 18,000,000Network Fees/Day = 800Net Yield = 2.54%The current spec of Ethereum 2.0 with ETH at $125 results in net yields that are highly unlikely to attract a small validator, a validator type that is crucial for a blockchain network to have proper distribution. Especially given the risk and barriers to entry that exist when staking on a blockchain network.Overall, there are multiple moving pieces that could change the net yield to a small validator at the current spec (most of which cannot be accurately predicted), however the current analysis leaves me thinking……..Please, decentralized sir, I want some more?The economics of Ethereum 2.0 is a topic we are very interested in at ConsenSys and will continue to do our part adding value to its reality. If any readers would like to take a deeper look at the models see here. Please use this as an opportunity to challenge what has been presented if you disagree with it, and we can get a healthy debate started.You can expect follow up articles on the economics of large scale validators and a layer 1 yield comparison in the near future.Special thanks to Tanner Hoban, Jon Stevens, Jonny Rhea, Antoine Toulme, Eric Conner, and the Alpine team for providing suggestions/feedback for this piece. The views expressed by the author above do not necessarily represent the views of Consensys AG. ConsenSys is a decentralized community with ConsenSys Media being a platform for members to freely express their diverse ideas and perspectives. To learn more about ConsenSys and Ethereum, please visit our website.Examining the Proposed Validator Economics of Ethereum 2.0 was originally published in ConsenSys Media on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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Cornell Professor says “TRON is no operating system,” Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Supports Criticism

Emin Gün Sirer, a professor at Cornell University and a famous influencer in the crypto and blockchain sphere, blasted TRON (TRX), Justin Sun’s blockchain project for claiming to be one of the “largest blockchain-based operating systems in the world.” Sirer made this known on his official Twitter account saying that TRON is not an Operating System (OS) while declaring his expertise in Operating Systems. I know Operating Systems. I have built Operating Systems. Tron is no Operating System. — Emin Gün Sirer (@el33th4xor) January 21, 2019 Aside from saying that Tron is not an operating system, Prof Sirer also gave what he called “blockchain Rule #73,” which states that “anything billed as a ‘blockchain operating system’ is an embarrassing mess.” It is not surprising to see that the Cornell Professor is knowledgeable about OS as Sirer is famous for his brilliant contributions on technological topics such as P2P systems, computer programming, and operating systems. Confirming his claims of developing Operating systems, Sirer is the brain behind  SPIN kernel, an Operating System that he developed as a graduate student. Vitalik Buterin’s Contributions Replying to Sirer’s Blockchain rule, Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin tweeted a question with an answer to the Professor saying, “But what about legitimate blockchain operating systems like $AVA and $SUB? (I *think* that’s how one of the more recent twitter shilling tricks works…) The trick is to throw your coin into a list of other coins that you know the recipients of your shilling already approve of and get them to associate your coin as “one of the pack”. Also the dollar signs. The darned {{deity}}-awful dollar signs…” It did not also come as a surprise to see 24-year old Buterin, joining forces with Professor Sirer to criticize TRON since it is a known fact that Buterin is no fan of Sun and his project. In fact, Buterin and Sun are known for criticizing each other’s project. In December last year, Tron founder threw a big one at Buterin stating that the developers at Ethereum and Consensys are suffering layoffs and they should apply for jobs at TRON as they will be happily welcomed. Meanwhile, TRON TRX is the most significant gainer among the top 10 cryptocurrencies. TRX is recording more than 6% over the last 24 hours while Ethereum ETH is down by 0.98% at press time. Both coins have a market cap of $12,334,799,679 and $1,680,618,988 respectively. The post Cornell Professor says “TRON is no operating system,” Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Supports Criticism appeared first on ZyCrypto.

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