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Beacon Chain To Finalize Ethereum 1.0 Chain

In today’s core devs call, Vitalik Buterin and Danny Ryan discussed how the coming proof-of-stake beacon can be used to finalize the existing proof-of-work chain.
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Two Point Oh: The Beacon Chain

The beacon chain is at the core of Ethereum 2.0. But what does it mean? What does it do? How does it work and what is its purpose? Tune in to find out! The post Two Point Oh: The Beacon Chain appeared first on Bitfalls.

What is the Ethereum Beacon Chain?

Ever since Vitalik Buterin and other co-founders launched Ethereum in 2014, the problem of scalability has always been part of the conversation, with Ethereum developers all in agreement that a period of theoretical problem-solving leads to the challenge of developing an “Ethereum 2.0,” which solves the scaling problem and delivers on the promise of creating a vast, distributed “world computer.”...Read More. The post by Priyeshu Garg appeared first on BTCManager, Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency News
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Beacon Chain Proof of Concept Launch Planned For March

The launch of Ethereum 2.0 is estimated to begin this March with a Proof of Concept (PoC) of its core, the beacon chain, to go out this spring. The beacon... The post Beacon Chain Proof of Concept Launch Planned For March appeared first on Trustnodes.

State of Ethereum Protocol #2: The Beacon Chain

The Beacon Chain and Ethereum 2.0 — where it came from and where it’s going. Missed “State of the Ethereum Protocol #1”? Check it out here.Ethereum 2.0 isn’t a new idea. Back in 2014, Vitalik said of Ethereum 2.0 that, “We will either solve the scalability and consensus problems or die trying.” Well, we’re still very much alive, and his updated view from just a couple of weeks ago is that “There is no significant unsolved theoretical problem left for Ethereum 2.0.”Now it’s time for what he calls the “software development slog,” and the Beacon Chain is the first component of Ethereum 2.0 in the delivery plan. In this article we’ll discuss what it does, why it does it, and how it’s being developed.Introducing the Beacon ChainIn my previous article, introducing Ethereum 2.0, I showed Hsiao-Wei Wang’s now famous architecture diagram of the Ethereum 2.0 system.Ethereum 2.0 overall architecture. Original diagram by Hsiao-Wei Wang.This image also serves as a step-by-step roadmap for the development and delivery of Ethereum 2.0. Reading from top to bottom:The PoW Main Chain is the part that exists today: the current Ethereum Mainnet. In the Ethereum 2.0 system, this continues to operate pretty much as it does today. Everything below this is new.The Beacon Chain is currently under development and will be the first component to be delivered.The Shard Chains are next and are where the scalability will come from. Initially, the shard chains will simply aggregate transactions and come to consensus on their ordering, without executing them. This will be a good test of the system’s infrastructure and security.The VM layer is the final big component of the Ethereum 2.0 system and will provide for the execution of contracts and transactions.Why do we need a “Beacon Chain”?The Beacon Chain is a brand-new, Proof-of-Stake blockchain. It is the spine that supports the whole of the new Ethereum 2.0 system. It is the heartbeat that keeps the system alive. It is the conductor coordinating all the players.The Beacon Chain coordinates the whole system (image source)The key function of the Beacon Chain is to manage the proof-of-stake protocol for itself and all of the shard chains. There are a number of aspects to this: managing validators and their stakes; nominating the chosen block proposer for each shard at each step; organising validators into committees to vote on the proposed blocks; applying the consensus rules; applying rewards and penalties to validators; and, being an anchor point on which the shards register their states to facilitate cross-shard transactions.Before we look at these functions in more depth, a note on terminology. The name Beacon Chain has its origins in the idea of a “random beacon” — such as NIST’s — that provides a source of randomness to the rest of the system, and the random beacon concept was adopted in a blockchain context by Dfinity. Although the name “beacon” suggests a central point, broadcasting to the rest of the system, of course it’s not like that on the blockchain: everything is decentralised. Each participating node maintains its own local Beacon Chain, striving to stay in lockstep with the other nodes. Perhaps the image with the conductor above is misleading. While the Beacon Chain does conduct the rest of the system, the conductor is himself decentralised, like each musician’s own internal sense of the rhythm.Introducing the Beacon ChainLet’s look at some of the functions of the Beacon Chain.Managing ValidatorsA major part of the work of the Beacon Chain is maintaining the set of validators, which is the set of nodes that have placed the required stake of 32 Ether, who are responsible for running the Ethereum 2.0 system. There are several statuses that a validator can have, but only those marked as “active” take part in the Ethereum 2.0 protocol.Nodes join the validator set by sending their stake to a contract on the Proof-of-Work chain (the current Mainnet). After some validity checks, the stake is locked up and the contract emits a log entry (an “event” in Solidity) which can be picked up by Beacon Chain clients. The node is then inducted into the validator set on the Beacon Chain.Once active, validators participate in the protocol by proposing blocks, when chosen to do so, on both the Beacon Chain and, once they have been implemented, the shard chains. They also join committees that vote for blocks, as described below.Validators can signal that they wish to exit the system and cease being involved. After a period of time (currently 97 days, but may be made more flexible), their stakes, plus rewards, minus penalties, will be returned into one of the shard chains. It will not be possible to unlock the initial stake on the PoW Mainnet, unless, perhaps, the whole system were to fail and the community agrees to a fork that refunds stakers.All of this is managed by the Beacon Chain.Providing RandomnessGood quality randomness is really hard to generate in blockchain systems, but a key requirement of the proof-of-stake protocol is a source of randomness that is distributed, verifiable, unpredictable, and (reasonably) unbiasable. The Beacon Chain is responsible for providing this randomness to the rest of the system: several of the protocol features described below depend on it.Randomness is tricky on blockchains (image source)The current approach to random number generation is a RANDAO construction with validators providing a “hash onion”. A RANDAO is simply a way to combine contributions (individual random numbers) provided by many participants into a single output number. To prevent any one participant manipulating the randomness significantly, a commit–reveal scheme is used. When a validator registers, it provides a commitment value that is its chosen original number hashed many times. Each time the validator is selected to be the proposer, it peels off one or more layers of the onion by providing a pre-image of the last number revealed. Everyone else can check that this was done correctly, so the proposer cannot cheat the system by changing its contribution.Although this scheme is not completely unbiasable — a proposer could skip its turn if it didn’t like the random number — it is believed to be sufficiently robust for the current protocol design.Block proposersThe Beacon Chain manages both its own proof-of-stake protocol and that of each shard chain. In a proof-of-work system, the node that gets to choose the next block, the block’s miner, is the first to solve the mining challenge. In proof-of-stake there is no mining, so block proposers are chosen randomly, based on the in-protocol randomness described above.Another property of a PoW system is that block times are irregular, although they average to around 15 seconds on Ethereum. In contrast, I described the Beacon Chain as being like a heartbeat. Ethereum 2.0 blocks are produced regularly every 16 seconds (although there is a desire to reduce that to 8 seconds if testing demonstrates it to be feasible). These 16 second periods are called “slots”.At each slot, the chosen proposer for the Beacon Chain collects up all the protocol votes (attestations) from the Beacon Chain validator set for previous blocks and forms them into a block that it publishes.Once the shard chains are in place, each shard will have its own chosen proposer at each slot that will gather up the transactions for that shard and form them into a block to be voted on by the shard’s committee.CommitteesVoting by committees of validators plays a key role in securing Ethereum 2.0 (image source, cropped)A critical source of security in the proof-of-stake blockchain is the committees that vote on which blocks form the true history of the chain. The Beacon Chain relies on counting votes, known as “attestations”, from its own committee in order to agree and enshrine (finalise) its history. This committee could, ideally, be all the active validators in the system if their attestations can be collected quickly enough.In addition, the Beacon Chain will appoint smaller sub-committees for each shard at random that will, in due course, be responsible for confirming that the shard’s proposers are behaving correctly.Rewards and penaltiesYet another administrative role for the Beacon Chain is the tracking and updating of validators’ deposits.Validators receive rewards for behaving well and playing their part: this is the incentive for participating. But if validators break the rules, they are penalised by having some of their 32 Ether deposit reduced (slashed), and being ejected from the system. There is also a small penalty for being absent (not showing up to vote on blocks) called the “quadratic leak”. The reasons for this are subtle, and are about allowing the system to keep processing even if huge numbers of validators go offline, such as in the event of a catastrophe.If a validator’s deposit falls below 16 Ether, the Beacon Chain will remove it from the validator set.CrosslinksFinally, the Beacon Chain performs the processing of crosslinks. Crosslinks tie the whole sharded system together, anchoring each shard to the spine that is the Beacon Chain.Periodically, the current state (the “combined data root”) of each shard gets recorded in a Beacon Chain block as a crosslink. When the Beacon Chain block has been finalised, the corresponding shard block is considered finalised, and other shards know that they can rely on it for cross-shard transactions.A visualisation of the Beacon Chain (blue) with 8 shard chains (aquamarine) and crosslinks (light blue lines). Finalised blocks on all chains are yellow. Time increases from left to right. Simulator by Casey Detrio.Buidling the Beacon ChainThus concludes our lightning tour of the soon-to-be Beacon Chain! On its own, the Beacon Chain might not seem particularly useful. It cannot process arbitrary transactions: it has no smart contracts; it has no EVM. You cannot do anything with it. But, as the first component of Ethereum 2.0 to be delivered, it is the foundation of the building. The whole spectacular architecture to come is to be built on this. It has to be solid.If you want to get down into the detail, there is a work-in-progress Beacon Chain specification. All the creation and maintenance of this document is being done openly: anyone with useful input is welcome to join in. There’s all sorts of useful discussion to be had in the issues and the pull requests. If you just want the headlines, I’ve started consolidating the main specification updates and other news in a weekly bulletin.In order to run the Beacon Chain you’re going to need a Beacon Chain client. These are currently being developed separately from the familiar suite of standard Ethereum clients (Geth, Parity, Pantheon, et al.) by a number of teams. You can see a list of the ones that I know about here with links to their GitHub repositories. Prysmatic and Lighthouse are putting out periodic updates on their client development progress, and some of the teams are offering bounties to contributors.Teams working on the Beacon Chain. Slide with links here.As for timescales… the technical specification declares itself to be 60% complete at the time of writing this, and there remains a fairly chunky todo list. Nonetheless, a finger in the air suggests that the spec ought to be reasonably complete by the end of the year, and that perhaps by the end of Q1 2019 we’ll be running a multi-client Beacon Chain testnet. Momentum has been building rapidly over recent weeks and the long discussed Ethereum 2.0 is really beginning to happen! of Ethereum Protocol #2: The Beacon Chain 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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Ravencoin Grows 20% And Continues to See RVN Token Surge in the Crypto Market

There are several altcoins that are registering interesting growth rates in the last weeks. This time, Ravencoin (RVN) was able to pump once again over 20% in just 24 hours. Although Bitcoin keeps being traded sideways, there are some altcoins that are behaving very positively. Ravencoin Spikes 20% Ravencoin was able to grow 20% and […]
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Bitcoin [BTC] Futures in good stead against its Spot equivalent: Bitwise Report

Bitcoin [BTC] Futures were thought to be a snippet of the overarching cryptocurrency market, though meager in comparison to the larger spot market. A recent report from Bitwise Asset Management, the crypto-centric investment firm has stated otherwise. In a March 20 report presented to the United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC], Bitwise analyzed the Chicago Mercantile Exchange [CME], and the Chicago Board Options Exchange, with ten prominent cryptocurrency exchanges’ in terms of their trade volume. Prior to shedding light on their Futures versus Spot findings, it must be noted that the report revealed that 95 percent of the trading volume of unregulated exchanges were seemingly “fake and/or non-economic wash trading”. Taking into account this disparity, the percentage of futures volume to their spot equivalent increases from 1.51 percent to 33.33 percent. Reported Spot volume totaled $6 billion, but after removing the “suspicious exchanges”, the actual volume recorded dropped to $273 million, in comparison to the futures market volume of $91 million. Furthermore, the increase in futures’ volume as a percentage of the spot market has been steadily increasing. From November 2018 to January 2019, the futures market was just over 15 percent, and almost doubled in February 2019 to 33 percent. Since the Futures contracts were approved in December 2017, only on two occasions did the Futures volume, in comparison to the Spot market, shoot above 20 percent; this was in May and August 2018. Futures Volume expressed as a percentage of their Spot Equivalent In terms of their stand-alone trade volume, the CME and the CBOE are in good stead against the world’s top cryptocurrency exchanges. The daily volume the CME, which brings in $84.82 million, ranks second behind Binance’s $110.5 million and ahead of Bitfinex, which records $38.06 million in daily trade volume. The CBOE also fairs well, taking the ninth spot on the ladder, ringing in $6.12 million in daily trade volume. Gemini takes the eight spot with $8.11 million and itBit caps off the top-10 with $5.58 million in daily volume. Notable, among the top-12, eight exchanges are registered within the United States. Despite the CBOE’s comparative success against the spot exchanges’, it has not been performing well against its cross-town rival, the CME. This slump forced the CBOE to delist their Bitcoin Futures [XBT] for March 2019. However, the XBT futures that are yet to expire later in the year will not be off-loaded prematurely. Bitwise also points out that the CME Futures Price tracks the Global Spot Price based on an arbitrage model. Given below is a chart attesting the same: Arbitrage between the CME Futures price and the global Spot price The post Bitcoin [BTC] Futures in good stead against its Spot equivalent: Bitwise Report appeared first on AMBCrypto.

How Cryptocurrency Trading Volume Fiasco Can Lead to Bitcoin ETF Approval

The SEC has held the ETF approval for Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency for a couple of reasons. The most significant reason for the same has been the unregulated marketplace. While decentralization in Bitcoin is an attribute that makes it an ideal asset class, the market places or Exchanges that provide for conversion of FIAT to Cryptocurrency is still controlled by independent entities. A recent report by Bitwise Asset Management published by the SEC inferred that more than 95% of the cryptocurrency volume is being faked. Hence, according to that, the ‘actual spot volume’ on cryptocurrency exchanges is a little above $270 million. Moreover, the reported volume of CME and Cboe Bitcoin Futures is more than one-third of the ‘actual spot volume’ estimated by Bitwise. According to Bitwise Asset Management, This is good news because it means CME— a regulated, surveilled market— is of material size, which important for an ETF. The case of a Bitcoin ETF Approval Now CME Bitcoin Futures reported a spot trading volume of $85 million. Moreover, according to Bitwise Asset Management, the actual trading volume of the Crypto-to-FIAT Exchanges is around $273 million. Hence, according to this statistic the Futures Trading Volume of CME alone accounted for 31.1% of the ‘Actual Exchange Volume.’ Moreover, there are other Bitcoin Futures market active in Europe and Japan as well. Hence, going by the above statistic, it can be said that the institutional investment might be in parity with the unregulated investment in Bitcoin. However, the Exchanges have reported total spot volumes total to the tune of $6 billion. This can necessarily raise doubts on its demand being higher than $100 billion. However, it does not directly affect the total market capitalization of a cryptocurrency.   Parity Between Spot Trading of Bitcoin and Gold The spot trading volume of Gold is 0.55% of its total market capitalization, while according to Bitwise statistics spot ‘actual spot trading on Bitcoin is 0.39%. If the CME Futures volume is included in this data, the percentage will increase to 0.51%. The OTC trading volume on most exchanges is also not added in the Exchange Data. All this suggest that the institutional investment in Bitcoin is considerably more significant than one expects. It is not only healthy in volume but also agrees statistically with the closest relatable asset class, i.e., Gold. Hence, a new form of informational mechanics for the trading of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency in regulated Exchanges could alleviate the doubts around the Bitcoin ETF approval.   The post How Cryptocurrency Trading Volume Fiasco Can Lead to Bitcoin ETF Approval appeared first on Coingape.

Top 5 Crypto Performers Overview: ONT, ADA, ETC, BCH, IOTA

Top 5 Crypto Performers Overview: ONT, ADA, ETC, BCH, IOTA The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision. The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. […] Cet article Top 5 Crypto Performers Overview: ONT, ADA, ETC, BCH, IOTA est apparu en premier sur Bitcoin Central.
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