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Ethereum [ETH] founder announces ‘sharding is coming’

Aman Swami



Vitalik Buterin announces sharding is coming
Source: Wikipedia

Vitalik Buterin, the CEO of Ethereum, yesterday on his Twitter account announced that ‘Sharding is coming soon’. Now many of his followers were baffled by the term ‘sharding’. Everyone who does not understand technical language was struck with a sense of confusion which was visible in their comments.

With the announcement, Vitalik also clarifies how sharding will help and work. This is a proof of concept which is a part of a fork choice rule-based mechanism for how sharding can be bolted on top of the current Ethereum main chain, with a specialized random beacon and shard block times of less than 10 seconds.

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, i.e. full Casper. This will just be merged into 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.

The beacon chain issues new blocks every 2 to 8 seconds, with a design similar to the one prototyped in Casper PoC3 backbone simulations which has 3 seconds block time, 1.25 second average latency and in addition to it, 2 second average clock offset and 1% stale rate using the RANDAO mechanism to generate randomness which at the time Vitalik thought was sufficient

Vitalik comments on RANDAO:

“All in all, I really think a simple RANDAO mechanism with total main chain rewards being comparable to total shard chain rewards is enough and we don’t need fancy threshold signature randomness or low-influence functions or any other fancy math.”

The purpose of the code is to be the ‘heartbeat’ for the shard chains and to provide the randomness that determines who the proposers and notaries in the shard chains are. The beacon mechanism is upgraded with a proof of activity inspired technique to increase its stability.

The shards then themselves have a dependent fork choice rule mechanism that ties into the beacon chain. Every time a new beacon block is created, that beacon block randomly selects a proposer which has the right to create a shard collation. Each shard collation points to a parent collation on the same shard, and a beacon block.

The feature where all notarizations of any shard simultaneously double as votes in a global Casper FFG cycle, increasing Casper FFG scalability and allowing its minimum deposits and finality times to both be reduced, perhaps minimum deposits to 32 ETH and finality times to 6 minutes.

Dustin D, a Twitter user comments:

“Sharded my pants in anticipation!”

A Twitterati says:

“That’s why Ethereum works. So many Devs and Improvement Proposals.”

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Aman Swami is an Economics major from Christ University. He is very passionate about cryptocurrency and understanding of financial markets.


Bitcoin Dominance Index [BDI] falls short of Bletchley Ethereum Token Index [BETI] in 2019

Biraajmaan Tamuly



Bitcoin Dominance Index [BDI] outperformed by Index based on the Ethereum blockchain in 2019
Source: Pixabay

One of the key factors which is often used to represent or indicate the potential of a particular cryptocurrency’s growth is its market capitalization. When the market capitalization of a coin or token showcases a positive hike, it usually has a positive impact on that particular asset’s market.

According to LongHash, the Bitcoin Dominance Index [BDI], which is used to measure Bitcoin’s market cap had been the dominant index since the beginning of 2019. It was observed that the BDI improved from 53 percent to 58 percent over the past few weeks after the largest crypto-asset underwent multiple price hikes.

XRP, which dominated Bitcoin by 1,600% back in 2017 on cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex in 2017, was currently down by almost 50% against Bitcoin in 2019. Ethereum [ETH] fared better comparatively, but was still down by 14% against the Bitcoin.

However, the Bletchley Ethereum Token, a token built on top of Ethereum, seemed to have outperformed Bitcoin this year.

The Bletchley Ethereum Token Index [BETI] can be utilized by investors for their allocation to tokens placed on top of the Ethereum blockchain. However, it should be noted that Ethereum is not a part of the index as it is an independent entity. The BETI is a weighted index, which means that the tokens with dominant market caps will take up a larger part of the index and the re-balance will take place at the end of a particular month.

For example, Tron [TRX] and Binance Coin [BNB] currently take up more than half of the BETI’s Weighted Index. Since the launch of their DEX, BNB has enjoyed a lucrative year with multiple hikes bringing the coin to $30 from under $6. Tron also witnessed major growth in market cap as it was up by 40% in comparison to the US dollar.

However, it is important to note that the major tokens on the BETI’s weighted index have all launched their own blockchain, at press time. Hence, it can indicate that the dominance enjoyed by BETI over the BDI over the last few months could point to a situation where the Ethereum blockchain was preferred for the launch of various tokens.

Despite the aforementioned reason, it is safe to state that Bitcoin was not the only entity which dominated the crypto-space this year.

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