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ETHEREUM

Ethereum’s Constantinople Upgrade Hits Road Bumps on Testnet Before Activating

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Constantinople is coming

Ethereum’s next system-wide upgrade, called Constantinople, is around the corner.

Set for a November release, Constantinople’s code includes five different ethereum improvement proposals (EIPs), most of which seem to be a regular “maintenance and optimization upgrade.”

However, the system-wide upgrade will also include a change to the Ethereum network that will reduce Ethereum mining rewards from 3 ETH per block down to 2 ETH per block.

Finding consensus

To effectively activate the new system-wide upgrade, all Ethereum nodes (the network of computers that run Ethereum software) must agree to upgrade the system in a process called a hard fork.

If a large portion of nodes fail to agree, Ethereum may split into two different versions of the same blockchain – one with the Constantinople upgrade, one without.

Testnet hiccups

While most signs are pointing to a smooth transition, Constantinople’s deployment on Ethereum’s Ropsten testnet encountered a few hiccups.

Reported by Coindesk, the Ropsten testnet was set to activate the Constantinople code at block number 4,230,000, however, the network stalled at 4,299,999.

This indicates that miners were unprepared for the event and failed to upgrade their software before the set activation time.

No worries though, we’re live

Despite the slight delay, and a rush by miners to upgrade their software, Constantinople went through as promised as block rewards on the Ropsten testnet are coming in at 2 ETH, indicating success.

Though Constantinople eventually activated, Ethereum developer Afri Schoedon offered a simple explanation as to why the network encountered issues: “Never fork on weekends.”



OPINION

Cryptocurrencies Will Make the Internet Look Like a ‘Cute Experiment’, Says Circle CEO

Circle’s CEO has high expectations for crypto tech

Circle is a lesser-known cryptocurrency company that operates out of Boston. You may not be familiar with the company because the Circle name is not consumer-facing, but you have probably heard of Poloniex which is owned by Circle. The company recently raised $110 million at a $3 billion valuation, making it one of the largest cryptocurrency companies in the world.

Circle’s CEO Jeremy Allaire has high expectations for his company and cryptocurrency overall. Allaire recently appeared on CNBC where he described the “tokenization of everything”. He believes that this revolution is coming, and sooner than people think.

Allaire describes a world where everything is tokenized, digital assets, physical assets, stocks, and more. When total tokenization happens, Allaire said it will “make the web look like a cute experiment, comparatively speaking”.

Another Internet comparison

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are constantly being compared to the Internet and Internet companies. Some disagree with this comparison, some agree, some see it as a criticism, and some see it as a compliment.

In reality, the Internet is one of the most significant inventions in human history. If cryptocurrencies even come as close to as revolutionary as the Internet, it will be a major success. The Internet democratized information and communication. Crypto has the potential to democratize money and assets.

Internet companies endured a bubble at the turn of the millennium. Out of that bubble survived some of the biggest companies today like Amazon and Google. Cryptocurrencies seem to be following that same path, only the most fit will survive.



ADOPTION

When Will Crypto Transactions Stop Giving ‘Heart Attacks’ to Users?

That UX lag though

On Friday, founder of Messari Ryan Selkis confessed in a tweet that after being in crypto for 5 years, he still gets anxious when sending transactions across the blockchain.

To make matters worse, Jameson Lopp, an influential crypto figure, responded to Selkis’ tweet:

“If you want to get really scared when creating a bitcoin transaction, just remember that you’re actually destroying your money and recreating it with each transaction. No pressure.”
While the interaction spurred some laughs, these two have a point, the user experience (UX) of crypto is too immature for mainstream users to grasp blockchain technology.

Take some advice from your enemy

While PayPal is a direct competitor to cryptocurrencies, it does provide a solid model for an easy user experience.

Because of this, Naval Ravikant, founder of AngelList, recommended blockchain payment startups draw inspiration from PayPal’s UX:

“[Crypto] wallets should ‘verify’ addresses by sending the recipient a tiny random fraction of a token and … wait for confirmation that the intended recipient received them. Then add the address to a whitelist. Same as PayPal etc. [does] when linking a bank account.”
Though many blockchain startups are already tackling this issue in an attempt to make using crypto more simple, it may be a few years before we see the true killer UX for blockchain.



EDUCATION

Tari Labs Unveils Plans Free Blockchain University

Teaching blockchain to everyone

A South African blockchain startup named Tari Labs has unveiled plans for a completely free online university to teach blockchain development to those interested. Tari Labs was started by well known Monero advocate Riccardo Spagni.

Tari Labs hopes that with free access to blockchain education, the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology will come sooner. The company envisions a world where all sorts of assets are on the blockchain and thinks this will be for the benefit of everyone.

Cayle Sharrock, a Senior Contributor for Tari Labs, explains the mission of the free university:

“Tari Labs University aims to become a go-to destination for easily-accessible learning material for blockchain, digital currency and digital assets, from beginner to advanced level. The more blockchain experts we can develop, the better it is for the ecosystem as a whole”.
Sharrock also shared that the goal of the free university is to widen the reach of their own Tari protocol:

“[Tari Labs] gives talented people the chance to develop their abilities. The Tari Labs University is a natural next step in sharing knowledge and learning from the community in turn. As with any open source project, we see the learning material as living or ever-evolving. The bigger picture here is to assist in constructing an ecosystem for developers and enable them to leverage the Tari protocol.”