Top 3 Ethereum Metropolis Changes to Look Forward to

TheMerkle Ethereum Metropolis ChangesA lot of people are looking forward to the upcoming Metropolis hard fork fro the Ethereum ecosystem. As is the case with any major developmental update, Metropolis will introduce a lot of changes and new features. Looking at the community response, several of these new features are far more “exciting” than others. Below are three changes which many people are looking forward to when Metropolis launches. 3. ReturnDATA* and REVERT From a developer point of view, the Metropolis will bring some interesting changes to the table. Two of the opcodes developers may want to pay attention to are REVERT and

TheMerkle Ethereum Metropolis Changes

A lot of people are looking forward to the upcoming Metropolis hard fork fro the Ethereum ecosystem. As is the case with any major developmental update, Metropolis will introduce a lot of changes and new features. Looking at the community response, several of these new features are far more “exciting” than others. Below are three changes which many people are looking forward to when Metropolis launches.

3. ReturnDATA* and REVERT

From a developer point of view, the Metropolis will bring some interesting changes to the table. Two of the opcodes developers may want to pay attention to are REVERT and the new RETURNDATA* options. More specifically, by using the new RETURNDATA* opcodes, developers can make [smart] contracts return variable sized values. This has already been possible for some time now by using a workaround, but it was far from convenient, to say the least.

Additionally, contracts will benefit a lot from the REVERT opcode as well. This feature effectively allows contracts to revert and fail, yet it won’t use up all of the gas. When combined with the RETURNDATA* option, developers may finally be able to properly work with exception handling. Plus, contracts will “explain” why they failed. The “out of gas” code is not exactly informative, and more detailed responses are to be expected.

2. Account Abstraction

It is quite difficult to explain account abstraction without reverting to technical jargon. Account abstraction allows users to “define” their wallet address – of which they own the private key – in the form of a smart contract. This may not sound overly exciting to a lot of non-developers, but there are some benefits to using this new feature. Especially users who take account security very seriously may want to look into this change.

More specifically, this change means private keys used to control an external account would be less susceptible to attacks executed by quantum computers against the signature scheme being used right now. Users can benefit from other security schemes, such as hash ladders. Other than the security changes, account abstraction also allows for contracts to pay for gas. This latter part will take a while to be properly used by the network, as there are no client standards to support this concept right now.

1. zk-SNARKS

It has been coming for quite some time, but Ethereum will receive more transaction privacy features. In the first phase, the Metropolis hard fork will introduce the building blocks for zk-SNARKS, which is quite an important step in the right direction. More specifically, the hard fork will provide the cryptographic primitives for this technology, although it doesn’t mean full transaction privacy can be achieved from day one.

That being said, introduced the building blocks for zero-knowledge SNARKS is a big step for Ethereum. It will allow for better privacy, and even anonymity whenever needed. One could argue Ethereum will soon feature ZCash-esque transactions, although it will take some time until those changes will be made available to the entire community. It is evident this is by far the most enticing change for non-developers.

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Bitcoin Miners are Rejecting Segwit For Non-Technical Reasons

It has become evident that miners are not opposed to the Bitcoin Core development team’s transaction malleability fix Segregated Witness (Segwit) given the overwhelming support towards Segwit2x, a proposal made by Barry Silbert-led Digital Currency group and 57 other companies that include major mining pool operators such as Bitmain. The hashrate signaling the activation of Segwit2x is currently over 90 percent at the time of writing. The proposal entails the activation of Segwit at an 80 percent activation threshold by September and the execution of a 2MB block size increase hard fork six months thereafter. The key component of the

It has become evident that miners are not opposed to the Bitcoin Core development team’s transaction malleability fix Segregated Witness (Segwit) given the overwhelming support towards Segwit2x, a proposal made by Barry Silbert-led Digital Currency group and 57 other companies that include major mining pool operators such as Bitmain.

The hashrate signaling the activation of Segwit2x is currently over 90 percent at the time of writing. The proposal entails the activation of Segwit at an 80 percent activation threshold by September and the execution of a 2MB block size increase hard fork six months thereafter. The key component of the proposal is the activation of Segwit and given the 90 percent support from miners, it is quite clear that miners are in favor of activating Segwit.

One condition requested by the miners is the execution of a 2MB block size increase hard fork which derived from the Hong Kong scaling agreement that was established in February of 2016. The majority of miners believe that the expected 75 percent optimization of block size through the activation of Segwit and additional scaling via second layer payment channels such as Lightning are not sufficient to address the explosive growth of the bitcoin industry and user base.

Yet, the rapidly increasing support towards Segwit2x has proven to the industry and community that miners are not opposed to Segwit for technical reasons. In fact, a major mining pool operator ViaBTC, recently stated:

“The main reason to refuse Segwit is because the roadmap of bitcoin core, not the technical detail.”

The development team behind ViaBTC revealed that the company along with many China-based mining companies such as Bitmain’s Antpool have been opposed to Segwit due to their rejection of the Bitcoin Core development team’s roadmap. In particular, ViaBTC wrote in a blog post earlier this year that it does not approve Bitcoin Core’s roadmap of utilizing Segwit as a scaling solution.

“Segwit, which is a soft fork solution for malleability, cannot solve the capacity problem. From Core members’ public statements, they didn’t attach necessary importance on this issue. Even if Segwit after activation can slightly scale up block size with new transaction formats, it’s still far behind the demand for the development of Bitcoin network,” wrote the ViaBTC development team.

However, one of the solutions offered by Segwit is the infrastructure for two layer solutions such as Lightning which are expected to open doors for a wide range of services and applications that can operate on top of bitcoin and most importantly, significantly lower transaction fees through the usage of payment channels.

Similar to the viewpoint of Bitmain, ViaBTC claimed that the implementation of Lightning and payment channels will lead to centralization of transactions by deviating from direct on-chain peer to peer transactions to payment channel-based transactions.

To this date, Bitcoin Core, the industry and community have been straightforward with the scaling roadmap. Activate Segwit to strengthen security measures by eliminating transaction malleability and providing better infrastructure for hardware wallets and establish a working platform for two layer solutions for long-term scalability.

The scaling debate has started to see some progress as miners agreed to activate Segwit given a condition to increase the block size by 2MB. Given that the mining community is opposed to the sole activation of Segwit due to non-technical reasons, over the next few weeks, the bitcoin industry is likely to see major progress with scaling.

Bitcoin Price Stabilizes at $2,700, Another Surge Imminent?

After a major market correction which sent bitcoin price from its all-time high of $2,973 to $2,261, bitcoin price has stabilized at the $2,700 region.

After a major market correction which sent bitcoin price from its all-time high of $2,973 to $2,261, bitcoin price has stabilized at the $2,700 region.