Bitfury Mines a Block Signaling UASF Mandatory Segwit Deployment

Recently Bitcoin proponents who support Segregated Witness (Segwit) have been fervently discussing BIP 148, a User-Activated Soft Fork (UASF). On March 24 the mining operation Bitfury mined a block with a BIP 148 (=UASF-Segwit) tag, signaling the organization’s support for the proposal. Also Read: Five Geeked Out Fantasies You Can Fulfill Today With Bitcoin User-Activated Soft

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Recently Bitcoin proponents who support Segregated Witness (Segwit) have been fervently discussing BIP 148, a User-Activated Soft Fork (UASF). On March 24 the mining operation Bitfury mined a block with a BIP 148 (=UASF-Segwit) tag, signaling the organization’s support for the proposal.

Also Read: Five Geeked Out Fantasies You Can Fulfill Today With Bitcoin

User-Activated Soft Fork Discussed Amongst Segwit Supporters

Bitfury Mines a Block Signaling UASF Mandatory Segwit DeploymentAs the block size debate continues, many are moving in different directions to come up with a solution for Bitcoin’s future scaling. A few weeks ago a pseudonym named “Shaolin Fry” introduced the idea of a Segwit UASF, which would attempt to activate Segwit before reaching a 95 percent threshold of consensus between miners. In essence, the proposal is a mandatory activation of Segwit deployment, which would take place between October 1 and November 15, 2017.

The idea has gained some traction with those that would like to see it explored and reviewed by other developers. BIP 148, authored by Shaolin Fry, is currently on Github and is available for community and developer review. The anonymous creator of BIP 148 explains the rationale behind UASF, otherwise known as “Flag Day”, detailing that P2SH was introduced in a similar fashion.

“Historically, the P2SH soft fork (BIP16) was activated using a predetermined flag day where nodes began enforcing the new rules,” explains Fry’s UASF proposal. “P2SH was successfully activated with relatively few issues. By orphaning non-signalling blocks during the last month of the BIP9 bit 1 “Segwit” deployment, this BIP can cause the existing “Segwit” deployment to activate without needing to release a new deployment.”

Bitfury Mines a Block Signaling UASF Mandatory Segwit Deployment
BIP 148 authored by the pseudonym Shaolin Fry.

Bitfury Mines a Block With a UASF Segwit Tag

On March 24, Bitcoin and blockchain infrastructure provider Bitfury mined a block containing a UASF Segwit tag, showing support for the BIP 148 proposal. Block 458793 and a couple of other blocks recorded by the blockchain included the UASF mandatory deployment of the Segwit tag.

Bitcoin community members from both sides of the debate discussed the tagged UASF blocks mined by Bitfury across social media. Supporters of UASF asked for technical guidance from developers concerning the proposal as there haven’t been any signs of engineers reviewing the idea thus far. Furthermore, some thought the tag by Bitfury was merely a political statement as one Redditor states:

“Should we just ignore these flags for now?” asks Reddit user Jerguismi. “It doesn’t cost a miner a penny to put whatever flag there, so it can be used to troll, etc. There isn’t widely available UASF version of Bitcoin client available, so signaling that flag doesn’t make much sense — except as a political statement, which doesn’t mean a lot IMO. Bitfury wouldn’t actually do the UASF currently because there is no sign that services generally are running the UASF fork (because UASF client isn’t available AFAIK).”

Bitfury Mines a Block Signaling UASF Mandatory Segwit Deployment
Blocks mined by the organization Bitfury containing the BIP 148 tag.

One Contentious Fork for Another?

Those who oppose the concept and have been supporting ideas like Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) had thought the idea was hypocritical. A few BU supporters thought it was ironic that people declared a forced deployment of Segwit different than miners choosing to vote for an alternative client. One commenter who disagreed with the idea of a UASF deployed Segwit mocked the concept by stating:

We are strongly opposed to a contentious hard fork, so strongly that we are prepared to change the PoW, a user activated soft fork, and Segwit, all contentious forks, to prevent a hard fork.

October 1 is months away so it could be a while before this proposal gets any real backing from the industry and developer support. For now, to some people, the UASF discussion continues to be merely chatter on the Internet but, with Bitfury allegedly making a political statement, that could change in the near future.

What do you think about BIP 148 a User-Activated Soft Fork to get Segwit deployed? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Reddit, Github, and Shutterstock.


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US Senate Votes in Favor Of ISPs Selling Consumer Data to Advertisers

TheMerkle US Senate Ends PrivacyConsumer privacy rights have taken yet another blow thanks to a new US Senate proposal getting approved. Just yesterday, the Senate voted on a proposal that effectively eliminates all privacy rules. Internet service providers are now eligible to sell all customer data to a third party, among other things. The End of Online Privacy As We Know It It is not the first, nor the last time the US senate has delivered a big blow to consumer privacy. As a result of their latest proposal vote, ISPs no longer need to get consumer consent before selling user’s browsing history and

TheMerkle US Senate Ends Privacy

Consumer privacy rights have taken yet another blow thanks to a new US Senate proposal getting approved. Just yesterday, the Senate voted on a proposal that effectively eliminates all privacy rules. Internet service providers are now eligible to sell all customer data to a third party, among other things.

The End of Online Privacy As We Know It

It is not the first, nor the last time the US senate has delivered a big blow to consumer privacy. As a result of their latest proposal vote, ISPs no longer need to get consumer consent before selling user’s browsing history and app usage history. This information can be sold to any third party in the world, although most of the “sales” will occur between the ISP and advertising companies.

Although the US Senate voted in favor of this proposal, it will still have to pass through the House of Representatives. Assuming they approve this proposal as well, it will nullify the latest privacy rules approved by the Federal Communications Commission altogether. A lot can change over the course of 18 months, that much is once again evident. These changes will not be well received by privacy advocates and internet users, though.

One thing to keep in mind is how this rule change will not go into effect until December 4th of this year. That being said, it is the only silver lining in this entire debacle. ISPs may soon be legally entitled to all of our data and they can reap the financial rewards from selling it to the highest bidder. This will only lead to even more annoying advertisements, which does not benefit anyone but advertising companies.

If that isn’t dire enough, this privacy rule change proposal invokes the Congressional Review Act. This means similar regulations cannot be issued in the future. This is even better news for internet service providers, as that means the Federal Communications Commission cannot reinstate the current rules. All they can do is draft new proposals, yet they cannot resemble the way things are handled right now.

It appears there is no stopping this proposal from getting approved by the House, though. The only people who can do so are the House and President Donald Trump. Rest assured the latter one has more important issues on his plate than dealing with consumer privacy right now. Moreover, it could be in both entities’ best interests to be able to to map households’ online browsing and shopping tendencies. Making America great again means bringing a much-needed boost to the economy, and selling consumer’s information can help achieve that goal.

In the end, this proposal allows any internet service provider in the United States to issue their own set of rules. There will be no “opting in” for consumers, as everyone will be monitored around the clock. It is uncertain what the future will hold, but rest assured the data harvesting will begin sooner or later. Once that trend starts, there will be no turning back whatsoever.

Usage of anonymity tools like TOR and VPNs may also see a rise as a direct result of this decision. It is important to keep one’s privacy when surfing online as I am sure nobody would want their browsing history sold for a profit.

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Top 6 Everyday Products Using Biotechnology

biotechBiotechnology is a popular trend that can be found in various aspects of our everyday lives. While it is true biotechnology is a very complicated concept to grasp, it is also one of the most promising technologies to be found today. Biotechnology will help our society address some of its greatest challenges moving forward. Below are some very common use cases for biotechnology most people will have come in contact with already. 6. Pharmaceuticals It is anything but surprising to learn biotechnology has made a big impact on the medical sector over the past few years. Biotechnology, or more specifically, bio-processing,

biotech

Biotechnology is a popular trend that can be found in various aspects of our everyday lives. While it is true biotechnology is a very complicated concept to grasp, it is also one of the most promising technologies to be found today. Biotechnology will help our society address some of its greatest challenges moving forward. Below are some very common use cases for biotechnology most people will have come in contact with already.

6. Pharmaceuticals

It is anything but surprising to learn biotechnology has made a big impact on the medical sector over the past few years. Biotechnology, or more specifically, bio-processing, is used to develop new pharmaceuticals which are often difficult to produce due to purity quality control requirements. Some of the more popular biotech pharmaceuticals include Remicade, Rituxan, Prevarn, and Avastin.

5. Fabrics

Very few consumers give fabrics a second thought, other than to determine whether the material would rub against the skin. Interestingly enough, most fabrics are dyed through a “fermentation vat” process. Biochemicals are very common in the production of dyes, polyester, and nylon. It is evident there is some form of biotechnology involved in every piece of synthetic clothing we wear today.

4. Biodiesel

Even though biofuel is not as popular as it could be, the concept holds a lot of merit for the future. Biodiesel helps reduce the carbon impact, which is of great importance to the future of our species. To produce biofuel, one needs specific plant-derived sugars which are then fermented using biotechnology to create ethanol. Further advances in the development of biofuel will see the introducing of alternative compounds to jet fuel.

3. Tires

It may come as a surprise to find out Goodyear Tire is actively exploring the boundaries of biotechnology. Through a partnership with Genencor, the company is researching synthetic rubber created out of – mostly – renewable raw materials. In doing so, the company hopes to replace the crude oil requirements necessary to produce a single passenger tie. 

2. Food

As unusual as it may sound, some of the foods we consume on a regular basis are a direct result of biotechnology. Most of the products used in food and [soft] drinks are processed using biochemicals. Sweeteners, flavors and acidity regulators found in nearly every product are just a few examples of how biotechnology is affecting our daily lives. Even the packaging used by supermarkets is made of biochemicals.

1. Alcohol

It appears very few people are aware of what can be found in alcoholic beverages these days. The production process of alcohol is a clear example of industrial biotechnology. This process involves converting starch to sugar and fermenting the yeast. Both parts are biotechnology in its simplest form. There is a lot more to the beer in a bottle than meets the eye, that much is certain.

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