Tag Archives: Blockchain

PMorgan: Bitcoin Must Evolve, Blockchain’s Not a Threat

It may surprise some people to learn that JPMorgan Chase is invested in the blockchain. Umar Farooq, a banker turned blockchain leader at JPMorgan, discussed how the bank is using the blockchain and didn’t shy away from bitcoin. He was speaking at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit for Crypto in New York earlier this week. He spoke of “active engagement” with blockchain internally, as teams from across the bank’s operations are increasingly looking to distributed ledger technology as a possible solution to problems. Farooq’s at the head of that business, and he’s more open-minded about bitcoin than you might think. He said that while the industry may say blockchain’s good and bitcoin’s bad, that’s now how JPMorgan, the top US bank based on assets, sees the world. “We all believe in blockchain good. I wouldn’t go as far to say cryptocurrencies bad. I would say and cryptocurrencies have issues.”

Reference: https://www.ccn.com/jpmorgans-farooq-bitcoin-must-evolve-blockchains-not-a-threat/

First Initial Coin Offering from Norway

The Friend Unifying Platform offers the world’s first open source virtual cloud computer – designed for decentralised, secure computing and built for Blockchain technologies.

Friend gives you access to a fully-featured virtual cloud computer, that is ready for use right after logging in. Friend gives applications an ecosystem to thrive in, it provides an environment for both Blockchain-, web- and legacy applications to seamlessly interact with each other. The extensive technology stack offers unique features like client side integrations and a zero deployment cost approach for virtual computers. At the same time Friend breaks the technology silos by being vendor and device agnostic. It is a humanitarian project that will empower users to make active decisions for his digital self It is based on 5 pillars: freedom, intelligence, empowerment, privacy and integration.

ICO, Norway, Blockchain, Cloud computing, Friend

Relationship between Bitcoin and Ether

Ethereum would never be possible without bitcoin—both the technology and the currency—and we see ourselves not as a competing currency but as complementary within the digital ecosystem. Ether is to be treated as “crypto-fuel”, a token whose purpose is to pay for computation, and is not intended to be used as or considered a currency, asset, share or anything else.

There are many ways in which you can use Bitcoins within the Ethereum ecosystem:

Trade BTC for ETH: multiple third-party companies are working to make the exchanging of ether and bitcoins as easy and seamless as possible. If so desired one could trade bitcoins for ether with the purpose of executing contracts and trade it back immediately in order to keep their value pegged and secured by the bitcoin network. The latest version of the wallet includes an automatic conversion between ether and bitcoin.

Use a pegged derivative: Ethereum is a great tool for creating complex trading between multiple parties. If you have a source for the price of Bitcoin that all parties trust, then it’s possible to create an ethereum based currency whose value is pegged to the market value of Bitcoin. This means that you could trade bitcoins to a token that is guaranteed to always trade back to the same amount of bitcoins while still being fully compatible with other ethereum contracts.

Use a Bitcoin relay to convert a 2-way peg: the bitcoin relay is a piece of code that allows you to sidechain a bitcoin into ethereum. This means that you can use Bitcoin’s native limited scripting capability to lock a bitcoin into a contract that is directly connected to an ethereum contract, which can then issue an ethereum based token that is guaranteed to be backed by bitcoin. The relay is under development and as implementations are tested and proved to be secure.

Reference: https://www.ethereum.org/ether

How to mine ether

The Ethereum network is kept running by computers all over the world. In order to reward the computational costs of both processing the contracts and securing the network, there is a reward that is given to the computer that was able to create the latest block on the chain. Every 15 seconds, on average, a new block is added to the blockchain with the latest transactions processed by the network and the computer that generated this block will be awarded 3 ether. Due to the nature of the algorithm for block generation, this process (generating a proof of work) is guaranteed to be random and rewards are given in proportion to the computational power of each machine.

This process is usually called mining in the crypto-currency lingo.

CPU MINING USING THE COMMAND LINE
If you are on a private network (and if you just want to test the technology for free, you should) then any normal computer with a normal CPU will be able to run the network and earn test ether (ether that is only redeemable on the test network where it was generated) through mining. This is the best choice for small-scale network or testing privately, as it’s less resource intensive. On the real (or live test) network a normal desktop (or laptop) computer might take a very long time to successfully mine a block and receive ether.

Before you do any mining, you need to set which address will receive your earnings (called “etherbase”). You only need to do this once. Here’s how to set your etherbase and then start mining:

Geth:

miner.setEtherbase(eth.accounts[0])
miner.start()

Eth:

web3.admin.eth.setMiningBenefactor(web3.eth.accounts[0])
web3.admin.eth.setMining(true)

Before you can find any blocks, however, your computer needs to go through a process called “building a DAG”. This DAG (short for “Directed Acyclic Graph”) is a large data structure (~1GB) required for mining, intended to prevent ASIC machines (“Application Specific Integrated Circuits”) from being mass manufactured for mining ether. Its goal is to protect miners like yourself so that you will only ever need your home computer to remain competitive. The DAG should take about 10 minutes to generate and as soon as it finishes, Geth will start mining automatically.

If you have successfully mined a block you will see a message like this among the logs:

🔨 Mined block #123456
To check your earnings, you can display your balance with:

web3.fromWei(web3.eth.getBalance(web3.eth.accounts[0]), “ether”)
GPU MINING USING THE COMMAND LINE
If you are serious about mining on the live ethereum network and getting real ether rewards, then you should use a dedicated computer with very powerful graphics cards in order to run the network.

Instructions for Eth:

If you are using Eth then GPU mining comes out of the box. Simply quit the console (press control+C multiple times and then enter) and then start it with the –GPU option turned on:

eth -b –genesis path/to/genesis.json -i -m on -G
Once you started, just follow the same instructions as normal CPU mining.

Instructions for Geth

There are currently two options for GPU mining in Geth available. You can read a more detailed description of how to install it on this mining post.

C++ Etherminer. This is a version for the pro miners. To install it, follow the guide to install the whole C++ ethereum code.

Go experimental GPU branch. It’s experimental so you need to build go from source to get it. This version is focused on hobbyists and developers. To install it, clone geth from source and then switch to the GPU Miner branch.

MORE INFORMATION ON MINING
Ethereum’s proof of work algorithm does not make use of Scrypt or Sha256, instead, it leverages EtHash, a Hashimoto / Dagger hybrid. You can read all about the theory behind this and its design in the Ethereum gitBook, mining chapter. Note that for Serenity (a future release, a major milestone on the Ethereum development roadmap) we are planning to switch to Proof of Stake (PoS).

The Ethash proof of work algorithm is memory hard, you’ll need at least 1+GB of RAM on each GPU. I say 1+ because the DAG, which is the set of data that’s being pushed in and out of the GPU to make parallelisation costly, will start at 1GB and will continue growing indefinitely. 2GB should be a good approximation of what’s needed to continue mining throughout the year.

Mining prowess roughly scales proportionally to memory bandwidth. As our implementation is written in OpenCL, AMD GPUs will be ‘faster’ than similarly priced NVIDIA GPUs. Empirical evidence has already confirmed this, with R9 290x regularly topping benchmarks.

ASICs and FPGAs are strongly discouraged by being rendered financially inefficient, which was confirmed in an independent audit. Don’t expect to see them on the market, and if you do, proceed with extreme caution.

Reference: https://www.ethereum.org/ether

What is Ether?

Ether is a necessary element — a fuel — for operating the distributed application platform Ethereum. It is a form of payment made by the clients of the platform to the machines executing the requested operations. To put it another way, ether is the incentive ensuring that developers write quality applications (wasteful code costs more), and that the network remains healthy (people are compensated for their contributed resources).

If you just want to test the technology, you probably don’t need real ether. Download the latest Wallet app and switch to the Test Network from the below link:

https://github.com/ethereum/mist/releases/latest