Welcome to Around the Block. Whether you see 2018 shaping up to be the year of scaling, platform wars, sidechains or all of the above, it's increasingly relevant to understand what blockchain developers are doing to push us forward. Around the Block will aspire to highlight deep, relevant articles from the blockchain developer community before the tech hits the markets.
Lightning on Stellar: Technical spec and roadmap
"As we said in our 2018 roadmap it's now clear that Lightning is the right way forward for Stellar."
Introducing the Coinbase protocol team
"Our mission is to contribute to community-led projects which will move our industry forward. We've been looking at projects like payment channels, off-chain computation, trustless light clients and proof-of-stake blockchains."
Why is this important? Coinbase has traditionally been conservative in endorsing non-mainstream protocols and even forks of mainstream protocols. Understanding what projects they want to donate time to will say a lot about technical merit of those protocols.
AxLang: Formally verifiable smart contracts for the Ethereum ecosystem
"AxLang is based on Scala, and enables secure and full featured smart contract development by supporting both functional programming and formal verification. Its design is driven by rigorous requirements for solutions serving the world's largest financial institutions."
Why is this important? Functional languages have always had appeal for blockchain development. Due to stricter type checking and greater control over side-effects, they promise strong security and simplified formal verification. This could in turn enable larger and more sophisticated dApps.
Ethereum contract end-users, however, have to pay for "gas" (a cost factor linked to specific operations called on by the smart contract). It is notably difficult to design a functional language built on the Ethereum Virtual Machine without consuming more gas than the default imperative languages like Solidity. A best-of-both worlds solution would be very valuable.
Loom Network is LIVE! Scalable Ethereum DApps coming soon to a DAppChain near you
"Since we've just launched, we'll be hand-picking the first round of developers to build DApps on Loom Network. This way we can work with them hand-in-hand to make sure the SDK is tailored to their needs, as well as ensure the first round of 3rd-party DApps released on Loom Network are high-quality."
"We're pleased to introduce our community to our repository dedicated to improving and coordinating standards across the Lisk ecosystem: Lisk Template."
Waves Ecosystem Visualised
"Here are some of the key elements of the Waves Ecosystem visualised."
💻 Developer tools
Project Caliper by Huawei
"Caliper is a blockchain benchmark framework which allows users to measure the performance of specific blockchain implementation with a set of predefined use cases. Caliper will produce reports containing a number of performance indicators, such as TPS (Transactions per Second), transaction latency, resource utilisation etc. The intent is for Caliper results to be used as a reference in supporting the choice of a blockchain implementation suitable for the users specific use-cases."
Optimising performance and cost: Infura benchmark analysis
"As the growth of the Ethereum network usage by real-world decentralized applications like CryptoKitties has exploded over the past year, the underlying infrastructure demands to support this traffic has grown exponentially. Infura is committed to being a core infrastructure provider who ensures that all of that request traffic looking for data to interact with contracts on the Ethereum blockchain can be served reliably and as fast as possible."
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