Consensys' latest piece on Ethereum scaling is evidence that the community is able (and sees the importance) of communicating important ideas with clarity. The Ethereum scaling debate has not been an easy one to follow via EIPs, but Consensys' succint brief offers much needed framing for the debate.
I was fascinated by their coverage of a subscription payment model for Ethereum. The current lack of price stability and time delays can have a fundamental impact on user expectations that are taken for granted in the e-commerce subscription market. Most importantly, one can only imagine the frustrations of losing access to an account with an outgoing subscription and seeing the balance shrink to zero over time.
On a personal note, I am looking forward to learning about decentralized training by following Ocean Protocol's 6 week Telegram course.
Consensys wrote about The State of Scaling Ethereum
tl:dr; Current Ethereum mainnet would not support even one at-scale DApp. There is always a trade-off (Trilemma) between security, scalability and decentralization. The four proposals to scale are 1) Sharding: split the network into groups of nodes 2) Plasma: maintain side chains with different properties that can use the root chain for conflict resolution 3) Raiden: support state channels between frequently transacting parties 4) Casper: proof of stake. All approaches are likely to be applied going forward.
P.S. This is the simplest and clearest summary I have read about the scaling debate.
The prolific Consensys team also wrote about Subscription services on the blockchain (ERC-948)
tl:dr; 15% of online shoppers entered into an e-commerce subscription last year (McKinsey). Right now it is not possible to do opt-out recurring subscriptions on the blockchain, because there is no way to trigger payments in the future. ERC-948 has been proposed to facilitate subscription models in Ethereum, but introduces potentially significant problems.
Flint, a new language for safe smart contracts on Ethereum from Imperial College London
tl:dr; Smart contracts written in Solidity are vulnerable to simple programming attacks that static analysis tools cannot mitigate. Flint uses static typing to support inherently safer contracts.
⚡️ Protocols and DApps
Will Warren wrote about Compliant peer-to-peer trading
tl:dr; Permissioned tokens are important for regulatory compliance (KYC, AML). Permissioned token protocols already exist, but not supported by most exchanges. 0x v2 would support permissioned tokens allowing the creation of a permissioned liquidity pool. Relayers would be able to opt-in to apply a set of permissions.
Zcash community discusses mining decentralization
tl:dr; Zooko claims battle against mining decentralisation is impossible in theory and long lost in practice. The community distinguishes the single uncoordinated mining pool case from the more dangerous single manufacturer case (e.g., Bitmain) where the manufacturer could steer the protocol in a direction that optimizes for its profitability. Community argues further that Zcash should keep their original promise of ASIC resistance.
- Vitalik designs sharding
- Zcash announce community governance panel
- AWS launch blockchain templates
- AxLang show an example of a formally verifiable derivatives contract
- OceanX launch algorithmic trading course on the blockchain
- Brian Koralewski designs a token incentive structure for a decentralised Yelp
How can we improve? You can respond to this e-mail directly or submit anonymous feedback here.