Ethereum Will Have Visa-Scale Transaction Capacity in 2 Years

Ethereum Will Have Visa-Scale Transaction Capacity in 2 Years

Bitcoin, Ethereum and other high-profile cryptocurrencies are embroiled in debate these days, as companies and individuals seek other sources for transactions outside of simple fiat currency.

Ethereum, the Blockchain technology-based application platform, has gained increasing popularity with developers and individuals alike. The platform is being utilized especially heavily with the ICO boom that has occurred in recent months.

Buterin on the power of Ethereum

Vitalik Buterin, speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt 2017, indicated that the platform has the capacity to change much of what is known about data and security. His comments included a strong indication that Ethereum will have the transactional power to equal Visa in the next two years. Buterin said:

“Bitcoin is processing a bit less than three transactions per second. Ethereum is doing five a second. Uber gives 12 rides a second. It will take a couple of years for the Blockchain to replace Visa.” 

Gaming platforms

The Ethereum inventor also indicated that Blockchain technology will likely provide platforms for gaming and other data-intensive applications in the future, where security is an important aspect.

“You could run StarCraft on the Blockchain. Those kinds of things are possible. High level of security and scalability allows all these various other things to be built on top. Ethereum is a secure base layer that doesn’t have too many features.”

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Only in Arizona: How Smart Contract Clarity Is Winning Over Startups

Only in Arizona: How Smart Contract Clarity Is Winning Over Startups

What happens when someone breaches a contract?

If you’ve gone through all the rigmarole of developing a paper contract, the legal ramifications are clear. But paper contracts are not only inefficient but also prone to fraud, which is why a group of startups and developers are pushing digital “smart contract” systems tied to immutable blockchains.

But what if someone breaches their smart contract? The answer, in most places throughout the world, is less clear. That is, unless you’re in Arizona.

Since passing a law in March that enshrined the validity and enforceability of digital signatures recorded on a blockchain, the Grand Canyon State has quietly emerged as a choice location for blockchain companies that develop applications based on the self-executing pieces of code.

For Sweetbridge, a Phoenix-based outfit building a blockchain supply chain finance platform, the law has afforded the company sufficient legal clarity and confidence to begin rolling out operations more aggressively.

Caroline Lynch, Sweetbridge’s public policy and legislative advisor, explained that the state’s decision to elevate smart contracts to the same legal grounding as traditional contracts has been imperative to the company’s growth.

Lynch told CoinDesk:

“It takes away that one potential area for dispute, if for no other reason than a party to a contract cannot argue that because it was executed through a digital ledger it lacks validity.”

Arizona’s legal safe haven

Stepping back, the law in March actually amended the Arizona Electronic Transactions Act (which already stated that records or signatures cannot be denied legal effect and enforceability based on the fact they’re in electronic format) to include digital signatures recorded on a blockchain.

It now states: “A signature that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in electronic form and to be an electronic signature … A record or contract that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in an electronic form and to be an electronic record.”

As such, in the event of a dispute or breach of a smart contract, parties have full ability to seek legal recourse in the state’s court system.

And with this, business representatives from the state have wasted little time in using the newfound language as a means to lure companies that are flirting with smart contract applications in sectors such as finance, real estate, law, public records and insurance.

According to Darryn Jones, director of business development at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, because the law is technology neutral, it legitimizes smart contracts regardless of the blockchain on which they choose to build.

Jones went on:

“From a value proposition standpoint, as we go and recruit companies that are utilizing or developing smart contract software, we can say that this gives them a safe haven for operating in Arizona.”

The business of contracts

For blockchain-based supply chain startups, this small change makes a big difference.

Supply chains, at their core, are distribution channels involving transactions among numerous partners and entities, all with contracts that lay out how each is supposed to act. If those contracts cannot be enforced or accepted in a court of law, the entire viability of the relationship is put in doubt.

“Eventually, the stuff that you implement and any smart contract code that you put in place to direct business processes or transactions has to stand on legal footing. It has to be enforceable. And if it’s not, it’s going to fall apart in a second,” said Todd Taylor, chief executive of Aperio, another Phoenix-based blockchain supply chain startup, and a professor at Arizona State University.

While states such as Vermont and Nevada have passed laws this year aimed to bring additional clarity to blockchain firms, Arizona remains the only state so far to have cemented the enforceability of smart contracts.

Sweetbridge’s Lynch, who previously served as chief counsel to the House Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C., agreed with Taylor, saying the stability is of utmost importance as her company looks to build out its platform and carve its niche in the blockchain world.

And Jones continued:

“They wouldn’t be able to do this in Arizona if we didn’t have this law. These companies would not be able to utilize their coins and their service as a smart contract platform if this enabling legislation was not passed.”

An unusually friendly climate

But supply chain companies aren’t the only ones seeing benefit in setting up shop in Arizona.

For instance, Dash Core Team, which oversees the development of dash – the sixth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization – has established a hub in an incubator run by Arizona State University.

Ryan Taylor, CEO of Dash Core Team, said his company has developed several successful partnerships with Phoenix-area businesses by way of city and state government officials making introductions. For example, Arizona State University launched a blockchain research lab in partnership with Dash, and is working on a blockchain certificate program for interested students.

“They’re connecting the dots actively; they’re making this a priority,” he said. “They’re going to find ways to help the industry flourish, and that’s huge, because I’d say, in most geographies, the politicians don’t feel that same way and they don’t even understand the technology.”

Observers say the law’s passage is indicative of a surprising, if not rare, willingness among the state’s political elites to overlook certain negative stereotypes in favor of how blockchain technology can be leveraged for economic development purposes.

“The bill that was passed tees us up in a way that it’s the start of many good things that we expect to come from our legislative bodies,” said Rhonda Milligan, co-founder of Sweetbridge.

Earlier this month, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced his intent to establish the country’s first regulatory sandbox for financial technology, a category many blockchain startups fall under.

Dash’s Taylor concluded:

“I think that business groups and government officials could learn a lot from looking at what Arizona is doing to ensure that they have a seat at the table when it comes to this new emerging field.”

Arizona image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Interested in offering your expertise or insights to our reporting? Contact us at [email protected].

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Ethereum’s Next Hard Fork Is Now Officially Being Tested

Ethereum’s Next Hard Fork Is Now Officially Being Tested

Byzantium, the first part of ethereum’s long-awaited Metropolis upgrade, has officially launched on testnet.

The simulated hard fork was executed this morning on Ropsten, the ethereum testing environment, and is expected to run for a few weeks of troubleshooting before the fork occurs on the main ethereum blockchain, currently the world’s second-largest by market capitalization. 

The testing period will involve a trial of the nine EIPs (ethereum improvement protocols) to be introduced in the Byzantium hardfork. As previously detailed by CoinDesk, the code updates will introduce changes to increase the functionality of the network while minimizing potential exploits and also paving the way for novel cryptography on the ethereum platform.

Looking ahead, testing will likely take about three weeks, suggesting the actual Byzantium hard fork is likely to occur sometime around October 9. However, this is contingent on whether the test does not cause unanticipated problems.

Speaking at the ethereum core dev meet up on September 8, ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin said he expected the testing period will require around three to four weeks. In response, developer Péter Szilágyi stated that the tests may need less time, because “if things go wrong….they will go wrong fast.”

The ethereum developers are expected to announce a formal date for the hard fork shortly – provided everything runs according to plan.

You can watch a live infographic of the Byzantium fork on Ropsten here.

Blue cells via Shutterstock

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Ethereum Could Challenge Credit Card Companies In “A Couple of Years”

Ethereum Could Challenge Credit Card Companies In “A Couple of Years”

In Brief

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin believes the blockchain-based platform has the potential to rival financial institutions like Visa in scale. Before it can, however, it needs to increase the speed with which it can process transactions.

Taking on Financial Institutions

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin is optimistic about the future of his blockchain platform, sharing his predictions during a talk with AngelList founder Naval Ravikant at TechCrunch’s Disrupt SF 2017 event on September 18.

Despite the growing popularity of Ethereum and other technologies like it, a large majority of people still don’t know what blockchain is or what it does. However, once the technology does reach the mainstream, Buterin believes it will be able to take business away from major credit card companies. He sees this shift potentially taking place in the next “couple of years.”

Before Ethereum can compete with the likes of Visa and MasterCard, though, the platform will need to speed up. “Bitcoin is processing a bit less than 3 transactions per second,” Buterin explained to Ravikant. “Ethereum is doing five a second. Uber gives 12 rides a second. It will take a couple of years for the blockchain to replace Visa.”

According to Business Insider, the co-founder said he expects to see low-security financial prototypes revealed within the next year, which may signal the beginning of Ethereum’s ability to disrupt mainstream finance. That said, a few more years will be needed before their effectiveness can be proven.

From Finance to Cloud Computing

Buterin’s thoughts on the capabilities of blockchain extend beyond finance and into the world of cloud computing. While he believes Ethereum has a solid chance at changing the financial world, Buterin is less optimistic about its effect on cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Those services are often used by private companies to host proprietary content (think Netflix’s data), and convincing them of the security of Ethereum’s decentralized network could be difficult. “In general, there’s always going to be this large set of applications where decentralized approaches don’t work that well,” Buterin said.

Expect Ethereum to continue to be embraced by other corporations, however. In the last two months alone, a Russian airline used Ethereum to issue tickets, and Microsoft released their own Ethereum-based protocol. The platform may not impact every aspect of society, but it’s certainly checking quite a few off the list.

Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.

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Ethereum Classic Price Goes Back to Double Digits Thanks to Chinese Trading Volume

Ethereum Classic Price Goes Back to Double Digits Thanks to Chinese Trading Volume

The cryptocurrency power rankings get shaken up on a regular basis these days. While Bitcoin is still the dominant market leader, things are not necessarily evolving in the right direction for some altcoins. Ethereum Classic is showing some big gains over the past 24 hours considering all other currencies are still showing plenty of volatility right now. The Ethereum Classic price is heading back to $11.5, which is a positive start.

Ethereum Classic Price Mounts a Small Comeback

It is evident a lot of people still don’t see the benefit of Ethereum Classic over Ethereum. That situation may not change all that soon for this particular currency, although it seems investors are starting to pay attention to ETC once again.  More specifically, it seems ETC remains a playground for speculators and market manipulators for the time being, as the altcoin ecosystem still needs to undergo some changes to make it more appealing.

That being said, the Ethereum Classic price is slowly heading up once again. Over the past 24 hours, we have seen a 5.43% gain, which is a good start. This gain puts the ETC price back at $11.44, which is a lot higher compared to what it was a few days ago. However, it is also a lot lower compared to the all-time high Ethereum Classic price, which was around the $23 mark. That means the current value is about half of the all-time high, which is a lot lower than most people would have expected.

Do keep in mind this Ethereum Classic price increase comes on the heels of under $100m in 24-hour trading volume. This goes to show it takes very little money to successfully influence this particular altcoin market right now. It also appears ETC goes through its ups and downs on a regular basis, and this small uptrend may only be a temporary development before things head south once again.

More specifically, the Ethereum Classic price hit a low of $7.77 not too long ago. Seeing the price head back to $11.44 is a big development in this regard, although it is only normal a lot of people will gladly take their 50% gain and cash out sooner rather than later. So far, it has been a major struggle for Ethereum Classic to keep its value stable and it looks as if this current trend will eventually run out of steam as well.

Looking at the markets ranked by trading volume, OKCoin is currently leading the charge. That in itself is pretty interesting, considering Chinese exchanges have caused the Bitcoin price to drop by quite a margin. They also trade Ethereum Cash at a much lower value compared to the rest of the market right now, which shouldn’t surprise anyone at this point. Bithumb is also bringing in their fair share of volume as we speak.

For the time being, it is unclear what the future will hold for the Ethereum Classic price. This current value increase will – most likely – be rather short-lived as manipulators continue to control this altcoin market for the foreseeable future. While Ethereum Classic may offer some advantages over Ethereum itself, the vast majority of cryptocurrency enthusiasts isn’t paying much attention to it. If that situation doesn’t change quickly, it is possible the Ethereum Classic price will slowly go to zero in the next few years.

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Ethereum Price Analysis – Fundamentals battle technicals » Brave New Coin

Ethereum Price Analysis – Fundamentals battle technicals » Brave New Coin

Ether now has a US$27 billion market capitalization, while exchange traded volume trailing Bitcoin on most days. Price action over the last week has also closely followed that of Bitcoin, with a heavy correction and fast retracement.

While bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency, Ethereum is a distributed computing platform featuring smart contract functionality. The platform has been extensively used for ICOs, which leverage the Ethereum ERC20 standard. ERC20 allows for the implementation of a standard API for tokens within smart contracts, allowing anyone to spin up a new cryptocurrency within minutes. The increased load has on a few occasions reached the network’s full capacity for hours at a time.

The platform’s native token, Ether, has experienced dramatic gains since launching just over two years ago. The token started this year around ~US$10, peaked around US$400, and currently sits at ~US$280.

Ethereum Price Analysis Sept 19 2017 2The Ethereum Foundation has been rapidly putting additional resources toward increasing the efficiency of the network, alongside planning longer-term changes that will greatly increase the network’s scalability.

Ethereum appears to be tackling scaling effectively, while the market leader bitcoin has been battling the issue for longer than Ethereum has been inexistence. The inventor and figurehead of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, also carries a very public role. While Ether is not a stock, by any means, it is traded publicly in a free market, and investors are fickle and always want more users, higher sales, and better products.

To some extent, cryptocurrencies are no different. Although there is an Ethereum foundation and other Ethereum developers, Vitalik handles this CEO role with increasingly ever-present media appearances, and frequently updates the market through articles and blog posts.

On September 14th, Geth 1.7 was announced on the Ethereum blog. Geth is the command line interface used when running a full node. The update includes various protocol changes (EIPs) needed for an upcoming hardfork, Metropolis.

Vitalik spoke today at TechCrunch where he mentioned Ethereum will likely have Visa scale transaction capacity with Plasma and implementations in a couple of years. Ethereum handled ~5.74 transactions per second on average on September 6th, the most transactions it’s ever handled in one day.

Ethereum Price Analysis Sept 19 2017 4Visa handles 2,000-4,000 transactions a second on average with the ability for the network to hold up to 56,000 transactions per second. PayPal handled 193 transactions per second on average in 2016.

Vitalik also mentioned that the Metropolis update, previously said to be released in late September, will be released in October.

Open mining interest, measured by hash rate and difficulty adjustments, continues to make all time highs. This suggests that Ether is both currently profitable to mine and that miners believe it will remain profitable for the immediate future.

Ethereum Price Analysis Sept 19 2017 5

Ether exchange traded volume has been led by Korean Won (KRW) markets over the past few days, with an almost equal share goin to US Dollar markets. Yuan (CNY) trading has dropped off considerably in light of the recent increase in Chinese regulations towards cryptocurrencies.

There is no trading against the Yen (JPY) on any major exchange. Japanese traders appear to be using bitcoin to gain exposure to Ether.

Ethereum Price Analysis Sept 19 5Interestingly, Ethereum tweet mentions continue to rise, with a current peak on September 14th. Undoubtedly, this increase is due to the onslaught of ICOs and their subsequent ongoing social media campaigns.

Technical Analysis

It’s important to continually evaluate the current trend, if there is one, especially after a major pullback. One of the many ways to do this is understanding the Wyckoff Method.

Ethereum Price Analysis Sept 19 2017 6Wyckoff accumulation and distribution are essentially the exact opposite of each other, occurring at the bottom or top of the trend respectively. There is no better example of Wyckoffian accumulation than that of Bitcoin from January 2015-2016.

Ethereum Price Analysis Sept 19 2017 7If we invert the current daily Ether chart, which helps eliminate bullish bias, and compare this to the textbook example of the Bitcoin chart, we began to see a similar picture. A triple bottom, with a lower low on the inverted chart containing an extended wick, would support evidence of the spring needed to begin a markdown phase. Certainly something to watch for in the coming months. A sustained higher high would refute a distribution phase and support a continued markup phase.

Ethereum Price Analysis Sept 19 2017 8On the weekly, price structure suggests a perfect ‘M for Murder’ pattern that just about smacks you in the face when not using log scale. A weekly close below US$140 would all but seal Ether’s fate downward.

Ethereum Price Analysis Sept 19 2017 9Again comparing to Bitcoin, the M on the weekly in December 2013 was the beginning of the bear trend, albeit under much different circumstances.

Ethereum Price Analysis Sept 19 2017 10We can further analyze the health of the trend with Ichimoku Cloud, a constant, auto-drawn indicator that quickly offers an immense amount of valuable information on any time frame. The Cloud is best used at higher time frames as more data generally provides more accurate signals and less false positives.

The indicator uses a moving average and dynamic support and resistance to make key zone projections. It’s goal is to capture 80% of any given trend. While it may seem complicated when viewed on the price chart, it is really a straightforward indicator that is very usable.

As long as the price remains above the Cloud, sentiment remains bullish. Price in the Cloud indicates a neutral trend, and below the Cloud indicates a bearish trend.

The best entry signals for the Cloud occur when the trend is obvious, but 1 or 2 signals have yet to become confluent with a higher time frame trend:

When the Tenkan (T) is over the Kijun (K) sentiment is bullish. K over T would indicate bearish sentiment. When the Lagging Span (LS) is above the Cloud and above the price sentiment is bullish, below the Cloud and below price would indicate bearish sentiment.

Additionally, in any given trend, price will continually attempt mean reversion to determine support levels. These pullbacks or corrections can be seen through touches of the Kijun, also known as the Kijun bounce.

On the weekly time frame, using the singled Cloud, there is very clearly a lack of cloud support below the Kijun ~US$220. If this level breaks cleanly, expect the ~US$50 zone to be strong support. This breakdown would not likely occur in one weekly candle but occur over many months, just as Bitcoin unwound slowly after it’s M double top.

Ethereum Price Analysis Sept 19 2017 11Alt coin prices generally move quicker than Bitcoin. Faster moving charts often require faster signals to keep up with price on higher timeframes. Trading signals should always be as fast as they can be without too much noise or false positives.

Using faster Ichimoku Cloud settings on the daily chart, 10/30/60/30, there is a bearish TK cross above the cloud, which is a long exit signal. Singled Cloud settings on the daily time frame have been back tested on more than 50 alt coins. The data shows superior and improved entries for Kumo Breakouts and TK Crosses when compared to the double 20/60/120/30 settings (data not shown).

On the daily timeframe, the singled Cloud is essentially neutral on mixed parameters. Price is above cloud, barely. TK cross and future Cloud are bearish, and LS is below price and above cloud. A long entry signal would trigger should Cloud and TK cross turn bullish with price staying above cloud.

Ethereum Price Analysis Sept 19 2017 12The faster cloud settings on the daily remains decidedly bullish. Sustained day over day selling below the cloud would suggest further support tests.

Ethereum Price Analysis Sept 19 2017 13On the four hour time frame, using the double cloud, signals are beginning to turn bullish again after the heavy pullback. A long entry signal will not trigger until the forward looking portion of the Cloud is bullish, with price above cloud. TK is currently bullish.

Ethereum Price Analysis Sept 19 2017 14There is also a completed Adam and Eve double bottom, which has broken resistance and is attempting a throwback support test. According to Bulkowski, king of chart patterns, “The double bottom setup says that throwbacks which do not plunge below the confirmation price suggest better performance after the breakout.”

Another indicator we can use is the Pitchfork (PF). They provide diagonals that can be thought of as a potential reversal zones or support/resistance lines. The upper yellow diagonal zone being ‘most overbought,’ or the top bounds of the trend, and the lower yellow diagonal zone being ‘most oversold,’ or the bottom bounds of the trend.

The PF that makes the most sense has been strongly invalidated, unless a 1.75 extension is used. This would need to remain valid and hold support to be considered a valid uptrend indicator.

Ethereum Price Analysis Sept 19 2017 15


Fundamentals for Ethereum, barring Chinese ICO regulation, have never been brighter. Several protocol updates are due in October through a hard fork and a roadmap to address scalability issues is on the horizon. Ethereum continues to gain awareness through the worldwide scope of the ICO market.

Technicals tell a slightly different story. The most concerning pattern for long term Ether holders would be the large double top on the high timeframe charts, which do not scream bullish continuation, no matter how hard you try. An extended months long downtrend would likely bring Ether to the psychological support of ~US$50 minimum. All eyes on the Adam and Eve resistance turned support throwback in the near term.

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ETH/USD and ETH/BTC Technical Analysis September 19 2017 – NEWSBTC

ETH/USD and ETH/BTC Technical Analysis September 19 2017 – NEWSBTC

Hello and welcome to News BTC’s Market Outlook September 19.


Ethereum rallied on Monday, reaching towards the $300 level. A break above there should be a bullish sign, and send this market towards the $320 level next. Alternately, if we were to break down below the $270 level could send this market towards the $250 level.


Ethereum had a wild day against Bitcoin, exploded to the upside, then pulling back. It appears that the 0.0725 level has offered enough support for the buyers to come back, as it once was a significant resistance. Because of this, I think that the easiest path is higher rather than lower.

Thanks for watching, I’ll see you again tomorrow.

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is not guaranteed, does not purport to be comprehensive and is strictly for information purposes only. It should not be regarded as investment/trading advice. All the information is believed to come from reliable sources. NewsBTC does not warrant the accuracy, correctness, or completeness of information in its analysis and therefore will not be liable for any loss incurred.

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Ethereum Price Technical Analysis – ETH/USD Forming Breakout Pattern – NEWSBTC

Ethereum Price Technical Analysis – ETH/USD Forming Breakout Pattern – NEWSBTC

Key Highlights

  • ETH price climbed higher and traded close to the $300 level against the US Dollar.
  • There is a new contracting triangle pattern with support at $278 forming on the hourly chart of ETH/USD (data feed via SimpleFX).
  • The price remains elevated as long as it stays above the $278-270 support area in the near term.

Ethereum price moved higher and gained strong bids against the US Dollar and Bitcoin. Now, can ETH/USD continue moving higher and stay above $270?

Ethereum Price Support

There was a decent ride in ETH price as it climbed above a few important resistance levels like $270 against the US Dollar. The upside move was strong and as a result, there almost a test of the $300 handle. The price traded as high as $298.71 where it faced offers. However, there was no complete test of the 1.236 Fib extension of the last decline from the $281.50 high to $199.80 low at $300.60. The price is currently correcting lower from the $298 swing high.

On the downside, an initial support is around the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last wave from the $238.56 low to $298.71 high. It looks like there is a new contracting triangle pattern with support at $278 forming on the hourly chart of ETH/USD. The most important support is near $270, which is close to the 50% Fib retracement level of the last wave from the $238.56 low to $298.71 high. As long as the price stays above the $270 level, there is a chance of it breaking $298 in the near term.

A break and close above $298 would clear the path for more gains. On the other hand, a close below $270 could increase the bearish pressure.

Hourly MACD – The MACD is slowly decreasing the bullish slope.

Hourly RSI – The RSI is heading lower towards the 50 level.

Major Support Level – $270

Major Resistance Level – $298


Charts courtesy – SimpleFX

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is not guaranteed, does not purport to be comprehensive and is strictly for information purposes only. It should not be regarded as investment/trading advice. All the information is believed to come from reliable sources. NewsBTC does not warrant the accuracy, correctness, or completeness of information in its analysis and therefore will not be liable for any loss incurred.

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The creator of Ethereum thinks blockchain tech could steal business from Visa in a ‘couple of years’

The ethereum network could pose a real challenge to large financial institutions like Visa as soon as next year, according to Vitalik Buterin, the creator of the ethereum blockchain.

In a Q&A with AngelList founder Naval Ravikant at TechCrunch Disrupt on Monday, Buterin said that security is the biggest challenge to bringing blockchain technologies into the mainstream, and that once it’s sorted out, blockchain tech could steal business or even replace financial institutions like Visa in a “couple of years.”

Despite the hype around blockchain, most of the current applications that use the technology aren’t far enough along in development to be used widely, he said.But Buterin said that while he expects low-security prototypes to be introduced in the financial space by next year, it will be a few years before they have any weight.

Blockchain technologies like Ethereum are widely believed to be the next big disrupter for industries ranging from law to shipping.

Often described as smart contracts, the technology uses a decentralized computer network to send messages which create a universally accessible ledger that can’t be edited or modified. Theoretically, with blockchain technology, business and legal transactions can be executed with a lower risk of fraud.

While Buterin was optimistic about the role Ethereum could play in replacing Visa, he was less certain about its impact on cloud computing giants like Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS sells space on Amazon servers to third party websites like Netflix, which host vast amounts of data on AWS servers.

To disrupt the cloud industry, applications running on the Ethereum network would have to convince private companies that its decentralized structure is secure enough to host proprietary or otherwise sensitive content. Buterin doesn’t see that happening anytime soon.

“In general, there’s always going to be this large set of applications where decentralized approaches don’t work that well,” Buterin said.

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Key Findings From Cambridge Cryptocurrency Study

Key Findings From Cambridge Cryptocurrency Study

Cambridge University has put out a comprehensive 114-page study on cryptocurrencies that digs deep into empirical data of the digital currency world as it appears across the globe.

Key highlights of the study include the number of users and wallets, the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry sectors and the impact the technology is having, as well as interesting information about exchanges, payments and mining.

The cryptocurrency industry

As a nascent industry, information was needed to determine how much of an impact digital currencies are producing. New companies and services have emerged to facilitate the workings of cryptocurrencies, and their data shows that it really is a virgin market.

The study found that 1,876 people work full-time in the cryptocurrency industry. Of those, the most find work in Asia-Pacific with 720. Behind that is North America with 676 employees.

Information about exchanges

Information on exchanges offers insight into users of digital currencies, as most people who are involved in crypto have some sort of online wallet. However, the study stated it is nearly impossible to put a figure on how many people actually use cryptocurrency.

The study showed that Europe had the highest number of exchanges, followed by Asia-Pacific. As of March 2017, Bitfinex had the highest market share of all exchanges, coming in with 16 percent. However, 25 percent of the overall market share came from a combination of smaller exchanges.

Overall, the US Dollar was the most widely supported national currency, appearing on 65 percent of exchanges. Euro came in second with 49 percent prevalence.

On the exchanges examined, every single one of them traded in Bitcoin with Ethereum and Litecoin was the next most popular. Ripple, Ethereum Classic, Monero, Dogecoin and Dash were also widespread.

What is interesting to note is that these exchanges that see millions of dollars through them can have as little as 11 employees working on them. 49 percent of exchanges have less than 11 employees.

These online exchanges also predominantly operate by holding onto their users’ private keys. In fact, 73 percent of exchanges take custody of users’ cryptocurrency funds by controlling the private keys.

Information about wallets

According to the study, the number of active wallets is estimated between 5.8 mln and 11.5 mln. The large discrepancy between the range must perhaps have something to do with the difficulty in defining what an active wallet is, as many users are actively storing cryptocurrencies.

The highest number of active wallet users comes from North America and Europe with both sitting at just about 30 percent.


Of the active wallets, only 32 percent of them use closed source software while the other 68 are all open source with mobile wallet apps being the most widely offered to users at 65 percent.

More than half of surveyed wallet providers offer integrated currency exchange services; additionally, 20 percent offer linked credit card services.

However, what is more worrying is that nearly half of wallets providing currency exchange services integrate a third-party exchange, which raises questions about security.

Looking at the recent crackdown on digital currencies it is interesting to note that 76 percent of incorporated wallet providers do not have a license.

Information on mining

Mining and large mining pools have a big part to play in shaping the digital currency landscape, and because of their importance, many of them are aware of their influence and power.

Over half of miners consider their ability to influence protocol development to be high or very high. This comes after recent developments with the SegWit protocol that was implemented on Aug. 1.


Miners and users battled to enact different protocols, and despite half of these big mining pools thinking they have influence, they were probably outdone by the power of the individual users.

However, with that, it is the bigger mining pools that still maintain that they have a larger influence on the protocols.

It also makes sense to see that 58 percent of the large mining pools are based in China, and that is why it is often believed that China is the key to the Bitcoin mining operations, as well as protocol updates. The US comes in second with 16 percent.

Mining revenue, despite the growth of digital currencies, has been up and down. The total Bitcoin mining revenues per year (block reward + transaction fees) if immediately converted to USD was far higher in 2014, than it was in 2016.

In 2014, the total came in at $786 mln dollars while 2016 only saw $563, probably due to the increase in difficulty of mining, especially with Bitcoin.

However, what did shoot up was Bitcoin transaction fees, as they topped out at $13.6 mln for the year in 2016 while the previous three years combined barely made $7 mln.

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