Blockchain and Crypto Blog

Ivan on Tech Academy provides latest insights and reports about the blockchain industry.

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Breaking Down ETH 2.0 - eWASM and EVM Explained

Written By Ivan on Tech

Jun 27, 2020

eWASM Ethereum 2.0: A detailed guide

eWASM is one of the many innovations that Ethereum is looking to implement to make its jump to Ethereum 2.0. Many believe that eWASM will help create an ecosystem that’s fast, scalable, and flexible, encouraging developers to build complex smart contracts on top of Ethereum 2.0’s protocol. This comes in addition to the many different aspects of ETH 2.0 which our previous articles on Staking, Sharding, Ethereum Layer-2, zk-SNARKs and much more explains. So, before we go any further, let’s familiarize ourselves with Ethereum 2.0.

Ethereum 2.0, what is it?

Ethereum 2.0 is a series of upgrades that will radically change the protocol, making it more scalable and efficient. So, Ethereum 2.0, what is it? Examples of these upgrades include – Proof-of-stake with Casper Protocol, Sharding, Raiden, Plasma, and Rollups. These changes will be implemented in different Ethereum phases to ensure proper deployment and execution. 

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Breaking Down ETH 2.0 - zk-SNARKS and zk-Rollups

Written By Ivan on Tech

Jun 25, 2020

Image Source: Przemys┼éaw Thomann

Ethereum 2.0 will trigger a seismic shift in the crypto space. Some of the changes that this upgrade is going to trigger are:

  • The transition to Casper protocol
  • Sharding
  • Raiden state channels
  • Plasma

Raiden and Plasma are layer-2 protocols that allow Ethereum to conduct thousands of transactions off-chain in the form of state channels and side chains. Plasma, in particular, can theoretically allow a side chain to process thousands of transactions and commit just one single hash to the main Ethereum blockchain. While this sounds pretty amazing on paper, there is a significant problem here. If there is some dispute in one of these side plasma chains, there isn’t a proper mechanism that the users can use to exit the protocol efficiently.

Achieving layer-2 scalability and availability with zk-Rollups

This is where a technique called “ZK-Rollups” comes in. With the smart integration of zk-SNARKS, a privacy protocol, it will be...

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Breaking Down ETH 2.0 - Ethereum Layer-2 and Scalability Explained

Written By Ivan on Tech

Jun 22, 2020

As you are probably aware, we are on the verge of an Ethereum revolution, colloquially known as ETH 2.0. This upgrade is going to bring in a lot of innovations to the popular Ethereum protocol.

We have covered two of the most significant changes - Casper and Sharding - in detail before. In this guide, let's cover another exciting innovation that is going to give the overall scalability a significant boost - Ethereum layer-2 scaling.

Ethereum layer-2: Solving the scalability problem

Numerous sources have very extensively documented Ethereum's scalability problems. Decentralized cryptocurrencies are inherently non-scalable due to their design issues. Ethereum does around 25 transactions per second, which is pretty abysmal but still marginally better than Bitcoin, which can only do seven transactions per second. 

This low transaction throughput happens because of the amount of time it takes to validate and put in a transaction within the block. 

Design problems of...

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Breaking Down ETH 2.0 - Sharding Explained

Written By Ivan on Tech

Jun 17, 2020

Over the past few days, we gave you a general overview of how Ethereum 2.0, or ETH 2.0, works and then showed you ETH 2.0 Staking and the Casper Protocol’s nuances. In this one, we are going to look into another massive feature of ETH 2.0 – Sharding.

Layer 1 vs Layer 2 Scalability

One common criticism of various cryptocurrency and altcoin systems is that of scalability. Put simply, if cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is going to drive the DeFi world of tomorrow, it needs to be able to support billions of people. This is something our comprehensive DeFi guide goes into in-depth, but there are already many solutions. Scalability techniques mainly fall into the following categories - layer 2 and layer 1.

Layer-2 scalability

These are off-chain scalability solutions built on top of the blockchain. The idea here is to leave the base layer alone and put on extra architecture on top of it. This layer deals with complex computations which mitigates the architectural...

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Breaking Down ETH 2.0 - Staking Explained

Written By Ivan on Tech

Jun 11, 2020

With ETH 2.0 just around the corner, now is a good time as any to look into one of the most critical updates it’s bringing along - proof-of-stake (PoS). In this article, we will look at why the current proof-of-work (PoW) system isn’t refined enough for future scalability needs and then see how eth 2.0 is looking to integrate PoS. 

What is Proof-of-Work?

Quite like Bitcoin, Ethereum also uses a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus protocol. The core principle of PoW works like this:

  • Specialized nodes in the network called “miners” own mining equipment called “ASICs.”
  • The miner takes up transactions from the mempool to form a block and then hashes its contents.
  • They then add a random value called “nonce” in the front of the hash and then hash the overall value again.
  • Now the miner will compare the value of the hash against the network difficulty. The difficulty is a metric decided upon by the network, which adjusts according to the ease...
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ETH 2.0 - Exploring The Phases of ETH 2.0

Written By Ivan on Tech

Jun 10, 2020

Since Ethereum first went live in July 2015, developers have stayed the course to improve it consistently. And in comparison to other upgrades over the years, the upcoming phasing in of ETH 2.0 will introduce two significant improvements: Proof of Stake (PoS) and Shard Chains. The shift in the underlying consensus mechanism away from the existing Proof of Work architecture will improve scalability, accessibility, economic incentives, energy efficiency, and lower barriers to entry, amongst other things.

Consensus Mechanisms

A consensus mechanism is a process by which the blockchain network agrees on one single version of the truth. Unlike in centralized systems, where those in power can twist the truth for a variety of reasons like political alliances, greed, power grabs, cover-ups, or even blackmail, and multiple versions of the truth can be told to gain an advantage.

For example, let’s say an earnings report is due to come out from a large corporation. And it just so happens,...

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Breaking Down ETH 2.0 - The Next Generation of Ethereum

Written By Ivan on Tech

Jun 09, 2020

Ethereum is one of the most well-known blockchains, and it is about to receive a significant upgrade. The crypto community is now keeping an eye out for ETH 2.0, and for a good reason. The 2.0 upgrade will bring a host of changes to the network that will make Ethereum faster and more secure than ever before. The changes that this upgrade is going to bring in a host of changes like - proof-of-stake, Sharding, eWASM, Plasma, and the Raiden Network. 

Timeframe for ETH 2.0

Ethereum 2.0 has been an open secret for quite some time now. When Ethereum was initially released, it was done so in five stages. This was done to give each step the proper development time it required:

  • Frontier: This stage came around July 2015, when Ethereum was first launched. This is often known as stage 0.
  • Homestead: Ethereum entered this phase around March 2016. 
  • Metropolis: This stage has two forks - Byzantium and Constantinople.
  • Serenity: The final phase of Ethereum 1.0 will have at least...
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Top 11 Ethereum Privacy Tools for 2020

Written By Ivan on Tech

Jun 05, 2020

Privacy may be the only thing DeFi fans and cypherpunks can agree on. In 2020, political censorship is motivating further adoption of cryptocurrencies which are anonymous - that means the senders’ and receivers’ identities are not linked on the blockchain. From the other side, the DeFi community is waking up to the need for confidential transactions, where the amount being sent is hidden. This will be essential for smart contract derivative instruments, peer-to-peer lending and the like.

Ethereum Privacy Tools for 2020

So what privacy tools are available on Ethereum? As of today, not many. The past decade has seen lots of innovation around Bitcoin privacy and Privacy Coins, like Monero and Zcash, but Ethereum has yet to reap the benefits of this innovation.

This is changing. From lightweight mixing protocols to bleeding-edge zero knowledge proofs, Ethereum privacy is finally having its day. Here’s what you should know about and where things are headed.

If...

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