Blockchain and Crypto Blog

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

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Solving Smart Contracts and Congested Networks

Written By Ivan on Tech

Dec 16, 2020

As much as the growing popularity of blockchain and smart contract platforms is good for the crypto industry, it also contributes to certain problems. Most notably, the demand for decentralized applications (dApps) and decentralized finance (DeFi) is at a crucial stage where it outweighs the ability to supply. A simple economic analysis of the supply and demand curve, therefore, results in a skewed equilibrium. The disruption between supply and demand, in turn, creates a situation where we see congested smart contract networks

As Ethereum is the biggest smart contract platform it is, perhaps, the most well-known network to experience the problems of a congested network. To run an application on the Ethereum blockchain, a dApp user needs to pay gas. Essentially, since there is not enough gas to drive the demand for DeFi and dApps, the price has skyrocketed. In this article, we are going to clarify the problem and explore some of the potential solutions to this problem.

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Ethereum 2.0 Beacon Chain (Phase 0) and ETH Staking

Written By Ivan on Tech

Dec 13, 2020

On December 1st, Ethereum 2.0 Phase 0 was officially launched, with the Ethereum 2.0 Beacon Chain launch. This is the first major release in Ethereum’s transition towards a proof-of-stake blockchain through Ethereum 2.0. As such, Ethereum staking has become a hot topic in the past two weeks. This article looks at Ethereum 2.0, the Beacon Chain, and the practicalities of staking ETH.

The relatively recent launch of the Ethereum 2.0 Beacon Chain has once again put the spotlight on Ethereum’s upcoming roadmap. The Beacon Chain effectively brings staking to Ethereum, and paves the way for various future updates to the system. As anyone keeping an eye on Ethereum will know, Ethereum 2.0 is a gargantuan upgrade project which seeks to massively boost the scalability, security and speed of the Ethereum network. 

On December 1st 2020, the Beacon Chain shipped and went live at midday (UTC). At this point, the Beacon Chain is more of a foundation for the future of...

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Ethereum 2.0 Explained: What is the Zinken Testnet?

Written By Ivan on Tech

Oct 14, 2020

Those keeping tabs on the crypto market will likely have heard the term “Ethereum 2.0” (or Eth2) being thrown around. As the name suggests, Ethereum 2.0 is an overhaul of the existing Ethereum network, intended to boost scalability and security on the network. A critical part of the path towards Ethereum 2.0 is the “Zinken testnet”, which went live on October 12th, at 12 PM UTC. However, what is the Zinken testnet exactly?

To put it simply, Zinken is an Ethereum 2.0 testnet intended to practice a mainnet launch. It can be seen as a “dry run” for an Ethereum 2.0 mainnet and is essential to complete before Ethereum 2.0 goes live and starts supporting substantial economic value.

Although the existing Ethereum network has served a real value, it is becoming increasingly apparent that Ethereum needs improvements to support higher volumes of users. This is becoming more pronounced than ever, as Ethereum adoption keeps increasing.

Moreover, the...

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Exploring Blockchain Scaling Solutions in 2020

Written By Ivan on Tech

Sep 27, 2020

The growth of Ethereum over recent years has propelled blockchain technology beyond what many thought was possible. As the crypto community eagerly awaits the seemingly ever-delayed Ethereum 2.0 upgrade, many are wondering, could Layer-2 solutions provide the sustainable growth and scaling of the network that is needed?

Successful implementation of Ethereum’s Layer-2 solutions can be said to be important  both for the security and overall success of the network, but also the mass adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Specifically, scaling solutions are imperative for increased network activity. 

Proponents of Ethereum would say that Ethereum is at the forefront of various fields such as payments technology, financial infrastructure, and global enterprise, but with network congestion and gas fees at all-time highs, scaling solutions are highly sought after, as the demand for Ethereum usage far exceeds the capacity of the network.

In this article,...

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Ethereum Code: Examining Ethereum Programming and Ethereum Smart Contracts

Written By Ivan on Tech

Jul 06, 2020

Ethereum is one of the most fascinating and impactful projects in the crypto space. By bringing in the idea of programmable blockchains, Ethereum pretty much ushered in the era of smart contract platforms. Now with Ethereum 2.0 just around the corner, let’s familiarize ourselves with Ethereum code. 

Ethereum Code: The Ins and Outs of Ethereum smart contracts

What code is Ethereum written in? How to code Ethereum smart contracts? What are ERC-20 tokens? Let's answer all these questions in this guide.

What code is Ethereum written in?

Vitalik Buterin, a Russian-Canadian programming prodigy, first released the Ethereum whitepaper in 2013, describing it as a platform that can accommodate decentralized applications (Apps). Ethereum has a long list of co-founders and was coded using– Go, Rust, C#, C++, Java, and Python.

However, when learning about Ethereum code, this is not the main information that most developers are looking for. The truly fascinating aspect of...

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Why The DeFi Space Could See Huge Growth Over the Coming Years

Written By Ivan on Tech

Jul 05, 2020

One of the many fields of the economy that is ripe for disruption by the blockchain is the finance field. Virtually every part of the finance industry that traditional finance companies operate in is under threat from the blockchain. Over the last few months, the DeFi space market cap has risen dramatically, and this trend is set to continue over the coming years.

What is DeFi?

First of all, what is DeFi? DeFi stands for decentralized finance and refers to the ecosystem of financial applications built on the blockchain. This can be anything from decentralized exchanges to decentralized lending.

Projects such as Kyber Network (KNC) and 0x (ZRX) enable a decentralized and trustless exchange of tokens. Kyber “is an on-chain liquidity protocol that aggregates liquidity from a wide range of reserves, powering instant and secure token exchange in any decentralized application”. Their protocol can then be integrated into other applications such as websites or cryptocurrency...

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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 - 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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