Cardano – 3rd generation smart contract platform

Another great episode of epicenter, Charles Hoskins played an early role in the creation of Ethereum. He talks about Cardano, a blockchain platform looking into improved forms of governance and consensus.

Consensus forming is key to blockchain mechanics as well as the idea of governance in the wider sense. This episode explores ideas such as delegated voting.


Primea – A new Blockchain Operating System

I always enjoy the epicenter podcasts, the guys do get quite deep into the technicalities of various blockchain technologies, which is testament to how well the presenters Sebastian, Brian, Maheer and Sonny know their stuff!  There will never be an episode where I don’t learn something new, even if I am only catching the gist of some of the projects under discussion.

Episode 245 was about Primea, a proposal for a new Blockchain Operating system.  Interesting proposals here around synchronous versus asynchronous processing, and using concepts of actors and mailboxes for functions.

Proof of Capacity

Bitcoin uses a method called Proof of Work which involves solving hard mathematical problems to help secure the distributed ledger of data that forms the blockchain. It does use a lot of electricity from mining equipment that rewards miners

There is a blockchain out there which uses an intriguing method known as ‘Proof of Capacity’ (also known as ‘Proof of Space’), called Burst.  In a nutshell, the Burst network is secured through hard disk space instead of continually hashing calculations.  A potential miner will use spare hard disk to calculate hash values pre-mining and store them, known as plotting.  This only needs to be done once.  The mining process will simply read specified values, which uses far less power.

A nice technical explanation

I personally believe this type of mining will increase in popularity.  It fits in the same spirit as Bitcoin mining, is absolute, and likely to be appealing because of the potential electricity save.

Bitcoin v Litecoin

The Bitcoin blockchain started with a genesis block on January 3rd 2009. A couple of years later on October 7th 2011, Charlie Lee, a former Google employee, started the Litecoin blockchain, inspired by Bitcoin. It is an alternative cryptocurrency to Bitcoin and was created with a couple of intended improvements.

The first noticeable difference is the block creation speed. In Litecoin, blocks are created every minute or two, due to requiring less computational work than Bitcoin.

Secondly, blocks are created using a different so called consensus algorithm than Bitcoin. Litecoin uses a Scrypt algorithm that is intended to be more memory intensive than the hashing function used by Bitcoin.

In terms of dollar value, one LTC (the common “Ticker” abbreviation for Litecoin) is worth approximately $250 and by market capitalization (the total amount of Litecoin in existence) it is currently ranked 5th, with Bitcoin far ahead in 1st place.

A brief look-through a handful of transcations within a Litecoin block explorer reveals that the transaction cost of sending a Litecoin on the main chain is around 1 dollar, significantly less than Bitcoin currently (around $40). Additionally, Litecoin has implemented the so called Segregated Witness enhancement, which increases the number of transactions that can be included in a block, and allows so called offchain or sidechain transaction using the lightning network.

Litecoin is clearly here to stay, and IMO will remain amongst the top few cryptos out there, due to its proven staying power (6 years and counting) and its similarity to Bitcoin

Cryptocurrency and Capital markets

Nice interview discussing cryptocurrency and capital markets. Ari Paul also gives an interesting view of crypto as a strong hedge opposite fiat currencies.

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