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Do We Really Want To Tokenize Everything? And Can We?

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It’s not only gold that’s being tokenized. Other precious metals are also up for trade via blockchain technology. Stocks, bonds, and shares too.

Over the last year, there has been considerable discussion over the tokenization of physical assets. That is, having something tangible, like a bar of gold, represented by a token on a blockchain, like Ethereum or Bytom, so that there is an immutable record of ownership of the asset. This asset can then be traded or sold without the need for a middleman to keep a record of the transaction – and take a commission for his troubles – thus making the transaction safer, faster, and less expensive.

It’s not only gold that’s being tokenized. Other precious metals are also up for trade via blockchain technology. Stocks, bonds, and shares are all said to be next, and security token offerings are one incarnation of this move. In fact, STOs are hotly tipped to be the next big thing.

It seems anything worth anything is ripe for tokenization.

 

So, Everything Is Tokenizable?

Any blockchain that is capable of executing a smart contract (like Ethereum and Bytom that I mentioned earlier) offers the ability to have part-ownership of an asset. Recently, Andy Warhol’s famous painting, ’14 Small Electric Chairs,’ was tokenized and sold at auction. Over 800 bidders bought a 31.5% stake in the painting, which had a reserve price of US$4,000,000.

 

But who gets to hang it in their dining room and for how long?

I don’t think anyone is actually going to get the opportunity to have this piece hanging up on a wall in their home anytime soon, but what if this was not a painting but a luxury yacht. Not many of us can just go out and buy a luxury yacht, but what if twenty people wanted to and decided to buy one together?

It is possible to execute this type of transaction via smart contract on a blockchain. Twenty YCHT tokens could be issued, and each owner would receive one. They would have an immutable record of ownership that they could trade or sell to another party at any time. But the token would also show how much time that person would be able to have on the yacht. In fact, in an IoT kind of way, access to the boat could be restricted simply by not having the right blockchain-based digital ID credentials with you when you go to start the yacht’s engine. There’s plenty more that can be achieved with a smart contract, but you get the idea.

The same functionality can be used for cars, vacation homes, rental agreements, the list goes on, and there are plenty of companies out there trying to make these things happen right now, but I won’t go into those here.

 

Do We Want This?

Since most blockchains are decentralized and, therefore, have no central governing bodies to mess with the record as it suits them to, smart contracts that allow people to share ownership of an asset between them is an ideal solution. However, disputes could prove an issue.

Let’s say Owner 5’s three-year-old spilled apple juice all over the back seat of the shared car. Owner 7, the next car user, spots the damage and requests Owner 5 pay for cleaning. Owner 5 says that the spill had occurred before they got the car. What then?

One idea would be to have CCTV in the car so that the other owners can check back through the footage to see what really happened and to decide who should pay for what. But this is veering towards an Orwellian 1984-style totalitarian, panoptic mess that society should be aiming to avoid.

Smart contracts run on Ethereum, Bytom, Stellar, or any other capable blockchain certainly stand to make our lives simpler. However, smart contracts are still in their early days, and much work needs to be done with them before they can be deployed in fully mainstream applications.

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Ethereum hard fork vulnerability: Constantinople delayed yet again.

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Ethereum Constantinople hard fork after ChainSecurity, smart contract auditing firm has found a major vulnerability in one of the objectives of the upgrade.

Ethereum’s Constantinople hard fork after ChainSecurity, a smart contract auditing firm has found a major vulnerability in one of the objectives of the upgrade.

ChainSecurity said yesterday that EIP 1283, which was one of the planned changes is vulnerable to attacks as it can provide hackers a loophole in the smart contract code to take over the user’s funds. As a result, the ethereum developers, the client developers as well as all other projects have agreed to delay the Constantinople hard fork for the time being till the issue is evaluated and resolved.

The next date for the Constantinople hard fork shall be decided on 18th of January during the Ethereum dev call which would include people such as Vitalik Buterin, Nick Johnson, Hudson Jameson, Evan Van Ness, Afri Schoedon and others.

The ethereum developers have decided to delay the Constantinople hard fork for now as according to them the issue might take longer to be resolved. The Constantinople hard fork was earlier planned to be executed on 17th January at around 04:00 UTC.

 

Constantinople Vulnerability:

According to Joanes Espanol, the CTO of Amberdata, the vulnerability found in the EIP 1283 is known as Reentrancy Attack. The following attack allows the hacker or attacker to reenter the identical function multiple times in the absence of the user knowing about the state of affairs. Under the Reentrancy attack, the hacker or the attack could withdraw the user’s funds forever.

According to ChainSecurity, the storage operations on the ethereum network is currently costing 5000 gas which exceeds the 2300 gas which is sent while calling a contract using ‘send’ or ‘transfer’ function. After Constantinople is implemented dirty storage operations will start to cost 200 gas and the attacker contract can then use 2300 gas stipend to control the endangered contract’s variable.

This is the second time that the Ethereum hard fork Constantinople is being delayed. Previously, it was scheduled to be launched last year but was delayed due to issues with the Ropsten testnet.

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Ethereum is centralized: 2 mining pools control more than 50% hashrate

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Ethereum is turning centralized with just two of the Ethereum mining pools: Ethermine and SparkPool controlling more than 52% of the total network hashrate.

Ethereum, the 2nd top cryptocurrency by market capitalization is turning centralized with just two of the Ethereum mining pools: Ethermine and SparkPool controlling more than 52% of the total network hashrate.

ethereum-mining-chart

Source: BTC.com: Ethereum Pool’s Distribution

Ethermine controls around 28% of the total network hash rate while SparkPool controls more than 24% of the total hash rate. Apart from these NanoPool, F2Pool and MiningPoolHub control around 13.5%, 11% and 6% of the network hash rate simultaneously. Apart from the major mining pools just around 17% of the Ethereum network hash rate is controlled by others.

Bitcoin is way more decentralized In comparison to Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum as the top two mining pools of bitcoin: BTC.com and Antpool control just around 29% of the total network hashrate.

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Ethereum Hard Fork: Constantinople Explained, Beware of Scams.

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Ethereum is having the Constantinople hard fork on 16th January. Ethereum Nova is basically fishing for people's private keys and stealing money.

Ethereum is having the Constantinople hard fork on 16th January and the first thing to note is that it is a hard fork so there will be a new Ethereum blockchain but its really important to point out that this is not a contentious fork. When we earlier had the Ethereum classic and Ethereum split, there was a serious disagreement on different concepts and we had two camps who went their own separate ways over that conflict.

Constantinople: A Non-Contentious Fork

Now with the current Ethereum hard fork, it’s not contentious, the assumptions are that the miners will be switching to the new chain, all of the current smart contracts on the current Ethereum blockchain will be replicated on the new chain. This is really about an upgrade to the Ethereum blockchain overall and not some kind of split between the community. Due to the upgrades to the Ethereum blockchain being so significant, this is why they require a hard fork. There are some major changes that are going to take place and because of that, they need to do a hard fork.

Whenever there is a hard fork, there can be a new coin created but Constantinople is an upgrade so a split is not a very probable outcome. Now there is the potential that at the 11th hour, some big mining pool could decide that they don’t like them and they want to go to their own separate direction and make a new coin. That’s possible but most likely there will be no new coins produced.

Currently, Ethereum is in an absolute critical transition phase. The transition phase is either going to make or break Ethereum in the long term. That is, of course, the move from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake. The Constantinople upgrade is a part of that upgrade. If Ethereum wants to stay the preeminent leader in the Dapp world they have to scale. We do have the layer 2 scaling solutions but the new upgrade is going to make Ethereum cheaper and faster and at the same time it will be decreasing the reward for mining down from three Ethereum a block to two Ethereum a block.

 

What will happen to your ERC20 tokens during the Constantinople upgrade?

ERC20 tokens are a form of smart contracts running on the Ethereum blockchain. So they will migrate to the new chain with everything else. So there is absolutely no need to do anything. In fact, the new Ethereum improvements are going to make your ERC20 and ERC721 tokens require less gas.

 

Constantinople is helping to Optimize State Channels:

Another important part of the Constantinople upgrade will be helping to optimize state channels. So we could actually really see the second layer solutions taking off in a big way. The hard fork is going to help make that process even easier.

 

ASIC Resistance: Not included in Constantinople

An important thing to know that is not being included in the Constantinople hard fork even though it is being discussed at the moment is ASIC Resistance. There has been a proposal put forward to make progressive proof of work that would eventually block Asics, which are giant mining boxes or specific computers for mining cryptocurrencies. Previously, Ethereum was only mineable using a graphics card but Asics have changed the game and substantially a lot of home miners or smaller miners are very upset about these changes and do want to see the ASIC Resistance brought in but this is not going to be happening during the current hard fork.

 

If you are an Ethereum Miner:

If you are an Ethereum miner are you are mining via a pool, the pool operators will be updating the software, so again you don’t need to do anything.

 

Beware of Scams!

Kindly beware of scams. There is already something going around called the Ethereum Nova which is basically fishing for people’s private keys and stealing money. Just remember that you don’t have to do anything specific for the Constantinople hard fork. Don’t put your private keys anywhere, there’s not going to be any free airdrop or any free tokens. These sites that you see claiming to be alternate forks are going to be nothing but scammers. So you really don’t need to do anything except to avoid giving these people your private keys so they can steal your money. Be careful!

 

What if your Ethereum or tokens are on an exchange:

Although you should never be storing your cryptocurrencies on an exchange as an exchange is not a safe deposit box, it is a marketplace. But if you are running trades, you can actually leave your cryptocurrencies on the exchange and they are going to be fine as all major exchanges have already come out saying that they are supporting the hard fork and they will be running the upgrade so again you don’t need to do anything.

 

What are your thoughts on the Constantinople hard fork? Tell us in the comments section below.

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