What’s the deal with blockchain? Part 3

This post is part three in a series. I’m posting my research as an outlet to teach myself and others about blockchain technology. If you have any recommendations for resources I should consider please leave a comment below.

Ethereum development

I’ve been experimenting with development on the Ethereum platform and found the experience to be somewhat cumbersome. From my understanding the entire Ethereum blockchain needs to be downloaded in order to work in the production environment. I’ve found that the process takes an extremely long time to complete. I’ve left my machine on over night only to find that the process has yet to complete. Even leaving the machine on throughout the next day yields the same results. This brought me to thinking that if 2018 is only the beginning of this technology and ten years down the road there is a more mature development model are there going to be improvements here or are end-user (nodes) going to be dealing with blockchains of enormous proportions? In other words how is this going to scale over time?

As for the IDE I’ve had some challenges with that and getting the sample code to work from the Ethereum site. I’ve found errors in the code possibly from staff uploading the samples in haste without fully reviewing. Another possibility is that the code did work at some point but no longer does due to updates to the IDE and associated platform.

In terms of mining ETH my understanding is that can be down via the command line interface with the geth command. The guidance recommends downloading the entire blockchain first however due to the sheer size and volume of files I’ve had to offload that to an external drive. The other guidance is to mine via a GPU rather than a CPU however I’m just starting to investigate that end of things.

 

InterPlanetary File System (IPFS)

This could be an interesting development.

Everipedia is an example of what can be accomplished with IPFS. The team here is definitely gathering steam as it has received funds from capital partners, angel investors and crowdfunding sources. How Everipedia differentiates from Wikipedia is by being a more inclusive community of editors. “Users can add content to pages that would not necessarily be accepted on Wikipedia’s platform, such as links to their websites and social media accounts. In addition, Everipedia users could create additional pages for people, organizations, and other subjects that are not found on Wikipedia.”

“In late 2017, Wikipedia​ cofounder Larry Sanger​ joined Everipedia as Chief Information Officer. Sanger and the Everipedia team claim to be working on using distributed ledger technology to create a peer-to-peer backend for the platform, including a tokenized governance system. On December 6, 2017 Everipedia announced that they would be moving the entire process of editing and storing articles onto the EOS blockchain and IPFS​.”

 

There is more information about Everipedia on Reddit and Telegram. Here’s a little more about IPFS from Everipedia.

“IPFS is a peer-to-peer distributed file system that seeks to connect all computing devices with the same system of files. In some ways, IPFS is similar to the World Wide Web, but IPFS could be seen as a single BitTorrent swarm, exchanging objects within one Git repository. In other words, IPFS provides a high-throughput, content-addressed block storage model, with content-addressed hyperlinks.”

There are however problems reported with Everipedia and editors creating “fake articles” related to mass tragedies as reported by The Outline,

“Everipedia editors have created, and subsequently failed to delete, pages about individuals with tangential connections to mass tragedies that, like doxxing, often feature links to personal social media pages. After fringe news sites misidentified the driver of the Dodge Challenger that slammed into a crowd of counter-demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one, Everipedia created two pages: one for the actual driver of the car, James Alex Fields Jr., and another for the victim of the mistaken reports that remains online today, complete with links to his Facebook and Instagram accounts.”

 

IOTA

IOTA is an organization that gets caught up in the blockchain hype however the platform utilizes no blocks, chains or miners. “[IOTA] utilizes a novel invention, called a “Tangle”, at its core. The Tangle is a new data structure based on a Directed Acyclic Graph. As such it has no Blocks, no Chain and also no Miners. Because of this radical new architecture, things in IOTA work quite differently compared to other Blockchains.”

“In this new autonomous Machine Economy IOTA will be the backbone. The Tangle ledger is able to settle transactions with zero fees so devices can trade exact amounts of resources on-demand, as well as store data from sensors and dataloggers securely and verified on the ledger.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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