Ethereum Gas Prices

There’s been some discussion recently on the affordability of Ethereum gas and the possibility of gas limits being reached on the blockchain. The issue is that blockchain adoption is so high, many fear that the Ethereum blockchain will get bogged down and unusable.

I believe Ethereum is too well planned out for this to become an issue.

Think of the Ethereum blockchain as I-15. (That’s my nearest freeway. Feel free to substitute your nearest freeway.) Too much traffic congests it. The easy fix is metering. Metering prevents an unmanageable amount of traffic clogging I-15. Ethereum does metering, too. It’s called a “gas limit.”

Gas is the fraction of Ether that is paid to run any transaction on the blockchain. Gas is just another name for a small bit of the ether cryptocurrency. Most transactions on the Ethereum blockchain cost some amount of gas. Paying gas prevents abuse of the computing power of the massive number of miner nodes creating the links in the blockchain.

Ethereum does its metering by placing a gas limit on each block (link) of the blockchain. Having a gas limit means that only a limited amount of computation power can be spent on creating a new link in the blockchain, before the mining nodes say, “Enough work!” and move on to creating the next link.

The issue discussed is that blockchain is seeing so much adoption that most of the gas allowed in every link is getting filled up without completing all the requested transactions. While this is absolutely wonderful from an adoption standpoint, it is not so wonderful if you want affordable “gas” prices for running transactions involving the Ethereum blockchain.

The reason that I am not worried about this is because the team creating the next update to Ethereum has anticipated this gas limit issue and found ways to pack more transactions into their blockchain. We will see major improvements to the code that runs blockchain over the next year. It will allow tons more transactions while also improving the speed of transaction fulfillment.

IBM’s $740 Million Blockchain Deal

It looks like another heavy hitter has adopted blockchain. According to Toshi Times, IBM has signed a $740 million deal with Australia involving blockchain and AI tech.

IBM Using Blockchain
IBM lands a $740 million blockchain deal.

“IBM’s Asia Pacific head Harriett Green spoke on Bloomberg commending Australia on their intelligent deal with IBM. She highlighted that this will rank Australia amongst ‘the top three digital governments in the world.’”

As noted in the Toshi Times posting, “The government is also going pro blockchain with the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) ensuring a budget of $530,000 was set aside for Blockchain research.”

Conflict Diamonds Versus Blockchain

World Economic Forum asks, “Could blockchain help stem the  flow of conflict diamonds?” This is a valid and timely question. Blockchain is poised to update management of supply chains around the world. Recently, FedEx announced it is using blockchain to track support issues for package delivery. Blockchain can also work with tracking of the integrity of supply deliveries–including the integrity of diamond sourcing.

Supply Chain Integrity
Supply chain integrity using blockchain is the topic of a recent posting at World Economic Forum

“Diamonds and gemstones mining, as well as raw materials extraction and processing, are some operations that still have rampant instances of modern-day slavery, poor health and safety conditions, as well as environmental destruction.”

World Economic Forum points out that blockchain may be the answer to these supply chain issues.

“The use of emerging technology, in particular, blockchain technology, has the strongest potential in addressing this. A distributed database that maintains a continuously growing list of records called blocks, it acts like a digital ledger. The core characteristics of blockchain – immutability, security, speed and scalability – can enable the solutions required, ideal for traceability requirements.”

Once again, blockchain is at the cutting edge of business innovation.

MIT Integrates Blockchain into Diplomas

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has embraced blockchain technology for verification of diplomas for its graduates. A special app allows graduates that receive their blockchian-integrated diplomas to prove their diplomas have been untamper-with and that they are legit. This is all thanks to blockchain technology.

The new blockchain app ” allows MIT graduates to prove ownership of their degree using the digital ledger … It uses blockchain technology to give graduates easy access to a verifiable, tamper-proof version of their diploma that they can share with potential employers.”

This new use for blockchain shows once again that there are far more uses for blockchain tech than just cryptocurrencies. Read more about blockchain use with MIT’s registrar office at futurism.com.

Chinese President Describes Blockchain as Vital

China’s government has included blockchain in its five-year plan.

“… the Chinese State Council has already included a mention of blockchain technology as a part of the nation’s current ‘information technology reformation strategy’. This is part of a five-year plan which stretches from 2016 to 2020, and it seems evident that blockchain will play an even more significant role in the updated version of the nation’s five-year plan.”

Xi Jinping in 2016
President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China recently described blockchain as a vital to China’s technical revolution.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, at a recent academic conference, announced that blockchain is a vital part of the technology revolution they are attempting to achieve in their own country.  This signals a softening of Chinese government regulations relating to blockchain, and additional funds and research aimed at increasing Chinese presence in the blockchain technology sector.

Read more about China’s pursuit of blockchain tech at Toshi Times.

Apple’s Co-Founder Praises Blockchain

Steve Wozniak, Apple’s co-founder, recently praised blockchain as the next IT revolution.

Steve Wozniak is best known for co-founding Apple with Steve Jobs. He is credited with designing and developing the Apple I in 1976. His work with Steve Jobs revolutionized the computer industry, and introduced personal computing to the world.

Steve Wozniak is a much sought after speaker at conferences globally and recently spoke at the WeAreDevelopers World Congress 2018. Wozniak described blockchain as “the next major IT revolution.” He praised both blockchain technologies for the changes he sees it bringing to the IT industry and cryptocurrencies that use blockchain tech.

More about Wozniak’s comments can be found at Cointelegraph.

FedEx wants Blockchain

FedEx wants to integrate blockchain into its daily operations. They have joined the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) to move toward this goal. FedEx has launched a program to use blockchain to store data in the process of dispute resolution. This program uses the blockchain’s ledger to store data that can ease disputes with customers about sending and receiving goods.

FedEx hopes to use blockchain tech to store data from their millions of records per day.

“We have millions of records a day in our system, and we think of blockchain as a secure chain of custody that could transform the logistics industry. We believe it holds a lot of promise in that space and would streamline all that data exchange in a very secure way.”

Read more about FedEx’s move to blockchain at freightwaves.com.

Taiwan Bank Integrates with Blockchain

Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank in Taiwan has introduced a blockchain-based payment system for retailers. The blockchain powered payment system is intended for use by local restaurants and merchants. The current establishments using the blockchain system are centralized around the National Chengchi University in the country’s capital.

According to a local report, the payments platform runs on the Ethereum blockchain by utilizing the Istanbul Byzantine Fault Tolerance algorithm, enabling it to scale and drastically reduce transaction times and costs.

The bank contends that transaction settlement times take less than a second on the network, underlining the benefits of adopting a blockchain-powered system. Further, merchants will also be able to verify transaction records in real-time with each transaction encrypted and recorded in an immutable distributed ledger, increasing overall efficiency.

You can read more about it at satoshi.press.

Amazon Embraces Blockchain

Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services integrates with the Ethereum Blockchain.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced new AWS Blockchain Templates for the integration of the Ethereum blockchain with their cloud services. The purpose of Amazon’s integration with the Ethereum blockchain is to provide an easy way to deploy blockchain networks with their open source frameworks.

From the Amazon press release …

AWS Blockchain Templates provide a fast and easy way to create and deploy secure blockchain networks using open source frameworks. Blockchain is a technology that makes it possible to build applications where multiple parties can record transactions without the need for a trusted, central authority to ensure that transactions are verified and secure. Blockchain enables this by establishing a peer-to-peer network where each participant in the network has access to a shared ledger where the transactions are recorded. These transactions are by design, immutable and independently verifiable.

It’s exciting to see the cloud service operators starting to take notice of blockchain and Dapp technology.

 

Chilean Government Using Blockchain

Chile’s Energy Minister, Susana Jimenez, is quoted recently as saying,

“We are interested in taking this technology from a conceptual level to a concrete case, understanding that it’s considered to be the most disruptive technology of the last decade by world-class experts, and that it could be part of day-to-day life in the next few years.”

Coat of Arms of Chile
Chile using blockchain for publicly recording data in the energy sector.

The reason for interest in blockchain tech? Data recorded on the blockchain cannot be altered or blocked by any currently known methods of attack or manipulation. Data recorded on the blockchain is secure and publicly verifiable. The data can be stored in a publicly visible fashion, or in a way that it can be verified but the data kept secure from prying eyes, depending on the needs of the user.

Porsche Does Blockchain

Showing your data hasn’t been tampered with is a high priority for businesses, both large and small. Whether proving to a Federal regulatory agency, a judge, an insurance company, or anyone else that your data is accurate, smart contracts on the blockchain provide the proof you need that your data is reliable.

In the latest blockchain news, Porsche, (as in the automobile manufacturer) has entered the blockchain arena. They have implemented a blockchain tool in a car to securely store data. There is peace of mind knowing the data stored is protected against tampering via blockchain.

Can you prove your data hasn’t been tampered with? If you answer “no”, ask us about our blockchain solutions.

Smithsonian Mentions Blockchain

The April 2018 issue of Smithsonian magazine published an article on Bitcoin. In passing it mentions the underlying technology of blockchain. As with many main stream news sources, they have not yet realized the game changing technology is not Bitcoin, but blockchain. Without blockchain, there is no Bitcoin.

Smithsonian mentions blockchain—the technology behind bitcoin.

However, Smithsonian magazine interviewed Cameron Winklevoss for the article, and Winklevoss really does understand the importance of blockchain applications. As quoted in the article … “He likens blockchain technolgy to the early days of the internet. ‘People thought, why do I need this? Then a few years later they’re like, I can’t live without my iPhone, without my Google, without my Netflix.'”

Dapps Primer

Dapps are decentralized applications that are integrated into a blockchain such as Ethereum’s blockchain. Dapps are open source, autonomous, and with no person or organization controlling the majority of the servers running the decentralized application.

Currently, the most well known Dapp is Bitcoin. However, Bitcoin is limited to keeping track of a ledger that pertains to transactions of value contained in the coins Bitcoin offers. This is a very limited use of blockchain technology, and is only one of many successful Dapps.

From the Dapp user’s perspective, dapps can have nothing to do with tokens or coins. Recently, blockchain tech includes certificate authentication, national election validation, and property title recording.

Dapps excel in providing publicly verifiable information, and creating immutable, uncensorable information. Imagine a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram that could not be censored. That is the power or decentralized applications known as Dapps.