Research

Research

Ethereum developers have begun discussing Ethereum 1x — a proposed set of changes that could significantly alter the way the Ethereum blockchain functions or lead to an Ethereum fork.

Five Big Questions for EOS Answered

EOS, the blockchain protocol designed to host industrial-scale decentralized applications (DApps) and launched this summer following a $4 billion initial coin offering (ICO), has created no shortage of buzz in the enterprise blockchain space. If fully realized, it could be an incredible tool for large corporations to begin reaping the benefits of decentralization. However, its delegated-proof-of-stake (DPoS) consensus model and some hiccups around how this functions have been controversial.

To get answers to some of the most pressing questions around EOS, we spoke with Thomas Cox, executive director of the EOS Alliance, and Myles Snider, CEO of Aurora EOS, an EOS block producer.

Consensus Algorithms: The Basics, the Problems and the Path to Efficiency at Distributed 2018


At BTC Inc’s flagship blockchain conference in San Francisco, Distributed 2018, experts from a wide variety of fields within the industry came to discuss the most salient issues facing distributed ledger technology. Several of these specialists participated in a panel discussion on the topic of consensus algorithms and their growth and expected proliferation as the space evolves.

The most critical issue facing the development of efficient blockchain use cases, in these experts’ opinion, is how these cases will effectively deal with “Byzantine actors,” or those acting in bad faith. Consensus algorithms are the key to keeping these platforms secure despite these bad actors, and there is often a trade-off between cost-efficiency and adhering to the vision of a truly decentralized, distributed platform.

Tyler Evans from BTC Inc. hosted the panel, directing each of the entrepreneurs with questions related to their own specialities. Jae Kwon, the founder and CEO of Tendermint, discussed the manner in which he uses consensus algorithms to run a network of blockchains. Mahnush Movahhedi, senior research engineer at DFINITY, used her in-depth knowledge of protocol stacks and running multiple codes on the same network to give a broader definition of consensus, and some of the different approaches to it. Larry Liu, founder of the Genaro network, went into great detail on the differences between proof-of-stake and proof-of-work systems, highlighting the pros and cons of each.

Approaching one issue from a variety of objective professional perspectives was the standard for all of the expert panels at Distributed 2018. For further exploration of other topics in the blockchain space, visit Distributed’s YouTube channel.

Blockchain-Based Solutions for Scientific Research

Science has come a long way since the days when heliocentrism was controversial and most people believed in spontaneous generation. Yet when it comes to sharing and verifying scientific work, the systems that researchers still rely upon today date back to an era of premodern science.

This is a challenge that blockchain technology can help to solve. By providing new ways to share academic research and verify the origin of information, blockchains could introduce significant new efficiencies and transparency to the world of research. 

What Does NASA’s Blockchain Research Mean for Businesses on Earth?

With distributed ledgers emerging as technological solutions across a wide range of sectors, it’s no surprise that NASA is now considering the applications of blockchain technology.

A NASA presentation titled “Bitcoin, Blockchains and Efficient Distributed Spacecraft Mission Control,” noted that blockchain technology could have useful applications in distributed spacecraft missions involving multiple elements.

A Brave New World

In particular, smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain could be used in NASA’s SensorWeb program, which develops an interoperable environment for a diverse set of satellite sensors. Artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technologies could be further integrated to make space-based sensor networks more efficient and responsive.