What is Ethereum’s Casper update?

What is Casper

Casper is Ethereum’s chosen Proof of Stake protocol, headed up by team leader Vlad Zamfir. The code is available here on Github.

The protocol implements a process the dev team claims can punish malicious elements:

  • The validators stake a portion of their Ethers as stake.
  • After that, they will start validating the blocks. Meaning, when they discover a block which they think can be added to the chain, they will validate it by placing a bet on it.
  • If the block gets appended, then the validators will get a reward proportionate to their bets.
  • However, if a validator acts in a malicious manner and tries to do a “nothing at stake”, they will immediately be reprimanded, and all of their stake is going to get slashed.

Anyone who acts in a malicious manner will get immediately punished by having their stake slashed. This is where it differs from most other POS protocols. Malicious elements have something to lose so it is impossible for there to be nothing at stake.

The protocol also designs incentives that punish miners who go offline, intentionally or otherwise (source: Blockgeeks)

Now, while it sounds like a well-thought out system, there’s the possibility that miners won’t take kindly to the penalties induced for going offline. They could lose their stake through a simple accident or power cut, meaning they have to be extra careful.

In a moment we’ll get into whether this could create a rift within the mining community, but we’re not quite done exploring Casper’s features yet.

Two Sides to the Story

Casper is actually divided into two parts:

  • Casper the Friendly Finality Gadget (FFG)
  • Casper the Friendly GHOST: Correct-by-Construction (CBC)

Casper FFG is also referred to as Vitalik’s Casper, and it’s is a hybrid POW/POS consensus protocol.

Casper is going to start off with FFG which is essentially phase one of the big move to POS. After that the project will transition into phase two, making Ethereum ready for POS.

With FFG, every 49 blocks will still be PoW but the 50th block will be a “PoS checkpoint” where finality is assessed by the miners/forgers.

Finality basically means that when a process or transaction has been completed, it’s irreversible.

The CBC protocol will see the network position itself to make the change to PoS smoothly. But why?

The Advantages

The Advantages are pretty clear.

The enormous energy consumption of Proof of Work is crazy and posing a real threat to the environment. From a more local standpoint, advocates of PoS claim that it is more decentralized and helps improve scaling opportunities, economic efficiency, and rarity – Ethereum will become a rarer commodity after Casper is implemented due to mining incentives. Blocks will soon be rewarded with 0.82 ETH as opposed to 3 ETH which will reduce the inflation rate.

The Disadvantages – Mining Incentive

The only potential problem foreseeable, at the moment, is the potential for miners to abandon ship, potentially turning to Ethereum Classic (ETC), the orignal Ethereum PoW protocol requiring miners to validate transactions.

The issue with the Proof of Stake protocol is that miners don’t play the same role as they do in Proof of Work – miners running ASIC mining rigs or computers kitted out with top of the line GPUs working overtime to crack complex algorithms in order to validate block transactions and receive rewards aren’t required here, with a democratic system of validators taking their place. Is there a possibility that members of the Ethereum community will switch over to the ETC team in order to preserve that role? Yes, it’s a distinct possibility – the question is, how many?

Two weeks ago redditor called beezer0005 stated:

“Not a single care with miners. Lol, if you’ve been following eth, they actually don’t care with miners. The reason casper is always delayed is simply it’s not ready yet.”

Another user called FaceDeer said:

“If the miners want to keep mining the PoW fork, but the users have moved over to the PoS fork (because it’s got significant improvements in how it functions for users), that’s fine. The miners can have their irrelevant little fork that nobody is interested in paying them to secure. It won’t affect the PoS fork in the slightest.

In fact, I’d say it’d be a good thing to have them keep the PoW chain running for a little while just in case PoS suffers an unforeseen catastrophic failure right after launch. PoS will be a big and complicated upgrade, the old PoW chain would serve as an emergency backup in that case.

Comments like these speak to the potential rift growing into the Ethereum community which already fractured recently with a hard fork leading to two prominent cryptocurrencies.”

The Developer’s Outlook

Vitalik Buterin has previously warned against a war on Ethash mining and ASIC mining within the Ethereum community.

“Worst case scenario is basically like that Bitmain controls a very large portion of the Ethereum network for some period of time,” Buterin added. “This is not Bitcoin, right? Miners are not in control here. If there comes a day when they have majority hashpower and try to use it for evil, then it will basically just speed up Casper development.”

Casper is seen by the team as a means to decentralize the network and take the power from the hands of those capable of shelling out millions for state of the art crypto-mining farms and facilities with hundreds of GPU or ASIC rigs churning away to grant the owners a disproportionately influential voice in the community when it comes to voting and validating transactions. The move is designed to discourage the possibility of mining cartels taking over and positioning themselves to carry out a 51% PoW attack, as we have seen in many PoW coin networks recently like Bitcoin Gold.

It’s not going to make the miners happy to see a reduction in block reward, and yes, many of them may leave by Casper FFG in advance of their role being completely changed as opposed to applying for validator roles in the upcoming PoS system. Casper may prove to be a success in the Ethereum network, or it may prove to be yet another divisive element that splits the community yet again.

However, with the multitude of problems being faced by PoW coins recently – all I can say is that Casper is worth a shot.

Remember folks, Crypto is comin!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Interested in other cool crypto posts….check out Estimated Bitcoin Carbon Footprint and Bitmain IPO could be massive!.

Follow us on twitter @cryptoiscomin

The Raven’s Dispatch – August 7, 2018 – Thieves Steal Over $5 Million BTC by Hijacking SIM Cards

It seems like every week someone elses crypto gets stolen

Once again hackers find creative to hack up to $5 million from unsuspecting people. 40 people to be exact. And the cheeky hacker even had the stones to hack phones at Consensus. This hacker is my kind of scum. This is the first known form of this hacking, known as Sim Hacking, in order to steal crypto currency. What is Sim Swapping? A mobile phone SIM card stores user data in Global System for Mobile phones. Without a SIM card, GSM phones aren’t able to tap into any mobile network. The hacker will trick the mobile network service and have them transfer mobile phone numbers of targets onto a SIM card which is held by the criminal.

One the number has bene obtained the hacker has access to reset any passwords on the phone and gain access to online accounts or cryptocurrency exchanges. And voila, stolen crypto. Joel Ortiz, the antagonist of our story, even stole millions from Consensus in may of this year. Joel was captured trying to escape to Europe and now faces 28 charges. The full Motherboard piece is worth the read. Be safe out there familia. Now it’s time to engage the Dispatch! (better intro?…I didn’t think so).

Contrary to what many in the community thought, 2018 is not our year. But there are still four months left right? Plenty of time for a turn around. The overall cryptocurrency market kicked us in the gut the past week moving from $271bln to $232bln representing a 15% decline since the last Dispatch. And like lemmings the top five also went over the cliff.

Bitcoin (BTC): It get this acute sensation week to week, as I put this thang together, that i’ve seen this story before. Bitcoin dropped 14% the past week suffering a steep decline Tuesday evening. As of this post BTC is settling (we hope) at $6500 .

Ethereum (ETH): I’m gonna make this short, because I think we all know what’s coming: 13% decline, dropping from $423 to $369. We all feel the pain.

Promether (PYRO): Founded in August 2017, Promether is a new type of network called an Adaptive Symbiotic Network (ASN). It works on three principles: network, application and users. The outcome is simple, providing security to everyone. The foundation of this network is based on AI with the use of ubiquitous computing.

That’s quite the mouthful, and pretty ambitious. But in this hyperconnected world security should be everyones primary concern. The list of features is long but one recuriing theme sticks out throught the whitepaper: security, encryption,

Promether is currently holding a private sale which closes upon raising $7 million. Currently in its second phase, it has already raised millions by offering it’s native coin (PYRO) and bonuses to early investors. Promether plans to have a public ICO in the near future once its minimum viable product, Contact, is ready for launch.

If you want to know more about Promether check out our guide.


BTC vs. BCH: Let’s get ready to rumble– We take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each coin, examine the value proposition, branding and level of decentralization in this piece.

What is Promether? – We take a look into this project aiming to provide us better security and anonimity on the internets. With all the hacking and loss of personal data it’s time we have take a different look at security.

LATOKEN’s CEO Believes Tokenized Assets are The Future – The young multi-asset exchange has announced Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals are now enabled. Given the fact the Japanese Yen is the second most traded fiat currency with Bitcoin, the company hopes this move will accelerate that market’s penetration.

Exclusive: ABCC Exchange is Launching Its App This Week – The Singaporean exchange has recently issued its ABCC Token (AT), and it’s now getting ready to launch its smartphone app. I spent some time playing with the test app, and I can say I was pleasantly surprised.

Bitcoin: Uncorrelated assets, the “holy grail” of portfolio allocation – When it comes to investments of any kind, it’s important to understand how the assets in question are related to others on the market. Bitcoin offers traders a lifeboat when things turn rough by being uncorrelated to the stock market

Bank in Myanmar To Integrate Blockchain For Its Migrants in Thailand – Myanmar’s Shwe Urban & Rural Development Bank has partnered with Everex, a financial technology (fintech) company to develop a blockchain-based digital remittance service between Thailand and Myanmar.

Is Ethereum Classic About To Make Its Move? – With a clear roadmap and team, deep pocket investors and strong support in Asia, is Barry Silberts long on ETC about to pay off?

– A lot of commotion this morning in the crypto streets. First news broke that New York Stock Exchange’s parent company ICE will launch new futures contract that delivers real bitcoin.  It also seems Coinmarketcap got a little too excited by this and began displaying prices over 10x! At this point, we’re not sure if this is related to a hack on their site or their price providers.

Top 15 upcoming ICOs (August 2018)  – Another great infographic from @ico_analytics showcasing some of the highest rated upcoming ICOS based off reviewers data points. Check it out!

Exclusive: LATOKEN’s CEO Isn’t Scared of His Bigger Competitors – In an exclusive interview for Crypto is Coming, Valentin Preobrazhenskiy, LATOKEN’s founder and CEO, talked about how the exchange came to be, his thoughts on its competitors, and its future goal.

India Doubles Down on Blockchain-Powered Hubs With Its New Initiative – The country has made clear it is ready to embrace blockchain, and it isn’t afraid to show it. Officials have recently announced India will be developing a ‘blockchain district’ in the Indian state of Hyderabad.


SEC Postpones Decision on Bitcoin ETF Listing to September – Ahhhhh, a life line. Or is it? The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has postponed a decision on whether to allow the listing of an exchange-traded fund backed by Bitcoin.

Duo Security researchers’ Twitter ‘bot or not’ study unearths crypto botnet – A team of researchers at Duo Security has unearthed a sophisticated botnet operating on Twitter — and being used to spread a cryptocurrency scam…..TIf you use twitter for anything crype related then you’ve seen the ETH bots. This is so anticlimactic.

Goldman Sachs Is Planning a Crypto Custody Service – Goldman Sachs Group Inc. could offer a boost for the burgeoning universe of funds betting on cryptocurrencies.

Bitmain Confirms New Crypto Mining Facility in Texas – Chinese mining giant Bitmain confirmed that it is set to open a new cryptocurrency mining facility in Rockdale, Texas, USA.

Money or Assets? How World Governments Define Cryptocurrencies – Cryptocurrencies — what are they? Money? Commodities? Securities? Utility tokens? Or something else? Few national governments seem to be in any kind of agreement on this question, and for now, at least, their divisions have given such currencies as Bitcoin and Ethereum a floating, indeterminate status on the global stage.

Coinbase Custody is Exploring the Addition of 37 New Assets – San Francisco-based exchange and wallet service Coinbase announced today, Aug. 3 that it is exploring the addition of 40 new assets to its custodial service, Coinbase Custody.

The NYSE’s Owner Wants to Bring Bitcoin to Your 401(k). Are Crypto Credit Cards Next? – Backed by Microsoft and Starbucks, Intercontinental Exchange is launching a startup called Bakkt to make the cryptocurrency safe for your retirement fund, and maybe for retail, too.

Mt Gox Creditors Prepare Revised Claims for Bitcoin Repayments Plan – In 2014, Mt Gox exchange handled an estimated 70% of the total Bitcoin supply until a security breach led to the loss and/or theft of approximately 850,000 BTC, worth $450 million at the time and billions today.

Six Reasons Why Institutional Investors Could Flock to Crypto in 2019 – A dude at Forbes who look pretty intelligent lays it down for us, guys.

Binance Makes First Public Aquisition: Anonymous Wallet for Ethereum Tokens – Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, has officially made its very first public acquisition: Trust Wallet – an anonymous mobile storage solution for Ethereum-based tokens.

US Treasury Dept. Fintech Innovation Report Touches on Crypto, Blockchain – A major new report from the U.S. Treasury Department published July 31 has called for a more agile and conducive regulatory approach to innovations in the fintech sector.

Thank you for joining us for this weeks The Raven’s Dispatch! Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter so you can receive notifications via email that a new Dispatch was released! Also if you have any interesting news you would like to submit contact us at

Follow us on twitter @cryptoiscomin

Like us on Facebook

Visit our crypto swag store on Teespring

Ethereum Classic About To Make Its Move?

Is Ethereum Classic about to shoot for the moon?

Nothing is ever certain in the world of crypto-investment, but sometimes there are key indicators that can help keep traders and HODLers informed. I’m not just talking about TA here either – Ethereum Classic (ETC) has seen a lot of recent developments that could combine into the perfect storm that could help bring the currency to the next level.

Let’s start with the first general factor and move onto the more current affairs in the ETC space that are worth paying attention to.

Similarities to Bitcoin

One of the lesser-known aspects of Ethereum Classic is that ita origin story draws a lot of parallels with that of Bitcoin, arguably making it one of the closest things to Bitcoin there is.

Ethereum Classic didn’t have an ICO and doesn’t engage in transaction rollbacks – that’s pretty much the foundation of the formation of the project. The DAO hack led to a rift in the Ethereum community that resulted in a hard fork in which many of the original developers continued with the Ethereum project, agreeing to a rollback to return the lost funds.

Ethereum Classic supporters felt that this was the antithesis of blockchain and cryptocurrency technology and that the blockchain should be immutable, mirroring the core beliefs of the Bitcoin community. Ethereum Classic also runs off the Proof of Work model with no plans to change to PoS like Ethereum. While the cost to the environment is higher, PoS comes with centralization issues that the Ethereum Classic community are unwilling to risk.

Added to Coinbase

Coinbase recently announced the listing of Ethereum Classic, something which could prove major for upwards price movement.

Final testing for ETC support is now wrapping up and Coinbase Pro will be open for inbound ETC transfers on August 07 of this year.

Along with the listing comes a bunch of other features, such as Coinbase custody – the team is adding support for inbound transfers and withdrawals, an insurance protocol that will enable institutional traders to deal in ETC as well as more casual investors.

The market team is adding market support and allowing 24–48 hours of transfers through Pro/Prime before opening the markets once liquidity is high enough.

ETC transactions soared to almost 50,000 in one day in preparation for the listing as users accumulate in the hopes that the price will moon.

Roadmap and Team

The ETC team are taking a more conservative approach compared to the Ethereum project, where progress moves at a breakneck pace – and then breaks things. While Ethereum has often been accused of throwing things at the wall to see what sticks, ETC has a ‘slow and steady wins the race’ methodology – and they’ve been sticking to it.

Most recently the team removed the ‘difficulty bomb’ placed by the original developers. Aimed to discourage the miners from the Proof of Work system and force the PoS switchover, the bomb was essentially a failsafe that would eliminate the miner rewards and as such remove any incentive for miners to validate transactions, something that would have totally killed the project.

The team was able to defuse the difficulty bomb on time and keep things moving. Next up is sharding for chain scaling, a light app for IoT and mobile, followed by mesh networks in 2020.

ETC is headed up by Igor Artamonov who is the CTO and a Founder – Artamonov is a professional software developer since 2001, have been writing code since 1995. Scalable, decentralized, distributed and fault-tolerant applications, storing and processing big data, security and encryption. 

Big Backers

I’m talking here, of course, about Barry Silbert, a major investor tirelessly evangelizing ETC. But it’s not Silbert alone – he owns and founded Grayscale Investments which made a major investment in ETC and even set up an Ethereum Classic Investment Trust.
“ETC Trust enables investors to gain exposure to the price movement of ETC through a traditional investment vehicle, without the challenges of buying, storing, and safekeeping ETC.”
Silbert personally invested at $0.50 two years ago, seeing his investment rise over 90 times in value. He also founded Digital Currency Group, a company that funds promising entrepreneurs as an “angel investor” and invests in cryptocurrency. Silbert claims the company almost never trades, and favors holding tokens long-term instead. At the end of last year, DCG held over $600 million worth of cryptocurrency, and 90% of that was in Bitcoin, Zcash, and Ethereum Classic.
DCG funded CoinDesk, BitPay, and Ripple, and went on to buy CoinDesk in 2016 – a major player to have backing ETC.

The ETC cooperative report details over $1 million in donations along with almost doubling the social media following on Twitter and Reddit and doubling the amount of daily transactions to nearly 50,000. The goal of the cooperative is to support the ETC “community, development, and marketing efforts within the Ethereum Classic ecosystem” with the intention of making it better by “removing pain points and obstacles that interfere with ETC’s current and future users”.

Asian Support

Finally, ETC has been steadily gaining support throughout Asian markets. A major conference called the Ethereum Classic Summit is due to be held in Korea on 12-13 September 2018 with speakers like Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson along with Grayscale, Coinbase, and ETC reps, and Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee. Lee describes Ethereum Classic as a “hybrid coin” between Ethereum and Bitcoin and recommends it as an investment to his clients.
As pointed out in a piece entitled “Asian Cryptocurrency Trading Update: Ethereum Classic The Only Winner,” in June, ETC was the only coin to continue performing well in the Asian markets during the market decline, pumping 25% despite the bearish trends. CryptoCompare also shows data on how ETC is being purchased more strongly in Asian exchanges, meaning it may be performing well despite the fact that it has yet to truly break into the western market – such a breakthrough may be on the way.

Recent bullish news coupled with the support seen in the Asian markets means the future could be looking up for Ethereum Classic, making it our pick for cryptocurrencies to keep an eye on over the coming weeks and months.

Or days – following the recent Coinbase announcement, ETC is up 14% at the time of writing.

Remember folks, Crypto is comin!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Interested in other cool crypto posts….check out Uncorrelated assets, the “holy grail” of portfolio allocation.and The Price of Bitcoin vs Cost of Mining.

Follow us on twitter @cryptoiscomin

Who is Barry Silbert?

What do Coindesk, Digital Currency Group, and Second Market all have in common?

They’re all owned by Barry Silbert, the early investor worth about half a billion dollars who’s been cheering on Bitcoin and crypto for years.

Silbert heard about Bitcoin in 2011 and describes his perspective as evolving through arrange of emotions that all true crypto fans are probably familiar with.

  • Dismissive
  • Skeptical
  • Intellectually Curious
  • Believer/Investor
  • Evangelism!

He started buying Bitcoin in 2012 at $8 and began angel investing in different companies the same year. An influential and occasionally controversial figure in the space, Silbert is noted not only for his staggering success, but for his enthusiastic cheerleading of different coins that he or his company hold. This has lead some social media users to nickname him “Barry Shilbert”. That’s social media for you.

Perhaps both reputations are well-deserved. He invested in Ethereum Classic less than two years ago at $0.50 per token and saw it increase over 90 times in value, seeing more growth than Bitcoin did in the same amount of time. He continues to back the currency and offer tips on Twitter while posting bullish statements as well.

His social media activity have caused concern that US regulators may take an interest. Securities lawyers have pointed out that while there’s nothing to be done about individuals attempting to influence token value in the unregulated crypto space, one of Silbert’s companies deals in US government-regulated securities whose value is derived from crypto, raising the issue of whether Silbert’s actions constitute illegal price manipulation prohibited by US law.

Silbert didn’t let the concerns go unanswered. He insisted that he was “highly sensitive” to the regulations regarding price manipulation and stated that he and his companies were fully subject to “anti-fraud provisions and insider trading”. To date he has made no comment about his online nickname… I don’t think anyone will hold that one against him!

Regardless of the gray area he may be straying into legally, it’s always worthwhile hearing what crypto giants are thinking and how they got to where they are. Barry Silbert made an appearance at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit and made a number of interesting points that we’re going to get into today. First, let’s take a closer look at his companies.

Digital Currency Group

Digital Currency Group is a company that funds promising entrepreneurs as an “angel investor” and invests in cryptocurrency. Silbert claims the company almost never trades, and favors holding tokens long-term instead. At the end of last year, DCG held over $600 million worth of cryptocurrency, and 90% of that was in Bitcoin, Zcash, and Ethereum Classic.

DCG played a key role in the funding and development of projects like CoinDesk, BitPay, and Ripple. They even went on to buy CoinDesk outright in 2016. Another subsidiary company of DCG is Grayscale, an investment firm that manages Bitcoin Investment Trust, the first ever company to offer shares and securities whose value is derived solely from cryptocurrency. It’s a big step for adoption, but investment opportunities are available only to accredited investors with hundreds of thousands of dollars at their disposal.

Silbert’s Summit Predictions: Good news, Bad news

Bad news first. Silbert firmly believes that the vast majority of cryptocurrencies are going to crash all the way down to zero.

That’s right – not “drop to a lower market value”, not “suffer a permanent correction over time” – zero. Nothing. Worthless. Similar sentiments were expressed by Goldman Sachs’ Steve Strongin. “Because of the lack of intrinsic value (in some correlated currencies), the currencies that don’t survive will most likely trade to zero… Most, if not all, will not see their recent peaks again.”

But it’s not all doom and gloom – far from it. In fact, when you hear the reasoning behind Silbert’s prediction, it’s rather good news. It actually makes a lot of sense. Silbert is convinced that there will only be one major player in each available “role” in the crypto space. He thinks there will only be one digital gold, only one privacy coin, one fast transaction coin, etc. Unlike in other markets, he thinks that the results of crypto will be somewhat binary – succeed or fail completely.

Wall Street Infrastructure

Silbert also alluded to what many have come to suspect recently amid the recent onslaught of FUD, fake news, and price drops, which is that Wall Street is starting to get in on the action.

“Behind the scenes, infrastructure is being built – on ramp, off ramp – to enable Wall Street to access this asset class in ways that you cannot imagine,” Silbert said, predicting that a “tidal wave of capital” from asset managers around the world will make its way into crypto markets in the next 12 to 24 months.

Interesting tidings indeed. This would herald the beginning of real widespread mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency, flooding the market with big money and increasing the market cap significantly. With deep-pocketed investors and hedge funds comes reduced volatility as large amounts are held for stable and consistent time periods. If the predictions are true, crypto might soon exit the Wild West territory we see it in today. The coming years might see crypto enter the big leagues of international adoption and investment.

While people like Strongin and Silbert should always be listened to with a measure of skepticism due to their vested interest in the space, early crypto investors tend to be people to keep an eye on – all it takes is one investment like the many successful calls that Silbert has made to change a life forever.

Follow us on twitter @cryptoiscomin

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the coolest infographics and articles from the crypto world