Ethereum takes more heat over perceived technical flaws

Leo Zhang

By Leo Zhang

As we reported last week, the technical critiques of Ethereum are piling up. Now university researchers have found one of Ethereum's design choices makes it more vulnerable to certain attacks (when compared to Bitcoin). Separately, renowned computer science researcher Dahlia Malkhi questioned the fundamental security of Proof-of-Stake consensus at the Financial Cryptography convention; Ethereum's Casper protocol plans to implement PoS before the end of 2018. See stories below for details.

Technical

Fundamentally vulnerable? Ethereum's Casper tech takes criticism in Curacao
(CoinDesk, by Alyssa Hertig)

"Her remarks suggest her concern is that not enough traditional academic rigor has been applied to the idea, and that by doing so, key assumptions could be invalidated."

Researchers explore Eclipse Attacks on Ethereum blockchain
(Bitcoin Magazine, by Amy Castor)

"Ethereum was actually easier to attack mainly because while Bitcoin relies on an unstructured network where nodes form random connections with each other, Ethereum relies on a structured network based on a protocol called Kademlia, which is designed to allow nodes to connect to other nodes more efficiently."

Bitcoin developer Peter Todd comments on Ethereum Elipse Attack

Discussion thread on Bulletproofs vs. ZK-SNARKs

MIT AGI: Computational Universe (Stephen Wolfram)

News

Liechtenstein bank is worlds first to offer cryptocurrency investments
(CoinDaily)

"Bank Frick, announced last Wednesday (Feb 28) that the bank will be open to cryptocurrency investments. The pairing will be only available in US Dollars, Euros and Swiss franc."

Bitcoin thieves beware: super secure wallet-maker Casa raises $2 million
(Forbes, by Jeff Kaufin)

"Targeted at people who own from $400,000 to $10 million in crypto assets, Casa is a digital wallet that requires users to electronically sign three different devices to move assets. Welch’s goal is to create an easier way for customers to manage their own private keys, the sets of numbers and letters that let you transfer cryptocurrencies."

Cryptocurrency is terrible as money but “crypto-assets” are for real, says Bank of England’s chief
(MIT Technology Review, by Mike Orcutt)

"Cryptocurrencies are not 'true currencies' and should instead be thought of as 'crypto-assets,' Carney said, adding that they could have valuable future applications—for instance, as part of 'more innovative, efficient, and reliable payment systems.'"

Commentary

Why Bill Gates is wrong about cryptocurrencies?
(Nasdaq)

"It is imperative to consider the scope of the social and economic challenges that are being tackled through the adoption of blockchain technology. The facilitation of drug sales was not bitcoin’s first killer app, but rather the real innovation was its creation of a universal currency that does not recognize borders or discriminate access to those less fortunate."

Observations on valuation and value investing relative to history

A counterproductive cold war with China
(Foreign Affairs, by Michael D. Swaine)

"Instead, FOIP portrays China as a hostile existential threat to regional order, prosperity, and Western interests. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson introduced this characterization in an October 2017 speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The Trump administration then elaborated on this portrayal of China in its December 2017 National Security Strategy and in relevant parts of the January 2018 unclassified summary of the National Defense Strategy."

Updates

Zcash officially announces Overwinter hardfork, an upgrade that will pave way for the Sapling upgrade later this year. Blog

Monero developer tacotime steps down from Monero Core Team.

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