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Blockchain governance is boring, butt one developer solved it with assplay

Blockchain governance is a touchy subject. There’s always drama when it comes to rolling out upgrades to open-source projects like Bitcoin and Ethereum, butt one dev has an “interesting” solution for curbing heated governance debates: assplay. Inspired by the hubbub surrounding a proposed change to Ethereum’s distribution model (shifting mining rewards to devs), Whiteblock CEO…

Blockchain governance is boring, butt one developer solved it with assplay

Blockchain governance is a touchy subject. There’s always drama when it comes to rolling out upgrades to open-source projects like Bitcoin and Ethereum, butt one dev has an “interesting” solution for curbing heated governance debates: assplay.

Inspired by the hubbub surrounding a proposed change to Ethereum’s distribution model (shifting mining rewards to devs), Whiteblock CEO Zak Cole released a new Chrome extension named “Gspot.”

The plugin automatically changes the word “governance” to “assplay” on any site you visit when you “hit it.”

Before hitting the Gspot
Ah, it fits perfectly

“The governance arguments are getting out of hand. It all boils down to funding and money,” Cole told Hard Fork. “Right now, in the Ethereum space, ConsenSys and the Ethereum foundation are the primary sources of funding.”

“Governance presents a difficult problem that we need to address as a community, but I think that where the topic of governance is concerned, it’s often used as a blanket term to fuel arguments that are really about funding issues masquerading as a governance problems,” said Cole.

1 ETH = $2000 means less assplay talk 🙁

Cole has a point. Last year, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin put forward a plan to manage “lost” cryptocurrency; the event quickly generated a huge fuss, as CoinDesk reported. It appears Ethereum governance is just as controversial in 2019.

(By the way, when you have the extension enabled, CoinDesk’s headline delightfully reads: “Ethereum assplay ‘Not That Bad’ Says Buterin Amid Fund Debate.”)

Indeed, this extension doesn’t just work on Twitter. It works across the entire internet. “That’s why it took a week to get approval from Google’s web store,” Cole told Hard Fork, who confirmed the Big G had no problem with the word “assplay” specifically.

“Surprisingly, they were only concerned with the permissions because it works across a user‘s browser sessions and isn’t specific to one particular page or tab,” he added.

Google didn’t even care about the logo. Take a close look, notice anything butt-specific about it?

Press this “logo” to turn governance to assplay

Cole ultimately expressed that governance drama makes supporting the future “Web 3.0” ecosystem more difficult.

“All of this drama detracts from our productivity in shipping code that works,” Cole told Hard Fork. “We need to ship ‘Ethereum 2.0,’ but people who can’t ship, argue about architecture, and people who can’t argue about architecture argue about governance.”

Should this really be controversial in 2019?

“Governance is not broken. I don’t think it’s as big a deal as it’s being portrayed as. We’re still trying to navigate this space that’s still being designed. So long as we’re collaborative in addressing these issues and figuring it out together, I’d chalk the rest up to growing pains,” he concluded.

So while the “core” Ethereum community figures out whether to funnel mining rewards towards developers, go check out the Gspot extension. Steer that boring blockchain governance talk toward assplay – don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

Did you know? Hard Fork has its own stage at TNW2019, our tech conference in Amsterdam. Check it out.

Published April 11, 2019 — 11:45 UTC

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Moonday Mornings: Binance to resume deposits and withdrawals after $40M Bitcoin hack

It’s time for Moonday Mornings, Hard Fork’s wrap-up of the weekend’s top cryptocurrency and blockchain headlines. Here’s what happened. 1. Binance says it will resume deposits and withdrawals on its platform on Tuesday. The cryptocurrency exchange had suspended the functions following an attack in which hackers stole over $40 million worth of Bitcoin. 2. The…

Moonday Mornings: Binance to resume deposits and withdrawals after $40M Bitcoin hack

It’s time for Moonday Mornings, Hard Fork’s wrap-up of the weekend’s top cryptocurrency and blockchain headlines.

Here’s what happened.

1. Binance says it will resume deposits and withdrawals on its platform on Tuesday. The cryptocurrency exchange had suspended the functions following an attack in which hackers stole over $40 million worth of Bitcoin.

2. The figureheads of the fake cryptocurrency scheme, OneCoin, are being sued. Brother and sister duo, Konstantin Ignatov and Ruja Ignatova are facing a class action law suit for their involvement in the scam which was “based completely on lies and deceit,” ZDNet reports.

3. A Bitcoin BTC fueled ransomware attack hit the Baltimore City government last week. Despite being cleaned of the ransomware, hackers are allegedly still accessing the infected computers, ZeroHedge reports. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now investigating the attack.

4. The creator of the Bitcoin treasure hunt Satoshi’s Treasure is claiming nearly 60,000 people are following the global challenge, CoinDesk reports. One player has already claimed the first prize, and didn’t even have to go anywhere to claim it.

And finally.

5. William Shatner is putting William Shatners on the blockchain. The former Star Trek actor is joining Mattereum, a legaltech firm, to document the authenticity of science collectibles and memorabilia from a range of franchises on the blockchain.

That’s another weekend’s headlines for you. Live long and prosper.

Published May 13, 2019 — 07:58 UTC

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Amazon granted patent for Bitcoin-style system to fight DDoS attacks

Cryptocurrency rumor mongers are likely to be dancing today as Amazon has successfully filed a patent for a Bitcoin-styled Proof-of-Work system. But don’t get ahead of yourself, it doesn’t look like the Seattle-based ecommerce giant will be accepting Bitcoin for payments. Despite first being filed in December 2016, Amazon’s patent application was granted earlier this…

Amazon granted patent for Bitcoin-style system to fight DDoS attacks

Cryptocurrency rumor mongers are likely to be dancing today as Amazon has successfully filed a patent for a Bitcoin-styled Proof-of-Work system. But don’t get ahead of yourself, it doesn’t look like the Seattle-based ecommerce giant will be accepting Bitcoin for payments.

Despite first being filed in December 2016, Amazon’s patent application was granted earlier this week and appears to outline a system that uses Proof-of-Work to prevent distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

“One way to mitigate against such attacks is to configure a service such that requests to the service incur some sort of expense, thereby providing a disincentive to participating in the attack,” the application reads.

Planting a Merkle Tree

Amazon proposes to use Merkle Trees to present a Proof-of-Work challenge and make it too costly for a series of computers to perform a DDoS attack.

But what’s a Merkle Tree? In short, Merkle Trees are cryptographic tools where blocks of data are manipulated to give them a unique identifier also known as a hash.

These hashes are then manipulated again to create a parent hash. Parent hashes are always a combination of two or more child hashes. It’s layers on layers of hashed data.

Since computing power is required to build a Merkle Tree, performing such hashes could get very costly in terms of time, electricity, and resources. In turn, this makes DDoS attacks economically unfeasible.

In the case of Amazon’s patent, imagine having to construct a Merkle Tree before you’re allowed to access a website hosted on one of its servers. To an individual the cost might be insignificant, but to an organization trying to carry out a DDoS attack – which might involve many hundreds of computers – it could become prohibitively expensive.

Amazon’s Merkle Tree

Merkle Trees are also used in Proof-of-Work blockchains like Bitcoin as part of its consensus mechanism. But for now that’s as close as Amazon will get to Bitcoin.

Indeed, with this news it seems Amazon is still of the “blockchain, not Bitcoin” mantra. Earlier this month, the web giant said that AT&T, Accenture, and Nestlé are all using its cloud-based blockchain tools.

Read next:

South African voters fear mobile political campaigns will steal their personal info

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