ETHERLive delivers real-time price and volume data across 16+ exchanges to users in a clear and easy-to-understand package. Users can get up-to-the-second updates for each exchange/currency pair, as well as aggregated market averages for each exchange, currency, and the market as a whole. It also provides a global converted average of all the currency pairs monitored by ETHNews, converted to USD.


24hr ---

The Basics

Learn the basics of Ethereum and various cryptocurrency technologies

Learn More

What is Ethereum?

Understand the underlying principles of the Ethereum Platform

Learn More

The Blockchain

Discover the revolutionizing technology known as the blockchain

Learn More

Press Release

Submit a press release for consideration on ETHNews

Submit Press

Story / Dapp

Submit a story or DAPP to be considered for publication on ETHNews.

Submit Story


Submit "Ethereum Explainer" content for consideration to be featured on ETHNews

Submit Topic
ETHNews Logo
Ether Price Analysis
Contact Us
ETHNews will sunset at the end of August. The site will remain accessible for a few weeks while necessary maintenance is performed. Thanks, as always, for reading.

Distributed Digest: Tuesday, January 22, 2019




Polkadot’s newest proof of concept implements the GRANDPA consensus algorithm, EIP 1717 proposes to delay the difficulty bomb by 640 times the age of the universe, and the Ethereum Cat Herders are here to wrangle projects and push forward network upgrades.

Your daily distillation of crypto news for Tuesday, January 22, 2019:

Meet Your (Grand)daddy

Polkadot yesterday announced the launch of its Alexander testnet, the organization's third major proof of concept (PoC). The testnet implements the consensus algorithm GRANDPA (GHOST-based Recursive Ancestor Deriving Prefix Agreement), invented by Web3 Foundation research scientist Alistair Stewart. GRANDPA is the foundation's solution to asynchronous, accountably safe finality.

Polkadot asserts that "GRANDPA is the granddaddy of all consensus algorithms." It can reportedly finalize blocks "nearly instantly" under good network conditions, while under bad conditions, it can finalize millions of blocks simultaneously "when the partitions resolve." Further, the team maintains, "GRANDPA can finalize a new block regardless of how many blocks have passed since the last one was finalized."

Polkadot's most recent release will be followed by the organization's PoC for interchain communication, to be developed later this year.

EIP 1717: Difficulty Bomb No More

A new proposal spearheaded by Parity's Afri Schoedon, EIP 1717 seeks to delay the Ethereum difficulty bomb by "approximately 640 times the age of the universe" and reduce block rewards for miners with the forthcoming (and tentatively titled) Istanbul hard fork.

The difficulty bomb ostensibly incentivizes migration onto Ethereum's eventual proof-of-stake (PoS) system, as mining would be less profitable on the older, outdated proof-of-work (PoW) chain. However, Schoedon maintains that because a hybrid PoS-PoW chain is no longer being pursued (that is, there will be a separate "beacon chain" for the PoS upgrade), there is not a need to incentivize miners to move onto the new system.

Several community members are unsure about this proposal. Some have mentioned that without a difficulty bomb to encourage change, miners could simply forego the upgrade to PoS. Others have suggested that the difficulty bomb is useful not only because it incentivizes migration but also because it disincentivizes inaction, thus making it more difficult for miners to refuse to upgrade their nodes.

Ethereum Cat Herders, Y'all

Elsewhere in the ecosystem, a group called the Ethereum Cat Herders has assembled to assist with Ethereum project management. The group's "initial goal is to facilitate inter-team communication and to speed up the upgrade preparation process," thereby enabling more frequent network upgrades.

Cat Herders include Ethereum veterans like Hudson Jameson, Afri Schoedon, and Lane Rettig, but other notable members are MyCrypto's Taylor Monahan, Kristy-Leigh Minehan of ProgPoW fame, and Golem's María Paula Fernández (aka the Cher of Ethereum). The group can be reached via Gitter.

Dani Putney

Dani is a full-time writer for ETHNews. They received their bachelor's degree in English writing from the University of Nevada, Reno, where they also studied journalism and queer theory. In their free time, they write poetry, play the piano, and fangirl over fictional characters. They live with their partner, three dogs, and two cats in the middle of nowhere, Nevada.

ETHNews is committed to its Editorial Policy

Like what you read? Follow us on Twitter @ETHNews_ to receive the latest Polkadot, GRANDPA or other Ethereum technology news.