Daily Byte: October 30, 2018

Daily Byte: October 30, 2018

Ethereum’s family reunion kicks off, OKEx prunes some trading pairs, and SC Johnson fights to clean the ocean but researchers say it’s too late.

  • Here is some of what’s happening on Tuesday, October 30, 2018:

    Devcon 4 Opens Today

    The Ethereum Foundation is kicking off DevCon 4 today in Prague, Czech Republic. A four-day gathering of Ethereum designers, developers, researchers, and artists, this “Ethereum family reunion” seeks to educate and embolden the Ethereum community to build better decentralized applications and discuss potential improvements to the Ethereum ecosystem.

    Among the topics to be discussed include scalability, P2P networking, Dapp programming techniques and strategies, blockchain security, privacy, and societal issues. Many of the sessions – such as “Swarm Team Update” (October 30), “STARKs” (October 31), “Optimizing Smart Contracts by Reducing Gas Fees” (October 31), “Raiden Network” (November 1), and “State of Plasma” (November 2) – center around strategies to improve the Ethereum network.

    Tickets are sold out for the event, which major stakeholders in Ethereum – including Consensys, OmiseGO, and Status – are sponsoring. Stay tuned to ETHNews for event coverage.

    OKEx Delists 42 Trading Pairs

    Citing poor performance, OKEx – the second-largest crypto exchange by adjusted volume in the world – delisted 42 trading pairs Thursday. The delisting only affected the trading pairs and not the individual cryptocurrencies. OKEx says that weak liquidity and poor trading volume are the reasons for the delistings.

    A trading pair is a prearranged trade setup between two cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin and Ether. Under a bitcoin/Ether trading pair, for example, one can purchase Ether with bitcoin, or sell Ether for bitcoin, without the need to price either asset in fiat currency values. This can be advantageous, as a cryptocurrency can move in value against other cryptos in a way that may be lost if purchased using fiat.

    OKEx is advising users to cancel all trades in the affected pairs by Wednesday, October 31.

    SC Johnson to Use Blockchain to Reduce Ocean Plastic

    Per a press release issued Sunday, SC Johnson – the maker of Glade, Shout, Ziploc, and other household goods – has announced its intentions to work with Plastic Bank. Together, they’ll open eight recycling centers in Indonesia to reduce the levels of ocean plastic.

    According to the Earth Day Network, about eight million tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean every year. The situation is so acute that there are now five islands of plastic waste in the oceans, with the northern Pacific island between California and Hawaii about the size of the state of Texas. Earth Day Network projects that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean – by weight – than there are fish.

    The system proposed by SC Johnson and Plastic Bank involves creating a cryptocurrency to pay local collectors for plastic delivered to the recycling centers. This new crypto asset can then be used to buy needed goods and services without the fear of theft.

    “This partnership with SC Johnson is the first of its kind in Indonesia. It will help create more opportunities for people living in poverty and will offer waste collectors an important sense of pride,” said David Katz, founder and CEO of Plastic Bank. “SC Johnson is the first CPG company to scale a program of this kind in Indonesia that will benefit a wide range of socio-economic demographics including local residents living below the poverty level.”

    The program could expand to other nations, although such plans are tentative. The first plant opened Sunday in Bali.

    Study Suggests Bitcoin Could Cause Catastrophic Climate Change in 20 Years

    A report issued by the University of Hawaii Manoa and published in Nature suggests that cryptocurrencies – bitcoin in particular – may be causing a rise in global temperatures. Should bitcoin be embraced at a rate similar to other technologies, the report predicts a minimum of a two degree rise in global temperature in as little as 16 years.

    This would exceed the 1.5 degree rise the 2015 Paris Agreement stipulated that the signing nations should hold rising temperatures to. “Currently, the emissions from transportation, housing and food are considered the main contributors to ongoing climate change,” Katie Taladay, co-author of the study, said to The Telegraph. “This research illustrates that Bitcoin should be added to this list,”

    The problem lies in the electrical drain of proof-of-work mining, which bitcoin uses for consensus. The process requires the repetition of computational processes by all mining nodes on the network. As stated yesterday in the Daily Byte, the electrical demand for bitcoin alone per year could power the Philippines. An increase in load would lead to additional burning of greenhouse gas-releasing fossil fuels.

    “We cannot predict the future of Bitcoin, but if implemented at a rate even close to the slowest pace at which other technologies have been incorporated, it will spell very bad news for climate change and the people and species impacted by it,” said Professor Camilo Mora, the study’s lead author.

    Be fast, be clever, be wise. Most importantly, be here tomorrow for your Daily Byte.

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