BitTorrent Creator Advises Ethereum Developers to Not Switch to Proof-of-Stake

Bram Cohen, an American computer programmer and the author or peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing protocol and software program BitTorrent, has advised Ethereum’s (ETH) developers to not switch to the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus protocol.

Cohen also suggested that Ethereum’s development team “separate out state transitions from their justifications” and “drop” sharding - as they work on upgrading the Ethereum blockchain network. In response to Cohen’s recommendations, Twitter user “WallStreet 5” (@Street5Wall) asked Blockstack co-founder Muneeb Ali why his platform couldn’t be deployed on Bitcoin SV, “instead of Ethereum.”

Clarifying that Bitcoin SV, a fork of Bitcoin Cash, is “not designed as a general purpose” platform to launch decentralized applications (dApps), Ali explained that Blockstack is “explicitly designed” to facilitate the development of distributed apps.

Responding to Ali’s comments, Craig Steven Wright, the self-proclaimed inventor of Bitcoin, claimed that Bitcoin (as he envisions it) “is a Turing Complete system.” Wright also argued that Bitcoin is capable of functioning as a dApp deployment platform and it has many other use cases.

SegWit Was "More Of A Bug Fix"

Meanwhile, Twitter user “Critical I.” (@critical_infras) asked if separating state transitions is what SegWit (“Segregated Witness”) did for Bitcoin. According to Cohen:

Sort of. SegWit was more of a bug fix than a change to the model. Yeah Satoshi meant for the UTXO (unspent transaction output) model to begin with but messed up that detail mistakenly thinking signing more stuff was better.

Questioning whether it’s a good idea to “drop stated goals” and if Cohen thinks they’re “unobtainable”, Twitter user @CogentConch pointed out that “many people are invested in ETH because of [the] upcoming” proof-of-stake (PoS) upgrade to the Ethereum network. Per the BitTorrent creator, the “current plans” for doing state transitions on Ethereum are “unworkable, or are only workable by letting the thing continue to quickly backslide into centralization.”

"Hard To Explain" To Those Who Don't Have A Technical Background

Acknowledging that state transitions and other implementation details related to Ethereum are “hard to explain without assuming quite a bit of technical background for the reader”, Cohen noted:

The idea is to have 'transactions' in the database sense, so they have clear dependencies and [users] know in advance exactly how much gas they'll need ... Basically every detail of a transaction's execution and the amount of gas it uses should be precisely specified up front and the slightest deviation from that should make it fail.

In October 2018, Cohen had announced his plans to launch a new cryptocurrency (called Chia) based on a “proof of space” consensus protocol - which he claimed was a more eco-friendly version of Bitcoin (BTC).

Coinbase’s New ‘Bridge’ Links Coinbase Wallet to Your Desktop Browser

Crypto exchange has announced a new feature (called "WalletLink") for Coinbase Wallet, its non-custodial mobile wallet, that makes it possible to link decentalized applications (DApps) running on your desktop browser to the Coinbase Wallet app on your mobile phone.

What Is Coinbase Wallet?

Here is how Coinbase explains the differences between Coinbase.com and Coinbase Wallet:

"Coinbase.com a.k.a Coinbase Consumer is a digital currency brokerage - you use it to buy or sell cryptocurrency in exchange for fiat currency (i.e. USD or your local currency). Coinbase Consumer can also act as a custodian, storing your digital currency for you after you purchase it. Coinbase Consumer is available in 32 countries.

"Wallet is a user-custodied digital currency wallet and DApp browser. This means that with Wallet, the private keys (that represent ownership of the cryptocurrency) are stored directly on your device and not with a centralized exchange like Coinbase Consumer. You do not need a Coinbase Consumer account to use Wallet and you can download Wallet from anywhere in the world."

What is WalletLink?

In a blog post published on Thursday (August 22), Coinbase Wallet Product Lead Siddharth Coelho-Prabhu announced that Coinbase Wallet users can now use their favorite DApps "on any desktop browser with Coinbase Wallet’s WalletLink," with WalletLink acting "as a secure bridge between your Coinbase Wallet app and your desktop browser."

All you need to start using this new feature is to "scan a WalletLink QR code with your Wallet app." 

Using DApps Outside Coinbase Wallet's Integrated DApp Browser

The Coinbase Wallet Product Lead says that although using DApps via Coinbase Wallet's integrated DApp browser has been a great experience on mobile phones, the desktop experience has been quite different and much poorer:

Users on desktop web browsers have had to resort to installing clunky browser extensions, copying and pasting private keys across devices, and seeing fragmented wallet balances.

The Coinbase Wallet team is hoping that WalletLink will adequately address this issue.

Getting Started With WalletLink

Here is what you need to do:

  • Ensure that you've got "the latest version of Coinbase Wallet (version 19.1 on iOS and 18.0 on Android)." 
  • Visit any of the DApps that have integrated with WalletLink; currently, Compound, dYdX, IDEX, and Maker are supporting WalletLink (and UniSwap will offer integration with WalletLink soon).
  • Tap on "the option to connect your Coinbase Wallet."
  • Scan the QR code with Coinbase Wallet's QR scanner (this creates a secure connection between the Coinbase Wallet mobile app and your desktop browser).
  • Approve access to the DApp.

From now on, "whenever you submit a transaction, you’ll get a ping on your phone for you to approve the transaction."

Note that WalletLink "also supports persistent connections to multiple dapps, so you don’t have to scan a QR code each time you want to use a new dapp."

The Coinbase Wallet team have tested WalletLink with the following desktop browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Brave, and Opera.