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).

Hacker Steals $1,200 Worth of ETH Using GitHub Bots

Hackers have managed to steal $1,200 worth of ether (ETH) from a Reddit user after he accidentally left his wallet’s recovery phrase in a GitHub repository for less than two minutes.

According to Reddit user’s post, the hackers have set up automated bots to scrape GitHub – a popular website to publish code and work on projects – looking for cryptocurrency wallets’ private keys, mnemonic phrases, and other private information such as account passwords. The Redditor wrote:

A hacker got my mnemonic and stole $1,200 in ethereum from my Metamask wallet in under 100 seconds. The hackers were using a bot to scan for the mnemonic phrases across GitHub, and I accidentally left it in my code on a GitHub repo while I was sending to a Hack Money hack-at-hon.

The user added that he still has nearly $700 worth of cryptocurrency on the decentralized finance (DeFi) lending protocol Compound, and that the funds are as good as gone as the bot will siphon the funds out of the wallet as soon as he takes them off of the protocol.

The bots the hacker set up are reportedly automatically submitting transactions to steal the users’ funds whenever they are available, and will even outbid a user-submitted transaction in fees to ensure the malicious transaction is processed by miners first. The user wrote:

Although there are some coins and tokens left, the bot will siphon any ethereum I have to prevent me from moving my coins, and/or outmatch my attempts by supplying more gas.

As CryptoGlobe reported, data from Chainalysis has revealed hackers in the cryptocurrency space have been becoming more active over time, albeit less successful as in 2019 there were eleven major hacks, but none matched the scale of major security breaches that occurred in 2018.

Featured image by Nick Chong on Unsplash.