Ethereum Classic Hard Fork Atlantis to Go Live at Block 8,750,000

Donald McIntyre, one of the most active coordinators for matters related to the ongoing development of Ethereum Classic (ETC), a Turing Complete and proof-of-work (PoW)-based platform for building decentralized applications (dApps), has published a blog post which recaps a discussion that took place among the platform’s developers.

As mentioned in McIntyre’s post, “part of the ETC ecosystem held a call” in order to discuss a proposed hard fork (backwards incompatible upgrade), called Atlantis, which has been outlined in Ethereum Classic Improvement Proposal (ECIP) 1054.

ETC Core Developers' Main Topics Of Discussion

Some of the main suggested changes to the Ethereum Classic network that were considered during the call include:

  • Spurious Dragon state-trie clearing,”
  • “Spurious Dragon contract-code size limit,”
  • Addition of several “Byzantium Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) opcodes,”
  • “Byzantium EVM precompiled contracts” including those involving “addition and scalar multiplication” for calculating certain ETC-related functions, and other calculation methods involving “modular exponentiation,”
  • Changes to how ETC transaction receipts are processed,
  • Modifying ETC’s difficulty adjustment algorithm to “target mean block time”

A few main topics discussed during the call are as follows:

  • “ETC core developers have specified the six changes in the Atlantis hard fork” which is now open for discussion to the wider Ethereum Classic community.
  • Suggestions were made to “perform the hard fork on block 8,750,000” on ETC’s mainnet.
  • Zac Mitton, an ETC developer, recommended “analyzing the risk/reward ratio that state trie clearing (item 1 above) may represent as it does not affect ETH compatibility, and the benefits in reducing the state size seem to be marginal as compared to some risks when relating those changes to other ECIPs. There [also appears] to be some buggy code risk in the specification of that change.”
  • Majority of the ETC developers who were present during the call agreed, for the most part, to have “a quantifiable benefit of the state trie clearing, and to analyze it further.”
  • Zac Mitton also “offered to run a script to quantify the state size reduction in GB and get back with some results.”
  • The ETC developers are planning on following up on the “state trie clearing topic” in the “next few weeks to reach some consensus of whether to implement it or not.”
  • Cody Burns and other ETC developers on the call “agreed that if the state trie clearing were not included in Atlantis, that would have their support as well.”

In addition to the changes discussed above, other ECIPs were “tangentially mentioned” during the call - including ECIP-1049, a “proposal to change” Ethereum Classic’s current PoW-based mining algorithm.

Additionally, the changes activated with Ethereum’s (ETH) Constantinople hard fork were discussed during the meeting, however these changes will reportedly not be a part of the upcoming Atlantis hard fork.

“Don’t See Any Miner Rule Changes”

Some other important topics brought up during the call included Nick Sawinyh’s (from 2Miners mining pool) statements that there will be no “miner rule changes” from the “mining pool perspective.”

Moreover, from the ETC full-node operator’s perspective, there was reportedly an agreement that the Atlantis hard fork will be supported. This, according to Aaron Lowry, Maciej Nowosielski, and Nick Noriega, the co-founders of Ethernode, a leading “ETH/ETC node hardware and operating system company.”

Ethernode’s management also said they “will communicate” all relevant details regarding the upgrade to “their hardware node users.” The communication will also include “a notification to voluntarily upgrade their operating system to include the changes” activated with Atlantis.

Ampleforth Seeks to Become the Perfect Digital Asset for Portfolio Managers

A new token is seeking to change up the existing paradigm in the cryptoasset market.

Billing itself as “smart commodity money” - a token that has the benefits of commodity-monies like gold and silver, but can respond efficiently to changes in demand - Ampleforth is keen to emphasize that its token represents a new kind of asset in the space.

The Evolution of Money 

Money has been reinvented many times over: for many centuries mankind did without it, instead simply assigning value to particular goods in exchange for other goods. Then gold and silver formed the basis of money, whether coins were made directly out of these precious materials or "stamped" as a standard into baser metals.

Indeed, gold as a standard for global money transfer lasted for many centuries: the official gold standard was dropped by Britain and the US in the early 1930s and by 1971 the system was abandoned completely to be replaced fully by what we now call the fiat money system where global currencies (to a large degree) freely float against each other on foreign exchange markets.

The Crypto-Evangelists

Niall Ferguson is an expert in this field and, as an Oxford and Harvard lecturer, has written and spoken about money and capital many times. He may be a little late to the crypto party but is none-the-less evangelical about it: in a Bank of England seminar last year he called cryptocurrencies "the financial system of the future".

Ferguson has now thrown his weight behind the Ampleforth Project, which - on June 13 - raised $4.9 million in 11 seconds in its initial exchange offering (IEO) of its "Ample" (AMPL) tokens.

The digital asset explains in its white paper that it’s a "synthetic commodity" that aims to become truly uncorrelated from both traditional assets, stocks and currencies as well as from Bitcoin, other cryptoassets and other synthetic commodities. The problem with existing synthetic commodities, the paper explains, is that they have so far failed to do both. 

Ampleforth Explained

While Ampleforth seeks the price target of $1 for the Ample, instead of pegging directly to the dollar - like Tether - or to a basket of fiat currencies - as Facebook's Libra intends - the Ample will allow the quantity of assets a user holds to fluctuate, in addition to price, as it seeks a price supply equilibrium.

The system's protocol will actively seek this equilibrium by either proportionally increasing the quantity of tokens every user holds when prices climb, or proportionally decreasing the quantity of tokens every user holds when prices fall.

This is called money supply and has been one of the tools used by central banks to control inflation for many years. But Ferguson's criticism of this - in his book The Ascent of Money - is that it reflects human sentiment too much:

Money amplifies our tendency to overreact, to swing from exuberance when things are going well to deep depression when they go wrong. Booms and busts are products, at root, of our emotional volatility.

Ampleforth seeks to overcome these problems algorithmically by applying countercyclical pressures that dampen volatility, encouraging markets to self-correct. Supply updates will be freely visible in the market ahead of any changes, allowing the market to anticipate these changes and respond accordingly.

Ferguson explains his enthusiasm for the project:

The ingenious thing about Amples is that this they are not stablecoins, pegged in some way to existing fiat money. They are a special kind of digital asset, the quantity of which varies in response to the behavior of investors and traders.

Crypto Rivals

Ampleforth is unlikely to challenge Bitcoin any time soon as the number one crypto investment, but offers a compelling three-stage plan for the use of Amples. 

In the near-term, the token’s lack of correlation to both traditional assets and Bitcoin, will make it a useful portfolio diversifier. 

In the more medium-term, Amples may be used as reserve collateral in decentralized banks, such as Maker DAO.

Ultimately, the long-term goal however, is that Amples will serve as an independent alternative to central bank money. The team describes it as a “macroeconomically friendly” Bitcoin that averts the deflationary problems associated with fixed supply commodities when used as reserve collateral by banks.

Ampleforth Moves Forward

Such was the success of its first token sale on Bitfinex, that Ampleforth is conducting a second round of funding on the same exchange on Thursday.

The company aims to raise close to $7 million in this IEO, with a maximum contribution per investor of $7,060 and a minimum of $28, with each Ample token worth $0.98.