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by Shaurya Malwa Marking a significant step in its development, Ethereum’s developers published its much-awaited Casper FFG on May 8, 2018, in a bid to eventually drive the network away from its currently used Proof-of-Work (PoW) protocol to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) protocol. As reported by BTCManager on April 23, 2018, Ethereum’s current PoW protocol requires the network to rely on a pool of miners using their computing resources to record transactions and create new blocks.

However, the PoW protocol uses up a lot of energy, which is also poised to increase over time as the network’s difficulty increases, causing governments and developers to raise concerns over the method’s economic sustainability and high carbon footprints. The update puts to rest these issues, and makes use of a proof-of-stake (PoS) model to confirm and validate transactions, in a process called “minting” instead of the traditional “mining.” The Casper FFG (Friendly Finality Gadget) is part of a number of steps lined up by Ethereum developers to make the network lucrative to developers in terms of incentives, in addition to protecting it from centralizing from corporate mining pools such as Bitmain.

Speaking on the developers’ co-ordinated involvement in the update, Ryan wrote on Reddit: “More than just the research team is using the contract now — auditors, client devs, etc. — so we wanted to start issuing clearer versioning and changelogs to help everyone stay organized.” Developers can now begin adding Casper’s code to their unique coding languages, in a bid to test the code and ensure it runs seamlessly across Ethereum’s various software clients.

As mentioned, the code would begin its testing stage and run alongside the PoW protocol, that would continue to maintain most of the network. However, Casper would periodically handle validations.

Running Casper is beyond reach for the average user, as currently, the PoS system would require staking of at least 1,500 ETH, or $1.1 million, to allow for testing. Fortunately, as Ethereum intends to move to a fully PoS system, the developers plan to gradually lower the staking amount, although no information regarding time for the complete transition is available yet. Read more from…

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