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To Stake or Not to Stake, ETH 2.0 Testers Weigh In

The Medalla testenet for Ethereum 2.0 is still chugging along, but not all validators that have contributed to it are confident about staking on the real thing when it is finally launched. 

Testnets serve a very good purpose, and that is to determine whether the technology is capable of running on a much broader scale. For Ethereum, the Medalla testnet has been in operation and growing in terms of staked ETH and validators since early August.

Not all validators have been happy with the experience, however, and one has stated that he has no intention of staking on Beacon Chain when it gets launched.

Reasons not to Stake

Beacon Chain validator Chase Wright has launched a scathing thread on twitter explaining why he has no intention of staking real ETH after participating in the testnet.

There have been several Ethereum 2.0 test networks, including Onyx, Witti, Altona, and Medalla is the latest and final one. Wright stated that he has done extensive testing on multiple networks using multiple clients and has become highly familiar with their operation.

Firstly he has claimed that average Medalla validators have yet to profit due to a bug in a client, the most popular for testing is Prysm, which has over 90% of the share. Incensed that developers have not fixed the bug, he added that there has yet to be a fork on Beacon Chain, and forking is not the solution anyway.You Might Also Like:

“When Vitalik’s answer to what do we do when ETH2 is attacked is “fork” but nobody wants to demonstrate what a fork for ETH2 looks like…yikes…”

He continued the expletive-laden tirade adding that there was little interoperability between different clients and nodes and that the whole thing seems to be in a rush to deliver. There were comments about centralization with very few nodes but thousands of validators. Beaconcha.in reports that there are 58,800 validators while Ethernodes.org says that there are 473 active peers for the testnet.

There was also some angst against the voting and staking rewards mechanism.

Reasons to Stake

Lead Ethereum developer Danny Ryan responded to the thread acknowledging the risks with early staking but rebutting most of the points.

“The testnet is actually very decentralized. Medalla has 1000+ nodes, probably an order of magnitude more than any other PoS testnet.”

He added that client voting processes have improved over the past couple of months and disagreed with the comments about rushed shipping.

Another thread was started by Eth Gas Station creator, ‘@latetot,’ using exactly the same opening but arguing why he will be staking on Beacon Chain.

He stated that the response to the first Medalla bug was very fast, and validators have been running without intervention or problems for weeks. He added that The ETH 2.0 client teams have been extremely responsive and collaborative to all community members.

“My ETH can either lie dormant in a cold wallet earning no income, staked in a smart contract with its own risk of loss, or staked as a ETH2.0 validator. The audits, formal verification, and scrutiny of the ETH2.0 contracts give me strong confidence in the safety of ETH2.0.”

So there you have it, both sides of the staking fence. By the time Beacon Chain is finally rolled out, these early teething problems will have been addressed, and it is likely to be the biggest shakeup to the Ethereum network since its inception.

Can Blockchain be the solution to prevent/control future pandemics?

The effect of COVID19 on us is as plain as a pikestaff. Hardly there has been any sector immune to the virus. We are not going to discuss the devastating effects of the virus again. But is there a way out to control pandemics like these in the future?

Is there anything government agencies around the world could have done better to reduce the impact of the deadly monster we have amongst us today?

The Build-up

Blockchain is still in its early stages but its capabilities in various industries are not new to us. The amount of data that is generated every-day is beyond one’s imagination and it is only going to creep up. The way to succeed for most organizations today has been taking the path of digital transformation. Now imagine the amount of data that will be generated and the number of transactions that would be recorded every second of the day in the coming time.

Clearly, the next big change we are talking about is having the capabilities to handle this gargantuan amount of data. With so much data and transactions invites another age-old problem – The security of this data. Thus, BlockChain can play a huge part in every sector and it will be imperative for organizations to leverage this technology to cut down on their costs and operate in a smooth manner for the post COVID era.

Restricting ourselves to the healthcare sector, Data is the fuel to provide the best care in Healthcare today and BlockChain could be the vehicle to drive us there. It can play a pivotal role in the healthcare sector and all the agencies involved in the healthcare ecosystem could look upon to invest in this technology to control pandemics of a similar scale in the future.

So how can Blockchain help?

In difficult times like this, a proper mechanism needs to be established to gather data and protect that data. Blockchain can be leveraged to collect and collate patient data more efficiently by the government agencies and by those who are part of the health-care ecosystem. Further, patient movements can be effectively monitored to guarantee social distancing. Since we are talking about blockchain, people need not worry about protecting their identity as it is taken care of by blockchain.

Currently, most of the data on COVID-19 is being shared through APIs and the data is being stored on centralized databases, making the whole system vulnerable and prone to data misuse. Being part of the blockchain system will allow the patients to selectively share their data that are important for mitigation efforts while not disclosing the entire information. The data will remain anonymous in the network and the patient will own it entirely. This will reduce the severity of a pandemic like COVID and help most of the businesses to function as close to normal, significantly bringing down the chances of getting infected from such diseases.

Another advantage a decentralized platform like BlockChain can provide is in the Supply management side. The Global supply chain has been compromised in these tough times and there has to be a way around it. HealthCare authorities, especially those concerned in dealing with medical supplies, are at times unclear on sourcing supplies without knowing the origin. Long supply chains cause problems with forecasting and Blockchain can be utilized here to solve the problem. Having Blockchain incorporated in the healthcare supply chain will allow organizations to break the silos and establish a sense of safety. This has already been embraced by IBM with Rapid Supplier Connect and its time all the players slowly implement blockchain as a part of their digital transformation.

Block-chain could be the missing piece of the puzzle in the health-care system that can help authorities to collect data effectively, ensure data interoperability, dismiss fake news, and prevent countries from hiding information. All the federal authorities can begin by taking mini-steps towards adopting BlockChain NOW!

The above article is written by guest author Sushil Sali. he has worked for the biggest healthcare insurance platform in the US and is now exploring Blockchain use-cases in the healthcare and other industries. 

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