Ethereum Developers Test More Capacity As Network Gets Congested and Fees Rise

The Ethereum network is too clogged these days. This one of the most unfortunate side-effects of creating a successful network. As time passes, they tend to become too clogged and slow for their own good and people start to abandon them. This will not happen to Ethereum, though, if the devs have any say on it.

Several developers, including Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, have recently claimed that there are people testing new ways to reduce transaction fees and increase the performance of the ETH network.

Now, some of the developers are considering to shift to 10 million gas (the token that is paid for performing operations in the network), which would increase the capacity of the whole network by 25%.

One of the main reasons why the network is so expensive and slow right now is because the popular Tether stablecoin has decided to launch Ethereum-based tokens. As they work on top of the Ethereum network, they make it harder for people to use Ethereum because several transactions are being made with the newly-created assets.

The impact on prices was so big that people went from paying around $0.11 USD per transaction to $0.39 USD, over three times more than that. Transactions are so important because all Ethereum-based apps need to pay them to work properly.

Initially, these changes impacted the price of the token, which went up but started to go down soon afterward, as the price of BTC lowered and took the whole market together.

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Author: James W

BTC Users Running Lightning Network Nodes Urged To Update After Confirmed CVE Vulnerabilities Exploited

An unfortunate event happened in the Bitcoin Lightning Network recently. According to the recent announcement made on Twitter by Lightning Labs, the network is currently being exploited due to a vulnerability.

According to the tweet, all Ind 0.7, c-lightning 0.7, eclair 0.3 and their editions below that are possible to be affected by the exploit, so people should upgrade to the latest version of the system in order to protect themselves from the attack. The latest versions, 0.7.1 and 0.3.1, are not subject to the attacks.

Olaoluwa Osuntokun, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Lightning Labs, affirmed that there are several cases of people exploiting the network. The exploit was originally discovered a few days ago by Rusty Russel, another LN coder.

According to Russel, security vulnerabilities could make several projects to lose funds. He did not disclaim exactly what was the bug, obviously, in order to protect the users, but someone or a group of people may have discovered the exploit and is using it to steal money from the LN.

The Twitter profile also warned people that LN technology is prone to have bugs as it is still during its experimental phases. Because of this, nobody should put more money on the network than they were willing to lose if a bug happens.

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Author: Hank Klinger

South Africa’s Payfast Payment Company Stops Accepting Bitcoin (BTC) Due to Fees and Speed

South-Africas-Payfast-Payment-Company-Stops-Accepting-Bitcoin-BTC-Due-to-Fees-and-Speed

In an unfortunate turn of events, PayFast, the first-ever online payment gateway accepting Bitcoin (BTC) in South Africa, called time on BTC payments citing fundamental technical issues in the blockchain and a hitch in user-friendliness.

  • PayFast set to stop Bitcoin (BTC) payment channel on July 20th 2019.
  • High transaction fees and slow confirmation times reasons for the halt.
  • Merchants asked to remove any logos and references to Bitcoin.

“Unfortunately there are a number of limitations and design flaws unique to Bitcoin that make it an impractical substitute for cash, including high transaction fees and long confirmation times for buyers. We’ve tried various ways to mitigate these problems, but unfortunately, these issues are fundamental.” – PayFast Statement

PayFast Halts BTC Payments Channel

An announcement on the official PayFast blog on Friday 12th, 2019 confirms the payment service firm will stop all BTC payments on 20th July 2019, next week Saturday. Bitcoin is struggling to function as a day to day currency usable in a fast and efficient manner as the slow confirmation speeds and high transaction costs hamper adoption.

The broadcast explains that the company had tried various means to make the payment system work but to no avail, citing fundamental issues underlying the blockchain. This brought about an end to the first-ever Bitcoin payment gateway in South Africa.

The company partners with a local Bitcoin exchange, Luno exchange, acting as an intermediary between users and PayFast. Once a user pays the amount at a PayFast accredited merchant in BTC, Ludo facilitates the trade between the user and PayFast. The BTC/ZAR rate is locked down for a period of 10 minutes as confirmations take place to avoid the wild price swings of BTC.

However, in the past few months, the interest in Bitcoin has caused increased confirmation times and high transaction fees across the networks. Bitcoin’s median confirmation time oscillates reaching up to 14 minutes which caused a disruption in users payments to PayFast merchants. The report further states,

“In addition to the frustration that buyers experience when their payments fail, Bitcoin users may also incur a non-refundable fee for every attempted payment. This is the fee the network charges to process a transaction.”

This causes a payment risk on part of the buyers who may lose the transaction fee despite the payment not going through.

Bitcoin a Safe Haven Not a Currency!

Despite the continued calls from Bitcoin maximalists on the use of Bitcoin as a currency, it is becoming clearer that the digital asset is better suited as a safe haven rather than a currency. BTC is currently trading below $11,000 USD mark, signaling a further 5% dip in the past 24 hours, as at time of writing. Despite the fall in price from a high $13,700 USD in the past week, the asset is one of the best performing asset in the world in 2019 growing by 230%.

PayFast is however not abandoning the idea of crypto payments altogether. The report reads that the company is focusing on faster payment methods saying,

“At PayFast, we’re eagerly following the developments of cryptocurrencies and the supporting technologies that are aiming to enable faster payments. As soon as these become workable alternatives, we look forward to supporting cryptocurrencies as a payment method in the future.”

The move by PayFast raised different reactions from the public –some agreed with the move stating the need for a faster and better technology while others condemned the move saying the company “does not understand how Bitcoin works”. An obvious candidate to replace BTC on PayFast was suggested by the public – Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

Can BCH replace BTC on PayFast?

While Bitcoin lags behind in enabling fast payments across the blockchain, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) provides a fast payment system with penny transaction fees for PayFast. BCH is aiming to take over the ruins from BTC as its properties solve the BTC scalability and transaction speed problems. One BCH supporter aims to see BCH on the PayFast payment options. He claims,

“I have made zero payments with BTC in the past 3 years, but dozens with BCH with no issues and paying pennies in fees. If you add BCH you will have my business.”

The de-launch from PayFast comes at a time the Lightning Network, a second layer platform enabling instant BTC payments, launched the Android and iOS apps.

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Author: Lujan Odera