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On the second day of CoinMarketCap’s conference, The Capital, Blockstream’s Samson Mow shared his thoughts on proof-of-work, halving and the future of mining. On the sidelines of the same, Mow, in an interview, spoke about how ASICs have become commoditized, and gave his opinion of Ethereum and why he thinks proof-of-stake is “a joke.”
“Every new [generation] that comes out, there’s no one clearly in the lead. Bitcoin is obviously not ASIC resistant. But for altcoins, ASIC resistance is a thing that they have to contend with because there’s much less security involved for your typical altcoin.”
“People thought there were no ASICs for Ethereum, but [they] were actually running quietly, their hash rate went up for some time and then later on they were released.”
When asked about proof-of-stake, Mow said that cryptography, computer science, and the mathematics behind the consensus mechanism weren’t something the average person would be capable of fully understanding. However, any serious computer science-related person would agree that proof-of-stake doesn’t work because it is “essentially perpetual energy.” Additionally, Mow compared proof-of-work to a gold ring in a boiling pot, stating that the fear of being burnt protected the asset.
“Proof-of-stake is more like “we’re not going to steal it because people have kind of agreed and we all have an invested interest in keeping it there.” And they built these very, very complex Rube Goldberg systems that kind of mask what they’re actually doing, which is really just that everyone is supposed to be honest.”
Mow also took a moment to talk about Ethereum‘s decision to move to a proof-of-stake consensus model.
“So ConsenSys has a stake in it, Vitalik [Buterin] has his stake in it — very large stakes. But what if you have Justin Sun with Tron, who’s trying to overtake Ethereum? So he could just buy out some of the stakes and attack the network. Because if I can destroy Ethereum then Tron goes up.”
The Blockstream CEO added that he doesn’t think many people argue directly with Ethereum on proof-of-stake and that every time a vulnerability is found and addressed, it creates new ones, which becomes a continuous process of making it increasingly complex to hide how it doesn’t consume energy, while it claims to be secure.
“I think proof-of-stake is very scammy, because they call it proof-of-stake. It’s like I’m calling it something similar to this so that you think it derives the same security. It’d be better if they called it like “stake security.” But the whole concept of it being greener is another kind of attack on proof-of-work.”
Mow added that it is easy to attack proof-of-work due to Bitcoin’s transparency — an attacker can see the hashrate and calculate the energy being spent. According to Mow, the fiat banking system would be a better comparison to proof-of-work, as its opaque nature makes it difficult to calculate the energy consumed by it.
“You have office buildings, the construction of office buildings. You have armored cars moving things from location to location. You have a network of ATMs. You have physical bank locations where they’re managing fiat, deposits, withdrawals, whatever. And all of that consumes energy, all that has a carbon footprint. Say, for gold mining. How do you know how much energy is wasted mining gold? How much pollution is generated?”
According to Mow, Bitcoin miners will eventually create their own sources of energy through tapping geothermal and natural gas energy sources.
“You can drill down and get that in Canada pretty cheaply as well. Hydroelectric power is a massive chunk of what’s powering Bitcoin mining because it’s cheap and Bitcoin miners want the cheapest possible power.”
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Stepping into a digital marketing role can be daunting, especially if you’re transitioning from a different field. There will almost certainly be an adjustment period as you learn the ropes and apply your existing skills to the new environment.
However, with the right preparation and mindset, you can quickly become an expert in this exciting and rapidly-evolving field. To make sure that your transition is smooth and successful, it’s important to have an understanding of what tasks are expected of you in your new job.
Digital marketing roles typically involve creating content for websites or social media accounts; designing graphics; running email campaigns; optimizing search engine results (SEO); analyzing data; developing strategies for online marketing initiatives; managing budgets and researching trends related to digital marketing.
You may even find yourself overseeing projects from start to finish! It’s essential that you familiarize yourself with the tools needed for each task so that you can hit the ground running when getting started in a digital marketing role.Starting a Career in Digital Marketing
Take the time to evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, and interests. Utilize the resources available in your organization or local college to develop an understanding of digital marketing topics like content creation, search engine optimization (SEO), and analytics.
Networking with industry professionals can provide valuable insight into trends and opportunities that you might not have considered before. Once you have a better idea of what’s out there, start building skills through online courses or certifications as well as hands-on experience such as volunteering for a non-profit or working on personal projects.
By blending creative thinking with technical knowledge, you will be able to find rewarding positions in digital marketing that align perfectly with your career goals.What Are the Benefits of a Digital Marketing Role?
Digital marketing roles can offer a wide range of benefits, from the ability to work remotely and set your own hours, to flexibility in terms of topics you can cover. Additionally, digital marketing roles often involve working with cutting-edge technology and staying up-to-date on industry trends.
As such, these positions are great for those who have an aptitude for learning new things quickly and keeping ahead of the curve when it comes to emerging tech tools.
Furthermore, digital marketing roles also provide opportunities to network with other professionals in the field as well as potential clients or employers.What Are the Responsibilities of a Digital Marketing Role?
Responsibilities also include managing web content, developing strategies to optimize search engine rankings, creating email campaigns, monitoring social media accounts and analytics reports, and analyzing competitors’ activities in order to discover potential opportunities for improved performance.
A successful digital marketer should be able to develop effective campaigns that attract customers while ensuring compliance with industry regulations. They must also possess excellent communication skills in order to effectively collaborate with other members of the marketing team on projects as well as communicate results back up through management channels.
As such a role requires a high degree of skill and knowledge about digital technology it is often highly sought after by employers looking for experienced professionals who can bring creative solutions to their business’s needs.What Skills and Qualifications Are Required for a Digital Marketing Role?
Digital marketing roles require a variety of skills and qualifications. A good understanding of digital marketing strategies, the ability to use various tools for online marketing, creativity, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, problem-solving aptitude, project management abilities, and web development knowledge are all important qualities that employers look for when recruiting for digital marketing jobs.
Additionally, familiarity with SEO techniques, analytics software like Google Analytics (or similar platforms), and content creation tactics like blogging or vlogging can make an individual’s profile shine among other candidates. Finally, having an up-to-date certification in a field related to digital marketing is also beneficial.Possibilities for Career Growth in a Digital Marketing Role
Digital marketing is a rapidly growing field with great potential for career growth and development. As the demand for digital marketing professionals continues to increase, the opportunities available in this field become even more abundant.
No matter which role they choose, digital marketers have the opportunity to continually build their skill set while working on exciting projects with leading companies across all industries.How to Make the Transition?
Start by doing an internship − One of the most important benefits that internships can provide is networking with professionals who are already working in the field, which can help us learn from their experiences and make connections that may lead to future job opportunities.
Additionally, an internship provides us an opportunity to get hands-on training and develop our professional skills through activities such as task management or communication.
You’ll also be able to use various tools such as Google AdWords and social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date with the latest techniques.
Establish a strong online presence − It can help you reach more people, gather more resources and demonstrate your expertise to potential employers or clients.
Having a strong online presence can also give you the opportunity to create relationships with key stakeholders in your industry and build credibility as an expert in the field.
These types of connections are essential for success in digital marketing, so it’s important that you make sure your online profile is up-to-date and highly visible across multiple platforms.Conclusion
Once you’ve gained the knowledge and experience needed to start a career in digital marketing, it’s important to keep up with industry trends. By staying abreast of changes in technology, analytics tools, social media platforms, and more, you can ensure that your skills stay relevant and valuable for years to come.
It’s also beneficial to attend networking events related to digital marketing as well as webinars or other educational programs on the topic. Staying connected will give you an edge over those who don’t make an effort to remain current.
Did You Know?
You can use Clover to send invoices, store payments and set up recurring orders.What We Like About Clover
Clover is a one-stop shop for businesses that need a POS and payment solution.
It offers industry-specific POS plans.
It doesn’t charge commissions or setup fees for online ordering.
It has exceptional customer management features.
It provides a virtual terminal.What We Don’t Like About Clover
Clover isn’t compatible with third-party payment processors.
It doesn’t have ingredient-tracking features for restaurants.Is It User-Friendly?
When testing Clover’s POS software, we liked how user-friendly it was. You can easily set up menus and item modifiers within the dashboard to help employees upsell certain items. You can also set up permissions, which is great for allowing employees to perform specific functions with the POS software. Clover can also integrate with other third-party software, which increases its usability.
Clover can track and report on your business transactions.
Clover’s POS software and hardware enable you to swipe credit card payments, accept EMV chip cards and support contactless payments. Additionally, Clover’s virtual terminal lets you accept and process credit card payments without any hardware, which is not a functionality that many competitors offer. You can accept credit and debit card payments from your Clover web dashboard, while end-to-end encryption ensures secure and PCI-compliant transactions. Through the dashboard, you can also send invoices and receipts, set up recurring payments, and store customers’ card information to speed up checkout.
When using the virtual terminal, you can either key in the card number or connect the Clover Go app to your phone and use the camera to scan the card number into the virtual terminal.Clover’s Top Features
Clover has the features of both a POS system and a credit card processor, making it appealing to small businesses that want a one-stop shop for their customer-facing operations. Here’s a look at some of the features you get when using Clover’s POS software and credit card processing solutions.Customer Management
When we tested out Clover POS, we were especially impressed with its customer loyalty tools. Clover users can manage their customers and build loyalty with customized deals and programs. Through the company’s customer engagement platform, you can solicit feedback from customers, offer physical and digital gift cards, and offer promotions through social media. You can also use the software to create customer profiles, send birthday rewards and email personalized offers.
We also like that Clover is mobile-friendly when it comes to customer management. For example, customers can receive receipts by text and opt into rewards. They can also use the Clover mobile app to place on-the-go orders.
You can easily track and manage customer information with Clover.
Source: CloverOnline Ordering
When we tested Clover, we liked that it offers online ordering for curbside or in-person pickup. Customers can place orders online through a link, the Clover app, or a QR code, and even schedule orders ahead of time. Clover also integrates with DoorDash for delivery. One thing that stood out is that Clover doesn’t charge commissions or setup fees as many competitors do.Reporting
When we demoed the Clover platform, we noticed that its reporting is on par with the industry standard. With Clover’s POS software, you can run reports on different aspects of your sales. You can track sales, view the best- and worst-performing products, and manage inventory and staffing based on data collected at checkout. Clover also integrates with QuickBooks and Xero.
Learn more about these accounting software platforms in our full review of QuickBooks and our comprehensive Xero review.
Clover offers a 30-day free trial for users to test out the POS system. This is a useful perk that not all POS systems offer.
It looks like Groupon is adding yet another mobile payments solution to the already crowded space that includes its own Groupon Merchants app for iPhone and Android. as well as competitors such as Square and PayPal Here.
What’s behind its removal is anyone’s guess (a horrible name, perhaps?) and Groupon hasn’t officially announced it. Before it went missing, the Groupon POS app description said it “works for a wide variety of merchants from cafes and delis, to salons, spas and florists,” reported TechCrunch, which said it looked like a more simple and generalized version of Breadcrumb, a restaurant-centered iPad payments solution Groupon acquired last year.
You can expect a Groupon app for tablets to reappear because of the kind of traction Groupon is getting in mobile. In a recent earnings report the company said that 45 percent of North American transactions occurred on mobile devices, compared with only 30 percent a year earlier.
In the meantime, if you’re not yet taking payments from customers using a phone or tablet but like the idea of doing so, here’s how the major mobile payment platforms shake out.Square
The longest standing mobile payments solution of the pack, Square was the first to think of the idea of giving people a free miniature card reader to plug into their device to use with an app that lets them accept credit cards on the go. The appeal is its simplicity—no hidden or setup fees, plus you pay either a flat $275 a month and nothing per swipe, or no flat rate and 2.75 percent per swipe. In case it matters to you, Square was co-founded by the same guy who co-founded Twitter, billionaire Jack Dorsey.PayPal Here
With PayPal Here you can accept PayPal payments, credit and debit cards and U.S. checks, as well as send invoices directly from the app and record cash payments. PayPal slightly undercuts Square and charges 2.7 percent per swipe. As another little perk to attract users you get a debit card with PayPal Here that gives you 1 percent cash back on eligible purchases.Intuit GoPayment
Intuit says its most popular GoPayment plan is only $12.95 per month and lowers your swipe rate to 1.75 percent per transaction, a great option for businesses that do high volume sales. If you prefer to skip the monthly rate, the swipe fee bumps up to 2.75 percent. QuickBooks users will appreciate the fact that GoPayment syncs with the accounting software.
Like the other solutions here, PayAnywhere gives you the card reader for free, but it charges a bit less than some of them: 2.69 percent per swipe. Anyone who does business on the road will like that PayAnywhere figures out sales tax based on your GPS coordinates, as well as shows you heat maps based on where you’re selling the most. Apple iOS users can print a paper receipt to an AirPrint-enabled or Star thermal printer and cash drawer. By way of comparison, Square lets you print paper receipts with an iPad, but not a smartphone. And all the mobile payment platforms listed here let you provide customers with digital receipts via text message or email.Groupon Payments
Groupon Payments for iOS and Android phones uses the Groupon Merchants app which not only takes credit cards, it let you redeem Groupon vouchers. While the swipe rate is only 1.8 percent, there’s also a 15-cent charge per transaction, and slightly more if your business hasn’t partnered with the daily deal giant before; Groupon charges non-Groupon merchants 2.2 percent and 15 cents per swiped transaction. While the audio jack reader is free, a special phone case that lets you swipe on the side of the device, as opposed to the top or the bottom, costs $100.
Ethereum‘s main chain is expected to merge with its Beacon Chain later this year, effectively turning it into a Proof of Stake protocol. In anticipation of this, users have increasingly been staking their ETH, with the staking deposit contract amassing over 9.41 million Ether worth over $24.83 billion at press time.
While anticipation for the Merge is mounting, so are concerns over increasing centralization within beacon chain clients being used by validators. This is especially true for validators run by centralized exchanges such as Coinbase and Kraken, who “hold 78k out of 296k validators on the Ethereum beacon chain.”
Validators are those that have staked their Ether into the deposit contract in exchange for the ability to validate blocks and also receive rewards.
.@coinbase and @krakensupport hold 78k out of 296k validators on the Ethereum beacon chain and they’re running @prylabs without any published plans to switch to a non-majority client. Their radio silence on an issue that impacts your funds and our network should infuriate you.
— chúng tôi 🦇🔊🐼 (@superphiz) February 20, 2023
The Ethereum network has a number of interoperable clients that are developed in various languages. Validators can utilize these for both their ease and to ensure that the impact of any bugs or hacks is limited to the portion of the network running the affected client.
However, Ethereum developer Jonathan Cook noted in a recent blog post that “the vast majority of Ethereum nodes run a single client, inviting unnecessary risk to the network.” He added,
“With even distribution of validators across multiple clients the consequences of attacks or bugs that exploit specific clients is drastically reduced, whereas single-client dominance acts as a risk multiplier.”
This is because a bug affecting any consensus client can either directly cause false attestations. Or else, it can expose a vulnerability that allows a malicious attacker to force a client to make incorrect attestations.
Cook further explained that while the effects of a bug controlling 1/3 of the staked ether might be negligible, any control more than that would lead to consequences for the whole network. Moreover, the validators using the affected clients could also stand to have their staked Ether burned until the Beacon chain recovers.
An even more dreaded scenario would result from the bug controlling 2/3 or more of the staked Ether as this could fork the Beacon Chain, even allowing the bug to finalize its own chain.
“Incorrect information would then likely be cemented into Ethereum’s history forever,” Cook added.
The network has already suffered through such attacks in the past, and has only narrowly escaped each time. Prysm itself suffered a bug related to its validation of Eth1 deposit roots in early 2023, which then spread rapidly due to its large validator share. While its consequences were negligible, it did give developers a fair idea of the importance of client diversification.
Surprisingly, chúng tôi did receive assurance from Kraken over these concerns. Coinbase though is yet to issue a statement of its own. The exchange said,
“We can confirm that we are exploring other clients to diversify. We won’t be abandoning Prysm labs completely but rest assured knowing that our developers are looking to diversify.”
The Merge is finally upon us. But before diving into the dramatic changes that may or may not come with it however, it’s probably good to know what exactly it is.
The Merge, in this case, refers to a long-gestating effort to change the fundamentals of how the cryptocurrency, Ethereum, is mined, minted, and traded on the blockchain. This years-in-the-making project primarily seeks to address the longstanding critique regarding crypto that the whole enterprise is simply too energy inefficient to justify widespread adoption, especially in the face of our current climate crisis. And things just started emerging.
[Related: The Ethereum ‘merge,’ explained.]
What’s actually changing within Ethereum’s mechanics is somewhat complex (here’s a deeper rundown on that front), but suffice to say, the cryptocurrency is genuinely becoming a lot more eco-friendly. Ethereum is second in popularity only to Bitcoin, and until today ran on something called the “proof-of-work” model. In this system, “mining” computers compete to solve increasingly complex math problems, with the fastest computer awarded the right to add a new block on the blockchain and a small amount of cryptocurrency. The problem with this setup, however, is that every other computer that lost the race trying to solve the same puzzle gets absolutely nothing—all that energy consumption during the sequence was essentially for nothing. Increase that system exponentially with massive crypto mining farms and ever-more-complicated math problems, and… well, you see where this is going.
The Merge, however, transitions Ethereum into a “proof-of-stake” model, which operates by having miners pony up a certain amount of crypto as collateral for maintaining accurate blockchain ledgers. Try to scam the system, and you lose your stake (currently around $51,000). Meanwhile, every computer that “stakes” Ethereum is entered into a kind of algorithmic lottery system, wherein they can then earn more tokens. The more someone stakes, the more likely they are to win the lottery—something that requires a fraction of the computational power as proof-of-work, which Bitcoin still currently runs.
How much less power will this actually take now? We’re talking an estimated 99.992-percent reduction in carbon emissions that stem from computers mining Ether (the name of the currency itself), according to a report from the Crypto Carbon Ratings Institute (CCRI) published earlier today. If the CCRI’s numbers prove correct, Ethereum’s pollution will drop from around 11 million tons of CO2 emissions per year to barely 870 tons, which is slightly less energy than is consumed by 100 homes here in the US within a single year—a pretty dramatic improvement.
[Related: The tech behind popular cryptocurrencies, explained.]
What happens next? Well, that’s sort of anyone’s guess at the moment. If successful, The Merge could put pressure on Bitcoin, really the only other major cryptocurrency (sorry, Dogecoin), to finally invest in similar green infrastructure. If the carbon emission reduction numbers are anywhere near the CCRI’s estimates, people who were previously on the fence about Ethereum might finally take the plunge. This could subsequently generate a renewed interest in the alternative financial system, especially after the past year’s staggering crypto crash. The impacts of a potential crypto reemergence remain to be seen, but any reform that drastically reduces a project’s carbon emissions is welcome news these days.
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