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ConsenSys Is Seeking $200 Million in New Funding: Report

ConsenSys is seeking a funding boost.

Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin’s Brooklyn-based venture studio is looking to raise $200 million from external investors, The Information reported Monday, at a valuation of $1 billion.

The Information reports that ConsenSys is pitching Chinese investors with materials claiming the company aims to earn $50 million in revenue this year, primarily from contracts with enterprise and government clients. Last December, the Brazilian National Social Development Bank confirmed to CoinDesk it was in talks with ConsenSys.

ConsenSys was previously supported by Lubin’s personal fortune and employed up to 1,200 people in 2018. When the price of ethereum plummeted after the 2017 token boom fizzled, ConsenSys laid off 13 percent of its staff. Following a late-2018 re-organization dubbed “ConsenSys 2.0,” it became clear that partnerships with traditional, external investors were a priority.

Several former staffers told CoinDesk in January 2019 that more cuts were on the horizon.

The Information now reports that ConsenSys brought in “just $21 million in revenue in 2018.” It’s unclear how that income relates to the various startups under the ConsenSys umbrella. Several projects are seeking to raise capital on their own as independent startups, multiple sources tell CoinDesk.

A ConsenSys spokesperson declined to comment.

ConsenSys founder Joe Lubin image via CoinDesk archives

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Ethereum Core Developers Debate Benefits of More Frequent Hard Forks

How often is too often to alter consensus?

A group of ethereum’s veteran open-source developers discussed the subject in a bi-weekly meeting Friday, wherein they aired the possibility that system-wide upgrades, also called hard forks, to the software could be enacted as often as every three months.

Wanting to “check the temperature,” the developer asking the question explained that certain upcoming ethereum improvement proposals (EIPs) such as state rents would require multiple upgrades sequentially spaced out for full effect.

Three months, however, in the eyes of Joseph Delong, senior software engineer at venture capital studio Consensys, is “too quick for a turnaround.”

Team lead at the Ethereum Foundation Péter Szilágyi agreed, explaining:

“As a [software] client developer if you’re only job is to implement hard forks and do them then three months is fine but usually clients require a lot of maintenance. So, if you start doing three month hard forks it will essentially take all the time away from general maintenance and performance improvements.”

Ethereum Foundation security lead Martin Hoste Swende, while agreeing that a hard fork every three months “would be a bad thing,” noted that particular cases with simple changes unanimously agree upon could have shorter run times.

“The idea would not be to schedule a hard fork every three months but see if feature X is finished and there exist test cases and it is implemented in all clients. If so, then we can hard fork pretty soon,” argued Swende during the call.

But encouraging developers to take their plans “one step” at a time, Fredrik Harryson CTO of Parity Technologies noted that even a timeline of six months for a planned ethereum hard fork has never been achieved.

“There’s a couple things we probably need to automate in order to do [shorter hard forks] really well. A lot of the time that goes into the hard fork is not just making the code. It’s everything that goes around,” said Harryson.

In addition to this, Ethereum Foundation advisor Greg Colvin noted that most teams building ethereum software clients do not presently have “the right person” to handle essential jobs for hard fork implementation such as “setting up testnets, running test cases, doing testing” among other responsibilities.

To this, Harryson responded the matter was about not having enough finances to onboard such team members. “For us, it’s money. We don’t have enough money behind it,” quipped Harryson.

Multi-step upgrades

But it’s not only a matter of whether or not there should be more frequent hard forks.

Developers during today’s call also discussed whether there was a need for ambitious, longer-term changes to the present ethereum blockchain in light of an impending move to ethereum 2.0 – a new ethereum network which once fully activated users would migrate over to from the current mainnet.

Suggesting that developers like Alexey Akhunov and ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin have cautioned against “changes that aren’t for the survival of the [present ethereum] chain,” Harryson asked:

“How much do we sway outside of this because [EIP 615] leads into a long chain of improvements that go into several years before we’re seeing massive benefits from it.”

EIP 615 is one of five proposals considered for inclusion in the next ethereum hard fork called Istanbul. It aims to introduce improvements to the very heart of the ethereum codebase known as the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) which is responsible for executing all self-deploying lines of code – also called smart contracts – on the platform.

The EVM is also a key technology that other enterprise blockchain initiatives such as Hyperledger have been reported in the past to build interoperability with.

“The design of the EVM makes low-gas-cost, high-performance execution difficult. We propose to move forward with proposals to resolve these problems by tightening the security guarantees and pushing the performance limits of the EVM,” writes the authors of EIP 615 Colvin, Brooklyn Zelenka, Pawel Bylic and Christina Reitwiessner.

However, as noted by Swende during today’s call, EIP 615 as proposed would require at least two hard forks to fully execute and “a positive speed effect” to actual code computations in the EVM would not be noticeable until the latter hard fork is executed.

“That’s my main concern about this EIP, it’s a lot of work but I don’t think it will lead to a much better EVM. It might be better for the external tools like if you’re doing a reverse analysis of the security properties of a smart contract,” said Swende.

Such tooling Zelenka suggested is essential to ensure continued “forward compatibility” with forthcoming EVM upgrades like eWASM and a smooth onboarding experience for smart contract developers in light of “an undetermined ethereum 2.0 release date.”

“There are other options for smart contract developers out there. We need to keep ethereum 1.x alive and that means continuing to move,” argued Zelenka on today’s call.

Agreeing to continue debate and discussion on the EIP in further weeks, Swende concluded that at present he remains skeptical about “implementing such large changes into the old engine which basically takes a couple of hard forks before it finally settles.”

But agreeing with uncertain sentiment around the future of ethereum 2.0, Harryson, who raised the initial question about ambitious, multi-hard fork upgrades said:

“We shouldn’t adjust our roadmap or thinking based on what ethereum 2.0 may or may not be.”

Fork image via Shutterstock

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Bitcoin and Ethereum Trading Volume Reaches Crypto Bull Run Peak Levels

At the start of April, Bitcoin rallied nearly $1,000 in a matter of a little more than an hour. The powerful movement was enough to drag the entire crypto market with it, including the likes of Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin.

The rally, which many believe confirm that the bear market bottom is now in due to the first ever cryptocurrency painting a higher high on price charts, saw so much trading volume across Bitcoin and Ethereum, that volume reached levels not witnessed since the peak of the last cryptocurrency bull market.

Is The Bull Run Back? Bitcoin and Ethereum Trading Volume Revisit 2017 Levels

Ever since Bitcoin’s parabolic advance was broken at the tail end of 2017, its all-time high of $20,000 has become a distant memory, and bullish sentiment and general interest has all but left the crypto market. As less investors and traders flocked to the crypto space, trading volumes across top crypto projects has diminished significantly.

Related Reading | Crypto Analyst: Higher High In Bitcoin Price Confirms Bear Market Bottom Is In 

Trading volumes often drop during period of indecision, but volume can also drop as trends begin to lose their steam. It’s not until a major movement occurs, that volumes begin spiking again, often confirming a trend continuation or reversal, depending on which direction the movement goes.

Throughout the 2018-2019 bear market, volume has continually diminished. It began to ramp up during the fall through $6,000, but quickly dropped back to the low levels.

Following the longest bear market for Bitcoin on record, a major trend change occurred during last week’s rally, that took Bitcoin price from resistance at $4,200 to $5,200 in a matter of an hour. The powerful movement also brought with it a significant surge in trading volume, confirming that the move was genuine and that a trend reversal may be a reality. Certain indicators suggest the reversal to be legitimate, but bears have yet to give up as is evident in the latest pullback.

That surge in trading volume across both Bitcoin and Ethereum, reached levels not seen since back in 2017 when cryptocurrencies went parabolic and took the mainstream public by storm. At the time, a media blitz lured retail investors to cryptocurrency exchanges in droves, seeking to strike it rich from Bitcoin and its altcoin cousins.

Related Reading | Is Over $3 Billion Is Sidelined Waiting to Enter Bitcoin and Altcoins?

It’s worth noting that the data former Bloomberg financial journalist Camila Russo used is from CoinMarketCap, which has recently been put under the microscope due to claims of falsely inflated trading volumes. While there is validity to these claims, the comparison is being made against previous CoinMarketCap data, so the sample data should represent similar levels of trading volume, wash trading included.

Featured image by Shutterstock

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Crypto Analyst: Break of Current Bitcoin Resistance Will Commence Bull Run

The recent Bitcoin rally through months-long resistance at $4,200 has re-ignited the crypto market’s bullish fervor. After nearly a year and a half of bear market, a potential bottom may be in and it’s causing bulls to become more confident that the worst is behind us and a new bull run is close to starting.

One crypto analyst that’s recently gained a lot of attention in the cryptosphere, is now claiming that all of the top cryptocurrencies are currently behind held back by Bitcoin’s current resistance level, and that once it breaks, a new bull run will begin.

Analyst: Bitcoin Bull Run Begins After Break of $5,260

Ethereum trader and crypto analyst ScienceGuy9489 has recently made waves in the crypto space after emerging from a long slumber that pre-dates the peak of the last bull run and sharing some charts that predict not only target prices, but break out dates for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin.

The bullish calls were almost immediately validated when Bitcoin price rose nearly $1,000 in an hour – more than the previous two months of price growth combined.

Related Reading | Crypto Community Speculates On What Triggered Massive Bitcoin Price Rally 

Since then, the analyst has become a bit of a crypto celebrity, sharing a number of charts and predictions on where the market will go next.

In his latest tweet, the crypto analyst claims that a breakout above $5,260 in Bitcoin price charts, will “cause another bull run.” He further suggests that Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, and Stellar – other major cryptocurrencies in the top ten by market cap – are being held back by the critical resistance level.

If the resistance is broken, he says to “expect big gains” if the rally is sustained. If Bitcoin is unable to break through $5,260 and maintain its gains, then he recommends selling the resistance until it is eventually broken.

Trader Sets Lofty Price Targets For Top Cryptos

ScienceGuy9489’s previous predictions came with oddly specific breakout dates. The dates haven’t yet been reached, but all of the proposed breakouts of downtrend lines have occurred.

Due to the fact this trader appeared after well over a year of silence, only to appear and share charts that immediately played out, he’s being given additional credence for his predictions by the crypto community at large. However, the one piece of the puzzle that’s left investors scratching their heads: the price targets that beat each cryptocurrency’s previous all-time high.

Related Reading | Majority of Crypto Investors See Bitcoin Price at $100,000 to Millions Long-Term 

That’s right, the trader is predicting Bitcoin to reach $28,100, Ethereum to hit $2,090, Litecoin to reach $650, and Ripple to skyrocket to $4 per XRP. There’s no date as to when each target may be reached, but if he’s right about a bull run resuming with a break of $5,260, then these prices may soon become a reality.

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Analysts Highly Bullish on Ethereum (ETH) as Crypto Markets Trade Sideways

The crypto markets have been able to maintain most of their recent gains and are currently experiencing a bout of sideways trading. Ethereum, which has incurred large gains over the past several days, appears to be pushing up against a level of resistance, and it is likely that Bitcoin’s next price move will set the tone for how individual cryptos, like ETH, trade in the near-future.

Although Bitcoin may be the crypto that traders are currently looking towards, analysts concur that Ethereum is setting itself up for some highly bullish price action in the near-term.

Ethereum Stable in Upper-$160 Region

At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading sideways at its current price of $166.70, and is up slightly from its daily lows of $165.

Although ETH has been closely tracking BTC, analysts are now agreeing that it may be gearing up for a large upwards price movement that is independent of Bitcoin’s price action.

CryptoKaleo, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, shared his thoughts on Ethereum’s current price action, noting that it is currently sitting at the lower end of its latest fractal range, which is almost always followed by a large upwards price movement.

“Ethereum is sitting on the launch pad of a rocket ship in its fractal cycle. Why is no one talking about this?”

If Kaleo’s analysis of ETH proves to be accurate, the cryptocurrency may soon surge back towards its all-time-highs.

Analysts Expect ETH to Make Large Upwards Swing in Near-Future

Although it may be early to start plotting Ethereum’s course back towards its all-time-highs, in the short-term analysts do concur that ETH is likely to see some decent gains.

CryptoGainz, another popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, recently noted that he expects ETH to drop lower before it incurs enough buying pressure to send it surging significantly higher.

“$ETH – looking for something like this,” he concisely noted.

Furthermore, Kaleo also explained that he believes Ethereum’s current bearish pennant is fake, and that it will be broken above in the near future, confirming his “extremely bullish bias.”

“In addition, I think $ETH is providing an extremely easy set up for entry. IMO this is a fake bearish pennant that’ll break up. I have an extremely bullish bias, though, so we will see,” he noted.

As the weekend wraps up and the new week begins, traders and analysts alike will possibly garner more insight into whether or not individual cryptocurrencies – like Ethereum – will be able to surge regardless of how Bitcoin trades.

Featured image from Shutterstock.