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Blockchain and IoT – Is There a Future Here?

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Blockchain and IoT

Blockchain technology has disrupted the world of today, especially as the pandemic hit us. The restrictions and lack of engagement during the Covid-19 waves have diverted the attention of people all over the world to cryptocurrencies. While all that is going on, The technology kept evolving to provide many more use cases for Blockchains we see today. Some of these use cases can be utilized for many socio-economic applications too.

History has it that new technologies are often integrated with other technologies to give powerful applications for the users. One such combination that has been in talks is the integration of blockchain and IoT (Internet of things). Both the technologies are young and disruptive. The market for blockchain technology-based IoT systems has a huge potential in the global market.

“IoT has been one of the most exciting markets of the current generation. It had its issues with security and susceptibility to hacking. Blockchain technology can overcome these issues easily because of its tamper-proof and secure nature. While providers such as Amazon for Alexa devices and others have overcome this to a certain extent, they can still use the decentralized nature of blockchains to further the cause. Similar to what Android did for the smartphone market, blockchain can revolutionize IoT.” said Dev Sharma, CEO and Founder of Blockwiz, a global crypto marketing agency.

IOTA and its Tangle network aim to fulfill this gap in the market. Internet of Things (IoT) differs from most blockchains in crucial ways which makes them unusable for it. IoT can work on a system that supports multiple chains and nodes to connect multiple devices to the system. Conventional blockchains are based on a single-chain connecting and recording all activities to it. Also, as the number of activities (transactions) and the number of branches increase, the speed of transactions decreases and the cost per transaction increases. IoT requires a system that can do the opposite of this.

“The Tangle network is built on the principles of IoT and blockchain technology. As the branches increase, their speed increases while the cost remains negligible. Such a system can greatly increase the applicability and security of IoT activities. Also, being a publically available system, it can be used by developers for a wide range of applications at a very low cost. Being decentralized, it can be used by everyone throughout the globe. This is the heart and core of blockchain technology.” added Mr. Sharma of the Canada-based agency.

One of the most important advantages of using Blockchain technology for IoT is the secure accounting of all activities. This can be used to investigate any IoT system for tempering and misuse. This may not be possible with devices like Google Home, Alexa, and other systems since their data storage is centralized and inaccessible to users without legal intervention.

While many of us consider IoT devices being used in homes to control connected machines throughout our homes, the application of this tech is much more vast. Self-driving cars, traffic control, global supply chains, self-servicing machines, etc can all use IoT-like systems to enhance and automate our processes. However, the most important impact of the system is on the environment. Using lesser resources is the reason why such a system can have negligible transaction fees/costs which also points to savings on the environmental front.

The power of IoT with blockchain technology has the potential to automate large and complicated systems with low resource costs. We have all heard of the concept of smart cities, IoT is among the major technology that is used to define it. These concepts can easily become reality through a public blockchain system for IoT. Our world is changing continuously through technologies and the hope is that we can change it for the better, for us, and for the environment we live in.

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Ethereum Timeline: Shift to Proof of Stake

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Shift to Proof of Stake

The much-anticipated transition of the Ethereum network from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus is finally taking place. The adaptation of PoS has always been the plan and a vital part of scaling Ethereum by future upgrades. However, abruptly shifting to PoS can pose significant technical and community challenges that are not as simple as using PoW to achieve network consensus. Having said that, what exactly are PoS and PoW?

Proof of Work

Proof-of-work (PoW) is a consensus algorithm that allows for the secure, decentralised verification of transactions on a blockchain. In a PoW system, miners are responsible for verifying and committing transactions to the blockchain. During the verification process, miners compete against each other to solve complex cryptographic puzzles. The first miner to solve the puzzle is rewarded with cryptocurrency, and the transaction is added to the blockchain.

Reasons To Shift From Proof of Work

The Ethereum ecosystem has evolved at an astounding rate in the last year. This growth was primarily due to a significant emergence and explosion of NFTs and Decentralised Finance (DeFi) initiatives. While the change-over was imminent, some factors to be considered for the same are:

  • The PoW consensus protocol requires users to utilise significant computational power to validate transactions and add new blocks to the network.
  • Users who devote their computational resources to the shared ledger are miners.
  • These miners are rewarded with Ether tokens in exchange for the computing power they have supplied to the network.
  • With PoW consensus, Ethereum takes up to 113 terawatt-hours of electricity in a year. According to Digiconomist, it is more than the total electricity consumption of the Netherlands per year.
  • The current Ethereum transaction with PoW consensus takes up energy equivalent to the consumption of one week of energy of an average US household.

With so many downsides to its cap, PoW has many advantages, which is one of the main reasons it has been a reliable consensus for so long. The PoW consensus has been robust and secure all these years. But the consensus can be utilised by a cryptocurrency with a massive valuation and relatively simple use case, such as the bitcoin. With the amount of energy and power involved, it becomes difficult for individuals to meddle with a high valuation asset.

Proof of Stake

The consensus protocol Proof-of-stake (PoS) has been introduced to address the issue of over-mining. Proof of stake (PoS) is critical to understand because it could eventually replace the proof of work (PoW) consensus mechanism that is currently used by most cryptocurrencies.

“PoS is a way to achieve decentralised consensus without using energy-intensive mining. It is an alternative to the more common proof of work algorithm. With PoS, a cryptocurrency’s blockchain is secured by its token holders who are required to lock up their tokens as stake and not by miners equipped with powerful hardware. It’s an energy-efficient, cost-effective and therefore, a popular choice for crypto giants like Ethereum,” states Dev Sharma, CEO of Blockwiz, a crypto marketing agency.

In contrast to PoW, in which the individual who completes the mathematical proof first is rewarded with new coins, with PoS, no new coins are created.

Benefits of Proof of Stake Consensus

Proof-of-stake introduces several enhancements over the PoS mechanism:

  • Improved resource proficiency – you don’t need as many energy mining blocks.
  • Minimal entry barriers, lower hardware requirements – Even if you don’t possess top-tier hardware, you still get ample opportunities to participate in the creation of blocks.
  • More excellent resistance to centralization – PoS would imminently facilitate the generation of more nodes.
  • Staking facilitates the operation of a node. It does not necessitate significant expenditure on equipment purchases or resources, and if you lack the ETH token to stake, you cannot participate in staking pools.
  • Staking consensus enables reliable sharding. Shards enable Ethereum to generate new blocks simultaneously, leading to enhanced throughput of transactions.
  • In a PoW mechanism, sharding the chain would reduce the amount of energy required to modify a particular network section.

In a Nutshell

Proof of stake (PoS) is a type of algorithm used by cryptocurrencies to determine who gets to create new blocks on the blockchain. PoS works by requiring users to lock up some of their currency in a smart contract called a stake. In return, they are given the right to validate blocks on the network and earn rewards.

The advantage of PoS is that it doesn’t require the massive energy consumption that PoW does. This non-dependency on massive energy utilisation makes it more environmentally friendly. It reduces the risk of centralisation since few users would be able to control the majority of the currency. Therefore, it’s no wonder that Ethereum is making the much-anticipated switch.

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Amber Group March Recap 2022: Here’s What Happened

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Amber Group NewsNamed one of CB Insights’ 2022 Blockchain 50, an annual ranking of the most promising blockchain and crypto companies in the world.

Announced the appointment of Ehsan Haque as the General Counsel for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)  region.

CEO Michael Wu was selected as a recipient of the “Top 100 CEOs in Innovation Award 2022” by Word Biz Magazine.

Product Development and Partnerships

Amber Group Partnerships

Participated in Mina Foundation’s token sale, EthSign’s seed round, and Zecrey protocol’s angel round.

In the News

Michael Wu CEO Awards

World Biz Magazine: Michael Wu, CEO of Amber Group – interview WBM Top 100 Innovation CEO.

CNBC: For crypto to be adopted globally, we will have to comply with regulators: Crypto-trading platform.

Bloomberg: Bankers Who Stay in Hong Kong Are Rewarded With a Pay Bonanza.

Economist: EthSign raises $12 million in stable coin led by Sequoia Capital India, Mirana Ventures.

Forkast News: From crisis currency to consumer adoption: What next for crypto?

CoinDesk: Mina foundation raises $92M to accelerate adoption of Zero-Knowledge Proofs.

Cointelegraph: If the glass slipper doesn’t fit, smash it: Unraveling the myth of gender equality in crypto.

AMBCrypto: Amber Group strengthens management team with Ehsan Haque as EMEA General Counsel.

CoinCu: Zecrey protocol has raised $4M in an angel fundraising round.

Chain Debrief: Is the user experience in DeFi bad? Opportunities, challenges and how to see growth in DeFi.

Medium: Reproducing the $APE airdrop flash loan arbitrage/exploit.

Medium: Non-fungible trends.

Events and Media Appearances

Michael Wu

CEO Michael Wu joined Forkast News to discuss crypto’s consumer adoption and what’s next for crypto.

CEO Michael Wu joined CNBC Street Signs Asia to share how Amber Group seeks a balance between regulation and crypto development.

CEO Michael Wu gave an interview with Economist Impact at Technology for Change Week on how to stay ahead of the curve in the fintech space.

Managing Partner Annabelle Huang joined Economist Impact’s Asia Trade Week to discuss the future of crypto as payment in Asia.

Managing Partner Annabelle Huang joined Avalanche Summit to discuss the opportunities and challenges in DeFi.

Managing Partner Annabelle Huang joined Goldman Sach’s panel discussion on “Digital assets – Investing in the future” to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Annabelle Huang

Managing Partner Annabelle Huang gave a guest lecture on DeFi and Web3 for the International Finance class at Singapore Management University.

Managing Partner Annabelle Huang joined the DIG FIN VOX podcast to talk about Amber Group’s move to Singapore and into retail.

CSO Dimitrios Kavvathas joined Blockchain Africa Conference 2022 to discuss institutional investment in crypto.

CSO Dimitrios Kavvathas joined FinTech Festival India at a panel discussion on “De-Fi – A better solution for peer-to-peer lending”.

CSO Dimitrios Kavvathas joined the World Blockchain Summit in Dubai at a panel discussion on “Fostering the global crypto ecosystem”.

Dimitrios Kavvathas

Europe Managing Director Sophia Shluger delivered a keynote speech on digital wealth at Blockchain Africa Conference 2022.

Europe Managing Director Sophia Shluger joined the CryptoCompare Summit in London to discuss the building blocks of the new digital economy.

Europe Managing Director Sophia Shluger joined the FundFocus Europe 2022 conference to discuss the foundation for the widespread institutional adoption of cryptocurrency.

Sophia ShlugerRear

Latin America Managing Director Nicole Pabello joined the Ethereum Rio conference to discuss the LATAM Ecosystem in the world.

Nicole Pabello

Institutional Sales Director Justin d’Anethan joined EmergentX’s Annual Digital Asset Summit to discuss the institutionalizing of the digital asset industry.

Justin d'Anethan

Managing Director Ben Radclyffe joined Credit Suisse’s Asian Investment Conference to discuss the spillovers between crypto and equity markets.

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Launch of the Hydra Developer Bootcamp

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Hydra Bootcamp

The Hydra Developer Bootcamp organised by ChainIDE and Conflux for Web3 developers in Africa provides them with hands-on blockchain 101 training, insight into the African blockchain & crypto industry, and a unique outlook on the future prospects of the Metaverse and Web 3. More than 200 people have already signed up for this event while the first two modules have already attracted more than 500 views in two days.

On Saturday 2nd April 2022, the opening ceremony of the 2022 Hydra Developer Bootcamp was successfully held. Wu Xiao, CEO of WhiteMatrix, a Chinese tech firm that provides industry-leading blockchain services, was the first guest speaker at the opening ceremony and said,  “we strive to support the blockchain ecosystem and grow together with the community”.

Chris, head of global expansions at Conflux Network, advocates for the transition towards Web3 and the mass adoption of blockchain technology. Topics such as DeFi, GameFi, and the phenomenon of Africa boasting the biggest volume of Bitcoin remittance in the world are to be discussed in the future.

On launch day, the co-founder of GIGx, Osamede Arhunmwunde described the adoption of blockchain technology as the opportunity of our generation. The goal of GIGX as Africa’s first decentralised marketplace is to onboard the next million users across Nigeria.

Other guests include Chimezie Chuta: founder of Blockchain Nigeria User Group (BNUG), Conflux Network was also represented by Ehis Omozusi, their regional marketing & business lead. Other valuable guests include Obasi Francis: CEO & Co-founder of Cassava Network & former CEO at Lead Wallet and Gaius Chibueze: CEO of ABiT Network.

During the panel discussion, Mr. Chuta depicts the lack of trust and transparency as the main bottlenecks to Africa’s development, and that blockchain’s nature (transparent, immutable, verifiable, secure & decentralised) could be the key to solving this problem. On the other hand, Mr. Ehis emphasised the enormous growth potential of the African crypto sector and that this line of work is not limited to developers. During his intervention, Mr. Francis stressed that the crypto space in Africa boasts an excellent development environment as it is already self-regulating.

The Hydra Developer Bootcamp comes with a $7000 Bounty, and POAPs are available for those who attend the bootcamp from Week 2 to Week 4. Participants that attended the entire bootcamp event will get a chance to join the giveaway lottery scheduled on Week 4. The registration deadline for the Hydra Developer Bootcamp is 9th April at 13:00 GMT+1.

Future modules in this Hydra Developer Bootcamp include creating smart contracts using Solidity, and developing a blockchain-based game and metaverse. Team building has started and participants may contact other members in the Telegram group or outside the TG group to build a Team. Coding lectures will start next week and instructions will be given on how to build applications and deploy them on the Conflux blockchain. Make sure to follow the Hydra Developer Bootcamp on Official channels and remember filling in the forms in the Telegram group!

Official Website:

https://labs.confluxnetwork.org/

Event Registration:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScx-OzoePNhf4-w7uo6SAEPT_Ckw9JH7VccyuIq_9askqWF9w/viewform

Latest Bootcamp info:

https://t.me/ChainIDEAfrica

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