A few big things dropped today.
First, Amazon launched blockchain functionality on their servers, letting developers build off the Ethereum blockchain. This is huge news as Amazon had yet to make any announcements about this.
There was some excitement late last year when Amazon bought a few crypto domains, including AmazonEthereum.com, but before today nothing formally linked Amazon with the Ethereum blockchain specifically.
Hybrid PoW/PoS is Coming
This good news coincides with a big development update from the Ethereum Foundation, the non-profit organization that is developing the Ethereum Protocol.
A major milestone on Ethereum’s roadmap is the transition from PoW to PoS.
PoW = Proof of Work – the Original Bitcoin method for securing it’s blockchain. This is where “mining” comes in. It’s incredibly inefficient and energy-consuming.
PoS = Proof of Stake – Ethereum’s upcoming method for securing it’s blockchain. Instead of computers mining, the network is secured by users willing to “stake” their ETH. With this method the new “ETH” that is being created is being distributed among ETH holders instead of computer mining farms.
Right now Ethereum is running a 100% PoW system with a plan to go 100% PoS. It’s unclear exactly when this will happen as there are a lot of dynamics at play. As mining computers get cut out I’d expect to see a “fork” of ETH, but that’s for another day.
Vitalik Buterin suggested a “hybrid PoW/PoS” system to start, with the new ETH being rewarded to both “stakers” and “miners”. This is seen as a key step on the way to full PoS.
Today an Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) was published by the Ethereum Foundation for this “hybrid” system, EIP 1011. Now that the proposal is public the community has all the details about the hybrid plan.
Discussion on the proposal is happening in real time with Vitalik answering question on Reddit – Link
I think it’s fascinating to see the discussions happening in full public view with Vitalik responding to both the technical and non-technical users.
As I’m typing this Ethereum just passed $615. I think this news helps push the price along but it’s all part of a larger movement. Sentiment has changed.