Ethereum blockchain choked by cat game

Cute pets or furry little blockchain destroyers?

The Ethereum block chain has officially been broken… Well maybe not, but at the time of writing this article (acording to ethgasstation.info) the online digital kitten breeding app CryptoKitties accountable for 15.4% of all of the transactions on the Etherium block chain!

Yep! 15.4% of ALL TRANSACTIONS!

Just this evening I went to my Exodus.io wallet to transfer some ETH to my mobile wallet only to be confronted with this warning:

“December 4th, 2017 @ 11:51 PM Pacific Time: Due to the recent Ethereum network delays we have temporary suspended Ethereum exchanges. We noticed a few Exodus customers had Ethereum exchanges considerably delayed. We are monitoring the network and will likely resume all normal operations in 8 hours.”

Yep, my funds have been frozen for the next 8 hours and even worse I’m unable to receive payments from my clients. But what has really caused this sudden crunch? Surley a colourful game of cat trading can’t break a global currancy! Or can it?

Like it or not, CryptoKitties is taking the world by storm and early on the 5th December 2017 Australian time it took over EtherDelta as the largest decentralised Application (dapp) running on the Ethereum blockchain (based on gas consumption). Turn the clocks forward only 12 hours and CryptoKitties is now 50% larger than EtherDelta and is actually bigger than both EtherDelta and its next biggest competitor ShapeShifter combined.

Another way to sum up this “gas consumption” is to think of the electricity usage of the Ethereum blockchain. According to digiconomist.net the current energy consumption of the Etherium blockchain is a massive 30,341,717KWh per day. With 15.4% of the curent transaction volume on the network, CryptoKitties current energy consumption is somewhwere in the region of 3,526,027 KWh per day, that’s the same power consumption as roughly 119,526 average homes in the United States!

But what does this mean for the Etherium blockchain you may ask?

All of this love of cartoon kittens has placed enough transactional strain on the Ethereum blockchain  to cause serious traffic jams and has lead to VERY extended processing times for ETH based transactions. CryptoKitties is not 100% to blame for the issues though. Many people in the cryptocurrnecy space have been shouting the praises of the Ethereum blockchain claiming that it would deliver a new era of distributed computing through it’s decentralized apps but it’s developers have known better. In the Ethereum blockchain , as with any other blockchain, every transaction needs a network node to process it in order for it to be confirmed. In anny network there are only so many nodes, each node only has so much processing power. Only so many calculations can be done at any given time.

It is exactly this cap that we are seeing the Etherium network banging up against now. One of the Ethereum blockchains’ developers Nick Johnson commented on CoinDesk.com that:

“CryptoKitties is definitely a significant contributor to network congestion, and it may have been what pushed us over the edge from mostly-full blocks to full blocks in the last day or so.”

Take a look at the road maps for any of the large blockchains and you will see that at the hart of many of them is the quest for improved scalability. Weather it comes to the block chains through sharding, Casper or state channels all of the various developers seem to be on the same page. At this weeks Devcon3 Developer Conference in Cancun, Mexico Ethereums creator Vitalik Buterin commented that of all of the problems facing the Ethereum blockchain

“Scalability is probably problem number one […] There’s a graveyard of systems that claim to solve the scalability problem but don’t. It’s a very significant and hard challenge. These are just known facts.”

In his usual pragmatic and open style Vitalik was happy to admit that the huge number of transactions being processed by the blockchain now days and number of nodes involved (now in excess of 20,000) had the Etherium blockchain close to its limit.

Etherium developers have been very quick to realise that they need to act in order to arrest any publics fears around scalability. Discussions of the Etherium development roadmap have really amped up in recent times with the head of global business development at New York based ConsenSys coming out recently saying:

“I think it’s time to put up or shut up. We’ve had enough proof-of-concepts. [It’s] time to get things into production.”

Vitalik Buterin again discussed the plan to introduce sharding in to the Ethereum blockchain. Sharding is a process where by the blockchain is broken up in to a number of chunks not all that dissimilar to how a current computer database would handle it. That wa each node would only have to deal with a small piece of the blockchain rather than the 32.5Gb for the current “fast” sync version of the blockchain or over 450Gb for the “full” version. How to achieve this segmentation though without compromising on security is going to be the biggest challenge for the Etherium devs. Vitalik sees the blockchain eventually being broken in to different types for shards to allow both a slow and steady backbone for the main blockchain as well as smaller shards that allow more dynamic changes for developers. The good news though is that the Etherium developers are progressing well with their modeling of the sharding algorithm and hope to have a working model of it sooner than you might think.

But what does all of this have to do with breeding cats I hear you say?

The bonus of CryptoKitty and its traffic congestion inducing user base is that it has brought us to an impass and has ratcheted up the pressure to find a solution to the problem sooner rather than later.

Not only that it has been yet another a spectacular demonstration of the power and flexability of the Etherium blockchain as discussed in the tweets back and fourth  between Vitalik Buterinand Ethereum Foundation team member Alex Van De Sande:

Alex

“The hottest thing in Ethereum right now is a dumb kittie game. Dumbs isn’t meant to be derogatory: we all really needed a break from hundred million dollar ICOs with grandiose claims

Vitalik

“I actually like the digital cat games. They illustrate very well that the value of a blockchain extends far beyond applications that would literally get shut down by banks or governments if they did not use one.”

 

Best SEO in Melbourne

Sometimes, especially in the new digital world (the one past election) we have realised that SEO is not dead, far from the dark art it once was.

Now its a necessity for a business, especially if it wants to remain relevant in the world.

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is really just following best practice rules when it comes to building content for your website. Followed by linking to that content from sites that are interested in your content. This builds trust, trust shows Authority, and trust is only provided if you show expertise.

Its a rock/paper/scissors function.

Once you show your expertise, your readers will show their trust, and once those 2 things combine, you will show your authority to the search engines. It really is that simple.

Combined you will rank higher – because at the end of the day, for an engine to work properly, it needs to provide the content that is relevant to what is being searched for.

If you think about it, that is exactly what you as the searcher wants. think about the size of the population, and the number of voices that want your attention.

A good SEO can and will charge $5000 or $6000 up to $20,000 per month (USD) – we looked at a few and found one in our home town www.splittest.com.au – this isnt a plug by the way, we hadn’t used this mob in the past.

He offers a free on-site assessment as well as add ons like targeting and reputation management (more on that later)

So we took the bait, and we werent expecting much (the site is nice but not flash like a lot of the others).

First requirement was out name, phone, etc our domain url and the urls of our competitors, as well as a post code. – and he blew us away – interestingly not something that a lot of SEOs offer was a ‘one way non disclosure agreement’ meaning we can talk about him, but he won’t talk about us.

He said this does impact his ability to get reviews or testimonials, but it does mean that with an NDA he charges more – and he said it is usually only/mostly taken up by ‘reputation management’ clients.

https://www.youtube.com/user/backlinko <– worth checking out

So, first things first, when you ‘book’ you get to pick a spot in his calendar to call you and have a chat about your requirements.

He seemed to use most of the tools we would expect a good SEO to use, MOZ, MAJESTIC, SEMrush, he also used ‘Crazy Frog’ which was an interesting experience.

So lets begin – he ran our domain and out competitors through the MOZ open site explorer, he then explained what the Domain Autority is, and also what the Page Authority is – then…. warned us about ‘Spam’ – which we didnt think was an issue, but he said it actually will negatively affect us – but luckily it was just that we hadn’t had any contact details on that page.

Next he showed us the competition, and that they had higher Domain Authority than we did – he gave advice on how we can work towards increasing ours – by getting links from sites that have authority in line or above ours. This can be done ethically by trading links with clients and providers. Optimising a page for search is an art, and we now see where the value lies

Next up was MAJESTIC – and here he showed us what the search engine sees when it looks at our site – it shows the trust that our site is blessed with and the trust associated with the links we are getting. Luckily our trust number wasnt too low and the citation number was middle of the road.

Similar to the last process he described how we can grow both of those numbers.

The most interesting part though, was explaining how we can show both our readers and the search engines which content we think is important by ‘inner linking’ – this involves linking to content within out own site using anchor texts.

This was fantastic, we put it into play and almost immediately ranked higher than we ever had in the past.

This was like a little boost in the SEO world, purely by showing the search engine which pages are important – and therefore are the pages to rank higher.

So here we had a – SEO who had eplained the inner linking and external ranking factors displayed by our competitors, next he explained how to retarget.

This was crazy, so when you come to our site, a pixel fires and that pixel gives you license for a little while to see our advertising – this is completely not how I figured that would work.

So after the pixel fires, if we have joined the ‘display network’ we can show our advertisement either in the search engine or accross its partners like YouTube.

Last but not least is ‘reputation management’ – this my friend, is one where if you have not paid a bill, or someone has taken exception to your way of life, and left some bad news online about you – Everhardt (the SEO guy from splittest) will find alternative news sources, or create them and submit them to other publishers/ blogs etc so that the bad news gets shuffled off of page one of Google.

click here

This blew my mind, I had no idea that this kind of thing even exhisted, but it seems it does, as we hinted before, these tactice are for the more cash ready people that are able to move and expand their business in a hurry.

learn more  

We were under the impression that it was all rubbish, or like meditation, but its not, its a science as much as it is an art – A good SEO can save your business and bing relevance back into your game. We recommend Splittest 5 stars – its a cut above the rest. We asked about ‘black hat’ but he stopped us mid sentance and saif ‘black hat doesnt last, its a rippoff dressed up like a house pet – before you know it that SEO will be on his horse and out of town – and then your rankings will drop – so avoid avoid avoid’

We thought that this was nice, a decent thing to say and it made us feel that his tactics were in line.

read more

Best of luck if you need an SEO, we recommend this one – Everhardt Strauss – He can be found at https://www.splittest.com.au/