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Installing Hyperledger Besu

January 18, 2020
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Installing the Enterprise Ethereum client Hyperledger Besu may seem daunting at first but the key is to break it down step by step. The following is a set of short videos demonstrating how this can be done. a) System Requirements You’ll ideally need 8Gb of Ram and a lot of hard drive space. Around 3Tb if you want to do a full sync with Ethereum mainnet. b) Install Besu on MacOS Installing on a Mac is very quick. You’ll need Homebrew (https://brew.sh) and also Java 11 or above (brew cask install adoptopenjdk) Then all you do is run: brew tap hyperledger/besu brew install besubrew -- version c) Uninstalling Besu on MacOS Here are the shortcut commands to uninstall Besu: brew cask uninstall adoptopenjdk brew untap hyperledger/besu brew uninstall besu d) Building Besu from source Here are the shortcut commands to install Besu from source: > git clone --recursive https://github.com/hyperledger/besu.git > cd besu > ./gradlew installDist > cd build/install/besu > ./bin/besu
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Installing Besu quick commands

December 25, 2019
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besu --version //check if Besu is installedbrew uninstall besu //uninstall Besubrew install besu //install Besu (assuming you have already tapped it first with brew tap hyperledger/besu)brew cask install adoptopenjdk Starting Besu To start Besu, just type besu This will start Besu pointing it to mainnet. This means that the blockchain will start to synchronise with the real Ethereum blockchain. A database folder (where the blockchain will be stored) will appear at usr/local/Cellar/besu/1.3.8/ which is where homebrew installed besu. For testing purposes, start Besu with the network flag of dev besu --network=dev The other option is to use a config file and then specific the network, as well as other parameters there. data-path="besudata"network="dev"miner-enabled=trueminer-coinbase="0xfe3b557e8fb62b89f4916b721be55ceb828dbd73"rpc-http-cors-origins=["all"]host-whitelist=["*"]rpc-ws-enabled=truerpc-http-enabled=true Then reference the config file with: besu --config-file="/User/sean/config.toml" Note that flags in the command line override flags in the config file. For a complete list of other command line options, visit: http://besu.hyperledger.org/en/stable/Reference/CLI/CLI-Syntax/ Checking Besu network To confirm the network you are connected to, you want to query the Besu API for the net_version. curl -X POST --data '{"jsonrpc":"2.0","method":"net_version","params":[],"id":1}' localhost:8545 You can find out what net_version does along with all the other API options here. However, in order for this to work, Besu must be started with the flag: […]
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Crypto wallets live webinar

December 16, 2019
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One of the first steps when embarking on your blockchain journey is to understand about wallets because when you get your bitcoins, ether or any other token for that matter, where are you going to store them? It can be a bit confusing when you first come across terms such as hot wallets, cold wallets, HD wallets, paper wallets, or hardware wallets. I’ll be hosting a webinar this Thursday at 6am AEST running through all you need to know about wallets and more. Yes, there are thousands of YouTube videos on this topic but I’ll be speaking from my own personal experience on these matters and not what I read in some book or web article. As a bonus, we’ll also have a special guest from MetaMask, Ethereum’s most popular wallet as well. You’ll also have the chance to ask some questions as well! (It is a live webinar after all!). The intended audience are those curious about the blockchain space but have yet to venture into it, or beginners who may have some experience but want to learn some more. The webinar agenda is roughly 20 minutes about wallets, 20 minutes from our MetaMask guest and then 15 minutes […]
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Strategic planning in Atlanta

December 12, 2019
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Academy decided to hold a strategic offsite in Atlanta to discuss how to tackle the OneMillionDevs initiative and strategically plan for 2020. There is always a lot going on in the blockchain space and it is always good to get up to speed by discussing and sharing the latest and greatest with my esteemed peers. It was also a great time to reflect on the year that has been and to start planning for the new year ahead. It was also an opportunity to connect with one another, especially since we all work remotely. We cosied up in a very large house (courtesy of AirBnb) that had 9 bed rooms! Houses in America are big!!! We got down to work straight away with 3 days of intense brain power workout. We even cancelled our planned visit to Coke world. The team was always fun. Here we are looking lost outside a place called “Slutty Vegan”. The queue was too long so we decided to go elsewhere. The last group dinner on the final night. A fantastic group of humans.
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What is constantinoplefixblock?

November 25, 2019
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If you have ever looked inside a blockchain genesis file, typically called genesis.json or in the case of a private network, privateNetworkGenesis.json, you will have seen lots of configuration parameters. Some are obvious but others a little more mysterious. Take for example this genesis file for a private network: Have you ever wondered what constantinoplefixblock is? It turns out that these are called “Milestone Blocks”. In a public network, these specifies the block at which the network changed protocols. For example, In a private network though, the milestone block defines the protocol version for the network  so it is normally set to 0 (zero) meaning version 0 of the Constantinople protocol. In other words, your chain won’t be hard-forking for these changes, so leave as 0 (zero). Another interesting note in the private genesis file is fixeddifficulty which is used to specify a fixed difficulty in private networks using Ethash which overrides the difficulty field.
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The blockchain decade

November 24, 2019
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During Singapore Fintech week, I had the opportunity to talk about what has happened in the last 11 years (it’s close enough to a decade!) of blockchains and where things are going. There was more than two people there I promise! 🙂 We all know that nobody likes to sit at the front! After the talk, I then provided a live demo on how to create a Singaporean Token with a very simple smart contract created and compiled in Remix and then deployed to Testnet. Then using MetaMask to see the tokens and transfer it to a member of the audience. It was also great to catch up with Vinay Mohan who runs the Singapore office and look forward to working more closely with the Singaporean team.
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Singapore Fintech Festival

November 19, 2019
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The Singapore Fintech Festival this year was enormous. It covered six halls, more than double of what it was last year and there were some big budget stalls from some very large companies. Not to be outdone, blockchain and crypto companies had a presence also. ConsenSys was located at several places. We had a dedicated spot set up in hall 3 along with presences at the OpenNodes booth and at the Ubin booth also. Joe Lubin was also present being interviewed on the tokenisation of everything in a fire side chat. Apparently there were over 60,000 participants over the week long event. I’m not sure how accurate those numbers are but there certainly was a lot of people! It was great to catch up with the rest of the team and also to keep at the forefront of this technology and other dominant players in the market.
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CeBIT Australia and Blockchain

October 30, 2019
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CEBIT Australia is a showcase of the dynamic merger of business with technology, where it’s going and how it can help you in your daily job. I went along to see the “blockchain”component of it which was relatively small but nevertheless good to see something blockchain related. There were three sessions on day 2 of CeBIT. A Blockchain 101 workshop, which wasn’t really a workshop but a 50 min talk of the blockchain landscape, and two panels. Tim actually did a very good job with his engaging talk. The audience kept growing and was easily the largest of the “mini” zones. The panel discussion was less engaging but having said that, panel discussions are hard in nature. Here, it was basically ask a question and get 4 opinions or thoughts. The audio quality was super clear though! Looking around at the event, it seemed quite empty to tell the truth. Even the main stage looked empty. Many of the topics looked interesting, especially around space and quantum computing and automation and AI. Maybe the other days were different but I didn’t end up returning as many of the booths and the technology on showcase lacked any wow factor.
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Learning the basics of Stablecoins

September 20, 2019
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There are plenty of articles, blogs and videos explaining what stablecoins are and how they work but they all define stablecoins in their own unique way and most confusing of all, categorise them differently with different terminology. Here, we’ll attempt to bring some clarity. What is the definition of a Stablecoin? There are lots of different ways to define stablecoins and it is often useful to appreciate these different definitions to help in your own understanding. Here are some examples: Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies designed to minimize the volatility of the price of the stablecoin, relative to some “stable” asset or basket of assets Wikipedia A price stable cryptocurrency whose market price is pegged to another stable asset Blockgeeks – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3rVWLhBIPo A dollar denominated cryptocurrency Off Chain with Jimmy Song – https://medium.com/hackernoon/stablecoins-what-you-need-to-know-cb0bbf211864 A stablecoin is a type of cryptocurrency that is designed to maintain a stable market price. Binance Academy These are all valid definitions and what can be seen is that they are commonly referred to as a cryptocurrency and that they are relative, pegged, or fixed to a stable asset of some sort. Why use stablecoins? Currently, the most common use of stablecoins is as a safe haven for crypto traders. […]
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Stablecoin comparison charts

September 12, 2019
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Here are a list of some handy stablecoin comparison charts. Coincodex Coincodex is probably the best on as it provides the ability to select up to 17 stablecoins and compare their value over the time frame of your choice. Each stablecoin can be toggled on or off as well which is very useful. Longhash Longhash provides an interesting stablecoin health index as well as price charts for 5 stablecoins. Each stablecoin can be toggled on or off. Stablecoins War Stablecoins War shows the chart for 7 stablecoins but without the feature to select or unselect various stablecoins.
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Stablecoin Interesting Facts

September 1, 2019
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Platforms Based on Cryptoslate, 65% of all stable coins run on the Ethereum blockchain. It shouldn’t be surprising because it is far easier to launch a stablecoin on Ethereum than on other blockchains. How stable are stablecoins? According to The Stablecoin Index, most are pretty close to $1 “most” of the time. The screenshot below shows the deviation in the past week which, ignoring the upper and lower extremes, ranges from 1.008 to 0.9971. That is pretty good. Stablecoin Timeline Here is a brief timeline of the birth of various stablecoins. Tether – Launched in July 2014 as Realcoin before changing their name to Tether in Nov 2014. Nu (Nubits.com), September 2014. Currently trading at $0.087. Failed. Corion October 2017 MakerDAO, Dec 2017 TrueUSD, Mar 2018, CarbonUSD, Sep 2018, first on EOS Gemini Dollar, Oct 2018 USD Coin, Oct 2018 , Sep 26 2018, (From CENTER with founding members of Circle and Coinbase) Paxo, Oct 2018 Alchemint, Sep 2018 HonestCoin, USDH, Bitcoin Cash Network , Jun 2019, (https://news.bitcoin.com/honestnode-founder-discusses-the-first-stablecoin-built-on-bitcoin-cash/)
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Neat EthOn Modelling Concept

June 16, 2019
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Here is a neat overview of the major Ethereum concepts in blockchains. Ref: https://media.consensys.net/ethon-introducing-semantic-ethereum-15f1f0696986
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TutorialToken smart contract with Truffle

June 10, 2019
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If you are trying to go through the token tutorial by Truffle there are a few things to note. If you follow the instructions fully, it will not work. Firstly the pragma version needs to be updated from 0.4.24 to 0.5.0. This is because if you install Truffle, it will install the latest version of solc, the solidity compiler which will be 0.5.8 at this time of writing. Next, if you run “npm run dev”, you might encounter and error like ERR! tutorialtoken@1.0.0 dev: `lite-server`. If you do, you’ll want to fix it by doing this. Then you’ll want to make sure the Metamask is either not yet installed or that it is disabled. Otherwise the tokens will appear in Metamask instead of on the webpage. Finally, you need to change the port in app.js from 9545 to 7545 which is the Ganache port. The tutorial is great but is several years old so needs these modifications.
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tutorialtoken@1.0.0 dev: `lite-server`

June 7, 2019
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If you are going through the Truffle TokenTutorial smart contract and you can’t run “npm run dev” because you get the following error below, it can be very frustrating. You follow all the instructions to the letter but get this strange error such as: – Cannot find module ‘../lib/lite-server’– ERR! code ELIFECYCLE– ERR! tutorialtoken@1.0.0 dev: `lite-server` Seans-MacBook-Pro:tokentutorial sean$ npm run dev > tutorialtoken@1.0.0 dev /Users/sean/Dropbox/CodeDropBox/truffle/tokentutorial > lite-server internal/modules/cjs/loader.js:626 throw err; ^ Error: Cannot find module '../lib/lite-server' Require stack: - /Users/sean/Dropbox/CodeDropBox/truffle/tokentutorial/node_modules/.bin/lite-server at Function.Module._resolveFilename (internal/modules/cjs/loader.js:623:15) at Function.Module._load (internal/modules/cjs/loader.js:527:27) at Module.require (internal/modules/cjs/loader.js:681:19) at require (internal/modules/cjs/helpers.js:16:16) at Object. (/Users/sean/Dropbox/CodeDropBox/truffle/tokentutorial/node_modules/.bin/lite-server:7:1) at Module._compile (internal/modules/cjs/loader.js:774:30) at Object.Module._extensions..js (internal/modules/cjs/loader.js:785:10) at Module.load (internal/modules/cjs/loader.js:641:32) at Function.Module._load (internal/modules/cjs/loader.js:556:12) at Function.Module.runMain (internal/modules/cjs/loader.js:837:10) { code: 'MODULE_NOT_FOUND', requireStack: [ '/Users/sean/Dropbox/CodeDropBox/truffle/tokentutorial/node_modules/.bin/lite-server' ] } npm ERR! code ELIFECYCLE npm ERR! errno 1 npm ERR! tutorialtoken@1.0.0 dev: `lite-server` npm ERR! Exit status 1 npm ERR! npm ERR! Failed at the tutorialtoken@1.0.0 dev script. npm ERR! This is probably not a problem with npm. There is likely additional logging output above. npm ERR! A complete log of this run can be found in: npm ERR! /Users/sean/.npm/_logs/2019-06-09T09_13_38_647Z-debug.log https://github.com/node-inspector/node-inspector/issues/1044 As with most computer problems, when all else fails, restart, here a clean install of npm resolved this issue for me. […]
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Sublime and Solidity Syntax in 10 seconds

June 4, 2019
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If you are using Sublime, which is a very fast and lightweight text editor, to create smart contracts in Solidity, to get syntax highlighting, do the following: ⌘+⇧+P (command+shift+P) to bring up Sublime’s command palette, which is an interactive list whose purpose is to execute commands. Start typing “install” and select “Install Package”. Then wait a few seconds before another text box appears before typing “Ethereum” and select the first option. Before: After: To check that it has been installed, bring up the command palette and type “remove” and select remove package and Ethereum should appear indicating that it has been successfully installed.
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Blockchains in Papua New Guinea

June 1, 2019
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“Brave Tango 5-8-3, special ops on board, repeat special ops on board” the police officer said on the walkie talkie as I sat at the back of a van with metal grills over all the windows. “What have I gotten myself into?” I said to myself as a million thoughts ran through my head, mostly all Hollywood movie scenarios, as I was driven to meet the Bank of South Pacific board of directors at their head office in Port Moresby. I was invited to share with the directors what blockchain technology was about in a 2 hour interactive presentation session. It was a privilege to be able to share what I had learnt in the last 4 years of eating, sleeping and breathing blockchain technologies but it must have been intense for them. Lots of new words and terminologies were introduced, acronyms used and demystified, and even technical concepts explained. I didn’t want to overwhelm the directors so only shared 1 technical concept and that was the idea of hashing. Instead of defining what it was with words, I actually showed them and encouraged them to boast their new found knowledge to their peers next time they go for drinks. […]
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ConsenSys Academy at Ethereal New York

May 23, 2019
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I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to speak at a blockchain conference called Ethereal Summit in New York recently. It was a two day conference that focused on developments in the blockchain space and was also part of the run up to blockchain week where a three day conference run by Coindesk called “Consensus” and a one day Token Summit conference was held. I shared some of the work we’ve been doing at ConsenSys Academy with a talk called “Reinventing the way we learn blockchains”. Here is the presentation for those interested. I also had the chance to visit ConsenSys HQ in Brooklyn which is fast becoming a must see tourist spot for all those in the blockchain space. 10 points for guessing which graffiti covered door is the entrance into the office! If you can’t figure it out, use the next picture as a clue. I’m sitting outside on the front steps. In New York, I also got to meet the rest of the Academy team for the first time in 3D. ie “IRL” aka In Real Life. I must say that I’m very privileged to work with a bunch of very talented and dedicated people from […]
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Sydney Edcon 2019 Wrap

April 19, 2019
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The week of April 8th was Blockchain week in Sydney with many blockchain events culminating in Edcon where Vitalik and his research crew shared their vision of Ethereum 2.0 The Hackathon The week started out with a hackathon at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) where there were lots of teams hacking it out for various cash prizes. What is funning is the story of CryptoChicks. One of the most inspiring team was CryptoBeast mentored by a good friend Nick Addison who entered his son and 3 of his mates. They were all 11 years old and ended up coming third! The most important question though is what do you do with a 6 ft cheque of $2000? Well, it may not provide much warmth as a blanket but it sure does look good! On Wednesday evening, ConsenSys put on an event at Tyro Fintech Hub with a number of guest speakers. Edcon Thursday was when Edcon started and boy did it start with a bang. It actually started with a hilarious rap! The schedule was very full on where the heavy hitters dominated the first day. You had to bring your thinking caps though because some of the […]
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All you need to know about 2^256

April 8, 2019
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How to pronounce 2^256? 2^256 is pronounced “two to the power of two hundred and fifty six”. What does it represent? Computers represent numbers in binary. Here is an example where we have 2 bits, where each bit can represent a ‘1’ or a ‘0’ allowing us to produce 4 possible combinations:00 = 001 = 110 = 211 = 3 The formula “2^number of bits” gives us the range of numbers that we can represent. So 2^2 = 4, which is true from the table above where we have 4 possible values. (In computers, we start counting from ‘0’) If we have 3 “bits” then we have 9 possible combinations (ie 2^3=9):000 = 0001 = 1010 = 2011 = 3100 = 4101 = 5110 = 6101 = 7111 = 8 If we have 256 ‘bits’, then we have 2^256 possible combinations which is a really large number! What does 2^256 look like in decimal? 115,792,089,237,316,195,423,570,985,008,687,907,853,269,984,665,640,564,039,457,584,007,913,129,639,936 OR1.158 x 10^77 (this is 1.1 with 77 zeros after it). Source: https://defuse.ca/big-number-calculator.htm How do you pronounce 2^256? 115 quattuorvigintillion 792 trevigintillion 89 duovigintillion 237 unvigintillion 316 vigintillion 195 novemdecillion 423 octodecillion 570 septendecillion 985 sexdecillion 8 quindecillion 687 quattuordecillion 907 tredecillion 853 duodecillion 269 […]
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Sydney Hashgraph Meetup

March 28, 2019
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It was great to finally attend the Sydney Hashgraph meetup and meet some of the organisers. We had Jason Loh and Edgar Seah dialled in to provide an update of Hashgraph and how mainnet is going to be launched very soon. This summer in fact. The audience was quite small but that is normal nowadays as the speculative hype has died down and only the true enthusiast remain. It is fascinating to also note that the Hashgraph consensus algorithm is asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerant, ie the gold standard of consensus algorithms. It has also been mathematically proven. The technology is still relatively new and there is still more to understand about it but it is exciting to see the progress.
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