Ethereum for australian students

Sydney University launched the project letting students earn cryptocurrency by making purchases via mobile app
17 October 2017   3519

A public university in Sydney tied up with the University of New South Wales and the startup LoyaltyX to let students participate in Unify Rewards program where they can earn ETHs making transactions through specially developed mobile application at stores located in the area of Sydney University. Students receive $5 worth of Ethereum for every ten transactions they make. The duration of the program is from October 6 to November 20 of 2017 and involves 500 participants.

By launching such project LoyaltyX and UNSW want to collect data about the peculiarities of behaviour of students when they get Ethereums in comparison with traditional points.

We are confident that they will find it much more attractive, but the study will give us a more definitive answer.

 

Andrew Lowe

Managing director, LoyaltyX

It’s not the first time when world famous universities use cryptocurrency to interact with students. Massachusetts Institute of Technology operated with cryptocurrency several times, distributing $500,000 in Bitcoins to undergraduate students and announcing launch of Litecoin project which was never actually implemented.

Constantinople to be Postponed

Ethereum's hardfork will be late due to critical vulnerability found
16 January 2019   196

A scheduled upgrade of the Ethereum network called Constantinople was postponed indefinitely after a critical vulnerability was discovered in one of the improvements, CoinDesk reports.

This is a vulnerability in EIP-1283, which, as identified by the audit company SmartSecurity smart contracts, gave hackers the opportunity to steal user funds.

During a video conference on Tuesday with the participation of Ethereum developers and other clients and projects working on the network, it was decided to temporarily postpone the activation of the hard forks.

In particular, Vitaly Buterin, developers Hudson Jameson, Nick Johnson and Evan van Ness, as well as release manager of Parity Afri Shoedon took part in the meeting. Discussing the revealed vulnerability, they agreed that it would be impossible to eliminate it before the appointed time for hardfork (around 04:00 UTC on January 17).

A vulnerability, called a reentrancy attack, allows an attacker to repeatedly enter the same function and infinitely withdraw funds.

Imagine that my contract has a function which makes a call to another contract… If I’m a hacker and I’m able to trigger function a while the previous function was still executing, I might be able to withdraw funds.
 

Joanes Espanol

CTO, blockchain analytics firm Amberdata

According to him, this is a lot like the vulnerabilities that were discovered in The DAO in the summer of 2016.

Representatives of ChainSecurity also noted that up to the Constantinople hard fork, data storage on the network cost 5,000 units of gas, which exceeds the 2,300 gas usually needed to call the “transfer” and “send” functions. After the upgrade, “dirty” storage operations will cost 200 units of gas, and an attacking contract can use 2,300 gas to successfully manipulate the variables of vulnerable contracts.

New date of hardfork not yet determined.