Large Philippines` Bank to adopt Ethereum with ConsenSys

UnionBank placed in the Philippines is cooperating with US-based company  ConsenSys to assist local establishments in implementing Ethereum and blockchain
27 May 2018   842

The Philippines has a unique financial infrastructure, and the banks are aware that only the upper class and high net-worth individuals can afford banking services. The main reason behind the difficulty of acquiring bank accounts and services in the Philippines is the base balance required by financial institutions. UnionBank, for instance, requires users to store more than $2,000 as default balance, and the failure to maintain a balance of over $2,000 could result in penalties. In a heavily Remittance-concentrated country like the Philippines, any technology that could provide transparency, security, robustness, and efficiency in processing transactions is crucial. 

ConsenSys and UnionBank concider that the blockchain could be the way that may cardinally improve the present financial infrastructure and ecosystem of the Philippines. Justo Ortiz, the chairman of UnionBank, affirm that the blockchain can  “crack the hole of financial inclusivity,” if accepted and commercialized suitably.

In the upcoming months, ConsenSys and UnionBank will cooperate to utilize Kaleido, an enterprise blockchain solution ran on top of the Ethereum blockchain protocol, to manage information and transactions more safely and transparently.

Our appetite for experimentation is warming the country up for significant transformational change for the next generations to come.
Alai Garcia
ConsenSys Solutions Lead, Asia Pacific

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin declared that the cost of processing information on the blockchain is essentially higher than centralized systems like Amazon Web Servers.

Blockchains by themselves are a far less efficient computer and database than technology that has existed for 40 years. If you want to talk about what blockchains are for, the answer is not simple raw efficiency. If you look at Amazon EC2 pricing, the cost of this is about $0.04 per hour. How much does it cost to make the Ethereum world computer to do stuff for you? Every Ethereum block, which comes every 14 seconds, on average takes about 200 milliseconds for my laptop seconds to process. A block has a million gas and let’s assume the average gas price of 4 GWEI. The cost of filling up an Ethereum block is $13.4 per 200 milliseconds. 
Vitalik Buterin
Founder, Ethereum

Hence, UnionBank and other banks in the Philippines that are utilizing the blockchain to act transactions have to take into consideration that blockchain technology isn’t necessarily the most rational technology to manage information. A proper solution  would have to be chosen to justify the overhead and possible cost of using the blockchain via centralized systems.

Constantinople to be Postponed

Ethereum's hardfork will be late due to critical vulnerability found
16 January 2019   79

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.