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Vitalik Buterin to match wits with chess master

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At 9 pm EST tonight, Ethereum co-founder and figurehead Vitalik Buterin will face off against chess streamer National Canadian Team player Alexandra Botez in an match event live-streamed on Twitch. 

The event came about following a series of matches and conversations held by members of the Ethereum-focused Bankless podcast and newsletter. After Vitalik participated in a handful of matches, Botez threw down the gauntlet:

Fans of the chess personality have warned Vitalik to watch out for her namesake “Botez Gambit” — a playful term for when she accidentally loses her queen. Jokes aside, the Canadian sports some serious accolades: she currently holds the title of Woman FIDE Master, and is a five time Canadian National Girls Champion. 

Not all are counting out the 26 year-old Ethereum co-founder, however. Some have speculated that between pondering Derek Parfit and solving scalability, Vitalik might be hiding some genuine chess chops:

Additionally, aside from helping build the world’s largest smart contract platform, Vitalik might be most notable as the inventor of a chess variant. In 2019 he debuted “1.58 dimensional chess,” played on a pyramidal plane. 

And what would an Ethereum mindsport prizefight be without on-chain prediction markets where viewers could bet on the outcome? Gamified prediction market Yieldwars is offering a market for the match, with winner-take-all options for either side, while Omen Prediction Markets is offering weighted payouts.

So far, the market believes that Vitalik is going to have a rough evening. Pitched as “King versus Queen,” the Yieldwars market currently has totaled only $500 in bets, with bettors healthily favoring Botez. Omen, meanwhile, has attracted over $650 in bets, once again heavily skewing towards the chess streamer.

One possible option for the overmatched founder? An irregular opening. The Cointelegraph weekend editorial team humbly suggests the Orangutan.





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Ethereum 2.0 still has a long road ahead, MEW founder says

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Ethereum 2.0 launched its Beacon Chain on Tuesday, marking the project’s transition to a proof-of-stake, or PoS, mining algorithm. With Phase 0 now in the rearview mirror, the founder and CEO of MyEtherWallet, Kosala Hemachandra, recently explained the next hurdle for Eth2. 

“I think the question should be, what is not the next hurdle for ETH 2.0,” Hemachandra told Cointelegraph, adding:

“Basically, after the beacon chain launch, Ethereum will focus on phase 1 specs. It will go through a lot of iterations similar to phase 0 and tons of bug fixes. It is hard to define a specific issue as the next hurdle since there will be a lot.”

Aimed at scaling the Ethereum network, Eth2 results from years of work and numerous delays. Most recently, facing a Nov. 24 deadline, validators deposited enough total Ether (ETH) coins to enable Tuesday’s Beacon Chain launch, thanks to several last-minute transfers. Phase 1 comes next in Ethereum 2.0’s progression, which Hemachandra believes may not finish until the end of next year.

“With what I’ve seen in the past, I believe ETH 1 will take approximately 1 yr, then 1.5 should take another 6 months,” Hemachandra said. “Phase 2 might take at least 1.5 yrs.”

Hitting the Nov. 24 deadline means validators locked up at least 524,288 ETH total across the board. Since then, that number has grown to more than 900,129 ETH. With the asset trading around $600 at the time of publication, 900,129 ETH totals roughly $540 million.

Given that ETH is a tradable asset involved in the whole ordeal, one might wonder how its price plays into the progression of Eth2. “One thing I like about Etereum developers is the fact that they don’t depend on the price of ETH,” he said, adding:

“Everyone I know is equally motivated towards accomplishing and advancing ETH2 to the next phase. ETH price went through various phases with ups and downs; however, Ethereum development has always been very consistent. I believe it will continue to be like that, and ETH price won’t play any role in the development of Ethereum 2.0.”

In line with Eth2’s transition to PoS, Coinbase recently announced its plan to launch Ethereum 2.0 staking sometime next year.