Proof of Work #76

Hi from Shanghai!

Just a heads up that this is three weeks worth of updates, so some teams’ updates may seem a bit longer. No intro this week but we’ll be back next week!

Bitcoin & Friends

Jimmy on Bitcoin

Optech on Bitcoin [ed: sign up for their newsletter too! it’s great!]

  • Production users of Bitcoin Core are especially encouraged to test this latest release candidate to ensure that it fulfills all of your organization’s needs.

  • Experienced users of LND are encouraged to help test the next release.

Tony from Kadena

Kadena is building Pact, a formally verifiable smart-contracting language for financial applications, and Chainweb, a PoW blockchain that uses multiple chains in parallel to increase throughput.

Aviv from Spacemesh

Spacemesh is a programmable cryptocurrency powered by a novel proof-of-space-time consensus protocol.

Izaak from Coda

Coda is the first cryptocurrency protocol with a constant-sized blockchain. Coda compresses the entire blockchain into a tiny snapshot the size of a few tweets using recursive zk-SNARKs.

  • Izaak is teaching an all-day Zero Knowledge workshop during SF Blockchain Week with Vitalik. You'll get hands-on experience programming SNARKs into your dapp - early bird tickets available until 10/18. 

  • Paul made it possible to refer to information about the protocol state in transactions, which will enable time-locked accounts, conditional payments and other more sophisticated functionality.

  • Matthew added an OCaml syntax extension to make versioning types (for backwards compatibility) far easier.

  • Gareth fixed a bug in the GraphQL API.

  • Carey added docs for the GUI wallet, which looks great.

Privacy coins

Daniel from Grin

Grin is a community-driven implementation of the Mimblewimble protocol that aims to be privacy preserving, scalable, fair, and minimal.

  • Merged PRs: 10 in /grin | 5 in /grin-wallet | 4 unique contributors

  • In the last governance meeting, the site redesign work was reviewed, the process for how to publish the security audit findings was agreed on, and the proposal to hire a cryptographer was evaluated.

  • Yeastplume added experimental support of TOR hidden services in grin-wallet.

  • Node and Wallet milestones for v2.1.0 were all completed and a beta1 was cut. Expect another beta version imminently, and everything is so far on track for a release in mid-October.

  • Grin-tech.org domain has expired. Ignotus Peverell - if you're reading this [ed: pretty sure Ignotus is a POW reader!] , please get in touch with us or renew the domain. The community is working on mitigations, but we'd like to retain control of the domain if possible. We've provisionally redirected to a new project website, https://grin.mw until we regain control of the old grin-tech.org domain.

  • Grin v2.1.0-beta3 was released.

  • In the last development meeting, planning and branching following v2.1.0 was covered, some discussion on the TOR proof of concept, and whether we should alway be storing the kernel excess.

  • Daniel from Grin appeared on the ZeroKnowledge podcast.

  • Grin is 100% funded by donations. Please support Grin development - Donate now.

  • More Grin info here.

Beni from Beam

Beam is a confidential and scalable cryptocurrency based on Mimblewimble.

Arnaud from AZTEC Protocol

AZTEC Protocol is an efficient zero-knowledge protocol built on top of Ethereum, making plug-and-play value transmission and asset governance privacy tools for developers and companies. 

  • Our main priorities are a POC implementation of PLONK (the universal zk-snark construction we released in collaboration with Protocol Labs), the launch of our Ignition ceremony MPC (sign up here), and the final touches for our production launch.

  • Tom and Zac are at Devcon this week, reach out on twitter or at tom@aztecprotocol.com or zac@aztecprotocol.com if you want to meet up

  • We’ve been busy running dress rehearsals for our Ignition ceremony, and making changes to the Ignition codebase to make offline participation easier.

  • This week we have also been shoring up our browser extension, adding a more complete UI test harness and a UI.

  • ASK: We’re looking for people who want to get involved with Ignition. You can sign up here, or learn more about what it entails here.

Smart contracting platforms

Evan from Ethereum

Ethereum is a decentralized platform for applications that aims to resist fraud, censorship or third-party interference.

Peter from NEAR

NEAR is a sharded proof-of-stake blockchain.

AJ from Tezos

Tezos is a self-amending blockchain that features formally verified smart contracts, on-chain governance, and a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm which enables all token holders to participate in the network. 

  • TzStats has launched a Tezos Babylon testnet, Babylon is the current tezos upgrade proposal. 

  • Tezos Global Summit, TQuorum is underway with hundreds of people all over the world learning more about the Tezos protocol. The Summit will feature talks from key contributors in the Tezos ecosystem, technical workshops, and panels. 

  • Tezos Agora has launched, the first governance explorer + discussion forum for Tezos. 

  • Tezos Rust Node: a deep dive in the Tezos P2P layer

Topper from Quorum Control

Quorum Control makes Tupelo, a permissionless proof of stake DLT platform purpose-built to model individual objects that enables flexible public or private data models.

  • The team conducted another round of performance testing on the latest version of Tupelo and published the results. The upshot is that when getting transactions signed by the network at 200tx/sec the mean response time was 144 ms. The devil is in the details and you can read more about those here.

  • Additional monitoring was put on the test and game networks this week to improve escalation paths using opsgenie. The additional alerts focus on CPU usage and key processes being up. This work is part of our ongoing efforts to “productionize” the test networks in anticipation of upcoming production apps launching on them.

  • The team released improvements to the wasm SDK moving it to v0.0.13 which includes better memory handling and a simplification of the resolve interface. Additional details on the release and associated PRs are available and we welcome feedback in our developer Telegram channel.

  • Optimizations were made eliminating unnecessary portions of ChainTrees from exchanges between clients, signers, and their associated caches. The update improves performance significantly when large ChainTrees are signed. Tupelo version 0.5.0, available for download next week, includes the change.

  • The team made strides in the development of a Tupelo specific web wallet using our WASM SDK. The Tupelo wallet enables users to create, send, and receive ChainTrees and tokens.

  • Optimizations were made eliminating unnecessary portions of ChainTrees from exchanges between clients, signers, and their associated caches. The update improves performance significantly when large ChainTrees are signed. Tupelo version 0.5.0, available for download next week, includes the change.

  • The team made strides in the development of a Tupelo specific web wallet using our WASM SDK. The Tupelo wallet enables users to create, send, and receive ChainTrees and tokens.

Michael from Loom

Loom Network is a universal layer 2 hub. Developers can deploy and scale their dapps directly on Loom’s mainnet as well as interoperate with other major layer 1 chains such as Ethereum, Binance, Libra, Bitcoin, etc.

Financial Infrastructure

Nelson from Cadence

Cadence is a digital securitization and investment platform for private credit. Cadence issues tokenized assets that are digital reflections of real world fiat and investment transactions.

  • We were featured in the most recent Asset-Backed Alert in the piece, Burger Chain Tests Blockchain Deal for a $30M+ whole-business securitization.

  • Through August, we’ve now issued over $17.3M in offerings.

  • We recently launched extended authentication with Plaid, allowing our users to connect any bank account they’d like.

  • Our recently launched real-time data feature has been a success and continues to expand with new offerings and new originators.

  • Cadence Founder & CEO Nelson Chu gave a keynote at the World Blockchain Forum in NYC on Sept. 27 titled, “The Future of Securitization On Chain.” He also moderated a panel on “Blockchain & Fintech Industry Trends.”

  • We're hiring engineers!

Antonio from dYdX

dYdX is a decentralized exchange for margin trading, borrowing, lending, and eventually derivatives. dYdX allows traders to trustlessly short and get leverage on crypto assets.

  • Making various frontend improvements to our ETH-DAI native market

  • Improving reliability of orderbook and matching-engine services

  • Over $4.5M liquidated last week. Liquidators earned over $225k in liquidation fees. Check out our open source liquidator bot to get in on the liquidation action!

  • Hiring software engineers & product designers full-time in SF!

Brendan from Dharma

Dharma is the easiest place to borrow and lend cryptocurrencies. It enables non-custodial peer-to-peer lending through smart contracts on Ethereum.

  • Continued product work on Dharma V2 onboarding flows

  • Released Coinbase oauth for Dharma V2 beta users

  • Gave access to 150 new users from the Dharma V2 waitlist

Layer two and interoperability

Tieshun from Namebase

Namebase is the easiest way to buy, sell, and use Handshake.

  • Handshake was invited to present at the ICANN66 Montreal meetup in November. If you're going, look for the people wearing the yellow Handshake t-shirts!

Zaki from Cosmos

The Cosmos Network is a decentralized network of independent, scalable, and interoperable blockchains.

Alexandra from Polkadot

Polkadot empowers blockchain networks to work together under the protection of shared security.

Dong Mo from Celer

Celer Network is a layer-2 scaling platform that enables fast, easy and secure off-chain transactions for not only payment transactions, but also generalized off-chain smart contracts.

  • We finished new version of game platform page and the result page.

  • We keep working on the new version of payment history and match history.

  • We fixed bugs and improved stability.

  • We were testing and improving the new OSP functionality.

  • Operational setup for upcoming games releases.

  • We were preparing to open-source OSP code. 

  • We completed the development of SGN reward component.

  • We were working on the final checklist for launching async-game.

  • We are designing FIAT solutions for gaming platform.

  • We completed the first version of the Celer Web client and continue to test SGN components

  • We began the design and development of Q4 OSP functionality

Application infrastructure

Alexandra from Parity Technologies

Parity Technologies builds core blockchain infrastructure, from Parity Ethereum, an Ethereum client, to Polkadot, an interoperable blockchain network.

Doug from Livepeer

Livepeer is a decentralized video infrastructure network, dramatically reducing prices for developers and businesses building video streaming applications at scale. 

  • The Streamflow release is now feature-frozen and undergoing an external security audit.

  • Users of the popular Wowza media server for live streaming can now tap into the Livepeer Streamflow preview network for transcoding - pilots are open.

  • The Streamflow release is now feature-frozen and undergoing an external security audit with Trail of Bits.

  • A new staking application is now in in beta, with the goal of allowing new users to go through their initial staking experience in under 5 minutes. Give it a try at http://beta.explorer.livepeer.org

  • Benchmarks for initial GPU mining + transcoding are published on the blog.

Matt from Keep Network

The Keep Network is a privacy layer for public chains, enabling interactivity with private data and interoperability across chains. It does this with keeps, off-chain containers for private data that help smart contracts harness the full power of the public blockchain.

  • tBTC:R

    • Completed refactoring of how tBTC talks to ECDSA keeps

    • Implemented state management for ECDSA keep sMPC cluster nodes

    • Made good progress on the upgrade to the most recent bitcoin SPV version

    • Implemented a preliminary signer selection process, allowing different signers in the system for different deposits.

    • Implemented the first several steps of the redemption flow.

    • Several dApp updates in the pipe, including an initial pass at a dApp for deposit redemption.

  • Random beacon: 

    • Completed work on random beacon pricing research

    • Refined network setup to allow for nodes behind NAT

    • Enhanced validation of group tickets to cover the check of all ticket values

    • Made progress on the pricing implementation, we are currently filling in the last gaps

    • Support is now there for multiple bootstrap peers.

    • The remaining pieces of beacon group candidate selection have been completed.

    • Progress on beacon pricing as well as stake management.

    • For more updates and questions join our Slack and check out the Keep blog.

David from Sia

Sia is a decentralized cloud storage platform leveraging blockchain technology to create a data storage marketplace that is more robust and more affordable than traditional cloud storage providers.

  • Community member tbenz9 was busy this week, improving the output for the command siac alerts. It now sorts the output based on alert severity and is easier to read. 

  • He also updated the main README file to include instructions for building Sia for the Raspberry Pi

  • And added a new siac utils bruteforce-seed command that will attempt to find a missing word from a Sia seed

  • Chris fixed a community reported bug where the consensus API endpoint height and block hash did not match

  • Matthew improved the siac ratelimit commands by allowing them to accept values in various units

  • Marcin dramatically improved the formatting and behavior of siac commands when not all the modules were loaded

  • The Sia team held a community meetup in LA on Thursday September 26th

  • Nebulous still has 4 open job postings

  • Community member tbenz9 improved the output for the command siac renter -v to show current allowance details.

  • He also fixed a number of spelling errors and removed duplicate documentation in various sections of the codebase.

  • Marcin updated a piece of code called the transactionbuilder to support double-spend creation. This is necessary for his upcoming watchdog implementation.

  • Marcin also removed a few hundred lines of code that are no longer needed due to previously completed code updates.

  • The Sia team now officially supports the Sia-coldstorage app.  This wallet is used for offline (cold) Siacoin and Siafund storage.

  • Nebulous announced their settlement for Siafunds sold in 2014.  This is a landmark crypto settlement that may influence many other coins that have had a securities sale in the last few years.

  • Sia community site Siastats.info announced a new feature to obtain a csv file with all your transactions converted to local currencies. This feature should make Siacoin taxes much easier to calculate.

  • Sia community site siacentral launched version 1.0.5 of their popular host-manager app.

  • There has been a wave of Discord users impersonating Sia team members and asking for donations.  Nebulous employees or moderators will never ask you for coins, for trades or for your seed. If you’re caught impersonating a team member or moderator you will be banned immediately without warning.

  • Sia had big news this week with the addition of a new core dev, and a big exchange now trading Siacoins.

  • Nebulous hired Peter-Jan Brone as a Sia Core Developer. He will focus in extending the host and renter functionalities and building the future “payment routing” feature of Sia. 

  • Marcin removed the old Host-Renter communication protocol, that got replaced on version 1.4.0. If you are hosting on 1.3.7 or earlier, remember to update your client right away.

  • Matt added a specific API endpoint for cancelling a renter’s allowance /renter/allowance/cancel [POST]. The current endpoint is still valid to avoid impacting compatibility.

  • rishi.vikram.1, tbenz9, pjbrone and lukechampine extended the Sia documentation, improving the API and Resources documentation and detailing instructions for building the code in Go 1.13.

  • Various fixes and improvements have been applied to the miner and gateway modules, to the host database functions and to the file repair functionality.

  • Community member ScottG released the alpha version 1.0.9 of Repertory. Repertory is an app that allows you to mount Sia storage as another drive on your computer. This version enables sharing these mounted drives across two Windows computers

  • The Kraken exchange listed Siacoin, available on the standard, Pro and OTC services.

  • The Sia network reached a new record of used storage on Saturday: 605 TB.

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