Proof of Work #72

A few housekeeping notes; We’re now running updates from Keep & Solana, two interesting new projects. As I’ve noted before, we run updates from a variety of projects with the only criteria being that they are doing something interesting technologically or socially in the space—I’m not an investor in either Keep or Solana, but am personally interested in reading their updates and seeing how they progress.

A neat thing someone built recently: PoolTogether, a lottery based on the prize-linked savings account mechanic, where each user locks up some money, and then one user is awarded all of the interest accrued on everyone else’s deposits (which are lent out on PoW’s own compound.finance, but the principal is returned to each depositor. Interested to see if anyone forks this to a rake-free version (PoolTogether takes 10%), since doing so would be trivial. In the case where PoolTogether spent all of their 10% rake doing marketing, I’d expect that to outcompete a totally rake-free version that no one would have any incentive to market.

Especially interesting updates from Sia, Grin, and the Plasma group this week. More next week!

Bitcoin & Friends

Aviv from Spacemesh

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

  • Full node: Added ed21599 signatures to transactions and made the p2p address-book persistent to store, and configurable from store. we've added numerous improvements to our automations tests and to the framework itself, as a preparation for more rigorous tests.

  • App: focus is on node integration for getting transactions and statuses and on error handling across the app.

  • Community: Made available Wasm 2019 Berlin Workshop videos.

JZ from Decred

Decred is an autonomous digital currency with a hybrid consensus system. It is built to be a self-ruling currency where everyone can vote on the rules and project-level decision making proportionately to their stake.

Johnny from Stellar

Stellar is an open network for sending and exchanging value of any kind. Its global network enables digitization of assets - from carbon credits to currencies - and enables movement around the internet with ease.

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.

  • Avery hooked up wallet GUI to interact with working daemon.

  • We sent out the first edition of our ’Succinct’ newsletter, which was a team effort but special thanks to Claire and Carey.

  • Our most recent testnet ran for 2250 blocks with proof of stake! It crashed due to some bad infrastructure code.

  • Paul added GraphQL apis for querying the trustworthiness of peers.

  • Conner re-added MacOS builds to our CI.

Privacy coins

Mitchell from Monero

Monero is a open-source, privacy-focused cryptocurrency using the ASIC-resistant CryptoNote PoW algorithm. It enforces all privacy features at the protocol level to ensure that all transactions create a single fungible anonymity pool.

Daniel from Grin

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

Beni from Beam

Beam is a confidential and scalable cryptocurrency based on Mimblewimble.

  • We are happy to announce the 2019 Qtum & Beam Privacy Hackathon that will challenge participants to leverage the Qtum and Beam platforms in order to develop anonymous assets and blockchain privacy solutions - June 19th - August 18th, 2019 - Learn more here and register here

  • [SWAP] List of cases when we need to notify second side about failures (will be supplemented) #702

  • [SWAP] Display "Swap conditions match" first before claiming "Swap Accepted." #666

  • [SWAP+CLI] - Move the all related SWAP command to separate group in help #731

  • There are 163 open issues in /beam

  • Excluding merges, 10 authors have pushed 51 commits to master and 57 commits to all branches. On master, 90 files have changed and there have been 10071 additions

Smart contracting platforms

Evan from Ethereum

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

Jing from Plasma

Plasma Group is building "Generalized Plasma", a layer 2 scaling infrastructure for Ethereum that allows for general state transitions on layer 2.

Peter from NEAR

NEAR is a sharded proof-of-stake blockchain.

  • 21 PRs across 10 repos and 10 authors. Featured repos: nearcore, nearlib, near-shell, and near-wallet

  • Streamlined our release process

  • First version of staking is complete and currently being tested

  • Deployed test version Nightshade, our new model consensus

  • Updates across all libraries for Nightshade merge

  • Bug fixes and UI improvements in wallet

  • Updated syntax in near-shell

  • Added advanced access keys in core

  • Chunks for sharding are underway in a ~1800 line PR

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. 

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.

  • Opened the 0.4.0 TestNet to the public!  It is now fully available for anyone’s use.

  • Held an event in conjunction with BerChain to demo the Tupelo platform for the Berlin development community.

  • QC team is fresh off a full team offsite where we finalized the Q3 roadmap focusing on ease-of-use and adoption for application developers.

  • Check out the PGC talk by QCs CMO Stephanie Mello as she lays out strategies for bringing blockchain and community to gaming for developers.

Andrew from Solana

Solana is a scalable blockchain that utilizes proof of history to verify the ordering and passage of time between events. It consists of a network of 200 physically distinct nodes which support a sustained throughput of more than 50,000 TPS. 

Michael from Loom

Loom Network is a platform for building highly scalable DPoS sidechains to Ethereum, with a focus on large-scale games and social apps.

Myles from EOS

EOS is a new blockchain architecture designed to enable vertical and horizontal scaling of decentralized applications.

  • Block.one published details on EOSVM, a new WASM-based VM that will be introduced in EOSIO 2.0

  • NEWDEX has developed smart contracts for fully on-chain matching and settlement of exchange orders. They are now in the process of having the contracts audited by security firms. 

  • Korean exchange Bithumb announced its plans to start participating in EOS voting

  • Everipedia launched Everipedia 2.0

Kate and Dean from Agoric

Founded by pioneers in secure development and distributed systems, Agoric uses a secure subset of JavaScript to enable object capabilities and smart contracts.

  • We are excited to announce Agoric’s partnership with Cosmos and Cosmos’ Interchain Foundation. Agoric and Cosmos are jointly creating the IBC (Inter­Blockchain Communication) protocol. IBC will provide true interoperability across multiple blockchains, and expand the market available to millions of current and future smart contracts developers worldwide.

  • Dean spoke at Zcon1 (video here) with an update on what we’ve accomplished since last year’s Zcon0, including the creation of a secure runtime for JavaScript (SES), a running end-to-end Cosmos-based testnet, the Cosmos IBC collaboration, and further work on our smart contract framework and components.

Financial Infrastructure

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.

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.

  • Launched upgraded borrow experience! borrowers can now submit orders with custom principal amounts, interest rates, and collateral requirements. We'll go out and find the lender.

  • Rolled out new community updates to Dharma telegram group and various high value accounts

  • Began working on an affiliate program

  • We're hiring full stack engineers in SF!

Coulter from MakerDAO

Lazar from MARKET Protocol

MARKET Protocol is a framework for creating tokens that track prices of traditional or digital assets.

  • We officially launched MPX and Position Tokens, introducing our first token  – leveraged BTC/DAI! Traders can start trading on MPX (ex. US for now)

  • We published Part 2 of our MPExplained educational series: Trading Position Tokens. Check it out to learn more about trading BTC/DAI tokens

Robert from Compound

Compound is a money market protocol on the Ethereum blockchain — allowing individuals, institutions, and applications to frictionlessly earn interest on or borrow cryptographic assets without having to negotiate with a counterparty or peer.

  • Helped launch PoolTogether, a no-loss lottery built on Maker's DAI and Compound v2

Layer two and interoperability

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.

Paul from Veil

Matt from 0x

0x is an open protocol that enables the peer-to-peer exchange of assets on the Ethereum blockchain.

Tony from Liquidity.Network

Liquidity Network is a transfer and swap platform for any token

  • Liquidity Network's COO Guillaume Felley will present NOCUST at the Ethereum Technology & Application Convention at Beijing on 29-30 June 2019. Let's join him there! Full event details here

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've fixed CelerX game bugs under unstable network conditions.

  • We are integrating new off-chain service provider data.

  • We completed syncing game and reward history data and finished setting up sing-up and invite flow testing environment. 

  • We are preparing for mainnet internal release.

  • We completed work on upgradability of channel contracts and migrated system setup to Kubernetes.

  • We began end-to-end system and performance testing this week.

Application infrastructure

Alexandra from Parity Technologies

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

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.

  • Private testnet is up and running

  • Callbacks for relay entries - as an application developer you can specify what contract and what function should be invoked when your relay entry is ready

  • Command-line interface for calling smart contract functions - it's used primarily for development purposes - we can call any function from our smart contracts from the command line, and execute view functions in previous blocks' context, it's very helpful for debugging purposes.

  • EIP 152 confirmed for next Ethereum hard fork

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.

  • RC2 version of the upcoming 1.4.1 version of Sia was released in Discord for testing. It features memory use, performance and UI improvements compared to the previous RC.

  • Eddie, Zach, Manasi, and Steve worked on multiple improvements on the UI, as more clear explanation texts, improved screens when creating an allowance or recovering backups, the ability to cancel the allowance on the UI and the correction of multiple visual glitches.

  • Matt added a new API endpoint for checking the current filter of hosts set up by the user: /hostdb/filtermode [GET]. On siac, this is used with the command siac hostdb filtermode. The previous command for setting a new filter has been moved to siac hostdb setfiltermode.

  • David tweaked the Hosts selection process when the renter forms an allowance, that now penalizes harder hosts with little remaining storage if the software expects it won’t suffice for our storage needs.

  • The Sia network reached 400 TB of used storage. This represents a 100 TB increase in the last 25 days

  • The Goobox app developers published an article explaining how to backup Synology NAS machines on the Sia network using their SiaS3 product: https://medium.com/@goobox/backup-files-to-sia-using-synology-nas-goobox-2f31e273bbab

Proof of Work #71

A quick note about an attack on Bitcoin that’s been observed in the wild recently. Block witholding attacks have been discussed for a long time—the term refers to two different things, confusingly, but what we’re discussing here is when someone (often from a competing pool) joins a mining pool that pays out based on the average hashrate of the pool but withholds valid blocks, so the pool misses out on earnings and potentially becomes unprofitable.

Recently, F2pool mentioned on wechat that it was observable from hashrate distribution that this was actually happening a lot. Interestingly, there’s been a proposed fix for this from Luke Dashjr for a long time, but it would require a hard fork so it hasn’t been implemented yet. While it might not be a massively urgent problem, I would love to see increasing adoption of things at the pool level which make Bitcoin more decentralized (like Matt Corrallos BetterHash) and I plan to write a bit more about that in the next issue.

More next week!

Bitcoin & Friends

Jimmy on Bitcoin

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

  • Bitcoin Core contributor meetings: many contributors met in person for a periodic CoreDev.techevent last week, with real-time transcripts provided by contributor Bryan Bishop:

  • Presentation: The Next Softfork: Bitcoin Optech contributor Steve Lee gave a presentation during last month’s Optech Executive briefings about possible future Bitcoin soft forks. The video is now available

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.

  • The Kadena team is working on stability as we look forward to Chainweb Testnet v2 in a couple months.

  • Pact 3.0 was released, the smart contract language with Formal Verification now supports modular governance, SPV and hybrid blockchains.

  • Pact API overhaul for Chainweb PR 504 and PR 510.

  • Pact support for cross-chain multi-step transactions using SPV PR 246.

  • Released JavaScript pact-lang-api to work with Pact 3.0 PR 530.

  • Chainweb node startup performance improvements PR 241 and PR 243.

  • Chainweb improvements to mempool sync logic PR 234.

  • Ability to send a single transaction to Chainweb for submitting and resolving via an internal listen call PR 231

  • Kadena CEO Will Martino was a guest on a recent episode of the Crypto and Blockchain Talk podcast to chat about enterprise blockchain.

  • Monica Quaintance explained Chainweb on NEAR Protocol's Whiteboard Series Episode 19.

  • Monica Quaintance had a TV interview with Bloomberg Technology's Emily Chang to discuss the future of blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Aviv from Spacemesh

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

JZ from Decred

Decred is an autonomous digital currency with a hybrid consensus system. It is built to be a self-ruling currency where everyone can vote on the rules and project-level decision making proportionately to their stake.

Johnny from Stellar

Stellar is an open network for sending and exchanging value of any kind. Its global network enables digitization of assets - from carbon credits to currencies - and enables movement around the internet with ease.

Privacy coins

Paige & Zooko from Zcash

Zcash is a digital currency utilizing zk-SNARKs to enable its privacy-protecting properties.

Mitchell from Monero

Monero is a open-source, privacy-focused cryptocurrency using the ASIC-resistant CryptoNote PoW algorithm. It enforces all privacy features at the protocol level to ensure that all transactions create a single fungible anonymity pool.

Daniel from Grin

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

Beni from Beam

Beam is a confidential and scalable cryptocurrency based on Mimblewimble.

  • We are happy to offer our European friends the capacity to purchase Beam using Euros, thanks to our integration on Elastum

  • We have launched a unique Web Series on Youtube, #FocusOnPrivacy where you will discover what Crypto players feel and think about privacy

  • Swaps: Fixed rollback/rescan, added addition test for TX without “change”, changed Beam Lock time for testing

  •  Wrong error in our bridge when LTC user doesn't have enough money to swap #717

  •  Add a command to get full transaction details #613

  •  Add the transaction type to transaction history #614

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. 

  • This week, we are starting work on adding note management to our client side software, to abstract away our UTXO based model from dapp developers.

  • We are also starting work on upgradeable note registries to make it easier to add support for new public token types, and mixer contracts.

  • We’re welcoming Charlie Cowan to the team as a summer intern.

  • In addition to the two cryptographer roles, we are now hiring for a Senior Solidity Engineer and a Senior Engineer. You can apply here, or by emailing arnaud@aztecprotocol.com with the name of the role as the subject.

Smart contracting platforms

Evan from Ethereum

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

Jing from Plasma

Plasma Group is building "Generalized Plasma", a layer 2 scaling infrastructure for Ethereum that allows for general state transitions on layer 2.

  • Hosted Scaling Ethereum, a workshop with developers and teams from all over the world coming together to solve outstanding research problems. Focuses on oracles, DEX, layer 1 and layer 2: 

  • Found a solution to history compression in Plasma Cash, utilizing SNARKs

  • Created a design for a more efficient rollup chain using optimistic execution, allows for any Ethereum smart contract on plasma!! Wowowow

Peter from NEAR

NEAR is a sharded proof-of-stake blockchain.

  • 29 PRs across 9 repos and 11 authors. Featured repos: nearcorenearlibnear-shell, and near-wallet 

  • Added authorized apps management in Wallet with additional UI fixes

  • Setup CI for Nightshade integration in nearlib

  • Updated AssemblyScript JSON and bindings

  • Wait properly for compiler loading in Studio

  • Basic end-to-end tests for Studio workflow (running on CI) in operations

  • Added self-call for contract-based account in blockchain layer

  • Major progress on separating large logical blocks into chunks for the new Nightshade sharding design (commits 1 and 2)

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. 

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.

  • Ongoing Optimization of Production Tupelo TestNets

  • Initial exploration of in-browser transactions (temporarily blocked by uncovered libp2p defect).

  • Moved signer configuration to file-based system making it easier to setup and maintain custom notary groups with their own validation rules.

  • Prototyped moving from BN to BLS12-381 curves for signatures but the performance was too severely compromised in the library’s current state.

  • NFT series complete please check out any you missed: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Michael from Loom

Loom Network is a platform for building highly scalable DPoS sidechains to Ethereum, with a focus on large-scale games and social apps.

  • Released developer tutorial covering how to sign Layer 2 transactions on PlasmaChain directly from native Ethereum wallets

  • Announced Loom Wallet, which will allow users to display Loom PlasmaChain assets, send/receive transactions, deposit/withdraw to Ethereum + major chains (soon), and sign in with MetaMask

  • Over 213M tokens have been staked on Loom, which amounts to ~27% of circulating supply

Myles from EOS

EOS is a new blockchain architecture designed to enable vertical and horizontal scaling of decentralized applications.

  • Decentium — a censorship-resistant Medium alternative (with a very slick UI) launched on EOS

  • EOS NY responds to reports of widespread "bot" activity on EOS 

  • Blockchain gaming company Upland raises money from EOS VC

Zaki from Cosmos

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

  • The DGaming Foundation open sourced a modified Cosmos SDK with a secure random beacon.

  • The Folks at Lunie HQ opensourced a number of Javascript client libraries for the Cosmos SDK.

  • HackAtom Berlin was insanely successful producing prototype code for WASM in the CosmosSDK, several IBC application prototypes, transferable staking rewards.

  • The Interchain Foundation released a Request for Proposals for the Q3 grants program.

Kate and Dean from Agoric

Founded by pioneers in secure development and distributed systems, Agoric uses a secure subset of JavaScript to enable object capabilities and smart contracts.

  • We had a blast working with Cosmos this week in Berlin at the Interchain Conversations conference and their hackathon. Two Agoric-related entries won at the hackathon:

    • Aaron Davis (kumavis) of MetaMask has created a plugin for browserify using Agoric’s SES that reduces the risk of using third-party packages. At the hackathon, he additionally built a visualizer for JavaScript package dependencies that colors each module node based on the level of security exposure.

    • We demoed our integration with Cosmos, running “Swingset” on a cosmos chain. In order to show our full stack, we built a simple pixel marketplace (think Million Dollar Homepage or Reddit’s /r/Place) that uses our Electronic Rights Protocol and provides the ability to color, buy, and sell pixels as well as create further abstractions.

Financial Infrastructure

Coulter from MakerDAO

Maker is comprised of a decentralized stablecoin, collateral loans, and community governance.

  • Learn Dai. Earn Dai. Coinbase has launched the Dai Earn campaign. Simply watch the lessons, answer a quick quiz, and the Dai is yours! 

  • Dai continues to find its way into gaming. We partnered with Axie Infinity, one of the biggest blockchain games, on an integration for unique Dai-themed NFTs for those who have opened CDPs. We're also contributing Dai to the top Axie players. 

  • A VERY deep dive into why people are using Dai and how it affects UX -- Great read of (and for!) organizations choosing to integrate Dai.

Lazar from MARKET Protocol

MARKET Protocol is a framework for creating tokens that track prices of traditional or digital assets.

  • Last week we announced the upcoming launch of our platform MPX. Early access is available now prior to market makers onboarding before launch

  • We published Part 1 of our MPExplained educational series: Pricing Position Tokens. Check it out to learn more about our first product, BTC/DAI

Robert from Compound

Compound is a money market protocol on the Ethereum blockchain — allowing individuals, institutions, and applications to frictionlessly earn interest on or borrow cryptographic assets without having to negotiate with a counterparty or peer.

  • Launched a Market Overview, with detailed transparency into the protocol

  • Hired two software engineers

Layer two and interoperability

Tony from Liquidity.Network

Liquidity Network is a transfer and swap platform for any token

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 wired up sign-up flow, invite flow and reward flow.

  • We refined CelerX APIs for game developers. 

  • We reinforced multi-token support.

  • We finished new functionality for upcoming mainnet release.

  • We finished code fixes, structural improvements, and improved error handling. 

  • We are continuing to work on channel contract upgradability and begin the migration of system set up to Kubernetes.

Alexandra from Parity Technologies

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

Application infrastructure

Doug from Livepeer

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

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.

  • Major stakers have been invited to begin testing on our private testnet

  • Stake delegation is done!

  • We’ve made progress on state management (woohoo, groups survive client restarts!)

  • Merged RFC specifying contract upgrade schemes

  • Implemented a network node bootstrap mechanism

  • Implemented support for concurrently running relay requests

  • Keep’s Ecosystem Growth & Innovation Lead Jarrell James joined a privacy in a blockchain panel at CogX in London

  • For more updates 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.

  • Release candidate 1 of Sia version 1.4.1 was publicly released for testing. This release introduces seed-based file recovery, several new API endpoints, changes in many siac commands, significant scaling improvements, and many bug fixes

  • As mentioned last week, community member Danger and Sia Core Developer Nemo created a proof of concept mobile app for Sia that allows a user to upload and download files from the Sia network without syncing the blockchain. Read more.

  • Sia based product, Filebase, wrote an excellent tutorial on using Filebase with Arq.  Read more about it here 

  • Sia based product, Goobox, wrote an excellent tutorial on using Goobox as a mounted disk and file sharing.  Read more about it here 

  • Community member tbenz9 released a 2nd public beta for Siasync.  Read more about the changes here 

  • The Sia network continues to grow, passing 360 TB this week.

Other

Bowen from Hydro/DDEX.io

Hydro Protocol is an open source framework for building Decentralized Exchanges. DDEX is the first decentralized exchange for Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens built on the Hydro Protocol.

Proof of Work #70

State power weakening

Normally I try to avoid speculating on the medium-term or far future—my job is to speculate on the relatively near future (5 years or so), and I know first hand how hard that is to do well. But if you’ll indulge me in a bit of long-term speculation for the length of this email, I’d like to think out loud a bit about what’s happening to state power as a direct result of technology. I also won’t bother to hide my glee about these developments—as a Jew I have a deep-seated distrust of nation states, and I’ve been dismayed by the increasing power that surveillance and weapons technologies have granted to state actors. That the tide is changing now is a source of deep joy for me, and a strong motivator to keep me investing in this space (as if the moongainz weren’t enough, haha)

The first and most obvious trend is that of cryptocurrencies eroding the State’s ability to print money. This started with Bitcoin, and was clearly part of Satoshi’s intent in releasing the Bitcoin software. Unsurprisingly, this is becoming most apparent in countries with extremely weak fiat currencies like Venezuela—and also, it happens slowly (then fast) because the fiat financial system resists outflows pretty well. But at the end of the day it’s a leaky bucket, and the cat is not going back into the bag on this one. The money landscape in Dec 2008 was entirely national fiat currencies—in January 2009 it suddenly included a decentralized digital currency. In January 2019, Bitcoin and a plethora of altcoins exist. In January 2029, I suspect that FacebookCoin style corporate currencies, decentralized currencies like Bitcoin, and national fiat currencies will all be competing, with the former two categories making up a very large chunk of world commerce.

The second ongoing trend is the inability of state defense agencies to deal with what William Gibson termed “an increase in individual lethal agency.” Put simply, the number of people one determined individual can kill if they want to is increasing and shows no signs of slowing down. From a State power perspective, this means that waging war even on supposedly much weaker adversaries is way more costly, because they can respond asymmetrically e.g. through terror attacks.

The final trend that seems to be reducing state power is the existence of the Internet as an information dissemination tool. This one is a bit of a mixed bag—the internet permits surveillance that increases state power, but it also permits people to share information widely in a way that was previously only available to state actors. I think on balance this will end up decreasing state power; surveillance will become more and more difficult as financial transactions move onto things like Mobilecoin, Zcash etc and as communications increasingly are over end-to-end encrypted open source tools like Signal; at the same time, the tools of mass influence will be wielded increasingly by non-state actors (corporations, small interest groups, etc).

One of the main differences between people who have been in the crypto space for a long time and people who are relatively new is the degree to which they understand that cryptocurrencies are inherently an anti-state technology, and need to be built from the ground up to withstand multi-state attacks. At the moment, very few if any cryptocurrencies meet this bar (although Bitcoin is by far the closest). Naval Ravikant referred to the State as the “final boss” for crypto; I agree with that assessment and think that the boss fight may be coming sooner than people think.

More next week. Especially interesting updates this week from Sia and Maker!

Satoshi’s Treasure Hunter’s Journal

  • Released the Clan Key which required users to start a chain by shooting videos of themselves outside making a clan gesture, and posting the video on twitter. To extend the chain, the next person should have someone shoot a video of them holding a phone playing the previous video in the chain, and making the same secret gesture, and then quote-tweet the previous “block” in the chain. Every tweet of this game includes a hashtag #clanchain

  • All tweets can be seen here

  • This clue will end on June 15th, and the team with the longest chain wins. So far, some of the longest chains include: #CipherToshi #steemclan #clarksonclan among which #CipherToshi is so far the longest with 51 tweets

Bitcoin & Friends

Jimmy on Bitcoin

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

  • A new paper by Gleb Naumenko, Pieter Wuille, Gregory Maxwell, Sasha Fedorova, and Ivan Beschastnikh describes an alternative transaction relay protocol, Erlay

  • Bitrefill CEO Sergej Kotliar gave a presentation about LN for the Optech executive briefing last month. The video is now available.

  • The author of the COSHV proposal we described last week has replaced it with a similar proposal under a different name.

Aviv from Spacemesh

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

JZ from Decred

Decred is an autonomous digital currency with a hybrid consensus system. It is built to be a self-ruling currency where everyone can vote on the rules and project-level decision making proportionately to their stake.

  • The May edition of the Decred Journal has dropped, covering the latest hard fork that activated DCP4 and paved the way for Lightning Network, which is now mainnet ready. It also brings word of the iOS wallet for Decred which just put out a release candidate this week in preparation for the imminent final release.

  • We also have a new issue of the Politeia Digest which summarizes the four proposals that were up for vote, all of which passed with support between 76% and 99%. The Decred treasury balance hit 617k DCR (approx +15k DCR/month) — $16.5 million (+$408k/month) based on $26.70 DCR price.

Johnny from Stellar

Stellar is an open network for sending and exchanging value of any kind. Its global network enables digitization of assets - from carbon credits to currencies - and enables movement around the internet with ease.

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.

  • Deepthi rewrote the parallel-scan (one of Coda's two core data structures), and the new code is beautiful!

  • Paul removed all the warnings from our codebase.

  • Carey, Avery, and Pranay have been pushing the desktop wallet UI forward.

  • Jiawei refactored the flow of async communication between various components of the daemon to make it more explicit.

Privacy coins

Paige & Zooko from Zcash

Zcash is a digital currency utilizing zk-SNARKs to enable its privacy-protecting properties.

Beni from Beam

Beam is a confidential and scalable cryptocurrency based on Mimblewimble.

  • Focus on Privacy - Team Beam is attending the Blockchain Cruise - June 9th-13th 2019

  • Alex Romanov, Beam CTO, will lead our first Vietnamese AMA on Telegram on June 18th, 2019, 1:00 PM (GMT)

  • Swap: changed Beam Lock time

  •  Swap: process invalid credentials

  •  Swap:  Transaction statuses change #703

  •  Swap: Rename "--swap_coins" to "--swap_init" #698

  •  Swap: Don't show help list after errors with 0 (zero) amount #704

  •  Desktop: Address book - Add ability to edit comment for addresses #623

  •  CLI Wallet: Add a command to get full transaction details #613

  •  Wallet - Multi-language support #618

  •  Edit Address pop-over should allow user to select / copy the address #608

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. 

  • This week in addition to updates to our client side library and our MPC code, we added the multisig with timelock contract which will help us administer AZTEC

  • We also received the first ever pull request for our EVM scripting language Huff by an external developer

  • Next week, Oana and Tom Waite will be at the zkp coding workshop in London. If you're around, say hi!

  • In addition to the two cryptographer roles, we are now hiring for a Senior Solidity Engineer and a Senior Engineer. You can apply here, or by emailing arnaud@aztecprotocol.com with the name of the role as the subject.

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.

  • 29 PRs across 9 repos and 10 authors. Featured repos: nearcorenearlibnear-shell and near-wallet 

  • We now support smart contracts written in Rust

  • You can attach tokens to any call and send tokens to accounts from the command line in near-shell

  • View account and command syntax improvements in near-shell

  • Feature fixes in wallet such as display username, send money, account recovery, login redirect and UI.

  • Add keys for account in nearlib

  • Switched to u128 to nearcore

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.

Michael from Loom

Loom Network is a platform for building highly scalable DPoS sidechains to Ethereum, with a focus on large-scale games and social apps.

Myles from EOS

EOS is a new blockchain architecture designed to enable vertical and horizontal scaling of decentralized applications.

  • Ivan on Tech interviewed Dan Larimer about Voice, EOS VM, EOSIO 2, and more

  • Ashe Oro published an overview of the B1June event 

  • EOSIO Labs released a WebAuthn Example Web App for EOSIO YubiKey Support

  • The Block reported that B1 has a $150M budget for Voice, its social network project

  • Block.one released a detailed "strategic vision" roadmap 

Zaki from Cosmos

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

Financial Infrastructure

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.

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.

  • Added front-end improvements to Dharma Account page

  • Lowered interest rates across all assets. The following rates are what borrowers pay and what lenders earn: ETH — 1% APR USDC — 6% APR DAI — 8% APR

  • Built out new custom borrow feature that will allow borrowers to specify custom loan terms

  • Worked with a number of CDP holders to refinance their DAI debt with Dharma

  • We're hiring a General Counsel and Full Stack Engineers in SF!

Coulter from MakerDAO

Maker is comprised of a decentralized stablecoin, collateral loans, and community governance.

  • A new Dai in Numbers report is out. TLDR: Adoption continues to grow ~20% per month. A record 1.4 billion Dai were traded in May, and 325M Dai have been generated through the Maker Protocol. 

  • Dai and gaming are becoming a perfect match. This week Maker partnered with Axie Infinity to bring Dai to their game, and for those that have CDPs, you can claim an NFT that has unique benefits in-game.

  • Publish0x now lets users tip in Dai on their platform.

Lazar from MARKET Protocol

MARKET Protocol is a framework for creating tokens that track prices of traditional or digital assets.

  • We announced our mainnet launch coming June 24th! See our blog post for more information

  • Our first product available for minting and trading: tokenized BTC/DAI positions (both long and short)

  • Early access is now available, users can try MPX prior to our official launch with market makers

Robert from Compound

Compound is a money market protocol on the Ethereum blockchain — allowing individuals, institutions, and applications to frictionlessly earn interest on or borrow cryptographic assets without having to negotiate with a counterparty or peer.

  • Added cToken API to retrieve detailed market and token data for each supported market

  • Added Market History API to retrieve historical interest rate and market size data for each supported market

Layer two and interoperability

Matt from 0x

0x is an open protocol that enables the peer-to-peer exchange of assets on the Ethereum blockchain.

Tony from Liquidity.Network

Liquidity Network is a transfer and swap platform for any token

  • Have you ever wished an explorer for Liquidity Network's off-chain transactions? Now, it comes! Head to https://explorer.liquidity.network/ to get some statistic data of our off-chain transfers.

  • We are excited to join USDC’s ecosystem to bring crypto to the masses by offering a simple and innovative way to transfer and swap crypto assets. Read more about this collaboration in the Liquidity blog and Centre Blog

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 were updating our mobile app reward features: sign-up, referral, and daily check-in. 

  • We were updating game features: multi-token and onboarding. 

  • We were testing state channel-related APIs: state migration and deposit. 

  • Stability & robustness improvements in backend servers. 

  • Operational enhancements in monitoring & automated maintenance. 

  • We are continuing work on channel contract upgradability.

Alexandra from Parity Technologies

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

Application infrastructure

Doug from Livepeer

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

Ryan from FOAM

FOAM is building spatial applications and proof of location that bring geospatial data to blockchains and empower a consensus driven map of the world.

  • FOAM Location Update and Demo Documentation, We recently demonstrated a major milestone in our Proof of Location technology by processing and validating a Presence Claim over radio.

  • FOAM.tools has launched, The Cartographer Tools are designed to help validators with voting and challenge decisions. The Cartographer Tools complement the FOAM Map and display information differently than the main map to help cartographers make more efficient decisions on challenges.

  • The Foamspace Developer Team had a great time in LA hosting a weekend of lectures and hacking sessions on Functional Programming with Haskell/Purescript and building with the FOAM web3 stack https://0mphalos.github.io/mayday-convoluted-weekend/about/

  • foam.space relaunched 

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.

  • As part of the upcoming seed-based file recovery feature, lukechampine added new API endpoints for handling remote backups.

  • Matt improved the file repair process, that is now better identifying the file chunks with low redundancy needing repair. He also improved the handling of large uploads and memory usage

  • Community member Shatnerz corrected errors caused by the 1.4.0 update on the Sia-Ant-Farm package, which is used as a local testnet for Sia

  • The Release Candidate of 1.4.1 is expected to be released for community testers imminently

  • Eddie added an advanced prompt for setting up the renter’s allowance in Sia-UI, that now can be customized for the duration of contracts, number of hosts and how much it is expect to be uploaded and downloaded.

  • Eddie added also the very anticipated dark mode to the Sia-UI.

  • The Sia team has hired Manasi Vora as Head of Product Strategy. She will focus on the growth and improvement of the Sia network, as well as enterprise business development

  • Goobox has added the possibility of paying their SiaS3 storage service with cryptocurrencies. Additionally, they now offer a free trial of 14 days

Proof of Work #69

Hi from Beijing! This is my last day in the capital—I’m heading to Shanghai now and then back to the US. Almost immediately after my last post, the SEC announced enforcement action against Kik/KIN. Katherine Wu has a great annotated overview, so I won’t go into depth about the specifics of this case, other than to say that I think KIN did a bunch of things they shouldn’t have. In my mind most of the SEC action has been against projects that are “obviously bad” and I don’t think this breaks that mold—that said, I’ve heard there are more worse things in the pipeline. While some projects have been able to work within this extremely hazy framework well, I think a lot of other projects will end up either moving to easier (mostly Asian) jurisdictions, or will simply be copied by teams in these less regulatorily encumbered areas. The fact that jurisdiction still matters at all of course means that these “defi” projects are not sufficiently “de” yet—over the next year or so I think a combination of decentralized namespace (Handshake), decentralized storage (Sia, maybe Filecoin), and an encrypted transport layer (Nym, another secret project I heard about a few days ago, maybe Orchid) may render a lot of these concerns moot by making it possible to anonymously ship truly censorship resistant easy to use defi GUI products, but for now the US seems to be a uniquely bad place to do this.

Satoshi’s Treasure Hunter’s Journal

Bitcoin & Friends

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

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.

  • Kadena released Chainweb Testnet v1 on May 30. The mining whitelist application is now open.

  • Pact-web support for importing external keys.

  • Pact-web can now send transactions to Chainweb.

  • Simple payment verification (SPV) support for Pact and Chainweb PR 192.

  • Chainweb support for Pact 3.0 API changes PR 208PR 213 and PR 218.

  • Performance testing for Chainweb transaction execution PR 200.

  • Chainweb improvements to mempool behavior surrounding transaction reintroduction PR 162 and PR 204.

  • Chainweb improvements to memory usage and stability PR 218.

  • Release of open source Haskell package for directed graphs PR 228.

  • Monica Quaintance gave a presentation on Kadena's hybrid blockchain at Token Summit 2019.

  • Monica Quaintance spoke to Crypto and Blockchain Talk about the crypto sharing economy.

  • Monica Quaintance was interviewed by the CryptoBasic podcast about Pact and other topics.

  • Stuart Popejoy and Monica Quaintance shared Kadena's roadmap on the Construct stage at Consensus 2019 (scroll down to the section with the Construct videos).

  • Kadena CEO Will Martino spoke about enterprise blockchain at Amazon's AWS Blockchain Days NYC.

Aviv from Spacemesh

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

JZ from Decred

Decred is an autonomous digital currency with a hybrid consensus system. It is built to be a self-ruling currency where everyone can vote on the rules and project-level decision making proportionately to their stake.

  • It's been a busy week on the proposal front with five currently under discussion on Politeia.

  • One interesting thing to note regarding the "Block Header Commitments Consensus Change" submitted by Dave is that it's essentially a vote to gauge whether there is support to write up a DCP as well as the actual code to be activated by a future on-chain consensus vote. That way if there is no support on Politeia we don't end up writing a bunch of code that will likely never be used.

  • Richard has also submitted the follow-up to the "Decred Open Source Research Proposal" for another six months of funding.

  • Jake has made a formal request to have some trusted community members write up a specification for the Decred DEX.

  • Ditto has also made a proposal to renew their contract for another six months and has outlined how they will continue to build upon the work that has been delivered thus far.

Johnny from Stellar

Stellar is an open network for sending and exchanging value of any kind. Its global network enables digitization of assets - from carbon credits to currencies - and enables movement around the internet with ease.

  • Stellar Protocol 11 Upgrade is scheduled for Monday, June 10th 2019 at 1600 UTC. More details can be found in this thread on our validators email list.

  • Horizon v0.18.0 is set to be released on Monday, June 10th, with an RC deployed to SDF's Horizon instances on June 3rd.

  • The Stellar Core team is focusing on tooling and changes to make it better for quorum health on the Stellar Network.

  • The Platform team is focusing on a SEP-0006 reference implementation to facilitate easy deposit/withdrawal of non-native assets on Stellar.

  • Jed gave a Q&A during blockchain week in NYC about the past, present, and future of Stellar.

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.

Privacy coins

Mitchell from Monero

Monero is a open-source, privacy-focused cryptocurrency using the ASIC-resistant CryptoNote PoW algorithm. It enforces all privacy features at the protocol level to ensure that all transactions create a single fungible anonymity pool.

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: 11 in /grin | 6 in /grin-wallet | 9 unique contributors

  • @tromp proposed Cuckarood, the tweaked version of the ASIC Resistant POW that is due to go live as part of the mid-jury hard fork.

  • New beta for v1.1.0 version of grin-wallet.

  • Last week's dev meeting was split out over two days and covered the v1.1.0 and v2.0.0 releases and migration paths in detail.

  • We're tracking Erlay, a recently proposed transaction propagation protocol for Bitcoin, and thinking about its usefulness in Grin.

  • @quentinlesceller pushed an update to the libgrin Go libary. It can now use slate versions 0/1/2, and supports the new Cuckarood cycle verification.

  • More Grin info here.

Beni from Beam

Beam is a confidential and scalable cryptocurrency based on Mimblewimble.

  • Summer is coming? Our Roadmap Update too. Discover what will be delivered by Team Beam during the next couple of month

  • Join Beam Community AMA on Youtube Live on June 10th, 6:00 PM (GMT), hosting Beni Issembert, Beam’s CMO and let’s speak frankly about Privacy

  • Focus on Privacy - Team Beam is attending the Blockchain Cruise - June 9th-13th 2019 

  • Cold Wallet 2.1.4915 - Release Notes

  • Outgoing transaction is failed when wallet receive info about expired transactions #664

  • [desktop] Show QR code in address book #629

  • Multi-language #618

  • HW wallet integration #624

  • Atomic Swap - Display "Swap conditions match" first before claiming "Swap Accepted" #666

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. 

  • Oana Ciobotaru has joined the team as lead cryptographer. Oana’s doctoral and postdoctoral researched focused on zero-knowledge cryptography and universal composability, and was most recently an applied researcher at Pegasys.

  • This week we are finishing off a rework of our proof construction code to make it easier to build dapps using AZTEC, and to make building new proofs easier.

  • Zac wrote a first implementation of Barrentenberg, an optimised scalar multiplication library for bn128.

  • In addition to the an applied cryptographer roles, we are hiring for a Senior Solidity Engineer and a Senior Engineer. You can apply here, or by emailing arnaud@aztecprotocol.com with the name of the role as the subject.

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.

  • 10 PRs across 5 repos and 5 authors: NEARstudionearcorenearlibnear-shell and near-wallet 

  • Support for viewing authorized apps from wallet and revoking access keys added to nearlib

  • Ability to send tokens added to nearlib

  • Account recovery working cross-browser in the wallet

  • Ability to configure separate network IDs for starter project config environments in the CLI deploy process.

  • Improved templates compatibility with CLI tools in the online IDE

  • New react-template created for quickly scaffolding full web DApps

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. 

  • The Tezos upgrade proposal, Athens, has successfully been implemented on the Tezos Protocol autonomously. The implementation has proven that Tezos can upgrade to new protocol changes in an automated, decentralized, and self-funded manner. Nomadic Labs proposal attached a 100 XTZ invoice which the protocol automatically minted and distributed after successfully implementing the protocol change. This exercise enables any developer to submit a proposal with their own invoice attached to the proposal.

  • What’s next? Nomadic Labs, Cryptium, Marigold, and others will submit multiple proposals for Tezos at the end of June.

  • Tezos Korea has started it’s developer program in Busan National University

  • Elevated Returns, a firm that will tokenize 1 Billion USD of real estate on Tezos, is finalizing their integration of a new Tezos token standard which will launch at the end of June.

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.

  • Ongoing Optimization of Production Tupelo TestNet

  • Work and testing on infrastructure move to protocol buffer messages completed as described last week and new release for download imminent (Tupelo v0.3.0).

  • A supplemental “Community Service” has been built which has messaging (with public storage network to come) built on libp2p for use in certain Tupelo application scenarios.

  • Kubernetes implementation of signing nodes completed as part of a project to migrate Experimental Berlin to Tupelo DLT.

Michael from Loom

Loom Network is a platform for building highly scalable DPoS sidechains to Ethereum, with a focus on large-scale games and social apps.

  • Loom 2.0 Release, Build 1085 – the team has been focusing on mainnet builds, so this has a large backlog of features for third-party chains. Major updates for Performance, Caching and DPoS.

  • PlasmaChain averaged 34K transactions per day last week (~4% of Ethereum)

  • Axie Infinity's Land Marketplace saw 3,100+ gas-free transactions and 81 ETH in volume in its first 24 hours on Loom

  • Over 209M tokens have been staked on Loom, which amounts to ~26% of circulating supply and ~$17M in value

Myles from EOS

EOS is a new blockchain architecture designed to enable vertical and horizontal scaling of decentralized applications.

  • Block.one has partnered with Coinbase to offer EOS as part of their Coinbase Earn program. EOS is also now available to buy and sell on Coinbase itself. 

  • B1 announced the upcoming release of EOSIO v2, which features a custom VM called EOSVM. It's a version of WASM that has been tailored for blockchain use cases. They also announced an integration with Yubikey and a few other improvements that have resulted in 6-12x speed improvements for EOS execution times. 

  • Finally, B1 announced its first product, a blockchain-based social network called Voice (see Voice.com

Zaki from Cosmos

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

  • We patched a serious vulnerability in the proof of stake mechanism is the Cosmos SDK on the Hub and various downstream projects. One of validator posted some details here. Expect a detailed timeline from the Interchain Foundation this week. But 72 hours from report to patch on mainnet was pretty cool.

  • Summary of the most recent IBC call. 

  • We made some releases of the Cosmos Hub software to patch the security issue.

  • Version 0.31.6 of Tendermint was released with many bug fixes

Kate and Dean from Agoric

Founded by pioneers in secure development and distributed systems, Agoric uses a secure subset of JavaScript to enable object capabilities and smart contracts.

  • We’ve been continuing progress towards our upcoming initial testnet, including new releases of our Swingset environment. The new features include a different way of handling the state of our “nanokernel”, merging Mark’s higher order contracts onto trunk, and adding new devices to enable interaction with HTTP requests.

  • We’ll be joining Cosmos in Berlin next week at their Interchain Conversations unconference and their HackAtom hackathon. Mark will be participating in the Interoperability panel and Brian and Dean will be presenting on our integration with Cosmos. Hope to see you there!

Financial Infrastructure

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.

  • Did over $5.5M trade volume in the past week

  • Crossed $1M in value liquidated on dYdX. Liquidators have earned over $35k so far in protocol fees from liquidations / expirations. If you're interested in liquidating on dYdX, check out our open source liquidator bot

  • Working on adding TradingView charts to the app

  • Working on adding DAI-USDC and ETH-DAI markets to the app through 0x

  • Hiring product designers & engineers 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.

  • Upgraded system-wide smart contract architecture

  • Began concepting and designing new borrow functionality

  • Continuing work on productizing our liquidations system

  • We're hiring a General Counsel and Full Stack Engineers in SF!

Coulter from MakerDAO

Maker is comprised of a decentralized stablecoin, collateral loans, and community governance.

  • Coindesk put together a fun explainer video of how MakerDAO works. You can watch it here.

  • May was extremely busy for Maker (in a good way!). If you missed anything, we recapped all the integrations, partnerships and events in our latest Making Maker blog.

  • If you missed any of our talks, parties or interviews at Blockchain Week New York, you can find them all here.

Lazar from MARKET Protocol

  • Continued testing the Position Token expiration & settlement flow

  • Deployed updated smart contracts to Kovan

  • Many bug fixes ahead of the mainnet launch of MPX

Robert from Compound

Compound is a money market protocol on the Ethereum blockchain — allowing individuals, institutions, and applications to frictionlessly earn interest on or borrow cryptographic assets without having to negotiate with a counterparty or peer.

  • Successfully migrated the majority of assets from v1 to v2 of the protocol

  • Announced the deprecation schedule for v1 of the protocol

  • Announced the hiring of a general counsel

  • Began preparations to add additional tokens to the protocol

Layer two and interoperability

Tony from Liquidity.Network

Liquidity Network is a transfer and swap platform for any token

  • Attention all bug-hunters! Grab the chance to earn up to 10,000 USD for finding security vulnerabilities in Liquidity Network's NOCUST smart contracts. Learn full details here.

  • Liquidity Network will participate in a meetup in Singapore on 13 June. Registration is free, join us! Click here for more information.

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 iterating new wallet UI and refined game platform architecture and UI.

  • We finished instant cold bootstrap flow and new user wallet onboarding flow.

  • We completed new user game onboarding flow PART I and improved the CelerX JavaScript SDK.

  • We are in the process of developing daily check-in GT reward UI. 

  • We completed new features for the end-of-June CelerX milestone.

  • We finished user referral & credit service.

  • We supported multi-token game leaderboards.

Alexandra from Parity Technologies

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

Application infrastructure

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.

  • The dev team has been working hard on the seed-based file recovery process, API endpoints, and testing infrastructure. It’s working well in testing and finishing touches are being applied

  • The Sia community has reported bugs that the dev team is working to resolve before 1.4.1.

  • The Sia network currently has 326 TB of stored data, and that number is still climbing quickly.

  • Chris implemented better duplicate handling when restoring backups.

  • Chris has been working hard towards partial uploads. This will enable upload streaming, modifying of files on the Sia network, and more efficient bandwidth usage by Sia utilities.

  • Community member tbenz released a new tool for Sia, Siasync. It allows you to set a local folder on your computer that have it’s contents automatically synced with Sia.

Other

Sam from OpenBazaar

OpenBazaar is an open source project developing a protocol for e-commerce transactions in a fully decentralized marketplace.

  • The Haven website is ready in preparation for launch of the mobile app. The closed beta will start once we figure out some final networking issues testers are experiencing across cellular networks.

  • Chat is now working in the OpenBazaar web version.

  • Ethereum precision work on the server side is nearly done, which brings us one step closer to the 2.4 release with Ethereum integration.

Proof of Work #68

Hi from Beijing!

As always, the Chinese crypto scene is fascinating. Last year it felt like an absolute circus—over the top parties, actresses buying crypto, conferences at massive venues—and now a lot of that has quieted down, and 90% of the speculators have exited the scene. The people who are left are grizzled veterans, who’ve survived the receeding wave of speculation and also the total shutdown of fiat exchanges in China. The number one thing that strikes me every time I come here is how many people think purely in terms of stacking Bitcoin (and a few premium alts) rather than in terms of accumulating more fiat money.

There are also a lot more truly interesting projects coming out of China these days. I was initially skeptical that the crypto scene would truly end up Asia-centered as a result of the US regulatory environment being so hostile (a skepticism shared by a lot of my Chinese crypto friends) but these days I am beginning to think that will actually come to pass. The hardware (miners), infrastructure (mining installations), and financial institutions (the crypto exchanges) are all here, and that ends up creating a fertile ground for new projects. The number one blocker to this in my opinion was the lure of cheap cash via ICO, but that seems to have come and gone, and now there are a lot of very technical and interesting teams here building stuff. Over the next few issues I’m going to discuss a few of the best ones in detail!

More next week, thanks as always for reading!

Bitcoin & Friends

BitcoinOptech on Bitcoin

  • Proposed new opcode for transaction output commitments: Jeremy Rubin posted to the Bitcoin-Dev mailing list a proposal to soft fork in an OP_CHECKOUTPUTSHASHVERIFY opcode that allows a Bitcoin address to require the transaction spending it include a certain set of outputs. This enables a restricted form of Bitcoin covenants which can be used to reduce the amount of data that needs to be placed onchain in certain situations, potentially reducing costs or improving privacy in those cases. For details, please see this newsletter’s special section about the proposal.

  • Final stack empty: in legacy, segwit, and proposed bip-tapscript scripts, a script evaluates successfully if it contains exactly one element that is true. Russell O’Connor raised a point he’s raised before and requested that this opportunity be taken to require tapscript only evaluate successfully if it ends with an empty stack. Pieter Wuille replied that his work on miniscript (see Newsletter #32) showed that, for the subset of scripts miniscript will create, this change in semantics will at most save 0.25 vbytes per tapscript. Also, although the change may simplify development for anyone writing scripts by hand, it’s a bit risky as every development guide to Script written to date teaches that scripts must terminate with a truevalue on the stack. Wuille summarized, “so overall this feels like something with marginal costs, but also at most marginal benefits.”

  • Move the oddness byte: Bitcoin public keys are most naturally specified using an X,Y coordinate pair, as was done in the early days of Bitcoin with uncompressed public keys. However, because a valid pubkey must be on the elliptic curve, it’s possible to find both valid Y coordinates (one odd, one even) for any given X coordinate given the curve formula. In compressed key format, the first byte contains a single bit to specify whether the Y coordinate is odd or even, followed by 32 bytes to encode the X coordinate. The proposed bip-taproot followed this convention and used 33 bytes to encode the taproot output key.

    This week, John Newbery suggested that we use some method to avoid placing this byte in the scriptPubKey. Wuille agreed that this could be useful and will attempt implementing a variation where the bit will be included as part of the taproot witness data. This will reduce the cost create a taproot output by one vbyte (making it the same as P2WSH currently).

Aviv from Spacemesh

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

  • After finishing to implement most of the Spacemesh Protocol major flows, we are now focused on testing and benchmarking to verify our network is tuned up to work with many nodes at scale on the cloud using our automation framework. 

  • We are doing tests and benchmarks for gossip, mining, sync and consensus protocols. Another on-going effort is integration of the BLS signature scheme into the platform.

  • On the App front, this week we integrated our Edwards25519 WASM library into the App and worked on the App's desktop notifications feature.

  • For more details check our pulse❣️https://github.com/spacemeshos/go-spacemesh/pulse

JZ from Decred

Decred is an autonomous digital currency with a hybrid consensus system. It is built to be a self-ruling currency where everyone can vote on the rules and project-level decision making proportionately to their stake.

  • Developer Donald Adu-Poku has released dcrpool; a stratum Decred PoW mining pool. Considering the importance Proof-of-Work mining has in our Multifactor Consensus system it made sense for us to ensure that there is high quality free and open source mining infrastructure available.

  • Lots of activity over a bunch of other repos as well this week including dcrdata with 14 PRs, 7 for politeiagui, dcrweb with 8, and decrediton receiving 9.

  • One extremely meta Politeia proposal is wrapping up voting and another which seeks to incentivize "biz dev" has just been submitted for discussion. We're overall quite pleased with the quality of the submitted proposals seeking to be funded by the Decred treasury, we are finding however that the stakeholders are tight with the purse strings, which is equally encouraging.

  • If you're in Berlin on June 5th be sure to drop in on our meetup hosted by BlueYard Capital. Noah and I will be attending along with a few other community members, and developer Jamie Holdstock who will be giving a presentation outlining what it's like to work for a DAE (decentralized autonomous entity) and where the project is headed in the near term.

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.

  • Corey integrated libp2p into Coda's networking stack.

  • Nathan added fine-grained, type-level tracking of the amount of validation performed on blocks and proofs from the network, catching a few bugs in the process.

  • Avery built the "send Coda" screen for the desktop wallet. Check out the screenshots on the PR!

  • Brandon got a portable Mac build working to make installing the desktop wallet super simple.

  • We've also welcomed three new team members recently. Carey Janecka, Front End Developer, joins from Coinbase. Claire Kart, Marketing & Community, joins from Ripple. Pranay Mohan, Developer Relations, joins from Snapchat. 

Privacy coins

Paige & Zooko from Zcash

Zcash is a digital currency utilizing zk-SNARKs to enable its privacy-protecting properties.

Mitchell from Monero

Monero is a open-source, privacy-focused cryptocurrency using the ASIC-resistant CryptoNote PoW algorithm. It enforces all privacy features at the protocol level to ensure that all transactions create a single fungible anonymity pool.

  • New compressed LSAG signatures will offer ~25% reduction in rate of blockchain growth, and around 15-25% speedup in verification times, first draft here.

  • The Monero Konferenco schedule is now public. (My "TBD" talk title will be "Visualizing Monero: a figure is worth a thousand logs.")

  • Researching several new schemes that may potentially replace our current ring signature scheme - Spartan and RingCT3.0 and Lelantus.

  • We now have a client implementation for the Monero wallet and daemon RPC written in Go, repository here.

Daniel from Grin

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

Beni from Beam

Beam is a confidential and scalable cryptocurrency based on Mimblewimble.

  • Cold Wallet Testnet Release Notes | Create and sign transactions #593

  • Atomic Swap - Important progress (validation for non-negative values, process exceptions, fix secret extracting, confirmation for CLI, changed BTC address version)

  • Laser Beam (Lightning Integration) - Good progress and demo almost ready

  • Cold Wallet restore - in progress

  • Hard Wallet integration #624 - in progress

  •  Desktop Wallet: Login / Restore Screens #649 - done

  •  Desktop Wallet: Add QR code to Address Book #629 - in progress

  •  Desktop Wallet: Multi language UI #618 - in progress

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. 

  • This week we released a first draft of our trusted setup code. Notably, we decided to extend it to compute a common reference string which can be used to construct structured reference strings for SONIC zk-SNARKS.

  • We also released a Loan dApp starter kit to demonstrate how AZTEC proofs can be combined and assembled, and to demonstrate in-browser proof construction. As part of this starter kit, we also released scripts to make deploying AZTEC to local networks easier.

  • The team was at ETHNewYork last weekend, where we sponsored a prize, won by the Polymath team who produced a zero-knowledge payroll dapp.

  • EIP-1108, which would significantly reduce gas costs for AZTEC and other cryptography heavy applications on Ethereum, was accepted (pending a couple of additional benchmarks) to the scheduled Istanbul hardfork.

  • In addition to the two cryptographer roles, we are now hiring for a Senior Solidity Engineer and a Senior Engineer. You can apply here, or by emailing arnaud@aztecprotocol.com with the name of the role as the subject.

Smart contracting platforms

Evan from Ethereum

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

Erik from NEAR

NEAR is a sharded proof-of-stake blockchain.

  • 22 PRs merged or proposed across 4 repos and 5 authors: nearcore, nearlib, near-shell and near-wallet

  • Initial support for app-specific keys added to NEAR Wallet

  • Support for ability to send tokens to another account, and view tokens in profile page of Wallet

  • Additional functionality in command line to make method calls to smart contracts

  • Support for setting network ID in near-shell added

  • Stabilizing current nearcore, which is released and running.

  • Implementation of economics: charging storage rent and transaction fees.

  • Continue Nightshade development: integration tests, chunk production and network.

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. 

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.

  • Ongoing Optimization of Production Tupelo TestNet

  • Final testing on a major infrastructure improvement to streamline cross-platform development. Defines the core Tupelo types as protocol buffer messages and uses those across all platform-specific development kits.

  • Removed signer produced errors for transactions to prevent attack vector of malicious signers returning fake errors.

  • Read Part 2 of our published posts on NFTs, “Digital Scarcity (Am I original? Am I the only one?)”

Michael from Loom

Loom Network is a platform for building highly scalable DPoS sidechains to Ethereum, with a focus on large-scale games and social apps.

  • Cryptium Labs goes live as the latest Loom validator

  • Over 202M tokens have been staked on Loom, which amounts to ~26% of circulating supply 

  • Axie Infinity will be running a validator, providing in-game rewards to their delegators, and fully migrating to Loom

  • May Game Release (v0.1.21) -- Relentless rebranding, updated desktop downloads, and tons of bug fixes

Myles from EOS

EOS is a new blockchain architecture designed to enable vertical and horizontal scaling of decentralized applications.

  • Block.one just purchased 32 GB worth of RAM on the EOS mainnet (likely related to their upcoming June 1st announcement) 

  • EOSIO Labs releases native SDKs for Swift and Java 

  • Greymass released the beta version of its new desktop wallet — Anchor (previous called eos-voter)

  • Decentium, a Medium alternative built on top of EOS, launched. 

Zaki from Cosmos

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

  • We released a a bug fix and ergonomics release of Gaia. This adds support for the Ledger Nano X.

  • Cosmosstation released a javascript library for generating and signing transactions on the cosmos hub.

  • We have upcoming hackathons in Berlin and Seoul

  • ICS 4:  IBC Channels and Packets is in final review

Kate and Dean from Agoric

Founded by pioneers in secure development and distributed systems, Agoric uses a secure subset of JavaScript to enable object capabilities and smart contracts.

  • This week Mark successfully implemented a particular example of higher order contracts. “Higher order” contracts allow you to effectively tokenize positions in contracts. In this particular scenario, Bob writes a covered call giving Alice the option to buy Bob’s stock shares. Alice makes a new escrow agent that allows her to trade this seat at the table to Fred, and Fred is able to verify that these are the rights he is interested in. The escrow agent code is able to treat the “seat at the table” as if it were a straightforward token, allowing us to use these “higher order” tokens in any smart contract component that accepts tokens.

Financial Infrastructure

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.

  • Everett Hu joined the team as a frontend engineer, welcome Everett!

  • Antonio wrote an overview of decentralized lending protocols

  • Shipped transaction history. Can now view a history of all trades, deposits, and withdrawals directly in the app

  • Working on adding a DAI-USDC market powered by 0x

  • Finishing up a design sprint focusing on a new borrow flow and an improved cross trading experience

  • Building price oracles for new assets, so we can add them to dYdX

  • Hiring product designers & engineers 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.

  • Launched USDC! Users can now borrow and lend USDC at 8% APR from anywhere in the world, instantly. If you're interested in borrowing or lending USDC in high volumes, please reach out max@dharma.io

  • Began testing our new 'Instant Matching' feature with early user cohort

  • Implemented automatic 8% discount for loan liquidators

  • Our very own Brendan Forster gave an inspiring talk about #DeFi at Fluidity!

  • We're hiring a General Counsel and Full Stack Engineers in SF!

Coulter from MakerDAO

Maker is comprised of a decentralized stablecoin, collateral loans, and community governance.

  • Dai has been added to Coinbase

  • Maker is helpful fuel the DeFi movement. Read more.

  • We're sharing the details of the most recent update (MCD v0.2.6) on Kovan testnet as we track toward Multi-Collateral #Dai. This update covers the CDP Portal, Governance Dashboard, Testchain DSS deployment scripts and new developer guides.

  • We've partnered with Experimental to have Dai integrated into their game, CryptoWars.

Lazar from MARKET Protocol

MARKET Protocol is a framework for creating tokens that track prices of traditional or digital assets.

  • We reached a big milestone this week, our platform is feature complete for launch!

  • Deployed updated platform to staging environment on Kovan, mainnet to follow

  • Still finalizing our solidity refactor based on recommendations from our security audit

  • Drafted an update to our website to support MPX and minting platform launch

Robert from Compound

Compound is a money market protocol on the Ethereum blockchain — allowing individuals, institutions, and applications to frictionlessly earn interest on or borrow cryptographic assets without having to negotiate with a counterparty or peer.

  • Launched Compound v2, and began migrating users 

  • Released mainnet contract addresses & documentation for developers to build applications on top of Compound

Layer two and interoperability

Rahul from 0x

0x is an open protocol that enables the peer-to-peer exchange of assets on the Ethereum blockchain.

  • Check out our educational videos around the 0x smart contracts

  • Awarded Mine Auction the 0x price at ETH NY, a marketplace for trading staking contracts

  • New Relayer Report, digging into the AugurLite fork, 0x at ETH New York, and ENS support on Emoon

Tony from Liquidity.Network

Liquidity Network is a transfer and swap platform for any token

  • Liquidity Network has the honor of being a platinum sponsor for the Crypto Valley Conference 2019 from 24th - 26th June 2019 at Zug, Switzerland

  • Liquidity Network is running a survey to collect users' opinions about current exchange ecosystem. Please participate here

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 refactored game platform architecture, to clearly distinguish different game modes. 

  • We've finished on-chain dispute process on iOS and fixed issues and improved app based on ETHNewYork feedback. 

  • We are in the process of developing new wallet UI. 

  • We implemented design reviews and started implementing features for end-of-June milestone. 

  • Fast-track cold bootstrap for new users and upgradable cChannel on-chain contracts. 

  • System stress testing and identified improvements on our backend system.

Alexandra from Parity Technologies

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

Application infrastructure

Wes from Theta

Theta is an end-to-end infrastructure for decentralized video streaming.

  • Added Ledger/Trezor support for Theta mainnet to the Theta web wallet

  • Added support for automatic tokens splits between video relayers and streamers/content creators

  • CTO Jieyi Long presented his paper “Scalable BFT Consensus Mechanism Through Aggregated Signature Gossip” at IEEE crypto conference in Seoul

  • Theta Fuel (TFUEL) listed on Binance

Doug from Livepeer

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

  • The Livepeer node now supports builds for its upcoming release in Linux, Windows, and OS X.

  • Participation rate in the protocol has surpassed 40% of all LPT staked - on the path to the 50% target before inflation rate begins reducing itself.

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.

  • Luke worked on the seed-based file recovery feature: asynchronous upload of metadata snapshots and synchronization of these snapshots across the hosts have been added

  • Chris added the ability to cancel ongoing downloads and uploads to Sia

  • Matt worked on multiple MRs oriented to improve the file repair process

  • Internal tests by Nebulous are revealing a great improvement in scalability: in the next version, 15+ TB will be able to be uploaded per renter node

  • Luke updated his `us` library to allow FUSE capabilities (https://www.reddit.com/r/siacoin/comments/bryifi/writeable_fuse_demo/). Thanks to this, a local directory connected to Sia can be mounted on the system, enabling operations like uploading data to internet directly from Sia hosts. It also better handles small files and document edits, by bundling them before sending them to Sia.

  • Community member @tbenz9 published a proof-of-concept script for storing automatically on Sia security camera footage (an ideal use case of Sia): https://www.reddit.com/r/siacoin/comments/brr0xs/a_rudimentary_guide_how_to_automatically_store/

  • Stay up to date with all the latest in our Discord server - https://discord.gg/sia

Other

Ari from Decentraland

Decentraland is a virtual world where you can build and explore 3D creations, play games and socialize.

  • Last week, we released an update to the Builder allowing users to export their scenes for use with the SDK.

  • Currently testing Picture Frame support for additional third-party NFTs.

  • Testing and optimizing the performance of loading scenes in the Unity-based Decentraland Client.

  • Released various minor bug fixes to improve click actions and animations in the SDK.

Sam from OpenBazaar

OpenBazaar is an open source project developing a protocol for e-commerce transactions in a fully decentralized marketplace.

  • Corey integrated libp2p into Coda's networking stack.

  • Nathan added fine-grained, type-level tracking of the amount of validation performed on blocks and proofs from the network, catching a few bugs in the process.

  • Avery built the "send Coda" screen for the desktop wallet. Check out the screenshots on the PR!

  • Brandon got a portable Mac build working to make installing the desktop wallet super simple.

  • We've also welcomed three new team members recently. Carey Janecka, Front End Developer, joins from Coinbase. Claire Kart, Marketing & Community, joins from Ripple. Pranay Mohan, Developer Relations, joins from Snapchat. 

Loading more posts…