Proof of Work #67

Hi from muggy Hong Kong! I first came here when I was a student at Peking University in Beijing—someone messed up my visa filing, and I was only allowed to stay in the Mainland for 3 months at a time, so my college periodically flew me to HK so that I could set foot on “not-China-for-this-particular-purpose-but-totally-China-otherwise” ground and then come straight back. I remember pressing my face up against the window of a cab to see the neon lights of some street in Kowloon through sheets of rain so heavy it felt like we were underwater, and being ecstatic that there was a city in the world like this, wide awake at 3AM. Of the two big Asian city-states, I strongly prefer ultra-capitalist HK to Singapore, and I also particularly love the Bitcoin scene here, something which I’ll write at length about some other time.

Today I’d like to highlight an interesting contribution from friend-of-PoW Jeremy Rubin, both as a cool thing in and of itself, and as an example of how Bitcoin development works. Bitcoin’s slow adoption of new features is often misunderstood as Bitcoin development itself being stalled, when actually its very active, but just unusually conservative in service of keeping Bitcoin chain security as high as possible.

In this BIP draft, Jeremy proposes a constrained and minimal type of covenant be added to Bitcoin. Covenants are essentially a type of restriction on where a given set of coins can be spent. They’re a very useful smart-contract primitive, which would enable things like “vaults” which could protect your Bitcoin from being easily spent by someone who got your private key (details in the linked paper), but have the downside of potentially enabling someone to mint BTC that can only ever be spent to specific addresses. There was some worry that this might enable e.g. a nation state to demand that all BTC held by its citizens enter into covenants that only allowed it to be spent among pre-approved addresses, for example.

Jeremy’s version of covenants are wrapped with a multisig-based key which can pre-empt/nullify the covenant. Further, they don’t allow arbitrary ouputs to be added—all outputs must be specified at construction, which means these covenants can only be used to expand to a finite number of steps, which alleviates a lot of the fungibility worries. Finally, in this proposal, “covenants are restricted to be spendable as a single input only, preventing the 'half spend' problem.”

These limited covenants get us some pretty neat things, though. First, you can use them to essentially commit a bunch of future payments in a single transaction during a time when fees are especially high, and then expand the payments (confirming them on chain) either in one or multiple tiered steps, when fees are lower. Similarly you can use them to instantiate a bunch of channels instead of payments, which allows instant liquidity for the coins involved. These covenants can also be used to create a construction very similar to the “vaults” in the initial covenants paper, and also have some benefits for implementing trustless CoinJoin, a privacy preserving aggregation technique.

Whether or not Jeremy’s BIP will make it into Bitcoin is unclear at this point—the proposal is very new and will definitely receive a lot of feedback and tweaks. However, it’s a great example of how you can add interesting features to Bitcoin while avoiding compromise of BTC’s core value proposition—a trustless store of value with high on-chain security. I’ll track this BIP as it makes its way through the approval process and provide commentary in future newsletters.

In another interesting development, Veil (a prediction market interface initially built to execute onto Augur) has forked the Augur codebase and removed the decentralized oracle part (enabling market creators to choose an oracle, including the Augur oracle itself, or a centralized one instead) and thereby have also removed REP. This (ETH projects forking out somewhat unnecessary ERC20 tokens) is something I expected to see sooner, and I’m very curious to watch it develop with Veil. A skeptic would say that this move is likely to end up with a lot of people using centralized oracles, essentially obviating the need for a blockchain at all—an optimist would say that other decentralized oracles without tokens will become available, and there will be increased liquidity as a result of removing the REP requirement. Watch this space!

Thanks as always for reading—more next week!

Bitcoin & Friends

Jimmy and Optech on Bitcoin

  • Proposed anyprevout sighash modes: two weeks ago, Anthony Towns posted a proposed BIP to the Bitcoin-Dev and Lightning-Dev mailing lists for consideration.

  • talk by Andrew Poelstra about the cryptography used in cryptocurrencies.

  • panel by Rodolfo Novak, Elaine Ou, Adam Back, and Richard Myers about using Bitcoin without direct access to the Internet.

  • panel by Will O’Beirne, Lisa Neigut, Alex Bosworth with moderation by Leigh Cuen discussing the future of LN, mostly the short-term and medium-term conclusion of current development efforts surrounding the LN 1.1 specification.

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.

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.

  • Marco was showing off dcrd and dcrwallet running on RISC-V after getting the Go tooling working. Considering all the x86 CPU exploits popping up lately many of us are very excited about the prospect of being able to run Decred on open hardware.

  • Jake gave a talk at Consensus providing an overview and update on the project. Brady Dale of Coindesk live-tweeted it for those who were unable to attend the festivities in New York.

  • Raedah Group has released a new beta for the Decred wallet for iOS, and it's available on TestFlight for anybody that wants to give it a spin. Feel free to file any issues on GitHub if you run into them.

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.

  • Quite a busy week for Team Beam with the following releases:

    • Bright Boson 2.1.4910 - with some cool privacy-oriented new features and improvements

    • Bright Boson 2.1.0 Android - adding here the following features: proof of payment, privacy mode to hide amounts, fingerprint recognition and many more…

    • Bright Boson 2.2.17 iOS - third release for our iOS wallet with some super cool new features i.e.: QR code that can include the amount of Beams and the UTXO info that can be hidden in the privacy mode

  • Meet Beam’s CEO Alexander Zaidelson in Moscow at the Russian Blockchain Week, May the 22nd, 2019

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 total PRs merged or proposed across three repos with 4 authors: nearcore, nearlib and near-wallet

  • NEAR hosted and/or participated in several events for consensus week in NYC. Here are the recorded live streams (youtube versions available next week):

  • The first NEARathon has concluded. Judging and winners announcement here

  • Application/Dev Layer

    • Implemented economics that deducts fees directly from the balance instead of using gas/mana

    • Implemented RLP in assemblyscript.

    • Added testing to near-runtime-ts.

    • Wallet

      • Completed phone verification UI

      • Integrated phone verification with blockchain

      • Integrated app-specific access keys into the wallet

      • Introduced common request error handling components

    • Nearlib

      • Make continuous integration tests work with shared TestNet

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. 

  • Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong, gives an update on the performance of Coinbase Custody’s Tezos staking infrastructure

  • Tezo Asia 2019 - The Future Frontier of Blockchain Technology has been announced. This all day conference will be hosted by Tezos Southeast Asia and Tocqueville Group on June 7th.

  • Tezos Commons hosted it’s first Tezos Meetup in India, Bangalore with over 80 participants attending to learn more about Tezos and the ecosystem.

  • Tezos first proposal update: The first amendment proposed for Tezos will reach a Quorum of 81.39% this week with the majority voting “yay.” Subsequently, the Tezos protocol will activate the new protocol automatically, signalling the first protocol upgrade in Tezos history from coordination amongst the broad Tezos community.

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.

Myles from EOS

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

  • EOS savings fund (eosio.saving contract) was burned

  • EOS New York put forth a proposal to reward and incentivize voters on EOS

  • Dan Larimer published a new proposal for a highly liquid stablecoin 

  • dGoods (EOS-native NFT standard) v1.0 released

  • Everipedia published their EOS UTXO protocol

  • Block.one's June 1st event will be live-streamed 

  • We debuted our new bi-weekly EOS Update newsletter (subscribe for more in-depth updates)

Zaki from Cosmos

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

  • The Cosmos Hub reference implementation was split into it's own repo from the Cosmos SDK. Meet Gaia.

  • PolychainLabs release Tenderseed, a stateless P2P seed node for Tendermint chains.

  • We announced our Seoul Hackathon.

  • Poloniex announced the intention to support Cosmos staking.

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.

  • Our team grew! We’d like to welcome four new hires: Michael Fig, Chris Hibbert, Tatyana Roberts, and Paul Walton. They will be contributing in engineering, operations, and business development.

  • We’ve been hard at work on our testnet, building on our “SwingSet” environment.

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.

Coulter from MakerDAO

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

  • Latin America Community Lead Mariano DiPietra discussing Dai helping the economy in places like Venezuela

  • Business Development Associate Jennifer Senhaji on stage discussing our 165+ Dai integrations

  • Nik Kunkel, Head of Backend Services, on a panel for decentralized stablecoins

  • Maker COO Steven Becker helped wrap up Consensus 2019 by chatting DeFi on stage with Placeholder VC's Chris Burniske

  • Watch Head of Business Development Greg DiPrisco explain how Dai will go beyond banks

Lazar from MARKET Protocol

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

  • Continued progress with our security audit prior to MARKET Protocol mainnet release

  • Added trade order validation flow to MPX UI and checks

  • Implemented new email verification and onboarding screens

  • Migrated from Redis to Postgres database

  • Implemented needed functionality for user notification system

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.

  • Continued alpha-testing Compound v2

Layer two and interoperability

Paul from Veil

Veil is a peer-to-peer prediction market and derivatives platform built on top of Augur, 0x, and Ethereum.

  • Launched markets on the 2020 US Democratic nomination denominated in Dai. Trade here.

  • Deployed a custom version of Augur called AugurLite to support Dai markets.

  • Published a blog post with details about AugurLite and how we use it.

Tony from Liquidity.Network

Liquidity Network is a transfer and swap platform for any token

  • LQD can now be traded on Uniswap.

  • New bounty on Gitcoin! Developers wanting to start with Liquidity can create a Liquidity Burner, a fork of the awesome Burner wallet!

  • Liquidity Canvas competition is back, full details can be found 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 finished fully decentralized turn-based game and wallet import flow with off-chain state syncing. 

  • We released Alpha Mainnet version. 

  • Operational readiness for ETHNewYork users. 

  • System improvements, bug fixing, and monitoring scripts. 

  • Continue R&D design & planning for end-of-June milestone.

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. 

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.

  • Multiple bug fixes were implemented this week, including some related to the recovery of contracts from backups, redundancy of files and the host-renter negotiation of contracts.

  • The team is finishing some blocking elements necessary for the 1.4.1 release.

  • ChrisSchinnerl started working on Partial Uploads, which will be featured on version 1.4.2. This will allow renters to just upload the changes of a file, instead of the whole file, after each file modification, representing considerable savings for the renter on files frequently updated.

  • Two new S3-compatible API projects, both built on Sia, have launched today. Filebase and Goobox both allow you to easily store files backed by the decentralized cloud. No messing with crypto, no waiting for a blockchain to sync.

  • Community member @Rezant released an online troubleshooting tool for hosts on SiaCentral that attempts to connect to the host and verifies its correct configuration: https://troubleshoot.siacentral.com/

  • Swing by our Discord to keep up with all the latest: https://discord.gg/sia

Other

Sam from OpenBazaar

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

  • Ethereum precision work continues on server and client side in order to integrate ETH for the upcoming 2.4 release.

  • Lots of behind the scenes work - both development and logistics - to get prepped for the Haven beta launch.

China & Asia Updates

Mining 🔨

  • WhatsMiner announced its new flagship miner M20 in Hangzhou, with a foundry service from Samsung

  • Recent BitMain hash rate disclosure shows that its SHA256 hashrate is down almost 90% from last month ... 🧐 it is unlikely due to massive farm shut-downs since mining is super profitable now, so most likely a spin-out of its mining business or some other kind of hashrate re-allocation

  • Another notable personnel update of Bitmain is that its Chief Economist Chuanwei Zhou, recently quit Bitmain to join WxBlockchain. Before Bitmian, Zhou was a researcher at the People’s Bank of China  

Trading/Exchanges 💰

  • There is an unconfirmed rumor about HitBTC exit scamming, as many have been experiencing withdrawal issues for more than a month

  • Former BCH team is now working with Coinex on its own public chain, Coinex Chain. Note that Coinex is founded by the former founder of one of the largest BTC mining pools, ViaBTC, who is also a close friend of Jihan

Misc

  • Samsung is going big into both ASIC foundry services for mining and end user blockchain application with its Galaxy 10

  • HTC plans to implement a native Bitcoin full node on its next generation of EXODUS 1s

  • The biggest non-custodial wallet in Asia, ImToken, launched its native DEX in beta, based on both Kyber and 0x. ImToken has close to 10M registered users and is the biggest ERC-20 and ETH wallet in the world

Proof of Work #66

"The Street finds its own uses for things"

—William Gibson

Sometimes it takes a while, though. Most of the world still doesn’t own any crypto, or even really understand what it is. An interesting thing about Bitcoin is that unlike other technologies (VR, e.g.) where someone who was directionally correct (VR in some form will almost certainly be incredible) but had the timing wrong gets completely wrecked, with Bitcoin early adopters are rewarded, and as adoption continues, the price continues to climb. Even if massive adoption doesn’t happen as fast as people want it to, a patient HODLer is likely to be rewarded, especially if BTC continues to adopt provably good new tech (like e.g. Schnorr).

I’ve noticed this kind of slow, creeping adoption a lot more over the past few months. More and more people know what Bitcoin is, or have a rough idea. A much smaller percentage of them maybe bought some on Coinbase or Cash.app. Today I went to a really cool event at MIT where a time capsule was unveiled 15 years early—the story being that Ron Rivest (the R in RSA) designed a tricky puzzle that involved an intrinsically sequential computation (in order to resist efforts at leveraging massively parallel computation) that was intended to take around 35 years to solve based on Moore’s Law estimations. Two teams managed to solve it faster (one slightly after the other, one with pure software and commodity hardware, one with an FPGA) and the winning guy immediately stamped his proof of solution on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain in an OP_RETURN, and then again on the BTC blockchain (this time in an actual block header, swag, with the help of a big mining pool).

No one seemed to bat an eye at this. Of course you stamp things on the Bitcoin blockchain when you want to have a time-based proof that something happened. As one does! This type of thing seems to fall in line with the idea that Bitcoin blockspace will remain a valuable commodity even in the post-coinbase reward era.

Sorry for the lateness of today’s newsletter—post-Consensus stuff pushed it back a few days. Congrats to the teams that sent updates in!

Bitcoin & Friends

Jimmy on Bitcoin

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

  • Taproot proposal soft fork discussion: several replies were posted to the Bitcoin-Dev mailing list in response to bip-taproot and bip-tapscript.

  • Addition of derivation paths to BIP174 PSBTs: Stepan Snigirev posted a suggestion to the Bitcoin-Dev mailing list to allow PSBTs to include the BIP32 derivation path for the public keys used to generate the change output’s address.

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.

  • Lightning Network transactions are now supported on Decred mainnet. Our hard fork went off as planned on May 9th and since then a transaction making use of the new rules has been executed, meaning anyone who has not upgraded to v1.4 is now forked off the network.

  • The Politeia proposal to decentralize the treasury funds has also passed with 97.48% support, authorizing the team to implement Marco's design and vest the final bit of sovereignty with the stakeholders.

  • April's edition of the Decred Journal has landed, covering all project activities including the 292 active PRs and 477 commits with 96k additions and 50k deletions spread across over two dozen contributors last month.

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

Paige & Zooko from Zcash

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

Daniel from Grin

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

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 fixed a bug with confidentialTransferFrom, which made it impossible for contracts to spend notes.

  • Our work on the trusted setup MPC is progressing well, we will be running a full mock MPC at the end of this month.

  • We have been continuing our house keeping, by refactoring our tests to use a local trusted setup database instead of a hosted one, and simplifying proof construction.

  • 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.

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

    • Testnet v0.2.1 with nodes having improved ability to restart and rejoin signing

    • Cross-repo integration tests extended in CI

    • Enhancements to the reliability of performance benchmarking

  • RPC improvements (GetTokenBalance / SignatureValidation on Import)

  • In progress on listening service to trigger events on state changes

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 Trezor support for PlasmaChain staking, so users can delegate directly from their hardware wallets

  • Completed the Loom SDK Q1 2019 Security Audit by Trail of Bits

  • New developer tutorial on how to create a fast, gasless ERC20 payment system on PlasmaChain

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’re very pleased to announce that we’ve secured $4 million in new funding from Ripple’s Xpring, gumi Cryptos Capital, Kilowatt Capital, MetaStable Capital, Outlier Ventures, Lemniscap, Rockaway Blockchain and the Interchain Foundation, as well as additional funding from the Electric Coin Company (sometimes referred to as the Zcash Company, the for-profit institution behind the privacy-focused cryptocurrency zcash), Naval Ravikant and Polychain.

  • Dean gave an impassioned speech on smart contracts at the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) Spring Symposium. Dean explained that the ultimate vision for smart contracts is to bring the entire economy of the world online. “The diverse, vibrant world economy”, he said, “needs high integrity computation, a security model that works for software components, broad scope and interoperability with other chains.”

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.

  • USDC is now available to borrow and lend on dYdX!

  • dYdX did over $2.4M of 24H trading volume over the weekend

  • Working on adding trade history to the product

  • Kicking off a design sprint to improve parts of our UI

  • Work trialed an engineering candidate

  • Hiring 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.

  • We're looking for 20 volunteers to help us test a new feature on Dharma. Reach out to brendan@dharma.io if interested

  • We've continued our strong growth in May, with over 1m USD borrowed this month to date

  • Planning a new round of smart contract audits for June, that will audit new functionality we've released since the audits last year

Coulter from MakerDAO

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

  • Maker CEO Rune Christensen penned a blog on common misconceptions around the Stability Fee. Worth a read if you've ever thought "The Stability Fee is too high!" 

  • A guide to Multi-Collateral Dai titled "MCD 101" was put together by Kenton Prescott, helping give an overview of the smart contracts in the Dai Credit System. 

  • Whisp joined our weekly community call (which is public for anyone to tune in to!) in order to showcase their v1 of their product which is a payroll platform for remote workers. 

  • We partnered with Airtm to add Dai into their platform, helping bring financial stability to individuals in regions suffering from hyperinflation. Maker is also contributing 10,000 Dai to their AirDrop Venezuela campaign! Read more.

Lazar from MARKET Protocol

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

  • Continued progress with our security audit prior to mainnet release of MARKET Protocol

  • Built out framework for MPX notifications, including user actions to orders, rewards, and on-chain transactions

  • Refined notifications and alerts that our development team receives from our production systems

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.

  • 0x will be at ETH New York - we will be sponsoring a few prizes at the hackathon, including a joint prize with Wyre

  • We are looking for some SF based devs to participate in a focus group about our documentation 

  • New ZEIP around property based orders, enabling the trading of NFTs around properties as opposed to the exact ID number 

Tony from Liquidity.Network

Liquidity Network is a transfer and swap platform for any token

  • Fixing server bugs

  • Testing server performance

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 Gomoku off-chain payment flow and off-chain state exchange and co-signing. 

  • We've refined CelerX JS APIs and finished dispute implementation spec.

  • We completed the setup of a Mainnet backend stack and the on-chain play SDK API. 

  • We opensourced Celer dApp Contract with template developer code and example applications.

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 development team spent this week improving the scalability, speed, and reliability of renters with large amounts of files. Ongoing scalability tests are ongoing, with a live renter already at 10 TB and growing.

  • The new global ratelimits feature will allow a renter to set bandwidth limits for Sia.

  • Chris’ final MR for renaming a directory was merged.

  • Matt better categorized InactiveContracts into Renewed and Disabled, to give a more granular view of your uploaded data and money spent.

  • Chris has been working hard on the “partial-uploads” branch which will allow for upload streaming.

  • The April 2019 Community update was posted: https://blog.sia.tech/sia-community-update-april-2019-f683812b4245

  • Siacoin was added to SouthXchange https://twitter.com/southxchange/status/1124000655289589760

  • Swing by our Discord to keep up with all the latest: 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.

Sam from OpenBazaar

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

  • The OB1 team was on a work retreat in Portland last week. We're working on the final push to get the Haven app into open beta testing, and also working on Ethereum integration on the OpenBazaar client side.

Proof of Work #65

Hi from sunny Boston!

Binance suffered a hack yesterday, the specifics of which remain unclear. Some combination of multiple techniques allowed the hacker(s) to send themselves a single giant transaction of >7000 BTC to an address under their control, from the Binance hot wallet. Binance announced that this would be 100% covered from their insurance fund, and that no user funds would be affected.

Jeremy Rubin, a BTC core dev and friend-of-the-newsletter had the following suggestion

You can replace “reveal the private keys” (which would allow miners to make their own transactions spending the hacker’s coins to miner addresses) with “create a double-spend of the hack transaction back to a Binance-controlled wallet, and add a massive fee—700 BTC? 7000 BTC?—to incent miners to reorg the chain to reflect the Binance transaction rather than the hacker’s transaction.”

This suggestion was made when roughly 50 blocks had elapsed, so what Jeremy was suggesting would require a massive amount of hashpower to pull off. It’s also not a new suggestion (the wonderful Bitmex Research pointed to this thread) and so far it’s never actually been tried. In general, sentiment in the community was so massively against this move that it probably would have caused a chainsplit, and therefore been untenable.

However, would it be advisable for an exchange who has just been hacked and realizes it VERY rapidly to try this after only 2-3 blocks have elapsed? The bitcoin chain is reorg-ed by a few blocks occasionally in the course of normal mining, which is part of how the “wait 6 confirmations” rule came about. If the exchange noticed the hack within 2 blocks, or even before it made it out of the mempool, and immediately submitted a competing transaction with a much higher fee, I don’t think most of the community would have any problem with it. However, if exchanges started doing this frequently, they would perhaps be incentivizing miners to hack them, since the miners know that the exchange will attempt to “burn” the hacked funds into fees…

Anyway, this story has an uneventful and perhaps happy ending:

So for now, this has been a koan-like lesson on the nature of Nakamoto consensus and its lack of transaction finality, but we didn’t get to see how Bitcoin would behave in a particularly extreme scenario.

More next week, as always thanks for reading!

Bitcoin & Friends

Optech on Bitcoin

  • Bitcoin Core 0.18.0 released

  • Proposal for support of Schnorr signatures and Taproot script commitments: Pieter Wuille posted to the Bitcoin-Dev mailing list a proposed BIP for Taproot (using Schnorr signatures) and a proposed BIP for Tapscript, a small variation on Bitcoin’s current Script language to be used with Taproot encumbrances.

James from Summa

Summa builds tools to exchange crypto in a convenient and trustless fashion.

  • We added a basic infura websocket client to riemann-ether

  • bitcoin-spv now has tools for calculating Bitcoin sighashes on-chain and verifying Bitcoin signatures, plus a better readme :)

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.

  • Monica Quaintance presented Kadena’s hybrid blockchain and its enterprise applications at MIT Technology Review’s Business of Blockchain conference.    

  • Looking ahead in May, Kadena's Will Martino, Stuart Popejoy, and Monica Quaintance are speaking at Consensus and then we're aiming to release testnet v1 at the end of the month.

  • The Kadena team would enjoy meeting up with folks during New York Blockchain Week. Read about the events we're participating in on our Medium post.

  • Eliminated network/chain malleability attacks in application layer PR 153.

  • Implemented "Adaptive" Difficulty Adjustment for improved early network conditions PR 167.

  • Mining hashrate target calculation performance improvement PR 115.

  • Better legibility of compiler errors in Pact SDK PR 467.

  • Monica Quaintance and Tarun Chitra of Gauntlet Networks published a security paper, covered by Forbes, that proves Chainweb as the first scalable Proof of Work blockchain.

  • Emily Pillmore and Stuart Popejoy were interviewed on Hashing It Out to discuss Pact, the smart contract language with built-in Formal Verification used in Kadena's Chainweb.

  • The Next Web published Stuart Popejoy's analysis of how IBM's Hyperledger is not a real blockchain.

Aviv from Spacemesh

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

  • ED25519 Public Key Extraction Go Library

    • https://github.com/spacemeshos/ed25519

    • An open-source drop-in replacement to golang/crypto/ed25519 with additional functionality.

    • We have developed this for the Spacemesh protocol since we could not find a good open source alternative. We hope that the open source blockchain dev community will find these capabilities useful in other scenarios and platforms. 

    • In the ed25519 signature scheme, in order to verify the validity of a given signature, the validator should posses the public key of the signer. It can be sent along with the message and its signature, which means that the overall data being sent includes 256 bits of the public key. 

    • Full update => https://spacemesh.io/weekly-updates/ 

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.

  • Stellar v11.1.0 is scheduled to be released at the end of the month.

  • Horizon v0.17.6 released this week with minor fixes

  • New Go SDK released, announcement & v1.1 is out.

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.

  • Jiawei has started implementing the stake-voting augmentation to our consensus mechanism. Read the RFC here to learn more about how this makes Coda resilient against long-lasting network partitions.

  • Avery and John have been working on the GraphQL API.

  • Echo fixed a race condition in the transaction pool.

  • Paul worked on implementing thetrust system.

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 will be attending some super cool events during the NYC Blockchain Week 2019, this is here to know all the wheres and whens

  • Have a look on this Atomic Swap Demo done by Beam’s CTO, Alex Romanov

  • R&D Updates

  • We have begun the preparation for the Fork Release

  • Good progress on the Lightning Network POC (Laser Beam)

  • Still a lot to be done when it comes to the integration with Trezor T and to the development of our Atomic Swap Feature #447

  • Work in progress on Bright Boson 2.1 for Desktop and Mobile wallets

  • Work on the Mobile Restore functionality

  • We have begun to develop the following features:

    • Add dialogue window on "Confirm seed phase" screen #132

    • Reference Exchange Rate for Wallet Balance #127

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. 

  • We have submitted an update to EIP-1108, which aims to reduce the gas costs of key opcodes and precompiles used in elliptic curve cryptography. This EIP would benefit a variety of protocols (including Zether, Rollup, Matter Labs and of course AZTEC). For example, an AZTEC transaction would go from ~820k gas to about 197k gas.

  • Our work on a better client side library continues, focussing on making APIs more developer friendly friendly.

  • This week our CTO Zac was on the Zero Knowledge Podcast, talking about range proofs, standards, and privacy on Ethereum.

  • 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.

  • Published explainer of the generalized plasma architecture on medium.

  • Prototyped research of offline atomic swaps, allowing for batch defragmentation

  • Cleaned up the last of the research blockers for plasma payments

  • Had a cringey AMA on Youtube Live.

Erik 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. 

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 Production Framework of Tupelo TestNet

  • Infrastructure improvements focused on bootstrapping process for signing nodes

  • Overnight daily performance benchmarking process in development

  • Protobuff conversion of internal type handling - more seamless types between SDKs

  • Read our published post “No Smart Contract Needed: Real Estate on Tupelo

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 DPoS V3.0 -- includes multiple delegations per user, redelegations to other validators, merging of reward delegations, referrer rewards for wallets, voting power cap, statistics in preparation for enabling slashing, web3 Json interface now works with block explorers, Go contracts have alpha support via web3, and various bug fixes

  • Launched Trezor support for PlasmaChain staking via Metamask

  • 188M LOOM tokens are now staked on PlasmaChain, which amounts to ~24% of circulating supply

  • Battle Racers is the latest game being built on Loom

Myles from EOS

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

  • The EOS resource exchange (REX) is officially live on the mainnet 

  • EOSIO v1.8.0 release candidate published. New features will allow dApps to abstract away blockchain resource management from end-users. 

  • Dan Larimer published an idea for a new model for decentralized stablecoins 

  • EOS New York put forth a proposal for a new form of blockchain revenue. Read more about it in Greymass's post here

  • Liberland announced that it will use EOSIO to build various blockchain-based government services

Zaki from Cosmos

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

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.

  • On our Electronic Rights Transfer Protocol (ERTP) branch, Mark has made some major advances. We’ve split our purse abstraction into ‘purses’ and ‘payments,’ where payments represent digital assets in transit, with the transfer rights locked up. We’ve also added a way to generalize kinds of digital assets (fungible, non-fungible) and valid operations on them. Lastly, our contracts now have a flexible API for representing a particular position in an ongoing smart contract, which can itself be bought and sold. Someone who buys a position in a smart contract can verify with the contract host to see what they would be joining.

  • We implemented a new device model for their "SwingSet" environment, in which external functions are made available as capability-oriented "device nodes", allowing them to be shared between vats and managed just like normal objects. This will support inter-machine and inter-chain communication links in the next few weeks.

  • We’ve added a “Comms” vat to our SwingSet environment, which is responsible for sending and receiving messages from external machines and translating and relaying them to other vats on the same machine.

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.

  • Just 5 days after our public launch we're already up to over $2.3M outstanding supply and $800k outstanding borrow on dYdX!

  • Shipping new frontend features: Added tooltips to the app and working on adding trade history

  • Working on adding USDC to dYdX. If you're interested in lending or borrowing high volumes of USDC please reach out to contact@dydx.exchange

  • Hiring product designers and engineers full-time in SF!

Coulter from MakerDAO

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

  • April was extremely eventful for Maker, so if you missed anything, get a recap of all updates, partnerships, and more in our Making Maker blog post.

  • Maker has become an associate founding member of the International Token Standardization Association (ITSA). More info here.

  • On our weekly community call, we demoed a first look at the Multi-Collateral Dai CDP Portal. Coindesk recapped it.

Lazar from MARKET Protocol

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

  • Completed rewards program UI design

  • Rolled out alerts and notifications using PagerDuty

  • Added MKT:USD rate endpoint to MPX API

  • Integrated new contracts and middleware with MPX admin

  • Refactored MARKET.js in preparation for integration with ethers.js (web3 replacement)

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.

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.

Tony from Liquidity.Network

Liquidity Network is a transfer and swap platform for any token

  • Liquidity Network releases v2 of the mobile app with the following cool features. Details can be found here.

    • Sleek design and cool interface

    • Support for ERC-20 tokens on-chain & off-chain

    • Support for $DAI

    • Improved user experience

    • Hub security checks   

  • Integrating the TEX library into the front-end and working on client performances

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 “Backup your wallet” flow and tested Alpha Mainnet OSP config and mobile SDK.

  • We tested game inviting flow, fixed bugs and edge cases.

  • We tested and refined app adaptability for different games from the developer portal.

  • We've completed dispute design UI flow for fully decentralized turn-based games and the setup of a new backend stack for Alpha Mainnet Launch.

  • We are in the process of testing and fixing issues found on the new backend.

  • We have Implemented a more robust on-chain event monitoring and support payments with numeric conditions, not only boolean.

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.

  • Improved off-chain transaction batching logic, resulting in 80% reduction in redundant/unnecessary on-chain transactions for a given number of concurrent users

  • On the streaming side, introduced new technique of slicing video into smaller segments, improving peering efficiency

  • Completed first monthly distribution of TFUEL for users running the Pre-Guardian Node client

Doug from Livepeer

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

  • Writeup and summary of the DTok, decentralized TikTok, app built by the Stake Capital team on Livepeer.

  • Achieved 99.5% success rate for live video transcoding on the Streamflow test network. Targeting over 99.99% before mainnet upgrade.

  • Shipped "API Node" to create simple REST interface for developers getting started with Livepeer's upcoming Streamflow release.

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.

  • Highest amount of activity on the FOAM Map yet, this week saw 25+ challenges with active voting. The voting contract increased from 400k tokens to 800k , 1.7m, 2.7m to over 7m tokens. 

  • Third weekly scavenger hunt with Blockcities complete, now utilizing an Ethereum logic app running on Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure for automation. 

  • Cartographer Tools Dashboard - Development Preview released 

  • FOAM Map Developer Grant program announced! We are excited to see what will be built from this.

  • FOAM at New York Blockchain Week: Find us at Ethereal, Token Summit and ETH New York hackathon happening at the FOAM Offices in the New Lab. We will be hosting workshops, talks and API prizes. 

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.

Sam from OpenBazaar

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

  • OpenBazaar version 2.3.3 was released. This release includes one of the most significant UX improvements to date: Listings load almost instantly. We've changed how we do IPFS and IPNS calls, as well as added a tiered routing structure, and the result is a huge improvement in loading speed.

  • The infrastructure needed for the social features of the Haven app is now completed, and internal testing of the app is reaching the final states.

China & Asia Updates

Mining 🔨

  • Other than Sparkpool and F2pool, the majority of top Asian PoW mining pools show no interest in staking, due to the current limited TAM (~$6B of total PoS coins) and there is no advantage when competing with exchanges and wallets for stake access

  • After the recent “China Mining Ban”, $BTC hash rate sees a steady growth back to 54E, now less than 10E from ATH 60E

Trading/Exchanges 💰

  • UEX, an Asia based exchange shuts down due to “Business Adjustment”

  • Korea exchange CoinBin (formerly Youbit) filed for bankruptcy with a loss of $26M and a series of scandals involving executive inside jobs and exit scams

  • We are expecting more mid-to-small sized exchanges started in the last cycle to shut down over time

  • A strong signal of the IEO hype dies down is from the recent Binance Launchpad IEO $MATIC: over 58% of the IEO participants won the $MATIC allocation ticket via the lottery system. The previous IEO $CELER saw a lottery win rate of only 1%. The significant decline of the Binance IEO hotness indicates the wave of IEO hype is quickly fading away

Regulation 🚧

Proof of Work #64

Hi from LA!

I’ve been at a small conference for institutional investors and crypto people to get to know each other better. The simple takeaway so far has been that institutional adoption is continuing to happen. It’s a slow process that mostly so far has happened in the form of fund investment—a bunch of endowments and a couple of pension funds have put decent-sized checks into crypto focused funds, who are currently deploying that money into a mix of venture-style bets and buying liquid cryptocurrencies. If you hold BTC, this seems like a good reason (among many) to just keep holding it—my sense is that there’s a lot of interest from large institutions, but that they are still somewhat hampered by a lack of regulated custodians, easy tie-ins to the tooling they are used to, etc.

Highlights: Decred lightning network goes live on testnet, Grin’s UTXO set shrank by 15% last week, Loom’s Plasmachain Universal Transaction Signing allows users to seamlessly interact with L1/L2 txs without having to really know or care which they are doing, and Decentraland releases cute Avatars.

No update from: Kadena, Spacemesh, Zeppelin, Theta.

Bitcoin & Friends

Jimmy on Bitcoin

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

  • 0.18.0 coming next week, big update then!

James from Summa

Summa builds tools to exchange crypto in a convenient and trustless fashion.

  • This week we are wrapping up our share of development on a major partnership that will significantly improve interoperability between BTC and ETH. More details to come.

  • We were super excited to learn that our friends at Bolt Labs are using riemann to prototype private payment channels for Zcash. 

  • Matthew and I will be in NYC from May 10-20 for blockchain week. We would love to meet up. Reach out to us at: team@summa.one, so that we can arrange something

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.

  • We have begun development of our zero-knowledge scripting system. Join us on our Discord to get involved.

  • John, Avery, and Brandon have been developing our GraphQL backend.

  • Vanishree has been analyzing our new chain selection rule.

  • Jiawei identified an important consensus bug.

  • After a great effort from John, Paul, and others, versioning types for backwards compatibility is now complete.

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.

  • Monero had it's Moneroversary this past week. It had a lot of fun events that went on.

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.

  • New Download page, new Home page, enhanced News Center

  • We still are working on the integration with Trezor T and on the development of our Atomic Swap Feature #447

  • We have began to develop a super cool feature that will allow us to translate our GUI&CLI Wallets #544

  • We have finished the develop the following features: Clear all Data in iOS (contacts, addresses, transaction history) for better privacy #107, Ability in iOS to connect to specific Node  #98, Ability to hide balance on iOS for better privacy  #83, Alert user to stay online and active when send/receive Beam  (iOS #85) & (Android #178), Ask password on every send on Android  #174

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 finished our work on the public and private range proofs.

  • We are progressing with our trusted setup, this week focusing on the writing of the formal paper outlining the security properties of the system

  • Zac, our CTO, has contributed to two open source projects with the aim of making cryptography cheaper on Ethereum:

  • We have just started work on tooling upgrades for adoption of AZTEC, including a rewrite of our aztec.js client side library, and a starter kit demonstrating how to build a zero-knowledge loan. Both will be released in the coming weeks.

  • We’re still hiring for two cryptographers to join the team. 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.

  • 17 PRs in nearcore from 5 different authors

  • Whiteboard series recorded with Quarkchain

  • Application/Dev layer

    • Cover access key functionality with tests

    • Switch HTTP RPC interface to JSONRPC in both Node and nearlib

    • Support configuration of multiple deployment environments for CLI tools

    • Updated Chess and Memegen to use latest CLI tools / nearlib

    • Deployed NEAR Place to permanent location on GitHub pages

  • Blockchain Layer

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

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

  • Tupelo v0.2.0 has been released!

  • Send and Receive Token functionality fully available from both Go and JS

  • Code simplification through moving fully to libp2p for gossip layer

  • Moving TestNet to 0.2.0 targeted for April 30th

  • Latest performance data available here

  • Significantly improved integration test suite coverage

  • Setup for a Tupelo cluster on Kubernetes in testing

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 Universal Transaction Signing, which allows our Layer 2 sidechains to verify and accept transactions signed by native Layer 1 wallets. That gives users the ability to interact with PlasmaChain dapps directly from their existing wallets (e.g., MetaMask, Scatter, TronLink, etc).

  • Launched imToken integration, allowing users to stake LOOM tokens directly from their imToken wallet.

  • Certus One partnered with CMCC to launch a validator on PlasmaChain. 

  • 182M LOOM tokens are now staked on PlasmaChain, which amounts to ~23% of circulating supply.

Zaki from Cosmos

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

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.

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.

  • Private Alpha testing our new margin trading product. Seeing strong usage so far with well over $1M supplied and $500k borrowed / traded in the first week of private testing!

  • Successfully liquidated >$75k of positions for our Alpha

  • DAI lending rate has been high due to strong demand to go leveraged long on ETH, peaking at over 77% APR returns for lenders over the weekend

  • Gearing up for our public launch: implemented charts, fixing minor frontend bugs, adding features based on feedback form Alpha users

  • 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.

  • #ReFi with #DeFi continued in full force, leading to over 1.7m in borrow volume (nearly all Dai-denominated)

  • We're hiring full stack developers in SF. No crypto experience necessary. If interested, shoot us an email (nadav@dharma.io or brendan@dharma.io) or apply here

Coulter from MakerDAO

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

  • Guesser and Boost VC became the first ever venture capital deal done using Dai. 

  • Released a development update to Multi-Collateral Dai on Kovan testnet, covering the MCD CDP Portal, Dai.js, and new contract addresses. 

  • Forbes detailed Maker and DeFi in a recent article featuring COO Steven Becker

  • Underscore VC sat down with CEO Rune Christensen for an interview to discuss the future of blockchain. Watch it here

  • Fomohunt integrated Dai as a supported payment, and Maker is one of the first to have access to their community event tool. 

Lazar from MARKET Protocol

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

  • Added minting fee and flow improvements to MPX

  • Completed initial integration of ethers.js

  • Integrated solidity contract release into MPX and MPX API

  • Completed alert and notification setup for production environment

Layer two and interoperability

Tieshun from Namebase

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

  • R

Paul from Veil

Veil is a peer-to-peer prediction market and derivatives platform built on top of Augur, 0x, and Ethereum.

  • R

Rahul 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

  • Sleek design and cool interface

  • Support ERC-20 tokens on-chain & off-chain

  • Support for $DAI

  • Improved user experience

  • Hub security checks ️

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 UI for game introduction, leaderboard, game history and game result. 

  • We finished defining CelerX game info APIs and loaded and displayed Gomoku game (dev version) on CelerX platform. 

  • We finished mobile sandbox for internal game developers. 

  • We completed new wallet on-boarding and open-channel UI and finished refactoring iOS UI architecture. 

  • We finished CelerX feature development for the Soft Mainnet Launch.

  • We are working on LiBA and PoLC internal testnet launch. 

  • We switched devops to containerized system deployment and finished generic channel dispute and settlement implementation.

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. 

  • Merged support for multiple supply-side node support and failover. Broadcaster software now automatically will negotiate prices off chain with various providers on the network, will be able to work with multiple, and fail-over automatically, all without having to go on chain. This is part of the upcoming Streamflow release.

  • The community node grants program has continued to receive a stream of applications, including for a Livepeer Primer microsite, and an improved token holder user journey.

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.

  • Building a front end for the previously released FOAM Plasma Demo 

  • Hosted the first Community Workshop call on improvement proposals, video recording here

  • The Weekly Scavenger Hunt with Blockcities continues, with the latest in Tokyo Japan. 

  • Tokens in the FOAM voting contract have doubled in the last month and are nearing 1m as challenges heat up on the map. 

  • Finalizing the FOAM developer grant program to launch alongside ETH New York hackathon, taking place at the Foamspace teams headquarters in the New Lab. 

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.

  • We're getting closer to our goal of seed-based file recovery, making Sia files recoverable anywhere as long as you have your seed.

  • Manually disconnecting from a peer also blacklists that peer for you, improving the future integrity of your data.

  • Renters can now delete corrupt files and have access to improved logging.

  • The `siac renter` command is now more robust. It includes the number of contracts, total data stored, and minimum redundancy.

  • Sia-UI: Renters can now drag & drop files into the UI to upload them

  • Sia-UI: The config.json file allows users to customize things like the path where the blockchain data is stored

Other

Ari from Decentraland

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

  • We released the SDK 6.0 Beta. It includes larger 16mx16m scenes, a more robust audio engine, more animations, better textures, and other new features and optimizations.

  • Announced Decentraland Avatars, the customizable 3D characters and identity management platform for the virtual world.

  • Released an upload/download feature for the Builder, allowing users to backup and restore their scenes across instances of the Builder.

  • We also added support for multiple asset packs in the Builder along with fixing some small display bugs for mobile, improved some icons and hotkeys, and added a preview button for the Publish to LAND feature.

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 #63

Greetings from Boston! I’ll be in NYC from the 10th to the 12th—I love meeting PoW readers, so if you’ll be around please feel free to reply to this! I’ll also be speaking very briefly at the Magical Crypto Conference on the 11th at 5:10 PM about Satoshi’s Treasure—if you’re a Hunter, it might be worth either showing up or sending a friend in your stead 👀

The first week of Satoshi’s Treasure has been absolutely incredible. The second set of clues were released on Sunday, and as before were solved much faster than we were expecting. Not only did hunters decipher all of the clues to get the Leporine Key, but they even identified the extremely obscure Chinese cult movie that one of the gif clues was from. It strikes me that we’ve accidentally assembled the beginnings of an army of the world’s most resourceful hackers and problem solvers…

In addition to explosive growth in the number of people playing, I’ve been especially stoked to see the number of people who are actually creating things. Fan sites with satellite transmissions, prediction market bets on which teams will perform well, a very full-featured Discord bot for team management, fan art, and more. A bunch of really solid developers are building on top of what we’ve made, and what’s cool about using cryptographic primitives for game is that they don’t have to ask us for an API key to do so—they can just do it! We’ve also pretty much taken over the Blockstream satellite and turned it into a one-way Satoshi’s Treasure chat room 😂.

The next clue with be released this Sunday, and the previous clues have all been publicly released (findable with some Googling) so if you haven’t started playing, now is a great time.

I’m reverting to the previous format on then newsletter cuz everyone seems to like it better. Highlights this week: Monero community releases a really nice PDF intro to the coin, Cosmos cleanly pulled off an upgrade, dYdX launched their mainnet product, MKR raised their stability fee to 14.5%, and Livepeer published a post on their probabilistic micropayments solution.

China & Asia Updates

Mining 🔨

  • No major news in mining this week. Many miners who stocked up on mining machines earlier this year have seen a decent return as prices start to rally. S9’s average price is now close to 2000 RMB ($250-300) vs 900 RMB ($120-150) at its lowest

  • Mining machines’ price beta is always greater than 1 compared to BTC’s price, and the risk is largely taken on by the buyer, not the seller  

Trading/Exchanges 💰

  • OKEx’s support for $BSV is mostly a relationship play between Jack Lu and Star Xu. Jack is the most well-known public $BSV supporter in the Chinse community and was a long-time OKEx veteran. He also overlapped with CZ (former OKEx CTO) between 2014-2015 as Head of International at OKEx

  • On-going game of musical chairs amongst Asian exchanges’ IEOs, and some drama during the recent Bibox IEO may signal the end of the IEO hype. Another fairly new exchange Biss.com, created a new model for a FOMO3D hybrid IEO. The IEO hype reminds me of last year’s transaction fee mining frenzy, which was also not sustainable because the model is easily reproducible. Both are like a game of musical chairs where each exchange hopes they’ll still have a seat when the music stops

  • Both Huobi and Okex are rushing to launch their public chains in Q2. Few details have been released from either side regarding the chains

Regulation 🚧

  • India’s National Payments Corporation, a domestic bank consortium is said to be building a blockchain settlement rail for retail payments.

  • Rakuten Wallet might be one of the biggest things at the moment in the Japan crypto scene. It’s now open for web registration, only a month after it acquired a crypto license from the FSA. Regulatory cost in Japan is VERY high, and the FSA is extremely conservative when it comes to foreign players, hence why it is giving local fintech giants an unfair advantage over global crypto players like Binance and Coinbase.

Misc 🤓

  • According to a Korea local TV (Arirang) reports, over 7% over total Koreans (3.5 million) have bought cryptocurrencies with an average investment of $6000. To put this in context, the average Korean’s monthly income is about $3000, meaning those who made crypto investments are likely upper middle class. Another unconfirmed source (this statistic has been floating around since early 2018) claims that over 70% of Korean white collar workers have held cryptoassets at some point.

Bitcoin & Friends

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

James from Summa

Summa builds tools to exchange crypto in a convenient and trustless fashion.

  • This week we made significant updates to...

  • riemann-zeta -- Zeta can now sync from the mainnet genesis block, plus a bunch of bugfixes

  • riemann-tx -- Added utility functions for encoding integers in Script

  • bitcoin-spv -- Made a branch for easily adding the contracts to any truffle project

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's public braided PoW testnet passes 10,000 block milestone."

  • Now that Chainweb Testnet v0 is live, we're improving network stability, implementing strategic upgrades for on-disk persistence, and implementing fully-automatic cross chain SPV towards v1.

  • Round-trip test coverage of transaction through mempool to consensus PR 93.

  • Testnet stability improvements: stabilize peer-to-peer, improve GC pausing, better cross-chain "cut" consensus workflow PRs 90and 85.

  • "Local" transaction execution implemented PR 82.

  • Full Formal Verification coverage of Pact's unique capability system and multi-step "pact" solution, along with new support for integrated trustless SPV proofs for cross-chain interactions.

  • Full coverage of multi-step pacts in formal verification and typechecker PRs 449448, and 422.

  • Added basic SPV support "verify-spv" PR 436.

  • Full Formal Verification coverage of Pact guards and capabilities PR 427

  • Join a live Discord AMA on May 7 at 3 pm ET with Kadena co-founder Stuart Popejoy and Certik co-founder Columbia University Professor Ronghui Gu. The topic is Formal Verification, covering its broad uses and applicability to blockchains. Register in advance at bit.ly/FVkadenaAMA.

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.

  • Stellar Core releases Protocol 11 on Thursday (3/25/2019) via Stellar Core v11.0.0. You can download the release candidate here.

  • Horizon patch release due out on Tuesday (3/23/2019), which includes compatibility fixes for Stellar Core v11.0.0, check the releases page!

  • Newly redesigned Go SDK release is expected out this week, check the releases page!

  • We're working on releasing a new code of conduct organization wide, ideally by next week.

  • New Horizon ingestion service design has been released — open to feedback and comments.

  • We're planning on releasing our new working groups for upcoming protocol work this week, primarily working on fee replacement and deposit/sending of assets workflow.

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.

  • After an amazing effort from John and Paul across many PRs, backwards compatibility is implemented, allowing different versions of the protocol to communicate.   

  • The snarky website is up thanks to Matt.

  • Rahul fixed OpenMP support on Mac.

  • Jiawei fixed several issues related to the caching of blocks.

  • Brandon has written the initial UI code for our desktop wallet (PR, with screenshots.) Usability testers wanted, please get in touchif you're interested.

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.

  • Thursday was Monero’s 5th anniversary, celebrated by a global community live stream with stories, puzzles, updates, cake, and more.

  • We released the electronic version of Mastering Monero, a comprehensive guide that progresses from a beginner’s introduction, through the privacy technologies, into details for developers and integration. The community funded the project, so anybody can download the PDF for free.

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.

  • Release of Beam Wallet on iOS | Release Notes

  • CLI | Add ability to delete transaction  #604

  • API | Add ability to delete transaction  #603

  • UI Wallet | Password request for Send Transaction  #146

  • Lock screen #161

  • New feature on Android | Show available balance, in Send screen  #187

  • Feature, iOS | Finger print  #74

  • Feature, iOS | Show available balance in Send screen #95

  • Feature, iOS | Export transactions history  #94

  • Feature, iOS | Auto-complete of seed phrase  #97

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. 

  • R

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.

Topper from Quorum Control

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

  • Final testing being completed on v0.2.0 includes:

  • Substantial performance improvements through consensus streamlining including optimizing subscriptions and improved bootstrapping (sub-second finality achieved!)

  • Send and Receive Token successfully implemented

  • Requested play transaction functionality

  • Publishing of the latest performance improvements tested at 21 and 100 signing nodes

  • Upgraded version of Kyber and several other key libraries

  • Improvements to the CircleCI build pipeline

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 2019 Roadmap Update, including a recap of Q1 milestones and top priorities and objectives for the remainder of 2019

  • Went live with 2 more external validators PlasmaChain -- Wetez and SNZ

  • 152M LOOM tokens are now staked on PlasmaChain, which amounts to ~20% of circulating supply

Myles from EOS

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

  • Block.one's EOSIO Labs open-sourced some ideas about a post-password environment for interacting with services using blockchain

  • EOS New York released a proposal for decentralizing token contracts on EOS

  • Kyber Network introduced Yolo, its token swap system for EOS

  • The EOS Resource Exchange (REX) got one step closer to deployment 

Zaki from Cosmos

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

  • At Block 500,000 of cosmoshub-1, the network will be upgrade to cosmoshub-2 on April 22nd, 17:00 GMT. The governance proposal exceeded the expedited threshold of 80 million ATOMs. Transfers will be enabled in this upgrade as will be the features 0.34 release. More details on on the process here.

  • The Tendermint Key Management System got support for supporting multiple chains on a single KMS instance. This helps validators more easily support multiple Tendermint chains on their infrastructure.

  • Tendermint Youtube sessions spotlighting ongoing research on automated Formal Verification of BFT protocols. 1 2

  • Terra a stable coin Cosmos Zone is launching their mainnet as well.

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.

  • At our SES meeting this week (recording here), we reviewed the proposed minimal translation from modules to evaluable scripts (a step towards being able to use SES with JavaScript packages), and got agreement from key stakeholders, including John-David Dalton, creator of the lodash and esm packages, who has joined the Salesforce team working with SES.

  • We released @agoric/make-hardener-0.0.6 to NPM, a library to make defensible API surfaces by transitively freezing JavaScript objects in-place.

  • We’ve continued work on the "SwingSet" environment, which contains a JS "exo-kernel" and messaging/execution framework inspired by the KeyKOS operating system, extended with asynchronous messaging.

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.

  • Our new product Alpha launched on mainnet! With the new dYdX you can margin trade, borrow, and lend all in one platform, all directly from your Ethereum wallet. Read all about it here

  • Fixing bugs & implementing final features before our public release

  • Hired a frontend engineer, Everett Hu. Welcome Everett!

  • 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.

  • Last week we gave people the ability to #ReFi with #DeFi, leading to over 3.6m in borrow volume (nearly all Dai-denominated)

  • We launched several new features, including mobile support with QR codes and dynamic collateralization

  • We're hiring full stack developers in SF. No crypto experience necessary. If interested, shoot us an email (nadav@dharma.io or brendan@dharma.io) or apply here

Coulter from MakerDAO

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

  • An Executive Vote to raise the Stability Fee to 14.5% is live. You can read more about it here and encourage anyone to join our Governance Call discussions, or share thoughts on our subreddit

  • We've been busy at ETH Cape Town. Get a full rundown of all of our panels, presentations, and hackathons here.

  • According to TokenAnalyst, this week they shared that Dai is the most transacted stablecoin! 

Lazar from MARKET Protocol

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

  • Signed contract with security audit firm

  • Added variable fee structure and integrated into MPX API

  • Completed evaluation of ethers.js

  • Completed UI design for minting platform fees

  • Added an option for user to select gas setting

  • Partially filled orders now to show remaining quantity

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.

  • Compound v2 is now running on all three Ethereum testnets

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.

  • Welcome to new research engineer Paul Vienhage, a former blockchain security engineer at Authio

  • New Relayer Report, with interviews featuring Hummingbot and BlitzPredict

  • Released an architecture doc for 0x Mesh, our P2P orderbook

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 released new CelerX game to Alpha testers. 

  • We refined wallet for Mainnet launch. 

  • We are preparing Mobile Sandbox for testing the Gomoku game. 

  • We made improvements on CelerX and tested CelerX for private Alpha release. 

  • We enhanced operational setup (on-chain interactions, system monitoring) and developed new features for mid-May release

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.

  • Made public the FOAM Plasma MVP with tender mint consensus on the Github repository after completing end to end tests of our demo

  • FOAM Map community Improvement Proposal workshop announced for 4/25 

  • FOAM Proof of Location deep dive on the latest Into the Ether podcast 

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.

  • Improving the siac commands and APIs for renters

  • ChrisSchinnerl has been working on multiple improvements for renters using Sia in a command line interface or the API

  • The config.json file returns to the UI

  • The new UI for 1.4.0 version eliminated the config.json file some users customized for tasks as using a non-default drive for storing the Sia data (like the blockchain file). Eddiewang last week returned this file to the code, and this week he has added a debug mode to it, useful for developers

  • Luke Champine updated the us package, adding support for reading/writing files in Sia like if they were on a local drive, smaller contract files, better encryption and the ability to create “mock” hosts for testing purposes https://www.reddit.com/r/siacoin/comments/bd9l57/us_add_support_for_new_renterhost_protocol/

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.

  • 2nd Relayer built on top on Hydro Protocol launched on Ethereum Mainnet. https://www.cent.vc/

  • Hydro Box developing - Flexible framework for Defi projects to build own Dex on the Ethereum.

Sam from OpenBazaar

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

  • An OpenBazaar version 2.3.3 release candidate has been published. This includes a new routing structure which will load listings from search much more quickly and improve other aspects of networking.

  • The infrastructure needed for the social aspect of the upcoming Haven mobile app has been deployed and the app moves closer to beta testing.

  • We've built a set of open source tools for us to more easily operate OpenBazaar instances programmatically. The core need is to easily duplicate complex environments and scenarios for testing purposes, so these tools enable a developer (or technical user) to more easily create OpenBazaar infrastructure of interest. 

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