Proof of Work #14

The MIT Bitcoin Expo took up my entire weekend, and getting ready to finally close up my new fund’s raise put me behind schedule on PoW—so I decided to skip a week and put together one mega-update. Being on a panel with Nic Carter and Jill Carlson about investment theses around different protocol layers was fun—I’ll link to my favorite talks and panels once the videos come out next week.

I’ve sent out all the Common App responses to the projects who are onboard, so applicants should start receiving responses fairly soon. If you’re a project that is on the list but hasn’t received access yet, please ping me. I’ll continue to incrementally improve the Common App experience—I’m toying with the idea of making it into a Token Curated Registry with a few modifications—new projects would stake some tokens to apply to join the Common App, have their logo on the page, and see applicants, and the projects already onboard would vote to accept or deny them. I’m not convinced TCRs are the next big thing, but for some applications they seem like a very interesting way to align incentives. I probably won’t implement this for the Common App any time soon simply because I don’t have the bandwidth, but I’d love to hear what people think of the idea.

Next week’s PoW will go out on time, so please stay tuned! And as usual, if you have a cool project that you think should be featured, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Robbie from Truebit

  • Participated in a 4 day WASM Sprint with Ethereum Foundation, Parity, and Dfinity.

  • Added more features and tests to the dispute resolution layer

  • Implemented two passes of instrumentation that can hopefully be used for merkleization using JIT compilation

  • First attempt at calculating the critical path that is needed for merkleization with JIT.

  • Instrumentation for building the stack. Had trouble with i64 values

  • Fireside chat with Professor Dan Boneh at Stanford [ed: worth a look]

Paige & Zooko from Zcash

  • This week, time was spent focused on diagnosing and reviewing the findings from a simulation of the Overwinter testnet activation to be better prepared for the testnet activation scheduled for early next week (block 207500 which targets Monday).

  • We also spent a lot of time looking at various issues to resolve for 1.1.07 including some improvements from upstream bitcoin. Relatedly, we took some time to review the overall process of pulling in changes from bitcoin for the newer engineers. [ed: Zcash being able to more easily stay abreast of all the exciting stuff coming to BTC is a very good thing]

  • Cleaning up our docs, website rebranding and content curation. Also planning an update to the UX guidelines for developers to include Zcash specific considerations especially with regards to the difference between shielded and transparent addresses.

Doug from Livepeer

  • Published the results of our smart contract security audit with Trail of Bits. Livepeer's response indicates some future code maintenance and architecture issues to be addressed, but nothing blocking a move to Ethereum's main net for alpha.

  • Good community discussion on the beginning design of "gas accounting" for video transcoding - an important feature to compensate nodes who contribute CPU/GPU to encoding tasks in a fair manner.

  • Livepeer is hosting a DApp hackathon this weekend in Berlin. All are welcome to participate in person, or virtually.

James from Vertcoin

Larry & Ryan from Blockstack

  • Shipped a comprehensive update to Blockstack documentation.

  • Started initial development on the Blockstack iOS and Mobile SDKs.

  • Shipped update v0.16 to blockstack.js which adds support for generation of Blockstack name transactions in JavaScript.

  • Began an in-depth review and redesign of our on-boarding process to optimize it for mobile devices.

Tom from 0x

  • Will gave a great talk at MIT Bitcoin Expo highlighting some of our projects this half

  • Built a tool to verify Standard Relayer API status, making it easier for traders and dApps to tap into our networked liquidity

  • Published react-docs, a library for generating documentation for Solidity and TypeScript code

Diego and Riccardo for Monero

  • Devs continue to work on the upcoming hard fork which brings a small PoW change intended to flush out ASICs secretly mining Monero.

David from Sia

  • Sia version 1.3.2 was released for general availability. You can download it and read the release notes here.

  • The Sia merchandise (merch) store was launched this week, stop by and pick up some sweet Sia swag!

  • The Sia Feature Roadmap has been updated, it’s the best place to stay up to date on what large features the development team is working on [ed: those of you interested in this project should definitely give this a read, very good overview of where the project is going]

  • Over the next several weeks the Sia team is going to continue their ongoing efforts to overhaul the renter module. They bandwidth limiter feature, the ability to stream files off the Sia network, and peer to peer IP discovery are all expected to be completed in the next few weeks and released in the next version of Sia.

JZ from Decred

  • According to Project Lead, Jake Yocom-Piatt; “SPV support is being tested currently and the bugs are being worked out. dcrwallet and Decrediton will both support SPV by the 1.3.0 release.”

  • Jake also participated in a comprehensive interview with Amy Castor of Bitcoin Magazine, detailing the 2018 roadmap development goals and touching on subjects such as Decred’s autonomous treasury, privacy plans, as well as a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange based on atomic swaps which would have no fees.

  • Decred's New Systems Development Lead, Marco Peereboom, announced this week that a plugin has been released for the Magento ecommerce platform. This builds on the PHP API we had discussed in last week’s issue of Proof of Work. Marco was also in attendance at the MIT Bitcoin Expo and participated in the Developer Lightning Talks.

Ari from Decentraland

  • We've been working on performance improvements and optimizations so that the client can support a larger load while maintaining a high FPS rate.

  • We've published a new snapshot of the preview client for use with the CLI building tool.

  • We've spent some time improving our deployment process as well.

  • Last, and definitely not least, we're launching our Marketplace on Monday, which will allow users to buy, sell, transfer and manage LAND, all from a decentralized and trustless platform.

Ryan from FOAM

  • Released two new open source libraries on our GitHub that serve as a purescript wrapper for Uber's library.

  • Announced our partnership and integration of uPort, with a shared long term goal of giving users self-sovereign control over their location data. As a first step, uPort is used by users to deploy a crypto-spatial coordinate directly through the Spatial Index.

Antonio from dYdX

  • Work trialing a Product Design candidate

  • Implemented improved auction closing mechanism

  • Our second employee, Zhuoxun joined as Head of Ops. Welcome Zhuoxun!

Zac & Jed from Stellar

  • We’ve announced a plan to implement Lightning on Stellar. [ed note: this is a big surprise to me and extremely exciting! worth a close read]

Bowen and Tian from DDEX/ Hydro:

  • DDEX released closed Beta API for Market Maker and strategic partners. If anyone wants to try it out, you can send a email to to get password and username!

  • Moved into new office with 2 developers on board.

Evan on Ethereum

  • Sharding phase 1 spec from Justin Drake

  • Karl Floersch released a PlasmaCash spec.

  • New security tools: Echidna—a smart fuzzer for Solidity code from Trail of Bits and MAIAN—an automatic tool for finding trace vulnerabilities in Ethereum smart contracts

Jimmy on Bitcoin

Sam from OpenBazaar

  • We've been working on the cryptocurrency listing type, which will allow OpenBazaar users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on the platform with no fees or accounts to register. [ed note: OB roadmap is coming out soon with more info, but this is super exciting to me. A crypto-crypto enabled OB could be like an easier to use Bisq, and would function as a nearly impossible to block fiat onramp!]

Michael & Tom from Dfinity

  • DFINITY was joined in office by the Wanxiang Blockchain team for a look at the network and protocol.

Helena & Jutta from Polkadot

  • We released Parity 1.10 "Opportunity," now supporting Wasm smart contracts on the Kovan network. On March 27th (block 6,600,000), developers can start deploying Wasm-based contracts live on Kovan.

  • Do you know Rust? We're hiring Rust core devs in Berlin!

  • We're proud to share our story on how the World Food Programme and Parity Technologies are helping feed over 100,000 refugees using a Parity Proof-of-Authority blockchain. Read more about it here.

Zaki on Cosmos

  • The biggest news is the imminent release of version 0.12 of the SDK. This is expected to be last release before a feature complete SDK. The SDK is 90% feature complete. On Monday night, the team stood up an internal testnet supporting staking and IBC and on Tuesday we will attempt a network standup with the participants in our validator program.

  • The graphics team has a made a beautiful diagram of the Cosmos network architecture.

Brendan and Nadav from Dharma

  • Onboarded our new hire, Graeme Boy, to the team

  • Published version 0.0.20 of the Dharma smart contracts and integrated the new contracts into Dharma.js

  • Added several important features to Dharma.js (repayment status, fetching historical debts / investments, improved error messaging)

Demi from Zeppelin

  • We performed a security audit to Augur Core's smart contracts, which are now done. This has been one of our most challenging audits so far, with great learnings on security and architecture which we will introduce into ZeppelinOS:

  • We've been working on a new ERC721 implementation, which will be included in the next OpenZeppelin release this week