Hi from Boston! Last week’s PoW was delayed due to an internal process switchover. Future PoW’s will be sent out on tuesdays instead of mondays, to give some teams who needed more time the ability to reliably get updates in.
I think too way much attention is paid to complicated smart-contracts which are meant to enable something like an app, and too little paid to simple smart contracts (or even just multi-signature setups) used coordinate action outside of a system of legal contracts. Recently a lawyer I know explained that he had a client who’s assets had been frozen as part of an investigation and was therefore unable to pay him. Naively one would think the client could just send BTC (since you can’t freeze that) but as all the lawyers reading along know, doing so would put both the client and the lawyer in violation of a court order.
So let’s imagine a multisig wallet controlled by a group of highly trusted friends who are instructed to disburse funds only in the event that you need legal defense and are unable to pay for it. Such a setup could hire you a lawyer when you need it most, without being in violation of any asset freezes or court orders. It might be possible to set up some sort of trust that could function in a similar way, but whether asset freezes apply to the trust of which one is the sole beneficiary is a complicated question to answer for every global jurisdiction.
Such a multisig could be thought of as a “FrienDAO,” a minimalist decentralized organization with a single purpose: to provide funding for legal defense when the defendant themselves is unable to do so for whatever reason. Of course, to reduce the amount of capital an individual has to lock up, a group of people who were each individually relatively unlikely to face legal action could each make a contribution to such a DAO and appoint a few of their own friends to the multisig committee, in a sort of small-scale insurance pool…
So far, the usability around multi-signature wallets has been so incredibly poor that even simple use cases like this have barely been seen in the wild. The main users of multisig now are crypto funds and exchanges (for custody) and services like Abra or LocalBitcoins (for escrow) who have a high degree of technical competence and can avoid the many pitfalls that surround anything more complex than a simple keypair wallet. It’ll be interesting to see user-facing wallets integrate simple multisig, and also interesting to see how the legal system treats such constructs.
Bitcoin & Friends
Optech on Bitcoin [subscribe to full newsletter here]
Schnorr-ready fork of libsecp256k1 available, bringing us another step closer to Schnorr on Bitcoin. Read here about why that’s cool. This library doesn’t make the features available on sidechains by itself, but it does provide the code upon which both signature generation and verification can be performed. It is hoped that the code will receive additional review and be ported into the upstream libsecp256k1 library for eventual use in Bitcoin Core related to a soft fork proposal
Bitcoin Core #15348 adds a productivity hints document describing tools and techniques developers have found to improve their efficiency. Although some are specific to Bitcoin Core and C++ development, others more generally apply to anyone who develops with git or GitHub.
Eclair #821 improves the heuristics used to help find a good route over which to send a payment.
James from Summa
We went to EthDenver and built a UTXO-ifier for ERC20 tokens. It puts bubble wrap around revocable tokens so they don't accidentally break smart contracts or harm users
Some great projects from Denver will be entering our work flow. Barbara and the frontend team are real excited about using Eth Dev Tools
Despite all the fun, we're a bit disappointed in the state of the ecosystem. Buffidai was a centralized, fractional reserve, fiat currency. And event check-in with the identity dapp was rough.
Tony from Kadena
We're continuing to strengthen Pact's scalability, which is a significant step forward for our hybrid blockchain platform. Chainweb (public) blockchain Testnet launch ETA is end of Q1.
Deployed formal verification on Pact so that formula construction gets automatically tested with all potential inputs.
Taylor Rolfe wrote a Medium post on "Turing Completeness and Smart Contract Security."
Aviv from Spacemesh
Merged first implementation of a running full node with Hare consensus protocol and unoptimized tortoise
Merged a new system-wide logging service that supports sending and events and metrics to a global test network orchestrator
Merged a fixed size pseudo-random Oracle for role and block validation as preparation for system testing
Implemented a rudimentary CLI wallet
Added definitions and flow charts for the Hare protocol
Merged basic POET server infrastructure
Merged the first test of a complete network running hare and tortoise consensus protocols, agreeing on the state of the networks shared ledger
Added node events for improved test networks debugging
Announced our next upcoming live dev community sync on Youtube >> Set a reminder and ask us anything.
JZ from Decred
We published our stats for January of select Decred repositories; we had 242 active PRs, 243 commits, 60K additions & 47K deletions across 2-8 devs per repo. As always there's a link to a pretty chart in the tweet.
We also have a few new proposals that have gone live on Politeia, one of them is interesting for Java devs who might want to become Decred contributors and earn some coin as it's a vote to authorize an RFP process to build Decred support for crypto ATMs. Two of the proposals were authored by Dustin our marketing lead and seek stakeholder approval for an annual marketing budget and events budget.
There has also been tons of spirited discussion on Jake's Decred DEX proposal for an exchange that uses a client/server model and atomic swaps (right, no having to use our coin/chain to trade). Think of it as a fancy messaging system that matches buyers and sellers who then trade without counterparty risk (full details here). Basically, any coin that has merged code to our atomic swap Git repo could be supported and anyone would be free to run their own exchange supporting any pairs they please.
Some exciting news on the conventional exchange front as well.Vertbasenow offers its customers the ability tobuy DCR directly with USD. Swiss exchangeLykkealso added Decred with bothBTC and USD pairs.
Johnny from Stellar
Izaak from Coda
We’re discussing the construction of a more efficient of elliptic curves for recursive composition on the #cryptography-cafe channel of the Coda discord. Join us!
Paul landed a series of PRs for a principled system for versioning types.
Izaak replaced all uses of SHA256 with blake2.
Deepthi completed the initial work for tracking proper attribution of coinbases within the SNARK.
Paige & Zooko from Zcash
zcashd 2.0.3 released
Reviewing Sprout -> Sapling migration tool specification
Reference wallet light client working on testnet
More in the full update: https://forum.zcashcommunity.com/t/february-15-2019-weekly-update-engineering/32730
Goodbye, Zcash Company. Hello, Electric Coin Company. We announced a name change yesterday, read more about why we made this decision.Only the name has changed. We are the same team, with the same mission: to empower everyone with economic freedom and opportunity.
To achieve sustainability and growth of the Zcash ecosystem, a diverse effort from a variety of organizations and individuals is essential. Learn more about the growing role of the Zcash Foundation.
Diego and Riccardo from Monero
No update, finding a new updater and will have an update in next week’s issue!
Daniel from Grin
Grin v1.0.2 has been released! Make sure you upgrade, anybody with a node running behind NAT should see more stable behavior in terms of number of outbound connections.
7 Pull Requests were merged in the past week, by 4 unique contributors.
@yeastplume begun effort to split out wallet into its own repo. Will allow node and wallet individual roadmaps, and makes it easier to support third party development.
Libgrin, a grin library written in Go, was open sourced by Grimint.
Coinspect was chosen for the security audit of the core, keychain, wallet, and chain crate in the latest governance meeting.
The C++ implementation developed by @DavidBurkett went live on windows.
SuperGrin, a GUI wallet for OSX was open sourced by @rheza.
WIP PR by @JeremyRubin to switch to CuckooCache data structure.
WIP PR by @mcdallas to add webhooks for network and chain events.
Development meeting notes planning the v1.0.2 release, discussing v1.1.0 scope and error management.
Facebook live video from last week's Bangkok meetup where @garyyu presented.
More Grin info here.
Beni from Beam
One side payments. This research would potentially remove the interactivity requirement from payments in Beam.
Fixed several bugs #456
[integration] Started integration with Trezor hardware wallet (in progress)
Beam has released its Testnet environment
Beam has released its Android Wallet Testnet Beta 1.0.5
Smart contracting platforms
Evan from Ethereum
Constantinople’s network upgrade is scheduled to happen around Feb 28th at block 7280000. Update your clients so you don’t get left behind. Here’s the Foundation’s FAQ
Zether and Sigmabullets for confidential/anonymous Ethereum transactions. 7m gas now, but could be lowered to 1.7m with EIP1108 and 1109. Paper by Bünz, Agrawal, Zamani and Boneh.
Erik from NEAR
40 PRs in nearcore and 12 commits in NEARStudio.
Switched from Parity WASM interpreter to WASMER JIT. Got 100x raw improvement and 18x improvement when other components factored in.
Finalized the design and started implementation of a new consensus for beacon and shard chains “Nightshade”, replacing previously used consensus TxFlow. See a draft of a paper for an early DAG-based version of Nightshade here, and a simplified version without a DAG here.
Initial working API for cross-contract calls using AssemblyScript.
Benchmarks for the client excluding network and consenus
Improved APIs and integration tests for DevNet while improving stability.
AJ from Tezos
An in-depth look on how the amendment process works in Tezos for it’s upcoming proposal vote from Nomadic Labs
Tezos Statistics: 79% are staking, 453 roll owners, 50,211 total rolls, and 12,589 delegators
Tezos Stack Exchange has successfully completed it’s private beta with 200+ questions and will be open to the public on February 19th
Introducing Athens -- The first Tezos on-chain upgrade proposal to be voted by the community.
Fi -- a new way to develop smart contracts for Tezos
Introducing Arronax, a tezos block explorer developed by Cryptonomic, that will enable users to search blocks with keywords.
Tezos Stack Exchange has successfully completed it’s private beta with 200+ questions and will be open to the public on February 19th
Topper from Quorum Control
The Quorum Control team is in full swing on closed Testnet for Tupelo, our DLT platform with an innovative new data structure (ChainTrees) modeled flexibly for ownership.
Developers can request access to the testnet, read through our documentation, or install locally and start building immediately.
Launched V0.0.10 of testnet
Binaries available for local install
Launched a ChainTree web explorer
Shipped improved client storage plugins
Introduced new infrastructure for measuring network performance & improved network visibility
Made platform improvements and general bug fixes to gossip protocol and API
We're hiring for a Community Developer. See the job description here and send any resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael from Loom
Launched Zombie Battleground Public API for 3rd-party developers to build their own tools and app integrations on top of the game
Georgios discusses sidechains, Plasma Cash, the many variants of Plasma, and more in a whiteboard session with friends at NEAR Protocol
Loom 2.0 Release Build 789 includes major updates for Performance, Caching and DPoS -- DPosV2 now supports delegate staking and full reward cycle, nonce incrementing mid block (loom-js and unity-sdk updated to support), DPoSV3 for shorter reward cycles and other improvements, karma updates, checkTx preformance boosts, updated P2P protocol, Go contracts now support event indexing, EVM Queries has improved caching layer, bug for EVM contracts writing more then 11,800 keys is fixed, more metrics exposed, YubiHSM fixes, and many new config options
Myles from EOS
EOS New York's EUA proposal goes up for a vote
Attic Lab launches a mobile EOS wallet
EOS42 outlines a new cooperative voting infrastructure bounty
EOS Authority launched a slick new proxy data interface
REX development and testing continues
Zaki from Cosmos
Final preparations for mainnet hub launch in progress. Estimate launch is roughly March 6th- March March 14th.
Jessy Irwin, Tendermint's Head of Security on our audit status.
Terra announced building a stable coin on top of Cosmos.
Kate and Dean from Agoric
We’ve moved a couple of libraries out of SES so that they can be used outside of a SES environment.
We released a new version of the "SES" Secure EcmaScript library (0.4.0). This version adds require() to the confined code, allowing it to perform module imports, fully controlled by the enclosing realm.
We also released new utility libraries (@agoric/nat, @agoric/make-hardener, and @agoric/harden), which used to be part of SES. By splitting these out into external modules, application code which uses them can be unit-tested either inside or outside of a SES environment. "Harden" performs a deep Object.freeze, to protect an API object from external tampering, facilitating safe interaction between mutually suspicious code.
Antonio from dYdX
Started a security audit with Open Zeppelin on the smart contracts for our upcoming new product release
Looking for alpha testers for our new margin trading product. Reach out to email@example.com if you're interested!
Hiring engineers and product designers full-time in SF
Brendan from Dharma
We released two huge UX improvements in Dharma Lever: a) an updated Dashboard that contains a user's borrowring and lending history; b) "Optimistic" flows that cut down the time to borrow to ~1 minute
Last week we did 48k in borrow volume. We've already done >50k in 2 days this week
We're hiring for a blockchain developer and a front-end developer. Check our our open roles here: https://angel.co/dharma-labs/jobs
Coulter from MakerDAO
ETHDenver was spectacular as we had a variety of talks, bounties, and after parties, all while promoting the use of buffidai. We'll have a full wrap-up soon, but one of the things we're most proud of is that we sold our swag for one buffidai, will all proceeds going to Unicef. We collected over $1000!
The vote for the stability fee increase (from 0.5% to 1%) was approved. Governance in action!
Meridio is using Dai to enable their investors to seamlessly trade real estate shares. You can read about it in our latest blog here.
Maker CEO Rune Christensen appeared on The Blockcrunch Podcast to discuss how Maker plans to scale, who's using Dai, and more.
The bloqboard team has integrated CDPs directly into their lending platform. Check out the video here.
ETHDenver was a massive success with the help of Austin Griffin and the amazing burner wallet which helped power 4000+ meal purchases.
The Maker Foundation Risk Team will place a proposal into the voting structure to raise the Dai Stability Fee by 0.5%, for a new rate of 1.5%. Read more here and don't forget to join our governance calls Thursdays at 9am PST
Announced an awesome real-world integration of Dai: Invest in a Brooklyn property, with Dai, and receive an expected yield of 13.24%, also in Dai.
Lazar from MARKET Protocol
Continued work on MPX API endpoints
MPX 0x order book is now functional
Implemented base design layout for our user dashboard
Fixed bug that was preventing response when deploying a contract
Our exchange MPX is functional on testnet, we demoed at ETH Denver!
Order fills now correctly update order state to filled
Orders now include their asset pair name, enabling improved lookup
User trade history now appears within the fills section of the dashboard
Implemented wallet and contract section UI within the dashboard
Robert from Compound
No update this week.
Layer two and interoperability
Tieshun from Namebase
We’ve put forward a proposal for a Handshake address naming spec that would allow people to send cryptocurrency on any chain to a human readable name! No more sending to 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa—instead, you can just send to “satoshi” and be done with it! Our proposal also has an additional layer that allows address privacy even with human readable names.
Paul from Veil
Introduced a new concept called wagers. Wagers are like limit orders—you pick your own odds/price—and each wager has a unique link you can share for others to take the opposite side.
Veil.js version bump, including updated 0x libraries, new method for fetching user orders by status, and new user balances API.
Added notifications. Now when you log in to your Veil account, you’ll be notified of order fills, markets that have resolved, and other activity since your last visit.
Added the ability to toggle between different odds formats. The two supported formats are price (the price per Augur share, between 0-1 ETH) and decimal (traditional European style odds representing the return multiple).
Re-integrated the order book into the default buy and wager forms. After launching a redesign of our market pages last week, one of the most requested features was adding the current order book back to the order form.
Rahul from 0x
ZEIP 23 voting ends tomorrow, which if passed will enable the trading of bundles of assets
0x is hiring! Check out our careers page, looking for engineers, product managers, product designers, and more
Offering free infrastructure credits to companies building on top of 0x
Janine from Liquidity.Network
No update this week.
Dong Mo from Celer
We released iOS and Android v0.8.5 public beta testing, fixed bugs, and improved stability. Optimized the server configurations in different regions and created MVPs for the referral program.
We finished testing and bug fixes before ETHDenver to be able to support hackers building on top of Celer.
Finished the websocket-based SDK, and presented it at ETHDenver hackathon. Fixed bugs in the new OSP protocol and completed the design and planning for the multi-region scalable OSP.
Finished implementation of LiBA web UI.
Alexandra from Parity Technologies
We recommended that everyone, not just those who serve JSON-RPC publicly, update to the new Parity Ethereum release, which protects against nodes potentially being crashed from a targeted attack.
Wei Tang presented a technical deep dive into Parity's Ethereum 2.0 implementation at Ethereum's Berlin meetup.
First look at Parity's Shasper Beacon chain.
Jutta Steiner presented "From Bitcoin to Ethereum, Substrate, and Polkadot" at Odyssey. Recording here.
New guide on preparing for Polkadot's launch with Substrate.
New article: Polkadot, The Foundation of a New Internet.
Basic JS console now on https://polkadot.js.org/apps/#/js.
In the last year, the blockchain we created with the World Food Programme has served more than 100,000 refugees each month. We released an update on what the blockchain built with Parity Ethereum has achieved so far and the developments planned to further its impact.
We released our testnet plan for Shasper, an implementation of Ethereum 2.0 built on the Substrate framework.
In the first "People of Parity," we chat with core dev Jack Fransham about Rust smart contracts, his work on an optimising linear-time compiler for WebAssembly, and life in Berlin.
Interested in building on Polkadot? The Web3 Foundation is providing grants.
We're hiring—new positions listed.
Wes from Theta
Theta mobile wallet for Android published to Google Play store. The iOS version targets next week.
Blockchain sync improvement for shorter download time for a new node
State trie pruning which could dramatically reduce the disk space usage of Theta blockchain
Streaming mobile SDK improvement. Fixed issues for different hardware devices.
Ryan from FOAM
Released new analysis and statistics, "A closer look at challenges and incentives on the FOAM Map"
Recap and Videos now live from our NYC Blockchain Showcase featuring MakerDAO, Livepeer, Relevant and Balance
Challenge notifications, new heat map layer and Map Leaderboard in final stages of development, to be released next week.
Running tests on the GeoPickle, a custom server rack of Raspberry Pi's running the time synchronization protocol in real world conditions recently built. We will be walking through a demo of this technology in our next community call 02/21
Doug from Livepeer
The Livepeer protocol has undergone a parameter update to increase the number of active transcoders from 15 to 25, on the path to hundreds active upon the Streamflow release.
The Docker based test harness has now run 132+ streams through the network concurrently, capturing performance and reliability metrics.
Livepeer is looking to add an experienced Product Manager to the team. Join us!
David from Sia
The second Release Candidate for Sia 1.4.0 was distributed in the #contributors channel. This release candidate has “a few big bugs fixed, a few little bugs fixed, a few performance optimizations.” Taek went on to say “There will be an RC3”. The Sia community has been testing this release candidate thoroughly, perhaps more thoroughly than any other previous RC in Sia’s history. The thorough testing has identified several bugs that the Sia team is still tracking down and fixing.
The vast majority of merge requests this week were bug fixes, debug statements, and improving testing to ensure a stable release.
New commands were added to the
siacutility that enable .sia file backups and restores. This feature was previously added to siad and the API, but now siac supports the same functionality (link).
New pricing fields were added to the API and
minsectoraccesspriceare two new fields that allow a host to set prices for a renter to execute host rpc calls and access specific sectors. Most users won’t need to adjust the default values (link).
Ari from Decentraland
Our UI API is now available for testing via decentraland-ecs@next. Some early documentation is available here.
We’re working on version 5.1 of the SDK, which will increase LAND parcel size to 16m by 16m, add loading feedback to scenes, add zeit.co/now version 2.0 support to the CLI, remove the MetaMask requirement for previewing scenes, improve performance of the comms services, and add an identity protocol.
We’ve completed the audit for the Marketplace bidding feature, with some resulting minor fixes and UI work planned for next week.
The Builder now includes a UI for adding scenes to the Creator Contest, new ground textures, a Chinese New Years themed model pack, segment events, and support for custom scene layouts.
Bowen from Hydro/DDEX.io
Sam from OpenBazaar
2.3.1 update is being finalized. Bulk of work is the IPFS rebase, which will improve network connectivity. 2.3.1 also will include a bulk coin updater which allows vendors to change the coins accepted for all listings instead of individually. Release candidates for testing should be available soon.
Ethereum integration work continues. Use as a currency is mostly completed and in testing, further integration of ETH-based tokens is being worked on now. Will not be ready for the 2.3.1 release but we're aiming for initial ETH support soon after.
The web version of OpenBazaar now has a React website prototype built.
IPFS rebase in testing now. Other minor bug fixes and changes for upcoming 2.3.1 release are included and being tested.
The Blockbook infrastructure needed for the multiwallet to properly function is being improved to assure high availability.
A service (not affiliated with OB1) called Zokos which hosts OpenBazaar stores via the web was released this week.
Martín from Zeppelin