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
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
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
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.
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.
"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.
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.
Lots of work on both full node and wallet core features on our road to make our self imposed open Spacemesh Testnet milestone...
NIPST builder running POST inside a full node node. Use PoET as local or remote server via RPC.
Public key extraction from Hare protocol identities
Integrated VRF eligibility for Hare protocol
Backup wallet - 12 word backup self test
NYC people - join us on May 13th for this free special event - NYC Blockchain Deep Tech Fireside Chat - space is limited so RSVP now...
Full updates here... 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.
Richard has published issue 14 of the Politeia Digest covering the first 2 weeks of April.
A friendly reminder, th;’’’’’’’’e new consensus rules have been locked in after passing with 99.98% support (super contentious). Anyone running a Decred node who has not upgraded to version 1.4 still has 17 days to do so before they are voted off the island once the scheduled hard fork takes place.
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.
The snarky website is up thanks to Matt.
Rahul fixed OpenMP support on Mac.
Jiawei fixed several issues related to the caching of blocks.
Paige & Zooko from Zcash
Zcash is a digital currency utilizing zk-SNARKs to enable its privacy-protecting properties.
Weekly update, available here.
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.
7 Pull Requests were merged into the grin node repo in the past week, by 5 unique contributors.
Last dev meeting discussed CI tools, tests, protocol versioning, beta status ahead of release of 1.1.0, and how we handle branches.
CryptoUnlocked announced a prediction market betting on Grin's network hashrate, where proceeds go to Grin's dev fund if it succeeds.
More Grin info here.
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.
Smart contracting platforms
Evan from Ethereum
Ethereum is a decentralized platform for applications that aims to resist fraud, censorship or third-party interference.
Proposal to boost Eth2 staking rewards which would put inflation at ~1%.
Péter Szilágyi on Geth v1.9: “speed up fast sync by 57%, reduce disk reads by 44% and writes by 26%”
EY announces it will opensource “private transactions on the Ethereum blockchain using zk-snarks” to run on the public chain.
Erik from NEAR
NEAR is a sharded proof-of-stake blockchain.
28 PRs in nearcore from 7 different authors
Implemented app-specific keys to enable mobile applications
Published nearlib 0.5.2
Added ~100 integration tests;
Created a load testing tool for TestNet;
Changed the format of the blocks to compute twice fewer BLS signatures.
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
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.
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.
Terra a stable coin Cosmos Zone is launching their mainnet as well.
Kate and Dean from Agoric
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
Coulter from MakerDAO
Maker is comprised of a decentralized stablecoin, collateral loans, and community governance.
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.
Recording from Gavin Wood discussing Governance: What, Why, and How at Ethereum Singapore.
Parity's CTO Fred Harrysson wrote up some thoughts on how to build blockchain clients differently, more sustainably, and with more focus on users.
New interview with Gavin Wood on his vision for Polkadot and PoW and PoS.
Parity Ethereum core developer Wei Tang presented "Account Versioning: Software engineering way to solve the immutability / invariant problem." Slides here.
Interested in building on Polkadot? The Web3 Foundation is providing grants.
We're hiring Blockchain Runtime Engineers.
Doug from Livepeer
Livepeer is a decentralized video infrastructure network, dramatically reducing prices for developers and businesses building video streaming applications at scale.
One of the winning hacks at EthCapetown built a censorship resistant streaming+tipping platform using Livepeer, Raiden Burner Wallet, and ENS.
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/
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.