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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
Lightning has struck Decred. We're very pleased to announce that our Lightning Network implementation dcrlnd is now live on testnet. It would appear Decred is the first coin that is not based on Bitcoin Core to go live with LN.
Matheus has released a blog post outlining the tremendous development effort that went into the port as well as the sequence of events that will culminate in Lightning becoming usable on mainnet after our stakeholder voted hard fork which is scheduled to activate on May 9th. There's also a slick video showing LN integrated into our Decrediton GUI wallet.
A new Politeia vote has just gone live to amend the Decred constitution. More specifically to bring it up to date and better describe how the code places ultimate sovereignty in the hands of stakeholders.
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 v11.0.0 has been fully released on SDF nodes, and currently we're waiting on SDK compatibility before coordinating with validators to move to Stellar Protocol 11.
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.
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.
Paige & Zooko from Zcash
Zcash is a digital currency utilizing zk-SNARKs to enable its privacy-protecting properties.
Official migration tool + documentation + testing for 2.0.5 release
Testing turnstile enforcement consensus rule for 2.0.5 release
Improving SDK, librustzcash & lightwalletd with help from community feedback
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.
For those wondering what this Mimblewimble thing is good for: Grin's UTXO set shrank by 15% over the past week.
@yeastplume started work on invoice transaction flow via API.
Slate compatibility fixes ahead of v1.1.0, by @bddap and @yeastplume.
Peer max count was increased significantly by @ignopeverell.
Income and spending logs were updated by @lehnberg ahead of the Q1 transparency report.
@kargakis provided a script for easy checking of unaccounted for income in the income log.
Governance meeting discussed reporting, financial logging, supporting 3rd party projects and improving Grin evangelism.
@i1skn gave a Grin intro at Crypto Monday in Berlin
1st Grin meetup in Moscow announced for May 16
More Grin info here.
Beni from Beam
Beam is a confidential and scalable cryptocurrency based on Mimblewimble.
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.
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.
Smart contracting platforms
Evan from Ethereum
Ethereum is a decentralized platform for applications that aims to resist fraud, censorship or third-party interference.
Eth2.0 spec v0.6.0 heading toward a spec freeze in less than 2 months
Adjustable degrees of statefulness in Eth1 clients. Casey Detrio’s tweetstorm also has useful context
Erik from NEAR
NEAR is a sharded proof-of-stake blockchain.
17 PRs in nearcore from 5 different authors
Whiteboard series recorded with Quarkchain
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.
Tezos Development team, Nomadic Labs, demonstrated snapshotting for Tezos. Snapshotting will enable anyone to sync a Tezos node within 1-2 minutes.
Cryptonomic, creator of Galleon wallet for Tezos, releases v.0.8.0b which now features smart contract support, Conseil v2, and version checking
Install Kiln to easily setup a node and start baking with a GUI. Kiln makes it simple for anyone onboard Tezos.
Tezos successfully reached its 100th cycle!
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.
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.
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.
The First upgrade of the Cosmos Hub is complete and transfers were enabled
Exciting work is underway for governance to change parameters directly and initialize the light client with weak subjectivity
Kate and Dean from Agoric
Mark presented at UC Santa Cruz on Secure Computing. He talked about visualizing the “attack surface” as a way to reason about aggregate risk, and showed how the composition of several techniques, such as blockchains, object-capability languages, and smart contracts, can produce a multiplicative decrease in risk without loss of functionality.
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)
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.
Paul from Veil
Veil is a peer-to-peer prediction market and derivatives platform built on top of Augur, 0x, and Ethereum.
Rahul from 0x
0x is an open protocol that enables the peer-to-peer exchange of assets on the Ethereum blockchain.
0x Mesh architecture doc released
ERC 721 tokens are now supported by 0x Instant, with relayer Emoon showing off an integration
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.
At Sub0, the first Substrate developer conference, Gavin Wood presented new Substrate features, including off-chain workers (CPU, network, secure-storage, IPFS), indexable events, fee abstractions (block weight, rewards), and on-chain parallelism.
At Sub0, Robert Habermeier presented on Substrate's swappable consensus and the Cumulus libraries for easily turning a Substrate chain into a Polkadot parachain.
New Build Your Own UTXO chain tutorial.
New generic binary Merkle tree implementation in Rust, compatible with Serenity.
May Substrate events are here.
Web3 Foundation is providing grants to build the Web3 ecosystem.
We're hiring Developer Advocates, among many other positions.
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.
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
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.
Hydro SDK x Augur Demo: Build prediction market with Hydro https://www.reddit.com/r/hydroprotocol/comments/bh29c6/how_to_use_hydro_to_build_a_prediction_market_in/
Hydro-sdk-wallet open source repo - integrate web3 wallet with in a single SDK : https://github.com/HydroProtocol/hydro-sdk-wallets
Hydro- box -dex working in progress : https://github.com/HydroProtocol/hydro-box-dex