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Crypto && Coffee 020 | Security and Stablecoins

Technology Recap: 

Bitcoin: 

  • We are now 26 days away from the block reward halving. 
  • The MIT Bitcoin Club has posted all videos from this year’s MIT Bitcoin Expo, which took place in early March.  

BitcoinCash: 

  • Bitcoin ABC v0.21.4 has been released. This release focuses on improvements for developers. Additionally, BitcoinABC will no longer support 32-bit Windows.  
  • Since the BitcoinCash (BCH) halving last week, its network seems to oscillate between producing a single block an hour and every 2 minutes. Full details on BCH blocks per hour can be visualized here 

Ethereum: 

  • The Ethereum Foundation released an update on EF-supported research and development teams. The work includes projects stemming from applied zero-knowledge proofs, EwasmGeth, Solidity, ETH2.0 and more. 

Other Chains:  

  • The Gnosis Protocol, a fully permissionless DEX that enables a new mechanism called ring trades to maximize liquidity, launched today. Full details here. 
  • Due to high demand from users such as SynthetixChainlink has redeployed the ETH-USD contract on Ethereum mainnet to provide developers more options and flexibility for gathering data. Full details can be viewed in Chainlink’s Price Reference Contract.  
  • Decentralized global content ecosystem Contentos is integrating with Chainlink to allow creators to monetize through DeFi in the near future 
  • Blockchain platform company Oasis Labs is scheduling a network upgrade for its Oasis Network on Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 09:00AM PT.  
  • Vitalik Buterin stated that the trends in cryptography of the 2010s were elliptic curves, pairing and general purpose ZKPs/SNARKs. He believes the trends of the 2020s will be the same, plus lattices, LWE, multilinear maps, homomorphic encryption, MPC, and obfuscation. Full thread here. 
  • Ripple’s Xpring released v1.5.0 of the XRP Ledger (rippled). The (rippled) v1.5.0 introduces several improvements and new features to the XRP Ledger including support for gRPC API, API versioning, UNL propagation via the peer network and new RPC methods.  
  • Gitcoin grant project Nethermind has published results of its work as well as v1.8.0. Tests on the new Ethereum 1.x client’s parallel sync shows how receipts can be downloaded in the background while the state sync runs at 100MB per minute. This download speed equates to roughly six hours for the whole sync. View the source code here. 
  • Cosmos, Agoric, and Band Protocol announced Cross Chain, a three-week virtual hackathon celebrating open-source collaboration across blockchain ecosystems. 
  • Bryan Bishop released his prototype, Bitcoin Vaults, a Python cold storage and theft minimization tool. The project aims at maintaining a bitcoin vault based around the concepts of sharding and pre-signed transactions. 
  • Synthetix community member shared thoughts on how sUSD might challenge DAI as the leading decentralized stablecoin 
  • Privacy-focused blockchain company Matter Labs released v0.1.5 of its Zinc framework. The goal of Zinc is to make writing safe zero-knowledge programs and ZKP-based smart contracts easy.  

 Mainstream Recap: 

  • Last week, crypto exchange network Bisq halted trading after developers investigated a critical security vulnerability. A hotfix was released within a few hours via v1.3.0. Shortly thereafter, they released  v1.3.1. They have posted that if issues persist, they should be fixed via v1.3.2 which will be released this week. Full details here.   
  • As announced last Wednesday, April 8th, 2020, TD Ameritrade, Cumberland, CMT Digital, DV Trading, Jump Capital, Volt Capital and Compound have joined forces in the Chicago DeFi Alliance (CDA). This new alliance will focus on providing advisory services to crypto startups.  
  • Canadian investment fund manager 3iQ’s The Bitcoin Fund began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) on Thursday, April 9th, 2020.  
  • Fidelity Digital Assets has teamed up with ErisX to provide clients with access to the firm’s spot market. Full details here 
  • Bitcoin rewards app, Fold, announced the first bitcoin rewards card from itself and Visa. 
  • Gemini announced upcoming support for Chainlink (LINK), Dai (DAI), and Orchid (OXT) beginning Friday, April 24th at 09:30AM ET. At that time, users will be able to deposit LINK, DAI, and OXT into their Gemini accounts, with trading to follow shortly after.  
  • Guarda Wallet released a new page focused on their non-custodial Private Zcash Wallet. The page includes education on both how to perform a shielded transaction and the basics of Zcash technology.  
  • Banco Central do Brasil’s new Pier data-sharing platform will be used by insurance sector company Superintendencia de Seguros Privados (SUSEP) for consultation between regulators. The platform is built on JP Morgan’s Quorum blockchain and runs on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. Full article here. 
  • Hardware wallet Ledger posted an article to alert users to phishing attempts. There are active phishing attempts ongoing on YouTube targeting Ledger users. 
  • China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) published a list of the 71 companies and public entities that have joined its committee. The group, also known as the National Blockchain and Distributed Accounting Technology Standardization Technical Committee, aims at setting industry standards for distributed ledger technology. View the list here. 
  • The Financial Stability Board released a consultative document addressing the regulation and challenges raised by global stablecoins 
  • Atomic Loans has raised a $2.45M seed round led by Initialized Capital and continued support from ConsenSys Labs, Morgan Creek Digital, Bison Trails and more. The Atomic Loans protocol aims to enable a two-sided marketplace for Bitcoin-backed lending, allowing users to lock their BTC natively in a non-custodial escrow on Bitcoin and borrow an Ethereum stablecoin. 
  • ShapeShift has acquired Portis, an Israeli startup that built the leading Web3 wallet SDK for developers of crypto applications to easily integrate wallet functionality into their products. All wallet accounts already work on ShapeShift and are aimed at bringing true self-custody and web3-based digital finance to the masses. 
  • The Financial Times reported that Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is aiming to raise $450M for a second cryptocurrency fund.  

This Week’s Cup of Coffee: 

This week, we are jumping up to Seattle, WA for a cup of Caffe Luna from the philanthropic roaster Caffe Vita. This blend holds some comforting flavors of milk chocolate and tastes amazing either at nighttime or in the early morning hours. 

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