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Crypto && Coffee 003

Technology Recap: 


  • Pieter Wuille, an engineer at Blockstream and a Bitcoin Core Dev, contributed to an active thread on Reddit regarding extension blocks and the possible use of confidential transactions in Bitcoin. Wuille stated, “I would personally very much like to see Confidential Transactions in Bitcoin. Hiding transaction amounts by default – while not a silver bullet for privacy on its own – would make CoinJoin a lot more powerful.”  


  • Ethereum successfully completed the Istanbul hard fork on December 7th at block height 9069000. At the time of the fork only 68.5% of Ethereum clients were synced with Istanbul. ZK Rollups are now possible and will allow Layer-2 scaling with transaction speeds upwards of 3000tps (transactions per second). ZK Rollups are a Layer-2 scaling solutions that allow funds to be held in an on-chain smart contract while computation and storage are performed off-chain. The “ZK” stands for zero-knowledge as every rollup block performs a state transition zero-knowledge proof (SNARK) which is verified by the on-chain contract.  


  • BitcoinABC v0.20.8 was released yesterday, December 10th. The release updated some logging behaviors as well as the networking layer.  

Other Chains:  

  • Zcash’s network upgrade Blossom will be mined today at block height 653600. One of the main changes in this upgrade are that block times will decrease from 150 seconds to 75 seconds. 
  • Binance Chain, which is now supported by CipherTrace, is based off the core Cosmos + Tendermint code base. Recently, the Cosmos Hub 3 Upgrade proposal passed. This means that Cosmos Hub 3 will be launching today at block 2902000. Cosmos has been posting about the need for migration best practices such as: verifying software versions, verifying the correct genesis file hash, and key management. The Cosmos Hub is aimed at being one of the main Hubs in the Cosmos Network. A hub in this sense is a blockchain specifically designed to connect to other blockchains. The full list of migration risks is here: 
  • Chia released its alpha estnet containing the first version of Chialisp. Chia Network is based off Bitcoin but uses “proofs of space” instead of Proof of Work (PoW). Chia uses disk space instead of computing power as its resource. Chialisp is Chia’s smart transaction programming language. The Smart Transactions currently available are atomic swaps, authorized payees, recoverable wallets, multi-sig wallets, and rate-limited wallets.  


Mainstream Recap: 

  • In a conference hosted by French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (ACPR), the central bank’s governor said that the bank will start testing digital currency soon. 
  • BTSE is looking to launch on Blockstream’s Liquid Network, stating that, “Liquid satisfies the modern demand for digital tokens and assets, with Liquid Issued Assets native to the chain, without any meta layers like the clumsy and ill-thought Counterparty and OMNI protocols. Issued Assets also benefit from Confidential Transactions making it the only fully fungible token platform available. On top of this, single-chain atomic swaps between assets or assets and L-BTC are possibly, removing counterparty risk.” 
  • Sigma Prime announced they are now hosting publicly-accessible Lighthouse nodes for running beacon/validator nodes for the Ethereum 2.0 testnet. Lighthouse is an Ethereum 2.0 client which supports Proof of Stake (PoS) and sharding. Trail of Bits will be performing the security review of Lighthouse scheduled for January 2020.  
  • IACR release a new research paper proposing a solution for implementing Confidential Assets on MimbleWimble, which allows users to issue and transfer multiple assets on a blockchain without showing addresses, amounts, or asset types.  


This Week’s Cup of Coffee: 

This week, I suggest one of my normal go-to morning coffees, the Santarossa Blend from Dune Coffee Roasters in Santa Barbara. This dark roast is a blend of full-bodied coffee with notes of chocolate and cinnamon. Definitely try this out in a drip coffee machine, Chemex, or French press!! 

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