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CRYPTO && COFFEE

Crypto && Coffee 053

Technology Recap: 

Bitcoin: 

  • Oleg Andreev published a draft for the blind Schnorr signature protocol, where the public key is also blinded. This protocol is useful for having ones m-of-n friends sign off the coins on request without learning anything about the transaction.  
  • A Bitcoin researcher at Blockstream shared the timeline of Taproot development since early 2018, illustrating how all we are waiting for now is a Bitcoin Core release with activation parameters and network activation.  

BitcoinCash: 

  • Since the recent BCHN and BCHA fork within BitcoinCash, there has been a 51% attack on BCHA on November 27th, 2020. A miner known as voluntarism.dev has implied that they have chained the coinbase rule so all miners need to send 100% of block rewards to the IFP address. The change would invalidate the entire BCHA (ABC) chain back to its origin on November 15th, 2020, and then re-grow from there.   

Litecoin: 

  • David Burkett released his November 2020 update on Mimblewimble Extension Blocks on the LTC testnet. These updates include one-sided transaction proposals, payment proofs, support for stealth addresses, and more. 

Ethereum: 

  • On December 1st, 2020, the ETH 2.0 Beacon Chain launched and finalized!  
  • This Phase 0 launch, aka the Beacon Chain, lays the foundation for Ethereum’s future. By launching the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) chain and bootstrapping the ETH2.0 validator set, it will prime the network for the next phase, which will extend the PoS network into 64 shard chains that will act as a data availability layer. This layer will not support smart contracts at first but will allow for scaling solutions on ETH1.0, such as rollups. Following this will be various phases to transition ETH1.0’s current state (smart contracts and transaction data) into a shard within the ETH2.0 network. The final phase will unlock smart contract execution capabilities within shards and network state to be partitioned across some or all 64 shards. The final phase of ETH2.0 is scheduled for 2023.  
  • The following clients all worked together to be ready for ETH2.0 mainnet launch. Each client’s stable releases are: Status’s Nimbus v1.0.1, Sigma Prime’s Lighthouse v1.0.3Prysmatic Lab’s Prysm v1.0.3, and ConsenSys’s Teku v20.11.1. 
  • The night before the ETH2.0 launch, Ben Edgington shared the latest update on all things ETH2.0.  
  • The Ethereum Foundation released a quick update last week on hitting the Ether threshold and steps for the Genesis event prior to the ETH2.0 launch that took place yesterday.  
  • With the launch of ETH2.0, Ethereum Foundation released notes on Stateless Ethereum and the Merkle proof needed, which is called a “witness”.  
  • Vitalik Buterin shared his full roadmap of ETH2.0.  
  • Ethereum Research published an article on an ETH2.0 execution model alternative to executable shards with support of a single execution thread within the Beacon Chain.  

Other Chains:  

  • On November 29th, 2020, Bitfly shared that there are now more Ethereum nodes than Bitcoin nodes. At the time of their statement, the numbers were 11,137 active Ethereum nodes and 10,981 active Bitcoin nodes.  
  • As all ETH2.0 clients need to pair and correspond with a respective ETH1.0 client, Nethermind released an update for their ETH1.0 client that was causing issues with the connection to various ETH2.0 clients.  
  • Ocean Protocol joined Open DeFi to bring an innovative perspective to the alliance through viewing data and data access as new forms of liquidity.  
  • ZKSwap announced that it will launch its PLONK based zero-knowledge proof on Ethereum mainnet in one or two weeks.  
  • Singapore exchange Bitrue has integrated Chainlink VRF to select winners in its Daily XRP Raffle.  
  • Yearn Finance announced that Yearn yVaults have now been fully integrated with Argent.  
  • A couple days after the above announcement from Yearn Finance, they announced the Cover and Yearn merger, where Cover will become the backstop coverage provider for Yearn and for DeFi as a whole. In addition to Cover and Yearn merging, Sushiswap and Yearn are merging as well!  
  • Beam plans to integrate with Chainlink to bring oracles to Confidential DeFi.  
  • Cosmos Hub test-stargate-d is now live! This is the first time a Tendermint Core chain has successfully upgraded and relaunched from a non-zero block height.  
  • Eli Ben-Sasson, co-founder of StarkWare, published information on Ziggy, the opensourced zk-STARKbased post-quantum secure signed signature scheme.  
  • To ensure fair market pricing of Curve LP tokens used within various DeFi platforms/protocols, Curve Finance has recommended protocols to integrate Chainlink Price Feeds to value LP tokens against other assets.  
  • Moner GUI and CLI v.0.17.1.5 have been released. This release features significant improvements to Dandelion++. These improvements include fluff probability to 20% and embargo timeout to 39 seconds, fix timeout checks for forwarded and stem transactions within Dandelion++, improve peer selection during the stem phase, and more.   
  • Curve Finance will distribute $3M in accrued fees to the platform’s governance token holders following a community vote 
  • Yam Finance released their November 2020 Roadmap update including: Umbrella by Yam alpha development, Yam DAO with Set Protocol v2, and UMA Protocol’s on-chain derivatives.  
  • Crypto data provider CoinCodex will launch its own Chainlink node to sell signed market data directly into various blockchains.  

Mainstream Recap: 

  • Richard Sanders posted a Twitter thread stating that he successfully passed KuCoin’s KYC by impersonating Borat.  
  • Visa announced it is connecting its global payments network of 60 million merchants to the U.S. Dollar Coin (USDC) developed by Circle on the Ethereum blockchain.  
  • On November 25th, 2020, VanEck launched Bitcoin ETN (Exchange-Traded Notes). The ETN is backed by Bitcoin and listed on Deutsche Böerse Xetra. 
  • Wyre released a new batch of top DeFi tokens to their platform including AAVE, BAT, COMP, CRV, LINK, MKR, SNX, UMA, UNI, WBTC, and YFI.  
  • CoinDesk reported that Libra is planning a January 2021 launch pending regulatory approval.  
  • After five weeks of suspending withdrawals, OKEx announced the re-opening of withdrawals at 8:00 UTC on November 26, 2020.  
  • Gemini joined The Giving Block for #BitcoinTuesday to donate crypto to nonprofits in need.  
  • Multiple exchanges announced support for the ETH2.0 migration along with staking rewards. Some of those exchanges include Bitfinex and Coinbase. 
  • Guggenheim’s $4.87B Macro Opportunity Fund wants Bitcoin exposure. On Friday, November 27th, 2020, the Guggenheim Funds Trust filed an SEC amendment allowing them to invest up to 10% of their fund in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC).  
  • New Yorkbased AllianceBerstein has reconsidered when it comes to bitcoin as an investment over the long term. Full article from CoinDesk here. 
  • Kraken and Square Crypto’s grant of more than $150K to Bitcoin developer firm Brink will help the firm in developing and educating the next generation of Bitcoin developers. Announced yesterday, Gemini will power a grant from the Human Rights Foundation to benefit Bitcoin Core developer and upcoming Cal graduate Gloria Zhao at Brink.  
  • 100x Group announced their continued financial support for open source developer Alex Hultman, for his work on µWS.  
  • Gemini founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are holding a Twitter Q&A tomorrow, Thursday, December 3rd, 2020, with Aave CEO Stani Kulechov at 1:30pm ET.  
  • 100x Group, the holding group for HDR Global Trading Limited, owner and operator of BitMEX, has named Alexander Hoptner as its new CEO.  
  • Real Vision published their 95-minute documentary on Ethereum. Watch the full video here. 
  • Facebook’s Libra Association announced the adoption of a new name, Diem, as well as adding on new members in order to achieve regulatory approval and progress towards launch.  
  • The Centre Consortium, the USDC stablecoin issuer, has hired Wall Street veteran David Puth as its new CEO. 

 This Week’s Cup of Coffee: 

This week, we are popping up to Portland, OR for a cup of Sterling Coffee Roasters’ Holiday Blend. Get into the festive spirit with this medium roast that yields notes of hot cocoa with hints of baking spices, vanilla, and cloves. This warm blend is a must for those cold winter mornings. Enjoy! 

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