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CRYPTO && COFFEE

Crypto && Coffee 056 | Kris “KYC” Kringle Comes to Town 

Technology Recap:

Bitcoin:

  • The bitcoin.org site briefly went down on December 19th, 2020, due to a DDoS attack. Developers quickly started sharing files regarding Bitcoin Core v0.20.1 over BitTorrent to allow others to seed the file and keep new nodes up to date.
  • Bitcoin had another stale block on December 23, 2020, at block height 662642. No double spends were detected.
  • Bitcoin Optech released a full Year-in-Review newsletter which dives into Payjoin, Lightning Network advancements, succinct atomic swaps, MuSig2, Taproot, tapscript, and Schnorr signatures.
  • With Bitcoin day after day hitting new all-time highs, take a trip down memory lane and review the early days before the whitepaper and Satoshi Nakamoto’s emails with Wei Dai and others!

Ethereum:

  • Solidity v0.8.0 is finally here and is a breaking release for the Solidity compiler and language.
  • As of December 16th, 2020, the queue for validators to start staking on January 1st, 2021, was 12,496 validators long (~13 days).
  • Ethereum Cat Herders released their latest update regarding ETH1.0 client updates, ETH2.0 upgrade and hard fork, ETH2.0 client updates, EIP-1559 implementer meeting, and more.

Other Chains:

  • Cash published a Governance Proposal which includes the creation of the TORN ERC-20 token, providing holders the ability to make proposals and vote to change the protocol via governance.
  • The Aave Protocol V2 has been launched and activated! Last week there was a governance vote on AIP-4, a proposal to activate Aave V2 Governance. The votes were validated, and the protocol has now been released.
  • Alessandro Chiesa, an assistant professor at UC Berkeley and co-founder of Zcash and StarkWare, published his videos, slides, and notes from his “CS294: Foundations of Probabilistic Proofs” class.
  • Equilibrium and Ren are teaming up to mutually beneficial ends. Equilibrium will gain access to RenVM’s BTC bridge on Polkadot and RenVM will see increased demand for its services as new users peg in and out of BTC moving forward.
  • Perpetual Protocol announced their mainnet launch. Users can now trade ETH and BTC perpetual contracts with up to 12x leverage on-chain.
  • Optimistic Ethereum shared the final phase of their testnet. In the coming days, the team will intentionally commit fraud on their testnet and allow people to try to keep the chain secure.
  • Storj Labs welcomed Filebase to the Tardigrade Ecosystem! Filebase is a pure cloud-managed offering with no software or API keys. Users can use Filebase to upload data easily onto Tardigrade without running any additional software.
  • The Graph Network launched its mainnet and is now live! This index of blockchain data is the first of its kind–global and easily searchable.
  • Compound Labs shared the whitepaper for Compound Chain, a distributed ledger capable of transferring value and liquidity between peer ledgers.
  • Trail of Bits released 7.0 of Slither. Slither is a Solidity static analysis framework which runs a suite of vulnerability detectors, and helps developers enhance their code and smart contracts to be more secure.
  • 0confirmation took their initial app, 0cf Swap, live to the public. 0cf Swap allows users to swap BTC in its native form on any exchange or hardware wallet to DAI on Ethereum trustlessly using Uniswap.
  • Badger DAO shared information on their WBTC/ETH SushiSwap LP vault. Details include the deposit into the liquidity pool (LP), claiming Badger, staking (SUSHI) and eventually compounded (SUSHI).
  • Cosmos released the latest updates from their engineering team, including Stargate testnets, Tendermint Core, Cosmos SDK, IBC, and more.
  • Pillar Wallet has integrated RenVM via RenJS. With this integration, Pillar Wallet users can easily convert BTC to WBTC, all within the app.
  • Stellar released their latest dev update, including investment in Settle Network, Horizon 13.0, and active discussion within the community.
  • Shell Protocol launched on ParaSwap. Shell optimized the prices of stablecoins like USDT and Wrapped assets.
  • The Blockchain at Berkeley club at Cal emerged as the 10th largest Uniswap delegate with 2.5M votes!
  • Electric Coin Company published the new v4.2.0 release of Zcash! This release improves RPC performance, updates default fees, and switches the zcashd signature dependency from libsodium to the Rust implementation ed25519-zebra.
  • The DODO V2 contract completed its full audit!
  • Synthetix released their new Staking DApp which aligns with the Synthetix brand and allows a seamless and enjoyable experience for SNX holders.

Mainstream Recap:

  • FinCEN released their proposal for new KYC requirements regarding certain crypto transactions involving convertible virtual currencies or digital assets. In the first day, we saw a response from Brian Armstrong at Coinbase as well as other exchanges, including Kraken.
  • The French Ministry of Finance has formally unveiled KYC requirements for crypto transactions as of early December 2020. In the document released by Minister Bruno Le Maire, VASPs in France will now have to prohibit anonymous crypto accounts.
  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Ripple and two executives with conducting a $1.3B unregistered offering. Coinbase, Bittrex, and Crypto.com announced that they will be delisting XRP in January 2021.
  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation, EFF, joined in on the discussion of financial surveillance regarding cryptocurrency.
  • On December 17th, 2020, an oracle manipulation vulnerability in Warp Finance was exploited, resulting in the loss of ~$7.8M of USDC and DAI from the WarpVaultSC. The attack took place via a flash swap of $180M from Uniswap and dYdX, which then was used to empty Warp.
  • On December 21st, 2020, the Ledger data breach from June 2020 was dumped on RaidForum. The breach includes over 1M email addresses and >250K physical mailing addresses and phone numbers, which are now being used in active phishing campaigns. Users can check haveibeenpwned to see if they are affected.
  • On December 21st, 2020, EXMO alerted users of suspicious withdrawal activity and compromise of nearly 5% of total assets on their hot wallets. Withdrawals were temporarily suspended. Full update from EXMO here.
  • Filecoin network fell apart due to a dormant bug over the weekend. It took the team roughly four hours to get the network back up and running.
  • In Q1 of 2021, Bitpanda is opening a Technology & Innovation Hub, creating 300 jobs in Krakow, Poland, and investing > €10M into the market.
  • Coinbase announced the confidential submission of their draft registration (Form S1) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
  • Messari shared how the Coinbase IPO could command a $28B valuation.
  • On December 17th, 2020, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) released a Digital Assets Primer highlighting DeFi and governance.
  • Kraken announced the launch of a Bitcoin and Lightning Network integration in the first half of 2021.
  • Gemini stated that they will support ETH2.0 trading and staking as soon as possible.
  • Coinbase launched The Graph (GRT) on Coinbase.com as well as iOS and Android apps.
  • SBI Digital Asset Holdings aims to integrate its institution-focused digital assets wallet with the securities platform, Securitize, which is a U.S. headquartered firm. The Japanese arm announced that the integration would enable users to sell, issue, and manage tokenized securities.
  • Quartz published an article stating that Nigeria is now the #2 bitcoin market in the world, with tech-savvy protesters switching to bitcoin during protests in October.
  • Eligible customers on Coinbase can now earn rewards for holding Algorand.
  • Securitize became the first security token platform to integrate with Avalanche.
  • Bloomberg reported that a hedge fund specializing in volatility bets has emerged as one of the largest investors in Bitcoin, after quietly buying more than $600M in crypto and joining forces with Alan Howard, co-founder of Brevan Howard Asset Management.
  • As more major companies and financial institutions are starting to hold crypto, exchanges are coming forward with support to be their custodian. Coinbase shared Coinbase Prime, their solution for institutions.
  • MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor announced another purchase of an additional 29,646 bitcoins for ~$650M. The company now holds an aggregate of 70,470 bitcoins.
  • The Electric Coin Company published their Q2 2020 Transparency Report with details on company income, expenses, use of funds and more.
  • Poloniex listed Empty Set Dollar. ESD joins their 70+ other DeFi assets.
  • Insurance startup Tidal Finance has raised a $1.95M seed round for its Tidal token, which will use the Polkadot blockchain to allow users to contribute funds that insure a set of DeFi applications against smart contracts.
  • The Coin Republic published how Bitfinex Derivatives is launching a perpetual contract for ETH/BTC.
  • Kraken announced that Miha Grčar, pioneer of the crypto exchange sector previously at Bitstamp, will be joining their team as Head of Business Development.
  • Global crypto exchange Huobi Group is making its U.S. comeback via a recent filing. The license will enable the company to offer custodial and compliance services in the U.S market in early 2021.

Jakes’s Cup of Coffee:

This week, Jacob is grabbing a festive cup of Festivity Blend from Temple Coffee Roasters in Sacramento, CA. This full bodied roast with flavors of blackberry, pecan, and chantilly cream is a great complement to Christmas morning gifts. Happy holidays everyone, enjoy!

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