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CRYPTO && COFFEE

Crypto && Coffee 059 | New ETH All-Time High 

Technology Recap:

Bitcoin:

  • As of Sunday, January 10th, 2021, it has been ~26 days since the mempool has cleared. The week of January 11th started with a full mempool and the additional increase of the difficulty adjustment. As of January 13th, the mempool sat at ~164MB covering 122 blocks.
  • Suhas Daftuar posted on the Bitcoin-Dev mailing list proposing a new BIP for a disabletx message that could be sent during connection negotiation. A node that understands that message won’t request any transactions from the node and will not send other gossip messages. The disabletx message negotiation persists for the lifetime of the connection, allowing peers to use different limits for disabled relay connections.
  • Pieter Wuille posted on the Bitcoin-Dev mailing list a draft BIP for a modified version of bech32 address encoding. The modified version, bech32m, will be used for Taproot addresses and possible future new scripts.

Ethereum:

  • New all-time high!
  • Status released v1.0.6 of Nimbus, the ETH2.0 client which now includes reproducible builds for ARM devices, improved attestation subnet walking logic, and better usage of the Sqlite3 checkpointing API.
  • As more Ethereum-based protocols that include ZK-Rollups are coming to mainnet, let’s look back at both the short term and long-term roadmap from Vitalik and others regarding rollups.

Other Chains:

  • The dYdX Protocol shared that as of January 9th, 2021, they have hit $3B in transaction volume since their launch.
  • StarkWare noted that dYdX’s perpetual contracts will be live on a StarkEx ZK-Rollup on Ethereum mainnet in a few weeks.
  • Viktor Bunin of Bison Trails published an ETH2.0 update regarding network performance, Phase 1 proposals, and more.
  • On-chain gaming platform LE7EL is now using Chainlink VRF on mainnet to determine the outcome of chance-based games in a provably fair, unbiased, and tamperproof manner.
  • The Umbrella Protocol by Yam Finance is now live on mainnet for alpha testing. Umbrella has the potential to become a critical lego block for the DeFi ecosystem by offering customizable factory-based pool creation, an intuitive experience, and reliable NFT-based protections.
  • 1inch Exchange shared that they have hit $10B in total volume–$222M in 24 hours on January 11th, 2021, and $1B within seven days.
  • The Electric Coin Company announced ZIP-224, which paves the way for implementing Halo on Zcash. Halo on Zcash would enable circuit upgrades without the need for trusted setups, which in turn makes the Zcash shielded protocol more agile for future improvements.
  • Chainlink awarded a blockchain integration grant to Protofire for the native integration of Chainlink into the Avalanche blockchain.
  • Nomadic Labs released their Year in Review for 2020, including all of their work on the Tezos ecosystem.
  • Warp Finance will integrate Chainlink Price Feeds to secure their protocol relaunch after the flash loan exploit back in December 2020.
  • Lightning Lab’s LND build system is now fully verifiable on both Linux and MacOS!
  • Yearn Finance published their v.0.3.0 release, Strelka, which includes upgrades to Yearn Vaults.
  • Cosmos Stargate has been released, featuring Inter Blockchain Communication (IBC), Protocol Buffer (Protobuf) migration, upgrade to Tendermint v0.34.1 and more.
  • With the latest Cosmos release, the IBC protocol finally came to life. This article explains the function of bridges and their importance post-IBC on Cosmos.
  • Aave shared that AIP-7 has been voted on and executed. This move enables stake slashing and increase of safety incentives to 550 AAVE per day.
  • Monero released v0.17.1.9, Oxygen Orion, for both CLI and GUI. It includes a patch and mitigation for the recent memory exhaustion attack.
  • Celo kicked off the trusted setup for Plumo, a zero-knowledge SNARK based syncing protocol that takes the “lightest sync” mode to the next level.
  • Railgun was introduced, stating it will be a privacy and anonymity system built directly on Ethereum.
  • Ren just passed the most revenue they have generated so far since launch in the past 28 days, with ~$1M being paid out to ~1500 nodes, mostly in BTC.
  • Synthetix released their priorities for 2021, including Optimistic Ethereum, Synthetix v3, governance improvements, futures, asset expansion, DApp upgrades, and more.
  • MakerDAO’s PSM has been added to 1inch. PSM allows users to mint and burn (DAI) for (USDC) 1:1 while charging only a fixed fee of 0.1%.
  • Lightning Labs released LND v.0.12.0-beta, the latest release candidate for the next major version of LND. This version makes anchor outputs the default for commitment transactions and adds support for them in its watchtower implementation, reducing costs and increasing safety.
  • Ethereum Layer-2 ZK-Rollup based scaling solution, Hermez Network, launched their bug bounty program after two successful security audits from Solidified and Trail of Bits.
  • Oiler, which will be launching soon on Ethereum, will provide research into EIP-1559 and the various manipulations possible with the BASEFEE parameter.

Mainstream Recap:

  • Jack Mallers, founder of Zap, announced Strike Global. Strike has now partnered with Bittrex Global and will be launching in over 200 countries, onboarding 1M+ Bittrex users onto Strike and Lightning network; they will be releasing the Strike Card for U.S. customers in Q1 of 2021 and for EU and UK in Q2 of 2021, and adding support for USDT, USDC, EUR, GBP, CHF, and more.
  • Vitalik Buterin, creator of Ethereum, shared Why we need wide adoption of social recovery wallets.
  • The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) Brain Brooks shared his thoughts on the future of finance and the opportunities of DeFi in an op-ed for the Financial Times.
  • Erik Voorhees announced that ShapeShift has integrated decentralized exchange protocols and is sunsetting its usage of KYC.
  • CoinDesk reported that Iranian authorities have shut down 1,620 illegal cryptocurrency mining farms that collectively used 250 megawatts of electricity over the past 18 months.
  • U.K. based CoinCorner debuted support for the Lightning network on Tuesday, January 5th. Users can now deposit and withdraw BTC using the Lightning network.
  • Fidelity Digital Assets submitted a letter last week to the U.S. Department of Treasury regarding the proposed rulemaking by FinCEN.
  • Castle Island Ventures, led by Nic Carter, has recently submitted a letter to FinCEN as well regarding the proposed rules on digital assets.
  • River Financial submitted a formal comment noting their opposition to the policy change coming from the U.S. Department of Treasury.
  • The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) ban on the sale of crypto derivatives and exchange-traded notes (ETNS), published last October, went into effect on Wednesday, January 6th, 2021.
  • Grayscale Investments named Michael Sonnenshein CEO. Sonnenshein has been with Grayscale for seven years and served as Managing Director for the previous three. The firm expects to double its staff size and launch multiple new products in 2021.
  • The Mediterranean Hospital of Cyprus has vaccinated ~100 doctors and nurses against COVID-19 using blockchain-based mobile app E-HCert, backed by the VeChainThor blockchain.
  • Kraken released a full December 2020 intelligence report on the past months’ market recap and current outlook.
  • Routefire announced that they will be joining Coinbase to continue developing best-in-class execution services for digital assets. The current Routefire platform will no longer be supported.
  • PayPal Holdings Inc’s venture arm has made an investment in Taxbit, a Salt Lake City-based startup helping consumers and businesses calculate the taxes owed on cryptocurrency holdings.
  • Gemini welcomed Eugene Ng as Head of Business Development in Asia Pacific.
  • Publicly-traded cryptocurrency mining company Hive Blockchain (HIVE) has passed $1B in market value as its shares continue to surge.
  • BlueWallet released v6.0.2, which includes a new way to easily share a vault key via QR code, Electrum server history, CoinControl multi-selection, and more.
  • Bitladon now supports 1inch Exchange’s 1INCH token through a 1INCH/EUR pair.
  • CoinDesk reported that BitGo saw a record 11,613 WBTC swapped for real BTC in December 2020, with only 2,731 BTC exchanged for the bitcoin-backed ERC-20 tokens.
  • Dan Larimer, co-founder and CTO of Block.one, has left the company. Block.one is most notably known for raising $4B to build the software behind the EOS blockchain.
  • On January 10th, 2021, all v3 Onion addresses went down after an attack on the Tor network. The attack involved overloading the consensus authority nodes. Full thread on the attack and response here.
  • Wasabi Wallet shared information on their services, coordinator service and more in response to the recent v3 Onion service instability.
  • Fidelity International (FIL Limited) purchased 3.3M shares of BC Group for $52.3 HK on January 6, 2021. BC Group is the operator of Hong Kong’s first licensed cryptocurrency exchange, OSL.
  • IC3 shared their proposal for decentralized identity through CanDID.

Jake’s Cup of Coffee:

This week, Jake is staying local with Chromatic Coffee Co. in San Jose, CA. Chromatic’s Limu Gera is an eye-opening Ethiopian roast which yields flavors of fresh berries and smooth florals – think of a strawberry shortcake! Enjoy!

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