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Crypto && Coffee 061 

Technology Recap:


  • As of 1/27, the Bitcoin mempool has not been cleared in 42 days. The previous record was 119 days, between October 26th, 2017, and February 22nd, 2018.
  • Two blocks were produced the morning of 1/26 at block height 667,881. The Binance miner won the race!


  • Bitcoin Cash Node agreed with other node teams that there should be no consensus rule change in BCH for the May 2021 scheduled upgrade.


  • Charlie Lee shared his 9 Favorite Things about Litecoin with Decrypt.


  • The next network upgrade for ETH1.0, Berlin, is almost ready. The determined block height for the upgrade has not been specified yet.
  • As of January 20th, 2021, the ETH2 validator queue is now 19K deep with the third highest day of deposits since Genesis taking place on January 19th, 2021.
  • Prysmatic Labs released their 2020 summary and pipeline for 2021, including optimized Prysm Slasher designs, a web UI for ETH2.0 validators, ETH2.0 API implementations, a developer wiki, and more.
  • As layer-2 development rises on top of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin made another attempt at explaining how zk-SNARKs work and the foundations of zero-knowledge proofs.
  • The Ethereum Cat Herders published their latest update on ETH1.0, the Ethereum difficulty bomb expected for July 2021, client updates, EIP-1559, and more.

Other Chains:

  • Brink, the project behind Bitcoin Core contributors John Newbery and Mike Schmidt, shared their first main fellowship project with Gloria Zhao, who will be working on Package Mempool Accept. This project aims to allow nodes to relay transactions as packages on the P2P network. The first step is package mempool acceptance via RPC.
  • StarkWare announced StarkNet, a decentralized, permissionless, STARK-powered layer-2 rollup engine. With both Cairo and the Generic Proof Service, StarkNet will be a game changer for layer-2 development on top of Ethereum.
  • Blockstream announced LNsync, a server-assisted Lightning Network gossip sync mechanism. LNsync provides a comprehensive map of the network so wallets can quickly sync and find the optimal route for payments.
  • Supranational announced the first public release of blst, a fast signature library based on the IETF BLS signature specification. It uses the BLS12-381 curve.
  • Celo shared their Protocol 101 docs, which can help developers dive into Proof-of-Stake (PoS), on-chain governance, ultralight synchronization, incentives for operating nodes, and more.
  • Kyber Network shared their architecture revamp in Kyber v3.0, which will include the launch of a new liquidity pool called Kyber DMM–DeFi’s first automated Dynamic Market Maker (DMM). To support the new architecture there is also a proposal to upgrade the KyberDAO and KNC with a new token contract.
  • Ren shared their January Development Update, including information on the newest integration of Airwave, RenBridge, and their next steps.
  • A proposal was added within Aave Governance to add borrow/lend support for the 1INCH token. With deposit rates high, the addition of this asset becomes financially attractive for people to borrow funds with 1INCH as collateral.
  • Vulcan Link, an EU-based Chainlink node operator and Web3 development and consulting company, has been selected as a recipient of a Chainlink Community Grant to integrate Chainlink into the SKALE Network.
  • Yield Protocol published a proposal for MakerDAO to extend Dai loans through what they call a “Term Lending Module” or TLM.
  • Ren snuck some new visuals of RenBridge v2.0 including support for Dodgecoin, Binance Smart Chain, bookmarking of transactions, and optimized gas fees.
  • January 2021 included the release of Muun v2.0, a complete rethinking of software wallets to aid in self-custodial bitcoin. This version of the wallet includes seamless lightning payments and single balance for on- and off-chain values as well as multisig security.
  • Dive into DeFi Pooling and the scalability issues within various layer-2 solutions on top of Ethereum currently, where joining, leaving, and rebalancing a Pool on layer-1 still remains quite expensive.
  • Global network traffic statistics of Monero indicate increased interest in the blockchain since December 2020.
  • TriumphX, a cross-chain decentralized NFT exchange and developer platform, plans to integrate Chainlink within its new NFT marketplace SOLE-X 1.0. Triumph will use the Chainlink oracles to obtain up-to-date information on sports players and their performance within matches in order to enhance the holding of NFTs based on those players.
  • Securitize, the issuance and compliance platform for digital securities, has integrated with Avalanche to significantly upgrade the time and cost savings for blockchain-based financial services offerings for their customers.
  • Hypernet Labs and Storj announced a software integration connecting Storj’s Tardigrade with Hypernet Lab’s Galileo. This integration enables one to easily perform compute functions on data stored in Tardigrade.
  • StarkWare’s Cairo v0.0.2 has been released! The tutorial page now features a simple how-to on a simple voting system.
  • Zerion shared that their DeFi SDK has been successfully audited by both Trail of Bits and Peck Shield.
  • Set Protocol announced the Set V2 Asset Management Suite. V2 is a protocol that enables anyone to create a tokenized basket or “Set,” accept user capital, implement a fee option, and access DeFi.
  • Celo announced a governance approval on the community rewards program that will award the Celo native asset, CELO, to confirmed addresses who save in Celo Dollars, cUSD.
  • The Aave Liquidity Protocol continued to grow, closing at $3.6B driven by market growth. Aave generated ~$2.1M of income last week with $903K from liquidations.
  • Status announced v1.10, which allows users to bookmark their favorite DApps as well as include profile images and confirmation messages when sending.
  • With Alpha Homora’s V2 launch around the corner, Alpha Finance published the yield farmers perspective and how to operate within Alpha Homora.
  • Wrapped Secret (wSCRT), a synthetic ERC-20 version of Secret Network’s native coin, SCRT, is now live on Ethereum mainnet and Uniswap.
  • A new proposal has been published on Curve Finance to add a new swap pool for cyDAI, cyUSDC, and cyUSDT that will allow users to add Iron Bank DAI, USDC, and USDT as additional liquidity.

Mainstream Recap:

  • OKCoin Exchange is integrating the Lightning Network into their platform in Q1 of 2021. Allowing customers to choose to have their transactions occur on the Lightning Network will allow transactions to confirm within a few seconds and reduce their minimum withdrawal/deposit from 100K satoshis (~$35) to 100 satoshis (~$0.04). This is just the beginning of exchanges adopting Lightning to maintain support during on-going network congestion.
  • The Firo network suffered a 51% attack on January 18th, 2021. The attack replaced a day’s worth of blocks, with the primary goal of defrauding exchanges.
  • The Interchain Foundation (ICF) published their key financial figures and funding activity for the last quarter of 2020. Note that the foundation maintains professional and conservative asset management to help sustain capital deployment of the Cosmos project.
  • Gemini announced that they are the first cryptocurrency exchange and custodian to have completed both SOC 1 Type 2 and SOC 2 Type 2 examinations, covering both the Gemini Exchange and Gemini Custody products.
  • P2P Bitcoin trading platform Hodl Hodl shared their 2021 roadmap with their eye on UI/UX improvements, Lend API, the non-custodial anonymous DCA project, and new integrations.
  • Alex Pruden published Zero Knowledge Cryptography & the Next Digital Revolution. Check out how these magical technologies can enable a better and more secure online experience for users across various platforms, including blockchain-based technologies.
  • CoinDesk reported that MicroStrategy bought the dip on January 22nd, 2021, with the addition of 312 bitcoins for ~$10M.
  • George Kappos, Haaroon Yousaf, Ania Piotrowska, Sanket Kanjalkar, Sergi Delgado-Segura, Andrew Miller, and Sarah Meiklejohn released their new paper entitled An Empirical Analysis of Privacy in the Lightning Network. The authors identified 27,183 private channels, hidden balances, and showed how a passive adversary can infer payment endpoints with very high probability.
  • Circle announced the comprehensive support for Solana USDC now available across all Circle products.
  • Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey echoed the central banker’s thoughts against cryptocurrency at the Davos conference on January 25th, 2021. However, he also noted on a panel that digital innovation in payments is here to stay.
  • Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest digital currency asset manager, made a generous donation of $1M to support Coin Center’s policy advocacy mission. In addition, Grayscale has offered to match any donations made through February, up to an additional $1M.
  • CoinDesk reported that Hawaii has re-opened applications for the Digital Currency Innovation Lab (DCIL), raising the possibility that more crypto exchanges and service providers could soon do business within the state.
  • dYdX has raised a $10M Series B round led by Three Arrows Capital and DeFinance Capital. With this round, they welcomed investors Wintermute, Hashed, GSR, SCP, Scalar Capital, Spartan Group, and RockTree Capital, and received continuing support from a16z, Polychain Capital, Kindred Ventures, 1confirmation, and more.
  • Wyre has received a $5M strategic investment from the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF). In addition, Denelle Dixon, CEO and Executive Director of the Stellar Development Foundation, will be joining Wyre’s Board.
  • Kraken announced that FLOW trading will launch on January 27th, 2021, at 15:30 UTC. At launch, only FLOW tokens that have been earned through staking rewards can be traded.
  • Bloomberg shared how Harvard and Yale endowments are among those reportedly buying crypto.

Jake’s Cup of Coffee:

This week, we are getting bold with Wolf It Down Espresso from Equator Coffees in Marin County, California. This dark espresso roast brings out notes of roasted almonds, baking chocolate and spices. Plus, $3 from each bag sold will go to to help provide financial support to restaurant employees.

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