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CRYPTO && COFFEE

Crypto && Coffee 067-068 | Keep Crypto Moving with Traveler

ICYMI: Last week we announced CipherTrace Traveler, our answer to the challenge of the FATF “Travel Rule” and the rapidly increasing adoption of travel rule regulations around the globe. Compatible with TRISA.io standards, Traveler can be used by all virtual asset service providers to securely exchange required PII, create suspicious activity reports, detect sanctions violations, and more.
Read more: https://www.coindesk.com/ciphertrace-releases-its-fatf-friendly-aml-tools-for-crypto-exchanges 

Visit our website to explore the solution: https://ciphertrace.com/travel-rule-compliance/

 

Crypto && Coffee 068

 

Technology Recap:

Bitcoin:

  • Lightning Labs announced lnd v0.12.1-beta! This upgrade will entail timestamped signatures, improved graph data propagation as well as Sidecar channels in Pool. This new feature allows services to onboard new users in a non-custodial manner without requiring those users to put up any capital.

Litecoin:

  • David Burkett has published the first libmw code for review! This is the first step to merge and integrate Mimblewimble Extension Blocks (MWEB) into Litecoin.

Ethereum:

  • Ethereum’s Berlin upgrade announcement has been published with a full timeline for all testnets and mainnet deployments.
  • Danny Ryan of Ethereum R&D published their latest update calling all ETH2.0 stakers to upgrade their ETH1.x nodes for the upcoming Berlin fork on April 14th, 2021.
  • Ben Edgington shared the latest news in ETH2.0, including information on the merging of ETH1.0 and ETH2.0, Beacon Chain validators, the Mousse emulator, and the first Beacon Chain protocol upgrade, Altair.
  • Users using Besu on public Ethereum networks must upgrade to v21.1.2. The v21.1.1 release contains an outdated version of the Berlin network upgrade.

Other Chains:

  • Zaki Manian launched Sommelier, an application and tool using Cosmos Stargate SDK, Tendermint-based consensus and a bi-directional Ethereum bridge, allowing for the rotation of assets in-and-out of DeFi positions.
  • Aztec launched their privacy-focused rollup service on Ethereum mainnet. This service allows one’s blockchain transactions to be sheltered and stay private within Aztec’s layer-2 without the need to un-shield to access layer-1 DeFi.
  • 1inch introduced the 1nch Aggregation Protocol v3 which facilitates lower gas fees thanks to assembly code optimization.
  • Ethereum layer-2 scaling protocol and DEX Loopring shared a deep dive into their protocol, products, and vision.
  • Zora, the protocol and platform bringing the NFT marketplace into itself and making NFTs/ERC-721 tokens able to accept bids and offers on their own behalf, is now open to the public.
  • Aave released their new AMM Liquidity Pool, enabling liquidity providers of Uniswap and Balancer to use their LP tokens as collateral in the Aave Protocol.
  • Ren published their next steps towards decentralization for RenVM via Greycore. Once Greycore is launched, all Darknode operators will keep the network up-to-date, maintain consensus and further execution.
  • The governance proposal enabling the transfer and receiving of assets using IBC’s IBC-20 standard on the Cosmos Hub is now on-chain.
  • Superfluid, the protocol behind on-chain, single transaction, dollar-cost averaging, has been successfully deployed by community members on both Matic and xDAI.
  • BadgerDAO released their plan for expanding utility for Bitcoin within the DeFi ecosystem including RenVM integration, integration with Zapper Finance, and an eventual implementation of a layer-2 DEX.
  • Tornado.Cash added on-chain deposit backups, allowing users to encrypt their notes and store them directly on the Ethereum blockchain.
  • Polkadot shared information on Polkadot bridges and the interoperable connections between itself and other networks.
  • One million UMA call option tokens have been minted with a $35 strike price and April 30th, 2021, expiry. These are all pooled with UMA tokens on SushiSwap.
  • Nethermind announced that they will be launching a layer-2 StarkNet, Nubia, powered by StarkWare utilizing CairoLang.
  • Immutable shared their design architecture for the first layer-2 for NFTs on Ethereum.
  • A full starter pack has been released in anticipation of Optimism’s Optimistic Rollup launch on mainnet. This pack allows a user to run a local blockchain (layer-1) with Optimism’s Rollup (layer-2) conducting interactions between both layers.
  • Community members are proposing a Thorchain-to-Zcash bridge, providing the ability for users to transact with spot Zcash in DeFi as well as providing deposits from the Zcash shielded pool to uphold privacy.
  • Overlay has launched! Overlay is a protocol that allows users to trade any streaming data without the need for traditional counterparties. Community members will be able to propose on any non-manipulable, unpredictable, on-chain data to become a tradeable market on Overlay.
  • DeversiFi enabled Fast Withdrawals for Aave.
  • TrueFi integrated Chainlink Price Feeds on mainnet to determine the current price of TruFi’s native token, TRU, relative to TUSD and ETH in the circumstance of allowing the smart contract to execute automated coverage of loan defaults.
  • In partnership with Ren, LINKSWAP and the DigiByte Community have welcomed DigiByte (DGB) to DeFi via the DBG-to-renDBG bridge.
  • BarnBridge announced that SMART Yield is now live! SMART Yield allows users to tranche out the yield from debt pools of other projects to normalize the risk curve by creating derivatives for risk mitigation.
  • SushiSwap launched on Avalanche, bringing another leading DEX to Avalanche’s growing DeFi ecosystem.
  • Argent shared that they are working on bringing layer-2 to Argent.
  • StarkWare went in depth on the step-by-step guide to building a Cairo-based Automated Market Maker (AMM).
  • Gnosis Safe released SafeSnap, a module enabling decentralized execution of crypto governance proposals, allowing the on-chain execution of off-chain votes.
  • BSCPAD, a launchpad and accelerator for projects deploying on Binance Smart Chain (BSC), will establish Chainlink as the recommended oracle solution for all future projects on the platform.
  • Kyber Network released their February 2021 Ecosystem Report highlighting the improvements of v3.0, KNC contract migration, the DMM whitepaper and more.
  • Wing Finance, a credit-based, cross-chain DeFi lending platform powered by Ontology, announced the launch of two new Ethereum-based Chainlink Price Feeds – WING/USD and ONT/USD.
  • Stellar released their March 2021 update, including information on the recent Horizon v2 launch, FinClusive’s new stablecoin, and integration with Wyre.

Mainstream Recap:

  • MicroStrategy purchased an additional $15M in Bitcoin, this time accruing approximately 262 additional bitcoins at an average price of $57,146. This brings the firm’s total bitcoin holdings to approximately 91,326 BTC at an aggregate purchase price of $2.211B.
  • Paxful’s CEO, Ray Youssef, stated that Paxful’s mission this year is to get every wallet and marketplace in Africa and the entire Global South on the Lightning Network.
  • OKCoin shared their recap of the recent AMA with Lightning Labs co-founder and CEO Elizabeth Stark.
  • River Financial raised a $12M Series A financing round, led by Goldcrest Capital with participation from Polychain Capital, Craft Ventures, M13, Castle Island, and The Kraft Group. The new funding will help River expand its team and make Bitcoin more accessible to traditional investors.
  • Zaki Manian’s newly launched Sommelier raised $3.5M in a seed round joined by Standard Crypto, Multicoin Capital and Alameda Research.
  • Gemini shared that they now have more than $20B in crypto under custody.
  • Kraken announced that they have hit 500,000 ETH ($878M) staked in ETH2.0 with 7,521 ETH ($13M) in total rewards generated by staking clients on Kraken.
  • BlockFi, a financial services company dedicated to building a bridge between cryptocurrencies and traditional finance, announced the completion of its $350M Series D funding round led by Bain Capital Ventures, partners of DST Global, Pomp Investments and Tiger Global.
  • Symbol, a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain from NEM Group, has launched! This chain is aiming to become the enterprise-grade blockchain solution for fintech and supply chains.
  • Alameda Research invested $20M into Polkadot-powered cross-chain DeFi system Reef Finance. The investment was facilitated through the purchase of REEF tokens, now making Alameda Research a significant stakeholder in the REEF ecosystem.
  • Crypto investment firm Paradigm locked up ~$238M in ATOM to become the second largest validator on the Cosmos Hub.
  • Meltem Demirors shared on March 11th, 2021, that CoinShares is now a publicly listed company. CoinShares trades under the ticker CS on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market.
  • BC Group subsidiary OSL has executed its first customer trades through its trading desk. This marks the first trading on a licensed crypto exchange in Hong Kong.
  • Binance has hired former U.S. Senator and Ambassador to China, Maxwell Baucus, as Policy and Government Relations Advisor.
  • Israeli pension company Altshuler Shaham sunk $100M into the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust according to CoinDesk.
  • Coinbase launched trading of Cardano (ADA) on Coinbase Pro on March 16th, 2021.
  • Both Cream Finance and PancakeSwap were DNS compromised on March 15th, 2021 by a third party. Users were being prompted for seed phrases.
  • MetaMask released v9.2.0, which allows support for multiple Ledger and Trezor hardware accounts, warnings for excessive custom gas input, and more.

Jake’s Cup of Coffee:

You can currently find Jake sipping a cup of Starry Eyes from Dark Matter Coffee in Chicago. This dark roast yields notes of brownies, vanilla, and almonds. Add a splash of cream or brew this via French press for a refined cup to start your day!

 


Crypto && Coffee 067

 

Technology Recap:

Bitcoin:

  • Glassnode shared the 60-day SOPR (Spend Outputs Profit Ratio) reset without falling below one. This indicates a high HODLing conviction from new investors as coins that were bought in 2021 did not really move at a loss during the last dip. View their full market summary here.
  • The Lightning Loop reference client has been upgraded to include a new all-inclusive fee rate setting for AutoLoop. This change allows users to choose any routing node to peer with and set a max percentage for inbound liquidity in conjunction with a limit on how much one will buy.
  • With the actual activation timeline for Taproot still up in the air, BitMex published a post from Jeremy Rubin on how smart contracts can be used to verifiably commit to losing coins if Taproot does not activate by a certain date.

Litecoin:

  • In less than a week, Litecoin’s MWEB (Mimblewimble Extension Blocks) will be code complete! Review the full integration and use case here.

Ethereum:

  • The Go Ethereum team has shipped the v1.10.1 release which will support the upcoming Berlin hard fork scheduled for April 14th, 2021, at block height 12,244,000.
  • EIP-1559, the EIP regarding fee market improvements, was accepted last week to be included into the upcoming London hard fork! London is expected to occur shortly after the Berlin fork.
  • Vitalik Buterin shared a cross-L2 (layer-2) DEX solution that only requires one side of the equation to be smart contract-capable. The other side can just be a simple coin-spending-only rollup or something similar to Plasma, aka Optimism.
  • Bison Trail’s Elias Simos interviewed key contributors from ETH2.0’s client teams to explore their involvement and vision for the future.
  • Mousse, an ETH2.0 emulator, was announced! This ETH2.0 emulator is for local testing of applications on ETH2.0 data sharding and Rollups. The solution is similar to ETH1.0’s Ganache from Truffle Suite.
  • As of March 7th, 2021, roughly 3% of the total ETH supply was locked up in the ETH2.0 Deposit Contract. 107,105 validators with 3,442,946 ETH deposited.

Other Chains:

  • SushiSwap’s CTO, Joseph Delong, shared that SushiSwap is now live on the following chains: Fantom, Polygon, xDAI, Binance Smart Chain, and Moonbeam.
  • The Cosmos governance proposal to add the Gravity DEX onto Cosmos Hub is now live until March 15th, 2021. As of March 10th, it had a majority approval of 81.52%.
  • dYdX shared that since announcing their layer-2 Perpetuals with StarkWare, 83,580 users have signed up for the waitlist!
  • MakerDAO announced the Optimism Dai Bridge with Fast Withdrawals, a bridge which will allow locking up layer-1 DAI to mint layer-2 oDAI as well as allowing oDAI to be burned in exchange for near-instant access to layer-1 DAI.
  • DeversiFi introduced fast withdrawals. Users can now swap, send, or lend tokens quickly and easily without paying Ethereum network fees.
  • The Electric Coin Company published their Zcash Improvement Proposals (ZIPs) for the upcoming network upgrade (NU5), projected to activate on mainnet in August 2021. The ZIPs include the Orchard shielded protocol—the first phase of deployment for Halo2—as well as the version 5 transaction format, and more.
  • Yam Finance presented DAO House, the first treasury management solution solely designed for DAOs.
  • Yield Credit, the fixed-rate lending and incentivized borrowing platform, is now live!
  • Cover Protocol announced the first set of Credit Default Swaps (CDS) in DeFi. This addition will give users the option of hedging the default risk from the borrower side. The first venture into CSD will be a partnership with Ruler Protocol.
  • StarkWare shared their API for Cairo’s SHARP (Shared Prover) service, now available on Ethereum’s Ropsten testnet.
  • Nomadic Labs released the latest Florence protocol proposals, including major improvements for baking accounts, increased maximum operation size, gas optimizations and more. Florence is the next release on the Tezos blockchain.
  • Comit Network published the first release for public XMR<->BTC atomic swaps. People can now participate in the demo via the open-source codebase.
  • Yearn Finance announced Yearn Partners, allowing any protocol that integrates Yearn vaults to earn up to a 50% profit share from their contributed TVL.
  • Synthetix added debt hedging into their Staking application with the ability to view the global debt pool as well as comparison to one’s portfolio.
  • OrbitLens introduced Refractor, an aggregator for multi-sig and pending transactions storage on Stellar.
  • Vac, a modular, P2P messaging stack for private, secure, and censorship resistant communication, released an overview on spam protection. This protection can be achieved in their Waku Relay v2 protocol through Rate-Limiting Nullifiers (RLN). The article dives into how this can be used within PoW-based systems or peer scoring.
  • Polygon, previously Matic, announced Polygon Improvement Proposals (PIPs). This will allow users to propose new features, discuss technical and design decisions, and more.
  • Yam Finance released an update on Degenerative Finance, including information on uSTONKs, uGAS, and Rewards Bonus.
  • Gaia, the first implementation of Cosmos Hub, has suffered a critical security vulnerability which has been identified in v4.0.x for all non-Cosmos Hub chains that do not use the default Cosmos Bech32 prefix.

Mainstream Recap:

  • Lightning Network has now arrived at OKCoin, providing up to 99% lower fees and instant transactions!
  • MicroStrategy purchased an additional ~205 bitcoins for ~$10M in cash at an average price of ~$48,888 per bitcoin. As of March 5th, 2021, MicroStrategy holds ~91,064 bitcoins acquired for ~2.196B.
  • The CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF went live on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) on March 9th, 2021, following the receipt of the final prospectus by the Canadian securities regulator.
  • Hong Kong-listed beauty app Meitu announced on March 5th, 2021, that the company has bought 15,000 ETH and 379.1214267 BTC in open market transactions at an aggregate consideration of ~US$22.1M and US$17.9 respectively.
  • BitGo received a New York Trust license to operate as an independent, regulated qualified custodian under the New York State Banking Law. The charter was issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).
  • Digital payment platform Wirex has launched its highly anticipated multi-currency Mastercard debit card in the UK and EEA. In addition, it has launched its new rewards program, X-tras, across the globe.
  • Ethereum 2.0 staking protocol Stakewise closed a $2M private funding round with the launch of their public mainnet on March 8th, 2021.
  • Aker ASA (Aker) announced that it has established Seetee AS, a new company dedicated to investing in projects and companies throughout the Bitcoin ecosystem. The new company will keep all its liquid investable assets in BTC.
  • Ethereum ETP from ETC Group is planning to be listed on Deutsche Borse’s Xetra market.
  • Eco, an application that allows users to have one simple balance that lets one spend, send, save, and make money at the same time, raised $26M in new funding led by a16z Crypto.
  • The Giving Block shared that 1inch users can now seamlessly donate a variety of cryptocurrencies to any of the 150+ charities working with The Giving Block.
  • Jack Dorsey put his first tweet up for sale on March 5th, 2021, via an NFT on Valuables by Cent. He has announced that the sale will end on March 21st and all proceeds will be sent to the Give Directly Africa Response.
  • The craze for NFTs has reached the mainstream music world–Rolling Stone shared that Kings of Leon is looking to release their latest album as an NFT in conjunction with YellowHeart.
  • The Mempool Open Source Project will join the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) together with MicroStrategy, Square, and Blockstream.
  • BlockTower Capital raised $25M for decentralized finance.
  • MetaMask released their new Custom Networks API to seamlessly allow cross-chain user experiences in MetaMask, including layer-2 networks.
  • Ledger announced support for Polkadot! Users can now interact with the network and stake DOT from within the Ledger Live application using their hardware device to sign transactions.
  • Atari, the gaming company behind iconic games Pacman, Asteroids, and Pong, is set to develop a crypto casino in partnership with Decentral Games.
  • OKEx announced support for the ALPHA token on their platform with deposits and trading initiating on March 4th, 2021.
  • TapJets, a private jet instant booking platform, now accepts Monero (XMR) as a payment form. TapJets no longer accepts Ripple (XRP).
  • OKCoin announced that Bitcoin Core and Rust Lightning developer Antoine Riard is the latest recipient of the OKCoin Open-Source Bitcoin Developer Grant.
  • TQ Tezos announced that they are exploring a new Tezos-based platform for municipal art that enables citizens and art collectors in local communities to engage in innovative ways. The platform is aiming to launch a pilot in Reno, Nevada, with Mayor Hillary Schieve.
  • Curve Finance shared that their deprecated pool factory v1 on crv.finance was affected by a recently discovered bug. Anyone in v1 factory pools should immediately withdraw funds using crv.finance. Pools on Curve.fi and v2 factory pools are unaffected. Curve Finance will release a full post-mortem soon.
  • Paid Network was exploited on March 5th, 2021, through the smart contract’s token minting feature. The attacker compromised the private key to the original deployer contract which was able to upgrade a new smart contract that could burn and mint tokens. The attacker minted ~59,471,745.571 PAID tokens and then initiated selling through Uniswap.
  • Consensys Security Engineer Shayan Eskandari confirmed concerns that Cent, the platform being used for Jack Dorsey’s NFT, has some interesting built-in admin features. These features include the ability to halt the contract and collect all the money and to change their fees to any amount up to 100%.
  • DODO released a PSA regarding a March 8th exploit where several DODO v2 crowd pools were attacked. WSZO, WCRES, ETHA, and FUSI pools were impacted, while AC pool funds have been fully recovered.

Jake’s Cup of Coffee:

Jake is filling his cup with Galeras from Madcap Coffee Company in Grand Rapids, MI. This Colombian roast yields rich notes of brown sugar, honey, and hints of lemon. This is a mug guaranteed to keep you warm on those brisk mornings as we move into spring next week.

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