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Crypto && Coffee 071 | DeFi Sanctions Compliance Made Simple 

Technology Recap:


  • Satoshi Nakamoto presumably turned 46 on April 5th, 2021!
  • In recent days, there have been a decent number of blocks early in the morning (PDT), with a much smaller number of transactions than average. This trend indicates an uptick in consolidation transactions to prevent services UTXO pools from growing out of control.
  • Discussions continue over the activation process to get Taproot deployed within Bitcoin. There was a debate on whether to activate via block height or MTP. After deciding to resolve the issue via a Coin Flip at height (678059+20), the result was MTP (Median Time Passed). Full rundown from the recent meeting via IRC is here.


  • Ethereum Foundation shared their roundup on all grantees as of March 2021. The Baseline project is defining a protocol that allows businesses to synchronize their systems of record and reduce costly errors in B2B transactions. Additionally, Aztec is pushing forward with their work on PLONK, an efficient and universal SNARK construction.
  • Ethereum Cat Herders published their latest notes on the Berlin upgrade countdown, advancements, and The Merge. The fork is still on track for block 12,244,000 on April 14th, 2021.
  • Danny Ryan shared Rayonism, a collaborative R&D project to build a Merge/Sharding testnet during ETHGlobal, which is set to take place between April 16th and May 14th, 2021.
  • Ethereum Research and Development published the latest in ETH2.0, including information on Rayonism, a security advisory for the BLS library, and further testing on the Beacon Chain.
  • An updated pre-release has been announced for the upcoming Altair fork on the ETH2.0 Beacon Chain. This latest release includes core specs for The Merge.

Other Chains:

  • Aave shared that they are exploring new frontiers, the first of which is with Polygon, formerly known as Matic. Polygon is a scalable Ethereum sidechain which is also powered by Chainlink allowing the Aave Protocol to maintain the highest standard for protocol price feeds. At launch the following assets will be onboarded on the Polygon Aave Market: MATIC, USDC, USDT, DAI, WETH, AAVE, WBTC.
  • dYdX’s layer-2 cross-margined Perpetuals are now live on Ethereum mainnet! Both dYdX and StarkWare built the layer-2 cross-margined Perpetuals based on StarkWare’s StarkEx scalability engine and dYdX’s Perpetual smart contracts. Traders can now trade with zero gas costs, lower trading fees, and reduced minimum trade sizes.
  • Ren published their March Development Update including information on Ren Bridge 2, RenVM testnet version with Greycore, Loki testing framework, and further governance updates.
  • StarkWare presented Caspian, a new layer-2 powered AMM design. This AMM leaves assets on layer-1, resulting in defragmented liquidity and better capital efficiency.
  • Tether is set to give live on Polkadot following a launch on Kusama.
  • Zaki Manian, best known for his contributions to Cosmos and now co-founder of Sommelier Finance, published an AMA on all things Sommelier. Review all the latest from Sommelier over the past week here.
  • Kyber Network unveiled the mainnet beta release of the long-awaited Kyber Dynamic Market Maker (DMM) protocol! Any liquidity provider can now make optional use of idle tokens by adding them to Kyber DMM pools, while any taker can access this liquidity.
  • NEAR Protocol announced that the Rainbow Bridge is now live! ERC-20 tokens can now be bridged to the NEAR blockchain and back to Ethereum.
  • Immutable announced the integration of TokenTrove, a collectibles marketplace, onto Immutable X to offer gas-free trading and scalability (up to 9000 tps).
  • Injective Protocol, a fully decentralized and parameterizable layer-2 DeFi protocol that supports various derivatives, CFDs, and perpetual swaps, partnered with Razor Network. The partnership will provide a secure and reliable real-world price feed for Injective DEX.
  • The latest release of imToken now natively supports zkSync. zkSync is a ZK-Rollup developed by Matter Labs which aims to make crypto payments cheaper and plans to scale arbitrary smart contracts on Ethereum in August.
  • OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace, will be supporting trading on Immutable X.
  • Rari Capital’s proposed vote, RIP-20, on adding Ren as a cross-chain asset focused pool passed on April 3rd, 2021.
  • Fei Protocol’s Genesis event officially ended on April 3rd, 2021, with ~17K unique addresses participating which can now redeem FEI and TRIBE. However, various vulnerabilities have been found and disclosed by OpenZeppelin.
  • Alpha Finance released ALPHA Tokenomics allowing ALPHA stakers to not only earn protocol fees from Alpha’s product suite, but now also unlock product-specific benefits by utilizing them as ALPHA stakers.
  • Saffron Finance, an asset collateralization platform, surpassed epoch 11. Since then, they have announced an integration with Chainlink to access secure and reliable price feeds.
  • The Bancor Vortex vBNT burner is now live! As of April 4th, 2021, 5% of all swap fees on Bancor will be used to buy and burn vBNT. Burning vBNT is designed to increase TVL, reduce BNT circulation supply, and supply a lower risk for users who wish to borrow against staked BNT.
  • OpenZeppelin introduced Contracts Wizard, an interactive contract generator to easily create ERC-20 or ERC-721 smart contracts.
  • SushiChef of SushiSwap explained how rewards from the SUSHI LP, which was locked for the past six months, will be distributed.
  • Iron Fish entered into the public testnet phase yesterday! Iron Fish is a privacy-first cryptocurrency that protects each individual transaction using zk-SNARKs and the Sapling protocol.
  • Yield integrated Chainlink Price Feeds on mainnet to secure their fixed-rate, individualized markets.
  • Fantom released a general update for the past two weeks in the ecosystem, including information on their partnership with Covalent, usage with Afghanistan Railway Authority, and more.
  • Lido shared an update on the launch of their liquid staking on Terra, updates on the onboarding of new validators on Terra and Ethereum, and their overall goal to create a suite of staked assets on their network.
  • mStable announced that Feeder Pools are now deployed and live. These pools are funded with 20,351.6 MTA each week.
  • Dharma introduced Gas-Lite, which allows users to automatically save up to 80% on network fees when depositing to yield protocols from a bank account.
  • Network usage on the Sentinel dVPN network is reaching all-time highs as the network begins the process of transitioning from Ethereum to Cosmos.

Mainstream Recap:

  • Strike, the Lightning Network powered Venmo-like Bitcoin app, is now available in El Salvador! The team is planning a full rollout in Europe soon, as well as a feature to allow users to easily convert their paychecks into BTC.
  • Fidelity Investments, Square Inc., Coinbase Global Inc., Paradigm, and other financial firms are forming a new trade group, The Crypto Council for Innovation aims to shape the way bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are regulated.
  • Coinbase Global, Inc., announced on April 1st, 2021, that its registration statement on Form S-1, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, was declared effective. Coinbase anticipates that its Class A common stock will begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol, COIN, on April 14th, 2021. In the filing it also noted that Coinbase now has 6.1M active users.
  • MicroStrategy has purchased an additional ~253 bitcoins for $15M in cash at an average price of ~$59,339 per bitcoin. As of April 5th, 2021, MicroStrategy holds ~91,579 bitcoins acquired for ~$2.226B at an average price of ~$24,311 per bitcoin.
  • DeFi Hedge Fund ForceDAO suffered an attack on April 4th, 2021, by five attackers. The exploit used a malformed transfer function which returned false instead of reverting. Thus, anyone could call the deposit function without having any FORCE tokens. The xFORCE contract will then mint fresh xFORCE tokens even though it will fail to lock their non-existent FORCE tokens.
  • Signal announced the ability for some of its users to privately send money to one another within the app using Mobilecoin.
  • The Element Protocol, which brings the attractive high fixed rate yields that DeFi users crave while maximizing capital efficiency, creating market liquidity, and reducing users costs, raised $4.4M. The seed funding round was led by Andreessen Horowitz and Placeholder accompanied by SV Angel, A.Capital, Scalar Capital, and Robot Ventures.
  • Gemini shared that it will serve as custodian and trade execution partner for BTG Pactual’s Bitcoin 20 Multi-Market Investment Fund, the first bitcoin fund launched by a Brazilian investment bank.
  • Enjin has raised $18.9M to build a Polkadot-based blockchain network, entitled Efinity, with a focus on NFTs.
  • Forbes published an article on the Winklevoss twins and what they have been building at Gemini and Nifty Gateway.
  • BTCS, a digital asset and blockchain technology-focused company, announced the appointment of Litecoin creator, Charlie Lee, to its Board of Directors as its newest independent member.
  • Grayscale Investments shared that they are 100% committed to converting GBTC, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, into an ETF.
  • Playboy announced a new partnership with Nifty Gateway.
  • CoinShares, Europe’s largest digital asset investment house, announced the launch of a new exchange product, dubbed CoinShares Physical Litecoin (LITE). Each unit of LITE is backed with 0.20 litecoins at launch, providing users with passive exposure to Litecoin itself.

Jake’s Cup of Coffee:

This week, Jake is having a cup of Bronson French Roast from Verve Coffee Roasters in Santa Cruz, CA. This French Roast yields a boldness of dark chocolate and a slight sweetness of brown sugar. Jake typically brews this roast via French Press or Chemex. Sip up and enjoy!

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