skip to Main Content

CRYPTO && COFFEE

Crypto && Coffee 073-074 | Ransomware Task Force Report Now Live 

CipherTrace is a proud contributor to the Ransomware Task Force, a broad coalition of over 60 experts in the industry, government, law enforcement, civil society, and international organizations. We provide critical cryptocurrency intelligence to trace the criminal actors that perpetuate this threat. The RTF report on combating ransomware is available now https://securityandtechnology.org/ransomwaretaskforce/report/

 

Crypto && Coffee 074 

Technology Recap:

Bitcoin:

  • On Sunday, April 25th, 2021, the mempool receded to a depth of 209 blocks with the prediction of the next block to include transactions paying ~20+ sat/vB. In the following twenty-four-hour period, there were 147 blocks with an expected difficulty adjustment of 9-11% in ~1-2 days from now. Since Sunday, the fee rate has stayed relatively low, with high priorities ranging from 160->175 sat/vB.
  • Bottlepay, a Bitcoin and Lightning-enabled app, published their research on Lightning node performance and the path to 1,000 transactions per second.

Ethereum:

  • Vitalik Buterin gave an explanation of EIP-2929 (SLOAD and CALL gas cost increase) and why state accessing gas costs were raised in the Berlin hard fork.
  • Ben Edgington shared the latest in ETH2.0, including the first incident on the Beacon Chain, The Merge, and the need for people to fully understand and invite client diversity within the ecosystem.
  • Nethermind and ConsenSys featured their Rayonism Merge spec with the Teku client via their ETH1.0 <-> ETH2.0 devnet.
  • Prysmatic Labs published a thread on an incident on April 23rd, 2021, where Prysm Beacon Chain nodes were unable to produce blocks for a period of 18 epochs (about 2 hours). The incident was widespread and resolved without intervention.
  • Prysmatic Labs released an update, v1.3.8-hotfix-6c0942, which contains two critical fixes to resolve on-going issues within the mainnet Beacon Chain.
  • Martin Swende and Vitalik Buterin published EIP-3529 (Reduction in Refunds), which aims to remove gas refunds from SELFDESTRUCT calls and reduce refunds from SSTORE calls to a lower level, hopefully protecting further exploits via these mechanisms.

Other Chains:

  • IC3 shared how to provide privacy for smart contracts in a general purpose way by using Multiparty Computation (MPC) as a sidechain.
  • Erik Voorhees delivered an introduction to THORChain for Bitcoiners.
  • Uniswap V3 is targeted to launch on Ethereum mainnet in ~5 days!
  • Celo announced Optics, a gas-efficient interoperability standard for cross-chain communication. This standard explores a security trade-off that allows cheap, low-trust communications between any two smart contract-enabled blockchains.
  • Loopring published Ethport, their zkRollup solution to solve composability between layer-1, layer-2, and centralized exchanges while still reducing layer-1 fees.
  • The Graph Foundations unveiled Scalar, a scalable layer-2 micro-transaction system that uses the Connext Vector protocol with the throughput to accommodate The Graph’s growth.
  • Wrapped announced a partnership with Celo to bring Bitcoin (cBTC) and Ethereum (cETH) to Celo!
  • Balancer Labs announced that they are teaming up with Gnosis to deliver the best experience to DEX traders. The goal is to build the Balancer-Gnosis-Protocol (BGP) alliance which will combine the best of both protocols which will empower efficient market making.
  • Kraken published an infographic to help users understand the difference between Polkadot and Kusama Network and the use of Parachain Auctions.
  • Aave’s AIP-16, which was proposed by ParaFi Capital and introduces Liquidity Incentives for Aave V2, passed and liquidity mining was initiated on April 26, 2021.
  • ValueDeFi shared the first native RenVM integration on BSC, allowing users the opportunity to earn from BTC, ZEC, and BUSD.
  • The Graph Foundation announced the first ten projects migrating subgraphs from the hosted service to the decentralized network: Audius, DODO, Enzyme, Gnosis, Livepeer, mStable, Opyn, PoolTogether, Reflexer, and UMA.
  • Kwenta, a derivatives trading platform powered by Synthetix, has integrated 1inch. Traders can now easily on-ramp into sUSD from any cryptocurrency supported by 1inch in Kwenta.
  • Celer Network shared that layer2.finance v0.1 mainnet has launched on Ethereum. Layer2.finance tackles high transaction fees and the difficulty to navigate layer-2 within DeFi protocols.
  • Akash Network has fully integrated IBC into their system and is now live. With IBC, Akash enables ATOM <-> AKT swaps via the Cosmos Hub and multi-currency support. Akash is the third Cosmos chain to enable IBC transfers and the second one to connect to the Cosmos Hub.
  • Celer Network and StarkWare announced a partnership to collaborate and add a ZK Rollup version to layer2.finance’s platform offerings, utilizing StarkWare’s StarkEx services and Cairo programming language.
  • Bankless shared the endless limits of synthetic assets and incentivized tokens.
  • The Centrifuge and Maker collaboration went live. New Silver is the first to connect DeFi to real world assets.
  • The Ren Report #3 was published, highlighting the Community Ecosystem Fund which Darknode operators can now vote on, which contributes to one’s per-epoch node earnings. In addition to various news, the report highlights the weekly volumes illustrating BSC volume jumping up.
  • mStable has now launched on Polygon. mStable offers Polygon users another source of USD and BTC liquidity, a DeFi-native savings account and two risk-minimized meta-stablecoins.
  • On April 26, 2021, 1inch integrated PancakeSwap V2.
  • As DeversiFi nears the announcement of further DVF growth, refresh your knowledge on how DVF will incentivize growth and reward DeversiFi users here.
  • Nsure Network announced the start of the subvention presented to Ren, aiming to lower the premium for RenVM policy within dynamic pricing models, increase capacity of RenVM coverage within their Capital Pool, and reduce price volatility.
  • SushiSwap has integrated Chainlink Price Feed oracles live on both Ethereum mainnet and BSC to secure their new Kashi lending platform.
  • Lido Finance shared that as of April 22nd, 2021, they have passed 250K staked ETH.
  • Comit Network featured a new PR to add support for XMR <-> BTC swapping through Tor.
  • BadgerDAO announced that they will use KPI Options. The options are designed to encourage DIGG to have positive rebases. Full details here.
  • Tezos Community members shared how artists are using Tezos as their platform of choice for minting and distributing NFTs.
  • Brink shared how grantee Hennadii Stepanov started contributing to Bitcoin Core and his priorities for the next year.
  • THORChain shared that they have a mostly complete implementation of Monero being added to their cross-chain DEX.
  • Yearn Finance shared their quarterly report for Q1 of 2021.
  • Our Network, an on-chain analytics and research newsletter, published a deep dive into Governance Extractable Value and the various exploits we have seen in recent times.
  • Pendle Finance released an ELI5 description of their upcoming bootstrapping event and liquidity drop.
  • Read this deep dive into Gravity DEX, the upcoming AMM for Cosmos with further research and thoughts from developers.
  • Instadapp released Aave Liquidity Mining, allowing users to leverage their position on Instadapp and maximize their AAVE returns by 10x.
  • BarnBridge shared how to master tranche lending and farm yield on BarnBridge.
  • Ric Burton shared the history of WalletConnect and how Pedro Games has improved the way people use products built on protocols.

Mainstream Recap:

  • Gemini announced Mastercard as their network partner for the Gemini Credit Card.
  • MetaMask surpassed 5M monthly active users and has grown about 5x in the past six months.
  • Stellar announced a $3M Enterprise Fund investment in Tribal Credit to advance development of its blockchain products built on Stellar, bringing their banking solutions and cross-border payments to businesses in Latin America and more.
  • Square and ARK Invest have teamed up to release a whitepaper on the Bitcoin Clean Energy Initiative.
  • Jack Mallers of Strike released a new Request and Receive functionality allowing users to request P2P, cross-border payments with native BTC all in a single click.
  • CoinDesk reported that eToro has launched a portfolio of BTC proxy stocks including Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, NVIDIA, Samsung, Intel, Coinbase, and more.
  • U.S. Marshals signed a $4.5M contract with BitGo to store forfeited crypto.
  • Gemini users can now purchase crypto with Apple Pay and Google Pay.
  • Caitlin Long shared that Wyoming will recognize DAOs as a new type of LLC, effective July 1st, 2021.
  • Coinbase Pro shared that as of April 22nd, 2021, inbound transfers for USDT are available in the regions where trading is supported.
  • Georgios Konstantopoulos and Hasu of Paradigm Research published an article On Staking Pools and Staking Derivatives, highlighting their actions and inner workings on Ethereum.
  • Anoma Network raised $6.75M to help traders move assets across networks with privacy technology and with no need for a base currency. The funding round was led by Polychain Capital.
  • Gauntlet shared a thorough write up on their full Aave Market Risk Assessment.
  • Binance reportedly plans to launch an NFT marketplace in June 2021 on BSC.
  • Check out this deep dive into sleepminting and the new craze around this NFT scam.

Jake’s Cup of Coffee:

This week, Jake is sipping a cup from Wonderstate Coffee in Viroqua, WI. Their Organic Big Dipper is a solid dark roast with notes of fudge, brown butter, and vanilla wafers. As the mornings are still a little crisp, this is a perfect pick to jumpstart your day. Enjoy!

 

 

Crypto && Coffee 073 

Technology Recap:

Bitcoin:

  • Bitcoin Core v0.21.1rc1 has been published, including Taproot activation. This release is set to activate, based on what is currently proposed, at earliest at block height 709,632, predicted for November 12th, 2021. As normal, this release candidate will go through the normal review and signing process.
  • During the week of April 19th, we have seen fee rates soar and stay above 250 sat/vB. Some are claiming that the mining outage over the weekend is the cause for these rates. The best option to mitigate fees at present is to migrate to layer-2 solutions like Lightning Network or Liquid.

Ethereum:

  • After the Berlin hard fork on April 15th, 2021, OpenEthereum’s client had a consensus error at height 12,244,294 due to OpenEthereum nodes handling gas discounts differently, thus invalidating transactions and blocks. The teams resolved the issue within five hours.
  • Tim Beiko shared that London now has a devnet up with EIP-1559, the core devs prototype of Rayonism, with The Merge running smoothly and more.
  • Ethereum Cat Herders published their latest update on all things post-Berlin, Aleut devnet, EIP-3403, client upgrades and more.
  • Barnabé Monnot wentin depth on the Road to Ethereum and what Ethereum will be like once we are at a synthesis of eth2 and sharding.

Other Chains:

  • The Chainlink 2.0 Whitepaper has been released. It presents an ambitious vision to bring off-chain computation to Decentralized Oracle Networks (DONs) to enable highly scalable and privacy-preserving hybrid smart contracts.
  • Monero released GUI v0.17.2.1, which includes minor bug fixes and Mac serialization compatibility issues.
  • Balancer v2 smart contracts are now live on mainnet. This is the largest upgrade for Balancer and will enable a single vault that provides flexibility to support different types of AMM logic.
  • DEX aggregator, 1inch, has integrated Kyber Network’s Dynamic Market Maker (DMM) protocol as a key liquidity source. Kyber DMM provides high capital efficiency and optimized fees for liquidity providers (LPs), enabling better liquidity and slippage for aggregators and dApps.
  • StarkWare provided a deep dive into Oracle Price Feeds and how they are used on StarkEx, which is powering platforms such as dYdX.
  • Kyber Network’s Krystal is now live to the world. Krystal, an iOS and Android dApp, empowers users to swap any ERC-20 token on any protocol of ones choosing. At launch time Krystal was directly integrated with Kyber Network and Uniswap, with plans to add support for SushiSwap, Kyber DMM, and more.
  • Users of Synthetix can now borrow Synths against ETH and renBTC within the Staking dApp.
  • KeeperDAO introduced the second phase of their Hiding Game, kCompound, a new kind of DeFi borrowing experience. This wrapper for the Compound lending platforms lets users deposit collateral and borrow assets all while KeeperDAO monitors and protects borrowers from liquidation.
  • InstaDapp launched the first ever L1->L2 refinancing bridge between Ethereum and Polygon. Users can migrate their layer-1 debt positions to Aave on Polygon in a single click and enjoy powerful DeFi functionality.
  • zkSync explained zkPorter, a system that scales to 20,000+ transactions per second with more security than optimistic rollups, at ETHGlobal last week.
  • dYdX’s StarkEx had 1,000 liquidations in less than an hour when prices dropped hard over the weekend. Each liquidation was executed at ~6K gas on layer-2, compared to 280K gas previously on layer-1. That is claiming ~0.15% on layer-2 vs. 10% on layer-1 of total ETH gas budget during the crucial times.
  • Ellipsis, a secure low-slippage swapping service on BSC, announced their first Bitcoin pool allowing for the deposit and staking of renBTC and BTCB.
  • Yearn Finance shared a potential YIP establishing Governance 2.0 that aims to fully formalize Yearn’s operational governance and create new autonomous contributor teams, yTeams.
  • Gelato v2 went live, enabling a wide variety of operations ranging from limit orders to dollar-cost averaging. These operations can be built via smart contracts that act as “executors” or bots in the Gelato network.
  • Monero celebrated its seventh birthday on April 18th, 2021.
  • Stabilize Protocol shared that BTC strategy is coming to Stabilize BSC soon. This arrival will allow users to earn arbitrage interest on deposits of BTCB, renBTC, and DBTC.
  • StakeWise announced trustless staking and the end of their bootstrapping campaign.
  • Storj highlighted the production availability of their new cloud-hosted S3-compatible gateway service for developers along with a host of new architectural improvements.
  • Blocknative introduced the Simulation Platform, which computes and summarizes the likely results of every marketable pending transaction against the current state of the chain.

Mainstream Recap:

  • Former acting Comptroller of the Currency, Brian P. Brooks, will join Binance.US as CEO.
  • Celsius Network discovered a breach of its third-party email distribution system. Users have since been receiving phishing emails and text messages.
  • OKEx now fully supports Lightning Network for faster and cheaper BTC transactions. OKEx users can use the Lightning Network for both BTC deposits and withdrawals.
  • River Financial shared that clients can now interact with both Lightning Network and Bitcoin, allowing users to deposit BTC using Lightning and immediately withdraw on-chain.
  • Venmo users can now buy and sell bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
  • Chicago-based Rothschild Investment Corporation recently bought 265,302 shares of the Grayscale Ethereum Trust, its first investment in ETH Trust.
  • Brink, the open-source Bitcoin development firm that supports developers, received a $210K donation from BtcTurk. Some existing work, such as FROST from Jesse Posner, can be viewed here.
  • a16z announced that they are leading Aleo’s Series A to aid in building a blockchain that addresses privacy and scalability concerns in an elegant and pragmatic way.
  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a new HM Treasury and Bank of England Task Force to explore a UK CBDC.
  • Cosmos’ ATOM is being considered as one of the viable tech solutions for the introduction of the digital Euro.
  • Lamassu ATM customers can now receive ZEC to their wallets using shielded Z-addresses.
  • Gemini shared that Ether ETFs are now approved on Canada’s Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), giving investors efficient and secure access to ETH. Gemini Fund Solutions is providing custody, clearing, execution, and capital market services to each BTC ETF and each ETH ETF in North America.
  • Coinbase has begun allowing ETH2.0 staking! Customers who were previously on the waitlist can now earn up to 6% APR on their ETH holdings.
  • TIME has partnered with Crypto.com and begun accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment for digital subscriptions.
  • CoinDesk reported that Sotheby’s first NFT sale of works by pseudonymous artist Pak fetched $16.8M over the three-day drop on Nifty Gateway.
  • Morgan Stanley confirmed that it is offering its wealth management clients exposure to BTC by way of a pair of external crypto funds.
  • Dharma shared that users can now go from USD to DeFi in all 50 US states. Users can deposit up to $25K per week directly from their bank account into Uniswap, Compound, Aave, Yearn, and PoolTogether.
  • EasyFi released a postmortem on their security incident on April 19th, 2021, where a hacker managed to get access to admin keys and remove existing liquidity of ~$6M from USD/DAI/USDT pools, transferring 2.98M EASY tokens to their wallet.
  • Gemini shared that they have surpassed more than $25B in crypto under custody!
  • LVMH has joined forces with two other major luxury names, Prada and Cartier, to develop Aura Blockchain Consortium, the world’s first global luxury blockchain.
  • Deutsche Telekom has invested in Celo, the mobile-phone-focused blockchain payments platform.

Jake’s Cup of Coffee:

Last week, Jake grabbed a cup of the single origin Guatemala Antigua roast from Orens Coffee in New York City. This roast offers notes of chocolate, caramel, and hints of orange. Sip up and enjoy as we move more into some spring weather!

Back To Top