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Crypto && Coffee 147

Technology Recap:

Bitcoin:

  • Core developers started a working group around the cluster mempool proposal. This proposal aims to make it easier to operate on the mempool while respecting the required ordering of transactions. In this design, clusters of one or more related transactions can be split into fee-rate sorted chunks. Any chunk can thus be included in a block as long as all previous higher fee-rate unconfirmed chunks are included earlier in the same block. 

  • David Perkins of Ren Protocol publishes an article on A Framework for Application-Specific Bitcoin Bridges

Ethereum:

  • Vitalik Buterin shares an article on how to Make Ethereum Cypherpunk Again.

  • On December 30th, 2023, Vitalik shared an updated roadmap for Ethereum. 

  • Ethereum researchers publish an article on the path towards scaling the Ethereum Data Availability layer post EIP-4844. With this, they envision scaling to 32/64 blobs which is 10x EIP-4844. 

  • Christine Kim of Galaxy provides insights into the last All Core Devs Execution Call of 2023 with focus on: Dencun updates for testnets, precompile address ranges, and the Prague/Electra upgrade slated before the end of 2024. 

Other Chains: 

  • Parallel Network is introduced! Parallel is the first omni-chain layer-2 powered by Arbitrum. This platform unifies liquidity from any chain into a single account. 

  • Haptic Finance, a trustless protocol for options on Optimism, is now available for early access. The protocol combines automated liquidity management (ALM) vaults with always-on option markets. 

  • ERC-7412 is introduced which allows smart contract engineers to incorporate off-chain data by calling functions on oracle contracts. The functionality uses Synthetix Multicall3 implementation that acts as a forwarder via ERC-2771

  • Mantle provides insights into how liquid staked tokens (LSTs) have created a new sector of DeFi which people are now naming LSDFi.

  • Helius shares insights into transitioning Solidity programming from Ethereum to Solana. 

  • Amongst the 70+ chains in the Cosmos ecosystem, Sommelier has emerged as the largest gainer in terms of YoY percentage TVL growth. They have soared from $1M to ~$61M as of December 27th, 2023. 

  • GrowThePie shares that there were ~900M transactions on layer-2 networks in 2023. 274M on Arbitrum, 218M on zkSync, 127M on Optimism, and 93M on Immutable. 

  • StarkWare shares a Year-in-Review with focus on their layer-2 network and open-sourced elements such as Stone Prover, Starknet Sequencer, and Papyrus full nodes. 


Hacks | Vulnerabilities | Exploits:

  • On December 20th, 2023, Transit Finance was exploited for ~$110K on BSC due to a function vulnerability which passed faulty input validation. 

  • On December 22nd, 2023, Pine Protocol was exploited for ~$90K on Ethereum due to having both the old version and new version of their smart contracts sharing the same address. This shared pool address between the two contracts resulted in the execution of fund transfers originating from the same address for different pools. 

  • On December 31st, 2023, Orbit Chain was exploited for ~$81.6M on Ethereum due to insufficient access rights and the misuse of valid signatures. The address drained Orbit’s vaults of Ether, USDT, USDC, DAI, and WBTC. 


Mainstream Recap:

  • There are 11 spot Bitcoin ETF filers (Grayscale, ARK, iShares, Bitwise, VanEck, WisdomTree, Invesco Galaxy, Wise Origin, Valkyrie, Hashdex, and Franklin) that are being watched closely which are aiming for a potential approval between January 8th and 10th, 2024. 

  • CoinCenter shares that there are new crypto tax reporting obligations that took effect on January 1st, 2024 for those who receive $10K or more in crypto. 

  • Alex Pruden, the CEO of Aleo Systems Inc., has stepped down from his position and transitioned into the role of Executive Director of the Aleo Foundation. 

  • Jesse Pollak of Coinbase’s Base network shares thoughts on how there is belief that most new users in the space will simply on-board directly via layer-2 networks. 


This Week’s Cup of Coffee:

This week, we are headed to San Francisco, CA for a cup of Ethiopian – Gubata Farmers Group from Sightglass Coffee. This Ethiopian roast yields light flavors of strawberry and stone fruit with subtle undertones of cocoa and caramel. I’d suggest brewing this one via pour-over for the best quality! Sip up and enjoy!! 

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