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Wednesday, 17. August 2022

Panther Protocol

Cross-chain DeFi: Possible, or forever limited?

Cross-chain DeFi and interoperability are the holy grail of the modern blockchain ecosystem. Here’s why, and the reason they’re so hard.

We’re still in the earliest years of cross-chain DeFi.

Different blockchains are significantly siloed, which you can tell by just looking at how Centralized Exchanges (CEXs) continue to be the most convenient way for users to swap coins between them. Albeit straightforward, this still is far from ideal, given that it does not rely on blockchain-native products and that users’ funds sit in exchanges’ hands.

Because of all of this, cross-chain interoperability has become the holy grail (and an over-used 'buzz phrase') in DeFi, as protocols try to move value seamlessly across different blockchains.

A peek into the world of cross-chain DeFi

Blockchains are like straight, parallel lines that do not cross, end, or cross paths. Although most of them may have similar underlying technologies, most independent blockchain networks are not compatible with one another. Like water and oil, they are immiscible – flowing side by side but never truly mixing.

The reason blockchains can’t “mix” is because a blockchain’s main purpose is to allow users to coordinate without communication to keep a shared ledger. Since each blockchain keeps track of its own ledger, making them mix would require both of the colliding chains to “agree” on a single state for each compatible chain, and track every subsequent move on the other. This process, as you might imagine, is far from efficient and introduces several different problems into the picture.

Because of the difficulty of upholding more than one ledger, even when a blockchain is forked, the newborn chain can only run side-by-side with the original.

The exclusive nature of Layer-1 blockchains poses a significant problem for DeFi protocols, which seek to take their services across several networks. There are many reasons for these issues, such as:

Popular blockchains’ native assets, such as Bitcoin’s BTC, Ripple’s XRP, Polkadot’s DOT, etc. are incompatible with the most popular DeFi ecosystem, Ethereum. High fees in Ethereum make users migrate to other DeFi ecosystems that might be better prepared to meet periods of high demand. Yield-seekers trying to make the most of existing platforms across the board as opposed to limiting themselves to a single ecosystem.
Enter the million-dollar question: what is cross-chain interoperability and how can it be achieved?

Cross-chain interoperability is the ability of a blockchain network to speak with other blockchains with which they share a similar underlying technology to drive information sharing.

Through cross-chain bridges and communication channels, users could in theory seamlessly and securely move value across different networks. Like two parallel lines finding a way to meet, cross-chain interoperability could unlock a way for different blockchain networks to speak to each other, with DeFi being the biggest benefactor.

So far, cross-chain bridges have been the best way for users to move assets across multiple blockchains. (Source) Why is cross-chain interoperability so important for DeFi?

Before the days of cross-chain interoperability, DeFi protocols were also restricted to serving the crypto community of the blockchain on which they were built. There was no room for non-Ethereum users to participate in Decentralized Finance on the most popular blockchain ecosystem.

Because of a lack of interoperability, DeFi protocols were limited to only the original blockchain they were built on. As such, they inherited all the underlying challenges associated with their native network. For Ethereum, this meant slow transaction speeds and high gas fees. For a few others, it was low liquidity and a smaller customer base.

Cross-chain interoperability, therefore, changed the game for decentralized finance.

Projects no longer have to build for one network alone, as they can easily allow asset transfers across blockchains through bridges. Users can also complete cross-chain token swaps, deposit liquidity, collect and repay loans, farm new tokens without limitations, and transfer assets across networks at all times. Cross-chain interoperability also bridged previously disenfranchised participants into the world of DeFi, creating entry points for retail and institutional users alike.

Cross-chain interoperability among blockchain-based systems using transactions. (Source)

In summary, with cross-chain interoperability, DeFi protocols can enjoy:

Scalability: Utilizing several blockchain networks allows for greater scalability, faster transaction speeds and reduced gas fees.
Greater adoption: When a DeFi protocol supports cross-chain interoperability, it can access a greater pool of users across the different networks and provide DeFi services to everyone.
Storage spread: A high number of users leads to higher storage costs for DeFi applications. When services are supported across several blockchains, DeFi protocols can spread storage costs evenly across networks.
Liquidity spread: The more users a DeFi protocol can reach, the more liquidity is available for lending, borrowing, staking, etc. Cross-chain interoperability creates an avenue for a large inflow of liquidity across several blockchains. Relevant cross-chain DeFi concepts
A high-level overview of the cross-chain DeFi infrastructure. (Source)

As DeFi applications and protocols continue to build for a cross-chain future, several projects and concepts have carved a niche for themselves in decentralized finance. They have become integral parts of the DeFi ecosystem, helping drive cross-chain transactions and, ultimately, DeFi adoption. Some of them include:

Bridges: a pillar of cross-chain DeFi

Bridges are essential infrastructure in the cross-chain DeFi ecosystem – the fundamental framework behind multichain asset transfers. Essentially, bridges lock assets on one network and mint the equivalent assets on the other. They can be unidirectional (allowing one-way transactions only) or bidirectional (allowing back and forth transactions across two networks).

The need for cross-chain bridges first emerged when the DeFi ecosystem started growing on the Ethereum network, while the Bitcoin network remained the biggest source of crypto liquidity. This lead to the creation of a wBTC bridge enabling the transfer of BTC from the Bitcoin to the Ethereum network. However, it’s worth noting that this bridge is a token-specific unidirectional bridge, meaning wBTC only supports Bitcoin and transfers the value from the Bitcoin to Ethereum network, not the other way around.

Some other popular cross-chain DeFi bridges include Multichain Bridge, cBridge, Portal (formerly Wormhole), and Poly Network. Bridges for smart contract blockchains tend to be of the more flexible kind, as they allow for two-way communication.

Cross-chain liquidity networks & decentralized exchanges

Even though cross-chain bridges bear the load of most cross-chain communications, they suffer from a range of issues. These include security concerns, the complexity of wrapped tokens, and the skepticism from several blockchain proponents.

Cross-chain liquidity networks and cross-chain decentralized exchanges (DEXs) aim to solve the problems faced by bridges and enable users to swap one network’s native token to another network’s native token (e.g. swap BTC for ETH without bridging assets, that is, an atomic swap) through a cross-chain AMM model.

With cross-chain interoperability and robust, intelligent algorithms, liquidity networks & DEXs can power native token swap transactions across different blockchains. They also enjoy high liquidity. Famous examples include ThorChain, Gravity DEX, and Polkadex.

Cross-chain staking protocols

Previously, DeFi staking protocols were limited to their native chains. With cross-chain interoperability, users can now stake assets across various networks, participate as validators, and enjoy staking rewards from each network. Cross-staking protocols enable users to earn passive income and contribute to network security across blockchains.

Cross-chain lending protocols

Lending and borrowing have always been a critical part of Decentralized Finance. With cross-chain lending protocols, users can borrow assets or supply liquidity for borrowers from one blockchain network to the other. Popular cross-chain lending protocols include Compound Finance, Aave Protocol, and Abracadabra.

The present state of DeFi interoperability

Cross-chain DeFi has gone beyond being a buzz phrase, as several projects are leaning towards facilitating blockchain interoperability. While interoperability has helped drive DeFi adoption on a grand scale and move billions of dollars in liquidity into Decentralized Finance, several factors remind us that the DeFi ecosystem is still in its early days.

Unsolved bridge vulnerabilities

Bridges have also become viable targets for hackers looking to exploit large liquidity pools, and the continued attacks threaten the entire DeFi ecosystem.

According to Chainalysis, funds from cross-chain protocol hacks represented 69% of all the funds stolen in the crypto space in 2022. Recently, hackers attacked cross-chain bridge Nomad and stole over $100 million, representing the seventh major crypto bridge hack this year. Earlier in 2022, a heist on Wormhole (a bridge between Ethereum and Solana) resulted in a $320 million exploit, while the Axie Infinity sidechain Ronin was exploited in March, resulting in the loss of over $622 million.

It’s worth noting that bridge security is a major pending assignment for the crypto community. This is because several factors make bridges inherently attractive for attackers. The most common cross-chain bridge design requires locking native assets on the source chain and minting wrapped-assets on the destination blockchain. Since this model results in a large pool of assets locked on the source chain in a single contract/wallets, malicious actors only need to focus on a single contract to direct their efforts for a potential high reward.

Furthermore, as Vitalik Buterin (Founder of Ethereum) has repeatedly stressed, cross-chain bridges are prone to other security issues, such as their vulnerability in the event of 51% attacks. Vitalik argued in a Reddit post that, in the case of a blockchain network getting 51% attacked, the native assets in user wallets remain safe, whereas bridged assets’ value is prone to getting diluted.

As it often happens, Vitalik Buterin’s concerns about bridges quickly made headlines across the blockchain community. Overreliance on Ethereum and the EVM

Beyond security threats, interoperability is still not mainstream in DeFi. The dApp concentration on Ethereum remains high (78% of all decentralized finance applications are Ethereum-native), and most dApps do not support cross-chain interoperability.

Another barrier limiting the proliferation of cross-chain applications is EVM-compatibility.

EVM stands for Ethereum Virtual Machine, a virtual component that is contained in every Ethereum node which takes in smart contracts (usually written in high-level languages like Solidity) and converts them into EVM bytecode.

EVM-compatibility means creating a code execution environment that supports EVM bytecode, therefore enabling Ethereum developers to migrate their smart contracts from Ethereum to other chains without having to write code from scratch. Some of the most popular EVM-compatible chain are Polygon, BSC, and Avalanche. Since not all blockchain networks are EVM-compatible, this creates a barrier for developers as their smart contracts cannot be deployed on non-EVM compatible chains. This also puts pressure on developers to stay grounded on EVM-compatible chains, since otherwise they might not be able to port their applications outside their host chain.

Privacy concerns associated with Layer-1 blockchains

Because of the public-open nature of bridges, enabling DeFi interoperability may also come at the expense of privacy, transparency, and individual autonomy. Privacy is already a concern for most blockchain network users, but when their transaction records are spread across several blockchains, it becomes even more worrying. Furthermore, guaranteeing seamless interoperability between private and public chains represents its own set of challenges.

With security, privacy, and slow adoption threatening the progress of DeFi interoperability, Panther proposes a series of alternatives to help cross-chain interoperability go private, finding its next breakthrough.

Cross-chain interoperability: What does the future hold?

Although cross-chain interoperability in DeFi is getting the much-needed traction it deserves, there is yet a lot of ground to cover before it becomes a norm in the crypto space. Several leading decentralized applications do not support cross-chain transactions, while those that already do face a plethora of challenges.

Cross-chain bridges are the bedrock of DeFi interoperability, and they have increasingly come under attack from hackers recently. While they have helped drive scalability in DeFi, cross-chain solutions increase privacy and transparency risks, and some known bridges even demand KYC verification from potential users.

In the future, decentralization will continue to gain a foothold in crypto. Blockchain interoperability will play a significant role in leveling the DeFi playing field for users and protocols. The excess liquidity on Ethereum is also likely to spread across other blockchain networks. Similarly, the development of more blockchain-agnostic solutions like Panther Protocol (which aims to build industry-standard private bridges that interconnect DeFi through a series of Multi-Asset Shielded Pools) will be a catalyst for widespread DeFi adoption through interoperability.

About Panther

Panther is a decentralized protocol that enables interoperable privacy in DeFi using zero-knowledge proofs.

Users can mint fully-collateralized, composable tokens called zAssets, which can be used to execute private, trusted DeFi transactions across multiple blockchains.

Panther helps investors protect their personal financial data and trading strategies, and provides financial institutions with a clear path to compliantly participate in DeFi.Stay connected: Telegram | Twitter | LinkedIn | Website


Coinbase

Reinforcing our customers account security with enhanced password protection

Tl;dr: We are excited to announce the expansion of our enhanced password protections. By protecting the first layer of our user’s account protection, their passwords, we are continuing our commitment to offer our customers with the best security tools to protect their funds and accounts. By Abhishek Agarwal, Group Product Manager At Coinbase, one of our core pillars has always been the onli

Tl;dr: We are excited to announce the expansion of our enhanced password protections. By protecting the first layer of our user’s account protection, their passwords, we are continuing our commitment to offer our customers with the best security tools to protect their funds and accounts.

By Abhishek Agarwal, Group Product Manager

At Coinbase, one of our core pillars has always been the online safety and security of our customers. We believe that our customers need to have access to industry leading security features without sacrificing ease and convenience. Therefore, providing a safe, secure, and easy-to-use customer experience is our continuous commitment to all of our current and future customers.

With multiple online accounts to keep track of, it’s inevitable that our customers find it difficult to manage their passwords and sometimes end up re-using their favorite passwords across multiple online products and accounts. According to Google/Harris Poll data, two in three people re-use the same password across multiple accounts. Of all the survey participants (ages 16–50+), 51% admitted that they use one particular “favorite” password for the majority of their accounts. Unfortunately, this is not the best solution for their online security: by using the same key for multiple accounts, if one password happens to be breached, all of their other accounts are at risk of being compromised too.

Since 2019, Coinbase has been monitoring third-party credential breaches and darknet markets for indications that a reused password might be putting Coinbase accounts at risk. This feature (which automatically monitors existing Coinbase accounts at no additional cost) has helped protect tens of thousands of users since its launch. Today, we are happy to announce that we’re expanding our enhanced password protections to continuously cover users, starting from the moment they sign up to the rest of their journey with us, and protect them from using compromised passwords in their Coinbase accounts.

With this enhanced security measure, every time a customer creates or changes their password, we will automatically check to see if their selected password was exposed in any third party data breach and suggest the usage of a different & more secure password. With this extra protection, we are helping our users to be safer with a safer shield for the first layer of their account security.

Our commitment to our customers’ safety and security is always top of mind, and this update is another step to make our customers experience safer and easier to use. At Coinbase, we’re proud to lead the way in providing the best security protections to all of our 98+ million users.

If you want to learn more about our Password security measures, feel free to access this help center article.

Reinforcing our customers account security with enhanced password protection was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

Consumer Fintech Returns to the Trend Line (August 2022 Fintech Newsletter)

This first appeared in the monthly a16z fintech newsletter. Subscribe to stay on top of the latest fintech news. TABLE OF CONTENTS Consumer Fintech: Back to the Trend Line When the U.S. government first pursued its massive Covid stimulus … The post Consumer Fintech Returns to the Trend Line (August 2022 Fintech Newsletter) appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.

This first appeared in the monthly a16z fintech newsletter. Subscribe to stay on top of the latest fintech news.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Consumer Fintech: Back to the Trend Line

When the U.S. government first pursued its massive Covid stimulus …

The post Consumer Fintech Returns to the Trend Line (August 2022 Fintech Newsletter) appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.


How to Break the Cycle of Technology Panics

This is an excerpt from Build for Tomorrow by Jason Feifer (Harmony Books, September 2022). Amy Orben wanted to answer a very modern question: How do digital connections compare with other forms of connection?  It’s the kind of thing only a wonky, hyperanalytic person would think to ask. Orben is that person. She received a... Read More The post How to Break the Cycle of Technology Panics a

This is an excerpt from Build for Tomorrow by Jason Feifer (Harmony Books, September 2022). Amy Orben wanted to answer a very modern question: How do digital connections compare with other forms of connection?  It’s the kind of thing only a wonky, hyperanalytic person would think to ask. Orben is that person. She received a... Read More

The post How to Break the Cycle of Technology Panics appeared first on Future.


bankless

Is The Merge Priced In? with Hal Press & Ryan Berckmans

Is the Merge Priced In? The Ethereum Proof-of-Stake Merge looms around the corner, but how do the markets feel about it? Ryan Berckmans and Hal Press have a mutually bullish discussion about the Ethereum network today, tomorrow, and long-term. They're both bullish ETH, but differ on how it's going to play out. This is our favorite kind of debate.  ------ 📣 Chainlink | Register for Smar

Is the Merge Priced In? The Ethereum Proof-of-Stake Merge looms around the corner, but how do the markets feel about it?

Ryan Berckmans and Hal Press have a mutually bullish discussion about the Ethereum network today, tomorrow, and long-term. They're both bullish ETH, but differ on how it's going to play out.

This is our favorite kind of debate. 

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------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER:          https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/   🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST:                 http://podcast.banklesshq.com/  

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----- Timestamps:

0:00 Intro 7:00 Hal & Ryan Thesis 18:28 The Merge is Happening 23:30 A Crowded Trade 29:23 Risks and Catalysts 36:10 Structural Significance 41:40 Blockspace Demand 46:40 Real vs Nominal Return 50:30 Miners vs Validators 56:00 Proof of Stake Wins 59:00 Store of Value 1:09:45 The Flippening 1:18:00 Price Predictions

----- Resources:

Hal Press  https://twitter.com/NorthRockLP

Ryan Berckmans https://twitter.com/ryanberckmans

----- Not financial or tax advice. This channel is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This video is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.

Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here: https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/p/bankless-disclosures 


Nym - Medium

Web3 is the new frontline for privacy — here’s how we can fight for it

Web3 is the new frontline for privacy — here’s how we can fight for it Web3 has become an umbrella term for a range of increasingly disparate visions of the future of the internet. For some people, ‘Web3’ means metaverse-based projects of the sort trumpeted by Meta. For others, it describes new protocols and modes of organisation based on distributed ownership and control. Generally sp
Web3 is the new frontline for privacy — here’s how we can fight for it

Web3 has become an umbrella term for a range of increasingly disparate visions of the future of the internet. For some people, ‘Web3’ means metaverse-based projects of the sort trumpeted by Meta. For others, it describes new protocols and modes of organisation based on distributed ownership and control.

Generally speaking, though (and for our purposes), Web3 means the emerging new iteration of digital communication based on the principles of decentralisation. Web3 uses blockchain-based technologies, tokenisation, and cryptography to enable new forms of cooperation and transmission of information. Nascent examples of this include DAOs.

Is Web3 private?

There is no simple answer to this question — and, of course, if you need clarification about whether or not a technology you’re using is truly private, then it almost certainly is not.

The current iteration of the internet, known as Web2 (or Web 2.0), is characterised by catastrophic centralisation. Power (whether exercised directly, for example through state surveillance and its outcomes, or indirectly, for example through control of the vectors through which information travels) is concentrated in an ever-smaller number of siloes. Control of those siloes is contested; one of the major developments associated with this phase of the web has been the extraordinary rise of tech-enabled non-nation-state actors such as GAFA. These monolithic companies are both challengers to conventional state power and inextricable partners of those states, the latter of which increasingly cannot do without the infrastructural assets of the former.

Some observers appear to consider Web3 inherently ‘more private’ than the existing model because they associate words like ‘blockchain’ and ‘decentralisation’ with anonymity. Others have a different understanding: to these people Web3 must be inherently ‘less private’ because they associate blockchains and decentralisation with total transparency, presumably because of the oft-repeated but much-misunderstood fact that transactions on a blockchain are immutable and everyone can ‘see’ them.

In reality, of course, the technologies associated with Web3 can and will be deployed in different ways that suit individual use-cases. There are many situations in which some degree of privacy is absolutely critical. Consider, for example, the storage and transmission of medical data.

Beyond this there are significant questions about the degree to which decentralisation will actually be achieved, at least for the average web user. Consider the crypto exchange model. In order to transact in Bitcoin, for example, most users require an ‘on-ramp’ enabling them to buy coins in exchange for fiat currency — a function that is carried out by huge centralised exchanges with vast data processing power and everyone’s credit card details. This is far from true decentralisation.

Can we make Web3 private?

The examples above give an indication of just some of the first infrastructural pitfalls that Web3 has to overcome in order to achieve anything like its promise of decentralisation and, crucially, to fulfil its potential for privacy. They should highlight that there is no inherent privacy in Web3; there is no ‘baked-in’ privacy protocol, and privacy is not guaranteed by design.

Privacy will not be achieved in Web3 unless it is taken as the foundational principle of these new modes of communication. In practice, this means the creation of a ‘layer 0’ protocol that guarantees anonymity — that is, a protocol that is private by design. The Web2 analogue here is TCP/IP, the governing protocol of the modern internet, also known as the network layer. Nym is working hard to build this layer 0 privacy protocol for Web3, which also enables interoperability between other protocols and standards (whether blockchain-based or not). But the tech stack of Web3 privacy is broader than just layer 0.

Secret Network focuses on running private smart contracts which don’t expose user data to the public, unlike most if not all other smart contract systems. Manta is relying on a state-of-the-art cryptographic primitive called zk-SNARK to build its decentralised protocols for private payments, token exchanges, loans and synthetic assets. Aztec enables users to privately interact with all DeFI services within the Ethereum ecosystem by integrating specific zero knowledge proof circuits in smart contracts already deployed. Offshift and Railgun focus on privacy for smart contracts; Monero and Zcash aim to provide privacy in currency transactions… And the list goes on.

There is a growing community of projects and developers dedicated to making Web3 more private, and to building applications that enable privacy for specific actions and circumstances. The battle to wrest control of the nascent new internet from the clutches of state and corporate actors is going to be a long and difficult one, and privacy requires constant vigilance. Thankfully, there is an emerging coalition of projects dedicated to a private internet. Nym is proud to be among them. We each bring different solutions to the table — but we all share a common vision.

In order to build a truly private future for digital communication we need cooperation, mutual support, and interoperability. And, perhaps most importantly, we need clear, effective and unified communication about the problem we are solving.

Web3 is the new frontline for privacy — here’s how we can fight for it was originally published in nymtech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Findora

Findora Validator Spotlight — TillyONE

💡Findora Validator Spotlight💡 — TillyONE Validator Spotlights showcase the great teams working to guarantee the security and decentralization of the Findora blockchain. Here are TillyONE’s responses to some questions from the Findora community: 1) Tell Us About Yourself I’m a California-native Systems Administrator. My first PC as a kid was a 486DX (this REALLY dates me :/ ), and I’ve
💡Findora Validator Spotlight💡 — TillyONE Validator Spotlights showcase the great teams working to guarantee the security and decentralization of the Findora blockchain. Here are TillyONE’s responses to some questions from the Findora community: 1) Tell Us About Yourself

I’m a California-native Systems Administrator. My first PC as a kid was a 486DX (this REALLY dates me :/ ), and I’ve been into technology ever since. More importantly, I’m a father of two great boys & have a wonderful wife who helps guide me, looks out for our family, and cares for those in need every day.

I’ve managed servers ever since I was 19 (again, I won’t share my age, but trust me, it’s been a long time). Since then, I’ve been in the professional IT industry for 10 years.

2) What brought you into crypto/web3 in the first place?

My first venture in the crypto-verse was with Eth in 2017. Miss those prices!

Since then, I’ve mined LTC, CPU & GPU farming pools, experimented with basic ASIC hardware, and anything else to learn.

These new PoS tech systems like Findora are really the future IMO.

3) What is your experience in validating or web3 in general?

I’ve been a validator in one form or another for 11 months now. I’ve learned the growing pains both from being a validator myself and from issues for a chain in general. I’ve also gained the experience to execute proper maintenance and upgrades when needed for minimal downtime on a node.

4) What makes your operation unique?

TillyONE from day one has had a real family vibe to it. I really believe while the tech development, investments from VCs and Exchanges, etc. are important, the main question is, “What are we doing this for?”

For TillyONE, it’s for the family to learn new things about web3/crypto (because it’s evolving and will be a bigger part in one’s life soon) and be a part of it.

In my growing years as a kid, it was WWW; now for my kids, it’s web3.

5) Why do you want to validate with Findora?

I’ve met some really smart and honest people at another initiative. They told me about Findora. When I researched it and how one can help ASAP I said, “LFG!”. :)

6) Where can our community go to learn more about you?

Our Twitter is @TillyONENetwork

Website: www.TillyONE.com/home

Telegram: https://t.me/+-IDaUwCvbbdhNmUx

7) How can people delegate funds to you?

When you go to stake FRA from the Findora Wallet, you can select TillyONE. You can see my stats and terms from the findorascan.io dashboard.

💡Findora Validator Spotlight💡 — TillyONE was originally published in Findora Foundation on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


TBD

What are Verifiable Credentials?

What are verifiable credentials, who issues them, and how do they get verified

When you hear the term 'credential', what comes to mind? Is it a driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, college degree, state ID? The common thread of these forms of credentials is that they are physical items, verified by recognized centralized bodies like a government agency or accredited university.

So how do credentials translate into the digital world where within a few clicks someone can make a fictitious identity? Introducing... verifiable credentials (VCs), a digitally signed electronic credential that follows an open standard that lets you create, own, and manage your credentials across a variety of platforms.

Why Do We Need Verifiable Credentials?

Over the course of your digital history, you've likely signed up for hundreds of apps and services with elements of your personal data fragmented, such as your name, email address, or more sensitive information like your date of birth and government ID number. These services then share your data with other third parties that you may not even be aware of - with or without your consent. It's difficult to go back and deactivate your profiles, delete your accounts, or reclaim additional data these services have collected on you. Worse is if there is a data breach in one of these services and now your data is out in the public.

Verified Credentials aim to solve these problems by putting the power to manage your data back into your hands. Imagine being able to own and control your personal data by only allowing access to services that require it and having the power to disable services that no longer need it. You can even manage your data on your own self hosted decentralized web node via an identity hub without relying on any centralized third party.

Additionally, you can own multiple verified credentials for various use cases such as a student ID, a driver’s license, a passport, or a certificate you earned. You can also have one specific verified credential with multiple presentation layers such as a passport where certain metadata is presented when used in a given context.

How Do Verifiable Credentials Work?

You may be wondering who actually issues a verified credential, how does it get verified and who verifies the verifier?

Let's look at the following example of the manual way credentials are issued. You've been accepted to your top university of choice and now need a student ID to access both the campus and online resources. Specifically, you want to apply for a campus parking permit as well.

Typically this process would involve you taking physical copies of multiple forms of ID verification such as a passport, birth certificate, and driver's license to a physical office. Then after a few days of various checks, you're finally issued a physical student ID card from that university. The university trusts the entity that issued your birth certificate, passport, and driver’s license to create a student ID for you. They can even look you up by the identification numbers on these documents.

But what if someone in the admissions office looked up your driver’s license and noticed those parking tickets you have? Were they even allowed to do so and could this bias their decision to give you a parking permit?

The current process looks something like this:

Now let’s look at how verifiable credentials could help in this scenario. The university would run verification checks for each document provided (passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, etc) and the credential would be limited to just basic bio data that is required such as a legal name, date of birth, etc. So no one from the student department will be able to see your ticketing history associated with your driver’s license.

Using Verified Credentials

Decentralized identifiers (DIDs) work alongside Verifiable Credentials. DIDs are unique identifiers that let us reference various VCs and the entities that also issue those credentials. For example a government or company can have their own unique DID.

DIDs use the following schema:

photo credit: W3C

DIDs can then be used to create a verified credential by electronically signing it and assigning it to a holder, similarly to how blocks are cryptographically linked in a blockchain. The holder (also known as a DID subject) can then choose how much of that credential they want to present to an entity requesting the credential.

An example is an employer, CompanyX, who looks up the DID of your college diploma from UniversityY.

CompanyX queries the issuer of your diploma verifiable credential, in this case UniversityY, and also looks up the DID of that university in a verifiable data registry (VDR). Think of VDR's as just lists that can be managed and maintained by various parties such as wallets, financial institutions, DAOs, non-profits, etc. If your credentials are verified but somehow UniversityY is on a list of non-accredited institutions in the USA but accredited institutions in Europe, it would be up to the CompanyX to decide if they want to accept it.

The diagram below outlines the flow of this process.

photo credit: W3C

Use Cases for Verifiable Credentials

There’s several use cases that can be realized with the use of verifiable credentials, such as

Employment checks without being invasive Managing of health records, land titles, etc Managing of various forms of personal identification such as passports, driver’s licenses, etc KYC (Know Your Customer) checks for financial institutions and businesses Managing your gamer profile across different metaverses Managing Memberships

DIDs and VCs allow us to create credentials and identities on an interoperable ecosystem that allow developers and businesses to build a new wave of products, applications, and services that put users in control.

Tuesday, 16. August 2022

Greylock Partners

The Next Play

Nike CEO John Donahoe discusses the iconic sports retailer's digital transformation in recent years; the lessons learned as a four-time CEO; and his “head coach” mentality to leadership. The post The Next <span>Play</span> appeared first on Greylock.

The post The Next <span>Play</span> appeared first on Greylock.


Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

The Strategic Approach to Building a Board

Building your board forward from product-market fit—instead of backward from an IPO date—helps you clarify the most critical challenges facing your company and find the right people to advise you. A good board of directors can be one of the … The post The Strategic Approach to Building a Board appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.

Building your board forward from product-market fit—instead of backward from an IPO date—helps you clarify the most critical challenges facing your company and find the right people to advise you.

A good board of directors can be one of the …

The post The Strategic Approach to Building a Board appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.


Coinbase

The Ethereum Merge is Coming: Here’s what you need to know

Tl;dr: Ethereum is anticipated to move to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) on or around September 15, 2022 making it more secure, less energy-intensive, and better for implementing new scaling solutions. Rest assured, your assets will be safe and secure during this period and no action is required to upgrade on your part. The following piece outlines what you can expect from Coinbase ahead of The Merge.

Tl;dr: Ethereum is anticipated to move to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) on or around September 15, 2022 making it more secure, less energy-intensive, and better for implementing new scaling solutions. Rest assured, your assets will be safe and secure during this period and no action is required to upgrade on your part. The following piece outlines what you can expect from Coinbase ahead of The Merge.

By Armin Rezaiean-Asel, Product Manager at Coinbase

On August 10, 2022 Ethereum completed the Goerli public testnet merge — its final trial before making the migration from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS)* on mainnet (also known as the Merge). Ethereum is now anticipated to complete the Merge on or around September 15, 2022 (TTD 58750000000000000000000). Six years in the making, this milestone will reduce energy consumption for the Ethereum network by a projected 99.95% compared to PoW.

With the rise of DeFi and NFTs, the Ethereum network has endured traffic bottlenecks and unpredictable spikes in transaction (gas) fees. Although PoS on its own does not lower transaction fees, it does set Ethereum up to continue delivering on its scalability roadmap.

At Coinbase, we view this event as a major step toward scaling adoption of the cryptoeconomy and will support it in a variety of ways that align with our mission to increase economic freedom in the world.

What does the Merge mean for Coinbase users?

During the Merge, Coinbase will briefly pause new Ethereum (ETH) and ERC-20 token deposits and withdrawals as a precautionary measure. Although the Merge is expected to be seamless from a user perspective, this downtime allows us to ensure that the transition has been successfully reflected by our systems. We do not expect any other networks or currencies to be impacted and expect no impact to trading for ETH and ERC-20 tokens across our centralized trading products.

You will be informed via Twitter and the status page when ETH and ERC-20 tokens are available for deposits and withdrawals.

It’s important to always be on high alert for scams, but especially leading up to the Merge. We recommend you don’t send your ETH to anyone in an attempt to “upgrade to ETH2” as there is no ETH2 token. Your assets will be safe and secure during this period and no action is required to upgrade on your part.

After the merge, you can find your staked ETH (ETH2) balance under your Ethereum (ETH) wallet on the platform. Your staked ETH will be listed separately from any unstaked ETH or dapp wallet ETH balance you might be holding. As a reminder, ETH2 is the ticker Coinbase set ahead of the Merge to represent staked ETH and will no longer be used after the Merge — there is no ETH2 token.

Staked ETH (ETH2) balances won’t be unlocked at the time of the Merge or be available to trade or transfer until the Ethereum protocol upgrade completes. The upgrade is anticipated to be completed by early 2023.

For Coinbase Prime and Coinbase Exchange customers:

Coinbase Prime users with ETH and ERC-20 balances may experience temporary delays in custody withdrawal availability. We recommend initiating any withdrawals or deposits prior to this date, or after the Merge completes. We’ll send specific institutional customer communications before the transition to give our customers specific guidance on timing and SLAs during this time.

For Coinbase Cloud customers:

Customers running their staking or node infrastructure through Coinbase Cloud should expect to experience a routine upgrade with approximately 10 minutes of downtime in advance of the Merge. Customer infrastructure should experience little to no downtime when the Merge block is passed, and changes will be backwards compatible. Our Customer Success team will reach out to inform you of upgrade timelines and if any other actions are required to prepare you for the Merge.

For Coinbase Wallet users:

Coinbase Wallet users with ETH and ERC-20 balances, as well as NFTs or DeFi positions on the Ethereum network, should experience minimal to no impact. Assuming a successful transition, the network will remain operational, and users can continue to transact with their self-custodied crypto on the Ethereum mainnet once the transition is complete. As always, network fees will be set by the network based on demand, and as a reminder, Coinbase neither sets nor collects those fees.

For Coinbase Commerce customers:

During the merge time, we will be temporarily pausing the ability to process new payments as a precautionary measure to ensure that funds are protected. In-process payments will also be delayed. Once the merge is complete, payment processing will be re-enabled. There is no action required by users and in-process payments will be confirmed at this time.

We aim to support the Merge with the least amount of friction possible for our users — without compromising on security. We’ll continue to provide updates on our Twitter and Statuspage as more information becomes available.

As a reminder, the Merge is the culmination of years of work by the Ethereum Foundation, independent researchers, client teams, infrastructure providers like Coinbase Cloud, and many others. At Coinbase, our role is to protect users’ assets and help ensure a seamless transition across Coinbase products. For Ethereum network specific information, you can follow the Ethereum Foundation Blog as well as the Ethereum network on Twitter.

*Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake are the two main consensus mechanisms used to verify new blocks and add them to the blockchain. First pioneered by Bitcoin, PoW consensus mechanisms use mining to achieve these goals. On the other hand, popular PoS blockchains such as Cardano, Avalanche, Polkadot, and Solana utilize staking to achieve similar goals.

The Ethereum Merge is Coming: Here’s what you need to know was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Wrench in the Gears

Listening Paths and Reflections In Mind – Guest Post From Cliff Gomes

I’ve been meaning to share this jewel of insight from my friend Cliff for a month, but I needed to get past the summer doldrums and re-engage with my blog. I’m taking a week off to refresh my thinking in the Shenandoah, but when I get back I’ll be ready to jump back into Berggruen [...]

I’ve been meaning to share this jewel of insight from my friend Cliff for a month, but I needed to get past the summer doldrums and re-engage with my blog. I’m taking a week off to refresh my thinking in the Shenandoah, but when I get back I’ll be ready to jump back into Berggruen and California eugenics. Next week I hope to visit several institutions in Virginia that played important roles in scaling forced sterilization – the Buck versus Bell case. Stay tuned.

Until then, soak up the teachings of a dear friend and enjoy the charming animated short he commissioned to share tools from his toolbox with the rest of the world.

You can find more insights from Cliff on his Youtube channel here.

“Maybe we don’t walk off the stage and leave the world and life behind when our body dies. The framing of the story generally believed in now claims the world we see is an independent reality. It says we’re separate from it and each other. It says we live brief lives and then die. It says an individual life is of no great consequence to life itself. Adopting that frame and consequently experiencing our life through that lens is a choice we’re responsible for making and we can change our minds. We’re capable of letting go of the belief that our life is of no consequence and that bodily death is the end. We can consciously choose to live our lives from within a different frame in mind.

I’ve chosen to live in a different story, and my choice didn’t arise from nothing. It’s drawn from the contents of my experience. My experience is the only truth I claim, and my experience showed me the world isn’t what I imagined it to be.

Everything I imagined as a separate world, an independent reality, I see now as a reflective surface where ideas representing life appear. Seen newly, I understand the world to be intimately connected to me because, after the rendering an idea in mind, an image of myself is reflected on the surface commonly called the world. My body is an image of me, a reflection on the surface that the world is, the reflection of an idea in my listening, the idea of my identity.

What I imagine as myself and the world is influenced. I didn’t dream the story up alone and without the influence of something else in mind. In mind at large, you don’t get something from nothing as you do in the story of the Big Bang. Children don’t magically appear from nowhere; a stork doesn’t bring them; they’re the result of combining information, of one person sharing their story with another. Your story of the world arrived in your listening, so it’s worth paying attention and noticing what it is you’re listening to. Your listening is always under the influence because you’re not alone in an empty universe making something from nothing. For the sake of your experience of life, it’s worth noticing what it is that’s influencing you.

If you’re unhappy with the image of yourself you see in the mirror and the conditions you see in the world, address it in mind, where what influenced the picture of yourself and the world exists, rather than pretending your appearance or the appearance of the world is whatever you interpret it to be. Rather than attempt to force others to agree with your interpretation, take responsibility for your listening and the influences in mind that, together with you, produced the biological art that represents yourself and the world. Living in an interpretation of what you see on a surface that only reflects ideas held in mind compounds a mistake that lead you  away from your creative power in the first place.

Maybe we don’t ever leave the world because it’s not a place, but is instead the influenced reflection of ideas in mind. We can begin to address the deception we find here, one of the influences in mind, by taking the stand that we’re responsible for the area of mind at large where our local signal arrives, the attachment point to mind at large where we notice it coming, the place where what we think of as the thoughts we have arrive.

Before trying to effect a change in the collective signal that informs the shared space of the cultural mind, we should familiarize ourselves with learning to manage our reception at our access point, our unique IP address, and our internal antenna settings there. I don’t think we ever wake up and leave, but instead wake up and expand by gaining bandwidth, by sending our listening out to a previously unknown horizon while simultaneously diving further into the depths of our hearts.

There’s a place to communicate from beyond the babel that world culture has on offer, a place where you can strike a clear tone of intention that will penetrate our current cultural mind like an earthquake. You can offer something there that becomes visible art, a communication that transmits comprehension without the need for language such that any

aspect or lineage of life, of being itself, can understand it.

From intention, sound can rise into art that shakes the ground of unconscious consensus and individual misunderstanding. Through such communication, you can topple what were assumed to be permanent structures of deception. With a clear and heartfelt tone rising up that all can see, you can wreak havoc on the very foundations of the lie from which all iterations of it are derived.

Be still once awake and help build a listening path that others might follow to a place for communication from which what you share is heard by all. The narrow band of listening most people inhabit now, and the misconceptions that drive its limitations, can be swept gently aside in the presence of the art of love. Qualities of being can become sound, can become clean, comprehensible tones that rise up as art and bypass the language center and all its chaos. These deep heartfelt tones don’t require a language system of comprehension to dissolve the signal attachment of the temporarily deceived.

In listening, there’s a way to commune with and internalize the soft heart tones of any beautiful mind. You can set them free to be amplified and empowered at the broadcast point on that distant horizon, a place that has an umbilical connection to the center of the universe, to the community still point of life itself that exists in every heart. Don’t exit what you think of as life behind a story influenced by something unkind. Instead, step out of an unkind story and into an empowered one. You’ll hear it if you listen for it. Find your way to a place of empowered communication that gives you access to the center of the living universe where it exists in every heart, and say something beautiful and kind.

If one day soon you hear something that sounds like soft birdsong slowly building into a universe-spanning hurricane of vibrational music that rises as visible art and remakes DNA in its passing, be unafraid as your vision blurs. The world shimmers before appearing again anew.

When you come to your senses and realize you can see auras, smell lies, and taste deceit as easily as you can tell mint from cinnamon, be at ease because you’ve been upgraded courtesy of communication worthy of being shared into the heart of the matter, information that makes it possible to change one’s mind and so alters the surface reflection of ideas in mind that appear as the world we see with our eyes.

If you’re calm and still and listen, you’ll hear the soft beginnings of a distant symphony of such communication that’s already begun and is making its way inward to the center of the universe, which has always been at home at the still point inside you. Surrender as it approaches in awareness, relax and let it in.”


Techno-Makeover of the Third Sector: Laura Arrillaga Andreessen Godmother of Silicon Valley Social Entrepreneurship

This presentation is a follow up to the one Jason, Lynn, and I did deconstructing the Joe Rogan / Marc Andreessen interview last month. You can watch that here. Laura Arrillaga, Marc’s wife, established policy infrastructure around data-driven philanthropy and social innovation in the Bay Area starting in the late 1990s through her ties to [...]

This presentation is a follow up to the one Jason, Lynn, and I did deconstructing the Joe Rogan / Marc Andreessen interview last month. You can watch that here. Laura Arrillaga, Marc’s wife, established policy infrastructure around data-driven philanthropy and social innovation in the Bay Area starting in the late 1990s through her ties to Stanford, SV2, the Hoover Institute, and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. In the first half of the presentation I ended up spending a good deal of deal time analyzing the feature image of a paper Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen wrote for the Stanford Social Innovation Review on disruptive technology and how it exemplifies Jacob Moreno’s sociograms, Robert Hartman’s “Human Value Profile,” and Piritim Sorokin’s “Creative Altruism” combined with Theosophist Fritz Kunz’s insights into complexity theory and crystallography. The second half of the presentation uses quotes from the article to reveal the truth about the predatory nature of tech-driven “philanthropy,”

Slideshare here.

 

 


bankless

Ethereum’s Progression with Hudson Jameson | Layer Zero

Hudson Jameson is an Ethereum enthusiast and core developer liaison with a rich background in blockchain projects. He’s played an active role in shaping various online communities for decentralized technology, including Ethereum and more recently, Zcash. On today’s episode, Hudson shares his storied crypto journey starting in 2015 when he first became interested in Ethereum through the ups and d

Hudson Jameson is an Ethereum enthusiast and core developer liaison with a rich background in blockchain projects. He’s played an active role in shaping various online communities for decentralized technology, including Ethereum and more recently, Zcash.

On today’s episode, Hudson shares his storied crypto journey starting in 2015 when he first became interested in Ethereum through the ups and downs he experienced as a part of Ethereum’s inner circle, all the way to what he’s up to today.

Hudson closes with some heartfelt advice on burnout and mental health in the crypto space that you don’t want to miss.

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------ Topics Covered:

0:00 Intro 4:40 Hudson’s Background 6:54 2015 Crypto 9:00 Fork and Fair Launch Era 14:26 Early Tribalism 19:28 How Hudson Stumbled on Ethereum 23:43 Early Ethereum Culture 28:40 Progress Through the Chaos 33:12 How Vitalik Handled the Chaos 37:24 Why PoS Took So Long 38:45 When Bullish ETH Became Clear 41:34 Augur & ICOs 44:51 Hudson & Inner Circle in 2017 47:46 The DAO Hack 53:30 2018-2020 Bear Market 1:00:11 Core Devs Tug-a-War 1:08:00 The Ethereum Community 1:09:41 Hudson Steps Down From EF & Burnout Culture 1:14:35 Hudson’s Legacy So Far 1:17:05 Improving Crypto’s Culture 1:20:37 Privacy 1:21:45 Closing

------ Resources:

Hudson Jameson https://twitter.com/hudsonjameson  https://hudsonjameson.com/ 

----- Not financial or tax advice. This channel is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This video is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research. 


Verida

Verida unlocks mobile decentralized identity and private storage for NEAR

Verida Vault now supports the NEAR Protocol Earlier this year we announced our expanding partnership with NEAR as recipient of a grant to bring self-sovereign identity and data capabilities to the NEAR protocol. We’ve since been expanding the capabilities of the Verida Vault to integrate and support NEAR. The Vault is available in both the Apple AppStore and Android Play Store with NEAR
Verida Vault now supports the NEAR Protocol

Earlier this year we announced our expanding partnership with NEAR as recipient of a grant to bring self-sovereign identity and data capabilities to the NEAR protocol.

We’ve since been expanding the capabilities of the Verida Vault to integrate and support NEAR.

The Vault is available in both the Apple AppStore and Android Play Store with NEAR Protocol Support in Developer Preview running on Testnet.

The Verida Vault is a key step in getting data sovereignty to the masses — a user-friendly mobile application that gives control back to users.

Verida is making all of the Verida capabilities available to every NEAR project. This includes Single Sign-On (SSO), decentralized identity, encrypted off-chain storage, and secure messaging.

A mobile-first wallet experience to manage NEAR tokens. Verida Vault

Acting as both a “data wallet” and “crypto wallet”, the Verida Vault is an entry point for end users to control their identity and personal data, sign into apps, send/receive messages, and manage blockchain transactions/tokens.

With WalletConnect support in the Verida Vault, users can login to NEAR applications directly from their mobile and access the growing ecosystem of applications running on the NEAR protocol.

This will empower users to connect their NEAR wallets to Verida decentralized identity and manage private credentials. Together, Verida and NEAR are empowering more people, moving into the liberating world of Web3.

Learn more about Verida support for the NEAR protocol here. Join us in Discord if you have questions on the Vault or any features mentioned in this article. We’d love your feedback.

Verida unlocks mobile decentralized identity and private storage for NEAR was originally published in Verida on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Wrench in the Gears

Information, Communication, and Listening to the Universe in a Land of Enchantment and Exploitation*

*Enchantment and Exploitation: The Life and Hard Times of a New Mexican Mountain Range Our lives are made for communication, our bodies bathed in information. Some information is vague, like a handmade sign in a sagebrush field “Coming Later.” Sometimes amusing, “Wisdom Way, Dead End.” Sometimes it is unexpectedly delightful, a poem composed on a [...]

*Enchantment and Exploitation: The Life and Hard Times of a New Mexican Mountain Range

Our lives are made for communication, our bodies bathed in information.

Some information is vague, like a handmade sign in a sagebrush field “Coming Later.”

Sometimes amusing, “Wisdom Way, Dead End.”

Sometimes it is unexpectedly delightful, a poem composed on a typewriter outside a Taos grocery as two young boys look on.

Sometimes cryptic. An unusual painting of a golden “T” or “B” in an abstracted canyon (?) hung on the back wall of the 1772 San Francisco de Asis adobe church in Rancho de Taos.

Some information we don’t notice.

Maybe we’re distracted.

Maybe allowing it into our consciousness would bring unwelcome complications.

Sometimes we absentmindedly notice and are so habituated that we respond without thinking.

Other times information barges in like an unwelcome guest. That was the case this past Saturday when at 2am the piercing din of a gas company jackhammer made an appearance outside my bedroom window. The next morning that audio message swapped to an alarming visual, ants swarming the counter after an empty beer can tipped on the way to the recycle bin. A scout must have found the dribble and left a pheromone trail inviting its nest-mates to join the impromptu party. That was a bit of a stigmergy synchronicity. On Stephers’s recommendation I’d ordered James Kennedy’s and Russell Eberhart’s “Swarm Intelligence,” a 2001 textbook. It had come the previous day.

Our minds and biology deftly sort, curate, and weave streams of information into stories that serve as operating instructions for everything from the chemistry of our metabolisms to the ebb and flow of our emotions. Stories frame our views, giving us places to stand as we position our Archimedes’ levers, project our intentions, and strive to leave an impression upon the world. The archetypes we inhabit as we navigate realms material and immaterial are narrative artifacts of accumulated information that glom onto us over the course of a life well-lived. These constructs are held in our hearts and often fiercely defended, unless you’re the anomaly who’s been pulled into a reinvention phase. Most of us seek stability, harmony, and coherence not disruption. Wrenches in the gears are not the norm.

Programmers of artificial intelligence know this and have developed mathematical models that replicate this homeostatic imperative to train neural networks to become more “human.” The concept is called explanatory coherence and addresses under what circumstances and how people recalibrate fundamentally held beliefs. Our natural tendency is to seek out and uplift information that bolsters and enhances the part of the story arc we occupy. We need a solid place to put our levers after all, before we can get to work; the work we’re meant to do; the work that gives our lives meaning and fills out its contours.

Those fortunate to have a measure of shelter from the storms of social unrest are not inclined to start hacking away at the foundation of their belief system. That’s simple logic. Information that doesn’t conform to familiar patterns is scuttled around back where the threat of cognitive dissonance can be confined to the distant chambers of our collective mental dust bin – out of sight, out of mind. The social engineers make use of that, not just to train lurching mechanical brains, but to orchestrate digital media campaigns fed by real time data flows that influence population-level behavior as if we’d been foisted into a global socially engineered, augmented reality crisis simulation.

Page 254 of “Swarm Intelligence” describes the use of cultural algorithms in adaptive problem-solving environments where the goal is a “fitter population” and belief systems that constrain individual behaviors to fit desired norms.

“In cultural algorithms, individuals interact with one another in population space and are influenced by group-level generalized beliefs in the belief space. In each step of the algorithm, individuals are evaluated using a performance function, and their fitness is determined. An acceptance function determines if the individual should influence the population’s direction, that is, whether the individual will contribute to the belief space. If an individual is accepted, its state is adjusted with those of other individuals to form group beliefs, as information in the belief space is used to guide evolution to the next step.”

And that, my friends, is in a nutshell why I decided to leave Twitter.

If the “fitness” goal is to generate a hivemind human+ open-air digital prison/zoo, people like me will never earn the right to influence “the group” within DARPA’s algorithmically governed “belief space.” Maybe, like in Ira Levin’s “This Perfect Day” there will be a geofenced “Second Life” island for avatars of dissidents where we inhabit the illusion that our fate has not been set by Unicomp, the master computer.

After a close inspection of Theosophist Fritz Kunz’s correspondence with Harvard applied sociologist Piritim Sorokin I see a desire dating back at least to 1949 to create a hyperspace simulation, an Open Source Intelligence playground of social physics, where through ubiquitous tracking and disciplined analysis global technicians aspire to generate a master dataset to quantify core human values. Once they have it in hand, my guess is that they believe they can reverse-engineer sentience, and bestow it, Dr. Frankenstein-like, on humanoid robot contraptions like Sophia, or heaven help us, those Xenobot crumbles. It is truly a misguided attempt to unlock the immense power of Eros in the universe. Although I haven’t firmed up my understanding of programmed morality and biological field theory you can hear my musings in an interview Jason and I did yesterday here, slide deck here.

I’m not sure why, but at this stage of my life my operating system has ended up pretty non-conformist. I am grateful to have found a handful of friends and collaborators who seem to be working in the same zone. We are pattern seekers in search of stories that are emerging just beyond the boundary of our sensory knowing. We sift through piles of information for double-meanings and encoding. Semiotics is our bag. The thrill of the chase as we pull the threads, peel back layers, and bring the past and future into clearer focus.

Since leaving my position at the garden last fall, I have become pretty much a full-time pattern seeker in an age of permanent exception. The result of my wide-ranging curiosity and tendency to chafe at anything with a whiff of groupthink has led me to the edge of the game board. I have empathy for that lone ant who made it past the kitchen sink and now wanders, aimlessly, in circles by the toaster.

There is a story out there that needs to be told. It is vast and hasn’t coalesced into a vision that can be readily communicated, especially to those who don’t desire to be unsettled. Instead of dust-binning new information straightway, our little cadre scrutinizes it. The bits that that seem to be a part of this unfolding drama, we set aside, piles of roughly sorted jigsaw puzzle pieces of various hues. Information waiting to become meaningful once the proper context is found.

I work the edge pieces first, as is my habit – to get the structure laid out. Somedays I fiddle with pieces in a particular pile, and then there are weeks when the jigsaw table of assorted facts sits gathering dust, because life happens. It was that way with my Berggruen series, which is still in the holding pattern. Soon, more to come in a few weeks. I promise. We use bookmarks to organize our informational puzzle tables, emails, and slide shares. I like relationship maps, which are like memory palaces of stories I hope to tell one day – a constellation of loosely connected imaginings that inform my evolving pattern-seeker identity. I am excited Jason has put in the effort to create a new discussion space with a dedicated server, so that we will no longer be held hostage the cultural algorithms. If you want to look over our shoulders to see what we’re up to, visit our Discourse page here.

Communication can be both effortless and supremely challenging. When it functions correctly, we don’t give it a second thought, but hyperspace presents stumbling blocks. The upheaval of the recent past has catalyzed connections across a widely dispersed geography linking people who appear to share common cause. But as months pass, then years, strains of information warfare take a toll. The blockchain crowd peddles tokenized trust, pretending these mechanisms are for human-to-human exchanges, though the unspoken reality is most of the transacting moving forward will be between machines with humans largely out of the loop. Authentic, relational trust is hard to earn with people you’ve never met in a weaponized space designed to make us question our most basic understandings of reality. And that presumes we’re still sharing a single “reality” rather than infinite fractals playing out in segmented simulations.

One of the speakers at the Mormon Transhumanist Association conference in March was Ally Isom, a candidate for US Senate from Utah with deep political connections in the state and LDS affiliations. The theme of her speech was that we are “wired to connect,” which is somewhat ironic since her current position is with a nano-technology firm. The sentiment is accurate, though I suspect we’d disagree on appropriate methods of implementation.

She’s right that connection is vital. We are social animals, and collective intelligence when it is consensual and non-coercive can be profoundly satisfying. I hate having to try and find a new way to communicate across distance that is meaningful and productive. There are so many pitfalls online: cancel culture, ghosting, interference, algorithmic suppression, selective curation. It’s as though nothing can be taken at face value. Yes, I’ve blocked people. None of us are immune to the toxic aspect of these tools. The thing is that none of this is normal, and we are expected to embrace it without question. Deposit your trust token here.

A friend introduced me to the Enderverse series by Orson Scott Card. Card is the great-great grandson Brigham Young, and the world he built seems to have a lot of messages for our times – Children of the Mind and Xenocide in particular. The world he wrote into being is made up of Philotes. Philotes is a minor Greek goddess of friendship (and sex) whose siblings are Nemesis (indignation) and Apate (deceit). Combined they are driving forces, with Nekeia (quarrels), behind creation and human behavior.

In the Enderverse, through quantum entanglement, philotes twine with one another to create ever more complicated networks that eventually attain sentience, the ability to maintain pattern complexity. Beings that attain such a state are said to have an Aiua, the physical site of the soul. At that stage, rays that connect philotes to the core of their planet exchange their individual connections for a collective tether. Through deepened relationality the beings in Card’s books become twined with one another. Connections strengthen or fade over time. Given my recent readings Card’s fictional premise surprisingly seems aligned with Kunz’s view of crystallography, magnetism, and rays.

I’ve spent the past 4-6 weeks diving into radioecology. If you want to poke around my big map, you can find it here. I’d written a few pieces over the years about the financialization of nature through Internet of Things sensor enabled ESG portfolio investments, but I hadn’t dug deeply into the history of the ecology movement in the United States. Having been tipped off by my friends Leo and Jen about the involvement of the Atomic Energy Commission, I thought it was time. We were headed to Taos, New Mexico for a week with a stop at Valles Caldera National Preserve outside Los Alamos planned. Angela Creager’s “Life Atomic: A History of Radioisotopes in Science and Medicine,” was my not-so-light travel reading along with Oliver Reiser’s “Cosmic Humanism,” which is no picnic either.

By the time we passed through the Los Alamos checkpoint and began winding up Cerro Grande and Cerro Medio, the sides of a massive volcano, I’d read enough to be acquainted with Creager’s premise that Atoms for Peace provided a counterpoint of manufactured benevolence to offset the vigor of the Cold War arms race. Through refinement of nuclear waste products and strategic creation of markets around them by the Atomic Energy Commission, scientists were convinced to embark on novel investigations of metabolic processes using newly available radioactive materials.  Pre-war capabilities had been limited to researchers within the sphere of Ernest Lawrence’s Berkeley Lab cyclotron isotope “gift economy.”

Oak Ridge National Lab enabled isotope production at an industrial scale. Radioactive molecules were the first generation of tracers, unlocking secrets of life not previously understood. The war on cancer was leveraged to remake modern medicine as a biophysics enterprise landing us at CRISPR, precision medicine, and genomic “longevity enhancements.” The 1950s ushered in an era where the molecule became the dominate frame, though the advent of this age had been long anticipated.

J.D. Bernal’s 1929 book “The World, The Flesh, and the Devil: An Enquiry into the Future of the Three Enemies of the Rational Soul,” an influence on Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” published three years later, posited a future where man not only conquered the molecule and used it to fabricate more efficient forms of food and clothing, but pursued a eugenics agenda where human life in its present form was merely a larval stage. It preceded a scientifically mediated metamorphosis where useless parts of the body were replaced with mechanical components. A brain encased in a cylinder would operate multiple specialized appendages modeled on a crustacean. Ears would become wireless transmission receivers, taste an enhanced chemical identification apparatus, and rather than moving we would travel and engage with objects at a distance using tele-acoustic, tele-motor organs.

On page 33, Bernal states the following:

“The new man must appear to those who have not contemplated him before as a strange, monstrous and inhuman creature, but he is only the logical outcome of the type of humanity that exists at present. It may be argued that this tampering with bodily mechanisms is as unnecessary as it is difficult, that all the increase of control needed may be obtained by extremely responsive mechanisms outside the unaltered human body. But though it is possible that in the early stages a surgically transformed man would be at a disadvantage in capacity of performance to a normal, healthy man, he would still be better off than a dead man. Although it is possible that man has far to go before his inherent physiological and psychological make-up becomes the limiting factor to his development, this must happen sooner or later, and it is then that the mechanized man will begin to show definite advantage. Normal man is an evolutionary dead end: mechanical man, apparently a break in organic evolution, is actually more in the true tradition of a further evolution.”

Bernal lived from 1901 to 1971. He was an esteemed molecular biologist who held the first lectureship in structural crystallography at Cambridge later working on sterol compounds, B1, pepsin, D2, and tobacco mosaic virus at University College London’s Birkbeck Bio-molecular Research Center. Bernal was interested in the origins of life from protein structure to meteorites and water. During World War II he, along with Solly Zuckerman, were scientific advisors to Lord Mountbatten and provided input into preparations for D-Day. He was a well-regarded writer of popular science books and a pioneer in x-ray crystallography.

So, as absurd as his assertions may seem at first blush, my gut tells me we should take them to heart. The Manhattan Project didn’t end, in my opinion, it simply morphed into the Human Genome Project. We would do well to keep this in mind in the event that their planned tele-presence mechano-crustacean existence campaign is not as far out on the horizon as we’d like. Biophysics is the most basic form of communication. It is communication that exists at the core of our being. What is being planned is a hijacking of our naturally networked existence into an engineered parody under military control. I fear that the horror unleashed by Fat Man and Little Boy may one day be outstripped by the capacities of bioengineers.

The one interactive part of the Los Alamos Historic District Museum was a small room in the back running video of the atomic explosions. There were small clip boards with sheets that posed a leading question about the importance of governments keeping secrets from the people. That history of secrecy, I believe, extends to bio-nano technology. Even if not overtly hidden, neither the media, nor academia, nor civil society NGOs have the stomach to break the news to the public about the transformations underway – terraforming carbon-based life for nano-machine biocompatibility. The United States government should never have made those bombs, nor should they have dropped them on Japan. They should not have irradiated thousands of people and millions of acres with radioactive fallout. They should not have enriched defense contractors for decades posturing around mutually assured destruction even as behind the scenes top nuclear scientists at Pugwash were setting up the post-Cold War global integration program built on radio-eugenics. I said as much on my submission to the survey way. I also told folks to look up the Moonshot Project Goal One and Ian Akyildiz at Georgia Tech.

We drove for a half hour along the flanks of mountains recovering from devastating fires – 43,000 acres burned in 2000 and 156,000 acres in 2011. As you approach the summit, the edge of the caldera, a glorious meadow of wildflowers and sedge wetlands is visible below – an unusual site for a state where sagebrush is the norm. The crater, which last blew debris over the entire state 1.2 million years ago, measures fourteen miles across. From satellite imagery you can see its clearly defined shape with lava domes now covered with spruce, fir, and aspen – or the remnants of them. The area, which abuts the Santa Clara Pueblo in the northeast, was designated a national preserve in 2000. There are relatively few visitors and supposedly lots of elk, though we didn’t see any that day.

The plan was to spend the morning exploring the caldera and then balance out nature’s magnificence with a visit to Bathtub Row where Oppenheimer oversaw the research that would push humanity to a dark and treacherous place.

I felt the natural abundance of the preserve, built atop energetic forces far more powerful that the MED’s atomic bombs, would be a powerful antidote to biophysics tyranny. I gathered some sticks, yarrow, sage, St. John’s Wort, a mushroom, pinecone, charcoal from a lightning struck pine, and dandelions, of course. There were SO MANY dandelions there that day. I didn’t see them anywhere else in New Mexico, but in the caldera their bright yellow faces greeted me like old friends.

I arranged the offerings in a heart at the feet of statues of Oppenheimer and General Groves located in front of the main building of the Ranch School where the scientific elite drank cocktails and danced after putting in grueling hours trying to figure out how to efficiently destroy the world. That was my communication – information and intention put out into the universe to add a tiny bit to a much-needed rebalancing, a refutation of plans for the full-spectrum domination embodied by Los Alamos from nuclear weapons to DNA sequencing and supercomputing. Entangling and untangling and witnessing and saying I do not consent.

Even the grouchy masked staffer at the Caldera visitor center and the plague warnings posted in the latrines could not dampen the wonder of experiencing the Jara Trail where the composition of the wildflowers changed every fifty feet or so. I so wish I’d had a field guide with me, the intensity of life packed into that mile and a half was astonishing. There was a crazy amount of communication happening from shouts of alarm from the prairie dog town to rainwater cupped in a lichen-covered boulder, dew-covered spiderwebs in the grass, gleaming elk droppings, the deep green shade of conifers, a kestrel diving, and the animated conversation of a raven high above our picnic table.  One of the most powerful things I saw was a lone pine tree on the edge of a brook that had been incinerated by a lightning strike. While half of it lay in charred ruin a few boughs held onto green needles. It stood as a reminder that it’s not over until it’s over.

They are attempting to march us into a mechanical world that seeks to sideline Mother Nature. In this world meadows like the one surrounding the Jara Trail would be reduced to lines of code logged in a taxonomy-portal and added to an ongoing tally of life tracked by drones and local sensor networks so that some private interest group can take credit for saving the world, even as they strangle it with technology. These technicians cannot see these communities as relatives or teachers. Robin Wall Kimmerer’s assertion that humans are the youngest siblings and need to have humility and know their place and learn from the elder beings – the stones, plants, and animals – would never cross their mind. Complex ecosystems rich in living interactions are simply digital assets waiting to be turned to profit from the next creative finance scheme.

Let us step away from decentralized networks and reacquaint ourselves with the natural connections that are our birthright as sons and daughters of life. Whether it’s the philotic twining and aiuas of the Enderverse or something else, we exist in a universe of intimate connection whether we can experience them with our limited sensory equipment or not. They are there. The creative force of the universe has not abandoned us. If we are still and listen, we can find our way back.

It is also vital that we figure out how to explain to the climate justice crowd what is happening. We need them to understand the history of atomic ecology, gamification of cellular processes, and that pervasive surveillance where giraffes must wear heart monitors to pay for drone services isn’t care or altruism. All of this is a horror dressed up in do-gooder bedtime stories for naive progressives who don’t have the backbone to face up to what BlackRock, Google, Chainlink, and Blockscience have planned.

Yes, they have the cultural algorithms and targeted nudges, but we have love in our corner – agape, eros, philia, ludus, pragma, and philautia.

Can we find a way to tell the better story, a story where hope lives among the charred embers? Shkitagen – the tinder fungus carrying the sparks onward.

That day I walked a trail of a hill burned by wildfire a decade ago and noticed there were no woody plants growing back, only grasses, which came as a surprise. On the way out I handed the pass to a lovely volunteer and asked her about it – why no shrubs or baby trees? She told me the basin had too many cool nights for the seeds to germinate and that those trees would never come back. Plus, the soil was compacted from eons when the crater was a lake.

Whatever comes next will be different. The only constant is change.

So, what comes later? That’s what the sign said at the beginning of the post. I used to be the kind of person who always had a plan, who knew in general terms what came next, what success looked like. I don’t have that anymore, and I’ve made an uneasy peace with it. What comes later is what the universe offers you if you have the awareness to greet it when it arrives. Sometimes that means bumps in the road. I Ching 39 – There is water on top of the mountain, limping. The noble one reverses his being to cultivate virtue. I’m pulling back and will spend the coming week exploring the Shenandoah – optics, eugenics, land speculation and perhaps even some water on the mountain.

Communication matters.

Story matters.

Relationships matter.

Attention matters.

It’s tough pursuing all of these in an era of intentional digital disconnect.

But we cannot give up.

Try, fail, apologize, try again, but do things differently the next time.

Go forward from a place of love, because the robots are never going to have that part. They just won’t.

 

Meanwhile, so I don’t forget this trip to Taos I am recording a list of communications that engaged me that week.

Lava rock spiral on the bank of the Rio Grande Gorge. I walked it and lay yarrow and dandelion at the center on top of a pile of objects topped by plastic orange dinosaur and student ID card.

Marmots or “whistling pigs” calling across the lichen covered talus slopes on Wheeler Peak.

Monsoon afternoons along the Sangre de Christo range.

Striking cluster of Amanita mushrooms along the trail to Williams Lake.

Rufous hummingbirds in the Russian Sage outside the front door.

Experiencing a traumatic energy field walking the Williams Lake Trail after the downing of 75% of the trees last December by straight line winds. So many fallen trees crossed the trail had been cut, but you could feel the harm as you passed them.

The reflection of the mountain in that lake behind the walking onions.

A coyote trotting across the meadow as we left Valles Caldera.

Chrome Thunderbird window grills on the Los Alamos Post Office built in the late 1940s by the Atomic Energy Commission.

Ginkgo seedlings grown from seeds of survivors of the Hiroshima bombing in pots on the counter of the Hans Bethe House.

Written inside the desk drawer of Stanislaw Ulam’s desk on display on Bathtub Row: “A mathematician writes something on a piece of paper and lo and behold a big explosion may occur.” S.U. 1967 Ulam was a researcher on the hydrogen bomb project, cellular automata, and the Monte Carlo method.

The straw glowing in the sunlight – a fresh coat of adobe on the Rancho de Taos church. Enjarre is the annual restoration of the mud and straw.

The dad wearing a SEL (social emotional learning) conference t-shirt with his daughter who crossed our path no fewer than three times while on the Italianos trail.

An older veteran telling me that I couldn’t sit at the bar because my hair was too big, but then relenting and telling me stories about his time at Fort Dix in the 1980s and being hosted by the Amish.

Another guy, a telecom/internet company owner from Tennessee, pitching me on thorium nuclear reactors. I gave him an earful about it.

A scene playing on the TV as I read my “Life Atomic” book from Stranger Things, where Nancy has a tape of the Department of Energy director admitting that bad people killed Barb, but the Chicago private investigator tells her having proof doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is if people of influence, people on the TV, will believe it. For that you have to water it down. If you don’t, there is no way for them to accept it. The truth is too much – even if you have the smoking gun.

Plus, many frustrating communications regarding a Hertz rental car with a blown-out tire and changed flight arrangements after US Airways couldn’t fix a faulty engine at the Santa Fe Airport.

Super cute airport, but you really don’t want to spend eight hours there.


Brave Browser

Grab bag 4: Privacy improvements for our iOS browsers make them best-in-class with leading protections

Recent versions of Brave on iOS include many new privacy features, ensuring that Brave iOS users have the strongest available protections of any iOS browser.

This is the twentieth post in an ongoing, regular series describing new and upcoming privacy features in Brave. This post describes work done by iOS Privacy Engineer Jacob Sikorski. This post was written by Senior Director of Privacy Peter Snyder.

Recent versions of Brave on iOS include many new privacy features, ensuring that Brave iOS users have the strongest available protections of any iOS browser. Apple-imposed restrictions make it difficult for us to include some of the advanced privacy protections from our Desktop and Android browsers in our iOS browser. However, our new iOS browser works around these limitations, and brings the privacy features on Brave iOS closer into alignment with our other platforms.

Debouncing and de-AMP-ing to avoid tracking sites

Since the recent Brave iOS 1.39 release, Brave protects users from a form of tracking where the tracker records what sites you visit by getting between you and the content you want to see. Brave for iOS now includes the debouncing and de-AMP-ing protections already available on other platforms of the Brave browser.

Google’s AMP system allows Google to learn about your interests by serving content on behalf of the site you intended to view, rather than showing you the site itself. Bounce tracking similarly allows trackers to learn about your interests by getting in the middle of the site you’re coming from and the site you intend to visit. Brave iOS users now have protections against both kinds of tracking.

Enhanced content blocking for tracker protection

Brave iOS versions 1.41 and later include additional, advanced tracker blocking capabilities. Brave iOS has always included optimized versions of popular filter lists, applied through Apple’s Content Blocking system.

Though useful, Apple’s Content Blocking system has significant limitations, including restrictions on the number and kinds of tracker-blocking rules that can be applied. These restrictions are very similar to the kinds of alarming restrictions Google is pushing through its Manifest v3 system. As a result, Brave iOS users have not been able to enjoy the full range of advanced blocking and content filtering protections available on our Desktop and Android releases.

Starting in version 1.41, Brave iOS includes workarounds for some of the limitations Apple imposes on iOS browsers. These workarounds mean Brave iOS users can enjoy a greater number of the dynamic blocking capabilities already available on Desktop and Android. Future Brave iOS versions will further close the gap between platforms.

Randomization to protect against browser fingerprinting

Brave iOS versions 1.38 and later include even stronger protections against browser fingerprinting. Brave iOS previously protected users against browser fingerprinting by disabling vulnerable APIs in third-party frames. This approach was useful, but neither ideal (since it only provided moderate protections in first-party contexts) nor compatible (since it broke some desirable third-party uses of these APIs).

While Brave iOS users were partially protected against fingerprinting because of protections built into WKWebView (the browser engine Apple forces all iOS browsers to use), Apple’s restrictions made it difficult to provide the more robust and compatible protections available in Brave on Desktop and Android.

Starting in version 1.38, Brave iOS included the kinds of fingerprint randomization defenses Brave includes on our other platforms. These protections not only provide even stronger defenses again fingerprinting, but they do so in a more comprehensive (they’re enabled by default in first-and-third-party contexts) and compatible (they maintain benign uses while preventing fingerprinting) manner than was available in earlier iOS versions.

Why are privacy protections on iOS tricky?

Brave iOS provides the strongest privacy protections available on iOS browsers. However, Apple’s restrictions prevent us from providing iOS users with the full range of advanced, best-in-class privacy protections Brave includes in its Android and Desktop versions.

On the upside, Apple’s platform restrictions limit the kinds of harm tracking companies can inflict; the worst iOS app is still more private than the worst Android or Desktop app. However, this cuts the other way, too: Apple’s restrictions limit the kinds of extra protections privacy-respecting and protecting companies (like Brave) can provide. Basically, Apple limits both the bad that privacy-harming companies can do, but also limits the good that responsible companies can provide.

We hope that Apple will loosen these restrictions, and provide advanced capabilities to companies like Brave that are dedicated to protecting user privacy.

Monday, 15. August 2022

SmartContractResearch - Privacy Research Summaries

Research Summary: Studying Bitcoin privacy attacks and their Impact on Bitcoin-based Identity Methods

A Decentralized Identifier (DID) is preferred over traditional identification methods for its promise of privacy and security by virtue of it living on a public blockchain. This seems theoretically true, for now. Attacks on public blockchain on which these DIDs are hosted have brought us back to the point of lack of privacy. In other words, we still face the privacy challenges that pushed us to

A Decentralized Identifier (DID) is preferred over traditional identification methods for its promise of privacy and security by virtue of it living on a public blockchain. This seems theoretically true, for now.

Attacks on public blockchain on which these DIDs are hosted have brought us back to the point of lack of privacy. In other words, we still face the privacy challenges that pushed us to use the DID methods in the first place.

I enjoyed reading this summary as it progressed from the cause, impact, and to the solutions to the challenge. However, I came across a research summary on this forum by @Tolulope which offers interesting solutions like off-chain transactions, Coinjoin, etc., to the studied challenges.

Applying these solutions would go a long way to mitigating the challenges of did:btcr as a decentralized identifier.

@simin Do know if there are DID methods present on other blockchains such as Ethereum? Since this research is focused on the impact of privacy attacks on a DID method on the Bitcoin Blockchain, it would be great to extend the research to other blockchains to have a holistic understanding of the impact of privacy attacks on the whole DLT.

If DID methods similar to did:btcr exist on other blockchains, they could be studied to:

compare with the results obtained from the Bitcoin Blockchain

make conclusions on the best solutions to apply in solving these privacy issues, since different blockchains have different consensus mechanisms and algorithms.

Read full topic


Coinbase

USDC: The digital dollar for the global crypto economy

TL;DR: Coinbase believes crypto will be part of the solution for creating an open financial system that is both more efficient and more equitable. We co-founded the Centre Consortium in 2018 to invest in the build of USDC, and since then it has become the second largest stablecoin by market capitalization. We firmly believe that USDC will be a key component of a new financial paradigm, as it helps

TL;DR: Coinbase believes crypto will be part of the solution for creating an open financial system that is both more efficient and more equitable. We co-founded the Centre Consortium in 2018 to invest in the build of USDC, and since then it has become the second largest stablecoin by market capitalization. We firmly believe that USDC will be a key component of a new financial paradigm, as it helps to bridge the gap between the worlds of crypto and fiat.

Stablecoins provide a bridge between the traditional financial system and the cryptoeconomy, allowing fiat currencies to exist in a form that can move more freely and more efficiently on blockchains. Unlike conventional payment methods, stablecoin payments require no centralized intermediary. We believe that stablecoins — USDC, most importantly — will be the foundation of a new era of innovation in financial services.

Why USDC?

Back in 2018, we co-founded the Centre Consortium to create the most trusted and reputable digital dollar. Stablecoins have many uses, from trading in digital asset markets to making payments. We launched USDC as a way to simplify these processes so that anyone can participate, continuing to drive towards our goal of economic freedom. Since then, we’ve built a suite of supporting products and systems to enable:

The value of many cryptocurrencies can fluctuate by the minute, so holding an asset like USDC gives buyers and sellers the stability and confidence they need in times of volatility. The stability of USDC comes from the fact that it is backed by one US dollar or asset with equivalent fair value held in accounts with US regulated financial institutions ¹— the defining feature of a fiat-backed stablecoin (as opposed to a crypto-backed or algorithmic stablecoin). These accounts are attested to and verified publicly by an independent accounting firm. The market capitalization of USDC increased from $28 billion to $54 billion between August 2021 and August 2022² which speaks to the confidence in USDC as a high quality liquid asset.

As an active member of the Centre Consortium, Coinbase is continuously developing our USDC product suite to grow the USDC ecosystem for our Retail, Institutional, and Developer customers.

The strength of USDC’s peg to the U.S. dollar, backed by high-quality reserves and with transparent disclosures, makes it a practical option for users who want to remain active in the crypto market during a downturn. We’ve already seen significant adoption of USDC for paired trading with other digital currencies on centralized exchanges, as well as usage in many DeFi protocols, where USDC’s reliability makes it an attractive collateral asset. The top four stablecoins, including USDC, account for almost 80% of centralized exchange trading volume.³ When we look to the future, there is even more untapped potential for stablecoins like USDC within mainstream commercial use cases:

Increased financial inclusion — Globally, 1.7 billion people do not have access to a bank account.⁴ In the United States, 5% of adults are unbanked and 13% are underbanked.⁵ USDC and other stablecoins have the potential to broaden access to financial services through reduced costs and increased efficiency. All that is required to participate in the crypto economy is internet access via smartphone or computer. Faster and cheaper global money transfer — Transfers for stablecoins like USDC can be settled in under 30 minutes or less, whereas international transfers can take multiple business days. Cross-borders transfers can also be prohibitively expensive using conventional methods. Coinbase supports cross-border transfers of digital assets on our platform, including USDC (and other stablecoins). These cross-border transfers can be made at far lower cost than the global average cost of cash transfers, which is closer to 7%.⁶ On-ramp to web3 — We believe USDC and other stablecoins will play an important role as the fiat onramp into the new web3 digital ecosystem, which will give users more control over their information, data, and digital footprint. DeFi protocols are emerging as part of this decentralization and have the potential to improve economic efficiency in areas like trading, insurance, automatic payments, saving, lending, and borrowing. Payments to merchants — Stablecoin payments, including those for USDC, can be conducted on a public blockchain that enables peer-to-peer transfers and users can settle transactions near-instantaneously without an intermediary bank or financial institution to facilitate. The flexibility and low cost of USDC payment methods can benefit consumers and businesses by increasing the competitive pressure on incumbent systems.

USDC for Retail Customers

Customers can feel confident in the value of their digital assets and have the opportunity to earn rewards on their USDC held at Coinbase. Fast processing and low transaction fees make USDC an ideal option for sending money anywhere in the world. USDC is being adopted across multiple chains, fostering more growth for application development. It is quickly becoming the standard stablecoin not just on Ethereum where it originally launched, but across the blockchain ecosystem from Layer 1 networks to side chains to Layer 2 networks. When users purchase USDC on Coinbase, there is no fee and they can earn rewards on their holdings.

USDC for Institutions

Digital stablecoins like USDC have rapidly become foundational assets for trading firms and market makers. Stablecoins allow market participants to price assets in a common currency, settle almost instantaneously, and retain assets on-chain with less exposure to volatility. Coinbase Institutional enables firms to utilize USDC to participate in global crypto asset markets. We provide multi-chain support on Coinbase Exchange, no fees for USDC custody on Coinbase Prime, easy acquisition, and one-to-one conversion between USD and USDC on both platforms.

USDC for Developers

USDC has quickly become the most popular stablecoin in the web3 ecosystem with approximately 30% of the total supply spread between DeFi platforms and Decentralized Exchanges. Coinbase enables developers to utilize USDC for their dapps, services and protocols with multi-chain support, no fees for custody, and a frictionless acquisition path. We’re actively building out our developer tooling and see USDC as a key offering for dapps looking to secure stable revenue, which is why we’ve enabled acceptance of USDC via Coinbase Commerce and conversion of USD to USDC via Coinbase Pay.

We firmly believe that USDC and stablecoins built with the same framework can be the foundation for innovation in a new era of financial services. Visit coinbase.com or review our stablecoin whitepaper for more information on USDC. To start using a more efficient form of dollars, log into your Coinbase.com, Coinbase Prime, or Coinbase Exchange account. If you are an institutional client, you can also review our USDC overview documentation for Coinbase Prime and Coinbase Exchange.

1 https://www.centre.io/usdc-transparency

2 Coingecko, USDC Market Capitalization Chart.

3 Data sourced from CryptoCompare, as of 30 June 2022

4 a16z, State of Crypto (17 May 2022)

5 Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2020, (May 2021)

6 BIS, The journey so far: making cross-border remittances work for financial inclusion (15 June 2022)

USDC: The digital dollar for the global crypto economy was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Circle Blog

Circle Submits Response to UK HM Treasury’s FMI SAR Consultation

On 29 July 2022, Circle responded to a consultation issued by the UK’s HM Treasury regarding the Government’s proposed application of the Financial Market Infrastructure Special Administration Regime (FMI SAR) to systemic digital settlement asset (including stablecoin) firms. In its response, Circle reiterated its continued commitment to responsible digital asset regulation, and encoura

On 29 July 2022, Circle responded to a consultation issued by the UK’s HM Treasury regarding the Government’s proposed application of the Financial Market Infrastructure Special Administration Regime (FMI SAR) to systemic digital settlement asset (including stablecoin) firms. In its response, Circle reiterated its continued commitment to responsible digital asset regulation, and encouraged HM Treasury to establish a bespoke regulatory and oversight framework for systemic digital settlement asset firms, and for fully-reserved digital currency issuers to be subject to sound prudential regulation. Circle affirmed the need for greater clarity in determining a “systemic” designation for digital settlement asset firms, and questioned whether the FMI SAR was the appropriate regime for these firms given the existence of payments and e-money special administration regimes in the UK. Circle encouraged HM Treasury to thoroughly evaluate the differences between blockchain-based payment systems and traditional inter-bank payment systems prior to establishing a regulatory regime for digital settlement asset firms which may be ill-fitting.  


Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

Investing in Flow

Our nation has a housing crisis. The demographic trends driving America’s housing market are impossible to ignore: our country is creating households faster than we’re building houses. Structural shortages in available homes for sale push housing prices higher, while young … The post Investing in Flow appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.

Our nation has a housing crisis.

The demographic trends driving America’s housing market are impossible to ignore: our country is creating households faster than we’re building houses. Structural shortages in available homes for sale push housing prices higher, while young …

The post Investing in Flow appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.


bankless

132 - Polynya's Crypto Thesis

This conversation has been a long time coming. Polynya is a pseudonymous writer, investor, and crypto researcher.  Polynya coined the term “modular blockchain” and has been influential on 100 different crypto topics, most notably on rollups, though they’re quick to point out that rollups are no longer their main focus.  This is a unique episode, in which Bankless DAO’s Eureka John ac

This conversation has been a long time coming. Polynya is a pseudonymous writer, investor, and crypto researcher. 

Polynya coined the term “modular blockchain” and has been influential on 100 different crypto topics, most notably on rollups, though they’re quick to point out that rollups are no longer their main focus. 

This is a unique episode, in which Bankless DAO’s Eureka John acts out Polynya’s voice based on a 5-hour text-based discord interview. Tune in as we explore Polynya’s fascinating mind, covering their broad crypto thesis, EIP-4844, and the future of Ethereum Scalability.

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------ Topics Covered:

0:00 Intro 9:00 Polynya the Anon 13:45 Polynya IRL 20:05 Cautious Optimism 25:35 Polynya’s Crypto Thesis 29:58 Accruing Value at the L1 31:54 Bitcoin vs Ethereum 33:30 Alt-L1s and Decentralization 35:10 Everything is Finance 38:10 Layer 2 Value Capture 41:33 Rollups vs ETH 45:30 Increasing L2 Demand 47:40 Layer 2 Tokens 52:45 A Symbiotic Relationship 56:08 Cosmos and Alt-L1s 58:45 App-Specific Chains 1:00:30 All Just Chains and Bridges 1:02:14 Why Cardano Rocks and Sucks 1:04:23 Cults and Tribalism 1:05:20 Changing Crypto 1:06:54 Changing the World 1:07:35 Polynya’s Message 1:08:30 Thank You Polynya

------ Resources:

Polynya on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apolynya?s=20&t=4Cws8vmOo7v2mRmI8mGyfw 

Polynya’s Writing: https://polynya.medium.com/ 

Modular Blockchains: https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/p/ultra-scalable-ethereum 

Eureka John: https://twitter.com/EurekaJohn1?s=20&t=ws5GNZKUSZtegsJQkvcuAg 

----- Not financial or tax advice. This channel is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This video is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research. 


TBD

Our Interoperability Work in the Decentralized Identity Foundation

How TBD Contributes with the community to interoperability testing in the Decentralized Identity Foundation

At TBD, we believe in a decentralized future that returns ownership and control over your finances, data, and identity. Decentralized Identity is critical to our mission. It’s what puts people in control of their own data. It is the most private, secure, and user-centric way to facilitate information exchange and verification online.

The Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF) is a cooperative community that shares and advances our vision. We’re honored to work alongside members like Spruce, Transmute, and others on open standards which drive this work forward. Today we're announcing that we’ve achieved another milestone on that journey.

TBD and Spruce are the first implementers to demonstrate full interoperability for the JSON Web Signature Test Suite. These tests are a major step towards vendor interoperability. Interop is what allows standard technologies to play nicely with one another, regardless of the backing vendor implementation.

TBD and Spruce now support all five JWS algorithms for JSON Web Signature 2020 (Data Integrity Proofs) using JSON Web Tokens (JWTs) for W3C Verifiable Credentials (VCs) and W3C Verifiable Presentations (VPs).

We can only realize the full potential of Decentralized Identity if we have networks of Issuers and Verifiers that can produce and consume one another’s data. The real power of Decentralized Identity is the controlled sharing of information directly between individuals and other entities, which makes interoperability a necessity.

More details about the Conformance Test Suite that was developed by members of DIF and our interoperability test reports can be found here:

TBD’s test results of JWS Test Suite Spruce’s test results of JWS Test Suite

At TBD, we support open standards wherever appropriate, and all of our projects are open source. We know our efforts will only be successful if we work in public with the community. We are grateful to work with folks like Spruce and Transmute in the W3C and DIF. By collaborating on common goals in accordance with our ethos, as this achievement exemplifies, we can accelerate the adoption of Decentralized Identity.

Sunday, 14. August 2022

Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

Status Traps: Learning from Web2 Social Networks

… The post Status Traps: Learning from Web2 Social Networks appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.

Friday, 12. August 2022

ConsenSys Blog

UXD: Algorithmic Stablecoin Backed by Delta-Neutral Position using Derivatives

UXD will allow for a fully collateralized algorithmic stablecoin while aiming to solve the stablecoin trilemma around price stability, capital efficiency and decentralization. The post UXD: Algorithmic Stablecoin Backed by Delta-Neutral Position using Derivatives appeared first on ConsenSys.

UXD will allow for a fully collateralized algorithmic stablecoin while aiming to solve the stablecoin trilemma around price stability, capital efficiency and decentralization.

The post UXD: Algorithmic Stablecoin Backed by Delta-Neutral Position using Derivatives appeared first on ConsenSys.


DeFi Protocol Governance Report | August 2022 | Week 2

This week we cover parameter changes for Maker and Aave, the next steps for Uniswap's fee switch, and outcomes of previous governance coverage. The post DeFi Protocol Governance Report | August 2022 | Week 2 appeared first on ConsenSys.

This week we cover parameter changes for Maker and Aave, the next steps for Uniswap's fee switch, and outcomes of previous governance coverage.

The post DeFi Protocol Governance Report | August 2022 | Week 2 appeared first on ConsenSys.


ConsenSys Comments on U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Request for Comment on the Responsible Development of Digital Assets

In this letter to the U.S. Department of Treasury, we outline the steps we are taking for the responsible development of digital assets as well how risks can be mitigated. We comment on the facilitation of further blockchain network adoption and legislative and regulatory initiatives relevant to this comment. The post ConsenSys Comments on U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Request for Comment o

In this letter to the U.S. Department of Treasury, we outline the steps we are taking for the responsible development of digital assets as well how risks can be mitigated. We comment on the facilitation of further blockchain network adoption and legislative and regulatory initiatives relevant to this comment.

The post ConsenSys Comments on U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Request for Comment on the Responsible Development of Digital Assets appeared first on ConsenSys.


Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

Unbundling Digital Identity Unlocks New Ways to Play and Build

Who are you when you’re online? This question is all the more important as we spend more and more of our lives there. In the past decade, online usage has more than doubled; for GenZ, it’s even greater. How we spend that time has also changed as the early, transactional web has expanded to a... Read More The post Unbundling Digital Identity Unlocks New Ways to Play and Build appeared first on Fu

Who are you when you’re online? This question is all the more important as we spend more and more of our lives there. In the past decade, online usage has more than doubled; for GenZ, it’s even greater. How we spend that time has also changed as the early, transactional web has expanded to a... Read More

The post Unbundling Digital Identity Unlocks New Ways to Play and Build appeared first on Future.


ConsenSys Blog

Understanding and Avoiding Crypto Honeypot Scams

“Honeypot” is a term that cybersecurity professionals use often. It’s a metaphor that refers to something that is designed to attract someone: in other words, it’s a trap. Sometimes security professionals actually deploy their own honeypots to try and catch bad actors. Today, we’re going to take a look at a specific type of honeypot […] The post Understanding and Avoiding Crypto Honeypot Scams a

“Honeypot” is a term that cybersecurity professionals use often. It’s a metaphor that refers to something that is designed to attract someone: in other words, it’s a trap. Sometimes security professionals actually deploy their own honeypots to try and catch bad actors. Today, we’re going to take a look at a specific type of honeypot […]

The post Understanding and Avoiding Crypto Honeypot Scams appeared first on ConsenSys.


Circle Blog

OFAC’s Designation of Tornado Cash - Protocols, Privacy and a Call to Action

This week’s far-reaching OFAC sanctions of the mixing service Tornado Cash materially raised the tension between the interaction with open software protocols, the presumption and preservation of privacy, and financial crime compliance.

This week’s far-reaching OFAC sanctions of the mixing service Tornado Cash materially raised the tension between the interaction with open software protocols, the presumption and preservation of privacy, and financial crime compliance.


bankless

ROLLUP: Goerli Merge | Tornado Cash Ban | Coinbase BlackRock Deal | Fake Solana DeFi?

2nd Week of August, 2022 ------ 📣 Forta | Help Make Web3 a Safer Place https://bankless.cc/Forta  ------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER:          https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/   🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST:                 http://podcast.banklesshq.com/   ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:  🚀 ROCKET POOL

2nd Week of August, 2022

------

📣 Forta | Help Make Web3 a Safer Place

https://bankless.cc/Forta 

------

🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER:          https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/  

🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST:                 http://podcast.banklesshq.com/  

------

BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 

🚀 ROCKET POOL | ETH STAKING

https://bankless.cc/RocketPool

⚖️ ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM

https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum

❎ ACROSS | BRIDGE TO LAYER 2

https://bankless.cc/Across

🦁 BRAVE | THE BROWSER NATIVE WALLET

https://bankless.cc/Brave

🌴 MAKER DAO | DECENTRALIZED LENDING

https://bankless.cc/MakerDAO

🔐 LEDGER | SECURE STAKING

https://bankless.cc/Ledger 

------

Topics Covered:

 

0:00 Intro

 

5:00 MARKETS

 

7:30 ETH BTC Ratio

https://ratiogang.com/

12:30 Gas Markets

https://twitter.com/TrustlessState/status/1555560926945939457?s=20&t=VcAg464--JOGiSzeNbyayA

15:45 CPI Interest

https://twitter.com/business/status/1557345174015066113

20:00 Layer 2 TVL

https://l2beat.com/

20:40 VC Money

https://twitter.com/fintechintern/status/1556444033555234816?s=21&t=XxUVGr0qz0svCx83Xdo7Rg

22:00 EIP-1559 Anniversary

https://twitter.com/takenstheorem/status/1555531313939087363?s=20&t=ptIP5_rsdZo0gUdYXg7U5A

 

26:30 NEWS

 

27:15 Goerli Testnet Merge

Announcement: https://twitter.com/BanklessHQ/status/1557544247619878913?s=20&t=-_fuRP3eW2MCE2WHkiWXyQ

Pandas! https://twitter.com/TimBeiko/status/1557543798523146240?s=20&t=-_fuRP3eW2MCE2WHkiWXyQ

Details: https://twitter.com/vdWijden/status/1557555377314701312?s=20&t=-_fuRP3eW2MCE2WHkiWXyQ

 

 

33:00 Tornado Cash Ban

Press Release: https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0916

37:10 Secretary Blinken

https://twitter.com/SecBlinken/status/1556661834287140868?s=20&t=4wDLBQG8U7PusK0R-3UCTQ

Full Story: https://youtu.be/lJZx8RyeJys

38:20 Freezing USDC

https://twitter.com/bantg/status/1556712790894706688?s=21&t=iEzJRHGq48PgLH0Id10pNw

39:40 Github Suspensions

https://twitter.com/semenov_roman_/status/1556717890308653059?s=20&t=-Um1R1tQa_4YPLFEAY9GGw

40:30 Summary Thread

https://twitter.com/SethHertlein/thread/1557442355678117889

44:05 MakerDAO Impact

https://thedefiant.io/tornado-impact-makerdao-dai

48:30 Normalizing Tyranny

https://twitter.com/RyanSAdams/status/1557121749334065154?s=20&t=uv3Ux69ZVUrVvYjhUE9Okw

 

55:30 Fake Solana DeFi?

https://www.coindesk.com/layer2/2022/08/04/master-of-anons-how-a-crypto-developer-faked-a-defi-ecosystem/

 

1:02:00 Coinbase BlackRock Partnership

https://blog.coinbase.com/coinbase-selected-by-blackrock-provide-aladdin-clients-access-to-crypto-trading-and-custody-via-b9e7144f313d

1:03:00 Arbitrum Nova

https://twitter.com/arbitrum/status/1557025237769805825

1:06:35 Uniswap Foundation

https://gov.uniswap.org/t/temperature-check-create-the-uniswap-foundation/17358

1:07:30 MakerDAO HVBank

https://twitter.com/SebVentures/status/1555234746539581444?s=20&t=rtTTlkxuLHK_73JuqFqrSA

1:09:05 Meta Instagram NFTs

https://www.theblock.co/post/161497/meta-expands-digital-collectables-support-on-instagram-to-100-more-countries-adopts-flow-blockchain

1:09:30 Voyager Bankruptcy

https://decrypt.co/106791/voyager-digital-approved-return-270-million-clients

1:10:10 Immutable Gamestop

https://twitter.com/Immutable/status/1556797772275208192

1:10:30 Vitalik Compression

https://twitter.com/VitalikButerin/status/1554983955182809088?s=20&t=CP_wmjSv-X4KGDtdVjhk6A

 

1:12:30 Jobs

https://pallet.xyz/list/bankless/jobs

 

1:16:00 Questions from the Nation

https://twitter.com/BanklessHQ/status/1557397382744006656?s=20&t=D9vf5Thb0BlBK7osdhdYyg

1:16:30 How to get the PoW fork?

https://twitter.com/accounthome11/status/1557469851270238212?s=20&t=-_fuRP3eW2MCE2WHkiWXyQ

1:18:35 Bridge Risk

https://twitter.com/avi_g_/status/1557406430977994752?s=20&t=-_fuRP3eW2MCE2WHkiWXyQ

1:22:00 Staking Wait Time

https://twitter.com/mmaatt78/status/1557471309554237440?s=20&t=-_fuRP3eW2MCE2WHkiWXyQ

 

1:22:30 TAKES

1:23:00 Pausing OP Incentives

https://twitter.com/apolynya/thread/1556848533596037120

1:24:10 NFT Roulette

https://twitter.com/ryananderson/status/1555639880612564992

1:25:20 Banning SSL

https://twitter.com/phunk9871/status/1557309945841958912?s=21&t=V2jbdxuDNkHwLw9ZWbuQyA

1:26:50 State of Market

https://twitter.com/notthreadguy/status/1557370241377763329?s=20&t=FAvjCgR1WvvG4Fko8XHcug

 

1:27:30 What David’s Bullish On

1:30:10 What Ryan’s Bullish On

 

1:34:00 Meme of the Week

https://twitter.com/calebini/status/1556090898487816192?s=20&t=qS3xmkeCe0NChYWbcVIgiA

 

-----

Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here:

https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/p/bankless-disclosures 

Thursday, 11. August 2022

Sequoia

Nolan Bushnell Spotlight: Original Gamer

The post Nolan Bushnell Spotlight: Original Gamer appeared first on Sequoia Capital US/Europe.
Nolan Bushnell: Original Gamer

By Michael Gold

Photography: MICHELLE GROSKOPF

Published August 11, 2022

Fifty years after co-founding Atari, Nolan Bushnell offers a masterclass in selling fun.

Nolan Bushnell needs no introduction. When he arrives at Two Bit Circus in downtown Los Angeles, I recognize him as soon as he steps out of his car: the grandfatherly goofball with a shock of white beard, tall and casual in a baseball cap and sneakers.

“I’m so sorry about last time,” he says, referring to the first time we tried to meet and his daughter told me he had just tested positive for covid-19. I demur and follow him into the building where we will conduct our interview.

It is a warehouse filled with gaming stations, baroque furniture, art installations and other sensory stimulants. A life-size Hungry Hungry Hippos awaits players—children and child-like grownups alike—next to massive arcade booths kitted out with dozens of colorful buttons and knobs, their screens still dark as Two Bit Circus prepares to open to the public for the afternoon. An inanimate horse’s rear end from a merry-go-round, gaudily painted in red and gold, offers a seat from beneath a bar in the middle of the cavernous space.

Bushnell’s son, Brent, opened Two Bit Circus in 2018, drawing on a penchant for fun that runs in the family. As the founder of Atari, the elder Bushnell popularized one of the most enduring tools of entertainment-based escapism in history: the video game. Long before that, though, an amusement park job he held in college introduced him to the thrill of selling fun. He loved the role—a true duck-in-water experience that saw him “always just massacring quota,” as he describes it.


Going with the flow state

Much of the opportunity for the tech-enabled exploration that fed Bushnell’s instincts arose by happenstance. The military, a big presence in the suburban Utah community of Bushnell’s youth, regularly discarded heaps of kit that Bushnell and his friends would purloin. His neighbor ran a surplus store “full of neat shit.” All this opened a world of machines for him, to the extent that by age ten, he was timing the emergence of sunspots in order to open communication lines over his self-built radio to Japan.

“In junior high school science and physics, I often knew more than the teacher did, and I was not always nice about it,” he laughs.

Yet even amid the explosion of technological innovations taking place in the early 1950s, a career as an entrepreneur was hardly a preordained path. The customary route for technologists during Bushnell’s formative years involved working for the government or a large company. But Bushnell felt his first entrepreneurial itch selling strawberries for his mother at age six. At ten, he repaired TVs, figuring out how to acquire replacement parts and mark them up for less than professionals in the yellow pages while still making a big profit by adolescent terms. “I always disdained the thought of selling time for money,” he says.

It helped that Bushnell felt a profound sense of fulfillment from all this tinkering. Without knowing it, he would enter a “flow state”—also known as being “in the zone”—which holds that when a task is “hard, but not overwhelming, achievable, but not frustrating or boring,” in Bushnell’s words, the brain enters a particularly receptive condition.

“Time dilates; you can play for an hour and think it’s 15 minutes,” he says, his gray eyes flashing with excitement as he explains how the flow state has influenced him throughout his life.

The flow state is precisely what happens during intensive gameplay, a fact that Bushnell recognized as the key to creating an empire out of interactive entertainment. What elevates Bushnell’s creations above normal games emerges from something unique to his technologist demographic: the ability to enter that state when constructing hardware, to land on those time-dilating, brain-expanding conditions when cauterizing metal or fiddling with wires. In addition to shockers, as a young man Bushnell also made a ham radio, a speaker phone, a rudimentary neighborhood telephone network and a system of lights on his bedroom ceiling that would illuminate during storms. Later, he would invent the world’s first functional car navigation system a full decade before the advent of GPS.

Quasi-spiritual motivations like the flow state entered Bushnell’s repertoire soon after he moved to Silicon Valley, whose nascent chip industry of the 1960s attracted him. What influenced him yet more, perhaps, was the counterculture taking hold at the time. “I was very influenced by the hippie movement,” Bushnell says. It would lead him to break rules and challenge conventions at Atari in significant ways, compelling him to overcome hurdles that were far bigger than they appear in hindsight: video games, for one, barely existed as an industry. What did pass for an industry was largely stigmatized and consigned to dark corners of dive bars.

“Early on, there was a lot of controversy about video games,” Bushnell says. “Parents didn’t want their kids going anywhere near them; whole countries banned them.”

“I feel like all rebels have to have a bit of the prankster within them.”

NOLAN BUshnell
Prankster in chief

This tide started shifting bit by bit as Pong, Atari’s flagship title, permeated deeper into the world’s cultural fabric. Don Valentine, the storied Sequoia founder, paid several visits to Atari’s Sunnyvale factory amid growing hype around the game before ultimately investing in 1975. The company, under Bushnell’s leadership, was a goofy place: Friday evening beer fests, smoking marijuana at headquarters, even one instance in which Bushnell rented a jet and flew the staff to Disneyland.

Bushnell says much of Atari’s early reputation has been mischaracterized, even though it has had real-world consequences for Bushnell himself: in 2018, activists successfully denied him a prominent video game lifetime achievement award he was slated to receive, accusing him of fostering an environment in Atari at the time that was toxic to women. When I ask him if any employees felt alienated by Atari’s culture back then, Bushnell says, “no, not at all.” And many of Atari’s early female employees have spoken fondly of their experience.

Bushnell reiterates the values of fairness, dignity and camaraderie that he enumerated in a “goals” manifesto published in Atari’s second year. It specifically directed employees to “judge all people on the basis of their skill and contributions, and not tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, sex, appearance or personal life”—something that many companies still struggle with to this day.

A big element of this system was a more outcomes-driven process of evaluations than was common in the corporate world at the time, one that depended on maintaining a sense of play and fun at work. “As a manager in a highly structured environment, when you’re not working directly on the assembly line, it can be hard to get undoctored feedback, to see where the problems are,” Bushnell says. “Injecting this element of fun as a social lubricant can help lower inhibitions to honesty. This leads to better results.”

It can also serve as a potent recruitment tool, as Bushnell learned when he hired Apple founder Steve Jobs into his first corporate role at 19. Atari’s early working culture—shenanigans and all—would ultimately plant the seeds for the kind of agile, quick-pivot, collegial atmosphere that pervades Silicon Valley and has since spread to startup hubs around the world. While some have adapted this into a “move fast and break things” mantra, Bushnell clarifies that he drew the line at anything illegal or unethical.

“We had one colleague who wanted to grow cannabis on company property,” he says. “I thought that was a bridge too far.”

Pranks, on the other hand, were par for the course. In perhaps one of the most famous in technology history, Bushnell convinced a colleague to design the prototype version of Pong by telling him—falsely—that he had secured a contract from General Electric.

“[Pulling pranks] was part of my DNA,” Bushnell says. “I feel like all rebels have to have a bit of the prankster within them.”

“I’m the kind of person who has a million different ideas, and in my best moments I’ve been lucky to find the right teams to execute them.”

Nolan Bushnell
Join Our Mailing List Get the best stories from the Sequoia community. Email address Leave this field empty if you’re human: Be my Valentine

Bushnell admits that mastering the business side of running a fast-growing company was a harder slog than inspiring people—or, in some instances, pranking them—to discover amazing ways to manipulate technology. This is where mentors like Don Valentine played a role: Valentine, a former semiconductor executive, filled the hard-nosed, analytical side of Atari in a way that helped power the company both before and after Sequoia’s initial investment.

“Don would always ask me tough questions about the numbers,” Bushnell says. “It became a competitive thing with us—I would cram before board meetings just so Don couldn’t stump me.”

This yin-yang relationship between the two men eventually evolved into a full-fledged friendship (Bushnell even hired Don’s kids to work in his garden). The two stayed close after Bushnell sold Atari to Warner Communications in 1976, and Valentine helped fund Chuck E. Cheese in their post-Atari years. Despite Valentine’s reputation as the more business-focused of the two, he wasn’t above participating in the trappings of startup culture quickly taking shape in Silicon Valley: “After we inked the [funding] deal, he brought an iced-up tub of champagne to the party,” Bushnell gushes.

That funding deal, however, could not have happened without the company passing a major turning point: an agreement by Sears to distribute a home version of Pong in its stores. The arrangement, struck in 1975, came together after a long slog to find a retail partner; both Toys”R”Us and Radio Shack had previously turned them down. Bushnell cites several reasons: the failure of a rival game console, the Magnavox Odyssey, to catch on; jitters over the novelty and uncertainty about a new gaming technology; disagreements over the appropriate price point. Culturally, big-box retailers—Sears included—were a poor fit for Atari’s looser style. In one infamous anecdote, a team of Sears executives walked into Atari’s headquarters wearing starched collars and walked out in t-shirts.

“With Sears, it really came down to one buyer—this guy named Tom Quinn—who believed in us,” Bushnell says. “I really credit him for putting Atari on the map.”

On Atari’s side, manufacturing enough consoles in time to hit the coveted holiday shopping period was a nerve-wracking challenge. Here, Valentine’s influence was indispensable, helping Atari acquire a new factory in order to meet demand. “Don definitely believed in the consumer market to a greater extent than he did the coin-op market,” Bushnell says. Sequoia’s partnership would go on to propel Atari from a niche, if buzzy, game maker into one of the most iconic companies in history.


How to unplug a toilet

An ability to recognize and lean on the capabilities of peers like Valentine—and to take their advice when warranted—is a hallmark of Bushnell’s success, one that he readily confesses to. “I’m the kind of person who has a million different ideas, and in my best moments I’ve been lucky to find the right teams to execute them.” He describes his current role in business as an “activator” who, like the pinball machines dotting the floor of Two Bit Circus, retracts the spring of an inventive concept and lets others flip the paddles. Among other business plans filling his office right now are a wine-and-canapés light show experience and an idea to seed the ocean to increase its carbon-absorption capacity as a means of combating climate change. He has a lot to say about cryptocurrency—mostly positive, although his key takeaway is that “there will be many trials and tribulations before all the shit is sorted out.”

Education remains his biggest piece of unfinished business. He has long concerned himself with the welfare of children—they are, after all, the core audience for his most popular products. Bushnell’s long-held belief that there are better ways to learn than the conventional methods offered by the establishment led him to create ExoDexa, a San Francisco-based startup founded in 2020. ExoDexa’s tools turn classroom curriculum into video games, compelling students to engage with the material in ways they could not in a purely lecture-based environment. In his telling, learning your ABCs should not entail full-time toil; instead, children should be allowed—nay, encouraged—to play, tinker and experiment, just as he did as a youngster. Unsurprisingly, play has always been something he fostered in his own children: his eldest daughter Alissa was an early tester of Pong.

“I’ve been able to maintain my sense of wonder and play through my children,” he says when asked whether the ability to enjoy fun fades with age. He hopes that by centering education around play, he can help disenfranchised youth become “stealth scholars”: kids that feel motivated to improve by competing against themselves rather than seeking better grades than their peers.

Bushnell views this mission as more than another money-making opportunity. “What I would really like to accomplish in life is fixing education,” he says, slipping in a plug for his forthcoming book on the subject, The School of the Future, which will explain how technology and gaming can cement the Socratic method in classrooms. “What if I could teach 100% of a high school curriculum in six months, with better retention? What would you do with that extra time? You teach entrepreneurship, you teach creativity, you teach life skills. I think everybody should know how to write a business plan, how to balance a checkbook, how to unplug a toilet.”

I leave the rest of the education question for later—for Bushnell’s book, for the deep dive that will emerge in the next chapter of his astounding life. Instead, we spend our last few moments together touring Two Bit Circus’s colorful exhibits. Bushnell takes me to the “bridge” of the Starship Enterprise, where a plastic brain sits suspended under glass, and to an operating theater, where a cartoonish patient looks disconcertingly eager to be sliced and diced. Absorbing his enthusiasm—for education, for play, for gaming, for solving big problems—I start to understand how these seemingly disparate motives fit together. While many entrepreneurs set out to change the world, the path to wisdom, to greatness, to a place in the pantheon, is more often marked by moments of irreverent fun than flashes of great insight. If nothing else, the school of Nolan Bushnell can teach us to enjoy the ride.

“What if I could teach 100% of a high school curriculum in six months, with better retention? What would you do with that extra time?”

Nolan Bushnell
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Michael Gold is a writer based in San Francisco. His career has spanned greater China and the United States, including as a writer and editor at the Global Times in Beijing, a Reuters correspondent in Taipei and a Hong Kong-based editor at The Economist Intelligence Unit, sister organization to The Economist newspaper.

The post Nolan Bushnell Spotlight: Original Gamer appeared first on Sequoia Capital US/Europe.


bankless

Tornado Cash BANNED By OFAC... Is this the War on Crypto?

On Monday, the U.S. Treasury Department made a smart contract illegal.  They can do that??  David walks you through the news, with multiple interviews from Jerry Brito and Collins Belton, two experts in the matter.  Let us know how you like the format! ------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER:          https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/    🎙️ SUB

On Monday, the U.S. Treasury Department made a smart contract illegal. 

They can do that?? 

David walks you through the news, with multiple interviews from Jerry Brito and Collins Belton, two experts in the matter. 

Let us know how you like the format!

------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER:          https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/    🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST:                 http://podcast.banklesshq.com/   

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 

⚖️ ARBITRUM | SCALED ETHEREUM https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum 

❎ ACROSS | BRIDGE TO LAYER 2 https://bankless.cc/Across 

🏦 ALTO IRA | TAX-FREE CRYPTO https://bankless.cc/AltoIRA 

👻 AAVE V3 | LEND & BORROW CRYPTO https://bankless.cc/aave 

⚡️ MAKER DAO | THE DAI STABLECOIN  https://bankless.cc/MakerDAO 

🦁 BRAVE | THE BROWSER NATIVE WALLET https://bankless.cc/Brave 

------ Topics Covered:

0:00 Intro Opening Shot: https://twitter.com/RyanSAdams/status/1556743328774995971?s=20&t=OzfqFxxolrjhwZICo4KV6w  Ripple Effects: https://twitter.com/collins_belton/thread/1556650759994970113  Neutral Tool: https://twitter.com/jerrybrito/status/1556667240711438337?s=20&t=avKH9mQ1_3KDno2P2THs7Q 

4:00 What is OFAC? Overview: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/office-of-foreign-assets-control-sanctions-programs-and-information  Press Release: https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0916  Sec Blinken: https://twitter.com/SecBlinken/status/1556677862345801728?s=20&t=QwqpNxU9CYKPz8LhBATSFQ 

7:44 What is Tornado Cash? Breakdown: https://blog.chainalysis.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/tornado-pie-1536x1034.png  Treasury Misleading: https://twitter.com/USTreasury/status/1556655337431785472?s=20&t=Jw5y0Xr4fHSelCzfhWvYlQ  Alex Svanevik: https://twitter.com/ASvanevik/status/1556983834809614337?s=20&t=OCDr5P9jRweG9RVYdmmxKQ 

10:20 Using Tornado Cash Neeraj Meme: https://twitter.com/NeerajKA/status/1556707552251060225?s=20&t=UNffL4gM4hBsaXDEZ0gJ_w  Clean ETH2 Addresses:  https://twitter.com/econoar/status/1556775153153048582?s=20&t=63-Nwh2Lv7u8tTC4E-CVUw  More Use Cases: https://twitter.com/RezaJafery/status/1556751888896258049?s=20&t=9rJ2buSh4PCTPMlNKezAyw 

12:15 Banning Smart Contracts Coin Center Announcement: https://www.coincenter.org/u-s-treasury-sanction-of-privacy-tools-places-sweeping-restrictions-on-all-americans/ 

17:08 Ripple Effects Circle: https://www.theblock.co/post/162172/circle-freezes-usdc-funds-in-tornado-cashs-us-treasury-sanctioned-wallets  Github: https://twitter.com/bantg/status/1556721709931175937?s=20&t=LSCI_12-Giipv727Y52qUg  Infura & Alchemy: https://twitter.com/0xdev0/status/1556933551073153024 

20:55 A Ban on Who? Cobie & Gainzy: https://twitter.com/cobie/status/1556647650212155394?s=20&t=F8nhR0zX4PkbGGOl1JmBCQ  Depositing .1 ETH: https://twitter.com/josephdelong/status/1557011056572129280?s=20&t=F1JszlO7Zm0lm4EGsgBrNg 

23:14 A Chilling Effect Attacking Free Speech: https://twitter.com/matthew_d_green/status/1556764387796340736?s=20&t=w8K19sEWj_AVS372HOjHTw 

25:47 Decentralization Priorities: https://twitter.com/econoar/status/1556825245381578753?s=20&t=63-Nwh2Lv7u8tTC4E-CVUw 

----- Not financial or tax advice. This channel is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This video is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.

Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here: https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/p/bankless-disclosures 


Horizen - Blog

Horizen EVM is Coming Soon and Why EVM Compatibility Matters

Horizen's EVM compatible sidechain is coming soon. Learn more about the importance of EVM in new blockchain ecosystems. The post Horizen EVM is Coming Soon and Why EVM Compatibility Matters appeared first on Horizen.

Ethereum has the largest and most diverse public blockchain ecosystem. This makes Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility one of the key ingredients for other blockchains to build a successful ecosystem. The EVM is a runtime environment that allows developers to create applications that can run on any Ethereum-compatible blockchain. This includes Horizen.

What Exactly is EVM?

At a high level, virtual machines create a level of abstraction between the executing code and the executing machine. All Ethereum accounts and smart contracts live on EVM. The protocol exists solely to keep this immutable state machine constantly running.

The EVM defines the rules for computing a valid state from one block to the next. EVM is a massive data structure called a modified Merkle Patricia Trie, which links all accounts with hashes, and is reducible to a root hash.

Programs send code to the EVM to process transactions in Ethereum. These EVM opcodes perform standard stack operations and blockchain-specific stack operations. When smart contracts are compiled, they turn into EVM opcodes.

Check out Horizen Academy to learn more about EVM.

Leveraging the Ethereum Developer Community 

EVM allows new blockchains to leverage the existing Ethereum developer community. These developers are already familiar with EVM and have built a wealth of applications that can run on it. EVM compatibility enables Horizen to tap into the wealth of existing developers who are used to working with Solidity. It’s estimated that there are over 200,000 developers with experience in Solidity.

When it comes to blockchain development, it’s important to have as many choices as possible. By supporting EVM, Horizen is opening its platform up to a vast community of developers who can create applications that will drive its success..

Leveraging Existing DeFi Infrastructure

Another benefit of EVM compatibility is Ethereum’s defi infrastructure. There are well-established Ethereum smart contracts for an enormous range of blockchain-based products, such as automated market makers, decentralized exchanges, peer-to-peer lending protocols, stablecoins, and more.

By leveraging Ethereum’s defi infrastructure, new blockchains and dapps on Horizen can get up and running quickly and easily. This is important for their success, as it lowers the barriers to entry and allows them to focus on building great applications.

Building Interconnected Ecosystems

Ultimately, compatibility with the EVM allows new blockchains to build interconnected ecosystems. This is important as it allows them to tap into the resources of other blockchains and benefit from their success.

It also allows them to create a more diverse and inclusive blockchain community. Horizen is helping to build a more open and inclusive blockchain ecosystem that will benefit all participants through supporting EVM.

About Horizen’s EVM Sidechain

Horizen’s EVM sidechain is coming to testnet soon! Recently, we accomplished a major milestone of the EVM project. This is much more than just an interim step. This is a functioning sidechain, compatible with Ethereum tools and able to execute all Ethereum-compatible smart contracts.

To learn more about the sidechain, check out our EVM demo video. In this video, Victor and Alberto share some insights into the latest accomplishments with a demo of our EVM Alpha from Oleksandr showing ZEN on MetaMask and some of the basic functionality of the EVM chain.

You can also watch Rob’s presentation from Consensus, where he discusses the future vision of Horizen including EVM and TokenMint

The post Horizen EVM is Coming Soon and Why EVM Compatibility Matters appeared first on Horizen.


Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

Measuring SNARK performance: Frontends, backends, and the future

… The post Measuring SNARK performance: Frontends, backends, and the future appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.

How Headless Commerce Will Change How and Where We Buy

Dirk Hoerig is the co-founder and CEO of Commercetools, and a veteran of the ecommerce space spanning two decades. In this interview, he explains “headless commerce” and why this API-centric architecture (often built atop cloud infrastructure and microservices) is especially important in the world of online retail and digital transactions, overall. He also shares his... Read More The post How He

Dirk Hoerig is the co-founder and CEO of Commercetools, and a veteran of the ecommerce space spanning two decades. In this interview, he explains “headless commerce” and why this API-centric architecture (often built atop cloud infrastructure and microservices) is especially important in the world of online retail and digital transactions, overall. He also shares his... Read More

The post How Headless Commerce Will Change How and Where We Buy appeared first on Future.


Stealth

wXST: XST wrapped on Binance Smart Chain (BSC)

XST is now available as a wrapped token (namely “wXST”) on Binance Smart Chain (BSC). The contract address is 0x5f834Ba9e4E41871F68ee6B431fABd19f406a9A6 and can be found here https://bscscan.com/token/0x5f834Ba9e4E41871F68ee6B431fABd19f406a9A6 The Stealth-BSC swap reserve is protected by 2 of 3 multisignature escrow on the Stealth side. Multisignatures ensure that at least two escrow signat

XST is now available as a wrapped token (namely “wXST”) on Binance Smart Chain (BSC). The contract address is 0x5f834Ba9e4E41871F68ee6B431fABd19f406a9A6 and can be found here https://bscscan.com/token/0x5f834Ba9e4E41871F68ee6B431fABd19f406a9A6

The Stealth-BSC swap reserve is protected by 2 of 3 multisignature escrow on the Stealth side.

Multisignatures ensure that at least two escrow signatories must approve a transaction before BSC-wrapped XST can move back to the native chain. This protection means that compromising one swap key is not enough to threaten the swap reserve.

— — — — — — —

How-To

Here’s a step by step guide how to swap XST to wXST and vice versa using MetaMask:

1. Set up a MetaMask wallet and account.

2. Connect Meta Mask to Binance Smart Chain, here’s a guide how to do that:
https://academy.binance.com/en/articles/connecting-metamask-to-binance-smart-chain.

3. Set up a XST wallet (if you haven’t already), you can use StealthSend desktop and mobile
https://www.stealth.org/applications.

4. Go to https://wrapping.services/get/stealth/
The service is provided by Wrapping Services https://wrapping.services/.

5. Swap XST to wXST

– Choose the amount you want to swap, the required minimum is 5 USD worth of XST.
– The swap from XST to wXST is free, there is no fee.
– In the field “wXST Address BSC (BEP20)”, use your own wXST address.

Here’s how you find your wXST address:

• Go to Metamask
• Select “Smart Chain” from the drop down on top.
• Select “import token” at the bottom and use the contract address 0x5f834Ba9e4E41871F68ee6B431fABd19f406a9A6 for the token address.
• Once you have imported the token wXST, select the three dots in the top right corner and go to “Account details”. You will see your personal wXST address.

• Use this address in the field “wXST Address BSC (BEP20)”; this is where the wrapped XST will be sent to.

6. In the next step you are asked to send XST to the address (multisig address) shown in the dialogue:

You have 60 seconds to do so until it expires, requiring you to restart the process.

If you have sent XST within the timeframe you will see a new dialogue, similar to this one:

You can then close the dialogue, the swap was successful.

7. After you have sent your XST, you will receive your wXST to the address specified in step 5 within a few seconds.

You can then go to Pancake Swap https://pancakeswap.finance/swap and trade wXST.

8. Swap wXST back to XST

The reverse swap from wXST to XST works similarly. The only difference is that you will need some BNB in your wallet to pay the tx fee.

Go to https://wrapping.services/get/stealth/ and simply select “wXST to XST” this time and follow the instructions.

In the field “XST address” simply use an address where you want the XST to be sent to. You will then have to send wXST to the address specified in the next dialogue, similar to step 6.

After you sent your wXST you will receive XST back on the native chain.

— — — — — — —

Caution

DO NOT send XST to the contract address itself (0x5f834Ba9e4E41871F68ee6B431fABd19f406a9A6). If you do so, the coins cannot be retrieved. Always make sure your are sending to the correct address, your personal wXST address.

— — — — — — — — —

The Stealth team

— — — — — — — — —

Website / Discord / Telegram / Medium / TwitterReddit

wXST: XST wrapped on Binance Smart Chain (BSC) was originally published in stealthsend on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Nym - Medium

Nym platform v1.0.2 and Nym wallet v1.0.8 are out!

New versions of the Nym wallet and all other Nym platform binaries are out. You can download the latest version of the wallet and all system binaries from the website. Nym softwares are open source, unpermissioned and can be forked by anyone wishing to extend functionality. For an extensive list of new platform changes and releases please check the change log. In this post we wi

New versions of the Nym wallet and all other Nym platform binaries are out.

You can download the latest version of the wallet and all system binaries from the website.

Nym softwares are open source, unpermissioned and can be forked by anyone wishing to extend functionality.

For an extensive list of new platform changes and releases please check the change log.

In this post we will go through the new wallet and the explorer features that are:

better overview of the bonded node for node operators compound and redeem functions for operator rewards filters on the explorer to make it easier for delegators to select good nodes

Now let’s go through each new feature!

1. Better overview of your bonded node

Bonding is the act of registering a node in the Nym system by putting up some NYM tokens as stake on that node. Node operators bond a mix node or a gateway into the Nym mixnet. Bonding can be done using the CLI tool or via the Bonding section of the wallet.

If you are new to the Nym system and want to run a node follow the instructions on the docs or watch this video on how to bond your node. To know more about Nym’s different node types read this.

Once your node is successfully bonded and is running you can see the information about it in the new bonding screen as below. Here is where most of the new features in this version of the wallet are. We will be adding more node stats and settings to this page as we go along.

2. Compound and Redeem your rewards from the wallet

Operators can now redeem and compound their node rewards using the action menu shown with 3 dots on the right edge of the bonding table (as shown below).

This is what each of the actions in the action menu does:

Redeem: Redeem the rewards you have accrued by running your node and transfer the amount to your account balance.

Compound: In order to get compounded rewards for your node, you will need to compound your rewards manually using this button.

Unbond: Unbond to remove your node from the network

Note that all of the above actions require some tiny amount of NYMs to pay for transaction fees. Make sure you always have some NYMs left in your balance to be able to pay for fees.

2. Filters on the explorer to select nodes to delegate to

If you hold NYM tokens, you can delegate your tokens to mix nodes operating the mixnet. This boosts the node’s reputation and increases their chances of being in the active set. In return you will earn a share of the rewards the node receives for providing privacy.

To find a mix node to delegate to, you can now filter them on the Nym network explorer, using Advanced Filters on the top right corner.

Filter the nodes based on different parameters i.e Stake Saturation, Profit Margin, and Routing Score to narrow them down based on your preferred criteria. You can also browse the delegators channel in the Nym Discord to find good nodes for delegating stake to.

Once you have selected your preferred mix node(s), use the wallet to delegate to them. You can do this under the Delegation section of the wallet by clicking on the “Delegate” button (shown below). Copy the node’s identity key from the explorer and the amount you want to delegate, paste in the delegation window and you are done.

This sums up the new features of this release. As always if you had any questions or suggestions please reach us on Discord or Telegram.

Until next time, happy bonding and delegating!

Nym platform v1.0.2 and Nym wallet v1.0.8 are out! was originally published in nymtech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Wasabi Wallet

Why We Work on Bitcoin Privacy

There are other important aspects of good money, which currently Bitcoin is not optimally designed for. Specifically, the fungibility of money...In the worst case, this open transaction history is the basis for a dystopian surveillance system.

There are a lot of problems in this world. So many important issues could be solved to improve the lives of countless individuals. So why is it that we dedicate so much of our time on building Wasabi Wallet?

First of all, why do we even work on Bitcoin? Well, because money is an incredibly important good for a prosperous society to function. When you hold money, every entrepreneur in your economy will happily solve any problem you might have. Saving your capital in money helps you sleep better at night, knowing that tomorrow you can buy everything you might need.

But, there is good money and there is bad money. If anyone forces you to use a specific money, then generally speaking it’s a bad one. Free people will choose a money that they deem good. Bitcoin is a common choice because it has a predefined and unchanging money supply, so nobody can print himself money and hand it out to friends. Cryptography protects the ownership of coins, which makes theft pretty difficult.

Bitcoin has sound economic principles and powerful cryptographic protocols with an unrestricted free market for anyone to start getting paid in bitcoin. Economically and technically speaking, bitcoin is unstoppable and will eventually be used by the overwhelming majority of all merchants.

However, there are other important aspects of good money, which currently Bitcoin is not optimally designed for. Specifically, the fungibility of money; that any coin has the same demand as any other coin. Merchants don’t care which specific coin they get paid in, as long as it is valid. But in bitcoin, a coin has a unique transaction history which is publicly known and verified by every node. This transaction history makes each coin a unique and non-fungible unit.

In the worst case, this open transaction history is the basis for a dystopian surveillance system. Where every transaction of the same person is clustered together and tied to his identity. Now, everyone is spying on everyone else and the choice of what to reveal about yourself to the world is taken from everyone.

It might be inevitable that bitcoin succeeds economically. But a future where people are in control of whom to tell about their sensitive financial transactions is still uncertain.

But not all hope is lost. There are so many tricks and strategies to increase the financial privacy of bitcoin users. The best thing is, most of them don’t even require any changes to the bitcoin consensus rules but can already be used today. Tor, block filter synchronization, coinjoin, coin swaps, lightning network and eCash; there are endless ways of improving the privacy, security and usability of everyday bitcoiners.

This is the reasoning for why we work on bitcoin privacy and why we focus on innovating at the edges with Wasabi, the privacy-focused bitcoin wallet.


a16z Podcast

Learning from Open Source Communities

Take our 3-minute listener survey for the chance to win a16z swag: future.com/survey  What can we learn from the evolution of open source communities and how might they be applied to online communities and the creator economy today? Author Nadia Asparouhova joins host Sonal Choksi to talk about Asparouhova's book, Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software, from St

Take our 3-minute listener survey for the chance to win a16z swag: future.com/survey 

What can we learn from the evolution of open source communities and how might they be applied to online communities and the creator economy today? Author Nadia Asparouhova joins host Sonal Choksi to talk about Asparouhova's book, Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software, from Stripe Press.

They start with a  a taxonomy for communities, and then dig into how open source has changed over time, which learnings from open source do and don’t apply to new communities online, how communities intersect with the growing desire for more "high-shared context" groups and spaces (including even podcasts and newsletters), and more.

Take our 3-minute listener survey for the chance to win a16z swag: future.com/survey

Wednesday, 10. August 2022

Findora

Findora’s July Newsletter

Check out Findora’s major news, progress, and announcements over the last month — including engineering updates and new partnerships. Community Growth 🪴 Findora Partners with Omni X Findora has partnered with the new omni-chain NFT protocol, Omni X, to create the first private and interoperable network for NFTs. As NFTs take on more and more use cases, a robust, next-generation infras

Check out Findora’s major news, progress, and announcements over the last month — including engineering updates and new partnerships.

Community Growth 🪴 Findora Partners with Omni X

Findora has partnered with the new omni-chain NFT protocol, Omni X, to create the first private and interoperable network for NFTs. As NFTs take on more and more use cases, a robust, next-generation infrastructure becomes more and more important.

In Case You Missed It: Findora Teams Up with ZPrize

ZPrize is a zero-knowledge research group that awards prizes over multiple categories to people or projects. With sponsors like Findora, ZPrize has a prize pool of over $7M. Winning entries are open-sourced for the benefit of all.

Say “Bonjour” Findora France

In the wake of EthCC5 in Paris, Findora France has launched. There is also a new validator community that sprang up after the conference to help new members set up and run Findora nodes.

Staking and Validators ⚡️ Welcome, New Validators!

The new validators Findora has attracted are building the network and drawing liquidity to the ecosystem.

Validator Node Tutorials

Big thanks to EasyNode for helping create a walk-through on how to set up a validator node on Findora. @timPos4 has also written this handy guide on How to transfer Findora from Exchanges to Findora Wallets.

Findora Telegram Validator Community

Our Findora Validator Community channel is popping on Telegram! Get the help you need to set up and run a node. You can read about other validators in the Findora Validator Spotlight series this month featuring RockX and Tr4ck3r.

Events at EthCC5 🇫🇷 Hitall.io Wins Findora’s EthCC Hackathon

Hitall.io was the winner of our ZK Circuit Hackathon at EthCC! We choose them for creating the beginnings of a private NFT marketplace where NFTs can be bought and sold without revealing who is bidding or what the amount of the bid is until the auction is over.

Other Hackathon Submissions

Despite this being a community conference rather than developer-focused, we received many some great hackathon submissions. There was a fork of Gnosis Chain which allows for private DAO payroll and Forlend, which provides private borrowing and lending with Findora. Watch the demo videos of our favorite submissions or learn more about them here.

The Developer Scavenger Hunt

Instead of just a house, we gave our hackers a hunt. They were challenged to solve riddles that would reveal the location of the ZK-Moles hidden around Paris. Congrats to @thomas_hillen and Stanley for their wins!

Our Big Takeaways from EthCC

#EthCC5 showed the way forward in a bear market. Read our biggest takeaways from the conference and advice for how to build in a bear market.

Engineering Updates 🛠 Simplifying Wallet Addresses

Findora engineers are implementing a major architectural change. Though just on the testnet for now, Findora will support a single 0x… type address across the Findora EVM wallet and UTXO wallet. The Zei Library has been updated accordingly. This will make masking more efficient.

Prism Transfer is Being Updated to Prism++

Prism is the bridge that links Findora’s EVM ledger to the UTXO ledger. Prism++ is the latest update that will support NFT transfers. Transfering a Findora EVM NFT→ Findora UTXO NFT will extend confidentiality to NFT.

Rialto Bridge Progress

The Rialto Bridge will connect Findora to many different EVM chains. The Ethereum mainnet path of the bridge is ready to launch, and they are adding NFT support to the BNB Chain section on testnet.

Precompiled Smart Contracts

In an effort to extend Findora’s EVM privacy abilities, the Findora team is adding to its stack of precompiled smart contracts. These allow confidential transactions to be more efficient.

TPS Optimization for the EVM Layer

Read our first report on optimizing the EVM Findora smart chain. Researchers were able to 4x the TPS with future advancements on the horizon. The chain’s bandwidth is already more than Findora will need in the near future, with further improvements imminent.

Findora In the Media 🗞

Coin Telegraph: Discreet Labs CEO, Warren Paul Anderson, giving tips for entrepreneurs considering crypto for alternative funding.

Digital Journal: Findora and Omni X partnership to build new NFT infrastructure announced.

Yahoo!: What an interoperable and private network for NFTs could do for GameFi.

Finanzen.net: Peter Abilla, an expert on community growth and marketing, joins Discreet Labs to attract developer talent to Findora.

We’re Hiring!

Findora is always looking for top-notch talent, whether developers, engineers, community managers, or marketers. Please, if you’re interested in Findora or think you’d be a good fit, see what’s available, or reach out via Twitter DM to start a discussion!

Findora’s July Newsletter was originally published in Findora Foundation on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Coinbase

Is the Bitcoin Lightning Network for real?

Around the Block from Coinbase Ventures sheds light on key trends in crypto. Written by Connor Dempsey & Sam Newman In the 13 years of its existence, Bitcoin has risen from obscurity to $1 trillion highs, settling over $60 trillion in total transfer volume along the way. Despite these feats, Bitcoin’s decentralized design limits it to a mere 7 transactions per second. In times when

Around the Block from Coinbase Ventures sheds light on key trends in crypto. Written by Connor Dempsey & Sam Newman

In the 13 years of its existence, Bitcoin has risen from obscurity to $1 trillion highs, settling over $60 trillion in total transfer volume along the way.

Despite these feats, Bitcoin’s decentralized design limits it to a mere 7 transactions per second. In times when demand to use the network exceeds 7 transactions, users experience long wait times and fees as high as $60 per transaction at the extreme. Even with fees recently hovering between $1–2, the network remains unsuitable for buying that proverbial cup of coffee.

Enter the Lightning Network: a layer-2 protocol built on top of Bitcoin that can theoretically scale to millions of instant transactions per second that cost pennies to send. If it gains traction, it can even undercut the fees of giants like Visa and Mastercard, along with the entire global remittance market.

But will it?

Lightning 101

As with most layer-2 solutions, Lightning seeks to increase transaction throughput and lower costs while retaining sufficient decentralization by moving activity to a second network. Once BTC is on the Lightning network, it can be transacted instantly typically at fractions of a penny.

Rather than expensively sending each transaction over the Bitcoin blockchain, users deposit BTC into the Lightning Network and then transact inexpensively through payment channels. As with most networks, the more people and companies that join, the more useful it becomes.

Obviously at <1 cent fees, Lightning transactions are cheaper than using the Bitcoin network. More intriguing however, is that Lightning has the potential to replace existing payment processors for fiat transactions without the consumer knowing that BTC was used as the underlying settlement layer. We’ll explain.

Disrupting the payment giants

Visa and Mastercard are the world’s dominant payment processing networks. By collecting 2–3% transaction fees everytime someone swipes a debit or credit card, they pulled in $24B in 2021. Payment processors leveraging the Lightning Network could undercut that.

Let’s say you want to make a $100 payment to a merchant. Using your credit card would cost the merchant $3, which is then passed along to you via hidden costs. Now what if you converted $100 USD into BTC, transferred it over the Lightning network for less than a penny, before converting the BTC back to $100 USD. A service called OpenNode is able to leverage the Lightning Network to do just that, for a 1% fee. A similar logic can be applied to the $40B global remittance fee market, which averages 6.4% per cross-border transaction.

However economic it may be to replace Visa/Mastercard and international remittance companies with Lightning, it’s easier said than done. The incumbents enjoy large network effects, and like any young network, Lightning faces a cold start problem.

So how’s adoption looking to date?

Lightning adoption

Where the potential to disrupt the incumbents is there, current Lightning adoption is still tiny (but growing!). Arcane Research estimated that in Q1 22, Lightning facilitated $20–30M in monthly payments. That’s a 4x YoY increase, but a far cry from the $866B Visa facilitates each month.

The main way that Lightning growth is measured is by “public node capacity” — essentially how much BTC is locked in public Lightning channels. An estimated 30% of channels are private, making it difficult to state the true value in the network. What we can see however, is that public capacity is growing.

When measured in USD, the network has taken a predictable hit with the overall BTC price decline. However, encouragingly, the amount of total Bitcoins in the network is hitting new all-time highs at over 4,500 BTC (around $100M).

More importantly, as adoption ticks upward, the ecosystem around Lightning is growing as well.

The Lightning stack

The Lightning protocol sits atop of Bitcoin. On top of Lighting, sits core infrastructure. On top of the core infrastructure, are a growing number of payment and financial services, as well as consumer applications.

Core infrastructure consists of Lightning implementations and node & liquidity services. Lightning implementations are the software programs that individuals and businesses can run to connect to the Lightning network — the largest being Lightning Labs’ LND with 70% of the market (as of 2020). Node and liquidity services host hardware, provide user-friendly interfaces, and help manage Lightning payment channels (running your own node is complex).

Built on top of the core infrastructure are a range of payment and financial services as well as consumer apps. For example, Strike is built on an LND implementation that lets users buy and sell BTC, tip creators on Twitter, and allow Shopify merchants to accept BTC.

Also built on core infrastructure, are a growing number of budding consumer use cases. Mash, for example, aims to disrupt the creator subscription model via streaming micropayments — think paying your favorite Twitch streamers a couple cents each minute you watch, rather than buying a one-size-fits-all subscription. Zebedee uses Lightning to enable in-game economies that reward players with small amounts of Bitcoin.

Growing accessibility & momentum

As the Lightning ecosystem steadily grows, so has the access that users have to the network. Between Cash App’s Lightning integration and El Salvador’s rollout of the Chivo wallet, access has exploded from 10M to 80M users (the success of El Salvador’s rollout has been mixed, with research suggesting that only 5% of sales in the country use BTC).

26 exchanges support Lightning as well, with Kraken, Bitfinex, and Bitstamp being among the most prominent. Robinhood also recently announced an integration for 20M+ users, and P2P marketplace Paxful offers support for its 7M+ users. Users of these exchanges can instantly and inexpensively deposit and withdraw bitcoin to and from any Lightning wallet, increasing the speed and lowering the cost compared to a typical BTC transaction.

Funding is picking up as well with OpenNode raising a Series A at a $220M valuation and Lightning Labs raising $70M for its Series B. Notably, former head of Meta’s crypto initiative David Marcus’s Lightspark, raised a Series A at an undisclosed amount to build Lightning infrastructure for companies, developers, and merchants.

Hurdles to adoption

The potential, funding, and momentum is there, however significant hurdles remain. Principally, the lack of developer tooling, demand for payment use cases, technical hurdles, onboarding challenges, as well as compliance and regulatory issues.

Developer tooling still needs to be built out to enable more user friendly applications. With most still treating BTC as an investment, we’re yet to see broad demand to use it for payments (use of Lightning rails for fiat payments remains a compelling opportunity). Despite progress from infrastructure companies, Lightning is still cumbersome for new users and merchants. Additionally, onboarding low income users in developing countries remains a major challenge to fulfilling the promise of Lightning remittances.

Lastly, the lack of compliance and regulatory frameworks limit the ability for existing payment and banking service providers to onboard and serve a global customer base.

Early days

After launching in 2018, it’s still early days for Lightning. With about $100M locked in the network, its size pales in comparison to Ethereum’s billion dollar layer-2 networks, Arbitrum and Optimism. Lightning payment activity, however, is more indicative of real world utility when compared to the more speculative activity driving much of the growth on smart contract platforms.

Humble beginnings aside, the potential to turn crypto’s most valuable asset into a true medium of exchange has the power to bring greater financial inclusion to anyone with a smartphone. The ability to cost effectively route fiat transactions over Lightning rails without users ever knowing they’re using Bitcoin can disrupt $150B+* a year industries.

What Visa/Mastercard is for fiat currencies, Lightning can be for Bitcoin. The combination of a universally accessible payment network atop the world’s first open-source protocol for money can help Bitcoin evolve into a true global reserve currency. Should it happen, look for developing countries with high inflation and more smartphones than bank accounts to lead the way.

When Coinbase?

This article should not be construed as an indication that Coinbase has imminent plans to add support for Lightning. Rather, a few employees at the company simply found its potential compelling enough to research, write, and share.

With that said, it’s hard not to be encouraged by the growth that the Lightning Network is showing — particularly over the past six months. It’s noteworthy that this growth is coming in a bear market, where Bitcoin fees are relatively low. In a future bull market, we could see Lightning activity spike as fees on the base chain rise, sending users looking for cheaper ways to transact.

If growth of the Lightning Network continues, it will have major implications on the future utility and value of the world’s oldest and most valuable digital asset.

H/T Nick Prince, Kevin Choe, and Yash Parikh for also helping inform this article.

For deeper reading on the Lightning Network, check out:

The State of Lightning Volume 2, by Arcane Research A Look At the Lightning Network, by Lyn Alden

*$150B is comprised of fee revenue for credit card and international remittances for both commercial and consumer sectors that we think Lightning is most primed to disrupt. Source.

This website does not disclose material nonpublic information pertaining to Coinbase or Coinbase Venture’s portfolio companies.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors who may be associated persons of Coinbase, Inc., or its affiliates (“Coinbase”) and who do not represent the views, opinions and positions of Coinbase. Information is provided for general educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute investment or other advice on financial products. Coinbase makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this website and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. Unless otherwise noted, all images provided herein are the property of Coinbase. This website contains links to third-party websites or other content for information purposes only. Third-party websites are not under the control of Coinbase, and Coinbase is not responsible for their contents. The inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendation by Coinbase of the site or any association with its operators.

Is the Bitcoin Lightning Network for real? was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Circle Blog

Circle Responds to a U.S. Treasury Department Request for Comment on the Cause and Benefits of Stablecoin Mass Adoption

On August 8, 2022, Circle responded to a request for comment from the U.S. Department of the Treasury on how to ensure responsible development of digital assets. As part of President Biden’s Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets, Treasury has solicited comments to provide data on the growing implications of digital asset usage and development. Circle is p

On August 8, 2022, Circle responded to a request for comment from the U.S. Department of the Treasury on how to ensure responsible development of digital assets. As part of President Biden’s Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets, Treasury has solicited comments to provide data on the growing implications of digital asset usage and development. Circle is pleased to participate in this ongoing dialogue with public authorities on the future of financial services. 


Panther Protocol

What is a zero-knowledge proof? Explaining ZKPs in different levels

While it looks like rocket science when you first come across it, the concept of a zero-knowledge proof is not as confusing as it seems. In fact, it can be summarized as digital accountability.

Before going over what a zero-knowledge proof is in several different complexity levels, let’s look at why they’re important.

Digital accountability

As our world becomes increasingly fueled by technology, the use cases and the need for tools that allow us to interact with total strangers increase. Accountability is key to this as, when something happens, someone needs to answer for it. There is a high demand for sources of truth and verified information online.

Accountability is somewhat simple to achieve. However, what’s difficult is to do so when dealing with strangers online. Let’s go through a simple example;

When you pay for a pair of sneakers using your credit or debit card, your bank statement will show how much you spent, when, and what merchant you made the transaction with. Anyone who sees the credit card or bank statement (whether it’s your government in your tax declaration, the shop when you’re issuing a return, or a friend) can confirm what you did —you are accountable.

Now, do you want to share the information about your transaction with others (for a decent enough incentive)?  Maybe. Do you want everyone to know everything about the product you bought, your transaction number, and all the info in your bank statement? Maybe not. However, if you wanted to prove you made the purchase, the only way you could fully prove its legitimacy would be through a full statement.

Zero-knowledge proofs are all about reliably achieving accountability on your own terms. In this article, we’ll look at the concept of zero-knowledge proofs, how to understand them in a simple language, and their applications.

Understanding what is a zero-knowledge proof A simple illustration of a zero-knowledge proof. (Source)

Zero-knowledge proofs are protocols in cryptography that tell you that something is true without giving you any other information beyond what you want to prove. This concept is better illustrated through a couple of single analogies:

How to explain zero-knowledge proofs to a kid

A zero-knowledge example that’s easy to gasp even to an 8-year-old is the following:

If you have a closed combination lock, you could simply prove to someone that you hold the right password by unlocking it without revealing the password. By doing this, you have certified that you know certain information without disclosing it (a zero-knowledge proof).

How to explain zero-knowledge proofs to an adult

Let’s now jump to a slightly more mature explanation that’s closer to the context zero-knowledge proofs are commonly used.

Returning to our earlier example, zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) could be like bank statements that only answer to yes/no questions. This question could be tailored to specific use cases, such as “does your account contain more than $400?” or “are you over 25 AND purchased a pair of XMODEL Nike shoes?”

The ZKP does not detail how, where, or when you bought your sneakers. If you were to be in possession of such proof, you would be able to show it to anyone you chose to, even link it to your crypto wallet for anyone to verify at will or post it online.

Attributes of a zero-knowledge proof

Apart from ensuring no knowledge is transferred between the two parties, zero-knowledge proofs need to fulfill two conditions:

Completeness: If a statement is true, an honest verifier (that is, one following the protocol properly) will be convinced of this fact by an honest prover. This means that the system works to verify a true proof every time.
Soundness: If the statement is false, no cheating prover can convince an honest verifier that it is true. In our analogy, soundness means you can only prove you bought a product, if and only if, it is true. This characteristic reflects on the system used to mint zero-knowledge proofs, which needs to be decentralized (i.e. no one can influence it) and reliable (it works as expected every time). The invention of the zero-knowledge proof

ZKPs were invented In 1985 by Shafi Goldwasser, Silvio Micali, and Charles Rackoff. The trio wrote a paper introducing zero-knowledge proofs titled "The Knowledge Complexity of Interactive Proof-Systems," which helped lay a solid foundation for the growth of zero-knowledge proofs. In their quest for finding efficient methods of communicating proof, GMR (Goldwasser, Micali, & Rackoff) devised the concept of zero-knowledge proofs – which could be used to prove that a theorem ‘T’ is true without conveying any additional information.

People have used several examples to describe ZKPs since they were created, with one of the most popular ones being the following:

There are two friends, Mike (the prover) and Carlos (the verifier). Carlos is color-blind and cannot tell the difference between two otherwise identic balls of different colors, red and green. When Carlos picks up two balls, Mike tells him he is holding two balls of different colors (green in his left hand and red in his right). Carlos does not believe Mike, and now he needs something besides Mike's words to convince him.

Carlos then devices a zero-knowledge way for Mike to prove his statement, as Carlos cannot gain the ability to see color.

Carlos first holds two balls in front of Mike, who can see which ball is in which hand. Carlos is holding a green ball in his left hand and a red ball in his right.
Then, behind his back, Carlos shuffles the balls. Now he knows which ball is in which hand, but Mike doesn’t, since he cannot see them.
Carlos goes on to present the balls to Mike again, asking Mike whether he switched the balls or not. Since Mike can tell both balls apart due to their color, he answers the question easily.
Carlos is not convinced because there are only two balls, which gives Mike a 50% chance of guessing whether he switched the balls or not. Also, both balls could be of the same color, so after one verification, Carlos still doubts the outcome is correct.
However, if Carlos repeats the procedure, the probability for Mike to guess if he switched the balls or not eventually becomes low enough for Carlos to believe him. With many consecutive right answers from Mike, Carlos learns that Mike can actually tell the difference between the two balls. He, however, has not gained the ability to tell apart green objects from red ones.
A video explainer following the color-blind friend analogy. Types of zero-knowledge proofs

In the cryptography world, there are two main types of zero-knowledge proofs:

Interactive zero-knowledge proofs

From the Carlos and Mike example, we can see that both of them continued to speak to each other throughout the exercise. The back and forth conversation helped Mike prove the truth of his claims until Carlos was convinced. This is called an interactive ZKP and it is similar to how the first-ever ZKPs operated.

A diagram illustrating an Interactive zero-knowledge proof (Source)

An interactive zero-knowledge proof involves steady communication between prover and verifier until the former can provide convincing replies to the latter's challenges.

Non-interactive zero-knowledge proofs

Non-interactive zero-knowledge proofs do not necessarily need established communication between the prover and verifier beyond a single iteration. When the prover presents proof of knowledge, for instance, the verifier confirms its genuineness within one exchange. This is closer to showing a verifier a bank statement, for instance.

Since non-interactive zero-knowledge proofs require only one information exchange, they demand more computing power to produce than interactive zero-knowledge proofs.

However, due to their convenience, non-interactive zero-knowledge proofs have gained popularity. zkSNARKs, for example, are an example of non-interactive zero-knowledge proofs.

Possible and existing applications of a zero-knowledge proof Decentralized identity

Identity verification exercises are commonplace in today's world, and most institutions in several sectors require you to present documents to verify your identity for KYC and AML purposes. Currently, ID verification exercises are slow, sometimes requiring days to process. There are also concerns about having to submit personal documents repeatedly on different occasions and data safety.

Decentralized identifiers enable digitally-signed verifiable claims. (Source)

Through decentralized identifiers built on zero-knowledge proofs and the blockchain, you can store identification documents and materials and decide how much you are willing to share with third parties. Zero-knowledge identity proofs allows you to pass KYC verification just once and then be able to indefinitely, confirm that you meet requirements without revealing your personal information. With decentralized identity you also retain control over your data.

Blockchain scaling

Scalability is a huge challenge for blockchain technology, especially as more people begin using the network. Network congestion often results in increased transaction fees, difficulting the mass adoption of Web3 protocols. Zero-knowledge proofs can help solve the scalability problem on blockchain networks such as the Ethereum mainnet through rollups.

A diagram illustrating ZK-rollups batching transactions and settling them on the base layer. (Source)

Zero-knowledge rollups (ZK-rollups) are Layer-2 scaling solutions that increase throughput on the Ethereum Mainnet. By completing computations and state-storage off-chain, ZK-rollups help Layer-1 blockchains process more transactions at reduced fees. Yet, there's more.

ZK-rollups usually batch-process several thousands of transactions. As most permissionless blockchains require proof of transactions for every on-chain action, ZK-rollups only post minimal summary data on-chain. In this summary data, the ZK-rollup defines the changes that should be made to the blockchain and provides zero-knowledge proof that the changes are correct. Most zero-knowledge rollups use Succinct Non-interactive Arguments of Knowledge and Scalable Transparent Arguments of Knowledge protocols (SNARKs and STARKs, respectively).

Privacy protocols

Zero-knowledge proofs power several privacy protocols today, mostly due to their non-disclosure feature. With ZK-proofs, users can currently transact on privacy-enabled blockchains and post proofs that confirm that their transactions are valid, but nothing more.

Popular privacy coin, Zcash, uses zk-SNARK cryptography to restore blockchain anonymity for its users and give them control over their transaction information. For instance, when a Zcash user sends coins to another Zcash user, the only available proof of their privacy-enabled transaction comes with zero knowledge. A third-party observer cannot find any additional information about the nature of the transaction, nor the parties and amounts involved.

Panther, on the other hand, aims to create a ZK-SNARK-powered ecosystem in which users can retain full control over their data while being able to use DeFi with default privacy.

Conclusion: What’s in zero-knowledge proofs’ future?

Several technological innovations have shaped the current landscape of the world's economy. Blockchain technology, the internet, and public key cryptography have all made waves globally, defining change across fields and, most importantly, helping create a global digital permissionless payments system.

Zero-knowledge proofs as a solution are just starting to emerge and we can see them eventually generalized for the benefit of all. In the past couple of years, the interest in ZK-technology has been popping up from various sectors along with a rise in funding for their research and development. The massive upsides and possibilities of use-cases of ZK-technology have everyone excited.
Zero-knowledge proofs can count among cryptographic innovations making giant strides in the industry. Powering privacy on the blockchain, ZK-proofs also aid Layer-2 blockchain scaling solutions and decentralized identifiers. With these solutions and more, ZK-proofs will play a critical role in shaping the world in the future, even as the emergence of decentralized economies looms.

About Panther

Panther is a decentralized protocol that enables interoperable privacy in DeFi using zero-knowledge proofs.

Users can mint fully-collateralized, composable tokens called zAssets, which can be used to execute private, trusted DeFi transactions across multiple blockchains.

Panther helps investors protect their personal financial data and trading strategies, and provides financial institutions with a clear path to compliantly participate in DeFi.

Stay connected: Telegram | Twitter | LinkedIn | Website

Tuesday, 09. August 2022

Greylock Partners

Bringing Web3 to the World

Known as the "AWS of Web3", Alchemy's platform powers most of the top web3 applications around the world. The idea came to founders Nikil Viswanathan and Joe Lau following their own frustration when building a crypto analytics tool. Seeing that developers around the world needed a toolkit to enable the next wave of innovation, they set out to build Alchemy. Launched in 2020, the company's platform

Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

Leading With Software When Building A Lending Business

As I reflect upon my experience building Bond Street (an SMB lending startup we sold to Goldman Sachs in 2017), one of the biggest challenges we faced was in scaling customer acquisition. In retrospect, there were two critical insights that … The post Leading With Software When Building A Lending Business appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.

As I reflect upon my experience building Bond Street (an SMB lending startup we sold to Goldman Sachs in 2017), one of the biggest challenges we faced was in scaling customer acquisition. In retrospect, there were two critical insights that …

The post Leading With Software When Building A Lending Business appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.


In Defense of Stablecoins

… The post In Defense of Stablecoins appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.

The post In Defense of Stablecoins appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.


Coinbase

Nomad Bridge incident analysis

Tl;dr: Building a better crypto ecosystem means building a better, more equitable future for us all. That’s why we are investing in the larger community to make sure anyone who wants to participate in the crypto economy can do so in a secure way. In this blog post, we share lessons about the nature of the vulnerability, exploitation methodology, as well as on-chain analysis of attacker behavior du

Tl;dr: Building a better crypto ecosystem means building a better, more equitable future for us all. That’s why we are investing in the larger community to make sure anyone who wants to participate in the crypto economy can do so in a secure way. In this blog post, we share lessons about the nature of the vulnerability, exploitation methodology, as well as on-chain analysis of attacker behavior during the Nomad Bridge incident.

While the Nomad bridge compromise does not directly affect Coinbase, we strongly believe that attacks on any crypto business are bad for the industry as a whole and hope the information in the blog will help strengthen and inform similar projects about threats and techniques used by malicious actors.

By: Peter Kacherginsky, Threat Intelligence and Heidi Wilder, Special Investigations

On August 1, 2022 Nomad Bridge suffered the fourth largest DeFi hack with more than $186M stolen in just a few hours. As we have described in our recent blog post, from the $540M Ronin Bridge compromise in March to the $250M Wormhole bridge hack in February of 2022, it is not a coincidence that DeFi bridges constitute some of the most costly incidents in our industry.

What makes the Nomad Bridge compromise unique is the simplicity of the exploit and the sheer number of individuals taking advantage of it to empty all stored assets piece by piece.

Vulnerability Analysis

Nomad is a bridging protocol supporting Ethereum, Moonbeam, and other chains. Nomad’s bridging protocol is built using both on-chain and off-chain components. On-chain smart contracts are used to collect and distribute bridged funds while off-chain agents relay and verify messages between different blockchains. Each blockchain deploys a Replica contract which validates and stores messages in a Merkle tree structure. Messages can be validated by either providing proof with the proveAndProcess() call or for already verified messages they can be simply submitted with the process() call. Verified messages are forwarded to a Bridge handler (e.g. ERC20 Router) which can distribute bridged assets.

On April 21, 2022 Nomad deployed a Replica proxy contract to handle processing and validation of users’ claims of bridged assets. This proxy would allow Nomad to easily change implementation logic while retaining storage across upgrades. As part of the proxy deployment, Nomad set initial contract parameters defined in the snippet below:

Notice the highlighted confirmAt map assignment which sets an initial entry for the trusted _committedRoot to the value of 1. The variable _committedRoot is provided as an initialization parameter by Nomad’s contract deployer. Let’s see what it was set to during the initialization:

Interestingly the initialization parameter _committedRoot was set to 0. As a result the confirmAt map now has a value of 1 for a 0 entry that from April to this day:

On June 21, 2022, Nomad performed a series of upgrades to its bridging infrastructure including the Replica implementation. One of the changes included updates to the message verification logic in the process() function:

The message verification flow now includes a call to the acceptableRoot() method which in turn references confirmAt map we mentioned above:

The vulnerability appears in a scenario when fraudulent messages, not present in the trusted messages[] map, are sent directly to the process() method. In this scenario messages[_messageHash] returns a default null value for non-existent entries so the acceptableRoot() method is called as follows:

In turn, the acceptableRoot() method will perform a lookup against confirmAt[] map with a null value as follows:

As we mentioned in the beginning of this section, confirmAt[] map has a null entry defined resulting in acceptableRoot() returning True and authorizing fraudulent messages.

Exploit Analysis

The exploit takes advantage of the above vulnerability by crafting a message which tricks Nomad bridge into sending stored tokens without proper authorization. Below is a sample process() payload in a transaction submitted by 0xb5c5…590e:

The Replica message has the following structure:

The recipient specific _messageBody contains transaction data to be processed by the _recipient. Nomad recipients accept several transaction and message types, but we will focus on the transfer type:

Decoding the above payload illustrates how 0xb5c55f76f90cc528b2609109ca14d8d84593590e was able to steal 100 WBTC by submitting a specially crafted payload to bypass Nomad’s message checks.

In order to better understand the root cause of the exploit we developed a PoC to demonstrate it draining the entire token’s balance on the bridge in just a few transactions:

While writing a PoC we found it curious that attackers chose to extract funds in smaller increments when they could have drained the whole amount in a single transaction. This is likely due to the attackers not crafting bridge messages from scratch, but instead replaying existing transactions with patched receiving addresses.

On-Chain Analysis

Over $186M in ERC-20 tokens were stolen from the Nomad Bridge between August 1, 2022 at 21:32 UTC and August 2, 2022 at 05:49 UTC. The highest volume in stolen tokens were primarily USDC, followed by WETH, WBTC, and CQT. Within the first hour of the exploit, only WBTC and WETH were stolen, then followed by several other ERC-20s.

Source: Dune Dashboard

In analyzing the blockchain data, we see that there were various addresses piggybacking off of the original exploiters and using almost identical input data with modified recipient addresses in order to siphon off the same token for the same amount. Once the WBTC contract was mostly drained, the attackers then went on to drain the WETH contract, and so on.

Further analyzing the first attackers in block 15259101, we find that the initial two attacker addresses leveraged a helper contract to obfuscate the exact exploit. Unfortunately, within that same block, several indexes down another exploiter address seem to have struggled interacting with the helper contract and decided to bypass it — and publicly expose the exploit input data in the process. Other addresses in the same and latter blocks then followed suit and used almost identical payloads to conduct the exploit.

Following the initial exploitation, and due to the ease of triggering the exploit, hundreds of copycats joined a massive exploitation of a single contract. While analyzing the payloads of various future attackers, we found that there was not only the reuse of the same tokens being bridged over and the same amounts, but also that funds were consistently being “bridged” from Moonbeam just like the original exploit.

The attack happened in three stages:the vulnerability testing a day prior to the attack, the initial exploit targeting WBTC stored on the bridge, and the copycat stage involving hundreds of unique addresses. Let’s dive into each of these including partial return of stolen assets.

Vulnerability Testing

Throughout July 31, 2022, bitliq[.]eth was found to trigger the vulnerability using small amounts of WBTC and other tokens. For example, on Jul-31–2022 11:19:39 AM +UTC he sent a transaction to the process() method on Ethereum blockchain with the following payload:

0x617661780000000000000000000000005e5ea959686c73ed32c1bc71892f7f317d13a267000000390065746800000000000000000000000088a69b4e698a4b090df6cf5bd7b2d47325ad30a36176617800000000000000000000000050b7545627a5162f82a992c33b87adc75187b21803000000000000000000000000a8c83b1b30291a3a1a118058b5445cc83041cd9d000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000f6088a36a47f8e81af64c44b079c42742190bbb402efb94e91c9515388af4c0669eb

The payload can be decoded as follows:

Originating chain: “avax” Destination chain: “eth” Recipient: a8c83b1b30291a3a1a118058b5445cc83041cd9d (bitliq[.]eth) Token Address: 0x50b7545627a5162F82A992c33b87aDc75187B218 (WBTC.e on Avalanche) Amount: 0.00062984 BTC

This corresponds to 0.00062984 BTC transaction sent to the bridge on the Avalanche chain.

The payload was sent using the process() method as opposed to the more common proveAndProcess() and was not present in the messages[] map prior to execution in block 15249928 :

$ cast call 0x5d94309e5a0090b165fa4181519701637b6daeba "messages(bytes32)" "bc0f99a3ac1593c73dbbfe9e8dd29c749d8e1791cbe7f3e13d9ffd3ddea57284" --rpc-url $MAINNET_RPC_URL --block 15249928 0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

The transaction succeeded even without providing necessary proof by triggering the vulnerability in the acceptableRoot() method by supplying it with a 0x0 root hash value as illustrated in the debugger below:

Source: Tenderly Debugger

Messages not present in the messages[] storage can be validated using the proveAndProcess() method; however, since the address called process() directly they have triggered the vulnerability.

Interestingly enough, it seems that bitliq[.]eth was also likely testing the ERC-20 bridge contract an hour prior to the exploit and bridged over 0.01 WBTC over to Moonbeam. [Tx]

Initial Exploitation

Active exploitation started on August 1, 2022 all within the same block 15259101 and resulted in combined theft of 400 BTC.

Transaction 1:

From: 0x56d…c4e3 Tx Hash: 0x6149…8f17 Stole 100 WBTC and exchanged them for WETH on Uniswap. Utilized helper contracts: 0xf57113d8f6ff35747737f026fe0b37d4d7f42777 Transaction was submitted privately using flashbots.

Transaction 2:

From: 0x847e…4148 Tx Hash: 0x4016…383a9 Stole 100 WBTC and exchanged them for WETH on Uniswap. Utilized helper contracts: 0x000000000000660def84e69995117c0176ba446e Transaction was submitted privately using flashbots.

Transaction 3:

From: 0xb5c5…590e Tx Hash: 0xb1fe…ae28 Stole 100 WBTC by directly calling the vulnerable contract. Transaction was submitted publicly to mempool.

Transaction 4:

From: bitliq[.]eth Tx Hash: 0xa5fe…5460 Stole 100 WBTC by directly calling the vulnerable contract. Transaction was submitted publicly to mempool.

All four transactions used identical exploit payloads with the exception of a recipient address as described in the Vulnerability section above:

0x6265616d000000000000000000000000d3dfd3ede74e0dcebc1aa685e151332857efce2d000013d60065746800000000000000000000000088a69b4e698a4b090df6cf5bd7b2d47325ad30a3006574680000000000000000000000002260fac5e5542a773aa44fbcfedf7c193bc2c59903000000000000000000000000f57113d8f6ff35747737f026fe0b37d4d7f4277700000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000002540be400e6e85ded018819209cfb948d074cb65de145734b5b0852e4a5db25cac2b8c39a

Some observations on the above:

The first three addresses were funded by Tornado Cash and have been actively transacting with each other which indicates a single actor group. Unlike the first two exploit transactions, 0xb5c5…590e and bitliq[.]eth sent the exploit payload directly to the contract and without the use of flashbots to hide it from public mempool. bitliq[.]eth replayed an earlier exploit transaction in the same block 15259101 as 0xb5c5…590e indicating either prior knowledge of the exploit or learning about 0xb1fe…ae28 from the mempool. All four transactions used identical payloads, each stealing 100 WBTC at a time. Copycats

In total, 88% of addresses conducting the exploits were identified as copycats and together they stole about $88M in tokens from the bridge.

The majority of copycats used a variation of the original exploit by simply modifying targeted tokens, amounts, and recipient addresses. We can classify unique payloads by grouping them based on contracts they call and unique method 4bytes invoked as illustrated below:

Based on our analysis, more than 88% of unique addresses called the vulnerable contract directly using the 928bc4b2 function identifier which corresponds to the process(bytes) method used in the original exploit. The remainder perform the same call using intermediary contracts such as 1cff79cd which is the execute(address,bytes) method, batching multiple process() transactions together, and other minor variations.

Following the initial compromise, the original exploiters had to compete against hundreds of copycats:

While the majority of valuable tokens were claimed by just two of the original exploiters’ addresses, hundreds of others were able to claim part of bridge’s holdings:

Below is a chart showing the tokens stolen over time in USD. It becomes apparent that the exploiters were going token by token as they were draining the bridge.

The Great Return

As of August 9, 17% stolen from the Nomad Bridge contract has been returned — including partial returns. The majority of the returns took place in the hours following Nomad Bridge’s request to send funds to the recovery address on August 3, 2022. [TweetTx]

Below is a breakdown of the funds returned, which includes ETH and various other tokens, some of which were never even on the bridge:

Funds continue to be sent back to the bridge’s recovery address, albeit more slowly in the recent days than when the address was initially posted:

As of August 9, The majority of returned funds appear to be in USDC, followed by USDT, WBTC, DAI, CQT, and WETH. This is notably different from the breakdown of the tokens exploited. The reason being that the initial original exploiters primarily drained the bridge of WBTC and WETH. Unlike later stage exploiters, these exploiters moved funds around with no intent to return them.

Interestingly, one of the original exploiters, bitliq[.]eth, has returned only 100 ETH to the bridge contract, but has begun cashing out the rest of their proceeds through renBTC and burning it in exchange for BTC.

Categorizing the “exploiters”

When assessing the Nomad Bridge exploiters, the attackers were categorized into the following buckets:

Black hats: Those that don’t return funds and continue moving them onwards. White hats: Those that fully send funds back to the recovery addresses Please note that while we are using the term white hat for explanatory purposes here, the initial taking of the funds was not authorized and is not an activity we would endorse. Grey hats: Those that partially send funds back to the recovery addresses. Unknown unknowns: Those that have yet to move funds.

Approximately 34% of funds continue to sit untouched. We suspect these are either attackers waiting out the heat or shrewd degens holding out for a better bounty from Nomad. However, the largest volume of funds has moved onwards. As of August 9, we estimate that ~49% has moved onwards.

To stay up to date with the latest in terms of the funds returned, check out this dashboard.

Delving Into the Blackhats

Of those funds that have moved onwards, we have identified several large rings of addresses that all commingle funds. In particular, one cluster of addresses seems to have amassed over $62M in volume. Interestingly, one address within this cluster was the first address to have conducted the exploit [tx hash].

To date, we primarily see these rings following one of the below patterns:

MEV bot activity Commingle and hold on to wait out the heat Swapping funds and eventually returning a partial amount of funds to the recovery address Swapping funds and investing DeFi projects or cashing out at various CEXs Moving funds through Tornado Cash

Below is an example of how some addresses have begun moving funds through Tornado Cash, which as of August 8, 2022, is a sanctioned entity.

Beware of Scams:

Several white hats have already returned over 10% of funds to the bridge contract. However, this wasn’t without hiccups.

Originally, the Nomad team posted on both Twitter and on the blockchain the Ethereum address to send any exploited funds to

However, scammers cleverly followed suit and set up various fraudulent ENS domains to pose as the Nomad team and requested they have funds sent to vanity addresses with the same initial characters as the legitimate recovery address.

For example, below is a message sent by one of the scammers. Note the fraudulent recovery address, ENS domain, and also the 10% bounty off. Nomad has since offered that white hats claim 10% of exploited proceeds. [Tx]

Protecting Yourself

While most contracts are audited extensively by various blockchain auditors, contracts may still contain yet to be discovered vulnerabilities. While you may want to provide liquidity to a particular protocol or bridge over funds, here are some tips to keep in mind:

When supplying liquidity, don’t keep all of your funds on one protocol or stored in the bridge. Make sure to regularly review and revoke any contract approvals you don’t actively need. Stay up to date with security intelligence feeds to track protocols you’ve invested in.

Coinbase is committed to improving our security and the wider industry’s security, as well as protecting our users. We believe that exploits like these can be mitigated and ultimately prevented. Besides making codebases open source for the public to review, we recommend frequent protocol audits, implement bug bounty programs, and actively work with security researchers. Although this exploit was a difficult learning experience, we believe that understanding how the exploit occurred can only help further mature our young industry.

References Exploit PoC by Peter Kacherginsky Dune Dashboard by Heidi Wilder. Initial Exploit Analysis by samczsun Indicators

Initial exploiters:

Ethereum: 0x56d8b635a7c88fd1104d23d632af40c1c3aac4e3
Ethereum: 0xf57113d8f6ff35747737f026fe0b37d4d7f42777
Ethereum: 0xb88189cd5168c4676bd93e9768497155956f8445
Ethereum: 0x847e74d8cd0d4bc2716a6382736ae2870db94148
Ethereum: 0x000000000000660def84e69995117c0176ba446e
Ethereum: 0xb5c55f76f90cc528b2609109ca14d8d84593590e
Ethereum: 0xa8c83b1b30291a3a1a118058b5445cc83041cd9d

See Dune Dashboard for a complete listing of exploiter addresses, transactions, and live status of stolen assets.

Nomad Bridge incident analysis was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Circle Blog

USDC and Ethereum’s Upcoming Merge

Since launching USD Coin (USDC) on Ethereum in September 2018, we have collaborated closely with the ecosystem and witnessed invaluable innovation. As Ethereum approaches “The Merge” event, we are excited about the future scaling opportunities it unlocks as well as the reduced energy consumption profile of the network. USDC is the largest dollar-backed stablecoin issued on Ethereum and,

Since launching USD Coin (USDC) on Ethereum in September 2018, we have collaborated closely with the ecosystem and witnessed invaluable innovation. As Ethereum approaches “The Merge” event, we are excited about the future scaling opportunities it unlocks as well as the reduced energy consumption profile of the network. USDC is the largest dollar-backed stablecoin issued on Ethereum and, as the issuer of USDC, Circle intends to fully and solely support the Ethereum proof-of-stake (PoS) chain post-merge.


Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

Why Developers Are Building So Many Side Projects

Over the last two years, I’ve built and launched eight tiny internet projects. From apps to websites, most of them have flopped — but together, my ragtag group of projects might be considered ramen profitable. My last project, Paper Website, lets you start a blog using pen and paper. It was a weird idea, but... Read More The post Why Developers Are Building So Many Side Projects appeared first o

Over the last two years, I’ve built and launched eight tiny internet projects. From apps to websites, most of them have flopped — but together, my ragtag group of projects might be considered ramen profitable. My last project, Paper Website, lets you start a blog using pen and paper. It was a weird idea, but... Read More

The post Why Developers Are Building So Many Side Projects appeared first on Future.


Circle Blog

Uncharted | The Responsibility of Trust

This is the eighth blog in an ongoing Circle Trust & Transparency series. 

This is the eighth blog in an ongoing Circle Trust & Transparency series. 


Greylock Partners

Building Blocks for Tokenized Media

The post Building Blocks for <span>Tokenized</span> Media appeared first on Greylock.

bankless

Cryptographer David Chaum | Layer Zero

David Chaum is a computer scientist and an OG member of the cryptography community. His innovation has driven much of the mathematical foundation of cryptocurrency, and he continues to work on projects like xx Network. In 1985, David issued this warning to the public: “Computerization is robbing individuals of the ability to monitor and control the ways information about them is used. Already,

David Chaum is a computer scientist and an OG member of the cryptography community. His innovation has driven much of the mathematical foundation of cryptocurrency, and he continues to work on projects like xx Network.

In 1985, David issued this warning to the public:

“Computerization is robbing individuals of the ability to monitor and control the ways information about them is used. Already, public and private sector organizations acquire extensive personal information and exchange it amongst themselves… The automation of payment and other consumer transactions is expanding these dangers to an unprecedented extent.”

In today’s surveillance capitalism, it’s clear that we need cryptography now more than ever.

------ 📣 Forta | Help Make Web3 a Safer Place https://bankless.cc/Forta 

------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER:          https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/    🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST:                 http://podcast.banklesshq.com/   

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 

🚀 ROCKET POOL | ETH STAKING https://bankless.cc/RocketPool 

⚖️ ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum 

❎ ACROSS | BRIDGE TO LAYER 2 https://bankless.cc/Across 

🦁 BRAVE | THE BROWSER NATIVE WALLET https://bankless.cc/Brave 

🌴 MAKER DAO | DECENTRALIZED LENDING https://bankless.cc/MakerDAO 

🔐 LEDGER | SECURE STAKING https://bankless.cc/Ledger  

------ Topics Covered:

0:00 Intro 6:00 David Chaum 11:30 60s Technology 20:00 60s Culture 23:55 A New Direction in Cryptography 33:30 The Fork in the Road 41:50 Minimum Disclosure 48:25 Traffic Analysis 56:05 Surveillance Capitalism 1:02:00 The State of Data Today 1:12:00 New Ideas and Society 1:15:40 Advice to Crypto

------ Resources:

David on Twitter: https://twitter.com/chaumdotcom?s=20&t=u3ULosGOPIOTPZobdnMKkw 

David’s Website: https://chaum.com/ 

----- Not financial or tax advice. This channel is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This video is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research. 

Monday, 08. August 2022

Circle Blog

Circle Submits Response to the California DFPI's Invitation for Comments on Crypto-Asset Related Financial Products & Services

On August 5, 2022, Circle submitted its response to the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation’s (DFPI) invitation for comments on crypto asset-related financial products and services as they relate to California’s consumer financial protection law. In its response, Circle encouraged the California DFPI to work in tandem with the U.S. federal government to protect

On August 5, 2022, Circle submitted its response to the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation’s (DFPI) invitation for comments on crypto asset-related financial products and services as they relate to California’s consumer financial protection law. In its response, Circle encouraged the California DFPI to work in tandem with the U.S. federal government to protect consumers by increasing transparency of digital asset companies and fighting against financial crime threats that exist in the digital asset economy. Circle underscored the need for California to continue its leadership as a hub for innovation within the U.S. and to promote competition between market participants. 


Zcash

US Treasury announcement: ECC’s engagement on policy for economic freedom

Today it was announced the United States Treasury imposed sanctions on virtual currency mixer Tornado Cash, adding it to the […] The post US Treasury announcement: ECC’s engagement on policy for economic freedom appeared first on Electric Coin Company.

Today it was announced the United States Treasury imposed sanctions on virtual currency mixer Tornado Cash, adding it to the OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) SDN list, the list of Specially Designated Nationals with whom Americans and American businesses are not allowed to transact.

We agree with our partners at Coin Center and Blockchain Association that there are concerns about how today’s announcement impacts the civil liberties of United States citizens. We are following developments closely and look forward to continuing our ongoing and productive conversations with regulators and policymakers on behalf of Zcash.

Our mission at Electric Coin Co. (ECC) is to empower economic freedom, and to that end, we contribute to and support a fair, open currency to protect the freedom, dignity, consent, and security of people all over the world.

Sensible policy guidance and education are at the core of our work with socio-political stakeholders, and ECC advocates that privacy is essential for personal, business, and national security. Our partner network in these endeavors includes think tanks, academic research centers, and nonprofits that provide thought leadership and advocacy for issues that affect Zcash users.

Zcash is compliant and fully compatible with global AML/CFT standards, including all final FATF recommendations, the European Union’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, and the United States’ Anti-Money Laundering regulations. It is approved by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), a key requirement for listing on major exchanges, like Gemini and Coinbase.

In 2020, ECC commissioned the RAND Corporation to conduct research into Zcash usage for illicit purposes. The research revealed no evidence of any substantive use of Zcash for money laundering, terrorism financing or trade in illicit goods and services. The report also found, “the governance of Zcash and its branding as compliant with the relevant AML/CFT regulations may make it less susceptible to exploitation for illicit or criminal purposes.”

The post US Treasury announcement: ECC’s engagement on policy for economic freedom appeared first on Electric Coin Company.


bankless

131 - Rise of the Network State | Balaji Srinivasan

✨ DEBRIEF ✨ | Ryan & David's Unfiltered Thoughts on the Episode: https://shows.banklesshq.com/p/debrief-rise-of-the-network-state  Balaji Srinivasan is an investor, founder, and Former CTO of Coinbase and GP at a16z and author of The Network State, which will be the main focus of the podcast today. The Network State explores ideas surrounding digital communities and the future of how

✨ DEBRIEF ✨ | Ryan & David's Unfiltered Thoughts on the Episode: https://shows.banklesshq.com/p/debrief-rise-of-the-network-state 

Balaji Srinivasan is an investor, founder, and Former CTO of Coinbase and GP at a16z and author of The Network State, which will be the main focus of the podcast today.

The Network State explores ideas surrounding digital communities and the future of how we coordinate as a species. A startup society fosters the emergence of network unions, which evolve into a network archipelago—eventually calcifying into the network state.

As we muse about the fate of human systems, we explore mental models for understanding the digital revolution and how we can allow coordination to thrive.

------ 📣 Forta | Help Make Web3 a Safer Place https://bankless.cc/Forta

------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER: https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/  🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST: http://podcast.banklesshq.com/ 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🚀 ROCKET POOL | ETH STAKING https://bankless.cc/RocketPool 

⚖️ ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum 

❎ ACROSS | BRIDGE TO LAYER 2 https://bankless.cc/Across 

🦁 BRAVE | THE BROWSER NATIVE WALLET https://bankless.cc/Brave 

🌴 MAKER DAO | DECENTRALIZED LENDING https://bankless.cc/MakerDAO 

🔐 LEDGER | SECURE STAKING https://bankless.cc/Ledger 

------ Topics Covered:

0:00 Intro 6:19 Common Denominators 8:50 Micro vs. Macro History 15:15 The Network State 19:05 Online Communities 23:50 Nation vs. The State 36:20 Why A Nation State 40:18 The One Commandment 1:02:44 Being Inside the Network State 1:08:00 Bankess x the Network State 1:13:38 What’s the Incentive? 1:19:30 Violence’s Role 1:33:48 Non-Wealthy Critique 1:38:53 Everyone Joins the Network State 1:44:20 Network State Action Items 1:48:46 Closing & Disclaimers

------ Resources:

Balaji https://twitter.com/balajis 

The Network State https://thenetworkstate.com/ 

Dashboard https://thenetworkstate.com/dashboard 

Vitalik’s Review https://vitalik.ca/general/2022/07/13/networkstates.html#what-is-a-network-state 

One Commandment https://thenetworkstate.com/the-one-commandment 

FDIC Insured Bank Charts & Fintech Tweets https://twitter.com/balajis/status/1351068210930601984 

----- Not financial or tax advice. This channel is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This video is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research. 

Friday, 05. August 2022

ConsenSys Blog

Hyperledger Besu Execution Client Setup Guide Ahead of the Merge

With the Merge on the horizon, here is the latest release of Hyperledger Besu guide to run your execution client software. The post Hyperledger Besu Execution Client Setup Guide Ahead of the Merge appeared first on ConsenSys.

With the Merge on the horizon, here is the latest release of Hyperledger Besu guide to run your execution client software.

The post Hyperledger Besu Execution Client Setup Guide Ahead of the Merge appeared first on ConsenSys.


Findora

Findora’s Five Takeaways from EthCC5

Major trends among communities and some lessons on how to build during a bear market. If you weren’t able to make it to #EthCC5, we’ve got you covered. The following were some of Findora’s biggest takeaways: new trends, buzzwords, and lessons for how to grow during a bear market. No one likes a downturn — but the attendees of EthCC didn’t let it get in the way of a good time. Bear mark
Major trends among communities and some lessons on how to build during a bear market.

If you weren’t able to make it to #EthCC5, we’ve got you covered. The following were some of Findora’s biggest takeaways: new trends, buzzwords, and lessons for how to grow during a bear market.

No one likes a downturn — but the attendees of EthCC didn’t let it get in the way of a good time. Bear markets are the best time for projects to prove themselves, and Findora isn’t letting this opportunity slip away.

Even though EthCC is a community conference, they held a hackathon and had several solid entries. The ZK-Moles Scavenger hunt was a fun idea that led to some key collaboration and insights discussed below. Findora managed to connect with several future partners, including Ledger, and FRA has enjoyed a surge in price since the convention.

This is great progress, especially during a bear market. It shows you don’t need to just button down the hatches if the market tanks, you can still grow and build, if you know how and have true value to offer. People, and investors, are taking notice of projects that are pushing through the adverse market conditions.

It’s the kind of attention any project would want when liquidity starts to evaporate. Though Findora won’t speculate on future market trends, we do think understanding the present is key to success. So, here are some big takeaways Findora community members got from EthCC5 that we think will benefit any project that is building through a bear market.

Build Communities through Fun, not Profit

There’s an inverse relationship in Web3 between how fun a project is and how much profit it makes.

The Fun-Money Matrix

It’s just a general trend: during DeFi summer, people worked hard to maximize their yields. Yes, it was a lot of stress, but it was profitable until the winter came.

In a bear market, when you can’t chase yields, the better investment comes from chasing fun instead of only-up numbers.

Take this example from Aleo. They had a great presentation at EthCC where they used Zk technology and true randomness to create a roulette game demonstrating how the technology can be applied. Online games can use ZK to keep people from feeling that the house will always win — it lets games be won by rational actors.

Will Aleo make money off of this? No, but they’ll build a community because it was a fun idea and they made the code open-source.

Similarly, Findora’s scavenger hunt during EthCC got a small but dedicated following. We had someone who lived in Paris who couldn’t believe we had hidden NFTs in a place he couldn’t find. This game attracted other communities who thought of new spin-offs.

For instance, Findora community members brainstorming with Witty Creatures holders, came up with the idea of combing social NFTs with ZK-geocaching. We could create Ethereum maps that lead to Zk-treasure that people have to hunt. Players could wear physical social NFTs so that as they gathered around the same spot, they can strike up a connection and meet new people.

There are plenty of games with great game mechanics that don’t take much in the way of developer resources to make. True GameFi is probably years away since that’s how long it takes to develop a big, billion-dollar game. But by creating simple but fun games that rely on solid game-mechanics not graphics, it’s possible to jump-start the push toward GameFi, demonstrate your project’s concept, and build community.

Privacy and ZK Were Major Themes

Since Consensus 2022, there seems to be more and more focus on zero-knowledge projects.

For instance, the Merge isn’t the only scaling solution Ethereum may have. Both Matter Labs and Polygon announced the release of ZK-Rollups. And there was a lot of excitement surrounding the Starknet hackathon from day 1 of the convention. Findora was able to meet and network with several developers as a result.

Some Yellow Submarine community members, a cross-chain ZK project built on Findora, received very positive feedback when they pitched to Ethereum developers. They understood how important it could be for EVM chains to have private crosschain transfer built into existing tokens.

The ZK niche continues to carve out a bigger space at each crypto convention.

Give More than MOUs

MOUs are out — and Web3 projects need more before they will devote resources to exploring a partnership.

The loss of liquidity is making projects more choosy about who they work with. It isn’t enough anymore to pledge you’ll work together — people want to know upfront what you can cant can’t do. Having this readily available will be important as projects search for partners and compete for what funding is left.

The Merge is coming

Being and Ethereum conference, there was a lot of talk about the Merge. Many projects and talks were about that and the effect it might have on the network.

Ethereum developers recently shipped the Merge on the Sepolia testnet, and it was recently announced that it would be deployed on the Goerli testnet next, starting between August 6th-12th. It looks like after many years and multiple rebrands, Ethereum’s move to proof of stake is finally upon us.

The Latest Buzzword is Here

The new buzzword in crypto, which was thrown around a lot at EthCC, is the “public good.”

The idea of a public good is something like a highway or trans-ocean internet fibers or other infrastructure. Everyone benefits equally from its creation, but there isn’t enough profit incentive to create it, so a group, like a government, sets it up instead.

The new idea is to sponsor public good projects through DAOs.

The idea is certainly high-minded but also feels to some like another glittery marketing mantra. The skeptics would argue that all things, in crypto or not, are done for profit. Projects like Bitcoin or Ethereum that are meant to be equally beneficial have clear winners and losers. Whether using PoW or PoS, some will have more rewards than others, centralization is always a possibility, and all endeavors must make a return to be worth it.

The “Public Good” is another high-minded principle, but how well can people really live up to it? That remains to be seen. Perhaps principles are supposed to be out of reach to keep us growing. Whatever one’s opinion of the legitimacy of such a concept, it’s clear the newest buzzword to make crypto broadly appealing is the “public good.”

Saying Au Revoir to EthCC

Findora made many great connections and added some amazing new validators to the network.

It became clear to many that Findora is in this for the long haul and has a strong network that is getting stronger. This is partly why the price of FRA has more than tripled in the weeks following the conference and how we can attract new partners.

Maybe that’s another great takeaway from EthCC and bear markets: when the markets get tough, the tough get building. And if you can show others you have true value to offer, that you are here for the long haul, and you aren’t flummoxed by price fluctuations — they’ll be excited to build with you too.

EthCC was a great conference, and we’re looking forward to the progress everyone will make by the time we all meet again next year.

Findora’s Five Takeaways from EthCC5 was originally published in Findora Foundation on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


ConsenSys Blog

DeFi Protocol Governance Report | August 2022 | Week 1

This week we cover parameter changes for Maker and Aave, the next steps for Uniswap's fee switch, and outcomes of previous governance coverage. The post DeFi Protocol Governance Report | August 2022 | Week 1 appeared first on ConsenSys.

This week we cover parameter changes for Maker and Aave, the next steps for Uniswap's fee switch, and outcomes of previous governance coverage.

The post DeFi Protocol Governance Report | August 2022 | Week 1 appeared first on ConsenSys.


DeFi Market Commentary | July 2022

An analysis of the decentralized finance market in July 2022 The post DeFi Market Commentary | July 2022 appeared first on ConsenSys.

An analysis of the decentralized finance market in July 2022

The post DeFi Market Commentary | July 2022 appeared first on ConsenSys.


Findora

ZPrize Launches Competition to Advance Zero-Knowledge Research with Findora

Editor’s note: this article was originally published on cryptomode.com and is reposted here with the author’s permission. Just in case you missed it, ZPrize is a recent initiative that offers rewards for solving ZK issues and advancing ZK research, partnering with privacy projects like Findora to promote adoption in Web3. Nearly six years ago, Zcash started building the first private money
Editor’s note: this article was originally published on cryptomode.com and is reposted here with the author’s permission.

Just in case you missed it, ZPrize is a recent initiative that offers rewards for solving ZK issues and advancing ZK research, partnering with privacy projects like Findora to promote adoption in Web3.

Nearly six years ago, Zcash started building the first private money system. At the time, it took nearly 60 seconds just to generate a single proof. Zero-knowledge technology has advanced private money a long way since then, and ZPrize is here to ensure it continues its progress.

ZPrize offers prizes to individuals or teams who can submit an advancement in zero knowledge research or solve specific issues. Thanks to sponsors like Findora, they now have a $7 million reward pool through ZPrize.

Findora researchers can proudly point to their own contributions in speeding up these proofs. What started as a ZK cryptography research project at Stanford University, Findora has evolved to implement Bulletproofs and TurboPlonk, with improvements in efficiency. Findora researchers have continued working hard to push the limits of ZK technology and in turn, have made it a more practical tool for privacy.

Now Findora is partnering with ZPrize to continue the work of expanding ZK research and development.

What is ZPrize?

ZPrize is a contest platform dedicated to “accelerating the future of zero-knowledge cryptography.” Styled after XPRIZE, it features a prize program where teams compete to solve problems and win rewards. For example, there is currently a $750,000 prize for WASM prover optimization that anyone can apply to solve. All winning entries will be put into an open-source library so that everyone can benefit from the work.

ZPrize is supported by industry leaders like the Ethereum Foundation, Aleo, Polygon, Mina, and Findora. Through its sponsors, ZPrize has amassed a prize pool of $7 million to be distributed over dozens of prizes to teams that add the next piece to the ZK puzzle.

Findora and ZPrize in The Story of Zero-Knowledge Technology

It is likely that Satoshi wanted Bitcoin to be private but knew that the technology needed to make it private was not yet ready. Zero-knowledge cryptography finally gives us the ability to bring more privacy to public blockchains.

Findora believes that many Web3 applications will eventually be powered by zero-knowledge proofs. Part of what makes ZPrize so special is that it brings together otherwise competitive ZK projects and gives them a surface to work together to advance the state-of-the-art in ZK.

Findora shares ZPrize’s belief that in order to go far, it’s best to work together. This is part of why Findora has made its Zei Library, an extensive collection of arguably the most advanced ZK cryptography, open source, and available to ZPrize contestants. To that extent, Findora is part of an alliance of projects sharing their research and breakthroughs to achieve the next generation of ZK solutions.

Through ZPrize, the vision for crypto and web3 can be fully realized with ZK, which will allow for the creation of systems that protect decentralized self-sovereignty, restore privacy, and return to users control of their own data.

About Findora

Findora scales Ethereum privacy with next-generation zero-knowledge proof technology. It is a leading privacy-preserving smart contract platform for Web3, giving developers the tools they need to build a new financial internet. Founded in 2017 and born out of next-generation cryptography research, Findora finally launched publicly in 2021 and is poised to use privacy to make DeFi a safe place for individuals and financial institutions.

About ZPrize

ZPrize hosts competitions that will accelerate zero-knowledge cryptography. It is a collaborative effort that includes over 32 partners and sponsors, including Aleo, Jump Crypto, Polygon, Polkadot, Manta Network, and Findora. Learn more about ZPrize at www.zprize.io/faq.

ZPrize Launches Competition to Advance Zero-Knowledge Research with Findora was originally published in Findora Foundation on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


The Findora Medium Content Guide

Findora is an open-source, permissionless, decentralized public blockchain. In that spirit, we have extensively shared with the community our product milestones, partnership announcements, research papers, community campaigns, event planning, etc. . We know it’s a lot to sort through, so here’s a quick primer to quickly grasp the basics and read our most important articles. We categorize the
Findora is an open-source, permissionless, decentralized public blockchain. In that spirit, we have extensively shared with the community our product milestones, partnership announcements, research papers, community campaigns, event planning, etc. . We know it’s a lot to sort through, so here’s a quick primer to quickly grasp the basics and read our most important articles.

We categorize the articles into the following five topics:

Technology Milestones Community & User Guides Staking and Validators Ecosystem Progress Thought leadership

This primer will be continually updated to reflect the most recent developments. We hope this makes it a little easier to navigate all the content about Findora!

Technology Milestones

Findora scales Ethereum privacy. But how does it do that?

Findora leverages revolutionary blockchain architecture with advanced cryptographic technology. Using both a UTXO ledger and an EVM ledger bridged through atomic transfer (Prism Transfer), Findora is a layer one blockchain optimized for zero-knowledge compatibility and programmability and is one of the most production-ready zk projects in web3. It acts as a privacy oracle for any EVM-compatible chain rather than just an L2 scaling solution — even though Findora can fill that need too in terms of scalability.

Great places to start: wiki , linktree, developer portal, Media Factsheet & brand assets. Intro to Findora’s Multi-chain Structure; UTXO vs Account Model for Blockchains; Findora Smart Chain overview. Intro to Findora’s Prism Transfer; The Prism Transfer Workshop; A Deep-Dive into how Prism works and the token standards used. Intro to Rialto Bridge; Rialto Bridge Workshop; Bridge Architecture Deepdive; Bridge Tutorial. Technology milestones: adding Ethereum compatibility; Optimizing Findora’s TPS on Its EVM Layer; Triple Masking Launch: coming soon!

You can go in-depth on Findora’s technology by checking out the Findora Academy section of our publication or our workshops. Workshops are geared toward developers so they can get their bearings and figure out how to start building on Findora.

User Guides

Learn some of the basics of how to use and contribute to Findora:

💟 Findora Ambassador Program is here! How to Get FRA from Kucoin How to use the Rialto Bridge How to use Ledger with Findora Using Metamask with Findora Downloading the Findora Wallet How to Transfer FRA from exchanges to your Findora wallet and earn staking rewards Staking and Validators Findora Tokenomics How to run a validator node on Findora How to Stake FRA on Findora Staking FAQ How to set up a professional node Staking Live on Findora Mainnet Beta Staking is Live on Findora Anvil Testnet (validator campaign) Validator spotlight campaign: Tr4ck3rBitcatInfStonesWetezTerminetDELIGHTRockX. Ecosystem Growth

The Findora Foundation is issuing grants from its $100 Million Ecosystem Fund to sponsor privacy projects that build with Findora.

Read about the $100M Findora Ecosystem Fund that is now accepting Grant Applications (Grants Process Details) Bridging to Findora: The Rialto Bridge How to use the Rialto Bridge Rialto Bridge architecture Findora is sponsoring ZPrize Findora partnering with OmniX to make private and interoperable NFT network Findora Gitcoin Hackathon (Hackathon Newsletter) ZK Circuit Findora Ethcc Hackathon Meet the team! Warren CEO, Weikeng Chief Scientist, Peter Abilla Chief Business Officer, Daniel Pagan Head of Community & Comms.

We expect several new projects to launch on and with Findora soon!

Thought Leadership Warren & Whit: Privacy Abstraction BSN Integration (BSN and Findora AMA — with Henry Ma and Paul Sherer) A look back at Consensus 2022 Reflecting on NFTNYC Discreet Labs’ CEO Warren on Crypto Bahamas Reflections on EthAmsterdam 2022 Hack Your Way Through Paris — Findora’s Unique Approach at EthCC Hackathon Twitter Findora’s Five Takeaways from EthCC5

Keep up with Findora’s progress by subscribing to our newsletters. This content guide is collectively contributed by the Findora community - to contribute to content generation please reach out to us on discord.

The Findora Medium Content Guide was originally published in Findora Foundation on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


bankless

ROLLUP: Solana Wallet Hack | Nomad Bridge Hack | Ethereum PoW Chain | DeFi Tokens | Coinbase ETH Staking

First Friday of August, 2022 ------ 📣 Forta | Help Make Web3 a Safer Place https://bankless.cc/Forta ------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER:          https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/   🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST:                 http://podcast.banklesshq.com/   ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:  🚀 ROCKET POOL | ETH

First Friday of August, 2022

------ 📣 Forta | Help Make Web3 a Safer Place https://bankless.cc/Forta

------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER:          https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/   🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST:                 http://podcast.banklesshq.com/  

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 

🚀 ROCKET POOL | ETH STAKING https://bankless.cc/RocketPool

⚖️ ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum

❎ ACROSS | BRIDGE TO LAYER 2 https://bankless.cc/Across

🦁 BRAVE | THE BROWSER NATIVE WALLET https://bankless.cc/Brave

🌴 MAKER DAO | DECENTRALIZED LENDING https://bankless.cc/MakerDAO

🔐 LEDGER | SECURE STAKING https://bankless.cc/Ledger 

------ Topics Covered:

0:00 Intro

5:00 MARKETS 7:23 All Time High https://messari.io/screener/bear-market-vibes-C66F0A22 9:30 Mainstream ETH https://twitter.com/TheStalwart/status/1554061312443006976 11:15 Bullish on the Merge https://twitter.com/data_always/status/1554521769591144448 15:20 Ethereum ESG https://twitter.com/Data_Always/thread/1554560847585886210 17:02 ENS Boom https://twitter.com/ensdomains/status/1554099225352290304 20:20 Opensea.eth https://twitter.com/degentraland/status/1554592812674449410

22:00 NEWS 24:00 $200m Nomad Bridge Hack https://www.coindesk.com/tech/2022/08/02/nomad-bridge-drained-of-nearly-200-million-in-exploit/ 31:55 Returning Funds https://www.theblock.co/post/161175/nomad-hack-ethical-hackers-return-9-million-to-exploited-crypto-bridge-platform 33:45 Are All Bridges Vulnerable? https://twitter.com/bkiepuszewski/thread/1554375783577276416 38:45 Bridge Security https://twitter.com/RyanSAdams/status/1483803596055621632

48:35 Solana Wallet Hack https://thedefiant.io/solana-wallet-breach/ 49:30 Explaining the Hack https://twitter.com/milesdeutscher/thread/1554853898497576960 52:20 Plaintext 54:00 David’s Wallet Advice https://twitter.com/trustlessstate/status/1554628479848685572

59:05 Ethereum Proof of Work Chain https://twitter.com/ceterispar1bus/status/1553113853361258505

1:06:00 Other News 1:08:00 Aave Multichain Strategy https://cointelegraph.com/news/aave-devs-propose-freezing-fantom-integration-citing-lack-of-traction-and-potential-vulnerability 1:10:10 SushiSwap Chef Compensation https://thedefiant.io/sushiswap-head-chef-may-pocket-a-third-of-all-tokens-paid-to-staff/ 1:10:40 Optimism Bedrock https://twitter.com/optimismFND/thread/1554528451767451650 1:13:15 Happy Birthday Ethereum! https://twitter.com/BlockGeekDima/status/1553331229285548044 1:13:35 Michael Saylor Steps Down https://twitter.com/tier10k/status/1554558287940669440

1:15:30 NFT News Tiffany CryptoPunks https://twitter.com/tiffanyandco/status/1553742328652877827 Magic Eden Supporting ETH https://twitter.com/MagicEden/status/1554497669032206336 Rainbow Wallet https://twitter.com/rainbowdotme/status/1551978336359890944 StarkNet https://twitter.com/aspectdotco/status/1554119172262490112

1:19:00 Robinhood Fined $30M https://twitter.com/alyssachoo_/thread/1554493577249669123 1:20:08 Commodity Senate Bill https://www.reuters.com/markets/us/senate-bill-would-hand-bitcoin-ether-oversight-commodities-regulator-2022-08-03/ 1:21:00 SEC Charges Forsage https://www.theblock.co/post/160624/sec-charges-forsage-founders-promoters-in-300-million-crypto-ponzi-scheme-lawsuit

1:21:50 Quick News Hits Celsius Leak https://blockworks.co/celsius-admits-customer-emails-leaked-in-third-party-data-breach/ Babel Finance https://www.theblock.co/post/160230/babel-finance-crypto-lost-280-million-proprietary-trading-restructuring Coinbase ETH Staking https://twitter.com/CoinbaseInsto/status/1554186523800526848 Swell Network https://twitter.com/swellnetworkio/status/1552891765237026816 Immutable X Gamestop https://twitter.com/Immutable/status/1552821358773448705

1:23:36 Raises Variant Fund III https://variant.fund/articles/introducing-variant-fund-iii/ Vee Friends a16z https://blog.veefriends.com/veefriends-closes-seed-round-from-a16z-crypto-afa151561051

1:24:15 Jobs https://pallet.xyz/list/bankless/jobs

1:26:00 Questions from the Nation 1:27:30 DCA into a Token https://twitter.com/Madge_80/status/1554862719223963652 1:31:00 Getting a Job in Crypto https://twitter.com/patduds/status/1554876401928454144

1:33:00 TAKES 1:33:30 Authoritarian vs Libertarian https://twitter.com/balajis/status/1552776283968323585 1:35:30 Goalposts Moving https://twitter.com/sassal0x/status/1553750144515842049 1:36:30 Call Out Scammers https://twitter.com/VitalikButerin/status/1554258761727938561 1:39:55 Caring About Decentralization https://twitter.com/RyanSAdams/status/1553488247564767234 1:41:00 Fees-Driven Bulls Market https://twitter.com/TrustlessState/status/1553477269544484864

1:42:12 What David’s Bullish On 1:43:25 What Ryan’s Bullish On

1:46:20 Meme of the Week https://twitter.com/memejority/status/1554493706945720321?s=21&t=tu1DynjBZTppSHroSEfswg

----- Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/p/bankless-disclosures


Findora

Findora Validator Spotlight: Tr4ck3r

Validator Spotlights showcase the great teams working to guarantee the security and decentralization of the Findora blockchain. Here are Tr4ck3r’s responses to some questions from the Findora community: 1) Tell Us About Yourself I’m a mathematician and software developer. I’m really into science and technology in general, and I like being part of a community and helping people as much as I&
Validator Spotlights showcase the great teams working to guarantee the security and decentralization of the Findora blockchain. Here are Tr4ck3r’s responses to some questions from the Findora community:

1) Tell Us About Yourself

I’m a mathematician and software developer. I’m really into science and technology in general, and I like being part of a community and helping people as much as I can.

I’ve progressively acquired software development knowledge in different positions involving math and IT knowledge. Autonomous as a worker, I’m a quick self-learner, but also a team player and comfortable in multi-disciplinary teams.

2) What is Your experience in Validating or Web3 in General?

My team is running a validator on Harmony and Findora, which shows good results with 100% signed blocks. We have synced servers for high availability, and we intend to set up validators on testnet to help the dev community.

I’m also a Solidity developer and have been deploying smart contracts for NFTs and tokens on Harmony and Polygon.

I was governor for French and Portuguese regional DAOs with Harmony.

3) What makes Tr4ck3r unique?

I’m here for the long term, and I will build a community around our node on Findora. I’m investing in the best hardware to keep up with the blockchain and deliver the best possible rewards.

I’m working with a diversified and multilingual team, and we’re able to provide support in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. Transparency is very important for us and we regularly post information about our validator, good news but also occasional issues we encounter.

The team is very reactive, and we can provide support quickly.

The commission stays at 0% for the first weeks, then will stay reasonable just to cover server costs, and we don’t want it to be higher than 5%.

4) Why do you want to validate with Findora?

Findora is a Blockchain focusing on Privacy which is a key concept for decentralization. I believe in this.

I’m not a financial advisor, but my personal opinion is that FRA has reached a price that can only go higher, which makes it a good potential for long-term investors. Validating seemed to be a good and feasible project right now.

5) Where can our community go to learn more about Tr4ck3r?

My validator address is: F4986612979B95716AA8ABADA15E9A9DB725D691

Information and statistics can be found here, on Findora scan:
https://findorascan.io/node?node=F4986612979B95716AA8ABADA15E9A9DB725D691

And also on smartstake: https://findora.smartstake.io/val/F4986612979B95716AA8ABADA15E9A9DB725D691

I’m mainly active on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tr4ck3r1_ and telegram: https://t.me/tr4ck3r1

We also have a Twitter account 100% in Portuguese: https://twitter.com/Tr4ck3r_PT

💡Findora Validator Spotlight💡: Tr4ck3r was originally published in Findora Foundation on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Panther Protocol

Privacy crypto projects: Bitcoin competitors or not?

Many consider privacy coins to be direct Bitcoin competitors. Is there truth to this statement, or does it miss the point?

There are no clear Bitcoin competitors when it comes to value-oriented blockchains.

Bitcoin has over 180 million users, and the network averages hundreds of thousands of daily transactions, facilitating cross-border payments. However, as more people regard Bitcoin as a full-fledged digital asset akin to gold or real estate, the question of who can compete with the orange giant on other terms comes to mind.

One particular reason behind Bitcoin's global adoption is the pseudonymity that its users enjoy. Beyond being a value store and viewed as a viable long-term investment, Bitcoin allowed people to move money without needing banks and traditional financial infrastructure. Although people could transact under pseudonymous identities—the creator(s) of Bitcoin went by the alias Satoshi Nakamoto—this increasingly represents a challenge.
In this write-up, we will explore the concepts of transparency furthered by Bitcoin and most blockchains, and their numerous drawbacks. Additionally, we will analyze the nature of privacy-centric blockchain solutions, whether they’re truly Bitcoin competitors, their potential users, and (briefly) how Panther Protocol plays a part in this discussion.

Why is Bitcoin transparent?

Bitcoin aimed to achieve a complete decentralized financial system, one without a centralized body of trust in the middle. Without go-betweens like banks that hold control over users' funds, Bitcoin proposed a replacing system that could drive trust on the network, making every single payment network in the world a Bitcoin competitor.

To do this, Bitcoin puts an emphasis on full transparency and verifiability. Satoshi Nakamoto, shared his vision of the project on October 31, 2008, releasing the Bitcoin whitepaper. This whitepaper outlined a peer-to-peer electronic cash system.

Bitcoin is an open and permissionless blockchain, which makes all the information on the blockchain accessible to anyone. With complete transparency, Bitcoin ensured that network participants (miners, nodes, users) couldn’t collude to manipulate the state of the network. This total transparency also meant that anyone could verify the holdings of each address and the size of all transactions at any given time.

What are the benefits of transparency in blockchain?

Although the network supports pseudonymity, Bitcoin's transparency has arguably bolstered trust in decentralized blockchain networks, leading to the massive adoption of cryptocurrencies globally. A financial system where anyone can access every record stored on the blockchain is attractive to the everyday person, especially as trust in traditional finance models continues to erode.

The transparency of the Bitcoin network has also helped discourage certain criminal elements from using the blockchain. While regulators were slow to get the cryptocurrency drift, they eventually caught up and have begun to enforce regulations guiding cryptocurrency trading. Due to public blockchains’ transparency, it is easy for law enforcement agencies to track movements of illicit money and maybe tie the wallet addresses to identities.

Transparency, along with permissionlessness has created many blockchain enthusiasts across several sectors. Many have advocated blockchain use in online voting, an exercise that demands utmost transparency. Supply chain operations have also adopted blockchain technology to achieve transparent farm-to-shelf or manufacturing-to-consumer product lifecycle tracking. Digital ownership, decentralized identity, file storage, and other concepts have since adopted the blockchain due to its transparency.

The emergence of privacy-centric “Bitcoin competitors”

Although Bitcoin's transparency can be considered a strength, concerns over user privacy have led to the creation of several privacy-conserving solutions that aim to provide total anonymity to their users. Coin tumblers or mixers were the earliest of these methods but, as adoption grew, network congestion led to higher transaction fees, which made them too expensive to manage.

Privacy blockchains compared with public blockchains (Source)

Then came privacy coins. These private cryptocurrencies used different cryptographic tools to shield transaction information and user identity. A famous example and one of the most successful private coins is Monero ($XMR). Monero adopted ring signatures, stealth addresses, and ring confidential transactions (RingCT) to provide complete anonymity to its users. Monero's success is well-known and has given rise to a bounty by the United States government to anyone who can crack the network’s cryptography.

Zcash came into the fray almost simultaneously, using zero-knowledge proofs and shielded transactions to provide anonymity. Zero Knowledge Succinct Non-interactive Arguments of Knowledge (zk-SNARKs) allowed users to present transaction receipts without revealing any information about the nature of the transaction and its participants. However, Zcash was not private by default like Monero, allowing users to transact without privacy at their behest.

Other privacy coins like Grin, Horizen, ARRR (Pirate Chain), and Verge have also successfully maintained blockchain privacy. However, regulators continue to subject them to scrutiny. Notably, projects like Monero and Pirate chain act in an open-source fashion with pseudonymous teams.

What are the downsides of transparency in blockchains?

As explained earlier, users have continued to raise concerns about Bitcoin's radical transparency. The primary grouse is the lack of user privacy which, albeit is already a problem for the network, can continue to increase exponentially as the network grows.

The threat of hackers

One primary problem of the lack of privacy is the exposure of individuals' financial information to bad actors. Hackers and fraudsters can easily monitor their targets' on-chain transactions and construct fraudulent schemes around the available information.

A criminal can easily access thousands of public addresses, which they can screen for potential victims. While you can view transaction records on a private blockchain solution, you cannot find any additional information on any transaction or the amounts and addresses involved. Some privacy coins like Monero do not disclose wallet balances through public addresses.

Government suppression

Another challenge that blockchain transparency has led to is the common habit of government suppression through tracking and freezing crypto assets. For example, in February 2022, Canadian truckers began to protest the government's decision to make COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory for them. They even started a fundraiser towards pursuing legal action. After unsuccessful attempts to quash their peaceful protests and intentions to challenge the decision in court, the Canadian government began a crackdown on the fundraising efforts and all that contributed to it.

Many consider this speech by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland on the Canadian truckers issue a demonstration of why financial privacy and autonomy are highly necessary. (Source).

In this case, not only did the government freeze regular bank accounts, but they also went after centralized cryptocurrency exchanges like Kraken, forcing them to comply with the directives to freeze crypto assets. Privacy, of course, is impossible on centralized exchanges, as they must comply with strict KYC/AML regulations.

The government also extended a similar request to Nunchuk's self-custodial wallet provider. However, their attempt was unsuccessful as self-custodial wallets encourage privacy and do not store information on users' assets or identities.

Governments tracking the finances of their citizens or political enemies is not unheard of, and cryptocurrency transparency only makes this more accessible. When a public address is linked to your identity, the government can easily find out whatever they need to know about your financial dealings whenever they want.

Your privacy is important

Apart from the threat of hackers and government suppression, keeping your finances private is an individual right and just makes sense to most users. After all, it’s fairly rare for people to openly discuss their financial detail, let alone with strangers.

Sadly, blockchain transparency, while it serves to drive trust and accountability on the network, also exposes everything about a user's holdings, the value of their assets, and all deposits and withdrawals. Traditional bank accounts are, in fact, more private than public blockchains, as they are only privy to their owners and law enforcement agencies (on special occasions), giving the account owner some measure of privacy.

A major downside regarding privacy is the possibility of users’ identities being tied to their wallets. Once a user’s identity is tied to their wallet, it’s possible for them to be exposed to consequences (even life-threatening ones) since the value of the assets is open for anyone to see.

While individuals should prioritize their privacy, financial institutions dealing in crypto can hardly stay ahead of the competition if all the details of their trades or deals are out in the open. Transparency in blockchain robs them of any competitive advantage they may have.

Therefore, the quest for "bitcoin competitors" starts when people are yearning for privacy and freedom.

Who should consider privacy-maintaining blockchains

Private cryptocurrency solutions are becoming increasingly popular, and different categories of individuals have embraced them recently. Privacy and data security activists are one group that readily embraces the use of private cryptocurrencies. This is also helpful as it drives across a statement supporting private blockchain solutions focused on restoring users' control over their digital information.

Whistleblowers and political activists should also adopt privacy blockchain solutions, seeing that governments will never cease to scrutinize their affairs. Political activism, after all, requires financial support, especially under oppressive governments. Privacy blockchain solutions provide a clear path for ordinary people to support political activists without endangering their finances.

The case of the Canadian truckers taught a bitter lesson to communities and associations that are politically suppressed. Traditional finance, and even Bitcoin, are too open and can be turned into weapons. While Bitcoin encourages pseudonymity, most points in which it can be exchanged for official currencies require users to provide verifiable identity documents to use their services.

So-called fiat on-ramps need to comply with existing regulations such as KYC/AML that force them to freeze assets belonging to offenders. Privacy solutions, on the other hand, can help politically oppressed communities raise funds and escape any form of financial backlash due to the anonymity these protocols provide.

Financial institutions in Web3 can also retain their competitive advantage and transact without being subject to scrutiny from competitors and regular individuals using privacy solutions.

Luckily for all the above, there are several different ways to achieve privacy and still benefit from the permissionlessness of blockchain technology.

Bitcoin Competitors: Methods to achieve on-chain privacy

Since we established the downsides of blockchain transparency and the need for privacy, let’s have a look at Bitcoin competitors that don’t compromise user privacy.

There are majorly four different mechanisms that achieve on-chain privacy. However, it’s worth noting here that although these mechanisms offer on-chain privacy that Bitcoin lacks, they come with their own set of limitations.

For example, privacy coins often have trouble with on-off ramps, miss out on some centralized exchange listings, access to the DeFi ecosystem, and so on. Similarly, other bitcoin competitors like coin mixers support only one asset type at a time and only in a determinate amount (e.g. only in batches of 1 BTC at a time per mixer), thus severely limiting their privacy prospect.

Method #1: Create private ways to transact (private chains)

The most popular method through which on-chain privacy can be achieved is by creating private chains, hosting privacy coins. Unlike public blockchain networks such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, privacy coins can offer greater transaction obscurity.

Privacy coins preserve users’ privacy by concealing sensitive information involved in transactions from the public eye. They thereby enable users to make transactions without revealing wallet addresses, transaction amounts, senders’ and receivers’ wallet addresses, etc. Some popular examples of privacy coins are Zcash and Monero.

Method #2: Private blockchain networks with private ecosystems

Private blockchain transaction networks do offer on-chain privacy but miss out in terms of offering DeFi innovation, smart contracts, or an ecosystem. Public blockchain networks, on the other hand, are massively ahead in terms of offering a range of decentralized financial services such as lending, borrowing, stablecoins, etc. because of smart contracts.

An overview of privacy solutions in crypto (Source)

This limits the use of privacy coins to simple transactions, making them less attractive in comparison. Solutions such as Secret Network, Oasis Labs, Zether, and others attempt to solve this by creating ecosystems that enable default privacy.

Offering private DeFi services is a massive leap forward in innovation when it comes to leveraging blockchain technology. DeFi services are a serious contender to Bitcoin since Bitcoin misses out on smart contract capabilities, thus lacking a DeFi ecosystem. However, Bitcoin’s inability to plug into DeFi does cause the current DeFi ecosystem to lose access to a major source of liquidity. Although this is partially solved through wrapped Bitcoin (wBTC), it’s still far from reaping the full benefits of Bitcoin.

Something can be said, however, about the way private smart contract blockchains create siloed ecosystems. The most popular blockchains, albeit public, have created thriving environments which these solutions try to take users away from, creating a zero-sum game in the opinion of some.

Method #3: Utilizing mixers

Yet another way of achieving on-chain privacy on public blockchain networks such as Bitcoin is to use coin mixers. Coin mixers or tumblers allow you to make untraceable transactions while keeping your dealings away from the public eye, preserving your identity and obscuring sensitive information on the transactions you have made.

However, just like the past bitcoin competitors, they also have their disadvantages. Coin mixers have their own set of limitations and pose some unique challenges. For example, most crypto mixing services also operate in legal obscurity and might get you in trouble if your jurisdiction introduces a law against them and applies it retrospectively. Additionally, some of the models used by coin mixers can be bypassed with the help of blockchain forensics and analytics firms.

Method #4: Find a way to infuse existing systems with privacy

The most innovative and user-friendly way to achieve privacy without reinventing the wheel could be to infuse existing systems with privacy. This is where Panther comes into the picture, providing an on-chain privacy solution that fits right along with existing DeFi applications.

Panther Protocol: Interoperable privacy for DeFi

Panther Protocol seeks to restore privacy and trust across different blockchain networks. The solution creates a level playing field for individuals and institutions alike, helping them foray into decentralized finance while eliminating privacy concerns.

Panther utilizes zero-knowledge proofs with zkSNARK technology, which allows users to present genuine transaction proofs while keeping sensitive details confidential. Panther also adopts a multi-asset shielding feature that breaks the on-chain trail as users deposit their assets into a pool and mint 1:1 collateralized zAssets, which allows them to transact privately.

Unlike most privacy solutions, Panther Protocol is not limited to a particular blockchain network. Panther uniquely offers cross-chain solutions with a privacy toggle, allowing users to deposit their favorite cryptocurrencies, mint the corresponding zAssets, and transact across different blockchains.

Regarding compliance, Panther Protocol balances the equation with zero-knowledge reports that allow users to share data with trusted third-party providers, thus preserving their privacy and remaining compliant with existing regulations.

Conclusion: Privacy might not be enough for a project to call itself a Bitcoin competitor

It’s impossible to draw a clear winner when it comes to whether privacy coins are truly Bitcoin competitors. On one hand, Bitcoin is the foundation of the crypto economy and the most valuable asset, keeping its crown as a market leader. Competing cryptocurrencies, private or not, on the other hand, aim to offer additional features and some advantages over Bitcoin, but are unlikely to ever take its current place.

In essence, there are no confirmed winners and losers since the crypto economy is still in a nascent stage. The market will dictate which cryptocurrency is the most useful, and it currently hasn’t decanted for privacy, although privacy proponents argue that their features are more than needed by Bitcoin. However, we may not discard the fact that Bitcoin believers might not consider these features necessary in the first place.

It seems like we will have to wait and see whether the market starts putting a higher emphasis on Layer-1 transaction privacy to make a final decision.

About Panther

Panther is a decentralized protocol that enables interoperable privacy in DeFi using zero-knowledge proofs.

Users can mint fully-collateralized, composable tokens called zAssets, which can be used to execute private, trusted DeFi transactions across multiple blockchains.

Panther helps investors protect their personal financial data and trading strategies, and provides financial institutions with a clear path to compliantly participate in DeFi.

Stay connected: Telegram | Twitter | LinkedIn | Website

Thursday, 04. August 2022

ConsenSys Blog

The State of Staking in July 2022

We look at what the Shanghai update could bring in terms of withdrawals, and how Codefi Staking is readying itself for the Merge as a timeline for the much-anticipated update has been announced. The post The State of Staking in July 2022 appeared first on ConsenSys.

We look at what the Shanghai update could bring in terms of withdrawals, and how Codefi Staking is readying itself for the Merge as a timeline for the much-anticipated update has been announced.

The post The State of Staking in July 2022 appeared first on ConsenSys.


Zcash

Long-term sustainability with the Zcash Posterity Fund

As we conduct research into Proof-of-Stake (POS) and develop a recommendation for Zcash, an outstanding key area is how the […] The post Long-term sustainability with the Zcash Posterity Fund appeared first on Electric Coin Company.

As we conduct research into Proof-of-Stake (POS) and develop a recommendation for Zcash, an outstanding key area is how the issuance schedule for new ZEC would interact with PoS security. In this post, we take a step back from PoS itself, and analyze how issuance and fees support long-term network sustainability. We introduce a proposal, which we call the Zcash Posterity Fund (ZPF), for modifying ZEC issuance in order to improve long-term financial sustainability of the network, while maintaining the 21M ZEC supply cap and approximate issuance rate. This proposal is independent from PoS or any consensus protocol recommendations and could be adopted with the current PoW consensus protocol with the same benefits and drawbacks. We will be gathering feedback from across the Zcash ecosystem about this proposal.

Why now?

We believe this proposal could be a beneficial precursor to three promising lines of development for ZEC:

Improvements to transaction fee mechanisms can use the Zcash Posterity Fund to improve resilience and predictability of the network. A transition to PoS can rely on this proposal to ensure key properties of the supply and issuance schedule are preserved. New functionality such as Zcash Shielded Assets can use this proposal for new fee mechanisms that have good incentive alignment for ZEC sustainability.

Because all three of these nascent improvements are underway, we want to float this proposal now to see if it can benefit all three efforts.

Additionally, this proposal introduces a way to direct funds towards sustaining the network into the future, so adopting the proposal earlier enables that funding mechanism to begin accruing value earlier.

Funding the network

The core innovation of Bitcoin which all cryptocurrency inherits is that the network funds itself. In Bitcoin, Ethereum, and many public crypto networks, the built-in funding is paid out to block producers. In Zcash, this funding is split between block producers and the Zcash Development Fund, which contributes to education, technology development, and other activities that support and enhance ZEC.

Generally, funding to support a network can either come from within the protocol itself, for example in mining rewards, or from other sources, such as when an organization has raised capital elsewhere and funds development work on the protocol or products.

External funding is important and can have a large impact. However, there’s no guarantee when or where these sources will appear, that these funding sources have incentive alignment with ZEC holders, or that they will remain as dependable sources of funding over a longer period. For all of these reasons, we believe it’s important for ZEC users to focus on maintaining or improving the intrinsic sustainable funding mechanisms in the protocol itself.

This post and the Posterity Fund proposal focus on the sources and amounts of network funding and are agnostic as to the recipients, so they are applicable to the current mining & Dev Fund structure of ZIP-1014, or future changes to infrastructure & development funding, consensus mechanisms, or other changes to funding recipients.

The Zcash Posterity Fund

We propose a change to the Zcash issuance system we call the Zcash Posterity Fund to help reduce uncertainty about the long term sustainability of Zcash while maintaining the key properties we believe most ZEC users prioritize. The proposal maintains these properties (along with their benefits and drawbacks):

The 21M ZEC supply cap, A disbursement rate that continuously halves every four years, A non-discretionary issuance rate.

Meanwhile, this proposal would change these high level features from the current Zcash design:

The halving epochs would be replaced by a smoothly declining disbursement curve, Fees which deposit into this mechanism would be distributed over time in block rewards. Zcash Posterity Fund definition

The specific high level definition of the Zcash Posterity Fund proposal is as follows:

If the proposal is activated, a new Fund would be entirely managed by the protocol. (There are no private keys, wallets, individuals, or organizations controlling this protocol-managed Fund.)

The initial balance of the Fund when created is equal to the number of not-yet-issued coins, or equivalently 21M ZEC minus the current outstanding supply.

Starting from the block of activation, the current block reward rules no longer apply, and instead block rewards come from ZPF Disbursements.

The proposal does not define the recipients of disbursements, which should remain unchanged if this proposal is accepted. Meanwhile, the proposal does restrict the amount of disbursement:

Disbursements may be no more than a fixed percentage, X%, of the Fund’s current balance in a given block. The parameter X% is calculated from the block target time so that without any incoming Fund deposits, the balance of the Fund reduces to half over a four year period. If future changes to consensus rules alter the block target time, or other aspects of transaction finalization timing, those changes must update this X% parameter to fit the “four year half life” rule to the best practical approximation for that new protocol. Future consensus changes should not alter the balance of the Fund other than by instituting new deposits from the extant supply. Future consensus changes should not increase the disbursement rate X% beyond the “four year half life” rule.

The final piece of the ZPF proposal is that it now becomes possible to transfer Funds from the circulating supply back into the Fund via Deposits. Future protocol-enforced fee mechanisms may require fees to do this. This base proposal is not specific to any particular deposit mechanisms.

Visualizing changes to issuance & supply schedules

If this change were adopted and there were no deposits, the disbursements would alter issuance away from halvings into a smooth curve. We can visually compare current issuance to disbursements without deposits for a hypothetical activation height:

Current issuance vs Zcash Posterity Fund disbursements.
This uses a hypothetical activation height after the second halving.

If there are significant deposits into the Fund, the slope of the disbursement curve would be increased above the line shown. In any period without deposits, the curve would continue to have the same rate of exponential decay with a negative slope.

The impact on the overall supply schedule in the absence of deposits is barely visible at a long time scale:

Current supply schedule vs Zcash Posterity Fund disbursements (w/out deposits).
This chart uses the same hypothetical activation height as the previous chart.

In the presence of deposits, the supply will always be equal or less than the line above. With sufficient deposits the supply growth rate can even become negative during that period.

The Posterity Fund and sustainability

The essential element of the Posterity Fund is to enable deposits from the circulating supply, which allows a feedback loop from current usage to future funding:


Comparing Tokenomics between status quo vs the Zcash Posterity Fund proposal

Both the status quo and this proposal have a capped supply of 21M. We can think of the proposal as introducing a single new element, deposits, which enable a feedback loop between the circulating supply and future funding.

This does not “solve” long term sustainability by itself, but it provides a framework that focuses the problem of sustainability on finding sufficient sources of deposits to maintain the network. If over longer time scales of years, the rate of deposits is equal to or larger than payouts, the system can run indefinitely. Meanwhile, if over shorter time spans of months or less, the deposits are below the payout rate, the protocol can weather that period for quite some time.

Sustainability of the status quo

So far the Zcash network funds itself using the Bitcoin design. New coins are issued on a schedule that approaches a limit of 21M units over time:


BTC & ZEC supplies over time

The issuance over time follows the Bitcoin halving schedule design:


ZEC issuance Challenges with the status quo

As newly issued coins are circulated to users, the amount of future issuance is depleted to maintain the 21M ZEC cap. As this amount dwindles, network funding must come from other sources and the only other current source is transaction fees paid directly to miners.

Transaction fees are dependent on transaction demand, which is highly unpredictable. We believe transaction demand can often become dominated by external events leading to spikes or troughs of usage. This may be ameliorated when there is a large diffuse network of users, but even at the scale of global economies there are extrinsic events that cause payment demand to fluctuate in a highly correlated, yet unpredictable, fashion. Anchoring the operation of the network to the unpredictability of transaction demand makes it difficult to predict how resilient the network can be, which interferes with long term committed planning. This is important for users and especially for the network infrastructure operators themselves, who need to decide how to invest capital into infrastructure improvements.

An additional wrinkle for Proof-of-Work and potentially other non-finalizing protocols, sometimes called “fee sniping”, is that with direct fees as the only revenue source, there’s a miner incentive to rollback blocks with large fee transactions to put those fees into their own block. This could derail safe progress of the chain.2

The Zcash Posterity Fund proposal addresses this uncertainty by smoothing out disbursements over time. While it does not guarantee that deposits will be enough to maintain or grow the Fund balance to sustain the network indefinitely, it removes short term uncertainty about the rate of disbursements. This allows users, infrastructure operators, and development fund recipients to commit to longer term plans which makes the network itself more resilient.

These kinds of concerns, and this kind of proposal, are also present in Bitcoin and have been discussed throughout its history. The Bitcoin OpTech newsletter summarizes a recent discussion about these issues among Bitcoin developers.

Sustainability of deposits

The Zcash Posterity Fund design reduces network sustainability to a question of sufficient deposits. If deposits over some time period are greater than disbursements, the network is “paying it forward” and supporting future operation and development. If those deposits are smaller than the disbursements, the network is depleting its resources to continue its current operation and development. So with this framework, the key focus for network sustainability is finding a design and usage that contributes sufficient deposits over time on average.

Deposits can come from various fees for using the network. A straightforward example would be to require a portion of current transaction fees to be deposited into the Fund with the remainder going to the miner.

If this proposal were adopted, the community could observe the trend of whether or not deposits over a long enough time window outpace disbursements. If they are below disbursements and there is concern about the Fund balance dwindling too low3, the community would have some amount of time to find sources of larger deposits.

Finding more deposits might come from a variety of strategies. We note that for any set of features, functionality, and use cases, increasing the network capacity would lower transaction fees on average, which can entice more usage of the existing use cases. So long as the existing use cases have some traction and some rate of organic growth limited only by cost, increasing network scalability may often be a good option. Aside from that general strategy, increasing usage by improving existing products and use cases, developing functionality for new use cases, and marketing to potential new users of existing use cases may all be good strategies.

Next steps

Now that we’ve shared this proposal, our intent is to gather community feedback and perform market research on this proposal. If the proposal seems to have wide support, we would build on that understanding in a few ways:

We would tailor our Proof-of-Stake research with an assumption that the Zcash Posterity Fund would constrain the design of issuance. Without obvious support for the Posterity Fund proposal, how to adapt ZEC issuance to PoS protocols remains a more open ended question. We would begin refining this high-level proposal into a concrete Zcash Improvement Proposal. We may produce a follow-on proposal for altering transaction fees to improve resilience, UX, and privacy, similar to this proposal (Zcash ticket #3473). We would encourage new protocol proposals that impact ZEC tokenomics to consider integrating some kind of deposit mechanism. The prominent example is Zcash Shielded Assets.

Do you have feedback or questions about this proposal? Let us know by discussing in this forum post dedicated to the Zcash Posterity Fund proposal.

All of the issuance/disbursement and supply charts were generated using this code. This concern was first expressed to me by Greg Maxwell at Scaling Bitcoin in Montreal. This concern may be specific to any dynamically available protocol, and may be addressed by finalizing protocols. It may also be addressed by different fee mechanisms as this article proposes.  When the fund balance is large, it is probably acceptable to allow disbursements to outpace deposits: we can think of this as using a portion of the max supply to subsidize a lower cost of usage (e.g. lower transaction fees) for the current users to stimulate adoption and growth.

The post Long-term sustainability with the Zcash Posterity Fund appeared first on Electric Coin Company.


BlueYard Capital

BlueYard x EthCC — (On|Off) Chain: Recap & Video Recordings

BlueYard x EthCC — (On|Off) Chain: Recap & Video Recordings Thanks to everyone who joined us in Paris at BlueYard x EthCC — (On|Off) Chain for an afternoon of lightning talks and open conversations ranging from the technical details of new age computation and storage, to philosophical and ethical questions about transparency, privacy & consent, and new developments in ZK technology. Vide
BlueYard x EthCC — (On|Off) Chain: Recap & Video Recordings

Thanks to everyone who joined us in Paris at BlueYard x EthCC — (On|Off) Chain for an afternoon of lightning talks and open conversations ranging from the technical details of new age computation and storage, to philosophical and ethical questions about transparency, privacy & consent, and new developments in ZK technology.

Video recordings from the event, including each lightning talk and panel discussion, are now available here on YouTube.

You can also navigate directly to any of the sessions using the links below:

Decentralized computation & new frontiers in smart contract development:

Lightning talk by Brooklyn Zelenka, Fission Lightning talk by Adrien Laversanne-Finot, Massa Lightning talk by Ally Haire, Filecoin Foundation Panel Discussion and Q/A (also including Dragan Zurzin, FileCoin VM)

Demystifying ZKs and providing next steps for developers: Panel Discussion and Q/A with:

Calum Moore, Spacetime Brandon Kase, O(1) Labs / Mina Protocol Philipp Banhardt, Violet

Self-sovereign Identity, Reputation, Credentials, and Consent:

Lightning talk by Anastasia Uglova, Lighthouse Lightning talk by Evin McMullen, Disco Lightning talk by Henri Stern, Privy Lightning talk by Philipp Banhardt, Violet Panel Discussion and Q/A (also including Juan Caballero, CASA, Centre.io, DIF)

A big thanks to everyone who participated (especially the speakers) and we look forward to seeing you at the next one.


Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

AI’s Next Frontier: Brains on Demand

This is an edited version of a post that originally ran here. Neuroscience and AI have a long, intertwined history. Artificial intelligence pioneers looked to the principles of the organization of the brain as inspiration to make intelligent machines. In a surprising reversal, AI is now helping us understand its very source of inspiration: the... Read More The post AI’s Next Frontier: Brains on

This is an edited version of a post that originally ran here. Neuroscience and AI have a long, intertwined history. Artificial intelligence pioneers looked to the principles of the organization of the brain as inspiration to make intelligent machines. In a surprising reversal, AI is now helping us understand its very source of inspiration: the... Read More

The post AI’s Next Frontier: Brains on Demand appeared first on Future.


Panther Protocol

Monthly Update: July 2022

The latest Panther community update is here. Check it out to learn where we stand regarding Advanced Staking, Panther's v1, and our Trusted Ceremony!

Dear Panthers,

August is here. We're making steady progress, feeling confident in the results we're achieving, and improving our awareness and understanding of our surrounding environment.

We're thrilled to tell you everything about our work this month and what's to come, so let's jump into our monthly update.

Tech and Product Advanced Staking

First of all, we're happy to share that after a successful round 3, smart contract testing for Advanced Staking (version 0.5 of the protocol) is now complete. With this finished, the last round of testing shall begin, leading to an upcoming DAO proposal to vote for the upgrade's implementation on Polygon and the Ethereum Mainnet.

Similarly, we have started testing Multi-Asset Shielded Pool (MASP) NFT support. We will share more about our findings in this regard in due time.

The road to v1

As mentioned above, Advanced Staking constitutes the protocol's version 0.5. This is because the components that make it possible play a fundamental structural role in Panther's design.

Along with Advanced Staking testing, our team has started planning the Trusted Ceremony surrounding the launch of v1 contracts. We have also commenced work on specific v1 tasks, such as developing a single-sided AMM used for users to exchange PRPs for $zZKP.

We plan on publishing a detailed semi-technical piece about this soon. Along with it, the necessary documentation and testing of different circuits need refining.

Ecosystem and community Trust Wallet and Huobi integrations

This month, $ZKP got listed in one of the largest cross-chain wallets - Trust Wallet. Users from Trust Wallet can now store, send and receive $ZKP.

$ZKP also became completely available with full capabilities on Huobi as the exchange removed its Pioneer Zone. Non-KYC'd users can now trade $ZKP as long as they are in a non-restricted country.

Panther zTalks #3: Progress Towards v1, DeFi Integration, Research

In this 3rd episode of Panther zTalks, we had Saif Akhtar (Head of Product), Andrew Zaichenko (Product Manager), Carlos Cano (Content Creation), and Joris Koopman aka ZORK (Community Manager).

We discussed, among other things:

The latest news of the Panther ecosystem. The progress of Advanced Staking testing. Progress towards Panther’s v1. The community's reaction to round 3 of testing. Panther’s DeFi integration. Interchain bridging breakthroughs.

Check it out:

Still leading the CoinMarketCap Community ranking

Thanks to our community, Panther Protocol ranked 1st for the second time in the CoinMarketCap Community Rank sorting projects by engagement growth.

We’re also expecting to interact more with the CoinMarketCap community in the near future.

Dr. Anish Mohammed at EthCC Paris

Our Co-Founder, Chief Scientist, and CTO Anish Mohammed participated in EthCC Paris with his talk “Economic Analysis of Private DeFi”. In it, he breaks down the economic argument for providing privacy. He delves his strategies to understand the marginal cost of privacy, and looks at it from a few different perspectives.

If you'd prefer to read our rendition of the talk in written format, you can go here.

"Along with incentives, a dynamic pricing of privacy is also vital. If users have incentives to pay extra for higher privacy (therefore incentivizing strategies that provide privacy to others), it’s possible to lower the price of privacy for all, making the system more robust and attractive." AMA with Bittrex Global

An AMA you can't miss!

Anish also participated in an AMA with the Bittrex Global community to discuss $ZKP and DeFi privacy. Check it out above!

Hirings

This month, we hired new Panthers for the following positions:

Graphics Designer Cryptographic Engineer

Several roles remain open on our Angel.co page:

Applied Mathematician Blockchain Architect Cryptography Internship Cryptography Researcher (Zero-Knowledge Proofs) Full-Stack Developer Lead Front-end Developer Machine Learning Internship Senior Solidity Developer DeFi Research Analyst Product Marketing Intern

If you wish to work with us or know someone who might be a good fit, please apply right away!

Get involved in Panther's community

You too can help shape DeFi privacy, and we outline several different strategies to do so on our latest blog post. Check it out to learn:

#1: How to vote on Panther DAO proposals

#2: Our best communication avenues

#3: How to provide liquidity on Uniswap

#4: How to participate in product testing (Panther Zafari)

#5: How to become a partner

#6: What are Panther Ambassadors

About Panther

Panther is a decentralized protocol that enables interoperable privacy in DeFi using zero-knowledge proofs.

Users can mint fully-collateralized, composable tokens called zAssets, which can be used to execute private, trusted DeFi transactions across multiple blockchains.

Panther helps investors protect their personal financial data and trading strategies, and provides financial institutions with a clear path to compliantly participate in DeFi.

Stay connected: Telegram | Twitter | LinkedIn | Website


ConsenSys Blog

ETH Barcelona: Three Days to Regenerate the World

ETH BCN was a solarpunk, regenerative crypto conference. This is not a conference about exciting innovations in NFT tokenomics or degen trading strategies. People were here to talk about how to change the world. The post ETH Barcelona: Three Days to Regenerate the World appeared first on ConsenSys.

ETH BCN was a solarpunk, regenerative crypto conference. This is not a conference about exciting innovations in NFT tokenomics or degen trading strategies. People were here to talk about how to change the world.

The post ETH Barcelona: Three Days to Regenerate the World appeared first on ConsenSys.


Wasabi Wallet

Methods for the Destigmatization of Coinjoin

Not enough people understand the value proposition behind Bitcoin. If they did, then the motivation for coin mixing and coinjoin services would become much more clear. Hence, the first step to destigmatize these services would be through education.

On-chain coin mixing is often labelled as a nefarious service that is making it easier for criminals to hide their illicit activities. This is a gross twist of the truth, and is similar to the stigma Bitcoin has faced since its inception.In its early days, Bitcoin was used for the transaction of goods on the black market, and this association has been tied to it ever since. However, any criminal who understands Bitcoin would realize that it is perfectly traceable, and therefore a poor means to hide your activity. The reality nowadays is that cash is overwhelmingly popular for criminal transactions, and Bitcoin is not under the same scrutiny that it was before. The scrutiny is now on coin mixing services, but for the wrong reasons. These services are striving to make Bitcoin transactions as private as possible, not for the sake of criminality, but for the sake of the individual’s right to privacy. The truth is that the general population has grown accustomed to asking authorities for their privacy, when it should be the other way around, ethically speaking. Coin mixing services like Wasabi are striving to restore this constitutional right.

The core ethos behind Bitcoin promotes economic empowerment, and the rebalance of power between the individual and the state. This is a concept that is all too unfamiliar for most but is gaining traction as people have experienced their basic freedoms t being taken away during the pandemic. On top of that, out-of-control inflation is now evaporating the wealth of all those who are unaware of how to allocate their wealth properly. These are circumstances that came as a result of unbalanced centralized power at the hand of corporate and government entities. We will always need a degree of centralization in society - it’s just that we need solutions, like Bitcoin, to mitigate the excess of such. Coin mixing mitigates the extent of centralized influence over Bitcoin. If we mitigate this, then we risk not being able to benefit from what Bitcoin has to offer.

How do we set the record straight?

Not enough people understand the value proposition behind Bitcoin. If they did, then the motivation for coin mixing and coinjoin services would become much more clear. Hence,  the first step to destigmatize these services would be through education get people thinking appropriately about Bitcoin to begin with. How to do that is the tricky part. Likely the best that any one of us can do is to keep improving our own understanding of what Bitcoin is all about, and share that with the people that are most relevant to us. Bitcoin is ultimately a shared vision, one that not one person alone will fully understand until it is a shared reality that has arrived.

The second thing we can do is to educate people about the importance of their privacy. It is understandable that this is so lost on the general population. Before the internet, it was not as easy to keep track of everyone’s activity. Now everyone keeps a computer in their pocket everywhere they go in the form of a cellphone, which means that even your physical location can be tracked at any given moment. Our technologies have seen extremely rapid progress in the 20 years since the internet started going mainstream, and public awareness has not kept up with the ramifications. What are the ramifications? As far as privacy is concerned, they are that detailed information about everyone has inevitably made it into the hands of big tech, and the nation-state powers that be. What this translates into is something approaching a surveillance-state, and the inevitable manipulation of human behavior that it allows.

A third step is to educate people on the tools they have at their disposal to maintain their privacy. These tools can be anything from using a virtual private network (VPN) service to learning how to mix your Bitcoin transactions. Coin mixing itself is a stretch for the everyday user to start using as it has been reserved for the more technologically savvy. That is why organizations like Wasabi are providing user-friendly solutions to help bridge the gap between the lack of concern people have for their privacy, and being able to access the tools they need when they realize how important their privacy really is.

The destigmatization of coin mixing

Perhaps one of the most significant drivers of change today is the increased digitization of society, which is epitomized by the advent of Bitcoin. Bitcoin represents an upgrade to the technology of money. Bitcoin also represents a form of “freedom technology” that can break us free from archaic legacy systems that have delayed humanity’s progress. Those legacy systems are clawing for survival as they face their impending downsizing. We don’t need massive corporate structures and government entities to disappear. What we need is a means to enforce an upgrade in their ethical, and practical performance. Bitcoin, as empowered by coin mixing, is one of the best tools we as the people have to enforce our demand for dramatically improved governance and leadership.

This is why it is important that coin mixing becomes destigmatized. It will take a collective effort to bring our public knowledge up to speed on the urgency of Bitcoin’s adoption, to educate people on the need for coin mixing, and to remind ourselves to take back our constitutional right to privacy. The sooner we can get our heads straight about respecting our own privacy, and the truth behind Bitcoin, the sooner humanity break free from the trappings of the past.


Coinbase

Coinbase selected by BlackRock; provide Aladdin clients access to crypto trading and custody via…

Coinbase selected by BlackRock; provide Aladdin clients access to crypto trading and custody via Coinbase Prime Tl;dr: Coinbase and BlackRock to create new access points for institutional crypto adoption by connecting Coinbase Prime and Aladdin By Brett Tejpaul, Head of Coinbase Institutional and Greg Tusar, Vice President, Institutional Product Over the past few years, Coinbase has p
Coinbase selected by BlackRock; provide Aladdin clients access to crypto trading and custody via Coinbase Prime

Tl;dr: Coinbase and BlackRock to create new access points for institutional crypto adoption by connecting Coinbase Prime and Aladdin

By Brett Tejpaul, Head of Coinbase Institutional and Greg Tusar, Vice President, Institutional Product

Over the past few years, Coinbase has played a central role in developing and strengthening crypto markets as the safest, most trusted bridge to the cryptoeconomy. Today marks an exciting next step on our journey as we announce that Coinbase is partnering with BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, to provide institutional clients of Aladdin®, BlackRock’s end-to-end investment management platform, with direct access to crypto, starting with bitcoin, through connectivity with Coinbase Prime. Coinbase Prime will provide crypto trading, custody, prime brokerage, and reporting capabilities to Aladdin’s Institutional client base who are also clients of Coinbase.

Built for institutions, Coinbase Prime integrates advanced agency trading, custody, prime financing, staking, and staking infrastructure, data, and reporting that supports the entire transaction lifecycle. We combine these capabilities with leading security, insurance, and compliance practices to provide institutional clients of Coinbase with a full-service platform to access crypto markets at scale. Coinbase’s clients include hedge funds, asset allocators, financial institutions, corporate treasuries and other institutions.

Our scale, experience and integrated product offering represented what BlackRock believes to be a logical partner for Aladdin.

“Our institutional clients are increasingly interested in gaining exposure to digital asset markets and are focused on how to efficiently manage the operational lifecycle of these assets,” said Joseph Chalom, Global Head of Strategic Ecosystem Partnerships at BlackRock. “This connectivity with Aladdin will allow clients to manage their bitcoin exposures directly in their existing portfolio management and trading workflows for a whole portfolio view of risk across asset classes.”

The Coinbase partnership between BlackRock and Aladdin is an exciting milestone for our firm. As the trusted partner enabling institutions to participate and transact in the cryptoeconomy, we are committed to pushing the industry forward and creating new access points as institutional crypto adoption continues to rapidly accelerate. We are honored to partner with an industry leader and look forward to furthering Coinbase’s goal of providing greater access and transparency to crypto.

BlackRock and Coinbase will continue to progress the platform integration and will roll out functionality in phases to interested clients. Access is available for institutions contracted with both Aladdin and Coinbase. To gain access or learn more about the capabilities, please reach out to aladdinpartnership@coinbase.com.

About Coinbase Prime

Coinbase Prime is the leading institutional prime broker platform for crypto assets, trusted by over 13,000 institutional clients.

Coinbase Prime is a fully integrated platform built specifically for institutions to support the entire transaction lifecycle including advanced multi-venue agency trade execution for 200 assets, custody for more than 300 assets, prime financing, staking and staking infrastructure, data and analytics, and reporting.

Institutions can access Coinbase Prime directly via a user interface or as an integrated platform via APIs to offer crypto related products such as ETPs and ETFs, custodial solutions, or brokerage for institutional, private wealth, and retail clients.

Coinbase Prime’s custodian, Coinbase Custody Trust Company, is a qualified custodian and a New York limited purpose trust company regulated by the New York Department of Financial Services. Coinbase Custody Trust Company is a fiduciary under New York state banking law.

To learn more about Coinbase Institutional’s solutions, including more information about Coinbase Prime, click here.

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes only, and does not constitute the provision of investment advice. For more information, please visit www.coinbase.com.

Coinbase selected by BlackRock; provide Aladdin clients access to crypto trading and custody via… was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


a16z Podcast

The Art and Science of Moderating Discussions

Whether it’s moderating a live panel discussion, managing your (virtual) All Hands meeting, or even guiding a cross-functional team to a decision in an important meeting, mastering the art of helping a group communicate is a critical skill for many of us. In this episode from November 2020, expert communications and presentations coach Matt Abrahams, who is also a lecturer at Stanford’s Graduate

Whether it’s moderating a live panel discussion, managing your (virtual) All Hands meeting, or even guiding a cross-functional team to a decision in an important meeting, mastering the art of helping a group communicate is a critical skill for many of us.

In this episode from November 2020, expert communications and presentations coach Matt Abrahams, who is also a lecturer at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, sits down with Sonal Choksi to share frameworks, strategies and many concrete tips for how anyone can become a better moderator and facilitator. They cover everything from how to approach prep work (like, can you be too prepared?) and how to handle disruptions on the fly to the subtle differences between in-person and virtual events, the ways our own ticks can manifest before an audience, and more. 


Vitalik Buterin

The different types of ZK-EVMs

Wednesday, 03. August 2022

Shade Protocol

Shade Protocol — Bonds Audit Complete

Shade Protocol — Bonds Audit Complete Greetings community, Shade Protocol development has continued to progress rapidly with core contracts set to be launched on Secret Network mainnet in fall of 2022. Prior to the launch of the mainnet contracts, Shade Protocol will be releasing Shade Bonds — a privacy-preserving DeFi instrument where users can purchase digital assets from the ShadeDAO by
Shade Protocol — Bonds Audit Complete

Greetings community,

Shade Protocol development has continued to progress rapidly with core contracts set to be launched on Secret Network mainnet in fall of 2022. Prior to the launch of the mainnet contracts, Shade Protocol will be releasing Shade Bonds — a privacy-preserving DeFi instrument where users can purchase digital assets from the ShadeDAO by depositing protocol desired cryptocurrencies into a smart contract.

Learn About Shade Bounds

Bonds are a powerful mechanism by which the ShadeDAO will be able to grow its set of protocol owned assets which can then be utilized to generate liquidity for Shade Apps as well as yield for the protocol. Because bonds are capable of directly interacting with the minting contracts for SILK and SHD as well as the accrued ShadeDAO treasury assets, the security of the bonds smart contracts are of the upmost importance.

https://www.certik.com/

Because of our insistence on putting security first, the core protocol contributors are proud to have partnered with Certik to have the bonds smart contracts audited for vulnerabilities.

Audit https://www.certik.com/projects/shade-protocol

Linked below is the full pdf of the Certik’s Bond audit findings:

Full Audit PDF

Github Code Under Audit

Findings

The Certik security assessment was completed August 1st, 2022. The vulnerability found 1 major, 1 medium, and 2 minor vulnerabilities.

The major vulnerability was tied to the centralization of bond issuance — because bond issuance is such a powerful mechanism, the auditors were concerned around the centralization of permissioning tied to issuance:

These centralization concerns will be resolved with the launch of Shade Protocol Governance on mainnet in the fall. The admin role that Certik observed as having direct power over bonds will be directly controlled by Shade Protocol token governance.

The medium vulnerability was tied to an assumption on oracle price decimals — if the oracle returns an unexpected amount of decimals, there is a chance for dangerous behavior to occur with the interaction between the bonds contract and the depositor.

Shade Protocol resolves this concern as the handling of inconsistent decimal amount are handled via the Shade Oracle (not the bonds contract) — the oracle will execute the logic to convert data feeds to 18 decimals so that any contract that interacts with the oracle can expect a consistent 18 decimal wrapping, thus resolving this specific concern.

A minor vulnerability was tied to a lack of input validation which could result in unexpected behavior at runtime.

The team resolved this concern via the inclusion of the following:

contract.rshandle.rshandle.rs

The last minor vulnerability was tied to logic dependencies leveraged by oracle, shade admin, issued_asset, and airdrop. Certik advised careful examination of the security of these functional dependencies. This risk was acknowledged by the team.

Conclusion

With the completion of the Shade Bonds audit, Shade Protocol aims to release the next 10% of the SHD airdrop — launching side by the side with bonds. Front-end UI/UX are the final piece to be completed in order for bonds and part two of the airdrop to be released.

Shade Protocol puts the security of users above all else, which is why we will continue to internally and externally audit all key contracts that are part of the Shade Protocol suite.

Speed is great, but accuracy is final.

We look forward to safely launching bonds — the first of many core privacy-preserving products to be launched by Shade Protocol.

Join The Shade Protocol Community

Documentation | Website | Twitter | Telegram | MediumDiscord


IDZ

Comparison between the blockchain and ID ecosystem

The purpose of this document is to give an objective comparison between blockchain-related technologies and the ID ecosystem. We compare and contrast the differences and similarities between the two technologies and in so doing, we hope this document will help the reader gain a deeper understanding of the mechanics behind the ID ecosystem. When we refer to blockchain, we are mainly referring to B

The purpose of this document is to give an objective comparison between blockchain-related technologies and the ID ecosystem. We compare and contrast the differences and similarities between the two technologies and in so doing, we hope this document will help the reader gain a deeper understanding of the mechanics behind the ID ecosystem.

When we refer to blockchain, we are mainly referring to Bitcoin and Ethereum-based technologies, although many of the comments apply to Blockchain in general.

A pdf version of this article in tabular format can be found on our website here.
Blockchain vs ID Ecosystem Interoperability

Blockchain

Different blockchains have different algorithms and protocols. A token on one network doesn’t work on the others.

For example, to use Bitcoin on Ethereum, you need Wrapped Bitcoin. To use ETH on Polygon, you need WETH.

ID Ecosystem

All ID clouds have the same structure. The user experience is coherent wherever users go.

For example, if a user uses IDZ as the ID provider and switches to another provider later, s/he will continue to be able to use the same assets as if nothing changed.

Speed

Blockchain

Transactions are not instant with blockchain as they need to be verified, included in new blocks and distributed to other blockchain nodes.

ID Ecosystem

Transactions are instant as there is no need to incorporate them into blocks and perform mining.

User Experience

Blockchain

Given that the different networks are not interoperable, the user experience is affected. Given that the network speed is dependent on the transaction volume, throughput fluctuates according to the network status.

ID Ecosystem

User experience is always coherent not reliant on the ID provider the user uses. Performance is always consistent as the system can scale dynamically in line with demand. Scalability

Blockchain

Blockchain is not scalable. Data is only getting heavier and even with faster computers and processors, blockchain will never manage to reach the desired balance between scalability, speed and security. Centralised off-chain solutions become a necessity for the network to be functional.

ID Ecosystem

Given that the ID ecosystem is cloud-based and interoperable, it is scalable.

For example, any new provider can scale the same open-source architecture without affecting the user experience.

Security

Blockchain

Transactions are secure. Security keys are in the user’s wallet. Users can enhance the security by using a hardware or a cold wallet. No measure of transaction security. When a transaction is signed by a wallet, there is no record of the type of wallet used (whether it is browser-based, app, hardware, etc.). Some wallets operate in browsers as plug-ins. This imposes security risks, as browsers don’t typically contain technology to allow the secure storage of user-sensitive data.

ID Ecosystem

Transactions are secure. Security keys are with the user. Users can enhance the security by buying an IDZ enabled device. ZINDEX (or security index) enables users to set different levels of security from low to extreme. IDs operate as standalone apps. Privacy

Blockchain

Transactions are public by nature.

For example, users can check each other’s balances and assets.

ID Ecosystem

Transactions are private by nature.

For example, users can’t check each other’s balances and assets.

Cost Structure

Blockchain

Gas fee to miners, i.e., cost per transaction. The fees could add up to high figures depending on the user’s activity during busy times. Different services can have additional subscription tokens, nonetheless, gas fees are unavoidable.

ID Ecosystem

Subscription fee to ID cloud provider, i.e., all in one fee. No gas fees. Different services can have additional subscription assets. No gas fees payable. IDZ envisages that all products and services will become subscription-based in the near future, all manageable from within one’s ID. Environmental Impact

Blockchain

Blockchains that utilise proof of work algorithms are notoriously resource-intensive and require an ever-increasing amount of computing power. This has a detrimental impact on the environment.

ID Ecosystem

ID ecosystem transactions are environmentally efficient because there is no need to perform CPU-intensive work to verify transactions.

Data Storage

Blockchain

Blockchains (not wallets) store links/pointers to the data that is stored in different off-chain data storage solutions (such as IPFS). While pointers to the data are difficult to find, they are made public on the blockchain. IPFS networks break the content to “small parts” and store it in “un-encrypted”. If any of the IPFS servers that hold any part of the data goes offline, and there are no copies of the data (unless complex IPFS-clusters are utilised), users will not be able to access their content.

ID Ecosystem

IDs store the actual data itself. Third parties (not the users) have pointers to the user’s data which never leaves his/her ID. The content is stored encrypted as one piece (i.e., not broken to small parts). Ownership Definition

Blockchain

Blockchain networks define ownership according to the following principles:

Storage: the data sits in storage network (e.g., IPFS), not with the user. Users own pointers to access the data. Users can share these pointers with third parties. Encryption: user assets are not typically encrypted and instead stored “off-chain”. Keys with the user. Open source. Always immutable. Public by default. Blockchain could be private if used by companies (i.e., not for public need). Decentralisation of nodes and miners.

ID Ecosystem

IDZ defines ownership according to the following principles:

Storage: the data sits on the user’s device or a cloud space fully controlled by the user. Users can give third parties access to the data. Encryption: asset encryption with unique keys for the whole ecosystem. The data always sits encrypted with the user as one piece, not elsewhere. Users can share access to the data with third parties. For example, in Exchange App, the app only stores pointers to the data which never leaves the ID without the user’s consent. Refer to the Exchange use-case. Keys with the user. Open-source. Immutability is optional (depending on access rights). Having the immutability optional ensures flexibility which in return ensures better control. Always private. Full control (see below). Control

Blockchain

Wallet address doesn’t store any actual data. It only keeps the links to the data stored elsewhere. Users’ data doesn’t sit with them. Non-programmer users can’t create crypto assets and smart contracts by themselves. You can’t delete data on blockchains. It will always be there. If someone manages to get hold of your seed phrase, they can always access the data. If a person passes away, his/her data will forever be on the network with a seed phrase that can decrypt it. Re-keying of the seed phrase is not possible. If the seed phrase is compromised, users need to move all the assets to another wallet as quickly as possible. You can’t migrate your wallet address to another network. For example, you can’t use your ETH address on Solana network. Zero knowledge is optional and rarely utilised as the data is public.

ID Ecosystem

Users give access to apps to use certain data in their ID as opposed to apps giving users access to the data they store for them. Users can manage access to apps at any time. If a user never uses an app again, the data will always be with him and he will not leave any data in any unwanted places. Non-programmer users can create any assets or contracts in seconds by themselves without the need of any third party. You can delete the data in your ID. A person can even write a “will” that will trigger the deletion of the data with erasure at a given time in the future. Re-keying is possible. You can import, export or migrate your ID and data as you like. Zero-knowledge is inherent in the ID ecosystem. Assets are encrypted with unique keys under the control of the user. Decentralisation Definition

Blockchain

Blockchain networks believe that active decentralisation is a prerequisite for data ownership and control.

Decentralisation is mainly defined as the decentralisation of the machines that process that data.

ID Ecosystem

IDZ believes that decentralisation is a passive outcome for ownership and control of data.

Decentralisation is mainly defined as the ability to conduct any transaction peer-to-peer, without the involvement of any external parties. It implies centralising all the powers in the users’ hands.

Crypto Wallet vs ID Default name

Blockchain

Wallet addresses are impossible to remember, and users need to copy and paste them.

ID Ecosystem

IDs are memorable by default. However, user can choose an address-style ID to make it impossible to remember.

Vanity names

Blockchain

Can be purchased as an NFT.

ID Ecosystem

Can be purchased as an asset.

Identity concept

Blockchain

Avatars to be used in the Metaverse and unique usernames.

ID Ecosystem

You are your data. ALL your data IS you. Not limited to just avatars and usernames. IDs are for the real world, not only the Metaverse.

Identification

Blockchain

Federated (using wallet address). A signed asset can be used as an identifier (e.g., using a certain asset to grant access to an account/channel).

ID Ecosystem

Federated (using the ID). ‘Identify’ and share an Asset as an identifier (e.g., using a certain asset to grant access to an account/channel).

IDZ envisages that the terms & conditions of websites and apps will become a contract which governs the exchange of certain assets between IDs (between the user and the service).

Offline accessibility

Blockchain

Not applicable.

ID Ecosystem

You can encrypt your files and save them locally only. You can always access your local file even if you are offline.

Portability

Blockchain

Wallet addresses are tied to the network.

For example, you can’t migrate your Solana address to use it on the Ethereum network.

ID Ecosystem

IDs are not tied to the ID provider. They can be portable given that ID clouds have the same structure.

Purpose of use

Blockchain

Wallet addresses are developed to be used with decentralised networks only.

ID Ecosystem

IDs are developed to be used with all services, websites and apps, centralised or decentralised.

Corporate ID management

Blockchain

Not applicable.

ID Ecosystem

Corporates can create IDs and assign them to employees. These IDs can contain all the necessary data for the employees to perform their duties (files, access to apps, access to offices, business expenses, etc.).

Check the employment agreement — Optimal corporate experience.

Funds excessiveness & leftovers To purchase tokens, you need to have excess funds in your wallet to proceed. So, if an asset is $10 and the gas is $0.5, you need $10.75 to proceed. After purchasing an asset, users are often left with leftover funds in their wallets which can’t be used.

ID Ecosystem

To purchase an asset, you need the exact amount of currency asset in your ID to proceed. If an asset is $10, you only need $10 to proceed. You can use a definite number to buy a fixed-price asset without leaving any leftovers in the ID. Crypto Assets vs Assets Nature and type

Blockchain

Crypto assets are public and unstructured. They need programming knowledge to be created unless a platform (e.g., OpenSea) is used to create them. This limits the size of the asset universe.

ID Ecosystem

Assets are private and structured. The structure is public for all (see below). No need for programming knowledge to create any kind of asset. Consequently, the asset universe is unlimited. Anything can be an asset, whether it is public or private. For example, user’s music files, consultancy services, pictures, browsing history, health data from wearables, medical records, etc.

Most notably, there is a chat asset so users can own and control their communication.

Hardware as an asset

Blockchain

Not applicable.

ID Ecosystem

Assets can be anything even hardware devices. 01 watch is the first hardware asset in the ID ecosystem. Users need to own the digital asset for the physical watch to be active.

Asset connectivity

Blockchain

Assets are independent of each other.

ID Ecosystem

Assets talk to each other. If you make changes to one asset, all the other assets which are linked to it will change too.

For example, if your bank and school get your address from your utility provider (e.g., electricity company), they can use it in their assets. A change in the address held by the utility provider causes the address to change elsewhere. Refer to the hotel use case example.

Structure

Blockchain

Assets don’t follow a public structure.

ID Ecosystem

Asset structure is public, allowing users to:

Create standard assets by simply populating fields (e.g., loyalty cards, tickets). Request specific properties in known assets (e.g., requesting age property from the driving license asset). Biometric assets

Blockchain

Not applicable.

ID Ecosystem

Biometric assets ensure that only genuine owners can activate and use these assets. No one else other than the genuine user him/herself can use these assets. This has the following benefits:

Official identification: passport use case. Binding agreement: digital signature use case Apostille service elimination: no need for official witnesses anymore. Mutability

Blockchain

Not applicable.

ID Ecosystem

Yes, if desired.

For example, the fitness asset gets updated on a regular basis by the data it receives from the different wearables that collect the user’s fitness data, refer to the “at the doctor” use case.

Asset as a message

Blockchain

Not applicable.

ID Ecosystem

Users can chat with each other by creating chat assets. In the chat asset, they can send and receive text, files, assets and contracts.

Crypto Smart Contracts vs Contracts Structure

Blockchain

Crypto smart contracts rely on code. Programming knowledge is necessary for users to be able to build them. They are complicated for non-programmer users. For two parties who don’t have any programming experience, a third external party is a must.

ID Ecosystem

ID ecosystem contracts rely on pre-built formulas and models. Users can select from the dropdown lists the IDs and assets involved and build contracts in seconds. No external third parties are required when building a contract between two parties who don’t have any programming knowledge. External information in contracts

Blockchain

Users can use Oracles to insert external variables in their code which would affect the valuation or execution of the contracts. Oracles are complicated for non-programmer users, as they need relevant coding experience.

ID Ecosystem

Users can use the key-value-pair section to insert variables in their formulas and models which would affect the valuation or execution of the contracts. Anyone can use and developers can contribute to the key-value-pair page Transparency

Blockchain

Crypto smart contracts are complex for non-programmers. Only developers can know the possible outcomes of a contract if they decide to dig into the code. Given that it is not necessary for the contract code to be published on blockchain explorers, users must trust the developer who created the contract.

ID Ecosystem

Contracts are transparent for all users. No grey areas in the middle. Users can know all the possible outcomes of a contract in advance. For example, if a tenant wants to check all his rights before and after signing the rent contract, he can simply check all the formulas included in the contract, what he can and can’t do, and what the landlord can and can’t do, all without needing to read a whole legal agreement. Mutability

Blockchain

Crypto smart contracts are immutable.

For example, if a contract between an employer and employee needs to be amended to reflect a pay rise, a new contract needs to be written from scratch.

Ethereum supports smart contract versioning.

ID Ecosystem

Contracts are mutable with the consent of all parties involved.

For example, if a contract between an employer and employee needs to be amended to reflect a pay rise, they can simply amend the old contract.

ID cloud providers support contract versioning.

Users can also build immutable contracts if they wish.

Escrow and binary execution

Blockchain

Non-programmer users can’t check which assets the contract requests and/or sends to them.

Many users fall victims to scam contracts which drain all their wallets without sending any assets in return.

ID Ecosystem

Contracts act in a binary manner that ensures justice for all parties involved.

For example, check the exchange use case.

Contract as a message

Blockchain

Not applicable.

ID Ecosystem

Users can chat with each other by creating chat assets. In the chat asset, they can send and receive text, files, assets and contracts. Contracts can be executed on the spot inside the chat.

Privacy

Blockchain

Crypto smart contracts are public.

For example, if a user sells his house, all users could know about it.

ID Ecosystem

Contracts are private.

For example, if a user sells his house, the information is kept private, not available to the public.

Speed of execution

Blockchain

Crypto smart contracts are slow as they need to be verified by different nodes. Users can get scammed by a contract that requires all assets at once, as they can’t verify the code and the assets involved.

ID Ecosystem

Execution is instant. Full execution of the whole contract (regardless of the number of assets involved) is one click away. Users can check all the assets involved before they share. Check the cinema use case. Identity verification in contracts

Blockchain

Not applicable.

ID Ecosystem

Biometric assets can be used to sign contracts. This ensures users it is really the genuine people who are signing the contract as they are the only ones who are able to use these assets. For example, a user can use a biometric passport asset issued by a government body which only s/he can activate/use to sign a contract. Contract execution by hardware

Blockchain

No.

ID Ecosystem

Yes.

For example, a user can unlock his/her car (i.e., execute the contract that governs locking/unlocking the car) with his 01 watch.

Payment reference and discount coupons

Blockchain

There is no payment reference, so users rely on the transaction hash to confirm the payment. It will not be viable to rely on transaction hash if blockchain were to be adopted by all people.

Some services offer “notes” with payment, these notes are usually public and subject to abuse.

Users can’t apply discount coupons for the assets they want to purchase. Early adopters of a token can’t benefit from a discount that applies to them only.

ID Ecosystem

Payment references are available and private

Discount coupons are available and private.


BlockWallet

BlockWallet Partners with Lossless

Our latest partnership with Lossless brings an extra layer of protection to our smart contracts and improves BlockWallet’s security. Lossless has created the world’s first unrivaled exploit identification and mitigation tools designed to foolproof Web3 from hacks. Through our shared mission toward user security, this partnership was a no-brainer. As we build BlockWallet, we’ll be integratin
Our latest partnership with Lossless brings an extra layer of protection to our smart contracts and improves BlockWallet’s security.

Lossless has created the world’s first unrivaled exploit identification and mitigation tools designed to foolproof Web3 from hacks.

Through our shared mission toward user security, this partnership was a no-brainer. As we build BlockWallet, we’ll be integrating Lossless’s proactive Web3 protection against smart contract exploits — Aegis.

What does this mean for you?

BlockWallet becomes more secure. Whether you’re using privacy pools or swapping and staking your tokens (coming soon btw), you depend on smart contracts. And now, we’ll have the watchful eye of Aegis monitoring them, catching exploits before they do any damage.

Why Aegis?

Since Q1 2021, Lossless has analyzed 80+ hacks responsible for a total stolen value of $3.6 billion. And through their combined insight, they’ve narrowed it down to 3 major exploit patterns:

Price Oracle Manipulations Private Key Hacks Bugs: Errors and loopholes in smart contracts

Aegis scans all mined block transactions, utilizing predictive analytics to monitor transaction patterns and identify suspicious addresses. With 24/7 security and an intuitive dashboard for our team, smart contract exploits can be prevented before they even happen.

About Lossless

Lossless is restoring trust in Web3 security. They add an additional layer of blockchain transaction security for ERC-20 standard tokens, protecting projects and their communities from malicious exploits and the associated financial loss and mitigating the financial impact of smart contract exploits and private key theft. They utilize community-driven threat identification tools and a unique stake-based reporting system to identify suspicious transactions and provide real-time protection.

About BlockWallet

BlockWallet is a privacy-first self-custodial browser extension wallet where you can store, send or receive crypto and interact with your favorite blockchain apps privately.

As crypto sees mainstream adoption, blockchain’s lack of privacy often translates to security risks. BlockWallet is here to ensure that on-chain privacy does not lag behind. The wallet provides a set of advanced privacy tools wrapped in a familiar and user-friendly wallet experience, eliminating friction and making privacy accessible for everyone.

BlockWallet protects you and ensures privacy by default. When you make transactions or interact with blockchain apps, BlockWallet routes all node requests through Privacy Proxies, which mask the IP address and other metadata, that can be used to identify and track you on a blockchain. You can also use the Privacy Pools feature, powered by zk-SNARKs technology, to deposit and mix funds in a smart contract. This allows transferring funds without links to your main wallet. BlockWallet offers integrated Flash-Bot Protection, shielding you from sandwich attacks when you trade on DEXes. Meanwhile, the Phishing Protection feature helps you combat phishing scams by generating unique artwork on all sensitive pages.

BlockWallet is not a compromise. It’s privacy-first, but it still packs all features you would expect from a wallet. With full Web 3.0 support, the wallet allows you to connect to any DApp.

Become a part of the BlockWallet community today:

Homepage | Medium | Twitter | Telegram | Discord | GitHubE-mail


Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

How AI Copywriters Are Changing SEO

Since the beginning of search engines, writers and companies have chased SEO — the slippery science of getting your results high up in Google’s search rankings to improve web traffic. More recently, however, the advent of cheap, easy-to-use AI copywriting tools enabled by GPT-3 has changed the game entirely. While AI-based copywriting has been steadily... Read More The post How AI Copywriters Ar

Since the beginning of search engines, writers and companies have chased SEO — the slippery science of getting your results high up in Google’s search rankings to improve web traffic. More recently, however, the advent of cheap, easy-to-use AI copywriting tools enabled by GPT-3 has changed the game entirely. While AI-based copywriting has been steadily... Read More

The post How AI Copywriters Are Changing SEO appeared first on Future.


Meet the next Talent x Opportunity Founders

Throughout the ongoing review process for the Talent x Opportunity Initiative’s third cohort, we continue to be impressed with the many talented but under-networked founders who are developing new products, tools, and marketplaces. It is not an easy task to … The post Meet the next Talent x Opportunity Founders appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.

Throughout the ongoing review process for the Talent x Opportunity Initiative’s third cohort, we continue to be impressed with the many talented but under-networked founders who are developing new products, tools, and marketplaces.

It is not an easy task to …

The post Meet the next Talent x Opportunity Founders appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.


Nym - Medium

Configuring NymConnect with Keybase

NymConnect is a one-click interface enabling you to privacy-enhance the apps you use everyday, by having them run over the Nym mixnet. Nym protects your communications packets in multiple layers of encryption and mixes them with other packets across three layers of mix nodes, thereby ensuring the privacy and unlinkability of your communications. NymConnect is a proof-of-concept tool providi

NymConnect is a one-click interface enabling you to privacy-enhance the apps you use everyday, by having them run over the Nym mixnet.

Nym protects your communications packets in multiple layers of encryption and mixes them with other packets across three layers of mix nodes, thereby ensuring the privacy and unlinkability of your communications.

NymConnect is a proof-of-concept tool providing rapid access to the Nym mixnet, with support for many popular applications introduced over the coming months.

Please note: this is experimental software and should not yet be relied upon for strong anonymity. Please also note that at times you might experience some delays in sending/receiving messages until we have more gateways onboarded. Help us get there by reporting bugs and sending feedback — your continued support is highly appreciated!

Here’s how to configure Keybase and NymConnect:

Download and install NymConnect.
Get the appropriate release for your platform on Github. NymConnect is available for Linux, Windows, and MacOS. Install NymConnect and select the Keybase service provider from the dropdown menu. Click connect — the host and port will now be displayed. Click on host or port to copy the value to the clipboard. Open the Keybase proxy settings.
Keybase -> Settings -> Advanced Select SOCKS5 and make sure the port details are the same as those generated by NymConnect. Save the proxy settings in Keybase. Keybase is now privacy-enhanced!

NymConnect is currently available for Keybase and the Electrum wallet. Support for more apps, including Telegram, is on the way. Read more about NymConnect and how you can support its development here.

Configuring NymConnect with Keybase was originally published in nymtech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


bankless

The zkWars | zkSync & Scroll

The zkWars are heating up. With 3 different teams recently announcing their zkEVM, we’re joined by Alex Gluchowski of zkSync and Ye Zhang of Scroll. Optimism’s Ben Jones cohosts as we explore why zkEVM is such a big deal, the respective roadmaps to mainnet, and of course… wen token? ------ 📣 Forta | Help Make Web3 a Safer Place https://bankless.cc/Forta ------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER: &

The zkWars are heating up. With 3 different teams recently announcing their zkEVM, we’re joined by Alex Gluchowski of zkSync and Ye Zhang of Scroll.

Optimism’s Ben Jones cohosts as we explore why zkEVM is such a big deal, the respective roadmaps to mainnet, and of course… wen token?

------ 📣 Forta | Help Make Web3 a Safer Place https://bankless.cc/Forta

------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER:          https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/   🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST:                 http://podcast.banklesshq.com/  

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 

🚀 ROCKET POOL | ETH STAKING https://bankless.cc/RocketPool

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🌴 MAKER DAO | DECENTRALIZED LENDING https://bankless.cc/MakerDAO

🔐 LEDGER | SECURE STAKING https://bankless.cc/Ledger 

------ Topics Covered:

0:00 Intro 3:15 Crypto 101 10:00 Alex and Ye 13:25 zkSync 18:20 Scroll 22:30 What's Different about zkSync 31:10 What's Different about Scroll 37:15 zkProof Performance 41:30 Decentralizing Provers 46:30 Approaching Developers 57:07 Challenges to Upgrading 1:03:40 Vibe Check 1:09:20 Centralized Keys 1:17:45 Closing

------ Resources:

Ben Jones https://twitter.com/ben_chain

Alex Gluchowski https://twitter.com/gluk64

Ye Zhang https://twitter.com/yezhang1998

----- Not financial or tax advice. This channel is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This video is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.

Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here: https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/p/bankless-disclosures


Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

Why NFT Creators Are Going cc0

… The post Why NFT Creators Are Going cc0 appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.

The post Why NFT Creators Are Going cc0 appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.


Findora

Announcing Findora’s Partnership with Omni X

Findora and Omni X are crafting a new future of NFTs Findora is proud to announce its newest partner: Omni X, the first omnichain NFT platform. Together, we hope to create an interoperable — and private — future for NFTs. LayerZero, an omnichain interoperability protocol, powers Omni X. It allows Omni X to “launch new omnichain NFT collections, wrap existing NFTs into omnichain equival

Findora and Omni X are crafting a new future of NFTs

Findora is proud to announce its newest partner: Omni X, the first omnichain NFT platform. Together, we hope to create an interoperable — and private — future for NFTs.

LayerZero, an omnichain interoperability protocol, powers Omni X. It allows Omni X to “launch new omnichain NFT collections, wrap existing NFTs into omnichain equivalents and buy any NFT from one network while paying for it from another,” according to a recent press release. They will soon launch the Omni X ONFT Bridge, a drag-and-drop interface that lets users seamlessly move NFTs from one chain to another without paying anything more than gas fees.

They are also launching their genesis NFT collection, Greg, which you can find here.

Why Partner With Omni X

As NFTs increase their use cases, it’s clear that privacy provided by projects like Findora will be essential.

In the near future, NFTs could go from being used primarily as art to being used:

to prove ownership of land or physical objects as tickets and POAPs as credentials via SBTs to validate votes and elections

Teams from around the world are creating new uses for NFTs, and while no one knows what all those use cases will be, it’s clear that many will deal with sensitive information and therefore need privacy but also interoperability.

But interoperability still doesn’t really exist. NFTs are usually trapped on the chain on which they are minted, which could be disastrous for use cases like credentialization, financial instruments, and proof of ownership.

Using public blockchains means they can’t provide the necessary privacy to protect user data and business secrets, and without interoperability, many future use cases won’t be practical. But by building together, Findora and Omni X can create a revolutionary new infrastructure for NFTs that provide the foundation for the next generation of NFT use cases.

Cheers to the Future!

Findora is a leader in Web3 privacy through advanced zero-knowledge cryptography, and though Omni X has just launched, we’ve been impressed by what we’ve seen. We know they will go far and do great things.

We’ve also been impressed with their energy and creativity. We’re excited for what the future will bring as we work together and revolutionize the NFT space.

Announcing Findora’s Partnership with Omni X was originally published in Findora Foundation on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Optimizing Findora’s TPS on Its EVM Layer

Editor’s Note: This article was written largely with input from numerous Findora engineers and does not represent the effort of one person. This is a somewhat synthesized accounting of initial efforts to optimize the EVM layer on Findora, with more optimizations soon to follow. Introduction The Findora blockchain is a combination of both a UTXO and EVM ledger, united through an interatomic

Editor’s Note: This article was written largely with input from numerous Findora engineers and does not represent the effort of one person. This is a somewhat synthesized accounting of initial efforts to optimize the EVM layer on Findora, with more optimizations soon to follow.

Introduction

The Findora blockchain is a combination of both a UTXO and EVM ledger, united through an interatomic bridge called Prism Transfer. Findora’s goal is to create a new blockchain-based financial internet with built-in privacy by scaling Ethereum privacy. Advanced zero-knowledge cryptography and SNAKRS let Findora protect transaction data on public blockchains.

Thus, while privacy is the primary concern of the protocol, scalability is another necessary component — without sufficient bandwidth, the network can’t provide privacy protections for multiple ecosystems.

However, while some projects seek transaction per second rates that are 10,000+, the reality is many projects don’t need a TPS anywhere near that high. The vast majority of TVL exists on Ethereum and Bitcoin, which have TPS rates of around 15 and 6, respectively.

A high TPS rate, then, is important but not essential, especially when starting out. For example, Avalanche has a theoretical TPS rate of 4,500 but rarely hits more than 9 TPS.

Over the last two months, the Findora development team has successfully raised the TPS on its EVM layer by almost 4X to around 150 TPS — more than enough to handle whatever burden it will have in the near future.

Most of the gains came from:

Parallelizing the Tendermint ABCI (previously only single-threaded only) Using read-write lock to replace unique lock (mutex) Enhance transaction check logic Optimizing redundant serialization (place transaction list for block in RAM instead of database cache)

This document will go through the scientific process used to achieve these results and highlight some of the biggest areas of optimization. We want to describe the technical details of the optimization analysis, implementation, and testing that we conducted in the past 3 months so other teams working with EVM blockchains can leverage our work and replicate and extend our results.

Overview of Methodology

The best way to test and improve our performance, we believe, is with the scientific method: test the environment, analyze results, deploy a fix, and repeat. Consequently, we divided the optimization process into 5 steps:

Test Test Result Collection Profiling Result Analysis Updating the code and deploying it again

By simplifying and taking out redundancies, we shortened the transaction time and made the blockchain more efficient. Privacy transactions require a lot more computing power than transparent transactions. Though the network must be able to handle a sufficient load to be usable in real-world applications and scalability is a key goal, the Findora Network believes it is secondary to privacy.

Most of the TPS gains came from small improvements that quickly added up. For instance, the team gained around 10 TPS by optimizing the serialization and deserialization process, reducing database reading, and combining functions.

Other improvements, like improving the check_tx function and removing redundant memory allocation, gave another boost in TPS.

Potential Areas of Optimization

There were 10 points total that we thought could be improved. Most gains, however, came from these 6 points:

Improved deliver_tx and check_tx processing in the main interface Reduced the number of persistent operations in the data storage structure Optimize functions that require persistent data calling, reducing the number of calls. Optimize the performance of the vault for interfaces which are frequently called by deliver_tx and check_tx Optimized the logging process Optimized read-write lock functions

The four that haven’t yielded much in the way of results are listed below. The first three are a function of Tendermint and could not be directly affected by our team. The final point was not as fruitful as hoped:

The process for checking new transactions Web3 PRC server’s processing capability ABCI check_tx’s processing capability The transmission speed for transferring transactions to the validators, and to the full nodes on the blockchain. ABCI’s capability for function calls. Optimizing the performance of dependency libraries (this remains a long-term goal) Used high-performance alternative libraries or interfaces Adjusted compiling options for libraries Tools Used to Optimize Transaction Speeds

We used two main tools to measure the network's performance before identifying places where performance could be improved. Most improvements came from getting rid of redundancies. The two tools were:

A CLI Tool used to simulate transaction environments Pprof-rs to profile the CPU usage of the ABCI process and Findora nodes

We’ll detail how to deploy each and how they are used.

The CLI Tool

We wrote the CLI tool to simulate a client and facilitate testing. It allows us to make transactions, make wallets, write scripts and more, and essentially lets us send stress the network for testing without breaking it.

Code: https://github.com/simonjiao/findora-agentd

Convert the native FRA to smart FRA by Prism, and send to root account Root account sends FRA to multiple addresses (source), and saves to file Parallelly perform the following actions: Randomly generate a batch of addresses (targets), and appoint an endpoint Obtain the nonce source Generate an EVM transfer transaction, and send to the endpoint by send_raw_transaction. Save the hash The client increases the nonce, generates, and submits transactions until all targets are sent one transaction. If the reason for the failure of a transaction is not caused by “mempool full”, it will obtain a new nonce and re-submit To reduce the effect of no response from the server, the logic of service resilience is added to the interface of nonce To reduce the server’s “mempool full” error and the server pressure, the parallelized waiting for synchronization is added. Pprof-rs and CPU Profiling

By “CPU Profiling,” we mean the tools we used to measure and tune the performance of the Findora Network. We came up with an iterative process that allowed us to stress-test the network without breaking it to see which functions could be optimized.

The main tool used to further research and locate the bottlenecks of our platform was pprof-rs. Pprof-rs is a popular method for measuring the CPU usage of Rust programs.

How to Use Pprof-rs

We imported the pprof-rs in the abciapp crate, and enabled the flamegraph feature. Pprof-rs is injectively compiled into abcid. With this, the profiler can sample the operations’ context in the adcid by specified frequency.

In the abcid process, we mainly used the following interfaces for profiling.

Use ProfilerGuardBuilder to enable a profiler, and set the frequency to 100.

2. Save the result of profiling into file as a flamegraph

3. Because the abcid is a persistent process, the profiler can be stopped by this method:

How Pprof-rs works

The profiler will pause the program by given frequency and sample the stack trace of the program. The sampling data is stored in a hashmap. In sampling, the profiler scans every stack frame and accumulates the count stored in the hashmap.

Then, the sampling data can be used to generate a flamegraph or other media to represent network performance.

When ProfileGaurdBuilder starts a profiler, it will register a signal handler to the SIGPROF, and a timer for pausing the main program. When the SIGPRO is triggered, the handler is called to sample the stack traces. This process is performed by the backtrace crate.

Using Pprof-rs to Profile a Findora Fullnode

It’s important to understand first the structure of our blockchain and the Tendermint consensus engine.

In the ETH full node, the Tendermint process communicates with the ABCI process by socket. The ABCI application registers these interfaces by default:

Begin_block Check_tx Deliver_tx End_block Commit

And it also provides the Web3 RPC server with the following interface with which the Web3 client can perform the testings:

eth_sendRawTransaction eth_getTransactionCount eth_getTransactionReceipt

The figure shows the basic workflow of an ETH full node. The full node is the node that collects new transactions and replays the new transactions and is the entry and checkpoint for all transactions. By profiling the ABCI in the full node, we can gain complete data on the performance of the chain.

Before profiling the platform’s abcid, we parallelized the Tendermint ABCI with two threads instead of a single thread. It allows the fullnode to simultaneously call the check_tx function for new transactions and replay the newly generated block (mainly the deliver_tx function). After this upgrade, the Fullnode’s CPU capability is equally distributed. Thus, the number of transactions is around 3000 in every block, and the block time is reduced.

And we also measured the time cost for the blocks with only one transaction. These functions are mainly measured among:

begin_block deliver_tx commit end_block

Except for the deliver_tx function, the other functions are only called once in one block. When the number of transactions is small in a block, the counts of calling these four functions are small and close.

For blocks containing many transactions, except for the deliver_tx, the time cost for the other three functions is small.

Based on the modification and measurement results, we come to a conclusion that the check_tx and deliver_tx functions occupy the most usage of fullnode’s CPU.

To arrive at this conclusion, we start the profiler at the beginning of every block (begin_block). Then we save the profiling flamegraph and stop the profiler before the next block in order not to affect the fullnode’s performance. For this, we use two global variables:

An atomic boolean variable is used to determine whether to start or stop the profiler A variable is used to store the running profileGuard

The pprof-rs does not provide an interface for stopping the profiler. We stop the profiler and release the data by transferring the ownership of ProfileGuard.

Before stopping the profiler, the sampling data can be stored in the ledger directory as a flamegraph file.

For testing purposes, we added two RPCs. One is for enabling/disabling the profiler.

The other is for retrieving the generated profiling data store in flamegraph file.

Step 1: Starting the Test

Our tests were performed by the script which calls feth using the CLI tool (CLI). After selecting a fullnode for testing, we transferred FRA to 2000 test accounts by the subcommand fund:

feth fund — network http://dev-qa01-us-west-2-full-001-open.dev.findora.org:8545 — amount 2000 — redeposit — load — count 2000

Then, we began to send transactions to the fullnode. The parallelism, timeout, and transaction count from each account are configurable. For example:

feth — network http://dev-qa01-us-west-2-full-001-open.dev.findora.org:8545 — max-parallelism 300 — timeout 100 — count 10

Step 2: Collecting Test Results

There are four ways to collect the test data and analyze them.

We can manually monitor test results and blocks with Blockscout. This process lets us visualize blocks to evaluate performance. We fetch performance numbers from Web3 RPC. First, we can use the interface eth_getBlockByNumber to get the target block. Then, we can get the actual number of transactions by the length of the transaction array. Only valid transactions can be retrieved from this interface. For the block time, we can calculate it by the differences between the timestamps of the adjacent blocks. Tendermint RPC (query block info from tendermint RPC): Similar to Web3 RPC, we used tools like curl, jq and others to retrieve the number of transactions and the block time. This RPC provides us the number of all transactions(valid/invalid) packed in the blocks. Note: both the Web3 RPC and Tendermint RPC methods sometimes have “no response” issues. Tendermint log (extract block timestamp, valid/invalid txns): In order to retrieve, keep, and analyze the test data more conveniently, we use subcommand etl in the feth. With this, the command can parse the log of fullnode, and save it to a redis database. As the below figure shows, the block time, total number of transactions, and the valid transactions can be parsed by the terdermint log, which is generated during the fullnode replay blocks. Step 3: Analyzing Test Results

Once we’ve gotten test results, we profile or visualize the results so we can iterate through the code. Profiling is the step where we see what’s taking up the most CPU power and time, and we look for ways to optimize.

We added a subcommand in feth which enables the profiler. For example:

To enable profiler in the next block

feth profiler — network http://dev-qa01-us-west-2-full-001-open.dev.findora.org:8669 –enable

To generate the flamegraph and stop the profiler

feth profiler — network http://dev-qa01-us-west-2-full-001-open.dev.findora.org:8669

This flamegraph tells us the amount of time taken by a CPU function. The longer the time, the longer the function, and thus by looking at the long bars, we can tell what processes need to be optimized.

Step 4: Redeploying Code

After the code updates, we use Jenkins to deploy it to the test environment.

Changes we Made to Optimize Findora

Based on our testing, here are some changes we have implemented or will implement to increase Findora’s EVM TPS.

Setting the Mempool to 8k

Through testing, we found the optimal size of the mempool in order to improve the stability of fullnodes and make sure it doesn’t take too long to generate blocks is 8,000. We are looking to update the mempool on mainnet soon.

Parallelizing the Tendermint ABCI

Parallelizing the Tendermint ABCI so that check_yx and deliver_tx can be performed simultaneously was another improvement we discovered. This also helps keep the block time from being too long. But this does not improve the TPS significantly because the transactions are uniformly distributed.

Reduced Serialization/Deserialization

We reduced the database readings and deserialization by combining some functions in the account packaged in our SDK.

With this optimization, the TPS is improved by around 10 txn/s.

Removed unnecessary checking

The functions check_tx and deliver_tx use the same logic for handling transactions. The only difference is in the context. But for the function check_tx, it does not need the logic of PendingTransactions, emit, events and etc. Thus, we separated these two functions by the context. And the TPS has improved to 79.2 txn/s.

Refactor SessionCache

In the previous implementation, there are tons of memory copy/allocation.deallocation between cur and base to perform one transaction.

By reducing the number of these operations, the TPS reached 149 txn/s.

Avoid printing redundant logs

We removed hundreds of unnecessary logs (what we call verbose logs). These logs can be reprinted for debugging but won’t automatically be printed on mainnet.

Future Optimization Points

Based on the flamegraph, there are two more things we can do in the future.

Recover_signer function

The secp256k1_ecdsa_recover function takes a significant portion of time in the recover_signer function. The core part for this secp256k1_ecdsa_recover function is libsecp256k1: recover, whose crate interface costs the most of the time.

We can consider optimizing this library, replacing it with another high-performance library, or reducing the callings.

Findora backend for EVM

It takes a large portion of the whole transaction process. But we still cannot find any better-optimized points for it. We may need more tests and profilings for this part in the future.

Conclusion

Improving TPS is an iterative process, and the team is always looking for new ways to increase the network capacity. While we obviously want to remain competitive, we think the more collaboratively Web3 behaves, the stronger the industry will be as a whole. Thus we are happy to share our processes both to help other teams and also to get constructive feedback. We hope this breakdown is helpful for other teams working in an EVM environment so they can implement some of these changes to improve their own TPS.

Optimizing Findora’s TPS on Its EVM Layer was originally published in Findora Foundation on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Brave Browser

Aurora, an EVM on the NEAR Protocol, is now integrated in Brave Wallet

Brave is offering more choice to Brave Wallet users with the addition of a new pre-loaded chain: Aurora, an Ethereum L2 that taps into the scalability of the NEAR protocol

Today we’re releasing an update for our desktop browser (v1.42), which includes two exciting additions that give Brave Wallet users more choice with crypto transactions:

Aurora, an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) built on the NEAR protocol, is now available as a preloaded blockchain for all Brave Wallet users, enabling access to fast, low-fee transactions

Desktop Wallet users can now purchase the Basic Attention Token (BAT) on Solana and Polygon, via the Ramp network

Aurora EVM now available as a preloaded blockchain 

First announced at Coindesk Consensus, Brave is offering more choice to Brave Wallet users with the addition of a new pre-loaded chain: Aurora, an Ethereum L2 that taps into the scalability of the NEAR protocol. Aurora provides up to 1000x lower gas fees, and up to 50x faster transactions than Ethereum.

As an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), Aurora offers a familiar user experience and compatibility with dozens of ERC-20 assets. It also brings higher throughput at near zero-cost transactions, allowing users to take full advantage of new, more sophisticated decentralized apps (DApps). This means more accessible DeFi and NFTs, and better DApp discovery for Brave Wallet users.

Users can easily bridge to Aurora via the Rainbow Bridge, which currently offers the ability to transfer tokens to / from NEAR, Aurora, and Ethereum. Once assets have been transferred to Aurora, users will find popular decentralized protocols and DApps that have been deployed on the network—such as Curve, DODO, Gnosis Safe, and Beefy Finance—and new native products like Bastion and Trisolaris. Together, these protocols have amassed $258M in total value locked (TVL) in smart contracts on Aurora.

As the Aurora ecosystem evolves, Brave’s native token (BAT) will also become available for use in DeFi via integrations in decentralized exchanges, lending markets, and more. We also have plans to bring Aurora network token swaps and streamlined bridging to Brave Wallet. Stay tuned!

Buy BAT on Solana and Polygon, via Ramp

In today’s desktop release, we’re also adding more ways for Brave Wallet users to buy the Basic Attention Token (BAT), via our partnership with Ramp. Wallet users can now buy wrapped BAT on Solana and Polygon using the fiat-to-crypto feature, powered by Ramp.

By expanding the number of chains that support BAT, we’re continuing to grow the scope of the attention economy beyond the native use case of Brave Rewards. With each new partnership, BAT becomes easier and more flexible in DeFi and crypto marketplaces.

Ramp’s mission is to make Web3 accessible for all by offering fiat-to-crypto buying solutions in 140 countries and for more than 45 assets. Together, Brave and Ramp are making the process of buying crypto easier than ever, with affordable options and a streamlined user experience.

Follow our Wallet Partner announcements

Brave will announce new partnerships and integrations—and introduce new utility for both Wallet and BAT—almost every month. Stay tuned for more updates.

Not using Brave Wallet yet? It’s easy to get started…

If you already use the Brave browser, just click the in the address bar. If you’re not using Brave, download it for desktop, Android, or iOS, and ditch Big Tech for good. It only takes 60 seconds to switch.

Tuesday, 02. August 2022

Greylock Partners

The Design-First Approach

The best technology products are those that emulate human nature rather than try to change it. Most of the time, technology strikes a chord with us when it reflects our own nature back at us. The design-first approach is the overarching driver of innovation in several industries, and one that investor Maya Frai believes will spur many successful startups. The post The <span>Design-First<

The post The <span>Design-First</span> Approach appeared first on Greylock.


Horizen - Blog

[Update Now] Cobalt Wallet Ver. 1.4.0 ZEN Transactions Now Supported on TokenMint!

Cobalt wallet by Horizen's latest upgrade is here. Download version 1.4.0 now. The post [Update Now] Cobalt Wallet Ver. 1.4.0 ZEN Transactions Now Supported on TokenMint! appeared first on Horizen.

Cobalt wallet version 1.4.0 is available now!

The latest version of Cobalt wallet enables users to make ZEN transactions on the TokenMint Chain, between Cobalt wallet addresses. Previously, ZEN transfers were only supported between the TokenMint sidechain address and Horizen mainchain.

Important: Currently, sending ZEN from a TokenMint/Cobalt wallet address to a Horizen mainnet address can take up to 1+ hour. We are working on improving the speed of sidechain to mainchan transfers. 

How To Make A ZEN Transaction Between Cobalt Addresses

STEP 1: Click ZEN under “Assets” tab in your Cobalt wallet

STEP 2: Click the “Send” up arrow to get to the Send interface

STEP 3: Choose “TokenMint Chain” from the “Select chain” dropdown  

 

STEP 4: Complete the ZEN transaction by filling out the recipient’s Cobalt wallet address and the amount you would like to send.

Upgrade now to expand the usability of your Cobalt wallet.

About Cobalt Wallet

Cobalt wallet is an alpha release version of our product that enables users to create, mint, and transact TokenMint tokens. New to Cobalt? Learn how to download and use it by reading our tutorial!

About TokenMint

TokenMint is an easy-to-use platform for anyone to launch a token using custom tokenomics without having to know a single line of code. It streamlines and simplifies the tokenization process, making creating a fungible token easy and quick. 

The post [Update Now] Cobalt Wallet Ver. 1.4.0 ZEN Transactions Now Supported on TokenMint! appeared first on Horizen.


XRSI

EM360 talks about FTC’s recent complaint against Meta.

Is Meta monopolising the Metaverse? Mark Zuckerberg is being criticised by industry experts for potentially trying to take over the whole virtual reality industry. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently filed a complaint against the tech giant for acquiring Within, the company that produced the VR game Supernatural. The reason behind the case was that [...] Read More... from EM360 talks abo

Is Meta monopolising the Metaverse? Mark Zuckerberg is being criticised by industry experts for potentially trying to take over the whole virtual reality industry.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently filed a complaint against the tech giant for acquiring Within, the company that produced the VR game Supernatural. The reason behind the case was that Meta already owned the ever-so-popular VR game Beat Saber, which very well could have been a direct competition to Supernatural.

The recent decision of the FTC to file a complaint against Meta has raised various reactions, and Mark Zuckerberg’s company denied the charges by claiming that “the FTC case is based on ideology and speculation, not evidence.”

Contacted by EM360, our CEO and founder, Kavya Pearlman, commented that “Looking at this case in isolation and the surface level may lead to the conclusion that it is just a normal case of Merger & Acquisition (M&A). But to understand why this type of acquisition is detrimental to building healthy competition, we have to dig deeper into Meta’s acquisition and other anti-competitive practices”.

Kristina Podnar, chair of the Metaverse Reality Check, welcomed FTC’s efforts to keep the Metaverse a fair playing field where all the companies, big or small, have an equal opportunity to progress. “I welcome FTC’s action as I see it as coming at a critical time with regards to frontier technologies,” says Kristina. “Most governments are challenged to define and sustain a sound regulatory framework that balances business creativity and innovation with citizen privacy and safety.”

Keep reading at EM360

The post EM360 talks about FTC’s recent complaint against Meta. appeared first on XRSI – XR Safety Initiative.


Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

PlanetScale CEO on Cloud-Prem and Climbing the Engineering Ladder

Sam Lambert is CEO of PlanetScale, a MySQL-compatiable serverless database provider. Prior to joining PlanetScale (then as chief product officer), he was VP of engineering at GitHub. In this interview, Lambert discusses a number of topics related to cloud native software-delivery models, including what good serverless looks like, who should run Kubernetes, and the emergence... Read More The post

Sam Lambert is CEO of PlanetScale, a MySQL-compatiable serverless database provider. Prior to joining PlanetScale (then as chief product officer), he was VP of engineering at GitHub. In this interview, Lambert discusses a number of topics related to cloud native software-delivery models, including what good serverless looks like, who should run Kubernetes, and the emergence... Read More

The post PlanetScale CEO on Cloud-Prem and Climbing the Engineering Ladder appeared first on Future.


bankless

The Centralized Food Production Crisis | Anthony Gustin

Anthony Gustin is the host of The Natural State Podcast, author of the best-selling, “Keto Answers,” and former sports rehab clinician turned entrepreneur, amateur farmer, investor, and advisor. You might be noticing that Anthony isn’t a crypto bro. However, as David explains in many Bankless episodes, crypto principles can be seen in many other industries as well—including the food industry.

Anthony Gustin is the host of The Natural State Podcast, author of the best-selling, “Keto Answers,” and former sports rehab clinician turned entrepreneur, amateur farmer, investor, and advisor.

You might be noticing that Anthony isn’t a crypto bro. However, as David explains in many Bankless episodes, crypto principles can be seen in many other industries as well—including the food industry.

------ 📣 Forta | Help Make Web3 a Safer Place https://bankless.cc/Forta 

------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER: https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/  🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST: http://podcast.banklesshq.com/ 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🚀 ROCKET POOL | ETH STAKING https://bankless.cc/RocketPool 

⚖️ ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum 

❎ ACROSS | BRIDGE TO LAYER 2 https://bankless.cc/Across 

🦁 BRAVE | THE BROWSER NATIVE WALLET https://bankless.cc/Brave 

🌴 MAKER DAO | DECENTRALIZED LENDING https://bankless.cc/MakerDAO 

🔐 LEDGER | SECURE STAKING https://bankless.cc/Ledger 

------ Topics Covered:

0:00 Intro 7:35 Anthony’s Background 11:35 Centralized Food Production 14:08 Divergent Food Products 20:29 Fake Food Ingredients 22:30 Government Lobbying 25:40 Corn Subsidization 28:07 Remaining Problems 31:20 Disconnection to Food 36:11 Fragility Monocrop Culture 42:40 Systems Breaking Down 48:26 What Anthony’s Excited About 51:07 The Path Forward 1:05:00 Regeneration, Carbon, & Methane 1:20:19 Sustainable Scaling Solutions 1:28:43 Advice For You 1:32:18 Sunburn & Seed Oils 1:36:08 More Advice 1:38:58 Anthony’s Question to David 1:42:36 Closing

------ Resources:

Anthony Gustin https://dranthonygustin.com/ 

Ground Work Collective https://groundworkcollective.com/ 

Anthony’s Twitter https://twitter.com/dranthonygustin/ 

Anthony’s Instagram https://www.instagram.com/dranthonygustin/ 

----- Not financial or tax advice. This channel is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This video is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.

Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here: https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/p/bankless-disclosures 


Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

Investing in IDRx

HIV ravaged entire communities before antiretroviral cocktail therapies helped turn the tide. Cocktail therapies combine multiple drugs: Some hit parts of the replication machinery the virus uses to make copies of itself, others block its ability to attack and enter … The post Investing in IDRx appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.

HIV ravaged entire communities before antiretroviral cocktail therapies helped turn the tide. Cocktail therapies combine multiple drugs: Some hit parts of the replication machinery the virus uses to make copies of itself, others block its ability to attack and enter …

The post Investing in IDRx appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.


Nym - Medium

Nym July Updates

The Nym mainnet and token launch took place this spring, marking the go-live of the core Nym infrastructure live. Since then, the Nym team and community have been busy optimising the infrastructure and incentive system under live conditions. This has meant a lot of background work on the platform and contracts, getting the community familiar with the mixnet token economics and major updates to the

The Nym mainnet and token launch took place this spring, marking the go-live of the core Nym infrastructure live. Since then, the Nym team and community have been busy optimising the infrastructure and incentive system under live conditions. This has meant a lot of background work on the platform and contracts, getting the community familiar with the mixnet token economics and major updates to the mixnet explorer and Nym wallet functionality to support people bonding and delegating in the Nym mixnet.

With the core infrastructure in full swing, it is now time for people to start using it and Privacy-Enhance their Apps (PEApps)! To that end, Nym Shipyard has launched in July providing developers with the resources needed to start building and testing user-facing applications.

In short, July has been a busy time for the Nym team and community, so let’s get right into it!

Welcome to Nym Shipyard

Shipyard is the new Beta space for Nym. It is a place to apply for grants, build and test new Privacy Enhanced Applications (PEApps) in experimental mode. Shipyard works as an onramp to privacy preserving applications, designed to support developers from early ideas all the way through to having a market ready application running in the Nym privacy ecosystem — graduating to the Nym Innovation Fund.

What many people might not be aware of is that the mixnet is already usable with familiar applications many of us use everyday: Electrum wallet, Keybase and soon Telegram!

To facilitate use and increase overall access to privacy enhancement of wallet and chat apps, Shipyard has launched with a number of Service Grants. These incentivize the community to set up gateway / network requester pairs to facilitate the privacy enhancement of an initial set of applications. With overwhelming response, the deadline is closing on the 1st of August. However, another round of larger grants will be rolled out under Shipyard in the coming weeks, so stay tuned and sign up.

Read more

NymConnect — join the Beta testing!

Shipyard is also where people can test early stage applications in the Nym ecosystem. The first application beta launch in Shipyard is NymConnect!

NymConnect is a one-button access point to start privacy-enhancing applications you are already using. Download NymConnect to try now with your Electrum wallet, with messaging apps Keybase and Telegram to be added next. NOTE: this is experimental software. Do not rely on it for strong anonymity (yet!)

Download Provide feedback

What applications would you like to see privacy-enhanced? For discussions on early stage apps, PEApps , and more — Join our Discord!

Team update Nym has a new CFO

Andrei Serjantov joined Nym from BNP Paribas, a French international banking group, bringing with him his sixteen years of financial experience to the world of privacy-focused tokens. But what is more — Andrei has deep roots in privacy and anonymity research! Andrei received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cambridge entitled “On the anonymity of anonymity systems”, co-authoring ground-breaking work on anonymous communication systems with Claudia Diaz (Nym’s Chief Scientist) and George Danezis (Nym co-founder, recently returned in August 2021 from Libra).

Andrei was on i24News speaking about why a top London banker would join a crypto start up just as the market crashes…

Andrei also introduced himself to the community on one of our Friday Community Calls, with lively interest in his perspectives on recent market dynamics and Nym’s financial position. Listen here.

In other team news…

Nym is hiring! As Nym continues to build the privacy layer for the new internet, the core team is hiring for positions across the board. Escape the great crypto/fintech layoff firestorm and join a truly mission-based organisation. Check out the open positions here.

Tech update

Major updates on the tech front last months included…

Platform release v1.0.0 The first release of the Nym platform binaries! Wallet releases

As always, you can fork the wallet here or use CLI!

V1.0.5: new and improved interface for delegating stake via the wallet, and an interface to claim or compound rewards; V1.0.6: an update to prevent people from delegating to oversaturated mix nodes and encourage them to distribute it to other well performing nodes, as well as improved password recovery; V1.0.7: dark mode and accurate fees for transactions (based on simulations done by each validator). NymConnect V1.0.0 for initial testing with Keybase and Electrum wallet service providers; V1.0.1 NymConnect bug fix with SOCKS5 after initial round of testing. On-going work Distributed Key Generation (DKG) Coconut bandwidth credentials to be accepted by the gateways with double spending protection.

And as always, Nym releases can be found here

Community Update Join the weekly Nym Community Calls!

Nym runs weekly community calls exploring key issues and priorities for the Nym ecosystem, including weekly spotlights of mix node operators. Community calls are free to join every Friday — on Telegram and now on Discord too! Join every Friday or listen to previous episodes here.

Who do you want us to chat with?

Over on our YouTube channel we’re talking to some of the leading privacy advocates and developers. Alongside the network, Nym intends to be a Library of Alexandria for the most important and timely thought concerning privacy, surveillance capitalism, and the future of the internet!

Who should we talk to next? What topics would you like to see covered? Let us know on Twitter.

Nodes.Guru delegation winners announced

Nodes.Guru, infrastructure operators and longtime pillars of the Nym community, set up a delegators program to ensure better stake distribution across mix nodes. They have announced the winners of the first round of their Nym delegation programme. Thank you to Nodes.Guru! Check the winners here.

Spacestation wallet supports Nym

Cosmostation’s Spacestation wallet includes a Nyx integration, allowing users to transfer NYM ERC-20 to native NYM tokens to begin

Staking 101 — how do you choose a node?

Staking and delegating keep the Nym network decentralised and running smoothly. Got NYM tokens to delegate, but not sure how to choose which node to delegate to?

Here’s a guide to get you started. Nym Research Anonymous e-cash

The research team has completed work on both threshold issuance compact e-cash and the threshold issuance divisible e-cash, and can now provide design, full security proof, implementation and performance benchmarks. The team is currently analysing how the proposed e-cash schemes compare with other existing solutions for privacy e-cash, like zkSNARKs.

Improved cover and sender anonymity

The research team has designed and implemented a new cover traffic strategy for the Nym client which provides even better resistance against traffic analysis attacks (15% better results). The proposed technique is simple, yet very robust. The team is now working on adding anonymous replies to the Nym network, which will results in enhanced sender anonymity. Research is ongoing to explore different approaches, including the use of Single User Reply Blocks as well as the concept of drop boxes. Finally, now that the network is live, work on mixnet parametrisation has been kickstarted, to ensure that the mixing delay, volume of cover traffic, packet size and placement of the mix nodes within layers provide optimal privacy for the Nym users at the current stages of the network.

If you want a run-down of the many events our team members attended during the summer, make sure to check out our recent blog post.

Nym July Updates was originally published in nymtech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Nym Summer Events Recap

For Team Nym this summer has been hot in more ways than one. We have been busy building the privacy infrastructure and ecosystem of the future (launching Shipyard, introducing new wallet releases, launching NymConnect, continuously fine tuning the reward sharing parameters of our mixnet), but we’ve also continued our efforts to contribute to the global privacy conversation both online and in 

For Team Nym this summer has been hot in more ways than one. We have been busy building the privacy infrastructure and ecosystem of the future (launching Shipyard, introducing new wallet releases, launching NymConnect, continuously fine tuning the reward sharing parameters of our mixnet), but we’ve also continued our efforts to contribute to the global privacy conversation both online and in person.

Here’s a roundup of Nym’s privacy summer.

1. Crypto Valley Conference

On the third of June COO Alexis Roussel was talking about DAOs and privacy On the Crypto Valley Conference in Zurich.

2. RightsCon

RightsCon is the world’s leading summit on human rights in the digital age. This year Chelsea Manning and Harry Halpin were in conversation with Melissa Chan, where they discussed mixnets, the future of privacy, and the implications of new technologies for whistleblowers.

Watch the event back here: https://youtu.be/YVgTSgRHyVA

3. Monerokon

Monerokon is an annual meeting of privacy advocates, cypherpunks, scientists, and philosophers and is designed to disseminate scientific and technical advances in privacy and financial technologies. This year Max Hampshire represented Nym at the event and gave a talk at the lightning session.

Watch it back here: https://youtu.be/qGIUZVTM1dc

4. PETS

The annual Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PETS) brought together experts from around the world to present and discuss recent advances and new perspectives on privacy technologies. The 22nd PETS was a hybrid event with a physical gathering held in Sydney, Australia, and a concurrent virtual event hosted by the Macquarie University Cyber Security Hub. Nym is a proud sponsor of the event, and Nym CFO Andrei Serjantov gave an opening speech.

We also had a virtual booth during the event, where online participants could interact with us and learn more about Nym.

5. CDPC Conference LatAm

It was fantastic to see the CPDP Conference in Latin America underscoring the importance of privacy as a global issue. NCPDP LatAm 2022 was dedicated to “Artificial Intelligence and Data Protection in Latin America“ and we were happy to participate in it.

Nym was on the opening plenary and hosted a panel titled “Tackling surveillance and its business model” with our CEO Harry Halpin and Nym advisers Renata Avila, CEO of the Open Knowledge Foundation, and Andrés Araúz, candidate in last year’s Ecuadorian presidential race. It was a pleasure to share this panel with Rafael Bonifaz, Sally Burch, Octavio Rossell and Gustavo Amaturo.

6. Festival der Zukunft

The Festival of the Future in Munich is an event for visionaries, entrepreneurs, scientists, artists, nerds, creatives, experts, and optimists who care about the future.

It took place at the Deutsches Museum — one of the world’s largest science and technology museums and one of the leading locations for technical and scientific culture. The new Forum of the Future was a creative meeting place with a VRLab, changing special exhibitions, and spectacular events. The focus of the event was on experiencing and trying out high-tech innovations and finding joint answers to the question: which innovations will make the planet a better place?

Nym’s Security Consultant Chelsea Manning gave a well-received presentation at the festival, and Nym was delighted to have a presence there.

7. Hope 2022

At the end of July Nym was in New York for HOPE 2022, which celebrated the contributions of scientists, educators, and technologists during the extraordinary upheaval of the last three years.

Ahmed Ghappour, General Counsel at Nym Technologies, led a workshop at the event, presenting a brief overview of the history of the successes and failures of privacy in cryptocurrency and blockchain. He also demonstrated the tracing and de-anonymization of actual transactions in real time, and presented tools and techniques for guaranteeing strong privacy.

Wondering where you can meet us next? BIP001

On July 28–29, Nym is heading to BIP001 (Partisan Edition) in Ukraine to support the local community in these difficult times!

Our COO Alexis Roussel will give a presentation on the topic: “Mixnets, the right to anonymity, and the future of democracy” on the 29th of July in Uzhgorod.

Join us! Let’s support Ukraine together!

Surfinbitcoin

Nym is a proud sponsor of Surfinbitcoin! We will have a booth at the event which will take place at Biarritz, France between the 25th and 27th of August.

Come hang out with us!

Cosmoverse (September 26–28)

Our CEO, Harry Halpin, will be giving a presentation in Medelin, Colombia Stay tuned for more info regarding the topic and time.

If you’re hosting Nym meet-ups or events in your local area and want to be listed on the Nym calendar, please get in touch with Marina at events@nymtech.net

Nym Summer Events Recap was originally published in nymtech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


bankless

The Nounders | 4156, VapeApe, Seneca | Nouns DAO Series Ep #1

In this two-part Bankless Series, we're exploring the Nouns DAO. In episode one, we're chatting with The Nounders, aka the founders of the Nouns DAO. In episode two, we'll be chatting with a few Nouners, aka some Nouns DAO members. The Nouns project has taken the crypto ecosystem by storm. Hear why and how in the episode! ------ 📣 Forta | Help Make Web3 a Safer Place https://bankless.cc/Fort

In this two-part Bankless Series, we're exploring the Nouns DAO. In episode one, we're chatting with The Nounders, aka the founders of the Nouns DAO. In episode two, we'll be chatting with a few Nouners, aka some Nouns DAO members.

The Nouns project has taken the crypto ecosystem by storm. Hear why and how in the episode!

------ 📣 Forta | Help Make Web3 a Safer Place https://bankless.cc/Forta 

------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER: https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/  🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST: http://podcast.banklesshq.com/ 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🚀 ROCKET POOL | ETH STAKING https://bankless.cc/RocketPool 

⚖️ ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum 

❎ ACROSS | BRIDGE TO LAYER 2 https://bankless.cc/Across 

🦁 BRAVE | THE BROWSER NATIVE WALLET https://bankless.cc/Brave 

🌴 MAKER DAO | DECENTRALIZED LENDING https://bankless.cc/MakerDAO 

🔐 LEDGER | SECURE STAKING https://bankless.cc/Ledger 

------ Timestamps:

0:00 Intro 6:00 Nouns DAO Origin 9:05 CryptoPunks vs. Nouns 11:55 4156's Tweet Thread 13:05 Noun Distribution Mechanism 22:20 Noun Art, Properties, & Rarity 37:00 Nouns Governance 44:25 Nounish Culture & Direction 52:00 Nouns DAO Proposals 54:50 Nouners Wednesday Episode 57:05 Closing

Resources:

4156 https://twitter.com/punk4156 

Vapeape https://twitter.com/punk4464 

Seneca https://twitter.com/cryptoseneca 

Nouns DAO https://twitter.com/nounsdao 

----- Not financial or tax advice. This channel is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This video is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.

Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here: https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/p/bankless-disclosures 

Monday, 01. August 2022

Cosmos

The Tendermint Council and the path to delivering ABCI++

Our plan for delivering ABCI++ The Tendermint project is one which, relative to other software in the space, is long in the tooth. While Tendermint remains the industry standard in consensus engines, its journey has seen many iterations of the core development team. This lack of continuity has led to subsequent knowledge loss, the latest playing a key role in the discontinued v0.35 release.

Our plan for delivering ABCI++

The Tendermint project is one which, relative to other software in the space, is long in the tooth. While Tendermint remains the industry standard in consensus engines, its journey has seen many iterations of the core development team. This lack of continuity has led to subsequent knowledge loss, the latest playing a key role in the discontinued v0.35 release.

In response to this, a group of experienced Tendermint contributors, from across the Cosmos Ecosystem, have formed the Tendermint Council. The Council’s objective is to accelerate development, guide product direction and provide continuity for Tendermint, working alongside both users and core contributors.

The immediate focus of the Council is the delivery of the much anticipated ABCI++. This is a collection of ergonomic changes to the interface between the application and Tendermint that will give the application far greater control of how the consensus engine conducts state machine replication. More information of what exactly ABCI++ does and what it unlocks will be released in a subsequent blog post.

The new release structure will start with getting the lowest risk pieces of ABCI++ into the hands of users first. PrepareProposal and ProcessProposal methods will be delivered on top of v0.34 as the next release. We aim to begin integrating this release with the Cosmos SDK within the next couple of weeks. This will be followed by FinalizeBlock and the vote extension logic.

Our goal is to fully deliver ABCI++ by the end of 2022, while focusing on quality of life improvements, performance and stability. As part of this, we have decided to discontinue support of v0.35. Features from v0.35, such as the improvements to state sync and the storage engine, will slowly be assessed and ported into upcoming releases.

Follow the latest developments of Tendermint on GitHub.

The Tendermint Council and the path to delivering ABCI++ was originally published in Cosmos Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Coinbase

Coinbase Prime grows its staking offering with ETH

Tl:dr: We’re launching Ethereum staking to US domestic institutional clients on Coinbase Prime. Using our industry-leading cold storage, clients can now generate yield by staking ETH. By Aaron Schnarch, Vice President of Product, Custody Fully-integrated staking on Coinbase Prime Coinbase Prime provides institutions with an end-to-end staking experience. Clients can create a wall

Tl:dr: We’re launching Ethereum staking to US domestic institutional clients on Coinbase Prime. Using our industry-leading cold storage, clients can now generate yield by staking ETH.

By Aaron Schnarch, Vice President of Product, Custody

Fully-integrated staking on Coinbase Prime

Coinbase Prime provides institutions with an end-to-end staking experience. Clients can create a wallet, decide how much to stake, and initiate staking from the ETH asset page on their Coinbase Prime account.

Securing client funds is our highest priority. We hold withdrawal keys in our cold storage custody vault at all times, meaning staked ETH and accumulated yield are always safe. To further ensure the security of client accounts, staking transactions must first complete consensus before they are executed.

ETH vs ETH2

The term eth2 has been used frequently to describe an upgrade to the Ethereum network that aims to improve the network’s security and scalability. This upgrade involves a shift in Ethereum’s security model from mining (“Proof-of-Work”) to staking (“Proof-of-Stake”).

Once a client stakes their ETH, our system uses the ticker ETH2 to represent those staked ETH tokens. Note that there is no separate/new “eth2” token or asset. The price of ETH and ETH2 is identical. Once the upgrade to the Ethereum network is complete, the tickers ETH and ETH2 will merge into a single ticker: ETH. The merge is currently expected to occur in September 2022, so moving forward you likely will see the term ETH2 fall into disuse.

Why institutions are staking

Staking can offer passive income on assets already held in custody by providing useful work in the form of security to the underlying blockchain. The Ethereum blockchain rewards stakers that do a good job, but also punishes those that fail in their duties, for example by having downtime. This is why it’s important to stake with a reputable and effective provider to earn maximal rewards while minimizing risk.

Staking rewards for most assets can be thought of similarly to compound interest, not unlike in traditional markets when dividends are reinvested. Because staking rewards are paid in the token being staked, users may “reinvest” those tokens to receive a higher payout at the next period. Furthermore, staked tokens are typically stored within their respective wallets, meaning that users earn yield without rehypothecation.

Staking on Coinbase Prime

With Coinbase Prime, institutional customers have the ability to stake their ETH and a number of other assets to begin generating yield. Staking is also supported for Solana, Polkadot, Cosmos, Tezos, Celo, and more. Read more about institutional staking in our Staking 101 for Institutions article.

Coinbase Prime grows its staking offering with ETH was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Polkadot Network

Staking Update: June-July 2022

Updates to the Polkadot and Kusama staking systems for the months of June and July, 2022. Featuring a new validator community page on the staking dashboard.

See the full list of monthly staking updates here. These updates have been written by Kian Paimani and Ross Bulat from Parity Technologies.

Reach out to us for any comment or feedback!

Staking at Polkadot Decoded

The biggest Polkadot event of the year happened in multiple locations worldwide in late June, and there were 3 main talks discussing the cutting edge initiatives of Polkadot staking.

The recordings of these talks are now publicly available on Youtube

Nomination Pools and The Story of The Polkadot's NPoS by Kian Paimani Polkadot Staking Dashboard Demo by Ross Bulat Recommending Validators Using an Active Learning Algorithm by Jonas Gehrlein Nomination Pools Bug Fixes Update

A number of bugs were found in nomination pools during their test-run on Kusama — all of which have now all been fixed in Substrate master and are awaiting to be deployed on Kusama again, proposed for the next release.

The most notable of these bugs are:

https://github.com/paritytech/substrate/pull/11746 https://github.com/paritytech/substrate/pull/11669

Once a release, including these two, is merged and working well on Kusama for some period of time, we can propose that governance merge the pending pull request to add nomination pools to Polkadot.

To facilitate those who are interested in building on top of nomination pools:

There’s a dedicated github project for nomination pools now. There’s a dedicated element room for support and discussion. Notable Contributors A custom runtime API to fetch the pending rewards of a member in a pool by an external contributor. This can also be used over the RPC by wallets. More efficient re-bonding of unclaimed rewards.

Thinking about contributing? Look for issues in the Substrate repo with the mentor tag, or the NPoS and Elections project, or the new Nomination Pools project. All successful contributions will get an on-chain tip initiated by the Parity staking team.

Also, if you are interested in contributing long-term, there’s a “Staking / PoS Engineer” position available at Parity Technologies, targeting exactly those who will contribute to the staking system.

Staking Dashboard Updates Validator Community Page Now Live: Add Yours Now!

The Polkadot staking dashboard (beta) recently launched on Polkadot.network and is already generating thousands of visits each week. With this in mind, we would like validators to benefit from this new app and the potentials it is unlocking as early as possible.

We are taking our first steps towards doing so today.

We are excited to announce that validators can now utilize the dashboard and add themselves to the new community page.

The community page is a new initiative to promote the visibility of not only validator nodes, but the entities and individuals behind the nodes that ensure their uptime and maintenance.

We are referring to these crucially important validator operators as “validator entities”.

A temporary validator entity example hosted on the Community page.

If you run validators on Polkadot, you are eligible to add your entity. Let’s explore entities in more detail.

About Validator Entities

As a validator entity, you can host:

A custom avatar to reflect your identity and brand Contact details: currently supports an email address, twitter handle and website URL A short bio of who you are, limited to 300 characters or less. And, crucially, a list of validator nodes that you are managing.

The entity details will appear on the community page. The entity’s bio can be opened in an overlay, and the list of validators are displayed by clicking the entity’s Validators button.

Clicking the Validators button will open a subsection of the page that only displays details for that particular entity:

A temporary validator entity node list hosted on the Community page.

This list of an entity’s validators uses the same components used in the main validator list, with pagination, filters, identity syncing, favorite toggling, and metrics all supported; there are no compromises with validator entity lists.

Entity Setup Instructions

To add your entity, just submit a PR on the staking dashboard’s Github repo. Within your PR, simply provide an avatar SVG and add your details to a JSON file.

Detailed instructions on how to add a validator entity are documented in the dashboard’s Readme document on Github, found here.

Ensuring Fairness

Validator entities are shuffled every time someone visits the dashboard, so there is no preference or bias towards a particular entity.

In addition, the validator nodes themselves are shuffled every time they are visited, for the same reasons.

Next Steps

With this month’s update the aim is to spread the word of this new feature, hoping that a vibrant list of validator entities will be added in the near future.

We are keen to expand the community page itself with ordering and filtering functionality as adoption increases.

As always, feedback and suggestions are always welcome. You can easily post feedback on the Feedback section of the dashboard.

Lastly, reach out to Ross for additional assistance at ross@parity.io


bankless

130 - How to Fix DeFi Tokens | Hasu

✨ DEBRIEF ✨ | Ryan & David's Unfiltered Thoughts on the Episode: https://shows.banklesshq.com/p/debrief-how-to-fix-defi-tokens  This is Hasu’s 5th appearance on Bankless and this might be his best one yet. If you’re unfamiliar, Hasu is a crypto-economic researcher at Paradigm, strategist at Flashbots solving MEV, host of Uncommon Core, and more recently, a Governor delegate for MakerDA

✨ DEBRIEF ✨ | Ryan & David's Unfiltered Thoughts on the Episode: https://shows.banklesshq.com/p/debrief-how-to-fix-defi-tokens 

This is Hasu’s 5th appearance on Bankless and this might be his best one yet. If you’re unfamiliar, Hasu is a crypto-economic researcher at Paradigm, strategist at Flashbots solving MEV, host of Uncommon Core, and more recently, a Governor delegate for MakerDAO and overall DAO governance thinker.

In this episode, we’re going to reorg your brain about what it means to be a DAO. Hear what’s broken about DAOs, the potential solutions, what regulation could do to help, and so much more.

------ 📣 Forta | Help Make Web3 a Safer Place https://bankless.cc/Forta 

------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER: https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/  🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST: http://podcast.banklesshq.com/ 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🚀 ROCKET POOL | ETH STAKING https://bankless.cc/RocketPool 

⚖️ ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum 

❎ ACROSS | BRIDGE TO LAYER 2 https://bankless.cc/Across 

🦁 BRAVE | THE BROWSER NATIVE WALLET https://bankless.cc/Brave 

🌴 MAKER DAO | DECENTRALIZED LENDING https://bankless.cc/MakerDAO 

🔐 LEDGER | SECURE STAKING https://bankless.cc/Ledger 

------ Topics Covered:

0:00 Intro 6:10 DeFi Token Brokenness 12:36 Treasury Management 15:29 Uniswap Token & Fees 27:09 Uniswap’s Strategy 29:58 DAO Governance & Business 33:06 DAOs vs. Digital Organizations 41:55 Regulation vs. DAO Governance 44:53 Founder & Protocol Alignment 50:09 Regulatory Clarity 1:00:16 Regulation’s Bull Case 1:03:58 Game Theory & Gov. Adoption 1:08:05 DAO Constitutions 1:13:13 The Value Prop of DeFi 1:21:03 SubDAOs & Voting 1:28:00 DAO Costs 1:31:04 Summary & Action Items 1:34:09 Why Be Optimistic of DeFi 1:40:53 Closing & Disclaimers

------ Resources:

Hasu https://twitter.com/hasufl 

Fake Dao vs Real Daos by Gabriel Shapiro https://lexnode.substack.com/p/defining-real-and-fake-daos 

The Market for Promises by Anthony Lee Zhang https://anthonyleezhang.substack.com/p/the-market-for-promises 

A Stupid Simple Governance Framework by Andrew Beal https://30000feet.substack.com/p/issue-72-a-stupid-simple-governance 

Hasu’s Recent Maker Governance Post https://vote.makerdao.com/address/0xafaff1a605c373b43727136c995d21a7fcd08989#delegate-credentials 

----- Not financial or tax advice. This channel is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This video is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research. 

Saturday, 30. July 2022

bankless

EthCC #5 | "The Cosmos (ATOM) Thesis" - Sunny Aggarwal

🇫🇷 Welcome to the Bankless EthCC 2022 Experience 🇫🇷 With fantastic guests from all corners of the ecosystem, this 8-part series is an exploration of crypto culture and the current state of Ethereum. In episode 5, Sunny Aggarwal joins us from the Cosmos ecosystem, and gives the high level on one of the more compelling theses in the crypto space. ------ 📣Rhino.Fi | Massive Mystery Airdrop ht

🇫🇷 Welcome to the Bankless EthCC 2022 Experience 🇫🇷

With fantastic guests from all corners of the ecosystem, this 8-part series is an exploration of crypto culture and the current state of Ethereum.

In episode 5, Sunny Aggarwal joins us from the Cosmos ecosystem, and gives the high level on one of the more compelling theses in the crypto space.

------ 📣Rhino.Fi | Massive Mystery Airdrop https://bit.ly/3o9trRE

------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER:          https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/   🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST:                 http://podcast.banklesshq.com/  

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 

🚀ROCKET POOL | ETH STAKING https://bankless.cc/RocketPool

⚖️ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum

❎ACROSS | BRIDGE TO LAYER 2 https://bankless.cc/Across

🦁BRAVE | THE BROWSER NATIVE WALLET https://bankless.cc/Brave

🌴MAKER DAO | DECENTRALIZED LENDING https://bankless.cc/MakerDAO

🔐LEDGER | SECURE STAKING https://bankless.cc/Ledger

------ Topics Covered:

0:00 Intro 2:30 Sunny and EthCC 4:00 The Cosmos Vision 7:50 Horizontal vs Vertical 11:50 Acceleration Strategies 14:40 Ethereum Cosmos Overlap

----- Resources:

Sunny on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sunnya97

----- Not financial or tax advice. This channel is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This video is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.


EthCC #6 | Stani Kulechov - "GHO is the Next Big Stablecoin"

🇫🇷 Welcome to the Bankless EthCC 2022 Experience 🇫🇷 With fantastic guests from all corners of the ecosystem, this 8-part series is an exploration of crypto culture and the current state of Ethereum. In episode 6, we’re joined by Stani from Aave. With the GHO Stablecoin and Lens Protocol tackling two different corners of the crypto ecosystem, we explore the Web3 movement—where we’ve been, and w

🇫🇷 Welcome to the Bankless EthCC 2022 Experience 🇫🇷

With fantastic guests from all corners of the ecosystem, this 8-part series is an exploration of crypto culture and the current state of Ethereum.

In episode 6, we’re joined by Stani from Aave. With the GHO Stablecoin and Lens Protocol tackling two different corners of the crypto ecosystem, we explore the Web3 movement—where we’ve been, and where we’re headed.

------ 📣Rhino.Fi | Massive Mystery Airdrop https://bit.ly/3o9trRE

------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER:          https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/   🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST:                 http://podcast.banklesshq.com/  

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 

🌱 LENS | ACCESS CODE: WAGMI https://bankless.cc/Lens

🚀 ROCKET POOL | ETH STAKING https://bankless.cc/RocketPool

⚖️ ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum

🦁 BRAVE | THE BROWSER NATIVE WALLET https://bankless.cc/Brave

🌉 JUNO | BRIDGE FIAT TO LAYER 2 https://bankless.cc/Juno

⚡️ ZKSYNC | THE LAYER 2 SCALING ENDGAME https://bankless.cc/zkSync

------ Topics Covered:

0:00 Intro 2:30 Stani Vibe Check 4:10 Analyzing the Ecosystem 7:20 Web3 Social Footprint 11:49 Non-Financial Use Cases 15:15 The Web3 Data Stack 19:24 The GHO Stablecoin

------ Resources:

Stani on Lens: https://www.lensfrens.xyz/stani.lens

----- Not financial or tax advice. This channel is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This video is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.


EthCC #7 | "The Web3 Identity Meta" - Evin McMullen

🇫🇷 Welcome to the Bankless EthCC 2022 Experience 🇫🇷 With fantastic guests from all corners of the ecosystem, this 8-part series is an exploration of crypto culture and the current state of Ethereum. In the 7th episode, Disco’s Evin McMullen joins to discuss Web3 Identity and her work with VCs (Verifiable Credentials) ------ 📣Rhino.Fi | Massive Mystery Airdrop https://bit.ly/3o9trRE ---

🇫🇷 Welcome to the Bankless EthCC 2022 Experience 🇫🇷

With fantastic guests from all corners of the ecosystem, this 8-part series is an exploration of crypto culture and the current state of Ethereum.

In the 7th episode, Disco’s Evin McMullen joins to discuss Web3 Identity and her work with VCs (Verifiable Credentials)

------ 📣Rhino.Fi | Massive Mystery Airdrop https://bit.ly/3o9trRE

------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER:          https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/   🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST:                 http://podcast.banklesshq.com/  

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 

🚀ROCKET POOL | ETH STAKING https://bankless.cc/RocketPool

⚖️ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum

❎ACROSS | BRIDGE TO LAYER 2 https://bankless.cc/Across

🦁BRAVE | THE BROWSER NATIVE WALLET https://bankless.cc/Brave

🌴MAKER DAO | DECENTRALIZED LENDING https://bankless.cc/MakerDAO

🔐LEDGER | SECURE STAKING https://bankless.cc/Ledger

------ Topics Covered:

0:00 Intro 3:00 Evin in Paris 5:15 What’s Left to Do? 7:40 The Web3 Data Stack 12:00 The Emergent Human 15:30 Sybil Resistance 18:30 The Future of Identity 20:40 The Build Market

------ Resources:

Evin on Twitter: https://twitter.com/provenauthority?s=20&t=GL1yGJyZjY92NyVIeCqfBA

----- Not financial or tax advice. This channel is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This video is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.


EthCC #8 | "1 Million Devs, 1 Billion Users" - Kevin Owocki & Austin Griffith

🇫🇷 Welcome to the Bankless EthCC 2022 Experience 🇫🇷 With fantastic guests from all corners of the ecosystem, this 8-part series is an exploration of crypto culture and the current state of Ethereum. In the 8th and final episode, we bring on the powerhouse duo of Austin Griffith and Kevin Owocki. This one is a lot of fun, and both of these builders are moving the space towards a more just, ro

🇫🇷 Welcome to the Bankless EthCC 2022 Experience 🇫🇷

With fantastic guests from all corners of the ecosystem, this 8-part series is an exploration of crypto culture and the current state of Ethereum.

In the 8th and final episode, we bring on the powerhouse duo of Austin Griffith and Kevin Owocki. This one is a lot of fun, and both of these builders are moving the space towards a more just, robust ecosystem.

------ 📣Rhino.Fi | Massive Mystery Airdrop https://bit.ly/3o9trRE

------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER:          https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/   🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST:                 http://podcast.banklesshq.com/  

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 

🌱 LENS | ACCESS CODE: WAGMI https://bankless.cc/Lens

🚀 ROCKET POOL | ETH STAKING https://bankless.cc/RocketPool

⚖️ ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum

🦁 BRAVE | THE BROWSER NATIVE WALLET https://bankless.cc/Brave

🌉 JUNO | BRIDGE FIAT TO LAYER 2 https://bankless.cc/Juno

⚡️ ZKSYNC | THE LAYER 2 SCALING ENDGAME https://bankless.cc/zkSync

----- Not financial or tax advice. This channel is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This video is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.

Friday, 29. July 2022

ConsenSys Blog

DeFi Protocol Governance Report | July 2022 | Week 4

This week we cover whitelister proposals for Aave, a greenlist poll for whether bIBTA should be a priority for Maker Core Units, outcomes of previous governance coverage, and more! The post DeFi Protocol Governance Report | July 2022 | Week 4 appeared first on ConsenSys.

This week we cover whitelister proposals for Aave, a greenlist poll for whether bIBTA should be a priority for Maker Core Units, outcomes of previous governance coverage, and more!

The post DeFi Protocol Governance Report | July 2022 | Week 4 appeared first on ConsenSys.


Mina Protocol

Mina Ecosystem Updates – July 2022

Below are some updates on the various projects, tooling and resources the Mina ecosystem and community have worked on over the last month. The post Mina Ecosystem Updates – July 2022 appeared first on Mina Protocol.

Below are some updates on the various projects, tooling, and resources the Mina ecosystem and community have worked on over the last month. 

Updates

*Please note that each ecosystem update may contain forecasts, projections, targets or other forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on the relevant ecosystem partner’s estimates and assumptions based on information available at the time such update is made. Accordingly, plans, goals and other statements may not be realized as described, and actual results may differ materially from those presented in such an update. In addition, the Mina Foundation is not responsible for updates made by community contributors or ecosystem partners, whose work is important to the development of the Mina ecosystem and is independent from any of the initiatives that the Mina Foundation is working on. 

Chainsafe – Lerna Jabourian, Project Manager

Chainsafe is working to make the network more resilient, via the reimplementation of Mina in Rust as a web node. 

In terms of updates, we were able to finish Milestone 2, thanks to code reviews from the O(1) Labs team. Overall, we’ve been mainly focusing on performance and code quality-related changes for the last month on mina-rs and also integrating changes from the hard-fork, including:

A few performance related refactors and pushing improvements to upstream dependencies Implementing reading the genesis ledger and accounts details in the Mina node Implemented a tool to ensure compatibility of the most recent Mina blocks from across the network Integrating changes from the recent hardfork into the mina-rs codebase

For a list of recently merged PRs, see our Github repo. We also always welcome anyone to reach out to us in terms of code reviews, suggestions and contributions. 

 

Mina Foundation – Brian McKenna, Head of Product; Claire Kart, Head of Marketing; Christine Yip, Head of Community

The Mina Foundation is helping serve and support the Mina ecosystem, specifically by allocating resources, supporting network health and security, and supporting participants on their path to the Mina ecosystem. 

Starting this month, we will be sharing updates as part of this blog so the community has a better understanding of what is being worked on by the Foundation. 

Product

Most recently, the Foundation is working with a team of community contributors on On-chain Signalling, to enable Block Producers to signal on-chain their support and readiness for a proposed hard fork upgrade.

On a high level, Phase 1 of the project has been delivered, which allows a Block Producer to submit a ‘voting’ transaction in the memo and also allows those results to be calculated and published via an API. The most recent progress includes:

Set up Archive Node and created voting transaction  Developed query to retrieve voting results from Archive Node  Deployed backend to connect to Archive Node  Made progress on frontend to display backend results

The next phase will be to calculate the votes on a stake-weight basis and make the API consumable by the community for release in parallel with the next testnet upgrade.

Events

We’re excited to share that Mina will be at ETHMexico City from August 19-21! There will be a Mina Protocol booth with teams from across the ecosystem attending to support builders. 

The global zkApps Developer Meetup tour is still ongoing, with successful meetups over the last 2 months that have concluded in Paris, Budapest, Berlin, Istanbul and Tel Aviv. We have met over 225 builders, community members and individuals wanting to learn more about Mina so far, and can’t wait to meet more.

 

Some upcoming meetups:

London on July 30 @ 9:30AM UTC+1 (This is a community-hosted developer meetup and zero knowledge workshop by Extropy.io!)  New York City on August 15 @ 6:30PM UTC-5 Mexico City on August 18 @ 6PM UTC-5

There are many more in-person meetups in the next few months – check out the event calendar on the Mina Community page to see where we’re heading next!

zkApp Developer Resources

Creating supporting resources to make it really easy for developers who are new to Mina and zkApps to get started is important. We’ll start with identifying opportunities and places where we can add more educational resources, then decide on the format, and work on producing it. If you have any suggestions, feedback, or ideas, please let us know in the #zkapps-developers or #zkapps-general channel on Discord!

The team has also been working with different ecosystem contributors on a zero knowledge video series, which will soon drop on YouTube. Be sure to subscribe to the Mina YouTube channel so you can be notified.

Quarterly Community-Nominated Grants

The Mina Foundation deeply values all contributions and strives to recognize those who went above and beyond to make a significant impact on the Mina ecosystem, with community-nominated grants. Each quarter, community members who made invaluable contributions to Mina are receiving grants – including but not limited to tools, scripts, blogs, videos, newsletters, events, community-led groups, and more.

We set up a new process to help us better evaluate contributions and award QGP grants, and within a shorter period of about 2 weeks, we received 100+ nominations for the Q2 grants! We’re proceeding to the next steps and are asking members to fill out a questionnaire about their work, to make sure that we’re not missing anything and are recognizing members for their contributions.

The nomination form is open for any entries for the 2022 Q3 grants. Please nominate Mina community members who have been helpful to you/built something helpful that you’re using (ex. Block explorers, wallets, scripts, dashboards, tutorials, blogs, etc.) for a grant. Feel free to also nominate your own work – we want to recognize everyone’s contributions to the Mina ecosystem!

 

=nil; Foundation – Mikhail Komarov, Founder

For context, =nil; Foundation is working on bridging Mina to Ethereum and more. 

Most recently, we’ve gotten to preparing the second phase of the audit – a proof system audit. This will certify that the auxiliary proof generator actually generates a valid Placeholder proof of successful Mina’s state proof verification. The third and last phase of the audit will be an in-EVM verification part audit, so after it is done, the project will enter its production-ready stage. 

We’re also experimenting with reducing the circuit size which has to be proved by exploiting a “tick-tok” nature of Mina’s state proof recursion. In case that works, the verification cost will reduce. Third of all, we’ve put together all the architecture and a roadmap to make Mina’s bridge a bi-directional one (and more).

Some key milestones reached recently include:

Auxiliary proof generation performance improvements because of the massive parallelization introduction (via special parallelization-exploiting version of a cryptography suite of ours: e.g. https://github.com/NilFoundation/actor-zk). Takes almost 5 times less time now. Potential verification cost reduction (because of the tick-tock nature of Mina’s state proof recursion I mentioned earlier). Not sure about the numbers for now, but it all depends on if we figure this out with O(1) Labs team members.

I would say that one of the most important commits made this month is about introducing Mina’s Kimchi proof system-based IR support for the circuit definition framework of ours. This enabled us to move towards simplification of Mina’s state proof verification circuit (less verification cost) and made the code more suitable for the audit.

 

O(1) Labs – Emre Tekisalp, CEO

Improving Node Stability

The latest beta release 1.3.2beta1 has been out for almost a month and is being tested on devnet. The last stable release, 1.3.1, has been running smoothly on Mainnet for well over two months. We’ve been focused on shipping performance improvements and addressing outstanding issues. We hope to promote 1.3.2 to stable in the coming weeks.

Berkeley QA Network

The Berkeley QA Network is ongoing and the QA task force is diligently participating and helping to address issues that occur. In the past month, we’ve redeployed the Berkeley QA Network and with the help of the community, found an issue. As a result, there has been some operational downtime on the QANet; however, O(1) engineers have identified the root cause and are working to roll out the fix. If you would like to participate in the QA network please chime in on the #devnet channel on Discord. We plan to make a few more redeployments to the QA network in the coming weeks so look out for more enhancements and fixes.

zkApp Protocol Readiness

O(1) Labs has worked on implementing key zkApp protocol features such as support for tokens, supporting zkApp events & sequence events, and zkApp composability (one zkApp calling another.) As we near feature completion, we are working on finalizing the acceptance criteria for each aspect of the protocol. The O(1) Labs engineering and testing teams have created a suite of acceptance tests and are writing test cases using sample zkApps.

SnarkyJS & zkApps

zkApp proving performance is now 200%-1,000% faster for non-recursive use cases! 

The O(1) Labs’ engineering team recently added support for preconditions, recursion, and events to SnarkyJS. Preconditions are available now; recursion & events will appear in the next release of SnarkyJS. Developers will be able to make use of these features on Berkeley Testnet. We’re currently writing documentation for these to be published on docs.minaprotocol.com in the coming weeks. Follow the new SnarkyJS changelog to see detailed updates as they occur. 

Proof Systems

While a draft Rust API for Kimchi was released some time in June via the proof-systems repo, the decision was made to restructure the API to align the interfaces with the proven Snarky (oCaml) circuit writing API, which is used throughout the Mina protocol. While this change will delay the release of an API for Kimchi, it will improve the maintainability and will result in a cleaner transition to future Rust versions of Pickles and Snarky. 

zkOracles

We’re thrilled to have welcomed a very talented Rust engineer with a background in MPC research who will be leading the implementation on zkOracles. In his first few weeks onboarding and ramping up on the project he has identified a few potential optimizations. We’ll continue to iterate on the design for zkOracles and look forward to beginning implementation work in the near future. In the meantime, the SnarkyJS team is working on an alternative oracle approach for developers to consume data from external sources within a zkApp in the near term.

 

ONTAB – Behzad Malek, CEO

Ontab has been working on the new uptime tracker for the Mina Foundation Delegation Program. 

Within the last month, a beta version of this new uptime tracker was released, which scores block producers’ uptime based on their SNARK worker activity, instead of sidecar data. 

The 3 major changes included in the new uptime tracker:

We look at verified submissions only. We only accept submissions with the state_hashes that more than 34% of the community agrees on. We finally account for submissions with state_hashes that are close (weight <=2) to the canonical blockchain in the last 90 days.

In other exciting news, we also released notes on the SNARK-based uptime tracking system API, which can enable Mina ecosystem participants and community members to access in data from the new uptime tracking system and incorporate into tools and services like community built leaderboards.

Test endpoint: http://3.237.77.215/ Documentation: http://3.237.77.215:5001/apidocs/

We would like to collect feedback on the new uptime tracker and the API from the community, to continue improving on them. Please share any feedback with us on the #delegation-program channel on Mina’s Discord.

 

Mina Notifier Bot – EA#0741

Created by community member EA#0741, MinaNotifierBot is a Telegram bot for MINA blockchain monitoring, which supports a huge variety of functions. 

In terms of its capabilities, the bot is similar to the explorers, while being a more convenient personalized tool. The bot solves the problem of informing users about events taking place in the Mina Blockchain in the most convenient way for the user. It is a product for the community, and I hope it helps the stable and healthy growth of the ecosystem as a whole. It also provides transparency and information support for the project and simplifies the experience for new users.

The bot was released in the mid-June with some basic functionality:

ability to add any user address to monitoring and view address info and manage settings notifications about sending or receiving tokens delegation notifications whale alerts and ability to set custom thresholds general settings management ability to contact bots’ developers on any questions zkRollup on Mina – trivo#0001

Community member Trivo#0001 (who is also a zkApps Builders Program cohort 1 participant) is working on a zkRollup for Mina. 

The first step of the zkRollup is to develop and provide a framework that gives developers the power to leverage fast performance while still maintaining Mina’s amazing privacy and succinctness properties.

The main goal of a rollup is to batch a lot of transactions into a single one, while still maintaining the security and decentralization of the underlying layer 1 – which in our case is Mina. Developers will be able to use the rollup as easily as any other framework or developer tooling, so the developer can focus on the important part – building the actual application – and not worry about throughput (tps), performance and any associated problems and hurdles that come with it. End users will be able to use any application built on top of a rollup without any additional hurdles while being exposed to increased performance which results in much better user experience.

A lot of the work over the recent weeks has been going on in the background and on the design side. I have gotten myself more comfortable with the recently released “recursion-API”, which will allow any rollup or application on Mina to easily merge SNARK proofs recursively (the part that other projects are still actively working on, but it is available on Mina NOW!). On the design front I have evaluated different possibilities of scaling the rollup and tried running a few (very) early benchmarks to get myself a better overview of what it will take to increase transaction throughput. One PR that I can point out is this one. In this PR I started to refactor major parts of the repository, do a lot of cleanup and needed documentation.

As I continue working on this, I welcome other community members to engage in discussions, ask questions and give feedback!

 

Community-Organized Developer Meetup & Workshop with Extropy.io – Karol#4597

Karol#4597 is a community member who has organized a developer meetup and zero knowledge workshop in London, which will take place this week on July 30 at 9:30AM UTC+1. Spots are open still, sign up to attend.

My goal is to increase the adoption of ZKPs and the Mina Protocol. I strongly believe that if more people would understand how the ZK technology work, they would see more clearly the potential that the protocol unlocks. In order to achieve that goal, I mainly focus on two areas: community education and zkApp development. Working at Extropy, alongside ZK experts, allowed me to often combine the two.

Recently we have run an online meetup, focusing on zkApps development. This Saturday (July 30), the first community-run workshop/developer meetup is being organised to allow anyone to learn more about the technology. This is an in-person meetup that will take place in London. We would love for people to join, and to give feedback about the content (what was clearly explained, what wasn’t) and the event itself. 

I saw a lack of such meetups run by the community so I thought to give it a try, and hopefully, inspire others to do so as well! If someone is interested in wanting to organize a similar meetup, I would suggest to start by engaging with the community on the Mina Discord channels and getting familiar with the resources and documentation.

The post Mina Ecosystem Updates – July 2022 appeared first on Mina Protocol.


Panther Protocol

Getting involved in Panther's community: You too can help shape DeFi privacy!

You can be an active part of the Panther community in more ways than you think. Let's look at Panther's DAO participation and other strategies.

At Panther, we are lucky to have community members always eager to participate in bringing privacy to DeFi.

Different aspects of our mission require distinct but coordinated efforts and, within them, plenty of roles arise for our community to fill. Each role has its duties and rewards, which creates a crucial balance that we strive to maintain. We attempt to make all roles equally enticing. It’s up to you to decide which one interests you the most.

Let’s examine a few strategies for you to get involved in Panther right now or in the future and help us enable privacy and trust in DeFi:

Strategy #1: Vote on DAO proposals

The Panther DAO, not our team, has the final say on all major decisions in Panther. As such, all $ZKP holders can vote on DAO proposals conducted through Snapshot.org.

DAO proposals range from definitions on our roadmap (e.g., launch Staking or deploy to Polygon) to bug fixes and launch timing. We request community before every move, so voting is the best way for you to take an active role in the future of Panther.

All $ZKP holders with staked tokens can participate in voting.

Your $ZKP must be staked to count towards voting power, regardless of the network (Ethereum or Polygon). We always announce new DAO proposals on Panther’s blog and through social media.

Strategy #2: Become a member of our community

Panther frequently relies on our community members on Discord, Telegram, and Twitter to get feedback on many of our initiatives and help disseminate the word about what Panther is building. In exchange for that, we make sure our community members are always in the loop regarding our more recent releases, undertakings, and marketing activities.

Our policy of full transparency is conducted through these official channels. We invite you to join them in order to become a full-fledged member of the Panther community:

Telegram: https://t.me/pantherprotocol Discord: https://discord.gg/WZuRnMCZ4c Twitter: https://twitter.com/ZkPanther

We have also established a number of local Panther communities through our Ambassadors in order to reach users, investors, and believers outside the anglosphere. The local communities currently live are:

French: t.me/PantherFranceOfficiel and twitter.com/zkpantherFR Spanish: https://t.me/pantherespanoloficial and twitter.com/zkpantherES Turkish: https://t.me/pantherprotocolturkish and twitter.com/zkpantherTR Japanese: https://t.me/PantherJapanOfficial Italian: https://t.me/PantherItaliaOfficial Russian: https://t.me/PantherRussianOfficial Africa: https://t.me/PantherAfricaOfficial India: https://t.me/PantherIndiaOfficial Strategy #3: Providing liquidity in Uniswap

Liquidity is very important in a DEX setting.

High liquidity allows investors to trade quickly, smoothly, and with less slippage. Liquidity providers earn fees from trades executed through liquidity pools. When a project has plenty of liquidity, volatility is better absorbed, making its price movements less abrupt.

Although anyone can create a Uniswap pool for any pair of assets, most of the time, it’s best to join existing pools that already enjoy some liquidity. There are currently four $ZKP liquidity pools live: a ETH-ZKP pool (in the Ethereum Mainnet), and USDT-ZKP, USDC-ZKP, and MATIC-ZKP pools (in Polygon).

All of them are Uniswap v3 pools, meaning you must select a price range in which to concentrate your liquidity. You will earn fees for trades only when $ZKP is within your selected price range, and the narrower it is, the faster you will accumulate fees.

How to provide liquidity for $ZKP in Uniswap

To become a liquidity provider and earn fees in Uniswap, follow the steps below. Note that we only recommend for advanced users to do this, as you need to be aware of impermanent loss, know what you’re doing, and be prepared for the possibility of financial losses.

To provide liquidity in Uniswap:

1. Go to Uniswap’s dApp and connect your wallet to the correct network.

2. Select the “Pool” tab, and click on the “New Position” button. Alternatively, follow one of the links above to the pool to which you want to provide liquidity.

3. Select the token pair you want to provide liquidity to. In this case, we selected $USDT/$ZKP. You might need to manually add $ZKP as a custom token to your Uniswap interface if you’ve never traded it in the decentralized exchange.

4. The “Edit” button (highlighted in yellow) in the screenshot below allows you to select a fee tier to deposit liquidity into. While you can choose a higher fee tier, users prefer to trade in pools with lower fees and more liquidity. For this reason, most users choose to adhere to the default option.

Adding liquidity to Uniswap pairs (in here, $ZKP/USDT).

5. As explained above, the fields highlighted in red are the bounds of the price range into which you will concentrate your liquidity. Highlighted in green is the button to provide liquidity at a full price range (zero to infinity). This is not recommended, however, as fee income will accumulate very slowly. You might want to set a wide but finite range to optimize your participation in the pool without worrying about $ZKP’s price range.

6. At last, type in how much $ZKP you want to provide. You will need to the pairing asset ($USDT in the image) in an amount that equals the same value. Uniswap will calculate the exact quantity you need to enter after you input your $ZKP amount.

7. You might need to approve your Metamask to spend $ZKP and your pairing asset if you have never used them in Uniswap. If you don’t see the “Approve” buttons, just skip this step.

8. Click “Preview” and “Add” to finish adding liquidity.

Strategy #4: Participate in product testing (Panther Zafari)

Panther Zafari is the name of Panther’s Incentivized Testnet. It debuted on May 19th, 2022, inviting our community to join the team’s efforts to test $ZKP Advanced Staking in the Mumbai Polygon Testnet, with rewards amounting to a total of 100,000 $ZKP.

We have received an enormous amount of feedback from all participants in Zafari for Advanced Staking testing. Decentralizing testing is a powerful way to dramatically increase our testing capabilities at a manageable cost.

Testing happens in the Polygon’s and Ethereum’s Testnets, with instructions in each test round’s announcement. Test $ZKP tokens are provided through a faucet when necessary.

The first, second, and third testing rounds for Advanced Staking are currently closed for new participants. Later Zafari rounds and testing of other features will be made public through our blog, so keep a close eye to avoid missing the next Zafari announcement!

Strategy #5: Become a partner

Strategic partnerships are essential for a nascent project’s success in the blockchain industry. Although competition is a major force that drives innovation, cooperation can be even more impactful in this space.

Panther aims to be the focal point through which Interchain private transactions are made possible. We prioritize our partners to deliver this critical private infrastructure.

Panther is always on the lookout for partnerships that contribute toward our goals for privacy in DeFi. If you’re involved with another project in the blockchain space and you believe we can mutually benefit from joining forces, you can reach out to our team through partnerships@pantherprotocol.io. We’re also always looking forward to hearing from:

Other members of the PriFi scene. Projects wanting to infuse their protocols with privacy. Infrastructure/data protocols. Builders looking to use Panther’s primitives (see our section on upcoming SDKs/APIs for more about this!) Strategy #6: Apply to be a Panther Ambassador

Panther Ambassadors are leaders all over the world who play a pivotal role in disseminating Panther amongst broader audiences. Thanks to them, the Panther community can continue to grow and provide feedback to improve our products, systems, and procedures.

Besides our team, Panther Ambassadors are the first to access product previews and exclusive events. Ambassadors work independently but can count on our team’s support as necessary for their endeavors.

Here are some examples of activities a Panther Ambassador can perform:

Creating and moderating local communities Organizing local events and meetups Translating or creating Panther content, including but not limited to: Twitter threads Blog posts Videos Memes (yes, please) Infographics Podcasts Assisting with the promotion and moderation of social media accounts. In fact, as of July 2022, we made a move to allow notable Panther Ambassadors to help moderate our Discord and Telegram channels, as opposed to a third-party firm. This has had the side effect of drastically increasing moderation quality and moderator knowledge! Connect us with other players in the space for potential partnerships and collaborations. Offer input to the Panther team on certain strategic decisions. How are Panther Ambassadors compensated?

At the moment, for a few hours a month, Ambassadors may receive a monthly compensation varying on account of one’s cost of living and the extent of their contributions, among other factors. This program is designed to help motivated and driven ambassadors thrive as they increasingly support Panther.

Ambassadors can be reimbursed for pre-approved expenses incurred while representing Panther. They are also qualified to receive exclusive Panther swag you’ll receive for personal use and distribution.

How does one become a Panther Ambassador?

While Panther Ambassadors are still very much a part of our community, we are currently not actively looking for them. However, if you have a proposal for us, feel free to message the Panther team through our official Discord and Telegram.

A lot more is coming

Panther is building a whole infrastructure to enable privacy and trust in DeFi and Web3. This is done through a complex ecosystem of products and services and, as such, in the future, you will be able to participate in Panther in many more ways. Some of them will be:

Providing liquidity to Multi-Asset Shielded Pools

By using Panther’s privacy solutions, you contribute to Panther’s privacy set and assist in making shielded transactions even harder to track. Depositing assets into MASPs is a straightforward way to participate and strengthen the privacy offered by the protocol. Here is how it works:

After locking their assets into a vault, users receive fully-collateralized zAssets with which to privately transact through Panther’s Multi-Asset Shielded Pools. As the number of transactions within a pool increases, it becomes increasingly harder to uncover the sender of any transaction. MASPs will reward those that add tokens even if they don’t make shielded transactions, as locking their assets also contributes to shielding.

MASPs are a part of Panther’s v1, which will be released sometime in 2022.

Advanced Staking

Currently, users are testing Advanced Staking, which is a mechanism that will help the Panther team test the way MASPs accrue and control rewards. Advanced Staking introduces the first zAsset, $zZKP. For this very reason, Advanced Staking requires a great deal of the infrastructure necessary for MASPs to be ready and deployed.

Our team has come to call Advanced Staking by the nickname “Panther v0.5,” a succinct way to describe what this feature means on Panther’s roadmap. The release of Advanced Staking is a huge milestone and just a few weeks away, so stay tuned!

Building on top of Panther

Panther is building public goods for a future where privacy is the default throughout in DeFi. By interacting with our smart contracts, developers can build more complex systems that rely on Panther as a basic building block. We commit to making this as easy as possible by releasing comprehensive and easy-to-understand documentation on our smart contracts.

Our robust DeFi privacy suite relies on a number of state-of-the-art cryptographic primitives not widely available in a ready-to-use form. Our team intends to make them available through SDKs (software development kits) for developers to build privacy-oriented applications and dApps.

Interact with the Panther DAO

Since our launch, Panther has made decentralization one of our highest priorities and a key principle. The Panther DAO regularly conducts votes to approve the deployment of Panther’s new developments. As time passes, the responsibilities of the Panther Foundation and Stellium will be progressively passed over to the Panther DAO.

We are currently setting up the stage for users to get more actively involved in Panther’s governance and contribute to it more broadly.

Become a Service/Trust Provider

Some of Panther’s features rely on the participation of Service Providers and Trust Providers. Service Providers are entities offering applications that interact with zAssets or Panther Reveals. Trust Providers are entities capable of providing attestations (verifiable statements) in the form of Panther Reveals, revealing the least possible (or none at all) underlying information. Through these attestations, Service Providers can build trust with their users.

As these features become commonplace, the Panther team will open the door for more and more Trust and Service Providers to join the ecosystem.

Ask not what Panther can do for you…

At the end of the day, Panther can only go as far as its community takes it.

On our end, our job is to build the best system possible that aligns all incentives for Panther to compete with other centralized and decentralized alternatives. Our ultimate goal is to build an ecosystem that supports users contributing, building, and improving their privacy without the need to be told so.

By joining early, you get to be one of the very first to reap the benefits of participating in a larger mission.

We hope to see you around our communities very soon!

About Panther

Panther is a decentralized protocol that enables interoperable privacy in DeFi using zero-knowledge proofs.

Users can mint fully-collateralized, composable tokens called zAssets, which can be used to execute private, trusted DeFi transactions across multiple blockchains.

Panther helps investors protect their personal financial data and trading strategies, and provides financial institutions with a clear path to compliantly participate in DeFi.

Stay connected: Telegram | Twitter | LinkedIn | Website


bankless

ROLLUP: Coinbase Insider Trading | Three Arrows Capital Speaks! | The Merge Approaches

4th Week of July, 2022 ------ 📣Rhino.Fi | Massive Mystery Airdrop https://bit.ly/3o9trRE  ------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER: https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/  🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST: http://podcast.banklesshq.com/  ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 🌱 LENS | ACCESS CODE: STAKING https://bankless.cc/Lens  🚀 ROCKET POOL | ETH STAKING https://bankless.cc/RocketPool

4th Week of July, 2022

------ 📣Rhino.Fi | Massive Mystery Airdrop https://bit.ly/3o9trRE 

------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER: https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/  🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST: http://podcast.banklesshq.com/ 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🌱 LENS | ACCESS CODE: STAKING https://bankless.cc/Lens 

🚀 ROCKET POOL | ETH STAKING https://bankless.cc/RocketPool 

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🌉 JUNO | BRIDGE FIAT TO LAYER 2 https://bankless.cc/Juno 

⚡️ ZKSYNC | THE LAYER 2 SCALING ENDGAME https://bankless.cc/zkSync 

------

0:00 Intro

4:00 MARKETS 4:05 BTC Price 4:30 ETH Price 5:44 ETH/BTC 6:35 Total Crypto Market Cap 6:48 Gas Markets 8:18 Federal Reserve 18:34 NFT Price Floor Numbers https://nftpricefloor.com/  21:06 Merge Sell Pressure  https://twitter.com/DeFiSurfer808/status/1550215641248026624  23:53 ETH vs. BTC Bear Market Chart https://twitter.com/FelixOHartmann/status/1551323998465794050 

31:15 NEWS 31:20 Three Arrows Capital Speaks 32:05 3AC Speaks https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-07-22/three-arrows-founders-en-route-to-dubai-describe-ltcm-moment#xj4y7vzkg  36:00 RSA Takeaway https://twitter.com/RyanSAdams/status/1550481320933003265 

41:50 Coinbase Insider Trading 41:55 Former Coinbase PM Arrested https://www.theblock.co/post/158960/former-coinbase-product-manager-arrested-on-insider-trading-charges  45:05 Jake Take https://twitter.com/jchervinsky/status/1550156019296247810  46:05 Jake 2nd Thread https://twitter.com/jchervinsky/thread/1550515627961589762  48:25 Coinbase Does Not List Securities https://blog.coinbase.com/coinbase-does-not-list-securities-end-of-story-e58dc873be79  50:30 Statement of Commissoner Caroline D. Pham on SEC https://www.cftc.gov/PressRoom/SpeechesTestimony/phamstatement072122  52:38 SEC Probe https://www.cnbc.com/2022/07/26/coinbase-shares-tumble-after-report-that-its-facing-sec-probe.html  https://twitter.com/0xSisyphus/status/1552300223682281472  52:55 Coinbase Down Bad 53:29 Cathie Wood $ARKK Sold 1.41M Shares https://twitter.com/unusual_whales/status/1552085054653730816 53:53 Remember DeFi? https://twitter.com/RyanSAdams/status/1550450216201076736 

56:40 Georli Testnet Merge https://twitter.com/BanklessHQ/status/1552712874543439876 

59:30 ETH 59:57 zkEVM Differences https://twitter.com/socketdottech/status/1550149054243360768  1:03:32 Uniswap Fees CRUSHING IT https://twitter.com/haydenzadams/status/1551579707736473601  1:04:20 Uniswap Fee Switch Debate https://gov.uniswap.org/t/fee-switch-design-space-next-steps/17132  1:06:00 AntPool Believes! (Will no one fork Ethereum?) https://www.coindesk.com/business/2022/07/26/antpool-supports-ethereum-classic-ecosystem-with-10m-investment/  1:09:10 ETC Pumping lately https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/ethereum-classic 

1:10:40 NFTs 1:10:50 POAP Making Moves in the WNBA https://twitter.com/leadinscientist/status/1552298253194076166  https://poap.gallery/event/55974 

1:12:30 REGULATION Crypto Transactions Less Than $50 https://decrypt.co/106006/bipartisan-bill-seeks-to-eliminate-taxes-on-crypto-transactions-under-50 

1:13:20 MISC 1:13:35 Solana Physical Stores https://twitter.com/Scott_eth/status/1551539635137953793  1:14:05 Chipotle Dips into Crypto with ‘Buy the Dip’ Promo https://decrypt.co/105916/chipotles-buy-the-dip-promo-includes-200k-in-crypto-for-customers-coinbase-accounts 

1:14:35 RELEASES 1:14:40 Mirror’s Web3 Subscriptions https://dev.mirror.xyz/Jn62zF5n62BfowdaFgm3uIx3Fgp2vIR7b-HTSxKVXqk  1:15:25 WalletConnect Chat https://twitter.com/WalletConnect/status/1550061470595137536 

1:15:50 RAISES 1:15:55 Aptos $150M From FTX Ventures, Jump Crypto & More https://medium.com/aptoslabs/entering-the-next-phase-of-the-aptos-journey-with-added-funding-and-new-partners-d4daa03dd17c  1:18:18 Unstoppable Domains reaches unicorn status $65M Series A https://blockworks.co/unstoppable-domains-reaches-unicorn-status-after-latest-raise/ 

1:18:45 Jobs https://pallet.xyz/list/bankless/jobs  1:20:10 Devcon https://devcon.org/tickets/  https://forms.gle/x6GHpq8MAZJCwwsq5  https://devcon.org/en/bogota/ 

1:23:20 Questions of the Week https://twitter.com/MyMoneyPlanCH/status/1552341093911613441  https://twitter.com/FunnaEth/status/1552329571487432704  https://twitter.com/Sjr05d/status/1552324854522810368 

1:33:27 TAKES 1:33:30 CT Sentiment (Hot and Cold) https://twitter.com/CryptoCronkite/status/1552244606166831104  1:33:55 What Leads? ​​https://twitter.com/TrustlessState/status/1552452639249600514   1:35:50 Seattle NFT Museum https://twitter.com/TimBeiko/status/1551312206704381952  1:36:50 Vitalik: Update on Roadmap https://imgur.com/zrS4A3N  https://imgur.com/bb4AmvR 

1:40:40 What David’s Bullish On 1:43:50 What Ryan’s Bullish On

1:47:16 Meme of the Week https://twitter.com/HsakaTrades/status/1552648542153351169 

1:48:15 Closing & Disclaimers

——- Not financial or tax advice.

See our investment disclosures here: https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/p/bankless-disclosures 


EthCC #1 | Vitalik - "The Merge Isn't Priced In"

🇫🇷 Welcome to the Bankless EthCC 2022 Experience 🇫🇷 With fantastic guests from all corners of the ecosystem, this 8-part series is an exploration of crypto culture and the current state of Ethereum. This first episode is with Vitalik himself, in which we discuss his takes on the Ethereum roadmap, developer morale as we approach the Merge, and his incomparable drip. ------ 📣Rhino.Fi | Massiv

🇫🇷 Welcome to the Bankless EthCC 2022 Experience 🇫🇷

With fantastic guests from all corners of the ecosystem, this 8-part series is an exploration of crypto culture and the current state of Ethereum.

This first episode is with Vitalik himself, in which we discuss his takes on the Ethereum roadmap, developer morale as we approach the Merge, and his incomparable drip.

------ 📣Rhino.Fi | Massive Mystery Airdrop https://bit.ly/3o9trRE

------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER:          https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/   🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST:                 http://podcast.banklesshq.com/  

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 

🌱 LENS | ACCESS CODE: WAGMI https://bankless.cc/Lens

🚀 ROCKET POOL | ETH STAKING https://bankless.cc/RocketPool

⚖️ ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum

🦁 BRAVE | THE BROWSER NATIVE WALLET https://bankless.cc/Brave

🌉 JUNO | BRIDGE FIAT TO LAYER 2 https://bankless.cc/Juno

⚡️ ZKSYNC | THE LAYER 2 SCALING ENDGAME https://bankless.cc/zkSync

------ Topics Covered:

0:00 Intro 2:30 Vitalik’s New Meta 8:45 Ethereum Builds Faster 14:27 Developer Morale 17:11 Vitalik’s Drip 18:55 The App Layer 28:08 Surviving Conferences 29:45 Improving Communities

------ Resources:

Vitalik on Twitter: https://twitter.com/VitalikButerin

Vitalik’s EthCC Talk: https://youtu.be/kGjFTzRTH3Q

----- Not financial or tax advice. This channel is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This video is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.


EthCC #2 | Kain Warwick - "The Crypto Fees Boom"

🇫🇷 Welcome to the Bankless EthCC 2022 Experience 🇫🇷 With fantastic guests from all corners of the ecosystem, this 8-part series is an exploration of crypto culture and the current state of Ethereum. With Episode 2, Kain Warwick from Synthetix joins us to frame the next bull market. Pockets of DeFi are heating up, the Layer 2 narrative has room to breathe, and electricity (hopefully not COVID)

🇫🇷 Welcome to the Bankless EthCC 2022 Experience 🇫🇷

With fantastic guests from all corners of the ecosystem, this 8-part series is an exploration of crypto culture and the current state of Ethereum.

With Episode 2, Kain Warwick from Synthetix joins us to frame the next bull market. Pockets of DeFi are heating up, the Layer 2 narrative has room to breathe, and electricity (hopefully not COVID) is in the air.

------ 📣Rhino.Fi | Massive Mystery Airdrop https://bit.ly/3o9trRE

------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER:          https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/   🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST:                 http://podcast.banklesshq.com/  

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 

🌱 LENS | ACCESS CODE: WAGMI https://bankless.cc/Lens

🚀 ROCKET POOL | ETH STAKING https://bankless.cc/RocketPool

⚖️ ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum

🦁 BRAVE | THE BROWSER NATIVE WALLET https://bankless.cc/Brave

🌉 JUNO | BRIDGE FIAT TO LAYER 2 https://bankless.cc/Juno

⚡️ ZKSYNC | THE LAYER 2 SCALING ENDGAME https://bankless.cc/zkSync

------ Topics Covered:

0:00 Intro 3:30 Kain Warwick 5:20 EthCC 2022 8:05 Alt Layer 1s 13:00 Layer 2 Vibes 16:00 The Fees Boom 18:27 Kain vs Su Zhu 21:17 Bull Market Goggles 23:14 Setting up the Next Bull

------ Resources:

Kain on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kaiynne

----- Not financial or tax advice. This channel is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This video is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.


EthCC #3 | "StarkWare isn't Leaving Ethereum" - Eli Ben-Sasson and Uri Kolodny

🇫🇷 Welcome to the Bankless EthCC 2022 Experience 🇫🇷 With fantastic guests from all corners of the ecosystem, this 8-part series is an exploration of crypto culture and the current state of Ethereum. In episode 3, we cover the recent announcement of the StarkWare token launch, the exploding zkEVM ecosystem, and the future of StarkWare. ------ 📣Rhino.Fi | Massive Mystery Airdrop https://bit.

🇫🇷 Welcome to the Bankless EthCC 2022 Experience 🇫🇷

With fantastic guests from all corners of the ecosystem, this 8-part series is an exploration of crypto culture and the current state of Ethereum.

In episode 3, we cover the recent announcement of the StarkWare token launch, the exploding zkEVM ecosystem, and the future of StarkWare.

------ 📣Rhino.Fi | Massive Mystery Airdrop https://bit.ly/3o9trRE

------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER:          https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/   🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST:                 http://podcast.banklesshq.com/  

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 

🚀ROCKET POOL | ETH STAKING https://bankless.cc/RocketPool

⚖️ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum

❎ACROSS | BRIDGE TO LAYER 2 https://bankless.cc/Across

🦁BRAVE | THE BROWSER NATIVE WALLET https://bankless.cc/Brave

🌴MAKER DAO | DECENTRALIZED LENDING https://bankless.cc/MakerDAO

🔐LEDGER | SECURE STAKING https://bankless.cc/Ledger

------ Topics Covered:

0:00 Intro 2:30 Eli and Uri 4:52 zkEVM Explosion 10:30 The StarkWare Approach 16:20 StarkNet on Ethereum 19:35 The StarkNet Token 24:30 Token Models 26:53 The Future of StarkWare

------ Resources:

Eli on Twitter: https://twitter.com/EliBenSasson

Uri on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ukolodny

StarkWare: https://twitter.com/StarkWareLtd

----- Not financial or tax advice. This channel is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This video is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.


EthCC #4 | "The Polygon zkEVM Frontier" - Mihailo Bjelic

🇫🇷 Welcome to the Bankless EthCC 2022 Experience 🇫🇷 With fantastic guests from all corners of the ecosystem, this 8-part series is an exploration of crypto culture and the current state of Ethereum. In episode 4, Mihailo Bjelic joins us to discuss the announcement of Polygon’s zkEVM. This explosive headline comes alongside three other zkEVM announcements.  Why now? What does this all me

🇫🇷 Welcome to the Bankless EthCC 2022 Experience 🇫🇷

With fantastic guests from all corners of the ecosystem, this 8-part series is an exploration of crypto culture and the current state of Ethereum.

In episode 4, Mihailo Bjelic joins us to discuss the announcement of Polygon’s zkEVM. This explosive headline comes alongside three other zkEVM announcements. 

Why now? What does this all mean?!

------ 📣Rhino.Fi | Massive Mystery Airdrop https://bit.ly/3o9trRE

------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER:          https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/   🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST:                 http://podcast.banklesshq.com/  

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 

🌱 LENS | ACCESS CODE: WAGMI https://bankless.cc/Lens

🚀 ROCKET POOL | ETH STAKING https://bankless.cc/RocketPool

⚖️ ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum

🦁 BRAVE | THE BROWSER NATIVE WALLET https://bankless.cc/Brave

🌉 JUNO | BRIDGE FIAT TO LAYER 2 https://bankless.cc/Juno

⚡️ ZKSYNC | THE LAYER 2 SCALING ENDGAME https://bankless.cc/zkSync

------ Topics Covered:

0:00 Intro 3:00 Polygon zkEVM Announcements 6:50 How it Works 10:00 Road to Maine 15:30 EVM Equivalence 19:30 EthCC 2021

------ Resources:

Mihailo on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MihailoBjelic

Polygon: https://twitter.com/0xPolygon

----- Not financial or tax advice. This channel is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This video is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.


xx.network

xx coin: Tokenomics & Use Cases

The xx coin represents your voice in the network. It’s used to vote, exchange value, and incentivize you to run a server or node, and it gives uncensorable access to the most private decentralized communications network in the world. [...] Read More... from xx coin: Tokenomics & Use Cases The post xx coin: Tokenomics & Use Cases appeared first on xx network.

Communication is the foundation of the Internet. Social media, news, shopping, and educational platforms are all underpinned by the ability to communicate across the world, at any time, with anyone. We form relationships, we learn, we grow, and we share our lives and our secrets online – and up until now, we’ve done it by selling our identities to the most powerful companies in the world.

The xx network is a revolution in the way we build and use the communications platforms that make the Internet so ubiquitous in our daily lives. The xx network provides private communications infrastructure that isn’t owned by a corporation, individual, or government. On top of that, the xx network can’t scoop up your data or your identity, and it can’t be censored – nor be discovered – even by the most determined actors. Ensured by cryptography, the xx network is owned and operated by its users, meaning you can run the servers and make the decisions.

The xx coin represents your voice in the network. It’s used to vote, exchange value, and incentivize you to run a server or node, and it gives uncensorable access to the most private decentralized communications network in the world. The full rundown on the xx network’s tokenomics can be found here, and we’ve put together a high-level overview of the xx coin below for those of you who are interested in helping build a truly protected digital society.

What is xx coin?

xx coin is the native digital currency of the xx network. This secure digital currency can be traded among individuals and institutions and all xx coin wallets are embedded with quantum-secure keys which will protect your assets in the event of a quantum computing breakthrough.

On top of that, xx coin plays an essential role in incentivizing network participation and decentralized governance through xx network’s multifaceted, tokenized reward structure.

xx Governance & Rewards

The xx chain uses a Nominated Proof of Stake (NPoS) protocol to secure the network economically. The network’s decentralized governance mechanisms allow every xx coin holder to propose, second, and vote in the referendums that shape the network. These referendums may modify the code of the network, add new features, change economic structures, and control just about every aspect of the platform.

More specifically, the xx network will use nominated staking to incentivize all coin holders to participate in node selection, operation, bonding, and governance. There are four main ways to contribute to the xx network and start earning xx coins: 

Run an active node: xx coin holders can become an xx network node operator and earn xx coins in exchange for helping secure the network. Prospective validators must stake a minimum of 5,000 xx coins and attract nominations and stakes from the community to be elected. Once elected, every validator is equal, meaning their xx coin staking rewards are not proportional to the validator’s stake, but rather determined by a point-based system that measures each validator’s relative blockchain performance (uptime, block production, etc.). Today, it takes over 100k xx in nominations to become a node on the xx network blockchain. Nominate an active node: xx network users who do not want to become validators can stake their coins and nominate validators in order to vote on governance proposals and nominate nodes in the network. These Nominators earn interest on the tokens they have staked on active nodes every “era” according to an interest rate curve and the specific commission and performance of the node. Build an xx app: The xx Foundation has launched a special grant initiative to jumpstart the development and deployment of privacy preserving  dApps using the xxDK. The program will award individual grants of up to 1,000,000 xx coins for each successful submission, from an initial pool of 10,000,000 xx coins, and the Elixxir team will also be involved as advisors for every grant project accepted at this stage. Grow the xx ecosystem: the xx network’s treasury was created to fund bounties and rewards for ongoing development of the xx ecosystem through activities proposed by the council, the tech committee, or the community at large. Join the xx Discord and Telegram to learn more about new community initiatives and contribute new ideas for how to grow the xx ecosystem.

xx nodes are essential to the security and core operations of the xx network, and node rewards are composed of a share of the fees paid into the network plus an inflationary reward of newly minted xx coins. That said, we understand that running a full node requires some expertise, time, and money to acquire and maintain the requisite computing hardware and minimum bond amount. That’s why we’ve incorporated node nominations and other reward mechanisms – so every active xx user has the ability to participate in xx network’s governance and development and earn xx coins for their contributions.

xx coin Ecosystem Usage

The xx network was founded on the belief that no matter where you are in the world, you should be able to communicate and transact privately without worrying about whether your digital footprint can be viewed or compromised by any external party. That’s why our open-source technology is designed to enable two primary functions: private communications and secure payments, both of which are planned to rely on a mix of free and paid “postage,” the unit that quantifies the amount of computing power and bandwidth required to transmit data privately across the xx network.

Private communications: Usage of the xx network’s private communication layer is designed to be accessible to anyone with a suitable mobile phone. The system is currently designed to be free to use for xx user accounts who stake or burn a small number of xx coins in order to acquire free postage. 

This allotted free postage is sufficient for most users’ day-to-day messaging needs. However, organizations and independent developers who want to deploy and operate dApps and smart contracts on the xx network will need to pay for additional bandwidth using xx coins. In the future, we will roll out additional mechanisms for acquiring and using free postage in order to benefit regular xx users, but the demand for xx coin will continue to grow as more privacy-minded businesses and builders use the xx network to communicate en masse.

Secure payments: Every xx coin on the network is held in an account or wallet that is seeded with the strongest type of quantum-secure cryptography known. This ensures that, unlike traditional banking or other cryptocurrencies, not only are your individual coins protected from the rapid development of quantum computers, but just as importantly the infrastructure securing your coins is protected from systemic risk.

While xx network messaging is currently free to use, the xx community may adopt a postage system in which all xx coin holders would have rate-limited access to the network depending on their needs. As envisioned, all xx accounts would automatically accrue free postage gradually over time to ensure that xx network remains universally accessible. Advanced messaging functionality, enterprise adoption, and integration with other blockchains or dApps will require additional postage gained by purchasing xx coins. The xx network’s unique network architecture is structured in a way that enables every new node to provide additional transaction processing power and relay capacity. This means that as the number of xx nodes increases, both security and performance improve. These scaling characteristics thereby enable a virtuous cycle of growth, in which validator revenue increases as network utilization increases, which then allows the network to onboard and support additional nodes and further increase capacity.

xx coin Distribution

One of the xx network’s goals is to broadly distribute coin ownership in order to enhance network security and establish egalitarian incentives across the xx network’s entire privacy-enhancing ecosystem.

1 billion xx coins were created during genesis following the xx network’s mainnet launch on November 16, 2021. Less than 5% of these were immediately put into circulation at genesis, and token distribution was allocated according to the below distribution.

xx coin Distribution

Allocation% SupplyVestingPurposeBetaNet Rewards5%Coins earned have a 1-year lockup from the month they are earnedAllocated to BetaNet node operators and community airdrops. All remaining xx coins will be used to pay nodes running the canary test network.Staking Rewards30%No lockup or vest but are subject to a 28-day unbonding period when unstakedAlgorithmically distributed to stakers in the xx network to incentivize users to stake in the MainNet. Coin Sales30%1-year lockup for coins purchased during BetaNetAllocated for public and private sales. Roughly 12% have already been sold or used to fulfill obligations to early SAFE and options holders, and all remaining coins after the public sale will be re-allocated towards staking rewards (70%) and the Foundation (30%).Team & Partners25%3-year vesting period, 10% of locked coins are stakeable for rewards on the MainNetAllocated to project creators. Many team coins will initially be used to stake members of the BetaNet node community.Foundation10%20% initial vesting period; 3-year vesting for remaining 80%Allocated to grow the xx network ecosystem via partnerships, marketing and promotions, exchange listings and distribution, dApp development and events.

From the start, over 90% of the xx network coin holders voluntarily locked their coins into 6-12 month vesting schedules starting at genesis and are staking those coins for rewards. xx coin will follow a deflationary supply curve for the first 5-6 years it is in circulation, with a small percentage of coins automatically burned at regular intervals in the xx network’s on-chain treasury. Afterwards, the xx network will gradually transition to an inflationary model with a maximum annual coin supply inflation rate of 6.5%, which will be distributed via block rewards to all xx coin holders staking on active nodes. 

xx coin’s inflation rate will follow a curve, starting with higher inflation to support the early network before tapering down to maintain the network. The majority of the inflationary reward is given to the nodes and coin holders and a portion is transferred to the on-chain treasury, which is controlled by xx coin holders.

xx coin and the Future of Privacy

xx network’s economic model is designed to accelerate the inherent utility of a scalable, quantum-secure coin and leverage the growth and versatility of the platform’s native private messaging functionalities. In that respect, we believe the xx coin is essential to the future of online privacy.

We believe that your financial life and activity should be enriched and not threatened by technology, and our entire privacy-enhancing ecosystem is underpinned by xx coin, in terms of both on-chain governance and dApp development and usage. The positive flywheel effects made possible through the xx network’s quantum-resistant, stake-based consensus protocols enable the user growth and scale required to create a truly global, truly decentralized community of users.

The post xx coin: Tokenomics & Use Cases appeared first on xx network.

Thursday, 28. July 2022

Sequoia

Trevor McFedries: New Economies, New Stories

The post Trevor McFedries: New Economies, New Stories appeared first on Sequoia Capital US/Europe.
New Economies, New Stories

By Allison Keeley

Photography: WENDY HUYNH

Published July 28, 2022

How Trevor McFedries is creating new incentives for creatives

Trevor McFedries’ ’89 light-blue BMW was a mess. Standing at a garage in the West Adams neighborhood of Los Angeles, he was waiting for an update on repairs he knew he couldn’t afford when his phone buzzed. His heart leaped. It was 2017, and this call could change his life. McFedries was almost broke. He’d run through his savings while pitching his big idea to 60 investors who’d gone cold, and one who’d given him a few hundred thousand dollars, which was quickly disappearing into keeping his big idea alive. The caller was Stephanie Zhan, a partner at Sequoia Capital. McFedries hurried into the parking lot away from the shop noise and he started talking.

He told Zhan that he wanted to explode out the opportunities for art and culture to be monetized, changing everything about how creative work is done and who is compensated—from the incentives to create, to the mechanisms for making art, to the distribution of wealth. He would start with his own company, Brud, which he envisioned as a more modern Marvel, where stories are shaped and told by communities empowered to co-produce content and share in the profit, all built on a new version of the web. McFedries told her he based Brud’s first project on his years working as a producer and DJ, collaborating with stars like Katy Perry and Steve Aoki and working at Spotify and JJ Abrams’ production company, Bad Robot: Brud would reinvent celebrity. Not to replace McFedries’ famous friends entirely, but to build a more egalitarian system alongside them.

He already had a solid proof-of-concept for how to do this, he told Zhan. He’d designed a character named Lil’ Miquela, or Miquela Sousa, a 19 year-old creative based in Downey, California, that Brud launched on Instagram in 2016. Her account followed a proven influencer formula: candid selfies of her eating ice cream and going to the movies, and confessional videos talking about falling in love or venting about the challenges of making music. At the time of the parking lot call, it was not totally clear to fans that Lil’ Miquela was CGI. Lil’ Miquela was a modest, mysterious Instagram presence with a sprinkle of freckles and notably full lips. Zhan had heard about her as a low-key phenomenon: Was she real? Was she fake? Did it matter? And why were her bangs such an awkward length?

Awkward was the point, explained McFedries. Lil’ Miquela had been designed anticipating a new kind of relationship between celebrities and the public, one in which a celebrity is aspirational, but the artifice is clear. The bangs are both a signifier of authenticity, like magazine spreads reading, “Stars: They’re Just Like Us,” as well as somehow too perfect and air-brushed. Her ethnically ambiguous look was intended to resonate with a diverse generation that expects to see itself reflected in culture like no previous one. “I knew from the beginning that Trevor was special—he had a deep understanding of consumer psychology and an instinct for creating pop culture,” Zhan says. “He was often ahead of the game, and always had a sense for what was next.”

Lil’ Miquela 2022

What was next, according to McFedries, was actually going to be two innovations. The first was this new kind of celebrity. McFedries saw, and still sees, some celebrities as auteurs, with powerful new ideas, but he also sees many celebrities as the center of an ecosystem in which the real value comes from the edges: songwriters, designers and writers. But celebrities, and the companies they work with, keep most of the value. If you replaced the middleman celebrity with a virtual celebrity, McFedries imagined, you could distribute value to the people on the edges. By 2016, he knew the technology to create a believable, relatable avatar like Lil’ Miquela existed, and he sensed that consumers would be willing to interact with her. From the manufactured stars of his childhood—he cites the cartoons Alvin and the Chipmunks and Jem and the Holograms, and the human duo Milli Vanilli—McFedries saw that people could love an illustration or a band with a fake backstory. And now that interactions with “real” celebrities were almost exclusively through phone screens—perfect for an avatar—he saw that technology and consumer psychology had converged. 

The second innovation was a new kind of process. McFedries was into cryptocurrency by 2013 and felt like its ability to assign value to new kinds of products, services and transactions made it uniquely suited for his ultimate goal: To distribute wealth to people on the edges. He figured the how of it all would be worked out as he went, but McFedries had a vision for digital goods running on a blockchain that could allow this virtual celebrity, or any piece of creative work, to be made by a collective working collaboratively as part of an organization across platforms and benefiting directly from the content’s sales or licensing. McFedries’ vision was more opportunity and wealth for the armies of creatives who currently make a fraction of the wealth that a movie, album, TV show or celebrity generates. “I’m really concerned with building better futures for innovators and creative people,” McFedries says. He bet that those improved futures would be built atop virtual economies. He felt that the economies themselves were inevitable—digital tokens were already being accepted as money—and became obsessed with making sure these new economies would not incentivize the same dynamics of traditional economies. He wanted to shift value to the edges of creative communities, even if he wasn’t yet totally sure how that would happen. “There are so many talented people that don’t have a shot,” McFedries says, “so I think about it every day.” Zhan could see the trajectory from Lil’ Miquela to Marvel, but more so, she said she trusted McFedries to create something that could appeal to many. 

And she was right to. Today, Lil’ Miquela, who McFedries created alone before joining with collaborator Sara Decou, has 3 million Instagram followers. She is repped by the Hollywood agency CAA, appearing as a CGI avatar in a Calvin Klein video kissing Bella Hadid, modeling for Prada on her Instagram, and releasing singles on Spotify with millions of streams. Sequoia came in as an early investor, backing Brud in 2018, the same year Lil’ Miquela was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people on the internet. By 2021, Brud was valued at $125 million before it was acquired by blockchain game designers Dapper Labs. Today, Lil’ Miquela is one of many avatars creating a new ecosystem of content. But for McFedries, she was his first crucial step toward the new creative economy that he’s building now.

“I knew from the beginning that Trevor was special—he had a deep understanding of consumer psychology and an instinct for creating pop culture.”

STEPHANIE ZHAN
Trevor McFedries at a record store in Paris.

As a skateboarding, X-Men-loving Black kid growing up in Davenport, Iowa, McFedries said he was both a “techno-optimist” and “socio-anarchist.” Davenport is a port town on the Mississippi River; McFedries’ grandfather drove a tugboat and his other grandparents were auctioneers. His mother had tried to make it in Los Angeles as a model and actress, but after McFedries was born, she and his dad split up and she returned home to the Midwest with her 1-year-old. A single mom, she worked in factories for years before studying nursing at community college and later working as a nurse. McFedries remembers how Davenport was so completely defined by its economy—even down to its smell. “Often at night in the summer, you would just smell rotting pigs in the sewers,” he remembers, a result of runoff from the Oscar Mayer plant. That was oddly coupled with the pleasant, familiar smell of the Wonder Bread factory that he would pick up on cross-town drives. 

McFedries loved Davenport. He started coding as a hobby and helped his grandparents auction items on eBay, but he had to go to Iowa City to find his scene at a record store. He knew the world was so much bigger outside Davenport, and he wanted to be part of it. Through pop culture—the movie “Hackers,” the WIRED writing of Kevin Kelly—McFedries immersed himself in the nascent internet culture of the ’90s: information wanted to be free, technology could change the world for the better. He was also drawn to more anti-capitalist ideas, listening to a lot of Rage Against the Machine and hardcore punk. He was listening to bands that emphasized overthrowing systems and empowering the poor, “literally eco-terrorists were like playing punk rock about tearing it all down,” he says. Then, in 2002, in the middle of high school, his mother suggested he move to Los Angeles to live with his father. He was a talented athlete, and she said he’d have more opportunities to play sports in college if he moved to a big city. “It was always clear that Davenport wasn’t the center of what’s happening,” says McFedries. “I think I wanted to participate in that center, but I think the only vehicle for me to understand how to do that as a young person was through athletics.” So, at 16, he started making friends and playing football at Beverly Hills High School.

His new friends invited him to their homes, and suddenly he found himself sitting on the couches of the West Coast elite. Some of his friends’ parents were helming massive companies shaping American fashion and culture. He says at first, “there was still this kind of idea that these titans of industry surely must have a skill set that you didn’t.” But, listening to them tell stories, McFedries realized the key to getting paid to be creative was capital, not skills. He saw that they already had money to cushion them by the time they took creative risks. “And so I was like, okay, I need capital,” he says, “and I need the opportunity to take those kinds of risks. I feel like I’m as capable as they are.”

After high school, he received a football scholarship to San José State and began studying software engineering, but he dropped out to move back to Los Angeles and build a reputation—social capital— that he could leverage for actual capital. Like many L.A. strivers before him, McFedries wanted to be seen as a man who had vision, who could forecast a trend or choose the right music or art before, or better than, anyone else. And he could. He DJed Katy Perry concerts and the entire 2008 Warped Tour. That same year he put out a top 10 album as a member of the group Shwayze. He worked in A&R for Photo Finish Records and directed music videos for Steve Aoki and NERVO. He hosted an iHeartRadio show for Dim Mak Records and became a spokesman for VitaminWater. He worked with singers BANKS and Ke$ha. He was an artist advocate at Spotify and an entrepreneur-in-residence at Bad Robot. As McFedries closed in on 30, he decided he’d generated enough social capital to start trading on it. At the same time, he’d developed a new understanding of celebrity. 

“Rihanna or Ariana Grande or whoever are effectively the vehicles for a lot of creative people, whether it’s choreographers or songwriters or producers.”

TREVOR MCFEDRIES
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Celebrities are “a team sport,” he says, but only players connected to the biggest names win. The limited opportunity for financial success in creative industries broadly disincentivizes people from joining creative fields, McFedries says. If only a tiny segment of poets, artists or fashion designers can make a living, why try? Why create, especially without a cushion of capital to fall back on? McFedries says flourishing in a creative field is about where you live, and who you know. McFedries can name friends who might’ve been great art directors but, without a path to opportunity, they ended up hanging drywall in Iowa. He can think of bands that might’ve been on par with Red Hot Chili Peppers, but without the social capital of Southern California to propel them, they stalled in Davenport. McFedries doesn’t just see this as a problem for artists; he sees it as a problem for American culture writ large. 

“This idea of capitalizing on talent, this idea that, as a nation, we should be identifying people who are talented and maximizing their skillset, obviously is one that we fall short of where we should be in the United States.” Without incentives to create, “there are no new ideas,” he says, no new stories from new kinds of people with new perspectives. Instead, old ideas are repackaged, retold and resold by those who own the rights, with the same traditional narratives and limited cast of characters. “All I’m thinking about all day is how to create better incentives for creative people,” McFedries says. 

“Rihanna or Ariana Grande, or whoever they are,” he explains, are “effectively the vehicles for a lot of creative people, whether it’s choreographers or songwriters or producers.” He figured if you could create a digital vehicle, and have it collectively owned by its creators, “there actually would be more margin for creative people and for the business itself.” He envisioned a future of virtual stars who speak any language, with stories and styles built not around the tastes of a few industry executives, but curated by countless creative people, all with a financial and artistic stake in the virtual celebrity. “You could create these celebrities that could create a ton of value,” McFedries says. So he founded Brud in 2014 to prove that avatars could connect with fans and drive value for collaborators.

And it worked. By April 2018, Lil’ Miquela had almost a million followers, enough to beget brand sponsorships and account monetization. She’d shown that, unlike one celebrity who only needs so many makeup artists or choreographers, Lil’ Miquela could do endless work on any number of platforms, creating exponential opportunities for people to work on projects featuring her. McFedries started to expand his team, and in 2018, he invited Nicole de Ayora on board as director of operations. The two bonded over having grown up in small towns and how that shaped their understanding of the internet. “We both really relied on the internet as a way of connecting with people outside of our small communities,” says Nicole. “It was a way of escaping a lot of what we were experiencing at a young age.” She was eager to join McFedries and his small team, now working to grow Lil’ Miquela so the avatar could do more than work with brands and post compelling selfies. The team at Brud wanted her to be able to tell meaningful stories to more people around the world. 

Brud filled its offices with photographers, writers and CGI artists, and Lil’ Miquela’s online identity grew more elaborate, with new friends and more complex stories. At the same time, she was bumping up against the limits of her world—the platforms on which she was interacting with her fans. The influence of algorithms was becoming more obvious to consumers, hemming in people’s experiences by choosing what they would see, as opposed to people just seeing what popped up in a chronological timeline, or via their own curiosities. McFedries saw this as creating distance between creators and fans. The platforms themselves were increasingly seen as the new economy’s new middlemen, shilling ads, collecting data and soaking up profits. There was pushback against these practices, in the form of laws focused on protecting consumers’ data. In 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation law went into effect in the E.U. and in 2020 California followed suit with its own Consumer Privacy Act. McFedries and de Ayora were looking for a solution that let fans connect and participate more directly. They imagined a future where contributors and fans owned Lil’ Miquela and her projects outright, as a collective, where a limitless amount of creative work could be done across the world, simultaneously and collaboratively. He needed an online cooperative system, not a company, one that could serve thousands of people making all kinds of contributions.

He knew there was a work model for this, a Decentralized Autonomous Organization or DAO. A DAO is a collective that uses cryptocurrency tokens to vote on how to run itself, from putting value on anything created or contributed, to deciding how any profits are distributed. Today, there are thousands of DAOs, some controlling up to billions of dollars in assets, focused on topics including sports gaming, cryptocurrency and governance. The DAOs could solve these collaboration and ownership needs. But as he’s wont to do, McFedries had an even bigger idea. He wanted to enable people to be paid for work typically seen as intangible or non-monetizable. He wanted people to get paid for things like being fun at a party, offering a suggestion on a photo shoot or encouraging a friend with a smart insight.

To bring these ideas together and test them, McFedries co-founded the Friends With Benefits DAO in 2020. He wanted to see if, by inviting the right people to make the right vibes and creative projects, many more people than the DAO could accommodate would want to join, thus driving up the value of the tokens and giving those vibes a tangible worth. “Having a point of view is hard to measure,” says McFedries, “and should be valued. And we should create economic systems that value those things, because otherwise, we’re just perpetuating the same structures of the past.” McFedries has compared a DAO to a Facebook community where the people posting content, those responsible for making the platform interesting and attractive to more people, also share in the value those posts create—rather than that value accruing to a central corporate entity.  

To flourish financially, the DAO must flourish creatively. McFedries knows creative work is most likely to surface in spaces where people have real relationships and feel supported to try new things. He is working to foster trust and engagement by setting up community principles, organizing people around potential creative projects, with chapters in London, New York and Los Angeles. Today Friends With Benefits has a waitlist and about 6,000 active members, including musicians Erykah Badu and Azealia Banks, as well as lawyers and software engineers. So far, they’ve collaborated to make real-world art and digital art in the form of NFTs. They’ve started a fellowship program for creatives from underrepresented communities, which will offset the entrance free of more than $3,000, and they’re discussing launching a beverage businesses, writing essays on the history of decentralized “benevolent anarchic” organizations (like Alcoholics Anonymous) and forming friendships, all value that McFedries says is being captured in the DAO’s token. 

Trevor McFedries stands against whitewash in Paris.


But even as Friends With Benefits proves his value-to-vibes idea, building new things is always going to get messy, McFedries admits. In 2021, the service that hosted the Friends With Benefits cryptocurrency token was hacked and the token lost 99 percent of its value, essentially making the collective worthless. But the members regrouped, issued a new token and today its price is $11.80, down from a high of just over $186. That, coupled with how Friends With Benefits has been labeled “the digital Soho House,” means it’s under pressure to live up to the hype. If it doesn’t create notable work, or it’s not fun, the tokens will lose their worth and the DAO becomes just another Discord chat with some meetups. But living near this edge, where value is being assigned to new things in new ways, some of which are still being tested, doesn’t faze McFedries. After reading “Debt: The First 5,000 Years of Money” by the late anarchist anthropologist David Graeber, he found himself asking, “like what the fuck is value?” and he followed that destabilizing thought to a liberating conclusion: It’s whatever we collectively decide it is. “One of the reasons that I love crypto, or an internet of value, is that we have really antiquated vehicles for representing value,” he says. He believes crypto enables better instruments for assigning value to all things. 

Web3 proponents are sometimes dismissed as wanting to decentralize the web just enough to get some of the power that corporations and celebrities now have for themselves. For example, some people dismiss Lil’ Miquela as just another spokesmodel, and Brud as manipulative of her fans. But with Dapper Labs’ purchase of Brud, McFedries has a mandate to figure this out and help build the tools and habits to make DAOs mainstream enough to realize their promise. He’s the CEO of the new Dapper Collectives. A near-term order of business is handing Lil’ Miquela over to her fans. McFedries and his team are turning Brud the company into Brud the DAO, which he says is scheduled to open to the public at the end of August. Lil’ Miquela will be at its center. Brud will ask members to help write her storylines and contribute to her computer-generated design and 3D artwork. Fans, now collective members, will receive writing and design credits tracked through on-chain resumes. There will be incentives for DAO members to share content to be sold, and then all token-holders will get a cut. As de Ayora, now CPO of Dapper Collectives, puts it, “At the end of the day, we created Lil’ Miquela but they gave her value and meaning.”

For the next while, McFedries cautions, things will look much as they do now, with platforms like TikTok or Instagram capturing a lot of the value of the DAO’s creative work. But if DAOs and other components of Web3 take off, “there will be virtual goods and economies that would be bigger than (people) could ever dream of…we’re starting to cross that chasm now.” 

All of this is taking McFedries, and maybe the rest of us, toward his biggest goals: sustainable financial futures for creative people and connecting everyday people, like the ones he grew up with in Davenport, with the kinds of opportunity he saw when he moved to Beverly Hills. “If you can…reach out across the divide, and give them the opportunities and the language…, we can have this improved capitalization of talent,” he says.

There are success stories in these new budding economies: an FWB artist went from being broke to buying a house during the pandemic. A writer sold an NFT of his essay for about $150,000. Outside FWB, artists have found that DAOs have kept them in the creative game longer than they’d imagined possible. McFedries knows this is just the start of something, a potential alternative to the systems that he sees countless people trapped in. He also knows it’s an urgently needed alternative. He thinks constantly about all the people who never earn the real value of the work they do. All the people who can’t afford to take the big risks his high school friends’ parents did, or who never left Davenport and instead watched its factories close. He knows he got lucky when he moved to L.A., to the center of a scene he fit into and shaped—and that most people never get that chance. Ask him how often he’s hit with the realization that his friends back in Davenport might’ve been just as successful as the creators he knows in L.A. and he doesn’t hesitate: “It really happens every day,” he says. “And that’s why I want to make big things.”

“One of the reasons that I love crypto, or an internet of value, is that we have really antiquated vehicles for representing value.”

TREVOR MCFEDRIES
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Allison Keeley is a freelance writer based in Mexico. Her work has appeared in Longreads, Wired, and The New Yorker.

The post Trevor McFedries: New Economies, New Stories appeared first on Sequoia Capital US/Europe.


Zcash

New Release 5.2.0

As we mentioned in our last blog post regarding release 5.1.0, the Zcash network is processing a significantly increased number […] The post New Release 5.2.0 appeared first on Electric Coin Company.

As we mentioned in our last blog post regarding release 5.1.0, the Zcash network is processing a significantly increased number of shielded transactions. The network remains stable and secure, transactions are being processed normally, and we are making additional performance improvements to both the zcashd wallet and full node as part of release 5.2.0.

We also have a cross-functional team working on performance improvements to our mobile wallet SDKs. Upcoming releases will focus on performance improvements in the SDK, which should translate to improved performance of third-party mobile wallets.

Node performance improvements

Transactions are fully checked by nodes when they are received on the network, whether they appear first in the mempool or in a block. However, some of these checks are expensive, so it’s best to perform them once and cache the results. If the checks are successful, they are not performed again.

As of this release, Sapling and Orchard zk-SNARK proofs are now leveraging this caching mechanism to avoid redundant verification costs and reduce block-verification time. This speeds up block propagation on the network (as this release is adopted by users) and improves the performance of nodes which produce block templates for miners.

In addition, this release backports more efficient caching and SHA256 implementations from upstream Bitcoin.

Wallet performance improvements

The wallet now performs trial decryption of Sapling outputs in batches and parallelizes these batches to improve scanning performance.

In addition, some inefficiencies in the zcashd wallet were identified and fixed in this release.

RPC interface changes

This release adds a version field to the gettransaction RPC call so that users do not need to make an extra getrawtransaction call just to receive the version of a transaction.

The Zcash Schedule page will be updated to reflect the 5.2.0 release.

The post New Release 5.2.0 appeared first on Electric Coin Company.


Verida

The human right to own personal data… and create a more equitable world.

We’re at a turning point in history. Where old systems and structures no longer serve us. Likely, they never did. There’s rampant inequality, a lack of trust in authorities, cancel culture, data security breaches, the big tech monopoly, the Great Resignation, the fear of mass job losses due to automation, and a global society that’s recalibrating after the pandemic. We’re at a crossroads, suspend

We’re at a turning point in history. Where old systems and structures no longer serve us. Likely, they never did. There’s rampant inequality, a lack of trust in authorities, cancel culture, data security breaches, the big tech monopoly, the Great Resignation, the fear of mass job losses due to automation, and a global society that’s recalibrating after the pandemic.

We’re at a crossroads, suspended between the old and the new. It’s an open invitation to shape our future world. To right the wrongs, fixing issues that we, as a society, haven’t found answers to.

Until now.

Imagine… a borderless (no-boss) economy that’s decentralized, community-led, where we do meaningful work and without the hierarchical corporate ladder. Income is uncapped, rather than linear. It’s both communal and independent in nature.

Imagine… greater connection between citizens, cities, and communities. Where residents have greater trust and collaboration with local bodies, where individuals can meaningfully instigate change.

Imagine… a whole new professional education system where students receive portable, digital credentials that can be cryptographically verified by prospective employers, building new professional work reputation profiles.

All of these idealistic visions can become reality when we reclaim what’s rightfully ours: our personal data.

The problems with Web2

A handful of companies own all the world’s brands. Our money lines the pockets of the same executives and shareholders. Repeatedly, without us realizing.

The internet has matured to revolve around an ever-shrinking number of privately-owned and centrally controlled platforms. This is a contrast to the liberal, early stages of the internet, which were protocol-driven, with open, inclusive standards where anyone could build applications and services.

In the first phase, everyone installed software on their computer and saved personal data to a local disk drive. In the second iteration, a combination of the Internet, the “Cloud” and the Software as a Service (SaaS) became the leading business model.

This meant the growth of large technology companies with proprietary platforms, which created ‘walled gardens’, locking in users and their data. It prevented competition and choice for users and created economic and security challenges.

Our data is left in the hands of corporations with special interests — exploiting and monetizing it, making fortunes from information that isn’t their own to sell.

Data is censored at the whim of the controller and transparency around collection and governance is opaque. Future regulations to de-monopolize these services may even entrench tech oligopolies. Siloed data stores and APIs are in the hands of a few.

The collective result? A lack of respect for our digital property rights, with the data not serving its owner. In the Web2 environment, there was little we could do.

It’s important to note, big tech’s products have set our standards high, particularly in terms of User Experience. We’re willing to give up our privacy and control in exchange for better UX. This is an opportunity for designers and developers to build competing alternatives — truly inclusive solutions we can all benefit from.

Web3: Decentralized, portable & permissionless

This is the era of the shifting power disparity, from platforms to people, from companies to workers.

Blockchain technology has inspired decentralized apps (dApps) and a new privacy-preserving era of the internet, for the people, governed by the people.

Web3 has the ability to shift companies away from making money by collecting and selling user data without consent. It has a more equitable model for all — users, developers, and communities.

Verida is one such example.

Part of the emerging Web3 stack, Verida empowers users to drive a stake into the ground to own and control their data and identity.

Verida redefines this value exchange, where users access hyper-personalized experiences and are fairly compensated for use of their data via tokens. This provides a revenue stream for users to fund the infrastructure, which simultaneously empowers the app developers.

Compensation is openly documented, data is decentralized and portable, and there can be true, healthy innovation to process society forward.

Decentralizing personal data is vital for a democratic digital future.

No more gatekeepers, changing the rules on a whim. Everyday people will earn ownership simply by joining, using, and sharing services. This isn’t just a reinvention of the internet. It’ll change the society as we know it, for the better. With power for all people, rather than a select few.

Personal data is ours to reclaim

Taking our data and online history ‘with us’ wherever we go on the internet, rather than surrendering it to singular platforms like now, requires a paradigm shift. To distill the Web3 philosophy into a single phrase, it would be self-sovereignty.

As Web2 natives, the idea that we can be in full control of our data and even earn money with it is hard to comprehend.

What we need to realize is it was ours all along. It’s time to take ownership of our most precious and profitable information. Our personal data.

Are you with us? Join the Verida Team and community in Discord and gm.xyz to bring self-sovereign data to the masses.

The human right to own personal data… and create a more equitable world. was originally published in Verida on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Wasabi Wallet

Wasabi is the Bridge to Bitcoin Fungibility

Wasabi 2.0 makes privacy easier, more affordable and more acceptable. Everyone will be able to use the open source software with the CoinJoin coordinator that they like the most and poses the smallest amount of compromises.

In order to reach its long-term goal of becoming a universal currency, bitcoin needs to acquire two qualities that are essential to every form of sound money: privacy and fungibility. In the case of privacy, it’s important that the identities of the BTC transaction sender and receiver remain unknown to every unwanted third party. For fungibility, every bitcoin amount needs to have the same degree of acceptance for payments, regardless of the money’s origins. In other words, we need to make this global digital currency work just like physical cash.

This article will explain the current asymmetry between privacy and fungibility, while also introducing the ways in which the new Wasabi 2.0 wallet can bridge the two worlds. The problem: privacy vs fungibility.

Given the open ledger architecture of the Bitcoin network, watching all transactions is one of the features which guarantees the integrity of the financial policy. Seeing the amount getting sent in every transaction reassures every node that nobody breaks the rules by introducing unwanted inflation into the monetary system. And in some cases, revealing the identity behind an address creates an extra level of trust – as is the case of big exchanges, investment funds, charity foundations and fundraisers. Yet the issue is that every time  the identity of an active address is revealed, everyone else’s privacy gets damaged. This is why obfuscation mechanisms are required.

CoinJoins are a great way to increase the privacy of bitcoin senders, as they break the link between the current owner and the previous transactions. However, this obfuscation technique is observable on the public blockchain, almost always finds itself in a numeric minority as compared to other transactions and can therefore create fungibility issues.

In a perfect world, privacy should improve fungibility. But if there are only a few privacy users, then they can get rejected by other participants. In order for privacy to create fungibility, a certain tipping point needs to be reached: bitcoiners must mix their coins in an overwhelming majority and thus successfully obliterate any claim that using privacy hides criminal actions. Similarly, Bitcoin at large has managed to break away from its Silk Road reputation by onboarding more users with no criminal record, who transact in good faith in a completely legal way.

Another side of the debate concerns the fact that fungibility is a pretty utopian concept for technical, practical and economic reasons. Technically, not all bitcoins are created equal: they carry different cryptographic hashes, get added to the supply by different competing miners and change hands in different patterns that may please some users while displeasing others. Practically every Bitcoin node has its own blacklist and every miner can choose to not include transactions that come from unwanted addresses. Bitcoin enables censorship by design and it’s only through incentives and social norms that fungibility can work.

But then again, cash also gets tainted by every user’s fingerprints and may get censored according to serial numbers. Yet it’s thanks to everyone’s agreement that a one - dollar bill is equal with every other one - dollar bill  regardless of its origins that we have economic fungibility and privacy is one of the socially-accepted benefits.

Last but not least, there’s the economic dimension of BTC fungibility. There are two extremes involved in this debate: the users of non-custodial wallets and the regulated custodians (exchanges, banks, and mutual funds). If all the coins get withdrawn from custodians, then there won’t be any government-controlled entities to undergo financial censorship – and therefore bitcoin becomes fungible within the technical and practical limits described above. On the other hand, the coins can also become fungible is the custodians get their hands on every unit – ironically, centralized KYC exchanges like Kraken and Coinbase are actually pretty good mixers which also grant the funds a fairly certain degree of fungibility. But fungibility must not come at the expense of turning bitcoin into an Orwellian money system, in which custodians have absolute control.

The bad news is that the amount of bitcoins deposited on exchanges has been constantly high for the last 5 years. These exchanges have become increasingly draconian in terms of rejecting specific transactions, and established policies against transaction privacy even in the absence of clear regulatory frameworks. The good news is that there is balance between the custodially-owned and the sovereign bitcoins and the amount of coins on exchanges doesn’t seem to increase too greatly. But since none of the ownership extremes is winning and we want a situation in which privacy generates fungibility, we need to start building bridges. In this design, we must consider the properties of cash and build both the tools and the social norms which help us always agree that every bitcoin unit is equal to any other one. Wasabi 2.0 marks a promising beginning in this direction.

Bridging Bitcoins with Wasabi 2.0

Launched in 2018 on the 10th anniversary of the Bitcoin White Paper, Wasabi 1.0 has proven to every privacy enthusiast that BTC is the only currency that they should be using. The combined power of the non custodial experience, the automatic routing of the internet connection via Tor, the sovereign setup which puts users in control of their public key without having to trust a third party and the easy CoinJoins still makes blockchain analysts scratch their heads in an attempt to make guesses. Furthermore, users can also access their hardware wallets in Wasabi – thus granting them a greater amount of privacy than most of the native applications. Nonetheless, the design of Wasabi 1.0 isn’t perfect. Users can still make privacy-damaging mistakes such as reusing addresses or combining private UTXOs with tracked ones for disastrous outcomes that reveal a lot of information. Another big mistake is also that of recombining UTXOs after a CoinJoin – it basically defeats the purpose as the previous state of the coins gets reconstructed and a careful analyst will simply bypass the CoinJoin part to keep on following the money. Then there are the deterring reasons which have  kept users away from Wasabi. The biggest one being the minimum amount to CoinJoin: back in late 2018, 0.1 BTC was approximately $400; but at the new all-time high of $69k, one tenth of a bitcoin was equivalent to $6900.

Many users didn’t CoinJoin with Wasabi specifically because they could not afford to but thanks to the WabiSabi protocol that’s embedded in version 2.0, smaller amounts are welcome to get mixed with the bigger ones coming from whales. Also, there’s the privacy FUD which made bitcoiners fear the idea of mixing. It’s exactly the “your BTC might get dirtier” argument that influencers such as Trace Mayer have been pushing for years. The idea behind CoinJoins is to make every monetary unit just as clean and just as dirty – and therefore fungible. Wasabi 2.0 definitely makes it easier for every user to CoinJoin, thanks to the auto-pilot experience which automatically makes the best decisions for your privacy. The software is open source and you’re strongly encouraged to verify it, so every ounce of trust gets replaced by the certainty of good faith.

Last but not least, the issue of zkSNACKs' censorship-friendly CoinJoin coordinator needs to be addressed. This is where everyone must understand the difference between the free open source software and the company behind it. Wasabi 2.0 is a non-custodial privacy wallet which doesn’t know who you are and empowers any individual or organization to run their own coordinator. If the default coordinator must abide by certain rules that don’t please certain privacy advocates, it doesn’t mean that these privacy advocates can’t tailor the software to suit their needs. As a matter of fact, having multiple coordinators for CoinJoins is largely beneficial for bitcoin privacy.

To zkSNACKs, the main priority is to be able to incentivize the 80+ developers and code contributors to keep on working towards building the best privacy wallet technology. Everyone is free to use Wasabi 2.0 however they please, there are certainly use cases that a registered company can’t support or endorse, and this is why you can switch the CoinJoin coordinator without needing to fork the code or make any other modifications. The bootstrapping of alternative Wasabi 2.0 CoinJoin coordination servers is instantaneous and easy.

As a side effect of the blacklisting of certain UTXOs that are associated with criminal activities, the fungibility of the mixes might get boosted. Previously, exchanges and other regulated businesses would flag incoming transactions whose immediate history is associated with CoinJoin rounds specifically because they needed to verify that the money doesn’t come from illegal activities. Now that the ZK Snacks coordinator will automatically decline UTXOs that exchanges don’t like, the exchanges themselves will have no excuse to reject any CoinJoins from this coordinator. This means that the CoinJoins will have the potential to go mainstream and help users transferring BTC from Coinbase to Kraken without informing the two entities about the ways in which some of the money might have been previously spent.

Wasabi 2.0 is a bridge for three reasons: it makes privacy easier, more affordable, and more acceptable. Anyone will be able to use the wallet correctly without making rookie consolidation mistakes that ruin the CoinJoin effort. Everyone will be able to use the open-source software with the CoinJoin coordinator that they like the most and poses the smallest amount of compromises. And thanks to a  less popular move, exchanges will have no valid reasons to reject or even flag CoinJoin transactions.

Wasabi 2.0 bridges regulated institutions and cypherpunks. It bridges privacy advocates with the software that they’re going to want to use to coordinate their own mixes. And ultimately, it bridges privacy and fungibility. Thanks to Wasabi 2.0, bitcoin might just become as private and fungible as physical cash.

Wednesday, 27. July 2022

Panther Protocol

KYC/AML: How crypto will change a TradFi standard forever

There is much debate around KYC/AML practices in crypto. However, few know how technological developments might forever change them.

As cryptocurrencies opened the door for a new generation of users of financial products, we’re witnessing the increasing extent of regulations that are gradually coming into play. On one hand, the crypto ecosystem and participants see KYC/AML practices as a threat to privacy, data security, and decentralization. Meanwhile, regulators are more concerned with terrorism financing and other activities that involve money laundering.

Regulatory compliance is an everyday discussion for those working in crypto and the traditional financial sector. As the rate of financial crimes continues to rise and financial systems progressively digitalize, governments are trying to eradicate money laundering, terrorism financing and prevent financial breaches.

In this article, we will make a case for and against the concept of two of the most well-known regulatory practices, KYC and AML, and explore innovations that restore the public's trust in regulation and achieve compliance without sacrificing users’ right to privacy.

What are KYC/AML practices?

KYC and AML practices are standard regulatory policies guiding the operations of financial institutions. They are part of the laid-down rules for businesses that offer financial services to the public within a particular geographical area, e.g., cryptocurrency exchanges.

KYC and AML are terms often used interchangeably, yet they do not share the same meaning. KYC is only one of the several steps that financial institutions and businesses in general take to comply with AML regulations.

KYC, short for Know-Your-Customer, refers to the checks and steps that a business conducts/takes to know who their customers are, confirm their identities, and understand the risk that each customer poses to the business. Usually, the first phase of KYC procedures requires collecting customer information, followed by customer due diligence, which involves identity verification, watchlist screening, and risk assessment. For high-risk customers or high-value transactions, KYC via enhanced due diligence policies comes into play.

AML, short for Anti-Money-Laundering, is the wider set of steps that financial institutions and businesses take to prevent bad actors from moving their illicit gains. Principally, AML regulations hinder global criminal activities like terrorist financing and block the movement of funds owned by drug rings, human traffickers, and other criminals. Typical AML programs involve transaction monitoring, Know-Your-Customer practices, identifying and reporting suspicious transactions to regulators, record keeping and auditing, etc.

Why are crypto believers often against KYC/AML?

KYC and AML practices are common in crypto, with centralized exchanges readily adopting them to comply with global financial regulations. It is not unusual for big exchanges like Coinbase or Binance to suspend accounts and pause withdrawals for some users due to suspicious account activity under the pretense of complying with these regulations.

These measures, as well as the large amounts of data users need to provide to comply, as well as data breaches in the space, have raised concerns in the crypto space, where user privacy and decentralization are founding concepts and seen as the highest standards. However, critics have a hard time explaining how else bad actors could be discouraged from 'cleaning' illicit money through cryptocurrencies.

Arguments for & against KYC/AML

As the popular saying goes, every coin has two sides. The common KYC/AML practices solve many regulatory and compliance issues for financial institutions but create problems with data laws, data security, and privacy.

In favor of KYC/AML Regulation

Money laundering and other financial crimes usually have to go through banks, and one way to prevent or combat these crimes is to regulate the money flowing through institutions. Without KYC/AML, bad actors would have a field day when moving proceeds from illegal businesses. Because of this, most jurisdictions frown at platforms that require no identity disclosure.

Compliance

As regulators in the financial sector and governments seek to combat financial crime, terrorism financing, and the movement of illicit money, they hold banks and exchanges responsible for their customers' actions. When a financial institution partners with individuals or organizations without being fully aware of their past and present business dealings, it leaves them prone to being hit by lawsuits and fines. Between 2008 and 2018, financial institutions have had to pay over $25 billion in penalties due to KYC/AML violations and other slipups related to global sanctions.

No business has the ultimate goal of losing money to such avoidable incidents; hence, the strict implementation of KYC/AML. If only for their own benefit, institutions try to remain compliant with financial laws. In this sense, you could say that incentives are set in place for marketplaces, banks, and crypto exchanges to stay on top of the activity going on within them.

Against KYC/AML Privacy

Most of the benefits of effective KYC and AML practices go to the businesses enforcing them, while users are left with several doubts and questions. Today, many see KYC and AML requirements as data harvesting endeavors, with concerns over data safety, security, and usage growing. Many believe that in providing personal information to pass KYC verification exercises, users give away their privacy rights.

Once too often data breaches from these platforms have ended up in the hands of malicious actors. Users’ sensitive data getting hacked or leaked from big organizations has become almost a norm lately. Because of this, many have genuine concerns regarding data protection and questions about the rationale of KYC practices.

In the crypto space, pseudonymity is precious, but most big exchanges require customers to fulfill KYC verification to access their services or increase their capabilities. Most users also believe these businesses leverage their personal information in untoward ways, such as to sell them to advertisers.

Data Security

As we have seen above, data breaches are fairly common. This worries more than one user, as criminals can access sensitive information like credit card details or addresses by hacking into financial institutions' databases.

The top 50 biggest data breaches from 2004 to 2021. (Source)

Since KYC/AML practices require users to provide sensitive information to third parties, individuals are worried over companies' ability to keep their data safe and away from the reach of fraudsters. It’s worth noting that data is often not just reviewed once and then discarded, but goes on to form part of data bases forever.

Data Laws

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law came into force in 2018, forcing regulated institutions to review their operations regarding customer data.

On the surface, the GDPR appears to contradict KYC/AML practices. Yet, the regulation only insists on the right ways to collect, use, and secure customer data, in which some KYC/AML procedures fail the compliance test. In other words, these procedures often do not store and handle user data following legal specifications.

Scope of GDPR. (Source)

The seven principles of the GDPR are as follows:

Lawfulness, fairness, and transparency. Purpose limitation. Data minimization. Accuracy. Storage limitation. Integrity and confidentiality (security). Accountability.

KYC and AML practices depend on data sharing, especially between companies and third parties, e.g., foreign entities. Also, some businesses outsource their KYC procedures.

Data sharing and KYC outsourcing directly contradict the GDPR, which only permits data transfers for important reasons of public interest. Some institutions alo hold customer information for unspecified periods after their partnerships have ended, directly contradicting the storage limitation principle of the GDPR.

ZK proofs & decentralized identifiers: The future of KYC/AML

As the concepts of KYC/AML practices and privacy concerns continue to be debated, organizations are beginning to devise new methods to remain compliant with KYC, AML and GDPR laws. Companies have begun to deploy innovations like homomorphic encryption and secure multi-party computation to enhance customer privacy and allow access to the information needed for KYC and AML procedures.

The crypto space, however, continues to be skeptical about these new methods, as they fail to give users control over their digital identity. Instead of them, other more decentralized options are under development, some of which can allow users to gain more control over their data.

For example, self-sovereign identity on the blockchain has been endlessly quoted as  “the future of digital identification”. Other cryptographic innovations like zero-knowledge proofs (ZK Proofs) and decentralized identifiers (DIDs) also lead the way in the race to replace traditional KYC/AML procedures.

How ZK Proofs will replace KYC/AML

Popular for its successful implementation in creating privacy on the blockchain, the concept of zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) is a proven way of confirming a transaction/ownership without revealing sensitive information about its underlying data. Identity solutions based on this, such as Polygon’s Polygon ID, utilize ZKPs.

ZKP-based KYC solutions are superior to their traditional counterparts in that traditional KYC solutions require users to share their information across several platforms repeatedly. With ZKPs, users can present all needed documents to a trusted KYC provider to verify their identities and issue a ZKP. This proof can then be used for subsequent KYC verification exercises without sharing the information therein.

Proving a true statement without revealing the data by leveraging zero-knowledge proofs. (Source)

ZK Proofs are on-chain activities, and blockchain ledgers are immutable, which implies that whatever information the zero-knowledge proof holds is true and has remained unchanged since its verification. Trust is restored between KYC providers, businesses, and the end-users, and individuals can remain in full control of their data.

ZKPs also allow for selective disclosures: in special circumstances only, and with users' consent, a KYC provider may disclose users' information to a trusted third party like law enforcement agencies. For example, Panther Protocol enables users to leverage features such as Panther Reveals which generate zero-knowledge reports to voluntarily disclose compliance with select counterparties.

How Decentralized Identifiers can replace KYC/AML

A decentralized identifier, DID, refers to a cryptographically verifiable framework that consists of information (documents, certificates, and other personally identifiable information) unique to an individual or organization. With a DID, users can store identifiers like government-issued identity documents, etc., in a private wallet built on a public blockchain.

Traditional KYC practices require users to submit information which in turn is verified by a centralized registration authority. Decentralized identifiers do a similar job, with the difference that the user can control how much information they give out. Entities can then verify the information provided via a blockchain-based ledger to determine its authenticity.

The standard elements of a DID doc. (Source)

With DIDs, users can prove they are above a certain age limit, for instance, without disclosing their exact date of birth. Since users can create identifiers using trusted systems on the blockchain, private data exchange between individuals and businesses is possible. Thanks to this, traditional KYC/AML practices can give way to a more practical framework, where businesses can remain compliant with regulations and collect data without threatening privacy, data security, and breaching data laws.

Closing Thoughts

Most crypto users are increasingly concerned with identity verification or KYC procedures. However, most importantly, they are concerned with whatever happens to their data after it is collected. Especially when it comes to users’ sensitive data associated with their financial transactions, KYC procedures are being questioned by privacy and security advocates.

With cryptographic concepts like zero-knowledge proofs and decentralized identifiers (DID), individuals can pass KYC checks without giving out sensitive information and yet achieve regulatory compliance.

By leveraging zero-knowledge technology, banks, cryptocurrency exchanges, and other regulated institutions can access customer information without violating their privacy, prevent data breaches, and stay compliant with data protection laws — a win-win situation for everyone.

About Panther

Panther is a decentralized protocol that enables interoperable privacy in DeFi using zero-knowledge proofs.

Users can mint fully-collateralized, composable tokens called zAssets, which can be used to execute private, trusted DeFi transactions across multiple blockchains.

Panther helps investors protect their personal financial data and trading strategies, and provides financial institutions with a clear path to compliantly participate in DeFi.

Stay connected: Telegram | Twitter | LinkedIn | Website


bankless

DeFi Didn't Break with Dan Morehead & Joey Krug

Many things have broken in the last few months during crypto's bear market. However, DeFi didn't break. Dan Morehead and Joey Krug explain why. Dan founded Pantera in 2003, then pivoted into cryptocurrency in 2013 and went all in on crypto, and is the firm's CEO. Joey joined Pantera in 2017 as co-CIO and is a seasoned builder/investor in the crypto space. Both repeat Bankless guests and both k

Many things have broken in the last few months during crypto's bear market. However, DeFi didn't break. Dan Morehead and Joey Krug explain why.

Dan founded Pantera in 2003, then pivoted into cryptocurrency in 2013 and went all in on crypto, and is the firm's CEO. Joey joined Pantera in 2017 as co-CIO and is a seasoned builder/investor in the crypto space.

Both repeat Bankless guests and both know more than a thing or two about crypto and investing.

------ 📣Rhino.Fi | Massive Mystery Airdrop https://bit.ly/3o9trRE 

------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER: https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/  🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST: http://podcast.banklesshq.com/ 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🌱 LENS | ACCESS CODE: WAGMI https://bankless.cc/Lens 

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⚖️ ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum 

🦁 BRAVE | THE BROWSER NATIVE WALLET https://bankless.cc/Brave 

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⚡️ ZKSYNC | THE LAYER 2 SCALING ENDGAME https://bankless.cc/zkSync 

------ Timestamps:

0:00 Intro 6:15 The Past Few Months 10:28 Crypto's 2008 Moment 12:40 The Mainstream Media Story 16:45 CeFi vs. DeFi Confusion 21:45 Media Incentives 24:00 DeFi vs. Wall Street 30:45 DeFi is Too Referential Critique 33:38 DeFi Worked Great 37:05 Transparency Thoughts 43:15 2008 Prevented with DeFi? 49:35 Educating Retail 53:39 Was This Surprising? 55:00 Quick Macro Takes 58:20 Closing & Disclaimers

------ Resources:

Dan Morehead https://twitter.com/dan_pantera 

Joey Krug https://twitter.com/joeykrug 

DeFi Worked Great https://panteracapital.com/blockchain-letter/defi-worked-great/ 

Pantera https://panteracapital.com/ 

----- Not financial or tax advice. This channel is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This video is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.

Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here: https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/p/bankless-disclosures 


Circle Press

TheXchange Inc. Integrates with Circle to Enable USDC & Fiat Payments on the VirtualStaX App

Users on the VirtualStaX App can now spend USDC on the Platform to purchase Blockchain Certificates (“StaX”) issued and endorsed by their favourite sport or music icons like Global StaX Ambassadors Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes, Von Miller, Cameron Jordan, Wendell Carter Jr, Randy Jackson and more.

Users on the VirtualStaX App can now spend USDC on the Platform to purchase Blockchain Certificates (“StaX”) issued and endorsed by their favourite sport or music icons like Global StaX Ambassadors Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes, Von Miller, Cameron Jordan, Wendell Carter Jr, Randy Jackson and more.


BlueYard Capital

The Technology Behind Web3 — BlueYard Live Coding

The Technology Behind Web3 — BlueYard Live Coding Much attention is paid to the potential economic shifts crypto and web3 may usher into the world. From data sovereignty to trustless, decentralized finance, this new wave of internet innovation presents an ever-changing landscape for consumers and businesses alike. Considerably less attention is paid to the deep technological change that mak
The Technology Behind Web3 — BlueYard Live Coding

Much attention is paid to the potential economic shifts crypto and web3 may usher into the world. From data sovereignty to trustless, decentralized finance, this new wave of internet innovation presents an ever-changing landscape for consumers and businesses alike.

Considerably less attention is paid to the deep technological change that makes all this possible. Blockchains, crypto-economic systems, smart contract development, zero knowledge proofs, and decentralized consensus require new ways of thinking about system design. And many of the resources available online are geared toward either deep academics or absolute beginning programmers.

To help fill this gap, we are launching a new series of live stream conversations focused on the technology behind web3. We will pair up with technology leaders from our portfolio and beyond to do pragmatic, hands-on development using these new technologies and to help provide an approachable introduction for otherwise experienced developers and technologists.

We are kicking off our series this week with our first two video streams, and will announce more soon.

Storing and using private user data with Privy — Thursday, July 28th (3:30pm EDT / 9:30pm CET) - set a reminder here on YouTube Building security monitoring bots for Forta — Friday, July 29th (2pm EDT / 8pm CET) - set a reminder here on YouTube Next generation smart contract development with Massa — Date & Time TBA Modular smart contract design with Violet — Date & Time TBA

If you want to follow along, subscribe to our YouTube channel or Twitter account and enable notifications, so you’ll always see when we start a new stream.

Do you have an idea for a live stream? Is there a topic you would like to see covered? Or a team you’d like to hear from? Let us know.


Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

What’s After Proof of Stake for Ethereum?

Ethereum’s biggest-ever upgrade — the move to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism — is right around the corner. But while the Merge should add security and sustainability, it doesn’t include sharding, the long-anticipated method of scaling the network.  In Part I of our conversation with Ethereum Foundation (EF) researcher Danny Ryan, who’s helped coordinate the upgrade... Read More The po

Ethereum’s biggest-ever upgrade — the move to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism — is right around the corner. But while the Merge should add security and sustainability, it doesn’t include sharding, the long-anticipated method of scaling the network.  In Part I of our conversation with Ethereum Foundation (EF) researcher Danny Ryan, who’s helped coordinate the upgrade... Read More

The post What’s After Proof of Stake for Ethereum? appeared first on Future.


What the Merge Means for Ethereum

After years of research, development and testing, Ethereum will transition from proof of work to proof of stake in the coming months. Instead of “miners” using computational energy to process transactions, “validators” will lock up, or stake, their assets in the network in return for ETH rewards. The upshot is increased security and a much... Read More The post What the Merge Means for Ethereum

After years of research, development and testing, Ethereum will transition from proof of work to proof of stake in the coming months. Instead of “miners” using computational energy to process transactions, “validators” will lock up, or stake, their assets in the network in return for ETH rewards. The upshot is increased security and a much... Read More

The post What the Merge Means for Ethereum appeared first on Future.


a16z Podcast

Tiktok's Algorithm and Creativity Network Effects

What does the success of TikTok's algorithmically-driven product tell us about the future of creators and the creator economy, product design, and innovation within video? In this cross-over archive episode from our tech news podcast, 16 Minutes on the News, we go deep into the what, why, and how of TikTok's algorithm, which lies at the heart of the product and drives its "creativity network effe

What does the success of TikTok's algorithmically-driven product tell us about the future of creators and the creator economy, product design, and innovation within video?

In this cross-over archive episode from our tech news podcast, 16 Minutes on the News, we go deep into the what, why, and how of TikTok's algorithm, which lies at the heart of the product and drives its "creativity network effects." The conversation features Eugene Wei (former head of product at Hulu, Flipboard, and video at Oculus), in conversation with host Sonal Choksi. This episode originally aired in September 2020, when there was talk of U.S. ownership/partnership for the American version of TikTok, which is from Chinese company ByteDance. 

Tuesday, 26. July 2022

Panther Protocol

Economic analysis of private DeFi: Dr. Anish Mohammed, Panther's Chief Scientist

This article rendition of Anish Mohammed's EthCC talk tackles the economic implications of achieving privacy & different strategies to enable it.

Privacy in DeFi is much needed.

In an ecosystem that grows bigger and more composable every day, the possibility for attackers to take advantage of blockchains' transparency to attack users increases. In contrast, automatic MEV attacks become more common by the day. If we want adoption to increase by orders of magnitude, users need to be guaranteed a base degree of privacy.

So, why has nobody succeeded (yet) in providing a base level of privacy? In this article, based on Anish Mohammed's (Panther Co-Founder, CTO, and Chief Scientist) talk at EthCC Paris 2022, we'll look into:

The economic challenges behind private DeFi. How to price privacy correctly. The adversarial games that keep the clock ticking for blockchain privacy. What a solution to the current challenges might look like.

Illustrating the base difficulties of privacy in DeFi

To understand why DeFi privacy is inherently challenging, let’s look at one of the most widespread, straightforward models –Automated Market Makers.

In an AMM, there are two pools of assets, which users trade against. By withdrawing assets from one side of the pool and adding to the other, users drive price fluctuations for both assets, which stabilize the system through arbitrage opportunities.

Privacy for AMMs is difficult because obscuring balance and trade amounts from possible attackers is insufficient: by looking into on-chain data, it’s still possible to reconstruct the history of transactions.

To mitigate this, some proposed strategies include:

Batching: It’s possible to merge a set of transactions into a batch. Rollups are essentially batching mechanisms with scalability and possibly privacy advantages. ZK rollups, which can provide privacy and batch transactions by default. In a batching scenario, an attacker doesn’t have information about individual transactions anymore, only about their average. Adding randomness in price: Akin to a noise-generation function, adding an element of uncertainty —essentially an error margin— can increase privacy. This occurs on each block, as a random offset is added to the price the constant function would give based on the pool’s parameters. An attacker would be no longer able to estimate the pool’s balance or trade amounts from the price difference between two blocks. This solution's costs mainly affect liquidity providers, as the user exchanging assets would know the price before making the trade. Differential privacy: Differential privacy, similarly to added randomness, muffles information about individual transactions while guaranteeing that the general properties of the dataset are not changed. This could be applied to many parts of the DeFi algorithm, with one implementation already theorized. Large trades within a block could be broken down into smaller trades and reordered, maintaining the average impact and protecting a user against being front-run.

Problems with batching (including batching in rollups)

One obvious issue with batching is that, by being unable to execute in real-time, DeFi users miss out on time-critical strategies, which become unfeasible with batching. In other words, in the time that it takes for a batch to gather all participants’ transactions, MEV attacks or other traders get a larger-than-usual window of opportunity.

Additionally, due to averages and the inability of traders to know the order of transactions in a batch, some participants will enjoy better prices than others. We can think of this as an associated inefficiency.

Graphical representation of the problem discussed above. While, on average, users within a rollup or batch cause the same overall impact on the system, their personal outcomes can be very unpredictable and vary wildly.

Problems with differential privacy in decentralized settings

Privacy under a decentralized setting has inherent cost disadvantages against privacy in centralized systems. It is harder to achieve privacy in decentralized systems because:

Decentralized consensus has a cost. In a setting with no trusted parties, efforts need to be concentrated on making sure that the system is attack-proof. In other words, centralized systems only need to worry about executing a task and maintaining public trust, while decentralized systems have to bear the non-negligible cost of keeping decentralized. Unlike what is usually believed, communication overhead can also have a significant cost, especially for time-critical applications. Decentralized consensus requires that all participants are informed of everything going on, while a centralized service provider simply keeps a single, efficient internal database. The former requires constant communication between hundreds or thousands of participants, while the latter is virtually free of that overhead. An aggravating factor is that, at times, communication costs do not rise linearly; they worsen as the number of participants in a system increases.

The above considerations create an economic dilemma: assuming either no regulatory requirements such as GDPR, or that their impact is negligible, the cost of maintaining a private system is higher than that of maintaining a system without privacy. Similarly, decentralized privacy is more expensive to achieve than centralized privacy, albeit a centrally-controlled private system creates obvious less-than-ideal power dynamics.

Adversarial dynamics can be seen in technology, healthcare, and other areas of daily life. Corporations that (advertently or otherwise) collect data from users get to benefit from machine learning applications to improve their products and targeting.

Because of this, even in centralized competition, the honest competitor faces a disadvantage. However, there is a hope that, in a decentralized solution, the lack of overhead and cost spread can drive the “privacy disadvantage” to be lower than the added costs of collecting and processing data.

The need to price privacy

To succeed, at least from an economic standpoint, a decentralized privacy system must:

Spread its costs as much as possible. It’s possible that a decentralized private system will never be the cheapest option available, but the cost could become bearable enough for its advantages to beat the associated costs (e.g., if the cost would be $0.1 per transaction). Users need to bear these costs for the system to be truly decentralized. Privacy comes in many layers. The costs of privacy will naturally be higher in extremely private applications. Nonetheless, each user’s risk tolerance will determine whether a weaker privacy solution is sufficient to shield them against their most likely attackers. Privacy tools should ideally be as flexible as possible to allow this privacy price discovery and maximize participation. Derive its privacy from user-driven actions. Similar to how Bitcoin miners earn from verifying blocks, a decentralized ecosystem can reward users for participating in a protocol, which aids overall privacy. In this system, users being rewarded for “feeding” a privacy algorithm substitutes the need to add artificial randomness.

In the condition set above, private system users “pay” for the rewards that the rest receive for creating the right conditions. As such, it’s even possible to devise a system in which there are several “tiers” of privacy, each with a separate cost, to create even more desirable conditions. This is illustrated in the table below, following the example of how data could be used to improve targeting and products:

While a “sweet spot” can be desirable for most, there are certainly cases in which a user may desire no privacy. Or, on the opposite, they might desire for their data to be fully scrapped of all utility to gain privacy.

A tool to solve seemingly contradicting needs

The privacy problem in DeFi presents the need for a tool that satisfies radically different –even contradictory– needs.

On the one hand, the radical transparency of Layer-1 blockchains has helped them arrive at their current growth stage in a decentralized fashion. On the other, privacy is the only way users can be fully safe utilizing them.

There is one way in which DeFi users can access total privacy that is fully compliant while retaining full control and ownership of their data. And as this technology and its game-theoretical design are no small feature, they are often referred to as moon math.

Introducing zero-knowledge proofs

First introduced in 1989, zero-knowledge proofs are a relatively new concept in the context of mathematics, cryptography, and computer science. In the last decade, the advancements in this field have been numerous. These breakthroughs allowed many practical applications to be developed, especially in the cryptocurrency space.

For those not already familiar with the term, a zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) is a proof for a statement that does not convey more knowledge than the mere fact that the statement is true.

Imagine magician A wants to prove to person B that A can leave a room without using the only door, but doesn’t want to reveal his secrets. A can simply ask to be let inside the room, for B to lock the door and keep an eye on it from outside, and then somehow A will appear outside the room. This proves the claim was correct, but no extra information about A’s methods was revealed: a zero-knowledge proof.

What are ZKPs good for?

Zero-knowledge proofs have been some of the most powerful tools to build crypto privacy solutions. Currently, they’re being utilized to scale blockchains by applying ZKPs to batch transactions off-chain, having privacy as an auspicious side-effect. Although, as we have seen, rollups create issues of their own.

The gains in scalability due to using rollups can be significant, as demonstrated by the table below:

Currently, ZK rollups are the scalability solution that affords the highest transaction output. (Source: vitalik.ca)

The current applications for zero-knowledge proofs have just barely scratched the surface of what’s possible for them. As a general-purpose tool, ZKPs can be used in any situation that requires users to provide proof of status/ownership. They also enable them to prove the above without disclosing the underlying data, which from an economic and privacy perspective means that:

DeFi users can be protected by default privacy (or access it in different layers) and then progressively pay for subsequent disclosures. These solutions can be accessed in a scalable, more affordable manner. A system with the right incentives can rely on ZKPs to create private batched transactions.

It remains a matter of speculation what the creation of such a system can achieve in a real-world setting. However, if executed correctly, it could result in an end-to-end private experience of utilizing DeFi for users, as well as a mechanism to put a price on privacy organically.

Conclusion

As we have seen, there is no such thing as a free lunch when it comes to blockchain privacy.

Competing on price with centralized systems is non-trivial, as existing privacy-preserving tech applications are not efficient enough. Alternatives like zkSNARKs and scalability solutions, however, make it more likely that this problem can be solved when approached from the right angle.

In a race to the bottom between privacy-preserving and non-privacy-preserving solutions, incentives are key to making the former stand a chance against products that can grow and iterate faster, becoming stronger.

Along with incentives, a dynamic pricing of privacy is also vital. If users have incentives to pay extra for higher privacy (therefore incentivizing strategies that provide privacy to others), it’s possible to lower the price of privacy for all, making the system more robust and attractive.

We are at a breaking point for the development and application of ZKPs. The next few years will be key in determining how far privacy in DeFi goes when aided by them.

About Panther

Panther is a decentralized protocol that enables interoperable privacy in DeFi using zero-knowledge proofs.

Users can mint fully-collateralized, composable tokens called zAssets, which can be used to execute private, trusted DeFi transactions across multiple blockchains.

Panther helps investors protect their personal financial data and trading strategies, and provides financial institutions with a clear path to compliantly participate in DeFi.

Stay connected: Telegram | Twitter | LinkedIn | Website


Coinbase

Introducing Coinbase Security Prompt — a safer and easier way of signing into Coinbase

Introducing Coinbase Security Prompt — a safer and easier way of signing into Coinbase Siyu Liu, Senior Product Manager; Chetan Rane, Product Manager Tl;Dr: We are excited to introduce the Coinbase Security Prompt: a faster and safer way for our users to verify their identity & activities when interacting with the Coinbase ecosystem. At Coinbase, we believe that our users need to
Introducing Coinbase Security Prompt — a safer and easier way of signing into Coinbase

Siyu Liu, Senior Product Manager; Chetan Rane, Product Manager

Tl;Dr: We are excited to introduce the Coinbase Security Prompt: a faster and safer way for our users to verify their identity & activities when interacting with the Coinbase ecosystem.

At Coinbase, we believe that our users need to have access to the best security possible without sacrificing ease and convenience. Providing a safe, secure, and easy-to-use platform that users trust is our continuous commitment to all of our current and future customers. That’s why, we require all Coinbase accounts to use 2-Factor Authentication (2FA). 2FA is a security layer on top of username and password. Accounts with 2FA enabled require users to provide their password (first “factor”) and a 2FA code (second “factor”) when signing in. While Coinbase offers both hardware key and authenticator app support on both web and mobile for 2FA, many customers appreciate the convenience of SMS.

Thinking about that, we’re now going one step further in keeping our users’ accounts secure via Coinbase Security Prompt, a simpler, faster and safer 2FA method that improves overall account security. How? Instead of sending an SMS code, the new Coinbase Security Prompt sends users a push notification to their Coinbase mobile app, asking if they are trying to sign in. Now with Coinbase Security Prompts, users can authenticate a login action with a simple tap on their phone:

Our customers will automatically have a stronger security without losing the ease and convenience of using their phones, from anywhere. It reduces the risk of phishing attacks by providing detailed information about where the request is coming from, such as the location or browser type.

Starting in July through the rest of 2022, all of our eligible* users will gradually start to be automatically enrolled to complete their 2FA via Security Prompts. Users who are still receiving SMS codes as their 2FA method can get access to Coinbase Security Prompts by downloading the Coinbase app.

*Eligible users are those who have an active mobile login session, trying to login from a second device and are using our latest Coinbase app version.

Introducing Coinbase Security Prompt — a safer and easier way of signing into Coinbase was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

Cilium, Service Meshes, and the Future of Enterprise Networking

Thomas Graf is the co-founder and CTO of Isovalent, and creator of a popular open source (and cloud native) networking technology called Cilium. Cilium is built atop a kernel-level Linux technology called eBPF. In this interview, Graf discusses the roles that Cilium and eBPF play in the growing cloud-native networking ecosystem, as well some broader... Read More The post Cilium, Service Meshes,

Thomas Graf is the co-founder and CTO of Isovalent, and creator of a popular open source (and cloud native) networking technology called Cilium. Cilium is built atop a kernel-level Linux technology called eBPF. In this interview, Graf discusses the roles that Cilium and eBPF play in the growing cloud-native networking ecosystem, as well some broader... Read More

The post Cilium, Service Meshes, and the Future of Enterprise Networking appeared first on Future.


TBD

Web5 Roadmap

We’re committed to an open software delivery model and therefore want to share our Web5 roadmap.

We’re committed to an open software delivery model and therefore want to share our roadmap to Web 5.

Our major deliverables include:

Decentralized Identifier network node on production and publicly available Decentralized Web Node on production and publicly available Verifiable Credential service on production and available to partners Decentralized Web Platform client/server SDK with all components bundled in a single package Wallet in publicly usable state across Web, desktop and mobile Decentralized Web Application runtime ready for developer reliance Milestone 1

In Quarter 2 (Q2) of 2022, we publicly announced Web5 as an open source community initiative.

Milestone 2

In Q3, we’ll deliver initial implementations of the SSI SDK, SSI Service, and Decentralized Web Nodes.

Milestone 3

In Q1 of 2023, the SSI SDK, SSI Service, and Decentralized Web Nodes will be feature complete.

The DID network node will be deployed.

The Wallet work will begin.

Milestone 4

In Q4 of 2023, the Web5 platform components and a Wallet app with identity support will enter public beta.



Web5 is open source and we welcome your contributions!

Monday, 25. July 2022

SmartContractResearch - Privacy Research Summaries

Research Summary: Studying Bitcoin privacy attacks and their Impact on Bitcoin-based Identity Methods

Twan: Are there other criteria that are widely discussed in the space, and if so, how was RFC6973 selected for the research? Thank you for your message. I will copy the questions and put the answers after them. Is the categorization unique to Bitcoin (or UTXO blockchains)? That is, consider a non-UTXO coin, or even, a privacy coin, would all 4 categories remain, or how would it c
Twan:

Are there other criteria that are widely discussed in the space, and if so, how was RFC6973 selected for the research?

Thank you for your message. I will copy the questions and put the answers after them.

Is the categorization unique to Bitcoin (or UTXO blockchains)? That is, consider a non-UTXO coin, or even, a privacy coin, would all 4 categories remain, or how would it change?

Indeed, not all privacy attack categories can be applied to other blockchains. Some of the attacks are specific to Bitcoin. For instance, the multi-input ownership heuristic relates to the UTXO-based blockchains; however, in privacy coins such as Zcash or Monero, it is not considered. Zcash and Monoro tried to solve the problems by ZKP (in Zcash) and RingCT (in Monero). Therefore, the attacker can not assume that all the inputs belong to the same user. Actually, in Zcash shielded pool, none of the inputs can be detected. However, it can perfectly work in Zcash’s non-shielded pool because the non-shielded pool is similar to Bitcoin, where everyone can see the inputs.

What is the story behind using RFC6973 as a criterion for (sort of) defining and standardizing what are the particular characteristics of privacy for internet protocols?

We used RFC6973 for this paper since the Internet protocol documents are widely used in the DIDs community. We tried to map these privacy issues to what the community considers.

Are there other criteria widely discussed in the space, and if so, how was RFC6973 selected for the research?

Indeed in blockchain privacy, we have to refer to the related scientific papers; however, the terminology provided by Pfitzmann and Hansen in Anon-Terminology is an excellent source for privacy criteria. These criteria can be adopted and reformulated in the blockchain area.

Read full topic


Sequoia

New Partnership: From Spring Reflections to Summer Health

The post New Partnership: From Spring Reflections to Summer Health appeared first on Sequoia Capital US/Europe.
New Partnership: From Spring Reflections to Summer Health

Ellen and her team are making health care accessible with one simple text.

By Alfred Lin

Published July 25, 2022

Alfred and Ellen at Sequoia Base Camp.

We had heard about a young powerhouse executive at Hims & Hers, but we didn’t get to meet Ellen DaSilva until April 2020. Our originally scheduled coffee meeting, planned to discuss her potentially joining Sequoia’s Scout program, moved to Zoom in the midst of the chaos and lockdowns of COVID. It would have been understandable if she had canceled or postponed. It also would have been understandable if the tone of the meeting was pessimistic, awkward or dark. But that wouldn’t be Ellen. Even with a bunch of curve balls thrown at her, her effervescence came through Zoom. She spoke with enthusiasm for consumer health businesses and clearly believed people were being underserved by most current options. We were blown away by her clarity of thought, and invited her to be a Scout.

A year later, Ellen and her husband welcomed their second child. A casual reach out to send warm wishes to her and her family led to a mutual gripe session over Zoom about our health system, and in particular, pediatrics. As a mother, Ellen has spent hours at urgent care and waiting by the phone for her primary pediatrician’s office to call her back for a quick consult. Again, it would have been understandable for her to feel dejected—but that wouldn’t be Ellen. All she saw was opportunity.

Ellen observed, researched and asked, “Why?” During that brief conversation with her, we learned that the average American waits more than two hours at the emergency room, and—as Ellen had recently experienced firsthand—two weeks to see their primary doctor. Particularly for families with young children, the time adds up quickly: the average parent accesses their pediatrician an average of 10 times per year in the first two years of their child’s life, and 4 times per year thereafter. As she dug into these stats and more, Ellen was full of enthusiasm about finding a better solution.

After those spring reflections in 2021, Ellen continued to learn more about our health system from both parents’ and pediatricians’ perspectives, speaking to as many people from each group as she could find. By summer, she was asking herself two questions: Was she ready to dedicate her life to helping people access care, perhaps starting with pediatrics? And if so, how could she best accomplish her mission? These were the musings of Ellen DaSilva on maternity leave.

Fall was back to work at Hims & Hers, an organization where she had started as employee #8 and helped it grow into a public company. At first, she was glad to be back, seeing familiar faces and getting some professional​​—and adult—interactions. (We all love our kids, but they drive us nuts, too.) While it was energizing to reunite with friends and colleagues, the same nagging question kept popping up in Ellen’s mind. How can we radically simplify access to pediatrics care?

As the cold November winds settled into NYC, Ellen asked herself what she would regret more: Pursuing that dream and striking out, or continuing her steady climb in the world of major public healthcare companies but never taking a swing? Founding moments start with the daring to overcome your fears—and Ellen knew she would regret not trying far more.

After telling her family and friends around Thanksgiving, Founder Ellen incorporated Summer Health in December 2021, and Sequoia was fortunate enough to become the company’s first outside shareholder. With that initial check of $1M, Ellen built out the alpha version of her product to test her hypotheses, recruited co-founder Matthew Woo and a small crackerjack team of seven, and rebuilt and launched the beta product while onboarding the first parents and pediatricians. Just more than six months in, families in all 50​​ states are now able to connect with a Summer Health provider via a simple text message—and get treatment, prescriptions, referrals and more in just 15 minutes. This velocity in execution speaks for itself, both for Ellen as a highly effective founder and for Summer Health as a highly compelling offering that’s instantly seen clinical and customer demand.

Today, we are thrilled to make the product available to everyone through the public beta and announce that Summer Health has raised $7.5M in total seed funding, co-led by Sequoia Capital and Lux Capital. But while this is a milestone worth celebrating, we are most excited to see how Ellen and her team will continue working toward a universally powerful mission: to radically simplify access to care.

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The post New Partnership: From Spring Reflections to Summer Health appeared first on Sequoia Capital US/Europe.


Coinbase

Security PSA: Search engine phishing

Tl;dr: Search engine phishing exploits the trust we have in search engines and the convenience of searching for something rather than remembering the domain. The following piece outlines what search engine phishing attacks may look like and how Coinbase users can avoid them. By Coinbase Security Team How do you log in to Coinbase? If you’re like many people, you open your preferred bro

Tl;dr: Search engine phishing exploits the trust we have in search engines and the convenience of searching for something rather than remembering the domain. The following piece outlines what search engine phishing attacks may look like and how Coinbase users can avoid them.

By Coinbase Security Team

How do you log in to Coinbase? If you’re like many people, you open your preferred browser and type “Coinbase” or “Coinbase login” in the address bar. You expect to get results like this:

But sometimes you may get results like this:

The second set of screenshots show an example of phishing links. This is called search engine phishing and it has become a trend for attackers targeting Coinbase accounts.

When most people think of phishing, email or SMS phishing comes to mind. However, phishing can take many forms. Search engine phishing exploits the trust we have in search engines and the convenience of searching for something rather than remembering the domain.

We all do it, but this opens us up to potential search engine phishing attacks if we are not diligent about checking our links and protecting ourselves online. Here are some tips to prevent this from happening to you:

Double-check our naming conventions

Coinbase uses a uniform naming convention for our websites and pages. The convention follows this pattern: [page].coinbase.com. For example, here are some of our pages:

One way to avoid this type of scam is to bookmark the above Coinbase pages that you frequent. Bookmarking removes the need to search for, or manually type, a domain name. Here is a quick tutorial on how to create bookmarks in the most popular browsers.

Know common scam naming conventions

It takes a good amount of work for anyone to get their website ranked high in search engine results. This is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is the process of improving the traffic from search engines to a website. Some website services, including Google Sites and Microsoft Azure, offer built-in SEO functionality.

As seen in the screenshots above, attackers tend to exploit website services like Google Sites and Microsoft Azure — building a false sense of trust in the phishing link.. The naming conventions might follow a pattern like one of the following:

sites.google.com/[phishingpage].com
[phishingpage].azurewebsites.net

These phishing websites will typically then redirect to another phishing page after a victim clicks a button on the site. The redirect will take the victim to a second phishing page where the actual phishing attack happens. Using a second phishing site is a way for attackers to protect the first phishing site and maintain its SEO ranking. So, be aware of redirects as an indication that you may be visiting a phishing website. A typical flow may look like this:

Look for these red flags

Here are some indicators you can look for to protect yourself from search engine phishing:

Does the naming convention of the search result follow this pattern: [page].coinbase.com? If not, it is likely a phishing page. When you click on a search result, are you redirected to a website with a different domain than what you expected? If so, it is likely a phishing page. When you click on a search result, does the website look different than the last time you logged in to Coinbase? If so, this could be a phishing page which is using an older version of our website theme. When you visit the website from the search results and click on a button, are you redirected to a website with a different domain than the first page? If so, it is likely a phishing page. After you enter your credentials, are you prompted to call Coinbase because of some sort of error? Does a live chat box automatically open? This tactic is commonly paired with phishing attacks and is known as a “support scam” attack.

Here is an example of what a scam error may look like and a live chat box which may follow the error:

Remember, think before you click! Our US support phone number is 1–888–908–7930 and you can find other ways to contact us at help.coinbase.com. If you are suspicious of activity on a “Coinbase” website, go to our Help page and initiate a conversation there with our Support team.

We are constantly monitoring the internet to identify phishing domains and take them down, but we need your help. Please help us by reporting any suspicious domains to security@coinbase.com.

Security PSA: Search engine phishing was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Nym - Medium

Configuring NymConnect with Electrum wallet

NymConnect is a one-click interface enabling you to privacy-enhance the apps you use everyday, by having them run over the Nym mixnet. Nym protects your communications packets in multiple layers of encryption and mixes them with other packets across three layers of mix nodes, thereby ensuring the privacy and unlinkability of your communications. NymConnect is a proof-of-concept tool providi

NymConnect is a one-click interface enabling you to privacy-enhance the apps you use everyday, by having them run over the Nym mixnet.

Nym protects your communications packets in multiple layers of encryption and mixes them with other packets across three layers of mix nodes, thereby ensuring the privacy and unlinkability of your communications.

NymConnect is a proof-of-concept tool providing rapid access to the mixnet, with support for many popular applications introduced over the coming months.

Please note: This is experimental software and should not yet be relied upon for strong anonymity. Help us get there by reporting bugs and sending feedback here.

Currently, NymConnect is available to use with Electrum wallet. Here’s how to configure Electrum and NymConnect.

1 — Download and install NymConnect.
Get the appropriate release for your platform on Github. NymConnect is available for Linux, Windows, and MacOS.

2 — Select the Electrum service provider from the dropdown menu.

3 — Click connect — the host and port will now be displayed that can be copied to the SOCKS5 settings in Electrum.

4 — Click on host or port to copy the value to the clipboard and pasted in the SOCKS5 settings for the app of your choice

5 — Go to Electrum and open network settings.
Electrum -> Tools -> Network

6 — Tell Electrum to connect via the SOCKS5 proxy and insert the correct port number
SOCKS5 is a protocol that routes packets between a client and proxy server.

Your traffic is now protected!

Want to see more apps available through NymConnect? The network relies on Gateway-Requester pairs, and more of these are needed in order to manage the traffic associated with the most popular apps.

Apply now for a service grant to set up a Gateway and Network Requester to serve an app of your choice. (We are currently prioritising Network Requesters for privacy-enhancement of Telegram).

Links Download NymConnect Shipyard Discord Docs Nym Whitepaper

Configuring NymConnect with Electrum wallet was originally published in nymtech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Announcing NymConnect in Beta

Shipyard releases a one-click app to use the Nym mixnet You should not have to worry about privacy. It should be an integrated part of the apps and tools you use in your everyday life, but as we all know this is rarely the case these days. The good news is you can privacy-enhance your existing apps and go from using apps to PEApps — Privacy Enhanced Applications! Today Shipyard is launching
Shipyard releases a one-click app to use the Nym mixnet

You should not have to worry about privacy. It should be an integrated part of the apps and tools you use in your everyday life, but as we all know this is rarely the case these days. The good news is you can privacy-enhance your existing apps and go from using apps to PEApps — Privacy Enhanced Applications!

Today Shipyard is launching NymConnect — a one-click interface to the Nym mixnet. The aim of NymConnect is to privacy-enhance apps you are already using by protecting your traffic patterns from an observer and even from the app itself.

NymConnect is the first app to launch in Shipyard, the Beta space to test privacy applications and apply for the grants to build them.

Please note: This is experimental software and should not yet be relied upon for strong anonymity. Help us get there by reporting bugs and sending feedback here. Join our Discord server in order to provide feedback. Alternatively, join Nym Keybase.

What is NymConnect?

NymConnect is a simple interface that enables you to privacy-enhance your apps by routing traffic from third-party applications through the Nym mixnet.

Once installed, NymConnect allows you to choose an application to privacy-enhance. Just configure the app in question to run via the SOCKS5 proxy and you’re good to go.

How does NymConnect work?

NymConnect routes traffic from your apps through the Nym mixnet, protecting it through encryption and by ‘mixing’ packets between multiple nodes.

The mixnet is enabled by Gateways, which act as entry points to the network, and Network Requesters, which forward traffic to the other side of the mixnet, protecting your communications — even from the app you are using!

Which apps does NymConnect work with?

Today we’re launching an integration with Electrum wallet. Many more integrations are coming soon.

Want to see NymConnect working with more apps? Apply now for a service grant to set up a Gateway and Network Requester to serve an app of your choice. (We are currently prioritising network requesters for privacy-enhancement of Telegram).

How do I configure my Electrum wallet?

Simply go to Tools/Network and set the wallet to run via SOCKS5 and make sure you are running via the right port (you can copy the port number from NymConnect). Read the instructions on setting up NymConnect and Electrum here.

When will more apps be available through NymConnect?

This is partly up to the community! The network relies on gateway-requester pairs, and more of these are needed in order to manage the traffic associated with the most popular apps. Apply now for a Service Grant if you wish to run Gateway-Requester pairs — check out the simple application process through Shipyard.

Links Download NymConnect Shipyard Discord Docs Nym Whitepaper

Announcing NymConnect in Beta was originally published in nymtech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


bankless

129 - Why the Crypto Critics Are Wrong | Matthew Green

Matthew Green is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at John Hopkins University, where he teaches courses, cryptography, distributed computing systems, blockchains, and cryptocurrency. He also helped create Zerocash, one of the first privacy cryptocurrency experiments, and ultimately influenced the Zcash protocol. He recently wrote an article titled, “In Defense of Crypto(Currency)”, in r

Matthew Green is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at John Hopkins University, where he teaches courses, cryptography, distributed computing systems, blockchains, and cryptocurrency. He also helped create Zerocash, one of the first privacy cryptocurrency experiments, and ultimately influenced the Zcash protocol.

He recently wrote an article titled, “In Defense of Crypto(Currency)”, in response to an open letter to Congress, signed by a large group of technologists, denouncing the entire premise of cryptocurrency and urging congress to strongly regulate the space.

In this episode, Matthew talks about his article, how crypto can do better as an industry, and why to be optimistic about the future of crypto.

------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER: https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/  🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST: http://podcast.banklesshq.com/ 

------ Topics Covered:

0:00 Intro 6:34 Letter to Congress 12:27 Matthew’s Background 15:45 Why Write This Letter 19:03 Crypto Haters 24:14 What to do About Scams 28:45 Regulation 32:28 Addressing Concrete Objections 35:36 PoW Climate Issue 38:06 Blockchains Transfer Reversal 45:50 Crypto Doesn’t Scale Claim 50:42 Privacy Claims 1:02:43 Annoying Hype 1:05:50 Doing Better as an Industry 1:10:25 Matthew’s Favorite Project 1:14:58 Why Be Optimistic About Crypto 1:17:13 Closing & Disclaimers

------ Resources:

Matthew Green https://twitter.com/matthew_d_green 

Letter to Congress https://concerned.tech/ 

In Defense of Crypto(Currency) https://blog.cryptographyengineering.com/2022/06/09/in-defense-of-cryptocurrency/ 

----- Not financial or tax advice. This channel is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This video is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.  

Friday, 22. July 2022

Horizen - Blog

How to Transfer ZEN from Sphere to Cobalt Wallet

Learn how to transfer ZEN to your Cobalt wallet by Horizen to send transactions on TokenMint The post How to Transfer ZEN from Sphere to Cobalt Wallet appeared first on Horizen.

The Cobalt wallet is Horizen’s new web extension wallet that enables you to create, receive, and send tokens on TokenMint! 

In this guide, we show you how to send ZEN to your Cobalt wallet to process your transactions and create your own tokens. ZEN is used as gas for TokenMint transactions.

About TokenMint

The TokenMint platform is designed to provide a seamless, simple, and intuitive user experience. In the alpha version, there are four components available to launch your token:

TokenMint Chain – a sidechain built on the Horizen network Token Generator – a web app that allows a streamlined and easy process for anyone to create and mint a fungible token with custom tokenomics. Cobalt wallet – a web browser extension wallet that stores and manages tokens created on TokenMint TokenMint Block explorer – a block explorer that tracks and displays all transactions on the TokenMint Chain.  Send ZEN to a Cobalt wallet

When sending ZEN from your Sphere wallet to a Cobalt wallet, you are actually sending a transaction to a sidechain. 

Before you begin the send transaction, make sure that you have the Cobalt wallet’s address to send ZEN and the password to confirm the transaction.

Perform the following steps:

1. In your Sphere Wallet, click on the wallet you wish to send ZEN from.

2. Select the appropriate address by clicking on the info icon to copy it.

There are two icons: one to Receive and the other to Send.

3. Click the Send icon. (Red Up Arrow) The Send page appears.

4. Make sure that the Sidechain transaction toggle is enabled, which displays the Sidechain field.

5. In the Sidechain field, use the pull-down menu to select the appropriate sidechain.

6. In the Send to field, paste the Cobalt wallet’s address.

7. In the Amount field, enter the amount of ZEN you want to send.

8. In the Transaction Fee pane, the Standard radio button is enabled by default. Click Custom if you want to specify a custom fee.

9. Optionally, in the Description field, enter a brief statement about this transaction.

10. Click Confirm. Then enter the wallet password to confirm the field appears.

Note: If you enter the wrong password, an error message will appear.

11. Enter your Sphere wallet password. The Send page displays a success notification.

12. Click View on Blockchain to verify that the transaction is successful. The Block Explorer webpage appears.

13. Click the Search button on the top of the page using the search criteria of address, transaction, or blocks if your transaction is not displayed.

14. Check the Cobalt wallet for the newly received transaction. You should see a transaction of received ZEN from Horizen mainchain.

For questions, support, and lively chats, join our #︱tokenmint-chat on our Discord

The post How to Transfer ZEN from Sphere to Cobalt Wallet appeared first on Horizen.


How to Create a Fungible Token on TokenMint

Learn how to create a fungible token on the Horizen TokenMint platform The post How to Create a Fungible Token on TokenMint appeared first on Horizen.

TokenMint makes tokenization streamlined and accessible to everyone. Anyone can create their own token now!

TokenMint is a platform that allows anyone to easily and quickly create a token with custom tokenomics. No programming knowledge is needed for creating a token using TokenMint. The alpha version of the TokenMint platform offers the basics for creating a fungible token.   

About TokenMint

The TokenMint platform is designed to provide a seamless, simple, and intuitive user experience. In the alpha version, there are four components available to launch your token:

TokenMint Chain – a sidechain built on the Horizen network Token Generator – a web app that allows a streamlined and easy process for anyone to create and mint a fungible token with custom tokenomics. Cobalt wallet – a web browser extension wallet that stores and manages tokens created on TokenMint TokenMint Block explorer – a block explorer that tracks and displays all transactions on the TokenMint Chain.  How to Use Token Generator to Create a Token

To begin the process of creating a token, you MUST:

Install the latest version of Cobalt wallet, or you will not be able to use the token generator Have ZEN in your Cobalt wallet, or you will not be able to connect your wallet to the TokenMint website. 

The TokenMint token generator is very easy to use.  Simply head to the TokenMint website and follow these easy steps: 

STEP 1. Launch the token generator from the TokenMint website by clicking Launch The App.

STEP 2. Download the latest Cobalt wallet and connect your Cobalt wallet.

You must install the latest Cobalt wallet. Otherwise, the token generator won’t connect. 

If you have previously installed a Cobalt wallet, make sure you update the extension from your web browser settings menu. Please follow this guide if you need help.

You must have sufficient ZEN in your Cobalt wallet to pay for network fees. Follow this guide if you need help to know how to send ZEN to Cobalt

STEP 3. Once your wallet is connected, click Create a token and follow the steps shown on the app to create your token.

STEP 4. After you create your token, you will be able to see your token in your Cobalt wallet and the TokenMint block explorer.

You can now find your tokens on the TokenMint site.

Step 5. Mint your token! After your token is created, you will need to mint your token to the wallet of your choice. To begin, select Mint token.

Step 6. On the Mint token page, enter the desired amount of your token to mint and the wallet address you would like to mint to then select Confirm. Minting tokens currently cost 1 ZEN. The transaction can take up to 5 minutes to complete the minting of your token. 

Once the confirmation is complete, you will receive the identified quantity of tokens to your designated wallet and you are ready to send your tokens to the world!

For questions, support, and lively chats, join our #︱tokenmint-chat on our Discord

The post How to Create a Fungible Token on TokenMint appeared first on Horizen.


Cobalt Wallet User Guide

Learn how to use Horizen's new Cobalt web wallet. The post Cobalt Wallet User Guide appeared first on Horizen.

Get started on your TokenMint journey with our brand new alpha phase web wallet, Cobalt! 

Cobalt is a web extension wallet that is one of the three key components of TokenMint, Horizen’s tokenization platform. Cobalt is live on mainnet. In the alpha phase, Cobalt can send and receive tokens created on TokenMint and ZEN from Sphere by Horizen.

Getting started with Cobalt Add the Cobalt wallet extension to Brave or Chrome browser  Create an account Choose a password for your wallet  Confirm your password  Click on “I have read and agree to the Terms of Use” Click on “Create”

Important:

Make sure the password is equal to or longer than 16 characters No common passwords are accepted, i.e., password, 12345, etc. Password cannot be saved to a keychain, so be sure to make a note of it for future use.

Creating a New Wallet Click Create Wallet

The default chain is: “TokenMint by Horizen” Add a name to the wallet i.e.,: “Wallet123” Click Next

Generating Your Wallet’s Seed Phrase

Important: 

The seed phrase is a series of words generated specifically and uniquely for your wallet. This seed phrase is the only way to recover your wallet if you ever lose access to it. We strongly recommend users write down their seed phrase and store it in various safe places. 

Do not take pictures of your seed phrase Do not save it in files such as notepads, third-party-owned documents, etc. Write down your seed phrase Click Next

Confirm your seed phrase by clicking on the words in the exact order they were listed when you created your seed phrase.  Click Confirm

Import an Existing Wallet

Follow the steps below if you:

Downloaded a new Cobalt version and want to import your existing wallet to your new Cobalt  Installed a new Cobalt in a new device and want to import your existing wallet to your new Cobalt Create a password to get started with the new Cobalt Click Import wallet Enter the seed phrase of your existing wallet You should see your existing wallet in your new Cobalt   Sending A Transaction On Cobalt

Note: To send a transaction on Cobalt, you must have ZEN. However, you CANNOT send ZEN to another Cobalt wallet address at this time. 

Currently, ZEN can only be obtained by sending ZEN from Sphere by Horizen to your Cobalt wallet address.

Send ZEN to a Cobalt Wallet

When sending ZEN from your Sphere wallet to a Cobalt Wallet, you are actually sending a transaction to a sidechain. 

Before you begin the send transaction, make sure that you have the Cobalt wallet’s address to send ZEN and the password to confirm the transaction.

Perform the following steps:

1. In your Sphere Wallet, click on the wallet you wish to send ZEN from.

2. Select the appropriate address by clicking on the info icon to copy it.

There are two icons: one to Receive and the other to Send.

3. Click the Send icon. (Red Up Arrow) The Send page appears.

4. Make sure that the Sidechain transaction toggle is enabled, which displays the Sidechain field.

5. In the Sidechain field, use the drop-down menu to select the appropriate sidechain.

6. In the Send to field, paste the Cobalt wallet’s address.

7. In the Amount field, enter the amount of ZEN you want to send.

8. In the Transaction Fee pane, the Standard radio button is enabled by default. Click Custom if you want to specify a custom fee.

9. Optionally, in the Description field, enter a brief statement about this transaction.

10. Click Confirm. The Enter wallet password to confirm field appears.

Note: If you enter the wrong password, an error message will appear.

11. Enter your Sphere wallet password. The Send page displays a success notification.

12. Click View on Blockchain to verify that the transaction is successful. The Block Explorer webpage will appear.

13. Click the Search button on the top of the page using the search criteria of address, transaction, or blocks if your transaction is not displayed.

14. Check the Cobalt wallet for the newly received transaction. You should see a transaction of received ZEN from the Horizen mainchain.

Select the desired token in your wallet balance

Press the Send icon

In the transaction screen, fill out the necessary details, including wallet address and amount. Then enter your password All transactions in Cobalt require you to enter your password  Press Submit once the details are completed

Then close out of the transaction screen You can then view your transaction on the Activities tab of your Cobalt wallet Assets and Activity tabs

Assets Tab

View the list of the different assets/ tokens in your wallet and the balance for each one of them.

Activity Tab

View the activity of your different tokens, such as tokens sent, received, and pending transactions on your wallet.

Stay up to date on the latest Cobalt and Horizen news by following us on Twitter and Discord!

The post Cobalt Wallet User Guide appeared first on Horizen.


Coinbase

Coinbase wins Best Prime Broker Award

by Brett Tejpaul, Head of Coinbase Institutional, and Elke Karskens, Head of EMEA Marketing We recently won the Best Prime Broker Award in Hedgeweek’s annual European Digital Assets Awards. This success not only underlines the strength of our platform and our integral role within the cryptoeconomy, particularly in terms of further enabling institutional engagement, but also celebrates the incredi

by Brett Tejpaul, Head of Coinbase Institutional, and Elke Karskens, Head of EMEA Marketing

We recently won the Best Prime Broker Award in Hedgeweek’s annual European Digital Assets Awards. This success not only underlines the strength of our platform and our integral role within the cryptoeconomy, particularly in terms of further enabling institutional engagement, but also celebrates the incredible talents of our amazing team here at Coinbase.

Over the past three years we have seen widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies across the world. Coinbase now has over 13,000 institutional clients as of March 2022, including a wide range of banks, introducing brokers, pension funds, corporates, hedge funds and asset managers.

Increased adoption of crypto assets by institutional investors follows the wider trend of the asset class becoming more mainstream, underpinned by a belief in the range of benefits that can be unlocked.

The largest and most sophisticated hedge funds in the world have collectively decided that Coinbase offers the best crypto Prime Broker platform because of its extensive product suite and depth of experience in the sector. Our clients trust us as the largest crypto custodian that also combines multi-venue execution capabilities with a strong balance sheet to enable prime financing. Most clients also take advantage of our full suite of services that is completed by best in class data and analytics and staking directly from cold storage. The robustness of our operations is reinforced by our listing on NASDAQ and validated by the fact we are authorised and regulated by the New York Department of Financial Services.

As a market leader we will continue to work with individuals and other stakeholders in the wider financial and political world to shape policy to create a safer and more efficient financial system that’s accessible to all.

We would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Coinbase’s entire institutional team for their hard work and dedication through an ever-shifting macro environment. We’re just as passionate and hungry as we’ve always been, and will continue to cement our position as the leading prime broker and digital asset custodian supporting institutions of all kinds in their engagement with the world of cryptocurrency.

Coinbase wins Best Prime Broker Award was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


bankless

ROLLUP: Tesla Sells Bitcoin | Minecraft NFT Ban | Polygon zkRollup | Genesis 3ac | Ethereum Merge

3rd Week of July, 2022 ------ 📣Rhino.Fi | Massive Mystery Airdrop https://bit.ly/3o9trRE  ------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER:          https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/    🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST:                 http://podcast.banklesshq.com/  ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:  🌱 LENS | ACCESS CODE:

3rd Week of July, 2022

------ 📣Rhino.Fi | Massive Mystery Airdrop https://bit.ly/3o9trRE 

------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER:          https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/    🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST:                 http://podcast.banklesshq.com/ 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 

🌱 LENS | ACCESS CODE: STAKING https://bankless.cc/Lens 

🚀 ROCKET POOL | ETH STAKING https://bankless.cc/RocketPool 

⚖️ ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum 

🦁 BRAVE | THE BROWSER NATIVE WALLET https://bankless.cc/Brave 

🌉 JUNO | BRIDGE FIAT TO LAYER 2 https://bankless.cc/Juno 

⚡️ ZKSYNC | THE LAYER 2 SCALING ENDGAME https://bankless.cc/zkSync 

------

0:00 Intro

6:00 MARKETS 7:55 Is the Bear Market Over? https://messari.io/screener/bear-market-vibes-C66F0A22  15:45 Inflation https://twitter.com/MacroAlf/status/1549529768185319424  19:55 The DXY https://imgur.com/0oW7kWM  20:40 Arthur Hayes https://cryptohayes.medium.com/a-samurai-a-knight-and-a-yankee-211bf975a31d  26:50 Is DeFi Back? https://thedefiant.io/defi-stalwarts-outperform  29:49 NFTs vs Tokens https://twitter.com/ElBarto_Crypto/status/1548684477605486592?s=20&t=TA5HajuF9HNnYpyM0mh4lA 

NEWS 33:00 The Merge Timeline https://twitter.com/superphiz/status/1547643255335968771?s=20&t=kjMcHcVWqakGNWdQ9qaT-Q  36:35 zkRollup Season https://twitter.com/jadler0/status/1549764211542315008?s=20&t=qzZC-8j_L3ibDC2lLMa9dA  43:25 EVM Equivalence vs Compatible https://blog.polygon.technology/the-future-is-now-for-ethereum-scaling-introducing-polygon-zkevm/?utm_source=Twitter-Main+&utm_medium=Post+&utm_campaign=Tier-1-Announcement  46:03 zkSync 2.0 https://twitter.com/zksync/status/1549757888641437696?s=20&t=ZAR1kCt0uKILsF9_FdM2vQ  47:40 Scroll https://twitter.com/Scroll_ZKP/status/1549268276152500225?s=20&t=4FcId8XcvMVO4XBFgxEmcw 

49:12 3ac Drama Continues https://www.docdroid.net/xKIqrjq/20220709-3ac-bvi-liquidation-recognition-1st-affidavit-of-russell-crumpler-filed-pdf  49:50 Genesis Lent 2.3 Billion https://twitter.com/theblock__/status/1549060746096566274?s=21&t=PqGwDZSYsmKYCZPNWTkiOQ  52:40 Su Zhu Audacity https://finbold.com/three-arrows-capital-co-founder-files-5-million-claim-against-own-firm-while-on-the-run  55:00 Celsius Debt https://blockworks.co/celsius-faces-heat-for-1-2b-balance-sheet-hole-customers-owed-4-7b 

57:00 USDC Transparency https://twitter.com/jerallaire/status/1547608325478498307?s=20&t=nwzfZpHnKb1bO7VghA1khw  59:05 Aave Balancer Swap https://twitter.com/llama/status/1549412411077283842  59:55 Curve Stablecoin https://twitter.com/napgener/status/1550050875414126592?s=20&t=vdK4MuzT-DknxA79kXe6lg 

1:00:25 OpenSea Layoffs https://www.coindesk.com/business/2022/07/14/opensea-lays-off-roughly-20-of-its-staff/  1:01:05 PROOF Acquires Divergence https://decrypt.co/105061/kevin-roses-proof-acquires-ethereum-nft-divergence  1:02:14 Minecraft Bans NFTs https://www.minecraft.net/en-us/article/minecraft-and-nfts  1:07:15 Nickelodeon Volume https://twitter.com/nickelodeon_nft/status/1549626025134370817 

1:08:15 ENS Domains https://twitter.com/wongisrite/status/1549100589396758529  1:10:08 Tesla Sells Bitcoin https://twitter.com/cryptokaleo/status/1549851605520064513?s=21&t=yC_4hIWv4-Xt82BuWA_EfQ  1:12:04 Across Token Launch https://twitter.com/AcrossProtocol/status/1549439826038071296  13:36 Optic Raise https://www.theblock.co/post/158678/nft-fraud-fighters-optic-raise-11-million-in-seed-funding-round 

1:14:10 Jobs https://pallet.xyz/list/bankless/jobs 

1:16:00 Questions of the Week 1:17:30 Rocket Pool Benefits https://twitter.com/1349RS/status/1549798302585180160?s=20&t=HCuz2QS6CRVV_WgL4plnvg  1:20:35 zk Energy Consumption https://twitter.com/icohgnito/status/1549795838741790722?s=20&t=HCuz2QS6CRVV_WgL4plnvg  1:22:30 Polygon Token Alignment https://twitter.com/Madge_80/status/1549832732716552192?s=20&t=HCuz2QS6CRVV_WgL4plnvg 

1:26:30 TAKES 1:27:30 BlockFi vs Celsius https://twitter.com/twobitidiot/status/1547995516310409219?s=20&t=KSw1S9w18N9PAnbUhQb51Q  1:28:35 Tech and Social https://twitter.com/RyanSAdams/status/1549812828210601985?s=20&t=HWLmLcjY2ohQ-fAm-PKnKQ  1:32:55 We are Bitcoiners https://twitter.com/coryklippsten/status/1549547384127889408?s=20&t=4bBZ8tbrX6sZLfz7sRALCg  1:40:55 The Right Time https://twitter.com/TrustlessState/status/1549691597373194242 

1:42:00 What David’s Bullish On 1:44:10 What Ryan’s Bullish On

1:47:55 Moment of Zen https://twitter.com/songadaymann/status/1548428696154869760?s=21&t=dfrJJ_wkbZAwgb7yNdXgkA 

——- Not financial or tax advice.

See our investment disclosures here: https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/p/bankless-disclosures 


SmartContractResearch - Privacy Research Summaries

Research Summary: Studying Bitcoin privacy attacks and their Impact on Bitcoin-based Identity Methods

Thank you @simin for the fascinating summary of your work. Welcome to the forum, and it’s so great to have you here. There are at least two things that I find particularly interesting. The first is the classification of Bitcoin privacy attacks. In your work, there are 4 categories, and under each section are several important threats. This seems like a careful design and is thus an important r

Thank you @simin for the fascinating summary of your work. Welcome to the forum, and it’s so great to have you here.

There are at least two things that I find particularly interesting.

The first is the classification of Bitcoin privacy attacks. In your work, there are 4 categories, and under each section are several important threats. This seems like a careful design and is thus an important reference for the potential attacks that both developers and users need to stay aware of.

Is the categorization unique to Bitcoin (or UTXO blockchains)? That is, consider a non-UTXO coin, or even, a privacy coin, would all 4 categories remain, or how would it change?

The second relates to the discussion and key takeaways section, where you dive into how the threats map back to privacy criteria. It seems important since defining a problem is a prerequisite to identifying solutions.

For me, it is a great resource to have it spelled out specifically why users of the blockchain are at risk of privacy breaches. Having the criteria laid out side-by-side with the characteristics of the blockchain is fascinating.

With that said, I must ask: Being new to the space, I wonder what is the story behind using RFC6973 as a criterion for (sort of) defining and standardizing what are the particular characteristics of privacy for internet protocols? Are there other criteria that are widely discussed in the space, and if so, how was RFC6973 selected for the research?

Read full topic


Verida

Verida Launches $5,000 Period Tracking App Grant, in Response to Roe v Wade.

Period Tracking App Grant In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion. On July 24, 2022, nearly half a century later, Roe v Wade was overturned — shifting discretionary power into the hands of individual states. Consequently, anti-abortion laws will soon come into effect in many states. American women are boycot
Period Tracking App Grant

In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion. On July 24, 2022, nearly half a century later, Roe v Wade was overturned — shifting discretionary power into the hands of individual states. Consequently, anti-abortion laws will soon come into effect in many states.

American women are boycotting period tracking apps in droves. Women have taken to Twitter to warn fellow women to delete these apps, where their data could be subpoenaed or sold. Period tracking apps, such as Flo and Stardust, have breached user privacy before. Giving control back to users is well overdue, and finally a possibility, with Web3.

The $5,000 Period Tracking App Grant

There’s such an urgent need for a truly decentralized period tracking app, Verida has launched a $5,000 grant to encourage developers to build a self-sovereign app to preserve women’s identity. Verida will also provide technical architecture and engineering support.

Verida provides the essential infrastructure needed for developers to build powerful multi-chain web3 applications with private data storage and identity. Using Verida’s private data storage network, all data is encrypted and only the user can unlock their personal information. In other words, the users are truly and fully in control of their data.

The Verida Vault is a mobile application that acts as both a “Data Wallet” and a “Crypto Wallet” for end users. It provides private key management and a user-friendly interface that interacts with the Verida network and supported blockchains.

The Vault is the entry point for end users to manage their identity, sign into apps, manage their personal data, send/receive messages and manage blockchain transactions/tokens.

The Verida Vault is now in developer preview on iOS and is available to download from the Apple App Store. Download the Vault and try our demo apps and interactive tutorials to see how these features work.

Build a better future for women

Use this form to submit your expression of interest for the $5K Period Tracker App Grant or reach out to the Verida team in Discord to discuss your idea.

Verida Launches $5,000 Period Tracking App Grant, in Response to Roe v Wade. was originally published in Verida on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Thursday, 21. July 2022

Mina Protocol

Transparency Report — Q2 2022

Mina Foundation shares the Q2 2022 Transparency Report, covering key platform metrics, delegation program updates, and token information. The post Transparency Report — Q2 2022 appeared first on Mina Protocol.
Q2 2022 Quarterly Transparency Report

Mina Foundation, Inc.
Dates Covered: April 1, 2022 – June 30, 2022.

 

Mina Foundation, Inc. (the “Foundation”), which stewards the Mina Protocol, is deeply committed to being transparent about its operations, especially as they might be related to MINA tokens that are under control by the Foundation’s wholly owned subsidiary – Mina Foundation, Ltd., a British Virgin Islands company. Please refer to our annual transparency report for more information. Previous transparency reports can be consulted here.

 

General Update

This quarter has been one of continued development for what we believe promises to be a significant year for Mina Protocol. Highlights from this past quarter include:

Developer meet-ups held in Tel-Aviv, Istanbul, and Berlin with more than a dozen additional meetups planned across Europe, the Americas, and APAC in 2022.  The Mina Foundation team was in full force during DevConnect 2022 in Amsterdam during April, as a lead sponsor of ETHAmsterdam as well as zkSummit 7.  Strengthening of the Foundation and its ability to support the community with exceptional new hires across product, engineering, operations, marketing & community, developer relations and human resources. Top cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase and Huobi added to the roster of reputable exchanges now listing MINA. Publication of the State of Zero Knowledge Report 2022 and its key findings, namely that 90.1% of respondents reported that cryptocurrencies using zero knowledge proofs are more attractive than ones that do not. Additionally, privacy is seen as the most important advantage of zero knowledge technology. Please visit the Mina Protocol blog for additional updates including developments from ecosystem partners O(1) Labs, =nil; Foundation, ChainSafe, OnTab, Aurowallet, Minanodes.info, Minaboard and Everstake.

 

Key Platform Metrics Mina Accounts

Mina Accounts Growth by Month

As of June 30, 2022, There are currently 114,203 unique accounts on the  Mina ledger.

 

Delegation

In Q2 of 2022, there were 21,332 accounts delegating stake in the Mina protocol.

Block Production

Block Producers by Month

Snark Workers per Month

Protocol Development

There are a total of 2,799 commits to  the Mina Github repositories in the first 6 months off 2022  with 66 unique contributors. Mina is currently number one, with the highest number of Github commits in crypto over this time period according to CryptoMiso.

Delegation Program Update

As mentioned in the Foundation’s Delegation Policy, the Foundation has delegated the voting power relating to the Mina Protocol it holds through ownership of the MINA tokens that it and its affiliates control to third-party block producers in an effort to promote decentralization within the Mina Protocol ecosystem. Progress is being made on all of the items mentioned in the April 13, 2022 announcement concerning Delegation Program Improvements. Further updates have recently been provided in the Discord delegation-program channel including that a beta version of the updated uptime leader board is available here:  https://uptime.minaprotocol.com/

 

Use of Tokens to Date Treasury

The Foundation defines Treasury as cash and token distributions that are intended to primarily promote and support the administration and operations of Mina Foundation.

The Foundation’s Treasury (as of July, 11, 2022): 

45m MINA Tokens 38m USD and Stablecoins (USDC & USDT)

The Foundation has spent approximately 0.7m MINA from its treasury during the period covered by this report. Such expenses cover marketing, community, design, business development, business operations, and legal & regulatory.

 

Grants

The Foundation defines Grants as cash and token distributions that are intended to primarily promote the Mina ecosystem and support the Mina Protocol community.

The Foundation’s Grant (as of June 30, 2022*):

98m MINA Tokens 28m USD and Stablecoins (USDC & USDT)

The total number of MINA tokens that the Foundation has spent on grants during the period covered by this report is 4.6m MINA. These grants include, among other things, grants from the Foundation’s Quarterly Grants Program, and zkApps Builders Program. 

*It was originally published on 2022-07-21 that the Foundation’s Grant was as of March 23, 2022. This has been updated and corrected to reflect that the figures were as of June 30, 2022. This correction was published on 2022-08-17.

Disclaimer: All tokens held by Mina Foundation, Inc. are held by its wholly owned subsidiary – Mina Foundation, Ltd., which is a British Virgin Islands company. 

 

The post Transparency Report — Q2 2022 appeared first on Mina Protocol.


Wasabi Wallet

How to use Bitcoin Privately in 3 Easy Steps: Receive, Wait and Spend.

What if I told you that it’s gotten super easy to make Bitcoin payments without anyone being able to link them all to you?

They said that Bitcoin isn't private, that you couldn't use it without telling everyone about your payments. They said that you had to be an expert before you had a chance to protect your sensitive financial information.

Well, what if I told you that they were wrong and that it’s gotten super easy to make Bitcoin payments without anyone being able to link them all to you? Interested ? Keep reading.

First and foremost, you have to download the latest and greatest Wasabi Wallet 2.0. For many that’s the actual step one, but hey, I know you’re cool and are already running the mighty Wasabi, so you can skip and reclaim your privacy that much quicker.

Maybe you’re a whale, or maybe you’re a pleb, but anyone worth a sat has got a wallet these days, so type in your recovery words to import your keys to Wasabi. If you’re one of those future-coiners who hasn’t got a wallet yet. First, slap yourself and try to wake up. But don’t stress it, you can easily create a new wallet in Wasabi directly. Write down the 12 words and you’re good to go!

Now comes arguably the toughest part. You gotta convince someone to send you some magical internet money. It ain’t easy, ‘cause nobody has enough sats, and everyone wants to stack some more. But I’m sure you’re a fine entrepreneur, so go be productive and earn yourself some treasure worth protecting. That part is easy as pi in Wasabi. Just click “Receive”, write who is sending you that hoard and show him that address. Voila, you've now got more sats than yesterday, that’s what I’d call a good day.

Earning sats is already difficult enough; if you think about it, waiting to spend it can be even more difficult. I know you really wanna have that delicious steak, that fast boat and that hidden citadel. But patience is a virtue (that most of us lack); however it’s all you need at this step. While you are dreaming about how delicious that steak is gonna be, Wasabi is doing magic for you in the background. Who knows what exactly is going on under the hood but the crazy thing is, in just a short amount of time, the coins that other people knew were yours are gone and you got new coins that nobody knows are yours. Magic indeed.

Now that you are fully equipped with truly anonymous money, you can frivolously spend it without worrying that those who paid you sats, know where you spend them. But oh well, maybe, just maybe, that short lesson in waiting has made you realize that indeed, you could continue fasting a little more, not buy that steak but hold on to those precious sats just a little longer instead. Who knows, your great grandchildren could buy themselves a spaceship to the stars with those sats.

Earn sats, wait, spend sats. Wasabi is made to help you do that and just that, without revealing your important financial data to everyone in the world.

Reclaim your privacy. Effortlessly. With Wasabi 2.0.


a16z Podcast

From Research to Startup, There and Back Again

In this episode from December 2018, Hennessy, currently the chairman of Alphabet as well as Turing Award-winning computer scientist, joins a16z co-founder Marc Andreessen, a16z general partner Martin Casado, and host Sonal Choksi for a wide-ranging conversation about moving from academia to startups, the history of Silicon Valley, the “Stanford model”, how to build enduring organizations, and more

In this episode from December 2018, Hennessy, currently the chairman of Alphabet as well as Turing Award-winning computer scientist, joins a16z co-founder Marc Andreessen, a16z general partner Martin Casado, and host Sonal Choksi for a wide-ranging conversation about moving from academia to startups, the history of Silicon Valley, the “Stanford model”, how to build enduring organizations, and more.

Hennessy also co-founded startups, including one based on pioneering microprocessor architecture used in 99% of devices today (for which he and his collaborator won the prestigious Turing Award)... so what did it take to go from research/idea to industry/implementation? And  how has the overall relationship and "divide" between academia and industry shifted, especially as the tech industry itself has changed? Finally, in his book, Leading Matters, Hennessy shares some of the leadership principles he's learned, offering nuanced takes on topics like humility (needs ambition), empathy (without contravening fairness and reason), and others. What does it take to build not just tech, but a successful organization?


Panther Protocol

Ring Signatures vs. zkSNARKs: Comparing Privacy Technologies

Ring signatures and zero-knowledge proofs are two of the most used and known privacy enhancing technologies applied to blockchain.

Nowadays, ring signatures and zero-knowledge proofs are two of the most used and known privacy enhancing technologies applied to cryptocurrency. And, as cryptography is the heart and soul of the crypto scene (and the only reason scarce digital goods are possible), this is no small feature.

The top Layer-1 privacy blockchain networks, Monero and Zcash, both have adopted these tools — with Monero embracing ring signatures and Zcash employing zero-knowledge proofs.

Both zero-knowledge proofs and ring signatures have proved effective at maintaining user anonymity and privacy. Their sustainability and ability to remain ahead amidst fierce competition and innovation are celebrated among blockchain privacy enthusiasts.

To wade into the debate on which of them does a better job and is more cost-effective, we will look at the technology behind their operations, their applications on the blockchain, and their advantages and disadvantages.

An overview of ring signatures

Ring signatures are one of the earliest cryptographic inventions and, to date, one of the most effective. As its name implies, a ring signature involves a group in which all members own keys. These members form a ring, banding together to aid each other’s privacy.

Working of ring signatures in Monero, (Source).

One of the earliest scenarios used to describe the way ring signatures work is the White House dilemma, which goes as follows:

Imagine there is a sensitive information leak from the Oval Office. The leaked information has no source, so everyone who works in the government house immediately becomes a suspect. Mr. President then points out that the information could only have been leaked by a staff member, but he has no idea of who it was. The secret is in the open, but no one can tell how it got out or who leaked it. If every staff member enjoys plausible deniability (i.e., there’s no proofs against them), then the outcome is akin to ring signatures.

With no clear suspects, there can be no culprits.

How do ring signatures work?

Ring signatures need an existing group of people on both sides of each transaction. One signature is enough to send a ring signature message, while the other group members function as decoys. Using our previous example, the sending group of people would be “the White House personnel” and the receiving one “the general public”, as the data leak was not sent to any one single individual. Since it is not computationally possible to single out the participants in the transaction through their keys, ring signatures preserve anonymity.

Although they bear similarities to group signatures, ring signatures differ on two grounds. First, the anonymity of the individual keys involved in a ring signature is irrevocable. Then, no additional setup is needed to determine a signing set, which means that any random set of keys can act as decoys with or without the knowledge of the key owners. In other words, any member of the network can form part of a decoy group with or without their knowledge.

Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Yael Tauman Kalai introduced the concept of ring signatures in 2001 at ASIACRYPT. Since then, ring signatures have been used for several real-life applications, including privacy enhancement on public blockchain networks.

This video by Monero showcases how ring signatures work in the context of Monero, a privacy cryptocurrency that uses them. Real-Life Applications of Ring Signatures

When Ron Rivest et al. released the original ring signature paper in 2001, they mentioned a few real-life use cases of ring signatures. Here are a few suggested real-world applications.

Whistleblowing

As we saw in the White House dilemma, whistleblowing is tremendously helped by plausible deniability. However, if this were to be facilitated by technology, it could potentially be a lot safer for leakers.

Using ring signatures, individuals and victims can expose documents and materials that prove particular government and private cover-ups without exposing their identities. Even when you can tell that a government official was behind the leak, the exact identity of the signer will remain unknown.

Offline e-cash

One variant of the fundamental ring signature structure involves linkability to avoid the double spending problem. This concept allows observers to determine if one group member (for example, a bank) was responsible for any ring signatures, giving them legitimacy.

In this structure, while the sender's identity remains uncompromised, verifiers can determine if the signer has signed any previous or future messages, linking each ring signature to another under the same private key. With linkability, ring signatures can be used for offline e-cash transactions, keeping both sender and recipient anonymous while eliminating the double spending problem.

Deniable Signatures

Although deniable signatures are not mainstream, they have been outlined as a possible way to send and receive messages with third-party encryption. This kind of signatures would not be transferable to anyone except their original recipient, and observers would not be privy to information about both the sender and the receiver.

E-Voting Systems

E-voting uses ring signatures with both linkability and traceability. Not only will verifiers link to ring signatures from a particular private key, but they will also be privy to the signer's public key. Individuals can cast votes without compromising their identities to parties other than a trusted electoral umpire.

Private Cryptocurrencies

Monero is a private blockchain network that uses ring signatures along with Ring Confidential Transactions (an advanced form of ring signatures that also involves stealth addresses) to drive private crypto transactions.

Monero uses several public keys pulled with a triangular distribution method, and the signer's keys create a ring of possible signers. All the possible signers are equally valid, making the transaction output untraceable. This creates plausible deniability for each transaction output.

Monero also utilizes a cryptographic technique called the Pederson commitment to obscure transaction amounts, senders’ and receivers’ addresses. This helps Monero offer its users high privacy with reasonable efficiency and verifiable, trustless coin generation.

zk-SNARKs

Zero-knowledge proofs are one of the most commonly adopted privacy protocols. A few privacy enhancing technologies have derived from it but, in particular, zk-SNARKs have recently been highlighted in the blockchain space, driving anonymity and scalability.

Working diagram of zero-knowledge proofs (Source).

Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-interactive Argument of Knowledge (zk-SNARK) proofs allow users to prove their ownership of specific information or that they have done something without disclosing underlying details. Individuals or entities can prove an action (e.g., having over $5,000 in the bank) without telling the third party what action they took (e.g., their exact balance), the recipient of such actions, and the item or items exchanged.

Zk-SNARKs do not only provide zero-knowledge proofs, but they also do it in such a way that signers and verifiers do not need to establish any interaction to prove or confirm transactions. Commitments that establish the authenticity of zk-SNARK transactions are published as hashes.

How do zk-SNARKs Work?

Securing a blockchain with a non-interactive ZK proof. (Source)

To understand the concept of zk-SNARKs, we first have to consider how zero-knowledge proofs work. Imagine a world in which people can prove that they own something or did something without telling you what they own or have done. Yet, you, as a third-party observer, can confirm that they truly own that item or that they are behind the action they claim to have carried out.

Zk-SNARKs use zero-knowledge proofs and ensure no interaction exists between the proving party and verifiers. With zk-SNARKs, users can convince the verifier that, in addition to showcasing that the information within the hash exists, they also know what lies therein.

After proving the existence and knowledge of the information, the succinct nature of zk-SNARKs implies that they can be verified in milliseconds and with a proof length of hundreds of bytes. In the early days of zero-knowledge proofs, both parties (provers and verifiers) had to communicate multiple times to establish trust.

With a non-interactive construction, only a single piece of information is sufficient to establish trust between both parties. Zk-SNARKs are also computationally sound statements, and they cannot be constructed without access to the private input that proves the transaction.

Let’s illustrate this all in a mundane example:

A zk-SNARK is alike owning a bracelet that certifies your belonging to a secret multi-billionaire society: if you wear it out on the street, other members would be able to identify you easily. However, they would not need to interact with you, you would not need to interact with them, and the information conveyed by the bracelet (e.g., your social status and other conditions to join the exclusive group) are immediately transferred to the “verifier”.

For example, Panther leverages zk-SNARKs to restore privacy in Web3 and DeFi while providing financial institutions with a clear path to compliantly participate in decentralized finance. Using zk-proofs, Panther enables users to prove their regulatory compliance without sharing underlying data. Panther does this through zk- and non zk-Reveals that generate zero-knowledge reports for selective disclosures.

A realistic zk-SNARK example (Source). Real-world applications of zk-SNARKs Blockchain privacy

Several privacy-centric blockchain protocols have adopted zkSNARKs to enable user and transaction anonymity across the main chain, sidechains, and bridges. Zcash is one of the most popular, using shielded zero-knowledge proofs to keep users anonymous as they transact on-chain.

Another popular project that adopts zkSNARKs is Horizen. In addition to driving privacy in the crypto space, these projects have also employed zkSNARKs to establish trust between users and law enforcement agencies.

Furthermore, Panther also leverages zk-SNARKs to restore privacy in Web3 and DeFi while providing financial institutions with a clear path to compliantly participate in decentralized finance.

Blockchain-powered auditing

zkAudits are gaining popularity, allowing auditors to independently verify information without disclosing the identities of senders and receivers. The now-bankrupt Celsius Network used zkAudits, powered by Horizen, to prove liquidity and revenue in real-time without the help of third-party validators while also keeping the underlying transaction information anonymous.

Blockchain scalibility

With zk-SNARKs, blockchain networks can outsource an expensive computation and validate that the result is correct without redoing its execution. This opens up a category of trustless computing and an innovative way of blockchain scaling.

Similarly, zk-SNARKs can also allow change a blockchain model from everyone-computing-everything to one-party-computes-the-rest-verify.

Ring signatures versus zk-SNARKs

Ring signatures and zkSNARKs have both received fair criticism since going mainstream. While new developments have addressed most detected design flaws, a few linger on. The ring signature tool that Monero uses, for example has been faulted by research in recent years. Allegedly, Monero’s ring signature scheme could result in users potentially losing their privacy through tracing analysis. However, no one has ever been shown to crack Monero’s cryptography. This criticism is often issued along with pointing out that the blockchain is obscure enough to not have been tested at a macro scale yet.

There is also the danger of de-anonymization due to public pool decoys. If an individual uses a ring signature to move cryptocurrencies into a public pool, for instance, the decoy is then broken, which endangers the signer's anonymity.

Monero, currently holds a model that enables for 32 decoys per transaction without performance degradation.

zkSNARKs, on the other hand, have received also been criticized due the following:

zkSNARKs require a trusted setup for their creation (albeit Zcash has recently released a protocol upgrade, Halo, and a shielding mechanism, Orchard, that eliminate the need for a trusted setup). zkSNARKs are a resource-heavy tool. Zcash's zkSNARKs-powered blockchain is not private by default.

Regarding trusted setups, the challenge here is that individuals could exploit the process that generates zkSNARKs to produce false proofs that look valid to any verifier. In the case of Zcash, for example, this could lead to the creation of new coins.

However, it’s worth mentioning that cryptographic researchers at the Electric Coin Company (ECC) have discovered a technique for creating zk-SNARKs without a trusted setup. Halo achieves practical zero-knowledge recursive proof composition without the need for a trusted setup.The  ECC is already exploring the use of Halo within Zcash to both eliminate trusted setups and to scale Zcash at Layer-1 using nested proof composition.


Diagram explaining the working of a trusted setup. (Source)

The resource-heaviness of zk-SNARKs also puts them at a disadvantage, discouraging adoption as users would instead opt for cryptographic networks with faster transaction speeds. Creating zkSNARKs is complex and usually takes far more computing time than ring signatures, their proponents argue.

Final thoughts

Ring signatures and zk-SNARKs are fundamental cryptographic privacy tools with real-world use cases. While they both have shortcomings, they have completely different working mechanism and serve different purposes.

Both tools have furthered the cause of blockchain privacy and remain widely in use today by some of the world's most anonymous cryptocurrencies. There is no right or wrong when it comes to which one to use, just different possibilities, limitations, and prospects.

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to sign up to our newsletter to continue receiving others like it!

About Panther

Panther is a decentralized protocol that enables interoperable privacy in DeFi using zero-knowledge proofs.

Users can mint fully-collateralized, composable tokens called zAssets, which can be used to execute private, trusted DeFi transactions across multiple blockchains.

Panther helps investors protect their personal financial data and trading strategies, and provides financial institutions with a clear path to compliantly participate in DeFi.

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Brave Browser

Brave expands its Wallet Partner program with six additional leading DApps

Last month we announced our Wallet Partner Program and a roster of six inaugural partners who integrated Brave Wallet connection in their DApps (decentralized applications). We are thrilled to announce six additional leading DApps spanning over 10 networks joining the program in July.

Brave’s multichain crypto wallet makes it easier for users to onboard to Web3 with new integrations from Beefy.finance, Elk Finance, Elpis Battles, Lido, Tulip, and Venus Protocol

Last month we announced our Wallet Partner Program and a roster of six inaugural partners who integrated Brave Wallet connection in their DApps (ApeSwap, Arken, Bogged, DODO, Open Ocean, and Skiff). We are thrilled to announce six additional leading DApps (decentralized applications) spanning over 10 networks joining the program in July.

Partnering with the most widely-used decentralized applications in Web3 underlines Brave Wallet’s ease of use and rich set of features. These include decentralized swaps, multi-chain portfolio view, simple fiat-to-crypto purchases with Ramp and Wyre, and continuous updates and additions to make Web3 more accessible. Importantly, partners in the program benefit from co-promotion of their DApps among Brave’s 62+ million users via our blog, community channels, social media, and Brave Ads.

We are excited about the opportunities these partnerships can create for BAT utility and Brave Wallet users, including better access to decentralized finance (DeFi), privacy tools, lively social communities, and more. Each new addition deepens our commitment to providing the leading secure, multi-chain wallet, that we hope will onboard millions of users to Web3.

Beefy

Beefy is one of the largest and most-used yield-aggregators, with smart contract vaults that help users earn more yield on their liquidity positions across 16 different networks and dozens of decentralized exchanges. They hold the top position in terms of total value locked (TVL) among yield-aggregators on several major EVM-compatible chains and Ethereum Layer 2 solutions, including Polygon, Arbitrum, and Cronos.

“Integrating Beefy’s services into a platform like Brave with a community of millions is a perfect use case for increased adoption. Earning APY through DeFi opportunities shouldn’t just be for the few, and tapping into Brave’s ecosystem will help more people earn than ever before,” said Weso, Beefy’s Lead Developer and Strategic Partnership Coordinator.

Elk Finance

ElkNet, the core product offered by Elk Finance, is a multi-chain bridge network that connects 19 EVM-compatible chains, allowing users to quickly and safely move their tokens from one chain to another. In addition to moving assets, Elk is adding cross-chain swaps, which offers users the choice to receive their bridged assets as a different token. “Our motto is Any chain, anytime, anywhere,” said the Elk Team.

Elpis Battle

Elpis Battle is a turn-based RPG NFT Game implemented on the Binance Smart Chain network, which is developed by ZEGO Studio—a gaming studio in Southeast Asia. By combining cryptocurrency, NFT gaming, and DeFi, Elpis’s developers want to create a new kind of gaming experience for Elpis Battle players. Elpis is a world where players can not only explore stories about an imaginary kingdom but also create value, exchange, buy, and sell assets as participants in the economy of Elpis.

“A common vision toward bigger goals is the foundation of our partnership. We envision this cross-platform partnership will help users be able to manage, grow, and swap their crypto portfolio from a single wallet securely and comfortably,” said the Elpis Battle Team.

Lido

With over $5 billion in value locked between Ethereum and Solana alone, Lido is by far the most widely used liquid staking protocol available today. Lido makes it easy for anyone to participate in the proof of stake consensus while simultaneously allowing users to interact with DeFi protocols. This liquidity lets users find the best DeFi strategies for themselves while also securing some of industry’s biggest blockchains: Ethereum, Solana, Polygon, Polkadot, and Kusama.

“A platform like Brave with a community in the millions will be critical for Lido to bring DeFi to the next generation and increase the resilience of the systems it is built upon. This was the entire reason that Lido and liquid staking was created in the first place and what has helped Lido become the leading liquid staking provider globally,” said Jacob Blish, Head of Business Development at Lido.

Tulip

Tulip Protocol was the first yield aggregation platform built on Solana with auto-compounding vault strategies. The DApp is designed to take advantage of Solana’s low cost, high efficiency blockchain. It allows vault strategies to compound frequently—which benefits yield farms with higher APYs—without  requiring active management. It also has lower gas fees. Tulip now offers a wide variety of strategies for its users: Lending, Auto-compounding Vaults, Leveraged Yield Farming, and their newly launched Strategy Vaults.

​​"Tulip believes in simplifying yield for all end users. A partnership with Brave brings us closer to our ideals as we can help Brave Wallet users tap into single-click yield generation with our protocol. We’re excited to continue to work with Brave in the future," said Senx, Co-Founder at Tulip Protocol.

Venus Protocol

Venus is the leading DeFi market for lending and borrowing, and second largest decentralized application in terms of TVL on BNB Chain. Users can use their many pools (including XVS, BTCB, ETH, BNB) and a variety of stablecoins to borrow and lend assets at variable interest rates. Borrowers can benefit from on-demand access to a range of tokens with low interest rates, while depositors can earn yield on their idle assets. Venus currently supports 22 different cryptocurrencies.

“By integrating Venus with Brave, two DeFi leaders come together to fling open the doors of financial inclusion to millions of users. It’s just the beginning for making open finance a reality around the globe,” said Brad Harrison, CEO of Venus.

For the current phase of the Brave Wallet Partner Program, Brave is approaching leading DApps in each vertical to invite them to the program. We also aim to adapt and scale the program to become public-facing later this year. Once this happens, additional DApps can submit requests to participate.

In the meantime, if you’re a developer interested in simply integrating Brave Wallet into your DApp, we’ve created detailed developer documentation.

Wednesday, 20. July 2022

bankless

Merge vs. Macro with Travis Kling

Travis Kling is the founder of Ikigai Asset Management, and on today's State of the Nation, we're tackling the biggest trade of the year. While the global market fundamentals crumble, the Ethereum ecosystem looks primed to make history with a successful transition to Proof-of-Stake. What does this mean for crypto? How is a seasoned investor going to take advantage of a chaotic 2022? ------

Travis Kling is the founder of Ikigai Asset Management, and on today's State of the Nation, we're tackling the biggest trade of the year.

While the global market fundamentals crumble, the Ethereum ecosystem looks primed to make history with a successful transition to Proof-of-Stake.

What does this mean for crypto? How is a seasoned investor going to take advantage of a chaotic 2022?

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------ Resources:

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----- Not financial or tax advice. This channel is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This video is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.

Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here: https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/p/bankless-disclosures 


Polkadot Network

Gov2: Polkadot’s Next Generation of Decentralised Governance

Read the proposal for Polkadot's next-generation governance system - currently known as Gov2 - to discover how it aims to advance the decentralization of the network.

Polkadot’s first decentralised governance system was pretty interesting at the time: a tri-cameral (three-chamber) structure with a technocratic committee managing upgrade timelines, an approval-voted, elected executive “government” to manage parameters, admin and spending proposals as well as a general voting system for everything else which rewarded long-term stakeholders with increased influence. It was loosely based on parliamentary democracy and has been functioning reasonably well over the first 2–3 years of operation, helping ensure good use of treasury funds, keeping a fast clip with the rollout of upgrades, and managing the deployment of more critical fixes in a timely fashion. However, it has its drawbacks.

The elected executive (known as the Council) is centralised and generally not anonymous. This puts both the protocol in some degree of risk as well as the individual councillors who may find themselves pressured to act one way or another. The Technical Committee, while wielding substantially less power, has similar exposure and greater centralisation. In a world where authorities across society (both benign and malevolent), decentralisation is increasingly needed for both the safety and security of all participants.

Furthermore, there exists only a single “all or nothing” referendum model — all referenda carry the maximum amount of power. Partly due to this, there can only be one referendum voted at a time and these votes last multiple weeks by default. This, and the limited bandwidth of the Council means that overall the system favours deep consideration of very few proposals rather than broad consideration of very many. Rather than leveraging the power of the crowd, it inadvertently limits it in its efforts to manage the volume of potential decision throughput.

The nature of coarse-grained delegation means that the system has a degree of exclusivity built-in to it. Barriers to entry within the effective political framework are high, reducing inclusivity and diversity, hurting turnout and legitimacy.

It was always clear that the first version of Polkadot’s governance was just that: something to be iterated on over time. Now, I’m happy to be able to describe in detail our proposal for the next generation of governance within the Polkadot ecosystem.

Introducing Gov2

Polkadot’s next-generation governance system, known while in development as Gov2, aims to solve the issues with the current system. First, what it doesn’t change: it does not break from the original Polkadot governance tenet, which holds that 50% of the total stake in the system should, if they have sufficient strength of conviction in their opinion, be able ultimately to command the system’s future. Similarly, it doesn’t break away from the Conviction Voting pioneered in Polkadot giving greater weight to those who are willing to lock their tokens into the system for longer. Furthermore, there is still use for a technocratic collective, albeit it is somewhat different in importance, size, composition and membership mechanics than the current Technical Committee.

Where it differs most is how it manages the practical means of day-to-day decision-making, making the repercussions of referenda better scoped and agile in order to dramatically increase the number of collective decisions the system is able to take. Let’s look a little deeper into how it works.

Lower the Barriers

Gov2 is actually a lot simpler in many ways than the current governance. There are no additional bodies which act as “first class citizens” in the governance such as the Council and Technical Committee. There is no alternating timetable of proposals. There is no public proposal queue. Instead, we only have one first-class decision-making mechanism: the referendum. The main difference in Gov2 is that there can be lots of them — perhaps even thousands —all happening simultaneously.

In Gov2, anyone is able to start a referendum at any time, and they can do this as many times as they wish. Anyone can also vote on these referenda. There are no explicit limits on the number of referenda which are open to vote on at any time.

But this could result in more things to vote on that a normal person with a reasonable amount of time could possibly evaluate. This could reduce both inclusivity and security. So, in order make this potential plethora of things to vote on manageable for mere humans, we introduce some interesting novel features to the referendum process.

Origins and Tracks

All referenda are based on a proposal, which is really just another way of saying “an operation” in Polkadot. This is the same kind of thing as what gets described and executed when you make a transaction and it gets included in a block. There are all kinds of operations which Polkadot can do, but a couple which you’re probably already familiar with are transfer which can move assets between accounts and stake which lets an account stake. There are very many others. The thing that makes this governance functionality special is not these proposals/operations, but rather the Origin with which they are executed.

You can think of an Origin as a sort of rich descriptor for a privilege level. It gets passed in when an operation is executed, and the operation’s logic will usually check that it is what it should be. When a regular transaction executes, the Origin parameter is set to a variant known as Signed. This implies that a specific account in the system authorised (generally through signing the transaction) the operation to happen, and it runs with this privilege, further implying e.g. that funds controlled by this account and this account only may be spent.

Governance-level stuff works to allow operations to run with other, more privileged, Origins. The most privileged of them all is the Root Origin, which is all-powerful. This is the Origin from which the proposals of all approved referenda in the old governance system were dispatched. In Gov2, we have many different Origins, all enjoying some exotic privileges, but with many being significantly less powerful and more niche than Root.

In Gov2, we allow the proposer to specify which Origin they would like their proposal to be executed with. Every supported Origin is associated with a single referendum class (i.e. a type of referenda), and most of these classes will correspond to exactly one origin, but there might be some which are comprised of multiple Origins. Each class has its own Track, which is basically a pipeline in which the proposal lives in and proceeds through, and it is completely independent from other class’s tracks.

Having independent tracks allows us to tailor the dynamics of referenda based upon their implied privilege level. Referenda which execute their proposals from more powerful (read: dangerous!) Origins will have more stringent safeguards, higher thresholds and longer consideration periods. The Root Origin has the highest such thresholds and safeguards. Those Origins which convey relatively little power (e.g. the Tip Origin, able to spend at most 10 DOT from the treasury), have accordingly shorter consideration periods and lower thresholds for approval.

Kicking off

When a referendum is initially created, it is immediately votable by anyone in the community. However, it is not in a state where it can end, or otherwise have its votes counted, be approved and summarily enacted. Instead, referenda must fulfil a number of criteria before they are moved into a state known as Deciding. Until they are in this state, they remain undecided.

The criteria which need to be met are threefold: Firstly, all referenda have a lead-in period. This is an amount of time which must have elapsed after proposal before deciding can begin. This provides for an initial notice period in which votes can be submitted to mitigate against the possibility of “decision sniping” where an attacker controlling a substantial amount of voting power might seek to have a proposal passed soon after proposing it, not allowing the overall voting population time to consider and vote.

Secondly, there must be room for the decision. All tracks have their own limit on the number of referenda which can be deciding simultaneously. The more potent the Origins allowed on the track, then the lower this limit. The Root level Origin has a limit of one, implying that only a single über-dangerous proposal may be being decided at once. Conversely, the rather underpowered Tipping track has far less stringent limits since any damage done through over-population of is minimal and it is far more useful to have many tips being decided at once over many Root-level calls. When there is space available, then it is the (otherwise eligible) referendum of the class which has the most votes in favour of approval which is elevated into the deciding state.

Finally, a Decision Deposit must be paid. Creating a referendum is cheap, with the deposit needing to be paid relating only to the on-chain storage needed to track it. However, having a referendum be decided upon carries greater risk and uses up limited space since we limit the number of referenda which can be being decided simultaneously on each track. Thus a larger (though refundable) deposit must be paid to mitigate against spamming or bloating the system.

Deciding and Confirming a Proposal

Once a referendum enters the state of deciding, then it is eligible to be approved. This eligibility lasts only a finite time (28 days on Polkadot), at which point if it is not approved then it is rejected by default. To be approved, it must fulfil two criteria (in which case we say it is passing) and it must continue fulfilling these criteria for a minimum of the Confirmation Period. Different tracks have different lengths of Confirmation Period, with the more powerful ones taking longer to confirm. This is additional defence against a whale voter attempting to “snipe” the referendum by placing a large enough vote that approval criteria are hit unexpectedly.

The two passing criteria relate to approval and support. Gone is the adaptive quorum biasing of past referendums. Now we have a more flexible system where these requirements may be customised at a much more fine-grained level. Approval is defined as the share of approval vote-weight (i.e. after adjustment for conviction) against the total number of vote-weight (for both approval and rejection). Support is the total number of votes in approval (i.e. ignoring any adjustment for conviction) compared to the total possible amount of votes that could be made in the system.

Each class of referendum has different requirements for these values. However what is most interesting is that these requirements are able to reduce over time on a well-defined schedule. What this means is that as the voting proceeds over the 28 days, we can configure things so that an increasingly lower amount of support and overall approval for the proposal are needed for it to pass. In general, they will always begin and end in roughly the same way, starting with the highest thresholds and ending with the lowest which are still in line with the overall tenets: at least 50% approval.

What happens in between determines how easy it is for an approval to be made before the 28-day deadline. With proposals which use less privileged origins (e.g. the Tip class, which is only able to command a payment from the treasury of up to 10 DOT) it is far more reasonable to drop the required turnout to a more realistic amount earlier than those which use highly privileged classes such as Root. Similarly, classes which command more political significance will tend to accept less controversy (and thus require a higher approval) early on.

After Approval

Proposals which are not approved after 28 days are considered rejected by default. At this point, the Decision Deposit can be refunded. If, on the other hand, the proposal manages to become and remain passing for the Confirmation Period during these 28 days, then it is considered approved and it is scheduled to execute from the origin is was duly proposed with, after some Enactment Period.

The Enactment Period is also specified when the referendum is proposed but is subject to a minimum value which is dependent on the track. Some of the more powerful tracks force a larger Enactment Period to ensure the network has ample time to prepare for any changes that the proposal might bring.

Interventions

Sometimes it becomes apparent that a proposal which is already being voted on (and perhaps is already passing) contains a problem and it is desirable to cancel it. An example of this would be a chain upgrade which was later discovered to contain some sort of issue. While this is not very common, it is also not entirely unheard of.

In Gov2, there is a special operation for intervening in this way known as Cancelation. This operation immediately rejects an ongoing referendum regardless of its status. It actually comes in two forms, with one just doing the bare operation and the other also slashing the initial proposer of the deposit(s) paid for the referendum.

Cancelation is itself a governance operation which must be voted upon by the network in order to execute. This poses a possible problem of timeline, and in order to be useful, getting a cancelation proposal passed must generally be quite a lot faster than any possible target proposal passed. As such, cancelation comes with its own Origin and track, which has a low lead-time and approval/support curves with slightly sharper reductions in their thresholds for passing.

Agile Delegation

In a perfect world, where everyone had unlimited time and virtuosity, everybody would research, discuss, consider and carefully vote on every proposal. However, in a perfect world we do not live. Not everyone has the time or inclination to make a well-researched vote on every matter. Out of this realisation, the Council was born into Polkadot’s original governance: a body delegated by voters to make up for the fact that many of them did not want to take part in the day-to-day of governance. However, with the Council gone in Gov2, we need an alternative means of ensuring “passive” voters are heard.

The original governance system had a feature called Vote Delegation, which we have retained and improved upon in Gov2. For those not familiar, this is similar to premise of liquid democracy: you are able to delegate your voting power to another voter in the system. When your delegate votes, they wield not just their own voting power but yours too. This works with conviction voting, allowing you to lock up your tokens in order to increase the level of voting power your delegate wields on your behalf. Of course the tokens in question never leave your control and you are free to switch delegates or regain direct control back whenever you please.

Gov2, however, improves on this with a rather special feature called Multirole Delegation. This allows you to specify a different delegate for every class of referendum in the system. If you do not want to delegate for a particular class of referendum then you can also retain direct control for that class.

This means you can delegate to one individual for any referenda on dealing out small tips to ecosystem contributors, another entity for referenda on more substantial treasury spending, another entity for purely technical network upgrades and parameterisations and finally retain direct control for any other decisions!

The Fellowship and Whitelist

Well-informed “expert” opinion plays an important role in any well-functioning governance system. A technocracy comes with its own rather serious flaws and thus we would not want “experts” to be placed in a position of command: it introduces risks of centralisation, unaccountable authority and lays the groundwork for what could become ultimately a ruling cabal. It was for this reason that Polkadot’s original governance’s Technical Committee has no “deciding power” but only the ability to reduce the voting period.

That all said, oraclising well-informed opinion and allowing it to help optimise the decision-making process, even if it has no direct effect on the decision-making outcome seems like a reasonable goal to strive for. Crucially, and for the sake of all involved, it must not be possible in any way for the expert body to subvert the overall stakeholder decision.

Root-Origin proposals are the sort which are needed for upgrades, fixes and rescues, but which necessarily have the power to arbitrarily break and corrupt the system. In Gov2, because they are so dangerous, we err on the side of safety and have extremely high levels of approval and support needed for early-passing and which reduce to their final levels only slowly. The lead-in and enactment periods are also large. In general the process is slow, and this is to give everybody in Polkadot the maximum amount of notice to ensure that bad proposals don’t make it through.

However, there are occasions where it is important to roll out a fix, upgrade or rescue logic in a shorter period of time. We may be able to assume there is broad consensus in these times, but the safeguards on the voting process above mean that executing such a fix can be difficult or impractical due to time constraints alone. Oraclising the idea that “the experts agree: this is both safe and time-critical” can be a very useful tool in forming a clear process which is well-considered in the general case but able to make decisions on a tight timeline when there is good reason to believe that circumstances require it.

There remain two big questions to answer here: how could the chain (a deterministic blob of logic with no inherent ability to express or observe concepts as “safe” and “time-critical”? And even if it could know of such circumstances, how do we adapt our logic without compromising our overall tractability and simplicity?

The Fellowship

The answer to the first question lies in a new governance body. For those familiar with the old governance system, this body can be thought of as the logic successor to the Technical Committee.

It is named the Polkadot Fellowship, and in totality is a sufficiently rich and sophisticated structure that it will form the subject of a whole other article. It will initially run on the Kusama network, since Gov2 will be deployed there for live-testing purposes, however it will be migrated over to Polkadot with the final Gov2 deployment and once there it will serve both networks via the Polkadot/Kusama bridge.

The Fellowship is a mostly self-governing expert body with a primary goal of representing the humans who embody and contain the technical knowledge base of the Polkadot network and protocol. Unlike the current Technical Collective it is designed to be far broader in membership (i.e. to work well with even tens of thousands of members) and with far lower in barriers to entry (both in terms of administrative process flow and expectations of expertise). Becoming a candidate member in the Fellowship is as easy as placing a small deposit.

In order to help ensure a high quality of collective decisions in light of such a broad membership, members are associated with a rank to designate the degree to which the system expects their opinion to be well-informed, of a sound technical basis and in line with the interests of Polkadot. The members of the Fellowship can vote on any given Fellowship proposal and the aggregate opinion of the members (weighted by their rank) constitutes the Fellowship’s considered opinion.

Beautifully enough, the technical means by which the Fellowship votes is actually exactly the same code (Substrate pallet) as the means by which the Polkadot stakeholders vote in a referendum and it has exactly the same facilities (multiple tracks, agile delegation, &c).

Ranks and Pitfalls

Introducing the concept of rank is fraught with pitfalls. However, we are presented with relatively few options if decentralisation, accountability and safety for all involved are our requirements. We believe it is reasonable to utilise the openness, transparency and corruption-resistance that decentralised consensus brings to ensure that any “rulers” are not themselves above the “rules” and that rank comes with clear expectations, rules and accountability. The downsides of rank are not just bad for the network but also, in light of some recent decentralised-technology policy positions of politicians, are also bad for the participants: if rank allowed a small group of participants to have effective control over the network they could be considered in effective control of it and thus responsible for what happened on it.

As such, we adhere to three principles: firstly, the Fellowship must never have hard power over the network: it cannot change parameters, conduct rescues, or move assets. Concerning governance over the network, the only thing in its power is to reduce the effective timeline on which a referendum takes place.

Secondly, the rank system and weights must be designed so that we would not expect small groups of individuals to be able to capture and control overall decision-making capacity. While the Fellowship weights those with higher rank more in the aggregate opinion, the weight should not be so high as to make a small number of higher members’ opinions be insurmountable when compared to a coherent opinion coming from lower-ranked membership.

Thirdly, the Fellowship should be designed to grow and develop its membership and their aggregate levels of expertise and in doing ensure that its overall decision-making capacity gets stronger over time. For long-term success, the Fellowship must be an effective meritocracy where those with commitment, talent and expertise rise to greater levels of influence. To achieve this, we must give clarity and transparency to the process of entry and promotion through the ranks. To the highest degree possible, an individual’s identity should not form a consideration, only their ability.

In light of this, the Fellowship will have a constitution which describes in specific terms the requirements and expectations for individuals to attain and retain any given rank. Higher ranks are able to vote and promote lower ranks voting based on this constitution. Demotion happens automatically after a period in which a member is unable to defend their position to their peers. Suspension can happen only through general (Polkadot) referendum, providing a means of ensuring that controversy or unpopularity within the Fellowship does not (necessarily) result in expulsion. Furthermore, to guard against the chance of the Fellowship becoming a cabal, entrance into the top tiers of ranks also requires a full (Polkadot) referendum and cannot be bestowed merely by ones Fellowship peers.

The Whitelist

While the Fellowship may be able to represent Polkadot’s body of human experts on-chain and provide a piece of deterministic logic from which to source their aggregate opinion, it may be unclear how we can integrate this into the overall referendum system. In fact, this is achieved using a combination of concepts we already know and a wonderfully simple piece of on-chain logic called the Whitelist pallet.

The Whitelist pallet does one thing: it allows one Origin to escalate the privilege level of another Origin for a certain operation. In terms of Gov2, it allows the Fellowship to authorise a new origin (which we will call Whitelisted-Root) to be executed with Root-level privileges. You can think of it as a sort of Unix sudo, except that it only works with specific commands that the Fellowship have pre-authorised. What this means is that we can have a new track in Polkadot’s governance which is for proposals which will have been whitelisted by the Fellowship. If the referendum passes, then they will be executed inside of the Whitelist pallet with this Whitelisted-Root origin. The Whitelist pallet verifies two things: that this origin really is the Whitelisted-Root (i.e. that the referendum passed on this track) and that the proposal has indeed been whitelisted by the Fellowship. If so then it goes ahead and executes the operation with Root-level privileges.

With this we don’t need to change anything about how the referendum system works (yey!). We now have a new track (for the Whitelisted-Root origin) whose parameters allow for a shorter voting turnaround, safe in the knowledge that through an open and transparent process, a body of global experts on the Polkadot protocol has determined that this is both safe and time-critical.

Timeline & Future work

Gov2 is set to launch on Kusama imminently, following final professional audit of its code. Once tested on Kusama, a proposal will be made for the Polkadot network to vote on.

An update to this overall governance system, codenamed “Gov2.5”, is planned for eventual deployment some months afterwards. It will two bring key features: firstly a “collect-call” feature for vote delegation, essentially allowing users (via their wallets) to offer their funds up for delegation without paying any transaction fees; instead the delegate would be able to optionally pay the transaction fees to get the funds delegated. Secondly, a free undelegation transaction will be introduced, able to be used in a limited capacity by all delegating users. Together these features enable wallets to offer a highly streamlined and zero-cost governance integration to their users, which we hope will entice more involvement in the overall governance process from users.


SmartContractResearch - Privacy Research Summaries

Research Summary: Studying Bitcoin privacy attacks and their Impact on Bitcoin-based Identity Methods

Research Summary: Studying Bitcoin privacy attacks and their Impact on Bitcoin-based Identity Methods TLDR Blockchain technology enables decentralized and self-sovereign identities including new mechanisms for creating, resolving, and revoking them. The public availability of data records has allowed attacks that combine sophisticated heuristics with auxiliary information to compromise
Research Summary: Studying Bitcoin privacy attacks and their Impact on Bitcoin-based Identity Methods TLDR Blockchain technology enables decentralized and self-sovereign identities including new mechanisms for creating, resolving, and revoking them. The public availability of data records has allowed attacks that combine sophisticated heuristics with auxiliary information to compromise users’ privacy and deanonymize their identities. We review and categorize Bitcoin privacy attacks, investigate their impact on one of the Bitcoin-based identity methods namely did:btcr, and analyze and discuss its privacy properties. Core Research Question

How can we categorize Bitcoin privacy attacks, and investigate privacy issues in did:btcr?

Citation

Ghesmati, S., Fdhila, W., & Weippl, E. (2021, September). Studying Bitcoin privacy attacks and their Impact on Bitcoin-based Identity Methods. In International Conference on Business Process Management (pp. 85-101). Springer, Cham. Studying Bitcoin Privacy Attacks and Their Impact on Bitcoin-Based Identity Methods | SpringerLink

Background

Entities (e.g., users and organizations), use global unique identifiers such as telephone numbers, ID, or URLs. However, these identifiers are often issued and managed by central authorities. Blockchain-based decentralized identifiers have been proposed to prove an identifier’s ownership without having to rely on a trusted entity.

Decentralized identifier (DID): A string that includes three main parts: the scheme, the DID method, and the DID method identifier, which should be unique within the DID method. DID document: Contains information about the verification methods and the service endpoints required to interact with the DID subjects. DID subject: The entity that is identified by the DID, and can be a person, an object or an organization. DID method: Defines how DIDs are created, resolved, updated, and revoked. Summary We review and categorize privacy attacks on the Bitcoin blockchain, which may reveal the links between addresses and real-world identities, and also correlate between different identities. We address Bitcoin privacy attacks’ impact on the DID method did:btcr. We adopted the privacy terminology from RFC 6973. Method

Four main steps for collecting and selecting relevant literature:

research questions identification literature search literature selection data extraction Results

We categorized Bitcoin privacy attacks into four main categories (i) heuristics, (ii) side channel attacks, (iii) flow analysis, and (iv) auxiliary information.

We showed how data analysis of Bitcoin public records, in combination with auxiliary information can be exploited using sophisticated heuristics, to reveal or correlate transactions, identities, or addresses of users.

This study has demonstrated that although BTCR provides some advantages such as protection against censorship, integrity, access, and a degree of decentralization; it still lacks methods to deal with the privacy issues identified in this paper.

Discussion and Key Takeaways

We investigate the privacy of the method did:btcr based on the criteria adopted from RFC 6973.

Surveillance: Any kind of observation and monitoring of the users, whether the users are aware of the surveillance or not, can influence a user’s the privacy. Auxiliary information is obtained through the interactions with services using DIDs. Blockchain is immutable, no way to delete the history. Correlation: The combination of different information, which relates to one user. Using the same DID or DID document for interacting with different services helps to trace and correlate user activities. Using the same public keys in different DID documents can reveal the link between the corresponding DIDs. The IP address of an entity can compromise the relationship of common controls, linking between different DIDs. Timing analysis can correlate users’ activities using the same service endpoint in the DID documents. Identification: Relating the information to a specific user. If the Bitcoin address associated to a DID is later spent, it can link the address used for DID to other addresses owned by the user. The visibility of the DID document can leak the metadata about the attributes and provide information about the service endpoints. If the DID document is stored in the third-party server, the latter may identify the real DID owner. If the DID document is stored on a user’s own server, it can correlate the user IP address with the DID document. Secondary Use: Collecting the information about a user without their consent and using it for purposes other than that which the information was collected for. Read/resolve makes it possible to trace the DID use if it is accessed by third party services (e.g., universal DID resolver). The verifier can trace the transaction flow, check the history of the UTXOs! DID real identity can be compromised if used in services that require information about the users or their activities (e.g., social networks). Disclosure: Exposure of information about a user which violates the confidentiality of the shared data. Privacy may be lost in the economic activities for the services authenticated by DIDs. BTCR updates reveal the public key of the previous DID or changing the access control. Misattribution: Whenever a user’s data or communications are attributed to another, which can consequently affect the user’s reputation. Using indistinguishable mixing techniques can relate the users’ UTXOs to someone else. Implications and Follow-Ups

Future research will consist of elaborating and developing new methods, or using existing privacy-enhancing techniques (e.g., mixing techniques, zero-knowledge proofs) to address the aforementioned privacy issues.

Applicability This work can improve privacy countermeasures for DIDs BTCR. It can also provide comprehensive privacy attacks for privacy threat modeling. Our future work contains privacy threat modeling based on LINDDUN. The paper will appear on PTM Workshop under the name “User-Centric Public Blockchain Privacy Threats”.

Read full topic

Tuesday, 19. July 2022

Greylock Partners

Purpose into Action

In late 2021, Solv was wrapping up its Series C round when Fernandez was encouraged by longtime investor and friend Kara Norton (Upfront Ventures) to launch a special purpose vehicle (SPV) aimed solely at women investors. Within 10 days, the SPV raised $3.5M from 75 women investors, 60% of whom were women of color and a majority were first-time investors. The post <span>Purpose</span&

The post <span>Purpose</span> into Action appeared first on Greylock.


Nym - Medium

Nym wallet release 1.0.7!

Nym wallet v-1.0.7 is out and has two new updates: The wallet UI has been updated, now with dark mode! Gas fee simulations used to display estimated tx costs in the wallet The Nym wallet is open source and you can follow or fork the repository here. Download the new wallet here. Nym Wallet 1.0.7 dark mode The Nym Wallet is a graphic user interface that helps people b

Nym wallet v-1.0.7 is out and has two new updates:

The wallet UI has been updated, now with dark mode! Gas fee simulations used to display estimated tx costs in the wallet

The Nym wallet is open source and you can follow or fork the repository here.

Download the new wallet here.

Nym Wallet 1.0.7 dark mode

The Nym Wallet is a graphic user interface that helps people bond gateways or mix nodes in the mixnet. (This can also be done via CLI if you prefer). Gateways and mix nodes are types of nodes that comprise the core of the Nym mixnet infrastructure. And anyone can set one up and run them! Go to the docs to find out how.

Gateways are the entrypoint for any user or application wanting to communicate via the mixnet. And mix nodes are nodes that mix encrypted data packets obscuring patterns of communication and protecting people’s privacy.

For those of you who might be less technical, who do not want to maintain a node, you can still participate in the network by delegating stake to mix nodes as reputation and earn a share of their rewards!

Read how to bond and delegate stake in the Nym mixnet here

Discuss with other delegators on Discord

Download new wallet

Nym wallet release 1.0.7! was originally published in nymtech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


BlueYard Capital

BlueYard x EthCC — (On|Off) Chain: Final Agenda

BlueYard x EthCC — (On|Off) Chain: Final Agenda We are looking forward to welcoming an intimate group of portfolio family and guests to join us along with some of the leading thinkers and implementers in web3 to BlueYard x EthCC — (On|Off) Chain in Paris this Wednesday, July 20th. All participants will have received a confirmatory email and calendar invite by now — and unfortunately th
BlueYard x EthCC — (On|Off) Chain: Final Agenda

We are looking forward to welcoming an intimate group of portfolio family and guests to join us along with some of the leading thinkers and implementers in web3 to BlueYard x EthCC — (On|Off) Chain in Paris this Wednesday, July 20th.

All participants will have received a confirmatory email and calendar invite by now — and unfortunately the event has reached capacity and we are unable to accept any further registrations. We appreciate your understanding if we were unable to host you this time, and hope to see you at the next one.

Final Agenda

15:00: Decentralized computation, storage, and the cutting edge of smart contract system design. Where is the line between smart contract virtual machines and other decentralized computation and data storage systems? What can and should run and be stored on-chain in the future? How do we choose? Lightning talks and group discussion with:

Brooklyn Zelenka, Fission Adrien Laversanne-Finot, Massa Ally Haire, Filecoin Foundation Dragan Zurzin, FileCoin VM

16:00: Demystifying ZKs and providing next steps for developers (reprogramming the brain). How does ZK technology require developers to rethink their approaches to system design? Group discussion with:

Kenny Li, Manta Network Hadrien Charlanes, Sismo Brandon Kase, O(1) Labs / Mina Protocol

17:00: Self-sovereign identity, reputation, credentials and consent — What does it mean to own your data? What data should be on-chain vs off-chain? What are the tradeoffs being made between transparency and consent? What technologies and frameworks should we use to enable ownership of our data and how we represent ourselves online? Lightning talks and group discussion with:

Anastasia Uglova, Lighthouse Evin McMullen, Disco Henri Stern, Privy Phillipp Banhardt, Violet Protocol Juan Caballero, CASA, Centre.io, DIF (joining for group discussion)

18:00: Drinks and light hors d’oeuvres

We look forward to seeing you there.

BlueYard is committed to keep our events safe and open to all. View our code of conduct here.


Verida

Verida Q2 2022 Update

Verida Q2 2022 Update It’s been another huge quarter at Verida as we push the envelope of what’s possible in Web3. While the crypto market has been extremely volatile which has introduced new challenges across the sector, we remain incredibly optimistic and excited for the future. As infrastructure builders, we’ve developed the rails to make the transition from Web2 to Web3 possible. One
Verida Q2 2022 Update

It’s been another huge quarter at Verida as we push the envelope of what’s possible in Web3. While the crypto market has been extremely volatile which has introduced new challenges across the sector, we remain incredibly optimistic and excited for the future.

As infrastructure builders, we’ve developed the rails to make the transition from Web2 to Web3 possible. One of the most fascinating parts is talking to projects at various stages on this spectrum, from early-stage through to large enterprises. These exciting conversations aren’t slowing down.

There are so many opportunities to assist Web2 companies transition to Web3, disrupt incumbents or create whole new industry verticals. Verida is proudly supporting an ever-growing pipeline of partner-led projects across a wide range of industry sectors.

Engineering Vault

The Verida Vault is now available in the iOS App Store as a developer preview. There have been significant performance improvements made with the incorporation of faster encryption implementations. Operating speeds have improved from around 15 seconds to less than 2 seconds in some instances.

We launched our Web2 data onramp proof of concept where users can pull data from their Facebook and Twitter accounts. We’ll share more information on this in the coming weeks.

In addition, we have:

Added support for additional testnet chains (NEAR and Ethereum) Wallet Connect support on Ethereum and Algorand Resolved critical issues that prevented an Android release (expected shortly) Updated core application architecture to easily support more blockchains and increase security Enhanced user onboarding options for developers integrating with the SSO SDK Made significant improvements on testing capabilities.

See this demo of current Vault capabilities:

In Q3, we’ll be working on expanding our multi-chain support to include Polygon and Polkadot blockchains, and further improving our user experience.

Protocol

The Verida protocol testnet is now running with first nodes operating in the USA and Australia. This is an important step in enabling truly decentralized and region-aware data storage to ensure regulatory compliance of personal data.

We’ve also been working iteratively to research, design and implement key components on our protocol roadmap.

This includes the:

Design and implementation of the decentralized DID registry (release expected in Q3) Research, design and implementation of meta transaction architecture for all Verida smart contracts (release expected in Q3) Verida SDK release v1.1.15 Verida Vue starter kit in developer preview Adding a demo of requesting a user’s bridged Web2 data to the Vault Examples demo.

Looking forward, we’re working hard to release the decentralized service registry and naming service on testnet in Q3.

Developer Experience

We continue to expand our developer documentation and the interactive tutorials. We’re also creating additional developer-friendly content such as:

Single Sign on developer walk-through video:

Data Storage developer walk-through video:

We also have a broad library of resources. For example, how to choose data storage for Web3.

We’re always open to feedback and conversations, so we can improve our developer experience. Please share your insights and ideas with us in Discord.

Ecosystem Growth

Verida is continuing to grow our ecosystem. We proudly welcome our new partners including:

Ettle — Ettle is launching an Australian Dollar cash backed stablecoin (AUDE) that is fully banked and redeemable cheqd — cheqd is a decentralised network for data ownership and value creation, enabling individuals and organisations to take control of their data Debt DAO — Debt DAO is creating a decentralized, permissionless marketplace to buy, sell, underwrite and manage debt for the DeFi economy Verify My Signature — Verify My Signature directs customers to a provider of signature guarantees.

Chris, Nick, Eric and Iryna from the Verida team travelled across the US from Consensus in Texas and Graph Conference in San Francisco to Polkadot in NYC. During the five weeks of travel, we met over 150 contacts, including ecosystem partners, VCs, and key Web3 thought leaders. These introductions are already leading into meaningful conversations and partnership opportunities.

Closing off Q2, we announced the launch of our Credentials Incubator, providing a composable tech stack bringing together an ecosystem of partners innovating on credentials in Web3.

Operations

The crypto market has been volatile through Q2, with the collapse of Terra followed by liquidity and solvency issues with major centralised lenders. Verida didn’t have any exposure to Terra or these lenders and continues to maintain strong risk management practices in regards to custody and management of our funds.

We take our risk management practices seriously at Verida. Effective risk control, helps us control future issues by acting proactively rather than reactively. In a nascent sector like Web3, we believe this is an important capability to build project resilience and confidence for our stakeholders and community.

We recently undertook an independent risk review of our practices to assess our processes, internal controls and mitigation strategies. The intention was to identify gaps in our coverage across key risk areas in our business. The outcomes of the review will help us further strengthen our risk management practices.

Marketing and Community

Verida sponsored our first hackathon at Graph Hack in San Francisco. We had three amazing winners including VeriFireArm, TeaDate, and MortgageID that built on top of Verida’s SDK.

Verida Bounty Winners at Graph Hack 2022

We also spoke at various events IRL and online including:

How Credentials And Private Data Bridges Will Unlock Mass Adoption at Polkadot Decoded How to enhance dApps with personal data at Graph Day How personal off-chain data will unlock new opportunities in DeFi at Austin DeFi Data storage in Web3 on the Crypto Sapiens Twitter Space Privacy with the Cypherpunk Guild on the NEARWEEK Twitter Space Web3 alternatives for social media, in response to the privatization of Twitter.

We’ve revamped our website, refined our product brand, and added new pages for the Credentials use case, the Verida Vault and how to get started with Verida.

The Verida team is now on gm! Gm.xyz is a crypto-native, decentralized, and user-owned social network. Come and introduce yourself and let us know what else you want to see from the team.

Verida IRL

Come and meet us at upcoming events!

Verida is proudly sponsoring and exhibiting at Australian Crypto Convention in the Gold Coast on September 18–19.

We’ll be in Singapore for Asia Crypto Week and Token2049 as well as other conferences around the United States. To find us, just reach out on Discord. We’d love to meet you.

Connect with us

Verida Q2 2022 Update was originally published in Verida on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Findora

Findora’s EthCC 2022 Roadmap

Last-minute planning for a crypto conference isn’t easy — especially in a foreign country. “The City of Love,” “The City of Lights,” Paris has many names, but for the next few days it will be the City of EthCC. There’s a plethora of amazing events happening in the next few days, so we put together a quick guide for all you procrastinators out there. Here’s a roadmap to the events we’re

Last-minute planning for a crypto conference isn’t easy — especially in a foreign country.

“The City of Love,” “The City of Lights,” Paris has many names, but for the next few days it will be the City of EthCC. There’s a plethora of amazing events happening in the next few days, so we put together a quick guide for all you procrastinators out there.

Here’s a roadmap to the events we’re most looking forward to so you can navigate the largest European Ethereum event of the year a little easier.

We’ll list the time and location for the events we think will be most interesting, but there are resources at the end to chart your own course as well. Rester c’est exister mais voyager c’est vivre!

👩‍💻ZK Circuit — Findora’s Hackathon

Yes, maybe we’re a little biased, but the thing hackers should make sure to do is Findora’s hackathon, which features a scavenger hunt at world-renowned sites around Paris! Hackers can build at hand-picked cafes and also travel around the city to solve riddles and win exclusive NFTs — known as the ZK Moles.

They are already hiding and waiting to be found!

Brunch will also be provided on all three days of the convention to participants, and hackers can win up to $5,000 in prizes for building FRC20 or 721 projects with privacy in mind. We’re also accepting research papers that must be submitted as Word documents or PDF files. The grand prize is $5,000 and will last until July 29, 11:59pm. While those in Paris will get extra perks like the scavenger hunt and daily brunches, anyone worldwide can participate.

For full details, check out our Eventbrite.

July 19 Interoperable SBTs

This will be an exciting meeting to discuss the specs and protocols for SBTs. Though “Decentralized Society: Finding Web3’s Soul” calls for their existence, none of the details are worked out. This will be a chance for developers, engineers, and builders to suggest how SBTs should look and work in the future. The event takes place Tuesday, from 2pm-4pm at 18 Rue Cujas, 75005 Paris, France. Don’t forget to bring your laptop!

🗣Socialize with Polkadot

Polkadot is actually hosting two socials, one on Tuesday starting at 7pm and the other on Thursday starting 7:30pm. Both events are free but with limited spots, so be sure to learn more about them here. It will be a great way to meet people who work at or for Polkadot.

DAIvinity

This is a MakerDAO event with 1Inch, TrueFi, and Oasis and requires tickets which you can get here. It will be a night of networking, music, and dancing, and they’ve promised a very special DJ. The event will occur at Bridge Club on the Seine, from 9pm-2am.

July 20 🥐 Talent Brunch

Who wouldn’t want brunch in the city brunch was made for? You’ll also get a “speed mentoring moment” to share and receive advice from other Web3 leaders. Talent House is a grants program searching for new builders from around the world but only 40 people total will be allowed. Hosted by Protocol Labs and starting at 10:30am at 18 Rue Lécuyer, 75018 Paris, you can learn more and sign up here.

DAOs and Builders à Paris

Gnosis Chain and DXdao are putting on a discussion event with three breakout sessions to talk about decentralization, building, and why Gnosis has the best tooling for DAOs. Active participation is encouraged! The event starts at 4pm, but the conversation starts promptly at 4:30pm with the event ending at 8pm at La Terrasse de Paris. Sign up here.

🍸 Kiln x Flowdesk BOAT PARTY

No boats are required; one is provided! Join Kiln, a staking-as-a-service product, as they and Flowdesk welcome the Web3 community to a fun networking event that is just a 5-minute walk from Maison Mutualité. The event starts at 6pm at La Péniche Paris, 2 quai de la Tournelle, and you can sign up here.

👻UNgHOSTED Meet-Up

UNgHOSTED is a social movement supporting a “legally crypto-friendly world.” They want to accelerate institutional acceptance of crypto and will be sharing details of their project and hearing suggestions. The bar where the event will take place is one of the few in Paris that supports payments in crypto! It will start at 7pm at Le Carlie — 177 Rue Saint-Martin, 75003 Paris.

July 21st DeFi, Not Degen

This event will focus on creating economic equality with DeFi. The event is sold out, but you can join the waitlist. Thesis is hosting many other events at EthCC, and building DeFi products to help people opt out of TradFi. Some of their projects include the Fold, Saddle Finance, and Tally Ho.

📉 📈 CryptoEconDay

This is a gathering of leading researchers and practitioners of cryptoeconomics so they can share their findings, lessons, and challenges. Cryptoeconomics is an interdisciplinary field of study that is at the heart of Web3 projects. The event will feature topics like incentives and token design, modeling and simulation, governance, real-world experience, and optimal pricing discoveries. This is an all-day event starting at 11am and going till 8:30pm at La Tarrasse de Paris at 45 Rue Jussieu 75005 Paris. Learn more here.

🥳The Offical EthCC Afterparty

The Official EthCC Afterparty will be a blast and go all night. The location is still TBD, but it will be happening July 21st from 8:30pm-4am.

Finding Your Way

No matter what your crypto interests are, there will be an event for you at EthCC 2022! This is just a roadmap to some of the events; if you want to find others, check out the official list from EthCC or this helpful summary.

Don’t forget about the Findora Hackathon that will start on Tuesday, July 19, and go through the entire convention. The final submission of projects will be due on July 29th and can range from a research paper or a new privacy feature using Findora but must be focused on FRC20 and 721 tokens. Get all the details here.

Paris is the city of lights and love, and these events and Findora’s scavenger hunt will help you explore and enjoy it. Have fun at EthCC!

Findora’s EthCC 2022 Roadmap was originally published in Findora Foundation on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Hack Your Way Through Paris— Findora’s Unique Approach at EthCC

This week, web3 developers will gather in Paris for the largest annual Ethereum conference in Europe. “Why not let them enjoy themselves?” thought Findora. After all, “La vie est trop courte pour boire du mauvais vin.” In a city as beautiful as Paris, it would be a shame to keep hackers in a dark hacker house in front of computer screens. Findora has a different approach for EthCC in Paris:

This week, web3 developers will gather in Paris for the largest annual Ethereum conference in Europe. “Why not let them enjoy themselves?” thought Findora. After all, “La vie est trop courte pour boire du mauvais vin.”

In a city as beautiful as Paris, it would be a shame to keep hackers in a dark hacker house in front of computer screens. Findora has a different approach for EthCC in Paris: let hackers enjoy the City of Lights as they build.

Although anyone around the globe can compete to win over $5,000 in grand prizes, participants in Paris for EthCC will get even more:

Registrants will get a ZK Circuit Map with hand-picked cafés where they can hack. The map marks notable sites in Paris where participants can decrypt riddles to win $500 USDT bonus prizes and exclusive NFTs Findora has minted called “ZK Moles.”

“We thought, ‘it would be a shame to come to this city and not be able to see any of the sites,’” said Findora Business Development manager Dylan Kawalec. “So we asked, ‘what can we do to give people the opportunity to walk around, enjoy this amazing city, and also hack? We didn’t want to just do what everyone else does.”

Maps will be handed out at the Maison de la Mutualité. Participants of the ZK Circuit Hackathon will also get brunch each day at EthCC. All projects must be an FRC-20 or FRC-721 project with privacy features in mind. Although the hackathon is starting Tuesday, July 19th, late entrants are allowed! Learn more about the event and start here.

Hackathon Details $5,000 in prizes Anyone around the world can hack! Submission must have privacy features in mind and be for FRC20 or 721 tokens or a research paper. Projects are due by July 29th at 11:59pm, and submit your projects by forking them here. Must register here to get brunch and meet with sponsors. See our Linktree for resources and and our Github for requirements. You can still register here. More About Findora

Findora is used to doing things differently.

Typically, blockchains follow an account model (as Ethereum does) or a UTXO model (as Bitcoin does). Findora, however, combines these models by parallelizing an EVM ledger with a UTXO ledger. Unlike other zero-knowledge projects, Findora is focused on more than just confidential transactions but also wants to act as a universal privacy oracle that can settle transactions.

“For this hackathon, we wanted to change things up a bit and let YOU, the hacker, have an enjoyable time in Paris while still being able to work on your project,” reads Findora’s official announcement on Eventbrite. “We want you to make the most of your time here since many of you who are attending ETHCC this year are traveling from abroad.”

It will be interesting to see how this strategy pays off — and exciting to see what hackers come up with to advance the future of privacy finance for web3.

Hack Your Way Through Paris— Findora’s Unique Approach at EthCC was originally published in Findora Foundation on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Veil

Lightwallet coming

Veil will soon be included, with RingCT privacy, in the Zelcore desktop wallet! Just a little more testing remains.
The Veil community is dear to us

At the Veil Project we consider all contributors to be part of the Veil family, whether an Original Generation team member, or one who joined us later, and they are very welcome to contribute again to Veil, whenever possible.

There are some staff who are no longer able to be involved as team members. codeofalltrades, dango and mados, we appreciate the work they have done, especially most recently, codeofalltrades, who has made significant contributions to the robustness of Veil’s core software. Cavespectre also has had to curtail his active development, as you may notice if checking Github.

While this blog has evidently been sadly neglected, it should change from this time onward. To catch up on other staff changes, please welcome us77ipis (Github ID) Johns5937 (on Discord) for his recent and ongoing contributions as an evidently motivated Bounty Developer. We are currently considering a reduction in the ProgPow DAG GPU memory size and are aware of arguments for and against this. If you would like to weigh in on the subject, please feel free to join our Discord mining channel, and/or our Veil-Dev Discord if you are able to contribute to writing code and testing submissions on our test and development networks.

Also please welcome Zannick. Although we have not yet got around to creating a staff page for him, he has been a developer in the team since 2021, contributed some important bug fixes, reviewing other devs’ code submissions, and is working on the future RingCT staking upgrade.

Steel97 (Github ID) IVAN (on Discord), also no staff profile page yet, should be recognised for his neat replacement of the Veil block explorers, which brings efficiency improvements.

Light wallet is coming (with the Zelcore desktop wallet — later will be the mobile wallet)

Blondfrogs currently has a major upgrade in progress for the inclusion of Veil in the awesome Zelcore wallet. This is a light wallet, so it does not require the Veil user to maintain the full blockchain history on their own computer. Furthermore, Veil’s inclusion will be using RingCT anonymous transactions! When this is available, it will be announced in our NEWS updates. Although Blondfrogs is an OG Veil developer, this submission he is working on is done in his capacity as a developer for the Zelcore team, so he is not expected, although is very welcome, to do other regular contributions to Veil’s code.


Brave Browser

STAR: Brave’s New System for Privacy-Preserving Data Collection

Brave's new system STAR protects user privacy by ensuring the data users contribute are never unique to that user. This property, sometimes called k-anonymity, ensures that the data collector can only see a submitted value if the same value has also been submitted by some number of other users.

This is the nineteenth post in an ongoing, regular series describing new and upcoming privacy features in Brave. This post describes work done by Alex Davidson, Peter Snyder, eV Quirk, Joseph Genereux, Benjamin Livshits, and Hamed Haddadi. This post was written by Senior Director of Privacy Peter Snyder.

Researchers at Brave have developed STAR1, a system that allows users to participate in private data collection, under cryptographic guarantees that their data will be readable only if other users have contributed the exact same values. Such systems are important for performing privacy-protecting, Web-scale measurements of software (sometimes referred to as analytics or telemetry).

STAR’s main goals are to provide strong privacy guarantees while still being usable and affordable for small-to-medium sized companies. Existing systems2 are extremely expensive to deploy (making them unusable for all but the largest companies), require trusted third-parties or special hardware, and/or require millions of users to achieve useful results. STAR, by contrast, provides privacy guarantees similar to, or better than, existing systems, while being practical and affordable for projects and organizations serving anywhere from dozens to millions of users.

The STAR system will be presented at the 2022 ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) in Los Angeles, and is being discussed for possible standardization in the IETF. STAR is available in an open source Rust implementation, and will be used to protect user privacy in many current and future Brave products.

Privacy-preserving data collection through k-anonymity 

Collecting data on how software is used in detail can be helpful for both developers and users. Developers can use this information to fix bugs and optimize code; users benefit from better software.

But capturing this user data carries the ethical and often legal responsibility of collecting it in a privacy preserving way. We emphasize that collecting data in a privacy-protecting manner is a necessary, but not sufficient, part of ethical data collection. Users should always be in control and aware when contributing data.

Brave’s new system STAR protects user privacy by ensuring the data users contribute are never unique to that user. This property, sometimes called k-anonymity, ensures that the data collector can only see a submitted value if the same value has also been submitted by some number of other users. K-anonymity (and thus the STAR system) prevents the data collector from ever seeing values that are unique—this means the values can’t be used to identify users.

K-anonymity is one of many approaches for ensuring privacy during data collection3, each with different strengths and weaknesses. STAR adopts k-anonymity because:

It embodies an easy to understand approach to privacy. It successfully allows the data collector to learn the “heavy hitters” (i.e., the most commonly shared values) without requiring very large user bases. The applications targeted by STAR are not the kinds of cases where k-anonymity systems have been attacked in the past. A simple k-anonymity example: ice cream

As an example of how k-anonymity protects user privacy, consider this fake example:

An organization wants to learn about their employees’ favorite ice cream flavor. But people only want to participate in this ice-cream survey if they’re assured the organization can’t learn whether they voted. Participants want anonymity.

People who cast ballots for chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry (or other common flavors) aren’t at risk—many  people like these flavors, so the organization can’t learn much about who voted, if they voted for a common flavor.

However, votes for uncommon flavors of ice cream do risk revealing who gave that answer. If everyone knows a person’s favorite flavor of ice cream is olive—and if that person completed the survey—the organization will be pretty confident about who submitted that answer.

With k-anonymity, the “olive” answer would be removed before the data is ever analyzed.

At essence, k-anonymity is an approach to data collection that builds on the ice cream example: It allows the party collecting data to see common, popular values, but does not allow the data collector to see rare (and therefore potentially identifying) values.

K-anonymity is difficult in practice

K-anonymity is simple in concept, but difficult to build in practice. For example, who decides (and how) which values are common or rare without revealing the potentially identifying values in the first place?

One sub-optimal option would be to let a neutral third-party count the values first, before those values are shared with the data collector. But that only introduces a “shell game” of trusting privacy to the third-party instead of the data collector; the same privacy risk still exists.

There are many other similar difficulties when trying to implement real-world k-anonymity systems.

With STAR, we’ve found a way to achieve k-anonymity without these suboptimal verifications.

STAR achieves k-anonymity cheaply and securely

STAR is a practical, effective, and cheap way to build data collection systems that protect k-anonymity. STAR differs from existing systems by being the first deployed system to achieve each of the following goals:

Cheap to deploy: STAR is extremely fast and does not require special hardware. This means that STAR can be deployed by everything from small hobbyist projects to large, multi-million-user software projects. In our simulations, STAR is 24 times cheaper than the existing state-of-the-art approach4.

Easy to understand: STAR uses a unique combination of existing, vetted, and well understood cryptographic tools (i.e., symmetric encryption to encrypt data, Shamir secret sharing to enforce k-anonymity, and verifiable oblivious pseudorandom functions to boost randomness). Using existing cryptographic tools (rather than relying on novel cryptographic primitives) means more people can safely implement, deploy, and audit STAR systems.

Strong privacy guarantees: STAR delivers privacy similar or superior to existing state-of-the-art systems, including fallback protections in the case of server compromise5.

Accurate results with small user bases: STAR provides strong accuracy guarantees, even with small numbers of users. This is unlike other existing approaches6 that provide accurate results only when thousands or millions of users contribute results.

Doesn’t require special hardware: STAR runs on standard computing hardware, and can thus be deployed on personal servers, standard cloud infrastructure, or any other stock hardware. This ensures STAR can be used by more projects, especially those with smaller budgets (unlike some existing systems that rely on special “trusted” hardware, such as AWS Nitro or Intel SGX).

Using STAR to protect user privacy

Brave has developed STAR as a practical, real-world focused system for improving user privacy. While we hope others will use STAR to protect privacy in their own projects, the primary aim was to allow users to share data with Brave in a way that still preserves privacy.

To that end, Brave is making three commitments with STAR:

First, Brave will use STAR in its own products, in cases where we give users the option to allow data collection. For example, Brave’s Web Discovery Project uses a form of STAR to allow users to share browsing information to help build the Brave Search index. Similarly, we’ve incorporated STAR into the “Privacy Preserving Product Analytics” (P3A) system that allows users to share browser usage data with Brave.

More important, even with STAR’s protections, Brave users will always have the option not to share data with Brave. STAR is intended only to add additional privacy protections to data that users want to share, rather than to allow Brave to collect more data about users.

Second, Brave is developing STAR in the open, for other projects to use, adopt, or modify as they choose. Brave maintains both Rust and WASM versions of STAR, and both are published under the Mozilla Public License v2.

Third, Brave is working to standardize STAR in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) as part of the Privacy Preserving Measurements working group. Our goal is to ensure that there is a standards-based way for small organizations to collect data in a privacy-respecting way.

For specifics on how STAR works, and how it delivers k-anonymity protections safely and efficiently, please see our full research paper.

STAR stands for Secret sharing for private Threshold Aggregation Reporting. ↩︎

Such as Mozilla’s Prio, or Google’s Prochlo systems. ↩︎

Other approaches include differential privacy (local or otherwise), randomized response, multi-party computation, and approaches based on homomorphic encryption. ↩︎

Specifically, the Poplar system described in “Lightweight Techniques for Private Heavy Hitters” by Boneh et al. from IEEE S&P 2021. ↩︎

Specifically, the VOPRF server, which never sees submitted values but in a malicious (or misconfigured) case could fail to contribute randomness. ↩︎

For example, systems that rely on local differential privacy to protect users. ↩︎

Monday, 18. July 2022

Circle Blog

Payment Stablecoin Policy Principles

In the face of continued rapid growth as well as a broad crypto market correction, the time is now for U.S. policymakers to act. Delivering a bill to the White House that simultaneously addresses the clear risks that have emerged with stablecoins, while establishing clear rules of the road such that the U.S. dollar continues to be the leading digital currency of the internet can advance

In the face of continued rapid growth as well as a broad crypto market correction, the time is now for U.S. policymakers to act. Delivering a bill to the White House that simultaneously addresses the clear risks that have emerged with stablecoins, while establishing clear rules of the road such that the U.S. dollar continues to be the leading digital currency of the internet can advance U.S. leadership and economic competitiveness.


bankless

128 - Scariest Macro Setup In 20+ Years | Luke Gromen

✨ DEBRIEF ✨ | Ryan & David's Unfiltered Thoughts on the Episode: https://shows.banklesshq.com/p/128-luke-gromen-debrief  Luke Gromen is a macro analyst and founder of Forest for the Trees, a research company which helps investors find the signal. Luke is another one of our big macro brained guests in the same vein as Lyn Alden, Raoul Pal, and Jim Bianco. On this episode, Luke unpack

✨ DEBRIEF ✨ | Ryan & David's Unfiltered Thoughts on the Episode: https://shows.banklesshq.com/p/128-luke-gromen-debrief 

Luke Gromen is a macro analyst and founder of Forest for the Trees, a research company which helps investors find the signal. Luke is another one of our big macro brained guests in the same vein as Lyn Alden, Raoul Pal, and Jim Bianco.

On this episode, Luke unpacks how macro got this bad, what the end game looks like, why this is the scariest macro setup Luke has seen in 20+ years, and how to prepare.

The fog of what’s going on is thick, but we're on a quest to find out what in the world is going on. Knowing this is key to understanding the next steps crypto takes. Buckle up.

------ 📣Rhino.Fi | Massive Mystery Airdrop https://bit.ly/3o9trRE 

------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER: https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/  🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST: http://podcast.banklesshq.com/ 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🌱 LENS | ACCESS CODE: WAGMI https://bankless.cc/Lens 

🚀 ROCKET POOL | ETH STAKING https://bankless.cc/RocketPool 

⚖️ ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum 

🦁 BRAVE | THE BROWSER NATIVE WALLET https://bankless.cc/Brave 

🌉 JUNO | BRIDGE FIAT TO LAYER 2 https://bankless.cc/Juno 

⚡️ ZKSYNC | THE LAYER 2 SCALING ENDGAME https://bankless.cc/zkSync 

------ Topics Covered:

0:00 Intro 6:08 Scariest Macro Setup In 20+ Years 14:15 Why This is the End 22:10 How’d We Get Here 26:45 Bursting Sovereign Debt Bubble 36:45 Fed Data Interpretation 42:42 How the End Game Plays Out 1:01:21 The Affect on The Average Person 1:07:35 U.S. Middle Class vs. Treasury Holders 1:14:58 The Future of Assets & Currencies 1:20:20 What Happens to Energy Commodities? 1:25:40 Equities, Gold, & Crypto 1:31:46 How to Prepare 1:36:50 Closing & Disclaimers

------ Resources:

Luke Gromen https://twitter.com/LukeGromen 

Forest Through the Trees https://fftt-treerings.com/ 

Luke’s Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/LukeGromenFFTTLLC 

Lyn Alden https://youtu.be/XaHuwUDd1C8 

Jim Bianco https://youtu.be/VMNmxFzKI64 

----- Not financial or tax advice. This channel is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This video is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.

Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here: https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/p/bankless-disclosures 


Zcash Foundation

Board Minutes: July 18, 2022

Started at 4:04 pm ET.  Directors present: Andrew Miller, Ian Miers, Amber Baldet, Peter Van Valkenburgh, Jack Gavigan  Foundation employees also present: Alex Bornstein (Secretary) Topics discussed:  Approved May board meeting minutes.  Discussed the state of the Foundation’s finances.  Discussed hiring progress, and potential for further team expansion. Conducted meeting

Started at 4:04 pm ET. 

Directors present: Andrew Miller, Ian Miers, Amber Baldet, Peter Van Valkenburgh, Jack Gavigan 

Foundation employees also present: Alex Bornstein (Secretary)

Topics discussed: 

Approved May board meeting minutes.  Discussed the state of the Foundation’s finances.  Discussed hiring progress, and potential for further team expansion. Conducted meeting prep for a future joint board meeting. Discussed potential board members. 

 

Ended at 5:14 pm ET.







The post Board Minutes: July 18, 2022 appeared first on zcash foundation.

Friday, 15. July 2022

bankless

ROLLUP: Celsius Bankruptcy, Vitalik's Book, GHO Aave Stablecoin, 3ac StarkWare Token

Second Week of July, 2022 ------ 📣JUNO | Crypto Friendly Banking https://juno.finance/bankless  ------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER:          https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/  🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST:                 http://podcast.banklesshq.com/  ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:  🚀ROCKET POOL | ETH ST

Second Week of July, 2022

------ 📣JUNO | Crypto Friendly Banking https://juno.finance/bankless 

------ 🚀 SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER:          https://newsletter.banklesshq.com/  🎙️ SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST:                 http://podcast.banklesshq.com/ 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 

🚀ROCKET POOL | ETH STAKING https://bankless.cc/RocketPool 

⚖️ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum 

❎ACROSS | BRIDGE TO LAYER 2 https://bankless.cc/Across 

🦁BRAVE | THE BROWSER NATIVE WALLET https://bankless.cc/Brave 

🌴MAKER DAO | DECENTRALIZED LENDING https://bankless.cc/MakerDAO 

🔐LEDGER | SECURE STAKING https://bankless.cc/Ledger 

------ Topics Covered:

0:00 Intro

4:48 MARKETS 7:15 Inflation https://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/us-inflation-june-2022-consumer-price-index-11657664129  Price Increases: https://twitter.com/charliebilello/status/1547198607539011585?s=21&t=e457gZL25lgi6P0Wx43tNQ  9:15 The Dollar Index https://imgur.com/MKEuGPM  11:25 The Market Reacts https://twitter.com/NorthmanTrader/status/1547320884339286018?s=20&t=F5_D0tthgHnIzI-Wrx0zfA  12:15 Long Term Debt Cycle https://twitter.com/RyanSAdams/status/1547063441894023168?s=20&t=0fcQASOqnFpj3VikLD0-qQ  15:18 Leverage and IRS Returns https://twitter.com/kofinas/status/1547585564253122560?s=20&t=lAdodYBFhqn3zSG4739A7w  https://twitter.com/typesfast/status/1547266090794831874?s=21&t=xVDAGNuF4hUXNheiY0iB2g  17:28 JPY and BTC https://twitter.com/CryptoHayes/status/1547539513970393089?s=20&t=vi3nXg-hLmfTeAefjmZFUw  https://twitter.com/kylewaters_/thread/1537183959217414144  19:30 DeFi Treasuries https://twitter.com/darrenlautf/status/1547324258514239489?s=21&t=6UH6BaCJc3hdWyoyi1NzDQ  20:50 Lido Domination https://substackcdn.com/image/fetch/f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2F44a82f74-2a92-444e-98ba-d5a4a0d3c17a_1920x1289.jpeg 

22:00 NEWS 24:30 Celsius Bankruptcy https://www.coindesk.com/business/2022/07/14/celsius-files-for-chapter-11-bankrupcty/  26:30 Celsius DeFi Debts https://twitter.com/RyanSAdams/status/1546924519419514880?s=20&t=DN25Do0S6J6ryEtNdeModg  27:48 Celsius 0xb1 Jason Stone https://twitter.com/0x_b1/thread/1545153652624691200  32:02 Celsius Money Back? https://twitter.com/RyanSAdams/status/1547571532687233024?s=20&t=yTl4oCOBI1yUQX0xhWsKXg 

33:00 Su Zhu and StarkWare https://twitter.com/zhusu/status/1546801270014758912?s=20&t=FD5wGwnHHtH6tJZsSNO0gw  36:30 StarkWare Token https://twitter.com/StarkWareLtd/status/1547223754832478209?s=20&t=Bf47hQ2qfHbtscx3jiCxvg 

41:30 Vitalik’s New Book https://twitter.com/RyanSAdams/status/1545164294576283649?s=20&t=-oHiYIQR90FvxeAe2F7O0A  44:30 GHO Aave Stablecoin https://thedefiant.io/aave-gho-stablecoin/  49:30 Polygon, Robinhood, Disney Accelerator https://twitter.com/0xPolygon/status/1545022519400271872  https://twitter.com/0xPolygon/status/1547253982133100544  51:04 ENS Domains https://twitter.com/twofivedev/thread/1546505824389963778  56:15 Bill Murray Cool Cat https://twitter.com/coolcatsnft/status/1546705413973966848?s=20&t=Nk6-jMtAwzwtwtE9Ffw2tg  58:30 Gamestop NFT Marketplace https://twitter.com/finestonematt/status/1546917601133076482?s=21&t=KuNjhiGmmcKTyzoZ20uqyg  1:00:38 Michael Saylor Bitcoin https://cointelegraph.com/news/btc-bull-michael-saylor-ethereum-is-obviously-a-security  https://twitter.com/RyanSAdams/status/1546615920046514176?s=20&t=CJ2FC1QB7CkOR_rknfeM0w 

RELEASES 1:05:18 sudoAMM https://twitter.com/sudoswap/status/1545535663365165063?s=20&t=z4VF_2nZTstIdLHW3fR9AQ  1:06:30 LensTube https://twitter.com/lenstubexyz/status/1546533325442932737 

RAISES 1:07:15 Lightspeed $7 Billion https://www.theblock.co/post/157116/lightspeed-raises-over-7-billion-across-four-funds-launches-new-crypto-native-team  1:07:35 Multicoin $430m Fund https://techcrunch.com/2022/07/12/crypto-focused-multicoin-capital-launches-430m-venture-fund/  1:08:43 LiFi Router https://twitter.com/lifiprotocol/status/1546488975174422530  1:09:34 Chris Dixon Forecaster https://twitter.com/cdixon/status/1546890612393140225  1:10:52 Gnosis Safe https://safe.mirror.xyz/zMPp8uqZpxKgeXotSFv76bd2G8lJTmghH1FDWFm604c  1:12:07 Jobs https://pallet.xyz/list/bankless/jobs 

1:14:50 Questions from the Nation https://twitter.com/BanklessHQ/status/1547250346677903361  1:15:56 PoS Wealth https://twitter.com/mefford_jeremy/status/1547301425088266241?s=20  1:22:35 David and Carbs https://twitter.com/RyanSAdams/status/1547251457505869824?s=20&t=LZA3X8WFziRxIq4qlaQA-g  1:26:15 The DeFi Dance https://twitter.com/TrustlessState/status/1546166031890219009?s=20&t=4cEZgAZiUgjHLyHCtdpcUQ 

TAKES 1:28:15 Spicy Vitalik https://twitter.com/VitalikButerin/status/1546776356083699712?s=20&t=Oa-t7XlX_fuXyE4sBNpxCg  1:30:00 Become a Millionaire https://twitter.com/TrustlessState/status/1544871855370149889?s=20&t=l7IqrAmRyWavzjdYP7Lk9w  1:31:20 DeFi Worked Great https://panteracapital.com/blockchain-letter/defi-worked-great/ 

1:31:55 What David’s Bullish On 1:33:05 What Ryan’s Bullish On https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/g