Last Update 11:44 PM February 19, 2024 (UTC)

Web3 | Identosphere Blogcatcher

Brought to you by Identity Woman and Infominer.
Support this collaboration on Patreon!!!

Monday, 19. February 2024

Zcash Foundation

FROST Reference Implementation v1.0.0 Stable Release

The Zcash Foundation is excited to announce the first stable release of frost-core, a reference implementation of Two-Round Threshold Schnorr Signatures with FROST, written in Rust. This implementation has been fully audited and conforms to the latest and final version of the IRTF draft specification, which we are confident will soon make it as a […] The post FROST Reference Implementation v1.0.

The Zcash Foundation is excited to announce the first stable release of frost-core, a reference implementation of Two-Round Threshold Schnorr Signatures with FROST, written in Rust. This implementation has been fully audited and conforms to the latest and final version of the IRTF draft specification, which we are confident will soon make it as a final Informational RFC. 

What FROST does and why it matters

FROST is a threshold multi-party signature scheme. It allows a key to be split into multiple shares (or even to be created in a distributed fashion without having to create an original unsplit key), and then enables creating a signature by aggregating multiple signature shares created by participants who hold key shares. The threshold means that a minimum number of participants are required to be able to create a signature.

In the context of Zcash, this means that FROST allows creating wallets where transactions have to be authorized by multiple participants. This has multiple benefits: it’s more robust, since if a participant loses a share, it is still possible for the other participants to sign transactions (and they can help to reissue the lost share); and in the same vein, if a participant gets hacked, the attacker won’t be able to solely sign transactions.

With the frost Rust library, the Zcash Foundation provides a reference implementation for the informational “Two-Round Schnorr Threshold Signatures with FROST” CFRG (Crypto Forum Research Group) Internet Draft. The CFRG is a general forum for discussing and reviewing uses of cryptographic mechanisms and is part of the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF), which in turn promotes research of importance to the evolution of the Internet protocols, applications, architecture and technology.

This release includes the frost-rerandomized variant, an adaptation to the FROST threshold signature scheme to make it unlinkable, which is a requirement for its use in the Zcash protocol. The adapted scheme generates signatures that are compatible with spend authorization signatures in the Zcash protocol, for the Sapling and Orchard network upgrades. This makes it possible for Zcash transactions to be authorized by more than one party, while preserving the privacy of individual signers.

Privacy-preserving threshold multi-party signatures for Zcash

Now that the frost reference implementation is production-ready we look forward to the acceptance of ZIP-312: “Shielded Multisignatures using FROST” and its implementation in the Zcash ecosystem. We will continue to work on a set of demos to show how some of the challenges for integration into wallets may be solved, as well as to provide a reference for implementers.

We would like to thank the following current and past ZF team members for their contributions to the FROST reference implementation; without their work and support, we would not have reached this milestone today: 

Chelsea Komlo, Conrado P. L. Gouvêa,  Natalie E., Deirdre Connolly, Pili Guerra, Alfredo Garcia, Teor, Marek Bielik, Henry de Valence, Jane Lusby, Josh Cincinnati, Antonie Hodge, Fungai Matambanadzo.

We would also like to thank all of the numerous external contributors to the spec and code base.

The post FROST Reference Implementation v1.0.0 Stable Release appeared first on Zcash Foundation.


Zaisan

How Blockchain Revolutionises Energy Ownership

As the global need for environmentally conscious energy intensifies, tokenisation emerges as a groundbreaking strategy to democratise energy ownership. Amidst the growing consensus on the need for a shift to renewable resources, the challenge of accessibility and affordability persists. By leveraging blockchain technology to fractionalise ownership of renewable energy assets, tokenisation offers a

As the global need for environmentally conscious energy intensifies, tokenisation emerges as a groundbreaking strategy to democratise energy ownership. Amidst the growing consensus on the need for a shift to renewable resources, the challenge of accessibility and affordability persists. By leveraging blockchain technology to fractionalise ownership of renewable energy assets, tokenisation offers an inclusive pathway for individuals and communities to invest in and benefit from sustainable energy sources. This innovative approach not only aims to lower the barriers to entry in the renewable energy market but also foster a more distributed and participatory energy landscape.

Democratising energy: The role of tokenisation in ownership

The shift towards sustainable energy is a global priority, underscored by initiatives like the Paris Agreement, especially within Europe. This movement faces the challenge of perceived high costs and barriers to entry in the renewable energy sector. However, recent commercialisation of energy storage technologies shows significant cost reductions in wind, solar power, and grid stability over the past few years. This cost reduction has widened access to renewable energy, allowing a broader spectrum of individuals to benefit from these technologies.

How tokenisation democratises energy ownership 

Tokenisation plays a pivotal role in further democratising energy ownership. For individuals without direct access to physical assets, such as a roof for solar panels, tokenisation offers a novel solution. Through crypto anchors and property rights encapsulated within tokens, individuals can own a share of an energy asset. This approach not only allows for the ownership of the physical asset but also enables individuals to own carbon credits, kilowatt hours, and even data rights associated with the energy asset.

One such initiative is Sunified –  a solar technology company creating critical infrastructure to facilitate yield farming on solar infrastructure. Yield farming is the process of staking or lending cryptocurrency assets within a DeFi protocol’s liquidity pool to receive rewards, often in the form of the protocol’s governance tokens. Liquidity providers are then compensated with an annual percentage yield (APY) in real-time for their contributions as a result. The purpose behind yield farming is to promote the platform’s utilisation and compensate the community for adding liquidity, crucial for the ecosystem’s vitality and growth. Sunified’s initiative also includes storage infrastructure integration into electric vehicles (EVs) and other parts of the energy ecosystem. 

As energy grids undergo a gradual transformation over the next decade, tokenisation offers immense opportunities to introduce new business and ownership models through blockchain and sound crypto infrastructure architectures. This transition presents a unique chance to reconstruct the energy ecosystem, making sustainable energy ownership more accessible and flexible for a wider audience.

Fractional ownership of solar power 

Fractional ownership in the context of solar power introduces an innovative approach to investing in renewable energy. This concept allows individuals to collectively invest in solar projects, such as solar parks or community solar gardens, through a blend of equity and debt financing. The essence of fractional ownership lies in the tokenisation of solar infrastructure, breaking down the investment into manageable units—whether in the form of €100 blocks or based on the capacity, such as 100 Watt blocks of a solar panel.

A group of experts would initially determine how to capitalise on a solar project, deciding on the mix of equity and debt to make the project investment-ready. This capital structure can then be tokenised, offering participation rights to investors. Tokenisation carves up the asset into fractional pieces, making it possible for a wider audience to invest in solar energy projects.

It is crucial to differentiate between owning a part of the solar park itself and having rights to the energy produced by it. While you might not fractionalise the energy output directly, fractionalising the means of production — i.e., the solar panels and infrastructure — offers a tangible way to invest in solar energy. Fractional ownership and tokenisation democratises access to renewable energy investments, enabling more people to contribute to and benefit from sustainable energy solutions.

How should a real-world asset, such as energy, be put on the blockchain? 

Placing a real-world asset like energy onto a blockchain involves a multifaceted approach that bridges the physical and digital worlds. With a particular focus on renewable energy sources like solar power, the process starts by establishing a tangible connection or “hook” between the physical asset and its digital representation on the blockchain. This involves integrating a sensor directly into the asset during the manufacturing process, such as embedding it within a solar panel at the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (OEM) factory. This sensor plays a crucial role in anchoring the asset across three realms: the physical world, the digital world, and the crypto realm.

The sensor enables tracking of the solar panel’s lifecycle from its inception, including its initial performance and the carbon footprint incurred throughout its supply chain journey. By activating the panel in the field, it is possible to account for its entire lifecycle, including production, deployment, and operational carbon emissions. This comprehensive approach ensures that the asset is not only represented accurately on the blockchain but also that its environmental impact is meticulously accounted for.

This method transcends traditional reliance on third-party verification or trust anchors, reducing the need for intermediaries. Instead, it offers a direct and trustworthy linkage between the real-world asset and its blockchain counterpart. This direct connection is essential for leveraging blockchain’s capabilities to support decentralised and distributed energy systems, which are increasingly becoming bidirectional.  Unlike the traditional centralised energy distribution model, where power flows from a central hub to consumers, modern energy grids are evolving to support energy flow in both directions. This shift necessitates new measurement infrastructure to accommodate and accurately represent these changes on the blockchain.

Navigating challenges in energy tokenisation

The journey of tokenising energy assets is fraught with multifaceted challenges, significantly influenced by regulatory uncertainties, security concerns, data privacy issues, market volatility, and a general lack of understanding and readiness within the industry. A pivotal aspect of navigating these waters involves identifying the nature of energy tokens for regulators—be it as utility, payment, or governance tokens—or even advocating for a multi-use token that transcends traditional categorisations.

Regulatory Hurdles

Discourse within the digital asset community highlights a need for regulatory frameworks around energy tokens that must be clearly defined. This confusion necessitates a rigorous educational effort towards regulators, to clarify the distinctions and functionalities of various token types, including utility, energy, asset, and governance tokens. Without clear regulatory guidance, projects are compelled to seek jurisdictions with more favourable legal frameworks. The UK is a regulatory example of a more defined ecosystem for property rights, energy governance, and tokenisation of real-world assets. The only other option would be to work within regulatory sandboxes and project-specific frameworks to advance tokenisation initiatives without overstepping uncertain legal boundaries.

Moreover, the push towards standardising practices across different regulatory environments presents another layer of complexity. The UK has made significant strides in establishing clear guidelines through bodies like The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Other jurisdictions are still in the budding stages of adapting their regulations to accommodate the novel demands of tokenised energy systems. In addition to regulatory hurdles, the practicalities of offering energy tokens without categorising them as equity to facilitate easier trading, and the fundraising challenges for scaling projects across multiple locations, are critical. 

Communication

The ability to articulate the concept and clear implications of tokenising energy resources, such as solar panels, is crucial for market acceptance and regulatory compliance. This task extends beyond mere product explanation; it encompasses clear dialogue with lawmakers, consumer protection bodies, and entities concerned with data privacy. Simplifying complex technological underpinnings for a diverse audience, from regulators to the layperson at the bus stop, is essential. Failure to do so risks future operational nightmares, underscoring the importance of both education and transparency in the tokenisation ecosystem. Simplification without sacrificing essential information ensures that investors, users, and stakeholders, who will journey with the initiative for years to come, fully comprehend its value and operation, making the technology’s intricate background less daunting and more accessible.

Where to begin: energy tokenisation

Embarking on the journey of energy tokenisation requires a foundational understanding of the token’s purpose, its intended holders, and the value it offers. Before diving into the legal and technical specifics of token types, it is essential to address these fundamental questions. 

This approach does not necessitate a one-size-fits-all solution. For instance, investors interested in direct engagement with energy projects can opt for utility tokens, whereas those looking for a more traditional investment route might consider security tokens tied to assets like solar parks. This flexibility allows projects to cater to diverse investor preferences, enhancing accessibility and interaction. 

Highlighting the significance of inclusivity and accountability in energy trading, an initiative such as the Amelander Energy Cooperative demonstrates the potential for democratising energy markets. Such a project demonstrates the possibility for transparent, traceable systems that ensure accountability across all levels of interaction—from investors to consumers, and from producers to the overarching financial ecosystem. Achieving this level of integration and transparency is a meticulous process to harmonise understanding and communication across various stakeholders. 

Conclusion

Tokenisation within the energy sector signifies a significant stride toward democratising access to renewable resources and fostering sustainable practices. By bridging the gap between the physical and digital realms, tokenisation introduces a new paradigm where renewable energy assets, like solar power, become attainable and manageable for a wider audience. This process not only democratises access to sustainable energy solutions but also addresses the pressing need for energy independence, resilience, and environmental preservation. As we navigate the complexities of regulatory landscapes and technological challenges, the ultimate goal remains clear: to create an energy ecosystem that is inclusive, transparent, and aligned with the principles of environmental sustainability. Through collaborative efforts, innovative approaches, and community engagement, tokenisation has the potential to reshape our energy future, making sustainable living a reality for all.

The post How Blockchain Revolutionises Energy Ownership appeared first on Zaisan.


bankless

210 - Endgame 2.0: A Guide to Vitalik’s Ethereum Roadmap with Mike & Dom

✨ DEBRIEF | Ryan & David unpacking the episode: https://www.bankless.com/debrief-endgame-vitalik-ethereum-roadmap ------ Welcome to Part 2 of Vitalik’s Endgame, where Vitalik’s nominees and Ethereum Foundation Researchers, Mike Neuder & Domothy walk us through the updated Ethereum Roadmap. This roadmap is composed of 6 urges: - The Merge: Proof of Stake  - The Surge: Improve

✨ DEBRIEF | Ryan & David unpacking the episode: https://www.bankless.com/debrief-endgame-vitalik-ethereum-roadmap

------ Welcome to Part 2 of Vitalik’s Endgame, where Vitalik’s nominees and Ethereum Foundation Researchers, Mike Neuder & Domothy walk us through the updated Ethereum Roadmap.

This roadmap is composed of 6 urges:

- The Merge: Proof of Stake  - The Surge: Improve throughput and DA - The Scourge: MEV - The Verge: Running validator anywhere with Verkle Trees - The Purge: Eliminate technical debt - The Splurge Fix everything else

We dive into all this and more as we wonder what’s next for Ethereum.

---- 📣SUI | Register for Sui Basecamp https://bankless.cc/sui-basecamp 

------ 🎧 Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player:  https://bankless.cc/Podcast 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2    ⁠ 

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo   

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/toku   

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle   

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

💸 CRYPTO TAX CALCULATOR | USE CODE BANK30 https://bankless.cc/CTC 

——

TIMESTAMPS

00:00 Intro 5:39 Dom & Mike Background 7:56 Dencun Upgrade 11:13 The Ethereum Roadmap 19:56 The Roadmap Ecosystem 23:25 Ethereum Core Values 25:32 The Merge 27:37 Single Slot Finality 31:26 Max Effective Balance 35:40 The Importance of Finality 40:56 Proof of Stake Trade-offs 50:37 The Surge 53:51 Getting to Full Danksharding 58:01 DA Sampling 59:43 DA Self-Healing 1:01:41 The DA Market 1:07:25 Rollup Coordination 1:09:32 The Scourge 1:13:38 Inclusion Lists 1:17:11 Encrypted Mempool 1:22:02 Proposer-Builder Separation 1:32:40 The Verge 1:34:58 Why Run a Node? 1:41:50 Verkle Trees 1:51:31 Snarks 1:55:07 The Purge 2:03:04 The Splurge 2:09:57 What’s Next 2:15:07 The Endgame 2:21:02 What Could Go Wrong? 2:24:43 ETH: The Asset 2:28:56 Time Horizons 2:31:38 Closing Thoughts

------

RESOURCES

Mike Neuder https://twitter.com/mikeneuder  

Domothy https://twitter.com/domothy  

Endgame with Vitalik Buterin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1m_PTVxD 

Vitalik’s Endgame Article https://vitalik.eth.limo/general/2021/12/06/endgame.html  

Blobspace 101 with Dom https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFjyUY3e53Q  

MEV Burn with Dom & Justin Drake https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nb7x7n8Ga3U  

------ 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://www.bankless.com/disclosures  

Sunday, 18. February 2024

bankless

The Culture of Starknet with Abdel Bakhta

Today, we have a classic LayerZero style episode with nonother than Abdel Bakhta. Abdel is the Head of Ecosystem at Starkware and is onboarding new species to  the Least Aligned L2, Starknet. We cover the origins of Starkware and how its culture has evolved, there’s also a ton of Starkware Project Alpha on this episode so stay tuned. ---- 📣SUI | Register for Sui Basecamp https://bank

Today, we have a classic LayerZero style episode with nonother than Abdel Bakhta.

Abdel is the Head of Ecosystem at Starkware and is onboarding new species to  the Least Aligned L2, Starknet.

We cover the origins of Starkware and how its culture has evolved, there’s also a ton of Starkware Project Alpha on this episode so stay tuned.

---- 📣SUI | Register for Sui Basecamp https://bankless.cc/sui-basecamp 

------ 🎧 Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player:  https://bankless.cc/Podcast 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2    ⁠ 

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo   

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/toku   

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle   

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

💸 CRYPTO TAX CALCULATOR | USE CODE BANK30 https://bankless.cc/CTC 

——

TIMESTAMPS

00:00 Intro 4:01 Abdel’s Background 11:12 Starkware Beginnings 14:59 Ethereum Alignment Meme 17:53 Starkware Culture Evolution 26:19 Getting to Decentralization 35:32 The Starknet Playbook 39:50 The Stark Dads 47:21 What’s Next 52:38 The Starknet Mafia 57:09 Abdel Focus Areas 1:01:00 Closing Thoughts------

RESOURCES

Abdel Bakhta https://twitter.com/dimahledba 

Starkware https://starkware.co/  

Starknet https://www.starknet.io/en  

------ 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://www.bankless.com/disclosures  

Saturday, 17. February 2024

bankless

A Conversation with Michael Ippolito

David livestreams with Blockworks's Mike Ippolito in a freestyle conversation covering all things crypto. ------ 📣SUI | Register for Sui Basecamp https://bankless.cc/sui-basecamp  ------ 🎧Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player:  https://bankless.cc/Podcast  ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2  ⁠ 

David livestreams with Blockworks's Mike Ippolito in a freestyle conversation covering all things crypto.

------ 📣SUI | Register for Sui Basecamp https://bankless.cc/sui-basecamp 

------ 🎧Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player:  https://bankless.cc/Podcast 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2  ⁠ 

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo   

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/toku   

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle   

💸 CRYPTO TAX CALCULATOR | USE CODE BANK30 https://bankless.cc/CTC 

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

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures


Epicenter Podcast

Zhiming Yang: Orbit Markets – Crypto Derivatives and Structured Products

Prolonged range bound markets are a hallmark of bearmarkets and they usually end up chopping inexperienced or over leveraged traders. Customised structured products offer a solution for market participants that want to limit their downside, but also the upside, by introducing knock-outs at certain levels or triggers. Such custom options, usually with lower probabilistic chances of occurring, natur

Prolonged range bound markets are a hallmark of bearmarkets and they usually end up chopping inexperienced or over leveraged traders. Customised structured products offer a solution for market participants that want to limit their downside, but also the upside, by introducing knock-outs at certain levels or triggers. Such custom options, usually with lower probabilistic chances of occurring, naturally come at a discount. This allows traders to hedge their risk, while also betting on certain outcomes or market scenarios.

We were joined by Zhiming Yang, co-founder of OrBit Markets, to discuss crypto derivatives and how TradFi expertise applies to customising structured products for crypto markets.

Topics covered in this episode:

Zhiming’s background in investment banking FX derivative products Exotic options Crypto structured products Custom solutions for crypto miners Hedging Uniswap V3 impermanent loss Options based on prediction markets Managing counterparty risk Protocolising structured products Differences between TradFi and DeFi

Episode links:

Zhiming Yang on LinkedIn OrBit Markets on Twitter OrBit Markets website

Sponsors:

Gnosis: Gnosis builds decentralized infrastructure for the Ethereum ecosystem, since 2015. This year marks the launch of Gnosis Pay— the world's first Decentralized Payment Network. Get started today at - gnosis.io Chorus1: Chorus1 is one of the largest node operators worldwide, supporting more than 100,000 delegators, across 45 networks. The recently launched OPUS allows staking up to 8,000 ETH in a single transaction. Enjoy the highest yields and institutional grade security at - chorus.one

This episode is hosted by Meher Roy. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/535

Friday, 16. February 2024

Circle Blog

How dYdX Powers Their Leading DEX Software with CCTP & USDC

An Introduction to dYdX  dYdX has been working to build the leading protocol for decentralized trading of crypto derivatives. I founded dYdX in 2017 with the goal of making advanced trading more accessible, transparent, and secure.
An Introduction to dYdX 

dYdX has been working to build the leading protocol for decentralized trading of crypto derivatives. I founded dYdX in 2017 with the goal of making advanced trading more accessible, transparent, and secure.


bankless

ROLLUP: BTC $1T Market Cap | More ETH ETF Filings | $STRK Airdrop Pushback?

3rd Week of February 2024 ------ 📣SUI | Register for Sui Basecamp https://bankless.cc/sui-basecamp   ------ 🎧Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player:  https://bankless.cc/Podcast   ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2   ⁠   🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo&nb

3rd Week of February 2024

------ 📣SUI | Register for Sui Basecamp https://bankless.cc/sui-basecamp  

------ 🎧Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player:  https://bankless.cc/Podcast  

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2   ⁠  

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo    

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/toku    

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle    

💸 CRYPTO TAX CALCULATOR | USE CODE BANK30 https://bankless.cc/CTC  

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

------ TIMESTAMPS & RESOURCES

0:00 Intro

3:45 Markets 4:10 Quiet Bull Market https://twitter.com/trustlessstate/status/1756699544195080551  7:55 ETFs sucking up 10x more BTC than miners can produce https://farside.co.uk/?p=997  11:20 All BTC spot ETF together now hold more than 1% of all BTC that will ever exist  https://x.com/HODL15Capital/status/1757528626252136608  https://www.fidelity.ca/en/investments/solutions-portfolios/all-in-one/  16:02 Anthony Pompliano shilling BTC on wall street again!  https://x.com/APompliano/status/1757030179489157575   17:44 Gary G https://twitter.com/BanklessHQ/status/1757818869127737586   https://x.com/robustus/status/1757830024739135994  19:28 The last time BTC was at $50,000: https://twitter.com/MitchellHODL/status/1757093864173609023  21:40 Franklin Templeton spot ETH ETF  https://twitter.com/JSeyff/status/1757142599016616334  22:40 Franklin and Templeton’s Sandy Kaul https://youtu.be/HuOH7ZBJ2P4?si=4lFtWcoaoHLrnQIW  23:10 L2 Growth https://l2beat.com/scaling/summary 23:58 LRT growth https://warpcast.com/sassal.eth/0x2cca1544  https://defillama.com/protocols/Liquid%20restaking/Ethereum  24:10 Vance FanCam https://x.com/pythianism/status/1757792341837168927  https://x.com/pythianism/status/1757417847301738676 

30:18 Starknet Token $STRK https://twitter.com/Starknet/status/1757685565669925215   https://tokeninsight.com/en/coins/starknet/tokenomics   https://provisions.starknet.io.   33:55 Positive: https://x.com/TimBeiko/status/1757788002863255899   https://x.com/DCbuild3r/status/1757757332853756073  https://x.com/TrustlessState/status/1757762433781752205  Bankless Nation: d0wnlore  36:00 Negative:  https://x.com/LefterisJP/status/1757900583632032160  Bankless Nation: Dartanian.eth   https://imgur.com/19poxsT  Bankless Nation: Traunstein https://imgur.com/Z3XA9Wg  39:24 Backlash regarding tokens unlock for investors and team  https://x.com/Loopifyyy/status/1757755030055112883  https://docs.starknet.io/documentation/architecture_and_concepts/Economics-of-Starknet/  41:50 Starknet is listening: https://x.com/Dogetoshi/status/1757829203091681667  Check out our episode with Eli and Diego: Starknet Token Launch Is Here! ($STRK) https://youtu.be/-IYxwKFsTE4 

47:30 ETH Since this week, anyone can deploy mainnet rollups on Conduit! https://twitter.com/conduitxyz/status/1757812032756224399  48:25 GoFundMe refused processing fundraising for Roman Storm’s legal defense!  https://twitter.com/FreeAlexeyRoman/status/1757873646440186039  51:44 Donate: https://wewantjusticedao.org/donate 

51:55 Regulation / TradFi / Misc 3 Observation about being a crypto native in the U.S.  https://x.com/BanklessHQ/status/1757200445762830388  54:20 Here are 5 things you are asked when you file taxes in the US  https://twitter.com/RyanSAdams/status/1757816696381809020  56:30 Did you know that the US can yoink funds directly from your bank account without court order? https://twitter.com/RyanSAdams/status/1757843329725690296  1:00:36 Sam Altman seeks $7T for a new AI chip project  https://www.cnbc.com/2024/02/09/openai-ceo-sam-altman-reportedly-seeking-trillions-of-dollars-for-ai-chip-project.html  https://x.com/sama/status/1755294743565930726  Nvidia also surpassed Amazon’s market cap ( $1.75T) this week https://www.reuters.com/technology/nvidia-market-cap-threatens-alphabet-after-overtaking-amazon-2024-02-13/  1:01:58 Lyn Alden https://twitter.com/LynAldenContact/status/1757431098655621474  1:02:55 Lyft Woopsies https://vxtwitter. com/dee_bosa/status/1757526078166306915 

1:04:14 Closing & Disclaimers

1:04:46 Moment of Zen New Coinbase Ad - How’s it feel to be a penny https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MP7IhO5cJ14 

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures  


Panther Protocol

Weekly Update | Panther Protocol

Fellow Panthers, Another week has flown by in the dynamic world of Panther – now it’s time to share our latest updates and progress with the Panther community! This week’s rundown highlights a series of key developments and testing from the past week. Ecosystem updates AMA

Fellow Panthers,

Another week has flown by in the dynamic world of Panther – now it’s time to share our latest updates and progress with the Panther community! This week’s rundown highlights a series of key developments and testing from the past week.

Ecosystem updates AMA with Panther’s Head of Product, Saif Akhtar

On February 8, we hosted an AMA session featuring Panther Protocol’s Head of Product, Saif Akhtar, and Head of Community, Joris Koopman. 

Watch the recording for full insights into our latest testnet updates, testing processes, reward systems, and upcoming testnet releases.

Panther testnet video guide for account creation

You asked – we delivered! Panther has received numerous requests to provide support materials dedicated to the account creation process. For a step-by-step video guide detailing how to make your very own testnet Panther account, check out our tutorial video. Once you have your account set up, the video will also show you how to get started earning $ZKP rewards. All you need is a MetaMask wallet and 10 minutes! 

Panther Protocol testnet and rewards update Current testnet users: 800+ Total rewards distributed: 500,000+ $ZKP

Our testnet rewards pot is 1.5M $ZKP — have you signed up for our testnet yet to earn your share? Grab the latest link from Panther’s docs to join our testnet and receive your $ZKP rewards.

Product updates Stage 5 developments

Stage 5 includes using a 3rd party Bundler service and supports gasless transactions via an Account Abstraction Paymaster contract.

Users will be able to submit transactions via Bundlers and pay gas fees in $ZKP instead of $Matic (on Mumbai testnet but similarly on Polygon) from the Panther Gas account that holds $zZKP. 

Integration testing is underway, with two end-to-end Bundler providers operating successfully. Changes on the dApp side are expected to reach completion as we utilize resources from other stages of development taking place in parallel.

Enhancement Stage - 1 developments

As we continue to strive for parallel development efforts, a 2-week technical enhancement stage was slated to implement various fixes from previous stages along with a feature for Gas Management. This key feature allows users to move their $zZKP inside MASP from the regular balance to the Panther Account Gas balance and vice versa. Gas Management plays a significant role enabling users to top up their Gas balance and make sure they have sufficient $zZKP to pay for various transaction costs.

Stage 6 developments

Stage 6 of testnet is a complex stage and includes overall fee management, basic disclosures, and zAccount renewal. Stage 6 allows users to test:

Fee deductions from the Panther Gas account and payment to 3rd parties such as Compliance providers and Bundler service providers. Protocol fee deductions in a transacted token currently set to be charged on Withdraw. Basic disclosures that allow Panther users to provide adequate transaction reporting to outside parties issuing requests that can be satisfied by independent on-chain verification.  A zAccount renewal function (after the expiry date). This feature functions in a similar manner to KYC renewals.

Additional smart contract and testing changes are in progress, and will require one more week to complete. Following the completion of these changes, development on the dApp will begin. 

About Panther

Panther Protocol is a cross-protocol layer that uses Zero-Knowledge technology to build DeFi solutions that aim to meet ever-evolving regulatory standards while satisfying users’ on-chain data privacy needs. Panther’s goal is to enable seamless access to DeFi via a cross-chain-supported ZK compliance protocol. The Panther Protocol offers confidentiality across transactions in shielded pools; zSwap for DeFi integrations — enabling private swaps on third-party DEXs; and zTrade for internal OTC book for trading assets privately. Furthermore, Panther Protocol’s Zero-Knowledge primitives are generalizable to KYC, selective disclosures between trusted parties, private ID, voting, and data verification services.

Website · One-pager · Lite Paper · Twitter · Telegram · Discord

Thursday, 15. February 2024

Circle Blog

The Importance of a Regulatory Regime for Dollar-Backed Payment Stablecoins

On February 15, Caroline HIll, Circle’s  Senior Director of Global Policy and Regulatory Strategy, testified before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology, and Inclusion on ways to combat illicit finance activity in the blockchain space. 

On February 15, Caroline HIll, Circle’s  Senior Director of Global Policy and Regulatory Strategy, testified before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology, and Inclusion on ways to combat illicit finance activity in the blockchain space. 


a16z Podcast

Fraying Wires: The Decentralization of the Electric Grid

The electric grid needs an update.  In this explainer, a16z Partner Ryan McEntush discusses the escalating complexity of the grid, unveils its vulnerabilities, and traces the evolutionary path that has led us to this point. From the surging demands of AI to outdated infrastructure, we delve into the potential roles of cutting-edge technologies such as solar batteries, natural gas, and nuclea

The electric grid needs an update. 

In this explainer, a16z Partner Ryan McEntush discusses the escalating complexity of the grid, unveils its vulnerabilities, and traces the evolutionary path that has led us to this point. From the surging demands of AI to outdated infrastructure, we delve into the potential roles of cutting-edge technologies such as solar batteries, natural gas, and nuclear power in shaping the grid's future.

Timestamps:

(00:00) - Introduction

(02:28) - The Need for Grid Modernization

(04:43) - Understanding the Grid's Operation and Challenges

(06:47) - The Complexity of Grid Management

(08:31) - Increasing Outages and Volatility

(11:49) - The Role of New Technologies

(17:53) - The Potential and Limitations of Renewable Energy Sources

(19:08) - Energy Storage Solutions

(24:57) - The Future of Natural Gas and Nuclear Power

(29:46) - The Impact of Policy on the Grid

(31:47) - The Concept of a Smart Grid

(34:04) - Decentralization of the Grid

(36:57) - The Role of the Free Market in Grid Reliability

Resources: 

Find Ryan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rmcentush

Read Ryan’s latest articles: https://a16z.com/author/ryan-mcentush

Stay Updated: 

Find a16z on Twitter: https://twitter.com/a16z

Find a16z on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/a16z

Subscribe on your favorite podcast app: https://a16z.simplecast.com/

Follow our host: https://twitter.com/stephsmithio

Please note that the content here is for informational purposes only; should NOT be taken as legal, business, tax, or investment advice or be used to evaluate any investment or security; and is not directed at any investors or potential investors in any a16z fund. a16z and its affiliates may maintain investments in the companies discussed. For more details please see a16z.com/disclosures.


Sequoia

Partnering with LangChain: The LLM Application Framework

The post Partnering with LangChain: The LLM Application Framework appeared first on Sequoia Capital.
Partnering with LangChain: The LLM Application Framework

Harrison, Ankush and their team are building the AI programming framework every engineer needs.

By Sonya Huang and Romie Boyd Published February 15, 2024 Team LangChain

We are at the dawn of a new age of applications, with large language models (LLMs) as the enabling technology. But programming an LLM remains more art than science. The instructions that generate robust, reliable performance out of these non-deterministic models remain poorly understood. We are still in a wild west of prompt hacking, eyeballing outputs and a lot of duct tape when it comes to Generative AI.

We have seen this movie play out before. In Software 1.0, frameworks such as React and Next have abstracted, modularized and organized the most common building blocks of software engineering, making it fast and reliable to build and test your next mobile app or website. 

Generative AI, too, deserves a proper programming framework. Developers are craving a common set of best practices and composable building blocks for their LLM applications, to simplify the complex and to avoid reinventing the wheel. LangChain founders Harrison Chase and Ankush Gola have designed just that: an open-source toolkit for building sophisticated, data-aware applications on top of LLMs. 

Engineering teams use LangChain to accomplish a myriad of tasks: accessing datasets to power retrieval-augmented generation (LangChain boasts over 600 integrations); running “chains,” or collections of calls, to enable more complex applications (some companies run chains with thousands of links or more); giving LLMs access to external tools; and using LLMs as full-fledged “agents” capable of planning and reasoning to accomplish goals.

Zooming out, LangChain is a platform that allows companies to build the scaffolding of their applications’ cognitive architectures. It is paving the way for developers to build much more powerful LLM applications, going beyond simple one-shot queries to the intelligent, interconnected systems in which these reasoning engines truly shine. The more complex LLM operations are what allow for jaw-dropping results, and we at Sequoia believe that LangChain can be a force multiplier on the pace and quality of AI application and agent development.

Harrison was a standout machine learning engineer at our portfolio company Robust Intelligence when he started LangChain as a nights-and-weekends side project, with no plans to build a company. But after he released the first version, it quickly took off. He quickly started working with Ankush, a star colleague from Robust. From the start, they have been humble, responsive, and fast—all key ingredients for keeping up in the quickly evolving world of generative AI. And above all, they are community-first, spearheading a community of more than 2,000 open-source contributors.

Today, more than 50,000 LLM applications have been built using LangChain, with use cases ranging from internal apps to autonomous agents to games to chat automation to security scanners and more. And while the platform is already a mainstay at weekend hackathons, we have also been excited to see many of our portfolio companies moving their LangChain use cases into production. Soon, your delivery order or customer support or gaming experience may be powered by LangChain. 

And there is more to come. To continue the Software 1.0 analogy, developers benefit not just from open-source frameworks like React and Next, but also services such as GitHub, Datadog, Vercel and Heroku to deploy and monitor their applications into production. LangChain’s ambitions are similarly expansive.

The company’s latest “big bet” is LangSmith, a product that helps developers debug, test and monitor their LLM applications. As customers move from prototyping into production, LangSmith is providing the visibility and tooling they need to make their generative AI applications more performant and reliable. Elastic powers their Elastic AI Assistant for security in LangChain and leverages LangSmith for visibility helping them get to production fast. Rakuten relies on LangSmith for rigorous testing and benchmarking so they can make tradeoff decisions about their copilot Rakuten AI for Business, built in LangChain, in a systematic way. And Moody’s relies on LangSmith for automated eval, easy debugging and experimentation so they can quickly iterate and innovate.

Since the announcement of LangSmith’s closed beta in July, 70,000 users have signed up and more than 5,000 companies now use LangSmith every month. We look forward to seeing that list grow with the product now in GA. More recent product launches include LangServe, an easy way to deploy LangChain into production, and LangGraph, a library for building stateful, multi-actor applications with LLMs.

Even all of this is still just a taste of what LangChain has in the pipeline. The team is building in a rich problem space with plenty to explore, and they are guided by a passionate user community with no shortage of important problems for them to solve.

We are thrilled to partner with LangChain and lead their Series A.

Share Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on LinkedIn Share this via email Related Topics #Funding announcement #AI Generative AI’s Act Two By Sonya Huang, Pat Grady and GPT-4 Perspective Read Agents on the Brain By Lauren Reeder, Cornelius Menke and Stephanie Zhan Perspective Read Exploring Autonomous Agents: A Semi-Technical Dive By Dan Chen Perspective Read The New Language Model Stack By Michelle Fradin and Lauren Reeder Perspective Read JOIN OUR MAILING LIST Get the best stories from the Sequoia community. Email address Leave this field empty if you’re human:

The post Partnering with LangChain: The LLM Application Framework appeared first on Sequoia Capital.


Open Source Fellowship Applications

The post Open Source Fellowship Applications appeared first on Sequoia Capital.
Sequoia Open Source Fellowship: Applications Now Open

Calling all open source developers to pursue your projects with no strings attached.

By Bogomil Balkansky and Lauren Reeder Published February 15, 2024

Last year we introduced the Sequoia Open Source Fellowship with the goal of encouraging the development of open source software and supporting the community of open source developers. More than ever, open source serves as the bedrock and lifeblood of the world’s software, with companies of all sizes utilizing OSS. The entire ecosystem relies on libraries and software packages—often solely maintained by open source developers. While Sequoia has partnered with many companies that found success commercializing OSS, the non-commercial spirit of open source collaboration underpins almost every aspect of modern technology. The fellowship was designed to support this work without any expectation of an equity stake in a commercial project or company.

We started the fellowship as an invite-only program. This year, we are excited to announce that we are opening applications to the public. Starting today, any developer working on an open source project may apply for a fellowship stipend. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. 

Open source software is critically important for ensuring that progress continues to come from every corner of the globe and not just from a few companies in Silicon Valley. We see a pressing need for collaboration, for developers to collectively push forward what new technologies are capable of in ways that serve the entire ecosystem and the public good.

To apply, simply complete our brief questionnaire and we’ll be in touch if your project is a good fit. We will primarily be focused on existing open source projects. Fellows will receive a stipend to cover reasonable living expenses for 6 to 12 months. They will continue to own the fruits of their labor—any code written before, during and after the program will remain entirely the fellow’s. Sequoia will not take equity or expect anything in exchange for the sponsorship. We plan to accept 2 to 3 fellows per year.

If you’re building something exciting in open source, we want to hear from you. Applications are now open—see here to apply.

Share Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on LinkedIn Share this via email Related Topics #Open Source New Fellowship: How Sequoia is Supporting Open Source By Bogomil Balkansky and Lauren Reeder News Read Keeping an Open-Source Mind Spotlight Read Open-Sourcing the Future of AI Spotlight Read Ryan Dahl of Deno: Revisionist Engineering Spotlight Read JOIN OUR MAILING LIST Get the best stories from the Sequoia community. Email address Leave this field empty if you’re human:

The post Open Source Fellowship Applications appeared first on Sequoia Capital.


bankless

The Pudgy Penguins Comeback Story with Luca Netz

Today on the show we're joined by Luca Netz, the new owner of Pudgy Penguins.  Luca walks us through his story of how he got here, from a less than ideal childhood, to a full blown NFT empire.  In addition to a massive new deal with Walmart, he also lays out the case for why he thinks the bright future for Pudgy Penguins has only just begun. ------ ❎ Visit dydx.exchange to learn a

Today on the show we're joined by Luca Netz, the new owner of Pudgy Penguins.  Luca walks us through his story of how he got here, from a less than ideal childhood, to a full blown NFT empire.  In addition to a massive new deal with Walmart, he also lays out the case for why he thinks the bright future for Pudgy Penguins has only just begun.

------ ❎ Visit dydx.exchange to learn about dYdX Chain https://dydx.zone/3SfJTP7  ------ 🎧 Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player:  https://bankless.cc/Podcast  ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2  ⁠ 

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo   

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/toku   

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle   

💸 CRYPTO TAX CALCULATOR | USE CODE BANK30 https://bankless.cc/CTC 

🦄UNISWAP | ON-CHAIN MARKETPLACE https://bankless.cc/uniswap 

------ TIMESTAMPS 00:00:00 Start 00:07:36 Intro To Luca 00:11:09 Building an NFT Brand 00:17:00 Deciding to Buy Pudgy Penguins 00:19:43 Earning the Money For The Purchase 00:23:35 What Did Luca Actually Buy? 00:26:03 The Masterplan 00:30:44 Post-Buy Learnings 00:38:57 First Steps Of Action 00:43:03 Licensing 00:45:46 Royalties 00:50:19 Walmart Deal 00:59:33 What's Different About Web3 01:03:54 Managing Expectations 01:09:43 Pudgy World 01:16:01 zk Sync 01:18:19 Lightning Round 01:22:59 Wen Flip Apes?

------ RESOURCES

Luca Netz: https://twitter.com/LucaNetz 

Pudgy Penguins: https://pudgypenguins.com/ 

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures

Wednesday, 14. February 2024

Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

Investing in Upstash

The serverless platform shift is unfolding at a rapid pace. By that, we mean services that scale to zero, are globally distributed, and scale up based on demand. Having spent the last few years studying this market, we observed two key drivers behind the adoption of this platform shift — one architectural, and the other...

The serverless platform shift is unfolding at a rapid pace. By that, we mean services that scale to zero, are globally distributed, and scale up based on demand. Having spent the last few years studying this market, we observed two key drivers behind the adoption of this platform shift — one architectural, and the other organizational.

First, application logic is becoming event-driven for new apps, necessitated by high volume and low-latency communication between third-party APIs and microservices. The benefit is that each service can scale up and down independently, but it requires an elastic caching or queuing mechanism to buffer the interactions between services. What’s more, because modern platforms like Vercel, Fly.io, and Netlify are serverless in nature, it pushes all the data services in the stack to be serverless, as well. 

Second, the “no DevOps” effort is particularly appealing for organizations aiming to minimize the operational overhead related to scaling and maintenance. It allows for a leaner web team structure without sacrificing feature velocity, and truly gives developers the freedom to build for customer value, instead of managing infrastructure. 

About a year ago, we started seeing Upstash show up as a popular key-value store choice for new applications. Developers loved the intuitive onboarding and the meticulous design of the SDKs. By relying on Upstash as the extended devops team to handle scaling and reliability, product teams can focus more of their time on things that create a delightful end-user experience. A year later, Upstash powers caching and messaging for tens of thousands of production applications across four different products.

Many popular AI applications also rely on Upstash’s rate limiting and caching SDK when working through the quirks of OpenAI’s SLA. They also just unveiled a truly serverless vector data store that’s native to the modern web stack and capable of supporting a large amount of data with great performance and sleek developer experience (the thing about Upstash that first caught our attention). 

Building such a highly reliable and scalable data fabric requires a team with deep distributed systems knowledge, as well as a strong database background. This is exactly what founders Enes, Mehmet, and Bilal bring to the table. Through years of experience building developer infrastructure, they realized the importance of a robust cloud offering and a data platform that can scale and support multiple use cases from key-value stores to search. More importantly, their unique product instinct and taste for what developers love has positioned them uniquely in the market. 

As more application logic disseminates into transactional backends (as explained in this blog post), we believe there’s a huge need for an entirely serverless data layer to power development teams with reliable, fast, and easy-to-use products for all the transitions. 

That’s why we’re so proud to invest in Upstash, and to help their team build this serverless future where more application developers can bring their dream apps to fruition!


bankless

Starknet Token Launch Is Here! ($STRK)

The Stark token is here! After waiting for almost 6 years we're thrilled to share that one of the earliest and most promising layer 2's has just released official details on their token, STRK. They are provisioning it to users of Starknet, to stakers in the Ethereum ecosystem, open source developers and so many more. A total of 1.3 Million wallets are eligible to receive the $STRK token, are you

The Stark token is here! After waiting for almost 6 years we're thrilled to share that one of the earliest and most promising layer 2's has just released official details on their token, STRK.

They are provisioning it to users of Starknet, to stakers in the Ethereum ecosystem, open source developers and so many more. A total of 1.3 Million wallets are eligible to receive the $STRK token, are you one of them?

Joining us today is Starkware founder and CEO Eli Ben-Sasson, and Starknet CEO Diego Oliva who are here to walk us through all you need to know about the big launch.

✅ Check Eligibility Here: https://provisions.starknet.io/ 

------ 🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024  ------ 🎧 Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player:  https://bankless.cc/Podcast  ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2    ⁠ 

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo   

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/toku   

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle   

💸 CRYPTO TAX CALCULATOR | USE CODE BANK30 https://bankless.cc/CTC 

🦄UNISWAP | ON-CHAIN MARKETPLACE https://bankless.cc/uniswap 

------

TIMESTAMPS

00:00 Intro 05:28 Timing Of The Launch 07:36 Denominate Fees in Stark Tokens 12:29 Starknet Readiness 16:53 Starkware/Starknet Company Design 21:24 Distribution of $STRK 26:01 Total Supply of Token 27:12 Provisions For Stakers 32:16 Provisions Via Staking Pool 33:10 StarkEx Users 36:44 Release Dates 40:26 What's Next? 43:43 Exciting Community Narratives 48:19 Closing Thoughts

------ RESOURCES

Eli: https://twitter.com/EliBenSasson 

Diego: https://twitter.com/jdiegooliva 

Starknet: https://twitter.com/Starknet  ------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures⁠ 


Circle Blog

Analyzing MiCA's Significance Regime for Stablecoins

The emergence of global stablecoins has prompted both national and international regulatory bodies to tackle concerns regarding their potential effects on financial stability and monetary sovereignty. Thus far, this concept has been largely theoretical in nature, with the exception of the collapse of Terra Luna’s so-called algorithmic ‘stablecoin’ - UST, that wiped out $40 billion in va

The emergence of global stablecoins has prompted both national and international regulatory bodies to tackle concerns regarding their potential effects on financial stability and monetary sovereignty. Thus far, this concept has been largely theoretical in nature, with the exception of the collapse of Terra Luna’s so-called algorithmic ‘stablecoin’ - UST, that wiped out $40 billion in value virtually overnight (at its peak Lehman Brothers had a market value of $46 billion), but without affecting broader financial markets at any level.

Tuesday, 13. February 2024

Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

Virtual Data Rooms: The Unsung Hero of Biotech Financing

The biotech industry is built on one of the cleanest go-to-market strategies in existence: if you make a safe drug that really works, patients are likely to receive it and payors are likely to pay for it. This simplicity is of course shrouded in the complexity of biology, and demands that biotech companies thoughtfully de-risk...

The biotech industry is built on one of the cleanest go-to-market strategies in existence: if you make a safe drug that really works, patients are likely to receive it and payors are likely to pay for it. This simplicity is of course shrouded in the complexity of biology, and demands that biotech companies thoughtfully de-risk existential concerns throughout the drug development lifecycle. But how can biotech teams effectively communicate to investors and partners how they will, with each round of financing, incrementally reduce the risks of discovering and developing successful new drugs? One powerful avenue is through the use of an exceptionally well-curated, comprehensive, and accessible virtual data room (VDR)! VDRs don’t just support external financing campaigns, but can also serve as valuable tools for pharma-facing business development deals in growing biotech companies. One of the most common questions we get from early stage founders is “what should I put in my data room?” Here, we’re sharing an actionable guide for biotech leadership teams as they start the process of building or renovating their own data room.

What must be included: the MVP of VDRs

So what are the essential must-haves in your VDR? Based on our evaluation across hundreds of biotech VDRs at a16z Bio + Health, we’ve assembled a list of what we believe should be included in the “MVP” (minimal viable product) of VDRs. Together, these documents will help distill not only your vision for the current fundraise, but more broadly the long-term differentiation and trajectory of your company.

Company overview deck

If you’re under CDA with an investor, this is where to add your expanded confidential pitch deck (typically, you’ve already shared a non-confidential deck over email). In this confidential deck, consider providing as much information as possible to accelerate the diligence process, including details about any underlying technical platform, your intended near-term pipeline targets and substantive program-specific data (e.g., key in vivo data results).

Deep dives on your programs

For each program, develop a series of vignettes that address each of the following: the current market/unmet need, competitive landscape, why your company has a differentiated insight or modality advantage when pursuing this particular target, and the full extent of preclinical and clinical data available.

Gantt chart for the fundraise

Where does this round of funding get your team? What milestones do you intend to hit along the way (e.g., platform validation; or, 2 DCs; or, 1 program entering the clinic with a follow-on pipeline; or, early clinical POC data)? Adding a Gantt chart for the fundraise that neatly arranges your intended trajectory across all programs will achieve two important goals: it provides thoughtful rationale for the current funding requirements, and also reveals how your platform and pipeline will mature over the next round.

Business development strategy

While rare for earlier stage companies, those that have secured BD partnerships should consider including as much detail as possible around the structure of your partnership and how it is progressing. This helps investors understand sources of BD partner excitement, early partner feedback, what additional non-dilutive funding may exist, and also indicates what types of downstream economics are likely when valuing partnered programs. If you’re building a horizontal business model (e.g., not building your own pipeline and rather seeking to enable a partner biopharma organizations), projections on deal volume and average deal size are a must.

Intellectual property

Here the goal is to help diligence teams understand what the company’s IP position is and demonstrate a clear-eyed recognition of the differentiation and defensibility of your platform. Include copies of any patents or trademarks that have been filed, as well as IP licensing or option agreements that have been executed. It can also be helpful to show the summary of a freedom to operate (FTO) analysis, to show investors that pre-existing IP or other in-flight filings are unlikely to represent a competitive threat.

Finance

While the Gantt chart outlines the high-level use of proceeds and associated progress during the next financing round, this is where additional granularity is appropriate. How has money been spent to date, and how do you plan to spend it going forward? How is the company’s go-forward budget split across platform investments and program-specific spend? How much of the total financing is allocated towards the lead program? What is the split between pre-clinical and clinical R&D expenditures? These are all common questions you’ll hear from biotech investors. Specific documents that can help communicate the answers to these questions include:

Use of proceeds

What is the rationale for the amount you are raising and how do you plan to spend it? This is a simple table in which each row represents a spend category, and the sum of each row is roughly the quantum of capital which you are currently raising. It divides the total financing proceeds into G&A functions (both headcount and categories like real estate), platform R&D, and program-specific R&D (often further subdivided by each stage of development, CMC, etc). This budget is important to demonstrate to investors that you are planning ahead and have a realistic view of the runway that new capital will support.

Financial statements (historical and forecasted)

Some companies choose to include historical and forecasted income statements in the data room. This level of detail can help investors understand what the most capital intensive aspects of your company have been, and, importantly, how that may change in the next phase of company building.

Capitalization table

Adding a current cap table can help investors understand important financing details such as whether there remains a sufficient quantity of option pool equity for future hiring, how founder equity is shared among multiple founders, and what the relative distribution of company equity across existing investors looks like. It is also OK to wait to share this particular piece of information until an investor expresses clear interest, and a desire to move towards consideration of a term sheet.

Bonus content that helps your VDR really shine: the nice-to-haves

This section includes additional ways to streamline the data sharing process and highlights unique ways to demonstrate a robust vision for company growth.

Background reading

What are the publications or other background information that investors or partners will need to catch up on in order to thoroughly evaluate your platform and/or programs? Make it easy on them and provide it here. This may include foundational work from academic founders or related work in the field more broadly.

Pipeline prioritization framework

Top-down or bottom-up? Have you “turned over every stone” for all targets amenable to your modality or platform construction, or did you take an indication-centric approach to building your pipeline? Walking investors through the decision process leading to your current pipeline programs informs your broader strategy, and reveals how you may add additional future programs.

Raw data

Some investors may want to see what the spread in plotted data looks like outside of a deck-polished graph. Providing access to raw data for few key experiments to enable plot replication will send a positive signal on your underlying position on data transparency.

An “investment memo”

Part of the investor’s job is to establish a case for why an investment in your company should be considered. Typically, this takes the form of a written description outlining the strengths, current areas of focus, vision for the biggest form of your company, and the ways in which this opportunity is differentiated from the competition. Developing your own investment memo may help further crystallize your vision and longer-term ambitions while also allowing you to flex a long-form written description on the upside for your approach.

Anonymized FAQs from prior and/or current diligence processes

Not all investors home in on the same diligence questions, and not all potential BD partnerships will be concerned with future pipeline development. However, collating the output of prior and current ongoing diligence Q&A may reveal previously unforeseen strengths in your approach, and will certainly exhibit the technical breadth and depth of your team in providing the responses. It can also save you from repeatedly answering the same diligence questions!

Investor-specific Q&A docs from this diligence process

Frequently, investors or BD partners will ask you to respond to one or more sets of written diligence questions. It’s helpful to document these questions and your responses, and share those investor-specific Q&A sets in the VDR (with viewer permissions allowing the documents to be visible only to that specific investor). While you have undoubtedly already shared these responses by email or live discussion, it’s helpful to see all the correspondence documents in one place.

Legal agreements

Although there’s no need to flood the data room with every legal document signed throughout the company’s existence, it’s helpful to share relevant documents outlining your company’s major IP filings, external contractual agreements (e.g., academic technology in-licensing terms, sponsored research agreements, business development contracts) and obligations going forward (e.g. substantial real estate lease agreements).

Human Resources

The HR section should include consulting agreements, recruiting agreements, and any specific board/director expertise not already covered in your confidential investor deck. Some companies also choose to provide a deep-dive on their full organization here, with CVs of key leaders; this is not necessary, but can occasionally be additive.

What to exclude

To ensure you’re spending more time on science, and less on VDR construction, there are a few things that are typically unnecessary and you may consider specifically excluding them or pushing back on investors who ask for such information too early in the financing process.

Items not covered under CDA

If it isn’t outlined in the executed CDA, it likely doesn’t need to be included. Don’t overshare irrelevant corporate information.

Ultra-sensitive information

Documents under attorney/client privilege shouldn’t be included in your VDR. Additionally, do not share protein or nucleic acid sequences or chemical structures for your lead molecules. The same holds for very specific details about your platform, such as exact library composition, or an exhaustive list of all targets discovered. These data can be shared with additional protection with a smaller handful of investors who have expressed strong interest in investing and are conducting deeper, confirmatory diligence.

Board minutes & board decks

Board minutes are often too general and don’t significantly aid in due diligence. Similarly, previous board decks are outdated and might not reflect the current and future direction of your company. Unless an investor specifically asks for them, it’s usually OK to omit both.

Litany of “extra” legal docs

Office leases for small spaces, employee offer letters, etc. are essential pieces of the operating pie, but won’t typically sway an investment/partnership decision and can be excluded unless specifically requested.

How to execute

The vendor you select, the hierarchical organization, and security/tracking privileges are all important considerations to keep in mind when getting your VDR off the ground. Remember, the goal of your VDR is to facilitate communication with potential investors and/or partners and therefore you should be optimizing for clear, organized information that is easy to navigate.

Vendor considerations

We recommend you research and choose a vendor that covers your needs. Example vendors include Egnyte, ShareVault, Box, DocSend, Citrix, ShareFile, Datasite, and many, many others. Regardless of which you choose, make sure to clearly communicate to investors that they should expect to receive a data room access email (and who from)—these are often sent to spam or lost in the deluge of daily emails, so make it easy for them to find!

Hierarchical organization

Your file system should follow an interpretable logic. More directories are better than fewer, denser ones. Make it easy for the person doing diligence to find what they’re looking for. Additionally, automated indexing is a plus and will help avoid clogging the VDR with deprecated document versions.

Access and tracking

Universal access to a VDR is unnecessary. Limiting access to very specific subsets of investor/partner team members is appropriate. Adding document watermarks and view-only permissions will also drive transparency. Lastly, tracking metrics on access history with time-specific logs is often a great way to clarify just how serious an investor’s interest is, and who specifically from their team has been spending time digging into your data.

Sharing lead compositions

Late into the diligence process, investors may want to understand some finer-grained details on your lead molecules. It’s understandable to be hesitant in sharing molecular structures or sequences. One mechanism to assuage concerns regarding novelty or differentiation is to set up a 3rd party review process with a trusted consultant. Typically, these consultants can share their analysis back with potential investors in a way that directly answers investor questions and fairly highlights areas for development.

Conclusion

A thoughtfully constructed virtual data room is critical for biotech companies wanting to clearly convey their vision and strategy to potential investors and business development partners. By including key documents covering platform, programs, milestones, IP, finances, and more, founders can readily share the information required for diligence in an organized, trackable manner. Ultimately, a robust VDR helps derisk biotech companies and ensures your precious time and capital can remain focused on science and patients. With the right preparation and execution, virtual data rooms enable management teams to open their doors to key partners on the journey of transforming promising science into approved medicines that improve lives.


Metrics for a Complex Machine with Josh Clemente

Josh Clemente, cofounder and president of Levels, joins Vijay Pande, founding general partner, and Daisy Wolf, investment partner at a16z Bio + Health. In this episode, engineer-turned-entrepreneur Josh charts his journey from SpaceX and Hyperloop to cofounding metabolic health-focused company Levels. With a relentless drive for data-led health monitoring, Josh highlights the potential of wearable.

Josh Clemente, cofounder and president of Levels, joins Vijay Pande, founding general partner, and Daisy Wolf, investment partner at a16z Bio + Health.

In this episode, engineer-turned-entrepreneur Josh charts his journey from SpaceX and Hyperloop to cofounding metabolic health-focused company Levels. With a relentless drive for data-led health monitoring, Josh highlights the potential of wearable tech for tracking various biomarkers. Josh, Vijay, and Daisy also discuss how AI can simplify complex wearables data into a comprehensible and actionable health profile, with the potential to democratize healthcare technology.


Nym - Medium

Nym Begins Integration For Complete Privacy Protection On Zcash Ecosystem

This integration work will bring network-layer privacy protections to Zcash. We at Nym Technologies are proud to announce we have received a grant from Zcash Community Grants, bringing the metadata privacy protections of the Nym mixnet to the Zcash ecosystem. Nym will work with Zcash’s already privacy-preserving infrastructure to help provide an end-to-end protected solution for privacy for
This integration work will bring network-layer privacy protections to Zcash.

We at Nym Technologies are proud to announce we have received a grant from Zcash Community Grants, bringing the metadata privacy protections of the Nym mixnet to the Zcash ecosystem. Nym will work with Zcash’s already privacy-preserving infrastructure to help provide an end-to-end protected solution for privacy for Zcash users, solving data leakage at the network layer that is currently undefended by Zcash.

Languages: Español // Bahasa Indonesia // Русский // 日本 // 中文 // Türkçe // Português // Française

This initial integration will see the Nym mixnet integrated into the light client libraries produced by the Electric Coin Company, meaning developers of Zcash wallets can switch on the powerful privacy protections of the mixnet as they see fit.

Unlike any other privacy technology, the Nym mixnet prevents government, corporate, and criminal surveillance adversaries from tracing metadata. Metadata leaks with every single online interaction.

The mixnet achieves this by splitting data into identically sized encrypted Sphinx packets and dispersing these in three hops to ‘mix nodes’ worldwide at randomized intervals. Next, the mixnet shuffles in dummy ‘cover’ traffic, further complicating tracing. Together these features make tracking metadata patterns impossible even for powerful adversaries with a global view of the network.

Nym and Zcash share the same vision of privacy for everyone. The invention of Zcash by the Electric Coin Company has already made great strides to defend user privacy by bringing zero-knowledge proofs to market, an innovation that many other projects are now building upon. However, like every technology, zero-knowledge proofs remain vulnerable at the transport layer of the internet — a problem acknowledged in the original Zerocash whitepaper.

Powerful adversaries can analyze traffic patterns such as the stream of TCP/IP packets used to submit transactions, which can then be used to de-anonymize users. ISPs can snoop on traffic patterns to passively record Zcash activity. And the growing crypto surveillance industry can passively spy on peer-to-peer traffic, as well as conduct active attacks.

Even advanced privacy protections like Zcash’s auto-shielding feature are vulnerable at the network layer. For example: if an adversary obtained a Zcash user’s transaction address, or extracted it from a unified address, they could then send a transaction to the address. Then, they could observe the user’s wallet as it broadcasts the t2z auto-shielding transaction. By repeating this process, the attacker could obtain more granular details such as IP measurements, and track these over time.

“We at Nym believe people deserve privacy — it is an alienable right to a dignified life free from gross intrusion and interference,” said Harry Halpin, cofounder and CEO at Nym Technologies. “But in the digital realm, intrusion and interference are simply the normal state of affairs. This is unsustainable and needs to change. With this groundbreaking integration, Nym and Zcash are working together to make real privacy online a reality.”

Josh Swihart, CEO of ECC (Electric Coin Company), said: “I’m extremely pleased to see Nym come to life on the Zcash network. Network-level privacy has been a missing piece since Zcash’s inception. This partnership between these two projects will significantly deepen protections from everyday users wishing to protect their financial privacy. It’s fantastic to see the privacy ecosystem come together.”

Jason McGee of Zcash Community Grants (ZCG) said: “ZCG is excited to support Nym’s proposal to enhance network-level privacy protections for Zcash. This effort aligns with our core mission to advance the Zcash network, and underscores ZCG’s commitment to addressing challenging issues related to privacy and security. By integrating Nym’s mixnet technology into Zcash’s lightwalletd infrastructure, Nym is laying the foundation for future integrations with Zcash nodes and wallets. Our hope is that this collaboration marks the beginning of a long-term partnership that results in significant improvements in privacy protections for Zcash users.”

Join the Nym Community

Discord // Telegram // Element // Twitter

Privacy loves company

English // 中文 // Русский // Türkçe // Tiếng Việt // 日本 // Française // Español // Português // 한국인

Nym Begins Integration For Complete Privacy Protection On Zcash Ecosystem was originally published in nymtech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


bankless

Hasu & Hart on Oval & The Recapturing of Billions in DeFi Liquidations

Today on the show, we’re talking about Oval, a new DeFi primitive that Hart Lambur from UMA is introducing to the world of DeFi’s biggest lending markets. Billions of dollars have been liquidated from protocols like Aave, Compound, and MakerDAO over the years, and these liquidations have been extremely inefficiently priced, due to reasons! Reasons that we will discuss here on the show today. 

Today on the show, we’re talking about Oval, a new DeFi primitive that Hart Lambur from UMA is introducing to the world of DeFi’s biggest lending markets. Billions of dollars have been liquidated from protocols like Aave, Compound, and MakerDAO over the years, and these liquidations have been extremely inefficiently priced, due to reasons! Reasons that we will discuss here on the show today. 

Hasu also joins us on this conversation today to discuss the way that MEV share from Flashbots is a part of this conversation, and he helps illuminate what this means for DeFi going forward as a whole.

------ ⛓️ Visit dydx.exchange to learn about dYdX Chain https://dydx.zone/3SfJTP7 

------ 🎧 Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player:  https://bankless.cc/Podcast 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2    ⁠ 

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo   

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/toku   

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle   

💸 CRYPTO TAX CALCULATOR | USE CODE BANK30 https://bankless.cc/CTC 

🦄UNISWAP | ON-CHAIN MARKETPLACE https://bankless.cc/uniswap 

------ TIMESTAMPS   0:00 Intro 7:15 MEV & Oracle Foundations  11:19 Why Solving MEV is Important 21:16 High-Level Patterns  28:19 The Oval Mechanism  42:23 MEV Share Parameters  48:36 Decentralization of the MEV Share  54:30 Auction Length 56:08 Oval B/D Adoption  58:05 Uniswap v4  1:02:31 Oval Cut Upside 1:05:45 Future Questions to be Answered  1:08:42 Closing & Disclaimers 

------ RESOURCES

What is SUAVE? FlashBots Phil Daian and Andrew Miller explain https://youtu.be/j3ZM2ZdUWXU 

Oval  https://uma.xyz/   https://twitter.com/UMAprotocol  

Hart  https://twitter.com/hal2001  

Hasu https://twitter.com/hasufl  

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures ⁠ 


Brave Browser

Brave adds native ARM64 support for Windows

The latest version of Brave is now even faster on ARM64 Windows. This post covers how you can install it, as well as some technical information about the implementation.

Brave now offers a fully native version for ARM64 Windows. When you newly install Brave on your ARM64 device, then you get an even faster browser. Read on to learn more, or skip to the end to find out how to get the new version.

What is ARM64, and why is it important?

ARM64 is a newer type of CPU, developed for speed and efficiency. Every computer has a processor (or “CPU”) that acts a little like a brain. Processors can be made in different architectures that essentially govern at a low level how the CPU works. Typical architectures are the 32-bit x86 architecture and the more recent 64-bit x64 architecture.

You can only run programs on your computer that are compatible with your CPU architecture. For example, you cannot run a program made for x64 on an x86 processor.

Software companies get around this by offering multiple versions of their programs. So you can, for example, download an x86 version of Brave if you are on an x86 CPU, and an x64 version if your computer’s processor has the x64 architecture.

Nowadays, most Windows computers have an x64 CPU. But recently, another architecture has entered the mainstream through products such as Microsoft’s Surface laptops. This architecture is called ARM64 and it offers better power efficiency and performance.

ARM64 and Brave

Newer CPU architectures are usually able to run programs with an older architecture. For example, an x64 CPU can run an x86 program. Likewise, ARM64 CPUs can run x64 and x86 programs. But there is a significant performance overhead. In the example of Brave, you could run x64 Brave on an ARM64 computer. But it would be slower than it should be. We therefore spent considerable effort last year to offer an ARM64 version of Brave for Windows.

So what’s necessary to get an ARM64 version of Brave? To create Brave, we write code in programming languages such as C++. The programming language is readable as text by us humans. But CPUs operate in their own machine language. In order for the CPU to be able to run our code, it needs to be translated to machine code with a program called a compiler. We can tell the compiler the architecture of the CPU we want to target. So, mostly, we could take our existing C++ code and tell the compiler to produce machine code for the ARM64 architecture.

On-demand updates and universal installers

Given how complex Brave is, there were of course also parts where this process didn’t work quite so seamlessly. The first problem we encountered was the following: When you type brave://settings/help into Brave’s address bar, you get a page that shows Brave’s version. Crucially, this page also checks for a new version of Brave with a little spinning animation. This feature showed an error in x64 Brave on ARM64 Windows. After extensive research, we realized that this is caused by a fundamental limitation in the Windows operating system itself.

To work around the problem, we introduced a universal installer which ensures that our users do not accidentally install x64 Brave on ARM64 Windows. Instead, they always receive a copy of Brave with the correct architecture for their system. What does this look like? When you go to brave.com and download its installer, then you get a 1 MB .exe file. When you run it, it downloads the latest version of Brave for your CPU architecture from our servers. This ensures that you don’t get the error described above.

DRM protected content and Widevine

The second main technical hurdle was caused by an optional and downloadable component of the browser called Widevine. Web sites such as Netflix use this component to protect their content. If you do not have the Widevine component installed, then Netflix (and similar sites) may only serve you low-quality videos, if anything at all.

Widevine is proprietary technology and its licensing terms do not allow us to redistribute it. This means that we can’t just create an ARM64 version of Widevine and include it in Brave. But an ARM64 version of the component can be downloaded from public Google servers. So we do the following: The first time you visit a web site that requires Widevine, we ask you if you agree to downloading and installing the component:

If you agree, then Brave downloads and installs Widevine from Google’s public servers. While Brave already worked this way for other architectures, it required a lot of extra work for ARM64. If you are interested in the technical details, you can take a look at pull-request #18695 on the brave/brave-core repo.

This sounds great. How do I get ARM64 Brave?

You need Windows 11 and an ARM64 CPU. To check if your CPU is ARM64, follow the instructions in the How to check if processor is ARM64 or x64 (64-bit) on Windows 11 article on pureinfotech.com. If you have an ARM64 CPU, but installed Brave before December of last year, then you need to first uninstall this old copy of Brave to get the newer ARM64 build. When the uninstaller prompts you for confirmation, be sure not to select the check box that says “Also delete your browsing data?”. Once you’ve uninstalled the x64 build of Brave from your ARM64 CPU, go to brave.com, click on the Download button and follow the instructions. When you then type brave://version in Brave’s address bar, you should see “arm64” mentioned on the page.

Summary

More and more new Windows computers have ARM64 CPUs. In order for Brave to be as fast as possible, it needs to be optimized for this architecture. We completed this technical work last year. There were some technical challenges on the way, but we were able to overcome them. You can now install ARM64 Brave on Windows 11 by visiting brave.com!

About the author

Michael Herrmann is the founder of Omaha Consulting, a software development agency that has been providing services to Brave since 2019. You can find more information about him on his personal website, https://herrmann.io.

Monday, 12. February 2024

Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

Recruiting and Retaining the Right Executive Talent

Please note that a version of this conversation originally ran on the HR Heretics podcast. This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity. Key takeaways Write a MOC. A MOC document can help you prioritize what jobs you need an executive to do so you can hire against those needs. Leading by influence, not directive....

Please note that a version of this conversation originally ran on the HR Heretics podcast. This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

Key takeaways Write a MOC. A MOC document can help you prioritize what jobs you need an executive to do so you can hire against those needs. Leading by influence, not directive. Build trust with founders and then offer your own data-backed take on why a founder’s decision might not be the best decision they could make.  Betting on potential or experience. When you’re betting on experience, you’re betting on someone to continue on their established growth trajectory. When you’re betting on potential, you’re betting on someone’s ability to learn your company and your product. Working sessions. Getting executives out of the 1:1 interview process and into a whiteboard session can help you assess their core competencies and how they’ll work with your team. Talent in 2024. It’s getting more difficult to hire great talent at the growth stages because many companies were expected to go public and get the associated capital infusion from going public.  Retaining great talent in a tight market. This has more to do with retention issues and less to do with raising new capital. Retaining employees means resetting their valuations, providing additional equity to true them up.  Transcript

Nolan Church: Matt, thanks so much for joining us on HR Heretics. How are you today?

Matt Oberhardt: Doing really well. I appreciate both of you inviting me to join you. 

Kelli Dragovich: So happy you’re here, Matt. 

How a16z talent partners assess talent

Kelli Dragovich: So Matt, you and I worked together a little bit when I was at Carta. You were the shoulder I would go and cry on anytime I would have some sort of executive-level problem or executive recruiting problem.

Starting with where the world is today: talk to us a little bit about venture’s lens on talent and how does a venture talent partner assess talent?

Matt Oberhardt: So I think it all starts with what your mission and what your role is. And I think the way that we’re structured over here is somewhat different and unique relative to a lot of the other venture talent partners that are out there. We’re coming at it from the lens of not being recruiters. We’re coming at it from the lens of being advisors. We’re coming at it from the lens of being counselors.

When we’re meeting executives, the difference is we’re focusing a lot more on their intangibles, and their soft skills in addition to their functional capabilities, because we’re not really meeting executives and evaluating them for a specific role. We’re meeting them to bring them into our network and be there as a resource to help them further their careers. We’re not necessarily interviewing them for a specific role in the portfolio. 

So when we’re talking to executives and evaluating them, it’s a lot about EQ.For example, how do you take feedback? What are the things that you’re aware of that might be your personal triggers? What do you see as your interpersonal impact in a room? What sort of balance do they have between humility and self-confidence? A lot of those things. We’re also looking at motivations: intrinsic motivations, extrinsic motivations.

We’re doing a lot on critical thinking, like looking at their analytical skills, their business acumen skills. We spend time looking at their org savvy, their leadership skills. All these things that aren’t necessarily role specific, but going to be a lot more relative to who they are as an executive. 

And I think then that also plays in—look, I’ve worked with both of you when you were in the portfolio and the conversations that we had were always a bit more strategic around how to approach the role. How can we help the team get calibrated on the role? Who are the best search partners to use, and let then letting you and that search firm run with the execution. And we remained in that advisory capacity, being there to help you with referencing compensation guidance, our views of people that are in process that we know that type of thing.

So I think our lens on talent is going to be a little bit different because the role as the talent partner is defined here very differently.

Balancing internal and external roles

Kelli Dragovich: Matt, what percentage of time are you spending on external succession planning, meeting new executives versus advising companies inside the portfolio, and how do you balance that?

Matt Oberhardt: It’s a great question. I think it’s probably about 40% with the portfolio, about 40% with the executive community, and then about 20% on work with the veterans community, which we can get into later. But if you look at portfolio versus external in total, it’s probably about 40–60%, honestly. But, as both of you know, in a given week, it might be 80–20% and then it might be 10–90% the following. 

We measure a lot in terms of tracking how we’re spending our time. Where are we putting our energy? Are we putting our energy into meeting new executives? Are we putting our energy into sustaining those relationships by being there to offer counsel or introductions? Are we putting our energy into being on search from update calls? We have a lot of different metrics that we track internally so that we can make sure that we’re keeping a good balance and that there are certain parts of the work that we do that aren’t forgotten or left behind in the heat of the moment.

Measuring success in talent assessment

Nolan Church: That’s really interesting. How is your success measured?

Matt Oberhardt: So, we have metrics that kind of roll up as a team. But within that set of metrics, we have a fair amount of flexibility and latitude where we choose to spend our time.

So, for example, when I first started here back in 2012, there was a ton of energy being put towards building a network of executive relationships that is now somewhat more about sustaining those relationships. So the activity and cadence around sustaining that is very different than it is when you’re building.

We’re also measuring the activity with that network in terms of, “hey, how many new execs have you interacted with this year? What have you been able to do for the executive community in terms of the number of counsels you’ve provided, number of introductions you’ve provided. Hey, how many search programs have you worked on with the portfolio? What’s the value you’ve been able to add there in terms of on the search update calls, helping them with MOCs beforehand? How many subject matter experts beforehand were you able to introduce?” All these different things that just help us really figure out what works and what doesn’t work with the portfolio and the executive community, but also as a way to track the amount of energy that we’re generating in terms of our daily work and making sure that we’re getting done what we need to get done. 

The MOC

Nolan Church: Yeah. You mentioned MOC and the MOC is something I was not aware of before I worked with you all. And it completely blew my mind. I think it’s the best framework for executive hiring that I’ve seen. 

Can you just describe the MOC to our audience, what it is, and why you guys are so passionate about using it?

Matt Oberhardt: What we really tried to do with the MOC—it stands for mission, outcome, competency.

The mission is the elevator pitch. It’s the 1 or 2 lines that dictate exactly what you want this person to really deliver at a high level. The outcomes are basically 6 or 8 things that you want them to achieve in the course of the first 12 or 18 months in the job.

And then the competencies are related to: what are the things this person needs to have accomplished? What are the skills that you need to have that we have evidence, therefore, they can actually achieve those outcomes? 

Now, the thing that you see that’s missing from this is a recitation of responsibilities in the job and largely a recitation of the type of experience a person has in the role.

It’s a deliberate distinction because we have found that, unless you really lay out what almost amounts to that person’s performance review in reverse—which is the outcomes—it doesn’t really matter what you list as the day-to-day responsibilities, because when you do that massive recitation of day-to-day responsibilities, it doesn’t come with any prioritization. And then what happens so often is, a person gets hired off of that list of responsibilities, their onboarding is pretty limited because in a startup it’s hard just to get time to talk through these things. So a person might be in the job 30, 60, 90 days before they have any sense from the CEO or founder they’re working for what the actual priorities are that you want me to get done out of this long list of responsibilities.

If you lay out through the MOC process what the outcomes are going to be, you interview against those outcomes to drive the competencies. Even if there’s some limited comms during the onboarding process, they still know from the position description what the heck the outcomes are that they’re supposed to be working towards.

Kelli Dragovich: That makes a ton of sense, Matt. And we know that the chief people officer role, CHRO—unlike maybe finance or sales—entrepreneurs have a harder time understanding what that role is, right?

Many founders I’ve worked with are like, “well, that’s why you’re here. Tell me what the priorities are.” And so that framework helps think that through before you start talking to folks, which I think is very smart.

Matt Oberhardt: It almost feels a lot like tree rings in some ways. The product and eng stuff is what they always know the best. Then that next ring out is a lot of go-to-market. They have some knowledge of that, but it’s more limited. But when you get out to that last ring, which is the operation stuff, which might be finance, legal, the HR function, manufacturing and supply chain, when you’re talking about companies with that physical product—that’s the area where often they’re most limited. 

What we often try to do is say, “Hey, let’s put a first draft of the MOC together.” And that’s where the subject matter piece comes into play. Because we’ve got this network of executives, and let’s say you have a CFO search. I’ll spend time telling an entrepreneur: okay, there are 3 or 4 or 5 stage- and market-appropriate CFOs I’d love to have you talk to you for the CFO search, so you can take that draft MOC that we’ve started and stress test your thinking with people who are real life in the job. And then let’s also then have you go and calibrate against that, especially on the personality part of it. Because, for the most part, they probably haven’t spent a lot of time with CFOs over the course of their career. 

So the subject matter expertise conversations are really helpful to flesh the MOC out further, but also to start to give the entrepreneurs a sense of: what does the personality profile for this pool of talent look like? And start to get them to think more about: who am I going to click with best from a chemistry and fit perspective?

Because there’s always going be a lot of people out there who could do the job. Let’s go ahead and figure out who’s gonna be able to do the job with you. 

Kelli Dragovich: It’s so funny because you’ve sent a bunch of those entrepreneurs to me over the years, which I’ve loved. 

And one of my biggest advice to those folks is, look, presumably, we all have the technical and functional skill set for this job. That’s not really what you’re interviewing for or unpacking. It’s the personality of that person, the disposition, the fit, what they value. I say we’re all crayons in a crayon box, but we’re all different colors. You have to pick the right one for you, which is usually the kicker and the most important thing. 

Whiteboard sessions for assessing fit

Nolan Church: I totally agree with that, Kelly. And how do you actually assess fit? I don’t think entrepreneurs really spend a lot of time thinking about it. It’s more of a feeling that they have. And when you’re in the executive recruiting process, feeling is not scientific. It’s not strategic. It’s like, “Oh, I have a good vibe.” And it turns out most execs are great talkers. So how do you assess for fit? 

Kelli Dragovich: And let me tack on: how do you help CHROs assess for fit, Matt? Because I’ll be honest, I didn’t do that as well as I should have 10 years ago.  You learn, but: how do you coach the other side to also assess that side, which I didn’t do very well all the time? 

Matt Oberhardt: I think it starts a lot with stepping out of a typical interview process. Look, we’ve all been doing this long enough. We all can tell when someone’s on their best behavior, and you have to test people by putting them in real-world working situations. You can do that in a number of ways.

Go through a whiteboard session with an executive in an interview. Let’s actually take a real-world business situation you’re grappling with as a founder, and let’s brainstorm it together. And people just naturally, without even realizing it, start letting their guard down and start behaving like they truly are when you get into that pretend work session.

We also always advocate, towards an end of a process, get the whole executive team together. You may give a candidate a topic—and if you give them a topic that’s related to your business, you’ve got to give them the data room to back it up so that they can actually put a real presentation together on how they would have addressed the specific issue from a business standpoint that you’re talking about.

Or maybe they come in when there’s no data room, and they come in and do a 120– or 180–day game-planning session on: “hey, here’s everything I’ve learned during my interview process. Here’s how I’m going to approach building out the finance function” or the legal function or the sales function, whatever it is.And you have this working session as a team, which basically allows you as the entrepreneur not only to be assessing the fit between you and the candidate, but you can see how that candidate fits into the room, and then you follow that up. Maybe that goes for 90 minutes, and then you all go out to dinner as a team. And you just continue to see how that social dynamic develops. 

The other thing, which often doesn’t get as much emphasis in the referencing process, is really this question of fit. And a lot of times during referencing, we want to know, what did the candidate do? We need to confirm or dispute things. They’ve said they’ve done assertions. They’ve made about their success at the company, but sometimes there’s not enough time spent on what it was like to work with that individual. And I think that’s the second part of it:, it’s your own real-world experience during an interview process with the working session. But then it’s also, “let me go test out how well they worked with everybody else in prior roles.” 

Referencing as a continuous cycle

Nolan Church: Yep. And then I also think with references, founders are typically showing up with their 5 to 7 reference questions. I find actually running through a process, getting some data on people, and then actually using that data to inform the reference questions specifically in the areas in which we currently have flags gives me better signal. What are the tips that you have for reference processing both on the front door and the back channel references? 

Matt Oberhardt: I think you brought up a really good point there. Referencing should be almost like a continual loop. You’re interviewing, then you’re referencing, you’re interviewing, then you’re referencing.

Referencing should be happening throughout a process. And I think by the time you’re done with an interview process, you probably should end up with maybe 50% to 75% of the references are probably front sheet stuff. And then another 25 to 50% are the back channel. And a lot of the back channel is going to be happening in those early stages where you’re interviewing someone, collecting some data and you’re like, “Hey, I need to go confirm this. Let me go figure out in the market who I may know that can help me with this.” 

And I think we are honestly in a period where people are getting sloppy with back channels. Some of the biggest things I tell our entrepreneurs is: don’t cold call into current employers.Only reach out to people that you know well that are going to probably give you good information. Don’t be out there carpet bombing someone’s network to try to get 15 or 20 or 30 references. It’s just poor form. And it puts the candidate in an awkward position, makes you look unprofessional, potentially poisons the whole recruiting process.

Honestly, and even before you get to outreach, I talk a lot to our entrepreneurs about being precise, like: what is your referencing strategy? First of all, what are we trying to learn and what we’re trying to learn will evolve during a recruiting process. But let’s figure out what we need to learn at each point. And then who are the best people to contact to find out that information? And be targeted and selective as a result of that and only be reaching out to people that you do know. I think the other thing that’s important to is: if you’re gonna be doing the back channel stuff, there’s a strategy where you can simply just tell a candidate, “hey, I may get referred to other people that I may want to call as a reference. And is it okay if I do that without you knowing?” In the course of just talking to them as a candidate, say that to them, and that way nothing’s a surprise, nothing’s a problem, later on.

Nolan Church: And they can identify if there are issues that you would not otherwise know of before you go and reach out to somebody. It’s just such a human thing to do that people just skip the step on. They want to have all these like back alley conversations, which I’ve never really understood, as opposed to just like, “Hey, this is a part of our process. We do back channels. I just want to let you know and give you the opportunity to let me know if there’s any flags that you want to tell me about right now.” 

Matt Oberhardt: Well, and you may find this funny, but in the end, it’s about building a relationship with somebody. You’re going to work with them. And the funny part of it is, if this were someone—let’s say you were going to try to go on a date. You wouldn’t be calling all of their friends who you’ve never met to ask about them. 

There’s a certain way to do this that is constructive and that actually adds to the process rather than causes friction and problems. 

Kelli Dragovich: And using back channels wisely, to the dating example. If you back channel with someone that broke up with them, have the wherewithal to know they’re probably not going to say all great, wonderful things, and have the maturity to filter and understand that back channels are back channels. And you have to vet that out because a lot of people could text 1 person, who could be biased. Boom. And it’s just not complete. 

Putting negative references in context

Nolan Church: I want your take on this, Matt, because people do well in some situations and not well in others. I worked with Tony at DoorDash and he used to say that the Michael Jordan of executive recruiting gets it right 2 out of 3 times.

He’s had incredible stability amongst his leadership team, but that’s not always the case. And sometimes it’s situational context. Sometimes it’s business context. Sometimes it’s my manager context and it doesn’t work. How do you guys think about negative references and when it comes up, as it relates to the specific new role, how do you advise founders on that?

Matt Oberhardt: Eventually if you call enough people, you will get a negative reference on somebody. That’s largely unavoidable. Now you get a negative reference, I think you have to evaluate, as you were saying, is it a state of the situation or as a trait of the individual? That’s really what it comes down to in the end, because if you’re looking at someone and it was a bad fit or they didn’t perform well, or maybe they perform great, but the company didn’t execute like they were a great CFO, but products and sales could never get their act together. You can go through a long list of reasons why somebody may have done well in a job, but it didn’t work out for them. 

And it’s one thing we spend time with our entrepreneurs to help them go. Okay, you’re never going to hire someone who is 100th percentile on everything. They are going to have weaknesses. And let’s look at those weaknesses. And like I said, figure out: were they a result of the situation they were in or is the trait that they have? If the weakness is a result of the situation, let’s parse out whether that’s relevant to your company right now. Are they going to experience those same things that caused them potentially to have failures? If it’s a trait, let’s look at the rest of your team. Is this a trait that you could afford to take on that you could potentially have as a development area for this individual? Or is that trait that they’re weak in so mission critical to the role that it just isn’t possible for them to successfully execute in your company. 

So it’s a lot of nuance and Nolan, that’s I think what you were getting at. It’s just a ton of nuance in the end and rarely are these things black and white. 

Kelli Dragovich: I also think the best candidates—at least I’ve talked to and including myself—is to have the EQ to actually talk through that before you hear it from a reference, right? I think that’s a big sign as well as that self awareness, that reflection to talk through that during the interview process.

Matt Oberhardt: Exactly. And I think also when you’re talking about talking through, I think it’s really a great point. Founders sometimes feel like, “Oh, God, can I actually bring up something to a candidate that I learned to referencing?” Absolutely. Have a conversation with them to get the added context on exactly what may have happened in that situation. Because it may give you an additional set of data that helps you make a more informed decision about what to do with that referencing information. 

Nolan Church: I totally agree. I also really believe that people grow and people change. And the more experiences that you have, the more weathered you get, the better off that you will ultimately be.

I mean, I look back and I’m candidly embarrassed about the person that I was 10 years ago. And I think that’s kind of my general—it’s how I know I’m doing okay. Every 10 years I look back and if I was embarrassed, that means I’m growing really fast. I think that’s when people talk about the negative aspects of their career. That’s how you can begin to assess if they actually have been growing versus if they’re putting some veneer bullshit on it, you could pretty easily suss that out for sure. 

Matt Oberhardt: Absolutely. 

Assessing personal growth vs. mistakes

Nolan Church: How do you guys think about that, though, on the Andreessen side? Because you guys have, I’m assuming, so much data on people. But as they move through their careers, they grow and change. How do you guys think about that? 

Matt Oberhardt: That’s why I think it’s really important to reengage with executives. It’s something I was talking about earlier in the discussion where it’s like, hey, I spent a lot of time in my early years here building a network of executive relationships. And a lot of what I’m doing now is sustaining those relationships and continuing to find ways to add value for those executives.

But in the course of those conversations, you’re getting an update on them and you’re getting an update on their lives, what they’ve accomplished, and where they’ve gone. And I think that’s really an important part of this, these are not snapshots in time. Everyone is on a continuum of personal and professional growth.

And that’s why I always think it’s dangerous to—we talk about this with our entrepreneurs—it’s like, “Hey, I know 3 people that worked with them 10 years ago.” That’s really not going to be relevant data. You may see some things in their past that come up at that point that maybe continue in the future or things that they grew out of.

It’s really for me, what have the last 5 to 7 years been like in somebody’s career? And let’s really hone in on that when we’re really trying to figure out who they are and what they’re going to be able to do for you right now. Because anything that’s earlier than that is just too dated.

Establishing trust with founders

Kelli Dragovich: Matt, in the talent partner role, it’s a slippery slope sometimes in supporting these entrepreneurs and also helping them see maybe what they can’t see for themselves. I’d love any spicy stories about when you’d have to put your foot down and tell a founder they’re wrong or they’re making the wrong choice. And how do you choose those precious moments to do that or not? 

Matt Oberhardt: It starts with how we operate. We’re not over the top with our founders. Our founders run their companies. So whatever you’re trying to do, it’s a lot of leading by influence versus directive. 

So when you’re doing the influence thing, you have to start with a foundation where the founder has to have valued your contribution up until this point. And the founder wants you involved. The founder has appreciated the advice that you’ve provided to their business and that founder trusts you.

So it starts with that basis of trust to say, “okay, I trust you and I look to you as a consigliere or advisor on things.” If that hasn’t been established, there’s no way you’re going to be able to have any impact on the decision. Full stop. But I think once you have that trust established, you can then say, “hey, here’s why I think this is a mistake.”

And when you tell them “I think it’s a mistake,” it has to be grounded and backed up with data. We’re dealing with technical founders who are very data oriented individuals. It can’t be just this subjective “well, I think, or I feel this way.” They’re gonna ask you, “well, what’s the data behind it? Why do you think that way?” 

The objective data points can come in all different flavors. Maybe it’s referencing data, maybe it’s information you have because you’ve met the executive and have a deeper sense of who they are based on your own referencing independent and your own evaluation, independent of whatever may have happened during the process.

You may have company performance data. Let’s say it’s a sales executive. A sales exec is saying, “Hey, we hit this quota,” etcetera, etcetera. Well, guess what? I actually know objectively whether that happened or not. 

So I think that’s what it comes down to really in the end is the trust has to be established. And once they trust and value your role in the process, you then have to be able to provide them the objective data versus subjective feelings or thoughts. 

Kelli Dragovich: It reminds me of our episode with Steve Nolan Cadigan, where he said, “our products are judgment and credibility.” Those two things have to be there before utilizing those chips, Matt, for sure. 

Nolan Church: But at the same time, many founders are in the role because they’re headstrong, they have a belief, they trust their instincts and they follow it. And so what I’m hearing you say, Matt, is you have to very seldomly pull that card just in general and then back it up with data.

But then at the end of the day, it still is the founder’s decision. And I’m sure there’s been times when you’ve actually been convinced that, hey, this person is making a mistake but they went forward anyway. Maybe it actually was a mistake or maybe it wasn’t. And people are tactile learners. They do have to learn by making their own mistakes too, right? 

Vetting EQ

Matt Oberhardt: Absolutely. And I think it also comes down to: we naturally try to work with entrepreneurs—back to that whole conversation we had at the beginning about how we view talent—and one of the things I mentioned at the time was EQ.

You have to have a group of individuals who you’re advising that want your input. They are willing to show vulnerability and ask for help. They have the right blend of humility versus confidence—all those things so that they’re actually open to getting the feedback in the first place and open to hearing differing and conflicting opinions, perhaps on a decision that they’re making.

Because this goes beyond talent. They’re making business decisions every day. And they have to be of the mindset that I’m going to take in as much data as I should and can so that I have the most diverse set of information to work with to make a decision for my company, whether it’s whether we, invest in product A over product B, whether I hire this CFO candidate or another one—they have to have a mindset that is already predisposed to wanting the help and wanting the input from multiple constituencies.

Otherwise, it’s probably not going to work for them as an entrepreneur, honestly, because they’re going to stub their toe a lot of times and eventually, that repeated toe stubbing is going to have a serious impact on the business. 

Kelli Dragovich: And Matt, I’m assuming that’s part of the vetting process and investing in entrepreneurs: that EQ side. 

Matt Oberhardt: We have a whole operating team over here that spends a lot of time helping entrepreneurs learn the nuts and bolts of: how do you hire talent, build teams, market the company, sell product, raise money. All stuff that as entrepreneurs, they haven’t done before for the most part, but it’s all stuff they need to learn how to do well to be successful.

We want to work with entrepreneurs that are going to tap into that. So naturally, we’re going to be predisposed to working with folks that are going to want to leverage all of those resources that are available to them to help them become a better CEO. 

Measuring success of what you can’t control

Kelli Dragovich: Yep. Matt, you mentioned you have a lot of latitude in your role, which is great. It’s also a lot of pressure. Are there any moments where that latitude becomes a little less and you’re feeling the pressure? What is that like in your role when those moments hit? 

Matt Oberhardt: Having worked in startups before, it’s a different feeling of pressure than it is when you’re in an operating role and literally you’re looking at the bank account balance going, “Hey, can we make payroll at the end of the month?”

I think that the biggest thing from a pressure standpoint over here is just: when you’re in an advisory role, again, you’re operating by influence. You don’t really have control over the situation, but yet your own success—I think both personally how I measure myself and also, to a degree, how we measure ourselves here at the firm—is based on the success of these things.

So you’re basically measuring success against things that you don’t have control over. I think that’s the essence of the difficulty of the advisor role when you feel pressure at times. You’re like, “Hey, I think this is how this should go. This is what I would do if I were in your situation. But at the same time, I can’t go make you do that.”

We take a lot of ownership in what we do working with the portfolio because we’re really involved with all of you very closely on a day-to-day basis, and part of the reason we’re able to do that is that we have such a large team, we’re able to be proactive. We’re not just running around reactively putting out fires. When I work on a project with the portfolio, I’m probably investing at least 4 months, sometimes upward of a year, on the whole process.

So there’s a tremendous sense of ownership that comes with that and a tremendous sense of responsibility and pressure to make sure that’s done right, even though I’m only in an advisory capacity. So that’s a big part of it for me, honestly. Probably more self-induced pressure in some ways.

Why hire veterans for startups

Nolan Church: I want to talk a bit about veteran hiring. 2 of my favorite people I’ve ever worked with—shout out to Jeff and then also to Casey North at DoorDash—were ex-military. And you do a lot of work with transitioning veterans into startups. Talk to me a little bit about why this is such a good fit from a skillset standpoint. Why is going from the military into startups—like, why does that work so often?

Matt Oberhardt: If you think about the military environment, especially folks have been in the special operations community, they’re used to dealing with very dynamic, chaotic, very resource-constrained environments where that is very analogous to what happens in the startup world. Obviously, the subject domain and the work environment are very different. But in the end, what a lot of these folks are very good at, especially from the Iraq/Afghanistan generation, is: I’m going to take a disparate group of people, probably some or most of whom don’t even like each other. And I’m going to get that group of people together to accomplish a common mission and a common purpose. How many times can you think of when you’ve been in a startup, or you’ve had a similar situation, where you got to get a bunch of people in a room, you got to maybe bang some heads to get them to work together well, but we have a problem we need to solve that’s cross-functional in nature.

These people are used to dealing with that type of situation. Again, the subject matter is completely different. The process to get to the answer, though, is very, very similar. And when you combine that skillset with the leadership they bring to the table, I think that’s why they’re successful as they usually are. 

Nolan Church: I love that. The 2 guys I was referring to are in operations roles and have ascended insanely fast. I see this issue, though, with founders—especially in today’s job market—who are indexing on people that have done the job before. How do you think about the experience versus trajectory conversation?

Matt Oberhardt: You’re having to buy into a different kind of potential. The potential you’re buying into is their ability to learn your product and learn your business, which is different than the potential you usually buy into, where someone is very good technically, or they’re very good at go-to-market, they’re very good at finance, and you’re merely betting on them to progress and ascend in both the scope and level of their responsibilities as a leader. So it’s almost the exact inverse where you’re already bringing someone in who’s very good on the leadership and the soft skills side, but now you need to bet on their ability to ramp on your business. So that’s how I usually frame it with entrepreneurs. 

The other challenge oftentimes is—especially for folks who’ve been enlisted, not officers—these people are incredibly skilled, incredibly gifted individuals. But it’s very difficult for recruiters to be able to map their skillset to what the open jobs may be in a company. And the translation guide doesn’t exist anymore like it used to because, once we left the draft behind and we went to all volunteer armed forces, most of society doesn’t have regular contact with people who are in the military anymore. So they don’t understand as easily what those folks can do as may have existed 30, 40, 70 years ago, when you had a huge proportion of the population was veterans. 

What I often talk to vets about is: honestly, don’t go through normal recruiting processes, because you’re going to have people looking at your paper that just don’t understand what you’ve done. When you see a company that has a role that you’re interested in, make sure you already have built out the network that allows you to go talk to somebody outside of the recruiting process who can help you, who understands who you are. Maybe someone who’s a vet who already works at the company. We talked to vets a lot about: build your network first, and then the job will follow from that. Because when you see something that looks of interest at a company, you can reach out to your contacts there and they can be advocates for you because you’re going to be an out-of-the-box hire. You’re not going to be someone who checks everything that goes down the list, for sure. So you’ve got to have people who are outside the process who are advocating for your candidacy. 

Kelli Dragovich: Matt, how do you all structure that? Is it more informal? Is it a more formal widespread program for you all? How is that set up?

Matt Oberhardt: We’ve worked with a number of organizations over the years. I’ve been on the board of Commit Foundation now for probably about 7 or 8 years. We do a workshop with them every year. We worked pretty closely in the past with Bethany Coates and what she was doing at BreakLine. We’ve got good relationships with Honor Foundation. We’re investors in shift.org. 

So it becomes a bit of a hybrid. We do these workshops where we have folks that are interested in technology and VC who are coming in. I take a lot of 1-on-1 intros as well, where veterans who I know that I’ve worked with who have transitioned—I can say like, “Hey, you know, there’s this individual over here that you really should meet. I think would be, you know, a fantastic, high potential person in the industry.” That type of thing. So it’s a mix of both, honestly. 

Kelli Dragovich: I love that. Those informal connections are super powerful. So I love that. 

Talent landscape in 2024

Nolan Church: Matt, just transitioning to a little bit about the moment that we’re in today. I am of the belief that at least the beginning of 2024 is still going to be really tough on the venture backed tech space. How are you advising founders on their talent strategy right now? And how are you thinking about 2024?

Matt Oberhardt: We’ve still got a lot of uncertainty out there. I think part of the advice depends on the stage of the company. When we’re talking about the earlier stage companies, a lot of what they’re working on is still those very focused searches, like our first engineering leader, our first product leader, our first go-to-market leader. And I think if you have your funding secured where, for the next couple of years, you’re going to be working on what you’re working on, regardless of what those macro conditions look like—I think moving ahead with building that core leadership team is really important. 

I think the challenge starts to come in on the growth and later-stage side because you’ve got a lot of companies that, in some cases, already expected to be public entities by now within the infusion of capital from that, and others that are stacked up now waiting for that wave of companies to go out. So I think when you’re looking at your hiring plan, it’s really about: we need to be focused on profitable growth. It is not growth for the sake of growth anymore. Companies have to run much more lean and tighter than they have over the last 15 years, and it’s a little bit of a back-to-the-future feeling because we’ve returned, I think, to a macro environment that reflects where we were in the 2000s and earlier.

So, the advice that we provide is somewhat dependent on the stage of the company and where they are from a liquidity standpoint. 

Recruiting top talent in a tight market

Kelli Dragovich: Matt, we talked about this I think a couple of months ago and we chatted on the phone: about the market shifting, especially with those later-stage companies that were close to IPO, valuations changing, coupled with the struggle of hiring top-notch executives in this time, especially with that equity change.

Have you seen any creative ways of reconciling that or thinking about that or anything companies are doing to still get great talent? Even though this market has shifted. 

Matt Oberhardt: I think you do, at some point, just have to recognize reality. 

A lot of the reset that has taken place has had to do with employee retention issues, a lot less to do without going out and raising new capital. So this idea of trying to retain your top employees—and one of the main ways you have to do that—is to reset what their valuations look like, and potentially then provide additional equity to help true them up. I think that’s a really important thing to be considering right now to be able to retain that top talent.

If you do that, then there’s a whole bunch of cascading effects that, of course, then make you more marketable to potential new employees. But I think the core of it starts with, honestly, ripping the bandaid off and going, “Hey, the longer it takes for us to do this, the less competitive we probably become.”

We have to just recognize that and just bite the bullet. 

Nolan Church: I talked to a founder a few weeks ago who had raised a really large round at a really high valuation that no longer makes sense in today’s world. And they’re now recruiting for C-level roles. And I asked him first: how are you talking to candidates about this? And he was like, “well, how do you think I should, because I have no idea?” And my guidance to him was: just be honest, right? We raised in 2021. This was the market price. I know it’s no longer the market price, but we don’t need to go to market today for a new financing round. But my commitment is when we do, we will mark you to market at that new financing price and then re-up your equity. Do you think that’s good advice? And are you talking to founders similarly? 

Matt Oberhardt: It’s very situational. Let’s say you have a very long runway of capital. Let’s say you’ve got 3, 4, 5, 6 years, even some companies I’ve talked to have had 6 or 7 years of runway. I think it’s very dependent on that question. 

Nolan Church: Damn. 

Matt Oberhardt: Yeah. So it’s: how long do you have before you have to go reprice via an equity raise? And if you’ve got a long time—let’s say it’s over 36 months—I think that argument can work. 

Now, of course, the candidate has to buy into everything else. A vision of the company, buying into who you are as a leader and your ability to execute on the vision. Everything else has to be rock solid, because there’s going to be a lot of other opportunities that are going to be out there during that time frame after which you hire this person that are going to be more financially attractive in most cases. The last thing you want to see is a candidate who you hire who’s constantly looking over their shoulder going, “Hey, oh, that looks interesting. Oh, that over there looks like a lot.” 

So you don’t want to go win the battle that way, but then eventually lose the war because you brought this person in, but they weren’t totally on board with everything and therefore they’re always going to be looking for the next best thing.

Hiring the “operational glue”

Kelli Dragovich: Really well said. 

So Matt, I know we have a few minutes left. Just to transition to our rapid fire round called Talent Rules. A couple of quick questions for you.Who has been your best hire in your career and why? 

Matt Oberhardt: So I think y’all will appreciate this. There was a woman I hired in the third startup I worked for. When you’re still like under 50 people or even 100 people, there’s always someone who’s that operational glue, and it was a woman named Rochelle. And I hired her, she was my first hire when I joined the company. And she basically did all the QuickBooks work, was the office manager, handled all the HR paperwork, was the company confessional as to everything that went on—and we had a lot of drama. That one person basically did 5 or 6 jobs. And I always find those people are incredibly short supply in startups. There’s not a lot of them out there, but when you find one, they are a true gem and they can do so much to help the company.

So probably not the answer you were expecting—

The value of tough feedback

Kelli Dragovich: I can feel what you’re explaining though. I love it. I can. 

What has been one of your most favorite interview questions over the years that has given you the biggest, best signal on candidates? 

Matt Oberhardt: Really good signal I get is: I ask people, “what’s the toughest piece of feedback they’ve received in the last 5 years, and how did they respond?” That’s always one that I find gets at a lot of issues related to EQ, critical thinking, organizational savvy in a lot of cases too. 

Nolan Church: Growth mindset. Yeah, that’s also my favorite question, Matt. I feel like when you ask somebody about a tough piece of feedback, not only do you get like all the soft spots, you also get what, tactically, did somebody give them feedback on? What did someone else think that their biggest area of growth is? And then, were they able to learn from that and make it a strength?

Matt Oberhardt: And then when someone also basically answers with that, classic, looks like a backhanded compliment to themselves by the time they’re done, you’re like, okay, you are no good to me.

Nolan Church: That just makes me throw up. Like, I throw up in thinking about that. 

Kelli Dragovich: We’ve heard that on like multiple episodes. So like, when is that just going to die? Because everyone knows now. And so to Nolan’s point—

Nolan Church: Just be authentic.

Matt Oberhardt: Yeah. There are slow learners out there.

Nolan Church: Matt, this has been so good. Thank you so much for the time. Our audience is going to take away so much about exec recruiting from this episode. We can’t thank you enough. 100%. 

Kelli Dragovich: Thanks, Matt. 

Matt Oberhardt: My pleasure. Appreciate you both inviting me on and do it again anytime. 


Horizen - Blog

ZenIP 42400 – Modernizing Horizen Technology via a Modular Proof Verification Layer

Horizen Labs has submitted a ZenIP Discussion topic on Discourse, ZenIP: 42400 - Modernizing Horizen Technology via a Modular Proof Verification Layer. Note that ZenIP 42400 focuses on the modular proof verification layer. If this proposal passes, Horizen Labs will roll out subsequent phases to the Horizen community for discussion and debate as the “New […] The post ZenIP 42400 – Modernizing

Horizen Labs has submitted a ZenIP Discussion topic on Discourse, ZenIP: 42400 – Modernizing Horizen Technology via a Modular Proof Verification Layer.

Note that ZenIP 42400 focuses on the modular proof verification layer. If this proposal passes, Horizen Labs will roll out subsequent phases to the Horizen community for discussion and debate as the “New Horizen” initiative progresses. 

ZenIP 42400 is focused solely on the establishment of a Modular Proof Verification Layer, i.e., a blockchain dedicated to verifying proofs with the ability to support any settlement layer. 

Before we dive into what this means for the Horizen Ecosystem, let’s review a few points that have been raised by the Community regarding this proposal: 

Name of the Initiative: The term “New Horizen” is currently a placeholder for the system and its individual component blockchains. The designation is being used to conceptually describe the initiative until an official name is determined. EON Integration: A key aspect of the development strategy is the integration of EON into the new Proof Verification Chain. The Horizen Labs teams are actively involved in exploring viable pathways for this migration, ensuring that EON remains an integral part of the Horizen ecosystem after the implementation of the blockchains that comprise the “New Horizen” initiative. $ZEN Tokenomics: Currently, there are no plans to modify $ZEN’s tokenomics, and any such change would be subject to community discussion and DAO approval.  Market and User Research: The Horizen Labs team used comprehensive market and user research, aiming to design a user-friendly system capable of widespread adoption.  Why should the community be excited about this “New Horizen” proposal?

The “New Horizen” initiative will modernize the Horizen tech stack to better align with the broader web3 industry while building on the legacy of the Horizen Mainchain and Zendoo. This will “future-proof” the Horizen network and unlock market value to the Horizen ecosystem. New Horizen is based on current web3 market needs and addresses a problem that affects most modular web3 protocols: volatile and expensive proof verification costs for L2s (ZK-Rollups in particular). 

Horizen Labs’ proposed “Proof Verification Chain” aims to substantially reduce rising security costs for L2s.

A dedicated Proof Verification Chain would not only make running a ZK-Rollup more economical, but also align with the anticipated shift towards these technologies becoming the dominant scaling solution. 

Additionally, collaboration in the Web3 space is becoming increasingly important, New Horizen aims to foster this collaboration across ecosystems and expand the reach of the Horizen ecosystem. The Horizen Labs team is working to ensure that the Proof Verification Chain described above is being designed to accommodate a variety of proof types and settlement layers. By developing a solution that is versatile enough to be compatible with multiple development frameworks, proving systems, and settlement layers, this positions Horizen as a hub of collaborative innovation. Potentially reaching new audiences beyond our current community, embracing and leading the change towards a more interconnected and cooperative blockchain environment. 

How Will this Work?

The “New Horizen” initiative is set to deliver multiple components that address the market’s current and future needs across several phases. The Proof Verification Chain (Phase 1) will focus on verifying proofs originating from other blockchains, such as rollups / appchains or applications. Initially, the focus will be on ZK-SNARK proofs, in particular zk-snarks produced by ZK-Rollups, but the plan is to expand its capabilities to accommodate a wide range of proof types in the future. 

The proof verification layer aims to improve the existing process of proving state validity for ZK-Rollups and other proof-generating applications, offering a more efficient, scalable solution to handle these operations, which will reduce the costs of blockchain networks.

Next Steps – Where Do We Go From Here?  ZenIP Voting Timeline

ZenIPs are for the community to approve or decline. Horizen has always believed our community comes first, we encourage you to join the discussions on Discord, Discourse, and Twitter around ZenIP 42400 and voice your thoughts. We highly encourage you to read the ZenIP: 42400 – Modernizing Horizen Technology via a Modular Proof Verification Layer post on Discourse to get a complete understanding of what this means. 

Voting on ZenIP 42400 started on Thursday, February 15th, 2024 at 12pm EST and ended on Sunday, February 18th, 2024 at 12pm EST. The Horizen DAO voting is done on Horizen EON, using Snapshot and Discourse for governance. At the same time that the voting began, the snapshot was taken. Users can head to Snapshot here to review the result of the vote, which passed with 99.99% of votes “for”: https://snapshot.org/#/horizenfoundationtechnical.eth/proposal/0x3f846aac0e0640d4286f0cc83c26c3710146a47af2ed670e4ef962d82f0d46c0

Who is Eligible to Vote? 

Any $ZEN holder can vote on improvement proposals, and those who hold (or who have been delegated) the requisite amount of $ZEN may put forth proposals to the community. 

Voting power is determined by the amount of $ZEN you hold on the Horizen mainchain and on the Horizen EON chain. Therefore the more $ZEN you hold, the more voting power you have. 

How to Vote – Instructions Go to the Horizen DAO Governance page on the Horizen EON web app to get started. Connect your web3 wallet (ex. MetaMask). Please follow this guide if you need help. Link your Horizen mainchain $ZEN address to Horizen EON. In order to vote with your mainchain $ZEN, you need to have $ZEN on a Sphere mainchain address and link that address to your MetaMask Horizen EON chain address. You only need to link your Sphere wallet once. You can use the same wallet for future voting rounds.  Please see this guide for step-by-step instructions on linking Horizen Mainchain and Horizen EON $ZEN Addresses to aggregate your voting power.  Make sure you have sufficient ZEN in your MetaMask address for the gas fee. Follow this tutorial to learn how to transfer ZEN from Horizen mainchain to your Horizen EON address on MetaMask Once your mainchain ZEN address is connected to Horizen EON, and you have sufficient ZEN in your MetaMask for gas fee, it’s time to vote using Snapshot! Join the Horizen Foundation space on Snapshot if you haven’t done so, to receive notifications about future ZenIP voting. 

We have a helpful video tutorial here with instructions on how to vote for the Horizen DAO.  

Helpful Links Horizen Foundation on Snapshot Horizen DAO Forum on Discourse Horizen DAO Governance page on Horizen EON Web App How to connect MetaMask Wallet to Horizen EON How to Link Horizen Sphere Addresses with Horizen EON Address Download Sphere Wallet Download MetaMask Additional voting instructions for Multi-sig wallets, non Sphere wallets, Staked ZEN on a Horizen Node, ZEN Stored on an exchange

If you need assistance, please reach out to us on the Horizen Discord, and be sure to join the Horizen DAO discussion on Discourse! 

The post ZenIP 42400 – Modernizing Horizen Technology via a Modular Proof Verification Layer appeared first on Horizen Blog.


Verus

Scalability, Decentralization & Security — What Trilemma?

Scalability, Decentralization & Security — What Trilemma? The blockchain trilemma is a classic idea that truly decentralized blockchains need to choose between security or scalability. Verus offers a different perspective and a new approach. Together we will come to the conclusion that the Verus Protocol solves scalability by neither sacrificing decentralization or security, effectively solvi
Scalability, Decentralization & Security — What Trilemma? The blockchain trilemma is a classic idea that truly decentralized blockchains need to choose between security or scalability. Verus offers a different perspective and a new approach. Together we will come to the conclusion that the Verus Protocol solves scalability by neither sacrificing decentralization or security, effectively solving the trilemma. A Closer Look at the Trilemma

Before we dive in, let’s examine the current perceived definition of the crypto trilemma: “You can’t have a scalable blockchain that is truly decentralized and thus secure” — it is said to achieve worldwide scalability a blockchain needs to be fast so it can process all the transactions for a large population (btw, this is a false premise, you can read about that later.) And to get a fast, high tps (transactions per second) blockchain it must compromise on decentralization and thus security.

Decentralization and security go hand-in-hand. A truly decentralized protocol (open to all, many validators) is secure because it is difficult to 51% attack such a protocol. If a blockchain is less decentralized (low number of validators, permissioned access) it could be 51% attacked (by external attackers or colluding validators), and transactions can be altered or reversed, completely undermining one of the goals of blockchain — censorship-resistance.

The trilemma is currently looked at from a single-chain standpoint. A false premise that does not scale to the world.

There is truth to the fact that it is very difficult to have a decentralized single blockchain that also has a high tps. The larger the number of validators the harder it is to find consensus among them all, which makes them slower, and makes it more difficult to get them to process large numbers of transactions. To get a high tps blockchain you would need to lower the number of validators so they can find consensus more easily, and raise the hardware requirements for running a node so they can process those transactions quicker too. Yet doing so compromises true decentralization. The lower the number of validators, the less decentralized, the less robust. And the higher the hardware requirements, the less accessible it is for people around the world, the less decentralized.

The trilemma is currently looked at from a single-chain standpoint. A false premise that does not scale to the world. We will show you how Verus offers a new and better approach.

Scalability Does NOT Mean High Tps
Transactions per second are nothing more than just a performance indicator — like GHz for computers.

Cryptocurrency protocols often boast about how fast their blockchains are (transactions per second) as an indicator of their scalability. Contrary to popular belief this is a false premise. Transactions per second are nothing more than just a performance indicator. Like how we use GHz (CPU clock speed) to indicate how fast a computer is, or an even better example — how fast servers are.

To bring the promise of crypto to billions of people around the globe let’s make a comparison with the Internet. The Internet does not run on one single server. All websites and applications that we use daily are not connected to one single server. The Internet has not been scaled to the world by constantly upgrading the one server to a faster one. It’s millions of servers that are servicing billions of people around the world. These millions of servers are perfectly connected, and completely interoperable so that using the Internet today is a seamless experience.

Now, with this perspective in mind, let’s get back to the current situation in crypto land. Most, if not all, crypto protocols are trying to service the world with their one single, monolithic blockchain. The monolithic blockchain becomes a central hub where all smart contracts and applications revolve around. When they notice that it doesn’t scale (the transaction fees start ramping up) the industry comes up with solutions that heavily compromise on decentralization and security (e.g. L2s, semi-centralized protocols, master nodes). This is not the answer.

Instead of acknowledging that the Internet today is a giant, interconnected multi-server world where all applications and websites are seamlessly connected, most of the crypto industry thinks we live in a single server (single blockchain) world.

Verus acknowledged that to realize the promise of cryptocurrency and blockchain, it needed to scale for billions of people around the globe and thus it needed to embrace a multi-server, multi-chain world. And that is exactly what the Verus Protocol does today. Without sacrificing decentralization and security.

Unlimited in Scale

Before we start explaining how Verus is truly decentralized and secure, let’s start with how Verus embraces the multi-chain world and delivers unlimited scalability.

Most, if not all, current blockchain protocols argue that to have low transaction fees they must achieve higher transactions per second. They try to scale up — increasing the performance of their monolithic blockchains. This only gets them so far. At some point, they will bottleneck again, and in the process, they compromise on decentralization and security.

Verus offers a new approach, one in which each organization or business can launch its own highly capable, rent-free, no-coding-required blockchain. It’s called Verus PBaaS (Public Blockchains as a Service). These PBaaS-chains are fully independent, can be customized to the organization’s need, inherit all the same features as the Verus blockchain, and most importantly are fully interconnected and interoperable with the complete network and other bridged protocols (e.g. Ethereum). A single PBaaS-chain can do between 75 and 800 tps depending on the options chosen.

There is no upper limit to deploying PBaaS-chains. Just like there is no upper limit to servers being deployed. When we reach a bandwidth limit we don’t go out upgrading our single server, we put another server next to it to spread out the usage. The same thing is here, reaching unlimited scalability.

Of course, this only works when those PBaaS-chains are fully interoperable and interconnected, which they are — in a provable, trustless and decentralized way. There is no centralized entity sitting in between the PBaaS-chains regulating everything.

Cross-chain transactions and conversions, cross-chain bridging of identities (VerusID), tokens and basket currencies, even Ethereum (& ERC20/ERC721/ERC1155) — it’s all built into the consensus mechanism, trustlessly bridged over by the decentralized network of miners and stakers only. This is all on mainnet now, for everyone to use.

We can conclude that Verus is scalable to billions of people around the world with the unlimited deployment of PBaaS-chains. But does it compromise on decentralization and thus security? Let’s dive into it.

Built to be Decentralized

There are a few things at play here that work in harmony to achieve decentralization and security — Verus Proof of Power (the hybrid 50% proof-of-work, 50% proof-of-stake consensus mechanism), merge-mining and the Fee Pool.

Verus had no ICO, had no premine and had and has no developer fee or tax.

Before we jump into the above let’s acknowledge some facts that are pivotal to being a true decentralized protocol, to being credibly neutral. Just like Bitcoin before, Verus had no ICO, had no premine and had and has no developer fee or tax. Verus is not a company or a business. Verus is rent-free and all protocol fees go to the block producers. These facts are super important to incentivize decentralization and to be a credibly neutral protocol in the eyes of the world.

A Hybrid Consensus Mechanism

Now let’s unpack Verus Proof of Power, the consensus mechanism of the Verus blockchain, and all PBaaS-chains. It’s a hybrid of 50% proof-of-work and 50% proof-of-stake, and it’s a provable solution to 51% hash attacks. Out of the 1440 daily blocks (on Verus, and when a PBaaS-chain opts for 1-minute block times), half is solved by mining and half by staking.

VerusHash, the proof-of-work mechanism which disincentivizes ASIC & FPGA development, and favors CPUs, mobile phones and ARM-devices for mining. Mining with mobile phones and for example, Orange Pi 5’s are the most cost-efficient way to do it. This proves a significant leap towards a more inclusive mining environment. It’s accessible to everyone and thus creates a naturally decentralized protocol.

An Orange Pi 5 mining farm by community member DCAL4.

Additionally, to give even more power to miners, they can merge-mine up to 22 PBaaS-chains simultaneously without sacrificing their original hashing power. This dramatically increases efficiency and network security. So, when considering an unlimited number of PBaaS-chains on the network, each miner can choose up to 22 to mine. They can choose for profitability, or choose the ones they want to support.

This approach to mining is environmentally conscious. The protocol’s design allows for low-power devices to mine extremely efficiently. It lowers the entry barrier for participation in blockchain validation, especially in low-income countries, yet can also give life to phones that are old or with broken screens. Thus significantly reducing the environmental impact associated with traditional PoW mining.

Then we have the proof-of-stake part of the consensus mechanism. This one is really simple and powerful. Anyone can run a node and start staking. There is no minimum amount of VRSC needed (pretty unique in the world of PoS). Verus solved the “nothing-at-stake”-problem therefore there is no slashing of funds. Funds staking are never locked and running a node can be done with something as cheap as a Raspberry Pi 4. All-in-all proving yet again that Verus is accessible to everyone, creating a naturally decentralized protocol.

We can conclude that Verus is truly a decentralized protocol, naturally emerging from its extremely low-barrier mining and staking. So what does that mean for security?

Protocol Security at Another Level

Seeing as the Verus Protocol is naturally decentralized and provable 51% hash attack resistant, it’s extremely secure. PBaaS-chains take these properties with them as they have the same consensus mechanism, and the Verus miners can choose up to 21 of them to merge-mine. It’s fair to say that there is no compromise on security given the scalability of the protocol.

Verus Introduces the Fee Pool

Let’s first explain the fees the protocol generates for the miners and stakers:

PBaaS-chain launches: 10,000 VRSC (5,000 for the block producers of Verus, 5,000 for the block producers of the newly launched chain) Currency launches (tokens, basket currencies, liquidity pools, ERC-20 mapped currencies): 200 VRSC VerusID registrations: 100, 80, 60, 40 or 20 VRSC subID registrations: 0.02 VRSC DeFi conversion fees: min. 0.0125%, max. 0.025% Transaction fees: 0.0001 VRSC

Builders and users pay these protocol fees for their operations and the fees are directed into the Fee Pool. Then, for each new block, 1% of the Fee Pool is added on top of the regular coinbase reward (currently 6 VRSC).

The Fee Pool is introduced as a security measure to keep the protocol stable. We have seen in other blockchain protocols that when a block has large fees, block producers try to “snipe” the block (putting lots of hash onto the network, then pulling it out of the network, or even trying to reorder the blocks for their own gain). In doing so they destabilize the protocol. Verus mitigates this behavior by spreading the extra fees over many blocks.

Smart Contracts Are Not Secure

Most blockchain protocols use the VM-based application model — smart contracts written with Solidity. It’s full of smart contract hacks and bugs and has insecure and phishing-prone wallet approval mechanisms. On top of that MEV (maximum extractable value) is rampant, due to the serial processing of transactions on the VM-model (it’s easy for a block producer to reorder transactions inside a block for their own gain). We can honestly say that the VM-model is not secure.

The Verus approach is different as it follows the fundamental systems design principle — the most important security layers should be located in the protocol itself, and not coded on top via L2 (smart contracts). All operations on Verus and PBaaS-chains are directly connected to consensus, secured by the miners and stakers of the protocol.

Now you might ask yourself “But can we build dApps that are as capable as building them with the VM-model?”. The answer is yes. Developing dApps with Verus is much more straightforward than building to a VM-based application model and results in inherently more capable, secure and scalable solutions.

Does Verus Solve the Blockchain Trilemma?

A fair question. And hopefully we answered with enough detail. The answer is “yes!”.

Let’s summarize. Verus does not compromise on decentralization and security to reach unlimited scalability. Unlimited scalability is reached by scaling out, not scaling up. It is the equivalent not of upgrading your server but of putting an extra server next to it to spread the bandwidth around.

Decentralization is achieved by making mining and staking accessible for everyone through extremely low hardware requirements. This naturally creates a large number of miners and nodes (stakers), making the network robust against attacks of all sorts.

High security is not only reached through the decentralized nature of the network but also because of the Fee Pool and the fact that all operations are directly connected to consensus and thus the miners and stakers.

Now is the Time to Build with Verus

Without having to rely on smart contracts, builders can develop dApps that are even more powerful, secure and scalable. Builders can use the no-coding-required API commands, together with VerusID and its VDXF (Verus Data Exchange Format) as a controlled public storage system with multiple levels of nesting to create dApps of any kind.

The foundation has been laid for a true Internet of Value. Verus urges all builders to join the community on Discord and to get familiar with the cutting-edge blockchain technology. Go build your project with Verus without having to learn a new programming language. It’s here, it’s ready, all live on mainnet.

Find Verus at Consensus 2024, May 29–31, Austin, USA. The community is happy to inform you on the dApp building opportunities! Read more here: Consensus 2024 — Verus Showcases Fully Completed PBaaS Blockchain Technology

Try Yourself! ✅

Look up the complete command list here. Go to docs.verus.io to get guidance on API commands (e.g. launching currencies, tokens & liquidity pools).

Join the community. Learn about the protocol. Use Verus & build.

➡️ Join the community on Discord

Follow on Twitter

Go to verus.io

Scalability, Decentralization & Security — What Trilemma? was originally published in Verus Coin on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


bankless

209 - Why e/acc Is Right with Beff Jezos (Guillaume Verdon)

✨ DEBRIEF | Ryan and David unpacking the episode: https://bankless.com/debrief-e-acc-beff-jezos   One guest, two identities. Beff Jezos (Guillaume Verdon) is a founding father of the e/acc movement, a physicist, a quantum researcher, and the founder of an AI startup called Extropic. Beff thinks AI doomers are not only wrong, but they’re taking humanity in the worst possible direction.

✨ DEBRIEF | Ryan and David unpacking the episode: https://bankless.com/debrief-e-acc-beff-jezos  

One guest, two identities. Beff Jezos (Guillaume Verdon) is a founding father of the e/acc movement, a physicist, a quantum researcher, and the founder of an AI startup called Extropic. Beff thinks AI doomers are not only wrong, but they’re taking humanity in the worst possible direction. Growth. Acceleration. Progress. These are the core pillars of the e/acc movement. Instead of slowing down on AI progress, Beff explains why we should be speeding up. 

------ 🎧Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player  https://bankless.cc/Podcast   

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2    ⁠ 

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo   

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/toku   

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle   

💸 CRYPTO TAX CALCULATOR | USE CODE BANK30 https://bankless.cc/CTC 

🦄UNISWAP | ON-CHAIN MARKETPLACE https://bankless.cc/uniswap  

------ TIMESTAMPS 

0:00 Intro 7:15 Why Pseudonym 15:01 The e/acc Pil 31:54 Fume 36:25 Beff’s Beliefs 39:39 Defining e/acc 40:52 The Dangers of AI? 52:05 Why We’re Here & The e/acc Religion? 58:19 Thermodynamics & Life  1:06:16 Maximizing Human Happiness?  1:16:25 Forgetting Society’s Bottom Half  1:23:00 Cancer Also Grows? 1:29:01 AI Regulation 1:33:09 Social Media’s Mistake   1:36:30 AI Bill of Rights  1:38:26 Domesticating AI 1:41:00 Biggest Threats Against e/acc  1:43:43 AI Humans vs. Humans  1:46:09 e/acc vs. Decels…Violence?  1:49:09 Beff’s Thoughts on Crypto 1:54:36 Beff’s Company - Extropic 1:58:18 Closing & Disclaimers 

------ RESOURCES

Beff Jezos https://twitter.com/BasedBeffJezos 

Guillaume Verdon https://twitter.com/GillVerd  

Extropic https://twitter.com/Extropic_AI  

AI Safety Podcasts - The Decels Eliezer Yudkowsky https://youtu.be/gA1sNLL6yg4   Connor Leahy https://youtu.be/pMoVsM1EWR0  Paul Christiano https://youtu.be/GyFkWb903aU   Nate Sores  https://youtu.be/Ymjb3SkElco  

------ 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.

See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures 

Saturday, 10. February 2024

Epicenter Podcast

David Goldberg: Founders Pledge – Maximising Charity Efficiency & Impact

Measuring the social impact of a charitable donation is, oftentimes, an impossible task. Founders Pledge is a non-profit organisation that aims to funnel and streamline donations from successful entrepreneurs in order to maximise their efficiency, based on data and research. Having built a network of nearly 2000 like-minded philanthropists, the vision behind Founders Pledge was to ensure transpare

Measuring the social impact of a charitable donation is, oftentimes, an impossible task. Founders Pledge is a non-profit organisation that aims to funnel and streamline donations from successful entrepreneurs in order to maximise their efficiency, based on data and research. Having built a network of nearly 2000 like-minded philanthropists, the vision behind Founders Pledge was to ensure transparency, unbiased assessment, ease of access and incentive alignment for its members. Despite the hurdles of running and scaling a non-profit organisation, Founders Pledge managed to stay true to its values throughout its 10 years of activity. In the end, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

We were joined by David Goldberg, founder of Founders Pledge, to discuss the landscape of charitable non-profit organisations and how data can streamline donations and maximise their social impact.

Topics covered in this episode:

David’s background Founding Founders Pledge How Founders Pledge works Joining Founders Pledge The challenges of managing a non-profit organisation Building a great company culture. Hiring process Maximising impact Assessing non-profit organisations’ efficiency Effective altruism How philanthropy changed over time Pledge Ventures Future challenges for Founders Pledge

Episode links:

David Goldberg on Twitter Founders Pledge on Twitter Founders Pledge website Pledge Ventures

Sponsors:

Gnosis: Gnosis builds decentralized infrastructure for the Ethereum ecosystem, since 2015. This year marks the launch of Gnosis Pay— the world's first Decentralized Payment Network. Get started today at - gnosis.io Chorus1: Chorus1 is one of the largest node operators worldwide, supporting more than 100,000 delegators, across 45 networks. The recently launched OPUS allows staking up to 8,000 ETH in a single transaction. Enjoy the highest yields and institutional grade security at - chorus.one

This episode is hosted by Brian Fabian Crain. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/534

Friday, 09. February 2024

Circle Blog

Triggering USDC Payments through Zero-Knowledge Proofs

We look at zero-knowledge proofs and how they can be used with smart contracts to enable a USDC transaction triggered by an off-chain event.

We look at zero-knowledge proofs and how they can be used with smart contracts to enable a USDC transaction triggered by an off-chain event.


bankless

ROLLUP: Solana Outage | Restaking Wars | Dencun Mainnet Date

Bankless Weekly Rollup 2nd Week of February, 2024 ------ 🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024  ------ ❎ DYDX | Learn more about dYdX Chain https://dydx.zone/3SfJTP7  ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2    ⁠  🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo   

Bankless Weekly Rollup 2nd Week of February, 2024

------ 🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024 

------ ❎ DYDX | Learn more about dYdX Chain https://dydx.zone/3SfJTP7 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2    ⁠ 

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo   

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/toku   

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle   

💸 CRYPTO TAX CALCULATOR | USE CODE BANK30 https://bankless.cc/CTC 

🦄UNISWAP | ON-CHAIN MARKETPLACE https://bankless.cc/uniswap 

------ TIMESTAMPS

0:00 Intro

2:30 MARKETS 5:30 Layer 2s https://l2beat.com/scaling/summary  8:30 Genesis Selling Billions https://twitter.com/Matt_Hougan/status/1754516523304239326  10:20 Bitcoin Spot ETF https://defillama.com/crypto-etf  https://twitter.com/JSeyff/status/1755336511791169574  13:00 Farcaster https://x.com/dwr/status/1754898218956329273?s=20  https://warpcast.com/jayg/0x6675c6e2 

19:45 Solana Outage https://twitter.com/SolanaStatus/status/1754831404972552310?s=20  https://twitter.com/matthew_sigel/status/1754874183807307828  https://twitter.com/matthew_sigel/status/1754874192078549406  https://status.solana.com/uptime?page=5  https://twitter.com/dmihal/status/1754837377787609256?s=20 

26:50 Eigenlayer Deposits https://twitter.com/eigenlayer/status/1754596238761332939  https://defillama.com/protocol/eigenlayer  https://twitter.com/0xVEER/status/1755069748981674113?s=20 

31:30 Restaking Wars https://twitter.com/0xmurathan/status/1753888543951262181?s=46  https://x.com/pythianism/status/1755321346077397124?s=20  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7N_pfNWGCmw  https://warpcast.com/hildobby/0xb843396f  https://twitter.com/hildobby_/status/1755297005188915414?s=20 

34:25 Finance Delisting Monero https://www.binance.com/en/support/announcement/binance-will-delist-ant-multi-vai-xmr-on-2024-02-20-f73b083ba6834771b07dbe5319917ae5  https://x.com/TrustlessState/status/1754988413579616559?s=20 

40:30 Dencun Mainnet Date https://x.com/parithosh_j/status/1755198250456408297?s=20  https://twitter.com/terencechain/status/1755598083558437295  https://x.com/dapplion/status/1752766529559789938?s=20  42:00 Nounsdao Animation https://warpcast.com/trent/0x6055926f  42:55 Taproot Wizards https://twitter.com/QuantumCatsXYZ/status/1754644923461038499?s=20  https://www.quantumcats.xyz/  45:00 Synthetix Chain https://mirror.xyz/kain.eth/kuLEnkUhJBPdJCs9gSIQ2_umGprJq3ZZCExmtc69zn8  48:30 Fraxtal Launch https://x.com/fraxfinance/status/1755386501926433087?s=20  https://x.com/fraxfinance/status/1755386523875181023?s=20  https://twitter.com/jon_charb/status/1751319646601371902?s=20  51:22 ENS GoDaddy https://twitter.com/GoDaddy/status/1754558153008538108  https://x.com/ensdomains/status/1754508567321981219?s=20  53:30 Spot ETF Staking https://x.com/EricBalchunas/status/1755268354355368379?s=20  https://x.com/SGJohnsson/status/1755273120317854066?s=20  55:35 Prometheum ETH Security https://fortune.com/crypto/2024/02/07/sec-prometheum-ethereum-broker-dealer-gary-gensler-coinbase/?taid=65c39d0ef9bf2c00019d4d42  https://twitter.com/MikeSeligEsq/status/1755296298918367445  https://tenor.com/view/mine-animal-pet-dog-cat-gif-5612364  58:40 Omega https://twitter.com/omega_infra/status/1754913327321358353?s=46  1:00:00 MEME of the Week https://twitter.com/boldleonidas/status/1754076355036397910?s=46 

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures⁠ 

Thursday, 08. February 2024

Horizen - Blog

Deprecation of the TokenMint Sidechain

TokenMint was originally designed and built by the Horizen Ecosystem team as a POC (proof-of-concept) sidechain, called Tokenchain, to test the scalability and durability of the Horizen network. TokenMint was a live proof of concept that permitted the team to build Horizen EON, and now that Horizen EON is successfully running, the time to deprecate […] The post Deprecation of the TokenMint Si

TokenMint was originally designed and built by the Horizen Ecosystem team as a POC (proof-of-concept) sidechain, called Tokenchain, to test the scalability and durability of the Horizen network. TokenMint was a live proof of concept that permitted the team to build Horizen EON, and now that Horizen EON is successfully running, the time to deprecate TokenMint is now. 

As part of the deprecation, all TokenMint users will need to remove their $ZEN from the sidechain before the deprecation date to avoid loss of funds. 

Important Dates

Wednesday, February 21st, 2024 – TokenMint Testnet will be Deprecated Wednesday, March 6th, 2024 – TokenMint Mainnet will be Deprecated

To move $ZEN off of TokenMint, users can simply send their ZEN from their Cobalt Wallet to a Horizen mainchain address. 

Warning: ZEN can only be sent to Horizen Mainchain Sphere addresses from Cobalt. Sending ZEN to another Horizen Mainnet address outside of Sphere could lead to a loss of funds.

Please open a ticket on our Discord server with any questions or concerns during the deprecation period and please be sure to REMOVE your ZEN from TokenMint BEFORE March 6th, 2024, as the funds will be permanently lost after that date.

How to Send ZEN to the Horizen Mainchain from Cobalt Wallet

Open your Cobalt Wallet and make sure you are connected to the TokenMint chain.  In the Assets and Activity page, click the ZEN row. The page now allows you to send ZEN. It displays the current amount available. Click the up arrow to send a transaction. In the Send to field, enter the desired address you want to send the ZEN to. This field will display an error, if you enter an invalid address. In the Amount field, enter the amount of the ZEN you want to send. In the password field, enter your password to complete the transaction. Click Submit. The Sent flag appears indicating that the transaction is successful. Click Back to display the transaction activity. The Send page appears. If the transaction is pending, a notification will appear stating that the last pending transaction for this address has not been confirmed. Note that it can take up to 72 hours for the transaction to show on the destination wallet, even if the transaction is confirmed on the TokenMint explorer.

The post Deprecation of the TokenMint Sidechain appeared first on Horizen Blog.


Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

Fixing Higher Education & New Startup Opportunities with Marc and Ben

“The Ben & Marc Show” features a16z’s co-founders Ben Horowitz & Marc Andreessen. In this episode, Marc and Ben continue their in-depth exploration of the current education system. While Part I of their discussion unpacked the crisis facing higher education, Part II presents solutions to overhaul the modern university. In this one-on-one conversation, Ben and...

“The Ben & Marc Show” features a16z’s co-founders Ben Horowitz & Marc Andreessen. In this episode, Marc and Ben continue their in-depth exploration of the current education system. While Part I of their discussion unpacked the crisis facing higher education, Part II presents solutions to overhaul the modern university.

In this one-on-one conversation, Ben and Marc delve into actions that existing institutions can take to improve their current and future situations. This includes exploring new methods for talent recruitment, providing a more individualized education experience for students, and reducing administrative bloat. They also apply an entrepreneurial lens to each university function, revealing startup opportunities poised to emerge – including the building of brand new institutions, nonprofits, and research entities. Enjoy!

Resources

Watch Part I: https://youtu.be/7J2_G4oHRQ0
Watch Part II: https://youtu.be/EeIdalo2huI

Marc on X: https://twitter.com/pmarca
Marc’s Substack: https://pmarca.substack.com/
Ben on X: https://twitter.com/bhorowitz
“South Park” episode mentioned in this discussion: – Eps 1505 (stream on Max): https://bit.ly/3HrZQg0


How Do I Build a Usage-based Sales Compensation Plan?

As Ben Horowitz says, it’s “no prize, no fight” when it comes to getting the best salespeople on your team. But building a sales compensation plan that both aligns your sales team’s compensation with your customers’ objectives and recruits top salespeople can be incredibly difficult in usage-based pricing. The problem comes down to incentives. In...

As Ben Horowitz says, it’s “no prize, no fight” when it comes to getting the best salespeople on your team. But building a sales compensation plan that both aligns your sales team’s compensation with your customers’ objectives and recruits top salespeople can be incredibly difficult in usage-based pricing.

The problem comes down to incentives. In traditional B2B SaaS sales, companies want to sell large upfront annual commitments, so salespeople’s compensation is mostly designed to maximize deal size. Big swing, big deal, big check.

This incentive structure gets turned on its head in product-led growth and usage-based pricing, where more companies land low- or no-dollar deals and expand them over time. This can lead to a number of common issues in sales compensation: paying your salespeople for activities that don’t actually drive more usage; failing to motivate your reps to land new customers, especially in the enterprise; compensating reps for all incremental customer usage and, consequently, diluting their focus and demotivating them (if everything your salespeople do is important, nothing’s actually important!); and struggling to recruit and retain high-performing salespeople who aren’t used to having their compensation tied to a slow usage ramp-up period.

In order to build a usage-based sales compensation plan that motivates your reps to drive the best possible customer outcomes, then, it’s important to understand where your sales team actually makes your customers more successful, prioritize the most impactful behaviors for your business, and choose the right compensation levers to drive those behaviors. 

1. Determine where your sales team makes your customers more successful 

In usage-based pricing, value = usage. The more customers like and use your product, the more revenue you bring in. 

When you’re building out a usage-based sales compensation plan, you need to first understand how customers get value out of your product, then identify where your sales team can either accelerate or expand their usage. One of the best ways to do this is to analyze each step of your ideal customer journey—signup, onboarding, and expansion—and specifically identify how your sales team influences your customers’ actions and decisions. 

Signup 

How do your customers find and sign up for your product? 

Some key questions to ask yourself include: 

What channels lead potential customers to your solution? How do they determine if your product meets their needs? Are demos or trials available before purchase? What are the steps to become a long-term customer? Can customers self-purchase advanced options or commit to a usage-based plan?

Sales value-add: 

The sales team’s primary role is acquiring new customers and helping them get started with your product. If your product’s journey is mostly self-guided, chances are this isn’t where your sales team is having a big impact. Onboarding 

How do your customers first find success with your product? 

Onboarding is your customers’ journey from initial purchase to active use, marked by key milestones like deploying their first solution. Consider how customers engage with your product during onboarding and whether they need support from your team.

Some key questions to ask yourself include:

Do customers independently activate the product for their use case(s)? Is support from your team, including sales, generally required for activation? Should your team proactively assist customers facing obstacles?

Sales value-add: 

The sales team’s role is guiding customers to their first major success milestone, which might include coordinating resources and project management. If customers self-onboard, this probably isn’t where your reps have the most impact. Expansion  

How and why do your customers use more of your product? 

Figure out why customers use more of your product and the sales team’s impact throughout. This may involve increased processing capabilities, new features adoption, or enhanced data throughput.

Some key questions to ask yourself include: 

Are you, as the vendor, consistently engaging with customers to identify additional use cases, features, or user groups?  Is the same salesperson who partnered during the signup and onboarding process also highly valuable for the customer during these activities (due to established relationships or specific business context)?  Conversely, does the customer experience much of this additional incentive to expand through the product experience?

Sales value-add:

Salespeople may act as “farmer” account managers to drive broader adoption or “hunter” account executives to introduce new features. However, if the product itself drives more usage, this likely isn’t where your reps have a lot of impact. 2. Prioritize the most impactful sales activities

Once you know where your sales team adds value, the next step is to prioritize the top 1 or 2 activities that have the most impact, then devise a weighting system that incentivizes those behaviors. 

This is the most important step in this process.

Why? 

In usage-based pricing, a great sales compensation plan will compensate your sales team for making your customers as successful as possible, which creates the virtuous flywheel of consumption most businesses are looking for with usage-based pricing. Over-incentivizing can dilute your sales team’s focus and actually weaken the impact of your comp plan—if your sales team is reaping a lot of benefits for little work, why work harder?—while misaligned incentives may lead to outcomes that don’t make your customer or your business successful. Why would you bonus your sales team on new logos, for instance, if most of your growth will come from expanding usage in the customer base you already have?

Of those high-value sales activities you identified in the previous step, then, what is the relative impact of those when compared with one another? There are different ways to score that impact (split of 100%, point system, etc). What matters most is that you work with the key stakeholders in your business—CFO, CRO, etc.—to find the distributed weights that work for you and your overall business goals.

For instance, let’s say you’re a database company selling into complex enterprises and you’re trying to capture market share. Your sales team needs to land net-new logos in your ideal customer profile (ICP) and get them up and running on your platform.

Sample sales compensation plan weights: Acquisition: 75% Onboarding: 25% Expansion: 0% 

Or let’s say you’re a developer tools company selling to companies of all sizes. Your product and marketing are designed to attract users and paying customers. Your sales team is responsible for helping customers build their first application (onboarding) and—more importantly for your overall growth—for driving continued use of the tools for more projects, across more teams (expansion).

Sample sales compensation plan weights: Acquisition: 0% Onboarding: 30% Expansion: 70%

These examples are obviously simplified versions of a given customer journey, and you’ll most likely decide to make your compensation plans more granular and tailored to your own business model. Maybe your compensation plans aren’t divided neatly into 3 buckets, for example, but starting with these 3 buckets of the journey can help you figure out where to tweak so you can better model your own process.

3. Choose the right compensation levers

Now that you’ve determined which stages of the customer journey your sales team impacts the most, you need to select the appropriate levers to incentivize your sales team’s behavior. While there’s rarely a straightforward “if X, then Y” formula for choosing these levers, the following considerations can help you determine the best ways to measure and calculate those incentives.

Signup

The best signup incentives motivate your reps to carry out challenging campaigns associated with prospecting, managing a sales process, and securing commercial agreements with newly acquired customers. 

Considerations:

New customer signups. In usage-based models, customers’ signup spend usually isn’t big enough to give your reps a significant bonus or commission. If that’s the case, consider compensating them on the number of newly acquired customers they bring in instead of the actual initial revenue. Minimum committed spend. If you and your customers still value minimum upfront commits in usage-based pricing, consider compensating reps on the dollar value of that committed revenue. Typically, we see companies credit the salesperson the full annual value of this during signup, even if the customer staggers the committed revenue throughout the contract period. Hybrid. A combination of both of the above can be useful if you need to incentivize each of these outcomes. Onboarding

Here, the goal is to incentivize your sales team to get your customers to that first indicator of sustainable success with your product—whether that’s over an initial period of time or on the completion of a given milestone. 

Considerations:

Year 1 revenue. You can incentivize based on the revenue you expect from each customer’s first full year using your product. We see companies pay based on actual attained revenue, rather than a projection or forecast. If you also paid your reps on minimum committed spend during signup, then incentivize for revenue above that minimum committed spend during onboarding. Key milestones. If your customer can hit distinct milestones during their initial use of your product—like deploying their first solution to production—consider incentivizing reps when customers hit one or more of those milestones. This can be used as an alternative to a time-based incentive. Expansion

Incentivize your reps for ongoing incremental usage and additional product purchases.

Considerations:

Overall incremental revenue. This is the calculation of sales team incentives based on the ongoing net incremental revenue from customer usage. This is generally one of the most straightforward and commonly applied incentives, given its direct link with the actual timing and value of incremental revenue. Incremental revenue above minimum commit. For companies that incentivize on commit during signup, expansion incentives are instead associated with the value above the minimum commit. Additional products. Consider incentivizing separately for this, if necessary, to create additional incentives above and beyond those represented as incremental revenue.

***

Reconciling the conflicting sales, company, and customer priorities in usage-based pricing can be incredibly difficult. Though this framework is far from exhaustive and the specifics of your business will heavily influence the particulars of your sales compensation plan, we hope this framework helps you think more concretely about building a compensation plan that makes your customers successful and helps your reps learn, earn, and have fun.


Nym - Medium

NymVPN community testing has begun!

The alpha version of the app is making an appearance at meet-ups across the world — learn more about where and when here. The NymVPN app will soon roll out in a private alpha launch, starting with Linux and MacOS, with Android to follow soon after and Windows and iOS applications in the making. Languages: Português // Español // Bahasa Indonesia // Русский // 日本 // Türkçe NymVPN
The alpha version of the app is making an appearance at meet-ups across the world — learn more about where and when here.

The NymVPN app will soon roll out in a private alpha launch, starting with Linux and MacOS, with Android to follow soon after and Windows and iOS applications in the making.

Languages: Português // Español // Bahasa Indonesia // Русский // 日本 // Türkçe

NymVPN puts some of the world’s most advanced privacy protections into the hands of ordinary people. Combining a high performing 2-hop VPN mode with a full privacy 5-hop mixnet mode, the app encrypts your traffic and routes it across a decentralised global mixnet, enabling actual private and secure communication.

To have a chance to try the NymVPN, join the NymVPN channel in Matrix and introduce yourself. Nym is looking for people with a strong awareness of privacy to help battle-test NymVPN before V1.0 rolls out.

Introducing Nym Squad testing

The Nym community have already got their hands on the alpha and are busily testing the VPN in a series of workshops all over the world.

The DAOariwas Squad were the first to jump at the occasion. Based out of the hackerspace Platohedro in Medellin, Colombia, they travelled to the recent Ethereum Hackathon in Cholula, Mexico and held the first community-organised NymVPN test session.

Left: the Daoariwas squad in Puebla, Mexico. Right: NymVPN session in Cholula, Mexico.

NymVPN alpha test sessions were also underway at the Swiss Free Software movement meet-up in Vaud, Switzerland — and in Lyon, France at the bitcoin meet-up, with many more planned in Kyiv, Prague, Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro and beyond.

The alpha version will roll out in a staged launch, starting with Nym Squads and friends and then in batches to members of the NymVPN waitlist. Newer batches will be added based on the stability of the applications and the capacity of the network to scale.

Alpha and beta testers are gaining free access to the NymVPN. Meanwhile, the app is being readied for commercial launch where even payments will be privacy-enhanced: the team is working on zk-nym credentials, using zero-knowledge proof cryptography, to ensure that user payment details cannot be linked to browsing habits.

NymVPN alpha: the features

NymVPN is the next stage in the evolution of NymConnect. NymConnect is a desktop app that allows people to use the mixnet to protect their usage of certain apps, including Telegram and a select number of crypto wallets, via SOCKS5 proxy.

NymVPN offers mixnet protections for your entire online stack. It features customizable entry and exit locations for geo-blocking resistance and is launching with two modes:

The 5-hop Nym mixnet mode

The 5-hop mixnet mode is optimised for privacy and uses the full capabilities of the Nym mixnet, a decentralised network of servers all over the world that ‘mix’ traffic so it becomes untraceable. The mixnet encrypts your traffic in novel onion encryption, then routes it via an entry gateway, three mix nodes and an exit gateway. This makes it near impossible for anyone to link sender and receiver, ensuring advanced privacy against even government-level adversaries. It is the optimal solution for sensitive use cases like crypto transactions, messaging, and secure email, that are not timing sensitive. It protects metadata, IP addresses and patterns of communication from traffic analysis and end-to-end correlation.

Read more about the Nym mixnet.

The 2-hop Nym dVPN mode

The 2-hop dVPN mode is optimised for speed. This mode uses the entry and exit gateways of the Nym mixnet, enabling IP address obfuscation for everyday browsing, streaming, or gaming.

NymVPN on Manjaro Linux

It is multi-hop by default, going far beyond the privacy standards of most VPNs. Most VPNs don’t provide privacy at all. Instead they just shift who knows your IP address and has access to your habits from the server you are communicating with, to the VPN provider. In fact, many free VPNs take advantage of this fact and sell your browsing habits for profit. The Nym dVPN is decentralised so there can be no centralised logging of your online habits.

Read more on the difference between traditional and decentralised VPNs.

NymVPN: upcoming features

Upcoming features include split tunnelling so you can preset which of your apps should run through the low latency 2-hop mode, and which require full privacy protections of the 5-hop mixnet mode.

There will also be a killswitch to prevent data leakage, and censorship resistance to ensure anyone can access the internet from anywhere, even in regions with strict restrictions.

Sign up to the NymVPN waitlist. Or if you can’t wait, join the NymVPN community channel to learn how you can get involved in testing or even how to become a mix node operator and delegator.

Join the Nym Community

Discord // Telegram // Element // Twitter

Privacy loves company

English // 中文 // Русский // Türkçe // Tiếng Việt // 日本 // Française // Español // Português // 한국인

NymVPN community testing has begun! was originally published in nymtech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


bankless

Restaking Summer & What it Means For Ethereum

In this episode of Bankless Takes, Ryan and David discuss the incredibly valuable investing wisdom from Chris Burniske, restaking summer…what’s the impact to ETH, and Vitalik’s end of my childhood post. ------ 🏹 dYdX | STAKING https://bankless.cc/dYdX-staking-podcast   ------ 🎧Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player  https://bankless.cc/Podcast    ------ BANKLESS

In this episode of Bankless Takes, Ryan and David discuss the incredibly valuable investing wisdom from Chris Burniske, restaking summer…what’s the impact to ETH, and Vitalik’s end of my childhood post.

------ 🏹 dYdX | STAKING https://bankless.cc/dYdX-staking-podcast  

------ 🎧Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player  https://bankless.cc/Podcast   

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2    ⁠ 

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo   

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/toku   

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle   

💸 CRYPTO TAX CALCULATOR | USE CODE BANK30 https://bankless.cc/CTC 

🦄UNISWAP | ON-CHAIN MARKETPLACE https://bankless.cc/uniswap  

------ TIMESTAMPS & RESOURCES

0:00 Intro 1:19 Wisdom 5:20 Burniske Investing Wisdom https://x.com/cburniske/status/1754315356770902293 

18:20 Restaking  22:50 Restaking Impact on ETH?  https://cryptoquant.com/asset/eth/chart/eth2/total-value-staked  https://ultrasound.money  https://app.eigenlayer.xyz/  https://dune.com/hashed_official/lrt 

41:30 End of My Childhood (Vitalik) https://vitalik.eth.limo/general/2024/01/31/end.html  

51:17 Closing & Disclaimers

------ See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures 


a16z Podcast

Fixing Higher Education & New Startup Opportunities with Marc and Ben

"The Ben & Marc Show" features a16z's co-founders Ben Horowitz & Marc Andreessen. In this episode, Marc and Ben continue their in-depth exploration of the current education system. While Part I of their discussion unpacked the crisis facing higher education, Part II presents solutions to overhaul the modern university. In this one-on-one conversation, Ben and Marc delve into actions that

"The Ben & Marc Show" features a16z's co-founders Ben Horowitz & Marc Andreessen. In this episode, Marc and Ben continue their in-depth exploration of the current education system. While Part I of their discussion unpacked the crisis facing higher education, Part II presents solutions to overhaul the modern university.

In this one-on-one conversation, Ben and Marc delve into actions that existing institutions can take to improve their current and future situations. This includes exploring new methods for talent recruitment, providing a more individualized education experience for students, and reducing administrative bloat. They also apply an entrepreneurial lens to each university function, revealing startup opportunities poised to emerge – including the building of brand new institutions, nonprofits, and research entities. Enjoy!

Resources:
*Watch Part I: https://youtu.be/7J2_G4oHRQ0
*Watch Part II: https://youtu.be/EeIdalo2huI

Marc on X: https://twitter.com/pmarca
Marc’s Substack: https://pmarca.substack.com/
Ben on X: https://twitter.com/bhorowitz
“South Park” episode mentioned in this discussion: – Eps 1505 (stream on Max): https://bit.ly/3HrZQg0

Stay Updated:

Find us on X: https://twitter.com/a16z
Find us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/a16z

Wednesday, 07. February 2024

Panther Protocol

Monthly Update | January

Fellow Panthers, It’s time to review what Team Panther was up to in January and our plans for February. In this month’s update, we cover ecosystem updates, team expansion, product highlights, and a glimpse of next month’s plans; here’s everything you should

Fellow Panthers,

It’s time to review what Team Panther was up to in January and our plans for February. In this month’s update, we cover ecosystem updates, team expansion, product highlights, and a glimpse of next month’s plans; here’s everything you should know:

Ecosystem updates Testnet Stage 3 is now live with a new design, enhanced security, and added features

Testnet Stage 3 was released in January, bringing a new design, enhanced security, and added features. Stage 3 enables users to use the newly allowlisted test Matic and test $ZKPs in Panther’s Shielded Pool.

Learn more about Stage 3 of our testnet.

LBank lists Zero-Knowledge DeFi pioneer Panther Protocol’s $ZKP 

We are excited to share that Panther Protocol’s $ZKP is now listed on LBank, a leading cryptocurrency exchange. This listing follows $ZKP’s listing on BitMart in December 2023. These listings are part of our focus on cementing strategic partnerships and a strong exchange presence before Panther Protocol’s V1 launch.

More about the LBank listing.

AMA recap: Panther’s CEO, Oliver Gale, discusses $ZKP listing on BitMart and the future of privacy in DeFi

Following the recent listing of $ZKP on BitMart, Panther’s CEO, Oliver Gale, introduced Panther Protocol to BitMart’s community. Catch a summary of the conversation in our latest blog

Panther Protocol testnet and rewards update Number of current testnet users: 634 Total rewards distributed: 500,000+ $ZKP

Our testnet rewards pot is 1.5M $ZKP — have you signed up for our testnet yet to earn your share? Learn more and sign up to join our testnet and receive your $ZKP rewards.

Panther’s Co-founder and CEO, Oliver Gale on CryptoCoinShow

 Our co-founder and CEO, Oliver Gale, was recently on the @CryptoCoinShow discussing Panther’s strategic direction and the future of privacy-preserving tech in DeFi. Watch the complete episode here.

Panther hires Harrie Bickle to improve product documentation

Harrie Bickle has joined the Panther team as a Senior Technical Writer. Harrie brings over a decade’s experience in Documentation and Product Marketing and has been in the blockchain space since 2018. Her range spans writing and editing articles, whitepapers, yellow papers, developer portals, and API documentation.

We are delighted to welcome Harrie and look forward to seeing our documentation reach a new level, thanks to her expertise gained while editing for Starkware in the Zero-Knowledge space and building out developer portals for Qredo’s crypto trading API and Neon EVM’s Solana settlement layer solution.

Product updates Stage 4 developments

The dApp development for Stage 4 is complete, and we expect to launch it in the first week of Feb. Stage 4 of testnet allows users to send zAssets inside the pool from one zAccount to another. Stage 4 is a feature-filled release as it is being shipped with an interesting, related feature originally from Stage 6: Withdrawals. 

Within the Stage 4 dApp, users can also undertake UTXO selection. 

Stage 5 developments

Stage 5 development is underway in parallel, thanks to the team’s efforts over the last two months. The team is currently working on integrating bundle services into the dApp. Stage 5 includes using a third-party Bundler service and the ability to submit gasless transactions using an Account Abstraction Paymaster contract. 

Oshiya update

We’ve updated the code for our Panther miner, Oshiya. The latest version of Oshiya comes with an enhanced miner setting: FORCE_UTXO_SIMULATION. This parameter gives control over whether the miner should consistently add a simulated UTXO, regardless of the presence of any pending queues. When set to ‘false’, a simulated UTXO will only be added if a pending queue exists. We recommend running the updated version of the Oshiya code. 

Plans for February 

Following the launch of Stage 4, the team will concentrate on enabling the dApp to support users to select a transaction for the Bundler service and perform end-to-end testing of this feature. 

In parallel, the core team will focus on Stage 6, with its revised scope offering a cohesive Fee and Rewards mechanism. In this stage, users will pay all the fees (mimicking a production experience) and receive ‘subsidies’ from the DAO for certain fees, such as for compliance checks, among others. These subsidies are part of the bootstrapping and will be limited to the initial period of the protocol launch. We wish to understand our users’ views on the fee structures and invite the community to engage with the DAO to discuss the subsidies that should be applied during mainnet launch.

About Panther

Panther Protocol is a cross-protocol layer that uses Zero-Knowledge (ZK) technology to build DeFi solutions that aim to meet ever-evolving regulatory standards while satisfying users’ on-chain data privacy needs. Panther’s goal is to enable seamless access to DeFi via a cross-chain-supported ZK compliance protocol. The Panther Protocol offers confidentiality across transactions in shielded pools, zSwap for DeFi integrations — enabling private swaps on third-party DEXs, and zTrade for internal OTC book for trading assets privately. Furthermore, Panther Protocol’s ZK primitives are generalizable to KYC, selective disclosures between trusted parties, private ID, voting, and data verification services.


Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

How AI Will Usher in an Era of Abundance

It’s impossible to talk about new technology without talking about human flourishing — every new technology from the plow to the microchip has typically been followed by a period of newfound wealth for consumers in the form of cheaper goods, improved productivity, and longer, healthier lives. In many ways, the most financially average person in...

It’s impossible to talk about new technology without talking about human flourishing — every new technology from the plow to the microchip has typically been followed by a period of newfound wealth for consumers in the form of cheaper goods, improved productivity, and longer, healthier lives. In many ways, the most financially average person in our modern society experiences daily luxuries that history’s Pharaohs and Caesars could not imagine: instant communication, broadcast television, global travel, antibiotics.

As we enter the AI era, we predict the benefits to consumers will be as profound as the technology is magical; what indeed are the implications for software that can write poetry, listen emphatically, compose music, or provide dating advice? 

In a word, we predict an Era of Abundance — consumers’ lives will be enriched through new channels for creativity and self expression, new paths to self discovery and belonging, and new ways to do the most meaningful work of their lives. 

Specifically:

Consumers will rediscover the latent creativity that lives within all of us. Lacking creative skills will no longer be a barrier to creating art; indeed, AI will close the gap between taste and art, and new creative workflows like Real Time will emerge from the technology.

Consumers will have an opportunity to craft their most impactful and efficient work, as their productivity multiplies and their administrative overhead goes to zero. New skill sets, new techniques, and new ways to gain expertise will clear a path toward wider, more meaningful careers. 

Consumers will find new opportunities for connection and belonging, as the fundamental human need for compassion and fellowship is increasingly facilitated by AIs that are infinitely empathic to everyone’s unique forms of weird.

And consumers will have access to richer opportunities for personal development and self care. Teams of smart and dedicated specialists focused solely on the needs of one person will exist for all, as AI plays the role of a patient tutor, savvy wealth manager, and expert therapist. 

Consumer software companies are amongst the most valuable in the world (FAANG is all consumer) and were built during a major platform shift or product cycle. We expect this time to be no different.

Below you’ll find our thoughts and observations regarding the state of consumer AI. As we say, “Consumer cannot be predicted, only observed” — so we put forward these thoughts with the humility of knowledge that founders will be the ones to invent and define the future, and we can’t wait to invest in them. Click below to learn more. 


bankless

Farcaster's Big Moment with Founder Dan Romero

Farcaster is a twitter-like crypto social media app that just launched what could prove to be a killer new feature. They’re called frames. We’re calling it now and we’re calling it early - we think Farcaster frames could be a breakout use-case for crypto this year and a way to onboard the masses in the months to come and we're here with founder, Dan Romero, to explain why. ------ 🏹 USE PODCAST

Farcaster is a twitter-like crypto social media app that just launched what could prove to be a killer new feature. They’re called frames.

We’re calling it now and we’re calling it early - we think Farcaster frames could be a breakout use-case for crypto this year and a way to onboard the masses in the months to come and we're here with founder, Dan Romero, to explain why. ------ 🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024  ------ 🎧 Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player:  https://bankless.cc/Podcast  ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2    ⁠ 

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo   

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/toku   

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle   

💸 CRYPTO TAX CALCULATOR | USE CODE BANK30 https://bankless.cc/CTC 

🦄UNISWAP | ON-CHAIN MARKETPLACE https://bankless.cc/uniswap 

------ TIMESTAMPS  

00:00:00 Start 00:07:48 Intro To Dan and Farcaster 00:12:00 What's Different About Farcaster 00:17:12 Investing in Farcaster vs X 00:22:19 Introduction To Frames 00:29:40 Frames Escape Velocity 00:38:22 Building a New Internet 00:47:52 Frames Distribution 00:54:52 Sufficiently Decentralized 01:05:11 Censorship 01:10:07 Farcaster Costs 01:15:29 Farcaster Economics 01:21:54 Rapid Fire Q&A

------ RESOURCES

Farcaster: https://www.farcaster.xyz 

Dan Farcaster: https://warpcast.com/dwr.eth 

Dan X Profile: https://twitter.com/dwr 

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures

Tuesday, 06. February 2024

Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

Transitioning from Gymnast to Investor with Aly Raisman

Former gymnast and current investor Aly Raisman joins general partner Julie Yoo and investment partner Daisy Wolf of a16z Bio + Health. In this episode, Aly shares her quest for healthier living—physically, mentally and financially—on her journey from gymnast to a business investor. Having herself transitioned from an intensely structured routine, Aly emphasizes the need...

Former gymnast and current investor Aly Raisman joins general partner Julie Yoo and investment partner Daisy Wolf of a16z Bio + Health.

In this episode, Aly shares her quest for healthier living—physically, mentally and financially—on her journey from gymnast to a business investor. Having herself transitioned from an intensely structured routine, Aly emphasizes the need for more open conversations about mental health and financial literacy. She speaks passionately about the gap in women’s health solutions and hopes to inspire entrepreneurs to create impactful businesses. Aly’s experiences as a patient, survivor, and global figure adds a unique dimension to her perspective as an investor. This candid conversation sheds light on Aly’s passion for more education within the investment space, offering invaluable insights for entrepreneurs, particularly in biotech and healthcare.


Circle Blog

USDC Redemption Process Updated to Expand Liquidity Worldwide

Circle is proud to offer robust redemption capabilities and has introduced new Circle Mint redemption options to help us provide even more USDC liquidity across the globe. Circle Mint Customers now have the choice between Standard and Basic redemption for managing their USDC needs, however, all customers will automatically be enrolled in our Standard redemption offering. Customers who c

Circle is proud to offer robust redemption capabilities and has introduced new Circle Mint redemption options to help us provide even more USDC liquidity across the globe. Circle Mint Customers now have the choice between Standard and Basic redemption for managing their USDC needs, however, all customers will automatically be enrolled in our Standard redemption offering. Customers who choose to switch to Basic may visit our Help Center to get started.


bankless

$1.5T Franklin Templeton's Massive Bet on Crypto with SVP Sandy Kaul

✨ DEBRIEF | Ryan and David unpacking the episode: https://bankless.com/debrief-franklin-templeton  Franklin Templeton Has Entered the Chat. More broadly TradFi has entered the chat. Franklin Templeton is a TradFi company with $1.5 trillion in assets. We brought on their SVP Sandy Kaul, who is a turbo crypto bull.  What’s Franklin Templeton? It’s an investment management company (thi

✨ DEBRIEF | Ryan and David unpacking the episode: https://bankless.com/debrief-franklin-templeton 

Franklin Templeton Has Entered the Chat. More broadly TradFi has entered the chat. Franklin Templeton is a TradFi company with $1.5 trillion in assets. We brought on their SVP Sandy Kaul, who is a turbo crypto bull. 

What’s Franklin Templeton? It’s an investment management company (think mutual funds, ETFs) that manages over $1.5 Trillion in assets. This is what we in crypto affectionately refer to as TradFi and they recently came out with a BTC ETF and have big plans for future tokenization. They also seem to be incredibly bullish on crypto and this new intersection between crypto and TradFi. This is exactly what we wanted to explore with Sandy today.

------ 🏹 dYdX | STAKING https://bankless.cc/dYdX-staking-podcast  

------ Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player:  https://bankless.cc/Podcast   

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2    ⁠  

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo   

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/toku   

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle   

💸 CRYPTO TAX CALCULATOR | USE CODE BANK30 https://bankless.cc/CTC 

🦄UNISWAP | ON-CHAIN MARKETPLACE https://bankless.cc/uniswap  

------ TIMESTAMPS

0:00 Intro 7:18 Explaining Crypto to TradFi  13:45 Why TradFi Waited  21:58 Explaining Tokens & Franklin Templeton’s Future Use  31:55 The Chameleon Asset  39:30 What’s Preventing Franklin Templeton? 46:27 Advice For Founders 48:37 Regulation Vibe Check 54:30 Countering Crypto Critiques  1:00:00 BTC & ETH ETF 1:12:16 Under or Over-Rated 1:15:00 Sandy’s Crypto Story 1:17:30 Franklin Templeton’s Twitter  1:19:20 Closing & Disclosures

------ RESOURCES

Franklin Templeton’s Twitter  https://twitter.com/FTI_US  

Sandy Kaul https://www.linkedin.com/in/sandy-kaul-8571877/  

------ 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://www.bankless.com/disclosures 

Monday, 05. February 2024

Zcash Foundation

ZconV & Zcon6

The Zcash Foundation (ZF) is excited to share our vision for the next two Zcon conferences: ZconV (virtual) in May 2024 and Zcon6 (in-person) tentatively scheduled for the first quarter of 2025. Get ready for impactful presentations and outcomes at ZconV, under the inspiring theme “Zcash Unified!”  ZconV ZconV will be a virtual conference, happening […] The post ZconV & Zcon6 appeared f

The Zcash Foundation (ZF) is excited to share our vision for the next two Zcon conferences: ZconV (virtual) in May 2024 and Zcon6 (in-person) tentatively scheduled for the first quarter of 2025. Get ready for impactful presentations and outcomes at ZconV, under the inspiring theme “Zcash Unified!” 

ZconV

ZconV will be a virtual conference, happening online in early May 2024. It will be a celebration showcasing how the diversity of  individuals, organizations, and projects within the Zcash ecosystem contributes to its success and innovative spirit. Our goal is to open doors for inclusive and widespread participation from our global community, while maintaining our commitment to fiscal responsibility amidst the uncertainties surrounding the Dev Fund and market conditions.

Using the popular Whova web and mobile app, which received rave reviews during our last conference, ZconV will offer an interactive and dynamic platform for real-time Q&A, discussion boards, polls, chat, and video conferencing. Keep an eye on the ZconV webpage for continuous updates and ways to engage in these enriching discussions.

Zcon6

As for Zcon6 we plan to bring the Zcash Community together for an in-person event in Mexico City in early 2025. This gathering will focus on strategic planning and commitment to long-term projects, empowered by a clear understanding of available resources. The timing in Q1 2025 not only offers cost-effectiveness but also a warm and inviting atmosphere during the colder months in many parts of the world, adding an extra layer of appeal for attendees. Stay tuned for more details on Zcon6, including the exciting reasons behind choosing Mexico City, coming your way by the end of Q3 2024.

Join us for these two landmark events as we continue to propel Zcash into a bright and unified future!

The post ZconV & Zcon6 appeared first on Zcash Foundation.


Panther Protocol

Testnet Stage 4 is now live — supporting internal transfers and withdrawals

Firstly, thank you to all our testers for your continued support, patience, and feedback: we could not do this without you.  Testnet Stage 3 is now complete, and it provided us with valuable insights, resulting in several updates to the codebase. We are excited to announce that Stage 4

Firstly, thank you to all our testers for your continued support, patience, and feedback: we could not do this without you. 

Testnet Stage 3 is now complete, and it provided us with valuable insights, resulting in several updates to the codebase.

We are excited to announce that Stage 4 of our testnet is live. Stage 4 allows users to send zAssets from inside the pool from one zAccount to another. Within the Stage 4 dApp, users can undertake UTXO selection. 

Stage 4 is a feature-filled release as it is being shipped with an interesting, related feature originally from Stage 6: Withdrawals. 

Protocol rewards update:

Before diving into the new features supported by Stage 4, we need to announce our enhanced protocol reward mechanics:

Automatic conversion of pending PRPs into available PRPs upon spending of UTXO/s during transfers and withdrawals A flat PRP bonus upon spending UTXO/s Wallets, accounts, and transactions

Stage 4 testnet now supports internal transfers and withdrawals.

Internal transfers (send and receive)

Users can transfer zAssets to other Panther users inside the shielded pool using their zAddress. Every Panther user is assigned a zAddress upon sign-up. Find your zAddress in the dashboard by clicking the Receive button, as shown in the screenshot.

You can also share your Panther account address (zAddress) via a QR code from the receive screen.

Withdrawals

Users can now withdraw zAssets from the shielded pool to their external, linked wallet. 

This external wallet may be the wallet linked to the original Panther account. Alternatively, testers may create a new Panther account with an alternative external wallet and withdraw to an account that did not originally deposit assets. 

The withdrawal process performs compliance checks to ensure that users own the zAccount they are interacting with. This step also verifies that the wallet accepting withdrawals has no illegal association as part of the KYT (Know Your Transactions) check.

For a complete list of Test Stages, visit the Panther docs.

Get started with Stage 4 testing

To start testing Stage 4, visit the Panther Protocol documentation for the updated dApp test link and follow the steps outlined.

Internal Transfers

Log into your MetaMask wallet and sign into the Panther dApp.

Step 1: Navigate to the Send screen

Send is available from:

Top main menu > zAssets >Send tab zAssets > Portfolio card > Send button Dashboard > Private zAssets section > token line > token management buttons Step 2: Create the transaction

Enter the amount to send and choose the token from the menu. Currently, zMatic and zZKP are supported.

Step 3: Manage UTXOs 

The Stage 4 testnet dApp allows the selection of a maximum of two UTXOs in a given transaction, i.e., up to two UTXOs may define a selected balance. 

Note: you don’t have to actively choose as, by default, UTXOs with the top two balances are selected. If the chosen UTXO/s total value exceeds the transfer amount, the balance is returned as a new UTXO in the user’s zAsset list.

Step 4: Specify the destination 

Provide the destination address in the Panther account format: beginning with “ZK” and totalling 42 characters.

 Enter a new address or select from previously-used addresses.

Step 5: Send

Press the Send button to initiate the internal transfer. 

Congratulations, your transfer is complete!

Withdraw Step 1: Navigate to the Withdraw screen

Withdraw is available from:

Top main menu > zAssets > Withdraw screen Dashboard > Private zAssets section > token line > token management buttons Step 2: Create the transaction

Enter the withdrawal amount and choose the token from the menu. Currently, zMatic and zZKP are supported.

Step 3: Manage UTXOs

The Stage 4 testnet dApp allows the selection of a maximum of two UTXOs in a given transaction, i.e. up to two UTXOs may define a selected balance. 

Step 4: Specify the destination

Provide the destination address in the Polygon network format: beginning with “0x” and totaling 42 characters. Either enter a new address or select from previously used options.

Step 5: Withdraw

Press the Withdraw button to initiate the withdrawal. 

Congratulations, your withdrawal is complete!

To share your feedback, kindly fill in this form.

This phase marks a significant advancement in the protocol’s capabilities and gets us ever closer to our V1 release. As always, let us know if you have any additional feedback through our social and community channels. 

Thanks for participating in testnet Stage 4!

Note: An issue was reported after Stage 3 that made a specific zZKP UTXO unusable. This UTXO was created by converting PRP to zZKP. Because this UTXO was unusable, we made a custom filter on dApp to not fetch them thus avoiding confusion between good and bad UTXO. 

Users who had those zZKP UTXO, however, will be compensated by a direct distribution to their externally owned account thereby ensuring rewards are not lost. Users do not need to perform any action on their side.

Not sure how to create a Panther testnet account? watch our tutorial below: 0:00 /4:15 1× About Panther Protocol

Panther Protocol is a cross-protocol layer that uses Zero-Knowledge (ZK) technology to build DeFi solutions that aim to meet ever-evolving regulatory standards while satisfying users’ on-chain data privacy needs. Panther’s goal is to enable seamless access to DeFi via a cross-chain-supported ZK compliance protocol. The Panther Protocol offers confidentiality across transactions in shielded pools, zSwap for DeFi integrations — enabling private swaps on third-party DEXs, and zTrade for internal OTC book for trading assets privately. Furthermore, Panther Protocol’s ZK primitives are generalizable to KYC, selective disclosures between trusted parties, private ID, voting, and data verification services.

Website · One-pager · Lite Paper · Twitter · Telegram · Discord


Horizen - Blog

The Shielded Pool will be Permanently Disabled on the Horizen Mainchain on February 7th, 2024

On February 7th, 2024, at approximately 12:00pm UTC, ZEN 5.0.0 will perform a network upgrade on Mainnet via hard fork at block #1502800. As previous communications have stated, after this hard fork it will no longer be possible to perform any transactions involving shielded addresses. It is highly recommended to move funds out of the […] The post The Shielded Pool will be Permanently Disable

On February 7th, 2024, at approximately 12:00pm UTC, ZEN 5.0.0 will perform a network upgrade on Mainnet via hard fork at block #1502800. As previous communications have stated, after this hard fork it will no longer be possible to perform any transactions involving shielded addresses. It is highly recommended to move funds out of the shielded pool before then. 

Failure to remove shielded ZEN from shielded addresses prior to the hard fork will result in the loss of your shielded ZEN. It’s important to note that transparent ZEN is not affected by the hard fork, just shielded ZEN. 

This move came with the successfully passed ZenIP 42207 earlier this year, which enabled the complete removal of the shielded pool from the Horizen mainchain. This change built upon the deprecation of access to the shielded pool enacted by ZenIP 42204 and is a response to the evolving regulatory environment around privacy tokens, re-confirming and showcasing the project’s strategic pivot away from privacy-focused features. As a result, it will no longer be possible to conduct a private transaction on Horizen or access private addresses as of February 7, 2024.

This is a complete removal of all private payment features from Horizen, effective Feb 7, 2024. There will be no private payment capabilities in Horizen as of this change. Regular public payments, just like Bitcoin, will continue to be supported by Horizen. Horizen will not be a privacy cryptocurrency anymore when this takes effect on Feb 7, 2024.

Again, we strongly recommend that all users with existing funds in private addresses transfer their funds to their own transparent addresses using Sphere by Horizen or zen-cli before February 7th, 2024. After February 7th, 2024 it will not be possible anymore to transfer any funds inside of the shielded pool to any other address. Unshielding funds directly to exchange deposit addresses is strongly discouraged.

There is a guide on the Horizen Blog on how to De-Shield ZEN on Sphere Wallet, users will need to de-shield any ZEN in a shielded address by transferring it out from the shielded pool. Please reference the guide here: https://blog.horizen.io/how-to-de-shield-zen-on-sphere-wallet/

The Horizen Ecosystem Team remains readily available to answer any questions around this, please open up a ticket, or reach out to us on our Discord: https://horizen.io/invite/discord

The post The Shielded Pool will be Permanently Disabled on the Horizen Mainchain on February 7th, 2024 appeared first on Horizen Blog.


Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

Big Tech killed the internet — blockchains can help revive it.


bankless

208 - Fixing Fragmentation with Justin Drake

✨ DEBRIEF | Ryan and David unpacking the episode: https://bankless.com/debrief-fragmentation  ------ The Ethereum Ecosystem is going through Fragmentation, can we make it more Composable?  We brought on Ethereum researcher Justin Drake to explore this question in detail. We cover deep topics like Universal Synchronous Composability, Shared Sequencing and Based Rollups. Justin exp

✨ DEBRIEF | Ryan and David unpacking the episode: https://bankless.com/debrief-fragmentation 

------ The Ethereum Ecosystem is going through Fragmentation, can we make it more Composable? 

We brought on Ethereum researcher Justin Drake to explore this question in detail.

We cover deep topics like Universal Synchronous Composability, Shared Sequencing and Based Rollups. Justin explores the solution for which might be Ethereum’s Hardest Challenge and its roadmap.

------ Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player: https://bankless.cc/Podcast  

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2 

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/toku  

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle  

💸 CRYPTO TAX CALCULATOR | USE CODE BANK30 https://bankless.cc/CTC 

------ TIMESTAMPS

00:00 Intro 6:55 Ethereum’s Fragmentation Problem 10:00 The Solution 17:14 Composability Spectrum 23:57 Universal Synchronous Composability 30:32 Composability Features 36:25 Why Composability Matters 43:07 The Roadmap 46:52 What is Shared Sequencing? 1:03:38 A Shared Sequencing Paradigm 1:19:55 Shared Sequencing Solutions 1:30:25 Rollup Design 1:40:15 Based Rollup Roadmap 1:47:02 What’s Next 1:50:51 Timeline 1:53:10 Accessory Technologies 1:58:18 The Role of Blockspace 2:05:28 Outro

------ RESOURCES

Justin Drake https://twitter.com/drakefjustin  

Justin Drake Episodes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-4Jn8p2Oeo  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azjpYTB7PVE  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycK3AUTdl1w  

------ 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://www.bankless.com/disclosures

Saturday, 03. February 2024

Epicenter Podcast

Lefteris Karapetsas: Rotki – From Ethereum Devcon 0 to Building Rotki

We are, arguably, still early in the crypto industry, but some people were really…really early. One of them is Lefteris Karapetsas, who joined EthDev in 2014 and contributed to building the Ethereum ecosystem, since before the genesis block. His crypto journey is one for the history books, as after EthDev he joined Slock.it, right around the time of The DAO raise…and hack. Lefteris remained a core

We are, arguably, still early in the crypto industry, but some people were really…really early. One of them is Lefteris Karapetsas, who joined EthDev in 2014 and contributed to building the Ethereum ecosystem, since before the genesis block. His crypto journey is one for the history books, as after EthDev he joined Slock.it, right around the time of The DAO raise…and hack. Lefteris remained a core supporter of decentralisation and an active member of the Ethereum community, being involved (and delegated) in multiple projects’ governance. More recently, he founded Rotki, an open source portfolio management app that aims to preserve user privacy. 

We were joined by Lefteris Karapetsas, true Ethereum OG, to discuss his 10-year long journey through the Ethereum ecosystem, from joining EthDev (pre-Devcon 0) to founding Rotki.

Topics covered in this episode:

Lefteris’ background Ethereum’s beginnings Joining Slock.it The DAO r(a)ise and hack Ethereum classic hard fork Brainbot & Raiden Network era Founding Rotki Crypto accounting privacy The challenges of building a local app Rotki membership tiers Upcoming portfolio management on Rotki Future roadmap for Rotki How Ethereum’s culture evolved over time Ethereum public good funding. Optimism governance Hopes and fears regarding Ethereum’s future

Episode links:

Lefteris Karapetsas on Twitter Rotki on Twitter

Sponsors:

Gnosis: Gnosis builds decentralized infrastructure for the Ethereum ecosystem, since 2015. This year marks the launch of Gnosis Pay— the world's first Decentralized Payment Network. Get started today at - gnosis.io Chorus1: Chorus1 is one of the largest node operators worldwide, supporting more than 100,000 delegators, across 45 networks. The recently launched OPUS allows staking up to 8,000 ETH in a single transaction. Enjoy the highest yields and institutional grade security at - chorus.one

This episode is hosted by Friederike Ernst. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/533


bankless

Eigenlayer Q&A with Founder Sreeram Kannan

What are the biggest questions that people have about Eigenlayer?  David sourced these questions from Crypto-Twitter, and will be asking Sreeram LIVE! ------ 🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024  ------ 🎧 Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player:  https://bankless.cc/Podcast  ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHAN

What are the biggest questions that people have about Eigenlayer? 

David sourced these questions from Crypto-Twitter, and will be asking Sreeram LIVE!

------ 🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024  ------ 🎧 Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player:  https://bankless.cc/Podcast  ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2  ⁠

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo 

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/toku 

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle 

💸 CRYPTO TAX CALCULATOR | USE CODE BANK30 https://bankless.cc/CTC 

------ TIMESTAMPS 00:00:00 Start 00:00:29 Intro 00:03:27 Sriram and Nima 00:04:41 Why Should We Care? 00:06:09 Unique Use Cases 00:14:25 AVS Rewards Payouts 00:19:07 AVS Incentives 00:24:32 AVS Awareness 00:29:24 Slashing a Delegated Validator 00:31:26 Calculating Risk 00:33:18 Ecosystem Take Rate 00:36:10 Unstaking 00:38:02 Solo Staking Premium 00:42:19 Addressing Risks 00:54:40 Healthy Slashing 01:03:36 Native Token 01:08:19 When Token?

------ RESOURCES

Eigenlayer: https://www.eigenlayer.xyz/ 

Sreeram: https://twitter.com/sreeramkannan?lang=en 

Nima: https://twitter.com/nima_vaziri 

Risks: https://docs.eigenlayer.xyz/risk/risk-faq  ------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures⁠ 


Andreesen Horowitz - a16z

Read Write Own: A New Era

Chris Dixon is the founder and managing partner of a16z crypto and author of the new book Read Write Own: Building the Next Era of the Internet. Robert Hackett is an editor at a16z crypto who worked closely with him on the book as an editing and thought partner. They discuss the writing process, the...

Chris Dixon is the founder and managing partner of a16z crypto and author of the new book Read Write Own: Building the Next Era of the Internet. Robert Hackett is an editor at a16z crypto who worked closely with him on the book as an editing and thought partner. They discuss the writing process, the book’s themes, and what could follow the internet’s read-write-own era.

Resources Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse “‘It’s a canon event’ TikTok trend, explained” Chris Dixon’s blog at cdixon.orgCome for the tool, stay for the network“ “The next big thing starts out looking like a toy“ “Can’t be evilThe Cold Start Problem by Andrew Chen On Andrew Chen’s writing habits On investing in Coinbase in 2013 Guidance from the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission in 2019: “Framework for ‘Investment Contract’ Analysis of Digital Assets“ On blockchains as “a programmable computer that lives in the sky” via a16z crypto head of research Tim Roughgarden Gödel Escher Bach by Douglas Hofstader “How Aristotle Created the Computer” by Chris Dixon for The Atlantic “A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits” by Claude Shannon Principia Mathematica by Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead An Investigation of the Laws of Thought by George Boole The End of Education by Neil Postman “Inside out vs. outside in: The adoption of new technologies” by Chris Dixon “The Inevitable Showdown Between Twitter and Twitter Apps” by Chris Dixon “Elon Musk says X is discouraging links in posts” by Sara Fischer “Make Ethereum Cypherpunk Again” by Vitalik Buterin “What Will Happen in 2024” by Fred Wilson “A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity” by McCullough and Pitts Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore On “thesis, antithesis, and synthesis” and Hegel’s Dialectics

Friday, 02. February 2024

bankless

The $JUP Airdrop with Jupiter founder Meow

$JUP has landed, at a shattering $7b valuation.  How did it get to $7B?  Where did it come from?  What does the future have in store for Jupiter?  How will the decentralization of Jupiter begin?  All these questions, and more, with the founder of Jupiter.  ------ 🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024  ------ 🎧 Listen On Your F

$JUP has landed, at a shattering $7b valuation. 

How did it get to $7B?  Where did it come from?  What does the future have in store for Jupiter? 

How will the decentralization of Jupiter begin? 

All these questions, and more, with the founder of Jupiter. 

------ 🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024  ------ 🎧 Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player:  https://bankless.cc/Podcast  ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2  ⁠

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo 

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/toku 

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle 

💸 CRYPTO TAX CALCULATOR | USE CODE BANK30 https://bankless.cc/CTC 

------ TIMESTAMPS 00:00:00 Episode Overview 00:04:29 Intro To Meow 00:10:10 Liquidity On Jupiter 00:15:10 Leveraging Solana 00:19:29 Inspiration For Jupiter 00:25:31 Eligible Airdrop Addresses 00:32:16 What Are People Trading? 00:39:29 Jupiter Launchpad 00:44:11 $JUP Token Launch 00:51:40 Bigger Than Uniswap? 00:56:45 50:30 Launchpad Dynamics 01:06:20 Solana Uptime 01:09:28 Future Roadmap 01:14:38 Hiring 01:17:26 Meow Origin Story

------ RESOURCES Meow on X:  https://twitter.com/weremeow 

Jupiter:  https://jup.ag  ------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures 


Circle Blog

Circle Contributes USDC to Scholarship for Emerging Market Regulators

Since Circle’s founding in 2013, we have supported initiatives that share our vision for a more open, accessible and well-regulated financial system for people across the globe. As part of this effort, Circle recently contributed $50,000 in USDC to support the Emerging Markets Scholarship program at the renowned Program on International Financial Systems (PIFS). 

Since Circle’s founding in 2013, we have supported initiatives that share our vision for a more open, accessible and well-regulated financial system for people across the globe. As part of this effort, Circle recently contributed $50,000 in USDC to support the Emerging Markets Scholarship program at the renowned Program on International Financial Systems (PIFS). 


Nym - Medium

Binance custodian Ceffu now supports the NYM token

The digital assets custodian supports native NYM on Cosmos and ERC-20 NYM Digital assets custodian Ceffu, the custodian for Binance, now supports the NYM utility token in both the native Cosmos-based NYM and ERC-20 NYM. Because regulated funds must work with a custodian, NYM on Ceffu paves the way for broader adoption and institutional support for the NYM token. Languages: 日本 //
The digital assets custodian supports native NYM on Cosmos and ERC-20 NYM

Digital assets custodian Ceffu, the custodian for Binance, now supports the NYM utility token in both the native Cosmos-based NYM and ERC-20 NYM.

Because regulated funds must work with a custodian, NYM on Ceffu paves the way for broader adoption and institutional support for the NYM token.

Languages: 日本 // Português // Bahasa Indonesia // Español // Русский // Türkçe // Française // 中文

Ceffu provides enterprise custody and liquidity for institutions to manage their digital assets safely via cold storage. Custodians such as Ceffu ensure digital asset security, as well as transaction efficiency, for investors, institutions, and corporates.

As such, Ceffu’s support of NYM has the potential to significantly boost access to the NYM utility token in the world of regulated finance.

Join the Nym Community

Discord // Telegram // Element // Twitter

Privacy loves company

English // 中文 // Русский // Türkçe // Tiếng Việt // 日本 // Française // Español // Português // 한국인

Binance custodian Ceffu now supports the NYM token was originally published in nymtech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


bankless

ROLLUP: 4 Year Cycles | $JUP Airdrop | ETH ETF Rumors

Bankless Weekly Rollup 1st Week of February, 2024 ------ 🏹 dYdX | STAKING https://bankless.cc/dYdX-staking-podcast  ------ 🎧 Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player:  https://bankless.cc/Podcast  ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2  🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo  🗣️TOKU |

Bankless Weekly Rollup 1st Week of February, 2024

------ 🏹 dYdX | STAKING https://bankless.cc/dYdX-staking-podcast 

------ 🎧 Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player:  https://bankless.cc/Podcast  ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2 

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo 

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/toku 

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle  💸 CRYPTO TAX CALCULATOR | USE CODE BANK30 https://bankless.cc/CTC 

------ TIMESTAMPS

0:00 Intro 1:30 dYdX https://blockworks.co/news/dydx-chain-liquid-staking  3:00 stTIA https://x.com/stride_zone/status/1753057572708315569 

3:50 MARKETS 5:30 Interest Rates https://www.reuters.com/markets/us/feds-faith-immaculate-disinflation-narrative-put-test-2024-01-31/ 

7:20 4 Year Cycles https://x.com/MikeIppolito_/status/1751260864949186776  https://x.com/mrink0/status/1751262550249861500  https://www.ft.com/content/4d3790e0-cf12-47f9-a129-b44f4ed70e67 

16:30 Jupiter Airdrop https://x.com/weremeow/status/1752355081499132228?s=20  https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/jupiter  https://www.reddit.com/r/solana/comments/18r31pb/meow_here_i_am_the_founder_of_jupiter_ama/  https://twitter.com/weremeow/status/1735544950417436806 

20:30 Farcaster Frames https://metaversal.banklesshq.com/p/farcaster-frames  https://twitter.com/dwr/status/1752183814737322379?s=20  https://blog.spindl.xyz/p/why-farcaster-frames-are-important  https://twitter.com/dwr/status/1751636894989897990  https://x.com/dwr/status/1752333651734675918?s=20  https://x.com/dwr/status/1752709131977490702?s=20   https://twitter.com/dwr/status/1751675485984055440?s=46 

28:15 New Onchain Users https://drive.google.com/file/d/1auz3m9oiDeYnFxFN-tLveyQFanC_BJLo/view  https://flipsidecrypto.xyz/flipcomm/crypto-users-crypto-users-yv2zCa 

33:30 FTX Repaying Funds https://www.coindesk.com/policy/2024/01/31/ftx-expects-to-fully-repay-customers-but-wont-restart-defunct-crypto-exchange/   37:15 Blobs Testnet https://twitter.com/parithosh_j/status/1752468658868126030  38:05 Protocol Guild Pledge https://twitter.com/TimBeiko/status/1752458526407139680  https://x.com/ether_fi/status/1752376059394408458?s=20  https://x.com/ether_fi/status/1752754098984878536?s=20  41:20 Friend.tech Points https://twitter.com/friendtech/status/1751038251056738459?s=20  42:45 Puffer Finance Points https://x.com/puffer_finance/status/1751954283052810298?s=20  43:50 ETH Spot ETF https://twitter.com/RyanSAdams/status/1752075849044549966?s=20  https://www.theblock.co/post/275174/sec-ethereum-etf-approval-may-standard-chartered-bank  47:20 Ripple Chairman Hacked https://twitter.com/chrislarsensf/status/1752702297971532258?s=20  https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/USA-v-Powell-Order-on-Motion-for-Miscellaneous-Relief-1-25-2024.pdf  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-398483A1.pdf  49:50 Bankless 2024 Badge https://x.com/BanklessHQ/status/1752715915706175541?s=20 

50:30 Meme of the Week https://twitter.com/sherlock_hodles/status/1752731162676441378?s=20 

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures⁠  


a16z Podcast

Read Write Own: A New Era

with @cdixon @rhhackett Welcome to the web3 with a16z crypto podcast. I'm Robert Hackett, an editor here at a16z crypto, and I'm here with Chris Dixon, founding partner of a16z crypto and author of the new book Read Write Own: Building the Next Era of the Internet.  I had the privilege of editing Chris throughout the book writing process, and I'm thrilled now to talk to you about what went o

with @cdixon @rhhackett

Welcome to the web3 with a16z crypto podcast. I'm Robert Hackett, an editor here at a16z crypto, and I'm here with Chris Dixon, founding partner of a16z crypto and author of the new book Read Write Own: Building the Next Era of the Internet.  I had the privilege of editing Chris throughout the book writing process, and I'm thrilled now to talk to you about what went on behind the scenes, the big themes of the book, the challenges, and also about the crypto industry at large as well as what we can expect from it in the future.

Learn more at https://readwriteown.com/.

Resources for references in this episode:

Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse "'It's a canon event' TikTok trend, explained" Chris Dixon's blog at cdixon.org "Come for the tool, stay for the network" "The next big thing starts out looking like a toy" "Can't be evil" The Cold Start Problem by Andrew Chen On Andrew Chen's writing habits On investing in Coinbase in 2013 Guidance from the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission in 2019: "Framework for 'Investment Contract' Analysis of Digital Assets" On blockchains as "a programmable computer that lives in the sky" via a16z crypto head of research Tim Roughgarden Gödel Escher Bach by Douglas Hofstader "How Aristotle Created the Computer" by Chris Dixon for The Atlantic "A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits" by Claude Shannon Principia Mathematica by Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead An Investigation of the Laws of Thought by George Boole The End of Education by Neil Postman "Inside out vs. outside in: The adoption of new technologies" by Chris Dixon "The Inevitable Showdown Between Twitter and Twitter Apps" by Chris Dixon "Elon Musk says X is discouraging links in posts" by Sara Fischer "Make Ethereum Cypherpunk Again" by Vitalik Buterin "What Will Happen in 2024" by Fred Wilson "A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity" by McCullough and Pitts Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore On "thesis, antithesis, and synthesis" and Hegel's Dialectics

As a reminder, none of the following should be taken as business, legal, tax, or investment advice; please see a16z.com/disclosures for more important information, including a link to a list of our investments.

Wednesday, 31. January 2024

Sequoia

Partnering with Oasis Security: The Stars Align

The post Partnering with Oasis Security: The Stars Align appeared first on Sequoia Capital.
Partnering with Oasis Security: The Stars Align

At Sequoia, we look for strong teams going after growing markets—and in Danny Brickman and Amit Zimerman, and non-human identity security, that’s exactly what we found.

By Bogomil Balkansky Published January 31, 2024 Bogomil, Danny and Amit hiking Twin Peaks in San Francisco.

When we first met Danny Brickman in the summer of 2021, we identified him as a young star in the Israeli entrepreneurial ecosystem and someone we should watch. At the time, he was still ideating and had not started a company. But we recognized in him the same passion and drive we’d seen in the founders of Sequoia portfolio companies Wiz and Cyera (who, like Danny, are graduates of the elite Talpiot program).

At the same time, we at Sequoia were developing a thesis that identity was the largest remaining opportunity in security. Why? In part because when we asked CISOs to name their top three priorities, identity security was the most frequent theme. In the lingo of security pros, identity is the new perimeter, with the majority of security attacks today occurring via a malicious actor stealing a user’s identity. It is more important than ever to tighten that perimeter, and to have solid answers to questions like who should have access to what—and who is actually accessing what. Which team members need to use which apps and resources? What kind of access should they have? Are their current privileges too broad?

Most of us are very familiar with the process of securing how humans access systems. We may even get annoyed by the constant reminders to choose stronger passwords—but we know how costly it can be to have our private identity stolen or to allow an attacker into our corporate systems. What comes as a surprise to many, though, is that only a very small fraction of access requests in a company today actually come from humans. In the age of distributed systems, microservices, APIs, automation and AI agents, the overwhelming majority of these requests are from systems and machines—with their own identities, just like ours—accessing other systems and machines.

These non-human identities now outpace human ones by a factor of at least 10, and in some companies 50 or 100—an abundance of riches for an attacker to go after! But even more important, some of these non-human identities like service accounts and secrets (API keys, tokens and certificates) have much broader privileges than most human users; they may be able to not only access an application but also modify its settings or even delete it entirely! And in the hands of bad actors, such identities can wreak yet more havoc—from deleting an entire AWS environment to exfiltrating a lot of data. 

As critical as non-human identities have become, however, the processes and tools for securing them and managing their lifecycle are still emerging—and that can leave teams vulnerable to ticking time bombs, just waiting to explode. One security leader told us about a key generated with permission to read all of the company’s email, with no constraints—which was then emailed to an external contractor who used it to write software on their personal device. Another security admin found a Slack app designed for Christmas greetings that also had full read access to all conversations. Then there was the small recruiting product with root access to all Gmail.

As we at Sequoia explored the challenges and opportunities in the identity security space, we wrote an internal white paper detailing the need we saw, and were considering incubating a company in the domain. But Danny and co-founder Amit Zimerman were recognizing the same opportunity—and they decided to tackle it themselves.

Oasis Security takes a holistic approach to securing non-human identities, solving for the specific issues that make managing their lifecycle so different from managing human identities. This includes not only the scale, but the rate of change. Human identities change at the rate of employees joining and leaving the team—or changing their passwords. Non-human identities, on the other hand, can be ephemeral, including short-lived tokens and certificates that expire in seconds. Oasis Security’s platform also accounts for the “blast radius” of non-human identities, which are more likely to interfere with entire systems than with individual users. 

The Sequoia team is thrilled that the stars aligned for us to support this important work and lead Oasis Security’s Series A, and we are proud to be in business with Danny, Amit and their team as they work to build a generational company. In the face of the huge and growing challenge of securing non-human identity, they are leading the charge toward a solution—and we will all be safer for it.

Share Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on LinkedIn Share this via email Related Topics #Funding announcement #Enterprise Partnering with Chkk: Your Kubernetes Co-Pilot By Bogomil Balkansky News Read Partnering with PartyKit: Everything is Better with Friends By Bogomil Balkansky News Read New Fellowship: How Sequoia is Supporting Open Source By Bogomil Balkansky and Lauren Reeder News Read Partnering with Pydantic News Read JOIN OUR MAILING LIST Get the best stories from the Sequoia community. Email address Leave this field empty if you’re human:

The post Partnering with Oasis Security: The Stars Align appeared first on Sequoia Capital.


bankless

What's The Point Of Points? The Next Phase of Airdrops

What's the point of points?? Why are all the projects developing a points program? How did we find ourselves here? Will they actually turn into tokens? What will the regulators say about it? All of these questions and more are answered on todays episode of Bankless Takes, hopefully you'll get the point. ------ 🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024  ------ 🎧 Lis

What's the point of points?? Why are all the projects developing a points program? How did we find ourselves here? Will they actually turn into tokens? What will the regulators say about it?

All of these questions and more are answered on todays episode of Bankless Takes, hopefully you'll get the point. ------ 🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024  ------ 🎧 Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player: https://bankless.cc/Podcast  ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2 ⁠ 

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo 

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/toku 

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle 

------ TIMESTAMPS 00:00 Intro 02:38 What Are Points? 06:16 Airline Points 09:53 Friendtech Points 14:50 Blur Points 16:14 Benefits of points 22:04 Lawyers and Regulation 28:13 Will The points Hold Value? 36:23 The Path Forward

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures


Brave Browser

Brave launches self-serve Ads Manager

Announcing the launch of our Ads Manager, a new platform to buy, manage, and report on privacy-preserving ad campaigns in the Brave ecosystem.

January 31, 2024, San Francisco, California— Today Brave Software announced the launch of Brave Ads Manager, a new platform to buy, manage, and report on privacy-preserving ad campaigns in the Brave ecosystem. The platform had been in limited beta since last spring and is now offering open registration to customers worldwide.

The Brave browser has grown to an audience of over 65 million monthly users while Brave Ads, which was introduced in 2019, has successfully run 9,000+ campaigns for 1,500+ advertisers in 200 countries. Throughout 2023, Brave Ads also expanded with the help of early adopters to ad placements on Brave Search, the fastest growing search engine since Bing. Brave’s recent clients include Ford, Intuit, Norton, Swarovski, and Wayfair.

Reaching the next generation of early adopters

Brave users are lead users and are passionate about their role in the future of the Web. As early adopters of emerging technologies like Web3 and AI, they value independence, quality content, and privacy above all when browsing. This makes them engaged but not easily reachable through conventional channels.

Brave Ads reconnects users with advertisers and enables direct relationships where users and brands meet on their own terms. Users set preferences for privacy-respecting ads, choosing when, where and how often to engage. Advertisers signal care for customers by respecting these choices, building goodwill and trust. No trackers or cookies are ever used. Ultimately, both parties benefit from Brave’s model of transparency and control over online experiences.

“With over 65 million users and growing, Brave can’t be ignored by brands who want to reach the people at the frontier of the Web. What Brave users do, buy, and talk about today, the rest of the world will be doing, buying, and talking about in years to come.”

Luke Mulks, VP Business Operations

The easiest way to advertise with privacy in mind

Customers can navigate a familiar and streamlined campaign creation process to create their Brave Ads campaigns in minutes. Once a campaign is submitted for review, customers can expect launch within 48 hours. Throughout the campaign, customers will have access to a dashboard to view campaign performance through a range of basic and advanced tools, all designed for practical use in the cookieless Web.

Brave Ads Manager campaign creation

Unique browser-based ad placements

Brave Ads Manager customers have the option to buy Notification and Newsfeed ad placements, two of four available ad types found throughout the Brave browser

Notification ads were the first—and remain the most popular—ad unit to launch with Brave Ads in the browser. For acquisition-based campaign objectives, advertisers can leverage Mindset Ad Targeting, Brave’s unique ad-matching technology that delivers precision, interest-based targeting at the browser level without risks or harm to privacy.

Newsfeed ads are native image and text placements integrated seamlessly within Brave News, a free and customizable RSS and news aggregator available in the Brave browser via a new tab page. Ads in Brave News are always 100% SOV (share of voice)—two ads will never display in the feed at the same time.

Notification ads

Newsfeed ads

Brave’s two other ad placements—New Tab Takeovers and Search keyword ads—are available as managed service buys and can be booked by contacting Brave’s ad sales team.

About Brave Ads

Brave Ads launched in 2019 with the goal of reforming an increasingly user-hostile Web, made worse by ever-invasive tracking from innumerable ad-technology firms competing to capture as much data—people’s data—as possible. Brave Ads are cookieless, don’t track or identify users, and offer choice in how brands engage with them as they browse and search the Web.

To get started with Brave Ads Manager or to inquire about Brave’s managed service offerings, visit https://ads.brave.com/register.

Tuesday, 30. January 2024

Verus

Consensus 2024 — Verus Showcases Fully Completed PBaaS Blockchain Technology

Consensus 2024 — Verus Showcases Fully Completed PBaaS Blockchain Technology Verus showcases its fully completed Public Blockchain as a Service (PBaaS) technology at Consensus 2024, May 29–31, Austin, USA. The global event for cryptocurrency and blockchain innovations this year. Here, tens of thousands of cryptocurrency enthusiasts gather to explore the newest advancements in the industry. The L
Consensus 2024 — Verus Showcases Fully Completed PBaaS Blockchain Technology Verus showcases its fully completed Public Blockchain as a Service (PBaaS) technology at Consensus 2024, May 29–31, Austin, USA. The global event for cryptocurrency and blockchain innovations this year. Here, tens of thousands of cryptocurrency enthusiasts gather to explore the newest advancements in the industry. The L0/1 Verus Protocol Solves Major Issues with Ethereum and Other VM-centric Networks

Developing dApps with Verus is much more straightforward than building to a VM-based application model and results in inherently more capable, secure and scalable solutions. The Verus Protocol solves issues with gas fees, enables unlimited scale, is not vulnerable to smart contract hacks and bugs, addresses MEV at the protocol level, provides an identity model (VerusID) that applications can leverage and profit from, includes provable cross-chain and multichain support, does away with insecure and phishing-prone wallet approval mechanisms, and does not require expensive Solidity developers for applications, unless they must also have an Ethereum component to them.

All these issues are solved with the L0/1 Verus Protocol. Verus does not use smart contracts — it uses smart transactions. Verus smart transactions [read more] are much easier to use (no programming needed) in practice to achieve most capabilities, if not all, compared to VM-protocols that use smart contracts. Yet Verus is still fully interoperable with Ethereum through the non-custodial, trustless and decentralized Verus-Ethereum Bridge with liquidity pool currency [more on the Bridge].

Showcasing Verus App-Development Opportunities at Consensus 2024

Get ready for a new era of decentralized application development. Unlike today’s complex smart contract applications, requiring VM-based smart contracts that talk to user facing applications through server-side APIs and phishing-prone web-interfaces using public key hashes or rented names as identity, the Verus network is a Layer 1 (L1) and Layer 0 (L0) protocol with composable and powerful multi-chain core primitives, including identities, currencies, MEV-resistant liquidity baskets, updateable, even transferable ID-bound databases that can comprise NFTs and real world assets, all on a 100% fully decentralized, unlimited scale backbone, secured by the 50% proof-of-stake / 50% proof-of-work, 51% hash attack resistant Verus Proof of Power (PoP) consensus and accessible securely from mobile clients or cloud-based web-applications.

Build applications in your favorite framework for clients and access the Verus network either through QR-codes and deep-links to a client-side wallet under user control or talk directly to data-indexed, blockchain nodes, capable of providing fast access to an unlimited number of user identities and their unlimited Verus Data Exchange Format (VDXF) indexable key-value database providing provable, optionally private, worldwide resolvable data at unlimited scale over an unlimited number of blockchains. All of this power, including inherent eCommerce and markets of all types are usable by applications, and unlike yesterday’s Internet, application-owned data stays under application control, while user-owned data remains under user control and subject to voluntary, provable disclosure, protected by zero knowledge privacy, as it should always have been.

Write applications your way, your client frameworks, your languages, with links and RPC calls to the decentralized Internet of Value. Connect through one or more blockchains. Use, create, sell, and provision your application’s permanent IDs for secure login, KYC, commerce, and provable data at scale, all on the rent-free, credibly neutral and fully decentralized Internet of Value.

Builders of applications, organizations, and businesses can use the Verus Protocol to provision IDs, manage and interact with users and user state at any scale, launch currencies (e.g. tokens, liquidity baskets [see docs]), even fully interoperable, independent, customizable worldwide blockchains with their own economics and fee structure, while sharing mining and economic power across the entire Verus Protocol network of unlimited PBaaS chains. All currencies, whether native currencies of a new blockchain, easily created and minted tokens, or MEV-resistant liquidity baskets are easy to launch and access with the protocol on Verus or any connected PBaaS chain. All of them, from the moment they are launched can be exported to Ethereum as ERC20s [see docs] or ERC721 currencies or any chain across the Verus ecosystem. All currencies on the network, including tokens, cross-chain currencies, and even liquidity baskets and their supplies are secured by miners and stakers according to protocol rules. On other blockchain networks, this level of security is applied to single native currencies, on Verus, all currencies on a chain are primitives known to and accounted for by the protocol, eliminating entire classes of smart contract risks that result when every contract reinvents a new way to account for its currency but has no systemic control.

With Verus, currencies are compatible with ERC20s. Verus applications can leverage, but do not require Solidity developers or VM-based programming. Additionally all ERC-20s can be permissionlessly bridged over from Ethereum to Verus [see docs], giving users and application builders the freedom to switch seamlessly between the Verus and Ethereum networks.

All currencies on the Verus network (also the ones bridged over from Ethereum) can be used with Verus DeFi, another primitive inherent to the protocol. Verus DeFi enables liquidity baskets of up to 10 underlying reserve currencies and can serve as a unique, self-balancing, MEV-resistant portfolio, a permissionless or permissioned ID registrar where fees go to the LPs of the basket, or an easy way to send from any reserve currency or the basket currency itself to any other without worrying about block builder reordering or MEV, as all conversions of a liquidity basket in any direction that are processed within one or more blocks are always solved simultaneously, no front and not back. Every conversion gets the same price in each direction with no spread and an ultra low fee (max. 0.05%), again, all part of the L1 consensus.

Whether you plan to build eCommerce enabled supply chains, massively scalable ownership-based games, real world asset eCommerce enabled networks, voting systems, identity management networks, communication networks, financial networks, 3D metaverses with identities, brands, and ownership or just about any application for a better Web3 on the Internet of Value, you’ll be left behind if you don’t deep dive on Verus first.

Join us in the next crypto revolution. Verus, with truth and privacy for all!

Come to the Verus booth on May 29–31 at Consensus 2024. The worldwide community is happy to get you started with a free VerusID, the easy to use Verus Mobile or any of the wide range of protocol features.

Amazing Verus Community

The Verus community united to facilitate participation at Consensus 2024 by generously contributing VRSC, ETH, DAI, MKR, Bridge.vETH and BTC. A heartfelt thank you to all the contributors! ❤️

The Verus community used the funds to secure a two-block booth at Consensus, along with other facilities that we can not disclose yet.

Numerous members of the Verus community are participating in Consensus 2024, and we invite you to be a part of it too! Let’s create a significant presence and showcase to the world the wide range of capabilities of Verus. We’re excited and believe that it will be an excellent opportunity for the growth and exposure of the Verus ecosystem!

Please consider donating for the Consensus 2024 effort to make it even more unforgettable.

BTC:

1JrgohmxB618J13bDF1V71STavrqeqghSU

ETH (& tokens):

0xdC415012eA218402E58E0221E4F8EA1544973A63

VRSC (or DAI.vETH, MKR.vETH, vETH, Bridge.vETH, or any other convertible currency on the Verus network):

Consensus2024@

Grab your ticket here. ⚠️ Get a 20% discount on your Consensus 2024 ticket if you use the “VERUSC24” code.

Try Yourself! ✅

Look up the complete command list here. Or look up docs.verus.io to use many API commands (e.g. launching currencies, tokens & liquidity pools).

Join the community. Learn about the protocol. Use Verus & build.

➡️ Join the community on Discord

Follow on Twitter

Go to verus.io

Consensus 2024 — Verus Showcases Fully Completed PBaaS Blockchain Technology was originally published in Verus Coin on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


XRSI

XRSI Welcomes April Boyd-Noronha as Interim CEO as the Founder & CEO, Kavya Pearlman Steps Away on Maternity Leave 

San Francisco (USA), January 30th, 2023 – XRSI – X Reality Safety Intelligence is a 501(c)(3) global non-profit Standards Developing Organization (SDO) promoting privacy, safety, security, and ethics in immersive and emerging technologies. Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area in the United States and Torino, Italy in Europe, XRSI is the world’s leading organization [...] Read More... from

San Francisco (USA), January 30th, 2023 – XRSI – X Reality Safety Intelligence is a 501(c)(3) global non-profit Standards Developing Organization (SDO) promoting privacy, safety, security, and ethics in immersive and emerging technologies. Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area in the United States and Torino, Italy in Europe, XRSI is the world’s leading organization dedicated to providing intelligence and advisory services and we are delighted to share a key leadership update. As the founder and CEO, Kavya Pearlman, steps away for a well-deserved maternity leave, April Boyd-Noronha, a prominent member of our board and our Global Diversity & Inclusion Advisor, has been appointed as the Interim CEO for a minimum of six-month period.

April Boyd-Noronha, a luminary on our board and the Global Diversity & Inclusion Advisor at XRSI, will be assuming the role of interim CEO for the next six months. This strategic move aligns with our ethos of promoting safety, privacy, security, and responsible innovation in the tech ecosystem.

“I am deeply honored to step in as Interim CEO of XRSI, a role I accept with immense gratitude to Kavya Pearlman and our team. Kavya’s trust and vision have been a guiding light, and I am committed to nurturing the path she has set forth for XRSI. Together, we’ve pioneered safety and inclusion in the emerging tech ecosystem. I am excited to lead us during this special time for the XRSI family supporting Kavya’’s journey to motherhood. I look forward to building on our strong foundation with heartfelt dedication and unwavering focus in support of the incredibly impactful work of XRSI.” – April Boyd-Noronha, Board Member and Interim-CEO

April’s expertise and leadership, particularly in fostering diversity and inclusion, are vital assets to XRSI. Her vision resonates with our global initiatives, including the Medical XR Advisory Council, Child Safety Initiative, and CyberXR Coalition.

Together, these programs and initiatives underscore XRSI’s commitment to leading the forefront of immersive and emerging technologies with a focus on safety, privacy, and ethics. Under April Boyd-Noronha’s leadership, we are poised to enhance our impact and further solidify our role as pioneers in immersive and emerging technologies. Her tenure as Interim CEO is a testament to XRSI’s dedication to embracing dynamic leadership and ensuring the organization’s robust progression.

Kavya Pearlman, who has been the beacon of XRSI’s mission and vision since its inception, looks forward to the new chapter with complete confidence in April’s leadership. Kavya expresses gratitude and enthusiasm as she invites the community to welcome April in this new role. In Kavya’s own words, 

“As I prepare to embrace the joys of motherhood, I am leaving XRSI in the most capable hands. April Boyd-Noronha, with her long-standing commitment and versatile contributions to XRSI, as the inaugural President of the CyberXR Coalition, XRSI’s Global D&I Advisor, and an esteemed Executive Board Member, embodies the leadership and vision essential for guiding our organization forward. Her dedication has been a driving force in our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and safety in technology, making her the ideal steward of XRSI’s mission in my absence.” – Kavya Pearlman, Founder & CEO

We invite the community to congratulate Kavya on this new journey and to support our new CEO, April Boyd-Noronha, alongside the executive board during this transition to continue advancing the XRSI mission. 

Join us in welcoming April Boyd-Nornonha to this crucial role. Her tenure marks a new chapter in XRSI’s journey toward fostering a safer, more inclusive, and innovative technological future.

WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA

For more information about XRSI’s mission and initiatives, visit XRSI’s Who We Are.

Website: https://xrsi.org  | Twitter: @XRSIdotorg | LinkedIn: XRSI

ENDS

For any inquiry or more information please contact Bhanujeet Choudhary, representative XRSI:

Bhanujeet Choudhary | Chief of Staff | bhanujeet@xrsi.org | info@xrsi.org 

The post XRSI Welcomes April Boyd-Noronha as Interim CEO as the Founder & CEO, Kavya Pearlman Steps Away on Maternity Leave  appeared first on X Reality Safety Intelligence (XRSI).


Greylock Partners

Three Questions Every Enterprise AI Startup Should Ask

The post Three Questions Every Enterprise AI Startup Should Ask appeared first on Greylock.

PIVX

Happy 8th Birthday, PIVX!

Happy 8th Birthday, PIVX! It’s time to celebrate another incredible year of achievements and growth. Over the past year, PIVX has reached new heights, expanding its use cases, increasing rewards, gaining listings on various exchanges, and engaging with its vibrant community. Let’s take a closer look at the highlights of this remarkable year for PIVX: Rewards Increase: The most significant

Happy 8th Birthday, PIVX!

It’s time to celebrate another incredible year of achievements and growth. Over the past year, PIVX has reached new heights, expanding its use cases, increasing rewards, gaining listings on various exchanges, and engaging with its vibrant community.

Let’s take a closer look at the highlights of this remarkable year for PIVX:

Rewards Increase:
The most significant highlight was the rewards increase. With the mandatory PIVX v5.5.0 update in January 2023, payments to the treasury, staking rewards, and Masternode rewards all received a significant boost. Treasury payments surged by an order of magnitude to 10 PIV per block, staking payments doubled to 4 PIV per block, and Masternode payments also doubled to 6 PIV per block. These increases have incentivized more participation and further strengthened the PIVX network!

Use Case Expansion:
PIVX expanded its use cases throughout the year. PIVCards, Coinsbee, and Travala.com embraced $PIVX as a payment option. Users can now purchase gift cards from all over the world with PIV on mypivxwallet.org, PIVCards, Shopping.io as well as Coinsbee offers a platform where $PIVX can be used to purchase various gift cards.

Listing Growth:
PIVX experienced significant listing growth, providing more opportunities for PIVX enthusiasts. New listings included Whitebit, Changeangel, Houdini Swap, Cointopay, Swapuz, Easybit, CoinEx, Dex-Trade, Securus Wallet, Biconomy, Coinstore, NonKYC, ChangeNOW widget added to PIVX.org, TradeOgre, P2P payments on Binance, LBank, Arctic Wallet, FinchPay, and Xt.com.

Enhanced Trading Options:
PIVX gained enhanced trading options with various exchanges. In addition to the PIVX/USDT Binance trading pair, some other exchanges introduced BTC as well as USDT options, allowing for more convenient and accessible trading options for the PIVX community.

Community Engagement:
PIVX actively engaged with its community through various activities. These included YouTube shorts, AMAs (Ask Me Anything), the SuperBlock Report (PIVXLabs), PIVXcommunity contests, and the Privacy Roundtable, a collaborative group consisting of PIVX, BasicSwapDEX, Particl, and Firo. The Privacy Roundtable, hosts monthly Twitter spaces where trending privacy topics are discussed and other privacy projects are introduced. These initiatives are fostering a more vibrant and engaged community.

As we celebrate PIVX’s 8th birthday, we can proudly reflect on these achievements over the past year. The rewards increase, expanded use cases, listing growth, enhanced trading options, and community engagement have all contributed to the growth and success of PIVX.

On this special day, let us say that growth is not a destination, but an ongoing journey. As we celebrate PIVX’s achievements, we recognize that it is through the relentless pursuit of knowledge, the embrace of new opportunities, and the adaptability to changing circumstances that PIVX continues to evolve and expand. Let us come together as a community committed to learning and adapting, keeping PIVX at the forefront of innovation and progress in the pursuit of privacy and financial sovereignty

Happy 8th birthday, PIVX! Here’s to many more!

Happy 8th Birthday, PIVX! was originally published in PIVX on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Circle Blog

What you need to know: Native USDC is Launching on Celo

Native USDC is coming to Celo. Take a look below to learn more about Celo and what native USDC will mean for the ecosystem. 

Native USDC is coming to Celo. Take a look below to learn more about Celo and what native USDC will mean for the ecosystem. 


Nym - Medium

Nym announces first round of grants from Nym Innovation Fund

Three deserving teams will receive funding to advance their projects and further the Nym mission of privacy for all humanity. The very first grant winners from the Nym Innovation Fund have been announced! Congratulations to the three successful teams whose deserving projects will use the Nym mixnet to boost privacy on their platforms. The winners are: StarShell: a privacy-preserving wallet
Three deserving teams will receive funding to advance their projects and further the Nym mission of privacy for all humanity.

The very first grant winners from the Nym Innovation Fund have been announced! Congratulations to the three successful teams whose deserving projects will use the Nym mixnet to boost privacy on their platforms. The winners are:

StarShell: a privacy-preserving wallet for the Secret Network Nodies DLB: for privacy-enhanced RPC networks PasteNym by NoTrustVerify: for private text drops

These excellent projects will show off the powerful plug-and-play utility of integrating the mixnet for end-to-end privacy protections.

Languages: Русский // Bahasa Indonesia // Español // Português // 日本 // Française

Scroll down for a deeper dive on the three successful proposals.

Officially opening in October 2023, the Innovation Fund is designed to boost the health of the overall privacy ecosystem, by connecting promising projects to the venture capitalists who back Nym.

These deserving projects advance Nym’s mission of providing privacy for all humanity.

Here’s a closer look at the successful proposals:

StarShell

Grant amount: $30,000USD

A fully open source, privacy-first, Web3 wallet built for the Cosmos ecosystem, StarShell first launched on the Secret Network and subsequently was released on other Cosmos chains. With this grant, StarShell will allow users to route wallet RPC requests through the Nym mixnet, bringing metadata protection and robust privacy guarantees to end users. The wallet will include real-time metrics and visualizations based on mixnet activity. A new API will allow web applications to route all chain-directed traffic through the mixnet via the wallet.

Nodies DLB

Grant amount: $30,000USD

Nodies DLB is a managed infrastructure provider for centralized and decentralized remote procedure call (RPC) nodes, which enable communication between applications and blockchain networks. Nodies DLB gives its clients access to thousands of decentralized nodes while maintaining best-in-class security and performance standards. However, there is currently a scarcity of decentralized privacy-preserving RPC solutions. Nodies DLB proposes integrating its software with the Nym mixnet to bring end-to-end privacy protections to its assets including advanced metadata protection.

Pastenym by No Trust Verify

Grant amount: $3,000USD

Pastenym is a text-sharing service proposed by long-time Nym community contributors and node operators, No Trust Verify. In the manner of Pastebin, Pastenym is an online text-drop but with added privacy protections for its users via the mixnet, encrypting their data as well as their metadata when text is shared.

Congratulations again to these successful teams!

The Nym Innovation Fund remains open for submissions.

As these projects mature over the next quarter, we will introduce them to the venture funds that have pledged to support the Nym Innovation Fund. In addition, we’re hoping to onboard existing mature projects with their own plans for growth using Nym that can attract venture capital funding. Proposals with a business plan, a unique market proposition, and that are mature enough for seed investment will receive priority.

In addition to opening a pipeline to respected VCs, Nym will mentor successful teams to further refine their proposals.

With the VPN market alone projected to be worth $151bn by 2030, there’s enormous market potential for an entire ecosystem that actually respects people’s right to privacy online.

People are fed up with the surveillance capitalism model of web 2.0. So if you’ve got a winning idea, submit your pitch deck to the Innovation Fund and have Nym help you bring it to life.

Join the Nym Community

Discord // Telegram // Element // Twitter

Privacy loves company

English // 中文 // Русский // Türkçe // Tiếng Việt // 日本 // Française // Español // Português // 한국인

Nym announces first round of grants from Nym Innovation Fund was originally published in nymtech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Brave Browser

Announcing the winner of the Brave Scholarship Contest

We're thrilled to announce the recipient of Brave's first scholarship for college students. We were overwhelmed by the response and the excitement generated. But the winner is...

We’re thrilled to announce the recipient of Brave’s first scholarship for college students. The selection process was challenging due to the exceptional quality of submissions we received from participants at over thousands of colleges and universities. We were overwhelmed by the response and the excitement generated. But the winner is…

🎉Drumroll, please🎉

Photo credit to Sam Richter

To our winner, Sam Richter, congratulations on this well-deserved $2,500 cash prize you can use toward tuition, books, or anything else college requires. When informed of his big win, Sam said: “I plan to put the money towards my college tuition as I pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science at Iowa State University.” In addition to the cash prize, Sam’s photo will be seen by Brave’s 60+ million worldwide users as a featured background on the Brave browser’s new tab page throughout 2024. 

Sam took the picture when he and his family hiked on a trail in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Nevada. His photo not only shows a remarkable moment in nature, but also his technique and creative eye.

At Brave, we believe in building a human-first Web, and empowering anyone to participate in that Web by creating user-generated content. The Brave new tab page is another surface where people can show their creative selves.

For those who submitted but did not win: Thank you! And, stay tuned—there may be more opportunities and exciting events in the near future.

Once again, thank you for being a part of the Brave community.

Monday, 29. January 2024

bankless

207 - Read. Write. Own. | Chris Dixon

✨ DEBRIEF | Ryan & David unpacking the episode: https://www.bankless.com/read-write-own-debrief  ------ Chris Dixon of a16z returns to the podcast today to discuss the new book he authored to explain his mental model for understand crypto: Read. Write. Own. Chris is one of the most articulate people we know at explaining crypto - particularly from the lens of crypto as an evolutio

✨ DEBRIEF | Ryan & David unpacking the episode: https://www.bankless.com/read-write-own-debrief 

------ Chris Dixon of a16z returns to the podcast today to discuss the new book he authored to explain his mental model for understand crypto:

Read. Write. Own.

Chris is one of the most articulate people we know at explaining crypto - particularly from the lens of crypto as an evolution of the internet.

------ Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player: https://bankless.cc/Podcast 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2  ⁠

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo 

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/toku 

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle 

------

Resources:

Chris Dixon https://x.com/cdixon?s=20 

Read Write Own https://www.amazon.com/Read-Write-Own-Building-Internet/dp/0593731387 

Mental Models for Web3 https://youtu.be/jezH_7qEk50?si=4pk8NRWF69HMRFuR 

a16z Episode https://youtu.be/RXHITeaGB8Q?si=NoiqjNiHzmZxFIae 

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures⁠ 


a16z Podcast

The What, Who, and When with IPOs

In 2022 and 2023, US IPOs hit decade lows after the record high of 2021. Now, in 2024, will the IPO window reopen? In this episode, we revisit a conversation with Jeff Jordan, former CEO of OpenTable, and J.D. Moriarty, the former Head Managing Director and Head of Equity Capital Markets at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Joined by Sonal Choksi, the pair takes you behind the scenes to unravel the

In 2022 and 2023, US IPOs hit decade lows after the record high of 2021. Now, in 2024, will the IPO window reopen?

In this episode, we revisit a conversation with Jeff Jordan, former CEO of OpenTable, and J.D. Moriarty, the former Head Managing Director and Head of Equity Capital Markets at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Joined by Sonal Choksi, the pair takes you behind the scenes to unravel the complexities surrounding IPOs, including pricing, allocations, and the elusive "pop." They also discuss OpenTable’s IPO, which occurred immediately following the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and weigh in on the question: Can you time an IPO in an unpredictable year?

 

Resources:

Find Jeff on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jeff_jordan

Find J.D on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jdmoriarty

Find Sonal on Twitter: https://twitter.com/smc90

 

Stay Updated: 

Find a16z on Twitter: https://twitter.com/a16z

Find a16z on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/a16z

Subscribe on your favorite podcast app: https://a16z.simplecast.com/

Follow our host: https://twitter.com/stephsmithio

Please note that the content here is for informational purposes only; should NOT be taken as legal, business, tax, or investment advice or be used to evaluate any investment or security; and is not directed at any investors or potential investors in any a16z fund. a16z and its affiliates may maintain investments in the companies discussed. For more details please see a16z.com/disclosures.

Sunday, 28. January 2024

Nym - Medium

NymVPN alpha is ready for private launch in February

This is your last chance to join the NymVPN alpha community, with early access to the unparalleled privacy protections of the mixnet — across the whole internet. The time for actual private access to the internet is fast approaching. NymVPN is set to roll out in a private alpha release, after a successful 2023 culminating in the first live CLI demo of the NymVPN at Chaos Communication Congress. I
This is your last chance to join the NymVPN alpha community, with early access to the unparalleled privacy protections of the mixnet — across the whole internet.

The time for actual private access to the internet is fast approaching. NymVPN is set to roll out in a private alpha release, after a successful 2023 culminating in the first live CLI demo of the NymVPN at Chaos Communication Congress. In the coming weeks, NymVPN will be available to a closed group of alpha testers.

Languages: 中文 // Bahasa Indonesia // Русский // 日本 // Türkçe // Español // Português

Read on to find out more about the features that will launch first and what’s lined up next for this first commercial app to run on the Nym mixnet.

NymVPN alpha — private release

Over the past few months, more than 30,000 individuals have been invited to sign up as alpha testers and get early access to NymVPN and its unique two-pronged approach to privacy: combining a dVPN with mixnet technology.

This group of people will get private access to the powerful protections of the Nym mixnet, join discussions on the private NymVPN alpha channel, and be invited to exclusive Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions with Head of Product Marc Debizet and Nym CTO Mark Sinclair.

The NymVPN alpha will launch starting with Linux and macOS, featuring both a secure 2-hop dVPN mode and an advanced 5-hop mixnet mode (including Sphinx encryption, multiple routes, individual keys per packet), with a wide choice of entry and exit hops in multiple locations. Windows, iOS and Android will follow shortly after.

This is just the beginning. Censorship-resistance, split tunneling and a killswitch are the next R&D priorities to be rolled out over the course of 2024. The initial public release will feature a subscription model, enabled via zk-nym zero-knowledge credentials — ensuring people can fairly pay for services without compromising their personal data and payment details.

What is NymVPN?

NymVPN runs on a decentralized network. Decentralization enables strong privacy properties making it near-impossible to trace your traffic through the internet. But NymVPN is not just a dVPN, it also features mixnet technology: a novel feature ensuring unlinkability and strong privacy protections of not just the content of your messages but also your metadata.

The Nym mixnet in action via NymVPN’s 5-hop mixnet mode

Mixnets are a unique privacy technology that have only now, after years of research, become available to ordinary people. By shuffling your traffic through a stratified network of nodes and shuffling the order of packets, your patterns of communication vanish and become untraceable to unwanted observers. NymVPN is the first user-friendly application built on the Nym network. As plug-and-play privacy-as-a-service infrastructure across the transport layer of the internet, the mixnet will in time be folded into browsers, search engines, and blockchains across the Web3 ecosystem. Read more about mixnets here.

Combining the best of both worlds, NymVPN has two distinct modes in one simple application:

The NymVPN 2-hop dVPN mode:

Optimized for speed; Customisable entry and exit nodes for geo-blocking resistance; IP address obfuscation for everyday browsing, streaming, or gaming; Multi-hop by default, going far beyond the privacy standards of most VPNs.

And

The NymVPN 5-hop mixnet mode:

Optimized for privacy; Complete privacy against even government-level adversaries for sensitive use cases like crypto transactions and secure email that are not timing sensitive; No more metadata leakage of timing and volume of packets; Traffic analysis resistance via packet shuffling and dummy traffic in inner-three mix nodes.

Nym is trustless, permissionless, and totally transparent. Unlike traditional VPNs where you have to trust that the provider isn’t spying on your communications, Nym’s full stack is decentralized and open source with gateways and mix nodes dispersed all around the world.

As Nym CEO and cofounder Harry Halpin said in his new year note, if 2023 was about readying the Nym network for usage, 2024 is the year everyone everywhere will be able to enjoy truly private access to the internet.

Sign up to the NymVPN waitlist now.

Catch Marc Debizet, Head of Product at Nym for a live Ask Me Anything on Twitter spaces, 30 January at 14:30-UTC. Join the Nym Community

Discord // Telegram // Element // Twitter

Privacy loves company

English // 中文 // Русский // Türkçe // Tiếng Việt // 日本 // Française // Español // Português // 한국인

NymVPN alpha is ready for private launch in February was originally published in nymtech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Saturday, 27. January 2024

Epicenter Podcast

David Minarsch: Autonolas – Autonomous AI Agents

The Autonolas stack aims to address the ‘A’ in DAO (decentralised autonomous organisation), through its Open Autonomy framework, which enables the creation of autonomous, off-chain services for crypto applications. A key component for ensuring the proper operation of these off-chain autonomous economic agents, is the consensus mechanism. The protocol is overseen by the Governatooorr, the world’s f

The Autonolas stack aims to address the ‘A’ in DAO (decentralised autonomous organisation), through its Open Autonomy framework, which enables the creation of autonomous, off-chain services for crypto applications. A key component for ensuring the proper operation of these off-chain autonomous economic agents, is the consensus mechanism. The protocol is overseen by the Governatooorr, the world’s first autonomous, AI-powered governor.

We were joined by David Minarsch, co-founder of Valory, to discuss the ever-changing landscape of AI agents and how they can be used to automate crypto applications.

Topics covered in this episode:

David’s background and founding Valory Agentic AI systems Multi-agent systems Autonolas’ agent framework Collaborative agent economy & composability DAO optimisation via autonomous agents Potential attack vectors & AI risks

Episode links:

David Minarsch on Twitter Autonolas on Twitter Valory on Twitter

Sponsors:

Gnosis: Gnosis builds decentralized infrastructure for the Ethereum ecosystem, since 2015. This year marks the launch of Gnosis Pay— the world's first Decentralized Payment Network. Get started today at - gnosis.io Chorus1: Chorus1 is one of the largest node operators worldwide, supporting more than 100,000 delegators, across 45 networks. The recently launched OPUS allows staking up to 8,000 ETH in a single transaction. Enjoy the highest yields and institutional grade security at - chorus.one

This episode is hosted by Friederike Ernst & Meher Roy. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/532

Friday, 26. January 2024

Zcash Foundation

Zebra 1.5.2 Release

The Zcash Foundation is pleased to announce the release of Zebra version 1.5.2. This latest version is a hotfix release, to temporarily remove the experimental internal-miner feature introduced in the preceding 1.5.1 release. Following the 1.5.1 release on GitHub, we identified difficulties in publishing the zebra-chain crate to crates.io.  Unfortunately, to resolve this c

The Zcash Foundation is pleased to announce the release of Zebra version 1.5.2.

This latest version is a hotfix release, to temporarily remove the experimental internal-miner feature introduced in the preceding 1.5.1 release. Following the 1.5.1 release on GitHub, we identified difficulties in publishing the zebra-chain crate to crates.io

Unfortunately, to resolve this challenge, which involves an unpublished dependency, we had to temporarily remove the internal miner support introduced in version 1.5.1.

The 1.5.1 release includes a utility for reading results from the zebra blockchain scanner, thus finalizing a minimum viable product for scanning the Zcash blockchain with a viewing key. It also added an experimental internal-miner feature, temporarily removed with the 1.5.2 hotfix release, which can mine blocks within zebrad. This feature is only supported on testnet as you need to use a more efficient GPU or ASIC for mainnet mining.

We plan to reinstate the internal-miner feature once our PRs are merged and released into the equihash dependency. You can track development progress on this issue here.

As part of this release we have also improved our documentation with details on how to use the new blockchain scanning feature as well as making it easier to find documentation for all our crates in docs.rs.

You can see a full copy of the v1.5.1 Release Notes and v1.5.2 Release Notes on github.

The post Zebra 1.5.2 Release appeared first on Zcash Foundation.


bankless

ROLLUP: Bitcoin Top? Ethereum's Existential Risk | Restaking Summer Updates | Tornado Cash Trial

Bankless Weekly Rollup Final Week of January, 2024 ----- 🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024  ------ 🎧 Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player:  https://bankless.cc/Podcast  ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2  ⁠ 🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo  🗣️T

Bankless Weekly Rollup

Final Week of January, 2024

----- 🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024 

------ 🎧 Listen On Your Favorite Podcast Player:  https://bankless.cc/Podcast 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2  ⁠

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo 

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/toku 

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle 

------ TIMESTAMPS & RESOURCES 00:00 Start

03:45 Markets https://x.com/lookonchain/status/1749801176621846958?s=20  https://twitter.com/deitaone/status/1749453448913805514?   https://twitter.com/matt_hougan/status/1749834562547614000?s=46  https://x.com/pythianism/status/1750546708000608684?s=20  https://x.com/CoinDesk/status/1748717790737953239?s=20 

11:06 Silk Road Selling

11:55 L2 Update https://l2beat.com/scaling/summary 

14:32 Stock ATHs https://www.tradingview.com/chart/6pvEnBKK/?symbol=BLACKBULL%3ASPX500 

21:24 Restaking Summer https://x.com/eigenlayer/status/1750208139365114087?s=20  https://app.eigenlayer.xyz/ 

26:33 How To Restake https://x.com/litocoen/status/1750019968639639918?s=20  https://dune.com/swell-network/swell-network  https://x.com/pendle_fi/status/1745067042867433718?s=20 

30:51 Why is Restaking Important?

32:54 Altlayer Airdrop https://x.com/alt_layer/status/1750397156039499969?s=20 

33:47 ETH Client Bug https://x.com/NethermindEth/status/1749508268676764118?s=20  https://twitter.com/0xcygaar/status/1749486074483654859  https://twitter.com/Labrys_io/status/1749746305738703217  https://x.com/brian_armstrong/status/1749552489509392696?s=20  https://twitter.com/matthewbarby/status/1749826741302866165  https://twitter.com/LidoFinance/status/1749860092885819577?s=20  https://app.hex.tech/8dedcd99-17f4-49d8-944e-4857a355b90a/app/3f7d6967-3ef6-4e69-8f7b-d02d903f045b/latest?tab=client-diversity  https://clientdiversity.org/#distribution 

40:25 Tornado Cash Trials https://twitter.com/rstormsf/status/1749490246000238942?s=20  https://x.com/ameensol/status/1749493173444075535?s=20  https://wewantjusticedao.org/donate 

45:16 ETH ETF Delayed https://x.com/WatcherGuru/status/1750246931656237518?s=20 

46:54 L2 Updates https://x.com/arbitrum/status/1748073865132052689?s=20  https://x.com/0xPolygonLabs/status/1750245942261891364?s=20 

50:41 AEVO is Migrating https://twitter.com/aevoxyz/status/1750013642278633510 

Meme of the Week: https://twitter.com/JimmyRagosa/status/1749456437250535575?s=20 

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures⁠

Thursday, 25. January 2024

Panther Protocol

Weekly Update | Panther Protocol

Fellow Panthers, Another week has passed in the dynamic world of Panther, and it’s time to share our latest updates and progress. This update provides a rundown of all the important developments from the past week. Ecosystem updates LBank lists Zero-Knowledge DeFi pioneer Panther Protocol’s $ZKP

Fellow Panthers,

Another week has passed in the dynamic world of Panther, and it’s time to share our latest updates and progress. This update provides a rundown of all the important developments from the past week.

Ecosystem updates LBank lists Zero-Knowledge DeFi pioneer Panther Protocol’s $ZKP

We are excited to share that Panther Protocol’s $ZKP is now listed on LBank, a leading cryptocurrency exchange. This listing follows $ ZKP’s listing on BitMart in December 2023. These listings are part of our focus on cementing strategic partnerships and exchange listings before Panther Protocol’s V1 launch.

More about the LBank listing.

AMA recap: Panther’s CEO, Oliver Gale, discusses $ZKP listing on BitMart and the future of privacy in DeFi

Following the recent listing of $ZKP on BitMart, Panther’s CEO, Oliver Gale introduced Panther Protocol to BitMart’s community. Catch a summary of the conversation in our latest blog

Panther Protocol testnet and rewards update Number of current testnet users: 535 Total rewards distributed: 200,000+ $ZKP

Our testnet rewards pot is 1.5M $ZKP — have you signed up for our testnet yet to earn your share? Learn more and sign up to join our testnet and receive your $ZKP rewards.

Product updates Stage 4 developments

Stage 4 of testnet allows users to send zAssets inside the pool from one zAccount to another. It is under review and testing. Stage 4 is a feature-filled release as it is being shipped together with an interesting, related feature originally from Stage 6: Withdrawals. Within the Stage 4 dApp, users can undertake UTXO selection. 

On transfer, withdrawal, and other actions that involve zAsset, users will now have the ability to select the UTXOs that they want to interact with. A UTXO, or “unspent transaction”, is the ledger entry that results from a Panther transaction.

Learn more in our Shielded Pool and UTXO explainer article.

Stage 5 developments

Stage 5 development is underway in parallel, thanks to the team’s efforts over the last two months. Stage 5 includes using a 3rd party Bundler service and the ability to submit gasless transactions using an Account Abstraction Paymaster contract. 

The Bundler: transaction flow is being tested, and the team is finalizing the charge model. This code update is expected to happen in the current week, and end-to-end testing is planned for the next.

About Panther

Panther Protocol is a cross-protocol layer that uses zero-knowledge technology to build DeFi solutions that aim to meet ever-evolving regulatory standards while satisfying users' on-chain data privacy needs. Panther's goal is to enable seamless access to DeFi via a cross-chain-supported ZK compliance protocol. The Panther Protocol offers confidentiality across transactions in shielded pools; zSwap for DeFi integrations — enabling private swaps on third-party DEXs; and zTrade for internal OTC book for trading assets privately. Furthermore, Panther Protocol's zero-knowledge primitives are generalizable to KYC, selective disclosures between trusted parties, private ID, voting, and data verification services.

Stay tuned for more updates, and thank you for your continuous support and belief in our mission.

Website · One-pager · Lite Paper · Twitter · Telegram · Discord


Zcash Foundation

Introducing Blockchain Scanning with Zebra

Zcash Viewing Keys When a Zcash user creates a shielded transaction, they encrypt it to the recipient’s address. Being able to access the data hidden behind the encryption is a necessary condition for the recipient to spend the funds, but it’s not sufficient since the recipient also needs to prove ownership of the spending key […] The post Introducing Blockchain Scanning with Zebra appeared firs
Zcash Viewing Keys

When a Zcash user creates a shielded transaction, they encrypt it to the recipient’s address. Being able to access the data hidden behind the encryption is a necessary condition for the recipient to spend the funds, but it’s not sufficient since the recipient also needs to prove ownership of the spending key corresponding to the address. To decrypt the shielded transaction, the recipient uses a so-called viewing key, which they derive from their spending key. A viewing key allows decryption of the shielded data but reveals nothing about the spending key, effectively allowing “viewing” of shielded transactions but not spending of them.

Blockchain Scanning with Zebra

All Zcash users use their viewing keys to learn about what transactions belong to them. They try to decrypt each transaction in the blockchain to see if they can unlock the shielded data. We refer to this process as scanning or trial decryption. Light clients can perform the scanning locally so that the public server they communicate with doesn’t learn anything about their transactions. However, some users operate their own infrastructure. These are typically enterprise users, such as exchanges, which are best served using a scanning service closely linked to their full node.

At Zcon4, the Electric Coin Company and Zcash Foundation agreed to move the Zcash ecosystem to Zebra. To be able to do so, Zebra needs to support wallets capable of replacing the wallet in zcashd. As a first step toward this goal, we decided to extend Zebra with a blockchain scanner that accepts viewing keys and performs the trial decryption of shielded transactions. The scanner then stores the results in persistent storage. This functionality should allow for an efficient implementation of wallets relying on Zebra.

Implementation Details

The current scanner is a new crate in the Zebra repository, in the form of a minimum viable product. It relies on the librustzcash library to perform the scanning, and supports only Sapling. It reads all blocks through Zebra’s internal state service and stores the TXIDs, referring to transactions that contain notes decryptable by the provided viewing keys. The storage is a separate instance of RocksDB that Zebra also uses for storing the state.

The current version of the scanner is documented for users in our Zebra book. If you want to give it a try, you can use this tool to read the scanning results. If you submit the scanning key from ZECpages, it will print all posts from the board to standard output. The next step for the scanner is to implement a gRPC frontend, exposing the scanner’s capabilities to Zebra users.

If you have any feedback or suggestions, let us know in our Discord, or on the Zcash Community Forum.

The post Introducing Blockchain Scanning with Zebra appeared first on Zcash Foundation.


Nym - Medium

Nym Rust SDK update

New C/C++ bindings open the door for deeper Bitcoin, Zcash, Firo integrations and more. The Nym mixnet is a powerful plug-and-play privacy infrastructure that protects any kind of communication in transit. Not only does the mixnet protect your data, but by shuffling traffic it protects metadata too, making your internet habits invisible. In order for the mixnet to be really plug and play, th
New C/C++ bindings open the door for deeper Bitcoin, Zcash, Firo integrations and more.

The Nym mixnet is a powerful plug-and-play privacy infrastructure that protects any kind of communication in transit. Not only does the mixnet protect your data, but by shuffling traffic it protects metadata too, making your internet habits invisible. In order for the mixnet to be really plug and play, though, it needs to be able to communicate outside of its native Rust code base.

Languages: Bahasa Indonesia // Русский // 日本 // Türkçe

Now, any projects written in C++ will be able to more easily integrate with the Nym mixnet thanks to a new interface available in the Nym Rust SDK: C/C++ bindings. And there are a lot of projects that have C/C++ components, from the Bitcoin source code to libbitcoin, Zcash, Firo, some components of the Signal messaging app and more.

Developers: please try out these bindings! You can find a reference implementation example here for how C/C++ devs could interact with the SDK. Try to connect your application with the mixnet and see what you can do. If you have any questions or feedback, please do reach out on Matrix/Element.

For the rest of you, what do these bindings mean? Let’s take a closer look.

Why does Nym need C/C++ bindings?

The backend of the Nym stack is written in Rust. Rust is a great language and has been adopted by projects across the crypto, security, and privacy space because of its design — to be a flexible and fast low-level systems language, which aims to remove an entire class of memory-related issues that other languages fall foul of.

However, when you’re making a generic network layer for the rest of the internet, relying on a relatively new language can create issues — after all, Rust’s first stable release was in 2015. Projects use a lot of other languages, and not all of these are interoperable.

In an ideal world, one would be able to write everything in Rust and cross-compile it to be able to use it anywhere. (See the Motivation section of the UniFFI documentation for a bit more on this.)

Unfortunately this glorious future has not yet come to pass. So instead the team has to rely on writing Foreign Function Interface (FFI) code; this essentially creates a translation mechanism for code in one language to call code in another.

The Rust compiler cannot and does not understand C++ code. Therefore, the Rust compiler needs to be told about code to use on the C++ side. Language bindings are the glue to make this communication happen.

One of the nice things about Rust is that it, like many other languages, exposes a C Application Binary Interface (ABI) — something that defines how to interact with a piece of compiled code. For example, with Nym this might be how to call a function that starts a process of listening out for incoming messages from the mixnet, or how the code deals with managing data in memory such as storing incoming messages and replySURBs for your app to use later on.

Why is this important, and how does one acronym (ABI) relate to the other (FFI)? Like so:

“The FFI is the user-code interface the language provides to interact with other executables, which may have a different ABI. The FFI forms the transition layer between different ABIs.” — From the Rust ABI wiki.
Nym Rust SDK update

The first version of some FFI bindings for the Nym Rust SDK were published this week.

This means applications written in C/C++ can start experimenting with integrating mixnet functionality by interacting with the Nym Rust SDK, using these bindings.

The development team has covered the initial functions that developers will need for starting to experiment with the mixnet: creating a Nym client and sending and receiving messages. There is also a reference implementation / example of how C/C++ devs might interact with the SDK.

This is an important step in making the mixnet more accessible to third parties, so previously unsupported developers can use Nym’s Rusk SDK. Give it a try!

Nym docs GitHub Developer channel Join the Nym Community

Discord // Telegram // Element // Twitter

Privacy loves company

English // 中文 // Русский // Türkçe // Tiếng Việt // 日本 // Française // Español // Português // 한국인

Nym Rust SDK update was originally published in nymtech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Brave Browser

Brave Leo, the AI browser assistant, now features Mixtral for improved performance

With today's update, we are excited to announce that we have integrated Mixtral 8x7B as the default LLM in Leo, our privacy-preserving AI browser assistant.

With today’s desktop browser update (v1.62), we are excited to announce that we have integrated Mixtral 8x7B as the default large language model (LLM) in Leo, our recently released, privacy-preserving AI browser assistant. Mixtral 8x7B is an open source LLM released by Mistral AI this past December, and has already seen broad usage due to its speed and performance. In addition, we’ve made several improvements to the Leo user experience, focusing on clearer onboarding, context controls, input and response formatting, and general UI polish.

Unveiling Mixtral 8x7B

Mixtral is now the default LLM for all Leo users, for the free version and the Premium version ($15/month). The free version is rate limited, and subscribers to Leo Premium benefit from higher rate limits. 

Mixtral 8x7B quickly gained popularity and usage among the developer community since its December release. Mixtral 8x7B currently outperforms ChatGPT 3.5, Claude Instant, Llama 2, and many others, according to the LMSYS Chatbot Arena Leaderboard. Mixtral also shows improvements in reducing hallucinations and biases, according to the BBQ benchmark.

Among other benefits, Mixtral can:

Handle larger contexts Interact in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish Generate code

Brave is already using Mixtral for its newly released Code LLM feature for programming-related queries in Brave Search, and the combination of Mixtral’s performance with its open source nature made it a natural fit for integration in Leo, given Brave’s commitment to open models and the open source community.

“Since its release, Brave Leo has been adopted by tens of thousands of free tier users and paid subscribers, and we expect even greater adoption as we expand our availability of LLMs to include Mixtral,” said Brian Bondy, CTO and co-founder at Brave. “Our aim is to create novel and convenient use cases in the context of users’ browsing sessions, and to help our users interact with the Web in groundbreaking ways.” 

“We are very happy to see Mixtral being used to power CodeLLM in Brave Search, and to now have Mixtral integrated in Brave Leo,” said Arthur Mensch, CEO at Mistral Al. “Making Mixtral available as an open model enables Brave to easily integrate it and to fulfill their users’ growing AI needs.” 

Giving Leo users choice with a variety of LLMs

Unlike other AI assistants, Brave Leo offers its users the flexibility to choose from different models according to their needs and budget. While we’ve added Mixtral 8x7B as the default LLM for both the free and premium versions of Brave Leo, we also offer Claude Instant from Anthropic in the free version (with rate limits) and for Premium. The free and premium versions of Leo also feature the Llama 2 13B model from Meta.

With Mixtral’s integration, Leo users will notice a significant performance improvement in the answer/result quality. Regarding the free Leo version, users will also have the option to revert to the previous Leo experience with Llama 2 and continue their AI experience once they reach the rate limits for Mixtral.

Feature Free Leo Leo Premium Models Mixtral 8x7B (strict rate limits)
Claude Instant (strict rate limits)
Llama 2 13B (higher rate limits) Mixtral 8x7B
Claude Instant
Llama 2 13B Rate limits Various rate limits Higher rate limits Quality of conversations Very high, dependent on models (upgraded with release 1.62) Very high Privacy Inputs are always submitted anonymously through a reverse-proxy and are not retained. Inputs are always submitted anonymously through a reverse-proxy and are not retained. Subscription Free $15 monthly Privacy always comes first

Privacy remains paramount for Brave Leo. Chats with Leo are private, anonymous, and secure. Leo doesn’t record chats, or use them for model training, and no account or login is required to use Leo. Privacy protections in Leo include:

Reverse proxy: All requests are proxied through an anonymization server so the request and user-address cannot be linked. Brave cannot associate the user request with their IP address. Immediate discarding of responses: Conversations are not persisted on Brave’s servers. Responses from Leo are discarded immediately after they’re generated, and not used for model training. We do not collect identifiers such as your IP Address that can be linked to you. No personal data is retained by the AI model or any 3rd-party model providers. No login or account required for access: Users do not need to create a Brave account to use Leo.  Unlinkable subscription: If you sign up for Leo Premium, you’re issued unlinkable tokens that validate your subscription when using Leo. This means that Brave can never connect your purchase details with your usage of the product, an extra step that ensures your activity is private to you and only you. The email you used to create your account is unlinkable to your day-to-day use of Leo, making this a uniquely private credentialing experience. Ready to try Brave Leo?

It’s easy to get started with Brave Leo because it’s built right into the browser, so no extra apps or extensions are required. Leo provides seamless access to AI experiences via the browser address bar, or as a sidebar, chat-like interface positioned beside any webpage. Leo helps users with all sorts of tasks in the context of the page they are on by creating real-time summaries of webpages or videos. Leo can also answer questions about content, generate new content, translate pages, analyze them, and rewrite them. Whether you’re looking for information, trying to solve a problem, writing code, or creating content, Leo is integrated in the browser for enhanced productivity.

To access Leo, Brave desktop users can simply ask a question in the address bar and click “Ask Leo”, or click in the Brave Sidebar.

Leo has been available to Brave desktop users since November (version 1.60). Leo will be available on mobile (Android and iOS) soon. Learn more about Brave Leo, or see a roadmap for Leo.


Brave News, the privacy-preserving news aggregator, is revamped for a more personal and easily customizable experience

To kick off 2024, we're thrilled to announce a major update to the desktop version of Brave News, our privacy-preserving, in-browser news feed.

To kick off 2024, we’re thrilled to announce a major update to the desktop version of Brave News, our privacy-preserving, in-browser news feed. The improved Brave News creates an even more seamless experience for catching up on personalized news, by simply scrolling down in a new browser tab. Brave News is free and the update includes a streamlined interface as well as an upgrade to the local personalization algorithms. These changes make Brave News both easier to use and smarter about the stories you see, while maintaining Brave’s privacy promise.

This newly optimized Brave News feed gives users more choice and control over what they see, and options for filtering content by channel or publisher. The improved local feed algorithm helps users discover new and interesting stories and provides suggestions for following channels and publishers they might enjoy. Users can also add RSS feeds, and choose to view content only from their favorite local publishers, blogs, or community sites.

Key updates include:

A For you section that shows stories based on your interests and local browsing history - while never infringing on your privacy An updated top news section and story clusters A filter view for viewing content by channel, source, or RSS feed An easily visible news preview on the new tab page, with the latest news that may be of interest to you One place, better control

In this update, we were hyper-focused on the way news is presented. We redesigned the Brave News space to show more articles and be more conscious about how we display images so you can get more value from a glance. We also added a side navigation panel so you can explore your favorite channels and publishers in a single click.

If you’re just looking for an interesting mix of daily news, then check out the For you and Following feeds. Whether you want an overview of the day’s news, or you’re looking for something specific, Brave News puts you in control of your news experience…all while protecting your privacy.

To find Brave News, just open Brave on your desktop, then open a new tab and scroll down.

Redesigned Brave News feed page

Content that’s relevant to you

Endlessly scrolling through irrelevant news can be a real time waste. That’s why we overhauled how your feed is created and personalized, making it smarter and more attuned to your interests. The improved Brave News now prioritizes showing you content you may actually want to read.

Some new features take the form of new types of cards displayed in the feed. Channel cards, for example, are single-themed deep dives into the channels and topics you care about the most. And for US users, Top stories cards neatly summarize the most important events and developments happening now.

Left: Channel card: single-themed deep dives into topics you care about most. Right: Top Stories card: summaries of the most important events and developments happening now.

To make customizing your feed even easier, we added Customize cards to the feed. These cards will recommend new publishers and/or channels you might be interested in, based on your existing preferences and signals.

Brave News customization cards

The customization menu is also accessible via the settings button at the bottom right, or via the Add button in the new side navigation panel.

Privacy always comes first

News aggregators are a common way to consume news. However, the way most popular aggregators work is by collecting and storing your preferences, consumption habits, and other behavioral data to determine what news to show you.

But the news you consume can tell a lot about you, from your political beliefs to fine-grained interests (e.g. a review about a self-help book) and more. For these reasons, we believe that the news you consume should have the same privacy protections as anything else you do online. Unlike others, Brave does not collect or store your data.

From how articles are delivered to how and where personalization happens, Brave News has been designed with privacy in mind. Information about your consumption habits—what channels and publishers you follow, the exact articles you click and read, and more—never leaves your computer. Because a great news experience does not require data collection, Brave’s local personalization mechanisms ensure the news in your feed is relevant, interesting, and private.

Wednesday, 24. January 2024

BlueYard Capital

Announcing the BlueYard DYOR (Do Your Own Research) Funding Program

Backing open-ended breakthrough research is at the core of BlueYard’s investing philosophy, whether it’s nuclear fusion, programmable stem cells or novel crypto-compute infrastructure. Hackers and researchers remain the essential backbone of the crypto industry. We are proud to have supported the work of research-focused companies like Protocol Labs, Filecoin, Flashbots, Privy, Ingonyama, Tromero

Backing open-ended breakthrough research is at the core of BlueYard’s investing philosophy, whether it’s nuclear fusion, programmable stem cells or novel crypto-compute infrastructure. Hackers and researchers remain the essential backbone of the crypto industry. We are proud to have supported the work of research-focused companies like Protocol Labs, Filecoin, Flashbots, Privy, Ingonyama, Tromero and more in solving critical crypto compute and infrastructure challenges, including those that could be key to unlocking adoption and enabling groundbreaking novel use cases.

This brings us to our core thesis underpinning our crypto investing strategy:

In the history of technology, economics and organizations — never has there been a technology and incentive system that can autonomously coordinate machines (compute, storage, etc), algorithms, data and capital at such an incredible scale, so quickly — all while providing independent, robust and trustless infrastructure for economic activity and data. Although still early in its development, crypto might be the ultimate solution to the collective action problem. Also, if one believes in a future where the autonomous coordination between compute, data and capital will play an increasing role, crypto networks could be the “under the hood” operating system for large economic networks.

Due to crypto’s inherent properties (ability to cut out gatekeepers, separation of state and money, internet native assets with open access) — crypto’s potential will unfold both through novel applications and decentralized infrastructure.

Within this context, it is essential that individual researchers and hackers continue to explore open-ended research, despite the current funding and regulatory headwinds in the industry. Individual research is often the nucleus of a future key component of the crypto industry. ​​In that spirit, we are announcing BlueYard DYOR (Do Your Own Research, and pronounced like this) funding program. We’re offering $100k to thoughtful researchers and builders to pursue their curiosities and research in crypto, with an open-ended outcome if their work is contributed to the industry and/or forms the nucleation of a new company or network.

As the name suggests, we expect the BlueYard DYOR cohort to conduct independent crypto research and/or work on a project. You don’t currently have to have a company, team, or a specific idea of what you want to build or research. Simply a direction of what you want to pursue. We are geography agnostic and excited to work with the best minds wherever they might be.

You are someone who:

Has a track record of experimenting and building (show us your work!) Might be sitting on the sidelines waiting for the bear market to blow over (now is the best time to start something new) or don’t have the personal funding to spend more time pursuing your crypto curiosities Is independent, insatiably curious, and excited to try novel things in crypto Understands the potential of crypto beyond its speculative value and wants to build for the long term

What you can expect from BlueYard DYOR:

Access to the BlueYard team and its crypto portfolio (and the wider science and compute companies in our broader portfolio) to support you in your work A cohort of 10 other builders experimenting, and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in crypto Help in publishing / releasing and distributing what you have built Access to crypto and science events alongside meetups within the BlueYard family Help in setting up an entity through which the DYOR funding will be received via an uncapped SAFE

You can learn more about our crypto portfolio here and apply for BlueYard DYOR here.


bankless

Tensor - Solana's NFT Marketplace | Ilja & Richard Wu

In today’s episode, David is joined by Co-Founder and CEO of Tensor, Ilja Moisejevs and CTO of Tensor, Richard Wu.  The three cover: How the different properties and foundation of Solana impact the product decisions that Richard and Ilja have made at Tensor? What are the first things that someone would notice that's different about Tensor, versus the NFT marketplaces on Ethereum? How did th

In today’s episode, David is joined by Co-Founder and CEO of Tensor, Ilja Moisejevs and CTO of Tensor, Richard Wu. 

The three cover: How the different properties and foundation of Solana impact the product decisions that Richard and Ilja have made at Tensor? What are the first things that someone would notice that's different about Tensor, versus the NFT marketplaces on Ethereum? How did the $JITO airdrop impact the Tensor ecosystem? What about the Tensorians, the native PFP NFT of Tensor…who rocks a tensorian, and why? 

And of course, we had to ask Richard and Ilja whether or not Tensor will be joining in on the Solana airdrop fun…you won’t believe the answer.

----- 🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2    ⁠

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle 

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

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo  

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/Toku 

------ TIMESTAMPS

0:00 Intro 3:55 Tensor Co-Founder Intros 7:15 Idea For Tensor 9:30 Learning Solana 12:32 How Solana Guided Tensor 16:49 Tensor NFT Marketplace  21:06 North Star of Tensor 29:00 Network Effects 33:40 Next Tensor Features 35:05 $JITO Airdrop 38:15 Tensorians   46:20 Solana 2024  49:38 Tensor Airdrop? 50:12 Resources, Closing & Disclaimers 

------ RESOURCES

Ilja Moisejevs  https://twitter.com/_ilmoi 

Richard Wu  https://twitter.com/0xrwu 

Tensor https://twitter.com/tensor_hq 

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures ⁠ 


a16z Podcast

Jobs of the Future

In a world where technology is moving at an unprecedented pace, what will the jobs of the future look like? Kai Roemmelt, CEO of the online learning platform Udacity, and Lisa Gevelber, a key figure at Google responsible for building the Grow with Google program, unpack the seismic changes reshaping the tech and education realms. From disrupting hiring norms to redefining how we acquire degrees

In a world where technology is moving at an unprecedented pace, what will the jobs of the future look like?

Kai Roemmelt, CEO of the online learning platform Udacity, and Lisa Gevelber, a key figure at Google responsible for building the Grow with Google program, unpack the seismic changes reshaping the tech and education realms.

From disrupting hiring norms to redefining how we acquire degrees and engage globally, this episode poses the question: How can you skillfully navigate the challenges and seize the opportunities awaiting in this evolving landscape?

 

Topics covered: 

00:00 - The Future of Jobs

03:15 - Job growth over the last 80 years

05:06 - The shelf-life of jobs

09:11 - Education trends

12:25 - The importance of learning the foundations

17:18 - Regional access to education

20:19 - How companies are hiring and looking at strategic priorities

22:58 - The economic mobility and economic stability of degrees 

25:59 - Job and training trends at Grow with Google

28:11 - Do companies train or hire for skills?

29:23 - The future of the traditional degree

31:10 - The employer and educator ecosystem 

35:36 - How to approach upskilling 

 

Resources: 

Find Kai on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kai-roemmelt

Find Lisa on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisagevelber

Learn more about Udacity: https://www.udacity.com

Learn more about Grow with Google: https://grow.google

Stay Updated: 

Find a16z on Twitter: https://twitter.com/a16z

Find a16z on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/a16z

Subscribe on your favorite podcast app: https://a16z.simplecast.com/

Follow our host: https://twitter.com/stephsmithio

Please note that the content here is for informational purposes only; should NOT be taken as legal, business, tax, or investment advice or be used to evaluate any investment or security; and is not directed at any investors or potential investors in any a16z fund. a16z and its affiliates may maintain investments in the companies discussed. For more details please see a16z.com/disclosures.

Tuesday, 23. January 2024

Horizen - Blog

Mainnet Node Software Upgrade: ZEN 5.0.0 is Available to Download

The new version ZEN 5.0.0 is available to download on GitHub and via Docker. The post Mainnet Node Software Upgrade: ZEN 5.0.0 is Available to Download appeared first on Horizen Blog.

The new version ZEN 5.0.0 is available to download on GitHub and via Docker.

Download ZEN 5.0.0 Now ZEN 5.0.0 is the official Mainnet Release ZEN 4.1.1 (previous version) is going to deprecate on Mainnet at block #1502084, on February 6th, 2024 at approximately 6:00 AM UTC. Please, update to ZEN 5.0.0 before February 6th, 2024. ZEN 5.0.0 will perform a network upgrade on Mainnet via Hard Fork at block #1502800, on February 7th, 2024 at approximately 12:00 PM UTC. ZenIP-42207 to fully remove the shielded pool from Horizen will be implemented with this release: All transactions involving shielded addresses will no longer be accepted at the consensus level once the hard fork activates RPC calls z_sendmany and z_mergetoaddress have been partially disabled so that it will no longer be possible to submit transactions involving shielded addresses (transparent-to-shielded, shielded-to-shielded, and shielded-to-transparent) once the hard fork activates. Transparent-to-transparent transactions will still be accepted and submitted to the network. Only nodes running on Mainnet have to be updated.

IMPORTANT: 5.0.0.
After the previously mentioned Hard Fork, it will no longer be possible to perform any transactions involving shielded addresses. It is highly recommended to move funds out of the shielded pool before then. Directly depositing funds from shielded addresses to exchange wallets is strongly discouraged.

See release notes Here.

Please let us know if you have any questions or if you need further support by reaching out to us on our Discord.

The post Mainnet Node Software Upgrade: ZEN 5.0.0 is Available to Download appeared first on Horizen Blog.


BlueYard Capital

Ingonyama

Ingonyama is developing hardware to speed up zero-knowledge proofs, a cryptographic scheme that secures much of web3 and is a critical component for scaling Ethereum. ZK proofs allow verification that a transaction or smart contract was executed without revealing any of the details. This was first used to support private transactions in protocols like ZCash. The even more promising application is

Ingonyama is developing hardware to speed up zero-knowledge proofs, a cryptographic scheme that secures much of web3 and is a critical component for scaling Ethereum.

ZK proofs allow verification that a transaction or smart contract was executed without revealing any of the details. This was first used to support private transactions in protocols like ZCash. The even more promising application is to increase the scalability of protocols such as Ethereum. Layer 2 solutions such as StarkWare execute transactions and smart contracts for users and then post a ZK proof to Ethereum. This significantly reduces the amount of data that needs to be stored on Ethereum and enables transaction volumes similar to traditional payment networks such as Visa.

Our Thesis

Inside of every CPU are specialized circuits for speeding up the cryptography used to secure the internet today. At first, Ingonyama might look like a niche business designing specialized hardware for scaling crypto protocols. As the internet becomes more decentralized, the same hardware could secure every internet-connected device. Read more about the company’s recent $21m financing here.

Monday, 22. January 2024

Circle Blog

Understanding Web3 Wallets

Imagine a world where your mobile device isn't just a way to access your bank, but a standalone place to store value. A world where transactions aren't slowed down by middlemen, but flow as easily as sending a text message. Web3 wallets offer a decentralized, transparent, and direct method to store value on mobile devices and interact with digital assets.

Imagine a world where your mobile device isn't just a way to access your bank, but a standalone place to store value. A world where transactions aren't slowed down by middlemen, but flow as easily as sending a text message. Web3 wallets offer a decentralized, transparent, and direct method to store value on mobile devices and interact with digital assets.


Horizen - Blog

Polytrade Finance & Horizen EON: Facilitating Real World Assets (RWAs) in the Horizen Ecosystem

TL;DR: Polytrade will enable the trading, fractionalization, and exchange of real world assets such as trade finance, collectibles, real estate, and structured credit, all on Horizen EON!Polytrade is a web3 protocol focused on aggregating and solving the demand for RWAs. Through the Polytrade Marketplace platform, Asset Originators can tokenize a wide range of real world […] The post Polytrad

TL;DR: Polytrade will enable the trading, fractionalization, and exchange of real world assets such as trade finance, collectibles, real estate, and structured credit, all on Horizen EON!

Polytrade is a web3 protocol focused on aggregating and solving the demand for RWAs. Through the Polytrade Marketplace platform, Asset Originators can tokenize a wide range of real world assets – unlocking additional liquidity at reduced costs. Asset buyers gain access to a wide range of tokenized opportunities such as trade finance, real estate, car loans, and collectibles.

Polytrade Marketplace will unlock the following opportunities on Horizen EON:

Native support for RWAs on the Horizen ecosystem  Multichain support via other web3 ecosystems that feature Polytrade such as Polygon, Solana, BNB Additional liquidity source for users with RWAs

“We are thrilled to be kickstarting the RWA activation on Horizen EON with Polytrade. This collaboration is fueled by a shared passion for bringing real-word assets onchain amidst an ever-evolving landscape. Joining forces with the Polytrade team will activate the building blocks for RWAs in the Horizen ecosystem and beyond.”

-Jordan Calinoff, VP of Strategy & Revenue at Horizen Labs

About Polytrade Finance

Polytrade is the first global marketplace focused exclusively on tokenized real-world assets. The RWA marketplace uses Polytrade’s ERC-6960 to enhance discovery, consideration, investment, trade, fractionalization, and leverage for assets ranging from real estate, trade finance, commodities, and stocks to physical items such as collectibles and luxury items. Users can use Polytrade as a single gateway to global tokenized opportunities.

About Horizen EON

Horizen EON is an EVM-compatible smart contracting platform and the first of many smart contract sidechains in the Horizen ecosystem. Horizen EON allows developers to efficiently build and deploy decentralized applications (dapps) on Horizen while benefiting from EVM compatibility. Horizen EON is built with scale and user experiences in mind, on Horizen’s powerful horizontally scaling protocol, Zendoo.

For more information, please visit https://eon.horizen.io and join the Horizen Discord.

The post Polytrade Finance & Horizen EON: Facilitating Real World Assets (RWAs) in the Horizen Ecosystem appeared first on Horizen Blog.


PIVX

Celebrating One Year of PIVX Rewards Increase.

Celebrating One Year of PIVX Rewards Increase: A Gateway to Promising Opportunities As we commemorate the one-year anniversary of PIVX’s rewards increase, it is a moment of celebration and reflection on the positive impact this decision has had on the PIVX ecosystem. On January 22, 2023, coinciding with block 3715200, PIVX embraced the version 5.5.0 upgrade, marking a significant milestone in its

Celebrating One Year of PIVX Rewards Increase: A Gateway to Promising Opportunities

As we commemorate the one-year anniversary of PIVX’s rewards increase, it is a moment of celebration and reflection on the positive impact this decision has had on the PIVX ecosystem. On January 22, 2023, coinciding with block 3715200, PIVX embraced the version 5.5.0 upgrade, marking a significant milestone in its financial structure. This upgrade brought forth remarkable changes, including increased payments to the treasury, staking and Masternode rewards, setting the stage for further growth, innovation, and community engagement.

Expanding Opportunities and Strengthening the Network:
With the rewards increase, maximum treasury payments soared to 10 PIV per block. This surge in funding allows for greater support for listings, use cases, development, marketing, and essential initiatives within the PIVX community. Simultaneously, staking rewards doubled to 4 PIV per block, providing an incentive for more PIVX holders to actively participate in securing the network. Doubling of Masternode payments to 6 PIV per block further encourages the growth of Masternodes, enabling them to vote on treasury expenditures and contribute to future PIVX applications. These advancements not only strengthen the PIVX network but also open doors to exciting opportunities for growth and development.

Conclusion:
As we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the PIVX rewards increase, we acknowledge the positive impact it has had on the project’s financial structure. The rewards increase is succeeding in enhancing funding, stimulating proposal submissions, expanding use cases, and attracting more listings for PIVX. It has played a vital role in supporting various initiatives and contributing to the growth and opportunities of the project.

Celebrating One Year of PIVX Rewards Increase. was originally published in PIVX on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


bankless

206 - Decentralized Science | Brian Armstrong & Patrick Joyce

✨ DEBRIEF | Ryan & David unpacking the episode: https://www.bankless.com/debrief-research-hub  ------ Science is a consensus technology. So is crypto. How can we use crypto to fix science?   We have Brian Armstrong on today to talk about this. Yes, the Brian Amstrong from Coinbase. He’s joined by his co-founder for Research Hub and scientist Patrick Joyce. In this episo

✨ DEBRIEF | Ryan & David unpacking the episode: https://www.bankless.com/debrief-research-hub 

------ Science is a consensus technology. So is crypto. How can we use crypto to fix science?

 

We have Brian Armstrong on today to talk about this. Yes, the Brian Amstrong from Coinbase. He’s joined by his co-founder for Research Hub and scientist Patrick Joyce.

In this episode, we explore the history of science, the pitfalls of TradFi, and how we can use crypto technology to build better incentive mechanisms for a more enlightened future.

---- 🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2   ⁠ 

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle 

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo  

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/Toku 

——

Timestamps

0:00 Intro 4:00 We’re Talking About Science 12:00 Consensus Technology 23:00 The Mission of Science 28:00 Metascience 33:00 The Problem with Science Today 43:00 Bad Incentive Structures 47:30 How Crypto Can Help 50:00 Research Hub 48:30 Peer to Peer Science 1:04:00 DeSci vs TradSci 1:11:000 The SciFi Future 1:16:00 Life at Research Hub

------

RESOURCES

Get Involved https://www.researchhub.com/post/979/researchhub-raises-5m-to-help-scientists-monetize-their-research 

Zuzalu DeSci Episode https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjmWpZK95dM 

Research Hub on Twitter https://twitter.com/ResearchHub 

Sunday, 21. January 2024

Panther Protocol

LBank Lists Zero-Knowledge DeFi Pioneer Panther Protocol’s $ZKP

We are excited to share Panther Protocol’s $ZKP listing on LBank, a leading cryptocurrency exchange. This listing follows $ZKP’s listing on BitMart in December 2023. These listings are part of our focus on cementing strategic partnerships and exchange listings before Panther Protocol’s V1 launch.

We are excited to share Panther Protocol’s $ZKP listing on LBank, a leading cryptocurrency exchange. This listing follows $ZKP’s listing on BitMart in December 2023. These listings are part of our focus on cementing strategic partnerships and exchange listings before Panther Protocol’s V1 launch.

This partnership with LBank and upcoming listings on other trusted exchanges are part of our long-term strategy to make $ZKP more accessible globally for our community members and $ZKP holders. 

Additionally, with the upcoming V1  launch, this listing will contribute to improving the on-and-off ramp accessibility of the $ZKP token for the V1 protocol, creating additional opportunities for onboarding more users to the Panther ecosystem. With the LBank listing, $ZKP will now be available on five exchanges, including MEXC, Uniswap (DEX), Huobi, and BitMart. 

LBank will support the trading Pair: ZKP/USDT

Deposit Availability: January 23, 2024 at 13:00 UTC Trading Commencement: January 24, 2024 at 13:00 UTC Withdrawal Post-Trade: January 25, 2024 at 13:00 UTC

About LBank

Founded in 2015, LBank Exchange (PT LBK TEKNOLOGY INDONESIA) is a top cryptocurrency trading platform that holds NFA, MSB, and Canada MSB licenses. LBank Exchange serves a  global user base with secure, professional, and convenient products and services, including Cryptocurrency Trading, Derivatives, Staking, NFT, and LBK Labs investment.


About Panther Protocol

Panther Protocol is a cross-protocol layer that uses zero-knowledge technology to build DeFi solutions that aim to meet ever-evolving regulatory standards while satisfying users' on-chain data privacy needs. Panther's goal is to enable seamless access to DeFi via a cross-chain-supported ZK compliance protocol. The Panther Protocol offers confidentiality across transactions in shielded pools, zSwap for DeFi integrations — enabling private swaps on third-party DEXs, and zTrade for internal OTC book for trading assets privately. Furthermore, Panther Protocol's zero-knowledge primitives are generalizable to KYC, selective disclosures between trusted parties, private ID, voting, and data verification services.

Disclaimer: Panther is not recommending that readers engage in cryptoasset trading activity, and users or potential users of the protocol should not regard this message or its contents as involving any form of recommendation, invitation, or inducement to deal in cryptoassets. Due to the potential for losses, regulators consider this asset class to be high risk.

Friday, 19. January 2024

Circle Blog

At Davos, Converging Technology and Mission to Unlock Opportunity

“The Internet? Is that thing still around?” Homer Simpson’s immortal line underscores a simple pattern: as an innovation matures, it shifts from fad to fixture. The technology moves into the background and its utility for society moves to the foreground.

“The Internet? Is that thing still around?” Homer Simpson’s immortal line underscores a simple pattern: as an innovation matures, it shifts from fad to fixture. The technology moves into the background and its utility for society moves to the foreground.


Epicenter Podcast

Andreas Tsamados & Vijay Krishnavanshi: Fileverse: A Trustless Stack to Decentralize Knowledge and Collaboration

Web2 file storage relies heavily on centralised entities, which have mostly outgrown their competitors, establishing a quasi-monopoly. The reasons for this are twofold: enormous operating costs and seamless user experience (e.g. social logins and account recovery), which, until recently, could only be solved through centralisation. Add to this the reluctance to change platforms as users need to re

Web2 file storage relies heavily on centralised entities, which have mostly outgrown their competitors, establishing a quasi-monopoly. The reasons for this are twofold: enormous operating costs and seamless user experience (e.g. social logins and account recovery), which, until recently, could only be solved through centralisation. Add to this the reluctance to change platforms as users need to re-upload their files, and you get an ossified user base. However, data leaks and hacks are a constant threat to users’ privacy, and indicate the disruptive potential of decentralised file storage and sharing.

We were joined by Andreas Tsamados & Vijay Krishnavanshi, co-founders of Fileverse, to discuss their decentralised file sharing solution and how they plan to disrupt the Web2 quasi-monopoly.

Topics covered in this episode:

Returning to the P2P roots of the Internet Web2 vs. Web3 user experience (UX) Business models for Web2 data Decentralising data Web3 data storage Costs of data storage Managing file updates and permissions Fileverse use cases The business model of Fileverse Improving UX Future roadmap

Episode links:

Andreas Tsamados on Twitter Vijay Krishnavanshi on Twitter Fileverse on Twitter

Sponsors:

Gnosis: Gnosis builds decentralized infrastructure for the Ethereum ecosystem, since 2015. This year marks the launch of Gnosis Pay— the world's first Decentralized Payment Network. Get started today at - gnosis.io Chorus1: Chorus1 is one of the largest node operators worldwide, supporting more than 100,000 delegators, across 45 networks. The recently launched OPUS allows staking up to 8,000 ETH in a single transaction. Enjoy the highest yields and institutional grade security at - chorus.one

This episode is hosted by Friederike Ernst. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/531


Horizen - Blog

EON 1.2.0 is Available to Download – Latest Node Software Upgrade

The new version EON 1.2.0 is available to download on GitHub and via Docker. The post EON 1.2.0 is Available to Download – Latest Node Software Upgrade appeared first on Horizen Blog.

The new version EON 1.2.0 is available to download on GitHub and via Docker.

DOWNLOAD EON 1.2.0 HERE EON 1.2.0 is meant to be used for: GOBI Testnet nodes and EON Mainnet nodes. Guide available at EON Documentation  GOBI Testnet: The network upgrade was performed on EON 1.2.0 at Consensus Epoch 1982 which happened on January 10th, 2024. EON Mainnet: EON 1.2.0 will perform a network upgrade on  EON Mainnet via Hard Fork at Consensus Epoch 1297 which will occur on January 25th, 2024 approximately
at 11:55 am UTC.


Below is a list of the exciting new features (from 1.1.0 to 1.2.0):

ZENDAO Native Smart Contract Added support for multisig Mainchain addresses ZenIP 42203/42206 Forward transfers can be directly performed towards a smart contract address in the EON sidechain Possibility to top up “EON forgers reward pool” with a forward transfer to a specific address Improvements Forger Stake native smart contract: OpenStakeForgerList function can be invoked using the ABI-compliant signature. The old signature is still valid for backward compatibility. [eth RPC endpoint] Added upper limit (10000) for number of blocks to inspect when calling eth_getLogs [eth RPC endpoint] Fixed JSON representation in RPC response of signature V field for transaction type 2: it should be in range of 0-1. [eth RPC endpoint] eth_gasPrice: algorithm to estimate gas price will now take the 20th percentile instead of 40th

See Sidechains-SDK Release Notes for further details.

Please let us know if you have any questions or if you need further support by reaching out to us on our Discord.

The post EON 1.2.0 is Available to Download – Latest Node Software Upgrade appeared first on Horizen Blog.


bankless

ROLLUP: Bitcoin ETF Updates | Larry Fink Crypto Pilled | Ethereum Roadmap | Airdrops Incoming

Bankless Weekly Rollup 3rd Week of January, 2024 ----- 🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024  ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:   🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2  ⁠ 🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle  🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo  

Bankless Weekly Rollup

3rd Week of January, 2024

-----

🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

 

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2  ⁠

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle 

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo  

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/Toku 

 

------

TIMESTAMPS:

00:00 Start

03:40 Markets https://twitter.com/growthepie_eth/status/1746883438689341938 

07:07 Celsius Cancer Over? https://x.com/0xBoboShanti/status/1747697507361071198?s=20  https://x.com/0xBoboShanti/status/1747697530362560741?s=20 

10:34 2023 Developer Report https://www.developerreport.com/developer-report 

14:21 First week of the BTC ETF! How’d it do?? https://x.com/EricBalchunas/status/1747591085189128329?s=20  https://x.com/EricBalchunas/status/1747958701162397745?s=20  https://x.com/EricBalchunas/status/1747981648686108887?s=20  https://x.com/EricBalchunas/status/1747635270722183608?s=20  https://twitter.com/EricBalchunas/status/1747385703971860617  https://twitter.com/jseyff/status/1746611833098616880?s=46 

21:09 Franklin Templeton To The Moon https://twitter.com/FTI_US/status/1747703202664112232 

23:03 Vanguards Refusal https://www.theblock.co/post/272049/vanguard-wont-offer-spot-bitcoin-etfs-says-high-volatility-is-bad-for-generating-long-term-returns  https://twitter.com/ChainLinkGod/status/1745522402430259354  https://twitter.com/RyanSAdams/status/1745830835750654108?s=20 

25:59 Jaime Dimon's Take https://youtu.be/eneB3s9bCdI?si=QkCYvCBgVTfOhSPL&t=144  https://www.cnbc.com/2024/01/17/jamie-dimon-says-hes-done-talking-about-bitcoin-i-dont-care.html 

28:11 Larry Fink Takes https://x.com/Cryptik1E/status/1745776244745289934?s=20  https://twitter.com/AP_Abacus/status/1745806545890234869  https://twitter.com/econoar/status/1746209199758180753?s=20 

35:41 Davids Take  https://x.com/TrustlessState/status/1747024019021300092?s=20 

40:13 Blobs Live On Goerli https://x.com/parithosh_j/status/1747564353467936817?s=20 

42:27 Whats Next After Dencun? https://x.com/JimmyRagosa/status/1747628330604523568?s=20  https://www.reddit.com/r/ethereum/comments/191kke6/comment/kh7ekx3/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3 

46:30 Socket Exploit $3.3M Stolen https://x.com/SocketDotTech/status/1747349422730813525?s=20  https://x.com/RevokeCash/status/1747352408022245790?s=20 

49:25 SEC Grilled During Coinbase Hearing https://www.theblock.co/post/273221/judge-grills-the-sec-with-pointed-questions-as-coinbase-hearing-begins  https://x.com/BanklessHQ/status/1747728558896676926?s=20  https://twitter.com/jchervinsky/status/1747702461656174984?s=46&t=2ZINVXJQKx6xO_6Wiiu_2g 

53:10 Trumps Take on CBDCs https://twitter.com/watcherguru/status/1747845161638302087?s=46&t=2ZINVXJQKx6xO_6Wiiu_2g 

54:02 Solana's New Saga Phone! https://twitter.com/solanamobile/status/1747302707273089133?s=20 

55:15 Meme Of The Week https://twitter.com/FTI_US/status/1747713266107724191?s=20 

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures⁠

Thursday, 18. January 2024

Horizen - Blog

Secure Node Full Deprecation Timeline & EON Forger Node Instructions

IntroductionThe target date for full secure node depreciation is Mar 11, 2024. ZenIP 42206 was introduced and voted on in November 2023 and the community overwhelmingly voted in favor of deprecating secure nodes and repurposing the coinbase reward that secure nodes were receiving to EON forger nodes.  However, secure nodes have not yet been fully deprecated.  […] The post Secur

Introduction

The target date for full secure node depreciation is Mar 11, 2024. 

ZenIP 42206 was introduced and voted on in November 2023 and the community overwhelmingly voted in favor of deprecating secure nodes and repurposing the coinbase reward that secure nodes were receiving to EON forger nodes.  However, secure nodes have not yet been fully deprecated.  This blog post outlines the steps remaining, the timeline to full secure node deprecation, additional information on EON forger nodes and a link to instructions on setting up a forger node.

Details

This date listed above represents the date that the secure node tracking system is shut off, and that changes to both EON and Horizen are implemented (and sufficiently tested) to enable the movement of the coinbase reward from Horizen to EON, and then the subsequent distribution of the coinbase reward to forgers who have forged blocks.

Timeline Jan 25, 2024 – changes to EON implemented Feb 7, 2024 – next mainchain hardfork Mar 10, 2024 – last secure node earning period ends Mar 11, 2024 – last secure node payment performed, secure nodes fully deprecated Mar 18, 2024 – first coinbase rewards deposited into Horizen EON What are Horizen EON Forger Nodes and Why are they Important?

In a Proof-of-Stake chain, the nodes are called forger nodes. Forger nodes play a critical role in PoS consensus by creating blocks, validating transactions, enhancing security, and promoting efficiency and decentralization. 

Forger nodes are critical to Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus for several reasons:

Block production: They create new blocks in the blockchain, with their chance of being selected often based on the amount of cryptocurrency they hold as collateral. Transaction validation: Forger nodes validate and add transactions to the blockchain, ensuring that only valid transactions are recorded. Security: They’re financially motivated to act honestly because they’ve staked their own tokens as collateral, risking loss of rewards if they behave maliciously. Energy efficiency: PoS is more environmentally friendly than PoW because it doesn’t require the same amount of computing power. Sybil attack resistance: The larger the number of honest forger nodes, the harder a sybil attack becomes. Decentralization: Forging nodes contribute to network decentralization, allowing a wider range of participants to be involved.

Learn more about Horizen EON Forger Nodes and why they are important by reviewing our blog post on the subject. 

EON Forger Node Instructions

For step-by-step instructions on how to set up and run an EON forger node, please visit our GitHub repository below to learn more. If you intend to run a forger node, please select ‘forger’ when executing the ‘init.sh’ script for the first time. Keep in mind that both the Mainchain node and the Sidechain node will require some time to fully synchronize the entire chains.

How to Run a Forger Node Instructions

Please let us know if you have any questions or if you need further support by reaching out to us on our Discord.

The post Secure Node Full Deprecation Timeline & EON Forger Node Instructions appeared first on Horizen Blog.


Panther Protocol

Weekly Update | Panther Protocol

Fellow Panthers, Another week has passed in the dynamic world of Panther, and it's time to share our latest updates and progress. This update provides a rundown of all the important developments from the past week: Communication Updates Testnet Stage 3 is now live with a new design,

Fellow Panthers,

Another week has passed in the dynamic world of Panther, and it's time to share our latest updates and progress. This update provides a rundown of all the important developments from the past week:

Communication Updates Testnet Stage 3 is now live with a new design, enhanced security, and added features

We're excited to announce that Stage 3 of our testnet is live. Stage 3 enables users to use the newly allowlisted test Matic and test $ZKPs in Panther's Shielded Pool.

Learn more about Stage 3 of our testnet.

Panther hires Harrie Bickle to improve product documentation

Harrie Bickle has joined the Panther team as a Senior Technical Writer. Harrie brings over a decade's experience in Documentation and Product Marketing and has been in the blockchain space since 2018. Her range spans writing and editing articles, whitepapers, yellow papers, developer portals, and API documentation.

We are delighted to welcome Harrie and look forward to seeing our documentation reach a new level, thanks to her expertise gained while editing for Starkware in the Zero Knowledge space and building out developer portals for Qredo's crypto trading API and Neon EVM's Solana settlement layer solution.

Panther Protocol Testnet and Rewards Update Number of current testnet users: 400* Total rewards distributed: 200,000 $ZKP

The proposed total amount of testnet rewards is 1.5M $ZKP. Have you signed up for our testnet yet? Learn more and sign up to join our testnet and receive your $ZKP rewards.

*Data includes up to Stage 2 testnet; Stage 3 data to follow. 

Product Updates Stage 4 Developments

Stage 4 of our testnet allows users to send zAssets inside the pool from one zAccount to another. The UI visual layer for Stage 4 is complete, including the send/receive screen and UTXO selection modal. We have also completed unit tests for the recent changes in the rewards extended circuit.

Stage 5 Developments

The team has been working on Stage 5 in parallel with Stage 4 for the last month. Stage 5 includes using a 3rd party Bundler service and the ability to submit gasless transactions using an Account Abstraction Paymaster contract. 

At this stage, integration tests are ongoing with the Bundler services. The remaining work includes dApp development to allow users to select Bundler, fee management, and the final round of integration tests.

Oshiya Upgrade

The team has been working to document and finalize the specifications for Oshiya, previously known as Panther Miner. Details will follow soon; paving the way for community contributions. 

Community Questions:

When will Stage 4 be launched?
The team is targeting the 3rd week of January for Stage 4's launch.

When will the frontend issues related to advanced staking be resolved?
The team has fixed the frontend issues related to advanced staking. The subgraph has been redeployed and data synching is working as expected. As a result, users can now see their staked balance and relevant details.

About Panther

Panther remains dedicated to its vision of a cross-protocol layer leveraging zero-knowledge technology. Our goal is to create DeFi solutions that not only meet regulatory requirements but also respect and protect on-chain data privacy. As we progress, we remain committed to enabling seamless access to DeFi and fostering a diverse, cross-chain ecosystem.

Stay tuned for more updates, and thank you for your continuous support and belief in our mission.

Website · One-pager · Lite Paper · Twitter · Telegram · Discord


Nym - Medium

Follow the packet (spoiler: you can’t)

Journey along to learn how mixnets protect patterns of communication enabling real online privacy It is that time of the year for deep reflection, setting intentions and deciding what is the most important focus for 2024. Nym has a singular focus: Getting the power of mixnet technology into the hands of ordinary people by launching Nym’s first commercial app, the NymVPN. But wh
Journey along to learn how mixnets protect patterns of communication enabling real online privacy

It is that time of the year for deep reflection, setting intentions and deciding what is the most important focus for 2024. Nym has a singular focus:

Getting the power of mixnet technology into the hands of ordinary people by launching Nym’s first commercial app, the NymVPN.

But what is mixnet technology and what can it actually do for people?

Languages: 日本 // Русский // Português // Español // Bahasa Indonesia // 中文 // Française // Türkçe

There is a problem at the core of the internet. Some of you will already know about it. You might even have heard of how this problem can be fixed and have joined the community working together to fix it. For the rest of you, it’s time you’re also let in on the secret. This is for you: discover exactly what happens to your data and come along for a five-hop ride through the maze of mixnet technology.

The internet is a wild and wonderful place. An immense, global network of information, gossip and chatter, broken into little packets and routed through networks organised by protocols: TCP/IP, HTTP, UDP, FTP, TLS, DNS…

Billions of packets are routed through the internet every minute using these common protocols. But here’s the problem: the packets can be traced. It doesn’t matter that the content is encrypted, packets can still be watched to see who is speaking to who, how often, and from where. The standard protocols of the internet leave your patterns of communication fully visible to anyone watching parts of or the whole network. This includes internet service providers, VPN providers, internet exchanges, autonomous systems, BGP routers, even WiFi routers, LAN, and famously, the NSA and other security agencies.

So what can be done about it?

The obvious thing would be to immediately throw a cover over the internet to protect these packets. After all, it’s ludicrous that one of the main vehicles of communication for the entire world allows all kinds of people, companies and agencies to watch your communication without your knowledge. This is really not a normal state of affairs. And it’s about time it changes.

A mixnet is an ‘overlay network’ and provides just such a cover for internet traffic.

A novel update to the decades-old concept of mixed networks, the Nym mixnet scrambles traffic patterns to prevent corporate and government surveillance — and is designed for scale, usability, and anonymity.

Mixnets send your packets through several hops and mix them so that it becomes nearly impossible to trace these patterns of communication from one end to the other. Let’s go on a journey through the five hops of the Nym mixnet to learn more about exactly how that happens.

Here’s the TL;DR overview of the full journey:

The Nym client (this lives on your device to encrypt your packets before they get sent to the mixnet) The entry gateway (this is the first hop and entry point to the magical world of mixnets) The three mix nodes (these perform packet shuffling, scrambling communications) The exit gateway (where data is sent out from the mixnet) Hello world! Your packet has now entered the internet with no traceability back to you. Nym mixnet traffic flow step one: the Nym client

The Nym client lives on your device. It takes any outbound traffic before it leaves your device and wraps each packet in layers of encryption. A packet is simply a piece of data that’s built using cryptographic primitives. The Nym mixnet uses a special type of packet called Sphinx, which is different from a TCP/IP packet. The way a Sphinx packet is designed is to ensure the confidentiality of your content or communications. Each Sphinx packet looks identical to others, to make them untraceable within the network based on their binary pattern.

Diagram of the traffic sent by the Nym WebAssembly Client

At the high level, a Sphinx packet is composed of two independent parts, a header and a body/payload part.

The header encapsulates all routing information needed to route the packet through the mixnet to the recipient. The payload contains the content of the communication, for example our ‘Hello World!’ message that we want to send through the mixnet. Both the header and the payload are independently layer-encrypted, meaning that there is a separate layer of encryption for each hop in the route. This also means that if your client has selected mix nodes A, B, C for your packet P, no other nodes can successfully process your packet P. And for each packet sent through the Nym mixnet, a Sphinx acknowledgment is received by the previous node, so they know it has arrived.

Sphinx encryption is a novel type of onion encryption, named for the lustrous layers of the root vegetable protecting its tiny core. Onion encryption ensures ‘bitwise-unlinkability’. In short, this means that when your packet traverses a mixnode, it changes its binary appearance. Neither the nodes in the route, nor a global surveillance actor observing the whole network, can link sender to receiver. For example, even if an entry and exit node collude, neither of them can tell whether they processed any common packets because of the changing binary pattern. Traditional TCP or UDP packets do not provide such a property, i.e. they look the same ‘going in’ as they do ‘going out’.

In addition to unlinkability, Sphinx provides ‘integrity protection’. What this means is that if a malicious node tries to malform a packet, Sphinx detects it and the packet is dropped in the network to prevent the tracing of tainted packets. Moreover, the Sphinx protocol also offers Single-Use-Reply-Blocks as a tool for anonymous replies, so the recipient of a packet can reply to the original sender without the need to learn their network location (i.e., IP).

To summarize, the Nym client lives on a user’s device or in an app. The Nym client manages the secure connection with the selected gateway, encrypts your communications and facilitates sending packets through the Nym mixnet. It also does things like storing a user’s private keys and NYM tokens to facilitate bandwidth credentials and more — but that’s for another time!

Nym mixnet traffic flow step two: the entry gateway

A gateway is the entry point to the mixnet. It acts as a proxy between the Nym client and the Nym mixnet and checks that a user has the necessary credentials to use the mixnet — whether they or the app they’re using have paid for fair usage.

All gateways are operated by the Nym community to ensure complete decentralization of the mixnet system. There are currently 70 gateways, which can be viewed on Nym Explorer along with metrics like routing score and reliability.

The gateways are necessary for a few reasons:

Gateways check bandwidth credentials to ensure that a particular user has a right to use the Nym mixnet — i.e., that they paid for it. This also limits Denial of Service attacks and free-riding, where people squeeze resources from networks without contributing to them. Secondly, gateways also act as offline storage for incoming packets — so if a client is offline, the gateway stores this incoming communication until it gets back online. And third, the gateway is your, well, gateway into the mixnet from the Nym client. This also means that the gateway can potentially see the client’s IP address. But they do not know anything about the destination of the packet, nor its content or metadata.

For super users, it’s possible to run your own gateway if you don’t want to expose the IP to that first hop.

Nym mixnet traffic flow step three: the three mix nodes

Your packet has now been Sphinx encypted by your client and sent to the entry gateway. Now what? This is where the magic ‘mixing’ happens. The entry gateway decrypts one layer of Sphinx to check which mix node to send your packet to first. What is a mix node? An independently run server that someone in the Nym community has created, also called a ‘hop’. All mix nodes are visible on the Nym Explorer.

This hop depends on a number of factors including geographical proximity and which mix nodes have been selected for the ‘active set’. The active set is simply the amount of nodes that are currently active and mixing traffic: 240 at any given time.

This ‘active set’ changes every ‘epoch’ — one epoch lasts an hour — and a selection algorithm checks the performance and reputation of nodes. This ensures traffic paths are continuously changing and malicious paths cannot be established by hostile node operators.

What is a ‘layer’ in the mixnet? Well, the mixnet arranges nodes into something called a ‘stratified topology’, which just means that the nodes are grouped into three layers, with the three hops distributed across these layers. This is to ensure horizontal scalability, efficiency, and anonymity by design.

When a data packet is routed, a mix node is picked at random from each layer, and a path is composed that has three hops. Take a look at this gif:

These mechanisms alone vastly improve user anonymity compared to traditional VPNs or even other decentralized privacy-preserving technologies.

But that’s not all: there are two very important features that make ‘following the packet’ even more difficult. These are timing obfuscation and cover traffic.

POV: you’re the NSA trying to track a data packet on the mixnet.

Timing obfuscation means that the order of packets are shuffled and reordered by each of the three mix nodes. This makes it near impossible for an observer to correlate an incoming to an outgoing packet. These intervals are practically imperceptible to humans.

Adding even further anonymity, all real data packets are mixed in with cover traffic. These are empty data packets that are the same size as real data packets. They’re useful for privacy because they create a “crowd” of packets obscuring any traffic patterns in a flurry of fake communication that’s useless to anyone snooping on the network.

Nym mixnet traffic flow step four: The exit gateway

Your packet has now reached the final hop in its journey: the exit gateway. The exit gateway will decrypt the final destination of the packet, working in tandem with a service provider that will connect the packet to whichever ‘clearnet’ website or app you are trying to reach.

The gateway can see the final destination. However, your data is routed on a per packet basis. This means that even in the event a malicious exit gateway was set up and was picked for the active set, it would only see a tiny portion of your traffic. Furthermore, the gateway does not see any plaintext. Content is still end-to-end encrypted by the original sender and is only decrypted by the receiving client.

Nym mixnet traffic flow step five: Hello world!

Your packet has now reached the rest of the world, passing through the protective cover of the mixnet. The patterns of your traffic have been protected, your data end to end encrypted, and any snoopers will have surely lost your packet by now. But this journey is just for a packet going out. But what about replies? And what if an app wants to fetch information via the mixnet?

Nym uses something called Single Use Reply Blocks, or SURBs. These allow applications to interact with other applications anonymously via the mixnet.

Say a client application needs to interact with an online service or a P2P application on another person’s machine. To avoid revealing any gateway or client keys (and defeating the point of anonymity via the mixnet), SURBs allow for anonymous interactions.

A SURB is a layer-encrypted set of Sphinx headers that detail a reply path that ends in the original application’s address. These are encrypted by the senders’ client so that a receiving service or application can attach its response and send back a Sphinx packet, without knowing who it is replying to.

In the case of larger anonymous replies like files, the mixnet uses something called ‘MultiSURBs’ — where a bundle of SURBs are created rather than just the one to handle bigger data capacity.

There is much more to the story, so stick around for next week’s deep-dive into the Nym client.

The power of the mixnet will soon reach ordinary people: NymVPN is launching later this year.

Sign up to the waitlist Get involved as a beta tester! Join the Nym Community

Discord // Telegram // Element // Twitter

Privacy loves company

English // 中文 // Русский // Türkçe // Tiếng Việt // 日本 // Française // Español // Português // 한국인

The Nym mixnet is run by a wonderful community of operators all over the world. Some nodes donate their rewards to local community centres and social good projects, others run professional infrastructure services for profit. It is a growing and flourishing community with plenty of opportunities to get involved! If you are interested, start with reading the:

Operator guide And then join the Matrix operator channel!

The right to privacy and anonymity online often comes under attack unfortunately. And this, despite the fact that strong privacy is the basis of better security online for everyone. Our friends at Tor who run exit gateways have experienced having their exit gateways seized. For this reason, the Nym operator community has started a legal forum to begin sharing best practices across the world.

Follow the packet (spoiler: you can’t) was originally published in nymtech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


BlueYard Capital

Kiln

Crypto token staking is a rapidly growing multi-billion market, set for further rapid expansion as more Proof of Stake (PoS) becomes the de facto standard model for consensus among crypto networks. This also opens more opportunities for capital vs machine deployment within crypto networks. However, running staking nodes is a difficult task, akin to the challenges and expenses of running a producti

Crypto token staking is a rapidly growing multi-billion market, set for further rapid expansion as more Proof of Stake (PoS) becomes the de facto standard model for consensus among crypto networks. This also opens more opportunities for capital vs machine deployment within crypto networks. However, running staking nodes is a difficult task, akin to the challenges and expenses of running a production data center coupled with the complexity of orchestrating bleeding edge software from multiple blockchains in an environment in which security is paramount. These challenges aren’t just faced by institutional capital, but also by retail or exchanges & custodians seeking to provide staking services to their customers.

That is why Kiln has built a full-stack “staking as a service” platform, allowing pools of capital to participate in PoS, through a platform that enables investors and builders to manage validators and read-write nodes on multi-cloud infrastructure in a simple, fast and secure way. Kiln allows customers to securely deploy, manage and monitor blockchain validators across several networks in a single space — while users continue to control their private keys. The company runs a SaaS model for its services, dashboard and APIs. Kiln has partnered with Ledger Live, Crypto.com and Coinbase to provide pooled staking services, allowing every ETH holder to access staking with any amount of ETH access to value creation in the digital assets ecosystem. Further, Coinbase Cloud has integrated Kiln’s On-Chain platform into its product offering allowing Coinbase Cloud to bring on-chain partial ETH staking capabilities to their clients, with limited engineering effort needed to integrate. Kiln runs validators on all major PoS blockchains, with over $3.6b of stake under management (up 4.4x y-o-y), running on a multi-cloud, multi-region infrastructure. Kiln also provides a validator-agnostic suite of products for fully automated deployment of validators, reporting and commission management, enabling custodians, wallets and exchanges to streamline staking operations across providers.

Our Thesis

As increasingly large pools of capital are deployed to crypto to meet PoS demand of chains, a company that facilitates and manages capital flows should be able to become a key fabric for the space.

We are excited to be investing in Kiln for the third time now, most recently joining its $17 million funding round.


Panther Protocol

AMA Recap: Panther's CEO, Oliver Gale, Discusses $ZKP Listing on BitMart and the Future of Privacy in DeFi

Following the recent listing of $ZKP on BitMart, Panther's CEO, Oliver Gale, introduced Panther Protocol to BitMart's community. This post provides a summary of the conversation. Firstly, let's quickly revisit the BitMart:Panther partnership. BitMart:Panther partnership In December 2023, Panther Protocol's

Following the recent listing of $ZKP on BitMart, Panther's CEO, Oliver Gale, introduced Panther Protocol to BitMart's community. This post provides a summary of the conversation. Firstly, let's quickly revisit the BitMart:Panther partnership.

BitMart:Panther partnership

In December 2023, Panther Protocol's $ZKP was listed on BitMart, a leading cryptocurrency exchange serving a global user base spanning 180 countries.

This partnership with BitMart and upcoming listings on other trusted exchanges are part of Panther commitment to make $ZKP more accessible to the wider Web3 community. 

Panther's value proposition

Oliver Gale, Co-founder and CEO of Panther, presented his vision of how Panther Protocol solves some of the pressing pain points that act as barriers to entry to both retail- and institutional-level investors in DeFi.

Oliver asserts that, for the decentralized Web to scale and attract more users, it must first overcome several significant challenges that crypto faces. He summarized these as four key issues:

Exposed investment strategies: with the rise of blockchain analytics solutions such as Nansen, institutional investors are increasingly worried about exposed investment strategies.   Fragmented liquidity: the inability to leverage liquidity across multiple chains makes it difficult for institutions to buy and sell their preferred crypto without affecting the price. Lack of transaction security: since June 2020, MEV bots have made at least $1 billion in profit across Ethereum, BSC, and Solana chains by exploiting transaction queues.   Compliance and privacy: existing privacy-focused DeFi products lack features to comply with AML/CTF requirements amid increased regulatory scrutiny.

Oliver explained how Panther's privacy-preserving infrastructure for the decentralized Web, consisting of a shielded pool, cross-chain bridges, and ZK compliance tooling, solves these issues. This means that users can send, swap, and receive shielded assets through Panther while their on-chain privacy is being protected.

Panther Protocol: the product suite

Oliver gave BitMart's audience a run down on how Zones within Multi-Asset Shielded Pools (MASPs) empower users by providing a unified privacy set for all assets within a given smart contract environment. 

Panther allows users to trade stablecoins, utility tokens, and NFTs within a single shielded pool, simplifying trading in a privacy-preserving environment. The innovation of Zones represents the first coherent solution to enable institutional access to DeFi, as they enable AML compliance, customization, and enforcement. 

Oliver expanded on how Panther Protocol’s rich feature set positions Panther as the go-to solution to onboard users to private DeFi in a privacy-preserving manner. Panther’s strong position is, in part, due to its integration with third-party on-chain compliance providers. This enables the protocol to authenticate users — solving for the KYC demands of regulators by offering users a unique set of credentials on completion of verification. This key innovation is that the user data is private thanks to zero-knowledge proofs generated directly within the user's browser. The credential provided allows the user to seamlessly integrate with blockchain-based DIDs (Decentralized Identifiers) and similar platforms.

Furthermore, due to the flexibility of its design, Panther users can access the protocol without being bound to a single compliance provider. Similarly, financial institutions can benefit from flexible zero-knowledge compliance tools or fully integrate their existing AML controls.

The current status of Panther

Oliver shared that Panther is currently deploying testnet versions of Panther Protocol in 9 Stages. Multiple protocol functionalities, such as intra-shielded pool transfers, DeFi swaps, and zTrade, are being tested during these stages. Through zTrade, users can conduct OTC transactions while enjoying unprecedented data privacy-preservation. More on Panther testnet stages here

BitMark asks: What are you looking forward to?

Oliver, as always, enthused about the growing interest in privacy-preserving infrastructures. He feels that, thanks to the recent paper by prominent authors such as Vitalik examining Dark Pools, this is a clear signal that the market is ready for such solutions. As he points out, Panther is a pioneer in the space — having been building for over 2 years, and is looking forward to releasing the V1 of the protocol once testnet rollouts are complete.

Want to get involved?

If you are interested in joining our community of testers, there is still time. Panther is rewarding engaged community members with $ZKP in return for battle-testing the testnet version of the product. Learn how to get started as a community tester.

About Panther Protocol

Panther is a cross-protocol layer that uses zero-knowledge technology to build DeFi solutions that meet regulatory requirements and satisfy users' on-chain data privacy needs. The goal of Panther is to allow seamless access to DeFi and create a cross-chain-supported architecture that serves different use cases. Panther's zero-knowledge primitives are also generalizable to KYC, selective disclosures between trusted parties, private ID, voting, and data verification services.

Website · One-pager · Lite Paper · Twitter · Telegram · Discord


a16z Podcast

Introducing Raising Health: Fireside Chat with Sean Duffy

Big news from a16z: Bio Eats World, our sibling show from a16z Bio+Health, is now Raising Health! We’re excited to share Raising Health’s first episode here where Sean Duffy, cofounder and CEO of Omada Health, joins Vijay Pande, founding general partner of Bio + Health. Sean and Vijay discuss the building and growth of Omada, from the early days to now. As the cofounder of one of the original di

Big news from a16z: Bio Eats World, our sibling show from a16z Bio+Health, is now Raising Health!

We’re excited to share Raising Health’s first episode here where Sean Duffy, cofounder and CEO of Omada Health, joins Vijay Pande, founding general partner of Bio + Health.

Sean and Vijay discuss the building and growth of Omada, from the early days to now. As the cofounder of one of the original digital health companies, Sean has unique insight into the growth of both the digital health field and the changing venture capital environment. They also talk about the future of AI, how Omada is leveraging AI, and the challenges that might arise with using a technology in a caregiving environment.

You can listen to more episodes of Raising Health here: https://link.chtbl.com/IqBoJ2By?sid=a16z11824


Brave Browser

Brave browser simplifies its fingerprinting protections

With desktop and Android version 1.64 in a couple of months, Brave will sunset Strict fingerprinting protection mode.

This is the 28th post in an ongoing series describing new privacy features in the Brave browser. This post describes work done by Sr. Research and Privacy Engineer Arthur Edelstein, and was written by Edelstein and by Privacy Engineering Lead Shivan Kaul Sahib.

With desktop and Android version 1.64 in a couple of months (and in today’s Nightly release for testing), Brave will sunset Strict fingerprinting protection mode. This does not affect Brave’s industry-leading fingerprinting protection capabilities for users. Instead, it will allow us to focus on improving privacy protections in Standard mode and avoid Web compatibility issues.

Brave currently offers two levels of fingerprinting protections. which make it harder for tracking companies to identify you as you browse the Web: Standard and Strict mode. Over time, however, we have observed significant disadvantages of Strict mode:

In order to block fingerprintable APIs, Strict mode frequently causes certain websites to function incorrectly or not at all. This website breakage means that Strict mode has limited utility for most Web users.

Fewer than 0.5% of Brave users are using Strict fingerprinting protection mode, based on our privacy-preserving telemetry data.

This tiny cohort of users could be more vulnerable to being fingerprinted because they stand out as a result of using Strict mode. Although we have not seen issues around this, it is a valid concern given that users who select Strict fingerprinting protection might have done so because of an elevated concern about tracking.

Maintaining Strict mode and debugging why some websites are broken on Brave takes our engineers’ time away from focusing on default privacy protections that can benefit all of our users.

These observations have led us to the conclusion that sunsetting Strict mode in Brave will actually be beneficial to our users’ privacy.

Brave’s Standard fingerprinting protection is already very extensive and the strongest of any major browser. Brave’s innovative farbling of a number of major fingerprintable Web APIs makes it difficult for fingerprinters to get a reliable unique ID on your browser. Going forward, we will continue to strengthen and expand Brave’s Standard fingerprinting protections so that all our users have ever-improving protection against fingerprinters, while maintaining the highest possible level of compatibility with websites.

Wednesday, 17. January 2024

Horizen - Blog

How to De-Shield ZEN on Sphere Wallet

Sphere by Horizen is a desktop wallet created by the Horizen ecosystem team. It features both lite and full clients, offering wallet functionality that currently supports transparent and soon-to-be deprecated, shielded transactions. Sphere allows funds to be restored using a seed phrase and supports backward and forward transfers between Horizen's mainchain and sidechains. Traditionally, Sphere

Sphere by Horizen is a desktop wallet created by the Horizen ecosystem team. It features both lite and full clients, offering wallet functionality that currently supports transparent and soon-to-be deprecated, shielded transactions. Sphere allows funds to be restored using a seed phrase and supports backward and forward transfers between Horizen’s mainchain and sidechains.

Traditionally, Sphere was able to send two different types of transactions: transparent transactions and shielded transactions:

Transparent Transactions: These are similar to Bitcoin transactions. The details of the transaction, including the sender’s and receiver’s addresses and the transaction amount, are visible on the blockchain. This transparency allows anyone to view and verify transactions, contributing to the network’s auditability. Shielded Transactions: In contrast, shielded transactions offer enhanced privacy. They use advanced cryptographic techniques (like zk-SNARKs) to encrypt transaction information. This means the details of the transaction, including who sent or received the funds and the amount, are hidden from public view.  The Need for De-shielding

Horizen has announced that ZEN will be discontinuing support for shielded transactions with the release of Zen v5.0.0. Consequently, Sphere, Horizen’s multifunctional app, will also cease supporting these types of transactions. To ensure the accessibility of their funds, users will need to de-shield any ZEN in a shielded address by transferring it out from the shielded pool.  

Who needs to De-shield their ZEN?

The upcoming changes to ZEN and Sphere necessitate action from all users who possess shielded addresses. If you have any ZEN in a shielded address, it’s crucial to de-shield these funds to avoid any loss. 

To determine if you need to take any action:

If You’re Using Lite Mode: If you’ve only used the lite mode in Sphere and never switched to full mode, you don’t need to do anything, as shielded addresses are only available in full mode. Your funds are secure and no action is required on your part. If You’re Using Full Mode: In full mode, look through your wallets. If you don’t see any addresses with a small shield icon next to them, you’re all set. No action is needed.

For any address with a shield icon, you should move (de-shield) these funds to a transparent address (one without a shield icon). This is important to ensure your funds remain accessible and secure.

Another check is to look at the prefix of the address. Addresses start differently depending on the network and the type, so this also helps you identify your shielded addresses.

On mainnet:

“zn” for transparent address  “zc” for shielded address “zs” (or rarely “zr” or “zt”) for multisig address

On testnet:

“zt” for transparent address  “zc” for shielded address “zr” for multisig address Step-by-step Guide to De-shielding Your ZEN Prerequisites

As a reminder, de-shielding to an exchange deposit address is strongly discouraged. Before you begin de-shielding your shielded addresses in Sphere, it’s important to have at least one transparent address where you can transfer your funds. If you don’t already have a transparent address (any address without a shield icon next to its name, or that is not prefixed with “zc”), you’ll need to create one. Here’s how:

Open Sphere, login, and on the sidebar select one of your wallets. Click on the “Add Address” button. Give a name to the new address, and make sure that, if there’s any “Private” checkbox, it remains unchecked.

Once you have a transparent address, you can proceed with the de-shielding process for your shielded addresses.

You can get your new address by hovering over the information icon and clicking on the “copy” button that appears:

De-shielding Process

Here’s a step-by-step guide to de-shielding your funds in Sphere by Horizen:

Open Sphere, login, and on the sidebar take a look at your wallets.  Select the wallet containing a shielded address. If you have multiple wallets with shielded addresses, you’ll need to repeat this process for each one. Within each wallet, follow these steps for every shielded address: Select the shielded address you want to transfer the funds out of. Click on the “Send” tab. Enter a regular, transparent address that you own, where you wish to receive the funds. Click on the “MAX” button to transfer all the funds from the shielded address. Click the “Confirm” button and wait for the transaction to complete.

Once the transaction is successful, you have de-shielded your funds. Repeat this process for every shielded address in your wallets.

Additional Resources Sphere By Horizen page Horizen Official Discord  General Inquiries

The post How to De-Shield ZEN on Sphere Wallet appeared first on Horizen Blog.


Aztec Network

Request for Comments: Aztec Sequencer Selection and Prover Coordination Protocols

Today, Aztec Labs is excited to share the winning proposal from the prover coordination protocol request for proposals (RFPs) — “Sidecar”. Additionally, we are announcing a formal request for comments period covering Aztec’s Sequencer Selection and Prover Coordination Protocols, key components of Aztec’s block production. At the heart of Sidecar’s design is the decision to facilitate proving outs

Today, Aztec Labs is excited to share the winning proposal from the prover coordination protocol request for proposals (RFPs) — “Sidecar”. Additionally, we are announcing a formal request for comments period covering Aztec’s Sequencer Selection and Prover Coordination Protocols, key components of Aztec’s block production.

At the heart of Sidecar’s design is the decision to facilitate proving outside of the scope of the protocol, enabling integrations with various solutions, such as decentralized zero-knowledge proving marketplaces. Read the latest documentation on Aztec’s block production.

👉 https://forum.aztec.network/t/request-for-comments-aztec-sequencer-selection-and-prover-coordination-protocols/3038

Why Sidecar?

The Aztec Labs team, with input from various industry-leading experts, chose Sidecar over the various other proposals submitted (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) due to its simplicity and ease of integration — very similar to the reasons the Fernet Sequencer Selection protocol was chosen during a previous RFP process.

Further, the decision to not enshrine a particular prover coordination protocol enables Aztec Labs to continue iterating on proving networks or marketplaces outside of the scope of the Aztec network’s traditional upgrade mechanisms — similar in spirit to Vitalik’s notion of “minimum viable enshrinement”.

Additionally, not enshrining a particular protocol in this way allows the network to be fully compatible with a broad spectrum of options to prove a given block, including:

vertical Sequencer-Prover integration, or third party zero-knowledge (zk) proving providers, or fully decentralized zk proving marketplaces

Through these various options, Aztec’s proving is fully permissionless and allows anyone to participate in a competitive marketplace for zero-knowledge proof production.

“We are excited to collaborate with other projects that share our vision for decentralized zero-knowledge proving. If you are interested in partnering with us to build a better, privacy-enabled future, please reach out via email at bruno@aztecprotocol.com.”
Leave comments on Aztec’s Sequencer Selection and Prover Coordination Protocols

If you have feedback, suggestions, and/or potential improvements, please leave a message on the Discourse post linked below, or reach out to Bruno Lulinski at bruno@aztecprotocol.com. We would greatly appreciate comments being left prior to Friday, February 16th.

🔗https://forum.aztec.network/t/request-for-comments-aztec-sequencer-selection-and-prover-coordination-protocols/3038

Acknowledgments

The Aztec Labs team is very grateful and appreciative of those who contributed prover coordination protocol proposals, including:

Santiago @ Aztec Labs Phil @ Aztec Labs Cooper @ Aztec Labs Joe @ Aztec Labs Ellie @ Espresso Systems Norbert, Nilu, Rachit @ EF Research Pintea Tudor Anon on the Aztec Research Forum

We would also like to thank those whose conversations contributed to the review and decision-making process, helping us build towards a more decentralized future for zk:

Yuki @ Fenbushi Capital o1Labs Toghrul @ Scroll Figment Inc. Misha @ Nil Teemu @ Gevulot Keep in touch

To learn more about Aztec generally, keep up to date on our Discourse, where we discuss major protocol decisions like upgrade mechanisms and decentralizing sequencers.

For more technical news on Aztec and Noir, join our e-mail newsletter:

📬 Subscribe here to the Aztec Labs Developer Dispatch, the latest news and releases about Aztec and Noir.

Join our team

Aztec Labs is on the lookout for talented engineers, cryptographers, and business-minded folks to accelerate our vision of a privacy-first L2 on Ethereum.

If joining our mission to bring scalable privacy to Ethereum excites you, check out our open roles.

And continue the conversation with us on Twitter.

Request for Comments: Aztec Sequencer Selection and Prover Coordination Protocols was originally published in The Aztec Labs Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


bankless

Why We're Bullish L2s

Are L2 tokens worthless governance coins? Will they accrue value? Are L2 tokens bullish? Ryan and David dive into the details in this week’s episode of Bankless Takes.  ----- 🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024  ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2     ⁠ 🛞MANTLE | MODULA

Are L2 tokens worthless governance coins? Will they accrue value? Are L2 tokens bullish? Ryan and David dive into the details in this week’s episode of Bankless Takes. 

----- 🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2     ⁠

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle 

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

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo  

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/Toku 

------ TIMESTAMPS & RESOURCES

0:00 Intro 3:03 L2s Numbers https://www.growthepie.xyz/fundamentals/daily-active-addresses  https://l2beat.com/scaling/summary  https://defillama.com/chains  16:55 Tokens Worthless? https://x.com/RyanSAdams/status/1745919415604883725  32:30 P/E Ratios 36:05 Token Valuations 38:40 Alt-L1 Bull Case  44:40 Summarizing  47:00 Closing & Disclaimers

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures ⁠ 

Tuesday, 16. January 2024

Circle Blog

Webinar Recap: 2023 Highlights and 2024 Horizons

2023 was a year of expansion and growth for Circle. We launched new product offerings like Web3 Services and the Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol that add utility for Web3 developers and make it easier to access and use the internet financial system. We also made significant strides in globalizing our business, acquiring new licenses and conditional approvals that will allow us to bring US

2023 was a year of expansion and growth for Circle. We launched new product offerings like Web3 Services and the Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol that add utility for Web3 developers and make it easier to access and use the internet financial system. We also made significant strides in globalizing our business, acquiring new licenses and conditional approvals that will allow us to bring USDC and EURC to more businesses than ever before.


Brave Browser

Announcing On-Chain Web3 Crypto Contributions for Brave Creators — BAT, SOL, ETH

Today we are excited to announce a new feature that allows Brave Creators to receive on-chain contributions for their content from their fans.

Today we are excited to announce a new feature that allows Brave Creators to receive on-chain contributions for their content from their fans. Creators can now add Ethereum and Solana addresses to their registered websites and channels, allowing their fans to send them contributions directly on chain. On-chain contributions currently support BAT on Ethereum, BAT (Wormhole) on Solana, as well as ETH and SOL.

Brave Rewards users will now see the option to use their Web3 wallet when sending contributions to creators who’ve set up crypto addresses for their sites or channels.

The Web3 wallet button in the Brave Rewards contribution interface

The Web3 wallet button will open up a creator’s Web3 contribution page, where users can make contributions via any Web3 wallet—including Brave Wallet, other Web3 wallets, and even mobile wallets. Creators can also share a link to their Web3 contribution page with anyone, allowing them to receive contributions not only from Brave Rewards users, but from anyone on the Web.

A creator’s shareable on-chain contribution page

Contributions made through your Web3 wallet are completely on-chain and decentralized. That means they’re uncensorable, and any contribution you make goes directly from you to the creator, without any intermediaries.

Direct, on-chain contributions reinforce Brave’s mission to put users first, and to provide them with more control over how they use the Web and connect with their favorite creators. It’s also a step toward progressively decentralizing the Creators, Rewards, and Ads ecosystem—a long-standing objective at Brave. Try on-chain contributions for a completely self-custody experience to support your favorite creators. If you’re a creator, add your Web3 addresses to your sites and channels today. It’s easy and free.

Instructions for Brave Creators Log in to your Brave Creators account at https://creators.brave.com. If you don’t already have one, you can quickly sign up. Next to your registered channel of choice, select Add crypto address. If you haven’t registered any channels, add some channels first. You’re ready to start receiving Web3 crypto contributions! You can also share the URLs to your Web3 contribution pages however you like.

If you need help or would just like to discuss this exciting new feature, join us on the Brave Community forums.

Brave currently has over 60 million monthly active users and over 1.8 million Creators. Brave Creators can receive contributions from their audiences for their content across a wide range of platforms, including YouTube, Twitter/X, Vimeo, Github, Twitch, or their own website.

Monday, 15. January 2024

BlueYard Capital

Massa

In the blockchain world, scalability is not just a technical issue but a crucial factor impacting user experience and the ability to build compelling applications. Traditional blockchains, while groundbreaking, have often been hampered by limited scalability, leading to congested networks, slow transaction times, and high costs. As teams have worked to solve these issues in the Ethereum ecosystem

In the blockchain world, scalability is not just a technical issue but a crucial factor impacting user experience and the ability to build compelling applications. Traditional blockchains, while groundbreaking, have often been hampered by limited scalability, leading to congested networks, slow transaction times, and high costs. As teams have worked to solve these issues in the Ethereum ecosystem with layer 2 chains, the experience only continues to degrade with bridges, fragmented liquidity and unwieldy lists of networks users must maintain in their wallets. These issues significantly degrade the user experience, deterring widespread adoption.

Enter Massa, a response to the critical scalability and user experience issues in blockchain technology. Its innovative multithreaded block graph architecture significantly boosts transaction capacity, effectively addressing the major pain points of network congestion and slow processing times. This approach not only enhances the system’s performance but, unlike the leading alternatives solving blockchain performance issues today, also upholds the essential principle of decentralization.

Massa goes beyond mere transactional efficiency and decentralization. Its autonomous smart contracts represent a leap in blockchain functionality, allowing contracts to operate independently based on predefined conditions. This reduces reliance on external triggers and opens new avenues for decentralized applications. Additionally, Massa’s on-chain web page storage marks a significant stride towards a truly decentralized web, ensuring secure, immutable, and censorship-resistant hosting of web content.

Our Thesis

We believe that Massa’s approach to scalability, without sacrificing decentralization, is pivotal for the next generation of blockchain applications. The platform’s ability to handle high transaction volumes with low fees is not just a technical success; it is a gateway to making blockchain technology accessible and practical for everyday use. Massa’s technology is not just an incremental improvement; it represents a leap forward in the blockchain space. By resolving the longstanding challenges of scalability and user experience, Massa opens the door to widespread adoption of blockchain technology.


Horizen - Blog

Testnet Node Software Upgrade: ZEN 5.0.0-rc1 is Available to Download

The new version ZEN 5.0.0-rc1 is available to download on GitHub and via Docker. The post Testnet Node Software Upgrade: ZEN 5.0.0-rc1 is Available to Download appeared first on Horizen Blog.

The new version ZEN 5.0.0-rc1 is available to download on GitHub and via Docker.

DOWNLOAD ZEN 5.0.0-RC1 NOW 5.0.0-rc1 is a Testnet pre-release candidate in anticipation of the release of 5.0.0 to Mainnet later in January 2024. Pre-release 5.0.0-rc1 will perform a network upgrade on Public Testnet via Hard Fork at block #1404200, on January 16th, 2024 at approximately 02:00 PM UTC. ZenIP-42207 to fully remove the shielded pool from Horizen will be implemented with this release on Testnet: All transactions involving shielded addresses will no longer be accepted at the consensus level once the hard fork activates. RPC calls z_sendmany and z_mergetoaddress have been partially disabled, so that it will be no longer possible to submit transactions involving shielded addresses (transparent-to-shielded, shielded-to-shielded and shielded-to-transparent) once the hard fork activates. Transparent-to-transparent transactions will still be accepted and submitted to the network. Only nodes running on Public Testnet have to be updated. IMPORTANT: 5.0.0 will be released in January and go live on Mainnet in February 2024. Once active it will no longer be possible to perform any transactions involving shielded addresses. It is highly recommended to move funds out of the shielded pools before then. Directly depositing funds from shielded addresses to exchange wallets is strongly discouraged.

See release notes Here!

Please let us know if you have any questions or you need further support by reaching out to us on our Discord.

The post Testnet Node Software Upgrade: ZEN 5.0.0-rc1 is Available to Download appeared first on Horizen Blog.


Circle Press

Circle Publishes 2024 State of the USDC Economy Report

As the global reach and impact of open money continues to gain pace - the number of on-chain wallets now holding at least $10 in USDC grew nearly 60% in the last year - 2024 marks a moment of critical inflection for the internet financial system

As the global reach and impact of open money continues to gain pace - the number of on-chain wallets now holding at least $10 in USDC grew nearly 60% in the last year - 2024 marks a moment of critical inflection for the internet financial system


bankless

205 - The State Of Ethereum L2s

We're thrilled to be joined today by Paradigm CTO, Georgios Konstantopoulos and founder of Conduit, Andrew Huang who are on the show today to deliver a masterclass on the state of Ethereum Layer 2s, how they're going, and where they're headed. There's nobody better to take us through this technical and very educational episode on the state of L2s. ----- 🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF htt

We're thrilled to be joined today by Paradigm CTO, Georgios Konstantopoulos and founder of Conduit, Andrew Huang who are on the show today to deliver a masterclass on the state of Ethereum Layer 2s, how they're going, and where they're headed.

There's nobody better to take us through this technical and very educational episode on the state of L2s.

-----

🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

 

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2  ⁠

 

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle 

 

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

 

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo  

 

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/Toku 

------

TIMESTAMPS

00:00:00 Intro 00:05:59 L2 Vibes, How Are We Doing? 00:08:43 L2 Obstacles 00:11:47 Building Conduit 00:14:19 Strengths of L2 00:17:30 Few Rollups or Many Rollups? 00:21:29 Market Demands 00:24:47 The Evolution Of Superchains 00:30:47 Shared Sequencing 00:34:02 Universal Composability 00:35:57 Evolution and Benefits 00:38:35 Unionized vs Independant L2s 00:45:42 Benefits Of Staying in The Ecosystem 00:50:05 The Modular Conversation 00:52:02 Cheaper DA 00:56:13 RAAS Business Model 01:01:26 Scaling Out The Business Model 01:04:23 L2 Security 01:11:27 Modification 01:16:15 Dealing with Growth 01:17:56 What Comes Next 01:20:01 RETH

 

------ RESOURCES

Andrew Huang https://twitter.com/KAndrewHuang 

Georgios Konstantopoulos https://twitter.com/gakonst 

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures⁠ 

Sunday, 14. January 2024

a16z Podcast

Crisis in Higher Ed & Why Universities Still Matter with Marc & Ben

In this one-on-one conversation, Marc and Ben tackle the university system – what has certainly been a hot topic that’s been dominating the news over the past few months. As Marc states at the top of the episode, universities matter tremendously to our world, but they’re currently in a state of crisis. Together, Ben and Marc take a “structural” look at higher education, delving deep into the twel

In this one-on-one conversation, Marc and Ben tackle the university system – what has certainly been a hot topic that’s been dominating the news over the past few months. As Marc states at the top of the episode, universities matter tremendously to our world, but they’re currently in a state of crisis.

Together, Ben and Marc take a “structural” look at higher education, delving deep into the twelve functions of the modern university.  They also unpack the numerous challenges that universities face today – student debt and the replication crisis, among them. 

They also discuss topics including DEI, student athlete admissions, accreditation, inflation, and much more. 

As colleges face an existential threat that could have long lasting repercussions, how can we find ways to improve these institutions, while being open to new entrepreneurial opportunities in education?

Check out the Ben and Marc show: https://link.chtbl.com/benandmarc

 

Stay Updated: 

Find a16z on Twitter: https://twitter.com/a16z

Find a16z on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/a16z

Subscribe on your favorite podcast app: https://a16z.simplecast.com/

Follow our host: https://twitter.com/stephsmithio

Please note that the content here is for informational purposes only; should NOT be taken as legal, business, tax, or investment advice or be used to evaluate any investment or security; and is not directed at any investors or potential investors in any a16z fund. a16z and its affiliates may maintain investments in the companies discussed. For more details please see a16z.com/disclosures.

Friday, 12. January 2024

Horizen - Blog

Horizen 2023 Annual Review

2023 was an incredible year of growth for the Horizen ecosystem! Lots of milestones were reached including:The mainnet launch of Horizen’s first EVM-compatible sidechain, EON The launch of the Horizen DAO and pivot from Zen Blockchain Foundation (ZBF) Passing two major ZenIPs (42204 & 42206)Onboarding new partners and projects into the Horizen ecosystemIt’s an exciting time for […

2023 was an incredible year of growth for the Horizen ecosystem! Lots of milestones were reached including:

The mainnet launch of Horizen’s first EVM-compatible sidechain, EON  The launch of the Horizen DAO and pivot from Zen Blockchain Foundation (ZBF)  Passing two major ZenIPs (42204 & 42206) Onboarding new partners and projects into the Horizen ecosystem

It’s an exciting time for the Horizen ecosystem and the team has hit the ground running in 2024! We will be sharing details on our 2024 proposed roadmap but before we get there, let’s dive into what happened in 2023!

2023 Highlights

Community Growth

Discord

In 2023, we reached over 20,000 members of our Horizen Discord, a growth of over 5,000 users throughout the year. With the launch of Horizen EON and various growth campaigns on platforms like Galxe and Layer3, we have had new community members learning about the Horizen ecosystem and exploring the new integrations. We look forward to seeing more of this growth in 2024. 

Discourse

In 2023 we established the Horizen DAO Discourse forum, to facilitate active community discussions around the Horizen Ecosystem. In 2023, activity on this platform increased as the broader community discussed ZenIPs, shared tutorials, explored content created by the Horizen Ambassadors, and more! 

We encourage the Horizen community to join Discourse and engage with the rest of the community on the platform!

2023 Highlights – Our Technology

In October of 2023, Horizen EON, our EVM-compatible sidechain went live on mainnet, marking a new milestone in the Horizen multi-chain ecosystem! 

Since then, the Horizen EON ecosystem has continued to grow, with additional partnerships, integrations, and tools launching on the platform. There has also been a significant influx of TVL and developer activity on Horizen EON. 

The full range of dapps and partner integrations can be found on the EON Ecosystem page – let’s dive into a few of the major announcements.

Interport Finance Integration

At the beginning of December 2023, we announced an integration with Interport Finance, which brought cross-chain trading capabilities to Horizen EON! This integration not only boosts the efficiency and security of cross-chain transactions but also signifies a step towards a broader vision of a cohesive digital finance ecosystem, where decentralized applications (dApps) can operate fluidly across diverse blockchains.

Archon Bridge

Archon Bridge launched on Horizen EON in Q4 of 2023, bringing a new bridging protocol to the ecosystem. This protocol facilitates the transfer of various cryptocurrencies including ETH, WBTC, WZEN, USDT, USDC, DAI, and LINK, between the Horizen EON network and the Ethereum and Avalanche networks.

LayerZero

Another innovation to enhance cross-chain communications on Horizen EON saw an integration with LayerZero go live, ensuring seamless and direct communication between various blockchains via arbitrary message bridging. This integration offers enhanced interoperability, allowing data, assets, and information to be transferred across blockchains without compromising on efficiency or security. Beyond just messaging, this integration signifies a broader vision of creating a unified digital asset ecosystem, where decentralized applications (dApps) can operate seamlessly across multiple blockchains.

SpookySwap

Another exciting announcement for Horizen EON came in November 2023, when we announced an integration with SpookySwap! This helped bolster DeFi innovation, bringing a DEX multichain integration and yield farming to EON. USDC is tradable against ZEN and wZEN, with additional pairs being enabled once sufficient liquidity develops.

Ascent Exchange

The DeFi ecosystem on Horizen EON was boosted with the integration of Ascent Exchange, supported by the automated liquidity management protocol, ICHI Vault, enabling simple yield opportunities for EON users. This integration allows for more seamless and secure trading experiences, facilitating asset and information transfer across the blockchain network. Ascent Exchange is the first decentralized exchange with ve(3,3) tokenomics on Horizen EON, marking a major milestone!

Stably/ZUSD

2023 marked the 1st native stablecoin to be launched on Horizen EON, ZUSD, which was made possible by our partnership with Stably! The collateral for ZUSD is held in liquid USD-denominated assets by a designated trustee for the benefit of verified ZUSD token holders. This ensures that each ZUSD token can be minted or redeemed at a 1-to-1 rate with USD or USDC by users who passed Stably’s KYC verification process.

Yuzu

Our last major partnership announcement of 2023 welcomed Yuzu Finance onto Horizen EON! This integration unlocked yield opportunities for the Horizen Ecosystem, including borrowing, lending, and yield farming (soon)! Yuzu is a non-custodial decentralized liquidity market protocol that enables users to deposit or borrow crypto assets securely. Depositors provide liquidity on Yuzu, while borrowers can take out overcollateralized or undercollateralized loans.

Horizen EON TVL & Metrics

As of December 31st, 2023, Horizen EON had $3.08M in TVL (as tracked by DefiLlama), highlighting impressive ecosystem growth within the first few months of mainnet launch. 

Since the mainnet launch of Horizen EON in October 2023, there have been over 900,000 total transactions across over 18,000 wallet addresses. There have also been 950+ contracts in total since Horizen EON went live on mainnet.

Launch of the Horizen DAO

In 2023 the Horizen ecosystem reached a key milestone in decentralized governance by launching the Horizen DAO! The launch of the Horizen DAO makes it easier for Horizen community members to get involved in governance and make their voices heard in the direction of the project. 

The Horizen DAO further decentralizes decision-making for technical, non-technical, and other substantive improvements to the system. $ZEN holders are the ultimate decision-makers for the future of Horizen and exercise governance over the network’s evolution through participating in the Horizen DAO. All $ZEN holders can vote on improvement proposals, and those who hold (or who have been delegated) the requisite amount of $ZEN may put forth proposals to the community. To facilitate effective community governance, users will also be able to delegate voting power to individuals they view as effective stewards of the Horizen ecosystem guiding values. 

Learn more about this in our blog post, as well as joining the Horizen DAO Discourse!

ZenIPs (42204 & 42206)

Building off of the launch of the Horizen DAO, 2023 saw two very important ZEN Improvement Proposals (ZenIPs) pass with overwhelming community support. 

ZenIP 42204 – Deprecation of Shielded Pools ZenIP 42206 – Redirect Horizen Secure Node Rewards into Horizen EON 

Let’s take a closer look at both. 

ZenIP 42204

This ZEN Improvement Proposal proposed the removal of shielded transactions with transparent inputs from the Horizen mainchain, preventing shielded transaction (t addresses to z addresses) support at the consensus level. The goal of ZenIP 42204 was to ensure Horizen does privacy technology the right and sustainable way to drive ecosystem growth and minimize risk. Regulatory threats are top of mind, they are not friendly towards privacy coins and that drove a lot of the ambition to propose ZenIP 42204, which passed with overwhelming community support. Additional information can be found here.

ZenIP 42206

In August of 2023, ZenIP 42206 was proposed, to redirect the portion of the Horizen mainchain block reward currently paid to Secure Nodes to an EON Forger Subsidy Fund. This will help drive the success of the Horizen EON network by increasing the security and decentralization of the network. There is a strong need for forger nodes in EON to help enhance the security of the network, and for decentralization, which the current secure node reward can be put to better use by redirecting. Learn more here.  

Horizen Node Network

Horizen Ambassador Program

Throughout 2023, we were very proud to see all of the work accomplished by our amazing Horizen Ambassadors. Here are some highlights we wanted to showcase: 

2 new languages added: Turkish and Hindi More than 30 articles translated into Turkish More than 30 articles written across the ambassadors 5 global events attended Successful HallowEON community-led party The launch of the $LOVE faucet on Horizen EON testnets and mainnet An immeasurable number of tweets, threads, hours spent helping the community, and shared love!

We are beyond excited to welcome new ambassadors in 2024 and see what they accomplish for the Horizen Ecosystem!

Events

Throughout 2023, the Horizen ecosystem and Horizen Labs team were able to attend lots of global events, educating folks about our ecosystem, forging new connections, and exploring innovations in the web3 space. 

From ETHDenver to Consensus, Token2049 in Singapore to Future Blockchain Summit in Dubai, we were able to accomplish a lot with events in 2023 and looking forward to the same in 2024!

Let’s look back at some of these incredible events with some photo recaps. 

  Horizen Media Highlights

The Horizen Ecosystem was featured in a multitude of news articles and media coverage throughout 2023, we wanted to share a few highlights. 

Bitcoin.com: Sidechains Can Provide Scalability and Flexibility Needed for Real-World Applications’ – Horizen Labs CEO Crypto.News: Horizen Partners with Auros to Enhance Liquidity for EON Blockchain Reporter: Ankr Becomes a Pioneer RPC Provider for Horizen’s EON, an EVM-Compatible Smart Contracting Platform AP News: Horizen Launches Horizen EON Mainnet: Marks New Milestone in Horizen’s Next-gen Multi-chain Ecosystem Nasdaq: Horizen Labs and Stably Launching ZUSD Stablecoin on the Horizen EON Network Hackernoon: The DAO Effect: A Paradigm Shift in Blockchain Decision Making Benzinga: SpookySwap Goes Multichain with Horizen EON to Bolster DeFi Innovation CoinDesk: Horizen Scraps Privacy Coin Moniker Amid Regulatory Scrutiny What to Look Forward to in 2024

We wanted to end this report with a message from Spencer Soloway, the VP of Ecosystem Growth and Marketing for Horizen Labs, looking back to 2023, while also looking forward to an exciting 2024!

“2023 was about building the underlying infrastructure and plans for the days and years. We launched EON, our EVM-compatible sidechain, which significantly helped Horizen’s journey into the contemporary Web3 world. That’s especially important because it allows Horizen Labs to leverage its relationships and bring more companies, developers, and brands directly into the Horizen ecosystem. We’ve been hard at work bringing best-in-class partners to EON, from oracles like Pyth and Band to DeFi protocols like Spooky, Yuzu, and Ascent to RPC providers such as Ankr and Tatum. We’ve built a strong relationship with LayerZero as well, which will lead to many exciting things happening within the ecosystem.

Meanwhile, the mainchain saw the introduction of forward and backward transfers, a technological feat that sometimes gets overlooked but is significant. How many UTXO-based tokens can be used on EVM chains? Beyond Bitcoin and ZEN, not many! We also saw the start of the deprecation of shielded pools and ZEN’s move away from being a privacy token.

Now, as we enter 2024 we’re gearing up for what should be the most exciting year in Horizen’s history. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll announce a slew of new partners, initiatives, and focus areas relating to the Horizen Ecosystem through a significant expansion and push on DeFi to RWA programs. We’re also working hard on expanding access to ZEN and directly to the EON ecosystem, along with making sure that EON can host a sustainable, consistently growing ecosystem as it moves forward.

And the vision of a New Horizen is on the docket too. I can’t wait to talk to you all about it and the modular future that Horizen and Horizen Labs will push forward together.”

Additional Links:  Q1 2023 Report Q2 2023 Report Q3 2023 Report

The post Horizen 2023 Annual Review appeared first on Horizen Blog.


Epicenter Podcast

Guy Itzhaki & Guy Zyskind: Fhenix – FHE-powered End-to-End Encrypted Ethereum L2

Fully homomorphic encryption, also known as the Holy Grail of cryptography, allows for computation to be performed on encrypted data, without the need for prior decryption. Its blockchain applications would enable programmable, institutional-grade, compliant privacy. With the addition of fhEVM libraries, solidity developers don’t have to worry about the complex cryptography and only decide what la

Fully homomorphic encryption, also known as the Holy Grail of cryptography, allows for computation to be performed on encrypted data, without the need for prior decryption. Its blockchain applications would enable programmable, institutional-grade, compliant privacy. With the addition of fhEVM libraries, solidity developers don’t have to worry about the complex cryptography and only decide what layers of the UX should be private.

We were joined by Guy Itzhaki & Guy Zyskind, to discuss fully homomorphic encryption and how Fhenix plans to leverage it to build an end-to-end encrypted Ethereum L2 with compliant privacy.

Topics covered in this episode:

Guy(s)’ backgrounds and why they chose FHE The differences between TEE, MPC, ZK and FHE Threshold decryption The challenges with FHE. Hardware acceleration. Zama’s fhEVM Fhenix architecture fhEVM Use cases for FHE & composability Compliant privacy Fhenix roadmap

Episode links:

Guy Zyskind on Twitter Guy Itzhaki on Twitter Fhenix on Twitter Encryption Day @ ETH Denver (Feb. 28, 2024) registration

Sponsors:

Gnosis: Gnosis builds decentralized infrastructure for the Ethereum ecosystem, since 2015. This year marks the launch of Gnosis Pay— the world's first Decentralized Payment Network. Get started today at - gnosis.io Chorus1: Chorus1 is one of the largest node operators worldwide, supporting more than 100,000 delegators, across 45 networks. The recently launched OPUS allows staking up to 8,000 ETH in a single transaction. Enjoy the highest yields and institutional grade security at - chorus.one

This episode is hosted by Felix Lutsch. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/530


bankless

ROLLUP: Bitcoin ETF Approved | ETH Moves | EigenLayer Cosmos

Bankless Weekly Rollup 2nd Week of 2024  ----- 🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024  ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2   ⁠ 🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle  ⚖️ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM ⁠https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum   🔗CELO | C

Bankless Weekly Rollup 2nd Week of 2024 

----- 🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2   ⁠

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle 

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

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo  

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/Toku 

------

TIMESTAMPS

0:00 Intro 2:00 Markets https://twitter.com/DefiIgnas/status/1745192464246292556 

20:00 Bitcoin ETF https://twitter.com/cryptorn__/status/1745188694653276474  https://x.com/RyanSAdams/status/1745210723490267520?s=20  25:00 SEC Hacked https://x.com/BTC_Archive/status/1744843666307400170?s=20  https://twitter.com/safety/status/1744924042681897343  https://x.com/SenLummis/status/1744860826392047845?s=20  https://twitter.com/SecurityGuyPhil/status/1744923073315582052  28:00 The Vote https://twitter.com/jacqmelinek/status/1745214804468301953?s=20  https://www.sec.gov/news/statement/crenshaw-statement-spot-bitcoin-011023  https://www.sec.gov/news/statement/gensler-statement-spot-bitcoin-011023  https://www.sec.gov/news/statement/peirce-statement-spot-bitcoin-011023  37:00 Fee Wars https://x.com/JSeyff/status/1745067027381780709?s=20  https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/  https://twitter.com/jacqmelinek/status/1744775831719641089?s=20  38:00 ETH Spot ETF 42:00 Financial Advisors https://twitter.com/NateGeraci/status/1742968462715031674 

45:00 Circle IPO  https://x.com/News_Of_Alpha/status/1745430416729727428?s=20  46:45 EigenLayer Cosmos https://twitter.com/eigenlayer/status/1744763767580442749  https://twitter.com/DefiIgnas/status/1744796757119340869?s=20  50:30 Modular Lyra https://twitter.com/lyrafinance/status/1743353520831807836  https://twitter.com/0xmjs/status/1743469305482957034?s=20  56:00 Layer 2 Fragmentation https://old.reddit.com/r/ethereum/comments/191kke6/ama_we_are_ef_research_pt_11_10_january_2024/kh78s3m/  1:02:00 X Phases out NFTs https://techcrunch.com/2024/01/10/x-removes-support-for-nft-profile-pictures/https://x.com/jespow/status/1745136343796113429?s=20  https://x.com/LensProtocol/status/1745102490771612136?s=20 

1:05:30 The Daily Gwei https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvCp6vKY5jDr87htKH6hgDA 

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures⁠ 

Thursday, 11. January 2024

bankless

BTC ETF Approval with Eric Balchunas

The Bitcoin ETF was just approved. What happens next? How does this change everything? Which ETF can crypto expect next? When? Answers to these questions and so much more!  ----- 🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT  ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2  &n

The Bitcoin ETF was just approved. What happens next? How does this change everything? Which ETF can crypto expect next? When? Answers to these questions and so much more! 

----- 🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2    ⁠

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle 

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

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo 

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/Toku

------ TIMESTAMPS

0:00 Intro 4:00 ETF Day 6:05 SEC Twitter Hack? 8:40 Commissioner Statements & Votes 12:30 BTC ETF Volume 19:50 Size of BTC ETF  22:00 Flip Gold? 22:25 Spot ETH ETF? 24:20 Closing & Disclaimers

------ RESOURCES

Eric Balchunas https://twitter.com/EricBalchunas 

BTC ETF Approved https://x.com/BanklessHQ/status/1744830610370421029 

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures⁠


Greylock Partners

Welcome Tom Levey

The post Welcome Tom Levey appeared first on Greylock.

The post Welcome Tom Levey appeared first on Greylock.


Circle Press

Circle Submits Draft Registration Statement for Proposed IPO

BOSTON – January 11, 2024 – Circle Internet Financial (Circle) today announced that it confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), relating to the proposed initial public offering of its equity securities. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined. Th

BOSTON – January 11, 2024 – Circle Internet Financial (Circle) today announced that it confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), relating to the proposed initial public offering of its equity securities. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined. The initial public offering is expected to take place after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions.

Wednesday, 10. January 2024

Panther Protocol

Testnet Stage 3 is now live with a new design, enhanced security, and added features

Experience the beginning of the core user experience by depositing assets into the MASP with Stage 3.

Firstly, thank you to all our testers for your continued support and feedback: we could not do this without you. Testnet Stage 2 is now completed and it provided us with valuable insights resulting in several updates to the codebase.

We are excited to announce that Stage 3 of our testnet is live. Stage 3 enables users to use the newly allowlisted test Matic and test $ZKPs in Panther's Multi-Asset Shielded Pool.

On depositing $ZKP, users may divide their ZKP deposit holdings to store it as a zAsset ($zZKP) or as zAccount Gas (Gas $zZKP). The Gas $zZKP can be used to pay for Protocol fees, relayers, Oshiya, and any external services that enhance protocol services.

One of the key compliance requirements on the Panther roadmap is building different disclosure mechanisms. Stage 3 includes basic disclosures, which can be found under the History tab. We expect to improve the information within the History tab in future testnet stages.

This testnet stage comes with an enhanced circuit to improve KYT/KYC signer fields, overall protocol security through extended zAccount UTXO, and further improvements related to scaling and rewards. Supporting these updates required retrofitting previous stages and end-to-end testing, resulting in Stage 3 being released later than we initially planned.

For a complete list of Test Stages, visit the Panther docs.

Get started with Stage 3 testing


To start testing Stage 3, visit the Panther Protocol documentation for the updated test link and follow the steps outlined below. Here are a few additional details to consider before you start testing: 

Previously created testnet accounts will need to be reactivated for Stage 3. The protocol will treat these as new accounts. To that effect, all prior testing Rewards (ZKP and ZKP equivalent of your PRPs) will be sent to your EOA (externally owned account) used for creating the account. You can also create a brand new account and complete the KYC process to continue. Here’s a guide to creating your account. After activating your zAccount, if you immediately go to the ‘Deposit’ or ‘Voucher’ etc. screen, you may see the action button with the status “Oshiya Processing/Syncing/Mining.” It may take a few minutes for the testnet to complete as it waits for Oshiya to process your account activation. The buttons will be active once that is done. During the first interaction with the dApp, it downloads the ZK proof information in the background (close to 100MB). While this happens, you may see a status on your action button saying “ZK Proof downloading,” this needs to be completed before any user action can take place. Onboarding rewards have been increased to 5000 PRPs to reflect that this stage retests the onboarding flow.

Once you’ve created your new testnet account, follow these steps to make a deposit to your account:

Step 1: Initiate a deposit

Go to the Deposit screen by selecting any of the available options:

Within the zAsset menu item, click on the Deposit button as shown in the screenshot below. Within the My Public Asset section in the Dashboard, select the token; this takes the user to the Deposit screen. The Private zAsset section; which also has the option to select and deposit On zAsset Portfolio, click on the balance card. Step 2: Select the token type

Select the token to deposit if it is not preselected, or adjust your selection via the token selection modal window.

NOTE: ZKP has its own dedicated deposit flow, which supports splitting a deposit amount between two zZKP subaccounts, zAsset and Gas. The Gas can be used to pay for relayer or verification services in a privacy-preserving way; with no direct interaction with a blockchain.

Step 3: Set up the deposit

3.1 Enter the amount to deposit. 

3.2 Click the Deposit button and complete the transaction.

Congratulations, the deposit is complete!

You may now view the updated balance in your Dashboard, your Private zAssets section, and the adjusted balance of the deposited asset.

You can view your transaction history under the History tab. 

This screen provides information about different types of transactions you performed within Panther, along with its transaction hash and the date/time of the transaction. 

To share your feedback, kindly fill in this form.

This phase marks a significant advancement in the protocol's capabilities and gets us a step closer to our V1 release. As always, let us know if you have any additional feedback through our social and community channels. 

Thanks for participating in Testnet Stage 3! 

About Panther Protocol

Panther is a cross-protocol layer that uses zero-knowledge technology to build DeFi solutions that meet regulatory requirements and satisfy users' on-chain data privacy needs. The goal of Panther is to allow seamless access to DeFi and create a cross-chain-supported architecture that serves different use cases. Panther's zero-knowledge primitives are also generalizable to KYC, selective disclosures between trusted parties, private ID, voting, and data verification services.

Website · One-pager · Lite Paper · Twitter · Telegram · Discord


Sequoia

Arvind Jain Glean Spotlight

The post Arvind Jain Glean Spotlight appeared first on Sequoia Capital.
Arvind Jain Pushes into AI-powered Productivity By Zee Zakheim Photography: Kelsey McClellan Published January 10, 2024 Glean solved enterprise search. Now it’s unlocking generative AI for the workplace.

Arvind Jain hunched over his desk, sifting through hundreds of employee surveys, searching for the answer to a problem. Rubrik, the cloud security company he had co-founded four years earlier in 2014, was one of the fastest-growing businesses in cloud data management. Since its launch, it had scaled from a handful of employees to almost a thousand. But a problem came to light in 2018: Productivity had stagnated. The company’s output wasn’t growing with its scale.

Jain pored over the results of the survey that had been commissioned, scouring for patterns. Was it talent? Not a chance. Company culture? Not according to the surveys. And then, a troubling insight: Employees reported spending hours of their time trying to find and piece together fragmented bits of information from across the 300 SaaS products Rubrik used in its internal operations—onboarding materials, meeting notes, support tickets, project archives and more. In their quest to find answers, they were stalled and sidetracked. 

Rubrik’s problem, Jain realized, wasn’t Rubrik-specific, but universal: the seemingly impossible task of wrangling digital information from every facet of an enterprise. What if there was something like Google Search, but for the workplace? Jain began researching search engines for enterprises, but none could do what he imagined. “I spoke with other CEOs to see if they had solutions I’d missed,” Jain says. “Their response was, ‘If you find something like that, let us know.’”

“I spoke with other CEOs to see if they had solutions I’d missed. Their response was, ‘If you find something like that, let us know.’”

arvind jain

Search engines are notoriously difficult to build—they require crawlers sophisticated enough to index data in a multitude of formats in real time and algorithms smart enough to sort and rank that data with precision for any given search. What Jain was considering developing would be even more complicated, as every search would need to be personalized for every employee based on their degree of access to a company’s data. 

Nonetheless, this provocation became the springboard for Jain’s next startup: an AI-powered search engine for enterprises called Glean. As it happened, Jain was the perfect person for the job. 

In 2003, hundreds of employees unpacked boxes and settled into office space in Mountain View, California. Google had officially signed its new lease in the heart of Silicon Valley, taking over the former Silicon Graphics campus. While the new digs were reflective of Google’s success, the company was also at a crossroads. 

Since its launch in 1998, Google had gained a loyal following of users. But as the internet evolved—growing rapidly in size and shifting from rudimentary websites to include pages that were more complicated and nonstandard—Google Search wasn’t able to keep up with the velocity of new data. Meanwhile, alternative search providers were closing in, the most competitive of which was Yahoo. “Google and Yahoo were locked in a battle for the most sophisticated, comprehensive web indices,” says Bill Coughran, a Sequoia partner who was then SVP of engineering at Google.

Coughran gathered the web crawler team and told them they needed a new system design. It would have to be able to respond to diverse and rapidly changing data, and do it at scale. The timeline for the new system? As soon as possible.

Arvind Jain, a recent hire then in his late 20s, was one of the leaders of what became the new effort. Over the next few weeks, Jain and his colleagues spent days analyzing Google’s search engine. Eventually, they approached Coughran with an idea for the new design.
“What was interesting about their vision is that it took advantage of the basic primitives Google’s web crawler already had in place and built on top of those,” Coughran says. “The design showed a system that could index not just websites, but dozens of file types from HTML to PDF, including PowerPoint, Flash, PostScript and JavaScript. And, as the web continued to scale, it could operate more and more instances of itself and do more and more work.”

“My experience with Arvind, certainly at the time and since, is that he’s meticulous and thoughtful about how he does things.”

Bill Coughran

Some senior executives, however, viewed the proposed framework with skepticism. “They looked at the design and just didn’t believe it would work,” Coughran says. But he was convinced. “My experience with Arvind, certainly at the time and since, is that he’s meticulous and thoughtful about how he does things.” 

Jain and his colleagues spent a year building out the system, which launched in the fall of 2004. In November of that year, Coughran published a blog post on the Google website with the headline “Google’s Index Nearly Doubles.” He says, “It could inhale hundreds of gigabytes of traffic at a given time and it could do it quickly, so when you searched something, you weren’t getting stale information. It was a difficult undertaking, but it worked. They pulled it off.”

The thoughtful meticulousness Coughran observed in Jain grew out of an introspective childhood in Jaipur, a tourist destination in the northwestern Indian state of Rajasthan. “My father always encouraged me to be confident,” Jain says. “To look people in the eye and talk to them, but extroversion wasn’t something that came naturally to me.” Instead, Jain took after his mother, who exuded a quiet confidence and had an ability to defuse conflict with calm. 

Jain became fascinated with computers after his older brother introduced a PC—loaded with Pac-Man—to the family home. Jain delighted in the game, but even more so in the idea that coding had real-world applications, for video games or otherwise. Jain decided to pursue computer science in earnest, placing into an advanced high school track and then gaining admission to the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. After graduating, Jain set his sights on the U.S. Following a stint at Microsoft, the allure of Silicon Valley beckoned, and Jain cut his teeth in the startup world at Akamai and Riverbed before joining Google.

“I’m not an entrepreneur,” Jain said. It was 2013 and he sat across from Bipul Sinha, an engineer who had an idea for a cloud security company and wanted Jain as its technical co-founder. Jain was taken aback. “I was like, ‘Of all your contacts, why me?’” he says. Sinha explained that, more than anyone else, he believed in Jain to build a product from the ground up. 

In the years since arriving at Google and working on Google Search, Jain had left his mark on a series of other projects. He had helped engineer YouTube’s video serving system—which pulled up videos related to a user’s search, but also recommended content based on their browsing history. Jain had also worked on the search functions for Google Maps, which were more technically ambitious by far than Google Search and YouTube. “Maps’ data is the most chaotic,” Coughran says. “You’re dealing with ever-changing, wildly inconsistent data, coming from many disparate sources—public records, land developers, people taking photos, enterprises submitting information.” 

For Jain, Maps was rewarding, not just because it challenged him as an engineer, but because of the app’s real-life, societal impact. “Maps changed the way people understood and navigated the world around them,” Jain says. He loved seeing couples on the street pull up Maps to direct them to a restaurant, or a family open the app to walk to a relative’s house. The Maps team was also deep in the weeds documenting places that weren’t previously mapped, including small towns in rural areas of India. “Making these places accessible and seeing the impact of that was just amazing,” Jain says. “It was very meaningful to me.” 

Jain’s contentment with his work at Google was one reason he wasn’t sure about founding a company with Sinha. The other reason was philosophical. “I always thought that people became entrepreneurs when they encountered a problem that nagged at them and that nobody else wanted to solve or knew how to solve, but them,” Jain says.

Despite these reservations, Sinha was convincing—he would build the business while Jain built the product. He won Jain over, and in 2014, they launched Rubrik. Four years later, Jain would encounter a problem that nagged him. One that nobody else wanted or knew how to solve, but him.

JOIN OUR MAILING LIST Get the best stories from the Sequoia community. Email address Leave this field empty if you’re human:

Sitting at his desk in the Rubrik headquarters in 2018, reviewing his employees’ notes on the challenges of finding information within the company, Jain thought to himself, “Data should not be the reason why you fail. It should be the reason you succeed.”

Jain convinced co-founders T.R. Vishwanath, Piyush Prahladka and Tony Gentilcore to tackle the project with him. They built Glean, which officially launched in 2019, to solve what Jain believes to be the most urgent problem in today’s workplace: that it’s often easier to find answers in the vast expanse of the internet than it is within a single organization. “Even when I was at Google, we could never find anything internally,” Jain says. “Anything you wanted externally was available instantly via Google Search, but internally—it was impossible.”

“Even when I was at Google, we could never find anything internally. Anything you wanted externally was available instantly via Google Search, but internally—it was impossible.” 

arvind jain

Even with Google Search, YouTube and Maps’ search engines under his belt, Jain knew building Glean wouldn’t be easy. The difficulty of creating a search engine for an enterprise is that, unlike the information in a general-purpose internet search engine, “company data doesn’t live in readily organized forms,” Jain says. “Information can be fleetingly exchanged over one communication suite, like Slack or Google Chat, but not formalized in another. And it’s not just that data is spread across a range of SaaS tools—each individual has their own level of access to those systems. The CEO has access to different data than someone in research and development who has access to different data than someone in human resources.” 

Jain assembled a team of engineers to help him bring Glean to life, many who had worked with him at Google, others who were familiar with his reputation as one of the best search engineers in Silicon Valley. The company described its initial product, launched in 2021, as a “work assistant with intuition,” modeled on a Google-like search engine. It worked by transforming the entirety of a company’s data, in all its various forms, into nodes on a knowledge graph. And it was able to do this in under two hours, meaning it was Google-fast and required minimal onboarding time. Glean then used state-of-the-art natural language processing and deep learning to deliver individualized search results. “AI was always core to our product,” Jain says. “But in the last year, the shift in the capabilities of AI models—it’s changed everything.” 

In the spring of 2023, Glean announced it was incorporating generative AI into its product. “If Glean’s user interface started out with a feel similar to Google Search, now it’s more like Google plus ChatGPT,” Jain says. “Glean is no longer just surfacing information, it’s taking that information, consuming it and then performing a task. For example, if an employee were to ask Glean to provide a list of the company’s top 10 customers who are likely to churn, our engine can actually go and hunt through information in your enterprise corpus, figure out what makes it likely for a customer to churn, go to your metrics dashboard, look at whether those metrics are looking bad for certain businesses and actually give that answer back to you.”

“Glean spent years perfecting the algorithms to get corporate knowledge into algorithms for search and has now arrived in the right place at the right time for generative AI.”

Sonya Huang

The integration of enterprise search capabilities with generative AI has become Glean’s superpower. “CIOs and knowledge workers have been waiting for an enterprise AI product that is workplace-knowledge-aware,” says Sonya Huang, a partner at Sequoia who serves on Glean’s board. “Glean spent years perfecting the algorithms to get corporate knowledge into algorithms for search and has now arrived in the right place at the right time for generative AI.” 

For Jain, the challenge of Glean wasn’t only in developing its product, but in growing into the role of CEO and leading an entire company. Jain rose to the occasion by drawing on the traits of his parents: his father’s confidence and practice of reaching out to others, and his mother’s approach to conflict, which prioritizes listening and never saying “I told you so.”  

Today Glean serves over 200 enterprises, some with hundreds of employees, others with hundreds of thousands, saving them hundreds of hours of work per month and millions of dollars per year. “Similar to how Google Maps changed our navigation of the world, soon, Glean will alter the way we work, period,” Jain says. He envisions that one day, every employee who uses Glean will have a “work double,” essentially a digital assistant who can perform tasks and track every project, every communication and every piece of company knowledge. It’s a world in which employees aren’t impeded by the challenges of locating information, but empowered by data to tackle their next challenge—maybe even the thing that won’t stop nagging them.

Written by:

Zee Zakheim is a writer, director, and Story Hunter at Epic based in Berkeley by way of Chicago.

Share Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on LinkedIn Share this via email Related Topics #AI Retooling the Status Quo Spotlight Read Open-Sourcing the Future of AI Spotlight Read Statsig’s Vijaye Raji wants you to think impact Spotlight Read Cohesity’s Mohit Aron: Bringing Order to a World of Chaos Spotlight Read

The post Arvind Jain Glean Spotlight appeared first on Sequoia Capital.


a16z Podcast

Drones, Data, and Deterrence: Technology's Role in Public Safety

Flock is a public safety technology platform that operates in over 4,000 cities across the United States, and solves about 2,200 crimes daily. That’s 10 percent of reported crimes nationwide. Taken from a16z’s recent LP Summit, a16z General Partner David Ulevitch  joins forces with Flock Safety’s founder, Garrett Langley and Sheriff Kevin McMahill of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Departm

Flock is a public safety technology platform that operates in over 4,000 cities across the United States, and solves about 2,200 crimes daily. That’s 10 percent of reported crimes nationwide.

Taken from a16z’s recent LP Summit, a16z General Partner David Ulevitch  joins forces with Flock Safety’s founder, Garrett Langley and Sheriff Kevin McMahill of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Together, they cover the delicate balance between using technology to combat crime and respecting individual privacy, and explore the use of drones and facial recognition, building trust within communities, and the essence of objective policing.

 

Resources: 

Find Garret on Twitter: https://twitter.com/glangley

Find Sheriff McMahill on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Sheriff_LVMPD

Find David on Twitter:https://twitter.com/davidu

Learn more about Flock Safety: https://www.flocksafety.com

 

Stay Updated: 

Find a16z on Twitter: https://twitter.com/a16z 

Find a16z on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/a16z 

Subscribe on your favorite podcast app: https://a16z.simplecast.com/ 

Follow our host: https://twitter.com/stephsmithio 

Please note that the content here is for informational purposes only; should NOT be taken as legal, business, tax, or investment advice or be used to evaluate any investment or security; and is not directed at any investors or potential investors in any a16z fund. a16z and its affiliates may maintain investments in the companies discussed. For more details please see a16z.com/disclosures.


Brave Browser

Brave Search now features its AI-powered CodeLLM for programming-related queries

CodeLLM is aimed at programming queries, combining the depth and quality of search results with the summarization and explainability power of large language models.

Today, Brave Search added its newly built CodeLLM to its search engine. CodeLLM is aimed at queries that involve programming, and combines the depth and quality of search results with the summarization and explainability power of large language models (LLMs). CodeLLM offers programmers an option to get AI code snippets grounded in search results, with step-by-step explanations and citations of the sources for reference and validation. CodeLLM is free and is integrated in Brave Search so users do not have to switch apps or compromise on privacy.

Figure 1: Query “kill all processes listening to port 80”

CodeLLM  is available to all Brave Search users, on desktop and mobile. To access it, head to privacy-preserving Brave Search and try it out with your favorite programming query:

If Brave Search is your default search engine, simply start a search in your browser’s address bar If Brave Search isn’t your default, visit search.brave.com and start your search that way

CodeLLM automatically detects programming-related queries, so there’s no need to generate a special search. On top of the search results, if an answer is possible there will be a widget to trigger the CodeLLM response. The detection of programming queries happens outside of the LLM, by other search components (similar to the ones able to detect queries about the weather, queries that lend themselves well to be summarized, queries about stock prices, etc).

How we built CodeLLM

The underlying technology is built on top of Mixtral, a large language model that can use text prompts to generate code, and it is further equipped to answer questions by tapping into our unique capabilities as a search engine, in real-time. As the models get more accessible, and more affordable to run, the value-add is the context we’re able to provide to them. This highlights how vertical search engines can be easily replicated, and also emphasizes how important it is to be independent and to own the whole stack, like Brave Search.

Figure 2: query “install fzf mac”

We are excited to release CodeLLM in Brave Search, and are already considering a number of improvements and additions to its capabilities. CodeLLM results will also be offered via the Brave Search API in the near future. See something you like? Wish it could do more? Tell us! Simply click the Feedback button at the bottom of the CodeLLM window to share feedback.

About Brave Search

Brave Search is the only independent, global-scale search engine outside Big Tech. It’s the default search engine for many of the Brave browser’s over 60 million users, and is available on any browser at search.brave.com. Since its launch two years ago, Brave Search has grown to serve an average of 25 million queries per day.

Rather than adding layers on top of third party APIs and services, Brave Search is truly innovating in the search space. From Goggles (which allows community-driven alternative rankings) to AI summarizer (which offers AI-powered answers at the top of SERP, similar to the Leo experience in the browser), and more, Brave offers novel ways to search the Web and engage with its content. All this while maintaining Brave’s user-first promise: Brave Search does not track users, their queries, or their clicks.

The power of Brave Search is also now available to businesses. Brave Search Ads allow advertisers to reach Brave’s global audience in a way that still respects their privacy.

Its index, meanwhile, is powered not just by simple crawlers, but also by the Web Discovery Project (WDP). This mechanism allows users to anonymously contribute data about searches and page visits, thus ensuring the index is constantly refreshed with the content real humans are searching for and engaging with. The index comprises more than 20 billion quality pages, with 700 million pages indexed each day, 15% of which are new. This index is now available to power other search and AI applications, train models, and more with the Brave Search API.

Tuesday, 09. January 2024

Brave Browser

Boomerang: A new privacy-preserving protocol from Brave Research to decentralize Brave Rewards

Boomerang leverages Bulletproof zero-knowledge proofs as its fundamental mechanism, ensuring privacy while enabling verifiable reward generation.
Brave Rewards

Brave Rewards allows users to earn Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) for privacy-preserving ads—called Brave Ads—they choose to see in the Brave browser. Users can control how many ads they see, and easily support their favorite content creators with on-demand and automatic contributions using their BAT. Users’ browsing data remains private and never leaves their device. Users can also use earned BAT to buy gift cards, exchange for other currencies, and more.

Privacy Pass

Brave Rewards currently uses a privacy-preserving protocol called “Privacy Pass” as a key  component of its system, enabling users to earn rewards in a privacy-respecting way. For example, when users engage with Brave Ads or perform certain actions (such as viewing an ad or clicking on one), Privacy Pass generates cryptographic tokens (not to be confused with BATs) to validate these interactions without revealing specific details about the user’s identity or browsing habits.

These cryptographic tokens act as a form of proof that the user has completed the required actions, allowing them to earn Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) through Brave Rewards. By incorporating Privacy Pass, Brave Rewards ensures that users can participate in earning rewards without sacrificing their privacy, maintaining a balance between user anonymity and the verification of legitimate interactions.

Boomerang

Privacy Pass, while effective in preserving user privacy in systems like Brave Rewards, operates in a centralized manner, lacking the decentralized properties commonly sought in blockchain-based solutions.

Developed by the Brave Research team, the Boomerang protocol is a novel, decentralized, and privacy-preserving incentive protocol that leverages Black Box Accumulators and Zero-Knowledge Proofs to securely store user interactions. By utilizing this protocol, Brave can replace its current rewards system, based on Privacy Pass, with a more secure and decentralized alternative.

The Boomerang protocol simultaneously ensures privacy and verifiability by utilizing Zero-Knowledge Proofs based on Bulletproofs, and verifying the proofs in a smart contract on a Layer 1 blockchain. This approach allows users to prove their eligibility for rewards without revealing any sensitive information about the reward calculation (for example, about which specific advertisements the user interacted with), while still maintaining transparency and public verifiability. The protocol also employs Black Box Accumulators to securely store user interactions with Brave Ads, further enhancing privacy and security. 

Boomerang leverages Bulletproof zero-knowledge proofs as its fundamental mechanism, ensuring privacy while enabling verifiable reward generation. These zero-knowledge proofs are verified on a Layer 1 blockchain, ensuring public verifiability and transparency in the reward generation process. Figure 1 below shows the interaction between an user, the issuer (Brave) and a L1 blockchain that verifies the rewards proofs that are generated by the user. 

Figure 1: Local reward generation and public verification on a L1 blockchain smart contract.

The Boomerang protocol presents a significant advancement in privacy-preserving incentive protocols, paving the way for a more secure and decentralized future for Brave Rewards. Stay tuned for further developments.

Find out more about Boomerang in the technical report.

Monday, 08. January 2024

bankless

204 - What is Bitcoin? with Robert Breedlove

✨ DEBRIEF | Ryan & David unpacking the episode: https://www.bankless.com/debrief-robert-breedlove  ----- Robert Breedlove is a freedom maximalist and Bitcoin philosopher. Robert is known amongst Bitcoiners to produce content that draws from ancient wisdom, and brings it forward into the modern times, with Bitcoin as the context.  In order to tell the story of the bull case for

✨ DEBRIEF | Ryan & David unpacking the episode: https://www.bankless.com/debrief-robert-breedlove 

----- Robert Breedlove is a freedom maximalist and Bitcoin philosopher. Robert is known amongst Bitcoiners to produce content that draws from ancient wisdom, and brings it forward into the modern times, with Bitcoin as the context. 

In order to tell the story of the bull case for bitcoin we have to tell the story of money. 

----- 🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2    ⁠

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle 

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

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo  

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/Toku 

------ TIMESTAMPS

0:00 Intro 7:02 What is Money?  30:44 The Brokeness of Money  56:44 Bitcoin End State  1:07:17 Bitcoin’s Importance 1:16:49 Explaining Bitcoin to Noobs  1:25:00 Bull Case For Bitcoin 1:39:12 The Gold Path  1:47:35 Propagating Freedom  1:52:45 Closing & Disclaimers 

------ RESOURCES

Robert Breedlove https://twitter.com/Breedlove22 

Robert’s Podcast https://www.youtube.com/@RobertBreedlove22/videos 

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures ⁠   

Sunday, 07. January 2024

RadicalxChange(s)

Margaret Levi: Political Scientist, Author, & Professor at Stanford University

Welcome back to RadicalxChange(s), and happy 2024! In our first episode of the year, Matt speaks with Margaret Levi, distinguished political scientist, author, and professor at Stanford University. They delve into Margaret and her team’s groundbreaking work of reimagining property rights. The captivating discussion revolves around their approach's key principles: emphasizing well-being, holistic

Welcome back to RadicalxChange(s), and happy 2024!

In our first episode of the year, Matt speaks with Margaret Levi, distinguished political scientist, author, and professor at Stanford University. They delve into Margaret and her team’s groundbreaking work of reimagining property rights. The captivating discussion revolves around their approach's key principles: emphasizing well-being, holistic sustainability encompassing culture and biodiversity, and striving for equality.

RadicalxChange has been working with Margaret Levi and her team at Stanford, together with Dark Matter Labs, on exploring and reimagining the institutions of ownership.

This episode is part of a short series exploring the theme of What and How We Own: Building a Politics of Change.

Tune in as they explore these transformative ideas shaping our societal structures.

Links & References: 

References:

Desiderata: things desired as essential. Distributive justice Elizabeth Anderson - Relational equality Debra Satz - Sustainability What is wrong with inequality? Elinor "Lin" Ostrom - Common ownership Ostrom’s Law: Property rights in the commons Indigenous models of stewardship Indigenous Peoples: Defending an Environment for All Colorado River situation A Breakthrough Deal to Keep the Colorado River From Going Dry, for Now How did Aboriginal peoples manage their water resources

Further Reading Recommendations from Margaret:

A Moral Political Economy: Present, Past and Future (2021) by Federica Carugati and Margaret Levi Dædalus (Winter 2023): Creating a New Moral Political Economy | American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Edited by Margaret Levi and Henry Farrell) The works of Elizabeth Anderson, including Private Government (2017) and What Is the Point of Equality? (excerpt from Ethics (1999)) Justice by Means of Democracy (2023) by Danielle Allen Katharina Pistor

Bios:

Margaret Levi is Professor of Political Science and Senior Fellow at the Center for Democracy, Development and Rule of Law (CDDRL) at the Freeman Spogli Institute (FSI) at Stanford University. She is the former Sara Miller McCune Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) Levi is currently a faculty fellow at CASBS and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, co-director of the Stanford Ethics, Society and Technology Hub, and the Jere L. Bacharach Professor Emerita of International Studies at the University of Washington. She is the winner of the 2019 Johan Skytte Prize and the 2020 Falling Walls Breakthrough. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the British Academy, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Association of Political and Social Sciences. She served as president of the American Political Science Association from 2004 to 2005. In 2014, she received the William H. Riker Prize in Political Science, in 2017 gave the Elinor Ostrom Memorial Lecture, and in 2018 received an honorary doctorate from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

She earned her BA from Bryn Mawr College in 1968 and her PhD from Harvard University in 1974, the year she joined the faculty of the University of Washington. She has been a Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University. She held the Chair in Politics, United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, 2009-13. At the University of Washington she was director of the CHAOS (Comparative Historical Analysis of Organizations and States) Center and formerly the Harry Bridges Chair and Director of the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies.

Levi is the author or coauthor of numerous articles and seven books, including Of Rule and Revenu_e (University of California Press, 1988); _Consent, Dissent, and Patriotism (Cambridge University Press, 1997); Analytic Narratives (Princeton University Press, 1998); and Cooperation Without Trust? (Russell Sage, 2005). In the Interest of Others (Princeton, 2013), co-authored with John Ahlquist, explores how organizations provoke member willingness to act beyond material interest. In other work, she investigates the conditions under which people come to believe their governments are legitimate and the consequences of those beliefs for compliance, consent, and the rule of law. Her research continues to focus on how to improve the quality of government. She is also committed to understanding and improving supply chains so that the goods we consume are produced in a manner that sustains both the workers and the environment. In 2015 she published the co-authored Labor Standards in International Supply Chains (Edward Elgar).

She was general editor of Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics and is co-general editor of the Annual Review of Political Science. Levi serves on the boards of the: Carlos III-Juan March Institute in Madrid; Scholar and Research Group of the World Justice Project, the Berggruen Institute, and CORE Economics. Her fellowships include the Woodrow Wilson in 1968, German Marshall in 1988-9, and the Center for Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences in 1993-1994. She has lectured and been a visiting fellow at the Australian National University, the European University Institute, the Max Planck Institute in Cologne, the Juan March Institute, the Budapest Collegium, Cardiff University, Oxford University, Bergen University, and Peking University.

Levi and her husband, Robert Kaplan, are avid collectors of Australian Aboriginal art and have gifted pieces to the Seattle Art Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Women’s Museum of Art, and the Nevada Museum of Art.

Margaret’s Social Links:

Margaret Levi | Website @margaretlevi | X (Twitter)

Matt Prewitt (he/him) is a lawyer, technologist, and writer. He is President of the RadicalxChange Foundation.

Matt’s Social Links:

@m_t_prewitt | X

Additional Credits:

This episode was recorded by Matt Prewitt.

Connect with RadicalxChange Foundation:

RadicalxChange Website @RadxChange | Twitter RxC | YouTube RxC | Instagram RxC | LinkedIn Join the conversation on Discord.

Credits:

Produced by G. Angela Corpus. Co-Produced, Edited, Narrated, and Audio Engineered by Aaron Benavides. Executive Produced by G. Angela Corpus and Matt Prewitt. Intro/Outro music by MagnusMoone, “Wind in the Willows,” is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

Saturday, 06. January 2024

Epicenter Podcast

Illia Polosukhin: Near Protocol – From AI to High-Throughput Blockchain

What began as an AI company trying to seek solutions in order to pay remote (unbanked) workers, Near AI became, in 2018, Near Protocol. Its sharded design was inspired by modern database architecture and large language model (LLM) training. Near Protocol aimed to solve the scalability trilemma, through a modular approach, combining data availability sharding with stateless validation. By abstracti

What began as an AI company trying to seek solutions in order to pay remote (unbanked) workers, Near AI became, in 2018, Near Protocol. Its sharded design was inspired by modern database architecture and large language model (LLM) training. Near Protocol aimed to solve the scalability trilemma, through a modular approach, combining data availability sharding with stateless validation. By abstracting away archaic blockchain standards, Near basically enabled decentralised full stack development and, in terms of UX, a distributed custodial solution via chain abstraction and account aggregation.

We were joined by Illia Poloshukhin, co-founder of Near Protocol, to discuss Near’s journey, from AI company to high-throughput L1 blockchain, and how LLM training influenced the modular design choice.

Topics covered in this episode:

Illia’s background in AI & ML Scaling large language models (LLMs) and the role of attention Stochastic Parrot vs. Understanding spectrum From Near AI to Near Protocol and the role of LLMs How Near abstracted the blockchain away and enabled decentralised full stack development Defining ecosystem standards to improve UX Chain abstraction, account aggregation and interoperability Chain threshold signature Near’s intent layer Near’s modularity, Nightshade sharding & stateless validation EigenLayer integration

Episode links:

Illia Polosukhin on Twitter Near Protocol on Twitter

Sponsors:

Gnosis: Gnosis builds decentralized infrastructure for the Ethereum ecosystem, since 2015. This year marks the launch of Gnosis Pay— the world's first Decentralized Payment Network. Get started today at - gnosis.io Chorus1: Chorus1 is one of the largest node operators worldwide, supporting more than 100,000 delegators, across 45 networks. The recently launched OPUS allows staking up to 8,000 ETH in a single transaction. Enjoy the highest yields and institutional grade security at - chorus.one

This episode is hosted by Meher Roy & Felix Lutsch. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/529

Friday, 05. January 2024

Horizen - Blog

ZenIP 42207: Complete Removal of Shielded Pool from the Horizen Mainchain

ZenIP 42207 for the complete removal of the shielded pool from the Horizen mainchain was submitted on January 4th, 2024, opened for Community voting on January 8th, with voting closing on January 11th, resulting in 99.97% vote share "for". Here’s what it means.  This ZenIP proposed the complete removal of the shielded pool from the […] The post ZenIP 42207: Complete Removal of Shielded P

ZenIP 42207 for the complete removal of the shielded pool from the Horizen mainchain was submitted on January 4th, 2024, opened for Community voting on January 8th, with voting closing on January 11th, resulting in 99.97% vote share “for”. Here’s what it means. 

This ZenIP proposed the complete removal of the shielded pool from the Horizen mainchain, achieving a wide range of various goals. This change builds upon the deprecation of access to the shielded pool enacted by ZenIP-42204 and is a response to the evolving regulatory environment around privacy tokens, re-confirming and showcasing the project’s strategic pivot away from privacy-focused features. 

Complete Disabling of Shielded Transactions: All functionalities related to the shielded transactions (z-addresses) will be completely deactivated, preventing any type of transaction related to the shielded pool. Removal of Related RPC Calls: RPC calls specifically related to shielded transactions, such as z_sendmany and z_mergetoaddress, will be deprecated. Migration Path for Users: A migration path with the necessary tools and guides will be provided to users to move their assets out of the shielded pool before the hard fork. Community support and detailed documentation will be available to facilitate this transition. Network Upgrade: The deactivation of the shielded pool will occur through a network upgrade at a specified block height (TBD). Extensive testing, community preparation, and communication will precede this upgrade. Communication and Timeline: Representatives of the Horizen ecosystem will communicate regularly with the community about the timeline, necessary user actions, and available support resources throughout the transition process.

IMPORTANT: ZEN 5.0.0 is expected to be released in January and go live on Mainnet in February 2024. Once active it will not be possible to send any shielded transactions, including transactions to de-shield coins from shielded to transparent addresses.

ZenIP 42207 goes further than the hard fork originally announced with ZEN 4.2.0-rc1, ZEN 5.0.0 will completely remove the shielded pool. We strongly recommend that all users with existing funds in private addresses unshield their funds to their own transparent addresses using Sphere by Horizen or zen-cli before February 2024. After February 2024 it will not be possible anymore to transfer any funds inside of the shielded pool to any other address.  Unshielding funds directly to exchange deposit addresses is strongly discouraged. Failure to remove ZEN from shielded pools prior to the hard fork will result in the loss of your ZEN.

Voting Timeline

ZenIPs are for the community to approve or decline. Horizen has always believed our community comes first, we encourage you to join the discussions on Discord, Discourse, and Twitter around ZenIP 42207 and voice your thoughts. We highly encourage you to read the full ZenIP on GitHub to get a complete understanding of what this means. 

Voting on ZenIP 42207 started on January 8th, 2024, 5pm UTC and ended on January 11th, 2024, 5pm UTC. The Horizen DAO voting is done on Horizen EON, using Snapshot and Discourse for governance. At the same time that the voting began, the snapshot was also taken. You can view the results of the vote here on Snapshot. 

Who is Eligible to Vote? 

Any $ZEN holder can vote on improvement proposals, and those who hold (or who have been delegated) the requisite amount of $ZEN may put forth proposals to the community. 

Voting power is determined by the amount of $ZEN you hold on the Horizen mainchain and on the Horizen EON chain. Therefore the more $ZEN you hold, the more voting power you have. 

How to Vote – Instructions Go to the Horizen DAO Governance page on the Horizen EON web app to get started. Connect your web3 wallet (ex. MetaMask). Please follow this guide if you need help. Link your Horizen mainchain $ZEN address to Horizen EON. In order to vote with your mainchain $ZEN, you need to have $ZEN on a Sphere mainchain address and link that address to your MetaMask Horizen EON chain address. You only need to link your Sphere wallet once. You can use the same wallet for future voting rounds.  Please see this guide for step-by-step instructions on linking Horizen Mainchain and Horizen EON $ZEN Addresses to aggregate your voting power.  Make sure you have sufficient ZEN in your MetaMask address for the gas fee. Follow this tutorial to learn how to transfer ZEN from Horizen mainchain to your Horizen EON address on MetaMask Once your mainchain ZEN address is connected to Horizen EON, and you have sufficient ZEN in your MetaMask for gas fee, it’s time to vote using Snapshot! Join the Horizen Foundation space on Snapshot if you haven’t done so, to receive notifications about future ZenIP voting. 

We have a helpful video tutorial here with instructions on how to vote for the Horizen DAO.  

ZenIP 42207 Voting Results

The ZenIP 42207 voting period ended on January 11th, 2024, at 5pm UTC, and passed with 99.97% of votes “for”, with .03% of votes “against.” 

We would like to thank the community for their engagement on this new ZenIP. The voting participation marks a new step in the progress of the Horizen DAO and we are glad to see that our community is involved in the project’s decisions. 

The successfully passed ZenIP 42207 enables the complete removal of the shielded pool from the Horizen mainchain, achieving a wide range of various goals. This change builds upon the deprecation of access to the shielded pool enacted by ZenIP 42204 and is a response to the evolving regulatory environment around privacy tokens, re-confirming and showcasing the project’s strategic pivot away from privacy-focused features. 

The next step is to unshield your ZEN on private addresses. We strongly recommend that all users with existing funds in private addresses unshield their funds to their own transparent addresses using Sphere by Horizen or zen-cli before February 2024. After February 2024 it will not be possible anymore to transfer any funds inside of the shielded pool to any other address. 

Unshielding funds directly to exchange deposit addresses is strongly discouraged.

Failure to remove ZEN from shielded pools prior to the hard fork will result in the loss of your ZEN.

Helpful Links

Horizen Foundation on Snapshot Horizen DAO Forum on Discourse Horizen DAO Governance page on Horizen EON Web App How to connect MetaMask Wallet to Horizen EON How to Link Horizen Sphere Addresses with Horizen EON Address Download Sphere Wallet Download MetaMask Additional voting instructions for Multi-sig wallets, non Sphere wallets, Staked ZEN on a Horizen Node, ZEN Stored on an exchange

If you need assistance, please reach out to us on the Horizen Discord, and be sure to join the Horizen DAO discussion on Discourse! 

The post ZenIP 42207: Complete Removal of Shielded Pool from the Horizen Mainchain appeared first on Horizen Blog.


bankless

ROLLUP: Bitcoin ETF Rumors | IRS Tax Rules | Ethereum Dencun

Bankless Weekly Rollup First Week of 2024  ----- 🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024  ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2  🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle  ⚖️ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM ⁠https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum   🔗CELO | CEL2 CO

Bankless Weekly Rollup First Week of 2024 

----- 🏹 USE PODCAST24 FOR 10% OFF https://bankless.cc/Citizen2024 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2 

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle 

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

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo  

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/Toku 

------

TIMESTAMPS

0:00 Intro 8:00 MARKETS https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/bitcoin/ars  10:25 Bitcoin https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitcoin-birthday-15-years-satoshi-nakamoto-genesis-block-mine  https://twitter.com/lopp/status/1738547873967435907?s=46  13:00 ETH 15:10 MatrixPort Liquidations https://twitter.com/WatcherGuru/status/1742541738940510645  https://www.theblock.co/post/270125/sec-will-reject-all-bitcoin-spot-etfs-in-january-says-matrixport-analyst  https://x.com/TrustlessState/status/1742597650791162271?s=20  19:20 SEI , ARB , OP https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/sei  https://defillama.com/chains  21:50 Narrative Investing https://dune.com/cryptokoryo/narratives 

27:00 Bitcoin ETFs https://twitter.com/JSeyff/status/1742216237017342041  https://twitter.com/EricBalchunas/status/1742580887022125209?s=20  https://twitter.com/EricBalchunas/status/1742543503375106139?s=20  https://x.com/MetaLawMan/status/1742532353535180988?s=20 

31:00 Insane IRS Crypto Rules https://twitter.com/jerrybrito/status/1742246479593382207  https://x.com/RyanSAdams/status/1742257989195636978?s=20  https://x.com/NeerajKA/status/1742362328937746793?s=20  https://twitter.com/CryptoTaxGuyETH/status/1742366293649465782?s=20  https://x.com/jerrybrito/status/1742662203784744971?s=20 

39:00 Ethereum Duncan https://x.com/christine_dkim/status/1737889041981575320?s=20  https://www.eip4844.com/  42:30 Devcon 7 https://devcon.org/en/  43:00 Avalanche Culture https://x.com/avax/status/1740538202346381605?s=20  45:00 Michael Saylor https://warpcast.com/rsa/0xd1b6a261  https://x.com/BitDeez/status/1742313181697945878?s=20  https://x.com/ecoinometrics/status/1740034802508796186?s=20  46:50 LUNA is a Security https://www.coindesk.com/policy/2023/12/28/terraform-labs-luna-and-mir-tokens-are-securities-judge-rules/  https://twitter.com/metalawman/status/1740785789234028840  49:50 No More SBF Trials https://www.reuters.com/legal/sam-bankman-fried-will-not-face-second-trial-us-prosecutors-say-2023-12-29/  https://www.theblock.co/post/268450/ftx-bankruptcy-could-go-on-for-years-legal-expert-says  51:35 Barry Dilbert Steps Down https://www.coindesk.com/business/2023/12/26/barry-silbert-resigns-as-grayscale-chairman-to-be-replaced-by-mark-shifke/  https://www.sec.gov/ix?doc=/Archives/edgar/data/0001588489/000095017023072820/gbtc-20231226.htm  52:40 Dymension Airdrop https://x.com/dymension/status/1742185621299265738?s=20  https://x.com/dymension/status/1742185624696680823?s=20  55:00 Manta https://twitter.com/MantaNetwork/status/1678807287761195008?s=20  https://twitter.com/MantaNetwork/status/1735268753984864349 

57:00 MEME of the Week https://x.com/BanklessHQ/status/1742662299087929472?s=20 

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures⁠ 


a16z Podcast

DNA's Potential to Store the World's Data

Nature’s blueprint – DNA – is an incredibly efficient machine. You cannot see it with the naked eye, yet it can last for hundreds, maybe even millions of years. Plus, the storage capacity of a single gram of DNA is over 200 million gigabytes! As the cost of DNA sequencing (reading) and synthesis (writing) comes down, scientists are looking to our very own biology for applications reaching as far a

Nature’s blueprint – DNA – is an incredibly efficient machine. You cannot see it with the naked eye, yet it can last for hundreds, maybe even millions of years. Plus, the storage capacity of a single gram of DNA is over 200 million gigabytes! As the cost of DNA sequencing (reading) and synthesis (writing) comes down, scientists are looking to our very own biology for applications reaching as far as data storage. Learn more about this fascinating world with a16z General Partner Vijay Pande, as he says, this next wave of biological computing will “be the mother of many new exponentials to come.”

 

Resources: 

Save As: DNA Part 1: https://exo.substack.com/p/saving-our-story-in-dna-part-1

Save As: DNA Part 1: https://exo.substack.com/p/save-as-dna-part-2

 

Stay Updated: 

Find a16z on Twitter: https://twitter.com/a16z

Find a16z on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/a16z

Subscribe on your favorite podcast app: https://a16z.simplecast.com/

Follow our host: https://twitter.com/stephsmithio

Please note that the content here is for informational purposes only; should NOT be taken as legal, business, tax, or investment advice or be used to evaluate any investment or security; and is not directed at any investors or potential investors in any a16z fund. a16z and its affiliates may maintain investments in the companies discussed. For more details please see a16z.com/disclosures.

Thursday, 04. January 2024

Zcash

New Release 5.8.0

zcashd 5.8.0 is a maintenance release that updates dependencies and sets a new end-of-service height to ensure continuity of services. […] The post New Release 5.8.0 appeared first on Electric Coin Company.

zcashd 5.8.0 is a maintenance release that updates dependencies and sets a new end-of-service height to ensure continuity of services. (End-of-service information is available here.) There’s no new functionality in 5.8.0.

All node operators, which include our mining and other ecosystem partners, should upgrade to this latest version as soon as possible.

The post New Release 5.8.0 appeared first on Electric Coin Company.


bankless

2024 Crypto Investment Themes

Welcome to Bankless Takes! This week, the first week of 2024… we have 6 Predictions for the major investment themes ahead for this year.  What are going to be the trends that define 2024? What do you need to know to stay ahead of the game? At least, for what we can see today.  ----- 🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT  -

Welcome to Bankless Takes! This week, the first week of 2024… we have 6 Predictions for the major investment themes ahead for this year. 

What are going to be the trends that define 2024? What do you need to know to stay ahead of the game? At least, for what we can see today. 

----- 🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT  ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2   ⁠

🛞MANTLE | MODULAR LAYER 2 NETWORK https://bankless.cc/Mantle 

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

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo  

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/Toku 

------

TIMESTAMPS

00:00 Intro 04:45 Restaking and Liquid Restaking Tokens 12:34 What is Liquid Restaking? 20:26 Solana 28:18 Parallelized EVM's 37:16 Games 43:56 Data Availability 50:07 Airdrops

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://www.bankless.com/disclosures⁠ 

Wednesday, 03. January 2024

Sequoia

AI in 2024

The post AI in 2024 appeared first on Sequoia Capital.
AI in 2024: From Big Bang to Primordial Soup By David Cahn Published January 3, 2024 2023 was a frenzied year in AI. 2024 will be a year of exploration and discovery.

Over the Christmas holiday, I had time to reflect on 2023 and the whirlwind year we had in AI.

The “Big Bang” of ChatGPT in late 2022 unleashed a fervor and, ultimately, a feeding frenzy in 2023. Not only was AI the #1 story in Silicon Valley, but it became a hot topic in every corporate boardroom, in the media and even in Washington, DC. AI drove public market stock performance too.

For a technology so nascent and still with low usage, as we covered in Generative AI’s Act Two, the feeding frenzy of 2023 had a key weakness. It was an assumption that the hard problems in AI had been solved, and therefore it’s a foregone conclusion that AI will become ubiquitous and powerful.

This fallacy is understandable. It is human nature to avoid ambiguity because humans desire certainty. The idea that AI is the “end of history”—and that we’re within sight of that—appeals to this instinct. This is an easier idea to hold in our minds than the reality we are living in: We are in the primordial soup phase of AI. There is much potential in the air, and yet it is still amorphous. Vision is required to convert it into something real, tangible and, ultimately, impactful.

In Silicon Valley, the frenzy of 2023 was productive in attracting talent to AI. But it was also unproductive in the type of company formation it drove and the psychology it induced. Specifically, it led to implementation-oriented thinking vs. vision-oriented thinking. If you believe that the hard problems have already been solved, it changes the nature of the company that you build. Instead of building deep-benched teams that are eager to face down new, unsolved problems, you build shallower organizations.

As a result, you had themes in AI with five or six new companies being formed, each with one or two great technologists and a very similar objective. One of the biggest challenges for startups in 2023 was convincing talent to join their companies—everyone wanted to start an AI company of their own.

In 2024, we need to look farther out and build companies that are fundamentally architected for the murky reality of AI. When we realize that we are in the primordial soup phase, we begin to think not about how we can win the race, but about how we can invent new things. And we realize that we need to join forces to do that. By focusing on impact, we can assemble teams capable of taking on demanding challenges and surmounting them.

I want to draw an explicit contrast to SaaS. SaaS was an evolution from on-premise, license-based software to cloud. AI is a revolution, where we are building new intelligence for the first time. There is no precedent, so we don’t even know what problems are worth solving. Fundamental innovation is going to be exceptionally important.

The primordial soup phase will give rise to visionary founders. I believe we will see more visionary thinking emerge in 2024. In times of murkiness and uncertainty, vision is required to see through the fog and understand what needs to exist on the other side. Vision is also necessary to attract a team capable of getting there.

We are going to move away from “AI for X” toward customer-centric companies. The goal of solving deep societal problems by building hard technology will reshape the culture of these companies, how they are built and the type of talent they attract. We will see innovation in the company formation process itself—the AI research labs are one expression of that creativity. 

In 2024, we will build from the substrate of Transformers, GPUs, RAG, Diffusers, open source and everything else that has been floating around the ecosystem in 2023. From these primitives, we will discover new ideas and new insights about how to build advanced AI systems. We will look back at 2024 and say, this is the year that we began to convert AI’s potential into real solutions.

At a conference in September, I heard Jakub Uszkoreit, one of the inventors of the Transformer, say he thought we had prematurely jumped from the exploration phase of AI to exploitation. 2024 will be a reset year, where those focused on quick and easy exploitation of this technology lose steam, and founders who are driving deep exploration toward value creation will pull ahead.

Here’s to a year of turning this primordial soup into impactful products and companies. And here’s to the daring founders who will build them.

If you are building a visionary company in this primordial soup, I’d love to hear from you. Please reach out at dcahn@sequoiacap.com

Share Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on LinkedIn Share this via email Related Topics #AI The Next Billion Developers By David Cahn Perspective Read Generative AI’s Act Two By Sonya Huang, Pat Grady and GPT-4 Perspective Read AI’s $200B Question By David Cahn Perspective Read AI and the Frontier Paradox By Konstantine Buhler Perspective Read

The post AI in 2024 appeared first on Sequoia Capital.


Nym - Medium

Nym’s 2024 New Year Resolutions

For Nym, 2024 will be the year that ordinary people all over the world start using Nym to have private access to the internet to enable freedom of communication. Our resolutions are to: Get NymVPN working on every operating system to onboard thousands of ordinary users, increasing the traffic through the network, and thus the anonymity of users and the revenues of the Nym community via tran

For Nym, 2024 will be the year that ordinary people all over the world start using Nym to have private access to the internet to enable freedom of communication. Our resolutions are to:

Get NymVPN working on every operating system to onboard thousands of ordinary users, increasing the traffic through the network, and thus the anonymity of users and the revenues of the Nym community via transaction fees — in short, making the entire Nym project financially sustainable. Integrate against every major zero-knowledge blockchain that wants to deliver real privacy to their users via our new Rust and Typescript SDKs.

One of the open secrets of the blockchain industry is that there are almost no actual people using blockchain tech for anything except for stablecoin transfers or trading, with many projects living off inflation before collapsing. And so, most blockchains are ghost-towns that don’t have anything resembling real-world usage outside DeFi and NFTs. What makes Nym different?

Languages: Русский // Bahasa Indonesia // 日本 // Español // Türkçe // 中文

Nym has one of the few use-cases that actually have a chance at getting massive real-world adoption outside of cryptocurrency: replacing VPNs — which are almost entirely based on false promises — with something that actually works to preserve the security and privacy of end-users. Rather than aim just for a larger share of the tens of thousands of blockchain developers or the millions of cryptocurrency users, we at Nym are serious about our mission to enable privacy for all humanity: we’re aiming at the billion people that use VPNs today.

As the world continues to descend into geopolitical chaos with wars in Europe and the Middle East — and likely an economic war between the US and China over the next few years — the only guaranteed outcome is that internet surveillance and censorship will increase for everyone. The restrictions that we see now in Iran and China will soon spread to America and Europe under the banner of fighting “misinformation” and “fake news.” As we stated in 2019 in our litepaper, surveillance is ultimately about mind control. Against this rising tide of repression, Nym is the only solution out there that can give a person protection against global passive adversaries such as nation-state intelligence agencies that can watch an entire internet connection. Unlike traditional VPNs, thanks to blockchain-based decentralization, in 2024 Nym will also focus on validators and gateways so that the network is resistant to being taken out by powerful malicious actors.

Nym needs an easy way for ordinary people to use it, and that’s why we created NymVPN. In 2023 we launched NymVPN for testing at Chaos Computer Congress, the world’s largest hacker conference, the same conference where we launched the first version of the mixnet for testing in 2019! Under the leadership of Marc Debizet, the plan for NymVPN is to make it available on every operating system, including mobile operating systems. In 2024, the focus will be on enabling every one of our hundreds of mix nodes to also serve as a gateway for open internet access, allowing unparalleled access across different jurisdictions for Nym users. The ability to have zero-knowledge proofs to access for privacy-enhanced payment to be turned on for NymVPN.

The wheel will then start turning: as people start using Nym, with payments being activated and transformed to NYM tokens on the backend, the entire ecosystem will become financially sustainable by receiving real transaction fees, something that only a handful of blockchains have achieved so far. Of course, we don’t know how many people actually want even a truly private communication tool, much less how much they will pay. In 2024, we’ll find out. In order to make privacy a reality in 2024, we will need thousands of NymVPN users.

And NymVPN isn’t the only way we’ll get users. Thanks to the Nym Innovation Fund and our new Head of Partnerships Ade Molajo, Nym is ready to integrate against any application, and blockchain. Autonomous verifiable anonymous computing is revolutionary technology, and every blockchain that uses zero-knowledge proofs should integrate Nym as an anonymous channel, as otherwise there will be no privacy. We’ve started this year with Liquid, Aztec, Firo, Monero, and are now in discussions with many L2s. In 2024, another goal is privacy by default over every zero-knowledge blockchain.

Looking back on 2023

Looking back, 2023 was a year of getting Nym ready for usage. While the mixnet was working via a SOCKS5 proxy even back in 2021 before the token launch, it was not easy to integrate against by programmers and required ordinary people to cut and paste obscure looking “localhost” IP addresses in even more obscure windows in their programs like Telegram and Electrum Bitcoin wallets. Led by Mark Sinclair and the new integrations team, the major focus of 2023 was making it possible for developers to integrate against the Nym mixnet by releasing a Rust API and Typescript APIs, including the wonderful mixFetch that makes integrating against Nym as simple as cut-paste for web applications.

The year closed with Nym Shipyard, a six-week intensive privacy academy training the next generation of Nym operators, builders and community visionaries. The academy enabled the community to get much more organized, forming “squads” that operate mix nodes across the world (especially in LatAm, Russia, Ukraine). Some squads use their rewards to support local hackerspaces and community organizations, others use the rewards to start building apps on the mixnet. This budding, professional operator community is essential for Nym as the industry’s network privacy DePIN. They form the decentralized underpinning for not just NymVPN but any application.

In 2024, Nym will continue with our general principles:

Nym will put the user first. This includes the user experience of the NymVPN as well as all our users of Nym operator binaries, the Nym SDK and people using the NYM token to bond and delegate. Nym will be community driven. The Nym global community — across 80 countries! — are increasingly our experts on the mixnet and token economics as it operates in the real world. We resolve to have close collaboration and quarterly town halls to enable rapid iteration and improvements on software and token economics as the NymVPN goes to market. Nym will continue to leverage the latest technological breakthroughs to enable ordinary people’s privacy. Starting with rolling out zk-nyms for the NymVPN to prevent leakage of data when paying for services. The focus will then shift to enabling censorship resistance and post-quantum cryptography with leading academic experts in the field.

As a team, we’ve transformed from a small startup to over fifty people working full-time on Nym, hundreds of mix nodes, and a global community of thousands across different languages and cultures. As the old world of nation-states and the traditional monetary system teeters on collapse, our mission of enabling privacy is critical for the survival of humanity more than ever. Without privacy, there can be no communication. Without communication, humanity cannot empower our collective intelligence to create a new world. It’s our only way out to escape the soul-crushing despair of war, surveillance, bureaucracy, and poverty.

Being able to communicate freely is the first step, but it’s simply too hard for people. For too long, truly private communication has been the province of only an aristocracy of technically-adept hackers, and it’s our turn to bring — as we promised at the Web 3.0 conference in 2020 — power to the people. In 2024, Nym is taking privacy out of the underground, opening a tunnel from this world to the next. Hop on.

Join the Nym Community

Discord // Telegram // Element // Twitter

Privacy loves company

English // 中文 // Русский // Türkçe // Tiếng Việt // 日本 // Française // Español // Português // 한국인

Nym’s 2024 New Year Resolutions was originally published in nymtech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Monday, 01. January 2024

bankless

203 - ETH in 2024

✨ DEBRIEF | Ryan & David unpacking the episode: https://www.bankless.com/debrief-eth-2024  ----- 2023 wasn’t great for Ethereum… from a price perspective. But it was fantastic from a building perspective. Where does Ethereum go from here? What does 2024 have in store for ETH the asset and Ethereum the network? Anthony Sassano, Mike Ippolito, and Jordi Alexander join to give a high

✨ DEBRIEF | Ryan & David unpacking the episode: https://www.bankless.com/debrief-eth-2024 

----- 2023 wasn’t great for Ethereum… from a price perspective. But it was fantastic from a building perspective.

Where does Ethereum go from here? What does 2024 have in store for ETH the asset and Ethereum the network?

Anthony Sassano, Mike Ippolito, and Jordi Alexander join to give a high level overview of the Ethereum ecosystem. The problems, the solutions, and the future.

----- 🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT     ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2   ⁠

🦊METAMASK PORTFOLIO | MANAGE YOUR WEB3 EVERYTHING ⁠https://bankless.cc/MetaMask  

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

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo 

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/Toku

------ TIMESTAMPS

0:00 Intro 6:13 Ethereum in 2023 17:40 ETH as Money 24:30 The Internet Bond 30:00 From Execution to Settlement 37:40 Inside vs Outside Crypto 43:20 Restaking and Data Availability 1:10:00 Layer 2s and Modularity 1:23:00 Fragmentation 1:33:15 Decentralization 1:46:50 Wrapping Up 1:51:00 ETH Price Predictions

------ RESOURCES

Anthony Sassano https://x.com/sassal0x?s=20

Mike Ippolito https://x.com/MikeIppolito_?s=20

Jordi Alexander https://x.com/gametheorizing?s=20

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://bankless.com/disclosures


Zcash Foundation

Results of the December 2023 ZCAP Poll

In December, we opened a Helios poll of the Zcash Community Advisory Panel (ZCAP) to elect three members of the Zcash Community Grants (ZCG) committee, to decide whether ZIP 1014 should be amended to provide ZCG committee members with a stipend from the Major Grants slice of the Dev Fund, and to gather community sentiment […] The post Results of the December 2023 ZCAP Poll appeared first on Zcas

In December, we opened a Helios poll of the Zcash Community Advisory Panel (ZCAP) to elect three members of the Zcash Community Grants (ZCG) committee, to decide whether ZIP 1014 should be amended to provide ZCG committee members with a stipend from the Major Grants slice of the Dev Fund, and to gather community sentiment on the question of whether the Dev Fund should be replaced after it expires in late 2024.

The poll closed this morning and the results are in.

Elections to the Zcash Community Grants Committee

The results of the ZCG election are as follows:

Jason McGee – 111 votes Michael Harms – 96 votes Amber O’Hearn – 89 votes Roosevelt Gordones – 69 votes Kworks – 45 votes

Congratulations to Jason, Michael and Amber, who are duly reappointed to the ZCG Committee. Thank you also to Roosevelt and Kworks for volunteering to serve the Zcash community.

​​Funding ZCG Committee Members’ Stipend

The poll respondents voted in favour of amending ZIP 1014 to provide a stipend of $115 USD per hour (up to a monthly maximum of $1,725 USD) to be paid in ZEC to ZCG Committee members from the Major Grants slice of the Dev Fund, with 99 votes in favour versus 39 against.

We will therefore draft an appropriate amendment to ZIP 1014.

Assessing Community Sentiment Regarding the Future of Zcash Ecosystem Funding

To help obtain more clarity regarding the future of funding in the Zcash ecosystem, we put the following question to ZCAP: In principle, would you support the introduction of a new funding mechanism to replace the current Dev Fund when it expires in November 2024? 

111 respondents voted Yes, and 27 respondents voted No.

We look forward to seeing further discussion and proposals from the community in the coming weeks about what form a new funding mechanism might take.

The post Results of the December 2023 ZCAP Poll appeared first on Zcash Foundation.

Sunday, 31. December 2023

a16z Podcast

A Year of Unlocks: 2023 In AI, Healthcare, Housing, and More

As we close off 2023, we wanted to revisit some of our favorite episodes from the last year. From AI hardware, to healthcare regulation, to disrupting the world’s largest asset class, to the electrification of nearly everything… there’s  something in here for all listeners.   Resources:  AI Hardware, Explained: https://a16z.simplecast.com/episodes/ai-hardware-explained Chasing

As we close off 2023, we wanted to revisit some of our favorite episodes from the last year. From AI hardware, to healthcare regulation, to disrupting the world’s largest asset class, to the electrification of nearly everything… there’s  something in here for all listeners.

 

Resources: 

AI Hardware, Explained:

https://a16z.simplecast.com/episodes/ai-hardware-explained

Chasing Silicon: The Race for GPUs: https://a16z.simplecast.com/episodes/chasing-silicon-the-race-for-gpus

The True Cost of Compute: https://a16z.simplecast.com/episodes/the-cost-of-compute

AI Revolution: Disruption, Alignment, and Opportunity: https://a16z.simplecast.com/episodes/ai-revolution-disruption-alignment-and-opportunity

The Robot Lawyer Resistance; https://a16z.simplecast.com/episodes/the-robot-lawyer-resistance

The Quest for AGI: Q*, Self-Play, and Synthetic Data: https://a16z.simplecast.com/episodes/the-quest-for-agi-q-self-play-and-synthetic-data

The Road to Autonomous Vehicles: Are We There Yet?: https://a16z.simplecast.com/episodes/the-road-to-autonomous-vehicles-are-we-there-yet-PstZz2G_

The Electrification of Everything: From Sky to Sea: https://a16z.simplecast.com/episodes/the-electrification-of-everything-from-sky-to-sea

When Two Giants Intersect: Healthcare Meets Fintech: https://a16z.simplecast.com/episodes/when-two-giants-intersect-healthcare-meets-fintech

Salary Transparency: Clarity or Chaos?: https://a16z.simplecast.com/episodes/salary-transparency-clarity-or-chaos

Disrupting the World’s Largest Asset Class with Adam Neumann: https://a16z.simplecast.com/episodes/disrupting-the-worlds-largest-asset-class

The Data Highway Above with Privateer’s Steve Wozniak, Alex Fielding, and Dr. Moriba Jah: https://a16z.simplecast.com/episodes/new-the-data-highway-above-with-privateers-steve-wozniak-alex-fielding-and-dr-moriba-jah

 

Stay Updated: 

Find a16z on Twitter: https://twitter.com/a16z

Find a16z on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/a16z

Subscribe on your favorite podcast app: https://a16z.simplecast.com/

Follow our host: https://twitter.com/stephsmithio

Please note that the content here is for informational purposes only; should NOT be taken as legal, business, tax, or investment advice or be used to evaluate any investment or security; and is not directed at any investors or potential investors in any a16z fund. a16z and its affiliates may maintain investments in the companies discussed. For more details please see a16z.com/disclosures.

Saturday, 30. December 2023

Zcash

ECC Transparency Report for Q2 2023

Why release a transparency report?  Electric Coin Co. (ECC)* is committed to openness and transparency — as we help evolve […] The post ECC Transparency Report for Q2 2023 appeared first on Electric Coin Company.
Why release a transparency report? 

Electric Coin Co. (ECC)* is committed to openness and transparency — as we help evolve and support the Zcash digital currency, and in support of our mission to empower people with economic freedom. This transparency report details company income, expenses, and use of funds during Q2 2023. 

Key takeaways

Bootstrap received coins at a value below the ECC operating expense level for Q2 2023. During this time, Bootstrap received coins at an average of $252K a month (at the Q2 average ZEC price, $33, for each of the three months’ distribution dates), and Bootstrap and ECC incurred average monthly expenses of approximately $631K.  At the end of Q2 2023, Bootstrap and ECC collectively held approximately $922K in USD and approximately 91.8K ZEC. As of December 21, 2023, the company held approximately $960K in USD and approximately 69K ZEC. 

Read the full report.

The post ECC Transparency Report for Q2 2023 appeared first on Electric Coin Company.


Epicenter Podcast

Isidoros Passadis: Lido DAO – Staking Decentralisation for Ethereum and LSTs in DeFi

As Ethereum ‘merged’ to its current proof-of-stake consensus model, the steep (for retail) minimum stake of 32 ETH created a serious risk of centralisation through staking delegation to centralised entities. Lido DAO was envisioned to preserve staking decentralisation, while also providing additional value for staked ETH in the form of liquid staking tokens (LST). However, as its market share reac

As Ethereum ‘merged’ to its current proof-of-stake consensus model, the steep (for retail) minimum stake of 32 ETH created a serious risk of centralisation through staking delegation to centralised entities. Lido DAO was envisioned to preserve staking decentralisation, while also providing additional value for staked ETH in the form of liquid staking tokens (LST). However, as its market share reached the first threshold of 33%, concerns have started to be voiced regarding Lido’s own risk of centralisation. Through its dual governance model where stakers can veto $LDO voters, and the upcoming implementation of distributed validator technology (DVT) and community staking module (CSM), the Lido DAO aims to preserve staking decentralisation.

We were joined by Isidoros Passadis, contributor and Master of Validators at Lido DAO, to discuss Ethereum’s current liquid staking landscape, Lido’s governance model and what steps it takes to ensure staking decentralisation.

Topics covered in this episode:

Isidoros’ background and how he started working at Lido DAO Lido’s core architecture and how it ensures decentralisation Transitioning from a curated node operator set to a permisionless model Distributed Validator Technology (DVT) Lido’s dual governance model stETH bridging and use cases in DeFi How Lido adapts to Ethereum forks & EIPs Maximum validator effective balance and minimal staking issuance Ethereum vs. Lido governance Lido’s approach to MEV Restaking & Eigenlayer Expanding Lido to other chains Lido’s market share and other liquid staking competitors

Episode links:

Isidoros Passadis on Twitter Lido on Twitter

Sponsors:

Gnosis: Gnosis builds decentralized infrastructure for the Ethereum ecosystem, since 2015. This year marks the launch of Gnosis Pay— the world's first Decentralized Payment Network. Get started today at - gnosis.io Chorus1: Chorus1 is one of the largest node operators worldwide, supporting more than 100,000 delegators, across 45 networks. The recently launched OPUS allows staking up to 8,000 ETH in a single transaction. Enjoy the highest yields and institutional grade security at - chorus.one

This episode is hosted by Brian Fabian Crain & Felix Lutsch. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/528

Friday, 29. December 2023

bankless

ROLLUP: Top 10 Biggest Crypto Events of 2023

Bankless Weekly Rollup Last Week of 2023 ----- 🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT  —— 💳 AMBIRE | V2 Browser Extension is now Live! https://bankless.cc/ambire-v2   ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2   ⁠ 🦊METAMASK PORTFOLIO | MANAGE YOUR WEB3 EVERY

Bankless Weekly Rollup Last Week of 2023

----- 🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT 

—— 💳 AMBIRE | V2 Browser Extension is now Live! https://bankless.cc/ambire-v2   ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2   ⁠

🦊METAMASK PORTFOLIO | MANAGE YOUR WEB3 EVERYTHING ⁠https://bankless.cc/MetaMask  

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

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo 

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/Toku

———

0:00 Intro 6:00 Markets 1 Year Ago 8:00 Base https://help.coinbase.com/en/coinbase/other-topics/other/base 10:00 SVB https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collapse_of_Silicon_Valley_Bank 12:30 Balaji’s Bitcoin Bet 13:40 Scammers Arrested 15:00 Arbitrum Airdrop 17:00 Bitcoin Ordinals 22:40 Friend.tech 26:20 Pudgy Penguins IP 30:00 SEC Losing in Court 35:20 SEC Suing Exchanges 36:30 Michael Saylor Buying Bitcoin 39:35 CZ Steps Down 43:25 Solana Boom 47:00 Celestia and Jito Airdrop Season 49:45 Where We Are Now 52:30 Looking to 2024

—— Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://bankless.com/disclosures

Thursday, 28. December 2023

Zaisan

Zero-Knowledge Proofs in Web3 – How, What, and Why

Through techniques like ZK rollups, multiple transactions are bundled into a single proof, streamlining the verification process. This compact form of verification reduces computational requirements and enhances the network’s overall scalability. By processing larger volumes of transactions more efficiently, zero-knowledge proofs boost blockchain network throughput without compromising security or

Through techniques like ZK rollups, multiple transactions are bundled into a single proof, streamlining the verification process. This compact form of verification reduces computational requirements and enhances the network’s overall scalability. By processing larger volumes of transactions more efficiently, zero-knowledge proofs boost blockchain network throughput without compromising security or decentralisation. Zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) are cryptographic tools that work like magic tricks, allowing one party to prove they know something without revealing the actual details. They maintain confidentiality while confirming specific information and have a key role in web3. This article will explain what they are, how they work, their use cases in web3, and take a deep dive into how zero-knowledge proofs improve blockchain scalability.

What are zero-knowledge proofs?

Zero-knowledge proofs, often referred to as ZKPs, are a clever way to prove something without revealing any details about it. Imagine being able to show you know a secret password without actually saying what the password is. That’s the magic of ZKPs – they allow one party to confirm they have certain information without giving away the information itself.

In every zero-knowledge proof, there’s a prover and a verifier. The prover wants to show the verifier that they know something without disclosing what it is. They do this by demonstrating knowledge of some facts that only the rightful owner of the information would know. It’s like solving a puzzle without showing the solution.

They can be used for a variety of purposes. Still, their main applications include improving data security, scalability, and privacy in blockchain transactions, safeguarding sensitive information in industries like healthcare and finance, and enabling secure authentication without unnecessary exposure of personal details.

How zero-knowledge proofs work (in simple terms)

While relatively simple at the surface, understanding the intricacies of zero-knowledge proofs can be complex. To explain how they work we will use a simple analogy:

A scientist claims to have discovered a complex mathematical proof for a groundbreaking theory. Verifying this proof conventionally requires extensive computational resources and time. Alternatively, using a zero-knowledge proof, the scientist can demonstrate the proof’s validity without divulging the entire process, significantly reducing the time needed for verification while ensuring the credibility of the discovery.

In essence, the zero-knowledge proof is a distilled version of the proof containing only the details necessary to prove its validity. When using zero-knowledge proofs in blockchain for improved scalability and privacy it works in similar ways. To explain how this works, consider the following scenario:

A validator has verified and put together a block of transactions that produces a certain hash value. To verify this hash (and thus the transactions inside the block), someone could verify this hash by following the exact same energy- and time-consuming process of recreating this block. However, another option would be for the validator to provide a succinct zero-knowledge proof to make it easy to verify the validity of this block without revealing the details. This proof is called a Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument, widely known as a ZK-SNARK.

Similar to the mathematical proof example, the validity of a statement can be verified quickly without revealing the underlying details of the statement.

Use cases of zero-knowledge proofs in Web3

Zero-knowledge proofs have a variety of use cases within the web3 space, with some of the main ones being:

Enhancing privacy Improving scalability Enabling regulatory compliance Secure authentication 

Let’s look at each of these in more detail and how methods using zero-knowledge proofs differ from traditional methods.

Using zero-knowledge proofs for enhanced privacy

Zero-knowledge proofs can enhance privacy within web3 by concealing transaction details, such as sender addresses, transaction amounts, and contract terms. Unlike traditional blockchain transactions that are transparent and visible to all, zero-knowledge proofs enable confidential transactions. 

This heightened level of confidentiality ensures that sensitive data remains protected within decentralised systems. Moreover, zero-knowledge proofs facilitate private interactions, allowing users to engage in transactions and collaborations while maintaining their privacy. This advantage is particularly beneficial in business environments where discretion and confidentiality are paramount.

Zero-knowledge proofs surpass traditional methods by offering a higher level of confidentiality. By concealing transaction details and protecting sensitive data within decentralised systems, zero-knowledge proofs address concerns related to data breaches and unauthorised access. Additionally, their ability to enable private interactions ensures that users can engage securely in web3 environments without compromising their privacy. Another thing that sets them apart from existing privacy solutions is their ability to offer increased privacy with similar levels of security as their non-private counterparts.

Using zero-knowledge proofs for greater scalability

Zero-knowledge proofs are increasingly used in layer 2 scaling solutions as well as modern blockchain protocols for their ability to improve blockchain scalability. 

They achieve this by optimising data processing and reducing blockchain congestion. 

Compared to traditional methods, zero-knowledge proofs offer an optimised approach to data processing, reducing computational overhead and enhancing efficiency. This streamlined verification process improves scalability by enabling the processing of larger transaction volumes without congesting the blockchain network.

Using zero-knowledge proofs for better regulatory compliance

Zero-knowledge proofs can be useful in ensuring compliance with data regulations. They provide a more secure way to handle user data while keeping it private. By hiding sensitive bits, zero-knowledge proofs balance showing what’s needed and keeping things secret. This helps decentralised systems follow the rules without giving away personal details. They check data without revealing everything, keeping user info safe from breaches and hacks which happen regularly.

In a nutshell, zero-knowledge proofs are a clever way to aid in sticking to complex privacy rules while still being open. They make sure user data stays safe in decentralised systems, meeting rules and keeping trust and privacy intact in the web3 world.

Using zero-knowledge proofs for secure authentication

Zero-knowledge proofs offer a secure method for verifying identities or approving actions without revealing unnecessary personal information. They function by allowing individuals to prove specific credentials without disclosing the exact details. 

In scenarios where secure interactions are vital, like proving age without revealing the birthdate or approving a transaction without disclosing account specifics, zero-knowledge proofs enable individuals to authenticate themselves or authorise actions while keeping sensitive information private. Amid B2B collaborations, where confidentiality is paramount, zero-knowledge proofs ensure secure interactions by permitting verifications without unnecessary exposure of private details, establishing trust without compromising confidentiality.

Overall, they serve as a discreet way for parties to validate identities or approve transactions securely. They enable necessary verifications while protecting sensitive information, and ensuring trusted and confidential interactions, particularly vital in B2B environments where secure collaborations rely on maintaining confidentiality.

Deep dive: Blockchain scalability with ZK Rollups

Let’s take a deeper dive into one of the most prominent applications of zero-knowledge proofs in web3. Scalability is a challenge as old as blockchain, and with an ever-increasing adoption of blockchain technology, there is also a constant need for increased scalability. ZK Rollups emerged as a potential solution for this challenge.

How ZK Rollups work

ZK Rollups function by grouping multiple user transactions off-chain and then submitting these bundled transactions as a single transaction to the main blockchain. Alongside this batched transaction, a succinct proof, derived from zero-knowledge proofs, is added to validate the correctness of these bundled transactions. To be specific, a ZK rollup follows these steps:

Transaction bundling: Initially, numerous individual user transactions occur off-chain, which are grouped or bundled together into a single package. On-chain submission: This bundled package is then submitted as a single transaction to the main blockchain. Rather than posting each transaction separately on the main chain, ZK Rollups compress these transactions into a single entry. Accompanying zero-knowledge proof: Alongside this single transaction, a concise proof is included. This proof is derived using zero-knowledge techniques, ensuring that it confirms the validity of all the transactions within the bundle without disclosing the specific details of each individual transaction. Verification process: On the main chain, validators or smart contracts verify this bundled transaction using the accompanying proof. The proof allows for a swift verification process without unravelling the details of each transaction within the bundle. Final confirmation: Once verified, the bundled transactions are confirmed on the main chain. The main chain acknowledges the validity of these transactions, thereby updating the blockchain’s state.

This method significantly reduces the amount of data that needs to be processed and stored on the main blockchain. At the same time, it maintains the ability to verify the accuracy and integrity of these transactions. It optimises blockchain scalability by condensing multiple transactions into a single entry and facilitating a more efficient verification process using the accompanying zero-knowledge proof.

To make this even more clear, the above image visualises these steps.

The benefits of ZK Rollups

The efficiency of ZK Rollups lies in their ability to maintain security guarantees of the underlying blockchain while vastly improving its scalability. Users benefit from reduced transaction fees and faster transaction finality, making ZK Rollups a promising avenue for scaling Ethereum and other blockchain networks. This technique optimises the blockchain’s capacity to handle a higher volume of transactions, paving the way for broader adoption and enhanced usability of dApps.

As the development and adoption of ZK Rollups continue to evolve, ongoing research and advancements aim to further enhance their efficiency and usability. The synergy between ZK Rollups and zero-knowledge proofs showcases a promising path towards resolving scalability issues faced by blockchain networks. It offers a scalable solution without compromising the foundational principles of security and decentralisation.

In summary, ZK Rollups represent a significant leap forward in addressing the scalability concerns of blockchain networks. By leveraging the power of zero-knowledge proofs, they pave the way for a more scalable, efficient, and user-friendly blockchain ecosystem, laying the groundwork for a future where decentralised applications can operate at scale without compromising on security.

Conclusion

Zero-knowledge proofs are complex mathematical proofs that effectively allow parties to prove information without divulging the details. They can be used in web3 to improve scalability, increase privacy, boost compliance, and allow for better authentication. They are the cornerstone to the future of web3 and will be central in existing and future web3 use cases.

The post Zero-Knowledge Proofs in Web3 – How, What, and Why appeared first on Zaisan.


Panther Protocol

2023: A Year in Review

Fellow Panthers, As we bid farewell to 2023, we wanted to provide a year-end update on our progress and what we have been working on behind the scenes. For Panther, it’s been a year filled with major tech developments, events, team additions, and preparations for our V1 launch

Fellow Panthers,

As we bid farewell to 2023, we wanted to provide a year-end update on our progress and what we have been working on behind the scenes.

For Panther, it’s been a year filled with major tech developments, events, team additions, and preparations for our V1 launch in 2024.

The Panther Protocol’s tech team has made significant progress and has released three stages of our testnet and we’re on track to release Stage 3 after the internal testing.

We further participated at various conferences this year, discussing Panther Protocol and zero-knowledge DeFi with the wider Web3 community including at Real Vision, European Blockchain Convention, Paris DOT, ETHGlobal Online, and zkBankai Hacker House

As we celebrate the end of 2023, we look forward to 2024 and our upcoming mainnet launch. The team would like to personally thank you for supporting us on this journey.

Here’s to an even bigger and better 2024!

Communication Updates Panther DAO Approves PIP-14: A Milestone in Decentralization

In May this year, Panther DAO officially approved PIP-14. This proposal formalized the project’s Governance Framework and introduced a DAO Council, marking significant progress in the project's decentralization journey. Learn more here.

Panther Partners with PureFi to Enable Compliance in PriFi

Earlier this year, Panther partnered with PureFi to create a path to compliance and data privacy in DeFi. PureFi partnership will enable us to meet compliance requirements while preserving decentralization and user anonymity. Read more here.

BitMart Lists Zero-Knowledge DeFi Pioneer Panther Protocol's $ZKP

In December this year, BitMart, a leading cryptocurrency exchange operating in over 180 countries, listed Panther Protocol's $ZKP token. This listing is part of our ongoing effort focused on strategic partnerships and exchange listings before our V1 Mainnet launch, aimed at providing improved accessibility, various trading options, and a more efficient, cost-effective transaction experience for our community members and $ZKP holders. Complete announcement here

Panther Community Votes to Extend the Advanced Staking Program

Thanks to the successful approval of PIP-19 in November, Advanced Staking V4 is live for the next four months, and $ZKP holders can now stake their tokens again. Learn more about PIP-19 here

Team Updates Panther Expands Its Marketing Efforts with New Hires

We recently hired Manwendra Mishra as a Product Marketing Manager for Panther Protocol. Manwendra brings diversified experience across industries, including as the first marketer for blockchain analytics firm, Merkle Science. Before moving to Web3, Manwendra was a marketer at leading cybersecurity firm, Radware(NASDAQ: RDWR). 

Panther plans to further expand its marketing team with two more hires in the coming weeks.

R&D Updates Product Updates

In 2023, we made significant product development progress. We started the year with a workshop in Dubai (UAE) to evaluate our progress, examine the market fit of our product, compliance requirements, and institutional perspectives.

The workshop's goal was to strategically position Panther and our suite of products to align with the anticipated growth and adoption of the DeFi. After the conclusion of the workshop, we recognized that privacy as a feature couldn’t be a differentiator if we can’t enable practical applications of it. And, to achieve this for a DeFi protocol, compliance support is essential. We noted that privacy and compliance should coexist, but it requires more effort and innovation, particularly in leveraging zero-knowledge technology. Additionally, we aimed to enhance the efficiency of our protocol without overwhelming the user experience with an excess of Zero-Knowledge proofs.

As a result, we revamped our Product Architecture to align with industry needs, incorporating several outcomes from the workshop: 

Integrate with third-party compliance providers that can satisfy the new Panther design requirements. Create a bank account-like on-chain identity ( zAccount) which acts as a link for all transactions users perform. zAccount is further crucial for compliance as it is activated only after a successful KYC completion.  Data Safe mechanism to satisfy AML requirements.  Introduce Zones to allow institutions to become licensed Zone Managers and run a dedicated zone to enable their customers to trade with whitelisted assets and counterparties.  Oshiya (referred to as Panther Miner) for off-chain zero-knowledge proof computation and to reduce the update on every transaction by batching 64 transactions into one. A concept that lets users put their transactions on a “bus queue”. DeFi adaptors logic to align with the new architecture. Support interchain communication, scheduled for V2.

After 4-6 months of development, including smart contract development, circuit development, and integrations with PureFi, we began deploying features on the Mumbai test network. This process involved continuous and iterative development of the dApp. We further devised an incentivized testnet plan, organizing the testnet releases into 8 stages.

Initially, we estimated three weeks of dApp development. However, we encountered internal bugs and external issues during the testing phase, doubling the anticipated duration.

Testnet Updates

The testnet currently has 400 users and we’ve distributed a total of over 200,000 $ZKP as rewards. The proposed total amount of Testnet rewards is 1.5M $ZKP, with an additional 0.5M $ZKP in reserve to cover any additional rewards, if necessary.

Have you signed up for our testnet yet? Sign up here to join our community and receive your $ZKP rewards.Here’s a quick recap of our testnet stages.

Testnet Stage 0

In July this year, we launched Panther Stage 0. In this Stage, we released the Panther Miner, a specialized miner designed to interact with a blockchain network. This testing stage (and activity in production) is directed towards miners, a key role in the Panther ecosystem, as opposed to DeFi users. Complete announcement here

Testnet Stage 1

After a successful Stage 0, in August this year, we released Stage 1 of Panther’s Testnet. In this Stage, testnet users were allowed to test two of Panther’s most anticipated innovations: third-party compliance integrations and zero-knowledge accounts. Learn more here

Testnet Stage 2

In November, we released the second stage of our testnet. This second phase was designed to test the user interaction and reward mechanisms that set the foundation for the protocol’s privacy-preserving features. More information on Stage 2 here

Testnet Stage 3

Stage 3 development is complete, and internal testing has begun. This third phase will allow users to whitelist test Matic in addition to test ZKPs into Panther's Multi-Asset Shielded Pool.

Further, when it comes to $ZKP, users can now deposit and store $ZKP either as a zAsset ($zZKP) or as a zAccount Gas (Gas $zZKP). At the time of deposit, testnet users will have the flexibility to divide their ZKP deposit amount between the two. The Gas $zZKP can be used to pay protocol fees, relayers, Oshiya, and any external services that enhance protocol services beyond the core.

Stage 3 is undergoing internal testing at the time of publishing this year-end update and will be released immediately after the tests are completed.

V1 Launch Updates

We've been working to streamline our development process, make integration testing more efficient, and possibly work on two testnet stages parallelly to ensure we meet the deadline for the V1 release.

Audits

The suggested plan is to undergo two sets of audits before the mainnet launch. A pre-audit will be done in January and then a final audit will be done once all stages are released, tested and bugs are resolved.

V1 Launch and expansion to multiple chains

V1 is expected to be live after the second Audit. After the successful launch of V1, the plan is to extend V1 to different EVM chains, subject to community voting and approval. 

Research Initiatives

In 2023, we published two research papers in the International Association for Cryptologic Research: (1) A flexible Snark via the monomial basis, and (2) An optimization of the addition gate count in Plonkish circuits. 

The first paper presents a new pairing-based Snark. The principle advantage of which is, in contrast to other Snarks such as Groth16 and Plonk, it allows freedom in the choice of an elliptic curve with the consequential benefit of supporting non-native field arithmetic (a considerable bottle-neck for other Snarks). This research was also presented at the ETH Privacy Conference in Istanbul. 

The second paper proposes a generalization of Plonk’s permutation argument to obtain a protocol on weighted sums which has the benefit of eliminating intermediate gates from high fan-in additions in circuits with Plonkish arithmetization.

Other research work includes a survey paper (to be completed soon) that focuses on different approaches to Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) clients via snarks. 

About Panther Protocol

Panther is a cross-protocol layer that uses zero-knowledge technology to build DeFi solutions that strive to meet regulatory standards and satisfy users' on-chain data privacy needs. The goal of Panther is to allow seamless access to DeFi and create a cross-chain-supported architecture that serves different use cases. Panther’s zero-knowledge primitives are also generalizable to KYC, selective disclosures between trusted parties, private ID, voting, and data verification services.


bankless

Coin Bureau’s Guy Turner Interviews Ryan & David

Coin Bureau’s Guy Turner interviewed Ryan and David on November 15, 2023. We’re re-releasing this episode on our channels thanks to Coin Bureau. We hope you enjoy this meta-conversation of Ryan, David, and the Bankless brand. Happy Holidays!  ------- TIMESTAMPS 0:00 Intro 1:55 Crypto YouTube vs. Podcast 7:10 Creating Crypto Content 16:55 SBF vs. Erik Voorhees  32:50 Crypto Indus

Coin Bureau’s Guy Turner interviewed Ryan and David on November 15, 2023. We’re re-releasing this episode on our channels thanks to Coin Bureau. We hope you enjoy this meta-conversation of Ryan, David, and the Bankless brand. Happy Holidays! 

------- TIMESTAMPS

0:00 Intro 1:55 Crypto YouTube vs. Podcast 7:10 Creating Crypto Content 16:55 SBF vs. Erik Voorhees  32:50 Crypto Industry Mistakes  41:05 Ethereum & Crypto Cycles 55:43 Crypto, Social Media, Madness  1:03:00 Podcast Guests 1:09:00 Final Thoughts

------ RESOURCES

Full Coin Bureau Interview  https://youtu.be/HVpQroG434E?si=Yl0IR-LUd8dRQZ3l  

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://bankless.com/disclosures 

Wednesday, 27. December 2023

bankless

Eigenlayer In 2024 With CEO Sreeram Kannan

Ethereum validators are earning yield for nearly a million wallets but what happens if you can restake that ETH for even more yields? Eigen Layer is one of the most ambitious projects in crypto and crossed a billion dollars in deposits while recording this episode. Joining us today is special technical co-host Mike Neuder to discuss all things Eigen Layer with Sreeram and Teddy from the team.

Ethereum validators are earning yield for nearly a million wallets but what happens if you can restake that ETH for even more yields? Eigen Layer is one of the most ambitious projects in crypto and crossed a billion dollars in deposits while recording this episode.

Joining us today is special technical co-host Mike Neuder to discuss all things Eigen Layer with Sreeram and Teddy from the team.

-----

🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT   

----- BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2  ⁠

🦊METAMASK PORTFOLIO | MANAGE YOUR WEB3 EVERYTHING https://bankless.com/MetaMask 

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

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.com/Celo 

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/toku 

🌐 Layer Zero V2 Launch https://bankless.cc/LayerZeroLabs 

------

Timestamps 

00:00:00 Intro 00:00:26 Episode Overview 00:09:20 Current State of Eigen Layer 00:12:01 Cap Limits and Accepted Tokens 00:19:42 Economic Security 00:25:51 Eigen Incentive Structures 00:34:12 What Is Eigen DA? 00:40:29 Benefits From Eigen DA 00:45:28 Why Eigen DA? 00:55:31 Throughput and Slashing 01:05:58 Finality Layer 01:10:51 ABS Aggregation 01:16:53 The Veto Committee 01:21:04 Neutrality 01:24:40 Networks in 2024 01:28:27 When Mainnet

------

Resources

Mike https://twitter.com/mikeneuder 

Sreeram https://twitter.com/sreeramkannan 

Teddy https://twitter.com/TedBreyer 

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://bankless.com/disclosures 

Tuesday, 26. December 2023

a16z Podcast

The Future of Longevity with Tony Robbins

Welcome to “The Ben & Marc Show”, featuring a16z’s co-founders Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreessen.  In this week’s episode, Marc and Ben are joined by special guest Tony Robbins to discuss the future of longevity.   Tony Robbins is an entrepreneur, #1 NY Times bestselling author, philanthropist, and the nation’s #1 life & business strategist.  For over four and a half de

Welcome to “The Ben & Marc Show”, featuring a16z’s co-founders Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreessen.  In this week’s episode, Marc and Ben are joined by special guest Tony Robbins to discuss the future of longevity.  

Tony Robbins is an entrepreneur, #1 NY Times bestselling author, philanthropist, and the nation’s #1 life & business strategist.  For over four and a half decades, Tony has empowered more than 50 million people from 100 countries around the world through his audio programs, educational videos, and live seminars. He’s also the author of six international bestsellers, including “Money: Master the Game” (2014), “Unshakable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook” (2017) and “Life Force: How New Breakthroughs in Precision Medicine Can Transform the Quality of Your Life and Those You Love” (2022).

Joined by a16z’s own Dr. Vijay Pande, PhD – General Partner since 2014, and founder and leader of a16z Bio + Health – the group discusses new breakthroughs in regenerative medicine, AI, biohacking, gene editing, mindset and confirms why this might be the best time to be alive. Enjoy!

Watch the full video version of this episode: https://youtu.be/V8h11baC_ok

 

Resources:

Marc on X: https://twitter.com/pmarca

Marc’s Substack: https://pmarca.substack.com/

Ben on X: https://twitter.com/bhorowitz

Dr. Vijay Pande on X: https://twitter.com/vijaypande

Learn more about Tony Robbins: https://tonyrobbins.com

Tony’s Time to Rise Summit (Jan 25-27, 2024): https://timetorisesummit.com/join-now  

Pre-order Tony’s upcoming book “The Holy Grail of Investing” (Feb 2024): http://theholygrailofinvesting.com

 

Stay Updated: 

Find a16z on Twitter: https://twitter.com/a16z

Find a16z on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/a16z

Subscribe on your favorite podcast app: https://a16z.simplecast.com/

Follow our host: https://twitter.com/stephsmithio

Please note that the content here is for informational purposes only; should NOT be taken as legal, business, tax, or investment advice or be used to evaluate any investment or security; and is not directed at any investors or potential investors in any a16z fund. a16z and its affiliates may maintain investments in the companies discussed. For more details please see a16z.com/disclosures.


bankless

Anatoly Reflects on Solana In 2023 & 2024

In today’s episode, we have the creator of Solana and the Co-founder of Solana Labs, Anatoly Yakovenko. We brought on Anatoly to reflect on Solana in 2023 and its future in the New Year and beyond.  ----- 🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT      ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE

In today’s episode, we have the creator of Solana and the Co-founder of Solana Labs, Anatoly Yakovenko. We brought on Anatoly to reflect on Solana in 2023 and its future in the New Year and beyond. 

-----

🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT      ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2    ⁠

🦊METAMASK PORTFOLIO | MANAGE YOUR WEB3 EVERYTHING https://bankless.com/MetaMask   

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

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.com/Celo   

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/toku   

🌐 Layer Zero V2 Launch https://bankless.cc/LayerZeroLabs   

-------

TIMESTAMPS

0:00 Intro 5:49 FTX’s Effect on Solana  8:03 Solana Lindy? 9:55 Local Fee Markets  17:51 Solana’s Governance   24:58 Important Solana Questions  28:44 Firedancer vs. Jump  37:36 Latency Games 40:20 Are More Users Scary? 43:50 Hyper-Optimism    48:52 What Scares Anatoly  54:59 $BONK & Solana Phone  1:07:58 Breakout Consumer Apps  1:12:37 Solana Economics  1:18:30 ETH vs. SOL 1:34:50 Solana Alignment   1:36:49 Solana Misrepresentation 1:37:53 Closing & Disclaimers 

------ RESOURCES

Anatoly https://twitter.com/aeyakovenko  

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://bankless.com/disclosures 

Monday, 25. December 2023

bankless

202 - The Year of the Crypto ETF with Cathie Wood

Cathie wood and Ophelia Snyder join us today, their two companies are at the top of the list for ETF approvals slated for early next year. Is trad-fi excited? Are we underestimating the scale of this? Will Ethereum ever get an ETF? All these answered and more. ------ ✨ DEBRIEF | Ryan & David unpacking the episode: https://www.bankless.com/debrief-cathie-wood  ----- 🏹 Airdrop Hu

Cathie wood and Ophelia Snyder join us today, their two companies are at the top of the list for ETF approvals slated for early next year.

Is trad-fi excited? Are we underestimating the scale of this? Will Ethereum ever get an ETF? All these answered and more.

------

✨ DEBRIEF | Ryan & David unpacking the episode: https://www.bankless.com/debrief-cathie-wood 

-----

🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT     ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

 

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2  ⁠

🦊METAMASK PORTFOLIO | MANAGE YOUR WEB3 EVERYTHING https://bankless.com/MetaMask 

⚖️ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM https://bankless.com/Arbitrum  ⁠ 🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.com/Celo 

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/toku 

🌐 Layer Zero V2 Launch https://bankless.cc/LayerZeroLabs 

 

-------

TIMESTAMPS

00:00 Start 07:13 Joint Product Partnership 15:21 ETP vs ETF 20:25 Existing Products 33:13 How Much Interest Is There? 39:01 Portfolio Allocation and Risk 42:55 What Makes an ETF So Special 48:28 The Value Of Custody 53:27 How Many ETFs Can Get Approved? 58:07 Ethereum ETF in 2024 01:02:17 Did We Get A Fed Pivot? 01:04:10 Outlook For 2024

------ RESOURCES

Cathie Wood https://twitter.com/CathieDWood 

Ophelia Snyder https://twitter.com/OpheliaBSnyder 

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://bankless.com/disclosures

Saturday, 23. December 2023

Epicenter Podcast

Epicenter - 10-Year Anniversary Livestream

10 years ago, Adam B Levine, the host of ‘Let’s Talk Bitcoin!’, decided that it was time to encourage other voices to step onto the crypto podcast scene. Among many applicants, Sebastien and Brian were the only 2 Europeans, so Adam suggested that they teamed up in order to record the pilot episode. On December 20th 2013, Sebastien and Brian released ‘Regulation and the Future of Bitcoin’, which ma

10 years ago, Adam B Levine, the host of ‘Let’s Talk Bitcoin!’, decided that it was time to encourage other voices to step onto the crypto podcast scene. Among many applicants, Sebastien and Brian were the only 2 Europeans, so Adam suggested that they teamed up in order to record the pilot episode. On December 20th 2013, Sebastien and Brian released ‘Regulation and the Future of Bitcoin’, which marked the beginning of a 10-year (and counting) long journey. The rest is history.

On this anniversary episode, our hosts were joined by special guests and friends of Epicenter, to share their favourite moments and fun stories gathered during the 10 years of epicness.

Topics covered in this episode:

Adam B Levine - Epicenter’s godfather & the early days of Epicenter Trent McConaghy - From Ascribe to Ocean. Ahead of the NFT and inscription hype Sebastien Buergel - How he got into crypto, early ventures and Meher’s secret Griff Green & Lefteris Karapetsas - The DAO hack and Sebastien Buergel’s alleged role Sam Jernigan & Anna Rose - From TradFi to ZK Jordi Baylina & Ryan Zurrer - Standing in the Epicenter of the storm and the unsung hero of the DAO hack Richard Muirhead - The future of zk proofs, privacy and AI

Episode links:

Adam B Levine on Twitter Trent McConaghy on Twitter Sebastian Buergel on Twitter Griff Green on Twitter Lefteris Karapetsas on Twitter Sam Jernigan on Twitter Anna Rose on Twitter Jordi Baylina on Twitter Ryan Zurrer on Twitter Richard Muirhead on Twitter

This episode is hosted by Sebastien Couture, Brian Fabian Crain, Friederike Ernst, Meher Roy, Felix Lutsch and Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/527

Friday, 22. December 2023

bankless

ROLLUP: The Inscription Infestation | Solana Flips Ethereum Volume | Restaking Heats Up

Bankless Weekly Rollup 3rd Week of December, 2023   ----- 🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT   —— 💳 AMBIRE | V2 Browser Extension is now Live! https://bankless.cc/ambire-v2   ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:   🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2   ⁠  

Bankless Weekly Rollup

3rd Week of December, 2023

 

-----

🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today

https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT

 

——

💳 AMBIRE | V2 Browser Extension is now Live!

https://bankless.cc/ambire-v2

 

------

BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

 

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE

https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2   ⁠

 

🦊METAMASK PORTFOLIO | MANAGE YOUR WEB3 EVERYTHING

https://bankless.cc/MetaMask 

 

⚖️ARBITRUM | SCALING ETHEREUM

https://bankless.cc/Arbitrum

 

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON

https://bankless.cc/Celo

 

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION

https://bankless.cc/Toku

 

———

0:00 Intro

3:10 David in Argentina

https://x.com/TrustlessState/status/1737955700415037856

4:40 Markets

https://www.coingecko.com/en/global-charts

https://l2beat.com/scaling/summary

https://www.coingecko.com/

11:45 Bitwise ETF Commercial

https://twitter.com/BitwiseInvest/status/1736755061127020794

13:50 Phishing Scams

https://www.chainalysis.com/blog/approval-phishing-cryptocurrency-scams-2023/

17:30 Solana Flippens

https://twitter.com/DegenerateNews/status/1735842380257869974

https://x.com/SolanaFloor/status/1737414501610479893

21:00 Celsius vs Ethereum

https://twitter.com/JedBreed/status/1737311679795400788

 

27:00 Inscriptions Invasions

https://twitter.com/0xCygaar/status/1736581628259107314

https://x.com/0xCygaar/status/1736581694826992071

https://twitter.com/Dogetoshi/status/1736813432983130186

https://dune.com/hildobby/inscriptions

https://twitter.com/BFreshHB/status/1735837409336520935

https://twitter.com/hkalodner/status/1735768514433032432

https://mempool.space/

 

33:20 Gary Gensler and the SEC

https://twitter.com/GaryGensler/status/1735686262625902968

https://www.sec.gov/news/statement/gensler-coinbase-petition-121523

35:30 Coinbase Super PAC

https://twitter.com/iampaulgrewal/status/1735716481541996640

https://twitter.com/coinbase/status/1736714975152869845

https://www.standwithcrypto.org/

37:20 Elizabeth Warren Strikes Back

https://theblockchainassociation.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/Sen.-Warren-Letter-to-CEO-Kristin-Smith.pdf

https://twitter.com/jerrybrito/status/1737119021483557347

https://twitter.com/CampbellJAustin/status/1737132781015114003

 

44:00 EigenLayer 1 Billion TVL

https://twitter.com/eigenlayer/status/1737516837506851207

https://restaking.nethermind.io/

https://x.com/sreeramkannan/status/1737550720092840385

https://x.com/TrustlessState/status/1736903040605794511

45:50 zkSync Hyperchain

https://twitter.com/zksync/status/1735297361251897405

46:20 Celestia on Arbitrum Orbit

https://twitter.com/CelestiaOrg/status/1737156267645546650

https://x.com/jackmelnick_/status/1737540854477173065

47:45 Solana Phone

https://x.com/solanamobile/status/1735835498025832651

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=solana+saga&LH_Complete=1&LH_Sold=1

https://x.com/MKBHD/status/1737501717808185544

50:50 3AC Assets Frozen

https://www.theblock.co/post/268758/bvi-court-freezes-three-arrows-capital-founders-1-billion-in-assets

51:35 Solana Hacker Guilty

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/former-security-engineer-international-technology-company-pleads-guilty-hacking-two

https://blockworks.co/news/nirvana-hacker-pleads-guilty

52:40 MEME of the Week

https://twitter.com/iiintimus/status/1735630582904721425

 

——

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

https://bankless.com/disclosures 


Nym - Medium

Nym returns to Chaos Communication Congress

This year, Nym returns to Europe’s largest and longest-running hacker event, Chaos Communication Congress, where thousands of activists, technologists, cypherpunks and artists will gather in Hamburg to shape the techno-political zeitgeist. It was at CCC in 2019 that Nym first launched the workshops to build out its testnet. A great deal has happened since then and now, the core team will be back

This year, Nym returns to Europe’s largest and longest-running hacker event, Chaos Communication Congress, where thousands of activists, technologists, cypherpunks and artists will gather in Hamburg to shape the techno-political zeitgeist.

It was at CCC in 2019 that Nym first launched the workshops to build out its testnet. A great deal has happened since then and now, the core team will be back to sip Club Mate among the crowds and gather vital feedback for the mixnet, before the NymVPN private beta launches in Q1 2024.

Nym cofounder and CEO Harry Halpin at CCC in 2019 At a glance: Nym at CCC 2023

If you’re heading to the 37th CCC, catch Nym at the Critical Decentralisation Cluster where you will find the Nym team at the Swiss Cryptoeconomics space. Attendees will be able to try an alpha version of the NymVPN for the very first time.

Most critically, there will be workshops led by Nym Product Manager Marc Debizet to gather in-depth feedback from some of Europe’s finest hackers around the VPN app.

Meanwhile Nym DevRel, Serinko, will be running a workshop on setting up high-quality Nym nodes and host open discussions about exit nodes and the Tor Null policy.

On the ground you will also find community OG Huxian as well as Nym core team long-timers Jaya Klara Brekke and Alexis Roussel.

The Nym core team will present at the Lightning Talk stage on 28 December at 16:45 in Hall G as well as participate in assemblies, so keep your eyes peeled in the coming days.

WTF is CCC?

Staunchly political, the Chaos Communication Congress has always been fighting government overreach and censorship stretching back to the ’80s with the founding of the Chaos Computer Club hacking group.

The Chaos Computer Club was co-founded by pioneering activist and hacker Wau Holland in 1981 — in what was once a room of Berlin’s Kommune 1, heart of the radical German student movement and later an editorial base for the left-wing newspaper Die Tageszeitung. The group, with foresight, understood that the information sphere was set to change the world.

Along the way, Chaos Computer Club put its ideas into action, like when it created a DIY modem from toilet pipes — the Datenklo or ‘dataloo’ — in the face of a government telecommunications monopoly that viewed connectivity with suspicion and criminalised plugging computers into phone lines. Members even conducted the first digital bank robbery using an exploit in the early Bildschirmtext (BTX) computer network and were regarded by the press as ‘electronic Robin Hoods’ (because, of course, they returned the missing Deutsche Marks).

It was in 1984 that the first Chaos Communication Congress was held in Hamburg. With only 100 attendees at the inaugural event, CCC now attracts over 10,000 participants. It retains its fiercely political heart, a moral compass oriented to ethical hacking, and the idea that technology should be transparent and a public good — and spotlights art, beauty, and humanity as much as it does the digital world.

Nym at CCC 2023: help build privacy for everyone

Perhaps more than most, the philosophical centre of CCC aligns with the Nym mission of decentralisation and privacy for all of humanity.

And it was for those reasons that the first steps of the Nym mission to build a working mixnet, to free people from government and corporate surveillance, were taken at Chaos Communication Congress in 2019.

A few incredibly busy years later and Nym proudly returns to CCC, to ready the mixnet for mass adoption.

The core team will hold a CLI demo, workshops and 1:1 meetings, and is proactively seeking feedback from the attendees of Europe’s biggest volunteer-run hacker event to further refine the Nym network as it gears up for launch.

So if you’re attending CCC, please do drop by the Critical Decentralisation Cluster to meet the team! You will also find friends of Nym from RIAT, Department of Decentralisation, Monero, Namecoin and more. Find Nym in the Swiss Cryptoeconomics assembly along with Alephium, Swarm and Hodling. Come chat with the team and see the NymVPN in action for the very first time.

And if you’re not attending this year, keep your eyes peeled for videos and other updates from CCC in the new year.

While you wait, here’s some Nym lore — the launch at CCC in 2019:

Join the Nym Community

Discord // Telegram // Element // Twitter

Privacy loves company

English // 中文 // Русский // Türkçe // Tiếng Việt // 日本 // Française // Español // Português // 한국인

Nym returns to Chaos Communication Congress was originally published in nymtech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


a16z Podcast

2024 Big Ideas: Developer Influence, Maritime Upgrades, and New Video Intelligence

A new age of maritime exploration, the rise of the developer as a buyer in financial services, and more applications for computer vision and video intelligence. We asked over 40 partners across a16z to preview one big idea they believe will drive innovation in 2024. Here in our 3-part series, you’ll hear directly from partners across all our verticals, as we dive even more deeply into these ideas

A new age of maritime exploration, the rise of the developer as a buyer in financial services, and more applications for computer vision and video intelligence. We asked over 40 partners across a16z to preview one big idea they believe will drive innovation in 2024.

Here in our 3-part series, you’ll hear directly from partners across all our verticals, as we dive even more deeply into these ideas. What’s the why now? Who is already building in these spaces? What opportunities and challenges are on the horizon? And how can you get involved?

Topics Covered:

00:00 - Big Ideas in Tech 2024

01:39 -  Big Idea: The Rise of the Developer as a Buyer in Financial Services

07:03 - Examples of financial service infrastructure products

08:40 - Building products and cost/selling structures

09:56 - How financial institutions will adopt new technology

13:07 - Regulatory shifts and updates

14:09 - The impact on customers

16:30 - Big Idea: A New Age of Maritime 

18:15 - The challenges of maritime exploration 

19:56 - Why is 2024 the year of iInnovation in maritime exploration?

23:32 - Space and aerospace exploration’s impact on maritime 

26:51 - Geopolitical supply chain and climate applications

29:40 - Autonomous fleets

31:49 - Key challenges in modernizing maritime 

34:11 - Opportunities for builders in the space

36:23 - Big Idea: New Applications for Computer Vision and Video Intelligence

38:06 - The current use of video and it’s data

38:53 - The unlocks in hardware and software driving change

41:40 - Emerging applications and use cases

43:20 - Video and privacy

44:49 - Why is 2024 the year of change and innovation?

Resources:

Find Angela on Twitter :https://twitter.com/astrange

Find Grant on Twitter: https://twitter.com/grant__gregory

Find Kimberly on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kimberlywtan

View all 40+ big ideas: https://a16z.com/bigideas2024

Stay Updated: 

Find a16z on Twitter: https://twitter.com/a16z

Find a16z on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/a16z

Subscribe on your favorite podcast app: https://a16z.simplecast.com/

Follow our host: https://twitter.com/stephsmithio

Please note that the content here is for informational purposes only; should NOT be taken as legal, business, tax, or investment advice or be used to evaluate any investment or security; and is not directed at any investors or potential investors in any a16z fund. a16z and its affiliates may maintain investments in the companies discussed. For more details please see a16z.com/disclosures.

Thursday, 21. December 2023

Circle Press

Circle Secures Conditional DASP Registration

Circle progresses toward MiCA compliance and announces the appointment of Coralie Billmann to lead operations in France

Circle progresses toward MiCA compliance and announces the appointment of Coralie Billmann to lead operations in France


Horizen - Blog

Yuzu Finance & Horizen EON: Unlocking Yield Opportunities in the Horizen Ecosystem

TL;DR: Yuzu is live on Horizen EON, opening up opportunities for borrowing, lending, and yield farming (soon)!Yuzu is a non-custodial decentralized liquidity market protocol that enables users to deposit or borrow crypto assets securely. Depositors provide liquidity on Yuzu, while borrowers can take out overcollateralized or undercollateralized loans.Yuzu is the first crypto lending platform to

TL;DR: Yuzu is live on Horizen EON, opening up opportunities for borrowing, lending, and yield farming (soon)!

Yuzu is a non-custodial decentralized liquidity market protocol that enables users to deposit or borrow crypto assets securely. Depositors provide liquidity on Yuzu, while borrowers can take out overcollateralized or undercollateralized loans.

Yuzu is the first crypto lending platform to launch on Horizen EON. With this integration, Horizen EON users can now utilize the following features:

Lending: Deposit crypto assets and earn interest/yield Borrowing: Take out loans on crypto assets instantly (collateralized and uncollateralized) Yield Farming: Yuzu is launching an innovative staking program on Horizen EON in Q1 2024 GET STARTED ON YUZU TODAY!

“As a DeFi enthusiast and Horizen community member, I am pleased to see Yuzu go live in our ecosystem. This integration enables Horizen EON users to access a wide range of DeFi capabilities, and furthers our mission of creating a robust ecosystem”.

Rob Viglione, Co-founder of Horizen

About Yuzu

Yuzu is a decentralized non-custodial liquidity market protocol that offers lending and borrowing services on EON. It enables crypto users to fully utilize their assets for idle yield farming. Users can earn interest by supplying assets into Yuzu’s lending pools or taking out instant crypto-backed loans using collateral⁠.

About Horizen EON

Horizen EON is an EVM-compatible smart contracting platform and the first of many smart contract sidechains in the Horizen ecosystem. Horizen EON allows developers to efficiently build and deploy decentralized applications (dapps) on Horizen while benefiting from EVM compatibility. Horizen EON is built with scale and user experiences in mind, on Horizen’s powerful horizontally scaling protocol, Zendoo.

For more information, please visit https://eon.horizen.io and join the Horizen Discord.

The post Yuzu Finance & Horizen EON: Unlocking Yield Opportunities in the Horizen Ecosystem appeared first on Horizen Blog.

Wednesday, 20. December 2023

Horizen - Blog

Testnet Node Software Upgrade: ZEN 4.2.0-rc1 is Available to Download

The new version ZEN 4.2.0-rc1 is available to download on GitHub and via Docker. The post Testnet Node Software Upgrade: ZEN 4.2.0-rc1 is Available to Download appeared first on Horizen Blog.

The new version ZEN 4.2.0-rc1 is available to download on GitHub and via Docker.

DOWNLOAD ZEN 4.2.0-RC1 NOW 4.2.0-rc1 is a Testnet pre-release candidate in anticipation of the release of ZEN 4.2.0 to Mainnet later next January 2024. Pre-release 4.2.0-rc1 will perform a network upgrade on Public Testnet via Hard Fork at block #1396500, on January 3rd, 2024 at approximately 12:00 PM UTC. Only nodes running on Public Testnet have to be updated. IMPORTANT: 4.2.0 is expected to be released in January and go live on Mainnet in February 2024. Once active it will not be possible anymore to unshield funds from private addresses to normal transparent addresses using Sphere by Horizen. Unshielding will still be possible to P2SH (multisignature) addresses, but the process to do so will be more involved. Because of this, we recommend that all users with existing funds in private addresses unshield their funds to their own transparent addresses in Sphere by Horizen before February 2024. Unshielding funds directly to exchange deposit addresses is strongly discouraged.

Main Features (from 4.1.1 to 4.2.0-rc1): 

Shielded Pool Deprecation:
Unshielding RestrictionsPR #624 is a follow-up in the gradual path of shielded pool deprecation, it introduces a hard fork requiring the unshielding of private funds to target only script addresses. After the hard fork, unshielding to P2PKH addresses or to P2PK addresses will not be allowed. For this reason, the following RPC commands have been (partially) deprecated: z_sendmany and z_mergetoaddress (check inline documentation for additional details).

 

Please let us know if you have any questions or if you need further support by reaching out to us on our Discord.

The post Testnet Node Software Upgrade: ZEN 4.2.0-rc1 is Available to Download appeared first on Horizen Blog.


bankless

Jito's Impact on Solana with CEO Lucas Bruder

This is an exploration of Jito, the Solana validator client, the staked Solana token JITOSOL, and MEV optimization engine. The recent Jito airdrop show the whole industry as millions of dollars in value flooded into the Solana ecosystem. Joining us today is Lucas Bruder from the Jito team to walk us through the basics and nuances of this multifaceted project. ----- 🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE,

This is an exploration of Jito, the Solana validator client, the staked Solana token JITOSOL, and MEV optimization engine.

The recent Jito airdrop show the whole industry as millions of dollars in value flooded into the Solana ecosystem.

Joining us today is Lucas Bruder from the Jito team to walk us through the basics and nuances of this multifaceted project.

----- 🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT   ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2  ⁠ 

🦊METAMASK PORTFOLIO | MANAGE YOUR WEB3 EVERYTHING ⁠https://bankless.cc/MetaMask  

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

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo  

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/Toku  

------ TIMESTAMPS

0:00 Intro 6:00 Jito Airdrop 8:45 What is Jito 12:00 Staking and Decentralization 17:20 MEV Optimization 25:20 Fees and Failed Transactions 33:20 JITOSOL 37:00 Solana Economics 42:00 Staking vs JITOSOL 45:40 Ethereum vs Solana 53:30 Jito Governance 59:15 Stakenet 1:05:40 Solana Governance 1:09:40 Choosing Solana 1:13:30 A Successful Network

------ RESOURCES

Lucas Bruder https://x.com/buffalu__?s=20 

Jito Labs https://www.jito.wtf/ 

Explorer https://explorer.jito.wtf/ 

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://bankless.com/disclosures 


Zcash Foundation

Polling ZCAP: ZCG Election, ZCG Compensation & Zcash Ecosystem Funding

Today, we opened a Helios poll of the Zcash Community Advisory Panel (ZCAP), which will run until December 31st. The purpose of this poll is threefold:  Elections to the Zcash Community Grants Committee Members of the Zcash Community Grants (ZCG) committee are elected by the Zcash Community Advisory Panel, and serve a one year term. […] The post Polling ZCAP: ZCG Election, ZCG Compensation

Today, we opened a Helios poll of the Zcash Community Advisory Panel (ZCAP), which will run until December 31st. The purpose of this poll is threefold: 

to fill three seats on the Zcash Community Grants committee,  to solicit feedback from the community on a proposal to pay a stipend to ZCG committee members, and  to assess community sentiment on the question of whether a new funding mechanism should be introduced to replace (or extend) the current Dev Fund when it expires in November 2024. 

Elections to the Zcash Community Grants Committee

Members of the Zcash Community Grants (ZCG) committee are elected by the Zcash Community Advisory Panel, and serve a one year term. Three of the current members’ terms are expiring at the end of this year. Last month, we invited candidates to express their interest in serving on the committee.

Five candidates are standing for three seats on the committee. Here is the list of candidates, with links to their candidacy announcements on the Zcash community forum: 

Jason McGee Michael Harms Roosevelt Gordones Amber O’Hearn Kworks

Last Thursday, the candidates took part in a Community Call, during which they introduced themselves and answered questions from the Zcash community. You can watch a recording of the call on Youtube.

ZCAP members should check their mailbox for instructions on how to vote. In the past, Helios emails have sometimes been flagged as spam, so if you can’t find the instructions please check your Spam folder. 

Good luck to all the candidates, and thank you for volunteering to serve on the ZCG committee! 

​​Funding ZCG Committee Members’ Stipend

Since its inception, the Zcash Foundation has provided a stipend to members of the Zcash Community Grants committee. Last month, we shared the news that this stipend would be reduced from its current level of $1,725 USD to $650 USD (paid in ZEC). 

Several community members have expressed concerns that this reduction may have a detrimental impact on the Zcash Community Grants program. ZCG committee member GGuy has proposed that the stipend be maintained at its current level by funding it from the Major Grants slice of the Dev Fund. 

Therefore, we are putting the following question to ZCAP: Do you support amending ZIP 1014 to provide a stipend of $115 USD per hour (up to a monthly maximum of $1,725 USD) to be paid in ZEC to ZCG Committee members from the Major Grants slice of the Dev Fund? 

Forum discussion of this proposal can be found here.

If ZCAP approves this proposal, we will draft an amendment to ZIP 1014 to permit for a stipend to be paid from the Major Grants slice, with the hourly rate and cap to be set or changed by ZCAP poll. Note that the text of the amendment will be finalized by the Zcash Foundation after the results of the ZCAP poll are known, and following consultation with legal counsel. 

If ZCAP approves the stipend, it is expected that any time for which ZCG Committee members claim the stipend would be in furtherance of the stated purpose of the Major Grants slice of the Dev Fund, and the ZCG Committee, as set forth in ZIP 1014. 

If approved, the stipend will be subject to the same policies that govern similar payments by ZF, and may be subject to veto if the Foundation judges them to violate U.S. law or the ZF’s reporting requirements and other (current or future) obligations under applicable U.S. Internal Revenue Services (IRS) regulations.

Assessing Community Sentiment Regarding the Future of Zcash Ecosystem Funding

Earlier this year, members of the Zcash community began discussing what should happen after the current Dev Fund sunsets in late 2024. In October, we published a blog post explaining how the Zcash Foundation will support the Zcash community in debating and deciding whether or not to institute a new ecosystem funding mechanism. 

During discussions on the Zcash Community Forum and community-organized Twitter Space discussions, some strong opinions have been expressed both for and against the concept of renewing or replacing the current Dev Fund. 

To help obtain more clarity regarding the future of funding in the Zcash ecosystem, we are initiating an advisory poll of ZCAP on this question: In principle, would you support the introduction of a new funding mechanism to replace the current Dev Fund when it expires in November 2024? 

We hope that the result of this advisory poll (which will be released alongside the results of the ZCG election in early January) will help move discussion about Zcash ecosystem funding forward, and help community members draft more specific proposals in early 2024. 

The post Polling ZCAP: ZCG Election, ZCG Compensation & Zcash Ecosystem Funding appeared first on Zcash Foundation.


a16z Podcast

Text to Video: The Next Leap in AI Generation

General Partner Anjney Midha explores the cutting-edge world of text-to-video AI with AI researchers Andreas Blattmann and Robin Rombach.  Released in November, Stable Video Diffusion is their latest open-source generative video model, overcoming challenges in size and dynamic representation. In this episode Robin and Andreas share why translating text to video is complex, the key role of d

General Partner Anjney Midha explores the cutting-edge world of text-to-video AI with AI researchers Andreas Blattmann and Robin Rombach. 

Released in November, Stable Video Diffusion is their latest open-source generative video model, overcoming challenges in size and dynamic representation.

In this episode Robin and Andreas share why translating text to video is complex, the key role of datasets, current applications, and the future of video editing.

Topics Covered: 

00:00 - Text to Video: The Next Leap in AI Generation

02:41 - The Stable Diffusion backstory

04:25 - Diffusion vs autoregressive models

06:09 - The benefits of single step sampling

09:15 - Why generative video?

11:19 - Understanding physics through AI video

12:20 - The challenge of creating generative video

15:36 - Data set selection and training

17:50 - Structural consistency and 3D objects

19:50 - Incorporating LoRAs

21:24 - How should creators think about these tools?

23:46 - Open challenges in video generation 

25:42 - Infrastructure challenges and future research 

Resources: 

Find Robin on Twitter: https://twitter.com/robrombach

Find Andreas on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andi_blatt

Find Anjney on Twitter: https://twitter.com/anjneymidha

Stay Updated: 

Find a16z on Twitter: https://twitter.com/a16z

Find a16z on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/a16z

Subscribe on your favorite podcast app: https://a16z.simplecast.com/

Follow our host: https://twitter.com/stephsmithio

Please note that the content here is for informational purposes only; should NOT be taken as legal, business, tax, or investment advice or be used to evaluate any investment or security; and is not directed at any investors or potential investors in any a16z fund. a16z and its affiliates may maintain investments in the companies discussed. For more details please see a16z.com/disclosures.

Tuesday, 19. December 2023

Panther Protocol

Weekly Update | Panther Protocol

Fellow Panthers, Another productive week in the world of Panther, And it's time to share all important developments from the last week: Communication Updates BitMart Lists Zero-Knowledge DeFi Pioneer Panther Protocol's $ZKP We are excited to announce Panther Protocol's $ZKP listing on BitMart, a

Fellow Panthers,

Another productive week in the world of Panther, And it's time to share all important developments from the last week:

Communication Updates

BitMart Lists Zero-Knowledge DeFi Pioneer Panther Protocol's $ZKP

We are excited to announce Panther Protocol's $ZKP listing on BitMart, a leading cryptocurrency exchange operating in over 180 countries. This listing is part of our ongoing effort focused on strategic partnerships and exchange listings before our V1 Mainnet launch, aimed at providing improved accessibility, various trading options, and a more efficient, cost-effective transaction experience for our community members and $ZKP holders.

Complete announcement here.

Panther Protocol Testnet and Rewards Update

Number of current testnet users: 420 Total rewards distributed: 140,000 $ZKP

The proposed total amount of Testnet rewards is 1.5M $ZKP, with an additional 0.5M $ZKP in reserve to cover any additional rewards, if necessary.

Have you signed up for our testnet yet? Sign up here to join our community and receive your $ZKP rewards.

Product Updates

Stage 3 Developments

Stage 3 development is complete, and internal testing has begun. The Stage 3 release consists of the following elements:

Whitelisting additional assets: Testnet users can now deposit test Matic in addition to test ZKPs into Panther's Multi-Asset Shielded Pool. Account level Gas $zZKP: When it comes to $ZKP, users can now deposit and store $ZKP either as a zAsset ($zZKP) or as a zAccount Gas (Gas $zZKP). At the time of deposit, testnet users will have the flexibility to divide their ZKP deposit amount between the two. The Gas $zZKP can be used to pay for Protocol fees and others, including Relayers, Oshiya, and any external services that enhance protocol services beyond the core.

Testnet Rewards update

Onboarding Rewards: To better compensate our testnet users, we have increased onboarding rewards to 3000 PRPs. Refill Voucher: We have further increased the refill voucher to 500 PRPs for the testnet users.

Gear up for the announcement of Stage 3. We'll soon unveil detailed steps on how to use testnet Stage 3. Stay tuned!

Community Questions

When will Stage 3 and Stage 4 be launched?

We are excited to announce that Stage 3 is expected to launch this week. Additionally, we are on track to unveil Stage 4 this month.

About Panther

Panther remains dedicated to its vision of a cross-protocol layer leveraging zero-knowledge technology. Our goal is to create DeFi solutions that not only meet regulatory requirements but also respect and protect on-chain data privacy. As we continue to make progress, we remain committed to enabling seamless access to DeFi and fostering a diverse, cross-chain ecosystem.

Stay tuned for more updates, and thank you for your continuous support and belief in our mission.

Website · One-pager · Lite Paper · Twitter · Telegram · Discord


bankless

Ryan Selkis Shares His 2024 Crypto Predictions

Joining us today is Ryan Selkis, who is here to walk us through his crypto thesis for 2024.  We cover big investment themes, people to watch, the future of stablecoins, policy takes and so much more in this wide ranging episode. ----- 🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT   ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 🐙KRAKEN | MOST-

Joining us today is Ryan Selkis, who is here to walk us through his crypto thesis for 2024. 

We cover big investment themes, people to watch, the future of stablecoins, policy takes and so much more in this wide ranging episode.

----- 🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT   ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2   ⁠

🦊METAMASK PORTFOLIO | MANAGE YOUR WEB3 EVERYTHING ⁠https://bankless.cc/MetaMask  

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

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo  

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/Toku  

🌐 Layer Zero V2 Launch https://bankless.cc/LayerZeroLabs  

------ TIMESTAMPS

00:00:00 Intro 00:05:11 Recapping 2023 00:07:50 Are We In A Bull Market? 00:12:09 Investment Trends 00:16:48 BTC ETF Winners 00:20:03 Ether 2024 Predictions 00:26:57 BTC Security Model 00:33:06 Investment Strategy 00:36:56 VC and Private Markets 00:42:28 IPO's and M&A's 00:45:04 People To Watch 00:50:56 Why Does Elizabeth Warren Hate Crypto? 00:57:54 Grayscale 01:04:55 Products to Use in 2024 01:07:00 USDC Flips USDT? 01:11:32 Coinbase and BASE 01:15:46 Crypto Money 01:21:17 Privacy 01:27:54 How Crypto Wins In The US 01:40:07 The Political Bull Case 01:44:42 What's Most Exciting

------ RESOURCES

Ryan Selkis https://twitter.com/twobitidiot 

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://bankless.com/disclosures 

Monday, 18. December 2023

Zcash

Stewarding a new season at ECC

It’s my great honor to be asked to lead ECC as CEO. I want to thank Zooko for everything he’s […] The post Stewarding a new season at ECC appeared first on Electric Coin Company.

It’s my great honor to be asked to lead ECC as CEO.

I want to thank Zooko for everything he’s taught me in the six years that I’ve known him. I have deep respect and admiration for Zooko and his contributions to this industry and to mankind. He is a truly remarkable human. There will only ever be one Zooko. 

Zcash is a special project. Its purpose to empower economic freedom is wholesome and good. Its legacy is indelible. The innovation within and the talent behind it are undeniable. That it flourishes is vital. All the earth must have access to private, self-sovereign money if we are to be free.

To realize it, we must begin to move into a new season with a different rhythm. Our focus will be to find product-market fit. That will require a continuous and iterative process of observation, hypotheses development, and testing. We will work with you to invent new things.

This will be a time of wide-eyed discovery, experimentation, and pulling our strengths together to make magic happen. We will be one team, in concert with one another, rapidly ideating and iterating, while working collaboratively with many across the Zcash and crypto ecosystem.

My near term priorities are threefold:

Remove friction and barriers, at ECC and within the community, that impede our ability to iterate quickly Focus efforts to exponentially increase Zcash utility through user-focused products and continual feedback Secure ECC financial sustainability so we can deliver more, for longer

In support of these priorities, a few changes will immediately take effect:

We will optimize ECC’s organizational structure to support efficiency and improve the likelihood of our success. Internal processes and policies will change to support increased focus, empowerment, and voice.

While I have been asked by ECC to formally help forge a new path ahead, ECC is only one participant in the Zcash community. Realizing a renewed Zcash requires a chorus of voices, both within ECC and across the Zcash community. I look forward to collaborating with you.

I’d like to thank Zooko and the other Bootstrap (ECC parent) Board members, including Alan Fairless, Christina Garman, Michelle Lai, and Zaki Manian, for your leadership, and thoughtfulness. This trust is the honor of my professional life.

I’d also like to thank the many of you across the community who have engaged with me in recent weeks on the future of Zcash — ideating, dreaming, encouraging, and collaborating. You know who you are, and you’re invaluable both to me and this legacy we’re collectively building with Zcash. We all need each other, now more than ever. Let’s go!

Josh

The post Stewarding a new season at ECC appeared first on Electric Coin Company.


Welcoming a new season at ECC: A message from the Bootstrap Board of Directors

We are writing to share some significant news regarding the Electric Coin Company (ECC) and our path ahead. We are […] The post Welcoming a new season at ECC: A message from the Bootstrap Board of Directors appeared first on Electric Coin Company.

We are writing to share some significant news regarding the Electric Coin Company (ECC) and our path ahead. We are opening a new chapter in our story, with a new strategic roadmap, under new leadership.

Since 2015, when ECC (then known as the Zcash Company) was formed, Zooko has been our leader — and one of the most important and revered figures in the crypto and blockchain universe. Under his leadership, ECC launched Zcash in 2016 and since then has contributed groundbreaking technology that underpins Zcash — and a majority of respected crypto projects that exist today.

A few highlights: 

In Zcash, ECC delivered the first real-world application of zero-knowledge proofs, a novel method by which one party (the prover) can prove to another (the verifier) that a statement is true, without revealing any information beyond the validity of the statement itself. This is one of the most important contributions to blockchain tech since 2008.  The Sapling upgrade for Zcash made mobile-wallet shielded transactions possible for the first time, paving the way for broader adoption of private money. Halo, a cryptographic breakthrough, is a zero-knowledge proving system that enables recursion without a trusted setup in an efficient way. Halo on Zcash made trustless, private digital cash payments on mobile phones possible for the first time. 

Now, it’s time to start a new chapter. Josh Swihart, formerly SVP of Growth at ECC, will return to ECC and take over the reins from Zooko as CEO. He will be responsible for all strategic and tactical decisions. Zooko will remain in his role as a director on the board of the Bootstrap Project, the parent company of ECC. And first, he will take some much-deserved time off. Together, we will fully support and enable Josh to lead ECC into a new chapter of service to humanity.

Fulfilling our mission of economic freedom requires not just groundbreaking technology, but also great products that bring joy to the people who use them. So today we’re excited to redouble our focus on the Zcash user, and we feel confident in Josh’s leadership — in finding product-market fit, unlocking new partnerships and collaboration, improving Zcash usability, and increasing adoption. 

In addition to a vision for ECC and an optimistic passion for Zcash, Josh has a strong entrepreneurial, technical, and product background. He is committed to fostering broad inclusivity within the Zcash community, and he’ll share more on that with you shortly.

We have challenging but exciting days ahead. We’re here for it. Thank you for standing with us.

Warm regards,

The Bootstrap (ECC parent) Board of Directors: Alan Fairless, Christina Garman, Michelle Lai, Zooko Wilcox, and Zaki Manian

The post Welcoming a new season at ECC: A message from the Bootstrap Board of Directors appeared first on Electric Coin Company.


Circle Press

Circle and Fuze Sign Strategic Partnership

Circle to collaborate with UAE’s regulated digital assets infrastructure provider, Fuze, to expand the use of USDC across the Middle East and Africa

Circle to collaborate with UAE’s regulated digital assets infrastructure provider, Fuze, to expand the use of USDC across the Middle East and Africa


Zcash Foundation

The Zcash Foundation’s Q3 2023 Report

The Zcash Foundation is committed to transparency and openness with the Zcash community and our other stakeholders. Today we are releasing our Q3 2023 report, which provides an overview of the work undertaken by the Zcash Foundation’s engineering team, as well as an overview of other activities during this period. The report also provides a […] The post The Zcash Foundation’s Q3 2023 Report appe

The Zcash Foundation is committed to transparency and openness with the Zcash community and our other stakeholders. Today we are releasing our Q3 2023 report, which provides an overview of the work undertaken by the Zcash Foundation’s engineering team, as well as an overview of other activities during this period.

The report also provides a financial update, describing our income and expenditure, with a detailed breakdown of our expenses, and a snapshot of the Foundation’s financial position, in terms of liquid assets and liabilities that must be met using those assets.

You can download the Q3 2023 report here.

Our previous quarterly reports can be found here.

The post The Zcash Foundation’s Q3 2023 Report appeared first on Zcash Foundation.


Circle Press

EURC Launches on Solana

The Leading Euro-Backed Digital Currency is Now Available on Solana, Enabling Real-Time, Global Payments and 24/7 FX

The Leading Euro-Backed Digital Currency is Now Available on Solana, Enabling Real-Time, Global Payments and 24/7 FX


bankless

201 - Garry Kasparov on Why Freedom Always Wins

✨ DEBRIEF | Ryan & David unpacking the episode: https://www.bankless.com/debrief-garry-kasparov  ----- Chess Legend and Freedom Fighter Garry Kasparov on AI, Geopolitics, and Crypto. One of the first people to experience machine intelligence in a profound way–greatest chess player in the world when he lost a match to IBM computer program Deep Blue in 1997—since then, humans have nev

✨ DEBRIEF | Ryan & David unpacking the episode: https://www.bankless.com/debrief-garry-kasparov 

----- Chess Legend and Freedom Fighter Garry Kasparov on AI, Geopolitics, and Crypto.

One of the first people to experience machine intelligence in a profound way–greatest chess player in the world when he lost a match to IBM computer program Deep Blue in 1997—since then, humans have never been able to beat machines in a game of chess.

The theme of this episode is Freedom. Garry’s optimism shines through on this topic. With experience in Geopolitics, Artificial Intelligence, and Human Rights, Garry Kasparov might just be the perfect guest to guide us through some very challenging topics that will likely define the rest of this decade, and beyond. 

----- 🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT  

----- 🌐 Layer Zero V2 Launch https://bankless.cc/LayerZeroLabs  

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2

🦊METAMASK PORTFOLIO | MANAGE YOUR WEB3 EVERYTHING ⁠https://bankless.cc/MetaMask

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

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo  

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/Toku  

------ TIMESTAMPS

0:00 Intro 9:00 Gary’s Background  20:45 Chess & AI  24:38 e/acc vs. d/acc 28:53 AI & Human History 37:40 Russia & Freedom 49:25 Can Democracy Win?  56:32 Defining Evil 59:31 Garry on Crypto 1:03:00 Leadership  1:08:50 Biggest Threat to Freedom? 1:17:53 Crypto & Human Rights 1:21:01 Garry’s Human Rights Fight 1:29:15 Garry’s Advice  1:33:05 Closing & Disclaimers

------ RESOURCES

Garry Kasparov https://twitter.com/Kasparov63  

Human Rights Foundation https://hrf.org/  

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://bankless.com/disclosures 

Saturday, 16. December 2023

Epicenter Podcast

Aki Balogh: DLC Link – Self-Wrapped Bitcoin (dlcBTC)

gnosis.ioUnlike Ethereum ‘programmable money’, Bitcoin lacks native smart contracts by design. In an attempt to expand Bitcoin past its store of value narrative, wrapper contracts provided wBTC on other chains for DeFi applications. However, wBTC does not directly represent the native asset and it is, therefore, subject to potential exploits. DLC Link introduces a novel approach, by allowing entit

gnosis.ioUnlike Ethereum ‘programmable money’, Bitcoin lacks native smart contracts by design. In an attempt to expand Bitcoin past its store of value narrative, wrapper contracts provided wBTC on other chains for DeFi applications. However, wBTC does not directly represent the native asset and it is, therefore, subject to potential exploits. DLC Link introduces a novel approach, by allowing entities to self-wrap dlcBTC.

We were joined by Aki Balogh, co-founder of DLC Link, to discuss discreet log contracts, their trust assumptions and what they mean for Bitcoin’s use cases and liquidity.

Topics covered in this episode:

Aki’s background and switching from AI to crypto Discrete Log Contracts (dlc) Trust assumptions in dlc BTC bridges and dlc attesters The non-fungibility of dlcBTC Potential regulations Current status and roadmap Other BTC bridges

Episode links:

Aki Balogh on Twitter DLC Link on Twitter Epicenter's 10-year anniversary live stream

Sponsors:

Gnosis: Gnosis builds decentralized infrastructure for the Ethereum ecosystem, since 2015. This year marks the launch of Gnosis Pay— the world's first Decentralized Payment Network. Get started today at - gnosis.io Chorus1: Chorus1 is one of the largest node operators worldwide, supporting more than 100,000 delegators, across 45 networks. The recently launched OPUS allows staking up to 8,000 ETH in a single transaction. Enjoy the highest yields and institutional grade security at - chorus.one

This episode is hosted by Meher Roy. Show notes and listening options: epicenter.tv/526

Friday, 15. December 2023

Aztec Network

Developers told us how to improve the Aztec Sandbox. So we did.

Quality of life and bug fixes for Aztec’s local developer testnet A few months ago, we released the Aztec Sandbox at zkHack London. The Sandbox is a local developer testnet intended to be a first look into how Aztec will ultimately work: as a privacy-first Layer 2 on Ethereum. It allows developers to write Aztec-native smart contracts with public and private logic, testable in Aztec’s Priva
Quality of life and bug fixes for Aztec’s local developer testnet

A few months ago, we released the Aztec Sandbox at zkHack London.

The Sandbox is a local developer testnet intended to be a first look into how Aztec will ultimately work: as a privacy-first Layer 2 on Ethereum. It allows developers to write Aztec-native smart contracts with public and private logic, testable in Aztec’s Private Execution Environment (PXE).

In conjunction with our announcement, we quietly recruited multiple teams of developers to work closely with us to identify bugs in the Sandbox, expand its feature set, and begin experimenting with novel privacy primitives.

As a result of close collaboration with these pioneers, we are proud to announce a series of bug fixes, quality of life improvements, and other enhancements to the Sandbox.

Our Ambition

Our Sandbox announcement blog post called it “the most ambitious software release in Aztec Labs’ history.” And with great ambition comes great quality of life improvements.

So we’re thrilled to share some of the obstacles our developers have run into and the work we’ve done to improve Aztec’s DevEx in order to highlight the novel application design space enabled by our software.

Now that the Sandbox is more stabilized and feature complete, we will be welcoming folks into future rounds of feedback.

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the loop and get the latest with Noir, Sandbox, and Aztec Labs:

📰 Subscribe to the Aztec Developer Dispatch
Developer Experience Improvements

Early on, developers had to update a bunch of different pieces of software every time we pushed a new update. Docker, NPM packages, dependencies in nargo.toml, and more.

With the volume of updates we were (and still are) shipping — weekly on Tuesday — this quickly became very annoying. In fact, one of the major complaints about the Sandbox-and the reason this wasn’t an open-invite testnet-was the speed of iteration and the number of continuous changes.

So we designed a new update flow ( aztec-cli update) that updates all components in one go via a Docker-only install experience, instead of manually juggling 4 different components.

We also bundled nargo (the Noir package manager) as WASM in the Docker image in the new update flow. This removes the extra step of installing nargo for writing contracts, so developers can get right into writing Aztec.nr contracts.

We’ve also implemented a slow updates tree to make it easier to read historical public storage in private functions.

Many external developers kept running into this constraint — if a private function is reading from public data, it is conceivable that by the time the private function executes, the public data has changed. This is one nuance of working with a network that has both private and public state, but we wanted to make it easier for developers to handle this.

So as mentioned above, we’ve implemented a slow updates tree — this is a contract containing public data that won’t change within a predefined time interval (for example, ‘over the next epoch’ or ‘over the next 500 blocks’). As long as the transaction in question is executed before that time interval, the public data will stay constant as it’s read from the slow updates tree.

At any time during the epoch, devs can tell the tree to update their particular public values to a new value. This data is stored in a pending tree. Once the epoch is over, the slow updates tree gets updated to use the pending values. This should be a useful data structure for developers who want to explore the new design space opened up by public ←→ private interactions.

What’s in a name?

Finally, better names. We know that Aztec Labs has not historically been great at naming, so we’re trying to be better at it.

First, we’ve removed the term ‘commitment’ in favor of ‘note hashes’. This is just more intuitive, since the ‘commitment’ actually comes from the hashing of the note (in other words, by hashing a note, you commit to the contents of that note, since changing any of the contents will change the hash!).
We’ve also named the private execution environment of the network as PXE (or ‘pixie’), instead of the other candidate name that we almost went with (PEE…).

Tutorials and Examples

The challenges of working with a completely new execution environment are not lost on us, so we’ve also been creating additional references for developers exploring a new ecosystem like Aztec’s. Here are some of the improvements we’ve made for tutorials and accompanying examples:

More examples of custom notes — our network abstracts away a lot of the complexities associated with UTXOs, note commitments, and nullifiers. But custom notes are still hard to grasp without examples. So we created a few more examples! AddressNote and FieldNote are two examples of custom notes that should help developers grasp the note structures. Aztec boxes — our version of Truffle Boxes. Essentially, a package with a dedicated user interface showing developers how to use Aztec.js and how to write Aztec contracts. These Aztec boxes act as a reference for developers to install and see how the different components interact to help create full stack apps. Portal tutorial, using Uniswap — Aztec portals are one of the most unique features of the Aztec L2. Portals allow for direct interactions with Ethereum, privately. In other words, no one can know where the transaction is coming from, besides the fact that it is coming from somewhere on Aztec.

(Long time followers may recognize this type of functionality as Aztec Connect, a previous iteration of our network. The Aztec network gets Aztec Connect functionality, out of the box!)

Tactically, portals are smart contracts written in Solidity that are related to the Ethereum smart contract that is being interacted with. This Uniswap tutorial helps developers understand how to use these portals to interact with L1 applications from the Aztec L2.

Smashing Bugs

Finally, bug fixes. There are always going to be a lot of bugs in new software, and the Sandbox is no exception.

Here are a few of the bugs that we’ve fixed recently:

If the length of a note was incorrect in the compute_note_hash_and_nullifier method, developers would just get a ‘no method found’ error We weren’t properly deserializing arrays of structs Multiple things broke in the Sandbox — here is one Example The sequencer would go into an infinite loop when duplicate nullifiers were submitted Here are all of the bugs we’ve fixed in the past 2 months

Hopefully, it’s clear that we’ve been busy making the Aztec ecosystem a more enjoyable place for developers to explore the design space opened up by programmable privacy. These improvements should meaningfully improve the quality of the developer experience for interacting with the Aztec Sandbox, and in due time, the Aztec network.

We are committed to improving the intuitiveness of our execution environment and continuously upgrading our documentation (look at this activity!). All of this work is a result of listening to the challenges that the Aztec developer community is facing, fixing problems transparently, and working diligently to create a credibly neutral network with programmable privacy.

To our partners

We couldn’t do it without you. You chose to chew glass and soldier through weekly updates, breaking changes, bugs, all to make privacy more intuitive for others. Thank you:

Aragon ZK Research Colin Nielsen DeFi Wonderland Mach34 Philogy Puzzle Resurgence Labs Zach Obront

If you’re a developer interested in testing the Sandbox in partnership with Aztec and gain access to resources, funding, and early partnership on our privacy-first Layer 2 on Ethereum, stay tuned. We’ll be opening up Sandbox partnerships soon.

We hope you’ll join us for the ride.

Get started with the Aztec Sandbox.

Apply for grants.

Originally published at https://aztec.network on December 7, 2023.

Developers told us how to improve the Aztec Sandbox. So we did. was originally published in The Aztec Labs Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


bankless

ROLLUP: Fed Pivot | Ledger Scare | New Warren Bill | Airdrop Szn

Bankless Weekly Rollup 2nd Week of December 2023 ----- 🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT   ----- 🌐 Layer Zero V2 Launch https://bankless.cc/LayerZeroLabs   ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2   ⁠ 🦊METAMASK PORTFOLIO | MANAGE YOUR W

Bankless Weekly Rollup 2nd Week of December 2023

----- 🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT  

----- 🌐 Layer Zero V2 Launch https://bankless.cc/LayerZeroLabs  

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2   ⁠

🦊METAMASK PORTFOLIO | MANAGE YOUR WEB3 EVERYTHING ⁠https://bankless.cc/MetaMask  

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

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo  

🗣️TOKU | CRYPTO EMPLOYMENT SOLUTION https://bankless.cc/Toku  

------ TIMESTAMPS & Resources

0:00 Intro

3:55  Markets https://blockworks.co/news/satoshi-nakamoto-last-online   https://ultrasound.money/   https://www.coingecko.com/en/global-charts   https://l2beat.com/scaling/summary   https://www.coingecko.com/  

11:55 The Fed Pivots & Predictions  https://www.nytimes.com/2023/12/13/business/economy/federal-reserve-interest-rates.html   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2023-12-13/fed-s-powell-leans-into-rate-cuts-stok  https://x.com/BloombergTV/status/1735029792511082982      https://imgur.com/UR6UhrA  https://imgur.com/gJeKA0J  https://twitter.com/twobitidiot/status/1733315999615574391  https://twitter.com/RasterlyRock/status/1734956139580936658 

22:53 Airdrop Szn https://x.com/StarknetFndn/status/1733101666357100992  https://x.com/LayerZero_Labs/status/1732862812710449466  https://x.com/TrustlessState/status/1730623451323322383  https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/celestia  https://x.com/wronguser000/status/1734894958497181939  https://x.com/RyanSAdams/status/1733244396303163462 

27:52 Ledger Scare https://x.com/bantg/status/1735279127752540465   https://x.com/hudsonjameson/status/1735283602340843757  https://twitter.com/Mudit__Gupta/status/1735301007188406681  

32:00 Elizabeth Warren Bill https://x.com/BitcoinMagazine/status/1732844381143539725  https://twitter.com/NeerajKA/status/1734305528187109584 

41:09 Pudgy World https://twitter.com/pudgypenguins/status/1733672528453705819 https://www.pudgyworld.com/  https://twitter.com/icebergy_/status/1733682163692769491 

42:54 Coinbase’s Project Diamond https://www.coinbase.com/blog/coinbase-and-coinbase-asset-management-announce-project-diamond-a-smart   https://blockworks.co/news/coinbase-responsible-defi-development  

45:00 VanEck $HODL BTC ETF  https://x.com/EricBalchunas/status/1733126301622435881 

46:42 Cheap L2s https://twitter.com/EclipseFND/status/1734966671457329478  https://x.com/Immutable/status/173505808602364326 

49:00 The IRS wants $24B from FTX… BEFORE the creditors https://www.theblock.co/post/267102/ftx-says-irs-demand-for-24-billion-in-unpaid-taxes-is-delaying-recovery-of-user-funds  https://twitter.com/mdudas/status/1734323699187155171  https://x.com/GaryGensler/status/1733231711725527217 

55:23 Meme of The Week https://imgur.com/GE7iZOL  https://twitter.com/route2fi/status/1733250454560141455 

57:29 Closing & Disclaimers https://bankless.com/disclosures 

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://bankless.com/disclosures 


a16z Podcast

2024 Big Ideas: Voice-First Apps, AI Moats, Never-Ending Games, and Anime Takes Off

Voice-First Apps, AI Moats, Never-Ending Games, and Anime. We asked over 40 partners across a16z to preview one big idea they believe will drive innovation in 2024. Here in our 3-part series, you’ll hear directly from partners across all our verticals, as we dive even more deeply into these ideas. What’s the why now? Who is already building in these spaces? What opportunities and challenges are o

Voice-First Apps, AI Moats, Never-Ending Games, and Anime. We asked over 40 partners across a16z to preview one big idea they believe will drive innovation in 2024.

Here in our 3-part series, you’ll hear directly from partners across all our verticals, as we dive even more deeply into these ideas. What’s the why now? Who is already building in these spaces? What opportunities and challenges are on the horizon? And how can you get involved?

Timecodes:

00:00 - Big Ideas in Tech 2024

01:39 - Big Idea: Voice-First Apps Will Become Integral to Our Lives

04:14 - The limiting factors of voice technology

05:27 - What would a voice-first app look like? 

06:52 - Voice tech for companionship and productivity 

08:05 - The primary modality voice applications

10:08 - How builders and founders can integrate voice technology

13:31 - Big Idea: The Consumer AI Battleground Moves from Model to UX

15:49 - How user experience can contribute toward building a moat

17:57 - The commoditization of models

19:55 - How should builders differentiate between model and experience?

22:58 - Breakout examples for 2024

25:10 - Open source vs closed source

26:44 - The impact of applications splitting from the infrastructure layer

28:14 - Big Idea: AI-First Games That Never End

29:59 -Generative AI in gaming and AI native games

31:12 - Introducing generative agents as game companions 

33:57 - Does the gaming community want hyper personalization?

38:00 - New entrants vs the incumbents

41:57 - How business models and cost structures are evolving

46:21 - Advice for game builders in 2024

48:03 - Big Idea: Anime Games Go Mainstream

49:28 - What defines anime?

52:05 - Anime’s monetization strategy and how it differs from other genres

54:04 - Why are we seeing a rise in anime?

55:56 - What is required to be successful in anime

58:20 - AI, XR and inventing the next wave of anime

 

Resources:

View all 40+ big ideas: https://a16z.com/bigideas2024

 

Stay Updated: 

Find a16z on Twitter: https://twitter.com/a16z

Find a16z on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/a16z

Subscribe on your favorite podcast app: https://a16z.simplecast.com/

Follow our host: https://twitter.com/stephsmithio

Please note that the content here is for informational purposes only; should NOT be taken as legal, business, tax, or investment advice or be used to evaluate any investment or security; and is not directed at any investors or potential investors in any a16z fund. a16z and its affiliates may maintain investments in the companies discussed. For more details please see a16z.com/disclosures.

Thursday, 14. December 2023

Nym - Medium

Introducing Nym Squads

Meet the top graduates of the incentivised Shipyard privacy academy. This autumn, Nym held possibly the world’s largest ever online privacy academy: Shipyard. Core team, experts and star guests gave well-attended live-streamed lectures, while core community members held workshops on privacy technologies and the Nym stack. Languages: Türkçe // Bahasa Indonesia // Español // Русский // 中
Meet the top graduates of the incentivised Shipyard privacy academy.

This autumn, Nym held possibly the world’s largest ever online privacy academy: Shipyard. Core team, experts and star guests gave well-attended live-streamed lectures, while core community members held workshops on privacy technologies and the Nym stack.

Languages: Türkçe // Bahasa Indonesia // Español // Русский // 中文 // 日本

The final stage completed two weeks ago and it’s time to spotlight some of the top graduates to have come out of the programme: the winners of Nym Shipyard Level 3.

Meet the Nym squads during the last community call of this year, Friday 15th December at 3pm UTC.

Shipyard Level 3 took place across three tracks: builder, operator and visionary. Participants could follow whichever tracks they wished to based on their skills and enthusiasm — or even follow all three.

By the end of the final two weeks…

Builders were invited to submit a project for selection by the Nym DevRel team Operators were invited to submit a node for the Delegations Programme Visionaries were invited to submit impact proposals either as an individual “Nymja” or as a “Squad” — organisations based on camaraderie, shared enthusiasm, group chats and multi-sigs. (If you want to dive deeper into squads, have a read of this…)

Many community members met new people during Shipyard and formed Nym Squads as operators, builders or visionaries.

But you might be wondering what is a squad?? Squads are an organisational form based on camaraderie, shared enthusiasm, group chats and multi-sigs. If you want to dive deeper, have a read here…
How were the winners selected?

Several squads submitted great projects across all three tracks. Winners were shortlisted by the team of track leads, with final winners selected by core team leadership on the basis of quality, completeness and to ensure a good spread across competencies and geographies.

3 builder projects were approved 100 node operators have been selected for the Delegations Programme out of more than 300 applicants and have been notified individually 28 squads have been selected focusing on building software, building community, and building network capacity

Thank you to everyone who applied. Due to the quality of applications Nym rewarded 28 squads instead of the initially planned 10!

This is just the first round, so even if you weren’t successful this time, get ready to organise for next year — where new opportunities will open for promising squads and node operators.

Winning squads: spotlight

To give you a taste of some of the winning squads, here are a few of the most outstanding proposals:

TupiNymQuim Squad

One of the top-performing squads was TupiNymQuim of Brazil. Not only did they apply with a high-quality impact proposal strongly rooted in their community, they also built a Nym integration with Brave during the Shipyard Level 3 hackathon:

Incognito Search

Congratulations!

Rawbox Squad

Rawbox were another top performer, developing a strong proposal to create a Nym router with the mission to “create a basic physical infrastructure for a new generation of decentralized internet.” The RawBox router will be based on OPNsense (FOSS enterprise-grade firewall), BTCPay Server, and Nym services.

Congratulations!

LunarDao Squad

LunarDao Squad hardly needs an introduction among those who have been working and advocating for privacy online. LunarDAO is one of the first truly anonymous decentralised organisations with a main focus on collective investment into privacy projects, while also focusing on education and Lunarpunk culture. An important ecosystem partner for Nym, they enable Nym engagement and adoption among Web3 privacy OGs and newbies alike.

CoinMetrika

If you’re familiar with the crypto scene of the CIS region, or have had a closer look at the nodes making up the Nym mixnet in the network explorer, CoinMetrika may ring a bell. Long-time Nym supporters and node operators, CoinMetrika is a popular Russian-speaking group focused on crypto education and running validators for various blockchain projects. As part of their Squad Grant, CoinMetrika is joining the Nym Delegations Programme as Russian-speaking mentors, and will spread the word about Nym and its mission within the CIS region.

Smaller grants were awarded to squads who are just starting out with their local communities. These included:

Ukraine Privacy Alliance Squad

The UPA squad (not to be confused with the Universal Privacy Alliance) was formed by the growing Ukrainian community. Their objectives include setting up nodes and producing educational material in Ukrainian, pursuing local partnerships and more. Nym has a long-standing relationship with Ukraine as reported so it is only fitting to boost the local community and Ukrainian language content!

WSA Squad (Web3 Safety Advancers)

The WSA Squad was set up by Nymja cadets in Bangladesh to educate the local Web3 community on privacy. The grant will enable them to set up nodes and begin education on Nym and privacy in the region!

Privacy Warriors Squad

The Privacy Warriors squad was formed by Turkish Nym community members with the aim of establishing partnerships with Turkish universities, holding events and creating Nym Turkish language content and educational material. The Turkish community is one of the largest and most active communities around Nym and this will help level up the resources and events available to strengthen the community and make it increasingly autonomous.

And finally the top reward goes to…

The top reward of 100,000 NYM tokens went to outstanding community member Pawnflake for building ExploreNym!

See also: Community spotlight: introducing Explore Nym & Delegation Advisor

Last year, Pawnflake joined the very first Shipyard Academy and went from being a full time gamer to teaching himself how to code and growing his skills to become a pillar of the Nym community. Pawnflake will be leading mentorship in the Nym Delegations Programme.

Congratulations and a huge thank you to Pawnflake for all his work, enthusiasm and dedication to the Nym mission!

These are just a handful of the many incredible projects — scroll down to the bottom of this post for the full list of fantastic winners.

Nym Shipyard: what next?

Shipyard was just the beginning of training and preparing the Nym community for next year. Nym will be launching its first commercial application, the NymVPN, on the mixnet. This means everyone will need to step up to prove that this powerful privacy infrastructure is run by a strong community of operators and token stakers.

Squads will play a crucial role in 2024, increasingly responsible for autonomously leading the Nym communities across the world. They will act as hubs of knowledge, running channels, running high-quality nodes, organising builders and beta-testers, running workshops, hackathons and more. Each squad will be unique, shaped by the talents of the founding members.

Be among the first to find out more — peek into 2024 on Friday, 15 December for the last Nym community call of 2023!

Full list of winning squads

An enormous 104 squads submitted impact proposals. Out of these, 28 were selected as the top applicants. Here’s the full list:

Top winner

ExploreNYM

Best in class — Nine squads stood out for their professionalism, already proving their value and having clear objectives for work in 2024:

TupiNymQuim Rawbox LunarDAO CraftoNym Privacy Rebels DAOariwas CoinMetrika NODERS Build With Nym

Good — Ten squads submitted very good proposals. They will be awarded a smaller prize and encouraged to clarify their objectives for 2024.

PAROP(Participatory-action-research online privacy) NymAfrik PRISM TopsecretDAO G pointDAO Vietnam Loves Privacy AnonNYMous Ukraine Privacy Alliance WSA Privacy Warriors

Token of appreciation — Eight squads are granted a small token of appreciation for the effort they put into their proposals and encouraged to stake their tokens, develop their ideas more and stay tuned for the next opportunity!

CipherGuardians Crypto LaoZI team NYM Gang QuantumPrivacy Crypto Davy Nym Arabia Casper BorderTeam

Tune in to the final community call of 2023 to meet the Nym squads — streaming Friday 15 December at 3pm UTC.

Join the Nym Community

Discord // Telegram // Element // Twitter

Privacy loves company

English // 中文 // Русский // Türkçe // Tiếng Việt // 日本 // Française // Español // Português // 한국인

Introducing Nym Squads was originally published in nymtech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


bankless

Kraken's CEO on Their Battle Against The SEC

Kraken is one of the two most important exchanges in the US right now, it's also an essential bridge across many other jurisdictions. Recently Kraken has come under fire by the SEC for the second time this year. In today’s episode we're joined by Kraken CEO, Dave Ripley. Dave walks us through what it's like to take the reigns of one of the largest US crypto exchanges and how he plans to naviga

Kraken is one of the two most important exchanges in the US right now, it's also an essential bridge across many other jurisdictions. Recently Kraken has come under fire by the SEC for the second time this year.

In today’s episode we're joined by Kraken CEO, Dave Ripley. Dave walks us through what it's like to take the reigns of one of the largest US crypto exchanges and how he plans to navigate the constant battles they have to face from US regulators. 

----- 🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2  ⁠

🦊METAMASK PORTFOLIO | MANAGE YOUR WEB3 EVERYTHING ⁠https://bankless.cc/MetaMask  

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

👾GMX | V2 IS NOW LIVE  https://bankless.cc/GMX 

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo  

🦄UNISWAP | ON-CHAIN MARKETPLACE ⁠https://bankless.cc/uniswap 

------ TIMESTAMPS

00:00 Intro 04:27 Regulatory Action Around Kraken 09:27 Is This a PR Stunt By The SEC? 11:31 "Co-Mingling Funds" & Fighting The SEC 16:28 Hostility Towards Crypto 21:03 Leaving The US? 24:32 Getting To Know the New CEO 28:50 Finding Bitcoin In 2013 32:48 Kraken Values 38:40 Custody & Proof Of Reserves 42:18 Kraken Endgame

------ RESOURCES

Dave Ripley: https://twitter.com/DavidLRipley 

Why Kraken: https://www.kraken.com/why-kraken 

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://bankless.com/disclosures 


Brave Browser

Introducing EIP-6963 support for a more open and seamless Brave Wallet experience

Working in collaboration with other ETH wallet providers, Brave Wallet users will now be able to connect many wallets to a DApp seamlessly without browser profile workarounds or hidden configuration settings.

This post describes work done at Brave by Senior Security Engineer Kyle Den Hartog, Senior Software Engineer Oleg Isupov, Senior Software Engineer iOS Stephen Heaps, and Principal Software Engineer Anthony Tseng. In addition, we would also like to thank the co-authors of EIP-6963 for helping to find an interoperable solution to this long standing issue. In particular, thank you to Pedro Gomes (@pedrouid), Kosala Hemachandra (@kvhnuke), Richard Moore (@ricmoo), Gregory Markou (@GregTheGreek), Kyle Den Hartog (@kdenhartog), Glitch (@glitch-txs), Jake Moxey (@jxom), Pierre Bertet (@bpierre), Darryl Yeo (@darrylyeo), and Yaroslav Sergievsky (@everdimension). Finally, we’d like to thank the participants of the 6963 task force Telegram channel and those who participated in discussions on the AllWalletDevs Discord channel. This post was written by Kyle Den Hartog.

Today, Brave is announcing the launch of EIP-6963 support in Brave Wallet on iOS, Android, and Desktop. Together with other digital wallets and connection libraries, this update is the first step to improving the UX onboarding experience shared between DApps and wallets. With the addition of EIP-6963, we’ve worked with various wallets to coordinate and ship a modification to a very specific implementation decision made early on in Metamask—a decision that ended up becoming a de facto standard, and limiting users’ experiences with Web3. In a nutshell, EIP-6963 support makes it easier than ever for users to use many different wallets without hidden workarounds like changing settings or setting up separate browser profiles for each wallet.

How did we get here?

When extension-based wallets were first created, there was a pattern established around how DApps communicated with wallets: they used extension scripts to inject a JavaScript object called “window.ethereum”, which DApps then built around in order to communicate with the wallet. Due to the way JavaScript works in the browser, this pattern worked well when there was only a single wallet. However, once people began installing multiple wallets, the pattern created a new and frustrating problem. Wallets had to “fight” over the window.ethereum object by treating prototype pollution as a feature instead of a bug.

Ultimately, this created odd interactions for end users: when they clicked “connect” on the DApp, it had no way to communicate with the wallet the user selected on the page. Worse, the wallet had no way to detect which wallets the user had installed, and so many of the DApps just assumed the user was using MetaMask. This explains why, when you try to use a DApp, clicking MetaMask will actually pop up a different wallet.

How does EIP-6963 fix this?

Essentially, we as a group of wallet developers and connection libraries decided in this spec to define a different communication method—one that didn’t require wallets to compete over a single JavaScript object. Instead, wallets could all “announce” themselves individually, providing the DApp a way to simply listen for all of these announcements. Furthermore, the various wallet options could identify themselves more easily and supply an image to the page, thus optimizing the process of selecting a wallet. This was achieved through an event-concurrency loop built on EventListeners and Events.

What does it look like?

Just like that, you can now utilize many different wallets at the same time with DApps that support EIP-6963.

What’s possible with this new pattern?

This work opens new patterns that weren’t previously possible. DApps can even choose to ignore window.ethereum altogether and communicate with multiple wallet providers at the same time. That means, for example, that your favorite DeFi DApp can simultaneously connect your cold wallet with a ledger hardware via Brave Wallet, and your hot wallet in Metamask. You could thus have two addresses connected at the same time, perform a swap, and more seamlessly move your tokens between a hot and a cold wallet. These possibilities only scratch the surface, and over time we should see some new and interesting user experiences (ones we at Brave are excited to support) especially in the form of additional privacy for users.

To conclude, with friendly coordination of leading wallet builders, users should expect to see improved wallet connection experiences across the Web3 DApp landscape, ready for the next major influx of users. To try the new connection experience with Brave Wallet, visit https://eip6963.org made by the WalletConnect team. And be sure to let your favorite DApps know they should start supporting EIP-6963 too!

Wednesday, 13. December 2023

Panther Protocol

Weekly Update | Panther Protocol

Fellow Panthers, It's time to review what Team Panther was up to last week. Here's everything that transpired at Panther last week: Communication Updates BitMart Lists Zero-Knowledge DeFi Pioneer Panther Protocol's $ZKP We are excited to announce Panther Protocol's $ZKP listing on

Fellow Panthers,

It's time to review what Team Panther was up to last week. Here's everything that transpired at Panther last week:

Communication Updates

BitMart Lists Zero-Knowledge DeFi Pioneer Panther Protocol's $ZKP

We are excited to announce Panther Protocol's $ZKP listing on BitMart, a leading cryptocurrency exchange operating in over 180 countries. This listing is part of our ongoing effort focused on strategic partnerships and exchange listings before our V1 Mainnet launch, aimed at providing improved accessibility, various trading options, and a more efficient, cost-effective transaction experience for our community members and $ZKP holders.

Complete announcement here.

Panther Onboards Renato Zamagna as Marketing Communications Manager

We're delighted to onboard Renato Zamagna as a Marketing Communications Manager for Panther Protocol. With a rich cryptocurrency and blockchain marketing background since 2016, Renato brings invaluable experience to our team. He has held leadership roles at Ankr, EMURGO, and Bulla Network, among others. While his expertise and insight have taken him worldwide, Renato Zamagna calls the Netherlands his home. He can be contacted through Telegram @renato_ZKP or on Discord @renato_zkp.

Panther Protocol Testnet and Rewards Update

Current testnet users: 386
Total rewards distributed: 140,000 $ZKP

The total amount of Testnet rewards is proposed to be 1.5M $ZKP, with an additional 0.5M $ZKP in reserve to cover additional rewards, if needed.

Have you signed up for our testnet yet? Sign up here to join our community and receive your $ZKP rewards.

Product Updates

Stage 3 Developments

Stage 3 development is delayed by two to three weeks. As development progressed, it was necessary to make a few major upgrades as part of this stage:

Circuit update to enhance the security of the overall protocol. UI Redesign was initiated as part of Stage 3, which means completely changing the design for the dApp for all previous stages as well.

Current Status

The smart contracts needed for Stage 3 are ready and are being integrated and tested with the dApp. This includes the Vault smart contract and the ability to interact with Stealth addresses within Panther.

The UI for Stage 3 is completed, and currently, the dApp is being integrated and finalized for tests.

Community Questions

When will the team announce Stage 3 and Stage 4 of the testnet?

The team aims to release both stage 3 and stage 4 of the testnet this month.

About Panther

Panther is a cross-protocol layer that uses zero-knowledge technology to build DeFi solutions that meet regulatory requirements and satisfy users' on-chain data privacy needs. The goal of Panther is to allow seamless access to DeFi and create a cross-chain-supported architecture that serves different use cases. Panther's zero-knowledge primitives are also generalizable to KYC, selective disclosures between trusted parties, private ID, voting, and data verification services.

Website · One-pager · Lite Paper · Twitter · Telegram · Discord


Greylock Partners

Infrastructure for AI’s New Era

The post Infrastructure for AI’s New Era appeared first on Greylock.

The post Infrastructure for AI’s New Era appeared first on Greylock.


BlueYard Capital

BlueYard × Nucleate Partnership (and Announcing the 2023 Venture Prize Winners)

We are entering a new frontier in life sciences unparalleled in human history, as emerging technologies are changing the biotech industry along a few vectors including decreasing costs in sequencing, synthesis, etc., the ability to program, simulate and iterate in silico and in vivo and entrepreneurial accessibility. BlueYard’s strategy around biology is based on the premise that humankind’s abili

We are entering a new frontier in life sciences unparalleled in human history, as emerging technologies are changing the biotech industry along a few vectors including decreasing costs in sequencing, synthesis, etc., the ability to program, simulate and iterate in silico and in vivo and entrepreneurial accessibility. BlueYard’s strategy around biology is based on the premise that humankind’s ability to engineer and understand biology will not only fundamentally transform how we diagnose, treat, and manage disease, but also reinvent how we produce new materials and the food required to support human life and sustain our planet. In recognition of these step-function changes, over the last years, we have backed a dozen companies in the space — ranging from cellular reprogramming to combat aging to sustainable materials produced in microbes.

We believe tomorrow’s industry-defining biology companies will be founded by technologists and scientists who are building the interconnected elements that can become the fabric of our future (see our thesis). We are excited about empowering this next generation of founders and have renewed our partnership with Nucleate, the student-led non-profit organization dedicated to empowering the next generation of biotech leaders, aimed at fostering innovation in science at the earliest stages.

This year, Nucleate has expanded in Europe by opening core chapters in Germany and Denmark. Via our partnership, Nucleate has committed a pool of up to $2 million to fund the next generation of founders that have made it through the organization’s six-month Activator Program during 2024. The objective is to back 10 to 20 new teams across the European ecosystem as they migrate from the academic lab to a commercial entity and build the new platforms that re-engineer our society’s biology experiences.

We are also excited to announce the winners of the 2023 Nucleate Venture Prize. In total we awarded $1.45 million in the form of uncapped SAFEs to fund early-stage companies working across synthetic biology, therapeutics and drug delivery:

Fusix (Technical University of Munich) — Fusogenic oncolytic viruses. Nanograb (Imperial College London) — Generating paratopic binders for cell specific delivery using AI PanTOx (University of Oxford) — Platform for novel antibody therapeutics targeting the tumor microenvironment Dart Biosciences (University of Oxford) — Novel therapeutics platform for monogenic and common diseases Jodo Biotech (Cambridge University) — Next-generation legume GMOs Eterna Therapeutics (University of Oxford) — Novel RNA-targeting therapeutic platform. Hepatic Patch (University College London) — A stem-cell based implantable and ectopic hepatic patch ChangeBio (Imperial College London) — An engineerable platform technology to convert methane to higher-value products. HarborSite (Harvard University) — Safe editing using engineered recombinases in genomic “safe harbor” loci.

Read more about our partnership with Nucleate here.

Tuesday, 12. December 2023

Zcash Foundation

Zebra 1.5.0 Release

The Zcash Foundation is pleased to announce the release of Zebra version 1.5.0. This release includes a “Minimum Viable Product” (MVP) implementation of shielded scanning, with a new “zebra-scan” crate and behind an experimental “shielded-scan” feature. This marks the first step towards full support for shielded scanning in Zebra and we’re excited to continue building […] The post Zebra 1.5.0 Re

The Zcash Foundation is pleased to announce the release of Zebra version 1.5.0.

This release includes a “Minimum Viable Product” (MVP) implementation of shielded scanning, with a new “zebra-scan” crate and behind an experimental “shielded-scan” feature. This marks the first step towards full support for shielded scanning in Zebra and we’re excited to continue building out the functionality. Ongoing development is tracked in issue #7728.    

Important Security Warning

This new feature is for experimental use only and has known security issues. We recommend that you do NOT use regular or sensitive viewing keys with Zebra’s experimental scanning feature. You should also NOT use this feature on a shared machine. If you do want to try this out, we suggest that you generate new keys for experimental use.

Also included in this release:

A fix for a panic that was introduced in Zebra v1.4.0, which happens in rare circumstances when reading cached sprout or history trees. Further improvements to how Zebra recovers from network interruptions and prevents potential network hangs. Improvements to limit the ability of synthetic nodes to spread throughout the network through Zebra, to address some of the Ziggurat red team report.


As of this release, Zebra requires Rust 1.73 to build.

You can see a full copy of the v1.5.0 Release Notes on github.

The post Zebra 1.5.0 Release appeared first on Zcash Foundation.


BlueYard Capital

Zafrens

Biology operates at the single-cell level: human tissues are composed of highly heterogeneous cells interacting and regulating each other, and all interactions within the cell reverberate throughout the whole organism. A full understanding of individual cells, including genotype, function and phenotype, could unlock the biology of multiple diseases. However, most high throughput biological experim

Biology operates at the single-cell level: human tissues are composed of highly heterogeneous cells interacting and regulating each other, and all interactions within the cell reverberate throughout the whole organism. A full understanding of individual cells, including genotype, function and phenotype, could unlock the biology of multiple diseases. However, most high throughput biological experiments are still performed on 96 wells at a time and all single-cell platforms are only able to run very specific assays on a few thousands of cells at a time, while lacking the capability to connect multiple assays or modalities at a time.

Zafrens is developing a novel platform that expedites drug discovery and overcomes the tradeoff between throughput and depth of analysis. The company’s Z-Screen is a step-change in throughput and resolution of experiments, expanding the conventional 96-well format to 50,000–200,000 wells with imaging and single-cell multi-omic capabilities integrated in every well. Large CRISPR, CAR-T, mRNA libraries, or endogenous molecular heterogeneity, can be mapped to their individual manifestations as cell behavior, cell-cell interactions and secretions. The founder, Swamy Vijayan, is an experienced biotech entrepreneur, having previously built Omiome (a DNA sequencing platform sold to PacBio) and Plexium (small molecules targeting protein degradation with several programs advancing to clinical trials).

Our Thesis

Due to the broad application of its technology — from small molecule discovery to cell and gene therapies — we believe that Zafrens has the potential to become a fabric for developing novel therapeutics. Moreover, with its plans for an internal pipeline of RNA-modulatory small-molecules and HLA-agnostic TCR libraries to common cancer mutations, Zafrens also has the opportunity to accelerate the path to initial drug candidates and thereby play a fundamental role in combating cancer and other diseases.

We are excited to be backing the Zafrens team on their mission to democratize access to therapeutics, irrespective of modality. Read more about the company’s recent $23m financing here.


Panther Protocol

BitMart Lists Zero-Knowledge DeFi Pioneer Panther Protocol’s $ZKP

Gibraltar, Dec. 12, 2023 – We are excited to announce Panther Protocol’s $ZKP listing on BitMart, a leading cryptocurrency exchange operating in over 180 countries. This listing is part of our ongoing effort focused on strategic partnerships and exchange listings before our V1 Mainnet launch aimed at providing

Gibraltar, Dec. 12, 2023 – We are excited to announce Panther Protocol’s $ZKP listing on BitMart, a leading cryptocurrency exchange operating in over 180 countries. This listing is part of our ongoing effort focused on strategic partnerships and exchange listings before our V1 Mainnet launch aimed at providing improved accessibility, a variety of trading options, and a more efficient, cost-effective transaction experience for our community members and $ZKP holders.

“For Panther, this is a pivotal moment as we advance towards the V1 release, broadening our user base and reinforcing our commitment to democratize finance and onboard more users to the decentralized finance ecosystem while ensuring a balance between regulatory standards and user privacy,” Oliver Gale, Co-founder and CEO, Panther Protocol.

This partnership with BitMart and upcoming listings on other trusted exchanges are part of our long-term plan to make $ZKP more accessible for the Web3 community globally. The decision to partner with BitMart was based on its global coverage and thriving Web3 community. Further, with the upcoming V1 Mainnet launch, these listings will improve the on-and-off ramp accessibility of the $ZKP token for the V1 protocol. With the BitMart listing, $ZKP will now be available on four exchanges (MEXC, Uniswap (DEX), Huobi, and BitMart) and will further contribute to additional opportunities for onboarding more users to the Panther ecosystem. 

Here are the $ZKP token trading details on BitMart:

Trading Pair: $ZKP/$USDT Deposit Availability: 12/10/2023 08:00 AM EST Trading Commencement: 12/12/2023 08:00 AM EST Withdrawal Post-Trade: 12/13/2023 08:00 AM EST About BitMart

As a global integrated trading platform, BitMart provides diversified system functions including spot trading and, futures contract trading. BitMart's trading system has a robust security mechanism and reliable underlying architecture, which provides users with a safe trading experience. Besides, our unique online trading model efficiently matches the market depth of major exchanges all over the world. Relying on the whole network trading system, we believe the BitMart platform will become one of the major liquidity providers of digital assets in the world.

About Panther 

Panther is a cross-protocol layer that uses zero-knowledge technology to build DeFi solutions that strive to meet regulatory standards and satisfy users' on-chain data privacy needs. The goal of Panther is to allow seamless access to DeFi and create a cross-chain-supported architecture that serves different use cases. Panther’s zero-knowledge primitives are also generalizable to KYC, selective disclosures between trusted parties, private ID, voting, and data verification services.

Disclaimer: Panther is not recommending that readers engage in cryptoasset trading activity, and users or potential users of the protocol should not regard this message or its contents as involving any form of recommendation, invitation or inducement to deal in cryptoassets. Due to the potential for losses, regulators consider this asset class to be high risk.


bankless

VanEck’s 2024 Crypto Predictions with Matthew Sigel

In today’s episode, Matthew goes over VanEck’s 15 hottest 2024 crypto predictions report. Matthew Sigel is the Head of Digital Assets Research at VanEck and has been since 2021.  ----- 🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT  ------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS: 🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2

In today’s episode, Matthew goes over VanEck’s 15 hottest 2024 crypto predictions report. Matthew Sigel is the Head of Digital Assets Research at VanEck and has been since 2021. 

----- 🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE, join your first HUNT today https://bankless.cc/JoinYourFirstHUNT 

------ BANKLESS SPONSOR TOOLS:

🐙KRAKEN | MOST-TRUSTED CRYPTO EXCHANGE ⁠https://k.xyz/bankless-pod-q2

🦊METAMASK PORTFOLIO | MANAGE YOUR WEB3 EVERYTHING ⁠https://bankless.cc/MetaMask

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

👾GMX | V2 IS NOW LIVE  https://bankless.cc/GMX 

🔗CELO | CEL2 COMING SOON https://bankless.cc/Celo  

🦄UNISWAP | ON-CHAIN MARKETPLACE ⁠https://bankless.cc/uniswap 

------ TIMESTAMPS

0:00 Intro 4:55 VanEck Predictions Origin 5:53 Recession & Spot BTC ETF 8:06 4th Bitcoin Halving  11:45 BTC All-Time High 14:15 Ethereum Flip Bitcoin?  18:38 Post-EIP-4844 L2 Capture 22:26 NFT Activity Rebound 24:33 Binance  28:05 Stablecoin Market Cap 32:16 DEX’s All-Time Highs 37:17 Bitcoin Yield? 40:49 Blockchain Gaming 43:20 Solana Outperforms ETH     47:15 DePin 53:05 Corporate Holding Upside 56:24 DeFi & KYC 1:03:31 Closing & Disclaimers

------ RESOURCES

Matthew Sigel https://twitter.com/matthew_sigel  

VanEck Predictions Report https://www.vaneck.com/us/en/blogs/digital-assets/matthew-sigel-vanecks-15-crypto-predictions-for-2024/#us-recession-arrival-and-debut-of-spot-bitcoin-etfs    

VanEck Solana Report https://www.vaneck.com/us/en/blogs/digital-assets/matthew-sigel-vanecks-base-bear-bull-case-solana-valuation-by-2030/  

------ Not financial or tax advice. See our investment disclosures here: https://bankless.com/disclosures 


Sequoia

Partnering with Tacto: Future-Proof Supply Chains

The post Partnering with Tacto: Future-Proof Supply Chains appeared first on Sequoia Capital.
Partnering with Tacto: Future-Proof Supply Chains

André, Nico, Johannes and their team are building the modern supplier-management solution millions of businesses need.

By Luciana Lixandru, Julien Bek, and Cornelius Menke Published December 11, 2023 TACTO CO-FOUNDERS JOHANNES GROLL, NICO BENTENRIEDER AND ANDRÉ PETRY.

Sometimes you meet a team and you just know. 

When we first learned last year about Tacto co-founders André Petry, Nico Bentenrieder and Johannes Groll and the procurement solution they were building, we already had a keen interest in the category. While businesses have for decades used CRMs (customer relationship management systems) to grow their revenue, where was the SRM (supplier relationship management system)? More attention to the supplier and cost side of the equation was clearly needed, as geopolitical tensions, COVID ripple effects and regulatory changes have created unprecedented supply chain uncertainty and price volatility.

For the world’s largest companies producing physical goods, some supplier relationship tools are available via incumbents. But for millions of mid-sized businesses (SMBs), these options are too cumbersome and too expensive; 90% have no procurement solution at all. Instead, they’re stuck tracking every supplier, certificate and quote manually, in email and Excel. It’s a daunting proposition—especially when you realize that even a company making a seemingly simple product like tape might have hundreds of suppliers and procure tens of thousands of different articles.

Those mid-sized industrial companies are exactly who Tacto was built to serve, so in late 2022, we reached out to their team to discuss the possibility of a partnership. Unfortunately for us, they’d just finished raising their seed round. But we didn’t want to give up—so we started speaking with customers in the sector, hoping to learn more about the business. What we heard made us even more interested in the product André, Nico, Johannes and their team are building.

Customers told us Tacto had helped them streamline every aspect of the procurement process, from requesting, evaluating and responding to quotes; to tracking suppliers’ regulatory certifications; to analyzing prices and preparing for negotiations. Where their employees once spent hundreds of hours on interviews, questionnaires and data entry, the platform now automatically gathers and standardizes that information—and of course, uses AI to help them make sense of it. Tacto has also dramatically simplified compliance with Germany’s new Supply Chain Due Diligence Act, which imposes stricter supplier reporting to every business with at least 1,000 full-time employees. Even better, it’s easy to integrate—no year-long sales cycles or big IT projects—and, thanks to André, Nico and Johannes’s insistence on an elegant, consumer-grade UI, it’s easy to use, as well.

But customers didn’t just sing the praises of Tacto’s product; we also heard amazing things about its team. André, Nico and Johannes have stellar credentials—all three met at the elite Center for Digital Technology and Management in Munich. They started Tacto in early 2020 after seeing the challenges of procurement firsthand, pushed ahead when skeptics in the space told them it wouldn’t work, and now, have stuck with it long enough to prove those skeptics wrong. They are high-energy, thoughtful and relentlessly focused on performance—and, importantly, they have an impressive ability to attract talent. Tacto’s team members deeply understand the problems their customers are facing, and they work quickly to solve them.

After hearing those rave reviews, we knew we had to try again—so we traveled to Munich to meet André face-to-face. We walked out of that first one-hour coffee with a high degree of conviction in Tacto, and a couple of weeks later, flew back to spend the day with the team and offer them a term sheet. Sequoia was far from the only firm vying for Tacto’s attention—but in that high-pressure environment, we saw for ourselves the qualities that make André, Nico and Johannes great leaders. We were thrilled that they chose us to lead their Series A.

Today, the future is bright. Tacto is now serving customers across a wide range of industries, from mechanical engineering to packaging to medical technology, and impressively, they have grown quickly while retaining every one of their happy customers. In the months and years ahead, as supply chain challenges continue and new regulations expand beyond Germany across Europe, André, Nico, Johannes and their team will be there to make life better and easier for even more companies—and we are excited to support them along the way.

Share Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on LinkedIn Share this via email Related Topics #Funding announcement #AI Partnering with Robco: Accessible Automation for the Physical World News Read Daniel Dines didn’t start UiPath to change the future of work—but he’s doing it anyway. Spotlight Read Partnering with Co:Helm: The Co-Pilot for Health Care By George Robson News Read JOIN OUR MAILING LIST Get the best stories from the Sequoia community. Email address Leave this field empty if you’re human:

The post Partnering with Tacto: Future-Proof Supply Chains appeared first on Sequoia Capital.

Monday, 11. December 2023

a16z Podcast

Safety in Numbers: Keeping AI Open

Arthur Mensch is the co-founder of Mistral and the co-author of Deepmind’s pivotal 2022 "Chinchilla" paper. In September 2023, Mistral released Mistral-7B, an advanced open-source language model that has rapidly become the top choice for developers. Just this week, they introduced a new mixture of experts model – Mixtral — that’s already generating significant buzz among AI developers. As the ba

Arthur Mensch is the co-founder of Mistral and the co-author of Deepmind’s pivotal 2022 "Chinchilla" paper.

In September 2023, Mistral released Mistral-7B, an advanced open-source language model that has rapidly become the top choice for developers. Just this week, they introduced a new mixture of experts model – Mixtral — that’s already generating significant buzz among AI developers.

As the battleground around large language models heats up, join us for a conversation with Arthur as he sits down with a16z General Partner Anjney Midha. Together, they delve into the misconceptions and opportunities around open source; the current performance reality of open and closed models; and the compute, data, and algorithmic innovations required to efficiently scale LLMs.

Resources:

Find Arthur on Twitter: https://twitter.com/arthurmensch

Find Anjney on Twitter: https://twitter.com/anjneymidha

Learn more about Mistral: https://mistral.ai

Learn why we invested in Mistral: https://a16z.com/announcement/investing-in-mistral/

Stay Updated: 

Find a16z on Twitter: https://twitter.com/a16z

Find a16z on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/a16z

Subscribe on your favorite podcast app: https://a16z.simplecast.com/

Follow our host: https://twitter.com/stephsmithio

Please note that the content here is for informational purposes only; should NOT be taken as legal, business, tax, or investment advice or be used to evaluate any investment or security; and is not directed at any investors or potential investors in any a16z fund. a16z and its affiliates may maintain investments in the companies discussed. For more details please see a16z.com/disclosures.


Zaisan

Establishing Trust in AI through Blockchain

The acceleration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology adoption across industries has indicated widespread organisational acceptance of the novel technology. The advent of this new technology has brought more efficient and creative possibilities. However, the use of language models in AI raises concerns about trustworthiness in its training and the output it generates. This leads us […] The

The acceleration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology adoption across industries has indicated widespread organisational acceptance of the novel technology. The advent of this new technology has brought more efficient and creative possibilities. However, the use of language models in AI raises concerns about trustworthiness in its training and the output it generates. This leads us to the question: How can we leverage existing technologies to bridge this lack of trust?

This article explores the challenges surrounding trust in AI system inputs and outputs, how blockchain could be the solution to establish trust, and various integration challenges that need to be accounted for.

Trust challenges of AI systems

Since the launch of ChatGPT in November of 2022, organisations have made enormous strides to implement AI within their technological systems. Enthusiasm for this new technology promising productivity enhancement, has also generated discussions on whether we can trust these systems. Who has been training these AI models? How can we be sure that the information output it generates is reliable and unbiased?

Transparency of AI language models

AI systems require a large language model (LLM) to learn and have a basis to create outputs from. However, due to the lack of transparency surrounding what goes into the LLMs, doubts arise on data input authenticity and reliability.

Authenticity: If the origin, quality, and representativeness of the input data are not transparent, it raises concerns about the authenticity and reliability of the model’s understanding.

Reliability: Lack of clarity regarding the source of training data leads to scepticism about the model’s ability to accurately reflect real-world scenarios and diverse perspectives. This creates uncertainty on whether the model’s output can be trusted and used accordingly.

Explainability: There is a lack of self-explanation in AI systems on how a specific outcome is generated when prompted. This poses a significant hurdle to understanding and trusting AI’s outputs. What data did the system pool together to carry out its decision-making process when prompted?

Ethical standards in AI training

AI systems often make decisions based on complex algorithms and data that include principles governing the training of AI models. Thus creating the need for a standardised set of ethical guidelines governing the training of AI models.

One primary concern is the ethical framework guiding the selection of data used in training these systems. The opaqueness surrounding the training data raises ethical concerns, particularly related to bias. If the data used to train AI models contain biases, the model may unintentionally perpetuate those biases in its outputs. Without transparency, it becomes challenging to identify and address biases in the training data. Therefore making it difficult to avoid potential negative consequences.

Authenticating human vs. AI output

Another significant challenge revolves around the ability to distinguish between outputs generated by AI systems and those by human intelligence. Can we reliably identify whether the output presented is a result of human thought or an algorithmic process?

Authentication is particularly crucial in scenarios where information transparency is essential, such as journalism, content creation, or academia. This distinction between human and AI-generated content also carries ethical implications. It prompts discussions on attribution, accountability, and the potential influence these systems might have in shaping public opinion. As AI becomes more integrated into society, different mechanisms are needed to transparently demonstrate the origin of information.

Output challenges

When speaking of trust within AI, we must also evaluate the ownership and intellectual property rights of AI-generated output. The challenge lies in determining whether outputs are established through AI’s novel agency or the accumulation of various other sources that warrant intellectual property rights.

The artwork industry can be used to illustrate the debate on whether generative AI should give credit to artists. Since the system draws inspiration from its training model, would the new artwork’s ownership belong to AI? This debate highlights legal and ethical dilemmas, due to a lack of established frameworks that promote fair compensation for contributors. As AI systems evolve, there is a pressing need to redefine traditional notions of ownership. Acknowledgment of the collaborative nature of AI development is needed while safeguarding the rights of those involved in the generative process.

Role of blockchain in establishing trust

Based on the trust challenges discussed above, blockchain technology could be the solution as a trust layer for AI. Blockchain’s decentralised design, using transparent and immutable data records, guarantees universal accessibility, enhanced authentication, and verification processes for all users.

Ensuring transparency in data processes

One of the fundamental challenges in trusting AI, as discussed, lies in the lack of transparency regarding data input processes. Blockchain can resolve the transparency issue by recording every step of the AI training and data input process. This ensures that the origin and reliability of the data used to train AI models are traceable and verifiable to reflect real-world conditions.

By leveraging blockchain, organisations facilitating AI technology can instil confidence in stakeholders regarding the reliability of its AI-generated outputs. This safeguards against potential misuse and establishes a foundation for accountability in the development and deployment of AI.

Tracing decision-making processes

Transparency enabled by blockchain technology can address the inherent explainability challenges associated with AI’s black-box nature. Establishing a transparent trail of the data and model processes integrated enhances the reliability of AI decisions.

The availability of a comprehensible trail can address the lack of confidence and scepticism present in generative AI. Traceability encourages independent evaluation, empowering users to revisit and assess AI’s decision-making steps, thereby contributing to a more accountable and trustworthy AI environment.

Leveraging immutability to validate data input reliability

The immutable nature of blockchain technology contributes to providing security to data records and data transactions. Every piece of information entered into the blockchain is time-stamped and linked to previous data blocks, creating an unbroken chain of custody. This not only enhances the accountability of data sources but also enables stakeholders to verify the authenticity of inputs. As a result, users can confidently rely on the integrity of the data feeding into AI algorithms, knowing that any attempt to manipulate or compromise the information would be immediately detectable. On the other hand, blockchain can be used to drive sustainability goals for successful operations in the long run. For further understanding of how blockchain can sustain long-term ESG goals for organisations, refer to this ebook on using blockchain for sustainability.

Authenticating human vs. machine contributions

Distinguishing between outputs generated by human intelligence and those crafted by AI is critical. The widespread use of AI in optimising many of our daily processes is bound to be used in other various domains, such as work-related situations and advisory roles. This has caused increasing evaluation on whether information distributed is completely human or contains traces of AI contribution.

WorldID is used as a global digital identity to anonymously prove a person’s unique identity.

Thus the use of smart contracts in the blockchain ecosystem provides a mechanism for creating verifiable identities for both human and machine contributors. OpenAI’s WorldID initiative is an example of how smart contracts can be employed to authenticate the origin of contributions. Its application will enable a clear distinction between human and AI-generated outputs. Their initiative could address future concerns about accountability and ethical considerations in various domains such as authentic journalism and recognition.

Establishing auditable trails for tracing errors

In the complex landscape of AI, errors and biases in outputs can have significant consequences for end users. Blockchain-based systems can offer the solution of an auditable trail that records every transaction and interaction within the AI ecosystem. In the event of errors or biases in AI outputs, this auditable trail provides a comprehensive analysis of the training data and its parameters, facilitating the identification and rectification of issues. This auditable trail also serves as a critical tool for post hoc analysis, allowing for continuous improvement and refinement of AI algorithms to meet evolving ethical and performance standards.

Challenges between AI and blockchain integration

The integration of AI and blockchain technology may provide us with a starting point in establishing trust, however, there are still potential challenges that experts should address when considering this integration.

Scalability

One prominent concern is the scale and scope of AI applications. AI systems often work with massive datasets, and to fully integrate them with blockchain, a highly efficient, low-cost network is essential. However, the transactional and resource costs associated with blockchain networks remain a significant hurdle.

Cost efficiency

Initial setup costs can involve acquiring the necessary hardware, software, and infrastructure to support both AI algorithms and blockchain networks. Maintenance costs also arise as ongoing updates and improvements are essential to keep both technologies optimised and secure. Transaction costs associated with blockchain networks, such as fees for data storage and processing, can accumulate. Particularly when dealing with large-scale AI applications that require frequent interactions with the blockchain. Lastly, organisations will need to invest in skilled professionals who can navigate the complexities of integrating AI and blockchain, adding to the overall human resource expenses.

Interoperability

There are various blockchain platforms available, and achieving interoperability between them poses a challenge since smart contracts and AI applications might need to interact across different blockchain networks. AI models and algorithms may be developed using different frameworks and technologies. Therefore, ensuring a seamless integration with blockchain platforms can be a complicated process.

Regulatory Compliance

The topic of interoperability across both technologies also highlights regulatory challenges on two fronts. The decentralised and global nature of blockchain introduces uncertainty, as compliance requirements vary across jurisdictions. Simultaneously, the use of AI, particularly in sensitive domains, is subject to rigorous regulatory scrutiny with a focus on data privacy, transparency, and accountability. Combining these technologies requires a dual compliance effort of addressing regulations specific to each domain and staying up to date with technical developments, to develop a standardised process for compliance.

Conclusion

The widespread integration of AI technology has prompted critical discussions surrounding transparency, authentication and ethical standards in AI language models. Blockchain, through its transparent and immutable nature, emerges as a promising solution to address these concerns. It offers transparency in data processes, traceability of decision-making, and validation of data input reliability. However, the integration of AI and blockchain presents a set of challenges, such as scalability, interoperability, regulatory compliance, and cost efficiency. Thus, when leveraging this integration, a balance is needed between innovation, and ethical considerations. AI developers should ensure that the collaborative development of AI is transparent, accountable, and trustworthy for the benefit of its users.

The post Establishing Trust in AI through Blockchain appeared first on Zaisan.


PIVX

December’s PIVX Perspectives Spotlight Shines on JSKitty, Founder and Developer of PIVXLabs.

1) Can you tell us a little about yourself? I’m what everyone knows as ‘JSKitty’ — the infamous dev cat of Labs (since the SnappySnap days)! Young British dev, a never-ending interest in tech, from crypto to global-finance, game-dev and AI, I’ve pretty much touched every computer-related subject that anyone could think of — and my end interest ended up being with crypto, after I found Bitcoin aro

1) Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m what everyone knows as ‘JSKitty’ — the infamous dev cat of Labs (since the SnappySnap days)! Young British dev, a never-ending interest in tech, from crypto to global-finance, game-dev and AI, I’ve pretty much touched every computer-related subject that anyone could think of — and my end interest ended up being with crypto, after I found Bitcoin around early 2014.

Before PIVX, I worked at ZENZO, before ZENZO, I worked on multiple early projects, like the “DeepOnion” privacy coin, or “eXperience Points (XP)” back in the 2017 bullrun!

Before all those, I was a Game Developer, with two published games, and a handful of unpublished ones, mostly solo-built, some with friends, but all of them were built in a home-schooled method, I do not have a single academic grade to my name, and I don’t need one!

2) When and why did you get into cryptocurrency?

In early 2013–2014 I ended up coming across (in a way that is now lost to my memories) a Bitcoin faucet, the ancient “Freebitco.in” site (which is still running today, damn!), at that point, I was just barely a game developer, had zero knowledge (hah) of Bitcoin, crypto, most of programming, and even finance in general — over the years, I collected Bitcoin, I learned about it, got incredibly obsessed over the technology from the newfound of decentralised systems and “programmable money”, I joined the BitcoinTalk forum and engaged, actually got a fairly reputable BitcoinTalk account in those days, back when coins would often do “Banner Campaigns” where BCT users would advertise a coin on their banner, fun times, indeed.

3) When and why did you get into PIVX?

This is an interesting one, around late 2017 roughly, I was effectively a serial-tipbot-dev as a kid, a surprising amount of projects used to have my Tipbots, I built them from scratch, they had various community-building features, and I would bounce from project-to-project hooking them up and watching the communities enjoy them.

In that time, I met Snappy and the original-ish tipbot operator (Buer), in which I poked around for the status of it, and saw that it was effectively dead — so I teamed up with Snappy, who LOVED the idea, and immediately helped me to make the ‘PIVX Tipbot’ a reality — and for those months that it ran, I remember it was a huge success, with a bot-powered Radio and DJ system that members would gather and rock with — Snappy would act as a host — that, that community spirit, is what kept me in PIVX, even if the original idea, was merely to propagate a tipbot.

4) What do you think sets PIVX apart from other cryptocurrencies in the market?

It’s teams (Core and Labs), it’s long-lived testament of surviving the harshest markets, it’s unique blend of Bleeding-Edge tech with PoS, in which a dozen “PIVX-firsts” occurred and continue to occur. — PIVX as a technology, and a currency, is an incredible feat, to say the least, one that is underappreciated by the wider market.

5) Can you tell us about your journey as a developer and engineer that led you to the creation of PIVXLabs; mypivxwallet and PIVCards?

PIVX Labs, or at least the ‘soul’ and idea of it, was born of Snappy — the Catalyst of PIVX Labs as-of-today was back when me, Snappy, Kyeno and various other developers, some long gone now — decided that PIVX needed more than just a Core Wallet, the problem with 2017–2020 PIVX was that there were a severe barrier to entry, as well as a UX that is not up to the modern standards of ‘Web3’.

Labs came to fruition from the demand of Labs being needed — we knew PIVX needed a lighter, faster, easier wallet that anyone in the world, on any device, with any experience level; could setup and use, without compromising on security. MyPIVXWallet was Labs first creation.

We also knew that PIVX needed more than wallets to thrive as a currency — PIVCards enabled using PIV in the real-world, easier than any other platform on the market — What will we build next? I’m not sure yet, but it will be another pillar to PIVX’s real-world adoption and usage — That, is why Labs exists.

6) As a developer, what are some of the technical aspects or challenges you encountered while building mypivxwallet, and how did you overcome them?

In general, there are three-ish ‘pillars’ of MPW’s architecture to decide upon:

- Convenience.

- (De)centralisation and/or Privacy.

- Security.

Increase one, and generally, the other two decrease, how do you build something perfect in all three? Truthfully, you can’t, there are trade-offs to be made somewhere, for something.

My first and foremost priority for MPW has been Security: for example, MPW since even the first day, NEVER allowed saving a wallet to disk without an encryption password — ironically, this is a more secure practice than the Core Wallet, which does not force this measure on first launch.

But for Privacy? This is tough, MPW uses Blockbook explorers to sync your transaction history, which requires the app to send your Public Keys to said Blockbook to retrieve your balance — this is not fun, but the alternative: chain header sync, would lengthen the synchronisation time of MPW MASSIVELY, which is a huge hit to Convenience.

Sure, only a gone-rogue Blockbook can actually collect, store, analyse that data — but it is still a possibility, depending on your threat model, that may already be too much data exposure for someone.

Back to security: many platforms, like Password Managers, will encrypt your password data locally, and then upload your encrypted data to their Cloud storage — this means you can retrieve your data from the internet, or cross-sync things across your devices, which is incredibly convenient: but what if that service gets compromised? It’s a ticking time bomb before your data is decrypted by an attacker, and boom, account gone — MPW could add encrypted cloud-sync for convenience, and to give users the ability to recover their wallet even if their device exploded randomly — sure, but is it worth the risk?

This is our daily challenge, a balancing act of conflicting design philosophies.

7) How does mypivxwallet simplify the onboarding process for new users, particularly those who may be unfamiliar with cryptocurrency wallets?

MPW focuses massively on: “less is more” in a User Experience sense — the default design assumption of MPW is to assume the user is the least knowledgeable in any area of the wallet, as such; complex features are walled off behind “Advanced Mode”, which hides complex things by default — users can create an MPW wallet, jot down their seed on paper, and encrypt their wallet, within just 1–2 minutes!

8) With the recent launch of PIVCards could you share a little about this phenomenal PIVX use case?

PIVCards was, funnily, a completely random whim-idea I had a few months ago and decided to prototype in a single week of spare time — having gotten the ‘itch’ to do something new outside of MPW, PIVCards was a massive technological and logistical challenge, and I am surprised that such a small team managed to build it as well as we did.

PIVCards has processed almost 400 orders, worth a total of ~$17,500, since the initial prototyping, and we HUGELY underestimated the volume we’d be handling, so PIVCards had a full two/three weeks of additional polishing by me, to get it scaling better and with less manual input needed — now, although still imperfect, the service runs entirely autonomously, with near zero manual labour required aside from the occasional logistical ‘edge-case’ we hit.

9) Finally, what advice or encouragement would you give to aspiring developers and entrepreneurs who are looking to make an impact in the cryptocurrency industry?

Find what excites you, fascinates you, what grabs at you with the grasp a black hole has on the cosmos: and dive in to it, trust the process.

Why keep what you love, as a mere side-hobby, rather than a way of life?

Work doesn’t have to be ‘for someone’, nor does it have to be boring, unexciting — break the chains of being a corporate cog, find what you love, master it, and with enough time and energy (and very importantly: networking), you will make a living with it, doing what you love.

Sending gratitude to JSKitty for taking the time to sit down with me and share some insights into his background and experiences.

December’s PIVX Perspectives Spotlight Shines on JSKitty, Founder and Developer of PIVXLabs. was originally published in PIVX on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


bankless

200 - Vitalik Buterin's Philosophy: d/acc

✨ DEBRIEF | Ryan & David unpacking the episode: https://www.bankless.com/debrief-vitalik-philosophy ------ This past year there’s been a great societal wide debate: Tech-acceleration (e/acc) vs deacceleration.  Should we continue the path toward AI or are the robots going to kill us? We’ve been hoping Vitalik would weigh in on this debate ever since our episode Elizer Yudkowski —now

✨ DEBRIEF | Ryan & David unpacking the episode: https://www.bankless.com/debrief-vitalik-philosophy

------ This past year there’s been a great societal wide debate: Tech-acceleration (e/acc) vs deacceleration. 

Should we continue the path toward AI or are the robots going to kill us? We’ve been hoping Vitalik would weigh in on this debate ever since our episode Elizer Yudkowski —now he has, so what’s Vitalik’s probability of AI doom?

----- 🏹 Airdrop Hunter is HERE,