“Over recent months, various reports have started to emerge that don’t appear to show the Lightning Network in the most favorable light. In February of this year, a multinational team of academics published a yet-to-be-reviewed paper indicating that the network was becoming increasingly centralized. A coefficient of 0.88 in node distribution corresponded to 10% of nodes controlling 80% of the Lightning Network.
‘A Cryptoeconomic Traffic Analysis of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network,’ uncovered that the transaction fees earned were so low that it was “economically irrational” to operate a node on the Lightning Network.
Another worrying development for the Lightning Network is that other Bitcoin-related developments are starting to become more prevalent. WBTC now has a comparable value locked in its smart contracts to the Lightning Network.
Elsewhere, second layer Ethereum platform Matic Network announced that it was collaborating with interoperability protocol RenVM to support BTC directly on Matic sidechains. StarkPay, launched by Starkware, is another payment solution to rival the Lightning Network.
Lightning payment channels create a capital inefficiency, as they require both parties that form a channel to lock up funds rather than just the payer. Another issue is the liveness requirement, which forces parties to constantly monitor the chain as long as a channel is open. I think these two drawbacks explain the lack of usage of such systems.”
“Gold-backed assets have to be able to prove that the gold reserves exist and are stored somewhere safe. The storage of collateral comes at an additional and mandatory cost, and the stablecoin itself is impossible to audit. Moreover, as gold can be easily replaced with Tungsten, only more auditing issues arise.
[Further], a gold-backed stablecoin is a derivative for an action that changes in price and, therefore, can be classified as a security; gold has a potentially unlimited supply; [and] we don’t know the exact (or even close to exact) numbers of gold assets held by governments. [Governments also] control the majority of this precious metal and are able to influence the market for gold through sales and lending.
Thus, we can conclude that by using gold as the underlying layer to a stablecoin, its creators increase the chances of project failure.”
“According to the data, Blockstream and Lightning Labs both employ 8 developers to work on Bitcon, followed by Square Crypto which employs 7. 11 out of the top 33 most active Bitcoin developers are independent. Bitcoin research firm, Chaincode Labs, is the largest financial supporter of Bitcoin Core software development.
We conclude that the situation is more healthy than it has been in the past, with respect to the availability of finance, transparency, and the degree of distribution among financial backers.”
“For Ubisoft, blockchain represents an opportunity to further empower players. ‘We see it as a way to allow players to become stakeholders of the games they love.’
Some of the most exciting opportunities will come from the bridge blockchain creates between virtual and real-world economies.
‘There’s still too much friction for new users in understanding blockchain technology and how to interact with it,’ says Immutable’s Perkins. ‘Simply acquiring crypto proves to be a complicated process for beginners.‘”
“The new additions bring the Liquid Federation’s membership up to 45. New members include hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger, peer-to-peer exchange Hodl Hodl, crypto trade firm MerklePro, cryptocurrency manager Point95, Wiz, Blockchain tool developer Wyre, blockchain marketplace STOKR, and crypto fund manager ListedReserve.
Unlike the Lightning sidechain which is designed to quickly clear a large volume of smaller transactions, Liquid caters to larger transactions and can hide the sums involved in a transfer [and is also centrally controlled by the federation].”
“The Ethereum-based social media app, Pepo, has integrated with video conferencing platform, Zoom, to facilitate live streaming.
Only Pepo community admins are able to stream live, however, anyone can participate in the live events.”