The Disrupt Weekend

“Last week saw reports of voter intimidation, closed polling sites, fears of lost and late ballots and accusations of voter fraud. The COVID-19 pandemic has driven unprecedented levels of mail-in voting, a method which is secure but relies on an infrastructure that is already defunded and spread thin. These problems all build on top of the usual low turnout numbers and the legacy of voter suppression in the U.S.

What if we had a system in which everyone could vote from their mobile phone and open a browser to verify the results of an election, all without having to place trust in any central authority?

This system would enable civic participation to fundamentally shift as trust in collective decision-making grows and the barriers to direct democracy shrink. Many of the problems elections currently face, from poor security to voter turnout and beyond, could be ameliorated – if not completely solved – through blockchain voting.

Many projects claim to use blockchain for voting, but most only leverage it as a mechanism to publish votes that are collected and processed by another system.

In order to offer end-to-end verifiability, a blockchain voting system must allow ballots to be directly cast onto the blockchain. Under such a scheme, any voter can ensure that their vote has been counted. Furthermore, auditors can check the integrity of the system from start to finish.

The main problem with voting can be summarized as a dilemma between two seemingly opposed properties: anonymity and trust. An anonymous voting system would need to decouple transactions (ballots) from their origins. Enter zk-SNARKs.

Applied to voting, a zk-SNARK circuit could permit a voter to prove he or she belongs to a census and is able to cast a ballot, all without revealing their identity or allowing their ballot to be traced by others.

We now have a ballot that has no signature, and therefore can’t be traced back to an address, along with a proof that allows this ballot to be included in a completely end-to-end verifiable blockchain.”

This week the EF announced the Eth2 Staking Community Grants round in an effort to support a more delightful staking experience. This is an open call for proposals for grants that aim to enhance all things staking – tools, documentation, educational resources, etc.

This week, client developers led by protolambda launched the Toledo devnet – a 16k validator testnet with v1.0 mainnet configuration. Toledo is for initial v1.0 testing and continued developer experimentation.

Next week, we aim to launch Pyrmont – a 100k validator testnet mimicking mainnet conditions as closely as possible. Once Pyrmont is launched and stable, the testnet will be opened up to the community. Pyrmont can serve as a final place to test mainnet software releases and hardware setups in the run-up to mainnet launch.”

See Also: Eth2 Dev Update
See Also: The State of 1559 – Update 003

“The GridPlus cofounders began planning and designing the Lattice1 hardware wallet in 2017 and this week customers got their hands on the first wave of preordered units.

The Lattice1 is a next generation hardware wallet designed to replace the legacy hardware security options available today. It’s built for the current era in which people use cryptocurrency and decentralized systems every day instead of just storing them.

  • Back up your account to a PIN-protected SafeCard instead of keeping your seed phrase in a sock drawer. Firmware updates will enable support for easy N-of-M hardware multisig using SafeCards.
  • Securely sign your transactions from multiple paired devices via WiFi. The included Zigbee antenna enables communication with IoT devices.”

The Chinese government appears to view the payments giant as a destabilizing force to China’s economy, and the digital yuan is a way to keep companies like this in check.

Ant’s booming lending business has struck a nerve with China’s top financial regulators at a time when the country is already battling increasing default risks and weak banks. To curb fintech giants’ growing influence over the country’s economy, Beijing’s authorities proposed a new set of anti-monopolistic practices on fintech companies on Wednesday.

Industry watchers say the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) might use the digital yuan as part of a broader effort to curb the growth of Alipay and WeChat Pay. One way for the central bank to control Alipay’s lending business is to require the company to convert cash into the digital yuan to underwrite consumer loans.

The digital yuan can increase financial transparency and efficiency by helping banks better track and analyze non-performing assets.

For the central bank, it is very important that the underlying asset becomes the digital yuan. It can help the bank to solve many chronic problems in the financial system, including shadow banking, non-performing loans and too much informal financing.”

“The launch of 1inch V2 includes Pathfinder which is an API for an optimized discovery and routing algorithm. It also shipped with a more intuitive UI that’s a whole lot more customizable. Pathfinder is nice because it uses multiple ‘market depths’ within the same protocol—long-story short: this helps ensure the best rates on trades across 21 different DeFi liquidity source and cuts response time by a lot.

Traders can choose between the ‘Maximum return’ and ‘Lowest gas cost’ options. If you choose the ‘Maximum return’ option, the algorithm will use complex routes for the swap to make sure that you get the best rates. Alternatively, you can go for the ‘Lowest gas cost’ option where the pathfinder algorithm will find the best option in terms of gas costs.

With the advanced settings, the user can set slippage tolerance, the gas price and choose between the 22 liquidity sources 1inch offers.

In short, we think 1inch provides one of the best trading experience in DeFi.

Fidelity wants the world to warm up to Bitcoin. It spent an entire blog post yesterday defending the largest cryptocurrency by market cap—a technology that many consider would one day make Fidelity, a centralized financial institution, redundant.

Ria Bhutoria, director of research at Fidelity Digital Assets, the department at Fidelity responsible for handling cryptocurrencies, outlined a six-pronged defense for Bitcoin.

Most critics neglect the trade-offs Bitcoin purposely makes, conflating them for weaknesses, according to Fidelity’s evaluation.”

Grayscale, a digital assets management company, this week bought another 15,114 Bitcoin ($241 million), bringing the total number of Bitcoin the company owns to 506,000, or $8.1 billion. The company now manages a total of $10 billion worth of cryptocurrency.

Its total investments comprise 2.29% of Bitcoin’s entire market cap. On Thursday the company ‘raked in over $115 million in Bitcoin alone.'”

See Also: Galaxy Digital Makes Twin Acquisitions in Bid to Strengthen Institutional Appeal