The Disrupt Weekend

Having been deployed to all major testnets, Berlin is coming to mainnet on April 14th at block 12,244,000. The upgrade brings security improvements to Ethereum, and sets the stage for the deployment of EIP-1559 in London.

London is being prepared: EIP-1559 implementations are underway, and the scope of the upgrade is being kept tight to hit the July/August deadline.

The focus of Shanghai is still being discussed: either core developers will move all their attention to The Merge, or a last set of highly requested EIPs will be deployed as the merge gets prototyped.”

See Also: Eth2 Quick Update
See Also: Eth2 Development Update

Miner-extractable value (MEV) and frontrunning are widely recognized to be among the final unsolved fundamental issues in the blockchain space. There are now hundreds of millions of dollars of documented MEV, most of which is tremendously harmful for users and traders.

We would like to introduce Shutter Network, an open-source project that aims to prevent frontrunning on Ethereum by using a threshold cryptography-based distributed key generation (DKG) protocol. Its first instantiation will be a simple drop-in solution for smart contracts. A testnet version of this system will be released on Goerli shortly.

Shutter allows users to send encrypted transactions in a way that protects them from frontrunners. Attackers can neither determine if it is a buy or a sell order, nor which tokens are being exchanged, or at which price. The system will only decrypt and execute a transaction after it has left the dark forest and is included in a block.”

“We’ve decided to pivot our full attention to enabling a composable and interoperable layer-2 ecosystem for Ethereum. Hop allows users to quickly and easily transfer tokens directly between layer-2s, sidechains, and layer-1 Ethereum.

The Hop protocol provides a scalable token bridge for Ethereum’s layer-2 ecosystem using a two-pronged approach:

  • Create a special intermediary asset called an hToken (e.g., hETH, hDAI, etc.) that can be quickly and economically moved from one network to the next.
  • Use Automated Market Makers (AMMs) to swap between the hTokens and their corresponding assets on each layer-2 network.

The end result allows users to seamlessly transfer tokens from one network to the next. The Hop contracts are currently being audited and will go live in April.”

See Also: zkSync 2.0 Roadmap Update: zkEVM Testnet in May, Mainnet in August

“In its most basic sense, Theta can be thought of as a decentralized video streaming platform that has been built using a blockchain framework. The platform seeks to mitigate many of the problems being faced by the traditional video streaming sector, allowing for the relay of high-quality video content at relatively low costs.

Theta has put forth the technological proposition of a user-driven holistic media ecosystem that focuses on providing everyone with uninterrupted entertainment services, all while eliminating the need for any centralized authority.

The Theta team has been able to rope in the co-founders of two top video streaming platforms — a la YouTube and Twitch — to its advisory panel. A large part of what is fuelling the currency’s growth is its increasing popularity in South Korea, with Bithumb recording a volume of nearly $10 million in relation to the THETA/KRW pair.

Now, is Theta actually worth all the hype? I am not sure because it’s too early to tell. I want to see how well their mainnet does. However, they have a solid advisory team and are solving an important problem, so that’s definitely working in their favor.

Though Theta continues to grow from strength to strength, with each passing day, there are a number of people who are not big advocates for the project. is designed to take people’s money since you cannot withdraw funds. The people benefiting from Theta are mostly people who run nodes and people participating in their NFT hype. 94% of the people who owned TFuel were from the original airdrop.

Once people get to know the nitty-gritty of what’s actually going on, they will begin to realize that they can only spend their earned tokens within the platform. He pointed out that all deposits on the platform are totally non-refundable.”

“Currently, the market is not supplying nearly enough coverage to meet the demand. Even the biggest brokers in the world are having to tell clients they cannot get insurance for more than $10 million of crypto risk.

Commercial insurers are still very cautious when it comes to providing insurance capacity for companies working with digital assets.

On the Nayms platform, regulated brokers and underwriters can find crypto capital providers to share in the premiums and the liability entailed in covering crypto risk. Nayms trims administrative costs by tokenizing the insurance contracts on the Ethereum blockchain and wrapping them in smart contracts. Submitting to regulatory oversight stimulates confidence in the platform, which helps get established insurers like Relm on board.

Nayms is proposing to facilitate insurance that pays out crypto, which would be a world first. This March it launched a pilot. Another giant brokerage, Aon, used the Nayms platform to place the world’s first-ever tokenized insurance contract underwritten by a regulated insurer.

Tokenizing insurance and administering it with smart contracts could bring efficiency gains in the wider insurance industry beyond crypto. The army of suits who work on resolving claims would be made obsolete overnight as algorithms would do it automatically.

Smart contracts could eliminate brokers entirely. Clients could agree to deals directly with insurers, with self-executing code doing the rest. That all makes for a titanic potential reward for bridging the gap between crypto and insurance.”

“For decades, science fiction writers have tried to imagine what a post-scarcity society might be like, but I suspect none of them predicted that, in the absence of urgent material needs, we might go about re-inventing scarcity for its own sake.

Even while digital content and software drive ever-larger parts of our economy into a post-scarcity era, real world constraints will always be with us. There is a finite supply of land and, at any given time, finite supplies of many other critical resources. NFTs have a role to play in putting the finite resources and assets to work.

At EY, we have long assumed NFTs are going to be the critical mechanism for managing the digital representation of high-value assets. We also see them as the key mechanism for representing the inputs and outputs of business processes. Purchase orders are, as a class, pretty typical, but each one is for unique products and amounts. Turning POs or invoices into NFTs means they become transactionable online, opening up credit markets and accelerating digital payments.

Scarcity will always be with us, and NFTs provide one of the best tools ever invented for making the most of what we have.”

“The NFT up for bid captures a snippet at the end of the sketch in which four characters walk out of a classroom single file and then the background morphs into a street with the characters now on a crosswalk. Because there aren’t enough layers to this already, the scene channels another work of art, the Beatles’ album Abbey Road.

Adding further to the Russian nesting doll vibe, last week’s skit showed this very segment being minted as an example of how things are turned into NFTs. Now it’s actually happened and it’s all very meta.

At press time, bidding was at 8.5 wrapped ether (US$17,618.29).”

“The funds, which are equivalent to roughly $1.3 billion, will be used to bootstrap the Fei decentralized stablecoin.

Fei Protocol’s raise marks one of the biggest DeFi launches of all time. Fei Labs noted in its Twitter feed that the FEI-to-ETH trading pair was the largest pool on Uniswap as of Saturday.”

An anonymous whale just shifted over 629,000 ETH—worth over $1.3 billion at Ethereum’s current price—to the Compound contract.

To make the transaction happen, the whale paid a gas fee of 0.0205 ETH—just over $43 at Ethereum’s current price.”

See Also: Compound Hits $15 Billion In Total Lending Value as DeFi Boom Continues

At the turn of the new year, Bitcoin dominated 72% of the market. But the power of the coin has been in freefall, and market dominance has since declined to 58.47%.

“Sensitive personal information for over half a billion Facebook users was leaked on a well-trafficked hacking forum earlier today — a potential risk to millions of cryptocurrency traders and hodlers who now may be vulnerable to sim swapping and other identity-based attacks.

The leak has now expanded to include “Phone number, Facebook ID, Full name, Location, Past Location, Birthdate, (Sometimes) Email Address, Account Creation Date, Relationship Status, Bio.”

Bad actors will certainly use the information for social engineering, scamming, hacking and marketing.

Cryptocurrency users are at particular risk of such attacks. In 2018 Kaspersky Labs found that hackers were able to steal 21,000 ETH, currently worth over $43 million, in social engineering attacks over a 12-month period.”

The so-called John Doe summons, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, asks Kraken to provide account details for all American taxpayers who have held at least $20,000 in cryptocurrency on the exchange at any point from 2016 to 2020.

Judge Joseph Spero isn’t ready to authorize the request, which would cover registration details and transaction history, unless the government justifies it.

The IRS must specifically address why each category of information sought is narrowly tailored to the IRS’s investigative needs.

A judge can approve the summons, provided there’s a reasonable basis to presume a group of people may have broken tax laws and such information isn’t accessible by other means.”

“On Friday night, Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke posted a Twitter message asking the DeFi community what “role” Shopify could play in the growing financial vertical. Earlier in the day, he posted that he’d been “dabbling” with smart contracts, referring to their functionality as “fascinating.”

The inquiry drew hundreds of responses, including from multiple DeFi power players. Nansen’s Alex Svanevik mentioned stablecoin payments as well as using DeFi protocols to allow cash in Shopify accounts to earn yield, and likewise ConsenSys’ Corbin Page pointed to a hackathon project that deposited payments directly into yield-bearing protocols.

More complex suggestions centered on leveraging deposited funds for payments, real-time subscription fees, and using protocols like Alchemix to enable asset-backed loans for payments.

Shopify is the largest company in Canada, among the largest in the northern hemisphere, and counts over 3 million online stores as part of its platform.

Future FinTech, a New York-based publicly-traded software firm, has acquired Nanjing Ribensi Electronic Technology Co., in an effort to break into Bitcoin mining.

FutureFinTech will take full ownership of the firm’s mining operations, which includes some 30,000 ASICs located in China’s hydro-rich Sichuan region, but Nanjing Ribensi’s current staff will continue maintaining the farms.”