“The wait is finally over: Layer 2 summer is heating up with Uniswap V3’s deployment onto Optimism. While it’s only an alpha release, and it’s limited in functionality and decentralization, we’ve tested it out and it absolutely lives up to the hype.
With transaction speeds that would make the Flash blush, and substantially reduced gas costs, Uniswap on Optimism is a teaser for the incredible capabilities and potential of layer 2. It’s also the first domino of many to fall as more of our favorite DeFi protocols, such as Synthetix, will be deploying more capabilities on Optimism in the coming weeks.
This is a historic moment for Ethereum. It’s the first step in transforming the network from being slow and expensive to blazingly fast and cheap. Optimism gives near-instant transactions for a low cost. Instead of paying $20 for trades on Uniswap, you pay <$1. Instead of waiting 2-3 minutes for transactions to confirm on-chain…you don’t have to wait at all.
Uniswap on Mainnet is a dial-up modem. Uniswap on Optimism is broadband. Ethereum is now scaling trustless transactions per second. Absolutely massive.
Want to experience the magic for yourself? This post will serve as your guide on Optimism, how to migrate to this layer 2 solution, the trust assumptions of doing so, and what the experience will be like when you get there.”
See Also: Optimism Gateway
“The Optimism team has long been in search of a solution on how to sustainably fund public goods, and we now have the structure of our first experiment thanks to a brilliant design by Vitalik Buterin.
The nonprofit model may work well for maintaining an already-built codebase, but the beginning phase of kicking off a project is extraordinarily difficult. A great majority of startups don’t make it to any kind of exit, and it’s even harder for FOSS projects. It’s often a slow-moving labor of love from a small group of highly dedicated individuals. Donations are not a stable enough source of funding for a team to calculate runway. Grant money is not enough to offer competitive salaries. Working somewhere for the “right reasons” doesn’t pay the bills.
There’s a beauty to the altruism of these heroes, but as avid users of what they create, shouldn’t we want them to get paid too? By providing OSS projects an exit, we’ve actually incentivized a source of funding to arise as well. Working backwards from the exit, open source projects can now be profitable!
The core principle behind the concept of retroactive public goods funding is simple: it’s easier to agree on what was useful than what will be useful. For the profit-making sector, the best that we can do is to build out an ecosystem where people can create startups and invest in them, and get rewarded if they end up correct. So rather than reinventing the wheel entirely, we will create a public-goods-oriented version of the exact same mechanism.
A DAO, which we can call “the Results Oracle”, funds public good projects. Long term, the results oracle can be funded by protocol fees (eg. if implemented by an L2 project, sequencer auctions are one candidate). But unlike other public goods funding DAOs, the Results Oracle funds projects retroactively, rewarding projects that it recognizes as having already provided value.
With protocol generated revenue, retroactive public goods funding, and a Results Oracle, we will create a startup-style funding cycle for public good projects. We, the Optimism team, commit to giving all our profits made from sequencing (prior to decentralizing the sequencer) to public goods funding experiments.”
“MEV profits are becoming an increasingly large part of miner’s economic rewards, making the threat of time bandit attacks [accumulating computing power in an attempt to remine old blocks] and reorgs more likely. It also means that it should theoretically be possible to actually bribe miners to reorg the chain.
Konstantopoulos and Buterin refer to reorg mining as “myopically rational.” Doing it works in the short run, but threatens to reduce trust in the network over the long term, thereby devaluing their ETH. Which isn’t to say it can’t happen.
They believe, however, that Ethereum’s planned move away from a proof-of-work system, in which miners create new blocks, to proof of stake, in which validators deposit their ETH for the right to make new blocks, solves for this. That’s because, with nearly 200,000 validators already participating in Ethereum 2.0, the network is much more distributed. When coupled with pseudorandom selection of several thousand validators to attest to each block, there are few opportunities for selfish actors to concentrate their resources.
Even single-block reorgs are extremely difficult, because an attacker controlling only a few validators has no way to beat the honest majority of thousands of attesters.”
“The dollar was once basically a stablecoin tied to gold, and that worked well as the greenback was establishing itself as an asset. But in time the American economy got so much bigger that it needed more flexibility than the gold standard afforded. Similarly, she expects the crypto economy will also outgrow a collateral obligation eventually.
An algorithmic stablecoin is one that can keep its peg using only software and rules. If one ever works, it could scale infinitely, to whatever size an economy needs.
To create USDC you need USD in the bank, and that works well if you’re just starting out. What comes after, it’s the right kind of monetary policy that allows stability and low volatility to allow people to trade … if we can do that with math and we can do that with monetary policy, that’s more efficient.
The reason algorithmic stablecoins keep getting tried is because it feels like the Holy Grail. It’s like bitcoin and settled on-chain, but actually stable and with purchasing power.”
“Uniswap Labs is restricting access to some tokens, including tokenized stocks and derivatives on the protocol interface that it supports. Uniswap cited an “evolving regulatory landscape” in explaining its decision.
Consistent with actions taken by other DeFi interfaces, we have taken the decision to restrict access to certain tokens through app.uniswap.org.
However, unlike Binance, a centralized exchange, Uniswap is only restricting access through its own interface. Users can still access these tokens through other portals on the decentralized finance (DeFi) platform that supports them.”
“Today Amazon listed a job posting for a Digital Currency and Blockchain Product Lead to create a vision and roadmap for new payment products. A subsequent statement shared by an Amazon spokesperson fanned the flames by suggesting the world’s largest online retailer is actively considering enabling cryptocurrency payments.
We’re inspired by the innovation happening in the cryptocurrency space and are exploring what this could look like on Amazon. We believe the future will be built on new technologies that enable modern, fast, and inexpensive payments, and hope to bring that future to Amazon customers as soon as possible.”
“The first in-person Ethereum event since the pandemic was a low-key but upbeat affair in Paris last week. EthCC was as far away from Bitcoin Miami as you could get.
It is true that ETH followers, like their Bitcoin counterparts, have become hugely wealthy recently, and the community is readying itself for several serious upgrades to the network, among them Optimism, the London hard fork and EIP 1559, and maybe finally—one hears breathlessly—proof of stake.
And yet, the tone of the Ethereum community’s first large-scale, in person event since before the pandemic was not one of nauseating religious fervor but was rather more involved and academic—more about poring over recondite technical details than about preaching any particular evangel (beyond “financial freedom”).
Talks were not of the “fuck Elon” variety but instead focused on sensible things such as “Painless Gas Cost Optimizations,” “Relayers as an Ultimate UX Solution that Connects Fragmented Ecosystems in a Multi-Chain World,” and “Up Only: How DAOs and NFTs Can Expand Personhood For Trees.” And, thank Christ, there was not a Lambo in sight.”
“So why are the central bankers so keen to characterize the private issuance of money as inherently unstable?
Because they are deeply conflicted: They rely on these myths to sell us their proposed solution in the form of CBDCs. It’s no coincidence the anti-stablecoin contingent is generally fond of CBDCs and believes the state should not only control the issuance of money but also have the power to determine which transactions are valid.
The debate is fundamentally about the state’s role in society. CBDCs promise to strip some of the issuing power of money away from the commercial bank sector (which exists as a public-private partnership) and restore it to the central government. This would naturally grant governments extremely powerful tools for surveillance, societal control and would empower central bankers with granular tools to affect the money supply. In a country where the politicization of banking is an established doctrine, CBDCs would represent a colossal victory for those trying to concentrate power in state hands.
The success of stablecoins, and the attendant stagnation of CBDC projects, is embarrassing to central bankers and policymakers. Stablecoins offer everything that CBDCs hope to achieve, but in a completely bottom-up, free-market way.
Gorton and Zhang object that stablecoin recipients will not accept these tokens at par, because the “no questions asked” (NQA) principle is violated due to a lack of confidence in the issuer and no government backing. But their analysis is off base both historically and in the present day. Private banknotes worked just fine – in Scotland, between 1716 and 1844. Today, stablecoins have been embraced and indeed accepted at par by millions of individuals and firms, thanks to the presence of convertibility.
Far from being inherently flawed or unstable, stablecoins are an overwhelming success today. The free market has allocated over $110 billion in deposits to these projects, even though they have only really existed in production for seven years or so. Stablecoins collectively today settle anywhere between $10 and $20 billion on a given day – trading with extremely tight spreads.
Indeed, our venture fund – alongside many of our industry colleagues – today prefers to settle investments in stablecoin format because they operate 24/7, offer strong finality and do not face the massive headaches involved with sending wires abroad. Startups we invest in increasingly ask for them – and in some cases process payroll in stablecoin format. For globally distributed teams, stablecoins make far more sense than trying to tackle transfers to dozens of different countries via extractive intermediaries and the byzantine correspondent banking system.
As for the consumer benefit of private versus public money, one only has to consider what happened after the free banking episode in the U.S. Monetary issuance was centralized in the hands of the state, which promptly inflated away everyone’s savings during the Civil War. Curiously, the central bankers touting the benefits of public money omit that part of the story.”
See Also: Regulate Stablecoins, Don’t Smother Them
“The eight-year-old company will go public through an IPO on Thursday. Shares are expected to sell at around $40 under the ticker HOOD.”
Robinhood is making a lot of investments in things we know our customers want, such as wallets, lending, and staking. We think there’s a big opportunity in front of us, and we look forward to delivering more products for customers.
Robinhood said it would offer a crypto wallet “as soon as possible” back in March. Executives repeated that promise yesterday but did not provide a launch date.”
“As international travel ramps up in parts of the world, Amadeus, a reservation system used by 474 airlines, has adopted IBM’s digital health passport solution called IBM Digital Health Pass. Instead of presenting paper-based certifications, travelers need only scan a QR code sent by email at the gate.
The backend technology authenticates credentials against requirements of each country—relieving from agents an onerous burden, given how frequently countries change travel restrictions as the pandemic evolves.
Data privacy is a major issue in creating universally-accepted IDs. For instance, the French are up in arms about president Emmanuel Macron’s plan to introduce a national health pass to enter restaurants, shopping centers, museums, and any indoor gathering places. In Macron’s plan, anyone who gets the Covid-19 vaccine will be entered in a central database which could be used to track individuals. The perceived government encroachment on individual freedoms is a reason some in France aren’t getting the vaccine.
IBM Digital Health Pass, in contrast, uses blockchain encryption technology, eliminating the need to collect and store personal data. This allows user to manage what information they want to share through their smartphones. All border agents see is a prompt for whether a traveler is cleared for travel or not.
Greg Land, IBM’s travel and transportation expert, believes the growing adoption of app-based health passes will energize initiatives to digitize all travel credentials which may one day make passport booklets obsolete.
Even before the pandemic, we were starting to see long lines at airports and other venues and it made us think that we just have to find a way to take that digital transformation to the next level.”
“Binance’s peers are distancing themselves from the company, as regulators circle overhead. Bankman-Fried is being careful not to say he bought out Binance’s shares in order to distance his company from Binance. So I’ll do it for him: that’s obviously the reason.
I think there are some differences between how we run our businesses. I think there are ways I would have reacted, responded, and run things differently.
As the space grows and all the big exchanges seek to attract customers while also navigating the necessary evil of regulation, you get the sense the other exchanges are “all in this together” while Binance increasingly stands alone, an island unto itself.”