The Disrupt Weekend

“Hal Finney received the first-ever Bitcoin transaction. Hal passed from ALS in 2014, but his legacy lives on. In 2010, Finney wrote a message on the famed BitcoinTalk forum that discussed the ultimate fate of Bitcoin, to be the ‘high-powered money’ that serves as a reserve currency for banks that issue their own digital cash.’

On March 14, Do Kwon, the founder of Terraform Labs, announced UST was going to be backed by a $10 billion reserve of bitcoin (BTC). While Terraform Labs is not exactly a bank, it is issuing its own digital cash to make paying for things easier – and it’s about to be backed by bitcoin. This is a big deal for anyone with a vested interest in the Bitcoin system, even if you vehemently reject altcoins.

If successful, UST could become a dollar stablecoin backed by a completely auditable, transparent and decentralized digital asset. That’s a big deal. You won’t need to trust Do Kwon that the collateral is there, nor an accounting firm that will qualify its assurances with weasel words. You’ll be able to see for yourself on the blockchain.”

“MakerDAO has either implemented or is currently mulling over new updates to help improve the adoption of its stablecoin and also rethink the tokenomics of its native MKR token. The very likely pretext for this wave of changes is to bring DeFi’s original central bank back to the top.

One proposal under discussion is that of turning MKR into a sort of vote-locking token akin to Curve and Yearn’s “ve-” models. This means that to participate in various governance proposals, you would need to stake your MKR token. In exchange, you would receive “stkMKR” and voting rights. More importantly, though, those who stake MKR tokens also would be rewarded with additional MKR (similar to staking or yield farming rewards).

Another update was that of adding stETH-ETH liquidity provision (LP) tokens as collateral to MakerDAO. It’s a particularly interesting inclusion because it also shows how a traditionally conservative (at least for DeFi) project is onboarding a bit more risk than in the past.

The final proposal, and perhaps most controversial, has been that of onboarding more real-world assets (RWAs) as collateral to the Maker protocol. Hexonaut proposed to open the collateral pool to assets like real estate loans or debt financing. This means you could mint DAI using non-crypto things. And there are already protocols built to bridge these two worlds too, including Centrifuge.

With more funds sloshing around, black swan events akin to what happened in March 2020 (when DAI briefly lost its dollar peg) could be better cushioned.”

“Raiden is at a critical juncture. We have completed building the Raiden protocol as it was originally envisioned. Our goal was to provide a scalable payment solution — one optimized for a world in which everyday purchases can be made using ERC20 tokens.

Today, multiple bull-and-bear cycles, ICOs, DeFi, NFTs, Gaming, L2s, the Merge, and regulatory changes have changed the Ethereum ecosystem in ways we could not have foreseen 7 years ago. While we are seeing plenty of use cases on Ethereum, everyday payments using ERC20 tokens is not one of them. The demand for a scalable payment solution is way lower than we and the Ethereum community originally anticipated.

[Further], since we started the project in 2015, new scaling technologies (e.g. rollups) with different trade-offs have emerged. Even in many payment use cases, rollups offer a superior scaling solution.

To overcome these obstacles, we are currently reworking Raiden Network to sit on top of Ethereum rollups, which will allow users to set up a Raiden payment channel at a fraction of the gas fees needed to do so on Mainnet. This adaptation will reduce the setup costs to acceptable levels and make Raiden a viable option for projects looking to implement or build on payment networks.

Although rollups have many benefits, payment channel networks like Raiden have some unique properties regarding latency, transfer cost, and decentralization. In theory, the Raiden Network still offers one of the very best trustless foundations for payment products with massive scale. The challenge moving forward is to discover the niches in which these characteristics are crucial, thus creating new opportunities for the Raiden Network to thrive.”

“One of the world’s oldest living cultures is meeting the world’s newest emerging tech as Indigenous Australians begin to take part in the Metaverse.

The virtual world does impact the physical world. The Metaverse mirrors the earth, using the earth as the mirror in the gaming realm. The virtual world plays out features from the physical world. During creation, the ancestors created sacred worlds between the land and the living. From birth, we are taught to connect with the physical and spiritual worlds, past the present, future — The Metaverse is a future realm.

Having a cultural embassy for the group is about using the future to re-write the past. It’s about leapfrogging the political process and making the cultural process part of that negotiation from the beginning. Crypto allows us to be part of the conversation again.

The project is currently in the design phase with a hexagonal dome cultural embassy providing “multiple doors for many conversations.” They have received offers to donate some plots of land and hope to have virtual embassies on Metaverse platforms like Decentraland and the Sandbox.

In November 2021, Barbados launched its embassy in the Metaverse. In February, another Indigenous Australian group, the Sovereign Yidindji Government in Queensland — a first for the country — launched its own digital currency as a way to further foster self-sovereignty that it has claimed since 2014.”

“Though I believe Modular Chains like Ethereum that maximize decentralization and are backed by strong monetary assets will capture the bulk of bankless activity over the long-run, I also think there’s a role to play for networks of sidechains and interlinked but independent appchains.

Cosmos is an internet of blockchains. Cosmos functions as a decentralized network of interoperable and independent blockchains. The project uses the Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol (IBC) to allow these blockchains to readily pass tokens and data among each other.

The project is a framework for building custom-tailored independent blockchains that are interoperable with all other Cosmos-powered blockchains. Dapps don’t directly deploy onto Cosmos as they would on an L1 per se, rather they deploy as “appchains” — i.e. application-specific blockchains — or onto blockchains that have been deployed via the Cosmos framework. These chains are underpinned by the Tendermint Core consensus engine.

The first blockchain deployed on the Cosmos network is the Cosmos Hub. Cosmos Hub is a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain secured and governed by ATOM token holders. So while the Cosmos network is best understood as an L0, Cosmos Hub is more directly comparable to, and usable as, L1 infrastructure.

Note that Cosmos Hub isn’t compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) like many other alt-L1s are, so creating a Cosmos Hub wallet isn’t as simple as, say, adding a new network to your MetaMask.”

See Also: Hottest tokens in the Cosmos Ecosystem

“Like the EU’s framework for crypto assets that is currently making its way through the legislative process, the U.K.’s regulatory efforts may also focus heavily on stablecoins.”

The rollout of this initiative will place Rio de Janeiro as the first Brazilian city to make BTC payments mainstream. Supporting this cause led by the Brazilian Mayor Eduardo Paes, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced to open a new office in the region.

We will stimulate the circulation of cryptocurrencies by integrating them into the payment of taxes. In the future, this can be expanded to services such as taxi races, for example.”