EthHub Weekly #83

CFTC chair says ETH is a commodity, MCD coming November 18th, Vitalik enters beast mode, Uniswap & Plasma Group team up and much more!

Curated by Anthony Sassano (@sassal0x) and Eric Conner (@econoar)

🚀 That’s a Wrap!

Eric and I had an absolute blast at Devcon 5 last week. It was great to meet so many of our online friends in real life for the first time and it was really humbling to meet so many newsletter readers and podcast listeners - your support means the world to us! As for the event itself - we both skipped most of the talks and plan to catch up on the most interesting ones once the videos are released (this was mainly due to the fact that the rooms at the venue were super crowded and it was hard to even hear the speakers).

As for the weekly recap podcast - we may or may not do one this week due to the fact that we’re both still travelling in Japan with our partners so it’s hard to find a time to sync up to record (Eric has even gone as far as deleting Twitter off his phone for 2 weeks)! If we do end up doing it, it’ll probably go live 24 hours after you receive this newsletter.

By the way, if you saw the t-shirt that I was wearing at Devcon and wanted to pick up your own you can do so now at our merch shop!

Have a great week everyone!


News of the Week

🤯 CFTC Chairman Confirms Ether Cryptocurrency Is a Commodity

CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert has said ether, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, is a commodity.

Speaking at the Yahoo! Finance All Markets Summit Thursday, Tarbert said he believes ether is not a security.

“We’ve been very clear on bitcoin: bitcoin is a commodity. We haven’t said anything about ether – until now,” Tarbert said. “It is my view as chairman of the CFTC that ether is a commodity.”

Tarbert continued to say the CFTC is working with the SEC on the two cryptocurrencies and have agreed both are not securities. Going forward, the CFTC may allow ether futures to trade on U.S. markets, he suggested.

⚖️ SEC Halts Telegram’s $1.7 Billion ‘Unlawful’ Token Issuance

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) secured an emergency restraining order against the Telegram Group and its subsidiary TON Issuer for their $1.7 billion token sale.

The SEC announced late Friday that it filed for and received an emergency action and restraining order halting Telegram from selling or otherwise distributing its gram tokens within the U.S. The network was supposed to go live on Oct. 31.

Telegram sold 2.9 billion gram tokens “at discounted prices to 171 initial purchasers worldwide,” the release said. This included more than 1 billion grams sold to U.S. investors. However, the complaint alleges that Telegram did not register its offer or sale.

SEC Division of Enforcement co-director Stephanie Avakian said in a statement that the emergency action is “intended to prevent Telegram from flooding the U.S. markets with digital tokens that we allege were unlawfully sold.”

♎ More Members Withdraw from the Libra Project

Mastercard, Visa, digital auction company eBay, payments firm Stripe and Mercado Pago have all pulled out of the Facebook-led Libra Association.

The Financial Times reported Friday that eBay and Stripe dropped out of the Libra cryptocurrency project, citing political pressure, following PayPal, which pulled its own support of the project earlier this week. A Mastercard spokesperson confirmed to CoinDesk that the company will be withdrawing as well.

In a statement, the Mastercard spokesperson said:

“Mastercard has decided it will not become a member of the Libra Association at this time. We remain focused on our strategy and our own significant efforts to enable financial inclusion around the world. We believe there are potential benefits in such initiatives and will continue to monitor the Libra effort.”

Bookings Holdings has also withdrawn from the Libra Association - becoming the seventh project to do so.

Project Updates

Vitalik Enters Beast Mode

Vitalik published a total of 5 blog posts and research pieces during Devcon! In case you missed it, you can check them out here:

Multi-Collateral Dai Goes Live November 18th

The long awaited launch of MCD will introduce new features such as new collateral types other than ETH, the Dai Savings Rate (DSR) and will mark a turning point of the MakerDAO project.

Uniswap and Plasma Group Team Up

You can play the UniPig trading game to experience the satisfaction of instant transactions on Optimistic Rollup, the smart contract scalability engine:

Joe Lubin Announces the 1 Million Developers Initiative

The new One Million Devs website hopes to expand the Ethereum developer family - and to bring that family closer together - by providing an interactive and immersive space for newbies and veterans alike, to learn, collaborate, share, and build in a fun and easy manner.

MetaMask Introduces Web3 Plugins

Snaps: The Metamask Plugin System allows plugin scripts to be loaded over a verified and permissionless protocol like ENS, IPFS, or Swarm. These scripts have zero privilege by default, but will be able to request a variety of powerful wallet APIs from MetaMask, via a new API called the wallet API.

StarkWare and DeversiFi Partner Up

StarkWare partnered with DeversiFi to bring the first STARK-powered exchange to live users on mainnet by Jan 2020. This will (i) reduce fees for non-custodial trading, (ii) defragment liquidity pools, and (iii) reduce counter-party risk.

Set Introduces Public Rebalancing Dashboard

Using the dashboard interface, anyone can participate in Set rebalances which are some of the largest on-chain liquidity events on Ethereum.

New MyCrypto Enters Beta

MyCrypto’s massive new update entered open beta last week and includes a UX/UI/Design overhaul, a new dashboard, multi-account management and much more!

Introducing OpenZKP

OpenZKP is a fully open-source Rust implementation of zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs). OpenZKP includes a partial implementation of the STARKs protocol variant that was pioneered by StarkWare in the StarkDEX testnet demo.

Ambo Gets Major Update

The entire Ambo app has been redesigned and improved with updates to the trading user interface, the addition of smart features, user investment insights and much more!

Compound Version 2.2 Detailed

Version 2.2 of the Compound protocol moves all administrative functions behind a 2+ day time delay (complimented with an emergency escape hatch), and streamlines the borrowing flow. The code is in audit, and the protocol will be upgraded soon after.

Augur v2 & Beyond

Augur will be getting a major upgrade in Q1 of 2020 with the release of 0x trading, the integration of Dai, faster trading and a new native Augur betting UI.

AVA Labs Announces Aethereum

Athereum is a “spoon”, or friendly fork, of Ethereum, which benefits from the Avalanche consensus protocol and applications in the Ethereum ecosystem. 

Coinbase Adds Support for Maker Governance

As of October 12th, all clients who hold MKR in their Coinbase Custody account can participate in Maker Governance using the Coinbases new governance portal.

AKASHA Announces Ethereum.World

Ethereum.World is an interface that aims to accelerate the adoption of Ethereum-based applications.

Dolomite Removes All KYC for non-US Traders

Traders outside of the US will be able to trade with no limits right from their wallets immediately upon entering the Dolomite DEX.

MyDeFi Adds PoolTogether

You can now track your PoolTogether holdings in the MyDeFi mobile app.

Community Member Spotlight

This week we’re highlighting the great work of Kevin Owocki!

Kevin (or Owocki as he’s commonly referred to) is the “Chief Roboticist & Wannabe Philosopher King” at Gitcoin (aka the founder of Gitcoin). Owocki has also had experience as an organizer of the Boulder Startup week, Ignore Boulder,, Boulder Blockchain meetup and many open source projects.

Keep up the great work Owocki!

Interesting Tweets

Ecosystem Bits

Blog Posts




Meme of the Week

Nobody noticed that Dogecoin forked because they were too busy enjoying Devcon!

Looking for Work?

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Protect Your Crypto

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EthHub Weekly #82

Devcon 5, PayPal drops out of Libra, Coinbase launches USDC rewards program, InstaDApp raises $2.4M and much more!

Curated by Anthony Sassano (@sassal0x) and Eric Conner (@econoar)

🇯🇵 Devcon 5!

It’s finally here! Eric and I are both in Japan for Devcon 5 in Osaka. We’re super excited to speak to as many Ethereans as we can so if you’re attending the event, be sure to come find us for a chat (and a free sticker)!

Just a note: there won’t be a weekly recap podcast episode this week but there will be an extended one next week where Eric and I will recap our Devcon 5 experiences!

Have a great week everyone!


News of the Week

🤔 PayPal Withdraws from Libra

PayPal is leaving Facebook's Libra stablecoin project. The global payments giant becomes the first founding member of Libra to officially depart the project.

A PayPal spokesperson said that the payments firm “made the decision to forgo further participation” in the Facebook-initiated crypto project, to instead “continue to focus on advancing our existing mission and business priorities as we strive to democratize access to financial services for underserved populations.”

On Thursday, The Financial Times reported that PayPal was the only firm of the 28 inaugural members of the Libra project that did not attend a key meeting in Washington to discuss how Libra would address increasing opposition from global regulators.

In addition to PayPal, Other payments giants - Visa, Mastercard, and Stripe - are also reportedly hesitating to officially sign on to the Libra project.

🍏 Apple Has No Plans to Launch a Cryptocurrency

Apple CEO Tim Cook has spoken out about whether his company would launch a cryptocurrency, and the answer is a firm no.

In an interview with Les Echos newspaper, Cook argued that private companies shouldn’t be competing with states on monetary control, stating:

“No. I deeply believe that money must remain in the hands of states. I am not comfortable with the idea that a private group creates a competing currency. A private company does not have to seek to gain power in this way.”

The comment may be a dig at Facebook, which is developing a stablecoin payments project called Libra– slated for a 2020 launch – that has been under fire from regulators worldwide over its potential risk to financial stability and national monetary policies.

💵 JPMorgan, Intel Alums Launch Revenue-Sharing Stablecoin USDD

Former employees of JPMorgan, Intel and TrustToken have unveiled a dollar-backed stablecoin with a twist: revenue sharing for the institutions that use it.

Their new company, Global Currency Organization (GCO), developed the USD Digital (USDD) token. It aims to break through with exchanges, traders and OTC desks looking for a stablecoin product but unwilling to develop one themselves.

A novel fifty-fifty revenue sharing model incentivizes that adoption, GCO says, and USDD’s placement on the ethereum blockchain provides users with transparency.

“It’s the best of both worlds,” said CEO Joe Vellanikaran. “They get the stablecoin, and they get the revenue that GCO shares with them.”

Project Updates

InstaDApp Raises $2.4M Seed Round

InstaDApp, the DeFi portal that aggregates the major protocols using a smart wallet layer and bridge contracts, has raised $2.4M from Pantera Capital, Naval Ravikant, Balaji Srinivasan, Coinbase Ventures and more.

MyDeFi Updates

The MyDeFi app got an update this week and now has a new section named ‘Tools’ that will help you find the best lending rates from Compound, dYdX and bZx as well as sourcing information on the most profitable liquidity pools from Uniswap. The app also got a fresh new design.

Infura Has Officially Been Acquired by ConsenSys

Ethereum infrastructure provided Infura is now officially part of ConsenSys. Before the acquisition, the company was a ‘Spoke’ in the ConsenSys mesh which means that it was only part-owned by ConsenSys.

What’s New in Eth2 - 3 October 2019

In this 1 year anniversary edition of his newsletter, Ben recaps the interop lock-in, gives his thoughts on the roadmap for Eth2, and provides some research-related resources & updates.

Making Maker: September 2019

This month, Making Maker is all about preparedness: Prepare for the “new Oasis,” start planning to upgrade from Single-Collateral Dai to Multi-Collateral Dai, and, of course, getting ready for Devcon 5 in Osaka, Japan.

PryLabs Development Update #36

Various updates from the PryLabs team including that the testnet is now back online, big improvements in BLS, round robin sync, archival node functionality and much more.

a16z Launches Crypto Startup School

The aim of the program is the encourage more tech entrepreneurs to start crypto projects and to help crypto builders navigate the idea maze. Sign-ups are open now.

Lighthouse Update #16

The Lighthouse team gives us an update on their time at the Eth2 client interop summit, their experience with multi-client testnets, updates to their documentation and more.

Maker’s new Oasis Trade is Live

Oasis Trade represents the first step toward creating an all-in-one decentralized finance (DeFi) hub whereby users can trade crypto assets, earn savings by locking up Dai in the Dai Savings Rate (DSR), and access Multi-Collateral Dai CDPs.

Mint Sets with USDC and DAI

You can now use the USDC and DAI stablecoins to mint and redeem Sets on the TokenSets website. You can also now track your Sets using the Delta portfolio app! Launched

This new webapp helps liquidity providers understand each and every pool on Uniswap in order to determine where the best returns are.

BitDEX Announced

UMA Protocol’s BitDEX is a decentralized BitMEX that has no central operator, doesn’t use on-chain price feeds and introduces the concept of “priceless financial contracts”.

Coinbase Launches USDC Rewards Program

Eligible U.S customers can now start earning 1.25% APY rewards on every USD Coin (USDC) that they hold on Coinbase.

Ethereum 2.0 Grant Update #2: Interop Lockin

Whiteblock gives their own recap of the Eth2 interop lock-in event covering both the goals & outcomes of the event plus next steps for the team.

Nuo Introduces Margin Trading 2.0

Nuo upgraded their margin platform and now supports 30+ margin trading pairs, long or short ETH/WBTC, the ability to add any token as collateral and more.

SKALE Raises $17.1M

SKALE, the Ethereum scalong solution, has raised $17.1M from Winklevoss Capital, Arrington XRP Capital, ConsenSys Labs, among others.

Kyber Ecosystem Report #7

Kybers monthly recap giving us an update on new fiat-to-crypto functionality added to KyberSwap, new DeFi integrations, KNC updates and much more.

Morningstar to Offer Ratings for Crypto Assets

Morningstar’s system for rating bonds will be placed directly on the Ethereum blockchain to possibly enable a migration of the $117 trillion debt securities industry.

Matic β-Mainnet is Live

Matic Network is a Layer 2 blockchain platform using the Plasma framework. This week, they released the 2nd iteration of the Matic mainnet.

uPort Rebrands

Decentralized identity project uPort has rebranded with a brand new logo and website.

Community Member Spotlight

This week we’re highlighting the great work of Lefteris Karapetsas!

Lefteris is a long-term Ethereum core developer residing in Berlin. He’s also working as a developer on the Raiden Network as well as Rotki - an opensource portfolio tracking, analytics and crypto tax reporting app.

Keep up the great work Lefteris!

Interesting Tweets

Ecosystem Bits

Blog Posts




Meme of the Week

Vitalatte, anyone? I’ll see myself out.

Looking for Work?

Top jobs listed on Cryptocurrency Jobs this week:

Protect Your Crypto

Buy a hardware wallet:

Donations: 0xA19FCDaD77C1F0fd184689aca88BabCF68010347

AZTEC Protocol: Bringing Privacy to Ethereum


This week, Tom Pocock and Zac Williamson of AZTEC protocol join the podcast to discuss how they are bringing privacy to the Ethereum main chain. AZTEC is an on chain privacy protocol for Ethereum which enables efficient zero knowledge transactions. The protocol is just weeks away from a launch on mainnet which will start to enable users to have zero-knowledge (private) tokens such as Dai as well as enable dapp developers to create private applications. Privacy is a must for the future of Ethereum and this is a great conversation around the important topic.

EthHub Weekly Recap #81: Gitcoin grants, Kik drama, Istanbul testnets, crypto ratings council, Gods Unchained raises $15mn, tokenizing NBA contracts and Ethereum gas explained


On the EthHub Weekly Recap we cover topics from the EthHub Weekly Newsletter. In this episode we discuss Gitcoin grants CLR matching round 3, plans for DevCon, drama around Kik and their Kin token, Istanbul testnets going online for the upcoming network upgrade, the ridiculousness that is the “crypto ratings council”, Gods Unchained raises $15mn for Ethereum game, an NBA player is tokenizing his contract and Eric’s blog post explaining Ethereum gas, blocks and the fee market.

Support our show!

Buy EthHub Merch

EthHub Weekly #81

Kik drama, Maker details new OasisDEX, Istanbul testnets are coming, Coinbase introduces Crypto Rating Council and much more!

Curated by Anthony Sassano (@sassal0x) and Eric Conner (@econoar)

💸 Contribute to Ethereum Open Source

Gitcoin have been running an open source contribution program alongside the Ethereum Foundation and ConsenSys to match donations made on the Gitcoin Grants website. The fun thing is that the matching is actually being done via a ‘Liberal Radicalism’ (otherwise known as CLR) mechanism. This means that many small contributions to a project are valued higher than a few big ones. For example, a 1 DAI donation can result in a matching multiple of up to 179x (1 DAI turns into a 179 DAI match)!

I encourage every single person reading this to go and contribute any amount you can to as many projects you can on Gitcoin (and don’t forget to share it on Twitter when you do)! This round of matching ends in a couple of days so be sure to make your contribution as soon as possible.

We’d also like to extend a big thank you to everyone who donated to EthHub through Gitcoin - Eric and I are going to be putting out a bunch of bounties to get a whole bunch of content onto the EthHub documentation site after Devcon!

Have a great week everyone!


News of the Week

🤔 Venezuela’s Central Bank Exploring Addition of BTC and ETH to its Reserves

The central bank of Venezuela is running internal tests to determine whether it can add cryptocurrencies, specifically bitcoin and ether, to its international reserves, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The test came at the request of Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), the state-owned oil and natural gas company. PDVSA is looking to have the Venezuelan central bank pay the company's suppliers on its behalf using the bitcoin and ether it has obtained. 

Due to U.S. sanctions, PDVSA has struggled to do business with its clients and suppliers, as major banks have avoided opening business channels with the company. According to Bloomberg, it is unclear how PDVSA was able to get a hold of its bitcoin and ether. The value of its holdings is also unclear.

⚖️ Kik Messaging App to Shut Down Following SEC Lawsuit Against ICO

Following reports its crypto-focused subsidiary Kin had laid off 70 employees, Kik Interactive CEO Ted Livingston announced last Monday that Kik will also be shutting down its core messaging service.

In a company blog post, Livingston said the ongoing dispute with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has forced Kik to close its doors.

“After 18 months of working with the SEC the only choice they gave us was to either label Kin a security or fight them in court,” Livingston wrote. “So with the SEC working to characterize almost all cryptocurrencies as securities we made the decision to step forward and fight.”

In addition to shutting down the app, Livingston said the company would shrink its crypto operations to just 19 core developers with a focus on fostering the adoption of Kik’s KIN cryptocurrency.

In other news: Coindesk fell victim to a hoax in which a fake Kik CEO claimed to quit (along with a bunch of other bizarre claims).

🤦 Overstock, Patrick Byrne Hit With Class Action Over ‘Market Manipulation’

An investor has launched a class action lawsuit against Overstock and two former execs, claiming securities violations through making false statements to manipulate the firm’s stock price.

According to a complaint filed Sept. 27 at the district court in Utah, Benjamin Ha alleges on behalf of himself and other investors in the firm, that between May 9 and Sept. 23, 2019, the defendants published “materially false and misleading statements” regarding the company’s financial state.

Ha states that the defendants’ alleged false claims allowed them to artificially inflate the value of Overstock stock and allowed former CEO Patrick Byrne to sell all of his shares – worth over $100 million at the time – at unrealistic prices.  Further, according to the document, the claims allowed Overstock to sell off more stock to the market to fund its cryptocurrency projects, and caused Ha and other investors to buy stock at “artificially inflated prices.”

Project Updates

Istanbul Testnets Are Coming

The Ethereum Cat Herders have released a detailed guide on Istanbul - the latest Ethereum network upgrade. This guide runs through what a network upgrade (hard fork) is, what Istanbul is, what happens during the upgrade, what people need to do and covering which EIPs are going into the upgrade.

Update on the New Oasis

MakerDAO gives an update on the open-source OasisDEX protocol. A core element of the protocol is that it is truly decentralized and permissionless. It includes a non-custodial setup and a fully on-chain order book, has no central operator, and runs using open-source software.

Introducing the Crypto Ratings Council

Coinbase has joined crypto businesses in announcing the creation of the Crypto Rating Council, a member-operated organization formed to assist market participants that trade or support crypto assets to comply with U.S. federal securities laws. Founding members of the Council are EthererAnchorage, Bittrex, Circle, Coinbase, DRW Cumberland, Genesis, Grayscale Investments and Kraken.

How to Upgrade to MCD from SCD

Maker have put together an outline on how to prepare for the migration to Multi-collateral Dai from Single-collateral Dai. Whether you’re a Dai holder, CDP owner or any other MakerDAO participant you will need to upgrade as it is mandatory.

Immutable Raises $15 million for Gods Unchained

The team behind the popular Ethereum-based game Gods Unchained has raised $15 million from leading investors Naspers and Galaxy Digital (among others).

State Channels Developer Update #0

The first update from the new State Channels initiative details the recent merger between Counterfactual and Magmo and what it means for the two teams going forward.

Connext v2.0 on Mainnet

After two months of Rinkeby testing, audits, and bugfixing, Connext v2.0 is now deployed onto mainnet!

UniswapEX Announced

UniswapEX brings limit orders to Uniswap and allows relayers to earn a fee when executing these orders.

Blockchain Education for Beginners Announced

Harry Glynn has launched a new blockchain education initiative over at that aims to completely simplify crypto.

Introducing Unlock User Accounts

Unlock User Accounts allow people with no knowledge of crypto to use Unlock services on selected NFT locks. Once users ready, they can then "eject" their accounts and import them into the wallet of their choice.

Ren September Development Update

A small update from the Ren team this week detailing updates to the RenVM, command center and protocol optimisations. The team also published the RenVM Mainnet Release Plan.

Community Member Spotlight

This week we’re highlighting the great work of Peter Pan!

Peter is heavily involved within the Ethereum community across many different areas but his main focuses are finding new ways to fund early stage dapp experimentation via the MetaCartel DAO and hosting the Wizard of Dapps podcast.

Peter was also one of the people responsible for organizing the recent MetaCartel Demo Day in Berlin which was a huge success!

Keep up the great work Peter!

Interesting Tweets

Ecosystem Bits

Blog Posts




Meme of the Week

At this point we should just rename this section to ‘Alexander’s Corner’ 😅

Looking for Work?

Top jobs listed on Cryptocurrency Jobs this week:

Protect Your Crypto

Buy a hardware wallet:

Donations: 0xA19FCDaD77C1F0fd184689aca88BabCF68010347

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