EthHub Weekly #91

Istanbul activated on mainnet, Etherscan launches beacon chain explorer, Nightfall gets an update, Zerion raises $2mil and much more!

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

😍 Istanbul Activated!

Yay! Istanbul, a major upgrade for the Ethereum mainnet, successfully went live at block #9,069,000 bringing with it a host of improvements for the network. Over 60% of the network nodes monitored by Ethernodes have upgraded and are on the Istanbul chain. Ethereum’s next upgrade, Muir Glacier, is slated for block #9,200,000 and this fork simply delays the difficulty bomb by 2 years (so that the Ethereum chain doesn’t freeze/halt).

Have a great week everyone!


News of the Week

⚖️ Ethereum Developer Virgil Griffith to Be Released From Jail Pending Trial

A judge ruled that the U.S. Department of Justice has enough evidence to move a case against Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith to trial.

Griffith, who was arrested in Los Angeles on Thanksgiving Day on charges of conspiracy to assist the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in learning more about cryptocurrency for its own benefit, had a preliminary court hearing Monday to determine whether the DOJ had sufficient evidence to establish probable cause.

The U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of New York said Friday that he had been charged with "violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) by traveling to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) in order deliver a presentation and technical advice on using cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to evade sanctions."

⛔ China’s Internet Firewall Has Blocked Access to Ethereum Block Explorer

China's Great Firewall, used by the government to regulate access to foreign internet sites, has blocked one of the most popular sources of Ethereum blockchain data.

As of Tuesday, was inaccessible from IP addresses inside mainland China, based on tests performed locally.

The change appears to be recent. According to, which compiles and monitors a database of sites that are blocked inside China, was still accessible with "no censorship detected" as of Aug. 18, 2019.

But's scanning record shows has become 100 percent blocked since at least Oct. 30, rendering it inaccessible from inside China unless via a virtual private network (VPN).

At time of writing, people residing in China can still use Etherscan’s ‘cn’ version of their website here.

🤔 Deutsche Bank Says Crypto Could Replace Cash by 2030

Cryptocurrencies have the potential to eventually replace cash, according to new research from financial services giant Deutsche Bank.

In the “Imagine 2030” research report, Germany-headquartered Deutsche Bank said cryptocurrencies may have been “additions” rather than “substitutes” in the finance world thus far, but the next decade could change that as regulatory hurdles get past.

“If one of the GAFA [Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon] (or their Chinese counterparts BATX [Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and Xiaomi]) for example are able to overcome regulatory hurdles...this would broaden the appeal of cryptocurrencies, hasten their adoption, and give them the potential to eventually replace cash,” per the report, which is led by Jim Reid, global head of fundamental credit strategy and thematic research at Deutsche Bank.

The current fiat system looks “fragile,” particularly because of “decades of low labor costs” and inflation. Over the next decade, things could change and “demand for alternative currencies, from gold to crypto, could take off,” according to the report.

Project Updates

Introducing the Open Finance Index (OFI)

The OFI has been created as a new way of measuring the activity/growth of Open Finance on Ethereum. OFI departs from the TVL methodology, instead aggregating vertical-specific metrics.

Ethereum 2.0 Development Update #40 — Prysmatic Labs

A packed update this week from the PryLabs team covering testnet updates, bug squashes, merged code, upcomign work and more.

Lighthouse Development Update #19 - Public Testnet

Sigma Prime are now hosting publicly-accessible Lighthouse nodes and provide instructions for running your own beacon node and/or validator client. In other words, they have a public testnet that you can join today.

What’s New in Eth2 - 6 December 2019

Lots of updates in this edition including phase 0 testnet news, the latest on the deposit contract, BLS signatures & networking, a bunch of info about phase 2, research updates and more.

EF-Supported Teams: Research & Development Update

A large update from the Ethereum Foundation this month across all of their supported teams including Ewasm, Geth, ecosystem support programs, research and much more.

Etherscan Launches Beacon Chain Explorer

Etherscan’s Beacon Chain Explorer enables users to explore the eth2 phase 0 testnet that Prysm and Shasper are currently running. The explorer is currently in alpha.

Eth2 quick update no. 5

Updates on Shasper joining the Prysmatic testnet, the eth2 block explorers, first eth2 networking call and more.

MetaMask Monthly: November

Web3 permissions rolling out, a recap of recent blockchain weeks/hackathons, development updates and more in this monthly report from MetaMask.

New Bounties for

You can now earn DAI by completing a new set of bounties listed by the Ethereum foundation on Gitcoin.

Introducing the TokenSets Weekly Market Report

In these newsletters, the Set team will be covering the events of the previous week including a report on Set performance and rebalance events, a brief overview of recent crypto market activity, relevant on-chain metrics, a learning section and links to resources, blog posts, podcasts and videos that caught their eye.

Wyre Levels Up

In 2020, Wyre will be launching native meta transaction support which will allow users to go directly into any DeFi interaction from their debit card. This will allow a new user to onboard into crypto in less than 20 seconds.

Nightfall Update

EY released an update to their Nightfall open source and public domain tools. This update enables the first version of transaction batching - allowing up to 20 transactions at once under zero knowledge. This represents a 400-fold improvement in gas efficiency since the teams last OpsChain Public Edition prototype just over one year ago.

Zerion raises $2M to Fuel Next Phase of DeFi

The seed round was led by Placeholder with participation from Blockchain Ventures and Gnosis. Zerion stated that the money will be used to “build the best interface to decentralized finance”.

Introducing ZK Sync

ZK Sync is a trustless scaling and privacy solution for Ethereum based on ZK Rollup. Along with the announcement, the team has released a devnet for ZK Sync that is now publicly available.

MyCryptoWinter is Back

Throughout the month of December, new tips will be revealed each day on the MyCryptoWinter site with action items that you can complete yourself! These tips will be angled towards improving your online life - from privacy and security to financial freedom.

Loopring v3 Deployed

Loopring v3-beta4 has been deployed to the Ethereum mainnet. Even though this version is called a “beta”, the team believes that it’s production-ready.

Brave Passes 10 Million Monthly Active Users

Brave went from 8.7 million monthly active users in October to 10.4 million MAU at the end of November, a 19% increase across all platforms.

GridPlus Progress Update: December 6, 2019

Justin from GridPlus updates us on what the team has been doing around GridPlus over the last few weeks as well as exciting news on what’s coming in 2020!

Uniswap Adds Enhanced Wallet Support

The team added support for WalletConnect, WalletLink, Protis, Formatic and mobile deep linking with Trust Wallet.

Welcome to the RenVM Developer Center

The RenVM Developer Center has opened, along with RenVM’s first third-party application, Roundabout. Roundabout is an experimental, permission-less, non-custodial way to transfer Bitcoin in and out of Ethereum using RenVM.

Tokenlon DEX now on Web

Buy and sell imBTC & other tokens via trust-less atomic swap, now on web and mobile app.

Geth v1.9.9 Released

This update enables the next fork, Muir Glacier, scheduled for the 6th of January 2020.

Community Member Spotlight

This week we’re highlighting the great work of Spencer Noon!

Spencer is a long-time crypto-advocate and community member. He is the founder of DTC Capital which is a fundamentals-focused crypto fund - you can see their list of investments here.

I highly recommend following him on Twitter as he offers really great insights into topics that not many people are talking about in crypto!

Keep up the great work Spencer!

Interesting Tweets

Ecosystem Bits

Blog Posts




Meme of the Week

Looking for Work?

Top jobs listed on Cryptocurrency Jobs this week:

Protect Your Crypto

Buy a hardware wallet:

Donations: 0xA19FCDaD77C1F0fd184689aca88BabCF68010347

EthHub Weekly #90

Upbit hacked, DSR wrapper chai launched, Set Protocol launches social trading, Ramp instant now live and much more!

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

😔 The Trouble with Virgil

So I think it’s fair to say that everyone reading this will have already heard about the news regarding Virgil Griffith’s arrest relating to his recent trip to North Korea. Eric and I don’t really have a “hot take” on this subject and have tried to mostly stay out of the “trial by twitter” that’s transpired over the last week. In saying that, while Virgil’s actions were careless, naive, and obviously illegal - we’re not ready to throw him to the wolves and will be sticking by him as fellow Ethereum community members until we learn more about the overall situation.

We’ll probably dive a bit deeper into this topic on our weekly recap podcast if anyone reading is interested in our more nuanced views.

Oh and our good friend Camila Russo’s book on the history of Ethereum is now available for pre-order (with a launch date of July 14th 2020) - head here to purchase it!

Have a great week everyone!


News of the Week

🇩🇪 German Banks Allowed to Sell and Custody Crypto Assets From 2020

From next year, banks in Germany will be allowed to offer the sale and storage of cryptocurrencies under new legislation.

Previously, banks were barred from offering direct access to crypto assets, but the new law implementing the fourth EU Money Laundering Directive would change that, according to local business newspaper the Handelsblatt in a report on Wednesday. The bill has already been passed by the German federal parliament, the Bundestag, and is expected to be signed off by the nation's 16 states.

The bill goes further than had been previously planned, the report says. Originally, banks were not to be allowed to act as crypto custodians, and were to have relied on external custodians or dedicated subsidiaries.

Sven Hildebrandt, head of the consulting firm DLC, welcomed the news, telling the Handelsblatt: "Germany is well on its way to becoming a crypto-heaven. The German legislator is playing a pioneering role in the regulation of [crypto assets]. "

😬 Crypto Exchange Upbit Suffers Hack

South Korean crypto exchange Upbit has lost cryptocurrency worth $49 million.

Upbit’s CEO said in a blog post at 9:00 UTC on Wednesday that an abnormal transaction from its wallets had resulted in the outflow of 342,000 ether (ETH).

The exchange said the loss will be covered by its own assets. Meanwhile, withdrawals and deposits were suspended as a precaution. The firm estimated that it will take “at least two weeks" for services to be back to normal.

According to transaction tracking site Whale Alert, the lost ether – worth $49 million at press time – was sent from Upbit’s wallet to an unknown ethereum address starting with 0xa09871 about 04:00 UTC on Wednesday. It has since moved to multiple other wallets.

⚖️ US Arrests Ethereum Developer Virgil Griffith

Virgil Griffith, who works at the Ethereum Foundation, has been arrested for allegedly going to a conference in North Korea and sharing his expertise in using cryptocurrency.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York announced Friday that Griffith was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport on Thanksgiving Day.

“Despite receiving warnings not to go, Griffith allegedly traveled to one of the United States’ foremost adversaries, North Korea, where he taught his audience how to use blockchain technology to evade sanctions," John Demers, an assistant attorney general for national security, said in a statement.

Project Updates

Ethereum Mountain Glacier Hardfork Announced

This hard fork addresses the impending Ice Age (difficulty bomb detonation) on the Ethereum Mainnet and includes a commitment to solving the problems with the ice age more permanently in the future. The hard fork is expected to go live mid-January 2020.

Validated: Staking on eth2 #0

In this blog post, Carl Beekhuizen explains how staking will work in eth2. He goes over details such as what exactly Phase 0 is, nodes vs. clients and the design philosophy behind eth2. I highly recommend reading this piece.

Lighthouse Update #18

The Lighthouse team have been hard at work over the last few weeks in the lead up to the launch of their public Beacon Chain testnet (which is due to launch in the next few days). This update includes details on the public testnet work, network updates, security updates and more.

Introducing Frontier Wallet — Beta

Frontier Wallet is a simple and secure Ethereum wallet for accessing DeFi. Frontier will tie in info of all of your addresses, wallets and data, associated with DeFi and ERC20 tokens into one mobile app.

Introducing chai

chai is an ERC20 token representing a claim on deposits in the Dai Savings Rate (DSR). It can be freely converted to and from dai: the amount of dai claimed by one chai is always increasing, at the Dai Savings Rate.


DeFi Explore is an easy to use interface that allows you to check MakerDAO CDPs/Vault positions and system stats.

Tornado Cash Updates

The Tornado Cash team are adding new tokens (USDT, DAI), redesigning the withdrawal page, incorporating a decentralized relayer market and their code has been audited.

DeFi Saver Releases CDP Migration Tool

This CDP migration tool automatically checks the current locked Sai availability in the migration contract and simply upgrade your CDP once there’s enough Sai available.

InstaDApp Launched MCD Migration Bridge

Compound cSAI holders & SAI borrowers can use InstaDApps new tool to seamlessly move to a new DAI position with just one click.

Making Maker: November 2019

Maker’s monthly update covering the historic Multi-Collateral Dai (MCD) launch, governance updates, community highlights, interviews and more.

Ramp Instant Now Live

Ramp Instant is a radically better way to on-ramp users into crypto. When users first use the integration on any supported site, they’ll be asked to connect their bank account with Ramp. Then they initiative payment, authorize it with their banking app and it’s all done. It takes minutes, rather than the industry standard of 1 day+.

State Channels Developer Update #14

The first update in a while from the State Channels team but a welcome one. Liam from the team goes over the last few months of work including engineering updates, research updates and what’s coming next.

Set Protocol Introduces Social Trading

Set Social Trading is a marketplace and network that enables traders to create their own trading pools where they can enact trades on commodities such as ETH, WBTC, USDC, DAI, cUSDC, and cDAI. Followers can then join these trading pools, copying every single action the Trader (or trading algorithm) enacts. This feature is expected to go live in early 2020.

Fidelity Starts to Reward Employees in Crypto

Fidelity Investments, a multinational financial service giant, has started to incentivize its employees in digital currencies. For the pilot initiative, Fidelity’s Center for Applied Technology’s (FCAT), the company’s research and development arm, collaborated with TokenSoft and is using the ERC-1404 token standard.

Loopring Bi-Weekly Update

Various updates from the Loopring team including the announcement that Loopring 3.0 beta4 will be deployed in the next few days and it will be Ethereum’s first zkRollup DEX protocol enforcing on-chain data availability.

Cryptotesters Now Live

Cryptotestners is a platform that compares crypto products by showing you things like which exchange gives the best rate, which wallets are the best and more.

Community Member Spotlight

This week we’re highlighting the great work of Will Warren!

Will is the Co-Founder and CEO of the popular decentralized exchange project 0x. This week he, his team and the community launched v3.0 of the 0x protocol onto the Ethereum mainnet marking a historic upgrade for the project.

Before founding 0x, Will worked as a Graduate Research Assistant at Los Alamos Lab in New Mexico.

Keep up the great work Will!

Interesting Tweets

Ecosystem Bits

Blog Posts




Meme of the Week

An older meme, but it checks out.

Looking for Work?

Top jobs listed on Cryptocurrency Jobs this week:

Protect Your Crypto

Buy a hardware wallet:

Donations: 0xA19FCDaD77C1F0fd184689aca88BabCF68010347

ETHWaterloo Recap: Part 2


ETHWaterloo was an Ethereum hackathon put on by ETHGlobal that took place in Waterloo, Canada from November 8-10, 2019. Eric was at the event and in Part 2 talks with the five winning teams from the event. We talk through what they built, why they built it and future plans for the products. The teams include SheetcoinWallet NotifyEth P2P VOIPDeFi Custody Wallet and Connexion.

Enigma: Bringing Privacy to Ethereum via Layer 2


Guy Zyskind, CEO and co-founder of Enigma joins the podcast to talk about the privacy solution his team is building for Ethereum. Guy explains how Enigma can bring privacy to Ethereum via a layer 2 solution. He talks about the testnet coming in the coming weeks and what that means for people looking to participate in the network. Their Salad coin-mixing tool will also be going live at that time.

EthHub Weekly Recap #89: Eth2 updates, China drama, Gods Unchained marketplace goes live, introducing Chai, why DeFi can change the world and Vitalik’s blog on progress


On the EthHub Weekly Recap we cover topics from the EthHub Weekly Newsletter. In this episode we discuss a plethora of Ethereum 2.0 updates, China drama between The Block and Binance, Gods Unchained marketplace goes live, ERC20 wrapper Chai on Dai Savings Rate, Joseph Delong on reasons DeFi can change the world and Vitalik Buterin's blog post on progress.

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