EthHub Weekly #54

Vitalik on Into the Ether, ProgPoW, Counterfactual Playground, Compound v2 and much more!

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

😀😬🤓 Joy, Drama, and Education

Joy: As most of you probably already know, we had the founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, on our Into the Ether podcast this week to discuss the current and future state of Ethereum. We dived deep with Vitalik - going into topics such as Ethereums governance process, Eth1.x and Ethereum 2.0. Be sure to give it a listen if you haven’t already!

Drama: If you’ve been following Crypto Twitter this week you would have noticed many heated debates surrounding ProgPoW - a new Proof of Work mining algorithm that aims to reduce the prevalence of ASICs on the Ethereum network. The debates mainly stem from the fact that the community is finding it hard to gauge sentiment and reach “consensus” on whether this change should go through in the next Ethereum network upgrade (Istanbul) or not. Currently, the general vibe is to wait for an audit of ProgPoW to see if it’s technically sound and then go from there. The audit will be carried out by the Ethereum Cat Herders and you can read the related blog post here.

Education: Eric and I participated in Gitcoins livestream this week where we talked about EthHub and Ethereums economics/monetary policy. You can watch the replay here.

Have a great week everyone!


News of the Week

🛠️ Square Hiring Crypto Engineers

Payments startup Square plans to hire a number of engineers and a designer to work on its crypto initiatives, according to tweets from CEO Jack Dorsey.

Dorsey, who also founded and runs Twitter, announced Wednesday evening that Square plans to hire three or four engineers and one designer “to work full-time on open source contributions to the bitcoin/crypto ecosystem.” A Square spokesman said there was no additional information to share beyond the tweets.

All work will be open source, and according to Dorsey, the new hires will not be focusing on Square’s own commercial interests, but rather, “on what’s best for the crypto community.”

⚖️ Former CFTC Chairman Wants Tighter Crypto Regulation

Actors in the crypto space — from brokers to exchanges — are required to navigate a tangled web of state & federal agencies and laws to operate their businesses compliantly (of course, some don’t), and unlike other markets there is no single regulator to which crypto firms answer. One former CFTC chairman wants to change that.

In a wide-ranging report backed by the Brookings Institution, Timothy Massad outlined a path forward for crypto regulations, urging Congress to act to bring authority over the nascent market under one house. 

“Congress needs to fix this by creating regulatory oversight of the cash market for crypto-assets, and the trading platforms and other intermediaries that operate in that market,” Massad, who led the CFTC from 2014 to 2017, said in the report. “Either the SEC or the CFTC is competent to regulate this area if given the power; it would be inefficient to create a new agency. I recommend making the SEC the lead agency.”

😔 Bithumb to Reduce Staff by 50%

Bithumb, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, plans to cut its staffing levels by up to 50 percent, according to a CoinDesk Korea report issued Monday, a move that would reduce its number of employees from 310 at the start of March to around 150.

When reached, an official at the company confirmed the 50 percent figure, adding that it expects those departing will mostly be employees who already want to leave the company.

The move comes on the heels of similar decisions by other cryptocurrency companies that have been forced to respond to the ongoing decline in the value of the market in recent months.

💸 Bakkt Valued at $700 Million After Latest Funding Round

Bakkt, ICE’s yet-to-launch crypto exchange, is being valued at around $740 million following its Series A funding round, according to The Block.

The exchange raised $182.5 million last year, pitching a futures trading platform geared at institutions. Its approximate $740 million post-money valuation means ICE may have sold up to 25% of shares to external investors like Galaxy, Pantera, Microsoft and Starbucks – the latter having contributed no capital in return.

Project Updates

Mist Discontinued

Alex Van De Sande from announced that Mist, one of the oldest interfaces into the Ethereum network, will be discontinued due to two main reasons: security and ecosystem. Read his full summary here.

Counterfactual Dev Update #3

A big update from the Counterfactual team this week with the release of the alpha version of the Counterfactual Playground! The Playground is a live demonstration (on Kovan) of generalized state channels built using Counterfactual, including a demo environment and multiple demo applications.

StarkWare Releases More Details on StarkDEX

StarkDEX, a settlement engine for non-custodial exchanges (DEXes) is now able to settle over 500 trades/second, costing less than 1,000 gas per trade - 200x more trades than Ethereum can currently settle!

Rainbow Network Announced

Dan Robinson (Researcher at Paradigm) announced a new design for an off-chain decentralized exchange build on synthetics called Rainbow Network. The design supports any liquid asset (including non-crypto), supports leverage and shorting, and is implementable on Ethereum.

Parity Signer v2.0 Beta Detailed

Parity Signer has been redesigned and now lets you generate, store, and safely sign transactions with your private key on devices that never connect to the internet!

0x Roadmap 2019 (part 2): Scalability R&D

Remco Bloemen details the 0x teams research into scaling the 0x protocol - both at layer one and layer two and explaining how zero knowledge proofs can be used to scale 0x transactions.

Compound v2 Announced

Robert Leshner details the upcoming v2 of the Compound Protocol including: more granular risk modeling, support for unwrapped Ether, ERC-721 token pools, and other token standards as well as planned governance improvements. Compound v2 is currently undergoing an audit and is expected to hit testnets in the next couple of months.

Gitcoin Team Sponsoring EIP Security Bounty

The team is putting forth 20 ETH to incentivise security researches to catch Istanbul-related EIP bugs early - meaning that the bounty reward will exponentially decay over time (from May to the hard fork date).

Host a Burner Wallet Event

Austin Griffith, creator of the popular Burner Wallet, details how you can set up and use the Burner Wallet at your own event - whether it be a small meetup or large hackathon!

Etherbots Invade Gods Unchained

You can now claim 4 exclusive Etherbots packs (for free) with every 4 Etherbot parts you own. There are 16 new cards waiting to be unpacked.

Etherscan Introduces Analytics Tool

The first part of Etherscans public address ‘Analytics’ module was released this week that allows anyone to track time series data points of any address on the Ethereum blockchain since the genesis block.

DAI Now Integrated with 0x Instant

With just a few lines of code Dai purchasing can be seamlessly added to any app or website. How seamless? Well, click here to purchase DAI inside a tweet!

New Buidl Website

The ETHGlobal team have announced a new website that tracks what hackers build at each ETHGlobal event. You can check it out here.

Community Member Spotlight

This week we’re highlighting Mike McDonald - creator of popular DeFi tools such as Mkr Tools and the ‘ETH Locked in DeFi’ chart! allows users to track everything related to the MakerDAO system - including total ETH locked, various metrics about DAI, a stability fee tracker chart and much more. I highly recommend bookmarking this website if you’re interested in keeping track of the MakerDAO system.

Mike is also responsible for the creation of the infamous ‘ETH Locked in DeFi’ chart that many use to track the health of various DeFi apps. He also created a chart that allows for the tracking of ‘Uniswap ETH Liquidity By Token’.

On-Chain Activity

  • The MakerDAO stability fee was raised to 7.5% and people are starting to wipe their debts

  • Since bottoming on February 10th, total transactions on Ethereum have been steadily growing

  • Uniswap liquidity currently at an all time high

  • 30% of sETH 3/30 holders also hold LETH 3/30 tokens (scroll down on this page)

Interesting Tweets

Ecosystem Bits

Blog Posts




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