EthHub Weekly #78

Maker details Oracles V2 and DeFi Feeds, ProgPoW audit complete, coin-mixing with Engima, The LAO introduced and much more!

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

🔬 ETHBoston + Compound Drama

ETHBoston took place over the weekend but unfortunately neither Eric or I were able to attend. Regardless, Twitter kept everyone well informed and, from what I saw, the event was a huge success! You can check out all of the hackathon submissions here.

Ameen Soleimani, co-founder of Spankchain and summoner of the MolochDAO, put out an explosive piece this week that put the Compound protocol under an intense microscope. Basically, Ameen concluded that Compound is currently a custodial system due to the existence of an admin address that has the right to support additional assets, upgrade the price feed oracle, upgrade the interest rate models, and upgrade the risk model of the protocol. Robert Lesher, Compounds CEO, rebutted the piece and there’s a lot of good back and forth to be found here.

Oh and Lighthouse and Nimbus finalized an Ethereum 2.0 beacon chain epoch which makes it the first instance of finality on a multi-client Eth2 testnet!

Have a great week everyone!


News of the Week

💵 Paxos Launches Gold-Backed Cryptocurrency

Paxos, the New York-based exchange and stablecoin issuer, just launched a gold-backed crypto asset called Pax Gold (PAXG), with each Ethereum-based token encapsulating the legal title to a physical bar of gold stored in the Brink’s London vault. Pax Gold has been approved by the New York Department of Financial Services.

“It’s not a representation of the commodity, it’s actual legal title to it,” Paxos CEO Chad Cascarilla said. “This is the exact point of the blockchain, the exact premise, that you can now make [assets] easily moveable and divisible and not be tied to a manual, physical process.”

Each token costs the same as an ounce of gold and can be redeemed for a physical bar at partnering institutions such as Bullion Exchanges in New York. Cascarilla said Paxos will expand its list of global partners from the traditional commodities industry to ensure users can claim real gold even if they’re not in London or New York.

💰 Raising $50 Million Venture Capital Fund, the largest cryptocurrency wallet provider claiming to have more than 40 million users, is raising a $50 million venture capital fund to invest in startups.

Yahoo Finance reported the news on Wednesday, citing two sources, who added that Sam Harrison of Blockchain is leading the venture fund effort.

Harrison’s LinkedIn profile shows that he joined Blockchain in July 2018 from Naspers Ventures, and that he co-founded Blockchain Ventures. Origin Protocol, Coindirect,, Nodle and DappRadar are some of Blockchain Ventures’ portfolio companies.

Blockchain looks to be expanding its business lines, which could help diversify its current mainly ad-driven revenue. The firm makes “six figures a month in advertising revenue” alone from its Blockchain Explorer tool, Blockchain CEO, Peter Smith, recently told Fortune. Back in July, the firm launched a cryptocurrency exchange called The Pit, claiming to be one of the “fastest.”

🍎 Cryptocurrency Has ‘Long-Term Potential,’ Says Apple Exec

Apple is “watching cryptocurrency,” according to an executive at the tech giant.

Apple Pay vice president Jennifer Bailey, talking to CNN at a private event in San Francisco, said “We think it’s interesting. We think it has interesting long-term potential.”

Bailey did not elucidate about the possible uses of the technology Apple might pursue. She had been taking about the future of payments at the CNN event.

With Facebook planning to launch its Libra stablecoin next year, it would be surprising indeed if Apple were not watching crypto. But, Bailey’s comments may come as confirmation that more might be going behind the scenes at Apple’s Cupertino HQ.

Project Updates

Introducing Torque: Borrowing Made Simple

Torque is the first borrowing platform with indefinite-term loans and fixed interest rates. Torque is both an App and a dApp and works with any web3 wallet like Metamask, Dapper, Nifty, & co., but it also works with every other type of wallet. This is enabled by Torque’s first-of-its-kind ENS loan system which allows users to borrow assets by simply sending collateral to a human-readable ENS domain from any wallet. Best of all, it does this without requiring any accounts or charging any fees.

Introducing The Yield Protocol

The Yield Protocol includes a new DeFi primitive, known as yTokens, that act like zero-coupon bonds: that is, they are on-chain obligations that settle on a specific future date based on the price of some target asset, and are secured by collateral in another asset. By buying or selling yTokens, users can synthetically lend or borrow the target asset for a fixed term. yTokens are fungible and trade at a floating price, which
means their “interest rates” are determined by the market.

Maker Introduces Oracles V2 and DeFi Feeds

Makers oracles are getting an upgrade in V2 with updates to the oracles infrastructure and governance process.

The first set of proposed organizations that may eventually be providing feeds in oracles V2 include dYdX, 0x, Maker, Set Protocol and Gnosis. MKR token holders will vote on whether to include these feeds or not at a later date.

ProgPow Audit Complete

The audit for the ProgPow algorithm is now complete and the auditors believe that “ProgPoW’s high level design goals, summarized as “GPU-targeting and ASIC-resistant”, are reasonable towards achieving its intended economic effect”. The auditors also found no major issues with ProgPoW functioning as intended.

Ethereum Foundation Taiwan-specific Wave of Grants

The Ethereum Foundation announced a Taiwan-specific wave of Ethereum Foundation grants this week. This is a special program to reward applicants who built value-aligned Ethereum-based projects or contributed to Ethereum-focus education works.

Set Community Update #2 — August 2019

Monthly update from the Set team which includes details on the launch of the ETH50SMACO Set, the launch of their bug bounty program and that Set Protocol was added to DeFi Pulse!

Lighthouse Update #15

A big update from the Sigma Prime team this week outlining all of their development achievements for the Lighthouse Ethereum 2.0 client since their last update including: updating the clients networking stack, creating a new tool to generate beacon states to bootstrap testnets, introducing new CLI sub-commands to allow for greater ease in spinning up testnets and much more.

Salad: Coin-Mixing with Enigma

Salad is a prototype of a coin-mixer built using Enigma’s data privacy and randomness generation. In this blog post, Enigma breaks down what coin mixing is, how it works and why its beneficial and then they describe their own implementation called ‘Salad’ and how it compares to other coin mixing services.

Ethereum 2.0 Development Update #34 — Prysmatic Labs

Updates from the PryLabs team including a small note on the interoperability lock-in event and an overview of the latest merged code, pull requests and issues.

Introducing The LAO: A For-Profit, Limited Liability Autonomous Organization

OpenLaw will be launching the first limited liability for-profit DAO, named the LAO. The LAO will enable members to invest in Ethereum new ventures and generate a profit.

Kyber Ecosystem Report #6

Deniz recaps the last month of updates from Kyber including network growth, the release of the KyberSwap android app, DeFi dapp updates and much more!

Ethereum 2.0 Networking Grant: Update #1

Whiteblock received a grant from the Ethereum Foundation at the end of August and in this update the team goes over the interop lock-in happening on September 10th to 14th and updates on ETH2.0 networking.

New and Improved 0x Docs

This week, the 0x Documentation received a much-needed overhaul. The teams goal with this redesign is to provide more structure and significantly improve the developer experience across three main areas (what you can do with 0x, getting started and accessing the content you’re looking for).

Community Member Spotlight

This week we’re highlighting the great work of Chris Blec!

Chris describes himself as a “decentralized Finance Activist, Educator & Consultant” and is also the founder of DeFi Global.

Chris has also created many educational videos on his YouTube channel where he walks through how to use various DeFi apps, how things like cDAI work and overviews of popular Ethereum wallets/services such as MetaMask and InstaDapp.

Keep up the great work Chris!

Interesting Tweets

Ecosystem Bits

Blog Posts




Meme of the Week

Poking a bit of fun at Bitcoin this week.

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