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




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