📌 An opinionated recap of the most interesting new products in crypto
Got forwarded this email? Subscribe or read online here. Subscriber? We'd appreciate if you could forward it to someone who would find it valuable. 🙏
5 free tickets to next week's Defi Summit London
Alright, this will be the final blast, we promise!
It's T-7 to DeFi Summit London(10-11 September), but you can still apply to attend here. The agenda is now close to final (details on each session can be found here) and there's a bunch of really cool side events organically taking place in the evenings around the main event.
Oh, and we happen to have 5 spare tickets to give away, so if you really want to attend and have a special reason why you should, respond to this newsletter with a couple of lines. We will pick 5 in the next 48 hours starting...now!
A unified State Channel specification for Ethereum.
The state channels research and development ecosystem has decided to unify behind a "single specification, laying the foundation for a fully interoperable ecosystem of State Channels applications." This can only be a great thing for Ethereum scaling prospects.
A method of zero-knowledge signaling on Ethereum originally proposed by @barryWhiteHat.
It truly feels like we are entering a privacy renaissance for Ethereum, with an insane pace of experimentation of ZK-based privacy solutions.
Semaphore is powering a Ethereum ZK-SNARK-based non-custodial mixer called MicroMix, currently deployed as a prototype on the Kovan testnet. The post goes in some level of technical details on how it's been architected and how it works (gas costs are still very high). It is so exciting to imagine the sort of privacy-enhancing applications and use cases that can emerge from it, such as anonymous login, anonymous DAOs, anonymous voting etc.
Speaking of which, Aztec, an Ethereum-based privacy network, have just announced their upcoming multi-party computation set-up ceremony and opened to applications for 200 participants to take part in a global relay. The ceremony will build a ‘Reference String’, an echo of ZCash’s Powers of Tau Ceremony, and will lead up to mainnet launch at the end of October.
DeFi platform for fixed-rate, indefinite term loans.
Really interesting approach to defi fixed-rate lending, powered and brought to you by the bZx network. 3 month worth of interest are escrowed upfront and held inside the protocol by borrowing more than the requested loan amount, then loans run indefinitely until a margin call is triggered. An incentivized network of keepers monitor and extend the life of loans that are close to running out of interest.
The cool thing from a UX perspective is that a loan can be initiated by simply sending collateral to a ENS address like dai.tokenloan.eth
Dharma's latest incarnation: a lending application built on top of Compound protocol.
After weeks of deafening silence, and media gossiping about the fate of one of defi early darlings, Dharma unveiled its new skin (in closed beta for now): a custodial web2-grade front-end for lending on the Compound protocol, step one of the path to building "the first internet-native, borderless bank".
The most interesting bit in this pivot is the perhaps not so unexpected importance of instant liquidity brought by Compound, whose infrastructure is allowing many a dapp to bootstrap avoiding the technical complexities and chicken-egg issues of building p2p liquidity from scratch. The public version will be non-custodial and feature fiat on/off ramps as well as fixed-rates.
The new direction, both in terms of design choices and feature set, appears to be squarely targeted at average users not necessarily well versed in crypto. At the same time, it seems like a much more VC-aligned model, with some clear revenue paths for the near-term. Interesting to see if other VC-backed protocols will pivot to such models in the future.
A governance explorer and discussion forum for Tezos.
The product here is pretty straightforward, it's a voting and proposal explorer + integrated forum, but it's an interesting attempt by a network with on-chain governance to coagulate the social / off-chain discourse that supports it.
A no-loss donation protocol enabling people to pool money, lend it out and donate the interest.
We featured an early iteration of this in #105, now it's live on Ethereum mainnet. Courtesy of Zefram from Betoken (though not audited yet so play safely). We've also recently seen rDAI coming to market tackling the same idea, ie a native 'no-principal-at-risk' funding mechanism leveraging the power of Compound cDAI, though rDAI approach is arguably more flexible and interoperable. With Pool DAI each beneficiary gets its own ERC20 token, which makes sense for a particular type of user cases. Exciting to see these tools out in the wild.
Currently only available for Dev and Nightly builds, the Brave browser and its +6M MAUs are soon getting a client-side crypto wallet similar to Metamask (in fact built using Metamask open source code), but natively integrated in the browser.
Request has released their V2, and it is a complete rewrite, with a bunch of cool new features: - Invoice storage on IPFS with proof on Ethereum - CRU-d requests for payment
- BTC payment detection, allowing invoices to update their payment due when paid in bitcoin. - Declarative requests: create a request in any currency without automatic payment detection + some UX stuff.