Ethereum biweekly: Ecosystem and Projects’ Updates, Opinion and Research Articles
Biweekly update 6th August — 20th August
Dear Ethereum lovers and all community members! We have a lot of essential news for you as usual!
During these two weeks, the team was working assiduously, so they made significant progress with current development. Community calls took place: Core Devs Meeting, Eth2 implementers call. Developers announced they are postponing the release of Programmatic Proof-of-Work to the first quarter of 2020. At the same time, the whole project Istanbul, is going to be released in two different parts. Ethereum 2.0 development updates were published: Prysmatic Labs, Nimbus. Geth v1.9.2, Parity v2.6.1-beta and v2.5.6-stable, Pantheon v1.2.1, EVMC v6.3 released.
The ecosystem is impressive, and it continues to flourish! Developers have been working hard over the period of the last two weeks, many updates on projects build on Ethereum appeared. Connext v2 is on testnet, planning on mainnet around EthBerlin these days. Augur v2’s Faster Oracle & Market Resolution System was introduced as AirSwap Trader. Gas Station Network live on mainnet. Compound’s vote on next asset to add will use lifetime interest earned/paid as a weighting mechanism. Melon Council launched on an Aragon DAO. Crypto wallets in the Brave nightly released. Loopring deployed beta version of its v3, which does 350 transactions a second with data availability on chain, and goes up to 1400 txs per second after Istanbul. OpenLaw’s Integration Framework was introduced, making it easy to integrate third party services into OpenLaw. You can now limit your slippage on Uniswap to prevent frontrunning. And worth to mention, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance appoints Ethereum Foundation’s Aya Miyaguchi to the EEA Board and launches Mainnet Initiative. Vitalik featured on MaiCoin podcast in Taipei, he discussed updates on the ETH 2.0 scaling roadmap and a discussion on radical markets, quadratic voting, Harberger taxes, AI, what Nouriel Roubini misses on crypto Gini numbers, Russian election meddling and the possibility that Vitalik lives forever. Vitalik Q&A from ETHIndia, Alethio’s growth of DeFi data visualization were published. Devcon fifth incarnation returns to East Asia this October. For those who are a little behind of times, Justin Drake, an Eth 2.0 researcher at the Ethereum Foundation mentioned that the phase zero of Ethereum 2.0, which enables Proof of Stake, is targeted to launch on the 3rd of January 2020, only four months from now! Strap in!
The technical side of Ethereum’s efficacy is 100% an engineering exercise
- Vitalik Buterin
Developer activity (from Coinlib.io):
Constantinople is successful so far.
Ethereum Core Devs Meeting #68 [2019–08–15]: Istanbul split into two forks. ProgPoW To Be Released The First Quarter Of 2020.
- Istanbul EIPs
- Client implementation updates for Accepted and Tentatively Accepted
- Moving Istanbul EIPs from Tentative to Final
- Benchmarks for gas repricing EIPs
2. Conformance Testing
3. Testnet Upgrade & Istanbul Next Steps
- Block for September 4th Testnet Fork
- Splitting Istanbul into two forks
4. Hard fork naming
5. Review previous decisions made and action items
7. Testing Updates
8. Client Updates: a) Geth, b) Parity Ethereum, c) Aleth/eth, d) Trinity/PyEVM, e) EthereumJS, f) EthereumJ/Harmony, g) Pantheon, h) Turbo Geth, i) Nimbus, j) web3j, k) Mana/Exthereum, l) Mantis, m) Nethermind
9. EWASM & Research Updates
- Testing and Release Updates
- Client Updates
- Research Updates
5. Spec discussion
Ethereum 2.0 Development Update #32 — Prysmatic Labs: biweekly updates written by the entire Prysmatic Labs team on the Ethereum 2.0 roadmap. Eth2 client update, networking and optimizations.
Data visualization of Prysmatic’s merged PRs:
Nimbus Development Update, August 5: Eth2 genesis testing environment, working on networking.
Ethereum 2.0 Terms Demystified in Alethio blog. This is the first part of many articles about Ethereum 2.0 as we get closer to its release.
Ethereum 2.0: A Complete Guide. Casper and the Beacon Chain by Colin Schwarz.
Mothra: wrappers for libp2p in rust:
What the “Ethereum” Means in “Ethereum Name Service” and Why It Matters: ENS can be used for non-Ethereum things.
246 Findings From our Smart Contract Audits: An Executive Summary in Trail of Bits Blog: 1) many bugs are catchable with automated tools, 2) vulnerabilities are similar to other systems, 3) unit testing doesn’t prevent much. Trail of Bits also released new version of symbolic execution tool: Manticore v0.3.1.
Analyzing Solidity Smart Contracts with Piet: Slockit’s Piet — inheritance structure graph, a GUI to interact with contracts.
Pantheon-ethers extends Ethers.js with Pantheon APIs including private transactions.
Portis One-Click Pay for when buyer doesn’t have enough Eth. Sign the transaction and only submit it once there is enough Eth.
Solidity v0.5.11. calldata structs bugfix in ABIEncoderV2. Some SMT checker bugs fixed. Internal types added to ABI outputs. Yul/wasm improvements.
Embark v4.1. better deployment, as well as enabling services from console.
Onboarding crypto noobs with a link or QR code that gives them the asset after they download a wallet.
Austin Griffith vid on Burner Wallet collectibles. ERC721 (NFTs) in the Burner Wallet are super easy to send and collect. You can even have a badge dropper that will transfer a collectible to any QR code it sees.
Managing storage with IPFS in a Java app.
How to build a decentralized chat app in 10 minutes using fds.js in 10 minutes. Here’s a Swarm progress report.
Loredana demo of Pipeline: drag & drop to create apps.
More Loredana demos: dType 101 and web2 MVC architecture emulated on Web3, with dType & Alias.
Attacking timelocks by selling future ownership.
Governance and new standards proposals
ERC2229: Ping interface for inactive tokens.
EIP2242: Transacton postdata.
EIP tracker for what goes in which fork.
EIP-centric forking: More frequent and smaller EIP-centric forking instead of setting deadlines and rushing to get EIPs into the fork.
Computer aided governance in the Commons Stack.
Select the next Compound asset: An upcoming community vote.
Check out Istanbul hard fork wiki.
The list of EIPs in 1679 are the canonical status of EIPs
This will be maintained as an overview page, can also view the Istanbul GitHub Project in the ECH repo to track progress.
James Hancock has created an automated Google Sheet that covers additional milestones
The deadline for EIP proposals for Istanbul was May 17th. All of these EIPs intend to prepare for inclusion in Istanbul, but Core Dev acceptance, implementation, testing, audits, and other work needs to be done to prepare them. Each EIP has a “discussion-to” link where you can find more information, usually on the EthMagicians Core EIPs forum.
- EIP 615: Subroutines and Static Jumps for the EVM
- EIP 1057: ProgPoW, a Programmatic Proof-of-Work (contingent on positive audit results) — @IfDefElse
- EIP 1108: Reduce alt_bn128 precompile gas costs — @zac-williamson
- EIP 1283: Net gas metering for SSTORE without dirty maps @sorpass
- EIP 1344: Add ChainID opcode — @fubuloubu
- EIP 1352: Specify restricted address range for precompiles/system contracts
- EIP 1380: Reduced gas cost for call to self — @axic @jacqueswww
- EIP 1559: Fee market change for ETH 1.0 chain
- EIP 1965: Method to check if a chainID is valid at a specific block Number
- EIP 1702: Generalized account versioning scheme — @sorpaas
- EIP 1706: Disable SSTORE with gasleft lower than call stipend
- EIP 1803: Rename opcodes for clarity — @axic
- EIP 1829: Precompile for Elliptic Curve Linear Combinations @remco
- EIP 1884: Reprice Opcodes + optional new opcode, @holiman — Discuss
- EIP 1930: CALLs with strict gas semantic. Revert if not enough gas available
- EIP 2028: Calldata gas cost reduction
Follow All Core Dev calls and the EIPs repo.
Wave #3 of Devcon V tickets have been reserved.
Enterprise Ethereum Alliance’s New Mainnet Initiative Bridges Permissioned and Public Blockchains: What the EEA’s technical working group means for blockchain, business, and interoperability.
Translating Ethereum for our Global Community: the launch of a large-scale translation program for Ethereum.org, which will translate the website and other resources into more than 15 languages.
ENS supports TOR’s .onion addresses. Originally an ETHNewYork hack.
Delphi Digital Explains 3 Aspects that Will Define Ethereum’s Future: Get the inside lane on the ideas Delphi Digital’s Tom Shaughnessy and Medio DeMarco are bringing to Ethereal Tel Aviv.
Ethereal Scholarships Open Ethereal Summit Tel Aviv to All: Underrepresented groups in tech are invited to join the conversation at Ethereal Tel Aviv with free tickets!
Trying to Keep Up with Web3? Check Out ConsenSys Newsletters: Ethereum 2.0 news, developer resources, enterprise case studies, and what’s popular in blockchain in right now.
20 Blockchain Projects With the Most Dev Activity on Github — July, 2019: Congrats to Status, Storj, 0x, Metamask, MakerDAO, Gnosis, Augur, and Origin Protocol for all the hard work!
ConsenSys INTEL Report — August 2019: ConsenSys’ Market Intel report provides the most recent insights and analysis on crypto market news and blockchain developments.
Where Ethereum Is Going: Changes on Ethereum Foundation and ecosystem from an insider’s perspective. Avsa on the direction of the Ethereum Foundation.
MetaCartel DAO Wave 1 Funding — MetaCartel DAO’s first grants — Mintbase, Odyssy, Kickback, NFTs for reputation.
Shariah Whitepaper on Ether — ETH declared compliant with Islamic law.
VAC — modular p2p messaging stack focused on secure messaging.
TrustToken is using GasToken-like technique so end users have reduced token transfer cost.
Building a working map of Ethereum 1.0 — Pelle Brændgaard’s Wardley map of Ethereum.
Coinbase Custody acquires Xapo’s institutional business, becoming the world’s largest crypto custodian: Crossing $7 billion in assets under custody, Coinbase Custody is now the most popular and trusted choice for institutions to store cryptocurrency.
USDC payment processing in Coinbase Commerce: Using non-custodial smart contracts to process ERC20 payments at scale.
LANDRegistry and EstateRegistry Updates: Changes and improvements to Decentraland’s LAND and Estate smart contracts.
Adding a UI to your Decentraland Scene: The steps to a basic yet dynamic in-scene interface.
The District Weekly — August 17th, 2019: News and updates from the district0x Network.
district0x Dev Update — August 6th, 2019: Development progress and product changes from district0x.
An Owl Gets New Wings: The team has updated and consolidated their product branding to reflect what’s in store for winter 2019/2020.
GECO Community Spotlight: Coffee and conversations with the lab10 collective.
Gnosis Safe Walkthrough: Learn how to create, use and recover your Gnosis Safe, a smart contract wallet for mobile.
July Roundup: Keep testnet, new partnerships, Berlin Interoperability Summit, EIP-1108 accepted into Istanbul, Zcash side-chains, and more.
News: Streamr launches Core app: Free-to-use app gives developers and data scientists rapid insights and easy smart contract integration without needing to establish separate backend infrastructure.
Other project’s updates:
Minimal, a modular client written in Go, licensed with Apache or MPL, from Umbracle.
AirSwap Trader — OTC trades through escrow in onchain code.
WindingTree lands a deal with Etihad Airways.
Alethio’s growth of DeFi data vizualization:
Spec for a multi-token private trading using snarks.
Crypto wallets in the Brave nightly release, which means they’re a couple months away from the regular release.
Loopring deployed beta version of its v3, which does 350 transactions a second with data availability on chain, and goes up to 1400 txs per second after Istanbul.
OpenLaw’s integration framework. Bring things like DocuSign or Chainlink into your org through API.
You can now limit your slippage on Uniswap to prevent frontrunning.
tBTC — spec for a trustless Eth to Btc bridge from Keep and Summa.
rDAI — tokenized interest earned by Compound’s cDAI.
Podcasts and videos
Podcast # 3 Vitalik Buterin: Vitalik on MaiCoin
Vitalik joins the team at MaiCoin HQ in Taipei for updates on the ETH 2.0 scaling roadmap and a discussion on radical markets, quadratic voting, Harberger taxes, AI, what Nouriel Roubini misses on crypto Gini numbers, Russian election meddling and the possibility that Vitalik lives forever. MaiCoin is Taiwan’s largest and longest running digital asset trading platform.
Vitalik Q&A from ETHIndia
Eth2.0 update and a look at Libra with Raul Jordan on Zero Knowledge: In this week’s episode, hosts invite Raul Jordan from Prysmatic Labs back to their show. He shares an update about Prysmatic Labs and ETH2.0 development. They cover some of the latest innovations, some existing challenges, timelines, implementation challenges and more. They also touch on an article that Raul published about the Libra protocol, and talk about how it compares to the public blockchains.
Hashing It Out #55 — Diligence — Steve Marx: This episode brings on Steve Marx from ConsenSys Diligence. Steve only talks with Corey this episode as Collin has to move across the states. Together, they chat about the what the “Diligence” section of ConsenSys is, how it got started, and where it’s going. From there, Corey and Steve discuss the very concept of security and how it pertains to Ethereum.
Episode 14: SuperRare with John Crain on Wizard of Dapps.
In this episode, Joyce, David, and Federico discuss:
- Legal tech: What a traditional convertible note is and why it is popular as a start-up financing mechanism?
- What are the typical market terms for traditional convertible notes?
- The economic, legal and regulatory issues that create the need for a form convertible note specific to blockchain-focused start-ups.
- How to deal with blockchain tokens in relation to equity investments.
- What are the takeaways from Kik with respect to fundraising for blockchain companies?
- Law firms see a wide spectrum of clients. How have blockchain entrepreneurs evolved over the last two years?
Epicenter EPISODE 299: Enabling Scaling Through Trust in Public Notaries
Hosts are joined by Igor Barinov, the tech lead of the POA Network. The POA Network achieves a reduction in transaction costs by many orders of magnitude by having a set of trusted validators. All validators must be US public notaries, so their identities are known and legal recourse against them can be taken in the offchain world. We also talk about the xDai network, which enables Dai transactions on a POA chain: Dai are transferred into a smart contract on the mainnet and then become available to be transferred at much lower cost on the POA Network. Similarly, they can be transferred out of the xDai network and become available again on the mainchain. We talk about use cases, governance, and limitations.
Topics discussed in this episode:
- Igor’s background and how he got into blockchain
- The POA network setup and how to become a validator
- What informs design decisions and how to find suitable notaries
- The consensus mechanism on the POA Network
- The role of the POA token
- The xDai network and its purpose
- The role of the DPOS token
- Use cases of POA and xDai Networks
Aug 21–23 — Dappcon (Berlin)
Aug 24–25 — EthPlanet Shenzhen hackathon
Aug 23–25 — ETHBerlin
Aug 28-Sep11 — Ethereal Blocks virtual hackathon
Aug 29–30 — ERC1400 security token hackathon (Oslo)
Sep 6–8 — ETHBoston
Sep 10–11 — DeFi Summit (London)
Sep 15 — Augur v1 cutoff
Sep 15 — Ethereal Tel Aviv
Sep 16 — Tachyon accelerator application deadline
Sep 15–16 — StarkWare sessions (Tel Aviv)
Sep 22 — IDEO virtual hackathon ends
Oct 7 — ENS workshop (Osaka)
Nov 8–10 — ETHWaterloo
Information from Etherscan.io (August 20th, 2019):
Information from Coinmarketcap.com:
Ethereum Only Wins if ETH is Money by Ryan Sean Adams.
The future of decentralized finance by Linda Xie.
When I came up with Ethereum, my first thought was, ‘Okay, this thing is too good to be true.’ As it turned out, the core Ethereum idea was good — fundamentally, completely sound.
- Vitalik Buterin
Constantinople is successful so far.
Istanbul is planned for Q4 of 2019. Planned date is October 16th, 2019, 12:00pm UTC.
More details on the road to Istanbul.
Cheesy Hardfork 6 Month Schedule
Current discussion is on moving towards a 6-month cycle. Danno is leading discussion on a Cheesy Hardfork Schedule
- “Asiago” April 2020
- “Brie” October 2020
Serenity / ETH2
Serenity is meant to move from consensus through Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake.
See the ETH2 Specs Github Repo.
The ETH2 Project Management repo holds ongoing notes and meetings.
Digix’s co-founder Shaun Djie and Monolith’s CEO, Mel Gelderman, will discuss their partnership to make digital gold spendable everywhere next Tuesday during their joint livestream:
Social media metrics
Social media activity:
Social media dynamics:
Ethereum community continues to grow. There is constant slight growth in Ethereum social media channels these weeks.
Facebook — Official announcement channel. Recent publications — about Ethereum Core Devs Meetings, Conferences (20–100 likes per publication).
Twitter (Ethereum) — Official announcement channel. Duplicates news from Facebook page (250–500 likes per publication, 30–50 comments). Average number of shares is 100–200 for one post.
Twitter (Ethereum Network) — News from DApps (10–20 likes per publication, 1–5 comments, 1–10 shares).
Twitter (Ethereum Report) — Retweets from official announcement channel and team members’ pages.
Reddit — News about projects and blockchain, links to interviews, podcasts, upcoming events. The longest thread has 161 comments (Welcome to r/ethereum — the Reddit frontpage of the Web 3.0).
YouTube (Ethereum) — Last video on July 27th, 2017 (5000–20 000 views per video).
YouTube (Ethereum Foundation) — Videos from conferences, meetups, Ethereum Core Devs Meetings.
Ethereum Community Forum. Recent Discussions: Forum has been hacked, Security alert, Forums Database Compromised, Help Stop Forum Spam, Developing Guidelines for acceptable Promotion and Marketing on the Ethereum Forum.
See also Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians forum.
- Paul Hauner mentions the potential DOS vector described above, leading to a good conversation.
- Another attack, can an adversary maintain two competing forks to prevent finality? Discussion continues.
- The empty SSZ vector, and is the SSZ spec too minimal?
- More SSZ: clarifications on calculating offsets when deserialising. Should there be an explicit spec for deserialisation? (It’s currently implicit in the serialisation spec.) General feeling seems to be, yes.
- The previously missing BLS tests have been merged.
- Are you caching the reference test data in CI? Protolambda wants you to do so before bandwidth fees bankrupt the Ethereum Foundation. Some teams weren’t!
- A question about rewarding whistleblowers.
- Discussion of how the Genesis initialisation tests inhibit optimisation.
- Reminder of the existence of the Serenity Design Rationale.
- The merits or otherwise of packing data within chunks when merkleising.
- Danny wants to see some BLS and state-transition benchmarks from client teams, to help tune up the constants in the spec.
- Optimisations: state transition notes; fork choice rule notes.
- Crosslink committees and light sync.
There is a constant slight growth in the Ethereum community over time. The graph above shows the dynamics of changes in the number of Ethereum Reddit subscribers, Twitter followers and Facebook likes. The information is taken from Coingecko.com.
This is not financial advice.
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