We’re excited to announce that Terra has joined the Messari Disclosures Registry. As a participating project, Terra has committed to transparency by providing regular project disclosures and updates. Terra is an algorithmically-governed, seigniorage share style stablecoin platform to which a collection of fiat-pegged tokens and a stabilizing cryptoasset, Luna, are native. Terra was created in January 2018 with the singular vision of facilitating the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies by creating digitally native assets that are price-stable against the world's major fiat currencies. Learn all about Terra’s history, roadmap, team, token, launch, technology, security and governance on their Messari asset profile page. You can also learn more about Terra at https://terra.money/.
Source: — Published: 2020-07-01T13:00:00Z
Earlier today, the SKALE Network, an Ethereum-compatible layer-2 scaling protocol, launched its mainnet. SKALE features what it calls an “elastic” blockchain network that lets developers deploy configurable, independent chains capable of processing decentralized applications (dApps). Each SKALE chain (or “dynamic shard”) uses a randomly selected subset of the network’s validator pool to verify transactions and state changes. Today’s launch is the first step in SKALE’s three-phase mainnet rollout. Phase 1: The current network is not feature-complete, as it does not support any staking rewards, token transfers, or public access to validator slots. Phase 2: The second phase, which will follow SKALE’s upcoming token sale, will unlock staking and new issuance while keeping restrictions on transfers and exchange listings. Phase 3: This final stage will take the training wheels off and open the network for its intended purpose. Why it matters: SKALE now joins a growing list of Ethereum-compatible scaling solution to have launched within the last few months. This list includes OMG Network (which also recently partnered with Tether), Matic Network, Matter Lab’s zkSync, DeversiFi’s new DEX powered by Starkware tech, and Loopring’s zkRollup for token transfers, among others. Source: Messari Portal SKALE, alongside these other scaling solutions, could not have come at a more necessary time. Ethereum transaction fees have mooned (not the good kind) over the last few months to their high levels since 2018, making it economically irrational to interact with most apps. The fee spike even prompted miners to start upping the network’s gas limit, which places a greater strain on node operators and client developer teams. Both scenarios are undesirable and unsustainable, respectively. Thus, the viable and immediately available solution is for current Ethereum apps to start integrating with layer-2 scaling infrastructure.
Source: SKALE — Published: 2020-07-01T02:00:00Z
Yesterday the USDT monetary base surpassed $10 billion. USDT joins Bitcoin and Ethereum as the only 3 cryptoassets with a market capitalization in the 10 figure range. Source: Messari Portal Why it matters: USDT continues to grow its lead on its stablecoin competitors, and is still the only stablecoin with a market capitalization greater than $1 billion. The $10 billion mark is not fundamentally significant, but it is a sign of USDT’s staying power despite all its controversy over the years.
Source: — Published: 2020-06-30T20:00:00Z
DFINITY has opened its distributed tech stack, dubbed the “Internet Computer,” to third-party developers. This release, codenamed Tungsten, marks the third of five milestones the project has reached on its path to a public launch, which could arrive later this year. As part of the release, DFINITY said its development network is now “running across multiple data centers,” as opposed to its previous public demonstration in January that ran through a single data center. DFINITY also showcased a decentralized alternative to TikTok, called CanCan, while introducing Tungsten. CanCan and previous demos (such as LinkedIn alternative, LinkedUp) aim to highlight the purported efficiencies afforded by the Internet Computer compared to the Web 2.0 tech stack. For instance, DFINITY says it built CanCan with “less than 1,000 lines of code.” In contrast, CoinDesk reports that social media behemoth Facebook took 62 million lines to construct. Source: DFINITY Foundation Why it matters: DFINITY is taking a relatively slow but measured approach to its mainnet launch. Today’s release is the first significant project release since January. The next milestone (codenamed Sodium) will introduce DFINITY’s proposed governance system and details on the Internet Computer’s ICP token (formerly DFN). Sodium could launch at some point in September. With its early demos, DFINITY appears to be targeting high-profile apps that may have fallen out of favor or come under fire for their data-hoarding ways. It first demoed a decentralized alternative to LinkedIn back in January and now has built a decentralized competitor to TikTok. While toppling these social media giants might prove near-impossible for now, it’s a clear reminder of the value proposition offered by apps built on data structures not owned or controlled ay a single entity.
Source: DFINITY — Published: 2020-06-30T19:30:00Z
The Graph closed a $5 million SAFT (Simple Agreement for Future Tokens) fundraise from multiple crypto funds including Framework, ParaFi Capital, Multicoin Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Digital Currency Group, and more. The Graph is an indexing protocol that enables developers to access data from Ethereum and decentralized applications. Currently, the Graph’s blockchain indexer is open-source but utilizes a hosted service that is accessible through the GraphQL API. This year, The Graph is planning on launching its own network that will operate by incentivizing individuals to run nodes and process queries in an open marketplace. It appears that The Graph intends for its token to enable governance features and ensure that network fees are earned by members of the community. Why it matters: The Graph reports 50 million queries per day with over 750M queries in May 2020, up 45% from April 2020. These numbers show a thriving use case for querying blockchain data. The funding raise and future token launch is taking a similar approach to Compound – build a platform with a central team of developers and gradually decentralize. The success or failure of the Graph’s token will be another data point in the case for or against progressive decentralization.
Source: The Graph — Published: 2020-06-30T17:40:00Z
Yesterday, Celo’s on-chain governance system activated the network’s Stability Protocol, thus unlocking the ability to create and transfer Celo Dollars (cUSD). In addition to being a general-purpose development platform, Celo features a reserve contract that allows users to post CELO (Celo’s native asset) as collateral in exchange for the dollar-pegged cUSD. This MakerDAO-esque system also supports reserve assets other than CELO, including BTC, ETH, and DAI, to help maintain the cUSD peg. In the long run, the Stability Protocol can add support for off-chain reserve assets, as well as issue other crypto-collateralized stablecoins if approved by a community vote. Why it matters: In a crowded smart contract platform market, recently launched projects are looking for an edge or a way to differentiate what their platform can offer users or developers. A native, stablecoin-generating stability mechanism might give Celo a leg-up relative to other platforms as most are still searching for developers to build a similar system. Interact with this chart here Stablecoins continue to rise in popularity. The overall stablecoin market capitalization has more than doubled YTD to meet the growing demand for stable transfer value. Celo Dollar could help drive early Celo network adoption should some of these demand spill over into new platforms. But in terms of popularity, decentralized stability mechanisms like DAI still trail fiat-collateralized stablecoins like Tether and the fast-growing USDC.
Source: Celo — Published: 2020-06-30T16:00:00Z
Sorare, a fantasy soccer game and marketplace for blockchain player cards announced an agreement with the Major League Soccer Players Association (MLSPA) that will bring 700 new player cards to the Sorare platform. Sorare player cards are ERC-721 non-fungible tokens (NFTs) meaning they are unique and publicly tradable. Since the launch in 2019, Sorare has licensed nearly 50 football clubs across Europe, Asia, and the U.S. According to Sorare CEO Nicolas Julia, the firm’s platform currently has about 3,500 monthly active users and recorded over $350,000 in sales for June. More recently, a player card of Cristiano Ronaldo sold for 59 ether. While these sales numbers are shy of the $4 million in revenue that Cryptokitties earned in its first year, Sorare is getting close to My Crypto Heroes which made $1.5 million in its first year. This is also an interesting case study since Sorare originally launched on top of Loom, a layer 2 scaling solution for Ethereum which has since pivoted. This year, the firm opted to migrate to Ethereum sighting the network’s maturity and growing adoption as a primary reason for the switch. We have previously written about how some blockchain-based games are finding early product-market fit, such as Gods Unchained which also happens to be a trading card game. Fantasy sports, unlike massive online games like Fortnite, don’t require the same standards of low latency or speed which makes gaming functionality easier to develop. Why it matters: Games such as Gods Unchained and Sorare are showing a successful strategy for crypto gaming companies that want to find product-market fit: Build games that provide added value through NFTs Provide a fun gaming experience while balancing the tradeoffs with what is possible on blockchain networks today Blockchain games take a certain amount of platform risk and technology risk when deciding what network to build on and which scaling solutions to utilize. The decision from Sorare to utilize the Ethereum base layer is another small, but positive signal that Ethereum will be useful for gaming or at least the card-game niche.
Source: Coindesk — Published: 2020-06-30T15:15:00Z
Predictions market platform Augur has announced its new and improved platform will launch July 28th. The upgrade brings about a number of changes such as DAI denominated markets and "Invalid" as a tradeable outcome. Token holders will need to manually migrate their REPv1 to REPv2 in order to partake in the new reporting system. Why it matters Prediction markets have received a lot of attention as a use case that benefits from the regulatory arbitrage afforded by decentralization, however, significant usage has yet to materialize. Augur’s v2 upgrade hopes to change this by improving the experience of creating and trading any arbitrary market. The launch comes at an opportune time with an upcoming U.S. presidential election and professional sports starting to pick back up leading to a growing wave of bettors looking to gamble on various outcomes.
Source: Augur — Published: 2020-06-30T15:00:00Z
Yesterday, Beam underwent a successful a successful hard fork, paving the way for confidential DeFi on Beam. The event occurred at block height 777,777. It contained Beam's second mining algorithm change (BeamHashIII) and last planned consensus change. The fork also included activation for the support of confidential assets, which enabled independent tokens to be issued on the Beam network that benefit from the the confidentiality and scalability features of Beam, and Lelantus-MW, which will further protect users privacy via a Breaking Linkability feature and enable one side payments. Why it matters: Broadly speaking, DeFi is booming. The upgrade provides the foundation for Beam to create its own DeFi ecosystem, with the added benefit of native confidentiality. The hard fork marks Beam's attempts to move beyond the "privacy coin" moniker people have given it due its reliance on MimbleWimble.
Source: Beam — Published: 2020-06-29T16:00:00Z
Balancer, a non-custodial portfolio manager and automated market maker, was drained of nearly half a million dollars from a sophisticated attacker that was able to exploit a bug in deflationary token pools. They were able to borrow $23 million through a flash loan on dYdX and convert to WETH which was continuously traded in the STA/STONK pool. By draining the balance of STA, its price relative to other tokens was extremely high allowing the attacker to swap for other assets at a much cheaper price. Why it matters Balancer has already been audited twice, however, this specific vulnerability was not found although the team has warned about the unintended consequences of deflationary ERC20 tokens. This goes to show that even by taking the necessary steps to prevent a hack, they are still possible and users would be aware of that risk. Unlike the DForce attack that led to $25 million being returned, this attacker took steps to shield his identity and washed all his funds through Tornado Cash. This makes it unlikely that the funds will be returned and will leave Balancer in a deficit.
Source: Balancer — Published: 2020-06-29T13:30:00Z
EIP 1559 – a proposal to add a fee burning mechanism to Ethereum transactions – has raised nearly $60,000 from Gitcion Grants with two days left for fundraising. Gitcoin Grants operate using quadratic funding, a process where small donations are matched on a more even scale compared to larger donations. An individual grant is rewarded by the number of individuals who fund the project rather than the amount raised from a small number of individuals. For example, at the current rate donating 1 DAI matches the EIP -1559 grant with 108 DAI whereas donating 1000 DAI only matches 272 DAI. Why it matters: In a world where money buys everything, quadratic funding is an experiment to demonstrate how more democratic funding might be possible. It’s a funding mechanism where a large number of people can out raised a few individuals. EIP - 1559 has received over 262 contributors signaling a strong desire by the Ethereum community to pass this EIP. Gitcoin Grants may be an effective signaling tool in the future for determining community sentiment on new proposals or experiments.
Source: Gitcoin — Published: 2020-06-29T13:30:00Z
Accord to a recent court filing, Telegram has agreed to pay the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) $18.5 million over its $1.7 billion "unlawful" token sale. As part of the agreement, Telegram must also notify the SEC should it choose to issue another cryptocurrency within the next three years. The settlement effectively ends the months-long legal battle between the two parties, which began when the SEC sued Telegram back in Oct. 2019 to prevent the distribution of GRAMs. Telegram now has "30 days to pay the SEC penalty and up to four years to pay back investors." See the full list of regulatory actions within crypto in our handy resource page. Why it matters: Telegram has already abandoned the TON project. Therefore, the settlement will not have an immediate effect on Telegram's development initiatives. While the official TON chain is inactive, community developers and validators launched a fork of TON (called Free TON) last month. As we've previously covered, this case and settlement could have more significant implications for other SAFT raises, especially for those projects that have yet to launch. As for future SAFTS, Nic Carter of Castle Island Ventures pointed out that TON's demise has likely shut the window of opportunity for SAFTs and other token sales. These heightened regulatory concerns could be one reason projects are turning to more innovative token distribution strategies, such as UMA's Initial Uniswap Listing or liquidity incentives (aka yield farming).
Source: Court Listener — Published: 2020-06-26T15:00:00Z
Today the Electric Coin Company (ECC) released its June 2020 transparency report, reviewing income, expenses and use of funds in Q4 2019. The company ran a $300,000 monthly deficit in the quarter, having received coins at an average of $410,000 a month and while having realized ~$710,000 a month in operating expenses. At the end of Q4 2019, the ECC held $3.9M in USD and ZEC, based on the December closing price of $27.23. The ECC’s holdings at the current ZEC price are ~$7.2M in USD and ZEC. ECC transparency reports provide critical insight into the financial health of one of the most important stakeholders in the Zcash ecosystem. Using the numbers provided in the report, we’ve updated our Zcash funding model to illustrate Zcash’s post-halving financial position under the new Zcash developer’s reward agreed upon in January of this year. Assuming the ECC’s $710,000 in operating expenses stay flat, at current prices, the ECC will run a $280,000 monthly deficit after its upcoming November halving. With its ~$7.2 million cash position, the ECC could survive 25 months, or more than two years, post-halving before it would need to look for alternative funding sources or cut costs. However, cryptocurrency prices are anything but stable, so a bear case is prudent to consider as well. Under a bear case scenario where Zcash fell to it’s all time low of $20.40, the ECC could survive just 7 months post-halving, before it would need to look for alternative funding sources or cut costs. And this model likely overstates the runway considering part of the ECC’s cash balance is in ZEC to begin with. Nevertheless just as there are bear cases, there are also bull cases. The ECC is about a 60% ZEC price increase away from reaching breakeven, an amount very much within the realm of possibility for cryptocurrency. For now, it appears the ECC’s funding needs will not be an issue unless Zcash plummets substantially from current levels. Perhaps more important though is the fact that the latest developer reward proposal reduces reliance on the ECC anyways. With over 65% of the developer reward going to the ZF and third parties, the Zcash community has paved the path towards a future less dependent on any specific organization.
Source: Electric Coin Company — Published: 2020-06-25T22:30:00Z
AVA Labs, the development team behind the Avalanche blockchain, has raised $12 million in a private sale of its AVAX token. Participating VC firms included Galaxy Digital, Bitmain, NGC Ventures, and Dragonfly Capital, among other undisclosed investors. Initialized Capital also joined the round, adding to the AVAX investment it secured last year in AVA Lab’s $6 million Seed sale. As an encore, Avalanche plans to host a public sale starting on Jul. 8 with the intent of distributing up to seven million tokens. This total could rise to twelve million depending on the round’s success early on. Why it matters: Avalanche is one of many green smart contract platforms vying to knock Ethereum off of its pedestal. The project has plans to launch on mainnet at some point this year, which would place amongst to Solana, NEAR Protocol, Celo, Polkadot, and Oasis Protocol as the latest base layer networks to hit the market. While a multi-chain future seems likely, not all networks will find product-market fit. In a sea of relatively undifferentiated systems, developer advocacy and VC-supplied onboarding incentives could determine which chains gain a following versus those that end up becoming immaculately constructed wastelands. When talking about Ethereum's current market dominance, AVA Labs co-founder and COO Kevin Sekniqi compared "Avalanche and Ethereum to Zoom and Skype." Long story short, Zoom won out despite Skype having a "15-year technical lead." His reasoning is that network effects "are easily broken" by superior technology. While not always the case (insert obligatory VHS vs. Betamax reference), Kevin's sentiment echoes that of Charles Hoskinson. In last week's Unqualified Opinions podcast, the Cardano founder emphatically said the "great lie" in crypto is that Ethereum has achieved an insurmountable network effect. We'll see, but it's clear the smart contract wars are heating up and worth keeping an eye on.
Source: AVA Labs — Published: 2020-06-25T16:00:00Z
W3BCLOUD, a joint venture between Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and ConsenSys, announced that it has completed its initial close of $20.5M in convertible notes. The joint venture aims to build out its first line of Ethereum data centers. Why it matters: AMD’s computing and graphics segment, which includes graphic chip sales to data centers, jumped 36% to $1.28 billion in 2019. AMD’s entrance into building blockchain data centers specifically for Ethereum is a positive signal for the smart contract network. ConsenSys which operates Ethereum infrastructure providers like Infra and PegaSys is making a strategic play that will allow them to continue to expand their infrastructure product offerings.
Source: Business Wire — Published: 2020-06-25T15:40:00Z
According to a press release, Circle will add support for USDC on Algorand. The move will enable “customers of Circle Business Accounts and Circle APIs to easily move funds between traditional banks and card networks to digital dollars on the Algorand blockchain.” Algorand will be the first blockchain with a stablecoin implementation powered by a new framework for multi-chain support on USDC that allows other blockchains to leverage the foundation and standards that have been created behind USDC. Why it matters: USDC is the crypto’s second largest stablecoin project, and is rapidly approaching $1 billion issued amidst the recent liquidity mining craze. Algorand will be the second blockchain USDC is issued on, joining USDT as a multi-chain stablecoin.
Source: Circle — Published: 2020-06-24T17:45:00Z
ETHE now trades at $91.33 and is down 53% since June 18th. From its $239.50 all time high reached June 4th, ETHE is down 61%. The ETHE premium to NAV has dropped down to ~380% from ~790% on June 18th and ~950% on June 4th. The premium collapse illustrates that the ETHE price drop is a product of investors selling ETHE shares, not the underlying ETH becoming less valuable. While it’s unclear how many shares became unrestricted over the past 20 days, as we’ve laid out previously, a lot of ETHE shares will become so in the coming weeks. The collapsing premium could be a sign that accredited investors who created ETHE shares a year ago via private placements, are cashing out as their shares become unrestricted. Why it matters: The developments highlight the inequities between retail and accredited investors, who experienced vastly different outcomes in the past couple weeks. Retail investors saw more than half their positions wiped out, while accredited investors who bought in private placements probably made a ton of money. It will be interesting to track how this develops in the coming weeks in months. As suggested by CMS, to the extent many accredited investors borrowed ETH to create ETHE shares, they will now need to buy spot ETH to pay down their debt. Furthermore, some investors may roll this trade by selling ETHE, buying back in spot markets, then creating new ETHE shares in a private placement.
Source: — Published: 2020-06-24T16:00:00Z
DeFi Money Market (DMM), an Ethereum-based loan platform backed by real-world assets, raised $6.5 million through an “Initial DEX Offering” that utilized Dolomite as well as Gnosis Protocol in a structure that replicates a bonding curve. The DMG token is a fork of the recently distributed COMP token and represents governance rights over the network allowing holders to modify key parameters. DMM currently holds $8.7 million in assets, mostly cars, and offers interest rates of 6.25% on ETH, DAI, and USDC. Why it matters While the yield is lower than other platforms in DeFi as liquidity mining has pushed up rates, DMM loans provide less volatility as they have non-crypto native assets backing to them which could satisfy demand from lenders looking for more stability MakerDAO has long envisioned bringing on a wide variety of real world assets as collateral for loans. DMM could act as a proof-of-concept for their governance as well as others across DeFi as to what it could look like.
Source: Decrypt — Published: 2020-06-24T14:00:00Z
We’re excited to announce that Keep has joined the Messari Disclosures Registry. As a participating project, Keep has committed to transparency by providing regular project disclosures and updates. The Keep Network is a privacy layer for blockchains that allows users and applications to store data privately. It features off-chain containers for private data called keeps. The network randomly assigns keeps to a system of participants, called signers, that help store and manage these data containers. Keep's core application, the Random Beacon, provides this source of randomness and aims to ensure an individual signer cannot decode the information stored in the network. Each participant stakes KEEP tokens to act as a signer in exchange for a service fee. Learn all about Keep’s history, roadmap, team, token, launch, technology, security and governance on their Messari asset profile. Keep also recently kicked off a month-long stakedrop, that enables anyone to stake ETH to earn KEEP, and to help bring BTC to ETH as a tBTC signer. You can join the Keep community on Discord or learn more at https://keep.network/.
Source: — Published: 2020-06-24T14:00:00Z
Balancer, an automated market maker similar to Uniswap, began distributing its governance token BAL today after launching its liquidity mining program on June 1. Each week 145,000 BAL will be distributed to liquidity providers who deposit assets onto the platform. Since LPs became eligible to earn BAL earlier this month, the total supply locked increased from $15 million to around $45 million today. Why it matters As we saw with the Compound liquidity mining going live last week, this incentive mechanism can be incredibly effective in attracting capital. Now that the token is being priced, liquidity providers can gauge the yield earned and may rush to add capital. In the case of COMP, the frenzy to add capital to the platform had a direct effect on the price making it a top 25 most valuable asset. Already BAL has become the second-largest DeFi token with a market capitalization of $580 million (1.6 billion fully diluted)
Source: Balancer — Published: 2020-06-23T18:30:00Z