Decentralized Trading Platform Slingshot Launches Open Beta On Polygon (MATIC)

Decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregator Slingshot has launched on Ethereum’s layer two protocol Polygon network, per an official tweet.

Slingshot Chooses Polygon Over Ethereum

According to the rebranded DEX platform (formally DEX.AG), the upgrade will enable users to execute faster trades, pay fewer transaction fees, and get the best prices on Polygon. This is following a run-up of DeFi platforms launching in the past year. Slingshot is in open beta on Polygon.

Slingshot noted that its reason for using the Polygon instead of launching on the Ethereum blockchain was due to high gas fees and slow transaction issues the decentralized finance (DeFi) facilitator experienced. Polygon is a multichain solution that runs alongside Ethereum’s network.

The Ethereum network is the second most active blockchain ecosystem after Bitcoin. In a year that has seen cryptocurrencies gain more followers, the Ethereum network has attracted more developers riding on the decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFT) craze.

But this adoption has brought up issues previously left unattended. First, the insane gas fees users have to pay before executing a trade on the platform.

Another major hiccup has been the network congestion issues prompted by the explosion of NFTs. NFTs, which are predominantly built on the Ethereum network, are unique virtual assets stored on the blockchain. Recent successes in the digital collectibles circle have seen the Ethereum network battle with slow transaction speeds.

These issues have seen the upsurge of layer two protocols like Polygon. Given their swift execution timelines and lower gas fees, developers are now shifting to alternative platforms to access the burgeoning world of DeFi.

Speaking on the recent announcement, Slingshot’s CEO, Clinton Bembry noted that the DEX platform ran multiple pilots on both the Ethereum and Polygon network for some time before settling with Polygon. All trades would now be executed on the Polygon network, while the Ethereum network integration would come much later.

ConsenSys Launches Developer-friendly Tools

Ethereum is aware of the challenges facing its platform and is reportedly preparing to migrate to a proof-of-stake (PoS) protocol in the coming months. According to founder Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum 2.0 will see the end of high gas fees and network congestion and make the Dapps facilitator scalable.

Meanwhile, Ethereum software studio ConsenSys is working to make the Ethereum platform more developer-friendly. According to the blockchain company, it will be adding tools to scaling solution Polygon to make it easier to develop and run dapps on the platform.

The tools named Infura and Truffle would be added to its already extant Ethereum and IPFS offering. Infura would allow developers to connect to the Ethereum network using an application programming interface (API) without running a full node.

Its Truffle tool would help developers build and deploy dapps easily like boilerplate projects.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

TRON Takes Aim at Ethereum’s NFT Market with the Launch of its TRC-721 Standard

TRON Takes Aim at Ethereum’s NFT Market with the Launch of its TRC-721 Standard

Tron introduces its non-fungible token (NFT) standard, TRC-721, to take over the growing NFT market. DApps created on Tron’s TRC-721 will be compatible with Ethereum’s ERC-721 standard.

Tron founder Justin Sun publicly revealed the specifications of the TRC-721 standard in a tweet shared on Tuesday, which will support the in-demand non-fungible token (NFT) market. An accompanying document explains TRC-721 as a set of standard rules that allows the creation and issuing of NFT tokens on the TRON blockchain.

The standard allows full compatibility of Ethereum’s ERC-721 standard, allowing cross-chain transactions. Additionally, every TRC-721 compliant contract must implement the TRC721 and TRC165 interfaces to start issuing tokens on the blockchain.

To start issuing tokens on TRC-721 standard, users need to install a TronLink Chrome extension and launch their account from a previous mnemonic phrase, a hardware wallet or create a new wallet. A minimum of 350 TRX tokens is needed to start issuing tokens.

Developers only need to customize the name and symbol of the token in a provided template and deploy the smart contract to start minting NFT tokens.

Justin Sun has been a rather active member in the rising NFT market, once bidding over $1 million for Jack’s tweet turned to NFT. Notwithstanding, recent reports state the flashy CEO narrowly missed a bid for the Beeple Art sold by Christie’s for over $69.3 million.

With the launch of the TRC-721 standard, Justin expects Tron to compete with and eventually replace Ethereum’s dominance in the NFT market. Despite the market dominance by Ethereum, recent challenges with high gas fees have caused several users to look to other blockchains. TRON aims to offer users a low fee and instant transaction platform in its new quest in the NFT market.

TRON is also witnessing huge adoption rates as the daily transaction volume increases by the week. Growing from 3.2 million transactions to 3.6 million in less than a fortnight, TRX looks to break the 4 million mark soon.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Another One Bites the Dust; Ethereum’s Insanely High Fees Force A Project to Shutdown

Another One Bites the Dust; Ethereum’s Insanely High Fees Force A Project to Shutdown

As average fees on the second-largest network continue to rise, Unite.Community kills its project.

Crazy high fees on the Ethereum network continue to price out smaller users. This time, a small social network project called Unite.Community has been the victim of this.

“We are unfortunately no longer actively developing Unite,” announced the project on Twitter this week. The project blamed the high fees for its shut down, which has been making it hard to make the project a reality.

“Gas prices mean the original idea for Unite isn’t feasible and after several months of work and many conversations we’ve decided against building a social token platform on a L2.”

This isn’t the first time a project has shut down because of the extremely high fees of the Ethereum network.

Back in September, during the DeFi mania, which pushed the prices to even higher levels, Unilogin had to shut down because, at times, it was paying $130 to onboard new users.

Around the same time, Publish0x, a platform that paid writers in Ether tokens, had to first delay its payments and then switch to a monthly system of payment to avoid the high gas fees.

Interestingly, while in USD terms, the average transaction fees on the second-largest network continue to hit new highs, going to $24 earlier this week, in Ether terms, at 0.015 ETH, we are nowhere near the Sept. levels of over 0.03 ETH. Average gas prices that are currently keeping between 100-300 Gwie are also high but still far off of June 2020 levels when it was over 700 Gwei and above 535 Gwei in September.

These fees rise further when interacting with DeFi protocols and for faster transactions, which are making it harder for small users to actively use DeFi platforms. However, for miners, it means earning a fortune, already they have raked in $283 million in transaction fees in February so far. In January, Ethereum miners earned $325.45 million from transaction fees.

On Thursday, miners’ one-day revenue from fees was 28.45 million, hitting new records.

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Author: AnTy

Traders Can Now Bet if Ethereum’s Price Will Be Over $25k in December on Deribit

Traders Can Now Bet if Ethereum’s Price Will Be Over $25k in December on Deribit

3.5 mln ETH options contracts traded on Deribit in Jan. 2021, up 18% from Dec. 2020. OI on Eth options also surged to 1.8 billion.

Not just Ether price expecting $10k or $20k, now people can also bet on the price of ETH going above $25k on Deribit.

The popular options market has added new ETH options contracts with a $25,000 strike price in the Dec. 21st expiry in line with its “introduction policy.”

This just means Deribit has made a market available to bet on ETH price at $25k in December; a trader can take either the long side of it or the short side of it. One can buy a ‘call’ option if they believe the price will move higher and buy ‘put’ options if they believe the price is going to fall.

Just yesterday, Ether made a new all-time high at $1,575 and has entered into its price discovery.

The leading options platform in the cryptocurrency market, Deribit, had 3.5 million ETH contracts traded in January. In a “groundbreaking record,” the options open interest also exceeded USD 10 billion, with OI on ETH contracts surging from $800 million to 1.8 billion.

Compared to 3,529,404 ETH options contracts traded in January 2021, up 18% versus December 2020, 800,690 BTC options contracts were traded in the same month, which increased 21% from the previous month on Deribit.

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“As more ETH get staked, and institutional investors are expanding their crypto holdings, bullish ETH market sentiment persists,” noted Deribit in its January institutional newsletter.

Options are getting increasingly popular in the cryptocurrency market, which in turn is increasing the effect of the contract expiries on the underlying asset’s price. Deribit’s total options turnover was also $31.9 billion, a whopping 90% jump from December.

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Author: AnTy

ConsenSys Quorum, an Ethereum-backed Ledger Protocol, Teams Up With China’s BSN

Situated in New York, and renowned as Ethereum’s globally-known ledger protocol, ConsenSys has announced that it will be partnering with the China-based Blockchain Service Network (BSN), bringing the enterprise ledger, Quorum, to China.

What sets this partnership apart from others is down to i. As part of this partnership, Quorum will be made available across 80 different cities within China; all of which operate as public city nodes of BSN’s network. Quorum was previously developed as an open-source protocol layer for enterprise applications. Quorum was also used early on by the investment giant JP Morgan.

Charles d’Haussy, ConsenSys’ Director of Strategic Initiatives, cited China’s rapid growth in importance as a hub for strategic innovation and enterprise blockchain technology:

“China is a great example of where enterprise blockchain is a strong play… What Ethereum is doing with ConsenSys Quorum is connecting people who are essentially migrating from the permissioned chain to the global chain.”

For Quorum, the announcement represents an interesting change in fortunes. From being designed as a high-security, privacy-centric blockchain solution by JP Morgan, it fell into relative obscurity for some time, before being re-housed by ConsenSys. Even now, Quorum is a name that is synonymous with the bank and investment entity, even in d’Haussy’s mind.

“Quorum was very much associated with JPMorgan, but there was also this open-source software which was available to many developers. It may not have been apparent, but there was this large audience of enterprise users, and we are now bringing to this ecosystem other products and applications from ConsenSys.”

In contrast, Blockchain Service Network (BSN) was a relatively new initiative; having been established by Red Date Technology, a blockchain-based software company, along with China’s UnionPay, China Mobile, back in April 2020. Comprised of UnionPay and China mobile, BSN consists of a number of cloud environments and portals within China. What makes BSN such a valuable initiative comes from its connections to the Chinese government; being backed through the National Development and Reform Commission.

Simply put, BSN has been rapidly positioned as a major blockchain initiative within the country’s ‘Digital Silk Road,’ with BSN has deployed over 108 public city nodes in China. Over 88 cities and public cities are connected to this ecosystem as nodes across the world.

For BSN, this partnership would enable it to “substantially accelerate” its rollout to more cities worldwide, according to Red Date Technology CEO and Executive Director of the BSN Development Association,

“After the launch, BSN will include Quorum in BSN’s training programs in 2021 to substantially accelerate the enterprise adoption of blockchain technology and Ethereum-based solutions in China.”

In order to ensure global application, Red Date’s CEO added that the partnership would include longer-standing interoperability between the two blockchain protocols. Permissioned blockchain solutions, d’Haussy explained, represented the best start to any technical journey including large firms, but that it would very much be a long-term undertaking.

But d’Haussy continued on to say that small and larger-scale suppliers lack the connection they once did, and are more receptive to blockchain technology as a means of re-establishing that same connection.

“China’s industries, which are a global network of large and small suppliers, are not integrated as they were in the past… They are jumping on coordination tools such as blockchain.”

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Author: James Fox

ConsenSys Acquires Truffle Suite; The ‘Most Widely Used’ Development Toolkit On Ethereum

Ethereum’s leading development and investment firm, ConsenSys, has acquired Truffle Suite’s dev team and technology. Truffle Suite is a platform hosting Ethereum development tools, a development environment, testing framework, and asset pipeline, allowing developers to build dApps on the second-largest blockchain network easily.

The acquisition follows a one-and-half year-long layoff in any partnership between the two companies. As one of the first companies to be incubated by ConsenSys since 2015 as a developer tool kit, Truffle spans out of the firm in 2019 and has since raised over $3 million in equity funding. The terms of the contract of their reunion were not disclosed in the report. ConsenSys Founder, Joe Lubin said,

“The Truffle Suite is essential for developers to get started on Ethereum and Web3, and is invaluable for increasing adoption of Mainnet applications and enterprise blockchain solutions alike.”

Truffle is currently used by over 1.3 million developers worldwide, enhancing Solidity development into an elegant, productive, and safe product for users. According to the report, the acquisition “concludes ConsenSys strategic restructuring of the company”. The report further stated the restructuring would “form two separate entities and delineate our core technology business from our investment activities, which we started in February 2020″.

“Truffle will now be a wholly-owned product of ConsenSys the software company, which includes Codefi, Diligence, MetaMask, Infura, and Quorum.”

Tim Coulter, Founder of Truffle, labeled Truffle Suite’s acquisition by ConsenSys “a natural fit” for the products stack. He further said,

“We look forward to delivering enterprise-grade solutions that enable developers to build and deploy blockchain systems using Ethereum and across multiple blockchains.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ethereum’s Sister Chain Is Getting Hot as Second-Largest Network Becomes a Whale Game

Ethereum’s Sister Chain Is Getting Hot as Second-Largest Network Becomes a Whale Game In the past month. The Ethereum fees have skyrocketed as DeFi protocols and ‘yield farming’ platforms gained extensive popularity. Just this week, the Ethereum network faced congestion of an extreme level never seen before.

On Wednesday, with the launch of the much-anticipated UNI governance token of Uniswap, the second-largest network saw a spike in daily transaction fees. The daily Ethereum’s average fees went as high as $11.61, marking the highest fee hike since the SUSHI saga earlier this month.

What this means is, the network has become almost impossible for small market participants to enjoy. Instead, it has become a whale game.

“While the smaller and less efficient market participants may be struggling, the larger firms that can capitalize on inefficiencies,” said Denis Vinokourov of Bequant.

This has brought the solutions like zk-Rollups and the sister chain of Ethereum xDai in the limelight.

True Defender of Ethereum’s Value Proposition

Gnosis, the prediction market firm, has already moved on to the Ethereum sidechain, xDai, which has been in operation for the last two years.

“To ensure high demand doesn’t mean low adoption, we’ve teamed up with xDai, an Ethereum sidechain designed for fast and inexpensive transactions, providing a developer-friendly environment that retains real-world economic incentives,” said Gnosis in its announcement about the partnership.

Just this week, data privacy and protection platform HOPR, P2P lending & marketplace EthicHub, Sablier, Ethereum-based privacy-focused multi-contract 0xMonero, prediction market Reality Cards, and The Commons Stack have joined Dai.

This proof-of-stake chain enables fast transactions for a minimal amount, just fractions of a penny. With stablecoin DAI as its core currency, the cost involved in these transactions is predictable and not highly volatile. In the case of xDai, users entrust their assets to a multi-sig controlled xDai bridge.

Being EVM compatible means any smart contract or Dapp deployed on Ethereum can also be deployed on xDai with minimal changes.

It is also planning to onboard a fiat-to-crypto option in the next quarter, which means one wouldn’t’ have to interact with Ether at all.

“Ethereum little sister xdaichain is getting hot. XDAI is the true defender of Ethereum’s value proposition before a fully functional ETH 2.0, can easily K.O stuff like BSC (sorry @cz_binance),” tweeted Dovey Wan, founding partner at Primitive Crypto.

ETH 2.0 takes the First Step Towards Launch

ETH 2.0, meanwhile is ready for its first step towards launch after core developer Danny Ryan submitted, a proposal for its critical phase.

Ethereum co-founder and the creator of Cardano meanwhile, found Gasper to be “insecure.” “Discovered a liveness attack on Gasper in the standard synchronous model where messages can be delayed arbitrarily by the adversary up to a known network delay bound….” he said.

Dubbed “Serenity Phase 0,” this proposal is responsible for bringing about the PoS consensus mechanism. The PoS chain called “Beacon Chain” will be built alongside the existing network.

However, it is just the first step of the 6-phase launch extending well into 2022, while Phase 1 is expected to be rolled out next year.

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Author: AnTy

Flash Crash Caused Serious Network Congestion for ETH, ETC, And ERC 20 Tokens on Coinbase

On August 1, the Ethereum’s blockchain faced a spike in network transaction fees, causing a backlog in transfers across several exchanges. Coinbase and Binance, two of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, saw hundreds of transactions jammed, leading to trading delays. In a blog post by Coinbase, during the fees peak, at 11 pm PST, a total of 559 transactions, deposits, and withdrawals were delayed.

The post reads:

“Starting at 9:45 pm PST, 559 transactions were delayed. The backlog of transactions started clearing 15 minutes after the peak of the fee spike and was fully processed in 110 minutes.”

Coinbase ETH Fees
Source: Coinbase

What Caused the Network Clog?

On the Ethereum blockchain, all transactions are charged a fee that is paid to miners that verify and confirm transactions. This network fee is determined by the variable demand for fixed processing capacity whereby when there is a significant demand, fees will rise and fall when demand is low.

The clog started at about 9.45 pm PST, causing a delay across the ETH and ERC20 tokens with the average delay spiking at 11:30 pm PST at 105 minutes.

Trading remained stable through the clogging moment, with only deposits and withdrawals affected. As of now, Ethereum Classic remains in the status of ‘degraded performance’ on Coinbase.

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Author: Lujan Odera

4 Million Dai Stablecoins Minted with wBTC; DeFi Gains A Boost from Bitcoin’s Liquidity

MakerDao, Ethereum’s largest DeFi, has facilitated the minting of over 4 million Dai stablecoins based on its newly added synthetic Bitcoin, wBTC.

This transaction was initiated by Nexo, a crypto lending platform, on May 20. It has since signaled the market demand for BTC’s liquidity within Ethereum’s DeFi ecosystem.

Earlier in May, we reported the addition of wBTC as collateral for DAI tokens following a vote by MakerDao’s community. This digital asset has since joined the likes of USDC, BAT, and ETH which were already forms of collateral within the Maker protocol.

Barely a month into its integration, the 1:1 Bitcoin backed, wBTC, is already doing record numbers in the $1 billion DeFi market.

Dai Minting With wBTC

wBTC is an ERC-20 token created once an interested party has deposited Bitcoin with BitGo, which acts as the custodian. It can then be used to stake collateral on the Maker Protocol and borrow Dai stablecoins.

The idea is to scale exposure of DAI loans through the market’s most liquid digital asset. Rune Christensen, the founder of MakerDAO, noted on twitter that there is indeed a market demand for non-ETH assets on DeFi platforms:

“It’s the beginning of a broader trend of DeFi acting as an economic vacuum that will eventually attract almost all value to the Ethereum blockchain.”

According to DeFi Pulse, the wBTC market cap has already hit $21.7 million, having been in operation since January 2019. The initial minting, however, took place as recent as May 11 on Coinlist, where Nexo minted 999.6 wBTC. The Dai stablecoin generated from wBTC could be used for varied purposes such as interest-based lending.

BTC Liquidity in Ethereum DeFi’s

The idea of BTC in Maker’s Protocol was considered for some time but obtained precedence when ETH’s price plummeted on March 12. Though the whole market had taken a hit, ETH’s flash crash raised significant concerns within the maker community. At the time, they considered adding more stablecoins, bitcoin and tokenized gold as alternative collaterals.

Following this discussion, Maker included the USDC to reduce Dai’s issues related to U.S dollar fluctuations. It was not long after that they announced the wBTC collateral in a bid to integrate with Bitcoin’s liquidity. Currently, wBTC enjoys a first-mover advantage into the DeFi ecosystem although other players like tBTC are set to put up a challenge.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Ethereum’s Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Ecosystem is on the Rise, But Why is ETH Still Bearish?

Ethereum’s blockchain network has been on a fundamental uptrend with more Decentralized Finance (DeFi) launching within its ecosystem. The network is now hitting record highs of 2.7 million ETH; this activity is however not reflecting on the price of its native coin. The ETH altcoin is currently down by 1.75% in the past 24 hours trading at $146.20 as per coinmarketcap stats.

The ETH Network Fundamental Growth

Vitalik’s blockchain has survived the times despite criticisms from other communities like Bitcoin and DApp oriented networks. The Ethereum network has grown to dominate the DApp arena and ultimately secured a number 2 market cap position. Analysis within the blockchain space shows that the ETH network is pretty healthy based on its activity and hash rate.

A recent tweet by into the block highlighted the ETH network’s health status based on the past day. According to the stats, ETH blockchain had over 244k active users while the number of newly created addresses stood at 70.7k. It is also notable that only 23.9k addresses had left the network in a span of 24 hours.

Last month’s Ethereum performance summary further highlights the general improvement within the blockchain’s ecosystem. The use of DApps had significantly grown with ETH miners hitting over 9 million blocks. In addition, over 15 million ETH addresses had a positive balance. November also marked the launch of a multi collateral DAI by MAKERDAO; this DApp now accepts both ETH and Basic Attention Token (BAT) for collateralization.

ETH Still Plunging?

Despite the DeFi’s success, the general outlook of the crypto market has not spared ETH’s price. It’s been struggling to maintain support at $150 but the bears pulled it below this level as it slid further down this quarter. However, the last crypto winter was worse than the ongoing downtrend; ETH was trading at around $90 as the peak of 2018’s bear market. The price uncertainty is an inevitable consequence of speculation but the ETH fundamental growth and gradual roadmap realization still stands out.

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Author: Lujan Odera