Lightning Labs Allows Users to Earn Interest on BTC by Providing Capital to LN

Lightning Labs has launched a marketplace for liquidity on the network.

The startup focused on developing the Layer 2 payment channel for Bitcoin, Lighting network, has opened the door to “LiFi” – Lightning financial products.

This non-custodial, peer-to-peer marketplace “transforms” your Lightning liquidity into a tradable asset on the Lightning Pool, allowing the user to buy or sell access to this liquidity.

In simple words, “People can earn interest on their BTC by helping to provide capital to the Lightning Network, while keeping control of their funds.”

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Unlike decentralized finance (DeFi), where a third party is the one with the custody of your funds, as in the case of Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), it is BitGo; Lightning Pool allows sellers to earn yields on their BTC without trusting a third party with their sats.

“The yield is earned from buyers on the Pool willing to pay a premium for access to new capital on Lightning without counterparty risk,” reads the announcement.

The lack of liquidity on the liquidity Network has been an obstacle, “one of the most widely felt pain points,” to its adoption, which the marketplace is addressing through Pool, which will allow everyone to participate.

“We developed Pool out of a need in the market that emerged from Lightning users who were looking for new sources of liquidity to enable them to more efficiently receive funds and transact on Lightning.”

In the beginning, the payment channels will have a maximum leasing time limit of two weeks or 2016 blocks, which will be diversified to six months. The liquidity provider will receive fees on their Pool account up-front.

“Pool features a p2p auction mechanism, batched execution, and a new concept called shadowchain using bitcoin script.”

Currently, it is in closed alpha with exchanges and wallets to make sure when it launches, it has enough liquidity. And because this is not DeFi, the maximum account size, for now, is 10 BTC as it is early and needs to be stress tested.

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Author: AnTy

More Urgent than Ever – Ethereum Layer 2 Solution Goes in its First Phase of Testnet Launch

Ethereum layer 2 solution Optimism is welcoming the first phase of the Optimistic Ethereum Testnet.

This development has become a necessity of the market thanks to DeFi mania, which has sent fee on the second-largest network through the roof.

The airdrop of Uniswap’s governance token UNI last week actually sent Ethereum’s hourly fees 10x up, from just over $100k to more than $900k, the highest ever Ethereum fees on a per hour basis.

Over the past few months, the Ethereum network has been facing unprecedented congestion, which means waiting for hours to get your transaction confirmed. The prohibitive fees and stifling congestion calls for Ethereum scalability.

While ETH 2.0 is still not here and even then, it’s hard to say if it would be able to handle the fast-growing DeFi space, the market is turning to layer 2 solutions, and Optimistic is one of them.

As the team noted itself, “Our mission has felt more urgent than ever, and our path forward clear.”

The First Phase

After 4 “exhausting” months since their last update, Optimistic has achieved the milestone of reaching the first phase of its testnet launch.

This launch would be a gradual process, which is currently open for public use but not for public contract deployment.

“As we gain confidence in the stability of the testnet, we will progress through each phase until the full Optimistic Ethereum system is up and running,” said the team.

Top DeFi projects like Synthetix, Uniswap, and Chainlink have already shared their intention to be early adopters.

Synthetix has officially announced that they are starting the first phase of its transition to Optimistic Ethereum, which involves incentivized testnet with 200k SNX in rewards for participating users.

“This is a huge milestone for Synthetix, Optimistic Ethereum, and indeed the entire Ethereum space,” said Synthetix in its official announcement. “Launching SNX staking on OE is a crucial step towards full scalability for the burgeoning DeFi ecosystem, truly allowing anyone around the world access to open financial infrastructure without the friction of high gas costs.”

In phase one, there will be no deposits or withdrawals, but tokens airdropped into L2 for staking reward. It would be in the second phase that deposits will be enabled, and staked assets can be increased, and in the next phase, withdrawals are enabled.

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Author: AnTy

Lightning Network’s Ready for the Next Step in its Evolution; Bitcoin Capacity Across Channels Hits Peak

The cumulative capacity across all channels on the layer 2 solution of bitcoin Lightning Network has hit an all-time high at 1,106 BTC, worth about $11.8 million at current bitcoin prices, as per 1ML.

The previous high was in early May 2019 at 1,099.7 BTC, worth about $6.5 million at that time.

Source: Bitcoin Visuals

The number of channels is also approaching the peak of 40k from mid-March 2019, as it currently hovers around 37,600. As for the number of nodes that open payment channels with each other funded with BTC, it is above 7,600.

Amidst this, Lightning Labs, which maintains the Lightning Network Daemon (LND) implementation of the Lightning Network, started supporting Wumbo with the release of Ind 0.11-beta — channels over the 0.1677 BTC limit originally imposed to discourage users from putting too much money into the early software.

This latest development means “the software has progressed to a point where advanced users, companies, and node operators can opt into larger channels.”

“Enabling Wumbo was our signal to the rest of the world that the Lightning Network is ready for the next step in its evolution,” states Lightning Labs.

This evolution involves a world where Lightning nodes are as “ubiquitous as the TCP/IP driver,” and every device from the mobile phone, laptop, desktop, router, and network switch can send/receive payments, authenticate themselves, and send end-to-end encrypted messages without a trusted third party.

Just last week, Lightning Labs also added accounting reports to the suite of tools for Ind to help users track sats. And with Wumbo and Faraday, it expects more and more companies to enable Lightning for its users.

Blockstream, which maintains the c-lightning implementation, also updated its tech stack in the form of channel management and routing tools.

The latest version 0.9.1 of c-lightning improves the likelihood of larger transactions to find a route between the sender and receiver while removing the bugs to make the process more efficient.

Additionally, with multifundchannel plugin, it is now possible to open multiple channels with a single transaction.

Also Read: Bitfinex Launches Wumbo Lightning Network Channels

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Author: AnTy

UMA Goes Live on Coinbase.com and Apps While Loopring (LRC) Surges on Coinbase Pro Listing

The price of LRC jumped 38% on the news that Coinbase Pro was listing Loopring.

The self-custodial Ethereum layer two solution, Loopring, will be supported in all of the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange’s supported jurisdiction, except for New York state.

Today, Coinbase announced that on the coming Monday, users can transfer their LRC into the Coinbase Pro account ahead of trading.

The cryptocurrency, however, won’t be available on Coinbase.com or the exchange’s mobile apps yet.

LPC trading on Coinbase Pro will begin at 9 AM Pacific Time (PT) Tuesday, September 15.

In response, the 52nd largest cryptocurrency by market cap of $296 million jumped to $0.2875 and is currently trading at $0.253.

The zkRollup exchange and payment protocol recently saw traction after the DeFi mania pushed the fees on the Ethereum network to sky-high.

It’s zkRollup currently has more than 5000 accounts, but Loopring is “just getting started” as it says, “Layer 2 will bring Ethereum to the world, and the world to Ethereum.”

Keep those Altcoins, better yet, DeFi Tokens Coming

Coinbase, much like any other exchanges in the crypto space, has taken to list altcoins, and lately to capture the ongoing decentralized finance craze, DeFi tokens as well.

Celo (CGLD), Numeraire (NMR), Band (BAND), Compound (COMP), Maker (MKR), and OmiseGo (OMG) have been recent additions along with supporting additional European and UK order books.

Just this week, UMA-USD and UMA-BTC order books got into a full-trading mode.

Today, UMA is launching at Coinbase.com and its iOS and Android apps, which means users can buy, sell, convert, send, receive, or store UMA on the platform.

This Ethereum-based open-source protocol allows developers to design and create their own synthetic assets and financial contracts with the goal of creating universal market access (UMA).

A DeFi token with a market cap of $906 million that sits at 25th spot, UMA has also started gaining momentum as it trades at 16.81% with nearly 4% gains.

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Author: AnTy

Tether to Add Layer 2 Solution, ZK-Rollups, to Reduce Congestion On Ethereum’s Network

Tether announces plans to integrate ZK-Rollups, a second layer solution using zero knowledge proofs to bundle up transactions as one to reduce the burden on Ethereum-based USDt transactions. Integration of Layer 2 solutions is becoming an ever growing concern for Ethereum users after the recent spike in gas fees in tandem with DeFi market growth.

ZK Rollups is an implementation built on top of the Ethereum network, leveraging zero knowledge proofs to bundle up transactions and send them, improving scalability on the blockchain. ZK, or zero knowledge is required of the transactions. This hence reduces computing and storage resources for validating the block by reducing the amount of data held in a transaction.

Speaking on the integration, CTO of Tether, Paolo Ardoino, named ZK-Rollups as the most comprehensive and most preferred second layer solution on Ethereum as it works on-chain.

Tether is working on reducing the amount of transactions conducted on the Ethereum blockchain in a bid to decongest and probably reduce the fees. Recently, the stablecoin was added on OMG Network, also a layer 2 solution, as a sidechain to help in scaling Ethereum and reduce the skyrocketing transaction fees.

The growth of Tether’s demand has been majestic over 2020 as Tron and Ethereum both hold more USDt than the Bitcoin network. The token set an all-time high market capitalization as reported by BEG after a frenzy across the DeFi space caused a spike in demand.

The demand of USDt – as the largest stablecoin – has seen it flip the number of transfers and transactions made on the largest blockchain, Bitcoin. According to a Coinmetrics report, the 7-day average adjusted transfer value of Tether broke the $3 billion mark, finally reaching $3.55 billion compared to Bitcoin’s $2.94 billion as of Aug 25.

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Author: Lujan Odera

dYdX Exchange and StarkWare Partner to Bring Layer 2 Scaling to Decentralized Trading

Decentralized exchange platform, dYdX has announced it has partnered with StarkWare to integrate Layer 2 scaling for use with perpetual contracts. The Layer 2 scaling solution will be built on StarkWare’s StarkEX scalability network as well as dYdX perpetual smart contracts. The press statement reads,

“Our engineering teams are collaborating on a Layer 2 scaling solution for Perpetual Contracts, based on StarkWare’s StarkEx scalability engine and dYdX’s Perpetual smart contracts. Our Perpetual Contracts will be powered by StarkEx by the end of this year.”

dYdX explained that transitioning to Layer 2 will help provide enhanced user experiences for its clients. The firm also stated that its clients can now look forward for reduced gas costs which will translate to lower trading fees as well as minimum trade sizes as the trades will passed on-chain in ZK-rollups which will decrease the gas amount needed in every trade.

They are also looking forward to reducing minimum trade sizes as there will be less fees for each trade allowing clients to enjoy smaller trade sizes which means that dYdX users can start trading using less capital. They also stated that clients can expect more trading pairs on dYdX as well as instant trade settlement.

StarkWare’s scaling tech is also been used by DiversiFi, a decentralized exchange as well. However, the use of the tech by dYdX will bring a main DEX into the fold, a move that is likely to open doors for various decentralized exchanges around the world.

dYdX has been experiencing positive growth from April after the platform introduced Bitcoin perpetual swaps. Last month, dYdX recorded its busiest month with over $2555 million worth of trading volume.

dYdX stated that it is expecting to launch the platform before the end of the year. However, clients are free to trade ETH-USD as well as BTC-USD perpetual contracts and enjoy up to 10x leverage.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

DeFi-Focused Protocol, Chia Network, Raises Another $5M in Funding Round

  • Chia Network, a Layer 1 focused blockchain project, has raised another $5 million in a funding round led by Slow Ventures.
  • This latest equity addition brings the total amount of funds gathered from VC’s since its launch in 2017 to $16 million.

Bram Cohen, the creator of BitTorrent, is also the top dog at Chia Network and had earlier said that the idea is to go the IPO route and rely on VC funding before launching their token.

This recent funding round has attracted other prominent stakeholders in the crypto sector. These include IDEO, Collab Crypto, and Naval Ravikant, the latter being a returning investor to the Chia Network initiative. Following the progress made, investors expressed confidence that the project will now move to advance its course of disrupting the Ethereum DeFi market despite the odds being against them at the moment.

Slow Ventures’ Jill Carlson particularly highlighted that she is eager for Chia Network Mainnet launch, which might take place later in the year. She, however, noted a shift in interest by VC’s to DeFi but echoed that base protocols still have a long term value proposition:

“But we believe that much of the most exciting innovation is still occurring in new and soon-to-launch based protocols.”

Chia Network’s Cutting Edge in DeFi

With Ethereum’s scalability issues, base protocols looking to disrupt its market dominance cannot be ignored. Cohen noted that Chia’s protocol would offer a comparable DeFi functionality by next year.

The Chia protocol uses empty computer space slots, as opposed to a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus, which has proven to quite resource-intensive. In line with this, Cohen further said that interested chia community contributors could start building as they await the Mainnet release:

“We’ve now finished that format so if you generate plots today and put the resources into building those they will still work the day mainnet goes live.”

The Chia ecosystem will mainly focus on institutional clients, especially vertical vendors, in the financial services sector. Gene Hoffman, Chia’s Chairman, highlighted that they are already pursuing prospects not limited to government agencies and banks which might find value in their hybrid open-source model:

“[Banks] are concerned about having to route all their transactions through Manhattan. … They, too, understand they want the positives of an open network that can still use types of decentralized identity.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui