DEX Balancer Raises Million Ahead of its V2 Launch Next Month

DeFi protocol, Balancer, has secured an investment of $5 million from Three Arrows Capital and DeFiance Capital, both of which will be key strategic partners in its expansion in Asia.

The popular DEX also has Pantera Capital and Alameda Research as its investors, which directly purchased BAL tokens from the Balancer Labs treasury, bringing its total raised fund in Series A round to $12 million.

The funding is expected to further accelerate the growth of Balancer Labs as it prepares for the launch of Balancer v2.

Earlier last week, Fernando Martinelli, the co-founder and CEO of Balancer Labs, shared that the V2 upgrade, expected to launch in March, will bring the project “closer to Balancer’s vision of being the primary source for DeFi liquidity.”

“The Balancer team has pioneered a great deal of innovation in the DeFi space and is one of the most widely used liquidity protocols. We are excited to help them expand further,” said Su Zhu, Three Arrows Capital, a Singapore-based crypto asset hedge fund.

The protocol that works on building the primary source of liquidity for DeFi has a TVL (total value locked) of $1.25 billion.

In the world of DEX, the protocol recently surpassed $10 billion in total swap volume and did about half a billion dollars worth of volume in the past 7 days compared to $1 billion by Curve, $1.3 billion by 0x, $3.5 billion volume recorded on SushiSwap, and $7.6 billion on Uniswap.

Balancer currently has 3.24% of the DEX market share, as per Dune Analytics.

The native token of the project BAL, which has a market cap of $$332 million, enjoyed the news and jumped 30% to hit $50, up 240% YTD.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

RenVM Ready for ‘New Frontiers’ with Alameda Research Partnership

RenVM Ready for ‘New Frontiers’ with Alameda Research Partnership

DeFi protocol Ren that enables the permissionless and private transfer of value between blockchains has joined hands with Alameda, a quantitative crypto trading firm founded by FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

This partnership will prioritize Solana’s support in Ren’s Multichain libraries and in RenVM, Ren’s core product that brings interoperability to DeFi.

The team has already started working and will begin bridging assets to and from Solana in Q2.

For RenVM, the upcoming support for Solana and integration into Serum means more volume, users, fees, and authenticity to the protocol. Taiyang Zhang, the CEO at Ren said,

“I’ve always been impressed by the pace of innovation @SBF_Alameda +team sustains and value created for the wider crypto ecosystem. Now that we get to collaborate, I’m more bullish than ever and look forward to taking RenVM to new frontiers.”

The joint efforts will also involve “reaching the next phase of decentralization.” After distributing the control of RenVM to third-parties, now Alameda will also participate in Greycore, which will be responsible for consensus and execution. The team is expecting to start testing MPC on Testnet soon.

As for Solana, the ability to move ETH and ERC20 tokens along with SOL, SRM, and other Solana-native assets between chains will help integrate Solana more deeply into DeFi.

REN token’s price jumped over 20% on the news as it trades at $0.75, up 120% YTD, and to trader @SmartContracter, it looks “Giga bullish.”

But not just for REN, the market sees it as good news for all the parties that means SRM and SOL as well. While SOL hit a new ATH at $5.34 today, SRM is just 20% away from its peak of $3.76 hit during 2020 DeFi summer mania.

Read Original/a>
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.”

Read Original/a>
Author: James Fox

HUMAN Protocol Moves to Solana Blockchain In Search Of Scalability And Speed

HUMAN Protocol Moves to Solana Blockchain In Search Of Scalability And Speed

  • Hybrid labor protocol, HUMAN protocol, is moving to Solana blockchain.
  • The partnership aims to provide scalable and secure decentralized labor pools.

HUMAN Protocol is a hybrid framework that helps in machine learning techniques by providing a marketplace for humans to contribute their reasoning, mental skills, and knowledge. These activities include labeling tasks, voicing tasks, and identifying photos, videos, and sounds to improve machines’ intelligence.

The company is partnering with Solana blockchain, an open-source and scalable blockchain, to build a decentralized labor pool to complete these tasks. Growing demand for the protocol and scalability constraints has seen HUMAN Protocol turn to Solana to settle the large number of transactions on-chain, settle labor pools efficiently and make payments instantly.

The Solana Foundation team is working on deploying the decentralized labor pools on a functional marketplace. HUMAN Protocol developers work on easing the onboarding process for developers and users on the platform. Lonnie Rae, Head of Operations at HUMAN Protocol Foundation, said in a statement on the partnership. Rae added,

“Building on Solana should enable us to scale our decentralized labor pools significantly for better operating performance across the HUMAN platform,”

“We’re so excited to see what we can build together.”

Solana currently provides over 700,000 transactions per second (TPS) – way above the transaction speeds of Bitcoin at 5-7 TPS, ETH 1.0 (15-20 TPS), and ETH 2.0 (100,000 TPS) – which provides a stable option for the HUMAN Protocol, the statement further reads.

HUMAN Protocol is gradually taking over the global CAPTCHA market, which has previously been monopolized by Google’s reCAPTCHA module. hCAPTCHA, built using HUMAN Protocol tech, currently captures over 15% of the market share and disburses the vast information to an open marketplace for anyone to train their machines. This democratizes the access to data important to machine learning, reducing the power Google holds.

“In my mind, they’re creating a global brain formed through billions of interactions in a decentralized marketplace,” Raj Gokal, COO at Solana said. “This is the rare combination of vision, execution, and ambition that Solana was built for.”

HUMAN Protocol now joins a vast list of projects leveraging Solana’s blockchain to optimize speed and utilize the scalability properties it offers. Following the integration of Circle’s USDC stablecoin on Solana, one of the largest blockchain-based music streaming platforms, Audius, integrated on the blockchain, and Velas, a self-optimization blockchain platform, also joined the blockchain to increase transaction speed.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

DeFi Warp Protocol Losses $7.7 Million in a Flash Loan Attack

Lending protocol, Warp was exploited with a complex flash loan attack for $7.7 million worth of stablecoins. Hacken Club audited the project.

The attack on Thursday allowed the hacker to borrow more than their collateral value resulting in a loss of stablecoin lender funds. Later on Thursday or earlier on Friday, the team took to Twitter to share with the community,

“We are investigating irregular stablecoin loans taken out in the last hour, we recommend that you do not deposit anymore stablecoins until we have clarity on the irregularities.”

Out of the lost $7.7 million, the team plans to recover about $5.5 million that is still “secured in the collateral vault.”

“Upon successful recovery, these will be distributed to users who experienced a loss,” announced the team. Additional plans are also in place to compensate for users’ loss over time, they added.

The decentralized finance project team said they would share a detailed analysis of the attack in the coming days once they have more understanding of the exploit.

Just a day before the attack, the lending protocol that powers a liquidity engine migrated to Warp Finance v2 with a 24 hours grace period. The latest version enabled borrowing for protocol users against LP tokens and be rewarded with the to-be-released governance token WARP.

The TVL of the project has more than halved after the attack. Only $6 million funds are currently locked in the project, down from $17 million, as per DeBank.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Secret Network Launches Ethereum Bridge; ERC20 Tokens Get XMR & ZEC Like Privacy Features

  • Secret Protocol promises privacy-enabled ERC 20 tokens.
  • A new secret DeFi ecosystem bubbles on Secret Network.

Secret Network, an open-source privacy blockchain that turns Ethereum (ETH) and ERC20 tokens into wrapped coins with privacy features like Monero (XMR) and Zcash (ZEC), announced the long-awaited launch mainnet platform this Tuesday. The mainnet is an Ethereum bridge that introduces a host of features, including secret tokens, secret decentralized finance (DeFi), Secret-based AMMs, Secret NFTs, Secret vaults, and pretty much everything to introduce a private DeFi ecosystem.

At launch, the mainnet will support ETH alongside 14 other ER20 tokens as the development team prepares to add support for more tokens in the future, the statement reads. The tokes available on the platform include Ethereum (ETH), Yearn Finance (YFI), Uniswap (UNI), Band Protocol (BAND), Compound (COMP), Chainlink (LINK), Aave (AAVE), Kyber Network (KNC), Synthetix (SNX), Ocean Protocol (OCEAN), Maker (MKR), Wrapped Bitcoin (wBTC), and DAI, USDT, and TUSD stablecoins.

Secret Ethereum Bridge provides a “front-running resistant and cross-chain system” designed to allow Ethereum (ETH) and ERC20 token users to create privacy-enabled tokens on the network. As the “first and only privacy-enabled blockchain, featuring smart contracts,” the Secret Ethereum Bridge allows users to convert their assets into privacy-enabled tokens and interact with the Ethereum blockchain.

Announced back in September, the Secret network introduces secret tokens, where users will need to lock up their ETH or ERC20 tokens to create synthetic (wrapped) tokens on the Secret Network. The process ensures a highly secure network while minimizing the transaction fees to create the privacy-enabled tokens.

Additionally, the mainnet will also introduce bridge mining, whereby users can lock up their ETH or ERC 20 tokens and start earning SCRT token rewards. These rewards are expected to go live in January 2021 to give users time to get “familiar and comfortable with the Ethereum bridge.”

Following the SCRT token rewards launch, the network is looking to launch an automated market maker (AMM) with special and unique rewards for AMM users and liquidity providers. In total, the Secret Network development team expects to disburse over 2 million SCRT tokens to the community to incentivize the use of DeFi products on its network.

Users will need a Keplr or Metamask wallet to be able to connect to the Secret Network.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Binance Backed Layer-2 DEX, Injective Protocol, Launches Solstice Testnet

Injective Protocol, the Binance backed cross-chain DeFi derivatives trading platform, is launching its testnet according to a publication on TechCrunch yesterday. This milestone comes as a significant step in the DeFi derivative market where action has been picking up in recent months; Injective Protocol plans to bridge the existing gap between chains so that derivative traders can operate freely across multiple decentralized exchanges.

This initiative allows DeFi derivative traders to operate on Ethereum and Cosmos blockchain networks’ likes without being limited to a particular chain. Injective Protocol leverages the Tendermint-based Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus to power an ecosystem where traders can engage in cross-chain derivatives trading. The project enjoys a $3 million funding from Binance and other prominent crypto investors, who include Pantera Capital & Hashed.

Pantera Capital has successfully existed in crypto, having invested in heavyweights like Bitstamp, Kik, and Blockfolio. A partner at the firm, Paul Veradittakit, praised the Injective Protocol cross-chain DEX derivatives exchange model;

“Injective’s Solstice testnet trades and feels like a state of the art derivatives exchange, but it’s actually entirely supported by a fully decentralized infrastructure.”

Notably, this project has been under the wraps for around two years as the team validated it with sizeable institutional traders, market makers, and funds. The co-founder and CEO, Eric Chen, previously worked in a blockchain-oriented fund where his role spun around cryptographic research. So far, Injective Protocol has already established partnerships with leading blockchain firms like Frontier, Ramp DeFi, and Elrond.

Meanwhile, DeFi operations continue to experience the increased activity as more participants join the nascent crypto niche. DEX volumes went up by almost 70% during the summer DeFi craze, a trend that is unlikely to reverse in favor of centralized crypto exchanges. DeFi innovations like Injective Protocol tout solutions to the underlying CeFi challenges include exchange hacks, exit scams, and front running.

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui

Blockchain Coalition, Universal Protocol Alliance, Launches The First Tradeable Carbon Token

The Universal Protocol Alliance (UPA) has launched the first tradeable carbon token, according to a press release shared with BEG. This group comprises prominent players in the blockchain industry, including Bittrex Global, Uphold, Infinigold, Certik, and Ledger. UPA’s goal is to eventually digitize or tokenize every asset class in preparation for a new era of finance.

The newly introduced tradeable carbon token is dubbed ‘UPCO2’, represents a year of carbon dioxide or a similar reduction from ‘Verra-approved REDD+ voluntary projects in the world’s rainforests.’ This new carbon token is available for trading on the Uphold digital asset platform and marks the first of its kind to trade in a public blockchain ecosystem.

Democratizing the Global Carbon Market

Recent years have seen the demand for carbon skyrocket as the world became more environmentally aware of pollution’s looming risks. According to World Bank stats, the need for carbon credits is currently more than its supply by close to 4 times. Universal Protocol Alliance is among the groups that are presently working to offset this gap.

The UPCO2 token is built to democratize carbon demand and supply by introducing a global playing field for clearing prices, just like other commodities, including gold and oil. Each UPCO2 token will be backed by a Voluntary Carbon Unit (VCU), while Verra will issue the same certificate. This is the standard International Agency that permits the conversion of greenhouse gas to tradeable carbon credits.

Mathew Le Merle, the chairman of UPA, explained that supporting projects through credit purchases prevents deforestation in areas like the Amazon and Congo Basin. He went on to highlight the value proposition of UPCO2 carbon token as an asset of the ‘future’ investor,

“For a new generation of investors looking for more than mere financial return, UPCO2 offers attractive social, economic, and environmental benefits. At a key moment for climate change, UPCO2 allows people worldwide to do good for the planet and potentially do well for themselves.”

A Lucrative Macroeconomic Outlook

In the future, there is a likelihood that combating climate change will be among the dominant discussion points across the globe. World Bank stats indicate that only 22% of emissions are compensated for by humanity; meanwhile, the percentage of countries that operate in regulated carbon markets has grown from 40% to 70% within the past four years.

Uphold CEO and Co-founder of the UP Alliance, JP Thieriot, emphasized this trend noting the underlying potential of the UPCO2 carbon token,

“Combating climate change is likely to become the dominant economic issue of the next 20 years.  The UPCO2 Token allows people everywhere to participate in this hugely important – and potentially lucrative – new market, as well as do the right thing for the planet.”

Notably, the Voluntary Credit Units offer some perks compared to the regulated credits, including global recognition and the ability to retain value until used or retired as compensation for carbon footprints.

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui

Stellar Network Rolls Out Protocol 15 Upgrade, Adding Two New Payment Features; XLM Surges

Stellar blockchain network has upgraded to protocol 15, according to a blog post announcement on Nov 23. The publication was sent out by Stellar Development Foundation Ecosystem lead, Justin Rice; it highlights two new features: ‘make it easier than ever to build user-friendly apps on Stellar.’ The new functions are Sponsored Reserves and Claimable Balances.

According to the blog post, these new features are already changing Stellar’s ecosystem when it comes to hosting user-friendly DApps,

“We’ve already seen both deployed to great effect on the testnet, and we’re excited to see what you can do with them in a production environment.”

Notably, Stellar skipped protocol 14 after a critical bug was discovered in this update while in the testing phase. The previous protocol ‘13’ had been voted for by the validator nodes in June; improvements in this upgrade included fee bump transactions and advanced asset authorization control.

Stellar’s Protocol 15 Upgrade

This milestone was first announced in October, although the project had been a work in progress for several months. The upgrade went live on Nov 23 at 1600 UTC, and users have since been advised to install software that supports the latest protocol. According to the blog,

“Stellar Core will immediately throw an error if it’s not up to date, but Horizon and the Stellar SDKs may function as normal for a bit until they encounter — and are baffled by — one of the new operations.”

The value proposition in claimable balances can split payments into two by creating a new ledger entry. Stellar users can create a balance and claim a balance, which means that they can send an asset, regardless of the receiving account’s state.

On the other hand, Sponsored Reserves open up the window for funding innovations with Lumens (XLM) while maintaining control. An earlier blog post highlighted that,

“It also adds new extensions to account entries and ledger entries to record pertinent information about sponsorships.”

XLM Price Bullish

Meanwhile, the XLM price is currently bullish, having gained 72.6% within the past 24 hours. The coin is currently trading at $0.189 while its total market cap is well over $3 billion, according to metrics site Coingecko.

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui

IBM Granted Blockchain Gaming Consensus Patent For Massively Multiplayer Online Games

Tech giant IBM has secured a blockchain-based gaming protocol patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The patent, which was published today, was granted to IBM last week; and focuses on the multi-player games that are played online.

Notably, IBM had filed for the patent back in 2018 and has previously hinted at a blockchain use case for gaming, especially through Non-fungible token (NFT) innovations, which can be used assets in a game.

Dubbed the ‘Gaming consensus protocol for blockchain,’ this patent is part of IBM’s vision to create a blockchain ecosystem that supports transactions within MMO games with a big user base. Per the patent’s proposal, the participants in a particular multi-player game can leverage IBM’s blockchain consensus protocol to harmonize the game’s flow. The patent reads,

“In one embodiment, the consensus algorithm is provided as a service from the game network to any blockchain network; thus blockchain networks can delegate consensus to a distributed network of game clients within the gaming peers.”

Other than using the consensus to select subsets for transaction verification within a game, the patent also outlines that participants might receive some incentives based on their fees.

“These fees may be distributed between the participants of the consensus round (i.e., participants/users associated with each gaming peer) as an incentive, be used to maintain the network infrastructure or any other purpose that serves the gaming network and the players.”

While the patent states that participants will only leverage the consensus to order transactions, smart contract execution will remain on the blockchain unless the gaming peers have enough computing power.

“In some embodiments, smart contract execution could be moved to the massively multiplayer online gaming network if the gaming peers have sufficient computing power to perform the additional task of executing the smart contracts and if the business case allows it in terms of security and confidentiality.”

Target ecosystems include popular games such as Fortnite, Warzone, or Call of Duty; notably, this development comes as the blockchain gaming space continues to bloom.

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui