Ethereum Gets A New Smart Contract Language Dubbed ‘Fe’ Aiming to Attract More Developers

The Ethereum Foundation has announced a new smart contract language dubbed ‘Fe’ which is currently in development. This language derives its fundamentals from an Ethereum compiler known as ‘Vyper’; its code is written on Ethereum’s Virtual Machine (EVM) Rust programming language.

According to Ethereum software engineer Christoph Burgdorf, the development of Fe comes as a complement to solidity and will have a net positive effect on the ecosystem,

“The majority of applications deployed on the Ethereum network these days are written in Solidity. We believe the Solidity team is doing a great job and are clearly doing a lot of things right to maintain their current market share.

However, we also believe that more choices for developers will be a net positive for the ecosystem,”

Fe, which is named after the periodic table element Ferrum or Iron, pivots more towards the python programming language. Christoph said that this new language results from the demand for a simpler and more python-friendly alternative to solidity.

This new smart contract language is set to push forward the goals set out by Vyper compiler; they include accurate gas and transaction cost estimations. According to Christoph, the initial goal was to create a Vyper alternative, but the languages ended up taking different syntaxes. He added that,

“At this early stage in development, the differences between Fe and Vyper are still limited. For now, one will notice that Fe borrows a few syntactic properties from Rust.

It’s likely that Fe will begin to more closely resemble Rust as we continue to add new features.”

With Fe’s development ramping up in the recent past, the Ethereum Foundation has expressed optimism in integrating support functions to complete this new smart contract language. Christoph noted that it could be as early as this year, although the compiler will not yet be ready for production at the time,

“To be clear, the compiler will in no way be a suitable choice for a production ERC20 by that time, but we look forward to demonstrating the capabilities of Fe with such a well understood working example.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

C.R.E.A.M Finance Goes Live on Binance Smart Chain; Deposits Jump Past $300 Million

Earlier this month, Binance announced the launch of Binance Smart Chain to enable the creation of smart contracts and the staking mechanism for BNB.

At that time, it announced Ethereum-based Cream as its DeFi collaborator, and today the DeFi project has gone live on Binance Smart Chain.

Unlike the sky-high costs on the Ethereum network, BSC boasts of only $0.05 – $0.10 per transaction.

“BSC never aimed to replace ETH, BSC is just ETH-compatible. Smart projects are giving their users more options. Option for cheaper fees,” said Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao.

Binance is speeding up its efforts to keep up with the DeFi world. Recently, it announced a $100 million fund to connect the DeFi and CeFi world with “support for Yield Farming with major crypto assets coming soon to Binance Smart Chain.”

As Binance chases DeFi, its native token BNB enjoys the greens of 18% to trade at $27.5.

Meanwhile, right from the launch of Cream on BSC, the tokens supported are BNB, BUSD, BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, and LTC.

“The Binance ecosystem and its reach of 400,000+ accounts and fiat gateways covering over 170 countries and regions will help get DeFi into mass adoption,” states Cream’s official announcement.

Since its launch two months back, C.R.E.A.M Finance has amassed $309 million in deposits or total value locked (TVL), $224 million of which were added just this week — making it the 10th largest DeFi project as per DeFi pulse.

This week, the DeFi aggregator also launched an automated market maker (AMM) called ‘Swap,’ a market that is increasingly getting crowded with new projects popping up every other day.

A fork of Balancer, Swap comes with a slightly lower fee structure than the popular Uniswap with support for Yearn, Aave, Compound, Balancer, Uniswap, and TokenSet besides its own tokens.

The governance token of the project is currently trading at $252 in green. In the past seven days, Cream has jumped 170% in value and made its ATH at $289 on Wednesday.

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Author: AnTy

Binance Smart Chain Partners With BAND Protocol to Bring In Real-World Data to DApps

Binance Smart Chain has partnered with the cross-chain data-oracle platform, Band protocol. Completing its integration with the smart chain, Band protocol is known for aggregating real-world data and connecting with smart contracts via API. The alliance would also help Binance to use Band’s decentralized and customizable oracles to scale the defi applications.

The official announcement listed several advantages that would come to the Binance smart chain with Band protocol integration. The official statement read:

“The integration with Band Protocol offers an efficient oracle request process, low-cost real-time data, high-quality data, end-to-end customizability, and decentralization – opening the gateway for reliable DeFi and blockchain applications to be built on Binance Smart Chain.”

“Binance Smart Chain developers are now equipped to build truly scalable products, including DeFi, programmable payments, betting games, VRF applications, prediction markets, and more!”

The Binance team’s decision to go with Band protocol was because it sought to enter the defi ecosystem. Band Protocols tools and APS can be used by developers to create various new use cases for smart contracts which powers the defi ecosystem. They also listed few features of the BAND protocol that led to select it over other oracle service providers.

Optimized For Scalability & Efficiency:

Band Protocol’s oracle mechanism is based on BandChain, an independent high-performant blockchain, which has been built purely for oracle computations such as data sourcing, aggregating, updates, and settlement.

Low-Cost Real-Time Data:

Built on the Cosmos-SDK, BandChain can handle over 1,000 transactions per second and has a short block time of roughly 2 seconds

High-Quality Data With End-to-End Customizability:

Developers can create custom decentralized oracles on BandChain that specify any external data source or API.

Fully Decentralized Oracle Mechanism:

Band Protocol currently has 59+ validator nodes on the BandChain decentralized oracle network, who are required to stake BAND tokens to participate in the data request process as determined by a randomized stake-weighted algorithm.

Binance smart chain aims to use the data oracle and API tools offered by BAND to strengthen its position in the defi space, which has been multiplying and has drawn tremendous interest from various traders and investors.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Chainlink’s LINK Sees ‘Unprecedented Drop’ with Marines HODLing & Developers Selling

While Chainlink has been growing in popularity as a “strong contender in the smart contracts market,” its price has been going off the charts.

This fifth largest digital asset has spiked about 1,000% since the March pandemic lows. LINK continues to rage on, reaching a price of over $20 on some crypto exchanges.

Over the past 30 days, LINK has risen about 140% and is now the third highly traded digital asset behind Bitcoin and Ethereum, in terms of average 7-day volume, as per Coin Metrics.

Moreover, in line with price, Chainlink’s network activity is also continuing to rise, with 13,000 active addresses recorded yesterday and 6290 new addresses created.

Additionally, Binance Futures is launching LINK/USD coin-margined perpetual contract, a futures contract where LINK is collateral, with up to 75x leverage on August 19.

“Marines with leverage,” tweeted Binance CEO CZ, explaining to one user how “Leverage doesn’t change an asset’s price,” rather just “gives both long and short more… leverage.”

Taking a Breather

Over the last few days, LINK’s gains were partly driven by Dave Portnoy’s shilling to send the digital asset “to the moon”. Barstool Sports’ president, who recently became popular on Twitter as a day trader during the coronavirus pandemic induced stimulus and lockdown and ventured into crypto claims, unlike SEC-regulated traditional markets, crypto space, encourages pump and dump schemes.

According to analyst Mati Greenspan, this “is not a good look for the community and certainly a step back from building the internet of value.”

For now, LINK has corrected about 18% and is currently trading at $16.37.

“LINK experienced a pretty unprecedented drop, independent from the rest of the crypto markets. Notable is the 6-month drop of the percentage of Chainlink tokens on exchanges, declining from 8.6% to 6.9% during this timeframe,” stated crypto data provider Santiment.

But Who’s Responsible?

LINK’s holders, called LINK Marines, are not the culprits here as Santiment added the declining LINK balance on exchanges “supports the narrative that the LINK army just isn’t selling, and more and more of the supply is being moved to offline wallets.”

These LINK Marines are reportedly 50,000 strong with Framework Ventures being the largest private token holder of the digital asset.

“What they do is they promote it,” Anderson told Bloomberg. “This is one of the things that’s unique to the blockchain, where the community is compelling.”

Is it LINK Devs Then?

While the Marines are holding strong, LINK developers are selling. These devs reportedly sold about $40 million worth of LINK up until the weekend. But it is not the reason behind the pullback because it was nothing new this month.

Trader Josh Olszewicz pointed out how LINK devs have been selling for months now, and the rate of LINK sold hasn’t changed, “still 1m LINK/month thus far.”

More importantly, Chainlink has had the highest GitHub developer commit rate over the last 12 months.

A “de facto choice”

The pullbacks have been nothing for LINK after new ATHs, and given that Bitcoin is moving upwards, this BTC decoupled digital asset is moving in the opposite direction. Some traders might also be taking off profits.

Nevertheless, Chainlink has become a “de facto choice” for DeFi applications that outsource their data feeds, which is reportedly powering 95% of all public blockchain derivatives.

As Greenspan puts it, “it’s designed to translate things that are happening in the real world into data on the blockchain.”

Moreover, Chainlink’s partnerships, such as Alphabet’s Google, which got the project off the ground, add to its growth. “We work with them on a weekly and monthly basis,” said Sergey Nazarov, co-founder, and CEO of San Francisco-based SmartContract.

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Author: AnTy

Binance Smart Chain Testnet Adds Real-World Data With Chainlink’s Oracle Network Integration

  • Binance integrates Chainlink smart contract oracles to provide external data to the Binance Smart Chain, a dual-chain running parallel to the Binance Chain with an added capability of smart contract functionality.

Binance Smart Chain (BSC) announced the successful completion of the integration of Chainlink’s decentralized oracle on Twitter this Tuesday. The combination of Chainlink brings about ease in the development of decentralized applications on the blockchain by providing a direct link to external data sources, which saves developers time in creating their oracles.

BSC, who launched their whitepaper this April, is an independent, smart contract blockchain running parallel to the Binance Chain, allowing developers to create dApp smart contracts. It also offers programmability with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

While blockchains offer transparent and trusted internal data, they are far from the perfect “independent tool” when it comes to creating decentralized applications in DeFi, asset management, or other industries. Blockchains must rely on oracles to collect external data, and this strategic collaboration with Chainlink will offer the right incentives. Chainlink offers secure decentralized oracles with direct access to top tier data sources through a vast array of node operators connecting to off-chain data sources or APIs. This will aid the developers in securing their smart contract environments.

Chainlink’s top executive, Sergey Nazarov, is of the sentiment that this will particularly beneficial to the developers as they no longer have to create their oracle solutions. They can leverage Chainlink oracles to secure their smart contracts. This will trim their overall operational costs and time.

He believes that developers having to build the infrastructure alongside their financial products securely has slowed down the DeFi sphere. They are directly connecting the growth of the DeFi sector that has now locked in over $3.25 Billion.

Binance officials have reiterated that the project is not a rival of Ethereum, perhaps the largest DeFi project by market cap. This is despite offering transactional speeds and being widely scalable on its hybrid platform that would challenge Ethereum’s dominance.

Notably, Huobi was the first crypto exchange to onboard Chainlink as a node operator in a bid to improve data authenticity and integrity with their pricing info. The Huobi wallet seeks to utilize Chainlink’s oracle to avail the exchange’s API to smart contracts, granting developers access to real-time price data from Huobi.

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Author: Lujan Odera

World Bank Releases Research On The Impact Of Smart Contracts For Financial Inclusion

The World Bank released its report on smart contracts and the impact it’ll have on the development of financial systems across the globe. A brief report on the working paper, titled ‘Smart Contract Technology and Financial Inclusion,’ states the research focused on digital financial inclusion in leveraging communities that suffer from access to formal financial services.

Smart contracts is a self-executing agreement coded on blockchain technology. Over the years, smart contracts have been lauded for their potential to reduce the cumbersome contract processes involved across the financial industry by allowing trustless transactions and reducing the costs involved.

According to the research, smart contracts can be utilized by micro, small, and medium businesses to drive the inclusion of consumers in particular financial services such as index-linked insurance and supply chain finance.

However, the authors write that the smart contract technology impact may be bound to some challenges in other areas of finance, such as short term unsecured credit.

Read More: World Bank: The Potential of Blockchain In Bid For Financial Inclusion

Limited Scope for Smart Contracts

As mentioned above, the research found out that smart contracts’ impact on digital financial inclusion may have a more significant effect on some areas than others. One of the regions bound to benefit from smart contract integration is index-linked insurance, such as weather linked insurance.

Smart contracts enhance the overall trust, transparency, and product suitability on the insurance, but there remain some issues unfixable by integrating smart contracts, the authors conclude.

Alternatively, the issue of integrating smart contracts on the unsecured loans market may turn out to be less impactful than the retail insurance market. Smart contract integration could help “yield efficiency gains across various phases of a loan lifecycle,” the paper writes, but the application and approval of unsecured credit are “already highly automated.”

A Closer Focus on Blockchains

Governments and financial authorities across several states are closely monitoring the impact of smart contracts in a digital financial system despite the slow adoption of the technology. To this end, the research recommends regulators take a closer look at the impact of smart contracts in accommodating financial consumer protection, KYC/AML compliance, and legal foundation requirements.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Block.One To Lure Ethereum Developers To EOS With $200k ‘EOSIO Smart Contract Challenge’

Block.one has offered a $200,000 prize after announcing the launch of a smart contract blockchain competition. The prize money will go to any developer who can figure out how Ethereum applications can be used to make it more operable on the EOS blockchain.

The announcement which was posted on the EOSIO DevPost on 3rd February stated that:

“In this challenge, participants must create an EOSIO Smart Contract which can store and invoke EVM (Solidity) Smart Contracts in a virtual Ethereum-like environment.”

The EOSIO Platform

The EOSIO blockchain was created by a company referred to as Block.One. The same platform that also hosts the EOS digital asset. EOSIO is a delegated PoS (Proof-of-Stake) blockchain known to hype smart contracts. This means that developers can create applications on the blockchain.

According to details included in the announcement, the competition is set to expire in twelve months if no developer has been able to find solutions by then. The first entity capable of finishing will walk away with two hundred-thousand-dollars in prize money.

Rules of the Competition

Those in charge of the competition have also set some ground rules to help govern the participants who want to take on the challenge. The rules call for developers to employ smart contracts in agreement with a precise set of technical requirements.

In addition to sticking to these rules, the team charged with judging the competition will examine entries made by the developers every ninety days, up and until the one year-end deadline is complete.

Block.one released the EOSIO version 2.0 in October 2019. EOS is a digital asset that was created on the EOSIO blockchain and then became famous for the ICO which ran for an entire year, before coming to an end. In the successful year-long ICO’s run, the platform raised $4 billion from its investors. But in Oct 2019 the SEC settled with Block.One for $24 Million for the unregistered ICO.

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Author: Daniel W

India’s National Blockchain Strategy Draft Calls On RBI To Release A Central Bank Digital INR

The National Institute for Smart Governance (NISG), a non-profit body launched by the government of India, releases its draft strategy on blockchain and cryptocurrencies. According to the official draft, the government of India should work towards releasing a central bank digital currency (CBDC), and a governing body to regulate the blockchain industry.

NISG drafts blockchain industry regulation policies

The committee chartered by the National e-Governance Division (NeGD), under the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY), provided a clear policy framework for the governance and development of crypto products across India. The draft states India’s ambitions to become a world leader in tech, and digitalization is heavily impacted by the adoption of blockchain.

The report focuses on regulatory authorities in the country taking a bolder step towards setting the laws governing the blockchain field. It further discourages the continued issuing of public statements in place of having a solid regulatory framework to fall back onto. The draft states,

“Public statements, whether through the press or formal speeches, are helpful but are not official statements of application by the agency. If an agency intends to enforce its laws in new and innovative ways, it must first notify industry stakeholders of its intent to do so and the way in which existing law applies.”

Draft proposes a digital currency to replace the rupee

According to the draft, the NISG proposed a digital central bank currency similar to the rupee, offered by the government, in conjunction with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The digital currency is to be built on a public blockchain similar to Bitcoin and Ethereum, allowing other dApps to run on top of it. The official statement reads,

“It is strongly recommended that Government of India along with RBI come out with a Central Bank Digital INR (CBDR) administered over a Public Permissioned Blockchain that processes transactions through a Turing Complete Virtual Machine allowing decentralized applications to run on its platform.”

An extended run for blockchain in India

India securities regulator recently urged the public and private sector to explore blockchain activities for the efficient trading and storage of digital securities market. Furthermore, the widely spread FUD on India banning cryptocurrencies has been debunked by the RBI, which only ringfenced the regulated entities from offering cryptocurrency services.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ernst & Young’s ERC-20 Token and Smart Contract Analyzer Available For Public Testing

Accountancy company Ernst&Young (EY) has made its smart contract and token service available in open beta.

The beta version for the public has been launched on Wednesday. It allows users to put in code for an analysis, while security risks are being identified by testing how efficient and functional a smart contract is. The coding’s quality is also evaluated.

The Service Works Only for ERC-20 Smart Contracts

At the moment, the service is only able to review the ERC-20 smart contracts, as these are penned using the famous Solidity programming language. EY didn’t yet specify if it has plans to expand the service to some other blockchain protocols. In a Reddit post of a user with the nickname “pbrody”, which is most likely the lead of EY’s global blockchain, Paul Brody, it has been said EY has plans to launch its testing service very soon.

The Service Was Initially Unveiled in April

Known in the beginning as the EY Smart Contract Analyzer, has been testing in beta since it’s launch in April. By making reviews of the code in their tokens, investors are going to be able to change the software and make sure their smart contracts and tokens meet the industry’s standards, reports EY. The tokens can also be tested for stress in different transaction scenarios, by using the data from the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. This is what Brody said in an April announcement:

“Our clients are increasingly entrusting key enterprise business processes and valuable investments to software code. We don’t run enterprise computing systems without anti-virus tools and it only makes sense to run blockchain-based investment systems with smart contract and token testing tools.”

The Review Service Will Be Part of the Blockchain Analyzer

The review service introduced by EY is going to be a part of the firm’s larger Blockchain Analyzer, which is a tool for analyzing and compiling data from transactions in order to make financial reports and to audit on the blockchain. Blockchain Analyzer’s second iteration was revealed in April too, not to mention it increased supported protocols’ numbers, including the ones of private blockchains. Furthermore, it enabled the privacy enhancing analysis and the zero-knowledge proof-based transactions.

One of EY’s projects that runs private transactions in the ETH blockchain, known as Nightfall, has been as well integrated in Analyzer. In October this year, EY mentioned it created a blockchain tool meant to help governments analyze and track transactions, a tool that’s supposed to improve accountability and increase transparency when it comes to managing public funds.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Ethereum is still the “Unshakable” Leader of the Smart Contract Platform Industry – Report

  • Ethereum leads with 72% followed by EOS, Cardano, and Tron
  • Market in need for “new hotspots” as the smart contract platform sector declines
  • Staking “not conducive to the healthy and stable development of the industry.

Ethereum is still leading the smart contract platforms, accounting for 72% of market share despite the market capitalization of these platforms in Q3 of 2019.

The market cap of smart contract platform in the industry has fallen from 14.9% to 9.8% but still occupies the second place in the industry, reports TokenInsight in its research.

Other prominent projects in this race are EOS (11%), Cardano (4%) and Tron (3%). NEO, Cosmos, Tezos, Ontology, and Ethereum Classic each account for 2% of the share while VeChain only has 1%.

The return of each of these platforms has been negative in 3Q19, registering a sharp decline.

Market performance

These numbers indicate the disappointment of the market with the “smoke and mirrors” since 2017. The market the report states needs “new hotspots.” Development in the market has also been “difficult” because of the worse than expected fierce competition.

The growth momentum of the secondary market changed in Q2 and started adjusting, now this downtrend is further expected to continue in Q4.

Future Prospect

When it comes to development activity, EOS and Tron is leading in terms of commits, as per GitHub data.

Interestingly, Cosmos saw a high degree of code development as well, which has been comparable to Ethereum and higher than most of the platforms. This indicates developers are more interested in the blockchain operability.

Cross-chain and multi-layer architecture became a hotspot in Q3 2019 with sharding making “great” progress as well. Polkadot testnet is already launched and Cosmos’s IBC will be coming at the end of this year.

Development of leading projects

Ethereum also has the best ecosystem of decentralized applications (DApps) in the market and serves as a decentralized infrastructure of the future of open finance, reads the report. Ethereum’s 2,396 Dapps are followed by 634 of EOS and Tron’s 618.

Gambling and gaming are still dominating the Dapps. However, while gaming and gambling account for the majority of Dapps EOS and Tron, types of dapps on Ethereum are much more diverse. This is because of the stability and security of the Ethereum network.

As such, Ethereum has an “unshakable” leading position in the smart contract platform whether it is about financial innovation, lending platform’s lock-up value, or trading volume of a decentralized exchange.

EOS has the highest number of active users but both EOS and Tron active users are on a downtrend.

In Q3 2019, the market expectations from the smart contract platform dropped but sharding technology, cross-chain, multilayer technology, and staking has brought new ideas of the sector.

However, the report cautions that staking is getting much attention from the industry but it is “not conducive to the healthy and stable development of the industry.” While the idea that everyone can be a node may bring new challenges, the unfair distribution of tokens may widen the gap between the rich and the poor.

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Author: AnTy