Protocol Village: Brave, Electric Coin and Filecoin Plan Privacy Features for Brave Browser

The latest in blockchain tech upgrades, funding announcements and deals.

AccessTimeIconSep 22, 2023 at 7:25 p.m. UTC

Sept. 22: Brave, Electric Coin Co. (ECC) and Filecoin Foundation announced Friday on stage at Messari Mainnet that they are "teaming up to bring innovative new privacy features to the Brave browser and its integrated Web3 wallet," according to a message from the group. "As one example, with support from ECC, Brave will integrate the Zcash protocol in the browser’s built-in crypto wallet so users can securely store, send, and receive ZEC alongside other cryptocurrencies. The three companies will also develop a privacy-based feature in the Brave browser that will offer private messages and media transmission." ($ZEC, $FIL)

Protocol Village is a regular feature of The Protocol, our weekly newsletter exploring the tech behind crypto, one block at a time. Sign up here to get it in your inbox every Wednesday. Project teams can submit updates here.

Sept. 22: Google’s cloud-computing business is expanding its push into blockchain, adding 11 networks including Polygon, Optimism and Polkadot to Google Cloud's ‘BigQuery’ program for public datasets. Other blockchains added recently to the BigQuery program include Avalanche, Arbitrum, Cronos, Ethereum’s Goerli test network; Fantom Opera; NEAR and Tron, according to a press release on Friday. ($AVAX, $ARB, $CRO, $ETH, $MATIC, $NEAR, $TRX)

Sept. 22: Mysten Labs, developer focused on the layer-1 blockchain Sui Network, has entered into a partnership with South Korea's NHN Corp, a publicly traded global IT company, for its NHN Gaming division to enter the Web3 space. "NHN expects to launch its first web3 gaming projects in 2024. Mysten Labs and NHN will continue to collaborate on new use cases for the Sui blockchain in web3 game development," according to a press release.

Sept. 22: MultiversX, a blockchain network built for high throughput with adaptive state sharding, announced the "xDay Hackathon" with up to $1 million in prizes and funding.

Sept. 21: Pocket Network, a multi-chain relay protocol that provides a decentralized Remote Procedure Call (RPC) infrastructure, "will deploy a new sovereign rollup on Celestia’s modular data availability layer (the first modular blockchain)," according to the team. Pocket Network is introducing a second gateway that will further decentralize how dApps access blockchain data, and Pocket Network Inc (PNI) has rebranded as Grove.

Sept. 21: Chainlink, the data oracle project, launched its Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP) on the layer 2 network Arbitrum, according to a press release.

Sept. 21: Eco, a crypto-based payment system, “is sunsetting its U.S.-only fintech app” as its “doubling down on crypto-native products,” CEO Andy Bromberg wrote in a tweet. According to a message from the team: “Instead, they will focus on other self-custodial products like Beam (a global, non-custodial payments wallet), which has grown to over 80k users within the first month and a half. The combination of regulatory clarity for self-custodial wallets, plus new technology that enables such products to be built for the mainstream, means that it is the best area to focus energy on.”

Sept. 21: Stader, a non-custodial, multi-chain liquid staking protocol, announced the launch of rsETH, a “liquid restaked token,” according to a message from the team. “Users can restake multiple liquid staking tokens (LST) — including Coinbase Wrapped Staked ETH (cbETH), Lido Staked ETH (stETH), and Rocket Pool ETH (rETH) — across multiple networks simultaneously, improving security and accruing rewards from each network. The testnet phase is live. Participants will have the unique opportunity to restake their LSTs via Stader, offering an early experience of the rsETH ecosystem.”

Sept. 21: Freatic, a startup focused on information markets, emerged from stealth and announced it has raised $3.6M "to construct building blocks for trustless exchanges while accelerating the flow of information to maximize value from it," according to a press release. (Investors: a16z crypto, Anagram, Archetype, Not3Lau Capital, Robot Ventures, Forward Research, Arweave, Stefano Bernardi, Meltem Demirors, Stephane Gosselin, Jutta Steiner, and MacLane Wilkison.) The news was first reported by Unchained.

Sept. 20: NEAR Foundation, which supports the NEAR blockchain ecosystem, announced a new dashboard on the project’s Blockchain Operating System, the “Mantle Ecosystem Gateway” – a “decentralized frontend” for the Ethereum layer-2 network Mantle, built by the Mantle team. According to a press release: “Hosted by popular Mantle dApp FusionX, this gateway streamlines discovery for Mantle applications, aggregating components of top dApps including the Mantle Bridge, Agni, Ammos, iZiSwap, FusionX, Gamma, Lendle, and soon, Pendle, in one place.”

Sept. 20: Fordefi, an institutional MPC wallet, announced the launch of their native integration for Cosmos, Cosmos appchains and the ATOM token. According to a message from the team: “Fordefi brings to the Cosmos ecosystem a fully integrated solution that enables clients with unprecedented transaction clarity and a best-in-class security infrastructure, that was previously inaccessible.”

Sept. 20: Vara Network, a layer-1 decentralized network created in partnership with the Gear Foundation and backed by Polkadot creator Gavin Wood, has launched its mainnet, marking “a leap forward in dApps,” according to a message from the team. “This platform simplifies the shift from Web2 to Web3 with user-friendly features, leveraging concepts like the Actor Model and Persistent Memory to enhance speed and eliminate delays. It introduces parallel processing and individual memory spaces for smart contracts, empowering developers in gaming, finance and more.”

Sept. 20: Cheqd, a startup focused on identity data, “announced the launch of Credential Payments, a new feature of its decentralized network and SaaS product, Credential Service,” according to a message from the team. “Organizations and individuals now have a way to get paid for providing their identity data while maintaining privacy, building infrastructure to create Trusted Data markets as an entirely new industry category.”

Sept. 20: Pyth, a blockchain data oracle, announced the launch of the Perseus Upgrade. “The Perseus upgrade will be a major improvement to the oracle network, significantly reducing gas costs for users while also decreasing latency and enhancing reliability,” according to a message from the team. “The upgrade brings several significant benefits to Pyth Network users including price updates that are up to 50-80% cheaper depending on the ecosystem and improvement to the path by which data flows from Pythnet, a network built on the Solana codebase, to other blockchains.”

Sept. 20: Algorand Foundation has opened registration for Build-A-Bull, a global virtual hackathon with $200,000 in prizes, for developers and entrepreneurs to “create consumer-friendly applications using the power and scalability of the Algorand blockchain,” according to a press release. It runs Oct. 18-Nov. 15 and includes five tracks: DeFi, Gaming, Consumer, Interoperability and Impact. The winner of each track will receive $25,000 and will be invited to pitch to investors, with a public on-chain vote determining an additional $10,000 Grand Prize, as well as $25,000 in AWS credits.

Sept. 19: Pyth, a blockchain data oracle, will provide price feeds to EON, the EVM-compatible smart-contracting platform for Horizen, according to a press release. "Currently, Horizen's EON Alpha is live on mainnet and its permanent public testnet, Gobi, bolstered by an array of products, integrations, and tools, including Pyth Network. With the collaboration between Horizen and Pyth Network, the EON ecosystem is prepared to welcome a myriad of dApps and services in the coming months." ($ZEN)

Sept. 19: Polkadot, the layer-1 blockchain ecosystem, and Circle, the stablecoin issuer, announced the launch of native USDC on Polkadot, according to a press release. "Additionally, Polkadot parachain Centrifuge is making USDC the native currency for its liquidity pools, so users will now be able to finance assets with both DAI and USDC - continuing to open up new ways to access financing on-chain."

Sept. 19: Alumni from some well-known names in crypto and fintech are starting a new $60 million fund called Oak Grove Ventures to focus on the intersection of Web3, artificial intelligence and biotech. The Singapore-based team Sally Wang, formerly of Sino Global Capital (now Ryze Labs); Ethan Wang, former tech lead of Libra; Shawn Shi, co-founder of Alchemy Pay; as well as Michael Li, a former VP of Coinbase.

Sept. 19: Citigroup, the big U.S. bank, disclosed that it has started a tokenization service for cash management and trade finance for institutional clients using blockchain technology and smart contracts. "The private/permissioned blockchain technology used is owned and managed by Citi and clients will not be required to host a blockchain node to access the services," according to a press release.

Sept. 19: Injective, a layer-1 blockchain built for finance on Cosmos SDK technology, announced the launch of “inEVM, the first-ever Ethereum Virtual Machine capable of achieving true composability across Cosmos and Solana,” according to a message from the team. “The inEVM network was developed in collaboration with Caldera, a layer-2 rollup infrastructure platform backed by Sequoia. InEVM is part of Injective’s larger plan to introduce a network of Electro Chains. In essence, this consists of a series of rollups with dedicated VM environments that would cater to the needs of distinct builders while still providing the highest levels of scalability and security. Electro Chains inherit security from Injective while also extending block space available on any one chain which directly contributes to a far more scalable network than what exists in Web3 today.”

Sept. 19: Metis, an Ethereum layer-2 solution, “is launching The Metis Journey, a $5 million community growth campaign designed to increase on-chain activity with a torrent of new wallets, users and transactions from other chains, as well as new blockchain users,” according to a press release. “The campaign will start by allocating 100,000 METIS tokens [about $1.15 million worth at the current price] to Aave Protocol V3, which powers one of the largest liquidity markets in DeFi, to incentivize supply and borrow activity. Platforms also receiving incentives include Hummus, Stargate, Synapse and Unimaia.”

Sept. 19: The Safe team provides the following update: “Ethereum security experts and developers have introduced ERC-7512, a new standard for on-chain audit report representation to bolster blockchain security. Introduced by security experts from Safe, Ackee Blockchain, OtterSec, ChainSecurity, OpenZeppelin and Hats Finance, ERC-7512 offers a crucial step toward enhancing smart contract security by standardizing on-chain audit representation.”

Sept. 18: Bastion, a startup that describes itself as an "enterprise-focused web3 orchestrator," has secured $25M in seed financing led by a16z Crypto, with additional participation from Autograph, Laser Digital Ventures, Not Boring Capital, Robot Ventures, Alchemy Ventures and Aptos Ventures, according to a press release. The seed round will be used to scale Bastion’s operations, recruit top engineering talent and secure additional licensing to further diversify Bastion’s product offerings.

Sept. 18: Quasar Finance, a Cosmos-based yield aggregator, announced the launch of Concentrated Liquidity (CL) vaults on Osmosis, in collaboration with DeFine Logic Labs (DLL), according to a message from the team: "Quasar’s vaults are an essential DeFi infrastructure set to revolutionize liquidity provisioning (LPing) by making it easier than ever to navigate the complexities of managing profitable LP positions."

Sept. 18: A developer team building on the Avalanche blockchain has introduced a trading tool that lets users swap up to 300 different tokens in the same transaction. Multiswap, by the team at CavalRe, has recorded the highest number of token swaps in a testing period at 340 different tokens, developers said during a panel in Seoul last week.

Sept. 18: Blockchain Capital, a crypto-focused investment firm, has raised $580 million for two new funds – split between $380 million for its sixth early-stage fund, which will focus on newer companies and protocols in pre-seed and Series A rounds, and $200 million for its opportunities fund, which will target late-stage investments from Series B onward.

Sept. 18: Quickswap and Orbs sent a message that they’re launching “Uniswap X for L2s” Liquidity Hub, “bringing aggregated liquidity to any DEX-AMM - addresses the growing problem of liquidity fragmentation in DeFi, which results in higher prices for DEX traders. This partnership allows people to access the best price when liquidity is fragmented across 20+ decentralized exchanges. Going live on Quickswap today.”

Sept. 17: Matter Labs, developer behind the Ethereum rollup zkSync, turns over management of ecosystem portal to DappRadar, in “step toward decentralization.”

Sept. 17: ZPrize, a competition with the goal of advancing zero-knowledge technology, is “kicking off ZPrize 2023,” according to a message from the organizers. “Teams will compete to win financial rewards of up to equity-free prize pool of $1.5 million in both U.S. dollars and tokens in a range of categories that aim to advance the development of practical and accessible ZK systems. ZPrize 2023 is supported by some of the biggest names in tech, including Aleo, AMD, Aztec, TrapDoor, SupraNational, Demox Labs, Ingonyama, ZKValidator, Cysic, and W3bCloud.”

Sept. 17: Sui Foundation has launched zkLogin, "a Web3 authentication solution that allows end users to login to decentralized applications," according to a press release. "Developers can offer users the ability to authenticate with their favorite dApps using their existing accounts with Google, Facebook, Twitch and other third-party providers. Future plans include similar integrations with Microsoft, Apple, WeChat and Amazon."

Sept. 17: Mantle EcoFund, based on a proposal approved by the project community in July and co-authored by Mirana Ventures and Mantle Core Contributor Team, announces first deployments and liquidity support provision under $200M ecosystem fund, with investments in LiquidX and Valent (a decentralized money market) and liquidity support for Range Protocol, an on-chain asset-management platform.

Sept. 15: Crypto custodian BitGo and bitcoin financial services firm Swan plan to form a BTC-only trust company as a means of offering custody without exposure to the rest of the digital asset market.

Sept. 14: Polygon, the Ethereum scaling solution, published three improvement proposals expected in the fourth quarter following community endorsement, with "the technical details for Phase 0 of building a network of interconnected zero knowledge-powered L2 chains that scale Ethereum to the size of the Internet," according to a blog post. The proposals specify steps to upgrade the project's native MATIC token to POL as the native gas token and staking token for Polygon PoS, as well as the launch of the staking layer.

Image from Polygon's 2.0 Phase 0 post. (Polygon)
Image from Polygon's 2.0 Phase 0 post. (Polygon)

Sept. 14: Movement Labs raised $3.4M pre-seed to develop an SDK and an adjacent Move-based blockchain called M1. According to a message from the team: “This round of investors was led by Varys Capital, dao5, Blizzard The Avalanche Fund, Borderless Capital and their Cross-Chain Fund focused on the Wormhole ecosystem with participation from Colony, Interop Ventures, Elixir Capital, BENQI and others notable partners. The raise also involved angel investors, such as dao5’s George Lampeth, Eigenlayer’s Calvin Liu, Berachain’s Smokey The Bera, Avail’s Anurag Arjun, GMX’s CoinFlipCanada and the co-founders of Ankr.”

Sept. 14: Manta Network is deploying Manta Pacific, its native layer 2 ecosystem following a $25 million raise at the beginning of this summer. According to the team: "The deployment of Manta Pacific comes after a successful one-month testnet run which saw 150,000 wallets globally initiate over 3.5 million transactions."

Sept. 14: Astar Network, a Japan-focused enterprise and entertainment blockchain driving the Web3 initiatives of Sony and Toyota, plans to launch Astar zkEVM based on Polygon Chain Development Kit (CDK) technology. Originally based in the Polkadot ecosystem, "We are aiming to become a gateway to connect the Ethereum and Polkadot ecosystems. Astar is committed to enabling interoperability between the existing Astar VMs and enhancing cross-contract interoperability for other dApps to tap into in collaboration with partners like LayerZero and Gelato," according to a blog post.

Sept. 14: LayerZero Labs, the team behind the cross-chain messaging protocol LayerZero, has formed a new collaboration in which Google Cloud will "serve as LayerZero's default oracle for securing messages on the LayerZero network," according to a press release.

Sept. 14: OnFinality announced plans to provide enterprise-level blockchain infrastructure and tooling support funded by the Polkadot treasury and build on Google Cloud for more than 40 Polkadot parachains. "In the longer term, OnFinality has proposed setting up a Parachain Infrastructure Bounty with more than 10 other solution providers to deliver provider-agnostic common good infrastructure for all active Polkadot parachains," according to a blog post.

Sept. 14: Orderly Network will be a DeFi infrastructure provider on Google Cloud Marketplace, Cointelegraph reported. Google Cloud's head of Asia-Pacific Web3 GTM, told Cointelegraph that the partnership was struck in light of increasing interest from clients exploring blockchain workloads on Google Cloud.

Sept. 14: BNB Chain developers said Wednesday that the opBNB network, a layer 2 based on OP Stack, is going live after months of testing in which no major bugs were encountered. The blockchain processed a maximum of 4,000 transactions per second (TPS) in that period – a significantly bigger number than Ethereum’s current 17 TPS.

Sept. 14: Messaging app Telegram has endorsed the TON network as its blockchain of choice for Web3 infrastructure, and will integrate it into the app's user interface. A self-custodial version named TON Space is being rolled out to all Telegram users outside the U.S. The rollout should be completed by November, TON Foundation said in an email.

Sept. 14: Zodia Custody, a cryptocurrency storage provider that's a subsidiary of the London-based banking giant Standard Chartered (STAN), will provide institutional support for the Polkadot blockchain through a new partnership with Parity Technologies, one of the network's leading developers.

Sept. 14: Staking services company is today releasing a blockchain it says will help decentralize staking for Ethereum and other blockchains to counter concerns the process is dominated by a few large participants. The SSV mainnet is the largest implementation of a staking network that uses a Distributed Validator Technology (DVT) network, the developers said.

Sept. 14: Ether staking giant Lido will work with two Cosmos blockchain ecosystem projects to bridge its staked ether (stETH) tokens to the Cosmos network. Lido has picked cross-chain platform Neutron and full-stack development network Axelar for the bridging project, CoinDesk learned Thursday.

Sept. 14: Deutsche Bank, the German financial behemoth, is working with Taurus, a Swiss startup that specializes in cryptocurrency safekeeping, to establish digital asset custody and tokenization services, the companies said Thursday.

Sept. 14: Grab, a consumer app in Southeast Asia, plans to conduct a pilot for a Web3 wallet along with stablecoin operator Circle. The Grab Web3 Wallet will be available to users of the ride hailing, food delivery and digital payments app in Singapore to use vouchers in non-fungible token (NFT) form and earn rewards and collectibles, the companies said.

Sept. 14: Mauve, a decentralized exchange (DEX) for trading compliant and real world assets, officially went live on Thursday, the company said in a press release. The DEX is one of the first non-custodial exchanges to be approved as a virtual asset service provider (VASP) by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, the firm said.

Sept. 14: Thailand-based Kasikornbank (KBank) has started a $100 million fund to target artificial intelligence (AI), Web3 and fintech startups globally.

Sept. 14: Islamic Coin has entered into a memorandum of understanding with CoinDesk Indices to discuss building Shariah-compliant crypto benchmarks for the Middle East and North Africa markets. HAQQ, a blockchain focused on creating a Shariah-compliant financial system and the home of Islamic Coin, will get access to CDI's API for selected digital assets, including for its digital asset exchange.

Sept. 14: ReTool, a cloud provider with Fortune 500 clients, was the third-party vendor blamed for the theft of $15 million of cryptocurrency at Fortress Trust, people familiar with the matter told CoinDesk. The theft accelerated blockchain tech company Ripple's agreement to acquire Fortress.

Sept. 12: Particle Network, Web3 infrastructure provider, “has unveiled V2 of its Wallet-as-a-Service (WaaS) solution,” according to a message from the team. “Major enhancements have been made to privacy, user experience, and transaction efficiency with the latest version…. V2 introduces a number of new technologies including a zero knowledge (ZK) component and a protocol layer that prioritizes user privacy and security. This takes the form of Intent Fusion Protocol, which sits between the blockchain and dapp layers to support confidential transactions and authentication.”

Sept. 11: Safe, an institutional grade crypto wallet provider, has “launched its modular account abstraction stack on Polygon zkEVM, the leading ZK scaling protocol equivalent to Ethereum Virtual Machine,” according to a statement from the team. “Developers on Polygon zkEVM can now leverage Safe{Core} SDK to fully harness the power of smart wallets and modular account abstraction for a plethora of use cases, including gaming, retail wallets, decentralized social media, etc., with game-changing features like social recovery, seedless onboarding, and easy on-ramping.”

Sept. 11: Fireblocks, crypto custody firm, rolls out non-custodial wallet service.

Sept. 11: Sushi, one of the longest-running decentralized exchanges (DEX), has expanded to the layer-1 blockchain Aptos.

Sept. 11: Animoca Brands raises $20M for metaverse project Mocaverse. The capital was raised through the sale of Simple Agreements for Future Equity (SAFEs) for about A$4.50 ($2.90) each, which will be automatically converted into ordinary shares after six months. Investors included CMCC Global, Kingsway Capital, Liberty City Ventures, GameFi Ventures, with Animoca co-founder Yat Siu participating in a personal capacity.

Sept. 10: Unstoppable Domains, a digital identity platform, "is broadening its support for Unstoppable Messaging to include Ethereum," according to a statement from the team. "This expansion means that users with Ethereum Name Service (ENS) Domains will now have the capability to engage in messaging across various platforms on XMTP — including apps like Coinbase Wallet and Lens, by typing in their wallet address or domain. In July, Unstoppable integrated .eth domains, allowing anyone to natively buy via its website, and introduced novel features to help bring a new audience to .eth. Now, users can now buy their .eth, .nft, .crypto, and .polygon domains in one place."

Sept. 10: BrineFi, decentralized exchange, raises $16.5 million at valuation of $100 million. (Pantera Capital, Elevation Capital, StarkWare Ltd, Spartan Group, Goodwater Capital, Upsparks Ventures, Protofund Ventures)

Sept. 10: Consensys, the Ethereum developer, plans to launch a decentralized version of its Infura platform by the end of the year, Cointelegraph reported, citing a comment last week by the firm's head of strategy, Simon Morris. Infura provides APIs and other software tools to assist app developers on Ethereum.

Sept. 7: Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, has “completed the integration of Ethereum (ETH) on the zkSync Era network,” according to a web post Thursday. "Deposits and withdrawals for Ethereum (ETH) tokens are now open on the zkSync Era network."

Sept. 7: Dfinity Foundation said it has launched a $1 million grant fund to support startups in Lugano, Switzerland, to build on the Internet Computer blockchain.

Sept. 7: "JPMorgan is in the early stages of exploring a blockchain-based digital deposit token for speeding up cross-border payments and settlement, according to a person familiar with the work," Bloomberg reported. "The deposit token would function differently from JPM Coin, as it could be used to easily send money to clients of another bank, the person familiar with the work said. It is also well-suited for settlement of trades of tokenized securities, or financial instruments issued on a blockchain."

Sept. 7: According to the dYdX Foundation, in a semi-annual report: "There are around 57+ validators participating in dYdX Trading’s v4 Public Testnet #2. The current Public Testnet block time is approximately 1.8 seconds, and there have been over 2.9 million transactions and 2.9 million bonded tokens on the Testnet.” DYdX, which is moving toward launch of its own blockchain built with Cosmos SDK, started Testnet #2 in August after running a Testnet #1 since June.

Sept. 7: Trident Digital Group, a startup headed by Anthony DiMartino, Coinbase's head of risk strategies and institutitonal DeFi, raised $8M in a seed round, The Block reported. (White Star Capital, New Form, CMT Digital, Joint Effects, Permit Ventures)

Sept. 7: OpenCover, a distributor of decentralized insurance aimed at cryptocurrency and Web3 platforms, has gone live on Base, Coinbase's layer-2 blockchain atop Ethereum. OpenCover, which raised $4 million in a seed round led by the likes of NFX and Jump Crypto, received a $200,000 funding bump from Coinbase to bolster its debut on Base, according to OpenCover CEO Jeremiah Smith.

Sept. 7: Compound, the DeFi lender, said Thursday in a newsletter it has launched on Base, the layer-2 blockchain from Coinbase. According to a post from the team: "Compound currently features a bridged USDC market, and ETH market on Base. ETH and cbETH can be used as collateral to borrow bridged USDC, or cbETH to borrow ETH in each respective market." (The move was previously publicized in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Aug. 14.)

Sept. 7: IoTeX, which supports an Ethereum-compatible (EVM) layer-1 blockchain designed to accommodate smart devices as in the so-called "Internet of Things" (IoT), publicized that it was one of 18 recipients of grants in the Ethereum Foundation's "ERC-4337 Account Abstraction grant round." According to an email from the team: IoTeX "proposed leveraging zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs). IoTeX’s ZKP-based account abstraction wallet enhances and broadens the potential of on-chain gaming, DeFi, DeSocial, and DePIN, among other applications.... The wallet uses zkSNARK to confirm account access: If users have the correct password, they can use a prover to generate valid proof that unlocks the account. The on-chain smart contract then verifies this proof to authenticate the transaction."

Sept. 6: Story Protocol, set up to track intellectual property, conducted a follow-on fundraising in the third quarter, which, in conjunction to an earlier seed round, brings the total raised by the project to $54 million, according to the team. Investors include Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Hashed and TPG Capital's David Bonderman.

Sept. 6: Casa, a smart contract wallet provider, has introduced a new featureETH Pay Wallet Relay” that “offers greater privacy for people who prefer their on-chain ETH addresses not to be connected to Casa,” according to the team: "This relay uses the key from your ETH Pay Wallet to broadcast transactions to the ETH network."

Sept. 5: Premium domain names might be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more, and have a carry cost of not more than $10 a year. But how would you get liquidity from a one-word domain name – worth a fortune on paper – if there are no buyers? Tokenization. D3 has closed a $5 million round, looking to do just that, as well as working with stakeholders such as ICANN to register Web3 top-level domains, the recognizable suffixes that direct domain names to servers. The round was led by Shima Capital with participation from Lightshift, Dispersion Capital, VentureSouq, Infinite Capital, MZ Web3 Fund, Kestrel0x1, Nonagon, C² Ventures, Arthur Hayes' Maelstrom and Identity Digital founder Paul Stahura.

Sept. 5: Endaoment.Org, which says it's the first on-chain 501(c)(3) nonprofit community foundation and donor-advised fund platform, has expanded its platform to ​Base. According to the team: "Originally available exclusively on Ethereum, Endaoment’s deployment on Base makes crypto giving more accessible while reducing transaction costs, making small gifts more affordable for donors. The deployment brings more than 7,000 new verified donation endpoints for nonprofits across 150+ countries. This integration opens new donation revenue streams for nonprofits and ensures more funds go directly to a cause, rather than fees."

Sept. 5: Blockchain network developer Cronos Labs has started looking for eight startups to take part in the third cohort of its $100 million accelerator program aimed at supporting early stage crypto projects. The recruitment phase of the 12-week program commenced Sept. 4 to coincide with the start of Korea Blockchain Week, which runs until Sept. 10, and has a particular focus on artificial intelligence.

Sept. 5: Btrust, a non-profit organization that aims to “decentralize development of Bitcoin software,” said it acquired Qala, an organization that trains African Bitcoin and Lightning engineers, on Sept. 1. Qala will be rebranded as the Btrust Builders Programme. Btrust was originally funded by Block and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey along with the record producer Jay-Z.

Sept. 4: Community members of dYdX, a decentralized derivatives-trading platform, approved a governance proposal to make its DYDX token – currently on Ethereum’s ERC-20 token standardthe native token for its new standalone dYdX application-specific blockchain chain built with Cosmos SDK. As part of the proposal, the community agreed to adopt an Ethereum smart contract commissioned by the dYdX Foundation that, once deployed, “would enable a permissionless and autonomous one-way bridge for the DYDX token to be migrated from Ethereum to the dYdX Chain.”

Sept. 4:, an infrastructure provider on Ethereum that specializes in non-custodial staking, announced on Aug. 31 that it “has launched a smart contract that enables users to stake up to 12,800 ETH from a single wallet in just one transaction instead of the usual 3,200 ETH limit,” according to an email from the team.

Sept. 4: Chronicle, a blockchain data-oracle provider, said it has opened access to developers beyond the DeFi project MakerDAO’s ecosystem. According to a press release, the Chronicle Protocol will launch first on Polygon zkEVM, an Ethereum layer-2 network and will “lay the foundation for integrating another of Chronicle’s key partners, Spark Protocol.”

Sept. 4: Trust Machines, a startup developing applications for the Bitcoin blockchain and led by Stacks co-creator Muneeb Ali, announced on Aug. 31 that it has acquired wallet assets from Hiro Systems (where Ali serves as chairman) and has now launched its own flagship Bitcoin wallet brand, Leather. According to a blog post, the wallet can secure and manage bitcoin (BTC), Stacks L2 (STX) and BRC-20 tokens, and can be used to create, trade and transfer Ordinals, Stacks NFTs and Bitcoin Stamps. The former Hiro Wallet had 375,000 total installations and more than 100,000 monthly active users, according to the company.

Sept. 4: Akash Network, a layer-1 blockchain built using Cosmos SDK to host a decentralized marketplace for cloud computing resources, released its “Mainnet 6” upgrade for its “Supercloud,” adding support for graphics processing units or GPUs – crucial for AI applications.

Sept. 3: Stroom Network, a Kiev, Ukraine-based liquid-staking protocol on Bitcoin’s Lightning Network that allows users to yield-farm on Ethereum-compatible DeFi ecosystems, raised $3.5M in seed round. (Greenfield, Lemniscap, No Limit Holdings, Cogitent Ventures, SMAPE Capital)

Sept. 3: Argent, Ethereum smart wallet, has formed a partnership with Starknet Foundation “to launch a new startup studio, dedicated to building the next generation of use cases in crypto. Hito Studios will seek to attract the best and brightest founders in crypto, helping them launch and spin out new startups on Starknet, while also providing initial investment. Hito Studios will also provide ongoing support in key areas, including ideation and team formation, engineering, legal and growth,” according to a statement from the team.

Aug. 31: Herodotus, a year-old, London-based startup developing infrastructure and tooling to help developers use storage proof technology on Ethereum, has released an “on-chain accumulator” based on a custom instance of Starkware’s shared prover. “Herodotus’s new accumulator technology will enable users to read data from any point in Ethereum’s history including the Genesis block,” according to a press release shared with CoinDesk. The technological development could be useful “for account recovery mechanisms where verifying on-chain data from the past and present could play a vital role in triggering a dead man's switch, or for insurance protocols that rely on historical on-chain events for payouts or providing coverage,” the team wrote.

Aug. 31: ChainLight, a blockchain security firm specializing in smart-contract audits and on-chain monitoring, has launched the second version of Relic Protocol, a data indexing protocol, on zkSync, a layer-2 network atop Ethereum. According to a press release, the update provides developers with “trustless access to historical Ethereum data. Various protocols can use this wealth of previously inaccessible data to enhance functionalities. For instance, a lending protocol could use historical data to determine collateral volatility to adjust risk parameters trustlessly.”

Aug. 31: Interbank messaging system Swift and Web3 services platform Chainlink have successfully transferred tokenized value across multiple private and public blockchains in recent experiments, according to a press release on Thursday.

Aug. 31: Offchain Labs, the primary developer of the Ethereum optimistic rollup Arbitrum, on Thursday released Arbitrum Stylus, a new technical implementation that allows developers to build smart contracts using programming languages that are compatible with the WebAssembly industry standard format, also known as WASM. The offering, now available for use on a test network, means developers can program with popular coding languages like Rust, C and C++ alongside languages that are compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine, or EVM standard, which is far more common among today’s crypto developers.

Aug. 30: Decred, a governance-focused blockchain using a hybrid proof-of-work and proof-of-stake system, said its new “Bison Relay v0.1.8” update introduces support for e-commerce sites, with features including the “Simplestore” e-commerce infrastructure, “designed to facilitate the sale of digital-only goods such as images, videos, audio and files.”

Aug. 29: Casper Association, the Swiss-based organization that oversees the Casper blockchain, said its new “1.5” upgrade comes with unique “Speculative Execution Endpoint” feature, making the project “the only Layer-1 blockchain to enable the debugging of live, composable smart contracts on mainnet.”

Aug. 29: Oasis, a privacy-focused blockchain project, said its Sapphire main network has integrated with Celer Network’s cBridge, supporting the bridging of ETH, USDC, USDT, WBTC, BNB and MATIC.

Aug. 29: Alchemy, a platform for developing Web3 applications, has added support for Base, Coinbase’s layer-2 network on Ethereum.

Aug. 29: OpenZeppelin, a provider of blockchain security solutions, released the 2.0 version of its Defender platform, which provides automatic code analysis and can be used for ongoing monitoring of threats and automation of community governance proposals; developers and operators can use the tool to prevent and fix security issues pre- and post-deployment, according to the team.

Aug. 29: The team behind Interlay, a decentralized network designed to provide DeFi tooling for Bitcoin, announced plans for BOB, a new Bitcoin layer-2 network compatible with Ethereum’s EVM software environment, “featuring Rust smart contracts compatible with Bitcoin libraries such as Lightning and Ordinals.”

Aug. 29: Polygon, the Ethereum scaling firm, is releasing a toolkit for developers to help them build blockchains fueled by zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs. The Chain Development Kit (CDK) is an open-source codebase that developers can use to create their own customizable layer 2 chains using Polygon’s ZK technology.

Aug. 29: Helix, a decentralized orderbook exchange built on the Injective network, announced the launch of Helix Institutional, which “enables the trading of DeFi derivatives products in a permissioned, KYC-enabled environment.” Currently Helix offers trading in perpetual futures contracts on bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), Cosmos’s ATOM and Injective’s INJ. Injective is a layer-1 blockchain built with Cosmos software and featuring “instant transaction finality” for financial applications.

Aug. 28: Token withdrawals out of the Shibarium bridge are now live and available to users, weeks after a much-hyped launch quickly fizzled out after being riddled with software bugs that led to millions of dollars in limbo on the network. Shibarium is an Ethereum layer-2 network, created via a fork of Polygon, that uses SHIB tokens as fees in what is part of a broader plan to position Shiba Inu as a serious blockchain project.

Aug. 27: Binance Labs wrote in a blog post that it has invested in Delphinus Lab, an infrastructure provider that is “leading the zkWASM space, where zero-knowledge (ZK) cryptography is deployed in WebAssembly (WASM) environments.” The funds will be used for development of Dephinus’s zkWASM-based application rollup platform, zkWASM Hub, according to the post. WASM is a programming environment used by several blockchains, including Cosmos and Polkadot, often positioned as an alternative to the Ethereum Virtual Machine or EVM, that’s used by the Ethereum blockchain (and associated layer-2 networks) as well as Binance Smart Chain and Avalanche.

Aug. 24: Num Finance, a stablecoin issuer, rolled out a Colombian peso-pegged token, named nCOP, on the Polygon network.

Aug. 24: 1inch Network, an aggregator of decentralized exchanges or DEXes, said it has deployed on Coinbase’s new layer-2 blockchain, Base.

Aug. 24: Radix Publishing, publisher of code for Radix, a layer 1 smart-contract platform, said the final update of its two-year-old Olympia Protocol would be released at the end of August, as part of the move toward Radix’s Babylon mainnet migration at the end of September.

Aug. 24: Pancake Swap, a decentralized exchange, has expanded to the Ethereum layer-2 blockchain Linea, from the big Ethereum developer Consensys. PancakeSwap was already available on Ethereum, BNB Chain, Aptos, Polygon zkEVM, zkSync Era and Arbitrum.

Aug. 23: \ Domains, a provider of digital identities that include crypto addresses, said it has launched a new “messenger feature powered by XTMP that allows owners of UD domains — or any Web3 wallet address — to chat with each other across the blockchain. You can use it for any kind of decentralized, end-to-end encrypted messaging. This could be as simple as making plans with a friend. You could even use it to negotiate an NFT trade or domain purchase. Many people in Web3 use their domain as an alias, meaning Messaging can support Web3 community building.”

Aug. 22: Farcaster, a protocol for decentralized social apps including the Twitter-like Warpcast (where Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin sometimes posts), moved to Optimism’s OP Mainnet from Goerli Ethereum testnet.

Edited by Bradley Keoun.


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Bradley Keoun

Bradley Keoun is the managing editor of CoinDesk's Tech & Protocols team. He owns less than $1,000 each of several cryptocurrencies.

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