Protocol Village: Fidelity Acknowledges Risk of Bug in Bitcoin's Code

The latest in blockchain tech upgrades, funding announcements and deals. For the period of Nov. 2-8, with live updates throughout.

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Nov. 8: Fidelity, the U.S. money-management giant that's been involved in Bitcoin for almost a decade but more recently is among the ranks of applicants to launch a bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund or ETF, published an article aiming to tackle "persistent" criticisms of the cryptocurrency – while acknowledging some "legitimate concerns." Those include the risk that "a bug in Bitcoin’s code could render it worthless," noting that bugs caused major problems in 2010 and 2013, according to the piece:

"While it cannot be ruled out that another bug or unintended consequence of an upgrade may happen, we do think the probability of such an event is much lower as the network has become more resilient, and more developers continue to work on it over time. We think the probability is also lessened as the Bitcoin code is completely open source, so anyone from large companies to independent software engineers can view and test it. We also note that if another bug is discovered, it is likely that those with vested interest and large holdings of bitcoin and equipment (miners, etc.) will be incentivized to work together to quickly fix it. Nevertheless, we do think this is a criticism that is worthy of consideration and investors should assign a non-zero chance to the possibility of a severe enough bug in the core Bitcoin network that could cause its value to decline, possibly precipitously."
– Fidelity Investments

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. For previous versions of Protocol Village, please go here.

Ava Labs, Thirdweb Expand AvaCloud's Offerings

Nov. 8: Ava Labs and thirdweb are expanding AvaCloud’s offerings and improving time-to-market for apps that need a custom, highly performant blockchain, according to the team: "AvaCloud already offers custom blockchains. Thirdweb’s robust SDKs, smart contracts, and other tools enable AvaCloud builders to go beyond infrastructure and easily launch high-performance apps."

New Token Creation at Slowest in 3 Years, CertiK Analysis Shows

Nov. 8: The amount of new token creation dropped during the third quarter to the lowest since at least the start of 2021, according to blockchain smart-contract auditor CertiK. The company created the data set by using the list of tokens added each quarter to the tracking website CoinMarketCap, and then stripping out so-called memecoins that serve no ostensible purpose but to provide yuks and a vessel for speculation.

The number of new tokens (excluding memecoins) added each quarter to CoinMarketCap fell in the most-recent period to its lowest since at least the first quarter of 2021. (Certik/CoinMarketCap)
The number of new tokens (excluding memecoins) added each quarter to CoinMarketCap fell in the most-recent period to its lowest since at least the first quarter of 2021. (Certik/CoinMarketCap)

Near Foundation and Polygon Labs Collaborate to Build ZK Solution

Nov. 8: Near Foundation, the non-profit behind the Near Protocol, has announced a collaboration with Ethereum scaling solution firm Polygon Labs in an attempt to improve interoperability across chains. The deal brings Near closer to one of the largest blockchain networks, Ethereum, and enables blockchains with WebAssembly (WASM) technology to use Ethereum’s liquidity, according to a press release.

Binance Rolls Out Its First Ever Self-Custody Web3 Wallet

Nov. 8: Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has released a Web3 wallet that can be used to interact with the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem. The new product, which will work across 30 blockchain networks, was announced at the Binance Blockchain Week conference in Istanbul. "Web3 wallets represent more than just storing digital assets; they are an integral part of the Web3 framework, empowering individuals with the ability for self-sovereign finance," Binance CEO Changpeng 'CZ' Zhao said.

Lukso Blockchain Releases Universal Profiles on Mainnet

Co-founders of LUKSO Fabian Vogelsteller & Marjorie Hernandez (LUKSO)
Co-founders of LUKSO Fabian Vogelsteller & Marjorie Hernandez (LUKSO)

Nov. 8: Lukso, a layer 1 blockchain for creatives co-founded by blockchain veterans Fabian Vogelsteller and Marjorie Hernandez, is going live with "Universal Profiles" on the main network. The feature is at the core of the blockchain’s ecosystem, and can be used for all sorts of decentralized applications (for example social media, NFTs, payments), integrating the activity of creators under one smart contract based-account that is supposed to be more than just a wallet address.

Artificial Intelligence Platform Ritual Looks to 'Decentralize Access to AI' With $25M Backing

Nov. 8: Artificial intelligence (AI) platform Ritual has raised $25 million, led by Archetype and with participation from Accomplice and Robot Ventures, to address the centralized nature of the AI revolution that has unfolded this year. Ritual's aim is to open access to the infrastructure that lies behind AI innovation, which at present "lies in the hands of a few powerful companies," the firm said in an emailed announcement on Wednesday.

Scroll, Recently Launched zkEVM, Adds Chainlink Data Feeds

Nov. 7: Scroll, a recently launched zkEVM atop Ethereum, said Tuesday that Chainlink Data Feeds are now available. "With Chainlink Data Feeds, Scroll developers gain access to high-quality, reliable and decentralized market data needed to build secure, scalable, and advanced DeFi applications," according to a press release. "We are already seeing a huge number of dApp developers building DeFi and RWA applications on Scroll," Johann Eid, chief business officer at Chainlink Labs, was quoted as saying.

Evmos to Stop Supporting Cosmos

Nov. 7: Evmos, the Cosmos blockchain built to support Ethereum-compatible smart contracts, will stop supporting Cosmos transactions by the end of this year, according to a blog post. While the network will still support core Cosmos functionality, like staking and cross-chain transfers, it will only be accessible via EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine)-compatible wallets like Metamask. The Evmos team said in a blogpost that the shift to “Ethereum alignment” was made to reduce developer overhead and improve user experience. (ATOM) (ETH) - CoinDesk's Sam Kessler

QuickNode, Web3 Developer, Gets Strategic Investment From Korea's LG CNS

Nov. 7: QuickNode, a Web3 development platform, has entered a strategic partnership with LG CNS, a unit of the South Korean electronics giant that provides information technology services including Web3 and AI. "The partnership is punctuated by a strategic investment into QuickNode, bringing total funding for the company to over $100M," according to a press release. "This collaboration marks the beginning of a transformative era for blockchain infrastructure, particularly in the influential APAC market, with an emphasis on South Korea's dynamic tech scene," the team said in a message.

Crypto VC Funding Slowed Last Week as $35M Raised in 9 Deals Including Uniswap DAO

Nov. 7: Blockchain projects raised $34.7 million across nine deals in the week spanning the end of October and the start of November, according to data tracked by DeFi Llama. The figure represented a significant cooling to start the month, compared to the previous week when over $107 million was raised. Highlights included a $12M raise for Ekubo Protocol and $6.3M for the AI-based blockchain project Modulus.

Sui Names Space and Time as Preferred Data Warehouse

Nov. 7: Sui, a layer-1 blockchain, has named Space and Time as their ecosystem’s preferred data warehouse, providing a full stack of zk-proof based tools for developers on Sui, according to the team: "Space and Time and Sui power some of the biggest games in Web3, including the highly anticipated ARPG game Abyss World. Their combined gaming ecosystem represents millions of dollars in on-chain value. With Space and Time, developers can run analytics to generate deeper insights around what their community is doing in-game and on-chain, to understand what in-game events led to an on-chain purchase."

Nil Foundation Plans New Ethereum Rollup With Zero-Knowledge Proofs, Sharding

Nov. 7: Nil Foundation, an Ethereum research and development firm, announced Tuesday that it's coming out with its own rollup network, called “=nil;.” The foundation says the new network will be Ethereum's first ZK rollup to enable sharding – an alchemy that combines two popular scaling technologies, zero-knowledge proofs and sharding. The combination should enable composability without compromising the security of the network, according to a press release.

Avail, Data Availability Solution to Rival Celestia, Unveils 'Incentivized Testnet'

Nov. 7: Avail, a modular blockchain "data availability" solution to rival the recently launched Celestia, said a new test network will come with incentives for validators and other operators to try to find flaws in the underlying programming. The project is "inviting validators and light client operators – the titans who guard Avail’s network – to test, validate and operate, helping us battle-test our code base, refine our infrastructure, vet our operational readiness," according to a press release. In blockchain terminology, a "light client" is software application that allows users to interact with the network without having to download the entire blockchain data – so it can be done on smaller devices with less memory and computational power.

The Graph, Known as 'Google of Web3,' Plans AI-Assisted Querying

Nov. 7: The Graph, a protocol for indexing and querying data stored on blockchains, plans to add AI-assisted querying with large language models as part of a suite of new features disclosed Tuesday. The "New Era" roadmap outlines one of the biggest upgrades for the project since a $50 million fundraising last year. (GRT)

Derivio, Binance Labs-Incubated DEX, Launches on zkSync Era

Nov. 6: Derivio, a Binance Labs-incubated, institutional-grade decentralized derivatives trading platform, announced its launch on zkSync Era, a layer-2 network atop Ethereum, according to a press release: "As a zkSync Era native decentralized derivatives exchange, users gain access to a variety of DeFi derivative products, starting with perpetual futures & digital options, with countless markets and pairs being supported, enabling unprecedented composability and utility for any projects coming onto zkSync Era."

Railgun Launches 'Private Proofs of Innocence'

Nov. 6: Railgun, a smart-contract system that enables zero-knowledge privacy for on-chain apps, makes real-world compliance compatible with on-chain privacy through its newest tool, Private Proofs of Innocence, according to a message from the team: "The brainchild of Railgun and Chainway code contributors, the tool is integrated by independent wallet providers, such as the Railway Wallet, and allows DeFi users to maintain their privacy while proving that they have not interacted with objectionable actors. Railgun is an open-source, public, composable zero-knowledge (ZK) privacy solution deployed on Ethereum, Polygon, Arbitrum and BSC. To try out a Private POI wallet visit:"

Llama, Smart-Contract Platform, Raises $6M

Llama co-founders Austin Green and Shreyas Hariharan (Llama)
Llama co-founders Austin Green and Shreyas Hariharan (Llama)

Nov. 6: Smart contract platform Llama has raised $6 million in seed funding from Founders Fund and Electric Capital, with other investors including Sandeep Nailwal, co-founder of Polygon, and Stani Kulechov, founder of lending protocol Aave. Unveils Plans for New 'IQ Code,' an AI Model for Smart Contracts

Nov. 6:, a crypto and blockchain encyclopedia, just unveiled their V3 roadmap, according to the team, "for a new set of AI-powered tools to respond to key challenges faced by users around research, development, security and more. Most notably in this roadmap is IQ Code – the world’s first AI model tailored specifically for smart contracts."

Valio, Asset-Management Platform, Integrates Kwenta

Nov. 6: Valio, a platform allowing investors to allocate capital to digital-asset managers in a non-custodial way, has expanded its DeFi toolset with the integration of Kwenta, a decentralized derivatives-trading platform, according to the team: "Adding to GMX and 0X, capital allocators can now build their reputation on Valio's talent discovery marketplace with access to perpetuals on Kwenta through the Synthetix ecosystem. Kwenta integrates its $160M in TVL and 75 news trading pairs to Valio, bringing greater liquidity and trading exposure."

Arta Collaborates With Chainlink for Regulated Fund Tokens

Nov. 3: ARTA TechFin, a Hong Kong-based financial services institution, is issuing regulated fund tokens on major chains. According to the Chainlink team: "These fund tokens are being supported by Chainlink’s industry-standard decentralized computing platform, which will provide the fund tokens with cross-chain interoperability via Chainlink CCIP, hourly net asset value (NAV) reporting through Chainlink Data Feeds and transparent reserve data using Chainlink Proof of Reserve. The collaboration aims to provide clients with seamless and transparent access to blockchain markets, as well as token-native functionality like programmable payments and atomic settlement."

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. For previous versions of Protocol Village, please go here.

Render Moving to Solana From Ethereum, Allocates $2.6M to Cover Fees

Nov. 2: Render Network, a decentralized GPU rendering platform for 3D content creation, will officially move from Ethereum to Solana, becoming one of the chain's largest projects, according to the team. "Render has allocated 1.14M RNDR, which equates to $2.6 million at current token prices, in grants to subsidize user fees during the upgrade and is leveraging Wormhole to facilitate the transfer of assets between chains. This move allows Render to take advantage of Solana's higher throughput and lower transaction cost for their decentralized global network of GPUs." $RNDR $ETH $SOL

Unstoppable Domains Teams With Web3 Compass

Nov. 2: Unstoppable Domains has teamed with Web3 Compass to change how people browse the decentralized web, according to the team: "Web3 Compass is a search engine that focuses on enabling users to navigate and find information exclusively on the Web3 network, such as decentralized websites, while providing users with relevant and accurate search results."

Sending Labs Announces SocialScan

Nov. 2: Sending Labs in partnership with W3W, announced the launch of SocialScan, an innovative upgrade to the blockchain explorers such as Etherscan, according to the team: "What makes it unique is the cross-app wallet-to-wallet chat feature. SocialScan combines the essence of Web3 social media with wallet addresses as unique handles and enables direct wallet-to-wallet chat. SocialScan is far more affordable than the industry standard that costs blockchains nearly $1M/year. The teams also added a chat feature to PolygonZKScan, an explorer tailored for the rollup ecosystem. Sending Labs raised $12.5M in a seed round in 2022."

Huma, On-Chain Credit Platform, Deploys on Celo

Nov. 2: Huma, an on-chain credit platform facilitating more than $10M on-chain loans per month, has deployed on Celo, according to the team: "Along with the deployment, Huma brings cross-border payment liquidity platform Jia to Celo, providing on-chain loans to small businesses in emerging markets such as Kenya and the Philippines. This follows real-world assets (RWA) marketplace Untangled Finance’s Oct. 10 deployment on Celo after raising $13.5M in funding." $CELO

Validation Cloud Unveils Staking-as-a-Service Platform for Institutions

Nov. 2: Validation Cloud, a crypto node infrastructure provider, has enabled on-demand non-custodial staking-as-a-service for institutions, according to the team: "The company’s technology will be dramatically improving the speed, cost, and reliability of Ethereum validators through (1) UI and API-based deployments, (2) automatic rewards management and (3) SOC2 compliance."

Privacy Technology Firm Nym Plans Early 2024 Rollout of 'Decentralized VPN'

Nov. 2: Nym Technologies, a privacy infrastructure project backed by Binance Labs and the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), said its "decentralized VPN" called NymVPN would launch in the first quarter of 2024.

Toposware, Specialist in Zero-Knowlege Cryptography, Raises $5M

Nov. 2: Toposware, a specialist in the technology of zero-knowledge cryptography, announced the completion of a $5 million strategic seed extension round. "This latest funding round was purposefully constructed to bring key VCs and industry leaders on board with direct experience in building global standards, scaling ubiquitous products to massive market share, and aligning access and utility within target market sectors," according to a press release. Investors included Evolution Equity Partners, Triatomic Capital, K2 Access Fund and Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal.

Layer N Announces Strategic Investment from BlackPine

Nov. 2: Layer N, a rollup network designed to scale financial applications on Ethereum, announced that it closed a strategic investment from BlackPine, a private investment company based in Hong Kong. According to a message from the team: "This investment signifies Layer N’s official entrance into the Asian market, with the aim of expanding the native Web3 offerings available in the region. Additionally, Layer N also entered into a strategic partnership with VSFG (Venture Smart Financial Holdings), an asset management firm with a strong digital asset presence in Hong Kong." Announces Beta Launch of 'World's Largest Decentralized AI Compute Cloud'

Nov. 2:, a decentralized computing network for AI startups, is announcing this week the beta launch of what it describes as the world's largest decentralized AI compute cloud. According to a press release, the announcement will be made at the main stage of Solana's Breakpoint conference in Amsterdam.

Aleph Zero Says Deutsche Telekom Joins Network of Validators

Nov. 2: Deutsche Telekom MMS is joining Aleph Zero's network of validators, according to a message from the Aleph Zero team. "This is the first time Deutsche Telekom provides infrastructure for a privacy-enhancing blockchain network. This collaboration highlights Aleph Zero's credibility, enterprise-grade potential and the trust Deutsche Telekom has in the blockchain for its over ~245 million customers worldwide."

Space and Time Joins Blockchain Rush Onto Google Cloud's BigQuery

Nov. 2: Google Cloud’s BigQuery is integrating Space and Time’s (SxT) novel zero-knowledge (ZK) proof for SQL operations, according to the SxT team: "SxT is the first AI-powered decentralized data warehouse that joins tamperproof on-chain and off-chain data to deliver enterprise use cases to smart contracts. Their ZK-protocol allows developers to cryptographically verify query accuracy and data integrity, particularly valuable for blockchain applications." (Note CoinDesk reported Sept. 22 that the Google Cloud Big Query program had added 11 networks in addition to the 11 already incorporated.)

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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