Protocol Village: Tezos-Focused Trilitech Building Prototype of 'Jstz' as JavaScript-Based L2

The latest in blockchain tech upgrades, funding announcements and deals. For the period of July 5-10.

AccessTimeIconJul 11, 2024 at 2:42 p.m. UTC

July 10: Trilitech, focused on the Tezos blockchain, announced what the team described as a "major development" – the introduction of Jstz (pronounced "justice"), a "smart rollup powered by JavaScript." According to the team: "The upcoming layer-2 rollup being built on Tezos will allow developers to use JavaScript and its vast resources. But more than just enabling the language itself, what sets Jstz apart is that it’s being designed to comply with standard JavaScript APIs, enabling builders to tap into a massive ecosystem of familiar, battle-tested JS tools and libraries." (Please see our recent story here on Tezos's plan for a "canonical rollup.")

Starknet, Layer-2 Chain on Ethereum, to Open Staking By End of Year

July 10: Layer-2 network Starknet will open staking on its ecosystem by the end of 2024, the developer firm StarkWare shared on Wednesday. The news was announced at the Ethereum Community Conference in Brussels by the company’s CEO Eli Ben-Sasson. He submitted a Starknet Improvement Proposal to the community which suggests that users can choose whether they would like to become a staker, with rewards for participation to be proportional to the amount of STRK tokens staked.

Combinder Unveils Prototype of AI-Driven 'Energy Nano-Grid' on Peaq Chain

July 10: Combinder, a DePIN for energy data collection, unveiled an "AI-driven prototype of a Web3-powered energy nano-grid, built together with Nevermined & Valory, on behalf of Olas," according to the team: "Running on peaq, the layer-1 blockchain for DePIN and Machine RWAs, the prototype will demonstrate the viability of Web3-based nano-grid energy management involving AI agents – smart software pieces representing individual household devices. Leveraging real-world data to simulate the energy needs of an average household, the project team will build a physical nano-grid involving a plug-in green energy source and an AC unit."

Schematic illustrating how Combinder works (Combinder)
Schematic illustrating how Combinder works (Combinder)

BOB (Build on Bitcoin) Raises $1.6M, Partly to Support Incubator Program

July 10: BOB (Build on Bitcoin) unveiled a $1.6M strategic funding round led by Ledger Ventures and backed by prominent angels such as leaders at BlackRock, Aave and Curve. According to the team, the investment "aims to propel innovation in Bitcoin infrastructure and decentralized applications (dApps). A substantial portion of these funds will empower the BOB incubator program, dedicated to nurturing groundbreaking startups within the BTC ecosystem. This move underscores BOB's commitment to fostering growth and creativity in blockchain technology."

Unstoppable Domains Enables '.pudgy' Domains to Log In to Penguins-Themed Metaverse

July 10: Unstoppable Domains, a project for on-chain domain names, announced that it's "poised to enable .pudgy domains to be used as login credentials for accessing Pudgy Penguins metaverse 'Pudgy World.'" According to the team, the move could "redefine single sign-on capabilities via a decentralized identity" and "marks a significant step forward in virtual-world accessibility and user experience by enabling single sign-on capabilities via a user-owned custom digital identity."

Theoriq, Filecoin Foundation Developing AI Agents to Be Trained on Filecoin Data

July 10: Theoriq, a framework for collaborative autonomous AI Agents designed to accomplish complex tasks, is announcing a partnership with Filecoin Foundation to develop a series of AI Agents on the Theoriq platform. According to the team: "These Agents will be trained on data from the Filecoin network, the world’s largest decentralized data storage network, designed to store humanity’s most important information, and will seek to make the data stored on Filecoin more accessible and usable for a variety of audiences. At Consensus 2024, Porter Stowell, FF’s head of community, demoed a Filecoin AI Agent developed in collaboration with Theoriq. Trained on the Filecoin docs and GitHub repositories, the Filecoin AI Agent allows users to get detailed answers through natural language queries on how to build on Filecoin, troubleshoot common issues, getting started as a storage provider, and more."

Hex Trust to Become First Digital-Asset Custodian on Ethereum-Compatible L1 Monad

July 10: Hex Trust Group, a provider of digital asset solutions for institutional finance, protocols and foundations, announced a strategic partnership with Monad Labs, an Ethereum-compatible layer-1 blockchain. According to the team: "Hex Trust will become the first digital asset custodian to offer support for the custody of assets on the Monad blockchain. The partnership will enhance security and provide Hex Trust clients with access to Monad's revolutionary platform that is pioneering a new era in decentralized computing."

Dora, Multichain Search Engine, Raises $5.5M in Early-Stage Round Led by Dragonfly, Lemniscap

July 10: Dora, describing itself as "the unified search and action engine for the multichain world," announced the successful close of a $5.5 million early stage funding round. According to the team: "The round was co-led by Dragonfly Capital and Lemniscap, with participation from Robot Ventures, Ethereal Ventures, Maven11 and Arche Capital, alongside notable angel investors such as Movement Labs co-founder Rushi Manche and Fluent co-founder Dino Savonin. The funds will be utilized to enhance Dora’s innovative search, unified cross-chain transaction capabilities, and to expand their collaborations across all blockchain networks."

Dora co-founder Bunny (Dora)
Dora co-founder Bunny (Dora)

SingularityNET Collaboration With Filecoin Aims for 'Decentralized, Democratic and Inclusive AGI'

July 10: SingularityNET announced a collaboration with Filecoin "with the mission of creating a decentralized, democratic and inclusive AGI." According to the team: "SingularityNET marks this collaboration as another pivotal step towards technological singularity... The strategic collaboration is set to pave the way for innovative advancements in decentralized AI and secure data storage. This collaboration will explore the formation of an AI Ethics working group and leverage Filecoin to create and manage Knowledge Graphs." (FIL)

Crypto Investment Firm Hypersphere Unveils $130M Market Fund

July 10: Cryptocurrency investment firm Hypersphere has unveiled a new fund with $130 million in assets under management (AUM) that will employ Wall Street-style strategies to generate returns from crypto assets. The Atlas fund launched in stealth mode in January, funded from Hypersphere's balance sheet. It is staffed by alums of high-frequency trading firm Millennium and hedge fund Bridgewater, according to an emailed announcement on Wednesday.

Pyth, Ondo Partner to Unlock USDY on More Chains

July 10: Ondo Finance and Pyth Network are partnering to unlock USDY (new borrowing/lending capabilities) for on-chain users across 65+ blockchains with Aptos, Solana and Mantle highlighted.

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. Also please check out our weekly The Protocol podcast.

Union Adds Support for Arbitrum, Connecting With IBC Chains, Other L2s

July 9: Union Labs, the modular interoperability layer, has added support for Arbitrum, the leading layer-2 ecosystem by TVL, to connect Arbitrum Orbit chains with IBC-enabled blockchains, as well as other networks integrating with Union such as Polygon, Scroll and Movement. According to the team: "This integration will unlock unprecedented liquidity flow between IBC and the Arbitrum ecosystem. It will also see the reduction of the latency in optimistic cross-chain operations while maintaining the security and integrity of transactions in and out of the Arbitrum ecosystem." (ARB)

Schematic illustrating Union's setup connecting Arbitrum to IBC-enabled chains and Ethereum L2s (Union)
Schematic illustrating Union's setup connecting Arbitrum to IBC-enabled chains and Ethereum L2s (Union)

TON Blockchain Ecosystem to Get New Layer-2 Network Based on Polygon Tech

July 9: A new project called TON Applications Chain (TAC) is building a layer-2 network for the TON Blockchain ecosystem, known for its affiliation with the popular messaging app Telegram. The project, which is backed by The Open Platform, an investor focused on the TON blockchain ecosystem, will rely on technology from the Ethereum-focused layer-2 developer Polygon, according to a press release. The team made the announcement on Tuesday at the Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC) in Brussels.

Privado ID, Recent Polygon Spinout, Launches First Product, 'Web Wallet'

July 9: Privado ID, formerly Polygon ID, is launching its first product since spinning out of Polygon – a "web wallet designed to set new standards for privacy while reducing user interactions by over 50%." According to the team: "The new wallet eliminates repetitive KYC processes across platforms. Instead of nine authorization steps, users now only need 4 – meaning they no longer have to re-enter documentation like a driver's license for every new service they log into. The web wallet will be leveraged by Verax, Consensys's enterprise-grade SSI solution, which is relied on by projects like Gitcoin Passport and many others."

EOracle, Hexagate Partner to Create Decentralized ML-Based 'Gate Security Oracle'

July 9: EOracle and Hexagate have partnered to create "The Gate Security Oracle, the first-of-its-kind decentralized ML-based security protocol," according to the team: "This system, built on the eOracle stack, will allow DeFi protocols to leverage Hexgate's security models to protect themselves from hacks. This integration will essentially create a DeFi firewall to mitigate threats before they cause damage." The announcement was made at the EthCC conference in Brussels.

EOracle Founder Matan Sitbon and Hexagate CEO Yaniv Nissenboim onstage at EthCC in Brussels on Tuesday (eOracle)
EOracle Founder Matan Sitbon and Hexagate CEO Yaniv Nissenboim onstage at EthCC in Brussels on Tuesday (eOracle)

API3 Launches OEV Network on Arbitrum to Curb MEV Leaked by Lending Protocols

July 9: API3, a first-party oracle solution aiming to make real-world data more accessible and efficient for decentralized applications (dApps), has launched the OEV Network on Arbitrum Orbit. According to the team: "This will allow dApps to reclaim 90% of the MEV leaked by lending protocols, worth hundreds of millions. The OEV Network sells the right to execute particular data feed updates for designated dApps to the highest bidder. This solution is integrated with all data feeds on the API3 Market, which means that any protocol that utilizes API3’s data feeds automatically can recapture value across any chain supported."

Masa, Network for Decentralized AI, Launches Subnet on Bittensor

July 9: Masa, a decentralized AI network where people earn by contributing data, announced the "launch of an AI Data Subnet on Bittensor, a protocol pioneering the decentralized production of artificial intelligence." According to the team: "Masa will leverage Bittensor’s peer-to-peer machine intelligence network to supercharge AI data aggregation, transformation, and access. Together, this empowers a world of Fair AI powered by the people, where AI developers can build anything, anywhere with the world’s data."

Safe Collaboration With Pimlico on 'Multi-Chain Gas Station' Comes With $250K in Fee Credits

July 9: Safe, the team behind the Safe{Core} smart account developer toolkit, has collaborated with infrastructure platform Pimlico in the design of a Multi-Chain Gas Station Program that offers a total of $250,000 in gas fee credit incentives, including $200,000 for Polygon PoS developers, and $50,000 for Gnosis Chain developers building Safe smart accounts. According to the team: "This collaboration aims to the drastically simplify the usability of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). The program is available to any developer building on collaborating chains or projects utilizing Safe{Core}."

Blockchain Startup Rome Raises $9M to Serve Ethereum Layer-2s Through Solana

July 9: Rome, a crypto startup project aiming to use Solana as an auxiliary network to provide services to layer-2 blockchains built atop Ethereum, emerged from stealth and announced it has raised $9 million of funding from top-tier investors. The financing was provided by Hack VC, Polygon Ventures, HashKey, Portal Ventures, Bankless Ventures, Robot VC, LBank, Anagram, TRGC, Perridon Ventures, as well as notable angels including Anatoly Yakovenko, Nick White, Santiago Santos, Comfy Capital, Austin Federa, Jason Yanowitz, according to a press release shared first with CoinDesk.

Rome co-founders Anil Kumar and Sattvik Kansal (Rome)
Rome co-founders Anil Kumar and Sattvik Kansal (Rome)

World Chain, Sam Altman’s Layer-2 Project, Opens to Developers

July 9: The developer firm behind the Worldcoin protocol shared Tuesday that its upcoming layer-2 chain, World Chain, is open for developers to use. This means that select developers can apply to build, test, and give feedback to Tools For Humanity, the developer firm behind Worldcoin, according to a press release shared with CoinDesk. World Chain has tapped Optimism’s OP Stack, a customizable toolkit that lets developers build their own blockchains using Optimism’s technology, to build out its own network.

Storj Acquires Cloud Computing Firm Valdi; Terms Undisclosed

July 9: Storj, a crypto-backed cloud-storage platform, said it bought Valdi, a provider of high-performance cloud computing, to add graphics-processing-unit (GPU) computing for its enterprise clients. The Valdi network comprises over 16,000 GPUs globally and provides on-demand processing that is used for artificial intelligence (AI) training in industries such as technology, research and life sciences, Storj said in a press release. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

MetaMask Developer Consensys Releases New Toolkit for 'Seamless Onboarding'

July 9: Consensys, the Ethereum software developer firm that built the MetaMask wallet, shared Tuesday that it is launching a “MetaMask Delegation Toolkit,” aimed at making the user experience of blockchain applications more seamless. According to a press release shared with CoinDesk, the Delegation Toolkit will allow for instant user onboarding without needing to interact with a traditional wallet, in addition to eliminating “user friction completely,” meaning no pop-ups or confirmations when switching between a decentralized application and wallet.

Up Network Unveils 'Up Mobile' on Tech Provided by Move Language-Based Movement Labs

July 9: Up Network, a team connecting mobile devices to blockchain technology, is unveiling "Up Mobile, the world’s first smartphone offering the advantages of both innovative artificial intelligence and blockchain technology, built on the Facebook-created Move programming language, to provide pioneering levels of user experience security and privacy," according to the team: "The blockchain technology underpinning the network will be provided by Movement Labs, a team dedicated to the adoption of the Move programming language, which raised a $38 million Series A earlier this year."

Crypto Wallet Provider Exodus Aims to Solve Web3's User-Friendly Issue With 'Passkeys Wallet'

July 9: Crypto wallet provider Exodus is starting a new product that is looking to make the user experience (UX) of Web3 as easy as possible for newcomers to the sector. The "Passkeys Wallet" will enable new users to create a wallet to explore various decentralized apps (dapps) without creating a new wallet or leaving the application.

Term Labs, Developer of Fixed-Rate DeFi Lending Protocol, Closes $5.5M Strategic Funding Round

July 9: Term Labs, the developer behind DeFi fixed-rate lending protocol Term Finance, closed a $5.5 million strategic funding round, bringing cumulative funding to date to $8 million, according to a press release. Electric Capital led the round, with Maelstrom (Arthur Hayes), Ava Labs Blizzard Fund, Arete Capital, Inception, Delta Blockchain Fund and others participating. Also joining the round were angel investors including founder and CEO Mike Silagadze, Paper Ventures founder Danish Chaudhry, Neoclassic Capital co-founder Steve Lee and Into The Ether Podcast co-host Eric Conner.

Nuant Launches Digital-Asset Platform With '360-Degree Intelligence Solution'

July 9: Nuant has launched its platform for monitoring digital asset portfolios and developing advanced strategies after a year of development and testing, according to the team: "It offers a 360-degree intelligence solution by aggregating data from multiple sources into a single dashboard, allowing real-time performance and risk assessment. Key features include data aggregation, intelligent orchestration, actionable insights and a simulation engine. Nuant supports over five custodians, 30 exchanges, 80 blockchains, and 1,000 DeFi protocols. The first 100 clients can enjoy three months free."

Cega, Pendle, Introduce 'YT Tiger' for 17.8% APY

July 9: Cega, Pendle, and introduced "Pendle YT Tiger," a DeFi product leveraging Pendle's Yield Tokens. According to the team: "Users can engage in liquid restaking on and points farming with Pendle YT-eETH to earn 17.8% APY in YT-eETH. The product offers 107x+ exposure to EtherFi points, potentially up to 5,214x with StakeRank. This collaboration provides significant yield opportunities and enhanced points exposure for YT holders using a Dual Currency Swap strategy, yielding returns regardless of market direction."

Hinkal, Instititutional-Grade Self-Custodial Protocol, Plans Launch of 'Shared Privacy'

July 8: Hinkal, describing itself as an "institutional-grade, self-custodial protocol designed to empower users with full control over their on-chain assets, mirroring the secure standards of traditional finance," announced the upcoming launch of the "Shared Privacy Protocol, dubbed the 'EigenLayer for Privacy,' because it enables cross-chain privacy via anonymity staking." According to the team: "Hinkal addresses liquidity fragmentation and incentivizes discreet DeFi trading by creating a unified pool of shielded liquidity to properly mask transactions on over 200 layer 1s and layer 2s. The Shared Privacy Protocol allows traders and dApps to leverage shielded TVL across any chain, rewarding stakers with assets and yield." According to the project's white paper: "Hinkal is a middleware and set of smart contracts on EVM chains that uses ZK-proofs and stealth addresses to enable compliant and discreet transactions on major dApps."

Schematic illustrating how Hinkal's "Shared Privacy Pool" works (HInkal)
Schematic illustrating how Hinkal's "Shared Privacy Pool" works (HInkal)

Particle Network Introduces 'Chain Abstraction Coalition' Including Arbitrum, BNB Chain, Botanix

July 8: Particle Network has led the industry efforts in forming the Chain Abstraction Coalition, an alliance of 50+ chains in Web3, according to the team: "The alliance aims to unify the ecosystem and improve user experience by eliminating manual processes to interact with multiple chains. Web3 growth has led to impressive scalability and cost-effectiveness but also resulted in significant fragmentation. As such, the Chain Abstraction Coalition, which include notable networks like Arbitrum, Berachain, Avalanche, BNB Chain, Linea and Botanix, will work together to offer superior interoperability to both developers and users."

Celo Goes Live With Layer-2 Testnet 'Dango'

July 8: Celo, the layer-1 chain migrating to become a layer-2 chain atop Ethereum, said its layer-2 testnet, "Dango," is now live, forking the Alfajores testnet with all historical data (smart contracts, accounts, and balances) carried over. According to the team: "Dango enables bridging of WETH and ERC-20 tokens between Ethereum and Celo, CELO token duality (the ability to interact with CELO natively or via the ERC20 interface) and maintains key L1 features like Fee Abstraction and SocialConnect. Once infrastructure providers have updated for the L2, Alfajores will be directly migrated for dApp developers to test (with no expected impact on most user-facing dApps)."

1inch Labs Announces 'Web3 RPC API'

July 8: 1inch Labs announced the addition of the Web3 RPC API to the 1inch Developer Portal, "further expanding the range of innovative tools available to Web3 developers." According to the team: "With the Web3 RPC API, 1inch provides Web3 developers with efficient and robust RPC blockchain interaction without the need to run their own node. With our extensive node experience and the ongoing need for reliable node access for 1inch operations, we can ensure that our RPC service is secure and reliable for Web3 developers."

Cardano Founding Entity Emurgo Announces Launch of 'Anzens USDA' Stablecoin

July 8: Emurgo, a founding entity of the Cardano blockchain, announced the launch of the Anzens USDA stablecoin under the ownership of institutional-grade trading desk, Encryptus. According to the team: "With off-ramping capabilities in over 80 countries, USDA – the fully-backed stablecoin native to Cardano – allows users to manage their assets autonomously, and transact seamlessly and affordably. USDA will provide users with access to frontier markets through affordable liquidity and simplified access to Web3 solutions, bridging the gap to critical financial services for businesses and individuals alike." (ADA)

Halliday Streamlines Blockchain Payments with a16z and Hashed

July 8: Halliday, a commerce automation network, has launched with backing from Hashed and Andreessen Horowitz. According to the team: "Aimed at improving blockchain-based payments, Halliday addresses user experience and integration issues between Web2 and Web3 environments. Featuring a PoS protocol automating tasks across blockchain networks, the platform offers a unified interface for transactions and managing digital assets. Developers participate in a permissionless network to build/earn rewards, promoting adoption of blockchain in commerce."

Nuklai Collaborates With Filecoin Foundation to 'Archive the World's Data'

July 8: Nuklai, a collaborative infrastructure provider for data ecosystems, has collaborated with Filecoin Foundation to "archive the world's data, empowering AI with contextualized data ontology," according to the team: "The first step of this strategic collaboration is to integrate with Filecoin’s decentralized network using Lighthouse Storage’s solution for efficient data storage. Nuklai enhances data reliability by providing additional context enabling improved interoperability. Everyone can contribute by sharing and contextualizing datasets, accessible via"

Bagel Network Collaborates With Filecoin Foundation for 'Computational Capacity of Decentralized AI'

July 8: Bagel Network, an AI and cryptography research lab, announced a partnership with the Filecoin Foundation to unlock the computational capacity of decentralized AI. According to the team: "This collaboration will enable AI developers to train and store their models using Filecoin’s compute and storage capabilities, offering unprecedented efficiency and flexibility for decentralized AI development." (FIL)

Digital Asset Trader Auros to Invest Over $50M in Crypto Startups Through Its Newly Established VC Arm

July 8: Crypto trading firm and market maker Auros said in an exclusive interview with CoinDesk that its newly established venture capital arm plans to invest more than $50 million of its own capital in early-stage digital asset ventures in the next two years. To lead the investment efforts, the company appointed Julien Auchecorne as head of Auros Ventures. Auchecorne previously held roles at hedge fund Brevan Howard and digital asset services platform XBTO International, among other crypto and traditional investment firms.

OpenCampus Announces $1M Hackathon to Promote Decentralized App Development on EDU Chain

July 8: Decentralized education protocol Open Campus has announced a $1 million hackathon to promote decentralized app development on the EDU Chain. According to the team: "Open campus’s Codex Hackathon series seeks to bolster dapp development in this sector via EDU Chain. The mainnet is expected to go live later this year. EDU Chain is the first decentralized blockchain for education built by Open Campus and is designed to drive the democratization of education and to empower all participants to contribute to and benefit from the decentralized future of education.”

Immunefi, Ethereum Foundation Launch 'Attackathon' Seeded With $500K

July 8: Immunefi, an on-chain crowdsourced security platform, and the Ethereum Foundation have launched the first crowdsourced security audit contest, "to augment the security for the entirety of the protocol’s code," according to the team: "The Attackathon features a time-bound code review program by Immunefi, ensuring top-tier engagement from elite security researchers and a community education program centered on Ethereum-related security and technology. To kick off the Sponsorship program, the Ethereum Foundation has seeded the reward pool with a contribution of $500,000."

Valora Introduces 'Mobile Stack' to Simplify Web3 Apps on iOS, Android

July 5: Valora, a P2P payments app, introduced Mobile Stack, described as "an open protocol that simplifies the creation of Web3-native mobile apps on iOS and Android." According to the team, "it unlocks a critical pathway for bringing the next billion users on-chain by providing Web3 brands and startups with the tools they need to bring their apps to consumers’ fingertips. Troopo (from Stake Capital/Curve) and The ChatGPT DataDAO (from Vana) will be the first of Mobile Stack’s ecosystem partners to bring their Web3 dApps to mobile, showcasing how web3 products can be reimagined as consumer-friendly, mobile-first experiences."

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.