Protocol Village: Syscoin Developer Expands Data-Availability Solution to Other Layer-2 Networks

The latest in blockchain tech upgrades, funding announcements and deals. For the period of Jan. 18-24.

AccessTimeIconJan 25, 2024 at 1:22 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 8:29 p.m. UTC

Jan. 24: Sys Labs, the developer behind the Syscoin smart-contracts blockchain, Rollux, which relies on Bitcoin merged mining for its security, is expanding its data-availability (DA) solution, known as "proof of data availability" or PoDA, to other layer-2 networks, according to the team. The new offering, called "zkDA," is made possible through a collaboration with Polyhedra, a blockchain bridge provider built with zero-knowledge cryptography. "Syscoin’s zkDA combines the security of Bitcoin merged mining with the efficiency of Syscoin's native PoDA, enhancing blockchain interoperability and employing Keccak-based blobs for post-quantum security," according to a press release. "Full node data processing and efficient pruning are key features, with a novel approach to ZK verification of data availability. The finality guarantees of Syscoin through multi-quorum chainlocks and zkDA will ensure a secure ZK-Light client, allowing other chains to use the DA on top of Syscoin to inherit its world-class security design." Separately, the developer NodeKit, behind the shared sequencing network SEQ, will integrate zkDA as an option.

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.

RARI Foundation Releases RARI Chain Mainnet on Arbitrum

Jan. 24: The RARI Foundation, a non-profit aiming to foster the growth of decentralized NFT infrastructure, announces the RARI Chain mainnet, "an EVM L3 chain that embeds royalties on the sequencer level, a novel tech powered by Arbitrum," according to the team. "This empowers creators to seize control of their livelihoods and ensure rightful royalties. The Rari Foundation, Rarible, HUG, Aniko Berman and Justin Gilanyi present an open edition collection drop of 10 digital artists"

Synonym Finance, Cross-Chain Lending Platform, Raises $1.5M from Borderless, Blockchain VCs

Jan. 24: Borderless Capital and other top blockchain VCs contributed to a seed funding round for Synonym Finance, a cross-chain lending platform built on the Wormhole xChain Technology Stack and Arbitrum, according to the team: "Synonym leverages technologies like Circle’s CCTP to enable the borrowing of assets on one blockchain with collateral on another blockchain, solving problems of fragmented liquidity and inefficient bridging across chains. The oversubscribed round of $1.5M included Robot Ventures, Big Brain Capital, Veris Ventures, Jones DAO angels and others."

Kekkai, Web3 Security Company in Japan, Raises $1.5M

Jan. 24: Kekkai, a Web3 security company based in Japan, has raised $1.5 million at seed round and released a new product, "Kekkai Mobile." Kekkai, specializing in Web3 security, is pleased to announce the completion of funding totaling approximately $1.5 million from Decima Fund, Bixin Ventures, Sora Ventures, Plug and Play, FlickShot, Mask Network, Stratified Capital, MZ Web3 Fund, Presto Labs, GoPlus Security, Dora Ventures and other funds."

Solana Delivers 'Token Extensions' to Attract Compliance-Minded Token Developers

Jan. 24: Tokens built on the Solana blockchain are getting a bit more programmable, with their developers now able to implement rules around who can hold them and what they can do with them. The Solana Foundation, a key group in managing the Solana blockchain said Wednesday that its "token extensions" upgrade to Solana's SPL token standard is now live after well over a year in development. Token extensions will allow businesses to hard-code various features into their tokens, like whitelisting, automatic transfer fees and confidentiality on transfers. [SOL]

Oval, to Help Protocols Capture MEV as Revenue, Live on Ethereum Mainnet

Jan. 23: Oval, the Oracle Value Aggregation Layer built to disrupt Ethereum’s MEV supply chain, has gone live on Ethereum mainnet, according to the team: "Created by the visionary DeFi project UMA in collaboration with Flashbots, Oval creates a new revenue stream for Ethereum’s leading DeFi protocols by letting them capture MEV when they request oracle updates. Each year DeFi protocols expose tens of millions of dollars to MEV each year. By integrating Oval, protocols can automatically capture 90% of this MEV as revenue."

Chainlink Automation, for 'Compute-Heavy Tasks,' Goes Live on Base

Jan. 23: Chainlink Automation has gone live on Base, the layer-2 blockchain incubated by Coinbase and secured by Ethereum. According to the team: "This integration provides Base developers with verifiable, decentralized, and gas-efficient smart contract automation capabilities. Base developers can now offload compute-heavy tasks to the Chainlink Network, maintaining the verifiability standards of blockchains, but with up to a ~90% reduction in gas costs." [LINK]

Masa, Builder of 'ZK-Data Network,' Raises $5M in Seed Round Led by Anagram

Jan. 23: Masa, a provider of privacy-preserving Web2 and Web3 behavioral analytics for blockchain applications and networks, announced a $5 million seed round led by Anagram, co-founded by Solana Foundation and former Polychain president, with participation from Avalanche Blizzard Fund, Digital Currency Group and GoldenTree. According to the team: "Fundraise is dedicated to Masa, a Web3 data platform revolutionizing the industry with a decentralized Google, fostering an open, secure, incentivized data economy for the AI era – free from Big Tech exploits. This round boosts Masa's funding to $9.2M, supporting the Q1 Mainnet Launch on a dedicated Avalanche Subnet through a strategic partnership with Avalanche."

Ethereum Interoperability Hub Polymer Raises $23M Series A Funding From Blockchain Capital, Maven 11, Distributed Global

Jan. 23: Polymer Labs has raised $23 million in Series A funding to advance the building of its Ethereum-based interoperability hub. The funding round was co-led by Blockchain Capital, Maven 11, and Distributed Global and included contributions from a number of big-name investors, such as Coinbase Ventures, Placeholder and Digital Currency Group.

DePIN-Focused Peaq Blockchain Integrates With Wormhole

Jan. 23: Peaq, a blockchain for real-world apps, is integrating with Wormhole, a leading interoperability protocol, to bridge with 30+ Web3 networks, including BNB Chain and Ethereum, according to the team: "This move, enabling free value flow between peaq's decentralized infrastructure networks (DePINs) and other ecosystems, combats Web3's isolation. Currently live on testnet agung, the bridge will expand post-peaq's 2024 mainnet launch. The Moonbeam-facilitated integration opens DePINs to vast Web3 liquidity and aids migration from other layer-1 networks."

Mina Foundation Partners With PunkPoll for Open Beta Launch of Voting System

Jan. 23: The Mina Foundation is partnering with PunkPoll, an online voting and survey platform, to announce the Open Beta launch of its voting system, designed to enable transparent and anonymous voting, all verified on the Mina Protocol, according to the team: "Leveraging Mina’s ZK offerings for developers, PunkPoll minimizes the risks of sensitive data disclosure while upholding polling transparency and verifying the uniqueness of users’ identities. As part of its Open Beta launch, PunkPoll is integrating with KakaoTalk, a popular Korean-based messenger app with more than 150 million users worldwide."

Bagel Network, for 'Decentralized Machine Learning,' Closes $3.1M Pre-Seed Round Led by CoinFund

Jan. 23: Bagel Network, a decentralized machine learning database, announced the close of a $3.1M pre-seed round led by CoinFund, according to the team: "With this raise, Bagel aims to redefine the landscape of AI infrastructure by establishing the largest Machine Learning data network connecting all of artificial and human intelligence. Funding will be used to bolster internal operations and further drive Bagel’s development of their data ecosystem." According to a press release, there was also investor participation from Protocol Labs, Borderless Capital, Maven11 Capital, Graph Paper Capital and Breed VC."

Blockaid, Israeli Cybersecurity Startup, Expands Into U.S.

Jan. 23: Tel-Aviv-based cybersecurity startup Blockaid has expanded into the U.S. in response to growing demand for Web3 security, with the appointment of two seasoned executives, Glenn Rachlin and Jason Karsh, to lead its sales and marketing efforts, according to the team: "Rachlin, with over a decade of sales experience at IBM, Dell, Amazon, and Alhcecy, joins as vice president of sales, while Karsh, who played a key role in the growth of and previously led marketing at Coinbase, takes on the role of vice president of marketing."

Taiwanese Crypto Exchange Woo Launches Fractionalized NFT Trading

Jan. 23: Taiwan-based crypto exchange Woo X has launched fractionalized NFT trading via a strategic partnership with Flooring Labs and Protecc Labs, according to the team: "The partnership will allow Woo X users to trade fractionalized tokens representing a share in leading NFT projects like Pudgy Penguins and Bored Ares Yacht Club via Floorind Labs µ-Tokens, while Protecc Labs provides algorithmic liquidity." The first listings will be uPPG (Pudgy Penguins) and uBAYC (Bored Apes Yacht Club), with Woo X saying more collections will be coming soon.

Inveniam Uses Provenance Blockchain to Provide Data, Valuations for Private RWA

Jan. 23: The Provenance Blockchain is now integrated into the platform, "further expanding the ability of private asset owners to record asset data and valuations via immutable blockchain technology purpose-built for financial services, while also setting the stage for a more seamless tokenization of these financial assets, according to the team: "As a result of the integration, assisted by a grant from the Provenance Blockchain Foundation, users of Inveniam’s proprietary data lifecycle management platform can now easily ledger a broad range of asset data points on the Provenance Blockchain, including performance data, chain of title, and supporting documentation."

AaveDAO Approves Deployment of Aave v3 on Neon EVM Mainnet

Jan. 22: Aave DAO has approved the deployment of Aave v3 on Neon EVM mainnet, an important move for the future of DeFi within the Solana ecosystem, a recent verdict captured on the Snapshot page showed. Marina Guryeva, founder and CEO of Neon Foundation, said, “We are excited that the Aave DAO has voted for the deployment of v3 on Neon EVM. The future of DeFi is multichain, and Aave v3 on Neon EVM is a pioneering step towards a unified, frictionless finance ecosystem. Aave v3 unlocks Solana's blazing speed for DeFi, streamlining supplying and borrowing with sub-second block times and near-zero fees.” [AAVE] [SOL]

Intent-Centric Ruby Protocol Building 'MiniApp' on TON Blockchain, LayerZero

Jan. 22: Ruby Protocol, which describes itself as an "intent-centric account and access layer for Web3," is building the "Ruby-TON MiniApp" on the TON Blockchain and LayerZero, to simplify integrations and user-centric dApp creation, according to the team: "The Ruby-TON MiniApp simplifies the dApp development process, enabling developers to concentrate on building engaging and user-friendly experiences. By integrating with Telegram, they can tap into a vast social network, enhancing the reach of their apps. Developers can leverage the Ruby-MiniApp Kit to build dApps supporting direct Web3 wallet management via Telegram accounts. The platform offers a payment API, allowing dApps to facilitate smooth asset transactions."

Orderly Network Chooses OP Chain for Settlement Layer, Launches Optimism Vault

Jan. 22: Orderly Network, a provider of decentralized-exchange infrastructure focused on NEAR Protocol, has partnered with the Optimism Collective to build Orderly’s critical Settlement Layer, powering Orderly’s vision of a single, unified order book for crypto across multiple chains without the risks of bridging or wrapped assets, according to the team: "Concurrently, the launch of an Orderly vault on Optimism opens up new cross-chain DeFi opportunities and faster transactions for Optimism users. Orderly’s shared liquidity model ensures that dApps have ready-to-use liquidity, not confined to a single blockchain network."

Subsquid, Decentralized Data Query Engine, Raises $6.3M on CoinList

Jan. 22: Subsquid, a decentralized query engine that offers developers permissionless access to on-chain data from more than 100 chains, announced details of a fundraise on CoinList. The team released the following metrics:

  • Number of successful purchasers - 7,299
  • Number of registrations - 41,000
  • Total $ of tokens purchased - $6,342,774 (5% of token supply)
  • Duration of the sale - 19 minutes ("fastest ever on CoinList")

Paper Ventures Launches Early Stage Web3 Fund With Industry Veterans, Initial $25M

Jan. 22: Paper Ventures has launched as a new blockchain venture capital fund with support from leading industry figures. According to the team: "An initial $25M fund has been created to be used for investment in early stage web3 and blockchain projects. Founders Danish Chaudhry, Oliver Blakey and Ivailo Jordanov have vast experience of Web3 investment from a venture capital perspective. With Paper Ventures, they have elected to cap their fund at $25M with a view to focusing on early stage projects where they believe they can have the most impact."

Core Chain Launches $5M 'Africa Innovation Fund'

Jan. 22: Core Chain, a layer-1 blockchain that brings decentralized applications to Bitcoin, announced the launch of the Core Africa Innovation Fund, a $5 million initiative dedicated to providing resources and networks to support local Web3 builders and projects across the African continent. According to the team: "The initiative adds to Core Chain’s series of strategic ecosystem expansion efforts, including the recent $200M Ecosystem Fund launched in collaboration with Bitget and MEXC." The application form is here.

AvengerDAO Security Report Reveals 85% Drop in Financial Losses on BSC

Jan. 22: AvengerDAO, the community that protects users from exploits, scams and malicious actors on BNB Chain, has released its 2023 Security Report, in collaboration with Hashdit, CertiK, Ancilia and Salus Security. According to the team, key takeaways include:

  • The report reveals an 85% reduction in financial losses on BSC between 2020 and 2023.
  • Fiat loss amount dropped by 64% from Q3 to Q4 2023, largely due to the ~51% reduction in hacks.
  • BSC represented 3.7% of the total fiat loss across all chains in Q4, ranking 5th compared to other chains.
  • Hacks were the most prevalent type of security incident, contributing 50.72% with scams closely behind at 49.03%.

Zeeve Integrates 'One-Click' Validator Nodes for Provenance Blockchain

Jan. 19: Zeeve, an enterprise-grade automation platform for managing blockchain infrastructure, announced the integration of one-click access validator node infrastructure, full nodes and RPC APIs, for Provenance Blockchain. “Financial services require plug and play infrastructure,” said Joshua Maddox, head of developer ecosystem at Provenance Blockchain Foundation. “Zeeve’s integration with Provenance Blockchain makes it faster and more cost-effective for financial institutions and financial service providers to spin-up and operate a node on the Provenance Blockchain network."

'One-Stop Station' Digital Identity Service Root Protocol Raises $10M Seed Funding

Jan. 18: Root Protocol, a digital identity service aiming to unify access to Web3 platforms, has raised $10 million across two seed rounds. The funding rounds, which gave Root a $100 million valuation, were led by Animoca Brands and included contributions from a slew of other notable investors, including Signum Capital, Ankr Network, CMS Holdings and angel investors Tekin Salimi and Meltem Demirors.

COTI Allocates $25M Ecosystem Fund as Part of Transition to Ethereum Layer-2

Jan. 18: COTI Protocol is strategically shifting from a directed acyclic graph (DAG) to an Ethereum Layer 2, powered by Garbling Circuits technology. According to the team: "This advancement enables faster, lighter and more secure privacy solutions, facilitating applications like wallets, decentralized exchanges, AI training and governance. To fortify its commitment, the COTI Foundation allocates $25 million from its ecosystem fund to propel privacy-focused initiatives. Soda Labs, specializing in cryptographic multi-party computation (MPC), is the first recipient of this funding."

Ethereum Staking Platform Kiln Raises $17M for Global Expansion

Jan. 18: Ethereum staking platform Kiln has closed a $17 million funding round, the company said in a press release. The round was led by 1kx, with participation from IOSG,, Wintermute Ventures, KXVC and LBank. It also included additional contributions from existing investors, the Paris-based firm said. The new round was an extension of Kiln’s $17.6 million Series A announced in November 2022.

Sui Teams Up With Oracle Stork to Provide Builders With Fast Pricing Data

Jan. 18: The Sui Foundation, the organization behind layer-1 blockchain Sui that boasts a $2 billion valuation, has teamed up with Stork, an off-chain data feed oracle. The collaboration aims to enhance speed and access to unique index and mark prices for traders and builders. Stork will offer real-time pricing data to app developers, decentralized exchanges (DEXs) and lending protocols building on Sui's blockchain. [SUI]

Bitcoin Could See Growth in Layer-2 Ecosystem, Drawing on Ethereum's Experience: Report

Jan. 18: Bitcoin, which suffered last year from congestion as the oldest blockchain got bogged down with experiments in NFTs and tokens, could see growth of auxiliary layer-2 networks to address the network's inherent limitations, according to a new report. Existing solutions like Lightning Network could see growth, but new projects are also in the works, according to the "Bitcoin Layers" report Thursday by the Singapore-based blockchain asset-management Spartan Group and Kyle Ellicott, who recently served as a partner at the Bitcoin Frontier Fund.

Matter Labs, iCandy Plan New 'Hyperchain'

Jan. 18: Matter Labs and iCandy, a game developer in Southeast Asia, announced a strategic collaboration that will see the joint commitment and allocation of resources to the development of a dedicated zkSync gaming and AI-focused hyperchain, to be called zkCandy. According to the team: "The hyperchain will have gaming and AI-specific tools, decentralized gaming infrastructure, developer resources, and a game development ecosystem. ZkCandy Limited will be set up with both companies jointly investing resources to build the ecosystem around the hyperchain."

Safary Closes $2.4M Pre-Seed Round Led by Lemniscap

Jan. 18: Safary, describing itself as the "Web3 alternative to Google Analytics," has closed a $2.4 million USD pre-seed round, led by Lemniscap, with participation from Arca, SevenX, Big Brain Holdings, Saison Capital, Diaspora Ventures and 20 angel investors, according to the team. "The funding will accelerate the development of Safary’s marketing attribution platform, enabling Web3 teams to analyze their marketing CAC, channel ROI and customer LTV. Safary’s free solution allows projects to unlock powerful Web3 analytics by adding one line of code to their website. Safary tracks wallets, shows Web3 conversions, and links to on-chain actions."

Mimima, Layer-1 Blockchain, Turns Off Centralized Servers, Now Runs on 25K-50K User Nodes

Jan. 18: Minima, a layer-1 blockchain designed to be "totally decentralized," has "turned off all 24 centralized servers – 16 network relay nodes and 8 archive nodes. The network now runs entirely off the 25,000 to 50,000 nodes kept active solely by its user base," according to the team. The milestone is being referred to as "Decentraday." Hugo Feiler, co-founder and CEO of Minima, said: "It is the only Layer 1 blockchain protocol in which every node constructs and validates the chain with no centralized infrastructure required.”

Mantle EcoFund Announces $10M Deployment Into Six DeFi Projects

Jan. 18: Mantle EcoFund, a $200M ecosystem fund, has deployed $10M, funding six Mantle DeFi projects: Merchant Moe, INIT Capital,, Renzo and MUFEX, according to the team: "Under MIP-26, up to $60M USDx (stable coins), 30K ETH, and $120M $MNT will support EcoFund dApps. These six projects will integrate $mETH (the 5th LSD by TVL) and $mUSD, boosting Mantle ecosystem's status as a yield powerhouse with a best-in-class native yield offering. According to MIP-24, Mirana Ventures will make a $30M capital call for new Mantle projects soon."

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.