Protocol Village: Braavos Wallet to Create Features Harnessing Account Abstraction on Starknet

The latest in blockchain tech upgrades, funding announcements and deals. For the period of Jan. 25-31.

AccessTimeIconJan 31, 2024 at 10:59 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 9, 2024 at 5:52 a.m. UTC

Jan. 31: Braavos, a crypto wallet designed for the Ethereum layer-2 network Starknet, announced its strategic development partnership with the Starknet Foundation to create new user features that harness Starknet’s native account abstraction capabilities. According to the team: "As users flood in to capture their potential share of the highly-anticipated 1.8 billion STRK airdrop, Braavos provides the easiest and most secure way to onboard users into the Starknet ecosystem, and, through their unique smart contract technology, enables users to participate in staking and other DeFi activities directly from within the wallet."

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Alchemy's Year-in-Review Report Finds New Use Cases 'Gaining Traction'

Jan. 31: Developer platform Alchemy released its latest year-in-review Web3 Development Report, which examines one of the leading indicators of Web3 ecosystem health: developer activity. According to the team: "The report found that despite a bumpy 2023, hallmarks of developer activity including Ethereum and wallet SDK installs and smart contract deployments, reached all time highs. Through improvements in user experience using account abstraction, new use cases are gaining traction across industries like logistics, restaurants and content authentication."

Andromeda Says 'Cross-Chain Operating System' Now on Testnet

Jan. 31: Andromeda is introducing its Web3-native, multi-chain and cross-chain operating system, known as the Andromeda Operating System, according to the team: "For now, Andromeda is operating in testnet and plans to roll out aOS on mainnet by the end of Q1. Powered by the Cosmos Ecosystem, it is the first true 100% on-chain, IBC-enabled, decentralized web3, enabling developers to create sophisticated, multichain applications quickly and efficiently."

BNB Chain to Slash Gas Fees, Create 'One BNB' in 2024 Roadmap

Jan. 31: BNB Chain announced its 2024 Roadmap:

  • opBNB evolves to "opBNB Connect" to support dApps to build their own Layer 2 blockchains
  • “One BNB,” a multi-chain interconnecting BSC, opBNB and Greenfield to address the need for an integrated tech stack to facilitate the transition of applications to fully on-chain Web3 frameworks is introduced
  • Active validators will increase from 40 to 100 and BNB Chain Fusion will be implemented to retire the Beacon Chain
  • opBNB gas fees will decrease by up to 10x to <$0.0001
  • High frequency DeFi, AI, DePIN, and fully on-chain gaming dApps will be targeted

Social Network, Non-Custodial Bitcoin Staking Protocol, Launches Testnet

Jan. 31: Social Network is launching its testnet, aiming to become "the first-ever decentralized Bitcoin layer-2 staking protocol with native yield," according to the team: "Earlier this week, Social Network released their official whitepaper and launched an Iincentive program including ‘Taproot Farmers,’ a unique Bitcoin Ordinals free mint for top testnet contributors. As the first fully decentralized, non-custodial BTC staking protocol, the protocol aims to address the significant challenges of congestion and high fees on the Bitcoin network by incorporating the Nostr decentralized social networking protocol, enhancing overall efficiency."

Anza, New Development Firm Focused on Solana, Plans New Validator Client 'Agave'

Jan. 31: Anza, a new software development firm focused on the Solana blockchain ecosystem and founded by a group of executives and core engineers from Solana Labs, announced its launch in a blog post: "It will build a forked version of the Solana Labs validator client called Agave, as well as contribute to other major protocols within the Solana ecosystem…. Anza will focus on launching, and improving the strength and reliability of its new Agave Solana validator client, improving uptime for the entire Solana network, and making preparations for the introduction of multiple validator clients (such as Jump Crypto’s Firedancer) later in 2024. Beyond core engineering work, the team will also focus on ecosystem-wide improvements such as token extensions and Solana permissioned environments, as well as work as contributors to leading protocols in the broader Solana ecosystem." Members of the Anza founding team include Jeff Washington, Stephen Akridge, Jed Halfon, Amber Christiansen, Pankaj Garg and Jon Cinque, as well as a number of core engineers from Solana Labs.

Farcaster, Decentralized Social Media Platform on Ethereum, Introduces 'Frames'

Jan. 31: Farcaster, the decentralized social media platform on Ethereum where Vitalik Buterin sometimes posts, has introduced a new feature called "Farcaster Frames." In a Jan. 26 post on X, Farcaster co-founder Dan Romero noted that Frames "make it easy to ship an MVP, no app install required," adding that they're "mobile first, feed first, distribution first." The Spindl blog described the experience as, "a new Web 3 primitive that Web 2 could never really power: an easy way to run app X while a user is still inside app Y, with little coordination between X and Y."

Salus Brings ZK Tech to 'App Level, Not Just the Blockchain Layer'

Jan. 31: Salus, a Web3 security firm, announced an extensive selection of ZK solutions for the Ethereum ecosystem, bringing privacy-enhancing ZK technology at the app level, not just the blockchain layer, according to the team: "Development teams can use Salus’ solution to create ZK dApps on any chain that supports Solidity with no migration needed, as all apps are still on Ethereum but contain ZK features. The customizable solution includes comprehensive consulting by the Salus team, enhancements to existing EVM projects with ZKP solutions, opportunities to work with early-stage dApps to integrate ZK features, and more streamlined ZK development."

Filecoin Onboards Pyth for Live Oracle Price Feeds

Jan. 31: Pyth price feeds launched on Filecoin VM, according to a blog post. Tuesday marked "the launch of Pyth Price Feeds on Filecoin VM, a runtime environment for smart contracts on the Filecoin network. Filecoin is a decentralized storage network designed to store humanity’s most important information. This deployment is dedicated to unlocking data for global Web2 and Web3 participants. Over 400 real-time market data feeds are now permissionlessly available to smart contract developers on the Filecoin peer-to-peer network."

Stellar Targets Feb. 20 as New Date for 'Soroban' Smart Contracts

Jan. 30: Stellar Development Foundation published a blog post on Tuesday revealing a new target date of Feb. 20 for the Protocol 20 upgrade that will introduce smart contracts to the Stellar blockchain as part of the "Soroban" project. The upgrade was delayed from the originally targeted Jan. 30 after a bug was found. "The bug fix is already in the works, and the SDF anticipates that a new stable release with it will be available Friday, Feb. 2," according to the blog post. "On Tuesday next week, Feb. 6 we will deploy this version to our Testnet validators and perform a reset. Anyone who runs Stellar infrastructure will then have until Feb. 20. to install the new version since validators, should they choose to do so, will arm their software to vote for Protocol 20 on that date." {XLM}

Cartesi Allocates $1M to Grants Program

Jan. 30: Cartesi (CTSI), an app-specific rollup protocol with a virtual machine that runs Linux distributions, announced today an allocation for $1 million to the Cartesi Grants Program. According to the team: "Independent developers, founding teams, DAOs, communities and collectives have the opportunity to receive up to $50,000 USDC per project, subject to community vote. Through this grants program, Cartesi aims to increase the number of long-term contributors and developers building novel applications on Cartesi."

Immunefi Says Hacks and Scams Cost Crypto $126M in January, 6x Vs. Year Earlier

Jan. 30: Immunefi, a bug bounty and security services platform for Web3, published its "Crypto Losses in January 2024" report, revealing that the ecosystem lost $126 million of funds due to hacks and scams. According to the team: "This represents a 6x increase when compared with January 2023 at $21 million; and a 2.8x increase from December 2023 ($45.37 million). Hacks continued to be the predominant cause of losses, totaling $122 million compared to fraud events at $4 million. DeFi was the primary target for attacks, accounting for the entire $126 million loss, while CeFi did not witness any reported attacks."

Magic, WaaS Provider, Integrates With ZkSync

Jan. 30: Magic, a wallet-as-a-service (WaaS) provider powering over 25 million wallets, announced its WaaS integration with zkSync. According to the team: "This collaboration assists developers and businesses in building mainstream-ready Web3 applications. The seamless integration of Magic's WaaS to zkSync's unparalleled scaling capabilities opens the door for efficient gateways to DeFi, NFTs, and the vast potential of blockchain."

Diode, for Decentralized Communications, Launches on Moonbeam Network

Jan. 30: Decentralized communications platform Diode launched on Moonbeam Network, offering a censorship-resistant alternative to traditional products like VPN, Slack or Microsoft OneDrive, according to the team: "Diode’s DePIN solution provides a secure, trustless and decentralized medium for people and companies to communicate, in line with the original vision for Web3 created by Gavin Woods, the co-founder of Ethereum and founder of Polkadot." For more information go here.

LightLink, Ethereum Layer-2 Chain, to Enable Gas-Free Operation for Animoca Integrated Applications

Jan. 30: LightLink, an Ethereum layer-2 blockchain, is partnering with Animoca Brands to integrate its technology into selected Animoca projects and portfolio companies, according to the team: "This will include enabling gas-free operation for integrated applications, reducing friction and complexity for end users. In return, Animoca Brands will provide advisory resources for LightLink's tokenomics and go-to-market strategies, with the shared goal of improving mainstream blockchain adoption across dApps and Web3 gaming projects."

Linera, Layer-1 Blockchain for 'Microchains,' Deploys Devnet

Jan. 30: Linera, a layer-1 blockchain protocol pioneering microchains to give users their own blockspace, announced deployment of its Devnet, "a significant stride in its mission to redefine Web3 scalability," according to the team: "With its unique blockchain model, the company is enhancing user experiences for projects that require support for a vast number of active users and real-time interactions."

Peaq Blockchain Introduces 'DePIN Data Verification Framework'

Jan. 30: Peaq, a blockchain for real-world applications, has introduced the DePIN Data Verification Framework, now used by NATIX and Silencio in the peaq ecosystem, according to the team. "It comprises three tiers: Tier-1 for device data signing, Tier-2 using machine learning for data pattern recognition and Tier-3 employing trusted oracles for cross-referencing. This ensures accuracy, even in cases like cargo temperature monitoring in delivery trucks." DePIN, a Web3 sector for community-owned devices offering services like solar energy sales, faces data verification challenges, unlike Web2's centralized controls, according to peaq.

Talisman Announces Private Beta Launch of Signet Multisigs

Jan. 30: Talisman, a non-custodial wallet for Polkadot and Etheruem, announced the Private Beta program launch of its Signet multisig capability. According to the team: "Their native integration with Talisman Wallet allows Signet Multisigs to connect with thousands of dApps throughout the Polkadot ecosystem. Signet is the only multisig with the ability to connect to any existing dApp (including Polkadot dApps) with no changes. You add Signet Multisig Vaults to the Talisman extension then go to a dApp. You connect your Talisman Wallet extension, then select the Signet Vault. Now you can use any of the functionality on the Staking Dapp to craft multisig transactions."


Waterfall Network Integrates With Portal DeFi, a Bitcoin-Based DEX

Jan. 30: Waterfall Network, an layer-1 protocol solving blockchain scalability, integrated with Portal Defi, a Bitcoin-based DEX eliminating reliance on traditional bridges, according to the team: "The integration, featuring Portal's layer-2 atomic swaps, enables secure bridgeless cross-chain transactions between Bitcoin and digital assets. AMM contracts on compatible chains enhance the integration, ensuring swift, cost-effective, and private swaps. This synergy boosts transaction speed, cost efficiency, and overall security, representing an industry first by Waterfall Network and Portal Defi in addressing blockchain challenges."

Nym Announces First Recipients of Grants from Innovation Fund

Jan. 30: Nym Technologies, a privacy-focused project, announced the first recipients of grants from the Nym Innovation Fund, according to the team. They include "three privacy-preserving technologies utilizing the Nym mixnet: StarShell wallet for the Secret Network, Nodies DLB for privacy-enhanced RPC networks and PasteNym for private text drops. The Innovation Fund aims to boost the health of the privacy ecosystem by connecting promising projects to the influential venture capitalists that back Nym."

DYdX Foundation Requests $30M Budget, Pledges to Issue Annual Spending Report

Jan. 30: The foundation supporting decentralized crypto exchange dYdX has requested $30 million in funding from the project's governing decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) to be spent over the next three years. Switzerland-based dYdX Foundation provides legal, R&D, marketing and technical support to the crypto trading project, which includes a perpetual futures contract exchange and specialty blockchain in the Cosmos and Ethereum ecosystems. The Foundation's goal is to grow dYdX into "the exchange layer of the internet," according to its pitch.

Fintech Provider Portal Raises $34M Seed Round for Bitcoin-Based Decentralized Exchange

Jan. 30: Portal, a San Francisco-based fintech provider, raised $34 million to support the development of its bitcoin-based decentralized exchange (DEX), which exited stealth mode on Tuesday. Investors in the round included Coinbase Ventures, Arrington Capital, OKX Ventures and, according to an announcement. Portal will also use the funding to advance the development of a non-custodial wallet.

Web3 Payments Firm Transak Joins Visa Direct to Streamline Crypto-to-Fiat Conversion

Jan. 30: Web3 payments infrastructure provider Transak joined Visa Direct, making it easier for its users to convert their cryptocurrency holdings into regular currency. Transak’s payment and onboarding services allow users to buy and sell crypto assets, handling the know-your-customer (KYC) requirements, risk monitoring and compliance on behalf of its clients, which include MetaMask and Coinbase Wallet. The Web3 startup raised $20 million last year in a Series A round to fund a global expansion. The Visa Direct program lets third-party providers connect to Visa’s network and routes payments directly onto Visa cards.

Immutable Pushes Early Access Launch of Polygon-Powered ZkEVM Mainnet

Jan. 29: Immutable, a gaming-focused layer-2 developer, announced the early access launch of its Immutable zkEVM Mainnet, powered by Polygon. According to the team: "Immutable zkEVM is a dedicated chain for games that offers EVM compatibility, low costs, massive scaling and enterprise-grade security. Immutable zkEVM is set to expand capabilities within the gaming industry, unlocking new revenue streams for game studios and providing players with unprecedented control over their digital assets. The lineup of games committed to be among the first to launch on Immutable zkEVM include: Guild of Guardians, Metalcore, Shardbound, Treeverse and more."

Swell, Non-Custodial Staking Protocol, Launches Native 'LRT'

Jan. 29: Swell, a non-custodial staking protocol, has launched its own native liquid restaking token (LRT), restaked Swell ether (rswETH), according to a press release: "The LRT has been audited by leading blockchain security firm Sigma Prime, and its development is supported by expertise from top-tier DeFi risk management firms Gauntlet and Chaos Labs, as well as collaboration with leading Actively Validated Services (AVSs) across the rapidly growing EigenLayer restaking ecosystem." The project added: "Pearls represent a claim to future SWELL tokens, and EigenLayer Restaked Points measure contribution to the shared security of the EigenLayer ecosystem."

DYdX Launches Liquid Staking After Governance Vote

Jan. 29: DYdX Chain has officially launched Liquid Staking after a successful governance vote. According to the team: "Liquid Staking further unlocks liquidity for the DYDX token by enabling stakers to avoid the 30 day un-bonding period. Further, users leveraging Liquid Staking may continue to earn dYdX Chain staking rewards while using the applicable liquid-staked DYDX tokens in applications like liquidity pools or lending protocols, greatly enhancing overall accessibility."

ZkLink Completes Token Sale of $4.68M on CoinList

Jan. 29 (PROTOCOL VILLAGE EXCLUSIVE): ZkLink a multi-Chain ZK Rollup and layer-3 protocol, has successfully completed a $4.68 million sale on CoinList in its latest Community Token Sale. According to the team, "The 31,250,000 million tokens offered represented just over 3% of the total supply at a valuation of $150 million FDV."

Kresus, Tools for Humanity (Developer Behind Worldcoin) to Collaborate on Digital Identity

Jan. 29: Web3 "SuperApp" Kresus and Tools for Humanity, the developer of Worldcoin, "are collaborating to tackle the digital identity problem," according to the team: "In short, the Kresus App will integrate WorldID, while Kresus Labs will advise the Tools for Humanity team on product strategy and collaborate on technical implementation. With Tools For Humanity’s access to state of the art technology developed by WorldCoin, and the Kresus 'goof-proof' Web3 SuperApp, these industry-leading features will further enhance both party’s respective offerings and bolster new technical and strategic offerings in the future."

Ithaca Protocol , for On-Chain Options, Raises $2.5M, Led by Cumberland, Wintermute

Jan. 29: Ithaca Protocol, a composable option protocol, raised $2.5 million in a pre-seed funding round, co-led by Cumberland and Wintermute Ventures, according to the team: "Focused on moving a significant volume of options trading to blockchain, Ithaca aims to bridge the gap in on-chain options trading, which is currently lower than in spot and perpetual markets. Its goal is to boost the market share of crypto options. The Ithaca Protocol features a matching engine that simplifies option payoffs and supports atomic matching, addressing challenges in the on-chain options market.

BBO, DEX for Perps, Raises $2.7M, Led by Hashed, Arrington Capital

Jan. 29: BBO Exchange, a decentralized exchange for trading perpetual contracts, has raised a pre-seed funding round of $2.7M leaded by Hashed and Arrington Capital, alongside participants like Consensys and CMS Holdings. According to the team: "The platform seeks to innovate DeFi through decentralized derivative trading, leveraging Oracle Extractable Value. Highlights include an inventive auction mechanism and a multi-asset, signal-driven dynamic distribution AMM, allowing LPs to correlate price ranges with other assets. BBOX's imminent launch on Linea's zkEVM Layer 2 Network supported by Consensys signals a strategic move for technological advancement in the decentralized finance space."

Banxa, Payments Infrastructure Provider, Adds SUI to Platform

Jan. 29: Sui, a layer-1 blockchain, announced that Banxa, a leading payments infrastructure provider for the crypto-compatible economy, will add the SUI token to its platform. According to the team: "The integration will increase access to the Sui blockchain for users across the world, thanks to a suite of Banxa’s global and local payment methods, which have processed over $3 billion in transactions since its launch in 2014. Additionally, Mysten Labs’ Sui Wallet will provide users the opportunity to purchase SUI tokens through Banxa’s fiat on-ramp solution and once fully integrated, to utilize its off-ramp solution."

Centrifuge, Protocol for RWAs, Integrates With Celo Through Axelar

Jan. 25: Centrifuge, a protocol to bring real-world assets (RWAs) onchain, has integrated with the Celo blockchain through cross-chain interoperability project Axelar. "Following the integration, Centrifuge will introduce new assets to the Celo ecosystem, such as tokenized Treasury bills and carbon credit pools," according to the team: "Centrifuge joins Celo’s robust network of real-world financial solutions such as Jia, Huma Finance, Untangled Finance, Credit Collective and more."

Powerloom to Hold First Ever Node Mint on Polygon Network

Jan. 25: Powerloom, the composable data network, announced a partnership with Polygon Network, to launch a node mint, according to the team: "To democratize Web3 data accessibility, Powerloom aims to establish 10,000 independently run nodes. This will be facilitated by a node mint scheduled to take place on Feb. 7. Participants who mint a Soul-Bound Token (SBT) will be awarded the right to operate a Powerloom Snapshotter Lite node."

Chainlink Functions Gets Mainnet Beta Release on Arbitrum One

Jan. 25: Chainlink and Arbitrum announced the mainnet beta release of Chainlink Functions on Arbitrum One.

Colosseum Emerges From Solana as Independent Hackathon Operator, Accelerator

Jan. 25 (PROTOCOL VILLAGE EXCLUSIVE): Colosseum has emerged from the Solana Foundation as a new, independent organization that will run future Solana Foundation online hackathons, an accelerator program and venture fund to invest in Solana builders, according to the team: "Founded by Matt Taylor, Clay Robbins and Nate Levine, Colosseum will be a new arena for the next wave of Solana projects. Hackathon winners who are accepted into Colosseum’s Accelerator Program will receive $250,000 in pre-seed capital. The inaugural event starts on March 4,2024 and interested builders can sign up here."

DePINscan 1.0, Powered by IoTeX, Launches in Partnership With Helium, Akash, Theta

Jan. 25: Powered by IoTeX, the upgraded DePINscan 1.0 will launch in partnership with the top DePIN projects in the space such as Helium, Akash, Theta and more, "bringing data and visualizations to the public dashboard that enables anyone to view data on these networks," according to the team: "DePINscan illuminates the DePIN market for the public by offering a comprehensive view of the sector, showcasing device counts/earnings, upcoming projects, mining opportunities and market capitalization."

Router Protocol Announces Mainnet Launch of Nitro, Redefining Cross-Chain Asset Transfers

Jan. 25: Router Protocol, a layer-1 chain built with Cosmos SDK and designed to be an interoperability layer, announced the mainnet launch of its latest cross-chain solution, Nitro. It's a "cross-chain intent-based bridge built on the Router Chain," according to a press release, with "extensive support for EVM, non-EVM and zkEVM chains," and an "additional security module (ASM) with community watch and oracle security." According to the team, Nitro "promises a new era of lightning-fast, cost-efficient, and fortified cross-chain transactions."

Flipside's 'Onchain Crypto User Report' Says Ethereum, Polygon Led Industry in 2023 on User Acquisition

Jan. 25: Flipside Crypto, a leading on-chain data analytics and business intelligence platform, published its "Onchain Crypto User Report," which examines user acquisition, onchain activity and trends across eight major blockchain networks, including popular EVM chains as well as Solana and Bitcoin. According to the report, Ethereum and Polygon led the industry by each acquiring over 15M new users in 2023.

Warner Music Pick MITH, Muus Collective as Winners of Accelerator Program With Polygon

Jan. 25: Warner Music Group, the global music and entertainment company, is "gearing up to announce the winners of its inaugural accelerator program, celebrating the startups that are reshaping the music industry with blockchain," according to the Polygon Labs team: "The accelerator is the fruit of a new partnership between WMG and Polygon to empower the next generation of developers and innovators at the intersection of web3 and music. Polygon Labs and WMG have selected MITH and Muus Collective for the Accelerator, two projects helping build the future of the music x Web3 ecosystem on the Polygon network."

Space and Time Rolls Out Open-Source GPU Acceleration Framework 'Blitzar'

Jan. 25: Space and Time is introducing an open-source GPU acceleration framework, Blitzar, for Proof of SQL, according to the team: "Created to enhance zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs in the Web3 community, Blitzar resulted from Space and Time's collaboration with NVIDIA, addressing the need for open-source GPU acceleration frameworks. Proof of SQL, introduced in alpha in August, enables smart contracts to verify data inquiries across diverse sources."

Aptos Foundation Inks Partnerships With Data Providers Including Dune, Nansen

Jan. 25: Aptos Foundation is launching partnerships with data providers Dune, Nansen, Space x Time, Token Terminal, DappRadar, The Tie, Flipside Crypto and Elliptic, according to the team. The goal is to ensure they "get the most out of building on Aptos; are able to offer a full range of data integration services to everyone in the Aptos ecosystem and community; and mobilize the Move on Aptos programming language to integrate swiftly and securely. These partnerships will also make everything from data standardization to dApp searchability simpler on Aptos."

VeChain, Enterprise-Grade Layer-1 Public Blockchain, Announces New Developer Program 'Grant 2.0'

Jan. 25: VeChain, an enterprise-grade L1 public blockchain, announced the launch of Grant 2.0, an upgrade to its existing developer grant program, according to the team: "The new version of the program offers developers up to a new maximum of $100K in funding, a significant increase from its previous $30K limit, in addition to new marketing and microgrants, plus greater mentorship and support for sustainability grant recipients. The updated program is also designed to encourage the development of sustainability-focused decentralized ecosystems in the form of “X-to-earn” applications."

Digital Asset Platform Web3Intelligence Raises $4.5M Ahead of New Token Rollout

Jan. 25: Web3Intelligence, the developer of Web3 investment app Dopamine, has raised $4.5 million ahead of the launch of of its native token DOPE. The private funding round included participation from DAO MAKER, Shima Capital, and, among other investors, according to an emailed announcement shared with CoinDesk on Thursday. DOPE will serve as a utility token for accessing Dopamine, which provides a gamified experience for investment in the decentralized finance (DeFi) world.

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.