This week was pretty much a continuation of last week’s good vibes.
EthCC in Paris is running successfully. Everyone is excited about cool new tech and announcements. And even crazier, RFK Jr. wants to back $USD with Bitcoin. I didn’t see that coming.
Here’s what we got today:
- Top Announcements. Updates from Uniswap, Mantle Network, & Lens Protocol.
- DeFi Defense. My top three tools to keep your crypto tokens safe.
- Around the Web. Aave shipped GHO stablecoin, Chainlink released CCIP, & more.
Today’s email is brought to you by Gondi.xyz.
Here’s your Edge 🗡️!
In investing, what is comfortable is rarely profitable. — Robert Arnott
Top Announcements From EthCC Week
Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC) ends today.
Despite the bear market, Paris had been buzzing with crypto natives. Some of the enthusiasm has spilled over to Crypto Twitter as well. And many projects made essential announcements.
Here are the top 3 announcements from the Ethereum Ecosystem.
1. UniswapX Announcement
What is it? It is DEX aggregator. Instead of using a single DEX, aggregators use many liquidity sources to find the best prices.
It has many benefits that vanilla Uniswap doesn’t have. Below are the three that stood out for me.
#1 Third-Party Fillers
When a user swaps on UniswapX, it isn’t directly conducted by the smart contract. Instead, third-party fillers will compete to fulfill that order. This will force fillers to give the best prices to the users.
#2 Gas-free swapping
The users won’t be paying the gas fee. Fillers will be paying the gas fee. They’ll either price it into the swap fee for the user, or they’ll reduce it by batching multiple orders.
#3 Cross-chain UniswapX
This isn’t life yet. But when it comes, degens will swap between chains within seconds. They’ll also be able to choose which assets they receive on the destination chain.
Exciting stuff is happening at the technical level, like “intent” and signed orders. But that’s beyond the scope of this newsletter.
But there are also a few criticisms.
- Firstly, they are kinda copying from 1inch and CoW Swap.
- It is also said to increase the centralization of liquidity provision.
2. Mantle L2 is in Mainnet Alpha
It is now open to all users and devs.
What is it? It is an Optimistic Layer 2 chain. You can understand it as the second-best technical infrastructure to scale Ethereum.
They already had massive adoption during their test-net phase.
- Welcomed 48,000+ developers.
- Saw 140,000+ smart contracts deployed.
- Processed 14 million+ on-chain transactions.
- Connected to 690,000+ unique wallet addresses.
- Maintained a monthly active wallet address count of 157,000.
#1 Built on OP Stack.
We’ve covered OP stack several times. Read those. It has several advantages.
Open-source. They can use other’s code.
Modular. Modules will be independent and interchangeable.
- They’ll be able to convert to a zk-rollup in the future.
- They are using EigenDA for Data Availability, which reduces transaction fees.
#2 They are swimming in cash.
- They have allocated $200 million for the ecosystem fund.
- They recently merged with BitDAO. Their treasury has around $3.25 billion in liquid assets.
- They are currently providing the highest grants in the market, ranging from $10k to $150k to develop on Mantle.
#3 mntETH: Their upcoming LSD?
- Their treasury already has ~270,000 ETH.
- They can use it as a gas token on their chain.
This isn’t the end of the bull case for Mantle. They have others as well, such as their close affiliation with Bybit. The Mantle L2 can be the DeFi solution of Bybit, similar to what Base is for Coinbase.
3. Lens V2 Introduction
Twitter is having problems every other day. The Threads isn’t welcoming Crypto. (They even banned me after a few days for talking about Crypto. You guys know I’m like…the least Edgy dude online)
There’s an opportunity for web3 social media. At least Crypto Twitter might move there. Lens Protocol is a strong contender from the Aave team. Here are the three things I noticed about the Lens v2.
#1 It has its own L3: Momoka.
Earlier, the Lens Protocol was built on the Polygon sidechain. But it wasn’t enough to scale a massive social media platform. That’s why they launched an L3: ‘Mamoka’. It offers fast finality and low cost.
An L3 can be understood as an L2 on top of the real L2. This is in line with the Appchain thesis. The thesis is that each app would eventually build its own chain.
#2 Open Actions Give Freedom to Devs
Lens V2 has been optimized for open-source contributions. Now, devs can embed (almost) any external action within Lens.
For example, through an OpenSea “mint” Open Action, users could click ‘mint’ on a Lens post, and it will mint an NFT via the OpenSea contract directly on Lens.
This can create a much richer social media experience.
#3 Profiles powered by ERC-6551
Profiles have been improved in v2 from top to bottom. ERC-6551 allows NFTs to own assets and interact with dApps like any wallet.
With V2, the value from ‘mints’ and ‘collects’ will be accrued to profiles instead of their owner’s address. It gives NFTs their own social relationships, voice, and monetization opportunities.
A few more aspects caught my attention, like their system for collective value sharing. But those don’t make my top three.
There are many more announcements that I’d have loved to go into more detail.
Gnosis, a sidechain to Ethereum, introduced a pair of new offerings: Gnosis Pay and Gnosis Card. On the outside, it’ll be just another Visa debit card. Under the hood, it will be directly connected to the user’s on-chain account.
ChainLink introduced its Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP). As the name suggests, it enables interoperability between different L1s, from Token Transfer to Arbitrary messaging.
zkSync upgraded to a new proving system called “Boojum.” It is said to make it cheaper, performant, and decentralized.
Aave launched their stablecoin $GHO. And it has already crossed $3 million in Market Cap.
This article is already getting too long. There’s no way I can cover all the important announcements in this newsletter, let alone this article.
All of the crucial talks can be seen on YouTube.
Not gonna lie, I’m getting intense FOMO from not going to ETH CC. TBH, I’ve never been to a Crypto conference before, so I should get going to one.
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Defense Against the Dark DeFi Arts
Crypto is full of scammers.
Using DeFi without taking safety precautions is like riding a bike without a helmet – not the most brilliant move. Fortunately, plenty of tools can help prevent you from making costly mistakes.
Here are the top three apps to keep my wallet safe.
De.fi is like a super app for DeFi users. You can manage exchange accounts, earn sweet yields, and do more. But let’s focus on the star of this article: their “Scanner“!
Let’s keep it real: who among us can decode a smart contract? And, assuming we could, who has time to scroll through every line to ensure it’s not rug? “Scanner” is the lifesaver that does all the heavy lifting in just a few clicks!
Here’s how to use it:
- Step #1: Head to de.fi/scanner
- Step #2: Type in the project, token name, NFT, or Contract address.
- Step #3: Give it a moment, and boom! Their breakdown is ready for your eyes.
They’ll break down the
- Contract safety
- High-risk functions
- Token distribution
So, basically, you get a pocket-sized smart contract audit. (And, between you and me, it’s probably better than Certik’s audits.)
With Scanner, you can dodge like 95% of sketchy smart contracts. Cool, right?
#2 Wallet Guard
This app is like a personal bodyguard for your wallet. And like a pro bodyguard, it’ll never directly interact with your wallet. But it’ll still protect you in three different ways.
1. Phishing Protection
Generally, phishing is a trick scammers use to get your info, like passwords or credit card numbers. In Crypto, they’ll try to get your seed phrase and tokens. A scammer can create a fake Uniswap website and steal your tokens.
Wallet Guard will protect you by vetting all websites you visit.
2. Transaction simulation
Ever wished your transactions came with plain English subtitles? Wallet Guard makes that dream come true! It tells you *exactly* what’s going down before you finalize it.
Any malicious transactions and signatures? It’ll shout a warning.
Picture this: an AI buddy with all the crypto deets. Wallet Guard gives you one when you make transactions. Before making a transaction, ask it ANYTHING. It’ll break down all the techie terms and highlights stuff like sender and recipient addresses, token transfers, and even those annoying gas fees.
#3 DeFiLlama Extension
Last, but not least, say what’s up to the DefiLlama extension. Like Wallet Guard, it’ll warn you about sus websites (keep an eye on that llama icon turning red!).
Is it real magic? Turbocharging your Etherscan research!
Superpower #1: Unmasking wallets and contracts on Etherscan! They’ve gone detective mode and tagged loads of addresses. So now you can peep at who’s behind those mysterious wallets.
Superpower #2: Etherscan doesn’t show accurate prices for many exotic tokens. You don’t have to play a guessing game. The extension will give you the token prices.
Alright, champs! So there you have it. Top three apps for protecting my wallet.
When I was a beginner, security was always a headache. But with these apps, you have cheat codes to secure your tokens.
🚀 DeFi Catalysts
ChainLink released its Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP). dApps can use it to securely transfer tokens and send arbitrary messages across chains.
Synthetix uses Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol for efficient, secure Synth liquidity transfers through the Synth Teleporter.
Celo Blockchain is considering becoming an L2. They plan to leverage OP Stack as the architecture to become a Layer 2.
Aave DAO has launched $GHO, their stablecoin, on the Ethereum main net. It can be minted using assets supplied into Aave Protocol V3 as collateral.
Arkham Intelligence released a new product called Arkham Oracle. It is a ChatGPT-like AI assistant but for on-chain analysis.
Ribbon Finance and Aevo are discussing merging together. Aevo would be the sole remaining brand. $RBN will be shut down, and a new $AEVO will be released.
CoW Swap released a new feature, CoW Hooks. Users can execute multiple actions – swapping, bridging, staking, depositing, borrowing, and more – in one single intent.
zkSync launched an upgraded proof system called Boojum. It is said to make zkSync cheaper, performant, and more decentralized.
BitDAO and Mantle Network released their $BIT to $MNT conversion tool. This is part of the merger of BitDAO and Mantle Network.
Pendle is introduced to the Pendle Earn. It will be a streamlined experience to help you earn without getting lost in mumbo-jumbo technicalities.
Lybra v2 testnet is live on Arbitrum. Try it and claim rewards when you complete the tasks and give them feedback.
Solidi Labs has introduced itself to the Maker Community. They have presented their proposal to contribute to liquidity solutions for RWA, liquidity solutions to expand the usage of DAI, L2 strategy and bridge work, and automating governance with LLMs
🌎 What’s Happening?
📰 Industry News
Robert F Kenney, a presidential candidate in the USA, said that he would use Bitcoin to stabilize the U.S. dollar and exempt Bitcoin profits from capital gains tax.
StarkNet unvieled “appchains framework“. As the name says, it is a framework for creating multiple application-specific chains.
Arbitrum introduced phase 1 of the Arbitrum Foundation Grants. Phase one of the grants will be focused on dApps & infrastructure for Arbitrum Nova & Arbitrum One.
Polygon proposed a governance framework for Polygon 2.0. It includes three pillars: 1) Protocol Governance, 2) System Smart Contract Governance, and 3) Community Treasury governance.
Coinbase is pausing its retail staking service in four American states: California, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. SEC is suing Coinbase over its staking service.
Etherna, a Portugal-based startup developing internet-based savings bonds and stablecoin, raised $6 million in a seed round. Arthur Hayes backs it.
Solana introduced Solang. It is a compiler enabling developers to write smart contracts on Solana in Solidity, the primary programming language of Ethereum.
Celsius Network deposited $59.4 million of altcoins to the institutional crypto exchange FalconX. There could be heavy sell pressure for MATIC, LINK, & AAVE.
Ripple overtook BNB Chain to become the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by Market Cap. This move by XRP is mainly attributable to last week’s favorable court decision.
🧠 Twitter Alpha