Innovation & Launches
Hundreds of Y Combinator alumni join crypto collective to back Web3 startups (4 minute read)
Orange DAO is a crypto collective that was formed to scout out and back young crypto startups. Members of the decentralized autonomous organization have to be alumni of the Y Combinator accelerator. The DAO is not formally involved with Y Combinator. Orange DAO has around 1,000 members and has already invested in about 30 startups. Founders can verify their status by posting their crypto wallet address to their YC-linked Hacker News profile, after which they will receive a non-transferable NFT.
BSN Introduces NFT Infrastructure Platform in China (1 minute read)
The Blockchain-Based Service Network (BSN), China’s state-sanctioned blockchain infrastructure project, will be releasing its platform for NFTs today. The BSN-Distributed Digital Certificate (BSN-DDC) network is a structure for building NFTs that is compliant with Chinese regulations. It will feature 10 localized versions of blockchains with restrictions on who can participate in network governance. Platform partners and more will be announced in March at a launch ceremony.
Coinbase makes it easier to report cryptocurrency taxes (3 minute read)
Coinbase is adding a new tax center to its app and website to help US customers work out their crypto taxes. Digital assets are property in the eyes of the IRS, so any transactions need to be reported as capital gains or losses. Coinbase's new feature will show a personal summary of a customer's taxable activity so they can take it to an accountant or enter it into tax software. It is accessible from the Profile section in the app and website. Coinbase also plans to release written guides and help videos explaining crypto taxes in the coming weeks.
Guides & Resources
Explaining CheckTemplateVerify, Bitcoin’s Latest Controversial Soft Fork Proposal (14 minute read)
CheckTemplateVerify (CTV) is a soft fork proposal for Bitcoin that aims to enable new use cases for the network by adding a basic type of smart contract called a 'covenant'. Covenants will be able to define which outputs are acceptable. Currently, developers can only control the inputs of Bitcoin smart contracts, so they can specify how coins are locked and released, but not what happens once coins are unlocked. CTV will enable spending restrictions to be enforced programmatically without requiring manual interaction by participants. This could have many applications, for example, limiting outputs from a wallet to lessen the damage from a hack.
What Would a Useful NFT Look Like? (7 minute read)
NFTs have been a controversial issue as many people see the technology being used as an exploitive cash-grab. The technology can be used for more than just a link to a picture, for example, games could use them as a platform-independent way for users to hold items and progress. This article discusses how NFTs can be used in the game industry. Current cross-platform and cross-game data systems are messy and NFTs could provide a standard way to make data available and verify user ownership. Many of NFT's downsides are on the corporate side, which not all companies will be on board with.
Ramblings on defi derivatives (14 minute read)
Crypto derivatives markets have a massive growth opportunity ahead of them, particularly in DeFi. This article looks at different types of derivatives and their implementation and design in DeFi. It aims to provide an overview of the derivatives landscape and highlight upcoming innovations in the market. A link to a GitHub repo with a comprehensive guide to DeFi derivatives is available at the end of the article.
Ethereum Foundation Kills 'ETH 2.0' in Favor of 'Consensus Layer' Rebrand (3 minute read)
The Ethereum Foundation has announced that the term 'Ethereum 2.0' is being retired in favor of 'consensus layer'. What was previously referred to as Eth2 will now be called the consensus layer. The consensus layer makes sure that all the devices contributing to the network are acting in line with the rules. It will work with the execution layer, where all the smart contracts and network rules reside. The consensus layer will replace the current mining system with a more scalable proof-of-stake system. There are no changes with the Ethereum development road map besides the name change.
Cracking a $2 million crypto wallet (11 minute read)
It is estimated that more than 3.7 million Bitcoins are likely lost due to passwords or PINs being lost or devices being stolen, destroyed, or thrown away. This article tells the story of two investors who purchased tokens in early 2018 and then lost the PIN to the Trezor wallet they stored the tokens on. It describes how a hardware hacker was able to hack the Trezor device by using a glitch that would copy the private key and PIN to RAM, making them readable. The vulnerability has since been patched, but the core issue with the chips that made it possible has not been fixed by the chip manufacturer.
An OpenSea bug let attackers snatch Apes from owners at six-figure discounts (3 minute read)
A bug on the OpenSea NFT marketplace allowed users to purchase NFTs for well below market price. It has been exploited at least eight times to steal NFTs with a market value of over $1 million. Users on OpenSea are required to close listings if they want to relist their NFTs for a higher price, but this costs gas fees. Many users started transferring NFTs around to remove the restriction from OpenSea's front-end, but the smart contracts remained active on the blockchain. The exploit involved completing the original contracts at the lower price, resulting in the automatic transference of the NFTs.