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This week’s edition:

  • ERC-404 Tokens are taking over Ethereum. Now there are DN-404s.
  • A group of Bitcoin developers is pushing for the return to OP_CAT. This function could supposedly help unleash a frenzy of new features on the oldest, and largest blockchain.
  • The top picks of our weekly column on blockchain projects: Polygon (StarkWare), Tezos (Cosmos), Sommelier (Arbitrum), Sommelier (Cosmos), Tezos
  • Starknet’s STRK airdrop token and Wormhole W.
  • Fundraising for blockchain projects has reached nearly $50M.
  • Data Corner: Ethereum validator staking backlog.

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News Network

FILES ARE NOT FOUND Ethereum uses a standard process to add new token standards. This includes the well-known ERC-20 for fungible coins and ERC-721 for non-fungible coins or NFTs. A new unofficial standard for tokens, ERC-404, is gaining traction. There’s also a supposedly better version of the ERC-404 called DN-404. Both standards combine the virtues of non-fungible and fungible tokens. They theoretically offer the possibility to fractionalize non-fungible tokens. Shaurya Malwa of CoinDesk reported that the first ERC-404 token, PANDORA traded at $32,000 in Friday morning, from a low price of $250. This was just a little over a week. Malwa reported that “many projects have already seized on and issued their versions of ERC 404 tokens,” such as on the Arbitrum blockchain and Solana ecosystem. FundStrat, an analysis firm, says that “this standard is also in line with the current trend of meme tokens trading.” Nansen, a blockchain data company, stated in an email the ERC-404 tokens had “recorded a staggering $290 million in trading volumes just a week following its launch.” This flurry of activity was enough to cause a spike in Ethereum fees. Wu Blockchain Newsletter wrote that “the hype and FOMO is already very strong.” Daniel Kuhn, a CoinDesk writer, wrote that there were nagging concerns that some blockchain users may mistakenly believe that ERC-404s had been approved and vetted by the official process. This raises “concerns about the safety of ERC-404s considering that they are not audited.” CoinDesk’s Daniel Kuhn wrote that there are “concerns over the safety of the technical design of ERC-404s, considering that they are unaudited.”

AIRDROP SEASON : Starknet Foundation announced plans for next week’s airdrop of STRK tokens. The pre-launch futures on Aevo, a decentralized exchange, had already suggested that the Project’s market cap could exceed $1 billion by the time it went live on February 20. 20.) Separately the Wormhole cross-chain protocol announced an airdrop of its new W Token. 12% were allocated to core contributors, and 31% went towards “ecosystems and incubation,” including growth initiatives for the developer community.

Protocol Village

The top picks from our Protocol Village Column, which highlights key blockchain technology upgrades and news.


Diagram of Polygon’s Type 1 Prover (Polygon).

  1. Polygon Labs is the developer of the Polygon blockchain. They released a new component on Thursday, a ” type 1 prover,” allowing any Ethereum-compatible network to connect with Polygon and become a layer-2 system powered by no-knowledge proofs. (CoinDesk 20 asset: MATIC)
  2. StarkWare announced Thursday that it will launch a new ” Cairo Verifier ” in the coming weeks. This will allow layer-3 applications to be built on Starknet.
  3. Tezos activated on Friday its fifteenth upgrade called Oxford2. According to the team, “The upgrade introduces a private smart rollup as a new feature of security for developers, and a smoother stake process for validators, along with an adjustment for slashing penalty.” The upgrade is a month ahead of the launch of Etherlink – an EVM compatible Layer 2 built on Tezos powered by Smart Rollups.
  4. Sommelier ,, a DeFi-platform offering yield-generating vaults is expanding to Ethereum Layer 2s via Axelar’s cross-chain message. The team says: “This allows us to access new users and opportunities across chains.” Sommelier launches Real Yield Ethereum, its first layer-2 vault on Arbitrum. The vault optimizes yields by using dynamic strategies such as liquidity provision and risk managed leverage.


Satoshi’s Bitcoin function ‘OP_CAT” is dusted off as development enthusiasm grows


Armin Sabouri, one of the coauthors of the OP_CAT proposition, with Dan Gould (a Bitcoin developer) and Ethan Heilman (co-author), in October, at Chaincode Labs’ Bitcoin Research Day in New York. (Neha Narula)

Bitcoin developers are experimenting with features and upgrades which increasingly resemble the lively activity on alternative blockchains such as Ethereum. Some programmers want to revive a piece code that was on the network during its early days.

The Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) is a proposal for a new version of the code “OP_CAT”, introduced in October. It aims to restore functionality which was available in the early versions of blockchain software, but was removed in 2010 by the creator of the software, Satoshi Nakamoto.

Ethan Heilman, Botanix Labs Armin Sabouri and the developers behind this proposal describe OP_CAT, as a simple opcode – just a dozen lines of code – that could provide general-purpose functionality, which has been missing in Bitcoin since its early days. This is seen as a major driver of growth for Ethereum, the second largest blockchain. Layer-2 networks, as well as other innovations such decentralized exchanges and file hosting could be built on top of Bitcoin.

Sabouri, speaking to CoinDesk, said that “my biggest use case is the introduction of protocols that can post something at layer 1, and then have another transaction refer back to it. This shows that one element proves the existence of another element.”

Money Center


Fundraisings


Deals and Grants


Data And Tokens


Ethereum Validator Queue Signals Renewing Interest in Staking

Omkar Godbole of CoinDesk reports that the Ethereum network has seen a surge in validators who are looking to stake ether . According to data from validatorqueue, the so-called “validator entry queue” has increased to 7,045. This is the highest number since October 6, 2018. David Lawant wrote in an e-mail that the resurgence of Ethereum staking activity is a sign of renewed vitality. The number of people looking to join the Ethereum network has increased, but the total is still well below the 75,000+ figures seen after the Shapella upgrade on Ethereum in April last.

  • March 12-13: Sub0 Asia, Polkadot developer conference, Bangkok
  • Amsterdam, June 11-13, Apex and the XRP Ledger developer summit.
  • The EthCC , Brussels.

Bradley Keoun is the editor.