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Ethereum (ETH) News Roundup 16 September – 30 September 2019 | Tether USDT, Connext


Crypto asset market and network data provider Coin Metrics has released the 17th issue of its ‘state of the network’ series which provides, amongst other statistics, data pertaining to Tether (USDT) and its utilisation on the Ethereum network.

In other Tether news, 50% of all USDT trades allegedly take place on a single exchange called Bitmax. Additionally, the company released a new stablecoin on the Ethereum blockchain that is tied to the Chinese Yuan (CNH₮).

Top News

Welcome to the our series of bi-weekly news digests for Ethereum (ETH).

September 17th

Ethereum At Bursting Point, Thanks To USDT

USDT was originally based on the Bitcoin network (via it’s ‘Omni-layer) but in 2018 expanded to Ethereum with an ERC20 based token. Coin metrics reports that, in July 2019, the number of ethereum based USDT transactions overtook OMNI USDT transactions for the first time.

The report also notes that on a number of occasions: USDT has accounted for a quarter of all ethereum transactions, by percentage. OMNI transactions have also shown growth throughout the majority of 2019.

Coin Metrics links the activity of USDT, as a large contributor to the recent increase in gas fees across the ethereum network. In fact: ETH is “overtaking” BTC in terms of daily transaction fees.

Many have concluded that the Ethereum network has been pushed to its limits at present, driving anticipation for the forthcoming Istanbul fork and layer 2 scaling solutions.

It has also been reported that some ethereum miners have begun testing on the raising of gas limits.

“As of September 15th, ETH had $182,899 daily transaction fees compared to $185,993 for BTC:”

“Ethereum total daily gas also recently reached an all-time high, likely due to USDT-ETH’s recent surge. According to ETH Gas Station, Tether is the biggest gas spender out of all Ethereum contracts over the last 30 days.”

Coin Metrics

September 23rd

Ethereum Scaling Solution Connext Sees 2.0 Upgrade

An open source infrastructure layer for ethereum scaling, has released the official 2.0 upgrade of its product following what id describes as “a long two months” of testing, audits and bug fixing.

Connext allows developers to integrate low cost and instant Ethereum transactions in their apps, wallets or software. It runs on counterfactual: a multi-component protocol for scalable blockchain apps comprised of a client library, a “generalized” state channels protocol, and Ethereum smart contracts.

In the past, the company has received financial backing from the likes of Ethereum Foundation, Genesis Block, Hashed, and Monta Vista Capital; and in March 2019 the company released a low cost, instant payments browser-based wallet called Dai Card.

“tl;dr: We shipped the thing! 🚢… v2.0 is awesome because it: doubles down on what people love from v1, natively supports wallets, alleviates v1’s pain points, and improves trust assumptions.”

Arjun Bhuptani, CEO (Connext)

In the announcement post, the team detailed its aims and accomplishments from the second stable-release of its code which includes:

  • Further simplification of dapp integrations.
  • Continue working to optimise transaction speeds.
  • “Re-architect”-ing Connext as a primarily wallet-to-wallet network.
  • Simplification of deposits and withdrawals.
  • Improved “flexibility” facilitating fast roll-out of new features.

“we [have] successfully moved to being fully noncustodial and laid the groundwork for implementing Lightning-style multihop without too many future protocol changes.”

Arjun Bhuptani, CEO (Connext)

September 16th

$100M Real Estate Funds Put On Ethereum, Via Harbor

Real estate investment firm iCap Equity has launched a ‘private secondary marketplace’ for four existing funds, resulting in the tokenization of $100 million worth of real estate funds. iCap Equity offers a “source of capital” to builders and developers across the Pacific Northwest.

This will be achieved using the blockchain based alternative assets platform Harbor, “enhanc[ing] liquidity” for the associated funds. Harbor enables iCap Equity to easily manage its 1100+ investors and 17 SEC / FINRA registered placement agents in one place.

The new marketplace from iCap Equity has been created to allow the compliant sale and purchase of iCap securities between investors and placement agents.

“iCap provides high-yield investment opportunities for investors, but those investments typically come with a 3 to 5 year lock-up period because they are based in real estate…

Now, with Harbor, we are able to provide the same strong returns, but also an option for investors to more easily liquidate if desired. It provides the best of both worlds, and is a game-changer for not only real estate-based investments, but the entire alternative investment industry.”

Chris Christensen, CEO (iCap Equity)

Harbor provides several client services such as fundraising management, investor communications and “controlled” secondary transfers in private marketplaces. Its backers have included Pantera Capital and Andreessen Horrowitz.

Quotes
Chris Christensen, CEO (iCap Equity)

“We ultimately chose to work with Harbor because of their experienced team, and more importantly their commitment to strict adherence of compliance with U.S. regulations,”

Josh Stein, CEO (Harbor)

“iCap Equity is pioneering a more efficient and liquid model for real estate investment funds, where they can lock up capital without locking up investors… The Harbor platform allows iCap Equity to provide a better experience for investors and placement agents and offer liquidity options with fine-grained control over access and capabilities in the marketplace. Ultimately, we believe more liquid alternative investments will allow investors to allocate more of their portfolio to higher-return private assets.”


September 16th

Testing Dates Revealed For ‘Istanbul’ Ethereum Hard Fork

Ethereum’s latest update ‘Frozen Pyjak’ has been released and its maintenance notes include, among many other things, the “locked-in” dates for the forthcoming testnets of the Istanbul hard fork.

‘Ropsten’ is to release first, on October 2nd; before the launch of ‘Görli’ on October 30th.