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Ethereum (ETH) News Roundup 18 August – 1 September 2019 | Grants, World Bank

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

August 26th

Over $2 million Granted To ETH 2 Contributors By Ethereum Foundation

Ethereum Foundation has announced the start of a new round of outgoing grants to support the ongoing development of ETH 2.0 (aka Serenity). This round is led by the foundation in combination with external co-funding, all together worth over $2 million.

The announcement specifies that the selection process for these Ethereum grants has been oriented primarily towards awarding “leading client development teams currently tasked with delivering long-standing multi-client testnets” as ETH 2.0 development approaches “phase 0”.

ETH 2.0 is a project which represents a handful of significant upgrades which are in the works for Ethereum with the intention of optimising speed and development capabilities, the most important of which being the scaling dilemma. 

As such, the choice of projects funded to help fulfil this goal is of great importance. Organisations and projects to receive Ethereum grant funding in this time around are as follows…

Ethereum Client Grants

Harmony – $189k, for Harmony beacon chain development

Harmony is an original Java client built on the Ethereum network, which acts as an alternative to the more enterprise focused Pantheon client, and the money was donated to support the software the team has been developing upon the beacon chain.

The software created by Harmony operates under an open source-like ‘General Public License’ (GPL), which has been designed to ensure that any and all implementations of the code remain “free software and stay free software”.

Prysmatic Labs – $725k for Prysm client development

Prysm is a full-featured sharding client created to help solve the issues surrounding Ethereum 2.0 scaling, with a team that claims it can “process transactions faster than ever before”. It aims to achieve this by integrating the Libp2p protocol, from Protocol Labs; whist also implementing the Golang language.

Prysmatic Labs has also received funding from the following: Aragon, district0x, Ethereum Community Fund, and SpankChain.

Sigma Prime – $485k for Lighthouse client development

This project was co-funded between the Ethereum Foundation and ConsenSys, a US based blockchain software solutions provider, and comes from a team which specialises in information security and blockchain technology consulting.

Lighthouse is an in-development Ethereum 2.0 client written in the Rust programming language.

Status –  $500k for Nimbus client development.

In one of two Ethereum grants awarded to Status, this first one is for the development of Nimbus: an Ethereum 2.0 client written in the Nim programming language, and is expected to be the “first” mobile-native client on the Ethereum network.

Status comprises a suite of products which include: an open-source messenger, crypto wallet, and Web3 browser built with state of the art technology.

Ethereum Networking grants

Status$150K for nim-libp2p development

This is the second of two Ethereuem grant awarded to Status is a co-funding between the Ethereum Foundation and Protocol Labs, and (like with Prysm) is directed towards development and adaptation of the libp2p protocol. This time, by building a native nim-language implementation of the protocol for use in Nimbus and other projects.

Another goal mentioned is the creation of a release that is “suitable for resource-restricted devices”.

Whiteblock – $184K (unspecified)

In another co-funding between the Ethereum Foundation and ConsenSys, Whiteblock has been awarded funding to continue its Ethereum Network 2.0 “testing” and “testnet / interoperability support”. Whiteblock is also to analyze the libp2p gossipsub implementation.

In addition, Ethereum grants have been awarded to Dmitry Khovratovich (an independent “expert cryptanalyst”) and Chainsafe for ‘research and development’. The latter of which is working on an Eth2.0 light-client R&D within its Lodestar javascript client.

There are also a number of open-bounties, about which more can be read here.

August 27th

Brave Browser Launches Integrated Crypto Wallets For ETH and ERC20 Tokens

Brave, the privacy-focused browser seeking to take on Chrome and Firefox, is in the process of rolling out a new product which it calls ‘Crypto Wallets’ – although it also warns that “extensive testing” has not been fully completed. This is why the full version has not yet been released.

Whilst reminding users to only maintain small balances and cautioning them to “keep regular backups,” Brave is advertising this new release as an enthusiast-focused build owing to the lack of finalised UX elements for all levels of user.

According to Brave, 

“This is only the beginning for tools and services which incorporate the exciting new suite of capabilities offered by decentralized computation platforms like Ethereum.”

Crypto Wallets is a client-side Ethereum wallet, meaning that users themselves will have full accountability for (and control over) their private keys. These keys can be managed in a software wallet managed by Brave, however none of this information is stored server-side meaning that nobody except the user and their device can see or access this valuable data.

It can hold ETH, as well as Ethereum tokens and collectibles (including the native Brave token, the ‘Basic Attention Token’ / BAT). 

At present information cannot be traded between ‘crypto wallets’ and ‘brave rewards’. In the future, the company hopes to add support for Uphold wallets and brave rewards: with the vision of allowing users to directly transfer funds between verified Uphold accounts, brave rewards, and ‘crypto wallets’.

August 19th

$33.8 million In Private Ethereum Blockchain Bonds Sold By World Bank, To Be Released Next Year

The World Bank has successfully raised AUD 50 million (approximately $34.3 million USD) in the second round of sales for its private ethereum blockchain bonds entitled ‘Project Bond-i’ – specifically its ‘Kangaroo bond’ which is due for release August 2020.

Bond-i (‘blockchain operated new debt instrument’) is an Australian dollar-denominated bond which comes as a result of the joined forces of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), RBC Capital Markets (RBC) and TD Securities (TD).

It utilises blockchain technology for all aspects of issuance: including launch, book build, allocation and the management of bond holdings throughout the bond lifecycle.

Quotes

Andrea Dore, World Bank Head of Funding

“We are happy to see the continued, strong support and collaboration from investors and partners. The World Bank’s innovation and experience in the capital markets is key to working with our member countries to increase digitization to boost productivity in their economies and accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals,”

James Wall, Executive General Manager International at Commonwealth Bank

“The tap is an important milestone in demonstrating the full lifecycle management of an issuer’s capital markets needs. It is also a significant step for the platform bringing on additional participants and demonstrating the broader potential of Bond-i as a capital markets platform,”

Sophie Gilder, Head of Blockchain & AI, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

“CBA now has tangible evidence from our first bond offering using blockchain technology and subsequent bond management, secondary trading and tap issue via the same platform, that blockchain technology can deliver a new level of efficiency, transparency and risk management capability versus the existing market infrastructure.  Next we intend to deliver additional functionality to deliver greater efficiencies in settlement, custody and regulatory compliance,”

Yuriy Popovych, Director TD Securities

“An increase to the line is a natural evolution for the trade providing a great opportunity for both new and existing investors to get involved. As a market maker on the platform, TD is very excited to have partnered up with World Bank and CBA again and be part of the next step in the platform’s development,”

Jigme Shingsar, Managing Director, Debt Capital Markets at RBC

“RBC is very pleased to be involved in the next stage of evolution of World Bank’s bond-i issue, the most advanced practical application of blockchain technology to the debt capital markets to-date… Though the technology is still in its early stages, we believe blockchain networks have the potential to transform financial services, offering a leap forward in the transparency and efficiency of our market.”


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Information correct as of 00:55 AM (GMT+1), 11th September 2019