Ethereum transaction volumes reached a 17-month high at the end of June – surpassing 1 million transactions per-day. We also saw the first new issue of the official Ethereum blog ‘What’s New in Eth2’ since March 19th, 2019 – which is packed with valuable technical updates for developers and enthusiasts.
A lot of talk of new stablecoins being developed by both banks and exchanges. Are we seeing an oversaturation, or is it just healthy competition?
Welcome to the latest in our series of bi-weekly news digests for Ethereum (ETH) and the upcoming ETH2.
MetLife Creates LifeChain, An Ethereum Based Solution for the Life Insurance Industry
LumenLab is a Singapore-based incubator for global insurance giant MetLife and has teamed up with two other Singaporean companies (Singapore Press Holdings and NTUC Income) on a project which, according to Forbes,
“is believed to be the first pilot program in the world [built on blockchain technology] focused on the life insurance industry”.
The project is called ‘LifeChain’ and is based on the Ethereum blockchain – with the aim of enhancing transparency and efficiency throughout the insurance claims process:
“to help loved ones quickly determine if the deceased was protected with a policy and automatically file a claim”
It is not yet known how much money has been invested into this project so far, however the sheer size of both MetLife (net income of $5.0 billion in 2018) as well as the Life Insurance industry both suggest that this could be a massive boon for Ethereum, and blockchain technology in general.
In an article which appeared on FXStreet, CIO of MetLife Asia and CEO of LumenLab stated that,
“The future of distributed ledger technology in life insurance will somewhat depend on public sector involvement. Those jurisdictions and governments that are more innovative will see citizens and policyholders in their jurisdictions benefit from less friction, more fulfilled payments, and a general overall improved experience.”
This wouldn’t be the first time that MetLife has dabbled in blockchain either, having previously developed a mobile app named ‘Vitana’ that was supported by Ethereum.
June 22nd: Vitalik’s Secret Ethereum ETH2 Weapon = Near-Instant Confirmations
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin took to writing a blog post dedicated to what he considers a theoretical confirmation that ETH2, a second layer to the Ethereum protocol, which he believes allows for almost-immediate transaction confirmations.
The solution is called ‘staggered shard block production’ and utilizes the forthcoming second Ethereum layer to significantly reduce confirmation times without affecting layer 1 operations, or demanding the shortening of shard block times.
In conclusion, this theoretical solution (in Buterin’s own words)
“implies that there is less need to try very hard to reduce block times of individual shards, as layer 2 mechanisms can give fast confirmation times most of the time (for even more guarantee at the cost of efficiency, one could try publishing to two shards) even if underlying block times are relatively slow”
Check out the full article for the nitty-gritty technical details.
June 25th: Bugs found in Solidity Storage array
Two important bugs have been identified by team and community members pertaining to the Solidity programming language for smart contracts; both unrelated, however also each related to storage arrays.
1. Signed Integer Array Bug
- This is an issue with regards to data validity when stored in connection with signed integer arrays. Data corruption results when such arrays utilise negative integers in very specific situations.
2. ABI encoder (referred to as ABIEncoderV2) bug.
- The second bug affects the new and experimental ABIEncoderV2 which affects some deployed smart contracts – resulting in the corruption of “parameters on method invocations to other contracts”.
Swiss Bank Developing Three-Token Stablecoin Based on Ethereum ERC-20
Swiss bank Dukascopy has confirmed that it is currently developing a trio of fiat-pegged tokens which will together comprise a new stablecoin called Dukascash, which utilises the ERC-20 token standard on the Ethereum blockchain.
Dukascash ties into the ecosystem of Dukascoin (DUK+), another cryptocurrency the bank created earlier this year. They are linked, as Dukascash refers to the exchange rate of DUK+ to EUR to calculate and maintain its own value data.
This is an ambitious project for Dukascopy and one that it is surely counting on for both exposure, and to help reverse its recent sales woes. The bank reported its first annual loss in several years in April 2019.
EUR+, USD+ and CHF+ will be pegged to the Euro, the United States Dollar, and the Swiss Franc respectively.
eToro Wallet Adds Five ERC-20 Tokens; Plans For 115 More
Israeli social trading and investment platform eToro has released a statement detailing active plans to add a total of 120 ERC-20 tokens to its eponymous cryptocurrency wallet in the future.
For now, the company has integrated five such tokens with the eToro wallet in what it calls the ‘first phase’ of the ERC-20 token rollout.
They are as follows:
- Maker (MKR)
- Basic Attention Token (BAT)
- OmiseGO (OMG)
- eToro EuroX (EURX)
- eToro US DollarX (USDEX)
According to Doron Rosenblum, Managing Director of eToroX
“Adding 120 ERC-20 tokens to the eToro wallet is further evidence of our belief that one day all investable assets will be tokenized… [and] making these first 5 tokens available enables more people to transfer and hold them into a secure and regulated wallet.”
eToroX is the cryptocurrency exchange of eToro Group, which was launched back in April 2019. It is unique in that it was amongst the earliest companies to achieve regulated Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) certification from the Gibraltar Financial Services Commision (GFSC).
Yoni Assia (co-founder and CEO of eToro), in a statement given to Coinspeaker, added that
“In the coming weeks and months we will add more cryptoassets, stablecoins and tokens to the exchange and will work with other exchanges to encourage them to list our growing range of stablecoins.”
If you have been a regular reader on any number of cryptocurrency news sites, you will likely be aware of eToro due to the amount of money they appear to spend in advertising.
As such, the brand association should bring added exposure to the tokens added – but note that reviews for the eToro wallet are less than favourable so unless this changes, the association may not end up being a favourable one.
Information correct as of 02:37 AM, 05th July 2019