The Cross-Chain Roundup #14
Week Roundup (February 20 - 26, 2023)
Welcome to the latest edition of the Swing newsletter, your entry zone to everything that’s simmering in the cross-chain ecosystem. L2s, NFTs, zk proofs…you name it, it’s all here, dissected in less time than it takes to confirm an ETH transaction – on mainnet that is. But why would you want to transact on the mainnet when there are so many faster L2s to play on these days?
It’s hard to keep track of all the chains, sidechains, and layers that keep springing up. The cryptosphere added one more to the mix this week and it was a biggie: that’s right, we’re talking Base. Let’s get February’s biggest story out of the way and then we’ll sift through the rest of the week’s cross-chain action.
Coinbase has revealed it’s creating Base, a low-cost, open-source L2 for dapps. It’s built on Optimism and an ecosystem fund will provide incentives to developers interested in building on Base. Coinbase has been working on proto-dank sharding, an Ethereum upgrade that will reduce fees on L2 networks between 10-100x current levels, so the creation of Base should benefit Optimism too, who’ll be able to tap into Coinbase’s dev and research talent.
The Solana blockchain is back online following two attempts to restart the network. The network went down in the early hours of Feb. 25, meaning transactions weren't processing as they're supposed to. A few hours later, a network restart took place but it was ineffective, leading to the second solution. Solana has been dogged by intermittent network issues for 12 months now.
Oasis has seized assets tied to last year’s $140 million exploit of the Wormhole bridge and returned them to an “authorized third party” after being ordered to do so by a British court. The High Court of England and Wales ordered the crypto platform to reclaim the stolen funds.
Optimism has published its concept for a unified network of chains. The Superchain concept, which Base will be part of, aims to deliver a seamless experience where cross-chain complexities are abstracted away. In the short term, this collaboration will upgrade Optimism Mainnet, Base, and other L2s to an initial Superchain structure with shared bridging and sequencing.
Spotify is reportedly piloting playlists that could be unlocked through NFTs in certain geographies. Under the pilot, Kingship has released a special playlist that could be accessed only by Kingship key card NFT holders. If the music giant enters the game, it could be a major boost for NFTs, and vindication for artists on platforms like Sound.xyz who adopted the format first.
Synthetix V3 has been successfully deployed on Ethereum Mainnet and Optimism after a thorough security audit. Synthetix will be progressively enabling functionality and rolling out upgrades, so it’ll take time before v3’s full capabilities are seen. In addition to adding markets, cross-chain functionality and scaling will become a focus in future upgrades of the v3 core system.
zkMint is Polymer’s proposed solution that optimizes IBC across all major chains. It can produce multiple signed headers per round of consensus. With zkMint, Polymer can optimize the header format for any execution environment that Polymer connects to. It’s exciting to see zk’s coming to Cosmos, paving the way for greater privacy and scalability.
There’s been a lot of excitement about the zkEVM being developed by Consensys, the leading Ethereum development company. While only in testnet at present, interest in the network is riding high. Getting funds onto the Consensys testnet has just gotten easier thanks to a connection from Hop Protocol. Goerli ETH, the native currency of the source network, has been in the news too, after speculators temporarily pushed its price to $1.60, though the achievement was short-lived.
Along came Polygon: The blockchain doing serious business with big names including Starbucks and Mastercard
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