Alchemy Pay is partnering with Polygon (MATIC) to deploy its payment services on Polygon’s new zkEVM chain. Alchemy Pay will serve as one of the first fiat-crypto on-ramp providers for the zkEVM ecosystem, allowing users to easily convert their local fiat currencies into cryptocurrencies.
Polygon zkEVM is a zero knowledge scaling solution that combines Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) with Ethereum L1 security, reducing transaction costs and increasing throughput. It inherits Ethereum security, offers lower costs compared to L1 and better finality than other L2 solutions, and aims for similar throughput to PoS. Polygon Labs’ breakthroughs aim to achieve full EVM equivalence while offering better performance.
Developers building on this new chain can integrate Alchemy Pay’s direct-to-customer plugin into their decentralized applications (dApps) with minimal hassle. Alchemy Pay already supports a wide range of payment methods, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and Diners Club, across 173 countries. It also supports mobile wallets and domestic transfers in developing markets.
zkEVM is a Layer 2 solution for Ethereum, designed to handle more transactions at lower costs. The use of cryptographic zero-knowledge proofs (ZK-Rollups) ensures transaction validity and quick finality.
Developers can use the same tools and code that they use on the Ethereum network, making it easier to migrate or develop new projects. The network inherits the security features of Ethereum, as transactions are grouped into batches with zero-knowledge proofs attesting to their validity.
This partnership aims to make it easier for both developers and end-users to engage with blockchain technology. Lower transaction fees and higher throughput make it a more attractive option for developers and users alike. Jack Melnick, Head of DeFi BD at Polygon Labs, expressed excitement about the project, stating that Alchemy Pay acts as a “user-friendly gateway to the crypto spaces for users.”
Overall, this collaboration between Alchemy Pay and Polygon’s zkEVM chain could be a significant step forward in improving the accessibility and usability of blockchain technology. It combines the strengths of a leading fiat-crypto payment gateway with a scalable, secure Layer 2 solution.
Blockchain infrastructure firm Chain has completed the acquisition of Measurable Data Token (MDT), despite the slump in cryptocurrency prices.
Chain announced on Saturday that the $100 million deal will provide the company with assets, including MDT, cash-back application RewardMe and financial data protocol MeFi.
Chain offers developers cloud services to build blockchain-based applications. The unique aspect of this deal involves token conversion, where MDT will become Chain’s native Token XCN, according to The Block.
The firm’s internal M&A handled the deal, alongside advisers from Tanner De Witt and Rooney Nimmo, it added.
“With this acquisition, there will be a sunset of the Measurable Data Token (MDT), which will be burned and swapped for XCN token,” a blog post said. “MDT token holders will receive the benefit of the swap and will be expected to receive a $0.08 MDT token value for the swap.”
Chain CEO Deepak Thapliyal said it was “complicated and requires a lot of counter-party assistance” when speaking about the process.
He added, “we will need the assistance of exchanges to support the swap for tokens that are off-chain. The process will be a lot less complicated for tokens on-chain and will be available through a simple smart contract since we are both primarily ERC20 tokens.”
Recently, XCN was trading on Coinbase at $0.09 a coin.
Chain was founded in 2014 by non-fungible token (NFT) collector and investor, Thapliyal. He is known for purchasing an Alien Punk NFT for $23.5 million.
With so many blockchain networks appearing all the time, new or even experienced crypto enthusiasts may feel overwhelmed when it comes to deciding which are the best to invest in.
In this guide, we’ll outline the most important aspects of any blockchain project, and why one should pay close attention to such details when assessing the different chains on the crypto market.
Arguably the most important part of any blockchain project is its use case. What is the project’s reason for existing? Is the project here to enhance payment processing? To improve on a business supply chain or to entertain users?
There’s technically no such thing as an invalid use case, but some are certainly more applicable than others. For example, a project meant to assist millions in acquiring food is likely to earn more support than a meme coin. If one decides that a project is valuable to them and that this value can translate over to a wide audience, then that’s a point in the project’s favor.
When examining use cases, it’s best to look at the project’s white paper. For example, we can take a look at Polygon’s whitepaper, which details potential use cases associated with the platform.
A project is nothing without its community. Blockchain technology is an open-source and user-driven solution, after all. When assessing a blockchain, it’s often best to check into the community and see how much power they have.
Reliable projects are generally as decentralized as possible, providing users from all over with the ability to hold tokens and have their say in governance. These users are usually outspoken, with public conversations happening on platforms like Reddit, Twitter and Discord. It’s usually best to join a project’s Discord server to gauge both the size and contributions of its community.
Transaction speeds and scalability
One’s blockchain project of choice might have the best intentions, but if the technology can’t scale or reliably process transactions, it’s at a severe disadvantage. What good is a platform that can’t serve the hundreds of thousands of customers it hopes to gain?
When assessing a blockchain, it’s best to examine the network’s typical transaction speeds alongside how it intends to scale en masse. Is it possible to implement upgrades down the line? Will it, or does the network already utilize a layer-two solution? Does the solution sound realistic in the long term?
The Ethereum website contains extensive documentation on its current and future scalability methods.
One can pair this factor alongside the community one, as dedicated community members would have public discussions surrounding their favorite project’s use cases and potential upgrades, as well as how it’s currently running.
Consensus and governance
The two most common blockchain consensus methods are proof-of-work and proof-of-stake. Proof-of-work (PoW) networks require miners that are users who dedicate their computing power to solve complex equations and validate transactions. Miners are paid for their efforts with each block mined, though the computer power required is harmful to the environment.
Proof-of-stake (PoS), on the other hand, provides power to users who hold and stake, or lock in, their digital assets. Generally, the more assets a user stakes, the more power they have within the network.
By staking, users typically become validators who then validate transactions, removing the need for miners. This process is more environmentally friendly than mining and rewards users in interest for their efforts. While both PoS and PoW have their pros and cons, many believe PoS is the future of blockchain and that PoW networks are on their way out.
After all, PoS is the more scalable option and Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization, is making the upgrade to PoS over the coming months. Consensus directly affects network governance and is something to consider when assessing different blockchain networks.
The team behind the project is just as important as the technical aspects of any blockchain. Projects should be very open regarding who’s developing a project, as well as the history and skillset of the team.
Failing to disclose the details about the development team can be a significant warning sign while assessing blockchains, as a lack of information could mean they’re looking to scam users. While this isn’t always the case, it’s recommended to stick with projects that are open about their development process.
The Polkadot project has some of its key members available on its website, including their real names and history. That said, it could be improved by including relevant social links to the team’s profiles so that users can conduct their own research to verify the project and the team behind it.
Not only should a blockchain have a solid reliable use case, but it should have a roadmap planned out regarding future developments and product feature additions.
A thorough roadmap generally means that the team has thought long-term about their project and how it can benefit the world. It also provides users with more knowledge about what they’re investing in, and whether or not the network aligns with their values.
The Cardano roadmap features detailed sections for each part of its roadmap, ensuring that all users can understand what to expect in the network’s future.
Market capitalization/total value locked (TVL)
When it comes to decentralized finance (DeFi) projects specifically, one vital factor to consider is its total value locked (TVL) and its market cap.
The TVL represents the total amount of all funds locked into a DeFi platform’s smart contracts. The higher a TVL, the healthier a platform’s ecosystem, as more users are taking advantage of its offerings.
Alternatively, a project’s market capitalization constitutes the value of existing assets within its ecosystem, serving as an indicator of the project’s growth potential. This number constitutes not just those utilizing the platform’s tokens, but also those holding assets in a passive way.
One can consider market capitalization to be the indicator of the popularity of a project, while TVL can mark how much money is actually being moved around within its various protocols. Both statistics are important, but it’s important to understand what each means relevant to a project’s competition.
DeFi Pulse details the TVL of all sorts of DeFi projects, while CoinMarketCap lists the market capitalization of nearly any chain on the market.
Finally, take a look at how long the project has been on the market. If it has been available for years, what has the project accomplished? Has it stuck to its roadmap and been reliable, or suffered from consistent delays and failing to deliver? A project’s reliability can be a great indicator of its longevity.
Alternatively, if a project is new to the market, consider observing it for a few months and seeing how things play out. If development appears smooth and the group is making a fair amount of progress and announcements, it might mark a more reliable long-term investment.
The Uniswap community has approved the governance proposal that sought deployment of Uniswap v3 contracts over the Polygon PoS Chain. The approval comes in the form of an on-chain vote that saw the participation of over 72.6 million users from the community.
Uniswap Labs announced to deploy Uniswap v3 contracts based on the votes that reflected over 99.3% approval consensus and will be supported by a $20 million fund — $15 million for long-term liquidity mining campaign and $5 million for the overall adoption of Uniswap on Polygon (MATIC).
The Uniswap community has voted to deploy v3 on @0xPolygon through the governance process.
⚡️ Uniswap Labs will deploy Uniswap v3 contracts within a few days.
Stay tuned. pic.twitter.com/LwVLwEngPl
— Uniswap Labs (@Uniswap) December 18, 2021
In addition, Bjelic also announced it was the right moment for Uniswap to deploy on Polygon citing their position as “the second strongest DeFi ecosystem, right after Ethereum L1.” The entrepreneur also shared his willingness to incentivize Uniswap adoption, both financially and technologically.
The proposal was published by Polygon CEO Mihailo Bjelic on Nov. 20 and was open for voting until Dec. 18, arguing that “deploying to Polygon PoS can bring a lot of benefits” such as user base growth, huge savings for users, higher user activity, higher revenue, market capture and return to the original DeFi vision.
Prior to on-chain voting for the governance proposal UP010, Bjelic released a set of consensus and temperature checks to identify the community sentiment behind the deployment of Uniswap v3:
“The consensus check 17 passed with 44M (98.87%) YES votes and 500k (1.13%) NO votes. The temperature check 7 passed with 7.79M (~100%) YES votes and 101 (~0%) NO votes.”
Related:Reddit co-founder and Polygon launch $200M Web 3.0 social media initiative
As Polygon strives to maintain a competitive position against the Ethereum ecosystem, the community announced a $200 million initiative with Seven Seven Six, a venture capital firm owned by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.
As Cointelegraph reported, the initiative will focus on supporting and hosting gaming applications and social media platforms built on Polygon’s infrastructure. Polygon explosive growth this year was supported by the launch of over 3,000 decentralized on-chain applications and other protocol launches and cross-chain migrations.
Cross-chain protocols are continuing to face challenges, with Synapse Bridge narrowly averting a multi-million exploit.
On Nov. 7, Synapse Bridge announced on Discord they had prevented a hacker from draining approximately $8 million USD from the Avalanche Neutral Dollar (nUSD) Metapool.
The hacker attempted to exploit a vulnerability using the bridge to transfer assets from Polygon (MATIC) to Avalanche (AVAX). Synapse is a cross-chain bridge designed to facilitate swaps and transfers between a range of layer-one and layer-two protocols using an automated market maker (AMM).
Synapse Bridge stated: “Over the past 16 hours, we encountered and discovered a contract bug in the way that the AMM Metapool contracts handle virtual price calculations against the base pool’s virtual price.”
As soon as Synapse’s validators became aware of AMM’s unusual activity, the protocol paused its support for all chains and went offline. By shutting down the network, validators were able to collectively elect to reverse the transaction before it could be confirmed. In this way, the funds will ultimately not be minted to the attackers’ address on the destination chain.
“The validators will instead mint the nUSD back to the affected Avalanche LPs. All Avalanche nUSD LPs will be made whole, with no funds lost,” stated Synapse Bridge. The funds from the rejected transaction will be used to reimburse the affected liquidity providers after the full audit of the exploit is completed.
Synapse Bridge has now deployed new nUSD pools, which are a standard stableswap pool of four assets rather than a metapool.
Related:THORChain concludes 2 security audits following summer exploits
“This is the safest route as the base stableswap contract (distinct from the Metapool contracts) has been thoroughly battle-tested by many different platforms,” wrote Aurelius.
Synapse Bridge says the network is now online and resuming normal activity. The user backlogs or pending transactions have also been processed. Synapse Bridge has notified Saddle, the developer of Metapool contracts. Saddle has now also paused its pool. Only those metapools from Saddle were affected by the exploit.
American social media giant, Reddit, may soon convert users’ karma points into Ethereum-based (ERC-20) tokens and onboard 500 million new crypto users in the process, according to a newly hired Reddit engineer.
A series of tweets made by Reddit engineer, Rahul, highlights Reddit’s efforts to improve user interaction through various cryptocurrency initiatives. As Cointelegraph reported in July 2021, the platform had launched its own layer-2 rollup using Arbitrum technology for its rewards points, named Community Points. According to the website:
“Your Community Points exist on the blockchain, independently of Reddit, where they can only be controlled by you (just like Bitcoin (
How will we pull this off?
Reddit has partnered with @OffchainLabs (@arbitrum) and created our own separate instance.
Community points for 2 subreddits (~80,000 users) are already on Rinkeby Testnet on our Arbitrum network (separate to Arbitrum One).
— Rahul (@iamRahul20x) November 3, 2021
Reddit’s partnership with Offchain Labs’ Arbitrum network will allow for the creation of a separate blockchain instance, to be used for storing users’ tokenized community points.
Currently, the community points of roughly 80,000 users from two subreddits — r/cryptocurrency and r/FortNiteBR — have been moved to the Rinkeby Testnet on the Arbitrum network, which according to Rahul, will be scaled for gasless transactions:
Moreover, Reddit communities will also have the ability to fork blockchains through community-based decisions, in addition to allowing the scope to explore new monetization strategies with Web 3.
“When we all pull this off, we would onboard 500M web2 users into web3 and then there is no going back. Let me say that again – 500 million new crypto users.”
Related:Reddit may be preparing to launch its own NFT platform
Reddit has been home to a number of community-driven crypto initiatives including Dogecoin (DOGE) fundraisers and continues to cater to a vast crypto community.
On Oct. 22, Cointelegraph reported on Reddit’s lookout for a senior backend engineer for a platform responsible for “millions of users to create, buy, sell and use NFT-backed digital goods.” According to Reddit via the job posting:
“With every new NFT project, a vibrant community of owners pops up with it. Over time, we believe this will only grow, and NFTs will play a central role in how fans support their favorite creators and communities.”
Other social media platforms including Twitter and TikTok have also started allowing NFT exposure to its users, signaling a bigger possibility of crypto’s mainstream adoption.
“Yahoo users will not be able to interact via mail with Google email (Gmail) users,” — If tomorrow’s headlines sounded like this, the earth would come to a halt. This headline shall never see the light for all the right reasons. However, blockchain tech and its favorite son, decentralized finance (DeFi), are heading towards this rabbit hole.
Siloed blockchains with no window for external communication are dominating the nascent space. Interconnectivity is elementary and synonymous with the primitive human quality of being social. From the days of the barter system, transfer and exchange have been the two core practices on which the world has been built.
Networking among blockchains and the need for IBC
Currently, blockchain applications and the DeFi juggernaut are nothing but a balkanized group of solutions failing to realize their true potential. To resolve this concern, blockchain networks need to shake hands with other networks and be open to a sovereign network of interconnected blockchains.
The Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol shall facilitate this shaking of hands. It lays the platform that can transfer data across different networks and facilitates the cross-chain transfer of assets and tokens. And since IBC is a blockchain agnostic protocol, it has no native network and offers an unbiased solution to the entire world of blockchain solutions.
Major blockchains, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, are siloed without a transport layer. This limits their capabilities. Imagine Bitcoin being able to power Ethereum-based smart contracts in a permissionless manner. Had this been so, users would have been able to embrace the boundless functionality of Ethereum’s smart contract alongside the world’s popular currency in Bitcoin (BTC).
Related:A multichain approach is the future of the blockchain industry
Also, Ethereum’s scalability concerns are a testament to why siloed blockchains need Inter-Blockchain Communication. By making networks interoperable, transactions can be parallelized to avoid network congestion. Using IBC, Ethereum can validate transactions quickly with fewer gas fees, attracting more people to use the network and its applications.
Moreover, blockchains seeking to be enterprise-level solutions need IBC and interoperability to cater to their clients at scale. By enabling cross-chain transactions, networks like Ethereum and Bitcoin can enjoy institutional adoption. How? To date, these networks work on the probabilistic conduct of transactions, i.e., the finality of blocks. But with IBC, chains and peg-zones can be used to guarantee finality.
With blockchain tech desirous of revamping the working of huge industries like supply chain and healthcare, IBC injects a potion of reliability into the technology and its solutions.
Prior efforts to achieve IBC were unitedly fragmented
Inter-Blockchain Communication and interoperability are not novel concepts in the blockchain world. Efforts to achieve them have been in the talks for years now and there have been multiple projects working towards connecting different blockchain networks. But the projects championing interconnectivity were themselves fragmented as their approaches, designs and use cases differed.
Related:Professional traders need a global crypto sea, not hundreds of lakes
Protocols like Cosmos with its Tendermint core, Polkadot and Chainlink have championed IBC and interoperability in their solutions. The emergence and adoption of these solutions are a giant stride towards an interoperable future.
Blockchain agnostic and omnichain is the way forward
Moving forward, exclusivity will be the biggest enemy of blockchain tech. In times of decentralization and community-first approaches, exclusive networks tread a dangerous path. Protocols must embrace IBC and provide solutions at scale.
Besides integrating IBC, two weapons with which future protocols can equip themselves are blockchain agnostic and omnichain. This would remove the element of exclusivity and open them to limitless utilities across networks. It would also improve the feasibility and reliability for institutions, corporations and maybe even governments to adopt blockchain-based solutions.
The DeFi juggernaut catalyzed the growth of blockchain and crypto space in 2021. Interoperability and IBC are the ones to look out for in the future.
This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Jared Moore is the director of marketing at Sifchain, the omnichain solution for decentralized exchanges. Jared has extensive experience in the crypto space, especially with exchanges.
The United States-based blockchain startup Simba Chain, which provides technology for several U.S. defense organizations, raised fresh funds to scale the business and tap new opportunities like nonfungible tokens (NFTs).
The $25 million Series A funding round was led by Valley Capital Partners with the participation of Notre Dame Pit Road Fund, Elevate Ventures and Stanford Law School Venture Fund, according to an official announcement.
Simba Chain would use the new funding to scale several departments within the company and to dedicate resources to emerging trends like NFTs. The company aims to be the tech provider for business enterprises, academic institutions and others who want to monetize digital and physical assets.
As a startup incubated at the University of Notre Dame, Simba Chain offers a cloud-based smart contract platform with enterprise-level security for organizations that wants to deploy blockchain technology.
The company says that its technology is currently used by the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines as well as Boeing. Simba has grown its revenue by 360% over the last 18 months and surpassed 6,000 users.
“Users across multiple spectrums have embraced and validated the SIMBA Chain model, which simplifies the development of smart contracts,” said Simba Chain CEO and co-founder Joel Neidig. “The market has also responded positively to our support of multiple blockchains, including Ethereum, Avalanche, RSK, Stellar, and many others, making SIMBA Chain-based applications simple, highly portable and sustainable.”
Related:US Air Force prioritizes blockchain security with new Constellation Network contract
Simba Chain first drew attention when the startup was picked by the U.S. Air Force in 2019 to provide a blockchain-based supply chain for the organization. Six months later, a California-based research group of the U.S. Navy paid Simba Chain $9.5 million to develop a secure messaging platform on the blockchain for the Department of Defense (DoD).
The company scored another contract from the U.S. DoD, this time to develop a proof-of-concept for a blockchain-based data management system. Last year, Simba Chain won the Advanced Manufacturing Olympics, organized by DoD, with its use of blockchain to provide a secure network for a virtual wargame.
Earlier this year, Simba Chain received a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Office of Navy Research to revamp the supply chain of the United States military with a blockchain-based solution to enable demand sensing for critical military weaponry parts.
The Rangers Protocol has opened its testnet to users aiming to provide an Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible solution that supports cross-chain contract interoperability.
In a Friday announcement, the Rangers Protocol said it had successfully migrated its first Dapp to the testnet which went live on July 19. The project migrated an Ethereum-based lending protocol, BlueStone, to the testnet, a move the protocol described as “smooth and developer-friendly” given Rangers’ Ethereum Virtual Machine, or EVM, compatibility.
Though there are seemingly alternative solutions utilizing blockchain technology friendly to Solidity developers, Rangers Protocol is branding its testnet as useful to “new developers without blockchain background knowledge.” Individuals interested in building using the protocol will reportedly have an easier time creating nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, as well as gaming applications in a permissionless environment.
Rangers Protocol co-founder Mary Ma announced in June that it would be launching its testnet in July following $3.7 million seed and private equity funding rounds. Ma claimed the protocol would have decentralized apps on its network, and include a cross-chain protocol, NFT protocol, and EVM compatible system. The project is reportedly the work of three years of development.
Crypto.com also recently launched its chain testnet allowing projects built on EVM-compatible chains to transfer over to its ecosystem. The open source testnet, Cronos, runs on a proof-of-authority consensus algorithm and is powered by proof-of-stake chain Ethermint.
Related:Asia-based Rangers Protocol valued at $63M following private equity round
Originally branded as the Rocket Protocol, Rangers is a China-based crypto company with an estimated valuation of $63 million. Venture funds backing the project include Pantera Capital, Huobi Ventures Blockchain Fund, Framework Ventures, Alameda Research, AU21 Capital, Hashkey Capital, SevenX Ventures, SNZ, Spark Digital Capital, and others.