ENS Launches EVM Gateway, Enhancing Interoperability Between L1 and L2 Chains

ENS Domains (ens.eth) recently announced the launch of the EVM Gateway, a significant development in blockchain technology aimed at improving interoperability between Layer 1 (L1) and Layer 2 (L2) chains. This new open-source platform is anticipated to be a foundational element in the next generation of L2 resolvers and marks a key milestone in ENS’s L2 roadmap.

The EVM Gateway, accessible on GitHub, includes a generic Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP)-Read gateway framework and a Solidity library. This innovative framework allows L1 smart contracts to efficiently and securely fetch and verify state information from other Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) chains, specifically L2s. This functionality is crucial for enhancing the communication and efficiency across different blockchain layers, fostering a more interconnected ecosystem.

Key features of the EVM Gateway include a modular design for trustless operations, simplicity in operations, and the flexibility to change targets (L2s) by simply swapping the address of a verifier contract. Users can choose to operate their own gateway or utilize an existing one, adding to the platform’s versatility.

The EVM Gateway is already available for early use on the Optimism Foundation’s Mainnet and Goerli, showcasing its practical applicability. In collaboration with the Optimism team, ENS has also introduced a sample decentralized application (dApp) using the EVM Gateway, further demonstrating its capabilities.

In addition to this technological advancement, ENS Domains announced a related event at ETHGlobal in Istanbul, inviting developers to explore the EVM Gateway. The event features a competition with a $4,000 prize pool for the “Best use of ENS on L2” category, encouraging innovation and practical applications of this new technology.

The EVM Gateway offers diverse applications, including fetching state proofs of data on other EVM chains for L1 smart contracts. The repository on GitHub provides detailed information on usage, including guidance on extending contracts with EVMFetcher, making view/pure context calls, and handling callbacks. The repository is divided into several packages, such as evm-gateway, l1-gateway, evm-verifier, l1-verifier, op-gateway, and op-verifier, each targeting different aspects of the gateway’s functionality.

This launch represents just the beginning of a series of innovations from ENS Domains, as the EVM Gateway opens up a realm of possibilities for communication and efficiency between L1, L2s, and decentralized applications (dApps). The blockchain community eagerly anticipates more updates and developments in this space.

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Shopify Launches Blockchain Commerce Tools to Enhance User Experience

E-commerce giant Shopify, which is crypto-friendly, has released a suite of blockchain commerce tools with the intention of improving the customer experience of its Web3-focused businesses that are housed on the platform.

Particularly noted are the improved functionality for connecting crypto wallets and the “tokengating” application programming interface (API) tools. The latter was previously exclusively accessible to a limited number of retailers until it entered early access beta access mode in June 2022.

Through the use of tokengating, relevant Shopify merchants now have the ability to build up their businesses in such a way that they may choose which tokenholders have access to exclusive items, nonfungible token (NFT) drops, and advantages and which do not.

The application checks a user’s eligibility by using the associated wallet, and it is being marketed to NFT Merchants as a convenient method to reward certain customers or add an element of exclusivity to certain items.

Shopify has merged with the sign-in with Ethereum (SIWE) protocol, which is led by the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) and the Ethereum Foundation. This integration enables Shopify to provide enhanced support for cryptocurrency wallets.

SIWE enables secure user sign-ins and authentication of Ethereum accounts and ENS domains without giving away private identifiers to third parties such as names, phone numbers, and residential addresses. Essentially, SIWE makes it possible for users to securely sign in and authenticate themselves to Ethereum accounts and ENS domains.

In the past, Shopify has had some issues when it comes to protecting the privacy of its customers’ information. Concerning a significant breach of user data that occurred in 2020, a group of dissatisfied customers filed a class-action lawsuit against the company and the vendor of hardware wallets, Ledger, in April of 2022.

“The statementGenerator prop gives you the ability to modify the statement that is shown whenever a Sign-In with Ethereum message is presented. According to the paper, “the function gets the address of the wallet that has linked, which enables you to extend and adapt your message statements so that they are more aligned with your brand.”

At this stage, once a merchant hooks up the SIWE feature on Shopify wallet connect, it appears that users will be able to click a “sign-in with Ethereum” button to connect their addresses via SIWE’s partnered intermediaries such as Coinbase, Fortmatic, WalletConnect, Portis, and Torus. This is something that users will be able to do once the merchant has hooked up the SIWE feature on Shopify wallet connect.


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Altcoin Watch: Top 3 Tokens with Poor Performance over the Past Week

Many things reshaped the dynamics of the digital currency ecosystem over the past week, with the most significant being the resignation of Liz Truss, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.


While the stock market in the UK showed positive growth over the news, the crypto market was left in a state of uncertainty, and this showed in the performance of some altcoins in the week-to-date period.

In this week’s Altcoin Watch edition, we present three of the worst-performing tokens, giving investors a compass to guide their observation of trends in the crypto ecosystem this week.

Axie Infinity (AXS)

Axie Infinity is a top digital token in the Play-2-Earn (P2E) ecosystem, and its partially owned and operated by its players. The coin has seen its worst days this year and is currently changing hands at $8.92, down from its 52-week high of $165.37 per data from CoinMarketCap.

Axie Infinity is among the worst-performing tokens of the top 100 coins, and while the industry considers gaming as the future of the ecosystem, the chances AXS will recoup and retest its best price remains bleak in short to mid-term.

Ethereum Name Service (ENS)

Ethereum Name Service is a distributed, open, and extensible naming system based on the Ethereum blockchain. The protocol has continued to carve a niche for itself in the broader ecosystem as one of the industry’s most popular name service providers.

However, investors have not favoured the digital currency over the past week, with its price of $16.70, trading down by 15.51% over the past week. With a mild rejuvenation sweeping through the market, ENS can pare off some of these losses, but traders will need to exercise caution per its freefall.

Waves (WAVES)

Waves is a multi-purpose blockchain platform that supports various use cases, including decentralized applications (DApps) and smart contracts. While Waves is known as one of the highest-performing coins over the past few months in relative terms, it was trading down 9.66% at $3.19 during the intrday.

The coin has high volatility and a good propensity to recover its gains, but like other profiled altcoins, caution should be exercised when dealing with the coin.

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Former Synthetix Developer Creates Way To access Prohibited Apps Like Tornado Cash

A former Synthetix developer named Liam Zebedee has introduced his newfound way of bypassing prohibited blockchain apps like Tornado Cash. 


Zebedee created an application network called Dappnet to allow everyday crypto users to access inaccessible blockchain apps like Tornado Cash. This newly found application would give users access to decentralized applications using a combination of IPFS and ENS. 


IPFS is a decentralized domain hosting service. In contrast, ENS (Ethereum Name Service) provides customized names and web domains for crypto addresses.


While most blockchain applications appear to have been decentralized, as long as they are built on centralized Domain Name Services (DNS) servers, the front end can be taken down, censored, captured, and seized from the masses at any time by legal authorities.


Liam’s newly found application network, Dappnet, aims to solve this issue by basically creating a decentralized frontend for any blockchain application.


Dappnet is a permissionless application network built on IPFS and ENS. It works by directing users to an IPFS-hosted version of an application they clicked on their computer. Liam stated;


“For users, that means frontends can’t be censored. For protocols, that means greater operational freedom, security, and workflows. More broadly tho, this makes the web a hyperstructure.” 


Dappnet combines the functionality of ENS and IPFS by running the ENS domain locally on the user’s computer and running an IPFS node in the background – sharing the data in a peer-to-peer manner with other IPFS nodes.


“All of this put together, means that for the first time ever we can own a place on the Internet that can’t be taken away from us, and doesn’t rely on a single host who dictates what is allowed. I think that will have a profound impact for the web,” said Liam on Twitter.


In addition, Liam said there are still a few issues with this approach, mainly concerning IPFS. According to him, IPFS nodes could be improved if they were lighter and less complicated to deploy. He also stated that Dappnet needs to be universally available – currently, it works for macOS, on Chrome/FF.


Veering back to Tornado Cash, last week, legal authorities in the Netherlands rejected the appeal to release Alexei Pertsev, the Chief developer of the Tornado Cash protocol. According to the current state of things, Alexei will likely stay in custody until the end of November before his next hearing.

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ENS dumps director of operations in condemnation of homophobic tweets

True Names Limited, the nonprofit behind distributed domain protocol Ethereum Name Service, announced it would be ending its contract with director of operations Brantly Millegan after many uncovered his previously posted anti-LBGTQIA tweets.

On Feb. 6, the decentralized autonomous organization of Ethereum Name Service, or ENS, asked users to weigh in on what actions, if any, should be taken against Millegan in regards to a May 2016 tweet in which he said “homosexual acts are evil” and “transgenderism doesn’t exist.” The DAO said some had proposed suspending Millegan from his leadership roles at ENS, voting to remove him as a director of the ENS foundation, and asking him to step down from his position.

Though the DAO did not officially vote on any resolution as of the time of publication, ENS founder and developer Nick Johnson announced earlier today that True Names Limited had terminated Millegan’s contract given his position was “no longer tenable.” Twitter also deleted the homophobic tweets and suspended Millegan’s account, preventing him from tweeting, liking, and retweeting content. 

“Many of you were hurt by Brantly’s comments over the past 24 hours, and we strongly believe that ENS should be an inclusive community,” said Johnson. “Going forward we’ll continue to do everything we can to ensure that remains the case.”

Before losing access to his Twitter account, Millegan stood by his 2016 statement, implying it was in accordance with his Catholic faith. He later claimed in a Discord discussion that he had “never excluded anyone from ENS” based on their identity or beliefs.

“I don’t think it’s practical or moral for the web3 industry to exclude the many traditional-minded Christians, Muslims, jews, and others who agree with me,” said Millegan on Discord.

However, the 2016 tweet does not stand alone in terms of controversial statements. Millegan reiterated his views on homosexual acts in a 2018 thread over birth control on the social media platform, calling them “gravely immoral.” In addition, a November 2016 tweet from the ENS operations director shows he posted a story from conservative news outlet National Review promoting a questionable narrative about racial bias.

“What I believe is the mainstream traditional Christian positions held by the world’s largest religion,” said Millegan on Feb. 5. “It’s not exactly fringe.”

It’s unclear how many within the ENS community were in favor of Millegan’s removal, but Johnson’s termination of Millegan’s contract suggests a significant number were in favor of doing so. Eleftherios Karapetsas, an ENS delegate, said in the governance discussion forum that Millegan should be given the opportunity to respond to the community outrage, but “if indeed he still truly holds the belief that a group of people should not have the right to exist, or harbors hate towards them I don’t believe that being part of the leadership of this project is appropriate.”

He added on Twitter:

“You can disagree with someone and still co-exist as long as neither tries to impose their views on the other person or hurt them for what they believe.”

Related: ENS’ director of operations says that DAO-based governance ‘has always been the plan’

Launched in 2017, the ENS protocol allows users to register domain names ending in “.eth” and direct them to Ethereum wallet addresses. The project distributed 100 million of its ENS governance tokens in a November 2021 airdrop.

Cointelegraph reached out to Brantly Millegan, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.