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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DTCC to Acquire Securrency, Advancing in Digital Asset Infrastructure

The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) has solidified its position in the digital asset sphere by confirming its intention to acquire Securrency, a firm renowned for its expertise in digital asset infrastructure development. This acquisition aligns with DTCC’s strategic vision of seamlessly integrating digital assets with its pre-existing products and services. The specifics of the deal remain confidential, but indications suggest a closure “in the coming weeks.”

Post-acquisition, Securrency will undergo a rebranding transition to become DTCC Digital Assets. This name change won’t affect the existing workforce. The senior leadership and an additional contingent of around 100 employees will remain part of the newly branded entity.

Securrency’s growth trajectory has been bolstered by investments from significant players like State Street, U.S. Bank, WisdomTree, and Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners. In addition to these financial endorsements, the firm has collaborated with GK8, a company recognized for its proficiency in cybersecurity and digital asset custodianship.

The official statement from DTCC highlights its plan to make Securrency’s groundbreaking technology available for licensing. This move is anticipated to catalyze the interoperability of diverse distributed ledger systems. Notably, the technology has already been incorporated into the WisdomTree Prime platform, a digital asset management tool.

Originating in the U.S., DTCC has established itself as a premier clearing and settlement service, with regional branches worldwide. In 2022, DTCC and its affiliates processed a staggering $2.5 quadrillion in securities settlements. Furthermore, the company’s depository division managed the custody and servicing of securities approximating $72 trillion, sourced from over 150 countries and territories.

Although blockchain technology has been in existence for a while, its integration into mainstream sectors only commenced around 2020. DTCC marked its foray into this space in December, participating in a pilot project focused on tokenized securities settlement using a simulated digital dollar. This trial, executed in partnership with the Digital Dollar Project, tested transactions with tokenized securities using T2, T1, and T0 settlements.

On October 19, 2023, DTCC announced its definitive agreement to acquire Securrency Inc., emphasizing its commitment to bridging industry-standard practices with advanced digital technology. This move is set to position DTCC as a global leader in the digital asset sector. Securrency’s assimilation into DTCC will culminate in its rebranding to DTCC Digital Assets, with key personnel like Nadine Chakar, CEO of Securrency, taking on pivotal roles in the new organizational structure.

By amalgamating DTCC’s digital prowess with Securrency’s technology, DTCC aims to spearhead the development of its digital asset platform, emphasizing institutional DeFi. Furthermore, DTCC will take the reins in leading the global development of a robust digital infrastructure, licensing Securrency’s technology, and offering specialized services.

DTCC, with its rich 50-year legacy, stands as the world’s premier post-trade market infrastructure. Its global presence spans 20 locations, offering automated, centralized, and standardized financial transaction processing. In 2022, the firm’s transaction value reached an astounding U.S. $2.5 quadrillion, with its depository subsidiary managing securities valued at U.S. $72 trillion.

Securrency stands out as an institutional-grade digital asset infrastructure provider. It offers transformative solutions facilitating the trading, settlement, and servicing of digital assets. Its innovative product suite is poised to accelerate the institutional adoption of blockchain technology.

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Mastercard Unveils Interoperable CBDC in Australia

Mastercard, in collaboration with the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre (DFCRC), has unveiled a pioneering solution that fosters the interoperability of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) across diverse blockchain networks, aiming to bolster Web3 commerce both within Australia and globally. 

The venture represents a significant stride towards the harmonization of CBDCs with various blockchain ecosystems, ensuring their utilization by authorized entities in a secure manner. The technology demonstrated by Mastercard allows CBDCs to be tokenized, or “wrapped,” onto different blockchains, thereby expanding consumers’ ability to engage in commerce across multiple blockchain platforms securely and effortlessly. This initiative is part of a broader RBA and DFCRC project to explore the possible applications of a CBDC in Australia.

A notable aspect of this endeavor was a live demonstration where a holder of a pilot CBDC could purchase a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) listed on the Ethereum public blockchain. The process entailed the “locking” of the requisite amount of the pilot CBDC on the RBA’s pilot CBDC platform, followed by the minting of an equivalent amount of wrapped pilot CBDC tokens on Ethereum. It was imperative that the Ethereum wallets of both the buyer and seller, along with the NFT marketplace smart contract, were ‘allow-listed’ within the platform, showcasing the platform’s capacity to enforce controls, even on public blockchains.

The pilot leverages Mastercard’s Multi Token Network, introduced in June 2023, which provides a set of fundamental capabilities aimed at enabling more efficient payment and commerce applications using blockchain technology. By facilitating easy on-demand movement of digital currencies via Mastercard’s trusted network, more consumers could partake in crypto ecosystems using reliable forms of money, while reaping the benefits such as programmability and transparency that these currencies offer.

Notably, the interoperability between blockchains as demonstrated in this project could unlock new avenues of collaboration between public and private networks, thereby driving impactful advancements in the digital currency domain. Furthermore, the broader utilization of blockchain technology across various payments use cases aligns with Mastercard’s strategy to extend the functionality available in digital assets to regulated entities.

The participation of entities like Mintable and Cuscal in this pilot, alongside Mastercard, signals a progressive stance towards exploring innovative digital currency applications, potentially revolutionizing commerce, fraud prevention, and documentation processes

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Flow Blockchain Proposes Full EVM Equivalence to Enhance Composability and Usability

Flow blockchain, under the aegis of Dieter Shirley, co-creator of CryptoKitties and Chief Architect of Flow, has floated a proposal to integrate Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) on its platform, aiming for full EVM equivalence. This move is designed to bridge the existing Ethereum dApp ecosystem with Flow’s unique capabilities, offering a seamless transition for developers and users alike.

Flow has been engineered for large-scale decentralized applications, introducing a novel multirole architecture and its own smart contract language, Cadence. Despite the advantages Cadence offers, developers have faced hurdles leveraging existing Ethereum-based applications and tools. The proposal aims to mitigate these challenges by enabling EVM equivalence on Flow, allowing Ethereum dApps to operate on Flow without any code modifications. Notable Ethereum protocols like Uniswap, Opensea, Metamask, Chainlink Oracle, and others, are expected to function on Flow without hitches while maintaining the ability to build or extend on Solidity contracts using Cadence.

The core of this proposal lies in the seamless composability between EVM and Cadence environments through “bridged accounts”. These accounts facilitate interactions, including function calls and asset bridging between the two environments, allowing assets like ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens to move effortlessly between them. This composability aims to extend the functionality of smart contracts across the two environments, enhancing the overall developer and user experience.

A critical component of this integration is the asset bridging functionality, enabling tokens to be bridged between Cadence and EVM environments. Anyone can request a token to be bridged, given it adheres to the stipulated interface requirements. Once bridged, assets can move between the environments through deposit and withdrawal methods, simplifying the asset interaction for users and developers.

Certain aspects like incentivization for gatekeepers, mapping EVM gas fees into Cadence execution, and managing balances among others still need to be ironed out. The proposal suggests a collaborative effort to address these challenges and further elucidate the implementation timeline, which is yet to be disclosed.

The integration of EVM on Flow is envisioned as a pathway for developers to tap into Flow’s distinctive features while building upon and extending the Ethereum ecosystem. This proposal, if realized, could significantly bolster the interoperability and composability across the blockchain space, aligning with Flow’s ethos of enabling robust smart contract functionality and mainstream user experiences.

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BIS Survey: 93% of Central Banks Engaged in CBDCs, 15 Retail and 9 Wholesale CBDCs Expected by 2030

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has released a survey revealing that 93% of central banks are now engaged in some form of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) work, with retail CBDCs taking the lead over wholesale CBDCs.

The survey, which gathered responses from 86 central banks, shows that over half of these institutions are not just exploring CBDCs but are conducting concrete experiments or working on pilots. The progress in retail CBDCs is more advanced, with almost a quarter of central banks piloting a retail CBDC.

The BIS survey also highlights the perceived value of CBDCs. More than 80% of central banks see potential benefits in having both a retail CBDC and a fast payment system (FPS). The unique properties and additional features that a retail CBDC can offer are seen as key advantages.

The emergence of cryptoassets and stablecoins has been a significant influence, accelerating CBDC work for nearly 60% of the respondent central banks. However, the survey also notes that stablecoins and other cryptoassets are rarely used for payments outside the crypto ecosystem.

The survey suggests that by 2030, we could see 15 retail and nine wholesale CBDCs in public circulation. This projection reflects the growing interest in digital currencies by central banks worldwide.

In terms of motivation, central banks in emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) are more likely to be driven by financial inclusion-related motivations in their CBDC work. On the other hand, the desire to enhance cross-border payments primarily drives the work on wholesale CBDCs.

Currently, four central banks have issued a live retail CBDC: The Bahamas, the Eastern Caribbean, Jamaica, and Nigeria. This development marks a significant milestone in the global adoption of CBDCs.

The BIS survey provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of CBDC development and offers valuable insights into the future trajectory of digital currencies. As the exploration and experimentation with CBDCs continue, their role in the global financial system is set to become increasingly significant.

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EOS EVM Mainnet Launch Improves Interoperability Between EOS and Ethereum

The EOS Network Foundation (ENF) has announced the beta launch of the EOS EVM mainnet, a significant milestone towards bridging the gap between two major blockchain ecosystems, Ethereum and EOS. The EOS EVM mainnet emulates Ethereum’s Virtual Machine (EVM) and enables developers to deploy decentralized applications (DApps) written in Solidity, the programming language used by the vast majority of web3 developers.

The ENF team has identified Ethereum’s scalability issues as a challenge for mass-scale DApp deployment, which is why they have launched the EOS EVM mainnet. The team aims to leverage the performance of the EOS Network to address this challenge, while also combining the resources of the Ethereum community. According to Yves La Rose, founder and CEO of the EOS Network Foundation, the launch of EOS EVM paves the way for an interoperable future. He emphasizes that EOS EVM is a significant milestone that represents the network’s commitment to a multi-chain future.

La Rose adds that the EOS EVM mainnet offers developers access to lower fees and faster transactions of the EOS network. This is an important development as the Ethereum network is expecting more adoption after the most recent Shapella upgrade. To keep up with this adoption, projects have been prioritizing the implementation of EVM compatibility within their networks. For example, Astar Network recently launched smart contracts that support two virtual machines, including EVM and the WebAssembly Virtual Machine. This allows for the creation of new multichain applications within their network.

In addition, Polygon’s zkEVM, a zero-knowledge rollup scaling solution, released its beta version on March 27. This technology mimics the transaction execution environment of the Ethereum mainnet, allowing DApps to scale with higher performance. With more and more blockchain projects prioritizing EVM compatibility, it’s clear that the future of interoperability between different blockchains will rely heavily on this technology.

In conclusion, the launch of EOS EVM mainnet is a significant step towards improving interoperability between EOS and Ethereum. By combining the resources of the Ethereum community with the performance of the EOS Network, developers can deploy Solidity-based DApps on a high-performance platform with lower fees and faster transactions. As other projects like Astar Network and Polygon also prioritize EVM compatibility, it’s clear that this technology is becoming an important part of the blockchain ecosystem.


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Blockchain Technology in the Healthcare Market Expected to Contribute $121Bn by 2030

The mounting need to tackle data breaches and information leaks is expected to thrust blockchain technology in the healthcare market to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 68.3% between 2022 and 2030, according to a study by Market Research Future (MRFR).

Blockchain in the healthcare industry is speculated to hit $121 billion by 2030 due to the escalating urge for effective health data management systems. Per the report:

“Rapidly increasing cases of different diseases have led to the development of massive amounts of data, which augments the need for effective data management. Using blockchain technology in healthcare records ensures there is no alteration to the data, which in turn helps guarantee data integrity.”

Blockchain technology has endeared itself to the healthcare sector based on ideal solutions like fighting counterfeit drugs, enhancing patient safety, minimizing therapeutic errors, and enabling interoperability of medical records.

In addition, the technology has attracted eminent players like Microsoft, IBM, Hashed Health, Blockpharma, Farmatrust, Simplyvital Health, and Medicalchain, among others. 

Enhanced research is also anticipated to drive more growth in this sector. The report noted:

“Owing to the escalating interest in the technology, multiple government bodies worldwide are investing in extensive research activities, which will undoubtedly enhance the market size.”

The study acknowledged that permission and permissionless blockchains were utilized in the healthcare sector. Nevertheless, medical practitioners’ lack of technical knowledge about blockchain technology emerged as the biggest stumbling block.

Per the report:

“Shortage of skilled medical professionals with technical expertise to work with blockchain technology in the healthcare sector can be a huge challenge for the worldwide market in the future. Blockchain technology is quite complex in nature and therefore, requires highly skilled workers that can manage and operate the task.”

Meanwhile, DEVITA, a blockchain-based health data platform, recently joined the Polygon network to maximize healthcare operations and processes through the latest innovations in the non-fungible token (NFT) and decentralized identification (DID) technologies. 

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REN price at risk of 50% drop after a bearish trading pattern shows up

The prospects of Ren (REN) continuing its ongoing rebound to fresh highs appear slim as a classic bearish reversal pattern begins to emerge.

Dubbed head and shoulders, the setup appears when the price forms three peaks, with the middle peak (called the head) longer than the other two peaks described as the left and right shoulders. The bottoms of these peaks are supported by a neckline.

An illustration of the head and shoulders pattern. Source: Corporate Finance Institute

The pattern comes into play primarily when the price breaks below the neckline in a correction that follows the formation of the right shoulder. That prompts traders to open short entries below the neckline, with their ideal target at a length equal to the distance between the head’s high point and the neckline.

What’s behind REN’s current setup?

REN has been forming what appears to be an upward sloping head and shoulder pattern, supported by a rising neckline.

In detail, REN price rose and declined into a trough around mid-December 2021, forming the left shoulder. Later, it rebounded sharply to create a higher peak — above the highest level of the first shoulder — and then fell all over again.

REN has since rebounded again and is now in the process of forming its right shoulder, as shown in the chart below.

REN/USD daily price chart featuring H&S setup. Source: TradingView

As a result, the price of REN may continue its rebound until it completes its right shoulder formation, which could be near the 50-day exponential moving average; the velvet wave, near $0.67. That is because of the wave’s recent history of limiting REN’s price rebounds.

Additional sell pressure could also come from the 0.618 Fib line near $0.633 due to its historical relevance as both support and resistance. Overall, a pullback looks likely to happen that would have REN make the right shoulder. Meanwhile, a correction towards the neckline, followed by a break below it, would confirm the head and shoulder setup.

In doing so, the move may shift REN’s downside target to $0.30, measured after adding the distance between the head’s high and the neckline to the breakout point. That is around 50% below the current trading price at $0.59.

The long-term outlook is still bullish

REN’s head and shoulder setup comes as a part of a wider price correction that has seen the token shed nearly 70% of its value from a record high near $1.92 in Feb. 2021.

On a longer-timeframe chart, REN appears to have been only consolidating inside a giant symmetrical triangle, suggesting that its correction toward $0.30 may end up causing a rebound toward $1.20.

REN/USD weekly price chart featuring a symmetrical triangle. Source: TradingView

Bullish cues for REN may also come from the growth of its backer of the same name. Ren’s core product, RenVM, brings interoperability to the decentralized finance ecosystem (DeFi). It holds users’ digital assets as they move between blockchains using zero-knowledge proofs over an sMPC based protocol.

Related: 3 reasons why REN price is up 340% from its July swing low

REN acts as a bond to run the so-called Darknodes that power RenVM’s sMPC network. Those who deposit 100,000 REN are able to run these Darknodes and as a result, are able to earn rewards in Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Zcash (ZEC), and other tokens.

The total value locked (TVL) of the digital assets minted on all chains — which includes Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, Solana, Polygon, Fantom, Avalanche, and Arbitrum — by RenVM came out to be $1.05 billion at press time compared to $6.6 million in June 2021.

Multi-year history of volume and total value locked in RenVM. Source: Highcharts.com

Meanwhile, the total amount of volume transacting through RenVM on all chains reached an all-time high of $8.89 billion on January 4th, 2022. That shows a steady increase in the Ren network’s adoption, thus boosting the upside prospects of REN token.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.