Block by Block Weekly Newsletter #2
What a week! So much news and updates to get through - let's begin!
Tip: The headings are clickable links!
Disclaimer: Nothing in this email should be taken as investment advice. Please click here for more information.
News of the Week
There's been some speculation that the trustee for MtGox was responsible for the latest crypto crash because they sold $500mil worth of bitcoin and bitcoin cash between December 2017 and February 2018. More details in this Reddit post.
On March 7th there was rampant speculation that popular exchange Binance had been hacked due to irregular trading activity. In reality, a group had compromised a bunch of Binance accounts and used them to bid up the price of the VIA/BTC trading pair. Fortunately, Binance automatically detected this and halted all withdrawals - leaving the thieves with nothing!
The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in the U.S put out an advisory this week warning of potentially unlawful trading exchanges. The SEC claims that certain crypto exchanges are breaking U.S federal securities laws. The statement spooked the market and we saw huge sell-offs across the board.
Coinbase took us one more step towards mainstream adoption this week with the launch of their new crypto index fund. The fund will be composed of any digital assets that are on the Coinbase platform and be weighted by market cap. On that note, Coinbase also clarified that they are waiting for more regulatory certainty before adding any new assets to the platform.
This is just the beginning - many nations will move towards tokenizing their national currency in the future as it enables a host of benefits such as a more liquid exchange of currencies between nations.
Project Updates
Axoni has created AxLang - a new programming language that enables formal verification for smart contracts on Ethereum-compatible networks! Formal verification is the process of proving code will run as intended which is very important for smart contracts that handle millions (sometimes billions) of dollars.
FOAM did another AMA this week with their Co-founder/CTO and Senior Blockchain Engineer Martin Allen. It's quite technical and very detailed so I recommend giving it a watch (or read)!
Reddit user /u/GetYourAssToPluto created a post on /r/EthTrader this week that outlines the big decentralized applications (dapps) that are coming to the Ethereum blockchain over the next few months.
Vitalik gave a presentation recently where he showcased both the Casper and Sharding upgrades for Ethereum. He mentions that the first version of Casper is pretty close to being done and Sharding is a top priority. There was also a scaling workshop hosted by the Web3 Foundation.
Prysmatic Labs gives an update on their Ethereum sharding implementation and a look into their current roadmap.
Vlad gave a presentation at EthCC where he gave some updates to the spec of the Correct-by-construction version of Casper. 
The Ethereum Foundation recently gave grants to a suite of teams who are focusing on hard problems within Ethereum including scalability and security.
The 0x team are working on version 2 of the 0x Protocol. The biggest addition is support for the new ERC-721 Non-Fungible Token standard within Ethereum!
This week the Zilliqa team met with Vitalik Buterin to discuss sharding, sharding-friendly smart contracts and storage.
NEO finalised the Ontology community airdop to NEO holders at a rate of 0.2 ONT per NEO held, with half airdropped as NEP5 interim tokens and the other half to be released when Ontology main net launches in Q2 2018.
New Projects
This is super cool. 0xcert aims to enable tamper-proof certificates using the Ethereum blockchain. More info on the website.
This week the Weeve project released their weeveOS Alpha. Weeve is an IoT + Blockchain platform for the 'Economy of Things'. Basically, they want to create an IoT data economy on a blockchain.
Alethio is a project aiming to build a next-generation blockchain explorer that aims to give advanced analytics to users. The analytics can be anything from network health to blockchain dashboards.
Crypto Drama
Waltonchain is at it again! This week they announced a 'partnership' with Alibaba Cloud services which led to a lot of skepticism within the community. Due to this, Waltonchain posted a very confusing tweet stating that they will be more careful in the future when announcing partnerships.
During the week CNBC advertised a segment on their network in which both the Coinbase president and Ripple CEO would be on. The crypto community went into a frenzy and the price of XRP spiked up by more than 10%. Coinbase was quick to quell these rumors by posting a statement reiterating their process for new asset listings.
Eric Wall put out a tweetstorm this week stating that NEO was completely centralized and not fault tolerant (meaning if 1 of the 7 NEO network nodes goes down, the entire network goes offline). His tweestorm caused an uproar in the community with many crypto personalities chiming in from both sides of the fence. Ultimately, Eric withdrew his statements (as they were proven incorrect) and he was let go from Bitcoin.com.
Personal Updates
I've added a few more research links (and one new resource) to the website! The links are tagged with 'new' so it's easy to find.
I'll be at the NEO meetup in Melbourne on Monday the 12th. If you're attending please do say hello! If you don't know who to look for just click here.
You made it! Thanks for reading. I'd love to get your feedback so please send an email to info@blockbyblock.io and I'll be sure to get back to you! :)
Block by Block · City · Melbourne Victoria 3000 · Australia
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