In this weekly feature, Incenti gives a synthesis of the prominent developments in the world of crypto, blockchain gaming and related areas that caught our attention during the previous week.
General crypto news
The long-expected Ethereum hard fork Constantinople that was supposed to occur this week has been postponed at the last moment due to a potential vulnerability for smart contracts on Ethereum that one of the updates it introduces would create. Smart contract firm ChainSecurity discovered that the update EIP 1283 would create a possibility for attackers to steal user funds.
Core Ethereum developers discussed the situation and decided to postpone the implementation of the hard fork since not enough time was remaining for patching the vulnerability prior to the hard fork activation.
Josh Stark, Evan Van Ness and Daniel Zakrisson have published on Medium a nice overview of the developments in the Ethereum ecosystem in the course of the past year. They attempt to single out ten of the most important developments that may have a truly lasting significance.
Among the facts they mention, the little-known ones are the growth of MakerDao (with 1.7% of all ETH now deposited into the DAI smart contract) and the impressive growth and proliferation of decentralized finance tools on Ethereum, including not just DAI but also other stablecoins, lending tools, decentralized trading protocols like Ox and so on. Also deserving of mention are the maturing of the development tools and security infrastructure and the creation of a formal specification for Ethereum 2.0.
The authors also recognize the challenges, especially the low consumer adoption of the platform and the DApps based on it but they remain optimistic for the long term. They also noted that network usage metrics web-sites like DappRadar do not reflect the use involving the second-layer solutions that are already operational.
However, this is one of the rare cases where a short resume really cannot even begin to do justice to the article, hence anyone deeply interested in the evolution of Ethereum and the blockchain space will find lots to chew on there.
To balance the optimism expressed in the above year in review, it is worth mentioning the recent cautious report by McKinsey on the state of blockchain technology adoption, particularly by the non-blockchain actors.
McKinsey correctly observes that so far, the adoption of blockchain technologies has stalled somewhat even in the domain of banking and finance which would appear to be the most susceptible to disruption. To date, according to McKinsey, the pilot projects undertaken by non-crypto companies have not yet shown the massive benefits that would justify their rapid further development.
The key issue, in McKinsey’s view, is that in its current shape, blockchain technology is a solution that is too complex compared to the existing ones without the compensating large upside. Thus, it often fails the Occam Razor test. McKinsey does not claim, however, that one can conclude that there are inherent reasons for this to be the case, and that the further evolution of the blockchain space may change the dynamic.
Crypto and Gaming
Gamer.biz has published an article with the list of the most hotly anticipated blockchain games in 2019. The list includes: Age of Rust, Bankos Block Party, Crypto Space Commander, CryptoWars and others.
Incenti hopes that our games will soon also be making headlines, stay tuned.
The Brooklyn Project of Consensys has published a review of the last-year and recent regulatory developments around the blockchain space. Among the recent ones, the authors note the guidance by the SEC on the digital assets, the US CFTC’s recent request for input, the proposed US legislation to amend the Revenue Code (the Token Taxonomy Act) and the proposed legislation in the state of Colorado aiming at safeguarding genuine utility tokens from the application of securities laws.
They also discussed their own Crypto Compliance Initiative in collaboration with TruSet, Airswap, Gnosis and Kyber tasked to simplify and boost the compliance of crypto assets.