With the market picking up (and it’s my firm belief that things are going to skyrocket soon), I expect a lot of news to be coming in over the next few months - real world expansions, integrations and pilot programs, and regulation updates - besides the usual slew of partnerships and development milestones.
I’ve decided that, with all of that happening, I should be rounding up what I think is the biggest newsworthy events and summarizing them so that you guys don’t have to look here and there to see what’s happening. Just note that when I put the date in the title, I don’t mean that the news happened on that day - it’s just a roundup of what has happened around the date.
Anyway, it turns out that there have already been some big developments this week, including mainnet launches, Justin Sun buying something again, and a continued investigation into the IOTA hack.
1. IOTA Mainnet has been down for more than 5 DAYS
Probably one of the biggest news stories in the past two weeks is the hack of IOTA’s Trinity Wallet, which was revealed to have occurred on February 13. The news was quite shocking, as IOTA had to shut down the coordinator and those who had funds on the wallet were told not to access it, effectively making their funds unusable.
It was hoped that the situation might be resolved quickly, but the mainnet has been down for more than 5 days now, which has caused quite a stir among investors - all of whom have high hopes for a project with some unique technology.
What happened was that on Feb 12, IOTA received several reports that funds had been stolen. Soon after, they decided to turn off the coordinator, ask users not to access the Trinity Wallet, and figure out what was going on.
The IOTA Foundation has been posting updates on the development, but the community has definitely taken a negative stance to the whole matter (the Reddit post was locked following some expressive discussions).
However, there is good news: the team has created a fix for the bug, and now users can install an updated version of Trinity, migrate to safe seeds and reclaim stolen funds. The mainnet is still suspended, with no info on when it will go back live.
2. Someone Just Gained 2,378 ETH for Gaming the DeFi systems
And here’s another hack story for you: DeFi platform bZx has experienced TWO hacks in a matter of days, losing about $954,000. BZx released a report that detailed the first hack, which first occurred on February 14. This first one saw a theft of $298,000, but the second one, which happened yesterday on February 18, saw some $654,000 in Ether stolen.
The team has said that the attack actually involved the use of assets from the Synthetix platform, specifically sUSD. This is the specific transaction that is being looked into. The second attack is believed to have involved the manipulation of oracles, and as a consequence, the bZx team is speeding its integration with Chainlink’s oracles up to beef security up.
The margin trading and lending platform took a sizable reputational and financial hit as a result of the hack, with DeFi data platform DefiPulse showing a 31.5% drop over the past 24 hours. Founder of the Compound platform, Robert Leshner, said that bZx should cease operations until the matter has been sorted out.
3. Siacoin Launches SkyNet
Now onto some more positive news: the decentralized file storage network Siacoin has announced the launch of SkyNet, which is its name for decentralized content delivery and file storage platform, which is to serve as “the foundation for a free internet” and “permanent home for data and applications.”
SkyNet is essentially a P2P file sharing network where users can download any files that have been uploaded onto the network. Incentive mechanisms and marketplaces are also in place. It is also compatible with the web via Skynet Portals, or web portals. This is accompanied by APIs for developers and an easy to use interface for web browsers that allow the files to be accessed.
There are a few more interesting features that are worth mentioning. Files by default are unencrypted, but a user can choose to encrypt the file to protect privacy - Siacoin’s Sia file protects files by default because that platform is intended for personal data (think a decentralized version of Google Drive.) Support for encryption is under development.
The team says that “developers need to write less than a dozen lines of code to integrate their applications with Skynet”, which would be a big boost towards adoption. Decentralized file sharing networks are a big niche in the market and Siacoin has taken a huge step forward towards carving a place for itself in the market.
If you’d like to take a look at the code, it’s available here.
4. Enjin Platform Goes Live on Ethereum Mainnet
Enjin is a pretty big name in the market right and it has been one of the better performing assets in the last year or so - no doubt due to the fact that it has some MAJOR partnerships, including Microsoft and Samsung. The latter especially since it made the ENJ token one of the native tokens available on the flagship Galaxy smartphone’s cryptocurrency wallet.
All that aside, there’s some even bigger news for Enjin: the team launched the mainnet version on Ethereum two days ago, on February 17. This means developers can build and integrate solutions easily into their games and applications.
Enjin CEO Maxim Blagov said that the platform can be integrated into both new and existing games.
The gaming industry is ripe for blockchain application, as it already has marketplaces and in-game currencies that reward player behaviour. Having a cryptocurrency and a blockchain ledger to incentivize good behaviour, support in-game auctions and track non-fungible tokens (collectibles).
Unsurprisingly, the ENJ token has shot up in value, rising about 10% over the last 24 hours.
Having completed this major milestone, the team will now move onto releasing the SDK for its game engine Godot, which is expected to be released in Q2 2020.
5. Steemit Becomes a Part of the TRON Ecosystem
What would a weekly news roundup on the crypto market be without some TRON and Justin Sun included? The two are often in the headlines, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for not so good reasons.
This time is because TRON and Steemit have joined forces in a strategic partnership that will see Steemit become a part of TRON’s ecosystem. The social media/content platform was co-founded by Dan Larimer, the same mind behind Ethereum competitor EOS. The new STEEM token will be based on the TRON network’s standards.
Justin Sun remarked, “We are very excited to welcome Steemit into the TRON ecosystem. Together we will usher in a new era of decentralized social networking.”
If you’re on Publish0x, then you’re already probably aware of Steemit. Publish0x is the second biggest social media/content platform behind Steemit, so you might understand the significance of a platform where people with varying interests come together to share thoughts and ideas and get rewarded.
Sun and TRON have been putting a lot of effort into bringing more DApps to the TRON network, which still has some ways to go in order to compete with the likes of Ethereum. DApp development in general has grown over the past year.
The Steem and TRON community reactions contrast quite strongly: Steemit users don’t seem very happy about the partnership, with the token being down by some 12% over 24 hours and several people on the Steemit platform voicing their displeasure.
Still, it remains to be seen what can be made out of this partnership.
That’s about the major news stories over the past few days. Stay tuned for more stories as time passes, of course.