Cointelegraph By Editorial Staff
We ask the buidlers in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector for their thoughts on the industry… and we throw in a few random zingers to keep them on their toes!
This week, our 6 Questions go to Denelle Dixon, CEO and executive director of the Stellar Development Foundation.
Denelle Dixon is the CEO and executive director of the Stellar Development Foundation, a nonprofit organization using blockchain to unlock the world’s economic potential by making money more fluid, markets more open and people more empowered. Before joining Stellar, Denelle served as the chief operating officer of Mozilla, one of the most successful mission-driven open-source organizations. During her tenure at Mozilla, she led the organization’s business, revenue and policy teams, including the ongoing fight for net neutrality and the global effort to ensure that people can control their personal data. She also pushed Mozilla to understand how to partner with commercial entities while staying true to its core mission of openness, innovation and opportunity on the web. A lawyer by trade, Denelle previously served as a general counsel and legal advisor in private equity and technology. Throughout her career, Denelle has been a vocal advocate for net neutrality, encryption, the disclosure of vulnerabilities by governments, and greater user choice and control.
1 — What’s one problem you think blockchain has a chance to solve but hasn’t been attempted yet?
There is no shortage of ideas for what blockchain can solve in terms of efficiency, transparency, data security, speed and cost. The great thing is blockchain’s versatility can be applied to most if not all industries ranging from finance to healthcare to education to retail. And blockchain has been around long enough that it’s not just for crypto enthusiasts anymore. Companies, organizations and institutions are now looking for ways to make blockchain part of their tech stack. Essentially, if there is a process that can be improved upon with technology, blockchain has the potential to be part of that solution.
But blockchain needs to further mature before we see a fully comprehensive solution happen. So, maybe “attempt” isn’t the right word here so much as “fully implemented.”
I would love to see blockchain tackle cybersecurity. Staying indoors throughout the pandemic has only amplified people’s reliance on technology — through their modes of communication, shopping habits or content consumption/creation. But it’s difficult for users to choose between protecting their data and the incentives provided to them for providing access to their data — not to mention that users are constantly at risk of being scammed or hacked. So, while users need to take a more vigilant approach to safeguarding their own data, blockchain can protect users at the product level via decentralization and built-in encryption methods. I’m very excited to see where blockchain projects focusing on cybersecurity end up in the coming years.
2 — What do you think will be the biggest trend in blockchain for the next 12 months?
From a general standpoint, as blockchain becomes more consumer-friendly, we’ll see more businesses and individuals begin to adopt it. Interest in blockchain is only rising as the technology and infrastructure becomes more robust and useful, allowing people to solve problems in increasingly versatile ways.
This means that industries beyond just fintech will start thinking of ways blockchain can benefit them. I welcome the diversification of industries as they bring more applications, products and services to blockchain, as it indicates growing acceptance by the public that blockchain really can be part of the mainstream.
Regarding financial systems, the conversation around stablecoins and digital currencies will continue to intensify. We’re finally starting to see buy-in from traditional financial institutions that blockchain is a cost-effective, swift and powerful solution. If these institutions begin issuing stablecoins on their own, as Bitbond and Bank von der Heydt did, the mainstream consumer will become much more comfortable with the idea of digital currencies and blockchain in general.
3 — What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever visited, and why?
This is a hard question because “interesting” could cover so many feelings. If I had to pick one, I would go with Kraków, Poland. While my visit there was brief, I could feel the history — both beautiful and tragic — beaming from within the large, culturally distinct and historically significant areas of Kraków. The contemporary city boasts vibrant businesses with historic buildings and churches and cathedrals dotting the landscape. It was a moving juxtaposition for me, especially after visiting the Jewish Quarter — Kazimierz — which is an ever-present reminder of the tragedies inflicted during WWII combined with more recent brilliance in the resurgence of the Jewish community there with art exhibitions that commemorate the rebuilding. For me, going to Kraków was a lesson in life, art and cultural protection.
4 — What’s the future of social media?
If anyone has watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix, they’re probably aware that social media has deviated far from its original promise: to provide a space where people can voice their thoughts and connect with one another.
We see now that social media has a whole host of problems. Not only have the psychological and cultural impacts of social media been more dramatic than many of us anticipated but current policies and regulations are not enough to safeguard users.
As with most technology, social media in itself is neither good nor bad. It’s a tool, albeit one that is highly susceptible to algorithmic changes and design choices in the hands of a few.
So, will we see a lot more video-driven features because that’s what performs best according to the algorithm? Will we see the voices of a few rise to the top because they happened to say the thing that would get the most eyeballs? Will we see companies increase their prominence on social media because their advertising budgets are the primary source of revenue for these networks? Yes to all of the above.
But now we know where the flaws of social media exist, and these networks need to be reexamined, redesigned and rebuilt with not just the input of a few, but from all voices. That’s what it’ll take to recapture what made social media so special in the first place: to have a platform where your voice can be heard and matters.
5 — What are the top five Crypto Twitter feeds you can’t do without, and why?
Am I allowed to say @cointelegraph?
The other five are (in no particular order):
@CoinDesk: Their focus on data, research and multimedia content help me keep tabs on broader trends, use cases and innovations taking place in crypto.
@TheBlock__: How they stay updated on all the major players in the crypto/blockchain space — short, sweet and to the point.
@ForbesCrypto: They’re one of the biggest crypto pubs on Twitter and for good reason: They get all the exclusives!
@BlockchainAssn: The Blockchain Association has a front seat to DC policymaking and regulations in blockchain and crypto. I appreciate their nuanced takes on the discussions and legislation circulating in the space.
@CoinMarketCap: CoinMarketCap is a data lover’s dream. Aside from the rankings and charts, [what] they’re best known for, CoinMarketCap also puts out great content focusing on global policy, regulations and projects happening in crypto.
6 — Close your eyes and think of a happy place. What do you see?
I see my family, my parents, my partner, our children and our close friends sitting around a bonfire in our backyard playing a game of charades. It is one of my happiest moments — particularly when my team is winning.
Gelato Network launches ‘G-UNI’ Uniswap v3 management token
Cointelegraph By Andrew Thurman
While Uniswap’s highly-touted v3 has been racing to the top of TVL charts as of late, the need for active management has kept some retail participants out of their pools — a problem that a new product from the Gelato Network is aiming to fix.
First teased in a community call last week, the Gelato Network has released today the details of their “G-UNI” Uniswap v3 management system. G-UNI aims to perpetually maintain a liquidity range of 5-10% within the current price of an asset pair, with an oracle network checking prices and rebalancing liquidity pool position ranges every half hour. G-UNI also automatically re-invests trading fees for compounding returns.
“Passive G-UNIs work by just providing very broad liquidity, similar to Uniswap v2 that never has to be changed,” an announcement blog post reads. “It thus can be completely free of anyone’s control as it does not require changes in its price range.”
While Uniswap v3 allows liquidity providers to earn more fees by concentrating their funds at specific prices, it opens them up to risk of impermanent loss if the prices of the trading pair moves beyond the provider’s specified range.
Update: REKT ☠️ https://t.co/0MF0gCd9sm
— ameen.eth (@ameensol) May 29, 2021
The blog post notes that G-UNI’s auto rebalancing brings the benefits of concentrated liquidity, but with the option of passively managing the position in a manner more in line with Uniswap v2.
“The advantage of this includes that users can sit back and relax as all the difficulties that come with monitoring LP positions are taken care of.”
Composability and incentives
While the new tool will be a boon to passive liquidity providers, the real benefits of G-UNI might be for other DeFi protocols.
A self-described “Legendary Member” of Gelato, Hilmar, noted that projects can now incentivize concentrated liquidity in “pool 2” liquidity pools. Pool 2 is a colloquialism for a native governance asset paired with a popular base asset, such as ETH or MATIC.
3) Having an ERC20 wrapper around Uni V3 LP positions is extremely powerful, as this enables teams like Instadapp to offer “Liquidity Mining” incentive schemes on top of G-UNI.
This means you can now incentivize your community to provide liquidity around specific ranges
— Hilmar X 冰淇淋 团队 (@hilmarxo) June 16, 2021
Projects often have to provide ample liquidity mining incentives for participants in pool 2s, as liquidity providers take on the risk of the native governance token collapsing in price. Concentrated liquidity rewards may help stabilize native asset prices to a more regular range.
Additionally, G-UNI is a ERC-20 token as opposed to a NFT, which opens it up to a broader number of possible applications in DeFi. Many lending platforms accept liquidity pool tokens as collateral, but aren’t yet widely prepared for positions represented as NFTs; G-UNI will allow them to onboard v3 liquidity positions faster. Likewise, yield vaults like Yearn.Finance, which has been planning to incorporate exchange positions for some time, may find it easier to integrate ERC-20s.
G-UNI will be used out of the gate as part of the launch of Instadapp’s governance token. The team is setting aside 1,000,000 INST tokens for INST/ETH liquidity mining, with 3/4ths of the rewards focused on a higher INST price liquidity range.
Per the Instadapp dashboard, the incentivized pools are currently live and offering 2,200% and 1,800% APY respectively.
Alchemix patches ‘Reverse Rug’ exploit, address $6.5 million shortfall
Cointelegraph By Andrew Thurman
It’s as miraculous as Aladdin taking off on a magic carpet: in a possible first, some of the users of a decentralized finance protocol were the ones to benefit today from an exploit, turning the concept of a ‘rugpull’ on its head.
A colloquialism for when liquidity is drained from a project (often an unscrupulous founder or developer draining the funds themselves), depositors and DeFi users are most often the ones holding bad debt and/or worthless tokens — left to hope for compensation plans that can take months or even years to fully vest.
In an exploit today, however, the users are the ones who got to pull at the seams for a change.
This morning, Alchemix announced that the contracts for one of their synthetic assets, alETH, had experienced an “incident.”
There has been an incident with the Alchemix alETH contracts. Together with the fantastic team at @iearnfinance, we have identified the error and are both working on a post-mortem and a solution to the problem.
Funds are safe.
— Alchemix (@AlchemixFi) June 16, 2021
In a incident report published later in the day, Alchemix developer “n4n0” said that “an issue with the deployment script of the alETH vault accidentally created additional vaults,” some of which the protocol used to incorrectly calculate outstanding debts, which in turn meant protocol funds were used to “pay off user debts.”
As a result, for a short window of time users were able to withdraw their ETH collateral with their alETH loans still outstanding — a rugpull by the community to the tune of $6.5 million.
Alchemix innovating again… this time with the reverse rugpull.. a ‘rugput’
Joking aside there was a little incident with the new alETH vault in which nobody lost any funds but some users actually gained@n4n084191635 with a great incident report herehttps://t.co/Vo3cWRnZPx pic.twitter.com/68G3y1s3x0
— ⟠ toast.eth (@intocryptoast) June 16, 2021
Per the incident report, the team paused the mint contract for alETH two and a half hours after the exploit was discovered. The report notes that no users lost funds as a result of the exploit, and that Yearn.Finance — whose yield vaults automatically repay Alchemix’s synthetic loans — suffered no loss as well. Additionally, a “conservative” initial debt ceiling prevented the protocol loss from being more extreme.
The team, including incident report author n4n0 appear to be taking the loss in stride:
— n4n0 (@n4n084191635) June 16, 2021
A trio of solutions is being deployed to cover the shortfall, including a temporary increase in protocol fees, a injection of ETH liquidity from Alchemix’s treasury, and a sale of DAI from the treasury for additional ETH. The team says they will be deploying an entirely new vault to address the flaws of the original.
Further changes may be on the horizon for the alETH asset as well. Alchemix currently has a alETH/ETH pool live on Saddle, a VC-backed fork of Curve Finance, following Curve reportedly turning down creating a pool for the synthetic Ether. However, in the past 48 hours the Curve social media account has been making overtures in an effort to bring Alchemix’s latest synthetic asset back.
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