Around the Block, Issue Nº11: LAYER2 featuring DAGs, upgradeable contracts
2 min read

Around the Block, Issue Nº11: LAYER2 featuring DAGs, upgradeable contracts

Around the Block was facing an existential crisis this week as Instapaper temporarily closed shop for Europe following GDPR. I rely heavily on Instapaper for knowledge automation and had to reluctantly move the system over to Pocket.

Neha Narula’s post on Layer 2 is a great explainer from a scalability expert, talking about the significant opportunities and uncertainties surrounding Layer 2 technologies. If hooked, follow up with Lukas Schor’s explanation of Plasma.

Zeppelin's bid to making Ethereum contracts easily upgradable will be a big step towards moving the ecosystem to a continuous integration model. A lot of Solidity developers will be taking the ZeppelinOS platform for a spin this week-end.

💎 Ethereum

Lukas Schor explains Plasma

Ethereum Plasma introduced a novel scaling solution that could enable Ethereum to reach many more transactions per second than currently possible. Like payment channels in the Bitcoin Lightning Network, Plasma is a technique for conducting off-chain transactions while relying on the underlying Ethereum blockchain to ground its security. Plasma supports the creation of child-chains spawning from the main Ethereum chain. Users can leave using a “Plasma exit” at any time, even during a 100% attack.

Set Labs (the team behind {Set} Protocol) launch TokenSets

Set Labs have used the {Set} Protocol to build their own DApp that supports thematic investments in cryptocurrency baskets. The first three funds are EthereumX (a set of top 10 ERC20 tokens), StableSet (a mix of stablecoins) and DEXSet (decentralized exchange protocol tokens).

📚 Blockchain Science

Alexandra Tran introduces the BlockDAG paradigm

A blockDag is a directed acyclic graph where nodes represent blocks and edges represent predecessor references. Orphans are blocks that are created outside the longest chain due to unavoidable network propagation delays. Accelerating block creation and/or increasing block sizes increases the orphan rate, which compromises security. DAGs happen to be used by projects like IOTA that deviate from Nakamoto-based systems, but DAGs needn’t depart from blocks and proof of work.

Neha Narula describes the importance of Layer 2

Layer 2 can be defined broadly as designing applications that anchor to the blockchain as a root of trust, instead of executing every step on the chain. This includes scaling solutions like the Lightning Network, but also off-chain computation, zero-knowledge contingent payments, etc. On-chain contracts are much easier to reason about than Layer 2 solutions and it’s unclear where to apply Layer 2. Neha believes that next year we will have cheap micro-payments using crypto.

💻 Developer Tools

Zeppelin launch ZeppelinOS

On the topic of Layer 2 — ZeppelinOS, a platform for developing, managing and operating smart contracts is live on the main net. This allows developers to build smart contracts that can be upgraded over time, but accessed over the same Ethereum address. This brings us one step closer to the world of web development in direct competition with the Truffle framework.

😅 Misc

🚀 Releases

🙏 Feedback

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