The Year 2020 in a Nutshell

    “Black Thursday”, the Bitcoin block reward halving, DeFi hype, as well as the launch of both Ethereum 2 phase 0 and Polkadot – this year has certainly been exciting for the crypto space. What were the most important events? How did cryptocurrencies perform overall?

    Scaling the Decentralized Economy

    Debates around scalability are as old as the crypto space itself. While in 2017, the “transactions per second”-mania spawned many layer 1 protocols, the understanding and scope of the term ‘scalability’ nowadays goes beyond simple throughput.

    Ethereum 2 Is Coming

    The deposit contract for Ethereum 2 was officially launched on Nov. 4. The genesis of the beacon chain, which is at the heart of Ethereum 2’s architecture, is now likely to take place on Dec. 1. What are the implications for Ethereum? What changes, and what stays the same?

    Onboarding the Next Wave to Crypto

    One of the core challenges for cryptocurrencies and their underlying blockchains is how to achieve wide-spread adoption among the public. During the past weeks, several steps in that direction have been made.

    Evaluating Smart Contract Security

    Smart contracts allow for broad automation of financial and other operations, removing unnecessary intermediaries. However, interactions with smart contracts always bear risks of bugs in the code. A model based on game theory could help to quickly estimate how safe a smart contract is.

    Airdrops and Forks – Free Money?

    Airdrops of cryptocurrencies have become a regularly used tool to either market the existence of a coin, or to achieve a sufficiently decentralized initial coin distribution. Are airdrops simply “free money”? And if yes, do forks also fall into this category?

    Regulations and Innovations

    During this year, major changes have come, or are yet to come, to the regulatory landscape of the crypto markets. One of the main goals of these new regulations is to not stifle innovation – and innovation continues to happen at a rapid pace.

    Shifts in Cryptocurrency Markets

    Markets are pricing mechanisms to constantly re-estimate the true value of any traded asset, and crypto markets are no different. Most coins that were relevant in 2013 have faded into irrelevance. Is true diversification possible within the cryptocurrency markets?

    The Aftershock of Governance Tokens

    The incentivization of pooling liquidity on Compound through their governance token COMP two months ago has unleashed a wave of innovation in the DeFi space. What has happened since then? And what role do governance tokens play in this phenomenon?

    The Evolving Open Finance Ecosystem

    During this period of low Bitcoin volatility, decentralized (or open) finance has turned into a hype that is reminiscent of the 2017 ICO mania. Why has it attracted so much attention in a short timespan?

    Examining Crypto Volatility

    While crypto investors and traders are used to large price swings, volatility has dropped down to historically low levels over the past weeks. What is the current market environment? And how do “the other BTC charts”, valued against non-USD currencies, look like?

    Token Incentives in Decentralized Finance

    Altcoins, and especially the ones with smaller market caps, have performed well this year. One particular group of tokens stood out: those related to decentralized finance. What is the current hype all about?

    Scaling the Second Layer

    For mainstream adoption, scaling blockchains is a key challenge. Over the past six months, significant improvements to transaction speed and cost have been achieved using second layer technologies.

    Bitcoin SV: Back to Genesis

    Since Bitcoin Satoshi Vision came into existence in November 2018, a lot has happened on the chain, from the establishment of decentralized social media to simplified payment solutions. Miners – or transaction processors – will play a key role moving forward.

    Ethereum’s Path to Serenity

    Ethereum is inching closer to one of its most anticipated events: the launch of Ethereum 2. The key factor to look out for that could signal an imminent launch is a multi-client testnet that runs smoothly for 2-3 months. Meanwhile, stablecoins are dominating value transfer on the current Ethereum chain.

    Block Reward Halvings and the Rational Miner

    Bitcoin’s third block reward halving in May will reshape the mining landscape and strongly affect the economics of mining. What will this mean for the supply of BTC coming from miners to the open markets?

    Turn on the Money Printers!

    The current global crisis has led governments and central banks to launch extensive measures in fiscal and monetary policies. This brings up the discussion about a fundamental aspect of cryptocurrencies: their use as a hedge against inflation.

    A Flight to Safety

    Cryptocurrencies were not immune to concerns about the global economy and saw a market-wide sell-off last week. What happened? And how did it happen?

    Blockchain, not Bitcoin?

    An often-heard stance on the digital asset space is: “Blockchain yes, cryptocurrencies no.” However, the value proposition of the two is linked together, and cryptocurrencies are an integral part of decentralized blockchains.

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