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Arbitrum, Optimism and the Battle for Ethereum L2 Supremacy 2022

New data suggests that the ecosystem is experiencing record-breaking network activity. In the last two months, both layers – 1 and 2 – have collectively processed 152 million transactions. However, it is the layer two solutions such as Arbitrum, Optimism, and others that accounted for 58%.

On the other hand, Ethereum mainnet transactions were observed to be hovering at their lowest point in over two years, which isn’t the case for layer two rollups. This is responsible for processing the same number of transactions as the mainnet.

Arbitrum – Undisputed Layer 2 Leader

Arbitrum and Optimism are the most popular Layer 2s. However, the popularity of these rollups can be explained by the ease with which projects can port over to them. These two important layer-two solutions have been integrated into well-respected centralized crypto exchanges.

As developer tooling has matured, it’s become easier for projects to port over to rollups like @arbitrum and @optimismFND and for CEXs to integrate as fiat on and off-ramps.

As the hype about alternative L1s faded, the commitment to scaling Ethereum’s ecosystem paid off. pic.twitter.com/xMTo0DfaOm

— Messari (@MessariCrypto) December 17, 2022

Looking at the total value of these protocols, Arbitrum is clearly in control with $1. 06 billion. Despite the bear markets, the market has grown steadily. This can partly be attributed to the Nitro upgrade which introduced lower fees and increased capacity.

Furthermore, its developer – Offchain Labs – raised around $147 million in funding from the likes of Lightspeed Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Pantera Capital, as well as billionaire Mark Cuban, among others. According to Pitchbook, the firm’s post-money valuation is over $1.2 billion.

In a bid to expand the footprint of Arbitrum, Offchain Labs announced the acquisition of Prysmatic Labs, which happens to be one of the core engineering teams behind Ethereum’s transition to proof-of-stake.

Optimism Trailing Closely

The latest stats from DeFiLlama also showed that Optimism has grown significantly in terms of TVL share, which currently stood at $526. 15 million. Outside of DeFi, the layer 2 solution has witnessed positive growth in the NFT space. Over the past few months, there has been a steady upward trend in the number of buyers for Optimism NFTs. Several initiatives, such as introducing Optimism quests, among others, have managed to attract more users.

The scaling solution secured $150 million in Series B funding, co-led by Andreessen Horowitz and Paradigm, in March this year.

Layer 2’s main attraction is the declining transaction fees. Arbitrum and Optism have done well in this regard. Dune Analytics data suggested that the fees on both the layer 2 solutions have plunged substantially.

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Ethereum

Railgun Denies North Korea Ties as it Approaches $1B Total Volume

Crypto privacy protocol Railgun has denied accusations that it is being used by North Korea and other United States-sanctioned entities to launder digital assets.

This development comes as the crypto privacy protocol nears $1B total volume.

Railgun Denies Lazarus Group Association

Responding to claims made by crypto reporter Colin Wu through an X post, Railgun denied allegations linking it to the North Korean hacker group Lazarus Group.

“The North Korean hacker group Lazarus Group is also a user of the coin mixer Railgun,” the post stated. “Railgun is seen as the main alternative to Tornado Cash after the sanctions were imposed on it,” the team added.

Wu’s post referenced an FBI statement from January 2023 that accused Railgun of being used to launder over $60 million worth of Ethereum stolen during the 2022 Harmony Bridge heist.

RAILGUN protocol: “Any suggestion that sanctioned individuals, governments, or entities such as North Korea have used RAILGUN have no evidence & are based only on speculation.” From 2023, all RAILGUN transactions go through a Private Proofs of Innocence check which verifies that…

— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain) April 16, 2024

“This is not true, and it’s false reporting,” Railgun stated. The team affirmed that the Lazarus group can’t access the Railgun system due to its ‘Private Proofs of Innocence’ system, which became operational over a year ago. Railgun also dismissed the accusation as a mistaken and false claim.

This development comes amidst a surge in Railgun’s total volume, which is about to break the $1 billion mark. Data from Dune Analytics reveals that Railgun has reached $962.81 million in total volume, with its total value locked on Ethereum surpassing $25 million.

Buterin’s Endorsement of Railgun

The protocol’s rise in popularity has been further propelled by an endorsement from Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who recently defended it while praising its privacy features.

“Privacy is normal,” Buterin affirmed. “Railgun uses the privacy pools protocol, which makes it much harder for bad actors to join the pool without compromising users’ privacy.”

Meanwhile, Buterin has transferred 100 ETH (approximately $325,000) to Railgun within the last two days, according to data from Arkham Intelligence. Over the past six months, he has engaged with Railgun several times, regularly interacting with the platform using small amounts of ETH each month.

Railgun, established in January 2021, leverages zero-knowledge cryptography to shield wallet balances, transaction history, and transaction details. This allows customers to use decentralized apps (DApps) while safeguarding their privacy.

The introduction of Private Proofs of Innocence in January 2023 has increased Railgun’s security measures as it now uses cryptographic assurance to verify the legitimacy of funds entering its smart contract.

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EY Launches Ethereum-Based OpsChain Contract Manager for Business Contracts

Ernst & Young (EY) has launched OpsChain Contract Manager (OCM), an Ethereum solution that leverages zero-knowledge proofs technology.

The solution will help private businesses efficiently manage and execute intricate business agreements while ensuring confidentiality, timeliness, and cost-effectiveness.

EY Launches the OpsChain Contract Manager

EY, one of the top “big four” accounting firms alongside Deloitte, KPMG, and PwC, has been exploring the business applications of zero-knowledge proofs (zk proofs) since at least 2018.

OpsChain Contract Manager (OCM) is tailored to facilitate the secure management of business contracts on a public blockchain. By leveraging zero-knowledge proofs, OCM ensures contract integrity and confidentiality while enhancing efficiency and reducing costs.

The platform integrates with existing enterprise systems through a standardized API and supports various contract types, including volume purchase agreements and pricing models linked to market data feeds.

The development of OCM came from EY’s previous client engagements, where it realized that contract term accuracy could be enhanced while significantly reducing cycle times and administrative costs by approximately 90% and 40%, respectively.

Meanwhile, EY chose Ethereum, a public blockchain, over a private network to prevent any party from gaining undue advantage while mitigating the risk of sensitive business information leakage.

Paul Brody, EY Global Blockchain Leader, highlighted that the technology behind OCM, Nightfall, initially emerged on Ethereum and underwent testing on its test network. The upcoming update will transition Nightfall to Ethereum’s mainnet and may incorporate a Layer-3 upgrade to enhance scalability and functionality.

EY’s Venture Into Blockchain

EY’s launch of OpsChain Contract Manager comes amid increasing blockchain adoption by major financial players. BlackRock also recently entered the space with a tokenized fund on Ethereum.

EY’s OCM reflects its commitment to revolutionizing how enterprises handle contracts, focusing on enhancing process efficiency and transparency through blockchain solutions. By integrating blockchain into traditional business practices, EY sets a precedent for the industry’s progression toward embracing this transformative technology in routine operations.

This latest development builds upon EY’s ongoing engagement with the blockchain sector. EY recently made headlines with a “healthcare breakthrough” by leveraging blockchain technology in collaboration with Canadian Blood Services.

In October 2023, EY unveiled the fourth generation of its EY blockchain analytics tool, Reconciler, designed to aid Fidelity in enhancing internal risk management for digital assets.

In September 2021, EY also announced its collaboration with Polygon to integrate Polygon’s solutions with EY’s flagship blockchain services, including EY OpsChain and EY Blockchain Analyzer.

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Ethereum Poised to Retest $3.5K as Bullish Sign Reappear (ETH Price Analysis)

After experiencing a rapid downturn, Ethereum has found itself supported by a substantial zone, comprising the 100-day moving average and a critical price range between the 0.5 and 0.618 Fibonacci levels. Consequently, a bullish rebound is anticipated in the medium term.

By Shayan

The Daily Chart

A thorough examination of the daily chart reveals an extended period of corrective retracements, culminating in the price finding support within a pivotal zone.

This zone encompasses the 100-day moving average at $3050 and the significant price range between the 0.5 ($3190) and 0.618 ($2972) Fibonacci levels.

This range carries significance as it attracts considerable demand, potentially hindering further downward pressure from market sellers. Additionally, a minor bullish divergence between the price and the RSI indicator suggests the potential for a bullish resurgence, targeting a reclaim of the $3.5K threshold. However, despite the bullish indications, an unexpected breach below this critical support zone could trigger a cascade effect toward the 200-day moving average at $2.5K.

eth_price_chart_2004241
Source: TradingView

The 4-Hour Chart

A closer inspection of the 4-hour chart reveals the formation of a descending wedge pattern during a multi-month consolidation correction. Following a significant decline, the price has reached the lower boundary of the wedge and the support region around $3K.

Nonetheless, given the potential buying pressure within this crucial range, the price has entered a consolidation phase characterized by minimal volatility.

This price action highlights a tug-of-war between buyers and sellers. Nevertheless, a noticeable divergence between the price and the RSI indicator on the 4-hour timeframe suggests the strength of buyers, increasing the likelihood of a bullish upswing in the medium term. In such a scenario, the next target for the price would be the critical resistance level at $3.5K. Conversely, should a break below this support occur, a descent toward the $2.7K support becomes increasingly probable.

eth_price_chart_2004241
Source: TradingView

By Shayan

As Ethereum’s price exhibits signs of recovery, it’s crucial to determine whether this resurgence stems from spot buying or leveraged futures activity. A key metric for this analysis is the funding rates, where positive values signify bullish sentiment and negative values indicate fear in the market.

Observing the recent downtrend in Ethereum’s price, it’s notable that the funding rate metric has mirrored this trajectory, steadily declining until reaching near-zero levels. This alignment suggests that the recent price drop has led to the liquidation of a significant number of positions in the perpetual market, resulting in a cooling effect on the futures market. Consequently, the market appears primed for the re-emergence of long positions, with the potential for a fresh upward surge.

eth_funding_rates_chart_2004241
Source: CryptoQuant
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Disclaimer: Information found on CryptoPotato is those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of CryptoPotato on whether to buy, sell, or hold any investments. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use provided information at your own risk. See Disclaimer for more information.

Cryptocurrency charts by TradingView.

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