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Top Headlines for 22 April, 2022

Kadena Unveils $100M Grant For Web3

Blockchain project Kadena, developed by two former JP Morgan employees, Stuart Popejoy and Will Martino, unveiled a $100 million grant program in April 2022 to support web3 development on its network.

The grant program is an extension of the Kadena Eco initiative that seeks to promote metaverse, gaming NFTs, and decentralized finance development on its blockchain. Co-founder Stuart Popejoy said that the company would use its “treasury resources” to ensure the long-term sustainability of Kadena.

Web3 represents the next iteration of the Internet built on top of potentially decentralized blockchain systems. The emerging blockchain networks will essentially be competing with industry-leading web 2.0 infrastructure providers like Amazon Web Services, Azure, and Infura.

Bastion Raises $9M

In April 2022 lending and stablecoin swap project Bastion raised $9 million in its Series A funding round led by crypto VC firm Three Arrows Capital along with the participation of FTX Ventures, Jump Crypto, and Jane Street. The DeFi protocol plans to use the newly raised capital to expand its team and increase marketing activities.

N^2, the pseudonymous founder of Bastion, said that the platform is also releasing a native token for the project BSTN. The token distribution plan will allocate 30% of issued tokens to the project treasury and liquidity mining and 25% and 15% to the team and investors respectively.

The protocol issues collateral tokens whenever a user deposits funds into the project’s liquidity pool. These tokens earn interest based on the deposited funds’ value. The user can later use these collateral loans to acquire a loan from the protocol.

Ridley Scott To Produce Film On Ethereum

Director Ridley Scott, best known for popular cult films like Alien and Blade Runner, intends to produce a movie about the founding and rise of Ethereum, the second biggest crypto network in the industry.

The film will be an adaptation of the book “The Infinite Machine” by Camile Russo, which covers the early days and development of Ethereum. Other books published about Ethereum’s origin include “Out of the Ether” by Matthew Leising, released in 2020, and Laura Shin’s “The Cryptopians”.

Shyam Madiraju has been hired to write and direct the film, and Ridley Scott will produce alongside Tom Moran and Vera Meyer, two of his colleagues at his Scott Free production company.

Crusoe Raises $505 Million

Bitcoin mining firm Crusoe Energy Systems has raised $505 million in its Series C funding round to make its mining more environmentally sustainable. The company will use natural gas traditionally burned as a waste product of oil extraction.

G2 Venture Partners provided $350 million in equity financing to the firm, with sparkFund, Generate Capital and SVB Capital providing an additional $155 million.

Crusoe has 86 mining facilities that incorporate “Digital Flare Mitigation,” a system that brings energy demands to regions where natural gas reserves are usually wasted, such as oil drilling sites. G2 Venture Partners’ Ben Kortlang said that Crusoe is the market leader in digital flare mitigation, and the new capital will help the firm deploy this system at scale.

The system allows for cooperation between the company and gas reserve sites. The latter can monetize a product that is generally wasted, while miners get access to cheap power. In January 2021, the mining company started a joint project with energy giant Exxon to set up operations in North Dakota with plans to expand in regions like Alaska, Germany, Nigeria, and Argentina.

Monero Up 22% Amid Hard Fork Announcement

Privacy-centric cryptocurrency Monero price soared by 22.8% in the seven days after 16 April, 2022 when developers confirmed a hard fork scheduled for 16 July 2022.

According to CoinMarketCap, Monero has reached a $5 billion market capitalization as of 21 April, 2022, including a spike of 9.56% in the last 24 hours. This growth makes the crypto network a market leader among privacy coins, as its nearest competitor Zcash only has around 50% of its market value.

Monero’s hard fork in July 2022 will be the 15th update for the network, which is set to enhance its privacy features and make transactions on the network more efficient. The update increases the ring size on the network from 11 to 16. The ring is a feature that enhances a user’s privacy by merging its transaction signature with 11 other non-signers.

Privacy-focused cryptocurrencies generally rely on cryptographic techniques to obfuscate personal identifiers such as wallet addresses and transaction amounts. Monero and Zcash both use cryptographic techniques called zero-knowledge proofs, which allow users to prove a legitimate transactions without disclosing personal identifiers. Although Monero only supports private transactions, Zcash allows public ones too.

Scroll Raises $30 million

In April 2022 Ethereum layer 2 scaling solution Scroll raised $30 million in its Series A funding round led by Polychain Capital with participation from Bain Capital Ventures, Geometry DAO, and Robot Ventures.

Scroll aims to make transactions on Ethereum faster and more affordable by incorporating zero-knowledge proof technology in its rollups. The project was developed in collaboration with the Ethereum Foundation, and its code has been reviewed by Vitalik Buterin himself.

Scroll code can be deployed on Ethereum without any modification to the network. The project has leveraged research breakthroughs and hardware advancements to realize its zero-knowledge Ethereum virtual machine (zkEVM). According to some developers, zkRollups are far superior to earlier Ethereum scaling solutions such as optimistic rollups.

The zkRollups are customarily application-specific which inhibits blockchain developers from building decentralized applications on them. By contrast, Scroll’s zkEVM is designed in a way that overcomes this limitation and enables zero-knowledge proofs to be verified on the Ethereum general machine.