More than 700 Ethereum developers descended on Berlin last week for EthBerlin, three days of discussion, debate and demos on the world’s second most popular blockchain. The event culminated in a hackathon, with some awesome results, including a tool that lets you “get high on interest” and another to make short work of calculating future gas prices.
Kyle Samani, crypto influencer and managing partner at Austin, Texas-based crypto investment firm, Multicoin Capital didn’t attend the conference. But that didn’t stop him from listing his top 14 projects to emerge from the conference, on Sunday. Here’s a quick rundown, and our brief annotation, of his picks.
The problem: Say you’re looking for the addresses of owners of Crytokitties born in January. Currently, there’s no way to directly query Ethereum data from a smart contract.
The solution: Graph Protocol, developers of The Graph, a decentralized query protocol for blockchains, has built an oracle. Now, smart contracts can use it to tap into The Graph, and developers can build even more powerful applications on Ethereum.
The problem: Smart contracts are limited by the types and bandwidth of data they can process.
The solution: Blockchain infrastructure provider Skale Labs is building a network that can accelerate the performance of blockchain applications. The team captured video content via WebRTC software for web browsers, and passed higher bandwidth and near real-time data between two smart contracts. Skale’s millisecond time resolution for mined blocks allows 1000 video frames to be published during 1 second of time flow. Their solution makes it possible for dapp developers to use more types of data feeds in a decentralized way.
The problem: There are plenty of decentralized loan platforms on Ethereum, but the volatility of interest rates deters many potential borrowers.
The solution: Developers have introduced fixed-interest rate loans built via the Compound Finance protocol, which allows for the creation of money markets on the Ethereum blockchain. They powered the system via an on-chain, interest-rate swap, order-book system, which matches potential loans to users’ needs.
The problem: There are too few decentralized chat solutions that are censorship resistant.
The solution: Fully decentralized, peer-to-peer chat that’s not hosted on third-party servers. In other words, the chat system is hosted across Ethereum’s myriad nodes, and can’t be shut down or altered.
The problem: Words constitute “string type” data, comprised of a set of characters that can also contain spaces and numbers. These are currently prohibitively expensive to store on the Ethereum Blockchain.
The solution: WordDao fixes the problem by creating a single central map of 450,000 words on chain, where they can be referenced by integer data (a more commonly used data type) at a tremendous gas savings. This means smart contracts can now store large amounts of on-chain data or interact directly and more easily with commonly used data.
The solution Meshsim is a tool to visualize how messages flow. Introducing it into the libp2p network allows developers to write decentralized peer-to-peer applications and tweak the network topology.
The problem: The ecosystem needs wallets that can automatically pay for ongoing gas costs rung up by dapps.
The solution: YAW is an Ethereum smart contract wallet which allows users to automatically maintain a minimum account balance (100 DAI) to provide gas free transactions. It does that by paying those network fees with interest earned, via the Compound Finance protocol.
The problem: A perceived need for an anonymous, uncensorable and truly decentralized image board.
The solution: 3chan is based on anonymous image-based bulletin board 4chan, but it is unmoderatable, uncensorable, “truly anonymous,” and decentralized, according to its developers, as it runs completely on the distributed file system IPFS.
The problem: Some people want to pay for Amazon purchases with the DAI stablecoin but have no way of doing so.
The solution: Paidai is a browser extension for Amazon to enable payments in Dai via Ethereum wallet Metamask.
The problem: Being a voting member on a lot of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations is too complex for mere mortals.
The solution: My-DAO-Dashboard is an easy way for members to manage multiple DAO’s with minimum confusion. Based on a user’s individual Ethereum address, it makes it easier to
manage different stakes in each DAO, different contracts, and other responsibilities.
The problem: Scheduling transactions is becoming more and more popular on Ethereum. However, one of the biggest hurdles for users is estimating future execution costs, as gas price on Ethereum is volatile.
The solution: VollgasDAO Gas Futures enables users to prepay a fixed fee to receive an amount of gas at a locked price. The price is equal to the future real average gas price at the time of redemption, and determined by oracle system ChainLink, based on data from the EthGasStation API). This solution gives user more certainty and acts as a hedge against gas price volatility
The problem: Mariano Conti, who heads up smart contracts at MakerDAO, the startup behind the DAI currency, saw the need for a proxy contract that lets you buy voting power on platforms such as MolochDAO, which enables funds to be raised and allocated for Ethereum projects.
The solution: Conti created a proxy contract that you set as your delegate voting key in MolochDAO, YangDAO, MetaCartelDAO, OrochiDAO, and other, similar platforms. It enables you to sell your voting power to the highest bidder.
The problem: Developers Peter Mitchell and Jasperdg de Gooijer were concerned that Chainlink oracles can theoretically be affected by third parties incentivized to manipulate API data.
The solution: The duo “broke Chainlink” and then fixed it by building a secondary “dispute layer” on top. This layer utilizes so-called “resolution mechanics,” from decentralized betting marketplace, Augur. Securing Chainlink via Augur means the best of both worlds, say the developers, and means faster resolutions and a robust fallback oracle.
The problem: Crypto markets interest rates volatile is so pesky that developers believe it’s worthy of more than one hack (see no. 3, above.)
The solution: An autonomous, open-source platform for interest rate swaps built using the Compound Finance protocol. Cherry Swap also draws inspiration from prediction markets and combines interest rate swaps with crowd-based predictions via pooled positions on market interest rates.