🏃Novice Web3 Developers Fled Amid Bear Market
We kick off with a sobering report from Electric Capital that indicates a 22% drop in the number of active crypto developers since last year's all-time high. But it's not all doom and gloom - the report also reveals a resilient web3 ecosystem with developer activity still higher than pre-peak levels.
Next, we delve into the security realm as Ethereum developers propose a new token standard, ERC-7281, aimed at safeguarding token issuers against cross-chain bridge exploits, following a series of high-profile hacks.
Meanwhile, CoW Swap is making strides towards enhancing the DeFi user experience with its new feature, Hooks, that allows users to chain multiple actions and save on transaction fees. Finally, a security engineer faces criminal charges in New York over a $9M crypto heist.
✍️ In today’s newsletter:
- Veteran Web3 developers contributed 80% of code commits last month: Electric Capital
- Proposed ERC-7281 standard would protect token issuers from bridge hacks
- CoW Swap launches 'Hooks'
- DoJ arrests engineer over $9M DEX hack
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Watch our video on the Arkham Intelligence controversy. And check out our podcast with Mike Silagadze, founder and CEO of ether.fi.
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New Developers Left Web3 En Masse In The Past 12 Months
TLDR According to a report from Electric Capital, the number of active developers across Web3 has dropped by 22% from its peak in 2022, with the decline mainly among developers who have been in the space for less than a year. Despite the overall downtrend, some protocols like Osmosis, Sui, Aptos, and TON have expanded their developer ecosystems.
SO WHAT The exodus of newer developers suggests a weeding out process where those less committed or capable are leaving, while the veterans and those truly dedicated to crypto are sticking around and continuing to contribute. There are still more active developers today than there were before the cryptocurrency market peaked in November 2021.
“Phat Contract: Smart Contracts. Now Smarter.“
Phala Network, a leading computation infrastructure platform recently released Phat Contract, an off-chain program running on Phala Network which helps users to connect smart contracts anywhere while the app gains internet access.
Phat Contract is the optimal solution for implementing Web3 Functions.
In web3, ensuring efficient interaction with massive off-chain data while maintaining trustworthy and secure information has become exceedingly challenging. Therefore, Phat Contract enables smart contracts to extend their capabilities to the rich off-chain world, making smart contracts even smarter.
Use cases of Phat Contract are:
- SocialFi developers can enable their smart contracts to read data from any API, including user profile stats like followers, posts, comments, and post stats.
- Cross-chain DEX aggregators that enable users to swap tokens between various blockchains while ensuring the best possible price and minimal slippage in one-click.
- Self-owned oracles where any smart contract can access a wide range of data from both on and off-chain data sources.
Phala launched a no-code experience for Phat Contract that allows developers to deploy pre-built templates for specific use-cases called Blueprints. The first Blueprint is a LensAPI Oracle, which makes it easier than ever to deploy a programmable web3 oracle in the Lens ecosystem and unlock the full potential of web3 social applications.
You can check out Phat Contract templates here.
Ethereum Developers Propose Token Standard To Protect Issuers From Bridge Hacks
TLDR Ethereum developers are proposing a new token standard, ERC-7281, which aims to protect token issuers against cross-chain bridge exploits. The idea is to extend the popular ERC-20 standard to limit a token's exposure to bridges, a common target for hackers in DeFi space. The move follows recent exploits that targeted cross-chain bridges Poly Network and Multichain, which led to significant losses.
SO WHAT If successfully implemented, ERC-7281 could strengthen the security of tokens and incentivize bridge protocols to prioritize security over liquidity.
CowSwap Enables Complex Swaps With ‘Hooks’
TLDR Decentralized exchange aggregator CoW Swap has introduced a feature called "Hooks" that allows additional transactions to be processed right before or after a trade. The function enables sophisticated users to chain actions like swapping, bridging, and staking together, which can help reduce transaction fees.
SO WHAT The ability to chain together multiple actions in a single transaction can save users both time and transaction fees, making DeFi more accessible and cost-effective. As the crypto space aims to improve its user experience, features like Hooks that simplify complex transactions are a step towards wider adoption.
Security Engineer Arrested Over $9M DEX Hack
TLDR Shakeeb Ahmed, a New York-based security engineer, has been arrested by U.S. authorities under allegations of stealing $9M in 2022 from a decentralized exchange, likely Crema Finance, by exploiting a vulnerability in its smart contracts. Ahmed allegedly inserted fake pricing data to generate inflated fees which he then withdrew.
SO WHAT This action highlights the active role law enforcement agencies are playing in tracking and prosecuting cryptocurrency theft and fraud, irrespective of the decentralized nature of these platforms. The arrest serves as a deterrent, underlining authorities' increasing capability to trace even complex crypto transactions.