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Diversity crisis, frames, and a vampire/atacc

Story One

Ethereum has a diversity crisis. You, dear reader, probably also fall under the “bro” category (crypto, VC, trader, finance bro… there are nuances, I know). Relax, this isn’t about sending some Karen from the diversity department your way and telling you to hire more minorities. 

It’s about Ethereum clients whose diversity pales even against X after Elon Musk fired half of the team. Clients are software that allows validator nodes to interact with the blockchain and execute transactions. 84% of Ethereum nodes currently use the Go Ethereum (GETH) client, a so-called supermajority. Otherwise known as the election results democratic leaders dream of. 

Geth dominance isn’t new, but on the 22nd of January, a minority client experienced a bug that awakened Ethereum devs from their blissful ignorance. 

Even though the bug was quickly resolved, it still highlighted that clients could break, and if this occurred on Geth, it wouldn’t go down as well. As Lefteris pointed out, if there was a complete loss of stake of validators using Geth, more than 20% of the ETH supply could be burned. 

As an ETH holder, certainly, that’s bullish for my small bags, right? The problem is, if the client failed, your sell order wouldn’t go through, and instead, we’d have to deal with a chain that can’t finalize and lots of forks.

For now, the only thing done to address the issue seems to be appealing to validators to do the right thing. Good luck with that. 

Takeaway: Once again, you wonder if these supposed cypherpunk values are really what drives people running blockchains or if it’s just, as economics suggests, good old greed. 

Story Two

Frames 

Speaking of clients, the most-used Farcaster client, Warpcast, has spurred a frenzy in activity this weekend with the launch of its latest feature: Frames. 🖼️

To add some context, Farcaster is a sufficiently decentralized social protocol that can be accessed through a variety of clients with different focuses, such as search, books, or cross-platform posting. 

Back to frames, they are an extension of the OpenGraph standard that turns static embeds into interactive experiences. If you’ve been an early Facebook user, you’re familiar with the idea: having games embedded and playable right on the Facebook page. 

Unlike farming games on FB, Frames are natively embedded in the broader crypto ecosystem, which means you can access web3 things without having to deal with the usual UX pains. Within 48 hours since launch, devs hacked together frames that allow you to one-click, subscribe to publications on Paragraph (a web3 blogging platform), mint NFTs, play Doom, get random Tarot cards, and more. 

Takeaway: You know they are onto something when even the Solana spokesperson Mert highlights the potential of it. As experience on Twitter degrades, come over to the Purple side. They got on-chain cows and a foray into how crypto-enabled experiences can look like when you focus on fun. 

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Story Three

Vampire/atacc 🧛

Remember Eigenlayer? With millions in TVL locked, the re-staking protocol has attracted liquidity-sucking competition named EtherFi. Even though Eigenlayer did the socially responsible thing and capped deposits, they didn’t set limits on re-staking, which means people can re-stake their ETH locked in Eigenlayer to earn additional yield and rewards from projects that use Eigenlayer to bootstrap security. 

In other words, it’s all about earning as many rewards as possible. EtherFi is well aware of the modus operandi of Degens and launched a Vampire attack to benefit from Eigenlayer users. Unhinged as they are, they called the campaign deVamp, and went as far as creating VAMP badges. 

Add to that the ability to earn points per re-staked ETH, and you get a protocol that has attracted over $475 million in Total Value Locked. 

As a cherry on top, EtherFi even committed to using Minority Clients.

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Takeaway: Vampire attacks are like Dio in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: hard to get rid of.  For as long as there are enough mercenaries, there are incentives to launch one.

Fact of the week: Even though Vampires are solitary creatures and hang out at best in pairs of two, if you see three or more together, that’s called a Brood.

Naomi for CoinJar


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