DeFi Arts Intelligencer - July 11th, 2020

Welcome to the 25th issue of the DeFi Arts Intelligencer, your weekly source for key happenings around Ethereum art, collectibles, and games. Subscribe here.

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For this dispatch:

🎨 Digital Art & Collectibles

🕹️ Blockchain Games

♦️♦️ DeFi News

  • There were nearly 3,000 dapps on Ethereum as of June 2020, with almost 30 new dapps launched last month, according to the latest “Ethereum by the Numbers” report from ConsenSys.

  • There’s currently more than $2.2 billion worth of assets locked up in DeFi protocols; the total market cap of DeFi tokens is now over $8 billion, too.

  • DeFi lending protocol Aave is rolling out an undercollateralized lending service, which will allow depositors to delegate credit lines to others.

  • The mStable meta-stablecoin project is launching its MTA protocol token on July 15th.

📰Fresh Content

🖌️Extra, Extra

  • I bought Artnome’sSAMOGAN #4” for 2 ETH 🎉 …

  • This week I chatted with Caleb Sheridan, the Product Manager of the Chainlink VRF effort. They’ve been doing some really interesting stuff to help the NFT space lately, so I was really excited to pick Caleb’s brain a bit. Here’s a short Q&A on the work he and his team are doing.

    WMP: VRF tech may not be as flashy as some of the other innovations in the cryptoeconomy, yet it’s a major solution that has tons of potential going forward. Can you walk readers through what Chainlink VRF does and why it’s useful?

    Caleb Sheridan: Chainlink VRF is a random number generator designed for smart contracts. Players and users can feel more confident using applications which integrate Chainlink VRF because each random number is verified on-chain to prove it has not been tampered. This is a leap forward for smart contracts. Blockchain games are about to get a lot more fun.

    Random outcomes are widely used by the traditional games industry to great effect. Randomly generated worlds help engage and retain players. Fun/skill ratios are regularly balanced with randomness. Rewards are distributed randomly to boost the sales of virtual goods. Randomness is this secret ingredient that, in the right measure, makes games better. But randomness is notoriously difficult to implement in smart contracts due to security concerns, so everyone has been missing out.

    Chainlink VRF makes provably-fair and tamper-proof randomness available to smart contract developers in a few lines of code. The ultimate benefactors are the players who will enjoy games more and be better protected from financial losses. Developers can prove to their users that their game is trustworthy and that no one can bias the random outcomes, including exploitative users, miners, or even the game’s own developers.

    WMP: The NFT conservation project Wildcards recently decided to start using Chainlink VRF. Could you speak a little to how the meld will work?

    CS: Wildcards is a project with a cause. They facilitate donations from users to wildlife conservations using NFTs. The first generation Wildcards NFTs each represent an actual animal and drive monthly donations to a specific conservation effort. The team is using Chainlink VRF to expand the collection and grow user engagement.

    Chainlink VRF will be used to hatch new Wildcards and incentivize voter participation in ecosystem decisions with random rewards. These features serve Wildcards ultimate goal to contribute more to wildlife conservation efforts and research. 

    WMP: In your opinion, do you think it’s just a matter of time until VRF tech sees considerable adoption? Are we still years away from that point, or can it break through sooner?

    CS: There are two ways how Chainlink VRF will grow with blockchain games: blockchain games using Chainlink VRF will be more fun and attract more users; and ecosystems which quickly grow in value will evaluate past security decisions on generating randomness.

    A very wide set of blockchain game developers can now use time-tested features from traditional games to reach new heights. Every blockchain project must evaluate how cryptographically-proven randomness can help them reach their goals for user adoption, security, and UX.

    WMP: How do you see the Chainlink VRF team’s efforts as fitting into the wider Chainlink project’s mission?

    CS: Chainlink gives blockchain developers the ability to connect smart contracts with the outside world. Smart contract developers using Chainlink have this entire extra suite of tools, including verifiable randomness, with which to make smart contracts more useful for users. Making smart contracts work with the services everyone already uses is an easy step toward broader adoption and Chainlink helps with that.

    We enjoy working with talented developers and teams pushing the boundaries of smart contract development. If that sounds like you, please get in touch.

    WMP: So what comes next for Chainlink VRF? Does the group have any rollouts on the slate in the near future?

    CS: We are currently helping multiple teams implement Chainlink VRF on Ethereum testnets in preparation for a final security review and mainnet release. If you would like to try Chainlink VRF, please visit our docs.

Thanks for reading, and stay creative on- and off-chain!

Keep an 👁️ out for the 26th issue of the DeFi Arts Intelligencer this time next week, too. Cheers ✌️

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About DeFi Arts Intelligencer

The DeFi Arts Intelligencer is curated by me, William M. Peaster, a professional writer and editor who’s been tracking the Ethereum and Dai beats in recent years.

I’m passionate about art and a DeFi optimist, so putting together this newsletter is both fun and informative for me. I hope others may find the content helpful, too. But be mindful, the information herein should not be construed as investment advice. I’m not a financial adviser, and these are my opinions. Always take care to seriously consider the various layers of risk you face in participating in the still-maturing cryptoeconomy.

If you have a DeFi tip or lead, questions or comments, or would be interested in commissioning me for a writing gig, you can ping me at wmpeaster@gmail.com or on Telegram at @wmpeaster.

If you enjoy this newsletter and want to support it, feel free to subscribe or have a like-minded friend subscribe as well. I have NFTs open for offers, too, or you can tip me at wmpeaster.eth. Thanks kindly!