Major Step Towards Eth 2.0, Huobi's DeFi Chain

Hello defiers! Here’s what’s happening in decentralized finance,

  • Ethereum developers took a major step towards 2.0

  • Huobi plans to create a DeFi-focused blockchain

Freeze! Eth 2.0 is Getting Closer

The current version of Ethereum is like a mobile phone from 1999 than can play snake. Ethereum 2.0 is meant to be the “world computer” that Vitalik Buterin envisioned, according to Buterin himself.

Ethereum developers got a little bit closer to ditching the old phone yesterday with the decision to stop making changes to the code for Phase 0 of Ethereum 2.0 in a so-called “spec-freeze,” (spec=specification).

The fully realized version of Eth 2.0 will be a proof-of-stake chain, with Layer 1 scaling and a new virtual machine. It’s a faster and less energy-intensive version of Ethereum. Phase 0, also known as Beacon Chain, is only a proof-of-stake blockchain that doesn’t support smart contracts or ether transfers, but it's the foundation for everything else.

Now that the code for the Beacon Chain is frozen, meaning no major changes will be made to it, teams building the different Eth 2.0 clients (clients are software through which users access the blockchain), will continue working so that at least two clients can synch to each other by Jan. 3, the target date they set to launch the Beacon Chain. The full Eth 2.0 probably won’t launch before 2021.

The launch of Ethereum 2.0 is the biggest milestone Ethereans have to work towards, as it will increase the network’s capacity so that it can withstand the load of mainstream applications. That’s key if decentralized finance projects are going to really compete with traditional banks.

The Beacon Chain won’t do much when it launches, but it does allow people to become validators and those who stake ETH2 (the Eth 2.0 version of ether), will be able to start gaining interest. That means Eth 2.0 will be a part of DeFi as soon as next year.

Huobi is Betting on a Buttoned-Up DeFi

Huobi, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges by volume, wants to build its own public blockchain for decentralized financial services, called Huobi Finance Chain.

To do this, it’s partnering with Nervos blockchain, a proof-of-work chain, with Layer 2 scaling capabilities and an off-chain programming model (unlike Ethereum’s on-chain smart contracts). Nervos is still in testnet with mainnet launch and token sale planned for the fourth quarter, according to its website.

Huobi’s DeFi chain itself is still a ways off: “The project is expected to open source in Q3 this year, testnet launch in Q1 2020, and mainnet launch in Q2 2020,” according to the press release.

The “DeFi” part of it is a new take on plans Huobi announced a year ago. In June 2018, the company said it was allocating $100 million to create a new chain and eventually move governance into a decentralized autonomous organization and build a decentralized exchange.

Huobi is signalling it believes the decentralized finance space will continue to grow and this new chain is its way of getting in the middle of it.

But it’s also signalling it believes a more contained version of DeFi has a better chance of gaining adoption. Huobi highlights that a key differentiating factor for its chain is that it will support know your customer and anti-money laundering protocols to ensure regulatory compliance.

There aren’t many details on how exactly that will be done, without compromising on the decentralized part of “DeFi,” as usually third parties are needed for those checks.

It could be that a regulated version of DeFi is exactly what all the banks and institutions were waiting for and they’ll jump into the game as soon as they see it. But the squalid security tokens market shows that it’s more complex than that.

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