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Ethereum Ecosystem Booming: Eyes Slew of New Toys This Week

This week, the various corners of the Ethereum ecosystem have been filled with a particularly lively flurry of activity.

First up, there’s MAD Stores — think “Mutually Assured Destruction.” Created by Ethereum developer Alejandro Diaz and announced on Wednesday, Turms MAD Stores is an anonymous and decentralized marketplace that leverages Ethereum smart contracts  in order to avoid needing a backend server at all.


In the reveal, Diaz characterized the marketplace as akin to a “completely decentralized” and more private version of eBay:

“Another difference between ebay and MAD Stores is that sellers can remain anonymous, or at least pseudonymous; that is, buyers and sellers are only known by their Ethereum addresses (or ENS names).”

Those making deals can use the relatively new Turms Anonymous Message Transport system, another project Diaz has worked on. Turms AMT can make encrypted comms between Ethereum addresses.

Moreover, the MAD smart contracts provide escrow functionalities, a product category ledger, and the ability to record a seller’s inventory and information about it.

Buyers and sellers are protected according to the aforementioned principle of Mutually Assured Destruction. If a party on either side of a deal tries to scam the other, both users’ escrowed funds will be burned.

Another Ethereum Mixer Steps Up to the Plate

Various mixers have been proposed in the Ethereum ecosystem recently (e.g. Heiswap), and the latest oncomer is the Tornado mixer, which is backed by the zk-SNARKS privacy tech — also known as “Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge” transactions.

The mixer is notably non-custodial, meaning users can facilitate private Ethereum-based trades right from the comfort of an address of choice rather than having to first deposit ether (ETH) onto a centralized exchange.

The Tornado mixer was just released on the Kovan testnet, so it’s not ready for a production environment status just yet. But its progress is heartening for many Ethereum community stakeholders who have been lobbying for solid mixer resources in recent times.

Pooled cDAI Built to Help Ethereum Funding

For the past few weeks, EthHub co-founder and Gnosis team member Eric Conner has floated the idea of launching a pooled fund comprised of the Dai stablecoin, the interest of which could be put toward Ethereum development activities while at the same time allowing investors to pull out their principal investments when all was said and done.

Now, an early example of that model has officially been put forth in the Pooled cDAI project. As the effort’s GitHub explains, it does the following activities:

“[…] Pools DAI, converts it into Compound DAI, and sends interests to a beneficiary. Users putting DAI into the pool receives Pooled cDAI (pcDAI), an ERC20 token which is 1-for-1 redeemable for DAI at any time.”

Chalk it up as another novel open-source development funding avenue that could be explored by all sorts of entities in the cryptoeconomy, not least of which are Ethereum stakeholders looking to boost development prospects in the blockchain’s ecosystem.

Speaking of the Dai stablecoin, it’s also worth mentioning that the MakerDAO team that oversees the dual MKR-DAI ecosystem has opened up a bug bounty campaign for the coming Multi-Collateral Dai offering, which will ultimately allow users to take out collateralized debt positions (CDPs) using assets beyond ether.

Real World, Off-Chain Assets to Underpin Maker CDPs?

Speaking of opening up CDPs with assets beyond ether, what about doing so with off-chain assets like physical property?

That’s what Fluidity — the builders of the AirSwap crypto exchange — are planning with their Tokenized Asset Portfolio roadmap.

Reasonable people can agree or disagree as to whether off-chain assets being used to secure Dai loans is a shrewd idea, but what’s clear is that the DeFi horizon is growing day by day.

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