Week Ahead Industry Previews: Third Week of November 2023

Here’s a rundown of the most noteworthy web3 industry events and project developments to look out for in the coming week
  • Devconnect Ethereum Developers Conference is in Istanbul
  • Gitcoin Grants Round 19 Launch on November 15
  • Gemini Operations Cease in the Netherlands on November 17
  • Deadline for Virtual Asset Service Provider Licensing or Registration Applications in Dubai on November 17
  • Unlocking of APE Tokens on November 17 at 08:00 (Approximately $22.93 Million)

Key Events

The Ethereum Foundation held the Devconnect conference in Istanbul, Turkey, from November 13 to 19. This week-long event, different from Devcon in structure, consisted of various individual activities organized by the community, each delving into a specific theme.

The choice of Istanbul as the host city for Devconnect 2023 was explained by the Ethereum Foundation, citing its unique position as a bridge between East and West, convenient transportation, rich local community involvement, and numerous blockchain clubs among students. Additionally, the blend of Istanbul’s distinctive history, culture, and modernity is expected to provide an excellent environment for the global Ethereum developer community and drive innovation in the Ethereum ecosystem. The Ethereum Foundation had previously organized the inaugural Ethereum Devconnect conference in Amsterdam in 2022.

The final round of Gitcoin Grants for 2023, Gitcoin Grants 19 (GG19), will commence on November 15 and conclude on November 30. Applications will remain open throughout the entire round. GG19 will introduce three project rounds and over nine community rounds, providing approximately $1.24 million in matching support funds.

It’s noteworthy that the Ethereum Infrastructure Rounds will transition to an invitation-only format. Gitcoin Passport scores will reset after 90 days, and applicants must refresh their Passport scores before the start of GG19 on November 15. Applicants with scores of 15 or higher are eligible for matching, and matching capacity will increase proportionally for scores between 15 and 25. The Web3 Open Source Software round of GG19 will operate on the Public Goods Network (PGN), and community round managers can choose the network on which they want to run their rounds.

Arbitrum is set to collaborate with Gitcoin on three distinct grant programs:

  • Arbitrum Citizens Retrofunding: This round primarily targets community users contributing to Arbitrum DAO governance and processes. A total of 100,000 ARB tokens will be distributed as rewards, with the official launch scheduled for November 15.
  • Matching Fest on Gitcoin: This initiative will provide funding rewards of 300,000 ARB, primarily for users supporting Arbitrum One through the Gitcoin protocol.
  • Allo Hackathon on Arbitrum: The total rewards for this program amount to 100,000 ARB and are focused on builders capable of creating future data structures and tools.

In terms of regulation, Dubai, being a crypto-regulation-friendly jurisdiction, has the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) announcing the final deadline for applying for a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license or registration to be November 17. VARA emphasizes the mandatory nature of this license and urges crypto enterprises to proactively reach out before the deadline to avoid unforeseen regulatory consequences. VARA notes that over 1,000 traditional companies have already submitted registration applications under Dubai’s regulatory framework.

Project Progress

With the changing global regulatory landscape, some cryptocurrency exchanges are facing operational constraints. Cashierest, a cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, has announced the termination of its virtual asset brokerage business. Deposit and member registration services have been stopped, and token trading will cease on the 13th. Users are allowed to withdraw their cryptocurrencies to other exchanges until December 22. Additionally, Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange, will cease operations in the Netherlands on November 17. Gemini advises users to transfer funds to a locally registered cryptocurrency exchange, Bitvavo, by the Dutch Central Bank (DNB).

Furthermore, Optimism’s first network upgrade, “Canyon,” after Bedrock is scheduled for testing on the Superchain testnet on November 15 at 1:00 UTC. This hard fork is planned in collaboration with Base and has been successfully activated on the development network under the coordination of Conduit and Base. To activate on the OP mainnet, Base, and other Superchain mainnets, the Canyon hard fork still needs to go through the Optimism governance process. After the Canyon testnet upgrade, node operators will need to upgrade their nodes.

Upcoming Events

This week, as the Devconnect conference officially kicks off, there are over a hundred independent events organized by various communities. Recommended events to watch include Modular Day and zkDay Istanbul on November 13, L2DAYS on November 14, Decentralized RPC Summit on November 15, Solidity Summit and L3 Summit on November 16, and Foresight X DeSoc Summit on November 17.

Apart from Istanbul, this week will witness various Web3 events globally. The Upbit Summit is scheduled for November 13 in Seoul, South Korea, the Solana Foundation and Circle will host the Hong Kong Hacker House offline event on November 14 in Hong Kong, SUSTAINABLE WEB3 SG 2023 will take place in Singapore on November 14, Newconomics 2023 is set for November 14-15 in Lisbon, Portugal, and the YGG Web3 Game Summit will be held in the Philippines on November 18.

For students in the Web3 space, participating in holiday internship programs with prominent projects can enhance their resumes and deepen their understanding of blockchain technology. Two student internship application deadlines are approaching on November 15: the Aptos Winter School in India and a16z crypto’s Summer Research Internship in New York. The Aptos Winter School is scheduled for December 10-24 at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, with results announced on November 20 and up to 60 students selected. The a16z crypto Summer Research Internship is planned for May 28 to August 16 next year.

Token Unlock

According to Token Unlocks data, from November 13 to November 19, CYBER, FLOW, 1INCH, APE, and ROSE will experience one-time unlocks this week. Notably:

  • CYBER will unlock 1.26 million tokens (approximately $8.36 million) on November 15 at 02:14, constituting 11.43% of the circulating supply.
  • APE will unlock 15.6 million tokens (approximately $22.93 million) on November 17 at 08:00, representing 4.23% of the circulating supply.
  • ROSE will unlock 196 million tokens (approximately $14.54 million) on November 19 at 12:00, making up 3.9% of the circulating supply.

Governance Voting

This week, notable governance activities include proposals from the Compound community and Lido DAO. In the Compound community, a new proposal suggests allocating 7,770 COMP for a growth initiative. The voting for this proposal will conclude on November 13. Among the allocated COMP, 2,760 COMP will go to the BD Fund (supporting business development operations for the Compound growth initiative), and 5,010 COMP will be allocated to the Growth Fund (to incentivize external parties to participate in and promote Compound through marketing activities and fund integrations).

On the other hand, Lido DAO has a proposal regarding the “Takeover of Ownership of wstETH Bridge Component on zkSync,” which ends on November 15. This proposal, initiated by Matter Labs and TxFusion teams, involves deploying the wstETH specification bridge to zkSync. If the Snapshot passes, the management of the wstETH bridge component will be transferred to Lido DAO.