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EF-Supported Teams: Research & Development Roundup

We all have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season, from the first birthday of the beacon chain, to the successful upgrades over the past year and the incredible progress across the entire Ethereum ecosystem. As a highly productive year draws to a close, there are a few final gifts to deliver in the form of updates from many (15+!!) EF-supported teams that are always working to improve the network. And there’s a lot of substantive material here,...
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Announcing the Kintsugi Merge Testnet

Since returning from the Amphora merge workshop, client teams have been hard at work implementing the latest versions of merge specifications and testing them on devnets. After four ephemeral devnets, Kintsugi 🍵, a longer-lived public testnet, is now live! Although client development and UX continue to be refined, we encourage the community to start using Kintsugi to familiarize themselves with Ethereum in a post-merge context. For application developers, as previously explained, not much will change. Tooling which only interacts with...
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Announcing the Client Incentive Program

A diverse set of clients is key to the Ethereum network’s health and decentralization. Diversity ensures that innovation continues at the base layer of the protocol, that the network is resilient in the face of potential attacks or bugs, and that a broad set of participants are engaged in debating potential changes to core protocol. While clients provide an essential service to the network (without them, there is no network!), it has historically been difficult for them to capture value....
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Spotlight on Kenya: Microinsurance for Every Farmer

In Sub-Saharan Africa, only 3% of 48 million smallholder farmers are insured. Owning 1 acre of land and earning approximately $1.40 per person per day characterize a smallholder farmer. Smallholder farmers often own a mixture of cash crops and subsistence or non-commercial farming; and, they lack the financial and technological resources of large-scale industrial farms. As extreme weather events become ever more frequent due to climate change, one flood or drought can push such farmers into the spiraling cycle of...
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Verkle tree structure

A Verkle tree is a commitment scheme that works similar to a Merkle tree, but has much smaller witnesses. It works by replacing the hashes in a Merkle tree with a vector commitment, which makes wider branching factors more efficient. Thanks to Kevaundray Wedderburn for feedback on the post.
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How The Merge Impacts Ethereum’s Application Layer

Ethereum’s transition to proof of stake – The Merge – is near: devnets are being stood up, specifications are being finalized and community outreach has begun in earnest. The Merge is designed to have minimal impact on how Ethereum operates for end users, smart contracts and dapps. That said, there are some minor changes worth highlighting. Before we dive into them, here are a few links to provide context about the overall Merge architecture: Roadmap evolution Post-merge client architecture The...
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Update on the partnership between EF and UNICEF

Since 2019, we have supported UNICEF’s CryptoFund with recurring contributions, and we are excited about our most recent donation too. Today, I would like to share the story of our journey together, to recognize some of the achievements of our partnership, and to speak a bit more about what’s next.
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Finalized no. 32

tl;dr Kintsugi🍵 in progress – testnet to come Stakers must upgrade for Arrow Glacier