Protocol Village: Degen Community, Syndicate Launch ‘Degen Chain’

March 28: Degen, a community token in the Farcaster ecosystem, and Syndicate, a Web3 infrastructure provider, launched Degen Chain, an ultra-low-cost L3 for the $DEGEN community built with Arbitrum Orbit, Base for settlement, and AnyTrust for data availability. According to the team: “The chain’s native gas token is $DEGEN, making it one of the first community tokens with its own L3. The Degen and Syndicate teams will support builders on Degen Chain with developer tools like Syndicate’s Transaction Cloud APIs, offering free gas for developers on Degen Chain.”

Crypto Hacks, Rug Pulls in 1Q Narrow 23% vs. Year Earlier, Immunefi Says

March 28: Immunefi, a bug bounty and security services platform for Web3 protecting over $60 billion in assets, releases its Crypto Losses in Q1 2024 report, for a loss of $336 million from the community to hacks and rug pulls in 2024 year-to-date, representing a narrowing of 23% when compared with the same period in 2023. According to Immunefi: “DeFi was the primary target for attacks, comprising 100% of cases, while CeFi experienced no incidents. Hacks continued to be the predominant cause of losses totaling $321 million, compared to frauds. Ethereum and BNB Chain were the most targeted chains.”

Tezos Validators to Vote on Protocol Upgrade Proposals for Reducing Latency, Finality Times

March 28: Tezos blockchain validators will soon vote on protocol upgrade proposals published Thursday, according to the team: “Codenamed Paris A and B, the proposals include lowering latency and cutting finality to 10 seconds blocktime, and the activation of the DAL to boost throughput and scalability of L2. They differ on a proposed overhaul of PoS fundamentals, adjusting token issuance automatically to an on-chain market for staked funds. Paris B includes these features, whereas Paris A offers validators the possibility to activate them later, via a dedicated on-chain voting mechanism.” {{TZS}}

Yolo Investments Puts $8M Into TON Network Ecosystem

March 28: Yolo Investments, a venture capital firm focused on gaming, fintech, blockchain and emerging technologies, has emphasized its support for the vision of The Open Network (TON) by making an $8 million investment in Toncoin and the broader TON ecosystem, according to the team: “Yolo Investments has invested in several TON-based start-ups, including Tonstarter, Fanton and PlayDeck. This partnership will also see TON Foundation and Yolo Investments support the growth and expansion of, a leading crypto education platform, that is also set to introduce a plethora of fresh content tailored to TON.”

Zircuit Launches ‘Build to Earn’ Program With Rewards for Devs

March 28: Zircuit, a fully EVM-compatible ZK rollup with parallelized circuits and AI-enabled security, launched its Build to Earn program on Wednesday to incentivize builders, founders and community members who contribute to the Zircuit ecosystem. Backed by Pantera Capital, Dragonfly Capital, and Maelstrom, Zircuit currently has over $700 million staked. According to the team: “Developers and ecosystem contributors who participate in the program stand to receive rewards for approved contributions.”

Layer N, Modulus Unveil ‘AI Functions’ Tool for Use in Applications

March 28 (PROTOCOL VILLAGE EXCLUSIVE): Layer N, an “Ethereum StateNet” designed as a network of custom VMs, announced the launch of AI Functions, a tool that allows developers to integrate AI inference and AI use cases within their applications. This is in partnership with Modulus Labs, a company focused on bringing AI on-chain through ZK technology. Examples of use cases could include replacing AMMs with more sophisticated models, yield optimization strategies, gaming and AI crypto agents and AI arbitration. “Imagine a prediction market that includes AI-based arbitration of event outcomes, reducing the risk of consensus collusion,” the team wrote in a blog post.

Schematic of the new
Schematic of the new “AI Functions” feature from Layer N and Modulus (Layer N), Web3 Training Startup, Raises $6M, Led by Lightspeed Faction, Tagus

March 28:, a Web3 training and AI fine-tuning startup, has announced the close of a $6 million seed funding round led by Lightspeed Faction and Tagus Capital with participation from DCG, OKX Ventures, and Volt Capital. This investment will be used towards democratizing AI training and the development of its machine-learning and federated learning platform.

VeChain Announces ‘Marketplace-as-a-Service,’ Starting With Gresini Racing

March 28: VeChain announced its no-code digital asset tokenization platform, called Marketplace-as-a-Service (MaaS). According to the team: “MaaS was built to fulfill an important role within the digital-asset space, presenting enterprise and individual builders a low/no-code NFT platform for creating, selling and transferring digital assets with ease. MotoGP championship team, Gresini Racing, is the first enterprise client to deploy a marketplace on the platform supported by ExPlus. Leveraging a bespoke collection of IP-related content, Gresini Racing plans to offer digital collectibles to its large fanbase.”

Screen grab from VeChain's Marketplace-as-a-Service for Gresini Racing. (Gresini Racing Web3 Marketplace)
Screen grab from VeChain’s Marketplace-as-a-Service for Gresini Racing. (Gresini Racing Web3 Marketplace)

Neopin, Permissioned DeFi Protocol, Introduces ‘Build Aggregated’ Feature With Spark, Athena

March 28 (PROTOCOL VILLAGE EXCLUSIVE): Neopin, a protocol for “non-custodial, permissioned DeFi,” introduced a new feature called “build aggregated,” merging Spark protocol, Athena and the curve into a unified smart contract, bolstered by AI-driven optimization, according to the team: “This integration empowers users with streamlined operations and customizable exposure options, marking a significant leap in operational efficiency within the cryptocurrency landscape.”

BloXroute Announces Mainnet Launch of ‘Validator Gateway’

March 28 (PROTOCOL VILLAGE EXCLUSIVE): BloXroute, a blockchain distribution network, announced the public launch of its Validator Gateway, designed to optimize Ethereum validators’ performance and significantly boost their rewards, according to the team: “Over 30K validators locked $4B on the testnet, leveraging advanced technology, enhancing block proposal processes, accelerating block propagation and providing validators with a strategic advantage in the competitive blockchain landscape. With seamless integration with existing validator setups, the Validator Gateway makes it easy for network decentralization to continually grow.”

Protocol Village is a regular feature of The Protocol, our weekly newsletter exploring the tech behind crypto, one block at a time. Sign up here to get it in your inbox every Wednesday. Project teams can submit updates here. For previous versions of Protocol Village, please go here. Also please check out our weekly The Protocol podcast.

Edited by Bradley Keoun.

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