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Bison Trails newsletter 014


Our report on CBDCs, CRO Delegate, a look at NEAR’s rainbow bridge, exciting ecosystem updates, and more from the Herd.

Bison Trails newsletter 014

By Bison Trails · May 25 2021

Since our last update, Bison Trails published our in‐depth report on the infrastructure of CBDCs, launched our public validator for Crypto.org Chain, and examined NEAR’s Rainbow Bridge. Read on for more, including ecosystem updates and news from the herd.

—Melissa Nelson


Correction: the original post published on 5/27/21 contained a factual error regarding the distribution of rewards on Livepeer. The post incorrectly stated that Livepeer does not currently allow rewards to be distributed on‐chain. The content below was corrected on 5/28/21.


Company News



1. An in-depth exploration of Central Bank Digital Currencies

Central Bank Digital Currencies, commonly known as CBDCs, are digital currencies issued by a central bank, representing a new digital medium of exchange, settlement, and payment verification with the potential to restructure the global financial system and the way trades are settled.

Our full report, Infrastructure and Design of Central Bank Digital Currencies, takes a deep dive into the different use cases and design and technical considerations that will determine the successful rollout of CBDCs.

Check out our overview here or dive into the full report


2. Delegate CRO with Bison Trails

Bison Trails published a step‐by‐step CRO Delegate Guide showing you how to stake your CRO to our enterprise‐grade public validators. Crypto.org Chain is a Tendermint‐based, public, open‐source, and permissionless protocol intended to drive mass adoption of blockchain technology via easy‐to‐navigate financial tools.

Our public validators are built on the same industry‐leading infrastructure that powers some of the world’s top crypto companies and applications—with enterprise‐grade security, reliability and uptime. We also enable participation in the growing Crypto.org Chain with secure validator and read/write infrastructure.

Contact us to learn more




3. Meet Arti: Q&A with Senior Product Engineer Arti Villa Chandok

Arti discusses what it means to be a process-oriented learner, how the crypto economy levels the playing field, and how to work at the intersection of UX and engineering.

"There's an aspect—I would say every engineer can relate to this—that you want to try to build things to truly understand them, like building your own framework or taking something apart. In the context of blockchains, I’m trying to find what process I can employ that can consistently give me a deeper insight and knowledge of the technology.” —ARTI VILLA CHANDOK,SENIOR PRODUCT ENGINEER

Read more


4. Changes to our Livepeer offering

We will be sunsetting our Participate product for Livepeer by the end of June. Livepeer does not support rewards for a validator being paid to an address that isn't the validator node itself, meaning that Bison Trails Participate customers receiving their rewards requires a validator to temporarily take possession of all rewards earned on its node. Due to potential regulatory concerns and in light of Bison Trails' non‐custodial policies we must err on the side of caution and discontinue offering our Livepeer Participate product.

We have had a successful collaboration with the Livepeer team over the years, and we remain committed to supporting the network and its growth. Community members who are interested in staking their tokens on the Livepeer network can still do so via Bison Trails’ public validators.

Learn more about our Delegate offering


5. Bison Trails announces support for Lighthouse

Bison Trails has launched support for Ethereum nodes using the Lighthouse client, in addition to our existing support for Prysm. Becoming multi‐client was our goal from the beginning; while our multi‐cloud, multi‐region infrastructure is incredibly powerful in supporting most networks, taking it to the next level for eth2 required one more step—client diversity.

Read about it in our announcement thread.


6. Learn

We demystify the language and key concepts of blockchain technology so that more people can participate in the growing crypto ecosystem.

  • Decentralized application: A decentralized application (sometimes called a Dapp) is a piece of software that communicates with a blockchain (or other P2P network) using a smart contract as its business logic.
  • Smart contract: A smart contract is a self‐executing program on a blockchain that controls and/or documents legal events or actions according to preset terms.
  • Stablecoin: A stablecoin is a digital asset designed so its value experiences minimal volatility, or fluctuation in value, over time.
  • Parachains: Parachains are application‐specific blockchains attached to the Relay Chain in the Polkadot and Kusama networks. Parachains can be built from modular components for specific use cases, but outsource their security and some other resources to the main Relay Chain.

Learn more in our guide to blockchain terminology




7. NEAR’s Rainbow Bridge and the quest for interoperable protocols

The recent launch of the NEAR Rainbow Bridge demonstrates the push for greater interoperability between protocols. The ability to bridge value, data, and applications across layers and protocols is a critical step towards creating a seamless experience for mainstream adoption.

Learn more about how it works and why it’s important in our exploratory post


More from the Herd

  • Joe Lallouz joins TechCrunch to discuss how Bison Trails fends off competitors, what proof of stake means for the crypto ecosystem, and our role in helping the builders of crypto products.
  • In his latest eth2 update, Viktor Bunin covered eth2’s first incident, how a similar incident would impact eth2 post merge and EIP‐1559, and announced our support for Lighthouse.
  • Protocol Specialist Elias Simos’ latest Substrate ecosystem update looks at updates on the nearing, long awaited launch of parachains, analyzes recent slashings following the latest runtime upgrade, and more!
  • Don’t miss Protocol Specialist Viktor Bunin’s op-ed in Cointelegraph on how eth2 could improve society by serving as neutral infrastructure for the financial future.
  • Business Development Manager Mara Schmiedt presented at the Scaling Ethereum Summit on "Secret Shared Validators — The Next Chapter for Validator Resiliency on Eth2."

Ecosystem Updates

  • Eth2’s Nocturne testnet successfully launched, an important step in the journey to eth2’s merge into the proof of stake chain.
  • NEAR launched Aurora, an Ethereum Layer-2 solution that runs on the NEAR protocol, with Ethereum compatibility, uses ETH as a base currency, and uses the Aurora Bridge to connect to Ethereum.
  • The Solana Season Hackathon is ongoing, with over 10k applications for participation from dapps around the world.
  • Parachains are drawing closer on Kusama and Polkadot! The latest upgrade on May 14 brought core parachain logic to Kusama, which launched the first parachain shell shortly after. Polkadot parachains are slated to launch after the first group of auctions is complete on Kusama.
  • NuCypher launched a new staking UI allowing $NU holders to stake and manage their tokens.
  • Diem is simplifying its plans for issuing a Diem USD stablecoin by moving the project’s main operations into the United States. The shift means that Diem won’t require a license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority and is an important step in launching the blockchain‐based payment system.

We’re hiring

Come work with us as we begin our next chapter as part of Coinbase. Visit our careers page to learn about open roles.


Like this update?


About Bison Trails


Pioneering Blockchain Infrastructure®

Bison Trails is a blockchain infrastructure platform-as-a-service (PaaS) company based in New York City. We built a platform for anyone who wants to participate in 21 new chains effortlessly.

We also make it easy for anyone building Web 3.0 applications to connect to blockchain data from 32 protocols with Query & Transact (QT). Our goal is for the entire blockchain ecosystem to flourish by providing robust infrastructure for the pioneers of tomorrow.

In January, 2021, we announced Bison Trails joined Coinbase to accelerate our mission to provide easy-to-use blockchain infrastructure, now as a standalone product line. The Bison Trails platform will continue to support our customers. With Coinbase’s backing, we will enhance our infrastructure platform and make it even easier to participate in decentralized networks and build applications that connect to blockchain data.


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THIS DOCUMENT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. PLEASE DO NOT CONSTRUE ANY SUCH INFORMATION OR OTHER MATERIAL CONTAINED IN THIS DOCUMENT AS LEGAL, TAX, INVESTMENT, FINANCIAL, OR OTHER ADVICE. THIS DOCUMENT AND THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS NOT A RECOMMENDATION OR ENDORSEMENT OF ANY DIGITAL ASSET, PROTOCOL, NETWORK OR PROJECT. HOWEVER, BISON TRAILS (INCLUDING ITS AFFILIATES AND/OR EMPLOYEES) MAY HAVE, OR MAY IN THE FUTURE HAVE, A SIGNIFICANT FINANCIAL INTEREST IN, AND MAY RECEIVE COMPENSATION FOR SERVICES RELATED TO, ONE OR MORE OF THE DIGITAL ASSETS, PROTOCOLS, NETWORKS, ENTITIES, PROJECTS AND/OR VENTURES DISCUSSED HEREIN.

THE RISK OF LOSS IN CRYPTOCURRENCY, INCLUDING STAKING, CAN BE SUBSTANTIAL AND NOTHING HEREIN IS INTENDED TO BE A GUARANTEE AGAINST THE POSSIBILITY OF LOSS. THIS DOCUMENT AND THE CONTENT CONTAINED HEREIN ARE BASED ON INFORMATION WHICH IS BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE AND HAS BEEN OBTAINED FROM SOURCES BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE BUT BISON TRAILS MAKES NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE FAIRNESS, ACCURACY, ADEQUACY, REASONABLENESS OR COMPLETENESS OF SUCH INFORMATION.

ANY USE OF BISON TRAILS’ SERVICES MAY BE CONTINGENT ON COMPLETION OF BISON TRAILS’ ONBOARDING PROCESS, INCLUDING ENTRANCE INTO APPLICABLE LEGAL DOCUMENTATION AND WILL BE, AT ALL TIMES, SUBJECT TO AND GOVERNED BY BISON TRAILS’ POLICIES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, ITS TERMS OF SERVICE AND PRIVACY POLICY, AS MAY BE AMENDED FROM TIME TO TIME.

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