A recap of 2023
2023 was a year of building and helping developers to build on the blockchain.
MultiBaas is our core blockchain middleware platform and in 2023 we made some of the biggest product updates in years to continue our mission to help organizations and developers create blockchain applications faster, easier, and more cost effectively than doing so from scratch.
NFTeapot, our Shopify NFT minting app, continued to help ecommerce merchants globally looking to sell blockchain-based digital products to their customers.
In January we explored an issue in Shopify’s development stores, writing about it to help other Shopify app developers and merchants avoid it.
In February, we officially launched our documentation site including guides and interactive API docs.
April brought the release of our official software development kits (SDKs), for TypeScript and Go, ahead of the ETHGlobal Tokyo hackathon. ETHGlobal Tokyo felt like a homecoming for us, not just because it was hosted in our home base, but also because our team members have been proud hackers, finalists, mentors, and judges at the ETHGlobal hackathons for several years. It was a great opportunity for us to finally participate as sponsors.
Our co-founder, Jeff, had the opportunity to speak at an ETHGlobal Tokyo workshop demonstrating to developers in attendance how they can build a DApp in 30 minutes.
We awarded $2,000 USD worth of prizes to three teams who built on MultiBaas and NFTeapot, gathered valuable feedback, connected with the wider web3 community, and added an extra layer of excitement by hosting a social media giveaway of goodies from Japan!
In November, on the eve of Devconnect and ETHGlobal Istanbul, we launched a number of MultiBaas updates, including a refreshed UI/UX, new social login experience, and added webhooks.
Jeff moderated an account abstraction panel and acted as a judge for ETHGlobal, while the rest of the team mentored and supported hackers building on MultiBaas.
Devconnect and ETHGlobal Istanbul was an eventful time as we designed and gave away well received merch, sponsored a larger ETHGlobal hackathon prize totalling $5,000 USD, initiated our own postcard service, and introduced a Maneki Neko NFT stamp rally. Check out this recap video to get a glimpse of our experience in Istanbul.
Throughout the year we added support for additional L1 and L2 blockchains, including OKC, Optimism, Base, Gnosis Chain, and Arbitrum. We also continued to refresh our SDKs and documentation.
Last but not least, we’re proud of our many new and renewed partnerships. Yakoa strengthens our commitment to digital asset provenance and security, and Petaverse launched their mainnet immutable pets, among many others.
Dev news and other blockchain highlights
As we reflect back on the recent advancements in web3, there were several blockchain trends in 2023 that we believe are worth highlighting.
Rise of ZK
There continues to be a lot of interest and development around Zero Knowledge (ZK) technologies building from the trends we saw in 2022. Some interesting avenues of exploration include hardware acceleration using GPUs, FPGAs, and ASICs. One of the main uses of ZK proofs is for ZK Rollup based layer 2 (L2) chains but they also form the basis for L1 privacy chains like Mina and Aleo.
Layer 2s are a way of scaling L1 blockchains like Ethereum by providing cheaper alternatives and then effectively storing summaries back on the L1 chain. There is a proliferation of L2s (and to a certain extent L1s) in the industry which grew from roughly 4.9B to 21.02B USD in assets stored on L2s over 2023. In fact, that value on Ethereum L2s just eclipsed the value on all other L1s combined! Many are EVM compatible (or almost) but some offer unique or custom VMs. Some are ZK Rollup based, some are Optimistic Rollups, and a few do their own thing.
Impact of AI
AI is everywhere and besides being useful to help web3 organisations write code or blog posts (can you still tell if I’m a human?), it has some other interesting implications for the blockchain. Leica introduced a camera that securely manages Content Credentials to help you differentiate AI imagery from legitimately captured photography. One could imagine that pairing well with blockchain based chain of custody solutions.
Despite a plethora of wallet options - there are hundreds now - there is still a long way to go in terms of making accounts more usable and less risky for both users and developers. Even hardware wallets weren’t as safe as many assumed as evidenced by the Ledger hack at the end of 2023. Account abstraction promises to solve many of the problems associated with individual wallets by facilitating things like shared key recovery and easier ways for applications to execute actions on behalf of users. The entry point contract for EIP-4337 was deployed in March 2023 as a major step towards account abstraction on Ethereum.
Good ol’ decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) have been around since the original The DAO helped propel Ethereum to fame. Over the years the types and purposes of DAOs have expanded to include Philanthropy DAOs, NFT Collector DAOs, and SubDAOs. One of the more interesting DAO applications gaining traction is for retroactive public goods funding (RetroPGF) where a “Results Oracle” DAO is used to reward projects that have already provided demonstrable benefits to the community. Per Vitalik: “The core principle behind the concept of retroactive public goods funding is simple: it’s easier to agree on what was useful than what will be useful.”
As we kick the year off, we’re excited about the future of blockchain and what it means for Curvegrid. Our company remains steadfast in our commitment to delivering valuable products and services with MultiBaas and NFTeapot. We look forward to building meaningful connections with the web3 community as well as forging new partnerships and strengthening our existing collaborations.
With many global hackathon events lined up, we’re enthusiastic about attending more conferences in person, actively participating, and connecting with more of you in the near future.
2024 marks the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese (and Japanese) zodiac. The Dragon is a symbol of growth, innovation, and good fortune. From our team to yours, Happy New Year!