Argent Newsletter - Issue #18

zkSync 2.0 is less than 100 days away, the Merge is next month, Tornado Cash got sanctioned, and much, much more...

Edward Wilson
Aug 14, 2022

gm everyone - welcome to our newsletter, where we cover the latest updates from the Ethereum ecosystem. 

Small note from us before we dive into everything that’s recently happened. We’re going to start sending this newsletter weekly, and we’re adding a new section: Smaller but interesting news. As the name implies, these are smaller news stories that go a little deeper into themes we cover within the issue. 

If you have any suggestions on how to improve the newsletter, please get in touch and email edward@argent.xyz.  


  1. There are less than 100 days until zkSync 2.0 goes live 
  2. Goerli, the final Ethereum testnet merged to Proof of Stage. Next up, mainnet…
  3. The US Treasury sanctions cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash

Now, let’s get into it all! 🚀

 🎉 zkSync 2.0 is when the fun begins!

zkSync recently announced that 2.0 will go live in less than 100 days (October 28th, to be specific). But what does this mean?

Currently, zkSync 1.0 doesn’t support smart contracts, which limits what you can do. This is because building a ZK-rollup that’s EVM compatible - smart contracts from your favorite L1 dapps being easily ported to zkSync - is incredibly complex. And that’s what zkSync 2.0 fixes!

There are over 250 dapps building on zkSync 2.0, meaning once it goes live, you’ll be able to do everything you love on Ethereum, but only cheaper and faster!

We’ll share more about zkSync 2.0 over the coming months, including articles, podcasts, and more. In the meantime, here’s our overview

🗓 ONE month until the Merge

This week, another Ethereum testnet - Goerli - successfully merged onto Proof of Stake. It was an excellent achievement for all involved. Even better is that Goerli was the final testnet that needed to be merged before Ethereum mainnet. The official date for this is only one month away, or September 15th.

But why does the Merge matter?

Ethereum is changing its consensus mechanism from Proof of Work, which is energy intensive and is used by other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, to Proof of Stake, which uses significantly less energy. The energy saved is a staggering 99.95%!

🔐 Privacy matters

While our first two sections were positive, our third isn’t. Tornado Cash, a cryptocurrency mixer, got sanctioned by the US Treasury. That means anyone that has used or may use Tornado Cash in the future could go to jail in the US. 

After the sanctions announcement, many platforms reacted. Circle, the issuer of USDC, blacklisted all wallets that interacted with Tornado Cash. Github removed Tornado Cash’s source code and banned contributors. Some DeFi protocols blocked users. On top of all that, a Tornado Cash developer got raided in Amsterdam

A cryptocurrency mixer is a way to send crypto to another address without it having a link between the two wallets. It’s great for privacy, and that’s why many have used it in the past, including Vitalik. And they use it for many different reasons, like not wanting the receiver (like a friend or family member) knowing how much crypto you own, or if you want to donate to a political cause and don’t want that linked to your wallet. 

📚 What we’re reading

The Moral Character of Cryptographic Work - Phillip Rogaway 

Random thoughts on Account Abstraction - Sylve from Briq

Circle & USDC: Building a Stable Platform: A Very Deep Dive on Stablecoins, USDC, and a Platform for a New Financial System - Packy McCormick

The different types of ZK-EVMs - Vitalik Buterin 

What the Merge Means for Ethereum - Danny Ryan, Jeff Benson

💭 What’s happening at Argent 

We’ve been up to many things since our last newsletter, mainly a few updates for Argent X. We were at StarkNetCC and EthCC, where we got to meet many within the crypto community, join panels, and do talks, including this one by Argent co-founder Julien Niset on Account Abstraction:

We also hosted a Twitter Space with zkSync, SyncSwap, and Mint Square on zkSync 2.0. And we’re looking forward to doing many more in the future. 

🤔 Smaller but interesting news

Finally, our new section this week. Whenever I write the newsletter, I find many interesting resources that are ngmi (not going to make it) into the newsletter, and it’s a shame not to share them. So that’s what this new section allows:

SudoSwap is bringing DeFi to NFTs through their recently released AMM here’s everything you need to know 

Don’t have time to listen to the crypto podcast UpOnly? Here are the key insights from every guest that has appeared on the show

The Chopping Block: How to Manage MakerDAO, With Hasu and Rune – Unchained Podcast

Completely legal (until today) reasons to use tornado cash  

Coinbase Q2 2022 Breakdown

The L1 Chain Rotation Thesis - A retrospective analysis of the unsustainable growth strategies and capital rotation insanity that took place in crypto last year

How to Build for the Creator Economy

Without cryptocurrency, a cashless society is a surveillance society

An introduction to recursive STARKs

The real promise of web3 is decentralized social impact 

Take a look at Orbiter Finance’s L2 data, which is an on-chain aggregation and data analysis for the L2 ecosystem 

Take control with Argent

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