2020 Year in Review

End of Year Overview

As we pause to reflect on 2020 (pause playing DarkForest for a few minutes anyway πŸ™‚ ) we are first and foremost grateful for the xDai community, users, and partners who have elevated the xDai chain and made it a resounding success. We could not have envisioned the level of adoption and number of projects that have flourished on xDai in 2020. xDai is arguably the #1 most-used L2 scaling solution for Ethereum right now, and has helped support the ecosystem by providing an option for low-cost, stable transactions while improving interoperability and cross-chain interaction.

Prior to 2020, a primary use-case for xDai centered around live events. xDai was experiencing a lot of growth with usage at Ethereum conferences, the Splunk Conference, RSA conference and more. At EthDenver 2020 xDai was used by conference attendees to buy food as well as navigate the conference, vote on hackathon entrants, and earn quest-based NFTs. The EthDenver Burner Wallet was extremely ambitious, pointing a way for the future of xDai as the go-to solution to power conferences and live events.

Then live events shut down. xDai could still be used for virtual events (and was adopted by KickBack to host their virtual events) and was still actively used by several projects, such as Grassroots Economics community currencies, but these also relied on face-to-face community interactions. Fortunately, xDai had several things going for it:

  1. Fast 5 second blocks.

  2. Stable inexpensive transactions.

  3. Robust open-source toolset (BlockScout, TokenBridge, and more).

  4. Interoperability, compatibility and synchronicity with Ethereum.

  5. Long-standing track record as a production blockchain.

  6. Strong developer and grassroots community.

In 2020 we set out to make xDai stronger and more decentralized by enabling governance and upgrading consensus to POSDAO, our own unique delegated proof-of-stake consensus. We cultivated partnerships, notably a primary partnership with Gnosis, and worked with many projects and DAOs to find creative solutions to navigate high gas fees on Ethereum.

We set ambitious goals for 2020, and were able to achieve them without compromising chain security, always the #1 directive of the team. Below are some highlights from a very busy year:

  • EthDenver 2020: Before the Covid hit the fan, xDai powered this final large-scale Ethereum event.

  • POSDAO Phase 1 (nominated validators): After over a year in development, private POSDAO launched April 1,2020.

  • ****πŸ₯© STAKE token launch: A major milestone towards xDai decentralization, the STAKE governance token was offered as an IEO through Bitmax on April 28 and trading opened April 29. It was the first token to participate in the Bitmax pre-staking program. After launch, STAKE was added to other exchanges, both centralized and decentralized. Exchange list.

  • ****πŸ‘ EasyStaking launch on Ethereum: EasyStaking launched to enable users on Ethereum to keep their STAKE on Ethereum while earning emission rewards. Rewards are divided between EasyStakers and Liquidity providers on Uniswap. EasyStaking is still a great option for users, and over 1M STAKE are currently in the EasyStaking contract.

  • Project migrations / launches: Too many to name, see the projects section for a more complete list. Highlights include: Circles UBI, Perpetual Protocol, Nifty.ink, DarkForest, Foundation, POAP, Vocdoni & HoneySwap.

  • ****🀝 Partnerships & Integrations: Major announcements of integrations with Gnosis, Chainlink & HOPR.

  • DAOs: DAOs found xDai the perfect solution for community voting and governance processes. DAOHaus, MetaCartel, Raidguild, PrimeDAO and others moved their operations.

  • ****πŸŒ‰ OmniBridge: The omnibridge lets users to easily transfer any ERC20s between Ethereum and xDai. This interoperability solution gives users instant access to Ethereum as needed. The architecture was developed by TokenBridge, and UI a collaborative effort with RaidGuild.

  • Reddit competition: Though no winner has been announced, xDai had a strong showing which brought a lot of attention to the value proposition offered by the xDai stable sidechain. The competition showcased xDai as well as the experimental qDai implementation. Reddit Gitbook​

  • ****πŸ’Έ Fiat onramp: Ramp network integration allows users to buy xDai directly with a debit card.

  • BlockScout, TokenBridge, Nethermind, and Dev Tools: The BlockScout and TokenBridge teams both made major improvements to their open-source products to support the xDai chain. BlockScout introduced the POSDAO staking app, bridged tokens list, contract validation methods and many more features. TokenBridge worked to improve the xDai Bridge and the Omnibridge. Nethermind optimized for POSDAO, creating a 2nd client option for nodes. The toolset for developers also expanded with many projects deploying their infrastructure to xDai.

  • Governance expansion: Bridge governance was extended to additional validators, and community voting was enabled through snapshot to further decentralize the xDai chain.

  • ****β›½ Gas consumption milestone: In November, total gas consumed on xDai hit 1,000,000,000,000+. Transactions on xDai steadily increased over the year, with some larger spikes due to Dark Forest, Circles UBI and perp.exchange. xDai is exceeding 80K tx per day as the year comes to a close.

  • ****πŸ“° Media features: As xDai came into the spotlight as a scalability solution for Ethereum, media outlets also noticed: Coindesk, Bankless, OurNetwork, and more featured coverage of the xDai chain.

  • ****πŸŽ‰ Public POSDAO launch: The Public POSDAO launch on Dec 23 was a culmination of years of work by the team. Delegation amounts were lowered to 200 STAKE thanks to a community vote, and the first public rewards were distributed to delegatros. We are very excited to move into 2021 with a network that is more decentralized and secure than ever before!

For details on many of these highlights, see the xDai project and weekly updates section.

This brings us to playing DarkForest (DF) as 2020 comes to an end. DF on xDai encapsulates much of what made the year a success. DF leverages xDai to provide a real-time experience for users where they can make 1000s of ZKsnark-based transactions without worrying about tx cost or processing delays. This is done with a customized and reenvisioned burner wallet; blockchain novices can start playing immediately without even knowing they are transacting on a blockchain. It’s a fun, real-time strategy game made possible by xDai’s unique blockchain attributes.

Version 0.4 was first introduced on xDai in August, and the heavy infrastructure demands caused some slowdowns for users. The teams learned from these issues, and xDai and Nethermind optimized infrastructure to anticipate tx volume and traffic spikes, creating a much-improved experience this time around. This is just one example of the xDai team's dedication to constant improvements and feature development as blockchain adoption tilts towards the mainstream.

We are now working to expand and develop our 2021 xDai Roadmap. We are very excited for new partnerships, projects and use-cases in the coming year! Here are a few preliminary items we are researching:

  • Consensus (staking) monitoring and analytics integrations

  • Privacy preserving transactions

  • Universal NFT bridge

  • Synthetic Asset exploration

  • Optimistic Rollup / Optimistic Bridge research and integration

  • Expansion of the xDai grant program for developers

We wish you a very happy new year and are excited for the blockchain innovations and developments to come in 2021!

-The xDai Team