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Protocol Village: Neon EVM (on Solana) to Support Gas Fee Payments in Several Tokens

Artificial intelligence (AI) company OpenAI ousted Sam Altman as CEO and from the board, the board of directors announced in a blog post Friday.

Nov. 17: Neon, an Ethereum Virtual Machine for scaling Ethereum apps on Solana, was set to announce at EthGlobal its testnet’s support for several tokens as gas fee payments, set to go live on mainnet before the end of this year, according to the team: "It marks a significant step towards enhancing user experiences within the EVM ecosystem. Users can bridge tokens from Ethereum to Solana for use in Neon EVM dApps or services, bypassing the need for NEON. The multi-token gas payment solution accepts various tokens, including SPL, USDC, USDT and SOL, offering flexibility in paying gas fees with the user's preferred token."

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.

"Mr. Altman’s departure follows a deliberative review process by the board, which concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities," the blog post said.

ZkLink Launches Nexus, an L3 to Bridge L2s

Nov. 17: ZkLink, a developer of zero-knowledge-proof powered blockchain solutions, announced the launch of Nexus, a production-ready and highly customizable layer-3 or "L3" designed to bridge the gap among different ZK Rollup layer-2 or "L2" ecosystems, to reduce liquidity fragmentation, according to the team.

Union Labs, Zero-Knowledge Interoperability Layer, Raises $4M in Seed Funding

Nov. 17: Union Labs, which aims to create an efficient zero-knowledge interoperability layer, has successfully raised $4 million in seed funding to build the "first fully trustless bridge that connects appchains, layer-1, and layer-2 networks," according to the team. "Capital secured is also earmarked for the expansion of Union’s seasoned team, comprised of leaders from Composable Finance; Consensys; Tokensoft; and Polygon; in anticipation of its upcoming mainnet launch. Other notable investors in the round include Lightshift and Chorus One."

Fhenix, Developer of 'Confidential Blockchain,' Now Plans Ethereum Rollups

Nov. 16: Fhenix, which announced a $7M fundraising in September to build a "confidential blockchain" powered by fully homomorphic encryption or (FHE), disclosed Thursday that it is "introducing FHE Rollups to boost privacy on Ethereum and similar networks." According to a message from the team: "These rollups enable secure on-chain transactions and private applications, letting developers craft confidential layer-2 networks while staying compatible with Ethereum." Fhenix founder Guy Zyskind told CoinDesk in an interview that "We're going to have our canonical Fhenix L2 mainnet," but also "We're trying to be the encrypted rollup stack" that builders can use to create their own networks. "Developers are not going to know there's crazy math and encryption under the hood," he said.

DLN, BloXroute to Create High-Speed Cross-Chain Intents Network

Nov. 16: DLN, which stands for deSwap Liquidity Network, a cross-chain trading infrastructure build on deBridge, has entered into a strategic partnership with bloXroute, a DeFi performance provider, "to provide MEV searchers, institutional DeFi traders and projects with lightning-fast intents-based cross-chain value exchange," according to the team: "Thanks to the synergy between DLN high performance infrastructure and the fast transaction-propagation capabilities of bloXroute’s blockchain distribution network, users and integrating dApps will be able to use bloXroute API for the fastest cross-chain interactions available."

Kinetex Gets Strategic Investment to Build on Gnosis

Nov. 16: Kinetex Network, a decentralized platform for cross-chain trading, announced the close of a strategic funding round, a "seven-figure sum," led by Factor and Gnosis Chain, to build on Gnosis Chain, a community-led EVM layer-1, according to the team: "This partnership empowers Kinetex to refine its groundbreaking trading approach to transferring liquidity between networks that eliminates the need to store assets in pools and leverages zero-knowledge (Zk) technology to achieve validation without relying on third parties.... Kinetex plans to launch its public testnet on Gnosis Chain early next year. Scheduled to last three months, the test phase is geared towards identifying bugs and refining the user experience."

Nocturne, Protocol for On-Chain Private Accounts, Deploys v1 to Ethereum

Nov. 16: Nocturne, a protocol enabling on-chain private accounts, has announced the successful deployment of Nocturne v1 to Ethereum mainnet. According to the team: "This marks a significant milestone in the journey towards a more private and accessible Ethereum. For the first time, users will have a compatible and easy-to-use product resembling a private onchain account."

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