📯 Clovers Network Updates 📯

TLDR: Lots of big updates since launch including a grant from POA, 43% gas reduction in the latest network upgrade and a post-mortem on three Clovers Network hacks 🧟

It’s been just over 6 weeks since Clovers Network launched on Ethereum Homestead during Berlin Blockchain week. In that time there have been a number of developments including 🚨 hacks 🔥 token burns thousands of Clovers registered 🍀 and thousands of dollars spent on Gas ⛽️

  • 🛠️ +1 Hackathon (more below)
  • 🚧 +2 Network Upgrades (first, second)
  • 🔥 +2 Token Burns (link)
  • 🐢 +2 Artworks Exhibited (more below)
  • ✨ +3 New Features (Search, Leaderboard & Gas)
  • 🚨 +3 Hacks (more below)
  • 🎙️ +4 Podcasts (1, 2, 3, 4)
  • 📉 -0.0005 Eth (~$0.08) CloverCoin price stability (link)
  • 💬 +91 members on Telegram (link)
  • 🎮 +128 members on Discord (link)
  • 🐦 +377 followers on Twitter (link)
  • 🌎 +433 Clovers holders (link)
  • 🍀+25,316 registered Clovers (link)

💰 +1 New Grant

Since the very first prototype, it was clear that Clovers Network would struggle with gas costs. An early version used ~9MM gas for on-chain verification (too large for a single block on Homestead). That’s why experiments and techniques for reducing gas costs have been a central interest to the project. Much of the progress on gas reduction has been published in order to help other projects struggling in similar ways. Stuff like custom serialization of data (link) and clever utilization of oracles (link) were early solutions. When Clovers launched we used a verifiers game similar to TruBit Protocol. Our new network upgrade utilizes trusted third-party signatures to further reduce the gas required by users to register new Clovers (more on that later). However, all of these techniques need users to already own Ether. If you’ve ever tried to on-board a “no-coiner” to a crypto project you’ll know this is a non-starter.

🛠️ +1 Hackathon

Clovers Network participated in the EthBerlin Hackathon by running the Crypto-Economic Lab along with Austin Thomas Griffith and LeapDAO. We brought in an old Chromebook to on-board new users and a 3D printer to make copper filament coins for Clovers holders. We also continued to give out individual Clovers stickers with redeemable QR codes.

⛽ ️Clovers Gas Station

Somehow I also found time to do a hack! The first version of Clovers used a verifiers game and trusted third-party oracle to finalize the claiming process which meant each claim actually used two transactions. The second transaction was paid by the user who made the first but had to use a static gas price. Since the network is anything but static, users were often over-paying for this second transaction when the price should have been lower. The problem is that there’s no on-chain gas price oracle that could allow the user to pay the correct amount.

🚧 +2 Network Upgrades

The Clovers Network Gas Station was the first Network Upgrade that allowed users gas costs to accurately fluctuate with the network’s gas price. However the last few weeks have been plagued with consistently high gas prices due to an unsafe ponzi scheme called FairWin. Luckily thanks to Philippe Castonguay and others the project was exposed and gas costs have died down again (link). Subsequently, thanks to suggestions from Martin Köppelmann and other community members, a new method for verifying Clovers cheaply has been developed. This new method has reduced gas costs by 43 percent!!! Previously to register a Clover, it cost between 651,172 and 707,728 gas (~$1.12 and ~$1.22 respectively @10 Gwei). With the new updates it costs between 375,925 and 402,870 gas (~$0.65 and ~$0.69 @10 Gwei).

🐢 +2 Artworks Exhibited

At the same time that the EthBerlin Hackathon was running there was an art exhibition in the culture room organized by Maria Paula Fernández and Stina Gustafsson. Clovers Network grew out of my studio practice that continues today. Most recently works have taken the shape of turtle shells with Clover patterns subtracted from the sculptures. Here are the two pieces that were exhibited:

🚨 +3 Hacks

Now for the juicy stuff 🍑. Technically there have been 3 different hacks on Clovers Network since launch, thankfully none of them put any players funds at risk and were all quickly neutralized. Here’s a rundown of what happened:

Hack #1

Clovers launched at midnight on August 20th. The contracts had been deployed but paused and the site was ready but only available on a test domain. When it was time, the contracts were enabled and the main domain was pointed towards the live site. Clovers started pouring in but something was off… none of the Clovers were getting finalized.

Hack #2

This hack was discovered by Jan Kremser, someone hacking on Clovers Network during EthBerlin. He was getting excited about making a more efficient miner and asked about mirrored Clovers. Since Clovers are generated with valid moves in the board game Othello, and since Othello has four possible staring positions, each Clover can be generated with four mirrored sets of moves. In order to prevent someone registering a single Clover four times they’re all limited to the starting position of C4.

Hack #3

The third and final hack was also perpetrated by Alcocity.eth and similarly took advantage of a flaw in the off-chain verification process. The javascript library (clovers-reversi) contained a bug that mistook an invalid move for a player passing their turn. This allowed any number of invalid moves to be forced through the verification process and resulted in a number of bizarre looking and completely invalid Clovers. Similarly, this exploit was not used for monetary gain, but only to buy and own these strange looking Clovers. For that reason they too were allowed to remain on the network. A bundle of them are even for sale on OpenSea.

📅 Upcoming

That’s all of the updates for now. As mentioned earlier I’ll be at devcon5 this year giving a talk on October 10th about Batched Bonding Curves, so stop by if you’re around. I’ll also be carrying around a few Clovers QR stickers so hit me up if you want one. In the coming months we’ll be working on the 🌉 POA bridge and new features like bounty hunting 🎯 and a curation market for albums 📚. If that sounds interesting to you and you’d like to get involved with Clovers Network 📢 let me know or take a look at the Contributor’s Guidelines on our Github.




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