In case you missed it, Bitcoin Season 2 released part of its Spring/Summer collection last week.

Amongst other things, Mezo, a “Bitcoin economic layer” came out of stealth with a $21 million fundraising round. Alpen Labs announced a $10.6 million bankroll to bootstrap a Bitcoin-native zero-knowledge infrastructure.

Another posse of blockchain designers, including the folks at Starkware, got together and launched the L2O Consortium “to set standards for trustless applications and Layer 2s.”

Of course, nobody knows what this all means, but it’s provocative. It gets the people going, the capital frothing, and the industry buzzing. Eight-figure seed rounds are getting thrown around and some pretty major venture players are making a comeback. Almost every day, a new layer is announced or some “Bitcoin-native” protocol you’ve never heard about announces that its users have locked a bazillion dollars worth of bitcoins into their “trustless” multi-sig protocol.

So it goes in a bull market, I guess. Curiously, some of the people involved will admit it feels more like performance art than legitimate engineering. Remember the Rick Owens freak runway shows? It’s flashy alright but who’s going to wear this stuff?

Keep in mind most of the new gadgets being proposed have yet to take off their training wheels anywhere they’ve been implemented. Rollups on Ethereum, for example, are still just dressed-up multi-sig. Similarly, this new crop of Bitcoin-adjacent protocol seems content launching with either no product or “decentralization on the roadmap.” Under the layers of vapid marketing and technical mumbo jumbo, it’s hard to find a trust model that is much better than the simple and often maligned Liquid federated sidechain.

Forget unilateral exit, most of the “Layer 2s” on offer today can hardly qualify for the term under our admittedly loose policy here at Bitcoin Magazine.

To make matters worse, variants of proof-of-stake have crept into the design space despite Ethereum’s abysmal performance since its transition. Not surprisingly, the conversation has already devolved into ponzinomics to bootstrap the speculative flywheel. Colloquially styled “points,” a new token contraption has burst onto the scene and is all the rage amongst the designer crowd. This new liquidity farming fad requires users to deposit their bitcoins (and those of friends and family) somewhere in exchange for, you guessed it, yield.

They’re calling it gamification this time around. I think it’s peak crypto nihilism. Fast fashion has officially made it into Bitcoin!

The Emperor Has No Clothes?

Speaking of catwalks and clownishly dressed individuals, the crew at Taproot Wizards recently unleashed pandemonium on the aspiring Layer 2 community by going at its most prized science project, BitVM.

My esteemed colleague Shinobi put…

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