Integrity
Write
Loading...
Vivek Singh

Vivek Singh

2 years ago

A Warm Welcome to Web3 and the Future of the Internet

Let's take a look back at the internet's history and see where we're going — and why.

Tim Berners Lee had a problem. He was at CERN, the world's largest particle physics factory, at the time. The institute's stated goal was to study the simplest particles with the most sophisticated scientific instruments. The institute completed the LEP Tunnel in 1988, a 27 kilometer ring. This was Europe's largest civil engineering project (to study smaller particles — electrons).

The problem Tim Berners Lee found was information loss, not particle physics. CERN employed a thousand people in 1989. Due to team size and complexity, people often struggled to recall past project information. While these obstacles could be overcome, high turnover was nearly impossible. Berners Lee addressed the issue in a proposal titled ‘Information Management'.

When a typical stay is two years, data is constantly lost. The introduction of new people takes a lot of time from them and others before they understand what is going on. An emergency situation may require a detective investigation to recover technical details of past projects. Often, the data is recorded but cannot be found. — Information Management: A Proposal

He had an idea. Create an information management system that allowed users to access data in a decentralized manner using a new technology called ‘hypertext'.
To quote Berners Lee, his proposal was “vague but exciting...”. The paper eventually evolved into the internet we know today. Here are three popular W3C standards used by billions of people today:


(credit: CERN)

HTML (Hypertext Markup)

A web formatting language.

URI (Unique Resource Identifier)

Each web resource has its own “address”. Known as ‘a URL'.

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)

Retrieves linked resources from across the web.

These technologies underpin all computer work. They were the seeds of our quest to reorganize information, a task as fruitful as particle physics.

Tim Berners-Lee would probably think the three decades from 1989 to 2018 were eventful. He'd be amazed by the billions, the inspiring, the novel. Unlocking innovation at CERN through ‘Information Management'.
The fictional character would probably need a drink, walk, and a few deep breaths to fully grasp the internet's impact. He'd be surprised to see a few big names in the mix.

Then he'd say, "Something's wrong here."

We should review the web's history before going there. Was it a success after Berners Lee made it public? Web1 and Web2: What is it about what we are doing now that so many believe we need a new one, web3?

Per Outlier Ventures' Jamie Burke:

Web 1.0 was read-only.
Web 2.0 was the writable
Web 3.0 is a direct-write web.

Let's explore.

Web1: The Read-Only Web

Web1 was the digital age. We put our books, research, and lives ‘online'. The web made information retrieval easier than any filing cabinet ever. Massive amounts of data were stored online. Encyclopedias, medical records, and entire libraries were put away into floppy disks and hard drives.

In 2015, the web had around 305,500,000,000 pages of content (280 million copies of Atlas Shrugged).

Initially, one didn't expect to contribute much to this database. Web1 was an online version of the real world, but not yet a new way of using the invention.

One gets the impression that the web has been underutilized by historians if all we can say about it is that it has become a giant global fax machine. — Daniel Cohen, The Web's Second Decade (2004)

That doesn't mean developers weren't building. The web was being advanced by great minds. Web2 was born as technology advanced.

Web2: Read-Write Web

Remember when you clicked something on a website and the whole page refreshed? Is it too early to call the mid-2000s ‘the good old days'?
Browsers improved gradually, then suddenly. AJAX calls augmented CGI scripts, and applications began sending data back and forth without disrupting the entire web page. One button to ‘digg' a post (see below). Web experiences blossomed.

In 2006, Digg was the most active ‘Web 2.0' site. (Photo: Ethereum Foundation Taylor Gerring)

Interaction was the focus of new applications. Posting, upvoting, hearting, pinning, tweeting, liking, commenting, and clapping became a lexicon of their own. It exploded in 2004. Easy ways to ‘write' on the internet grew, and continue to grow.

Facebook became a Web2 icon, where users created trillions of rows of data. Google and Amazon moved from Web1 to Web2 by better understanding users and building products and services that met their needs.

Business models based on Software-as-a-Service and then managing consumer data within them for a fee have exploded.

Web2 Emerging Issues

Unbelievably, an intriguing dilemma arose. When creating this read-write web, a non-trivial question skirted underneath the covers. Who owns it all?

You have no control over [Web 2] online SaaS. People didn't realize this because SaaS was so new. People have realized this is the real issue in recent years.

Even if these organizations have good intentions, their incentive is not on the users' side.
“You are not their customer, therefore you are their product,” they say. With Laura Shin, Vitalik Buterin, Unchained

A good plot line emerges. Many amazing, world-changing software products quietly lost users' data control.
For example: Facebook owns much of your social graph data. Even if you hate Facebook, you can't leave without giving up that data. There is no ‘export' or ‘exit'. The platform owns ownership.

While many companies can pull data on you, you cannot do so.

On the surface, this isn't an issue. These companies use my data better than I do! A complex group of stakeholders, each with their own goals. One is maximizing shareholder value for public companies. Tim Berners-Lee (and others) dislike the incentives created.

“Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.” — Berkshire Hathaway's CEO

It's easy to see what the read-write web has allowed in retrospect. We've been given the keys to create content instead of just consume it. On Facebook and Twitter, anyone with a laptop and internet can participate. But the engagement isn't ours. Platforms own themselves.

Web3: The ‘Unmediated’ Read-Write Web

Tim Berners Lee proposed a decade ago that ‘linked data' could solve the internet's data problem.

However, until recently, the same principles that allowed the Web of documents to thrive were not applied to data...

The Web of Data also allows for new domain-specific applications. Unlike Web 2.0 mashups, Linked Data applications work with an unbound global data space. As new data sources appear on the Web, they can provide more complete answers.

At around the same time as linked data research began, Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin. After ten years, it appears that Berners Lee's ideas ‘link' spiritually with cryptocurrencies.

What should Web 3 do?

Here are some quick predictions for the web's future.

Users' data:
Users own information and provide it to corporations, businesses, or services that will benefit them.

Defying censorship:

No government, company, or institution should control your access to information (1, 2, 3)

Connect users and platforms:

Create symbiotic rather than competitive relationships between users and platform creators.

Open networks:

“First, the cryptonetwork-participant contract is enforced in open source code. Their voices and exits are used to keep them in check.” Dixon, Chris (4)

Global interactivity:

Transacting value, information, or assets with anyone with internet access, anywhere, at low cost

Self-determination:

Giving you the ability to own, see, and understand your entire digital identity.

Not pull, push:

‘Push' your data to trusted sources instead of ‘pulling' it from others.

Where Does This Leave Us?

Change incentives, change the world. Nick Babalola

People believe web3 can help build a better, fairer system. This is not the same as equal pay or outcomes, but more equal opportunity.

It should be noted that some of these advantages have been discussed previously. Will the changes work? Will they make a difference? These unanswered questions are technical, economic, political, and philosophical. Unintended consequences are likely.

We hope Web3 is a more democratic web. And we think incentives help the user. If there’s one thing that’s on our side, it’s that open has always beaten closed, given a long enough timescale.

We are at the start. 

More on Web3 & Crypto

CyberPunkMetalHead

CyberPunkMetalHead

1 year ago

It's all about the ego with Terra 2.0.

UST depegs and LUNA crashes 99.999% in a fraction of the time it takes the Moon to orbit the Earth.

Fat Man, a Terra whistle-blower, promises to expose Do Kwon's dirty secrets and shady deals.

The Terra community has voted to relaunch Terra LUNA on a new blockchain. The Terra 2.0 Pheonix-1 blockchain went live on May 28, 2022, and people were airdropped the new LUNA, now called LUNA, while the old LUNA became LUNA Classic.

Does LUNA deserve another chance? To answer this, or at least start a conversation about the Terra 2.0 chain's advantages and limitations, we must assess its fundamentals, ideology, and long-term vision.

Whatever the result, our analysis must be thorough and ruthless. A failure of this magnitude cannot happen again, so we must magnify every potential breaking point by 10.

Will UST and LUNA holders be compensated in full?

The obvious. First, and arguably most important, is to restore previous UST and LUNA holders' bags.

Terra 2.0 has 1,000,000,000,000 tokens to distribute.

  • 25% of a community pool

  • Holders of pre-attack LUNA: 35%

  • 10% of aUST holders prior to attack

  • Holders of LUNA after an attack: 10%

  • UST holders as of the attack: 20%

Every LUNA and UST holder has been compensated according to the above proposal.

According to self-reported data, the new chain has 210.000.000 tokens and a $1.3bn marketcap. LUNC and UST alone lost $40bn. The new token must fill this gap. Since launch:

LUNA holders collectively own $1b worth of LUNA if we subtract the 25% community pool airdrop from the current market cap and assume airdropped LUNA was never sold.

At the current supply, the chain must grow 40 times to compensate holders. At the current supply, LUNA must reach $240.

LUNA needs a full-on Bull Market to make LUNC and UST holders whole.

Who knows if you'll be whole? From the time you bought to the amount and price, there are too many variables to determine if Terra can cover individual losses.

The above distribution doesn't consider individual cases. Terra didn't solve individual cases. It would have been huge.

What does LUNA offer in terms of value?

UST's marketcap peaked at $18bn, while LUNC's was $41bn. LUNC and UST drove the Terra chain's value.

After it was confirmed (again) that algorithmic stablecoins are bad, Terra 2.0 will no longer support them.

Algorithmic stablecoins contributed greatly to Terra's growth and value proposition. Terra 2.0 has no product without algorithmic stablecoins.

Terra 2.0 has an identity crisis because it has no actual product. It's like Volkswagen faking carbon emission results and then stopping car production.

A project that has already lost the trust of its users and nearly all of its value cannot survive without a clear and in-demand use case.

Do Kwon, how about him?

Oh, the Twitter-caller-poor? Who challenges crypto billionaires to break his LUNA chain? Who dissolved Terra Labs South Korea before depeg? Arrogant guy?

That's not a good image for LUNA, especially when making amends. I think he should step down and let a nicer person be Terra 2.0's frontman.

The verdict

Terra has a terrific community with an arrogant, unlikeable leader. The new LUNA chain must grow 40 times before it can start making up its losses, and even then, not everyone's losses will be covered.

I won't invest in Terra 2.0 or other algorithmic stablecoins in the near future. I won't be near any Do Kwon-related project within 100 miles. My opinion.

Can Terra 2.0 be saved? Comment below.

Jeff Scallop

Jeff Scallop

1 year ago

The Age of Decentralized Capitalism and DeFi

DeCap is DeFi's killer app.

The Battle of the Moneybags and the Strongboxes (Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Pieter van der Heyden)

“Software is eating the world.” Marc Andreesen, venture capitalist

DeFi. Imagine a blockchain-based alternative financial system that offers the same products and services as traditional finance, but with more variety, faster, more secure, lower cost, and simpler access.

Decentralised finance (DeFi) is a marketplace without gatekeepers or central authority managing the flow of money, where customers engage directly with smart contracts running on a blockchain.

DeFi grew exponentially in 2020/21, with Total Value Locked (an inadequate estimate for market size) topping at $100 billion. After that, it crashed.

The accumulation of funds by individuals with high discretionary income during the epidemic, the novelty of crypto trading, and the high yields given (5% APY for stablecoins on established platforms to 100%+ for risky assets) are among the primary elements explaining this exponential increase.

No longer your older brothers DeFi

Since transactions are anonymous, borrowers had to overcollateralize DeFi 1.0. To borrow $100 in stablecoins, you must deposit $150 in ETH. DeFi 1.0's business strategy raises two problems.

  • Why does DeFi offer interest rates that are higher than those of the conventional financial system?;

  • Why would somebody put down more cash than they intended to borrow?

Maxed out on their own resources, investors took loans to acquire more crypto; the demand for those loans raised DeFi yields, which kept crypto prices increasing; as crypto prices rose, investors made a return on their positions, allowing them to deposit more money and borrow more crypto.

This is a bull market game. DeFi 1.0's overcollateralization speculation is dead. Cryptocrash sank it.

The “speculation by overcollateralisation” world of DeFi 1.0 is dead

At a JP Morgan digital assets conference, institutional investors were more interested in DeFi than crypto or fintech. To me, that shows DeFi 2.0's institutional future.

DeFi 2.0 protocols must handle KYC/AML, tax compliance, market abuse, and cybersecurity problems to be institutional-ready.

Stablecoins gaining market share under benign regulation and more CBDCs coming online in the next couple of years could help DeFi 2.0 separate from crypto volatility.

DeFi 2.0 will have a better footing to finally decouple from crypto volatility

Then we can transition from speculation through overcollateralization to DeFi's genuine comparative advantages: cheaper transaction costs, near-instant settlement, more efficient price discovery, faster time-to-market for financial innovation, and a superior audit trail.

Akin to Amazon for financial goods

Amazon decimated brick-and-mortar shops by offering millions of things online, warehouses by keeping just-in-time inventory, and back-offices by automating invoicing and payments. Software devoured retail. DeFi will eat banking with software.

DeFi is the Amazon for financial items that will replace fintech. Even the most advanced internet brokers offer only 100 currency pairings and limited bonds, equities, and ETFs.

Old banks settlement systems and inefficient, hard-to-upgrade outdated software harm them. For advanced gamers, it's like driving an F1 vehicle on dirt.

It is like driving a F1 car on a dirt road, for the most sophisticated players

Central bankers throughout the world know how expensive and difficult it is to handle cross-border payments using the US dollar as the reserve currency, which is vulnerable to the economic cycle and geopolitical tensions.

Decentralization is the only method to deliver 24h global financial markets. DeFi 2.0 lets you buy and sell startup shares like Google or Tesla. VC funds will trade like mutual funds. Or create a bundle coverage for your car, house, and NFTs. Defi 2.0 consumes banking and creates Global Wall Street.

Defi 2.0 is how software eats banking and delivers the global Wall Street

Decentralized Capitalism is Emerging

90% of markets are digital. 10% is hardest to digitalize. That's money creation, ID, and asset tokenization.

90% of financial markets are already digital. The only problem is that the 10% left is the hardest to digitalize

Debt helped Athens construct a powerful navy that secured trade routes. Bonds financed the Renaissance's wars and supply chains. Equity fueled industrial growth. FX drove globalization's payments system. DeFi's plans:

If the 20th century was a conflict between governments and markets over economic drivers, the 21st century will be between centralized and decentralized corporate structures.

Offices vs. telecommuting. China vs. onshoring/friendshoring. Oil & gas vs. diverse energy matrix. National vs. multilateral policymaking. DAOs vs. corporations Fiat vs. crypto. TradFi vs.

An age where the network effects of the sharing economy will overtake the gains of scale of the monopolistic competition economy

This is the dawn of Decentralized Capitalism (or DeCap), an age where the network effects of the sharing economy will reach a tipping point and surpass the scale gains of the monopolistic competition economy, further eliminating inefficiencies and creating a more robust economy through better data and automation. DeFi 2.0 enables this.

DeFi needs to pay the piper now.

DeCap won't be Web3.0's Shangri-La, though. That's too much for an ailing Atlas. When push comes to shove, DeFi folks want to survive and fight another day for the revolution. If feasible, make a tidy profit.

Decentralization wasn't meant to circumvent regulation. It circumvents censorship. On-ramp, off-ramp measures (control DeFi's entry and exit points, not what happens in between) sound like a good compromise for DeFi 2.0.

The sooner authorities realize that DeFi regulation is made ex-ante by writing code and constructing smart contracts with rules, the faster DeFi 2.0 will become the more efficient and safe financial marketplace.

More crucially, we must boost system liquidity. DeFi's financial stability risks are downplayed. DeFi must improve its liquidity management if it's to become mainstream, just as banks rely on capital constraints.

This reveals the complex and, frankly, inadequate governance arrangements for DeFi protocols. They redistribute control from tokenholders to developers, which is bad governance regardless of the economic model.

But crypto can only ride the existing banking system for so long before forming its own economy. DeFi will upgrade web2.0's financial rails till then.

Jonathan Vanian

Jonathan Vanian

2 years ago

What is Terra? Your guide to the hot cryptocurrency

With cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ether, and Dogecoin gyrating in value over the past few months, many people are looking at so-called stablecoins like Terra to invest in because of their more predictable prices.

Terraform Labs, which oversees the Terra cryptocurrency project, has benefited from its rising popularity. The company said recently that investors like Arrington Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Pantera Capital have pledged $150 million to help it incubate various crypto projects that are connected to Terra.

Terraform Labs and its partners have built apps that operate on the company’s blockchain technology that helps keep a permanent and shared record of the firm’s crypto-related financial transactions.

Here’s what you need to know about Terra and the company behind it.

What is Terra?

Terra is a blockchain project developed by Terraform Labs that powers the startup’s cryptocurrencies and financial apps. These cryptocurrencies include the Terra U.S. Dollar, or UST, that is pegged to the U.S. dollar through an algorithm.

Terra is a stablecoin that is intended to reduce the volatility endemic to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Some stablecoins, like Tether, are pegged to more conventional currencies, like the U.S. dollar, through cash and cash equivalents as opposed to an algorithm and associated reserve token.

To mint new UST tokens, a percentage of another digital token and reserve asset, Luna, is “burned.” If the demand for UST rises with more people using the currency, more Luna will be automatically burned and diverted to a community pool. That balancing act is supposed to help stabilize the price, to a degree.

“Luna directly benefits from the economic growth of the Terra economy, and it suffers from contractions of the Terra coin,” Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon said.

Each time someone buys something—like an ice cream—using UST, that transaction generates a fee, similar to a credit card transaction. That fee is then distributed to people who own Luna tokens, similar to a stock dividend.

Who leads Terra?

The South Korean firm Terraform Labs was founded in 2018 by Daniel Shin and Kwon, who is now the company’s CEO. Kwon is a 29-year-old former Microsoft employee; Shin now heads the Chai online payment service, a Terra partner. Kwon said many Koreans have used the Chai service to buy goods like movie tickets using Terra cryptocurrency.

Terraform Labs does not make money from transactions using its crypto and instead relies on outside funding to operate, Kwon said. It has raised $57 million in funding from investors like HashKey Digital Asset Group, Divergence Digital Currency Fund, and Huobi Capital, according to deal-tracking service PitchBook. The amount raised is in addition to the latest $150 million funding commitment announced on July 16.

What are Terra’s plans?

Terraform Labs plans to use Terra’s blockchain and its associated cryptocurrencies—including one pegged to the Korean won—to create a digital financial system independent of major banks and fintech-app makers. So far, its main source of growth has been in Korea, where people have bought goods at stores, like coffee, using the Chai payment app that’s built on Terra’s blockchain. Kwon said the company’s associated Mirror trading app is experiencing growth in China and Thailand.

Meanwhile, Kwon said Terraform Labs would use its latest $150 million in funding to invest in groups that build financial apps on Terra’s blockchain. He likened the scouting and investing in other groups as akin to a “Y Combinator demo day type of situation,” a reference to the popular startup pitch event organized by early-stage investor Y Combinator.

The combination of all these Terra-specific financial apps shows that Terraform Labs is “almost creating a kind of bank,” said Ryan Watkins, a senior research analyst at cryptocurrency consultancy Messari.

In addition to cryptocurrencies, Terraform Labs has a number of other projects including the Anchor app, a high-yield savings account for holders of the group’s digital coins. Meanwhile, people can use the firm’s associated Mirror app to create synthetic financial assets that mimic more conventional ones, like “tokenized” representations of corporate stocks. These synthetic assets are supposed to be helpful to people like “a small retail trader in Thailand” who can more easily buy shares and “get some exposure to the upside” of stocks that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to obtain, Kwon said. But some critics have said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission may eventually crack down on synthetic stocks, which are currently unregulated.

What do critics say?

Terra still has a long way to go to catch up to bigger cryptocurrency projects like Ethereum.

Most financial transactions involving Terra-related cryptocurrencies have originated in Korea, where its founders are based. Although Terra is becoming more popular in Korea thanks to rising interest in its partner Chai, it’s too early to say whether Terra-related currencies will gain traction in other countries.

Terra’s blockchain runs on a “limited number of nodes,” said Messari’s Watkins, referring to the computers that help keep the system running. That helps reduce latency that may otherwise slow processing of financial transactions, he said.

But the tradeoff is that Terra is less “decentralized” than other blockchain platforms like Ethereum, which is powered by thousands of interconnected computing nodes worldwide. That could make Terra less appealing to some blockchain purists.

You might also like

Muthinja

Muthinja

1 year ago

Why don't you relaunch my startup projects?

Open to ideas or acquisitions

Failure is an unavoidable aspect of life, yet many recoil at the word.

I've worked on unrelated startup projects. This is a list of products I developed (often as the tech lead or co-founder) and why they failed to launch.

Chess Bet (Betting)

As a chess player who plays 5 games a day and has an ELO rating of 2100, I tried to design a chess engine to rival stockfish and Houdini.

While constructing my chess engine, my cofounder asked me about building a p2p chess betting app. Chess Bet. There couldn't be a better time.

Two people in different locations could play a staked game. The winner got 90% of the bet and we got 10%. The business strategy was clear, but our mini-launch was unusual.

People started employing the same cheat engines I mentioned, causing user churn and defaming our product.

It was the first programming problem I couldn't solve after building a cheat detection system based on player move strengths and prior games. Chess.com, the most famous online chess software, still suffers from this.

We decided to pivot because we needed an expensive betting license.

We relaunched as Chess MVP after deciding to focus on chess learning. A platform for teachers to create chess puzzles and teach content. Several chess students used our product, but the target market was too tiny.

We chose to quit rather than persevere or pivot.

BodaCare (Insure Tech)

‘BodaBoda’ in Swahili means Motorcycle. My Dad approached me in 2019 (when I was working for a health tech business) about establishing an Insurtech/fintech solution for motorbike riders to pay for insurance using SNPL.

We teamed up with an underwriter to market motorcycle insurance. Once they had enough premiums, they'd get an insurance sticker in the mail. We made it better by splitting the cover in two, making it more reasonable for motorcyclists struggling with lump-sum premiums.

Lack of capital and changing customer behavior forced us to close, with 100 motorcyclists paying 0.5 USD every day. Our unit econ didn't make sense, and CAC and retention capital only dug us deeper.

Circle (Social Networking)

Having learned from both product failures, I began to understand what worked and what didn't. While reading through Instagram, an idea struck me.

Suppose social media weren't virtual.

Imagine meeting someone on your way home. Like-minded person

People were excited about social occasions after covid restrictions were eased. Anything to escape. I just built a university student-popular experiences startup. Again, there couldn't be a better time.

I started the Android app. I launched it on Google Beta and oh my! 200 people joined in two days.

It works by signaling if people are in a given place and allowing users to IM in hopes of meeting up in near real-time. Playstore couldn't deploy the app despite its success in beta for unknown reasons. I appealed unsuccessfully.

My infrastructure quickly lost users because I lacked funding.

In conclusion

This essay contains many failures, some of which might have been avoided and others not, but they were crucial learning points in my startup path.

If you liked any idea, I have the source code on Github.

Happy reading until then!

Enrique Dans

Enrique Dans

1 year ago

You may not know about The Merge, yet it could change society

IMAGE: Ethereum.org

Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency. The Merge, a mid-September event that will convert Ethereum's consensus process from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake if all goes according to plan, will be a game changer.

Why is Ethereum ditching proof-of-work? Because it can. We're talking about a fully functioning, open-source ecosystem with a capacity for evolution that other cryptocurrencies lack, a change that would allow it to scale up its performance from 15 transactions per second to 100,000 as its blockchain is used for more and more things. It would reduce its energy consumption by 99.95%. Vitalik Buterin, the system's founder, would play a less active role due to decentralization, and miners, who validated transactions through proof of work, would be far less important.

Why has this conversion taken so long and been so cautious? Because it involves modifying a core process while it's running to boost its performance. It requires running the new mechanism in test chains on an ever-increasing scale, assessing participant reactions, and checking for issues or restrictions. The last big test was in early June and was successful. All that's left is to converge the mechanism with the Ethereum blockchain to conclude the switch.

What's stopping Bitcoin, the leader in market capitalization and the cryptocurrency that began blockchain's appeal, from doing the same? Satoshi Nakamoto, whoever he or she is, departed from public life long ago, therefore there's no community leadership. Changing it takes a level of consensus that is impossible to achieve without strong leadership, which is why Bitcoin's evolution has been sluggish and conservative, with few modifications.

Secondly, The Merge will balance the consensus mechanism (proof-of-work or proof-of-stake) and the system decentralization or centralization. Proof-of-work prevents double-spending, thus validators must buy hardware. The system works, but it requires a lot of electricity and, as it scales up, tends to re-centralize as validators acquire more hardware and the entire network activity gets focused in a few nodes. Larger operations save more money, which increases profitability and market share. This evolution runs opposed to the concept of decentralization, and some anticipate that any system that uses proof of work as a consensus mechanism will evolve towards centralization, with fewer large firms able to invest in efficient network nodes.

Yet radical bitcoin enthusiasts share an opposite argument. In proof-of-stake, transaction validators put their funds at stake to attest that transactions are valid. The algorithm chooses who validates each transaction, giving more possibilities to nodes that put more coins at stake, which could open the door to centralization and government control.

In both cases, we're talking about long-term changes, but Bitcoin's proof-of-work has been evolving longer and seems to confirm those fears, while proof-of-stake is only employed in coins with a minuscule volume compared to Ethereum and has no predictive value.

As of mid-September, we will have two significant cryptocurrencies, each with a different consensus mechanisms and equally different characteristics: one is intrinsically conservative and used only for economic transactions, while the other has been evolving in open source mode, and can be used for other types of assets, smart contracts, or decentralized finance systems. Some even see it as the foundation of Web3.

Many things could change before September 15, but The Merge is likely to be a turning point. We'll have to follow this closely.

Khyati Jain

Khyati Jain

1 year ago

By Engaging in these 5 Duplicitous Daily Activities, You Rapidly Kill Your Brain Cells

No, it’s not smartphones, overeating, or sugar.

Freepik

Everyday practices affect brain health. Good brain practices increase memory and cognition.

Bad behaviors increase stress, which destroys brain cells.

Bad behaviors can reverse evolution and diminish the brain. So, avoid these practices for brain health.

1. The silent assassin

Introverts appreciated quarantine.

Before the pandemic, they needed excuses to remain home; thereafter, they had enough.

I am an introvert, and I didn’t hate quarantine. There are billions of people like me who avoid people.

Social relationships are important for brain health. Social anxiety harms your brain.

Antisocial behavior changes brains. It lowers IQ and increases drug abuse risk.

What you can do is as follows:

  • Make a daily commitment to engage in conversation with a stranger. Who knows, you might turn out to be your lone mate.

  • Get outside for at least 30 minutes each day.

  • Shop for food locally rather than online.

  • Make a call to a friend you haven't spoken to in a while.

2. Try not to rush things.

People love hustle culture. This economy requires a side gig to save money.

Long hours reduce brain health. A side gig is great until you burn out.

Work ages your wallet and intellect. Overworked brains age faster and lose cognitive function.

Working longer hours can help you make extra money, but it can harm your brain.

Side hustle but don't overwork.

What you can do is as follows:

  • Decide what hour you are not permitted to work after.

  • Three hours prior to night, turn off your laptop.

  • Put down your phone and work.

  • Assign due dates to each task.

3. Location is everything!

The environment may cause brain fog. High pollution can cause brain damage.

Air pollution raises Alzheimer's risk. Air pollution causes cognitive and behavioral abnormalities.

Polluted air can trigger early development of incurable brain illnesses, not simply lung harm.

Your city's air quality is uncontrollable. You may take steps to improve air quality.

In Delhi, schools and colleges are closed to protect pupils from polluted air. So I've adapted.

What you can do is as follows:

  • To keep your mind healthy and young, make an investment in a high-quality air purifier.

  • Enclose your windows during the day.

  • Use a N95 mask every day.

4. Don't skip this meal.

Fasting intermittently is trendy. Delaying breakfast to finish fasting is frequent.

Some skip breakfast and have a hefty lunch instead.

Skipping breakfast might affect memory and focus. Skipping breakfast causes low cognition, delayed responsiveness, and irritation.

Breakfast affects mood and productivity.

Intermittent fasting doesn't prevent healthy breakfasts.

What you can do is as follows:

  • Try to fast for 14 hours, then break it with a nutritious breakfast.

  • So that you can have breakfast in the morning, eat dinner early.

  • Make sure your breakfast is heavy in fiber and protein.

5. The quickest way to damage the health of your brain

Brain health requires water. 1% dehydration can reduce cognitive ability by 5%.

Cerebral fog and mental clarity might result from 2% brain dehydration. Dehydration shrinks brain cells.

Dehydration causes midday slumps and unproductivity. Water improves work performance.

Dehydration can harm your brain, so drink water throughout the day.

What you can do is as follows:

  • Always keep a water bottle at your desk.

  • Enjoy some tasty herbal teas.

  • With a big glass of water, begin your day.

  • Bring your own water bottle when you travel.

Conclusion

Bad habits can harm brain health. Low cognition reduces focus and productivity.

Unproductive work leads to procrastination, failure, and low self-esteem.

Avoid these harmful habits to optimize brain health and function.