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Luke Plunkett

Luke Plunkett

5 months ago

Gran Turismo 7 Update Eases Up On The Grind After Fan Outrage

Polyphony Digital has changed the game after apologizing in March.

To make amends for some disastrous downtime, Gran Turismo 7 director Kazunori Yamauchi announced a credits handout and promised to “dramatically change GT7's car economy to help make amends” last month. The first of these has arrived.

The game's 1.11 update includes the following concessions to players frustrated by the economy and its subsequent grind:

  • The last half of the World Circuits events have increased in-game credit rewards.

  • Modified Arcade and Custom Race rewards

  • Clearing all circuit layouts with Gold or Bronze now rewards In-game Credits. Exiting the Sector selection screen with the Exit button will award Credits if an event has already been cleared.

  • Increased Credits Rewards in Lobby and Daily Races

  • Increased the free in-game Credits cap from 20,000,000 to 100,000,000.

Additionally, “The Human Comedy” missions are one-hour endurance races that award “up to 1,200,000” credits per event.

This isn't everything Yamauchi promised last month; he said it would take several patches and updates to fully implement the changes. Here's a list of everything he said would happen, some of which have already happened (like the World Cup rewards and credit cap):

  • Increase rewards in the latter half of the World Circuits by roughly 100%.
  • Added high rewards for all Gold/Bronze results clearing the Circuit Experience.
  • Online Races rewards increase.
  • Add 8 new 1-hour Endurance Race events to Missions. So expect higher rewards.
  • Increase the non-paid credit limit in player wallets from 20M to 100M.
  • Expand the number of Used and Legend cars available at any time.
  • With time, we will increase the payout value of limited time rewards.
  • New World Circuit events.
  • Missions now include 24-hour endurance races.
  • Online Time Trials added, with rewards based on the player's time difference from the leader.
  • Make cars sellable.

The full list of updates and changes can be found here.

Read the original post.

More on Gaming

Chris Moyse

Chris Moyse

5 months ago

Sony and LEGO raise $2 billion for Epic Games' metaverse

‘Kid-friendly’ project holds $32 billion valuation

Epic Games announced today that it has raised $2 billion USD from Sony Group Corporation and KIRKBI (holding company of The LEGO Group). Both companies contributed $1 billion to Epic Games' upcoming ‘metaverse' project.

“We need partners who share our vision as we reimagine entertainment and play. Our partnership with Sony and KIRKBI has found this,” said Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney. A new metaverse will be built where players can have fun with friends and brands create creative and immersive experiences, as well as creators thrive.

Last week, LEGO and Epic Games announced their plans to create a family-friendly metaverse where kids can play, interact, and create in digital environments. The service's users' safety and security will be prioritized.

With this new round of funding, Epic Games' project is now valued at $32 billion.

“Epic Games is known for empowering creators large and small,” said KIRKBI CEO Sren Thorup Srensen. “We invest in trends that we believe will impact the world we and our children will live in. We are pleased to invest in Epic Games to support their continued growth journey, with a long-term focus on the future metaverse.”

Epic Games is expected to unveil its metaverse plans later this year, including its name, details, services, and release date.

Ash Parrish

Ash Parrish

3 months ago

Sonic Prime and indie games on Netflix

Netflix will stream Spiritfarer, Raji: An Ancient Epic, and Lucky Luna.

Netflix's Geeked Week brought a slew of announcements. The flurry of reveals for The Sandman, The Umbrella Academy season 3, One Piece, and more also included game and game-adjacent announcements.

Netflix released a teaser for Cuphead season 2 ahead of its August premiere, featuring more of Grey DeLisle's Ms. Chalice. DOTA: Dragon's Blood season 3 hits Netflix in August. Tekken, the fighting game that throws kids off cliffs, gets an anime, Tekken: Bloodline.

Netflix debuted a clip of Sonic Prime before Sonic Origins in June and Sonic Frontiers in 2022.

Castlevania: Nocturne will follow Richter Belmont.

Netflix is reviving licensed games with titles based on its shows. There's a Queen's Gambit chess game, a Shadow and Bone RPG, a La Casa de Papel heist adventure, and a Too Hot to Handle game where a pregnant woman must choose between stabbing her cheating ex or forgiving him.

Riot's rhythm platformer Hextech Mayhem debuted on Netflix last year, and now Netflix is adding games from Devolver Digital. Reigns: Three Kingdoms is a card game that lets players choose the fate of Three Kingdoms-era China by swiping left or right on cards. Spiritfarer, the "cozy game about death" from 2020, and Raji: An Ancient Epic are coming to Netflix. Poinpy, a vertical climber from the creator of Downwell, is now on Netflix.

Desta: The Memories Between is a turn-based strategy game set in dreams and memories.

Snowman's Lucky Luna will also be added soon.

With these games, Netflix is expanding beyond dinky mobile games — it plans to have 50 by the end of the year — and could be a serious platform for indies that want to expand into mobile. It takes gaming seriously.

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Vitalik

Vitalik

8 months ago

An approximate introduction to how zk-SNARKs are possible (part 1)

You can make a proof for the statement "I know a secret number such that if you take the word ‘cow', add the number to the end, and SHA256 hash it 100 million times, the output starts with 0x57d00485aa". The verifier can verify the proof far more quickly than it would take for them to run 100 million hashes themselves, and the proof would also not reveal what the secret number is.

In the context of blockchains, this has 2 very powerful applications: Perhaps the most powerful cryptographic technology to come out of the last decade is general-purpose succinct zero knowledge proofs, usually called zk-SNARKs ("zero knowledge succinct arguments of knowledge"). A zk-SNARK allows you to generate a proof that some computation has some particular output, in such a way that the proof can be verified extremely quickly even if the underlying computation takes a very long time to run. The "ZK" part adds an additional feature: the proof can keep some of the inputs to the computation hidden.

You can make a proof for the statement "I know a secret number such that if you take the word ‘cow', add the number to the end, and SHA256 hash it 100 million times, the output starts with 0x57d00485aa". The verifier can verify the proof far more quickly than it would take for them to run 100 million hashes themselves, and the proof would also not reveal what the secret number is.

In the context of blockchains, this has two very powerful applications:

  1. Scalability: if a block takes a long time to verify, one person can verify it and generate a proof, and everyone else can just quickly verify the proof instead
  2. Privacy: you can prove that you have the right to transfer some asset (you received it, and you didn't already transfer it) without revealing the link to which asset you received. This ensures security without unduly leaking information about who is transacting with whom to the public.

But zk-SNARKs are quite complex; indeed, as recently as in 2014-17 they were still frequently called "moon math". The good news is that since then, the protocols have become simpler and our understanding of them has become much better. This post will try to explain how ZK-SNARKs work, in a way that should be understandable to someone with a medium level of understanding of mathematics.

Why ZK-SNARKs "should" be hard

Let us take the example that we started with: we have a number (we can encode "cow" followed by the secret input as an integer), we take the SHA256 hash of that number, then we do that again another 99,999,999 times, we get the output, and we check what its starting digits are. This is a huge computation.

A "succinct" proof is one where both the size of the proof and the time required to verify it grow much more slowly than the computation to be verified. If we want a "succinct" proof, we cannot require the verifier to do some work per round of hashing (because then the verification time would be proportional to the computation). Instead, the verifier must somehow check the whole computation without peeking into each individual piece of the computation.

One natural technique is random sampling: how about we just have the verifier peek into the computation in 500 different places, check that those parts are correct, and if all 500 checks pass then assume that the rest of the computation must with high probability be fine, too?

Such a procedure could even be turned into a non-interactive proof using the Fiat-Shamir heuristic: the prover computes a Merkle root of the computation, uses the Merkle root to pseudorandomly choose 500 indices, and provides the 500 corresponding Merkle branches of the data. The key idea is that the prover does not know which branches they will need to reveal until they have already "committed to" the data. If a malicious prover tries to fudge the data after learning which indices are going to be checked, that would change the Merkle root, which would result in a new set of random indices, which would require fudging the data again... trapping the malicious prover in an endless cycle.

But unfortunately there is a fatal flaw in naively applying random sampling to spot-check a computation in this way: computation is inherently fragile. If a malicious prover flips one bit somewhere in the middle of a computation, they can make it give a completely different result, and a random sampling verifier would almost never find out.


It only takes one deliberately inserted error, that a random check would almost never catch, to make a computation give a completely incorrect result.

If tasked with the problem of coming up with a zk-SNARK protocol, many people would make their way to this point and then get stuck and give up. How can a verifier possibly check every single piece of the computation, without looking at each piece of the computation individually? There is a clever solution.

see part 2

Rachel Greenberg

Rachel Greenberg

23 days ago

The Unsettling Fact VC-Backed Entrepreneurs Don't Want You to Know

What they'll do is scarier.

Photo by DESIGNECOLOGIST on Unsplash

My acquaintance recently joined a VC-funded startup. Money, equity, and upside possibilities were nice, but he had a nagging dread.

They just secured a $40M round and are hiring like crazy to prepare for their IPO in two years. All signals pointed to this startup's (a B2B IT business in a stable industry) success, and its equity-holding workers wouldn't pass that up.

Five months after starting the work, my friend struggled with leaving. We might overlook the awful culture and long hours at the proper price. This price plus the company's fate and survival abilities sent my friend departing in an unpleasant unplanned resignation before jumping on yet another sinking ship.

This affects founders. This affects VC-backed companies (and all businesses). This affects anyone starting, buying, or running a business.

Here's the under-the-table approach that's draining VC capital, leaving staff terrified (or jobless), founders rattled, and investors upset. How to recognize, solve, and avoid it

The unsettling reality behind door #1

You can't raise money off just your looks, right? If "looks" means your founding team's expertise, then maybe. In my friend's case, the founding team's strong qualifications and track records won over investors before talking figures.

They're hardly the only startup to raise money without a profitable customer acquisition strategy. Another firm raised money for an expensive sleep product because it's eco-friendly. They were off to the races with a few keywords and key players.

Both companies, along with numerous others, elected to invest on product development first. Company A employed all the tech, then courted half their market (they’re a tech marketplace that connects two parties). Company B spent millions on R&D to create a palatable product, then flooded the world with marketing.

My friend is on Company B's financial team, and he's seen where they've gone wrong. It's terrible.

Company A (tech market): Growing? Not quite. To achieve the ambitious expansion they (and their investors) demand, they've poured much of their little capital into salespeople: Cold-calling commission and salary salesmen. Is it working? Considering attrition and companies' dwindling capital, I don't think so.

Company B (green sleep) has been hiring, digital marketing, and opening new stores like crazy. Growing expenses should result in growing revenues and a favorable return on investment; if you grow too rapidly, you may neglect to check that ROI.

Once Company A cut headcount and Company B declared “going concerned”, my friend realized both startups had the same ailment and didn't recognize it.

I shouldn't have to ask a friend to verify a company's cash reserves and profitability to spot a financial problem. It happened anyhow.

The frightening part isn't that investors were willing to invest millions without product-market fit, CAC, or LTV estimates. That's alarming, but not as scary as the fact that startups aren't understanding the problem until VC rounds have dried up.

When they question consultants if their company will be around in 6 months. It’s a red flag. How will they stretch $20M through a 2-year recession with a $3M/month burn rate and no profitability? Alarms go off.

Who's in danger?

In a word, everyone who raised money without a profitable client acquisition strategy or enough resources to ride out dry spells.

Money mismanagement and poor priorities affect every industry (like sinking all your capital into your product, team, or tech, at the expense of probing what customer acquisition really takes and looks like).

This isn't about tech, real estate, or recession-proof luxury products. Fast, cheap, easy money flows into flashy-looking teams with buzzwords, trending industries, and attractive credentials.

If these companies can't show progress or get a profitable CAC, they can't raise more money. They die if they can't raise more money (or slash headcount and find shoestring budget solutions until they solve the real problem).

The kiss of death (and how to avoid it)

If you're running a startup and think raising VC is the answer, pause and evaluate. Do you need the money now?

I'm not saying VC is terrible or has no role. Founders have used it as a Band-Aid for larger, pervasive problems. Venture cash isn't a crutch for recruiting consumers profitably; it's rocket fuel to get you what and who you need.

Pay-to-play isn't a way to throw money at the wall and hope for a return. Pay-to-play works until you run out of money, and if you haven't mastered client acquisition, your cash will diminish quickly.

How can you avoid this bottomless pit? Tips:

  • Understand your burn rate

  • Keep an eye on your growth or profitability.

  • Analyze each and every marketing channel and initiative.

  • Make lucrative customer acquisition strategies and satisfied customers your top two priorities. not brand-new products. not stellar hires. avoid the fundraising rollercoaster to save time. If you succeed in these two tasks, investors will approach you with their thirsty offers rather than the other way around, and your cash reserves won't diminish as a result.

Not as much as your grandfather

My family friend always justified expensive, impractical expenditures by saying it was only monopoly money. In business, startups, and especially with money from investors expecting a return, that's not true.

More founders could understand that there isn't always another round if they viewed VC money as their own limited pool. When the well runs dry, you must refill it or save the day.

Venture financing isn't your grandpa's money. A discerning investor has entrusted you with dry powder in the hope that you'll use it wisely, strategically, and thoughtfully. Use it well.

Julie Plavnik

Julie Plavnik

8 days ago

How to Become a Crypto Broker [Complying and Making Money]

Three options exist. The third one is the quickest and most fruitful.

How To Become a Cryptocurrency Broker?

You've mastered crypto trading and want to become a broker.

So you may wonder: Where to begin?

If so, keep reading.

Today I'll compare three different approaches to becoming a cryptocurrency trader.

What are cryptocurrency brokers, and how do they vary from stockbrokers?

A stockbroker implements clients' market orders (retail or institutional ones).

Brokerage firms are regulated, insured, and subject to regulatory monitoring.

Stockbrokers are required between buyers and sellers. They can't trade without a broker. To trade, a trader must open a broker account and deposit money. When a trader shops, he tells his broker what orders to place.

Crypto brokerage is trade intermediation with cryptocurrency.

In crypto trading, however, brokers are optional.

Crypto exchanges offer direct transactions. Open an exchange account (no broker needed) and make a deposit.

Question:

Since crypto allows DIY trading, why use a broker?

Let's compare cryptocurrency exchanges vs. brokers.

Broker versus cryptocurrency exchange

Most existing crypto exchanges are basically brokers.

Examine their primary services:

  • connecting purchasers and suppliers

  • having custody of clients' money (with the exception of decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges),

  • clearance of transactions.

Brokerage is comparable, don't you think?

There are exceptions. I mean a few large crypto exchanges that follow the stock exchange paradigm. They outsource brokerage, custody, and clearing operations. Classic exchange setups are rare in today's bitcoin industry.

Back to our favorite “standard” crypto exchanges. All-in-one exchanges and brokers. And usually, they operate under a broker or a broker-dealer license, save for the exchanges registered somewhere in a free-trade offshore paradise. Those don’t bother with any licensing.

What’s the sense of having two brokers at a time?

Better liquidity and trading convenience.

The crypto business is compartmentalized.

We have CEXs, DEXs, hybrid exchanges, and semi-exchanges (those that aggregate liquidity but do not execute orders on their sides). All have unique regulations and act as sovereign states.

There are about 18k coins and hundreds of blockchain protocols, most of which are heterogeneous (i.e., different in design and not interoperable).

A trader must register many accounts on different exchanges, deposit funds, and manage them all concurrently to access global crypto liquidity.

It’s extremely inconvenient.

Crypto liquidity fragmentation is the largest obstacle and bottleneck blocking crypto from mass adoption.

Crypto brokers help clients solve this challenge by providing one-gate access to deep and diverse crypto liquidity from numerous exchanges and suppliers. Professionals and institutions need it.

Another killer feature of a brokerage may be allowing clients to trade crypto with fiat funds exclusively, without fiat/crypto conversion. It is essential for professional and institutional traders.

Who may work as a cryptocurrency broker?

Apparently, not anyone. Brokerage requires high-powered specialists because it involves other people's money.

Here's the essentials:

  • excellent knowledge, skills, and years of trading experience

  • high-quality, quick, and secure infrastructure

  • highly developed team

  • outstanding trading capital

  • High-ROI network: long-standing, trustworthy connections with customers, exchanges, liquidity providers, payment gates, and similar entities

  • outstanding marketing and commercial development skills.

What about a license for a cryptocurrency broker? Is it necessary?

Complex question.

If you plan to play in white-glove jurisdictions, you may need a license. For example, in the US, as a “money transmitter” or as a CASSP (crypto asset secondary services provider) in Australia.

Even in these jurisdictions, there are no clear, holistic crypto brokerage and licensing policies.

Your lawyer will help you decide if your crypto brokerage needs a license.

Getting a license isn't quick. Two years of patience are needed.

How can you turn into a cryptocurrency broker?

Finally, we got there! 🎉

Three actionable ways exist:

  1. To kickstart a regulated stand-alone crypto broker

  2. To get a crypto broker franchise, and

  3. To become a liquidity network broker.

Let's examine each.

1. Opening a regulated cryptocurrency broker

It's difficult. Especially If you're targeting first-world users.

You must comply with many regulatory, technical, financial, HR, and reporting obligations to keep your organization running. Some are mentioned above.

The licensing process depends on the products you want to offer (spots or derivatives) and the geographic areas you plan to service. There are no general rules for that.

In an overgeneralized way, here are the boxes you will have to check:

  • capital availability (usually a large amount of capital c is required)

  • You will have to move some of your team members to the nation providing the license in order to establish an office presence there.

  • the core team with the necessary professional training (especially applies to CEO, Head of Trading, Assistant to Head of Trading, etc.)

  • insurance

  • infrastructure that is trustworthy and secure

  • adopted proper AML/KYC/financial monitoring policies, etc.

Assuming you passed, what's next?

I bet it won’t be mind-blowing for you that the license is just a part of the deal. It won't attract clients or revenue.

To bring in high-dollar clientele, you must be a killer marketer and seller. It's not easy to convince people to give you money.

You'll need to be a great business developer to form successful, long-term agreements with exchanges (ideally for no fees), liquidity providers, banks, payment gates, etc. Persuade clients.

It's a tough job, isn't it?

I expect a Quora-type question here:

Can I start an unlicensed crypto broker?

Well, there is always a workaround with crypto!

You can register your broker in a free-trade zone like Seychelles to avoid US and other markets with strong watchdogs.

This is neither wise nor sustainable.

First, such experiments are illegal.

Second, you'll have trouble attracting clients and strategic partners.

A license equals trust. That’s it.

Even a pseudo-license from Mauritius matters.

Here are this method's benefits and downsides.

Cons first.

  • As you navigate this difficult and expensive legal process, you run the risk of missing out on business prospects. It's quite simple to become excellent compliance yet unable to work. Because your competitors are already courting potential customers while you are focusing all of your effort on paperwork.

  • Only God knows how long it will take you to pass the break-even point when everything with the license has been completed.

  • It is a money-burning business, especially in the beginning when the majority of your expenses will go toward marketing, sales, and maintaining license requirements. Make sure you have the fortitude and resources necessary to face such a difficult challenge.

Pros

  • It may eventually develop into a tool for making money. Because big guys who are professionals at trading require a white-glove regulated brokerage. You have every possibility if you work hard in the areas of sales, marketing, business development, and wealth. Simply put, everything must align.

Launching a regulated crypto broker is analogous to launching a crypto exchange. It's ROUGH. Sure you can take it?

2. Franchise for Crypto Broker (Crypto Sub-Brokerage)

A broker franchise is easier and faster than becoming a regulated crypto broker. Not a traditional brokerage.

A broker franchisee, often termed a sub-broker, joins with a broker (a franchisor) to bring them new clients. Sub-brokers market a broker's products and services to clients.

Sub-brokers are the middlemen between a broker and an investor.

Why is sub-brokering easier?

  • less demanding qualifications and legal complexity. All you need to do is keep a few certificates on hand (each time depends on the jurisdiction).

  • No significant investment is required

  • there is no demand that you be a trading member of an exchange, etc.

As a sub-broker, you can do identical duties without as many rights and certifications.

What about the crypto broker franchise?

Sub-brokers aren't common in crypto.

In most existing examples (PayBito, PCEX, etc.), franchises are offered by crypto exchanges, not brokers. Though we remember that crypto exchanges are, in fact, brokers, do we?

Similarly:

  • For a commission, a franchiser crypto broker receives new leads from a crypto sub-broker.

See above for why enrolling is easy.

Finding clients is difficult. Most crypto traders prefer to buy-sell on their own or through brokers over sub-broker franchises.

3. Broker of the Crypto Trading Network (or a Network Broker)

It's the greatest approach to execute crypto brokerage, based on effort/return.

Network broker isn't an established word. I wrote it for clarity.

Remember how we called crypto liquidity fragmentation the current crypto finance paradigm's main bottleneck?

Where there's a challenge, there's progress.

Several well-funded projects are aiming to fix crypto liquidity fragmentation. Instead of launching another crypto exchange with siloed trading, the greatest minds create trading networks that aggregate crypto liquidity from desynchronized sources and enable quick, safe, and affordable cross-blockchain transactions. Each project offers a distinct option for users.

Crypto liquidity implies:

  • One-account access to cryptocurrency liquidity pooled from network participants' exchanges and other liquidity sources

  • compiled price feeds

  • Cross-chain transactions that are quick and inexpensive, even for HFTs

  • link between participants of all kinds, and

  • interoperability among diverse blockchains

Fast, diversified, and cheap global crypto trading from one account.

How does a trading network help cryptocurrency brokers?

I’ll explain it, taking Yellow Network as an example.

Yellow provides decentralized Layer-3 peer-to-peer trading.

  • trade across chains globally with real-time settlement and

  • Between cryptocurrency exchanges, brokers, trading companies, and other sorts of network members, there is communication and the exchange of financial information.

Have you ever heard about ECN (electronic communication network)? If not, it's an automated system that automatically matches buy and sell orders. Yellow is a decentralized digital asset ECN.

Brokers can:

  • Start trading right now without having to meet stringent requirements; all you need to do is integrate with Yellow Protocol and successfully complete some KYC verification.

  • Access global aggregated crypto liquidity through a single point.

  • B2B (Broker to Broker) liquidity channels that provide peer liquidity from other brokers. Orders from the other broker will appear in the order book of a broker who is peering with another broker on the market. It will enable a broker to broaden his offer and raise the total amount of liquidity that is available to his clients.

  • Select a custodian or use non-custodial practices.

Comparing network crypto brokerage to other types:

  • A licensed stand-alone brokerage business is much more difficult and time-consuming to launch than network brokerage, and

  • Network brokerage, in contrast to crypto sub-brokerage, is scalable, independent, and offers limitless possibilities for revenue generation.

Yellow Network Whitepaper. has more details on how to start a brokerage business and what rewards you'll obtain.

Final thoughts

There are three ways to become a cryptocurrency broker, including the non-conventional liquidity network brokerage. The last option appears time/cost-effective.

Crypto brokerage isn't crowded yet. Act quickly to find your right place in this market.

Choose the way that works for you best and see you in crypto trading.

Discover Web3 & DeFi with Yellow Network!

Yellow, powered by Openware, is developing a cross-chain P2P liquidity aggregator to unite the crypto sector and provide global remittance services that aid people.

Join the Yellow Community and plunge into this decade's biggest product-oriented crypto project.

  • Observe Yellow Twitter

  • Enroll in Yellow Telegram

  • Visit Yellow Discord.

  • On Hacker Noon, look us up.

Yellow Network will expose development, technology, developer tools, crypto brokerage nodes software, and community liquidity mining.