Fairness alternatives to selling below market clearing prices (or community sentiment, or fun)
When a seller has a limited supply of an item in high (or uncertain and possibly high) demand, they frequently set a price far below what "the market will bear." As a result, the item sells out quickly, with lucky buyers being those who tried to buy first. This has happened in the Ethereum ecosystem, particularly with NFT sales and token sales/ICOs. But this phenomenon is much older; concerts and restaurants frequently make similar choices, resulting in fast sell-outs or long lines.
Why do sellers do this? Economists have long wondered. A seller should sell at the market-clearing price if the amount buyers are willing to buy exactly equals the amount the seller has to sell. If the seller is unsure of the market-clearing price, they should sell at auction and let the market decide. So, if you want to sell something below market value, don't do it. It will hurt your sales and it will hurt your customers. The competitions created by non-price-based allocation mechanisms can sometimes have negative externalities that harm third parties, as we will see.
However, the prevalence of below-market-clearing pricing suggests that sellers do it for good reason. And indeed, as decades of research into this topic has shown, there often are. So, is it possible to achieve the same goals with less unfairness, inefficiency, and harm?
Selling at below market-clearing prices has large inefficiencies and negative externalities
An item that is sold at market value or at an auction allows someone who really wants it to pay the high price or bid high in the auction. So, if a seller sells an item below market value, some people will get it and others won't. But the mechanism deciding who gets the item isn't random, and it's not always well correlated with participant desire. It's not always about being the fastest at clicking buttons. Sometimes it means waking up at 2 a.m. (but 11 p.m. or even 2 p.m. elsewhere). Sometimes it's just a "auction by other means" that's more chaotic, less efficient, and has far more negative externalities.
There are many examples of this in the Ethereum ecosystem. Let's start with the 2017 ICO craze. For example, an ICO project would set the price of the token and a hard maximum for how many tokens they are willing to sell, and the sale would start automatically at some point in time. The sale ends when the cap is reached.
So what? In practice, these sales often ended in 30 seconds or less. Everyone would start sending transactions in as soon as (or just before) the sale started, offering higher and higher fees to encourage miners to include their transaction first. Instead of the token seller receiving revenue, miners receive it, and the sale prices out all other applications on-chain.
The most expensive transaction in the BAT sale set a fee of 580,000 gwei, paying a fee of $6,600 to get included in the sale.
Many ICOs after that tried various strategies to avoid these gas price auctions; one ICO notably had a smart contract that checked the transaction's gasprice and rejected it if it exceeded 50 gwei. But that didn't solve the issue. Buyers hoping to game the system sent many transactions hoping one would get through. An auction by another name, clogging the chain even more.
ICOs have recently lost popularity, but NFTs and NFT sales have risen in popularity. But the NFT space didn't learn from 2017; they do fixed-quantity sales just like ICOs (eg. see the mint function on lines 97-108 of this contract here). So what?
That's not the worst; some NFT sales have caused gas price spikes of up to 2000 gwei.
High gas prices from users fighting to get in first by sending higher and higher transaction fees. An auction renamed, pricing out all other applications on-chain for 15 minutes.
So why do sellers sometimes sell below market price?
Selling below market value is nothing new, and many articles, papers, and podcasts have written (and sometimes bitterly complained) about the unwillingness to use auctions or set prices to market-clearing levels.
Many of the arguments are the same for both blockchain (NFTs and ICOs) and non-blockchain examples (popular restaurants and concerts). Fairness and the desire not to exclude the poor, lose fans or create tension by being perceived as greedy are major concerns. The 1986 paper by Kahneman, Knetsch, and Thaler explains how fairness and greed can influence these decisions. I recall that the desire to avoid perceptions of greed was also a major factor in discouraging the use of auction-like mechanisms in 2017.
Aside from fairness concerns, there is the argument that selling out and long lines create a sense of popularity and prestige, making the product more appealing to others. Long lines should have the same effect as high prices in a rational actor model, but this is not the case in reality. This applies to ICOs and NFTs as well as restaurants. Aside from increasing marketing value, some people find the game of grabbing a limited set of opportunities first before everyone else is quite entertaining.
But there are some blockchain-specific factors. One argument for selling ICO tokens below market value (and one that persuaded the OmiseGo team to adopt their capped sale strategy) is community dynamics. The first rule of community sentiment management is to encourage price increases. People are happy if they are "in the green." If the price drops below what the community members paid, they are unhappy and start calling you a scammer, possibly causing a social media cascade where everyone calls you a scammer.
This effect can only be avoided by pricing low enough that post-launch market prices will almost certainly be higher. But how do you do this without creating a rush for the gates that leads to an auction?
It's 2021. We have a blockchain. The blockchain is home to a powerful decentralized finance ecosystem, as well as a rapidly expanding set of non-financial tools. The blockchain also allows us to reset social norms. Where decades of economists yelling about "efficiency" failed, blockchains may be able to legitimize new uses of mechanism design. If we could use our more advanced tools to create an approach that more directly solves the problems, with fewer side effects, wouldn't that be better than fiddling with a coarse-grained one-dimensional strategy space of selling at market price versus below market price?
Begin with the goals. We'll try to cover ICOs, NFTs, and conference tickets (really a type of NFT) all at the same time.
1. Fairness: don't completely exclude low-income people from participation; give them a chance. The goal of token sales is to avoid high initial wealth concentration and have a larger and more diverse initial token holder community.
2. Don’t create races: Avoid situations where many people rush to do the same thing and only a few get in (this is the type of situation that leads to the horrible auctions-by-another-name that we saw above).
3. Don't require precise market knowledge: the mechanism should work even if the seller has no idea how much demand exists.
4. Fun: The process of participating in the sale should be fun and game-like, but not frustrating.
5. Give buyers positive expected returns: in the case of a token (or an NFT), buyers should expect price increases rather than decreases. This requires selling below market value.
Let's start with (1). From Ethereum's perspective, there is a simple solution. Use a tool designed for the job: proof of personhood protocols! Here's one quick idea:
Mechanism 1 Each participant (verified by ID) can buy up to ‘’X’’ tokens at price P, with the option to buy more at an auction.
With the per-person mechanism, buyers can get positive expected returns for the portion sold through the per-person mechanism, and the auction part does not require sellers to understand demand levels. Is it race-free? The number of participants buying through the per-person pool appears to be high. But what if the per-person pool isn't big enough to accommodate everyone?
Make the per-person allocation amount dynamic.
Mechanism 2 Each participant can deposit up to X tokens into a smart contract to declare interest. Last but not least, each buyer receives min(X, N / buyers) tokens, where N is the total sold through the per-person pool (some other amount can also be sold by auction). The buyer gets their deposit back if it exceeds the amount needed to buy their allocation.
No longer is there a race condition based on the number of buyers per person. No matter how high the demand, it's always better to join sooner rather than later.
Here's another idea if you like clever game mechanics with fancy quadratic formulas.
Mechanism 3 Each participant can buy X units at a price P X 2 up to a maximum of C tokens per buyer. C starts low and gradually increases until enough units are sold.
The quantity allocated to each buyer is theoretically optimal, though post-sale transfers will degrade this optimality over time. Mechanisms 2 and 3 appear to meet all of the above objectives. They're not perfect, but they're good starting points.
One more issue. For fixed and limited supply NFTs, the equilibrium purchased quantity per participant may be fractional (in mechanism 2, number of buyers > N, and in mechanism 3, setting C = 1 may already lead to over-subscription). With fractional sales, you can offer lottery tickets: if there are N items available, you have a chance of N/number of buyers of getting the item, otherwise you get a refund. For a conference, groups could bundle their lottery tickets to guarantee a win or a loss. The certainty of getting the item can be auctioned.
The bottom tier of "sponsorships" can be used to sell conference tickets at market rate. You may end up with a sponsor board full of people's faces, but is that okay? After all, John Lilic was on EthCC's sponsor board!
Simply put, if you want to be reliably fair to people, you need an input that explicitly measures people. Authentication protocols do this (and if desired can be combined with zero knowledge proofs to ensure privacy). So we should combine the efficiency of market and auction-based pricing with the equality of proof of personhood mechanics.
Answers to possible questions
Q: Won't people who don't care about your project buy the item and immediately resell it?
A: Not at first. Meta-games take time to appear in practice. If they do, making them untradeable for a while may help mitigate the damage. Using your face to claim that your previous account was hacked and that your identity, including everything in it, should be moved to another account works because proof-of-personhood identities are untradeable.
Q: What if I want to make my item available to a specific community?
A: Instead of ID, use proof of participation tokens linked to community events. Another option, also serving egalitarian and gamification purposes, is to encrypt items within publicly available puzzle solutions.
Q: How do we know they'll accept? Strange new mechanisms have previously been resisted.
A: Having economists write screeds about how they "should" accept a new mechanism that they find strange is difficult (or even "equity"). However, abrupt changes in context effectively reset people's expectations. So the blockchain space is the best place to try this. You could wait for the "metaverse", but it's possible that the best version will run on Ethereum anyway, so start now.
More on Web3 & Crypto
5 months ago
DAO 101: Everything you need to know
Maybe you'll work for a DAO next! Over $1 Billion in NFTs in the Flamingo DAO Another DAO tried to buy the NFL team Denver Broncos. The UkraineDAO raised over $7 Million for Ukraine. The PleasrDAO paid $4m for a Wu-Tang Clan album that belonged to the “pharma bro.”
DAOs move billions and employ thousands. So learn what a DAO is, how it works, and how to create one!
DAO? So, what? Why is it better?
A Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). Some people like to also refer to it as Digital Autonomous Organization, but I prefer the former.
They are virtual organizations. In the real world, you have organizations or companies right? These firms have shareholders and a board. Usually, anyone with authority makes decisions. It could be the CEO, the Board, or the HIPPO. If you own stock in that company, you may also be able to influence decisions. It's now possible to do something similar but much better and more equitable in the cryptocurrency world.
This article informs you:
DAOs- What are the most common DAOs, their advantages and disadvantages over traditional companies? What are they if any?
Is a DAO legally recognized?
How secure is a DAO?
I’m ready whenever you are!
A DAO is a type of company that is operated by smart contracts on the blockchain. Smart contracts are computer code that self-executes our commands. Those contracts can be any. Most second-generation blockchains support smart contracts. Examples are Ethereum, Solana, Polygon, Binance Smart Chain, EOS, etc. I think I've gone off topic. Back on track. Now let's go!
Unlike traditional corporations, DAOs are governed by smart contracts. Unlike traditional company governance, DAO governance is fully transparent and auditable. That's one of the things that sets it apart. The clarity!
A DAO, like a traditional company, has one major difference. In other words, it is decentralized. DAOs are more ‘democratic' than traditional companies because anyone can vote on decisions. Anyone! In a DAO, we (you and I) make the decisions, not the top-shots. We are the CEO and investors. A DAO gives its community members power. We get to decide.
As long as you are a stakeholder, i.e. own a portion of the DAO tokens, you can participate in the DAO. Tokens are open to all. It's just a matter of exchanging it. Ownership of DAO tokens entitles you to exclusive benefits such as governance, voting, and so on. You can vote for a move, a plan, or the DAO's next investment. You can even pitch for funding. Any ‘big' decision in a DAO requires a vote from all stakeholders. In this case, ‘token-holders'! In other words, they function like stock.
What are the 5 DAO types?
Different DAOs exist. We will categorize decentralized autonomous organizations based on their mode of operation, structure, and even technology. Here are a few. You've probably heard of them:
1. DeFi DAO
These DAOs offer DeFi (decentralized financial) services via smart contract protocols. They use tokens to vote protocol and financial changes. Uniswap, Aave, Maker DAO, and Olympus DAO are some examples. Most DAOs manage billions.
Maker DAO was one of the first protocols ever created. It is a decentralized organization on the Ethereum blockchain that allows cryptocurrency lending and borrowing without a middleman.
Maker DAO issues DAI, a stable coin. DAI is a top-rated USD-pegged stable coin.
Maker DAO has an MKR token. These token holders are in charge of adjusting the Dai stable coin policy. Simply put, MKR tokens represent DAO “shares”.
2. Investment DAO
Investors pool their funds and make investment decisions. Investing in new businesses or art is one example. Investment DAOs help DeFi operations pool capital. The Meta Cartel DAO is a community of people who want to invest in new projects built on the Ethereum blockchain. Instead of investing one by one, they want to pool their resources and share ideas on how to make better financial decisions.
3. DAO Grant/Launchpad
In a grant DAO, community members contribute funds to a grant pool and vote on how to allocate and distribute them. These DAOs fund new DeFi projects. Those in need only need to apply. The Moloch DAO is a great Grant DAO. The tokens are used to allocate capital. Also see Gitcoin and Seedify.
4. DAO Collector
I debated whether to put it under ‘Investment DAO' or leave it alone. It's a subset of investment DAOs. This group buys non-fungible tokens, artwork, and collectibles. The market for NFTs has recently exploded, and it's time to investigate. The Pleasr DAO is a collector DAO. One copy of Wu-Tang Clan's "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" cost the Pleasr DAO $4 million. Pleasr DAO is known for buying Doge meme NFT. Collector DAOs include the Flamingo, Mutant Cats DAO, and Constitution DAOs. Don't underestimate their websites' "childish" style. They have millions.
5. Social DAO
What are the DAO Benefits?
Here are some of the benefits of a decentralized autonomous organization:
- They are trustless. You don’t need to trust a CEO or management team
- It can’t be shut down unless a majority of the token holders agree. The government can't shut - It down because it isn't centralized.
- It's fully democratic
- It is open-source and fully transparent.
What about DAO drawbacks?
We've been saying DAOs are the bomb? But are they really the shit? What could go wrong with DAO?
DAOs may contain bugs. If they are hacked, the results can be catastrophic.
No trade secrets exist. Because the smart contract is transparent and coded on the blockchain, it can be copied. It may be used by another organization without credit. Maybe DAOs should use Secret, Oasis, or Horizen blockchain networks.
Are DAOs legally recognized??
In most counties, DAO regulation is inexistent. It's unclear. Most DAOs don’t have a legal personality. The Howey Test and the Securities Act of 1933 determine whether DAO tokens are securities. Although most countries follow the US, this is only considered for the US. Wyoming became the first state to recognize DAOs as legal entities in July 2021 after passing a DAO bill. DAOs registered in Wyoming are thus legally recognized as business entities in the US and thus receive the same legal protections as a Limited Liability Company.
In terms of cyber-security, how secure is a DAO?
Blockchains are secure. However, smart contracts may have security flaws or bugs. This can be avoided by third-party smart contract reviews, testing, and auditing
Finally, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations are timeless. Let us examine the current situation: Ukraine's invasion. A DAO was formed to help Ukrainian troops fighting the Russians. It was named Ukraine DAO. Pleasr DAO, NFT studio Trippy Labs, and Russian art collective Pussy Riot organized this fundraiser. Coindesk reports that over $3 million has been raised in Ethereum-based tokens. AidForUkraine, a DAO aimed at supporting Ukraine's defense efforts, has launched. Accepting Solana token donations. They are fully transparent, uncensorable, and can’t be shut down or sanctioned.
DAOs are undeniably the future of blockchain. Everyone is paying attention. Personally, I believe traditional companies will soon have to choose between adapting or being left behind.
Long version of this post: https://medium.datadriveninvestor.com/dao-101-all-you-need-to-know-about-daos-275060016663
2 months ago
Say goodbye to Ponzi yields - A new era of decentralized perpetual
Decentralized perpetual may be the next crypto market boom; with tons of perpetual popping up, let's look at two protocols that offer organic, non-inflationary yields.
Decentralized derivatives exchanges' market share has increased tenfold in a year, but it's still 2% of CEXs'. DEXs have a long way to go before they can compete with centralized exchanges in speed, liquidity, user experience, and composability.
I'll cover gains.trade and GMX protocol in Polygon, Avalanche, and Arbitrum. Both protocols support leveraged perpetual crypto, stock, and Forex trading.
Why these protocols?
Decentralized GMX Gains protocol
Organic yield: path to sustainability
I've never trusted Defi's non-organic yields. Example: XYZ protocol. 20–75% of tokens may be set aside as farming rewards to provide liquidity, according to tokenomics.
Say you provide ETH-USDC liquidity. They advertise a 50% APR reward for this pair, 10% from trading fees and 40% from farming rewards. Only 10% is real, the rest is "Ponzi." The "real" reward is in protocol tokens.
Why keep this token? Governance voting or staking rewards are promoted services.
Most liquidity providers expect compensation for unused tokens. Basic psychological principles then? — Profit.
Nobody wants governance tokens. How many out of 100 care about the protocol's direction and will vote?
Staking increases your token's value. Currently, they're mostly non-liquid. If the protocol is compromised, you can't withdraw funds. Most people are sceptical of staking because of this.
"Free tokens," lack of use cases, and skepticism lead to tokens moving south. No farming reward protocols have lasted.
It may have shown strength in a bull market, but what about a bear market?
What is decentralized perpetual?
A perpetual contract is a type of futures contract that doesn't expire. So one can hold a position forever.
You can buy/sell any leveraged instruments (Long-Short) without expiration.
In centralized exchanges like Binance and coinbase, fees and revenue (liquidation) go to the exchanges, not users.
Users can provide liquidity that traders can use to leverage trade, and the revenue goes to liquidity providers.
Gains.trade and GMX protocol are perpetual trading platforms with a non-inflationary organic yield for liquidity providers.
GMX is an Arbitrum and Avax protocol that rewards in ETH and Avax. GLP uses a fast oracle to borrow the "true price" from other trading venues, unlike a traditional AMM.
GLP and GMX are protocol tokens. GLP is used for leveraged trading, swapping, etc.
GLP is a basket of tokens, including ETH, BTC, AVAX, stablecoins, and UNI, LINK, and Stablecoins.
GLP composition on arbitrum
GLP composition on Avalanche
GLP token rebalances based on usage, providing liquidity without loss.
Protocol "runs" on Staking GLP. Depending on their chain, the protocol will reward users with ETH or AVAX. Current rewards are 22 percent (15.71 percent in ETH and the rest in escrowed GMX) and 21 percent (15.72 percent in AVAX and the rest in escrowed GMX). escGMX and ETH/AVAX percentages fluctuate.
Where is the yield coming from?
Swap fees, perpetual interest, and liquidations generate yield. 70% of fees go to GLP stakers, 30% to GMX. Organic yields aren't paid in inflationary farm tokens.
Escrowed GMX is vested GMX that unlocks in 365 days. To fully unlock GMX, you must farm the Escrowed GMX token for 365 days. That means less selling pressure for the GMX token.
These are the fees in Arbitrum in the past 11 months by GMX.
GMX works like a casino, which increases fees. Most fees come from Margin trading, which means most traders lose money; this money goes to the casino, or GLP stakers.
My personal strategy is to DCA into GLP when markets hit bottom and stake it; GLP will be less volatile with extra staking rewards.
GLP YoY return vs. naked buying
Let's say I invested $10,000 in BTC, AVAX, and ETH in January.
BTC price: 47665$
ETH price: 3760$
AVAX price: $145
BTC $21,000 (Down 56 percent )
ETH $1233 (Down 67.2 percent )
AVAX $20.36 (Down 85.95 percent )
Your $10,000 investment is now worth around $3,000.
How about GLP? My initial investment is 50% stables and 50% other assets ( Assuming the coverage ratio for stables is 50 percent at that time)
Without GLP staking yield, your value is $6500.
Let's assume the average APR for GLP staking is 23%, or $1500. So 8000$ total. It's 50% safer than holding naked assets in a bear market.
In a bull market, naked assets are preferable to GLP.
Short farming using GLP
Simple GLP short farming.
You use a stable asset as collateral to borrow AVAX. Sell it and buy GLP. Even if GLP rises, it won't rise as fast as AVAX, so we can get yields.
Let's do the maths
You deposit $10,000 USDT in Aave and borrow Avax. Say you borrow $8,000; you sell it, buy GLP, and risk 20%.
After a year, ETH, AVAX, and BTC rise 20%. GLP is $8800. $800 vanishes. 20% yields $1600. You're profitable. Shorting Avax costs $1600. (Assumptions-ETH, AVAX, BTC move the same, GLP yield is 20%. GLP has a 50:50 stablecoin/others ratio. Aave won't liquidate
In naked Avax shorting, Avax falls 20% in a year. You'll make $1600. If you buy GLP and stake it using the sold Avax and BTC, ETH and Avax go down by 20% - your profit is 20%, but with the yield, your total gain is $2400.
Issues with GMX
GMX's historical funding rates are always net positive, so long always pays short. This makes long-term shorts less appealing.
Oracle price discovery isn't enough. This limitation doesn't affect Bitcoin and ETH, but it affects less liquid assets. Traders can buy and sell less liquid assets at a lower price than their actual cost as long as GMX exists.
As users must provide GLP liquidity, adding more assets to GMX will be difficult. Next iteration will have synthetic assets.
Best leveraged trading platform. Smart contract-based decentralized protocol. 46 crypto pairs can be leveraged 5–150x and 10 Forex pairs 5–1000x. $10 DAI @ 150x (min collateral x leverage pos size is $1500 DAI). No funding fees, no KYC, trade DAI from your wallet, keep funds.
DAI single-sided staking and the GNS-DAI pool are important parts of Gains trading. GNS-DAI stakers get 90% of trading fees and 100% swap fees. 10 percent of trading fees go to DAI stakers, which is currently 14 percent!
When a trader opens a trade, the leverage and profit are pulled from the DAI pool. If he loses, the protocol yield goes to the stakers.
If the trader's win rate is high and the DAI pool slowly depletes, the GNS token is minted and sold to refill DAI. Trader losses are used to burn GNS tokens. 25%+ of GNS is burned, making it deflationary.
Due to high leverage and volatility of crypto assets, most traders lose money and the protocol always wins, keeping GNS deflationary.
Gains uses a unique decentralized oracle for price feeds, which is better for leverage trading platforms. Let me explain.
Gains uses chainlink price oracles, not its own price feeds. Chainlink oracles only query centralized exchanges for price feeds every minute, which is unsuitable for high-precision trading.
Gains created a custom oracle that queries the eight chainlink nodes for the current price and, on average, for trade confirmation. This model eliminates every-second inquiries, which waste gas but are more efficient than chainlink's per-minute price.
This price oracle helps Gains open and close trades instantly, eliminate scam wicks, etc.
Other benefits include:
Stop-loss guarantee (open positions updated)
No scam wicks
Highest possible leverage
Fixed-spreads. During high volatility, a broker can increase the spread, which can hit your stop loss without the price moving.
Trade directly from your wallet and keep your funds.
>90% loss before liquidation (Some platforms liquidate as little as -50 percent)
Directly trade from wallet; keep funds safe
GNS-DAI liquidity providers fear the impermanent loss, so the protocol is migrating to its own liquidity and single staking GNS vaults. This allows users to stake GNS without permanent loss and obtain 90% DAI trading fees by staking. This starts in August.
Their upcoming improvements can be found here.
Gains constantly add new features and change pairs. It's an interesting protocol.
Next bull run, watch decentralized perpetual protocols. Effective tokenomics and non-inflationary yields may attract traders and liquidity providers. But still, there is a long way for them to develop, and I don't see them tackling the centralized exchanges any time soon until they fix their inherent problems and improve fast enough.
Read the full post here.
4 months ago
How to make a >800 million dollars in crypto attacking the once 3rd largest stablecoin, Soros style
Everyone is talking about the $UST attack right now, including Janet Yellen. But no one is talking about how much money the attacker made (or how brilliant it was). Lets dig in.
Our story starts in late March, when the Luna Foundation Guard (or LFG) starts buying BTC to help back $UST. LFG started accumulating BTC on 3/22, and by March 26th had a $1bn+ BTC position. This is leg #1 that made this trade (or attack) brilliant.
The second leg comes in the form of the 4pool Frax announcement for $UST on April 1st. This added the second leg needed to help execute the strategy in a capital efficient way (liquidity will be lower and then the attack is on).
We don't know when the attacker borrowed 100k BTC to start the position, other than that it was sold into Kwon's buying (still speculation). LFG bought 15k BTC between March 27th and April 11th, so lets just take the average price between these dates ($42k).
So you have a ~$4.2bn short position built. Over the same time, the attacker builds a $1bn OTC position in $UST. The stage is now set to create a run on the bank and get paid on your BTC short. In anticipation of the 4pool, LFG initially removes $150mm from 3pool liquidity.
The liquidity was pulled on 5/8 and then the attacker uses $350mm of UST to drain curve liquidity (and LFG pulls another $100mm of liquidity).
But this only starts the de-pegging (down to 0.972 at the lows). LFG begins selling $BTC to defend the peg, causing downward pressure on BTC while the run on $UST was just getting started.
With the Curve liquidity drained, the attacker used the remainder of their $1b OTC $UST position ($650mm or so) to start offloading on Binance. As withdrawals from Anchor turned from concern into panic, this caused a real de-peg as people fled for the exits
So LFG is selling $BTC to restore the peg while the attacker is selling $UST on Binance. Eventually the chain gets congested and the CEXs suspend withdrawals of $UST, fueling the bank run panic. $UST de-pegs to 60c at the bottom, while $BTC bleeds out.
The crypto community panics as they wonder how much $BTC will be sold to keep the peg. There are liquidations across the board and LUNA pukes because of its redemption mechanism (the attacker very well could have shorted LUNA as well). BTC fell 25% from $42k on 4/11 to $31.3k
So how much did our attacker make? There aren't details on where they covered obviously, but if they are able to cover (or buy back) the entire position at ~$32k, that means they made $952mm on the short.
On the $350mm of $UST curve dumps I don't think they took much of a loss, lets assume 3% or just $11m. And lets assume that all the Binance dumps were done at 80c, thats another $125mm cost of doing business. For a grand total profit of $815mm (bf borrow cost).
BTC was the perfect playground for the trade, as the liquidity was there to pull it off. While having LFG involved in BTC, and foreseeing they would sell to keep the peg (and prevent LUNA from dying) was the kicker.
Lastly, the liquidity being low on 3pool in advance of 4pool allowed the attacker to drain it with only $350mm, causing the broader panic in both BTC and $UST. Any shorts on LUNA would've added a lot of P&L here as well, with it falling -65% since 5/7.
And for the reply guys, yes I know a lot of this involves some speculation & assumptions. But a lot of money was made here either way, and I thought it would be cool to dive into how they did it.
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2 months ago
How to gain Twitter followers: A 101 Guide
No wonder brands use Twitter to reach their audience. 53% of Twitter users buy new products first.
Twitter growth does more than make your brand look popular. It helps clients trust your business. It boosts your industry standing. It shows clients, prospects, and even competitors you mean business.
How can you naturally gain Twitter followers?
Share useful information
Post visual content
Spread your @name everywhere.
Use existing customers
Share useful information
Twitter users join conversations and consume material. To build your followers, make sure your material appeals to them and gives value, whether it's sales, product lessons, or current events.
Use Twitter Analytics to learn what your audience likes.
Explore popular topics by utilizing relevant keywords and hashtags. Check out this post on how to use Twitter trends.
Post visual content
97% of Twitter users focus on images, so incorporating media can help your Tweets stand out. Visuals and videos make content more engaging and memorable.
Your audience should expect regular content updates. Plan your ideas and tweet during crucial seasons and events with a content calendar.
Twitter connects people. Do more than tweet. Follow industry leaders. Retweet influencers, engage with thought leaders, and reply to mentions and customers to boost engagement.
Micro-influencers can promote your brand or items. They can help you gain new audiences' trust.
Spread your @name everywhere.
Maximize brand exposure. Add a follow button on your website, link to it in your email signature and newsletters, and promote it on business cards or menus.
Use existing customers
Emails can be used to find existing Twitter clients. Upload your email contacts and follow your customers on Twitter to start a dialogue.
Run a followers campaign to boost your organic growth. Followers campaigns promote your account to a particular demographic, and you only pay when someone follows you.
Consider short campaigns to enhance momentum or an always-on campaign to gain new followers.
Increasing your brand's Twitter followers takes effort and experimentation, but the payback is huge.
👋 Follow me on twitter
2 months ago
What's up with tech?
Massive Layoffs, record low VC investment, debate over crash... why is it happening and what’s the endgame?
This article generalizes a diverse industry. For objectivity, specific tech company challenges like growing competition within named segments won't be considered. Please comment on the posts.
According to Layoffs.fyi, nearly 120.000 people have been fired from startups since March 2020. More than 700 startups have fired 1% to 100% of their workforce. "The tech market is crashing"
Venture capital investment dropped 19% QoQ in the first four months of 2022, a 2018 low. Since January 2022, Nasdaq has dropped 27%. Some believe the tech market is collapsing.
It's bad, but nothing has crashed yet. We're about to get super technical, so buckle up!
I've written a follow-up article about what's next. For a more optimistic view of the crisis' aftermath, see: Tech Diaspora and Silicon Valley crisis
Insanity reigned. Last decade, everyone became a unicorn. Seed investments can be made without a product or team. While the "real world" economy suffered from the pandemic for three years, tech companies enjoyed the "new normal."
COVID sped up technology adoption on several fronts, but this "new normal" wasn't so new after many restrictions were lifted. Worse, it lived with disrupted logistics chains, high oil prices, and WW3. The consumer market has felt the industry's boom for almost 3 years. Inflation, unemployment, mental distress...what looked like a fast economic recovery now looks like unfulfilled promises.
People rethink everything they eat. Paying a Netflix subscription instead of buying beef is moronic if you can watch it for free on your cousin’s account. No matter how great your real estate app's UI is, buying a house can wait until mortgage rates drop. PLGProduct Led Growth (PLG) isn't the go-to strategy when consumers have more basic expense priorities.
Exponential growth and investment
Until recently, tech companies believed that non-exponential revenue growth was fatal. Exponential growth entails doing more with less. From Salim Ismail words:
An Exponential Organization (ExO) has 10x the impact of its peers.
Many tech companies' theories are far from reality.
Investors have funded (sometimes non-exponential) growth. Scale-driven companies throw people at problems until they're solved. Need an entire closing team because you’ve just bought a TV prime time add? Sure. Want gold-weight engineers to colorize buttons? Why not?
Tech companies don't need cash flow to do it; they can just show revenue growth and get funding. Even though it's hard to get funding, this was the market's momentum until recently.
The graph at the beginning of this section shows how industry heavyweights burned money until 2020, despite being far from their market-share seed stage. Being big and being sturdy are different things, and a lot of the tech startups out there are paper tigers. Without investor money, they have no foundation.
A little bit about interest rates
Inflation-driven high interest rates are said to be causing tough times. Investors would rather leave money in the bank than spend it (I myself said it some days ago). It’s not wrong, but it’s also not that simple.
The USA central bank (FED) is a good proxy of global economics. Dollar treasury bonds are the safest investment in the world. Buying U.S. debt, the only country that can print dollars, guarantees payment.
The graph above shows that FED interest rates are low and 10+ year bond yields are near 2018 levels. Nobody was firing at 2018. What’s with that then?
Full explanation is too technical for this article, so I'll just summarize: Bond yields rise due to lack of demand or market expectations of longer-lasting inflation. Safe assets aren't a "easy money" tactic for investors. If that were true, we'd have seen the current scenario before.
Long-term investors are protecting their capital from inflation.
Not a crash, a landing
I bombarded you with info... Let's review:
Consumption is down, hurting revenue.
Tech companies of all ages have been hiring to grow revenue at the expense of profit.
Investors expect inflation to last longer, reducing future investment gains.
Inflation puts pressure on a wheel that was rolling full speed not long ago. Investment spurs hiring, growth, and more investment. Worried investors and consumers reduce the cycle, and hiring follows.
Long-term investors back startups. When the invested company goes public or is sold, it's ok to burn money. What happens when the payoff gets further away? What if all that money sinks? Investors want immediate returns.
Why isn't the market crashing? Technology is not losing capital. It’s expecting change. The market realizes it threw moderation out the window and is reversing course. Profitability is back on the menu.
People solve problems and make money, but they also cost money. Huge cost for the tech industry. Engineers, Product Managers, and Designers earn up to 100% more than similar roles. Businesses must be careful about who they keep and in what positions to avoid wasting money.
What the future holds
From here on, it's all speculation. I found many great articles while researching this piece. Some are cited, others aren't (like this and this). We're in an adjustment period that may or may not last long.
Big companies aren't laying off many workers. Netflix firing 100 people makes headlines, but it's only 1% of their workforce. The biggest seem to prefer not hiring over firing.
Smaller startups beyond the seeding stage may be hardest hit. Without structure or product maturity, many will die.
I expect layoffs to continue for some time, even at Meta or Amazon. I don't see any industry names falling like they did during the .com crisis, but the market will shrink.
If you are currently employed, think twice before moving out and where to.
If you've been fired, hurry, there are still many opportunities.
If you're considering a tech career, wait.
If you're starting a business, I respect you. Good luck.
1 month ago
Since I'm a scientist, I oppose biohacking
Understanding your own energy depletion and restoration is how to truly optimize
Hack has meant many bad things for centuries. In the 1800s, a hack was a meager horse used to transport goods.
Modern usage describes a butcher or ax murderer's cleaver chop. The 1980s programming boom distinguished elegant code from "hacks". Both got you to your goal, but the latter made any programmer cringe and mutter about changing the code. From this emerged the hacker trope, the friendless anti-villain living in a murky hovel lit by the computer monitor, eating junk food and breaking into databases to highlight security system failures or steal hotdog money.
Now, start-a-billion-dollar-business-from-your-garage types have shifted their sights from app development to DIY biology, coining the term "bio-hack". This is a required keyword and meta tag for every fitness-related podcast, book, conference, app, or device.
Bio-hacking involves bypassing your body and mind's security systems to achieve a goal. Many biohackers' initial goals were reasonable, like lowering blood pressure and weight. Encouraged by their own progress, self-determination, and seemingly exquisite control of their biology, they aimed to outsmart aging and death to live 180 to 1000 years (summarized well in this vox.com article).
With this grandiose north star, the hunt for novel supplements and genetic engineering began.
Companies selling do-it-yourself biological manipulations cite lab studies in mice as proof of their safety and success in reversing age-related diseases or promoting longevity in humans (the goal changes depending on whether a company is talking to the federal government or private donors).
The FDA is slower than science, they say. Why not alter your biochemistry by buying pills online, editing your DNA with a CRISPR kit, or using a sauna delivered to your home? How about a microchip or electrical stimulator?
What could go wrong?
I'm not the neo-police, making citizen's arrests every time someone introduces a new plumbing gadget or extrapolates from animal research on resveratrol or catechins that we should drink more red wine or eat more chocolate. As a scientist who's spent her career asking, "Can we get better?" I've come to view bio-hacking as misguided, profit-driven, and counterproductive to its followers' goals.
We're creatures of nature. Despite all the new gadgets and bio-hacks, we still use Roman plumbing technology, and the best way to stay fit, sharp, and happy is to follow a recipe passed down since the beginning of time. Bacteria, plants, and all natural beings are rhythmic, with alternating periods of high activity and dormancy, whether measured in seconds, hours, days, or seasons. Nature repeats successful patterns.
During the Upstate, every cell in your body is naturally primed and pumped full of glycogen and ATP (your cells' energy currencies), as well as cortisol, which supports your muscles, heart, metabolism, cognitive prowess, emotional regulation, and general "get 'er done" attitude. This big energy release depletes your batteries and requires the Downstate, when your subsystems recharge at the cellular level.
Downstates are when you give your heart a break from pumping nutrient-rich blood through your body; when you give your metabolism a break from inflammation, oxidative stress, and sympathetic arousal caused by eating fast food — or just eating too fast; or when you give your mind a chance to wander, think bigger thoughts, and come up with new creative solutions. When you're responding to notifications, emails, and fires, you can't relax.
Downstates aren't just for consistently recharging your battery. By spending time in the Downstate, your body and brain get extra energy and nutrients, allowing you to grow smarter, faster, stronger, and more self-regulated. This state supports half-marathon training, exam prep, and mediation. As we age, spending more time in the Downstate is key to mental and physical health, well-being, and longevity.
When you prioritize energy-demanding activities during Upstate periods and energy-replenishing activities during Downstate periods, all your subsystems, including cardiovascular, metabolic, muscular, cognitive, and emotional, hum along at their optimal settings. When you synchronize the Upstates and Downstates of these individual rhythms, their functioning improves. A hard workout causes autonomic stress, which triggers Downstate recovery.
By choosing the right timing and type of exercise during the day, you can ensure a deeper recovery and greater readiness for the next workout by working with your natural rhythms and strengthening your autonomic and sleep Downstates.
Morning cardio workouts increase deep sleep compared to afternoon workouts. Timing and type of meals determine when your sleep hormone melatonin is released, ushering in sleep.
Rhythm isn't a hack. It's not a way to cheat the system or the boss. Nature has honed its optimization wisdom over trillions of days and nights. Stop looking for quick fixes. You're a whole system made of smaller subsystems that must work together to function well. No one pill or subsystem will make it all work. Understanding and coordinating your rhythms is free, easy, and only benefits you.
Dr. Sara C. Mednick is a cognitive neuroscientist at UC Irvine and author of The Power of the Downstate (HachetteGO)