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.
More on Gaming
8 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.
8 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.
1 month ago
GTO Poker 101
"GTO" (Game Theory Optimal) has been used a lot in poker recently. To clarify its meaning and application, the aim of this article is to define what it is, when to use it when playing, what strategies to apply for how to play GTO poker, for beginner and more advanced players!
In poker, you can choose between two main winning strategies:
Exploitative play maximizes expected value (EV) by countering opponents' sub-optimal plays and weaker tendencies. Yes, playing this way opens you up to being exploited, but the weaker opponents you're targeting won't change their game to counteract this, allowing you to reap maximum profits over the long run.
GTO (Game-Theory Optimal): You try to play perfect poker, which forces your opponents to make mistakes (which is where almost all of your profit will be derived from). It mixes bluffs or semi-bluffs with value bets, clarifies bet sizes, and more.
GTO vs. Exploitative: Which is Better in Poker?
Before diving into GTO poker strategy, it's important to know which of these two play styles is more profitable for beginners and advanced players. The simple answer is probably both, but usually more exploitable.
Most players don't play GTO poker and can be exploited in their gameplay and strategy, allowing for more profits to be made using an exploitative approach. In fact, it’s only in some of the largest games at the highest stakes that GTO concepts are fully utilized and seen in practice, and even then, exploitative plays are still sometimes used.
Knowing, understanding, and applying GTO poker basics will create a solid foundation for your poker game. It's also important to understand GTO so you can deviate from it to maximize profits.
GTO Poker Strategy
According to Ed Miller's book "Poker's 1%," the most fundamental concept that only elite poker players understand is frequency, which could be in relation to cbets, bluffs, folds, calls, raises, etc.
GTO poker solvers (downloadable online software) give solutions for how to play optimally in any given spot and often recommend using mixed strategies based on select frequencies.
In a river situation, a solver may tell you to call 70% of the time and fold 30%. It may also suggest calling 50% of the time, folding 35% of the time, and raising 15% of the time (with a certain range of hands).
Frequencies are a fundamental and often unrecognized part of poker, but they run through these 5 GTO concepts.
1. Preflop ranges
To compensate for positional disadvantage, out-of-position players must open tighter hand ranges.
Premium starting hands aren't enough, though. Considering GTO poker ranges and principles, you want a good, balanced starting hand range from each position with at least some hands that can make a strong poker hand regardless of the flop texture (low, mid, high, disconnected, etc).
Below is a GTO preflop beginner poker chart for online 6-max play, showing which hand ranges one should open-raise with. Table positions are color-coded (see key below).
NOTE: For GTO play, it's advisable to use a mixed strategy for opening in the small blind, combining open-limps and open-raises for various hands. This cannot be illustrated with the color system used for the chart.
Choosing which hands to play is often a math problem, as discussed below.
Other preflop GTO poker charts include which hands to play after a raise, which to 3bet, etc. Solvers can help you decide which preflop hands to play (call, raise, re-raise, etc.).
2. Pot Odds
Always make +EV decisions that profit you as a poker player. Understanding pot odds (and equity) can help.
Postflop Pot Odds
Let’s say that we have JhTh on a board of 9h8h2s4c (open-ended straight-flush draw). We have $40 left and $50 in the pot. He has you covered and goes all-in. As calling or folding are our only options, playing GTO involves calculating whether a call is +EV or –EV. (The hand was empty.)
Any remaining heart, Queen, or 7 wins the hand. This means we can improve 15 of 46 unknown cards, or 32.6% of the time.
What if our opponent has a set? The 4h or 2h could give us a flush, but it could also give the villain a boat. If we reduce outs from 15 to 14.5, our equity would be 31.5%.
We must now calculate pot odds.
(bet/(our bet+pot)) = pot odds
= $50 / ($40 + $90)
= $40 / $130
To make a profitable call, we need at least 30.7% equity. This is a profitable call as we have 31.5% equity (even if villain has a set). Yes, we will lose most of the time, but we will make a small profit in the long run, making a call correct.
Pot odds aren't just for draws, either. If an opponent bets 50% pot, you get 3 to 1 odds on a call, so you must win 25% of the time to be profitable. If your current hand has more than 25% equity against your opponent's perceived range, call.
Preflop Pot Odds
Preflop, you raise to 3bb and the button 3bets to 9bb. You must decide how to act. In situations like these, we can actually use pot odds to assist our decision-making.
This pot is:
(our open+3bet size+small blind+big blind)
This means we must call 6bb to win a pot of 13.5bb, which requires 30.7% equity against the 3bettor's range.
Three additional factors must be considered:
Being out of position on our opponent makes it harder to realize our hand's equity, as he can use his position to put us in tough spots. To profitably continue against villain's hand range, we should add 7% to our equity.
Implied Odds / Reverse Implied Odds: The ability to win or lose significantly more post-flop (than pre-flop) based on our remaining stack.
While statistics on 3bet stats can be gained with a large enough sample size (i.e. 8% 3bet stat from button), the numbers don't tell us which 8% of hands villain could be 3betting with. Both polarized and depolarized charts below show 8% of possible hands.
7.4% of hands are depolarized.
Polarized Hand range (7.54%):
Each hand range has different contents. We don't know if he 3bets some hands and calls or folds others.
Using an exploitable strategy can help you play a hand range correctly. The next GTO concept will make things easier.
3. Minimum Defense Frequency:
This concept refers to the % of our range we must continue with (by calling or raising) to avoid being exploited by our opponents. This concept is most often used off-table and is difficult to apply in-game.
These beginner GTO concepts will help your decision-making during a hand, especially against aggressive opponents.
MDF = POT SIZE/(POT SIZE+BET SIZE)
Here's a poker GTO chart of common bet sizes and minimum defense frequency.
Take the number of hand combos in your starting hand range and use the MDF to determine which hands to continue with. Choose hands with the most playability and equity against your opponent's betting range.
Say you open-raise HJ and BB calls. Qh9h6c flop. Your opponent leads you for a half-pot bet. MDF suggests keeping 67% of our range.
Using the above starting hand chart, we can determine that the HJ opens 254 combos:
We must defend 67% of these hands, or 170 combos, according to MDF. Hands we should keep include:
Open-Ended Straight Draws
Gut-Shot Straight Draws
Any Pair or better
So, our flop continuing range could be:
Fours and fives have little chance of improving on the turn or river.
We only continue with AX hearts (with a flush draw) without a pair or better.
We'll also include 4 AJo combos, all of which have the Ace of hearts, and AcJh, which can block a backdoor nut flush combo.
Let's assume all these hands are called and the turn is blank (2 of spades). Opponent bets full-pot. MDF says we must defend 50% of our flop continuing range, or 85 of 170 combos, to be unexploitable. This strategy includes our best flush draws, straight draws, and made hands.
Here, we keep combining:
Nut flush draws
Pair + flush draws
GS + flush draws
Second Pair, Top Kicker+
One combo of JJ that doesn’t block the flush draw or backdoor flush draw.
On the river, we can fold our missed draws and keep our best made hands. When calling with weaker hands, consider blocker effects and card removal to avoid overcalling and decide which combos to continue.
4. Poker GTO Bet Sizing
To avoid being exploited, balance your bluffs and value bets. Your betting range depends on how much you bet (in relation to the pot). This concept only applies on the river, as draws (bluffs) on the flop and turn still have equity (and are therefore total bluffs).
On the flop, you want a 2:1 bluff-to-value-bet ratio. On the flop, there won't be as many made hands as on the river, and your bluffs will usually contain equity. The turn should have a "bluffing" ratio of 1:1. Use the chart below to determine GTO river bluff frequencies (relative to your bet size):
This chart relates to your opponent's pot odds. If you bet 50% pot, your opponent gets 3:1 odds and must win 25% of the time to call. Poker GTO theory suggests including 25% bluff combinations in your betting range so you're indifferent to your opponent calling or folding.
Best river bluffs don't block hands you want your opponent to have (or not have). For example, betting with missed Ace-high flush draws is often a mistake because you block a missed flush draw you want your opponent to have when bluffing on the river (meaning that it would subsequently be less likely he would have it, if you held two of the flush draw cards). Ace-high usually has some river showdown value.
If you had a 3-flush on the river and wanted to raise, you could bluff raise with AX combos holding the bluff suit Ace. Blocking the nut flush prevents your opponent from using that combo.
5. Bet Sizes and Frequency
GTO beginner strategies aren't just bluffs and value bets. They show how often and how much to bet in certain spots. Top players have benefited greatly from poker solvers, which we'll discuss next.
GTO Poker Software
In recent years, various poker GTO solvers have been released to help beginner, intermediate, and advanced players play balanced/GTO poker in various situations.
PokerSnowie and PioSolver are popular GTO and poker study programs.
While you can't compute players' hand ranges and what hands to bet or check with in real time, studying GTO play strategies with these programs will pay off. It will improve your poker thinking and understanding.
Solvers can help you balance ranges, choose optimal bet sizes, and master cbet frequencies.
GTO Poker Tournament
Late-stage tournaments have shorter stacks than cash games. In order to follow GTO poker guidelines, Nash charts have been created, tweaked, and used for many years (and also when to call, depending on what number of big blinds you have when you find yourself shortstacked).
The charts are for heads-up push/fold. In a multi-player game, the "pusher" chart can only be used if play is folded to you in the small blind. The "caller" chart can only be used if you're in the big blind and assumes a small blind "pusher" (with a much wider range than if a player in another position was open-shoving).
Divide the pusher chart's numbers by 2 to see which hand to use from the Button. Divide the original chart numbers by 4 to find the CO's pushing range. Some of the figures will be impossible to calculate accurately for the CO or positions to the right of the blinds because the chart's highest figure is "20+" big blinds, which is also used for a wide range of hands in the push chart.
Both of the GTO charts below are ideal for heads-up play, but exploitable HU shortstack strategies can lead to more +EV decisions against certain opponents. Following the charts will make your play GTO and unexploitable.
Poker pro Max Silver created the GTO push/fold software SnapShove. (It's accessible online at www.snapshove.com or as iOS or Android apps.)
Players can access GTO shove range examples in the full version. (You can customize the number of big blinds you have, your position, the size of the ante, and many other options.)
Due to the constantly changing poker landscape, players are always improving their skills. Exploitable strategies often yield higher profit margins than GTO-based approaches, but knowing GTO beginner and advanced concepts can give you an edge for a few reasons.
It creates a solid gameplay base.
Having a baseline makes it easier to exploit certain villains.
You can avoid leveling wars with your opponents by making sound poker decisions based on GTO strategy.
It doesn't require assuming opponents' play styles.
This is just the beginning of GTO and poker theory. Consider investing in the GTO poker solver software listed above to improve your game.
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2 months ago
Crypto Inheritance's Catch-22
Security, privacy, and a strategy!
How to manage digital assets in worst-case scenarios is a perennial crypto concern. Since blockchain and bitcoin technology is very new, this hasn't been a major issue. Many early developers are still around, and many groups created around this technology are young and feel they have a lot of life remaining. This is why inheritance and estate planning in crypto should be handled promptly. As cryptocurrency's intrinsic worth rises, many people in the ecosystem are holding on to assets that might represent generational riches. With that much value, it's crucial to have a plan. Creating a solid plan entails several challenges.
the initial hesitation in coming up with a plan
The technical obstacles to ensuring the assets' security and privacy
the passing of assets from a deceased or incompetent person
Legal experts' lack of comprehension and/or understanding of how to handle and treat cryptocurrency.
This article highlights several challenges, a possible web3-native solution, and how to learn more.
The Challenge of Inheritance:
One of the biggest hurdles to inheritance planning is starting the conversation. As humans, we don't like to think about dying. Early adopters will experience crazy gains as cryptocurrencies become more popular. Creating a plan is crucial if you wish to pass on your riches to loved ones. Without a plan, the technical and legal issues I barely mentioned above would erode value by requiring costly legal fees and/or taxes, and you could lose everything if wallets and assets are not distributed appropriately (associated with the private keys). Raising awareness of the consequences of not having a plan should motivate people to make one.
Having an inheritance plan for your digital assets is crucial, but managing the guts and bolts poses a new set of difficulties. Privacy and security provided by maintaining your own wallet provide different issues than traditional finances and assets. Traditional finance is centralized (say a stock brokerage firm). You can assign another person to handle the transfer of your assets. In crypto, asset transfer is reimagined. One may suppose future transaction management is doable, but the user must consent, creating an impossible loop.
I passed away and must send a transaction to the person I intended to deliver it to.
I have to confirm or authorize the transaction, but I'm dead.
In crypto, scheduling a future transaction wouldn't function. To transfer the wallet and its contents, we'd need the private keys and/or seed phrase. Minimizing private key exposure is crucial to protecting your crypto from hackers, social engineering, and phishing. People have lost private keys after utilizing Life Hack-type tactics to secure them. People that break and hide their keys, lose them, or make them unreadable won't help with managing and/or transferring. This will require a derived solution.
Legal Challenges and Implications
Unlike routine cryptocurrency transfers and transactions, local laws may require special considerations. Even in the traditional world, estate/inheritance taxes, how assets will be split, and who executes the will must be considered. Many lawyers aren't crypto-savvy, which complicates the matter. There will be many hoops to jump through to safeguard your crypto and traditional assets and give them to loved ones.
Knowing RUFADAA/UFADAA, depending on your state, is vital for Americans. UFADAA offers executors and trustees access to online accounts (which crypto wallets would fall into). RUFADAA was changed to limit access to the executor to protect assets. RUFADAA outlines how digital assets are administered following death and incapacity in the US.
A Succession Solution
Having a will and talking about who would get what is the first step to having a solution, but using a Dad Mans Switch is a perfect tool for such unforeseen circumstances. As long as the switch's controller has control, nothing happens. Losing control of the switch initiates a state transition.
Subway or railway operations are examples. Modern control systems need the conductor to hold a switch to keep the train going. If they can't, the train stops.
Sarcophagus is a decentralized dead man's switch built on Ethereum and Arweave. Sarcophagus allows actors to maintain control of their possessions even while physically unable to do so. Using a programmable dead man's switch and dual encryption, anything can be kept and passed on. This covers assets, secrets, seed phrases, and other use cases to provide authority and control back to the user and release trustworthy services from this work. Sarcophagus is built on a decentralized, transparent open source codebase. Sarcophagus is there if you're unprepared.
11 months ago
What the hell is Web3 anyway?
"Web 3.0" is a trendy buzzword with a vague definition. Everyone agrees it has to do with a blockchain-based internet evolution, but what is it?
Yet, the meaning and prospects for Web3 have become hot topics in crypto communities. Big corporations use the term to gain a foothold in the space while avoiding the negative connotations of “crypto.”
But it can't be evaluated without a definition.
Among those criticizing Web3's vagueness is Cobie:
“Despite the dominie's deluge of undistinguished think pieces, nobody really agrees on what Web3 is. Web3 is a scam, the future, tokenizing the world, VC exit liquidity, or just another name for crypto, depending on your tribe.
“Even the crypto community is split on whether Bitcoin is Web3,” he adds.
The phrase was coined by an early crypto thinker, and the community has had years to figure out what it means. Many ideologies and commercial realities have driven reverse engineering.
Web3 is becoming clearer as a concept. It contains ideas. It was probably coined by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood in 2014. His definition of Web3 included “trustless transactions” as part of its tech stack. Wood founded the Web3 Foundation and the Polkadot network, a Web3 alternative future.
The 2013 Ethereum white paper had previously allowed devotees to imagine a DAO, for example.
Web3 now has concepts like decentralized autonomous organizations, sovereign digital identity, censorship-free data storage, and data divided by multiple servers. They intertwine discussions about the “Web3” movement and its viability.
These ideas are linked by Cobie's initial Web3 definition. A key component of Web3 should be “ownership of value” for one's own content and data.
Noting that “late-stage capitalism greedcorps that make you buy a fractionalized micropayment NFT on Cardano to operate your electric toothbrush” may build the new web, he notes that “crypto founders are too rich to care anymore.”
Many critics of Web3 claim it isn't practical or achievable. Web3 critics like Moxie Marlinspike (creator of sslstrip and Signal/TextSecure) can never see people running their own servers. Early in January, he argued that protocols are more difficult to create than platforms.
While this is true, some projects, like the file storage protocol IPFS, allow users to choose which jurisdictions their data is shared between.
But full decentralization is a difficult problem. Suhaza, replying to Moxie, said:
”People don't want to run servers... Companies are now offering API access to an Ethereum node as a service... Almost all DApps interact with the blockchain using Infura or Alchemy. In fact, when a DApp uses a wallet like MetaMask to interact with the blockchain, MetaMask is just calling Infura!
So, here are the questions: Web3: Is it a go? Is it truly decentralized?
Web3 history is shaped by Web2 failure.
This is the story of how the Internet was turned upside down...
Then came the vision. Everyone can create content for free. Decentralized open-source believers like Tim Berners-Lee popularized it.
Real-world data trade-offs for content creation and pricing.
A giant Wikipedia page married to a giant Craig's List. No ads, no logins, and a private web carve-up. For free usage, you give up your privacy and data to the algorithmic targeted advertising of Web 2.
Our data is centralized and savaged by giant corporations. Data localization rules and geopolitical walls like China's Great Firewall further fragment the internet.
The decentralized Web3 reflects Berners-original Lee's vision: "No permission is required from a central authority to post anything... there is no central controlling node and thus no single point of failure." Now he runs Solid, a Web3 data storage startup.
So Web3 starts with decentralized servers and data privacy.
Web3 begins with decentralized storage.
Data decentralization is a key feature of the Web3 tech stack. Web2 has closed databases. Large corporations like Facebook, Google, and others go to great lengths to collect, control, and monetize data. We want to change it.
Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Alibaba, and Huawei, according to Gartner, currently control 80% of the global cloud infrastructure market. Web3 wants to change that.
Decentralization enlarges power structures by giving participants a stake in the network. Users own data on open encrypted networks in Web3. This area has many projects.
Apps like Filecoin and IPFS have led the way. Data is replicated across multiple nodes in Web3 storage providers like Filecoin.
But the new tech stack and ideology raise many questions.
Giving users control over their data
According to Ryan Kris, COO of Verida, his “Web3 vision” is “empowering people to control their own data.”
Verida targets SDKs that address issues in the Web3 stack: identity, messaging, personal storage, and data interoperability.
A big app suite? “Yes, but it's a frontier technology,” he says. They are currently building a credentialing system for decentralized health in Bermuda.
By empowering individuals, how will Web3 create a fairer internet? Kris, who has worked in telecoms, finance, cyber security, and blockchain consulting for decades, admits it is difficult:
“The viability of Web3 raises some good business questions,” he adds. “How can users regain control over centralized personal data? How are startups motivated to build products and tools that support this transition? How are existing Web2 companies encouraged to pivot to a Web3 business model to compete with market leaders?
Kris adds that new technologies have regulatory and practical issues:
"On storage, IPFS is great for redundantly sharing public data, but not designed for securing private personal data. It is not controlled by the users. When data storage in a specific country is not guaranteed, regulatory issues arise."
Each project has varying degrees of decentralization. The diehards say DApps that use centralized storage are no longer “Web3” companies. But fully decentralized technology is hard to build.
Some argue that we're actually building Web2.5 businesses, which are crypto-native but not fully decentralized. This is vital. For example, the NFT may be on a blockchain, but it is linked to centralized data repositories like OpenSea. A server failure could result in data loss.
However, according to Apollo Capital crypto analyst David Angliss, OpenSea is “not exactly community-led”. Also in 2021, much to the chagrin of crypto enthusiasts, OpenSea tried and failed to list on the Nasdaq.
This is where Web2.5 is defined.
“Web3 isn't a crypto segment. “Anything that uses a blockchain for censorship resistance is Web3,” Angliss tells us.
“Web3 gives users control over their data and identity. This is not possible in Web2.”
“Web2 is like feudalism, with walled-off ecosystems ruled by a few. For example, an honest user owned the Instagram account “Meta,” which Facebook rebranded and then had to make up a reason to suspend. Not anymore with Web3. If I buy ‘Ethereum.ens,' Ethereum cannot take it away from me.”
Angliss uses OpenSea as a Web2.5 business example. Too decentralized, i.e. censorship resistant, can be unprofitable for a large company like OpenSea. For example, OpenSea “enables NFT trading”. But it also stopped the sale of stolen Bored Apes.”
Web3 (or Web2.5, depending on the context) has been described as a new way to privatize internet.
“Being in the crypto ecosystem doesn't make it Web3,” Angliss says. The biggest risk is centralized closed ecosystems rather than a growing Web3.
LooksRare and OpenDAO are two community-led platforms that are more decentralized than OpenSea. LooksRare has even been “vampire attacking” OpenSea, indicating a Web3 competitor to the Web2.5 NFT king could find favor.
The addition of a token gives these new NFT platforms more options for building customer loyalty. For example, OpenSea charges a fee that goes nowhere. Stakeholders of LOOKS tokens earn 100% of the trading fees charged by LooksRare on every basic sale.
Maybe Web3's time has come.
So whose data is it?
Continuing criticisms of Web3 platforms' decentralization may indicate we're too early. Users want to own and store their in-game assets and NFTs on decentralized platforms like the Metaverse and play-to-earn games. Start-ups like Arweave, Sia, and Aleph.im propose an alternative.
To be truly decentralized, Web3 requires new off-chain models that sidestep cloud computing and Web2.5.
“Arweave and Sia emerged as formidable competitors this year,” says the Messari Report. They seek to reduce the risk of an NFT being lost due to a data breach on a centralized server.
Aleph.im, another Web3 cloud competitor, seeks to replace cloud computing with a service network. It is a decentralized computing network that supports multiple blockchains by retrieving and encrypting data.
“The Aleph.im network provides a truly decentralized alternative where it is most needed: storage and computing,” says Johnathan Schemoul, founder of Aleph.im. For reasons of consensus and security, blockchains are not designed for large storage or high-performance computing.
As a result, large data sets are frequently stored off-chain, increasing the risk for centralized databases like OpenSea
Aleph.im enables users to own digital assets using both blockchains and off-chain decentralized cloud technologies.
"We need to go beyond layer 0 and 1 to build a robust decentralized web. The Aleph.im ecosystem is proving that Web3 can be decentralized, and we intend to keep going.”
Aleph.im raised $10 million in mid-January 2022, and Ubisoft uses its network for NFT storage. This is the first time a big-budget gaming studio has given users this much control.
It also suggests Web3 could work as a B2B model, even if consumers aren't concerned about “decentralization.” Starting with gaming is common.
Can Tokenomics help Web3 adoption?
Web3 consumer adoption is another story. The average user may not be interested in all this decentralization talk. Still, how much do people value privacy over convenience? Can tokenomics solve the privacy vs. convenience dilemma?
Holon Global Investments' Jonathan Hooker tells us that human internet behavior will change. “Do you own Bitcoin?” he asks in his Web3 explanation. How does it feel to own and control your own sovereign wealth? Then:
“What if you could own and control your data like Bitcoin?”
“The business model must find what that person values,” he says. Putting their own health records on centralized systems they don't control?
“How vital are those medical records to that person at a critical time anywhere in the world? Filecoin and IPFS can help.”
Web3 adoption depends on NFT storage competition. A free off-chain storage of NFT metadata and assets was launched by Filecoin in April 2021.
Denationalization and blockchain technology have significant implications for data ownership and compensation for lending, staking, and using data.
Tokenomics can change human behavior, but many people simply sign into Web2 apps using a Facebook API without hesitation. Our data is already owned by Google, Baidu, Tencent, and Facebook (and its parent company Meta). Is it too late to recover?
Maybe. “Data is like fruit, it starts out fresh but ages,” he says. "Big Tech's data on us will expire."
Web3 founder Kris agrees with Hooker that “value for data is the issue, not privacy.” People accept losing their data privacy, so tokenize it. People readily give up data, so why not pay for it?
"Personalized data offering is valuable in personalization. “I will sell my social media data but not my health data.”
Purists and mass consumer adoption struggle with key management.
Others question data tokenomics' optimism. While acknowledging its potential, Box founder Aaron Levie questioned the viability of Web3 models in a Tweet thread:
“Why? Because data almost always works in an app. A product and APIs that moved quickly to build value and trust over time.”
Levie contends that tokenomics may complicate matters. In addition to community governance and tokenomics, Web3 ideals likely add a new negotiation vector.
“These are hard problems about human coordination, not software or blockchains,”. Using a Facebook API is simple. The business model and user interface are crucial.
For example, the crypto faithful have a common misconception about logging into Web3. It goes like this: Web 1 had usernames and passwords. Web 2 uses Google, Facebook, or Twitter APIs, while Web 3 uses your wallet. Pay with Ethereum on MetaMask, for example.
But Levie is correct. Blockchain key management is stressed in this meme. Even seasoned crypto enthusiasts have heart attacks, let alone newbies.
Web3 requires a better user experience, according to Kris, the company's founder. “How does a user recover keys?”
And at this point, no solution is likely to be completely decentralized. So Web3 key management can be improved. ”The moment someone loses control of their keys, Web3 ceases to exist.”
That leaves a major issue for Web3 purists. Put this one in the too-hard basket.
Is 2022 the Year of Web3?
Web3 must first solve a number of issues before it can be mainstreamed. It must be better and cheaper than Web2.5, or have other significant advantages.
Web3 aims for scalability without sacrificing decentralization protocols. But decentralization is difficult and centralized services are more convenient.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin himself stated recently"
This is why (centralized) Binance to Binance transactions trump Ethereum payments in some places because they don't have to be verified 12 times."
“I do think a lot of people care about decentralization, but they're not going to take decentralization if decentralization costs $8 per transaction,” he continued.
“Blockchains need to be affordable for people to use them in mainstream applications... Not for 2014 whales, but for today's users."
For now, scalability, tokenomics, mainstream adoption, and decentralization believers seem to be holding Web3 hostage.
Much like crypto's past.
But stay tuned.
21 years ago
How to properly price SaaS
Price Intelligently put out amazing content on pricing your SaaS product. This blog's link to the whole report is worth reading. Our key takeaways are below.
Don't base prices on the competition. Competitor-based pricing has clear drawbacks. Their pricing approach is yours. Your company offers customers something unique. Otherwise, you wouldn't create it. This strategy is static, therefore you can't add value by raising prices without outpricing competitors. Look, but don't touch is the competitor-based moral. You want to know your competitors' prices so you're in the same ballpark, but they shouldn't guide your selections. Competitor-based pricing also drives down prices.
Value-based pricing wins. This is customer-based pricing. Value-based pricing looks outward, not inward or laterally at competitors. Your clients are the best source of pricing information. By valuing customer comments, you're focusing on buyers. They'll decide if your pricing and packaging are right. In addition to asking consumers about cost savings or revenue increases, look at data like number of users, usage per user, etc.
Value-based pricing increases prices. As you learn more about the client and your worth, you'll know when and how much to boost rates. Every 6 months, examine pricing.
Cloning top customers. You clone your consumers by learning as much as you can about them and then reaching out to comparable people or organizations. You can't accomplish this without knowing your customers. Segmenting and reproducing them requires as much detail as feasible. Offer pricing plans and feature packages for 4 personas. The top plan should state Contact Us. Your highest-value customers want more advice and support.
Question your 4 personas. What's the one item you can't live without? Which integrations matter most? Do you do analytics? Is support important or does your company self-solve? What's too cheap? What's too expensive?
Not everyone likes per-user pricing. SaaS organizations often default to per-user analytics. About 80% of companies utilizing per-user pricing should use an alternative value metric because their goods don't give more value with more users, so charging for them doesn't make sense.
At least 3:1 LTV/CAC. Break even on the customer within 2 years, and LTV to CAC is greater than 3:1. Because customer acquisition costs are paid upfront but SaaS revenues accrue over time, SaaS companies face an early financial shortfall while paying back the CAC.
ROI should be >20:1. Indeed. Ensure the customer's ROI is 20x the product's cost. Microsoft Office costs $80 a year, but consumers would pay much more to maintain it.
A/B Testing. A/B testing is guessing. When your pricing page varies based on assumptions, you'll upset customers. You don't have enough customers anyway. A/B testing optimizes landing pages, design decisions, and other site features when you know the problem but not pricing.
Don't discount. It cheapens the product, makes it permanent, and increases churn. By discounting, you're ruining your pricing analysis.