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Alex Bentley

Alex Bentley

4 months ago

Why Bill Gates thinks Bitcoin, crypto, and NFTs are foolish

More on Web3 & Crypto

forkast

forkast

3 months ago

Three Arrows Capital collapse sends crypto tremors

Three Arrows Capital's Google search volume rose over 5,000%.

Three Arrows Capital, a Singapore-based cryptocurrency hedge fund, filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy last Friday to protect its U.S. assets from creditors.

  • Three Arrows filed for bankruptcy on July 1 in New York.

  • Three Arrows was ordered liquidated by a British Virgin Islands court last week after defaulting on a $670 million loan from Voyager Digital. Three days later, the Singaporean government reprimanded Three Arrows for spreading misleading information and exceeding asset limits.

  • Three Arrows' troubles began with Terra's collapse in May, after it bought US$200 million worth of Terra's LUNA tokens in February, co-founder Kyle Davies told the Wall Street Journal. Three Arrows has failed to meet multiple margin calls since then, including from BlockFi and Genesis.

  • Three Arrows Capital, founded by Kyle Davies and Su Zhu in 2012, manages $10 billion in crypto assets.

  • Bitcoin's price fell from US$20,600 to below US$19,200 after Three Arrows' bankruptcy petition. According to CoinMarketCap, BTC is now above US$20,000.

What does it mean?

Every action causes an equal and opposite reaction, per Newton's third law. Newtonian physics won't comfort Three Arrows investors, but future investors will thank them for their overconfidence.

Regulators are taking notice of crypto's meteoric rise and subsequent fall. Historically, authorities labeled the industry "high risk" to warn traditional investors against entering it. That attitude is changing. Regulators are moving quickly to regulate crypto to protect investors and prevent broader asset market busts.

The EU has reached a landmark deal that will regulate crypto asset sales and crypto markets across the 27-member bloc. The U.S. is close behind with a similar ruling, and smaller markets are also looking to improve safeguards.

For many, regulation is the only way to ensure the crypto industry survives the current winter.

Henrique Centieiro

Henrique Centieiro

6 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.

Other investment DAOs include the LAO and Friends with Benefits.

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

These are social networking and interaction platforms. For example, Decentraland DAO and Friends With Benefits 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

Ashraful Islam

Ashraful Islam

11 months ago

Clean API Call With React Hooks

Photo by Juanjo Jaramillo on Unsplash

Calling APIs is the most common thing to do in any modern web application. When it comes to talking with an API then most of the time we need to do a lot of repetitive things like getting data from an API call, handling the success or error case, and so on.

When calling tens of hundreds of API calls we always have to do those tedious tasks. We can handle those things efficiently by putting a higher level of abstraction over those barebone API calls, whereas in some small applications, sometimes we don’t even care.

The problem comes when we start adding new features on top of the existing features without handling the API calls in an efficient and reusable manner. In that case for all of those API calls related repetitions, we end up with a lot of repetitive code across the whole application.

In React, we have different approaches for calling an API. Nowadays mostly we use React hooks. With React hooks, it’s possible to handle API calls in a very clean and consistent way throughout the application in spite of whatever the application size is. So let’s see how we can make a clean and reusable API calling layer using React hooks for a simple web application.

I’m using a code sandbox for this blog which you can get here.

import "./styles.css";
import React, { useEffect, useState } from "react";
import axios from "axios";

export default function App() {
  const [posts, setPosts] = useState(null);
  const [error, setError] = useState("");
  const [loading, setLoading] = useState(false);

  useEffect(() => {
    handlePosts();
  }, []);

  const handlePosts = async () => {
    setLoading(true);
    try {
      const result = await axios.get(
        "https://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/posts"
      );
      setPosts(result.data);
    } catch (err) {
      setError(err.message || "Unexpected Error!");
    } finally {
      setLoading(false);
    }
  };

  return (
    <div className="App">
      <div>
        <h1>Posts</h1>
        {loading && <p>Posts are loading!</p>}
        {error && <p>{error}</p>}
        <ul>
          {posts?.map((post) => (
            <li key={post.id}>{post.title}</li>
          ))}
        </ul>
      </div>
    </div>
  );
}

I know the example above isn’t the best code but at least it’s working and it’s valid code. I will try to improve that later. For now, we can just focus on the bare minimum things for calling an API.

Here, you can try to get posts data from JsonPlaceholer. Those are the most common steps we follow for calling an API like requesting data, handling loading, success, and error cases.

If we try to call another API from the same component then how that would gonna look? Let’s see.

500: Internal Server Error

Now it’s going insane! For calling two simple APIs we’ve done a lot of duplication. On a top-level view, the component is doing nothing but just making two GET requests and handling the success and error cases. For each request, it’s maintaining three states which will periodically increase later if we’ve more calls.

Let’s refactor to make the code more reusable with fewer repetitions.

Step 1: Create a Hook for the Redundant API Request Codes

Most of the repetitions we have done so far are about requesting data, handing the async things, handling errors, success, and loading states. How about encapsulating those things inside a hook?

The only unique things we are doing inside handleComments and handlePosts are calling different endpoints. The rest of the things are pretty much the same. So we can create a hook that will handle the redundant works for us and from outside we’ll let it know which API to call.

500: Internal Server Error

Here, this request function is identical to what we were doing on the handlePosts and handleComments. The only difference is, it’s calling an async function apiFunc which we will provide as a parameter with this hook. This apiFunc is the only independent thing among any of the API calls we need.

With hooks in action, let’s change our old codes in App component, like this:

500: Internal Server Error

How about the current code? Isn’t it beautiful without any repetitions and duplicate API call handling things?

Let’s continue our journey from the current code. We can make App component more elegant. Now it knows a lot of details about the underlying library for the API call. It shouldn’t know that. So, here’s the next step…

Step 2: One Component Should Take Just One Responsibility

Our App component knows too much about the API calling mechanism. Its responsibility should just request the data. How the data will be requested under the hood, it shouldn’t care about that.

We will extract the API client-related codes from the App component. Also, we will group all the API request-related codes based on the API resource. Now, this is our API client:

import axios from "axios";

const apiClient = axios.create({
  // Later read this URL from an environment variable
  baseURL: "https://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com"
});

export default apiClient;

All API calls for comments resource will be in the following file:

import client from "./client";

const getComments = () => client.get("/comments");

export default {
  getComments
};

All API calls for posts resource are placed in the following file:

import client from "./client";

const getPosts = () => client.get("/posts");

export default {
  getPosts
};

Finally, the App component looks like the following:

import "./styles.css";
import React, { useEffect } from "react";
import commentsApi from "./api/comments";
import postsApi from "./api/posts";
import useApi from "./hooks/useApi";

export default function App() {
  const getPostsApi = useApi(postsApi.getPosts);
  const getCommentsApi = useApi(commentsApi.getComments);

  useEffect(() => {
    getPostsApi.request();
    getCommentsApi.request();
  }, []);

  return (
    <div className="App">
      {/* Post List */}
      <div>
        <h1>Posts</h1>
        {getPostsApi.loading && <p>Posts are loading!</p>}
        {getPostsApi.error && <p>{getPostsApi.error}</p>}
        <ul>
          {getPostsApi.data?.map((post) => (
            <li key={post.id}>{post.title}</li>
          ))}
        </ul>
      </div>
      {/* Comment List */}
      <div>
        <h1>Comments</h1>
        {getCommentsApi.loading && <p>Comments are loading!</p>}
        {getCommentsApi.error && <p>{getCommentsApi.error}</p>}
        <ul>
          {getCommentsApi.data?.map((comment) => (
            <li key={comment.id}>{comment.name}</li>
          ))}
        </ul>
      </div>
    </div>
  );
}

Now it doesn’t know anything about how the APIs get called. Tomorrow if we want to change the API calling library from axios to fetch or anything else, our App component code will not get affected. We can just change the codes form client.js This is the beauty of abstraction.

Apart from the abstraction of API calls, Appcomponent isn’t right the place to show the list of the posts and comments. It’s a high-level component. It shouldn’t handle such low-level data interpolation things.

So we should move this data display-related things to another low-level component. Here I placed those directly in the App component just for the demonstration purpose and not to distract with component composition-related things.

Final Thoughts

The React library gives the flexibility for using any kind of third-party library based on the application’s needs. As it doesn’t have any predefined architecture so different teams/developers adopted different approaches to developing applications with React. There’s nothing good or bad. We choose the development practice based on our needs/choices. One thing that is there beyond any choices is writing clean and maintainable codes.

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Scrum Ventures

Scrum Ventures

23 days ago

Trends from the Winter 2022 Demo Day at Y Combinators

Y Combinators Winter 2022 Demo Day continues the trend of more startups engaging in accelerator Demo Days. Our team evaluated almost 400 projects in Y Combinator's ninth year.

After Winter 2021 Demo Day, we noticed a hurry pushing shorter rounds, inflated valuations, and larger batches.

Despite the batch size, this event's behavior showed a return to normalcy. Our observations show that investors evaluate and fund businesses more carefully. Unlike previous years, more YC businesses gave investors with data rooms and thorough pitch decks in addition to valuation data before Demo Day.

Demo Day pitches were virtual and fast-paced, limiting unplanned meetings. Investors had more time and information to do their due research before meeting founders. Our staff has more time to study diverse areas and engage with interesting entrepreneurs and founders.

This was one of the most regionally diversified YC cohorts to date. This year's Winter Demo Day startups showed some interesting tendencies.

Trends and Industries to Watch Before Demo Day

Demo day events at any accelerator show how investment competition is influencing startups. As startups swiftly become scale-ups and big success stories in fintech, e-commerce, healthcare, and other competitive industries, entrepreneurs and early-stage investors feel pressure to scale quickly and turn a notion into actual innovation.

Too much eagerness can lead founders to focus on market growth and team experience instead of solid concepts, technical expertise, and market validation. Last year, YC Winter Demo Day funding cycles ended too quickly and valuations were unrealistically high.

Scrum Ventures observed a longer funding cycle this year compared to last year's Demo Day. While that seems promising, many factors could be contributing to change, including:

  • Market patterns are changing and the economy is becoming worse.

  • the industries that investors are thinking about.

  • Individual differences between each event batch and the particular businesses and entrepreneurs taking part

The Winter 2022 Batch's Trends

Each year, we also wish to examine trends among early-stage firms and YC event participants. More international startups than ever were anticipated to present at Demo Day.

Less than 50% of demo day startups were from the U.S. For the S21 batch, firms from outside the US were most likely in Latin America or Europe, however this year's batch saw a large surge in startups situated in Asia and Africa.

YC Startup Directory

163 out of 399 startups were B2B software and services companies. Financial, healthcare, and consumer startups were common.

Our team doesn't plan to attend every pitch or speak with every startup's founders or team members. Let's look at cleantech, Web3, and health and wellness startup trends.

Our Opinions Following Conversations with 87 Startups at Demo Day

In the lead-up to Demo Day, we spoke with 87 of the 125 startups going. Compared to B2C enterprises, B2B startups had higher average valuations. A few outliers with high valuations pushed B2B and B2C means above the YC-wide mean and median.

Many of these startups develop business and technology solutions we've previously covered. We've seen API, EdTech, creative platforms, and cybersecurity remain strong and increase each year.

While these persistent tendencies influenced the startups Scrum Ventures looked at and the founders we interacted with on Demo Day, new trends required more research and preparation. Let's examine cleantech, Web3, and health and wellness startups.

Hardware and software that is green

Cleantech enterprises demand varying amounts of funding for hardware and software. Although the same overarching trend is fueling the growth of firms in this category, each subgroup has its own strategy and technique for investigation and identifying successful investments.

Many cleantech startups we spoke to during the YC event are focused on helping industrial operations decrease or recycle carbon emissions.

  • Carbon Crusher: Creating carbon negative roads

  • Phase Biolabs: Turning carbon emissions into carbon negative products and carbon neutral e-fuels

  • Seabound: Capturing carbon dioxide emissions from ships

  • Fleetzero: Creating electric cargo ships

  • Impossible Mining: Sustainable seabed mining

  • Beyond Aero: Creating zero-emission private aircraft

  • Verdn: Helping businesses automatically embed environmental pledges for product and service offerings, boost customer engagement

  • AeonCharge: Allowing electric vehicle (EV) drivers to more easily locate and pay for EV charging stations

  • Phoenix Hydrogen: Offering a hydrogen marketplace and a connected hydrogen hub platform to connect supply and demand for hydrogen fuel and simplify hub planning and partner program expansion

  • Aklimate: Allowing businesses to measure and reduce their supply chain’s environmental impact

  • Pina Earth: Certifying and tracking the progress of businesses’ forestry projects

  • AirMyne: Developing machines that can reverse emissions by removing carbon dioxide from the air

  • Unravel Carbon: Software for enterprises to track and reduce their carbon emissions

Web3: NFTs, the metaverse, and cryptocurrency

Web3 technologies handle a wide range of business issues. This category includes companies employing blockchain technology to disrupt entertainment, finance, cybersecurity, and software development.

Many of these startups overlap with YC's FinTech trend. Despite this, B2C and B2B enterprises were evenly represented in Web3. We examined:

  • Stablegains: Offering consistent interest on cash balance from the decentralized finance (DeFi) market

  • LiquiFi: Simplifying token management with automated vesting contracts, tax reporting, and scheduling. For companies, investors, and finance & accounting

  • NFTScoring: An NFT trading platform

  • CypherD Wallet: A multichain wallet for crypto and NFTs with a non-custodial crypto debit card that instantly converts coins to USD

  • Remi Labs: Allowing businesses to more easily create NFT collections that serve as access to products, memberships, events, and more

  • Cashmere: A crypto wallet for Web3 startups to collaboratively manage funds

  • Chaingrep: An API that makes blockchain data human-readable and tokens searchable

  • Courtyard: A platform for securely storing physical assets and creating 3D representations as NFTs

  • Arda: “Banking as a Service for DeFi,” an API that FinTech companies can use to embed DeFi products into their platforms

  • earnJARVIS: A premium cryptocurrency management platform, allowing users to create long-term portfolios

  • Mysterious: Creating community-specific experiences for Web3 Discords

  • Winter: An embeddable widget that allows businesses to sell NFTs to users purchasing with a credit card or bank transaction

  • SimpleHash: An API for NFT data that provides compatibility across blockchains, standardized metadata, accurate transaction info, and simple integration

  • Lifecast: Tools that address motion sickness issues for 3D VR video

  • Gym Class: Virtual reality (VR) multiplayer basketball video game

  • WorldQL: An asset API that allows NFT creators to specify multiple in-game interpretations of their assets, increasing their value

  • Bonsai Desk: A software development kit (SDK) for 3D analytics

  • Campfire: Supporting virtual social experiences for remote teams

  • Unai: A virtual headset and Visual World experience

  • Vimmerse: Allowing creators to more easily create immersive 3D experiences

Fitness and health

Scrum Ventures encountered fewer health and wellness startup founders than Web3 and Cleantech. The types of challenges these organizations solve are still diverse. Several of these companies are part of a push toward customization in healthcare, an area of biotech set for growth for companies with strong portfolios and experienced leadership.

Here are several startups we considered:

  • Syrona Health: Personalized healthcare for women in the workplace

  • Anja Health: Personalized umbilical cord blood banking and stem cell preservation

  • Alfie: A weight loss program focused on men’s health that coordinates medical care, coaching, and “community-based competition” to help users lose an average of 15% body weight

  • Ankr Health: An artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled telehealth platform that provides personalized side effect education for cancer patients and data collection for their care teams

  • Koko — A personalized sleep program to improve at-home sleep analysis and training

  • Condition-specific telehealth platforms and programs:

  • Reviving Mind: Chronic care management covered by insurance and supporting holistic, community-oriented health care

  • Equipt Health: At-home delivery of prescription medical equipment to help manage chronic conditions like obstructive sleep apnea

  • LunaJoy: Holistic women’s healthcare management for mental health therapy, counseling, and medication

12 Startups from YC's Winter 2022 Demo Day to Watch

Bobidi: 10x faster AI model improvement

Artificial intelligence (AI) models have become a significant tool for firms to improve how well and rapidly they process data. Bobidi helps AI-reliant firms evaluate their models, boosting data insights in less time and reducing data analysis expenditures. The business has created a gamified community that offers a bug bounty for AI, incentivizing community members to test and find weaknesses in clients' AI models.

Magna: DeFi investment management and token vesting

Magna delivers rapid, secure token vesting so consumers may turn DeFi investments into primitives. Carta for Web3 allows enterprises to effortlessly distribute tokens to staff or investors. The Magna team hopes to allow corporations use locked tokens as collateral for loans, facilitate secondary liquidity so investors can sell shares on a public exchange, and power additional DeFi applications.

Perl Street: Funding for infrastructure

This Fintech firm intends to help hardware entrepreneurs get financing by [democratizing] structured finance, unleashing billions for sustainable infrastructure and next-generation hardware solutions. This network has helped hardware entrepreneurs achieve more than $140 million in finance, helping companies working on energy storage devices, EVs, and creating power infrastructure.

CypherD: Multichain cryptocurrency wallet

CypherD seeks to provide a multichain crypto wallet so general customers can explore Web3 products without knowledge hurdles. The startup's beta app lets consumers access crypto from EVM blockchains. The founders have crypto, financial, and startup experience.

Unravel Carbon: Enterprise carbon tracking and offsetting

Unravel Carbon's AI-powered decarbonization technology tracks companies' carbon emissions. Singapore-based startup focuses on Asia. The software can use any company's financial data to trace the supply chain and calculate carbon tracking, which is used to make regulatory disclosures and suggest carbon offsets.

LunaJoy: Precision mental health for women

LunaJoy helped women obtain mental health support throughout life. The platform combines data science to create a tailored experience, allowing women to access psychotherapy, medication management, genetic testing, and health coaching.

Posh: Automated EV battery recycling

Posh attempts to solve one of the EV industry's largest logistical difficulties. Millions of EV batteries will need to be decommissioned in the next decade, and their precious metals and residual capacity will go unused for some time. Posh offers automated, scalable lithium battery disassembly, making EV battery recycling more viable.

Unai: VR headset with 5x higher resolution

Unai stands apart from metaverse companies. Its VR headgear has five times the resolution of existing options and emphasizes human expression and interaction in a remote world. Maxim Perumal's method of latency reduction powers current VR headsets.

Palitronica: Physical infrastructure cybersecurity

Palitronica blends cutting-edge hardware and software to produce networked electronic systems that support crucial physical and supply chain infrastructure. The startup's objective is to build solutions that defend national security and key infrastructure from cybersecurity threats.

Reality Defender: Deepfake detection

Reality Defender alerts firms to bogus users and changed audio, video, and image files. Reality Deference's API and web app score material in real time to prevent fraud, improve content moderation, and detect deception.

Micro Meat: Infrastructure for the manufacture of cell-cultured meat

MicroMeat promotes sustainable meat production. The company has created technologies to scale up bioreactor-grown meat muscle tissue from animal cells. Their goal is to scale up cultured meat manufacturing so cultivated meat products can be brought to market feasibly and swiftly, boosting worldwide meat consumption.

Fleetzero: Electric cargo ships

This startup's battery technology will make cargo ships more sustainable and profitable. Fleetzero's electric cargo ships have five times larger profit margins than fossil fuel ships. Fleetzeros' founder has marine engineering, ship operations, and enterprise sales and business experience.

Jim Clyde Monge

Jim Clyde Monge

2 months ago

Can You Sell Images Created by AI?

Image by Author

Some AI-generated artworks sell for enormous sums of money.

But can you sell AI-Generated Artwork?

Simple answer: yes.

However, not all AI services enable allow usage and redistribution of images.

Let's check some of my favorite AI text-to-image generators:

Dall-E2 by OpenAI

The AI art generator Dall-E2 is powerful. Since it’s still in beta, you can join the waitlist here.

OpenAI DOES NOT allow the use and redistribution of any image for commercial purposes.

Here's the policy as of April 6, 2022.

OpenAI Content Policy

Here are some images from Dall-E2’s webpage to show its art quality.

Dall-E2 Homepage

Several Reddit users reported receiving pricing surveys from OpenAI.

This suggests the company may bring out a subscription-based tier and a commercial license to sell images soon.

MidJourney

I like Midjourney's art generator. It makes great AI images. Here are some samples:

Community feed from MidJourney

Standard Licenses are available for $10 per month.

Standard License allows you to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, and/or sell copies of the images, except for blockchain technologies.

If you utilize or distribute the Assets using blockchain technology, you must pay MidJourney 20% of revenue above $20,000 a month or engage in an alternative agreement.

Here's their copyright and trademark page.

MidJourney Copyright and Trademark

Dream by Wombo

Dream is one of the first public AI art generators.

This AI program is free, easy to use, and Wombo gives a royalty-free license to copy or share artworks.

Users own all artworks generated by the tool. Including all related copyrights or intellectual property rights.

Screenshot by Author

Here’s Wombos' intellectual property policy.

Wombo Terms of Service

Final Reflections

AI is creating a new sort of art that's selling well. It’s becoming popular and valued, despite some skepticism.

Now that you know MidJourney and Wombo let you sell AI-generated art, you need to locate buyers. There are several ways to achieve this, but that’s for another story.

Bob Service

Bob Service

4 months ago

Did volcanic 'glasses' play a role in igniting early life?

Quenched lava may have aided in the formation of long RNA strands required by primitive life.

It took a long time for life to emerge. Microbes were present 3.7 billion years ago, just a few hundred million years after the 4.5-billion-year-old Earth had cooled enough to sustain biochemistry, according to fossils, and many scientists believe RNA was the genetic material for these first species. RNA, while not as complicated as DNA, would be difficult to forge into the lengthy strands required to transmit genetic information, raising the question of how it may have originated spontaneously.

Researchers may now have a solution. They demonstrate how basaltic glasses assist individual RNA letters, also known as nucleoside triphosphates, join into strands up to 200 letters long in lab studies. The glasses are formed when lava is quenched in air or water, or when melted rock generated by asteroid strikes cools rapidly, and they would have been plentiful in the early Earth's fire and brimstone.

The outcome has caused a schism among top origin-of-life scholars. "This appears to be a great story that finally explains how nucleoside triphosphates react with each other to create RNA strands," says Thomas Carell, a scientist at Munich's Ludwig Maximilians University. However, Harvard University's Jack Szostak, an RNA expert, says he won't believe the results until the study team thoroughly describes the RNA strands.

Researchers interested in the origins of life like the idea of a primordial "RNA universe" since the molecule can perform two different functions that are essential for life. It's made up of four chemical letters, just like DNA, and can carry genetic information. RNA, like proteins, can catalyze chemical reactions that are necessary for life.

However, RNA can cause headaches. No one has yet discovered a set of plausible primordial conditions that would cause hundreds of RNA letters—each of which is a complicated molecule—to join together into strands long enough to support the intricate chemistry required to kick-start evolution.

Basaltic glasses may have played a role, according to Stephen Mojzsis, a geologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder. They're high in metals like magnesium and iron, which help to trigger a variety of chemical reactions. "Basaltic glass was omnipresent on Earth at the time," he adds.

He provided the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution samples of five different basalt glasses. Each sample was ground into a fine powder, sanitized, and combined with a solution of nucleoside triphosphates by molecular biologist Elisa Biondi and her colleagues. The RNA letters were unable to link up without the presence of glass powder. However, when the molecules were mixed with the glass particles, they formed long strands of hundreds of letters, according to the researchers, who published their findings in Astrobiology this week. There was no need for heat or light. Biondi explains, "All we had to do was wait." After only a day, little RNA strands produced, yet the strands continued to grow for months. Jan Paek, a molecular biologist at Firebird Biomolecular Sciences, says, "The beauty of this approach is its simplicity." "Mix the components together, wait a few days, and look for RNA."

Nonetheless, the findings pose a slew of problems. One of the questions is how nucleoside triphosphates came to be in the first place. Recent study by Biondi's colleague Steven Benner suggests that the same basaltic glasses may have aided in the creation and stabilization of individual RNA letters.

The form of the lengthy RNA strands, according to Szostak, is a significant challenge. Enzymes in modern cells ensure that most RNAs form long linear chains. RNA letters, on the other hand, can bind in complicated branching sequences. Szostak wants the researchers to reveal what kind of RNA was produced by the basaltic glasses. "It irritates me that the authors made an intriguing initial finding but then chose to follow the hype rather than the research," Szostak says.

Biondi acknowledges that her team's experiment almost probably results in some RNA branching. She does acknowledge, however, that some branched RNAs are seen in species today, and that analogous structures may have existed before the origin of life. Other studies carried out by the study also confirmed the presence of lengthy strands with connections, indicating that they are most likely linear. "It's a healthy argument," says Dieter Braun, a Ludwig Maximilian University origin-of-life chemist. "It will set off the next series of tests."