Token taxonomy: Utility vs Security vs NFT
Let's examine the differences between the three main token types and their functions.
As Ethereum grew, the term "token" became a catch-all term for all assets built on the Ethereum blockchain. However, different tokens were grouped based on their applications and features, causing some confusion. Let's examine the modification of three main token types: security, utility, and non-fungible.
They provide a specific utility benefit (or a number of such). A utility token is similar to a casino chip, a table game ticket, or a voucher. Depending on the terms of issuing, they can be earned and used in various ways. A utility token is a type of token that represents a tool or mechanism required to use the application in question. Like a service, a utility token's price is determined by supply and demand. Tokens can also be used as a bonus or reward mechanism in decentralized systems: for example, if you like someone's work, give them an upvote and they get a certain number of tokens. This is a way for authors or creators to earn money indirectly.
The most common way to use a utility token is to pay with them instead of cash for discounted goods or services.
Utility tokens are the most widely used by blockchain companies. Most cryptocurrency exchanges accept fees in native utility tokens.
Utility tokens can also be used as a reward. Companies tokenize their loyalty programs so that points can be bought and sold on blockchain exchanges. These tokens are widely used in decentralized companies as a bonus system. You can use utility tokens to reward creators for their contributions to a platform, for example. It also allows members to exchange tokens for specific bonuses and rewards on your site.
Unlike security tokens, which are subject to legal restrictions, utility tokens can be freely traded.
Security tokens are essentially traditional securities like shares, bonds, and investment fund units in a crypto token form.
The key distinction is that security tokens are typically issued by private firms (rather than public companies) that are not listed on stock exchanges and in which you can not invest right now. Banks and large venture funds used to be the only sources of funding. A person could only invest in private firms if they had millions of dollars in their bank account. Privately issued security tokens outperform traditional public stocks in terms of yield. Private markets grew 50% faster than public markets over the last decade, according to McKinsey Private Equity Research.
A security token is a crypto token whose value is derived from an external asset or company. So it is governed as security (read about the Howey test further in this article). That is, an ownership token derives its value from the company's valuation, assets on the balance sheet, or dividends paid to token holders.
Why are Security Tokens Important?
Cryptocurrency is a lucrative investment. Choosing from thousands of crypto assets can mean the difference between millionaire and bankrupt. Without security tokens, crypto investing becomes riskier and generating long-term profits becomes difficult. These tokens have lower risk than other cryptocurrencies because they are backed by real assets or business cash flows. So having them helps to diversify a portfolio and preserve the return on investment in riskier assets.
Security tokens open up new funding avenues for businesses. As a result, investors can invest in high-profit businesses that are not listed on the stock exchange.
The distinction between utility and security tokens isn't as clear as it seems. However, this increases the risk for token issuers, especially in the USA. The Howey test is the main pillar regulating judicial precedent in this area.
What is a Howey Test?
An "investment contract" is determined by the Howey Test, a lawsuit settled by the US Supreme Court. If it does, it's a security and must be disclosed and registered under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
If the SEC decides that a cryptocurrency token is a security, a slew of issues arise. In practice, this ensures that the SEC will decide when a token can be offered to US investors and if the project is required to file a registration statement with the SEC.
Due to the Howey test's extensive wording, most utility tokens will be classified as securities, even if not intended to be. Because of these restrictions, most ICOs are not available to US investors. When asked about ICOs in 2018, then-SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said they were securities. The given statement adds to the risk. If a company issues utility tokens without registering them as securities, the regulator may impose huge fines or even criminal charges.
What other documents regulate tokens?
Securities Act (1993) or Securities Exchange Act (1934) in the USA; MiFID directive and Prospectus Regulation in the EU. These laws require registering the placement of security tokens, limiting their transfer, but protecting investors.
Utility tokens have much less regulation. The Howey test determines whether a given utility token is a security. Tokens recognized as securities are now regulated as such. Having a legal opinion that your token isn't makes the implementation process much easier. Most countries don't have strict regulations regarding utility tokens except KYC (Know Your Client) and AML (Anti Money-Laundering).
As cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies evolve, more countries create UT regulations. If your company is based in the US, be aware of the Howey test and the Bank Secrecy Act. It classifies UTs and their issuance as money transmission services in most states, necessitating a license and strict regulations. Due to high regulatory demands, UT issuers try to avoid the United States as a whole. A new law separating utility tokens from bank secrecy act will be introduced in the near future, giving hope to American issuers.
The rest of the world has much simpler rules requiring issuers to create basic investor disclosures. For example, the latest European legislation (MiCA) allows businesses to issue utility tokens without regulator approval. They must also prepare a paper with all the necessary information for the investors.
A payment token is a utility token that is used to make a payment. They may be subject to electronic money laws.
Because non-fungible tokens are a new instrument, there is no regulating paper yet. However, if the NFT is fractionalized, the smaller tokens acquired may be seen as securities.
Collectible tokens are also known as non-fungible tokens. Their distinctive feature is that they denote unique items such as artwork, merch, or ranks. Unlike utility tokens, which are fungible, meaning that two of the same tokens are identical, NFTs represent a unit of possession that is strictly one of a kind. In a way, NFTs are like baseball cards, each one unique and valuable.
As for today, the most recognizable NFT function is to preserve the fact of possession. Owning an NFT with a particular gif, meme, or sketch does not transfer the intellectual right to the possessor, but is analogous to owning an original painting signed by the author.
Collectible tokens can also be used as digital souvenirs, so to say. Businesses can improve their brand image by issuing their own branded NFTs, which represent ranks or achievements within the corporate ecosystem. Gamifying business ecosystems would allow people to connect with a brand and feel part of a community.
Which type of tokens is right for you as a business to raise capital?
For most businesses, it's best to raise capital with security tokens by selling existing shares to global investors. Utility tokens aren't meant to increase in value over time, so leave them for gamification and community engagement. In a blockchain-based business, however, a utility token is often the lifeblood of the operation, and its appreciation potential is directly linked to the company's growth. You can issue multiple tokens at once, rather than just one type. It exposes you to various investors and maximizes the use of digital assets.
Which tokens should I buy?
There are no universally best tokens. Their volatility, industry, and risk-reward profile vary. This means evaluating tokens in relation to your overall portfolio and personal preferences: what industries do you understand best, what excites you, how do you approach taxes, and what is your planning horizon? To build a balanced portfolio, you need to know these factors.
The three most common types of tokens today are security, utility, and NFT. Security tokens represent stocks, mutual funds, and bonds. Utility tokens can be perceived as an inside-product "currency" or "ignition key" that grants you access to goods and services or empowers with other perks. NFTs are unique collectible units that identify you as the owner of something.
More on Web3 & Crypto
8 months ago
How to Become a Crypto Broker [Complying and Making Money]
Three options exist. The third one is the quickest and most fruitful.
You've mastered crypto trading and want to become a broker.
So you may wonder: Where to begin?
If so, keep reading.
Today I'll compare three different approaches to becoming a cryptocurrency trader.
What are cryptocurrency brokers, and how do they vary from stockbrokers?
A stockbroker implements clients' market orders (retail or institutional ones).
Brokerage firms are regulated, insured, and subject to regulatory monitoring.
Stockbrokers are required between buyers and sellers. They can't trade without a broker. To trade, a trader must open a broker account and deposit money. When a trader shops, he tells his broker what orders to place.
Crypto brokerage is trade intermediation with cryptocurrency.
In crypto trading, however, brokers are optional.
Crypto exchanges offer direct transactions. Open an exchange account (no broker needed) and make a deposit.
Since crypto allows DIY trading, why use a broker?
Let's compare cryptocurrency exchanges vs. brokers.
Broker versus cryptocurrency exchange
Most existing crypto exchanges are basically brokers.
Examine their primary services:
connecting purchasers and suppliers
having custody of clients' money (with the exception of decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges),
clearance of transactions.
Brokerage is comparable, don't you think?
There are exceptions. I mean a few large crypto exchanges that follow the stock exchange paradigm. They outsource brokerage, custody, and clearing operations. Classic exchange setups are rare in today's bitcoin industry.
Back to our favorite “standard” crypto exchanges. All-in-one exchanges and brokers. And usually, they operate under a broker or a broker-dealer license, save for the exchanges registered somewhere in a free-trade offshore paradise. Those don’t bother with any licensing.
What’s the sense of having two brokers at a time?
Better liquidity and trading convenience.
The crypto business is compartmentalized.
We have CEXs, DEXs, hybrid exchanges, and semi-exchanges (those that aggregate liquidity but do not execute orders on their sides). All have unique regulations and act as sovereign states.
There are about 18k coins and hundreds of blockchain protocols, most of which are heterogeneous (i.e., different in design and not interoperable).
A trader must register many accounts on different exchanges, deposit funds, and manage them all concurrently to access global crypto liquidity.
It’s extremely inconvenient.
Crypto liquidity fragmentation is the largest obstacle and bottleneck blocking crypto from mass adoption.
Crypto brokers help clients solve this challenge by providing one-gate access to deep and diverse crypto liquidity from numerous exchanges and suppliers. Professionals and institutions need it.
Another killer feature of a brokerage may be allowing clients to trade crypto with fiat funds exclusively, without fiat/crypto conversion. It is essential for professional and institutional traders.
Who may work as a cryptocurrency broker?
Apparently, not anyone. Brokerage requires high-powered specialists because it involves other people's money.
Here's the essentials:
excellent knowledge, skills, and years of trading experience
high-quality, quick, and secure infrastructure
highly developed team
outstanding trading capital
High-ROI network: long-standing, trustworthy connections with customers, exchanges, liquidity providers, payment gates, and similar entities
outstanding marketing and commercial development skills.
What about a license for a cryptocurrency broker? Is it necessary?
If you plan to play in white-glove jurisdictions, you may need a license. For example, in the US, as a “money transmitter” or as a CASSP (crypto asset secondary services provider) in Australia.
Even in these jurisdictions, there are no clear, holistic crypto brokerage and licensing policies.
Your lawyer will help you decide if your crypto brokerage needs a license.
Getting a license isn't quick. Two years of patience are needed.
How can you turn into a cryptocurrency broker?
Finally, we got there! 🎉
Three actionable ways exist:
To kickstart a regulated stand-alone crypto broker
To get a crypto broker franchise, and
To become a liquidity network broker.
Let's examine each.
1. Opening a regulated cryptocurrency broker
It's difficult. Especially If you're targeting first-world users.
You must comply with many regulatory, technical, financial, HR, and reporting obligations to keep your organization running. Some are mentioned above.
The licensing process depends on the products you want to offer (spots or derivatives) and the geographic areas you plan to service. There are no general rules for that.
In an overgeneralized way, here are the boxes you will have to check:
capital availability (usually a large amount of capital c is required)
You will have to move some of your team members to the nation providing the license in order to establish an office presence there.
the core team with the necessary professional training (especially applies to CEO, Head of Trading, Assistant to Head of Trading, etc.)
infrastructure that is trustworthy and secure
adopted proper AML/KYC/financial monitoring policies, etc.
Assuming you passed, what's next?
I bet it won’t be mind-blowing for you that the license is just a part of the deal. It won't attract clients or revenue.
To bring in high-dollar clientele, you must be a killer marketer and seller. It's not easy to convince people to give you money.
You'll need to be a great business developer to form successful, long-term agreements with exchanges (ideally for no fees), liquidity providers, banks, payment gates, etc. Persuade clients.
It's a tough job, isn't it?
I expect a Quora-type question here:
Can I start an unlicensed crypto broker?
Well, there is always a workaround with crypto!
You can register your broker in a free-trade zone like Seychelles to avoid US and other markets with strong watchdogs.
This is neither wise nor sustainable.
First, such experiments are illegal.
Second, you'll have trouble attracting clients and strategic partners.
A license equals trust. That’s it.
Even a pseudo-license from Mauritius matters.
Here are this method's benefits and downsides.
As you navigate this difficult and expensive legal process, you run the risk of missing out on business prospects. It's quite simple to become excellent compliance yet unable to work. Because your competitors are already courting potential customers while you are focusing all of your effort on paperwork.
Only God knows how long it will take you to pass the break-even point when everything with the license has been completed.
It is a money-burning business, especially in the beginning when the majority of your expenses will go toward marketing, sales, and maintaining license requirements. Make sure you have the fortitude and resources necessary to face such a difficult challenge.
It may eventually develop into a tool for making money. Because big guys who are professionals at trading require a white-glove regulated brokerage. You have every possibility if you work hard in the areas of sales, marketing, business development, and wealth. Simply put, everything must align.
Launching a regulated crypto broker is analogous to launching a crypto exchange. It's ROUGH. Sure you can take it?
2. Franchise for Crypto Broker (Crypto Sub-Brokerage)
A broker franchise is easier and faster than becoming a regulated crypto broker. Not a traditional brokerage.
A broker franchisee, often termed a sub-broker, joins with a broker (a franchisor) to bring them new clients. Sub-brokers market a broker's products and services to clients.
Sub-brokers are the middlemen between a broker and an investor.
Why is sub-brokering easier?
less demanding qualifications and legal complexity. All you need to do is keep a few certificates on hand (each time depends on the jurisdiction).
No significant investment is required
there is no demand that you be a trading member of an exchange, etc.
As a sub-broker, you can do identical duties without as many rights and certifications.
What about the crypto broker franchise?
Sub-brokers aren't common in crypto.
In most existing examples (PayBito, PCEX, etc.), franchises are offered by crypto exchanges, not brokers. Though we remember that crypto exchanges are, in fact, brokers, do we?
For a commission, a franchiser crypto broker receives new leads from a crypto sub-broker.
See above for why enrolling is easy.
Finding clients is difficult. Most crypto traders prefer to buy-sell on their own or through brokers over sub-broker franchises.
3. Broker of the Crypto Trading Network (or a Network Broker)
It's the greatest approach to execute crypto brokerage, based on effort/return.
Network broker isn't an established word. I wrote it for clarity.
Remember how we called crypto liquidity fragmentation the current crypto finance paradigm's main bottleneck?
Where there's a challenge, there's progress.
Several well-funded projects are aiming to fix crypto liquidity fragmentation. Instead of launching another crypto exchange with siloed trading, the greatest minds create trading networks that aggregate crypto liquidity from desynchronized sources and enable quick, safe, and affordable cross-blockchain transactions. Each project offers a distinct option for users.
Crypto liquidity implies:
One-account access to cryptocurrency liquidity pooled from network participants' exchanges and other liquidity sources
compiled price feeds
Cross-chain transactions that are quick and inexpensive, even for HFTs
link between participants of all kinds, and
interoperability among diverse blockchains
Fast, diversified, and cheap global crypto trading from one account.
How does a trading network help cryptocurrency brokers?
I’ll explain it, taking Yellow Network as an example.
Yellow provides decentralized Layer-3 peer-to-peer trading.
trade across chains globally with real-time settlement and
Between cryptocurrency exchanges, brokers, trading companies, and other sorts of network members, there is communication and the exchange of financial information.
Have you ever heard about ECN (electronic communication network)? If not, it's an automated system that automatically matches buy and sell orders. Yellow is a decentralized digital asset ECN.
Start trading right now without having to meet stringent requirements; all you need to do is integrate with Yellow Protocol and successfully complete some KYC verification.
Access global aggregated crypto liquidity through a single point.
B2B (Broker to Broker) liquidity channels that provide peer liquidity from other brokers. Orders from the other broker will appear in the order book of a broker who is peering with another broker on the market. It will enable a broker to broaden his offer and raise the total amount of liquidity that is available to his clients.
Select a custodian or use non-custodial practices.
Comparing network crypto brokerage to other types:
A licensed stand-alone brokerage business is much more difficult and time-consuming to launch than network brokerage, and
Network brokerage, in contrast to crypto sub-brokerage, is scalable, independent, and offers limitless possibilities for revenue generation.
Yellow Network Whitepaper. has more details on how to start a brokerage business and what rewards you'll obtain.
There are three ways to become a cryptocurrency broker, including the non-conventional liquidity network brokerage. The last option appears time/cost-effective.
Crypto brokerage isn't crowded yet. Act quickly to find your right place in this market.
Choose the way that works for you best and see you in crypto trading.
Discover Web3 & DeFi with Yellow Network!
Yellow, powered by Openware, is developing a cross-chain P2P liquidity aggregator to unite the crypto sector and provide global remittance services that aid people.
Join the Yellow Community and plunge into this decade's biggest product-oriented crypto project.
Observe Yellow Twitter
Enroll in Yellow Telegram
Visit Yellow Discord.
On Hacker Noon, look us up.
Yellow Network will expose development, technology, developer tools, crypto brokerage nodes software, and community liquidity mining.
1 year ago
Coinbase's web3 app
Use popular Ethereum dapps with Coinbase’s new dapp wallet and browser
Tl;dr: This post highlights the ability to access web3 directly from your Coinbase app using our new dapp wallet and browser.
Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and decentralized finance (DeFi) have gained popularity in the last year (DAOs). The total value locked (TVL) of DeFi investments on the Ethereum blockchain has grown to over $110B USD, while NFTs sales have grown to over $30B USD in the last 12 months (LTM). New innovative real-world applications are emerging every day.
Today, a small group of Coinbase app users can access Ethereum-based dapps. Buying NFTs on Coinbase NFT and OpenSea, trading on Uniswap and Sushiswap, and borrowing and lending on Curve and Compound are examples.
Our new dapp wallet and dapp browser enable you to access and explore web3 directly from your Coinbase app.
Web3 in the Coinbase app
Users can now access dapps without a recovery phrase. This innovative dapp wallet experience uses Multi-Party Computation (MPC) technology to secure your on-chain wallet. This wallet's design allows you and Coinbase to share the 'key.' If you lose access to your device, the key to your dapp wallet is still safe and Coinbase can help recover it.
Set up your new dapp wallet by clicking the "Browser" tab in the Android app's navigation bar. Once set up, the Coinbase app's new dapp browser lets you search, discover, and use Ethereum-based dapps.
We want to enable everyone to seamlessly and safely participate in web3, and today’s launch is another step on that journey. We're rolling out the new dapp wallet and browser in the US on Android first to a small subset of users and plan to expand soon. Stay tuned!
6 months ago
Why Cryptocurrency Is Not Dead Despite the FTX Scam
A fraud, free-market, antifragility tale
Crypto's only rival is public opinion.
In less than a week, mainstream media, bloggers, and TikTokers turned on FTX's founder.
While some were surprised, almost everyone with a keyboard and a Twitter account predicted the FTX collapse. These financial oracles should have warned the 1.2 million people Sam Bankman-Fried duped.
After happening, unexpected events seem obvious to our brains. It's a bug and a feature because it helps us cope with disasters and makes our reasoning suck.
Nobody predicted the FTX debacle. Bloomberg? Politicians. Non-famous. No cryptologists. Who?
When FTX imploded, taking billions of dollars with it, an outrage bomb went off, and the resulting shockwave threatens the crypto market's existence.
As someone who lost more than $78,000 in a crypto scam in 2020, I can only understand people’s reactions. When the dust settles and rationality returns, we'll realize this is a natural occurrence in every free market.
What specifically occurred with FTX? (Skip if you are aware.)
FTX is a cryptocurrency exchange where customers can trade with cash. It reached #3 in less than two years as the fastest-growing platform of its kind.
FTX's performance helped make SBF the crypto poster boy. Other reasons include his altruistic public image, his support for the Democrats, and his company Alameda Research.
Alameda Research made a fortune arbitraging Bitcoin.
Arbitrage trading uses small price differences between two markets to make money. Bitcoin costs $20k in Japan and $21k in the US. Alameda Research did that for months, making $1 million per day.
Later, as its capital grew, Alameda expanded its trading activities and began investing in other companies.
Let's now discuss FTX.
SBF's diabolic master plan began when he used FTX-created FTT coins to inflate his trading company's balance sheets. He used inflated Alameda numbers to secure bank loans.
SBF used money he printed himself as collateral to borrow billions for capital. Coindesk exposed him in a report.
One of FTX's early investors tweeted that he planned to sell his FTT coins over the next few months. This would be a minor event if the investor wasn't Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ).
The crypto space saw a red WARNING sign when CZ cut ties with FTX. Everyone with an FTX account and a brain withdrew money. Two events followed. FTT fell from $20 to $4 in less than 72 hours, and FTX couldn't meet withdrawal requests, spreading panic.
SBF reassured FTX users on Twitter. Good assets.
SBF falsely claimed FTX had a liquidity crunch. At the time of his initial claims, FTX owed about $8 billion to its customers. Liquidity shortages are usually minor. To get cash, sell assets. In the case of FTX, the main asset was printed FTT coins.
Sam wouldn't get out of trouble even if he slashed the discount (from $20 to $4) and sold every FTT. He'd flood the crypto market with his homemade coins, causing the price to crash.
SBF was trapped. He approached Binance about a buyout, which seemed good until Binance looked at FTX's books.
Binance's tweet ended SBF, and he had to apologize, resign as CEO, and file for bankruptcy.
Bloomberg estimated Sam's net worth to be zero by the end of that week. 0!
But that's not all. Twitter investigations exposed fraud at FTX and Alameda Research. SBF used customer funds to trade and invest in other companies.
Thanks to the Twitter indie reporters who made the mainstream press look amateurish. Some Twitter detectives didn't sleep for 30 hours to find answers. Others added to existing threads. Memes were hilarious.
One question kept repeating in my bald head as I watched the Blue Bird. Sam, WTF?
Then I understood.
SBF wanted that FTX becomes a bank.
Think about this. FTX seems healthy a few weeks ago. You buy 2 bitcoins using FTX. You'd expect the platform to take your dollars and debit your wallet, right?
No. They give I-Owe-Yous.
FTX records owing you 2 bitcoins in its internal ledger but doesn't credit your account. Given SBF's tricks, I'd bet on nothing.
What happens if they don't credit my account with 2 bitcoins? Your money goes into FTX's capital, where SBF and his friends invest in marketing, political endorsements, and buying other companies.
Over its two-year existence, FTX invested in 130 companies. Once they make a profit on their purchases, they'll pay you and keep the rest.
One detail makes their strategy dumb. If all FTX customers withdraw at once, everything collapses.
Financially savvy people think FTX's collapse resembles a bank run, and they're right. SBF designed FTX to operate like a bank.
You expect your bank to open a drawer with your name and put $1,000 in it when you deposit $1,000. They deposit $100 in your drawer and create an I-Owe-You for $900. What happens to $900?
Let's sum it up: It's boring and headache-inducing.
When you deposit money in a bank, they can keep 10% and lend the rest. Fractional Reserve Banking is a popular method. Fractional reserves operate within and across banks.
Fractional reserve banking generates $10,000 for every $1,000 deposited. People will pay off their debt plus interest.
As long as banks work together and the economy grows, their model works well.
SBF tried to replicate the system but forgot two details. First, traditional banks need verifiable collateral like real estate, jewelry, art, stocks, and bonds, not digital coupons. Traditional banks developed a liquidity buffer. The Federal Reserve (or Central Bank) injects massive cash into troubled banks.
Massive cash injections come from taxpayers. You and I pay for bankers' mistakes and annual bonuses. Yes, you may think banking is rigged. It's rigged, but it's the best financial game in 150 years. We accept its flaws, including bailouts for too-big-to-fail companies.
SBF wanted Binance's bailout. Binance said no, which was good for the crypto market.
Free markets are resilient.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb coined the term antifragility.
“Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. Yet, in spite of the ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. Let us call it antifragile. Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.”
The easiest way to understand how antifragile systems behave is to compare them with other types of systems.
Glass is like a fragile system. It snaps when shocked.
Similar to rubber, a resilient system. After a stressful episode, it bounces back.
A system that is antifragile is similar to a muscle. As it is torn in the gym, it gets stronger.
Time-changed things are antifragile. Culture, tech innovation, restaurants, revolutions, book sales, cuisine, economic success, and even muscle shape. These systems benefit from shocks and randomness in different ways, but they all pay a price for antifragility.
Same goes for the free market and financial institutions. Taleb's book uses restaurants as an example and ends with a reference to the 2008 crash.
“Restaurants are fragile. They compete with each other. But the collective of local restaurants is antifragile for that very reason. Had restaurants been individually robust, hence immortal, the overall business would be either stagnant or weak and would deliver nothing better than cafeteria food — and I mean Soviet-style cafeteria food. Further, it [the overall business] would be marred with systemic shortages, with once in a while a complete crisis and government bailout.”
Imagine the same thing with banks.
Independent banks would compete to offer the best services. If one of these banks fails, it will disappear. Customers and investors will suffer, but the market will recover from the dead banks' mistakes.
This idea underpins a free market. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies say this when criticizing traditional banking.
The traditional banking system's components never die. When a bank fails, the Federal Reserve steps in with a big taxpayer-funded check. This hinders bank evolution. If you don't let banking cells die and be replaced, your financial system won't be antifragile.
The interdependence of banks (centralization) means that one bank's mistake can sink the entire fleet, which brings us to SBF's ultimate travesty with FTX.
FTX has left the cryptocurrency gene pool.
FTX should be decentralized and independent. The super-star scammer invested in more than 130 crypto companies and linked them, creating a fragile banking-like structure. FTX seemed to say, "We exist because centralized banks are bad." But we'll be good, unlike the centralized banking system.
FTX saved several companies, including BlockFi and Voyager Digital.
FTX wanted to be a crypto bank conglomerate and Federal Reserve. SBF wanted to monopolize crypto markets. FTX wanted to be in bed with as many powerful people as possible, so SBF seduced politicians and celebrities.
Worst? People who saw SBF's plan flaws praised him. Experts, newspapers, and crypto fans praised FTX. When billions pour in, it's hard to realize FTX was acting against its nature.
Then, they act shocked when they realize FTX's fall triggered a domino effect. Some say the damage could wipe out the crypto market, but that's wrong.
Cell death is different from body death.
FTX is out of the game despite its size. Unfit, it fell victim to market natural selection.
The challengers keep coming. The crypto economy will improve with each failure.
Free markets are antifragile because their fragile parts compete, fostering evolution. With constructive feedback, evolution benefits customers and investors.
FTX shows that customers don't like being scammed, so the crypto market's health depends on them. Charlatans and con artists are eliminated quickly or slowly.
Crypto isn't immune to collapse. Cryptocurrencies can go extinct like biological species. Antifragility isn't immortality. A few more decades of evolution may be enough for humans to figure out how to best handle money, whether it's bitcoin, traditional banking, gold, or something else.
Keep your BS detector on. Start by being skeptical of this article's finance-related claims. Even if you think you understand finance, join the conversation.
We build a better future through dialogue. So listen, ask, and share. When you think you can't find common ground with the opposing view, remember:
Sam Bankman-Fried lied.
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6 months ago
How To Launch A Business Without Any Risk
> Say Hello To The Lean-Hedge Model
People think starting a business requires significant debt and investment. Like Shark Tank, you need a world-changing idea. I'm not saying to avoid investors or brilliant ideas.
Investing is essential to build a genuinely profitable company. Think Apple or Starbucks.
Entrepreneurship is risky because many people go bankrupt from debt. As starters, we shouldn't do it. Instead, use lean-hedge.
Simply defined, you construct a cash-flow business to hedge against long-term investment-heavy business expenses.
What the “fx!$rench-toast” is the lean-hedge model?
When you start a business, your money should move down, down, down, then up when it becomes profitable.
Many people don't survive the business's initial losses and debt. What if, we created a cash-flow business BEFORE we started our Starbucks to hedge against its initial expenses?
Lean-hedge has two sections. Start a cash-flow business. A cash-flow business takes minimal investment and usually involves sweat and time.
Let’s take a look at some examples:
A Translation company
Personal portfolio website (you make a site then you do cold e-mail marketing)
FREELANCE (UpWork, Fiverr).
Infomarketing. (You design a knowledge-based product. You sell the info).
Online fitness/diet/health coaching ($50-$300/month, calls, training plan)
Amazon e-book publishing. (Medium writers do this)
YouTube, cash-flow channel
A web development agency (I'm a dev, but if you're not, a graphic design agency, etc.) (Sell your time.)
Online paralegal (A million lawyers work in the U.S).
Some dropshipping (Organic Tik Tok dropshipping, where you create content to drive traffic to your shopify store instead of spend money on ads).
(Disclaimer: My first two cash-flow enterprises, which were language teaching, failed terribly. My translation firm is now booming because B2B e-mail marketing is easy.)
Crossover occurs. Your long-term business starts earning more money than your cash flow business.
My cash-flow business (freelancing, translation) makes $7k+/month.
I’ve decided to start a slightly more investment-heavy digital marketing agency
Here are the anticipated business's time- and money-intensive investments:
($$$) Top Front-End designer's Figma/UI-UX design (in negotiation)
(Time): A little copywriting (I will do this myself)
($$) Creating an animated webpage with HTML (in negotiation)
Backend Development (Duration) (I'll carry out this myself using Laravel.)
Logo Design ($$)
Logo Intro Video for $
Video Intro (I’ll edit this myself with Premiere Pro)
Then evaluate product, place, price, and promotion. Consider promotion and pricing.
The lean-hedge model's point is:
Don't gamble. Avoid debt. First create a cash-flow project, then grow it steadily.
Check read my previous posts on “Nightmare Mode” (which teaches you how to make work as interesting as video games) and Why most people can't escape a 9-5 to learn how to develop a cash-flow business.
8 months ago
How to Produce a Month's Worth of Content for Social Media in a Day
New social media producers' biggest error
The Treadmill of Social Media Content
New creators focus on the wrong platforms.
They post to Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc.
They create daily material, but it's never enough for social media algorithms.
Creators recognize they're on a content creation treadmill.
They have to keep publishing content daily just to stay on the algorithm’s good side and avoid losing the audience they’ve built on the platform.
This is exhausting and unsustainable, causing creator burnout.
They focus on short-lived platforms, which is an issue.
Comparing low- and high-return social media platforms
Social media networks are great for reaching new audiences.
Their algorithm is meant to viralize material.
Social media can use you for their aims if you're not careful.
To master social media, focus on the right platforms.
To do this, we must differentiate low-ROI and high-ROI platforms:
Low ROI platforms are ones where content has a short lifespan. High ROI platforms are ones where content has a longer lifespan.
A tweet may be shown for 12 days. If you write an article or blog post, it could get visitors for 23 years.
ROI is drastically different.
New creators have limited time and high learning curves.
Nothing is possible.
First create content for high-return platforms.
ROI for social media platforms
Here are high-return platforms:
Your Blog - A single blog article can rank and attract a ton of targeted traffic for a very long time thanks to the power of SEO.
YouTube - YouTube has a reputation for showing search results or sidebar recommendations for videos uploaded 23 years ago. A superb video you make may receive views for a number of years.
Medium - A platform dedicated to excellent writing is called Medium. When you write an article about a subject that never goes out of style, you're building a digital asset that can drive visitors indefinitely.
These high ROI platforms let you generate content once and get visitors for years.
This contrasts with low ROI platforms:
The posts you publish on these networks have a 23-day lifetime. Instagram Reels and TikToks are exceptions since viral content can last months.
If you want to make content creation sustainable and enjoyable, you must focus the majority of your efforts on creating high ROI content first. You can then use the magic of repurposing content to publish content to the lower ROI platforms to increase your reach and exposure.
How To Use Your Content Again
So, you’ve decided to focus on the high ROI platforms.
You've published an article or a YouTube video.
You worked hard on it.
Now you have fresh stuff.
If you are not repurposing each piece of content for multiple platforms, you are throwing away your time and efforts.
You've created fantastic material, so why not distribute it across platforms?
Repurposing Content Step-by-Step
For me, it's writing a blog article, but you might start with a video or podcast.
The premise is the same regardless of the medium.
Start by creating content for a high ROI platform (YouTube, Blog Post, Medium). Then, repurpose, edit, and repost it to the lower ROI platforms.
Here's how to repurpose pillar material for other platforms:
Post the article on your blog.
Put your piece on Medium (use the canonical link to point to your blog as the source for SEO)
Create a video and upload it to YouTube using the talking points from the article.
Rewrite the piece a little, then post it to LinkedIn.
Change the article's format to a Thread and share it on Twitter.
Find a few quick quotes throughout the article, then use them in tweets or Instagram quote posts.
Create a carousel for Instagram and LinkedIn using screenshots from the Twitter Thread.
Go through your film and select a few valuable 30-second segments. Share them on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels.
Your video's audio can be taken out and uploaded as a podcast episode.
If you (or your team) achieve all this, you'll have 20-30 pieces of social media content.
If you're just starting, I wouldn't advocate doing all of this at once.
Instead, focus on a few platforms with this method.
You can outsource this as your company expands. (If you'd want to learn more about content repurposing, contact me.)
You may focus on relevant work while someone else grows your social media on autopilot.
You develop high-ROI pillar content, and it's automatically chopped up and posted on social media.
This lets you use social media algorithms without getting sucked in.
Thanks for reading!
Aaron Dinin, PhD
8 months ago
I put my faith in a billionaire, and he destroyed my business.
How did his money blind me?
Like most fledgling entrepreneurs, I wanted a mentor. I met as many nearby folks with "entrepreneur" in their LinkedIn biographies for coffee.
These meetings taught me a lot, and I'd suggest them to any new creator. Attention! Meeting with many experienced entrepreneurs means getting contradictory advice. One entrepreneur will tell you to do X, then the next one you talk to may tell you to do Y, which are sometimes opposites. You'll have to chose which suggestion to take after the chats.
I experienced this. Same afternoon, I had two coffee meetings with experienced entrepreneurs. The first meeting was with a billionaire entrepreneur who took his company public.
I met him in a swanky hotel lobby and ordered a drink I didn't pay for. As a fledgling entrepreneur, money was scarce.
During the meeting, I demoed the software I'd built, he liked it, and we spent the hour discussing what features would make it a success. By the end of the meeting, he requested I include a killer feature we both agreed would attract buyers. The feature was complex and would require some time. The billionaire I was sipping coffee with in a beautiful hotel lobby insisted people would love it, and that got me enthusiastic.
The second meeting was with a young entrepreneur who had recently raised a small amount of investment and looked as eager to pitch me as I was to pitch him. I forgot his name. I mostly recall meeting him in a filthy coffee shop in a bad section of town and buying his pricey cappuccino. Water for me.
After his pitch, I demoed my app. When I was done, he barely noticed. He questioned my customer acquisition plan. Who was my client? What did they offer? What was my plan? Etc. No decent answers.
After our meeting, he insisted I spend more time learning my market and selling. He ignored my questions about features. Don't worry about features, he said. Customers will request features. First, find them.
Putting your faith in results over relevance
Problems plagued my afternoon. I met with two entrepreneurs who gave me differing advice about how to proceed, and I had to decide which to pursue. I couldn't decide.
Ultimately, I followed the advice of the billionaire.
Who wouldn’t? That was the guy who clearly knew more.
A few months later, I constructed the feature the billionaire said people would line up for.
The new feature was unpopular. I couldn't even get the billionaire to answer an email showing him what I'd done. He disappeared.
Within a few months, I shut down the company, wasting all the time and effort I'd invested into constructing the killer feature the billionaire said I required.
Would follow the struggling entrepreneur's advice have saved my company? It would have saved me time in retrospect. Potential consumers would have told me they didn't want what I was producing, and I could have shut down the company sooner or built something they did want. Both outcomes would have been better.
Now I know, but not then. I favored achievement above relevance.
Success vs. relevance
The millionaire gave me advice on building a large, successful public firm. A successful public firm is different from a startup. Priorities change in the last phase of business building, which few entrepreneurs reach. He gave wonderful advice to founders trying to double their stock values in two years, but it wasn't beneficial for me.
The other failing entrepreneur had relevant, recent experience. He'd recently been in my shoes. We still had lots of problems. He may not have achieved huge success, but he had valuable advice on how to pass the closest hurdle.
The money blinded me at the moment. Not alone So much of company success is defined by money valuations, fundraising, exits, etc., so entrepreneurs easily fall into this trap. Money chatter obscures the value of knowledge.
Don't base startup advice on a person's income. Focus on what and when the person has learned. Relevance to you and your goals is more important than a person's accomplishments when considering advice.