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Sam Bourgi

Sam Bourgi

3 months ago

NFT was used to serve a restraining order on an anonymous hacker.

The international law firm Holland & Knight used an NFT built and airdropped by its asset recovery team to serve a defendant in a hacking case.

The law firms Holland & Knight and Bluestone used a nonfungible token to serve a defendant in a hacking case with a temporary restraining order, marking the first documented legal process assisted by an NFT.

The so-called "service token" or "service NFT" was served to an unknown defendant in a hacking case involving LCX, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Liechtenstein that was hacked for over $8 million in January. The attack compromised the platform's hot wallets, resulting in the loss of Ether (ETH), USD Coin (USDC), and other cryptocurrencies, according to Cointelegraph at the time.

On June 7, LCX claimed that around 60% of the stolen cash had been frozen, with investigations ongoing in Liechtenstein, Ireland, Spain, and the United States. Based on a court judgment from the New York Supreme Court, Centre Consortium, a company created by USDC issuer Circle and crypto exchange Coinbase, has frozen around $1.3 million in USDC.

The monies were laundered through Tornado Cash, according to LCX, but were later tracked using "algorithmic forensic analysis." The organization was also able to identify wallets linked to the hacker as a result of the investigation.

In light of these findings, the law firms representing LCX, Holland & Knight and Bluestone, served the unnamed defendant with a temporary restraining order issued on-chain using an NFT. According to LCX, this system "was allowed by the New York Supreme Court and is an example of how innovation can bring legitimacy and transparency to a market that some say is ungovernable."

More on Web3 & Crypto

Modern Eremite

Modern Eremite

2 months ago

The complete, easy-to-understand guide to bitcoin

Introduction

Markets rely on knowledge.

The internet provided practically endless knowledge and wisdom. Humanity has never seen such leverage. Technology's progress drives us to adapt to a changing world, changing our routines and behaviors.

In a digital age, people may struggle to live in the analogue world of their upbringing. Can those who can't adapt change their lives? I won't answer. We should teach those who are willing to learn, nevertheless. Unravel the modern world's riddles and give them wisdom.

Adapt or die . Accept the future or remain behind.

This essay will help you comprehend Bitcoin better than most market participants and the general public. Let's dig into Bitcoin.

Join me.

Ascension

Bitcoin.org was registered in August 2008. Bitcoin whitepaper was published on 31 October 2008. The document intrigued and motivated people around the world, including technical engineers and sovereignty seekers. Since then, Bitcoin's whitepaper has been read and researched to comprehend its essential concept.

I recommend reading the whitepaper yourself. You'll be able to say you read the Bitcoin whitepaper instead of simply Googling "what is Bitcoin" and reading the fundamental definition without knowing the revolution's scope. The article links to Bitcoin's whitepaper. To avoid being overwhelmed by the whitepaper, read the following article first.

Bitcoin isn't the first peer-to-peer digital currency. Hashcash or Bit Gold were once popular cryptocurrencies. These two Bitcoin precursors failed to gain traction and produce the network effect needed for general adoption. After many struggles, Bitcoin emerged as the most successful cryptocurrency, leading the way for others.

Satoshi Nakamoto, an active bitcointalk.org user, created Bitcoin. Satoshi's identity remains unknown. Satoshi's last bitcointalk.org login was 12 December 2010. Since then, he's officially disappeared. Thus, conspiracies and riddles surround Bitcoin's creators. I've heard many various theories, some insane and others well-thought-out.

It's not about who created it; it's about knowing its potential. Since its start, Satoshi's legacy has changed the world and will continue to.

Block-by-block blockchain

Bitcoin is a distributed ledger. What's the meaning?

Everyone can view all blockchain transactions, but no one can undo or delete them.

Imagine you and your friends routinely eat out, but only one pays. You're careful with money and what others owe you. How can everyone access the info without it being changed?

You'll keep a notebook of your evening's transactions. Everyone will take a page home. If one of you changed the page's data, the group would notice and reject it. The majority will establish consensus and offer official facts.

Miners add a new Bitcoin block to the main blockchain every 10 minutes. The appended block contains miner-verified transactions. Now that the next block has been added, the network will receive the next set of user transactions.

Bitcoin Proof of Work—prove you earned it

Any firm needs hardworking personnel to expand and serve clients. Bitcoin isn't that different.

Bitcoin's Proof of Work consensus system needs individuals to validate and create new blocks and check for malicious actors. I'll discuss Bitcoin's blockchain consensus method.

Proof of Work helps Bitcoin reach network consensus. The network is checked and safeguarded by CPU, GPU, or ASIC Bitcoin-mining machines (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit).

Every 10 minutes, miners are rewarded in Bitcoin for securing and verifying the network. It's unlikely you'll finish the block. Miners build pools to increase their chances of winning by combining their processing power.

In the early days of Bitcoin, individual mining systems were more popular due to high maintenance costs and larger earnings prospects. Over time, people created larger and larger Bitcoin mining facilities that required a lot of space and sophisticated cooling systems to keep machines from overheating.

Proof of Work is a vital part of the Bitcoin network, as network security requires the processing power of devices purchased with fiat currency. Miners must invest in mining facilities, which creates a new business branch, mining facilities ownership. Bitcoin mining is a topic for a future article.

More mining, less reward

Bitcoin is usually scarce.

Why is it rare? It all comes down to 21,000,000 Bitcoins.

Were all Bitcoins mined? Nope. Bitcoin's supply grows until it hits 21 million coins. Initially, 50BTC each block was mined, and each block took 10 minutes. Around 2140, the last Bitcoin will be mined.

But 50BTC every 10 minutes does not give me the year 2140. Indeed careful reader. So important is Bitcoin's halving process.

What is halving?

The block reward is halved every 210,000 blocks, which takes around 4 years. The initial payout was 50BTC per block and has been decreased to 25BTC after 210,000 blocks. First halving occurred on November 28, 2012, when 10,500,000 BTC (50%) had been mined. As of April 2022, the block reward is 6.25BTC and will be lowered to 3.125BTC by 19 March 2024.

The halving method is tied to Bitcoin's hashrate. Here's what "hashrate" means.

What if we increased the number of miners and hashrate they provide to produce a block every 10 minutes? Wouldn't we manufacture blocks faster?

Every 10 minutes, blocks are generated with little asymmetry. Due to the built-in adaptive difficulty algorithm, the overall hashrate does not affect block production time. With increased hashrate, it's harder to construct a block. We can estimate when the next halving will occur because 10 minutes per block is fixed.

Building with nodes and blocks

For someone new to crypto, the unusual terms and words may be overwhelming. You'll also find everyday words that are easy to guess or have a vague idea of what they mean, how they work, and what they do. Consider blockchain technology.

Nodes and blocks: Think about that for a moment. What is your first idea?

The blockchain is a chain of validated blocks added to the main chain. What's a "block"? What's inside?

The block is another page in the blockchain book that has been filled with transaction information and accepted by the majority.

We won't go into detail about what each block includes and how it's built, as long as you understand its purpose.

What about nodes?

Nodes, along with miners, verify the blockchain's state independently. But why?

To create a full blockchain node, you must download the whole Bitcoin blockchain and check every transaction against Bitcoin's consensus criteria.

What's Bitcoin's size? 

In April 2022, the Bitcoin blockchain was 389.72GB.

Bitcoin's blockchain has miners and node runners.

Let's revisit the US gold rush. Miners mine gold with their own power (physical and monetary resources) and are rewarded with gold (Bitcoin). All become richer with more gold, and so does the country.

Nodes are like sheriffs, ensuring everything is done according to consensus rules and that there are no rogue miners or network users.

Lost and held bitcoin

Does the Bitcoin exchange price match each coin's price? How many coins remain after 21,000,000? 21 million or less?

Common reason suggests a 21 million-coin supply.

What if I lost 1BTC from a cold wallet?

What if I saved 1000BTC on paper in 2010 and it was damaged?

What if I mined Bitcoin in 2010 and lost the keys?

Satoshi Nakamoto's coins? Since then, those coins haven't moved.

How many BTC are truly in circulation?

Many people are trying to answer this question, and you may discover a variety of studies and individual research on the topic. Be cautious of the findings because they can't be evaluated and the statistics are hazy guesses.

On the other hand, we have long-term investors who won't sell their Bitcoin or will sell little amounts to cover mining or living needs.

The price of Bitcoin is determined by supply and demand on exchanges using liquid BTC. How many BTC are left after subtracting lost and non-custodial BTC? 

We have significantly less Bitcoin in circulation than you think, thus the price may not reflect demand if we knew the exact quantity of coins available.

True HODLers and diamond-hand investors won't sell you their coins, no matter the market.

What's UTXO?

Unspent (U) Transaction (TX) Output (O)

Imagine taking a $100 bill to a store. After choosing a drink and munchies, you walk to the checkout to pay. The cashier takes your $100 bill and gives you $25.50 in change. It's in your wallet.

Is it simply 100$? No way.

The $25.50 in your wallet is unrelated to the $100 bill you used. Your wallet's $25.50 is just bills and coins. Your wallet may contain these coins and bills:

2x 10$ 1x 10$

1x 5$ or 3x 5$

1x 0.50$ 2x 0.25$

Any combination of coins and bills can equal $25.50. You don't care, and I'd wager you've never ever considered it.

That is UTXO. Now, I'll detail the Bitcoin blockchain and how UTXO works, as it's crucial to know what coins you have in your (hopefully) cold wallet.

You purchased 1BTC. Is it all? No. UTXOs equal 1BTC. Then send BTC to a cold wallet. Say you pay 0.001BTC and send 0.999BTC to your cold wallet. Is it the 1BTC you got before? Well, yes and no. The UTXOs are the same or comparable as before, but the blockchain address has changed. It's like if you handed someone a wallet, they removed the coins needed for a network charge, then returned the rest of the coins and notes.

UTXO is a simple concept, but it's crucial to grasp how it works to comprehend dangers like dust attacks and how coins may be tracked.

Lightning Network: fast cash

You've probably heard of "Layer 2 blockchain" projects.

What does it mean?

Layer 2 on a blockchain is an additional layer that increases the speed and quantity of transactions per minute and reduces transaction fees.

Imagine going to an obsolete bank to transfer money to another account and having to pay a charge and wait. You can transfer funds via your bank account or a mobile app without paying a fee, or the fee is low, and the cash appear nearly quickly. Layer 1 and 2 payment systems are different.

Layer 1 is not obsolete; it merely has more essential things to focus on, including providing the blockchain with new, validated blocks, whereas Layer 2 solutions strive to offer Layer 1 with previously processed and verified transactions. The primary blockchain, Bitcoin, will only receive the wallets' final state. All channel transactions until shutting and balancing are irrelevant to the main chain.

Layer 2 and the Lightning Network's goal are now clear. Most Layer 2 solutions on multiple blockchains are created as blockchains, however Lightning Network is not. Remember the following remark, as it best describes Lightning.

Lightning Network connects public and private Bitcoin wallets.

Opening a private channel with another wallet notifies just two parties. The creation and opening of a public channel tells the network that anyone can use it.

Why create a public Lightning Network channel?

Every transaction through your channel generates fees.

Money, if you don't know.

See who benefits when in doubt.

Anonymity, huh?

Bitcoin anonymity? Bitcoin's anonymity was utilized to launder money.

Well… You've heard similar stories. When you ask why or how it permits people to remain anonymous, the conversation ends as if it were just a story someone heard.

Bitcoin isn't private. Pseudonymous.

What if someone tracks your transactions and discovers your wallet address? Where is your anonymity then?

Bitcoin is like bulletproof glass storage; you can't take or change the money. If you dig and analyze the data, you can see what's inside.

Every online action leaves a trace, and traces may be tracked. People often forget this guideline.

A tool like that can help you observe what the major players, or whales, are doing with their coins when the market is uncertain. Many people spend time analyzing on-chain data. Worth it?

Ask yourself a question. What are the big players' options?  Do you think they're letting you see their wallets for a small on-chain data fee?

Instead of short-term behaviors, focus on long-term trends.

More wallet transactions leave traces. Having nothing to conceal isn't a defect. Can it lead to regulating Bitcoin so every transaction is tracked like in banks today?

But wait. How can criminals pay out Bitcoin? They're doing it, aren't they?

Mixers can anonymize your coins, letting you to utilize them freely. This is not a guide on how to make your coins anonymous; it could do more harm than good if you don't know what you're doing.

Remember, being anonymous attracts greater attention.

Bitcoin isn't the only cryptocurrency we can use to buy things. Using cryptocurrency appropriately can provide usability and anonymity. Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC), and Litecoin (LTC) following the Mimblewimble upgrade are examples.

Summary

Congratulations! You've reached the conclusion of the article and learned about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. You've entered the future.

You know what Bitcoin is, how its blockchain works, and why it's not anonymous. I bet you can explain Lightning Network and UTXO to your buddies.

Markets rely on knowledge. Prepare yourself for success before taking the first step. Let your expertise be your edge.


This article is a summary of this one.

The Verge

The Verge

6 months ago

Bored Ape Yacht Club creator raises $450 million at a $4 billion valuation.

Yuga Labs, owner of three of the biggest NFT brands on the market, announced today a $450 million funding round. The money will be used to create a media empire based on NFTs, starting with games and a metaverse project.

The team's Otherside metaverse project is an MMORPG meant to connect the larger NFT universe. They want to create “an interoperable world” that is “gamified” and “completely decentralized,” says Wylie Aronow, aka Gordon Goner, co-founder of Bored Ape Yacht Club. “We think the real Ready Player One experience will be player run.”

Just a few weeks ago, Yuga Labs announced the acquisition of CryptoPunks and Meebits from Larva Labs. The deal brought together three of the most valuable NFT collections, giving Yuga Labs more IP to work with when developing games and metaverses. Last week, ApeCoin was launched as a cryptocurrency that will be governed independently and used in Yuga Labs properties.

Otherside will be developed by “a few different game studios,” says Yuga Labs CEO Nicole Muniz. The company plans to create development tools that allow NFTs from other projects to work inside their world. “We're welcoming everyone into a walled garden.”

However, Yuga Labs believes that other companies are approaching metaverse projects incorrectly, allowing the startup to stand out. People won't bond spending time in a virtual space with nothing going on, says Yuga Labs co-founder Greg Solano, aka Gargamel. Instead, he says, people bond when forced to work together.

In order to avoid getting smacked, Solano advises making friends. “We don't think a Zoom chat and walking around saying ‘hi' creates a deep social experience.” Yuga Labs refused to provide a release date for Otherside. Later this year, a play-to-win game is planned.

The funding round was led by Andreessen Horowitz, a major investor in the Web3 space. It previously backed OpenSea and Coinbase. Animoca Brands, Coinbase, and MoonPay are among those who have invested. Andreessen Horowitz general partner Chris Lyons will join Yuga Labs' board. The Financial Times broke the story last month.

"META IS A DOMINANT DIGITAL EXPERIENCE PROVIDER IN A DYSTOPIAN FUTURE."

This emerging [Web3] ecosystem is important to me, as it is to companies like Meta,” Chris Dixon, head of Andreessen Horowitz's crypto arm, tells The Verge. “In a dystopian future, Meta is the dominant digital experience provider, and it controls all the money and power.” (Andreessen Horowitz co-founder Marc Andreessen sits on Meta's board and invested early in Facebook.)

Yuga Labs has been profitable so far. According to a leaked pitch deck, the company made $137 million last year, primarily from its NFT brands, with a 95% profit margin. (Yuga Labs declined to comment on deck figures.)

But the company has built little so far. According to OpenSea data, it has only released one game for a limited time. That means Yuga Labs gets hundreds of millions of dollars to build a gaming company from scratch, based on a hugely lucrative art project.

Investors fund Yuga Labs based on its success. That's what they did, says Dixon, “they created a culture phenomenon”. But ultimately, the company is betting on the same thing that so many others are: that a metaverse project will be the next big thing. Now they must construct it.

Elnaz Sarraf

Elnaz Sarraf

2 months ago

Why Bitcoin's Crash Could Be Good for Investors

The crypto market crashed in June 2022. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies hit their lowest prices in over a year, causing market panic. Some believe this crash will benefit future investors.

Before I discuss how this crash might help investors, let's examine why it happened. Inflation in the U.S. reached a 30-year high in 2022 after Russia invaded Ukraine. In response, the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.5%, the most in almost 20 years. This hurts cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Higher interest rates make people less likely to invest in volatile assets like crypto, so many investors sold quickly.

The crypto market collapsed. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Binance dropped 40%. Other cryptos crashed so hard they were delisted from almost every exchange. Bitcoin peaked in April 2022 at $41,000, but after the May interest rate hike, it crashed to $28,000. Bitcoin investors were worried. Even in bad times, this crash is unprecedented.

Bitcoin wasn't "doomed." Before the crash, LUNA was one of the top 5 cryptos by market cap. LUNA was trading around $80 at the start of May 2022, but after the rate hike?

Less than 1 cent. LUNA lost 99.99% of its value in days and was removed from every crypto exchange. Bitcoin's "crash" isn't as devastating when compared to LUNA.

Many people said Bitcoin is "due" for a LUNA-like crash and that the only reason it hasn't crashed is because it's bigger. Still false. If so, Bitcoin should be worth zero by now. We didn't. Instead, Bitcoin reached 28,000, then 29k, 30k, and 31k before falling to 18k. That's not the world's greatest recovery, but it shows Bitcoin's safety.

Bitcoin isn't falling constantly. It fell because of the initial shock of interest rates, but not further. Now, Bitcoin's value is more likely to rise than fall. Bitcoin's low price also attracts investors. They know what prices Bitcoin can reach with enough hype, and they want to capitalize on low prices before it's too late.

Bitcoin's crash was bad, but in a way it wasn't. To understand, consider 2021. In March 2021, Bitcoin surpassed $60k for the first time. Elon Musk's announcement in May that he would no longer support Bitcoin caused a massive crash in the crypto market. In May 2017, Bitcoin's price hit $29,000. Elon Musk's statement isn't worth more than the Fed raising rates. Many expected this big announcement to kill Bitcoin.

Not so. Bitcoin crashed from $58k to $31k in 2021. Bitcoin fell from $41k to $28k in 2022. This crash is smaller. Bitcoin's price held up despite tensions and stress, proving investors still believe in it. What happened after the initial crash in the past?

Bitcoin fell until mid-July. This is also something we’re not seeing today. After a week, Bitcoin began to improve daily. Bitcoin's price rose after mid-July. Bitcoin's price fluctuated throughout the rest of 2021, but it topped $67k in November. Despite no major changes, the peak occurred after the crash. Elon Musk seemed uninterested in crypto and wasn't likely to change his mind soon. What triggered this peak? Nothing, really. What really happened is that people got over the initial statement. They forgot.

Internet users have goldfish-like attention spans. People quickly forgot the crash's cause and were back investing in crypto months later. Despite the market's setbacks, more crypto investors emerged by the end of 2017. Who gained from these peaks? Bitcoin investors who bought low. Bitcoin not only recovered but also doubled its ROI. It was like a movie, and it shows us what to expect from Bitcoin in the coming months.

The current Bitcoin crash isn't as bad as the last one. LUNA is causing market panic. LUNA and Bitcoin are different cryptocurrencies. LUNA crashed because Terra wasn’t able to keep its peg with the USD. Bitcoin is unanchored. It's one of the most decentralized investments available. LUNA's distrust affected crypto prices, including Bitcoin, but it won't last forever.

This is why Bitcoin will likely rebound in the coming months. In 2022, people will get over the rise in interest rates and the crash of LUNA, just as they did with Elon Musk's crypto stance in 2021. When the world moves on to the next big controversy, Bitcoin's price will soar.

Bitcoin may recover for another reason. Like controversy, interest rates fluctuate. The Russian invasion caused this inflation. World markets will stabilize, prices will fall, and interest rates will drop.

Next, lower interest rates could boost Bitcoin's price. Eventually, it will happen. The U.S. economy can't sustain such high interest rates. Investors will put every last dollar into Bitcoin if interest rates fall again.

Bitcoin has proven to be a stable investment. This boosts its investment reputation. Even if Ethereum dethrones Bitcoin as crypto king one day (or any other crypto, for that matter). Bitcoin may stay on top of the crypto ladder for a while. We'll have to wait a few months to see if any of this is true.


This post is a summary. Read the full article here.

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Leonardo Castorina

Leonardo Castorina

5 months ago

How to Use Obsidian to Boost Research Productivity

Tools for managing your PhD projects, reading lists, notes, and inspiration.

As a researcher, you have to know everything. But knowledge is useless if it cannot be accessed quickly. An easy-to-use method of archiving information makes taking notes effortless and enjoyable.
As a PhD student in Artificial Intelligence, I use Obsidian (https://obsidian.md) to manage my knowledge.

The article has three parts:

  1. What is a note, how to organize notes, tags, folders, and links? This section is tool-agnostic, so you can use most of these ideas with any note-taking app.
  2. Instructions for using Obsidian, managing notes, reading lists, and useful plugins. This section demonstrates how I use Obsidian, my preferred knowledge management tool.
  3. Workflows: How to use Zotero to take notes from papers, manage multiple projects' notes, create MOCs with Dataview, and more. This section explains how to use Obsidian to solve common scientific problems and manage/maintain your knowledge effectively.

This list is not perfect or complete, but it is my current solution to problems I've encountered during my PhD. Please leave additional comments or contact me if you have any feedback. I'll try to update this article.
Throughout the article, I'll refer to your digital library as your "Obsidian Vault" or "Zettelkasten".
Other useful resources are listed at the end of the article.

1. Philosophy: Taking and organizing notes

Carl Sagan: “To make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.”

Before diving into Obsidian, let's establish a Personal Knowledge Management System and a Zettelkasten. You can skip to Section 2 if you already know these terms.
Niklas Luhmann, a prolific sociologist who wrote 400 papers and 70 books, inspired this section and much of Zettelkasten. Zettelkasten means “slip box” (or library in this article). His Zettlekasten had around 90000 physical notes, which can be found here.
There are now many tools available to help with this process. Obsidian's website has a good introduction section: https://publish.obsidian.md/hub/

Notes

We'll start with "What is a note?" Although it may seem trivial, the answer depends on the topic or your note-taking style. The idea is that a note is as “atomic” (i.e. You should read the note and get the idea right away.
The resolution of your notes depends on their detail. Deep Learning, for example, could be a general description of Neural Networks, with a few notes on the various architectures (eg. Recurrent Neural Networks, Convolutional Neural Networks etc..).
Limiting length and detail is a good rule of thumb. If you need more detail in a specific section of this note, break it up into smaller notes. Deep Learning now has three notes:

  • Deep Learning
  • Recurrent Neural Networks
    - Convolutional Neural Networks

Repeat this step as needed until you achieve the desired granularity. You might want to put these notes in a “Neural Networks” folder because they are all about the same thing. But there's a better way:

#Tags and [[Links]] over /Folders/

The main issue with folders is that they are not flexible and assume that all notes in the folder belong to a single category. This makes it difficult to make connections between topics.
Deep Learning has been used to predict protein structure (AlphaFold) and classify images (ImageNet). Imagine a folder structure like this:

- /Proteins/ 
     - Protein Folding
- /Deep Learning/
     - /Proteins/ 

Your notes about Protein Folding and Convolutional Neural Networks will be separate, and you won't be able to find them in the same folder.
This can be solved in several ways. The most common one is to use tags rather than folders. A note can be grouped with multiple topics this way. Obsidian tags can also be nested (have subtags).

You can also link two notes together. You can build your “Knowledge Graph” in Obsidian and other note-taking apps like Obsidian.


My Knowledge Graph. Green: Biology, Red: Machine Learning, Yellow: Autoencoders, Blue: Graphs, Brown: Tags.


My Knowledge Graph and the note “Backrpropagation” and its links.


Backpropagation note and all its links

Why use Folders?

Folders help organize your vault as it grows. The main suggestion is to have few folders that "weakly" collect groups of notes or better yet, notes from different sources.
Among my Zettelkasten folders are:


My Zettelkasten's 5 folders

They usually gather data from various sources:

MOC: Map of Contents for the Zettelkasten.
Projects: Contains one note for each side-project of my PhD where I log my progress and ideas. Notes are linked to these.
Bio and ML: These two are the main content of my Zettelkasten and could theoretically be combined.
Papers: All my scientific paper notes go here. A bibliography links the notes. Zotero .bib file
Books: I make a note for each book I read, which I then split into multiple notes.

Keeping images separate from other files can help keep your main folders clean.

I will elaborate on these in the Workflow Section.

My general recommendation is to use tags and links instead of folders.

Maps of Content (MOC) 

Making Tables of Contents is a good solution (MOCs).
These are notes that "signposts" your Zettelkasten library, directing you to the right type of notes. It can link to other notes based on common tags. This is usually done with a title, then your notes related to that title. As an example:

An example of a Machine Learning MOC generated with Dataview.

As shown above, my Machine Learning MOC begins with the basics. Then it's on to Variational Auto-Encoders. Not only does this save time, but it also saves scrolling through the tag search section.
So I keep MOCs at the top of my library so I can quickly find information and see my library. These MOCs are generated automatically using an Obsidian Plugin called Dataview (https://github.com/blacksmithgu/obsidian-dataview).
Ideally, MOCs could be expanded to include more information about the notes, their status, and what's left to do. In the absence of this, Dataview does a fantastic job at creating a good structure for your notes.
In the absence of this, Dataview does a fantastic job at creating a good structure for your notes.

2. Tools: Knowing Obsidian

Obsidian is my preferred tool because it is free, all notes are stored in Markdown format, and each panel can be dragged and dropped. You can get it here: https://obsidian.md/

Obsidian interface. 

Obsidian is highly customizable, so here is my preferred interface:


The theme is customized from https://github.com/colineckert/obsidian-things

Alternatively, each panel can be collapsed, moved, or removed as desired. To open a panel later, click on the vertical "..." (bottom left of the note panel).

My interface is organized as follows:

How my Obsidian Interface is organized.

Folders/Search:
This is where I keep all relevant folders. I usually use the MOC note to navigate, but sometimes I use the search button to find a note.

Tags:
I use nested tags and look into each one to find specific notes to link.

cMenu:
Easy-to-use menu plugin cMenu (https://github.com/chetachiezikeuzor/cMenu-Plugin)

Global Graph:
The global graph shows all your notes (linked and unlinked). Linked notes will appear closer together. Zoom in to read each note's title. It's a bit overwhelming at first, but as your library grows, you get used to the positions and start thinking of new connections between notes.

Local Graph:
Your current note will be shown in relation to other linked notes in your library. When needed, you can quickly jump to another link and back to the current note.

Links:
Finally, an outline panel and the plugin Obsidian Power Search (https://github.com/aviral-batra/obsidian-power-search) allow me to search my vault by highlighting text.

Start using the tool and worry about panel positioning later. I encourage you to find the best use-case for your library.

Plugins

An additional benefit of using Obsidian is the large plugin library. I use several (Calendar, Citations, Dataview, Templater, Admonition):
Obsidian Calendar Plugin: https://github.com/liamcain
It organizes your notes on a calendar. This is ideal for meeting notes or keeping a journal.

Calendar addon from hans/obsidian-citation-plugin
Obsidian Citation Plugin: https://github.com/hans/
Allows you to cite papers from a.bib file. You can also customize your notes (eg. Title, Authors, Abstract etc..)

Plugin citation from hans/obsidian-citation-plugin
Obsidian Dataview: https://github.com/blacksmithgu/
A powerful plugin that allows you to query your library as a database and generate content automatically. See the MOC section for an example.
Allows you to create notes with specific templates like dates, tags, and headings.

Templater. Obsidian Admonition: https://github.com/valentine195/obsidian-admonition
Blocks allow you to organize your notes.

Plugin warning. Obsidian Admonition (valentine195)
There are many more, but this list should get you started.

3. Workflows: Cool stuff

Here are a few of my workflows for using obsidian for scientific research. This is a list of resources I've found useful for my use-cases. I'll outline and describe them briefly so you can skim them quickly.
3.1 Using Templates to Structure Notes
3.2 Free Note Syncing (Laptop, Phone, Tablet)
3.3 Zotero/Mendeley/JabRef -> Obsidian — Managing Reading Lists
3.4 Projects and Lab Books
3.5 Private Encrypted Diary

3.1 Using Templates to Structure Notes

Plugins: Templater and Dataview (optional).
To take effective notes, you must first make adding new notes as easy as possible. Templates can save you time and give your notes a consistent structure. As an example:


An example of a note using a template.

### [[YOUR MOC]]
# Note Title of your note
**Tags**:: 
**Links**::

The top line links to your knowledge base's Map of Content (MOC) (see previous sections). After the title, I add tags (and a link between the note and the tag) and links to related notes.
To quickly identify all notes that need to be expanded, I add the tag “#todo”. In the “TODO:” section, I list the tasks within the note.
The rest are notes on the topic.
Templater can help you create these templates. For new books, I use the following template:

### [[Books MOC]]
# Title
**Author**:: 
**Date::
**Tags:: 
**Links::


A book template example.

Using a simple query, I can hook Dataview to it.

dataview  
table author as Author, date as “Date Finished”, tags as “Tags”, grade as “Grade”  
from “4. Books”  
SORT grade DESCENDING


using Dataview to query templates.

3.2 Free Note Syncing (Laptop, Phone, Tablet)

No plugins used.

One of my favorite features of Obsidian is the library's self-contained and portable format. Your folder contains everything (plugins included).

Ordinary folders and documents are available as well. There is also a “.obsidian” folder. This contains all your plugins and settings, so you can use it on other devices.
So you can use Google Drive, iCloud, or Dropbox for free as long as you sync your folder (note: your folder should be in your Cloud Folder).

For my iOS and macOS work, I prefer iCloud. You can also use the paid service Obsidian Sync.
3.3 Obsidian — Managing Reading Lists and Notes in Zotero/Mendeley/JabRef
Plugins: Quotes (required).

3.3 Zotero/Mendeley/JabRef -> Obsidian — Taking Notes and Managing Reading Lists of Scientific Papers

My preferred reference manager is Zotero, but this workflow should work with any reference manager that produces a .bib file. This file is exported to my cloud folder so I can access it from any platform.

My Zotero library is tagged as follows:

My reference manager's tags

For readings, I usually search for the tags “!!!” and “To-Read” and select a paper. Annotate the paper next (either on PDF using GoodNotes or on physical paper).
Then I make a paper page using a template in the Citations plugin settings:


An example of my citations template.

Create a new note, open the command list with CMD/CTRL + P, and find the Citations “Insert literature note content in the current pane” to see this lovely view.


Citation generated by the article https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.01.24.22269144

You can then convert your notes to digital. I found that transcribing helped me retain information better.

3.4 Projects and Lab Books

Plugins: Tweaker (required).
PhD students offering advice on thesis writing are common (read as regret). I started asking them what they would have done differently or earlier.

“Deep stuff Leo,” one person said. So my main issue is basic organization, losing track of my tasks and the reasons for them.
As a result, I'd go on other experiments that didn't make sense, and have to reverse engineer my logic for thesis writing. - PhD student now wise Postdoc

Time management requires planning. Keeping track of multiple projects and lab books is difficult during a PhD. How I deal with it:

  • One folder for all my projects
  • One file for each project
    I use a template to create each project
### [[Projects MOC]]  
# <% tp.file.title %>  
**Tags**::  
**Links**::  
**URL**::  
**Project Description**::## Notes:  
### <% tp.file.last_modified_date(“dddd Do MMMM YYYY”) %>  
#### Done:  
#### TODO:  
#### Notes

You can insert a template into a new note with CMD + P and looking for the Templater option.

I then keep adding new days with another template:

### <% tp.file.last_modified_date("dddd Do MMMM YYYY") %>  
#### Done:  
#### TODO:  
#### Notes:

This way you can keep adding days to your project and update with reasonings and things you still have to do and have done. An example below:


Example of project note with timestamped notes.

3.5 Private Encrypted Diary

This is one of my favorite Obsidian uses.
Mini Diary's interface has long frustrated me. After the author archived the project, I looked for a replacement. I had two demands:

  1. It had to be private, and nobody had to be able to read the entries.
  2. Cloud syncing was required for editing on multiple devices.

Then I learned about encrypting the Obsidian folder. Then decrypt and open the folder with Obsidian. Sync the folder as usual.
Use CryptoMator (https://cryptomator.org/). Create an encrypted folder in Cryptomator for your Obsidian vault, set a password, and let it do the rest.
If you need a step-by-step video guide, here it is:

Conclusion

So, I hope this was helpful!
In the first section of the article, we discussed notes and note-taking techniques. We discussed when to use tags and links over folders and when to break up larger notes.
Then we learned about Obsidian, its interface, and some useful plugins like Citations for citing papers and Templater for creating note templates.
Finally, we discussed workflows and how to use Zotero to take notes from scientific papers, as well as managing Lab Books and Private Encrypted Diaries.
Thanks for reading and commenting :)

Read original post here

Karo Wanner

Karo Wanner

2 months ago

This is how I started my Twitter account.

My 12-day results look good.

Twitter seemed for old people and politicians.

I thought the platform would die soon like Facebook.

The platform's growth stalled around 300m users between 2015 and 2019.

In 2020, Twitter grew and now has almost 400m users.

Niharikaa Kaur Sodhi built a business on Twitter while I was away, despite its low popularity.

When I read about the success of Twitter users in the past 2 years, I created an account and a 3-month strategy.

I'll see if it's worth starting Twitter in 2022.

Late or perfect? I'll update you. Track my Twitter growth. You can find me here.

My Twitter Strategy

My Twitter goal is to build a community and recruit members for Mindful Monday.

I believe mindfulness is the only way to solve problems like poverty, inequality, and the climate crisis.

The power of mindfulness is my mission.

Mindful Monday is your weekly reminder to live in the present moment. I send mindfulness tips every Monday.

My Twitter profile promotes Mindful Monday and encourages people to join.

What I paid attention to:

  • I designed a brand-appropriate header to promote Mindful Monday.

  • Choose a profile picture. People want to know who you are.

  • I added my name as I do on Medium, Instagram, and emails. To stand out and be easily recognized, add an emoji if appropriate. Add what you want to be known for, such as Health Coach, Writer, or Newsletter.

  • People follow successful, trustworthy people. Describe any results you have. This could be views, followers, subscribers, or major news outlets. Create!

  • Tell readers what they'll get by following you. Can you help?

  • Add CTA to your profile. Your Twitter account's purpose. Give instructions. I placed my sign-up link next to the CTA to promote Mindful Monday. Josh Spector recommended this. (Thanks! Bonus tip: If you don't want the category to show in your profile, e.g. Entrepreneur, go to edit profile, edit professional profile, and choose 'Other'

Here's my Twitter:

I'm no expert, but I tried. Please share any additional Twitter tips and suggestions in the comments.

To hide your Revue newsletter subscriber count:

Join Revue. Select 'Hide Subscriber Count' in Account settings > Settings > Subscriber Count. Voila!

How frequently should you tweet?

1 to 20 Tweets per day, but consistency is key.

Stick to a daily tweet limit. Start with less and be consistent than the opposite.

I tweet 3 times per day. That's my comfort zone. Larger accounts tweet 5–7 times daily.

Do what works for you and that is the right amount.

Twitter is a long-term game, so plan your tweets for a year.

How to Batch Your Tweets?

Sunday batchs.

Sunday evenings take me 1.5 hours to create all my tweets for the week.

Use a word document and write down your posts. Podcasts, books, my own articles inspire me.

When I have a good idea or see a catchy Tweet, I take a screenshot.

To not copy but adapt.

Two pillars support my content:

  1. (90% ~ 29 tweets per week) Inspirational quotes, mindfulness tips, zen stories, mistakes, myths, book recommendations, etc.

  2. (10% 2 tweets per week) I share how I grow Mindful Monday with readers. This pillar promotes MM and behind-the-scenes content.

Second, I schedule all my Tweets using TweetDeck. I tweet at 7 a.m., 5 p.m., and 6 p.m.

Include Twitter Threads in your content strategy

Tweets are blog posts. In your first tweet, you include a headline, then tweet your content.

That’s how you create a series of connected Tweets.

What’s the point? You have more room to convince your reader you're an expert.

Add a call-to-action to your thread.

  • Follow for more like this

  • Newsletter signup (share your link)

  • Ask for retweet

One thread per week is my goal. 

I'll schedule threads with Typefully. In the free version, you can schedule one Tweet, but that's fine.

Pin a thread to the top of your profile if it leads to your newsletter. So new readers see your highest-converting content first.

Tweet Medium posts

I also tweet Medium articles.

I schedule 1 weekly repost for 5 weeks after each publication. I share the same article daily for 5 weeks.

Every time I tweet, I include a different article quote, so even if the link is the same, the quote adds value.

Engage Other Experts

When you first create your account, few people will see it. Normal.

If you comment on other industry accounts, you can reach their large audience.

First, you need 50 to 100 followers. Here's my beginner tip.

15 minutes a day or when I have downtime, I comment on bigger accounts in my niche.

My 12-Day Results

Now let's look at the first data.

I had 32 followers on March 29. 12 followers in 11 days. I have 52 now.

Not huge, but growing rapidly.

Let's examine impressions/views.

As a newbie, I gained 4,300 impressions/views in 12 days. On Medium, I got fewer views.

The 1,6k impressions per day spike comes from a larger account I mentioned the day before. First, I was shocked to see the spike and unsure of its origin.

These results are promising given the effort required to be consistent on Twitter.

Let's see how my journey progresses. I'll keep you posted.

Tweeters, Does this content strategy make sense? What's wrong? Comment below.

Let's support each other on Twitter. Here's me.

Which Twitter strategy works for you in 2022?


This post is a summary. Read the full article here

Thomas Tcheudjio

Thomas Tcheudjio

3 months ago

If you don't crush these 3 metrics, skip the Series A.

I recently wrote about getting VCs excited about Marketplace start-ups. SaaS founders became envious!

Understanding how people wire tens of millions is the only Series A hack I recommend.

Few people understand the intellectual process behind investing.

VC is risk management.

Series A-focused VCs must cover two risks.

1. Market risk

You need a large market to cross a threshold beyond which you can build defensibilities. Series A VCs underwrite market risk.

They must see you have reached product-market fit (PMF) in a large total addressable market (TAM).

2. Execution risk

When evaluating your growth engine's blitzscaling ability, execution risk arises.

When investors remove operational uncertainty, they profit.

Series A VCs like businesses with derisked revenue streams. Don't raise unless you have a predictable model, pipeline, and growth.

Please beat these 3 metrics before Series A:

Achieve $1.5m ARR in 12-24 months (Market risk)

Above 100% Net Dollar Retention. (Market danger)

Lead Velocity Rate supporting $10m ARR in 2–4 years (Execution risk)

Hit the 3 and you'll raise $10M in 4 months. Discussing 2/3 may take 6–7 months.

If none, don't bother raising and focus on becoming a capital-efficient business (Topics for other posts).

Let's examine these 3 metrics for the brave ones.

1. Lead Velocity Rate supporting €$10m ARR in 2 to 4 years

Last because it's the least discussed. LVR is the most reliable data when evaluating a growth engine, in my opinion.

SaaS allows you to see the future.

Monthly Sales and Sales Pipelines, two predictive KPIs, have poor data quality. Both are lagging indicators, and minor changes can cause huge modeling differences.

Analysts and Associates will trash your forecasts if they're based only on Monthly Sales and Sales Pipeline.

LVR, defined as month-over-month growth in qualified leads, is rock-solid. There's no lag. You can See The Future if you use Qualified Leads and a consistent formula and process to qualify them.

With this metric in your hand, scaling your company turns into an execution play on which VCs are able to perform calculations risk.

2. Above-100% Net Dollar Retention.

Net Dollar Retention is a better-known SaaS health metric than LVR.

Net Dollar Retention measures a SaaS company's ability to retain and upsell customers. Ask what $1 of net new customer spend will be worth in years n+1, n+2, etc.

Depending on the business model, SaaS businesses can increase their share of customers' wallets by increasing users, selling them more products in SaaS-enabled marketplaces, other add-ons, and renewing them at higher price tiers.

If a SaaS company's annualized Net Dollar Retention is less than 75%, there's a problem with the business.

Slack's ARR chart (below) shows how powerful Net Retention is. Layer chart shows how existing customer revenue grows. Slack's S1 shows 171% Net Dollar Retention for 2017–2019.

Slack S-1

3. $1.5m ARR in the last 12-24 months.

According to Point 9, $0.5m-4m in ARR is needed to raise a $5–12m Series A round.

Target at least what you raised in Pre-Seed/Seed. If you've raised $1.5m since launch, don't raise before $1.5m ARR.

Capital efficiency has returned since Covid19. After raising $2m since inception, it's harder to raise $1m in ARR.

P9's 2016-2021 SaaS Funding Napkin

In summary, less than 1% of companies VCs meet get funded. These metrics can help you win.

If there’s demand for it, I’ll do one on direct-to-consumer.

Cheers!