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Isobel Asher Hamilton

Isobel Asher Hamilton

1 year ago

$181 million in bitcoin buried in a dump. $11 million to get them back

More on Web3 & Crypto

CoinTelegraph

CoinTelegraph

2 years ago

2 NFT-based blockchain games that could soar in 2022

NFTs look ready to rule 2022, and the recent pivot toward NFT utility in P2E gaming could make blockchain gaming this year’s sector darling.

After the popularity of decentralized finance (DeFi) came the rise of nonfungible tokens (NFTs), and to the surprise of many, NFTs took the spotlight and now remain front and center with the highest volume in sales occurring at the start of January 2022.
While 2021 became the year of NFTs, GameFi applications did surpass DeFi in terms of user popularity. According to data from DappRadar, Bloomberg gathered:

Nearly 50% of active cryptocurrency wallets connected to decentralized applications in November were for playing games. The percentage of wallets linked to decentralized finance, or DeFi, dapps fell to 45% during the same period, after months of being the leading dapp use case.

Blockchain play-to-earn (P2E) game Axie infinity skyrocketed and kicked off a gaming craze that is expected to continue all throughout 2022. Crypto pundits and gaming advocates have high expectations for P2E blockchain-based games and there’s bound to be a few sleeping giants that will dominate the sector.

Let’s take a look at five blockchain games that could make waves in 2022.

DeFi Kingdoms

The inspiration for DeFi Kingdoms came from simple beginnings — a passion for investing that lured the developers to blockchain technology. DeFi Kingdoms was born as a visualization of liquidity pool investing where in-game ‘gardens’ represent literal and figurative token pairings and liquidity pool mining.

As shown in the game, investors have a portion of their LP share within a plot filled with blooming plants. By attaching the concept of growth to DeFi protocols within a play-and-earn model, DeFi Kingdoms puts a twist on “playing” a game.

Built on the Harmony Network, DeFi Kingdoms became the first project on the network to ever top the DappRadar charts. This could be attributed to an influx of individuals interested in both DeFi and blockchain games or it could be attributed to its recent in-game utility token JEWEL surging.

JEWEL is a utility token that allows users to purchase NFTs in-game buffs to increase a base-level stat. It is also used for liquidity mining to grant users the opportunity to make more JEWEL through staking.

JEWEL is also a governance token that gives holders a vote in the growth and evolution of the project. In the past four months, the token price surged from $1.23 to an all-time high of $22.52. At the time of writing, JEWEL is down by nearly 16%, trading at $19.51.

Surging approximately 1,487% from its humble start of $1.23 four months ago in September, JEWEL token price has increased roughly 165% this last month alone, according to data from CoinGecko.

Guild of Guardians

Guild of Guardians is one of the more anticipated blockchain games in 2022 and it is built on ImmutableX, the first layer-two solution built on Ethereum that focuses on NFTs. Aiming to provide more access, it will operate as a free-to-play mobile role-playing game, modeling the P2E mechanics.

Similar to blockchain games like Axie Infinity, Guild of Guardians in-game assets can be exchanged. The project seems to be of interest to many gamers and investors with its NFT founder sale and token launch generating nearly $10 million in volume.

Launching its in-game token in October of 2021, the Guild of Guardians (GOG) tokens are ERC-20 tokens known as ‘gems’ inside the game. Gems are what power key features in the game such as minting in-game NFTs and interacting with the marketplace, and are available to earn while playing.

For the last month, the Guild of Guardians token has performed rather steadily after spiking to its all-time high of $2.81 after its launch. Despite the token being down over 50% from its all-time high, at the time of writing, some members of the community are looking forward to the possibility of staking and liquidity pools, which are features that tend to help stabilize token prices.

CyberPunkMetalHead

CyberPunkMetalHead

1 year ago

It's all about the ego with Terra 2.0.

UST depegs and LUNA crashes 99.999% in a fraction of the time it takes the Moon to orbit the Earth.

Fat Man, a Terra whistle-blower, promises to expose Do Kwon's dirty secrets and shady deals.

The Terra community has voted to relaunch Terra LUNA on a new blockchain. The Terra 2.0 Pheonix-1 blockchain went live on May 28, 2022, and people were airdropped the new LUNA, now called LUNA, while the old LUNA became LUNA Classic.

Does LUNA deserve another chance? To answer this, or at least start a conversation about the Terra 2.0 chain's advantages and limitations, we must assess its fundamentals, ideology, and long-term vision.

Whatever the result, our analysis must be thorough and ruthless. A failure of this magnitude cannot happen again, so we must magnify every potential breaking point by 10.

Will UST and LUNA holders be compensated in full?

The obvious. First, and arguably most important, is to restore previous UST and LUNA holders' bags.

Terra 2.0 has 1,000,000,000,000 tokens to distribute.

  • 25% of a community pool

  • Holders of pre-attack LUNA: 35%

  • 10% of aUST holders prior to attack

  • Holders of LUNA after an attack: 10%

  • UST holders as of the attack: 20%

Every LUNA and UST holder has been compensated according to the above proposal.

According to self-reported data, the new chain has 210.000.000 tokens and a $1.3bn marketcap. LUNC and UST alone lost $40bn. The new token must fill this gap. Since launch:

LUNA holders collectively own $1b worth of LUNA if we subtract the 25% community pool airdrop from the current market cap and assume airdropped LUNA was never sold.

At the current supply, the chain must grow 40 times to compensate holders. At the current supply, LUNA must reach $240.

LUNA needs a full-on Bull Market to make LUNC and UST holders whole.

Who knows if you'll be whole? From the time you bought to the amount and price, there are too many variables to determine if Terra can cover individual losses.

The above distribution doesn't consider individual cases. Terra didn't solve individual cases. It would have been huge.

What does LUNA offer in terms of value?

UST's marketcap peaked at $18bn, while LUNC's was $41bn. LUNC and UST drove the Terra chain's value.

After it was confirmed (again) that algorithmic stablecoins are bad, Terra 2.0 will no longer support them.

Algorithmic stablecoins contributed greatly to Terra's growth and value proposition. Terra 2.0 has no product without algorithmic stablecoins.

Terra 2.0 has an identity crisis because it has no actual product. It's like Volkswagen faking carbon emission results and then stopping car production.

A project that has already lost the trust of its users and nearly all of its value cannot survive without a clear and in-demand use case.

Do Kwon, how about him?

Oh, the Twitter-caller-poor? Who challenges crypto billionaires to break his LUNA chain? Who dissolved Terra Labs South Korea before depeg? Arrogant guy?

That's not a good image for LUNA, especially when making amends. I think he should step down and let a nicer person be Terra 2.0's frontman.

The verdict

Terra has a terrific community with an arrogant, unlikeable leader. The new LUNA chain must grow 40 times before it can start making up its losses, and even then, not everyone's losses will be covered.

I won't invest in Terra 2.0 or other algorithmic stablecoins in the near future. I won't be near any Do Kwon-related project within 100 miles. My opinion.

Can Terra 2.0 be saved? Comment below.

Isaac Benson

Isaac Benson

1 year ago

What's the difference between Proof-of-Time and Proof-of-History?

Blockchain validates transactions with consensus algorithms. Bitcoin and Ethereum use Proof-of-Work, while Polkadot and Cardano use Proof-of-Stake.

Other consensus protocols are used to verify transactions besides these two. This post focuses on Proof-of-Time (PoT), used by Analog, and Proof-of-History (PoH), used by Solana as a hybrid consensus protocol.

PoT and PoH may seem similar to users, but they are actually very different protocols.

Proof-of-Time (PoT)

Analog developed Proof-of-Time (PoT) based on Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS). Users select "delegates" to validate the next block in DPoS. PoT uses a ranking system, and validators stake an equal amount of tokens. Validators also "self-select" themselves via a verifiable random function."

The ranking system gives network validators a performance score, with trustworthy validators with a long history getting higher scores. System also considers validator's fixed stake. PoT's ledger is called "Timechain."

Voting on delegates borrows from DPoS, but there are changes. PoT's first voting stage has validators (or "time electors" putting forward a block to be included in the ledger).

Validators are chosen randomly based on their ranking score and fixed stake. One validator is chosen at a time using a Verifiable Delay Function (VDF).

Validators use a verifiable delay function to determine if they'll propose a Timechain block. If chosen, they validate the transaction and generate a VDF proof before submitting both to other Timechain nodes.

This leads to the second process, where the transaction is passed through 1,000 validators selected using the same method. Each validator checks the transaction to ensure it's valid.

If the transaction passes, validators accept the block, and if over 2/3 accept it, it's added to the Timechain.

Proof-of-History (PoH)

Proof-of-History is a consensus algorithm that proves when a transaction occurred. PoH uses a VDF to verify transactions, like Proof-of-Time. Similar to Proof-of-Work, VDFs use a lot of computing power to calculate but little to verify transactions, similar to (PoW).

This shows users and validators how long a transaction took to verify.

PoH uses VDFs to verify event intervals. This process uses cryptography to prevent determining output from input.

The outputs of one transaction are used as inputs for the next. Timestamps record the inputs' order. This checks if data was created before an event.

PoT vs. PoH

PoT and PoH differ in that:

  • PoT uses VDFs to select validators (or time electors), while PoH measures time between events.

  • PoH uses a VDF to validate transactions, while PoT uses a ranking system.

  • PoT's VDF-elected validators verify transactions proposed by a previous validator. PoH uses a VDF to validate transactions and data.

Conclusion

Both Proof-of-Time (PoT) and Proof-of-History (PoH) validate blockchain transactions differently. PoT uses a ranking system to randomly select validators to verify transactions.

PoH uses a Verifiable Delay Function to validate transactions, verify how much time has passed between two events, and allow validators to quickly verify a transaction without malicious actors knowing the input.

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cdixon

cdixon

1 year ago

2000s Toys, Secrets, and Cycles

During the dot-com bust, I started my internet career. People used the internet intermittently to check email, plan travel, and do research. The average internet user spent 30 minutes online a day, compared to 7 today. To use the internet, you had to "log on" (most people still used dial-up), unlike today's always-on, high-speed mobile internet. In 2001, Amazon's market cap was $2.2B, 1/500th of what it is today. A study asked Americans if they'd adopt broadband, and most said no. They didn't see a need to speed up email, the most popular internet use. The National Academy of Sciences ranked the internet 13th among the 100 greatest inventions, below radio and phones. The internet was a cool invention, but it had limited uses and wasn't a good place to build a business. 

A small but growing movement of developers and founders believed the internet could be more than a read-only medium, allowing anyone to create and publish. This is web 2. The runner up name was read-write web. (These terms were used in prominent publications and conferences.) 

Web 2 concepts included letting users publish whatever they want ("user generated content" was a buzzword), social graphs, APIs and mashups (what we call composability today), and tagging over hierarchical navigation. Technical innovations occurred. A seemingly simple but important one was dynamically updating web pages without reloading. This is now how people expect web apps to work. Mobile devices that could access the web were niche (I was an avid Sidekick user). 

The contrast between what smart founders and engineers discussed over dinner and on weekends and what the mainstream tech world took seriously during the week was striking. Enterprise security appliances, essentially preloaded servers with security software, were a popular trend. Many of the same people would talk about "serious" products at work, then talk about consumer internet products and web 2. It was tech's biggest news. Web 2 products were seen as toys, not real businesses. They were hobbies, not work-related. 

There's a strong correlation between rich product design spaces and what smart people find interesting, which took me some time to learn and led to blog posts like "The next big thing will start out looking like a toy" Web 2's novel product design possibilities sparked dinner and weekend conversations. Imagine combining these features. What if you used this pattern elsewhere? What new product ideas are next? This excited people. "Serious stuff" like security appliances seemed more limited. 

The small and passionate web 2 community also stood out. I attended the first New York Tech meetup in 2004. Everyone fit in Meetup's small conference room. Late at night, people demoed their software and chatted. I have old friends. Sometimes I get asked how I first met old friends like Fred Wilson and Alexis Ohanian. These topics didn't interest many people, especially on the east coast. We were friends. Real community. Alex Rampell, who now works with me at a16z, is someone I met in 2003 when a friend said, "Hey, I met someone else interested in consumer internet." Rare. People were focused and enthusiastic. Revolution seemed imminent. We knew a secret nobody else did. 

My web 2 startup was called SiteAdvisor. When my co-founders and I started developing the idea in 2003, web security was out of control. Phishing and spyware were common on Internet Explorer PCs. SiteAdvisor was designed to warn users about security threats like phishing and spyware, and then, using web 2 concepts like user-generated reviews, add more subjective judgments (similar to what TrustPilot seems to do today). This staged approach was common at the time; I called it "Come for the tool, stay for the network." We built APIs, encouraged mashups, and did SEO marketing. 

Yahoo's 2005 acquisitions of Flickr and Delicious boosted web 2 in 2005. By today's standards, the amounts were small, around $30M each, but it was a signal. Web 2 was assumed to be a fun hobby, a way to build cool stuff, but not a business. Yahoo was a savvy company that said it would make web 2 a priority. 

As I recall, that's when web 2 started becoming mainstream tech. Early web 2 founders transitioned successfully. Other entrepreneurs built on the early enthusiasts' work. Competition shifted from ideation to execution. You had to decide if you wanted to be an idealistic indie bar band or a pragmatic stadium band. 

Web 2 was booming in 2007 Facebook passed 10M users, Twitter grew and got VC funding, and Google bought YouTube. The 2008 financial crisis tested entrepreneurs' resolve. Smart people predicted another great depression as tech funding dried up. 

Many people struggled during the recession. 2008-2011 was a golden age for startups. By 2009, talented founders were flooding Apple's iPhone app store. Mobile apps were booming. Uber, Venmo, Snap, and Instagram were all founded between 2009 and 2011. Social media (which had replaced web 2), cloud computing (which enabled apps to scale server side), and smartphones converged. Even if social, cloud, and mobile improve linearly, the combination could improve exponentially. 

This chart shows how I view product and financial cycles. Product and financial cycles evolve separately. The Nasdaq index is a proxy for the financial sentiment. Financial sentiment wildly fluctuates. 

Next row shows iconic startup or product years. Bottom-row product cycles dictate timing. Product cycles are more predictable than financial cycles because they follow internal logic. In the incubation phase, enthusiasts build products for other enthusiasts on nights and weekends. When the right mix of technology, talent, and community knowledge arrives, products go mainstream. (I show the biggest tech cycles in the chart, but smaller ones happen, like web 2 in the 2000s and fintech and SaaS in the 2010s.) 

Tech has changed since the 2000s. Few tech giants dominate the internet, exerting economic and cultural influence. In the 2000s, web 2 was ignored or dismissed as trivial. Entrenched interests respond aggressively to new movements that could threaten them. Creative patterns from the 2000s continue today, driven by enthusiasts who see possibilities where others don't. Know where to look. Crypto and web 3 are where I'd start. 

Today's negative financial sentiment reminds me of 2008. If we face a prolonged downturn, we can learn from 2008 by preserving capital and focusing on the long term. Keep an eye on the product cycle. Smart people are interested in things with product potential. This becomes true. Toys become necessities. Hobbies become mainstream. Optimists build the future, not cynics.


Full article is available here

Tim Denning

Tim Denning

1 year ago

I gave up climbing the corporate ladder once I realized how deeply unhappy everyone at the top was.

Restructuring and layoffs cause career reevaluation. Your career can benefit.

Photo by Humberto Chavez on Unsplash

Once you become institutionalized, the corporate ladder is all you know.

You're bubbled. Extremists term it the corporate Matrix. I'm not so severe because the business world brainwashed me, too.

This boosted my corporate career.

Until I hit bottom.

15 months later, I view my corporate life differently. You may wish to advance professionally. Read this before you do.

Your happiness in the workplace may be deceptive.

I've been fortunate to spend time with corporate aces.

Working for 2.5 years in banking social media gave me some of these experiences. Earlier in my career, I recorded interviews with business leaders.

These people have titles like Chief General Manager and Head Of. New titles brought life-changing salaries.

They seemed happy.

I’d pass them in the hallway and they’d smile or shake my hand. I dreamt of having their life.

The ominous pattern

Unfiltered talks with some of them revealed a different world.

They acted well. They were skilled at smiling and saying the correct things. All had the same dark pattern, though.

Something felt off.

I found my conversations with them were generally for their benefit. They hoped my online antics as a writer/coach would shed light on their dilemma.

They'd tell me they wanted more. When you're one position away from CEO, it's hard not to wonder if this next move will matter.

What really displeased corporate ladder chasers

Before ascending further, consider these.

Zero autonomy

As you rise in a company, your days get busier.

Many people and initiatives need supervision. Everyone expects you to know business details. Weak when you don't. A poor leader is fired during the next restructuring and left to pursue their corporate ambition.

Full calendars leave no time for reflection. You can't have a coffee with a friend or waste a day.

You’re always on call. It’s a roll call kinda life.

Unable to express oneself freely

My 8 years of LinkedIn writing helped me meet these leaders.

I didn't think they'd care. Mistake.

Corporate leaders envied me because they wanted to talk freely again without corporate comms or a PR firm directing them what to say.

They couldn't share their flaws or inspiring experiences.

They wanted to.

Every day they were muzzled eroded by their business dream.

Limited family time

Top leaders had families.

They've climbed the corporate ladder. Nothing excellent happens overnight.

Corporate dreamers rarely saw their families.

Late meetings, customer functions, expos, training, leadership days, team days, town halls, and product demos regularly occurred after work.

Or they had to travel interstate or internationally for work events. They used bags and motel showers.

Initially, they said business class flights and hotels were nice. They'd get bored. 5-star hotels become monotonous.

No hotel beats home.

One leader said he hadn't seen his daughter much. They used to Facetime, but now that he's been gone so long, she rarely wants to talk to him.

So they iPad-parented.

You're miserable without your family.

Held captive by other job titles

Going up the business ladder seems like a battle.

Leaders compete for business gains and corporate advancement.

I saw shocking filthy tricks. Leaders would lie to seem nice.

Captives included top officials.

A different section every week. If they ran technology, the Head of Sales would argue their CRM cost millions. Or an Operations chief would battle a product team over support requests.

After one conflict, another began.

Corporate echelons are antagonistic. Huge pay and bonuses guarantee bad behavior.

Overly centered on revenue

As you rise, revenue becomes more prevalent. Most days, you'd believe revenue was everything. Here’s the problem…

Numbers drain us.

Unless you're a closet math nerd, contemplating and talking about numbers drains your creativity.

Revenue will never substitute impact.

Incapable of taking risks

Corporate success requires taking fewer risks.

Risks can cause dismissal. Risks can interrupt business. Keep things moving so you may keep getting paid your enormous salary and bonus.

Restructuring or layoffs are inevitable. All corporate climbers experience it.

On this fateful day, a small few realize the game they’ve been trapped in and escape. Most return to play for a new company, but it takes time.

Addiction keeps them trapped. You know nothing else. The rest is strange.

You start to think “I’m getting old” or “it’s nearly retirement.” So you settle yet again for the trappings of the corporate ladder game to nowhere.

Should you climb the corporate ladder?

Let me end on a surprising note.

Young people should ascend the corporate ladder. It teaches you business skills and helps support your side gig and (potential) online business.

Don't get trapped, shackled, or muzzled.

Your ideas and creativity become stifled after too much gaming play.

Corporate success won't bring happiness.

Find fulfilling employment that matters. That's it.

Victoria Kurichenko

Victoria Kurichenko

1 year ago

What Happened After I Posted an AI-Generated Post on My Website

This could cost you.

Image credit: istockphoto

Content creators may have heard about Google's "Helpful content upgrade."

This change is another Google effort to remove low-quality, repetitive, and AI-generated content.

Why should content creators care?

Because too much content manipulates search results.

My experience includes the following.

Website admins seek high-quality guest posts from me. They send me AI-generated text after I say "yes." My readers are irrelevant. Backlinks are needed.

Companies copy high-ranking content to boost their Google rankings. Unfortunately, it's common.

What does this content offer?

Nothing.

Despite Google's updates and efforts to clean search results, webmasters create manipulative content.

As a marketer, I knew about AI-powered content generation tools. However, I've never tried them.

I use old-fashioned content creation methods to grow my website from 0 to 3,000 monthly views in one year.

Last year, I launched a niche website.

I do keyword research, analyze search intent and competitors' content, write an article, proofread it, and then optimize it.

This strategy is time-consuming.

But it yields results!

Here's proof from Google Analytics:

Traffic report August 2021 — August 2022

Proven strategies yield promising results.

To validate my assumptions and find new strategies, I run many experiments.

I tested an AI-powered content generator.

I used a tool to write this Google-optimized article about SEO for startups.

I wanted to analyze AI-generated content's Google performance.

Here are the outcomes of my test.

First, quality.

I dislike "meh" content. I expect articles to answer my questions. If not, I've wasted my time.

My essays usually include research, personal anecdotes, and what I accomplished and achieved.

AI-generated articles aren't as good because they lack individuality.

Read my AI-generated article about startup SEO to see what I mean.

An excerpt from my AI-generated article.

It's dry and shallow, IMO.

It seems robotic.

I'd use quotes and personal experience to show how SEO for startups is different.

My article paraphrases top-ranked articles on a certain topic.

It's readable but useless. Similar articles abound online. Why read it?

AI-generated content is low-quality.

Let me show you how this content ranks on Google.

The Google Search Console report shows impressions, clicks, and average position.

The AI-generated article performance

Low numbers.

No one opens the 5th Google search result page to read the article. Too far!

You may say the new article will improve.

Marketing-wise, I doubt it.

This article is shorter and less comprehensive than top-ranking pages. It's unlikely to win because of this.

AI-generated content's terrible reality.

I'll compare how this content I wrote for readers and SEO performs.

Both the AI and my article are fresh, but trends are emerging.

Here is how my article written with SEO and users in mind, performs

My article's CTR and average position are higher.

I spent a week researching and producing that piece, unlike AI-generated content. My expert perspective and unique consequences make it interesting to read.

Human-made.

In summary

No content generator can duplicate a human's tone, writing style, or creativity. Artificial content is always inferior.

Not "bad," but inferior.

Demand for content production tools will rise despite Google's efforts to eradicate thin content.

Most won't spend hours producing link-building articles. Costly.

As guest and sponsored posts, artificial content will thrive.

Before accepting a new arrangement, content creators and website owners should consider this.