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Sammy Abdullah

Sammy Abdullah

1 year ago

SaaS payback period data

More on Entrepreneurship/Creators

Pat Vieljeux

Pat Vieljeux

1 year ago

In 5 minutes, you can tell if a startup will succeed.

Or the “lie to me” method.

I can predict a startup's success in minutes.

Just interview its founder.

Ask "why?"

I question "why" till I sense him.

I need to feel the person I have in front of me. I need to know if he or she can deliver. Startups aren't easy. Without abilities, a brilliant idea will fail.

Good entrepreneurs have these qualities: He's a leader, determined, and resilient.

For me, they can be split in two categories.

The first entrepreneur aspires to live meaningfully. The second wants to get rich. The second is communicative. He wants to wow the crowd. He's motivated by the thought of one day sailing a boat past palm trees and sunny beaches.

What drives the first entrepreneur is evident in his speech, face, and voice. He will not speak about his product. He's (nearly) uninterested. He's not selling anything. He's not a salesman. He wants to succeed. The product is his fuel.

He'll explain his decision. He'll share his motivations. His desire. And he'll use meaningful words.

Paul Ekman has shown that face expressions aren't cultural. His study influenced the American TV series "lie to me" about body language and speech.

Passionate entrepreneurs are obvious. It's palpable. Faking passion is tough. Someone who wants your favor and money will expose his actual motives through his expressions and language.

The good liar will be able to fool you for a while, but not for long if you pay attention to his body language and how he expresses himself.

And also, if you look at his business plan.

His business plan reveals his goals. Read between the lines.

Entrepreneur 1 will focus on his "why", whereas Entrepreneur 2 will focus on the "how".

Entrepreneur 1 will develop a vision-driven culture.

The second, on the other hand, will focus on his EBITDA.

Why is the culture so critical? Because it will allow entrepreneur 1 to develop a solid team that can tackle his problems and trials. His team's "why" will keep them together in tough times.

"Give me a terrific start-up team with a mediocre idea over a weak one any day." Because a great team knows when to pivot and trusts each other. Weak teams fail.” — Bernhard Schroeder

Closings thoughts

Every VC must ask Why. Entrepreneur's motivations. This "why" will create the team's culture. This culture will help the team adjust to any setback.

Stephen Moore

Stephen Moore

1 year ago

Adam Neumanns is working to create the future of living in a classic example of a guy failing upward.

The comeback tour continues…

Image: Edited by author

First, he founded a $47 billion co-working company (sorry, a “tech company”).

He established WeLive to disrupt apartment life.

Then he created WeGrow, a school that tossed aside the usual curriculum to feed children's souls and release their potential.

He raised the world’s consciousness.

Then he blew it all up (without raising the world’s consciousness). (He bought a wave pool.)

Adam Neumann's WeWork business burned investors' money. The founder sailed off with unimaginable riches, leaving long-time employees with worthless stocks and the company bleeding money. His track record, which includes a failing baby clothing company, should have stopped investors cold.

Once the dust settled, folks went on. We forgot about the Neumanns! We forgot about the private jets, company retreats, many houses, and WeWork's crippling. In that moment, the prodigal son of entrepreneurship returned, choosing the blockchain as his industry. His homecoming tour began with Flowcarbon, which sold Goddess Nature Tokens to lessen companies' carbon footprints.

Did it work?

Of course not.

Despite receiving $70 million from Andreessen Horowitz's a16z, the project has been halted just two months after its announcement.

This triumph should lower his grade.

Neumann seems to have moved on and has another revolutionary idea for the future of living. Flow (not Flowcarbon) aims to help people live in flow and will launch in 2023. It's the classic Neumann pitch: lofty goals, yogababble, and charisma to attract investors.

It's a winning formula for one investment fund. a16z has backed the project with its largest single check, $350 million. It has a splash page and 3,000 rental units, but is valued at over $1 billion. The blog post praised Neumann for reimagining the office and leading a paradigm-shifting global company.

Image: https://www.flow.life

Flow's mission is to solve the nation's housing crisis. How? Idk. It involves offering community-centric services in apartment properties to the same remote workforce he once wooed with free beer and a pingpong table. Revolutionary! It seems the goal is to apply WeWork's goals of transforming physical spaces and building community to apartments to solve many of today's housing problems.

The elevator pitch probably sounded great.

At least a16z knows it's a near-impossible task, calling it a seismic shift. Marc Andreessen opposes affordable housing in his wealthy Silicon Valley town. As details of the project emerge, more investors will likely throw ethics and morals out the window to go with the flow, throwing money at a man known for burning through it while building toxic companies, hoping he can bank another fantasy valuation before it all crashes.

Insanity is repeating the same action and expecting a different result. Everyone on the Neumann hype train needs to sober up.

Like WeWork, this venture Won’tWork.

Like before, it'll cause a shitstorm.

Edward Williams

Edward Williams

1 year ago

I currently manage 4 profitable online companies. I find all the generic advice and garbage courses very frustrating. The only advice you need is this.

A man playing chess.

This is for young entrepreneurs, especially in tech.

People give useless success advice on TikTok and Reddit. Early risers, bookworms, etc. Entrepreneurship courses. Work hard and hustle.

False. These aren't successful traits.

I mean, organization is good. As someone who founded several businesses and now works at a VC firm, I find these tips to be clichés.

Based on founding four successful businesses and working with other successful firms, here's my best actionable advice:

1. Choose a sector or a niche and become an expert in it.

This is more generic than my next tip, but it's a must-do that's often overlooked. Become an expert in the industry or niche you want to enter. Discover everything.

Buy (future) competitors' products. Understand consumers' pain points. Market-test. Target keyword combos. Learn technical details.

The most successful businesses I've worked with were all formed by 9-5 employees. They knew the industry's pain points. They started a business targeting these pain points.

2. Choose a niche or industry crossroads to target.

How do you choose an industry or niche? What if your industry is too competitive?

List your skills and hobbies. Randomness is fine. Find an intersection between two interests or skills.

Say you build websites well. You like cars.

Web design is a *very* competitive industry. Cars and web design?

Instead of web design, target car dealers and mechanics. Build a few fake demo auto mechanic websites, then cold call shops with poor websites. Verticalize.

I've noticed a pattern:

  • Person works in a particular industry for a corporation.

  • Person gains expertise in the relevant industry.

  • Person quits their job and launches a small business to address a problem that their former employer was unwilling to address.

I originally posted this on Reddit and it seemed to have taken off so I decided to share it with you all.

Focus on the product. When someone buys from you, you convince them the product's value exceeds the price. It's not fair and favors the buyer.

Creating a superior product or service will win. Narrowing this helps you outcompete others.

You may be their only (lucky) option.

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Vivek Singh

Vivek Singh

2 years ago

A Warm Welcome to Web3 and the Future of the Internet

Let's take a look back at the internet's history and see where we're going — and why.

Tim Berners Lee had a problem. He was at CERN, the world's largest particle physics factory, at the time. The institute's stated goal was to study the simplest particles with the most sophisticated scientific instruments. The institute completed the LEP Tunnel in 1988, a 27 kilometer ring. This was Europe's largest civil engineering project (to study smaller particles — electrons).

The problem Tim Berners Lee found was information loss, not particle physics. CERN employed a thousand people in 1989. Due to team size and complexity, people often struggled to recall past project information. While these obstacles could be overcome, high turnover was nearly impossible. Berners Lee addressed the issue in a proposal titled ‘Information Management'.

When a typical stay is two years, data is constantly lost. The introduction of new people takes a lot of time from them and others before they understand what is going on. An emergency situation may require a detective investigation to recover technical details of past projects. Often, the data is recorded but cannot be found. — Information Management: A Proposal

He had an idea. Create an information management system that allowed users to access data in a decentralized manner using a new technology called ‘hypertext'.
To quote Berners Lee, his proposal was “vague but exciting...”. The paper eventually evolved into the internet we know today. Here are three popular W3C standards used by billions of people today:


(credit: CERN)

HTML (Hypertext Markup)

A web formatting language.

URI (Unique Resource Identifier)

Each web resource has its own “address”. Known as ‘a URL'.

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)

Retrieves linked resources from across the web.

These technologies underpin all computer work. They were the seeds of our quest to reorganize information, a task as fruitful as particle physics.

Tim Berners-Lee would probably think the three decades from 1989 to 2018 were eventful. He'd be amazed by the billions, the inspiring, the novel. Unlocking innovation at CERN through ‘Information Management'.
The fictional character would probably need a drink, walk, and a few deep breaths to fully grasp the internet's impact. He'd be surprised to see a few big names in the mix.

Then he'd say, "Something's wrong here."

We should review the web's history before going there. Was it a success after Berners Lee made it public? Web1 and Web2: What is it about what we are doing now that so many believe we need a new one, web3?

Per Outlier Ventures' Jamie Burke:

Web 1.0 was read-only.
Web 2.0 was the writable
Web 3.0 is a direct-write web.

Let's explore.

Web1: The Read-Only Web

Web1 was the digital age. We put our books, research, and lives ‘online'. The web made information retrieval easier than any filing cabinet ever. Massive amounts of data were stored online. Encyclopedias, medical records, and entire libraries were put away into floppy disks and hard drives.

In 2015, the web had around 305,500,000,000 pages of content (280 million copies of Atlas Shrugged).

Initially, one didn't expect to contribute much to this database. Web1 was an online version of the real world, but not yet a new way of using the invention.

One gets the impression that the web has been underutilized by historians if all we can say about it is that it has become a giant global fax machine. — Daniel Cohen, The Web's Second Decade (2004)

That doesn't mean developers weren't building. The web was being advanced by great minds. Web2 was born as technology advanced.

Web2: Read-Write Web

Remember when you clicked something on a website and the whole page refreshed? Is it too early to call the mid-2000s ‘the good old days'?
Browsers improved gradually, then suddenly. AJAX calls augmented CGI scripts, and applications began sending data back and forth without disrupting the entire web page. One button to ‘digg' a post (see below). Web experiences blossomed.

In 2006, Digg was the most active ‘Web 2.0' site. (Photo: Ethereum Foundation Taylor Gerring)

Interaction was the focus of new applications. Posting, upvoting, hearting, pinning, tweeting, liking, commenting, and clapping became a lexicon of their own. It exploded in 2004. Easy ways to ‘write' on the internet grew, and continue to grow.

Facebook became a Web2 icon, where users created trillions of rows of data. Google and Amazon moved from Web1 to Web2 by better understanding users and building products and services that met their needs.

Business models based on Software-as-a-Service and then managing consumer data within them for a fee have exploded.

Web2 Emerging Issues

Unbelievably, an intriguing dilemma arose. When creating this read-write web, a non-trivial question skirted underneath the covers. Who owns it all?

You have no control over [Web 2] online SaaS. People didn't realize this because SaaS was so new. People have realized this is the real issue in recent years.

Even if these organizations have good intentions, their incentive is not on the users' side.
“You are not their customer, therefore you are their product,” they say. With Laura Shin, Vitalik Buterin, Unchained

A good plot line emerges. Many amazing, world-changing software products quietly lost users' data control.
For example: Facebook owns much of your social graph data. Even if you hate Facebook, you can't leave without giving up that data. There is no ‘export' or ‘exit'. The platform owns ownership.

While many companies can pull data on you, you cannot do so.

On the surface, this isn't an issue. These companies use my data better than I do! A complex group of stakeholders, each with their own goals. One is maximizing shareholder value for public companies. Tim Berners-Lee (and others) dislike the incentives created.

“Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.” — Berkshire Hathaway's CEO

It's easy to see what the read-write web has allowed in retrospect. We've been given the keys to create content instead of just consume it. On Facebook and Twitter, anyone with a laptop and internet can participate. But the engagement isn't ours. Platforms own themselves.

Web3: The ‘Unmediated’ Read-Write Web

Tim Berners Lee proposed a decade ago that ‘linked data' could solve the internet's data problem.

However, until recently, the same principles that allowed the Web of documents to thrive were not applied to data...

The Web of Data also allows for new domain-specific applications. Unlike Web 2.0 mashups, Linked Data applications work with an unbound global data space. As new data sources appear on the Web, they can provide more complete answers.

At around the same time as linked data research began, Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin. After ten years, it appears that Berners Lee's ideas ‘link' spiritually with cryptocurrencies.

What should Web 3 do?

Here are some quick predictions for the web's future.

Users' data:
Users own information and provide it to corporations, businesses, or services that will benefit them.

Defying censorship:

No government, company, or institution should control your access to information (1, 2, 3)

Connect users and platforms:

Create symbiotic rather than competitive relationships between users and platform creators.

Open networks:

“First, the cryptonetwork-participant contract is enforced in open source code. Their voices and exits are used to keep them in check.” Dixon, Chris (4)

Global interactivity:

Transacting value, information, or assets with anyone with internet access, anywhere, at low cost

Self-determination:

Giving you the ability to own, see, and understand your entire digital identity.

Not pull, push:

‘Push' your data to trusted sources instead of ‘pulling' it from others.

Where Does This Leave Us?

Change incentives, change the world. Nick Babalola

People believe web3 can help build a better, fairer system. This is not the same as equal pay or outcomes, but more equal opportunity.

It should be noted that some of these advantages have been discussed previously. Will the changes work? Will they make a difference? These unanswered questions are technical, economic, political, and philosophical. Unintended consequences are likely.

We hope Web3 is a more democratic web. And we think incentives help the user. If there’s one thing that’s on our side, it’s that open has always beaten closed, given a long enough timescale.

We are at the start. 

Josef Cruz

Josef Cruz

1 year ago

My friend worked in a startup scam that preys on slothful individuals.

He explained everything.

Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

A drinking buddy confessed. Alexander. He says he works at a startup based on a scam, which appears too clever to be a lie.

Alexander (assuming he developed the story) or the startup's creator must have been a genius.

This is the story of an Internet scam that targets older individuals and generates tens of millions of dollars annually.

The business sells authentic things at 10% of their market value. This firm cannot be lucrative, but the entrepreneur has a plan: monthly subscriptions to a worthless service.

The firm can then charge the customer's credit card to settle the gap. The buyer must subscribe without knowing it. What's their strategy?

How does the con operate?

Imagine a website with a split homepage. On one page, the site offers an attractive goods at a ridiculous price (from 1 euro to 10% of the product's market worth).

Same product, but with a stupid monthly subscription. Business is unsustainable. They buy overpriced products and resell them too cheaply, hoping customers will subscribe to a useless service.

No customer will want this service. So they create another illegal homepage that hides the monthly subscription offer. After an endless scroll, a box says Yes, I want to subscribe to a service that costs x dollars per month.

Unchecking the checkbox bugs. When a customer buys a product on this page, he's enrolled in a monthly subscription. Not everyone should see it because it's illegal. So what does the startup do?

A page that varies based on the sort of website visitor, a possible consumer or someone who might be watching the startup's business

Startup technicians make sure the legal page is displayed when the site is accessed normally. Typing the web address in the browser, using Google, etc. The page crashes when buying a goods, preventing the purchase.

This avoids the startup from selling a product at a loss because the buyer won't subscribe to the worthless service and charge their credit card each month.

The illegal page only appears if a customer clicks on a Google ad, indicating interest in the offer.

Alexander says that a banker, police officer, or anyone else who visits the site (maybe for control) will only see a valid and buggy site as purchases won't be possible.

The latter will go to the site in the regular method (by typing the address in the browser, using Google, etc.) and not via an online ad.

Those who visit from ads are likely already lured by the site's price. They'll be sent to an illegal page that requires a subscription.

Laziness is humanity's secret weapon. The ordinary person ignores tiny monthly credit card charges. The subscription lasts around a year before the customer sees an unexpected deduction.

After-sales service (ASS) is useful in this situation.

After-sales assistance begins when a customer notices slight changes on his credit card, usually a year later.

The customer will search Google for the direct debit reference. How he'll complain to after-sales service.

It's crucial that ASS appears in the top 4/5 Google search results. This site must be clear, and offer chat, phone, etc., he argues.

The pigeon must be comforted after waking up. The customer learns via after-sales service that he subscribed to a service while buying the product, which justifies the debits on his card.

The customer will then clarify that he didn't intend to make the direct debits. The after-sales care professional will pretend to listen to the customer's arguments and complaints, then offer to unsubscribe him for free because his predicament has affected him.

In 99% of cases, the consumer is satisfied since the after-sales support unsubscribed him for free, and he forgets the debited amounts.

The remaining 1% is split between 0.99% who are delighted to be reimbursed and 0.01%. We'll pay until they're done. The customer should be delighted, not object or complain, and keep us beneath the radar (their situation is resolved, the rest, they don’t care).

It works, so we expand our thinking.

Startup has considered industrialization. Since this fraud is working, try another. Automate! So they used a site generator (only for product modifications), underpaid phone operators for after-sales service, and interns for fresh product ideas.

The company employed a data scientist. This has allowed the startup to recognize that specific customer profiles can be re-registered in the database and that it will take X months before they realize they're subscribing to a worthless service. Customers are re-subscribed to another service, then unsubscribed before realizing it.

Alexander took months to realize the deception and leave. Lawyers and others apparently threatened him and former colleagues who tried to talk about it.

The startup would have earned prizes and competed in contests. He adds they can provide evidence to any consumer group, media, police/gendarmerie, or relevant body. When I submitted my information to the FBI, I was told, "We know, we can't do much.", he says.

Modern Eremite

Modern Eremite

1 year 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.


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