Integrity
Write
Loading...
Nathan Reiff

Nathan Reiff

7 months ago

Howey Test and Cryptocurrencies: 'Every ICO Is a Security'

What Is the Howey Test?

To determine whether a transaction qualifies as a "investment contract" and thus qualifies as a security, the Howey Test refers to the U.S. Supreme Court cass: the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. According to the Howey Test, an investment contract exists when "money is invested in a common enterprise with a reasonable expectation of profits from others' efforts." 

The test applies to any contract, scheme, or transaction. The Howey Test helps investors and project backers understand blockchain and digital currency projects. ICOs and certain cryptocurrencies may be found to be "investment contracts" under the test.

Understanding the Howey Test

The Howey Test comes from the 1946 Supreme Court case SEC v. W.J. Howey Co. The Howey Company sold citrus groves to Florida buyers who leased them back to Howey. The company would maintain the groves and sell the fruit for the owners. Both parties benefited. Most buyers had no farming experience and were not required to farm the land. 

The SEC intervened because Howey failed to register the transactions. The court ruled that the leaseback agreements were investment contracts.

This established four criteria for determining an investment contract. Investing contract:

  1. An investment of money
  2. n a common enterprise
  3. With the expectation of profit
  4. To be derived from the efforts of others

In the case of Howey, the buyers saw the transactions as valuable because others provided the labor and expertise. An income stream was obtained by only investing capital. As a result of the Howey Test, the transaction had to be registered with the SEC.

Howey Test and Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin is notoriously difficult to categorize. Decentralized, they evade regulation in many ways. Regardless, the SEC is looking into digital assets and determining when their sale qualifies as an investment contract.

The SEC claims that selling digital assets meets the "investment of money" test because fiat money or other digital assets are being exchanged. Like the "common enterprise" test. 

Whether a digital asset qualifies as an investment contract depends on whether there is a "expectation of profit from others' efforts."

For example, buyers of digital assets may be relying on others' efforts if they expect the project's backers to build and maintain the digital network, rather than a dispersed community of unaffiliated users. Also, if the project's backers create scarcity by burning tokens, the test is met. Another way the "efforts of others" test is met is if the project's backers continue to act in a managerial role.

These are just a few examples given by the SEC. If a project's success is dependent on ongoing support from backers, the buyer of the digital asset is likely relying on "others' efforts."

Special Considerations

If the SEC determines a cryptocurrency token is a security, many issues arise. It means the SEC can decide whether a token can be sold to US investors and forces the project to register. 

In 2017, the SEC ruled that selling DAO tokens for Ether violated federal securities laws. Instead of enforcing securities laws, the SEC issued a warning to the cryptocurrency industry. 

Due to the Howey Test, most ICOs today are likely inaccessible to US investors. After a year of ICOs, then-SEC Chair Jay Clayton declared them all securities. 

SEC Chairman Gensler Agrees With Predecessor: 'Every ICO Is a Security'

Howey Test FAQs

How Do You Determine If Something Is a Security?

The Howey Test determines whether certain transactions are "investment contracts." Securities are transactions that qualify as "investment contracts" under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The Howey Test looks for a "investment of money in a common enterprise with a reasonable expectation of profits from others' efforts." If so, the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 require disclosure and registration.

Why Is Bitcoin Not a Security?

Former SEC Chair Jay Clayton clarified in June 2018 that bitcoin is not a security: "Cryptocurrencies: Replace the dollar, euro, and yen with bitcoin. That type of currency is not a security," said Clayton.

Bitcoin, which has never sought public funding to develop its technology, fails the SEC's Howey Test. However, according to Clayton, ICO tokens are securities. 

A Security Defined by the SEC

In the public and private markets, securities are fungible and tradeable financial instruments. The SEC regulates public securities sales.

The Supreme Court defined a security offering in SEC v. W.J. Howey Co. In its judgment, the court defines a security using four criteria:

  • An investment contract's existence
  • The formation of a common enterprise
  • The issuer's profit promise
  • Third-party promotion of the offering

Read original post.

More on Web3 & Crypto

Julie Plavnik

Julie Plavnik

2 months ago

How to Become a Crypto Broker [Complying and Making Money]

Three options exist. The third one is the quickest and most fruitful.

How To Become a Cryptocurrency Broker?

You've mastered crypto trading and want to become a broker.

So you may wonder: Where to begin?

If so, keep reading.

Today I'll compare three different approaches to becoming a cryptocurrency trader.

What are cryptocurrency brokers, and how do they vary from stockbrokers?

A stockbroker implements clients' market orders (retail or institutional ones).

Brokerage firms are regulated, insured, and subject to regulatory monitoring.

Stockbrokers are required between buyers and sellers. They can't trade without a broker. To trade, a trader must open a broker account and deposit money. When a trader shops, he tells his broker what orders to place.

Crypto brokerage is trade intermediation with cryptocurrency.

In crypto trading, however, brokers are optional.

Crypto exchanges offer direct transactions. Open an exchange account (no broker needed) and make a deposit.

Question:

Since crypto allows DIY trading, why use a broker?

Let's compare cryptocurrency exchanges vs. brokers.

Broker versus cryptocurrency exchange

Most existing crypto exchanges are basically brokers.

Examine their primary services:

  • connecting purchasers and suppliers

  • having custody of clients' money (with the exception of decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges),

  • clearance of transactions.

Brokerage is comparable, don't you think?

There are exceptions. I mean a few large crypto exchanges that follow the stock exchange paradigm. They outsource brokerage, custody, and clearing operations. Classic exchange setups are rare in today's bitcoin industry.

Back to our favorite “standard” crypto exchanges. All-in-one exchanges and brokers. And usually, they operate under a broker or a broker-dealer license, save for the exchanges registered somewhere in a free-trade offshore paradise. Those don’t bother with any licensing.

What’s the sense of having two brokers at a time?

Better liquidity and trading convenience.

The crypto business is compartmentalized.

We have CEXs, DEXs, hybrid exchanges, and semi-exchanges (those that aggregate liquidity but do not execute orders on their sides). All have unique regulations and act as sovereign states.

There are about 18k coins and hundreds of blockchain protocols, most of which are heterogeneous (i.e., different in design and not interoperable).

A trader must register many accounts on different exchanges, deposit funds, and manage them all concurrently to access global crypto liquidity.

It’s extremely inconvenient.

Crypto liquidity fragmentation is the largest obstacle and bottleneck blocking crypto from mass adoption.

Crypto brokers help clients solve this challenge by providing one-gate access to deep and diverse crypto liquidity from numerous exchanges and suppliers. Professionals and institutions need it.

Another killer feature of a brokerage may be allowing clients to trade crypto with fiat funds exclusively, without fiat/crypto conversion. It is essential for professional and institutional traders.

Who may work as a cryptocurrency broker?

Apparently, not anyone. Brokerage requires high-powered specialists because it involves other people's money.

Here's the essentials:

  • excellent knowledge, skills, and years of trading experience

  • high-quality, quick, and secure infrastructure

  • highly developed team

  • outstanding trading capital

  • High-ROI network: long-standing, trustworthy connections with customers, exchanges, liquidity providers, payment gates, and similar entities

  • outstanding marketing and commercial development skills.

What about a license for a cryptocurrency broker? Is it necessary?

Complex question.

If you plan to play in white-glove jurisdictions, you may need a license. For example, in the US, as a “money transmitter” or as a CASSP (crypto asset secondary services provider) in Australia.

Even in these jurisdictions, there are no clear, holistic crypto brokerage and licensing policies.

Your lawyer will help you decide if your crypto brokerage needs a license.

Getting a license isn't quick. Two years of patience are needed.

How can you turn into a cryptocurrency broker?

Finally, we got there! 🎉

Three actionable ways exist:

  1. To kickstart a regulated stand-alone crypto broker

  2. To get a crypto broker franchise, and

  3. To become a liquidity network broker.

Let's examine each.

1. Opening a regulated cryptocurrency broker

It's difficult. Especially If you're targeting first-world users.

You must comply with many regulatory, technical, financial, HR, and reporting obligations to keep your organization running. Some are mentioned above.

The licensing process depends on the products you want to offer (spots or derivatives) and the geographic areas you plan to service. There are no general rules for that.

In an overgeneralized way, here are the boxes you will have to check:

  • capital availability (usually a large amount of capital c is required)

  • You will have to move some of your team members to the nation providing the license in order to establish an office presence there.

  • the core team with the necessary professional training (especially applies to CEO, Head of Trading, Assistant to Head of Trading, etc.)

  • insurance

  • infrastructure that is trustworthy and secure

  • adopted proper AML/KYC/financial monitoring policies, etc.

Assuming you passed, what's next?

I bet it won’t be mind-blowing for you that the license is just a part of the deal. It won't attract clients or revenue.

To bring in high-dollar clientele, you must be a killer marketer and seller. It's not easy to convince people to give you money.

You'll need to be a great business developer to form successful, long-term agreements with exchanges (ideally for no fees), liquidity providers, banks, payment gates, etc. Persuade clients.

It's a tough job, isn't it?

I expect a Quora-type question here:

Can I start an unlicensed crypto broker?

Well, there is always a workaround with crypto!

You can register your broker in a free-trade zone like Seychelles to avoid US and other markets with strong watchdogs.

This is neither wise nor sustainable.

First, such experiments are illegal.

Second, you'll have trouble attracting clients and strategic partners.

A license equals trust. That’s it.

Even a pseudo-license from Mauritius matters.

Here are this method's benefits and downsides.

Cons first.

  • As you navigate this difficult and expensive legal process, you run the risk of missing out on business prospects. It's quite simple to become excellent compliance yet unable to work. Because your competitors are already courting potential customers while you are focusing all of your effort on paperwork.

  • Only God knows how long it will take you to pass the break-even point when everything with the license has been completed.

  • It is a money-burning business, especially in the beginning when the majority of your expenses will go toward marketing, sales, and maintaining license requirements. Make sure you have the fortitude and resources necessary to face such a difficult challenge.

Pros

  • It may eventually develop into a tool for making money. Because big guys who are professionals at trading require a white-glove regulated brokerage. You have every possibility if you work hard in the areas of sales, marketing, business development, and wealth. Simply put, everything must align.

Launching a regulated crypto broker is analogous to launching a crypto exchange. It's ROUGH. Sure you can take it?

2. Franchise for Crypto Broker (Crypto Sub-Brokerage)

A broker franchise is easier and faster than becoming a regulated crypto broker. Not a traditional brokerage.

A broker franchisee, often termed a sub-broker, joins with a broker (a franchisor) to bring them new clients. Sub-brokers market a broker's products and services to clients.

Sub-brokers are the middlemen between a broker and an investor.

Why is sub-brokering easier?

  • less demanding qualifications and legal complexity. All you need to do is keep a few certificates on hand (each time depends on the jurisdiction).

  • No significant investment is required

  • there is no demand that you be a trading member of an exchange, etc.

As a sub-broker, you can do identical duties without as many rights and certifications.

What about the crypto broker franchise?

Sub-brokers aren't common in crypto.

In most existing examples (PayBito, PCEX, etc.), franchises are offered by crypto exchanges, not brokers. Though we remember that crypto exchanges are, in fact, brokers, do we?

Similarly:

  • For a commission, a franchiser crypto broker receives new leads from a crypto sub-broker.

See above for why enrolling is easy.

Finding clients is difficult. Most crypto traders prefer to buy-sell on their own or through brokers over sub-broker franchises.

3. Broker of the Crypto Trading Network (or a Network Broker)

It's the greatest approach to execute crypto brokerage, based on effort/return.

Network broker isn't an established word. I wrote it for clarity.

Remember how we called crypto liquidity fragmentation the current crypto finance paradigm's main bottleneck?

Where there's a challenge, there's progress.

Several well-funded projects are aiming to fix crypto liquidity fragmentation. Instead of launching another crypto exchange with siloed trading, the greatest minds create trading networks that aggregate crypto liquidity from desynchronized sources and enable quick, safe, and affordable cross-blockchain transactions. Each project offers a distinct option for users.

Crypto liquidity implies:

  • One-account access to cryptocurrency liquidity pooled from network participants' exchanges and other liquidity sources

  • compiled price feeds

  • Cross-chain transactions that are quick and inexpensive, even for HFTs

  • link between participants of all kinds, and

  • interoperability among diverse blockchains

Fast, diversified, and cheap global crypto trading from one account.

How does a trading network help cryptocurrency brokers?

I’ll explain it, taking Yellow Network as an example.

Yellow provides decentralized Layer-3 peer-to-peer trading.

  • trade across chains globally with real-time settlement and

  • Between cryptocurrency exchanges, brokers, trading companies, and other sorts of network members, there is communication and the exchange of financial information.

Have you ever heard about ECN (electronic communication network)? If not, it's an automated system that automatically matches buy and sell orders. Yellow is a decentralized digital asset ECN.

Brokers can:

  • Start trading right now without having to meet stringent requirements; all you need to do is integrate with Yellow Protocol and successfully complete some KYC verification.

  • Access global aggregated crypto liquidity through a single point.

  • B2B (Broker to Broker) liquidity channels that provide peer liquidity from other brokers. Orders from the other broker will appear in the order book of a broker who is peering with another broker on the market. It will enable a broker to broaden his offer and raise the total amount of liquidity that is available to his clients.

  • Select a custodian or use non-custodial practices.

Comparing network crypto brokerage to other types:

  • A licensed stand-alone brokerage business is much more difficult and time-consuming to launch than network brokerage, and

  • Network brokerage, in contrast to crypto sub-brokerage, is scalable, independent, and offers limitless possibilities for revenue generation.

Yellow Network Whitepaper. has more details on how to start a brokerage business and what rewards you'll obtain.

Final thoughts

There are three ways to become a cryptocurrency broker, including the non-conventional liquidity network brokerage. The last option appears time/cost-effective.

Crypto brokerage isn't crowded yet. Act quickly to find your right place in this market.

Choose the way that works for you best and see you in crypto trading.

Discover Web3 & DeFi with Yellow Network!

Yellow, powered by Openware, is developing a cross-chain P2P liquidity aggregator to unite the crypto sector and provide global remittance services that aid people.

Join the Yellow Community and plunge into this decade's biggest product-oriented crypto project.

  • Observe Yellow Twitter

  • Enroll in Yellow Telegram

  • Visit Yellow Discord.

  • On Hacker Noon, look us up.

Yellow Network will expose development, technology, developer tools, crypto brokerage nodes software, and community liquidity mining.

Max Parasol

Max Parasol

10 months ago

What the hell is Web3 anyway?

"Web 3.0" is a trendy buzzword with a vague definition. Everyone agrees it has to do with a blockchain-based internet evolution, but what is it?

Yet, the meaning and prospects for Web3 have become hot topics in crypto communities. Big corporations use the term to gain a foothold in the space while avoiding the negative connotations of “crypto.”

But it can't be evaluated without a definition.

Among those criticizing Web3's vagueness is Cobie:

“Despite the dominie's deluge of undistinguished think pieces, nobody really agrees on what Web3 is. Web3 is a scam, the future, tokenizing the world, VC exit liquidity, or just another name for crypto, depending on your tribe.

“Even the crypto community is split on whether Bitcoin is Web3,” he adds.

The phrase was coined by an early crypto thinker, and the community has had years to figure out what it means. Many ideologies and commercial realities have driven reverse engineering.

Web3 is becoming clearer as a concept. It contains ideas. It was probably coined by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood in 2014. His definition of Web3 included “trustless transactions” as part of its tech stack. Wood founded the Web3 Foundation and the Polkadot network, a Web3 alternative future.

The 2013 Ethereum white paper had previously allowed devotees to imagine a DAO, for example.

Web3 now has concepts like decentralized autonomous organizations, sovereign digital identity, censorship-free data storage, and data divided by multiple servers. They intertwine discussions about the “Web3” movement and its viability.

These ideas are linked by Cobie's initial Web3 definition. A key component of Web3 should be “ownership of value” for one's own content and data.

Noting that “late-stage capitalism greedcorps that make you buy a fractionalized micropayment NFT on Cardano to operate your electric toothbrush” may build the new web, he notes that “crypto founders are too rich to care anymore.”

Very Important

Many critics of Web3 claim it isn't practical or achievable. Web3 critics like Moxie Marlinspike (creator of sslstrip and Signal/TextSecure) can never see people running their own servers. Early in January, he argued that protocols are more difficult to create than platforms.

While this is true, some projects, like the file storage protocol IPFS, allow users to choose which jurisdictions their data is shared between.

But full decentralization is a difficult problem. Suhaza, replying to Moxie, said:

”People don't want to run servers... Companies are now offering API access to an Ethereum node as a service... Almost all DApps interact with the blockchain using Infura or Alchemy. In fact, when a DApp uses a wallet like MetaMask to interact with the blockchain, MetaMask is just calling Infura!

So, here are the questions: Web3: Is it a go? Is it truly decentralized?

Web3 history is shaped by Web2 failure.

This is the story of how the Internet was turned upside down...

Then came the vision. Everyone can create content for free. Decentralized open-source believers like Tim Berners-Lee popularized it.

Real-world data trade-offs for content creation and pricing.

A giant Wikipedia page married to a giant Craig's List. No ads, no logins, and a private web carve-up. For free usage, you give up your privacy and data to the algorithmic targeted advertising of Web 2.

Our data is centralized and savaged by giant corporations. Data localization rules and geopolitical walls like China's Great Firewall further fragment the internet.

The decentralized Web3 reflects Berners-original Lee's vision: "No permission is required from a central authority to post anything... there is no central controlling node and thus no single point of failure." Now he runs Solid, a Web3 data storage startup.

So Web3 starts with decentralized servers and data privacy.

Web3 begins with decentralized storage.

Data decentralization is a key feature of the Web3 tech stack. Web2 has closed databases. Large corporations like Facebook, Google, and others go to great lengths to collect, control, and monetize data. We want to change it.

Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Alibaba, and Huawei, according to Gartner, currently control 80% of the global cloud infrastructure market. Web3 wants to change that.

Decentralization enlarges power structures by giving participants a stake in the network. Users own data on open encrypted networks in Web3. This area has many projects.

Apps like Filecoin and IPFS have led the way. Data is replicated across multiple nodes in Web3 storage providers like Filecoin.

But the new tech stack and ideology raise many questions.

Giving users control over their data

According to Ryan Kris, COO of Verida, his “Web3 vision” is “empowering people to control their own data.”

Verida targets SDKs that address issues in the Web3 stack: identity, messaging, personal storage, and data interoperability.

A big app suite? “Yes, but it's a frontier technology,” he says. They are currently building a credentialing system for decentralized health in Bermuda.

By empowering individuals, how will Web3 create a fairer internet? Kris, who has worked in telecoms, finance, cyber security, and blockchain consulting for decades, admits it is difficult:

“The viability of Web3 raises some good business questions,” he adds. “How can users regain control over centralized personal data? How are startups motivated to build products and tools that support this transition? How are existing Web2 companies encouraged to pivot to a Web3 business model to compete with market leaders?

Kris adds that new technologies have regulatory and practical issues:

"On storage, IPFS is great for redundantly sharing public data, but not designed for securing private personal data. It is not controlled by the users. When data storage in a specific country is not guaranteed, regulatory issues arise."

Each project has varying degrees of decentralization. The diehards say DApps that use centralized storage are no longer “Web3” companies. But fully decentralized technology is hard to build.

Web2.5?

Some argue that we're actually building Web2.5 businesses, which are crypto-native but not fully decentralized. This is vital. For example, the NFT may be on a blockchain, but it is linked to centralized data repositories like OpenSea. A server failure could result in data loss.

However, according to Apollo Capital crypto analyst David Angliss, OpenSea is “not exactly community-led”. Also in 2021, much to the chagrin of crypto enthusiasts, OpenSea tried and failed to list on the Nasdaq.

This is where Web2.5 is defined.

“Web3 isn't a crypto segment. “Anything that uses a blockchain for censorship resistance is Web3,” Angliss tells us.

“Web3 gives users control over their data and identity. This is not possible in Web2.”

“Web2 is like feudalism, with walled-off ecosystems ruled by a few. For example, an honest user owned the Instagram account “Meta,” which Facebook rebranded and then had to make up a reason to suspend. Not anymore with Web3. If I buy ‘Ethereum.ens,' Ethereum cannot take it away from me.”

Angliss uses OpenSea as a Web2.5 business example. Too decentralized, i.e. censorship resistant, can be unprofitable for a large company like OpenSea. For example, OpenSea “enables NFT trading”. But it also stopped the sale of stolen Bored Apes.”

Web3 (or Web2.5, depending on the context) has been described as a new way to privatize internet.

“Being in the crypto ecosystem doesn't make it Web3,” Angliss says. The biggest risk is centralized closed ecosystems rather than a growing Web3.

LooksRare and OpenDAO are two community-led platforms that are more decentralized than OpenSea. LooksRare has even been “vampire attacking” OpenSea, indicating a Web3 competitor to the Web2.5 NFT king could find favor.

The addition of a token gives these new NFT platforms more options for building customer loyalty. For example, OpenSea charges a fee that goes nowhere. Stakeholders of LOOKS tokens earn 100% of the trading fees charged by LooksRare on every basic sale.

Maybe Web3's time has come.

So whose data is it?

Continuing criticisms of Web3 platforms' decentralization may indicate we're too early. Users want to own and store their in-game assets and NFTs on decentralized platforms like the Metaverse and play-to-earn games. Start-ups like Arweave, Sia, and Aleph.im  propose an alternative.

To be truly decentralized, Web3 requires new off-chain models that sidestep cloud computing and Web2.5.

“Arweave and Sia emerged as formidable competitors this year,” says the Messari Report. They seek to reduce the risk of an NFT being lost due to a data breach on a centralized server.

Aleph.im, another Web3 cloud competitor, seeks to replace cloud computing with a service network. It is a decentralized computing network that supports multiple blockchains by retrieving and encrypting data.

“The Aleph.im network provides a truly decentralized alternative where it is most needed: storage and computing,” says Johnathan Schemoul, founder of Aleph.im. For reasons of consensus and security, blockchains are not designed for large storage or high-performance computing.

As a result, large data sets are frequently stored off-chain, increasing the risk for centralized databases like OpenSea

Aleph.im enables users to own digital assets using both blockchains and off-chain decentralized cloud technologies.

"We need to go beyond layer 0 and 1 to build a robust decentralized web. The Aleph.im ecosystem is proving that Web3 can be decentralized, and we intend to keep going.”

Aleph.im raised $10 million in mid-January 2022, and Ubisoft uses its network for NFT storage. This is the first time a big-budget gaming studio has given users this much control.

It also suggests Web3 could work as a B2B model, even if consumers aren't concerned about “decentralization.” Starting with gaming is common.

Can Tokenomics help Web3 adoption?

Web3 consumer adoption is another story. The average user may not be interested in all this decentralization talk. Still, how much do people value privacy over convenience? Can tokenomics solve the privacy vs. convenience dilemma?

Holon Global Investments' Jonathan Hooker tells us that human internet behavior will change. “Do you own Bitcoin?” he asks in his Web3 explanation. How does it feel to own and control your own sovereign wealth? Then:

“What if you could own and control your data like Bitcoin?”

“The business model must find what that person values,” he says. Putting their own health records on centralized systems they don't control?

“How vital are those medical records to that person at a critical time anywhere in the world? Filecoin and IPFS can help.”

Web3 adoption depends on NFT storage competition. A free off-chain storage of NFT metadata and assets was launched by Filecoin in April 2021.

Denationalization and blockchain technology have significant implications for data ownership and compensation for lending, staking, and using data. 

Tokenomics can change human behavior, but many people simply sign into Web2 apps using a Facebook API without hesitation. Our data is already owned by Google, Baidu, Tencent, and Facebook (and its parent company Meta). Is it too late to recover?

Maybe. “Data is like fruit, it starts out fresh but ages,” he says. "Big Tech's data on us will expire."

Web3 founder Kris agrees with Hooker that “value for data is the issue, not privacy.” People accept losing their data privacy, so tokenize it. People readily give up data, so why not pay for it?

"Personalized data offering is valuable in personalization. “I will sell my social media data but not my health data.”

Purists and mass consumer adoption struggle with key management.

Others question data tokenomics' optimism. While acknowledging its potential, Box founder Aaron Levie questioned the viability of Web3 models in a Tweet thread:

“Why? Because data almost always works in an app. A product and APIs that moved quickly to build value and trust over time.”

Levie contends that tokenomics may complicate matters. In addition to community governance and tokenomics, Web3 ideals likely add a new negotiation vector.

“These are hard problems about human coordination, not software or blockchains,”. Using a Facebook API is simple. The business model and user interface are crucial.

For example, the crypto faithful have a common misconception about logging into Web3. It goes like this: Web 1 had usernames and passwords. Web 2 uses Google, Facebook, or Twitter APIs, while Web 3 uses your wallet. Pay with Ethereum on MetaMask, for example.

But Levie is correct. Blockchain key management is stressed in this meme. Even seasoned crypto enthusiasts have heart attacks, let alone newbies.

Web3 requires a better user experience, according to Kris, the company's founder. “How does a user recover keys?”

And at this point, no solution is likely to be completely decentralized. So Web3 key management can be improved. ”The moment someone loses control of their keys, Web3 ceases to exist.”

That leaves a major issue for Web3 purists. Put this one in the too-hard basket.

Is 2022 the Year of Web3?

Web3 must first solve a number of issues before it can be mainstreamed. It must be better and cheaper than Web2.5, or have other significant advantages.

Web3 aims for scalability without sacrificing decentralization protocols. But decentralization is difficult and centralized services are more convenient.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin himself stated recently"

This is why (centralized) Binance to Binance transactions trump Ethereum payments in some places because they don't have to be verified 12 times."

“I do think a lot of people care about decentralization, but they're not going to take decentralization if decentralization costs $8 per transaction,” he continued.

“Blockchains need to be affordable for people to use them in mainstream applications... Not for 2014 whales, but for today's users."

For now, scalability, tokenomics, mainstream adoption, and decentralization believers seem to be holding Web3 hostage.

Much like crypto's past.

But stay tuned.

Amelie Carver

Amelie Carver

2 months ago

Web3 Needs More Writers to Educate Us About It

WRITE FOR THE WEB3

Why web3’s messaging is lost and how crypto winter is growing growth seeds

Photo by Hitesh Choudhary on Unsplash

People interested in crypto, blockchain, and web3 typically read Bitcoin and Ethereum's white papers. It's a good idea. Documents produced for developers and academia aren't always the ideal resource for beginners.

Given the surge of extremely technical material and the number of fly-by-nights, rug pulls, and other scams, it's little wonder mainstream audiences regard the blockchain sector as an expensive sideshow act.

What's the solution?

Web3 needs more than just builders.

After joining TikTok, I followed Amy Suto of SutoScience. Amy switched from TV scriptwriting to IT copywriting years ago. She concentrates on web3 now. Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) are seeking skilled copywriters for web3.

Amy has found that web3's basics are easy to grasp; you don't need technical knowledge. There's a paradigm shift in knowing the basics; be persistent and patient.

Apple is positioning itself as a data privacy advocate, leveraging web3's zero-trust ethos on data ownership.

Finn Lobsien, who writes about web3 copywriting for the Mirror and Twitter, agrees: acronyms and abstractions won't do.

Image screenshot from FLobsien’s Twitter feed

Web3 preached to the choir. Curious newcomers have only found whitepapers and scams when trying to learn why the community loves it. No wonder people resist education and buy-in.

Due to the gender gap in crypto (Crypto Bro is not just a stereotype), it attracts people singing to the choir or trying to cash in on the next big thing.

Last year, the industry was booming, so writing wasn't necessary. Now that the bear market has returned (for everyone, but especially web3), holding readers' attention is a valuable skill.

White papers and the Web3

Why does web3 rely so much on non-growth content?

Businesses must polish and improve their messaging moving into the 2022 recession. The 2021 tech boom provided such a sense of affluence and (unsustainable) growth that no one needed great marketing material. The market found them.

This was especially true for web3 and the first-time crypto believers. Obviously. If they knew which was good.

White papers help. White papers are highly technical texts that walk a reader through a product's details. How Does a White Paper Help Your Business and That White Paper Guy discuss them.

They're meant for knowledgeable readers. Investors and the technical (academic/developer) community read web3 white papers. White papers are used when a product is extremely technical or difficult to assist an informed reader to a conclusion. Web3 uses them most often for ICOs (initial coin offerings).

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

White papers for web3 education help newcomers learn about the web3 industry's components. It's like sending a first-grader to the Annotated Oxford English Dictionary to learn to read. It's a reference, not a learning tool, for words.

Newcomers can use platforms that teach the basics. These included Coinbase's Crypto Basics tutorials or Cryptochicks Academy, founded by the mother of Ethereum's inventor to get more women utilizing and working in crypto.

Discord and Web3 communities

Discord communities are web3's opposite. Discord communities involve personal communications and group involvement.

Online audience growth begins with community building. User personas prefer 1000 dedicated admirers over 1 million lukewarm followers, and the language is much more easygoing. Discord groups are renowned for phishing scams, compromised wallets, and incorrect information, especially since the crypto crisis.

White papers and Discord increase industry insularity. White papers are complicated, and Discord has a high risk threshold.

Web3 and writing ads

Copywriting is emotional, but white papers are logical. It uses the brain's quick-decision centers. It's meant to make the reader invest immediately.

Not bad. People think sales are sleazy, but they can spot the poor things.

Ethical copywriting helps you reach the correct audience. People who gain a following on Medium are likely to have copywriting training and a readership (or three) in mind when they publish. Tim Denning and Sinem Günel know how to identify a target audience and make them want to learn more.

In a fast-moving market, copywriting is less about long-form content like sales pages or blogs, but many organizations do. Instead, the copy is concise, individualized, and high-value. Tweets, email marketing, and IM apps (Discord, Telegram, Slack to a lesser extent) keep engagement high.

What does web3's messaging lack? As DAOs add stricter copyrighting, narrative and connecting tales seem to be missing.

Web3 is passionate about constructing the next internet. Now, they can connect their passion to a specific audience so newcomers understand why.

You might also like

Sara_Mednick

Sara_Mednick

3 months ago

Since I'm a scientist, I oppose biohacking

Understanding your own energy depletion and restoration is how to truly optimize

Photo: Towfiqu barbhuiya / Unsplash

Hack has meant many bad things for centuries. In the 1800s, a hack was a meager horse used to transport goods.

Modern usage describes a butcher or ax murderer's cleaver chop. The 1980s programming boom distinguished elegant code from "hacks". Both got you to your goal, but the latter made any programmer cringe and mutter about changing the code. From this emerged the hacker trope, the friendless anti-villain living in a murky hovel lit by the computer monitor, eating junk food and breaking into databases to highlight security system failures or steal hotdog money.

Remember the 1995 movie, Hackers, in which a bunch of super cool programmers (said no one ever) get caught up in a plot to destroy the world and only teenybopper Angelina Jolie and her punk rock gang of nerd-bots can use their lightening quick typing skills to save the world? Remember public phones?

Now, start-a-billion-dollar-business-from-your-garage types have shifted their sights from app development to DIY biology, coining the term "bio-hack". This is a required keyword and meta tag for every fitness-related podcast, book, conference, app, or device.

Bio-hacking involves bypassing your body and mind's security systems to achieve a goal. Many biohackers' initial goals were reasonable, like lowering blood pressure and weight. Encouraged by their own progress, self-determination, and seemingly exquisite control of their biology, they aimed to outsmart aging and death to live 180 to 1000 years (summarized well in this vox.com article).

With this grandiose north star, the hunt for novel supplements and genetic engineering began.

Companies selling do-it-yourself biological manipulations cite lab studies in mice as proof of their safety and success in reversing age-related diseases or promoting longevity in humans (the goal changes depending on whether a company is talking to the federal government or private donors).

The FDA is slower than science, they say. Why not alter your biochemistry by buying pills online, editing your DNA with a CRISPR kit, or using a sauna delivered to your home? How about a microchip or electrical stimulator?

What could go wrong?


I'm not the neo-police, making citizen's arrests every time someone introduces a new plumbing gadget or extrapolates from animal research on resveratrol or catechins that we should drink more red wine or eat more chocolate. As a scientist who's spent her career asking, "Can we get better?" I've come to view bio-hacking as misguided, profit-driven, and counterproductive to its followers' goals.

We're creatures of nature. Despite all the new gadgets and bio-hacks, we still use Roman plumbing technology, and the best way to stay fit, sharp, and happy is to follow a recipe passed down since the beginning of time. Bacteria, plants, and all natural beings are rhythmic, with alternating periods of high activity and dormancy, whether measured in seconds, hours, days, or seasons. Nature repeats successful patterns.

During the Upstate, every cell in your body is naturally primed and pumped full of glycogen and ATP (your cells' energy currencies), as well as cortisol, which supports your muscles, heart, metabolism, cognitive prowess, emotional regulation, and general "get 'er done" attitude. This big energy release depletes your batteries and requires the Downstate, when your subsystems recharge at the cellular level.

Downstates are when you give your heart a break from pumping nutrient-rich blood through your body; when you give your metabolism a break from inflammation, oxidative stress, and sympathetic arousal caused by eating fast food — or just eating too fast; or when you give your mind a chance to wander, think bigger thoughts, and come up with new creative solutions. When you're responding to notifications, emails, and fires, you can't relax.

Every biological plant and animal is regulated by rhythms of energy-depleting Upstate and energy-restoring Downstates.

Downstates aren't just for consistently recharging your battery. By spending time in the Downstate, your body and brain get extra energy and nutrients, allowing you to grow smarter, faster, stronger, and more self-regulated. This state supports half-marathon training, exam prep, and mediation. As we age, spending more time in the Downstate is key to mental and physical health, well-being, and longevity.

When you prioritize energy-demanding activities during Upstate periods and energy-replenishing activities during Downstate periods, all your subsystems, including cardiovascular, metabolic, muscular, cognitive, and emotional, hum along at their optimal settings. When you synchronize the Upstates and Downstates of these individual rhythms, their functioning improves. A hard workout causes autonomic stress, which triggers Downstate recovery.

This zig-zag trajectory of performance improvement illustrates that getting better at anything in life isn’t a straight shot. The close-up box shows how prioritizing Downstate recovery after an Upstate exertion (e.g., hard workout) leads to RECOVERYPLUS. Image from The Power of the Downstate by Sara C. Mednick PhD.

By choosing the right timing and type of exercise during the day, you can ensure a deeper recovery and greater readiness for the next workout by working with your natural rhythms and strengthening your autonomic and sleep Downstates.

Morning cardio workouts increase deep sleep compared to afternoon workouts. Timing and type of meals determine when your sleep hormone melatonin is released, ushering in sleep.

Rhythm isn't a hack. It's not a way to cheat the system or the boss. Nature has honed its optimization wisdom over trillions of days and nights. Stop looking for quick fixes. You're a whole system made of smaller subsystems that must work together to function well. No one pill or subsystem will make it all work. Understanding and coordinating your rhythms is free, easy, and only benefits you.

Dr. Sara C. Mednick is a cognitive neuroscientist at UC Irvine and author of The Power of the Downstate (HachetteGO)

Nojus Tumenas

Nojus Tumenas

2 months ago

NASA: Strange Betelgeuse Explosion Just Took Place

Orion's red supergiant Betelgeuse erupted. This is astronomers' most magnificent occurrence.

Betelgeuse, a supergiant star in Orion, garnered attention in 2019 for its peculiar appearance. It continued to dim in 2020.

The star was previously thought to explode as a supernova. Studying the event has revealed what happened to Betelgeuse since it happened.

Astronomers saw that the star released a large amount of material, causing it to lose a section of its surface.

They have never seen anything like this and are unsure what caused the star to release so much material.

According to Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics astrophysicist Andrea Dupre, astronomers' data reveals an unexplained mystery.

They say it's a new technique to examine star evolution. The James Webb telescope revealed the star's surface features.

Corona flares are stellar mass ejections. These eruptions change the Sun's outer atmosphere.

This could affect power grids and satellite communications if it hits Earth.

Betelgeuse's flare ejected four times more material than the Sun's corona flare.

Astronomers have monitored star rhythms for 50 years. They've seen its dimming and brightening cycle start, stop, and repeat.

Monitoring Betelgeuse's pulse revealed the eruption's power.

Dupre believes the star's convection cells are still amplifying the blast's effects, comparing it to an imbalanced washing machine tub.

The star's outer layer has returned to normal, Hubble data shows. The photosphere slowly rebuilds its springy surface.

Dupre noted the star's unusual behavior. For instance, it’s causing its interior to bounce.

This suggests that the mass ejections that caused the star's surface to lose mass were two separate processes.

Researchers hope to better understand star mass ejection with the James Webb Space Telescope.

ANTHONY P.

ANTHONY P.

8 days ago

Startups are difficult. Streamlining the procedure for creating the following unicorn.

New ventures are exciting. It's fun to imagine yourself rich, successful, and famous (if that's your thing). How you'll help others and make your family proud. This excitement can pull you forward for years, even when you intuitively realize that the path you're on may not lead to your desired success.

Know when to change course. Switching course can mean pivoting or changing direction.

In this not-so-short blog, I'll describe the journey of building your dream. And how the journey might look when you think you're building your dream, but fall short of that vision. Both can feel similar in the beginning, but there are subtle differences.

Let’s dive in.

How an exciting journey to a dead end looks and feels.

You want to help many people. You're business-minded, creative, and ambitious. You jump into entrepreneurship. You're excited, free, and in control.

I'll use tech as an example because that's what I know best, but this applies to any entrepreneurial endeavor.

So you start learning the basics of your field, say coding/software development. You read books, take courses, and may even join a bootcamp. You start practicing, and the journey begins. Once you reach a certain level of skill (which can take months, usually 12-24), you gain the confidence to speak with others in the field and find common ground. You might attract a co-founder this way with time. You and this person embark on a journey (Tip: the idea you start with is rarely the idea you end with).

Amateur mistake #1: You spend months building a product before speaking to customers.

Building something pulls you forward blindly. You make mistakes, avoid customers, and build with your co-founder or small team in the dark for months, usually 6-12 months.

You're excited when the product launches. We'll be billionaires! The market won't believe it. This excites you and the team. Launch.

….

Nothing happens.

Some people may sign up out of pity, only to never use the product or service again.

You and the team are confused, discouraged and in denial. They don't get what we've built yet. We need to market it better, we need to talk to more investors, someone will understand our vision.

This is a hopeless path, and your denial could last another 6 months. If you're lucky, while talking to consumers and investors (which you should have done from the start), someone who has been there before would pity you and give you an idea to pivot into that can create income.

Suppose you get this idea and pivot your business. Again, you've just pivoted into something limited by what you've already built. It may be a revenue-generating idea, but it's rarely new. Now you're playing catch-up, doing something others are doing but you can do better. (Tip #2: Don't be late.) Your chances of winning are slim, and you'll likely never catch up.

You're finally seeing revenue and feel successful. You can compete, but if you're not a first mover, you won't earn enough over time. You'll get by or work harder than ever to earn what a skilled trade could provide. You didn't go into business to stress out and make $100,000 or $200,000 a year. When you can make the same amount by becoming a great software developer, electrician, etc.

You become stuck. Either your firm continues this way for years until you realize there isn't enough growth to recruit a strong team and remove yourself from day-to-day operations due to competition. Or a catastrophic economic event forces you to admit that what you were building wasn't new and unique and wouldn't get you where you wanted to be.

This realization could take 6-10 years. No kidding.

The good news is, you’ve learned a lot along the way and this information can be used towards your next venture (if you have the energy).

Key Lesson: Don’t build something if you aren’t one of the first in the space building it just for the sake of building something.

-

Let's discuss what it's like to build something that can make your dream come true.

Case 2: Building something the market loves is difficult but rewarding.

It starts with a problem that hasn't been adequately solved for a long time but is now solvable due to technology. Or a new problem due to a change in how things are done.

Let's examine each example.

Example #1: Mass communication. The problem is now solvable due to some technological breakthrough.

Twitter — One of the first web 2 companies that became successful with the rise of smart mobile computing.

People can share their real-time activities via mobile device with friends, family, and strangers. Web 2 and smartphones made it easy and fun.

Example #2: A new problem has emerged due to some change in the way things are conducted.

Zoom- A web-conferencing company that reached massive success due to the movement towards “work from home”, remote/hybrid work forces.

Online web conferencing allows for face-to-face communication.

-

These two examples show how to build a unicorn-type company. It's a mix of solving the right problem at the right time, either through a technological breakthrough that opens up new opportunities or by fundamentally changing how people do things.

Let's find these opportunities.

Start by examining problems, such as how the world has changed and how we can help it adapt. It can also be both. Start team brainstorming. Research technologies, current world-trends, use common sense, and make a list. Then, choose the top 3 that you're most excited about and seem most workable based on your skillsets, values, and passion.

Once you have this list, create the simplest MVP you can and test it with customers. The prototype can be as simple as a picture or diagram of user flow and end-user value. No coding required. Market-test. Twitter's version 1 was simple. It was a web form that asked, "What are you doing?" Then publish it from your phone. A global status update, wherever you are. Currently, this company has a $50 billion market cap.

Here's their MVP screenshot.

Small things grow. Tiny. Simplify.

Remember Frequency and Value when brainstorming. Your product is high frequency (Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok) or high value (Airbnb for renting travel accommodations), or both (Gmail).

Once you've identified product ideas that meet the above criteria, they're simple, have a high frequency of use, or provide deep value. You then bring it to market in the simplest, most cost-effective way. You can sell a half-working prototype with imagination and sales skills. You need just enough of a prototype to convey your vision to a user or customer.

With this, you can approach real people. This will do one of three things: give you a green light to continue on your vision as is, show you that there is no opportunity and people won't use it, or point you in a direction that is a blend of what you've come up with and what the customer / user really wants, and you update the prototype and go back to the maze. Repeat until you have enough yeses and conviction to build an MVP.