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Amelie Carver

Amelie Carver

1 year ago

Web3 Needs More Writers to Educate Us About It

More on Web3 & Crypto

OnChain Wizard

OnChain Wizard

1 year ago

How to make a >800 million dollars in crypto attacking the once 3rd largest stablecoin, Soros style

Everyone is talking about the $UST attack right now, including Janet Yellen. But no one is talking about how much money the attacker made (or how brilliant it was). Lets dig in.

Our story starts in late March, when the Luna Foundation Guard (or LFG) starts buying BTC to help back $UST. LFG started accumulating BTC on 3/22, and by March 26th had a $1bn+ BTC position. This is leg #1 that made this trade (or attack) brilliant.

The second leg comes in the form of the 4pool Frax announcement for $UST on April 1st. This added the second leg needed to help execute the strategy in a capital efficient way (liquidity will be lower and then the attack is on).

We don't know when the attacker borrowed 100k BTC to start the position, other than that it was sold into Kwon's buying (still speculation). LFG bought 15k BTC between March 27th and April 11th, so lets just take the average price between these dates ($42k).


So you have a ~$4.2bn short position built. Over the same time, the attacker builds a $1bn OTC position in $UST. The stage is now set to create a run on the bank and get paid on your BTC short. In anticipation of the 4pool, LFG initially removes $150mm from 3pool liquidity.

The liquidity was pulled on 5/8 and then the attacker uses $350mm of UST to drain curve liquidity (and LFG pulls another $100mm of liquidity).

But this only starts the de-pegging (down to 0.972 at the lows). LFG begins selling $BTC to defend the peg, causing downward pressure on BTC while the run on $UST was just getting started.

With the Curve liquidity drained, the attacker used the remainder of their $1b OTC $UST position ($650mm or so) to start offloading on Binance. As withdrawals from Anchor turned from concern into panic, this caused a real de-peg as people fled for the exits

So LFG is selling $BTC to restore the peg while the attacker is selling $UST on Binance. Eventually the chain gets congested and the CEXs suspend withdrawals of $UST, fueling the bank run panic. $UST de-pegs to 60c at the bottom, while $BTC bleeds out.


The crypto community panics as they wonder how much $BTC will be sold to keep the peg. There are liquidations across the board and LUNA pukes because of its redemption mechanism (the attacker very well could have shorted LUNA as well). BTC fell 25% from $42k on 4/11 to $31.3k

So how much did our attacker make? There aren't details on where they covered obviously, but if they are able to cover (or buy back) the entire position at ~$32k, that means they made $952mm on the short.

On the $350mm of $UST curve dumps I don't think they took much of a loss, lets assume 3% or just $11m. And lets assume that all the Binance dumps were done at 80c, thats another $125mm cost of doing business. For a grand total profit of $815mm (bf borrow cost).

BTC was the perfect playground for the trade, as the liquidity was there to pull it off. While having LFG involved in BTC, and foreseeing they would sell to keep the peg (and prevent LUNA from dying) was the kicker.

Lastly, the liquidity being low on 3pool in advance of 4pool allowed the attacker to drain it with only $350mm, causing the broader panic in both BTC and $UST. Any shorts on LUNA would've added a lot of P&L here as well, with it falling -65% since 5/7.

And for the reply guys, yes I know a lot of this involves some speculation & assumptions. But a lot of money was made here either way, and I thought it would be cool to dive into how they did it.

Franz Schrepf

Franz Schrepf

1 year ago

What I Wish I'd Known About Web3 Before Building

Cryptoland rollercoaster

Photo by Younho Choo on Unsplash

I've lost money in crypto.

Unimportant.

The real issue: I didn’t understand how.

I'm surrounded with winners. To learn more, I created my own NFTs, currency, and DAO.

Web3 is a hilltop castle. Everything is valuable, decentralized, and on-chain.

The castle is Disneyland: beautiful in images, but chaotic with lengthy lines and kids spending too much money on dressed-up animals.

When the throng and businesses are gone, Disneyland still has enchantment.

Welcome to Cryptoland! I’ll be your guide.

The Real Story of Web3

NFTs

Scarcity. Scarce NFTs. That's their worth.

Skull. Rare-looking!

Nonsense.

Bored Ape Yacht Club vs. my NFTs?

Marketing.

BAYC is amazing, but not for the reasons people believe. Apecoin and Otherside's art, celebrity following, and innovation? Stunning.

No other endeavor captured the zeitgeist better. Yet how long did you think it took to actually mint the NFTs?

1 hour? Maybe a week for the website?

Minting NFTs is incredibly easy. Kid-friendly. Developers are rare. Think about that next time somebody posts “DevS dO SMt!?

NFTs will remain popular. These projects are like our Van Goghs and Monets. Still, be wary. It still uses exclusivity and wash selling like the OG art market.

Not all NFTs are art-related.

Soulbound and anonymous NFTs could offer up new use cases. Property rights, privacy-focused ID, open-source project verification. Everything.

NFTs build online trust through ownership.

We just need to evolve from the apes first.

NFTs' superpower is marketing until then.

Crypto currency

What the hell is a token?

99% of people are clueless.

So I invested in both coins and tokens. Same same. Only that they are not.

Coins have their own blockchain and developer/validator community. It's hard.

Creating a token on top of a blockchain? Five minutes.

Most consumers don’t understand the difference, creating an arbitrage opportunity: pretend you’re a serious project without having developers on your payroll.

Few market sites help. Take a look. See any tokens?

Maybe if you squint real hard… (Coinmarketcap)

There's a hint one click deeper.

Some tokens are legitimate. Some coins are bad investments.

Tokens are utilized for DAO governance and DApp payments. Still, know who's behind a token. They might be 12 years old.

Coins take time and money. The recent LUNA meltdown indicates that currency investing requires research.

DAOs

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) don't work as you assume.

Yes, members can vote.

A productive organization requires more.

I've observed two types of DAOs.

  • Total decentralization total dysfunction

  • Centralized just partially. Community-driven.

A core team executes the DAO's strategy and roadmap in successful DAOs. The community owns part of the organization, votes on decisions, and holds the team accountable.

DAOs are public companies.

Amazing.

A shareholder meeting's logistics are staggering. DAOs may hold anonymous, secure voting quickly. No need for intermediaries like banks to chase up every shareholder.

Successful DAOs aren't totally decentralized. Large-scale voting and collaboration have never been easier.

And that’s all that matters.

Scale, speed.

My Web3 learnings

Disneyland is enchanting. Web3 too.

In a few cycles, NFTs may be used to build trust, not clout. Not speculating with coins. DAOs run organizations, not themselves.

Finally, some final thoughts:

  • NFTs will be a very helpful tool for building trust online. NFTs are successful now because of excellent marketing.

  • Tokens are not the same as coins. Look into any project before making a purchase. Make sure it isn't run by three 9-year-olds piled on top of one another in a trench coat, at the very least.

  • Not entirely decentralized, DAOs. We shall see a future where community ownership becomes the rule rather than the exception once we acknowledge this fact.

Crypto Disneyland is a rollercoaster with loops that make you sick.

Always buckle up.

Have fun!

CyberPunkMetalHead

CyberPunkMetalHead

1 year ago

Developed an automated cryptocurrency trading tool for nearly a year before unveiling it this month.

Overview

I'm happy to provide this important update. We've worked on this for a year and a half, so I'm glad to finally write it. We named the application AESIR because we’ve love Norse Mythology. AESIR automates and runs trading strategies.

  • Volatility, technical analysis, oscillators, and other signals are currently supported by AESIR.

  • Additionally, we enhanced AESIR's ability to create distinctive bespoke signals by allowing it to analyze many indicators and produce a single signal.

  • AESIR has a significant social component that allows you to copy the best-performing public setups and use them right away.

Enter your email here to be notified when AEISR launches.

Views on algorithmic trading

First, let me clarify. Anyone who claims algorithmic trading platforms are money-printing plug-and-play devices is a liar. Algorithmic trading platforms are a collection of tools.

A trading algorithm won't make you a competent trader if you lack a trading strategy and yolo your funds without testing. It may hurt your trade. Test and alter your plans to account for market swings, but comprehend market signals and trends.

Status Report

Throughout closed beta testing, we've communicated closely with users to design a platform they want to use.

To celebrate, we're giving you free Aesir Viking NFTs and we cover gas fees.

Why use a trading Algorithm?

  • Automating a successful manual approach

  • experimenting with and developing solutions that are impossible to execute manually

One AESIR strategy lets you buy any cryptocurrency that rose by more than x% in y seconds.

AESIR can scan an exchange for coins that have gained more than 3% in 5 minutes. It's impossible to manually analyze over 1000 trading pairings every 5 minutes. Auto buy dips or DCA around a Dip

Sneak Preview

Here's the Leaderboard, where you can clone the best public settings.

As a tiny, self-funded team, we're excited to unveil our product. It's a beta release, so there's still more to accomplish, but we know where we stand.

If this sounds like a project that you might want to learn more about, you can sign up to our newsletter and be notified when AESIR launches.

Useful Links:

Join the Discord | Join our subreddit | Newsletter | Mint Free NFT

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Jim Siwek

Jim Siwek

1 year ago

In 2022, can a lone developer be able to successfully establish a SaaS product?

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

In the early 2000s, I began developing SaaS. I helped launch an internet fax service that delivered faxes to email inboxes. Back then, it saved consumers money and made the procedure easier.

Google AdWords was young then. Anyone might establish a new website, spend a few hundred dollars on keywords, and see dozens of new paying clients every day. That's how we launched our new SaaS, and these clients stayed for years. Our early ROI was sky-high.

Changing times

The situation changed dramatically after 15 years. Our paid advertising cost $200-$300 for every new customer. Paid advertising takes three to four years to repay.

Fortunately, we still had tens of thousands of loyal clients. Good organic rankings gave us new business. We needed less sponsored traffic to run a profitable SaaS firm.

Is it still possible?

Since selling our internet fax firm, I've dreamed about starting a SaaS company. One I could construct as a lone developer and progressively grow a dedicated customer base, as I did before in a small team.

It seemed impossible to me. Solo startups couldn't afford paid advertising. SEO was tough. Even the worst SaaS startup ideas attracted VC funding. How could I compete with startups that could hire great talent and didn't need to make money for years (or ever)?

The One and Only Way to Learn

After years of talking myself out of SaaS startup ideas, I decided to develop and launch one. I needed to know if a solitary developer may create a SaaS app in 2022.

Thus, I did. I invented webwriter.ai, an AI-powered writing tool for website content, from hero section headlines to blog posts, this year. I soft-launched an MVP in July.

Considering the Issue

Now that I've developed my own fully capable SaaS app for site builders and developers, I wonder if it's still possible. Can webwriter.ai be successful?

I know webwriter.ai's proposal is viable because Jasper.ai and Grammarly are also AI-powered writing tools. With competition comes validation.

To Win, Differentiate

To compete with well-funded established brands, distinguish to stand out to a portion of the market. So I can speak directly to a target user, unlike larger competition.

I created webwriter.ai to help web builders and designers produce web content rapidly. This may be enough differentiation for now.

Budget-Friendly Promotion

When paid search isn't an option, we get inventive. There are more tools than ever to promote a new website.

  • Organic Results

  • on social media (Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn)

  • Marketing with content that is compelling

  • Link Creation

  • Listings in directories

  • references made in blog articles and on other websites

  • Forum entries

The Beginning of the Journey

As I've labored to construct my software, I've pondered a new mantra. Not sure where that originated from, but I like it. I'll live by it and teach my kids:

“Do the work.”

Keagan Stokoe

Keagan Stokoe

1 year ago

Generalists Create Startups; Specialists Scale Them

There’s a funny part of ‘Steve Jobs’ by Walter Isaacson where Jobs says that Bill Gates was more a copier than an innovator:

“Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he’s more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology. He just shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas….He’d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.”

Gates lacked flavor. Nobody ever got excited about a Microsoft launch, despite their good products. Jobs had the world's best product taste. Apple vs. Microsoft.

A CEO's core job functions are all driven by taste: recruiting, vision, and company culture all require good taste. Depending on the type of company you want to build, know where you stand between Microsoft and Apple.

How can you improve your product judgment? How to acquire taste?

Test and refine

Product development follows two parallel paths: the ‘customer obsession’ path and the ‘taste and iterate’ path.

The customer obsession path involves solving customer problems. Lean Startup frameworks show you what to build at each step.

Taste-and-iterate doesn't involve the customer. You iterate internally and rely on product leaders' taste and judgment.

Creative Selection by Ken Kocienda explains this method. In Creative Selection, demos are iterated and presented to product leaders. Your boss presents to their boss, and so on up to Steve Jobs. If you have good product taste, you can be a panelist.

The iPhone follows this path. Before seeing an iPhone, consumers couldn't want one. Customer obsession wouldn't have gotten you far because iPhone buyers didn't know they wanted one.

In The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz writes:

“It turns out that is exactly what product strategy is all about — figuring out the right product is the innovator’s job, not the customer’s job. The customer only knows what she thinks she wants based on her experience with the current product. The innovator can take into account everything that’s possible, but often must go against what she knows to be true. As a result, innovation requires a combination of knowledge, skill, and courage.“

One path solves a problem the customer knows they have, and the other doesn't. Instead of asking a person what they want, observe them and give them something they didn't know they needed.

It's much harder. Apple is the world's most valuable company because it's more valuable. It changes industries permanently.

If you want to build superior products, use the iPhone of your industry.

How to Improve Your Taste

I. Work for a company that has taste.

People with the best taste in products, markets, and people are rewarded for building great companies. Tasteful people know quality even when they can't describe it. Taste isn't writable. It's feel-based.

Moving into a community that's already doing what you want to do may be the best way to develop entrepreneurial taste. Most company-building knowledge is tacit.

Joining a company you want to emulate allows you to learn its inner workings. It reveals internal patterns intuitively. Many successful founders come from successful companies.

Consumption determines taste. Excellence will refine you. This is why restauranteurs visit the world's best restaurants and serious painters visit Paris or New York. Joining a company with good taste is beneficial.

2. Possess a wide range of interests

“Edwin Land of Polaroid talked about the intersection of the humanities and science. I like that intersection. There’s something magical about that place… The reason Apple resonates with people is that there’s a deep current of humanity in our innovation. I think great artists and great engineers are similar, in that they both have a desire to express themselves.” — Steve Jobs

I recently discovered Edwin Land. Jobs modeled much of his career after Land's. It makes sense that Apple was inspired by Land.

A Triumph of Genius: Edwin Land, Polaroid, and the Kodak Patent War notes:

“Land was introverted in person, but supremely confident when he came to his ideas… Alongside his scientific passions, lay knowledge of art, music, and literature. He was a cultured person growing even more so as he got older, and his interests filtered into the ethos of Polaroid.”

Founders' philosophies shape companies. Jobs and Land were invested. It showed in the products their companies made. Different. His obsession was spreading Microsoft software worldwide. Microsoft's success is why their products are bland and boring.

Experience is important. It's probably why startups are built by generalists and scaled by specialists.

Jobs combined design, typography, storytelling, and product taste at Apple. Some of the best original Mac developers were poets and musicians. Edwin Land liked broad-minded people, according to his biography. Physicist-musicians or physicist-photographers.

Da Vinci was a master of art, engineering, architecture, anatomy, and more. He wrote and drew at the same desk. His genius is remembered centuries after his death. Da Vinci's statue would stand at the intersection of humanities and science.

We find incredibly creative people here. Superhumans. Designers, creators, and world-improvers. These are the people we need to navigate technology and lead world-changing companies. Generalists lead.

Khoi Ho

Khoi Ho

1 year ago

After working at seven startups, here are the early-stage characteristics that contributed to profitability, unicorn status or successful acquisition.

Image by Tim Mossholder

I've worked in a People role at seven early-stage firms for over 15 years (I enjoy chasing a dream!). Few of the seven achieved profitability, including unicorn status or acquisition.

Did early-stage startups share anything? Was there a difference between winners and losers? YES.

I support founders and entrepreneurs building financially sustainable enterprises with a compelling cause. This isn't something everyone would do. A company's success demands more than guts. Founders drive startup success.

Six Qualities of Successful Startups

Successful startup founders either innately grasped the correlation between strong team engagement and a well-executed business model, or they knew how to ask and listen to others (executive coaches, other company leaders, the team itself) to learn about it.

Successful startups:

1. Co-founders agreed and got along personally.

Multi-founder startups are common. When co-founders agree on strategic decisions and are buddies, there's less friction and politics at work.

As a co-founder, ask your team if you're aligned. They'll explain.

I've seen C-level leaders harbor personal resentments over disagreements. A co-departure founder's caused volatile leadership and work disruptions that the team struggled to manage during and after.

2. Team stayed.

Successful startups have low turnover. Nobody is leaving. There may be a termination for performance, but other team members will have observed the issues and agreed with the decision.

You don't want organizational turnover of 30%+, with leaders citing performance issues but the team not believing them. This breeds suspicion.

Something is wrong if many employees leave voluntarily or involuntarily. You may hear about lack of empowerment, support, or toxic leadership in exit interviews and from the existing team. Intellectual capital loss and resource instability harm success.

3. Team momentum.

A successful startup's team is excited about its progress. Consistently achieving goals and having trackable performance metrics. Some describe this period of productivity as magical, with great talents joining the team and the right people in the right places. Increasing momentum.

I've also seen short-sighted decisions where only some departments, like sales and engineering, had goals. Lack of a unified goals system created silos and miscommunication. Some employees felt apathetic because they didn't know how they contributed to team goals.

4. Employees advanced in their careers.

Even if you haven't created career pathing or professional development programs, early-stage employees will grow and move into next-level roles. If you hire more experienced talent and leaders, expect them to mentor existing team members. Growing companies need good performers.

New talent shouldn't replace and discard existing talent. This creates animosity and makes existing employees feel unappreciated for their early contributions to the company.

5. The company lived its values.

Culture and identity are built on lived values. A company's values affect hiring, performance management, rewards, and other processes. Identify, practice, and believe in company values. Starting with team values instead of management or consultants helps achieve this. When a company's words and actions match, it builds trust.

When company values are beautifully displayed on a wall but few employees understand them, the opposite is true. If an employee can't name the company values, they're useless.

6. Communication was clear.

When necessary information is shared with the team, they feel included, trusted, and like owners. Transparency means employees have the needed information to do their jobs. Disclosure builds trust. The founders answer employees' questions honestly.

Information accessibility decreases office politics. Without transparency, even basic information is guarded and many decisions are made in secret. I've seen founders who don't share financial, board meeting, or compensation and equity information. The founders' lack of trust in the team wasn't surprising, so it was reciprocated.

The Choices

Finally. All six of the above traits (leadership alignment, minimal turnover, momentum, professional advancement, values, and transparency) were high in the profitable startups I've worked at, including unicorn status or acquisition.

I've seen these as the most common and constant signals of startup success or failure.

These characteristics are the product of founders' choices. These decisions lead to increased team engagement and business execution.

Here's something to consider for startup employees and want-to-bes. 90% of startups fail, despite the allure of building something new and gaining ownership. With the emotional and time investment in startup formation, look for startups with these traits to reduce your risk.

Both you and the startup will thrive in these workplaces.