More on Web3 & Crypto
1 year ago
A Simple Guide to NFT Blockchains
Ethereum's blockchain rules NFTs. Many consider it the one-stop shop for NFTs, and it's become the most talked-about and trafficked blockchain in existence.
Other blockchains are becoming popular in NFTs. Crypto-artists and NFT enthusiasts have sought new places to mint and trade NFTs due to Ethereum's high transaction costs and environmental impact.
When choosing a blockchain to mint on, there are several factors to consider. Size, creator costs, consumer spending habits, security, and community input are important. We've created a high-level summary of blockchains for NFTs to help clarify the fast-paced world of web3 tech.
Ethereum currently has the most NFTs. It's decentralized and provides financial and legal services without intermediaries. It houses popular NFT marketplaces (OpenSea), projects (CryptoPunks and the Bored Ape Yacht Club), and artists (Pak and Beeple).
It's also expensive and energy-intensive. This is because Ethereum works using a Proof-of-Work (PoW) mechanism. PoW requires computers to solve puzzles to add blocks and transactions to the blockchain. Solving these puzzles requires a lot of computer power, resulting in astronomical energy loss.
You should consider this blockchain first due to its popularity, security, decentralization, and ease of use.
Solana is a fast programmable blockchain. Its proof-of-history and proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanisms eliminate complex puzzles. Reduced validation times and fees result.
PoS users stake their cryptocurrency to become a block validator. Validators get SOL. This encourages and rewards users to become stakers. PoH works with PoS to cryptographically verify time between events. Solana blockchain ensures transactions are in order and found by the correct leader (validator).
Solana's PoS and PoH mechanisms keep transaction fees and times low. Solana isn't as popular as Ethereum, so there are fewer NFT marketplaces and blockchain traders.
Tezos is a greener blockchain. Tezos rose in 2021. Hic et Nunc was hailed as an economic alternative to Ethereum-centric marketplaces until Nov. 14, 2021.
Similar to Solana, Tezos uses a PoS consensus mechanism and only a PoS mechanism to reduce computational work. This blockchain uses two million times less energy than Ethereum. It's cheaper than Ethereum (but does cost more than Solana).
Tezos is a good place to start minting NFTs in bulk. Objkt is the largest Tezos marketplace.
Flow is a high-performance blockchain for NFTs, games, and decentralized apps (dApps). Flow is built with scalability in mind, so billions of people could interact with NFTs on the blockchain.
Flow became the NBA's blockchain partner in 2019. Flow, a product of Dapper labs (the team behind CryptoKitties), launched and hosts NBA Top Shot, making the blockchain integral to the popularity of non-fungible tokens.
Flow uses PoS to verify transactions, like Tezos. Developers are working on a model to handle 10,000 transactions per second on the blockchain. Low transaction fees.
Flow NFTs are tradeable on Blocktobay, OpenSea, Rarible, Foundation, and other platforms. NBA, NFL, UFC, and others have launched NFT marketplaces on Flow. Flow isn't as popular as Ethereum, resulting in fewer NFT marketplaces and blockchain traders.
Asset Exchange (WAX)
WAX is king of virtual collectibles. WAX is popular for digitalized versions of legacy collectibles like trading cards, figurines, memorabilia, etc.
Wax uses a PoS mechanism, but also creates carbon offset NFTs and partners with Climate Care. Like Flow, WAX transaction fees are low, and network fees are redistributed to the WAX community as an incentive to collectors.
WAX marketplaces host Topps, NASCAR, Hot Wheels, and cult classic film franchises like Godzilla, The Princess Bride, and Spiderman.
Binance Smart Chain
BSC is another good option for balancing fees and performance. High-speed transactions and low fees hurt decentralization. BSC is most centralized.
Binance Smart Chain uses Proof of Staked Authority (PoSA) to support a short block time and low fees. The 21 validators needed to run the exchange switch every 24 hours. 11 of the 21 validators are directly connected to the Binance Crypto Exchange, according to reports.
While many in the crypto and NFT ecosystems dislike centralization, the BSC NFT market picked up speed in 2021. OpenBiSea, AirNFTs, JuggerWorld, and others are gaining popularity despite not having as robust an ecosystem as Ethereum.
Ren & Heinrich
1 year ago
200 DeFi Projects were examined. Here is what I learned.
I analyze the top 200 DeFi crypto projects in this article.
This isn't a study. The findings benefit crypto investors.
A set of data
I analyzed data from defillama.com. In my analysis, I used the top 200 DeFis by TVL in October 2022.
Total Locked Value
The chart below shows platform-specific locked value.
14 platforms had $1B+ TVL. 65 platforms have $100M-$1B TVL. The remaining 121 platforms had TVLs below $100 million, with the lowest being $23 million.
TVLs are distributed Pareto. Top 40% of DeFis account for 80% of TVLs.
Ethereum's blockchain leads DeFi. 96 of the examined projects offer services on Ethereum. Behind BSC, Polygon, and Avalanche.
Five platforms used 10+ blockchains. 36 between 2-10 159 used 1 blockchain.
Use Cases for DeFi
The chart below shows platform use cases. Each platform has decentralized exchanges, liquid staking, yield farming, and lending.
These use cases are DefiLlama's main platform features.
Which use case costs the most? Chart explains. Collateralized debt, liquid staking, dexes, and lending have high TVLs.
The DeFi Industry
I compared three high-TVL platforms (Maker DAO, Balancer, AAVE). The columns show monthly TVL and token price changes. The graph shows monthly Bitcoin price changes.
Each platform's market moves similarly.
Probably because most DeFi deposits are cryptocurrencies. Since individual currencies are highly correlated with Bitcoin, it's not surprising that they move in unison.
This analysis shows that the most common DeFi services (decentralized exchanges, liquid staking, yield farming, and lending) also have the highest average locked value.
Some projects run on one or two blockchains, while others use 15 or 20. Our analysis shows that a project's blockchain count has no correlation with its success.
It's hard to tell if certain use cases are rising. Bitcoin's price heavily affects the entire DeFi market.
TVL seems to be a good indicator of a DeFi platform's success and quality. Higher TVL platforms are cheaper. They're a better long-term investment because they gain or lose less value than DeFis with lower TVLs.
1 year ago
Why Bitcoin's Crash Could Be Good for Investors
The crypto market crashed in June 2022. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies hit their lowest prices in over a year, causing market panic. Some believe this crash will benefit future investors.
Before I discuss how this crash might help investors, let's examine why it happened. Inflation in the U.S. reached a 30-year high in 2022 after Russia invaded Ukraine. In response, the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.5%, the most in almost 20 years. This hurts cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Higher interest rates make people less likely to invest in volatile assets like crypto, so many investors sold quickly.
The crypto market collapsed. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Binance dropped 40%. Other cryptos crashed so hard they were delisted from almost every exchange. Bitcoin peaked in April 2022 at $41,000, but after the May interest rate hike, it crashed to $28,000. Bitcoin investors were worried. Even in bad times, this crash is unprecedented.
Bitcoin wasn't "doomed." Before the crash, LUNA was one of the top 5 cryptos by market cap. LUNA was trading around $80 at the start of May 2022, but after the rate hike?
Less than 1 cent. LUNA lost 99.99% of its value in days and was removed from every crypto exchange. Bitcoin's "crash" isn't as devastating when compared to LUNA.
Many people said Bitcoin is "due" for a LUNA-like crash and that the only reason it hasn't crashed is because it's bigger. Still false. If so, Bitcoin should be worth zero by now. We didn't. Instead, Bitcoin reached 28,000, then 29k, 30k, and 31k before falling to 18k. That's not the world's greatest recovery, but it shows Bitcoin's safety.
Bitcoin isn't falling constantly. It fell because of the initial shock of interest rates, but not further. Now, Bitcoin's value is more likely to rise than fall. Bitcoin's low price also attracts investors. They know what prices Bitcoin can reach with enough hype, and they want to capitalize on low prices before it's too late.
Bitcoin's crash was bad, but in a way it wasn't. To understand, consider 2021. In March 2021, Bitcoin surpassed $60k for the first time. Elon Musk's announcement in May that he would no longer support Bitcoin caused a massive crash in the crypto market. In May 2017, Bitcoin's price hit $29,000. Elon Musk's statement isn't worth more than the Fed raising rates. Many expected this big announcement to kill Bitcoin.
Not so. Bitcoin crashed from $58k to $31k in 2021. Bitcoin fell from $41k to $28k in 2022. This crash is smaller. Bitcoin's price held up despite tensions and stress, proving investors still believe in it. What happened after the initial crash in the past?
Bitcoin fell until mid-July. This is also something we’re not seeing today. After a week, Bitcoin began to improve daily. Bitcoin's price rose after mid-July. Bitcoin's price fluctuated throughout the rest of 2021, but it topped $67k in November. Despite no major changes, the peak occurred after the crash. Elon Musk seemed uninterested in crypto and wasn't likely to change his mind soon. What triggered this peak? Nothing, really. What really happened is that people got over the initial statement. They forgot.
Internet users have goldfish-like attention spans. People quickly forgot the crash's cause and were back investing in crypto months later. Despite the market's setbacks, more crypto investors emerged by the end of 2017. Who gained from these peaks? Bitcoin investors who bought low. Bitcoin not only recovered but also doubled its ROI. It was like a movie, and it shows us what to expect from Bitcoin in the coming months.
The current Bitcoin crash isn't as bad as the last one. LUNA is causing market panic. LUNA and Bitcoin are different cryptocurrencies. LUNA crashed because Terra wasn’t able to keep its peg with the USD. Bitcoin is unanchored. It's one of the most decentralized investments available. LUNA's distrust affected crypto prices, including Bitcoin, but it won't last forever.
This is why Bitcoin will likely rebound in the coming months. In 2022, people will get over the rise in interest rates and the crash of LUNA, just as they did with Elon Musk's crypto stance in 2021. When the world moves on to the next big controversy, Bitcoin's price will soar.
Bitcoin may recover for another reason. Like controversy, interest rates fluctuate. The Russian invasion caused this inflation. World markets will stabilize, prices will fall, and interest rates will drop.
Next, lower interest rates could boost Bitcoin's price. Eventually, it will happen. The U.S. economy can't sustain such high interest rates. Investors will put every last dollar into Bitcoin if interest rates fall again.
Bitcoin has proven to be a stable investment. This boosts its investment reputation. Even if Ethereum dethrones Bitcoin as crypto king one day (or any other crypto, for that matter). Bitcoin may stay on top of the crypto ladder for a while. We'll have to wait a few months to see if any of this is true.
This post is a summary. Read the full article here.
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1 year ago
Plagiarism on OpenSea: humans and computers
OpenSea, a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, is fighting plagiarism. A new “two-pronged” approach will aim to root out and remove copies of authentic NFTs and changes to its blue tick verified badge system will seek to enhance customer confidence.
According to a blog post, the anti-plagiarism system will use algorithmic detection of “copymints” with human reviewers to keep it in check.
Last year, NFT collectors were duped into buying flipped images of the popular BAYC collection, according to The Verge. The largest NFT marketplace had to remove its delay pay minting service due to an influx of copymints.
80% of NFTs removed by the platform were minted using its lazy minting service, which kept the digital asset off-chain until the first purchase.
NFTs copied from popular collections are opportunistic money-grabs. Right-click, save, and mint the jacked JPEGs that are then flogged as an authentic NFT.
The anti-plagiarism system will scour OpenSea's collections for flipped and rotated images, as well as other undescribed permutations. The lack of detail here may be a deterrent to scammers, or it may reflect the new system's current rudimentary nature.
Thus, human detectors will be needed to verify images flagged by the detection system and help train it to work independently.
“Our long-term goal with this system is two-fold: first, to eliminate all existing copymints on OpenSea, and second, to help prevent new copymints from appearing,” it said.
“We've already started delisting identified copymint collections, and we'll continue to do so over the coming weeks.”
It works for Twitter, why not OpenSea
OpenSea is also changing account verification. Early adopters will be invited to apply for verification if their NFT stack is worth $100 or more. OpenSea plans to give the blue checkmark to people who are active on Twitter and Discord.
This is just the beginning. We are committed to a future where authentic creators can be verified, keeping scammers out.
Also, collections with a lot of hype and sales will get a blue checkmark. For example, a new NFT collection sold by the verified BAYC account will have a blue badge to verify its legitimacy.
New requests will be responded to within seven days, according to OpenSea.
These programs and products help protect creators and collectors while ensuring our community can confidently navigate the world of NFTs.
By elevating authentic content and removing plagiarism, these changes improve trust in the NFT ecosystem, according to OpenSea.
OpenSea is indeed catching up with the digital art economy. Last August, DevianArt upgraded its AI image recognition system to find stolen tokenized art on marketplaces like OpenSea.
It scans all uploaded art and compares it to “public blockchain events” like Ethereum NFTs to detect stolen art.
1 year ago
Reddit NFT Achievement
Reddit's NFT market is alive and well.
NFT owners outnumber OpenSea on Reddit.
Reddit NFTs flip in OpenSea in days:
NFT sales will make Reddit's current communities more engaged.
I don't think NFTs will affect existing groups, but they will build hype for people to acquire them.
The first season of Collectibles is unique, but many missed the first season.
Second-season NFTs are less likely to be sold for a higher price than first-season ones.
If you use Reddit, it's fun to own NFTs.
1 year ago
Steve Jobs' Secrets Revealed
From 1984 until 2011, he ran Apple using the same template.
What is a founder CEO's most crucial skill?
Presentation, communication, and sales
As a Business Angel Investor, I saw many pitch presentations and met with investors one-on-one to promote my companies.
There is always the conception of “Investors have to invest,” so there is no need to care about the presentation.
It's false. Nobody must invest. Many investors believe that entrepreneurs must convince them to invest in their business.
Sometimes — like in 2018–2022 — too much money enters the market, and everyone makes good money.
Do you recall the Buy Now, Pay Later Movement? This amazing narrative had no return potential. Only buyers who couldn't acquire financing elsewhere shopped at these companies.
Klarna's failing business concept led to high valuations.
Investors become more cautious when the economy falters. 2022 sees rising inflation, interest rates, wars, and civil instability. It's like the apocalypse's four horsemen have arrived.
Storytelling is important in rough economies.
When investors draw back, how can entrepreneurs stand out?
In Q2/2022, every study I've read said:
Investors cease investing
Deals are down in almost all IT industries from previous quarters.
What do founders need to do?
Storytelling talents help.
The Steve Jobs Way
Every time I watch a Steve Jobs presentation, I'm enthralled.
I'm a techie. Everything technical interests me. But, I skim most presentations.
What's Steve Jobs's secret?
Steve Jobs created Apple in 1976 and made it a profitable software and hardware firm in the 1980s. Macintosh goods couldn't beat IBM's. This mistake sacked him in 1985.
Before rejoining Apple in 1997, Steve Jobs founded Next Inc. and Pixar.
From then on, Apple became America's most valuable firm.
Steve Jobs understood people's needs. He said:
“People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. That’s why I never rely on market research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.”
In his opinion, people talk about problems. A lot. Entrepreneurs must learn what the population's pressing problems are and create a solution.
Steve Jobs showed people what they needed before they realized it.
Present a Big Vision
Steve Jobs starts every presentation by describing his long-term goals for Apple.
1984's Macintosh presentation set up David vs. Goliath. In a George Orwell-style dystopia, IBM computers were bad. It was 1984.
Apple will save the world, like Jedis.
Why do customers and investors like Big Vision?
People want a wider perspective, I think. Humans love improving the planet.
Apple users often cite emotional reasons for buying the brand.
Revolutionizing several industries with breakthrough inventions
Everyone knows Apple in 2022. It's hard to find folks who confuse Apple with an apple around the world.
Apple wasn't as famous as it is today until Steve Jobs left in 2011.
Most entrepreneurs lack experience. They may market their company or items to folks who haven't heard of it.
Steve Jobs presented the company's historical accomplishments to overcome opposition.
In his presentation of the first iPhone, he talked about the Apple Macintosh, which altered the computing sector, and the iPod, which changed the music industry.
People who have never heard of Apple feel like they're seeing a winner. It raises expectations that the new product will be game-changing and must-have.
The Big Reveal
A pitch or product presentation always has something new.
Steve Jobs doesn't only demonstrate the product. I don't think he'd skip the major point of a company presentation.
He consistently discusses present market solutions, their faults, and a better consumer solution.
No solution exists yet.
It's a multi-faceted play:
It's comparing the new product to something familiar. This makes novelty and the product more relatable.
Describe a desirable solution.
He's funny. He demonstrated an iPod with an 80s phone dial in his iPhone presentation.
Then he reveals the new product. Macintosh presented itself.
Show the benefits
He outlines what Apple is doing differently after demonstrating the product.
How do you distinguish from others? The Big Breakthrough Presentation.
A few hundred slides might list all benefits.
Everyone would fall asleep. Have you ever had similar presentations?
When the brain is overloaded with knowledge, the limbic system changes to other duties, like lunch planning.
What should a speaker do? There's a classic proverb:
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn” (— Not Benjamin Franklin).
Steve Jobs showcased the product live.
Again, using ordinary scenarios to highlight the product's benefits makes it relatable.
The 2010 iPad Presentation uses this technique.
Invite the Team and Let Them Run the Presentation
CEOs spend most time outside the organization. Many companies elect to have only one presenter.
It sends the incorrect message to investors. Product presentations should always include the whole team.
Let me explain why.
Companies needing investment money frequently have shaky business strategies or no product-market fit or robust corporate structure.
Investors solely bet on a team's ability to implement ideas and make a profit.
Early team involvement helps investors understand the company's drivers. Travel costs are worthwhile.
But why for product presentations?
Presenters of varied ages, genders, social backgrounds, and skillsets are relatable. CEOs want relatable products.
Some customers may not believe a white man's message. A black woman's message may be more accepted.
Make the story relatable when you have the best product that solves people's concerns.
Best example: 1984 Macintosh presentation with development team panel.
What is the largest error people make when companies fail?
Saving money on the corporate and product presentation.
Invite your team to five partner meetings when five investors are shortlisted.
Rehearse the presentation till it's natural. Let the team speak.
Successful presentations require structure, rehearsal, and a team. Steve Jobs nailed it.