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Scott Hickmann

Scott Hickmann

2 years ago

Welcome

Welcome to Integrity's Web3 community!

More on Web3 & Crypto

Percy Bolmér

Percy Bolmér

1 year ago

Ethereum No Longer Consumes A Medium-Sized Country's Electricity To Run

The Merge cut Ethereum's energy use by 99.5%.

Image by Percy Bolmér. Gopher by Takuya Ueda, Original Go Gopher by Renée French (CC BY 3.0)

The Crypto community celebrated on September 15, 2022. This day, Ethereum Merged. The entire blockchain successfully merged with the Beacon chain, and it was so smooth you barely noticed.

Many have waited, dreaded, and longed for this day.

Some investors feared the network would break down, while others envisioned a seamless merging.

Speculators predict a successful Merge will lead investors to Ethereum. This could boost Ethereum's popularity.

What Has Changed Since The Merge

The merging transitions Ethereum mainnet from PoW to PoS.

PoW sends a mathematical riddle to computers worldwide (miners). First miner to solve puzzle updates blockchain and is rewarded.

The puzzles sent are power-intensive to solve, so mining requires a lot of electricity. It's sent to every miner competing to solve it, requiring duplicate computation.

PoS allows investors to stake their coins to validate a new transaction. Instead of validating a whole block, you validate a transaction and get the fees.

You can validate instead of mine. A validator stakes 32 Ethereum. After staking, the validator can validate future blocks.

Once a validator validates a block, it's sent to a randomly selected group of other validators. This group verifies that a validator is not malicious and doesn't validate fake blocks.

This way, only one computer needs to solve or validate the transaction, instead of all miners. The validated block must be approved by a small group of validators, causing duplicate computation.

PoS is more secure because validating fake blocks results in slashing. You lose your bet tokens. If a validator signs a bad block or double-signs conflicting blocks, their ETH is burned.

Theoretically, Ethereum has one block every 12 seconds, so a validator forging a block risks burning 1 Ethereum for 12 seconds of transactions. This makes mistakes expensive and risky.

What Impact Does This Have On Energy Use?

Cryptocurrency is a natural calamity, sucking electricity and eating away at the earth one transaction at a time.

Many don't know the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies, yet it's tremendous.

A single Ethereum transaction used to use 200 kWh and leave a large carbon imprint. This update reduces global energy use by 0.2%.

Energy consumption PER transaction for Ethereum post-merge. Image from Digiconomist

Ethereum will submit a challenge to one validator, and that validator will forward it to randomly selected other validators who accept it.

This reduces the needed computing power.

They expect a 99.5% reduction, therefore a single transaction should cost 1 kWh.

Carbon footprint is 0.58 kgCO2, or 1,235 VISA transactions.

This is a big Ethereum blockchain update.

I love cryptocurrency and Mother Earth.

Langston Thomas

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

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

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

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

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.

Trent Lapinski

Trent Lapinski

2 years ago

What The Hell Is A Crypto Punk?

We are Crypto Punks, and we are changing your world.

A “Crypto Punk” is a new generation of entrepreneurs who value individual liberty and collective value creation and co-creation through decentralization. While many Crypto Punks were born and raised in a digital world, some of the early pioneers in the crypto space are from the Oregon Trail generation. They were born to an analog world, but grew up simultaneously alongside the birth of home computing, the Internet, and mobile computing.

A Crypto Punk’s world view is not the same as previous generations. By the time most Crypto Punks were born everything from fiat currency, the stock market, pharmaceuticals, the Internet, to advanced operating systems and microprocessing were already present or emerging. Crypto Punks were born into pre-existing conditions and systems of control, not governed by logic or reason but by greed, corporatism, subversion, bureaucracy, censorship, and inefficiency.

All Systems Are Human Made

Crypto Punks understand that all systems were created by people and that previous generations did not have access to information technologies that we have today. This is why Crypto Punks have different values than their parents, and value liberty, decentralization, equality, social justice, and freedom over wealth, money, and power. They understand that the only path forward is to work together to build new and better systems that make the old world order obsolete.

Unlike the original cypher punks and cyber punks, Crypto Punks are a new iteration or evolution of these previous cultures influenced by cryptography, blockchain technology, crypto economics, libertarianism, holographics, democratic socialism, and artificial intelligence. They are tasked with not only undoing the mistakes of previous generations, but also innovating and creating new ways of solving complex problems with advanced technology and solutions.

Where Crypto Punks truly differ is in their understanding that computer systems can exist for more than just engagement and entertainment, but actually improve the human condition by automating bureaucracy and inefficiency by creating more efficient economic incentives and systems.

Crypto Punks Value Transparency and Do Not Trust Flawed, Unequal, and Corrupt Systems

Crypto Punks have a strong distrust for inherently flawed and corrupt systems. This why Crypto Punks value transparency, free speech, privacy, and decentralization. As well as arguably computer systems over human powered systems.

Crypto Punks are the children of the Great Recession, and will never forget the economic corruption that still enslaves younger generations.

Crypto Punks were born to think different, and raised by computers to view reality through an LED looking glass. They will not surrender to the flawed systems of economic wage slavery, inequality, censorship, and subjection. They will literally engineer their own unstoppable financial systems and trade in cryptography over fiat currency merely to prove that belief systems are more powerful than corruption.

Crypto Punks are here to help achieve freedom from world governments, corporations and bankers who monetizine our data to control our lives.

Crypto Punks Decentralize

Despite all the evils of the world today, Crypto Punks know they have the power to create change. This is why Crypto Punks are optimistic about the future despite all the indicators that humanity is destined for failure.

Crypto Punks believe in systems that prioritize people and the planet above profit. Even so, Crypto Punks still believe in capitalistic systems, but only capitalistic systems that incentivize good behaviors that do not violate the common good for the sake of profit.

Cyber Punks Are Co-Creators

We are Crypto Punks, and we will build a better world for all of us. For the true price of creation is not in US dollars, but through working together as equals to replace the unequal and corrupt greedy systems of previous generations.

Where they have failed, Crypto Punks will succeed. Not because we want to, but because we have to. The world we were born into is so corrupt and its systems so flawed and unequal we were never given a choice.

We have to be the change we seek.

We are Crypto Punks.

Either help us, or get out of our way.

Are you a Crypto Punk?

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Theo Seeds

Theo Seeds

1 year ago

The nine novels that have fundamentally altered the way I view the world

I read 53 novels last year and hope to do so again.

Books are best if you love learning. You get a range of perspectives, unlike podcasts and YouTube channels where you get the same ones.

Book quality varies. I've read useless books. Most books teach me something.

These 9 novels have changed my outlook in recent years. They've made me rethink what I believed or introduced me to a fresh perspective that changed my worldview.

You can order these books yourself. Or, read my summaries to learn what I've synthesized.

Enjoy!

Fooled By Randomness

Nassim Taleb worked as a Wall Street analyst. He used options trading to bet on unlikely events like stock market crashes.

Using financial models, investors predict stock prices. The models assume constant, predictable company growth.

These models base their assumptions on historical data, so they assume the future will be like the past.

Fooled By Randomness argues that the future won't be like the past. We often see impossible market crashes like 2008's housing market collapse. The world changes too quickly to use historical data: by the time we understand how it works, it's changed.

Most people don't live to see history unfold. We think our childhood world will last forever. That goes double for stable societies like the U.S., which hasn't seen major turbulence in anyone's lifetime.

Fooled By Randomness taught me to expect the unexpected. The world is deceptive and rarely works as we expect. You can't always trust your past successes or what you've learned.

Antifragile

More Taleb. Some things, like the restaurant industry and the human body, improve under conditions of volatility and turbulence.

We didn't have a word for this counterintuitive concept until Taleb wrote Antifragile. The human body (which responds to some stressors, like exercise, by getting stronger) and the restaurant industry both benefit long-term from disorder (when economic turbulence happens, bad restaurants go out of business, improving the industry as a whole).

Many human systems are designed to minimize short-term variance because humans don't understand it. By eliminating short-term variation, we increase the likelihood of a major disaster.

Once, we put out every forest fire we found. Then, dead wood piled up in forests, causing catastrophic fires.

We don't like price changes, so politicians prop up markets with stimulus packages and printing money. This leads to a bigger crash later. Two years ago, we printed a ton of money for stimulus checks, and now we have double-digit inflation.

Antifragile taught me how important Plan B is. A system with one or two major weaknesses will fail. Make large systems redundant, foolproof, and change-responsive.

Reality is broken

We dread work. Work is tedious. Right?

Wrong. Work gives many people purpose. People are happiest when working. (That's why some are workaholics.)

Factory work saps your soul, office work is boring, and working for a large company you don't believe in and that operates unethically isn't satisfying.

Jane McGonigal says in Reality Is Broken that meaningful work makes us happy. People love games because they simulate good work. McGonigal says work should be more fun.

Some think they'd be happy on a private island sipping cocktails all day. That's not true. Without anything to do, most people would be bored. Unemployed people are miserable. Many retirees die within 2 years, much more than expected.

Instead of complaining, find meaningful work. If you don't like your job, it's because you're in the wrong environment. Find the right setting.

The Lean Startup

Before the airplane was invented, Harvard scientists researched flying machines. Who knew two North Carolina weirdos would beat them?

The Wright Brothers' plane design was key. Harvard researchers were mostly theoretical, designing an airplane on paper and trying to make it fly in theory. They'd build it, test it, and it wouldn't fly.

The Wright Brothers were different. They'd build a cheap plane, test it, and it'd crash. Then they'd learn from their mistakes, build another plane, and it'd crash.

They repeated this until they fixed all the problems and one of their planes stayed aloft.

Mistakes are considered bad. On the African savannah, one mistake meant death. Even today, if you make a costly mistake at work, you'll be fired as a scapegoat. Most people avoid failing.

In reality, making mistakes is the best way to learn.

Eric Reis offers an unintuitive recipe in The Lean Startup: come up with a hypothesis, test it, and fail. Then, try again with a new hypothesis. Keep trying, learning from each failure.

This is a great startup strategy. Startups are new businesses. Startups face uncertainty. Run lots of low-cost experiments to fail, learn, and succeed.

Don't fear failing. Low-cost failure is good because you learn more from it than you lose. As long as your worst-case scenario is acceptable, risk-taking is good.

The Sovereign Individual

Today, nation-states rule the world. The UN recognizes 195 countries, and they claim almost all land outside of Antarctica.

We agree. For the past 2,000 years, much of the world's territory was ungoverned.

Why today? Because technology has created incentives for nation-states for most of the past 500 years. The logic of violence favors nation-states, according to James Dale Davidson, author of the Sovereign Individual. Governments have a lot to gain by conquering as much territory as possible, so they do.

Not always. During the Dark Ages, Europe was fragmented and had few central governments. Partly because of armor. With armor, a sword, and a horse, you couldn't be stopped. Large states were hard to form because they rely on the threat of violence.

When gunpowder became popular in Europe, violence changed. In a world with guns, assembling large armies and conquest are cheaper.

James Dale Davidson says the internet will make nation-states obsolete. Most of the world's wealth will be online and in people's heads, making capital mobile.

Nation-states rely on predatory taxation of the rich to fund large militaries and welfare programs.

When capital is mobile, people can live anywhere in the world, Davidson says, making predatory taxation impossible. They're not bound by their job, land, or factory location. Wherever they're treated best.

Davidson says that over the next century, nation-states will collapse because they won't have enough money to operate as they do now. He imagines a world of small city-states, like Italy before 1900. (or Singapore today).

We've already seen some movement toward a more Sovereign Individual-like world. The pandemic proved large-scale remote work is possible, freeing workers from their location. Many cities and countries offer remote workers incentives to relocate.

Many Western businesspeople live in tax havens, and more people are renouncing their US citizenship due to high taxes. Increasing globalization has led to poor economic conditions and resentment among average people in the West, which is why politicians like Trump and Sanders rose to popularity with angry rhetoric, even though Obama rose to popularity with a more hopeful message.

The Sovereign Individual convinced me that the future will be different than Nassim Taleb's. Large countries like the U.S. will likely lose influence in the coming decades, while Portugal, Singapore, and Turkey will rise. If the trend toward less freedom continues, people may flee the West en masse.

So a traditional life of college, a big firm job, hard work, and corporate advancement may not be wise. Young people should learn as much as possible and develop flexible skills to adapt to the future.

Sapiens

Sapiens is a history of humanity, from proto-humans in Ethiopia to our internet society today, with some future speculation.

Sapiens views humans (and Homo sapiens) as a unique species on Earth. We were animals 100,000 years ago. We're slowly becoming gods, able to affect the climate, travel to every corner of the Earth (and the Moon), build weapons that can kill us all, and wipe out thousands of species.

Sapiens examines what makes Homo sapiens unique. Humans can believe in myths like religion, money, and human-made entities like countries and LLCs.

These myths facilitate large-scale cooperation. Ants from the same colony can cooperate. Any two humans can trade, though. Even if they're not genetically related, large groups can bond over religion and nationality.

Combine that with intelligence, and you have a species capable of amazing feats.

Sapiens may make your head explode because it looks at the world without presupposing values, unlike most books. It questions things that aren't usually questioned and says provocative things.

It also shows how human history works. It may help you understand and predict the world. Maybe.

The 4-hour Workweek

Things can be done better.

Tradition, laziness, bad bosses, or incentive structures cause complacency. If you're willing to make changes and not settle for the status quo, you can do whatever you do better and achieve more in less time.

The Four-Hour Work Week advocates this. Tim Ferriss explains how he made more sales in 2 hours than his 8-hour-a-day colleagues.

By firing 2 of his most annoying customers and empowering his customer service reps to make more decisions, he was able to leave his business and travel to Europe.

Ferriss shows how to escape your 9-to-5, outsource your life, develop a business that feeds you with little time, and go on mini-retirement adventures abroad.

Don't accept the status quo. Instead, level up. Find a way to improve your results. And try new things.

Why Nations Fail

Nogales, Arizona and Mexico were once one town. The US/Mexico border was arbitrarily drawn.

Both towns have similar cultures and populations. Nogales, Arizona is well-developed and has a high standard of living. Nogales, Mexico is underdeveloped and has a low standard of living. Whoa!

Why Nations Fail explains how government-created institutions affect country development. Strong property rights, capitalism, and non-corrupt governments promote development. Countries without capitalism, strong property rights, or corrupt governments don't develop.

Successful countries must also embrace creative destruction. They must offer ordinary citizens a way to improve their lot by creating value for others, not reducing them to slaves, serfs, or peasants. Authors say that ordinary people could get rich on trading expeditions in 11th-century Venice.

East and West Germany and North and South Korea have different economies because their citizens are motivated differently. It explains why Chile, China, and Singapore grow so quickly after becoming market economies.

People have spent a lot of money on third-world poverty. According to Why Nations Fail, education and infrastructure aren't the answer. Developing nations must adopt free-market economic policies.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is the world's richest man, but that’s not a good way to describe him. Elon Musk is the world's richest man, which is like calling Steve Jobs a turtleneck-wearer or Benjamin Franklin a printer.

Elon Musk does cool sci-fi stuff to help humanity avoid existential threats.

Oil will run out. We've delayed this by developing better extraction methods. We only have so much nonrenewable oil.

Our society is doomed if it depends on oil. Elon Musk invested heavily in Tesla and SolarCity to speed the shift to renewable energy.

Musk worries about AI: we'll build machines smarter than us. We won't be able to stop these machines if something goes wrong, just like cows can't fight humans. Neuralink: we need to be smarter to compete with AI when the time comes.

If Earth becomes uninhabitable, we need a backup plan. Asteroid or nuclear war could strike Earth at any moment. We may not have much time to react if it happens in a few days. We must build a new civilization while times are good and resources are plentiful.

Short-term problems dominate our politics, but long-term issues are more important. Long-term problems can cause mass casualties and homelessness. Musk demonstrates how to think long-term.

The main reason people are impressed by Elon Musk, and why Ashlee Vances' biography influenced me so much, is that he does impossible things.

Electric cars were once considered unprofitable, but Tesla has made them mainstream. SpaceX is the world's largest private space company.

People lack imagination and dismiss ununderstood ideas as impossible. Humanity is about pushing limits. Don't worry if your dreams seem impossible. Try it.

Thanks for reading.

Anton Franzen

Anton Franzen

1 year ago

This is the driving force for my use of NFTs, which will completely transform the world.

Its not a fuc*ing fad.

Photo by kyung on unsplash

It's not about boring monkeys or photos as nfts; that's just what's been pushed up and made a lot of money. The technology underlying those ridiculous nft photos will one day prove your house and automobile ownership and tell you where your banana came from. Are you ready for web3? Soar!

People don't realize that absolutely anything can and will be part of the blockchain and smart contracts, making them even better. I'll tell you a secret: it will and is happening.

Why?

Why is something blockchain-based a good idea? So let’s speak about cars!

So a new Tesla car is manufactured, and when you buy it, it is bound to an NFT on the blockchain that proves current ownership. The NFT in the smart contract can contain some data about the current owner of the car and some data about the car's status, such as the number of miles driven, the car's overall quality, and so on, as well as a reference to a digital document bound to the NFT that has more information.

Now, 40 years from now, if you want to buy a used automobile, you can scan the car's serial number to view its NFT and see all of its history, each owner, how long they owned it, if it had damages, and more. Since it's on the blockchain, it can't be tampered with.

When you're ready to buy it, the owner posts it for sale, you buy it, and it's sent to your wallet. 5 seconds to change owner, 100% safe and verifiable.

Incorporate insurance logic into the car contract. If you crashed, your car's smart contract would take money from your insurance contract and deposit it in an insurance company wallet.

It's limitless. Your funds may be used by investors to provide insurance as they profit from everyone's investments.

Or suppose all car owners in a country deposit a fixed amount of money into an insurance smart contract that promises if something happens, we'll take care of it. It could be as little as $100-$500 per year, and in a country with 10 million people, maybe 3 million would do that, which would be $500 000 000 in that smart contract and it would be used by the insurance company to invest in assets or take a cut, literally endless possibilities.

Instead of $300 per month, you may pay $300 per year to be covered if something goes wrong, and that may include multiple insurances.

What about your grocery store banana, though?

Yes that too.

You can scan a banana to learn its complete history. You'll be able to see where it was cultivated, every middleman in the supply chain, and hopefully the banana's quality, farm, and ingredients used.

If you want locally decent bananas, you can only buy them, offering you transparency and options. I believe it will be an online marketplace where farmers publish their farms and products for trust and transparency. You might also buy bananas from the farmer.

And? Food security to finish the article. If an order of bananas included a toxin, you could easily track down every banana from the same origin and supply chain and uncover the root cause. This is a tremendous thing that will save lives and have a big impact; did you realize that 1 in 6 Americans gets poisoned by food every year? This could lower the number.

To summarize:

Smart contracts can issue nfts as proof of ownership and include functionality.

Al Anany

Al Anany

10 months ago

Because of this covert investment that Bezos made, Amazon became what it is today.

He kept it under wraps for years until he legally couldn’t.

Midjourney

His shirt is incomplete. I can’t stop thinking about this…

Actually, ignore the article. Look at it. JUST LOOK at it… It’s quite disturbing, isn’t it?

Ughh…

Me: “Hey, what up?” Friend: “All good, watching lord of the rings on amazon prime video.” Me: “Oh, do you know how Amazon grew and became famous?” Friend: “Geek alert…Can I just watch in peace?” Me: “But… Bezos?” Friend: “Let it go, just let it go…”

I can question you, the reader, and start answering instantly without his consent. This far.

Reader, how did Amazon succeed? You'll say, Of course, it was an internet bookstore, then it sold everything.

Mistaken. They moved from zero to one because of this. How did they get from one to thousand? AWS-some. Understand? It's geeky and lame. If not, I'll explain my geekiness.

Over an extended period of time, Amazon was not profitable.

Business basics. You want customers if you own a bakery, right?

Well, 100 clients per day order $5 cheesecakes (because cheesecakes are awesome.)

$5 x 100 consumers x 30 days Equals $15,000 monthly revenue. You proudly work here.

Now you have to pay the barista (unless ChatGPT is doing it haha? Nope..)

  • The barista is requesting $5000 a month.

  • Each cheesecake costs the cheesecake maker $2.5 ($2.5 × 100 x 30 = $7500).

  • The monthly cost of running your bakery, including power, is about $5000.

Assume no extra charges. Your operating costs are $17,500.

Just $15,000? You have income but no profit. You might make money selling coffee with your cheesecake next month.

Is losing money bad? You're broke. Losing money. It's bad for financial statements.

It's almost a business ultimatum. Most startups fail. Amazon took nine years.

I'm reading Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Creation of a Global Empire to comprehend how a company has a $1 trillion market cap.

Many things made Amazon big. The book claims that Bezos and Amazon kept a specific product secret for a long period.

Clouds above the bald head.

In 2006, Bezos started a cloud computing initiative. They believed many firms like Snapchat would pay for reliable servers.

In 2006, cloud computing was not what it is today. I'll simplify. 2006 had no iPhone.

Bezos invested in Amazon Web Services (AWS) without disclosing its revenue. That's permitted till a certain degree.

Google and Microsoft would realize Amazon is heavily investing in this market and worry.

Bezos anticipated high demand for this product. Microsoft built its cloud in 2010, and Google in 2008.

If you managed Google or Microsoft, you wouldn't know how much Amazon makes from their cloud computing service. It's enough. Yet, Amazon is an internet store, so they'll focus on that.

All but Bezos were wrong.

Time to come clean now.

They revealed AWS revenue in 2015. Two things were apparent:

  1. Bezos made the proper decision to bet on the cloud and keep it a secret.

  2. In this race, Amazon is in the lead.

Synergy Research Group

They continued. Let me list some AWS users today.

  • Netflix

  • Airbnb

  • Twitch

More. Amazon was unprofitable for nine years, remember? This article's main graph.

Visual Capitalist

AWS accounted for 74% of Amazon's profit in 2021. This 74% might not exist if they hadn't invested in AWS.

Bring this with you home.

Amazon predated AWS. Yet, it helped the giant reach $1 trillion. Bezos' secrecy? Perhaps, until a time machine is invented (they might host the time machine software on AWS, though.)

Without AWS, Amazon would have been profitable but unimpressive. They may have invested in anything else that would have returned more (like crypto? No? Ok.)

Bezos has business flaws. His success. His failures include:

  • introducing the Fire Phone and suffering a $170 million loss.

  • Amazon's failure in China In 2011, Amazon had a about 15% market share in China. 2019 saw a decrease of about 1%.

  • not offering a higher price to persuade the creator of Netflix to sell the company to him. He offered a rather reasonable $15 million in his proposal. But what if he had offered $30 million instead (Amazon had over $100 million in revenue at the time)? He might have owned Netflix, which has a $156 billion market valuation (and saved billions rather than invest in Amazon Prime Video).

Some he could control. Some were uncontrollable. Nonetheless, every action he made in the foregoing circumstances led him to invest in AWS.