More on NFTs & Art
1 year ago
Pixelmon NFTs are so bad, they are almost good!
Bored Apes prices continue to rise, HAPEBEAST launches, Invisible Friends hype continues to grow. Sadly, not all projects are as successful.
Of course, there are many factors to consider when buying an NFT. Is the project a scam? Will the reveal derail the project? Possibly, but when Pixelmon first teased its launch, it generated a lot of buzz.
With a primary sale mint price of 3 ETH ($8,100 USD), it started as an expensive project, with plenty of fans willing to invest in what was sold as a game. After it was revealed, it fell rapidly.
Why? It was overpromised and under delivered.
According to the project's creator[^1], the funds generated will be used to develop the artwork. "The Pixelmon reveal was wrong. This is what our Pixelmon look like in-game. "Despite the fud, I will not go anywhere," he wrote on Twitter. The goal remains. The funds will still be used to build our game. I will finish this project."
The project raised $70 million USD, but the NFTs buyers received were not the project's original teasers. Some call it "the worst NFT project ever," while others call it a complete scam.
But there's hope for some buyers. Kevin emerged from the ashes as the project was roasted over the fire.
A Minecraft character meets Salad Fingers - that's Kevin. He's a frog-like creature whose reveal was such a terrible NFT that it became part of history – and a meme.
If you're laughing at people paying $8K for a silly pixelated image, you might need to take it back. Precisely because of this, lucky holders who minted Kevin have been able to sell the now-memed NFT for over 8 ETH (around $24,000 USD), with some currently listed for 100 ETH.
Of course, Twitter has been awash in memes mocking those who invested in the project, because what else can you do when so many people lose money?
It's still unclear if the NFT project is a scam, but the team behind it was hired on Upwork. There's still hope for redemption, but Kevin's rise to fame appears to be the only positive outcome so far.
[^1] This is not the first time the creator (A 20-yo New Zealanders) has sought money via an online platform and had people claiming he under-delivered. He raised $74,000 on Kickstarter for a card game called Psycho Chicken. There are hundreds of comments on the Kickstarter project saying they haven't received the product and pleading for a refund or an update.
11 months ago
Why Bitcoin NFTs Are Incomprehensible yet Likely Here to Stay
I'm trying to understand why Bitcoin NFTs aren't ready.
Ordinals, a new Bitcoin protocol, has been controversial. NFTs can be added to Bitcoin transactions using the protocol. They are not tokens or fungible. Bitcoin NFTs are transaction metadata. Yes. They're not owned.
In January, the Ordinals protocol allowed data like photos to be directly encoded onto sats, the smallest units of Bitcoin worth 0.00000001 BTC, on the Bitcoin blockchain. Ordinals does not need a sidechain or token like other techniques. The Ordinals protocol has encoded JPEG photos, digital art, new profile picture (PFP) projects, and even 1993 DOOM onto the Bitcoin network.
Ordinals inscriptions are permanent digital artifacts preserved on the Bitcoin blockchain. It differs from Ethereum, Solana, and Stacks NFT technologies that allow smart contract creators to change information. Ordinals store the whole image or content on the blockchain, not just a link to an external server, unlike centralized databases, which can change the linked image, description, category, or contract identifier.
So far, more than 50,000 ordinals have been produced on the Bitcoin blockchain, and some of them have already been sold for astronomical amounts. The Ethereum-based CryptoPunks NFT collection spawned Ordinal Punk. Inscription 620 sold for 9.5 BTC, or $218,000, the most.
Segwit and Taproot, two important Bitcoin blockchain updates, enabled this. These protocols store transaction metadata, unlike Ethereum, where the NFT is the token. Bitcoin's NFT is a sat's transaction details.
What effects do ordinary values and NFTs have on the Bitcoin blockchain?
Ordinals will likely have long-term effects on the Bitcoin Ecosystem since they store, transact, and compute more data.
Charges Ordinals introduce scalability challenges. The Bitcoin network has limited transaction throughput and increased fees during peak demand. NFTs could make network transactions harder and more expensive. Ordinals currently occupy over 50% of block space, according to Glassnode.
One of the protocols that supported Ordinals Taproot has also seen a huge uptick:
Taproot use increases block size and transaction costs.
This could cause network congestion but also support more L2s with Ordinals-specific use cases. Dune info here.
Storage Needs The Bitcoin blockchain would need to store more data to store NFT data directly. Since ordinals were introduced, blocksize has tripled from 0.7mb to over 2.2mb, which could increase storage costs and make it harder for nodes to join the network.
Use Case Diversity On the other hand, NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain could broaden Bitcoin's use cases beyond storage and payment. This could expand Bitcoin's user base. This is two-sided. Bitcoin was designed to be trustless, decentralized, peer-to-peer money.
Chain to permanently store NFTs as ordinals will change everything.
Popularity rise This new use case will boost Bitcoin appeal, according to some. This argument fails since Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency. Popularity doesn't require a new use case. Cryptocurrency adoption boosts Bitcoin. It need not compete with Ethereum or provide extra benefits to crypto investors. If there was a need for another chain that supports NFTs (there isn't), why would anyone choose the slowest and most expensive network? It appears contradictory and unproductive.
Nonetheless, holding an NFT on the Bitcoin blockchain is more secure than any other blockchain, but this has little utility.
Bitcoin NFTs are undoubtedly controversial. NFTs are strange and perhaps harmful to Bitcoin's mission. If Bitcoin NFTs are here to stay, I hope a sidechain or rollup solution will take over and leave the base chain alone.
1 year ago
Trading Volume on OpenSea Drops by 99% as the NFT Boom Comes to an End
Wasn't that a get-rich-quick scheme?
OpenSea processed $2.7 billion in NFT transactions in May 2021.
Fueled by a crypto bull run, rumors of unfathomable riches, and FOMO, Bored Apes, Crypto Punks, and other JPEG-format trash projects flew off the virtual shelves, snatched up by retail investors and celebrities alike.
Over a year later, those shelves are overflowing and warehouses are backlogged. Since March, I've been writing less. In May and June, the bubble was close to bursting.
Apparently, the boom has finally peaked.
This bubble has punctured, and deflation has begun. On Aug. 28, OpenSea processed $9.34 million.
From that euphoric high of $2.7 billion, $9.34 million represents a spectacular decline of 99%.
OpenSea contradicts the data. A trading platform spokeswoman stated the comparison is unfair because it compares the site's highest and lowest trading days. They're the perfect two data points to assess the drop. OpenSea chooses to use ETH volume measures, which ignore crypto's shifting price. Since January 2022, monthly ETH volume has dropped 140%, according to Dune.
Further OpenSea indicators point to declining NFT demand:
Since January 2022, daily user visits have decreased by 50%.
Daily transactions have decreased by 50% since the beginning of the year in the same manner.
Off-platform, the floor price of Bored Apes has dropped from 145 ETH to 77 ETH. (At $4,800, a reduction from $700,000 to $370,000). Google search data shows waning popular interest.
It is a trend that will soon vanish, just like laser eyes.
NFTs haven't moved since the new year. Eminem and Snoop Dogg can utilize their apes in music videos or as 3D visuals to perform at the VMAs, but the reality is that NFTs have lost their public appeal and the market is trying to regain its footing.
They've lost popularity because?
Breaking records. The technology still lacks genuine use cases a year and a half after being popular.
They're pricey prestige symbols that have made a few people rich through cunning timing or less-than-savory scams or rug pulling. Over $10.5 billion has been taken through frauds, most of which are NFT enterprises promising to be the next Bored Apes, according to Web3 is going wonderfully. As the market falls, many ordinary investors realize they purchased into a self-fulfilling ecosystem that's halted. Many NFTs are sold between owner-held accounts to boost their price, data suggests. Most projects rely on social media excitement to debut with a high price before the first owners sell and chuckle to the bank. When they don't, the initiative fails, leaving investors high and dry.
NFTs are fading like laser eyes. Most people pushing the technology don't believe in it or the future it may bring. No, they just need a Kool-Aid-drunk buyer.
Everybody wins. When your JPEGs are worth 99% less than when you bought them, you've lost.
When demand reaches zero, many will lose.
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1 year ago
Say goodbye to Ponzi yields - A new era of decentralized perpetual
Decentralized perpetual may be the next crypto market boom; with tons of perpetual popping up, let's look at two protocols that offer organic, non-inflationary yields.
Decentralized derivatives exchanges' market share has increased tenfold in a year, but it's still 2% of CEXs'. DEXs have a long way to go before they can compete with centralized exchanges in speed, liquidity, user experience, and composability.
I'll cover gains.trade and GMX protocol in Polygon, Avalanche, and Arbitrum. Both protocols support leveraged perpetual crypto, stock, and Forex trading.
Why these protocols?
Decentralized GMX Gains protocol
Organic yield: path to sustainability
I've never trusted Defi's non-organic yields. Example: XYZ protocol. 20–75% of tokens may be set aside as farming rewards to provide liquidity, according to tokenomics.
Say you provide ETH-USDC liquidity. They advertise a 50% APR reward for this pair, 10% from trading fees and 40% from farming rewards. Only 10% is real, the rest is "Ponzi." The "real" reward is in protocol tokens.
Why keep this token? Governance voting or staking rewards are promoted services.
Most liquidity providers expect compensation for unused tokens. Basic psychological principles then? — Profit.
Nobody wants governance tokens. How many out of 100 care about the protocol's direction and will vote?
Staking increases your token's value. Currently, they're mostly non-liquid. If the protocol is compromised, you can't withdraw funds. Most people are sceptical of staking because of this.
"Free tokens," lack of use cases, and skepticism lead to tokens moving south. No farming reward protocols have lasted.
It may have shown strength in a bull market, but what about a bear market?
What is decentralized perpetual?
A perpetual contract is a type of futures contract that doesn't expire. So one can hold a position forever.
You can buy/sell any leveraged instruments (Long-Short) without expiration.
In centralized exchanges like Binance and coinbase, fees and revenue (liquidation) go to the exchanges, not users.
Users can provide liquidity that traders can use to leverage trade, and the revenue goes to liquidity providers.
Gains.trade and GMX protocol are perpetual trading platforms with a non-inflationary organic yield for liquidity providers.
GMX is an Arbitrum and Avax protocol that rewards in ETH and Avax. GLP uses a fast oracle to borrow the "true price" from other trading venues, unlike a traditional AMM.
GLP and GMX are protocol tokens. GLP is used for leveraged trading, swapping, etc.
GLP is a basket of tokens, including ETH, BTC, AVAX, stablecoins, and UNI, LINK, and Stablecoins.
GLP composition on arbitrum
GLP composition on Avalanche
GLP token rebalances based on usage, providing liquidity without loss.
Protocol "runs" on Staking GLP. Depending on their chain, the protocol will reward users with ETH or AVAX. Current rewards are 22 percent (15.71 percent in ETH and the rest in escrowed GMX) and 21 percent (15.72 percent in AVAX and the rest in escrowed GMX). escGMX and ETH/AVAX percentages fluctuate.
Where is the yield coming from?
Swap fees, perpetual interest, and liquidations generate yield. 70% of fees go to GLP stakers, 30% to GMX. Organic yields aren't paid in inflationary farm tokens.
Escrowed GMX is vested GMX that unlocks in 365 days. To fully unlock GMX, you must farm the Escrowed GMX token for 365 days. That means less selling pressure for the GMX token.
These are the fees in Arbitrum in the past 11 months by GMX.
GMX works like a casino, which increases fees. Most fees come from Margin trading, which means most traders lose money; this money goes to the casino, or GLP stakers.
My personal strategy is to DCA into GLP when markets hit bottom and stake it; GLP will be less volatile with extra staking rewards.
GLP YoY return vs. naked buying
Let's say I invested $10,000 in BTC, AVAX, and ETH in January.
BTC price: 47665$
ETH price: 3760$
AVAX price: $145
BTC $21,000 (Down 56 percent )
ETH $1233 (Down 67.2 percent )
AVAX $20.36 (Down 85.95 percent )
Your $10,000 investment is now worth around $3,000.
How about GLP? My initial investment is 50% stables and 50% other assets ( Assuming the coverage ratio for stables is 50 percent at that time)
Without GLP staking yield, your value is $6500.
Let's assume the average APR for GLP staking is 23%, or $1500. So 8000$ total. It's 50% safer than holding naked assets in a bear market.
In a bull market, naked assets are preferable to GLP.
Short farming using GLP
Simple GLP short farming.
You use a stable asset as collateral to borrow AVAX. Sell it and buy GLP. Even if GLP rises, it won't rise as fast as AVAX, so we can get yields.
Let's do the maths
You deposit $10,000 USDT in Aave and borrow Avax. Say you borrow $8,000; you sell it, buy GLP, and risk 20%.
After a year, ETH, AVAX, and BTC rise 20%. GLP is $8800. $800 vanishes. 20% yields $1600. You're profitable. Shorting Avax costs $1600. (Assumptions-ETH, AVAX, BTC move the same, GLP yield is 20%. GLP has a 50:50 stablecoin/others ratio. Aave won't liquidate
In naked Avax shorting, Avax falls 20% in a year. You'll make $1600. If you buy GLP and stake it using the sold Avax and BTC, ETH and Avax go down by 20% - your profit is 20%, but with the yield, your total gain is $2400.
Issues with GMX
GMX's historical funding rates are always net positive, so long always pays short. This makes long-term shorts less appealing.
Oracle price discovery isn't enough. This limitation doesn't affect Bitcoin and ETH, but it affects less liquid assets. Traders can buy and sell less liquid assets at a lower price than their actual cost as long as GMX exists.
As users must provide GLP liquidity, adding more assets to GMX will be difficult. Next iteration will have synthetic assets.
Best leveraged trading platform. Smart contract-based decentralized protocol. 46 crypto pairs can be leveraged 5–150x and 10 Forex pairs 5–1000x. $10 DAI @ 150x (min collateral x leverage pos size is $1500 DAI). No funding fees, no KYC, trade DAI from your wallet, keep funds.
DAI single-sided staking and the GNS-DAI pool are important parts of Gains trading. GNS-DAI stakers get 90% of trading fees and 100% swap fees. 10 percent of trading fees go to DAI stakers, which is currently 14 percent!
When a trader opens a trade, the leverage and profit are pulled from the DAI pool. If he loses, the protocol yield goes to the stakers.
If the trader's win rate is high and the DAI pool slowly depletes, the GNS token is minted and sold to refill DAI. Trader losses are used to burn GNS tokens. 25%+ of GNS is burned, making it deflationary.
Due to high leverage and volatility of crypto assets, most traders lose money and the protocol always wins, keeping GNS deflationary.
Gains uses a unique decentralized oracle for price feeds, which is better for leverage trading platforms. Let me explain.
Gains uses chainlink price oracles, not its own price feeds. Chainlink oracles only query centralized exchanges for price feeds every minute, which is unsuitable for high-precision trading.
Gains created a custom oracle that queries the eight chainlink nodes for the current price and, on average, for trade confirmation. This model eliminates every-second inquiries, which waste gas but are more efficient than chainlink's per-minute price.
This price oracle helps Gains open and close trades instantly, eliminate scam wicks, etc.
Other benefits include:
Stop-loss guarantee (open positions updated)
No scam wicks
Highest possible leverage
Fixed-spreads. During high volatility, a broker can increase the spread, which can hit your stop loss without the price moving.
Trade directly from your wallet and keep your funds.
>90% loss before liquidation (Some platforms liquidate as little as -50 percent)
Directly trade from wallet; keep funds safe
GNS-DAI liquidity providers fear the impermanent loss, so the protocol is migrating to its own liquidity and single staking GNS vaults. This allows users to stake GNS without permanent loss and obtain 90% DAI trading fees by staking. This starts in August.
Their upcoming improvements can be found here.
Gains constantly add new features and change pairs. It's an interesting protocol.
Next bull run, watch decentralized perpetual protocols. Effective tokenomics and non-inflationary yields may attract traders and liquidity providers. But still, there is a long way for them to develop, and I don't see them tackling the centralized exchanges any time soon until they fix their inherent problems and improve fast enough.
Read the full post here.
1 year ago
Ten words and phrases to avoid in presentations
Don't say this in public!
Want to wow your audience? Want to deliver a successful presentation? Do you want practical takeaways from your presentation?
Then avoid these phrases.
Public speaking is difficult. People fear public speaking, according to research.
"Public speaking is people's biggest fear, according to studies. Number two is death. "Sounds right?" — Comedian Jerry Seinfeld
Yes, public speaking is scary. These words and phrases will make your presentation harder.
Using unnecessary words can weaken your message.
You may have prepared well for your presentation and feel confident. During your presentation, you may freeze up. You may blank or forget.
Effective delivery is even more important than skillful public speaking.
Here are 10 presentation pitfalls.
1. I or Me
Presentations are about the audience, not you. Replace "I or me" with "you, we, or us." Focus on your audience. Reward them with expertise and intriguing views about your issue.
Serve your audience actionable items during your presentation, and you'll do well. Your audience will have a harder time listening and engaging if you're self-centered.
2. Sorry if/for
Your presentation is fine. These phrases make you sound insecure and unprepared. Don't pressure the audience to tell you not to apologize. Your audience should focus on your presentation and essential messages.
3. Excuse the Eye Chart, or This slide's busy
Why add this slide if you're utilizing these phrases? If you don't like this slide, change it before presenting. After the presentation, extra data can be provided.
Don't apologize for unclear slides. Hide or delete a broken PowerPoint slide. If so, divide your message into multiple slides or remove the "business" slide.
4. Sorry I'm Nervous
Some think expressing yourself will win over the audience. Nerves are horrible. Even public speakers are nervous.
Nerves aren't noticeable. What's the point? Let the audience judge your nervousness. Please don't make this obvious.
5. I'm not a speaker or I've never done this before.
These phrases destroy credibility. People won't listen and will check their phones or computers.
Why present if you use these phrases?
Good speakers aren't necessarily public speakers. Be confident in what you say. When you're confident, many people will like your presentation.
6. Our Key Differentiators Are
Overused term. It's widely utilized. This seems "salesy," and your "important differentiators" are probably like a competitor's.
This statement has been diluted; say, "what makes us different is..."
7. Next Slide
Many slides or stories? Your presentation needs transitions. They help your viewers understand your argument.
You didn't transition well when you said "next slide." Think about organic transitions.
8. I Didn’t Have Enough Time, or I’m Running Out of Time
The phrase "I didn't have enough time" implies that you didn't care about your presentation. This shows the viewers you rushed and didn't care.
Saying "I'm out of time" shows poor time management. It means you didn't rehearse enough and plan your time well.
9. I've been asked to speak on
This phrase is used to emphasize your importance. This phrase conveys conceit.
When you say this sentence, you tell others you're intelligent, skilled, and appealing. Don't utilize this term; focus on your topic.
10. Moving On, or All I Have
These phrases don't consider your transitions or presentation's end. People recall a presentation's beginning and end.
How you end your discussion affects how people remember it. You must end your presentation strongly and use natural transitions.
10 phrases to avoid in a presentation. I or me, sorry if or sorry for, pardon the Eye Chart or this busy slide, forgive me if I appear worried, or I'm really nervous, and I'm not good at public speaking, I'm not a speaker, or I've never done this before.
Please don't use these phrases: next slide, I didn't have enough time, I've been asked to speak about, or that's all I have.
We shouldn't make public speaking more difficult than it is. We shouldn't exacerbate a difficult issue. Better public speakers avoid these words and phrases.
“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” — Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father
This is a summary. See the original post here.
1 year ago
My 3 biggest errors as a co-founder and CEO
Reflections on the closed company Hola! Dating app
I'll discuss my fuckups as an entrepreneur and CEO. All of them refer to the dating app Hola!, which I co-founded and starred in.
Spring 2021 was when we started. Two techies and two non-techies created a dating app. Pokemon Go and Tinder were combined.
Online dating is a business, and it takes two weeks from a like to a date. We questioned online dating app users if they met anyone offline last year.
75% replied yes, 50% sometimes, 25% usually.
Offline dating is popular, yet people have concerns.
Men are reluctant to make mistakes in front of others.
Women are curious about the background of everyone who approaches them.
We designed unique mechanics that let people date after a match. No endless chitchat. Women would be safe while men felt like cowboys.
I wish to emphasize three faults that lead to founders' estrangement.
This detachment ultimately led to us shutting down the company.
The wrong technology stack
Instead of generating a faster MVP and designing an app in a universal stack for iOS and Android, I argued we should pilot the app separately for iOS and Android. Technical founders' expertise made this possible.
Mistaken strategy. We lost time and resources developing two apps at once. We chose iOS since it's more profitable. Apple took us out after the release, citing Guideline 4.3 Spam. After 4 months, we had nothing. We had a long way to go to get the app on Android and the Store.
I suggested creating a uniform platform for the company's growth. This makes parallel product development easier. The strategist's lack of experience and knowledge made it a piece of crap.
What would I have changed if I could?
We should have designed an Android universal stack. I expected Apple to have issues with a dating app.
Our approach should have been to launch something and subsequently improve it, but prejudice won.
Discuss the IT stack with your CTO. It saves time and money. Choose the easiest MVP method.
2. A tardy search for investments
Though the universe and other founders encouraged me to locate investors first, I started pitching when we almost had an app.
When angels arrived, it was time to close. The app was banned, war broke out, I left the country, and the other co-founders stayed. We had no savings.
I loved interviewing users. I'm proud of having done 1,000 interviews. I wanted to understand people's pain points and improve the product.
Interview results no longer affected the product. I was terrified to start pitching. I filled out accelerator applications and redid my presentation. You must go through that so you won't be terrified later.
What would I have changed if I could?
Get an external or internal mentor to help me with my first pitch as soon as possible. I'd be supported if criticized. He'd cheer with me if there was enthusiasm.
In 99% of cases, I'm comfortable jumping into the unknown, but there are exceptions. The mentor's encouragement would have prompted me to act sooner.
Begin fundraising immediately. Months may pass. Show investors your pre-MVP project. Draw inferences from feedback.
3. Role ambiguity
My technical co-founders were also part-time lead developers, which produced communication issues. As co-founders, we communicated well and recognized the problems. Stakes, vesting, target markets, and approach were agreed upon.
We were behind schedule. Technical debt and strategic gap grew.
Bi-daily and weekly reviews didn't help. Each time, there were explanations. Inside, I was freaking out.
I am a fairly easy person to talk to. I always try to stick to agreements; otherwise, my head gets stuffed with unnecessary information, interpretations, and emotions.
Sit down -> talk -> decide -> do -> evaluate the results. Repeat it.
If I don't get detailed comments, I start ruining everyone's mood. If there's a systematic violation of agreements without a good justification, I won't join the project or I'll end the collaboration.
What would I have done otherwise?
This is where it’s scariest to draw conclusions. Probably the most logical thing would have been not to start the project as we started it. But that was already a completely different project. So I would not have done anything differently and would have failed again.
But I drew conclusions for the future.
First-time founders should find an adviser or team coach for a strategic session. It helps split the roles and responsibilities.