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Why Are There so Many Crypto Projects Dubbed "Killers" (And Where are They Now)?

Why Are There so Many Crypto Projects Dubbed "Killers" (And Where are They Now)?

Ruth Kise 12 min read
Whether we’re talking about successful people or projects, sooner or later there are competitors who can displace the original leaders. C'est la vie. The crypto market is no exception, and we can regularly observe the emergence of new ambitious projects that are ready to overshadow previous successful products. Therefore, the term "killer" is repeatedly found in the media and applied to potentially successful competitors of large blockchains and top cryptocurrencies. Some of the most frequently mentioned on the network: " Ethereum killer", " Dogecoin killer", " Solana killer". But can new projects really be considered "killers" and why? Let's figure it out. What Does Being “the killer” Mean? In crypto, they love loud words because they sell well. "Killer" is the same. It sounds much better than just a "smart contract platform" - just like an "ecosystem" sounds better than just an "application." But ultimately, "killers" are simply blockchains that support smart contracts and allow the creation and launch of decentralized applications, or currencies, representing an additional speculative asset. These projects define themselves through advantages - scalability, speed, security, convenience, volatility - and not through comparison with its predecessor. It’s crypto media that have created a narrative about "killers," and its task is to attract clicks and views. But you still need to distinguish the real advantages and potential from how they are presented in marketing materials and advertising. Ethereum Killers and What It Takes To win the race against the Ether, the platform must achieve at least something from the list below: The so-called "flippening," that is, bypassing Ethereum by market capitalization; Adoption by a higher number of active users and/or wallet addresses; Adoption by developers: more running applications and smart contracts; Higher volume of transactions per day; Better scalability and speed. The 2022 list of "Ethereum killers" is usually topped by Solana, Polkadot , Cardano , Avalanche , and Polygon . Sometimes Algorand , Near, Elrond , Internet Computer , IOTA , Harmony , etc. are also mentioned. All of them offered solutions to past Ethereum problems, including low throughput, limited scalability, and high fees. Previously, it was the lack of these Ethereum problems that provided the competitive advantage tof the protocol's main rivals. But the Ethereum Merge happened — the transition from PoW to PoS. It was a great test for all of the above. Consider with examples whether Ethereum's move left his rivals without advantages. Solana / SOL Project launch : March 2020 Native token : Solana (SOL)  Market capitalization : $11.4 billion  Development team : Anatoly Yakovenko from Solana Labs Algorithm : Proof-of-History (PoH) Current network size : $973 million To solve the problem of scalability, at one time Solana proposed a new algorithm PoH. Its advantages are low network fees and great scalability. However, there are disadvantages: due to the fact that a small group of validators is engaged in checking network transactions, PoH is inclined to centralize. In June 2022, analysts from DeFiSafety called the PoH blockchain Solana one of the worst due to the large number of technical problems of the network. For example, in September 2021, the system failed for 17 hours due to a DDoS attack. It turns out that Ethereum's PoS algorithm is more reliable, although Solana's PoH is faster and cheaper. Both algorithms include problems of excessive centralization. At the same time, Solana is more centralized than Ethereum. Solana's top 30 validators control over 35% of the total stake. It is also worth paying attention to the speed of block formation. Solana’s is 0.4 seconds, with a size of 50 thousand transactions. Even after migrating to another algorithm, Ethereum will not catch up with Solana in speed (12 sec). To sum up : Ethereum is more reliable and efficient, but more expensive. But even after Merge, ETH ’s blockchain is inferior to its rival in speed. Solana is cheaper. At the same time, it is less stable and more centralized than Ethereum. In addition, Ethereum is several times superior to its competitor in terms of ecosystem scale. Cardano / ADA Project launch : February 2017 Native token : ADA Market capitalization : $13.5 billion Development team : Charles Hoskinson, mathematician and entrepreneur at the heart of Bitshares and Ethereum. Jeremy Wood, ex-chief executive of the Ethereum Foundation Algorithm : Ouroboros Praos using Proof-of-Stake (PoS) model Current network size : $66.8 million The first point of comparison between Cardano and Ethereum is their consensus algorithm. The Shelley era for Cardano and the recently launched Ethereum 2.0 will implement PoS-based consensus models. Comparing their performance at the moment will be difficult since none of them work completely yet. However, in the current state of Cardano and Ethereum, Cardano seems much stronger in terms of TPS. On Layer 1, Ethereum can process up to 30 transactions per second.. Despite criticisms about Cardano's developmental speed, the chain can process roughly 250 TPS. But then again, we're talking about the present state. Ethereum also lags behind when it comes to transaction costs due to problems with high gas fees . In addition, smart contracts on Ethereum are less tolerant of errors compared to what Cardano will support with the release of CCL. According to the Cardano development team, their priority is simplicity and availability, and the platform's smart contracts will have code segments that are understandable to absolutely every user. On the other hand, Cardano's language, Haskell, is much more difficult to learn, making it unpopular among many developers. Contrast this with the fact that all blockchains that are Ethereum virtual machine-compatible speak Solidity. This makes up a huge chunk of the blockchain space. To date, Ethereum has 3,000+ decentralized applications (dApps) running on it, whereas Cardano has a little over 1,000. Since Ethereum was the first chain with smart contracts, it only makes sense that it has the top DeFi dApps. To name a few, these DeFi apps include Uniswap , the first decentralized exchange to rely on an automated market maker model, as well as DeFi giants like Aave and Curve . When looking at total value locked (TVL), Ethereum's DeFi ecosystem dwarfs all the other chains. But even though it comprises only a tiny fraction of Ethereum based on TVL, Cardano DeFi holds its own, featuring prominent projects such as Minswap, WingRiders, and SundaeSwap.  To sum up : the situation with Cardano is similar to Solana. Ethereum is more reliable and efficient, but more expensive. But blockchain is inferior to Cardano in speed. Ethereum is several times superior to its competitor in terms of ecosystem scale. However, Cardano can offer some capabilities that are different from other blockchains, and this is its advantage. Cardano has a huge potential to become a global ecosystem accessible to people around the world, regardless of the political structure of society or financial situation. Thus, IOG collaborates with several African countries to use blockchain to expand the capabilities of local residents and help them implement projects in the field of trade, agriculture and education. A strong engineering team and a focus on compliance make Cardano attractive to big players. Dogecoin Killer In 2013, on a roll of the rapid growth of cryptocurrencies, programmers Jackson Palmer and Billy Marcus decided to jokingly create an ironic cryptocurrency with the Doge meme of the same name. They did not think that the idea would be implemented in a short time and gain such great popularity in the community . The digital currency was supported and continues to be by Elon Musk , which has a positive effect on the price of the meme-coin. Repeating DOGE's success seemed incredible until the Shiba Inu token of the ERC-20 standard appeared in 2020. The creators did not hide the fact that it was DOGE that inspired them, and SHIB is an evolutionary development of the meme token. The aim of the project was to issue a token at a low price so that any user could purchase millions of coins. The developers deliberately set its value well below one cent and the declared strategy is to raise the price of the altcoin to $0.01 and thereby make it profitable for early investors. Shiba Inu does not carry any technology and innovation, but after such unprecedented community support (more than 2 million users have subscribed to the project account), the creators of the project announced large development plans, in particular, the launch of the decentralized finance exchange - ShibaSwap. The creators also presented two more projects: the first is " BONE " designed to work as a platform management token with a total volume of 250 million coins, and the second is Doge Killer ( LEASH ), which was conceived as a risk hedge token, into which SHIB owners "overflow" when the coin falls. The initial issue amounted to 1 quadrillion coins, but a significant part has already been burned. At the time of writing, less than 60% of tokens are in circulation. The white paper of the project says that Vitalik Buterin is a friend of Shiba Inu. The creator holds this view: "there is no greatness without a vulnerable point, and until vB offends us, SHIBA will grow and survive." Therefore, half of the issued coins were sent to Buterin's disposal. Thanks to this, the meme token gained fame. In May 2021, Buterin sent 50 trillion SHIB to charity. A little later, for security reasons, he burned 410 trillion SHIB, the cost of which at that time was more than $6.5 billion. This reduced the overall supply by more than 40% and had a positive impact on the price. In 2021, Elon Musk has repeatedly influenced the market with his tweets. His focus is on Dogecoin. This was the reason for the emergence of similar projects. Coins using Dogecoin symbolism respond positively to Elon Musk's tweets. Initially, SHIB was not in great demand, but after several mentions by Elon Musk, interest in the coin increased significantly. To date, the market capitalization of the project is $7.137 million, while DOGE has $17.908 million. Thus, according to CoinGecko Dogecoin is in 8th place by market cap, and Shiba Inu is in 14th place. Now the developers are busy creating their own metaverse SHIB: The Metaverse. The project is distinguished by closure, unlike Dogecoin. The detailed roadmap is classified. Community leaders are known only by their pseudonyms. Communication occurs in restricted groups. Only real people can join them after passing the check. The appearance of Shiba-Inu was very useful, because many investors felt FOMO ( fear of missing out) because of the success of Dogecoin and tried to play it on a new meme project, and each new listing on the exchanges raised the price of the coin even higher. A Fresh Wind: Aptos Aptos is a new layer-1 blockchain designed to massively implement Web 3.0 and expand the capabilities of the decentralized application ecosystem. Project launch : October 18, 2022. Native token : APT . Market capitalization : $960 million. Development team : Mo Shaik and Avery Ching; they previously created the Diem wallet for Mark Zuckerberg's social networks. Algorithm : AptosBFT consensus algorithm. Current network size : $73.07 million The main feature of this network is the use of parallel transaction technology "Parallel Execution", which increases the bandwidth of the blockchain and increases the speed of operations. The blockchain also uses the Move programming language. According to the project's technical documentation, a smart contract verifier written in this language allows application developers on this blockchain to better protect their programs from malicious objects. In addition, Aptos offers hybrid storage and key management options. Together with the transparency of transactions before they take place and practical client protocols, this creates a more secure and reliable user interface, the developers said. Due to the high speed of processing transactions, Aptos can become the "killer" of Solana and other projects, such as Bitcoin . Due to the use of the Move programming language and parallel execution technology, about 160 thousand transactions per second are performed on the blockchain. For comparison, the Solana blockchain has a declared speed of 50 thousand. TPS, VISA international payment system - 24 thousand TPS, and the bitcoin network conducts an average of 5-7 transactions per second. In recent days, large projects on the Solana blockchain began to announce their transition to Aptos. There are also a lot of young and promising projects that are being built and optimized immediately for the blockchain. At the moment, almost all of these projects work in test mode, conduct tests on testnets, and stabilize the work of their protocols. But do not rush to enter projects without fundamental analysis. Bottom Line Proving the killing of projects to their followers is a waste of time. Our main task is to achieve mass adoption of blockchain technologies. The presence of a variety of alternative networks is only a plus here. A new user interested in trading might choose Solana, or risk with Aptos, and big investors would rather turn to more established blockchains. The same applies to cryptocurrencies, for large masses, it will be much easier to enter the market with Shiba, while serious players will operate with more expensive currency. Everyone is able to find a suitable solution and opportunities for themselves by choosing one or another project. And that's great! After all, this is how we approach the popularization of the crypto world.
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All You Need to Know About Ethereum Merge (and PoW Ethereum Fork)

All You Need to Know About Ethereum Merge (and PoW Ethereum Fork)

John Martin 10 min read
The transition from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stakes (PoS) is the most important and difficult upgrade in the history of Ethereum . The process that has been going on for seven years has reached the finish line. In the past, the upgrade was called differently: Serenity, Casper , Shasper, Ethereum 2.0, and, finally, "merger" (The Merge). The update will change the consensus mechanism that defines the principles of transaction validation and block release. Since 2014, developers have explored the possibilities of PoS as an alternative to PoW systems. Due to the novelty and lack of study of the new algorithm at that time, the air was launched in 2015 based on Ethash technology based on Proof-of-Work. In the same year, the developers presented an ambitious roadmap, where the final stage of development was called Serenity. It involved a complete transition from Ethash to a stable PoS algorithm. One of the main motives is to improve Ethereum's energy efficiency. Developers expect that thanks to The Merge, electricity costs will be reduced by more than 99.9%. Instead of miners, validators will play a central role in the network, each of which requires 32 ETH in the form of collateral. According to Galaxy Digital Research researchers, the upcoming upgrade will not change the algorithms of user interaction with dapps. Customers of exchanges, custodial services, as well as ordinary ETH holders will not be required to move their coins anywhere. In the second half of May, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin said that the blockchain's transition to the Proof-of-Stake algorithm would take place in August, but he did not rule out that in case of any problems, the update would be postponed for a month or two. And these problems arose, so in August Ethereum 2.0 should not be expected for sure — this is good news about Ethereum for miners, but disappointing for the community , which has long awaited the transition to the "green" algorithm Proof-of-Stake instead of the current energy-intensive Proof-of-Work. Recently, the Ethereum team completed the transition of the Goerli test network to the Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm. Against the background of a successful merger, following the results of recent discussions of the team, the date of transition to the PoS of the main network was postponed to an earlier date. The developers called the likely transfer date: September 19, 2022. When everything is ready, the main Ethereum network will "merge" with Beacon Chain , becoming its fragment, which uses proof of ownership instead of proof of work. The core network will bring the ability to run smart contracts to the proof of ownership system, as well as the complete history and the current state of Ethereum, to ensure a smooth transition for all ETH holders and users. What Is Network Merger, Transition to POS, and Why Are They Needed? Since April 2022, Ethereum has been running two parallel blockchains, one that operates using proof of work, and a test chain that operates via proof of stake. Ethereum Merge or Ether Merge is the process of merging the Ethereum main network with the Beacon test network, which is based on Proof-of-stake (PoS) and will become the main one after the merger. Visually, users should not notice anything, but what the future of Ethereum will be — so far it is difficult to say since this event is unprecedented. Today, the Ethereum blockchain works according to the Proof of Work algorithm, and in September it will switch to the Proof of Pack algorithm. After the transition, miners and the computing power they generate will no longer be needed to maintain the Ethereum network. The network will be supported by "validators" — that is, simply cryptocurrency owners. The developers claim that this algorithm is more fair, reliable, fast, and most importantly — much less energy-intensive. Also, when switching to Proof-Of-Stake, ETH is likely to be mined more slowly and burned at the same rate​ as now and the price of the asset will increase. If before the merger, the aggregate block reward for ETH miners is about $13,000 ETH per day, after the merger, not only miners will disappear as a source of pressure on the price, but also the new number of issued $ ETH will fall to 1,500 per day. This decrease of ~ 90% corresponds to about three Bitcoin halves. This is sometimes called triple halving . If you subtract from this ~ 8,000 burned $ ETH per day, then it can be assumed that the existing emission will decrease by about 1 – 2% per year. How Will the Transition from PoW to PoS Take Place? We can look at this both from ordinary users/holders and from miners. If nothing fundamentally changes for ordinary users, then for miners, the transition of air from PoW to PoS will become a problem, since they have invested millions of dollars in their farms. Recently, the cryptocurrency exchange Binance said in its blog that it was ready to support the transition of Efirium from the Proof-of-Work (PoW) algorithm to the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) algorithm. The platform will also support opponents of the merger, who plan to continue to use PoW and create forks of the network. An open letter from the ETHPow project, one of the largest players in the Chinese mining market, says: "How will ETHPoS develop in the next five years and will ETHPoS still exist? This is all uncertain. We believe that we must unite to make a backup for the decentralized world of DeFi and NFT , compete with ETHPoS together, and leave the world with another opportunity " The creator of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, spoke about this transition back in 2015, but since some people do not agree with the transition of the broadcast to consensus PoS the Ethereum hard fork will also be made at the time of the transition. This means that we will have two different blockchains: the original Proof-Of-Work Ethereum and the new PoS Ethereum. After the fork, everything that was in ETH ERC: 20 will also be duplicated in the new network. Because of this, there may be many misfortunes, since the prices of the same assets will differ in these two networks. If everything was not so obvious here, then you would have to watch the market and watch which network people choose the main one. Since if we had USDC 50 000 000 000 that is backed by the dollar and other assets, and after the fork, they are already twice as many, then in one of the networks they are not supported by anything. As Vitalik Buterin said, "where will the USDT and USDC go that blockchain will be the main one." Therefore, it is likely that stablecoins in the POW network will be empty. This situation will be with all other assets in the PoW network, as fewer projects will support it. The same situation with NFT on PoW, they will have no value, just like the JPEG itself downloaded with Opensea. Switching to PoS: Pros and Cons The most obvious advantages are: Higher reliability due to the responsibility of validators; Expensive equipment and electricity for production are not required; Increase the speed of Ethereum 2.0; Additional revenue for validators; Strengthening the effect of decentralization; Substantial reduction of commissions. Several of the disadvantages are distinguished: You must have a large amount in ETH or join a staking pool; It will not be possible to quickly withdraw the earned funds (coins will be blocked for a year and a half, this time will be required to merge the old and new versions); Low liquidity of stealing (according to the developers, the yield will not exceed 5%). But it can be noted that the low profitability of staking can be offset by an increase in the price of the new version of Ethereum. Low throughput and high commissions became the main problem of Ethereum 1.0, so it is not surprising that project 2.0 began to gain popularity since commissions should significantly decrease and the speed of work should increase. Answers to Frequent Questions about Ethereum Merge Why is Merge so discussed? Blockchains do not change so often so fundamentally. In the history of the crypt, not a single blockchain, especially so large, popular, and ecosystem, has not undergone such significant changes. There are many risks associated with possible different errors, and this is one of the main reasons why switching to PoS took so long. How will Merge affect ETH? Merge will reduce annual ETH emissions from 4.3% to 0.43%. This is due to the efficiency improvements provided by the consensus mechanism. PoS provides a high level of blockchain security with lower costs, accordingly, it allows you to pay less for network security. In total, switching to PoS reduces emissions by more than 90%. Why does Merge make ETH deflationary? Almost exactly a year ago, on August 5, 2021, Ethereum introduced the EIP-1559 update, which changed the way transaction fees are managed in Ethereum. Instead of simply paying the entire transaction fee to miners, a certain part is now burned. After Merge, ETH emissions fall by more than 90%, proportionally increasing the amount of ETH burned in each unit. When the Ethereum gas charge is 7 gwei or higher, the ETH combustion rate becomes higher than the ETH emission rate, resulting in a decrease in ETH supply. Does Merge reduce fees? No. This is a misconception that arose due to confusion between the concepts of "Ethereum 2.0" and "Merge." "ETH 2.0" is the definition of the future of Ethereum, which is no longer used in the Ethereum community. "ETH 2.0" would be correct to refer to a future version of Ethereum, which will include PoS and sharding. For a while, it was believed that PoS and Sharding would appear at the same time. As research progressed, developers realized that they could split these updates into pieces and implement them separately. Sharding will lower gas charges on L1, but a larger decline for end users will eventually occur on L2, such as Optimism , Arbitrum, Polygon , StarkNet, zkSync, or other L2. The decision to reduce the level of commissions was never to reduce them by L1. The main idea was to transfer users to L2 and allow them to enjoy fast and cheap transactions. Does Merge increase transaction speed? This slightly affects the last item. After Merge, the block production time will become slightly faster (from 13.6 seconds to 12 seconds), and this is a very insignificant indicator. A 12% increase in transaction throughput results in a 12% reduction in gas costs. Accordingly, we will not feel a tangible decrease in commissions. Does Merge reduce Ethereum's energy consumption? Yes. This is one of the most important advantages of Merge and PoS. After Merge, Ethereum will consume about 99.95% less energy than it does now. PoS protects blockchain with capital, not energy. Ethereum will become the most environmentally friendly financial system the world has ever seen. What effect can we expect from the price of ETH? At the moment, probably, there will be no serious shocks, since the macro situation remains the most important for the entire market, even for the main cryptocurrency market. Serious discussions are underway about how the merger will affect the price. Many point out that many who have Ethereum in steaking end up pouring them into the market. In reality, however, there will be no immediate unlocking, and we believe that the incentive to delegate to stealing, unless there is a sharp change in trend, will be much higher than the desire to sell. And if this happens in the more interesting phases of the market, then this could be a serious impetus for the growth of the ETH price in the market.
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Promising DeFi Startups and Crypto Trends of 2022

Promising DeFi Startups and Crypto Trends of 2022

John Martin 10 min read
The popularization and development of DeFi projects will make the use of financial services more modern, democratic, and convenient. The structure of the industry contains a lot of important components: information management, insurance, lending, tokenization of assets, and the emergence of stable digital coins that are not subject to high volatility.  What are DeFi Projects and What are They Like? DeFi is an abbreviation of " Decentralized Finance ". The concept of decentralized finance is based on a progressive idea aimed at consolidating two vectors at once. The first one is the creation of a new financial industry that will replace the traditional areas: banking, insurance, credit, and many others. Secondly, everyone will have the right to independently control their money without regulators and intermediaries. Technically, DeFi is needed for maximum democratization of the asset management structure, as well as the creation of new financial trading, investing , lending, depositing, and many other services. Thanks to the blockchain, they will become completely seamless. The vast majority of DeFi applications are based on Ethereum . Although, as technology develops, competitive alternatives appear, for example, Binance Smart Chain. If we talk about the Ethereum platform, the main advantage of this blockchain is that it was originally created for the launch of an ecosystem based on which developers will launch their decentralized applications. It was dApps that became the key DeFi mechanism. As a result, the founders of startups were able to implement their ideas without attracting sponsors or institutional investors. Capitalization of DeFi Many companies from the field of DeFi occupy high places in the ranking by market capitalization of Coinmarketcap. Ethereum ranks second, following Bitcoin , which tops the list. The market capitalization of the decentralized finance industry is estimated at $56.99 billion as of the end of May 2022. Cryptocurrencies are very volatile, so at any moment there may be an impulse jump in this indicator. It is also worth considering that DeFi is a fairly young niche in the crypto market. The first DeFi projects began to appear in 2019. Over the next few years, there was a real boom. It is for this reason that hype around DeFi is often compared with the popularity of ICO times of 2017. TOP 10 projects by market capitalization according to Coinmarketcap: Wrapped Bitcoin; Avalanche ; DAI ; Uniswap ; Chainlink ; Tezos ; Frax ; Maker ; DeFiChain ; PancakeSwap . The capitalization of the leaders of this rating is around the $8.5 billion mark, however, it should be borne in mind that Coinmarketcap does not include such platforms as Ethereum, Binance, Solana , and Polkadot among the DeFi. This is since their scope of application is much wider than just decentralized finance. Web 3.0, DeFi and Blockchain Since Web 3.0 networks will work through decentralized protocols, the fundamental blocks of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, we can expect strong convergence and symbiotic relationships between these three technologies and other areas. They will be functionally compatible, easily integrated, automated using smart contracts and will be used to provide anything from microtransactions in Africa, censorship -resistant P2P data storage, as Filecoin suggests, to a complete change in the usual procedures for managing companies and doing business. The current set of DeFi protocols is just the tip of the iceberg. TOP 10 DeFi Projects Ethereum continues to be the undisputed flagship of DeFi. Vitalik Buterin's platform is actively used by startup founders to develop new decentralized applications and protocols. The ether continues to evolve. Progress is successful, the ETH cryptocurrency is strengthening in second place both in terms of value and market capitalization. Only Bitcoin is ahead. Solana The authors of many independent ratings believe that Solana plays an even more significant role in the DeFi industry than Binance. In many ways, this point of view is based on a unique consensus-building algorithm. The network uses history confirmation to verify transactions — this is an optimized version of Proof-of-Stake. The new algorithm made it possible to create a viable analog of mining and betting. In the Solana ecosystem, transaction confirmation is carried out by using timestamps in previous payments. Such an unusual algorithm for achieving consensus will significantly increase the speed of transaction processing. As for the SOL coin, it is a first-layer platform. No other platforms are required to carry out transactions. Solana has a great future in the field of DeFi, as the platform can solve current scalability problems. The innovative network architecture allows you to use the principle of horizontal scaling, which has a positive effect on network bandwidth. As of May 23, 2022, one SOL coin is valued at $53. Solana ranks 9th in the Coinmarketcap rating. Avalanche  Avalanche is a platform for launching smart contracts and creating DeFi applications. It can be used to deploy corporate blockchain networks. The AVAX service token is used as part of network management. Its owners can take part in voting on decision-making regarding the subsequent development of the ecosystem. The company's market capitalization is estimated at approximately $8.5 billion. Polkadot Another interesting startup that has enormous weight in the DeFi industry. The Polkadot platform allows independent blockchains to exchange information, including transactions. This goal is achieved through a relay chain. This feature significantly increases throughput when compared with the flagship of the market in the face of Ethereum. DOT is an internal network token required for workflow management. The Polkadot platform allows you to develop decentralized platforms and applications. Heterogeneous blockchain multicore is a promising direction, so buying DOT coins can be a successful investment. The platform has open-source code. Despite the crisis in the crypto industry, Polkadot retains its position and ranks 11th in the Coinmarketcap rating. Wrapped Bitcoin WBTC is an ERC-20 token that is supported by bitcoin. The main idea of the founders of the DeFi startup is to use the global liquidity of the BTC network and transform it into a more flexible Ethereum space. Issues related to the storage of coins are solved at the expense of BitGo. As for providing initial liquidity, Kyber and Ren are responsible for this. The WBTC coin is available on many popular centralized and decentralized crypto exchanges. Therefore, everyone will be able to purchase it. Each user can verify the real security of the WBTC. Information about reserves is public. The management structure is presented in the DAO format. All platforms involved in the implementation of this idea have the right to vote. In total, we are talking about 16 platforms, including Compound , Dharma, and Maker. The process is completely public. The control is carried out using smart contracts with multi-signature, all the participants of the DAO support it. Uniswap This is a DeFi protocol that was developed for the exchange of digital assets based on the Ethereum blockchain. The founders of Uniswap decided to replace the classic order books with liquidity pools . Therefore, absolutely every participant will be able to exchange ERC-20 tokens and ether. Users can earn money by supplying liquidity to the protocol. The profit is formed at the expense of exchange commissions — 0.3% for a trading operation. If desired, users will be able to create their own liquidity pools. To do this, it is necessary to add an equivalent amount in Ethereum coins to the liquidity protocol. You can also use any ERC-20 standard token. The exchange rate is determined by the automated market maker. Quotes are adjusted during trading. Balance is always maintained. The rate depends on which side has more assets. Aave This is a non-custodial protocol with open source code. It is designed for lending and processing loans in cryptocurrency. At the time of entering liquidity into the protocol, the user converts his digital coins into tokens that are compatible with ERC-20. Dividends in the interest format are automatically accrued on this amount. Users can not only lend cryptocurrency but also take loans. To do this, you need to provide a deposit in coins. Depending on the selected asset, additional parameters of the transaction will depend on the liquidation threshold , the amount of the fine, and the security coefficient. Interest rates vary depending on the supply and demand for a particular cryptocurrency. Fixed-rate offers are also available to Aave users. Maker This is a credit platform that was also created based on Ethereum. It supports the DAI dollar stablecoin . Each user has the opportunity to open a wallet . Cryptocurrency blocking is available in the vault as collateral. Based on it, you can generate an equivalent amount in DAI. Payment for stability is carried out in the format of infinite interest. Dividends are paid when the debt is repaid. With the help of the Maker platform, you can make loans to DAI in the amount of up to 68% of your collateral. The security ratio is approximately 150%. If the price falls below this level, you will have to pay a fine, besides there will be a liquidation of the collateral. The owners of the MKR internal token participate in the management of the platform, they vote for innovations. Compound The project is aimed at creating an algorithmic financial market on the Ethereum blockchain. This direction of DeFi will allow you to issue secured loans or receive passive income from an open deposit. Dividends are accrued instantly after freezing coins in a decentralized protocol. The rates are updated every 15 seconds under current market trends. The liquidity is delivered in the format of the token. Participants of the DeFi network can get up to 75% of the amount of their collateral on credit. You can top up your account or withdraw your assets at any time. The only condition is to maintain the necessary level of collateral to prevent the liquidation of the transaction. 10% of the number of dividends is allocated for the formation of reserves, and the rest is received by liquidity providers in COMP tokens. Chainlink It is a decentralized network of oracles . The Chainlink blockchain platform allows you to work with smart contracts, and connect to external information sources, including APIs, internal systems, and all kinds of data channels . Payment for the services of the service is carried out using the internal LINK token. It is created following the ERC-20 standard. It will become more expensive as the DeFi industry and the platform itself develop. One of the key advantages of Chainlink is the network functionality that allows you to initiate verification of information coming from several sources at once. The internal degree of reputation allows Chainlink to identify reliable sources with high accuracy. This feature allows you to achieve accurate results, protecting smart contracts from potential threats. Tezos The platform was created to host smart contracts and to work with decentralized applications. Internal XTZ coins cannot be mined, but they can be bought. You can also earn cryptocurrency by participating in transaction confirmation. The network uses an energy-efficient Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm. Users of the network contribute to maintaining its operability and receive remuneration for their work. There are several key differences between Tezos and other DeFi. On the platform in question, there are so-called bakers who perform the same functions as miners — they provide transaction verification. Instead of expensive equipment, they use the freezing of their assets. This is the advantageous difference between PoS and PoW. Let's Summarize: Judging by the capitalization, the DeFi market continues to develop. There is a real public demand for the creation of a decentralized financial world for a new generation. Blockchain technologies are quite capable of coping with this task. Institutional investors also believed in this niche. They are ready to invest money in it, which will contribute to development. DeFi is a new, global, flexible, and transparent financial structure based on the principles of decentralization. You can earn money on classic investing, staking, lending, and profitable farming. The leaders of the decentralized finance industry are Binance and Ethereum. It is on these blockchains that most of the projects are launched.
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6 Crypto Trends of 2022 (And What's the Next Big Thing in Crypto)

6 Crypto Trends of 2022 (And What's the Next Big Thing in Crypto)

John Martin 9 min read
After a long lull in the cryptocurrency market, there is a revival. The era of Web 2 is gradually coming to an end, and it is being replaced by the era of Web 3. NFT , DeFi applications, GameFi , new crypto coins, and DAO are all harbingers of the beginning of this irreversible process. Thanks to the arrival of new players — from global corporations to ordinary gamers — big changes are expected in the cryptocurrency market in the coming months. They will also affect new developments. Let's look at 6 trends that experts today call the future of cryptocurrency. 1. Metaverse The metaverse is a hypothetical network of three-dimensional virtual worlds, where you can immerse yourself with the help of AR and VR technologies. Many companies consider it the next stage in the development of the Internet and the mobile ecosystem and offer exciting projects of virtual universes. It's no secret that at the end of 2021, against the background of Zuckerberg's statements and the renaming of Facebook to META , interest in the metaverse has grown noticeably. Human interaction is reaching a new level as social networks, payment systems, and augmented reality applications become part of the same ecosystem. Read more about META in our article. Experts are confident that buying digital real estate in virtual worlds will no longer be confusing. New crypto projects in the field of metaverse include De central, Sandbox, and Axis Infinity. Another striking example is the Cosmos project. New blockchains in the metaverse can become part of a separate infrastructure. Decentralized exchanges , stablecoins , and DeFi are already connected to the Cosmos ecosystem. Large companies, such as Google, may announce the creation of their virtual worlds after Facebook. 2. NFT and DeFi Many experts are confident that NFTs, which experienced a big boom in popularity in 2021, will remain more than in demand due to the development of metaverses. Non-interchangeable tokens will provide proof of ownership when purchasing virtual objects. Tokenization will continue to increase in volume — not only individual users but also entire companies are already resorting to it. A new industry for business relations was born out of a fleeting hobby. DeFi will be responsible for the convenience of economic relations in the metaverse. There is a "competition" going on in the wallet market right now: who will be the first to create a multi-chain wallet that will allow for cheap transactions between blockchains without using bridges and without overloading funds through additional layers of the network The market of NFT and decentralized finance will develop, as it has not reached its peak indicators, but a large percentage of the NFT segment will not be of particular value, the founder of Amir Capital Group Marat Mynbayev is sure. Nevertheless, developments in these areas allow the market to develop. 3. Legal Regulation In 2022, members of the crypto community may face increased activity related to the regulation of the digital asset market. The authorities can no longer ignore the growing interest of market participants in cryptocurrencies. The legal status of cryptocurrencies varies significantly in different countries. In some countries, transactions with cryptocurrencies are officially allowed: in Germany, bitcoin is recognized as a settlement currency, in Japan, Bitcoin is a legal property with a purchase tax. Currently, almost nowhere in the world is there a regulatory framework that establishes reference rules for conducting cryptocurrency ICOs. It follows from this that there are no legal protection mechanisms for both investors and persons issuing cryptocurrency tokens. Now in some countries, there are attempts to include crypto investment in the legal field and give cryptocurrencies an official status. The market is moving towards centralization, which will be marked by the emergence of services and control mechanisms. On the other hand, in 2022, market participants may expect new mechanisms for the legalization of a financial instrument and taxation. The first forecast of Messari CEO Ryan Selkis for 2022: the situation in the "real" world will worsen before it gets better. With a 70% probability, the US inflation rate will remain above 5% throughout the year. At the same time, an increase in interest rates will slow down the dynamics of the stock market and hurt rising stocks. For cryptocurrencies, this is good in the short term. But in the medium term, risks arise, as crypto companies will begin to be increasingly censored by Western technology and banking platforms in the face of the suppression of cryptocurrencies by the Joe Biden administration. However, not all experts believe that market participants should expect serious legal changes and stricter regulation in the new year. The authorities can only limit themselves to spreading rumors in the media to intimidate inexperienced investors. 4. Web3 and Blockchain Platforms Web3 is the concept of a new, third-generation Internet, decentralized and powered by blockchain and token economy. It is contrasted with the Web2 World Wide Web, which operates based on centralized platforms for social interaction between users. Large Internet companies, for example, Alphabet (Google), Meta (Facebook), Amazon, and Apple, consolidated most of the information. They occupy leading positions in online advertising, e-commerce, streaming, etc. In 2014, Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood proposed a new concept, which includes decentralization. According to it, companies embed financial assets in the form of tokens into the inner workings of almost everything you do on the network. As part of the strategy, users interact without being tied to specific servers, data centers, and databases. Web3 will allow you to create platforms that no one controls, but that everyone can trust because of their underlying algorithms and protocols. It is proposed to achieve this with the help of advanced technologies such as blockchain, machine learning, big data, and artificial intelligence. Tokens and cryptocurrencies, independent of traditional financial systems, should become fuel for the third-generation Internet economy. Among the promising tokens of this sector, analysts call IOTA ( MIOTA ) and HNT ( Helium ); FIL ( Filecoin ) and BTT ( BitTorrent ); ( OCEAN ) Ocean Protocol — the fundamental token of Web 3.0; BAT ( Basic Attention Token) — a project that allows you to receive remuneration for viewing ads. In general, all projects are united by the fact that they solve the main tasks of the Internet of the future — the decentralization of the network, in which data and information fully belong to their owner, and in which the user and his rights have the main value. 5. P2E Games Play-to-Earn (P2E) is a new term for video games where gamers can earn cryptocurrencies and NFT tokens through their gaming activities. In the last few months, the Play-to-earn trend has gained great momentum. Gaming itself is a huge global market. There are more than 2.7 billion gamers in the world. At the same time, analysts expect that in the next few years the value of the industry will exceed $ 300 billion. Today there are two important problems in the industry: Players do not own their purchases in the full sense of the term. In-game items increase the player's productivity and enjoyment of the game but do not serve any other purpose. As a result, they fall into the category of entertainment expenses, not investments; However, as new business models for game developers become available (for example, commissions from secondary sales of NFT), new forms of gameplay will also appear. The number of games has already exceeded 200, while they occupy up to 45% of the traffic of all decentralized applications. As a result, the trend is even singled out in a separate direction of GameFi (Game Finance). The main idea of such games is still not the possibility of quick earnings, but the right to own digital property. With the development of the metaverse, such games will appear more and more often. Perhaps this will become one of the main ways to attract users to the new environment. Modern large companies in the field of gaming, such as Steam or Microsoft, will be able to apply new crypto technologies on their marketplaces or, conversely, suffer from the outflow of users to other sites where the commission is lower, the purchase is safer, there is the possibility of converting virtual items into real money and their subsequent withdrawal. 6. DAO DAO is a decentralized autonomous organization that is controlled by software code and does not depend on the human factor. There is no hierarchy in such systems, all decisions on changes in the protocol are made by all participants on an equal basis with each other. Each digital community is centered around a common cause: it can be the management of a library, a united workforce, a social club, an NFT collection, and so on. The most famous example of such a community is a crowdfunding organization, which is called The DAO. In 2016, the company attracted more than $150 million in investments, becoming the largest crowdfunding project in history. However, it was closed in the same year due to the theft of funds by hackers. But developers continue to learn from their mistakes and improve the technology. Now DAOs are popular in narrow circles of crypto specialists, but their potential is huge — automation of management will greatly reduce bureaucracy and the human factor in almost any company. Experts identify the key features of the DAO: The band members are independent parties; Availability of SmartContract — open source code on the blockchain; Open Membership; A token is used to manage the community, which distributes funds according to priorities, encourages participation, and punishes violations of the rules; The group has internal capital to automate the market, prevent collusion and stimulate the creation of upward communities. Of course, these are not all the trends of cryptocurrencies that we expect in 2022. The growth of investments in this segment is rightfully considered the main trend not only in 2022 but also in subsequent years. The emergence of new exchange-traded funds ( ETFs ) based on digital assets and the development of WebFree can also be attributed to developing areas.
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What Is Web3?

What Is Web3?

Ruth Kise 6 min read
Web3 is the concept of a new stage in the development of the Internet, the basics of which are decentralization, blockchain-based work, and the economy of tokens . So far, there has been no complete transition to a new stage in the evolution of the web, and it seemed that it would take more years. However, now we are already on the verge of a completely new concept of the Internet. Evolution of Web3  There are a few details that we need to remember when studying Web3. First, the concept is not new. Jeffrey Zeldman, one of the first developers of Web1 and 2, wrote a blog post about his support for Web3 back in 2006. And conversations on this topic began back in 2001. The Internet is not something stable or an end product. Over the past decades, it has undergone several stages of change . For a better understanding of technologies, let's consider the features of each: What is Web1? Web1 was the first iteration of the web. Most of the participants were content consumers, and the creators tended to be developers who created websites containing information submitted primarily in text or graphic format. Web1 lasted from about 1991 to 2004. Web1 consisted of sites serving static content instead of dynamic HTML. Data and content were provided from a static file system rather than a database, and sites didn’t have much interactivity. What is Web2? We can say that most of us have encountered the Internet in its current form of Web2 (or Web 2.0 as it used to be called often). Advances in web technologies such as Javascript, HTML5, and CSS3 have made it possible to create interactive and social web platforms like YouTube, Facebook, or Wikipedia. At this stage, it is not at all necessary to be a developer to participate in the creation process. If you have an idea — or anything at all, — you can project it and share it with the world. But the downside of this broader online engagement is that by creating content, users also provide personal information and data to the companies that control those platforms. This leads to the following issues: Security and Privacy The exploitation and centralization of user data are the basis of the functioning of the Internet, as we know it and use it today. In Web2 applications, you have no control over your data or how it is stored. There are constant data leaks. Moreover, companies often track and store personal user data without their consent. All of this data is then owned and controlled by the companies responsible for these platforms. Censorship Despite the fact that Web2 is the Internet for users, absolute freedom cannot be found here. Centralization is reflected in all areas, be it social networks, search systems, or even operating systems. Each application has its own content permission policy, e.g. the browser will issue "correct" information and ads, or Youtube can declare a ban for an unwanted statement. Monetization of Apps At first, many software companies are not worried about monetization. They focus solely on growing and attracting new users, but ultimately they have to start making a profit. Think about the time when LinkedIn, Youtube, or Instagram were freshly baked: how much have they changed? For many Web2 companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and others, more data leads to more personalized ads. This leads to more clicks and ultimately more ad revenue.  All this indicates the imperfection of today's web. Benefits of Web3 The obvious plus of Web3 is decentralization, but this is not the only advantage. For example, all interactions and all data on the network can be tokenized. This allows: marking content so that it is unique. This will allow you to fight numerous copies of the same information, it is easier to find the original source and save time in search of original content; taking advantage of new online earning opportunities. This applies both to receiving fees by authors of articles, videos, etc., and to reward users for watching and reading content only. maintaining privacy on the network. Content creation doesn’t require the provision of personal data. increasing the overall speed of the network. A multisite network makes it possible by sharing the power of its devices with other users. Web3 applications do not exist on the same server but work either on the blockchain or in decentralized networks of many peers — nodes. At the same time, modern blockchains allow you to deploy nodes and manage them for everyone. Such applications are called dapps. As an example, we can name the Theta network — a service for creating, publishing, and exchanging video content. In this network, content is stored in nodes, and users can even share part of the power of their device, receiving native network tokens for this. There is also the IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) project — a decentralized open-source file-sharing network. A network is a peer-to-peer communication protocol, that is, a communication protocol without any central authority (server). Summing up, we can speak about the following advantages of decentralized internet: lack of central apps regulation; accordingly, less censorship and more freedom in user speech; higher fault tolerance, since applications are located in decentralized nodes — they are almost impossible to hack and they do not depend on the operation of one physical server: the ability to monetize its presence on the network, both for application operators and for the users themselves. Blockchain and Web3 As Web3 networks will operate through decentralized protocols, and foundational blocks of blockchain and cryptocurrency technology, we can expect strong convergence and symbiotic relationships between these three technologies and other areas. They will be functionally compatible, easily integrated, automated through smart contracts , and will be used to deliver anything from microtransactions, censored P2P-resistant data storage, as Filecoin suggests, to a complete change in familiar company management and business practices. Who is creating/created Web3? As with previous versions, Web3 is not a single creator product. This is the joint work of people and organizations. In general, you can say this: those who participate in blockchain crypto projects such as Ethereum , EOS , and TRON are recognized as leaders in the field of Web3. One of them, Gavin Wood, is the co-founder and chief technology officer of Ethereum and the creator of Polkadot and Kusama . Dr. Wood developed and directed the Solidity language for writing smart contacts and created the Web3 Foundation, whose main goals are "delivering Web 3.0, a decentralized and fair internet where users control their own data, identity and destiny" and "to nurture cutting-edge applications for decentralized web software protocols". Future of Internet The future of the Internet is clearly planned. It is already happening and we are already dealing with its evolved forms based on blockchain. The concept of a decentralized web is very promising, but it will take time to implement it. And the point is not only in the development of technologies and capacities but in its participants. Yes, more and more people are captivated with the decentralized meta world, but many will need time to get used to greater integration of the Internet into our lives, with it earning complete trust. However, this is obviously inevitable.
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Hard Forks, Soft Forks: What Do They Even Do (and What’s the Difference)?

Hard Forks, Soft Forks: What Do They Even Do (and What’s the Difference)?

June Katz 4 min read
It is impossible to know in advance what difficulties blockchain users will have to face in the process of its evolution. Sometimes the algorithms and ideas embedded in the development become untenable or ineffective. To continue using them means to lose competitiveness in the market, as well as the value of coins relative to fiat currencies. But to avoid such situations, developers resort to serious code modifications, which are called “a hard fork”. A fork is a procedure for branching the cryptocurrency blockchain, as a result of which two different chains appear. In the future, they continue to develop separately from each other. If developers make drastic changes, such a fork is called a hard fork. In that case, developers do not make minor changes, but radically change the algorithms, rules for issuing coins, methods of its distribution, as well as other parameters. As a result of such actions, a chain of blocks appears, which can no longer interact with the previous blockchain. There are two possible forks: a soft fork and a hard fork. The first is a mild kind of network modernization, old and new blocks remain relevant, a child is allocated from the parent chain. During a hard fork, a rigid modification of the program code occurs, all the old blocks are "forgotten", and the blockchain moves in two parallel lines. With a soft fork, some characteristics of the coin are optimized, and cosmetic improvements are carried out. If some of the nodes do not accept changes, they remain members of the network.  A soft fork does not put everyone before a choice. Small changes in the code allow nodes with outdated software to continue participating in mining . A new coin does not appear. Such an update often goes unnoticed by cryptocurrency holders.  This can be compared to the existence of an academic language and an adverb. Some people have chosen an adverb and communicate in it. However, native speakers of the academic language also understand them. The consensus persists. By activating the hard fork, developers are burying the old network. Users have to choose between two child chains. Famous Hard Forks BCH Fork Bitcoin Cash is a consequence of a hard fork — the coin separated from the original Bitcoin on August 1, 2017. The BCH team, led by Roger Wind, immediately launched an active campaign against the main cryptocurrency, but until that day it this did not bring results and this fork has already become part of bitcoin history. Ethereum Classic Fork Initially, the Decentralized Autonomous Organization ( DAO ) was conceived as a kind of venture fund, in which participants received a share based on their contributions to ETH . The project gained popularity and quickly collected 12.7 million ETH. At that time, the price of the cryptocurrency was about $ 250 million. After some time, the hacker found a vulnerability in the DAO code that allowed him to steal more than 3.6 million Ethereum coins. To prevent the fraudster from withdrawing money, the crypto community voted for the Ethereum hard fork, which returned the funds to most of the victims. London Hard Fork Vitalik Buterin, the creator of the Ethereum cryptocurrency, decided to release another update of the Ethereum 1.0 system to the last phase of ETH 2.0. The London hard fork has become the most controversial. Some users accepted the improvements well, as they allowed to reduce the commission amount. However, the manners were very indignant because of EIP-1559, since the reward for conducting transactions was greatly reduced. Why are Hard Forks Held? For official reasons, the developers point to the need to improve technology and optimize the network, but sometimes banal intra-network disassembly, fraud attempts, and a desire for centralization with passing earnings are behind forking. Often, the reasons for the fork are an increase in the block size (to increase throughput, transactions per second), a decrease in commission (to increase interest in the project), or a "loss of true vision" of the project. How to Fork a Cryptocurrency? To conduct a hard fork, developers inform the community of their intentions (the reason may be either an important update or a split of the network by different teams; in both cases, you need to prepare for this event). The height of the block at which all nodes will vote is publicly announced (for example, 346394). Accordingly, there will be sites that approximately calculate the date and time of the event. Then preliminary tests of the source code proposed for the fork are carried out. According to the results of the voting, the network is bifurcated, in any case. If no one undertakes to support the old branch, and everyone updates the client, then maybe some units of nodes will still mine /validate the old blockchain, but it will be considered abandoned. If opinions are divided, for example, 30% of miners will continue to mine the first chain, and 70% – the second. Then we will get two functioning blockchains.
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Who Is Satoshi Nakamoto and Where Is He Now?

Who Is Satoshi Nakamoto and Where Is He Now?

June Katz 3 min read
Where does Satoshi Nakamoto come from? Any person that has been doing some research on cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin , probably has heard of this name before. Satoshi Nakamoto. Who is this mysterious man and why does no one know who he is?  This goes back to October 2008, when an unknown user by the name of Nakamoto sent out the whitepaper for Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer electronic cash system, to a cryptographic newsletter. After the announcement and the manifesto describing the revolution Nakamoto was aiming to start had been done, in January the software was released. He was the person to mine the Genesis Block. He encrypted with the headline of the New York Times of that day, January 3, 2009. Nakamoto has stopped using his Bitcoin since mid-January 2009, with nowadays having Bitcoin that is worth over 19 billion dollars. It is unclear if Nakamoto still has access to these coins. If so, he could just be the 44th richest person in the world. The problem is, nobody knows who Satoshi Nakamoto is. Besides a couple of posts on the forums about Bitcoin, there have been no personal messages or activities shared by Nakamoto. Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? There are many different stories including many different answers to these questions. Let’s have a look at some of the most known speculations out there and see why they might be or might not be Satoshi, the creator of Bitcoin. Hal Finney This man was one of the pioneers in the field of cryptography prior to Bitcoin being created. Back in 2009, Finney was the first person to ever do a Bitcoin transaction, and, besides Nakamoto himself, he was the only person to use the software. Many analysts have compared Finney’s writing to the published work of Nakamoto and found many similar techniques and styles. Years later, Finney denied all the claims as he showed correspondence between him and Nakamoto pointing at someone else being Nakamoto. Finney died in 2014 and his family chose to freeze his body. Dorian Nakamoto This man is the only person who actually has the same name. Dorian Nakamoto has the birth name ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’, but this is not the only evidence. An article published in Newsweek showed an interview with Dorian confirming his affiliation with Bitcoin and confirming being the founder. The following interview, however, implicated Dorian had never heard of any virtual currency named Bitcoin nor does he have had anything to do with it. After the interview, the account used by Satoshi five years ago weirdly posted ‘I am not Dorian Nakamoto’. Whether this was the real Satoshi or a hacker, is unclear. Craig Wright Probably the most known example is “Faketoshi”, better known as Craig Wright. Anyone that has known Bitcoin for a while knows it’s decentralized and the power is that no one is in charge. Anyone associated with Bitcoin confirms the identity of Nakamoto has to remain anonymous, except for Craig Wright. Ever since 2015, Wright has been claiming to be the inventor of Bitcoin. The fact that he has been affiliated with the project for years is clear, but being the inventor is false as confirmed by many Bitcoin pioneers. The court has also officially stated Craig Wright could not prove to be the inventor of Bitcoin. In reality, nobody knows the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. The only way to confirm this is by bringing all the old accounts back to life, moving the coins in the wallet that has been idle since 2009 and confirming the identity. This can be tough, Nakamoto might not even be alive nowadays. The beauty is, he does not have to be alive for Bitcoin to survive!
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The Most Interesting NFT Examples: November 2022 Edition
The Most Interesting NFT Examples: November 2022 Edition

The Most Interesting NFT Examples: November 2022 Edition

Ruth Kise 11 min read
The NFT market remains an integral part of the crypto world, and despite some difficulties, it continues to develop and gain the interest of many users. In this article, we will talk about NFT news: today’s market situation, new opportunities, and some fresh NFT examples. Market Decline This year has been a difficult year for the NFT due to the bear market as well as other factors. According to Bloomberg, NFT sales this year have plummeted: in September, these digital assets were sold for $466 million, which is 97% less than the $17 billion that was raised in January. One of the factors in the collapse was the announcement of the bankruptcy of the FTX exchange , which negatively affected the cryptocurrency market in general and the NFT ecosystem in particular. Starting Nov. 7, when FTX customers had withdrawal issues, the NFT market is recording a steady decline in sales volume, market capitalization, daily NFTs traded, number of traders, and many other metrics. A deeper dive into the efficiency of the NFT sector in early November revealed a significant drop in the blue-chip index (Bored Ape Yacht Club, Cool Cats, CryptoPunks, Art Blocks, and CloneX). According to the analytical platform NFTGo, the blue-chip index is calculated by weighing the market capitalization ( ETH / USD ) of the largest NFT collections, which makes it possible to assess their performance. According to NFTGo, since November 7, the total capitalization of the NFT market has fallen by 8%; over the same period, total sales fell by 32%. Only sports fan tokens can boast of outstanding success now, as the trading volumes of those skyrocketed while the market was waiting for the 2022 World Cup. Let It Become Money On November 11, FTX Trading Ltd., Alameda Research, and 130 other affiliated companies began voluntary proceedings under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Along with this, it was announced that Samuel Bankman-Fried was leaving the post of CEO of the platform. After this news, 1.3 thousand tokens with various images of the ex-head of the problematic exchange were put up for sale. In total, the collection contains almost 7 thousand items. More than 2.1 thousand users purchased NFT from the Bankrupt FTX Yacht Club collection dedicated to the collapse of the exchange. The total cost of the sold NFTs is 187 ETH ($233 000), and the minimum price (the price of the cheapest token in this series) reached 0.1 ETH ($125), but by now it has dropped to 0.0092 ETH ($11).  The collection was posted by the creator of the NFTs - S60SSYe - on the evening of November 11. At the same time as the Bankman-Fried series, he also presented 3.8 thousand tokens called Caroline Town by BFTXYC (Bankrupt FTX Yacht Club) with the image of the head of Alameda Research Carolyn Ellison. These NFTs are less popular. Currently, about 700 users own such items, and the total amount of token sales amounted to 6 ETH ($7.5 thousand). Instagram and Facebook Have the Opportunity to Post NFTs Meta has opened up the opportunity for all US users to post digital collectibles, i.e. non fungible tokens or NFTs, on Facebook and Instagram. On Instagram, this feature is also available to users in over a hundred other countries. To work with the option, you need to connect a crypto wallet to your profile on the social network, after which it will be possible to create publications with NFT objects from this wallet. At the same time, the creator of the object and its owner are automatically marked in the publication.  A special section dedicated to digital assets has now appeared in the application settings, and wallets created on five platforms, including Coinbase, MetaMask and Dapper, can be connected to the profile. Theoretically, this operation is available not only in the mobile application, but also in the web interface — but the authors of assets, The Verge, said that the second option is still malfunctioning. Release and Sell NFT on Instagram: Now You Can Meta announced that it has begun testing the mechanisms for releasing and selling NFTs on Instagram. The first access to new features will be given to "a small group of authors in the United States". The set of options for demonstrating NFT objects on the platform has also expanded. Meta has prepared a set of tools for working with NFT: it will allow you to issue tokens on the Polygon blockchain so that you can then sell them either on Instagram or outside the platform. The developers specified that the Solana network was added to the supported Ethereum , Polygon and Flow blockchains to withdraw NFT purchased elsewhere on Instagram. In addition, there was a download of metadata from the OpenSea marketplace, as it was done on Twitter. Last year, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said the platform was no longer viewed as a photo-sharing app. Now it is an entertainment venue. Therefore, authors should be able to make money either from advertising or from selling NFTs and gifts from the audience. Buy NFT From the AppStore Recently, Apple Inc. updated the rules for non-replaceable tokens (NFTs) in the App Store. Developers can now sell NFTs hosted at the App Store, but only through the internal payment system. That means content creators will be required to pay Apple a 30% fee on sales. Apple is interested in ensuring that users do not bypass the commission for buying NFTs using cryptocurrency. Therefore, the company introduced even more restrictions. Thus, the new rules prohibit the use of cryptocurrency, crypto wallets , and QR codes to unlock functions in the application. In addition, development companies must have a license to work in the country where the application is sold. And despite criticism of the high commissions, the company's management believes that the possibility of buying NFT from the AppStore for fiat will attract people who consider cryptocurrencies difficult to the market. OpenSea New Tools  Marketplace OpenSea has launched a new tool for royalty fees. So far, it can only be applied to new collections of non-fungible tokens. “There’s been a lot of discussion over the past few months about business models for NFT creators & whether creator fees (“royalties”) are viable. Given our role in the ecosystem, we want to take a thoughtful, principled approach to this topic & to lead w/ solutions”. OpenSea (@opensea) The team reserves the right to collect royalties for authors. From November 8, the platform will begin to charge commissions only from those new collections that use the corresponding tool and run additional options and improvements for fees in new collections. The marketplace team said that they are already thinking about alternatives in order to help the authors of existing collections navigate the changes in the NFT market. For the latter, they promised not to introduce any changes until at least December 8.  Also, the largest trading OpenSea marketplace is preparing a stolen token detection and sales block system on the platform. The developers have prepared a system that will automatically track transactions with stolen tokens and block such sales on the platform. Now the system is in the stage of limited testing. To track suspicious NFTs the system is going to use "many sources of transaction data." In addition, the system itself will check the seller's wallet for suspicious activity, for example, many NFT movements. An important innovation is checking links in ads for possible fraud. Scammers often used the OpenSea platform itself for fraud posting phishing links in ads.The new system will check both the NFT description and the URL link in the description. The developers promise to limit the clicks on suspicious links automatically. Starbucks Unveils NFT-Based Loyalty Program Starbucks has officially unveiled a new NFT-based loyalty program in the virtual world. The Starbucks Odyssey project is the coffee chain's first experience of building a virtual community using web3 technology. The new format combines the classic Starbucks Rewards loyalty program and the NFT platform, where guests can earn digital assets, which can then pay for exclusive services. Starbucks Rewards members will be able to use the services of Starbucks Odyssey through existing accounts, there is no need to re-register. Once in the new virtual space, they will be able to participate in various special projects, which Starbucks called "travel": for example, playing interactive games or taking part in surveys aimed at deepening their knowledge of the Starbucks brand or the coffee business as a whole. As these "travels" are completed, participants will be able to purchase some items from NFT collections. True, here Starbucks deliberately leaves the technical slang and calls these collectibles in the NFT format "road stamps." Despite being hosted on the Polygon blockchain, these NFTs will be purchased with a credit or debit card, no crypto wallet is required. The company believes this will make it easier for consumers to interact with web3 by lowering the entry barrier. It will be possible to swap "stamps" for a virtual class for preparing espresso martini, or access to indoor events at Starbucks Reserve Roasteries, or even a trip to Starbucks Hacienda Alsacia coffee farm in Costa Rica. Items in the NFT collection can be earned, exchanged in the community, or simply bought. Square Enix Fans’ Disappointment Square Enix has officially announced the NFT game Symbiogenesis. It will be released in the spring of 2023 along with the free browser service of the same name. The publisher registered the Symbiogenesis trademark in October. Then the players thought that under this brand a continuation of the sensational Parasite Eve which came out in the late 90s or something related to this series would be released. They came to this conclusion because the word symbiogenesis means the process of combining two separate organisms into one. It is this process that underlies the Parasite Eve plot . Symbiogenesis is a brand-new entertainment project that will take place in an autonomous world, where the symbiosis of many characters can be assembled in a digital art format. In Symbiogenesis, all user-generated content can be used as a profile avatar on social media and as a playable character in a story that takes place in the digital world. The authors promise a lot of plot in the NFT game. Something New From The Sims Creators  The creator of the iconic The Sims and the city-planning simulator SimCity Will Wright has announced his new game called VoxVerse. This is a virtual sandbox consisting of huge cubes in which players can extract resources, own land, and build various structures. Unfortunately for many players, VoxVerse is largely built on NFT technology. Players will be able to trade characters from The Walking Dead and DreamWorks' cartoon Trolls. According to Wright, blockchain technology will help players make "secure transactions." At the same time, the cult developer himself expects that three types of users will be formed around the game: some will simply play, the second will be slightly involved in the project economy, and others will enter VoxVerse exclusively for the purchase and sale of items. However, Will Wright is much more interested in "a million ordinary players than in 10 thousand rich whales" that will bring him money. More Life in the Metaverse There is not yet a single metaverse, and its first versions often cause mixed feelings due to the feeling of artificiality. To "revive" the virtual space, startups offer to add virtual animals to them. The general idea is not new, but the new features imply that the pet will not be limited to specific hardware. Now in the early days of Web3, a new wave of start-ups is attracting investment to bring our furry friends to the metaverse. One of the striking projects is Tiny Rebel Games' Petaverse Network creates virtual cats in an NFT drop format that is promised to be used for decades. To do this, they are trying to ensure that their metapets can be recreated by different development teams working on different platforms, regardless of how the technology changes. Another project, Digital Dogs, is going to "tag" the metaverse and is developing cross-platform AI puppies for virtual worlds, digital games, and social platforms. According to co-founder and CEO Itay Hasid, these dogs are not intended to replace a furry friend. These are rather companions for users of the metaverse, who may become an occasion to start a conversation, which is not enough, in his opinion. ECO -Friendly NFT If you love nature and are worried about the safety of animal species and ancient traditions, now you have the opportunity to curate your own deer. The deer NFT collection containing eight tokens has appeared on the market. The Digital Reindeer Herder project was developed in Yakutia. Also, the republic began to issue futures of supplying deer antlers in a certain number of kilograms. The money from the sale, in particular, will go to the development of reindeer husbandry in Yakutia. "Futures will increase the number of animals and commercialize the antlers market. A similar contract can be used by people who want to help the ecology of the Arctic and contribute to the development of the North, " said the press service of the republic. The Bottom Line NFTs have been more than just pictures with painted stones from the Internet for a long time, sold for a lot of money. Attractive assets with their philosophy are rapidly becoming an integral part of modern culture, opening up new opportunities for monetization of their resources for artists and enthusiasts of the idea of an attractive Metaverse. Large companies one way or another enter the market, wanting to maintain their significance and relevance. Using technology, opening their own marketplaces, or releasing their own collections, large players not only increase their funds but also popularize NFT for the masses. Booms and busts inextricably accompany the development of the young market, presenting opportunities to make good money for experienced participants, and a nice chance to successfully enter the market for beginners. And we at SwapSpace are preparing something in this space ourselves. Stay tuned!
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What Happened to FTX: A Brief Overview
What Happened to FTX: A Brief Overview

What Happened to FTX: A Brief Overview

John Martin 6 min read
Until recently, it seemed that FTX was doing well: FTX founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, one of the most authoritative persons in the crypto-world, raised $400 million from Softbank and others in January, receiving an estimated $32 billion valuation, and last month spoke about the project’s ambitious acquisition plans. However, now FTX is in distress, customers are massively withdrawing funds, and Binance, which volunteered to help the company, refused to buy it. Let's figure out how the crisis unfolded. A Brief Chronology of the Events That Led to the Collapse of the Crypto Exchange November 2017 - Foundation of Alameda Research Alameda was founded in November 2017 by Sam Bankman-Fried (also known as SBF). Alameda and SBF gained fame through arbitration trade on the so-called "Kimchi Premium," which refers to abnormally high bitcoin prices in some Asian countries. Subsequently, Alameda became one of the most influential venture capital companies, trading firms, and market makers in the field of cryptocurrencies. May 2019 - Foundation of the FTX Crypto Exchange FTX was founded by SBF in May 2019 as a centralized cryptocurrency exchange specializing in derivatives and products with credit leverage. December 2019 - Binance Announcement At the end of 2019, the Binance cryptocurrency exchange announced strategic investments in FTX. The investment was approved by SBF, which said it "will help accelerate FTX growth with support and strategic advice from Binance while maintaining independent FTX operations." 2021 - Binance Sells FTX Stocks in Exchange for FTX Tokens and Dollars In 2021, Binance sold its stake in FTX in exchange for $2.1 billion in FTT and dollars. 2022 - FTX Gets in Trouble On November 8, the FTX exchange suddenly suspended the withdrawal of customer funds (for many crypto projects such actions were a precursor to the approach of the disaster), and CEO Binance Changpeng Zhao, known under the pseudonym CZ, announced on Twitter that FTX had turned to his company "for help" and they managed to come to an agreement that would save the crypto exchange. Bankman-Fried published the thread, saying that the customers' money is now safe and withdrawals will be made on time. "CZ has done and will continue to do incredible work to create a global cryptographic ecosystem and a freer economic world," he wrote. This year many events undermined confidence in crypto companies. After the collapse of the Three Arrows Capital hedge fund, the Celsius platform, and the Terra-Luna stablecoin , another loud failure was the last thing the industry needed. It seemed that the FTX barely managed to evade its crisis. But soon after Binance posted a tweet about canceling the deal, citing the results of corporate due diligence and news that FTX mismanaged customers' funds. The Stock Sold by Binance FTX's problems began in July 2021, when Binance, one of its first investors, sold its stake in a competing business for $2.1 billion in FTT - tokens issued by FTX. At that time, this step seemed logical: Bankman-Fried and Zhao had different views on the approach to regulating cryptocurrencies, which led to a split. FTX's problems surfaced only on November 2, 2022, when a report from CoinDesk showed that billions of dollars worth of FTT tokens were on the balance sheet of Alameda Research (a subsidiary of FTX). This raised questions about how much FTX and Alameda are dependent on FTT, which cannot be easily converted into cash. In addition, the specifics of the relationship between Alameda and FTX remained unclear for a long time. In response, CZ published a sensational message on Twitter: Binance will sell all its assets in FTT. According to him, the intention was to conduct the sale "in a way that minimizes the impact on the market." However, this brought down the FTT rate by almost 90% and provoked massive seizures, since FTX customers were concerned about the security of their crypto assets. On November 7, Bankman-Fried denied rumors of insolvency, writing that "a competitor is trying to attack us with false rumors" and "everything is fine with FTX." Later these tweets were deleted, and then it became clear that the company was trying to get financial help. CZ denied intentionally creating a liquidity crisis. On November 7, he wrote on Twitter: "I spend energy on construction, not wrestling." However, Tim Mangnall, whose Capital Block company advised both Binance and FTX, called it a "cunning" business maneuver that would allow Zhao to "buy one of the largest competitors for less than a dollar." CZ, King of the Crypto Binance has now dropped this deal. The crisis in FTX is likely to strengthen its competitor's position as the world's largest crypto exchange. Binance is already bypassing several of the largest venues combined in terms of trading volume - we are talking about companies such as Coinbase, Kraken, OKX, Bitfinex, Huobi, and FTX. Now crypto exchange will probably have more control over common coins. Similarly, Changpeng Zhao, who has already become one of the most prominent figures in the crypto sphere, will strengthen his influence on issues related to politics and regulation. For the part of the community that believes that cryptocurrency should support decentralization, the merger of the two largest world exchanges will also be a cause for concern. Decentralization means evenly allocating power and eliminating individual points of failure, but falling FTX does not contribute to either. After Binance's rescue plan was first announced, Bitcoin and Ether prices fell by more than 10%, causing the market to lose more than $60 billion. The fall may continue. In addition, the collapse of FTX raises questions about how to protect cryptocurrency owners in the future. One of the CZ proposals is to oblige crypto exchanges to provide transparent "evidence of reserves." In other words, they have enough cash to finance the withdrawal of funds by customers. In a tweet, he promised that Binance would "soon" implement this policy. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong expressed sympathy for FTX but also pointed to "risky business practices" and "conflicts of interest" that made the company vulnerable. He also hurried to allay concerns that Coinbase could face a similar liquidity crisis. Nevertheless, this situation is another warning about how risky it is to transfer your entire crypto portfolio to an exchange and how important it is to keep the opportunity to manage assets on your own. Can I Get My Money Back From FTX and How? Bitget Exchange created a $5 million Builders Fund to help customers who were affected by theFTX bankruptcy. Those users can apply for financial assistance. However, only FTX-affiliated partners, customers with assets worth more than $50 000, and a monthly turnover of more than $10 million will be able to do this. Later, this fund increased to $300 million, but the requirements for obtaining help are still quite high: it was first created to cover the losses of strong and large traders, to minimize reputation damage, and to drag FTX customers to the Bitget exchange. If you have small deposits, up to $50,000, most likely you have no chance of returning your funds, unfortunately. What Conclusions Can be Drawn From the Bankruptcy of FTX?  The fall of such a large exchange shook the crypto space. FTX and Alameda faced the prospect of bankruptcy with $8 billion in debt, while recipients of FTX Venture investments, such as Solana , are experiencing a huge capital outflow. Never keep large amounts of money on the stock exchange. If you use the investment products of the exchange, distribute the capital so that it is divided into small parts in different exchanges. Keep your assets in cold wallets. Whatever that amount is. Even if you have $100 laying in your account on an exchange, transfer them to a cold wallet . This is not about the amount of money, but about the right capital management skills.
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The Future of Money and the Role of Crypto in It
The Future of Money and the Role of Crypto in It

The Future of Money and the Role of Crypto in It

John Martin 8 min read
Money has changed human society, allowing commercial transactions to take place even between geographical regions at a considerable distance from each other. It makes it possible to move wealth and resources in space and time. For much of human history, however, it has also been the subject of greed and waste. Now money awaits a change that can transform banking, finance, and even the structure of society. Most notably, the era of physical, or cash, money is coming to an end even in low- and middle-income countries; the era of digital currencies is coming. In this text, we’ll discuss different financial future predictions, the role of crypto, and its future. Cryptocurrencies vs Fiat Money Many financiers note that cryptocurrencies can set new financial models — more improved, simplified, and modern. Among the advantages of cryptocurrencies, they note anonymity, speed, lower costs of transactions, cross-border transfers that are not limited by barriers, full ownership of assets, lack of regulation by the state, and payment of taxes. Fiat currency is distinguished by: the mandatory presence of an issue center, which has exclusive rights to issue money (for the dollar it is the Federal Reserve Service); unconditional inflation: the money supply increases and its purchasing power decreases over a long period; the constant increase in operating costs associated with the maintenance of large amounts of cash; increased transaction costs. Cryptocurrencies on blockchain technologies, such as Bitcoin, are fundamentally different: the absence of an emission center: it is programmatically limited when launching cryptocurrency (in particular, there cannot be more than 21 million bitcoins); belonging to a person: cryptocurrency belongs to a specific cryptocurrency account or wallet , while the purchasing properties of the banknote can be changed by the issuer, and the paper money itself is generally withdrawn or prohibited for circulation; reverse inflation model: the more often cryptocurrency is used, the higher its value, as the demand for coins increases while maintaining the volume of currency; lower transaction costs: according to some estimates for Visa, this is $2, and for Bitcoin — $0.35 in medium-term operations.  These differences demonstrate the advantages of cryptocurrencies over fiat money. But for there to be a global transition from centralized to decentralized finance , and for the blockchain to turn from a candidate technology into a new system of work for the world economy, two key conditions must be met. Cryptocurrency should receive the status of a state currency. There are already such precedents: in 2021, in El Salvador , Bitcoin was adopted as a means of payment in the country. Cryptocurrency should begin to conclude interstate trade contracts. The finance industry of the future is at the very beginning of this path. And although the number of transactions over the past few years has noticeably increased, so far cryptocurrency is more of an investment tool with a very weak change function. The real volume of goods and services that are sold and bought for cryptocurrency is still insignificant. We are on the verge of a new era of non-dollar trade. Whether cryptocurrencies can compete for the place of the dollar with other fiat currencies largely depends on large-scale entrepreneurial projects in the field of blockchain. The Problem of Regulating Cryptocurrencies in the World It is very difficult for governments and central banks to regulate digital decentralized systems, which were created to avoid state control and were specifically designed to exclude public authorities and banks from their monetary circulation and confirmation of transactions and rights. It is even more difficult to develop a common approach to cryptocurrencies for countries with different economic and political weights. In the world's largest economies, the assets of traditional banking systems amount to tens of trillions of dollars and significantly exceed the size of the global cryptocurrency market, and in developing countries, the money supply in the national definition is several times or even several tens of times less than the volume of the cryptocurrency market.  Decentralized forms of finance (DeFi) are gaining popularity in developed countries, while peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms are becoming increasingly common in emerging markets. Some central banks see cryptocurrencies as a threat to the financial sovereignty of their countries and risks to traditional banking systems and citizens, including the risks of fraud, theft , and hacking, so they propose a complete ban on them. Other regulators believe that the crypto market is enough to only monitor so that it does not interfere with innovation now, but subsequently apply existing legislation and regulations to this sector of "digital assets." The problem of regulating the crypto market has become a global one, so the coordination of the efforts of regulators to create rules and procedures is beginning to take on global financial management institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the International Organization of the Securities Commission (IOSCO). It is planned that the zone of control of regulators will include operations to exchange traditional fiat currencies for cryptocurrencies, crypto exchanges, intermediaries that provide access to cryptocurrencies and services, as well as any economic entities that accept payments both in traditional currencies and in cryptocurrency.  Payment systems will be standardized and transaction storage and clearing service providers will be certified. Cryptocurrency mining will fall under separate control in several countries, and in others, it will be placed under a ban. CBDC as Transition Before the complete replacement of fiat currencies with cryptocurrencies, the global financial industry will undergo another intermediate stage related to the release and circulation of CBDC, many experts say. CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) is the digital currency of central banks. Those currencies are issued centrally and retain all the advantages of the classic fiat model, but they have cheaper transactions, 24-hour access to liquidity for banks, and the possibility of integrating smart contracts into the country's economy. In addition, with the help of this tool, the state retains control over the monetary sphere and can stimulate payment for goods in the national cryptocurrency, increasing its turnover. Since 2017, many countries have been experimenting with CBDC: such cases (in one stage or another — from the pilot to the working project) have been implemented in Thailand, Hong Kong, China, the UAE, Singapore, Canada, Great Britain, France, Cambodia, Uruguay, Russia, El Salvador, and the Bahamas. NFT for a New Level of Financial Confidence Replacing fiat money with cryptocurrency may have another interesting effect — the financial industry reaching a new level of confidence. We can take, as an example, programs based on NFT technologies. When buying NFT, the investor does not just acquire the right to a discount: he can resell it, thereby gaining liquidity. At the same time, one participant in the transaction transfers funds to the other party, as a rule, without any contracts and intermediaries represented by banks. New principles arise — full responsibility for their transactions and the presence of a certain moral component, trust, in contrast to the traditional financial environment, impersonal and mechanized. As a result, the crypto market will gradually fill the established economic culture with new content. Bitcoin Future According to a Chainalysis study, the volume of bitcoins in investors' wallets has increased significantly in recent years, and more interestingly, it has significantly exceeded the volume of coins in traders' "speculative" wallets. About 77% of the "mined" bitcoins (which are not classified as lost) have not changed their current address for five years or longer. According to a Bitstamp survey, 72% of institutional and 73.1% of individual investors plan to increase their investments in crypto assets in the next five years. About 16% of Americans and 10% of Europeans own cryptocurrencies. Among the well-known institutional investors are Grayscale Investments, Square, Microstrategy, Tesla, Meitu, Massmality, etc. Interest in cryptocurrencies is also shown by banks, in particular, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Digital coins received special investor attention precisely during the Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, analysts at JP Morgan believe that investors' rejection of gold in favor of Bitcoin during 2021 was associated with an increase in inflationary trends in the world. In such conditions, some even began to call cryptocurrencies a "haven" for investment.  However, it is quite possible that after the drop in the price of Bitcoin by 75% and a three-fold reduction in the capitalization of the crypto asset market, confidence in the safety of this "harbor" will decrease. Conclusion: Is Crypto the Future of Money? In 2018, the capitalization of the cryptocurrency market decreased by more than eight times — to $102 billion. But this did not prevent it from reaching a record $2.9 trillion in November 2021. Therefore, there is no unambiguous answer to the question "what future do cryptocurrencies have?" It all depends on their ability to gain the confidence of settlement participants and investors, effectively performing the functions of money. It is possible that still lies ahead. The cryptocurrency market and ecosystem are dynamically developing, the interest and awareness of individual and institutional investors are growing, and the transparency of issuers and intermediaries is increasing. All this will continue to contribute to the deepening of the market, and a decrease in the manipulability and sensitivity of cryptocurrencies to situational factors and news. In such conditions, over time, the exchange rate fluctuations of cryptocurrencies will decrease. The development of technologies will help solve problems of scalability, the vulnerability of blockchain networks to hacker attacks, irreversibility, and non-environmental transactions. Therefore, probably, the convenience, speed, and security of calculations with cryptocurrencies will continue to gradually improve. Thanks to the formation of the legislative field, comprehensive regulations, and supervision, cryptocurrencies will receive a clear legal status, and market participants will gain the right to legally conduct business and protect their interests. All this will likely contribute to the spread of transactions made using cryptocurrencies, and their share in public savings and investment portfolios will increase. And accordingly, the associated risks will grow.
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Cryptocurrency and the Stock Market: Pros/Cons and What are the Differences Between Them
Cryptocurrency and the Stock Market: Pros/Cons and What are the Differences Between Them

Cryptocurrency and the Stock Market: Pros/Cons and What are the Differences Between Them

John Martin 10 min read
Crypto assets can utilize all investment strategies in the stock market, from dividends to balancing assets between growth and value stocks and IPO analogs:ryptocurrency trading and trading in stock and financial markets at first glance may seem identical. But there are differences in these industries that cannot be ignored since they make their adjustments and can affect the success of trading. In this text, we will try to understand these differences and compare the cryptocurrency and stock markets. With the advent of Bitcoin in 2009, the world first met with digital currency and blockchain technology. Initially, large investors considered cryptocurrencies just a fad. Since then, a lot of time has passed and cryptocurrency markets have grown like yeast. However, this revolutionary technology was not without drama. While some experts expect the cryptocurrency market to be a useful addition to traditional financial markets, others fear that cryptocurrencies may collapse and pull the rest of the market down. One way or another, the impact of digital currencies on financial markets is undeniable. The main purpose of cryptocurrency trading is similar to the purpose of trading traditional stocks: both are used for earnings. Therefore, more and more investors are adding cryptocurrencies to their portfolios. According to a CNBC study, currently, 1 in 10 Americans invests in cryptocurrency. With digital assets, investing becomes easier than ever. High volatility creates greater income potential. And if you add to this the possibility of round-the-clock trading, a high credit shoulder, low fees , and thresholds for transactions, then it will soon become clear why so many novice investors and experienced exchange traders are starting to switch to cryptocurrency. In this article, we will analyze the similarities and differences, as well as the pros and cons of trading in cryptocurrencies and stocks. Is the Purchase of Cryptocurrency Similar to the Purchase of Shares? Yes. After all, buyers exchange funds with sellers of digital assets, and the price of these assets is determined by demand and supply. Transactions are carried out online, and both types of these investments entail certain risks. Cryptocurrencies and stocks behave similarly. If you traded on the stock market or forex, then you will have absolutely no problems with the interface of any cryptocurrency exchange. But it is worth noting, although the fundamental analysis (fundamental analysis is the approach used by investors to determine the internal value of a cryptocurrency...) of a cryptocurrency or token is slightly different from the analysis of shares, the basic trading mechanism, and general technical analytics are almost identical. For example, similar types of orders are available in both markets. Market orders are either bought or sold at the current market price. Limit orders have a set price at which the trader wants to buy or sell the asset. A stop-loss order works on the same principle as a market order: it is carried out only after reaching a certain value of the price. Moreover, intraday stock trading is very similar to spot cryptocurrency trading. In intra-day trading on the stock market, the trader speculates on the securities exchange rate for one trading day. The same short-term trading strategies apply to cryptocurrencies, with the only difference being that cryptocurrency markets never close. Cryptocurrencies apply such day trading strategies as swing trading, range trading, scalping, and arbitration transactions. The cryptocurrency market is characterized by volatility and deep liquidity, but these are the most important conditions for profitable intraday transactions. Main Differences Between Cryptocurrencies and Stocks The growth of the crypto portfolio by more than 1000% in a matter of weeks is not usual in the crypto market, but still, this happens. The ability to generate significant profits in a short time and a low barrier to entry attract more and more investors. The threshold for entering the cryptocurrency market is quite low because you can trade them in tenths and hundredths. However, the higher the potential for substantial earnings, the higher the risk. Cryptocurrency prices (to put it mildly) are not stable, many experts consider cryptocurrency trading a gamble rather than a real investment. Stock markets, by the way, are also volatile, although not so significant. The main differences between cryptocurrencies and stocks are best noticed when considering the following characteristics. Liquidity Liquidity reflects the ability to quickly and freely buy or sell an asset on the market. Crypto markets are inferior to stock markets in this indicator, since stock markets have higher trading volumes, and, as a result, higher liquidity. In the crypto market, there are significantly fewer active traders, respectively, and liquidity is less. But cryptocurrency is different. Bitcoin, for example, is the most liquid digital currency, it is traded by most traders. The low market capitalization of coins, tokens , and small crypto exchanges often creates liquidity problems and makes these assets unfavorable for investment. But when trading shares, similar problems arise. For example, when investing in OTC small stocks or working with brokerage companies with micro capitalization. Possession Buying stock on the stock market makes the investor a shareholder and awards him a share in the company. The shareholder has the right to various privileges, such as capital gains or losses, dividends on profits, as well as the right to vote in solving various issues of the company. However, if the purchase passes through a brokerage company, then technically this means that the broker owns the shares and not the real buyer. Very few investors own shares on their behalf. If you buy cryptocurrency, then you become the sole owner of the purchased coin or token. Usually, cryptocurrencies are traded and stored on exchanges. However, cryptocurrency can also be transferred to a separate electronic device (cold storage), which, as a rule, is safer than an online wallet . And if the secret keys to your wallet are kept safe, then you can not worry about theft . Stock Markets Fluctuate Only During the Trading Day Cryptocurrency markets, in turn, never close and are influenced by other digital assets, events in the crypto space, and changes in world stock markets. Because of this wide range of variables that affect the market around the clock, cryptocurrencies are more volatile compared to stocks. High volatility means less price stability, which can stop corporate investors from investing in cryptocurrencies. It also means that traders have more opportunities to enter and exit trades and make high profits. Non-Stop Trading The work of cryptocurrency exchanges without breaks and weekends gives wide freedom to the trader. If a trader is profiting from short-term speculation, he can plan his time regardless of location, time zone, and schedule, and at any time connect to the market to find interesting transactions. At the same time, it is important to understand what time the bulk of crypto traders of a particular region wakes up and take into account that with the arrival of a large number of new players from a certain region, the price can sharply move in one direction or another. At the same time, the availability of the market 24 hours a day does not indicate that it is necessary to monitor cryptocurrency quotes around the clock High Volatility With the appearance of cryptocurrencies, for the first time in human history, private investors had the opportunity earlier than institutional investors to gain access to a new promising class of assets. Cryptocurrencies are the first market where there is practically no institutional capital, and this, in turn, generates volatility. Volatility creates several factors: private investors have a higher rate of return on capital, the timing of capital placement is shorter, and the competence of participants is lower. Free Cryptocurrency Market Stock markets are regulated by law, and margin requirements are quite strict. Trading derivatives in the cryptocurrency market is much more affordable than margin trading in the stock market. On the leading derivatives exchange, the minimum deposit is only one US dollar. In the stock markets and the memory, they would not hear about such figures. The size of the credit shoulder on leading exchanges of digital assets varies from 2 × up to 100 × (or even more). Pricing In digital assets, the price is formed according to the classic model of the balance of supply and demand, since the amount of a particular currency is limited and, by regulating the number of those coins in circulation, it is possible to form a price. The price in traditional markets consists of many factors: forecasts of analytical agencies, financial indicators of companies, ratings, government regulation, news background, and other dependencies. Crypto exchanges are often accused of inflating volumes to get a higher rating and attract more traders. So far, there are parallel ratings of exchanges and trade volumes showing very different results, but soon indexes will begin to form the current leaders of the traditional market, and they can be more trusted. Protection and Insurance Due to low volatility, investment portfolio insurance is practiced in traditional markets. This financial instrument benefits both insurers and investors, as it helps protect investments in force majeure. This is not practiced in cryptocurrency markets, since movements can be so strong that insurers simply do not have enough funds to cover losses if chaos begins in the market. The insurance market in the field of digital currencies is just beginning to form, and derivatives are already appearing, such as options for Bitcoin and Ethereum . If we talk about the DeFi strategy, then insurance projects appear that take on the function of an insurance agent, that is, they will reimburse funds in the event of unplanned losses, such as protocol hacks, and loss of assets by a smart contract that invests them in the interests of the user. Diversification The goal of diversification is to hold assets that manifest themselves differently in different markets. Stocks have fewer options for diversification, because all stock markets, as a rule, are influenced by the global economy. Stocks and bonds are affected by inflation and monetary and economic policies. The low dependence of Bitcoin and Ethereum on securities and stock market assets makes investing in cryptocurrency an attractive portfolio diversification strategy. Cryptocurrency prices largely depend on the prices of the largest coins, for example, BTC and ETH . Stocks and bonds depend on a variety of economic factors, individual indicators of companies and sectors, as well as on demand and supply within the corresponding indices, industries, and services. Cryptocurrencies or Stocks: What is Better for Short-Term Investments? Cryptocurrency is a promising short-term investment with the potential for both rapid high profits and equally rapid losses. The average yield on the stock market is about 10% per year, but the yield on Bitcoin, which became the most profitable asset of the decade, is 230%. Keep in mind that digital assets can grow greatly in a few hours or collapse in a matter of minutes, as happens when executing the "pump and reset" scheme. Not all transactions bring stable and guaranteed profit. However, the volatile state of cryptocurrency markets makes them an ideal tool for traders who want to make quick money. Cryptocurrencies or Stocks: What is Best for Long-Term Investments? The stability of stock markets attracts many long-term investors. To illustrate traditional market timeframes, the S&P 500 has been watching the performance of the five hundred largest US companies for 46 years, 10 of which were unprofitable according to the index . However, in the long run, portfolios still grew. In addition to the constant risk associated with high volatility, crypto markets also face the influence of authorities, slow implementation in the rest of the world, and cybersecurity threats. Despite these risks, the cryptocurrency market can become a useful tool if you study how it works and act carefully. Regardless of whether you invest in cryptocurrency or stocks, the right way is to play for the long term. If you are not an intraday trader, then it is better to avoid speculation on short-term volatility. In Conclusion When choosing an asset for trading, it is worth building on your experience, trading strategy, and the amount you are going to invest. Stocks are better suited for those looking for predictable, limited investment growth in the long run in the face of low volatility. Cryptocurrencies are better suited for those who want to diversify their portfolio and insure it against inflation and factors that negatively affect financial markets.
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Web3 Trends and Top Projects
Web3 Trends and Top Projects

Web3 Trends and Top Projects

John Martin 10 min read
The Web3 industry is only emerging, but developers are actively working on its mass implementation. Web3 is the next stage in the development of the Internet, which will be controlled by ordinary users and creators. Web3 vs Web2 Unlike Web 2.0, the third version of the Web is focused on improving scalability, security, and decentralization. Interaction between Web 3.0 and metaverse occurs using NFT. Web 3.0 is a group of decentralized applications that can "collaborate" with virtual worlds. Examples include Decentraland Mana and the Land token. Web 3.0 is not hosted on the servers of private users or even Web3 companies, but in separate places. Storage cells are computers, laptops, and other user equipment. Each time information is entered, it is copied to all nodes. As a result, data manipulation is eliminated. Benefits of Web 3.0: lack of central regulation; less censorship ; the ability to express one's thoughts; monetization for presence on the Internet, etc. To switch to Web 3, you need to understand cryptocurrency services, start crypto keys, deliver DApps applications, etc. Web 3.0 is a new concept of the Internet, which is based on decentralization and the absence of a single supervisory authority. It is the next stage after versions 1.0 and 2.0, which opens up more opportunities from the data control position. Web 3.0 crypto meets the declared criteria and is the next step in the hierarchy of digital assets. In this text, we will talk about the current trends in this industry and consider some interesting projects. Web 3.0 Trends Creative DAO The Internet and the simplicity of global communication have provided creative actors with development opportunities. Web3 technologies are also in their interest. In particular, the blockchain provides security, peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, and confirmed ownership. DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) is a type of organizational structure built based on a blockchain. Such an organization unites like-minded people who are working on the long-term success of a project or creator. Within the DAO, participants who own tokens usually have the right to vote. In 2022, creative projects and creative personalities will be surrounded by more and more DAO, which will offer them support and feedback from community members. Stabilizing the NFT Industry Over the past two years, the NFT world has experienced ups and downs. Last year, non-fungible tokens faced an incredible level of growth and caused a great stir around themselves. In 2021, the NFT marketplace OpenSea grew to an incredible level, and the tokens themselves began to appear in pop culture and social networks. However, this year sales have fallen, and some are wondering if the NFT bubble will burst. The downtrend is largely worrying for those industry participants who are looking to make a quick profit. Loyal fans still see value in these tokens. As speculation around technology begins to fade, the industry will enter a new stage in which NFTs will be applied in many areas of our lives. The mechanism of tokens (for example, in the format of patents, loyalty rewards, and in-game assets) will encourage users to own them, and not trade them. Cooperation Between DeFi Protocols Hacker attacks, destabilization, and other incidents in the Web3 sphere will continue to occur both in 2022 and, probably, in 2023. For example, in March there was a loud fall in UST and Luna tokens, due to which investors lost $60 billion. Cryptosphere leaders will unite to find solutions to such incidents and ways to prevent them in the future. In 2022, even "competitors" are likely to cooperate within the framework of a single goal - to build a better future for the internet and a better version of Web3. And as these incidents continue to occur, more DeFi protocols will unite in unstable situations. TOP-5 Web3 Cryptocurrencies by Capitalization Polkadot ( DOT ) Open source multi-purpose protocol. Simplifies the transfer of data and different types of assets. Designed to connect public and private chains, accelerates the exchange of information and transactions.  Created by the Web3 Foundation. The founders are Gavin Wood, Robert Habermeier, and P. Chaban. The network is flexible and adaptive and has a convenient management system and high security. You can customize and adapt the monitoring process to your needs and conditions. The total number of tokens is 1 billion, and initially, this number was 10 million. The network used NPoS mechanisms focused on the selection of validators/nominators for security. The purchase of a token is available on many exchanges, including OKEx, Huobi, and others. The DOT token has a rate of $7.75 and is in 11th place by capitalization among all cryptocurrencies. At the time of writing, the coin is falling in price due to the characteristic bearish trend, which makes the offer attractive to investors. The project is developing and raising the course is a matter of time. Chainlink ( LINK ) A decentralized network designed to link smart contracts to real-world information. Created by S. Nazarov and S. Ellis. The ICO was held in the fall of 2017, during which it was possible to raise $32 million. At the same time, LINK is a cryptocurrency native to Chainlink, used to pay operators. The goal of creating the platform is to link blockchain smart contracts with the rest of the universe. Chainlink oracles (LINK) connect to the Ethereum network, provide external information and start the execution of smart contracts. Network members are rewarded for providing access to API information or other external data. Cryptocurrency rate of Web 3.0 LINK 6.81 $. On January 10, 2022, the price was $27.57, after which there was a gradual decrease. But this does not prevent the token from being in the lead and taking 22nd place in the general list by capitalization. Filecoin ( FIL ) A decentralized Web 3 system designed to store the most important information. The history of the project began in 2017, when already at the first ICO managed to raise $205 million. Initially, the launch was planned for 2019, but it had to be postponed to October 2020. Filecoin (FIL) is created by experienced computer scientist H. Benet, known for the InterPlanetary File System. The essence of the project is decentralized data storage and the application of its security system. It simplifies access to information and complicates censorship. In the Filecoin (FIL) system, users themselves store data and receive a reward for this. The network is based on PoR and PoS. System nodes compete for the transmission of information to customers. Subsequently, a reward is issued from the FIL commission. At the time of the review, the value of Filecoin (FIL) is $5.88, the coin is on the 38th capitalization place regarding all digital assets and in third place among cryptocurrencies on Web 3.0. It has great prospects for development. Theta Network ( THETA ) The blockchain-based network was created for video streaming. Launched in March 2019, it works in the form of a decentralized network. The creators are the co-founder of Twitch — J. Kan, and YouTube — S. Chen. Web 3.0 platform has its own digital asset Theta, performing management tasks. The uniqueness of the project is the decentralization of streaming video. This is a streaming platform that rewards users and gives additional bandwidth. With the help of the program, it is possible to solve problems by showing videos in different parts of the planet and reducing costs. At the same time, quality is at a high level. The Theta token is used to manage the platform. At the moment, its price is $1.16, and the total number of coins in circulation is 1 billion. With a capitalization of $1.15 billion, the token is in the 4th place among Web 3 projects and in the 42nd position among all cryptocurrencies. An additional advantage is the openness of the source code, which allows you to introduce modern innovations and make edits. Helium ( HNT ) Decentralized blockchain network for IoT devices, launched in the summer of 2019. It allows low-consumption wireless devices to share information and send data over the Internet. The role of nodes is performed by an access point providing a combination of a gateway and a mining device. The goal of creating Helium is to improve the communication capabilities of the Internet of Things. And if in 2013, when the company was created, this direction was in its infancy, today the situation has changed. The system is interesting to device owners and users who work with IoT. At the same time, the basis is PoC and a new consensus algorithm. HNT is a system token that is available without restrictions. But there is a monthly limit - no more than 5 million coins can be issued monthly. At the same time, the mining time is from 30 to 60 minutes necessary to unlock the award. The essence of the project is simple: first, the owners of the nodes accumulate NHT to create networks of network infrastructure and then resell the asset. As of June 2022, there are 119.5 million such coins, the exchange rate is $9.07. Taking into account the capitalization of 1.076 billion tokens, HNT ranks fifth in Web 3.0 projects and 44th among all cryptocurrencies. Lesser Known Web3 Projects In addition to the projects discussed above, the following representatives of Web 3 deserve attention: Siacoin ( SC ) is a unique coin on Web 3. Provides information storage in the Dapp cloud. Sia cloud storage costs less than competitors. The token price is 0.004 dollars, the capitalization is 215 million dollars, and the number of coins is 51 billion. Flux (Flux) is a decentralized platform on Web 3.0, offering unique products at the Amazon Web Service level. The use of Flux allows one to operate, place and maintain servers and also to start Web3 applications. Ocean Protocol . A convenient tool for creating Web 3.0 applications. It is aimed at decentralizing the exchange of information and gaining access to the network. It helps you buy/sell data, and manage the community financing process. The value of the token is $0.22, and the capitalization is 44 million. Audius ( AUDIO ) . An interesting project that will appeal to music lovers. This is a streaming platform whose goal is to reduce contact with the record company. For staking cryptocurrency, tokens and fan votes are issued. The presence of coins provides access to control, additional functions, increased security, etc. Radicle ( RAD ) . Decentralized project on Web 3.0, designed to sponsor different projects and participate in management. The token exchange rate is $1.81, and the capitalization - is $55.6 million. In addition to the above, other tokens can be named, including Casper ( CSPR ), NuCypher ( NU ), Chromia ( CHR ), and others. Web 3.0 tokens can be bought through large exchanges. To do this, you need to register, replenish your (for example) USDT account, choose a suitable pair and go to the cryptocurrency purchase section.
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