The Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 3675 has now launched on GitHub. EIP-3675 contains the ETH 2.0 proof of stake merge that is coming to the network. Although this does not mean that the move to proof of stake is happening anytime soon, it is bringing the Ethereum network one step closer to the move from proof of work to proof of stake.
Consensus researcherMikhail Kalinin creating a pull request for the EIP-3675 on GitHub formalized the chain merge as an improvement proposal for the first time ever. The pull request was made on Thursday 22nd July 2021.
Related Reading | Ethereum Price Could Go Up Over 860% To Break $10,000, Crypto Analyst
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Ethereum developers continue to work towards the merging of the Ethereum Mainnet with the already up and running Beacon Chain, which would mark the final step for the move to proof of stake.
The EIP-3675 is meant to set the stage for “The Merge,” which is slated to be discussed at a core developers’ meeting that will be held on Friday, July 23rd.
ETH 2.0 Delays
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin had confirmed that the move to ETH 2.0 had been delayed. But according to the CEO, a couple of factors had contributed to the delay of the project.
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Firstly was that they had expected it to take a much shorter time than it would have. When the project was first proposed, the team had believed the move to proof of stake would only take a year. It turned out to be a project that would take at least six years to accomplish.
ETH price shows downwards movement post-recovery | Source: ETHUSD on TradingView.com
Another problem that the Ethereum upgrade had encountered had been team conflicts. It had been speculated that technical difficulties had been the reason for the continuous delays but in the end, Buterin confirmed that the problem was in fact not related to technical problems. One of the major causes for the delays had been with the people working on the project.
Related Reading | Ethereum Whales Go On Buying Spree, Top 10 Addresses Now Own 20% Of All ETH
One of the biggest problems I’ve found with our project is not the technical problems,” said Buterin. “It’s problems related to people. We have a lot of internal team conflicts in these five years.”
Continous disagreements and team conflicts seem to plague the project. The CEO is quoted saying, “if you are building a team, it is important to know who you are working with.”
Ethereum Progression So Far
Expectations for the network continue to remain high. Ethereum price itself has taken hits over the past months as the crypto market continues to be beaten down by bears. But despite the declining prices, holders continue to stake their coins ahead of the move to proof of stake.
Over 6.3 million ETH have been staked on the Ethereum network, accounting for over 5% of the current circulating supply of ETH.
Related Reading | As Ethereum Price Suffers, Investors Wonder If ETH Can Become Deflationary
Investors had hoped shard chains would be rollout this year but this is unlikely as the possible date of launch for the shard chains has now been moved to 2020.
Ethereum’s price continues to trade above $2,000 after the boost it received from Elon Musk. With a current market cap of $234.05B.
After four years of research, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will finally roll out a pilot program for its own digital currency on October 1st, 2021. The CBDC project, named “GIANT,” will run on the modular blockchain framework Hyperledger Fabric.
Nigeria Does Not Want to Fall Behind
During a recent webinar, the Central Bank of Nigeria revealed that it had set a clear date for launching a pilot for its CBDC – October 1st. The information technology director of the CBN – Rakiya Mohammed – highlighted the move as the institution spent four years researching and developing the project.
The pilot program will reportedly come under the name of “GIANT” and will run on the permissioned blockchain infrastructure Hyperledger Fabric. Additionally, Mohammed noted that the CBN could administer a proof of concept before the end of 2021.
The top Nigerian bankers reminded during the webinar that around 80% of the central banks around the globe were currently attempting to issue their own CBDC.
With the help of this future project, Nigeria hopes to focus on growing regional problems such as monetary policy effectiveness, revenue tax collection, improved payment efficiency, remittance improvement, financial inclusion, and targeted social intervention. Furthermore, the CBN pointed out that an e-naira would enable cross-border trade facilitation.
Nigerians Love Digital Assets
Nigeria is one of the leading cryptocurrency markets in Africa, as millions of the nation’s young residents use digital assets in an attempt to solve their financial problems.
Not long ago, though, the CBN imposed restrictions on trading with virtual currencies, urging local banks to stop servicing bitcoin clients. The institution explained that many criminal organizations use the asset to facilitate money laundering and even finance terrorism. However, a few weeks later, the central bank changed its stance and announced that it is okay with cryptocurrencies and is not discouraging people from trading with them.
And while many expected that the hurdle would threaten and reduce the size of the market, such a thing did not occur. Nigerians continued to remain bullish, and the country emerged as the biggest peer-to-peer market for Paxful amid the CBN’s prohibition. Over 1.5 million local platform users have reportedly hit a remarkable trading volume of $1.5 billion.
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“Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a Lebanese-American essayist, scholar, mathematical statistician, and former option trader and risk analyst, whose work concerns problems of randomness, probability, and uncertainty.” — Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Life is a constant stream of decisions, the outcomes of which shape our futures. In this constant churn of decisions, we seek to improve our odds against the inevitability of randomness, whenever possible. We want to make well-informed decisions to best position ourselves to benefit from these external uncertainties. All people use this probabilistic approach in their daily lives, whether it is realized or not, i.e., “If I want the best outcome, should I do X or Y? Which one has the higher probability of a favorable outcome? That’s the one I choose.”
In order to make a decision, you need to focus on the consequences (which you can know) rather than the probability (which you can’t know) — Nassim Nicholas Taleb
As it turns out, Bitcoin believers and fantasy football players are kindred spirits when it comes to making decisions that benefit from chaos. Bitcoiners and a certain sect of fantasy football drafters are both betting on probabilistic outcomes using the same foundational principle. A principle that was conceived and popularized by scholar, mathematical statistician, and former risk analyst, Nassim Nicholas Taleb. That principle is called “antifragility.”
Qualities of the antifragile are outlined by Taleb as follows:
“Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors. Yet in spite of the ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. Let us call it antifragile. Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.”
As exposure to stressors accumulate over time, the “fragile” break, but the “antifragile” grow stronger.
In recent years, many fantasy footballers gravitated towards a new drafting strategy, popularized by Shawn Siegele in 2013. That strategy is called “Zero-RB” drafting. Simply put, not drafting any running back position players until the later rounds in their drafts.
How Does The “Zero RB” Draft Strategy Work?
The aim for the Zero RB draft strategy is to utilize your early round, higher draft capital on players with less downside risk. Since the running back position experiences significantly more injuries than other player positions, Zero RB drafters look to avoid spending high draft capital on players that carry added risk. Instead, they load up on positions with more favorable risk profiles in early rounds, like the wide receiver. This allows them to use the middle and late rounds of drafts to take a bunch of antifragile bets, by accumulating low-cost, high-upside running backs.
Not only does avoiding drafting running backs in early rounds minimize risk exposure, but taking a bunch of late-round dart throws at Running Backs pays off at a higher risk/return rate than any other position. Why? Because running backs disproportionately benefit from the highly fragile landscape that the NFL offers. Like any antifragile bet, mid-late round running backs benefit from chaos, disorder, and/or random events like multi-week or season ending injuries. These events can cripple a fantasy team, and break what once seemed like a well-balanced roster construction.
“Running backs are at the highest risk of injury, and their injuries average significantly longer in length than any other position.” — Michael Gertz, ProFootballLogic.com
Some direct examples of the NFL’s highly fragile landscape:
Player sustains injury in training camp.
Player sustains multi-week or season-ending injury.
Player fails a drug test; suspended multiple weeks.
Rookie player outshines expectations; unseats incumbent player.
Player has a psychotic breakdown and gets released by multiple teams.
Player involved in sexual assault allegations, put on Commisioner’s exempt list rendering him unable to play.
Those that gain from these fragile circumstances are not typically the teams that drafted running backs in the early rounds. Instead, many of these fragile events increase the probability that a Zero RB roster construction is the winning strategy. These multi-week or season-ending injuries cause the running backs accumulated in the mid-late draft rounds to increase in value, as it becomes more likely that they crack the starting lineup for their team.
These players are the low-risk, high-upside bets that you want to have made in the wake of “Black Swan” events. They are the backups, the rookies, and the players with freak athletic profiles who’s opportunities to accrue fantasy points for your team are about to increase significantly in the face of chaos.
TL;DR: The Zero-RB strategy is simple. Flip fragility on it’s head, and find a way to benefit from it. Build an antifragile roster in a fragile NFL landscape.
What Does This Have To Do With Bitcoin?
The strategic balancing of economic incentives has allowed Bitcoin to achieve something that has never before been achievable by humankind; absolute scarcity. A provably finite supply which is easily verifiable, and openly displayed to anyone across the world.
Bitcoin may be the most significant alignment of computer science, economics, and game theory ever discovered. Since 2009, its network has continued to grow consistently and globally. Bitcoin’s core value proposition is not that you can pay people instantly and cheaply. It’s not coming for the likes of PayPal or Visa. It’s coming for store of value assets like gold, real estate, or fine art, and eventually the U.S. dollar. Bitcoin is being accumulated by investors because they are recognizing that not only does it have similar monetary properties to gold, but that bitcoin significantly outperforms them across most of those measures. It also offers a few additional properties that we’ve never seen before in a monetary asset. Being purely digital information, bitcoin is incredibly portable, highly divisible, and openly programmable.
“Macro investor Paul Tudor Jones is buying Bitcoin as a hedge against the inflation he sees coming from central bank money printing, telling clients it reminds him of the role gold played in the 1970s.” — Bloomberg
As of today, the opportunity cost is low because we are still early in Bitcoin’s technology adoption cycle. While being early also does mean it carries more risk, the potential upside if bitcoin succeeds in becoming an internet-native global money significantly outweighs that downside. It’s a strategy that Nassim Taleb would say has highly favorable “asymmetry.” Taleb explains this opportunity as follows:
“Antifragility implies more to gain than to lose, equals more upside than downside, equals (favorable) asymmetry.” — Nassim Nicholas Taleb
In contrast to Zero RB draft strategy, where players seek to accumulate running backs in the later stages of a draft, Bitcoiners seek to accumulate bitcoin in the early stages of its technology adoption life cycle.
In similarity to Zero RB draft strategy, where players seek to construct an antifragile roster, Bitcoiners seek to accumulate bitcoin, strengthening their position in the face of a precarious and highly uncertain surrounding environment.
When you’re allocating some of your money into bitcoin, no matter how big or small your holdings, you’re placing an antifragile bet. It is a bet that bitcoin has the properties, qualities and ability to outperform other store of value assets, and forms of money. Bitcoin also carries the much lower probability outcome of replacing the U.S. dollar as the global monetary base in the longer time horizon. The potential returns in these scenarios highly outweigh the current opportunity cost, creating an investment opportunity with asymmetric upside potential.
Why Does Bitcoin Benefit From Fragile Events?
Bitcoin is programmable. This allows it to adapt, maneuver around and overcome the roadblocks that it faces. Bitcoin is an antifragile choice that exists inside a fragile complex system, just like the injury-wrought fantasy football landscape. It is antifragile because it runs on a decentralized, globally-distributed network of computers and is built with open-source code that is fully verifiable to any and all observers. This assures that two key rules stay in place:
RULE #1: There will never be more than 21 million bitcoin. The entire supply must be openly auditable by anyone.
RULE #2: No one can change Rule #1 without an overwhelming consensus from 51% of the network’s users.
Bitcoin does not merely just resist change with these rules. Each failed attempt also means that Bitcoin adapts, improves, and belief in its permanence grows stronger as a result.
For a deeper dive into the specific traits that make Bitcoin so antifragile, I highly recommend reading Parker Lewis’ series “Gradually, Then Suddenly”.
Here is a quick snapshot:
“Its decentralized and permissionless state eliminates single points of failure and drives innovation, ultimately ensuring both its survival and a constant strengthening of its immune system as a function of time, trial and error. Bitcoin is beyond resilient. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the Bitcoin network gets better. While it is easy to fall into a trap, believing Bitcoin to be untested, unproven and not permanent, it is precisely the opposite. Bitcoin has been constantly tested for going on 12 years, each time proving to be up to the challenge and emerging from each test in a stronger state.” — Parker Lewis
On A Long Enough Timescale…
The timescale for the antifragile bets of fantasy football players to play out is about 17 weeks, the length of the NFL regular season. However, for Bitcoin the timescale is unknowable and indefinitely extending. One potential timescale to consider for context might be the historical timeline of world reserve currencies, visualized below:
The reserve currency transition is a cycle that has typically lasted in history somewhere between 80 to 110 years. The U.S. dollar has been the official global reserve currency for 73 years now.
As it stands today for Bitcoin, we’re currently in the late rounds of the draft. As more time goes by, assuming Bitcoin continues to strengthen and gain adoption, the opportunity cost becomes higher. Today, it might cost you a twelveth or thirteenth round pick for some bitcoin. In a few years, you might be paying up with your first rounder.
TL;DR: The Bitcoiner’s strategy is simple. Flip fragility on it’s head, and find a way to benefit from it. Build an antifragile portfolio in a fragile financial landscape.
Zero RB drafters and Bitcoiners are both using the same decision-making principle (antifragility) to aid them in decision making amongst inevitable randomness. They put faith in provable math instead of human error. Each uses computer science as a tool for enhancing their decision making, in the hopes of increasing their odds of an advantageous future outcome.
As Tyler Winklevoss has said of himself and other Bitcoiner believers:
“We have elected to put our money and faith in a mathematical framework that is free of politics and human error.” — Tyler Winklevoss
Last month, Roc-A-Fella Records sued co-owner Damon Dash for trying to sell an NFT tied to Jay-Z’s album “Reasonable Doubt.”
A judge stopped the sale.
Now Dash is trying to sell his stake in the company as an NFT.
Last month, Roc-A-Fella Recordssued co-owner Damon Dashfor trying to sell an NFT tied to Jay-Z’s album “Reasonable Doubt.”
Typically, when artists try to cash in by “making an NFT of” a song or an album, they’re talking about a file (typically an image or video) associated with the music. An NFT is justa kind of unique cryptocurrencythat’s attached to a file. Buying an NFT gets you the token and a copy of the file—nothing more.
But according to Roc-A-Fella’s filing, Dash was allegedly trying to sell the “ownership of the copyright” to “Reasonable Doubt” along with the NFT. The label goes on to say that while Dash may own one third of the company, he doesn’t own the copyright to any individual recordings, and “can’t sell what he doesn’t own.”
Now, instead of auctioning off the copyright to “Reasonable Doubt,” Dash is trying to auction off his entire stake in Roc-A-Fella. Three days ago, he announced a new NFT called “It’s The Roc,” which a description promises “will be gifted to the highest bidder on Damon Dash’s 1/3 interest in Roc-A-Fella Inc.”
“Damon Dash is auctioning his ⅓ interest in Roc-A-Fella Inc. which ownsReasonable Doubt, Jay-Z’s first album,” reads an explanatory blurb on the website Dashnftgallery.io.
Selling this kind of equity is not something you can do via an NFT auction alone; “It’s The Roc” is essentially a non-binding promise from Dash that he’ll sell you his stake in the company, at some unspecified point in the future.
Though theNFT is available to view on OpenSeaandFoundation, it hasn’t been officially listed. Instead, Dash is asking interested parties to send their bids toan Ethereum address linked on the website. The bidding is described as “private,” but when we scanned the QR code on the site, we were just asked to send the money directly:
There’s no cap on what you can send the address, but the site is asking for a minimum bid of $10,000,000 “or equivalent in the following currencies: Bitcoin, Ethereium [sic], Pounds, Euros.”
Scanning the same QR code on the Coinbase Wallet app gets you this:
Macro analyst and former Goldman Sachs executive Raoul Pal says he’s expanding his portfolio beyond Bitcoin and Ethereum.
In a new interview on Real Vision, Pal says he’s gravitating toward social platforms with strong network effects.
Pal also says he’s devoting some of his net worth to the crypto sports entertainment project Chiliz (CHZ).
Chiliz, which has a market cap of just over $1 billion, is the crypto asset that fuels the fan token app Socios. Socios allows users to purchase Chiliz, exchange it for their favorite team’s tokens, and use the tokens to vote in polls and receive various incentives.
Pal argues that as blockchain develops and the world becomes more digitally focused, crypto will power a new ecosystem of virtual communities and business structures.
I’m a huge believer that community is the future of all business models and that tokenization is going to be the predominant way that we organize these large, complex groups – now whether that’s sports fans, or whether it’s around music artists, or even businesses themselves.”
Bitcoin did the same thing, argues Pal, unleashing a whole new network of value and connecting a novel community.
“I’ve thought of this as an entirely different value layer that sits above equity that didn’t exist before, because for, let’s say, sports teams to access their fans, they had to pay social media. They had to go onto different platforms, and they had to lease their audiences back from Facebook and everybody else. And this way, it aligns the benefits…
Facebook is a classic example of a network effect business – and they have this structure where the shareholders get all the economic value and the network users get the network benefit, but they don’t get the monetary value. Then Bitcoin comes along and changes everything, because the network user gets the value, the token. And that unlocks this whole community thing or fandom, because then, now suddenly, above equity is this whole other thing that is potentially larger than the equity itself.”
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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed at The Daily Hodl are not investment advice. Investors should do their due diligence before making any high-risk investments in Bitcoin, cryptocurrency or digital assets. Please be advised that your transfers and trades are at your own risk, and any loses you may incur are your responsibility. The Daily Hodl does not recommend the buying or selling of any cryptocurrencies or digital assets, nor is The Daily Hodl an investment advisor. Please note that The Daily Hodl participates in affiliate marketing.
Out of the many routes available to the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, which includes decentralized finance (DeFi), layer-one protocols, nonfungible tokens and stablecoins, perhaps the simplest and most applicable path for the public at large is the ability to utilize cryptocurrency for everyday purchases with an integrated debit or credit card.
2021 has seen a growing number of companies offer cryptocurrency-based credit cards that give holders the chance to tap into the value of their cryptocurrencies for daily purchases, but is this just the latest gimmick being used by businesses to earn a buck or a real sign of mass adoption?
While the traditional financial sector isn’t discussed much in this newsletter because its focus is on exploring the various sub-sectors of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, crypto assets are quickly becoming a new investment class recognized by the global financial system.
Debit cards tap into crypto holdings
It’s important to clarify the differences between the card services offered by some of the largest players in the game including Crypto.com, BlockFi and Coinbase.
Debit cards like the one offered by Crypto.com allow users to convert their cryptocurrency holdings to a stablecoin that can then be transacted on Visa’s global network.
You can now top up your card with $ADA, $DOGE, $LINK, $MATIC, $UNI, along with 12 other new supported stablecoins and tokens!
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The Coinbase card and crypto debit card offered by Uphold provide a similar service, with both offering rewards for use in the form of a percentage of each purchase, paid back in Bitcoin (BTC) or another cryptocurrency, depending on the platform.
Being able to make purchases with your holdings may help bring a good use case to the cryptocurrency ecosystem, but it also goes against the “hodl” nature of many investors who subscribe to Gresham’s Law that “bad money drives out good money in circulation.”
When it comes to which money is spent and which money is saved, good money, or cryptocurrencies, in this case, will be saved while fiat currencies will be spent in daily transactions.
Crypto credit allows hodlers to continue accumulating
Credit cards like the recently launched BlockFi Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card do not require an upfront conversion of a user’s crypto holdings to pay for transactions. Instead, it offers a credit limit with an attached interest rate.
Gemini exchange plans to offer a BTC cashback rewards card on the Mastercard network. This is another example that has taken the approach of the legacy credit system by offering rewards and charging interest on carried balances.
Users can spend fiat currencies and earn cashback rewards that are paid back in the form of Bitcoin.
Paying in dollars while stacking stats lines up more with the idea of spending bad money in daily transactions while earning more crypto, but it does require users to have fiat currencies to spend.
In the case where someone only has cryptocurrencies, they would be forced to convert some of their holdings to the accepted form of repayment and possibly incur a taxable event, depending on the laws where they live.
Currently, most of the world’s population either still uses the traditional financial system or is part of the large population of the unbanked who are outside of all systems. The injection of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency is either adding another step to the process or offering a new way into a financial network.
For die-hard crypto fans that hold as much of their wealth as possible in cryptocurrency, debit card options that allow users to spend their holdings may provide the best option.
Traditional financial system vs decentralized financial system. #defi #blockchain #crypto
Credits: Financial times pic.twitter.com/1dc0jJxvm3
— BlockchainAssets (@BAXASSETS) December 30, 2019
Since many crypto investors work jobs that still pay in fiat currencies, credit card options offer a way to use their income to make purchases while also continuing to accumulate without having to conduct the conversion to crypto themselves.
Related:Bitcoin payments for real estate gain traction as crypto holders seek monetization
Legacy networks will eventually integrate blockchain technology
Visa and Mastercard have fully embraced the integration of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology into their networks. Visa recently reported that its crypto-enabled cards holders spent more than $1 billion during the first half of 2021.
It’s possible that in the near future, the entire network could be blockchain-based and users will be interacting with digital currencies on a regular basis without even knowing it.
How it all plays out long-term is anyone’s guess, but the current trend of companies releasing cryptocurrency-related debit and credit cards shows no signs of slowing down. They are a tried-and-true marketing tactic used in industries large and small to help entice new users.
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The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.
The Solana Foundation has announced Stake Pools to increase the network’s security, promote censorship resistance, and rewards SOL holders in the process. The announcement was made via their official Twitter handle.
The Stake Pool program was enabled via an on-chain governance process, as the Solana Foundation said. Any SOL holder can participate in the process via SolFlare, a non-custodial wallet that allows users to connect with this network.
SOL token holders can earn rewards and help secure the network by staking tokens to one or more validators. Rewards for staked tokens are based on the current inflation rate, total number of SOL staked on the network, and an individual validator’s uptime and commission (fee).
The program was launched to increase the network ability to withstand disruption or attacks, the Solana Foundation said. This capacity is partially measured by looking at the “superminority”, the smallest number of validators capable of launching a successful attack.
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Thus, the Stake Pools operate as incentives for the users to place their SOL funds between independent validators, the announcement clarified. As the stake distribution increase, so does the network’s security.
Solana is already one of the most censorship resistant networks (our superminority group is currently 16), but the Solana Foundation can do even more to increase stake distribution.
How To Earn Rewards While Securing Solana
When a user stakes their SOL token, these are distributed across “a larger number of validators”. Then, users earn tokens for delegators represented by the amount deposited, as stated above, plus rewards for staking.
The rewards can be use in other decentralized finance (DeFi) apps, the Solana Foundation said. For example, in the automated market maker Raydium or the decentralized exchange (DEX) Serum.
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The stake pool system is comprised of 3 main actors: the manager, capable of earn and update the fess, the staker, capable of adding and removing validators to a pool and rebalancing stake, and the users, those that provide the SOL for an existing stake pool. The Solana Foundation said:
(…) the stake pool only processes totally active stakes. Deposits must come from fully active stakes, and withdrawals return a fully active stake account. This means that stake pool managers, stakers, and users must be comfortable with creating and delegating stakes, which are more advanced operations than sending and receiving SPL tokens and SOL.
Stake pool participates will be able to profit from additional incentives if they meet any of 3 criteria, the Foundation said. First, if they launch a stake pool by August 30, 2021, promoting a definition of censorship resistance. These managers will be eligible for a 100 SOL reward.
If they also reached 100,000 SOL deposit to their pool, they wil receive a 200 SOL grant or a 1,000 SOL grant if they reached 1,000,000 SOL staked.
At the time of writing, SOL trades at $27,01 with a 2.9% loss in the daily chart.
The Hero’s Journey: Creating Authentic Digital IDs And Personalized Engagement For Bitcoin Decentralized/Distributed Systems
Numerous Bitcoin podcast discussions have led to the inevitable “wall,” a wall which, to date, has not been penetrated and its adjacent territory explored. I’m referring to the existential question of how “Bitcoinization” actually manifests for each individual, while legacy monetary infrastructure and social structures disintegrate. It’s one thing to romanticize how our new society will somehow magically crawl out of the ashes like some unburned, proud and polished phoenix and quite another to face the real-life, ugly hurdles facing us.
The deeply embedded detritus of legacy fiat thinking and behaviors do not simply disappear. In fact, as we transition to the bitcoin standard and the working people of highly developed, industrialized countries become squeezed and further impoverished during the deflationary depression (see Jeff Booth, “The Price of Tomorrow”), social unrest will erupt, and inevitably, Bitcoin itself could be blamed and viewed by many as the culprit of the collective pain. It doesn’t take profound foresight to predict that many such people, seeking blame and simple solutions, could demand even more centralization and control through the perceived safety net of an increasingly powerful authoritarian state.
Will growth in Bitcoin infrastructure adoption magically and quickly transform the superstructure of human organizational design and engagement in some novel corresponding way à la “fix the money, fix the world”? Or are we doomed to simply “pretend and extend” by overlaying old fiat social engagement design on top of this new monetary foundation and naively hope it all smooths out somehow? How can we better attune the adoption of Bitcoin’s decentralized/distributed monetary infrastructure with an empowered, Bitcoin-defined social superstructure? Will our digital ID continue to be composed of only objective data (cold data), while our subjective experiences (warm data) remain devalued? How can we support and expand individual self-sovereignty through Bitcoin engagement design?
While the Bitcoin meme “fix the money, fix the world” offers a simplified solution, this paper and its described superstructure applications seek to penetrate the territory where contemporary Bitcoin “thought leaders” and developers have yet to explore. Hopefully, we can help avoid a misguided but possibly very real collective public response for a stronger totalitarian centralization of power. We do this by empowering the individual with the narrative, mentors and experiences of personal responsibility and self-sovereignty, which support and lead to developing individual tools to authentically recreate a peer-to-peer creator economy. We must become self-empowered entrepreneurs and creators. Think “decentralized, designer craftsmanship.”
For this to emerge, we must move toward a novel disintermediated, hyper-personalized engagement design which begins and ends with each unique individual.
However, before we get to where we are going, we need to know where we’ve been and what we are currently facing. Using seductive carrot-stick reward systems and enticements, people have long been objectified and manipulated by legacy engagement systems. Such “addictive design” strategies can certainly drive behaviors — through advertising, gaming, social media and more — but at a great cost to the individual. Unfortunately, such concentrated behaviorism and operant conditioning, now combined with emergent tech, have contributed to disabling and disempowering our youth. Judgmental, performance-based exogenous validation systems and its mindless FOMO (fear of missing out) have helped create an anxiety-ridden, dependent and emotionally fragile generation. These young adults suffer from unprecedented levels of crippling psychological/emotional disease in crisis proportions, now exacerbated by recent COVID-19 lock downs. Anxiety and depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, self-harm, addiction disorders, violence and suicide levels are off the charts. We are in the midst of an unprecedented crisis in mental illness, and it is currently underpinned and reinforced by exploitive, centralized engagement design. As Nora Bateson has said, “We need to de-industrialize and re-animate.”
Insular, rigid groupthink communities can provide a perceived “safe haven” with like-minded people, but they also demand their own narrow conformity. Groupthink can detract us from coming to know our unique selves and building upon our innate talents. It can preclude us from building vibrant communities richly thriving in diversity and bold creativity. Ultimately, there is nothing more emotionally affirming than being seen by another for who we truly are — our authentic, essential selves. We do not easily forget such profoundly meaningful experiences of being authentically seen and validated.
Companies which refuse to further exploit the vulnerabilities of our youth, and instead empower them with authentic engagement to find and grow their unique talents, and be authentically seen for their unique selves, can bring fresh, high value. Hedonic escapism may provide temporary relief but fixes nothing. We live in highly extenuating times necessitating inner resources and skills to resiliently adapt and recreate our way out of difficulty.
Media and its content distribution have historically focused on how to manipulate and incentivize people to think a certain way or desire, buy and use things they perhaps would otherwise not be interested in. All sorts of consumer manipulation strategies have been used over the years, now resulting in a consumer hardened by fake news, fake engagement, fake relationships, fake moral correctness and more. People feel worse than weary or angry. We’re numb.
Centrally sourced content messaging is suspect. It cannot be trusted. It’s inauthentic. We are objectified and hustled. Young people today don’t simply want more stuff. They want experiences.
What people want now more than anything are the experiences of authentic engagement, meaning, purpose and expression. These sought-after feelings of self-determinism and authentic engagement are currently not inspired or supported by exogenous marketing sources. In truth, such feelings can only be self-generated and cultivated from within each person. Those who wish to reach a more self-empowered state can assume personal responsibility to cultivate such tools to help them get there. Why shouldn’t social, gaming and marketing identify, address and expand upon what is most desired intrinsically by the customer and provide the methodologies for getting there? In so doing, is this not providing authentic and timely “value” to the customer?
James Andrews is head of product at Genies, and author of “Self-Expression, Spirituality and Gen Z.” He expresses well the mandate for the new, self-sovereign digital identity, its demand for empowered self-knowing and authentic engagement. He asks, “What happens though when you have an entire generation chasing their authentic selves?”
“The Fix”: Marketing For Decentralized/Distributed Bitcoin Technologies
So, how does the new Bitcoin marketplace of engagement attune to each unique individual, while also delivering highly curated and personalized, authentic and meaningful engagement experiences to that individual? What is relevant or inspirational for one person may not be for another. Not everyone engages the same way. “The fix” is not found in using some new technology overlayed with same-old legacy design methodologies only to produce similarly poor outcomes. “The fix” is using Bitcoin technologies integrating biomimetic engagement design focusing on the unique individual and not compelling the individual to contort to a standardized platform.
Today’s design “meta trend” is quickly moving from industrial-era centralization to digital-era decentralized and distributed systems. The public, open-source foundational settlement layer, Bitcoin, is seeing rapid adoption globally and is experiencing a mass migration from centralized internet sites to a decentralized/distributed and disintermediated internet layer where all engagement can be monetized, streaming to the seconds. There is a rapid birthing of Layer 2 and 3 peer-to-peer engagement systems built on top of, pegged to or side-chained that disintermediate legacy third parties while empowering the unique individual. And unlike legacy/centralized sites (“the Boomer’s internet”), this distributed design has capacities to now curate and hyper-personalize products, services and experiences to the unique individual in a dynamic inspirational and aspirational manner.
So, how do we do this? How do we move from top-down, standardized, industrial-era design to focusing on the digital personalization of the unique, highly nuanced individual in a meaningful, personalized way? What novel matrix biomimetic to our own human biologic design can be used for such individuation going forward?
First, we reject our overdependency upon centralized behaviorist/operant conditioning engagement design.
Secondly, we value, support, facilitate and celebrate the strong sense of self-determinism by the individual. The focus and commitment are on authentically engaging with the individual on their terms. A healthy inner locus of control is developed by identifying and scaffolding upon the individual’s unique intrinsic motivators. If we know what play is, and is not, we can identify intrinsic motivators and authentic engagement patterns and patterns within patterns. This then becomes the matrix for authentic personalized engagement design and provides user-generated data to fine-tune identity and focus personalized content distribution.
Thirdly, monetization opportunities emerge. Through authentic engagement and developing an inner locus of control and self-determinism, opportunities to capitalize on one’s growth and creativity ensue, as the engagement matrix and identity fabric contribute to the development of an authentic digital ID. All engagement, from gaming to social to enterprise and beyond, becomes streaming monetization on top of decentralized/distributed bitcoin. A robust peer-to-peer creator economy emerges. People create and pursue what they love and are literally paid to play.
How are these three goals accomplished? What are the myriad cross-sector applications? Here is but a brief synopsis.
Nature’s hard-wired engagement design in all animals is not gamemechanics but play. Play is the first principle of self-generated, self-motivated and self-sustaining engagement design, whereas gaming and behaviorist design are not. These centralized and manipulative designs objectify the user and are based solely on objective data, neglecting the user’s subjective, warm data. Play is a fundamental survival drive; the exogenous reward systems and enticements underpinning behaviorist design and game mechanics are not. While gaming is a small aspect or subset of play, it is not the whole of play. And not everyone likes games. Conversely, we are all subcortically hardwired to play, and everyone plays differently. The cosmic joke, the playful paradox, is that despite our differences and the fact we all play differently, we can meet and engage through the languages of play.
Authentic play is authentic engagement: It is self-generated, self-motivated and self-sustained and disintermediated. Once someone tries to intermediate or control the engagement, it is no longer play, and the many beneficial outcomes of authentic engagement are lost. If we know what play is, and what it is not, we can identify within individuals their authentic engagement patterns and patterns within patterns. This then becomes the matrix for authentic personalized engagement design. Authentic play engagement is how we identify and develop what we love to do, what we like, what we aspire to, and it identifies and develops our intrinsic motivators, drive and grit (all “warm data”).
By suppressing or hijacking access to authentic play, a person’s sense of self and inner locus of control eventually become stunted. They eventually suffer from any one or a few of the panoply of negative consequences associated with play deprivation, including the plague of mental illness. They either isolate into hedonic escapist behaviors or become mindlessly dependent, anxiously chasing extrinsic rewards and exogenous validation. This stunts their moxie, their internal drive, inner locus of control, healthy sense of self, creativity and adaptability. These degraded human potentials are the attributes needed in robust fashion to forge the unique being, one’s authentic expression, while increasing self-esteem, meaning and purpose and adaptability in a world in great transition. Play foments creativity and evolutionary adaptation.
As an older woman who grew up playing on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the 60’s and 70’s, I feel the loss of free, authentic play in our culture. Play has been hi-jacked and sublimated by intermediaries, leading to a great loss in authentic engagement, meaning and purpose, social skills, creativity and problem-solving, and community-building. Thanks to standardized performance testing, centralized media, extrinsic reward systems and other exogenous measurements, our children grew up valued for their conformist performance, and not who they were intrinsically meant to become. We can fix this through recreating a disintermediated global engagement design on Bitcoin.
An older, pre-retirement, long-distance truck driver who lost his job to FSD semi-trucks is not the same as the low self-esteem young woman who anxiously seeks exogenous validation through objectifying herself. Yet each can potentially recreate their selves in a way that works for them. However, this is tough to accomplish when we lack the tools, insights, methodologies and supportive community to do so, particularly when we’ve been dependent, uncritical, fiat-thinking conformists all our lives, and software is eating legacy jobs. With warm data integrated into decentralized and personalized authentic engagement design, “Bitcoin can fix this,” too.
The value and invention here involve the system, methodologies, designs and myriad applications for identifying and scaffolding upon a unique individual’s intrinsic motivators as a matrix for personalized, intrinsically motivated, authentic engagement design and a self-sovereign identity adaptable to emergent decentralized/distributed systems. The engagement profile/play personality is a dynamic composition of play behavior patterns which can be collated from IRL and online through many means, depending upon its subject. No two people are the same or engage the same way. The composition and weight of engagement patterns are endless, so each profile/play personality is unique. One is not inherently better than the other. It’s just different, as nature intended. Nature loves diversity.
The unique intrinsic engagement profile/play personality can be collated for each unique individual dynamically, from birth to old age, and used as their avatars and/or dopplegangers. An instantly recognizable and decipherable graphic icon can represent the composition of play personality/engagement profile for each unique individual so another person instantly knows how to attune and uniquely engage with increasing nuance, empathy and respect. Each of us can represent our own brand and wear and express it proudly. Products, services and experiences can be curated to the unique individual so that marketing and advertisement do not manipulate users by asking them to contort themselves but instead attune with their innate proclivities to authentically engage. Legacy marketing protocols are flipped, validating the unique person on their terms, and providing added value in an authentic manner. We deindustrialize our schooling systems, and our children become blessed with personalized learning opportunities identified, driven and scaffolded by their own intrinsic interests and authentic engagement.
Of particular note: Because play states, like sleep states (both play and sleep are fundamental survival drives), can now be biometrically identified, optimal authentic engagement opportunities can be personalized and designed to each unique user derived by their biometric data (e.g., non-addictive gaming personalized for optimal play states with countless health and performance-related outcomes).
The myriad applications of this novel engagement design are directly aligned with emergent identity in the decentralized/distributed metaverse and have broad cross-sector applications, including hyper-personalization in advertising and content delivery, ML/AI, AR/VR, IoT, gaming, social media, preventive medicine, education and so much more. Truly this can be a design that easily migrates across all sectors.
When the measurement of performance goals (cold extrinsic data) become more important than the inherent joy and attunement found in an activity (warm intrinsic data), we have lost authentic engagement and the transformational recreative power of play. The activity becomes work. Creativity is lost. Self-sustainability, personal agency and ownership/responsibility are diminished.
By integrating personalized authentic engagement design into Bitcoin’s superstructure/social protocols, the benefits and goals we aspire to can become the unintended outcomes. It’s a playful paradox. However, this is nature’s design. If humans are to live sustainably and joyfully, it needs to be ours as well.
“All bear the inherent right to become sovereign of the self — not only in body and mind, but in soul, for any authority that is allowed to rule over you, does so by taking a piece of who you really are.” — Dan Thomas
This is a guest post by Kristen Cozad. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.
As the price of Bitcoin returned to more than $32,000 this week, some major firms announced they had increased their exposure to cryptocurrencies through Grayscale’s crypto trusts.
According to a Friday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, New York-based investment firm Edge Wealth Management currently holds 54,134 shares of Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), valued at $27.13 at the time of publication, and 25,280 shares of the company’s Ethereum Trust (ETHE). The crypto holdings are worth almost $2 million at $1,468,655 and $466,668, respectively, roughly 0.3% of the $703 million total assets under management the company reported on Feb. 2.
Grayscale’s crypto trusts are not new investment opportunities for Edge. The investment firm held 37,605 GBTC and 17,300 ETHE shares in April, representing increases of 44% and 46%, respectively.
Some institutions’ exposure to Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and other cryptocurrencies through Grayscale have increased as digital currencies seemingly play a larger role in the global economy. Similar filings with the SEC show Rothschild Investment Corp quadrupled its exposure to Bitcoin through Grayscale, owning 38,346 GBTC shares in April and 141,405 GBTC as of June 30. With a reported more than $1 billion in assets under management as of April 8, the Bitcoin trust shares represent less than 0.09% of the investment firm’s holdings.
However, Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest is continuing to purchase GBTC shares at higher rate than the two aforementioned companies. This week, the investment firm reported it purchased more than 450,000 shares of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust in two separate buys, bringing its combined holdings to more than 9 million shares, or roughly 0.5% of its portfolio. At its peak in March, GBTC represented 0.9% of Ark’s portfolio.
Related:Grayscale ‘100% committed’ to turning GBTC into Bitcoin ETF — CEO
“The investment community continues to express interest in the digital currency asset class, and the crypto ecosystem more broadly, and as these assets gain mainstream adoption, we anticipate investors will seek new ways to access digital currencies to further diversify their portfolios,” said Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein in a letter to investors.
The reports of GBTC purchases come the same week Grayscale unlocked 16,240 BTC worth of its Bitcoin Trust shares after six months. Though there was some speculation the price of the crypto asset could be adversely affected by such a large release in a single day, BTC saw a roughly 2.9% increase in price week-over-week and reached $32,457 at the time of publication.
Amazon is looking for a strategy and roadmap for blockchain-based payment products.
It’s advertised for blockchain-related positions in the past.
Every once in a while a job posting will kick off a flurry of rumors in the crypto space, as industry watchers want to know whether a new mega corporation such as Apple or Facebook is set to adopt cryptocurrency payments.
That happened today with Amazon, which recently listed a job posting for a Digital Currency and Blockchain Product Lead to create a vision and roadmap for new payment products.
A subsequent statement shared withDecryptand other media outlets by an Amazon spokesperson fanned the flames by suggesting the world’s largest online retailer is actively considering enabling cryptocurrency payments.
“We’re inspired by the innovation happening in the cryptocurrency space and are exploring what this could look like on Amazon,” the statement reads. “We believe the future will be built on new technologies that enable modern, fast, and inexpensive payments, and hope to bring that future to Amazon customers as soon as possible.”
“Exploring” can mean a lot of things for a huge company with near-unlimited resources and thousands of employees. In particular, per the job posting, the Digital Currency and Blockchain Product Lead should have expertise in cryptocurrencies, central bank digital currencies, and distributed ledgers. The new hire is also expected to “gain leadership buy-in and investment for new capabilities” and develop a “launch strategy.” All of which suggests the company is taking a serious look at what crypto can offer it.
“We’re inspired by the innovation happening in the cryptocurrency space and are exploring what this could look like on Amazon.”
Amazon has made incremental steps into crypto in the past.
Earlier this month, Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud platform subsidiary, advertised for aHead of Productfor its long-runningAmazon Managed Blockchain, which takes care of the hosting and hardware for developers who want to build in Hyperledger Fabric or Ethereum. Notably, the posting indicated a preference for applicants with decentralized finance (DeFi) experience, suggesting AWS could be building new capabilities for protocols that leverage a blockchain to offer financial products without intermediaries.
Amazon’s Advertising FinTech team has also been looking for a Senior Software Engineer as it works on “financial ledger, billing and reconciliation systems to provide data transparency on transnational financial data.” Though the post doesn’t mention “blockchain”, theURLdoes.