Why Most Blockchain Projects Are Bullshit – magic. – Medium

https://medium.com/helloitsmagic/why-most-blockchain-projects-are-bullshit-2e3918439270

And How to Spot the Ones That Aren’t

This is a good overview to blockchains and mountains of bullshit talk circulating around it:

The key to separating uses with promise from bullshit projects is asking what can onlybe done with the specific features blockchains provide, and whether those things are worth doing or having. In almost all useful cases, blockchains don’t solve technological problems, they solve people problems.

190 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    CRYPTO GUYS SPEND $600,000 ON HIDEOUS WORMLIKE ELON MUSK STATUE, CAUSING THEIR COIN TO CRASH
    https://futurism.com/the-byte/elon-goat-coin-statue-crash

    A bunch of crypto-pilled Elon Musk fans spent $600,000 to build a giant statue that features the new Twitter czar’s head on a goat’s body, riding a rocket — and their coin crashed after they took the grotesque work of “art” public.

    Over the holiday weekend, the great minds behind the Elon Goat Token — an in-your-face homage to the man they consider to be the “Greatest of All Time,” or GOAT — decided to unleash upon the streets of Austin, Texas their metallic Frankenstein’s monster

    Insult to Injury
    As commentators have noted, Musk himself hasn’t yet acknowledged the bizarre homage in any way — but the crypto markets sure have.

    Indeed, the price of the already-low-value coin has plummeted dramatically since November 26, which was the day the coin’s makers held their “#GOATsgiving” unveiling and drive-by of the statue.

    As of right now, the Elon Goat Token is worth a very small fraction of a cent, though again, it wasn’t worth all that much more at its Thanksgiving Day high, which totaled about $0.002 per coin.

    Is this the last gasp of the crypto hype machine? Only time will tell.

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How One Man Lost $1 Million To A Crypto ‘Super Scam’ Called Pig Butchering
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/cyrusfarivar/2022/09/09/pig-butchering-crypto-super-scam/?utm_campaign=socialflowForbesMainFB&utm_source=ForbesMainFacebook&utm_medium=social&sh=16f934aec8ed

    Pig butchering is a relatively new long-game financial con in which “pigs,” or targets, are “butchered” by people who convince them to invest ever-larger sums in purported cryptocurrency-fueled trading platforms. The fake platforms are designed to look real, and make the victims believe that their investments are making fantastic returns — until their scammer, and all the money they believe they’ve invested, disappears.

    Victims often lose significant sums, and the practice is so lucrative that it’s being scaled up and carried out en masse in countries like Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. So far, American law enforcement officials at both the federal and local level have made little headway in recovering stolen funds or catching the perpetrators.

    These scams are carried out “on a large scale, on an industrial scale — like they’re doing fraud in a factory.”

    –Jan Santiago, the deputy director of the Global Anti-Scam Organization

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    For dozens of celebrities, endorsing crypto has turned into a real nightmare.

    Crypto: Bieber, Madonna, Steph Curry, Snoop Dogg in Big Trouble
    https://www.thestreet.com/investing/cryptocurrency/crypto-bieber-madonna-steph-curry-snoop-dogg-in-big-trouble

    A new lawsuit accuses a dozen celebrities of contributing to significant financial losses, by promoting non-fungible tokens, aka NFTs.

    The adventure of celebrities in the crypto space is turning into a real nightmare.

    After lawsuits against billionaire Mark Cuban along with bankrupt crypto lender Voyager Digital, Tom Brady, Steph Curry, Naomi Osaka, Gisele Bundchen, Larry David and others in the bankruptcy of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, a new class action lawsuit has just been filed against a dozen celebrities about non-fungible tokens, aka NFTs.

    This complaint relates to the endorsements of the very exclusive Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs and the ApeCoin token by these celebrities. The plaintiffs accuse the BAYC of being a “scheme”, which caused them significant financial losses after they invested in the NFTs and in ApeCoin, the cryptocurrency issued by BAYC.

    Both plaintiffs say they purchased these assets relying on “misleading promotions” from Yuga Labs and a number of celebrities.

    ‘Exclusiveness’
    The lawsuit alleges that BAYC “rely heavily on the perception that ‘joining the club’ … brings investors status and provides them access to events, benefits, and other lucrative investment opportunities exclusive to BAYC holders.”

    “The exclusiveness of BAYC membership was entirely based on the inclusion and endorsements of highly influential celebrities,” the plaintiffs claimed.

    The Bored Ape Yacht Club is an NFT collection of 10,000 simian avatars created by Yuga Labs. Celebrities like Paris Hilton, Jimmy Fallon and Eminem all have their own special apes. Yuga Labs is a cryptocurrency-related company that offers investors a suite of digital assets, including various collections of NFTs and the company’s native token ApeCoin.

    value of these assets has fallen sharply, like most crypto assets which have been going through a very difficult period for several months. This period of prolonged price decline has been dubbed the “crypto winter.”

    ApeCoin has lost almost 84% of its value since its all-time high reached on April 24

    The prices of NFTs which had soared during the NFT craze in 2021 and early 2022 have also completely fallen.

    The complaint alleges that defendants made “false and misleading statements concerning Yuga’s growth prospects, financial ownership, and financial benefits for Yuga securities investors, as well as using celebrities to lure in unsuspecting investors, so that Yuga insiders could sell the unregistered Yuga securities in violation of the Securities Act.”

    ‘Securities’
    Interestingly, the complaint refers to the NFTs as “securities.” This detail is important because the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been investigating Yuga Labs since March to determine whether the company is violating federal laws when it sells its assets. To answer this, the regulator must first determine whether the assets offered by Yuga Labs are “securities.” If this is the case, the company should have followed specific rules, particularly with regard to investor information and transparency.

    There are nearly 40 defendants who have been divided into subcategories.

    This is not law firm’s Scott+Scott first complaint targeting celebrities for promoting crypto assets. The same lawyers are the ones who filed a class action lawsuit against Kim Kardashian, Floyd Mayweather and others, accusing them of promoting the defunct cryptocurrency EthereumMax on social media.

    A federal judge in California dismissed the EthereumMax suit on December 9, explaining that investors must “act reasonably before basing their bets on the zeitgeist of the moment.”

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Bitcoin ‘A Magnet For Idiots, A Fool Detector,’ Says ‘The Black Swan’ Author
    https://www.benzinga.com/analyst-ratings/analyst-color/23/01/30306391/bitcoin-a-magnet-for-idiots-a-fool-detector-says-the-black-swan-author

    Bitcoin
    BTC/USD
    +0.02%
    + Free Alerts
    critic and noted essayist and mathematical statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb has said the apex cryptocurrency is now a “magnet for idiots.”

    What Happened: In a recent interview with French magazine L’Express, the author of “The Black Swan” said Bitcoin was a “fool detector.”

    On the craze surrounding cryptocurrencies, Taleb said it was a product of near zero or sometimes negative interest rates without “real market functioning.”

    “Lowering rates creates asset bubbles without necessarily helping the economy,” said the former options trader and risk analyst. He said this gave rise to “malignant tumors” like Bitcoin.

    Taleb said he had wrongly thought Bitcoin could be a “bulwark against the distortions of this monetary policy.”

    “​​I think the crypto universe attracts manipulators and scammers. It also has a generational vice: it is filled with young people who have no experience,” said Taleb.

    He said Bitcoin had not managed to satisfy the concept of “currency without government.” Taleb said Bitcoin was not a short-term or long-term store of value and cannot function as a hedge against inflation and doesn’t shield against “government tyranny” either.

    Taleb said Bitcoin compares poorly with gold. “Technology comes and goes, gold stays, at least physically. Once neglected for a brief period, bitcoin would necessarily collapse,” said the author.

    Previously, Taleb has compared “Cryptoism” with communism and labeled it as 21st-century “hyper-naive utopianism.”

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Michael Bodley / Blockworks:
    Sources: Amazon plans to launch an NFT initiative in April 2023, and has looked at layer-1 blockchains, blockchain-based gaming, and digital asset exchanges — Amazon is launching a digital assets enterprise, according to four sources familiar with the matter, who said that an NFT initiative is expected in the spring.

    Amazon NFT Initiative Coming Soon: Exclusive
    World’s largest retailer has been hovering at the edges of Web3 tech for some time
    https://blockworks.co/news/amazon-nft-marketplace-web3

    Amazon is launching a digital assets enterprise, according to four sources familiar with the matter, who said that an NFT initiative is expected in the spring.

    Amazon has been shopping the digital collectibles effort to no shortage of power players in the industry, per multiple sources. Said to be among those entities are layer-1 blockchains, blockchain-based gaming startups and developers and digital asset exchanges. There’s a focus on blockchain-based gaming and related NFT applications, two sources said.

    One example in the works, per one source: getting Amazon customers to play crypto games and claim free NFTs in the process.

    The effort is still developing, sources said. April appears to have been penciled in for the e-commerce giant to make its bold crypto ambitions public.

    Amazon “coming into the space” is “a big one” for crypto “for many different reasons, one source said.

    Reply
  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New Dingo crypto token found charging a 99% transaction fee
    https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/new-dingo-crypto-token-found-charging-a-99-percent-transaction-fee/

    Researchers at IT security company Check Point security have flagged Dingo Token as a potential scam after finding a function that allows the project’s owner to manipulate trading fees up to 99% of the transaction value.

    The warning from Check Point comes after company researchers have already witnessed this malicious fee change 47 times.

    Reply
  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Backdoor in Dingo Cryptocurrency Allows Creator to Steal (Nearly) Everything
    https://www.darkreading.com/risk/backdoor-dingo-cryptocurrency-allows-creator-steal-nearly-everything

    A tax variable in the software implementing the Dingo Token allows the creators to charge 99% in fees per transaction, essentially stealing funds, an analysis finds.

    Reply
  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    “It is the minimizing of constraints and trade-offs in favor of techno-utopianism and the exclusive emphasis on positive outcomes and novelty.”

    HARVARD FINANCE PROFESSOR: CRYPTO IS “MAGICAL THINKING” THAT “INFECTED CAPITALISM”
    https://futurism.com/the-byte/harvard-professor-crypto-magical-thinking-infected-capitalism

    “IT IS THE MINIMIZING OF CONSTRAINTS AND TRADE-OFFS IN FAVOR OF TECHNO-UTOPIANISM AND THE EXCLUSIVE EMPHASIS ON POSITIVE OUTCOMES AND NOVELTY.”

    Crypto Brain
    When Harvard finance professor Mihir A. Desai was asked what he thought of crypto while giving a lecture at a military academy, he responded by polling his young audience to see how many of them had traded the dubious financial assets. The results? More than half.

    “I was stunned,” he recalled in his latest essay, published Monday in the New York Times. “How could this population of young people come to spend time and energy in this way?”

    To that end, there’s no one answer, but Desai offers some observations.

    For one, he views cryptocurrencies as a manifestation of economic “magical thinking” — which he concisely defines as “the assumption that favored conditions will continue on forever without regard for history” — that “infected capitalism.”

    “It is the minimizing of constraints and trade-offs in favor of techno-utopianism and the exclusive emphasis on positive outcomes and novelty,” he adds. “It is the conflation of virtue with commerce.”

    From Crisis to Coin
    Some of this thinking, Desai argues, arose from the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and the ensuing recession. The despair, shattered faith in economic institutions, and general disillusionment, collectively fostered a “receptivity to radical economic solutions.”

    That’s where the sort of breathless belief in crypto comes in, harbingered by larger than life tech entrepreneurs. Rather than being perceived as parvenus, they’re seen by many as exciting outsiders that bring new ideas, offering to democratize the amassment of personal wealth amidst an entrenched status quo that had so drastically failed the world not too long ago.

    Crypto, was new, appealing, and seen as a way to get rich that eschewed traditional channels without much government oversight, even though most didn’t fully understand it. But the technology benefited from its vague promise of a better currency and a better world, decentralized and free of untrustworthy financial institutions.

    The Magic is Gone
    But ironically, Desai may be a little guilty of the magical thinking he ascribes to crypto boosters.

    “The end of magical thinking is upon us as cryptocurrencies and valuations are collapsing — and that is good news,”

    While Desai seems to think we’d be better off without crypto — and he’s likely right — his conclusion that it would be the end of “magical thinking” seems optimistic.

    Perhaps crypto simply made the mistake of revealing the underlying speculative volatility of our economic systems too brazenly, and without the usual corporate decorum.

    Anyway, it doesn’t seem like crypto is dead and gone just yet.

    Reply
  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cryptocurrencies add nothing useful to society, says chip-maker Nvidia
    Tech chief says the development of chatbots is a more worthwhile use of processing power than crypto mining
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/mar/26/cryptocurrencies-add-nothing-useful-to-society-nvidia-chatbots-processing-crypto-mining

    The US chip-maker Nvidia has said cryptocurrencies do not “bring anything useful for society” despite the company’s powerful processors selling in huge quantities to the sector.

    Michael Kagan, its chief technology officer, said other uses of processing power such as the artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT were more worthwhile than mining crypto.

    Reply
  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Robert Armstrong / Financial Times:
    Crypto is dangerous nonsense and should be regulated like smoking, gambling, or pyramid schemes, not granted the dignity of regulation under US securities law

    The SEC is wrong about crypto exchanges
    https://www.ft.com/content/59787565-51e6-4b16-a32b-c9d6ac69a97d

    Reply
  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    REMEMBER BORED APES? THEY’RE ALMOST WORTHLESS NOW
    https://futurism.com/the-byte/bored-apes-almost-worthless-now

    Bored Ape NFTs have absolutely plummeted in value, dropping to multi-year lows this month.

    The value of this once-booming collection of JPGs of lethargic simians, which sold for millions of dollars just a couple years ago, has cratered, selling for as little as $52,000 worth of Ethereum this month, Decrypt reports.

    Reply
  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The class-action lawsuit claims that a Sotheby’s auction of the NFTs duped investors by giving the Bored Ape “an air of legitimacy… to generate investors’ interest and hype around the Bored Ape brand.”

    Buyers of Bored Ape NFTs sue after digital apes turn out to be bad investment
    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2023/08/buyers-of-bored-ape-nfts-sue-after-digital-apes-turn-out-to-be-bad-investment/?utm_brand=ars&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_social-type=owned&fbclid=IwAR1Tn1Mv243CKFbHGt4kaYkRPX2mmT__gsBDSqTBOngkllQ5dmwqxCfYR6k

    Lawsuit: Sotheby’s $24M sale to FTX gave Bored Ape NFTs “an air of legitimacy.”

    The Sotheby’s auction house has been named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by investors who regret buying Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs that sold for highly inflated prices during the NFT craze in 2021. A Sotheby’s auction duped investors by giving the Bored Ape NFTs “an air of legitimacy… to generate investors’ interest and hype around the Bored Ape brand,” the class-action lawsuit claims.

    The boost to Bored Ape NFT prices provided by the auction “was rooted in deception,” said the lawsuit filed in US District Court for the Central District of California. It wasn’t revealed at the time of the auction that the buyer was the now-disgraced FTX, the lawsuit said.

    “Sotheby’s representations that the undisclosed buyer was a ‘traditional’ collector had misleadingly created the impression that the market for BAYC NFTs had crossed over to a mainstream audience,” the lawsuit claimed. Lawsuit plaintiffs say that harmed investors bought the NFTs “with a reasonable expectation of profit from owning them.”

    Sotheby’s sold a lot of 101 Bored Ape NFTs for $24.4 million at its “Ape In!” auction in September 2021, well above the pre-auction estimates of $12 million to $18 million. That’s an average price of over $241,000, but Bored Ape NFTs now sell for a floor price of about $50,000 worth of ether cryptocrurrency, according to CoinGecko data accessed today.

    Investors previously sued Bored Ape creator Yuga Labs, four company executives, and various celebrity promoters including Paris Hilton, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Hart, Snoop Dogg, Serena Williams, Madonna, Jimmy Fallon, Steph Curry, and Justin Bieber.

    Yuga describes its collection of 10,000 Bored Ape NFTs as “unique digital collectibles living on the Ethereum blockchain” that double as a “Yacht Club membership card.” The website has some “members-only” areas. “When you buy a Bored Ape, you’re not simply buying an avatar or a provably rare piece of art,” the NFT collection’s website says. “You are gaining membership access to a club whose benefits and offerings will increase over time. Your Bored Ape can serve as your digital identity, and open digital doors for you.”

    The amended lawsuit alleges that “Yuga colluded with fine arts broker, Defendant Sotheby’s, to run a deceptive auction.”

    Reply
  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Web3 was supposed to make sure the original artist always got paid. Not so much anymore.

    A key feature of NFTs has completely broken / Web3 was supposed to make sure the original artist always got paid. Not so much anymore.
    https://www.theverge.com/2023/8/17/23836440/nft-creator-royalty-fees-are-dead-opensea-optional?fbclid=IwAR2QWAKb7VlBH-uDY9REw1-R4ADq0kESOkQ0kIw6TCpvUS0qmw2A2AzaCUQ

    One of the big promises of NFTs was that the artist who originally made them could get a cut every time their piece was resold. Unfortunately, that’s not the case anymore.

    OpenSea, the biggest NFT marketplace still fully enforcing royalty fees, said today that it plans to stop the mandatory collection of resale fees for artists. Starting March 2024, those fees will essentially be tips — an optional percentage of a sale price that sellers can choose to give the original artist. If the seller doesn’t want to hand over any money, that’ll be their choice.

    The NFT ecosystem has been on a race to the bottom when it comes to fees. As the market for NFTs collapsed, marketplaces have lowered their own trading fees and stopped enforcing royalty fees in order to attract sellers. Blur, which has overtaken OpenSea as the biggest NFT marketplace by trading volume, only enforces a 0.5 percent fee on most collections, whereas creators typically set their fees at 5 to 10 percent.

    OpenSea will stop enforcing royalty fees on all new NFTs starting August 31st. The marketplace will continue enforcing the fees on certain existing collections until March 2024, at which point they’ll become optional on all sales.

    Judging by the responses to OpenSea’s X post about the changes, many in the NFT community are not thrilled by this. Critics say it will hurt small artists and undermines creators’ ability to control their relationship with the people who buy their work.

    OpenSea’s changes are “fundamentally wrong and hurts the entire NFT space,”

    Others, including OpenSea, are trying to frame it as a necessarily, positive change as the marketplace evolves. OpenSea CEO Devin Finzer criticized the fees’ “ineffective, unilateral enforcement” and said that creators will find other ways to monetize their work

    “Our role in this ecosystem is to empower innovation beyond a single use case or business model,” he writes in the blog post announcing that OpenSea will no longer support the ecosystem’s primary business model.

    Reply
  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    It’s funny how the article implies that artists were being paid. When NFTs got started, theft was one of the first ways sellers got art.

    Reply
  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Heh. The entire concept of NFTs was completely broken from the beginning.

    It relied completely on future use implemented by big players

    NFTs were nothing more than smoke and mirrors from the start.

    https://www.theverge.com/2023/8/17/23836440/nft-creator-royalty-fees-are-dead-opensea-optional?fbclid=IwAR0CShyszfehOzJCg1LchOCiWKE0BSvVCchED6k8GB6HaCbdNYBeDD46DKU

    Reply
  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    no big players were ever going to implement their use because they don’t have any utility. There’s nothing you could do with NFTs which you couldn’t also do without them.

    NFT model it relied completely on future use implemented by big players
    It was/is a metaverse thing but that is years away, or maybe even already failed as well.

    Reply
  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Human Cost of Cryptomania
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2023-08-17/crypto-text-message-scams-lead-back-to-cambodia-slave-labor

    An excerpt of a book on organized cybercrime, shedding light on the background of cryptocurrency scams.

    Reply
  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Laura Noonan / Financial Times:
    Bank for International Settlements: crypto has amplified rather than reduced financial risks in less developed economies, offering only an “illusory” appeal — Currency’s appeal as a low-cost solution for countries with high inflation is ‘illusory’, says BIS

    Crypto has ‘amplified financial risks’ in emerging markets, central banks warn
    Currency’s appeal as a low-cost solution for countries with high inflation is ‘illusory’, says BIS
    https://www.ft.com/content/dc6d7505-03b5-4cc2-8fc9-6e3ea2efa63a

    Cryptocurrency assets have amplified rather than reduced financial risks in less developed economies, and regulators will need to treat them in the same way they oversee other assets, some of the world’s most powerful central banks have warned.

    Novel solutions to payments challenges should not be classified as ‘dangerous’ simply because they are different, the Bank for International Settlements said on Tuesday. However the global central banking body added that the appeal of crypto was “illusory”, in a paper published on approaches to regulation.

    The Consultative Group of Directors of Financial Stability, which includes representatives from central banks of the US, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile and Mexico, said crypto had been promoted as a low-cost payment solution and substitute for national currencies in countries with high inflation or high exchange rate volatility.

    “However, crypto assets have so far not reduced but rather amplified the financial risks in less developed economies. Therefore, they should be assessed from a risk and regulatory perspective like all other assets,” it said in a 50-page report.

    the cryptocurrency market as it ballooned from a nascent industry to one whose value peaked at $2.9tn in November 2021.

    crypto’s value plummeted by 75 per cent within just over a year of its all-time high, but regulators including the European Central Bank have continued to warn of future risks

    All but two of the top 20 countries for crypto adoption are emerging markets, with countries like Venezuela, El Salvador and Nigeria becoming test beds for whether cryptocurrencies could offer a balm to countries ravaged by inflation and depreciating official currencies.

    Reply
  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NFT Bro Laments That Nobody Is Buying Expensive JPGs Anymore
    Say it ain’t so.
    https://futurism.com/nft-bro-decline

    The NFT market is in serious trouble.

    While the marketplace for drab JPGs of bored apes and pixelated punks is still alive in 2023, it’s arguably on life support, with the appetite for NFTs falling catastrophically as hype for AI has replaced bullish narratives around blockchain and the metaverse.

    And that’s leaving those still trapped in the industry in dire straits.

    “Hearing from multiple NFT collection founders that they want to exit but there’s nobody acquiring these companies,” NFT veteran Beanie tweeted this month. “Royalty revenues are non-existent and new mints simply aren’t selling.”

    That means investors are also losing interest.

    “VC funding in the space has evaporated,” Beanie wrote. “Young smart builders want to move on but feel trapped.”

    In short, 2023 has been absolutely brutal to the space so far. According to a recent report by Galaxy Research, VC firms invested $2.3 billion in crypto and blockchain firms in the second quarter of 2023, compared to $8 billion over the same time period last year.

    Reply
  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Andrew Throuvalas / Decrypt:
    The developer behind AstroPepeX details using ChatGPT to name and launch the ERC-20 memecoin, which has raked in $12.9M in trading volume over the past 24 hours

    A Developer Asked AI to Name and Launch a Memecoin—It Raked In $12 Million In One Day
    https://decrypt.co/198069/astropepex-memecoin-token-ai-name-code

    The name of the first coin, AstroPepeX, was suggested by ChatGPT after it analyzed other successful token names.

    An anonymous Ethereum developer has released code that he says instructs artificial intelligence tools to deploy new ERC-20 tokens.

    In a post on Tuesday, Twitter user @CroissantEth explained how he combined OpenAI’s ChatGPT API with his own script to allow the chatbot to create real, digital coins automatically.

    “In essence, it asks ChatGPT to form an ERC20 token using Open Zeppelin standards,” explained the developer. Open Zeppelin is an open-source framework for building secure smart contracts, containing libraries of contracts written in Solidity – Ethereum’s programming language.

    “The token name and other parameters are designed to be passed in by values given by GPT in the code’s constructor,” he added.

    So far, Croissant said he’s launched one public token using the tool: AstroPepeX (APX), which is available for trading on Uniswap. The new memecoin has already raked in $12.9 million in trading volume over the past 24 hours.

    The name wasn’t pulled from thin air: ChatGPT based the names it generates on real data from the top ten thousand tokens traded on Uniswap, and cross-referenced them with market-cap data from CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko.

    Some of the bot’s testnet runs generated coins titled “Inuverse” and “QuantumPepe”—other clear references to commonly known memecoins and ideas like Dogecoin, Pepe, and the metaverse.

    Croissant explained that other token specifics—such as token supply—can be directly configured, or left up to ChatGPT’s own creativity. More complex parameters, he said, are “definitely possible.”

    “What I did was introduce GPT to the standard ERC20 contract for simplicity, as I felt that was safe for a first attempt at this,” he said. “Someone could just as well introduce some sort of special configuration with their own solidity code to make it mintable, introduce a tax rate, or even governance parameters.”

    After generating a name and description for the coin, ChatGPT fed both to DALL-E—another OpenAI tool for image generation – to create an appropriate icon for the coin.

    Croissant designed his tool so that ownership of any contract generated by ChatGPT is immediately revoked, and that all token supply is added to Uniswap liquidity upon creation, along with 2 Ether (ETH).

    Back in May, digital artist Rhett Mankind said he had given ChatGPT instructions to generate a memecoin called TURBO, which went on to surpass a $50 million market cap. However, fewer elements of the token’s creation—such as its name, and the removal of ownership rights—were automated.

    Croissant told Decrypt that his project was largely inspired by Turbo, but modified to involve even less human intervention.

    “I read the turbo thread and saw how he did the process manually, and as a natural developer, I started looking into how to do this process automatically,” he said.

    “GPT actually wrote the contract code for us, based on the erc20 contract standards we provided for it in the script,” he continued. “Turbo did everything manually without feeding any data and training it to be any more knowledgeable on crypto.”

    Croissant said he plans to publish a user interface for his code, allowing non-technical experts to launch tokens on Ethereum using ChatGPT.

    Reply
  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tutkimus: Suuri osa NFT:ista käytännössä arvottomia
    Hiljattain julkaistun raportin mukaan NFT-kaupat ovat laskeneet yli 97 prosenttiyksikköä vuoden 2021 huippulukemista.
    https://www.hs.fi/talous/art-2000009876497.html

    PARI vuotta sitten trendikkäiksi nousseet NFT:t, eli non-fungible tokenit, ovat nyt suureksi osaksi arvottomia, uutisoivat brittisanomalehti The Guardian ja yhdysvaltalainen aikakauslehti Rolling Stone. Lehdet pohjaavat tietonsa hiljattain julkaistuun alan tutkijoiden raporttiin.

    Dappgambl-sivusto analysoi kryptovaluuttojen markkinoita ja havaitsi, että NFT:ista yli 95 prosenttia oli käytännössä arvottomia, eli niiden arvo oli nolla Etheriä

    NFT-BUUMI oli huipussaan vuosina 2021 ja 2022.

    Elokuussa 2022 tokeneista käytiin kauppaa yhteensä 2,8 miljardin dollarin arvosta. Heinäkuussa 2023 kaupankäynti oli romahtanut kahden vuoden takaisista huippulukemista 80 miljoonaan dollariin, eli noin kolmeen prosenttiin.

    RAPORTIN mukaan 79 prosenttia kaikista NFT-kokoelmista on jäänyt myymättä, koska niille ei ole tarpeeksi kysyntää ”erittäin spekulatiivisilla ja epävakailla markkinoilla”.

    Kaikkein arvokkaimpien NFT:iden kokoelmissa 18 prosenttia oli käytännössä täysin arvottomia

    41 prosentin kokoelmista arvo oli 5–100 dollaria. Vain yhden prosentin arvo nousi yli 6 000 dollarin, vaikka vuonna 2021 niitä myytiin miljoonilla.

    Raportissa arvioitiin myös NFT:iden ilmastovaikutuksia. Tutkijat analysoivat 195 699:n NFT-kokoelman, joilla ei ole omistajia tai markkinaosuutta, hiilidioksidipäästöjä. Niiden arvioitiin vastaavan yli neljäntuhannen matkustajan lentoa Englannista Uuteen-Seelantiin tai yli 3 500 auton vuosittaisia päästöjä.

    NFT NOW -SIVUSTO kiisti väitteet polettien arvottomuudesta ja syytti mediaa ”suolan hieromisesta haavoihin”. Sivusto kuitenkin myönsi, että NFT-markkinat ovat taantumassa.

    The vast majority of NFTs are now worthless, new report shows
    Two years after tech trend that swept up artists and celebrities, researchers estimate 23 million people hold worthless investments
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/sep/22/nfts-worthless-price

    Your NFTs Are Actually — Finally — Totally Worthless
    New report from industry researchers finds that 95 percent of the once-hyped crypto assets have hit rock-bottom valuation
    https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/nfts-worthless-researchers-find-1234828767/

    Reply
  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The footer notes show the research paper was “prepared by NSA employees.” Sources included cryptography expert Tatsuaki Okamoto, who later co-invented the Okamoto–Uchiyama public key cryptosystem in 1998.

    Tatsuaki Okamoto appears to be the real name of Satoshi Nakamoto

    Big story if true.

    Thoughts?

    Nic Carter doubles down on theory Bitcoin was invented by NSA
    https://cointelegraph.com/news/nic-carter-supports-bitcoin-invented-by-nsa-conspiracy-theory?fbclid=IwAR18tPktj2c7r7A-ad-7rr0fuczcJHq1Kx69cENmUQtN4waxSdSCDww9A3I

    The decade-old “NSA created Bitcoin” theory has again made the rounds on social media, with one Bitcoin advocate adding more weight to his ongoing theory.

    Bitcoin advocate Nic Carter has come out to reiterate his support for the theory that the United States National Security Agency (NSA) had something to do with the creation of Bitcoin
    BTC

    tickers down
    $27,463

    .

    On Sept. 15, Iris Energy co-founder Daniel Roberts seemingly revived the decade-old theory on X after posting screenshots of a 1996 paper titled “How to Make a Mint: The Cryptography of Anonymous Electronic Cash.”

    The paper discusses using public-key cryptography to allow users to make anonymous payments without revealing their identity — referencing a number of academic cryptographers.

    The footer notes show the research paper was “prepared by NSA employees.” Sources included cryptography expert Tatsuaki Okamoto, who later co-invented the Okamoto–Uchiyama public key cryptosystem in 1998.

    On Sept. 21, Carter, a partner at Castle Island Ventures, doubled down his support for the notion, stating, “I actually do believe this,” before adding:

    “I call it the ‘Bitcoin lab leak hypothesis.’ I think it was a shuttered internal R&D project, which one researcher thought was too good to lay fallow on the shelf and chose to secretly release.”

    Carter has actually held the theory for several years

    In 2021, he stated, “The only decent thing the NSA ever did from the world was let bitcoin leak from the lab.”

    However, he went on to say that this doesn’t imply that the United States government secretly controls all the Bitcoin, another theory that often piggybacks on the Bitcoin/NSA conspiracy theory, which suggests the NSA created a backdoor to the Bitcoin code.

    Meanwhile, some users drew attention to one of the cryptography academics, Tatsuaki Okamoto, listed in the 1996 paper, suggesting the name sounds very similar to Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin.

    “The name could have been used as inspiration for Satoshi. That’s not really a critical part of the theory, though,” Carter said

    Former Goldman Sachs executive Raoul Pal has previously shared his own theory. In an interview with Impact Theory earlier this year, he said:

    “I think the U.S. government and the U.K. government invented it… which is the NSA and the GCHQ in the U.K., who are the two world centers of cryptography.”

    However, Man concluded that even if they did, it is likely we’ll never find out the real story behind the world’s most popular digital asset until it doesn’t matter anymore.

    Reply
  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Andrew Hayward / Decrypt:
    Yuga Labs, the creator of Bored Ape Yacht Club and other prominent NFTs, restructures, lays off some US staff, and is still evaluating its international teams

    Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT Creator Yuga Labs Confirms Layoffs
    https://decrypt.co/200455/bored-ape-yacht-club-nft-creator-yuga-labs-confirms-layoffs

    Yuga Labs reveals a restructuring effort that has impacted U.S. employees as the $4 billion Bored Ape startup rethinks its priorities.

    Yuga Labs, the $4 billion startup behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club and other prominent NFT projects, announced Friday that it has restructured the company and eliminated certain roles as a result, leading to layoffs.

    In a team email that was also shared publicly, Yuga Labs CEO Daniel Alegre wrote that he believed the startup had taken on too much internally, and that the company needed to refocus while tapping more external partners along the way.

    “I realized very quickly that there were a number of projects that, while well-intentioned, either spread the team too thin or required execution expertise beyond our core competencies,” he wrote about his evaluation of the company after joining from Activision earlier this year.

    Alegre did not specify how many people were affected by the layoffs

    Solano’s comments echo those of the CEO. In the post, Alegre pointed to what he called successful projects this year, including the buzzy Dookey Dash game, the TwelveFold generative art pieces via Bitcoin Ordinals, and partnerships with BAPE and Gucci. However, he also said that some product launches have fallen short.

    “Alongside these wins, there have been a few rocky rollouts, particularly in our gaming execution, because we learned along the way that we weren’t optimized to build and manage everything in-house, nor should we be,” Alegre wrote. “We also know we need to make greater progress with the development of Otherside.”

    Yuga Labs has already made moves in this regard with Otherside, its upcoming metaverse game. In September, the startup announced various technical and creative partnerships for development of the game, and on Thursday, the company announced a strategic investment in one of those firms, spatial computing startup Hadean.

    Yuga Labs was founded in early 2021 and had immediate success with the launch of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, an Ethereum NFT profile picture (PFP) project that quickly became arguably the most prominent collection in the space. Amid broader NFT market hype, Bored Ape NFTs sold for million-dollar prices in some cases, and were snatched up by celebrities.

    The firm raised $450 million in March 2022 at a $4 billion valuation, shortly after purchasing the influential CryptoPunks NFT IP from Larva Labs, along with Meebits. The Bored Ape-themed ApeCoin crypto token launched around the same time, and an NFT land sale for Otherside broke sales records in late April 2022.

    But as demand for NFT collectibles has plummeted over the last year-plus, prices for Bored Apes and other “blue chip” NFTs have fallen sharply, as has the price of ApeCoin. Yuga Labs grew substantially on the back of the Bored Ape buzz, but amid a weakened NFT market, the company is now slimming down as it seeks a sustainable model.

    Reply
  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NFTS AND TULIPMANIA: A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY REPEATING
    https://hackaday.com/2023/10/20/nfts-and-tulipmania-a-little-bit-of-history-repeating/?fbclid=IwAR2QzrG6OjahJjAWT4cyI–jD8ACJfXxqNZ4NNr4ye1XK2wkYhu4ah-zYnM

    We were not surprised to read that a company that tracks NFTs declared that most NFTs are now worthless. But the NFT — non-fungible token — market was huge, so around 23 million people invested in NFTs that are now worth nothing. Worse still, the company notes that because of oddities in how NFTs are priced, the real number of worthless assets is probably even greater than they think.

    It is easy to look back and think that it was obvious. After all, an NFT of the Mona Lisa isn’t really the Mona Lisa. Nor does owning it confer any real benefit other than “bragging rights” of owning an NFT of the Mona Lisa.

    THE VIRUS
    The NFT craze was sort of a viral event. We usually think of these as part of the Internet culture, but that’s not really true. There is actually very little new on the Internet. The Internet just lets things reach further and faster than before.

    Don’t believe me? Kilroy was a viral meme in the 1940s. Fads such as hula hoops, phone booth stuffing, and flagpole sitting were the ice bucket challenges of their day. But, of course, these things weren’t economic. Just fun fads. But economic fads that turn out to be a bad idea are nothing new, either.

    TULIPMANIA

    The most famous and possibly first economic bubble was the 17th-century tulipmania that infected Holland. We think of tulips as distinctly Dutch, but it turns out they originated in central Asia and only made their way to Holland somewhere in the 16th century. The Dutch loved tulips and started cultivating them, with different rare varieties having more value.

    To add to the fun, you couldn’t tell what kind of tulip would come out of a bulb, especially since — as we know now — some of the more prized varieties had color variations caused by a virus in the bulb. At first, it was a bit of a game for the rich. However, it soon spread to the merchant class and beyond.

    By 1634, everyone wanted in on the action. A single bulb could go for 5,000 florins. The florin’s value is hard to know for sure today, but one estimate based on the price of beer is that a florin is worth about $240 in today’s money. So a 5,000 florin bulb would have bought a lot of beer.

    BUST
    Everyone wanted in. The price of tulip bulbs just kept rising, seemingly without an end in sight. Sound familiar? People started buying tulip bulbs on credit, just like you buy stocks on margin, hoping the stock’s gain will let you repay the loan.

    The problem, in hindsight, is inevitable. By 1637, prices dropped.

    There is some debate among historians about the actual scale of the financial impact of this on the Dutch economy. Some say it nearly wiped the country out, while others say it affected only a small number of traders. But few disagree that it was a bubble. Investors acted irrationally, came to their senses, and then destroyed the overvalued market. Some think it was just the free market. Something is rare and expensive. Production ramps up to capitalize on the trend. Then supply is great, and prices drop. Perhaps. But if you spend enough on a single tulip bulb that will flower for a week and pay what it would cost to buy a mansion, it sounds like mania to us. At least an NFT of a tulip will last for a very long time.

    There is a fine line between knowing that something will be valuable and chasing a bubble.

    The thing about cell phone towers is that it is a rational expense and a rational change. With tulips and NFTs, the price is driven not by value but by emotion, and then the change is just a return to rationality, not a natural progression.

    So, what’s the next big investment? We don’t know

    We aren’t sure about the fad value of cryptocurrency

    Reply
  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    SAM BANKMAN-FRIED IS FACING 110 YEARS IN PRISON
    https://futurism.com/the-byte/sbf-guilty-110-years?fbclid=IwAR0-3AuK2UA7D2fN9uFDKVCSXgIRdyG7flAqa1Vu9o7KlGk9wlH0jqmnzes

    “THIS KIND OF FRAUD, THIS KIND OF CORRUPTION, IS AS OLD AS TIME.”

    FTX cofounder Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty on all seven counts in the jaw-dropping conclusion to his fraud trial — and he’s now facing a very real prison sentence.

    Bankman-Fried is, as NBC News reports, staring down a statutory maximum of 110 years in prison in what district attorney Damian Williams called “one of the biggest financial frauds in American history, a multibillion-dollar scheme designed to make him the king of crypto.”

    To be fair, presiding Judge Lewis Kaplan did warn SBF ahead of trial that he was facing a “very long sentence” for defrauding all those investors out of $8 billion big ones.

    Reply
  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Bored Ape NFT event leads to at least 15 attendees reporting severe eye burn
    Organizer Yuga Labs is ‘aware of the eye-related issues’ and trying to ‘find the potential root causes.’
    https://www.engadget.com/bored-ape-nft-event-at-least-15-attendees-reporting-severe-eye-burn-welders-eye-173746237.html?fbclid=IwAR13g8Ue0EslNagaIaU7_aFJUKTXjhy4LaWu-Ra2HFh4IU9IsW0tIuBbSxU

    Reply
  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wine fraud is pervasive and has proliferated the industry, Downey said. Organised crime groups are getting involved in fake wines. “Conflict zones are massive for the production of counterfeit wines and spirits.”

    Blockchain technology is hailed as a solution but as for NFT chips, Downey was quick to dismiss them as a “feel-good mechanism”. She said: “They (NFTs) don’t really do anything to protect the producer, nor do they do anything to empower the producer.”

    https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2023/11/until-we-can-talk-about-supply-chain-oversight-wine-counterfeits-will-continue-to-be-a-problem-says-maureen-downey/

    Reply
  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Oululaiskaksikon mielestä Suomesta puuttui digitaalisen taiteen NFT-nettigalleria, ja niinpä he perustivat sellaisen
    Klaus Ala-aho ja Omar Ikni perustivat Taiteen tulevaisuus -yhdistyksen ja ensimmäisen suomalaisen virtuaaligallerian NFT-taiteelle, koska Suomessa on heidän mielestään lähdetty hitaasti liikkeelle kryptotaidebuumissa.
    https://yle.fi/a/74-20048692

    Reply
  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Turner Wright / Cointelegraph:
    A FINRA review of 500+ crypto-related retail communications finds that 70% of them contained claims that are false, misleading, or otherwise violated its rules

    FINRA finds violations in 70% of crypto asset public communications reviewed
    https://cointelegraph.com/news/finra-violations-crypto-asset-communications

    The U.S. regulator launched the review on crypto-related public communications following the collapse of FTX in November 2022.

    Reply
  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Just 137 crypto miners use 2.3% of total U.S. power — government now requiring commercial miners to report energy consumption
    News
    By Aaron Klotz published 4 days ago
    The U.S government wants to crack down on the ballooning energy consumption of Bitcoin miners.
    https://www.tomshardware.com/tech-industry/cryptomining/just-137-crypto-miners-use-23-of-total-us-power-government-now-requiring-commercial-miners-to-report-energy-consumption

    Reply
  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    To celebrate International Women’s Day, Binance launched a splashy campaign to urge women to get into crypto through the power of fragrance.

    The perfume is supposed to lure people in (“imagine the smell”), while the underlying promotion is that the first 5,000 women who complete a beginner course on Binance Academy will earn $25 in USDT.

    Read more from Amanda Silberling on Binance’s International Women’s Day “celebration” here: https://tcrn.ch/49Rhhmq

    #TechCrunch #technews #Binance #Crypto #internationalwomensday

    Reply
  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Emily Nicolle / Bloomberg:
    Visa and Allium Labs: less than 10% of stablecoin transactions are “organic payments activity”, which excludes activities from bots and large-scale traders

    More Than 90% of Stablecoin Transactions Aren’t From Real Users, Study Finds
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-05-05/more-than-90-of-stablecoin-transactions-aren-t-real-study-finds

    Less than 10% of stablecoin transactions are “organic:” Visa
    PayPal, Stripe are among fintechs expanding in stablecoins

    More than 90% of stablecoin transaction volumes aren’t coming from genuine users, according to a new metric co-developed by Visa Inc., suggesting such crypto tokens may be far away from becoming a commonly used means of payment.

    The dashboard from Visa and Allium Labs is designed to strip out transactions initiated by bots and large-scale traders to isolate those made by real people. Out of about $2.2 trillion in total transactions in April, just $149 billion originated from “organic payments activity,” according to Visa.

    Visa’s finding challenges stablecoin proponents’ argument that the tokens, pegged to an asset like the dollar, are poised to revolutionize the $150 trillion payments industry. PayPal Inc. and Stripe Inc. are among the fintech giants making inroads into stablecoins, with Stripe co-founder John Collison in April citing “technical improvements” for being bullish on the tokens.

    Reply
  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cryptocurrency’s Energy Consumption Problem
    What has been done and what still needs to be done to decarbonize crypto.
    January 30, 2023
    https://rmi.org/cryptocurrencys-energy-consumption-problem/

    Cryptocurrency has an energy consumption problem. Bitcoin alone is estimated to consume 127 terawatt-hours (TWh) a year — more than many countries, including Norway. In the United States, cryptocurrency activity is estimated to emit from 25 to 50 million tons of CO2 each year, on par with the annual emissions from diesel fuel used by US railroads.

    Decarbonizing the crypto industry thus remains essential to achieving a safe climate future.

    Reply

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