30 张图揭秘大热项目 Dfinity 及其生态

作者: 荆凯

首发于: 区块链研习社(https://www.chainclub.cn/4982.html)

启动六年后,或许今年四月份,Dfinity 可以正式上线了。

放言要重塑互联网,打造全新第三代区块链生态的 Dfinity,如今的路线图更专注于互联网计算机(ICP) 协议方向,鲜少再有以太坊竞争者或疯狂姐妹链的关联被提起。

对 Dfinity 的关注者而言,从 2015 年至 2021年,这过去的六年时间,或许回顾起来会恍若隔世;对于币圈吃瓜群众来说,Dfinity 和 T 恤的梗,也从 2018 年空投活动延续至今,漂亮的 T 恤 Shopify 商店页面,也仍然存在。

不同的是,当年的四大天王的称呼,如今很少人再想起了,一张戏谑 Dfinity 迟迟不曾上线的图,也曾在社区中传播甚广,配文是:2051 年 1 季度,互联网计算机终于上线。

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2021 年诸多老项目取得了明显进展。随着波卡上线,FileCoin 上线,以太坊 2.0 第 0 阶段启动,Dfinity 也不例外。今年四月份,随着 Mercury 网络即将从 Alpha 转为 Beta 版,我们有望见到主网正式创世启动。

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在笔者看来,Dfinity 是一个挺神秘的项目,可能有几个原因。

一来是 Dfinity 过去几年间愿景迭代,从原先的以太坊姐妹链的主张,到如今对标 TCP/IP 的 ICP 协议,致力于打造分布式的互联网计算机系统,重塑互联网基础架构,成为一个分布式的云平台,代币也从 DFN 变换为 ICP。

受此影响,又引入了颇多的新概念,如 NNS(神经网络系统)、神经元、Canister (容器)、Cycles (手续费) 等等,即便对于币圈老手,理解起来也需要花一些时间。更何况 Dfinity 的新价值主张—打造开放式的互联网计算机,目标受众更聚焦于开发者和创业团队,在生态中实例偏少的情况下, 自然给理解增加了多一重难度。

今天文章,一起速览 Dfinity 最新进展和相关信息,为便于读者理解,本文尽可能用图示方式直观展现 Dfinity 的基本概念。文中资料来源于互联网上公开视频、博客或文档,有错漏之处,欢迎读者指正。

一、Dfinity 目前进展如何?

 

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如果按照 Dfinity 创始人的 Dominic 的说法,现在 Dfinity 的主网其实已经存在了,不过我更倾向于按照传统的习惯,将其定位为预启动阶段,尚未正式上线。

Mercury Beta 候选版

 

Mercury 公开网络,是主网正式上线前的最后一个版本的代号。2020 年 12 月 18 日,Mercury 的第一阶段完成,随后 Alpha 测试版上线。此阶段主网将不会再重置,标志着正式步入主网启动的最后阶段。

此时,网络释放了管理代币中的一小部分,据称由 Dfinity 基金会、早期投资者和其他几方所有,网络满足创世要求后,会投票表决剩余代币的释放时间。

2021 年 3 月 24 日, DFINITY 创始人兼首席科学家 Dominic Williams 发推称,将于 3 月 30 日发布其「互联网计算机」主网 Beta 候选版本 1。

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按照规划,Mercury 的 Beta 主网版本发布,意味着 Dfinity 正式创世启动,而 ICP 代币,也将于正式上线后发放。不过,根据官方此前文章的介绍,会通过 NNS 治理系统释放代币给持有者。

这意味着,触发了创世提案之后,超过 5 万名 ICP 代币的持有者需要逐步解锁(按照官方的说法,溶解神经元)来释放其中的代币,而锁定期最短的设计为 6 个月。至于空投部分的代币是锁仓释放,还是直接释放,暂时笔者未见到确切信息。这部分细节还有待 Dfinity 随着主网正式上线临近,给出更明确答案。

当前网络状态

 

根据当前 Dfinity 的 ICP 面板统计,有 8 个自网络,361 台节点机器,当前的 CPU 数量达到了 23056 个,产生了 1460 万个区块,按照网站显示,平均而言出块速度是每秒 2.87 个区块。

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Dfinity 生态原定计划是在 2021 年底前入驻 100 个数据中心,到 2030 年完成入驻数千个独立数据中心的目标。

下图所示为当前的网络节点分布情况。考虑到 Dfinity 对数据中心的要求颇高,这也带来了对其网络不够去中心化的一些担忧。不过 Dfinity 官方的回复是会扩展数据中心和运算节点的数量,并结合 NNS (神经网络系统,Dfinity 的链上治理体系)来管理网络。

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原先预计于 Q1 主网上线,不过如今四月份过完了 1/3, 尚未见到更多动静。考虑到 Dominic 之前在 Twitter 上回复提到的安全审计、文档等工作进展。当前技术文档和教程已基本完成,不过对于安全审计方面,暂未见到相关进度报道或披露。

二、互联网计算机:Dfinity 的新追求

 

Dfinity 经过几年的迭代,目前的正式愿景定位为互联网计算机,缩写为 ICP。

Dominic 将 ICP 和传统互联网相并列,称互联网计算机为世界上首个以网络速度运行的区块链,可以无限制地扩容,可以承载任何数量的智能合约计算和存储任何数量的数据。

想要理解 Dfinity,必然会涉及到一些技术上的概念,我尽量用 Dfinity 团队给出的一些直观的图示,用人话来解释一下。

ICP 实际上是一个分布式云计算平台和协议

理解 Dfinity 的新定位—互联网计算机,真的把他当做一台超大型的分布式计算机系统来理解,可能会更方便。

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传统的互联网生态,如上图所述,在物理层(光纤、WiFi、5G 等基础设施) 和互联网基础协议层(TCP/IP 协议等)之上,会包含诸多复杂的网络架构,比如云服务、CDN、DNS、数据层、防火墙等诸多组件。

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Dfinity 设想用 ICP 协议以及建立在 ICP 协议之上的互联网计算机系统,来替代传统的 IT 架构。

用一种简单的方式来理解,ICP 会将传统的一些架构给打包成现成的服务,让开发者能够省事,直接用现成的轮子即可,不必再痛苦地去自行从头开始构建。尤其涉及到分布式架构中的负载均衡、CDN/DNS 等基础服务的配置等,ICP 提供了替代物,底层替换为了分布式的计算平台,而对于用户来说,几乎是无感的。

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cancan 是一个部署在 ICP 上的示例应用

既然称之为互联网计算机,我们可以根据直接根据字面的含义,也能理解 ICP 所包含的内容:

  • 提供了开放的通讯协议,ICP 协议,在该协议之上,可以运行通用的计算。
  • 一个全球的计算机网络,确保协议能够正常运行,而包含在其中的,是独立的数据中心,每个数据中心由多个节点组成,提供了运行软件或者说智能合约所需要的硬件资源,如 CPU、网络和内存资源。
  • 一个公开的 SAAS 平台,扩展性良好,开发者可以像使用任何一个云平台一样,部署软件应用,比如 DeFi、NFT 等具体的应用。

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从 ICP Dashboard 网站上,我们可以看到当前 ICP 生态中的网络带宽、CPU 资源、内存等等的信息,如上图所示,当前整个互联网计算机的带宽约为 20MB/s。需要注意的是,ICP 也是采取了内存存储的方式,提升程序的运行速度,由此带来的,是对数据中心的要求会比较高。

Dfinity 希望借助于拜占庭容错和加密算法,让软件不依赖于防火墙等设施,也能具备防篡改的功能,支持智能合约软件自动运行,且结合了代币经济模型的设计,实现激励和软件所在生态的自治。

NNS:ICP 互联网计算机的神经网络

 

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如果说 ICP 是一台巨型的全球计算机,集合了诸多的数据中心和节点,那么 ICP 跟传统的云平台又有什么不同?毕竟 AWS、GCP、Azure、阿里云、腾讯云或者是公司自建的私有云服务,也是用的数据中心,异地备援,多节点运行的。

区别在于 NNS。ICP 之所以不是另外一个云平台,而是开放式计算平台,其区别在于被成为 NNS 的治理系统,或者可以做个通俗化但不那么精确的理解:

代币化 + DAO 治理 + 云服务 = ICP

ICP 平台为代币持有者通过去中心化的治理系统 NNS(神经网络系统)共同所有,在全球多地的数据中心,组成了多个子网络,为智能合约或者说容器提供了运行的基础设施,并从中获得收益。

如果说 ICP 是一台巨型的分布式计算机网络的话,各个数据中心和节点提供了运行的硬件设施,而 NNS 就是这台计算机的管理员,通过提案方式,决定了 ICP 这台超级计算机网络的运行机制和生态中的利益分配等相关事宜。

下文的代币模型部分,我们会再详细介绍 ICP 代币持有者是如何影响 NNS 系统中的决策的。

每个智能合约,都是可扩展的容器(Canister)

 

我们知道了 ICP 这台计算机由多个节点运行,组成了云平台;也知道了 NNS 是一套链上的治理体系,由 ICP 代币持有者来共同决定。

那么问题自然来了:在这台计算机上,能运行什么程序,可以承载什么应用?

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答案其实挺简单:ICP 作为一个通用的云计算平台,理论上可以运行任何类型的应用。Dfnity 社区也用 CanCan、LinkUp 等应用做了示例,这些分别对标抖音、LinkedIn 等传统互联网应用,尽管只是初步的 demo 示范,却也展示了 ICP 承载各类型应用的潜力。

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在 ICP 这个平台上,最基本的组成元素,被称为 Canister,可以翻译为容器,类似于以太坊等区块链公链平台上的智能合约,却也有若干不同之处。

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无论是用什么语言些的软件,都会编译为 WebAssembly 模块。想要运行,需要将这些模块部署到 ICP 的副本之中,而运行这些模块的执行环境,就被称为容器(Canister)。

将 ICP 想象成一艘大船,在甲板上堆积着一个个的罐子。每个罐子跟罐子之间相互独立,却又能相互通过导管链接起来。在罐子内部,构建起了一个可以包容软件运算逻辑的执行环境,在 ICP 之中这些罐子容器,就起到了跟智能合约类似的作用。

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不过不同之处就在于,这些容器可以复制、可以分叉,更方便自组织,相比传统的公链架构,更容易扩展。在编译完毕部署完成后,每个容器会产生自己的索引编号,如果是具备前端功能的,甚至直接可以通过该容器的入口访问,供用户交互使用。实际使用起来,跟传统互联网并没有明显区别,不过背后运行的,不再是单一的服务器,而是 ICP 的开放式云平台。

我知道这样说有些抽象,所以我按照 ICP 的文档部署了一个 LinkedUp 的示例,到 ICP 的 Mercury 网络上,大概花费了10分钟不到的时间。网址见:https://qsuio-dqaaa-aaaaa-qa6oa-cai.ic0.app/

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请注意,在链接之中的 “qsuio-dqaaa-aaaaa-qa6oa-cai” 这一串编码,就是前端容器的编码索引,无论是前端应用还是后端应用,甚至是钱包,都是以容器方式组织的,在容器之中包含了编译之后的程序,以及该程序的运行状态等信息,支持查询和更新状态的操作。

Cycle:程序运行的“燃料”

 

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尽管下文我们会在代币模型的部分详细介绍 ICP 代币的经济模型,不过此处为了理解容器这一概念,有必要专门聊聊 Cycle。

在 ICP 这个云平台上,运行程序如果没有成本的话,势必会造成平台的计算带宽存储等资源被滥用。为此运行程序要有成本,并且为了防止单个程序/容器占用过多的资源,单个容器的运行可以使用的资源也有上限。

ICP 采取的是 Cycle 这一单位作为计价。如果你熟悉以太坊或者类以太坊平台的生态,可以将其理解为一种价格稳定的 gas,不能流通,只能用作手续费使用。并且需要由容器的所有者来支付。就是说这里的设计,采取了开发者付费的方式,按照我的理解,用户使用这些程序,是不需要支付费用的,而程序的开发者或者团队,需要将 ICP 代币兑换为 Cycle ,作为驱动程序运行的燃料,确保程序可用。

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尽管 ICP 价格可能波动,但是 Cycle 的价格,是锚定法币的。具体来说 1 瑞士法郎等价于 1兆(trillion) cycles 的计算资源,开发者需要将价值 1 瑞士法郎的 ICP,兑换为对应的 Cycle。这样 ICP 的价格不会影响到合约的运行,不会出现 ICP 价格高涨,运行合约或者说容器的成本也随之水涨船高的情况出现。

ICP 兑换为 Cycle 是单向的,就是说不能够从 Cycle 再兑换为 ICP 代币。而且Cycle 也不能流通、转账,只能供开发者自己使用,用在自己所控制的容器上,确保他们能够运行正常。

基于上面的探讨,我们尽管略去了许多的技术细节,不过应该能够对 ICP 这台互联网计算机的运行方式有了初步的了解了。

接下来看看更轻松的话题:ICP 代币如何分配。

三、ICP 代币如何分配的?有何作用?

 

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ICP 初始发行数量为 469,213,710 枚,第一批持有者约为 5 万多人,包含了空投参与者、团队贡献者(120 位全职人员,另外 30 余位贡献者)、以及投资伙伴。具体分配比例,如下图所示。

如前文所述,具体分配模式,是否会涉及到锁仓,尚未有明确信息,不过根据笔者的理解,代币会通过 NNS 的神经元设计锁定,最短锁定期预计为 6 个月。

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据报道,Dfinity 总共经过了三轮募资,募集了约 1.95 亿美元,具体而言:

  • 2017年 2 月 14 日,种子轮募集了 420 万美元,代币价格约为 0.0362 美元,这部分占比为 24.72%。
  • 2018 年 2 月 7 日,战略轮融资,从 Andreessen Horowitz (A16Z)和 Polychain Capital 处共融得 6100 万美元,占主网上线的初始代币分配的 6.85%,募资成本为每个代币 1.8978 美元。
  • 2018 年 8 月 28日:风投轮,这一轮融资额最大,共募得 1.02 亿美元。占主网上线的初始代币分配的 4.75%,募资成本为每个代币 4.5765 美元。由 Andreessen Horowitz(A16Z) 和 Polychain Capital 领投,SV Angel、Aspect Ventures、Village Global、Multicoin Capital、Scalar Capital、Amino Capital 和 KR1 以及 DFINITY 社区成员等跟投。

如果按照当前期货价格 190 美元来计算,总市值为 891 亿美元,按私募均价来算,意味着增长了 166 倍。

在 2018 年曾经举办的 Dfinity 空投活动中,诸多账户获得了 10 多个甚至一百多个 ICP 代币不等,折合人民币也能换一台车了。相信还有许多朋友热切期待着 ICP 代币能早点发放。

ICP 代币的用途:治理和支付

 

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ICP 代币主要有两类用途:

  • 作为治理代币使用,ICP 持有者可以将其锁定在治理系统中,对提案进行投票。参与治理可以获得奖励。作为数据中心运行公共账本的补偿,或者说产生区块的奖励,也是用 ICP 支付的。
  • 应用型代币,支付手续费。正如前面介绍过的,在 ICP 生态中,运行智能合约(或者说容器)需要消耗手续费(cycle)。与以太坊不同之处在于,ICP 的手续费是固定价格的,基本不会随着 ICP 代币的价格而波动。

由于 ICP 代币是驱动整个系统运行的关键,因此我们有必要专门了解下 ICP 代币模型设计,并借此了解在 Dfinity 之中各方的角色。

四、ICP 的代币模型如何设计的?

 

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这张图,清晰的表示了 ICP 生态中的各类角色和模型,我们逐一解读。

ICP 生态中的四类角色和作用

 

在 ICP 生态中,有这样几类角色,相互之间其实也可以叠加。

首先是 ICP 持有者。

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除了持币待涨之外,ICP 持有者还可以参与生态治理。Dfinity 采取的是链上治理模式,称之为 NNS ,神经网络系统。那么组成神经网络系统的每一个部分,就被成为一个神经元,而创建神经元,就需要 ICP 持有人锁定代币来产生。

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相应的,当用户准备赎回代币的时候,就需要溶解掉神经元,如上图所示经过半个月到八年左右的延迟期之后,代币会回到用户手中,可以自由流通。

参与治理,可以获得到投票奖励,ICP 持有者通过锁仓所创建的神经元,也可以自动跟随其他的神经元进行投票。由于锁定期往往较长,因此参与治理进行投票表决的时候,预期持有者会做出审慎的考虑。

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投票的权重,除了受到锁定币量的多少,也会受到锁仓时间、神经元已经存在时间的影响。

其次,是数据节点。

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这些节点的作用主要是:作为超级运算中心,提供给 ICP 的基础服务,包括运行计算、相互通讯、存储信息等。每个数据中心会包含若干个数据节点,而多个数据节点,又可以组成子网络,供计算容器使用。

作为提供服务的回报,这些节点可以获得 ICP 代币作为奖励,这也是系统之中增发较多代币的一部分。每个节点在一段时间内获得的回报是大致恒定的。

数据中心想要加入到 ICP 网络之中,首先要做的是获得一个 DCID,即数据中心 ID。通过 NNS 这一算法治理系统为数据中心生成该 ID, 然后数据中心能参与网络之中,提供数据节点。

如果互联网计算机需要更多的处理能力,会引入更多的节点机器,形成子网,承载容器的运转。Dfinity 希望在十年内,可以吸引上千的数据中心加入。不过具体给数据中心的报酬如何,是否具有吸引力,还有待更多细节披露。

第三是 ICP 生态之中的关键角色:开发者。

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开发者将软件代码编译部署到 ICP 之后,需要消耗 ICP 代币转换为 Cycle 燃料,换取数据节点提供的服务,维持自己的容器运行,供用户使用。如前所述,ICP 之中的燃料手续费,是采用固定价格的,并且消耗量相对稳定,有助于开发者做好预算。

并且这部分 ICP 代币是单向转换,Cycle 采取的是消耗模式,因此随着使用,ICP 会消耗掉这一部分,对 ICP 产生通缩压力。

第四,是软件的用户。

作为终端用户,其实是可以不必去管应用背后的平台如何,对他们而言,运行在 ICP 基础设施上的软件,如果能够提供传统互联网的便捷 + 分布式账本的安全可信的提升,并且进一步可以从软件的分布式治理中得到更强的激励,会得到更好的用户感受。

使用淘宝的用户,不用为了浏览网页挑选商品而付费,只需要在下单时候付款即可。根据笔者理解,这是 ICP 试图跟以太坊等平台不同的方向之一。ICP 试图实现这一点,运行在其上的程序所产生的计算等成本,由软件的开发者所承担,用户只需为自己所挑选的产品或服务付费即可,无需为使用软件本身支付费用。

不过,这是否也会带来一定的影响,导致 ICP 代币的消耗场景变少?由于尚未到达大规模用户上线测试的阶段,这一问题的答案,我们或许还要等好久才能得到。

ICP 代币增发还是通缩模式?

 

ICP 代币采取的是通胀设计模式,增发的 ICP 用来支付节点运行的奖励,以及为 ICP 治理的参与者提供奖励之用。

不过由于 ICP 代币的锁仓投票,以及单向的兑换燃料费 (Cycles) 的机制,所以实际上的流动量如何,取决于系统上线之后的运行情形,如果兑换为 cycles 的 ICP 量超过了增发的 ICP 代币量,则实际的 ICP 表现为通缩。

代币化 + 云平台

 

ICP 代币,是互联网计算机 (IC) 的原生代币,而在上面运行的服务,也可以创建自己的代币,实现去中心化,等同于智能合约或者说 DeFi 应用提供自己的治理代币,供用户参与其中。

在 ICP 生态之中,ICP 代币的持有者,可以通过 NNS 这一内嵌在 ICP 网络中的链上治理体系来参与整体生态的重要决策;而开放式网络服务,例如 DeFi/ NFT 等等项目,也可以如在其他公链平台一样,创建和发行自己的应用治理代币,丰富生态中的代币体系。

最后一起了解下 Dfinity 或者说 ICP 当前生态中的代表性项目。

五、Dfinity 的生态项目概览

 

Dfinity 由于主网进度不断延迟,尽管有国内外若干社区成员努力,不过生态发展还处于非常早期阶段,加上 ICP 的整体架构和概念体系,对于以太坊等生态的开发者而言相对陌生,迁移门槛较高,需要项目方和社区更多的推进,才可能获得更理想的进展。

笔者根据互联网公开资料,整理了几个 Dfinity 生态中的代表性项目,供读者参考。由于时间和精力所限,难免遗漏,还请读者补充指教。

Capsule:去中心化社交媒体

 

Capsule 计划推出一个超级简单的去中心化社交媒体平台,基于 ICP 创建,该公司获得了由 Beacon Fund 领投的种子轮融资(150 万美元)。Beacon Fund 是 Polychain Capital 管理,专注于在 Dfinity 的去中心化网络上构建用于下一代“开放”应用程序(也称为互联网计算机)的创业公司。

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Distrikt:基于 ICP 打造专业社交媒体

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起源于 LinkedUp,后来第三方团队接管,计划打造为专业人士的社交媒体应用,称之为 Distrikt。得到了 Dokia Cadpital 的首席执行官 Aurel Iancu所提供的资金支持。

按照平台介绍,Distrikt 将是 LinkedIn、Twitter 和 Medium 之间的结合体 …… 但是是一个“去中心化的、民有、民治、民享的平台”。

Fleek:计划迁移上万个以太坊应用和 NFT 项目至 Dfinity

 

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根据公开资料,Fleek 原名为 TERMINAL,帮助用户在 IPFS 上快速构建网站、应用的平台。如今也提供了对 Dfinity 的支持。Fleek 筹集了 400 万美元,用于在开放互联网上创建网站和应用程序。

据报道,完成迁移之后,Fleek 上 11000 个基于传统和区块链的网站能够在互联网计算机(ICP) 的主网上运行,Fleek 有望成为 DFINITY 互联网计算机「主网」最早的应用之一。此外为了提供快速、安全和可扩展的网络速度,Fleek 计划将托管服务扩充至 DFINITY 的互联网计算机上。双方将使基于以太坊的 DeFi 应用和 NFT 项目能够以网络速度运行,并大大降低 Gas 费用,并且降低对环境的影响。

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Tacen:Dfinity 上计划的首个 DEX 产品

 

Tacen 融资了230万美元,计划在 Dfinity 上打造 DEX,预计于 2021 年 3 季度上线,不过目前还没有可公开测试的版本,代币为 TXA。

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根据 Tacen 官网介绍,计划弥补中心化交易所和去中心化交易所在安全和速度之间的裂隙,实现企业级别产品速度的同时,又无需进行 KYC,用户能够完全自主控制自己的资产。通过智能钱包、速度撮合订单、以及结算数据预言机等基础设施,实现融合。除了交易加密货币之外,也可以用于 NFT 资产的交易。

Openchat

 

OpenChat 将是继 LinkedUp 和 CanCan 等互联网计算机上的开放应用之后,DFINITY 上第一个去中心化的加密通信应用。据 OpenChat 的软件工程师 Hamish Peebles 介绍,尽管 OpenChat 在功能上与 WhatsApp、Signal、Telegram 等非常相似,但是所有权归用户,且代码公开可查,用户会分配得到代币,且对于应用有最终决定权。

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六、小结

 

尽管介绍 Dfinity 互联网计算机的文章已经有许多,本文试图尽量从简单易懂的角度出发,概览 Dfinity 生态中的常见概念和问题,方便读者做入门级理解。

Dfinity 立项至今五年,进度并不理想,社区的反馈也众说纷纭,有评价为厚积薄发,也有讽之为鸽中王者,不过经过本文的梳理,我们大致可以对 Dfinity 的系统生态有基本了解,随着 ICP 互联网计算机生态的后续发展,也可以更方便的解读相关信息,做出自己的投资和独立评价。

Dfinity 的开发体验相对顺畅,也提供了较为丰富开发者文档和案例参考,对于传统互联网开发者来说,入门的门槛也不算很高。不过毕竟涉及到若干新的概念和设计体系,以太坊等生态之中既有开发者是否能够顺畅迁移,还有待时间检验。笔者期待的是,Dfinity 可以走向圈外,吸引区块链生态之外的传统互联网开发者和创业团队加入进来,丰富这一生态。

Dfinity 目前生态中的代表性项目不多,在开发者生态发展上尚需加力,方不负市场长久的期待,互联网生态亟需改变,也希望 Dfinity 在开放式网络和全球互联网计算平台上的探索,能够给我们带来一些不一样的思考和方向。

本文仅为提供信息参考之用,不构成投资建议,还请读者自己审慎辨别,独立思考。

sharing-A Guide to Multi-Chain Yield Farming

A Guide to Multi-Chain Yield Farming
By: [email protected]tack.com


September 3, 2021 at 09:55AM Link: https://ift.tt/3yJH394

Contents


The best yield farming opportunities on Solana, Avalanche, and Terra. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
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A Guide to Multi-Chain Yield Farming

The best yield farming opportunities on Solana, Avalanche, and Terra.

Ben Giove Sep 2 Comment Share

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Join the Bankless Nation


Dear Bankless Nation,

We live in a multichain world.

But then again, we always have.

Coinbase, Gemini, Binance, Kraken—these are just centralized sidechains that use chains like Ethereum and Bitcoin for asset registry and settlement.

What’s new is the number of non-Ethereum “DeFi” chains with apps, yield, and users. I put “DeFi” in quotes for a reason. I’m skeptical if these chains are decentralized enough to warrant the title. Once again open finance is probably a better term.

Are they corruption-resistant enough to be the base layer of the world’s money system?

No, not yet…not from my perspective.

I also don’t think the world’s financial system will be based on Binance or RobinHood or Flow either. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have a role to play in crypto and DeFi. FinTech and crypto will blend together in 1,000 new ways this decade.

So what role are these non-Ethereum chains playing now?

They offer yields.

A savvy Bankless reader can collect that yield and turn it into any asset they prefer. USD, ETH, BTC…or something else.

Here’s what I said in a recent open thread:

Bankless will always cover bankless ecosystems, whether that’s Bitcoin, Ethereum, or something else. But I’m personally way less interested in “DeFi” that’s easily controllable at the base layer by neo-banking cabals. Discovering the difference is part of the bankless journey we’re on and it’s not easy.

We aren’t backed by VCs. We’re backed by values. So our aim is to be open minded on approaches and not blinded by bags, but also to remain resolute on values. Bankless is a thesis driven media company.

There’s a version of crypto that’s good for the world and there’s a version that makes everything worse. We’re fighting for the former.

Not Bitcoin Maximalist. Or Ethereum Maximalist. Bankless Maximalist.

Remember the protocol sink thesis. Remember why we’re here.

And also…have fun and enjoy the yields!

– RSA

P.S. If you’re into sports collectibles, you should check out SoRare. It’s the biggest platform for trading official football player cards (soccer for Americans!).


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TOKEN THURSDAY

Bankless Writer: Ben Giove, Bankless Contributor & President of Chapman Crypto

A Guide to Multi-Chain Yield Farming

Graphic by Logan Craig

We live in a multichain world.

As high gas fees on Ethereum continue to persist, yield-hungry users have been forced to look elsewhere in the neverending quest for returns. An ape needs to eat.

Fortunately, there are several networks well-positioned to help absorb crypto natives’ ravenous appetite for using these systems by providing them with cheaper and faster transactions—albeit with lower security guarantees. The best part is that the applications, and sometimes even the network itself (or both), are offering substantial liquidity mining incentives for yield farmers willing to take the risk, make the move, and deploy capital into these newer systems.

Value locked in crypto. Source.

Below we’ll touch on a few of the opportunities available for farmers on three of the ecosystems currently experiencing the bulk of the growth: Avalanche, Solana, and Terra.

These are certainly not the only opportunities—or even the highest-yielding. But given that many protocols in these systems are extremely early and less battle-tested, the ones listed intend to strike a healthy balance between risk and reward.

As always, please ape responsibly!


1) Avalanche Yield Opportunities

The Avalanche ecosystem has experienced tremendous growth in recent weeks.

The network has seen value locked explode from $339 million to $2.2 billion in less than three weeks, catalyzed by the announcement of Avalanche Rush—a $180 million liquidity mining program. The program will soon feature solid incentives on staple Ethereum DeFi protocols like Aave and Curve.

To go along with a surge in the price of AVAX and Avalanche DeFi tokens, there are numerous high-yield opportunities for savvy farmers willing to cross the bridge and take advantage of fast confirmations and significantly reduced gas fees, which only range from $0.50-$2.00.

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Avalanche’s growth in value locked. Source.


🚆 Onboarding to Avalanche

As an EVM-compatible chain, onboarding to Avalanche is incredibly straightforward, as users simply need to just add the network to their wallet, and then bridge funds across from Ethereum.

  • For a guide on how to add Avalanche to your MetaMask, click here

  • To access the bridge between Ethereum and Avalanche, click here


Avalanche Opportunity #1: BenQi

  • ROI estimate: 2-12% APY 💰

Given Aave has yet to launch on Avalanche, BenQi is the current king of the network’s money market sector. The protocol has experienced incredible growth, attracting over $1.21 billion in TVL in the two weeks since its launch. This emerging money market protocol has been a key driver in catalyzing the infusion of capital into the Avalanche ecosystem. BenQi currently features a $3 million liquidity mining program, where depositors and borrowers are incentivized to participate in the system through earning QI and AVAX rewards. 

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The protocol currently supports deposits and borrows for AVAX, wETH, wBTC, LINK, DAI, USDC, and USDT. It’s important to recognize that depositor yields range between 2.20-11.76% depending on the asset, with the yield consisting of a combination of interest and token rewards. On the other side of the market, borrowers can earn a net APY (rewards – interest) anywhere from 0.24% to 6.80%. This means that farmers can be paid to borrow, and enables a variety of different strategies.

For example, a wBTC holder can employ a strategy in which they deposit their tokens to earn 3.78% APY, which they can then use as collateral to borrow and earn 5.30% APY on their outstanding debt. This allows a farmer to earn a yield on their assets while minimizing liquidation risk, as the value of their debt will move in tandem with that of their collateral. (The more degenerate among us can recursively repeat this process.)

Avalanche Opportunity #2: Trader Joe 

  • ROI estimate: 20-85% APY 💰 💰 💰

Trader Joe is the largest decentralized exchange on Avalanche, holding over $455 million in liquidity and facilitating between $100-200 million in daily volume since August 23, notably surpassing the first-mover Pangolin in both metrics.

The protocol is currently incentivizing 23 different tokens pairs where liquidity providers can stake their LP tokens to earn JOE rewards, the DEX’s native governance token, along with a trading fee of 0.25% on every swap. These pairs vary dramatically in terms of asset composition, yield, and of course, risk, allowing farmers to express a variety of different viewpoints.

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For instance, risk-averse farmers who do not want price or impermanent loss exposure can enter the USDC/DAI and USDT/DAI pools to earn a yield currently sitting between 23-24% APR.

Additionally, farmers who believe the market will be rangebound and are willing to take on some risk can earn between 29-86% APR in the wETH/USDT, wBTC/USDT, and AVAX/USDT pools. Finally, a farmer who’s willing to take on maximum price and impermanent loss exposure can earn upwards of triple-digit yields in some of the protocol’s riskier pools.

🧑‍🌾 Bonus Yield Opportunity

  • JOE Staking—29% APR —Stake JOE to receive 0.05% of every swap in the form of xJOE tokens.


2) Solana Yield Opportunities

Solana is another ecosystem that has experienced strong growth over the past several months. Spurred by a rise in the price of SOL, new protocols launching on the network, a mini-NFT mania, and the adoption of Phantom Wallet, Solana has seen its TVL rise nearly 6x to $3.6 billion since July.

Even though it’s still in its early stages, with 500ms confirmations and sub $0.01 fees, there are several noteworthy opportunities for farmers to put capital to work.

Chart      Description automatically generated

Solana’s value locked. Source.


🚆 Onboarding to Solana

While not an EVM compatible chain, the process for onboarding to Solana is similar to that of Avalanche.

Rather than add the network to MetaMask, you’ll instead have to download a new web wallet. To get funds into the system, users can either go through a centralized exchange, or use a bridge such as Wormhole (It’s worth noting the bridge site recommends holding off on doing so until the deployment of Wormhole V2)

  • To see a list of Solana web wallets, click here (Phantom recommended!)

  • To access the Wormhole bridge between Ethereum and Solana (V2 is not yet live!), click here


Solana Opportunity #1: Raydium

  • ROI estimate: 17-154% APY 💰 💰 💰

Raydium is the largest AMM on Solana, with over $1.35 billion in value locked and daily volumes north of $220 million dollars. Raydium is unique as it provides liquidity to Serum, a Solana-based central limit order book (CLOB) DEX. This means that traders can access liquidity in either protocol to get the lowest slippage for their trade, and LPs can boost their returns through Serum volumes.

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Raydium provides two types of opportunities for yield farmers. 

The first are “Raydium Farms” where liquidity providers for the RAY-SRM, RAY-ETH, RAY-SOL, and RAY-USDC, RAY-USDT pairs can stake their LP tokens to earn RAY rewards, to go along with a 0.22% fee on every swap.

These yields currently range between 66-117% APY depending on the pair, with RAY-USDC and RAY-USDT at the higher end of this spectrum, likely due to farmers pricing in the increased risk of impermanent loss these pools may incur in a trending market.

Raydium farmers can also enter “Fusion Pools,” which are incentivized trading pairs of other projects within the Solana ecosystem. There are currently 13 Fusion Pools, with prominent protocols such as Mango Markets, Mercurial Finance, and Cope incentivizing the MNGO-USDC, MER-USDC, and COPE-USDC pairs with their native governance token respectively. These pools are currently yielding between 17-154% depending on the token, but of course, come with increased risk of impermeant loss.

🧑‍🌾 Bonus Yield Opportunity

  • RAY Staking—20% APR—Stake RAY to earn 0.03% of every trade made on the platform in the form of additional RAY tokens.

Solana Opportunity #2: Saber

  • ROI estimate: 28-34% APY 💰 💰

Saber is a decentralized exchange that’s optimized for trading between like assets, as well as for facilitating cross-chain swaps by routing liquidity across token bridges. The protocol has attracted over $897 million in liquidity, which like its EVM-based competitor Curve, provides LPs with a way to earn a yield while minimizing the risk of incurring impermanent loss.

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Saber is currently incentivizing 18 different pairs with SBR rewards, which depositors can earn in addition to a 0.04% swap fee on trades made within the pool. While each differs in its exact composition, they can largely be placed into three distinct groups: stablecoins, Bitcoin, and non-Bitcoin assets.

The highest yielding in each category are the MAI-USDC, pBTC-renBTC, and wLUNA-renLUNA, which are earning liquidity providers 34%, 28%, and 29%, respectively.

An important factor to keep in mind with Saber are that some pools have withdrawal fees. For instance, the USDC-USDT pool charges liquidity providers wishing to exit 0.5% to remove their capital, meaning that farmers are operating at a loss until they recoup that fee!


3) Terra Yield Opportunities

Terra is yet another smart contract ecosystem that has experienced incredible growth. Fueled by a rise in the price of LUNA, adoption of UST, the network’s native stablecoin, and the strong product-market-fit of its applications, Terra is now home to crypto’s third largest DeFi ecosystem.

With over $7.53 billion in value locked, the chain places behind only Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain. While there are fewer prominent applications on the network than Avalanche, there are still several stellar opportunities for farmers.

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Terra’s value locked. Source.


🚆 Onboarding to Terra

Like Solana, Terra is not an EVM compatible chain. That said, the onboarding process is similarly simple, as users just need to download a Terra compatible wallet, and then bridge funds over from Ethereum or another network.

  • To see a list of different Terra wallets, click here

  • To access the bridge between Etherem, Terra, and Binance smart chain, click here

📡 For more on how to download Terra Station, check this guide out!


Terra Opportunity #1: Anchor

  • ROI estimate: 12-38% APY 💰 💰

Anchor is the leading money market on Terra, with more than $2.72 billion in value locked. The protocol utilizes a novel design that pays out a fixed interest rate to UST depositors and enables the use of staking derivatives as collateral to borrow said UST.

Through a process known as bonding done via the protocols interface, borrowers can use their LUNA to mint an identical amount of bLUNA, which can then be used as collateral within Anchor (worth noting that there is a 21-day wait to unbond LUNA!). In addition, the protocol also supports bETH, a Terra-wrapped version of Lido’s staking derivative, stETH, as collateral within the protocol. 


🧠 To get an in-depth description of how Anchor works and the mechanics behind generating the fixed yield for depositors, click here.


Albeit with the risk of liquidation, borrowers can earn a net APR of 12.9%, which is derived from a 38.3% yield from ANC rewards and a 25.4% borrow APR. Currently, the yield paid out to UST depositors sits at 19.4% APY, just below the protocol’s 20% target.

It’s worth highlighting that Anchor can serve several different roles for yield farmers.

For starters, risk-averse farmers can lock in a fixed yield on their stablecoins at a rate far higher than that seen on other money markets such as Compound and Aave. An additional strategy that a farmer can pursue would be to deposit bLUNA or bETH as collateral, borrow UST, and then redeposit UST into the protocol. This would allow a farmer to earn a 12.9% yield on their collateral, as well as a fixed 19.4% yield on their outstanding borrowers. However, it should be noted this strategy is inherently risky as it introduces the threat of liquidations.

Terra Opportunity #2: Mirror

  • ROI estimate: 27-99% APY 💰 💰 💰

Mirror is another leading application on Terra that provides lucrative farming opportunities. A protocol for minting and trading synthetic assets currently holding over $1.46 billion in value, users can deposit UST as collateral to generate one of 28 different mAssets supported by Mirror.

These include stock market indices such as mSPY, equities like mAMZN, commodities including mGLD, and crypto assets mBTC and mETH. Liquidity for the trades is routed through Terraswap, the network’s largest AMM.

There are two types of farming opportunities for Mirror participants. 

The first is long farms, where users can provide liquidity to mAsset pairs and earn trading fees along with additional MIR rewards. The yields span from 27% APR on synthetic crypto assets like mETH to as high as 48% APR on equities like mHOOD, a synth of Robinhood stock.

The second is short farms, where farmers can use UST, aUST (UST deposited within Anchor) LUNA, or another synth, as collateral to mint another mAsset in the form of an sLP token. This sLP token is automatically staked by the protocol to earn its holder MIR rewards. Currently, the yield on short farms ranges from as low as 0.3% APR on mAMZN to 99.6% APR on Google, with most sitting between 30-40%.

Closing Thoughts

It’s apparent that DeFi has gone multi-chain. After juicing these new ecosystems with tokenized incentives over the past few months, there are now billions of dollars locked away, powering these emerging crypto economies.

But it’s still early for all of these ecosystems. For those looking to take the risk to explore these multi-chain opportunities, there are certainly rewards for it. Better yet, you get to experience DeFi without the insane gas fees that currently exist on Ethereum. Anyone can swap, deposit, lend, borrow, and everything else for a few cents or dollars with virtually instant transaction confirmations.

That said, Ethereum’s Layer 2 ecosystem is knocking at the door. With Arbitrum’s recent mainnet launch and Optimism close behind, users get to access the same fast & cheap transactions—all with Ethereum’s security guarantees.

We should expect that these Layer 2 protocols will run the exact same playbook that’s succeeding for competing Layer 1s. Therefore, we can only imagine it’s going to get competitive, and the yields might get crazy.

But guess who will win?

The users 🙂


Action steps

  • Explore multi-chain yield farming opportunities

  • Download the main wallets for each chain!


Author Bio

Ben Giove is the President of Chapman Crypto and an analyst for the Blockchain Education Network (BEN) Crypto Fund, a student-managed crypto fund built on Set Protocol. He’s also a proud member of the Bankless DAO!


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Aave is a decentralised, open source and non-custodial liquidity protocol enabling users to earn interest on deposits and borrow assets. Aave Protocol is unique in that it tokenizes deposits as aTokens, which accrue interest in real time. It also pioneered Flash Loans and Credit Delegation as innovative DeFi building blocks. The Aave Protocol V2 makes the DeFi experience more seamless with features that allow you to swap your assets for the best yields on the market, and more. Check it out here.


Want to get featured on Bankless? Send your article to [email protected]

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Not financial or tax advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This newsletter is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.


Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here.

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sharing-Understanding Social Tokens

Understanding Social Tokens
By: Jason Hartgrave


September 1, 2021 at 10:46AM Link: https://ift.tt/38utoby

Contents


Social tokens are one of the many innovations the crypto space has brought forth in recent years. With celebrities from Akon to Ja Rule launching their own social tokens, mainstream media is catching up with this new way of leveraging permissionless blockchains. This article is looking to summarise social tokens, create some conceptual clarity, and open up the discussion around what might make these tokens valuable. 

The necessity for artists to find new ways of monetizing their work during COVID-19 has surely catalyzed this increased attention to social tokens. Platforms from Youtube to Spotify have gained increasing power over the distribution over the last decade and are increasingly competing with their own original content. For those reasons, creators are excited about building a medium that allows for Direct-to-Consumer relations, interacting with fans on their own terms. For example, Youtube takes 45% of the advertising revenues creators to generate for the platform and has a reputation of aggressively demonetizing content that might be considered sensitive. Spotify pushes people to original content like Joe Rogan Show rather than 3rd parties to avoid paying royalties. The promise for creators is that by moving off central platforms, they can control the means of production, distribution, and commercialization directly. 

As Linda Xie writes in her beginner’s guide to NFTs, “Social tokens are a broad category of tokens issued by individuals and communities.” However, 2020 was the year social tokens entered explosive growth as a category, as documented in Forefront’s article “Social Tokens Year in review”

Understanding Social Tokens Outlier Ventures

The promise of a digital “ownership economy” for art and communities is to resolve many of the current economic pressures and to unleash a new era of creativity and innovation. However, there is also a real danger that our social relationships become increasingly transactional, eroded by an over-financialization and commoditization. More research is needed precisely because of this superposition of promise and peril that the technology of social tokens holds. 

Personal vs. Community tokens

Social tokens have been created by both individuals and by communities, and we can therefore distinguish between Personal tokens and Community tokens.

Understanding Social Tokens Outlier VenturesPersonal/Creator tokens

Personal tokens are created by and centered around individuals (usually, individuals with a public profile like entrepreneurs or artists – that’s why they are also called “creator tokens”). Most personal tokens we’ve seen so far can be redeemed against services provided by their creators. Matthew Vernon launched one of the first personal tokens at the beginning of 2019: BOI can be redeemed for Matthew’s time as a designer. 



Individuals could have different reasons for launching a personal token: 

  • Alex Masmejean financed the start of a career and a move to San Francisco.
  • Coin Artist wanted to incentivise engagement and connect with fans. 
  • RAC built a platform and direct distribution channel. 

A range of different mechanisms have been experimented with, some of which produce tokens with a clear financial aspect like ‘token-redeemable-labour’ or ‘income share agreements’, while other tokens look more like loyalty points or club memberships. How these tokens are then “redeemed” for services or grant access is entirely up to the creators themselves. In practice, this is often done ad-hoc, e.g. over email or Discord. The current iteration of personal tokens is enabled by blockchain technology, but this doesn’t mean there haven’t been attempts before that: Meet “IPO Man” of 2008, who wanted to tokenize himself even before Bitcoin. 

A more specific kind of personal tokens could be described as “clout tokens”, which aim to measure the social reputation of influencers through market mechanisms. An example is BitClout, which issues tokens on behalf of Twitter influencers, who can claim their profile including the founder rewards allocated to each token (allowing influencers to “monetize” as their token appreciates). Idea Markets takes a similar approach, except that revenues are generated primarily through interest paid on the capital (Ether) locked in the smart contract, as required to invest in “clout tokens” on the platform. 

Community tokens

Understanding Social Tokens Outlier Ventures

Community tokens are centered around communities rather than individuals and are often used for memberships that regulate access and participation within the respective community. This token-gated access is the main use case for most of today’s community tokens.

 

In practice, current implementations of community tokens often involve a communication platform like Discord, Slack, or Telegram that is regulated by a token. This means that only people with the right tokens can enter the platform: Either a certain amount of fungible tokens or access NFT. One of the first projects that pioneered token-gated access is the Karma community, a group chat limited to a maximum of 650 members, gated by its own community token. 

  • Token-gating is often achieved through tools like CollabLand. Similarly, Unlock and Mintgate are used to gate access to exclusive digital content. This core functionality of token-gated access can also be facilitated by NFTs instead of fungible tokens with the same tools. 
  • Access NFTs can create an experience very similar to the access key cards or company badges we are used to from the physical world. 

In addition, community tokens can be an effective tool to set incentives for desired behaviour within a community, for example incentivizing contributions and disincentivizing freeloading. A token can also meaningfully enhance community cohesion and identity. A great example is Donuts, a community token for an Ethereum-related subreddit. Members are continuously rewarded with Donut tokens, according to how active they are in the community.

Friends with benefits, another leading token-gated community, uses their $FWB token to incentivise community members to be active in the Discord, attend calls, and host events. There are currently around 3k holders of the $FWB token, which is valued at a fully diluted market cap of ca. $85M. Seedclub is running an incubator/accelerator program focused uniquely on social tokens. 

Social tokens are able to set stronger incentives than conventional “points” (from loyalty badges to Reddit karma) for three main reasons: 

  • Tokens can’t be taken back again and are portable outside of the platform and therefore “truly owned”. 
  • In successful cases, tokens end up being used for decision-making and therefore as a means of control over valuable resources. 
  • As a result, they sometimes develop a market value themselves and, if liquid enough, allow early contributors to exit with an upside comparable to early startup employees at IPO. The shared ownership from the beginning glues token-based communities together. 

These advantages of social tokens hold no matter whether the focal point is an individual creator or a broader community. In fact, most social tokens might start around an individual creator and over time develop into a community token, as argued in this a16z piece. For example, the FWB community first catalyzed around Cooper Turley, who leads crypto strategy at Audius. 

Understanding Social Tokens Outlier Ventures

What makes social tokens valuable?

Social tokens, as ERC20 Ethereum tokens, are freely transferable and therefore tend to be listed on exchanges as they have initial success (whether on Decentralized exchanges like Uniswap/Sushiswap or on social token platforms such as Roll). As a result, they have a (fluctuating) market price, giving them a clearly defined value. Early members can use these markets to “cash-out”, and new prospective members use them to buy their way in.

Low barriers to entry and exit make sense in the context of the gig economy and younger generations exploring identity. More generally, these developments epitomise the fluidity of belonging on the internet itself, the transitory nature of group identity online. 

Intrinsic community value 

Social tokens are at once the entry key to a community and at the same time a financial instrument tracking the perceived value of that community. 

How valuable a specific social token mainly depends on which community it represents. intrinsically, through information sharing and collaboration within the community. What we call Intrinsic community value (ICV) is the value members get from being a part of the community. This value can take many forms but usually is mediated by exclusive access, including access to information, to talent, to deal flow, or to expertise, to events, etc. 

Even if it is hard to compare qualitatively, the type of access that is provided by the community is an important factor. Crucially, the access should be provided by the community collectively to count towards its intrinsic value, as opposed to provided by only a few persons (e.g. founders).

Finally, there is also an undeniable socio-emotional element involved: status. Being a member of the most popular communities confers exclusive status. By showing off your Cryptopunk, you self-identify either early to NFTs and/or rich enough to spend 100s of thousands on a pixelated JPEG.

Understanding Social Tokens Outlier Ventures

Note that ICV is socially constructed and subjective to a large extent. As such it is hard to quantify directly – we will discuss an indirect method as well as some relevant proxies in the second part of this article. 

Financial value flows

In the case of some social tokens, there is an aspect much more straightforward to value: financial flows. These financial flows can either be direct (in the form of dividends) or indirect (as token buy-backs) and make the tokens that confer them applicable to valuation by the traditional Discounted Cash Flows method. 

The direct variants are cash flows that are directly paid out to token holders, like dividends in a limited corporation. An example is $Alex, who entered an Income-share-agreement (ISA) with token holders, promising to payout 15% of salary over 3 years, capped at 100k. 

However, considerations around security laws might make this option less attractive in the future, and tokens with direct value flows will likely be regulated more strictly. This is why indirect value flows have gained popularity over the past years. 

Most indirect mechanisms work through token buy-backs, whereas the tokens are bought back from the open market by the treasury of the community at a predetermined rate. Typically, the tokens acquired are burned, that is to say, permanently removed from the supply. This is how value is indirectly transferred to token holders: If the supply decreases while the demand stays the same, the token price goes up and distributes value to token holders proportionally. For example, Kerman is buying back tokens with 5% of the revenues of his newsletter “DeFi weekly

In addition, a popular mechanism for increasing token value is by offering products and services exclusively to token holders (or at a discount). 

For social tokens, exclusive services are especially relevant: For example, “Dapp Boi”, a designer focused on crypto, has tokenized his time, offering consulting services for his tokens. Among others, Kerman is also offering retweets for tokens. 

Digital goods are another frequent value add in the social token space, especially NFTs. Increasingly popular are  POAP badges, certifying attendance at specific events. They primarily work on a status level, communicating “I’ve been there too”. An example is the NFT badges the newsletter Bankless offers to its premium subscribers. At last, even physical goods have been used, like RAC’s physical tape tied to the $TAPE token

Outlook: When money becomes social

Understanding Social Tokens Outlier Ventures

The social tokens space is extremely novel and evolving rapidly, so the thoughts here are not conclusive by any means but merely a starting point for conversation. 

Even if token categories often overlap (a side effect of tokens being programmable money), it seems clear that social tokens are distinct from governance tokens in important ways. The notion of intrinsic community value and the status conferred with social tokens are key differentiators from governance and other utility tokens. However the community creates its value, social tokens allow it to more effectively capture and distribute the fruits of its collaboration to its members. 

The early experiments so far have only just scratched the surface of the potential of social tokens that will unravel in the coming decade. As new use-cases and best practices emerge and more diverse communities choose to issue a token, the different ways ICV can manifest will become increasingly clear. Leading communities will offer exclusive access to information, relationships, and capital to their members. 

Over time, social tokens could become the norm for digital status signaling, showing off membership to prestigious groups in a digital-native way, for example, members or alumni of leading companies or universities. Finally, social tokens could also become a coordination mechanism for political action: Tokens that represent a credible commitment to political or social causes could allow strangers to trust each other without knowing anything else about each other, for example when meeting as pseudonymous virtual avatars in the metaverse. 

At Outlier Ventures, we are especially excited to explore these new frontiers of Crypto Social. How does social identity manifest in the Metaverse? How do social NFTs interact with avatars and virtual land? How are social tokens baked into self-sovereign identities? 

While the potential for social tokens is exhilarating, it is important to consider the downsides and pitfalls in advance. There are important considerations around personal privacy, for example. One could imagine a pressure on creators who launched a personal token for ever-more-frequent updates and to share every detail of their lives, becoming virtually enslaved to token holders. And what if the personal economy crashes and token holders lose their money? 

Perhaps an even greater danger is the erosion of social relations for their own sake. If every social interaction is mediated and rewarded by tokens, this over-financialization might crowd out the intrinsic motivation for people to behave prosocially. We need to build social tokens that empower creators and communities without making every interaction transactional. In light of these considerations, combined with unhinged experimentation, it seems clear that the token engineering risks for social tokens are heavily underappreciated.  

In a forthcoming article, we will explore some of these considerations from a token design perspective, as well as dive deeper into how we could proxy ICV and which other factors support token value. 

 

The post Understanding Social Tokens first appeared on Outlier Ventures.


sharing-This NFT expert explains how digital goods may have more use cases than luxury watches

This NFT expert explains how digital goods may have more use cases than luxury watches
By: Frank Chaparro


August 31, 2021 at 12:09PM Link: https://ift.tt/3kBYbc2

Contents


20210824_TheScoop_Franklin_Fitch_16x9-80

 

Franklin Fitch, Head of Growth at Blockparty, sees the commodification of culture as the future of the internet.

Indeed, Fitch believes that a well executed NFT strategy could very well be a make-or-break opportunity for legacy brands as well as for the brands of the future:

“When you start to connect physical events, digital signaling, memes and collectibles all into one, I think you create this really superpowered sort of wave of commodification of culture and commodification of status and commodification of membership. And also combine that with all the crypto native benefits of global payment rates, easy ability to transact and send peer-to-peer so it becomes really liquid and moves quickly.”

As household name companies (such as Visa or Coca-Cola) begin to explore NFTs, Fitch sees an opportunity forming for brands to commodify “what culture is” for their brand and community. He related the growth in NFTs to luxury watches and their collectors, both of which are dependent on a community of buyers to maintain their value. With NFT’s, he argues, the marketplace is built into the ecosystem of NFTs and he believes its ease of access will help to maintain a product’s liquidity.

On this episode of The Scoop podcast, Fitch also touched on how NFTs can be collateralized in the same way products like Yeezy sneakers can be collateralized via the fractional art market with companies such as StockX.

“It’s easier to have that liquidity. It’s easier to have that peer-to-peer price discovery.” Fitch told Chaparro.

Much like the way watches are collected to connote social status, NFT’s can actually be built to have additional use cases to unlock VIP access within the Metaverse. Fitch observed how NFT’s are being used as a means to unlock experiences within online communities and in the Metaverse:

“Now we have ways to codify, financialize, commodify artifacts of culture, and we have ways to communicate them peer-to-peer, socially, signal with them, unlock experiences with them.”

© 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.


sharing-📹The world comes together at the #CardanoSummit2021 🌍Register now to join the biggest #Cardano event ever!👉https://bit.ly/3xnvGTKApply to hos…

📹The world comes together at the #CardanoSummit2021 🌍Register now to join the biggest #Cardano event ever!👉https://bit.ly/3xnvGTKApply to hos…
By: Cardano Announcements


August 18, 2021 at 02:37PM Link: https://ift.tt/3gbtTeP

Contents


The world comes together at the #CardanoSummit2021 🌍

Register now to join the biggest #Cardano event ever!
👉https://bit.ly/3xnvGTK

Apply to host a local meetup in your city.
👉https://bit.ly/3xK2Gpx

#CardanoCommunity


sharing-Terra Delegation Program

Terra Delegation Program
By: Jared


August 15, 2021 at 12:18PM Link: https://ift.tt/3yNlGVl

Contents


Starting 8.11.21

The Terra Delegation Program (TDP) is back!
To celebrate this incredible month, we are maximizing your opportunity to be included.

There are only 4 qualifications this round:

  1. Have a complete Validator Profile:

Example of a perfect pull request Here.
Example of a perfect finished profile Here.
Notice that the example has an updated readme. This step is often missed and means your previously summited profile might not be complete.

That’s right. You might have a checkmark, and not have a complete profile. Look over the examples, and be proactive.

  1. Commission at or below 10%: at all snapshots.
  2. Bombay Testnet must be active: at all snapshots.
  3. You must apply at the link below by 8.18.21 9 PM KST: https://forms.gle/Sycuk24t38Pu72UX9

What is the snapshot? Once a week I will be taking a snapshot, and then publishing the results. They will not be announced to prevent gaming the system. They will be public so you can track your progress.
The first of these snapshots will be taken next week. Links will be posted publicly on Discord and Twitter when snapshots are complete.

Delegations will be weighted for decentralization. This means, the TFL fund will weigh distributions to flatten the voting curve.

Last round this meant that validators with over 1.5m luna (.43 voting power), did not receive delegations. Remain vigilant on the weekly reports, you will get to see the potential delegations before they are released. There will be no surprises this round.

“I have more Delegations than the cutoff point, why doesn’t TFL support me? I deserve recognition.” Your recognition is the vote of the delegators. If you don’t need a TFL delegation to stay afloat, you are doing well. Keep up the good work, and share your tactics with the validator community.

Delegations are targeted for disbursement by the 4th week of September. Those of you that participated last time know, releasing funds can be a long process. Some Alpha to reward you for your reading this far, by the end of the year we will have a tool that runs the TDP autonomously.

If you are a Rust developer, contact Jared, you could have a chance to work on it first hand.


Terra Delegation Program was originally published in Terra Money on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


sharing-Tools for NFT Summer ??

Tools for NFT Summer ??
By: [email protected]tack.com


August 14, 2021 at 11:51PM Link: https://ift.tt/3g47nEy

Contents


A selected list of resources to help you surf this summer’s NFT seas! ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Tools for NFT Summer 🏖️

A selected list of resources to help you surf this summer’s NFT seas!

Metaversal is a Bankless newsletter for weekly level-ups on NFTs, virtual worlds, & collectibles


Dear Bankless Nation,

What many were expecting to be DeFi Summer 2.0 has shaped up to be NFT Summer instead!

However, there’s so much going on around NFTs right now that it can be quite challenging to keep your finger on the pulse of this booming ecosystem’s constant happenings. 

No worries, though. The way to overcome this challenge is by knowing the right tools and services to turn to when you want to readily analyze and act on NFT data. 

For today’s Metaversal, then, I’m going to walk you through a handful of NFT resources that I’ve found useful lately and that you may find useful, too. 🔍

-WMP


🙏 Sponsor: Upshot—get paid to appraise NFTs. Start now!


Selected Tools for NFT Summer!

Analytics

  • CryptoSlam! — NFT marketplace analytics service that tracks activity across Ethereum, Polygon, Ronin, Flow, etc. 

  • DeGenData.io — Previously covered in Metaversal, this NFT analytics service helps users easily search through granular data on popular projects like CryptoPunks, Bored Apes Yacht Club, VeeFriends, and more. 

  • niftyriver.io — An upstart NFT marketplace analytics platform that’s useful for tracking OpenSea’s hourly NFT sales.. 

Price floors

New drops

  • rarity.tools Upcoming NFT Sales — rarity.tools is primarily used by collectors looking to analyze trait rarities in NFT collectibles projects, but the site also has a nifty “Upcoming NFT Sales” section for keeping up-to-date on impending mint events. 

Gas management

Wallet management + tracking

  • NFTBank.ai — A smart NFT portfolio management service that helps NFT users track a wide range of analytics about their NFT inventories. 

  • Rainbow — A mobile Ethereum wallet that makes it easy to track your DeFi and NFT activities in a single app. 

  • Zapper — An Ethereum wallet dashboard for managing your DeFi and NFT positions. 

Trading

  • Sudoswap — A peer-to-peer (P2P) protocol for trading “collections of ERC20/721/1155 tokens.”

  • NFT Trader — A P2P NFT trading protocol for swapping baskets of tokens. 

  • swap.kiwi — Another user-friendly NFT swapping protocol. 

Community

Metaverse

  • Awesome Metaverse — A sprawling repository filled with metaverse resources compiled by metaverse specialist Jin

  • The Open Metaverse OS — An extensive research report on the contemporary possibilities of the metaverse composed by the Outlier Ventures network. 

Polygon NFTs


Action steps

  • 🕵‍♀️ Pick one of the NFT resources mentioned above that you haven’t used/seen before and explore it!

  • 📰 Read “How to mint NFTs on Zora” in Metaversal


Subscribe to Bankless. $22 per mo. Includes archive accessInner Circle & Badge.


🙏Thanks to our sponsor

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Get paid to appraise NFTs with Upshot!

Upshot is a protocol that pays NFT experts and collectors for honest insights – unlocking opportunities for a new generation of appraisers to capture value from their expertise and enabling a wave of powerful new DeFi primitives.

👉 Visit Upshot.io and start appraising NFTs today!


Not financial or tax advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This newsletter is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.


Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here.

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sharing-An inside look at Bullish, the billion-dollar crypto exchange that’s just begun its test pilot

An inside look at Bullish, the billion-dollar crypto exchange that’s just begun its test pilot
By: Frank Chaparro


July 29, 2021 at 03:44PM Link: https://ift.tt/3yhcQ1O

Contents


Bullish, the Block.One-backed cryptocurrency exchange, has been making a flurry of headlines, joining the long list of crypto firms preparing a SPAC deal to go public, raising millions in the private markets, and onboarding former New York Stock Exchange president Thomas Farley as its CEO. 

The firm has been able to do all of this without having a live product. But Bullish isn’t just a white paper and a dream: the firm is entering a public test phase of its exchange. And over the course of the next seven weeks will take in feedback and then gear up for a more public launch. 

Ahead of its test phase launch, The Block got an inside look at Bullish’s exchange product. Here’s what it looks like under the hood:

The front-end of the exchange platform looks similar to most on the market, a sleek view at the market for a given asset — showing the trades printing on the right side and the depth of the order book on the bottom. The charting capabilities are powered by TradingView. 

Cost to trade is zero basis points for liquidity takers and 10 basis points for liquidity providers, according to Ian Smith, Bullish’s chief product officer.

Bullish offers a twist on the traditional exchange model by leveraging both centralized liquidity providers and its own internal automated market-makers (AMM) to enhance liquidity on the platform.

This is the key feature that makes the offering unique relative to its soon-to-be competitors. The idea behind the structure is to ensure liquidity even during shaky periods when market-makers might pull bids and make it more difficult to trade.

AMMs

The exchange is leveraging its own internal AMMs versus platforms run by a third party, which would already have ample liquidity. Bullish’s internal AMM will need to somehow incentivize users to provide that liquidity, which is easier said than done. 

Bullish Earn — which allows users to stake their assets across various pools for a yield — is another feature. Indeed, it is those staked assets that will provide liquidity for Bullish’s AMMs. It’s not exactly clear what those yields will be, but the firm will leverage its own treasury of crypto “to further strengthen the product offering of the platform,” according to a media release.

In order to withdrawal staked assets, clients have to wait an entire week while the platform manages the withdrawal. 

A user can view the totality of their crypto trading picture on Bullish via a portfolio overview page, which includes views of the growth of their portfolio, the balance of their spot and margin accounts amount the amount of assets they have staked in its liquidity pools. 

The pilot launch is slated to last until September 13, according to a blog post. The exchange is expected to fully launch to the public in 2021.

Listen to our full episode of The Scoop with incoming Bullish CEO Tom Farley, here

© 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.


sharing-Taleb Vs. Taleb: A Question Of Time, Lindy And Portfolios

Taleb Vs. Taleb: A Question Of Time, Lindy And Portfolios
By: Joakim Book


July 28, 2021 at 07:43PM Link: https://ift.tt/377P906

Contents


The famous economist often acts contradictory and has denounced Bitcoin despite examples of previous understanding.

I joined Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s very extensive block list about two years ago. It’s not a very exclusive crowd and many more erudite people than me have received the patented “Imbecile” tweet that signals an imminent Taleb block. My crime? I had quoted “Antifragile” back at him in an argument over something I can no longer remember. (I proudly cherish the screenshot of the last tweet I ever saw of his).

image1.jpg

For his Bitcoin nonsense released in June 2021 — the paper ‘Bitcoin, Currencies, and Fragility’ (an earlier version used “Bubbles” in the title instead of “Fragility”) — we might repeat the exercise of quoting his own words back at him.

Mr. Taleb, prone to making extravagant claims and denouncing everyone from journalists and politicians to economists and foreign policy experts, now seems to have joined the ranks of other well-known Bitcoin skeptics: Robert Shiller, Paul Krugman, Nouriel Roubini, and — somewhat puzzlingly — the world’s foremost expert on hyperinflations, Steve Hanke. Worse is that Taleb might be one of the first vocal supporters to unlearn what he once knew, or perhaps pretended to know; in 2018 Taleb wrote the preface to Saifedean Ammous’ “The Bitcoin Standard”.

Many people further down the rabbit hole than Taleb took apart his impressive-sounding but surprisingly fragile paper (I can highly recommend Louis Rossouw’s take or Sevexity’s piece). A brief summary of the paper’s argument is:

  • Bitcoin failed to be a currency because currencies need stable prices and price fixing.
  • It’s a lousy store of value.
  • It lacks the properties of an inflation hedge.
  • And because of a non-zero probability of hitting the absorbing barrier of worthlessness, its present value is therefore zero.

These are, as Robert Solow once said in an Ely Lecture fifty years ago: “words, all words.” 

Which, by Taleb’s own admissions, do not matter. All that matters is what’s in somebody’s portfolio, per his own rule in his book, “Skin in the Game”: “Don’t tell me what you ‘think,’ just tell me what’s in your portfolio” (p. 4). Or, “Those who talk should do and only those who do should talk.” (p. 28).

One of several areas where I think Taleb’s ideas approach Austrian economics is the “Action Axiom” – that actions speak louder than words; that talk is cheap and therefore unreliable; and that valuation comes from doing, not saying. When was the last time Taleb transacted using bitcoin, I wonder? Has he ever tried buying his macchiato using the Lightning Network? Did he ever write code or build something that uses Bitcoin?

A few chapters into this otherwise great book (published around the same time as his infamous preface to “The Bitcoin Standard”) we get a personal anecdote. Taleb tells of once having to comment on stocks in a TV roundtable discussion:

“The topic of the day was Microsoft, a company that was in existence at the time. Everyone, including the anchor, chipped in. My turn came: ‘I own no Microsoft stock, I am short on Microsoft stock, hence I can’t talk about it.’ I repeated my dictum of Prologue 1: Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you have in your portfolio.’” (p. 63)

So, do we trust the man’s twenty-odd years of writing and living according to the ethics and arguments explored in his books, “Fooled by Randomness,” “Antifragile,” or Skin in the Game”? Or do we throw that seriously-contemplated and well-argued body of work overboard in favor of some brief Twitter anger and the intellectual acceptance of his fellow Bitcoin critics? Though perhaps he is staying true to his skin-in-the-game argument and is actually short a lot of BTC. But then, per his own rules, he would have to say so publicly.

In the preface to Saifedean’s book, Taleb wrote:

“Bitcoin will go through hick-ups. It may fail; but then it will be easily reinvented as we now know how it works. In its present state, it may not be convenient for transactions, not good enough to buy your decaffeinated espresso macchiato at your local virtue-signaling coffee chain. It may be too volatile to be a currency, for now. But it is the first organic currency.”

He saw then the very same problems that he now echoes in his new paper to establish bitcoin’s long-term value at zero. But in 2018 he didn’t think those same problems were problems. He didn’t see them as insurmountable challenges, but rather technical issues that could and would be overcome. Cue growing widespread adoption since then, 400% price increase, a functional Lightning Network and a multisig revolution in the makings. But Taleb, the king of contrarians, does a one-eighty just when the rest of the world is catching on.

An Expert Called Lindy

Another argument that pervades Taleb’s writing is that time is the ultimate test of everything. Short term, you can fool your accountant or your regulators. For a surprisingly long time you can even fool large political audiences. But you cannot fool reality. If you plant fragilities, given enough time, they blow up. Reality is the ultimate arbiter.

The only thing that matters, Taleb repeatedly taught me, is time. So far, Bitcoin has survived everything thrown at it and the industry surrounding it is thriving.

Twelve years from inception to a $1 trillion market cap is ludicrously fast. We’ve used money on and off for about 5,000 years, commodity money with a layer-2 banking system for some 500, and floating fiat currencies run by megalomaniac central bankers for about 50. Taleb is at his most persuasive when he chants the Lindy effect – the tendency of things that have already endured the test of time to last even longer. Again from “Skin in the Game,” an awfully convenient Taleb-busting book, we get “time is the expert” (p. 140) and “the only effective judge of things is time” (p. 142).

It seems odd, then, to denounce Bitcoin as untested and insufficiently proven in 2021, when in 2018 the very same Lindy-wielding probability theorist wrote:

“Which is why Bitcoin is an excellent idea. It fulfills the needs of the complex system, not because it is a cryptocurrency, but precisely because it has no owner, no authority that can decide on its fate. It is owned by the crowd, its users. And it has now a track record of several years, enough for it to be an animal in its own right.”

You publicly denounced Bitcoin, Nassim, as is your prerogative. But it’s all okay. Your contributions are your great books, not your poorly argued paper or the occasional pompous TV appearance. “Impeccable work,” writes Scott Raines, “does not imply personal infallibility.”

For those achievements — and despite your human flaws — we, the Bitcoin community, thank you.

This is a guest post by Joakim Book. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.