Layer-3 (L3) Networks: Climbing Crypto’s Next Frontier

Intermediate Level Introduction

Web3 and DeFi continue to grow and mature, and any established smart contract platform blockchain requires scaling and speed to keep up with user demands, causing a new frontier to emerge: Layer-3 chains

These cutting-edge solutions are designed to build upon the foundation of Layer-1 and Layer-2 technologies, bringing forth a new era of scalability, interoperability, and specialized functionality.

Understanding the Blockchain Layers

Credit: Werner V.

To understand why Layer-3 networks are being touted as integral to the future success of crypto, it’s essential to understand the role of each layer in the blockchain ecosystem.

Layer-1: The Foundation

Also called the base blockchain, Layer-1 networks, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana and Cardano form the bedrock of the blockchain world. They provide stability and battle-tested security to the projects that build on them, and rely on them to keep their assets safe. 

Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two biggest L1 blockchains in the world. L1 blockchains are the basic infrastructure and security layer that Layer 2 (L2) blockchains build on. These networks provide the core functionalities, consensus mechanisms, and security protocols that decentralized transactions and applications require.

Layer-2: Scaling Solutions

Layer-1 networks face scalability challenges; Ethereum can process only 14 transactions per second maximum. So Layer-2 solutions have emerged in the last two years to address these limitations. 

A Layer-2 chain is a secondary protocol that is built on top of an existing Layer-1 blockchain. 

The primary purpose of Layer-2 chains is to improve the scalability and efficiency of the whole blockchain by handling transactions off the main ledger. This approach helps alleviate the network congestion. It also reduces the transaction costs – which are often high on Layer-1 blockchains due to their limited throughput. 

Popular examples of Layer-2 solutions include the Lightning Network for Bitcoin and Optimism and Arbitrum for Ethereum. Layer-2 solutions employ various techniques like state channels, sidechains, rollups, and plasma, each with distinct mechanisms for moving transactions off the main blockchain.

As such, Layer-2 chains are critical in blockchain architecture, offering a balance between decentralized security and high scalability.

Optimistic vs ZK Proof Rollups

Rollups execute transactions outside the main chain, but post transaction data back to it. This setup enables higher transaction throughput while coming back to the robust security of the Layer-1 blockchain. 

Ethereum rollups can broadly be divided into two camps, namely optimistic rollups (OR) and zero-knowledge proof (ZK) rollups. 

Optimistic rollups like Optimism (Coinbase’s Base Network used its OP stack to build its chain) and Arbitrum assume transactions are valid by default, and only run computations in the event of a dispute, which significantly reduces the burden on the main blockchain but entails a waiting period of up to seven days for withdrawals to ensure security. 

In contrast, ZK rollups like ZkSync and Stark use zero-knowledge proofs to validate all transactions off-chain before bundling them back to the main chain, providing immediate finality and reducing wait times but requiring more complex computation upfront. Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum creator, is a big fan of ZK rollups as they enable you to validate data without the need to share your private information. 

Layer-3: The use case-specific layer

However, if the world wants to all transact and send data on one chain like Ethereum or Solana, we need to go bigger and faster. This is where Layer-3 chains come in. 

Layer-3 networks focus on enabling seamless interoperability between different blockchains while providing specialized functionality tailored to specific use cases. Think of them as specialized, custom-built chains created for specific use cases, such as Web3 gaming or DeFi trading. 

Key Features of Layer-3 Networks

Layer-3 networks offer distinct advantages that set them apart from their predecessors:

Enhanced Scalability and Efficiency

By optimizing consensus mechanisms and data structures, Layer-3 networks achieve higher transaction throughput and processing capabilities. This allows decentralized applications (dApps) to perform with extreme efficiency, minimizing network congestion and computational bottlenecks.

Improved Interoperability and Accessibility

One of the key benefits of Layer-3 networks is their ability to seamlessly communicate and transfer assets between different blockchains. This interoperability means the crypto ecosystem becomes more connected and more accessible, enabling users to navigate and bridge across various networks with ease and far less risk.

Customization and Security

Layer-3 networks usually host only one dApp per network. This allows developers to customize their chains to their satisfaction, and implement security features tailored specifically to their dApp’s requirements. By providing a dedicated environment for each application, Layer-3 networks ensure optimal performance and enhanced security.

Notable Layer-3 Projects

Several promising Layer-3 projects have emerged, each bringing its own set of innovative features and use cases to the table.

Orbs

Orbs positions itself as a Layer-3 infrastructure project, bridging the gap between Layer-1, Layer-2, and the application layer. By providing an intermediary execution layer, Orbs enhances smart contract capabilities and introduces groundbreaking DeFi protocols such as dLIMIT, dTWAP, and Liquidity Hub.

Degen Chain

Built on the Base blockchain, Degen Chain is a Layer-3 platform designed to efficiently handle payment and gaming transactions. With its thriving ecosystem of tokens and rapid growth, Degen Chain aims to tackle scalability issues while maintaining low transaction costs.

Social media influencers have relentlessly shilled the chain in recent weeks for potential airdrops, and attracted a lot of investment as a result. 

Arbitrum Orbit

Arbitrum Orbit enables developers to create customizable Layer-2 or Layer-3 chains within the Arbitrum ecosystem. These chains can settle transactions on Arbitrum One, providing developers with the flexibility to tailor their application’s features and governance to their specific needs.

Other notable Layer-3 projects include Cosmos IBC, Polkadot, Chainlink, Superchain, and zkHyperchains, each contributing to the evolution of the blockchain landscape in their own unique ways.

Credit: Tesfu Assefa

Potential Impact and Use Cases

Layer-3 networks hold immense potential for the future of blockchain technology. Here are a few of the biggest plusses.

Decongesting the Main Chain

By processing transactions off-chain, Layer-3 solutions help alleviate congestion on the main blockchain. This leads to reduced network congestion and lower transaction fees, improving the overall user experience.

Enabling Complex dApps

The specialized functionality offered by Layer-3 networks opens up new possibilities to develop sophisticated and user-friendly dApps across sectors like DeFi, gaming, and social media. By providing a tailored environment for each application, Layer-3 networks enable developers to create highly optimized and efficient dApps.

Driving Mainstream Adoption

The ability to create customized, high-performance applications lowers the entry barrier for businesses and individuals, fostering a more inclusive and diverse crypto ecosystem.

Challenges and Considerations

While Layer-3 networks present exciting opportunities, they also face certain challenges that need to be addressed.

Centralization Concerns

Some critics argue that Layer-3 networks, being built on top of potentially centralized Layer-2 solutions, may further compromise the decentralization principles that is the soul of blockchain technology. Striking the right balance between scalability and decentralization remains a crucial consideration for Layer-3 networks.

Competition and Fragmentation

As more Layer-3 networks enter the fray, competition for users and developers is likely to intensify. This could lead to fragmentation within the crypto ecosystem, with liquidity and resources being spread across multiple platforms. Ensuring a cohesive and interconnected ecosystem will be a key challenge for Layer-3 networks.

Conclusion

Layer-3 networks can make blockchain technology. By building upon the foundations laid by more scalable, interoperable, and specialized than ever before. As the crypto landscape continues to mature, Layer-3 networks are poised to play a crucial role in shaping its future.

For beginners navigating the complex world of cryptocurrencies, understanding the significance of Layer-3 networks is essential. By staying informed about these cutting-edge developments, individuals can position themselves to capitalize on the opportunities presented by this next-generation technology.

As the blockchain ecosystem continues to evolve, Layer-3 networks will undoubtedly face challenges and obstacles. However, the potential benefits they offer in terms of scalability, interoperability, and specialized functionality are too significant to ignore. As more projects emerge and mature, the true impact of Layer-3 networks will become increasingly apparent. 

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Bitcoin Halving 2024: Final Countdown To 19 April

Please note: This article is for educational purposes only and doesn’t constitute financial advice of any kind. Please invest responsibly. 

Intro

Tick-tock, tick-tock, get closer one more block. Despite this weekend’s crypto jitters after Middle East tensions, everyone and their cat is now tuned in for this week’s 4th Bitcoin Halving, scheduled for 19 April, 2024 around 6pm UTC, and anticipation, nerves and speculation levels are off the charts. 

This momentous event, which occurs roughly every four years, will reduce the mining rewards from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC per block, cutting the daily issuance of new Bitcoins in half. 

Bitcoin supporters are gunning for that $100,000 price tag milestone with laser-eyed focus, and the 2024 halving is Bitcoin’s big event after the year following the Spot ETF approvals, and a defining moment for the entire crypto industry, providing high hopes that the ensuing supply pinch will kick off another crazy bull run.

What is the Bitcoin Halving?

The Bitcoin Halving is a pre-programmed event that is hardcoded into the Bitcoin protocol. It is designed to control the supply of new Bitcoins entering circulation, ensuring that the total supply will never exceed 21 million BTC. By reducing the block reward for miners every 210,000 blocks (approximately four years), the Halving helps maintain Bitcoin’s scarcity and deflationary pressure.

Historical Behavior of 2012, 2016, and 2020 Halvings

Credit: Werner V.

To better understand the reason for optimism surrounding the upcoming 2024 Halving, let’s take a closer look at the previous three Halving events and how they affected Bitcoin’s price, narratives, and overall market sentiment.

The 2012 Halving

The first Bitcoin Halving took place on 28 November, 2012, when the price of BTC was just $12.35. In the year leading up to the event, Bitcoin’s price had recovered from the fallout of the first Mt. Gox hack, rising from $2.55 to $12.35. Post-Halving, Bitcoin’s price surged by an astonishing 2000%, reaching $260 in April 2013. This period was characterized by growing interest from tech-savvy individuals and online communities, laying the groundwork for Bitcoin’s future growth.

The 2016 Halving: Leaving behind Mt. Gox 

By the time of the second Halving on July 9, 2016, Bitcoin had faced several challenges, including the devastating Mt. Gox hack in 2014 and a tarnished reputation due to Dark Web-related criminal activity and prosecutions such as Ross Ulbricht of Silk Road. Despite these setbacks, Bitcoin’s price rose from $430 to $650 in the months leading up to the Halving. 

In the post-Halving period, Bitcoin entered a phase of runaway growth, reaching nearly $20,000 by December 2017 – a staggering 2984% increase from the Halving day price.

The 2020 Halving: Institutions arrive

The 2020 Halving occurred on 11 May, 2020, amidst the global turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Governments worldwide pumped trillions of dollars into their economies, leading to increased interest in Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation.

In the months preceding the Halving, Bitcoin’s price recovered from a significant drop, rising from $5,000 to $8,600. Post-Halving, Bitcoin’s price rallied to an all-time high of approximately $64,000 in April 2021, driven by a surge in institutional adoption and growing interest in decentralized finance (DeFi Summer), and those silly crypto jpegs known as NFTs.

Bitcoin Halving: A Three-Act Play (Hype, Disillusion and Accumulation)

According to Galaxy Research, Bitcoin’s halving events have historically unfolded in three distinct phases, each characterized by unique market dynamics and investor sentiment. 

  • Hype: The first act, dubbed the ‘Hype Phase’, sets the stage with a surge in prices leading up to the halving. Excitement and anticipation build as market participants speculate on the potential impact of the reduced supply.
  • Disillusionment: As the curtain rises on the second act, known as the ‘Disillusionment Phase’, the market wakes up to a post-halving hangover. Prices dip or go sideways, leaving some investors questioning the immediate effects of the event. However, this act is merely an intermission, setting the stage for the grand finale.
  • Accumulation: The third and final act, the ‘Accumulation Phase’, is where the magic happens. Prices recover and embark on a sustained upward trajectory, rewarding patient investors who held through the previous two phases and market participants who recognize the long-term implications of the halving and the growing maturity of the ecosystem.

Opinions on prices after the 2024 Halving

Uber-bullish Bitcoin predictions are a satoshi a dozen right now. 

Michael Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital, Morgan Creek CEO Mask Yusko, and analyst Tom Lee have all predicted that Bitcoin’s price will hit $150,000, while Skybridge founder Anthony Scaramucci thinks Bitcoin will hit at least $170,000 in the 18 months after the Halving. Additionally, billionaire investor Tim Draper has predicted that Bitcoin will reach $250,000 in 2024, and Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest has projected that Bitcoin could surpass $1 million in the long-term.

Other notable predictions include Plan B, a prominent Bitcoin analyst, who regularly shares price analyses and predictions on Twitter, ranging from $100,000 to $1 million. Fred Thiel, Chairman and CEO of Marathon Digital Holdings, also forecasts Bitcoin reaching $120,000 post-Halving.

Credit: Tesfu Assefa

What to Expect After the 2024 Bitcoin Halving

As Bitcoin’s daily emissions get slashed from 900 BTC to 450 BTC, the price of mining will go up exponentially over the coming years. Several factors are expected to contribute to Bitcoin’s potential price appreciation, including increased institutional adoption, growing interest from younger generations, and the reduced supply of new Bitcoins entering circulation. Additionally, the launch of Bitcoin ETFs and the continued development of Bitcoin’s core infrastructure, such as the Lightning Network and Taproot upgrade, are expected to further bolster Bitcoin’s growth.

All these will help other crypto networks such as Ethereum, Cardano and Solana and their AI cryptocurrencies, memecoins and DePIN, as Bitcoin’s rising tide has shown to raise all ships. 

The Impact of Bitcoin Spot ETFs

One of the most significant developments in the lead-up to the 2024 Halving has been the introduction of Bitcoin Spot ETFs. These investment vehicles hold actual Bitcoins rather than futures contracts, and provide institutional investors with a way to enter the crypto market. With major players like BlackRock and Fidelity now holding hundreds of thousands of Bitcoins in their ETFs, the institutional demand for Bitcoin is stronger than ever.

The Cost of Bitcoin Mining After the Halving

While the 2024 Halving is expected to have a positive impact on Bitcoin’s price, it will also present challenges for miners. As the block reward is reduced, the cost of mining new Bitcoins will effectively double. Some analysts, such as CryptoQuant CEO Ki Young Ju, predict that mining costs could rise from $40,000 to $80,000 per BTC for miners using the popular Antminer S19 XP.

This increase in mining costs will likely lead to a consolidation of the mining industry, with smaller, less efficient miners being forced out of the market. However, as the difficulty of mining adjusts to the reduced hash rate, the remaining miners will become more profitable, potentially leading to a more stable and secure network.

Conclusion

As the crypto world counts down the days to the 2024 Bitcoin Halving, it’s clear that this event has the potential to be a watershed moment for the world’s first cryptocurrency. With institutional adoption at an all-time high, a dramatically reduced supply of new Bitcoins, and a range of technical upgrades in the works, Bitcoin is poised for significant growth in the post-Halving period.

While it’s impossible to predict the exact price of Bitcoin in the coming years, the historical precedent set by previous Halvings suggests that we could be on the cusp of another bull run. As always, it’s essential for investors to conduct their own research, manage risk appropriately, and stay informed about the latest developments in the ever-evolving world of cryptocurrencies.

In the meantime, sit back and count down with the entire crypto space here:

https://www.nicehash.com/countdown/btc-halving-2024-05-10-12-00

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Why is Data Availability (DA) in Crypto and Blockchain Important? 

Introduction

The digital world’s driven by data, whether in Web2 or Web3. It’s no different in the cryptocurrency and blockchain sector. Gigantic new decentralized networks are spinning up and getting new layers of chain – and data availability is crucial to their integrity, security, and functionality. 

With the technology evolving at a breakneck pace, understanding data availability and its implications is key to understanding the future of cryptocurrency applications. New innovations, like data sharding and sampling, are making it cheaper and more effective to ensure reliable DA and data storage than ever before. And the DA space is only going to get more competitive from here on, with ‘modular’ chains like Celestia, which are divided into specific layers dedicated to specific tasks.

In this blog post, we will explore the concept of data availability, its challenges, and the innovative solutions being developed to address them.

What is Data Availability (DA)?

Data availability can be defined as the state when all transaction-related data is accessible to nodes on the blockchain network. For a trustless network to function, it is essential that nodes can verify transactions and compute the blockchain’s state independently. When block producers propose new blocks, they must make all data within the block, including transaction data, available for others to see and verify. 

It can get quite complicated. Let’s look at the top two chains in the world and how they handle DA. 
First up is Bitcoin:

Now, let’s take a look at Ethereum, and how its shard chains distribute data:

Credit: Shardeum

The Importance of Data Availability

Data availability is crucial for several reasons:

1. It maintains the integrity of the ledger: once data is recorded by all nodes, it is challenging to alter, ensuring the ledger’s immutability.

2. Decentralization: with multiple nodes storing copies of the ledger, data availability ensures that all nodes have access to the same data, maintaining consensus and preventing central points of failure.

3. Transparency and auditability: data availability means all participants can verify data and transactions stored on the blockchain, fostering trust among users.

4. Resilience: by distributing data across multiple nodes, the blockchain becomes more resilient to attacks or failures.

Challenges of Data Availability

While data availability is essential for the proper functioning of blockchains, it also presents some challenges:

1. Reduced throughput: requiring nodes to download and verify data reduces the overall throughput of the blockchain.

2. Increased storage requirements: as the blockchain grows, the amount of data that needs to be stored by nodes increases, leading to higher hardware requirements.

3. Centralization risk: as hardware requirements increase, fewer individuals may be willing to run nodes, potentially pushing out small operations and leaving only large orgs running nodes.

Data Availability in Blockchain Scaling Solutions

To address the challenges of scaling while maintaining data availability, various solutions have been proposed:

Rollups and Data Availability

Rollups are a layer-2 scaling solution that executes transactions off-chain before compressing and posting them in batches to the base layer. There are two main types of rollups:

1. Optimistic rollups: These use economic incentives to guarantee data availability, relying on fraud-proofs to prevent invalid state transitions.

2. Zero-knowledge rollups (ZKR): ZKRs guarantee data availability using cryptographic proofs to check transactions are valid without revealing sensitive information.

Sharding and Data Availability

Sharding involves splitting the blockchain network into multiple sub-chains (shards) that operate in parallel. Ethereum’s future scalability plans include data sharding, where nodes only store data posted in their assigned shard. This reduces the storage requirements for individual nodes while maintaining data availability across the network.

Monolithic vs. Modular Blockchains for Data Availability

As networks scale, the architecture of your network is becoming increasingly important, and the arrival of modular chains like Celestia is making even Vitalik Buterin nervous.

Monolithic blockchains handle all aspects of the blockchain in one layer – including execution, consensus, and data availability. While this approach ensures high data availability, it can limit scalability and decentralization due to the increased storage and computational requirements for nodes.

In contrast, modular blockchains separate the blockchain’s functions into distinct layers, allowing for specialization and optimization. In this architecture, a dedicated data availability layer focuses on storing and providing access to data, enabling other layers to scale more efficiently.

Innovations in Data Availability

Several innovations have been proposed to improve data availability and overcome its challenges:

Data Availability Sampling (DAS)

DAS involves randomly selecting nodes to store a subset of the data on the blockchain. This reduces the resources required to store data while maintaining its availability. DAS is often used in conjunction with erasure coding, where data is encoded with redundant data pieces, and stored across different nodes, to ensure recoverability even if some data is lost.

Data Availability Layers

In modular blockchain architectures, data availability layers are dedicated to the task of ensuring data availability. These layers can be on-chain or off-chain and focus solely on storing and providing access to data, leaving other layers free to specialize in tasks like execution or consensus.

Danksharding and Proto-Danksharding

Danksharding is a sharding architecture that utilizes binary large objects (BLOBs) for efficient data storage. It aims to increase decentralization, provide additional security, and mitigate the risks of MEV (Maximal Extractable Value). Proto-danksharding was added to Ethereum when the recent Dencun upgrade implemented EIP4884. Proto-danksharding is a step on Ethereum’s roadmap towards complete sharding, introducing a new transaction format called BLOB-carrying transactions.

Credit: Tesfu Assefa

Five Projects Utilizing Data Availability Solutions

Ethereum is actively implementing sharding as part of the Ethereum 2.0 roadmap. This sharding will split the Ethereum network into 64 shard chains for processing transactions and storing data, reducing storage requirements for nodes while prioritizing and ensuring data availability. However, it’s getting competition from others. Here are a few leading  projects that incorporate data availability solutions in their architectures.

  1. Celestia:
  • Modular blockchain architecture separating consensus, execution, and data availability layers
  • Focuses on providing a decentralized data availability layer for other blockchains to build on top of it
  • Enables scalable and interoperable blockchain solutions without compromising security or decentralization.
  1. Filecoin:
  • Decentralized storage network using blockchain for secure and efficient data storage
  • Utilizes ‘Proof-of-Spacetime’ consensus mechanism to incentivize storage providers
  • Ensures data availability with cryptographic proofs and a decentralized network of storage providers, allowing users to retrieve data on-demand
  1. NEAR Protocol:
    • Scalable blockchain platform using sharding to increase throughput and decrease latency
    • Ensures data availability through erasure coding and the Doomslug consensus mechanism
    • Enables parallel processing of transactions while maintaining data availability
    • Introduces ‘chunks’ for better load balancing and adaptability
  1. EigenDA:
    • Data availability service for high-throughput decentralized operation on Ethereum rollups
    • Uses EigenLayer restaking primitives for secure and scalable infrastructure
    • Employs erasure coding and KZG commitments to efficiently store and retrieve data
    • Aims to reduce costs through a shared security model and minimized storage requirements
  1. Avail:
    • Avail is a data availability layer to improve scaling and interoperability in Web3
    • Serves as base layer for trust-minimized applications and sovereign rollups
    • Utilizes validity proofs, erasure coding, and KZG Polynomial commitments
    • Ensures immediate and reliable data availability for efficient rollup operation

Conclusion

Data availability is a fundamental aspect of blockchain technology. Without it, we can’t trust in the integrity, security, and functionality of decentralized systems. As the demand for scalability and efficiency grows, innovative solutions such as rollups, sharding, data availability sampling, and dedicated data availability layers are being developed to address the unique challenges associated with data availability. It is likely that the best blockchains for DA will thrive in the coming years. 

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The Biggest Crypto Narratives of Q2 2024

As we enter the second quarter of 2024, the cryptocurrency market is gearing up for what is expected to be an explosive phase of the 2024 bull run

The narratives that drove the market in the previous months have evolved, and new trends are emerging, which will force crypto holders to take a long hard look at their portfolios and probably make some changes.

Let’s take a look at the hottest sectors in crypto for Q2 2024 and what to expect.

Please note, nothing in this article should be considered financial advice and any readers planning on investing should do their own research. Crypto assets are highly volatile in price and you could lose everything if you invest. 

Bitcoin Ecosystem

Surprisingly, some of the most cutting-edge developments are taking place on the world’s original crypto chain, which has been known to adapt to new tech with great difficulty. 

The Bitcoin ecosystem is seeing significant development after its Taproot upgrade enabled DeFi and smart contract development. The last year has been up-only for smart contract-powered layer-2 networks like Stacks, and of course the creation of Casey Rodarmor’s Bitcoin Ordinals protocol, which has now led to over 60 million inscriptions and thousands of Ordinal projects. 

These projects are bringing new functionality to the Bitcoin blockchain, enabling new decentralized applications and unique digital assets. Rodarmor’s latest project Runes kicks off next month and promises to solve a lot of the congestion issues caused by BRC20 tokens. 

Memecoins

With Bitcoin is in price discovery mode post-$70k, memecoin mania has broken out all over crypto and shows no signs of abating, 

They continue to capture the attention of crypto traders that resemble a cult, with animal-themed projects like Pepe, Dog Wif Hat (WIF), Bonk, Shiba Inu, Ballz, and Brett making millionaires (and ‘brokies’) of degen traders. While these projects all lack fundamental value, they can generate significant short-term gains and serve as a gateway for new users entering the crypto space who don’t understand the difference between zero-knowledge and optimistic rollups and frankly don’t care. All they care about is whether to ‘ape’ (buy) or ‘jeet’ (sell). 

Layer-1 Chains

One of the key sectors to watch is the Layer-1 blockchain space. While established players like Ethereum, Cardano and Solana remain relevant, newer entrants such as TON (the Telegram chain), Avalanche, Arweave, Fantom, Near, and Sui are gaining traction with various narratives. 

These platforms are attracting attention due to features such as TON’s bullish tokenomics, Arweave’s decentralized storage solutions, Fantom’s high-performance blockchain, Near’s focus on AI (Fantom recently featured on a Jensen Huang-led panel at a major AI conference last week), and Aptos and Sui’s groundbreaking Move programming language, inherited from the defunct Facebook currency project Diem. 

Layer-2 Chains

Another notable trend is the rise of Layer-2 solutions, particularly those built on Ethereum. Ethereum’s recent Dencun upgrade that introduced Proto-danksharding (EIP4884) was a huge boon to Layer-2 solutions because it has now dramatically lowered their transaction fees, opening up new applications. 

Optimism stands out as a promising project. Coinbase’s Base blockchain is built on top of its OP Stack, and as Base begins to gain adoption, Optimism is expected to see increased usage and value capture. Base’s royalty payments fund them directly, and the prestige of providing the foundation of the technology for the Coinbase chain helps raise their profile.

Zero-knowledge proof rollups, supposedly technologically superior to optimistic rollups, continue to accumulate market share, and with the recent launch of StarkNet and others like Polygon Era and ZkSync building like mad (the latter expected to launch and airdrop its token later this year) the Layer-2 wars are far from over.

Credit: Tesfu Assefa

DEXs

This week it was announced that Coinbase would go to court with the SEC, while centralized exchange KuCoin was charged by US authorities for a litany of serious financial crimes such as breaking Anti-Money Laundering regulations. With many centralized exchanges still not offering sufficient KYC regimes, expect this housecleaning to continue to clear the way for TradFi firms to enter the market. 

This means that the flight to self-custodial solutions continues, having started with the collapse of FTX and others in 2022. In particular, decentralized exchanges (DEXs) are also poised for growth, with ‘perpetual DEXs’ like GMX and Aveo leading the charge. These platforms offer users the ability to trade leveraged positions without centralized intermediaries. 

Traditional DEXs, in particular Solana-based ones such as Jupiter, Orca, and Cosmos-based ones like Raydium and Astroport, are also expected to cash in on increased trading activity brought about by the memecoin and AI crypto narratives.

DePIN and AI

The AI and decentralized physical infrastructure (DePIN) sectors are closely intertwined and present significant opportunities. Projects like Bittensor and Akash Network are at the forefront of decentralized AI hardware and cloud computing, respectively. Other notable projects in the DePIN space include AIOZ, and Render, which focus on various aspects of decentralized infrastructure. 

Crypto AI pioneer SingularityNET is also expected to continue its impressive growth this year as its ecosystem and marketplace expands and likely takes on some of its peers as new partners.

Crypto Gaming

Crypto Gaming is another sector that can finally surge back to investor awareness after two years in the doldrums. Projects like ImmutableX, Injective and Beam are building the infrastructure necessary to support the next generation of blockchain games, by offering features such as gas-free NFT minting, custom-tailored gaming blockchains, and strong partnerships with established gaming companies.

Real-world Assets (RWAs)

If you follow any crypto discussions on social media and news outlets, you’ll know that RWAs have been touted as a massive new market for crypto, after BlackRock Larry Fink’s espoused the benefits and future potential of the technology. 

Real-world assets (RWAs) are increasingly being tokenized on the blockchain, and several projects are charging forwards in this sector. Ondo, Centrifuge, and Pendle are some of the key players in the RWA space, offering a range of financial products and services, including borrowing, lending, and yield generation.

Cross-chain interoperability is becoming increasingly important as the blockchain ecosystem matures. Projects like THORChain are building the infrastructure necessary to facilitate seamless asset-transfer across different blockchains, enabling greater liquidity and user adoption.

Conclusion

Q2 2024 will almost certainly be marked by some explosive volatility, as forces such as the Bitcoin Halving, a potential Fed reduction of interest rates, and the run-up to the 2024 US Presidential Elections continue to shape market behavior. 

It is essential for investors to remain informed and adaptable, and maintain a strong understanding of their risk exposure and what they’re willing to lose. By understanding the key narratives and projects driving the market, investors can position themselves to capitalize on the potential gains. Hold on to your hat, or sell your dogwifhat, it’s going to be a wild ride.

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Coinbase Report: Are Crypto AIs a Mirage Or For Real?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been making rapid strides in recent years, with breakthroughs like ChatGPT, Midjourney and Claude capturing the public imagination. At the same time, the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is expanding, vying for the attention of a still-young digital economy. Can these two cutting-edge fields co-exist and aid each other’s evolution? The question presents both exciting opportunities and complex challenges.

A new report by Coinbase, a leading US-based cryptocurrency exchange, which also launched the surging Base layer-2 network, delves into the current state of the crypto-AI landscape. The report highlights that while there is significant potential in the overlap between technology’s two brightest sectors, the path to widespread adoption is not that straightforward. Different sub-sectors within this intersection have vastly different opportunities and development timelines.

One key observation is that decentralization alone is not enough for an AI product to succeed in the crypto space. It must also reach feature-parity with centralized alternatives. Crypto-based AI solutions must offer compelling advantages beyond just being decentralized.

The report also suggests that the value of AI tokens may be overstated due to the current hype around AI. Many AI tokens may lack sustainable demand-side drivers in the short to medium term, despite the excitement surrounding them.

Key Trends in Crypto AI

Open Source Models Carry On

The AI sector has a thriving open-source ecosystem, with platforms like HuggingFace.co hosting a wide range of publicly-available models. This open-source culture coexists with a competitive commercial sector, ensuring that non-performant models are quickly weeded out.

Smaller AI Models Gain Traction

Despite this, smaller AI models are increasing in quality and cost-effectiveness. Fine-tuned open-source models can even outperform leading closed-source models in certain benchmarks. This trend, combined with the open-source culture, enables a future where performant AI models can be run locally, offering a high degree of decentralization.

AI Integrations Strongly Benefit Existing Platforms

The report notes that existing platforms with strong user lock-in or concrete business problems are well-positioned to “disproportionately” benefit from AI integrations. 

  • For example, GitHub Copilot‘s integration with code editors enhances an already powerful developer environment. Similarly, embedding AI interfaces into various tools like mail clients, spreadsheets, and CRM software are natural use-cases for AI.
  • In such scenarios, AI models augment existing platforms rather than creating entirely new ones. 
  • AI models that improve traditional business processes internally often rely on proprietary data and closed systems, making them likely to remain closed-source.

Hardware and Compute Trends

In the AI hardware and compute space, there are two distinct trends:

One is shifting computation from training to inferencing: with more models now available, the focus moves towards making queries to these already-trained models. This trend favors platforms that can reliably run production-ready models securely.

A second, related trend is that the competitive landscape around hardware architecture is evolving, with new processors from Nvidia, Google, and Groq potentially shifting cost dynamics in the AI industry. Cloud providers that can quickly adapt, procure hardware at scale, and set up associated infrastructure stand to reap the rewards of these developments.

Credit: Tesfu Assefa

Crypto’s Role in the AI Pipeline: Four Stages

The Coinbase report next examines crypto’s potential impact on four stages of the AI pipeline: 

1) data collection and management

2) model training and inferencing

3) output validation

4) tracking

1) Data Collection and Management

Historical blockchain data is a rich source of training data for AI models. However, commercial models tend to use proprietary datasets, posing challenges for decentralized data marketplaces, which need to compete with both open-source data directories and corporate silos.

Decentralized storage also faces hurdles in the AI industry. While decentralized storage can offer potential cost savings, it currently lacks the tooling, integrations, and predictable costs of mature cloud systems. Regulatory and technical challenges around sensitive data storage on decentralized platforms remain significant barriers.

2)  Model training and Inferencing

In the model training and inferencing stage, decentralized compute solutions like Render and NuNet aim to leverage idle computing resources to provide an alternative to centralized cloud providers. While some projects have seen increased usage, long-term success faces strong competition from established players. Technical limitations like network bandwidth constraints also pose challenges for decentralized compute networks.

3) Output Validation

Validating AI model outputs, and ensuring trust is another area where crypto-based solutions are being explored. However, the complexity of model benchmarking and the increasing feasibility of running models locally on consumer hardware raise questions about the demand for trustless inferencing solutions.

4) Tracking

Finally, the importance of tracking AI-generated content and proving online identity is growing. While decentralized identifiers and on-chain data hashes can help address these issues, centralized alternatives like KYC providers and AI watermarking techniques are also being developed.

Trading the AI Narrative

 Growth in the past year (Credit: BanterBubbles.com)

Despite the challenges, AI tokens have outperformed major cryptocurrencies and AI-related equities in recent months. The report suggests that AI tokens benefit from strong performance in the crypto market and in the AI industry, leading to upside volatility even during bitcoin drawdown periods. Hype drives demand, and investors will be piling in for some time to come. 

However, the lack of clear adoption forecasting and metrics has enabled speculative trading that may not be sustainable in the long run. Eventually, as in every crypto cycle, price and utility will need to converge, either through rising use-cases or falling prices.

Looking Ahead

The marriage of AI and crypto is still in its very early stages, and is likely to evolve rapidly as the broader AI sector develops. A decentralized AI future, as envisioned by many in the crypto industry, is not guaranteed. Crypto-based solutions are technically feasible, but to drive adoption they must provide meaningful advantages over centralized alternatives.

The AI industry itself is undergoing swift changes, fighting more and more headwinds as public opinion often turns against it. Therefore it is crucial to navigate this space carefully. Deeper examination of how crypto-based solutions can offer substantially better alternatives, or at least a clear understanding of the underlying trading narrative, is essential for investors and entrepreneurs alike.

As the AI and crypto landscapes continue to search for a sustainable symbiosis, ongoing research and experimentation will be vital to unlocking the potential of this area while meeting its challenges. 

The future of decentralized AI is still being written, and it will be shaped by the ingenuity and perseverance of the innovators working at the forefront of these transformative technologies.

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Bitcoin Ordinals: A Quick Guide

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) used to be the sole domain of Ethereum and other smart contract networks like Cardano and Solana. During the 2021 bull run, the world caught crypto JPEG fever thanks to collections like Crypto Punks, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and 2024 darling Pudgy Penguins (now in a Walmart near you), and Ethereum was the infrastructure that captured most of the value. 

In early 2023, a new challenger kicked open the saloon doors, making a crazy entrance into the Wild West of crypto: Ordinals. The crazy part comes with that it lives on the Bitcoin blockchain, which is notoriously slow (only seven transactions per second) and with a hardcore Bitcoin maxi community strongly resistant to any change. 

Despite this, it’s been up only for Bitcoin Ordinals, as over 64 million have been minted by the time of this article. 

What are Bitcoin Ordinals? 

Ordinals in their current form were introduced by Bitcoin developer Casey Rodarmor on 21 July 2022 with the publication of his Ordinal Theory paper.

Bitcoin Ordinals are a way of assigning a unique identifier to each satoshi (sat), the smallest unit of Bitcoin, based on the order in which it was mined. By assigning an ordinal number to each sat, it becomes possible to create unique, distinguishable assets on the Bitcoin blockchain. This means that every single sat can be individually tracked and associated with specific data, such as images, videos, or other digital artifacts. 

According to Rodarmor, Ordinals’ genesis can be traced back to Satoshi Nakamoto’s creation of the Bitcoin blockchain in 2009. That means that especially early Ordinals have a historical significance within the blockchain’s timeline. He also noted that the concept of ordinals was independently discovered multiple times, predating the NFT boom by nearly a decade, most notably:

  • Litecoin creator Charlie Lee’s 2012 proposal on the Bitcoin Talk forum to integrate proof-of-stake using the ordinal algorithm
  • jl2012’s introduction of a decimal notation scheme that mirrored key features of ordinals.

Although neither proposal was fully realized, they underscore the enduring interest and potential of ordinals within the Bitcoin community, long before their recent surge in popularity.

Rodarmor wrote,

These independent inventions of ordinals indicate in some way that ordinals were discovered, or rediscovered, and not invented. The ordinals are an inevitability of the mathematics of Bitcoin, stemming not from their modern documentation, but from their ancient genesis. They are the culmination of a sequence of events set in motion with the mining of the first block, so many years ago.

How do Bitcoin Ordinals work?

Creating a Bitcoin Ordinal involves ‘inscribing’ data onto a specific sat, hopefully the rarer the better. This is done by embedding the inscribed data into the witness data of a Bitcoin transaction, using the ordinal number of the sat as a reference point.

To understand how this works, let’s break down the technical details:

  1. Ordinal numbers: Each sat is assigned an ordinal number based on its position in the blockchain. The first sat in the genesis block is assigned the number 0, the second sat is assigned 1, and so on. This numbering scheme continues sequentially throughout the entire Bitcoin blockchain.
  2. Inscribing: An inscription is the process of embedding data (such as an image or video) into a Bitcoin transaction using the ordinal number of a specific sat. This is done by including the data in the witness data of a taproot script-path spend.
  3. Taproot and SegWit: Bitcoin Ordinals leverage comparatively new upgrades to the Bitcoin protocol, specifically Taproot and Segregated Witness (SegWit). These provide more flexibility in the types of transactions that can be recorded on the blockchain, making it possible to embed larger amounts of data.
  4. Transfers and ownership: Once an inscription is made, the associated sat can be transferred or sold just like any other Bitcoin. The ordinal number and associated data remain linked to the sat throughout its lifetime on the blockchain.

Credit: Tesfu Assefa

Rodarmor Rarity Index

According to the Rodarmor Rarity Index, created by Casey Rodarmor, the developer of Ordinal Theory, satoshis can be classified into different categories based on their rarity. About 99% of sats are considered Common Sats. 

Uncommon Sats are the first sat of each newly mined block, occurring roughly every 10 minutes. Rare Sats are the first sat of the block mined after a Bitcoin network difficulty adjustment, which happens every 2,016 blocks or about two weeks. Epic Sats are the first satoshi mined in the block immediately following a Bitcoin halving event, occurring every 210,000 blocks or roughly four years. 

Legendary Sats are the first satoshi mined when a difficulty adjustment and halving event coincide, which will happen only once every 24 years, with the first instance scheduled for 2032. Finally, the Mythic Sat is the first-ever satoshi mined by Satoshi Nakamoto in the genesis block in 2009.

Magic Eden Rare Sats

Magic Eden drive most Ordinals sales, and have created their own version of the Rodarmor Rarity Index. Let’s go over it: 

  • Nakamoto Sats: Highly sought-after sats mined by Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.
  • First Transaction Sats: Sats originating from the first-ever Bitcoin transaction on January 12, 2009, when Satoshi Nakamoto sent 10 Bitcoins to Hal Finney.
  • Palindrome sats: Sats whose numbers can be read the same forwards and backwards (e.g., 16661 or 23832), adding a layer of rarity and curiosity.
  • Vintage Sats: Sats mined within the initial 1,000 blocks of the Bitcoin blockchain, marking the dawn of Bitcoin.
  • Pizza Sats: Sats from the iconic transaction on May 22, 2010, where a programmer paid 10,000 Bitcoins for two Papa John’s pizzas worth $27 at the time, and thereby created a monetary value for BTC.
  • Block 9 Sats: Some of the oldest sats in circulation, mined in one of the earliest blocks and offering a tangible connection to Bitcoin’s beginnings.
  • Block 78 Sats: Sats from the block mined by Hal Finney, marking the first instance where someone other than Satoshi Nakamoto (or is it???) contributed to the blockchain’s growth.

The Essential Ordinals and Rare Sat Tool Case

Some of the best tools for exploring the world of Ordinals include Ordpool.space for tracking Ordinals in the mempool, Liquidium.finance for Ordinals DeFi, and Ordiscan.com for checking your wallet for assets like runes. 

Geniidata and Ord.io are popular Ordinals explorers, while Sating.io and Automated Sat Hunter by Deezy Labs helps you scan your wallet for rare sats. For launching your own Ordinals project, consider Ordzaar, and for inscribing data, Ordinalsbot is the go-to. 

Conclusion

Bitcoin Ordinals represent a significant development in the evolution of Bitcoin, enabling the creation of unique, NFT-like digital assets native to the Bitcoin blockchain. While the concept is still relatively new, it has the potential to unlock a wide range of use cases and drive innovation in the Bitcoin ecosystem, which includes anything from digital art to gaming to even digital identity. With Bitcoin layer-2 chains also improving in leaps and bounds, the future looks extra-ordinally bright (sorry, couldn’t resist!) for this new digital asset class. 

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Can AI Aid in the Recovery Of Lost Bitcoin?

Every time Bitcoin hits a new all-time high, we hear that about ‘about 20%’ of the Bitcoins minted are lost, never to be recovered, with some seriously sob stories thrown in for good measure. They were lost for various reasons, and more continue to go missing, albeit less often these days. Most of those missing Bitcoins have been lying dormant for several years. In Bitcoin’s early days, stashes of Bitcoin weren’t seen as the honeypots they are today, and people got careless, only to pay the ultimate price of losing their BTC. Now, with the age of AI upon us in 2024, can new technologies help retrieve those missing fortunes? 

Careless Early Miners

In the early years of blockchain, from 2009 to 2014 or so, some individuals had found a hobby using spare PCs to mine Bitcoin. This wasn’t terribly lucrative in fiat terms at the time, but many of those miners racked up what would now be enviable collections of dozens, hundreds, or thousands of Bitcoins. By now, most of us have heard about the missing hard drives that contain many millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin. These days, one solitary Bitcoin is worth a tidy sum in fiat money, and accumulators speak of ‘stacking Sats’ (1 SAT = 0.00000001 BTC) rather than accumulating full Bitcoins.

Recovery Efforts

Have any of those stray Bitcoins been recovered? Yes, a small percentage of them have, and there is hope that state-of-the-art decryption techniques and the latest GPUs can be put to use to reclaim more of them. Companies have been set up to assist people in recovering missing Bitcoin wallets, and these efforts have seen some modest success in cases where there is at least a bit of a trail that could lead to the missing Bitcoins.

Bitcoin cryptography is strong. A private key represents a unique number between 1 and 2 to the power of 256. That’s more than the total number of atoms in the universe. With current technology, a brute force attack to test a colossal number of potential keys until landing on the right one would take millions of years.

Is it hopeless? Is it not even worth trying? That depends. If the owner of missing Bitcoins has any hints at a seed phrase, records of where it may have been transferred to or stored, or a physical storage device, that could greatly cut down the time it would take to get to a positive result.

AI to the Rescue?

Artificial Intelligence has been a hot topic of conversation for a while now, and cryptocurrency is not immune from AI influence. When it comes to cracking a Bitcoin wallet, the brute force method will be futile on its own, but AI models are being developed that can drastically shorten the time it takes to crack a private key. 

With machine learning and the most powerful GPUs, patterns can be identified within vast collections of data that can significantly bring down the time it takes to uncover encryption keys.

Enter PassGPT, a cutting-edge password guessing AI model that could be the saviour that unlocks your lost millions. Built on OpenAI’s GPT-2 architecture and trained on millions of exposed credentials, PassGPT has a unique edge over other password-guessing tools. By using a technique called progressive sampling, it constructs passwords one character at a time, making it 20% more effective than even the most advanced GAN models.

But PassGPT isn’t just a one-trick pony. It can analyse password strength, identify patterns, and even guess passwords in multiple languages. And it can come up with new passwords that aren’t even in its training data.

So, how could this help you recover your lost Bitcoin? By adapting PassGPT to focus specifically on Bitcoin wallet passwords and feeding it data on common password patterns used by crypto enthusiasts, its effectiveness could be supercharged.

Of course, this technology raises some security concerns, but when used responsibly, it could be a lifeline for those who have lost access to their Bitcoin due to a forgotten password. As generative AI continues to evolve, solutions like PassGPT could become an invaluable tool in the ongoing challenge of balancing security and accessibility in the world of cryptocurrency.

Side-Channel Attacks on Hardware Wallets

Hardware wallets are a common and extremely secure way to store private keys offline. When used judiciously and prudently, they work very well – and best practices should be followed to ensure that private keys are backed up in another separate location, just in case the device goes missing or the owner becomes incapacitated. If an older or less sophisticated hardware wallet has become inaccessible, a side-channel attack offers a glimmer of hope.

A side-channel attack is a method of exploiting any physical characteristics of a hardware wallet that can be detected via electronic sensors. Characteristics including timing, power consumption patterns, and electromagnetic and acoustic emissions which can sometimes reveal enough information to obtain fragments of the PIN code to access the wallet or crack the private keys. Although only fragments may be uncovered, they can still drastically reduce the time taken for cracking tools (including AI and machine learning) to search for the private key.

Technology is advancing all the time, and different hardware wallets will have different levels of vulnerability to side-channel attacks. One of the most well-known hardware wallet makers, Ledger, claims that its wallets are immune to such attacks, so mileage of side-channel attacks may vary. Ledger’s main competitor, Trezor, also claims that crypto functions have been re-written by their cryptography professionals to eliminate such vulnerabilities. Additional measures such as ‘secure elements’, which ensconces the private key permanently inside a computer chip, also makes breaking cold storage encryption near impossible. 

Credit: Tesfu Assefa

Limitations of Silicon

The silicon computer chips that power all of our digital devices have progressed at an astounding rate over the years, roughly in line with Moore’s Law. Taiwan Semiconductor and Samsung are planning to produce 1.4-nanometer chips by around 2027. These chips will lead to some astounding AI performance, but we are getting awfully close to the physical limits of silicon, and we will have to seek other technologies for computing power to continue advancing beyond silicon.

The Quantum Solution/Threat

Currently lurking in the waiting-room of the future is quantum computing. Right now, it’s cumbersome, expensive, and is years from being available commercially, but boy can it compute. It has been expected that quantum computers will be able to compute 158 million times faster than the most advanced existing silicon-based computer.

Researchers at the Centre for Cryptocurrency Research and Engineering of Imperial College London have calculated that a quantum computer with 1500 or more error-corrected qubits will be able to crack a Bitcoin private key. IBM has published a roadmap where they reckon computers with thousands of error-corrected qubits will be a reality by around 2029.

Opposingly, at the popular hacking news website, Hackernoon, they estimate that it would still take a quantum computer 10³² years of a brute force assault to hack Bitcoin. Some developers are proposing a Bitcoin encryption upgrade to ensure quantum resistance, but that would likely require at least a soft fork to implement.

Conclusion

The possibility of AI and quantum computing helping to retrieve lost Bitcoins are very exciting to some people, but threatens to destroy the value of Bitcoin, since the available supply could swell by a few million BTC, especially if they crack Satoshi’s wallet. The biggest fear is quantum computing though, and it’s good to see Bitcoin core devs putting contingency plans in place. 

Till then, good luck to the likes of James Howells, who has been trying to retrieve a hard drive with 8,000 Bitcoin on it for over a decade. That’s around $560 million right now. 

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Bitcoin Hits All-Time High Notes in Early 2024

Bitcoin is back into your friends’ and family’s chats, as the world’s most valuable digital asset edged its prior all-time high price record in dramatic fashion. The months of sustained growth that also saw other crypto niches like AI cryptocurrencies (riding the artificial intelligence trend) and memecoins (easy-to-understand mainstream tokens) balloon in value appeared unstoppable after most of the Grayscale spot ETF redemptions were done and investors are frothing at the sky-high predictions they are starting to hear across social media and cable news. 

After spending over two years trading far far below its November 2021 peak, Bitcoin defied the naysayers by skyrocketing past $73,000 to set a new supreme price milestone of $73,750 on March 14th.

This latest achievement capped an extraordinary bull run for the crypto market leader, which saw its price increase by over 50% so far in 2024 amid frenzied trading activity. On the day it reached its new record high, $100+ billion worth of Bitcoin changed hands as investors pile in, hoping to ride the wave higher.

Credit: Coinglass

Bitcoin’s new personal best above $73,000 follows on from record-setting earlier in the month, when it hit $69,000 for the first time on 5 March. That proved too great to turn resistance into support, and caused a cascade of liquidations, with its price plunged by double-digits, falling over 15% to $59,000, before paring some of the losses in a rebound to a V-shaped recovery to the new high, and to the $71,000 where it currently trades. 

This whiplash-inducing price action underscores the intense tug-of-war still playing out across crypto markets, where TradFi whales have now entered the ring and brought with them some heavy bags to throw around. 

So what forces converged to propel the world’s largest cryptocurrency to such lofty new heights in the first quarter of 2024? As is often the case in these bullish periods, the rally was fueled by the perfect storm of optimistic narratives and real-world regulatory and economic developments. We already covered many of these in last year’s 2024 Crypto Bull Run article, and I recommend you go revisit it. 

Bitcoin spot ETFs create insatiable BTC demand

Credit: The Block

Restoring interest back in Bitcoin this year were the highly-anticipated launches of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by major financial players like BlackRock, Fidelity, and Grayscale. After years of denial by US regulators, multiple spot Bitcoin ETFs finally received approval in January 2024.

These ETFs allow institutional and retail investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin’s price movements through a regulated, familiar product that directly holds the underlying crypto assets. Huge sums of investment capital flooded into these ETFs right out of the gate, creating immense buy pressure in the spot Bitcoin markets as the funds raced to accumulate enough BTC to back their fund shares.

Just two months after launching, the Bitcoin spot ETFs had already vacuumed up a staggering combined total of over $45 billion in assets under management, representing around 684,000 Bitcoin tokens: over 3% of the total circulating supply. Inflows showed no signs of stopping, with BlackRock’s fund alone reaching $10 billion in just seven weeks.

Bitcoin Halving

Another major factor driving Bitcoin’s rally has been the building anticipation of the next ‘halving’ event for the cryptocurrency, expected in April 2024. This systemic halving of Bitcoin’s mining reward happens automatically every four years, resulting in a 50% reduction in new supply hitting the market. The latest halving will see BTC rewards drop to 3.125, which is down four halvings from 2011’s block rewards of 50 BTC. With over 19 million Bitcoin already mined (and possibly a quarter lost) there is less and less to go around.  Previous halvings reliably preceded massive price increases as the decreasing supply dynamic helped fuel further buying demand.

Many analysts and industry experts have forecasted Bitcoin to surge well past $100,000 within 12-18 months after April’s halving, based on the historic patterns of past cycles where prices eventually climbed 10× or higher following the supply shocks. Speculators piled in early to front-run the perceived upside.

FASB Accounting

Bitcoin’s rally also got a boost in late 2023 from the official embrace of long-awaited new accounting rules for US public companies around cryptocurrencies. Starting in 2025, new FASB guidance will allow businesses to value certain crypto assets at fair market value on their balance sheets each reporting period, marking a huge upgrade from the current treatment of Bitcoin as an ‘indefinite-lived intangible asset’.

This rule change laid the groundwork for even broader institutional adoption of Bitcoin, removing one of the final barriers for public companies and investment funds looking to add exposure without complex workarounds.

US Elections, SEC and Interest Rate Cuts

Another important consideration to make is the impact of US policymakers’ adoption of Bitcoin and crypto. While the SEC under Herr Gensler views most cryptos as securities, it views Nakamoto’s coin as a commodity thanks to its proof-of-work origins. The Fed, whose monthly FOMC meetings became horror movie nights for crypto investors in 2022 and 2023, will likely soon have to relent and start reducing those inflation-crunching high interest rates, or combat a recession next. And of course, America will decide on the next President this year, and this should see crypto bashing through Operation Chokepoint 2.0 this year. Even Donald Trump is warming to Bitcoin now. 

Credit: Tesfu Assefa

What’s different this time round? 

While the Bitcoin frenzy and associated wildly optimistic price forecasts provoked understandable flashbacks to the 2017 and 2021 crypto bubbles for market veterans, the 2024 rally did have some key fundamental differences.

This time, sustained upward price pressure came not from shadowy derivatives platforms like FTX and opaque stablecoin ecosystem hazards like you-know-who, but from transparent, battled-hardened regulated funds and publicly-traded companies allocating directly to Bitcoin’s core layer-1. Record volumes and open interest levels on trusted exchanges – centralized and decentralized, spot and derivative – reflected genuine liquidity.

And whereas the 2021 peak was fueled by hype around experimental blockchain technologies and corporate marketing gimmicks, Bitcoin’s 2024 renaissance had the more grounded narrative of finally fulfilling its long-awaited promises as a now matured value reservoir and decentralized financial network, emboldened by the embrace of legacy institutional capital via ETFs, which may soon extend to Ethereum.

Of course, only time will tell if Bitcoin can maintain these lofty price levels or if the market mania will once again dissolve into despair. It’s easy to get caught up in the FOMO, and even easier to hit that sell button at a loss when market euphoria wears off and those 20% drops or weeks of sideways action break your resolve. 

But in its latest epic price run, crypto’s top dog (sorry Doge) demonstrated its incredible ability to capture imaginations and animate markets around the world like no other asset.

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Crypto AI Revenues Could Exceed $10 Billion by 2030

The integration of crypto incentives and blockchain technology with artificial intelligence (AI) could drive widespread adoption and advancement of decentralized AI and AI cryptos over the next decade, according to a new report by digital asset manager VanEck. Its timing couldn’t be better as we’ve been seeing an absolute explosion of AI-related cryptocurrency prices so far in 2024, the most recent rally coming on the back of OpenAI’s Sora launch.

In a recent in-depth report ‘Crypto AI Revenue Predictions by 2030’, VanEck analysts made several bullish predictions about the growth and the revenue potential of businesses operating at the intersection of crypto and AI. While any predictions should be taken with a grain of salt, considering where we’re at in the current crypto 2024 bull cycle, the report asks a lot of important questions and offers some surprising answers in the process. 

Van Eck analyst Gabor Gurbacs has taken a controversial stand against AI, predicting its misuse will result in the biggest spam attacks the world has ever seen. Gurbacs sees Bitcoin as its only salvation, so read on to find why. 

Public Blockchains Uniquely Positioned to Aid AI Progress

The Van Eck report is extremely bullish on the benefits that blockchain can bring to AI. He feels that AI and AI Agents “provide the raison d’être” for blockchain technology. It’s a big statement, but backed up by some sound reasoning: blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum possess several key attributes that make them well-suited to address existing challenges facing the AI industry, most notably:

  • Transparency – Being public ledgers recording all transactions, blockchains enable oversight related to data usage, model ownership, etc. This supports trust and accountability.
  • Immutability – Records made on blockchains cannot be altered afterwards. This immutability lends integrity to data used for critical model training and testing.
  • Ownership – Tokens, NFTs, and smart contracts allow us to clearly define ownership rights related to data, models, and even model outputs.
  • Adversarial Testing Environment – The adversarial, incentivized environments of crypto networks that financially reward hacking and optimization force rigorous, real-world testing of systems.

He projects that these properties of blockchain will speed up the adoption of, and trust in, AI over the next seven years.

Crypto Market Share of AI Could Reach Billions Annually

Applying economic and productivity growth assumptions to previous McKinsey research, Van Eck predicts a total addressable market (TAM) for global productivity gains enabled by AI automation will clock a crazy $5.85 trillion in 2030. Assuming 33% adoption by businesses worldwide, annual AI revenues could top $250 billion within the decade.

Moreover, the report forecasts crypto’s potential market share across major AI business categories:

  • Software: $6.27 billion
  • Infrastructure/Compute: $1.9 billion
  • Identity: $878 million
  • Safety/Compliance: $1.12 billion

Tallying these up, it’s predicted that annual crypto AI revenues could approach $10.2 billion by 2030 in VanEck’s base case. Under more aggressive assumptions about adoption and market capture, AI cryptocurrencies’ stake could exceed $50 billion.

How blockchain helps AI solve identity issues 

Artificial intelligence is increasingly critical to the global economy, akin to an essential utility. Web2 giants like Amazon and Google dominate current AI infrastructure, while blockchain technology supports specific, high-demand needs with its decentralized approach, offering flexibility and customization for AI development. This scenario positions blockchain as a dynamic adjunct in the AI infrastructure market, similar to how ride-sharing platforms like Uber complement, rather than replace, traditional transport services.

The importance of secure AI identities is rising, with blockchain playing a key role in preventing Sybil attacks by establishing verifiable digital identities. This defense is crucial as AI applications extend into areas like autonomous vehicles and healthcare, where safety is paramount. 

Blockchain’s immutable records serve as reliable “proofs of safety,” essential for high-stakes accountability and compliance. Despite blockchain’s potential to revolutionize AI safety and identity verification, a significant portion of this market is expected to stay centralized, preferring established reliability and trust in sensitive sectors.

Bitcoin miners find surprising synergy with the AI sector

Bitcoin miners, traditionally focused on mining proof-of-work cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, are diversifying into the AI sector due to their shared high energy consumption needs. These miners have historically invested heavily in energy infrastructure, often utilizing cost-effective but carbon-intensive power sources. This positions them uniquely to offer lower-cost energy solutions for AI’s backend infrastructure, contrasting with Big Tech’s move towards renewable energy and vertically integrated operations. 

As AI’s energy demands potentially outpace current projections, bitcoin miners’ cost advantage in electricity could become increasingly significant, prompting a shift towards providing high-margin AI services, particularly in GPU provisioning.

Companies like Hive, Hut 8, and Applied Digital are leading this transition, with some reporting substantial revenue growth from AI-related operations compared to traditional bitcoin mining. 

For instance, Hive’s AI operations are notably more profitable on a per-megawatt basis. However, despite the promising shift and potential for revenue diversification, bitcoin miners face challenges in scaling up for AI, including skills gaps in data center construction, the need for a specialized salesforce, and limitations imposed by network latency and bandwidth in remote locations. These hurdles could impede their pivot to AI, despite the opportunities in the sector.

Credit: Tesfu Assefa

Notable Blockchain Use Cases Emerging Across the AI Landscape

Public blockchains and crypto token incentives have already sparked solutions addressing several pressing needs for progress across the AI landscape:

Decentralized Compute/Infrastructure

Projects like Akash, Render and Bittensor provide decentralized cloud computing platforms and infrastructure to help supply scarce GPUs for AI model training and deployment. This helps to pull down current limitations around access, cost, security, and customization options.

Model Optimization

Protocols like Numerai use tokenized incentives to organize data science competitions aimed at building optimized models for tasks like quantitative finance or natural language processing. Crypto tokens reward the most accurate and effective models.

Data Integrity

Emerging zero-knowledge proof solutions from startups like MODA allow AI model owners to mathematically prove certain claims about data usage or model performance without revealing proprietary intellectual property or sensitive information. This supports copyright protections and model accountability.

Digital Identity

Initiatives like WorldID (with its Worldcoin cryptocurrency) – spearheaded by AI thought leader Sam Altman from OpenAI and Sora – controversially leverage blockchain and biometrics to establish verified digital identity firmly linked to real humans. As automation increases, reliably determining humanity could help ensure security for computer networks and systems.

Conclusion

In summary, crypto-based networks already demonstrate clear potential to overcome some of the hardest barriers holding back innovation and mainstream adoption in artificial intelligence. However, integrating these two exponentially advancing technologies comes with persistent technical and adoption challenges.

If solutions continue maturing at their current brisk pace, crypto and AI seem well positioned to drive tremendous value for one another over the next 7 to 10 years. But uncertainties and speculation still cloud the most aggressive growth projections put forth. According to VanEck, the base case for 2030 remains strong, but the roadmap to billions in annual revenue still requires some visionary bets on both technologies to pay off.

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The A-Z of Crypto Tools To Explore DeFi and Web3

Introduction

The crypto landscape has undergone some huge changes following 2020’s DeFi Summer and the ensuing 2021 bull run. Gone are the days when you could simply buy and sell (or HODL) the top ten coins at the most opportune times and retire soon after. With the 2024 crypto bull run starting due to the launch of Bitcoin spot ETFs and the looming Bitcoin Halving which could raise all boats, DeFi degens who want to strike it rich like early Bitcoin investors must now be smarter and look beyond the action on boring old centralized exchanges, in order to find those 10x and 100x opportunities. 

To do this, they use a plethora of innovative data research and trading tools that give them precise on-chain analytics, detailed airdrop gameplans, project news and announcements, and more. 

Here are some of the most popular ones, excluding trading bots, but please note that none of these are endorsed by Mindplex Magazine, and are shared for educational purposes only. Only connect your crypto wallets to any of these tools once you’ve done your research on them and always be vigilant against malicious phishing sites that could drain your entire portfolio. 

Airdrops.io: Timely Cryptocurrency Airdrops

  • Best feature: Timely information on cryptocurrency airdrops.
  • Cost: Gratis.
  • How it works: Community airdrops are a huge narrative in 2024, but it takes plenty of research to know which protocols to target. Airdrops.io is a dedicated platform for crypto enthusiasts looking for the latest airdrop opportunities. It provides detailed information about ongoing and upcoming airdrops, making it easier for users to participate and potentially receive free tokens. The site categorizes airdrops by type (such as DeFi, NFT, etc.), ensuring users can find opportunities that align with their interests and investment strategies.

Artemis.xyz: Comprehensive Crypto Analytics

  • Best feature: Aggregates data from various sources for comprehensive analytics.
  • Cost: Gratis
  • How it works: Artemis.xyz stands as a comprehensive analytics platform, aggregating data from exchanges, social media, and more, to offer investors a broad view of the market for well-informed decision-making.

BanterBubbles: Visualizing Crypto Performance

  • Best feature: Visualizes performance of cryptocurrencies in a unique format.
  • Cost: Free
  • How it works: BanterBubbles offers a visually engaging way to comprehend market trends, using bubbles to represent performance data, making it an intuitive tool for grasping market dynamics at a glance. BanterBubbles goes beyond the original CryptoBubbles by featuring niche sector views and an interactive comment section that pools together research from the Crypto Banter community.

Chainalysis: The Crypto Detectives

  • Best feature: Advanced blockchain analysis for tracking the flow of digital assets.
  • Cost: Freemium
  • How it works: Chainalysis is renowned for its blockchain analytics tools, providing transparency and insight into the movement of digital assets, essential for compliance, research, and understanding complex blockchain ecosystems.

CoinAlyze: Spotting Altcoin Trends

  • Best feature: Spotting changes in open interest.
  • Cost: Gratis
  • How it works: CoinAlyze caters to those focused on the derivatives market, offering critical data on open interest changes that can signal market sentiment shifts, essential for altcoin traders.

Coin Lobster: Simplified DeFi Analytics for Beginners

  • Best feature: Simplified analytics for beginners.
  • Cost: Free
  • How it works: Designed for simplicity, Coin Lobster breaks down complex DeFi analytics, providing insights into futures markets, liquidations, and significant trades, making it accessible for newcomers.

CoinMarketCap: Cryptocurrency Market Rankings

  • Best feature: Extensive database of cryptocurrencies with market rankings, price charts, and volume data.
  • Cost: Gratis.
  • How it works: CoinMarketCap and others like CoinGecko are leading cryptocurrency information websites that offer detailed data on thousands of digital currencies. It includes market cap rankings, historical data, exchange volumes, and more, serving as an essential research tool for investors looking to make informed decisions. Its user-friendly layout and comprehensive coverage of the crypto market have made it a go-to resource for both beginners and experts alike. These sites also compete with each other to roll out new features frequently. 

Coinstats.app: Real-Time Crypto Data

  • Best feature: Real-time crypto market data and portfolio tracking.
  • Cost: Gratis version available; premium plans offer additional features like advanced analytics and exclusive insights.
  • How it works: CoinStats.app is a comprehensive cryptocurrency portfolio tracker and market data provider that offers real-time price updates, news, and detailed analysis across thousands of cryptocurrencies. It’s designed to help investors manage their investments across multiple wallets and exchanges, providing a unified view of their portfolio’s performance. The platform’s intuitive interface and mobile app make it accessible for monitoring investments on the go. Please understand what you’re doing and don’t give portfolio sites like CoinStats unfettered API access to your exchange and private wallets and the ability to execute transactions on your behalf, as it could potentially be hacked. 

CryptoFees.info: Understanding Revenue Generation

  • Best feature: Insights into project revenue generation.
  • Cost: Gratis
  • How it works: CryptoFees.info offers a simple yet effective way to understand which DeFi projects are generating significant revenue, aiding investors in identifying sustainable and potentially profitable ventures.

CryptoQuant: In-Depth Market Insights

  • Best feature: Offers data on spot and derivatives markets, and on-chain metrics.
  • Cost: Free, with paid plans for additional features
  • How it works: CryptoQuant caters to the analytical needs of both institutional and individual investors, providing a wide array of data points including on-chain metrics, market analysis, and trading indicators for strategic investment planning.

DappRadar: Decentralized App Data Heaven

  • Best feature: Personalized tables for DeFi protocols.
  • Cost: Gratis
  • How it works: As a very popular DApp market explorer, DappRadar simplifies the discovery and analysis of NFT, DeFi, and more, making it easier for users to compare different protocols and streamline their investment strategies.

DeBank: The Web3 Messenger and Tracker

  • Best feature: Tracking of on-chain Web3 activity.
  • Cost: Gratis
  • How it works: DeBank provides a streamlined interface for portfolio tracking and on-chain activity monitoring, allowing users to follow influential investors and gain insights into prevailing market trends.

DeFi Llama: Onchain Alpha in One Spot

  • Best feature: Comprehensive tracking of TVL across various chains.
  • Cost: Gratis
  • How it works: A one-stop dashboard offering insights into the crypto market dynamics, DeFi Llama tracks the Total Value Locked across different chains, providing a macro view essential for spotting trends and identifying opportunities.

DeFiPulse: Tracking and Analytics for DeFi

  • Best feature: Tracking and analytics for DeFi projects and Total Value Locked (TVL).
  • Cost: Gratis.
  • How it works: DeFiPulse is a key resource for those interested in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space. It ranks DeFi platforms based on the total value locked (TVL), providing insights into the most popular and successful projects. The platform also offers information on yield farming, lending rates, and other DeFi metrics, making it invaluable for investors looking to dive into the DeFi ecosystem.

Delphi Digital: In-Depth Crypto Research and Analysis

  • Best feature: Expert-led research and strategic insights into the crypto market.
  • Cost: Membership-based, with different tiers for individual and institutional access.
  • How it works: Delphi Digital stands out as a premier research boutique specializing in the digital assets market. The platform combines deep industry knowledge with data-driven analysis to offer comprehensive reports, investment strategies, and market forecasts. Catering to both individual investors and institutions, it provides actionable intelligence on various aspects of the crypto ecosystem, including DeFi, NFTs, and emerging blockchain technologies. 

DEXTools: Real-Time Data for DeFi Traders

  • Best feature: Insights and historical charts for informed decision-making.
  • Cost: Gratis
  • How it works: DEXTools is a robust platform offering real-time data from decentralized exchanges, equipped with features that support traders through insights, charts, and alerts, enhancing DeFi trading decisions.

Dune: The Community Research Hub

  • Best feature: User-generated scripts and data.
  • Cost: Gratis
  • How it works: Dune Dashboards empowers its users with the ability to create, share, and explore custom data visualizations, offering a decentralized platform for deep-diving into blockchain analytics through community-sourced insights.

Instadapp: DeFi Protocol Aggregator

  • Best feature: Seamless management of multiple DeFi protocols.
  • Cost: Free to access, with transaction fees applicable for certain actions.
  • How it works: Instadapp provides a unified interface that simplifies the management of assets across various DeFi protocols. It enables users to optimize their DeFi strategy by leveraging functionalities like asset swapping, leverage adjustments, and debt management in one platform, making it easier to navigate the complex DeFi ecosystem.

KyberSwap: Real-Time and AI Insights for Trading

  • Best feature: Real-time insights with Kyber AI.
  • Cost: Gratis
  • How it works: KyberSwap leverages AI to provide predictive market insights and trend analyses, offering a competitive edge to traders looking for real-time data to refine their strategies.

LunarCrush: Social Media Analytics for Crypto

  • Best feature: Real-time social media analytics and market sentiment.
  • Cost: Gratis, with premium features for advanced users.
  • How it works: LunarCrush collects and analyzes data from social media to gauge market sentiment and trends for various cryptocurrencies. By leveraging AI and machine learning, it offers insights into user engagement and sentiment, helping investors make informed decisions based on the social dynamics of crypto markets.

Nanoly.com: The APY Hub for DeFi Yield Chasers

  • Best feature: Maximizing staking returns.
  • Cost: Gratis
  • How it works: Nanoly directs users to the highest APY opportunities for staking their crypto, an invaluable resource for those looking to optimize their yield farming strategies in a risk-aware manner.

Nansen: Advanced Crypto and NFT Analytics

  • Best feature: Advanced on-chain data analytics.
  • Cost: Gratis, with paid advanced options
  • How it works: Nansen stands out for its wallet and token activity tracking, providing alerts and insights that help users make informed investment decisions, especially in the NFT space. By combining blockchain data with an array of proprietary analytics tools, users can identify emerging trends, track smart money movements, and uncover investment opportunities across various blockchain ecosystems. 

The platform’s dashboard offers visualizations of on-chain data, making it accessible for both novice users and experienced analysts. Nansen segments data into actionable insights, allowing users to monitor wallet addresses, decipher market signals, and follow the strategies of successful investors.

Credit: Tesfu Assefa

NFTGo.io: NFT Market Analytics and Discovery Platform

  • Best feature: Comprehensive NFT market analysis and trend tracking.
  • Cost: Gratis basic access; premium features for advanced insights.
  • How it works: NFTGo offers a wide array of tools and data for users to explore and analyze the NFT market comprehensively. The platform aggregates NFT data across multiple blockchains, providing insights into trading volumes, price trends, and market movements. Users can discover hot collections, track whale activities, and utilize rarity tools to assess NFT value. The platform aims to democratize access to NFT market data, making it easier for collectors, investors, and creators to make informed decisions. 

Nomis: Interest Rate Optimization

  • Best feature: Optimizing interest rates for savers and borrowers in DeFi.
  • Cost: Free to use, with possible fees for executing transactions.
  • How it works: Nomis serves as a platform for optimizing interest rates for users looking to either save or borrow in the cryptocurrency space. It aggregates and analyzes interest rates across various DeFi protocols, providing recommendations to help users maximize returns or minimize borrowing costs, thereby enhancing the efficiency of capital allocation in DeFi markets.

OnChainBlock: On-Chain Data and Analysis

  • Best feature: Detailed blockchain analytics for data-driven decision-making.
  • Cost: Free access to basic features; subscription model for advanced analytics.
  • How it works: OnChainBlock specializes in providing on-chain data and analysis across multiple blockchains. It offers tools for tracking wallet activities, transaction trends, and network health, catering to analysts and investors seeking to base their strategies on granular blockchain data.

SolanaCompass: Analytics for the Solana Ecosystem

  • Best feature: Dedicated analytics and insights for Solana blockchain.
  • Cost: Gratis, with potential premium features for specialized insights.
  • How it works: SolanaCompass focuses exclusively on the Solana ecosystem, offering analytics, project tracking, and network statistics to investors and developers. It provides real-time data on transactions, dApps, and token performance within the Solana network, enabling stakeholders to make informed decisions within this high-performance blockchain environment.

TokenMetrics: AI-Based Crypto Investment Research

  • Best feature: AI-driven cryptocurrency analytics and forecasts.
  • Cost: Subscription-based, with multiple tiers offering different levels of access and services.
  • How it works: TokenMetrics uses artificial intelligence to analyze and predict crypto market trends. It provides a comprehensive suite of tools, including market predictions, portfolio management, and investment strategies, tailored to help users from novice to expert maximize their investment potential by leveraging data-driven insights.

Token Unlocks: Capitalizing on Circulating Supply Changes

  • Best feature: Track token unlocks to capitalize on changes in circulating supply.
  • Cost: Gratis
  • How it works: Don’t become exit liquidity for early investors in a DeFi project who dump their vested tokens as soon as they receive them. Token Unlocks provides essential information on token release schedules, aiding investors in anticipating market impacts driven by fluctuations in token supply, a critical factor for strategic planning.

Uniswap Info: DeFi Trading at Your Fingertips

  • Best feature: Detailed analytics and trading volumes for Uniswap pairs.
  • Cost: Free
  • How it works: Uniswap Info delivers in-depth analytics for the Uniswap protocol, allowing traders to track performance, liquidity, and trading volumes, essential for anyone deeply involved in DeFi trading on Uniswap.

Youtube: Long-form Crypto Education and Insights

  • Best feature: Diverse content on crypto education, news, and analysis.
  • Cost: Free access to content; costs may vary for premium or exclusive content.
  • How it works: Crypto Youtube is an essential crypto research tool that encompasses a broad range of channels and content creators dedicated to cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, and digital finance. Get anything from coin deep dives to detailed market analysis, project previews and reviews, and real-time news. You could almost say, hear about it on Twitter, learn about it on YouTube. 

Viewers can also find content tailored to various levels of expertise, from beginner tutorials on blockchain fundamentals to advanced trading strategies and technical analysis by following excellent channels such as CoinBureau.

Content creators range from experienced traders and crypto enthusiasts to blockchain developers and fintech experts, providing a rich tapestry of perspectives and insights. Channels may offer live streams, Q&A sessions, community discussions, and interviews with industry leaders. 

Be wary though of believing everything you hear. That’s because content creators, also called KOLs or influencers, are often very biased and shill the projects they’re invested in or getting paid by, as the controversial recent SatoshiVM launch highlighted again. 

Zapper.fi: Your DeFi Dashboard

  • Best feature: Manage and track your DeFi assets and liabilities in one place.
  • Cost: Free
  • How it works: Zapper.fi simplifies DeFi portfolio management, offering users a unified dashboard to track and manage their assets and liabilities across numerous protocols, enhancing the DeFi investment experience.

Messari: Crypto Data and Research

  • Best feature: Comprehensive crypto market data and in-depth research.
  • Cost: Gratis basic access; premium subscription for advanced insights.
  • How it works: Messari is one of the most respected names in crypto, thanks to the wealth of information it offers on cryptocurrencies and sectors, including market data, project overviews, and research reports. It aims to provide transparency and actionable insights to investors and market participants through tools for tracking, analyzing, and discovering trends in the crypto market. 

Conclusion

Each of the platforms in our A-Z DeFi Tool List (which we’ll update from time to time) brings a unique angle to how we can understand and manage our cryptocurrency investments and strategies. From protocol aggregators and market data providers to AI-driven analytics and dedicated ecosystem tools, the breadth of resources available to crypto enthusiasts and investors continues to grow, giving retail investors institutional-grade insights and opportunities that are there for the taking if you can connect the dots. 

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