October 2022

10 NFT Scams to Watch Out For and How to Avoid Them

NFT Scams

 


Key Takeaways:

  • Over $100 million has been lost as a result of NFT scams in the first half of 2022. 

  • These can range from price manipulation and NFT piracy, to fake platforms and phishing attacks.

  • You can minimize your risk through tightening your electronic security, and also being aware of social engineering attempts to gain access to your accounts.


As an NFT enthusiast, creator, or collector, you are one out of over 30 million people participating in one of the most significant blockchain innovations to date. Since it hit the ground running, over $80 billion worth of NFTs has been traded on NFT marketplaces according to a report published by Chainalysis. The Ethereum blockchain alone hosts over 80,000 unique NFT collections and most other smart contract blockchains also boast relatively impressive numbers with regards to NFT activities.

With NFTs conferring ownership rights to a wide range of digital media and commodities,  attempts to monetize this ownership have resulted in some of the hottest blockchain-powered businesses. But just like any other booming financial space, the NFT business has met with some unfortunate events. Generally known as NFT scams, these events have caused mild to grave losses for NFT creators and traders.

Over $100 million has been lost in NFT scams in the first two quarters of 2022, and the figure continues to rise as more NFT scams are reported daily.

Here are the most common NFT scams:

1. NFT Price Manipulations

NFTs derive their value mainly from the quality of the media and how well the NFT community reacts to these displayed qualities. Successful NFT projects see exponential growth in the value of their NFTs as collectors flock to add them to their collections. A continuous rise in value is also a strong point of attraction for NFT collectors who buy into these projects with the hopes that the value continues to appreciate.

Unfortunately, NFT projects and independent collectors as well have found a way to move the value of NFTs in a rather unscrupulous way. An Outlook report suggests that about 2% of NFT trades are manipulated. Through wash trading, foul players artificially engineer a rise or drop in the value of an NFT collection, with the sole aim of influencing the market in certain ways.

To manipulate the value of NFT through wash trading, the manipulators simultaneously buy and sell an NFT between themselves at a certain frequency to cause a drop or increase in the floor price of the collection or the value of a single NFT. This is also done to increase trading volume and boost visibility and trustworthiness

A drop in value could influence NFT holders to sell their NFTs at lower prices to prevent further losses while a rise in value could influence investors to buy into an NFT project. Having steered the market in this way, the perpetrators proceed to buy at this low price or sell at the engineered high price. This is also known as https://www.coingecko.com/en/glossary/pump-and-dump-schemePump-and-Dump, a similar scenario that is seen in crypto trading and most financial markets.

2. Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are a major internet security threat. Cryptocurrency and NFT investors have a rich history of facing phishing scams. Through phishing scams, scammers trick their victims into giving away vital security information by sending them fake links (known as phishing links) or emails that lead to malicious websites. These websites are built to automatically breach the security of the visitors’ devices through certain means or install malware that scans for vital information and relays them to the attackers.

On April 25, 2022; Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) holders reportedly lost about $3 million worth of BAYC NFTs in a phishing scam that targeted users through the project’s official Instagram page. The Instagram page was compromised and the BAYC attackers posted a link that redirects to a fake airdrop program. The program requires that BAYC NFT holders sign a smart contract transaction from the wallet. By signing this transaction, the attackers gained access to the victims’ wallets.

The BAYC phishing attack only adds to a long list of NFT scams that have resulted from phishing attacks. A fake discord link posted on Ozzy Osbourne’s NFT project’s page resulted in investors losing thousands of dollars.

3. Wallet Hacks or Security Breaches

Apart from phishing attacks, hackers can obtain wallet or NFT account details through other means such as random security breaches or accessing poorly stored wallet details. Using information obtained from a successful phishing attack or from these other means, hackers maneuver their way into personal wallets and siphon their contents, including NFTs.

Defiance Capital founder – Arthur reportedly lost all Azuki collection NFTs in his wallet to a phishing attack. The attacker had gained access to Arthur’s personal wallet through a malicious email.

4. Fake NFT Giveaway Programs

Fake NFT giveaway programs work in two ways. Scammers can organize giveaway programs with a deceitful claim or registration link that snipes vital information from the participants or exposes them to phishing attacks as described earlier.

Through fake giveaways, ‘foul-playing’ NFT projects can also trick NFT investors into running social tasks. With the hope of earning free and promising NFTs for performing these simple social tasks, NFT hopefuls join promotional programs for new or existing NFT projects. In some fake giveaway scams, these free NFTs are never distributed to the participants of the giveaway program while the project benefits from the awareness created through the community’s help.

Unfulfilled giveaway promises might be disappointing, but the chances of getting scammed through fake NFT giveaways are a bigger issue and a more popular occurrence. 

5. Identity Theft and Fake Mints

Prominent names in the NFT space command huge regard and trust. The NFT community is a young one and reputable members are revered, especially when they are an integral part of an NFT project. Prominent collectors, creators, and ‘influencers’ are seen as trusted figures and easily earn the trust of other NFT enthusiasts. This phenomenon is easily exploitable. 

Scammers pose as NFT project team members, community support teams, or known collectors. Masked in a fake identity, they demand vital details from other members of the community or request certain actions (like transferring NFTs or cryptocurrencies) that put their unsuspecting victims at a loss.

Some adopt an impersonation strategy, where scammers create new NFT projects posing as a reputable designer or project team, and trick investors into buying the NFTs with the impression that they are created by the impersonated figure. Canadian illustrator Derek Laufman denied running an NFT program that was created and operated in his name after being called out by a supposed collector for stealthily dropping his NFT collection. 

Another impersonation tactic is Fake Mints. How this works; fraudulent NFT projects can mint NFTs and send them to an influencer’s wallet. This tricks investors to believe that influential figures are buying into the project.

6. NFT Piracy

Beyond the creators’ identity, digital media can also be duplicated and the fake prototype sold as an NFT. NFTs were introduced as immutable proofs of originality and ownership; unfortunately, this sometimes is not the case. Scammers can create digital signatures of NFT arts, photography, or any other multimedia that don’t belong to them originally. Some pirated NFTs could come in modified versions such as color variations, rotations, or a simple tweak in attributes. These duplicates are sold to an unsuspecting buyer who might assume the NFT to be a part of an original and (probably) very prominent collection. Two famous examples of this are the PHAYC and Phunky Ape Yacht Club (PAYC), which sell mirrored versions of the famous BAYC avatars and are now banned on OpenSea.

Guess which is BAYC and PAYC?

Original creators can be caught up in this act as well. Digital media creators can mint two separate copies of the same media and put them up for sale on the same or different NFT marketplaces. This maximizes their profits but defeats the goal of originality and uniqueness, and the creator may be banned from the platforms.

7. Fraudulent NFT-Drop Campaigns

Popular brands and mainstream content creators are joining the NFT space. Internet Icons like Dennis Rodman, Tory Lanez, and Snoop Dogg have dropped NFT collections or contributed to NFT projects. Big brands like Adidas have also joined the NFT wave. Projects backed by figures like these are known to draw huge attention and subsequently attract investors.

In unfortunate events, NFT investors are conned into investing in an NFT project after being convinced by fake promises or proof of support from mainstream artists. Adult movie star, Lana Rhoades reportedly abandoned her NFT project after raising about $1.8 million from investors. These events leave investors with huge losses to bear as these NFTs fail even before they are launched.

8. Fake NFT Hype

Social media influencers can easily build a huge hype around an NFT project. Using well-crafted social media posts and conversations, influencers can improve the internet presence of new and existing NFT projects. For existing projects, the floor price and the price per NFT continue to rise for as long as the hype is sustained.

New projects backed by NFT influencers also pick up momentum before the initial launch. This effect is similar to that seen in NFT projects backed by mainstream artists or firms.

However, once the NFT prices have reached a high, the Pump-and-Dump happens. These influencers sell their stake and back out of the project. The hype dies down and the value plummets. Investors rush to sell off their NFTs against shrinking liquidity. Most of the time, this (selling off) is not even possible.

9. Bidding Scams

To sell an NFT, holders list their NFTs on an NFT marketplace for sale at a stated price or to the highest bidder. The latter is prone to a popular trick played by NFT collectors. How this works: the intended buyer places a high bid for the NFT. This bid is usually high enough to be the highest bid.

The bidder cons the seller by switching his bid to a different cryptocurrency. For instance, the bidder places an initial bid of 3 ETH ($4,000) which makes it the highest bid and changes this to 3 USDC ($3). The seller accepts the modified bid without checking, and the NFT is claimed by the bidder at the modified bid ($3) instead of the initial bid ($4,000).

10. Fake NFT Facilities

NFT marketplaces, minting applications, and marketing platforms are hot grounds for NFT scammers and hackers. Apart from the constant attempt to scam NFT investors on these platforms, scammers invent a different strategy – cloning the original platform. Scammers clone prominent NFT facilities and host them on similar domains. For instance, scammers can clone the exact user interface of Opensea (opensea.io) and host it on Opensea.com.

Unsuspecting collectors and creators mistake the fake platform for the real one. This fake website is programmed to handle normal actions differently. For example: substituting an asset listing command with an asset transfer command. By visiting the cloned platform and performing basic activities, the investor runs the risk of giving involuntary access to the hackers, resulting in losses.

 How to Avoid NFT Scams

Now that we’ve covered some of the most common NFT scams, here’s how you can avoid them.

1. Improved Electronic Security Habits

Cryptocurrency wallets and marketplace accounts are the common points of contact between NFT owners and NFT scammers. How well these points are protected goes a long way to determining the safety of your NFTs. As electronic technologies get sophisticated, strategies to breach its security provisions develop as well. A zero-tolerance security habit is important to keep your NFTs away from hackers. This can be achieved by:

Choosing the right wallet for your NFTs

NFTs are just like crypto tokens in terms of safekeeping. Hot wallets like Trust Wallet and MetaMask are more available and easier to use. But these wallets are connected to the internet and are prone to exploitation. Cold wallets like Ledger and Trezor wallets are safer options for NFT storage.

Hot wallets are, however, more flexible and simplify routine NFT transactions. A safer practice is holding a small fraction of your NFTs in hot wallets and moving the rest to cold wallets. Cold wallets are offline, and unlike hot wallets, are not exposed to the internet. This keeps your NFTs safe from most phishing scam attempts.

Healthy Password Habits and 2-Factor Authentication

Developing strong passwords, keeping them safe, and remembering them is very tedious, sensitive, but vital processes. Some studies on security tips suggest the best practice for password development. To improve the chances of your assets remaining safe, developing abstract passwords is the safest way to go. Passwords that don’t make many references to the common knowledge of you are harder to guess. The popular ways of developing passwords such as; a combination of your name, birth date, and other notable dates, or hobbies have simplified ‘hacking by guesswork’ in many reported cases. Abstract passwords make guessing harder for hackers.

To reduce the stress of remembering passwords, we tend to reuse one password for many profiles. This practice creates room for greater danger. Just like the idiomatic “putting all your eggs in one basket”, using one password for multiple profiles further expands your vulnerability. When one is broken, others follow. A better practice is to create a new password for every profile.

Storing your passwords over electronic media is also potentially dangerous. The rampant reports of passwords stored in places like emails, google drive, or Pastebin getting stolen show how unsecured these options are. Saving passwords in an offline tool is a safer strategy.

Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your electronic accounts. Where available, the Google authentication service connects your profile to the google authenticator. It allows ownership verification through codes generated by the authentication application. Similar authentication tools work in the same way. SMS and email verification services make it harder to break into personal profiles. An attacker will need to get hold of your personal devices or access to your email before successfully breaking into your account. 

A good way to reduce losses in case of hazards is by using a fresh wallet with just enough funds for new mints, especially those free mints that keep popping up every day. That way, even if it’s compromised only a limited amount of funds is lost.

Unfortunately, many internet users have yet to realize the importance of enabling authentication services for their accounts. Endeavor to enable a 2-Factor authentication service for your NFT accounts where available.

2. Be Careful of Social Engineering

A greater percentage of NFT scams don’t happen as a result of a direct wallet or account hack. Social engineering is the most widely used approach by scammers. Scammers devise ways of either finessing investors’ funds from them or tricking them into involuntarily giving out their details. Here’s how you can tighten your guard from a social perspective.

Don’t Trust, Verify

Most NFT scams are designed to exploit investors’ sense of trust. “Unsuspecting investors” are the victims of most NFT scams. Like the popular blockchain slogan, it is advised that as an NFT investor, the only sense of trust should come after proper verification.

Before clicking any link presented directly or via email, ensure that the source is properly checked and scrutinized for possible tweaks. Only click links whose authenticity is confirmed. Even when that is done, do proceed with caution.

While selling your NFTs using bids, ensure that you check a bid properly before accepting it. Run a check on the currency and amount before accepting a bid.

Regardless of how legitimate or promising an NFT project might appear, do run sufficient checks on the team. This could include the team’s previous records, the influencer(s) talking about the project, and the most prominent members of the community. Good research on the team and their offers will reduce your chances of running into investor scams and giveaway scams.

To stay safe from Fake Mint scams, confirm that the influencers in question actually minted the NFTs themselves. You can do this by checking Etherscan to see if the wallet that interacted with the contract is also the same wallet that received the NFT. If not, then it’s just a mint and the ‘send’ transaction is only meant to trick people

3. Use Known or Properly Audited NFT Utilities

New NFT marketplaces, minting, and marketing platforms emerge regularly. These new platforms are introduced to the NFT communities and promote their advantages to NFT investors. Unfortunately, the authenticity and security of these new platforms is hardly confirmed at launch. Many NFT scams have resulted from using new NFT utilities. To stay safe, investors should endeavor to stick to known utilities or verify the authenticity of these new platforms before proceeding to use them.

Even when this is done, it is important that investors apply a good level of caution while interacting with these platforms to prevent huge losses in case of technical exploitation on the platform. This could be 

Final thoughts

NFTs are a brilliant invention, despite having made a huge breakthrough that extends beyond the crypto space; however, it is still an emerging technology. Like any other new invention, it is prone to constant changes and improvements, and also vulnerable to irregularities and exploits. Many new developments in this space focus on making NFT investing easier and limiting losses in case of security failures.

These security improvements remain in development, it is therefore important that NFT investors play their role in protecting themselves from a sea of foul players attempting to rid them of their investments in the cruelest ways. UItimately, a trustless security habit is important while investing in NFTs and while engaging in any financial activity.

Gains Network (GNS): A DeFi Leveraged Trading Platform

What is GNS Gains Network


Key Takeaways:

  • Gains Network is a decentralized derivatives trading platform built first on the Polygon network and expanding to other decentralized networks.

  • On gTrade, crypto derivative traders are allowed up to 150X leverage and up to 1000x for forex trades.

  •  Leverage trading on Gains Network is powered by synthetic assets and a decentralized lending protocol and its leverage system saves users the loan fee paid on other leverage trading platforms.

  • The GNS token is the native token of the Gains network and supports its financial system. It will be used for DAO Voting when GNS’s decentralized government goes live.


First on the to-do list of the Gains Network team is to develop a product that “becomes the most adopted decentralized leveraged trading platform”. To realize this vision, it claims to be developing a liquidity-efficient, powerful, and user-friendly decentralized leveraged trading platform. These qualities and even more it claims to be the main features of gTrade; its leverage trading platform.

Through gTrade, Gains Network will attempt to lure perpetual contract traders with a decentralized platform that maximizes their profits while allowing them retain full custody of their assets. Perpetual contract traders will also hope to benefit from the low fee plan on gTrade and the zero fee on leverage loans. 

Gains network launched gTrade on 2nd May 2022 on Polygon Network. Since this time, it has served over 450,000 trades from over 6,000 unique traders and has grossed over $19 million in trading volume. The team has announced plans to expand this product to other smart contract networks.

But what is Gains Network, and what is perpetual contract and leverage trading?

What is Perpetual Futures Contract Trading?

Perpetual contracts are a special form of futures contracts. The major difference between perpetual contracts and normal futures contracts is contract expiration. The traditional form of futures contracts has a stated expiry date after which the contracts can no longer be traded. In contrast, perpetual contracts have no expiry period. A perpetual contract trader’s position is valid for as long as they leave it open and maintain it.

The profit or loss will continue to accrue until the trader decides to close the trade, or the exchange liquidates the trader’s account in cases of unmaintained losing trades.

Compared to other forms of futures contracts, the price of perpetual contracts is tightly maintained with the spot price of the traded asset. The perpetual contract price could stray away from the spot price in extreme market conditions, but this happens less often than seen in traditional futures contracts.

What is Leverage Trading?

Leverage trading facilities let you enter a trade position with more capital than you own. They basically let you borrow against your capital and execute a trade. The profits made in the trade are calculated using the leveraged fund while your initial deposit serves as collateral against the funds borrowed from the leverage pool.

For instance, a perpetual contract trader entering a trading position with 10X leverage will have 10 times their initial deposit as the capital for that trade. That is; if their initial deposit is 100 USDT and they use 10X leverage, 1,000USDT is borrowed from the leverage pool while their 100 USDT is kept as collateral. A 20% profit in this trade will mean a 200 USDT gain. This applies to losing trades as well.

In cases where the trader runs into too much loss without adding more funds to their collateral, the account (for that trade) will be liquidated. On liquidation, the trader loses their collateral (initial deposit).

How Does Gains Network’s gTrade Work?

Contemporary leverage trading platforms suffer from undue centralization and a thin leverage limit. On the gTrade platform, traders are able to launch their trading without creating an account with their personal information or depositing their funds to a trading platform.

A simple wallet connection is all a user needs to start trading on the gTrade platform. Traders’ capital remains in their wallets and only moves on the wallet owner’s authorization. These procedures are guided by smart contracts. Asset prices on the platform are provided by a modified version of Chainlink’s Decentralized Oracle Network (DON)

gTrade also features an array of tradable assets for traders’ easy access. On the platform, users are able to trade cryptocurrencies, company stocks, and forex. gTrade offers traders up to 150x leverage on crypto assets, 100x on stocks, and 1000x on forex trades. 

Platform users contribute to the pool from which leverage requests are served, and the pool is structured to generate profits for the contributors as part of an extra incentivization and interest-generating plan.

To make gTrade work in this way, Gains Network introduces four ‘tools’ that operate in synergy:

1) A decentralized vault and liquidity pool.

2) A multi-functional token

3) A protocol (consisting of collective algorithms deployed on blockchain networks) that aggregates other facilities and controls their functioning.

4) gTrade also features unique NFTs that give holders certain advantages and incentives on the platform.

gTrade’s DAI Vault

The DAI vault is at the core of gTrade’s functioning. It serves as a pool from which traders borrow funds to execute trades with a higher capital. The DAI vault is contributed by stakers. Stakers deposit DAI to the vault in return for earning interest. The interest received is dependent on the profits made by the vault. The vault is overcollateralized and decentralized.

To trade on gTrade, traders enter with DAI, regardless of the asset they are trading. The DAI is deposited into the DAI vault. The vault is overcollateralized and furnished by traders.

Overcollateralization ensures that there are more than enough funds for traders and that any mild deficits are easily managed and the platform kept stable. To achieve this, the vault’s (over) collateralization is set to 30%. Once it falls below this, measures are implemented to reclaim this collateralization level. 

One of the measures is to trade the GNS token for more DAI and replenish the vault. This measure has been dropped for better approaches as the Gains Network team opines that this is not sustainable in extreme conditions. Current measures include increasing the vault collateralization and limiting DAI inflows to negative trade PNLs only. 

Traders actively furnish DAI through their usual trade activities. However, the DAI vault is structured to profit from losses and shrink as traders’ gains overrun their losses. Profits for winning trades are paid out to traders through the DAI vault. The vault grows as traders incur losses and their negative PNL is paid into the vault.

If by any chance this collateralization level is exceeded by a wide margin, the extra DAI is used to buy back and burn the GNS token.

The vault is conditioned to grow against traders’ trading success. This structure was developed based on the fact that a majority of derivative trades have ended in a loss. This strategy has worked so far for the GNS team, with over $17 million currently locked in the DAI vault.

GNS: A Multifunctional Token

The GNS token is the native token of the gTrade platform and the Gains Network ecosystem. The GNS token serves as a utility token, a store of value for the ecosystem, and could gain an extra role when Gains Network’s decentralized government goes live.

The GNS token was rebranded from the Gfarm token. In line with the rebrand, old Gfarm token holders received GNS tokens at the ratio of 1:1000. That is, holders received a thousand GNS tokens for every Gfarm token held.

The GNS token is used to incentivize the GNS/DAI pool which provides extra support for the DAI vault and the general liquidity of the gTrade platform. The GNS/DAI pool currently holds over $5 million worth of locked assets. This provides strong support for the DAI vault and solid liquidity for traders using the leverage trading platform or swapping between GNS and DAI on QuickSwap.

The Gains Network team also claims to be working towards instituting a DAO powered by the GNS token. GNS token holders will make up the DAO and will be able to contribute to the administration of the platform by voting on improvement proposals. According to shared insights, the GNS token will function just like other governance tokens. GNS holders will stake the tokens to receive veGNS which can be used to vote on proposals.

GNS NFT

Gains Network issued 1500 GNS NFTs which can be used on the platform. The NFTs span five categories and unlock several privileges and enhancements for holders. GNS NFT holders will receive more staking rewards depending on the category of NFT they hold. Liquidity staking reward boosts could be as high as 13% for diamond GNS NFT holders, while the lowest reward boost for NFT holders is currently 2% for bronze NFT holders.

Traders who hold the NFTs will also enjoy a reduced spread while trading. The percentage of reduction is again dependent on the type of NFT held. Gold GNS NFT holders will enjoy up to 35% reduced spread.

These benefits are cumulative for investors who own more than one of any categories or a combination of the categories. 

If you’re looking to score one of these, GNS NFTs can be purchased on OpenSea.

What Tokens and Assets are Available on gTrade?

gTrade supports crypto assets and stock trading on its platform. The forex trading facility is also functional and supports up to 1000X leverage.

Notable stocks that can be traded on the platform include TSLA (Tesla), AMZN (AMAZON), GOOGL (Google), META, and NVDA (Nvidia).

For forex traders, gTrade offers EU, USD, GBP, CHF, and JPY.

For users who wish to trade crypto assets, BTC, BNB, ETH, ICP, FTM, FTT, DOT and many other cryptocurrencies can be traded on the platform.

View the full list of assets that can be traded on gTrade here.

GNS Tokenomics

GNS Market Cap

The GNS token was developed to add value to the Gains Network and grow in value along with the platform as well. In addition to the token’s utilities discussed already, extra emissions and distribution plans have also been put in place to sustain the value and availability of the GNS token.

The total supply of GNS tokens is 100,000,000, of which about 29,000,000 tokens are already in circulation based on data from CoinGecko. According to the GNS team, about 20% of this figure has been burnt as part of the buyback plan using excess collateral from the DAI vault.

5% of the total supply has been reserved each for the developers’ funds and the GNS governance as well (10% of the total supply).

Where to Buy GNS token

GNS token is mainly traded on decentralized exchanges at the moment. Main trading platforms include Uniswap on Polygon network and QuickSwap, as well as BKEX. Here’s a list of active GNS trading pairs.

Staking Rewards

Staking Rewards GNS

Gains Network rewards contributors. Especially ones that help build solid liquidity for the gTrade platform through the different staking pools. Rewards are powered by the two main assets in the pools, DAI and GNS. Rewards for DAI vault contributors are distributed in DAI. DAI stakers can enjoy up to 10% APR on their assets, although this is also dependent on the vault’s profitability.

GNS holders who stake their GNS tokens in the single-side staking pool can also earn up to 3% of the value of their staked asset.

Liquidity providers in the GNS/DAI pool enjoy over 80% APR when they stake their liquidity pool tokens on the platform. Rewards are generated from trading fees paid for GNS/DAI swaps on QuickSwap and leveraged traders on gTrade.

Note that these APRs might differ for investors who own GNS NFTs.

How to Trade on gTrade

GNS’s trading platform features a comprehensive user interface. To trade with leverage on gTrade, visit the gTrade app.

Click ‘Connect Wallet’ to start the setup process for your wallet. If you haven’t added the Polygon network, follow this guide to add it to your wallet.  

You can switch between Polygon mainnet and Testnets by clicking on the Polygon dropdown, located beside your wallet address at the top right corner of your device. The Arbitrum network can also be selected from this location when gTrade is deployed to the network.

Ensure that you are on the intended network before proceeding.

You can change the user interface to suit you by clicking the ‘Settings’ icon beside your wallet address.

Leverage Trading on the gTrade Exchange

To use trade on gTrade, click ‘Long’ or ‘Short’ depending on the direction of your trade. 

Select the pairs you wish to trade by clicking the asset list indicated and scrolling down to your preferred asset.

The leverage limits differ for stocks, forex, and crypto. This can be seen from the leverage slider.

Set the parameters of your trade: enter the amount of DAI you wish to deposit as your collateral and drag the slider to set your leverage. 

Establish your ‘Stop loss’ and ‘Take profit’ levels by clicking on the Price box as indicated above and setting up your exit levels and the percentage of your trade value you wish to trade at each point.

Check the calculated fees for your trade and liquidation price in the indicated area. If satisfactory, approve DAI and complete your trade. If DAI is already approved, there will be no need to repeat this step.

How Safe is Gains Network?

Gains Network’s leverage trading contract has been live for about 5 months (at the time of this writing) and has processed over 460,000 trade transactions. Current reports show that these transactions were safely executed and users are yet to report any wallet breaches traceable to the Gains Network’s platform. Gains Network also claims that its contracts are safe for use and have been audited.

An audit report by Certik affirms this claim but hints at mild vulnerabilities and a centralization threat. Provisions of this report have been acknowledged by the Gains Network team. However, it is essential to note that smart contract protocols are high-level computing commands and are prone to vulnerabilities that can be exploited in several ways. Having that in mind, it is advised that users do their own research and apply measures to keep their funds safe and limit losses in case of unexpected mishaps.

GNS vs. GMX

Like GNS, GMX also offers decentralized derivatives trading services with impressive leverage and trading protocol. Both share a good level of similarity; here’s how they compare to each other.

GNS vs GMXWant to learn more about GMX? We’ve covered it in detail here.

Final Thoughts

A zero-fee loan structure is a good point of attraction, but for Gains Network, a decentralized trading platform gives traders limitless control over their assets. The technology on which the platform is built also ensures that this freedom is not misused. Centralized trading platforms have tons of caveats, some of which Gains Network and similar projects are tackling. Massive leverage opportunity is the icing on the top, but it’s also the most attractive feature for traders.

On a wider note, Gains Network and other decentralized derivatives trading platforms represent the successful development of an efficient decentralized version of a formerly centralized application. 

If these solutions stay true to their promises, traders are offered a safer way to trade and an opportunity to maximize their earnings per trade. Notwithstanding, it is important to understand the basics of leverage trading, especially where it concerns making profits and losses. In general, apply caution while interacting with smart contract platforms and do your own research before investing in volatile assets like cryptocurrencies.

BigTime Review

If you’re already a seasoned MMORPG player with games like Guild Wars 2, World of Warcraft or Black Desert, you’ll feel right at home in BigTime, an upcoming MMORPG set in the far future, where you and your friends can explore exciting dungeons across space and time, complete quests for Albert Einstein, battle against robot pirates and giant insects, all while earning some precious loot along the way. 

Although the game has not been fully released, we’ve had the opportunity to play the game in Early Access, so let’s dive in!

 

Character – Less is More?

As RPGs do, the game starts out with character creation, where players will have to pick between 4 classes – Time Warrior, Chronomancer, Shadowblade, and Quantum Fixer. But don’t feel too pressured about getting things right here, there’ll be chances for you to swap out something called Pocket Watches to switch classes later in game. 

Once you’ve made your decision, click on “Confirm” and… that’s it.

Just like that, you’re tossed right into the world of BigTime – no fancy character creation screens and a thousand sliders for us to mask our real-life insecurities. Everyone gets the same cookie-cutter Character, at least for now.

 

Game Mechanics – The Old Familiar

At its core, Big Time is a fairly simple game. Left click to attack, right click for another attack. Chain these up properly and you’ll get to perform a special Combo Attack. Items and class-specific skills can also be assigned to Hotkeys for quick, easy access, even though the camera angle makes aiming a little tricky sometimes…

For the most part, combat plays out smoothly, even in dungeons jam-packed with large mobs of enemies, players and your screen lighting up with spells and special effects like a front row seat to the Fourth of July. Watching your character spin, twist and turn as he pulls off acrobatic combos, or rain down balls of fire is extremely satisfying.

Kill enough enemies and your character will level up, earning skill points that you can use to learn new spells or buff up your character stats. Depending on your character class, improving specific stats may be required to equip specific gear. In a similar vein to most other RPGs, game progression in BigTime is more or less the same – kill enemies, earn XP, earn better gears, level up, rinse, repeat. 

 

Challenges – Same Same, But Different

Since each dungeon is procedurally generated, you’ll never have the same adventure each time. If you enter the same dungeon multiple times, you will quickly realize that they’ll all have different maps, requirements and enemies. On paper, these dungeons offer some sense of replayability, forcing players to think on-the-fly since each dungeon is unique, but the novelty wears off quickly.

While some of the side quests, which you have to complete before facing a dungeon boss, may require some skill and creativity, most of them tend to be fairly trivial. Be it collecting a certain amount of items or activating switches guarded by mobs of enemies, these tasks can get tedious. However, the objectives do get harder if there are more or higher-leveled players in your party. For ARPGs, the end of a dungeon run is usually filled with a bountiful lootfest raining epic and legendary items but…that’s not the case here. The defeat of bosses is usually anti-climatic with no notable treasures to rejoice for. 

In fact, most of the loots are found randomly throughout the dungeon from normal mobs but even then, these are usually more of the same items you’ve been using since Level 1, just with better stats. 

 

NFT / P2E – Fashion Time

Much like other crypto games, NFTs will be a big part of the Big Time universe, which are divided into Cosmetic NFTs and SPACE NFTs. Cosmetics NFTs can be found in-game, which will allow you to change the look of your weapons and character. 

On the other hand, SPACE NFTs are used to expand your own personal space, known as the Time Machine, where you produce new items and upgrade your old ones. SPACE NFTs are also needed for players to generate and earn Big Time Tokens in the future.

Both types of NFTs can be purchased from the marketplace but at the moment, features for the SPACE NFTs aren’t available just yet.

 

Verdict – Go Big or Go Home?

Big Time’s attempt to become the first AAA game in the Web3 space is a commendable one, but it’s clear that alot of work still needs to be done.

With familiar combat and gameplay, Big Time’ puts a roguelike spin on the traditional RPG formula. There’s no overarching story for players to complete – you can just pick up the game with your friends and start exploring, right off the bat.

Each dungeon offers new quests and challenges to overcome, which keeps things fresh for returning players while forcing them to constantly adapt their strategies and builds. However, things can get stale after a while.

Unlike most RPGs that reward exploration with hidden secrets or rare treasures, Big Time fails to beckon this same sense of adventure. There’s little to look at and look for around the map, with players usually just sprinting straight from one dungeon to another.

Make no mistake though, Big Time is a gorgeous game at times, and the camaraderie of its small but tight-knit player base was a heart-warming welcome to the game. But as it is, there’s simply not enough proverbial carrot to put in the grind for now. 

What is the Golden Ratio and How to Use the Golden Pocket

Golden pocket golden ratio


Key Takeaways:

  • Fibonacci numbers have a perfect numerical relationship that can be applied in a couple of diverse natural and artificial systems, including cryptocurrency trading.

  • Technical analysts believe that this ratio coincides between certain stages of price developments and traders’ behaviors.

  • Traders use Fibonacci levels to estimate possible entry and exit levels in the market.

  • The golden pocket represents a Fibonacci level that indicates a complete reversal and possible positive price retracement.


*Note: Utilizing the strategies covered in this article does not guarantee winning trades and this article is not intended to serve as financial advice.

Technical analysis in cryptocurrency draws on mathematical indicators based on previous price data in a bid to understand and predict the direction of future trends. Crypto technical analysts utilize mathematical relationships for routine investments, from using tokenomics calculations to make investment decisions or even undertaking complicated trading calculations such as the golden ratio and golden pocket derived from the Fibonacci numbers and Fibonacci sequence.

Cryptocurrency trading is only one out of the many applications of the golden ratio and the Fibonacci numbers. In fact, these two terms are related to almost anything you can think of. From natural arrangements to a user interface design that we find pleasing, the belief is that we’re subconsciously attracted to objects and images that use the golden ratio. 

So, what is the golden ratio?

What is the Golden Ratio?

Also known as the “divine proportion”, the golden ratio represents a ‘perfect’ relationship between a pair of numbers. This relationship is peculiar in the sense that certain mathematical calculations using the number pair return the same result, which is equal to or very close to 1.618.

In plain terms, for numbers in this sequence: dividing the higher number by the lesser number returns a value close to 1.618. You can also divide the sum of the higher number and the lesser number by the higher number which also returns the same figure.

For instance, the numbers 3 and 5. Dividing 5 by 3 returns 1.66. In a different calculation, adding both numbers (5+3) and dividing by the higher number (5) returns a similar result (1.6).

In summary

5÷3 = 1.66

(5+3) ÷ 5 = 1.6

A pair of numbers with this sort of relationship are known as Fibonacci numbers. This relationship exists between a sequence of numbers; 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, and so on, which is known as the Fibonacci sequence. The next number in the sequence is obtained by adding the last two figures ( in this case 34 and 55).

Why Fibonacci?

The Fibonacci numbers and sequence were named after Leonardo Fibonacci, who figured out the golden ratio pattern. He also established a sequence of numbers with this relationship and how to arrive at the next pair of numbers with the golden ratio relationship.

While the Fibonacci numbers and sequence are named after Fibonacci, they were already used by the ancient Egyptians and Greek, who used them to construct historical architectural marvels like the Great Pyramid and the Parthenon. 

Beyond the marvels of nature and ancient architecture, this ratio could also apply to your favorite crypto asset’s trading charts. So how do technical analysts apply the golden ratio to trading?

How Does the Golden Ratio Work in Trading?

Traders have identified certain important levels in asset price development. These levels coincide with general traders’ behaviors, and the Fibonacci sequence as well! The first two levels of this sequence are 23.6% and 38.2%. Ready to attempt guessing the next number with your knowledge of the Fibonacci sequence? That’s right, the next number on the sequence is 61.8%! However, in crypto, the 50% level is also part of this sequence.

This makes the vital levels in crypto trading 23.6%, 38.2%, 50%, and 61.8%. These levels represent price development stages. Cryptocurrency traders make trade decisions by estimating the next price event at each level. The belief is that these levels coincide with human behaviors during uptrends and downtrends and translate into resistance, support, and price pullback for the specific crypto asset.

During price uptrends, a crypto asset is likely to meet critical resistance levels at each of the Fibonacci levels. The first major resistance level for an asset in an uptrend is after the first 20-25% price gain. When it overcomes this resistance level, the next number in the Fibonacci sequence is the next likely resistance level. This results from the likelihood of a good number of traders taking profits at these levels.

The reverse is the case when an asset is in a downtrend. These levels become major support levels for the asset’s price. The sell-off intensity is expected to meet a brief halt after the first 20-25% drop. In some cases, the downtrend stops at this point. However, if the sell-off continues, the next support level is some levels after the next 10-20% drop with a major resistance coming just before or after a 60% price drop, after which there is the likelihood of a steep upward retracement.

Before undertaking any investment decisions or adopting a certain investment strategy, do your own research and decide if it’s suitable for you.

In between these levels is another equally important phenomenon in crypto trading. This is known as the Golden Pocket.

What is the Golden Pocket?

If an asset isn’t in a total hazard condition (positive and negative), the golden pocket is an important target level a trader should look out for. The golden pocket represents a complete price reversal level for an asset and a very likely point of a slow or aggressive uptrend. Most traders assume this to be between the 0.618 (-61.8% from the previous high) and 0.65 (-65% from the previous high) areas. 

However, the golden pocket can occur below these areas depending on other factors that may affect the demand and supply statistics for the asset. This includes announcements that affect traders’ behavior.

identify golden pocket

The blue arrow in the chart above shows a gradual retracement after a complete reversal. The retracement commences a little below the previous high. This level is the ‘golden pocket’.

The golden pocket is a flexible level. In plain terms, it is simply a point where a given uptrend reverses completely. Just below the total reversal point is where the golden pocket occurs. At this point, the asset is more likely to start retracing upwards again. 

The complete reversal point can be easily deduced from the charts, however, the golden pocket can be chosen as any arbitrary point below this level. The golden pocket is considered a good entry point for traders.

In order not to miss a tangible uptrend, traders might decide to enter the market at levels just below the reversal point or wait out for even lower levels. 

Golden pocket as entry point for traders

In the image above, the reversal point is indicated using the red arrow. The golden pocket is ideally at areas between this point and 0.65 (indicated using the gold-colored arrow).  However, a trader could decide to wait even further before entering the market. From the chart above the targeted bounce level is the 0.65 level indicated by the golden line. This is marked with the  “Golden pocket” text. Do note that the stated price loss is relative to Ethereum coin’s ATH ($4,800)

Do note that the price could continue to fall below these levels, and uptrends could set in before a complete reversal.

Related content: How to Read Candlestick Charts 

How Do I Use the Golden Pocket?

As stated, the golden pocket follows a price reversal. Using the golden pocket increases the likelihood of a good entry point. To use the golden pocket for an asset, information on previous price moves from the charts is the most essential tool.

The Ethereum price chart below shows different instances of price uptrend, reversal, and continued uptrend within the 24hrs timeframe. Reversal repeatedly extends below the former peak before going ahead to create new uptrends and new peaks in some cases. The point that sits just below previous lows is the golden pocket. Unfortunately, estimating the golden pocket isn’t as straightforward as the reversal points which can be easily seen in the chart.

Ethereum price chart

The chart above can be seen charging upwards after a steep fall on the 24hrs chart and printing a wide golden pocket. After a reversal is confirmed, choosing the golden pocket level should be subject to even more deliberations. This should be guided by presiding market conditions and other external factors that might be particular to the asset of interest.

If you’re wondering how to set up your charts to indicate these levels, read on to find out how you can do that using the popular Tradingview platform. 

How Do I Add Fibonacci Lines to My Chart?

First, visit Tradingview and select a desired crypto trading pair. 

Tradingview’s Fibonacci levels feature simplifies the determination of known Fibonacci levels for traders, allowing you to estimate the golden pocket price levels with more accuracy. 

If you’re using a different trading application, it might also have a similar feature. 

But here’s how you can use Tradingview. 

  • To add the Fibonacci lines to your chart,  click the breadcrumb icon from the top left corner of your device. 

  • Depending on the device, this might be placed differently. Do look out for the icon on different parts of your Tradingview user interface. 

Add fibonacci lines tradingview

Now click on the chart and scale your lines through an area of the chart you wish to cover.

Chart with fibonacci lines

Your lines should appear with different colored demarcations for price levels covered by the indicated Fibonacci level. 

How to Set Up the Golden Pocket

To sketch your chart and mark the golden pocket for the selected area; hover around the mapped area to reveal the modification icons. 

Set up golden pocket

From the icon list that appears, click on the settings icon to add a desired Fibonacci level. 

Add new fibonacci level

The panel that appears next shows the different Fibonacci levels indicated in the chart and the line color that represents them. 

Select any of these levels and edit to include your estimated golden pocket. 

The image above sets the golden pocket at 0.65 (-65% from previous peak). You can choose to enter other estimated levels based on your personal preference.

Your golden pocket line stretches to the price levels, which allows you to identify the price level for the set point. 

Final thoughts

The Fibonacci numbers and the golden ratio might all be a natural coincidence, yet they have produced very efficient (and aesthetic) systems. The golden pocket is another instance of these numbers being oddly significant and leading up to seemingly accurate estimations, especially in normal conditions. The accuracy of decisions drawn from the golden ratio and Fibonacci is still subject to certain factors that could affect the normal proceeding of the market. These factors should be well noted when making trade decisions using the golden ratio and golden pocket system.

Mathematically derived trading decisions are handy, but notwithstanding, they still have a relatively wide error margin. These margins are hardly bridgeable; therefore, it is important to apply caution while trading using any strategy. Beyond choosing trading strategies, paying attention to presiding conditions for the general market and the particular asset is important as well.

To learn more about the crypto markets, you may be interested in the Crypto Fear and Greed Index and What are the Golden Cross and Death Cross?

The strategies covered in this article are for information purposes and are not intended to serve as financial advice. 

What are Public and Private Keys?

Public vs Private Keys


Key Takeaways:

  • Public and private keys are used to encrypt and decrypt data with the common goal of securing it.

  • Any blockchain user can access a public key, and use it to send messages or funds.

  • A private key is exclusive to the person it was generated for and guarantees access to the sent message or funds.


Public and private keys are strings of characters with (via advanced math) incomparable relationships, through which information encrypted (converted into machine code) with one number can only be decrypted (converted back into human-readable format) with the other number and vice versa. To apply this relationship for security purposes, once two numbers are mathematically generated, one is exclusively accessible (private key) while the other is publicly accessible (public key). 

The private key owner can then validate themselves to another person with their public key. Besides, you can use a public key to relay confidential messages to the owner of the conforming private key. This article will take you through cryptocurrency wallets and how they work, what private keys are and their importance, how to store your private keys, what public keys are, and the differences between them. 

Cryptocurrency Wallets and How They Work

Cryptocurrency wallets store your private keys – the passwords for accessing your digital assets – safely while maintaining accessibility, enabling you to send and receive digital currencies like Bitcoin and BNB. They come in multiple forms, from hardware wallets like Trezor (which resembles a USB stick) to online wallets like MetaMask, which further simplifies the use of cryptocurrency. 

Each has its strengths and weaknesses. For instance, hardware and paper wallets are tougher for hackers to access as they store private keys offline but have few functionalities and are prone to be misplaced or destroyed. On the other hand, online wallets are the easiest way to kickstart your crypto journey and guarantee a balance of security and accessibility. But since they store private keys online, your safety is only as good as your wallet provider’s security.   

Essentially, crypto wallets allow you to:

  • Manage your crypto holdings in one place

  • Control your private keys  

  • Send and receive crypto to and from other wallets

  • Browse decentralized apps (dApps)

  • Shop at online stores that accept crypto payments

Unlike standard wallets, which store actual cash, cryptocurrency wallets technically do not keep your digital assets. Your assets are held on the blockchain, but you can only access them through a private key. As such, private keys prove ownership of digital assets and allow the rightful owner to execute transactions. The moment you lose your private keys, you lose access to your assets. That is why it’s essential to store your hardware wallet and/or private keys safely. While you can also utilize  centralized wallet providers, depositing your crypto on these platforms is essentially handing over ownership of your cryptocurrency to the platform. 

What are Private Keys?

You are assigned a unique pair of keys when you download a web3 wallet, like MetaMask or Trust Wallet. You get a public key – a code that enables you to receive digital currencies – and a private key, which allows you to access and control those assets. A private key is an extensive, randomly generated string of alphanumeric characters with multiple digits. Essentially, it acts as a password for accessing a crypto wallet – it grants access to the digital wallet controlling your crypto.

How public and private keys work

Earlier, we mentioned that cryptocurrency wallets operate with digital keys and addresses, confirming ownership and control over digital assets. A private key is literally a password – you are the only person who owns and knows it (unless it’s compromised) and acts as your digital identity. It gives you access to your wallet and allows you to spend, withdraw, send, and perform any other transaction from your wallet. 

Typically, private keys come in all sorts based on your crypto. However, most of them, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, apply 256-bit encryption. For instance, a Bitcoin private key is formatted this way:

0x01 and 0xFFFF FFFF FFFF FFFF FFFF FFFF FFFF FFFE BAAE DCE6 AF48 A03B BFD2 5E8C D036 4140, representing almost the complete range of 2256-1 values. 

Why Are Private Keys Important?

Private keys help cryptocurrency users to secure their holdings. Digital currencies, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and BNB, are decentralized, implying no intermediary stores your money. Instead, blockchain technology distributes assets across a network of nodes (computers). This makes all cryptocurrency activities, including public keys and transaction details, accessible to any interested party. 

Though blockchain transactions occur in the public eye, they are anonymous. Decentralized applications (dApps) don’t request personal information, like your name, address, phone number, or passport number, to use. Instead, they assign you a private key to help you identify with your account. 

A complex algorithm creates a public key from a private key, making them a pair. The private key confirms that the individual interacting with the public key is the real owner and can authorize transactions. As such, a private key secures crypto transactions by demonstrating ownership. 

Private keys have their advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, they guarantee a high level of security for crypto transactions. Considering their extensive length, it takes years to crack a private key. Besides, it’s faster and more convenient to perform private key encryption on the blockchain. 

Nevertheless, private keys are prone to be lost. If you lose your private key, you won’t be able to decrypt the data you receive in your public key. This means you won’t access the assets in your wallet! Furthermore, if you keep your private key carelessly, it may fall into bad hands, and you may lose assets if that person has ill intentions. 

How to Store Your Private keys

It’s important to store your private keys safely so they can’t easily get lost or stolen. Luckily, there are several ways to securely keep your private keys, which are classified into two broad groups:

Storing Them in an Online/Hot Wallet 

This is the simplest and cheapest way of storing your private keys. Online wallets, commonly referred to as hot wallets, store your private keys on the internet. That makes it easy to use them but exposes them to online attacks. You should go for a hot wallet provider with a good reputation, a long track record of security, and reinforced with extra features, like two-factor authentication (2FA). 

Storing Them in an Offline/Cold Wallet

The second way of storing private keys is offline or cold wallets. These wallets are either hardware insertable into computers or printable pieces of paper. Since these devices stay offline (unless connected during use), they prevent the digital theft of your private keys. But they are also prone to physical theft, damages, misplacement, and memory loss.  

Generally, hot wallets are more convenient to use and often free. The common hot wallets include MetaMask, Trust Wallet, and Coinbase Wallet. On the other hand, cold wallets are often more secure as they mostly live offline but cost money. The common cold wallets include Trezor, Ledger, and KeepKey.  

What are Public Keys? 

A public key is an extensive string of characters used to encrypt information in cryptocurrency. It can be generated by a software program or assigned by a trusted crypto wallet provider. Any blockchain user can access and view the transactions of your public key through a blockchain explorer like Etherscan.  

Besides, you can use a public key to encrypt a message or verify the validity of a digital signature. As mentioned, a public key is always accompanied by a matching private key, which the owner exclusively accesses. You need a private key to decrypt messages sent by the conforming public key or to produce signatures. In the simplest words, a public key locks up information from unauthorized access, while a private key unlocks it.  

Public and private keys are the core of public key cryptography, often referred to as asymmetric cryptography. In this technique, each public key conforms with one private key. Crypto users need both keys to encrypt and decrypt messages – if you encrypt a message using someone’s public key, they can only decrypt it using the compatible private key. 

For example, if Bob wants to send Alice an encrypted message, he will take Alice’s public key and encode his message to her. When the message is relayed to Alice, she uses her private key to decode Bob’s message. 

 

Source: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Alice-sends-an-encrypted-message-to-Bob_fig1_267544968

While bad actors might attempt to compromise the system and decode the message, they won’t succeed since they don’t have the private key that gives access. Only Alice can access the message since she is the only person with the private key. Besides, if Alice wants to respond, she repeats the process, encoding her message to Bob using his public key. 

Differences Between Public Keys and Private Keys

A public key can be accessed by any blockchain user and is used to send messages or funds, while a private key is exclusive to the person it was generated for and guarantees access to the sent message or funds. Together, these keys secure the shared data. These are the major differences between public keys and private keys:

Public vs Private Key

Conclusion

Data storage and security are increasingly becoming integral as the world goes digital. Public key cryptography adds an extra security layer to data since nobody knows the private key paired with the open public key. As such, the technique mitigates potential interceptions and other online attacks. However, you must store your private key in a secure place where it cannot be easily lost or stolen.  

What is XEN Crypto and How it Made ETH Deflationary

What is XEN Crypto


Key Takeaways:

  • XEN crypto has been a regular presence in the top 5 gas guzzlers on Etherscan since its launch on October 8th 2022, leading to a dent in ETH emissions and causing the currency to be deflationary (for now).

  • Anyone can mint XEN on Ethereum just by paying the gas fees and choosing a set waiting period.


At its peak, almost 50% of Ethereum’s block size was consumed by a new crypto project known as XEN, topping the burn leaderboard and leading to an increase in ETH gas prices. XEN was launched on 8th October, and since then, there’s been a steady downward trend for the supply of ETH that outstrips its current supply growth of +0.04%, as seen on ultrasound.money

Eth Supply since XEN

Source: Ultrasound.money

The change in supply made ETH reach a “post-Merge milestone” as it became deflationary for the first time since the Ethereum network shifted to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. Currently, more ETH is burned validating transactions than issuance, and while it’s no longer the top burner, XEN still sits in the top five according to on-chain data

So, what is the XEN cryptocurrency, and how does it work? Read on to find more.

What is the XEN Cryptocurrency?

The XEN cryptocurrency has no supply limit and leverages the proof-of-participation (PoP) consensus mechanism, letting users utilize Ethereum-based wallets to mint new tokens by paying the applicable Ethereum gas (transaction) fees, making it one of the easiest cryptocurrencies to mint. 

Who Founded XEN?

XEN is a joint virtual mining project initially launched on the Ethereum network. It was created by the Fair Crypto Foundation, backed by Jack Levin – supposedly one of the first Google employees.

The idea behind XEN, which Levin calls the “people’s token”, is based on principles like “self-custody, trustless consensus, and decentralization.”

XEN’s Impact on ETH

After the London Fork, the Ethereum base fee is determined by the network activities and is burned afterwards. Besides, the validators’ reward after the Merge comprises the tip fee (the cost you pay for validators to prioritize validation of your transaction) and the block subsidy (fixed at 2 ETH per block and divided equally among the validators). 

With a portion of the gas fees burned and eliminated from circulation, the surge in interest in XEN has caused a dent in ETH emissions, rendering the cryptocurrency deflationary for now. After all, since the Merge, which marked Ethereum’s shift to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) mechanism, ETH’s supply rate has significantly declined. 

Eth inflationary rate after Xen

Source: Ultrasound.money

According to ultrasound.money, the ETH supply change has dropped to less than 6,000 tokens post-Merge, compared to over 300,000 before the Merge – a total decline of more than 95%. However, low network activity during this bear market has proved that supply decline alone can’t make ETH deflationary, as seen by the upward trend until October 8 2022.

With the arrival of XEN and its “free” cryptocurrency, where users only needed to connect their wallets and pay for transaction costs, base fees started exceeding the deflationary threshold post-Merge, which was set at 15.43 gwei according to a Kraken report. At the time of writing, the gas fees hovered between 16-17 gwei. 

At its peak, Etherscan data indicates that XEN minting has accounted for over 40% of all Ethereum transactions and has increased Ethereum gas fees above $1. To date, XEN minters have paid almost $2 million in ETH to interact with the XEN dApp. Besides XEN pushing the ETH burn rate, it has significantly reduced the network’s inflationary status. Before the launch of XEN, ETH’s inflation rate was 0.21%. Currently, its inflation rate is 0.04%, representing a significant drop. 

Unique Features of the XEN Cryptocurrency

Infinite supply: While Bitcoin has a maximum supply of 21 million, XEN has an infinite supply, implying XEN minting will continue for eternity.   

XEN mining requires a small amount of computing power: Bitcoin mining requires sophisticated equipment and graphics that consume much power. However, you can mine XEN crypto by linking your wallets to the XEN dAPP (decentralized application).

No limit on wallets: XEN allows you to create as many wallets as you want, as long as you’re willing to pay the gas fees. However, once you have claimed your rank and are waiting to receive your tokens, you can’t claim another cRank using the same wallet. You must wait until the end of your term to mint tokens using the wallet gain. 

How to Mint XEN Crypto

Like Bitcoin, the XEN cryptocurrency Is not connected to your identity. Therefore, you can mint as many tokens as you want. But this means bots can also mine XEN. To eliminate them, XEN requires you to connect your web3 wallet to the XEN dApp, and claim your cRank. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to get along:

Step 1: Choose Network

Visit the XEN dApp. Choose the network for minting XEN from the available list. Currently, XEN supports seven networks: Ethereum, BSC, Polygon, Avalanche C, Ethereum PoW, Moonbeam, and Evmos.

Mint Xen step 1 

Step 2: Connect Wallet

Click the “Connect Wallet” tab to connect your web3 wallet. Remember, dApps require users to connect their wallets to interact with them. 

Follow the connection prompts in your wallet to get connected properly. 

Mint Xen step 2

Step 3: Mint XEN

Click the “Mint Free XEN” tab at the bottom of the new window.

Mint Xen step 3

Afterwards, you will see your global rank and the days you must wait to mint free XEN tokens.

Click on “Start Minting” to initiate the transaction.

Mint Xen step 4 

Approve the transaction request on your web3 wallet to finalize the process. 

Though you don’t need mining equipment and software to mine XEN, you will incur transaction costs for using the blockchain. Currently, it costs around $3.50 to send a XEN minting request on the Ethereum network.

Step 4: Claim Free XEN Tokens

At the end of your waiting period, visit the XEN dApp, connect your wallet, and claim your XEN tokens.

Mint Xen complete

Remember, you must claim your XEN tokens within a day when your waiting period ends. Otherwise, the XEN algorithm will punish you by steadily reducing your rewards. The gradual reduction mechanism is calculated in days; after seven days, the rewards will shrink to zero, as shown below. 

Xen penalty

Source: XEN Litepaper

If you feel that the waiting period is too long or need XEN urgently, you can buy it from crypto exchanges including Gate.io, MEXC Global, Huobi Global, and BKEX. Visit CoinGecko’s XEN markets to see more exchanges where you can trade XEN.    

What is XEN Crypto Used For?

According to XEN’s lite paper, XEN’s mission is to become a community-driven encrypted asset that embraces the original fundamentals of blockchain technology – decentralization, transparency, censorship resistance, P2P value transfer, and ownership. It allows people to enter the crypto world seamlessly and cost-effectively via its unique economic model. 

The XEN team believes that most cryptocurrencies are polarized, high-market cap coins are overbought and sold, and most investors ignore low-market cap assets for no substantial reason. Additionally, the team says that most cryptocurrencies are pre-mined by the founders and giant whales, then dumped in the market for average investors to buy. 

Hence, XEN’s approach of implementing fair minting of XEN tokens, where no pre-mining takes place. 

Does XEN Have Value?

Xen Token Price

XEN’s value has been on a steady decline since its listing, and currently sits at $0.000027, a drop of 92% since its high of almost $0.00037 . Realistically, XEN is unlikely to stand out as a long term investment opportunity, as most minters will be looking for an exit, where they will be unlocking their tokens and selling them on exchanges.

Is XEN Crypto Safe? 

XEN’s rewards factor in the number of people who interacted with the contract before you. In short, the more people minting XEN, the higher your rewards. In light of that, it’s possible to see the similarity to a pyramid scheme. 

However, the XEN founder is not anonymous, unlike most pyramid schemes, and XEN also doesn’t require any investment beyond paying Ethereum’s gas fee. It is also tradeable on multiple exchanges, so you could theoretically cash out at any time once your minting period ends (although whether you’ll earn back your gas fee depends on the value of XEN).

At the very least, XEN is an interesting social experiment, even if it’s not a good investment opportunity. If you find it worth burning a few dollars as minting fees and waiting for your minting period to expire, you can try your luck.

Final Thoughts

XEN is a social mining project based on a PoP mechanism. Any crypto user can connect their web3 wallets and mint XEN tokens. The XEN tokenomics is based on the number of users and the minting period. As the number of participants increases, the minting difficulty also increases, and supply reduces. Besides, the longer the waiting period, the more tokens you receive. 

As for whether XEN will be here to stay or a flash in the pan, we’ll have to wait and see. 

Aptos: The Successor of Meta’s Diem Blockchain?

What is Aptos

 


Key Takeaways:

  • Aptos is developed by former Meta employees to solve the issues currently faced by decentralized systems.

  • It claims to offer a scalable system with a speed-oriented approach that handles transaction broadcasting, block data ordering and data storage in parallel to save time.

  • Aptos offers safer smart contracts using a detection system that screens for vulnerabilities and warns users of malicious and underwhelming smart contracts.

  • Prior to full launch, Aptos had already gained much traction and is backed by prominent VCs and it is expected to compete with existing blockchain networks.


Even before Aptos blockchain launched its mainnet on 17th October 2022, it was already a prominent figure in the crypto space. A strong social media presence resulting from widespread discussions about its mouth-watering promises about being “the safest, most scalable Layer 1 blockchain” saw its official Twitter handle rake in over 190,000 followers. Social media engagement peaked with millions of impressions from hundreds of social media posts about the potential “Solana Killer”.

Aptos blockchain’s launch wasn’t really spectacular; it faced issues like having a lower TPS than Bitcoin’s 7 instead of its promised 160,000, along with opaque tokenomics. 

Despite this, top-tier centralized exchanges including Binance, OKX, Huobi and MEXC have pledged their support and shared plans to list its native coin (APT).

While Aptos works on fixing its launch issues, let’s look at what Aptos is, and why it’s a VC darling.

What is Aptos?

Aptos claims to offer “safe, scalable and upgradeable Web3 infrastructure.” It’s a contender in the race among Layer 1 blockchains to achieve the goal of a single ‘perfect’ blockchain. 

The perfect blockchain is expected to maintain decentralization, deliver top-notch security, while offering scalability through stability, lightning-speed transactions and low fees. This is also known as the blockchain trilemma, and most blockchains only achieve any two of these and sacrifice the other. Existing blockchains are continously attempting to fix this, and Aptos is another attempt at a perfect blockchain.

Aptos is highly anticipated and the subject of many discussions not just because of the technology it promises to deliver, but also because of the team working on these solutions.

Who Founded Aptos

Aptos was founded by a team headed by former Meta (formerly Facebook) employees: Mo Shaikh as Aptos’ CEO, and Avery Ching as CTO. Before their project would burst into prominence, Shaikh and Ching had it in mind to deliver a blockchain that serves the crypto community (and the larger population) with a focus on the user experience.

To do this, Aptos will attempt to optimize existing solutions and also introduce revolutionary solutions. The desired end result is a scalable, decentralized, security-intensive, and super cheap blockchain network without downtime.

With developments commencing as early as 2018, Aptos’ team has spent over three years honing their codebase and building extra facilities to ensure not only a successful launch but a capable enterprise-level blockchain. The team has raised $350 million in funding from a series of investor campaigns led by Andreessen Horowitz and FTX Ventures.

The connection with Meta has gained so much attention for Aptos, but it isn’t the first cryptocurrency with a direct connection to the popular social media firm. Its predecessor – Facebook’s Diem also made many waves in this space and beyond. What is the relationship between these two?

Aptos: Diem’s Successor?

If things hadn’t hit the financial regulation rock for Mark Zuckerberg, he and his team would have gone very far with a project he hoped will “bank the unbanked”. Meta (then Facebook) introduced the Diem (formerly named “Libra”) as a decentralized payment system that connects the globe through a unified and “permissionless” financial infrastructure. Making up the team that pursued this were Aptos’ CTO, Avery Ching, and Mo Shaikh who was also involved in Facebook at the time.

Zuckerberg’s project gave in to strict financial rules despite the high-power partnerships with some of the biggest names in fintech. The crypto community had already been underwhelmed by Diem due to some shortcoming such as slow speed, centralization, and the fact that Diem was simply a stablecoin backed by fiat currencies and bonds.

Diem made waves throughout 2019 to the first quarter of 2022, but Aptos blockchain had already gone into development before then. In contrast to Diem, Aptos was being developed to be a smart contract blockchain powered by a cryptocurrency (APT) that is subject to market forces. 

The similarity in development teams is the only thing Diem and Aptos have in common. Shaikh, Ching, and any other ex-Meta employees joining the Aptos project will hope to use their experience to push the growth of a cheap and scalable platform that supports decentralized applications through smart contract technology.

How Does the Aptos Blockchain Work?

Aptos blockchain employs a flexible programming language (Move), modified data sharding technology, consensus mechanism, and state machine to achieve a scalable, fast and secure system. 

The Move programming language was specially developed by the Diem team and used by Aptos developers for the Aptos blockchain. Move is an advanced programming language developed from Rust (programming language) with special abilities in protocol and algorithm development. Just like the Ethereum blockchain’s Solidity, the core of the Aptos blockchain was designed using Move-inspired protocols.

Aptos’s state machine is the Move Virtual Machine (MVM). The MVM is similar to Ethereum’s EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine). MVM converts Move modules to bytecodes that can be understood by the Aptos blockchain. Move modules in this vein work just like Ethereum smart contracts. Move modules are code pieces that contain instructions for the Aptos blockchain. The modules turn the Aptos blockchain into an automated vending machine with their ability to sanction free-running transactions. This is only possible if the private key holder sanctions the permission request(s).

You can explore Aptos’ blockchain transactions and chain analytics with Aptoscan.

How Aptos Handles Block Data

In addition to Move’s inherent flexibility and protocols, Aptos handles block data with a speed-oriented approach that utilizes memory write sets as a cache for the next block to be executed. This is expected to birth an agile system. One way it does this is through its simultaneous and batched data processing mechanism. The Aptos blockchain handles transaction broadcasting, block data ordering, and data storage all at a time. These processes run parallel and save the system a great deal of time. The concurrent handling of parallel-running data makes Aptos blockchain at least 16 times faster than blockchains using similar tech.

In addition, transactions are processed in batches. To do this, the Aptos blockchain packages a series of transactions in stages and processes each of these stages at once. Transactions that fail to meet certain thresholds (like inadequate fees) are quickly removed from the execution queue to ensure that qualified transactions are executed faster.

Is Aptos PoW or PoS?

The Aptos blockchain runs the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. The PoS algorithm is generally preferred as a scalability-supportive consensus system. Like other PoS blockchains, validators on the Aptos network verify the integrity of data blocks added to the blockchain. Validators ensure that malicious data blocks are screened out of the chain to keep the network secure. Running a validator node on Aptos is basically the same process – stake at least a predetermined number of Aptos tokens.

But Aptos shifts this paradigm in a special way. Aptos nodes are of two types; Full nodes and Light nodes. Both nodes participate in data block validation and contribute to keeping the chain stable, yet they play some different roles.

How PoS works Aptos

Source: Aptos White Paper

Full nodes are required to perform relatively more intensive computing tasks. Light nodes play maintenance roles, keep the system in check, and therefore perform lighter tasks.

Full nodes validate the entire network transaction and also verify the network’s states.They have the ability to truncate the network’s history or data block, where they can remove a string or data from the memory of the chain. This keeps the block size within scalable limits. Blockchains getting ‘heavy’ as more blocks are added is a principal cause of poor scalability in many blockchains. Aptos solves this through this data sharding technology.

It is important to note that the truncated data aren’t lost and can be synchronized with the rest of the blockchain when needed. Users who wish for a faster and lighter chain can ignore the truncated memory and work with a lighter and scalable chain.

Batch transaction, parallel execution, an agile consensus mechanism, and validator sharding make up the core of Aptos blockchain’s functionality. But a handful of other unique features keep it further apart.

The Aptos Ecosystem

While the Aptos ecosystem is still in its early stages, it’s already attracted attention from numerous projects, setting the foundations for the future. 

Aptos ecosystem

Source: Coin98

Unique Features of Aptos

Here are some of the incredible features of the Aptos blockchain. A number of these features work together with the core protocols while others are extra features on the blockchain that makes for better user experience and safety.

Move Multi-Account Privacy

Aptos can create and use multiple accounts that are controlled by a single account and are autonomous at the same time. The multiple wallets can’t be linked to the controller accounts and the owner can use the accounts without a trace of a single control point.

Move Prover

Smart contracts are high-level computing functions and are prone to exploitable vulnerabilities. In addition, they can easily dysfunction completely. The recent wave of smart contract exploitation in the crypto space is a proof of how important an efficient auditing system is.

Aptos blocks come with a special in-built auditing system. As the name suggests, the Move Prover runs a check on move modules deployed on the Aptos blockchain and verifies their authenticity, proving the security and feasibility of a module while confirming if these modules truly function as expected. 

Private Key Delegation 

If for any reason you ever wished to hand control of your wallet to a third-party, albeit temporarily, Aptos blockchain might just be an answer to your wishes. The private key delegation function allows wallet owners to delegate their wallets to an external party. The delegatee will have a good level of control over the wallet, although this control can be withdrawn by the wallet owner at will.

Aptos vs. Ethereum vs. Solana 

Aptos joins a list of established Layer 1 blockchains, including Ethereum, the most established and most actively-developed blockchain, and Solana, touted to be one of the fastest blockchains in use. So how does Aptos stack up against these incumbents?

Apt vs eth vs sol

Aptos vs. Mysten Labs’ Sui

Aptos’ biggest competition is already existing blockchains, but an even closer contention is Mysten labs’ Sui blockchain. Just like Aptos, Sui is being developed by ex-Meta founders using the Move programming language, and is another high-profile Layer 1 blockchain project. Both projects have also raised an excess of $300 million each to pursue their goal of a scalable and secure low-fee blockchain. 

Let’s see how these two projects compare against each other.

 

aptos vs mysten lab sui

APT Tokenomics

The Aptos coin (APT) will embody the Aptos blockchain and its ecosystem. It functions as the utility and governance token.

As the utility token of the Aptos network, project building on the platform will be expected to integrate APT into their system and drive more utility. Aptos will also serve as the gas fee for the Aptos blockchain, where transaction fees will be charged in Aptos.

The Aptos coin will also be used to incentivize community contributions and security services of validators on the network. Existing holders who stake their assets as validators will be rewarded with APT for safeguarding the Aptos network.. The reward amount will be relative to the presiding APR and the number of tokens locked by the holders. 

APT is also the governance token of the Aptos blockchain. Aptos holders can vote on improvement proposals and also submit their proposals for community deliberation. A decentralized government is expected to empower users of the Aptos blockchain, with APT at the helm of this goal.

Published tokenomics data for APT reports that one billion (1,000,000,000) Aptos coins were minted at launch. This supply will be distributed to investors, community members, and the project team. The total supply is expected to grow to over 1.5 billion tokens in the next ten years.

Aptos (APT) Supply Schedule

Source: CoinGecko Aptos (APT) Tokenomics

13% of the initially minted tokens will be distributed to seed and funding round investors while 51% of the 1 billion tokens will be reserved for the Aptos community. These tokens will be held by the Aptos foundation (which has received 16% of the supply as well) and will be used for grants and community incentives and also used to fund growth initiatives.

The core team will receive 19% of this supply. This will be vested for a year and will be gradually released over time.

Aptos Allocation

Source: CoinGecko Aptos (APT) Tokenomics

APT Tokenomics Controversy

Before launch, there was no news of the tokenomics for APT. This lack of visibility led to concerns in the community, which the team sought to quiet by revealing their tokenomics. Unfortunately, crypto twitter didn’t take kindly to 49% of the token supply being allocated to the investors, core contributors and foundation.

Where to Buy Aptos

Hot on the heels of the mainnet launch, top-tier exchanges and many more have listed APT for trading, including Binance, Huobi Global, MEXC, OKX and FTX which listed APT at the same time on 19th October 2022. 

While it’s had a rocky start, dropping over 45% from its peak at time of writing, it currently ranks 56 on CoinGecko by market cap.

Aptos Supported Wallets

Thinking about where to keep your APT coin? A handful of wallets already exist for Aptos investors. Here are some wallet options for safekeeping your APT.

Pontem Wallet

Pontem network is building the first decentralized exchange on Aptos blockchain and wallet for asset safekeeping of assets. Pontem network’s liquid swap will also be integrated into the wallet application

Petra App

Petra is developing a wallet for Aptos coin. Petra wallet is still in development and core functionalities are yet to be verified. However, the demo mode is available for early testers. Check out the Petra Aptos wallet.

Martian Wallet

Martian wallet has already registered over 250,000 downloads on its chrome extension wallet for Aptos coins. It claims to be the gateway to the Aptos. Martian can be downloaded on used on desktop wallets for Web3 interactions on the Aptos network

Fewcha Wallet

Fewcha wallet is developed by Apps Cyclone. It is available for iOS users and also as a chrome extension.

Can I Add Aptos to My MetaMask Wallet?

You won’t be able to add Aptos to your MetaMask wallet as the Aptos blockchain is not compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

Final Thoughts

If we’re to have a single blockchain that serves as the “go-to” platform for building and using decentralized applications, then that blockchain must solve the most important issues faced by the common user. Current blockchains are brilliant, yet they are far from perfect. Even in the face of incessant challenges, developers of these blockchains aren’t relenting on fixing their systems, while facing up and coming competitors like Aptos. 

Aptos is attempting to develop a new system that solves all these problems at one go. While that is a herculean task, their technology is promising. Unlike some other smart contract blockchains, Aptos isn’t reinventing the wheel. They are developing highly modified versions of existing technologies and introducing completely new ways to pursue security, decentralization, and scalability.

These technologies packaged in one system might be the answer or a good step towards it. Whichever one it becomes; it is a step in the right direction for the whole space. Aptos has garnered a lot of attention even before its launch, and the resultant influx of users at launch is a good test for the scalability it promises and its whole infrastructure.

Thanks to a relatively unimpressive launch, its capabilities are already questionable, but given time, we could still see it grow into an enviable technology and ecosystem. That being said, do keep in mind that Aptos’ systems are still under heavy development and prone to dysfunctions and vulnerabilities. As a general rule, apply caution while interacting with complicated computing protocols and do your personal research before investing in any cryptocurrency.

Kadena: A Scalable Layer 1 PoW Blockchain

What is Kadena


Key Takeaways:

  • Kadena is an enterprise-grade, Layer 1 Proof-of-Work blockchain.

  • Pact is Kadena’s native smart contract language with an inbuilt bug-detecting feature.

  • The Kadena ecosystem includes a gas station, NFTs, DEXs, Wallets, and other DeFi apps.

  • KDA is Kadena’s native currency for incentivizing miners and paying transaction costs.


Blockchain technology can revolutionize the world as we know it with its potential to build trustless applications. From smart contracts to tokenized real-world assets, developers are just beginning to scratch the surface of the potential of this revolutionary technology. However, if you have ever tried to create a blockchain application, like a decentralized exchange (DEX), you may have encountered many hindrances that may have shut down your dream. 

Businesses and individuals who want to adopt blockchain in their systems often encounter issues like lack of interoperability (the ability of blockchains to communicate and share data seamlessly) and scalability (the ability of blockchains to process and store a large number of transactions.) Additionally, they expose themselves to faulty smart contracts, which are complex and expensive to build and deploy. 

Kadena is an enterprise-grade hybrid blockchain striving to change the narrative by offering developers and users a new smart contract programming language and a set of cutting-edge development tools. In doing so, the platform hopes to provide a blockchain solution that is interoperable, scalable, and energy-efficient. Follow along as we discuss what Kadena is, how it works, its main features, the Kadena ecosystem, and the Kadena token (KDA).

What is Kadena? 

Kadena is an enterprise-grade, Layer 1 Proof-of-Work (PoW) blockchain. It aims to offer a highly scalable and developer-friendly hybrid blockchain that guarantees a level of security similar to Bitcoin. To achieve this, Kadena leverages a novel consensus mechanism known as Chainweb and the Pact programming language.    

Kadena’s mission is to perfect its base layer for scalability and developer purposes without needing Layer 2 scalability and functionality protocols. These protocols can complicate app development; therefore, offering a complete tool kit on one platform will undoubtedly be more developer-friendly. The Kadena team claims Kadena can handle up to 480,000 transactions per second across 20 chains, and as it upgrades to 50 chains working in parallel, they expect it to exceed 1million transactions per second.

The network’s native programming language, Pact, is engineered to improve upon major drawbacks plaguing Ethereum’s Solidity, especially its vulnerability to unrestrained loops and lack of Formal Verification. Formal Verification is a way of proving that the algorithms underlying a system is functioning properly within its bounds. Moreover, developers can upgrade Pact smart contracts anytime without needing a hard fork.  

Kadena has also developed a private blockchain to precede its public smart contract blockchain. The private chain, dubbed Kadena Kuro, features a Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) consensus method and is designed for enterprise-grade applications. Since 2018, a healthcare consortium has been using Kuro to streamline the process of gathering and maintaining insurance data. Essentially, Kuro runs as a side-chain alongside Kadena’s public blockchain to boost transactions and build new data markets.  

Who Founded Kadena? 

Will Martino and Stuart Popejoy co-founded Kadena in 2016. The two happen to have deep ties to traditional finance:

  • Will was the lead engineer of Juno, JPMorgan’s pioneer blockchain project, and initially served as the technical leader of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Cryptocurrency Steering Committee. 

  • Stuart is a former member of the JPMorgan Blockchain Center for Excellence blockchain division.   

Who founded Kadena

Will Martino, left, and Stuart Popejoy – Kadena co-founders

Will and Stuart were steerer members of JPMorgan’s blockchain initiatives, where they gained a proper understanding of traditional finance (TradFi) and decentralized finance (DeFi). The understanding helped them to start Kadena to solve the flaws of centralized finance (CeFi) and DeFi. Besides the two, Dr. Stuart Haber, the co-inventor of blockchain and the most cited reference in Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin whitepaper, is another notable figure that acts as a Kadena advisor.   

How Does Kadena Work? 

To understand how Kadena works properly, we must consider its architecture. The Kadena architecture consists of three functionalities: 

  • Chainweb – a Layer 1 public network that offers limitless scalability in a PoW environment, leveraging a cutting-edge braiding technique (explained later) across parallel chains.  

  • Kuro – a Layer 2 open-source private chain optimized for enterprise-grade use cases. It boasts a transaction speed per second (TPS) of 8,000 across 500 nodes. 

  • Pact – Kadena’s native open-source programming language that uses Haskell.

Let’s have a closer look at each of these functionalities.

Chainweb 

Chainweb is Kadena’s Layer 1 public blockchain that offers unlimited scalability in a PoW consensus environment. It also refers to the exclusive architecture of the Kadena ecosystem. One of the significant issues of PoW networks is their incapability to scale. Chainweb enables Kadena to overcome this problem by introducing sharding (splitting network data to spread the computation and storage into peer chains) and braiding (combining peer chains to support the transactions on the main chain) techniques.  

As such, Chainweb is an interconnected bundle of several parallel chains, known as peer chains, which homogeneously work together for one blockchain. The image below demonstrates the Chainweb graph for Kadena’s 20 peer chains.

what is a chainweb

Source: https://medium.com/kadena-io/how-to-scale-a-proof-of-work-blockchain-9233e5b4b62

At first, Kadena launched with ten peer chains. Currently, Chainweb has 20 peer chains with a TPS of 480,000 when integrated with the Kuro chain. Despite doubling its peer chains, tests show that Kadena’s energy consumption remained the same. The results act as proof-of-concept for the network’s plans to scale from 20 peer chains to 1000 and more while consuming the same amount of energy, making it energy-efficient.  

Kuro

Kuro, previously ScalableBFT, is Kadena’s private blockchain, which works homogeneously with Chainweb. It’s an open-source Layer 2 chain that leverages a Byzantine Fault Tolerant mechanism and is designed for enterprise-grade applications. Kuro is developed using the Pact programming language. Some of its unique features include:

  • Automatic bug detection via Formal Verification.

  • Human-readable code accessible to developers and other users.

  • The option to change smart contract terms to accommodate dynamic business needs.

  • Easy integration with traditional databases with a native application programming interface (API). 

  • Enhanced security alternatives, such as key rotation and pluggable encryption, enable dial-up security to meet user specifications. 

Pact

Pact is Kadena’s native smart contract language with an inbuilt bug-detecting feature. It stands out as the first human-readable programming language, which is Turing-incomplete. It enables anyone (tech-savvy and non-tech-savvy users) to build blockchain apps in an up-front, direct, and secure way. 

As mentioned, Pact was invented to solve the major problems plaguing basic programming languages, like Ethereum’s Solidity. Since Solidity is Turing-complete (meaning it can compute anything that other computational methods can compute), it’s vulnerable to numerous attack vectors, including unbounded loops. When you reference a code from Pact contracts, you gain control of what happens with your transactions, even after upgrades. 

why kadena uses turing incomplete Source: https://medium.com/kadena-io/turing-completeness-and-smart-contract-security-67e4c41704c

One of the factors that contribute to a high number of attacks on Turing-complete contracts is recursion. Recursion is the ability of a smart contract to repeat an action until a given condition is met. Contrary, in Turing-incomplete languages like Pact, a recursion creates an instant failure and dismisses any running code. The action substantially minimizes any possible attack vectors in the code. Do you remember the 2016 DAO attack on Ethereum? It stands out as one of the best examples where an attacker exploits the reentrancy feature due to the Turing-complete nature of the code.

Features of the Kadena Network

Kadena strives to act as ‘The Source for the Resources’ necessary to create web3 applications. It overcomes most hurdles hindering blockchain’s mass adoption, including scalability, security, and ease of use. 

Scalability

Kadena’s use of the sharding technique boosts the scalability of the network, as every shard only deals with a small portion of the total transactions. This improves Kadena’s transaction throughput since each shard simultaneously handles transactions and creates blocks. The more shards in the network, the more transactions it can handle. 

Security

Regarding securing the peer chains, Kadena uses the braiding technique to secure them. All the blocks in the blockchain have hashes of previous blocks and hashes of former blocks in other peer chains. This enables the blocks to validate each other, irrespective of their shards or chains. 

For someone to attack the network, they must control more than 51% of the network hash power instead of one or two shards. This mitigates single-shard attacks and secures the Kadena blockchain as a whole. Though braiding is a bit complex, the use of ‘degrees’ and ‘diameters’ in the Chainweb system makes it easier for non-tech and tech-savvy users. 

Formal Verification (FV)

FV is a Pact feature that allows developers to automatically confirm whether their contracts contain bugs – loopholes that can be exploited via math computations. You can think of the FV tool as the ‘Grammarly programming tool. Apart from detecting bugs, FV also finds out whether your code executes other activities besides its intended purpose.  

Blockchain Governance 

Unlike Solidity smart contracts, Pact contracts can be modified or fixed through an update functionality, which lets users introduce new versions of smart contracts. Any abnormality will make the smart contract relapse to its initial state and reject further changes.

The Kadena Ecosystem 

Kadena’s ecosystem is rapidly growing with exclusive features, such as a ‘gas station’ and a new non-fungible token (NFT) standard. The ecosystem enables various teams relying on it to build with ease.

Gas Station

This is the first cryptocurrency gas station built on blockchain. Basically, a crypto gas station is an account that compensates all gas used to implement certain smart contract activities to users. The concept behind these stations is to ease the use of decentralized apps (dApps), helping users have a smooth experience without being compelled to acquire native tokens from an exchange and transferring them to a web3 wallet to use them in a dApp.  

Wallets 

There are multiple wallets integrated with the Kadena blockchain, including:

Chainweaver – The Kadena team is behind this wallet. Chainweaver utilizes 12-word seed phrases to generate all your wallet’s private and public keys.

Zelcore – Zelcore is a third-party wallet that features a combination of usernames and passwords for security. Remember, you are personally accountable for your security. Therefore, an easy-to-crack password puts your assets at risk.

Kaddex 

Kaddex is the first Automated Market Maker (AMM) DEX built on Kadena. Because of Kadena’s unique features, Kaddex users can swap crypto with low-cost gas fees while enjoying a Layer 1 PoW network. Kaddex shares a similar vision with Kadena centered on innovative features and law compliance. 

NFTs 

Kadena’s NFTs, programmed with Pact, solve one major problem hindering Ethereum’s ERC standards – limited utilities (apart from acting as a medium of value transfer). Stuart Popejoy, the Kadena co-founder, claims the NFT royalty sales in various Ethereum markets are left in the hands of markets. This compels users to trust in a space that is meant to be trustless. 

Kadena’s native NFT standard would enable automatic royalty transfers to creators even if the sale/transfer were executed outside an NFT marketplace. This ensures and supports the artist’s right to royalties from their works.  

What is the Kadena Token (KDA)?

Kadena KDA overview

KDA is Kadena’s native currency that facilitates the Kadena ecosystem payments. Like in Ethereum, Kadena users need KDA to pay for transaction charges. On the other hand, miners secure the Kadena blockchain by mining KDA. Essentially, miners confirm transactions and record them in the blockchain as new blocks.  

KDA has a maximum supply of 1 billion, with a current circulating supply of 198 million. You can trade it on exchanges such as BKEX, Binance, KuCoin, Gate.io, and OKX. You can check CoinGecko markets to find more marketplaces where you can trade KDA. 

 

Source: https://medium.com/kadena-io/update-to-the-kadena-token-economic-model-21e1ec18f099

Kadena’s total token allocation is divided into five categories:

Platform reserve: 20% of KDA’s total supply is assigned to the platform reserve. This reserve resembles a treasury where assets will be partially monetized and used to fund services like insurance, code verification, and gas station grants.

Miners: 70% of KDA’s total supply is allocated to miners. The tokens are slowly added into supply as miner block rewards.

Investor/Strategic: 6% of the total supply was sold in funding rounds.

Contributor: 3% of the tokens are assigned to ecosystem contributors, like the staff, consultants, and advisors. 

Burned: 1% of the total supply was burned during the initial launch. 

Conclusion

Kadena is a promising hybrid blockchain that has already received solid support from businesses, developers, and crypto users. The Kadena team has done impressive work scaling a PoW network without sacrificing security and decentralization features. Currently, Kadena is arguably the fastest chain in the blockchain industry. With its entry into the DeFi and NFT spaces, the scope of its use becomes even more significant.

CoinGecko AMA on r/CryptoCurrency

Why Coingecko logo is gecko

Earlier this week, CoinGecko held an AMA on r/CryptoCurrency. We’ve picked out some highlights from the session here, so if you’ve ever had a burning question for us, check out the questions below to see if we’ve answered it!

Note: Some questions have been edited for length and clarity.

Weirdcrypto: What are the metrics you look at before determining to list a coin on your website?

At CoinGecko, we take a curated approach to listing cryptocurrencies and tokens. The exact criteria is not disclosed to avoid it being gamed but this Methodology page (under Listing Criteria) provides some of the criteria that we use to evaluate.

Our team also manually checks each token for sufficient liquidity and volume on DEXes and also checks for suspicious functions on smart contracts. The obvious rugs are not added while those with dubious functions, we will add warnings such as the warnings on Variable Taxes.

Our second product, GeckoTerminal takes on a non-curated approach to listing tokens. With GeckoTerminal, we list ALL tokens traded on DEXes. Currently we track 65 Layer 1/2 Networks, 331 DEXes and over 1 million tokens on GeckoTerminal. This includes all tokens with low volume and liquidity.

Only a fraction of tokens found on GeckoTerminal is added on CoinGecko.

TNGSystems: I’ve been using CoinGecko since forever, as I always found the data to be very accurate. What would you say gives your aggregator the edge over CMC?

CoinGecko is independent! We are a self-funded business and don’t have any exchanges as our investor. This allows us to be impartial when it comes to displaying crypto data.

ultron290196: Will you guys ever consider turning Candies into a cryptocurrency?

This is an excellent question! No immediate plans for the time being yet but we are monitoring closely the experiment that Reddit is doing with this subreddit (r/CryptoCurrency) and the MOON token. I think what you guys have going on here is very interesting and we are seeing the lessons that we can learn over here as well! We will be looking to add more benefits to our Candies so that you can redeem more interesting items from CoinGecko and partners.

We also like Supaflyray’s suggestion about using candies for raffles and auctions for cool items, and Intelligent_Page2732’s idea about making NFT redemptions available for various candy balances!

SJHarrison1992: Been using your API for a while now for bits and bobs ,so firstly thank you! Is there a feature in the pipeline that you are all especially excited about?

We are excited about the developments happening on GeckoTerminal. GeckoTerminal is our attempt to better track on-chain data and the growing number of tokens. So far, we are tracking 65 Layer 1/2 Networks, 331 DEXes and over 1 million tokens. The private API of GeckoTerminal is now already powering CoinGecko data for various DEXes. As we further battle test the API, we hope to expose the API to the public in the medium term. You can then get a lot more data from our API!

Also, campbellxtfh is one keen observer! They noticed that we’ve newly added NFT endpoints.

Kappatalizable: Why did you choose the name CoinGecko and not CoinDoggo or CoinInu? Do you guys have a Gecko pet in your office?

When we wanted to start CoinGecko back in 2014, we wanted a .com domain with a cute animal mascot to go along with it. We searched for various permutations for Coin.com to see which were available.

There was CoinGecko and CoinTeddy available for registration. However, CoinTeddy won’t work because who wants to be in a forever “bear” market. Gecko is a cute reptile so we thought why not, let’s go with it! It’s now our favorite pet! 🦎

RED_BULLish_Crypto: How does CoinGecko make money?

Currently we make money from 4 sources – advertising, affiliates, API subscriptions and Premium subscriptions.

HyperIndian: Are you seeing much lower volumes of users on your platforms?

Yes, we are seeing our user numbers drop significantly during this bear market. But it’s not surprising. Our usage levels correlate very closely with BTC price and it’s down roughly *ahem* 70+% like all other cryptocurrencies. This is in line to the previous bear cycles as well and we are totally expecting this.

Jwinterm: I have seen you starting to host NFT conferences, and also include NFT marketdata. Do you still see NFTs as a major area of growth for CoinGecko?

Yes! We see NFTs playing a major role for CoinGecko in the coming years. We see a future where anything that can be tokenized, will be tokenized. This means we will see a world with millions of fungible and non-fungible tokens!

At CoinGecko, we now track NFT floor prices! So far we have NFTs on Ethereum, Polygon, Optimism, Arbitrum, Avalanche, Klaytn. We are looking to add Solana soon as well. If you guys notice any missing NFTs, do send a request on our Request Form.

We hope to further improve our NFT section and there’s a lot of interesting data points surrounding NFTs!

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What is Hedera and How Does the Hashgraph Work?

What is Hedera HBAR


Key Takeaways:

  • A hashgraph is an algorithm that provides the benefits of blockchain technology (decentralization, distribution, and security via hashing) without the hitch of low transaction speeds

  • Hedera Hashgraph is governed by the Hedera Governing Council – a fully decentralized entity comprising 39 major world-leading organizations drawn from various industries including Google, LG, and Boeing, where each member enjoys an equal vote over software upgrades, network pricing, treasury decisions, and so on.


Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR) is the native currency for the Hedera network. Blockchain is one of the popular methods of implementing distributed ledger technology (DLT). DLT describes software or infrastructure that allows decentralized ledgers to be shared and verified across multiple locations. Nonetheless, DLTs are not only limited to blockchains! Hedera is a public crypto network and governing entity for creating decentralized applications (dApps) that leverages a unique type of DLT known as hashgraph. 

A hashgraph is an algorithm that provides the benefits of blockchain technology (decentralization, distribution, and security via hashing) without the hitch of low transaction speeds. While the Bitcoin network boasts around five transactions per second (TPS) and Ethereum 15 TPS, the Hedera network can handle up to 10,000 TPS. Thus, this unique DLT application potentially beats first-generation blockchains in terms of scalability and speed. Join us as we learn more about hashgraph technology and its potential applications in crypto.

What is Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR)?

HBAR is the native currency for the Hedera network. Essentially, Hedera is a DLT network that fundamentally differs from the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains but serves the same purposes. It’s based on the security and validation mechanisms considered more efficient than those applied on blockchain networks.

Hedera implements DLT on hashgraph instead of blockchains. Hashgraph technology offers a practical alternative to blockchains for leveraging an open ledger system. The technology presents multiple benefits compared with blockchains. For example, there is no mining, meaning the environmental effect of using it is significantly minimized, and in the case of Hedera, it’s carbon negative. It also boasts lower fixed transaction fees of $0.0001 per transaction, where fees do not fluctuate with HBAR’s price. Moreover, hashgraph-based networking can implement a DLT with the same security and anonymity perks as blockchain-based ledgers, with added advantages such as improved performance and higher processing capacity. 

Currently, the Hedera network is the only DLT implementation based on the hashgraph algorithm, and HBAR is the only hashgraph-based cryptocurrency. Despite being the pioneer project, Hedera offers detailed guidelines and source code illustrations to application programming interface (API) calls, which enable developers to build their crypto projects on the Hedera network. 

Hedera is drawing the attention of major technology companies and investors because of its potential to offer the benefits of blockchain-based ledgers while bypassing technical hitches that have kept them from scaling up to handle high transaction volumes. Hedera has already partnered with some of the world’s leading companies, such as Boeing, Google, and IBM, which are members of the Hedera Governing Council. 

Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR) Token

Hedera Hbar overview

HBAR has a circulating supply of 22.9 billion and a maximum supply of 50 billion. It currently has a market cap of $1.4 billion and ranks 37. Since issuing HBAR tokens doesn’t involve a complex cryptographic consensus, the Hedera network minted all the 50 billion tokens before launching its Mainnet in 2018, allocating these based on the below token distribution:

Hedera Token allocation

Find out more about Hedera (HBAR)’s tokenomics here.

The HBAR token derives its value from several use cases. First, it acts as Hedera’s utility token. If you participate in validating network transactions as a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) node operator, you will be incentivized to use HBAR tokens. Besides, validators are rewarded with HBAR tokens for securing the Hedera network. 

HBAR has also drawn the interest of crypto investors who believe its value will rise as the Hedera network goes mainstream. The network has also positioned itself well to appeal to environmentally-conscious partners and investors by embracing the energy-efficient PoS instead of the energy-intensive Proof-of-Work (PoW) mechanism.  

Where to Buy Hedera Hashgraph 

You can trade HBAR in over 50 crypto marketplaces, including Binance, HitBTC, KuCoin, Huobi Global, and Bybit

Remember to do your own research before investing in any cryptocurrency.

How Does the Hedera Hashgraph Work?

Hedera Hashgraph is based on an idea from the graph theory known as directed acyclic graphs. These graphs facilitate the formation of data structures and flows that don’t follow up on former states. When applied as the basis for a DLT network, acyclic graphs ensure transactions can’t be altered once they have been verified and included in the network. 

Hedera applies these graphs in its nodes (network validators) to implement an asynchronous byzantine fault-tolerant (ABFT) consensus mechanism. This mechanism is an alternative to slow and resource-intensive cryptographic consensus methods used by blockchain-based ledgers. Hedera strongly believes the ABFT mechanism is more effective, rational, and secure than standard validation methods as transactions are included in the network energy-efficiently and cost-effectively. 

Since the network is fully compatible with smart contracts, it can potentially host dApps. This feature enables developers to build apps that support transferring value and goods without third parties, such as banks and brokers. The elimination of intermediaries from the equation makes dApps cost-effective, faster, and more secure than conventional apps. Hedera works through the Hashgraph consensus and governance. Essentially, Hedera’s consensus and governance make it highly scalable and best-suited to become the first hashing DLT network to achieve mass adoption.    

Hashgraph Consensus   

Hedera Hashgraph is a proof-of-stake (PoS) network leveraging an open source hashgraph distributed consensus mechanism. Dr. Leemon Baird, the Hedera co-founder and previous Chief Scientist, developed and patented the mechanism, although it is now open source as of 5 August 2022. It offers high efficiency in bandwidth application and can process up to 10,000 TPS.  

Unlike first-generation proof-of-work (PoW) networks like Bitcoin, which pick one miner to determine the next block, the community of nodes operating the hashgraph mutually agrees on which transactions to include in the ledger. Through gossip-about-gossip and governance voting, the hashgraph network achieves consensus on the legitimacy and timestamp of each transaction. If the transaction is legitimate and falls within the appropriate time, the ledger’s state is updated to record the transaction with 100% finality.  

In a blockchain-based ledger, consensus mechanisms require blocks to be verified in one long chain, consented by the node validators. When two blocks are created simultaneously, the validators select one block and reject the other, lest the network split into two chains. It’s similar to a growing tree that continuously has all but one of its branches cut off.  

In hashgraph, each package of transactions is added to the ledger – none are cast-off – thus, it’s considered more efficient than blockchain-based ledgers. All the branches are left to exist forever and are knitted together. Besides, a blockchain-based ledger can fail if new transaction requests are made too quickly – in the case of new branches budding faster than they are cut off. This is why blockchains require PoW or some other mechanism to artificially regulate growth. In hashing, transactions are not discarded; hence no need to artificially slow down processes. 

Governance

Hedera Hashgraph is governed by the Hedera Governing Council – an entity comprising 39 major world-leading organizations drawn from various industries. These organizations include Google, LG, and Boeing. The council is fully decentralized, and each member enjoys an equal vote over software upgrades, network pricing, treasury decisions, and so on. Besides, the council members are term-limited and are not paid by Hedera. 

hedera governing council

Source: Hedera

The council is meant to help Hedera achieve its vision of a completely decentralized, fair, reliable governance in the long-term network interests. Each member is accountable for partial network ownership through the Hedera LLC agreement. You can access minutes from each council meeting within one month after voting. 

Hedera’s governance system significantly minimizes the risk of conceptual or personal disagreements affecting most public networks’ governance. To ensure a reliable developer-focused community and developer-driven roadmap, users can send proposals regarding features, functionalities, and standards via the Hedera improvement proposals (HIPs). These proposals are community-based, assessed and accepted by the Hedera Governing Council, and executed by a distributed group of project engineers. 

Hashgraph Vs. Blockchain

Blockchain and hashgraph are both DLTs. While they present considerable differences, as shown in the table below, they are applied to securely record and store transaction data. The major difference between blockchain and hashgraph is that the latter involves a consensus algorithm known as gossip-about-gossip, while blockchain mainly leverages PoW or PoS mechanisms. 

Blockchain vs Hashgraph

What is Hedera Hashgraph Used For? 

Applications that use Hedera Hashgraph’s network services are an essential element of Hedera’s utility. Anyone – developers, startups, investors, or Fortune 500 companies – can sign up anonymously and run a Hedera-based app on the network across various use cases such as:

  • Payments – Facilitate secure, prompt, and low-cost peer-to-peer (P2P) payments with HBAR, stablecoins, and other tokens.

  • Content authenticity – Control and publicly prove the legitimacy of personal documents, like academic qualifications.

  • CBDC – Issue central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) for national or global remittance purposes. 

  • Audit log – Cost-effectively build a publicly auditable data log, such as payable events and internet-of-things (IoT) sensor data. 

  • Decentralized Finance (DeFi) – Eliminate expensive third parties and create financial marketplaces, borrowing, and lending protocols with Solidity smart contracts. 

  • Decentralized identity – Deploy decentralized identity via secure and anonymous methods.

  • NFTs – Create non-fungible token (NFT) markets for the minting and trading tokens.

  • Permissioned blockchain – Perform private transactions on permissioned blockchains, like Hyperledger Fabric.  

  • Interoperability – Create an interoperable bridge linking public and private networks to facilitate value transfer. 

Final Thoughts

HBAR is cryptocurrency fueling a unique network, which circumvents most of the drawbacks that have limited the mainstream adoption and usefulness of blockchain-based DLT applications. The algorithms behind the Hedera Hashgraph and HBAR are comparatively new and are now scaling up to solve and build on the weaknesses of blockchain technology. However, downsides and inefficiencies in hashgraph technology may emerge as the network grows in terms of users and applications.