The Big Cypherpunk FAQ (v2.0) [Paid/Free #30]

It's the extra-sized Issue 30 edition of our newsletter! This is your handy dandy index of what we've covered so far. Any time your friends ask you a crypto question, feel free to forward this email!

Well hello there, my friend.

Did you know there’s a size limit to emails? The recurring FAQ issue hits the limit, apparently. I’ll keep the intro brief:

  • Holy crap, we’re back in all-time-high price territory! As I’m writing this, Bitcoin is at $55k, and Ethereum is at $3,400.

  • Membership drive, and NFT airdrop! I’m giving away a full book form of this issue to paid subscribers. Cut off is next week. Read more here.

Share this issue with a friend! Feel free to forward… and if it was forwarded to you, feel free to subscribe!

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Blockchain Bulletin

DC Comics partners with Palm for NFT comic drop

DC Comics is partnering up with Palm NFT Studio to officially release its first collection of NFTs on October 5 in the first-ever release for the legendary comic book company, reported Forbes.

The NFTs will use Palm’s proprietary environmentally sustainable blockchain technology to highlight DC’s history and breadth of characters and storytelling.

The drop will feature heroes like Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and Harley Quinn, and the premier drop offers fans the opportunity to collect three covers for each character in three levels of rarity. Examples include comic book covers from different vintages from Wonder Woman’s comic for Common “1987’s Wonder Woman #1 by George Peréz,” for Rare “2021’s Nubia and the Amazons #1 by Alitha Martinez” and for Legendary “Yara Flor on 2021’s Future State: Wonder Woman #1 by Jenny Frison.”

“We spent a lot of time on how to translate and adapt these classic covers into a 21st century format such as NFTs,” said DC’s Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee. “This drop pays homage to our 87-year history while visualizing a future in which NFTs play a foundational role in novel ways of interacting with DC content and unlocking new experiences.”

TikTok jumps on NFT bandwagon with creator-led collection

TikTok is launching its own set of NFTs with a “Top Moments” collection that features celebrities doing their own special projects, reported The Verge.

The TikTok Top Moments will feature a selection of six “culturally significant” TikTok videos from what the platform calls its most beloved creators. The list of celebrities includes Lil Nas X, Rudy Willingham, Bella Poarch, Curtis Roach, Brittany Broski, FNMeka, Jess Marciante and Gary Vaynerchuk. The featured creators will team up with prominent NFT artists including COIN ARTIST, x0r, RTFKT, and more, on limited edition NFTs.

The proceeds from the NFT sales will go directly to creators and NFT artists involved, in what the platform says will provide TikTok and NFT fans a way to show support for the creators a way to show support.

The NFTs will be made available on Ethereum and powered by Immutable X, which uses StarkWare’s technology.

More information is available on the TikTok and Immutable X website.

Bubblehouse builds an accessible NFT market for artists with $4M funding

Social, accessible and eco-friendly NFT marketplace for creators to discover, collect and make money selling the nonfungible tokens Bubblehouse announced a pre-seed funding round of $4M, reported Crowdfund Insider.

Using Bubblehouse influencers get to view a real-time interactive feed of what others are collecting – including celebrities. Currently there’s very little way to be part of the collection process and as a social platform, Bubblehouse wants to change that by providing a social NFT marketplace platform by allowing users to showcase their purchases and collections online.

According to the platform’s CEO Rohan Sinha, it is designed to abstract away as many technical portions of NFT creation and trade as possible. Making it as easy as possible to participate in NFTs to attract mainstream attention.

“Bubblehouse finally unlocks an NFT experience for the mainstream market,” said Sinha.

All users who sign up for Bubblehouse automatically get their own crypto wallet and can even transfer NFTs from other platforms into and out of the system. The platform even does much of the heavy lifting and allows collectors to pay for NFTs through standard payment models without needing to navigate through crypto payments.


Blockchain Behind the Scenes

Ripple launces $250M creator fund to bring NFTs to XRP Ledger

Ripple Labs Inc. has announced that it has put together a $250 million fund called the Ripple Creator Fund to support creators, brands and marketplaces to explore use cases for nonfungible tokens.

The funds will be used to bring more users, developers and creatives to its blockchain technology, the XRP Ledger, to use NFTs. The company claims that many creators have avoided NFTs because of technical concerns about NFT platforms because of a lack of technical knowledge and fear that their NFTs will fail to gain traction.

In order to address these concerns, Ripple has partnered with NFT marketplaces mintNFT and Mintable – which Ripple recently invested in themselves -- as well as joined forces with VSA Partners, a creative agency which will be able to help NFT creators in crafting premium projects.

Visa unveils universal cryptocurrency payment channel

Visa Inc. has announced a universal blockchain interoperability channel as part of its continued research into payment channels for connecting multiple types of tokens.

The credit card company is calling the concept a “Universal Payment Channel,” which isn’t much unlike every other blockchain bridge project. In the case of Visa, the company wants to interoperate especially with central bank currencies, for example like Sweden’s eKrona and stablecoin’s such as USDC.

The objective of the payment channel would enable what is essentially a “universal adapter” between blockchains allowing banks and merchants to seamlessly exchange tokens, no matter what form of currency.

Visa expects that in the coming years more central banks will continue to create their own CBDC and stablecoins and as a result there will be a staggering number that will need to be bridged. As a result, the need for the UPC will become evident. Central banks, merchants, businesses and others will therefore have need for a seamless and automatic way to take advantage to exchange that value. 


Rizzn’s Big Cypherpunk FAQ v2.0

Key Blockchain Concepts

What is Bitcoin and Blockchain?

Bitcoin is the reference architecture of Blockchain, which is a decentralized internet protocol for mitigating or removing the requirement for trust between counterparties.  

This is a concept we build off of in every chapter, in some way, and mention in nearly every issue.

What is Byzantine Fault Tolerance?

Bitcoin SV very notably suffered through a 51% attack this week. What is this attack vector, and what does it have to do with Byzantine Generals?

Read more in Issue 22 (Full, Summary).

What is a Consensus Mechanism?

The top of the stack is the sexy bit that most people hang onto, but the foundation of the stack is just as important. This week we start a series examining mining and consensus.

Read more in Issue 26 (Full, Summary)

What’s a Turing-Complete Blockchain?

A Turing-Complete blockchain is a subset of blockchain with enhanced functionality allowing for some types of programmatic execution. If a standard blockchain (like Bitcoin) is a paper ledger, a Turing-Complete blockchain is like a spreadsheet, allowing for advanced functionality to occur when data is committed to the permanent ledger.

Read more in Issue 12 (Full, Summary).

What's the difference between sidechains, rollups, and merge mined coins?

This section has been focusing on consensus mechanisms and mining concepts. Today's issue wraps that up by explaining the concepts behind the terms "rollups, merge mined coins, and sidechains."

Read more in Issue 29 (Full, Summary).

What are Stablecoins?

Stablecoins are a useful device for moving more real world transactional value around without being exposed to the volatility of other deflationary cryptocurrencies. Typically they’re locked to the value of a dollar through various means, but some are tied to other asset prices, like a quantity of gold.

Read more in Issue 18 (Full, Summary).

How does supply-chain work on the blockchain?

This seemingly very dense topic is actually quite simple: Apply IoT and NFTs to supply chain, and you have a single version of the truth in supply chain. We'll uncompact that in today's issue.

Read more in Issue 21 (Full, Summary)

What is an NFT?

NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token, and is generally a technology for creating deeds and titles on the blockchain.

Read more in Issue 1 (Full, Summary).

Can NFT’s help monetize media brands?

Despite cryptocurrency early on promising to solve the eternal digital problem of microtransactions, it so far has failed to do so in a way that online publications can use to paywall content effectively. This mini-whitepaper describes a scenario in which the nascent technology of NFTs could solve the broader problem of digital media monetization.

Read more in Issue 15 (Full, Summary).

What’s the promise and reality of NFTs?

While there are a great many in-market applications for NFTs, there still remains a great deal of technology maturity in this field before NFTs can truly reach their true world-changing potential.

Read more in Issue 3 (Full, Summary).

How do you launch an NFT project?

NFT projects are increasingly being looked at as product and marketing avenues for artists and brands. What can we learn from commercially successful NFT projects about launching an NFT sale?

Read more in Issue 25 (Full, Summary)

What is a Data Oracle?

Blockchains serve as a permanent record for any data recorded there, which makes any situation where the problem is data integrity look to blockchain as a tempting solution. Data Oracles are a technique for bringing non-native data into a blockchain’s permanent record.

Read more in Issue 16 (Full, Summary).

What are Colored Coins?

Colored Coins is a concept for (and in practice diaspora of protocols) built on the Bitcoin stack for creating enhanced functionality typically only seen in Turing-Complete blockchains. 

Read more in Issue 19 (Full, Summary).

Cypherpunk Research & Editorials

Is Blockchain an inherently political technology?

The common perception is that technology is just a tool, with intent only prescribed at the point of usage. As modern tech disproves this notion, where does blockchain fit on the spectrum?

Read more in Issue 17 (Full).

What is “Cypherpunk Maximalism”?

Many of those who call themselves “bitcoiners” ascribe to a philosophy called “Bitcoin Maximalism,” but Bitcoin is a protocol and a movement that arose out of a group of technologists and anarchists who call themselves “cypherpunks.” Understanding their origins is instrumental to understanding blockchain technology’s future.

Read more in Issue 7 (Full, Summary).

What is SIM Swapping?

According to reports, all users of T-Mobile have had their data leaked and made available for purchase on the dark web; for customers who use financial apps, a hack is coming very soon.

Read more in issue 23 (Full)

What do we do about our Elon problem?

Elon Musk's "hustle" on new Democrats sees bitcoin pay the price for his companies' subsidies. Unfortunately, his disingenuous statements about cryptocurrency to his following heralded a turn of public opinion on cryptocurrency, and signalled a top for the 2021 bull run.

Read more in Issue 10 (Full, Summary).

Is crypto destroying the planet?

One of the key pillars no-coiners make against crypto is the lack 'greenness' and the potential impact it has on the climate. This is a fundamentally flawed perspective.

Read more in Issue 8 (Full, Summary).

How is crypto mining improving the energy grid?

In our ongoing series about mining and consensus mechanisms, we examine exactly what the impact on climate and energy grids mining has.

Read more in Issue 27 (Full, Summary).

Is MobileCoin any good?

Signal announced that they're implementing MobileCoin into the native Signal messenger experience. Is it, as it’s billed, a truly "secure and private way to transact?" Only sorta...

Read more in Issue 4 (Full, Summary).

Interviews

Is Dogecoin having its moment (Tina Hui interview)?

Thanks in part to a perfect storm of media and celebrity investor conditions, Dogecoin has risen to never-before-seen new heights during 2021. This interview with Dogecon founder Tina Hui lends a great deal of insight into the culture and time that gave birth to the memecoin.

Read more in Issue 6 (Full, Summary).

What’s the real story in the death of John McAfee (John Casaretto interview)?

The death of my friend and former coworker John McAfee in 2021 was widely publicized, and as I wrote this issue, I was still roiling about in my thoughts and emotions on it. I spoke with my friend, McAfee coworker, and the Security Editor from SiliconANGLE, John Casaretto to see how he was faring and what his thoughts were.

Read more in Issue #16 (Full, Summary).

What does the Texas Bitcoin Bill mean for Texas business (Lee Bratcher and Rep. Tan Parker interview)?

In 2021, Texas Legislator Tam Parker successfully lead a bipartisan effort in Texas to get regulatory clarity codified into law. The bill was later signed by Governor Greg Abbot.

Read more in Issue 12 (Full, Summary).

Key Bitcoin Concepts

What is Bitcoin Maximalism?

Perhaps the largest tribe in the world of cryptocurrency is a group of who call themselves Bitcoin Maximalists. This is an examination into the culture and tribe that spawned blockchain and gatekeep the technology to this day.

Read more in Issue 7 (Full, Summary).

Is it possible for the FBI to seize anyone’s Bitcoin?

The FBI seized a massive amount of Bitcoin this week from Russian ransomware group Darkside, but was cagey about how. The media thinks they found a backdoor. The math and physics behind Bitcoin proves otherwise.

Read more in Issue 14 (Full, Summary).

How do I use Bitcoin like money?

In 2021, El Salvador declared Bitcoin legal tende, and several Central & South American countries are following suit. What suite of tools and techniques best help a Bitcoiner actually use it like money?

Read more in Issue 13 (Full, Summary).

How do I pick the right crypto wallet?

As OnlyFans tosses the majority of their customers and performers out the door, a new wave of crypto adoption arises as digital sex workers seek to go direct to their fans.

Read more in Issue 24 (Full, Summary).

Does “Dollar Cost Averaging” beat the market?

When crypto markets enter a bear phase, one of the most commonly asked questions is ‘what investment strategy can help one beat market drops?’ Dollar Cost Averaging even at the top of a bull market is one such strategy that can achieve positive ROI?

Read more in Issue 11 (Full, Summary).

Could Satoshi singlehandedly tank the market?

This is a question nocoiners and haters like to ask (and maximalists hate to answer!). But even if one man could tank the market, what's more likely? Hyper-bitcoinization or collapse?

Read more in Issue 9 (Full, Summary).

How do I explain Bitcoin to my friends?

In 2021, Coinbase went publicly traded, an event that like many before it triggered the question “What the heck is Bitcoin” out of the uninitiated. For those who are tech adjacent, the Bitcoin curious always seem to aim their questions at them. What’s the best way to explain it to the newbies?

Read more in Issue 5 (Full, Summary).