MARCH 11, 2024

In its policy update of February 21, 2024, PayPal announced that it will exclude NFTs from eligibility for the buyer protection program and limit the protection of sold NFTs to ten thousand dollars at the moment of the transaction.

We are revising PayPal’s Buyer Protection Program to exclude Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) from eligibility [and the] Seller Protection Program to exclude from eligibility Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) with a transaction amount of $10,000.01 USD or above (or equivalent value in local currency as calculated at the time of the transaction); $10,000.00 USD or below (or equivalent value in local currency as calculated at the time of the transaction), unless the buyer claims it was an Unauthorised Transaction and the transaction meets all other eligibility requirements.

The crypto world seems to be the perfect place for fraudulent and counterfeit transactions, as scammers request money through digital wallets, which are often hard to trace and have no protection, instead of using traditional banks.

This policy update comes right after Cent NFT blocked NFT sales and the UK authorities seized, for the first time, three NFTs.

DECEMBER 14, 2023

  • Log into your Gemini account.
  • Go to AccountEarn Voting Materials.
  • Copy your E-Ballot ID.
  • Access the online balloting platform, which is Genesis' soliciting agent, Kroll.
  • Paste your E-Ballot ID.

You can update your vote multiple times before the Jan 10, 2024 (4 pm) deadline and, as listed in the voting instructions, "the last properly completed Ballot timely submitted will supersede and revoke any previously received Ballot."1

  1. If multiple Ballots are electronically submitted by a single Holder with respect to the same Claim prior to the Voting Deadline, the last properly completed Ballot timely submitted will supersede and revoke any previously received Ballot. 

MAY 20, 2022

In a newsletter-y email from OpenSea this morning, there's a section titled Copymints1 that reads what follows in italics.

Copymints are a problem that can sometimes make it difficult for our community to find authentic content with confidence. We’re committed to threading the needle between removing these copymints and giving space for substantively additive remixes to prosper in the following ways:

  • Image Recognition Technology – Our new copymint prevention system leverages computer-vision tech to scan all NFTs2 on OpenSea (including new mints) — looking for flips, rotations & other permutations. We'll continue expanding and training our models to improve detection.
  • Dedicated Human Review – Making this image recognition technology work requires dedicated “humans in the loop” who can review removal recommendations and train our models continuously.

It feels like a rat race. The better the copymint image recognition technology gets the better the generation of fake copies will get. Verification is likely to help and filter out scams, yet that makes "the open sea" less and less open. On the other end, we've heard how miserable moderating content manually is.

The numbers shared on OpenSea's email are brutal. The largest trading volume day in OpenSea history was May 1, 2022, with $476,139,461, and there were 3.1 million transactions on OpenSea over the last 30 days. Some have to be making lots of money and many are probably losing a lot.

Please, please, don't take any content on my blog, podcast, or YouTube channel as financial advice. I don't endorse these platforms nor do I encourage you to invest your money in cryptocurrencies or NFTs. These are highly volatile markers prone to making you lose your money.

Here's an OpenSea post on verification and copymint-prevention updates.

  1. I just added the word copymint to my Grammarly dictionary. 

  2. NFT stands for non-fungible token. Aziz Barbar and I recorded an episode on NFTs and digital art in a language we hope everyone can understand. 

APRIL 7, 2022

A crypto passphrase is a series of common English words, typically twelve or sixteen, which lets you generate and recover a digital wallet. Your passphrase is the seed to recover your public and private keys, your wallet's key pair. (Here's how to create a passphrase with the Solana command-line interface.)

With your public key, people can send you money and see your transactions (to check). With your private key, they can move your funds.

It's crucial that when you install or recover your wallet from your passphrase in wallets such as Exodus or MetaMask, you should protect it with a strong password. That password will let you unlock the wallet on that device. But as that password has nothing to do with your keypair, you can set a different password on each device, which will disappear if you remove the wallet from your device and recover your wallet from your passphrase.

MARCH 15, 2022

How much time did that take?

It takes five to ten minutes to write three hundred words. But it can take hours to write a three-hundred-word essay.

As consumers, we pay little attention to how things are made, their inner workings, or the effort behind them—all we care about is how what we consume impacts us.

As creators, we obsess about how things are made and forget about their impact on the reader, the listener—and we should care about how what we make changes the way consumers understand the world.

Nobody cares how much time you put into writing an essay. All they care about is how its words transform them.

MARCH 8, 2022

The Basic Attention Token

Brendan Eich1 is the American coder and technologist who created the ubiquitous JavaScript programming language and co-founded the Mozilla project. Eich developed the first version of JavaScript (formerly named Mocha and LiveScript) at Netscape, a browser from which Mozilla inherited its base code in 1998. In fact, the Mozilla organization was created to manage open-source code contributions to the Netscape browser.2

In January 2016, Eich raised $2.5 million from angel investors as CEO of Brave Software,3 the company behind a revolutionary web browser named Brave built around the concept of privacy and attention which has its own cryptocurrency—the BAT or Basic Attention Token.4

According to their white paper,5 "[Brave Software proposed] the BAT as a token of exchange in a secure, anonymous, opt-in advertising system based in the browser and the mobile app webview."

You make BAT by browsing the internet with Brave, which shields you from ad tracking but exposes you to selected ads in exchange for tokens, which you can trade for digital or fiat currencies.

The BAT follows the ERC-20 token standard and is implemented in the Ethereum blockchain. As of October 4, 2021, each Basic Attention Token (1 BAT) was worth seventy cents of a dollar ($0.7032) and is now down to sixty-three.

In the BAT ad ecosystem, "users earn for their attention, creators get paid for making great content, and advertisers get a better return," and Brave has more than fifty million monthly active users.3

In short, part of the advertising money goes to you in exchange for your attention as you browse the internet and get exposed to curated ads—all of that without compromising your privacy and being tracked, one of the key pillars on which ad-selling companies such as Google and Meta rely on to make a profit.

Even though I continue browsing the internet with Google Chrome and AdBlock, rewarding ad consumers for their attention is an attractive model that could be implemented in other mediums.

Thanks to Jose Mathias for his suggestions for this essay.

  1. Take a look at Brendan Eich’s personal website

  2. According to Wikipedia

  3. Brave’s 2021 recap 

  4. According to Wikipedia, Brave is a free and open-source web browser developed by Brave Software, Inc. based on the Chromium web browser. Brave Wallet, Brave's native digital wallet, a fork of MetaMask, comes pre-installed with the browser. 

  5. You can read Brave Software's white paper here

SEPTEMBER 28, 2021

Why can't I add Bitcoin to my MetaMask wallet? You may be wondering.

AUGUST 31, 2021

A hundred million satoshis

One bitcoin equals one hundred million satoshis1 (1 bitcoin = 100,000,000 satoshis), making Bitcoin extremely divisible. Yet, the usefulness of Bitcoin's divisibility lowers as its price goes up. Let's do some numbers.

When one bitcoin was worth $1,000 (around March 2017), you could divide a dollar into 100,000 units—a satoshi was worth 0.00001 dollars. Each cent was divisible into 1,000 units. But what about today?

As I wrote these lines, on May 13, 2021, the price of Bitcoin displayed on Google was $48,617.502 (BTC to USD)—a satoshi was worth 0.000486175 dollars. That's 48.61x what it was worth back in 2017, making each cent divisible into 20 units (instead of 1,000). The higher Bitcoin's price, the less divisible its dollar equivalent is. If Bitcoin rose to $1,000,000, a satoshi would be worth a cent. Does it make sense to have a coin valued so high compared to fiat currencies such as the euro or the dollar?

In the digital world, divisibility makes it possible to offer services for a fraction of a cent—a mechanism present in online games that let you convert money into digital tokens. Having this feature in a currency by default would be advantageous for services not to have to implement this feature independently. But this divisibility depends on Bitcoin's price compared to fiat currencies.

Maybe Satoshi Nakamoto3 expected satoshis' price to parity with the cent, or perhaps he never imagined the price could get so high, which would allow for the exchange of satoshis as small fractions of Bitcoin and other currencies.

Nobody knows whether Bitcoin will stand the test of time or what its future value will be. What we know is that cryptocurrencies are here to stay.

  1. The general unit structure of bitcoins has 1 bitcoin (BTC) equivalent to 1,000 millibitcoins (mBTC), 1,000,000 microbitcoins (μBTC), or 100,000,000 satoshis. Investopedia

  2. I edited this essay for publication on August 30, 2021, and the price of bitcoin—$48,141.30—is roughly the same as on May 13, 2021. 

  3. Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym under which Bitcoin's whitepaper was published. 

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