Money, Bitcoin and Time: Part 2 of 3 by Robert Breedlove ...

Attention incoming interns! Here's a list of TIPS I WISH I KNEW starting my intern year, some things you can start working on now and some less commonly discussed but very important parts of your job

It’s that time of year and yet again I’ve seen plenty of incoming interns asking what they can do to prepare. I wrote this post to share some tips for all of the not-exactly-medical stuff I wish I knew before I started intern year and to share a few things that interns can do before they start to feel like they’re well prepared for the long white coat.
As a quick background, I was a surgery intern in the first half of the 2010s and much of this is informed by my notes and memories from that time in addition to everything I’ve learned since, particularly about professionalism both in medicine and in the business world with work I’ve done in the healthcare startup arena. I’m also not perfect and very much a work in progress myself and, outside the intern-specific items here, I try to do most of these things myself—sometimes more successfully than others.
So take what you think are good ideas here, leave what you don’t think would be useful, and if anyone else has anything to add, please feel free to chime in.
TL;DR: Intern year is hard. Here are some not-so-commonly-disucussed tips that may help.

Mindset

1. Being an effective intern is, at its core, about being responsible, effective and reliable.

Your day to day responsibilities are nearly always dominated by the need to get things done and to do so in a manner that lets your other team members focus on their own roles and responsibilities. What about learning clinical medicine? You'll learn plenty and fast. Don't worry.
When reading through these tips below, view them from an angle of “would this help me develop an effective system for making sure everything gets done and nothing falls through the cracks?”

2. For your in-the-hospital life as well as your outside-the-hospital life, remember this one thing: you will forget.

You will be busy and have responsibilities in a way you likely have never experienced before. This will naturally make the day-to-day things in life more difficult than you’re used to so developing ways to outsmart your forgetful brain will pay off.

3. You are a professional now. This is your career. You’re in it.

It’s easy to view your life as a trainee as a sort of advanced student or something in between a student and a “real doctor”. But that’s not true. View yourself as a professional building your career. Your intern year is just the first step of that career. You’re a real doctor as much as any other now.

4. One of the hardest things about being an intern or resident is dealing with feelings of isolation. It will take work to actively manage and overcome those feelings.

Imposter syndrome, feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing or that you don’t belong, feeling like you’re not the person you used to be, that you don’t have time to do all the “normal” things that other people do, thinking your co-residents or attendings think you’re dumb, feeling that you don’t have time for friends/family/hobbies, ruminating on “what if I screw this up and hurt a patient?”, or “this doesn’t matter -- the patient is going to XX or YY anyway” etc are all common feelings and they all share the same undercurrent of feeling isolated in one way or another. You need to actively work to find ways to confront and overcome these feelings or else they will control you. When they control you, you’re burned out.
It may not seem like it at first, but nearly every single tip below is geared towards avoiding feelings of isolation. Feeling like you’re not in control of your finances will make you feel isolated. Feeling like you’re losing a handle on your relationships will make you feel isolated. Feeling like you’re behind on your email and haven’t done all the little things in life you need to do will make you feel isolated. Read these tips through that lens.

What you can do before you start

1. Organize and update your contacts. Seriously.

Here are some ways it can help you maintain and grow your relationships.
  • Use the ‘Notes’ feature in your contacts for everyone important in your life and all the new people meet.
    • You will forget your friends’ kids names and ages. Every time you get a birth announcement or see a post on social media, go to your friend’s contact, edit the notes and put in the info. Then, when you reach out to your friends, ask about their kids...by name.
    • You will forget your friends’ boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband/partner’s name, especially if you’ve never met them or haven’t seen them for a long time. Put their name in your friends’ card with a note like “Started seeing Sam in June 2020, he/she’s a software engineer”. Someone you know gets married? Add their wedding date to their card.
    • You will forget how you knew people in your contacts. Met at a conference? Was a medical student on your heme onc service? Friend-of-a-friend you met at a wedding? Someone shares an interest you have? Make a note in their contact card. Tip: these notes are for you, not them. So if someone reminds you of an actor, or didn’t stop talking about bitcoin, make a note. It will help because you will forget.
  • Tag your contacts or add them to lists and use those tags/lists to your advantage.
    • Make lists or tags for your family, your medical school friends, your undergrad friends, your coresidents, your attendings, your medical students, the hospitals you’ll be working at, etc. Put those lists or tags to use like this:
      • You will forget to stay in touch with people important to you. Set reminders in your phone for every week / two weeks / month, etc to pull up a list (family, medical school friends, etc), pick someone on that list you haven’t chatted with in a while and text them and ask them how they’re doing. Aim to start a conversation, ask about what’s happening in their life. Texts are more personal and meaningful than liking a post on social media or sharing a meme. Initiating conversations with your friends and family will help you feel connected and will increase the likelihood they reach out to you.
      • Don’t label your medical students like “MS3 Laura” or “Sub-I Juan”, etc. Label them with their full name and treat them like the colleagues they are. Put them on a list, clear it out next year if you want, but don’t treat them as “MS3 XXX“ or “MS4 YYY”. I’m sure you remember feeling like a nameless/faceless medical student at times in school and I’m sure you didn’t love it. So don’t repeat that behavior. Add a note or two about them while you’re at it. Take enough interest in your medical students to treat them well. You never know when or how you’ll cross paths with them again.
      • If you rotate through different hospitals, you will forget which “ED” or “PACU” or “nursing station 3rd floor” numbers are which. Tag them or put them on a list. It’ll make finding them when you need them much easier.

2. Use a good note taking app and a good task manager app to help with both your in-hospital life and your outside-of-the-hospital life.

Here are some ways to use a notes app.
  • Make a note for each rotation you’re on. Add in any unstructured tips as they come up, like “Send all of Dr. X’s patients home with Y”, “Use the call room in the basement outside of the locker room, passcode 1234”, “Park in the X lot on the weekends”, “Dr. A likes to manage Z with Y”, “The case manager, NAME, usually sits at the computer behind the 2nd floor nurses station”, etc. Don't overthink them, just write them down when they come up. Review those notes the next time you rotate through because you will forget all those little things and they will help you in the future.
  • Create a master grocery list of all things you typically get at the grocery store. Share it with a roommate/partner so they can keep it updated too. That way if you ever stop to pick something up, you can review the list to make sure there’s nothing you’ll forget.
    • Make master lists for other things in your life too like “packing for a conference”, “packing for a family trip”, “Target/Wal-Mart household master list” so you can quickly review anytime something comes up so you minimize the chance of forgetting something
  • Make notes for all of the other stuff you have to manage in your life like your car, your apartment/house, your loans, etc and update them every time you work on that thing. Change your loan repayment? Add it to the note. Have to get your brakes fixed? Add to the note where you got it done, how much it cost, etc. Talk to your landlord about fixing the shower? Add it to the note. Have to call the medical board to sort something out with a license? Add it to the note.
  • I like two note apps on iOS: Bear for personal notes since it’s fast and has great tagging and Apple’s Notes app for shared notes
Pick a good task manager app and use it for all the things in your life that aren’t your day-to-day work
  • Cousin getting married and you can go to the wedding? Make tasks to ensure your time off, book your travel, buy a gift, rent a hotel room, etc. Then put all the relevant info into your note because...you will forget.
  • Pandemic is over and you get to present a poster at a conference? Make tasks to review your draft with your coauthors, print your poster, book your travel, submit your reimbursement, etc. Then put all the relevant info into a note. Otherwise, you’ll forget.
  • I like Things and have also liked OmniFocus. There is a ton of content on how to set one of these things up for productivity so review it and use it YouTube search

3. Take charge of your finances

When I was an intern, I figured all I had to do was pay my loans and not go into more debt. I wish I had done the following instead:
  1. Read these two books: The White Coat Investor and I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Both are very good and have different strengths. The WCI is directly applicable to you and will help educate you in ways medical school didn’t about your financial future. IWTYTBR is much more of a “millennial” book but it’s very good for explaining big concepts and for providing a system to set yourself up for success. They’re both easy and relatively quick reads and don’t require any financial background. WCI is fine as an e-book but IWTY has a bunch of dialog boxes that make the e-book a poor experience, get a physical new or used copy.
  2. Set up a budget. I use and swear by You Need A Budget. It’s the best money I spend every year. Their system is easy and straightforward and it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

4. Update your CV now and keep it updated regularly

You will no doubt have to share your CV with someone at some point whether it’s for fellowship or a research project or any number of things. The time to work on it is not when someone says “can you share your CV?” -- that’s a recipe for omissions, typos and mistakes. The only thing you should be doing every time you share your CV is giving it a quick once-over to make sure you don’t spot any mistakes and to make sure it’s up to date
There are plenty of templates online and your training institution may even have a preferred format somewhere on their website. Your ERAS application will give you a good head start but most of your medical school CV lines will either be condensed or removed all together unless something was particularly notable. You can almost always find example CVs online from senior people in your department or institution with a quick web search -- use a few as a guide
Set a reminder / task to update your CV at regular intervals. Quarterly is good, yearly at least. Save new versions of it each time so you can refer to the old ones if you need to and name them in a way to let you know you’re always sharing the most recent version, e.g., LASTNAME_FIRST NAME_CV_2020-06. You will forget if the one marked “CV” only is the right one you want to share.

5. Subscribe to a couple of newsletters to stay up to date with the world outside of your hospital

  • For general news, your preferred newspaper probably has a daily email briefing. Otherwise, Axios AM/PM and Politico’s Playbook are both very good quick reads to stay up to date with current events.
    • Keep up with healthcare news so you know what’s going on in the healthcare system broadly
      • Axios Vitals is a great, quick daily healthcare news update
      • Politico’s Pulse and Morning eHealth are both very good and have quick facts at the beginning if you just want to skim
      • Rock Health’s Rock Weekly is a decent summary of each week in the healthcare startup and technology world
Pick a few of these and aim to get through them each day. If you can’t get through them, unsubscribe to the ones you think are least relevant to you so you never feel “behind” in staying up with the news. You can breeze through the few you pick in a few minutes here and there throughout the day -- don’t make it any harder than that to feel like you’re “up to date” on the news.

General tips for maintaining relationships

  • For any romantic relationship, do these things if you don’t already:
 1. Make a rule: no phones at the table. * Don’t put your phone on the table face-up. Don’t put your phone on the table face-down. Keep your phone off the table and set to silent. * Focus on the person in front of you and show them you care about them by paying attention to them. We all know what it feels like to be with someone more interested in their screen than in interacting with you. If you’re on call, say “sorry, I’m on call, I may have to check something here and there”, apologize if you do check it and then put your phone away. 2. Make another rule: no phones in bed * Same principle as at the table. Want to feel like two strangers just passing through life who just so happen to share the same bed? Wake up, reach for your phone and scroll through your feeds like a zombie before getting out of bed. Same idea before bed. Your phone can wait. 3. If you’re at the point where you share finances, set a regular meeting to review how you’re doing. * Ideally, this is a “red, yellow or green” meeting and should only take a few minutes. Money can be a big conflict issue for relationships and avoiding talking about money is a surefire way to eventually turn to conflict. If you have a budget and shared goals, this should be quick. * A monthly check-in is good. Create a recurring calendar event, attach the shared notes or spreadsheet document you use, add your goals for the meeting and honor the meeting when it comes around. 
  • Eat with people who are important to you, if you can.
    • There’s something about sharing a meal that’s special in human nature. Friends who are important to you? Partners? Mentors you’re looking to get to know better after you’ve had a few chats? Try to eat with them when you can. And keep your phone off the table.
    • The same idea works with your coresidents and teams in the hospital. Eat with them if you can. Eating with others builds, strengthens and maintains relationships. Keep your phone off the table if you can.
Think about it this way: who would you consider a better mentor, the person you’ve met with a few times in their office where they sit behind their desk and you in front of them while they glance at their computer screen every time it pings or the person who’s invited you to get coffee or food and they kept their phone away the whole time? Now turn that around and realize the power of the message you can send to people you care about by trying to eat with them and show them they have your full attention.

Hospital tips

1. Learn to think about tasks as a continuum from start to finish instead of as a binary 'done/not done'.

Let’s say you have to order a CT for a patient of yours.
  • Instead of marking the task as complete the second you place the order for the CT, recognize that the whole task is not just placing the order, but also knowing when your patient is going down to the scanner, when they’re back, when the CT is up in the system, when the report is up and also that you’ve looked at the CT yourself and have read the report.
  • When your senior or attending asks you, “Did patient X get their CT?”, a not-so-great answer is “Yes” or “No”. A better answer is “they’re down at the scanner now” or “the scan’s done but it hasn’t been read yet. Want to look at it?” or “Yes, it’s negative for XXX but did show YYY”.
Whatever system you eventually adopt for your day-to-day task management in the hospital, whether it’s a list or index cards or a printed signout sheet, make sure you’re tracking both when orders go in, when they’re complete, when they’re cancelled, etc. Just marking things as complete once you place the order isn’t enough.

2. Signout is taken, not given.

What I mean by this is that when you take signout, that means you’re accepting responsibility for those patients. They might be your patients, you might be cross-covering, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that when those patients are your responsibility, it’s your responsibility to get what you need to know to take care of them.
Is someone signing out to you in a hurry and not giving you what you need? Ask them for that relevant past medical history, those exam findings, and so on. It’s not enough for the person handing off to say “we’re worried about x or y”, you’ve got to follow that up with “in case of x or y, is there a plan for what the team wants me to do?”. Get the answers you need.
A lot of covering patients on call is playing defense whereas the primary team generally plays offense. But that doesn’t mean you can play defense in isolation. The last thing you want is for the primary team to feel surprised by your choices.
 * Here’s two ways for the above example to go when turning the patients you were covering back over the next day or whatever: 1. You: “For patient so-and-so, you said you were worried about x or y. Y happened.” Them: “What did you do?”. You: “Z”. Them: “Shit, my attending’s not gonna like that”. 2. You “Y happened so I did A like you said, it went fine and here’s the current status”. Them: “Great, thanks” * See the difference? 
  • Along the lines of taking responsibility for those patients, that means that if you couldn’t get the information you needed at signout then you have to go and see those patients and get the information you need yourself.
    • You’ll hear this idea said a bunch of different ways like “trust but verify”, “trust no one” and your comfort level will change over the year as you become more confident and comfortable. But always error on the side of going to see the patient and getting your own information at the start.

3. If you will be miserable without something when you’re in the hospital, bring it with you. You won’t reliably be able to find it at the hospital every time you need it.

  • Need coffee otherwise you turn into a demon? Bring it with you. You never know when you’ll get caught doing something and won’t be able to run to the cafeteria for your fix.
  • On call overnight and know you need food so you don’t go insane? Bring it with you. Here’s a hospital food rule: never rely on the hospital's ability to feed you. The hospital will let you down sooner or later, I guarantee it.
  • Know you always get cold on call? The day you forget your jacket/sweatshirt is the day you won’t be able to find a spare blanket in the hospital to save your life. Put a backup in your locker (if your hospital respects you enough to give you one).

Miscellaneous productivity, professionalism and lifestyle tips

1. Aim to “touch” everything only once

  • Example: your physical mail. You know, the stuff made of dead trees that accumulates in that box you check every once in a while. For every piece of mail you get, you should either trash it, file it, or act on it. Don’t touch it until you’re ready to do one of those things.
  • Example: your email. Either delete it, archive it, reply to it or do the thing it’s telling you to do right away. Don’t fall into the trap of using your inbox as a to-do list -- that’s a recipe to get burned. Use a task manager for your to-do list and aim to keep your inbox at zero. Realize that email’s true power is communication and use it as a communication tool and nothing else.
  • I’ll use the example of going to a wedding again as something to “touch once”. Aim to accomplish all the tasks at once or at least create tasks and reminders to complete those tasks all in one go. Respond to the RSVP, create the calendar invite with all the information from the invitation, share the calendar event with your date, book your travel, book your hotel, book your rental car, buy your gift from the registry and set a reminder to get your suit/dress cleaned a few weeks ahead, etc.

2. Lean to use your calendar as a tool

Professionals in the “real world” tend to live and die by their calendars. Some people, especially many senior people in medicine, don’t manage their own calendars. But you manage yours. With it you can:
  • Make sure all events—even small ones like dates or errands you want to run—have locations so all you have to do is click the location for directions
  • Send invites to friends / family / coworkers for anything you talk about doing that has the relevant info
  • Make reminders for yourself to prepare for upcoming events, i.e.., don’t count on seeing your parents’/spouses’/whomever’s birthday “coming up” to remind you to get a gift or send a card. Create an event two weeks before their birthday that says “Buy Mom a birthday card”, set it to repeat yearly and buy a card when it comes up, send it a few days later and don’t worry that it won’t get there in time.

3. Learn to use email well

Ever get an email from someone and feel their tone was terse, condescending or rude? Don’t be that person. Error on the side being polite and professional and writing in complete sentences without textspeak. It’s not hard — you type fast, even with your thumbs, I’m sure of it.
  • Learn to communicate effectively. Keep it short but not terse. State why you’re writing to someone, be clear if you’re asking a question, and think about it this way: “How am I making it as easy as possible for this person to understand why I’m emailing them and do what I’m asking them to do?
  • Don’t use a canned salutation like “Best, NAME” or even worse: “Best, INITIALS”. Use your salutation to continue to communicate your message and remember that politeness and professionalism extend through your signature.
    • I don’t know why “Best,” is so common in medicine but it’s meaningless, unthoughtful, inherently passive aggressive and I seriously read it as if the person writing it were signing off by saying “Go f*ck yourself,”. Same thing for “Regards,” and its ilk, any abbreviation like “vr,” or any form of cutesy quote.
    • Write your salutation fresh each time. Did you ask someone for something? Say “Thank you for your help”. Are you writing someone senior to you and want to sound somewhat formal? “Sincerely,” never goes out of style. Are you sharing information and essentially writing a memo? Use “Please let me know if you have any questions”. Your salutation is communication, treat it that way.
    • Sign with your name, not your initials. Signing with initials is a common way senior people will try to remind you they’re senior to you. If you do it, it’s like you’re trying to prove you’re a Cool Guy Big Shot too. It never comes across well -- even for those senior people. Initials are terse. Lowercase initials are even terser. Although they may look different at first glance, all initial signatures functionally come across as ‘FU’. Write your name.
      • If it’s a few rounds back and forth of email, it’s normal drop salutations and signatures and treat email more like texting. Keep using complete sentences without textspeak, though. I promise you’ll come across better that way.
    • Use the ‘signature’ feature of your email client to share your professional details and contact information
      • Your institution (not department) will hopefully have a format for this that’s standardized and includes minimal or no graphics. If it doesn't, then I feel sorry for all the inevitable IT headaches you will eventually endure at your institution since they clearly underfund and undervalue contemporary IT and professional services. It’s the wild west out there so find some good examples of clean, professional signature formats and make one for yourself.
      • Note: this signature lives below your salutation and sign off. It’s essentially the letterhead for your email that lets your recipient fill in the details you may not otherwise provide like your department, mailing address or fax number. It’s not a replacement for signing off of your communication professionally.
    • Never use bold, italics, underlines or different font sizes in your emails. They only make emails harder to read and jumble your message.
  • If you want to highlight something, put it in a numbered or bulleted list.
    • If you can’t communicate what you want with 2-3 bulleted points, then email is not the right medium to use. Do you like reading long emails? Of course you don’t. Write a memo, attach it as a PDF or shared doc and use the email to tell your recipients to review the attachment.
  • You will eventually, in some way or another, ask someone to introduce you to one of their contacts and or refer you for something. Learn how to write a good forwardable email that utilizes the double opt-in concept and how to make it easy on the person doing you the favor. Read more here, here and here.
    • While you’re at it, understand the power of using CC and BCC to communicate effectively.
  • Aim to answer all emails written directly to you within 24 hours.
    • If you can’t respond fully right away, respond briefly saying you got the note and that you’ll work on it and get back to them. Set a reminder or create a task to do or review the thing and get back to them once you’ve done it.
    • Do you hate being left on read in text? You do it in email every time you don’t respond to someone in a timely fashion. It’s better to share a quick, “I got it and I’m working on it message” then not replying until days or weeks later.

4. Don’t let someone else’s negative energy and/or anxiety transfer to you

You will frequently experience things like this in the hospital:
  • A co-resident disagrees with a management decision made at rounds and mentions that so-and-so is an idiot. So-and-so probably isn’t an idiot. Your co-resident probably isn’t an idiot either. Form your own opinions from your own experiences.
  • A nurse pages you with a tone that says “THIS IS REALLY BAD”. It might be, go and see. And on your way, stay calm and go over the steps in your head of what you’d do if it is, in fact, REALLY BAD. But don’t freak yourself out before you even get to the room. You won’t be able to make decisions with a clear head if you’re already worked up.
  • You’re a surgery intern and all your patients are normally on the med-surg floor. Every once in a while, one goes somewhere like heme-onc if the med-surg floor is full. Someone on your team says something like “great, now they’re going to screw up our patient”. Recognize that that floor isn’t full of terrible nurses and may just have less experiences with lines and drains and that the best thing you can do is go down there, talk to the nurse and say “here’s what we want to be called about” and “this thing may look bad but it usually isn’t and we don’t need to be called, here’s why”, and so on. Doing things like this will mean you get fewer calls. Fewer calls are good.
  • Your attending is having a bad day and you’re not enjoying your interactions with them. Don’t let that make you have a bad day too. Medicine is hard enough as it is, stick to your own bad days instead adopting other people’s. Then pull up your friend list, text a buddy and feel better.

5. Don’t neglect your physical health. Trying to eat well and stay active are even more important when you’re insanely busy.

The #1 thing you can do to help your waistline is cook your own food and pack your own meals. It doesn’t matter what you cook or how good of a cook you are, as long as you’re aiming to pack meals that an adult would eat, it will be healthier than takeout and cafeteria food. It’s better for portion control, you control all the ingredients and you get a sense of satisfaction for being on the ball. It’s better in every way.
I know it’s not realistic to always prep and pack your own food on the busiest of services but you should try to hit at least a percentage like 25% or 50% of your meals. There are no lost causes in your own health.
It will be hard to exercise and work out. You should still try to do it anyway. You will go long stretches without exercising at times. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Every day is a chance to do the thing you want to do so get back out there.

6. If your social profiles are private, consider doing some housekeeping and making them public.

Instead of thinking about them as a liability to be that needs to be hidden, think about them as a narrative you can control.
Nothing is private on the internet. Even your private profile. You never know who knows someone you know or what may get screenshotted and shared down the line.
It’s natural to run a web search on anyone you’re meeting for a date, interviewing with for a job, or researching in general. When you search your own name, what comes up? What do you think when you’re searching for someone and they have a private page? Do you ever click on a few links to see professional stuff from LinkedIn, and then some social pages to see what else you learn? So does everyone else.
Use your social pages to put forward a version of you that shows who you are, shows some interests true to yourself, makes you seem like a totally normal and reliable person (which is exactly what any potential date, partner, fellowship director or hiring manager is asking themselves about you) and doesn’t share enough information to let a patient show up at your door.
Medicine lags behind other industries with people still commonly hiding behind private pages. In the tech world, it’s more strange to not have a public page. A private page says more about you that you might want to hide red flags whereas a public page says “go ahead and look, you won’t find any red flags”. One is much more powerful than the other.

Closing and something to read

When you view your professional life, it’s natural to view your professional relationships as being a binary one between patient and physician. That’s certainly essential and certainly important, but as a professional you now have relationships to consider with so many more types of people: co-residents, faculty in your department, faculty in other departments, administrators, support staff, medical students, and so on.
Just as you had to learn how to work with patients, you will have to learn to work with all of the other people in your professional life. Truly effective professionals will treat all interactions importantly and give thought and consideration to each one. All these interactions and relationships will all affect your day-to-day experience, your well-being and, ultimately, your professional experience.
You will find yourself being not just responsible for your patients, but also for yourself, your career and your relationships. It takes effort to succeed in all of those areas. And even with effort, sometimes you’ll be winning in an area and losing in others. And in a few months it will be different -- that’s just life.
I want you to consider looking outside of books and resources written specifically for physicians when you’re trying to tackle these issues inside the hospital and out.
Medicine is a much-smaller-than-you-realize bubble with a long history of personality-driven examples of “that’s just the way we do it” or “that’s how we’ve always done it”. There are good books about medicine out there, to be sure, but you’ll benefit more professionally by learning from the wide world outside of hospitals since there are quite simply many more successful and accomplished people who’ve written great resources for all aspects of professional life that medicine tends to ignore.
I’d recommend you start with this book: Andy Grove’s High Output Management (a review by another Valley titan here). Andy escaped communist Hungary, taught himself English and rose to be CEO of Intel and went on to be a sage of Silicon Valley before he passed. This book is a how-to guide for how to be an effective professional in an organization (hint: you're now a professional in an organization) and if you’ve enjoyed this post at all, you’ll love this book. You may think that this book applies to ‘managers’ and ‘business’ and not medicine but you couldn’t be more wrong. Although it was probably written around the time you were born, nearly everything in this book is a lesson that directly applies to your professional life in medicine and when you start seeing it, you’ll feel like you’re in The Matrix.
Congratulations! You've worked hard to get here. Be proud of yourself, your degree, your long white coat and be the best doctor you can be.
submitted by kiteandkey to Residency [link] [comments]

Scaling Reddit Community Points with Arbitrum Rollup: a piece of cake

Scaling Reddit Community Points with Arbitrum Rollup: a piece of cake
https://preview.redd.it/b80c05tnb9e51.jpg?width=2550&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=850282c1a3962466ed44f73886dae1c8872d0f31
Submitted for consideration to The Great Reddit Scaling Bake-Off
Baked by the pastry chefs at Offchain Labs
Please send questions or comments to [[email protected] ](mailto:[email protected])
1. Overview
We're excited to submit Arbitrum Rollup for consideration to The Great Reddit Scaling Bake-Off. Arbitrum Rollup is the only Ethereum scaling solution that supports arbitrary smart contracts without compromising on Ethereum's security or adding points of centralization. For Reddit, this means that Arbitrum can not only scale the minting and transfer of Community Points, but it can foster a creative ecosystem built around Reddit Community Points enabling points to be used in a wide variety of third party applications. That's right -- you can have your cake and eat it too!
Arbitrum Rollup isn't just Ethereum-style. Its Layer 2 transactions are byte-for-byte identical to Ethereum, which means Ethereum users can continue to use their existing addresses and wallets, and Ethereum developers can continue to use their favorite toolchains and development environments out-of-the-box with Arbitrum. Coupling Arbitrum’s tooling-compatibility with its trustless asset interoperability, Reddit not only can scale but can onboard the entire Ethereum community at no cost by giving them the same experience they already know and love (well, certainly know).
To benchmark how Arbitrum can scale Reddit Community Points, we launched the Reddit contracts on an Arbitrum Rollup chain. Since Arbitrum provides full Solidity support, we didn't have to rewrite the Reddit contracts or try to mimic their functionality using an unfamiliar paradigm. Nope, none of that. We launched the Reddit contracts unmodified on Arbitrum Rollup complete with support for minting and distributing points. Like every Arbitrum Rollup chain, the chain included a bridge interface in which users can transfer Community Points or any other asset between the L1 and L2 chains. Arbitrum Rollup chains also support dynamic contract loading, which would allow third-party developers to launch custom ecosystem apps that integrate with Community Points on the very same chain that runs the Reddit contracts.
1.1 Why Ethereum
Perhaps the most exciting benefit of distributing Community Points using a blockchain is the ability to seamlessly port points to other applications and use them in a wide variety of contexts. Applications may include simple transfers such as a restaurant that allows Redditors to spend points on drinks. Or it may include complex smart contracts -- such as placing Community Points as a wager for a multiparty game or as collateral in a financial contract.
The common denominator between all of the fun uses of Reddit points is that it needs a thriving ecosystem of both users and developers, and the Ethereum blockchain is perhaps the only smart contract platform with significant adoption today. While many Layer 1 blockchains boast lower cost or higher throughput than the Ethereum blockchain, more often than not, these attributes mask the reality of little usage, weaker security, or both.
Perhaps another platform with significant usage will rise in the future. But today, Ethereum captures the mindshare of the blockchain community, and for Community Points to provide the most utility, the Ethereum blockchain is the natural choice.
1.2 Why Arbitrum
While Ethereum's ecosystem is unmatched, the reality is that fees are high and capacity is too low to support the scale of Reddit Community Points. Enter Arbitrum. Arbitrum Rollup provides all of the ecosystem benefits of Ethereum, but with orders of magnitude more capacity and at a fraction of the cost of native Ethereum smart contracts. And most of all, we don't change the experience from users. They continue to use the same wallets, addresses, languages, and tools.
Arbitrum Rollup is not the only solution that can scale payments, but it is the only developed solution that can scale both payments and arbitrary smart contracts trustlessly, which means that third party users can build highly scalable add-on apps that can be used without withdrawing money from the Rollup chain. If you believe that Reddit users will want to use their Community Points in smart contracts--and we believe they will--then it makes the most sense to choose a single scaling solution that can support the entire ecosystem, eliminating friction for users.
We view being able to run smart contracts in the same scaling solution as fundamentally critical since if there's significant demand in running smart contracts from Reddit's ecosystem, this would be a load on Ethereum and would itself require a scaling solution. Moreover, having different scaling solutions for the minting/distribution/spending of points and for third party apps would be burdensome for users as they'd have to constantly shuffle their Points back and forth.
2. Arbitrum at a glance
Arbitrum Rollup has a unique value proposition as it offers a combination of features that no other scaling solution achieves. Here we highlight its core attributes.
Decentralized. Arbitrum Rollup is as decentralized as Ethereum. Unlike some other Layer 2 scaling projects, Arbitrum Rollup doesn't have any centralized components or centralized operators who can censor users or delay transactions. Even in non-custodial systems, centralized components provide a risk as the operators are generally incentivized to increase their profit by extracting rent from users often in ways that severely degrade user experience. Even if centralized operators are altruistic, centralized components are subject to hacking, coercion, and potential liability.
Massive Scaling. Arbitrum achieves order of magnitude scaling over Ethereum's L1 smart contracts. Our software currently supports 453 transactions-per-second for basic transactions (at 1616 Ethereum gas per tx). We have a lot of room left to optimize (e.g. aggregating signatures), and over the next several months capacity will increase significantly. As described in detail below, Arbitrum can easily support and surpass Reddit's anticipated initial load, and its capacity will continue to improve as Reddit's capacity needs grow.
Low cost. The cost of running Arbitrum Rollup is quite low compared to L1 Ethereum and other scaling solutions such as those based on zero-knowledge proofs. Layer 2 fees are low, fixed, and predictable and should not be overly burdensome for Reddit to cover. Nobody needs to use special equipment or high-end machines. Arbitrum requires validators, which is a permissionless role that can be run on any reasonable on-line machine. Although anybody can act as a validator, in order to protect against a “tragedy of the commons” and make sure reputable validators are participating, we support a notion of “invited validators” that are compensated for their costs. In general, users pay (low) fees to cover the invited validators’ costs, but we imagine that Reddit may cover this cost for its users. See more on the costs and validator options below.
Ethereum Developer Experience. Not only does Arbitrum support EVM smart contracts, but the developer experience is identical to that of L1 Ethereum contracts and fully compatible with Ethereum tooling. Developers can port existing Solidity apps or write new ones using their favorite and familiar toolchains (e.g. Truffle, Buidler). There are no new languages or coding paradigms to learn.
Ethereum wallet compatibility. Just as in Ethereum, Arbitrum users need only hold keys, but do not have to store any coin history or additional data to protect or access their funds. Since Arbitrum transactions are semantically identical to Ethereum L1 transactions, existing Ethereum users can use their existing Ethereum keys with their existing wallet software such as Metamask.
Token interoperability. Users can easily transfer their ETH, ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens between Ethereum and the Arbitrum Rollup chain. As we explain in detail below, it is possible to mint tokens in L2 that can subsequently be withdrawn and recognized by the L1 token contract.
Fast finality. Transactions complete with the same finality time as Ethereum L1 (and it's possible to get faster finality guarantees by trading away trust assumptions; see the Arbitrum Rollup whitepaper for details).
Non-custodial. Arbitrum Rollup is a non-custodial scaling solution, so users control their funds/points and neither Reddit nor anyone else can ever access or revoke points held by users.
Censorship Resistant. Since it's completely decentralized, and the Arbitrum protocol guarantees progress trustlessly, Arbitrum Rollup is just as censorship-proof as Ethereum.
Block explorer. The Arbitrum Rollup block explorer allows users to view and analyze transactions on the Rollup chain.
Limitations
Although this is a bake-off, we're not going to sugar coat anything. Arbitrum Rollup, like any Optimistic Rollup protocol, does have one limitation, and that's the delay on withdrawals.
As for the concrete length of the delay, we've done a good deal of internal modeling and have blogged about this as well. Our current modeling suggests a 3-hour delay is sufficient (but as discussed in the linked post there is a tradeoff space between the length of the challenge period and the size of the validators’ deposit).
Note that this doesn't mean that the chain is delayed for three hours. Arbitrum Rollup supports pipelining of execution, which means that validators can keep building new states even while previous ones are “in the pipeline” for confirmation. As the challenge delays expire for each update, a new state will be confirmed (read more about this here).
So activity and progress on the chain are not delayed by the challenge period. The only thing that's delayed is the consummation of withdrawals. Recall though that any single honest validator knows immediately (at the speed of L1 finality) which state updates are correct and can guarantee that they will eventually be confirmed, so once a valid withdrawal has been requested on-chain, every honest party knows that the withdrawal will definitely happen. There's a natural place here for a liquidity market in which a validator (or someone who trusts a validator) can provide withdrawal loans for a small interest fee. This is a no-risk business for them as they know which withdrawals will be confirmed (and can force their confirmation trustlessly no matter what anyone else does) but are just waiting for on-chain finality.
3. The recipe: How Arbitrum Rollup works
For a description of the technical components of Arbitrum Rollup and how they interact to create a highly scalable protocol with a developer experience that is identical to Ethereum, please refer to the following documents:
Arbitrum Rollup Whitepaper
Arbitrum academic paper (describes a previous version of Arbitrum)
4. Developer docs and APIs
For full details about how to set up and interact with an Arbitrum Rollup chain or validator, please refer to our developer docs, which can be found at https://developer.offchainlabs.com/.
Note that the Arbitrum version described on that site is older and will soon be replaced by the version we are entering in Reddit Bake-Off, which is still undergoing internal testing before public release.
5. Who are the validators?
As with any Layer 2 protocol, advancing the protocol correctly requires at least one validator (sometimes called block producers) that is honest and available. A natural question is: who are the validators?
Recall that the validator set for an Arbitrum chain is open and permissionless; anyone can start or stop validating at will. (A useful analogy is to full nodes on an L1 chain.) But we understand that even though anyone can participate, Reddit may want to guarantee that highly reputable nodes are validating their chain. Reddit may choose to validate the chain themselves and/or hire third-party validators.To this end, we have begun building a marketplace for validator-for-hire services so that dapp developers can outsource validation services to reputable nodes with high up-time. We've announced a partnership in which Chainlink nodes will provide Arbitrum validation services, and we expect to announce more partnerships shortly with other blockchain infrastructure providers.
Although there is no requirement that validators are paid, Arbitrum’s economic model tracks validators’ costs (e.g. amount of computation and storage) and can charge small fees on user transactions, using a gas-type system, to cover those costs. Alternatively, a single party such as Reddit can agree to cover the costs of invited validators.
6. Reddit Contract Support
Since Arbitrum contracts and transactions are byte-for-byte compatible with Ethereum, supporting the Reddit contracts is as simple as launching them on an Arbitrum chain.
Minting. Arbitrum Rollup supports hybrid L1/L2 tokens which can be minted in L2 and then withdrawn onto the L1. An L1 contract at address A can make a special call to the EthBridge which deploys a "buddy contract" to the same address A on an Arbitrum chain. Since it's deployed at the same address, users can know that the L2 contract is the authorized "buddy" of the L1 contract on the Arbitrum chain.
For minting, the L1 contract is a standard ERC-20 contract which mints and burns tokens when requested by the L2 contract. It is paired with an ERC-20 contract in L2 which mints tokens based on whatever programmer provided minting facility is desired and burns tokens when they are withdrawn from the rollup chain. Given this base infrastructure, Arbitrum can support any smart contract based method for minting tokens in L2, and indeed we directly support Reddit's signature/claim based minting in L2.
Batch minting. What's better than a mint cookie? A whole batch! In addition to supporting Reddit’s current minting/claiming scheme, we built a second minting design, which we believe outperforms the signature/claim system in many scenarios.
In the current system, Reddit periodically issues signed statements to users, who then take those statements to the blockchain to claim their tokens. An alternative approach would have Reddit directly submit the list of users/amounts to the blockchain and distribute the tokens to the users without the signature/claim process.
To optimize the cost efficiency of this approach, we designed an application-specific compression scheme to minimize the size of the batch distribution list. We analyzed the data from Reddit's previous distributions and found that the data is highly compressible since token amounts are small and repeated, and addresses appear multiple times. Our function groups transactions by size, and replaces previously-seen addresses with a shorter index value. We wrote client code to compress the data, wrote a Solidity decompressing function, and integrated that function into Reddit’s contract running on Arbitrum.
When we ran the compression function on the previous Reddit distribution data, we found that we could compress batched minting data down to to 11.8 bytes per minting event (averaged over a 6-month trace of Reddit’s historical token grants)compared with roughly 174 bytes of on-chain data needed for the signature claim approach to minting (roughly 43 for an RLP-encoded null transaction + 65 for Reddit's signature + 65 for the user's signature + roughly 8 for the number of Points) .
The relative benefit of the two approaches with respect to on-chain call data cost depends on the percentage of users that will actually claim their tokens on chain. With the above figures, batch minting will be cheaper if roughly 5% of users redeem their claims. We stress that our compression scheme is not Arbitrum-specific and would be beneficial in any general-purpose smart contract platform.
8. Benchmarks and costs
In this section, we give the full costs of operating the Reddit contracts on an Arbitrum Rollup chain including the L1 gas costs for the Rollup chain, the costs of computation and storage for the L2 validators as well as the capital lockup requirements for staking.
Arbitrum Rollup is still on testnet, so we did not run mainnet benchmarks. Instead, we measured the L1 gas cost and L2 workload for Reddit operations on Arbitrum and calculated the total cost assuming current Ethereum gas prices. As noted below in detail, our measurements do not assume that Arbitrum is consuming the entire capacity of Ethereum. We will present the details of our model now, but for full transparency you can also play around with it yourself and adjust the parameters, by copying the spreadsheet found here.
Our cost model is based on measurements of Reddit’s contracts, running unmodified (except for the addition of a batch minting function) on Arbitrum Rollup on top of Ethereum.
On the distribution of transactions and frequency of assertions. Reddit's instructions specify the following minimum parameters that submissions should support:
Over a 5 day period, your scaling PoC should be able to handle:
  • 100,000 point claims (minting & distributing points)
  • 25,000 subscriptions
  • 75,000 one-off points burning
  • 100,000 transfers
We provide the full costs of operating an Arbitrum Rollup chain with this usage under the assumption that tokens are minted or granted to users in batches, but other transactions are uniformly distributed over the 5 day period. Unlike some other submissions, we do not make unrealistic assumptions that all operations can be submitted in enormous batches. We assume that batch minting is done in batches that use only a few percent on an L1 block’s gas, and that other operations come in evenly over time and are submitted in batches, with one batch every five minutes to keep latency reasonable. (Users are probably already waiting for L1 finality, which takes at least that long to achieve.)
We note that assuming that there are only 300,000 transactions that arrive uniformly over the 5 day period will make our benchmark numbers lower, but we believe that this will reflect the true cost of running the system. To see why, say that batches are submitted every five minutes (20 L1 blocks) and there's a fixed overhead of c bytes of calldata per batch, the cost of which will get amortized over all transactions executed in that batch. Assume that each individual transaction adds a marginal cost of t. Lastly assume the capacity of the scaling system is high enough that it can support all of Reddit's 300,000 transactions within a single 20-block batch (i.e. that there is more than c + 300,000*t byes of calldata available in 20 blocks).
Consider what happens if c, the per-batch overhead, is large (which it is in some systems, but not in Arbitrum). In the scenario that transactions actually arrive at the system's capacity and each batch is full, then c gets amortized over 300,000 transactions. But if we assume that the system is not running at capacity--and only receives 300,000 transactions arriving uniformly over 5 days-- then each 20-block assertion will contain about 200 transactions, and thus each transaction will pay a nontrivial cost due to c.
We are aware that other proposals presented scaling numbers assuming that 300,000 transactions arrived at maximum capacity and was executed in a single mega-transaction, but according to our estimates, for at least one such report, this led to a reported gas price that was 2-3 orders of magnitude lower than it would have been assuming uniform arrival. We make more realistic batching assumptions, and we believe Arbitrum compares well when batch sizes are realistic.
Our model. Our cost model includes several sources of cost:
  • L1 gas costs: This is the cost of posting transactions as calldata on the L1 chain, as well as the overhead associated with each batch of transactions, and the L1 cost of settling transactions in the Arbitrum protocol.
  • Validator’s staking costs: In normal operation, one validator will need to be staked. The stake is assumed to be 0.2% of the total value of the chain (which is assumed to be $1 per user who is eligible to claim points). The cost of staking is the interest that could be earned on the money if it were not staked.
  • Validator computation and storage: Every validator must do computation to track the chain’s processing of transactions, and must maintain storage to keep track of the contracts’ EVM storage. The cost of computation and storage are estimated based on measurements, with the dollar cost of resources based on Amazon Web Services pricing.
It’s clear from our modeling that the predominant cost is for L1 calldata. This will probably be true for any plausible rollup-based system.
Our model also shows that Arbitrum can scale to workloads much larger than Reddit’s nominal workload, without exhausting L1 or L2 resources. The scaling bottleneck will ultimately be calldata on the L1 chain. We believe that cost could be reduced substantially if necessary by clever encoding of data. (In our design any compression / decompression of L2 transaction calldata would be done by client software and L2 programs, never by an L1 contract.)
9. Status of Arbitrum Rollup
Arbitrum Rollup is live on Ethereum testnet. All of the code written to date including everything included in the Reddit demo is open source and permissively licensed under the Apache V2 license. The first testnet version of Arbitrum Rollup was released on testnet in February. Our current internal version, which we used to benchmark the Reddit contracts, will be released soon and will be a major upgrade.
Both the Arbitrum design as well as the implementation are heavily audited by independent third parties. The Arbitrum academic paper was published at USENIX Security, a top-tier peer-reviewed academic venue. For the Arbitrum software, we have engaged Trail of Bits for a security audit, which is currently ongoing, and we are committed to have a clean report before launching on Ethereum mainnet.
10. Reddit Universe Arbitrum Rollup Chain
The benchmarks described in this document were all measured using the latest internal build of our software. When we release the new software upgrade publicly we will launch a Reddit Universe Arbitrum Rollup chain as a public demo, which will contain the Reddit contracts as well as a Uniswap instance and a Connext Hub, demonstrating how Community Points can be integrated into third party apps. We will also allow members of the public to dynamically launch ecosystem contracts. We at Offchain Labs will cover the validating costs for the Reddit Universe public demo.
If the folks at Reddit would like to evaluate our software prior to our public demo, please email us at [email protected] and we'd be more than happy to provide early access.
11. Even more scaling: Arbitrum Sidechains
Rollups are an excellent approach to scaling, and we are excited about Arbitrum Rollup which far surpasses Reddit's scaling needs. But looking forward to Reddit's eventual goal of supporting hundreds of millions of users, there will likely come a time when Reddit needs more scaling than any Rollup protocol can provide.
While Rollups greatly reduce costs, they don't break the linear barrier. That is, all transactions have an on-chain footprint (because all calldata must be posted on-chain), albeit a far smaller one than on native Ethereum, and the L1 limitations end up being the bottleneck for capacity and cost. Since Ethereum has limited capacity, this linear use of on-chain resources means that costs will eventually increase superlinearly with traffic.
The good news is that we at Offchain Labs have a solution in our roadmap that can satisfy this extreme-scaling setting as well: Arbitrum AnyTrust Sidechains. Arbitrum Sidechains are similar to Arbitrum Rollup, but deviate in that they name a permissioned set of validators. When a chain’s validators agree off-chain, they can greatly reduce the on-chain footprint of the protocol and require almost no data to be put on-chain. When validators can't reach unanimous agreement off-chain, the protocol reverts to Arbitrum Rollup. Technically, Arbitrum Sidechains can be viewed as a hybrid between state channels and Rollup, switching back and forth as necessary, and combining the performance and cost that state channels can achieve in the optimistic case, with the robustness of Rollup in other cases. The core technical challenge is how to switch seamlessly between modes and how to guarantee that security is maintained throughout.
Arbitrum Sidechains break through this linear barrier, while still maintaining a high level of security and decentralization. Arbitrum Sidechains provide the AnyTrust guarantee, which says that as long as any one validator is honest and available (even if you don't know which one will be), the L2 chain is guaranteed to execute correctly according to its code and guaranteed to make progress. Unlike in a state channel, offchain progress does not require unanimous consent, and liveness is preserved as long as there is a single honest validator.
Note that the trust model for Arbitrum Sidechains is much stronger than for typical BFT-style chains which introduce a consensus "voting" protocols among a small permissioned group of validators. BFT-based protocols require a supermajority (more than 2/3) of validators to agree. In Arbitrum Sidechains, by contrast, all you need is a single honest validator to achieve guaranteed correctness and progress. Notice that in Arbitrum adding validators strictly increases security since the AnyTrust guarantee provides correctness as long as any one validator is honest and available. By contrast, in BFT-style protocols, adding nodes can be dangerous as a coalition of dishonest nodes can break the protocol.
Like Arbitrum Rollup, the developer and user experiences for Arbitrum Sidechains will be identical to that of Ethereum. Reddit would be able to choose a large and diverse set of validators, and all that they would need to guarantee to break through the scaling barrier is that a single one of them will remain honest.
We hope to have Arbitrum Sidechains in production in early 2021, and thus when Reddit reaches the scale that surpasses the capacity of Rollups, Arbitrum Sidechains will be waiting and ready to help.
While the idea to switch between channels and Rollup to get the best of both worlds is conceptually simple, getting the details right and making sure that the switch does not introduce any attack vectors is highly non-trivial and has been the subject of years of our research (indeed, we were working on this design for years before the term Rollup was even coined).
12. How Arbitrum compares
We include a comparison to several other categories as well as specific projects when appropriate. and explain why we believe that Arbitrum is best suited for Reddit's purposes. We focus our attention on other Ethereum projects.
Payment only Rollups. Compared to Arbitrum Rollup, ZK-Rollups and other Rollups that only support token transfers have several disadvantages:
  • As outlined throughout the proposal, we believe that the entire draw of Ethereum is in its rich smart contracts support which is simply not achievable with today's zero-knowledge proof technology. Indeed, scaling with a ZK-Rollup will add friction to the deployment of smart contracts that interact with Community Points as users will have to withdraw their coins from the ZK-Rollup and transfer them to a smart contract system (like Arbitrum). The community will be best served if Reddit builds on a platform that has built-in, frictionless smart-contract support.
  • All other Rollup protocols of which we are aware employ a centralized operator. While it's true that users retain custody of their coins, the centralized operator can often profit from censoring, reordering, or delaying transactions. A common misconception is that since they're non-custodial protocols, a centralized sequencer does not pose a risk but this is incorrect as the sequencer can wreak havoc or shake down users for side payments without directly stealing funds.
  • Sidechain type protocols can eliminate some of these issues, but they are not trustless. Instead, they require trust in some quorum of a committee, often requiring two-third of the committee to be honest, compared to rollup protocols like Arbitrum that require only a single honest party. In addition, not all sidechain type protocols have committees that are diverse, or even non-centralized, in practice.
  • Plasma-style protocols have a centralized operator and do not support general smart contracts.
13. Concluding Remarks
While it's ultimately up to the judges’ palate, we believe that Arbitrum Rollup is the bakeoff choice that Reddit kneads. We far surpass Reddit's specified workload requirement at present, have much room to optimize Arbitrum Rollup in the near term, and have a clear path to get Reddit to hundreds of millions of users. Furthermore, we are the only project that gives developers and users the identical interface as the Ethereum blockchain and is fully interoperable and tooling-compatible, and we do this all without any new trust assumptions or centralized components.
But no matter how the cookie crumbles, we're glad to have participated in this bake-off and we thank you for your consideration.
About Offchain Labs
Offchain Labs, Inc. is a venture-funded New York company that spun out of Princeton University research, and is building the Arbitrum platform to usher in the next generation of scalable, interoperable, and compatible smart contracts. Offchain Labs is backed by Pantera Capital, Compound VC, Coinbase Ventures, and others.
Leadership Team
Ed Felten
Ed Felten is Co-founder and Chief Scientist at Offchain Labs. He is on leave from Princeton University, where he is the Robert E. Kahn Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs. From 2015 to 2017 he served at the White House as Deputy United States Chief Technology Officer and senior advisor to the President. He is an ACM Fellow and member of the National Academy of Engineering. Outside of work, he is an avid runner, cook, and L.A. Dodgers fan.
Steven Goldfeder
Steven Goldfeder is Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Offchain Labs. He holds a PhD from Princeton University, where he worked at the intersection of cryptography and cryptocurrencies including threshold cryptography, zero-knowledge proof systems, and post-quantum signatures. He is a co-author of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies, the leading textbook on cryptocurrencies, and he has previously worked at Google and Microsoft Research, where he co-invented the Picnic signature algorithm. When not working, you can find Steven spending time with his family, taking a nature walk, or twisting balloons.
Harry Kalodner
Harry Kalodner is Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Offchain Labs where he leads the engineering team. Before the company he attended Princeton as a Ph.D candidate where his research explored economics, anonymity, and incentive compatibility of cryptocurrencies, and he also has worked at Apple. When not up at 3:00am writing code, Harry occasionally sleeps.
submitted by hkalodner to ethereum [link] [comments]

SODL. It's been swell, but the swelling's gone down.

Those familiar with this username already know that I've been involved with Bitcoin since 2012. I purchased my first satoshi before $1k/BTC had ever been seen. I spent years creating developer solutions and electronic products designed to leverage Bitcoin's capability to facilitate frictionless Internet payments and that same time explaining Bitcoin to family, friends, internet buddies, fellow gamers, and anyone else that would listen.
Over time, that capability for frictionless payment dried up. First lack of space in blocks rendered the primary consumer solution I'd been developing as totally useless. There is no point in developing a risk assessment system when the thing being assessed is too risky to justify instant commerce. I feared Bitcoin had met an untimely end at the hands of self-important developers and lazy entitled miners, but was relieved to know that the BTCFORK project was alive and ready to continue the Bitcoin experiment in the form of what would later be called Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
When the fork hit, I was all in from day one. I traded out everything, forked my coins and recovered every satoshi of BCH I could muster. At one lofty point in my life, I had the rare claim to have actually possessed 21 BCH in the same wallet at the same time. I continued developing and introducing people to BCH. I explained to my family and friends the schism and the thought processes that lead me to use BCH instead of BTC. I spent countless hours justifying its existence to a general public that is uninterested in technical details or freedom from potential government seizures and simply want money that works.
Unfortunately, no crypto has never seemed to hold this goal in high esteem. As time has marched onward and progress has continued to be stymied by drama between more self-important developers and lazy entitled miners, I have finally realized why the Bitcoin experiment failed, and how we got here.
Bitcoin's design relies on one very important aspect: that miners behave as rational, long-term-invested economic actors. This would infer that over time, mining organizations will dedicate resources to developing in-house mining solutions and manage them with the same level of interest as a big box store manages their inventory. In short, it would make sense for miners to invest in their own closed-source development, based on the open-source reference client. This would create competition between compatible implementations maintained by groups that are self-invested in their interoperability and suitability for consumer use.
This did not happen, of course. Miners took the lazy, short-term-interested approach of "just run the software, don't care how it works or how well" and left the actual work of looking out for and maintaining the security of the chain to the unpaid open-source developers. This was a recipe for failure years ago and is the same recipe BCH has chosen to follow today. The IFP is simply a physical manifestation of this problem: since devs are not miners, Amaury et. al. are now expecting pay for their work in keeping those miners afloat, and rightly so. But they never should have been doing it in the first place; that was the miners' responsibility the whole time. If you're in an emergent industry running emergent software, you kind of have a responsibility to maintain that software out of pocket. This applies double for high-security software such as financial software. Lazy miners that can't even invest in their own software infrastructure are not trustworthy enough to be relied upon for the security of my funds.
Bitcoin has already failed; and with that clearly observable failure I have sold the remainder of my cryptocurrency, unsubscribed from this and other subreddits, removed various forum accounts, and ceased usage of any remaining services built to work with Bitcoin-style digital signatures. It's been a wild ride. I even made a nice chunk of money along the way. It was fun and fascinating and eye-opening and educational and profitable; but for me, it's over. The success of global peer-to-peer digital cash has already been thwarted, and that's all I ever came for.
Greg Maxwell didn't do this. Amaury Sechet didn't do this. Jihan Wu didn't do this. Roger Ver didn't do this. Theymos didn't do this. All those miners, all those mining pools, all those people that have been actively profiting off the system by running freely provided software and giving back only blocks in return: they are at fault for this failure. It is too late to turn back; the IFP is effectively a cork in a crumbling dam, a half-assed solution to a double-donkey problem. The dream is over, at least for me, and so I'll be moving on now.
The transition to crypto was troublesome and full of problems. I was on a 100% crypto budget for years and even found myself paying a premium for the "convenience". Funnily enough, the transition back to fiat was amazingly smooth and I actually made money on the way back. Sorry, guys - at the end of the day, fiat does what crypto doesn't.
I see the writing on the wall - and now I add my final scrawl. Goodbye, everyone.
submitted by chernobyl169 to btc [link] [comments]

Influx of new players means its time for a guide again!

Welcome to Tarkov!

This game is going to kick your ass. Hopefully I can make your ass-pounding a little less raw. Take these tips with a grain of salt as they are from personal experience from a veteran.

Starting Out

Questing

Traders

Prison Wallet

Let's talk about your pouch slot. Starting out you will either have an Alpha (2x2) or a Gamma (3x3) case depending on what edition of the game you bought. Simply put, more space in your pouch is more money in your butt. You can't put guns or anything in them, but you can stuff any valuables in there. Most important thing is to most valuable single slot items you find in raid in your butt to help recoup your losses if you die.
Also, keep the keys you need in your butt. Take them out when you don't. Getting a Keybar helps but it can take time. You might have more luck buying an early Docs Case on the flea market.

Gear

Armor - this is my 5 second armor explanation, be gentle
Helmets - ayy lmao
Ammo - also quick and dirty. ALWAYS REFER TO THE CHART. ALL HAIL THE CHART.

Save These Things

These items are immediate prison wallet candidates. I'll separate them by quest progression and then by value. Keep quest progression items you'll need them to complete quests!
Quest Items
Valuables
This list used to be short... now almost everything has SOME value. I would say go into your Hideout and look at what it costs to build stuff. When in doubt, put it in your butt and figure out what it is worth later. Here are some highlights though.

Hideout

I'm not going to go into too much detail here but we can start with a few tips.

Raiding

Scav

Recommendations for Low Levels

Ammo
Armor
Helmet
submitted by GlazedHam13 to EscapefromTarkov [link] [comments]

Issuing money by global central banks is a great opportunity for stablecoins," says Digital Gold Advisor Dr. Walter Tonetto

Issuing money by global central banks is a great opportunity for stablecoins,
Last week we talked with our adviser and CEO at Nusantara Trust Dr Walter Tonetto. He answered a number of questions that interest our customers.
How did you land in the cryptocurrency / blockchain space?
I was advising startup businesses in the technology space, and when 2016 came around, I asked Scotty, the feisty chief engineer of the U.S.S. Enterprise, to beam me into the heart of the finance system; I felt more and more the irresistible tug towards remodeling the current toxic financial system. Purposive remodeling, of course, is going on all the time, and it’s a knife that cuts into two directions. The vast majority of the ‘woke’ crowd actually believe that they can ‘disrupt’ the power of the elites that control all money flows. Bathing limestone statues – registering about 4 on the Mohs scale and 0 on the scale of reason -- of past leaders in district waters may give you a feeling of breathing the air of revolution and tiring unknown muscle-groups in your shanks, but think of it like a father watching his child toss around shovels of soil in a sandbox; he smiles benignly from afar, knowing it won’t change a thing; all the luxurious appointments at home won’t get touched. It is a grave illusion to suppose that by playing around with payment systems and technologies we will actually change the role and the emission of money. You may be permitted to become the shoe-shine boy in the royal household, but don’t think you will marry the princess and dilute the royal blood! But understanding the constitutive parts of power aggregation, and working over significant time-frames, allows for approaches and solutions; -- but these should come not from another adversarial position, thus merely marking a displacement of the incumbent, a change of guard, but from an authentic re-orientation, of making benefits much more widely possible and not creating monetary systems that are grossly imbalanced and highly destructive. That, and not building tech stacks, is the challenge!
What was your initial reaction to bitcoin?
Well, I was following the file-sharing service Napster since it started, around 1999 – when the U.S.S. Enterprise was sitting pier-side at Huntington Ingalls Newport shipyard, rusted and gutted, and to me the P2P sharing paradigm was always present in my mind, shining buffed and radiant, so even the centralized Napster was something wholly natural to me – Dr Sheldrake calls it morphic resonance. We live with a great deal of blurriness, though. On the one hand, we think of the virtues of sharing; on the other, there is a seemingly indefatigable impulse to control and dominate. Sean Parker, after founding and floundering with Napster, became a cocaine-snorting egotist and president of Facebook. Collecting money for a charity, he gets aggressive with people who do not follow suit. A control-freak in overdrive. Notwithstanding the technical variations, BTC, seemingly freeing us up from fiscal controls and yet showing our craving for money, exemplifies the flawed perception at the root of things. Monero, which sounds like a much faster, highoctane vehicle, a CV8-Z of the crypto-track, beats BTC in regard to privacy and fungibility, though BTC has advantages in other areas.
Which is a much more common trend nowadays?
It’s hard to make out the shapes of wild-life in the current kangaroo market we’re in. The bulls and bears have mauled one another, and the kangaroo, bereft of oxygen on account of wearing a tight mask, is hopping wildly everywhere. But clearly the possibilities of digital currencies became un-tethered via Bitcoin and the querulous and hidden Satoshi. I like to think of him more as an idea rather than as a person; an idea is generally more malleable and consequential. For instance, rather than laud the benefits of crypto for FX and cross-border payments, the possibilities of a central-bank issued digital currencyENCOMPASS THE POTENTIAL to inscribe new roles for programmable money; for how money is issued, how it is used, and what role custodial mechanisms (traditionally in the hand of commercial banks) might have. I see HUGE potential for private firms to enter the equation here, but we need more open-minded and intelligent regulators that do not always look for the rungs of the career-ladder in any move they make! A DAO could be most helpful here, but we are currently under the terror of algorithms that are not concerned with the welfare of the greatest number of people. If I had the time I would coauthor a book on this theme with a skilful mathematician (perhaps with my son, who is completing a Ph.D in near-term Quantum Algorithms).

In 2018 I was keynote speaker at the BlueWhale forum in Seoul, and I spoke about an Algorithm of Peace. I had a clutch of people approach me straight after the talk, some from Korea, others from the U.S., and ask me to develop my ideas in book form.
Where do you see the price of bitcoin going over the next few years?
I wouldn’t speculate, but since everyone is shilling it, it is bound to keep pushing north, occasional blockages otwithstanding. I always look for twists and incongruities in the usual narratives on offer. Many BTC fans talk about the unbanked, but BTC is held by what will become another elite in due course, and the unbanked will later be serving them the chilled drinks between innings, as usual.
Do you think that there’s a time for altcoins to break out and move away from the movements of bitcoin? What’s that tipping point that needs to take place?
I have some notions under which alt-coins can take the lead and leave bitcoin behind, but it’s too complex to explain the conditions for that to occur. Once very solid use-cases have been established with a clutch of alt-coins, bitcoin might begin quavering in his boots. That alt-coins should take BTC as a benchmark speaks volumes about the lack of maturity of this young and over-eager market. The fuzzy umbilical cord is always present like a foot-tangle; alt-coins must find their own ground, and clip the connection to a vagrant father. Finance needs clarity and not fuzziness. Keep in mind that many sovereign nations bridle at the calamitous influence of the US on payment systems, so nations are building their own messaging systems outside SWIFT, and their own securities exchanges are following. But remember: these are all crumbs: the U.S. can shut down payments to any recipient accounts by informing the payments company and doling out threats. And since all alt-coins and fiat currencies are connected to payment gateways in some form, the U.S. would have to begin reforming its archaic ACH structure to enable efficiencies in the financial pipes, which does not offer real-time payments functionality. This accounts for the relative simplicity (and success) of the PayPal business model (which Venmo and Dwolla later emulated without using credit cards). But understand that the elites will always protect the real crown jewels, and incite wars (or street battles and racial squabbles, as we’re witnessing in the U.S. in mid 2020) so that they can get away with major financial heists in broad daylight. It’s all smoke and mirrors, and scorched talons if you look closely: you cannot trust the reflection you will receive on a smoky pane. Only the big players know the predetermined outcome.
One fundamental misprision occurs amongst alt-coin apologetes: they fail to understand how markets move and what the designated role of money is in markets. Even if you want to displace something, you first need to understand exactly what you’re dealing with, but that is rarely the case. Yes, banks are structurally and constitutionally part of the problem, but no government will dare cross swords with them: there is still too much aggregated power. Ripple and Stellar are two Blockchains that are working with, and not against, banks, and that likely makes them much better candidates for wide acceptance.
What’s one must-read book you recommend to everyone?
That depends so very much on who’s sitting opposite me! I wouldn’t push what is not naturally aligned. But I would push a couple of films urgently, as essential viewing for everyone:
“Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe” (and a sequel), which profoundly shocked me, but confirmed my suspicions. Talking about books: one gets a good sense of the kind of books I would counsel people not to touch, unless an overweening impulse bade them otherwise. For instance Steve Pinker, a favourite author of Bill Gates. Pinker in Gates’ hands explains a lot about the character of the reader, the latter of whom I consider one of the most dangerous people on the planet at the moment. If we stay with Pinker for a moment, since he’s famous and fashionable (Harvard professor with a Medusa hairdo and an effete libertarian air, who in “Better Angels of Our Nature” has affirmed that man is not innately good), we note in his presentation in regard to his ineptly titled book “Enlightenment” that he falls prey to the very flaws he chastises, the classic Münchhausen trilemma (in Jakob Fries’ phrase). Picture Baron Münchhausen pulling himself out of quicksand by his own hair! That he is beholden to neoliberal befuddlement becomes clear when two of the opening images of his talk show Vladimir Putin with a rifle andDonald Trump speaking on a podium. The classic neoliberal Harvard think-tank shows reason to be failing and drowning in pious gestures to the cognoscenti and anointed. I like to look for effective counters for specious and shallow argument: for instance, Rupert Sheldrake’s “The Science Delusion” is a splendid book that bucks the Dawkins’, Pinkers and other materialists of this age. You see, if one listens to Pinker with the head alone, his pedestrian epistemology might not irk, and some ideas might appear plausible enough in a desultory encounter, but if you really want to know the meaning of things, and discover how it relates to the heart, you feel betrayed and given short shrift by him. Among the platitudes he gives out in carefully parsed syllables, the movement of his forehead and eyes betray the spirit behind the façade. Yet I always look, like Yeats, for those who “had changed their throats and had the throats of birds”!
What’s the rainbow trout of the year? Nut-like flavour, the eye still gleaming, with tender, flaky flesh? There are many books I could cite for different genres. The vast majority of modern writers, for all their accomplishments, lack genius, don’t really understand the art of writing, and so cannot hold my attention for long. For those who are open-minded and spiritual, “A Course in Miracles” cannot be bested, but don’t touch it unless you’re really willing to dive deep. There is no need to save the world, since it is nothing but projection; there is no world. You might experience the deepest sigh of relief, as if Atlas had cast off a burden after the Titanomachy. Paul Celan once remarked that “reality is not simply there, it must be sought for and won.” Snorkeling near the surface and blowing bubbles won’t cut it.
We are living in times of great manufactured unrest, which will only heighten in coming months and years, and so I would offer a guernsey to Seamus Heaney. I had met him many years ago, alas cursorily, at a symposium at Waseda University where I was working as a Gaikokujinkoshi, an Associate Professor, where another Nobel laureate, Kenzaburō Ōe and he were giving a reading. Heaney was inspired to write “The Grauballe Man” on the basis of the bog man that he had seen in a book of prehistoric times, but the troubles in Ulster were alive in him, too:
As if he had been poured in tar, he lies on a pillow of turf and seems to weep
the black river of himself. The grain of his wrists is like bog oak, the ball of his heel
like a basalt egg. His instep has shrunk cold as a swan’s foot or a wet swamp root.
Talking of Japan here, methinks, is an aculeate observation of Japan:
Cross the intersection at Shibuya Station in Tokyo on a forbidding wintry evening — touted as the world’s busiest cloverleaf — and you will feel this is Eliot’s London Bridge revisited, with quaggas (think half zebras) preserved in the tar of the five crossings; — flattened ebon bones dreaming the dreams of Pleistocene mammoths — as the mass of the dead mill past you, chasing some mirage, and often accompanied by a revenant that must have been disgorged from a Pachinko parlour. Blanched lilacs float in minarets of light beyond these bituminous quaggas, bidding the odd-toed ungulates in their psychotropic dernier cri and fuddy-duddies in theirstygian suits to sup here or buy over yonder: all tethered to their devices. One might be surprised that no cracks are forming at these arced crossings with strange requisitions folding into the hiemal air. And yet it is still more odd that so few people see this as a primped and pimped potter’s field, a graveyard for those who’ve lost their way. We’re living in an age where the multitude of the dead are pacing among us in perdurable trysts with other zombies.
The above text is from one of my unpublished works; again it speaks to me – and perhaps to you – about the quiddities of this age. There is a distinct sense of zombification taking place on the planet at the moment. Is your lineage that of Dolly, or are you magnificent and free?
Do you have any theories about who Satoshi is?
I don’t really, though I follow the haughty chit-chat at times, especially in the jejune forums LinkedIN provides. I think the person has a good reason to remain concealed (forever), but that is also a major factor why I have never fully trusted bitcoin as an investment proposition.
Keeping the provenance concealed suggests a number of things, none of them conducive to embracing bitcoin as a common form of payment.
What do you think about the prospects of gold in connection with the uncontrolled money printing by different Central Banks?
Gold is what BTC can never become, especially when its provenance remains totally unclear – as well as its likely endgame! Central Banks engage in quasi-criminal activity – and one hopes the future prudent regulator won’t be making it too difficult for people to hold gold bullion. The Perth Mint might be a splendid little dot on the global map, but beware of holding your assets in the form of gold coins: many governments will regard them as forms of payment, and may impose all manner of restrictions on the possession of it.
Let's dream a little. How stablecoins can be used after 5 years from now?
I believe the great RESET is coming – even Davos and the U.N. are alerting us to that. The Covid19 panic has been declared by more than 1500 German physicians as a “global Mafia-style deception”, and while Big Pharma and Bill Gates will likely earn trillions of dollars by the useless and potentially dangerous vaccines that will be foisted on “free” citizens, the finance system as a whole will need to be RESET. We are already receiving an inkling of how draconian and void of reason and concern for the people most governments of the world are reacting to a harmless lab-manufactured virus (virologist Prof Luc Montagnier, Nobel Laureate in medicine in 2008, said that), so it’s possible that regulators may become more tyrannical, and under some pretext or other forbid the use of alt-coins. STABLECOINS can be over-collateralized, allowing absorption of pricing fluctuations, but it will be hard to call. I believe many are bound to fail, and that even earlier, despite all their most valiant efforts: as soon as the RESET comes, which is likely to come with all manner of encumbrances. There are many reasons for the issuance of stablecoins, some having opposing views, but all are dependent on trust – and we don’tknow yet if digital currencies that governments will issue will by regulatory over-reach (including absurd compliance requirements) displace other contenders, but you can assume that the tyrannical forms of governance we are currently experiencing suggest that all kinds of skullduggery are possible.
Do you see the problem of fiat stablecoins in the fact that annual inflation constantly depreciates them? An investor who bought $1000 USDT now and sold these tokens in 10 years for $ 1000 will receive much less money.
The problem occurs if we’re converting things back into payment forms that are fundamentally flawed. Inflation and Black Swan events are the major threats to stablecoins, and tethered crypto-values to natively burdened propositions recalls my earlier idea that we have not yet cut the umbilical cord to bitcoin. On the other hand, stablecoins in their current flavour are perhaps best viewed as transitional schemata that will need later revisitation.
You are a very successful Crypto and ICO Advisor, what is the secret behind this success?
I’m not sure if I’m very successful, but I always try to shoot a straight ball. Here are two instances where my input has not been heeded in any way.
I recall one of the first ICOs I advised. I was sitting with the owner on a Telegram Channel, and after some power Q&A sessions online, we were literally hearing the millions of dollars tumble in neat digital hashes into the inbox within a couple of hours of the ICO opening. He had a bottle of Scotch on his table, and by the end of the session he had reached his hard cap and was besotted to boot! The age of digital money had placed the foolscap on his pate, but the script was no longer legible. I cannot determine if his sobriety ever returned. The prudential advice I had been giving him previously – and that we had discussed in great depth -- was over coming weeks thrown out of the window, and I assume other bottles of Scotch ended up on his desk and didn’t last long.
Here is another example. At one time a well-known ambitious individual in the U.S. cryptospace, a young lawyer, asked me if I wanted to start a crypto compliance organisation with him.
When I think of him now and the feathery assistants he congregated around him, I think of the lines in Dickens’s “Bleak House”: “Mr. Tangle’s learned friends, each armed with a little summary of eighteen hundred sheets, bob up like eighteen hammers in a pianoforte, make eighteen bows, and drop into their eighteen places of obscurity.”
Simply to continue serving wine from the same sour vats won’t do. I saw that as a prospective idea, and offered some important advice to get the ball rolling. Soon we had recruited many eager beavers to the exercise, and there was talk of it becoming an influential body. I was naïve enough to assume at the time that my co-founder, a black college asketballer with body tattoos who had a write-up in a major paper on account of his ambition and aggression, was actually interested in asking some fundamental revisionary questions about compliance in relation to the freedom of the citizen. When I suggested we don’t just copy the traditional compliance template and rather probe more deeply, he became insolent and very aggressive. That confirmed my instinct that most ambitious players in the crypto-space are actually dyed-in-the-wool bourgeois, and don’t care about improving the system itself.
What is your advice for upcoming Crypto startups and investors?
You might know the technology well, but do you know the business? Does it really deeply address, even solve, a problem? How much life experience do you have, and how well do you know the market? Can you create a market for your product or services? If yes, how will you do that? Have you only got yes-men around you, or are you willing to listen to those who speak Tacheles to you? If you’ve come to water the plant of your ego, your business will flounder. Most achievers keep their ego initially in check, and get the work done.
For investors the answer I would give is rather complex, but here’s a brief response: often the mandate of investors is very narrowly girded, and they trust their old boy networks, and rarely venture out and follow their instincts. That is foolish, and also the recipe for a dull life.
Perhaps a general observation that everybody might ponder with profit is the idea that we know really so very little of the world; that the news and information we are are offered and digest, even when it is tendered by so-called ‘experts’, is often seriously ignorant. It seems our perspective is getting narrower all the time, as if our mind is shrinking and we block out knowledge.
Let me give another current reference point. In 2020 everyone is fearful of viruses. Viruses currently have a bad rap! We have no idea what they actually are. We are always hobbling around with our fearful partisan gaze, and what is good today becomes bad tomorrow. Yet viruses are adroit and malleable messengers of inter-species DNA, in some sense regulating vast populations of organisms. Think of them as cellular simpletons: mere protein shells with few genes, but endowed with the ability to replicate easily despite their paucity of genetic instructions! They form alliances, you might say, with other forms of life. And they are deeply mysterious to our acquisitive and ignorant segmenting intelligence: how can the papillomavirus cause horns to grow on rabbits; and at the same time cause hundreds of thousands of cases of cervical cancer every year? Is one good and the other bad? It would seem so. Such simple summary, like Pinker’s reductionist view of the world, might becalm for a moment, but does not offer lasting satisfactions. To read the world along the axes of like and dislike, as the Buddha had warned us, leads to great suffering.
I’m told by someone who met Bill Gates a long time ago that the man was apparently even then obsessively fearful of viruses (imagine a pendant to Lady Macbeth, continually cleansing his hands). But do we have any clue what viruses actually are, and how they benefit us all in so many incalculable ways? When the child crawls around, it picks up antigens (bacteria and viruses) and on that basis builds its immune system. At various points of that contact and exchange new forms grow, and other forms decay and die. Like CO2, viruses are suddenly declared dangerous and that we need to shield ourselves against them. Yet how many people know that marine phages rule the world, and rule the sea? This was not discovered until 1986. An electron microscope showed that every litre of seawater contained up to one hundred billion viruses, almost as much in dollars as BillGates expects to make off vaccines in 2020. If you put these viruses end to end, they would stretch out forty-two million light-years! Viruses offer stunning genetic variety, and they are the very pulse of life! When viruses swallow oceanic microbes, they release a billion tons of carbon every day: imagine squalls of marine snowfalls, powdering the porous sand of the deep. Imagine the white nights of St Petersburg under water, celebrating the magic of life with the same skill and abandon as the Mariinsky Theatre, to an audience of gastropods, deep-water fish and lovelorn mermaids.
Seamus Heaney, when he passed in 2013, spoke the word Noli timere (“Do not fear”) to his wife as he breathed his last. Instead of being fearful, we might do well to assert that we understand nothing of the manifold wonders of this world! Let us cultivate the virtue of wonderment, and fear will find no habitation in our house:
And lonely as it is that loneliness Will be more lonely ere it will be less— A blanker whiteness of benighted snow With no expression, nothing to express.
They cannot scare me with their empty spaces Between stars—on stars where no human race is. I have it in me so much nearer home To scare myself with my own desert places.
Website : https://gold.storage/ Whitepaper: https://gold.storage/wp.pdf
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“Stock to Flow” is pseudoscience.

If you’ve spent much time listening to Bitcoin speculators talk about the halvening, you’ve probably heard them throw out the stock to flow metric. Ever since it made the rounds on social media, this metric is often cited but little understood
It’s derived from precious metal and commodity analysis, suggesting that the price of a commodity can be predicted by the production volume of that commodity (flow) relative to volume held in stockpile (stock). Pundits often point to the correlation between stock to flow (S/F) and precious metal prices. But these are cherry-picked examples. Pundits never explain why that correlation exists. They observe correlation without a theory of causation. This is a recipe for pseudoscience.
It’s not hard to punch holes in S/F by pointing to exceptions to the “rule”.
It’s clear that S/F has some limitations in its ability to predict prices. So then, what can it actually be used for?
We must first understand what the stock to flow to price correlation actually means.
It’s simply the amount people are willing to pay to create a new unit of a commodity (e.g. the cost to mine an ounce of gold) vs the price of buying a unit from someone else’s stockpile. It’s not surprising that an ounce of gold costs about $1000 to mine and sells for about $1400 per ounce. If the cost suddenly dropped to $500, the price per ounce would drop with it, regardless of the “stock to flow”.
Stock to flow then isn’t a magical metric. It merely tends to be useful for precious metal price analysis because metals that are expensive to produce are also produced in lower volume. One theory to explain the stock to flow correlation is that commodities that are expensive to produce are produced in less volume to ensure markets are not over saturated (keeping demand high to support high prices).
In summary, we can see that “Stock to flow” confuses correlation with causation. Price of metals does actually correlate to S/F, but S/F alone does not cause the price to be what it is. Rather, real world supply and demand dictate price as well as S/F.
submitted by admin_default to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

A call to action from a future Validator

Hi there,
I wanted to explain an idea I have been stewing on for over a year now and hope to present a compelling business case for what is and why I feel this is urgent. Let me preface this by giving you a bit about me: I have been involved in cryptocurrency (investing/using & playing in the ecosystem) since 2013. I joined the Ethereum community in 2016 and have for the most part silently observed the traction over the years. My long-term plans involve becoming a validator, with a timeframe measured in decades. My mindset is I’m in this for the long haul and don’t care for parlour tricks or anything that doesn’t actually drive true growth. I told myself for the longest time my voice wouldn’t matter, because other people are making decisions. However my call-to-action is seeing what, and most importantly, why, things need to change for the longevity and growth of this network and by seeing others beginning to speak up about the issues we face today I am encouraged to do the same instead of continually lurking in the background. I now understand tackling these decisions today will only make us stronger in the long-run. So yes, let’s figure that out as a community — but let’s not get ahead of ourselves and let me begin by explaining the what and why.
What I want as a future Validator:
I want to give up a % of my block reward as a validator to a DAO/community led fund that’s sole purpose is to sustain/implement core protocol research/audits & development. Honestly, I am absolutely begging for this to happen and for us to get our heads out of the sand and to realize how important this is. Simply: Let me give up a slice of my reward, so that my remaining slice is in turn even more valuable long term.
Why do I want to give up a % of my reward as a future Validator:
Let me be blunt and transparent: Because when I put on my investor hat you’re right I DO want my actual ether to be worth something more than what it would be than if I didn’t do this as a validator. I’m not doing this out of pure altruism, I am doing this because I can see this will be better both for the health and growth of our network long run and thus in turn my bottom line. Let’s not split hairs here: Yes, I do genuinely believe in decentralization & the spirit of this community and that’s what brought me here a few years ago. But let’s also not pretend investment and opportunity cost do not matter. The money I have in Ethereum today (which I’ve held through thick and thin: the DAO hack and from $1400->$82, and will continue to do so) matters to me and I’d like to see it worth more tomorrow and in 3,5,12 years than it is today. So let me break down how this reward cut accomplishes it. Here is my thesis point-by-point:
1.) There are public services on Ethereum that would benefit from being built as a greater good, yet right now there are no ‘true’ incentives for them to be built and/or are underfunded by grants. Instead we see mostly ICO’s trying to build on top of the protocol to capture that value or teams switching last minute and adding immense friction by doing an ICO/token model (ie: Raiden) to do so. Let me be clear here: I don’t blame developers for this — they’re just reacting to the reality of the market. It’s on us to provide the proper incentives for them to actually build the tooling and infrastructure we all need for tomorrow.
2.) The stronger the protocol, the more likely people will in turn build more on top of it. For 2016-2018 it was clear Ethereum had the best developer mindshare. Well now there is competition and we need to get our act together. By doing so, there will be more platform “confidence” as developers/users know this protocol has a sustainable path towards research, innovation. As an investor, we care about this too. This is what keeps me up at night when I think about how to allocate my capital in this space. Who or what platform actually gets this?
3.) The true driver of the price of Ether is largely a derivative of the mindshare/talent working on the base layer. Like Microsoft in the 90s said: It’s all about the developers. Let’s not only keep the best talent working in our ecosystem and stop slippage to competitors, but also grow our development velocity at a faster rate. We need to give them more support. Based on the velocity and pushbacks I would say they’re likely underappreciated, underpaid and overworked for the most part. It’s a high pressure job and mostly thankless; we need to correct this and ensure they’re here with us for the long run, while ideally adding even more to the core team so we can ensure deadlines get hit in the future.
4.) More useful things being built on L1/protocol = drawing in even more L2 architecture/talent building in our ecosystem = more developers building better things with better tooling/security and infrastructure = more transactions & usage of the network = this drives growth in all key stakeholders in our ecosystem = more validator rewards for people like myself. This is simply a positive feedback loop, but we need the catalyst to start it.
More Information:
I can hear some skeptics say right now: Well why don’t you just send your own ether in as a contribution to any of these underfunded teams? Because I alone can’t do this and that isn’t a 5+ year solution. I alone can’t plug all these holes. What are these holes? Underfunded teams, developers choosing to do useless ICO’s (not all, but most IMO) instead of developing public protocol infrastructure we so desperately need, or worse yet they’re leaving to go work on competitors who can promise them better terms. In fact, why would you stick around? My research shows me you’re likely being paid below market rate (sorry this is also an uncomfortable truth, and it bothers me because I want these developers to be paid their market rate at the very minimum), and you can go join a new rock star team and try to develop/capture value from the ground floor through genesis tokens on Blockchain 5.0 project or whatever. In fact, when Vitalik graciously sent out grants a few months ago, I didn’t get a warm fuzzy feeling, but was filled with dread. This issue was clearly bubbling to the surface, I was very happy for those teams who received it, but I was thinking how inefficient this is that we have to rely on altruism from whales or early winners to make this happen. That, in my books is not sustainable to continue to be the clear leader for innovation in this increasingly crowded space. That’s not a recipe for meeting project deadlines, it’s simply unsorted chaos and a tragedy of the commons on our part.
How would this work?
I envision this happening during Eth 2.0 switch to the Beacon Chain when PoS comes online. I doubt we can implement an EIP for this to happen with PoW, but let’s remember here: miners, while providing a service, are only a stop-gap for the real long term solution — which is PoS. PoS is people like me, who want to bet on the future of this network and here I am saying yes let me take less because in the end, honestly, I want more -- both in the value of my rewards for staking and for the actual value I believe the Ethereum platform can deliver in the future. It’s the validators of tomorrow, not the miners of today we have to convince. So how does this actually work? I don’t have all the details and this posts scratches more on the what & why. For how: ideally we can create an EIP with the details/mechanics on how to divert some portion of the staking reward that can be implemented right at the start of when we switch to PoS. We get community support and this happens.
Brief closing thoughts
What drew me to Ethereum community in the first place was the excitement & energy along with the ethos of experimentation and knowing this would be a bold risk. It drew in so much talent, energy, and developers even from the Bitcoin community who some way understood why this might be meaningful. I feel like Ethereum has almost kind of “frozen up” in a scared of your own shadow this last year or so. To me the spirit of Ethereum is innovation, forging forward and the ability to adapt and react. Well reality has come: We are experiencing some major talent slippage (to icos and various other projects) and other 3.0 projects are coming online, & honestly some of them looking quite promising. I don’t want Ethereum to compete on “brand” or anything like that, I want Ethereum to continue to be the go-to if a developer wants a true decentralized sandbox to develop, nurture and incubate applications and ideas that will shape the world. We’ll need more tooling for eWasm. We’ll need more developers to audit code & build 1.X Eth & tooling to help switch 1.0 Dapps to 2.0 when that time comes. We’ll need more base layer infrastructure to help onboard and integrate software engineers from outside the blockchain world seamlessly. We need to pay them what they’re worth, and let them know that when they’re building the scaffolding for Eth 2.0 that they actually have a runway of funds & we have their back. We’ll need better UX, L2 scaling, formalized standards, wallets and general applications to run on top of the chain and so much more. What we really need is to show we can reach consensus here and do the sensible thing.
Thank you for listening and I appreciate any comments/insights any of you may have.
submitted by kazuya1987 to ethereum [link] [comments]

How to analyze ICO’s properly and avoid scams

Taken from https://satoshi.blog/2018/03/22/how-to-analyze-ico/

How to analyze ICO’s properly and avoid scams

If you have read my previous article on how to research a cryptocurrency, you already know most of the important things to look at before investing in any altcoin. These criterion also apply to analyze ICO’s, but when it comes to these, there are also a couple more specific things you should look into. For the sake of learning, let’s see how to analyze an ICO, from A to Z. We’ll thus revisit some principles mentioned in the article on altcoins.

Value proposition

First things first: in a nutshell, what is the value proposition of the project? Is it promising and does it have a future? What is the size of the potential market?

The technology

Linked to the value proposition, we must also ask ourselves what is the technology of the project. Is it new? Is it simply a copy pasta of an already existing project?

Functional product

Is there already some work done by the team? It may be a red flag if it’s not the case. Have you ever seen entrepreneurs asking for funding with simply an idea and absolutely no work done on the project? This is the perfect recipe for a legendary failure.

Necessity of a token/source of income

As in the case of any particular altcoin, we must ask ourselves if the project really requires a token. We have seen the emergence of several projects lately that do not require a token and even cases where the token represents a burden for the project. If so, it would obviously be ridiculous to invest in the project, especially in the case of an ICO.
Also, we should look into the profit generation model of the token. Some projects charge fees to users and redistribute it to token holders while some prefer to burn tokens to reduce the circulating supply. Possibilities are endless to redistribute to token holders but it is important to check if it’s mentioned in the terms of the ICO and if it’s realistic.

Competition

As in any other market, it is important to research the competitors to see where this ICO lies against already existing projects. In other words, evaluate if the project brings something new or if it’s only a copy of other projects.

Team

Some projects prefer to keep the team’s identities undisclosed and in many cases this is a big red flag. Think about it for a second. Would you invest in a company in which you have no idea who’s working behind? We have seen some projects performing really well and delivering on time even though we have no idea who’s working behind but it is definitely a factor to take into account when researching and deciding whether to invest or not. This increases the risk a lot in the sense that the team can bail out with no consequence at all on their reputations.
Even if the team is open about their identities, there is still some research to be done. How many are they? Do they have experience in what they are trying to do? What is their history, in crypto and elsewhere? Have they been involved in shady events in the past? Do they have a history of success?
Don’t get caught up in a scammy ICO where the graphic designer is supposedly Ryan Gosling as seen below. This is the Miroskii ICO. The worst part of this story? They have still been able to raise more than $830 000 from innocent(stupid) investors!

Advisors

Just as for the team, it is wise to review all the advisors. These people can bring a lot of expertise to the team and help them to move forward with their project in a more efficient way. For example, if Vitalik Buterin is featured as an advisor (and you verified that it’s actually true) it is a great thing in the sense that he has a lot of experience to bring to the table.

Community

Contrarily as when researching any particular altcoin, communities backing an ICO are usually much smaller than for established projects. It is still a good idea to review the social medias, look at the number of followers, trying to see if those are real or fake. Also, there is definitely some things to learn by looking at some reviews of the ICO by prominent and knowledgeable people in the crypto sphere. Some things that a beginner could not see as a big flaw, for example.

GitHub activity

If the project is open source and there is some work done already, it is wise to review the GitHub to check the involvement on it and the speed of development.

White paper

The white paper is the document where everything about the project should be explained. In general, it is around 10 to 20 pages. It is very important to read it carefully, even if you don’t understand everything, in order to really grasp what the project is about. The project has no white paper at the time of the ICO? That’s another red flag…

Terms of the crowdsale

Now’s time to look at the most interesting things. Even if everything else sounds great, this is where it could make or break. So wait a bit before investing all of your money and selling your wife and kids to buy even more of that ICO.

Quantity of tokens given to investors, founders and advisors – vesting

First, we must understand that it is important for the team, the founders and the advisors to receive a piece of the pie. Indeed, incentive to perform and thus make more money for themselves is a good thing and it always has been this way. This is why stock options are still widely used in companies. That being said, this percentage should be reasonable enough so that investors can still make a good investment by buying tokens.
Other usage of the tokens may include reserve for the future and for the use of the platform, for bounties,etc. In most cases, this is also important for the long term success of the project.
Another crucial aspect to look into regarding the crowdsale is the vesting period of the tokens i.e. when they can be moved after the crowdsale. Some projects simply have no vesting period, which means that directly after the crowdsale is done and the token is listed on an exchange, the team can dump all of its tokens. This means that they let the project die while laughing all the way to the bank. Doesn’t sound like a great deal for investors, huh?

Capped or uncapped

Another important factor is whether the crowdsale is uncapped or capped. In the latter case, then at how much it is. The disadvantage of a capped sale is that it is harder to get tokens. Certain systems can be in place to avoid that most of the supply is bought by only a couple whales. For example, we have seen some ICOs where there was a maximum contribution per bitcoin or ethereum address.
When it is uncapped, it means that the project can get as much money as investors are willing to give them, which means that there is no scarcity. We have seen a lot of projects with an uncapped crowdsale where as soon as it was listed on exchanges, tokens lost a lot of their value. This is easily understandable because all of the participants who wanted to get in were able to. Then the only people left in the market are those who want to sell, for whatever reason it may be.

Presale

It is important to look if other investors could get in before the ICO, and at which price. Most projects have a private unadvertised presale where investors can get cheaper tokens compared to the ICO price. Sometimes the presale price is so low that it’s not worth it at all to get in the ICO. Indeed, because buyers in the presale got tokens so much cheaper, they will most likely sell at market price when the ICO is done and listed on exchanges.

Inflation

It is wise to try to understand the level of inflation the token has. If investors get, for example, 30% of the supply during the ICO but that the annual inflation rate is also 30% it kind of kills the vibe because there is no scarcity and the supply increases too fast.
To sum up, make sure to analyze ICO’s thoroughly before you invest your hard-earned money. Many scams are still present in the crypto sphere but if you analyze everything carefully, you can almost be sure it’s not a scam and that it’s not another one of these shitty projects out there.
Happy hunting!
submitted by trippycakez to icocrypto [link] [comments]

Why ARAGON can become one of the main Ethereum-based projects.

1 INTRODUCTION
This section briefly introduces the foundations of Aragon and how it is fundamentally ran and operated.
1.0 What is Aragon?
The Aragon Network (AN) will be the first DAO whose goal is to act as a digital jurisdiction that makes it extremely easy and efficient for organizations, entrepreneurs and investors to operate. It can be argued that firms, companies and projects mostly exist in order to create value by using resources to create products or provide services. The obstacle in that pursuit is intermediaries and third parties such as governments decreasing the output of those operations by imposing restrictions and creating complex regulatory frameworks. Therefore, it can be analysed that Aragon can step in to disintermediate the creation and maintenance of companies and other organizational structures by laws that define user permissions, a governance system, a capital system, and an accounting system. Aragon provides limitless operation for businesses. It’s primary demographic is private companies, but additional support is built for NGOs, project management, charities, and even government organizations. In the future, most company activities can be structured on their network, such as meetings, conferences, tasks, notary services, bookkeeping, banking, etc. Not only does it provide a platform for efficient company management, communication and partnerships, it also minimizes costs related to most tasks required to run those operations.
1.1 Management
The strong foundations of Aragon are displayed throughout their work. Firstly, the efforts to provide investors the most transparent and constructive information is a sign of a well-managed company. Analysing the whitepaper, meeting plans, articles and development plan one can see, that not only does it present in-depth information and thoroughly analysed scenarios, it also outlines the potential issues and limitations that can occur in the future. This factor cannot be underestimated in today’s cryptocurrency/blockchain subculture, as most coins and projects are based around the strengths that developers and project leaders hype, instead of providing well-rounded information for investors to base their decisions on. This type of transparency and care legitimizes the project by a huge margin and indicates a very strong foundational management of the project.
1.1.1 Founders, Advisors and Contributors
The strength of Aragon management is further established with the strong developer duo and advisors. At the age of 17, Luis Cuende and Jorge Izquierdo prototyped a fully decentralized Internet replacement by using mesh networks, blockchain technology and protocols like Bluetooth LE and WiFi Direct. Furthermore, Stampery - Luis’ latest company—made blockchain timestamping accessible, and has worked with institutions like the Estonian government, Microsoft and Telefonica. Before building Aragon, Luis and Jorge were working in Silicon Valley. After figuring out how broken the underlying infrastructure of innovation is, they decided to focus all of their time in building the infrastructure that new companies and organizations will run on top of.
Luis Cuende - Project Lead
Luis has been awarded as the best underage European programmer in 2011, is a Forbes 30 Under 30, a MIT TR35 and was an Advisor to the VP of the European Commission. He cofounded the blockchain start-up Stampery. Prior to founding start-ups, he created the world's first Linux distribution with facelogin.
Jorge Izquierdo - Tech Lead
Curious hacker, creator of multiple apps for iOS, macOS and Pebble. Reached App Store's #2. Always tinkering with new tech. Already convinced about the decentralized future of the Internet, he has been building toy projects such as a mesh network or a small blockchain implementation since 2014.
Aragon also has a list of competent advisors assisting in the development or inspiration of Aragon Network and Aragon Core. The list includes, but is not limited to, people like Fred Ehrsam (Cofounder, Coinbase), Vitalik Buterin (Creator, Ethereum), Jan Isakovic (CEO, Cofound.it), Brayton Williams (Partner, Boost VC), Jean Amiouny (CEO, Shakepay), Jake Brukhman (Founder, CoinFund), Demian Brener (CEO, Zeppelin), and many more notable individuals. Furthered by the transparency, consistent progress and passion for the project, there is no question that the developers and advisors of the Aragon Network are capable and ambitious people willing to put everything on the line for Aragon to succeed.
1.2 Community
When it comes to the community surrounding Aragon, it is very pleasing to come across a mature and constructive bunch of people. The “lambo” and “moon” talk is held to a minimum and the overall tone of messages is informational, educating and constructive. In addition, Aragon is very involved in the community and makes sure to stay engaged by all means necessary in order to receive feedback and share progress (especially in the form of public community engaging developer meetings, etc.). Furthermore, community-requested enhancements and changes are constantly implemented (such as the ETC20 token, governance implementations, etc.). Overall, it can be stated that in addition to the already strong foundations of Aragon, the community is an extremely positive factor and incentivises both the community and developers to stay engaged and transparent, pushing the project forward in a mutually beneficial way (and not just for short-term investor gains).
1.3 ANT Tokens
The ANT token will be the native token for all of the network services that require a token, either for governance or other functionalities. For example in the case of the court, holders will be able to use their tokens to help arbitration and get a reward. Furthermore, when an organization needs investors or plans to do a fund-raiser, the invested tokens can also represent shares in the company on the Aragon Network. Once one invests and buys shares of an organization, they’ll be allocated appropriate voting rights and governance rules.
Another important thing to note regarding the token is that founders have a vesting period of 2 years, denying them the ability to just dump their coins whenever they please, making the ANT tokens healthier overall. Also, transparent distribution information is published and constantly updated – currently investors hold 70% of the tokens, 15% is held for contingency to overcome major hurdles, and 15% will remain in the hands of founders, advisors and early contributors. Aragon also has a set out plan for how the funds gathered during ICO are used, which in addition to providing additional transparency, also provides the investor a clear outline in what they are investing. Current fund allocation is the following - 5% legal, 12% marketing, 17% operations, and 66% development.
With the growth of Aragon, the ANT token will be an inseparable and most important part of the platform functions, allowing the token to have stable growth in the coming years in conjunction with Aragon’s success.
2 ANALYSIS
This section aims to analyse the key benefits presented by Aragon.
2.0 Transparency
Transparency is an instrumental factor for Aragon, as they put quite a lot of emphasis on running their business in a most „public“ way possible. With the overarching popularity of scams and sketchy ICOs, transparency and trust are the two elements lacking in the crypto atmosphere for the most part - but not with Aragon. Not only have they done multiple TV and other public media appearances, showing their faces and what they represent, you can also see the burning passion in their eyes every time they speak about what they are trying to achieve and solve. Further transparency is displayed by public Aragon developer meetings, which are either livestreamed or uploaded for everyone to see and participate in. This is the one and only project creating this sort of ultimate transparency and community involvement with their project, and is exactly what the crypto space needs more of. It can also be stated that this removes a lot of doubt and fear of Aragon being a hoax, as they have a lot on the line being as transparent about their identities and undertakings as they are.
2.1 Practicality and co-existance/partnership potential
Another fundamental strength is the compliance with Ethereum’s growth – every company that wants to move into the blockchain world through ethereum can be incentivized to run those particular activities (management wise) through the Aragon Network. The potential this holds is extremely big, as Ethereum has already been praised and popularized as the primary blockchain to run dApps and smart contracts on. Therefore, it makes sense for companies utilizing Ethereum blockchain to move organizational management of those operations over to Ethereum based Aragon Network, which can help make everything more efficient and effective. All in all, if someone is incentivized to use Ethereum, it is logical for them to also use the Aragon Network for efficiency. Furthermore, Aragon possesses strong links to established blockchain projects, as they can potentially run their operations through Aragon Network in the future to maximize efficiency.
Furthermore, Aragon supports the creation of own ERC20 token on the network, so any company or project can create its’ cryptocurrencies through Aragon while making the most of the platform for operations as well.
Additionally, Aragon has a strong links with Iconomi, which is prone to launch on August 1st as the cryptocurrency index platform. As the awareness of cryptocurrency and blockchain increases, mainstream investing will slowly move a percentage of their funds into cryptocurrencies as well, and this is exactly the aim of Iconomi – to create an ease of access for crypto index investing for mainstream investors. If Iconomi becomes the mainstream investment vehicle for cryptocurrencies and people will buy the ICNX fund, then Aragon token can see immense growth over the years to come (as Aragon is one of the few cryptocurrencies part of the ICNX index). Finally, co-efficient ecosystem can be created through the co-operation of blockchain projects, where each party benefits from one another. For instance, one such co-operation could be in the governance of organizations. If the applicant is not satisfied with the human judges’ resolution, they can request an upgrade to the next level, which is a prediction marketplace in which all the network judges can participate. For this, projects like Augur or Gnosis can bring immense co-operation use-cases. It is important to note that this is only one example, as various project links can be created in such a way that would benefit and grow the whole cryptocurrency/blockchain ecosystem/market.
2.2 Additional functionality
2.2.1 Start-ups and external funding
Further strength of Aragon lies in the external funding sector. With the increasing number of start-up projects and companies looking for external investments, importance lies in making funds easily accessible for future organizations. Furthermore, it can be argued that investing in start-ups is remarkably inaccessible to the public and mostly happens in a closed environment, making it harder for investors to invest and for companies to acquire funding when needed.
 Aragon Core organizations can issue shares directly to another party when the party sends the negotiated amount of currency.
 If an organization wants raise capital publicly, Aragon Core organizations can publish share offers in the marketplace.
Investors can then directly contact to negotiate or invest in a hard limit number of shares. This is especially true important for start-up organizations, as they need to be able to raise capital quickly. For a traditional start-up, this would mean riding the VC unicorn rollercoaster, crowd funding through a third party (e.g. Kickstarter), applying for a business loan, or bothering friends, relatives, and connections for investments. Aragon Core organizations can easily issue new shares in exchange for capital without operating with a third party, both through direct sales and public offerings. This means that investing will become much easier and accessible to both organizations and investors, helping aid the growth of companies in the marketplace and boost overall economy (as most hindered operations are due to lack of resources).
2.2.2 Modularity
Aragon developers have also taken in mind that different organizations might require additional functionalities for their organizational operations, meaning that there is further flexibility provided to meet most demands that might be presented. For this, modular software has been made accessible, allowing additional functions to be developed on top of Aragon Core in the instance where an organization might require features for very specific things relative to their industry/management/governance etc. While the Aragon Network has some basic constitution and governance methods, everyone will also be able to create another network inside the Aragon Network with a more specific set of laws. For example, you could create an organization, join the Aragon Network, and vote for a new set of laws specific to your organization. Effectively, organizations will be able to use the Aragon Network’s services basic constitution and services as a framework, and build a custom set of rules to govern relationships inside organizations. That type of flexibility, both through framework and modular functionality, allows Aragon to become the stepping stone of future organizations that wish to build their infrastructure on blockchain, making Aragon a power-player in the years to come.
2.2.3 Organizational Set-up
In addition to providing modular software for every company to create their own terms of organizational operation, Aragon has also taken into consideration and developed benefits based on the multiple needs of companies today. To provide those benefits, Aragon has built a product that functionality for the following areas:
Identity: A very first pillar of any organization before operation is their identity. Aragon enables any company to create, transfer or develop their identity by providing means for blockchain benefits.
Ownership: Shares are a way to reward founders, investors, advisors, partners and employees and can determine the ownership and direction of the company. Aragon has simplified this through providing semi-automation with the network and creating ease of access to funding, voting and overall governance.
Voting: The Company’s shareholders should be able to have a word over its actions. This is directly linked to ownership, as the platform accessibility and functionality will simplify the process by making it more efficient.
Capital: Since a venture can be risky and may need to acquire certain goods in order to operate or grow, capital in the form of investment/loans is needed. Through creating a platform for companies to acquire funding more easily and for investors to have access to investing, Aragon can solve a lot of problems of hindered development due to insufficient capital.
People: In the end, it's human beings who build the organizations. Aragon is working to create easy ways for organizations to on-board (identity) and reward (payroll) them.
Outreach: A company needs to target their audience in order for them to buy the company's product. For this, marketing efforts are a necessity and allocating budgets for that is inseparable, referring back to links with capital and funding.
Payment processor: Organizations need to be paid and receive funds. Aragon Core serves as a way for them to capture payments easily both from customers, investors, and other companies, removing the need for third-party processors with high fees and long transaction times.
Accounting: In order to manage expenses, burn rate and make business decisions, there is a need to maintain book-keeping. Aragon keeps record of all the transactions and activities on the network, compiles them and creates reports in a semi-automated fashion.
All of these above mentioned factors link together and complement each other to create a super-efficient ecosystem for companies to operate in. Furthermore, taking into consideration that Aragon has also created modular software for companies to introduce additional benefits through personal coding, the platform can provide full functionality and immense benefits for every future organization looking to benefit from blockchain technology in order to push operation efficiency further.
2.2.4 Removing of human conflict
Aragon also aims to resolve the problems companies face due to human conflict by introducing Aragon Network Jurisdiction (further referred to as ANJ), which aids to provide tools needed to solve subjectability of human relationships and personal vendettas. Here is an example subtracted from Aragon Whitepaper: An investor invests into an organization and receives some voting power. The organization founder then goes rogue and sends all investment money to his personal account. If this was an Aragon organization, the investor just had to make sure that transactions above a certain threshold have to be approved by a majority voting. It sets the incentives right for Aragon organizations to be a part of it, since:
Parties that want to interact with the given organization will want certain guarantees in case there's a breach of trust not covered by the contracts.Some bugs could be stopped by opening an arbitration that could freeze all activity until the case is resolved.
All in all, the ANJ is there to provide a decentralized intermediary between human conflicts and attempts to provide tools, through voting and automated smart contracts tracking, to resolve them. This removes a lot of threat of manipulation and self-interest within organizations that seek to exploit investor money, making it a lot safer for funding to go where it is supposed to go and providing investors a peace of mind.
2.3 Current limitations
In this section, some limitations are explained and briefly elaborated.
2.3.1 Minting
The cost to mint new tokens will be determined by ANT token holders. This will likely be a contentious decision and one where the basic economic principles of supply and demand need to be considered. For example, consider the scenario where the cost of minting tokens is too low. More and more tokens will be added to the supply, until supply greatly outweighs demand. This is a recipe for inflation and the value of individual ANT tokens will fall. Ultimately, Aragon believes that token holders will eventually decide on a healthy equilibrium for inflation. Based that belief, by weighing the opinion of every stakeholder, the market will accurately reflect the optimal minting cost. On one hand, this clearly reflects the decentralized model that cryptocurrencies should display (due to democracy elements and mutual agreements), but on the other this can lead to a lot of collective manipulation and conflict within the community. The same has been evident in the recent Bitcoin drama that put a lot of Bitcoin future in question, and also led to a lot of people pulling out their money due to uncertainty (leading to a lot of volatility). Therefore, Aragon places their trust into the hands of ANT token holders, which is the right thing to do, but can also backfire when majority of tokens are held by a certain group of people wanting to manipulate the currency. Overall, if ANT token want to display stability in growth (as opposed to volatility), then there needs to be majority consensus within the community. Do keep in mind though, that even though ANT is an inseparable element of the Aragon project, the platform CAN still operate efficiently for companies without any issues, as only people looking for trade-value (investors) will suffer and/or benefit from volatility.
2.3.2 Development needs
The properties of the Ethereum blockchain present unique opportunities for the creation and management of decentralized organizations, including immutability of records, transparency, and fast transactions. But in order to satisfy multiple requirements that human beings need in order to transact and create value, a layer on top of it needs to be created to align the incentives of everyone participating in the system. This can be a tricky from development point of view, which is why it is listed in the limitations sector. When Aragon is able to make it easily accessible for everyone to create/code additional layers for individual needs on top of the platform (the functionality is planned, but not yet executed) without issues, then this limitation is void.
Further limitations include (from whitepaper):
Subjective breaches: Smart contracts can encode most of the possible breaches of contract, but there is always subjectivity in human relationships. An unbiased Aragon Network arbitration system is needed for cases where conflict is not explicitly resolved in the smart contract code.
Software bugs: The error is always between the chair and the keyboard. Code can contain bugs so the software needs to be easily upgradeable, and a sound bug bounty mechanism must exist to incentivize potential attackers to claim a bounty, rather than attack.
Reward systems: Monetization around certain protocols and systems is unclear at this point. Some players will be key to making organization possible, so a simple reward mechanism is needed.
3 CONCLUSION
In conclusion, Aragon is one of the fundamentally strongest blockchain projects with extremely practical use-cases and immense up-side potential. In the capitalistic world ran by companies, one can argue that it is only a matter of time when companies seek to benefit from the Blockchain technology referred to as the Internet 2.0. Not all companies are technology orientated and have big budgets to spend on personal blockchain development, meaning that if blockchain gets more adoption, companies are forced to adapt to the changing environment. Aragon provides a lot of functionality and can potentially make operations a lot more efficient for organizations, and with already established transparency, development plans and use-cases, it simply cannot be ignored. Acting as a digital jurisdiction that makes it extremely easy and efficient for organizations, entrepreneurs and investors to operate, Aragon can become a lot more than just a cryptocurrency, but rather a stepping-stone in aiding the world transition to the blockchain world of tomorrow.
Thank you for reading! ETH Tip address for the generous: 0x089e86500be8e81130af1f7d3b5928d056db0eb5
submitted by StarlikeLOL to ethtrader [link] [comments]

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