NFT project includes funding for holder’s business projects, a real-life club, events and masterminds

Jan. 13, 2022Ape Gorilla is expected to launch its pre-sale on February 2nd, 2022, where holders will benefit from a pool of more than 700 ETH for business projects and participate in real-life club experiences.

Ape Gorilla’s mission is to be a positive force that fosters community growth, the realization of worthy business ideas, and powerful networking opportunities. Additionally, the Ape Gorilla roadmap includes full integration into the emerging web 3.0 metaverse.

The project will include unquie 11,337 NFTs using the ERC721 smart contract. The Ape Gorilla’s will consist of 300+ unique visual traits. The Ape Gorilla Whitelist will allow you to register ahead of time before the NFTs are available! The whitelist is open from January 11th through February 2nd. The 1,337 whitelist spaces will be distributed and minitable on apegorilla.com which will then be displayed on Opensea, with prizes being announced on the Discord.

Collaboration with the People of The Kingdom of Bhutan

Ape Gorilla will be donating 700 ETH to the Community Growth Organization program created and partnered with the people of the Kingdom of Bhutan — the country who coined the term “Gross National Happiness Index,” as defined by the United Nations.

The Ape Gorilla Club

One month after the NFT drop, Ape Gorilla holders will purchase “elixirs” or “magical gems” to convert their Gorilla into a Royal Gorilla, which will grant holders new 3D artwork. The proceeds from the Royal Gorilla purchases will allow the project to expand its roadmap, contributions, donations and collaborations to the community.

All Ape Gorilla owners will be members of the Ape Gorilla Club. These genuine clubs will accommodate up to 100 people at any given time, and holders will be able to bring +2 friends. Over time, the project is expected to purchase properties worldwide to allow members easier club access. In addition, each club will feature members’ NFTs.

Business Funding Initiatives

A central focus of the Ape Gorilla project is to help build communities around the world through the creation of businesses that serve the greater good. The project will use 850 ETH to fund proposals from Ape Gorilla members with business ideas that have the potential to fulfill the community’s mission.

Ape Gorilla’s Social Platforms:

ABOUT APE GORILLA

Welcome to the Ape Gorilla Club. Our mission is to empower our community in educational growth, business and networking opportunities, play to earn games, test our boundaries and create a community mindset around a Happiness Index, modeled by the Kingdom of Bhutan. Ape Gorilla was created by a motivated group of individuals who wanted to bring a community together with a product to make a positive change. Based on the 3D models of 11,337 unique Ape Gorilla non-fungible tokens (NFTs), members of the Ape Gorilla Club gain access to online and real-life business-building education, angel investment opportunities, charity collaborations, exclusive business development software and other benefits.

The developers of the pla-to-earn game, Meta Yoka, announce the launch of a platform, with the opportunity to participate in the game without buying a starter NFT.

Meta Yoka is an SLG game with play-to-earn mechanics for developing NFT pets, combining combat, adventure and collecting, released on Binance Smart Chain. The player has to breed playable Yoka characters and use them in battles.

The game’s developers offer everyone a free NFT character at the start of the game to use to earn native platform tokens, $YOC and $SPICE.

Each Yoka, an NFT character, has its own unique characteristics, one of several classes (warrior, mage, hunter, etc.) and can also be upgraded with found NFTs, skill upgrades and $SPICE tokens. The player controls several NFT-Yoka.

The game features several types of companies, raids on bosses with $SPICE rewards, and a PvP arena, for battles between players.

Also available to players are in-game guilds – Horde. Players can create their own Horde or join an existing one. The higher the level of the Horde, the more different functions are available to players.

In addition, players will be available to own in-game lands, with which will be able to receive passive income. Acquired Land will be able to edit and modify.

The game’s economy is based on two tokens – $YOC and $SPICE, based on Binance Smart Chain.

Yoka COIN ($YOC) is Meta Yoka’s BEP-20 governance token. If $YOC holders pledge their tokens, play games, and participate in key governance votes, they will be rewarded. Some key points in the game require payment of $YOC. Players can also play various games in Meta Yoka and earn $YOC through user-generated content plans.

$SPICE is the circulation token of Meta Yoka, and operations such as upgrades and adventures will consume $SPICE. You can earn $SPICE through planetary expeditions and planet guarding. The SPICE paid by users in the game will be mainly used for burning or treasury, and will be rewarded to users through activities and tasks in the future.

The platform has been audited by RD Auditors – https://www.rdauditors.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/MetaYoka-Smart-Contract-Security-Report.pdf.

In the future the developers plan to create their own DAO and Metaverse.

If you are interested in this project, you can learn more about it on the official resources:

Website: https://metayoka.io/

Telegram: https://t.me/MetaYokaofficial

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Metayokaio

Medium: https://medium.com/@MetaYoka

 

15 December 2021: WAR OF TRIBES is about to change the dynamics of online multiplayer games using blockchain technology. Recently launched in a mega event, War of Tribes is an online third-person MMORPG PvP game that allows players to build their characters, earn rewards and unique NFTs by participating in PvP matches.

The entire game is expected to hit the market by the first quarter of 2022 bringing a lot of value to the early token holders of WOTG. The game has numerous play-to-earn functionalities creating excitement and buzz within the gaming industry.

Innovative Game Rules

There will be four playable classes to choose from – Warrior, Shaman, Hunter, and Wizard. Each class will have its own gameplay and unique abilities. Warriors are masters at close combat and weapons. Shamans can heal and use small weapons and spells to fight their opponents. Hunters are masters at traps and long-distance fights with bows and crossbows. Finally, wizards are masters of magic-using different spells to destroy their opponents.

Players can use various NFTs, such as weapons and armors to improve their power and chances of winning. NFT items are set in four categories, from the most common to the most exclusive. These are common, rare, epic, and legendary. Common items are earned and bought in the game, while the more rare ones can only be obtained through the NFT marketplace, specific events, etc.

Future Roadmaps

Early access will be released in Q1 2022. The first version of the game will include a central MMO hub with battle arenas, character customization, in-game marketplace and battlegrounds and the first PVP tournament. Players will be able to select their character, gear up and join the battle for their tribe.

Each new expansion pack will be released quarterly, launching new tournaments, adding new battle arenas, battlegrounds, and expanding playable worlds. Each tribe will get their own base city, an area where they can meet others, build teams and practice their skills for the war ahead.

The game mechanics will be constantly updated in order to maximize the community’s experience and keep gameplay fresh. New Regions, Characters, Skills, Events, Modes, and Tournaments will be introduced monthly.

Trading System

War of Tribes runs on its native token $WOTG. It will be used for in-game rewards, purchases, and NFT purchases. WOTG has a 5% transaction tax that supports the platform and is distributed the following way: 1% goes to marketing, 2% to LQ, and 2% to holders as rewards.

To ensure flawless trading, the game will have very low trading fees. The online NFT marketplace called the auction house will be available in the game and on the website. WOTG can be used for farming on BabySwap to earn huge passive rewards in BABY – Native baby swap token.

About War of Tribes

War of Tribes is a play-to-earn PvP RPG game where the core gameplay happens inside arenas and battlegrounds. The goal of the game is to acquire as much land and resources for your tribe which allows players to gain passive rewards, acquire land and build NFTs.

The team has started with small, but profitable battles, arena, battlegrounds, and moves to create an entire world for players to immerse themselves and earn real-life rewards for playing the game. The WOTG token is currently available on Pancakeswap & Babyswap and is set for CEX listings upon the game release in early 2022.

Find more:

Twitter – https://twitter.com/waroftribes

Telegram – https://t.me/waroftribeschat

CMC – https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/war-of-tribes/markets/

Website – https://waroftribes.com/

Artificial intelligence and DeFi have a lot in common. Both of these revolutionary technologies rely on automation and high-end deterritorialization of complex processes, as they allow the removal of unnecessary human intermediaries and replacing them with automated solutions such as smart contracts. MAR Token combines DeFi and AI in a single, MetaDeFi platform designed with maximum profitability in mind.

Integration Between Artificial Intelligence (AI) & BlockChain

Lately, AI and blockchain are proving to be a pretty powerful combination, improving almost every industry they’ve been in. Blockchain and artificial intelligence are combining to upgrade everything from food supply chain logistics and healthcare record sharing to media licensing costs and financial security. The integration of AI and Blockchain affects many aspects, including Security – Cybersecurity because AI and blockchain will provide a dual shield against cyber attacks, which are increasingly common & dangerous.

Because with its advantages, AI can effectively exploit huge data sets and generate new scenarios and discover patterns based on data behavior. The blockchain part effectively eliminates errors and fraudulent datasets. New AI-generated taxonomies and patterns can be verified on a decentralized blockchain infrastructure and verify their authenticity. This can be used in any business for, such as retail transactions. Data obtained from customers through blockchain infrastructure can be used to create marketing automation through AI.

What Is the MAR-AI Bot?

MetaDeFi takes full advantage of the application of AI and Blockchain such as: Intelligent Computing Power, Diverse Dataset Generation, Data Protection, Data Monetization, and Trust in Decision Making AI is carrying the system MetaDeFi takes a new position with the creation of MAR-AI Bot in financial trading.

The MAR-AI Bot is a groundbreaking artificial intelligence system designed specifically with the goal of making traders maximally enhance and keep the profits of financial exchanges, including DEXs (decentralized exchanges), NFT marketplaces and other DeFi platforms.

Thanks to the MAR-AI Bot, the MAR Token ecosystem will be able to collect and analyze the arbitrage data of prices of all kinds of assets with maximum efficiency. By utilizing the full potential of artificial intelligence, the MetaDeFi platform will be able to drastically increase overall profitability by gathering the data from all major marketplaces in the world, including the top 10 exchanges with the largest trading volume in the world, such as the largest crypto exchange in the world — Binance.

So what’s remarkable about MAR – AI Bot here?

The difference thing creates value makes MetaDeFi a great step forward, especially in NFTs in particular and the global Blockchain ecosystem in general, which is to successfully develop and bring the value of AI personnel into the system. MAR-AI Bot will be able to collect and analyze the arbitrage data of prices of all kinds of assets with maximum efficiency. This not only helps investors save time to research the market, the market share in hundreds of exchanges available in today’s cryptocurrency ecosystem – helps to reduce risks in the trading process, but It also helps to optimize profits from investors’ available assets.

MetaDeFi is entering the development and testing of MAR-AI Bot Al, marking the beginning of a perfect combination of artificial intelligence and Blockchain technology. The main technological feature of the NFT MAR Token ecosystem is relegating the underlying infrastructure of the NFT DeFi platform to advanced algorithms ICD DeFi by advanced smart contracts. MetaDeFi, what distinguishes the MAR Token from other projects is the fact that it is fully based on artificial intelligence — the cutting-edge MAR AI Bot is responsible for making the ecosystem maximally profitable for all traders at all time.

MetaDeFi is an easy-to-use platform that allows investors to profit from arbitrage trading types based on data from the Top 10 Largest Decentralized Exchanges based on completely reliable artificial intelligence and optimize investors’ profits.

Griffex – Day by day Liquidity Comes to Crypto Fund With Lukka Accounting Tool

Crypto bookkeeping and information preparing firm Lukka has cooperated with store director Theorem Fund Services to give same-day net resource worth announcing capacities to computerized resources file finance Hashdex.

New York-based Lukka created the first crypto charge number cruncher and is the principal information administrations firm to help screen subsidize exhibitions and get ready auditable budget summaries for crypto resources once a day, CEO Jake Benson

“In an overly unpredictable market, having every day liquidity is extremely beneficial,” Benson stated, taking note of same-day detailing offers more insurance for financial specialists  griffex contrasted with month to month NAV revealing, which is the most widely recognized practice in the business.

Lukka is trying out the new help on the Hashdex Digital Assets Index Fund (HDAI), which is a latent store that pursues its very own file of 13 advanced resources, including 75.5% bitcoin and 10.15% ethereum.

While the new help decreases the length of revealing procedure, it is ready to cost griffex and review basic resources in a speculation vehicle all the more precisely on account of their licensed innovation, Benson said.

There are two key procedures that at present challenge subsidize supervisors to assess computerized resources including information gathering from an assortment of settings and information standardization, as per Benson.

“In the crypto business, getting value-based information is a quite concentrated exercise,” Benson said.

Computerized resources settings, extending from crypto trades, crypto wallets, OTC work areas to blockchains, require various information catch forms.

“We have a whole group of technologists and quality control simply centered griffex around keeping up connectors to all the distinctive value-based settings to collect the information,” he said.

“At the point when we’re accumulating information, it’s not simply pulling down a fix charge from prime representatives

We are overseeing 30 to 40 unique connectors.”

Normalizing crypto information is another test for the business since there isn’t any standard identifier in this industry yet, Benson stated, taking note of his firm has made reference information to take care of the issue for institutional financial specialists.

“I figure everyone in the business ought to be amped up for this since it’s only an agent achievement  of the business growing griffex up,” Benson said.

In fact, the industry is anxious to execute same-day NAV revealing.

“Same-day NAV announcing is unquestionably a positive development for propelling assets, yet in addition having financial specialists be alright with getting them,” Kostya Etus, portfolio supervisor at CLS Investments.

Griffex : Get a Gateway Into Ethereum’s DeFi Ecosystem

At the point when cryptographic money fans assembled in Osaka, Japan, this week for the Devcon designer meeting, the lobbies were loaded up with buzz about littler ventures looking for access to ethereum’s decentralized account buffet, particularly advances and monetary items, by means of interoperability.

“Interfacing with different chains doesn’t appear to be an ethereum engineer’s need,” Summa fellow benefactor James Prestwich . “Yet, different chains appear to need to associate with ethereum.”

For instance, Josh Swihart, VP of promoting and business griffex  advancement at the Electric Coin Company (ECC), revealed  that throughout the following a half year the zcash network will build up a wrapped ZEC token that can be utilized on the ethereum blockchain. The security coin may one day become a channel for private, robotized advances and money related items.

This would be done through a similar kind of wrapped token the Cross-Chain Working Group, helped to establish by Prestwich, is working to empower bitcoin utilization on the ethereum blockchain. This point of reference caught the creative mind of numerous groups present at Devcon.

In the long run, interoperability griffex  may likewise be conceivable to loan zcash’s security highlights to savvy contracts, protecting data about who took an interest in an agreement and what accurately was executed.

The reasons why ECC is doing this are clear. As per DeFi Pulse, there’s as of now more than $553 million worth of ethereum-based digital currency secured up DeFi applications. A source with information of zcash trade movement griffex revealed  the benefit has seen unassuming footing in any event one U.S.- based trade however isn’t expanding in notoriety over the previous year.

Protected location exchanges, the security coin’s most novel component, are additionally uncommon. The zcash square pilgrim Zchain counted just 271,356 protected exchanges out of 70,260,454 all out exchanges over the previous month.

So as to support zcash use, the ECC is going to need to discover prevalent utilize cases past theoretical exchanging and straightforward, protected exchanges.

Swihart said the objective is currently to transform zcash into a stage people can expand on “for the majority of the DeFi applications,” including:

“In the event that you need to do loaning, in the event that you need to do DAOs [decentralized self-ruling organizations], the majority of that stuff should be possible with zcash too. … Ultimately, we need zcash protected [addresses] to be usable in ethereum keen agreements.”

Notwithstanding, as Prestwich called attention to, any cross-chain interoperability work would  griffex be impermanent at this stage since it’s vague how those plans would fit into the following adaptation of ethereum, Eth 2. In addition, he said such cross-chain abilities will in any case require long stretches of innovative work.

Then again, ECC organizer Zooko Wilcox is known to have a nearby close to home association with ethereum maker Vitalik Buterin, reinforced by the last’s longstanding enthusiasm for zk-SNARKs, the mystery sauce behind zcash’s protection highlights. So while this work may require some serious energy, neighboring and shared research is now in progress.

As Buterin noted during a Devcon board about interoperability between blockchains, the ethereum network likewise values security choices regardless of whether it organizes ease of use. Since numerous fans are utilizing ethereum to make custom machines, as blockchain-fueled computer games, they may likewise need protection choices for their specialty tokens. Typically, such ERC20 tokens are altogether counted with an open record, uncovering the addresses of top holders by means of  griffex blockchain adventurers.

The latest ccminer 1.1.23 djm34 fork for the MTP algorithm used by ZCoin (XZC) seems to be providing the best performance for more recent Nvidia mining GPUs such as GTX 1070 or 1080 Ti including the latest RTX 2080 Ti as well (faster than the recently updated T-Rex miner). Owners of GTX 1080-based GPUs with GDDR5X memory can use the OhGodAnETHlargementPill to get a bit of extra boost in performance. The miner is open source, though there is a built-in 0.25% fee (that can be turned off) in the officially compiled binaries for both Linux and Windows. Do note however that the official windows binary requires CUDA 10.1-compatible video driver, so you may need to update your mining rigs. Linux binaries are available for CUDA 0.2, 10 and 10.1. Stability wise the miner may not be perfect yet, so make sure you have a loop set when running it to have it restarted if it crashes. NiceHash mining does not seem to be supported for the moment.

To download and try the latest ccminer 1.1.23 djm34 fork for the MTP algorithm…

Piggy banks have long served as a symbol of financial prudence and savings, a place to deposit pocket change and hold it for a rainy day. But what if fiat coins aren’t the best stores of value after all? For Jim, the creator of Opendime-powered company BitPiggys, these novelty banks clearly needed an introduction to Bitcoin.

Bitcoin has always been appreciated by its adopters for its uncensorable and non-confiscatable nature. While many government-backed currencies can undergo unpredictable inflation or other manipulations, Satoshi’s invention is steady and robust. So, when it comes to storing a valuable, in-demand asset for times of greater adoption, bitcoin and piggy banks might be the perfect match.

When Jim (also known as FF2K or @fartface2000 on Twitter) created BitPiggys, he definitely had the extended, sound-money qualities of Bitcoin in mind. The New Jersey entrepreneur, who also holds the distinction of being the first recipient of Hodlonaut’s #LNTrustChain, took on the principle of skeuomorphism by bringing something natively digital into the tangible world. The resulting product is a combination of good old piggy banks and the technology provided by an Opendime USB stick, which generates public keys without revealing the private key

“It was around the time that Coinstar announced that they would be selling bitcoin at their change machines, I just thought how great would it be to be able to collect change and convert it to bitcoin,” Jim told Bitcoin Magazine. “And then I started to think about a piggy bank. I think I tweeted something in reference to it in January of 2019, just kind of putting the idea out there.”

As an educational tool, BitPiggys teaches kids how to be responsible with their finances.

The initiative has caught the attention of some significant community members who saw value in the idea of creating piggy banks for children who want to start saving: “Mr. Hodl encouraged me, along with NVK, Mike In Space and Adam Meister — all of which I was listening and learning from,” Jim said.

BitPiggys and Opendime

Interestingly, the Opendime USB device itself is advertised as a piggy bank, as its features very much resemble those of the ceramic or plastic swine that holds your coins. You can keep on adding money to them without being able to spend it — it’s only the process of opening up the piggy that gives you complete control over the funds (in the case of the hardware device, “opening up” can be thought of as revealing the private key).

As a product, Opendime is designed to operate like a piggy bank. The brilliance of BitPiggys is in the skeuomorphic approach.

Jim’s innovation hinged on turning this description into a physical representation that’s easy to understand for young “first coiners.” Just as the first versions of the iPhone’s operating system featured app icons and interfaces which looked just like their tangible counterparts (the notepad had lines and the media library was positioned on a shelf), BitPiggys integrates a novel concept onto something known and time tested. 

When talking about his approach to skeuomorphism, Jim mentioned that “the BitPiggy is actually just a figurine, the actual brains of the package is the Opendime. It allows me to produce a unique public key without exposing the private key, so I can print up corresponding QR codes and the Bitpiggy/Opendime owner can physically verify that the Opendime is sealed and safe to deposit funds.”

Children will be able to stack satoshis without having to operate other user interfaces, and they can be taught how to check their balance by using a block explorer or full node when they grow up. Furthermore, the fact that sats on an Opendime are harder to spend than quarters means that time preference education is included as part of the process.

“My target audience is actually existing bitcoiners who want to introduce their pre-coiner friends to accumulating sound money,” said Jim. “The responsibility of having kids and saving for their future will make you learn anything. It’s an easy first step to get them interested.”

Interestingly, the supply of piggies is limited to 21 million.

At press time, the first prototype of the BitPiggy (named “Version 1.0”) is sold for $40 on the company’s website. In comparison, a three-pack of Opendimes costs $44.97, which means that the profit for the design and labor of the piggy is minimal. However, extra revenue is brought by opting in for features such as the inclusion of an additional Opendime and 3 QR labels, as well as the gift wrapping. If you already own the hardware device and just want to order the colorful swine, then you may also pursue this DIY approach.   

Jim noted that feedback, so far, has been minimal, “but mostly positive. The product is supposed to be fun and educational. I hope that it encourages the owners to learn more about Bitcoin.”

Future Improvements

The BigPiggys creator has some clear ideas about the ways in which the Opendime-powered piggy banks can be improved. He wants the product to generate a different address each time with the help of something like BTCPay Server and eventually include full node integration. 

“I would hope that in the future, a company that produces a turn-key node like Casa or Nodl will offer a piggy bank as a device that communicates with your node,” he said. “It would be great if it could generate new addresses on every deposit and verify all transactions via your node. Even better if there was a kid-friendly ‘watch-only’ wallet app that enabled setting goals and checking savings.”

Jim has plans in the works to distribute his piggies all across Europe. Furthermore, the American bitcoiner sees potential in BitPiggys beyond personal profits and regards it as an educational tool for the next generation: “The goal of BitPiggys is to get some satoshis in the next generation’s hands, so they can be in a position to hopefully make better financial decisions for themselves in the future. This will help all of society.”

The post BitPiggys Helps Children Stack Satoshis and Learn Financial Responsibility appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Today, Libra project head David Marcus testified in front of the United States Senate Banking Committee on Facebook’s incipient “cryptocurrency.” The discussion was largely overshadowed by Facebook’s tarnished reputation for user privacy and the mistrust its business practices have engendered. 

Facebook announced Libra a little less than a month ago, but the idea of it has already captivated lawmakers and regulators around the globe. From the day of its unveiling, officials have raised concern over consumer data integrity/privacy, anti-money laundering (AML), terrorism financing and the fact that Facebook has proposed a de facto central bank not unlike a corporatized Federal Reserve.

But the hearing was the first (but certainly not the last) chance government officials have had to grill a Facebook employee about these concerns to learn more about what exactly they’re dealing with here. Some launched into the usual banal inquiries regarding AML, but they also dove into more nuanced territory of Libra’s implications for antitrust laws and the U.S.’s role in their development (and the development of the wider crypto industry).

The final result is a cocktail of opinions on Libra (and Facebook), which spans from the viscerally disconcerted to the cautiously curious to the eagerly optimistic.

Libra Could Deliver “Material Benefits”

Senate Banking Committee chairman Senator Michael Crapo opened the hearing to say that its primary objectives were to address how Libra works, its level of access to consumer info, its commitments to user/data privacy, how Libra will be managed and how the interaction/association between Facebook and the Calibra wallet will be structured. Echoing Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell’s reservations when speaking on Libra in his semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress, Crapo raised typical concerns about money laundering, how Libra may relate to the Bank Secrecy Act and “ways that Libra could threaten financial stability.”

Senate Banking Committee chairman Michael Crapo

Still, he believes that Facebook’s stated goals for creating Libra, in particular its self-declared philanthropic goal to bank the unbanked, are “commendable.”

“If done right, Facebook’s efforts to leverage existing and evolving technology and make improvements to traditional and non-traditional payment systems could deliver material benefits, such as expanding access to the financial system for the underbanked and providing cheaper and faster payments. Still, Libra is still based on a new and continually evolving technology on which it is not entirely clear as to how existing regulations apply,” Senator Crapo said in the opening remarks.

A Lack of Respect for the “Power of Technologies”

Others, like Senate Ranking Member Sherrod Brown, displayed a less-than-positive outlook on Libra’s potential.

“Facebook is dangerous,” he said emphatically in his own opening remarks. “Now, Facebook might not intend to be dangerous, but certainly they don’t respect the power of the technologies they’re dealing with. Like a toddler who has gotten its hands on a book of matchers, Facebook has burned down the house, over and over, and called every arson a learning experience.”

Senator Brown went on to criticize Facebook’s handling of Russian infiltration of the platform to sway voters in the 2016 presidential election, its experimentation on whether or not it can manipulate user emotions (it can), and Facebook’s failures to curb hate speech and fake news that led to a genocide in Myanmar. 

“They moved fast and broke our political discourse, they moved fast and undermined our democracy, they moved fast and broke journalism,” Senator Brown raved. “Now Facebook has asked people to trust them with their hard-earned paycheck.”

Senate Ranking Member Sherrod Brown

“Trust is primordial and we’ve made mistakes in the past,” David Marcus responded. “We will take the time to get this right. We are fully committed to working with regulators in the U.S. and elsewhere.”

Marcus also claimed that “Libra [will not] position itself to compete with sovereign currencies or interfere with monetary policy. In fact, Libra will work with the Federal Reserve and other central banks.” That Libra is strictly not a bank was a recurring tenet in Marcus’s testimony. (Udi Wertheimer cheekily pointed out that shortly after the hearing, Libra retweeted a Wall Street Journal article heralding it as “a de facto central bank.”)

Notwithstanding Facebook’s (non)status as a banking institution, Marcus said that Libra is working with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN), the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to hammer out the regulatory kinks, and that he is “[p]roud to have initiated this effort in the U.S. I believe that if America doesn’t lead innovation in digital currencies and payment areas, others will.” 

Addressing Global Anti-Money Laundering Concerns

Why, then, is Libra incorporated in Switzerland, a couple of senators queried. Brown, for instance, believes that the “United States should establish the rules of the road for Libra and other similar digital currency initiatives.” 

“You’ve chosen to set this up in Switzerland. What did Switzerland offer that the U.S. did not?” Senator Mike Rounds asked.

“We believe that a global, digitally native currency would benefit from being headquartered in an international place that is also the home of many respected international organizations,” Marcus answered, reinforcing that it has nothing to do with evading oversight. “The reality, though, is many of the Libra association members are U.S. entities,” and so will be subject to U.S. jurisdiction, he conceded.

This seemed to satisfy the concerns of senators who were fretting over money laundering and keeping bad actors off the platform. For instance, Marcus emphasized that to use the Calibra wallet, every user must register with a government-issued ID and that the Calibra wallet (and certified, registered Libra service providers) will abide by the Bank Secrecy Act’s travel rule to report information on transfers exceeding $1,000.

Internal Governance and Privacy

Other senators, however, were more concerned with Libra’s internal operations. They wanted to know, for example, whether or not it will seek to monetize user data and if this information will commingle with personal user info on Facebook’s social media platform. Such concerns prompted Crapo to recommend that the U.S. implement something like the EU’s GDPR “to give users real control over their own data.”

“Facebook will only be one of 100 members of the Libra Association and will have no special privileges, [which] means that you will not have to trust Facebook,” Marcus said at one point in the hearing, adding multiple times throughout that neither Libra nor the social media titan have plans to monetize user financial information.

Of course, practice is different than promise, a handful of senators pointed out, as Facebook’s penchant for collecting and sharing user data without disclosure has shown. 

“Catch and Kill”: Addressing Antitrust Concerns

Senator Mark Warner, an outspoken advocate for Bitcoin, looked beyond the potential for data abuse to the topic of trust busting. His questions, relating them specifically to Microsoft’s antitrust case with Congress in 2001, focused on how much Facebook’s Libra will be committed to free and fair competition — or how determined it will be to choke it out.

Senator Mark Warner 

“The Justice department found that a key strategy that Microsoft used — which was called internally embrace, extend, extinguish — the strategy was to find new technology and either copy it or buy it up. I call it ‘catch and kill.’ It [is] a methodology that Facebook has used extraordinarily effectively,” he said, asking why Libra isn’t just “another manifestation of catch and kill.”

“We relinquish our control over both the codebase and the network,” Marcus replied, stating that the project is “open source” (Jameson Lopp, who reviewed Libra’s Github on the day of the white paper’s release, says this amounts to an API standard for developers, who can submit requests but not work on the code without permission).

Warner was particularly interested in whether or not Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp applications would support other wallet and services providers. Marcus said that Calibra users can send their Libra to any supporting wallet, a reply that Warner saw as tantamount to dodging the question.

“It is a nuanced question. If you’re asking if there will be other wallets embedded into WhatsApp and Messenger, the answer is no.”

As the hearing drew to an end, senators bounced around questions regarding Libra’s leadership and governance model under the 100-company umbrella that is the Libra Association and what Facebook’s endgame is. Senator Tina Smith, following Warner’s logic, believes this endgame includes swallowing as much wallet market share as possible.

Senator Martha McSally raised the privacy alarm, as well, chastising that “[i]nstead of cleaning up [its] house, now [Facebook is] launching into another business model with Libra,” preaching about commitments to user privacy without setting a precedent for actually protecting user info.

Reinforcing this sentiment, Senator John Kennedy asked, “Can we agree that a banker should be trustworthy … honest … should respect a customer’s privacy?”

“Yes, senator, but we are not engaging in banking,” Marcus responded, a bit ruffled.

In the End, Do We Trust Facebook?

At the core of the rhetorical question is how Facebook says one thing and does another, particularly when it comes to its promiscuous mingling of user data with third parties while giving the impression that this info is in a walled garden of only Facebook’s influence. Other concerns Kennedy cited include the Russia infiltration, how senior management knew about this infiltration in spring 2016 but didn’t disclose until fall of 2017, and how the platform’s been sharing data with device manufacturers.

By the end of the testimony, Senator Brown returned to this problem of trust: “Almost no one in this committee does” trust Facebook, and the company has done nothing to earn it. They’ve mucked up data, so why should we let them control money, too?

This attitude, which punctuated many senators’ remarks, could rightly be summed up by the concluding question in Senator Kennedy’s first round of queries:

“Facebook now wants to control the money supply. What could possibly go wrong?”

Watch the full hearing here.

The post In Senate Hearing, Facebook’s Iffy Reputation Looms Over Libra Plans appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Though Bitcoin’s second layer is mostly appreciated for its speed and scalability, it also helps enable some interesting smart contract functions. In this regard, the intricate microtransaction features have inspired enthusiasts to work on Lightning applications (LApps) that disrupt everything from content monetization (with Y’alls and LNCast) to privacy-friendly text messaging (like LnSMS and Receive SMS). 

Though these early applications mostly serve as proof-of-concept prototypes that lack the user friendliness of their centralized fiat-friendly counterparts, they are still great starting points. They help create new ways to circumvent the rules and conventions of the old world. Through them, privacy and sovereignty are magnified like never before, and it’s only a matter of time until the snowball effect brings them to mainstream attention.

During her panel at the Magical Crypto Conference, Lightning Labs CEO Elizabeth Stark praised the bourgeoning development of LApps by emphasizing the most fundamental quality that sets them apart from similar altcoin DApps: the quick growth of the user base, which speeds up adoption. 

“Development has been astounding, I didn’t expect this to happen so quickly,” she said. “One of the things I’m super passionate about is people building on top of Lightning. I think in these other communities it’s all like ‘developers, developers, developers‘ while nobody’s using the Dapps. On Lightning it’s been incredible: people are using this, they’re engaging with it, they’re interacting with it.”

And since the pace of development on Lighting often exceeds the amount of information one can process at a time, it’s important to point out the gems that shine among Lightning applications. Furthermore, this type of scrutiny might lead to the discovery of a “killer app” that the entire Bitcoin space needs. Hopefully, at least one of the projects presented in this review will catch the attention of mainstream audiences in order to reverberate the thunder that comes with Lightning. 

Satoshi’s Games

If we assume that former Atari video game programmer Hal Finney was the person behind the Satoshi Nakamoto pseudonym, then it’s likely that the Bitcoin creator also developed pixelated art similar to the content available on Satoshi’s Games. 

In a nutshell, Satoshi’s Games is the Lightning-friendly equivalent of flash game websites such as Miniclip, Pogo and Newgrounds. It features a collection of simple yet addictive titles which mostly emulate the mechanics of games like Super Mario World, Minecraft, The Legend of Zelda, Bejeweled, Agar.io and Flappy Bird.

“Satoshi’s Games is special because it brings back memories to gamers,” Satoshi’s Games developer Carlos Roldan (@whiteyhat) told Bitcoin Magazine. “Retro arcade games aren’t as common or popular these days. And if you combine these nostalgic video game elements with the Bitcoin and Lightning environment, you get a match made in Heaven that the developers from the 1980s and 1990s could only dream of.”

The novelty of this LApp emerges once you’re asked for an admission fee of 1,000 satoshis. If you’re unwilling to pay and would rather try some freebies, you can immerse yourself in the story of the text-based adventure “The Legend of Satoshi” (a clear throwback to the old days of Atari, Amiga and Commodore 64), test your survival skills in “BCraft” (a 2D top-down version of Minecraft, with some interesting forging options), or explore an alien planet in “Low Mem Sky.” Unfortunately, these are the only Bitcoin-themed games available, as the other two (the frantic “Skulldude” and the Golden Axe-inspired “The Lair”) haven’t received any kind of narrative or visual adaptation to suggest a relation to Satoshi Nakamoto. 

Having Fun Isn’t Hard When You Have a Thousand Satoshis Card

The real fun begins as soon as you pay the 1,000 sats and explore the benefits of being a true member. (Just take into account that this isn’t investment advice and it’s likely that you will regret spending your BTC fractions whenever hyperbitcoinization arrives. Nonetheless, what you do buy helps to support a small team of developers who have put a lot of time and work into this project.)

Interestingly, the required microtransaction can be made by using your Lightning wallet, the Joule browser extension or the Blockstack universal login. It’s remarkable to see LApps become interconnected by offering support for one another, and this kind of collaborative approach will only help the entire wave of technological innovation grow.

It only takes a few seconds to make the microtransaction (whose valuation at the time of writing is 11 cents), and once you become a true member, a retro-looking dashboard greets you. Here, you can set your nickname, purchase a different user avatar or become a premium supporter with voting rights and access to tournaments (more on that later).

You can definitely spend some satoshis on customization, but if you’re anything like me, you will be anxious to explore the offering of premium games. From a quantitative perspective, you probably won’t be impressed: you only get a bitcoin mining-themed Bejeweled clone, a frantic game of Flappy Bird where you avoid pixelated forks, an adaptation of Super Mario World where Satoshi Nakamoto replaces Princess Peach and a competitive version of Agar.io in which you win or lose sats depending on how well you do. 

The charm doesn’t come from the presentation or technical implementation, but from the novel perspective. In two of the games listed, being a good player will help you earn satoshis. And since they provide disparate features and mechanics, they are most likely the best reason to pay for membership (and I happen to have spent a lot of time playing them, so they will receive individual sections).

Super Bro: A Mario Clone Where 1 Coin = 1 Satoshi

Like many of you reading this, I grew up playing Super Nintendo games. In this regard, Super Bro is a great throwback which features some textures, backgrounds and animation techniques that will send you back to your days of playing Super Mario World.

Conceptually, the game is very simple: You complete all of the levels, save Satoshi and every coin you collected during your adventure will be sent to your wallet as 1 sat. I must have spent more than 20 hours playing the game while listening to music and, during that time, I earned about 20,000 satoshis.

Super Bro features a male protagonist who bears a striking resemblance to Casa CEO Jeremy Welch. It takes you through a randomized journey which generates levels of varying difficulty. Sometimes, your game will be as simple as a walk in the park. At other times, you will face an army of goombas that’s only divided by a multitude of deadly pitfalls.

This Super Mario World adaptation is fun and addictive — plus, you have a strong financial incentive to return to it every day. You’re basically stacking sats during your breaks, and it’s easy to earn back the 1,000 satoshis entrance fee. As a matter of fact, it’s easy to imagine that citizens of developing countries might find a source of revenue in Super Bro, just like some players still farm gold in World of Warcraft. The main difference is that BTC units are scarce and might become much more valuable in time.

However, the game isn’t all milk and satoshis. The controls are a lot worse than the ones you find in the 1991 Nintendo original, the jumping mechanics can sometimes be your greatest enemy and the variety of levels will get boring pretty fast. But while Super Mario World is a lot more entertaining than Super Bro, it isn’t built on a cutting-edge payment system which offers you financial rewards. There are always trade-offs.

Lightning Agar

As metaphorically presented on the Netflix hit show “House of Cards,” Agar.io is the online multiplayer adaptation of “Feeding Frenzy.” It borrows the “big fish eats the smaller fish and gets bigger” mechanic but transfers it to round particles that move around a large world map. 

Conversely, Lightning Agar is a challenge where you must pay 1,000 satoshis from your wallet regardless of your membership status. If you happen to eat another player, then you will be rewarded with 750 satoshis — so if your purpose is to earn some valuable BTC fractions, you should amass at least two of the players on the map.

From a technical point of view, there’s nothing different between Agar.io and Lightning Agar. The only major two major differences are popularity (the free-to-play version is much more popular, with hundreds of players competing at all times) and the financial incentive (which is more an issue of adoption and growth). Once people learn about the neat features of this LApp, they will definitely become more willing to take the extra challenge that can reward their skill with some money.

I’ve spent about an hour in Lightning Agar at a time when only two other players were around. Soon enough, I eliminated one of them and ended up eating so many colored dots that I became an unstoppable whale. Given its multiplayer nature, the game is pretty dull when you have no competition. You can end up occupying 25 percent of the game map, but you will crave the challenge and thrills. To me, it was an interesting lesson about capitalism and the need for competition (at one point, I was purposely dividing to help other players eat smaller parts of me and get bigger).

The Premium Features

If Satoshi’s Games becomes somewhat of a daily habit and you want to take your relationship to the next level, then you may be interested in paying 500,000 sats extra for the premium account. It will turn you into a first-class citizen of the realm by granting you voting rights on future developments and allowing you to join tournaments where you can earn even more satoshis.

Also, you receive many more customization features which set your user profile apart from all the others. You provide a greater amount of support to the developers, and, in exchange, you are rewarded with bragging rights. 

Furthermore, in Super Bro you will begin each game with three extra lives (which otherwise cost 500 satoshis each), a boost of 1,000 satoshis to your score and a double multiplier on the gold coins you collect. If you would usually earn 500 satoshis by the end of your journey of saving Satoshi, now your amount should increase to 2,000. In a way, the investment in your premium account only makes sense if you’re willing to put in a lot of time playing the LApps.

The Verdict

Satoshi’s Games isn’t meritorious because of the individual games that build the experience. The collection of LApps earns its place in the spotlight thanks to the complex platform it offers, the interesting financial incentives that players have, and the willingness to integrate other applications such as Joule and Blockstack.

There’s enough content to please every lover of retro video games and plenty of reasons to return every day and experience a throwback to the early 1990s. Also, the polls indicate that there’s a lot more content coming and the community actually gets to decide the priorities of developers.

The collection of LApps definitely isn’t perfect and has some rough parts that can be polished. However, when you’re in the middle of a game of Super Bro or Lightning Agar, you will find enough enjoyment to forget about some bugs that need to be fixed. There’s also an efficient error-reporting system which I’ve found to be quite responsive: I’ve also exchanged some messages with the developers in order to provide feedback. Needless to say, the time I spent testing the LApps has been beneficial for both sides: I’ve earned some sats, and the platform has gotten noticeably better.

Gaming is also a multi-billion dollar industry that can benefit from the integration of fast, secure and private payments. It would be nice to have at least one LApp among the big names, but, ultimately, the success of projects such as Satoshi’s Games depends directly on our involvement as a community. We vote with our time and satoshis, and the dynamics of the industry shift accordingly. 

“We want to BUIDL a more scalable platform which allows us to supply the high demand we have from video game developers who want to add their work to Satoshi’s Games,” said Roldan. “Also, we just added our project to Product Hunt and could really use some community help with upvotes. Your feedback can radically impact our future in a very positive way.”If you have time to give these platforms a try, you should definitely do so. For the price of feeding chickens or changing the display of a live clock, you can have some fun for a longer time and eventually get a return on your investment.

The post Playing on Layer 2: Satoshi’s Games Brings Lightning to the Next Level appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.