10 best long reads about crypto in 2023 – Cointelegraph Magazine

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Slumdog Billionaire Incredible rags to riches tale of Polygon's Sandeep Nailway

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With the end of the year just a few days away, we look back on 12 months’ worth of features, interviews and columns to dig up the best of the best.

Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin on how the band broke up; John McAfee’s widow on the questions around his death, the ethics of orange pilling kids, account abstraction, restaking — and much more.

From his childhood living in a ghetto on the east bank of the Yamuna River in Delhi to launching the $6-billion Polygon blockchain, Sandeep Nailwal has an incredible rags-to-riches tale.

Slumdog Billionaire Incredible rags to riches tale of Polygon's Sandeep Nailway

Now happily ensconced in the futuristic, air-conditioned cityscape of Dubai, he tells Magazine he was born in a farming village called Ramnagar in 1987 with no electricity in the foothills of the Himalayas.

His parents married as teenagers and then packed up home when Nailwal was just four to try their luck in Delhi. They wound up in the poor settlements on the east banks of the river, often dismissively referred to as Jamna-Paar.

“Imagine the Bronx in New York,” Nailwal says. “It was like a tier-three area. Even now, when you go there is a very kind of ghetto-ish area.”Read more…

Janice McAfee, the widow of tech impresario John McAfee, is still in the midst of grief. She is doing “odd jobs to feed herself,” has run out of funds, and can’t move on until his autopsy records are released.

John McAfee

Since the death of crypto guru and antivirus pioneer husband John McAfee in a Barcelona prison more than two years ago, she has remained in Spain in an undisclosed location and has only been saved from homelessness by the kindness of friends.

She can’t move on because she still doesn’t know what happened to her husband in spite of a September ruling this year from a Catalan court that John McAfee died by suicide and that the case was effectively closed.

Read more…

Joe Lubin explains what really happened in 2014 when two co-founders were pushed out and how Ethereum really is becoming the “World Computer.”

Joe Lubin

There’s a narrative that’s grown up around Ethereum’s two most important co-founders, Joe Lubin and Vitalik Buterin, to explain how they went in different directions almost a decade ago.

It suggests the pair fell out over the blockchain’s future direction, with the idealistic 20-year-old Buterin determined to turn Ethereum into a nonprofit foundation, while Lubin and others wanted to commercialize the technology via a for-profit company.

“That wasn’t really what happened,” the billionaire founder of Ethereum infrastructure and software firm Consensys tells Magazine during an in-depth interview in Tel Aviv.

“What happened was people were looking for a way to explain why these two people were bumped out of the project. And that was a convenient way to label it. But that wasn’t the reason they were moved.”

Read more…

Ethereum’s ERC-4337 “smart accounts” standard is a game-changer for user-friendly crypto payments and mainstream adoption.

Account abstraction

For years, Bitcoiners have repeated the mantra “be your own bank.” But in truth, storing any type of crypto in a wallet has been a lot closer to stuffing cash under your mattress than to a complex financial institution like a bank.

That’s all set to change with the announcement of “smart accounts,” also known as “account abstraction,” on Ethereum — and every other chain compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine, including Polygon, Optimism, Arbitrum, BNB Smart Chain, Avalanche and Gnosis Chain.

Years in the making, the new ERC-4337 standard transforms a crypto wallet into something with all the features of a real bank.

“It gives you the same features a bank would without having to trust a bank,” says Ethereum Foundation security researcher Yoav Weiss.

Read more…

So, you’ve struck it rich in crypto? You’ll want to head to one of these countries to keep your newfound wealth.

Crypto Taxes

Taxes are a nightmare for compliance. And crypto taxes — which include a variety of innovative mechanisms and products that have no analog in traditional finance — are 10 times worse.

Complicating matters even further, the global industry operates across borders and jurisdictions. But there are definitely better and worse countries for the newly crypto-rich to base themselves as tax havens — even Americans who get followed around by the IRS with its hand out no matter where they are.

Read more…

What is it about crypto trading that can make some users susceptible to substance abuse, and how can they get help?

Mitch Trader mental health feature

Although documented statistics about cryptocurrency trading and substance abuse are hard to come by, addiction experts are treating an increasing number of crypto traders.

Abdullah Boulad, founder and CEO of The Balance Luxury Rehab, tells Magazine that a number of crypto traders struggle with substance abuse. “Our client base is diverse, but this is a unique demographic that we’ve seen an increase in over the recent years,” Boulad says.

According to Boulad, the high intensity of cryptocurrency trading combined with 24/7 accessibility encourages some to use stimulants to keep up the pace. “Substances like amphetamines, cocaine and even excessive caffeine use are common among these individuals,” says Boulad.

Read more…

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Play2Earn: How Blockchain Can Power a Paradigm Shift in Building Game Economies

Features

How Activist Investors Could Change The Crypto Landscape

Bitcoiners want to pass on their values to the next generation, and BTC kids’ books aim to help. But is it education or indoctrination?

Bitcoin kids books

“Any kid who doesn’t learn something about Bitcoin is missing out,” says Bitcoin advocate Ben De Waal.

De Waal explains that his 12-year-old daughter, Samantha, has already convinced “a couple” of her schoolmates and a teacher to hop on the Bitcoin bandwagon, though she’s not attempting to “orange pill the entire school”… yet.

Thanks to her upbringing in a “Bitcoin family” that has largely abandoned fiat currency, Sam is now a Bitcoin ambassador wunderkind nicknamed The Bitcoin Kid.

Just two years after she read her first Bitcoin book, Sam found herself on the grand stage of BTC Prague 2023 in mid-June, delivering a speech about Bitcoin.

Oh, and she had to follow MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor’s presentation, too.

Read more…

Deluged by NFTs and BRC-20 tokens, Bitcoin has suddenly become a worse version of Ethereum. There are conflicting ideas about how to fix it.

Bitcoin has suddenly become a worse version of Ethereum

The core developers and miners who signed off on the network’s Taproot upgrade in November 2021 never envisaged this would be the result. Bitcoin now suffers from many of the same problems that have bedeviled Ethereum for years, including scammy memecoins and shitcoins, NFTs of monkey pictures hogging block space and skyrocketing transaction fees.

The network is even having to deal with incidences of miner extractable value (MEV), whereby miners profit by reordering pending transactions.

“I’m kind of upset at myself for not realizing,” says Quantum Economics founder Mati Greenspan, a Bitcoiner since 2013.

“It took these guys starting to hype up JPEGs on Bitcoin until I was like: ‘Oh shit, what did we just do?’” He laughs ruefully.

Some Bitcoiners on Bitcointalk and Twitter refer to the impact of Ordinal NFTs and BRC-20 tokens as an attack on Bitcoin, an exploit of Taproot, or simply as spam clogging up the network.

Read more…

Ethereum restaking — proposed by middleware protocol EigenLayer — is a controversial innovation over the past year that has some of the brightest minds worried about the potential ramifications.

Dangers of Ethereum restaking

Restaking involves reusing staked or locked-up ETH tokens to earn fees and rewards. The restaked tokens can then help secure and validate other protocols.

Proponents believe restaking can squeeze additional security and rewards from already-staked ETH and grow the crypto ecosystem in a healthier way based on Ethereum’s existing trust mechanisms. Restaking could serve as a security primitive for exporting Ethereum’s trust generated by its validators to other projects.

Yet Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and a number of key devs worry that restaking is a house of cards that will inevitably tumble. Some of those Ethereum devs have even proposed a fork to head off restaking.

Read more…

Read also

Features

Tim Draper’s ‘odd’ rules for investing in success

Features

Sweden: The Death of Money?

For every genuine blockchain project harnessing artificial intelligence in an attempt to create a better world — like Dr Ben Goertzel’s Singularity.net — there are 100 coins like AI Doge that have simply wedged the hyped-up terms “AI” and “crypto” together to flog tokens.

Real use cases for AI and crypto

Magazine spoke with Near founder Illia Polosukhin, Framework Ventures founder Vance Spencer, MakerDAO founder Rune Christensen, Richard Ma from Quantstamp, Ralf Kubli from Casper and others to examine some of the key hype-free, genuine use cases for AI in crypto and blockchain.

Plus, we’ve included reasons why you shouldn’t necessarily believe the hype. Check out the various installments here:

No. 1: The best money for AI is cryptoNo. 2: AIs can run DAOsNo. 3: Smart contract audits & cybersecurityNo. 4: Fighting AI fakes with blockchainNo. 5: Crypto-based AI markets and AI financial analysis

Other great summer reads:

Are DAOs overhyped and unworkable? Lessons from the front lines

Many contend that DAOs have failed to deliver on their promises, but developers are coming up with novel solutions.

Breaking into Liberland — Dodging guards with inner-tubes, decoys and diplomats

Visiting Liberland — a crypto micronation between Croatia and Serbia — required decoys and diplomatic immunity to dodge the border guards.

Peter McCormack’s Real Bedford Football Club puts Bitcoin on the map

Real Bedford is moving up in the leagues and gaining followers worldwide through owner Peter McCormack’s love of Bitcoin.

Bitcoin 2023 in Miami comes to grips with ‘shitcoins on Bitcoin’

Shitcoins and NFTs invaded Bitcoin 2023, but most attendees didn’t seem to mind. Can Ordinals usher in a new era of Magic Internet Money?

‘Elegant and ass-backward’: Jameson Lopp’s first impression of Bitcoin

Bitcoin OG Jameson Lopp says none of the developers “deep into Bitcoin” think the protocol should be allowed to ossify: “There’s so much work to be done.”

Best regular features:

AI Eye: Outrage that ChatGPT won’t say slurs, Q* ‘breaks encryption,’ 99% fake web

Become a hot new NFT artist via the ‘soft shill taco method’ — Terrell Jones, NFT Creator

D&D nukes NFT ban, ‘kill-to-earn’ zombie shooter, Illuvium: Zero hot take — Web3 Gamer

Multichain saga screws users, Binance fires 1,000 staff: Asia Express

Andrew Fenton

Andrew Fenton

Based in Melbourne, Andrew Fenton is a journalist and editor covering cryptocurrency and blockchain. He has worked as a national entertainment writer for News Corp Australia, on SA Weekend as a film journalist, and at The Melbourne Weekly.

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