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#1 2022-01-08 17:37:45

Registered: 2021-12-10
Posts: 302

Translated news column.

Here I and others can select interesting posts and translate them into English from various sources, in order to increase the activity of this forum.


#2 2022-01-08 17:47:58

Registered: 2021-12-10
Posts: 302

Re: Translated news column.

To keep this thread clean, I recommend that you comment and discuss at the link below:


#3 2022-01-23 05:10:06

Registered: 2021-12-10
Posts: 302

Re: Translated news column.

Proof of Stake is Scam

Proof of Stake (PoS) is a fraud. When I say this, I mean that PoS is 1) claimed to be a consensus system, and 2) actually incapable of actually providing consensus.

To understand why this is so, we must first study how Proof of Work (PoW) works - this will help us understand why PoS is not an adequate substitute for it.


A long time ago, even before Bitcoin was discovered, many people tried to create "digital cash.

They (correctly) determined that digital signatures were essential, but that only led them to reduce the problem of digital cash to a double-waste problem. After all, data can be copied endlessly, and a signature does not guarantee that it will not be reused.

In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto proposed to solve the problem by introducing a new component known as "Proof of Work", borrowed from an email spam filtering technique known (at the time) only in narrow circles.

The idea was to introduce a method of burning electricity in a provable way. The electricity used does not produce anything directly valuable except to prove that (approximately) a certain amount of electricity has been consumed by this or that node (for this job. translator's note).

The specific method is as follows: [1]

All nodes can generate "lottery tickets".
These lottery tickets are cryptographically tied to their decisions about which transactions they approve.
It takes a certain amount of computing power to "erase the security layer" of a lottery ticket.
The design of the algorithms used mathematically guarantees that there is no way to present a "lottery ticket" other than to erase the security layer, expending a certain amount of computing resources in the process.
The range of accepted lottery ticket results is determined by the network.
If a node can present a lottery ticket with a frequency of one in a million, the network can conclude that the node has, on average, done the work of trying about a million lottery tickets.
The network accrues digital currency to the nodes that submitted the winning lottery ticket.
Because lottery tickets are tied to transaction validation decisions, a node that approves fraudulent transactions will not be able to receive its reward.
If a node does so, it will still incur real costs associated with erasing a layer of these tickets ("mining"), such as electricity, but will not receive any reward for doing so.
To maintain stability, the network increases the rarity of winning lottery tickets (complexity) if people win too often. For example: if it currently takes an average of 10 billion lottery tickets to win, and twenty winning tickets are found in the time it should take to find ten, the complexity will be increased to one in twenty billion. (The network tries to reach a figure of one winner every ten minutes. If the production is too high, the difficulty goes up, and if the production is too low, the difficulty goes down).
However, that is not all. PoW is a vital part of the machine, but it is not the whole machine. To realize this we must dig deeper.

"Digital signatures provide part of the solution, but major benefits are lost if a trusted third party is still required to prevent double-spending." - Satoshi Nakamoto

https://www.21ideas.org/content/files/2 … oin_ru.pdf
(I would appreciate it if you could chip in 50 CRP to translate this text into English, thus supporting me financially. My public key: 2AD1E7889AE2E59265858DA73962D361A7B54F604F7B6A0BB418D0C9A08DA533
With a tranazction comment, a web link, and a request for an English translation of this document.

If you have a file on your computer, despite the beliefs of NFT proponents, it is impossible to prevent people from copying it. If that file is your digital currency, you face a problem. If people can effectively CTRL-C -> CTRL-V your currency, that currency is useless.[2]

The first step to solving this problem was to change the very approach to sending funds. Instead of just sending a computer file, users sent digital currency by digitally signing it. This was a huge step forward, but it wasn't the final step-it didn't solve the double-spending problem.

Basically: if I have $1 worth of digital currency, there's nothing to stop me from trying to send the same $1 to two different people, thus turning it into $2. Unless both recipients can compare their incoming transactions to see if they're being cheated, there's no way to solve this problem.

(If anything, pure cryptography offers a partial solution to this problem. Some digital signature schemes result in the loss of the signature key if you try to sign two different things with the same key. However, the method to recover the key is to perform a mathematical calculation on the two signatures. For this to happen, the two signatures must be collected in the same place by the same person).

Before Bitcoin, people had been trying to solve this problem for decades. The DigiCash system was proposed by David Chaum in 1989, and it did solve this problem, but it came at the price of centralization. All transactions went through a server called the "mint" (albeit in encrypted format), and this server, because it had a complete list of all transactions, could check them for double-spending.

Thus, in 2007, the state of affairs in this area was basically down to the following choice: a centralized system without double-spending or a decentralized system with it. Since a currency system with double-spending is by definition not a currency system, this effectively meant that all digital currency systems had to be centralized.

But Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin, had his own thoughts on this:

If you require all transactions to be recorded in a registry, you can (by definition) ignore transactions that are not recorded in that registry. This means that you should only care about double spending within that registry.
If two conflicting transactions appear in the registry, the one that was posted first will always be valid.
If you had a so-called "timestamp server", you could use it to figure out which transaction was first.
We could create such a timestamp server, relying on the Proof of Work algorithm as described above.
In more detail: using my node's local clock, I can verify that the new incoming blocks (described as "lottery tickets" in my analogy above) have the correct time. Having direct access to a series of blocks ("blockchain"), I can threaten to refuse to accept transactions (making their money worthless) in case these timestamps are not accurate, i.e. not matching my (local) clock.Now it seems I should apologize to the reader for describing this rather mundane process in such excruciating detail. But it is really necessary: to understand why a good mechanical watch is better than a decent Chinese [3] copy, it is not enough to look at the marketing materials, the glossy brochures, and then finish with a quick glance at the case-"looks about the same, three hands and a dial"-and notice that they seem to tell the time quite well. We should take them apart and see what's inside.

Key points:

The whole purpose of the system is to accurately display time. Time is very, very important here. The importance of this cannot be overstated.

PoW is a vital part of the system, but not the system itself. There are other parts. And if you want to replace one part with another, it has to be essentially the same part. Beyond that, it must have the same or better qualities.

Is the PoS essentially the same part? Does PoS have similar properties?

The basic idea of PoS is quite simple:

Instead of buying $1,000 worth of mining equipment, participants can lock in the equivalent of $1,000 worth of cryptocurrency ("staking").
Instead of specifying which blocks are valid through block mining, users can simply vote for them online and sign their vote with a digital signature.
Instead of the block whose mining spent the most resources [4] wins, the block with the most votes wins.
If the nodes' behavior proves to be malicious, instead of losing the reward for the work done, they will literally lose their entire blocked share - as if their entire mining farm, set up to work with the PoW algorithm, burned down in a fire.
PoS adepts will argue that because these incentives are equal or superior to those of the PoW system (this is true), this system is also as reliable or even superior to the PoW system (this is false). Their problem is that in addition to writing a list of desirable incentives, you also need to create a system that implements those incentives.

To use an analogy, it's akin to if someone sat down to design a building as follows:

First, draw the desired exterior.
Draw the desired interior.
We take basic measurements to make sure that the dimensions of the interior do not exceed those of the exterior.
Decide that the house is ready to be built and send it to the builders for construction.
Of course, the most important part is missing - the structural system of beams and load-bearing walls, without which the building is not a building!

Our heroes must show in practice how their system will work, and that's where the fun begins.

In PoW, unscrupulous network members are punished. The system that carries out this punishment is simple: they have spent power; if they don't make the expected profit in cryptocurrency, they incur a loss. Only if the system actively decides to reward them will they recoup their costs.

In this way, the penalty for bad behavior is guaranteed: having to pay for electricity without receiving a reward. Because of the laws of physics, turning energy into heat increases entropy, and time cannot be reversed. A node cannot "unmake" a unit and get its electricity back.

PoS, by its very nature, does not have the same system. As with the double-waste problem, any user with a digital key can sign anything with no consequences. So they have to recreate a similar synthetic stimulus structure.

This is where the problem comes in: because their punishment is synthetic, it exists within the system. Because the punishment exists within the system, it can only affect what the system has control over - in this case, blocked node deposits. Therefore, once users withdraw their deposits, they become untouchable. Therein lies the "nothing at stake" problem. Inevitably, there will come a point when a node can "unfreeze" all its deposits (steak. translator's note) and withdraw the money. At that point, the network has a problem:

This key is valid for signing any number of versions of, say, block number 200, and there is no objective, in-system standard for determining which version is legitimate other than "the one that was published first."
A node can sign whatever it wants with this key without any consequences. There is no way to punish it because it risks nothing [5].
Almost all systems try to solve this problem in the same way:

If a node signs another version of the same block within a sufficiently short period of time, "reduce" its deposit (i.e., punish it inside the system).
If a node signs another version of the same block, for example, after a year, simply ignore what happened.

Here's the problem: How do you know which version was first? If you were there from the beginning and saw everything with your own eyes, that's easy. But what if you have just installed the client and your node is trying to synchronize? What happens if you're presented with two identical units and you have to decide which one to choose?

The whole point of the consensus mechanism was so that we could determine which transaction was first without personally observing it. That's why it's important to solve the decentralized timestamp problem, thereby solving the transaction ordering problem and thus the double-waste problem.

In this case, it seems that our imaginary consensus mechanism suffers from the double signature problem. Fortunately, it solves this problem by solving the decentralized block timestamp problem, so it can solve the block ordering problem.

Hahaha, just kidding. This mechanism doesn't actually do the latter. Some other method would be needed to solve this problem:

"Based on all of the above arguments, we can safely conclude that the threat of an attacker creating a fork from an arbitrarily large distance is unfortunately fundamental, and in all non-degenerate implementations this problem is fatal to the success of the PoS algorithm in the PoW security model. However, we can get around this fundamental barrier with a small but still fundamental change to the security model." - Vitalik Buterin.

In other words: if we evaluate PoS within the same threat model as PoW, the former is fundamentally (and fatally!) insecure. Even its main supporters acknowledge this. Only if we lower the security level by making "minor but nevertheless fundamental changes" to the security model can it be called "safe".

If there is a fundamental security flaw in the scheme that can only be "corrected" by lowering the standards by which it is evaluated, is the scheme "safe"?

If the proponents of this supposedly safe scheme are aware of this flaw, but do not publicly disclose it to anyone (other than ambiguous statements in blog posts), should this be considered fraud, bad faith, or simply lying by omission?

If supposedly trustworthy people knew about the problem but didn't tell those who trusted them - how should that affect their credibility and the credibility of those who, in turn, supported them?

"But if the watchman sees the sword coming, and does not blow the horn to warn the people, and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that person will be taken for his sin, and I will hold the watchman accountable for that loss." - Ezekiel 33:6

What conclusions can be reached?

Because the PoS cannot by itself lead to consensus, it is not a consensus mechanism.
If the system still works, there must be a real consensus mechanism behind it (e.g., not PoS).
It is, I'm not making it up:

"This security assumption, the idea of 'getting the block hash from a friend,' may seem unoriginal to many; Bitcoin developers often say that if the solution to long range attacks is some alternative solver X, then blockchain security ultimately depends on X, and therefore the algorithm is really no more secure than using X directly - implying that most X, including our social consensus approach, is insecure.
However, this logic ignores the reasons why consensus algorithms exist in the first place. ... Weak subjectivity is exactly the right solution." - Vitalik Buterin, who does not deny the assertion he himself is trying to refute.

As far as I know, there are three such X mechanisms proposed for actual consensus:

Local consensus. This means that each node has its own view of what is going on. This is, indeed, a very decentralized approach. Unfortunately, in this case, consensus is incomplete because each node has its own view of what is going on. Example: Bitcoin Cash ABC.
Proof of authority. In simple terms, this means that you have a trusted authority who signs blocks. This is a very effective consensus method that doesn't even pretend to be decentralized. Example: Peercoin.
Consensus "call a friend." A mythical animal that is very vaguely described, but is certainly both a decentralized and effective consensus mechanism.
Obviously, no one wants the first or second option. Decentralized consensus is what we're going for, because it's incredibly easy to achieve one of the two, as opposed to both at the same time. So, let's explore this Phone a Friend Consensus (hereafter PFC, Phone a Friend Consensus), in more detail. More specifically, what do we do when it is broken?

In PoW, we don't have to worry about the "network" being wrong about something. As long as we are properly connected and check every action - we know we are on the right track. We are confident that everyone else will eventually accept the common truth. There are no options.

At PFC, however, we adopt a postmodernist view of truth. What happens if I saw with my own eyes that block 200A was first, but the "network" believes that block 200B was first? Will I go on Reddit to try to convince them? What if they don't want to listen? What if the discussion platforms are censored?

What's more: what happens if the "community" thinks one thing and the serious uncles with money say the opposite? In theory both of these attacks seem extremely far-fetched, but what about the real world? Two examples:

In 2017, a controversial and toxic debate erupted in Bitcoin about what to do about the 1MB block size limit. During this debate, many proponents of "big blocks" were banned from /r/bitcoin. In the end, supporters of "small blocks" won [6]. Did the bans play any role in what happened?
In Ethereum, after the fiasco The DAO Ethereum Foundation decided to hold a hardfork to save investors. In the end, Ethereum triumphed and Ethereum Classic (the coin that did not undergo the hardforge) lost relevance.
So, there seems to be about four groups of participants in the "community-based consensus." Obviously, the same group cannot lead or be led simultaneously on the same issue or on the same problem in opposite ways; and so whenever this contradiction arises in things that seem to be the same, we know that they are not really the same, but different. These are:

Big uncles with money and power.
People with power over discussion boards (forums, chat rooms).
The broad mass of people.
So, what happens if one of these entities disagrees with the other? Let's explore this question:

Against any of these groups of people, your opinion, in reality, will make no difference.
If the broad masses of people disagree with the platform owner, their opinion will be changed according to the rules, or they will lose their vote.
If the people who actually run the project disagree with those who run their platform, that platform will lose its proverbial "approval" status.
If the people running the project do not agree with the community, the community has a choice: secede - lose all institutional capital and everything else, as in Ethereum (Classic, translator's note) - or get back in line.
So, in practice, the "community consensus" is just a convoluted and veiled version of "proof of authority. And, as Mr. Buterin knows firsthand, "blockchain security ultimately depends on X."

We have already figured out that a system that works the way promoters suggest is literally impossible. So, a system that does work must sacrifice one of three things - either it 1) is not PoS (e.g., hidden PoW), or it 2) is not decentralized, or 3) it is not able to achieve consensus.

In practice, however, there is often no clear line between these concepts. If the same people own all the tokens, control all the stacking pools, manage the project, and run all the nodes (full node) - an attack is initially impossible. Everything is so centralized that from a distance it gives a false impression of decentralization.

Recall the CAP theorem: If you have separation, you have to choose between consistency and availability, but refusing to make a decision will "reward" you with both. If everyone who has the technical means to carry out an attack is proximate to the owner, the ship keeps sailing. Or, as David Gerrard puts it:

The market doesn't care about the Bitcoin ideology behind decentralization. ... The market treats centrally managed ICO tokens and centrally managed cryptocurrencies like Ripple (XRP) as objects of the same class as bitcoin or ether. The market wants what it wants, not what the ideologues want it to do. ...
As long as:

the network remains secure enough to function
the price of ether does not plummet into a dead peak
ICO tokens continue to plummet and dump
the latest crypto kittens aren't clogging up the network too much
and there won't be any disasters more costly than those familiar in the current system, such as The DAO or the Parity wallet disaster
- Casper update will be a good enough Proof of Stake for the community to live with.
The Casper update doesn't have to be good enough for ideologues, it just has to function well enough for the marketplace.

It's not hard to see why people are falling for this. PoW promises them an essentially low-performance [7] system that gives a certain result using methods clearly incomprehensible to the average user. PoS promises them a good system that gives the same result, using methods that are about as incomprehensible.

The people promoting PoS either don't know about the security features of the technology they support, in which case they are clowns (whose recommendations in technological matters cannot be trusted), or they know (but won't tell you), in which case they are crooks (whose recommendations in technological matters definitely cannot be trusted).

Either way, the fact that a person promotes PoS or takes those who do so seriously should be enough to disqualify them from being considered an authority on any subject. The fact that this does not happen, and that outright crooks are enthusiastically rehabilitated, is an indictment of the supposed "cryptocommunity."

I don't know if we will ever replace PoW with some other consensus mechanism. Maybe in ten years there will be a better solution. To match the Bitcoin security model, the new algorithm must have the following qualities:

Expensive - mining a block should create a sunk cost roughly equivalent to the reward for mining the block.
Irreversibility - these costs must occur in the real world, through processes that cannot be reversible in the short term without much cost.
Self-certifiability - it must be possible to verify solely within the computer software, without being tied to anything else.
PoW has all three characteristics, but at some cost.

PoS has a stretch with one of them, but fails with the other two (irreversibility and self-certifiability).

Proof of Space seems to work, but only if the stored data are useless, thus shifting the waste of resources [8] from electricity to electronics. However, I do not support Chia's particular implementation.

Perhaps there is a small glimmer of hope in combining PoW and PoS. That way you could replace some of the mining with stakes. I'm not sure about that, but that's my guess. One thing I do know, however, is that when it comes to the promises of the future that cryptopromoters make, don't believe it until you see proof.

People are driven to buy cryptocurrency not by real, technological advances that have already happened, but by promises of things to come. In fact, their best incentive is the constant "moon on the horizon" to inform potential token holders that they are on the first floor of that rushing skyscraper.

Cynical people will note that this is how most cryptocurrency projects actually work - it is not only more profitable, but also cheaper. They are not lying when they say that you only get to the very first floor if they imply that a second floor will be built someday.

Reference to the source in Russian: https://hub.forklog.com/proof-of-stake-eto-skam/

The text was difficult to translate and if you like this translation, you can support me at the address below with any amount of CRP. 2AD1E7889AE2E59265858DA73962D361A7B54F604F7B6A0BB418D0C9A08DA533


#4 2022-02-20 17:44:00

Registered: 2021-12-10
Posts: 302

Re: Translated news column.

How Ethereum is better than an Excel spreadsheet. The main thing from Vitalik Buterin's interview

The creator of the largest-capitalized altcoin on what money should be, why 3 thousand cryptocurrencies is bad, and what a perfect utopia is

The first of two interviews of Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin with MIT Russian-American professor Lex Friedman was extensively quoted in the English-language segment of the Internet.

In the Russian-language media, this interview was mostly used to single out certain phrases related to the launch of ETH 2.0, the most exciting topic for investors. In this piece, we have compiled snippets of conversation on other topics, focusing primarily on Vitalik's particular understanding of the history, future and meaning of blockchain technology.

- Should there be only one main and leading project among all the many cryptocurrencies over time, or is having more than 3,000 different projects more beneficial to the sector?

A lot is always a good thing, of course. However, perhaps too many people are trying to create and maintain too many new blockchains right now. That's not necessary.

Cryptocurrencies should absolutely be more than one, and more than two and more than five, but not more than 3 thousand. It is also inappropriate to have 30-40 projects that function perfectly from a technical point of view, but do the same thing and bring nothing new.

- Can cryptocurrencies become the world's main currencies?

Fiat money will still remain, it will continue to evolve and digitalize, converging to some extent with cryptocurrencies. The functionality of fiat money is maintained by governments.

However, people will have alternatives that will be useful, such as those whose country's fiat money system does not work well or is in danger of rapid inflation. Cryptocurrencies will also be indispensable if a country is "shut down" from the global financial system, or if there is a global trade crisis. In this case, cryptocurrencies will be a universal, unifying and unbiased way of possible communication between different regions of the planet.

- Centralized control is very limiting. Wouldn't free cryptocurrencies win over centralized technology in such an environment?

Governments prohibit existing corporations from creating their own currencies. Remarkably, if governments allowed large corporations like Google or Twitter to make their own units of calculation, cryptocurrencies would immediately become less appealing to many users.

States have essentially created the conditions necessary for decentralized units of account to emerge and flourish. There are some things that governments have done to the advantage of blockchain, and some things that have done to the disadvantage.

More often than not, governments are in the business of identifying and prosecuting projects with the craziest and most deceptive marketing. It is very likely that in the future many states will use blockchain for their tasks. States do much more than regulate. They are maintaining identity databases, property registries, and ensuring that their currencies and settlement systems function.

- Unsecured money in the physical world. Is this normal?

Money has come a long way. Previously, money was completely secured by gold, then the possibility to exchange money for gold was left to only some people, then money became completely unsecured by anything in the physical world.

In general, the new age is characterized by the fact that a lot of things that are very expensive are not physically represented in any way. For example, Twitter. Its value consists of an idea, software code, and a huge network of users. Even if, for example, all the developers all at once decide to leave such a project, it is not difficult to find new developers who can quickly adapt the project for themselves and continue to work.

- What is remarkable to you about the history of blockchain?

It all comes from the problem of cryptography about Byzantine generals, where several generals besieging a city from different sides must coordinate and not be deceived by traitors. The question is how many generals there must be and how many traitors carrying false information is acceptable to produce a coordinated attack. This problem is solved, but solved only on the condition that initially it is known who the generals are. As technology advances, we see an increase in the number of "generals" who are able to agree among themselves.

In the 80's and 90's, the maximum was a few nodes in the network that could trust each other. In the same way, several different airplane instrument readings can trust each other's credibility. But is it somehow possible to solve this problem without knowing who the generals are - without verifying the identity of the nodes?

The original bitcoin solution was to use some amount of physical resources to limit how many identities a process participant can assign to themselves. Solve a math problem - you get an identity. You solve five problems, you get five identities.

To put it another way, the challenge for blockchain developers is to make multiple nodes on the network be able to work as one computer. It is often said that the first implementation of this idea was bitcoin, using the Proof-of-Work mechanism described above to create a payment system.

In reality, a similar idea was successfully implemented already in the 90s, for protocols aimed at fighting spam emails. In such systems in order to send an email you had to confirm that you spent some amount of energy or to pay for the sending of the email. The system is set up so that it would be very cheap to send emails to friends. However, it would be very expensive to send spam emails to millions of people.

- Tell us about the most impressive ideas of Ethereum?

First and foremost is the idea that money and value can emerge simply from the fact of having a database, if a large number of people trust it. Equally important is the idea of radical interoperability. Two people or two teams can develop decentralized applications that will be open to interacting with each other without both parties having to allow that interaction, or even having to directly exchange some data.

For example, everyone knows about cryptocurrency, which could be bred and crossed with each other, producing new, rarer breeds. Then, quite independently of this project, cryptodinosaurs appeared. To breed them, it was necessary to feed them with cryptocats. The second application came out completely independent of the development team of the first one, just using the results of smart contracts calculations, because the code and results of absolutely all smart contracts are stored on the Ethereum blockchain. It is equally open to every developer.

Development teams don't even have to communicate with each other to make it work. In this way, you can potentially build huge software ecosystems based on each other's available data.

- What's the big question you ask future developers on Ethereum?

Explain what would be the advantage for you of using Ethereum rather than a simple Excel data table.

- What would be an ideal utopia?

An ideal utopia would be a system where the interests of the individual are fully aligned with the interests of society as a whole.

- Would you want immortality?

It depends on what kind. If all the time you could find new tasks with meaning and spend time with friends, I think so. Absolutely!

Original article: https://www.rbc.ru/crypto/news/61fd3eeb9a7947806e639624


#5 2022-02-21 17:37:30

Registered: 2021-12-10
Posts: 302

Re: Translated news column.

Is it time to invest in meta-universes and what to pay attention to here.

The meta-Universe is rapidly becoming a hot investment topic. Whether it's worth investing in this nascent phenomenon and what companies to watch out for, we tell you in this article
About the expert: Anton Alikov, general partner of Arctic Ventures.

Almost all big technological companies one after another declare that they are beginning to develop their meta-villages, software or hardware for them. Investors are analyzing what is worth investing in now, and which areas still have to wait. And even the latest major mergers and acquisitions have not avoided this topic: the beginning of 2022 was marked by the purchase of Microsoft company Activision Blizzard - one of the largest and oldest developers of computer games.

A key moment in the history of the meta-universe as a full-fledged investment and business idea can be considered Mark Zuckerberg's loud renaming of his company Facebook into Meta Platforms, which took place in October 2021. It was then that the general public was introduced to the term "metaworld. Now Meta's online virtual reality game Horizon Worlds is already available to users in the U.S. and Canada.

Industry 4.0.
What is a meta-universe and why is everyone talking about it?
Why do we need a meta-universe?
The fascination with the meta-universe can be explained by a number of reasons:

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a tremendous public demand for cyber interaction among large masses of people.
Because of the incessant negative returns on many traditional tools, record amounts of free capital have been pouring into venture capital markets in recent years to finance the most fantastic projects.
Traditional social networks have begun to face serious criticism and are being forced to change.
Gamification technologies have evolved to such heights that they have begun to provide other functions, such as hosting concerts in an online format.
The meta universe, blockchain, and economic models of the future
To understand the investment opportunities offered by the meta-universe, we must first define it. This is not easy yet, because this phenomenon is just emerging and actively changing, and it does not have a clear official definition yet.

The Grayscale Investments formulation may be a good option for a definition, as it covers all the important aspects.

A free translation sounds like this: "a metavirtual universe is a set of interconnected 3D virtual worlds where people who are physically anywhere can communicate in real time and form an Internet economy spanning the digital and physical worlds. The New York Times defines the term as a fusion of two ideas - virtual reality and a digital second life. The term "meta-universe" itself was coined by science fiction writer Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel Avalanche. In it, he described a cyberspace world in which people interact with each other using digital avatars.

The Internet as a digital world that connects people has evolved through three paradigms:

Web 1.0 gave us the ability to passively browse texts and images through Internet browsers;
Web 2.0 added interactivity to reading (e.g., creating and sharing your own content, social networking);
Web 3.0 will add elements of a decentralized blockchain economy to all this.
Three-dimensional visualization will help fully reveal the economic potential of Web 3.0, because 3D-objects are much more familiar to us, and it will be easier to pay for such an object. Thus, we can say that meta universes are a visual representation of Web 3.0.

The Economics of Innovation
Holographics and neon: how design is changing in the era of VR and metavses
But the most important part of the meta-universe will not be three-dimensional visualization, but an element of a decentralized economy powered by blockchain technology. These are the technologies that Goldman Sachs analysts believe will be the foundation of Web 3.0. They enable users to securely fix property rights in the virtual and then physical worlds, as well as automatically make transactions through smart contracts. Blockchain technologies, in addition, are the basis for cryptocurrencies and crypto-assets, so all these digital entities will also be important components of meta-universes.

Apart from the economic aspect, experts also highlight such properties of a meta-universe as infinite existence (once launched, it never resets or suspends) and limitlessness of the audience (there are no limits on the number of users, any person can always connect and function in the meta-universe). At first there will be many cyber universes, they are already being created by major technology players, but over time they will be combined into a single digital 3D-continuum.

Gamification as a model for the development of meta-universes
The avant-garde application of elements of the meta-universe has been and remains the gaming industry. Virtual reality helmets began to be used for gameplay back in the early 1990s. And even then the games were implemented multiplayer mode, such as in Doom II.

Gaming, like the Internet, went through a three-stage evolution from the "pay-to-play" concept (monetization of games through their sale) to the "free-to-play" concept (games themselves are almost free, but are monetized through the creation of an in-game digital asset economy) and then to the current "play-to-earn" concept. This is an entirely new paradigm, in which players dynamically participate in the digital economy, can transfer artifacts and avatars between games, collect virtual collectibles, create their own games, control their experience, and more. Being active in games allows you to earn, and a lot of it. And it's very much like a meta-universe.

Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that the development of meta-universes is likely to rely on current gaming technologies. These technologies will be adapted and systematically scaled to all human activities that can be digitized. Social networking and video conferencing are likely to be the first to go into the metaworlds.

Investing in the meta-universes
Simon Powell, head of case studies at Jefferies Investment Bank, believes that investors should now view the meta-universe as an early Internet of the late 1980s. It will require specific hardware and software bundled together to function.

Hardware vendors
First and foremost, investors should focus on hardware suppliers for the meta-universe and infrastructure operators. It can be assumed that the hardware will be largely based on powerful GPUs and will require very reliable and fast data transmission, because the volume of generated and transmitted traffic will be gigantic.

For example, Intel Senior Vice President Raja Koduri believes that sustainable and immersive computing, scalable and accessible to billions of people in real time, will require a 1,000-fold increase in computing efficiency over the current state of the art.

Also, participants in meta-universes will need headsets for their eyes and gloves with haptic feedback, which will soon be available. Next, a full tactile suit will be required.

Software for meta-universes.
Investors should also focus on the developers of the underlying software. Together, these components will create a full functioning platform. And finally, it will then be possible to fund a multitude of developers who will work within this platform and solve various specific problems.

For now, the development of such platforms is in its initial phases. A thousandfold increase in the computing power of computer systems is a matter of 5-10 years. For example, Baidu stated that it would take six years to create its own full-fledged meta-universe. We will probably have to wait for the full deployment of sixth-generation mobile communications as well.

Public companies
Already now, exposure to the meta-universe can be formed from publicly traded securities.

In addition to Meta (formerly Facebook), analysts recommend looking at Microsoft, Unity Software, Roblox, Amazon.com, Autodesk, Matterport, NVIDIA, AMD, Alibaba and Baidu. The Horizons Global Metaverse Index ETF (MTAV) is already trading in Canada. U.S. investment firm ProShares also recently applied for registration of an exchange-traded fund also focused on the meta universe - the fund will be called ProShares Metaverse Theme ETF. Both funds will track the Solactive Global Metaverse Index (SOMETAV), which includes many of the public names mentioned above.

Of course, the best investment opportunities are still hidden in the bowels of small private companies (like Render Network or Graphcore) and are not available to the retail investor.

The Risks of Investing in Metaworlds
Investing in metaworlds also carries risks, many of them hard to configure. Huge amounts of calculations required for functioning of such platforms, will require a corresponding amount of energy, preferably "green". Otherwise there will be a wave of criticism for the lack of carbon neutrality of meta-villages. If this issue remains unresolved, large investors could lose interest, for example because of reputational or political risks.

It is also unclear whether society will be able to build a truly decentralized cyberspace in the manner of Decentraland, or whether it will be dominated by a number of large players, as is now the case, for example, with social networks, where large companies openly pursue their agenda, de facto censor content and regulate user access to the network. Suffice it to recall what the operators of major social networks did to Donald Trump. It is for their failure to become neutral and inclusive that social networks are increasingly criticized.

Industry 4.0.
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Privacy and cybersecurity issues will become particularly important in meta-world projects, because a significant part of people's lives will go there - the economy, culture, education, social life, and maybe even sports will migrate there. The risks of hackers gaining control over such a continuum may be unacceptable.

The painful issue of government regulation is still over the horizon, but it will definitely appear on investors' radar if metacommunities become as popular as cryptocurrencies or social networks. Governments will not be able to ignore such important objects, because their impact on public life will be enormous, and this is already a matter of national security. Some even believe that the next world war could take place in cyberspace.

In conclusion, we can try to look even further into the future. If the Web 3.0 paradigm becomes widespread and meta-universes do become an integral part of human life, then the next stage of the Internet development (Web 4.0) may become a full-fledged matrix, like in a famous movie franchise. Futurologists believe that this could happen in 40-50 years, when it will be possible to create cyber-biological systems, that is, the Internet will receive elements of biology. But given the exponential nature of technological development, this can happen even earlier.

Original article:https://trends.rbc.ru/trends/industry/6 … 567672dfc9


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