In light of the past week's calamity concerning FTX, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses, we would like to start off this issue by wishing those affected our best wishes and thoughts.
With every instance of central power & centralized systems letting the people down, we find a stronger case and need for decentralized solutions. On centralized platforms, the primary pitfall is that all power, custody of funds & assets, and governance, rest in the hands of the platforms. These solutions could be facilitated just as easily with decentralized systems.
The Grey Market (GM) will be a decentralized solution for e-commerce, wherein people may browse and transact using cryptocurrency, all the while never having to worry about the platform holding custody of their funds or assets. All funds & assets will remain in every person’s personal, private “wallet,” just like the funds & assets of every seller will remain in theirs.
Immutable smart contracts will facilitate the transactions, meaning that users will never have to “trust” that other platform entities (sellers & governors) will do what's right.
Having people’s earnings go directly to them without ever having to pass through a central platform means people and merchants will own what is theirs and never have to fall risk to events as we’ve seen this past week.
When sovereignty rests in centralized hands, they have the power to seize peoples’ funds and assets, cancel accounts, illegally utilize the money they are storing, and create all sorts of friction and complications for the rightful owners to retrieve what belongs to them.
Centralized platforms & systems own their users’ information and assets, which puts the people and their belongings at the mercy of the platforms' desires, decisions, success or failure, and security.
On the other hand, a truly decentralized platform solves user risks by providing the same central place and service (i.e. all of the centralized platform’s value) while operating on infrastructure & systems that give users custody of their funds and assets the entire time.
This means that no matter what happens to the platform or how much the platform wants to control a person’s funds, activity and fate, each person still maintains possession of what’s theirs and can never lose everything to the platform’s power or if the platforms go under.
There will be no hub for decentralized e-commerce quite like the Grey Market.
Welcome back and thanks for tuning in for another edition of Market Matters with your analyst for the Resistance, Daddy Gainz. Last week was a storm in the world of cryptocurrency where the collapse of the second-largest exchange led to a category-five crypto hurricane. Let's explore the wreckage.
In this edition, we will be taking a deeper dive into the FTX situation and where it stands at present. This includes some of the data from last week (As featured in PxN Papers 18), as well as data and important statistics from this week.
Last week, in the midst of the FTX drama, the USA electoral MidTerm elections took place, CPI inflation data was released, and the University of Michigan released its Consumer Sentiment report. Inflation has finally dropped below the 8% mark after peaking earlier in the year, a sign that a brighter future lies ahead, even though we are still navigating through such uncertain economic times.
On Friday last week, just a couple of days after the CPI reading, the markets were met with a surprise after the University of Michigan released its Consumer Sentiment report which fell from the previous month’s reading. With a projected forecast of a 59.5 reading, the results came in at 54.7, which oddly showcased a confusing and uniquely unexpected drop in consumer’s overall mood and confidence, in current and future economic conditions. This confusing pattern of confidence levels, which had hit an all time low in June, had been on the rise for about four months straight.
Looking into this third week of November, some notable figures received were the PPI, the Empire State Manufacturing Index, month-over-month retail sales data, the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index, some Unemployment Claims data, and Existing Home Sales in the US. That is a lot of data to digest, but most of these typically don't have as much impact on the markets in comparison to things like inflation data or interest rate hikes.
Changes in the price of final goods and services, reflected in the PPI data on Tuesday, encouraged the markets as the results showed a lower than expected result coming in 0.2% lower than projections, further leaning into the narrative of the FED eventually easing out of its quantitative tightening phase, as inflation pressure continues to slow down. Also reported on Tuesday was the Empire State Manufacturing Index survey, another positive win for the markets as the reading of +4.5 came in much higher than the forecasted -6.1, as any reading above zero indicates improving overall economic conditions.
Wednesday's Retail Sales data came in two parts, the Retail Sales and the Core Retail Sales which come at an interesting time at the beginning of the holiday shopping period in the US. Both Retail Sales data showed an increase at a stronger pace than expected, with the likelihood of consumers spending more with the holidays right around the corner. The economy is showing signs that it is still growing, maybe not so much due to increased spending but likely more related to the highly inflated overall prices of goods and services which is not a great signal to the FED for their final rate hike decision of the year in December.
As of writing this, the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index, Unemployment Claims data, and Existing Home Sales in the US hadn’t been released but will be available to readers who are interested. With many clashing reports for the markets, both positive and negative, investors look ahead in pricing in their speculation of the next interest rate hike. The likelihood of a decrease to a 50bps (0.5%) hike is at a staggering 83% compared to the likelihood of yet another 75 bps (0.75%) being at a 17% chance, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.
This unexpected speculation is likely due in part to the very good CPI print from last week, and we may soon be approaching an appropriate time for the FED to begin slowing the pace of aggressive rate hike policy. Examining the above interest rate percentages from the perspective of those invested in the markets, if the FED do indeed reduce their aggressive policy to a lower rate, the markets are likely to react extremely well. Alternatively, if the markets expect a decrease and the FED concludes they see it necessary to continue their aggressive hawkish stance, this would likely send the markets tumbling.
With the good market reaction to the last CPI report, the strength of the US Dolla, continues to fall after peaking out at the highest point in 20 years, which is a good sign for both the equity and crypto markets as they typically trade inversely to the DXY (DXY is an index tracking the Dollar’s strength).
Let’s get up to date with a brief recap on new developments with the FTX situation. As we should all know by now, the second largest crypto exchange has now filed for Bankruptcy and the founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has stepped down. Crypto has been in shambles this past week or so since the collapse of FTX and things got a bit worse over the weekend as more than $600 million was hacked from what remains in FTX.
Bitcoin had dropped below a level of $16,000, a level it is struggling to maintain above. The markets did recover after two tweets were released, one from Twitter CEO Elon Musk stating Bitcoin will survive and the second tweet coming from Binance CEO, CZ, stating that the Binance team intends to open an industry recovery fund to help combat a liquidity crisis for those companies who may have had exposure to the FTX debacle.
Crypto.com is one of those potential companies with exposure, as the rumors began to spread around the internet. This contagion of FTX may spread wider than many expect, and as the weeks go on, it’s likely we will be seeing increasing numbers of affected companies coming to light. As days progressed, it became clear that BlockFi was preparing for Bankruptcy after hiring Bankruptcy council and pausing user withdrawals and deposits. As the contagion continues to spread this week, the newest company names with potential exposure include Genesis, Gemini Earn, and Salt, so we will continue to monitor those and other names as things progress.
In other news, J.P Morgan released a statement alluding to the idea that the recent collapses are likely more the fault of centralized entities rather than decentralized ones. Banking giants like Wells Fargo, HSBC, Mastercard, and Citigroup, among others, are planning to launch a 12-week pilot of a digital dollar collectively with the New York FED, called the regulated liability network, which is intended to test how integration could assist in speeding up payments.
As a reiteration of what I stated last week, it’s good practice to not keep funds on any exchange no matter how much you trust them or think they are incapable of failure until the full scope of the FTX contagion is fully understood, which likely won't happen until court documents are released to the public.
Keeping your individual trading plan intact is essential, especially when the markets are met with impactful news. Just as you should keep emotions out of your good trades and avoid greed, the same should be true during the trades that are not going well by keeping the fear out of your trading.
Know when to take profits and when to cut losses for the good of your entire portfolio. As always, try your best to stay looped in on all things market related because at the end of the day these things have an impact on your investments even if it doesn't seem that way directly. As usual, NFA, DYOR, stay safe, love y’all, and see you next time!
A Community United
The aftermath of FTX’s collapse sent chills through the web3 space. It’s not all doom and gloom, though, as the community rallied to support one another in this time of uncertainty. Market leaders, influencers, and participants hopped on countless Twitter spaces to keep each other abreast, provided close to real-time updates, commentaries, suggestions, watercooler gossip, and, most importantly, support for each other.
Worldwide friends got in touch to check on each other, and threads of important information on safeguarding oneself for the future sprung across Twitter. Self-custody of crypto also became a hot topic as this was one of the ways to keep funds safe. This financial collapse also increased the demand for cold wallets to store crypto securely.
In a community that is somewhat divided on opinions, people look past differences to help each other out. The worst might not yet be over, but with what we witnessed in the community, everyone will come out stronger once it is.
Nike Swooshing Into The Space
Undeterred by the scandal the space is facing right now, Nike is preparing to launch .Swoosh, its official web3 NFT marketplace built on Polygon, an Ethereum Layer 2/Sidechain. The marketplace will feature Nike-branded virtual apparel, including exclusive sneakers, clothing, collectibles, and more. Users can create, collect, trade, and flex their collections.
An extension of its investment into RTFKT, the creators of Clone X, Nike, is no stranger in the NFT game. Slated for an official drop in January 2023, Nike has been tight-lipped on what the NFT drop entails, but we’re sure they will release breadcrumbs closer to launch.
Ron Faris, general manager of Nike Virtual Studios, shared, “We are shaping a marketplace of the future with an accessible platform for the Web3-curious. In this new space, the .Swoosh community and Nike can create, share, and benefit together.”
With this move, Nike is targeting not only web3 natives but also those curious about web3. Nike is helping to pave the way for those uninitiated and set the stage for more mass adoption into the space.
In 2022, we have seen many retail giants entering the web3 space with a vigor that is not stopping anytime soon. Although the space is muddled with uncertainty and participants are still finding their way, we know blockchain, NFTs, and digital currencies are here to stay.
Fifa Kicking Off In Web3
With Fifa World Cup in Qatar fast approaching, marketers are bringing novel experiences into the Metaverse. Millions of soccer fans will be tuning in to the month-long tournament, and it will be a great way to offer alternative fun by harnessing web3 technologies.
For example, an ad from Adidas featured a Bored Ape Yacht NFT character that appeared alongside soccer stars. From virtual screening to an entire metaverse being built to facilitate real-life experiences, web3 and NFT tech are taking over the attention outside the actual games.
What other exciting adventures does the future hold for the web3 space? We guess it’s only limited to our imagination. For now, we will relish the world cup games made even more special with new technologies.
With the recent FTX debacle, is a CEX still the go-to platform for purchasing crypto and trading? What about DEX? In this article, we’ll break down what are CEX and DEX and their pros and cons.
Centralized Crypto Exchange (CEX)
Centralized Crypto Exchange (CEX) is a platform that provides you with a variety of services, such as a trading platform (spot trading, futures, etc.), account services (funding and withdrawal, staking of your cryptocurrencies), and customer support services.
Some of them also offer Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). It is owned by private companies and usually requires users to identify themselves through a Know Your Customer (KYC) process.
ICOs are a popular way to raise funds for products and services related to crypto. In the NFT space, think of it as raising mint funds. Some popular CEXs include Binance, Coinbase, and ByBit.
On a CEX, buyers and sellers transact with each other, with the exchange acting as a custodian. It provides a place for people to buy and sell their crypto through a process called order matching.
For example, if someone wants to buy Ethereum at $1,000 and someone wants to sell it at $1,000, the exchange matches and executes the orders of these two people.
With CEXs acting like custodians or middlemen, your money is under the custody of the exchange once deposited. Whether in fiat (E.g., USD/GBP) or crypto (E.g., BTC/ETH), you are trusting the exchange to keep your funds safe, the same way you’re depositing your money into the bank for safekeeping.
Decentralized Exchange (DEX)
Not to be confused with our co-founder Dex, a Decentralized Exchange (DEX) is a peer-to-peer marketplace whereby transactions are performed directly between crypto traders without a middleman.
The transactions are facilitated by smart contracts, are documented directly on the blockchain, and are not stored on a private database. For example, if you purchase crypto from Binance, it acts as a middleman, and your transaction data will be on their database. With DEXs like Uniswap or Sushiswap, you perform trades directly on the blockchain with other users.
Happenings in the Community:
Welcome back. This is the final article for our educational series on Etherscan. If you’ve kept up with the past articles, you would’ve grasped the basic knowledge of how Etherscan works, the transactions, and their meanings, verifying a smart contract and using it to conduct basic research.
For this article, we’ll teach you how to check on some analytics that you might be interested in before buying into a project and how to mint via a contract. Before checking for any form of analytics on a project, you should first check that the contract is verified and belongs to that specific collection. For more information on how to do so, check out the Etherscan article in PxN Papers 17.
Having a healthy holder count is vital for any NFT project as it shows that prices will not fluctuate much, and the chances of getting dumped on by a whale should be lower. It also shows a rough estimate of how many people are holders of the project.
For starters, you’ll be able to view this information on Etherscan by simply searching for the project’s contract. There will be a ‘Holders’ tab. Click on it, and you’ll instantly see which wallet holds the most tokens.
Before speculating whether it’s a holder’s wallet or a whale’s wallet, you may copy and paste the wallet address shown on Etherscan onto Opensea for a better view of things.
In this case, using PxN as an example, you’ll be able to see the quantity of the tokens held by that wallet. This wallet with the 3rd highest token is the project’s vault, as seen below.
Once you click on the wallet address, it will bring you to a page where you can view the NFTs in the wallet. Click on the ‘Inventory’ tab and you’re all set. You’ll also be able to see its previously traded price in USD.
If you’re a fan of pie charts, fret not; simply click on this button under the ‘Holders’ tab, and a beautifully formatted pie chart will appear.
Minting on Etherscan
You can mint any NFT on Etherscan if the contract allows. If the contract doesn’t allow an NFT to be minted via contract, be aware that you WILL lose your gas fees. Remember to do your due diligence and mint from a verified contract.
We strongly recommend not going through this route unless you know what you’re doing or if the project launching has specifically informed you that you will be able to mint directly through the contract.
Follow these steps (Do note that not all Contracts follow this format and are for illustrative purposes only):
Speeding up transactions
Sometimes, it takes a while for transactions to go through, especially if your GWEI is lower than the average at that point in time. Speeding it up would increase your chances of minting, BUT it’s not guaranteed. Your transaction would still possibly fail.
In the unfortunate case that your transaction is still pending, but the collection is sold out, refrain from attempting to cancel the transaction, as that would incur another sum of gas fees.
With this, we conclude our final article on the basics of Etherscan. Look forward to more educational articles from us in the future.
Welcome to the Pineapple Lounge! This time they located Phantom 21’s base for an interview!
Phantom Files: 21
Phantom 21's hideout was located at the top of the mountain on the outskirts of the city. It had a beautiful view of the sea and the horizon, but the air was thin there. Pineapple and Plortis could feel their hearts pounding in their chests as they climbed up to the summit. At the summit of the mountain, Phantom 21 was waiting for them with a campfire burning and a cauldron of stew bubbling over it.
1. Why did you name yourself Mseggmily?
Back in my streaming days in 2018, people said I had an egg-shaped head/face. I might've screwed this up because now some people think my name is msegg.
2. What is your favorite weird food combination?
I eat tuna with iceberg lettuce.... is that weird?
3. What’s your favorite game to play?
I only get my feelings played with now (': I used to play Valorant and some small horror games like Phasmophobia.
4. Where do you want to go on vacation?
I want to explore Japan/Korea/Greece.
5. What is your favorite TV Show?
I don't have a favorite TV show but I am a sucker for reality shows such as Bling Empire and Selling Sunset.
6. What is a skill you want to get better at?
You know what, I would like to really get into tennis. I want them stronk thighs and to touch grass.
7. What is a hot take that you have?
Morning hikes > Sunset hikes
8. Who do you look up to in this space?
I believe I have to give props to anyone in this space. This is a space where we all took the biggest risk of our lives and spent all our money on essentially digital jpegs that could be worth 100k or a few dollars. It takes a lot for someone to put their time and money into this space.
9. What is a favorite PxN moment of yours?
I really enjoyed the beginning of our project talking and being educated on NFTs and the web3 space from our Phantoms. They were the ones who would always back you up and make sure everyone was included.
10. What do you like about being on the Biz Dev team for PxN?
The one thing I really enjoy being in the business development department is our team. I believe we just work very well with each other and we all know what needs to be done and get it done.
11. When was the last time you drank too much?
I only drink water.
12. What is your favorite music?
My favorite type of music is R&B
13. What is your favorite movie?
I love Disney movies of all sorts, there's no specific particular one. I just recently rewatched "Wendy Wu : Homecoming Warrior."
14. What is something you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do?
I wanted to try snowboarding but I've always been afraid because I'd probably face plant like those club penguins sliding down the hills.
15. What is one goal you are determined to achieve in your lifetime?
It's not really a work goal but I've always just wanted to have a happy family and do activities together because I never grew up with that.
16. What's your idea of a perfect road trip?
My perfect road trip is being able to find the right people to go on a road trip with.
17. What do you do to relax?
I hike once a week with my friends to decompress and touch grass.
18. What are 3 things you cannot live without?
I could not live without my friends, a roof, and food. I'm a very simple person.
19. What time do you typically sleep?
I'm usually KO'd by 9 PM.
20. How many hours do you typically get every night?
I sleep like 10 hours naturally but I usually will wake up 1 or 2 times within the 10 hours.
21. What is a wacky business idea that you have but never followed through with?
Not really a business idea, but I've always wanted to do dropshipping but just never got really into it as most educators in this field want you to take their paid courses.