September 11, 2023

Red Sky At Morning

Red Sky At Morning

Presented by CryptoLink.Tech

Volume 1 | Edition 12 | September 7, 2023

Opening Thoughts

¼ of a year is now in the books!

3 months of Chain Reaction and we are still going strong.

Those of you currently reading this, consider yourself early to one of the top media sources in all of web3 (soon 😉).

While I do think Chain Reaction is going to be a huge part of what we are building out in the future, it’s simply just the catalyst for something much larger.

You may have heard me talk about a larger media brand before. It’s coming.

There are a lot of things being worked on in the background at CryptoLink and an expanded media/content brand is one of them. It’s been on the slate for a while now but I finally have the go ahead to get the ball rolling on all fronts.

Written, auditory, and visual content are all on the way for the CryptoLink ecosystem over the course of the last quarter. While many media and news brands in the space have honed in on one medium we are going to attack them all. Different shows/publications will have their own purposes and styles with the end goal of having a full suite of free web3 content for the world to consume.

One thing we have learned is that we (all of web3) are desensitized to any sort of traditional “advertisement”. Old school video ads and marketing campaigns simply don’t have the same effect, especially in the web3 space.

I think we have come up with some clever ways to combat that and creating a “free value brand” is one of them.

We haven’t narrowed down a brand name or structure quite yet but that’s something that I am working on currently.

There is your little bit of alpha for the day.

Let’s hop into some news, shall we?

Cryptolink Connect

Latest and greatest in the CryptoLink ecosystem!

W3RKing Together: New Weekly X Space with W3RKS and EgoVerse Teams

Do you know what we love more than partnerships?

The teams behind them.

I am pleased to announce that beginning next Wednesday (September 13) we will be co-hosting a regular X space with teh W3RKS and EgoVerse teams!

This space will be held on Wednesdays from 2-4 PM Eastern Time.

The goal of holding a weekly space is to expand both of our networks and begin to acquaint ourselves with our two communities further over time! The topics will range from our partnership to events in the greater crypto space.

We may even bring in the occasional guest to have a chat and network.

Be sure to tune into the spaces starting next Wednesday at 2PM Eastern Time!

Also, if you haven’t already, please give the W3RKS and EgoVerse X accounts a follow!

World Of Web3

This section covers major recent developments and trends in the crypto and AI world.

Musical ETFs: SEC Forced to Look at Ethereum ETFs

With all the chatter about the Bitcoin ETFs the past month and a half it’s nice to hear a new name!

The Chicago Board Options Exchange has filed what is called a 19b-4 which obligates the SEC to take action.

This decision comes after ARK Invest and 21 Shares teamed up to file an S-1 for an Ethereum ETF.

The difference between a 19b-4 and an S-1 is that a 19b-4 is filed by a regulated exchange to propose a rule change. An S-1 is filed by an investment entity to state intentions to launch an investment vehicle on an exchange. (Cointelegraph 2023)

The pressure is now on the SEC to act and make a decision on ETH ETFs. They can delay the decision like they did for the BTC ETFs, but they can no longer remain dormant.

This puts an end to the 2-year waiting period VanEck has had since they filed an S-1 for their own ETH ETF.

Bullish on ETFs, anon?

Either way it’s good to see more pressure put on Gary and his cronies!

Fed-Nado: Tornado Cash Co-Founder Pleads Not Guilty

As many of you know, Tornado Cash co-founder Roman Storm was picked up by US authorities last month and was recently released on bail.

Storm is pleading not guilty to all charges against him related to money laundering and avoiding US sanctions. (Cointelegraph 2023)

Another co-founder, Alexey Pertsev, was rounded up by authorities in the Netherlands about a year ago and has since been out waiting for his court date.

The charges brought against the founders of Tornado Cash revolve around Tornado Cash’s alleged involvement with North Korean money laundering that helped fund their nuclear program.

It is unclear to me whether or not they are being charged because they simply set up the protocol or if they are being charged because there is some sort of evidence that they actively aided North Korean hackers in finding Tornado Cash as an option for laundering.

It may be interesting to note that Storm’s legal representation is the same as Virgil Griffith’s, a developer who is being charge with actively aiding North Korea in using blockchain technology to launder money. ( 2023)

This case sets a scary precedent in my opinion.

If you can be charged for simply setting up an open-source protocol and not actively engaging in any legal activities, we are possibly f*****.

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, recently admitted to using Tornado Cash to send aid to Ukraine. Is the US government going to go after Vitalik?

Of course not.

Draw your own conclusions but this is suspect at the minimum.

GP-Thief: OpenAI Receives Lawsuit

A little AI news to break the monotony!

A class action lawsuit has been filed against OpenAI for training it’s AI models such as GPT, DALL-E, VALL-E, and others on stolen data and information from Microsoft users.

Microsoft and OpenAI were both named as Defendents in the case.

Just when you thought they were the good guys, right?

Let’s be real, we all subconsciously knew this was happening. How the hell else do you train a language model as fantastic as GPT-4?

The greater issue of data scraping and information theft is something that isn’t going away anytime soon. Welcome to the Information Age, my friends.

Should we just accept that it’s going to happen? No, that’s probably far too slippery of a slope.

But you can’t look at an incredible product like GPT and not wonder how they created it.

This makes you wonder…

What other sacrifices must be made to enjoy great products and services?

Where do we draw the line?

Notice I asked far more questions in this bit than normal. I think that speaks to the larger issue.

Interchain Intel

Updates and insights from across different blockchain networks.

OnChain Summer Heat: Base NFT Numbers Soar

Where? lol

So, this one took me by surprise because I haven’t personally heard a single thing about NFTs on Base, but now I need to do some extra digging.

According to Cointelegraph, Base saw over 700k NFTs minted by 260k+ unique wallets in August!

Apparently Base partnered with over 50 artists, creators, and companies to promote the “OnChain Summer” launch campaign and saw over $250 million bridged over in the first week… (let’s get those validators spun up folks… we could have that volume!)

Like I said, I don’t know much about the NFT scene on Base but I did know there was a whole lot of DeFi-ing going on over there the last month. 700k NFTs being minted has me searching for those launch pads, though. 👀

We could be there for it.

Tell your friends, your friend’s friends, your family, your estranged cousin, your ex-girlfriend from high school…


Chess Not Checkers: Binance Un-Rugs Community

The Binance Exchange has set up a contract to reimburse users who lost funds in the Xirtam rug pull.

I am not familiar with the rugged project but this is very much like Binance to do, and I support it.

The individuals that rugged the project immediately deposited the funds into a Binance Exchange account, which Binance promptly froze.

This is pretty on-par for Binance, whether you like them or not they do enjoy playing the protagonist character arc out. CZ always seems to be playing chess while the rest of the blockchain world is playing checkers with Gary Gensler.

I’m still not sure what to make of Binance…

Are they good guys? Are they bad guys?

Are there any good/bad guys or is everyone just playing the same PvP game?

This newsletter is loaded with questions this week, folks.

Anyways, if you happened to be affected by the Xirtam bull**** then I urge you to look into the Binance reimbursement contract! There is more information in the Cointelegraph article below!

Tech Trends/Decoded Combo

Here, we explore the latest technological advancements and innovations in the blockchain space.

This week we are going to include Decoded in this segment because I am going to break down a few topics in Tech Trends in order for it to make sense.

Zero-Knowledge Meets Regulation: Can They Co-Exist?

Vitalik recently co-authored a paper on how it’s possible for zero-knowledge proofs and regulation to co-exist in harmony.

Ok, this can be super dense information so I am going to try to be as coherent as possible.

To the devs and blockchain tech geeks that may be reading this, please don’t get all worked up if things are over-simplified a bit. We are here to make sure everyone can get a grasp on new tech and keep up with the latest movements in crypto.

Now, if you don’t know what zero-knowledge proofs are that’s ok, we are going to break them down here again.

We could do an entire paper on what a zero-knowledge proof is, but here is the essence…

A zero-knowledge proof is a way of proving a statement to be true without revealing any extra information about the statement.

If that is a hard statement to digest initially, have no fear because it took me a second as well. Let’s break down an example of how this may be useful in the real world.

Let’s say that a service provider needs to prove that you are a citizen of country ‘z’ to participate in their offering. Normally you would need to divulge a ton of personal information to prove that to be true, such as address, birth certificate, passport etc…

What if you could prove to the service provider that you were a citizen of country ‘z’ without giving them your address?

Another example for the younger crowd would be getting into a bar.

In the United States you need to be 21 to get into most bars in the evening and to prove this you show your ID to the bouncer at the door. This means giving some random guy at some random bar your address and full name just to have a beer with the lads.

What if you could prove you were of age without having to give the bouncer your personal information?

Now you are starting to see the use for zero-knowledge proofs.

The problem in crypto is that zero-knowledge proofs can be used to launder illegal funds from wallet to wallet with no trace. A perfect example of this would be Tornado Cash, like we discussed earlier.

Now we jump into what Vitalik’s paper is all about.

Vitalik and his co-authors introduced the idea of “Association Sets

With the use of these association sets, users would be able to exclude known scammer wallets from their set and therefore prove that they have no interaction with these wallets without divulging the wallets they actually interact with.

The idea is that users want to increase their association set size to increase anonymity while excluding known “bad guy” wallets from those sets to prove innocence.

Back to the examples,

We have Atlas, Wally, Cletus, Druuu, and Arsh.

All of these individuals are law-abiding while Arsh is a well-known thief.

Atlas, Wally, Cletus, and Druuu would be capable of removing Arsh from their association sets while Arsh wouldn’t be able to remove himself from his own set.

Any funds sent between Wally, Atlas, Druuu, and Cletus would not be able to be traced to and from the sender and recipient but everyone would know that Arsh was not involved in any transactions with those 4.

Buterin et. al. 2023

Vitalik and his co-authors believe that this could be a step forward in keeping the integrity of the Tornado Cash idea while removing association with bad actors that have run rampant on its technology.

In reality this is a much higher-level topic than I am giving it the credit for here. However, the goal of this newsletter is to break these topics down for everyone to understand.

Remember, we are building a web3 for everyone!

Final Byte: Wally’s Wisdom

Ok, now ¼ of a year is actually in the books.

This is really just the start, folks. The Chain Reaction name was chosen for a reason.

If you have been searching for a solid source for all crypto content, we are going to bring that to you.

We do it all here. Tech, Media, Ferrets, Fantasy Football.

It’s late and I have a lot on my plate for the next… checks calendar rest of my life with all these brands we are managing so I must bid you farewell.

If you are reading this with your morning coffee, have a phenomenal Thursday. Remember that thing you have been putting off isn’t going to do itself.

If you are reading this at the end of your day, I hope your beverage of choice is cold and your day was electric.

I love you all.


Marketing & Branding
CryptoLink.Tech & Everything Else

ZEALY CODE: How great is it that we don’t do this anymore lol