Issue #20
Week 4 2021

WSB vs EVIL

r/wallstreetbets vs Hedge Fund Shorts in Game of High Speed Chicken

wsb01

This mess might be about many things, but mostly it seems to be about power. Power not just to shape the stock market, but also to shape a narrative. r/wallstreetbets discovered a game being played by big Wall Street short sellers and turned their bet against them to the tune of tens of billions. 

Crowdsourcing has shaken the financial world... 

... by exposing and exploiting illegal naked short selling. It has revealed the hypocracy of many short sellers now facing losses. Perhaps most importantly, it has prompted stunning responses from multiple major online brokers.

> 50% of Robinhood users own at least some GameStop stock...

The drastic reactive measures taken by brokers to benefit themselves as well as shorting hedge funds has shaken the faith of investors from all walks of life in this evermore apparently centralized market. Might this turn of events actually mark "the beginning of the end of centralized finance"?

What a thing to bring us all together...

How can we best sum up what we're witnessing as crowdsourced financial empowerment meets with supposed free market integrity?

'What’s good for the goose is good for the gander'?
'The cat is out of the bag'?
'The kids have found the matches'?

There is surely plenty more debate to come over 'what's happening'. To put it simply, retail investors have come to recognize their strength in numbers, along with a way to take advantage of some especially greedy Wall Street funds. It seems 'the tables have turned'.

Free markets are not looking so free...

As the struggle for control over the lens this story will be viewed through carries on, the integrity of our financial system is being tested like never before. It is r/wallbtreetbets who deserves much of the credit for directing the spotlight to the Wall Street reaction. An abrupt reaction which seems to embrace a perspective of insiders and outsiders.

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They are just protecting unsophisticated investors from themselves...

The lens Wall Street criminals would have everyone see things through is unlikely to reveal anything resembling a two-tiered system, cultivating what essentially amounts to class warfare.

Speaking of warfare, it is hard not to wonder what other illegal naked shorts might be targeted next.

This is about ready to get really interesting...

'Reddit user 'TheHappyHawaiian' posted the following thesis on buying silver noting that "the worlds biggest short squeeze is possible and we can make history."'

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pranksky-fox-nft

Pranksys Unearthed Interview Exclusive!

This week we all waited in front of our screens, either TV screens or PC screens, to watch the first mention of NFTs on FOX NEWS.

Of course it was the usual suspect Pranksy, who made it to the news due to his huge NBATopShot collection which he is selling.

Some of us in the EU stayed up really late to witness it live and on time. But it was a bit disappointing because it all happened so fast.

Made us wonder here at RLE Gazette HQ if there was more to it. Our investigative hounds were determined to get to the bottom of this.

So we unearthed EXCLUSIVELY for you the complete interview, that you can read below.

Pranksy: I'm a 29-year-old male game designer by the way as my day job for bg

FOX: Very cool, and how and when did you get started with TopShot?

Pranksy: On alpha launch day June last year

FOX: And how many packs did you buy?

Pranksy: I spent around 100k $ on packs, over the first 3 months, then I sold a lot of moments to bring myself to profit, and then early January 2021 as I saw the market starting to rapidly increase in volume, I spent a further 700k $ on buying out entire accounts from other users

FOX: Any estimate on the value of what you currently hold?

Pranksy: Right now I've made a profit in excess of 500k $ and my account floor value is 6.13 M $.

I've been in NFTs or 'non-fungible tokens' since 2017 and been a strong believer in digital assets since.

FOX: So initial and more recent investments have paid out handsomely, but why did you feel confident investing, to begin with?
What made you think this was something that might blow up?

Pranksy: As above I've been around the space since 2017 I started with 800$ balance worth of a cryptocurrency called 'ethereum' and using my knowledge of game economics.

I've traded my way to a net worth of 8-10 M $. TopShot is not my first digital collectible rodeo, I knew the development team well and saw the quality of the product in comparison to its competitors

In a podcast in July last year, I go into much more detail about why I thought it could be really successful. The main points are ease of access for non-crypto users and the NBA brand.

And the visuals supporting each moment.

FOX: And the dumb q: 'moments' are the equivalent of moving trading cards? Like that's what you call an individual card or whatever

Pranksy: Yeah. It’s a fully license mp4 clip of a famous play. The most famous so far probably being Lebron’s β€˜Kobe’ dunk tribute. 

Fox: Got it.

Pranksy: So, it’s a fully-fledged and licensed digital collectible. 

Fox: And you think it’s possible this model replaces the hard-copy cardboard trading card market some day?

Pranksy: Is there any chance we could link my social in the broadcast?

Fox: Yup. If we’re identifying you as Pranksy, we’ll probably include your Twitter handle. 

Pranksy: Thanks. Remember the NFT at the end

Fox: haha will do

Pranksy: So why do I think these are the future? Consider generations who now only know of a digital lifestyle, social media, etc. How much of their life do they share on tik tok and Instagram, and no longer take photos for their mantelpiece? I think this is the collectible equivalent

Fox: It certainly seems replicable by every other sports league 

Pranksy: Those include, an instant international marketplace, no fear of forgeries because the creation and a full history of those collectibles are saved on the blockchain. No fear of losing the cardboard card in the post, no delay of 6 months to get an item β€˜graded’. You can also display really unique methods of collectible incentives in metadata, such as serial number, set types limits, etc. And yes absolutely this formula can be taken beyond the NBA. Dapper already has a UFC license. 

Fox: Any idea where you stack up compared to other collectors of Top Shot moments?

Pranksy: I believe in terms of floor value I am 3rd in the world. In terms of number of moments, I am first. There are a couple of major collectors who have not been selling since the start. I prefer to remain liquid so continue to list and collect. I’ve also just agreed to hold for 2 of my moments

Fox: Oh, very cool. Which ones?

Pranksy: With Heritage sports or Goldin. I’m currently negotiating with both sites. They are the biggest sports collectible auction houses I believe. 

Fox: And which moments?

Pranksy: Zion rookie debut #1 and Giannis rub it back #1 (it’s the only moment from his rookie season) 2013-14

Fox: Got it!

Big appreciation to Pranksy for providing the material.

Must be noted that it’s the first time an Avastar also made it to the small screen through Pranksy. Since then, the Pranksy team has successfully launched and sold out their  NFT Box. In only 6 minutes 500 boxes were sold out, with the sales keeping up strong on the secondary! Wow congratulations!

It will not be long until Pranksy will make headlines again as his Zion Williamson RD #1 moment is currently auctioned on Herritage Sportsο»Ώ and the auction is ending in almost a month’s time.

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Mark Cuban and Souljaboy on Rarible

Two big celebrities hit the NFT market as billionaire Mark Cuban, and rapper Soulja Boy released their own NFT's on Rarible this week. 

Cuban tweeted out on Wednesday a link to a collection of NFTs called "The RollUp 2021," a collection of 10 GIF's of Cuban showing off his breathtaking dance moves.

breathtaking

The NFT's originally listed for a price of 0.02ETH. But they quickly shot up in price on the secondary market as two were bought for a whopping 30 and 35 ETH by @0x_b1. As soon as @0x_b1 got them he had the balls to burn one of them, essentially lighting $54,000 on fire. 

Soulja Boy got in on the action, too, as he released NFT's called, "Soulja Boy' Crank That'" a collection of 20 on Rarible. He has only sold 12 of the 20 and is currently selling them for 5 ETH each, but people are only offering around 0.75 ETH. 

He has been tweeting a lot about crypto this week and is looking to make his own coin called "SouljaCoin." He wouldn't be the first rapper to release his own shitcoin, as Lil Yachty minted his own Yachtycoin back in December. I wonder if his coin will brick worse than his NFTs. We all know why he's here, and the crypto community isn't falling for it.

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Flow Blockchain

 by Dapper Labs

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Dappers Lab, the creators of CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot, created a new blockchain called Flow. Flow is a decentralized proof stake blockchain that is aiming to make blockchain technology more mainstream. Flow also recently released their Flow token for trading on Kraken on Jan. 27, 2021.  

 

Flow plans on bringing blockchains to mainstream adoption by having fun game projects on the chain. As mentioned in issue #19, NBA Top Shot is built on Flow. This is just one of the many upcoming projects to be built on Flow. Some of the announced projects to be released on Flow are UFC digital collectiblesDr. Suess digital collectibles, and a digital avatar maker called Genies. They have also signed deals with Warner Music Group and Ubisoft to use their blockchain technology in the future.

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Going with the $FLOW 

Back in October, $FLOW raised $18 million on CoinList through a community sale and auction. The sale was capped to a $1k investment per person, and the tokens are "subject to a two-year total lock-up period where 50% of tokens are unlocked at the end of year one, and remaining tokens unlock linearly over the 2nd year." Through the community sale, $9 million was raised. Through the auction, they were able to raise $9.5 million, and these tokens are "subject to a 1-year lock-up."

Now the coin is not available to trading for American/Canadian users, and it is unknown when this will change. It's funny how American companies can partner up and profit with this, but Americans can't. It kinda reminds me of how elitism in Wall Street works. 

This week, $FLOW was released for trading and already taken the #109 spot by market cap on Coingecko, with a market cap of $207,309,290. The token was released at $4.94 and is currently up by 80%, sitting at $9.06. But that price has a question mark as the supply is very limited and demand really high. We are very bullish on this coin as the new blockchain is expected to grow. Plus, we are heading into Alt Season baby!

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It will be fascinating to see where this project goes, especially with all these big companies partnering up with Flow. And if it's anything like TS, it should go to the mooooooon!

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dark_forest

The Shameless Shilling

Dark Forest

Dark Forest is a real-time strategy game played over a Layer-2 solution on Ethereum.

Based on Cixin Liu’s award-winning book by the same name, players compete in a cryptographically suped-up Galcon clone. The game looks to capture Liu’s concept of cosmic sociology and its two primary axioms, β€œFirst: Survival is the primary need of civilization. Second: Civilization continuously grows and expands, but the total matter in the universe remains constant” (The Dark Forest).

During the beta rounds, players are challenged to grow their galactic empires to compete for xDAI (you know… the cryptographically backed and overcollateralized USD stablecoin transacted off-chain, but with limited counter-party risk). 

darkforest

The game loop is as follows: Find a nearby planet that is weaker than you; select a nearby planet you control to attack it; use that newly attacked planet to attack its neighbors. This is somewhat complicated by redirecting silver from asteroids to your planets so that you can upgrade them. Things get speculative with the introduction of NFTs.

Galconking

In the latest beta release, v0.5, players may randomly encounter artifacts of varying scarcity and biome. These artifacts have some in-game utility, increasing player scores and specific stats of their planets. These artifacts also happen to be NFTs that can be withdrawn from planets into their controlling player’s wallets. To date, there is no roadmap explaining what (if anything) these artifacts will be used for.

If you are interested in playing:

  1. Gather a beta key.
  2. Buy some DAI.
  3. Transfer that DAI into xDAI.
  4. Create a new private/public key pair.
  5. Create an account on zkga.me
  6. Turn on auto-payments under 0.01$
  7. Visit plugins.zkga.me ο»Ώto get some key plugins to make the game more playable
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The remarkable complexity and beauty of Dark Forest is its commitment to a fog of war on a blockchain. This is an impressive feat, given that blockchains are public ledgers which do not take well to operating with hidden states.

When you begin the game, you are secluded on a planet without any real knowledge of the enormous map around you. To begin exploring, you need to start by hashing coordinates. Once your CPU cores crunch the numbers, you’ll get to know what lies under a tiny portion of the thick fog. This creates a real fourth-wall breaking feeling, but in a way that draws you in rather than pushes you out. 

Right away I was starting to imagine where I might score a better computer to compute hashes faster. Eventually, I figured out there was a plug-in to hash remotely and got some help connecting my game to an AWS server. This sped up exploration by a factor of 4, but beyond this interesting hashing gimmick is a far more difficult accomplishment: Every move in Dark Forest is actually a zkSNARK.

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That is to say a proof that what you have done is valid, without actually revealing what it is you have done. Players will collect your meaningless proofs, but only once they’ve discovered a particular square will they be able to piece together its history. This is how the fog of war is preserved without allowing players to cheat. These SNARKS are also computationally expensive, meaning each move takes a few seconds to calculate before publishing. The game’s creators are supposedly mining data surrounding SNARK proof calculation time to better understand these magical cryptographic tools and further their science.

On a parting note, for anyone looking for the big kahuna in terms of DF NFT here is the scoop: There are four tiers of rarity (common, rare, epic, legendary) and after 4 days of playing, this is what I had. In this past season, there was an additional contest to produce community generated plug-ins. The winner of the contest has yet to be determined, but they will receive an artifact of Mythic quality which so far has never appeared in-game.

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blog.zkga.me 

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