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Original Bitcoin Wizard Artist Raises Nearly $150,000 in BTC via Lightning, Despite Criticism From Bitcoin Maximalists

Original Bitcoin Wizard Artist Raises Nearly 0,000 in BTC via Lightning, Despite Criticism From Bitcoin MaximalistsOn Monday, crypto proponent Udi Wertheimer shared a story on Twitter explaining how he and the Taproot Wizards helped an artist who created the original 2013 bitcoin wizard meme raise nearly $150,000 in bitcoin. While the minting and sale were successful, Wertheimer explained that bitcoin maximalists and the r/bitcoin moderator Bashco disliked it. Artist Who […]

Voyager’s $1B sale to Binance.US put on hold by US court

Bitcoin Records Largest Mined Block to Date, 4 MB Block Containing NFT Causes Unease Among Small-Block Supporters 

Bitcoin Records Largest Mined Block to Date, 4 MB Block Containing NFT Causes Unease Among Small-Block Supporters Amid the controversy surrounding the Ordinals project and the debate over what types of data should be stored on the Bitcoin blockchain, the network mined its largest block, nearly 4 MB in size, containing just 63 transactions. One of the transactions was a 3.94 MB Ordinal inscription featuring an image of a wizard, and the […]

Voyager’s $1B sale to Binance.US put on hold by US court

Don’t Forget the Importance of Censorship Resistance

Don’t Forget the Importance of Censorship ResistanceSince people are once again talking about self-custody as one of crypto’s unique strengths, I would like to remind everyone about an equally important fundamental value proposition of crypto that, in the early days, was touted as the killer feature. I’m talking about censorship resistance. The following opinion editorial was written by Bitcoin.com CEO Dennis […]

Voyager’s $1B sale to Binance.US put on hold by US court

How Web3 resolves fundamental problems in Web2

Web3 is the next-era internet based on decentralized architecture and some innovative concepts. Find how Web3 resolves fundamental problems in Web2.

What are the challenges with Web3

For mainstream adoption of Web3, prevalent challenges need to be dealt with. These include centralized infrastructure, lack of regulatory clarity and rug pulls.

While Web3 is perceived to be decentralized, developers integrate Web3 applications with Web2 protocols to make them work. This creates a scenario where functioning of decentralized applications is hinged to a centralized infrastructure.

Another major challenge before Web3 is a lack of regulatory clarity. Blockchain technologies are advancing fast, and regulators will take time to catch up. Absence of regulatory oversight has led to unethical behavior in some projects as happened in the FTX fiasco.

Rug pulls are another hindrance Web3 applications are facing. It happens when a malicious developer willfully leaves a window open in the code and later uses it to steal funds earned in cryptocurrencies. Fraudulent individuals breaking through the defenses is something everyone in cryptoverse is wary of. 

So is there a way to beef up the safety quotient in Web3? While Web2 safety measures like doing due diligence before investing, not sharing password credentials and keeping cautious while browsing will help, there are some specific methods for Web3. To avoid rug pull, an ideal way can be to examine the open source code before transacting. Wallets flagging the potentially malicious nature of contracts users are interacting with could also be funds-saver for many.

How Web3 resolves interoperability issues

For accelerating the acquisition of users and gaining relevance, knitting Web2 with Web3 is as essential as intra-Web3 communication. Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is an advanced technology that helps address such concerns by facilitating interoperability between blockchains.

Interoperability or “cross interaction” is a critical feature in computer systems that facilitates frictionless data exchange between Web2 and Web3, as well as within Web3 projects. An example of this feature is Twitter launching NFT profile pictures for Twitter Blue (checkmark) subscribers for iOS in Jan. 2022. Users can certify the ownership of the NFT by linking their Twitter profile to the wallet storing the NFT. To enable data exchange, as happened in this Twitter feature, engineers integrate Web2 platforms with Web3.

Intra-Web3 communication is also critical for the efficient functioning of applications. Owing to the Ethereum blockchain hosting a major chunk of DApps in Web3, being compatible with EVM is a key requirement for any project needing to be interoperable. EVM works as the runtime environment for smart contracts in Ethereum blockchain.

How interoperable blockchain works

Blockchains work in isolation and need solutions such as sidechain to connect with other chains .A sidechain is a blockchain that runs independent of the parent blockchain or mainnet through a two-way bridge. Examples of sidechain are Gnosis Chain (formly xDAI), Polygon PoS and others.

Related: Polygon blockchain explained: A beginner’s guide to MATIC

Another sidechain project is of Horizen blockchain, which is building a sidechain that will be fully compatible and interoperable with Ethereum, opening up its own broad node infrastructure to the wider Ethereum community and enabling businesses to create solutions quickly. They are also exploring the possibility of adding an EVM layer on top of other blockchain frameworks to allow greater interoperability for users to benefit from multiple ecosystems.

Can Web3 solve the problems of Web2

Web3 returns content rights to the author, enhances the security level, eliminates unfair censorship, ushers in transparency, automates the functioning of software and facilitates a creator economy.

Thanks to the characteristics of Web3, businesses can take advantage of opportunities that are beyond imagination. Concepts like decentralization and permissionless cybersphere were just in sci-fi. Nonetheless, Web3 hopes to resolve the problems in Web2, paving the way to a decentralized era in the internet.

Data ownership

Decentralization puts greater control in the hands of users, ending the monopoly of Big Tech. Users can decide whether they want to share their data or keep it private. The fact that computing power and decision making is diversified makes the system inherently more stable than centralized systems where the whole operation is hinged on a cluster of servers or a core decision-making entity or individual.

Though several Web2 applications have moved toward multi-cloud hosting, the resilience of projects that are decentralized in real terms is simply at another level. Enterprises can select a topography for their application, depending on their own data landscape and challenges to address.

Data security

Data stored in a huge centralized database is quite vulnerable. Hackers need to break through just one system to compromise valuable user data. Often, insiders play a role in tipping key information to external malicious players. Decentralized systems are designed to be resistant to such behavior by a section of participants, making security in Web3 more efficient than Web2 systems in keeping data secure.

On the contrary, when almost every company is going digital and data-driven, the risk of malicious attacks has risen exponentially as well. In such a scenario, vandalism in cyberspace has become a big threat, threatening monetary and reputation loss. Decentralization enhances the security level, if not eliminating the problems completely.

Unfair censorship

Centralized systems often subject users to unfair censorship. Decentralization transfers the authority to the participants, making it difficult for any single entity to influence a narrative that doesn’t suit them. A Web2 social media site like Twitter, for instance, can censor any tweet at any time they want. On a decentralized Twitter, tweets will be uncensorable. Similarly, payment services in Web2 might restrict payments for specific types of work.

In Web3, censorship will be hard, both for participants with good intent and malicious players. Decentralized web promises control and privacy to all participants. Moreover, network participants can take an active part in the governance of the project by casting votes. 

Financial freedom

In Web3, every participant is a stakeholder. Backed by an array of technologies that inherently resist control, Web3 promotes financial freedom. Decentralized finance (DeFi), where anyone can freely engage in financial activities, is a prime example of the independence participants enjoy.

Complying with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations opens DeFi to new user groups and mass adoption. Moreover, payments in Web2 are made in fiat, while Web3 payments are made through cryptocurrencies, though fiat payment systems can be integrated as well.


Transparency is something built into the design of decentralized ecosystems. Nodes work in tandem to ensure the frictionless functioning of the system and no single node can take a decision in isolation. Even other participants have a role in decision-making regarding governance through the casting of votes.

Related: What are governance tokens, and how do they work?

Web3 transactions are practically irreversible and traceable, thus ruling out any possibility of someone making changes in the database post-transaction. This makes Web3 a potent tool against fraudulent behavior.


Smart contracts automate the system that can function without any human intervention. The code reflects the agreement between various stakeholders, executing transactions that cannot be reversed. Smart contracts substantially bring down operational costs, eliminate prejudice and make transactions more secure.

Projects, however, have to be careful about vulnerabilities in smart contracts code that hackers can take advantage of to steal the booty. This can be overcome by getting the smart contract code thoroughly audited by a team having a proven track record in vulnerability assessments using a mix of manual and automated tooling. A Web3 example of accelerating automation is Zokyo, which specializes as an end-to-end security resource for blockchain-based projects.

Creator economy

Nonfungible tokens (NFTs), a component of the Web3 ecosystem, have added another dimension to the web economy. These tokens make each digital asset unique in some sense. Regardless of the number of times it is duplicated, there is some way to distinguish it. This feature is useful to safeguard these assets against online forgery and maintain exclusive rights of the owner over their assets. In Web3, NFTs could serve as metaverse assets, game assets, certifications and whatnot, opening up endless possibilities and empowering content creators to make money in an unprecedented manner.

Earlier, when audiences consumed the content of a creator, the audience only had the emotional or intellectual benefit. Thanks to NFTs, creators were now able to turn their community members into investors and provide them with some tangible value out of the interaction. For instance, if someone has started a group on a decentralized social media site, the first 50 subscribers might be rewarded with redeemable NFTs if they spend a certain amount of time interacting there.

Contrary to what many think, one doesn’t need to have the technical know-how to create an NFT-based economy. No code solutions such as NiftyKit are available for various development needs like building NFT smart contracts, revenue splits, embeddable SDKs (software development kits), token gating and more. Without any coding, one can begin building a creator economy.

How is Web3 different from Web2

Web3 is a decentralized, permissionless and trustless ecosystem that transfers control from a centralized entity to a pool of participants. Web2, on the other hand, is a centralized space dominated by companies like Google, Microsoft and others.

Web3 refers to the next generation of the internet that is decentralized, making it fundamentally different from Web2, a centralized ecosystem based on a client-server model. In Web2, the backend code that powers apps is deployed onto a server hosted by the likes of Google Cloud or Amazon Web Services (AWS). This system centralizes the power and these conglomerates, collectively termed Big Tech, can block access to anyone or exchange users’ crucial data for money.

However, the architecture of Web3 is designed to withdraw this undue advantage from Big Tech and decentralizes it, boosting transparency, facilitating innovation and giving users control over their data and online interactions. In Web3, there is no server or client. Rather, there is peer-to-peer file sharing, thanks to the Interplanetary File System (IPFS)

Web3 applications are permissionless (though some private blockchains require permission) and trustless. “Permissionless” refers to the capacity of seamless inter- and intra-platform communication, while “trustless” points to the characteristic where the users need to trust the network and not network participants. Web2 applications, on the contrary, require approval by the centralized authority and users’ trust to remain operational.

Voyager’s $1B sale to Binance.US put on hold by US court

Joe Biden unhappy with Elon Musk for buying a platform that “spews lies”

Biden attended a fundraising event in Chicago for upcoming elections, wherein he called out Elon Musk for purchasing Twitter.

The relevance of social media platforms in swaying global politics was first highlighted with the rise of Facebook (rebranded later to Meta), which was accused of manipulating information based on user demographics. Twitter, which was recently acquired by Elon Musk, got the short end of the stick as US President Joe Biden accused the website of spewing lies.

Biden attended a fundraising event in Chicago for upcoming elections, wherein he called out Elon Musk for purchasing Twitter. He stated:

“Now what are we all worried about? Elon Musk goes out and buys an outfit that sends and spews lies all across the world.”

While the Biden administration has previously clarified its stance to promote the suppression of hate speech and misinformation on social media platforms, the president highlighted the lack of supervision on Twitter, adding:

“There's no editors anymore. There's no editors. How do we expect kids to be able to understand what is at stake.”

Ever since Bitcoin (BTC) launched in 2010, the crypto community chose Twitter as its home for discussing various nuances and attaining consensus on the decisions made. Musk’s $44 billion Twitter acquisition came with a promise of free speech. However, with the increase in hate speech, numerous advertisers have backed out from doing business with Twitter over content moderation concerns.

Musk’s immediate course of action for Twitter includes imposing an $8/month fee for users that wish to retain their account verification.

Related: Elon Musk faces class-action suit over mass Twitter layoffs

Supporting Musk’s Twitter acquisition drive, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the CEO of crypto exchange Binance, chipped in $500 million using fiat currency.

Binance has laid out plans to form a team to support Twitter’s blockchain efforts, however, an official statement is currently being awaited.

Voyager’s $1B sale to Binance.US put on hold by US court

Ethereum inches even closer to total censorship due to OFAC compliance

The minting of OFAC-compliant Ethereum blocks on a daily basis has grown to 73%, adding to the community's growing censorship concerns.

Considering that protocol-level censorship is deterrent to the crypto ecosystem's goal of highly open and accessible finance, the community has been keeping track of Ethereum’s growing compliance with standards laid down by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Over the last 24 hours, the Ethereum network was found to enforce OFAC compliance on over 73% of its blocks.

Ethereum sporting 73% OFAC-compliant blocks. Source: mevwatch.info 

In Oct. 2022, Cointelegraph reported on the rising censorship concerns after 51% of Ethereum blocks were found compliant with OFAC standards. However, data from mevWatch confirmed that the minting of OFAC-compliant blocks on a daily basis has grown to 73% as of Nov. 3.

Ethereum's PFAC compliance trend. Source: mevwatch.info

Some MEV-Boost relays — that are regulated under OFAC — will censor certain transactions. As a result, to ensure the neutrality of Ethereum (ETH), the network needs to adopt a non-censoring MEV-Boost relay.

Ethereum validators can reduce OFAC compliance by discarding relays in their MEV-Boost configuration that censor transactions, such as BloXroute Max Profit, BloxRoute Ethical, Manifold and Relayooor.

Compliance with OFAC allows the US government agency to enforce economic and trade sanctions. Previously, the agency sanctioned Tornado Cash and several Ethereum addresses.

As of today, 45% of all Ethereum blocks are considered compliant with OFAC.

Related: Ethereum sets record ETH short liquidations, wiping out $500 million in 2 days

The mainstream adoption of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum sped up after UnionBank, one of the largest universal banks in the Philippines, debuted cryptocurrency trading in partnership with a Swiss crypto firm Metaco.

“We are proud to continue UnionBank’s series of industry firsts, this time being the first regulated bank in the country allowing digital currency exchange features for clients,” said Henry Aguda, chief technology officer and chief transformation officer at UnionBank.

Voyager’s $1B sale to Binance.US put on hold by US court

Leaked Documents Show Facebook and Twitter Working Closely With DHS, FBI to Police Disinformation: Report

Leaked Documents Show Facebook and Twitter Working Closely With DHS, FBI to Police Disinformation: ReportThe U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are reportedly working closely with major social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, to police “disinformation.” Leaked documents further show their plans to expand censorship. Leaked Documents Reveal How Department of Homeland Security Plans to Police Disinformation Leaked documents and court […]

Voyager’s $1B sale to Binance.US put on hold by US court

Twitter monetization and free speech drove Binance’s $500M injection: CZ

Binance will also assist Twitter’s integration into Web3 by implementing crypto payments and deploying a dedicated team of on-chain specialists to stop spam bot accounts.

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has explained the reasoning behind its $500 million co-investment into Elon Musk’s Twitter, citing monetization potential, crypto community free speech, and the opportunity to eventually “help bring Twitter into Web3.” 

CZ’s comments came from an Oct. 31 CNBC Squawk Box segment, where he explained what drove his co-investment with Elon Musk to acquire the social media platform noting:

"I believe Twitter has not been monetized well, it has not grown well, there's many tactical problems like bots that spam my comments, there's scammer accounts on there, it's not been run well."

“But I think the platform has huge value in itself, and especially now with Elon at the helm, we’re very confident,” he added.

Binance has not wavered in its support for Musk's acquisition of Twitter since it first announced its support in May 2022. Other co-investors include Sequoia Capital Fund, Fidelity Management and Research Company.

The Binance CEO said Twitter’s difficult price valuation didn’t impact its investment decision as they considered the long term prospects to be strong, while giving crypto a “seat at the table” when it comes to free speech:

"We're long-term investors, we believe in strong entrepreneurs, we believe in strong platforms, we believe in free speech [...] we look at this from a 10, 20, 50, 100-year basis, so a little price fluctuation on a monthly basis doesn't bother us."

However, decisions as to what Twitter accounts are re-activated won’t lie in the hands of Musk, who said that a new “content moderation council” will bear the duty to determine what banned user accounts are restored.

However, the billionaire entrepreneur confirmed in a tweet that the council will exercise its discretion with “widely diverse viewpoints.”

CZ says it invested as it also hopes to play a part in Twitter’s eventual transition to Web3, such as adding cryptocurrency-based payments on to the social media platform.

“We want to help solve those immediate problems like charging for memberships [....] that can be done very easily by using cryptocurrencies as a means of payment.”

According to a Reuters report on Oct. 28, the crypto exchange plans to create a dedicated team to work on potential crypto and blockchain-based solutions for Twitter.

The new team will explore how to build on-chain solutions to address issues such as spam bot accounts.

Related: Twitter’s top brass gutted as Elon Musk’s takeover begins

Binance’s $500 million investment into Twitter makes them the fourth-largest shareholder in the social media platform amongst 19 investors.

Twitter is also no longer a publicly-traded company, having been delisted from the New York Stock Exchange (NSYE) on Oct. 28, following Musk’s decision to take the company private.

Voyager’s $1B sale to Binance.US put on hold by US court

Ethereum solo validators that censor blocks should ‘be tolerated’ — Buterin

Speaking about a hypothetical scenario, the Ethereum co-founder said censorship should be tolerated depending on the case.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin believes that solo validators that choose not to include certain transactions should “be tolerated” to stop the Ethereum community from becoming the “morality police.”

Vitalik Buterin made the comment in reply to a Twitter poll from latetot.eth, discussing a hypothetical scenario whereby a validator censors a transaction that doesn’t align with their beliefs.

The thread, published on Oct. 17, asked what should happen if a solo validator, in a country at war with another, decides not to process a block because it includes donations to the opposing military force. 

According to Ethereum’s co-founder, the answer for a censorship case should be aligned with the level of transgression.

The post attracted notable attention, as Vitalik explained in the thread that any other answer would potentially lead to turning the Ethereum community into morality police: 

In Ethereum proof-of-stake (PoS), validators decide what transactions to include in their blocks if any. PoS is a modern consensus method that powers decentralized finance (DeFi) projects and cryptocurrencies.

Also answering the thread, Martin Köppelmann, co-founder of Gnosis and a long-time Ethereum decentralized application developer, said he agreed with tolerating the validator in that situation while warning about how MEV-boost censorship rising in Ethereum following the Merge. 

Although the thread discusses a hypothetical scenario, concerns about censorship in the Ethereum network surged last week, with 51% of Ethereum blocks being compliant with the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) standards as of Oct. 14, as MEV-Boost relays take over market share one month after the Merge. 

Related: Ripple wants to bring Ethereum smart contracts to the XRP Ledger

MEV-Boost relays are centralized entities acting as trusted mediators between block producers and builders. All Ethereum PoS validators can outsource their block production to other builders. Due to Ethereum’s upgrade to a PoS consensus, MEV-Boost has been enabled to a more representative distribution of block proposers, rather than a small group of miners under proof-of-work (PoW).

As noted in a recent opinion piece, Slava Demchuk, CEO and co-founder of AMLBot, the Ethereum upgrade could bring modifications in Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) practices in the crypto industry. He stated:

“U.S. regulators are increasingly expressing concerns about the huge sums circulating in DeFi without any control. As the Ethereum blockchain serves as the primary chain for most tokens, its recent shift from PoW to PoS may be used as an argument for their attempts to influence (at least a part of) the decentralized market.”

Voyager’s $1B sale to Binance.US put on hold by US court

48% of Ethereum Blocks Face Censorship From OFAC-Compliant Flashbots

48% of Ethereum Blocks Face Censorship From OFAC-Compliant FlashbotsFor a couple of years now, MEV-Boost relays or Flashbots have become popular tools in order to gather the maximum value that can be extracted from Ethereum’s block production. However, in recent times, Flashbots have been controversial as people believe the technology threatens Ethereum’s censorship-resistance. This is because Flashbots account for 48% of blocks that […]

Voyager’s $1B sale to Binance.US put on hold by US court