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MATH Wallet explained, what is MATH crypto

MATH is a crypto platform and ecosystem that combines several applications including, MathChain, MathPay, MathWallet, Math VPOS pool, Math Staking and Math Dapp store.

Math was founded in 2018 by Eric Yu who was previously the CTO of Zhongtopia, the largest mutual aid platform in China with in excess of ten million users. 

Eric Yu was also the CTO and co-founder of XunFang Tech. MATH is backed by Fenbushi Capital, Alameda Research, Binance Labs, Multicoin Capital and NGC

MATH Wallet supports more than 165 public blockchains including, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Polkadot, Binance Smart Chain, Solana, Kusama, Filecoin, Arbitrum, Huobi ECO Chain, Polygon, OKExChain, Moonriver, Fantom, Avalanche, Optimistic Ethereum, Celo, Flow, TRON, Near, Statemine, Karura, Bifrost, ChainX, CRUST, Moonbeam, Clover, Darwinia, EOS, Binance Chain, Cronos, Terra, Cosmos, IRISnet, Secret Network, KAVA, THORChain, Band Protocol, Conflux, PlatON, RSK, Klaytn, Nervos, Ontology, VeChain, HooSmartChain, Harmony, Shiden, Substrate, GateChain, KCC, Calamari, Basilisk, KILT Spiritnet, EVM, Eth2, Aurora, Edgeware, Equilibrium, Kulupu, Stafi, Subsocial, Sora, Darwinia Crab, CoinEx Smart Chain, ZILLIQA, EOS FORCE, Palm, Boba, YAS, FIBOS, BOS, Telos and BSC Testnet. This list is constantly growing.

MATH allows its users to invest and grow their crypto portfolios using automated quant trading via MathSwap and also earn interest of up to 30% on their digital crypto assets using MATH VPoS Pool. MATH users can also deposit crypto, use crypto for payments at zero fees via MathPay and also get instant loans. Lastly, MathNews provides up-to-date news about the public chains supported by the MATH ecosystem

With the MATH Dapp store, users can get access to Dapps such as MATH Cloud Wallet, Polkadot VPoS Pool, Binance Staking Tool, Uniswap, SushiSwap, Near Staking Tools and others.

The MATH token was introduced on 22nd October 2019 and is an ERC-20 token that allows staking and provides a validator infrastructure to networks and offers rewards to its users. 

MATH Dapp Factory provides users with tools that can help simplify the development of exchanges, games and other types of decentralised apps.

MathWallet is a multi-platform (mobile/desktop/hardware) universal crypto wallet that enables the storage of over 50 blockchains and over 3000 tokens and has in excess of one million users. 

Currently, MathWallet is the only extension wallet that supports multi-chain Dapps. 

MathWallet generates wallets completely on the client side, allows users to unlock a variety of key types including private keys and mnemonics and allows users to easily send tokens. 

MathWallet is focused mainly on smart wallets but also on exclusive blockchain applications. 

MathWallet is a decentralised parachain-powered L2 that allows for the easy exchange of Ethereum, BSC, Polkadot, Filecoin, Rollups and EVM side chains. 

The two primary objectives of Mathchain are to support multi-chains and offer the possibility to connect to all Layer2 networks and also to help reduce transaction fees in order for them to be more affordable for regular users.

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DeFi Explained

While crypto may still be seen by some as “underground”, a place for enthusiasts and tech nerds, DeFi is something that everyone should be paying closer attention to.

It could be that in a relatively short time the way we bank, borrow, lend, carry out financial speculation and even buy insurance could radically change.


Welcome to the world of DeFi!

DeFi stands for decentralised finance. It offers a decentralised financial system that eliminates the need for traditional middlemen: banks, payment providers, exchanges, insurance etc

DeFi today is still very much in its infancy but has a very promising future, potentially providing a more financially accessible and egalitarian possibility for millions, maybe one day even billions, of people around the world. 

That sounds like a good thing indeed!


TradFi vs DeFi

Traditional Finance is, as the name suggests, traditional financial players like commercial and investment banks and brokerage houses that can often be hundreds of years old and are involved in every aspect of finance from banking to trading and everything in between. 

On the opposite of that spectrum are the young new upstarts starting a revolution by throwing hand grenades into the traditional and gentile world of TradFi. 

These DeFi upstarts envision a world where there are no organisations controlling access to the world of finance and where the rule book is literally set alight and unceremoniously thrown out the window. 

In this article we are looking at the highly innovative world of DeFi and how it contrasts and potentially threatens the cosy and highly entrenched world of traditional finance (TradFi ).


DeFi vs TradFi, a historically monumental shift

Today’s financial systems might feel antiquated when compared to the wonders of the technology-driven world we live in. 

The world of TradFi tries to keep up with consumer needs by building on top of an existing closed system and open finance has helped somewhat to drag TradFi into the modern age. 

We must however keep in mind that even open finance whilst fresh and innovative is still constrained by the rules and limitations of traditional finance and their way of doing things.

DeFi on the other hand is starting from scratch in many ways and building something totally new and free from the constraints of TradFi.

The inescapable fact is that times and consumer habits, needs and expectations have changed and now technology exists that can facilitate the kind of monumental shift we are seeing in the crypto world. 

It is no different to automobiles challenging the horse and cart or online travel agencies such as Expedia or Booking.com challenging traditional travel agencies during the early internet boom.


So, what does DeFi potentially have in store for us? 

First, do note that this is a revolution and not an evolution. 

The automobile wasn’t a horse that could go faster, the automobile eliminated the horse completely from the picture. 

In much the same way DeFi is not an evolution in TradFi but rather a true revolution, a re-start from scratch, in a sense. 

Of course, people’s core financial needs are still pretty much the same: earn, hold, pay, save, borrow, lend, invest, convert, trade, insure, donate. 

But the infrastructure to do those “basic” things is about to be re-written completely!

Just as in the early days of automobiles when there were plenty of accidents along the way, no speed limits, no speed cameras or speeding tickets, DeFi is currently a bit of an unregulated, free and “wild-west” of finance. 

It’s basically doing everything that traditional finance does, and more, without re-using a single piece of it.


DeFi explained

Decentralised Finance is the “money” arm of the crypto world. 

Think of it as Wall Street 2.0, where decentralised companies go public and services like lending, borrowing and derivative trading can all be accessed by anyone.


How Defi Started

In many ways, Bitcoin could be seen as the very first example of DeFi even though the term DeFi hadn’t been coined yet, if you pardon the pun! 

Bitcoin was and still is a decentralised monetary system independent of any government or central organisation, the very essence of DeFi. 

But the only use cases were “hold” and “pay”. There was no lending, borrowing, trading or anything else natively built on the Bitcoin blockchain.

The first example of what we would today consider to be Decentralised Finance started in 2015 with Maker. 

Maker had a vision to create a decentralised financial system that would be governed by its user community and, in doing so, give borrowers more control of their assets. 

Maker allows users to borrow Dai, the platform’s native token which is pegged to the US dollar. 

This is one via a set of smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain, which govern the loan, repayment, and liquidation processes

So Maker lends money against collateral, like a pawn shop or a real estate mortgage dealer. 

That was DeFi use case #1. 

In 2018 Uniswap was released and allowed the exchange of any token for another token without the need for a central exchange and in 2020 AAVE made lending and borrowing decentralised. 

From then on things went crazy and today you can earn, hold, pay, save, borrow, lend, invest, convert, trade, insure, and donate with Decentralised Protocols. 

Whereas in open finance fintech apps are interfacing with established financial institutions to provide consumers with a greater ease of use, developers in the DeFi world are rewriting the rule book completely. 

They are not looking for ways to integrate with traditional intermediaries but rather eliminate them from the picture completely! 

Why connect to a bank’s back end if everyone can hold their own keys and be their own banks?

How can this be possible you might be asking, don´t we need these very solid financial establishments like banks to provide us with lending, borrowing, derivative trading facilities and so forth? 

Well, it turns out that we maybe don’t. 

As mentioned above, the majority of DeFi applications are built on top of very sophisticated blockchain technology called Ethereum which had a market value of $225 billion as of 2nd August 2023. 

To put this into perspective, Barclays Bank had a market cap of $31 billion on the same day. 

So the market cap of Ethereum was nearly 7x that of Barclays Bank! 

Considering that Ethereum came into being in 2015 and Barclays Bank was founded way back in 1896, Ethereum is certainly no financial lightweight when compared to the big boys in TradFi. 


There are four main tenets that all DeFi apps share

DeFi apps use a blockchain as their core ledger

All DeFi apps use blockchains for their underlying technology, a few of the most prominent blockchains used to build DeFi apps include Ethereum, Solana, Terra, and Binance Chain. The blockchain performs the central task of recording a ledger of all transactions in the form of blocks.

DeFi apps are open source and transparent by design

Being open source and transparent by nature allows a level of auditability making it possible to delve into smart contracts to see exactly what a smart contract is doing in terms of functions, user data and permissions. Lastly, the entire flow of funds is auditable, this is pretty major when compared to TradFi where everything is hidden away behind proprietary systems accessible only by people on the inside.

DeFi apps are interoperable and programmable

We often hear about “money legos” when looking at DeFi. This is a reference to their composability. Each individual DeFi app can be seen as a “Lego brick” for a specific financial service or product that can be freely combined with others. These “Lego bricks” are in a sense clicked together for each individual transaction in real-time enabling a level of speed, flexibility and innovation that would be unthinkable or even impossible in the way more closed-off and proprietary world of TradFi.

This is why innovation happens so fast: if you want to build a service that requires “swapping” tokens and “lending tokens” as fundamental building blocks and then adds some value on top, you don’t need to rebuild those two building blocks, you can just “plug into” Uniswap” and “AAVE”, and you only need to build the small thing that is unique to your app. 

In traditional finance that could take months of negotiations; in DeFi it takes the minutes required to connect to an API.

DeFi apps are open and accessible to all

One of the most underappreciated aspects of DeFi products is the inherent equality of accessibility. No institution or intermediary can deny service which is also known as being permissionless. 

If you have sufficient funds within your wallet for the transaction that you wish to carry out, you can do it irrespective of where you are from or who you are, it’s as simple as that. 

Compare that to TradFi where an individual can still decide whether a person gets approved for a loan or can even open up a bank account! 

The DeFi world does not care about these sorts of things. 

As long as you have enough coins or tokens in place to carry out the desired transaction there is nobody there to stop you. 

In a world where discrimination sadly still exists and where so many people around the world still do not have access to basic banking facilities let alone sophisticated financial services it´s clearly about time!


The DeFi ecosystem now

Some examples of DeFi apps include: 

  • Decentralised Exchanges – also known as DEXs – such as Uniswap where trades can be executed without the DEX having to hold on to your funds to execute trades. 
  • Decentralised Derivatives Trading – On Synthetix for example, you can trade in commodities, something akin to derivative trading without the need to have and hold the commodities in question, instead you trade something called Synths that are synthetic assets. 
  • Lending – Compound is a decentralised peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform where users can earn interest or borrow assets against collateral. AAVE too.
  • Insurance – Nexus Mutual is a decentralised autonomous organisation that provides smart contract insurance.


Risks and opportunities with DeFi

By now the opportunities of using DeFi are probably apparent: Autonomy, speed and opportunities previously unavailable.

But there are also quite a few risks still associated with Decentralised Finance that you should consider before rushing into anything.  Here is an overview of the types of risks you are looking at:

1. The risk linked to the “smart contract”

The risk linked to a “smart contract” (the computer code on the blockchain) you are using (AAVE, Uniswap,…). For example, we have seen the following happen in the past:

  • Oracle Attacks &/or Clever Arbitrage Execution: Manipulate the price through oracles, volumes or both, get lots of stuff for cheaper than it is, and then sell it at its real value.

Example: bZx, Cheese Bank, Harvest

  • Contract Design: if you let them print tokens, they will. 

Example: PickleFinance

  • Reentrancy Attack – happens if a contract makes an external call to another untrusted contract before resolving. For example, if it transfers funds before setting its balance to zero, an attacker can beat the withdraw function to death and essentially drain the entire contract. 

Example: Akropolis, dForce, and Origin

  • Front-end issues: bugs in hosting or domain leads to attacks – not specifically DeFi, but still a problem faced by NiceHash. If you go to app.uniswap.org trusting that it’s Uniswap when it’s in fact an attacker, it doesn’t matter how safe the Uniswap smart contract actually is, because that’s not who you are interacting with.

2. The financial risk

As in the risk of not being repaid when needed, or at all, even if everything keeps mostly working

  • While most lending platforms use over-collateralisation to reduce credit risk, over-collateralisation does not completely remove credit risk – The collateral assets that back loans on DeFi platforms have a high level of variation, in liquidity & stability of price.  
  • Liquidity: if all the money in a lending pool is lent out, you can’t withdraw, and you need to wait until some loans are repaid.
  • The yield is still mostly variable today. If you deposit at 11% today, it might be 2% tomorrow. 1 year low is 0.68%
  • If you rely on EUROS for spending but lend out USD, there is a bit of an exchange risk too. 

3. Blockchain or stablecoin risks

  • If the Ethereum Virtual Machine or Parachains or, your blockchain of choice breaks or gets hacked. But at that point, we potentially have a bigger problem.
  • Ethereum transaction fees and congestion leads to the inability to move in/out.
  • Your stablecoin of choice proves to be worthless, gets hacked…and your unit of value = 0

4. You make a mistake

You are your own bank, so your mistakes are your mistakes: Hacked keys, hacked notepads, metamask hacks, paper wallets lost in the wash or giving your money to a fraudulent project could all see you lose your money.


As wikipedia says, “Inexperienced investors are at particular risk of losing money using DeFi platforms due to the sophistication required to interact with such platforms and the lack of an intermediary with a customer-support department.”



Throughout human existence there have been events that have significantly shaped our societies, discovering fire, the wheel, horses for farming & transportation, the industrial revolution, the internet and most recently web3/crypto and DeFi. 

While DeFi may still be the new kid on the block, this kid isn’t messing around!

Whichever way we look at it, a shift in the status quo in finance and financial equality is urgently needed at a global level and now seems like the perfect time to throw that proverbial hand grenade!

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Off-Chain Transactions Explained

Off-chain transactions occur outside of a blockchain network and as a result, are generally cheaper and faster than on-chain transactions but do not fully benefit from the inbuilt security offered by a crypto blockchain.

The crypto space is getting busier and ever-popular by the day, transaction volumes are growing at a rapid pace and this inevitably means traffic. 

Not the kind of traffic people want like increased visits to their website, but rather being horribly stuck in slow-moving traffic on a highway. 

The highway in crypto terms of course being a blockchain network like Bitcoin or Ethereum for example.

Continuing with the highway analogy, a blockchain such as Bitcoin has its limitations, just as a highway has a fixed amount of lanes. 

As the number of cars (transaction blocks) using the highway increases this results in a slowdown and this increased demand can lead to a rise in toll fees, or transaction fees in crypto.

In order to try and reduce or even eliminate fees, speed up transaction times and perhaps even maintain greater anonymity some people go off-chain for their transactions. 


The benefits of on-chain or simply regular transactions

Before we can look at what off-chain transactions are we should first acquaint ourselves with on-chain or simply regular transactions taking place on the blockchain. 

A blockchain is literally a chain made up of blocks of data. 

These blocks are validated by independent nodes on what is known as a decentralised peer-to-peer network, as opposed to a centralised network. 

This peer-to-peer setup with no central organisation and an extremely robust system of validation makes a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin rock solid. 

In fact, in Bitcoin’s entire existence, it has never been hacked nor has Bitcoin ever been counterfeited or double spent on the blockchain. 

Furthermore, the Bitcoin network is highly resilient with a highly impressive uptime of 99.986% since its inception and 100% uptime since 2013. 

This level of uptime and resilience is hard to match even by the largest tech companies in the world. 

Being so rock solid and secure makes a blockchain and by extension a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin so attractive as a means of holding and transferring value between total strangers. 

Despite these advantages, there are limitations and this has led to the use of off-chain transactions.


On-chain transactions also have their downsides

Naturally, on-chain or regular blockchain transactions offer a huge amount of benefits but there are downsides too which have resulted in the growth in demand for off-chain transactions. 

Bitcoin transaction fees are expected to rise as demand for Bitcoin and other cryptos rises. 

For many users, especially those making small transactions the fees can represent a significant or unfeasible cost. 

In addition, getting transactions confirmed on the Bitcoin network could take anything from 10 minutes to several hours. 

Compared to legacy banking this is already a big improvement but for many, it’s simply not fast enough!


What are off-chain transactions?

To combat the downsides of on-chain transactions several protocols and services exist enabling off-chain transactions with lower fees and quicker settlements. 

Off-chain transactions deal with values externally from the blockchain and usually come about via several methods. 

These can include two parties having a private transfer agreement, maybe something like the private sale of a vehicle between two parties or a third party may exist that validates and guarantees a transaction.

Think of a 3rd party like Amazon sitting in the middle to ensure that the correct product ordered from party A in the marketplace makes it to party B as promised and on time and the seller gets the appropriate payment minus fees of course. 

Without the Amazon marketplace or a similar 3rd party, the user would be sending money to the seller in the hope that everything will go well. 

A huge company like Amazon with its market strength and dominance provides the required level of confidence just as a blockchain does. 

Amazon however doesn’t do this for free, there are costs involved just as there are transaction fees involved with blockchain transactions.


Another off-chain method uses a code-based payment mechanism. 

In this case, one party purchases a redeemable code to exchange against a crypto asset. 

They give this code to a third party who then redeems the code either in the same crypto asset or a different one depending on the service provider.

All of these individual transactions are happening externally and are therefore not restricted by the speed limitations or transaction fee requirements of the blockchain but also do not benefit from the full amount of security benefits afforded by the blockchain. 

There is naturally a trade-off, speed and lower fees in exchange for perhaps a small loss in security.


A couple of off-chain transaction providers includes Lightning Network and Liquid Network

One example of an off-chain network is the Lightning Network, a decentralised peer-to-peer network that allows users to transfer Bitcoin off-chain instantly and less transaction fees, so, faster and cheaper than on-chain. 

The Lightning Network is built on top of the Bitcoin network and is known as a layer-2 solution.

Another example is the Liquid Network which also offers speed and cost advantages but uses what is known as a sidechain protocol. 

The primary difference between layer-2 and sidechain solutions is the difference in their security mechanisms. 

Layer-2 relies on the security of the main chain, e.g. the Bitcoin blockchain whereas sidechains have their own security mechanisms. 

However, both have pretty much the same goal, to reduce transaction times and fees.



As crypto has exploded in popularity it has inevitably meant an increase in cost and a slowdown in transaction times. 

As a crypto blockchain like Bitcoin is pretty hard-wired, alternative ways to scale are continually being explored. 

Off-chain transactions are one way to reduce the transaction load and offer users a cheaper and faster alternative even if there are a few tradeoffs involved.

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Holochain Explained

Holo is a new type of peer-to-peer distributed platform for hosting decentralised applications (DApps) built using Holochain. 

Holochain is a framework that allows for the development of decentralised apps without the need for blockchain technology.

The driving force of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology is decentralisation. 

Our current systems are in almost all cases centralised, our financial institutions, services we use, governments and so forth are all for the most part centralised. 

Businesses have historically used central servers to hold company data, a central source that is under the absolute control of the business. 

Cloud computing has shifted this in recent years and now more businesses use cloud computing. 

Instead of data being on a single server and therefore creating a single point of failure the data is spread across multiple servers thus reducing the risk of data loss and even an increase in performance. 

This works fine for centralised organisations in terms of data storage and the offering of their online services to consumers.


The birth of crypto and the march towards decentralisation

When Bitcoin and blockchain technology arrived on the scene back in 2009, the overriding goal was to create decentralised entities, so instead of a government-issued currency, there was a decentralised currency that was not actually owned or controlled by any single entity. 

This idea or vision presented some major challenges, especially when it came to applications such as currencies, where security and integrity are paramount. 

Blockchain technology answered these two key issues, security and integrity by way of a single ledger (the blockchain) and a secure and robust consensus system, Proof of Work (PoW).

In very simple terms, the Proof of Work consensus method requires a decentralised peer-to-peer network in which highly complex computational puzzles (hashes) need to be solved before a miner wins the right to mine the next block in the blockchain. 

Once the block is written and verified across the network with a unique transaction ID TXID it is as good as set in concrete. 

The blockchain provides a solid means by which to record events or transactions but without the need for a central entity like a bank, corporation or government to back it up. 

This technology also has downsides, the big one being the speed at which transactions can be added to the blockchain. Every single transaction has to go through a computationally intense process described above in order to be added to the ledger. 

This causes a slowdown in the network and an increase in transaction fees due to the massive demand and limited capacity.


This is where Holo comes in

Holo has created an alternative model, not centralised but also not using a blockchain and therefore without the need for the consensus model. 

Holochain is still peer-to-peer and is decentralised but instead uses a novel method of using agents across the network. 

The data is still encrypted from point to point and there is no central point of failure, but each operator is working as an agent and gets paid in HOT, the token for HOLO for hosting decentralised apps on their system. 

We won’t go into how it all works here but needless to say, Holochain has created a form of hybrid model that is not centralised servers, not cloud computing and not blockchain-based. 

Their approach can in theory allow for high transaction speeds, high performance and a high level of data security and integrity. 

For decentralised apps that require a high level of security and integrity built-in, high transaction speeds and relatively low costs Holo could certainly provide a very viable solution.

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who are clover finance

Clover Finance (CLV) is a “one-stop” cross-chain DeFi bridge that provides a more accessible gateway to DeFi for everyone, including those that may be new to Decentralised Finance (DeFi).

Clover Finance was founded in May 2020 and the live mainnet was launched in July 2021

The rapid and exponential growth of the crypto ecosystem hasn’t come about without its fair share of problems. 

The two core problems that need to be solved are high gas prices (transaction fees) and network congestion due to bottlenecks causing the network to slow down and raising gas prices. 

In addition, as the wider crypto eco-system grows, there are more blockchains being introduced and while this helps reduce network congestion there is definitely a need for some form of cross-chain compatibility and easier access.


Network congestion is a growing problem in the crypto world

Currently, the bulk of the Decentralised Finance (DeFi) action is happening on the Ethereum blockchain, the second-largest crypto blockchain network after Bitcoin. 

Ethereum and Bitcoin both use what is known as a Proof of Work (PoW) consensus system for validating transactions. 

On the plus side, the Proof of Work consensus model is pretty robust and in crypto terms a relatively tried and tested technology. 

The key problem with Proof of Work-based blockchains like Ethereum and Bitcoin is slow transaction times resulting in higher transaction fees, in some cases fees exceeding the value of the transaction itself. 

As a result, many organisations are scrambling to tackle this growing problem, one of these projects is Clover Finance.


What does Clover Finance Do?

Clover Finance is building what is known as a foundational layer to enable Gasless user interactions to make the user experience easier and simpler, especially for those that are not hardcore crypto users. 

As crypto slowly edges towards something a little less techy and slightly more mainstream, the user experience needs to be simpler and the cost of transactions and network congestion problems need to be addressed. Otherwise, the situation will only get worse as web3 technology scales and touches more of our daily lives.


Cross-chain compatibility is needed

The other issue is cross-chain compatibility, when there was only one blockchain and one coin, Bitcoin, it was relatively easy. Everything happened on one blockchain and there was a single cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. 

This is clearly not the case anymore and things are only accelerating. 

Clover Finance is developed based on substrate, the foundation of the Polkadot network. 

Polkadot is what is known as a sharded multi-chain network and is able to process many transactions on multiple chains in parallel.

This radically reduces the bottlenecks that are prevalent on blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum where transactions are processed one at a time and not very efficient. 

One Clover Finance product, Clover Wallet allows users to view multiple assets without having to switch networks and supports Ethereum, Polkadot, Kusama and Binance Smart Chain to name a few.


Who are the brains behind Clover Finance?

The founders of Clover Finance are Viven Kirby, Burak Keceli and Norelle Ng. 

Viven Kirby is an experienced enterprise resource planner and serves the role of project lead at Clover. 

Burak Keceli is the tech lead at Clover Finance and has been an avid programmer since the age of 10, he was the creator of MBO Games as well as an instant cross-border payment platform, Stagg. 

Norelle Ng is the operations lead at Clover Finance and a seasoned blockchain expert with a background in human-computer interaction.

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Altcoin Explained

An altcoin is any type of crypto that is not bitcoin. The word altcoin is made from the portmanteau of the words alternative and coin

Once upon a time not so long ago there was this one lone cryptocurrency called bitcoin. 

It was a strange new creation by a mysterious person or group of people who went by the name Satoshi Nakamoto. 

Even with the huge amount of interest in crypto and the level of information we have available to us, nobody to this date knows who Satoshi Nakamoto is, that’s pretty astounding! 

For a while, at least, bitcoin was this strange new digital currency that few people really understood or even cared about. 

Fast forward to today and crypto is big business, there are literally thousands of crypto coins and tokens out there and it’s growing by the day.


What is an altcoin?

The clue is in fact in the name, altcoin stands for alternative coin. 

Going back to the early days of crypto when there was only bitcoin, the lone cryptocurrency, people began to recognise the potential of blockchain technology beyond what bitcoin was doing or offering. 

So new coins began to appear and these new coins, basically anything that wasn’t Bitcoin began to be referred to as an altcoin or alternative coin to bitcoin. 


A simple analogy to understand what altcoins are and how they came about

We can liken the current crypto craze to that of the birth of the internet in the 1990s. 

Let’s imagine the internet starts with a single website, it’s pretty basic compared to today’s websites but functional. 

That one initial website could be thought of as Bitcoin. 

The whole concept is new, there is a basic browser and people can access and use this one site from anywhere. 

So, some people began to see the potential of the internet and its underlying technology and began to create websites of their own, let’s call them “altsites”. 

Now there are an estimated 1.86 billion websites out there or 1.86 billion “altsites” out there.

In much the same way, bitcoin was the pioneer that created the first crypto and its underlying blockchain technology, since those days over 9000 altcoins are out there and this number is going to keep rising as it did with websites.


The history of altcoins

In 2009 bitcoin arrived on the scene, what happened next? Well around 2011 the first altcoins appeared running on the bitcoin blockchain.

The very first altcoin was Namecoin. Namecoin was based on Bitcoin’s code and arrived in April 2011. 

Namecoin demonstrated that there was space for more coins beyond bitcoin and from there the race to build more altcoins began.


An altcoin is not second best

It may seem obvious but we must also understand that the first is not necessarily the best, just like the first automobile cannot be compared to the automobiles of today. 

The first car simply paved the way for others and validated a need, utility and demand. 

In much the same way, using the internet example again, today’s websites are far superior to the very first websites. 

The first websites indeed played a huge part in the development of the internet but they are not superior. 

This is a very important thing to keep in mind as sometimes we can think of an alternative as maybe being second best. 

This is definitely not the case with altcoins. They are simply alternatives or derivatives of Bitcoin in some way.

If we look at Ethereum, it is an altcoin. 

Ethereum however serves a very different purpose to that of bitcoin. 

Whilst bitcoin is purely a digital currency, a way of holding and transferring value, Ethereum is a cryptocurrency with its own powerful ecosystem capable of a lot more applications such as decentralised finance.


Altcoins can be highly experimental and volatile!

If we go back once again to the Internet analogy and think about e-commerce, there are limitless possibilities to sell things online. 

Some make a lot of sense and will take off and succeed like Amazon but there are also millions of others that just won’t make it. 

Putting money into altcoins can be very risky, especially very new ones as there’s no guarantee of success, just like investing in a brand new startup that sounds promising but could eventually implode or of course, become mega-successful. The same with altcoins!


The technology behind all altcoins

Just like the core technology behind all websites is basically the same, we can say the same with crypto. 

All cryptos run on something known as a blockchain. Call that the “internet of crypto”. 

Blockchains are literally chains made up of blocks. 

In the case of Bitcoin these blocks are mined using something called proof of work (PoW), validated and added to the chain, each time a new block is added to the chain, the miner receives coins in payment. 

All altcoins use some form of blockchain. 

Ethereum has its own blockchain that currently also works using proof of work although that is likely to change soon but that’s a separate topic. 

For now, though, it’s important to understand that the core technology or principles that drive Bitcoin form the basis or foundation of all altcoins in some way.



In summary, the vibrant and diverse world of crypto that we see today started out with a single coin, bitcoin. 

Everything that has followed ever since is referred to as an altcoin. It’s not conceivable that at some point, perhaps even now, the term altcoin will not be very relevant and go out of use. 

For now, all you need to know is that an altcoin is any coin that is not bitcoin, easy enough!

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GPU crypto mining explained

GUP mining is the mining of cryptocurrencies using a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) to solve complex mathematical calculations called “hashes’ instead of purely using the CPU as was more common in the early days of crypto.


Before we get into the specifics of what GPU mining is, we should briefly cover what crypto mining is, for those that may be new to crypto and are still learning. 

Mining is the way that new crypto is created by cryptos that use what is known as proof of work (PoW). 

Very simply proof of work (PoW) is the solving of complex mathematical puzzles or hashes as they are known and being rewarded in coins. 

Bitcoin uses proof of work as does Ethereum at the moment, although this is likely to change soon. 

However, we won’t go into that. For now, it’s important to understand what mining is and what proof of work is in order to be able to understand what GPU mining is.


The basics, what is a central processing unit (CPU)

In any computer, whether that be a Mac, PC or any other type of computer there sits a CPU or central processing unit. 

This is effectively the brains of the entire computer. The CPU handles calculations and the use of the computer’s resources. 


GPU vs CPU mining

In the early days of Bitcoin, it was possible to mine Bitcoin using a relatively modest computer and the CPU was capable of handling the task of solving complex mathematical puzzles or ‘hashes’ pretty easily. 

As the number of miners exploded it became ever more competitive and the computing power naturally increased as each miner competed with other miners to solve the puzzle first and be rewarded with coins and transaction fees. 

The race for higher computing power and the need to solve the hashes or mathematical puzzles faster led to the discovery of using a GPU or Graphics Processing Unit to take over the heavy lifting from the CPU and do a way better job.


What is a GPU?

A GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit and is a piece of hardware that is either a separate card or is part of the motherboard and is responsible for rendering complex graphics. 

The GPU is used heavily in gaming and video rendering. 

The GPU says to the CPU, “hey, leave those heavy mathematical calculations to me, it’s what I’m good at, you worry about the other stuff”. 

Okay, the GPU doesn’t talk but if it did it would probably say something like that. 

So the GPU is a dedicated piece of hardware that is capable of over 800 times the processing power of a CPU. 

You can see straight away why the GPU became attractive to crypto miners. 

The GPU is solely responsible for video-rendering or mathematical problem-solving in the case of crypto mining, whereas before the CPU handled it all. 

By bringing in a dedicated resource, the CPU has to work less hard and has a better qualified and more capable resource, the GPU to take care of the complex problem-solving.


What is GPU mining?

Very simply, GPU mining is the mining of crypto using a graphics processing unit (GPU). This would be as opposed to CPU mining, where the central processing unit (CPU) is handling the mathematical puzzle-solving as well as ensuring that the computer as a whole is functioning.


What are the advantages of GPU mining?

The primary advantages of GPU mining are:

  1. Speed
  2. Easy maintenance and upgrades
  3. Better energy efficiency
  4. Handle complex calculations better



A GPU-based mining rig can be up to 800 times faster than a CPU-based one, additionally, it is common for mining rigs to use more than one GPU to provide even more power, it’s not uncommon for a GPU mining rig to have three powerful GPUs. 

This will blow a single CPU-based mining rig out of the water!


Easy maintenance and upgrades

A separate GPU generally tends to have updates and can more easily be exchanged for a replacement unit if it fails or can later be easily upgraded for a newer, more powerful model. 

This is not so easy or generally possible with CPUs.


Better energy efficiency

Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) provide a more energy-efficient way to mine crypto when compared to CPU mining. 

GPUs conserve energy better. High energy use is a common issue and criticism of crypto mining.

Handles complex calculations better

Whilst you can throw complex problems at CPUs they will get hot and this could cause problems and even lead to a system failure which is the last thing a crypto miner needs. 

A powerful GPU or series of GPUs on the other hand is way more efficient and better suited for a demanding and intensive task like crypto mining.


What about alternatives to GPU mining?

While GPU mining has no doubt superseded CPU mining, GPU mining is still utilising hardware actually designed for gaming and graphics-intensive applications like video editing or gaming. 

An alternative is ASIC, which stands for Application-Specific Integrated Circuit

Instead of using general-purpose integrated circuits for mining, ASICS are integrated circuits specifically designed and optimised for the demanding task of crypto mining. 

They are literally designed for the job. ASICS generally beat CPUs and GPUs when it comes to reduced energy consumption and computing capacity.



Crypto mining is still very much in its infancy in relative terms, let’s face it, bitcoin only appeared on the scene in 2009 and in those days almost any half-decent spec computer could be used for mining. 

Fast forward to today, the stakes are way higher leading to intense competition amongst miners and an endless technological race for faster and more powerful mining rigs that can complete the hashes the fastest and claim the rewards. 

The GPU has certainly played its part and still continues to be used, although more dedicated ASIC-based mining hardware is generally favoured for serious mining rigs. 

For now, though GPU mining can still be considered valid although it’s fair to say that its days could be numbered.

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oversold in crypto explained

A crypto can be considered oversold if a large amount of selling has pushed the price down over a period of time but in fact, the price does not reflect the true value, meaning the crypto could actually be undervalued and likely to go up.


Stock, crypto or the speculation of any other asset or commodity is neither pure science, pure art or guesswork, but rather a blend of all three. 

Nobody knows for sure where anything is going. 

In the film, The Wolf of Wall Street the trading manager played by Matthew McConaughey in the famous chest-bumping scene tells Leo Dicaprio that nobody knows where the price is going, up, down, sideways or in circles, not least the traders. 

In real life, in order to have any kind of success in trading or investing, you clearly have to have some idea, otherwise, financially at least, it will be game over really fast.

The name of the game is to somehow anticipate if a crypto or stock is undervalued or overvalued and trade accordingly.

In the very simplest of terms, a stock, crypto or other asset or commodity will either be temporarily overvalued in which case the price may correct and come down, temporarily undervalued and likely to go up or correctly valued or at fair value and not going anywhere anytime soon. 

When a stock or crypto is considered by traders as undervalued at its current price, this is known as being oversold.


What is oversold in crypto?

Let’s take bitcoin as an example as it’s the most well-known cryptocurrency and let’s face it, a lot of people are in it. 

Is bitcoin overvalued and the price is going to come crashing down or is it currently undervalued and likely to keep going up? 

If it’s undervalued it is oversold, literally meaning that it has been “over” “sold” due perhaps to negative sentiments which has driven the price down due to excessive selling. In fact, the price should be higher and perhaps there is an upward correction coming in which case it could be a good time to buy.


What is fair value?

In order to understand if a crypto coin or token is oversold or undersold, it’s helpful to know where the middle is, 

This ‘middle’ is the fair value and in the world of stocks, traders will usually make calculations based on things like earnings per share and the price-to-earnings ratio. 

These figures can help a trader get an idea of if the stock is undersold or oversold when compared to competitors in the same industry and based on this information make a decision whether to buy, sell or ignore.


What is the opposite of oversold?

The opposite of oversold is unsurprisingly, overbought. In much the same way it literally means that. It has been “over” “bought” and could see a downward correction.


How can we tell if a crypto is oversold, overbought or at fair value?

Crypto is generally way more difficult to accurately predict as it doesn’t have the history or the same traditional fundamentals that traders can use to evaluate a stock or commodity like profits, dividends, market data, economic conditions and so on. 

Crypto is highly volatile and so one of the only real indicators is past price performance, demand and supply dynamics and expected returns, looking to the future to anticipate future growth and of course some instinct for what may happen in the future. 

If we look at bitcoin again, it’s not a company per se and doesn’t actually own the infrastructure, the computers that support the blockchain and is purely a cryptocurrency and blockchain. 

So how can we determine if bitcoin is likely to go up or down in the future? 

We would need to look at bitcoin’s position and importance in the larger crypto universe, where does bitcoin fit now and how could bitcoin and its blockchain fit into the overall crypto space in the future?

How will governments deal with crypto in the future and how about its network effect? 

We could do the same with Ethereum, the second-largest crypto after bitcoin. 

Ethereum is more than a cryptocurrency, it’s an entire ecosystem. Will this ecosystem continue to be a major player in DeFi for example or are there competitors lurking on the sidelines that could knock Ethereum off its perch? 

Let’s use this example to imagine an oversold scenario for Ethereum. 

Imagine, there’s talk of Ethereum losing its hold on the DeFi space and people start selling in droves, this drives the price down. 

In fact, however, this sentiment has been total FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and now Ethereum is in fact trading lower than it should be and could be likely to correct and go back up. This would be a case of being oversold. 


What is an oversold indicator?

There are some technical methods used by traders to try and ascertain if a crypto, stock or commodity is oversold, overbought or at fair value. 

A couple of methods used include using relative strength index (RSI) and Bollinger bands. 

The RSI indicator looks at the pace of recent price changes to try and determine if a crypto is oversold, overbought or at fair value whereas the Bollinger bands consist of lower, middle and upper bands. 

The middle band reflects the cryptos moving average position while the lower and upper bands measure and record price deviations relative to the middle band. 

A crypto would be considered to be oversold when the values shift towards the upper band, the contrary would be true if the values shift towards the lower band in which case a crypto could be showing signs of being overbought.



In the world of traditional trading, it’s difficult enough to know in which direction a stock or commodity is likely to head, in crypto it’s perhaps even more difficult. 

In its most basic form, the most important thing to be able to understand is if a stock or crypto is overvalued (overbought), undervalued (oversold) or in fact where it should be (fair value).

If you are able to determine if a crypto is in fact oversold, it could be the perfect time to jump in!

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crypto consensus mechanism

A consensus mechanism is a way of validating transactions and maintaining the integrity of a blockchain. It is there to stop a cryptocurrency from being manipulated or defrauded.


Let’s begin by looking at what a consensus mechanism is

The modern definition of the word consensus is “general agreement”. 

In crypto, a variety of consensus mechanisms are used to create a general agreement or “consensus” as to the validity of transactions on the blockchain.

Before we get into the different types of consensus blockchains or consensus mechanisms let´s take a simpler look at what consensus mechanisms actually are.

Crypto is in its essence decentralised, i.e. there is no central organisation or central bank of computers administrated by a single unified team.

If we were to look at a centralised organisation, let´s say a large corporation, they would have a central IT department with administrative access to the central servers containing all of the company data. 

In the same organisation, there would likely be a single central accounting ledger that contains all of the accounting information for that corporation. 

In that example, a handful of people would have total and complete access to the data.

We could use the example of a corporation to understand a consensus mechanism

Now, let´s imagine a decentralised scenario. 

Here the same organisation stores its company data and accounting ledger across a peer-to-peer network of independently owned computers. 

These owners offer their computing power and storage capabilities in exchange for fees. 

The two key advantages of such as system would be better resilience against downtime and data loss as the data is stored across a lot of computers just as in cloud computing and also, the corporation does not need to invest in and maintain expensive servers. 

So far so good. But now, how does the corporation trust this network of computers with its precious and sensitive data? 

What´s to stop someone from using that access for criminal purposes? Well, that´s where some form of consensus mechanism is required.

There would need to be a single system or protocol in place across the entire network that would serve to validate each entry or edit made on the single ledger spread across the network. 

This way a single person or a handful of these computer owners would not be able to join together to manipulate or defraud the system. 

This is in fact what a consensus mechanism is, a means or mechanism that provides a general level of agreement or single truth across the entire network of computers or nodes.

Let’s look at the use of case of consensus mechanisms in cryptocurrencies

As cryptocurrencies are essentially decentralised, there is no central organisation with complete control. 

Instead, the blockchain, the large network of computers is made up of perhaps hundreds of thousands of independently owned and operated computers. 

Crypto is big business and massive amounts of money are at stake as well as the credibility of cryptocurrencies themselves. 

There are two primary types of consensus mechanisms in use that we will look at, these are proof of work (PoW) and proof of stake (PoS). Proof of work is the original consensus blockchain method as used by Bitcoin and also Ethereum, however, Ethereum is likely to move to proof of stake.

The Proof of Work consensus mechanism

The proof of work consensus mechanism works on the basis of powerful computers doing complicated work in order to win the chance to add the next block to the blockchain and in return earn coins as a reward as well as some transaction fees. 

This “work” simply put is complex computational puzzle solving and this requires powerful computers and computing time which then requires quite major resources. 

On a cryptocurrency like bitcoin, the competition is fierce and the race to win the chance to add the next block means that people are investing in ever faster and more powerful computers to solve the puzzle faster. 

This investment in resources is what is intended to keep the system honest and also make it more difficult to manipulate. 

The specific details of how proof of work works is outside the scope of this article however in the simplest way, the data in each block is connected to the previous block and the previous block to the one before and so on. 

As the chain gets longer, it gets ever more difficult to manipulate the data across the entire chain. 

To do this over 51% of the computing power of the entire network would be required. 

This is not to say it’s impossible but very difficult. 

The downsides of proof of work are primarily the huge amount of computing power and therefore energy needed to solve these otherwise useless puzzles and also the time taken for each block to be added which is around 10 minutes. 

This time causes unnecessary bottlenecks, delays and ultimately costs.

Proof of Stake Consensus mechanisms

Proof of Stake uses a different system to that of proof of work in that there is no need for the same high levels of computing power, there are no complex puzzles to be solved. 

Instead, the validators as they are called have a “stake” in the system by way of cryptocurrency, think of it as a safety deposit taken by a landlord to cover against damage or non-payment. 

In a similar way, validators stake crypto and if a validator tries to defraud or manipulate the system or suffers downtime they can lose some or all of their stake. 

As it’s their money at stake they are incentivised not only to keep their transactions honest but also it is in their interest for the blockchain to be honest as they have a stake in it. 

The proof of stake consensus mechanism offers the advantages of faster transactions and also less energy use.


A consensus mechanism is central to blockchains and cryptocurrencies, without it, crypto simply wouldn’t work. Whilst proof of work and proof of stake are the dominant mechanisms others too are making an entry, this area is far from finished, there’s plenty more to come.

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web3 the new technological wave

The crypto juggernaut is gathering speed and at a breakneck pace. What was once the sole domain of crypto enthusiasts is now entering the mainstream with a vengeance. 

It seems that nowadays everybody is talking about crypto and itching to get in on the action. 

In particular, the focus and excitement is in the explosive areas of Web3 and DeFi. 

In this article, we are going to look at some of the fundamentals and longer-term investment opportunities presented by the major technological shifts taking place in the world of web3 and Defi.

It’s 2009 and Bitcoin arrives on the scene

It all began in 2009 with the arrival of Bitcoin, a revolutionary decentralised digital currency without geographical barriers or any form of central government control. 

The pioneering blockchain technology running under the covers planted the seeds for where we are today. 

Bitcoin itself is still purely a means of holding and transferring value, much like a traditional fiat currency like the dollar or euro or a valuable commodity such as gold. 

Bitcoin does not serve any other extended purpose. The arrival of Bitcoin however introduced a breakthrough technology, the blockchain which has opened up a multitude of possibilities that have the ability to disrupt virtually every industry and in particular finance. 

Welcome to DeFi and Web3…

From its earliest beginnings, the crypto world has evolved at rapid speed and has in recent years spawned an entirely new industry known as decentralised finance or DeFi for short. 

DeFi mainly runs on the second largest cryptocurrency network, Ethereum. Ethereum has gone from being a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin to becoming a broader ecosystem for DeFi projects mainly due to the availability of smart contracts. 

Smart contracts are agreements or contracts written in software that are not open to interpretation, discussion or adjustment. 

They execute exactly as per the instructions written into the smart contract and provide an ideal instrument on which to build sophisticated businesses in a trustless environment. 

In DeFi a smart contract sits in the middle as the authority, as opposed to a centralised institution as is typical in traditional finance and most other businesses.

What is Web3?

Web1 was the original bare-bones internet, simple, informational websites mainly. You can get a taste of Web1 by looking at ancient search engines like Lycos, hotbot and webcrawler that are still lurking around on the internet.

Web2 was commerce-driven and spawned the internet giants we all know today, Google, Amazon, Expedia, Facebook and so on. 

Web3 is the new kid in town and one that is creating quite a ruckus. 

Web3 has the potential to truly shake up and revolutionise the world we live in, create entirely new industries and potentially level the playing field, especially in finance. 

In essence, Web3 is the next major evolution of the internet, one that is decentralised and based on peer-to-peer technologies such as public blockchains. 

Take an organisation like Amazon, which is a centralised profit-driven Web2 business, it provides a centralised platform and infrastructure on which things can be bought and sold on the internet. 

In a Web3 world, there is no centralised Amazon, but rather a highly sophisticated blockchain technology using smart contracts that provide the software protocols and required levels of security needed to enable transactions without requiring a physical intermediary. Sorry, Jeff Bezos!

This Web3 model is extending into banking, trading, insurance and more. Just as there was an explosion in commerce-driven websites during the Web2 phase, we are seeing the same again with Web3 and this is presenting investors and novices alike with opportunities to get in early on the Web3 superstars of tomorrow.

Investing in protocols and the fat protocol thesis

Below every significant technology there are usually key protocols. There has been a fundamental shift in the way protocols are being monetised. 

Our current web technology is dependent on protocols like TCP/IP and HTTP and billions of emails rely on POP/IMAP protocols to enable sending and receiving. 

The crucial protocols that have enabled much of the technology we rely on today have been in effect given away for free by the developers who generously created them on an open-source basis. 

They are free to use and exploit and exploited they have been without a shadow of a doubt and one can argue with good effect. Imagine if every email cost money! (more on that later..)

Thin protocols/fat applications vs fat protocols/thin applications

In Web2, there are what are known as thin protocols and fat applications where the vast majority of the value is in the applications built on top of the protocols, think Google, Amazon and Facebook running on top of the core internet protocols. 

The value in Web2 is on the application side, not the protocol side. 

In Web3 this has fundamentally changed and has been flipped around, the protocol is fat and where the bulk of the value is and the applications running on top are on the thin side. 

Bitcoin’s creators cleverly invented a protocol and system that has an inherent value system and which rewards its participants at the core. 

If we were to look at POP3/IMAP, commonly used to send and receive millions if not billions of emails every day there is no financial reward. 

This on the one hand is great as emails remain free, but those that developed this essential protocol did not make a fortune from it. 

As a crypto investor, investing in protocols should be considered in addition to investing in the individual applications that are running on top of the protocols, a fundamental difference when compared to Web2. 

The name of the game is to be able to identify and invest in the protocols and applications of the future. 

There is something called the fat protocol thesis which says that the total value of all the apps running on top of a protocol such as Ethereum will never exceed the total market value of Ethereum. 

Thus according to this theory, Ethereum should continue to grow in value as the ecosystem it supports grows. 

The fat protocol thesis seems to be holding and provides a reasonable rationale on which to invest in protocols/blockchains for the longer term.

Web3 is the gold rush of the 21st century

One can liken the current Web3 boom to that of the famous gold rush of the 1800s. 

The pursuit then was gold and attracted hundreds of thousands of prospectors to California and South Africa. 

In a similar way, DeFi has exploded onto the scene with almost limitless possibilities, unlike gold however which is limited in quantity, DeFi projects are virtually limitless in scope.

However, not all projects will succeed and could be as useless as a hole in the ground so the secret is to know which tokens to pick and invest in and that isn’t easy even for seasoned crypto investors. 

Web3 money markets and how to earn a passive income from DeFi

Speculation is not the only way to profit in the crypto world. 

Just as with traditional financial markets, it’s also possible to earn a modest passive income by putting crypto assets to work. 

With interest rates still at a historical low there is a need for ways in which one can earn a reasonable passive income in DeFi from crypto assets by way of yield farming, staking, becoming a liquidity provider and through the lending of crypto. 

In very simple terms one can use their crypto assets to earn income in the form of fees or interest rather than profit from the growth of the underlying Web3 asset.


In the simplest terms, imagine having the chance to invest in Amazon, Facebook and Google when they were first starting out. Sadly, that boat has already sailed, however, the next generation of Amazon, Facebook, and Google are on the sidelines, fueling up and ready to make an impact. Just as with the web2 era, only a handful will become major players, the challenge is figuring out who the future DeFi and Web3 giants might be and get in on the action early!

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