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Learn Web3 in 100 Days – #1 What is the Internet and How Relevant to Web3

I launched this new series to help people learn Web3. Web3 is not really a new idea but a progress idea builds on the top of Web2. And there is no way you can learn Web3 by ignoring Web2. There are many hypes around the Web3 but it is really just hype. The true Web3 is many decades away from us. However, it does not mean we will wait for Web3 to just come to us. Rather, we should explore Web2 and see how it can further improve through a Web3 idea.

This article will just touch a basis about the internet and the website.

TL;DR

What is the Internet

How the Internet Works

Internet vs. Web

How does  the Web Work

How It Matters in Web3

What is the Internet

Image Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARPANET

The idea of the internet came from the project ARPANET. A project connects all university computers together and shares their research knowledge. But there is a rumor to believe the government was trying to build a  survival network to be resistant to nuclear war. It wasn’t available until officially decommissioning in 1990 and the internet started to flourish without potential threats from nuclear war. But the technology matured during the 70s and 80s as known as TCP/IP or Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol.    

How the Internet Works    

The internet is a way to communicate between two computers. TCP/IP has a two-layer program. The higher layer TCP disassembles the message into little pieces called “data packets” and is transmitted into the internet to be re-assembled by the receiving computer’s TCP back into the original message. The lower layer IP is an “address manager” and gets each data packet to the correct destination. IP addresses are checked by every computer in a network to make sure messages are forwarded as needed.  

Internet vs. Web

The internet is different from the Web. Although people use them interchangeably, the internet is the infrastructure that runs the web. The World Wide Web was invented by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989. You need a web browser to view information from the web.

How does the Web Work

Thinking about when you are surfing the web. 

Step 1: Connect your internet

You will turn on your modem to connect your computer to the internet service provider. You will need the IP address ready to receive information from the internet service provider through TCP. 

Step 2: Enter a web address into the browser

You will type a web address into the browser called URL or Uniform Resource Locator. Then you will process and push the internet service provider to provide data of such address you input and the browser looks up the IP address for the domain name through DNS or Domain Name Server which translates the text into a number of IP addresses so that it can be easier to search.

Step 3: The browser sends an HTTP request to the target server to send a copy of the web page

HTTP or Hypertext Transfer Protocol is a language used for internet communication and is being encrypted. 

Step 4: Server approves the request and provides data

Once the server receives the request and decrypts the request message upon approval, it will transmit data into your computer through a browser.

Step 5: Load the data

Then, your browser will through the TCP/IP process download the data and reassemble packets to present messages into your browser.

How It Matters in Web3

The above steps can easily translate into the process of the wallet with only a simple twist: instead of one-to-one communication from the internet, the crypto internet runs on multiple nodes. 

Step 1: Connect your internet

You will turn on your modem to connect your computer to the internet service provider. You will need the IP address ready to receive information from the internet service provider through TCP. 

Step 2: Enter a wallet address into the browser

You will activate your wallet with your private key and input the public key address you want to send to. Then click send. 

Step 3: The browser sends a request to the crypto network and all nodes work to validate the transaction

Each block of a transaction is an unspent transaction output or UTXO. All nodes will work to validate the previous block to make sure such transaction does not duplicate in the previous records as the process to validate the transaction. Of course, validators will compete with each other to win this type of work known as a mining process and to win incentives to complete such work.  

Step 4: Miner approves the request and completes the transaction

Once miners confirm the transaction, it will be included in the block as the record and broadcast in the blockchain. Assume every condition has been met and a security check is passed (private key signature).

Step 5: Post the transaction

Then, you can find your transaction post in the blockchain and mark it as a success. The party who is supposed to receive the transaction will receive it.

In conclusion

You can easily imagine how the crypto and blockchain work to resemble how the internet and web work.  

The next topic I will touch on is server and browser to blockchain and wallet.

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Crypto Comics – What is Protocol

Crypto Comics – What is Protocol

I shared my thoughts about Protocol.

TL;DR

I shared what protocol is and how to use it in the crypto space.

Some Takeaway

A protocol is a set of rules for a computer program to run and follow. In crypto, a protocol is a pre-set of rules to establish the structure of the blockchain. Everyone has to follow the rule to join the crypto. It can only be changed through a collectively voting process in an ideal situation or change by the programmer in a real situation. Nonetheless, a protocol is a fundamental layer of the blockchain to build up the system through decentralization, security, and scalability.      

Web2 vs. Web3 Protocol     

Internet protocol is the most common protocol that you are using but never bother to learn from it. It is a foundation for many applications to run on top of it including well-known companies Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and many others. Similarly, the crypto protocol is a foundation for many of their applications to run including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and many others.   

Thin vs. Fat

Web2 protocol is a thin protocol which means there are many more applications to run on the top compared to a fat protocol in Web3 that only a few run on the top. In some sense, Web2 protocol seems more decentralized than Web3 protocol which is more heavily reliant on a few applications to run.

How to Understand a Protocol

Thinking about your computer system as Windows or Mac. A protocol is like a system from either Windows or Mac. Bitcoin or Ethereum is like software that runs on Windows or Mac. 

Why Protocol

A protocol gives secure access to the blockchain. Particularly on the argument of the double-spending issue. In order to make digital money work, one should not allow spending the same money twice or they can become printing as many as you want to and to diminish the value of the digital money. The protocol becomes critical to allow all participants to follow.

In conclusion

A protocol is a set of rules that the software program follows and allows everyone to interact within the system to follow. It is fundamental security of the system for people to access the blockchain. 

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Crypto Comics – What is Consensus

Crypto Comics – What is Consensus

I shared my thoughts about Consensus.

TL;DR

I shared what consensus is and how to use it in the crypto space.

Some Takeaway

A consensus is a process to reach an agreement. Rather than a centralized organization in which one or few makes the consensus agreement, a decentralization organization involves every participant to join the process of consensus. How consensus works may vary from type of mechanism, but the goal is the same at the end to reach an agreement.      

Consensus Through Competition      

Proof of Work is a way to reach consensus through competition. An algorithm to make computers work to find solutions and to compete between and to receive incentives. Such design is to make a fair game for participants to join and to receive a fair share. Only the problem is that participants can invest in their gears and outpaced their competitors. In such a way, it brings up the bar of the game and quickly games out the competitors. Otherwise, PoW still works through a consensus way to reach an agreement through a competition.  

Consensus Through Power

Proof of Stake is a way to reach a consensus through each participant’s stake or power. The way is to try to distribute fairness to everyone to participate. But at the same time, the more stake one controls, the more likely one receives more incentives. Consensus works for whoever has a more stake rather than the fewer stake participants.

Consensus Through Reduction

Proof of Burn is a way to reach a consensus through reduction of the supply. Such short-term reduction boosts the long-term promise returns for participants. This works only if one fairly reduces their shares in the system. Such consensus is harder to balance since everyone is unwilling to reduce their stake because they want to gain from the system eventually. 

More Ways of Consensus

There are many other ways to design a consensus. The goal is to be sustainable in the decentralized system without sacrificing too much on its security and scalability. How to balance these 3 factors is an art rather than science for each creator to discover.  

Why Consensus

Since there is no centralized party to oversee the system, bad actors will always try to gain from the system. To prevent but not to discourage participants, the consensus is a way to involve everyone to reach a balance of agreement that suppose everyone will agree. In reality, it is harder to reach a consensus as it sounds it will. To rule out the odd that someone will damage the system, two-thirds of the number must agree on the consensus as known of the Byzantine Generals’ problem. Such game theory guarantees the security of the system and makes sure such a system is working properly. 

In conclusion

Consensus is a process to reach an agreement in the decentralized system. To ensure the system will work properly, the consensus must make sure two-thirds of the participants agree on one and others without jeopardizing the security of such a system.  

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Crypto Comics – What is Encryption

Crypto Comics – What is Encryption

I shared my thoughts about Encryption.

TL;DR

I shared what encryption is and how to use it in real life.

Some Takeaway

Encryption is a way to hide information that you want to share with only people you want to. In the technical term, you turn plaintext into ciphertext that disguises its original intent and information into some incomprehensible text that no one knows.      

Random        

To become encryption, the text has to be as random as possible. Unfortunately, a human comes up with the idea in a logical and predictable way that it is easy for another human being to break into the message and steal the information. By that means, one can create as random as possible but he or she has to be able to apply this randomness to decrypt the code which makes it more difficult.  

Ancient Way of Randomness

Dated back to ancient Egyptian time, to become random is to replace text with symbols. Without a computer, one has to try as much of a combination of as many types of language as possible to crack the code which seems a daunting task until the computer was introduced. That cipher technique becomes obsolete under the computer’s power.

Enigma Machine – Machine of Randomness

During World War II, Enigma Machine had been used for Nazi communication until it was cracked by British codebreakers including Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman. Enigma Machine was known as unbreakable because of its complex combination of letters. The idea of the key was introduced which makes the decryption harder with significantly increasing the combination of possible outcomes. However, because of the combination of human errors in the operation and the machine’s fundamentally design flaw to reveal its initial position, allies decoding teams could easily guess the encrypted message which helped them to win World War II.

Modern Internet

Nowadays, encryption is widely used on the internet. The speed of computers has been dramatically increased ever since which makes many encryption algorithms possible to break. New ways of encryption with more advanced technology have been introduced. 

Future Encryption

However, nuclear development of encryption is underway. Quantum computing is a new technology that will dramatically make the computer speed into quantum speed. It will make all existing encryption obsolete. The theory describes the computer speed to increase from the 2 to the possible numbers of power which catch-all combinations of existing encryption and drastically shorten the decryption time.  

In conclusion

Encryption is a way to hide your message that only want to share with specific people. It is a core technology embedded in cryptocurrency.  

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Crypto Comics – What is Bart Pattern

Crypto Comics – What is Bart Pattern

I shared my thoughts about Bart Pattern.

TL;DR

I shared thoughts about Bart Pattern and how to use it in trading.

Some Takeaway

The Bart Pattern is a meme way to describe a consolidation phase of the market whether it is the stock market or crypto market. It is a trading jargon particular to the chart technical analysis. There are many other names that refer to Bart Pattern including Bart Simpson Pattern, Bart Formation, Just Bart, Bart-ish Consolidation, or Bart Correction. The shape of consolidation resembles Bart’s hairstyle.      

Why Bart          

In the Simpson’s cartoon, Bart is a failure in school but a rebellious kid with the skill to prank others. These kinds of characteristics give a Bart Pattern a meme spirit with an idea that you got a prank!

Positive Bart

The positive Bart Pattern is the head with the correct position. This kind of pattern is lacking the volume to push the price upward. It then drops significantly due to a lack of volume trading.

Negative Bart

The negative Bart Pattern is the upside-down head. This kind of pattern is when the market sells sharply but realizes that the price is too cheap with sudden buyback to shoot up the price more than before. 

Speculation

Since the crypto market is so speculative. Many people think the market is influenced by whales and it is rigged. Then the Bart Pattern is a pump and dump scheme. The idea is that when there are enough short traders to short the market, the price drops significantly until the whale enters and buys up the market with the price to shoot up significantly. Or whales try to pump the market until they pull off their funds and drop the market.

In conclusion

Bart Pattern is a meme of the speculative market. It is a fun way to see how the market trades.

  

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Crypto Comics – What is Plagiarism in Web3

Crypto Comics – What is Plagiarism in Web3

I shared my experience with a victim of plagiarism and to prevent plagiarism in the future.

TL;DR

I shared steps about how to prevent plagiarism in Web3.

Some Takeaway

I found out one of my articles was plagiarized in read.cash platform. First, it was out of my surprise that the user stole my article only after I posted on a different platform within 20 minutes! Then when I dug out more, this user has plagiarized 9 more articles from different platforms and even with one of the well-known publications. It is likely this user will face the consequences of not only plagiarizing others’ work but also a legal consequence by coping with publication.            

How I found it

I tried to cross-post my article in read.cash and when I tried to post it, the bot suggested there was an exact article posted 5 minutes ago. I was shocked that my exact article had been posted on the platform. While trying to ask the user to take off my article, the user blocked me and my comments which triggered my question about how I can prevent this in the future.

Step 1

I validated the article that the user posted and the article is exactly straight copies through my article finding https://read.cash/@xuanling11/to-someone-who-copied-straight-out-of-my-article-crypto-comics-what-is-wallet-address-f0b7f918.

Even my comic was copied exactly. I usually will post my comic first on Twitter (https://twitter.com/xuanling11/status/1506019749104259072) before sharing my article.

Step 2

I dug more of the user’s previous articles and found out there are 9 more articles from different authors that have been plagiarized. I reached out to each author and included the publication here (https://medium.com/@xuanling11/scammer-got-caught-988e1e83e6fd). I also have a team of authors who frequently work on different platforms to spread such users’ bad behavior to downvote articles the user posted without other authors’ consent.

Step 3

I noticed Google and remove search results from the user posts. This can prevent other authors’ work from being damaged through search engines and spreading misinformation.  

Step 4

Also, I reached out to read.cash admin to request banning of such user of violating the platform policy. 

Step 5

I spread such incident in my Twitter account and other social media accounts to ask for helps to downvote such user and to prevent others from being victimized.

In conclusion

Plagiarism is hard to prevent in Web3 but we should help each other to prevent such incidents. If you found someone who did it, please spreading on the internet to prevent such actors to continue doing and taking advantage of Web3.

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Crypto Comics – What is Wallet Address

Crypto Comics – What is Wallet Address

I tried to explain what wallet address is in comic strips.

TL;DR

I explained what wallet address is and how wallet addresses may be different in the different wallets.

Some Takeaway

The idea of a wallet address is similar to your bank account number or a credit card number. It is a part of the public key that is revealed to the public so whoever wants to send cryptocurrency into your wallet can have the address to do so. The address contains numbers, upper-case and lower-case letters, and is generally between 32-34 characters long. Since the address is case-sensitive, it is better to copy and paste the wallet address rather than manually typing out the wallet address to avoid errors and possibly missing from receiving funds.             

Multiple Types of Bitcoin Addresses

As Bitcoin continues evolving, its new types of addresses got developed and introduced so they can reduce the amount of information necessary to spend a received transaction. Of course, each wallet address is interoperable. You can roughly guess how old the address is.

Legacy Address (P2PKH)

It was introduced in 2009 and it is the most expensive address type. The address starts with the number 1. However, this type of address is not good to continue using since it is not compatible with other new cryptocurrencies as the technology has progressed. However, if someone got this type of address, you may determine those people are in the crypto space at the beginning of the time. To notice the technology difference is that P2PKH is a direct hash from your private key address.

Bech32

This type of wallet address starts with code bc1. The idea is to hash the public key into the address to prevent reverse engineering of the revealed public key to reach the private key even though it is impossible in theory. It is a security upgrade of the legacy address to prevent 

Pay to Script Hash (P2SH)

This type of wallet address starts with the number 3. It was introduced around December 2017. This is a second generation of the address. The technology has been improved with a script that involves certain spending conditions which stay hidden from the sender opposites to direct hash from the private key address to increase its security. It is later used in SegWit and reduces transaction fees roughly by 26% compared to a legacy wallet address. 

Native SegWit (P2WPKH)

This type of wallet address starts with code bc1q. You can save up to 16% of transaction fees over P2SH and over 38% compared to legacy addresses. The idea was developed around 2015 along with P2SH but it was implemented around 2018 to further improve P2SH.

Pay to Witness Script Hash (P2WSH)

This type of wallet address starts with code bc1. This type of wallet is rare to tell its multisig features because it dealt with multiple signatures at one time. It further improves the security of P2SH. Since it hashes from multiple signatures, there is no way hackers can reverse engineer to reach the private keys at all.

Taproot (P2TR)

This type of wallet address starts with code bc1p. Taproot was passed a Bitcoin community consensus in November 2021 to further reduce transaction costs and to increase transaction speed. The address has not yet been used. However, the address can process a larger size of information with a fraction of cost and time in theory.

In conclusion

The wallet address continues evolving due to cryptocurrency technology. 

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Crypto Comics – What is Decentralization

Crypto Comics – What is Decentralization

I tried to explain what decentralization is in comic strips.

TL;DR

I explained what decentralization is and how you can apply decentralization in the crypto space.

Some Takeaway

The idea of decentralization is not new.  The core concept is to distribute power from centralized authority to lower levels so that it maximizes participation in the decision–making process to make the system sustainable to avoid single-point failure events. There are four aspects of decentralization: political, administrative, fiscal, and market. It may seem to distribute power to a different level but it is to distribute influence to each level so that the system can dynamically interact and capture necessary corrections before progressing.           

Political Decentralization

The idea is to give each citizen more influence in public decision-making rather than concentrating power on individuals. The Ukraine-Russian war is an example of centralized power that creates dilution of the future while creating a single point of failure as the society may move backward from this event because of one person’s vision about how the world is supposed to work the way he believes. Of course, the decentralization political system will not guarantee the future of successful political resolution, but it can surely prevent a single point of failure that collapses the system as a whole.

Administrative Decentralization

The idea is to apply more in the private sector in which corporations will deconcentrate decision making, delegate such decision making to others, and devolve responsibility to participants. The purpose is the same as to prevent a single point of failure that can collapse the corporation. However, such a setup gives everyone an opportunity to grow and participate in the business process. It makes the business more sustainable. 

Fiscal Decentralization

The idea is to give lower levels the capability to raise their own funds to accomplish their own projects. Rather than giving funds to selected projects, everyone works to raise their own funds. Because no one will know how much it will cost for the project to complete, it is better to raise their own funds and progress as needed.

Market Decentralization

The idea is to give everyone a chance in the market to grow. The distinction between fiscal and market decentralization is that fiscal focus on the funding process while the market focuses on competitiveness. 

Why Decentralization 

Inequality is a big problem in the modern economy. The problem seems that rich people are getting richer while poor people are left behind. Decentralization is a solution to bring back the wealth gap and helps to share voices from the poor people. In reality, it is not the case. Simply distributing power to a low level does not resolve the core problem of inequality. Decentralization only gives influence to participants but it does not give them a tool to express their influence. 

The Decentralization Tool

One application to implement decentralization is blockchain technology. Since the written rule cannot be mutated, it gives fairly equal rules for everyone to participate. Of course, it is not an ultimate solution to the problem, it offers some insight that we can do to improve such technology and tailor it down to the need. 

In conclusion

Decentralization is a wonderful theory. The application of decentralization seems a bit away from the theory promise it can do. However, we have a way to improve and make it work as long as people continue believing it.

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Crypto Comics – What is Bagholder

Crypto Comics – What is Bagholder

I tried to explain what bagholder is in comic strips.

TL;DR

I explained what bagholder is and how you can use bagholder in the crypto space.

Some Takeaway

Bagholder describes when people invest as much as they can in one cryptocurrency and hold onto the assets even though it went to zero. The idea is similar to HODL which people hold crypto assets as long as they can. However, the difference is that bagholder is a negative tone to meme people who purchased too much crypto that makes that purchase becomes a burden.            

History of Bagholder

When the gold coin was still valuable in the past, people would carry a small bag to hold their gold coins around. The modern bagholders have their assets in the digital “bag” called a wallet. They are people who are reluctant to admit their misjudgment of specific cryptocurrencies and yet carry so much of them around without any value.

Bagholder Syndrome

Here is a checklist for you to determine whether or not you got bagholder syndrome:

If you check all the above behaviors, you got bagholder syndrome!

How to Cure

Here are some suggestions to cure such syndrome. Although it may not perfectly cure, it can help. First, put away your thoughts about getting back your loss. The money is likely never to be recovered. Second, focus on the growth of your knowledge rather than blindly picking over-promised crypto or token. Third, accumulate your savings rather than invest in risky assets.

In conclusion

Bagholder is an additive of high-risk investments that you want to get back your loss. It is gambling behavior that one should avoid.

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Crypto Comics – What is WAGMI

Crypto Comics – What is WAGMI

I tried to explain what WAGMI is in comic strips.

TL;DR

I explained what WAGMI is and how you can use WAGMI in the crypto space.

Some Takeaway

WAGMI is short for We Are Gonna Make It. A phrase that Youtuber Jamie Tree used on March 24th, 2012 from Zyzz’s motivational video. Despite Zyzz’s death in 2011, the phrase lives on and becomes inspirational.            

WallStreetBets

During the 2021 GameStop squeeze, the catchphrase of WAGMI was frequently used in the spirit that one might lose their entire investment through gambling of stocks or go to the moon. Of course, the latter case was approved by many WallStreetBet members who won the GameStop war.

NFT Hype

Such spirit was quickly adopted by the NFT community and spread around on Twitter. Many early adopters of NFT promoted the WAGMI catchphrase and inflated it with FOMO. It is a win-or-lose situation in NFT when projects are about to launch. It was purposely to inflame the NFT spirit and convince as many people to join the NFT space without any care. 

What is Next

WAGMI is a meme phenomenon. It gives an extremely positive image of the future. This too optimistic view may trick you into thinking of taking more risks without any consideration. It is better for people to be aware of high risks and spend money with care. 

In conclusion

WAGMI is a meme catchphrase to become too optimistic to disregard risks. One should bear in mind that risks are there and they should be cautious to exercise the money with enough protection without ever recovering from a financial scheme.

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Crypto Comics – What is RC4

Crypto Comics – What is RC4

I tried to explain what RC4 is in comic strips.

TL;DR

I explained what RC4 is and how you can break RC4.

Some Takeaway

RC4 or Rivest’s Cipher 4 was designed in 1987. It was a proprietary algorithm from RSA Security until it was reverse engineered and released into the public in 1994. Despite lacking academic peer-review, the simplistic and efficient design helped the public to massive adoption of such an algorithm until a security flaw was discovered in 2005.           

What is the Logic Behind RC4

The logic behind RC4 is to randomly generate numbers to disguise secret messages and rearrange the way that no one can recognize them. When one wants to decrypt the secret code, the procedure then can reverse to reveal the secret messages.

Two Components of RC4

There are two distinct algorithms in RC4: Key Setup Algorithm (KSA) and Pseudo-random Generation Algorithm (PRGA).

Key Setup Algorithm (KSA) is an initial stage to generate array S. It is an initial stage to set up an initial key position and to replace the secret key for the next stage.

Pseudo-random Generation Algorithm (PRGA) is a process to get a keystream that is a key-value bridge between encryption and decryption.

Encryption and Decryption Procedure

The process of encryption involves:

  • The user inputs a plain text file and a secret key
  • The algorithm generates the keystream
  • The keystream will pair with plain text and hide the information through new series of digits as an encrypted text
  • The encrypted text is sent to the intended receiver and the receiver will decrypt the text and reveal the plain text

The process of decryption involves:

  • Using the algorithm to inverse value from encrypted text and keystream

You can see the process is straightforward and efficient.

Advantages and Disadvantages

RC4’s advantages are simple to use and implement efficient performance and can handle large streams of data. The disadvantage of RC4 is that it is relatively easy to break in under an hour.

How to Break into RC4

The problem with RC4 is that the algorithm only repositioned the digit array location without changing its value. It is possible to guess the initial value if you know the initial position of the array. The NOMORE attack in 2015 demonstrated how easily RC4 can be cracked so long as attackers receive the initial value of RC4 through injecting code.

In conclusion

RC4 is an efficient algorithm to protect security with a simple and interactive process. It offers such technology available to advance and create a more secure network in the future.

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Crypto Comics – What is 65537