On-chain raises are the future of startup funding

Web3 is owned by the VCs, Jack Dorsey says. Well, I’d argue that web3 is whatever we make it – and the VCs only own it if we allow them to. We are building web3 right now and we have the power to control where it goes and how it is funded on the way there.

If we take decentralization and autonomy seriously, there is no good reason we must follow outmoded venture capital standards. Other means exist, such as smart contract-controlled, on-chain funding, which is more intuitive for projects to utilize, more equitable, completely transparent, and more adaptable for investors and developers alike.

This is why I consider entirely on-chain methods to be the future (or at least the next great evolution) of fundraising.

The long, winding road

If web3 is set to be owned by VCs, let’s agree that Web 2.0 is already owned by billionaires, conglomerates and multinational corporations with cultural influence, political power and the largest allocations of wealth humanity has ever seen. Fine then, no use raging against the dying light – but herein lies the rub: Literally everything we do on the Internet is designed to generate more capital for them while further monopolizing their power. Every time we log on, we’re actually clocking in.

With that in mind, is it any wonder that seasoned Web 2.0 players like Jack Dorsey are cynical about the future of web3? The main thing we should all remember moving forward is that web3 stands alone – it doesn’t replace Web 2.0 – that sandbox continues to survive as-is.

Web3 will exist concurrently, independent of Web 2.0. Believe it or not, some of us look at this opportunity as an ethical imperative, and think it is necessary to iterate upon the concept of the Internet, correct the sins of the father, and perhaps begin influencing the way our society functions at its most fundamental. Rather than empowering companies, we should be empowering communities.

If we take decentralization and autonomy seriously, there is no good reason we must follow outmoded venture capital standards.

At the end of the day, that is precisely what web3 is: An open source way to give the same platform to individuals that corporations currently dominate. Our new framework’s entire reason for existing is to empower individuals and to be more equitable and accessible to all people, regardless of age, race, sex and nationality. The status quo will not disrupt itself, so somebody has to do it.

The future is ours to write

How exactly does this disruption occur? The starting point is entirely on-chain. The majority of developers currently building the protocols and DApps of web3 are a new generation of creators who come to their work with a philosophical bone to pick.

They know how the old models work, who they service and how it is designed to stay that way. Coming from traditional startup accelerators where the experience consists of building a company, raising capital, forming a board, and hiring employees provide us a solid foundation to work from and improve upon.

Blockchain technology already provides us with open source, immutable ledgers that we can use to facilitate all our funding needs in a way that directly aligns with the ethos that has driven web3 from its inception. Utilizing self-executing smart contracts, we can control the open and closing points of a raise and make every investment and their terms open and verifiable to everyone.

Transparency is vital to any web3 project worth its salt, so by utilizing these on-chain, publicly verifiable fundraising methods, we can ensure there is no favoritism. This model doesn’t allow for back-room deals because everything is out in the open and everyone can see that all investors are on the same playing field. Better still, share deals and structures are revealed every single time an investment is confirmed on the blockchain.

Another tactic we can utilize is whitelisting, which can ensure the people who are genuinely passionate about a project and involved with the space end up holding the most economic influence.

By pre-selecting crypto addresses, all the vetting and due diligence can be completed beforehand and streamline the process. Funding contracts are generic and can whitelist any address for any reason, so the power rests entirely with the team issuing the smart contract. This is granular-level control over a process that tends to be messy and time-consuming.

Conscientious creation

On-chain funding models also offer a more equitable approach to developers, allowing them to circumvent certain socio-economic barriers like education, employment, credit, connections, etc. These models let developers get their projects off the ground even if all they have is the project they are building. The entire framework offers a more meritocratic way of functioning, where all that matters is the project and its potential.

Smaller projects can save resources and time by eliminating the need for building a pitch deck, opening a bank account, and actively seeking out investors in the traditional sense.

This is the community-driven spirit that the blockchain industry was born from. We can put simple tools in place to help foster growth and funding in a way that makes sense for each project, and that is what will enable web3 to be owned by the developers, the enthusiasts and the users.

And still, more remains

On-chain raises are not meant to kill the traditional VC model altogether, because after all, working with sophisticated investors offers builders valuable perspectives. VCs are experts at analyzing business and financial models, planning for scaling, and evaluating execution risk and where companies stand in a market. VCs who prioritize these traits will remain as valuable as they are today. Every project wants and needs people who have a proven track record of helping companies grow and succeed.

On-chain funding is not a magic bullet — it is simply the best framework we currently have to align the funding process closer with the mechanisms the developers find most useful while keeping the process open and equitable.

We should pay close attention to these new innovations and welcome them to help this new Internet realize its full potential.

Report suggests NVIDIA is preparing to walk away from its ARM acquisition

NVIDIA has reportedly made little to no progress in gaining regulatory approval for its $40 billion purchase of ARM and is privately preparing to abandon the deal, according to Bloomberg‘s sources. Meanwhile, current ARM owner SoftBank is reportedly advancing a program to take ARM public as an alternative to the acquisition, said another person familiar with the matter.

NVIDIA announced the deal in September 2020, with CEO Jensen Huang proclaiming it would “create a company fabulously positioned for the age of AI.” ARM’s designs are used under license almost universally in smartphones and other mobile devices by companies like Apple, Qualcomm, Microsoft, Samsung, Intel and Amazon.

A backlash began soon after the announcement. The UK, where ARM is based, launched an antitrust investigation into the acquisition in January 2021, and another security probe last November. In the US, the FTC recently sued to block the purchase over concerns it would “stifle” competition in industries like data centers and car manufacturing. China would also reportedly block the transaction if other regulators don’t, Bloomberg‘s sources say.

We continue to hold the views expressed in detail in our latest regulatory filings — that this transaction provides an opportunity to accelerate Arm and boost competition and innovation.

Companies like Intel, Amazon and Microsoft have reportedly given regulators enough information to kill the deal, the sources say. They previously argued that NVIDIA can’t preserve ARM’s independence because it’s an ARM client itself. As such, it could also potentially become both a supplier and competitor to ARM licensees.

Despite the stiff headwinds, both companies maintain that they’re still pushing forward. “We continue to hold the views… that this transaction provides an opportunity to accelerate ARM and boost competition and innovation,” NVIDIA spokesman Bob Sherbin told Bloomberg. “We remain hopeful that the transaction will be approved,” a SoftBank spokesperson added in a statement.

Despite the latter comment, factions at Softbank are reportedly pushing for an ARM IPO as an alternative to the acquisition, particularly while the semiconductor industry is so hot. Others in the company want to continue pursuing the transaction given that NVIDIA’s stock price has nearly doubled since it was announced, effectively increasing the transaction price.

The initial agreement expires on September 13th, 2022, but will automatically renew if approvals take longer. NVIDIA predicted that the transaction would close in approximately 18 months — a deadline that now seems unrealistic.

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on Engadget.

Twitter’s experimental ‘Flock’ feature will let you share tweets with your closest friends

Twitter is still working on a feature that will give you a way to blast tweets that can only be seen by the friends you choose. In July last year, the social network revealed that it’s considering letting you designate “trusted friends” so some tweets would only be visible to them. Now, developer and reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi has unearthed evidence that the feature is currently in development and that Twitter now calls it “Flock.”

It might be called differently if it gets a wider release, though — the company told The Verge that “Flock” is just a placeholder name. Based on the explanation that Paluzzi found, its current iteration will let you add up to 150 users to your list, and they’ll be the only ones who can see and respond to tweets you send to the group. Any tweet you send to your Flock will be come with a notice telling your audience that they can see it because you’ve added them to the group. You can edit the group anytime, though, and Twitter says it won’t notify anyone you remove.

When the company first revealed that it’s considering adding a trusted friends feature, it also presented another concept that would allow you to take on different personas within the same account. It’s unclear if that version of the feature is no longer in development. Twitter is also testing a feature called Communities that gives you a dedicated space for groups of people with the same interests. Flock, however, was designed with your real friends in mind, similar to Instagram’s Close Friends for Stories. In its statement sent to The Verge, Twitter said it’s “always working on new ways to help people engage in healthy conversations, and [it’s] currently exploring ways to let people share more privately.”

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on Engadget.

For the first time in 4 years, profitability beats growth

For the last decade, private company executives have all asked us the same question: “Do public market investors prefer profitability or growth?” While the answer to that question is not simple, the recent trends in the data are clear.

In 2021, profitability — measured by free cash flow (FCF) margins, not revenue growth — had the higher correlation to positive stock returns in the software sector. This broke a four-year trend of revenue growth being the more important driver of software company stock performance.

This correction is big. And the reversal in investor sentiment is clear.

In addition to deviating from the four-year trend, the data shows profitability correlation hit a seven-year high at the end of last year, while revenue growth correlation was close to a seven-year low. With the continued selloff, revenue growth correlation broke well below the seven-year historic low, and profitability correlation stayed at record highs, as shown below.

What’s happening?

So far in 2022, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones have significantly outperformed the tech-heavy Nasdaq. Additionally, a number of recent high-profile/high-growth/unprofitable IPOs have broken IPO price (Hashicorp, Sweetgreen, Rivian Automotive, Rent the Runway, etc.).

As the market turns and volatility increases, investors retreat to names they are comfortable with.

The Bessemer Emerging Cloud Index (made up of prominent SaaS companies) is down over 30% from its November 2021 peak, while some high-multiple names like Cloudflare and HubSpot are down about 50% from their peaks. Broad SaaS valuation multiples over the same period have adjusted from a peak of about 17.5x NTM EV/Rev in November 2021 to about 10.5x.

Investors are “rotating” out of high-growth/high-multiple software names into sectors like finance (banks) and insurance, which benefit from rising interest rates. Also, it is important to note that big, slower-growing, more profitable tech stocks like Microsoft, Google and Facebook have corrected, but to a much smaller degree.

This shift has been fast, resolute and extreme.

Why are investors selling high-growth stocks?

Interest rates are increasing

Inflation is rising, which led the U.S. Federal Reserve to signal three or four interest rate hikes in 2022, which has caused the 10-year treasury yield to rise from about 1.5% in the beginning of the year to about 1.9% today, an around 40bps increase. As interest rates go up, investors focus more on profitability (or a derivative of profitability; Rule of 40 or Magic Number).

Telemedicine startups can survive and thrive under renewed regulation

As the pandemic shifts from an acute phase to one in which we learn to live with COVID-19 as an endemic presence, some entrepreneurs and investors may fear what comes next for virtual medicine.

Nearly half the U.S. states have ended emergency legal waivers introduced during the pandemic that allowed patients to be seen by doctors who practiced elsewhere. To some, the end of these waivers might portend daunting headwinds for telemedicine: a return to old regulations that snuff out the promise of new technology.

Yet there’s another thesis – one driven not by fear but by strategic insight – where the return of regulations could mean something much more beneficial for telemedicine startups and those invested in their success: a moat.

Telemedicine companies that research and understand the varied patchwork of state and federal regulations, analyzing them to identify patterns and build scalable business models, will survive and thrive in the coming environment. Those that do not prioritize this work and shoot from the hip will not fare as well, because patients and enforcement authorities alike will step in. It might mean a classic shakeout.

Even with the return of regulation, the opportunity in digital health will expand. While state laws might change, the macroeconomic rule of supply and demand remains, and patient demand for healthcare far outstrips the supply of available clinicians. That imbalance only accelerated during the pandemic, as physicians and nurses downshifted productivity, moved into less stressful roles or quit the field entirely.

On the demand side of the equation, there are more patients in need of care. Due to the aging Baby Boomers, the Affordable Care Act’s insurance plans, and a proliferation of affordable retail health care options, more people have access to care today than a decade ago.

On the supply side, telemedicine builds efficiency and access. While the increase in telemedicine may benefit doctors and nurses struggling with burnout — a reduced need for in-person visits may lead to less stress, goes the thinking — it does nothing to change the denominator in the equation. Surging inbound demand has, and will continue to, overwhelm the number of new clinicians graduating each year.

Telemedicine companies that research and understand the varied patchwork of state and federal regulations, analyzing them to identify patterns and build scalable business models, will survive and thrive in the coming environment.

This dynamic all but guarantees that telemedicine startups offering a quality user experience, more medically nuanced/specialized services, and a wider variety of virtual-first access points will remain in high demand.

Telemedicine was previously reserved for academic medicine or Medicare beneficiaries living in rural areas, with broad restrictions on who could receive the services and which providers could be paid to deliver them. While less than 1% of medical services were provided via telemedicine in January 2020, that figure is now estimated to be 38 times higher than the pre-pandemic baseline. Indeed, some startups have been conceived, launched and funded entirely during the era of COVID-19 waivers.

Startups that gained traction at a time when the rules were relaxed are now going to have to raise their game. Regulators expect it and patients deserve it.

The pressure for some form of regulatory clarity is only likely to increase. Along with the number of digital health startups transitioning to virtual provider groups and online clinics, there are giant players accelerating their digital transformation, reducing the footprint of brick-and-mortar locations, and increasing virtual care, including virtual primary care alternatives.

No market participant should be lulled into inaction by temporary extensions of crisis waivers. The smart founders (and their investors) will waste no time in launching or modifying a business that can flourish in an environment where regulations revert to the pre-COVID standards.

It’s a development that will allow telemedicine to mature, moving from a convenient replacement in a crisis to earning its own seat at the table in the healthcare industry as an essential participant in the continuum of care.

3 ways investors can assess the strength of an NFT opportunity

Talk of NFTs may be filling board rooms and news feeds, but their complex and new nature makes it hard for investors to determine which projects show promise. In fact, only a small portion of investors are reaping the most profits from NFTs, according to a study by Chainalysis.

I’ve been involved in more than 50 NFT and cryptocurrency deals, and am committed to scaling the DAO (decentralized autonomous organizations) ecosystem. However, the unfamiliarity of the NFT space is why many investors fear dipping their toes.

NFTs are more than famous artworks, songs and tweets — they serve as part of the broader decentralization movement. From copyright enforcement to buying real estate and identity verification, NFTs play a big role in the remote,= digital world. In the first half of 2021, the NFT market cap grew 2,100%, reaching $2.5 billion in sales volume. Meanwhile, the creator economy boom has opened more doors for NFTs, as people don’t have to go through aggregators or intermediaries to create a token.

If you’re speaking with a founder who doesn’t delve into the details of the business model, the tech and competitors, consider it a red flag.

Investors need to know the basics of NFTs and their potential, but they don’t need deep technical knowledge. That’s because the real value of any NFT project lies with the people building it. They are the ones who will sustain promising NFT projects as they face inevitable moments of volatility.

Here’s how to conduct the ultimate litmus test on an NFT project through its creators:

Check if both the founder and tech are open

The first NFT was created in 2014 and was sold only last year. The NFT marketplace is still in its infancy, and investors shouldn’t expect NFT projects to undergo the same vetting process as other tech initiatives. There aren’t sufficient data points available, nor the tools to track NFT performance. Instead, investors should be looking for transparency in a project’s leadership and tech infrastructure. It’s less about assessing the destination, and more about trusting that there’s a window to observe the journey.

A CISO’s playbook for responding to zero-day exploits

SolarWinds, Colonial Pipeline, MSFT Exchange — these names have become synonymous with infamous cybersecurity events. We keep calling every new zero-day exploit a “wake-up call,” but all we have been doing is collectively hitting the snooze button.

But the discovery of the newest widespread critical vulnerability, Log4Shell, ruined the industry’s holiday season. It’s the biggest cybersecurity threat to emerge in years, thanks to the near ubiquity of Java in web applications and the popularity of the Log4j library. Due to its unprecedented scale, compounded by the fact that it is not easy to find, getting rid of this bug from your IT environment isn’t a “one-and-done” activity.

Security teams across the globe are once again racing to remediate a software flaw, even as attackers have begun targeting the low-hanging fruit — public web servers — at a recently reported rate of 100 attempts per minute. A mere seven days after its discovery, more than 1.8 million attacks had been detected against half of all corporate networks.

Are you awake now?

I’ve participated in many urgent Log4Shell briefings with Qualys customers (who include 19,000+ enterprises worldwide, 64% of Forbes Global 100), and it’s clear that dealing with a constant barrage of zero-day vulnerabilities is one of the greatest challenges faced by today’s security teams.

Just like inventorying, gathering and analyzing threat intelligence is crucial to provide the necessary foundation for security teams to take calculated and intentional steps.

It can be overwhelming to prioritize fixes and patches when responding to a zero-day exploit like Log4Shell. Here are a few steps to respond to security threats that we have learned and cataloged over the years:

Establish a standard operating procedure

Create a detailed standard operating procedure that includes step-by-step activities tailored to the vulnerability type.

For a zero-day response, the following information must be included:

  • Process flow for responses. If you need help, the U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has created an excellent guide.
  • Categorize the vulnerability by the type, severity and required response times. There should be a specific category for critical zero-day vulnerabilities.
  • Pre-determined service-level agreements for each response team.
  • Procedure for declaring and communicating an incident (this could be a reference to the incident response standard operating procedure).
  • Steps for tracking, reporting, and concluding the incident and returning to normal operations.

Panasonic’s higher-capacity Tesla battery could enter production in 2023

Panasonic could start mass producing larger-capacity batteries for Tesla as soon as next year. The 4680 cell is said to boost the range of electric vehicles by over 15 percent. As Nikkei notes, that could boost the range of the Model S from 650km (404 miles or so) on a single charge to 750km (around 465 miles).

Although the battery is said to be twice as big as previous versions, it has a fivefold increase in energy capacity, according to Nikkei. As such, cars need fewer of the batteries, which are already 10 to 20 percent cheaper to produce. It’s estimated that batteries account for 30 percent of the cost of EVs. A cost reduction could make EVs more affordable and hasten the transition to electric vehicles. What’s more, a longer range means drivers won’t need to charge batteries as often.

Panasonic, a long-time partner of Tesla, is reportedly investing around 80 billion yen ($704 million) on new equipment to produce the 4680. It’s said to be expanding an existing plant in Japan and making the batteries there to begin with. Nikkei reports the company will start making the cells on a small scale this year to develop safe and efficient processes before entering mass production in 2023. It may mass produce the batteries in other countries later.

The company confirmed to Reuters that it was setting up a test production line in 2022, though didn’t say when it will start making the batteries at a larger scale. “We are studying various options for mass production,” it said.

Panasonic started working on the cell following a request from Tesla. The head of Panasonic’s battery division said in November that the company hasn’t ruled out producing the cell for other automakers, though Tesla is its priority. Tesla CEO Elon Musk previously said that although his company plans to make its own batteries, it would continue to source them from other suppliers.

Tesla announced the 4680 at a Battery Day event in September 2020. At the time, Musk said the cell and other developments could enable Tesla to start selling a $25,000 EV.

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on Engadget.

Rethinking the longevity of cryptocurrency’s pay-for-processing model

The pay-for-processing business model has always been a largely unquestioned mainstay within the cryptocurrency landscape. Since the inception of digital assets, investors, developers and enthusiasts have been subjected to paying a processing or “miner” fee on top of the cost of the actual token purchased.

In April 2021, the average cost of sending bitcoin reached an all-time high of $59, surpassing its peak in December 2017, when the average transaction fees skyrocketed to $52. Then there’s Ethereum and its notoriously high gas fees. In 2021, the blockchain saw a number of crypto networks leaving Ethereum in search of more sustainable options such as rival blockchain Solana.

Needless to say, investing in crypto is becoming increasingly more expensive. Right now, the majority of the ecosystem is becoming disgruntled by the exorbitant cost of crypto and its use cases, especially in relation to fees on Bitcoin and Ethereum networks.

Nevertheless, enthusiasts and speculators are gritting their teeth and bearing it, accepting it as an annoying trade-off that comes with their involvement in something that should revolutionize money.

However, what happens when that majority loses their enthusiasm to pursue other ways to transact and move value? We already see transactions on “centralized” services like Binance Smart Chain overtaking distributed systems like Ethereum because of a more competitive fee structure.

What will become of the dream of having a truly decentralized crypto ecosystem? Is it really impossible for decentralized networks to compete with centralized ones, from a transaction fee standpoint?

It’s time for a free-market approach

At present, the network economics of all current major public cryptocurrencies and blockchains ignore the need for utility-value-based pricing, which means that the price of transacting on a blockchain is not congruent with the customer’s perception of the utility value of making that transaction.

In other words, the fee range for transactions is not determined with the consumer’s needs in mind, nor the competitive landscape. In fact, there is little benefit for consumers when it comes to the pay-for-processing model since there is no cap on what fee can be charged for a transaction. Once fees amount to a large proportion of the value you are trying to transact, it can become inefficient and impractical to use such a network for those transactions.

While many would assume or hope that the network benefits from the real value of the utility provided to the user, the reality is that the pay-for-processing model only benefits crypto miners and other network stakeholders such as stakers, and not the users themselves.

For example, in Bitcoin, rewards are paid to miners for completing blocks of verified crypto transactions, and all fees are paid out to them. There remains an artificially scarce “block size” within which these transactions are processed, and miners have historically refused to let this block size increase.

Instead, they continue to demand higher fees to include transactions into a block. According to YChart, Bitcoin miners’ average daily revenue stands around $47 million, up from around $29 million at the beginning of 2021, an increase of 62%.

In order for things to be sustainable in the long run, perhaps it’s time that transacting in crypto becomes beneficial to users by using utility-value-based pricing. It is high time that the world of digital assets adopts a conventional free-market economic approach, where the customer is always king.

High transaction fees are a barrier to crypto network expansion

Enthusiasts and early adopters will eventually become apathetic to a network, and when that time comes, pay-for-processing use cases for all these networks will most likely be reduced to only the transactions that users are willing to pay higher prices for – infrequent and higher-value settlements.

If this becomes a reality, value will be lost for a network’s stakeholders through under-pricing higher-value use-cases, while at the same time losing network revenue potentially derived from lower-value, high-volume use cases.

I refer to this impending scenario as utility mispricing — an inevitable fate for all cryptocurrency networks that rely on pay-for-processing to reward network stakeholders: that is, miners, masternode owners and stakers. The effects of utility mispricing include a decline in revenue and adoption of these networks, specifically at the point that there is an uptick in new user growth.

Ultimately, consumer confidence will wane, subsequently leading to a loss of brand equity, and this is likely to be fueled by negative media sentiment (as it is now, with relation to the exorbitant fees on the largest two crypto networks).

It remains to be seen if any of the major cryptocurrency networks will ever solve this problem in an elegant and efficient manner, short of having to implement and get consensus for a complete refactoring of their network revenue model.

Alternative business models are key for network revenue

While the best-case scenario would be to not throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater, adopting completely new network revenue models may be the answer. Arguably, the utility-value-based pricing model for cryptocurrency is the most user-beneficial alternative model in which low to feeless transactions can take place.

To achieve this, networks must set pricing through governance that involves all stakeholders, allowing for both on-chain and off-chain stakeholders to have a say on pricing parameters.

An example of this is Nano, a feeless cryptocurrency network that utilizes open representative voting. Votes are shared and rebroadcasted between nodes, tallied up and compared against the online voting weight available. Once a node sees a block that has received a sufficient number of votes to reach quorum, that block is confirmed in less than a minute.

The network offers no direct monetary incentive for nodes, thus removing emergent centralization forces and positioning it for longer-term trending toward decentralization, although the question of how this model will scale when it loses the altruism of its participants remains unanswered.

Another example of a network finding its way around a pay-for-processing model is Koinos. Its aim is to provide a mass-market user experience on a blockchain through what they refer to as “mana” – operating much like the mana one would come across in a video game.

Every token on the network is assigned a set amount of mana – similar to purchasing a mobile device that comes with preloaded data, this form of “fuel” is expended when a user consumes network resources. In this way, feeless transactions are able to accrue to liquid token holders.

One could also refer to this approach as hold-to-play, where the users choose to keep their tokens liquid, preventing them from participating in any yield-generating activities. Once any of the mana in any given token is consumed, that token is locked for a period of time, with the purpose of creating an opportunity cost in lieu of a real-time monetary cost that serves to disincentivize the submission of value-less transactions. Therefore, making the mana fee mechanism more dynamic and scalable than charging explicit transaction fees.

While there are a handful of other emerging networks that are following a model that is driven by user satisfaction, only time will tell whether major cryptocurrencies will follow suit.

Major cryptos’ viability to scale remains at risk

Right now, major cryptocurrencies are managing to remain relevant because of user altruism and enthusiasm; networks do not yet need to think outside of the “pay-to-play” box. However, as time passes and the hype becomes measured against the network’s performance and competitiveness in light of alternatives, networks will need to rethink the pay-for-processing model and find new solutions that are beneficial to the user as well as the network itself.

In any other business, customers inform the value and relevance of a product. Currently, there is an illusion that crypto enterprises don’t have to adhere to the same system, but there will have to be a shift in due time.

Only by providing real value to users on decentralized networks that is comparable to centralized services can the longevity of any cryptocurrency project be ensured in the long run.

The existing crypto ecosystems must adapt and recognize the fact that users are stakeholders, too. It is critical to ensure a network’s business model allows pricing services appropriately across all its target use cases while earning and distributing enough network revenue to make the project attractive to its investors.

6 cloud trends to watch in 2022

The past two years have been exciting periods of growth for the cloud market, driven by increased demand for access to new technology during COVID-19 and the proliferation of the “work-from-anywhere” culture. IT leaders worked to shift workloads to the cloud to ensure business continuity for the remote workforce, leading to skyrocketing adoption of cloud computing. This momentum is expected to pick up in 2022 and beyond.

For many businesses, the pandemic accelerated their digital transformation plans by months, or even years. Reliance on cloud infrastructure will only continue to grow as organizations adjust to the hybrid work model. Gartner projects that global spending on cloud services is expected to reach over $482 billion in 2022, up from $313 billion in 2020.

As we start the new year, C2C, an independent Google Cloud community, has identified six cloud computing trends to watch in 2022.

More people are harnessing new technologies

The pandemic inspired a new generation of entrepreneurs. Whether out of necessity from mass layoffs, a desire for a more flexible lifestyle, or finding the inspiration to finally pursue a passion, millions have started their own ventures.

As their businesses grow and digitize, entrepreneurs across industries are embracing the cloud and adopting technologies like machine learning and data analytics to optimize business performance, save time and cut expenses. There are countless benefits to small businesses and startups. For one, the cloud makes data accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, enabling the seamless collaboration necessary in a hybrid work environment. Without having to spend on expensive hardware and software, entrepreneurs can invest in other areas as they scale their businesses.