Wild West Crypto Sector

The Bad, the Feared, the Greedy

From some perspectives, the crypto ecosystem seems to be a solution and a problem at the same time – or how should one summarize all that is currently happening within it and to a significantly increasing extent? Let’s perhaps save the answer for the end of the article. In the end, however, it is perhaps not so decisive what you summarize it under, but how you deal with it.

Bubbles in the Bubble

For newcomers, there is so much to discover when you get into crypto, because the crypto ecosystem has grown and is now already a very complex one. It consists of a variety of very different areas. One extremely prominent area is NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. Although these are only a small part of the overall ecosystem, there are numerous artists, platforms or marketplaces, and tools around the NFT phenomenon and NFT art. So now NFT primarily stand for colorful, bored monkeys. Once you have written the code for the output (Drop/Mint) of NFT, the result is not so far away from art – so the circle closes at least thematically.

NFT have given the crypto ecosystem a lot of visibility in almost all major media outlets. Maybe too much in too short a time? In any case, in our experience, conversations about the crypto ecosystem revolved almost exclusively around NFT, incredible profit margins, and digital art. The fact that NFT have been used for a long time for authenticity, ownership proofs and the like, has not been reported in such a media-effective way, the possibility to change really big things and to exert a lasting positive influence on the preservation of human rights, i.e. part of our mission, has not been reported until now either. But that’s no art. Quite freely according to:

Art is when you can’t, because when you can, it’s not art.

Johann Nepomuk Nestroy (1801 – 1862), Austria comedy poet & character actor

Put a leg up yourself

As unfortunate as the one-sided focus was, it was certainly not harmful in the long term. Stolen tokens (bridges), fraudulent tokens (scams like OneCoin), faulty tokens (smart contracts with errors), robbed tokens (burglaries), but also risky corporate constructs such as with Nuri, which were then completely dragged into the abyss by a bankruptcy of Celcius Network, are the smells to watch. From the bankruptcy of crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital that occurred shortly before.
not to mention.

So much potential and capital could end up in a real success story for the crypto ecosystem. If only there were not the usual crooks, thugs and waylayers. It seems there are parallels to the Yukon Gold Rush era. Perhaps the NFT wave has simply glossed over the downsides and miseries. If no one else takes over, you just trip yourself up.

Building bridges

Particularly in projects that aim to build bridges, small mistakes sometimes have fatal consequences. Especially on the credibility and maturity of the entire crypto ecosystem. Here is an excerpt from the better-known bridge fails, without claiming to be complete:

  • Ronin Bridge ($600 Millionen)
  • Qubit Bridge ($80 Millionen)
  • Wormhole Bridge ($320 Millionen)
  • Meter.io Bridge ($4.4 Millionen)
  • Poly Network Bridge ($610 Millionen, given back)

Regardless of their specific location in the blockchain ecosystem, such events are often associated with high losses – often for the investors, the believers. If the believers stay away after that, the real problems come into play, because without believers, no church – the problem is currently known in other contexts as well.

Reliability

This is, after all, a fundamental component of a functioning financial system. How about if ATM (automated teller machine) debits are not possible even for hours? Who remembers the payment device (terminal) failure and the chaos it caused recently across Germany? That alone was enough for prime-time news on ARD/ZDF and critical questions.

Then come blockchains such as Solana (this is not a judgment on the solution/software, but on the maturity level), which has struggled with outages, with severe time delays, and ultimately with the shutdown of a high number of validator nodes, giving it a sense of beta status. After all, should a blockchain never fail in the best case, and not really fail after that?

Try, Fail, Learn, Repeat

No matter how annoying the aforementioned events were or still are for one or the other of us, they are also data, signals and thus also an opportunity to take countermeasures.

From the skeptics’ point of view, such incidents are like oil on fire and ergo at least as dangerous for the ecosystem as scams and all other disasters. While the first write of the 9/11 of the crypto ecosystem, we are firmly convinced that it will now inevitably come to the urgently needed cleanup, so we are not really surprised.

For how probable should it have been estimated that the most primitive motives and also weaknesses of people do not show themselves in new financial system (DeFi) in the same probability and expression as in the established financial system (TradFi)?

While in some cases there may be a lot of naivety or criminal energy responsible as a trigger, the wisdom of “greed eats brains” has also proven true far too often – regardless of the system.

External influencing Factors

The crypto ecosystem does not exist in a vacuum; it has succumbed to external influences. Certainly no real surprise, because where do the counter values of all the tokens come from – right, mostly from external capital flow.

Another factor would be influences from the approaches to regulating the new markets (EU/MiCA). As critical as the approaches to regulation introduced so far have been, many of the incidents described earlier provide further arguments. Certainly also against planned approaches such as “centralized wallets” to enforce. So you only have to look at the impact of the implosion of FTX here to realize how bad the idea of centralized wallets is.

The influences make clear how strongly the attachment “to” and the comparison “with” the classical financial systems inhibits the potential. In addition, there is a significant correlation with the Nasdaq tech exchange. The flow of capital in the market is also not immune to general world events. This is shown not only by price-influencing tweets from a billionaire, but also in times of war by high inflation, expensive energy, material availability, etc. The fact that we are dealing with a functioning ecosystem is shown by the ongoing investments. Because despite the major bankruptcies, significant capital continues to flow into crypto projects at $33 billion.

Less is More

Too many cooks spoil the broth.

Old saying

For the crypto movement, this phrase seems truly well chosen. At least on the reference of cooperation or non-cooperation. It seems that the majority has not learned much from the emergence of Web1 to Web2 and its current state. However, perhaps the Not-Invented-Here syndrome manifests itself for other motivations. Whatever the reason, we at wunderbon sometimes wish the open source movement had made more influence. Something where we agree with Tim Berners-Lee’s view.

Celebrity Critics

Web3 has nothing to do with the web

Tim Berners-Lee at the Web Summit Tech Conference in Lisbon 11/2022

The tenor of his statements is not so far removed from ours. However, our view differs significantly with respect to the aforementioned quote. A rejection as harsh as the one Tim Berners-Lee gave to Web3 does not do justice to the state of development, but above all to the potential of Web3, or let’s say Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).

We do not find any reasons why (s)one’s idea of (s)one Web 3.0 could not be aligned with the Web3 movement and development? But maybe the contradiction for him is rather based on (his) different approach, which he wants to place on the market with his start-up Inrupt. Since $30 million has just been invested here, his protective statements in this regard may have been understandable, but possibly not entirely altruistic and, above all, not neutral in nature. His open-source mindset would probably do the crypto ecosystem good nonetheless.

In any case, we are firmly convinced that Web3 (Blockchain / DLT) will be a fundamental part of Web 3.0. The biggest challenge from our point of view is still easy access to this new world. So where are the bridges to the real world and the solutions that make reality more pleasant and our lives easier? From our point of view, exactly these bridges are missing. Where nothing (yet) connects, something (yet) separates.

DeFi for the Masses

That’s the way it would be nice. But instead, the AOL effect is more likely to set in. Instead of having learned from the emergence of the Internet as we know it today and also understood it, the same mistakes are obviously being made again. The older readers among us may remember the importance of consistency and ease of access. But apparently another “AOL-gate” is looming.

In the 90s, AOL or better America Online was one of the largest providers of access to the Internet. However, not as we know it today. It was the art of AOL to hide what is simply great behind an absolutely annoying facade. Around AOL 8.0, access was then ultimately changed thanks to unification through standards (PPTP) in such a way that direct access to Internet pages in a browser became established as the normal access to the Internet as we know it today, and at the end of August 2006 (with version 9.0) AOL was also finally correctly classified by the American Stop Badware Coalition. Namely as “badware“. That fits. Nevertheless, users suffered from AOL for more than a decade. There’s no need for that to happen again.

Leaving aside Opera and the Crypto browser (which we fear could become a new AOL), there is not much to be seen yet that ensures easy access or low barriers to entry. Where is the easy entry into the great world of decentralized finance. Above all, where is the bridge that markets not only part of the bubble as a speculative object.

Connecting what belongs together

While some are talking about the ongoing crypto winter (fits to the coming season) we are of the opinion that it is now all the more important to build bridges to remain more than a bubble. Bridges between Web1, Web2, and Web3, between offline and online, and most importantly, continues to bridge between blockchains. The feeling of global networking and being part of it was already the elementary magic of the Internet and probably the secret of its success.

wunderbon set out with a mission to build bridges and bridge the gap between great blockchain projects and real world problems. Our goal is to simplify people’s everyday lives with an intuitive solution. A solution that puts the reins back in the hands of retailers and at the same time enables end customers to have sovereign control over their own data and its use.

We show that the platform works even without a deep look into the data and that everything can be handled end-to-end encrypted. What our secret is? The human being is always in focus for us.

From Human to Human

A human-to-human financial system will change everything. In today’s world, there is no longer a general requirement for banks. In order to store assets and make them accessible, credit institutions are no longer needed, while at the same time service is being progressively reduced, increased and new fees created. They virtually do away with themselves due to a lack of innovation. However, we do not believe that payment providers and other institutions along the way are necessary for complete change.

With the complete digitization of cash, neither individual states nor the legacy financial system necessarily have to be part of it. Country borders do not matter and one could provide interfaces for traditional finance (TradFi) (e.g., for traditional investment forms and transactions).

The time for change has long been ripe, and with the availability of great distributed ledger technology, an important milestone has been reached. It seems to be the right time to forget and rethink the emergence of finance.

Financial system reimagined

An open system for all people – with the ability to pay digitally regardless of whether you have an account or are a customer of a bank – with the same convenience. In addition, the same confidentiality as when paying with cash.

wunderbon is a so-called blockchain layer 3 solution, built on the shoulders of giants – deliberately without operating its own blockchain, without issuing its own currency. We use what exists and connect people all over the world. The wunderbon network is open to all and externally accessible through a simple API. Currently, we are a bridge primarily between the web as it exists, the analog interfaces for payment, and certainly person-to-person.

The wunderbon Privacy Wallet is the gateway to the secure end-to-end encrypted QR code payment platform and secure digital services where the user is always in full control of their data. All securely packaged in an app that follows Apple’s lead. It stands for the fusion between real and digital in every purchase and provides helpful digital content and added value to the analog existence.

Soon our Privacy Wallet for iOS and Android will be publicly available.
We’ve laid the foundation for a new, fully end-to-end encrypted, as well as confidential human-to-human financial ecosystem, and now all that’s missing is you!


Photo by Adam Nir on Unsplash