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Vitalik's AI Manifesto

Weekly Recap: Vitalik on tech optimism, Starknet airdrop incoming
Bankless Bankless Dec 2, 20233 min read
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Vitalik's AI Manifesto

1️⃣ Vitalik's essay on AI optimism

This week, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin published his latest essay, a heady blog post discussing techno-optimism, AI risks, and the challenges of avoiding extreme centralization in the 21st century. 

It’s a great read. Long story short, he acknowledged the incredible benefits of technology but pointed out the high costs of delaying its development. He also raised climate change as a significant exception to the narrative of constant improvement, emphasizing the need for intentional action in leveraging tech to solve global problems. 

A hefty chunk of his essay focuses heavily on AI risks, estimating a 0.1 probability of existential doom and questioning the nature of a future denominated by superintelligent AIs. All in all, the post underlines the complexity of tech progress and the necessity of directed, mindful development to prevent dystopian outcomes. Give it a read!

2️⃣ Starknet airdrop snapshot confirmed

This week, the Starknet Foundation addressed rumors about its upcoming STRK airdrop after draft plans were leaked on social media. These drafts, inadvertently posted on Starknet’s website, outlined potential eligibility criteria for the airdrop. 

The Foundation clarified that these were initial plans and final details are yet to be confirmed. They also noted a snapshot has already been taken, with no further actions influencing eligibility. 

3️⃣ New controversial Bitcoin mining pool rises

Block CEO Jack Dorsey just led a $6.2 million seed funding round for Mummolin’s OCEAN, a new Bitcoin mining pool project. 

The Wyoming-based Mummolin, cofounded by Bitcoin Core dev Luke Dashjr, is a successor to Eligius, a zero-fee mining pool Dashjr operated from 2010 to 2017. The project has sparked controversy due to plans for censoring Bitcoin Ordinals, a.k.a. Bitcoin NFTs. Looks like the “Keep Bitcoin Weird” NFTer crowd has a new boss battle approaching!

4️⃣ KyberSwap attacker demands control

Last week, the DeFi world was stunned when one of the space’s first DEX protocols, KyberSwap, was exploited for $47 million. Since then, the attacker has issued an extraordinary demand: full control over KyberSwap. 

The ultimatum, delivered in an Ethereum transaction, gave the Kyber team until December 10th, 2023, to comply, or the “treaty” deal would fall through. The demands include complete control over Kyber’s company and governance mechanisms, surrender of all assets, and beyond. 

We’ll see what happens next, but the attacker said any contact with the authorities would void the offer, so we’re poised to see more drama here going forward. 

Oracle network giant Chainlink just launched its Staking v0.2 system, with the update significantly expanding the staking mechanism into a larger pool of 45 million LINK tokens. 

This expansion, constituting almost 10% of the LINK token’s current circulating supply, is a major element of Chainlink's new Economics 2.0 plan, which aims to toughen the network while diversifying its token holder base. 

“Because we are seeing a consistent increase in the amount of value secured by […] the Chainlink Network, it’s increasingly important to improve crypto-economic security,” Chainlink cofounder Sergey Nazarov said on the move. 

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