18 August 2023
Q9’s summer quiz offers an eclectic test of knowledge about crypto markets, industry trends, digital asset technology and global economics. Take the test and share it with your friends to see how their crypto comprehension stacks up against your own.
1. Following the Merge in 2022, the Ethereum network underwent another major upgrade in 2023 called “Shapella”. The upgrade allowed validators to withdraw staked Ether for the first time from which chain?
A. Beacon Chain
B. Yield Chain
C. Execution Chain
D. Shard Chain
2. Which major payment provider announced the launch of its own US dollar stablecoin in recent weeks?
B. Apple Pay
3. The Curve DAO hack resulted in over $60mn being drained from the decentralised exchange. The platform suffered “reentrancy” attacks due to a vulnerability in which programming language?
4. Sam Altman, the founder of ChatGPT, launched a new cryptocurrency relying on a biometric “proof-of-personhood” mechanism where a user’s identity is verified using an iris-scanning orb. What is the name of the project?
5. Bitcoin has gained over 75% so far this year, putting it on track for its best annual performance since 2020. What was the price of Bitcoin at its lowest point in 2023 in US Dollar terms?
6. Crypto businesses including Binance, Coinbase and Ripple are facing a number of charges from US regulators such as the SEC. Many of the charges centre around offering unregistered securities. In the US, what is the name of the test used to determine if an asset should be classified as a security?
A. Franchot Test
B. Jeffers Test
C. Beto Test
D. Howey Test
7. Positive data from Chainalysis shows overall digital asset crime has fallen 65% in 2023. However, one particular form of crypto crime has risen. Which one of the following has increased this year?
C. Darknet markets
8. A number of financial institutions holding long-dated debt were caught wrong footed as central banks raised interest rates to combat high inflation. Credit Suisse, First Republic, Silvergate Bank and Signature Bank all failed, with the latter two causing a crypto banking crisis. What is the name of the risk associated with a bond’s price sensitivity to interest rate changes?
A. Liquidity Risk
B. Prepayment Risk
C. Credit Risk
D. Duration Risk
9. Generative AI technologies producing human-like content have captured the public’s imagination after the release of Bard, ChatGPT and other platforms. ChatGPT became the fastest ever consumer application to reach 100 million users after launch. How long did it take to accomplish this feat?
A. 10 days
B. 2 months
C. 6 months
D. 1 year
10. A technological breakthrough is receiving a lot of attention as a way to protect valuable information and bring new entrants into the digital asset economy who require data privacy or IP protection. It essentially allows one party (the prover) to cryptographically prove to another (the verifier) they possess information without actually revealing what that information is. What is its name?
A. Single-Verifier Proof
B. Null-Data Proof
C. Zero-Knowledge Proof
D. No-Information Proof
Bonus Question. Similar in nature to NFTs built on the Ethereum network, what is the name given to digital asset content inscribed on the Bitcoin network?
1. Answer: A
Assets were unlocked from the Beacon Chain. Shapella is a portmanteau of “Shanghai” and “Capella”, referring to two network upgrades that occurred simultaneously allowing users to unstake their ETH from the network. The Ethereum networks ambitious future upgrade roadmap can be found here.
Featured in previous Q9 Weekly: The Shapella Show
2. Answer: D
Fintech giant and payment processor, PayPal, has announced the launch of its own stablecoin (PYUSD), becoming the first major financial institution to push deep into crypto payments. PayPal customers will be able to purchase, send, convert and fund purchases in the coming weeks.
Optimists see it as a watershed moment of validation for blockchain and smart contracts, from a very serious fintech player. Plus, PayPal has over 430mn customers who will likely be bought into the crypto-sphere over the next few years.
Featured in previous Q9 Weekly: Familiar to Millions
3. Answer: B
The Vyper code is a programming language used specifically to launch smart contracts on Ethereum. The programming language’s core team announced that older versions of Vyper were vulnerable to “reentrancy” locks. In these type of attacks an exploiter contract leverages a loophole of the victim contract to continuously withdraw from it until the victim contract goes bankrupt.
Featured in previous Q9 Weekly: Behind the Curve
4. Answer: C
To receive a token, people who sign up to WorldCoin must have their irises scanned through an orb-shaped device — a way of ensuring that anyone who signs up is human and only signs up once. It’s founders say this is necessary for a future in which distinguishing between humans and robots becomes increasingly challenging due to a surge in artificial intelligence technology. Or is it all just a bit dystopian?!
Featured in previous Q9 Weekly: A Brave New World(Coin)
5. Answer: C
On January 1st the BTC/USD price was $16,625 (according to CoinGecko data). Market sentiment has since dramatically improved and Standard Chartered have even put a price prediction of $120k for BTC by the end of 2024.
Featured in previous Q9 Weekly: Everything Bitcoin
6. Answer: D
The implications of the Howey Test for cryptocurrency are significant. The test determines what qualifies as an “investment contract” and would therefore be subject to securities laws. An investment contract exists if there is: 1) An investment of money 2) In a common enterprise 3) With the expectation of profit 4) To be derived from the efforts of others. Matt Levine at Bloomberg wrote a great long-read on the issue: When Is a Token Not a Security?
Featured in previous Q9 Weekly: This is Howey Do It
7. Answer: B
Ransomware has been rising as big game hunting makes a comeback. Ransomware attackers are on pace for their second-biggest year ever, having extorted at least $450mn through June. If this pace continues, ransomware attackers will extort $899mn from victims in 2023, trailing only 2021’s $940mn. You can read more at Chainalysis’ Crypto Crime Mid-year Update
Featured in previous Q9 Weekly: Life on the Hedge
8. Answer: D
Duration risk, also referred to as interest rate risk, is the risk that changes in interest (borrowing) rates may reduce or increase the market value of a fixed-income investment. The interest rate is the cost of borrowing, while bond prices reflect the market value of bonds.
Featured in previous Q9 Weekly: Too Big to Fail?
9. Answer: B
ChatGPT is estimated to have reached 100 million monthly active users in January, just two months after launch, making it the fastest-growing consumer application in history. It took TikTok about nine months after its global launch to reach 100 million users and Instagram 2–1/2 years, according to data from Sensor Tower.
But turning these technologies into everyday tools, on par with search engines, will be a harder task. Among those who have used the technology, only 43% believe that Generative AI always produces factually accurate responses and just 38% believe they are unbiased (findings from Deloitte’s 2023 Digital Consumer Trends).
Featured in previous Q9 Weekly: God Save the Coin
10. Answer: C
Zero Knowledge Proofs will likely be the very thing that will deliver accountability to decentralised networks without submitting to arbitrary oversight. The technology should enable blockchain projects to facilitate greater transaction throughput; protect user data while still being able to verify identities; and support complex computation, while also allowing global enterprises to adopt blockchain technology while protecting their valuable intellectual property.
Here is a video of a computer scientist explaining ZK’s with 5 levels of difficulty: to a child, a teen, a college student, a grad student, and an expert.
Featured in previous Q9 Weekly: Zero-Knowledge is Power
Bonus Question. Answer: C
One of the latest crypto sensations has seen many users flocking back to the original BTC blockchain to inscribe content on the network using Ordinals inscriptions, bringing new projects and slowing transactions. The project effectively allows users to create Bitcoin based NFTs and has taken the industry by storm.
Unlike Bitcoin sidechains (ie Stacks or Counterparty), Ordinals are inscribed directly onto the blockchain. These “digital artifacts” can comprise of JPEG images, PDFs, video or audio formats. The images are actually stored on the Bitcoin blockchain, rather than somewhere else which is often the case with other NFT protocols.
Featured in previous Q9 Weekly: Out of the Ordinal-ry