Pastel Quizzo Referral Challenge

Hey there, Pastel Fam!
We’re adding some extra fun into our bi-weekly Quizzos! For our next 4 events, we’re introducing the Quizzo Referral Challenge for our existing community members to earn bonus rewards.

Why add more excitement? We want to celebrate our loyal community and show our appreciation in addition to our standard Quizzo prizes.

Here’s the gist of the Quizzo Referral Challenge:

👫 Invite up to 5 friends to join our Discord community.

📌 Have them actively participate (along with yourself) in 1 of our next 4 Quizzos — that means joining in and answering all the quiz questions. See schedule below.

📌 If you and your referral make it through 1 of the next 4 Quizzos, you’ll earn extra bonuses!

💰 Bonus: Earn 5 USDT for each approved referral (up to 25 USDT in total!). You and your referrals are still eligible for our ongoing Quizzo rewards.

🔔 The first Quizzo of the Referral Challenge will kick-off this Thursday 5/18 at 12pm EST on our Quizzo Discord Channel.

NOTE: To be eligible for the Quizzo Referral Challenge bonus, you must be an active member of our Discord Server prior to 5/18 at 12pm EST.

Quizzo Details
Our popular bi-weekly Quizzo events remain the same — a fun-filled session our Discord Quizzo Channel where you answer questions about Pastel Network and earn points towards your final score. The top 3 community members from each event with the most points will earn PSL airdrops!

🥇 First Place = 50,000 PSL

🥈 Second Place = 25,000 PSL

🥉 Third Place = 10,000 PSL

With the new Referral Challenge, you have an opportunity to earn more!

Referral Challenge Bonus Details

Are you ready to earn more rewards? As outlined above:

👫 Invite your friends to our Discord server.

🎮 Ensure you and your referrals actively participate in 1 of the next 4 Quizzos.

💰 For every approved referral, you’ll receive a bonus of 5 USDT.

NOTE #1: You can refer only up to 5 friends and win a maximum of 25 USDT.

NOTE #2: Must be an existing community member to refer.

Quizzo Schedule
Mark your calendars for the next 4 Quizzos! You and your referrals need to participate in order to receive the Referral Bonuses.

Quizzo 1: Thursday 5/18/2023–12pm EST

Quizzo 2: Thursday 6/1/2023–12pm EST

Quizzo 3: Thursday 6/15/2023–12pm EST

Quizzo 4: Thursday 6/29/2023–12pm EST

Questions about the Quizzo Referral Challenge? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us in the Quizzo Channel on our Discord Server.

Get ready to join us this Thursday 5/18 at 12pm EST for the first Quizzo of this exciting Referral Challenge! Let’s get quizzical!

About Pastel Network
Pastel Network is a fully decentralized, developer-friendly layer-1 blockchain serving as the preeminent protocol standard for non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) and Web3 technology.

Pastel allows for the development of third-party decentralized-applications (“DApps”) to sit on top of its Network, enabling developers to enjoy the scalable registration features, storage processes, and security of the broader ecosystem. Lightweight protocols such as Sense — which was built to assess the relative rareness of a given NFT against near-duplicate metadata — and Cascade — which conducts permanent, distributed storage of underlying NFT data — can be integrated cross-chain across various layer-1 blockchains, layer-2 protocols, or other third-party apps.

Pastel is managed by world-class developers, cryptographers, and technologists, supported alongside an experienced and extensive network of marketers, influencers, and third-party agencies. Pastel is backed by key stakeholders including Innovating Capital, a prominent venture fund.

For more information on Pastel Network, visit

Silvergate Bank Failure’s Impact on Cryptocurrency

How did Silvergate Bank Collapse?

Silvergate Bank was a thriving institution in the world of cryptocurrencies, but it is now a cautionary tale for those seeking to enter the market. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the rise and fall of Silvergate Bank, and explore the factors that led to its ultimate collapse.

Silvergate Bank was founded in 1988 as a California based community bank, but in 2014, the bank entered the cryptocurrency market, offering accounts to companies providing services in the Bitcoin space. This move led to the creation of the SEN (Silvergate Exchange Network), a platform that allowed for seamless payment transfers between Silvergate customers, operating 24/7. The bank grew its customer base during the crypto winter of 2018 and brought in-house software engineers to add more functionalities to the platform. The SEN was a fee generator for Silvergate and provided a significant benefit to its clients, while also serving as an anchor for its zero-cost deposit base.

The first sign of trouble for Silvergate Bank came with the collapse of FTX in 2022. This triggered a devastating bank run on Silvergate, with clients withdrawing a staggering $8.1 billion from the bank. The bank had to sell off assets, including bonds, at a lower price than their marked value on the balance sheet, thus incurring significant losses and impairing capital. The bank’s management had structured its balance sheet to withstand a 70% drawdown on deposits and kept cash reserves that exceeded all remaining deposits. However, at many levels, this wasn’t enough.

The bank’s management team took measures to ensure liquidity and accommodate deposit inflows and outflows. Silvergate adjusted its expenses, reviewed its product offerings and customer relationships, and implemented cost-saving measures like reducing its workforce by approximately 40%. They tried to fight back with decisive actions to mitigate the losses and for a moment seemed to regain control of the situation.

However, news surfaced of the Justice Department taking an interest in Silvergate and questioning FTX and Alameda transactions that took place on the SEN. While it is unclear if Silvergate did anything wrong, having the Feds start poking around and asking questions is certainly a headache and distraction that a troubled bank didn’t need.

To make matters worse, political pressure on the bank has increased to deafening levels, which has destroyed what little reputation and confidence the bank had left. The pressure grew so intense that the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco demanded the repayment of the $4.3 billion loan that they had provided when the problems started. This loan recall is already stirring up controversy, with some questioning whether it was simply political pressure and cherry-picking rather than a neutral regulatory decision.

The final nail in the coffin was the bank’s delayed annual report, caused by the need to reevaluate the losses incurred and its ability to continue as a going concern. This led to its clients losing confidence in the bank and stopping the use of its SEN, effectively killing it. Without its SEN, the very reason for the bank’s existence was mostly over. In a matter of days, the bank went from delaying the annual filing to liquidation.

While it is true that regulators, politicians, and the macro scenario contributed to the bank’s woes, the management team had a role to play as well. First, they directed the bank’s funding toward the cryptocurrency business. In hindsight, they could have diversified the sources of funding or been more conservative in the deployment of funds. On the asset side, they held bonds that went down with rising interest rates, and on the funding side, they had clients dealing in an asset class that was tremendously sensitive to interest rates.

How does the failure of Silvergate Bank impact the Cryptocurrency Industry?

The collapse of Silvergate Bank has had far-reaching implications for the crypto industry. One immediate consequence is the disruption of essential banking services for numerous crypto companies. Silvergate Bank played a crucial role in providing banking solutions, such as fiat currency accounts and digital asset custody, which are now in jeopardy. As a result, crypto businesses are grappling with financial instability and uncertainty as they struggle to find reliable banking partners to support their operations.

Another significant impact of Silvergate Bank’s collapse is the erosion of trust and confidence within the crypto industry. The downfall of a well-established institution like Silvergate Bank has raised concerns among investors and businesses. They may become more cautious and hesitant to engage in crypto-related activities, fearing similar failures in the future. This loss of trust poses a challenge to the growth and adoption of cryptocurrencies, making it harder for the industry to gain broader acceptance from traditional financial institutions and the general public.

Furthermore, the collapse of Silvergate Bank may trigger increased regulatory scrutiny on the crypto industry. Regulators could interpret this event as evidence of the risks associated with cryptocurrencies and their ecosystem. In response, they may impose stricter regulations and compliance measures to ensure the stability and integrity of the financial system. While these efforts aim to safeguard investors and mitigate risks, they could also impede innovation and impede the growth of the crypto industry.

In the aftermath of Silvergate Bank’s collapse, crypto companies are actively seeking alternative banking solutions. They are exploring partnerships with other financial institutions that are more crypto-friendly or turning to decentralized financial (DeFi) platforms that offer banking-like services without relying on traditional banks. However, while these alternatives can provide temporary relief, they may not fully replicate the comprehensive services offered by established banks like Silvergate Bank.

Moreover, the collapse of a significant financial institution in the crypto industry has the potential to induce market volatility and affect investor sentiment. The uncertainty surrounding the stability of the banking system can trigger sell-offs and price fluctuations in cryptocurrencies. This volatility could discourage new investors from entering the market and dampen overall market growth.

In the end, the collapse of Silvergate Bank serves as a cautionary tale about the importance of proper risk management and oversight in the banking industry. While the bank’s rapid expansion and lucrative cryptocurrency business may have seemed like a recipe for success, it ultimately proved to be its downfall when market conditions changed. As regulators and industry leaders continue to grapple with the fast-evolving world of digital assets, it’s likely that more lessons will be learned along the way. However, with careful attention to risk management and a willingness to adapt to changing market conditions, banks and other financial institutions can hopefully avoid a similar fate.

SmartMint Monthly Art Contest

We are kicking off our SmartMint monthly art contest to celebrate talented creators and foster the growth of the NFT digital art community.
Continue reading “SmartMint Monthly Art Contest”

NFT Sports Cards Explained (Read Before Buying)

It seems only yesterday when headlines of sports trading cards selling for millions of dollars spotlighted the lucrative world of collectible cards. 

To recap the highest flying sales:

  1. A 1952 Topps SGC 9.5 Mickey Mantle card sold for $12.6 million
  2. A T206 SGC 2 Honus Wagner sold for $7.25 million
  3. The  LeBron James 2003-04 Rookie Patch Auto sold for $5.2 million. 
  4. Patrick Mahomes 2017 Rookie Auto BGS 8.5 sold for $4.3 million.
  5. Luka Doncic 1:1 Logoman Auto sold for $4.6 million

And the list goes on, often to the incredulity of the average person still digesting the idea that even classical art can fetch multi-million dollar price tags.

Throw NFTs, these intangible digital collectibles, into the mix, and it seems people’s incredulity grows to almost shocked disbelief. 

NFT sports cards were inevitable– attach the high value placed on limited edition collectible cards to a 24/7/365 digital marketplace, and you’ve got a powerful combination. 

The following guide explores the ins and outs of NFT sports cards.

NFT Sports Cards 101: A Quick Summary of NFTs

To best understand how NFT sports cards work, it’s essential to firmly grasp the NFT concept. 

A non-fungible token is a cryptocurrency that is unlike any other– hence its non-fungibility. 

For most practical purposes, one bitcoin will always equal one bitcoin, in the same way, one quarter will always equal one quarter. 

However, let’s say we have two houses with identical floorplans– but one is on the beach, and the other is in a regular suburb. In most markets, the beachfront house might be worth triple or even ten times the amount of its less-breezy twin. 

Similarly, the NFT token standard enables tokens to hold unique characteristics– which are priced accordingly by the market. 

The holder of the NFT owns what is essentially the deed to the digital trading card and can sell it whenever.

In more technical terms, the NFT owner holds the token in a cryptocurrency wallet; their private key is what signals to the blockchain that they are the owner of the wallet and its contents, enabling them to trade as they please. 

There are no physical tokens or coins that represent the NFT– it’s all digital, and your private key is what communicates your ownership of the NFT. 

Exploring the NFT Sports Card World

Today’s most popular NFT sports card platforms are essentially the issuers of a specific collection.

For example, NBA Top Shot is the officially licensed platform of NBA collectibles. NBA Top Shot project took the cryptocurrency world by storm when Dapper Labs launched it in October 2020, introducing many of its crypto-savvy collectors to the future of NFTs. 

Dapper Labs is also known for its viral CryptoKitties project in 2017, seeing several CryptoKitties reach six-figure sales. 

In addition to NBA Top Shot, Dapper Labs also has NFL All Day and UFC Strike. 

In just a few short months, NBA Top Shot attracted over $123 million in sales. In 2022, NBA Top Shot Labs reached over $1.03 billion in secondary market trades. 

Dapper Labs takes a 5% royalty fee on secondary NFT sales of its marketplace; so, in theory, Dapper Labs made about $50,000,000 from its users trading its NFTs with each other. 

In contrast to physical sports cards, NFT sports cards are able to include additional rarity features; NBA Top Shot uses different tiers like Legendary, Rare, Fandom, and Common.

NBA Top Shot introduced the most polished NFT sports experience in 2020, paving the road for several new NFT sports card marketplaces today. 

SoRare is a competing NFT marketplace and issuer that initially started with football (of the round ball sort) NFTs, and has expanded to MBA and MLB NFTs. 

However, in addition to purely holding SoRare cards for collection’s sake, collectors can play in twice-weekly global competitions or against friends in private leagues. Using the cards for their collections, players can submit either five-player lineups (for football & NBA) or a seven-player lineup (MLB) in free competitions. 

SoRare players can also earn rewards such as digital player cards, merchandise, match tickets, ETH, or even meeting their star athletes– all based on their squad’s real-life performance– similar to a fantasy league.

NFT Sports Cards: Considerations

Chances are that one top question in your head comes from this line of logic: well, if seemingly anyone can launch an NFT, wouldn’t the market just become supersaturated with NFT sports cards, basically commoditizing the asset class?

Correct. However, this isn’t much different from how real-life companies can start pumping out specific trading cards, provided they have adequate licensing and legal agreements with the organizations.

Similarly, sports organizations tend to sign non-exclusive licensing agreements with NFT platforms– similar to how SoRare and NBA Top Shot are competing companies offering NBA NFTs. However, SoRare offers a gaming aspect, whereas NBA Top Shot seems to be strictly collection-oriented.

We can expect to see more NFT sports card marketplaces and issuers arise with different functionalities. 

Autograph, for example, is a platform that enables famous athletes and celebrities to turn their real-life experiences into NFTs, giving them a direct link to add personal touches to the digital collectibles distributed to fans. 

Rather than a simple static image or . GIF, Autograph NFTs are typically customized high-graphic digital representations, such as interactive posters, digital action figures of iconic game highlights, and more. 

The Autograph team counts a star-studded array of celebrity athlete partners, like Tom Brady, Simone Biles, Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter, Wayne Gretzky, and Tony Hawk. 

However, NFTs come with additional considerations their physical counterparts don’t.

For one, the underlying blockchain adds another distinctive category type. While the bulk of NFT sports cards (in terms of market share, volume, and popularity) are on Ethereum’s blockchain, there are competitors emerging on blockchains like Solana, Polygon, Flow, and even Cardano. 

Final Thoughts: The Future of NFT Sports Cards

Bear or bull market, the underlying value proposition of NFT sports cards remains the same– collect digital assets representing your favorite athletes similar to how you’d collect physical cards. 

With a few billion dollars in primary and secondary volume, NFT sports cards are a smaller yet still dominant representation of NFT’s potential. 

 It’s not a stretch to assume we’re in the early innings of how far NFT sports cards can go; platforms like NBA Top Shot, SoRare, and Autograph have raised and are implementing over a billion dollars of cumulative funding to build their NFT offering

However, potential NFT sports cards holders should be mindful their digital holdings come with more nuanced responsibilities, such as protecting your holdings from hackers (and yourself) with adequate cryptocurrency wallet security and digital hygiene– as well as the underlying risks of the very risky cryptocurrency world.

Monet 1.2 Testnet Release

Introducing the final phase of the Monet 1.2 Testnet, now live!

As we strive to achieve our goals, Monet 1.2 represents a critical milestone among several other planned releases for 2023. This release brings substantial enhancements to our Supernode infrastructure, major updates to Cascade (our permanent NFT data storage solution), and Sense (our duplicate detection technology).

Specific upgrade milestones include:

  • Integration of Supernode Storage Challenges to Cascade
  • Activation of Cascade’s Self-Healing capability
  • Activation of Supernode Health and State Challenges
  • Stabilization of Sense Protocol
  • Release of the OpenAPI Gateway

Monet 1.2 demonstrates our commitment and passion for developing the best blockchain for Web3 infrastructure across the ecosystem.

Keep reading for more details on the specific features of Monet 1.2 and upcoming plans for the Mainnet release.

Full stable release source code is available here.


Storage Challenges: Proof of Storage

One of the most compelling aspects of Pastel Network’s storage layer, Cascade, is the trustless decentralization of data storage. In Pastel, data is fragmented and randomly distributed across validators (Supernodes) operating the network. Monet 1.2 introduces Supernode Storage Challenges to further promote trustless data decentralization.

In simple terms, Storage Challenges involve Supernodes “quizzing” each other at random to ensure they are storing the required files, using a novel Proof of Storage mechanism. If a Supernode fails a Proof of Storage challenge or does not respond, they will be penalized through slashing and loss of network income.

These core concepts are fundamental to the broader Pastel Network:

  • Trustless — Trust no network participant other than yourself, assuming that others may be unreliable or malicious.
  • Distributed — Operations like Storage Challenges are performed by multiple active, randomly selected validators.
  • Verify — The outcomes of Storage Challenge operations are verified by other fair network operators, and those verifications are further checked (Bob performs a task, Alice verifies the task to the network, Eve double-checks Alice’s verification).
  • Open — Supernodes broadcast their Storage Challenges to the entire network, ensuring transparency.
  • Deterministic — Each aspect of our Proof of Storage is deterministically executed as explicitly prescribed by the underlying protocol using XOR rankings and entropy from mining.

Incorporating Storage Challenges enables us to create a robust mechanism for continually verifying and validating the contents of Cascade. This ensures that Supernode operators either remain compliant or face penalties for violating the protocol (through slashing and network bans), further safeguarding the decentralization of files stored on the network.

For a deeper understanding of how Storage Challenges are implemented, we encourage you to review and contribute to our public repo.

Self-Healing Data

Storage Challenges in Cascade ensure the ongoing permanence and decentralization of data across active and compliant Supernodes. But even with Proof of Storage, what if the number of active Supernodes holding the underlying, redundant pieces of a particular file changes to the point where the entire file cannot be sufficiently reconstructed? Monet 1.2 activates the innovative concept of Self-Healing to further promote ongoing data permanence.

Cascade’s disruptive “over-provisioning” capability generates more pieces and copies of data than strictly required to reconstruct the original data. These chunks are not standard disjoint segments of data like BitTorrent but are many versions of each chunk, making them fungible. These fungible chunks of data are called symbol files.

For example, Cascade can turn a 1MB file into 12MB of 50KB symbol files. And because symbol files are each fungible, Cascade only needs to collect 1MB worth of the different 50KB files to reconstruct the original file. By generating more symbol files than necessary and by ensuring that each symbol is truly being stored via Storage Challenges, Cascade guarantees any file can be reconstructed.

In addition to over-provisioning, Cascade further reduces the risk of data loss with additional redundancy by requiring each symbol file to be stored by the 5 Supernodes that are closest to it using XOR distance. XOR is a deterministic algorithm used to define the distance between the PastelID identifier string for each active Supernode and the hash of the previous block. The Supernode’s PastelID that is “closest” to this previous block hash is then considered the “winner.” In the case of these symbol files, the 5 closest Supernodes are the winners.

However, what if these 5 Supernodes storing a set of symbol files suddenly leave the network at the same time, so that there is no chance to conduct a “handoff” of responsibility to other SNs that remain in the network? This is where self-healing comes into play.

There is a specific “seed” property in Cascade that is stored in the Pastel blockchain protocol itself. The seed enables Cascade to, after the fact, use the complete copy of the file (which can be verified by comparing it to the file’s hash — also stored directly in the Pastel blockchain) to reconstruct any of the files from the list of symbol files that were originally created. This means that Cascade can never truly lose any of the symbol files “forever” so long as the original file can be reconstructed correctly.

In practice, we use this to incorporate this concept such that whenever a symbol file goes missing, it is regenerated and redistributed to the network of Supernodes in the same way as all other symbol files: the 5 closest Supernodes to each symbol file must store each of the regenerated files.

Cascade’s self-healing property minimizes the probability of a permanent, irrecoverable loss of data through intrinsic storage redundancy.

To better understand the concept of Self Healing in practice, we encourage you to review and contribute to our public repo.

Other Features in Monet 1.2

In addition to Storage Challenges and Self-Healing, we are excited to share that Monet 1.2 will also bring the following features to Mainnet:

  • Activation of Supernode Health and State Challenges: Similar to Proof of Storage, Health & State Challenges will guarantee the ongoing active and enabled state of each Supernode client on the network.
  • Stabilization of Sense Protocol: Improvements to Chrome Driver usage, updates to Webtools 1.3, and implementation of additional tickets.
  • Release of the OpenAPI Gateway: Production-ready Gateway will be deployed via the Mainnet with support for a number of new endpoints, asynchronous execution, Ansible support for independent deployment, and a graphical user interface for interaction.

Our Monet 1.2 Testnet Release source-code can be reviewed here.

Monet 1.2 Mainnet Release

The Pastel Network team and community are engaged in comprehensive testing of every aspect of the current release. This is to ensure that all functionalities are running smoothly, without any bugs or glitches, and can withstand different environmental and network state conditions. After rigorous unit-level, integration-based, and protocol-level stress testing, we will start upgrading existing Miners, SuperNodes, and WalletNodes, ultimately leading to the release of Monet 1.2 Mainnet.

To prepare for this release, community members will receive prior notification to upgrade their existing infrastructure to the latest release, before a specific blockHeight. Further information on the Monet 1.2 Mainnet Release will be shared soon. Stay tuned for updates.

Follow us on TwitterDiscordTelegram, & Reddit for the most up-to-date Pastel news!

About Pastel Network

Pastel Network is a fully decentralized, developer-friendly layer-1 blockchain serving as the preeminent protocol standard for non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) and Web3 technology.

Pastel allows for the development of third-party decentralized-applications (“DApps”) to sit on top of its Network, enabling developers to enjoy the scalable registration features, storage processes, and security of the broader ecosystem. Lightweight protocols such as Sense — which was built to assess the relative rareness of a given NFT against near-duplicate metadata — and Cascade — which conducts permanent, distributed storage of underlying NFT data — can be integrated cross-chain across various layer-1 blockchains, layer-2 protocols, or other third-party apps.

Pastel is managed by world-class developers, cryptographers, and technologists, supported alongside an experienced and extensive network of marketers, influencers, and third-party agencies. Pastel is backed by key stakeholders including Innovating Capital, a prominent venture fund.

For more information on Pastel Network, visit

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