Daily Archives: November 19, 2021

Sports Illustrated Awards Sweepstakes Sponsored by FTX to Give Away 1 Bitcoin

Sports Illustrated Awards Sweepstakes Sponsored by FTX to Give Away 1 Bitcoin

The annual Sports Illustrated (SI) Awards have just revealed the line-up for the firm’s 2021 awards show that will broadcast live from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. This year, fans will be able to win a whole bitcoin from FTX as the crypto exchange has partnered with the SI Awards ultimate sports sweepstakes.

This Year’s Sports Illustrated Awards Features a Bitcoin Sweepstakes

The American sports magazine owned by Authentic Brands Group, Sports Illustrated, has been a very popular magazine since its inception in 1954. Since the day SI was created, for 67 years the company has presented the Sportsman of the Year award annually. This year, the SI Awards will be hosted at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Florida on Tuesday, December 7 at 8:00 p.m. (EST).

The 2021 SI Awards will also feature a sweepstakes with rewards provided by the crypto exchange FTX. Fans will have the opportunity to win a single bitcoin (BTC), tickets to the award show, hotel and airfare accommodations, and backstage passes to meet and greet with a “surprise athlete.” FTX has been very involved in the sports industry during the last year and sponsoring the SI Awards comes as no surprise.

Sports Illustrated Awards Sweepstakes Sponsored by FTX to Give Away 1 Bitcoin

FTX recently partnered with the MLB legend Shohei Ohtani, Tom Brady and Brady’s supermodel wife Gisele Bündchen. The firm is an official partner of the MLB and has also acquired the naming rights to the NBA Miami Heat’s arena and the professional esports organization TSM. Other prominent crypto companies are also diving deep into the world of sports as Crypto.com signed a massive deal with the MMA company UFC. Crypto.com also inked a 20-year deal for the naming rights to the Staples Center, home of the Los Angeles Lakers.

FTX details in an announcement sent to Bitcoin.com News that the firm is “proud to present the most prestigious award of the evening, Sportsperson of the Year.” FTX further added that “honoring this year’s winner as an athlete who best represents the spirit and ideals of sportsmanship, character, and performance. Guests that attend the event will also receive an exclusive Sports Illustrated Awards NFT through FTX US NFT Marketplace to commemorate the event.”

In addition to the sweepstakes, the SI Awards will also be hosted by DJ Khaled and Cari Champion. The event will also showcase music performances by 2Chainz and DJ Irie. Other SI Awards attendees that will be in Florida will include JuJu Smith-Schuster, Lamelo Ball, Logan Paul, Rob Gronkowski, Suni Lee, Tyler Herro, Udonis Haslem, Billie Jean King, Brooks Nader, Camille Kostek, Chad Johnson, Candace Parker, DJ Carnage, Haley Kalil, and Jasmine Sanders.

The SI Awards are also produced by the firm Medium Rare, an agency dedicated to sports, celebrity, and brand-focused non-fungible token (NFT) assets. Medium Rare was behind the multi-million dollar NFT drops this year that featured the Golden State Warriors and Rob Gronkowski.

What do you think about the upcoming SI Awards and the sweepstakes that will be giving away a single bitcoin? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

LTNM Now Available on FMFW.io

PRESS RELEASE. LTNM – another cryptocurrency that takes us to the next level! LTNM is an insured, asset-backed currency based on the Bitcoin blockchain. Monsoon Blockchain Corporation developed it on behalf of the LTNM Foundation. LTNM is a greener, faster and safer version of great Satoshi Nakamoto’s work. Now you can trade it on FMFW.io exchange!

Due to the essential aspect of Bitcoin’s high energy consumption, LTNM uses the proof-of-stake (PoS) algorithm to increase the network’s TPS speed and, above all, reduce the energy loss. LTNM uses MPoS – Mutualized Proof of Stake to strengthen network security by targeting costly barriers for an attacker to verify the block and recover all charges using mining. This makes it harder for anyone to perform DoS (Delegated Proof of Stake) attacks on the network.

Additionally, LTNM has its chain that supports PoS at the difficulty of guaranteeing that blocks are distributed uniformly across the network. The problem depends on the size of the stake required to create the blocks.

Another distinguishing feature of LTNM is, as mentioned earlier, insurance and backed by physical and digital assets. Moreover, users and businesses can unlock new revenue streams while lowering transaction costs.

Statement from FMFW.io

LTNM is a cryptocurrency that focuses on technological development to increase speed and protection in operation and on the ethical aspect. It is an excellent step for us and a distinction in having them on our cryptocurrency exchange.” says FMFW.io CEO Danish Chaudhry.

Statement from LTNM Foundation

“We applaud FMFW.io’s mission to bring the potential of cryptocurrencies to the global audience and appreciate their listing of the green initiative LTNM to help make it widely available.” says Monsoon Blockchain Corporation CEO Dr. Don Basile.

About LTNM

LTNM is the next generation, insured asset-backed cryptocurrency. Based on the Bitcoin ecosystem, LTNM is greener, faster, and more secure, poised to revolutionize digital transactions. Using an energy-efficient Proof of Stake consensus algorithm, LTNM plans to bring better transaction speed, lower fees, and more security to high growth markets such as Media, Gaming, Telecommunication, and Cloud Computing.

For more information, please visit https://bitcoinlatinum.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bitcoinlatinum

About FMFW.io

The mission of FMFW.io is to empower people from all over the world to trade cryptocurrencies with ease and confidence, from first-time traders to advanced trading professionals. With high liquidity, 24/7 multilingual support, and dozens of trading pairs complemented with a high level of security, we offer an attractive platform for trading any cryptocurrency. Within one year since launch, on average, our exchange has been visited by more than 500K active traders per month, and this number continues to grow.

This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

Ross Ulbricht’s NFT Collection to Be Auctioned via Superrare at Art Basel Miami

Ross Ulbricht's NFT Collection to Be Auctioned via Superrare at Art Basel Miami

On December 2nd at Art Basel Miami, the very first Ross Ulbricht non-fungible token (NFT) collection will be showcased at the event and auctioned via Superrare. The proceeds from the auction will support Ross Ulbricht’s freedom efforts and a donor-advised fund called Art4giving, which helps support people who have incarcerated family members.

10 NFTs Featuring Ross Ulbricht’s Personal Work

Non-fungible token (NFT) assets have become a big deal this year and turned into a billion-dollar industry in what seems like overnight. This week Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the now-defunct Silk Road marketplace, introduced his first NFT collection after spending nine years behind bars for a non-violent offense. Ulbricht was a first-time offender and a great majority of individuals believe his case was a “miscarriage of justice.” His double life sentence without parole, plus 40 years, for creating a website has been deemed draconian as well.

Ulbricht is still fighting for his freedom and a petition hosted on change.org has garnered a lot of attention and signatures since it was started. The petition asks the U.S. president and government to grant ​​Ulbricht clemency and the number of signatures supporting Ulbricht’s freedom is nearing 500,000 at the time of writing. The announcement concerning the new NFT collection sent to Bitcoin.com News details that “portrayals of Ross Ulbricht’s case and story have been misleading. The NFT sale is meant to bring renewed attention and gather support from the NFT community.”

The announcement explains that the Ross Ulbricht NFT collection will be featured and sold at the Art Basel Miami event on December 2. The sale will take place on the NFT platform Superrare and the collection crafted by Entoptic is Ulbricht’s first NFT collection that showcases his personal work. “This NFT collection is Ross’s creative journey of expression; it is his living and evolving story. Through drawings and video, we see glimpses of a man’s unfolding existence. This is his way to reach outside the walls of prison, as we continue the campaign for his freedom,” Entoptic said in a statement.

Ulbricht NFT Collection to Leverage KSPEC Protocol, Proceeds to Go to Art4giving and Furthering Free Ross Efforts

The NFT collection curated by Entoptic leverages the open-source protocol KSPEC. The protocol KSPEC was developed by a pseudonymous collective of “institutional art, design, and cryptonative technology professionals” called Kanon. The organization believes that the protocol KSPEC “unlocks God Mode for NFTs.” According to the announcement, using KSPEC allows developers to “deliver the Ross Ulbricht Collection NFT in full quality, attach additional content onchain.” Ulbricht also spoke about how the NFT auction proceeds will help people with incarcerated family members.

“With proceeds from this NFT, we are starting a donor-advised fund called Art4giving, dedicated to relieving the suffering of the incarcerated and their families. One project I envision is to help kids travel to visit their moms and dads in prison,” Ulbricht detailed in a statement sent to Bitcoin.com News. Ulbricht further added:

“Decades of incarceration stretch out in front of me. As I face that future, my eventual old age and death in this cage, I find myself looking for meaning and purpose. Why am I here? What good can I do with the time I have left and from where I am? I hope that helping my fellow prisoners through my art is one way.”

Funding supports prisoners and their families in a myriad of ways and the auction’s funds will also be dedicated toward the efforts to free Ross. “These include new legal proceedings, raising awareness, and more — There is still a long road ahead,” the announcement concludes.

What do you think about the Ross Ulbricht NFT collection announcement? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Onecoin Victims Petition Bulgaria for Seizure of Assets and Compensation

Onecoin Victims Petition Bulgaria for Seizure of Assets and Compensation

A lawyer representing investors defrauded by the notorious crypto scam Onecoin has urged authorities in Bulgaria to act on the case, claiming that the “world’s largest pyramid scheme” is still operating from the country. In a petition with the Bulgarian Constitutional Ombudsman, Jonathan Levy accuses officials in Sofia of failing to provide justice to the victims while seemingly protecting “the most notorious criminal organization.”

Lawyer Slams Bulgarian Authorities for ‘Misfeasance’ in Onecoin Case

In the petition, Dr. Levy points out that Onecoin has been recognized as a criminal enterprise by a number of countries including the United States, Argentina, and Germany, and classified as a pyramid scheme by law enforcement agencies such as the FBI. At the same time, the €20 billion cryptocurrency scam allegedly maintains several offices in the Bulgarian capital, uses a number of corporate identities, continues its operations unabated, and has even held a recruitment event this past summer.

The Crypto Ponzi scheme Onecoin was launched in 2014 and promoted through Bulgaria-based offshore entities Onecoin Ltd, registered in Dubai, and the Belize-incorporated Onelife Network Ltd. Both were founded by the pyramid’s mastermind, Bulgaria-born ‘Crypto Queen’ Dr. Ruja Ignatova, also a German national holding a PhD in European private law, and her partner Sebastian Greenwood from Sweden.

Ignatova disappeared in 2017 while her brother, Konstantin Ignatov, another Onecoin co-founder, was arrested in Los Angeles in 2019 and charged with financial crimes. He has since started cooperating with law enforcement, testified about Onecoin’s association with organized crime in Bulgaria and elsewhere, pleaded guilty, and sought witness protection. The scheme has been linked to terrorism funding as well. A number of people involved in the investigation and legal proceedings, including Ignatov, have complained about receiving legal and other threats.

The document submitted by Jonathan Levy lists a number of other key figures in the scam and claims that “the Ignatovs, Onecoin and their proxies in Bulgaria and Dubai currently control moveable and immoveable property, investments, cryptocurrency, bank accounts and cash exceeding €12.5 billion” ($14.2 billion).

The lawyer slams Bulgarian authorities for their limited actions on the case, recalling a single general warning about Onecoin issued in 2015 by the Financial Supervision Commission, which later ignored the matter, as well as police raids on its offices in Sofia in 2018, ordered by Ivan Geshev who now serves as Bulgaria’s Prosecutor General and conducted on request from Europol and the German police. Levy also states:

We are unaware of any arrests or confiscation of bank accounts, cash, cryptocurrency, or property belonging to the victims. If Bulgarian law enforcement has confiscated assets it has not provided a public accounting or process for victims to be compensated.

According to the legal representative, Onecoin is the largest pyramid scheme in world history, exceeding both the Madoff and Mavrodi pyramids. However, the filed complaint largely concerns itself with Onecoin’s Bulgarian operation, the full extent of which remains unknown, and is “directed at the misfeasance by Bulgarian law enforcement in regard to their EU mandated duty to victims of crime.”

In the petition filed on behalf of clients from a number of countries, including the U.K., U.S., Germany, and Australia, Jonathan Levy highlights that under Article 47 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and similar provisions in Bulgarian law, Onecoin victims should be granted access to justice, which they have not yet received from Bulgaria. He accuses the country, an EU member state, saying it “seemingly protects and enables OneCoin to retain its assets and continue to operate despite being the most notorious criminal organization of the 21st Century.”

Petitioner Urges Bulgaria to Account for Crypto Scam’s Assets, Including Ignatova’s €12 Billion Bitcoin Stash

Levy requests that the Bulgarian Ombudsman investigate the conduct of various government institutions such as the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Ministries of Justice and Interior, and the country’s Financial Intelligence Directorate. He also insists on taking steps to terminate “Onecoin’s open and public operation in Bulgaria that continues to victimize investors worldwide.”

The lawyer further requires assistance from Bulgarian authorities to account for Onecoin assets controlled from within Bulgaria, allegedly consisting, according to the document, of 230,000 bitcoins, cash, yachts, luxury cars, jewelry and precious metals, bank accounts, investments, and real estate, in order to determine if they are still in the possession of Ignatova and her associates or have been seized by Bulgaria.

Jonathan Levy also insists that the government in Sofia fulfill its obligations pertaining to the compensation of Onecoin victims under European law such as Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and EU Council Directive 2004/80/EC of April 29, 2004.

The petitioner also calls for the “establishment of a monetary reward of up to €1 billion” to encourage associates of Onecoin to step forward and provide information about the crypto investment scam and its activities, “especially in regard to the 230,000 Bitcoins in the possession of Ruja Ignatova or her proxies currently valued at over €12 billion.” The money for that purpose, Dr. Levy suggests, should come from up to 10% of recovered Onecoin assets.

Reports in the Bulgarian press confirm that Onecoin companies in the country are still operational. According to an article by the business daily Capital, the One Network Services entity, formerly owned by Konstantin Ignatov and Ruja’s mother, which runs Onecoin’s main office in central Sofia, is actually expanding its workforce – from 17 employees at the end of last year, to 24 now. The publication reveals that the firm has declared revenues exceeding 2.9 million leva (over $1.7 million) for 2020 with a net profit of 75,000 leva (over $43,000).

The once open crypto center on the ground floor of a building on Slaveykov Square, is now closed but according to Capital, Onecoin leaders have been posting photographs of meetings held there during their visits to Sofia. The active promoters of the cryptocurrency investment scheme that has been rebranded to Oneecosystem, are new faces, and few of them are actually Bulgarians.

Do you expect authorities in Sofia to take action against Onecoin following the victims’ petition of the Bulgarian Ombudsman? Tell us in the comments section below.

US Senator Introduces Legislation to Repeal Infrastructure Bill’s Attack on Crypto Industry

US Senator Introduces Legislation to Repeal Infrastructure Bill’s Attack on Crypto Industry

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz has introduced a bill to repeal the $1 trillion infrastructure package’s crypto provision, which he said is a “devastating attack” on the crypto industry. “I urge my colleagues in the Senate to repeal this harmful language that will create regulatory uncertainty and in turn an unnecessary barrier to innovation,” he said.

Senator Cruz Pushes for Infrastructure Bill’s Crypto Provision to Be Repealed

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz said Tuesday that he has introduced “legislation to repeal infrastructure bill’s ‘devastating attack’ on emerging cryptocurrency industry.” President Joe Biden signed the $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law early this week.

Senator Cruz explained that his bill “would repeal an overly broad and poorly-crafted provision from the infrastructure package that creates new reporting requirements for many participants within the blockchain industry.” He emphasized:

This provision will stifle innovation in the industry, endanger the privacy of many Americans and cryptocurrencies, and likely push key aspects of the industry overseas to countries like China.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act “contains a provision that expands the definition of ‘Broker’ to nearly all participants in the cryptocurrency structure, treating them as a financial institution,” Senator Cruz described. “They would have to report consumer information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), even if these participants do not have access to that information.”

Cruz warned:

This mandate to collect names, addresses, and transactions of customers means almost every company even tangentially related to cryptocurrency may suddenly be forced to surveil their users.

The senator from Texas explained that his state “has quickly emerged as the main hub for the cryptocurrency industry, and that exciting industry is now in danger of being stifled and driven overseas by an overreaching provision in this newly-signed, reckless spending package.”

He added, “As a deliberative body, the Senate should have done its job and held hearings to properly understand the consequences of legislating on this emerging industry before we risked the livelihoods and privacy of participating Americans,” elaborating:

I urge my colleagues in the Senate to repeal this harmful language that will create regulatory uncertainty and in turn an unnecessary barrier to innovation.

A few lawmakers have made efforts to amend the crypto provision in the infrastructure bill. For example, Senators Cynthia Lummis and Ron Wyden introduced legislation this week to amend the “broker” definition in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Do you think the infrastructure bill’s crypto provision will be repealed? Let us know in the comments section below.

India Considers Allowing Only Preapproved Cryptocurrencies — Crypto Regulation Expected by Year-End: Report

India Considers Allowing Only Preapproved Cryptocurrencies — Crypto Regulation Expected by Year-End: Report

India is reportedly considering allowing only preapproved cryptocurrencies to be listed and traded on exchanges. In addition, the government aims to both introduce and pass a cryptocurrency law by year-end.

Indian Crypto Regulation and Preapproved Cryptocurrencies

India is considering allowing only cryptocurrencies that have been “preapproved by the government” to be listed and traded on exchanges, Reuters reported Thursday, citing two sources familiar with the discussions.

The approval process is intentionally cumbersome to deter investors from holding cryptocurrencies, the sources said, adding that the government is unlikely to go through with its earlier plan to ban cryptocurrencies. The publication quoted one of the sources as saying:

Only when a coin has been approved by the government can it be traded, else holding or trading it in may attract a penalty.

In addition, several Indian news outlets reported that the government could introduce a cryptocurrency bill during the winter session of parliament. Each cited unnamed sources. The winter session is set to begin on Nov. 29 and is expected to run through Dec. 23.

CNBC-TV18 reported last week that finance ministry officials are trying to “fast track” a modified cryptocurrency bill. The Mint reported this week that once the crypto bill is cleared by the Union Cabinet, the government plans to introduce it in the first week of the winter session. However, Reuters wrote Thursday:

The government aims to introduce and pass a cryptocurrency law in the parliamentary session that begins this month.

Even Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chimed in on cryptocurrency. On Thursday, he urged all democratic nations to work together to ensure cryptocurrency, including bitcoin, “does not end up in wrong hands, which can spoil our youth.” It was his first public speech specifically mentioning cryptocurrency and bitcoin.

Last week, the prime minister chaired a comprehensive meeting on cryptocurrency after a consultation process with the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Following the meeting held by Prime Minister Modi, India’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance held a meeting with experts from the crypto sector. This was India’s first-ever parliamentary discussion of the broad subject of crypto finance involving the industry. The committee subsequently called for the government to address its concerns regarding cryptocurrency.

What do you think about the Indian government’s plan to regulate cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments section below.

Liquid Craft to Launch 1500 Liquor Backed NFTs on ETH and BSC 23rd Nov

Liquid Craft to Launch 1500 Liquor Backed NFTs on ETH and BSC 23rd Nov

PRESS RELEASE. Liquid Craft – is bringing a new concept to the NFT space by using collectible handcrafted bottles of Liquor to add value to their digital art pieces. Their first series Dragons and Bourbon is launching for pre-sale on Nov 20th at 12 PM PST with the public sale going live on Nov 23rd at 12 PM PST.

Liquid Craft is aiming to bring innovation to two markets simultaneously with this release as well as their upcoming NFT marketplace. The NFTs are all backed by collectible bottles of liquor and with each series they release, they aim to deliver something unique in the form of fine wines, spirits, craft beers, and various other Liqueurs, from a range of international crafters.

The Dragons and Bourbon NFT Series – The First Release

The first release from Liquid Craft is titled Dragons and Bourbon and is a series of 1500 NFTs, released in two tiers – one tier of 750 NFTs on the Binance Smart Chain and the other tier of 750 on Ethereum. Each of the 1500 NFTs is backed by a premium bottle of handcrafted small-batch bourbon, created by an international award-winning distiller from Windsor Colorado – The Heart Distillery.

The Heart Distillery has created this small batch of bourbon specifically for this series and due to the limited number of bottles available, the release is limited to a hard cap of 1500.

The initial release date was expected to be the 31st of October but due to network congestion and gas fee pricing that was incredibly high at the time, the team wanted to rethink their strategy. Community feedback has been acknowledged with the team now making the final decision to release on the 20th and 23rd November.

Airdrops for Buyers of the First Release

Initial buyers who obtain a Dragons and Bourbon NFT will be eligible to receive airdrops of the native $CRAFT token, with variable amounts given depending on the tier purchased. The amounts per NFT vary depending on the NFT tier purchased with up to 4500 tokens for the Ethereum tier and up to 1500 for the Binance tier. In addition to the airdrops, there will be exclusive offers, events, and automatic entry to all future giveaways.

NFTs and Traditional Liquor – The Ultimate Pair

NFTs have become incredibly popular over the past 12 months and have already provided solutions to a range of problems in different industries, based on the smart contracts they are built on. Liquid Craft is using this technology to provide solutions to the NFT market itself, the traditional liquor investment market, as well as provide assistance to the crafters of fine liquor the world over.

By merging the traditional liquor market with the NFT space, would-be investors of fine liquors are able to remove the previous barriers to entry that have been associated with liquor investing, while also increasing the security and authenticity of collecting physical bottles. Intermediary processes are removed, storage concerns are gone, and the bottles can be traded as easily as NFTs, as often as needed without the physical bottle leaving the supplier.

For NFT collectors, the NFTs now have real, tangible value by tying them to appreciating assets. This backing to physical products, removes a large amount of speculation that is currently associated with the NFT market.

NFT Marketplace for International Crafters

For the international crafters, the last 2 years have been a trying time for some. International tourism has been at record lows and most wineries, breweries, and distilleries that have previously relied on this tourism, have experienced a significant hit to their revenue.

The goal of the upcoming marketplace that will soon be released by Liquid Craft, is to provide a potential lifeline to these smaller crafters. The marketplace will allow them to showcase their product to a new range of consumers on an international scale, by offering their products as NFTs.

The Lead up to the 20th Nov Pre-sale and 23rd Nov Public Sale

The Dragons and Bourbon NFT series is set to go live for pre-sale on the 20th November at 12 PM PST for lucky participants that managed to secure a whitelist entry.

The Public Sale will go live on November 23rd at 12 PM PST and will be on a first come first served basis due to the small number of NFTs being released. Updates for the fast-approaching launch dates, as well as further promotions and AMA details, will be announced across the project’s social media platforms.

To help with the lead-up to the upcoming launch date, the project has partnered with leading crypto marketing agency Coinpresso. The team at Coinpresso will be assisting with this release as well as all future launches, providing assistance for all marketing, SEO, and promotion needs.

NFTs are now more than just digital art pieces and Liquid Craft is using them to bring change in the NFT space and the traditional liquor markets with this series. Their upcoming marketplace is expected to offer a new revenue stream for crafters the world over and a whole range of options for the investors of NFTs and fine liquors in one move.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CraftLiquid

Telegram: https://t.me/Liquid_craft

Media Contact:

Curtis Ramsay

[email protected]

This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

NFT-Collateralizing South African Startup Raises $5 Million in Latest Seed Round

A South African startup, NFTfi, is reported to have recently raised $5 million which the company intends to use for boosting its business of collateralizing non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Cryptocurrency Loan Marketplace

According to a Techcrunch report, NFTfi’s $5 million capital raise was led by U.S. actor Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures. The other investors that participated in the funding round include Maven 11, Scalar Capital, and Kleiner Perkins.

The company, which was founded by Stephen Young in February 2020, already acts as a marketplace where users can get a cryptocurrency loan on their NFTs and offer loans to borrowers against their NFTs. By collateralizing their tokens, NFT holders will be able to unlock liquidity without selling, the report explained.

Since facilitating its first loan in May 2020, NFTfi claims to have seen more than 1,500 such transactions take place on its platform.

Pricing Dynamics

The report quotes Young explaining how the lending and borrowing process starts and what happens if a borrower defaults. In the same report, Young also outlines the dynamics in pricing between lenders and borrowers on NFTfi. He said:

Lenders want to have some room between the price of the asset and how much they lend. This is because in the case where somebody defaults, they need to be able to sell it for less than market value, and the price might have dropped in between. So that’s why they need such a big buffer between the loan value and the value of the actual asset.

Although 20% of borrowing on the NFTfi platform gets defaulted on, these are mainly lower-value loans, Young revealed. According to the NFTfi founder, this happens primarily because high-value NFTs are pretty exclusive and hard to come by. Users will thus fund loans that they hope the borrower will default on and therefore surrender the NFTs.

The top NFT loans on NFTfi span across popular digital collectibles on the Ethereum blockchain and these include Art Blocks, Bored Ape Yacht Club, Cryptopunks, Autoglyphs, Meebits, and Vee Friends.

What’s your view on this story? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Kucoin Labs Launches $100 Million Metaverse Investment Fund


Kucoin Labs, the investigative and investment arm of Kucoin, a cryptocurrency exchange, has launched a $100 million fund to incubate early metaverse related projects. These include blockchain gaming initiatives, NFT platforms, and decentralized platforms, among others. The support will also include direct involvement with the projects selected, including counseling about branding and marketing.

Kucoin Invests in Metaverse

Kucoin, one of the leading exchanges in Asia, has taken the first step to hop on the metaverse train. The investment and investigation arm of the exchange, Kucoin Labs, has launched a $100 million fund to invest in metaverse-based initiatives, including blockchain-based games, decentralized structures, NFT platforms, and other similar projects.

The support of Kucoin won’t be limited to just economic incentives. These incubated projects will also get help in the form of counseling about branding, market management, exposure, and other important aspects of starting a company. While the company aims to extend this program to all regions, one of the main objectives is to increase adoption of these technologies in emerging markets like South America and Africa. Part of these funds will also go to education programs for younger generations exploring the concept of the metaverse.

Importance of the Metaverse

To companies investing in metaverse initiatives, this concept will have notable significance in the years to come, enabling activities and options that would be impossible today. About the importance of the metaverse for the future, Kucoin CEO Johnny Lyu stated:

As the next chapter of the Internet, Metaverse is poised to change the way we work, connect, shop, entertain and have social interactions. ‘KuCoin Metaverse Fund’ will be launched to accelerate the evolution of the Internet industry.

Kucoin is just the latest exchange to jump on the metaverse investment bandwagon, with other big companies like Microsoft and Facebook — which changed its name to Meta — already making arrangements to include metaverse elements.

But the exchange has a different conception of the metaverse and wants to include privacy measures for people to be safe in the upcoming alternate universe. Lou Yu, the head of KuCoin Labs, stated that this metaverse establishes a “dilemma between individual privacy protection and technological advancement.” This is why the exchange will be studying ways of achieving a more privacy-friendly metaverse ecosystem. Solana, FTX, and Lightspeed also established a $100 million blockchain gaming fund in recent weeks.

What do you think about the launch of a $100 million metaverse fund by Kucoin? Tell us in the comments section below.

Xbox Boss Phil Spencer Addresses Rise of NFT Gaming; Feels Some of It Is “Exploitive”

phil spencer

Phil Spencer, executive vice president of gaming at Microsoft and the individual responsible for the Xbox program, has addressed the NFT gaming phenomenon trending recently. To Spencer, some of the platforms that leverage the use of NFTs feel more exploitive than entertaining. Some of the biggest developers and publishers in the gaming industry have already signaled their interest in introducing NFT elements to their games.

Phil Spencer Not Immediately Supportive of NFTs

Phil Spencer, responsible for the Xbox program at Microsoft and one of the most recognized executives in the world of gaming, has issued his opinion about NFTs and the inclusion of these elements in today’s gaming scene. Spencer stated that he thinks these first steps of exploration with these tools are including platforms that are more about speculation than about entertainment. On the subject, Spencer told Axios:

What I’d say today on NFT, all up, is I think there’s a lot of speculation and experimentation that’s happening, and that some of the creative that I see today feels more exploitive than about entertainment.

The opinion of Spencer is very important due to the influence he has over what’s published or not in the Xbox store, one of the biggest marketplaces in the gaming industry. This opinion could mean that games using NFTs would have a difficult time getting published in the aforementioned storefront, at least for now.

Not Ready for Stores

Spencer expanded his view and stated that at this stage, there might be some things created with NFTs that wouldn’t be able to be featured in gaming stores. This is the same opinion that executives from Steam, the biggest PC gaming marketplace, put forth to justify a ban on blockchain games from its platform last month.

However, other gaming companies are already integrating NFT elements into their games, or at least are planning to do so in the near future. Square Enix, Electronic Arts, and Ubisoft are in this group, with Ubisoft even investing in native blockchain gaming companies like Animoca Brands, the operators of The Sandbox, one of the leading NFT metaverses.

Spencer stressed:

I can understand that early on you see a lot of things that probably are not things you want to have in your store. I think anything that we looked at in our storefront that we said is exploitive would be something that we would, you know, take action on.

What do you think about the statements of Phil Spencer regarding NFT games? Tell us in the comments section below.