Seven-Time Superbowl Champ, Tom Brady, Is Launching an NFT Platform Called Autograph

Seven-Time Superbowl Champ, Tom Brady, Is Launching an NFT Platform Called Autograph

Seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady is the latest one to join the non-fungible token (NFT) mania.

While NFTs are enjoying a boom helping artists make a fortune, Brady is no stranger to this. Recently, his rookie card sold for $2.25 million, the most expensive trading card in football history.

In the NFT realm, Brady is actually launching an NFT platform called Autograph, coming in Spring, which will also produce NFTs featuring the football quarterback.

The platform itself aims to bring together the biggest names from sports, fashion, entertainment, and other areas to create and launch NFTs and share “ground-breaking experiences to a community of fans and collectors,” said Dillon Rosenblatt, co-founder, and CEO of Autograph.

The platform is also planning to have interactive offerings like physical product drop, live auctions, and in-person experiences.

Brady, along with entrepreneur Richard Rosenblatt will serve as co-chairs of the platform, which has also assembled an advisory team with names like Apple SVP Eddy Cue, DraftKings co-founders Jason Robins and Paul Liberman, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer, Cameo CEO Steven Galanis, Spotify’s advertising business officer Dawn Ostroff, Warriors co-owner Peter Guber and DraftKings co-founder Matt Kalish among others.

McDonald France also showed interest in digital art this week and is putting its own NFT up for sale.

Amidst this, an offline exhibition for NFTs has been kicked off in Beijing, the world’s first offline exhibition for virtual crypto-art. It may be slow, but NFTs are gaining traction in China as well.

Sun Bohan, the CEO of a Chinese crypto art center, told the local publication that 2021 would be a breakthrough year for NFTs, especially in the US and Europe. NFT’s biggest innovation, according to him, is in optimizing art trading as it bypasses intermediaries.

Meanwhile, Wang Qinwen, the producer of “Virtual Niche,” attributes the NFT market boom to the COIVD-19 pandemic, as it has pushed everything online. While it will cool down after it peaks, she believes it underlines the expansion of blockchain technology.

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Author: AnTy

NEM Group Launches ‘Interoperable’ Public Blockchain For Enterprise Users

Blockchain company NEM Group has announced the release of a new public blockchain called Symbol, per a press release today.

Symbol With Atomic Swap Capabilities

The project comes with enterprise-grade programmability and security. It will enable development teams and businesses to execute projects with minimal costs and without complexities.

Its hybrid chain structure layout will enable native compatibility with both public and private chain deployments, providing developers with the option of working with their preferred chain setup. Businesses would also be empowered to create permissioned ecosystems on private networks to store confidential information while still keeping in contact with public blockchains.

According to NEM, Symbol was created with interoperability in mind. The upgrade will see developers leverage on its state-of-the-art Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to easily integrate with existing systems and blockchains, making the shift much easier for them.

Symbol will also enable cross-chain atomic-swaps, allowing users to transfer digital tokens between the network and other blockchains. This is a major plus as atomic swaps allow users to send and receive data (usually a coin) without the presence of an intermediary.

NEM’s Symbol blockchain would also enable decentralized applications (DeFi), security tokens, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its network. This feature dubbed “mosaics” would enable creating custom tokens, shares of stocks, signatures, votes, and others. Each mosaic would operate on a unique identifier, making it easy for the network to monitor its use.

Speaking on the launch, NEM Group’s CEO David Shaw said Symbol’s development results from key learnings the company gleaned from its NEM NIS1 public network. Symbol takes this further by providing a simple blockchain enterprise solution focused primarily on building use cases in the wider blockchain ecosystem.

Symbol would also be introducing what it termed a “delegated financial authority” protocol which would enable on-chain, multi-layer, multi-signature accounts. This feature would greatly streamline business processes like payroll management, according to CTO of NEM Software Kristy-Leigh Minehan. Minehan also said Symbol aims to reduce the chasm between public and private blockchains in the ecosystem.

NEM Group Moves Into CBDCs With Symbol

During the launch, the blockchain technology company said it is already moving into the central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) space announcing a partnership with LBCOIN– the world’s first blockchain-based digital coin collector issued by the Bank of Lithuania working on NEM’s platform.

LBCOIN first made a foray into the digital space working with NEM NIS1 in July 2020, with the Lithuanian apex bank issuing 4,000 LBCOIN, equaling 24,000 digital tokens and 4,000 physical collector coins. Symbol’s subsequent launch would see the digital coin collector migrate to leverage on the platform’s more sophisticated offerings.

The team says its NEM NIS1 protocol would still be operational catering to development teams, while its new Symbol blockchain would see enterprise-facing businesses.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Parity Technologies Proposes Common Goods Parachain on Polkadot Called Statemint

Parity Technologies Proposes Common Goods Parachain on Polkadot Called Statemint

Polkadot developer Parity Technologies is looking to address one of the key issues plaguing the Polkadot ecosystem by launching a new asset deployment platform.

Statemint To Address ‘Free Ride Problem’

Parity Technologies said in an announcement that it is looking to launch a generic asset parachain called Statemint. This solution will be the first common-good chain on the Polkadot network.

Statemint will allow developers to deploy assets- from tokenized artwork to stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) – in the Polkadot and Kusama networks. This will naturally engender a better user experience and lower fees than present solutions.

Currently, both the Polkadot and Kusama’s on-chain governance grants parachain slots through a public referendum rather than selecting slot winners through its auction mechanisms. The auction method is insufficient as it doesn’t efficiently distribute network resources on the platform.

Developers looking to ensure an even distribution of network resources will have to put up collateral in the form of Polkadot’s DOT or Kusama’s KSM network token. This collateral must have a minimum deposit, and if the asset falls below its “Existential Deposit,” the parachain will be removed to avoid a pile-up of low-value “dust” accounts.

But parachains may still be launched without an upfront collateral balance if the Relay Chain Council decides otherwise.

Parachains would also not be used as verification tools. The issuer must guarantee the authenticity of their asset value, not Polkadot (DOT)- but these chains will still be able to leverage Polkadot’s core functionality for continued interoperability.

Per the announcement, Statemint will enable developers to establish a maintenance team for their different parachains. This team will consist of an issuer, an administrator, and a freezer whose job will be to pause all token issuance and transfer.

The team, however, did not state when the project will commence.

Statemint Will Be Under DOT Token Holders’ Control

Relay Chain, which is the heart of the Polkadot ecosystem, will still retain control of the Statemint project. Relay Chain token holders will still be able to dictate the community’s direction by determining changing parameters for the Statemint project. They will be able to register new assets, adjust fee parameters, and upgrade the chain’s logic and functionality.

Polkadot has quickly established itself as a top Ethereum rival in less than five years. The blockchain platform, a fully scalable, heterogeneous network, is dubbed the next-generation of blockchain, and its layer-0 protocol brings together multiple blockchains into a unified ecosystem.

The ‘Ethereum killer,’ focused on creating an interoperable ecosystem, deployed a heterogeneous sharding technology that allows its parachains to connect and communicate with external networks. This implies that Polkadot developers will transfer and receive data from Bitcoin and Ethereum through its bridges protocol.

With developers flocking into the ecosystem, investors are eyeing the project, and industry experts are projecting a top-three finish for its cryptocurrency DOT. Polkadot (DOT) currently occupies the sixth position on the cryptocurrency chart and has a market cap of $35 billion.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Norwegian Publicly-listed Oil Company Buys $58 Million Worth of Bitcoin

Aker has established a new unit called Seetee to invest throughout the Bitcoin ecosystem. Co-founder Kjell Inge Røk­ke calls it not investing in Bitcoin the “riskiest decision.”

Norway’s Aker ASA is establishing a new unit dedicated to investing throughout the Bitcoin ecosystem, announced the company on Monday.

The new unit called Seetee AS would have an initial capital of 500 million Norwegian crowns ($58.6 million). The company is planning to keep its liquid assets in BTC, the industrial holding company said.

Seetee has already made its first Bitcoin purchase of 1,170 BTC with a strategy to HODL.

“Aker’s de­ci­sion to en­ter Bit­coin through See­tee is the re­sult of a long and fun­da­men­tal dis­cus­sion about val­ue,” states the shareholder letter. It further calls, not investing in Bitcoin the “riskiest decision.” Aker co-founder Kjell Inge Røk­ke wrote,

“Bitcoin may still go to zero. But it can also become the core of a new monetary architecture. If so, one bitcoin may be worth mil­lions of dollars. The asym­me­try is in­ter­est­ing to a port­fo­lio.”

As of writing, Bitcoin is trading around $51,000.

Besides using Bitcoin as a treasury asset, the company will also build and in­vest in projects and companies in Bit­coin’s ecosystem.

The unit will also establish mining operations and integrate blockchain technology with Aker’s industrial operations. For this, the company would collaborate with Canada’s Blockstream. Aker ASA Chief Executive Oeyvind Eriksen said,

“These technologies have the potential to reduce frictions in our day to day lives, enhance the security of our digitally-driven economies, and unlock new business models for innovation.”

Aker, controlled by Norwegian billionaire investor Kjell Inge Roekke, derives most of its income from the oil and gas industry. And the company doesn’t see “a long-term problem related to Bit­coin’s electricity consumption.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Supporter Gary Gensler, Who Called XRP A ‘Security’ to Be Named SEC Chairman

Bitcoin Supporter Gary Gensler, Who Called XRP A ‘Security’ to Be Named SEC Chairman

Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chair Gary Gensler is expected to be named the Chairman of the US securities and exchange Commission by President-elect Joe Biden, reported Reuters.

Gensler has been leading Biden’s transition planning for financial industry oversight since November.

This is good news for the crypto market as Gensler, who was a blockchain professor at MIT, has shared crypto-friendly views.

“Gary Gensler deeply understands crypto & has strongly supported bitcoin for years. His selection as SEC chair signals a policy shift in favor of a bitcoin ETF,” said Jake Chervinsky, General Counsel at Compound Finance.

While bullish for the Bitcoin BTC 7.35% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 37,348.49
$2,745.117.35%
Volume 69.69 b Change $2,745.11 Open $37,348.49 Circulating 18.6 m Market Cap 694.67 b
2 h German Police Shut Down Dark Market that Facilitated $170 Million in Cryptocurrency Transactions 4 h Bitcoin Supporter Gary Gensler, Who Called XRP A ‘Security’ to Be Named SEC Chairman 4 h Big Uptick in 1k BTC Addresses Shows Institutions Bought the Dip; Goldman Sachs says Still Just 1% of Institutional Money
and board cryptocurrency market, this might not be that good for XRP XRP 2.50% XRP / USD XRPUSD $ 0.31
$0.012.50%
Volume 4.87 b Change $0.01 Open $0.31 Circulating 45.4 b Market Cap 13.9 b
4 h Bitcoin Supporter Gary Gensler, Who Called XRP A ‘Security’ to Be Named SEC Chairman 7 h Acting SEC Enforcer Leading Ripple Lawsuit to Step Down; XRP Fights to Stay on Exchanges 1 d Ripple Hires Former Amazon Executive As SVP Of Engineering to Strengthen Cross Border Payments
as he has publicly called it a security. Last month, the SEC sued Ripple and its two top executives for selling unregistered XRP security.

Gensler “went on record in 2018 saying there’s “a strong case” that XRP is a security, signaling no shift on that issue,” noted Chervinsky.

Gensler is a former Goldman Sachs banker and is prompting concerns among Wall Street firms of tougher regulation. In contrast, Jay Clayton, who left his SEC Chairman post on Dec. 23rd, a former Wall Street lawyer, was criticized by Democrats for his ties to many companies he was overseeing.

While the crypto market is looking to win some, it may lose some as well as it is speculated that the Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks, the former general counsel at crypto exchange Coinbase, might leave the top US banking regulators office this week.

During Brook’s term, OCC took a crypto-friendly approach, with the most notable one being allowing crypto companies to secure national banking charters. This Tuesday, Brooks also wrote about regulators needing to get ready for self-driving banks, aka decentralized finance (DeFi).

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Author: AnTy

Decentralized Exchange IDEX Launches v2.0 With A Heavy Focus on Enhancing User Experience

IDEX has launched a new update called IDEX 2.O promising to enhance user experience on decentralized exchanges (DEX) amid growing popularity and users. The hype around defi (decentralized finance) in 2020 has propelled DEX’s to the forefront of discussions.

IDEX 2.0 is solely focused on improving the user interface and how consumers interact with DEX’s. While decentralized exchanges have been in the game for quite some time, centralized exchanges (CEX) have garnered all the attention and transaction volume.

IDEX is promising to bridge the gap between centralized and decentralized exchanges for users. Among the prominent changes that come with the version, 2.0 include front-running and failed-transactions. Failed transactions have been the biggest Achilles heel for the DEX. With IDEX 2.0, users won’t have to sacrifice the ease of maintaining and using truly decentralized platforms.

Alex Wearn, the IDEX CEO, addressed the issues which have plagued and limited the reach of decentralized exchanges and said,

“Decentralized exchanges put the users ‘closer’ to the blockchain. This means that they have to deal with some of the shortcomings of blockchains themselves.

In particular, this could include things like long wait times for transaction and trade execution. The open nature also exposes users to issues like front-running and trade failures.”

IDEX 2.0 promises to improve on this concerning issue and offer several improvements over the existing systems. Some of the key features include,

  • Frictionless onboarding, if you’ve traded on any centralized exchange, then you will know how to use IDEX 2.0
  • Instant trade execution
  • Front-running protection
  • Guaranteed trade settlement
  • Private order books
  • Capacity for thousands of users and hundreds of thousands of orders per second

DEX Protocols Have Highest Transaction Failure Rates

Uniswap, one of the most popular DEX’s which has seen a significant bump in the transaction volume; in fact, it has generated more volume than many mainstream centralized exchanges on several occasions. Despite such heightened popularity and user growth, Uniswap has also registered significantly higher translation failure rates.

As per a report published by Dex Tokenlon, Uniswap registered a whopping 22%+ failure rates during the peak trading hours as of the first couple of weeks in September. While the success of defi has been quite unprecedented, so was the transaction failure rate. This could prove to be one of the biggest points of frustration for active users and traders and, in many cases, turn away the new users.

Apart from Uniswap, many other popular Dex has registered similar failure rates, and in many cases, a defer rate of 10%. IDEX, in its report, noted that these DEX are required to “keep order matching and execution off-chain, guaranteeing successful trades all while keeping the user in control of their assets.”

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Author: James W

Block.One to Offer Enterprise Blockchain Service Via It’s New ‘EOSIO for Business’ Platform

Block.one, the developer platform behind the EOS network, has launched an Enterprise-grade blockchain solution called EOSIO for Business. The new enterprise platform would allow businesses to leverage their offering on the decentralized tech.

The business platform offers four modes to its clients, which can be utilized to build and maintain blockchain-based infrastructure. The four modes include Blockchain-as-a-Service (BAAS), training businesses on utilizing the platform, technical support, and a certification program.

Ted Cahall, Block.one’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) commented on the launch of the enterprise-grade blockchain solution and said,

“Despite knowing the inherent benefits that blockchain will deliver to their business operations, many in-house product engineering teams are wary of the complexity involved in setting up and administering their blockchain.”

“Our EOSIO for Business customers will be able to work directly with EOSIO experts to ensure that their implementations seamlessly integrate with existing technology, and they will also have exclusive access to the newest EOSIO features and upgrades.”

How EOSIO Promises To Help Enterprises Scale?

The new enterprise-grade blockchain solution from Block.one promises to help businesses grow and scale via its platform without worrying about the technical aspect and maintenance of the services. This part would be taken care of by Block.one itself whose BaaS service would include complete technical support along with maintenance of the EOSIO network

The consulting and certification part of the platform would make it more interactive and help the businesses utilize the decentralized tech as per their business model. The EOS engineers promise to help these enterprises to grow without worrying about maintenance or technical complexities.

Mythical Games is one of the first business rosters for the EOSIO platform. Rudy Koch, co-founder and SVP of Business Development at Mythical Games, said that their association with the EOSIO platform had enabled them to meet their goals. He said,

“At Mythical, we are redefining game economies and creating new revenue opportunities by putting more power and ownership in the hands of players and content creators. EOSIO is an integral part of our efforts.

Leveraging Block.one’s EOSIO BaaS service enables us to continue delivering world-class game technology products to our players and partners.”

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Lithuania’s LBCOIN, The World’s First Collectible Digital Coin, is Sent to the ECB Council

The world’s first collectible digital coin called LBCOIN was sent to the email inbox of European Central Bank policy makers on Monday from one of their colleagues.

The coin came to Governing Council members as a link to an e-wallet with six digital tokens. These tokens feature a portrait of one of the 20 signatories of Liithunai’s 1918 declaration of independence.

“I’m curious how popular this is going to be among Governing Council members,” said Vitas Vasiliauskas, Lithuania’s central bank governor. “I’ve asked for feedback,” he added.

Just last week, ECB President Christine Lagarde said that they would soon discuss whether or not the eurozone should create its very own digital currency.

Currently, finance chiefs of the euro region are working on devising a regime to regulate fiat-backed stablecoins.

Call for a Digital Euro

Before being sent to the colleagues, the LBCOIN was demonstrated at last week’s Governing Council meeting about how it works.

Based on blockchain technology, the project took three years to complete, Vasiliauskas said.

“We’re the first to issue” such a coin, he said. “The whole experience gave us ample possibilities to comprehend the technology.”

The users of the tokens can also trade them among themselves after activating the tokens. The specific set of them can also be exchanged for a credit card-sized physical coin that has a nominal value of 19.18 euros.

The central bank governor believes the LBCOIN experience will help ECB in reaching the decision on a digital euro. According to him, it was the social media giant Facebook’s stablecoin Libra that helped euro-area central banks in recognizing that digitization can revolutionize the financial system.

“We absolutely need to move forward, we see the Chinese are already testing it in practice, launching the CBDC in certain regions,” he said. “Europe shouldn’t sleep through this again.”

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Author: AnTy

Cellebrite Launches Crypto Tracer Solution Powered by CipherTrace for Tracking Illicit Activities

Cellebrite, a digital intelligence firm has released a cryptocurrency transaction tracing tool called “Cellebrite Crypto Tracer,” which would help law enforcement agencies, businesses, and analysts to trace crypto transactions being used for any illicit activity such as money laundering, terrorism, drugs, human trafficking, weapon sales, and ransomware schemes.

The firm has promised to offer its crypto transaction tracing toolkit to investigators, along with analysts and even those who want to lawfully use the toolkit to obtain evidence of any kind of criminal activity being carried out using cryptocurrencies.

As per a study conducted by Oxford University, over $76 billion in Bitcoin is being used to facilitate illegal activities. The use of digital assets, especially Bitcoin and privacy-centric coins, has been a significant hurdle for law enforcement agencies and remains one of the prominent reasons governments have a passive stance towards regulating cryptocurrencies.

How Does Cellebrite’s Crypto Tracer Solution Work?

The Cellebrite crypto tracer solution creates an array of data sets with attributable points. The toolkit collects data from open-source and private references, deception data, and human intelligence, which results in a data set of 522 million attributable points.

Leeor Ben-Peretz, chief strategy officer of Cellebrite, sheds some light on how the tracing solution aggregates and intelligently uses data to help users trace illicit activity. The firm claims that its solution, with millions of data sets, can pinpoint the origin of funds as well as where the fund is headed to and can determine if the destination is an exchange or a wallet. Peretz explained:

“Some of the major features of the solution include the ability to conduct risk scoring and profile hundreds of global exchanges, ATMs, mixers, money laundering systems, gambling services, and known criminal addresses and assign risk levels to transactions.”

The launch of the crypto tracing tool could not have been timed better. Just last week, Twitter experienced one of the worst cyberattacks in recent history, where the accounts of hundreds of prominent personalities like Elon Musk, Kanye West, Jay-Z, and many more were taken over by hackers.

All the accounts tweeted a fake bitcoin scam promising people to double the amount they send to the mentioned bitcoin address. While the scams look apparent to many, and Twitter managed to gain control within a few minutes, hackers still managed to get over $100,000.

With other blockchain tracing providers such as Chainalysis also tracking the transactions of the wallets that received these funds. Now, with CypherTrace powered, Cellebrite’s tracing solution can help in locating the accused behind these hacks. However, cybercriminals have adapted to the evolving landscape of technology, and have become more sophisticated in their hacks and scams.

John Jefferies, a chief financial analyst of CypherTrace, believes as the cryptocurrency gains more mainstream adoption, the crimes associated with it will also see a rise. He said:

“As the market capitalization of crypto grows, larger financial crimes and nation-state scale. Regulatory reform, driven by the updated FATF guidelines, will force jurisdiction arbitrage as new laws are enacted, globally on unsynchronized timelines.”

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Coin Metrics’ Trusted Volume Framework Reveals Only 14 Exchanges Are Reporting Real Trading Data

Coin Metrics, a crypto analyst firm, has released a new framework called ‘Trusted Volume Framework’ to evaluate how trustworthy is the trading volume clams made by various exchanges every year.

The analysts at Coin Metrics found that only a handful of exchanges, among hundreds, managed to cut when it comes to offering trading volume data. The study also found that a majority of the exchanges have been showing 10x the actual volume. Exchanges dwell into wash trading, and many other unethical means to show an inflated number to attract more customers.

Key Takeaways of the study revealed:

  • Fake trading volumes have been a black mark on the industry – it is difficult to find a single metric to easily sift through the reported numbers.
  • We’ve taken a data-driven approach to the problem and are excited to introduce a “trusted volume” metric to help identify the legitimate trading volume.
  • Our framework for measuring the reporting quality of exchange is broken down into three broad categories: volume correlation, web traffic analytics, and qualitative features.

As of June 2020, the passing exchanges for ‘trusted’ spot volume include Binance (and Binance US), Bitbank, Bitfinex, bitFlyer, Bitstamp, Bittrex, CEX.IO, Coinbase, Gate.io, Gemini, itBit, Kraken, and Poloniex.

Jon Geenty, a data scientist at Coin Metrics, commented on the growing trend of showing inflated numbers and said:

“Exchanges are especially notorious for boosting volume numbers to game ranking sites or other nefarious reasons. The industry is full of technical information that can be difficult to understand and, at times, misleading. We are working to create a more transparent environment for those within it and a safer, more trustworthy source for those hoping to learn more.”

How did Coin Metrics Evaluate Fake Volume?

Coin Metrics’ Trusted Volume Framework
Source: Coin Metrics

Analysts at Coin metrics did not collect data from top exchanges; instead, they collected trading volume data from trusted spot exchanges which included:

The Coin Metrics subjected these exchanges to three litmus tests, which included comparing the price feed for the exchange against the trusted exchanges. Any exchange with a 60% correlation with the trusted exchange ‘passed’ the test.

The second test assesses the exchange’s volume against the web traffic of the platform, so if an exchange is inflating its volume, then the ratio will be higher as well.

And for the third test, Coin Metrics checks qualitative measures taken by the exchange, like whether the exchange is un/regulated, whether the platform boasts KYC features and others.

Among the most popular exchanges which could not pass the test had only one contender in OKEx, which failed on all the tests.

It was revealed that, in the last 24 hours, the overall volume of the crypto market was $13.25 billion, while the exchanges combined showed a total trading volume of $113 billion.

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Author: James W