OpenSea Is “Not Planning” an IPO, says CFO After Community Push Back

OpenSea Is “Not Planning” an IPO, says CFO After Community Push Back

“You’d be foolish not to think about it going public,” when OpenSea is growing at such a fast pace, said Brian Roberts earlier in the week.

NFT marketplace OpenSea is pushing back against the reports of the company planning its initial public offering (IPO), which would mean no token for its early adopters, much like the leading US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which went public in April this year, nine years after being co-founded by CEO Brian Armstrong. Brian Roberts, who joined OpenSea as its CFO this week said,

“Let me set the record straight: there is a big gap between thinking about what an IPO might eventually look like & actively planning one. We are not planning an IPO, and if we ever did, we would look to involve the community.”

The former Lyft executive who previously also worked at Microsoft and Walmart said in an interview with Bloomberg this week that he’s already planning an OpenSea IPO. Roberts is known for guiding his former company to a successful IPO.

“When you have a company growing as fast as this one, you’d be foolish not to think about it going public,” he said. It “would be well-received in the public market given its growth.”

Roberts’ u-turn came after the crypto community voiced against the company’s plans for an IPO and taking the traditional finance route instead of rewarding its users much like other crypto projects such as DEX Uniswap.

“Pressure from users will reach a tipping point for consumer-facing companies. the moment the IPO rumors start, users will push these platforms to do retroactive token airdrops instead,” commented Raj Gokal, co-founder of Solana Labs.

“Arcane accreditation and securities laws in the US will be tested as Americans face exclusion.”

OpenSea has already raised $100 million at a $1.5 billion valuation in a Series B led by VC giant Andreessen Horowitz and is now talking to more investors about raising additional funds that could increase its valuation to over $12 billion.

“I’ve seen a lot of P&Ls, but I’ve never seen a P&L like this,” Roberts said at the time, adding that while OpenSea doesn’t need to raise more cash, the fresh capital will help it acquire companies and create partnerships and joint ventures.

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Author: AnTy

Axie Infinity Prepares for AXS Staking Launch, Community Treasury Skyrockets Past $1 Billion

Axie Infinity Prepares for AXS Staking Launch, Community Treasury Skyrockets Past $1 Billion

Sky Mavis, the company behind Axie Infinity, is asking its community members to “abide by the laws of their home countries” after the Philippines government started investigating the play-to-earn games.

Popular play-to-earn blockchain game Axie Infinity continues to lead the protocol revenue chart, earning $125.8 million on a weekly basis. In the last three months, the project has generated more than half a billion dollars in revenue, $1.1 bln in the past six months, and $1.4 bln in the past year.

The token AXS also continues to trade above $71 and is within reach for its $82.40 ATH from less than a week back.

Amidst this, Delphi Digital made its report on Axie from the end of June public in which it noted that it was the Ronin launch that was the key catalyst for the NFT game’s explosive growth as its daily active users went to 252,000 from 38,000 in just two months.

The majority of Axie’s new users are from the Philippines and Venezuela, it added.

The community treasury of the project has also grown from less than $1 million to over $14 million at June end. In another two months, the Treasury skyrocketed to surpass the billion-dollar mark as everyone piled into the project.

In November 2020, the Axie team had shared that 100% of all fees and primary sales from the Axie universe will be deposited in the Treasury. It also said that it would also direct a portion of staking issuance, starting at 35%, and gradually taper off over time towards Community Treasury.

“We’re also working with the Axie team on the upcoming launch of AXS staking. There’s a meaningful amount of supply set aside for staking rewards, and the treasury itself is over $1B and growing rapidly,” said Yan Liberman, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Delphi Digital, on Thursday.

The treasury also saw daily growth increasing from sub-100k in April to a peak of over $600k in June.

Delphi Digital projected in its June-end report that the community treasury is expected to have 15.6 million AXS and 26.6k ETH, equating to roughly $150 million at the time when the price of AXS was a mere $5 and Ether was just above $2k while currently past $3k. This, however, does not include additional AXS deposited once staking incentives go live, scheduled for a Q3 release as such could come by September end.

An estimated 24% of circulating AXS is expected to be held by the treasury by the end of the year.

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AXS token holders are entitled to this treasury and, once staking goes live, will start receiving distributions and further dictate how it’s spent through governance.

“It will be interesting to see how the treasury build-up plays out, given that treasury growth will likely be higher than circulating supply expansion,” the report said.

Amidst this explosive growth, Sky Mavis, the company behind Axie Infinity, posted a statement on Twitter in regards to the reports of the government in the Philippines investigating the play-to-earn games and Axie Infinity in particular regarding the nature of tokens and because officials say the company should pay taxes on their revenue.

The Vietnamese company has asked its community members to “abide by the laws of their home countries.”

“Play-to-earn is an important shift in the nature of work; we look forward to working with physical nations (governments) on a path forward that encourages innovation and empowers gamers.”

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Author: AnTy

Maker Foundation Dissolves to Give the Community Full Control Over the Protocol and DAO

Maker Foundation Dissolves to Give the Community Full Control Over the Protocol and DAO

Original decentralized finance (DeFi) project Maker has now completely decentralized MakerDAO making the community now responsible for the protocol.

It started as a DAO, then changed into a Foundation which was a temporary solution for the development of the popular lending protocol, an end to having a self-governed self-operating DAO, which it has now achieved.

This week, Rune Christensen, the CEO of Maker Foundation, announced that the DAO is now fully self-sufficient, and the Foundation will formally dissolve within the next few months.

Over the period of the last six years, its stablecoin DAI has grown to become a $5.25 billion market cap crypto-backed stablecoin.

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In Q2 of 2021, the supply of DAI grew 76%, producing $43 million in earnings, up 136% since 1Q21 and 21,500% year-over-year.

While DAI has a 5% market share of the stablecoin market, the lending protocol has $5.45 billion in outstanding debt compared to $6.62 billion on Compound and $6.89 billion on Aave.

“MakerDAO continues to provide one of the best demonstrations of profitable growth in DeFi,” noted Ryan Watkins of Messari, adding the project also has a powerful business model having zero infrastructure costs with users paying gas, zero cost of capital with MakerDAO minting DAI, and extremely high margin with very low headcount requirements while having global reach without the hurdle of regional financial regulations.

Currently, the project has over $8 billion in assets locked in smart contracts of the Maker Protocol.

In terms of total value locked (TVL), the protocol has $5.85 billion comprising 2.43 million ETH, nearly 17k BTC, and 61.36 million DAI.

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Author: AnTy

KuCoin (KCS) Rallies as Degens Turn to KuCoin Community Chain (KCC)

KuCoin (KCS) Rallies as Degens Turn to KuCoin Community Chain (KCC)

About four weeks back, cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin launched its KuCoin Community Chain (KCC) on mainnet.

Now, in less than a month, hundreds of projects have been launched on this blockchain. Recently, KCC launched its grants program and an ambassador program. As of writing, KCC Explorer isn’t really showing much data but mentions 17,842 transaction counts and just under $240k in transaction volume in the past 24 hours.

“The market conditions on Kucoin Chain are surreal, even in the degen realm,” noted crypto enthusiast Shual.

KoffeeSwap is a popular project on the blockchain, which is a Uniswap inspired automated market maker (AMM), which Shual describes as a “rug store.”

Over the weekend, the team of KoffeeSwap assured it’s just under 3k followers on Twitter that they have a long-term vision with the developer team still hard at work and not going anywhere.

They are currently working on performance improvements to help with the slower chart loading, bridging, and stablecoin plans, CoinGecko listing, and more new features.

Not just AMMs, the blockchain has many copy-pastas such as Shibance and KuDoge on it.

Interestingly, with no stablecoin on the blockchain, all the tokens on KCC are paired against the exchange’s native token, KCS.

This obviously has KCS soaring and becoming the second-biggest gainer, after AXS of Axie Infinity, in the past week with an almost 84% uptrend.

The $1 billion market cap coin is currently trading at $13.50 but still down more than 30% from its all-time high of $20.17 made in Jan. 2018, according to CoinGecko.

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Author: AnTy

Fortnite Going Ethereum? More Likely to be the Community Hoping and Coping

Fortnite Going Ethereum? More Likely to be the Community Hoping and Coping

Popular online video game Fortnite has added a new skin called “Etheria,” which has the cryptocurrency community speculating that it is somehow related to the second-largest cryptocurrency Ethereum.

Aestheticdemon is the concept creator of Etheria.

The name is not the only thing that bears a resemblance to Ethereum. The images circulating online also have an object that looks similar to Ethereum’s diamond-shaped logo.

But this seems to be reaching as by this standard “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War” could be into Ethereum as well as an energy source in this game is called “Aetherium Crystals.”

This could very well be a case of Apophenia, trying to perceive meaningful connections between unrelated things.

Ethereum subreddit meanwhile remained hopeful and continued to cope after Ether’s latest sell-off to $1,700, a drop of more than 61% from last month’s peak. One such hopeful Redditor commented, “Eth to 40k confirmed.”

But it’s not just the ETH community; the entire crypto market is looking for a bullish narrative after the latest deep rout — a catalyst to bring back the bullish sentiments and push up the prices again.

Fortnite, however, is no stranger to cryptos or even Ethereum as a year ago, when Reddit launched two types of Ethereum-based cryptos, Moons, and Bricks, they were a hit among the gaming community.

These Ethereum-based “Community Points,” which were also launched in cryptocurrency subreddits, got more interest from gamers than the crypto community and gained more than 10,000 users in just a week.

Epic Games, which has a valuation of about $28.7 billion, launched Fortnite in 2017.

“Fortnite” creator Epic Games said on Tuesday that it now has over 500 million accounts and that it has 2.7 billion friend connections across “Fortnite,” “Rocket League,” and the Epic Games Store. As of June 2020, Fortnite has 350 million registered users.

The video game developer is currently fighting a legal battle with Apple Inc. As we reported last August, the lawsuit claimed that Apple’s anticompetitive conduct eliminates alternative payment options like Bitcoin to be used in the game, which the tech giant confirmed, saying it violated the App store guidelines regarding in-app payments.

Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney is actually very bullish on NFTs and the crypto metaverse. The company raised $1 billion in funding this April to support its long-term vision for the metaverse.

While he called the crypto investment a “wild, speculative mess,” earlier this year, Sweeney added, “the tech is going places.”

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Author: AnTy

WallStreetBets Launches Blockchain-Powered Exchange Traded Portfolios, Ran Through A DAO

WallStreetBets Launches Blockchain-Powered Exchange Traded Portfolios, Ran Through A DAO

Popular Reddit community WallStreetBets has announced a new product launch dubbed WSB DApp. The group plans to create a blockchain-based app aimed at combating market manipulation in traditional finance.

WallStreetBets Introduces WSB DApp

This will see the largely pseudonymous WallStreetBets group move into the world of decentralization and blockchain-based finance.

The initiative would be run through a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), which is a non-hierarchical group that votes collectively on how to run a company and allocate resources based on community decisions.

According to the press release by prominent figures in WSB, including founder Jaime Rogozinski, WSB has been working with blockchain experts to build exchange-traded portfolios (ETPs), which, unlike index funds, can be easily decentralized.

“Moreover, by harnessing the transparency and community consensus mechanisms provided by blockchain and smart contract technology, WallStreetBets ETPs may serve as an alternative to the kind of market manipulation perpetuated by opaque and politically connected banks and hedge funds.”

The WSB DApp’s launch follows the recent announcement of the $WSB governance token.

WSB recently launched the $WSB token on community-focused fundraising platform BSCstarter through an initial dex offering (IDO).

The Token offering became eligible following votes from the BSCstarter community. The $WSB token would be used by holders to vote on how and when to rebalance a portfolio of stock investments.

WallStreetBets Gaining Momentum

The group has gone from just being a subreddit group to a worldwide phenomenon seemingly overnight. WSB, which started with the Occupy Movement, has now gained a massive organic following on social platforms without formal leadership.

The unofficial group gained fame after crippling hedge funds by short squeezing GameStop through a coordinated move.

Now it is taking a big step toward blockchain-based finance, which is a different path from the group’s original aim of ending dependence on corrupt institutions in finance.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that members of the WSB forum were recently targeted in a cryptocurrency scam that resulted in $2 million in losses.

An account called “WallStreetBets – Crypto Pumps” using the Telegram messaging service offered users the chance to buy tokens known as WSB Finance before it was listed on crypto exchanges.

The account also cajoled users into sending Binance Coin, known as BNB, or Ether to a cryptocurrency wallet controlled by the criminals in exchange for the WSB Finance coins.

However, those coins were never delivered; instead, a second message was sent out telling those who had already sent a payment that they’d have to send an equal amount again or lose their initial investment because of a problem with the bot.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Every Internet Community Might Have Its Own Micro-Economy, Including NFT’s, Someday

Every Internet Community Might Have Its Own Micro-Economy, Including NFT’s, Someday

“Crypto, and specifically NFTs (non-fungible tokens), can accelerate the trend of creators monetizing directly with their fans,” reads a16z latest blog post written by Chris Dixon, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz.

While social platforms will continue to be useful for building audiences, creators can increasingly rely on other methods, including NFTs and crypto-enabled economies, to make money, he said.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are gaining a lot of attention lately as people digitize their art, videos, music, gifs, games, text, memes, and any number of things and sell them online.

HighestSellingNFT

Source: Twitter

While NFTs will have their own ups and downs, they offer fundamentally better economics for creators by removing rent-seeking intermediaries, enabling granular price tiering, and reducing customer acquisition costs to near zero by making users owners, he wrote.

As such, this new sector which is still early and will evolve, Dixon believes, will see an increase in their utility as digital experiences are built around them, including marketplaces, social networks, showcases, games, and virtual worlds. He added,

“Someday, every internet community might have its own micro-economy, including NFTs and fungible tokens that users can use, own, and collect.”

In this burgeoning sector, recently, the major auction house Christie’s also joined in through Beeple’s digital art, the payment for which was accepted for the first time in crypto, Ether.

ChristiesBeepleNFT

Source: Twitter

People are pouring in huge amounts of money in these NFTs, with a batch of digital collectibles known as CryptoPunks getting sold for about $1 million in cryptocurrency in just a few minutes recently.

These digital collectibles are created on the Ethereum blockchain using the ERC-721 standard and are embedded into a smart contract.

This obviously has people making copycats, as seen with “Binance Punks.” Larva Labs, the company behind the Punk collectibles, clarified last month that it “has taken the art from CryptoPunks and is selling it as a copy on another chain. This is in no way an authorized project.”

AmandaCernyNFT

Source: Twitter

On February 22nd, volume in the NFT space peaked above $64 million and over 44k traders, an uptrend of 114x and 26.5x respectively from the beginning of the year, as per Dapp Radar.

Since then, the volume on NFT marketplaces has come down to just under $16 million and traders to over 25k.

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Author: AnTy

Contentious EIP-1559 Seeking Community Consensus as Ethereum Miner Revenue Hits an ATH

Contentious EIP-1559 Seeking Community Consensus as Ethereum Miner Revenue Hits an ATH

Ethereum fees are the talk of the town; everyone from small users to even big players feels the brunt of it.

Even some projects have fallen victim to the high fees, which are yet again on the rise. The average transaction fee in USD is back near ATH above $23; in ETH terms, it is at 0.013, and gas prices are nearing 200 Gwei again.

Last month, Ethereum miners raked in nearly $830 million in revenue, over $325 million of which was from transaction fees. In February so far, the revenue has reached $678 million, with fees accounting for more than half of it ($357 million).

And here comes Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559, which will bring the largest change to how the users will bid for blockspace. The proposal targets to decrease network fees by increasing block size.

First proposed in March 2019 by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, the EIP 1559 aims to offer better UX and security while preventing economic abstraction, which is the ability to pay fees in an asset besides Ether.

As we reported, the world’s largest asset manager, Grayscale, praised the proposal, which it said may also serve as a deflationary mechanism and creating a “positive feedback loop for Ether’s price.”

While many are in support of it like F2Pool, not everyone is in favor.

Bitfly, one of the largest Ether mining pools, is one of those who are against the proposal and believes the update would put Ethereum’s future at risk. In January they said,

“We have been supporting Ethereum with its perfect imperfections since genesis and would like to encourage the developers to look into solutions that do not rely on fee burning in order to get the buy in of the miner community for EIP-1559.”

Flexpool, which is a tiny mining pool, has been against the proposal and gaining some support from other pools.

As such, a community call will be held next week to share their opinion on the update that is supposed to burn the majority of the transaction fee instead of offering it to the network miners.

The call will bring all the stakeholders together to understand the “pressing need of the proposal and address any concerns in hopes of coming to a community consensus.”

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Author: AnTy

DeFi Project Nexus Mutual Suffers $8.25M Attack; Only Founder’s Personal Wallet Affected

DeFi insurance project Nexus Mutual has suffered an attack.

But for the crypto community, the only good thing is that Nexus Mutual founder Hugh Karp’s personal addresses were only affected.

On Monday, the team took to Twitter to share that at 9:40 on Dec. 14 itself, the personal address for the project creator was attacked and drained by a member of the mutual itself.

“Only Hugh’s address was affected in this targeted attack, and there is no subsequent risk to Nexus Mutual or any members,” noted the team.

370,000 NXM worth $8.25 million has been stolen from Hugh’s personal wallet.

As per the initial investigation, this targeted attack was made on Hugh’s hardware wallet by gaining remote access to his computer. By modifying the popular Ethereum wallet MetaMask’s extension, the attacker tricked Hugh into signing a different transaction to transfer the funds to the attacker’s address.

“Since on hardware wallets you often can not validate practically what you are actually signing the weakest point to attack is the interface that creates the sign request – e.g., the Dapp,” said Martin Köppelmann, founder of the prediction market platform Gnosis.

As such, one needs to make sure that the private key only signs what the owner intends to, for which multiple signier or sanity checks must be used to separate the transaction request from signing it, advised Köppelmann.

According to the Nexus Mutual team, the attacker completed his KYC earlier this month and then switched the membership to a new address on Dec. 3rd.

“The mutual is not impacted; the pool of funds and all systems are safe. Our investigation is ongoing to identify the attacker and how they operated,” added the team.

Hugh also took to Twitter to urge the attacker to return the stolen NXM to him, and in return, they will drop the investigation and grant them the $300k bounty.

The project currently has a total value locked (TVL) of about $94 million, and its token NXS is currently trading at $0.226, down 1.91%. The token with a market cap of $15.65 million has a year-to-date performance of about 28%.

Meanwhile, Wrapped Nexus (wNXM), which the attacker used to move the funds, is seeing a bigger drop of over 16% to $16.41.

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum 2.0 Deposit Contract Only at 18% Staked; Will It Launch on Dec 1?

The Ethereum 2.0 upgrade may not happen as soon as the community expected if the minimum threshold of 524k ETH isn’t met within the next week. Currently, 99,488 ETH has been staked in preparation for the launch, roughly 18.97% of the required ETH. Nonetheless, Ethereum 2.0 developers are still optimistic about the Dec 1 launch.

While there is a target date for the ETH 2.0 launch, hiccups hitting the minimum threshold could mean that this date will have to be rescheduled. Going by the updates from Dune Analytics, the eventuality of postponing the launch is more likely than not.

This is because all the ETH must be deposited seven days before the target launch date of Dec 1, according to Danny Ryan, a core researcher at the Ethereum Foundation. If the threshold is not met within the expected time frame, Ryan noted that the genesis would be triggered at a later date when it is achieved,

“If not … genesis will be triggered 7 days after this threshold has been met (whenever that may be).”

So far, a total of 458 contributors have deposited to the ETH 2.0 deposit contract, totaling 3,023 transactions as of press time. Some of the largest contributors include Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin who has allocated 3,200 ETH, which is over $1.4 million as per the prevailing market prices.

With the December launch set to mark phase 0 of ETH 2.0, the upgrade to a PoS ecosystem will still be far from over. This will only lay the groundwork for phases 1 and 2, which are expected to roll out in the coming year as part of a full migration from the PoW consensus.

Notably, the Ethereum and larger crypto community have been waiting patiently for this shift. Basically, a migration from the PoW consensus means that Ethereum’s blockchain will be more scalable since less computing power is needed in the PoS model. If successful, the Ethereum blockchain will solve the underlying scalability challenges, which are a pain point to its booming ecosystem.

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Author: Edwin Munyui