Jack Dorsey’s First Tweet Sold as an NFT for $2.9 Million; Proceeds Donated to African Charity

Jack Dorsey’s First Tweet Sold as an NFT for $2.9 Million; Proceeds Donated to African Charity

Twitter and Square CEO and founder Jack Dorsey have announced the first-ever tweet auction is complete, the NFT selling for $2.9 million. The NFT sold via a decentralized auction service, Valuables by crypto company, Cent. The NFT-tweet was sold to Sina Estavi, CEO of the TRON-related company Bridge Oracle, who won the auction after a close competition with Justin Sun, CEO of Tron.

Estavi originally offered 1630.5825601 ETH for the tweet, beating Justin’s 1304.466 ETH (~$2 million) with the coin’s appreciation since then to $2.9 million.

On March 5, Jack minted the first-ever tweet into an NFT on Ethereum. Buying this tweet would mean you are purchasing a “digital certificate of the tweet, unique because it has been signed and verified by the creator.”

The bid proceeds have been sent via Bitcoin to the Give Directly Africa Fund that aims to improve sending money across African countries, including Togo, Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the U.S.

Jack Dorsey’s Cash App recently allowed instant sending and receiving Bitcoin using your $cashapptag on the platform. Users can send up to $7000 every week at no cost.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Billionaire Jack Ma Led Ant Group Ranks First Globally In Blockchain Patents

Billionaire Jack Ma Led Ant Group Ranks First Globally In Blockchain Patents

  • Ant Group retains the globe’s largest blockchain patentee, with IBM remaining the most cited patent developer within the blockchain space.

A new report shows that Ant Group, owned by Chinese tech billionaire Jack Ma, filed for the highest number of blockchain-based patents last year. According to the research report, Chinese-based firms dominate the list of the number of blockchain patent filings.

The report was published by Intellectual Asset Management, a magazine that focuses on intellectual property. The report sourced its data from the Derwent World Patents Index. According to the publication, Ant Group has filed for 2,298 blockchain patents, with 586 being added last year. However, this was a 33% reduction compared to the 880 patents that were filed in 2019.

However, filing approximately 1,748 blockchain-based patents, Ping An saw its patent applications’ volume jump sharply from just 291 in the previous year. The Shenzhen-based firm owns financial and insurance outfits that offer a wide array of services such as asset management, banking, and trusts. The company has been keen to make its presence felt in the blockchain space, with Ping An Bank creating a boutique that focuses on blockchain in 2018.

The high number of blockchain patents by Ping An has seen the firm ranked second above Tencent, which is now ranked third. Tencent filed for 1,666 patent applications last year.

Coming fourth is the global tech conglomerate, IBM, with approximately 647 blockchain patents by 2019. Noteworthy, IBM is the only American-based firm that appears in the report. However, although Chinese firms dominate when it comes to the number of patents, IBM boasts of a high citation rate within the industry. The American company also boasts of owning most of the first blockchain intellectual rights.

The report also indicates that the number of worldwide blockchain patent requests has been on a downward spiral in the last three years. The report says that 12,300 patents were applied in 2018, 11,299 in 2019, while 9,415 were applied in 2020.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

New Zealand Digital Asset Firm Launches Country’s First Compliant Stablecoin, $NZD

New Zealand Digital Asset Firm Launches Country’s First Compliant Stablecoin, $NZD

The stablecoin is built on Ethereum leveraging Circle, Coinbase, and Blockchain Labs frameworks. Audit reports on the reserves will be released quarterly, the report states.

Techemynt, a digital asset transaction service, announced the launch of a New Zealand dollar-backed stablecoin, $NZD.

Auckland-born digital asset service provider, Techemynt announced the launch of a New Zealand dollar-backed stablecoin. The Ethereum-based token is fully backed 1:1 with cash and cash equivalents in the firm’s treasury (denominated in New Zealand Dollars).

According to the report, the stablecoin will provide an avenue to digital payments, remittance, arbitrage opportunities across the country. Additionally, $NZD aims to strengthen and stabilize the New Zealand dollar in order to make it “a prominent participant in the global digital asset economy,” it further reads.

Fran Strajnar, Executive Director of Techemynt, said the company partnered with top teams in crypto such as Circle, Coinbase, and Blockchain Labs to successfully deploy $NZD on Ethereum. This will be the first compliant New Zealand dollar-backed stablecoin and will continue to be built “adhering to NZ legal requirements,” he added.

“After nearly a year of development, $NZDs is now first to fully execute and deliver on the promise of bringing a New Zealand Dollar stablecoin to the world.”

To ensure transparency and accountability in issuing the $NZD stablecoins, Techemynt will employ the services of a “leading accounting firm” to provide quarterly audit reports on the state of the reverses to $NZDs issued.

Starting today, the Techemynt $NZD tokens will be distributed directly to customers who wish to acquire $100,000 NZD or more worth of tokens (~$71,300). Users can also acquire coins in the secondary markets through Bittrex owned exchange, Dassetx.com.

However, this is not the first time a New Zealand stablecoin has launched in the markets. Back in 2017, now-defunct crypto exchange, Cryptopia launched its NZDT stablecoin, reported to be backed 1:1 to the New Zealand dollar.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Jack Dorsey Onboards Ethereum Train by Minting an NFT of His First Ever Tweet

Jack Dorsey Onboards Ethereum Train by Minting an NFT of His First Ever Tweet

Tron founder, Justin Sun, has made a bid of half a million USD for Twitter CEO’s first NFT of his very-first tweet.

Jack Dorsey, the co-founder, and CEO of Twitter who has been all about Bitcoin is finally finding value in the second-largest cryptocurrency network.

Early on Saturday, Dorsey, who sees Bitcoin becoming the currency of the internet and has only Bitcoin in his Twitter bio, is selling his very first tweet “just setting up my twttr” as an NFT (non-fungible token) through a platform called Valuables.

Buying this tweet would mean you are purchasing a “digital certificate of the tweet, unique because it has been signed and verified by the creator.”

As of writing, the highest bidding on the NFT is $500,000 by Tron cryptocurrency founder Justin Sun.

Sun then took to Twitter to share with Dorsey that he has “made a half-million USD offer to buy your first NTF tweet.”

NFTs are all the rage right now that allows anything to be digitized, allowing to buy and sell the ownership of a unique digital item that can be tracked on the blockchain. Some of the NFTs have been sold for millions of dollars.

And if you think that is a bubble, the rookie card of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has been sold for a whopping $1.32 million in an online auction, by far the highest price ever paid for an NFL card. The auction house said in a statement,

“Only one of 100 cards in the world, even less if you consider grade – this incredible card was picked up by James Parker, a long-time Brady fan.”

This came on the heels of Patrick Mahomes’ autographed rookie card sold for $861,000 in February. So, digital art, NFTs are not different from what we have already been seeing.

Others are also joining in; several celebrities have already jumped in as we reported this week, the Kings of Leon have launched their new album on NFT, becoming the first band to do so.

One NYT tech reporter is also selling the NFT of his tweet, “NFT stands for “no fucken thanks,” which has gotten the highest bid of $500 so far.

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Author: AnTy

Robinhood Adds 6 Million New Crypto Users in First 2 Months; 2021 Starting With A Bang

Robinhood Adds 6 Million New Crypto Users in First 2 Months; 2021 Starting With A Bang

“The numbers are clear: 2021 has started with a crypto bang,” says the online brokerage.

Zero commission online brokerage Robinhood revealed that 6 million new users signed up for its cryptocurrency services in the first two months of this year.

The company launched its crypto services three years ago. Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin SV (BSV), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), and Litecoin (LTC) are the only available cryptos on the platform.

Robinhood Crypto, which is licensed to engage in virtual currency business activity by the New York State Department of Financial Services, recorded high trading volume amidst a sharp rise in the prices of cryptos.

These numbers just show that much like crypto exchanges which have been registering a sustaining number of new peaks in new user sign-ups and volume, the crypto-mania has spread to everyone.

As we reported, in January, the global crypto users broke the milestone of 100 million, and this week, Square also revealed in its earnings report that its Cash App recorded 1 million new Bitcoin users in January 2021, adding to its 3 million throughout 2020.

As for Robinhood’s crypto division, they averaged about 200,000 new customers trading on its platform per month in 2020, the company said in a blog post. “The numbers are clear: 2021 has started with a crypto bang,” it said.

Robinhood crypto traders by year

Source: Robinhood

The average transaction size of crypto investors on the platform is around $500.

Robinhood, which also offers stock and options trading, currently allows its customers to only buy, sell, and hold cryptos and recently said it also plans to introduce the ability to deposit and withdraw cryptos to other wallets.

The company is expected to go public this year, with a value of over $20 billion, nowhere near the more than $100 billion valuation crypto exchange Coinbase got. The largest crypto exchange in the US, Coinbase, filed to go public with Nasdaq through a direct listing on Thursday.

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Author: AnTy

Canadian Financial Institution Launches World’s First Stablecoin Backed by Bank Deposits

Canadian Financial Institution Launches World’s First Stablecoin Backed by Bank Deposits

  • Canadian-based bank, VersaBank, announced the launch of its digital stablecoin, VCAD, which is backed 1:1 by Canadian dollar bank deposits by the bank.

VersaBank, a North American banking leader in B2B digital payment solutions, announced its plans to launch VCAD, the “world’s first digital currency backed by a North American bank deposits”. The stablecoin aims to offer users a channel of commerce while offering the highest levels of stability and security on its system.

The VCAD stablecoin is as a result of a partnership between VersaBank and Stablecorp, a joint venture between crypto asset manager, 3iQ and Mavenet, a blockchain development firm, both Canadian firms too. The partnership will ensure the commercial launch of VCAD, with VersaVault, a digital bank vault under VersaBank’s cybersecurity subsidiary, DRT Cyber Inc., securely managing the stablecoin.

The VCAD project is expected to launch in the coming months, a statement from the team further stated.

VCAD allows consumers and businesses to leverage the benefits of stable tokens such as removing the wild volatility experienced across the crypto market or fiat currencies. Moreover, users will also enjoy the security of a fully-backed stablecoin through the bank deposits, David Taylor, President of VersaBank and DRT Cyber Inc. said in a statement.

“Consumers and businesses purchasing products and services with VCAD will finally know the precise value of their digital currency when executing these transactions.”

At launch, VCAD will be issued to financial intermediaries working with VersaBank in exchange for Canadian dollar deposits. These partners and intermediaries will then offer the stablecoin directly to users and businesses allowing them to redeem for Canadian dollars and payment purposes at any time. Jean Desgagne, CEO, Stablecorp said,

“VCAD provides consumers with not only the security afforded by an underlying deposit with a Canadian chartered bank but also the comfort of knowing that each VCAD issued or redeemed will always have one-to-one value with the Canadian dollar.”

Stablecoins are rapidly gaining acceptance across Canada as a bank of Canada official, Deputy Governor Tim Lane, praised the innovation over “flawed Bitcoin” as a payment channel.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Auction House Christie’s Is Accepting Ethereum for the First Time for Digital Art Sale

Auction House Christie’s Is Accepting Ethereum for the First Time for Digital Art Sale

Christie’s, the world’s leading auction house established in 1766, will start accepting the cryptocurrency Ethereum (ETH) as payment.

This decision came following the announcement that it will auction a work by Beeple, “Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” in a standalone sale that will run from Feb. 25 to March 11.

“Christie’s is excited to announce that, for the first time, it will accept Ether as a payment option for the sale of beeple’s ‘First 5000 Days.’ We are grateful to beeple +makersplace for its partnership on this monumental sale,” shared the auction house on Twitter.

While the principal price would be accepted in Ether, the premium, which is their fees, will be paid in dollars.

“We’re at this precipice where crypto is going to be such a more established and mainstream mode of conducting business,” Noah Davis, the Christie’s specialist who’s organized the auction, told Bloomberg.

“With this [sale], I think it’s the perfect way to dip our toes in and give this a shot.”

According to analyst Mati Greenspan, it isn’t about the top auction house accepting crypto for art, “In fact, you might call it a revolution.”

Digital artist Beeple, whose real name is Mike Winkelmann and has 1.8 million Instagram followers, put out a digital artwork last October. Each of the 100 editions cost $1, and they were sold out in less than a second. Beeple said about this mania,

“The rabbit hole of possibilities that this is going to bring to the art world—I don’t think people are fully recognizing that this is going to be a massive, massive shift.”

Non-fungible tokens (NFT) have exploded in popularity over the last few months, some pieces being sold for as much as millions of dollars.

“NFTs are now going mainstream, and the innovative gameplay is worth learning,” noted Jau Hao, CEO of crypto exchange OKEx, who said, “we need more liquid NFT markets for mass adoption.” Hao added,

“Leveraging the VR and the open-world gaming market to build a digital realm during the pandemic is another way we can bring NFTs to the masses.”

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Author: AnTy

North America’s First Bitcoin ETF Debuts on TSX with a Whopping 0 Million Volume

The first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) of North America has had a roaring start, with $220 million worth of shares exchanged by investors on the first day of going live, which is very well above an ETF’s typical day in Canada.

While there have been several crypto-tracking products in Europe that function like an ETF, they all have been essentially ETPs. Purpose Bitcoin ETF, with a ticker BTCC, is the first Bitcoin product that’s officially labeled as an exchange-traded fund.

The new fund debuted Thursday on Toronto Stock Exchange.

This fund invests directly in “physical/digital Bitcoin,” which is currently trading above $52,000, up 76% YTD.

“There’s sizable untapped interest for a Bitcoin investment that has the benefits of an ETF,” said Todd Rosenbluth, CFRA Research’s director of ETF research, adding it’s unlikely the fund will trade at a significant premium to net asset value (NAV). He added,

“While most ETFs come to market globally with an educational hurdle to overcome, many investors are familiar with what is inside BTCC.”

Meanwhile, the US hasn’t approved a single Bitcoin ETF, although there have been several active filing for the product, including VanEck Associates Corp., NYDIG, and Bitwise Asset Management.

But with the change in leadership at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the prospects of the first American Bitcoin ETF are rising. President Joe Biden’s nominee for SEC chairman, Gary Gensler, has the crypto market hopeful and excited as he has taught a class at MIT’s Sloan School of Management called “Blockchain and Money.”

Crypto-related products like Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) and Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund have seen great demand with $34.22 billion and $900 million in assets under management, respectively.

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Author: AnTy

MasterCard Launches World’s First CBDC-Linked Card in the Bahamas

MasterCard Launches World’s First CBDC-Linked Card in the Bahamas

  • MasterCard launches prepaid cards for the Bahamian central bank digital currency or CBDC.
  • The card allows payments using the Sand Dollar across all accepted stores.

MasterCard, Island Pay, and the central bank of Bahamas collaborate to launch the world’s first CBDC-linked card. The card will integrate Bahamian digital currency, Sand Dollars, enhancing and allowing greater flexibility on how users can pay at any MasterCard-accepted store, an announcement on Wednesday read.

The prepaid card will convert the Sand Dollars to any fiat currency, and users can pay for goods and services around the world.

Island Pay and MasterCard launched the card to “reduce the operational distribution costs of cash and modernize the overall payments system” across the islands. Richard Douglas, the co-founder of Island Pay, said,

“By working closely with the Central Bank of The Bahamas and Mastercard, we can issue a prepaid card unlike any other in the world.”

“We are now able to bring immediate, critical benefits to our customers at a time when they are looking to find new, innovative ways to pay.”

Piloted in 2019, the Sand Dollar became the first-ever fully-deployed CBDC to a country’s fiat system. The Sand dollar carries the same customer protection laws and value propositions as the Bahamian fiat currency. The project aims to build a more inclusive financial system by facilitating government disbursements across the 700+ islands and offering more payment options to Bahamians.

The partnership with MasterCard is expected to open up the Sand Dollar borders, which was previously only available to selected merchants in the Bahamas.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Diem’s New Payment Solution With FireBlocks & First DAG Hints at a Possible Late 2021 Launch

Diem’s New Payment Solution With FireBlocks & First DAG Hints at a Possible Late 2021 Launch

Diem, formerly known as the Libra Association, announces a partnership with Fireblocks and the Israeli-based First Digital Asset Group (DAG) to launch a payment solution for institutions, merchants, and payment networks. The network is expected to power Diem into the largest payment network, allowing global financial institutions to connect to the system directly.

In a joint release from a crypto custodian, Fireblocks and First DAG, the new payment solution will be launched in the coming six months. It will allow financial institutions, banks, PSPs, merchants, and e-wallets to connect and facilitate transactions on the Diem network as soon as it launches.

The Facebook-led Diem Network was unveiled back in 2019, offering a multi-currency-backed stablecoin and global payment system. However, regulators worldwide are skeptical of Diem’s role in the global monetary policies – given the 2.8 billion customers that Facebook and WhatsApp have on their platforms.

The new project will be integrated on First DAG and Fireblocks, giving access to payment stations and merchants who will use Diem. According to First CEO, Ran Goldi the payment solution will allow merchants to accept stablecoins and Diem without ever interacting with the tokens. First will deal with the payment backstage details while the merchant receives their payment in their local currency. Goldi said,

“So if you are a merchant and you are already working with a payment service provider (PSP) that we have integrated with, you will able to accept Diem without any integrations.”

Notwithstanding, the platform will be fully compliant and collect any customer information needed – similar to regulated payment services such as PayPal and Visa. The platform will follow a strict onboarding process for custodians, wallets, exchanges, PSPs, and other VASPs operating on Diem, Michael Shaulov, Fireblocks’ CEO, said.

Spotify, a member of the Diem Network, moves to integrate the Diem payment solution in the near future. In December, the popular streaming app announced a vacant position of “Payment Strategist” in the Diem and Crypto space.

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Author: Lujan Odera