Dapper Labs NBA Top Shot Crypto Collectables Opens Beta to Public on Samsung Galaxy Store

Dapper Labs has opened the beta version of its non-fungible token (NFT) powered game, NBA Top Shot, to the public as per an announcement on October 1. The firm which focuses on building cryptokitties is looking to personalize the NBA experience by enabling fans to own ‘moments’ and derive value by selling them within a decentralized ecosystem. NBA Top Shot is built on the Flow blockchain and leverages the underlying utility of this ecosystem.

As the DeFi craze takes a break, hardcore futurists in the crypto space are already embarking on the NFT space. This line of development is probably the latest trend, although it is yet to gain momentum in mainstream crypto markets. NBA Top Shot is one of the upcoming projects in the NFT niche; the initiative had been in testing for a couple of months with around 17,000 users. During this time, the platform accumulated over $2 million in revenue from a record of 158,000 transactions.

Notably, the project is being developed in collaboration with the National Basket Association (NBA) and had attracted significant funding from some NBA stars. As the name suggests, NBA Top Shot fundamentals will be based on NBA games given that fans can only acquire NFTs based on players or moves made in the court.

The NBA Top Shot NFT Experience

While the project is set to launch to gameplay options soon, its current setup supports collecting and trading the multi-media ‘moments’ in NBA games. NBA Top Shot users will be able to collect moments and package them into short slick 3D animated clips which have an underlying NFT value. Some of the collectible ‘highlights’ in question include blocks, three-pointers, and dunks.

For instance, an NBA Top Shot user could collect a LeBron dunk and or Curry three-pointer and sell these moments for a greater value than zero. Currently, over 43,000 packs of NBA Top Shot NFTs have already been purchased with approximately 10,500 tokens traded over the testing period. One particular jewel whose price skyrocketed is the ‘Cosmic LeBron James dunk’; this token’s value hit a high of $5,200 at some point. Other moments are, however, at the single and double-digit pricing.

Despite rolling out as recent as May, NBA Top Shot is proving to be a prospectus project; its latest ‘premium pack’ launch sold out in minutes at an average price of $24. This platform also allows its users to make payments via credit cards and crypto, although the former compose a larger chunk of its clientele.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Lender Nexo Now Allows Retail Investors To Use PAX Gold (PAXG) As Collateral

Renowned crypto lending firm Nexo has opened up the possibility of retail investors to use PAX Gold (PAXG) as a collateral option against loans. The firm had previously launched a pilot scheme on the same but the services were only available to institutional investors only. The pilot saw a high demand for the gold-backed credit lines and the firm has decided to extend the service to retail investors.

The announcement signifies that collateralized borrowing backed by high-grade gold can be extended to everyone and not only the rich.

PAX Gold token was introduced in September last year and is entirely backed by as well as redeemable for actual gold which is currently kept in Brink’s vaults. Every token is backed by ‘fine troy ounce of London Good Delivery Gold’ that allows the user to own gold which is a safe-haven asset. Tokenization adds to the convenience of the safe-haven asset.

During the pilot phase, there was a high demand for its gold-backed credit among the institutional customers such that the firm had to invest an extra $5 million in PAXG to satisfy the investors demand.

The expanded scheme that will rope in the retail customers will enable everyone to take advantage of gold-backed PAXG assets using it as collateral within the Nexo platform.

According to Nexo co-founder, gold backed PAXG is highly relevant more so during high volatility times like currently and majority of retail clients have been seeking for such a service. He explained:

“Especially in high-volatility times, as in the present, gold is sought after by many of our retail clients and we have worked towards reflecting their wishes.”

The crypto loans sector has been growing rapidly in the recent past as the majority of crypto owners or holders are looking to use their assets as collateral as opposed to liquidating them.

Nexo enjoys the backing of Michael Arrington, TechCrunch founder, and was able to raise $52.5 million during a private token sale back in 2018.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Huobi Brokerage Service Launches for Institutional Cryptocurrency Investors

The first digital asset brokerage platform by Huobi Group is about to be opened and to offer institutional clients and customers who have a high net-worth its trading services and products.

The announcement was made on Tuesday. Huobi Brokerage is the first product the Global Institutional Business (GIB) division at Huobi is launching. The GIB division was created back in November 2019, with the intention to serve Huobi’s institutional investors from all over the world.

Institutional Investors Will Use the Platform for Liquidity Pools and More

In the statement released by Huobi, it’s being said that institutional investors will be able to use the platform for cryptocurrency services like liquidity pools and over the counter (OTC) trading, while having a regulated channel for fiat currencies. The trading algorithm and smart routing system of the platform will be used. This is what the Huobi Global Businesses vice president, Ciara Sun, had to say about Huobi Brokerage and what it offers:

“One of the core value propositions of Huobi Brokerage is that it provides clients with best-price execution on large block orders.”

The Platform Will Also Provide Services for Adding Liquidity

Huobi Brokerage clients will be given access to price locks and trade quotes in real-time, for the most important stablecoins and cryptocurrencies, with support for Ethereum (ETH), EOS, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) to be added in Q1 of 2020. Adding liquidity, targeting OTC, personalized financing and lending, and or exchange aggregation are some of the services provided. Huobi is planning to roll out its custodian services too, in Q2 of 2020. The financing and lending services are set to launch in Q3 of this year too.

The GIB Project Grown Huobi’s Institutional Business

Huobi claims its institutional business has developed greatly ever since the GIB project has been launched, back in 2019. These offices are not located in Hong Kong, London and Singapore. Sun added how important the project is for Huobi by saying:

“GIB is a central part of Huobi’s international expansion strategy, which is the company’s top priority for 2020.”

As far as things are until now, she’s only right to say so. Huobi will continue to expand and is sure to bring its users many pleasant surprises in the future.

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Author: Oana Ularu

UK’s HMRC Looks To Track Top Crypto’s, Including Privacy Coins With Blockchain Analytics Tool

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the UK has just opened a £100,000 ($130,000) for procuring a software that traces when cryptocurrency is being used and taxes don’t get paid.

In other words, the HMRC wants to have the ability to monitor crypto transactions and to identify the people who are using gambling and mixing service providers, or are operating on the dark market. Published on January 17, the contract notes that the software has to trace Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BTH), Ethereum (ETH), Tether (USDT), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC) and Ethereum Classic. Those who can deliver a program that can trace Zcash (ZEC), Dash (DASH) and Monero (XMR) will be given preferential treatment. This is what it reads exactly:

“Crypto assets, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, provide a means to transfer value between interacting parties. These services are increasingly used for a range of purposes, from international money transfers, sales of digital services, paying staff, and tax evasion and money laundering.”

If the HMRC succeeds in implementing this tracing system, it can close the gaps when it comes to the use of cryptocurrency and illegal activities against the tax agency.

Tax Offices All Over the World Struggling with Cryptocurrency

It has been reported that in 2019, British authorities have demanded a list of customers and transactions from all crypto exchanges operating in the country. Their intention was to recoup unpaid taxes. In the same time period, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the US sent over 10,000 letters to crypto users that have done transactions of $20,000 or more in cryptocurrency, from 2013 till 2015. The letters contained warnings of the penalties they will suffer if their income is not correctly reported or the crypto transactions’ taxes aren’t being paid. People who received these letters had to sign statements in which they were saying that they have reported their income correctly, the charge for not doing so being perjury.

When it comes to the HMRC, tracing XMR and other cryptocurrencies that are rather anonymous may prove to be very difficult. Back in 2019, a strategy analyst from Europol noted that authorities all over the world are still struggling to trace crypto transactions.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Bithumb Rolls Out Blockchain And Crypto Research & Development Center In South Korea

South Korea-based crypto exchange Bithumb has opened its own R&D center, which means it’s also going to do research and development from now on.

The announcement was released on January 6. Bithumb now has the first South Korean blockchain and cryptocurrency research center. The company expressed its hopes on how the new initiative is going to impact it:

“Bithumb will become a leading company in the blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem by strengthening its own R&D capabilities.”

What Will the Center Do?

Employing 30 people, Bithumb’s R&D center is going to start its activity this month. The team will study the architecture design of blockchain systems in order to improve the analyses of blockchain transactions and crypto private key security. The team in charge with researching this architecture will look at systems that make high-performance transactions and respond to large orders at the same time.

Bithumb is also planning to perform blockchain analyses to isolate crypto trading transactions and come up with a system that generates user addresses for allowing withdrawals and deposits on the exchange.

Encryption-Related Security Enhancement Tech to Be Developed Too

Bithumb’s plans also include the development of encryption-related security enhancement technologies, the implementation of systems that make verifications and private keys’ storage safer, and the separation of functions. The research team will furthermore work to make the data exchange between databases and blockchains more available and performant, also to build a programming interface for its crypto trading applications and to upgrade its matching engine.

More and More Funds for Research

Since cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies are showing more and more potential, their research is starting to receive more funds. Only at the end of last year, China’s WeChat operator Tencent has been reported to have plans of forming a research group for digital currencies in order to advance blockchain-related projects.

China’s state-run media publication Xinhua has predicted the country is going to spend more than $2 billion on blockchain research in 2023, while Global Market Insights expects the blockchain technology market to have more than $16 billion until 2024.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Second-Largest Exchange in Germany Starts Bitcoin (BTC) Spot Trading

The second-largest stock exchange of Germany, Exchange Boerse Stuttgart, has recently opened up a new branch to trade digital assets, the Boerse Stuttgart Digital Exchange (BSDEX). This new platform, which will be fully regulated by the local law, will start the trading of virtual assets, starting with a single trading pair: BTC/EUR.

Initially, the launch of the exchange was prepared to be made in the first half of 2019. However, as it happened to many other companies this year, the plans were delayed in order to be fully compliant with rules and requirements.

Now, BSDEX will be open for investors. At first, only investors from Germany (both retail and institutional ones) will be able to access the platform. However, after some time, it is expected that investors from all over the EU can trade as well.

The idea is to have a digital platform that will be open 24/7 and to add more trading pairs over time. While no asset is guaranteed to be listed, Ethereum (ETH), Ripple’s XRP and Litecoin (LTC) are all expected to be listed until the end of 2020.

Dirk Sturz, the CEO of the exchange, affirmed that the market is worth billions, so the company is focused on creating a platform that will cater to the European market of cryptos. Peter Großkopf, CTO at BSDEX, affirmed that the digital platform will give the customers access to low-cost trading and will help to shape the market in the future.

This is not the first crypto project of Boerse Stuttgart. The company has already participated in an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) before.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Zilliqa Releases New Smart Contracts On Its Platform And Opens New Office in London

Zilliqa Releases New Smart Contracts On Its Platform And Opens New Office in London
  • Zilliqa announced it has released smart contracts on its platform
  • The company has also opened new offices in London to continue its expansion plan

In a recent blog post released by Amrit Kumar, the President and Chief Scientific Officer of Zilliqa, he informed that the project has enabled the first-ever smart contract platform that is entirely built on sharding.

This is a very important milestone not only for Zilliqa but also for the entire crypto market.

Zilliqa Launches Smart Contracts On Its Platform

With this new release, developers will be able to write and deploy smart contracts on the Zilliqa blockchain. Developers will have the possibility to do so through the “safe-by-design” smart contract language Scilla.

The platform wants to solve scalability issues that other networks experience through the implementation of sharding, which is an efficient method that has yet to prove its viability in larger networks. The team wants to create a network with 1,000 times the number of transactions that Ethereum processes.

Zilliqa has also passed other important milestones over the last months. The project was able to release its mainnet and enabling transactions. Some of the new features of these smart contracts include amenable to formal verification, static analyzers suite, clean separation and safe standard libraries.

It is worth mentioning that the firm is also focusing on its global expansion. They have also announced that they’ve opened a new office in London that will allow them to grow their footprint as the ecosystem expand. Kumar mentioned about this:

“With an increasingly global community of developers, we are continuing to grow our international footprint as our ecosystem expands. Zilliqa will soon be entering the payments landscape to drive efficiencies in cost, transparency, and security for both clients and end users.”

Kumar explained that they will also be participating in different global events such as the Paris Blockchain Week, the New York Blockchain Week, the Malta Blockchain Summit and many others. The team behind Zilliqa is doing everything to keep the community updated about the latest improvements performed on the network.

According to CoinMarketCap, Zilliqa is the 44th largest cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of $203 million. In the last 24 hours, the virtual currency grew 5.19% and it has a price per coin of $0.02344.

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Author: Carl T