Sotheby’s Partners with Coinbase to Accept BTC & Ether for Banksy’s Iconic Painting: ‘Love Is In The Air’

Sotheby’s Partners with Coinbase to Accept BTC & Ether for Banksy’s Iconic Painting: ‘Love Is In The Air’

Sotheby’s CEO says they have been thinking about it for quite some time, and “What better combination to introduce crypto than an iconic Banksy painting.”

Auction house Sotheby’s has collaborated with Coinbase Commerce to accept cryptocurrencies for the iconic protest painting “Love is in the air” of famed artist Banksy. The catalog note from Banksy’s “Wall and Piece” reads,

“I like to think I have the guts to stand up anonymously in a Western democracy and call for things no-one else believes in – like peace and justice and freedom.”

This is yet another step in “bringing the utility of cryptocurrency mainstream,” said Coinbase on Tuesday.

Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) will be accepted for the artwork that is to be auctioned on May 12th in New York, which currently has an estimated bidding price of $3 million to $5 million as mentioned on the website.

The auction will be conducted in USD, but the buyer and artist will have the option to transact in either crypto or fiat currencies. Coinbase will support the payment and help manage price fluctuations.

“It’s something we have been thinking about for quite some time,” said CEO Charles Stewart in an interview with CNBC. “What better combination to introduce crypto than an iconic Banksy painting.”

Last month, Sotheby’s accepted Ether for another artwork, but it was for an NFT created by anonymous digital artist Pak. Christie’s, another old auction house, has been involved in crypto through Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” and then CryptoPunks.

This latest crypto support, according to Sotheby’s Chief Technology Officer Stefan Pepe, will be “enhancing our client buying experience and developing new ways to expand our client base by meeting them where they are,” while according to Coinbase, it “will pave the way for further adoption of cryptocurrency across Sotheby’s auctions.”

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Author: AnTy

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education Partners With IOHk’s Cardano (ADA) for Blockchain-Based ID System

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education Partners With IOHk’s Cardano (ADA) for Blockchain-Based ID System

Cardano developer IOHK is collaborating with the Ethiopian government on digitalizing the country’s education system.

Blockchain ID for African Schools

The new partnership will see Cardano develop a digital ID solution to be integrated into the country’s education sector.

Cardano’s CEO Charles Hoskinson tweeted that the collaboration is focused on developing a nationwide identity system based on Atala Prism. Once completed, the deployment could cover as much as 5 million students across the East African nation.

The Atala Prism decentralized identity solution will help record and monitor educational performance in 3,500 schools, including 5 million students and 750,000 teachers.

Cardano disclosed that every pupil would be given verifiable digital qualifications, increasing social mobility and ensuring that lesson plans are monitored.

The initiative will minimize bogus university applications and provide an opportunity to check the validity of students’ grades without the need of third parties.

As a result, the initiative is hoped to enhance the transparency of the grading process in Ethiopia’s education system through its “tamper-proof records.”

Ethiopia is one of the leading countries in Africa embracing digital transformation and growth. The country’s collaboration with Cardano Developer is part of its Digital Ethiopia 2025.

The Digital Transformation Strategy of the country is set to cover all sectors, including massive economic reforms and the proposed establishment of Ethiopia’s first stock market.

In the same vein, the government is making moves to provide all teachers and students with tablets and an uninterrupted internet network for instant access to their academic records.

Hoskinson has always had big plans for Cardano. He had informed Forbes of his plan to deploy the technology in the track-and-trace of smallholder agricultural supply chains and provide digital IDs for transport healthcare.

Ethiopia’s Confusing Stance on Digital Revolution

Meanwhile, some Cardano supporters are beginning to query the plausibility of the collaboration given that the Ethiopian government’s shut down of internet service in the region of Tigray still exists as a result of conflict between the region and the national government.

Nevertheless, it appears Ethiopia is not backing down on the digital revolution. Recently, the Ethiopian government engaged in a $400 million deal using blockchain technology, per Global Trade Review post.

The deal with the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank, OCP Group, led to the supply of phosphate fertilizer to Ethiopia, per the report. Interestingly, the trade finance deals that usually take weeks to be completed were actualized with the Ethiopian government in hours due to blockchain.

With the gradual adoption of technology in Ethiopia, the country may be setting the pace in Africa.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Intel Partners With Microsoft to Curb the Cryptojacking Malware Using Threat Detection Tech

Intel Partners With Microsoft to Curb the Cryptojacking Malware Using Threat Detection Tech

Intel is set to collaborate with Microsoft to defend against cryptojacking. According to an official press release, the two leading tech companies will work hand-in-hand in fighting cryptojacking threats for users.

Machine Learning to the Rescue

Both companies plan to use machine learning to identify and nuke cryptojacking efforts before they escalate.

Intel’s Threat Detection Technology (TDT) will be integrated into Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. This will enhance easy detection capability and protection against cryptojacking malware.

The new technology will enable the tech company to detect malware irrespective of the malicious code’s obfuscation strategies being adopted.

Intel’s Senior Director of Strategic Planning and Architecture, Michael Nordquist, believes that the new technology will set a genuine inflection point for the security industry, per the press release.

Cryptojacking is the unauthorized use of another person or entity’s computer to mine cryptocurrency.

The illegal act is often carried out through the use of malware or compromised websites.

According to Microsoft, cryptojacking attacks rose by 53% in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to Q3. Although cryptojacking has significantly reduced as a result of the surge in crypto prices in 2021.

However, Karthik Selvaraj, the principal security research manager at Microsoft, believes the collaboration with Intel underscores Microsoft’s efforts in collaborating with technology partners across the industry.

Selvaraj added that the company would intensify partnership with chipmakers to adopt new hardware-based defenses capable of protecting against cyber threats.

Clampdown on Cryptojacking

Given the challenges that cryptojacking poses to the crypto space, efforts are being made to nip the issue in the bud.

The research was earlier conducted on cryptojacking by the cybersecurity firm Aqua Security to identify the root cause and ways to end it.

According to Aqua’s report, out of 16,371 cybersecurity attacks on its decoy servers, it was established that 95% were primarily aimed at mining cryptocurrency through the deployment of malicious programs.

The attackers were also more interested in mining Monero (XMR) compared to other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. XMR 0.76% Monero / USD XMRUSD $ 400.20
Volume 593.82 m Change $3.04 Open $400.20 Circulating 17.9 m Market Cap 7.16 b
6 h Intel Partners With Microsoft to Curb the Cryptojacking Malware Using Threat Detection Tech 1 w Plasm Network Partners with Secret Network to Launch the First Polkadot-Cosmos Cross-Chain Bridge 1 mon Acer Technologies Targeted In ‘Largest Ever’ Ransomware Attack; Hackers Demand Monero (XMR)
BTC 2.90% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 55,064.29
Volume 49.32 b Change $1,596.86 Open $55,064.29 Circulating 18.69 m Market Cap 1.03 t
5 h U.S Bank Dives into Bitcoin with Crypto Custody Offering 5 h Gemini Taps MasterCard as Partner for Crypto Rewards Credit Card 6 h BadgerDAO & RenVM Launch A ‘Bridge’ to Bring Bitcoin to Ethereum in ‘One Click’

Interestingly, Microsoft’s recent report shows that crypto-mining attacks have reduced due to rising volatility and mining difficulties. Although the report claims that users in countries like Singapore, Vietnam, and India still stand a higher risk of being attacked.

With respect to the ongoing clampdown on cryptojacking, two members of the notorious Romanian hacker gang Bayrob Group were sentenced to 20 years in U.S. prison, having been found guilty of using malware to mine crypto on 400,000 infected computers.

The Court’s pronouncement shows that the Group leader Bogdan Nicolescu and co-conspirator Radu Miclaus were guilty of the charges leveled against them.

It was established that the duo deployed malware to mine Bitcoin and Monero using their host computers’ processing power.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Camping World Partners with BitGo to Accept Cryptocurrency Payments to Purchase RV’s

Camping World Partners with BitGo to Accept Cryptocurrency Payments to Purchase RV’s

U.S. Recreational Vehicle (RV) heavyweight Camping World Holdings Inc. announces a partnership with BitPay in a move to start accepting Bitcoin payments. However, the company will immediately convert the Bitcoin to fiat currency via the crypto processing service.

Cryptocurrency adoption finally gets its roots into institutions with the latest addition to the growing list, Camping World Holdings, America’s largest recreational vehicle (RV) company. The RV Dealer announced a partnership with BitPay in a move that allows clients and customers to make RV purchases using cryptocurrencies.

Announced on Monday, Camping World will accept Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and a host of other top cryptocurrencies in a bid to boost innovation across the firm. Through the partnership with BitPay, the RV firm aims to attract new customers and provide maximum convenience for their existing customers through various payment methods. The release reads,

“The initiative is part of the Company’s renewed focus on accelerating innovation in the RV marketplace.”

The company, however, does not plan to hold any crypto o its balance sheet; hence every crypto purchase will be immediately converted to fiat via BitPay.

Speaking on the launch of crypto payments and partnership with BitPay, Marcus Lemonis, CEO and Chairman of Camping World, said,

“As the industry leader, we have a responsibility to adapt to new preferences and elevate the customer experience, whether through the products and services we offer or in the ways we interact and transact with the customer. Accepting cryptocurrency is simply another part of our vision to make RVing easy in an increasingly digital world.”

At launch, the service will be available to Chicago, IL, and Kenosha, WI, with the company set to expand to other regions this summer. This partnership will further fasten the company’s goal of having a “paperless experience” to users while buying an RV, the report reads.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Plasm Network Partners with Secret Network to Launch the First Polkadot-Cosmos Cross-Chain Bridge

Plasm Network Partners with Secret Network to Launch the First Polkadot-Cosmos Cross-Chain Bridge

Polkadot-based Plasm Network partners with Secret Network to launch a cross-chain bridge between the two projects. This bridge will allow users to directly send and receive assets across the two platforms in a new kind of “layer zero” protocol.

Announced on Tuesday, the ‘bridge’ results from an ongoing partnership between Plasm Network (PLM) and Secret Network (SCRT), a Cosmos blockchain-based transaction privacy solution, which allows users to transact assets on any of the two networks. Built on Plasm testnet, the bridge will allow private transactions on Secret Network and access to decentralized finance, DeFi, provided on SecretSwap, the platform’s automated market maker (AMM).

“We’ve completed building our bridge with Secret Network,” the blog post reads. “This build will start on our testnet before deploying to mainnet down the road.”

Plasm Network users will be limited to enjoying “secret” transactions and DeFi products built on the Secret DApp hub at launch. By turning their assets to “Secret Tokens,” synthetic tokens on Secret built using ERC-20 standards and privacy features of coins such as Monero and Dash, users can enjoy encrypted transactions, “viewable only to address owners or holders of their viewing key.”

Notwithstanding, the bridge also brings DeFi to Plasm users through Secret DeFi, which allows the building of privacy-preserving DeFi apps.

The mainnet launch will follow the testnet launch once Kusama Network (KSM) is ready for launch and Plasm becomes a parachain on Polkadot. Kusama is a Polkadot parachain testnet unveiled by Polkadot’s co-founder Gavin Wood in 2019.

Speaking on the recent partnership, Plasm co-founder Sota Watanabe said,

“We have considered the light client implementation. And we are highly likely to take this approach after becoming a Kusama Parachain. The implementation we have today is an MVP [minimum viable product].”

Secret Network and Plasm partnership is the first time the Polkadot (DOT) and Cosmos (ATOM) blockchain has a direct connection. This is made possible through the Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol (IBC) on Cosmos, which allows direct communication between different blockchains.

“This is the first commercial trial that brings Cosmos assets to the Polkadot ecosystem and vice versa.”

“We would like to make the idea of ‘Cosmos vs. Polkadot’ obsolete.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Playboy Partners with Gemini-Owned Nifty Gateway to Enter into NFT Space

Playboy Partners with Gemini-Owned Nifty Gateway to Enter into NFT Space

The iconic brand sees “the digital asset revolution as an enormous business opportunity” and “huge growth potential in integrating tokens” into its business.

Entertainment magazine Playboy announced a partnership with crypto exchange Gemini-owned digital art platform Nifty Gateway on Tuesday.

According to the iconic brand, Playboy’s entry into the NFT space is its “long history of providing a platform for artists and creative self-expression.”

Besides art, Playboy’s NFT can further extend to tickets to a virtual mansion experience or interviews.

While the company is planning to receive cash for its initial projects, Rachel Webber, Playboy’s chief brand officer and president of corporate strategy, said they are open to expanding into cryptocurrencies as an alternative payment method Playboy explores the digital assets space. Webber told Insider,

“We see the digital asset revolution as an enormous business opportunity.”

“We see huge growth potential in integrating tokens into our streetwear business, our live experiences, and events, creating a social token economy with our network of talent.”

This foray into digital art would be kickstarted with collaboration with two artists, Blake Kathyrn and Slimesunday, one featuring inspiration from their archive, and the other would be an upcoming Pride-themed curation this June.

“We are thrilled by all of the innovation and access the blockchain can bring.”

“We have much more in store as well, including curated NFT art collections from our nearly 70-year archive of art and photography.”

NFTs have exploded into popularity this year, with the market cap of related tokens growing past $27 billion and their trading volume soaring to $3.7 billion, as per Coingecko. According to data from CryptoSlam, more than $1 billion was spent on NFT collectibles in March alone.

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Author: AnTy

AP Partners with Everipedia to Broadcast NCAA’s March Madness Scores to Ethereum’s Blockchain

AP Partners with Everipedia to Broadcast NCAA’s March Madness Scores to Ethereum’s Blockchain

The Associated Press (AP), is partnering with Everipedia, an Ethereum-based software development firm, to broadcast the ‘March Madness’ college basketball tournament. The media company will use Everipedia’s OraQle software to publish live, play-by-play scores and schedules in the largest college sports event in the world, the report stated.

The collaboration will allow the NCAA’s ‘March Madness’ viewers, fans, and enthusiasts alike to view results and schedules for every game on-chain on Ethereum, the second-largest blockchain. The innovative OraQle software will publish on-the-minute reports on the March Madness games, which started on March 18, 2021, at 6 p.m. EST with the four play-in games. Here in the next hour, the full tournament of 68 teams will begin.

Everipedia aims to bring real-world data to the blockchain, including election results, Super bowl, and NBA results on Ethereum. In 2020, AP partnered with Everipedia to distribute data from the 2020 Presidential Election, January 2020 Senate runoffs, and the Super Bowl on Ethereum.

March Madness college basketball tournament is one of the most-watched sporting events across the U.S. In 2019, reports showed nearly 11 million people tuned in to watch the tournament across various channels.

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Author: Lujan Odera

NFL Star Rob Gronkowski Partners With Opeansea to Launch ‘Superbowl’ NFT Collectibles

NFL Star Rob Gronkowski Partners With Opeansea to Launch ‘Superbowl’ NFT Collectibles

  • National Football League (NFL) superstar and Superbowl LV champion, Rob Gronkowski, is launching his own NFTs, with help from OpenSea on March 11.

The Tampa Bay tight end, better known as “Gronk,” announced the launch of his non-fungible token (NFT) collection on Tuesday. The NFT collection consists of five digital trading cards that celebrate his four Superbowl championship wins, a statement from Gronk’s team reads.

NFTs are quickly gaining mainstream adoption as celebrities, players, and artists launch their own collections. NFTs are a unique collection that can take the form of artwork, music, pictures, videos, and other collectibles that are publicly verifiable since there are only a limited number of them.

Gronk’s NFT collection was created by popular Brazilian digital artist Black Madre, who previously worked with Nike, Tanqueray, Cheerios, and Jonnie Walker.

The queen of the pile is a 1-of-1 card that highlights the Superbowl career of Rob Gronkowski – “Career Highlight Refractor Card.” According to the announcement, this card commemorates the four Superbowl wins by Gronk. Rob’s card is digitally signed and will give the buyer a chance to meet with the player and attend one of his games.

There will be 87 copies of each of the remaining four NFT collectibles, representing Gronk’s uniform number on the pitch.

This sets Gronk as the first NFL player to launch their own NFT, which could open up the field for other players to join the train. The rise of NFT marketplaces such as NBA Top Shot and OpenSea platform was key to Gronk launching his NFT cards; he said in a statement to BEG.

“Now fans will be able to get a piece of the action and share these iconic Super Bowl moments with me in this all-new digital format with my Championship Series NFT.”

The NFT collectibles will be sold for Ethereum on in partnership with OpenSea Drops, an NFT marketplace launched by OpenSea earlier in the year.

The auction for the NFTs starts on Thursday, 11 March at 7 PM ET and will run till March 13 same time.

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Author: Lujan Odera

FinClusive Partners With Stellar (XLM) to Enhance Stablecoin Payments Across Institutions

FinClusive Partners With Stellar (XLM) to Enhance Stablecoin Payments Across Institutions

New York-headquartered compliance firm, FinClusive announced a strategic partnership with Stellar USDC on Thursday in a bid to “enable businesses to access and leverage stablecoins instantly while staying compliant.” According to the report, the new alliance will enhance crypto-focused payment innovations while creating confidence among market participants due to compliance checks.

Integrating Stellar USDC gives users (corporations, institutions, banks) a fast, low fee, and convenient channel to complete financial transfers across borders.

FinClusive integrates compliance-as-a-solution (CaaS) to enable financial firms to enhance their financial inclusion products across the globe. The partnership with Stellar to incorporate the second largest stablecoin, USDC, will allow corporations to conveniently and instantly make cross-border payments while staying compliant and minimizing the transaction fees.

“Thanks to USDC, businesses using FinClusive can worry less about enduring prolonged settlement times or fluctuations in the value of their transactions.”

FinClusive selected Stellar USDC over Ethereum’s USDC as the former provides a cheaper platform to transact. Providing low fees and convenience will see the strategic partnership enhance stability and security, accelerating financial inclusion across businesses further.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Tezos Partners with Wolfram, A Computational Tool to Integrate Data Oracles on the Blockchain

Tezos Partners with Wolfram, A Computational Tool to Integrate Data Oracles on the Blockchain

  • Wolfram Blockchain Labs (WBL), the creator of Wolfram Alpha, a mathematical computing tool, announced its partnership with TQ Tezos, a New York-based tech firm building Tezos blockchain solutions open software.
  • The partnership is also set to integrate Tezos blockchain in the Wolfram Language to support smart contract development and develop an oracle that provides Wolfram data to Tezos smart contracts.
  • This brings the total number of oracles on Tezos to three – Chainlink and Harbinger, the other two.

In a post this Monday, Wolfram targets the high-speed network to build out its blockchain wing, Wolfram Alpha expanding the features and services available to developers. Johan Veerman, the chief technology officer of WBL, said,

“Tezos is an exciting third-generation blockchain that features several services and functions that will expand what’s available to our developers.”

The post further explained that the partnership would enhance the deployment of smart contracts on the Tezos blockchain.

Wolfram Blockchain Labs offers institutions and developers a computational tool necessary to build blockchain solutions and quickly develop smart contracts. The partnership sees Tezos added to the Wolfram Language, opening new avenues for developers to deploy their apps efficiently.

Notwithstanding, the partnership will also see Wolfram develop an oracle that allows Tezos apps and developers to get data from Wolfram Alpha, a computational engine built by Wolfram Research Inc. According to the statement, the oracles were verified through the Mi-Cho-Coq framework, created by Nomadic Labs, to ensure all smart contracts on the platform run smoothly and correctly.

WBL will also provide a smart contract development toolkit, currently supporting basic features and services, to simplify the development of smart contracts on the Tezos blockchain.

Tezos now becomes the latest blockchain to join the Wolfram Language following Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Ark, and Multichain, since 2019. Additionally, WBL is looking at solutions to add baking (staking) properties of Tezos in the near future, the statement reads.

“This and our other blockchain partnerships help move WBL toward the larger goal of bringing computational reform to the financial industry: smart contracts, symbolic data, and smart reporting.”

Tezos recently announced its major Edo hard fork upgrade late last year to increase users’ privacy on the network. The network automatically updated on November 30, adding the sapling protocol by Electric Coin Company (ECC), allowing shielded transactions.

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Author: Lujan Odera