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

Crypto-friendly eToro Is Going Public With a $10.4 Billion Valuation

Crypto-friendly eToro Is Going Public With a $10.4 Billion Valuation

The platform is going public via a merger with a SPAC, FinTech Acquisition Corp. V.

Trading platform eToro is planning to go public through a merger with a blank-check firm. The agreement with FinTech Acquisition Corp. V would provide the company a $10.4 billion valuation.

The companies are raising $650 million in equity to support the deal. eToro is planning to go public in the second half of this year.

A rival to Robinhood Markets, eToro became a member of the US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) just last year. Founded in 2007, the company with 20 million registered users across the world expanded into the US in 2018.

The zero-commission trading platform also supports cryptocurrency trading but has limited digital assets available for users. Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), XRP, Litecoin (LTC), and XLM are the only supported cryptos on the platform.

In the crypto space, just last week, digital asset manager CoinShares also began trading on Nasdaq Nordic. Nasdaq First North Growth Market is an alternative stock exchange for small and medium-sized growth companies in Europe.

After an oversubscribed public offering by 400%, amidst the bull market, the shares started trading under the ticker “CS” changed from “COIN” as mentioned in the earlier release. “COIN” was also proposed for the leading crypto exchange in the US, Coinbase, which is going public through the direct listing with a $100 billion valuation.

CoinShares welcomed around 2,280 new shareholders. Last month, the Jersey-based investment firm launched an Ethereum exchange-traded product (ETP) on the Swiss SIX exchange with $75 million in AUM.

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Author: AnTy

Cryptocurrency Exchange Secures $50 Million Investment

Cryptocurrency Exchange Secures $50 Million Investment

FalconX, a crypto trading platform, has secured a $50 million investment from Tiger Global and B Capital Group.

Tiger Global was also involved in BlockFi’s $350 million Series D round, showing “broader conviction in cryptocurrencies as an asset class.”

This year, Bitcoin became a trillion-dollar asset while the overall cryptocurrency market cap has surpassed $1.7 trillion.

In this current crypto boom environment, crypto businesses are raising money left, right, and center. Every day, many companies are announcing their funding rounds with millions of dollars secured in investments.

FalconX’s existing investors include Coinbase Venture, the investment arm of leading US crypto exchange Coinbase, which is marching towards its own public listing with a valuation of $100 billion. Other investors are Accel, Avon Ventures, a venture capital fund with ties to FMR LLC, the parent company of Fidelity Investments, Accomplice, and Lightspeed.

Over the last year, the start-up had its net revenue growing 46x, driven by a substantial increase in demand for crypto assets from institutional investors.

“We believe FalconX is positioned to be an industry leader in the institutional cryptocurrency market,” said Scott Shleifer, partner at Tiger Global.

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Author: AnTy

Chinese DEX Platform DODO Loses $2.1 Million In Latest DeFi Attack

Chinese DEX Platform DODO Loses $2.1 Million In Latest DeFi Attack

In a tweet published in the early hours of today, DODO decentralized exchange said a number of its liquidity pools were attacked yesterday, March 8, 2021.

DODO’s V2 CrowdPool Funds Stolen

The attacks which drained a reported $2.1 million from the Chinese auto market maker (AMM) wallet saw its v2 crowdpools compromised.

According to a company update, several of its V2 crowdpools were adversely impacted. Listing them, the liquidity provider said its WSZO, WCRES, ETHA, and FUSI pools were the most affected. However, its V1 and non-crowdpool v2 pools were still relatively safe, while its AC pool funds have been fully recovered.

As a further precaution, the company said it was disabling the protocol’s pool creation portal to limit the level of damage to the network. The company went further to reassure users that it was working closely with its security provider to recover lost funds from the affected pools.

Reactions on Twitter trailed the announcement with many predicting that the funds have already been siphoned through privacy networks like Monero.

Rising Spate of Attacks in DeFi

The decentralized finance (DeFi) space has become target practice for cybercriminals since the sector gained mainstream acceptance in 2020. Cyber thieves continue to cash out in the billions, per a report released by data analytics firm Chainalysis. DODO’s attack is just the latest in a long series of thefts that have rocked the DeFi space for some time now.

Saddle Finance, a DeFi protocol, reportedly got hacked by whales arbitrating for profits within a few hours of its launch. The decentralized platform, which is a spin-off from Curve Finance, saw a large amount of its stablecoin sBTC swapped for other digital assets. Many investors reportedly lost a large chunk of their investments.

Another DeFi protocol PAID Network was also attacked in March. 5. The report released by the company on Medium showed that the attacker used a compromised private key to take advantage of the smart contract upgrade.

The attacker reportedly upgraded to a new smart contract protocol which allowed him to burn and re-mint tokens. He then proceeded to mint a mouth-watering 59,471,745.71 PAID tokens and sold them. 2.5 million of the loot was sold on decentralized protocol Uniswap. The attacker also made away with 2 million ETH before the security team noticed the fraudulent activities.

Industry Experts Tout DODO To Bounce Back

The DeFi project which was launched in August 2020 by Diane Dai, Radar Bear and an anonymous development team raised a seed fund of $600K in a round led by Framework Ventures. The protocol also saw investments coming in from prominent crypto-facing companies like Coinbase Ventures, Galaxy Digital, and Alameda Research and is highly regarded in the DeFi community.

Industry experts have expressed their belief that the DEX platform would rise from the ashes. Jerry Zhou, the managing partner at Puzzle Ventures, took to his Twitter account to express support for the embattled DeFi project.

According to Zhou, he understands how investors may feel about the news but he said they should know that nothing is ever perfect. Zhou explained,

“I can understand some investors and crowdpooling projects feel frustrated about DODO, but you should know the road is never smooth. As far as I know, they have made significant progress in recovering the funds. I believe they will show a good result in the end.”

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Author: Jimmy Aki

On-Chain Data Indexing Platform, The Graph, Looks to Support 8 New Layer 1 Blockchains

On-Chain Data Indexing Platform, The Graph (GRT), Looks to Support Eight New Layer 1 Blockchains

The Graph, an indexing and query layer of decentralized applications, evaluates a move to eight different layer 1 blockchains following a successful mainnet launch on Ethereum. The company is currently working on integration on the Bitcoin, Polkadot, and Binance Smart Chain (BSC) L1 networks – to name a few.

A blog post released on Monday revealed eight-layer 1 technologies being evaluated by The Graph for “potential integration.” The querying and indexing platform launched its mainnet on Ethereum at the tail end of 2020, building a robust and decentralized system on the Inter-Planetary File System (IPFS). Now, the company is shifting its focus to allow the deployment of sub-graphs (open APIs in the Web3 ecosystem) on other blockchains.

The list provided mentions eight potential L1 layer candidates to integrate The Graph (GRT), including Bitcoin (BTC), Polkadot (DOT), NEAR, Cosmos (ATOM), Solana (SOL), Avalanche (AVAX), Binance Smart Chain, and Celo.

The Graph was first conceptualized in 2018 to make it easy and efficient for developers to access on-chain data and build dApps by launching their sub-graph. Moving to new L1 blockchains will allow users and developers to build interoperable applications hence “growing the overall Web3 ecosystem”, the post further reads.

“After launching mainnet, we are looking to accelerate the upward trajectory of the Web3 ecosystem”

“That means ensuring that no matter which Layer 1 blockchain you are building on, you can build a subgraph and easily access data from across chains”.

Eva Beylin Director at The Graph Foundation

The company is still analyzing the conditions necessary to integrate its indexing platform to the Layer 1 blockchains – and the respective developer communities. The Graph is planning to use several criteria to integrate on a blockchain, including ease of integration, the communities’ hype and rigor, compatibility with its goals, and overall contribution to the Web3 ecosystem.

So far, over 7,000 sub-graphs have been deployed by decentralized finance products on Ethereum (ETH), including AAVE, Compound (COMP), Synthetix (SNX), and Uniswap (UNI). These projects use sub-graphs to retrieve data improving the efficiency of the platforms.

“By providing subgraph support across chains, developers will be able to utilize the best of whatever each blockchain has to offer,” Eva further said.

Finally, the post also revealed the Graph Foundation is launching the “Graph Grants Program” to any developers working on integrating the selected Layer 1 blockchains on its platform. The Foundation released 25 million GRT – The Graph’s native tokens – to be distributed across the Graph’s ecosystem across 2021.

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Author: Lujan Odera

IOTA and Dell Technology Launch a Platform to Measures the ‘Trustworthiness of Data’

IOTA and Dell Technology Launch a Platform to Measures the ‘Trustworthiness of Data’

The partnership started back in 2019 when Dell Technologies launched its ‘Data Confidence Fabric.’ This demonstration paves the way for integrating systems on hardware and software devices for highly compliant institutions.

On Thursday, IOTA Foundation, a blockchain-based technology firm, announced its partnership with Dell Technologies to launch the world’s first demonstration, Alvarium, which measures data’s trustworthiness. Alvarium aims at improving the data sent out to apps and servers by providing a “measurable way of evaluating the confidence in the data.”

Dell Technologies started developing the project back in 2019 after the launch of the first Data Confidence Fabric. The project was subsequently passed on to the IOTA Foundation team, who added scalability, security, and blockchain properties to birthing Alvarium.

Alvarium maps data as it passes through every point, whether an IoT device, router, server, or cloud, and rates each point. The trust score ratings are built using “industry-specific requirements.” Once the trust ratings are made, the scores are broadcasted on the IOTA Tangle, ensuring transparency and permanence. Steve Todd, Fellow at Dell Technologies said,

“Data confidence is needed to manage data at scale, creating systems of trust in this data, so users at all levels understand the terms of use”

“Project Alvarium will create this transparency, and the more companies that integrate it into their processes and systems, the closer we’ll come to a future without data ambiguity.”

Blockchain smart contracts require external data to function properly hence the recent growth of decentralized oracles such as Chainlink. Alvarium aims to compete with these decentralized oracles in the future by offering institutions and industries a reliable oracle and a confidence score.

The statement confirms the demonstration will be held through a webinar on February 24th starting at 11.00 AM EST.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Latin American Crypto Exchange, Bitso, Acquires Derivatives Trading Platform Quedex

Latin American Crypto Exchange, Bitso, Acquires Derivatives Trading Platform Quedex

Bitso, a crypto exchange serving the Latin America region, has finalized the acquisition of Quedex, a Gilbrator licensed crypto derivatives trading exchange.

The completion of the deal will help Latin America’s most popular crypto company, to scale up its product portfolio and add important technological know-how to its toolkit, explained Daniel Vogel, the exchange’s CEO.

The details of the deal remain scanty but Vogel revealed that Quedex was advised by PwC on the sale process.

Last December, Bitso which is supported by crypto giants like Coinbase Venture and Pantera Capital, rose to prominence after raising over $62 million in efforts to enhance its capacity by expanding to new regions and introducing new products.

According to Vogel, Quedex became the first crypto derivatives exchange to be granted a license under Gilbrator’s asset regulatory policy which is the same framework that regulates Bitso.

Vogel also stated that the deal will allow Bitso to have nice top-notch tech. Vogel added in an interview,

“As the industry grows and trading volumes increase, one of the big challenges is building really high-performance, low-latency trading engines, and the Quedex team has done that. So, the idea is to replace our entire trading infrastructure with Quedex’s trading infrastructure.”

The CEO revealed that the firm plans to enter the Brazilian market in the near future. He also revealed that plans are underway to introduce new products such as crypto futures, options, and leveraged trading in Mexico.

Vogel explained that all the Quedex’s staff will be incorporated, more so the engineers, to oversee the integration of a fresh trading engine platform. Currently, Bitso has over 200 employees stationed in more than 25 countries.

Quedex’s CEO, Wiktor Gromniak, said he was pleased to be joining Bitso, and expects to bring the company’s top-notch tech to serve the Latin America region. He said that Bitso’s mission was in tandem with Quedex’s in making crypto useful.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Digital Assets Lender, Nexo, Rolls Out Crypto Exchange Platform With Instant Swaps

Digital Assets Lender, Nexo, Rolls Out Crypto Exchange Platform With Instant Swaps

  • Nexo, a Cryptocurrency lending platform, announces its new exchange service that provides 75+ cryptocurrency trading pairs on its mobile application. The exchange comes with a “Smart Routing” system to minimize slippage cases and guarantee the best price swaps.

In an announcement this Monday, leading regulated digital assets lender Nexo launched its in-built Nexo exchange service, offering a broader suite of financial tools to its users. The new swap feature offers users over 75+ cryptocurrency and fiat pairs and supports 17 cryptocurrency assets. It aims to offer no-limit, fast, and cost-effective transfers across assets provided on the exchange.

In a statement, Nexo confirmed traders would have no limits on the number of trades made on the platform with a maximum amount of $50,000 set per trade. Additionally, the exchange will allow direct fiat deposits from bank transfers and wire transfers and allow crypto deposits and withdrawals from any other wallet or exchange.

Speaking on the capabilities that the new exchange offers in onboarding new clients, Nexo Co-founder and Managing Partner Antoni Trenchev said,

“Fast, transparent, and inexpensive transactions are the backbone of fintech, but making them easily accessible and secure in a seamless, intuitive environment is the single most important step towards mass crypto adoption.”

To prevent price fluctuations or slippage cases, Nexo exchange has integrated a “Smart Routing” system, an in-house innovation. The system connects to multiple exchanges and splits your orders according to the available prices and volumes, ensuring the order is executed at the same price as is submitted.

The statement did not mention the exchanges that will execute the trades. Still, a spokesperson from Nexo confirmed that the Smart Routing system would connect to five of the “most trusted and well-capitalized exchanges.”

The exchange is registered and ISO compliant to provide clients with an impeccable risk assessment, data protection, and state-of-the-art cybersecurity of their assets. Users’ assets in custody will be insured up to $100 million by the Lloyd’s of London.

Finally, the exchange is also building a full-suite banking platform announcing a series of product launches, including the Nexo crypto credit card. Furthermore, Nexo is also looking to expand its already broad banking licenses to strengthen its compliance with global regulators.

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Author: Lujan Odera

eToro Social Trading Platform Hits A Record $600 Million In Revenue in 2020

eToro Social Trading Platform Hits A Record $600 Million In Revenue in 2020

  • eToro, the social trading platform, registered a record-breaking gross revenue of $600 million across 2020.
  • Over $1.5 trillion was traded on the platform as demand for cryptocurrencies surged in the year’s latter stages.
  • The app allows users to copy trade strategies across several assets, including cryptocurrencies, precious metals, and equities.

In an exclusive report on Finance Magnates this Tuesday, top social trading app, eToro, released its 2020 report, which shows a surging interest in cryptocurrency products on the platform. Over the past year, eToro registered a record gross revenue of $600 million as the interest in commission-free trading grows worldwide.

The social trading app started as an app that allows novice users to copy trade the strategies of experienced traders and has since added a host of other services. Speaking of the impressive revenue growth, eToro Co-founder and CEO Yoni Assia explained that the company is experiencing a rapid growth rate in the number of clients.

Over the past year, the company has experienced tremendous growth in its client base, growing over 30% in the last three-quarters of 2020 to 17 million customers. Additionally, the traders completed over $1.5 trillion in trading volumes across 2020, representing a 400% influx from 2019 records.

Crypto is Gradually Taking Over

According to a statement from Assia, the stock market remains the largest contributor to trading volumes on the platform with electric vehicles leading the charge. Tesla and Nio, a Chinese electric car company, led the rankings in trading volumes, closely followed by big tech companies such as Apple, Microsoft, and Alibaba.

However, cryptocurrencies seem to be gradually overtaking the interest in stock markets on eToro, Assia believes. This year, the company suspended its buy order functionality, citing increased demand for Bitcoin on the platform.

“2020 was a big year for stocks [but] 2021 to date has been dominated by crypto headlines,” he said. “So far this year, we have seen crypto trading volumes of more than 25X the same period of time last year.”

eToro has completed some big plays in the crypto industry in the past few months showing its commitment to growing space adoption. The firm introduced Visa-enabled crypto debit cards in the UK, launched its own stablecoin, GoodDollar, and rolled out its staking services to users.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Russia’s State-Owned Bank, Sberbank, Files Papers to Launch Blockchain Platform for Stablecoin

Russia’s State-Owned Bank, Sberbank, Files Papers to Launch Blockchain Platform for Stablecoin

  • Russian state-owned bank, Sberbank, submits blockchain applications to the central bank.
  • The registration procedure is set to take up to 45 days; the project to be launched in spring.

According to local reports, Russia’s largest state-owned bank filed an application to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation seeking approval for its blockchain underlying its stablecoin, Sbercoin. Speaking during the ‘Digital Transformation and Prospects for Regulating the Digital Economy’ seminar, Anatoly Popov, deputy chairman of the board of Sberbank, confirmed the bank “applied with the Bank of Russia to register its blockchain platform in early January.”

Sberbank’s blockchain will host the reported Sbercoin, which was previously reported to launch in 2021. Popov further said, “the bank is ready to work with such a fiat currency,” having tested the project internally and seeing that the solution works.

According to law, the registration process is set to take about 45 days, with the Central Bank either approving the application or sending comments to the Sberbank team. If approved, the Sberbank blockchain will launch in spring, Popov confirmed. However, the bank is still working around how to tax the digital assets on the blockchain.

“There is a high probability that this project will be launched in the spring,” a spokesperson at the bank said. “There is one more issue that has not yet been fully resolved – the issue of taxation of digital financial assets, but we hope that it will become clearer.”

In December, the state-owned bank announced its plans to launch Sbercoin, only a month before Russia implements its draconian crypto laws.

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Author: Lujan Odera