eBay CEO says Company Is Looking at Crypto as Payment Option & Selling NFT on the Platform

eBay CEO says Company Is Looking at Crypto as Payment Option & Selling NFT on the Platform

eBay is keeping an eye out after reporting a weak second-quarter profit forecast as it faces stiff competition from Amazon while the total crypto market cap aims for $2.4 trillion.

eBay Inc. is looking at new payment options for its customers, and that includes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, said chief executive officer Jamie Lannone in an interview with CNBC on Monday.

“We are always looking at the most relevant forms of payment and will continue to assess that going forward. We have no immediate plans, but it (cryptocurrency) is something we are keeping an eye on,” eBay said in a statement.

Last week, eBay reported a weak second-quarter profit forecast as it faces stiff competition from Amazon. The shares of eBay (EBAY) recorded a 2.4% increase today, which has been down 14% from mid-April.

The eCommerce firm further explores a “number of ways” to get involved in non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Lannone said.

“We’re exploring opportunities on how we can enable it (NFTs) on eBay in an easy way,” Lannone said on Reuters. “Everything that’s collectible has been on eBay for decades and will continue to be for the next few decades.”

NFTs exploded in popularity this year, and last month they were starting to lose traction with prices of digital art and volume dropping, but they seem to be making their comeback now.

“The bubble isn’t crypto, the bubble is everyone else realizing holy shit crypto is here to stay wtf can we do to get in on it,” noted popular trader Loomdart, who is also an advisor to eGirl Capital. It is also a “great” way to onboard new people, he added.

Already many companies are accepting Bitcoin as a payment option, such as Tesla. Both Visa and Mastercard have also taken steps towards integrating crypto in their payment systems.

Payments giant PayPal has already integrated crypto into its system by allowing its users to buy, sell, and hold crypto along with a crypto checkout service. PayPal-owned Venmo also introduced a crypto feature on its app last month.

“Demand on the crypto side has been multiple-fold to what we initially expected,” stated PayPal CEO Dan Schulman.

Amidst this, Digital Currency Group (DCG), the parent company of Grayscale, announced that they are going to purchase up to $750 million worth of GBTC, 3x the original $250 million they were planning to buy.

As of April 30, 2021, DCG has purchased $193.5 million worth of shares of GBTC, it said in a statement.

The market is currently euphoric, with Bitcoin near $58,000, Ether constantly making new highs hitting $3,300 today, and the total crypto market cap set to hit $2.4 trillion.

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Author: AnTy

A Single Red Pixel Is Selling As An NFT for $800,000 – That’s Not A Typo

A Single Red Pixel Is Selling As An NFT for $800,000 – That’s Not A Typo

After all, ‘beauty is in the eyes of the beholder’ who has the money to appreciate it, of course. The NFT market is definitely frothy and “very speculative,” according to Beeple but also in the “very early days.”

In the world of non-fungible tokens (NFT), artist Unhomed is selling three digital artworks on NFT marketplace OpenSea, for more than $800,000 each.

What’s interesting about these digital artworks is they involve 1x1px in three colors; green, blue, and red, named Digital Primary G, B, and R, respectively.

All three of the digital artworks have received hundreds of views which could have been propelled by YouTuber Marques Brownlee tweeting, “A single red pixel selling as an NFT for $900,000. Hm. Right. Got it.”

So far, despite hundreds of views, not a single offer has been made on any of the NFTs.

However, if they do get hefty bidding, even that wouldn’t be out of the ordinary, not just in the NFT space but also in physical artwork. People were quick to point out that Yves Klein’s “Le Buffle,” which is a splash of blue, was sold for $12.4 million at Christie’s New York in 2010.

After all, ‘beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.’ And of course, the beholder needs to have tons of money which the ongoing bull run has provided many digital assets participants.

This has helped NFTs explode into popularity this year, with overall NFT sales volume exceeding $220 million in Feb., up from the $250 million transactions recorded in the entire last year.

According to Pitchbook, so far in 2021, investors have poured $90 million into NFT, and digital collectibles companies, about triple the $35 million NFT start-ups raised last year.

“It’s one of those developments that has mass-market appeal and could potentially impact a world outside the crypto niche,” Andrei Brasoveanu, a general partner at Accel, told CNBC, which was part of the $50 million investment in Sorare, a blockchain-based fantasy football game.

“Very Speculative,” But  In The “Very Early Days”

This week, a New York Times columnist Keven Roose also joined in and sold his article titled “Buy This Column on the Blockchain” in the form of an NFT for $563,000.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also sold his first-ever tweet for $2.9 million this Monday.

Even the humanoid Sophia joined in on this NFT craze by co-creating a physical “self-portrait” and an attached 12-second MP4 file showing how the work evolved.

“We wanted to explore the possibility for humans and robots to collaborate not only on operational tasks but also on creative efforts,” said Andrea Bonaceto, an artist and partner at blockchain investment firm Eterna Capital who co-created the artwork.

According to digital artist Beeple, who became the third most valuable living artist by selling his NFT digital artwork for $69.3 million, there is “definitely some froth” in the market, but there is a lot of excitement as well.

Some people are definitely putting money into things that are “going to be worthless,” Beeple told The Associated Press via a Zoom call and likened it all to the Internet (dot-com boom) bubble, which burst, but that didn’t make people stop using the Internet.

Although “it’s very speculative,” he said, “It’s very early days.”

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Author: AnTy

Beeple is the 3rd Most Valuable Living Artist by Selling his NFT for a Whopping $69 Million

Beeple is the 3rd Most Valuable Living Artist by Selling his NFT for a Whopping $69 Million

This is just the beginning. Meanwhile, Barry Silbert of DCG has offered to build a gallery for the unknown buyer of the artwork to display for everybody to see and enjoy.

The first NFT (non-fungible token) to be sold at an auction house, Christie’s fetched an eye-popping $69.3 million.

The digital artwork was ‘Everdays: The First 5,000 Days’ by Beeple, who became the third most valuable living artist after a sculpture by Jeff Koons and a painting by David Hockney. But those two top artworks were sold by collectors, and the artists didn’t get a cent.

The NFT was sold for $60.25 million, without the buyers’ premium, which also broke the record of an NFT piece.

And if you are trying to understand why such a hefty price, “Art has never been rational. Never will be.”

While initially, the mainstream media reported Tron cryptocurrency founder Justin Sun to be the owner of it with his $60.25 million bid, later he took to Twitter to clarify that he was actually outbid by a mere 0.3% of the total price at the last minute.

Reportedly, his bid was costing him $69 million in fees. As the auction house announced last month, Christie’s accepted cryptocurrency Ether for the sales of the NFT for the first time. While the buyer’s premium had to be paid in fiat currency, it was changed later to Ether as well.

Also, Sun said updated his bid to $70 million but wasn’t accepted by the system despite there being 20 seconds left.

“To avoid these types of disputes in the future, ALL bids should be transparent & utilizing blockchain technology would satisfy this requirement,” said Sun and offered his assistance to incorporate blockchain technology into Christie’s system.

The artwork made by artist Mike Winkelmann, who goes by the name Beeple has been in the works since 2013. A mosaic of every image the artist had for the last 8 years is attached to an NFT, basically a digital certificate of authenticity.

Barry Silbert, founder, and CEO of Digital Currency Group (DCG) offered to build a gallery in Decentraland for the unknown buyer to display their new piece of art for everybody to see and enjoy. “You can even create fractional interests in the NFT via NIFTEX to sell to the crowd,” he said.

The bidding for the artwork started at $100 on Feb. 25, which was pushed to $1 million by about 20 bidders.

“The first day of bidding was one of the most magical events in my auction career,” says Noah Davis, a specialist at Christie’s who organized the sale. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

According to the oldest auction house, the final minutes of the sales were closest to the bidding for a work by Leonardo Da Vinci; the last minute extended bidding, which pushed its price to $450 million in 2017.

But this is just the beginning, as per Davis, who said, “I think we will have really compelling and exciting NFT-based art opportunities at Christie’s in the near future.”

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Author: AnTy

Finland Is Selling 2,000 Bitcoin Seized in A Darknet Investigation in 2016

Finland Is Selling 2,000 Bitcoin Seized in A Darknet Investigation in 2016

“Have fun staying poor” is what Crypto Twitter thinks of Finland’s this move.

Tulli, the Customs department of Finland, has decided to sell nearly 2,000 Bitcoin, worth over $68.2 million at current BTC prices BTC 5.11% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 34,162.11
Volume 78.42 b Change $1,745.68 Open $34,162.11 Circulating 18.6 m Market Cap 635.37 b
11 s Finland Is Selling 2,000 Bitcoin Seized in A Darknet Investigation in 2016 1 h Grayscale Reopens Deposits for New Investors In Its Crypto Trusts; Excludes Ethereum & XRP 1 h Crypto Fund Inflows Drop Significantly After December Record; Evidence of Profit Taking: CoinShares Report

Four years ago, the local authorities seized these Bitcoin in 2016 in connection to a Darknet drug-trafficking investigation. During this time, the seized crypto asset has surged 100x in value.

“On behalf of the Customs Act, we had the option of handing them over to another government agency or some other party and destroying them […]We came to the conclusion that alternatives other than sales are not realistic,” said ekka Pylkkänen, Tulli CFO on the matter of using an intermediary or selling the BTC stash itself.

The proceeds from the sale will be sent to the country’s Ministry of Finance.

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Author: AnTy

Regulation Will Only Boost Mass Institutional Buying and Selling: BitPay COO

Regulation Will Only Boost Mass Institutional Buying and Selling: BitPay COO

Sonny Singh says $20k is BTC’s floor price and expects $45k next month. According to him, Coinbase’s IPO is “very very instrumental” for the market and its numbers will blow Wall Street’s minds away.

$20,000 is the floor price for how far Bitcoin could go down, said Sonny Singh, Chief Commercial Officer at BitPay.

As for the upside, given that his $30k target has been hit in just 20 days rather than taking over a month, with “very little sell-side pressure,” he sees BTC going to $40k-$45k next month when some pressure will be seen.

Sonny also predicted that this year Bitcoin will “become a trillion-dollar currency” and the magic number for that is $54,000 roughly. At this point, he expects, even governments and the Treasury Department to start buying BTC “which may sound far-fetched but two years ago corporations buying bitcoin for the balance sheet was crazy too.”

Supply & Demand

Talking about the current price movement in the market, Sonny said Monday’s 20% correction was “just a minor blip in the road” — it wasn’t long-term fundamentals at all rather just futures getting liquidated. Singh said in his interview on Bloomberg,

“What you’re seeing over the last month is there’s supply and demand. There are a lot of institutional buyers out there and there’s very little supply.”

While these buyers have bought in all the BTC for a three to five-year time horizon, if Bitcoin hits about $45,000 next month or so and these institutions decide to start selling, the selling pressure of $200 million which the industry has never seen before can cause a catapulting event, to cause things to come down pretty quickly and there $20k will act as a floor, he explained.

Regulatory Concerns

On the regulation side, which remains a concern for outsiders, it is already happening. Governments are passing a lot of KYC/AML policies on the exchange but “that really won’t slow growth,” said Singh.

While it may slow the utility of sending Bitcoin to your friends or spending it at merchants, regulation will only help the actual mass institutional buying and selling, he said.

As for the Ripple part, Singh said it is to be seen if the SEC would want to do a long drawn out court case or do a quick settlement, especially as the administration changes under the new president.

According to Wayne Trench, chief executive officer at OSL, the main regulatory hurdles are already solved in terms of custody and clarity.

The last remaining pieces are regulators globally collaborating cross-border which is starting to happen now, said Trench noting that industry bodies are working on collaborating across borders that we’ll see play out a bit more in 2021.

Big for the Market

Singh also believes Coinbase’s IPO is “very very instrumental” for the market because while Wall Street loved that Square traded $1.6 bln with crypto in Q3 last year, Coinbase traded $1.5 bln on this last Saturday.

“The revenue numbers at Coinbase are going to blow people’s minds away and then Wall Street is going to really drive that stock price up,” he said. And then Charles Schwab, E-Trade, and others won’t sit back and let Coinbase have a sole market, Singh added.

“It’s going to put a lot of media frenzy around this whole industry.”

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Author: AnTy

Ripple Getting Rich on XRP Price Jump & Selling the Surging MoneyGram Shares

A year later, Ripple is selling about one-third of its stake in the payments company MoneyGram.

San Francisco-based fintech startup is selling up to 4 million shares, which means roughly 33.3% of its stake, as per the filing with the US SEC on Friday.

In Nov. 2019, Ripple had made a $50 million investment in MoneyGram.

After the sale, Ripple would still own nearly 4.45% of MoneyGram, with the ownership of 3.22 million shares.

Ripple also has the warrant to buy up to 5.95 million additional shares at the predetermined price, which brings its stake at MoneyGram at around 11%.

In June 2019, when the initial investment was originally announced, Ripple bought MoneyGram’s shares at $4.10 each, which was at a “significant premium” to the market share price of $3.18 at the time.

However, currently, MoneyGram shares are trading at $7.42, rallying almost 175% in the past two months, which could profit Ripple.

The news of Ripple taking off some profits from cashing out its stake in MoneyGram came not long after it was revealed that Ripple gave yet another $9 million to the company in Q3 2020 for using its digital asset XRP.

Besides selling the stake in MoneyGram, Ripple, which still has the dominant ownership of XRP, is also benefiting from the huge surge in the price of the digital asset.

Recently, the company started buying back XRP as well — $46 million worth of XRP in Q3 2020.

The third-largest cryptocurrency is currently trading above $0.60, back on the rise today after falling under $0.50 on Thursday.

Before the big drop along with the rest of the crypto market, XRP went as high as $0.78, last seen in Sept. 2018. Now, on the weekend, the digital asset seems to be making another attempt at $1 as the cryptocurrency market enjoys the greens.

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Author: AnTy

Barstool Sports Dave Portnoy Sold $1.25M Worth of his Bitcoin Stash But He Will Be Back

After buying the top and selling the bottom, Barstool Sports Dave Portnoy appeared on Anthony Pompliano’s podcast on “The Pomp Podcast” to discuss bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

During his interview, he revealed that he bought $1.25 million worth of Bitcoin.

Despite this and getting a class on bitcoin from Winklevoss brothers, of which the crypto community wasn’t really supportive, Portnoy believes bitcoin is a “Ponzi.”

“It’s just one big Ponzi scheme…You get in, and you just have to not be the one left holding the bag,” said Portnoy. “It’s no different from the stock market. Everyone’s pumping their own [coin], alright.”

Pomp, however, did take care of trying to make him understand how “Bitcoin is stronger than anything in the world,” and nobody, not even the government, can hack it. “It’s got more computing power on it than anything,” said Pompliano.

The day trader who became popular during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown by trading anything and everything because “stocks only go up,” has “nothing” in crypto right now. He sold all his million-dollar stack of sats.

He didn’t know what was going on and couldn’t handle all that volatility. “There is no rationale why it is going up; I have no idea why it is going up or down,” he said.

Pompliano gave him the advice of being a HODLer, “You can’t look at it, because you’ve got weak hands. You’ll sell it.”

“The thing I miss the most is the memes,” Portnoy told crypto investor Pomp, sharing how crypto twitter made him go “these are kind of like my people.”

But he isn’t out for good, Portnoy said his “heart is crypto,” and he will be back. He doesn’t know when but he will; up until then, he is all about stocks.

Watch the full podcast here:

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Author: AnTy

Aviatrade Selling Gulfstream’s G650ER $40 Million Aircraft for Bitcoin

  • Aviatrade is selling its aircraft inventory for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The aircraft sales firm is now accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for its latest $40 million airplane. Gulfstream’s latest flagship product, G650ER, that has just come into the market, can be purchased with the digital currency.

According to Aviatrade’s president Philip Rushton, using cash to buy a plane would be subject to cross-border restrictions in some countries, especially when it involves a million-dollar purchase.

As such, adding digital currencies to its payment options opens it for more potential clients.

The six-year-old plane is currently at the Gulfstream’s headquarters in Savannah, Georgia, undergoing routine inspections after traveling through New Zealand and Asia.

The extended range version of the G640 can fly up to 7,500 nautical miles between cities like New York to Nairobi and Los Angeles to Sydney. The aircraft that began as G650 and had less than 1200 hours on it has two Rolls-Royce BR725 engines powering it to enable speed of Mach .925.

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Author: AnTy

Bitmain Pushing for New Mining Machines But Customers aren’t Eager to Indulge

The latest in the Bitmain drama is Zhan Ketuan (Micree Zhan), now selling the world’s first 5nm mining machine to Chinese miners, according to local media channel WuBlockchain.

These new machines will be reportedly shipped in January next year, but bitcoin miners aren’t really keen on buying them. Not only do they require advance payment, but Micree is also suspected of selling problematic chips. Samson Mow, CSO at Blockstream said,

“Bitmain is now pushing 5nm chips despite ongoing quality issues for S17s. The TSMC 5nm process node is still too new, and chances of low yields are way too high. I wouldn’t touch these with a ten-foot pole – especially with the ongoing power struggle within the company.”

Filled with Issues

Not only, Bitmain’s past development doesn’t put much confidence in the new product; the supply of the chips is also under the control of Wu Jihan, who is managing the Hong Kong operations. Bitmain also has little production capacity, which means large buyers would be given the priority. Colin Wu of Wu Blockchain noted,

“Micree cannot obtain 7nm and 16nm production capacity, so he chooses to sell problematic 5nm chips. Although the energy efficiency ratio can reach 25-30J/T, serious problems may occur, and production capacity cannot be guaranteed.”

Micree is expected to hold a press conference on Sept. 17, and although the agenda of the meeting is not clear yet, the latest product is likely to be the drawing point. Meanwhile, the other co-founder Jihan Wu is accusing him of fraudulent acts.

And More Issues

Jihan’s public account released a statement where he reiterates that Micree has been removed from all the positions in the company and its affiliates and any agreements signed by him are subject to legal validity and major disputes. The statement further reads,

“Based on the BM1360 development experience, the first-generation official commercial 5nm chip BM1362 is still under verification. The test chip has not been obtained, and the tapeout has not been completed. It is even more nonsense to promise to deliver mining machine products based on the BM1362 chip in the near future.”

Even Foundry may not be of any help

Here, even their partner Foundry may not be able to help them as Mow said,

“Think of the foundry as a store with ovens, you’re just using their oven. If you suck at baking, you have to sell the shitty bread or eat it yourself.”

“Bitmain probably doesn’t know how to use (Foundry) yet.”

“The major players work with the foundry to fine-tune the process node for years and have experience. So Apple, HiSilicon etc are good. Bitmain, not so much.”

Bitmain officially announced its partnership with Foundry today, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which first reported on this partnership last month.

For crypto miners, obtaining financing is difficult, and this partnership will help them “ship a significant number of machines into North America this year,” said Su Ke, the global sales and marketing director of Antminer at Bitmain.

No Winnings

Management issues at Bitmain cost the company not only its customers but a position in the market as well. Their problems are also not coming to an end anytime soon; as a matter of fact, they continue to lose.

Recently, a court in China denied its appeal seeking $30 million in damages from the three founders of bitcoin mining pool Poolin.

While the mining giant claims Poolin’s executive broke non-compete agreements in starting their very own bitcoin mining operations that lead to a loss of millions to Bitmain, the court found the company failed to provide sufficient evidence for the same.

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Author: AnTy

Banking Sector Bleeds in 2020 While DeFi Records 900% Growth

In 2020, we saw the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett selling all his positions in banks that included; Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and others.

Given that the banking sector of Dow Jones, Nasdaq, and S&P 500, all three remain under losses, negative 35% returns YTD, it makes sense that even Buffett has jumped the ship.

In the current environment of ultra-low interest rates, banks are struggling to remain profitable.

But while centralized financing is suffering, Decentralized Finance (DeFi) has emerged in the crypto market as the latest craze which is seeing explosive growth.

The DeFi Boom

On January 1st, 2020, the total value locked in the DeFi sector was $680.9 million, which has now grown to $6.67 billion in just eight months.

The total market capitalization of the top 100 DeFi coins is close to touching $14 billion, as per CoinGecko. The biggest gainers of this sector this year include LEND (6,280%), REN (1,300%), KNC (835%), YFI (789%), LINK (650%), and SNX (480%).

The blockchain underpinning majority of the DeFi development, Ethereum is also up 209% YTD. Also, a record 4.6 million Ether are locked in these DeFi protocols along with 47.8k BTC.

“From a portfolio standpoint I want to be long the asset that is driving the market with real demand. ETH is a newer trade than the traditional trade of BTC vs central banks printing money,” said trader CryptoISO.

“Rocket Fuel” for DeFi Growth

The DeFi sector is seeing a new wave of financial experiments which is tokenizing everything from money, debt, mortgages, to insurance.

As Asheesh Birla, SVP of Product at Ripple notes, “We’re seeing a melding of the old world and new. It’s only a matter of time before banks offer custody services, acquire companies with those capabilities, and potentially even offer crypto lending as they see consumer interest in DeFi.”

Decentralized exchanges, with no central operator, in the crypto world, are already giving centralized exchanges a run for their money. Fiat-backed stablecoins have been providing the fiat on and off-ramps while enabling global consumers to access the USD without a bank account through the likes of Tether (USDT).

But within this sector, a new wave of Yield Farming is what is taking DeFi world by storm. It is basically serving as “rocket fuel” for the current growth cycle in DeFi, states Delphi Digital in its latest report.

Yield farming is generating the most returns on your crypto assets, and since people started chasing high yields, many ‘experiment” projects have cropped up in this really short period. It started with Compound and only grew from there to the likes of Yearn.Finance (YFI), Balancer, YAM.Finance, the Curve-Ren-Synthetix mix, and so much more.

But Not Without the Risks

As we reported, the skyrocketing Ethereum transaction fees are pricing out smaller layers and making DeFi increasingly a game of whales.

Another big question is: Are these governance DeFi tokens, that are at the heart of DeFi’s explosive growth, really that decentralized? According to the Token Daily report, the distribution of these tokens might not be that different from the ownership structure of JP Morgan or Bank of America.

For starters, the investors of these DeFi projects control a “disproportionately large amount of votes,” such as more than 13% of the voting power for Compound is controlled by the top 10 addresses.

Also, “In yield farming, funds and wealthy investors, aka whales, are maximizing their benefit/share of governance tokens using recursive provisioning of liquidity. This ultimately leads to a concentration of these tokens into the hands of a few players/farmers.”

Although with liquidity mining as with Yearn.Finance, a new dynamic of money distribution is being added; large gatekeepers still have a big influence on the protocol, which could be even more concentrated than the centralized options.

Moreover, all this craziness will inevitably invite “difficult legal questions and regulatory scrutiny,” said Jason Somensatto, senior counsel at 0x Labs. But in the end, he hopes, it will leave a “healthier ecosystem.”

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Author: AnTy