NBA Top Shot Creator, Dapper Labs, Raises $305 Million from Top NBA Players and Celebrities

NBA Top Shot Creator, Dapper Labs, Raises $305 Million from Top NBA Players and Celebrities

Dapper Labs, the company behind the in-demand NBA Top Shot, a collectibles app, raises $305 million in a celebrity-stacked investor pool. Former and current NBA players such as Michael Jordan & Kevin Durant, actors Will Smith, rapper 2 Chainz, and a couple of venture capital firms joined the round.

In a report by USA Today, top NFT collectibles app, NBA Top Shot creator Dapper Labs, is raising $305 million in its latest round of financing. The funding round was led by Coatue Ventures featuring several high-profile celebrities and NBA players, including Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Kyle Lowry, Spencer Dinwiddie, Andre Drummond, Alex Caruso, and Khris Middleton, among others.

Other high-profile investors in the round include Will Smith, Shawn Mendes and Andrew Gertler’s AG Ventures, Shay Mitchell, and 2 Chainz. Venture capital firms participating in the round include Andreessen Horowitz (az16), Version One, and Barstool’s investor, The Chermin Group.

Launched in July 2019, NBA Top Shot is an NBA-licensed product that lets users purchase digital packs of cards (or “moments”) that can be instantly bought and sold through a marketplace.

Dapper Labs created and manages the Flow Blockchain, an NFT marketplace that sells the NBA Top Shot collectibles. According to a person familiar with the matter, the new funding will be used to expand the NFT marketplace to other sports, including the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and the Major League Baseball (MLB) associations.

“We want to bring the same magic to other sports leagues as well as help other entertainment studios and independent creators find their own approaches in exploring open platforms,” Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou.

Speaking to USA Today, a spokesperson from Dapper Labs confirmed the latest round of financing would set the company’s valuation at $2.6 billion.

If you are not familiar with the ongoing NFT mania: NFTs, short for non-fungible tokens, and are unique cryptographically secured collectibles such as digital art, pictures, music, video clips, GIF, etc. NFTs are stored on a blockchain, ensuring the uniqueness of these rare collectibles.

Over the past few weeks, NBA Top Shot has seen increased demands for its collectibles – reporting total gross revenue of $483 million from over 800,000 participants on the platform in March alone. The NBA Top Shot beta app also launched on the Samsung Galaxy Store back in October 2020.

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Author: Lujan Odera

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton Goes Out with a Bang

The parting shot leaves the crypto market red, a BTD opportunity.

  • US Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton’s last day as the Wall Street top regulator was on Wednesday.
  • While exciting news to the crypto community, Clayton’s parting shot provided the industry with a red market.

On Tuesday, SEC charged Ripple and its former CEO Chris Larsen and current CEO Brad Garlinghouse, after seven years, for selling $1.3 billion unregistered securities offering in 2013.

This resulted in the price of XRP crashing 58% this week. This led to a market-wide sell-off that wiped out $62 billion since Monday when Garlinghouse first reported about the upcoming charges.

However, Bitcoin was largely unaffected, going down to only $22,700 and we are back above $23,000 already.

This crypto carnage can also be seen as a blessing in disguise as it gave investors an opportunity to buy the dips amidst the raging bull market.

Clayton had previously announced that he will be stepping down by the end of this year. In a statement posted on SEC’s website, Clayton said he submitted a letter to President Donald Trump informing him of his decision to leave the agency this week.

While Trump is likely to have ‘Crypto Mom’ Hester Peirce or Elad Roisman as acting Chairman, President-elect will be picking a permanent successor to Cayton. Biden will be sworn in as US President on January 20. Clayton, a former partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, wrote,

“It has been the honor and privilege of my professional life to serving the American people as Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.”

Clayton praised the SEC for keeping the financial markets function through the coronavirus pandemic and its efforts to modernize regulations. He added,

“The absolute trust and unwavering support you and your economic team provided to me and the 4,500 women and men of the Commission has enabled us to pursue our mission to the benefit of the more than 65 million American households who invest in and depend on our markets.”

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Author: AnTy

Is The SEC Lawsuit a Blessing in Disguise for Ripple & XRP Investors?

The Trump administration’s parting shot pushes XRP down 46% this week but small XRP addresses continue being created at a fast pace while trading is suspended on three exchanges.

A day after Ripple CEO Brad Garlingouse intimated the crypto community about the upcoming lawsuit against XRP over the sale of unregistered securities, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) did just that.

SEC has charged Ripple and its two executives, co-founder Chris Larsen and CEO Garlinghouse for raising more than $1.3 billion through “an unregistered, ongoing digital asset securities offering.”

Not just this, Ripple has allegedly distributed billions of XRP in exchange for non-cash consideration. Additionally, both Larsen and Garlinghouse “effected personal unregistered sales of XRP” totaling at $600 million.

“We allege that Ripple and its executives failed over a period of years to satisfy these core investor protection provisions, and as a result, investors lacked information to which they were entitled,” said Marc P. Berger, Deputy Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division.

The SEC’s complaint is filed in the federal district court in Manhattan and charges the defendants with violating the Securities Act.

Immediate Effect

The legal case in itself will take years to come to a conclusion but in the immediate future, the price of the digital asset took a beating. This week, XRP has lost 46% of its value, currently trading at $0.354. XRP actually hit a new low against BTC which continues to surge higher and higher.

“Bag holders want to see .304 hold on a weekly close to establish topside HTF support,” said trader Mr. Anderson. Another trader, CryptoYoda noted,

“Tightening stops. worried about potential of XRP imploding if support doesn’t hold and the resulting repercussions in the overall markets. might be a non-event, just making sure I don’t stand on the beach when the tsunami hits.”

Since the news broke, while the number of large tier addresses is shrinking, small XRP addresses being created haven’t skipped a beat in its uptrend, as per crypto data provider Santiment.

And with this, the digital asset dropped one step and Tether retook the place of the third-largest digital asset by market cap.

In the meantime, 133,152,655 XRP (48,850,963 USD) has been transferred from the Ripple founder Jed McCaleb’s Settlement account to his wallet, noted Whale Alert.

Additionally, crypto exchange OSL has suspended all XRP trading services on its platform, effective immediately. The exchange is well known in Asia for its OTC services but isn’t much for retail exchange trading.

Two smaller crypto trading platforms, Beaxy and CrossTower have also halted trading for XRP already.

Is it Security?

After avoiding this level of intervention for years, SEC Commissioner Jay Clayton seems to be ticking off one last thing from his to-do list before his departure from the office.

“For XRP hodlers, this could be a blessing in disguise,” because the question of whether XRP is a security has been dangling over the early investors, wrote Mati Greenspan in his daily newsletter Quantum Economics.

But that is if it is not deemed security because if it is XRP will be basically “useless,” making it difficult for anyone to use it for settling transactions. Jake Chervinksy, General Counsel at Compound Finance said,

“Alleging violations through present-day is a kill shot. Charging individual executives is remarkable. This is the SEC playing hardball.”

However, Messari founder Ryan Selkis, a known XRP antagonist believes the argument of XRP being security is “silly.” However much “unethically marketed and distributed” XRP was, “that still doesn’t mean it’s a security,” he wrote.

According to Selkis, USG is going to lose because they are outclassed on legal as Ripple has a lot of money to put into action, and USD should lose because the Howey test is broken, SEC’s restrictions on non-accredited investors is outdated and un-American, and because “it’s incumbent upon industry to self-police.”

Not to mention, regulators get to fine and tax Ripple, so no gain in killing a “domestic golden goose,” he said.

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Author: AnTy

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

‘Big Buys’ on Bitfinex Exchange has Bitcoin Trading at a Premium

The world’s leading cryptocurrency shot past $10,000 yesterday in a strong move only to fall to $9,150 on Bitfinex and $8,600 on BitMEX in a sudden drop.

Bitcoin has officially failed at yet another attempt to take over $10,000. Currently, BTC/USD is trading just under $9,500 with 1.21% loss.

Following the spike in bitcoin price earlier in the day, a ”very strange” movement occurred on cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex that has BTC trading at a $40 premium to the rest of the market.

This “peculiar price action” was accompanied by more than 3,500 BTC, $35 million volume in the 10 minutes candle, observed Coin Metrics.

“We’ve seen some big buys on Finex since the spike. Especially the second green candle is only on us (some users entered hard in the market…) Spreads super tight,” said Paolo Ardoino, CTO at Bitfinex and Tether.

“Felt a bit like “let me fkn enter now!,” said Ardoino about over a million dollar worth of bitcoin buy orders on the exchange

This premium has now almost completely disappeared with bitcoin now trading on Bitfinex at $9,490, $9,480 on Bitstamp, $9,477 on Coinbase, and $9,470 on BitMEX, at the time of writing.

Founded in 2012, Bitfinex offers both a spot trading exchange and an OTC market.

Bitfinex is a sister company of Tether that issues the stablecoin USDT which has been accused of manipulating BTC price in the past and is fighting a lawsuit over that.

Both Bitfinex and Tether are also being probed by the New York Attorney General (NYAG) over an alleged $850 million fraud.

It is also the exchange that has seen the biggest exodus of bitcoin from its platform. Since the March sell-off, a whopping 66.6%, 133,000 BTC has been moved out of Bitfinex.

Crypto derivatives platform BitMEX comes second at 35.6%, 105 BTC, and then Huobi with 24.6% decline in BTC balance.

This could be because investors are choosing to hold their bitcoin but in the case of Bitfinex, it’s BTC balance has been dropping long before the Black Thursday. As a matter of fact, when the March sell-off occurred, the amount of bitcoin stored on the exchange had already dropped more than 47% from its highest point in December 2018.

Besides BTC balance, Bitfinex’s web traffic has also declined by 23% in April.

The exchange, however, is the third-largest exchange in terms of US dollar volume at $0.086 billion following Coinbase and Bitstamp.

Source: CoinMetrics

Coin Metrics found that 90% of the dollar quoted spot market volume is concentrated in the top four exchanges, Coinbase, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, and Kraken.

However, unlike Coinbase that goes off online repeatedly even on 5% moves as it did yesterday, Bitfinex hasn’t reported any such behavior.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Has Evolved Into A Savings Technology And A Tool for Freedom: Fidelity Digital Assets

As the past decade ends, the latest mainstream big shot entrant in the crypto industry Fidelity Investments reflected on the maturation of the infrastructure of the Bitcoin market. The report states,

“In a few short years, Bitcoin’s story has critically evolved to recognize the true potential of the network — as a new type of value transfer system, a tool for freedom, a savings technology and possibly more that we have yet to discover.”

Despite there being unanswered questions, Fidelity Digital Assets says Bitcoin has “cemented” its position and its “potential cannot be ignored.”

Making Progress

Taking a deep dive into its progress, it can be found that trading and investment on regulated platforms are growing while value transferred over Bitcoin is “competitive with incumbent value transfer systems.”

The launch of regulated physically settled futures contracts has been the major development in 2019, noted the asset manager. This launch made the market less subject to manipulation by removing the need for an index of spot exchange prices to determine the price.

2019 also saw Square rolling its support for BTC buying and selling, with $339 million worth of BTC purchased by its customers via Cash App.

Square efforts are driven by CEO Jack Dorsey who believes bitcoin can become the currency that will power the Internet. Dorsey has also invested in Lightning Labs and CoinList while launching Square Crypto.

Bitcoin’s Core Properties Will Drive Its Adoption

When it comes to key performance indicators, Bitcoin’s realized value, the average fair value of mined BTC adjusted with short-term volatility, reached its all-time high. 2019 also saw the network’s hash rate climbing to ATH of 110 million TH/s driven by rising prices, improvements in the efficiency and computational power of mining gear, and more mining operations joining the network.

The adjusted transaction volume on the Bitcoin network in 2019 although less than the previous year recorded the same as PayPal. However, the average transaction size is comparable to the ACH transaction size.

The leader of the market has been seeing an increasing and “diverse and entrenched” community of users, especially in the past two years. All the while, maintaining its core properties of being borderless, decentralized value storage, antifragile, and censorship and seizure resistant. And these properties will be what will drive the adoption, says the report.

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Author: AnTy