Christie’s Auctions its First NFT Bitcoin Artwork ‘Block 21’ at 7x the Estimated Price

Block 21 was sold last yesterday for $131,250 at an auction at Christie’s, 7x higher than the estimated price of $12,000 – $18,000.

“This work is accompanied by an OpenDime hardware key,” reads the official page.

The no-fungible token (NFT) with GMT encoded states was the first one to be sold at a major auction house as part of Christie’s “Post-War and Contemporary Day Auction,”.

Christie’s not only the oldest but also the highest volume art house globally which has brokered the largest single art sale in history at $450 million dollars.

Created by the artist Ben Gentilli, the artwork called Portraits of a Mind, adores the walls of an auction house in New York that has featured the works of Picasso and Monet. What looks like a large disc is more than just that – inscribed with hundreds of thousands of hexadecimal code with “Block 21” written on the inner rim.

“The work is a symbolic expression of Satoshi’s vision, forged out of the very code that lies at the genesis of it all.”

The artwork is over 50 meters long with 12.3 million digits engraved on it showcasing the transcription of the v0.1.0 code that launched Bitcoin in 2009.

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Author: AnTy

Here’s Why An Outspoken Bitcoin Supporter, Hedgeye CEO, Sold All His BTC

Keith McCullough, the chief executive officer of Hedgeye Risk Management, has sold all his Bitcoin to get back into the USD.

McCullough actually has been an outspoken Bitcoin supporter for some time now, but yesterday, he announced on Twitter that he is exiting his bitcoin position.

This certainly got the crypto community talking, with some pointing out how MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor decided to buy bitcoin at a higher price than McCullough sold his BTC at.

McCullough first jumped into the leading digital asset right at the height of the 2017 crypto rally.

Interestingly, his latest tweet came just two weeks after he said, “Bitcoin looks like a long” and that he will buy some more BTC. He further noted how it’s “inversely correlated, at an increasing rate, with the US dollar index.”

And this is the reason why he went short on BTC.

As McCullough retweeted Luca Balestrieri’s tweet, “He understands correlations, and he is not a permabull. He sold all his Bitcoins today, he didn’t say he won’t buy Bitcoin anymore. If the USD strengthens so all the (many) correlated things to it will go down, Bitcoin included. He booked a profit today to buy lower next future.”

“USD: was end of AUG the low? #Quad4 is US Dollar Bullish,” tweeted McCullough.

According to Hedgeye Risk management, the US economy is in Quad4 when GDP growth and inflation are slowing. And this is why he sold all his BTC; however, he did make money on his BTC trade.

Besides BTC, he also sold his Barrick Gold, bullion mining company, investment, and is shorting silver as well. And the reason is the same – while the yellow metal enjoyed US dollar weakness in the previous quarter, the precious metal would decline in this quarter with McCullough expecting the dollar to strengthen.

He also tweeted that bitcoin has today fallen under 410,600 “after failing Hedgeye TRADE resistance yesterday #Quad4.” According to him, “Evidently Bitcoin needed stimulus.”

Moreover, he sees Bitcoin as a long-term play.

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Author: AnTy

Barcelona Fan Token $BAR Trading 185% Above the Token Sale Price

Spanish professional football club Barcelona sold 1.2 million euro (US$1.3 billion) worth of fan tokens in less than two hours. 600,000 tokens were sold at a fixed price of €2 ($2.24) and are tradeable on Socios.com and ChiliZ.net.

The crypto token – called BAR – was sold through Socios.com through the ChiliZ blockchain. At the time of writing, BAR has been trading at $6.40, down from the high of about $12 it hit yesterday. These are ERC-20 tokens that are minted using the ChiliZ blockchain.

With about $2.5 million recorded in trading volume, the crypto asset became the second-most traded market on the Chiliz exchange behind BTC/USD.

The token’s initial sale, which took place in 106 different countries, was oversubscribed by about 5x.

The token holders are eligible for engagement-based team rewards such as meeting players and watching games as a VIP guest by voting in club-specific polls. Already, fans can vote in the first Barca poll to choose a piece of fan-designed artwork to go inside the Camp Nou’s dressing room.

They would even launch a Leaderboard feature to allow fans to compete to become the number 1 fan in their country. Moreover, in the coming months, Games and Chat features will also be launched on Socios.com. Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO & Founder of ChiliZ & Socios.com. said,

“Football is a global game, and support extends way beyond the stadium, city, and country of the club. It’s a stat we’ve used often, but for the biggest clubs in the world, 99.99% of their support is outside the stadium.”

Barcelona is not only one of the most popular but also the wealthiest soccer clubs in the world, with more than 300 million supporters. The token, which was first unveiled in February, is designed to promote fan engagement.

Besides the fan token, ChiliZ has been working on a blockchain-based COVID-19 ‘immunity pass’ for live attendance at soccer matches. Earlier this year, ChiliZ partnered with decentralized oracle provider Chainlink and also with the MMA powerhouse UFC for sports gear and tickets.

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Author: AnTy

Circle Gets Leaner As Digital Asset Broker Voyager Acquires Crypto Investing App

Circle Invest, the digital asset investment app of Circle Internet Financial Ltd., has been sold for an equity stake to Canada-based Voyager Digital Ltd.

Voyager will now issue to Circle common shares that represent around 4% ownership at Circle. It will also reimburse some costs to the Boston-based company. On Tuesday in New York, Voyager shares were traded at around 22 cents.

Circle To Focus on USD Coin (USDC)

First being focused on retail-oriented cryptocurrency businesses, Circle has started as of late to pay more attention to its own USDC stablecoin. Back in December 2019, they sold Circle Trade, an over-the-counter business based on trading that it owned to Kraken, the famous crypto exchange.

Voyager to Add Over 40,000 Retail Accounts

With the new acquisition, Voyager is going to add over 40,000 retail accounts, so its customer base is sure to reach more than 200,000 users, as a statement released by the company says. The transaction for the agreement is supposed to be closed by the end of next month.

As the partnership says, the collaboration is meant to deliver the companies’ joint customer base rapid and global payments at low costs. This is what Voyager’s chief executive officer, Steve Ehrlich, had to say about the matter:

“It’s transformative for Voyager in that we get to scale our business in an efficient way with such a great partner as Circle.”

Circle Invest’s Retail Customers Will Gain Access to Voyager’s Brokerage

Retail customers of Circle Invest will gain access to Voyager’s services for brokerage, including the 0 commission trading of over 30 crypto assets, digital transfers, secure omnibus custody portfolio, and wallet management tools and lock-up free interest yield for the popular coins. This is what Circle’s Director of Product Management, Rachel Mayer said about her company’s agreement with Voyager:

“We’re very happy to be able to provide Circle Invest customers with a broader depth of retail investment features through the transaction with Voyager.

This transition comes at a time when Circle is launching new platform services and products for businesses around the world to help them bring the benefits of stablecoins into their products and grow global commerce in new and innovative ways.”

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Author: Oana Ularu

The IRS Wants to Know If You Interacted With Cryptocurrency in Any Way in 2019

  • A new form has been released by the IRS looking to know whether you’ve acquired, exchanged, or sold a digital currency.
  • Earlier this year, the IRS sent a letter to taxpayers who’ve made transactions in cryptocurrencies to pay their taxes and file amended returns.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released a new Schedule 1 for 2019 tax season, putting out the details on above the line deductions, health savings account contributions, and tax break for student loan interest.

More notably, IRS has also thrown in a question regarding digital currencies, “At any time during 2019, did you receive, sell, send, exchange or otherwise acquire any financial interest in any virtual currency?”

This is the agency’s latest attempt to gather more information on taxpayers’ digital currency holdings.

“The biggest thing is that the IRS is asking this for a reason, and my question is how much have you increased your audit risk by checking ‘Yes’ in response?” asked Jeffrey Levine, CPA and director of financial planning at BluePrint Wealth Alliance in Garden City, New York.

As a matter of fact, the IRS has signaled that it would take a closer look at virtual currencies.

Earlier this year, the agency sent letters to over 10,000 taxpayers who made virtual currency transactions but may have failed to report income and pay taxes on what they owed.

Tax Basics on Cryptocurrency

Have you sold any of your cryptocurrency? Then, you need to report the transactions. And if you made capital gains on that, you need to pay the appropriate tax.

In case, you received cryptocurrency from your employer, it is subject to federal income tax withholding, just like wages and should be reported on Form W-2.

Independent contractors paid in cryptocurrency must pay self-employment taxes a well.

If you are involved in mining crypto, the fair market value of the virtual currency on the day of receipt should be included in your gross income, as per IRS guidance.

Failure to report these transactions can result in you getting audited and held liable for interest and penalties. One could also face a fine of up to $250,000 and prison time, in extreme cases.

“For tax purposes, the virtual currency is treated as property, similar to a security,” said April Walker, lead manager for tax practice and ethics at the American Institute of CPAs.

So, make sure you keep track of your transactions related to virtual currency along with the cost basis.

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Author: AnTy

Luxury New York Condo in Manhattan Gets Sold in Bitcoin Worth $15.3 Million

A retail condo in the Upper East Side has been sold by Ben Shaoul for $15.3 million in Bitcoin. The 11,400-square-foot living space was owned by the landlord’s firm Magnum Real Estate Group. The company is converting rentals in the 389 Easy 89th Street into condos. It all happened earlier this month, with the buyer being the Taiwanese entity Affluent Silver International LLC.

The Transaction Was Completed in Bitpay and Starr

The two parties of the selling agreement have used Bitpay and Starr in order to complete the transaction. The Jet Real Estate broker Eric Hedvat, who was a representative for Magnum, said that the process was “seamless”, while Shaoul refused to make any comments.

Magnum Has Used Bitcoin for Transactions Before

It’s not the first time that Magnum has gone into a contract with buyers and used Bitcoin transfers. Last year, they sold a 624-square foot space for $875,000 in Bitcoin and a 989-square-foot unit priced at $1.48 million. Shaoul previously said he would accept Bitcoin payments for his 62 Avenue B residential spaces in Alphabet City, but he ended up selling the unfinished building to Martin Shapiro for $82 million last year.

Digital Currencies Not Yet Widely Accepted in Real Estate

Since digital currencies and Bitcoin are continuing to have their value fluctuate, and they’re not accepted by many Real Estate sellers. Only over the last year, Bitcoin has had its value ranging from just above $3,000 to $12,000. However, New York sellers are starting to use it more and more. For example, the Brooklyn rental management company ManageCo has announced last year that it accepts cryptocurrency as payment.

Digital money is starting to be welcomed for the priciest listings, like the 10 East 76th Street on the Upper East Side, for which Corcoran is marketing a $29 million mansion and states that the seller accepts Bitcoin, Ripple or Ethereum as payment. A mansion that Sotheby’s is marketing at 40 Riverside Drive is priced at $13 million, with the seller accepting Bitcoin. Since New York’s Real Estate market is already embracing digital currencies, it can be expected others to do it too.

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Author: Hank Klinger

MediaLab Buys Kik Messaging App, Shares Plans to Expand KIN Project

The messaging app Kik was sold to MediaLab this week. Now, the holding company, which also operates another product called Whisper, is set to manage Kik as well. This happened because Kik Interactive, the company behind the messaging app, decided to shut down last month.

Kik’s CEO Ted Livingston announced just last week that the company would be sold and the sale was made soon after that. According to him, MediaLab believes that Kik is still to see its “best days” and it is willing to bet on this. Now that the product was acquired, Kik will change in several aspects. One of them is the integration of ads to acquire more revenue.

Crypto Ecosystem To Continue

Kik Interactive is currently in a legal battle with the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which accuses it of violating the securities law with its Initial Coin Offering (ICO). The whole fight, which has been expensive for the company, is one of the reasons why Kik had to shut down.

This does not mean that the crypto plans of the company are dead, though. The Kin ecosystem will continue to exist if it depends on Livingston. He affirmed that he would continue to build on the ecosystem and that the messaging app would also continue its plans to provide crypto transactions.

MediaLab’s goal is to improve the app by reducing the number of bugs and glitches and collecting feedback from users in order to discover the features that could be interesting. This way, the service would continue to be useful and to offer what its clients need the most. They added;

“We are fans of Kin and believe in its long term potential. We are excited to further partner with Ted and his team on expanding the Kin integration and have plans to further support the project. We’ll have more to share on that front soon.”

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Author: Hank Klinger

Carrefour Reports How Blockchain Technology Is Helping Boost Sales Of Meat, Milk and Fruit

Carrefour Reports How Blockchain Technology Is Helping Boost Sales Of Meat, Milk and Fruit
  • Carrefour informed that their blockchain-tracked products are being sold faster than others
  • The goal is to include new products in this system
     

The giant French retailer Carrefour has experienced a boost in sales in some of its products due to the use of blockchain technology.

As reported by Reuters, the company has been using distributed ledger technology to track meat, milk and fruit from farms to stores. The goal is to extend it to more products in the future and increase shoppers trust.

Carrefour Improves Sales Using Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology is helping Carrefour improve its sales of goods. Blockchain technology is allowing customers to have clear information regarding the products that the company is selling, which is very positive to increase their trust in the shop.

This allows individuals to know which are genetically modified goods, which use antibiotics or if they are harvested using pesticides.

Some of the food that Carrefour included in the first batch of blockchain-tracked products include chicken, eggs, raw milk, oranges, pork and cheese. This year is going to be adding 100 more products and it will be focusing on areas that consumers want to know more about.

This is not the first company that is working with blockchain technology. There are other firms that are also using distributed ledger technology (DLT) in order to ensure that products meet strict standards in the market.

Customers at the store can scan a QR barcode with their phone and know when they were harvested, the location of cultivation, the owner of the plot and more. According to Emmanuel Delerm, Carrefour’s blockchain project manager, the products with blockchain technology were sold faster than those without.

People in China, Italy and France have been testing the blockchain system implemented by the retailer.

People are interested in knowing the origin of the products, how animals were aked care and how they treat the fruits and vegetables harvested. Nonetheless, there are some challenges ahead for this product and system to be implemented in other places around the world. Indeed, Carrefour informed that there is resistance from farmers to share too much information.

In the future, the intention is to add more products such as clothes and add more information, including how much the farmer gets out of the shelf price.

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Author: Carl T