Coca-Cola to Launch First NFT on OpenSea on Friendship Day to Benefit the Special Olympics

Coca-Cola to Launch First NFT on OpenSea on Friendship Day to Benefit the Special Olympics

Coca-Cola, one of the most popular beverage companies in the world, has announced that it will launch a non-fungible token (NFT).

In a press release shared earlier today, the Atlanta-based beverage conglomerate confirmed that it had partnered with developer Tafi to launch branded virtual wearables as NFTs. The tokens will represent different items, and they will be available on multiple blockchain-powered platforms.

NFTs for a Good Cause

The upcoming launch will be Coca-Cola’s first foray into NFTs. It also marks yet another big brand working with these tokens to grow their reach. With the beverage company looking to celebrate International Friendship Day with the NFT, all proceeds coming from the sale will go to the Special Olympics.

Explaining the NFT drop, Coca-Cola explained that the collection would feature four separate pieces and feature multi-sensory NFTs housed inside a Friendship Box. the box itself will be an NFT too. The NFT will be auctioned off, and the winning bidder will get additional unique surprises when they digitally open it.

Another unique feature of the NFT launch is that the assets can be worn within Decentraland – a blockchain-powered 3D virtual reality world. Coca-Cola also said that it would host a “Rooftop Party” on Decentraland to celebrate the NFT launch.

Coca-Cola Deepens Crypto and Blockchain Ties

While this is a milestone for Coca-Cola, it’s not their first foray into the blockchain and crypto industry. In November 2019, Business Insider reported that Coke One North America (CONA), the company that handles IT operations for Coca-Cola, used a blockchain solution to manage its supply chain.

Per the report, CONA managed a platform to oversee different franchises that manufacture, bottle, and ship about 160,000 Coca-Cola product orders daily. The technology could help improve cross-company transaction processes and transactions, allowing the bottling operation to move along more rapidly.

Andrei Semenov, senior manager at CONA, told Business Insider that the company expected to use blockchain to reduce order reconciliation durations from 50 days to just a few days. With an inter-company, transparent blockchain platform, CONA will get real-time insights into all bottlers’ transactions, which generate up to $21 billion in annual revenues.

Last year, Amatil X, Coca-Cola Amatil’s corporate venture platform, also announced an investment into Centrepay – a digital asset and payment service provider. Amatil, one of the largest Coca-Cola bottlers in the world, had built a corporate partnership with Centrepay at the time that allowed users to make crypto payments at any of its 2,000+ vending machines across New Zealand and Australia.

With the investment, Centrepay claimed that it would expand its service range t include Epay gift cards, contactless fiat, and vouchers.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Bitcoin’s Moon Target Set at $318,000 in Dec. 2021 by Citibank Report

With Bitcoin turning bullish, the mainstream institutions are also taking a special interest in the leading digital asset. The latest is Citibank, whose bitcoin technical analysis sees lofty price targets at over $300k per BTC by the end of 2021.

Thomas Fitzpatrick, Global head of CitiFXTechnicals product, the author of the report, traces the historical price performance of Bitcoin, which reflects that timeframes for the rally are getting longer, which puts this rally to peak in December 2021 at $318k.

“Improbable though that seems it would only be a low to high rally of 102 times (the weakest rally so far in percentage terms),” with arguments in favor of Bitcoin at their most persuasive ever, he wrote.

The report notes how Bitcoin is all about “unthinkable rallies followed by painful corrections” but a type of pattern that sustains a long term trend.

As such though it’s to be seen if such lofty levels will be hit, “the price action we are looking at clearly suggest the potential for a major move higher nonetheless in the next 12-24 months,” reads the report whose snippets were first shared by trader and economist Alex Kruger.

Although “this kind of technical analysis is of little value,” Kruger noted, “what matters here is Citi’s clients being exposed to the bitcoin moon.”

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Citibank compared the digital asset’s first rally that took it to the mainstream with gold, which similarly “was allowed to float in the early 1970s after 50 years of trading in a $20-035 range.”

And that was a “structural change in the modern-day monetary regime” ushering in a world of fiscal indiscipline, deficits, and inflation. As for Bitcoin, its move happened in the aftermath of the Great Financial crisis.

In 2020, with all the MMT, gold is likely to gain from this, but the author of the report noted that gold has restrictions such as storage, non-portable, and could possibly be even called “yesterday’s news” in terms of a financial hedge.

“Bitcoin is the new gold,” reads the report.

The leading digital asset has a limited supply, is easy to move across borders, and offers opaque ownership. But the author also says that Bitcoin may be subject to more regulatory constraints going forward.

The report further mentions CBDC, which though a much more effective mechanism for distributing stimulus, “makes capital confiscation easier.” In both the scenarios, Bitcoin will give us the digital equivalent (Bitcoin versus Fiat digital) of what we saw in the 20th century when the financial regime changed (Gold versus FIAT paper).

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Author: AnTy

JPMorgan: Corporate Demand for Bitcoin Is A Strong Vote of Confidence for its Future

The tables have turned.

As Bitcoin gets special attention from the publicly traded companies, the banking giant’s views are also changing about the leading digital asset.

According to JPMorgan, Jack Dorsey’s Payment company Square investing $50 million investment in Bitcoin is a “strong vote of confidence for the future of bitcoin.”

What started with MicroStrategy, the first publicly-traded company to put $475 million worth of Bitcoin in its Treasury, has gained strength with Square’s 1% bitcoin allocation. Yesterday, $10 billion asset manager Stone Ridge also announced that it had made BTC its primary treasury reserve asset.

According to the bank’s strategists, including Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, this signals that Square sees a “lot of potential” for the cryptocurrency as an asset.

Not only it expects Square to make more BTC purchases in the future, but it also expects other payments companies to follow in its footsteps or risk being left out of a growing segment.

Square already has a deeper connection with Bitcoin; it allows people to buy the digital asset and even actively participates in its development through a special division of Square Crypto. Not to mention, its CEO is a vocal Bitcoin proponent who sees BTC becoming a currency of the internet.

JPMorgan also noted that millennials have been using Cash App to buy BTC; this demand, along with the purchases made by companies like MicroStrategy, indicates the demand for Bitcoin surpassed its supply at a greater level in Q3 than in Q2.

Amidst this source of corporate demand, Bitcoin’s price is trading around $11,400, down from above $11,700 it reached yesterday.

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While BTC has made a good head start this month, JPMorgan only sees a “modest headwind” for Bitcoin in the short term based on its intrinsic value. Although a drop in September eliminated much of the “froth,” it remains 13% higher than the intrinsic value estimate.

Futures show that “there still appears to be an overhang of net long positions.” Meanwhile, options contracts volume is rising, which strategists said is likely that retail traffic is driving this surge.

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Author: AnTy

SEC Contracts with DARPA Funded CipherTrace to Track BNB & Binance Chain

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is now taking a special interest in Binance Chain and the native token of the leading spot exchange Binance BNB among other tokens on its blockchain.

Binance Chain hosts about 189 tokens along with the 10th largest cryptocurrency by market cap of $3 billion BNB and underlies Binance DEX, a decentralized exchange.

“This is a significant step to have more BinanceChain token listings on fiat exchanges. Working for our ecosystem projects,” said Changpeng Zao, Binance CEO.

As per the public records, SEC has chosen CipherTrace Inc. for this task to which the agency intends to award a fixed-price contract on a single source basis. The contract will be awarded by SEC by today for a period of one year with four options of one year each to extend the contract. It states,

“CipherTrace Inc., is the only source that can reasonably meet the SEC’s requirement in accordance with FAR Part 13.106-1(b).”

Founded in 2015, the blockchain analytics company was initially funded by the US Department of Homeland Security and DARPA, an agency of the US Department of Defense responsible for the development of emerging technologies for the military use.

CipherTrace is the only forensics and risk intelligence tool that can support Binance Coin (BNB) and all other tokens on the Binance network, reads the notice.

CipherTrace partnered with Binance in November 2019 to bring anti-money laundering (AML) tracing tools to Binance Chain.

At the time, Dave Jevans, CipherTrace CEO said, as the crypto ecosystem matures, regulators demand better transparency and compliance.

The technology will enable regulators to browse Binance blockchain and identify high-risk addresses, said Binance adding, CipherTrace will improve its blockchain’s AML controls.

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Author: AnTy

Coinbase Is Using Ethereum’s (ETH) Latest Upgrade To Help Merchants To Adopt USD Coin (USDC)

Coinbase Commerce, a special platform designed by Coinbase to be used by merchants, is using Constantinople, Ethereum’s most recent upgrade, to let its retailers use USD Coin (USDC).

The platform, which helps investors who want to receive crypto payments, has recently added USDC, which is based on the Ethereum technology. Bojan Joveski, a software engineer of the company, has recently affirmed that it was a new ETH feature that made this possible.

According to him, the new CREATE2 feature was added during the Constantinople update and made it possible to use smart contracts in other situations and to save costs, which helped in order to make USDC usable on the platform. CREATE2 can diminish gas costs for using USDC, which enables the company to let clients use the token without having to pay any extra fees.

CREATE2 was proposed by the founder of the ETH network, Vitalik Buterin. It was initially named Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1014 and it was focused on the development of new smart contracts, especially smart contracts that will be deployed in the future and need a lot of variables in order to work well.

This prompted the company to use USDC on the platform. In case you do not know, USDC, which was developed by Circle, is a sort of official Coinbase stablecoin. Obviously, there are huge advantages to using your own token on your platform, especially because it boosts its adoption.

While most payments are made on Bitcoin and Tether (USDT) these days, this could help the token to carve its niche more effectively.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

U.S Attorney Announces Detainment of a Narcotics Trafficker Caught Money Laundering

U.S Attorney Announces Detainment of a Narcotics Trafficker Caught Money Laundering

U.S Attorney, Geoffrey S. Berman and Special Agent, Angel M. Melendez revealed the news regarding the detainment of a narcotics trafficker who tried to wash $19 million of illegal cryptocurrencies on the Dark Web called “Silk Road”.

The trafficker who goes by the name Hugh Brian Haney (age 60), was supposedly arrested the morning of Thursday, July 18, 2019. According to M. Melendez, Silk Road was shut down in 2013, however, crypto criminals have tried and successful leeched back into the system to launder their illegal digital assets.

Here’s an extract of what has been shared regarding Haney’s move:

“Haney was allegedly one of those criminals who was still holding on to a stash of cyber gold. HSI special agents employed blockchain analytics to uncover and seize bitcoins valued at $19 million and usher Haney out of the dark web shadows to face justice in the Southern District of New York.”

A narcotics vendor on Silk Road dubbed, “Pharmville,” shared a list of individuals involved in illicit narcotics. Between the years 2011 and 2012, agents purchased an array of narcotics. Upon searching Haney’s house, in 2018, evidence against him was found.

While Haney tried to argue that his $19 million came from bitcoin mining, it was found that they were actually from Silk Road transfers.

According to The United States Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York:

“Haney […] is charged with one count of concealment money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of engaging in a financial transaction in criminally derived property, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.”

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai

Crypto Scammers Operating 93 Social Media Pages Promoting OneCoin Arrested in Verona

Crypto Scammers Operating 93 Social Media Pages Promoting OneCoin Arrested in Verona

A Special Antitrust police unit in the Italian city of Verona has reportedly arrested crypto scammers operating several social media pages and scam sites. The suspects, operating a total of seven websites and a further 93 social media pages, had been promoting fake crypto projects.

One of the projects the scammers were promoting using the seized channels, according to Coinidol.com, was the infamous scam project called OneCoin. It reported that the suspects were urging eager crypto investors to invest in it.

In three other provinces within Italy, the police also detained five suspected scammers suspected of committing the same offenses. While the five are yet to be arraigned and charged, a Rome-based prosecutor charged six of promoting fraudulent projects using a Roman company.

They six, according to the evidence at the prosecutor’s office, had been using social media to promote their schemes. It further showed that they had additionally used ‘word-of-the-mouth’ to lure and scam the unsuspecting. They also ripped off the innocent by selling financial training courses along with cryptos for as little as €100.

Brother to OneCoin’s Founder Nabbed but Denied Bond Even as he Faces 20 Years in Jail

To date, only a few crypto scams ever pulled in the industry rival that of the infamous OneCoin. The project started in 2014, earned its fictitious owners who include the Bulgarian CEO, Ruja Ignatova, more than $4 billion.

What led many to naively splurge their funds in it is how it was packaged. In 2017, at the height of the ICO frenzy, this pyramid scheme wreaked havoc. The US Department of Justice reported that the project racked in over $2.5 billion in less than two years after stealing from the innocent crypto investors.

It took a while before it was confirmed that OneCoin was a Ponzi scheme. Later when it was revealed that it was a fictitious scheme, police in several countries led by Samoa and Singapore banned the project and prosecuted those promoting it.

Authorities across the world have been looking for the project’s hierarchy, even as the fight against scam crypto projects was intensified. A month ago, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) nailed down the brother to the Konstantin Ignatov.

Ignatov had been appointed to lead the project after his sister went underground in 2017. He appeared in court where he was denied a $20 million bond. If he will be proven guilty, Konstantin Ignatov could spend as much as 20 years behind bars.

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Author: Lillian Peter