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

What’s Next for Bitcoin, Now that It Broke Through $20,000?

The sky’s the limit for the largest cryptocurrency. But where we go to next in the short-term, that’s the next question in everyone’s mind because now no technicals are there to guide the market.

We have already gone well above $23,000, with the ‘real’ trading volume also surging past $11 billion. Antoni Trenchev, the co-founder of crypto lender Nexo, says,

“We have a new line in the sand and the focus shifts to the next round number of $30,000.”

“This is the start of a new chapter for Bitcoin. It’s a narrative the media and retail crowd can properly latch onto because they’ve been noticeably absent from this rally.”

According to Meltem Demirors, Bitcoin breaking above $20,000 marks an important psychological milestone. She told Bloomberg,

“The biggest thing is the macroeconomic conditions — this is the perfect setup for Bitcoin”

“From here things are going to move very quickly and I wouldn’t be surprised if we touched $35,000 in the next three to six months.”

This week, Bank of America’s survey revealed Bitcoin to be the third-largest crowded trade after long tech and the short US dollar.

It might look crowded to the outsiders, but the market knows that Bitcoin has just started its new cycle. Ed Campbell, managing director at QMA, said,

“People tend to pile into momentum trades, so Bitcoin could have more upside from here.”

As we have been reporting, institutions lead this uptrend with the retail “out of this rally,” which, according to Kay Van-Petersen, global macro strategist at Saxo Capital Markets, means the “price will now go from linear to parabolic.”

Interestingly, despite bitcoin’s big moves, implied volatility remains muted. The crypto market’s low volatility is expected to sustain the largest digital asset’s performance next year.

Not to mention, interest rates will remain at zero and sub-zero while the Federal Reserve announces that they will continue to keep up with its massive stimulus measures.

All of this has Bitcoin’s top in this bull rally anywhere between $100k to $500k and $1 million in an even larger scheme of things.

However, in the short-term, “testing $36,000 will be the next real objective,” if BTC sustains its momentum, said Dan Gunsberg, CEO of crypto trading platform Hxro, adding that a significant break below $13,800 would bring a much weaker period.

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Author: AnTy

Twitter Found the Solution to Bitcoin Scams, No More Cryptocurrency Addresses Allowed

That’s right!

It was this easy, just not let anyone post cryptocurrency addresses on Twitter, no more crypto scams.

When trying to post a tweet containing a cryptocurrency address, Twitter prompts the message “Something went wrong, but don’t fret — let’s give it another shot” in a glaring red strip.

Well, given that hackers are smart and always one step ahead of companies, it won’t be long before they find a solution. They don’t even need addresses; their one-page website seems to do the trick already. Soon, deep-fakes are expected to “revolutionize the scam market” already, as reported by the Crypto Whales in its report.

Moreover, companies are not proactive, it takes several attempts to report a scammer, and it still doesn’t get it down.

Twitter’s latest ban of crypto addresses altogether from the social networking platform could be just a fix before they find the solution, which comes after last night’s major Twitter accounts including the likes of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Kanye West and many more getting hacked and used to promote bitcoin-related scams.

Twitter is currently investigating the hack, which is believed to be a “coordinated social engineering attack” by using the “internal systems and tools.”

All the accounts hacked asked people to send them bitcoin in order to get it double, and the hacker was able to swipe nearly 13 BTC, worth about $120,000.

These kinds of scams aren’t anything new. They have been going on for a long time, given that the scammer was able to get only 13 BTC out of it.

As we reported, in just the first six months of 2020, scammers made off with about $24 million in BTC, which is predicted by Crypto Whale to reach $50 million by this year-end, over twenty-fold since 2017.

Also, BTC giveaways bearing the name of Tesla CEO and the founder and CEO of SpaceX, Musk has already been raking in more than $2 million in a matter of months.

Earlier this year, Musk called out the scams saying, “the crypto scam level on Twitter is reaching new levels,” in response to such a giveaway scam.

He urged people to “report [the scam] as soon as you see it,” and encouraged Twitter to delete the bots and scammer accounts.

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Author: AnTy

Kin Releases its Transparency Report, Revealing Foundation Budgets and Structure

The Kin Foundation that’s behind the social messaging app Kik has been involved in a long-drawn out legal battle with the US Security and Exchange Commission over the distribution of its Kin token.

Kik created the Kin token back in 2017.

The SEC alleged that Kin tokens fall under a Security bracket, and thus it must be registered with the regulatory body before the sale. The total market supply of Kin token has been kept at 10 trillion out of which 1.45 trillion are currently in circulation.

The Kin Foundation has now released a transparency report in association with the Messari group revealing crucial financial details. The transparency report was published on the 21st of May, and gave a glimpse at the operation of the Kin token.

The report revealed that the foundation drafts their budget one year in advance, which determines what funding would go towards developers, user grants, node incentives, and marketing and operations.

The Kin Foundation is currently headed by a two-member board consisting of Ted Livingston, the CEO of Kik Interactive and William Mougayar, author of “The Business Blockchain.” The report further revealed that the board members are selected annually by the members along with a Kin Representative who acts as a medium for the developer community and token holders.

The foundation currently has only one Representative in the form of Matt Hannam, however, the foundation plans to add a couple more representatives in the coming year. The Kin foundation also comprises of an informal community of 10 members who look over the kin rewards and disagreements.

The report revealed that around 28 million users have acquired kin from various sources since its creation in 2017 and around 300 million kin was spent per day this year alone.

The Legal Battle Over Security Tag

The United States is counted among nations with a tough regulatory stance towards crypto. This is because any security token offering which promises a profit on the token over a course of time need to be registered with the SEC. The same issue has led to the halt and several postponements of Telegram’s TON blockchain and GRAM token issuance. The Kin Foundation has maintained, since the beginning that,

“the SEC cannot meet its burden to prove that Kin purchasers were primarily led to expect profits from the managerial efforts of others.”

The foundation also believes that the SEC’s legal case against them is heavily inspired by the Telegram case. Eileen Lyon, Kik’s general counsel said:

“Our take on the SEC’s opposition is that it relies heavily on the recent Telegram case, which we think was poorly reasoned and wrongly decided.”

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Author: James W

Someone, Not Satoshi, Moves 50 Bitcoin Minted in 2009, Last Time Happened in August 2017

50 BTC were moved from a wallet today.

Well, that’s not the big news but the fact that these are among the original coins and were stored in a wallet that has been dormant since 2009 is what got the crypto community’s attention.

These coins were mined on block 3654, just one month into bitcoin’s creation, on February 9, 2009.

40 of these coins amounting to $391,055 were sent to one address and 9.99 are being separated into small pieces to be sent to other addresses.

The last time an account moved decade old coins was during the last bull run, in August 2017.

Some speculated that this wallet belongs to the pseudo-anonymous bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

This speculation led the BTC price to take a dive from $9,800 to $9,100. But now, the price is now recovering and is currently trading at $9,500.

“You trying to buy cheap coins or something?” responded Jameson Lopp, co-founder and CTO of Casa to Twitter user Bitcoin who speculated about the wallet belonging to Satoshi. This twitter account has 1 million users.

However, despite Satoshi speculation, the price dropped by only about 7%.

“It does nudge me towards thinking if Satoshi coins ever DID move, it would be short-medium term bearish for the price,” said Brad Mills.

Early non-Satoshi mined coins being moved isn’t particularly a surprise either, they are “periodically awakened, just not frequently,” noted Nic Carter, co-founder of Coin Metrics. He further explained that,

“it’s basically impossible to prove that Satoshi _didn’t_ mine these coins, but the best research we have suggests that Satoshi mined a specific set of blocks, of which this is not one.”

These are blocks that are believed to be mined by a single big early miner with more than 1 million BTC. Carter added,

“There’s actually a lot more debate about the Satoshi coins than people are generally aware of. The way it’s reported in the press, you’d think there was a single gigantic wallet ascribed to Satoshi. In practice there’s significantly more uncertainty over the addresses.”

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Author: AnTy

$72B in Equities to Move to the Axcore Blockchain in an OCC Deal; Will Save Billions

The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) that’s helping the New York Stock Exchange, the NASDAQ, Cboe and BATS to clear their equity derivatives is in the process of moving its infrastructure to Axoni.

Axoni is a New York-based lending platform that has about $72 billion in loan equities from the Americas. It gives its users real-time access to its data, so it doesn’t send any messages in order to receive information back.

What Would Moving the Stock Lending Process to Axcore Mean?

While the information on Axoni is not visible to all parties, the process of moving the lending to Axcore or any other of the blockchains can save billions in auditing costs, but only if each party has access to the data whenever it needs to. An executive for the OCC said that every profit-generating trader will need only 3 employees to manage any reconciliation process.

The OCC move is scheduled for 2022, after a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) test has been completed. The test includes JP Morgan, Charles Schwab, Blackrock BLK and the Bank of America. Greg Schvey, Axoni’s co-founder, says the transition’s capabilities aren’t comprised by a single project, but by isolated platforms that are running the same technology.

Other Equity-Swap Platforms Powered by Axcore

The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation has been ever since January 2020 in the final stages of moving $11 trillion of trade information to the Citi and Goldman Sachs equity-swap platforms powered by Axcore,. Here’s what Schvey, who also happens to be Axoni’s CEO, had to say about this:

“What we’re talking about here is another major piece of capital markets infrastructure, not just migrating over to blockchain generally, but running on the exact same platform as a number of other major asset classes and infrastructure providers.”

More on the OCC

The OCC has been regulated by both the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It runs a futures and options clearing platform from NASDAQ and had its stock lending platform moving to the Axcore blockchain. This OCC platform has acted as a guarantor when lenders and borrowers were agreeing on security deals, helping the OCC to reduce the risk of borrowers not being able to repay their loans.

At the beginning of 2019, the OCC has started to upgrade its platform with the PoC design in order to show how the auditors’ need to accelerate settlement timings can be reduced on a distributed ledger that’s similar to the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain.

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Author: Oana Ularu

IBM Wins ‘Self-Aware’ Token Patent, It Can Record Offline Transaction Data To Upload Later

IBM was given a US patent for a “self-aware” token that’s capable of recording its own data for transactions.

The patent was awarded on January 7. It presents a ledger-based system for payments, a system that makes tracking and tracing crypto transactions easier for governments, businesses and individuals too. It’s designed to record the transactions even when not being used on the payments platform patented by IBM back in 2012. As soon as the token gets back to this platform’s ecosystem later, the data of offline transactions is immediately uploaded.

Payment Location and the Transacted Amounts Revealed

With the patent, tokens make a complete cycle and reveal all the data about the amounts that have been transacted, the payment location and some information on the token holders. However, the data is not stored in the token itself, but on other devices like phones, laptops and so on.

IBM says that knowing where the tokens come from is very helpful as far as bolstering “trust and viability” in the newly formed community that uses tokens goes, seeing businesses will be able to prove they haven’t been conducting illegal activities, individuals can make sure they haven’t been scammed, whereas regulators can enforce their laws more effectively.

Exchanges Between Different Asset Classes Facilitated

IBM claims that with the new patent, the exchanges between asset classes that are of various forms get to be facilitated. The more cryptocurrencies seem to be developed, the more payments between different asset classes are difficult to enable. This is what the company said about how important it is to record transaction data:

“e-Currencies [could] operate across disparate economic systems, fostering easier participating alongside sovereign currencies and other non-standard currencies.”

IBM’s Patent for a Blockchain-Based Web Browser that Protects Privacy

In August 2019, IBM also received a patent for a privacy protection blockchain-based web browser. It can be said the company had a certain contribution to the crypto space, seeing it launched the IBM Blockchain Platform back in 2017 and has contributed to the Hyperledger project.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Bitcoin Turns 4,000 Days Old as Searches for “Bitcoin Halving” Rise Significantly Per Google Trends

Happy 4,000th day running to Bitcoin! That’s right crypto enthusiasts, the bitcoin blockchain network has been successfully going for 4,000 straight days since Satoshi Nakamoto released the first base layer software protocol back on January 3, 2009.

Today, being December 17, 2019, has saw four thousand days pass since and ironically two years ago today the price of bitcoin hit its all time high of $19,892 BTC/USD exchange rate value.

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Now, next up on the horizon is the third halving cycle. More and more attention is being paid to the Bitcoin (BTC) halving that will happen in May, next year.

According to a Google Trends research that was released on December 17, the “Bitcoin halving” searches have increased significantly in 2019, even when there was more than a year until the halving.

The first chart shows the recent rise in bitcoin halving interest:

Searches for “Bitcoin” Have Decreased

Here is the interest in bitcoin keyword searches according to Google Trends:

The interest in the halving is increased also as a result of the past 5 years’ context. There was only a short period during the 2016 halving when the global search volumes were higher. Opposed to the interest in the halving, “Bitcoin” searches have declined lately, mostly because the cryptocurrency’s price has declined so much. Both terms have been the most searched in late November, during the period in which the Bitcoin markets had a short growth period.

Many See the Halving as a Price Catalyst for the Bitcoin

Analysts didn’t allow the halving to go unnoticed, especially since it has such a heightened profile. Looking and the data and analyzing it, the co-founder of Adamant Capital Tuur Demeester said many people consider the halving to be a price catalyst for Bitcoin. This is what he tweeted on Tuesday:

“It’s very clear that retail interest in BTC is nonexistent and investor sentiment is pretty bad right now. Question is whether the halvening could provide a bullish narrative – the Google trends data imo suggests it could.”

Everyone is Focusing on Miners

The halving is referring to all the new Bitcoins miners have claimed for transaction blocks that have decreased under 50%. In the year that’s about to come, the 12.5 BTC reward will become 6.25 BTC, which will increase the competition said by some to affect the miners’ behavior. Recently, the BTC/USD has only conformed to the fact that miners are defending a price floor corresponding with the $6,500 cost of production. There are many 2020 bitcoin halving overviews to study up and see how the 2012 and 2016 events transpired, but there is no doubt many are in agreement that the third halving event will bring fireworks in some form or fashion as the daily issued BTC coins will be reduced from 1,800 to 900 within the next five months or so.

Stay tuned as the BTC/USD value has continued its recent decline as many wonder how bitcoin will fare in the build up to the highly anticipated block mining reward event. Oh, and congrats to bitcoin again for being alive and turning 4,000 days old today.

Latest Bitcoin Price News and Crypto Market Updates

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Author: Oana Ularu

Over 350,000 Publishers on Crypto-Friendly Brave

Brave is a crypto-friendly web browser that’s stopping the tracking of advertisements and is competing with Google. Recently, it has registered more than 350,000 rewards publishers. These publishers are websites enlisted to receive rewards from Brave, rewards that are being given each time a user sends a Basic Attention Token (BAT) tip to a desired website.

An 820% Increase in Under a Year

The 350,000-milestone reached by Brave indicates an 820% increase in under a year, Brave having less than 38,000 publishers at the beginning of the year. As statistics released by the browser indicate, the rise has come from creators, as there are about 231,865 YouTube publishers and 19,370 Twitch streamers connected to Brave. In the meantime, the websites’ accounts are at a number of 38,819 publishers. Some of the biggest names among the website publishers are Wikipedia, the Guardian, the Washington Post, and Wikihow.

Brave Blocks Ads on Websites

Similar to crypto-based businesses, Brave’s concept is all about disruption. Being a novel browser, its disruption is an archaic and, let’s say, insidious advertising method. Brave is blocking websites from sending many commercials to the user and sends its own, which are less invasive. In other words, it focuses on privacy, making sure ad trackers or data harvesters are being ditched together with the original ads.

However, it doesn’t leave websites dry because it instills the opt-in alternative. By using Brave’s BAT, users who are also rewarded in BATs for viewing any ad can bring their contribution to the websites they think are deserving of their tokens.

If the websites are to receive such tokens, they need to be signed up as publishers with Brave. As said before, Brave now has more than 350,000 publishers, meaning its stats have impressively grown in the last year.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Is Braiins Stratum V2 Update The Answer To Bitcoin Mining Becoming Fully Decentralized?

The company that’s behind one of the largest mining pools for Bitcoin (BTC), Braiins, has recently presented a code that looks promising when it comes to decentralized mining.

The specification is called Stratum V2 and can greatly improve the way in which Bitcoin mining works. More than this, it can bring more security to mining pools and have them function more efficiently, especially for entities organizing miners all over the world. While its aim is to improve Bitcoin mining pools differently, the main benefit that it brings is that it reduces mining pool centralization, which is the most pressing problem with the Bitcoin.

Many People Are Supportive of the Plan

Jimmy Song, the Bitcoin developer, and influencer had this to say about Braiins’ plan:

At the same time, the Bitcoin developer for Square, Matt Corallo, who’s also a designer for the protocol, has recently written in a Reddit AMA that:

“This is huge for mining centralization. Instead of being focused on the centralization of pools (which is the world we’re in today), we can focus on the centralization of actual miners [and] farm owners!”

Corallo revealed the BetterHash project last year, a project that is planning to combat centralization in mining pools. Today, Braiins together with Corallo are working together to create the ultimate protocol to fix the issues with mining pools.

How the Mining Power Is Being Distributed and Why It Is Problematic

Mining can be very difficult for those who are doing it individually. When the Bitcoin had just appeared, those who were mining for it all over the world were connecting to mining pools in order to make more money. After long hours of mining, if one of them was getting lucky, the entire pool was benefiting. With time, mining pools that are weighted turned into a safer and more profitable method as far as earning and redistributing the profits based on the contributory mining power goes.

However, recent data revealed by Blockchain.info is indicating that just 3 mining pools are controlling more than 50% of the Bitcoin’s mining power, centralizing it for just a few people. This is a serious problem, as when a miner from a mining pool wins a block and the 12.5 Bitcoin reward, the mining pool is deciding which transactions to go into that block. Experts worry that centralized entities may be tempted to use all this power in order to censor the transaction they’re not found of.

Stratum V2 is Modeled of Corallo’s Better Hash

Stratum V2 is trying to support the “job negotiation” model of BetterHash, changing the connection between the mining pool and the miner. This means that miners and not mining pools decide which transactions to go into blocks. More than this, miners would also be allowed to vote for protocol updates. This wouldn’t necessarily be a silver bullet when it comes to mining centralization, but at least mining pools censoring Bitcoin transactions would simply be opted out.

Luke Dashjr, the veteran Bitcoin coder, has said on Twitter,

Stratum V2 Is Not Only Fighting Decentralization

Decentralization is not the only problem Stratum V2 is addressing. Mining pools would also be provided an incentive to adopt the protocol because this would save more money and prevent the attacks aimed at causing them to no longer get rewards. What Stratum V2 does is transferring data in a more efficient manner and making it more difficult for the mining pool hash power to be stolen. This is what Braiins’ co-CEO Jan Capek had to say about this:

“Last but not least, we have addressed the security aspects by allowing fully encrypted and authenticated communication using the current state of the art technology called ‘Noise Protocol Framework’.”

Braiins is still in the finalizing phase for some features. For example, it’s trying to decide what algorithm should be used when hiding the data. The Stratum V2 is going to be available for tests soon, whereas its specification draft is now under review. Capek said it may take up to 12 months or more for the mining pools to start working with the protocol.

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Author: Oana Ularu