October 11,2021

Galactic Punks NFT Series Makes History on Terra Blockchain

Last week, the Galactic Punks NFT project made history as it launched the first series of NFT's ever created on the Terra Blockchain. The launch came shortly after the Columbus-5 upgrade that made it possible to mint assets on Terra. Community members flooded into the randomearth.io marketplace last Saturday to get their chance to mint one of the 10,921 unique NFT's in the Galactic Punks series. An anxious community, more than 5,000 members strong, hovered by their commuters awaiting the opening of the mint. In less than 8 minutes the entire set was claimed.

This drop also made history, resulting in the largest block ever recorded on Terra with more than 1,000 transactions processed in a single block. The frenzy around these NFT's continued in the days following the launch, recording over 10M in trading volume in the first 24h after the launch. In fact, just recently a tweet emerged showing that someone traded one of their rare Galactic Punks for a Tesla!

NFT's have taken the spotlight in crypto as of late. These pixilated characters are more than just randomly generated jpegs. They are becoming an increasingly mainstream characteristic of digital community and provenance. It used to be that a Rolex or a Lamborgini was a "flex" of someone's wealth. Now digital native consumers are turning to digital collectibles to signal their wealth and stature.

Whether you believe NFT's are a bubble, or if you think they are just getting started. It is clear that something big is changing in the world of art and culture. With the advent of non-fungible tokens, artists and communities are beginning to thrive in the digital world, and we are so excited to watch this industry evolve.

October 04,2021

El Salvador Starts Mining Bitcoin Using Geothermal Energy From Volcanoes

El Salvador is making rapid progress in the cryptocurrency industry, having officially mined the first Bitcoin (BTC) using volcanic energy. Not only is this a historic development in its own right, but it is hot on the heels of the country making history by being the first-ever nation to make Bitcoin legal tender.

President Nayib Bukele announced the achievement via Twitter, which included an image of the mined Bitcoin while mentioning that additional testing and installation are still continuing as of this time. He has since referred to the project as &lsquoVolcanode'.

A new way to mine Bitcoin

President Bukele had stated this past June that he had indeed instructed LaGeo to permit Bitcoin miners to access the nation's volcanic sources of energy. So far, the plan to utilize geothermal energy is going well. El Salvador's leader made it known that in order to mine Bitcoin, the mining operations must be extremely inexpensive, completely clean, renewable, and have no emissions whatsoever.

Furthermore, volcanic energy brings in clean mining for a digital asset that has been plagued by unfavorable press attributable to its carbon footprint. Notably, Bitcoin detractors have used the asset's environmental effect as justification for a total prohibition. It is a well-known fact that Bitcoin needs a significant amount of energy to be mined, which in certain circumstances exceeds the usage of several nations.

Mining firms are thus actively searching for renewable energy sources to power their assets, which is most likely the best course of action that can be taken right now as Bitcoin mining cannot continue if it consistently damages the environment and ecosystem.

Mixed reactions continue

It is worth mentioning that El Salvador's Bitcoin-oriented approach has been received with considerable suspicion, particularly from worldwide financial organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Steve Hanke, Professor of Applied Economics at Johns Hopkins University, raised some concerns about El Salvador's efforts, claiming that it will certainly have long-lasting ramifications, even going as far as to describe it as &lsquoeconomic incompetence'. According to Hanke, legalizing BTC may lead to an economic catastrophe.

Despite the criticisms though, the country's residents seem to be adopting digital currencies as part of their daily lives, with both Starbucks and Papa John's is just a few of the globally recognized chains that have already begun accepting BTC as payment in El Salvador. President Bukele previously stated that just over 2 million citizens are in fact using the government-issued &lsquoChivo' crypto-wallet.

To encourage adoption, the government had previously also distributed $30 in Bitcoin to each account holder in the nation. Furthermore, El Salvador's government may be planning to launch a local cryptocurrency to be used to pay for various services and products.

October 04,2021

SEC Close To Approving Bitcoin ETF... But Not The Kind We Wanted

With many Bitcoin ETF proposals under review by the US SEC, Gary Gensler the chairman restates his support for Bitcoin futures on Wednesday, at the Future of Asset Management North America Conference. Referencing open-end mutual funds invested in bitcoin futures traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Gensler reaffirms his positive outlook for that certain type of Bitcoin ETF. Bitcoin's price seemed to react with gains realized shortly after the announcement. Bitcoin gained 4.5% to trade near $43,400 after showing bearish movement the previous day. This Bitcoin ETF announcement renews speculation and hope of a regulated investment vehicle for the public Bitcoin investments. Critics of futures ETF's argue that this form of ETF does not buy crypto directly on the spot market, and has not been a positive influence on the price of gold since first launched in the US in 2004.

The long-awaited Bitcoin exchange-traded fund might finally happen&mdashbut not in the way many investors expected, or want. Though Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can be easily bought and traded on current exchanges, an ETF would eliminate the need to manage a digital wallet and allow investors to integrate the digital currency into their portfolios through traditional channels. This would surely bring many traditional investors to crypto, and in the case of a Bitcoin ETF that actually bought the underlying asset could result in the price reflecting the increased investment and demand. The same thing cannot necessarily be said about a futures ETF that does not directly own the asset, but instead, bets on its future value, on paper only.

The argument as to which form of ETF is better for Bitcoin is a deep subject worth developing an opinion on. It is important to recognize the difference between the two types of ETFs and draw perspective from historical applications such as gold. Gold and Bitcoin as alternative assets are inversely related to the stock market fluctuations, in that they go up in prices when traditional stock prices decline. This attribute is very attractive to investors as it helps reduce overall portfolio risk. Some believe that an ETF for Bitcoin vs a futures Bitcoin ETF is better because it invests directly in the assets. A Bitcoin futures ETF does not invest directly in the assets, and may even detract from the inverse relationship with stock prices. This is to remove or diminish its key alternative value proposition and enable traditional market players to have more control over the Bitcoin price.

September 30,2021

Nakamoto.Games Attract More VC Funding from Contango Digital Assets

Nakamoto.Games has hit the crypto scene in a big way, attracting the attention of multiple high-quality venture capital funds. Their most recent partnership comes with Canadian venture capital firm Contango Digital Assets. Contango brings a wealth of marketing services to the up-and-coming blockchain game developer. 

Nakamoto Games is launching a suite of play-to-earn games while also providing third-party developers with the tools to launch their own gaming creations on their platform. The gaming platform is working towards becoming the leading player in the growing play-to-earn field. 

All games built on the Nakamoto.Games platform will utilize the native NAKA token. NAKA prize pools will be created each week rewarding the list of top players in each game. The first games on the platform will be seeded by the Nakamoto.Games team. The first of which being Duck Hunters, an homage to the original Nintendo game, Duck Hunt. Users will soon be able to browse and play a marketplace of play-to-earn games. 

According to Statista, the online gaming industry is estimated at roughly 23.8 billion in 2021 and is growing at a rate of over 20% per year. The number of online gamers worldwide is forecast to reach 1.3 billion in the next four years. Nakamoto.Games is looking to solidify itself as a go-to gaming platform for the next generation of play-to-earn games.

In an interview with Contango Managing Director, Mike Grantis says, &ldquoWe're most excited about the potential for Nakamoto.Games to drive network effect by opening up their SDK to third-party developers. By allowing anyone to develop play-to-earn games, they are decentralizing the development of video games and the revenue models associated with building a game."

While this investment constitutes the venture capital firm's first diversification into the world of play-to-earn gaming, Contango is no stranger to fueling growth for early-stage blockchain companies. Amongst a suite of value-added services, Contango offers their investee companies access to a range of white-label marketing services. Contango also works closely with the influencer marketing agency, Influx, to drive educational content creation for their investee projects.

Nakamoto.Games have racked up a network of high-level partners this year (depicted above) and continue their streak with the Contango Digital Assets partnership. The private sale and IDO for the native NAKA token were completed on September 24th on the Synapse Network. To learn more about Nakamoto.Games and the native NAKA token, visit https://nakamoto.games.

September 27,2021

China Bans Bitcoin... Again

Last Friday, China's central bank declared that all cryptocurrency transactions are now officially banned, essentially outlawing decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC). Digital currency-related commercial operations are unlawful financial activities, according to the People's Bank of China. The bank's representatives added that cryptocurrencies must be treated as a serious and credible threat regarding the protection of people's assets.

China has one of the biggest cryptocurrency marketplaces in the world. Disturbances, disruptions, and political orders have often had a significant impact on the overall price of cryptocurrencies in the past, as this is not the first time that the Chinese government has done something like this and it will most likely also not be the last.

Bitcoin's price dropped by a significant margin as a result of the Chinese declaration. It is the latest in China's nationwide assault on what it regards as a risky, speculative asset at best, and a means of money laundering at worst.

Another Day, Another Ban

As alluded to earlier, this is not the first time that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, in general, have been prohibited by China, as similar efforts had been made back in 20132017, and 2018 for instance. In fact, the cryptocurrency market had suffered a huge crash earlier on in 2021 thanks to a similar announcement made by the Chinese government not too long ago which had ordered multiple provinces such as Xinjiang and Sichuan to cease all crypto-mining activities. This had also resulted in numerous members of the Chinese cryptocurrency community fleeing to other countries such as Kazakhstan and the United States.

Most recently, however, multiple Chinese agencies and organizations, which also included the central bank as well as the active involvement of the regulators, have all come together in a collaborative effort to completely eliminate cryptocurrency-oriented operations and activities in the country. These include cryptocurrency transactions, trading, buying, selling, and anything else that the government may deem to be linked to the cryptocurrency industry and market.

An Opportunity to Buy?

While it is true that the most recent efforts by the Chinese government may just be the most aggressive to date, it has nonetheless provided an opportunity. There is the age-old saying of &lsquobuy the dip, sell at the tip', and countless individuals in the cryptocurrency community have hence taken the recent Chinese announcement with relative gusto as they believe that now is the time to purchase more BTC. This makes sense too as once again, this isn't the first time that China has adopted an anti-cryptocurrency sentiment and it probably won't be the last either. Many cryptocurrency enthusiasts, experts, and analysts alike thus believe that no matter what happens from here on out, the cryptocurrency industry can never be truly stopped and so the best thing to do right now would be to buy more cryptocurrency assets. Historical data showing the long-term resilience of Bitcoin strengthens this argument, however, time will be the ultimate deciding factor as to what will actually happen to cryptocurrencies in the future.

September 27,2021

Massari Mainnet Conference Rocked By SEC Subpoenas

An attendee tweeted this past Monday morning that during the recent Mainnet 2021 cryptocurrency conference held in New York, he had witnessed an event speaker getting &lsquocharged by the United States SEC' prior to getting on stage.

The tweet sparked heated debate and rigorous discourse regarding the authenticity of the allegation, the recipient of the alleged subpoena, as well as the overall concept that the Securities and Exchange Commission was exploiting a cryptocurrency event to launch investigations and was reportedly overstepping its boundaries.

What just happened?

Attempts to independently verify the allegation were futile, and the attendee in question, namely investor Slava Rubin, has yet to reply to a follow-up request for clarification. Numerous attendees claimed, however, that multiple individuals were indeed served by the regulatory agency during the event.

Nevertheless, reports of the event were quickly corroborated by Ryan Selkis, the founder of Messari which was also sponsoring the conference. Ryan claimed in a tweet that the idea that these individuals could waltz into the event unannounced and uninvited without paying for a ticket and serving one of the speakers a subpoena has now in fact motivated him to compete for Kirsten Gillibrand's Senate position in 2024.

What does this mean going forward?

We can expect similar developments in the future if the SEC develops a habit of utilizing cryptocurrency meetings, events, gatherings, and conferences to serve subpoenas to potential targets. This tendency could have an impact on foreign nationals in particular, who may evade the authorities more easily if they just stay out of the United States' jurisdiction.

Furthermore, there are regulations that govern how individuals in corporations abroad must be served with subpoenas, according to blockchain attorney Daniel Payne. It would hence be a lot simpler as well as easier to issue these subpoenas when these foreign nationals enter the United States, and so this is definitely a technique that government officials have used before and in all likelihood will continue to do so going forward, he added.

Risk of getting left behind

It is becoming abundantly clear that the SEC is hell-bent on regulating the cryptocurrency sector as much as possible, as was made increasingly evident by federal and state regulators in the United States who have steadily increased their public-facing engagement in the industry. The still ongoing case against Ripple is a prime example of this.

Moreover, as the campaign against the stablecoins also rages on, one cannot help but wonder as to whether it would be more beneficial to simply avoid becoming involved with the U.S altogether as far as the cryptocurrency community, market, and industry may be concerned. American crypto enthusiasts are therefore worried that the country risks being left behind as the world continues to usher in a new age of decentralization.

September 27,2021

Dapper Labs Raises Another 250M at $7.6B Valuation

Dapper Labs, creator of NFT fantasy basketball platform NBA Top Shot, raises another $250M in a funding round that closed September 21, 2021. This Vancouver-based company continues to impress and attract investors with innovation and vision. The lead investor for this round was Coatue, but existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, GV, and Version One Ventures have all increased their exposure. New investors like BOND and GIC have also joined the group. Dapper Lab's development of popular application-level NFT products like Top Shot and work on groundbreaking blockchain projects like Crypto Kitties have broken ground for the NFT industry and lay the tracks for future winning products.

Best known for their creations CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot, Dapper Labs looks to expand the collectible lineup. Top Shot allows users to buy and trade blockchain-certified NFT digital representations of NBA players, and great video sports moments associated with players. Dapper Labs has just signed a new partnership with LaLiga, the Spanish football association. The circulation of these digital NFT collectibles can be controlled through minting, and as a result similar to their paper counterparts, their value is expected to increase over time.

NFT offerings like this require a blockchain to exist, and Dapper Labs proves to have the required known how to provide that as well. Building popular application-level NFTs and supplying the infrastructure to power them, amazing accomplishments indeed. Dapper Labs has developed blockchain FLOW, providing scalability, and built for practical use cases, such as NBA Top Shot. Dapper Labs expects to launch its LaLiga experience in June 2022, which no doubt will be hosted on their blockchain FLOW.

Dapper Labs has a bright future and is worthy of the confidence these investment rounds demonstrate. They lead the way in popularizing NFT as a user-friendly means to digital collecting, which to an extent replicates, and is not too far removed from hard copy trading card collecting. This statement is somewhat misleading as it could be easily said that NBA Top Shot is the superior, more engaging, and most permanent form for collecting sports "cards" and memorabilia.

September 22,2021

Seasoned VC Everse Capital Expands Gaming Exposure

Venture capital company Everse Capital, a seasoned cryptocurrency and gaming investor, recently expanded its exposure in the blockchain gaming market by committing long-term funding and support to play-to-earn startup Nakamoto GamesNakamoto Games is working towards becoming the leading player in the growing play-to-earn field. Nakamoto Games is launching a sublime suite of play-to-earn games while also providing third-party developers with the tools to launch their own gaming creations.

For Everse Capital, this is not the first foray into either the blockchain or gaming industry. Everse Capital holds a broad portfolio of disruptive cryptocurrency startups and has helped each of them maximize their potential in the market by providing versatile incubation services. 

Within gaming, Everse Capital provided funding and long-term support to Star Atlas, a next-generation gaming platform that allows gamers to immerse themselves in a cutting-edge decentralized gaming environment. Everse Capital has also provided significant support to other gaming projects like Alien Worlds. Underpinned by the WAX blockchain, Everse Capital has helped Alien Worlds become one of the most active gaming decentralized gaming applications.

Beyond gaming, Everse Capital is also an astute investor in the rapidly growing fields of Web3, DeFi, and NFTs. Everse Capital has invested and supported countless projects which are on the frontier of innovation in their respective fields. Examples of such sublime projects include PolkaDEX, a leading decentralized exchange on the Polkadot network, and Mercurial Finance, a Solana-based decentralized liquidity provider, Coin 98AIOZ, and Orion Money.

Everse Capital has provided versatile assistance to all of its supported startups. Everse provides resources and helps in areas such as fundraising, community building, marketing, industry connections, and legal support. The value of such support is evident from their exemplary track record as a venture capital company. Each of their supported startups have grown exponentially since Everse began providing their support. As Everse increases its exposure to blockchain-based gaming with its latest investment in Nakamoto Games, the play-to-earn startup is lining up to embark on a phase of extraordinary growth.

September 20,2021

Hedera Council Earmarks $5 Billion In HBAR Tokens to Drive Platform Adoption

The alternating governing council of 23 institutions at Hedera Hashgraph has set aside just below 11 billion HBAR tokens (which are worth about $5 billion) to enhance network adoption. Hedera also recently announced that just over 5 billion tokens (worth $2.5 billion) would be donated to the newly formed HBAR Foundation. The remainder would be allocated to various programs targeted at bolstering the growth of Hedera's ecosystem.

For those who might be unaware, Hedera is a transactional distributed ledger that uses a novel consensus technique called hashgraph to handle a greater number of transactions at scale comparative to traditional PoS (Proof-of-Stake) and PoW (Proof-of-Work) networks. The gossip protocol, a method of transmitting and receiving messages between nodes influenced by human chatter, epidemics, as well as social networks, is used to reach consensus in the hashgraph. Leading worldwide businesses such as LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science), Tata Communications, Wipro and Boeing all oversee and govern the platform.

HBAR Foundation

The HBAR foundation, led by M&A industry and software expert Shayne Higdon , shall be an autonomous entity that has complete control over how the HBAR tokens it receives are deployed. The foundation intends to increase the Hedera network's usage in DeFi, NFTs, CBDCs, and other interesting areas such as that of gaming.

Shayne stated that the primary objective is to hence finance a future in which entrepreneurs build digitally native ecosystems and economies, as well as manage their own assets, markets, data, identities, and so much more. He added that his team is therefore thrilled to work with and assist anyone who shares this vision.

What To Expect Going Forward

According to Mance Harmon , Hedera Hashgraph's CEO, the Hedera network is currently the most energy-efficient, widely used, enterprise-grade public ledger that you can find on the market today, before also mentioning that future growth is largely dependent on bringing in more companies. He added that the Hedera Governing Council has thus pledged a major commitment towards accelerating the network's decentralized usage along with its growth.

Moreover, the foundation and certain other development projects will get the allotted HBAR tokens via Hedera Treasury accounts in the near future. At the Governing Council meeting which had taken place on July 14th, the general idea to dedicate 20% of the token supply to developmental projects was agreed upon and granted approval.

Additionally, the HBAR tokens will indeed be included in the released supply, but shall be distributed as grants to apps as well as ecosystem partners who will develop on and use the Hedera network for years to come.

September 20,2021

AMC Theatres Now Accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin & Bitcoin Cash

AMC theatre announces expansion of their support for cryptocurrencies. Last week the revealed that they will soon be accepting ETH (Ethereum), BCH (Bitcoin Cash), and LTC (Litecoin) to the lineup of accepted currencies, with BTC (Bitcoin) announced already. "You will be able to pay for tickets and snacks with crypto at AMC theatres by the end of 2021" proclaims Adam Aron the CEO, in a Tweet.

This is another big step towards mainstream crypto adoption, and AMC hopes to lure a new market of tech savvy customers bearing crypto. While AMC is only one theatre chain, this story speaks to the broader consumer facing adoption of crypto as payment. As these corporate dominos contine to fall, it becomes easier and easier for other corporations to fall in line and make similar moves.

AMC and the MEME Economy

AMC stock price is up 2,100% year to date. This was thanks to the meme-stock frenzy earlier this year, though the price has now pulled back by 15%. Criticism is flying on Twitter regarding AMC's coin selection for acceptance. Some suggesting replacements in the line up such as DOGE (Dogecoin), expressing disappointment, and that AMC did not do their homework. Reading Tweets, &ldquoPerhaps no one in your boardroom is familiar with The People's Crypto, Dogecoin, which embodies the meme economy and the spirit of AMC. After this year I figured you would know a thing or two about the meme economy!". Our stance on this discussion is that, no matter how hard you try, 'you can't please everyone.' The adoption of any cryptocurrency as means of payment is a step in the right direction. Those mediums can change over time, but the inital step is often the hardest.

We are still unsure if AMC plans to hold these cryptocurrencies on their balance sheet, or convert them into cash as soon as they are received. Therefore we cannot say for certian if this is a wholehearted move in support of the crypto industry, or just another attempt to make the MEME economy happy.

September 20,2021

Synapse.Network Partners with Rising Star Nakamoto.Games for IDO launch

The highly anticipated blockchain gaming platform Nakamoto.Games have partnered with Synapse.Network to list their native NAKA token for initial public and private sale. Nakamoto.Games is a play-to-earn gaming ecosystem, complete with a developer SDK, making it easy for any developer to create and monetize their own blockchain games.

The Nakamoto.Games Network Effect

The first project to launch on the platform pays homage to the original Nintendo game, Duck Hunt. Nakamoto.Games will release their modern-day rendition, Duck Hunters, where players spend NAKA tokens to buy ammo. The Nakamoto team is also hard at work building a suite of other games that will be launched at a later date. All games built on their platform will run on their native currency, NAKA tokens. All NAKA tokens spent in-game will be added to a prize pool that is periodically distributed to the top players of each game, providing an economic incentive for playing. We suspect that the carefully planned token economics, matched with the network effect created by the developer SDK will catapult Nakamoto.Games to the forefront of the crypto gaming ecosystem.

1st Gem on Synapse.Network

There was a lot of excitement from both communities when Nakamoto.Games announced their partnership with the cross-chain launchpad Synapse.Network for the launch. Synapse.Network is the world's first truly cross-chain project finance platform. Synapse is less than one month removed from their blistering public sale which saw the price of the SNP token skyrocket from $0.08 to over $0.70 in under 24 hours. Synapse has wasted no time and excited the community once again by choosing Nakamoto.Games as their first IDO listing on their platform.

September 13,2021

10T Holdings Raises $750 Million For First Growth Equity Funds

As investment in the crypto industry has exploded this year, private equity company 10T Holdings has received over $400 million in commitments for its initial two growth equity funds relating to digital asset firms.10T raised about $750 million for the initiative, which includes the 10T Fund as well as the 10T DAE Expansion Fund, through co-investment and sub-advised vehicles. According to the firm, the majority of the cash has already been allocated.

&lsquoDemand for the offering was fantastic', - Dan Tapiero

The 10T Fund initially closed with roughly $120 million this past January, according to CEO Dan Tapiero, who noted that the demand regarding the offering was indeed so high that the business kept it available to investors. Furthermore, the fund's initial couple of investments, namely concerning that of both eToro and Kraken, grew astronomically, per the words of the CEO. With the exception of these two, the business opted to establish the 10T DAE Expansion Fund to make investments in the same organizations as the inaugural fund. The portfolios are therefore divided into three categories, namely bridges to virtual asset ecosystems, blockchain infrastructure firms, and finally next-generation financial services.

The CEO stated that the aim was always to include up to four businesses within every 'box', so to speak, and establish a diversified exposure for traders. The investors in question primarily consist of those who do not possess a comprehensive understanding of tokens, cryptocurrencies, protocols, or early-stage enterprises, as well as those who may not be all that venture-oriented.

What to Expect for Bitcoin and Crypto in General

The CEO predicts that BTC's price would rise to somewhere between $300,000 and $500,000 within the next three to four years. He added that the argument could be made for much higher numbers, but that the aforementioned range is more or less reasonable as of this time. He added that even now, only a decade or so after Bitcoin had burst onto the scene, the asset could be undervalued and many still fail to realize just how much of a global impact its introduction has truly had.

Of course, this is not to say that Bitcoin doesn't have its fair share of critics, as naysayers have been spouting the same rhetoric for a long time and continue to do so about how the world's biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization will not last in the long-term. For his part, Tapiero believes that while the younger generation is on board with cryptocurrencies, those aged above 60 are still not entirely convinced.

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