Argentinian football legend Lionel Messi has partnered with Ethernity Chain to launch an NFT collection named Messiverse, a set of digitized drawings authenticated by Messi himself.
The Messiverse Collection
Messi announced the Messiverse on August 4th through a short video on his Instagram profile.
“Soccer is like art: It’s timeless,” he says, followed by invitation to his audience to “discover his first collection of NFT’s on Ethernity.”
The superstar’s collection, as shared on a press release with CryptoPotato, includes four art pieces, each of himself:
- “Man From the Future”– a futuristic portrayal of Messi turned against a blue background, with glowing eyes and a robotic appearance.
- “Worth the Weight”– A golden Messi carrying up a massive soccer ball the way that Atlas carried the heavens.
- “The King Piece”– A chess-themed drawing featuring Messi framed by a ring of soccer balls.
- An unrevealed piece
Each NFT displayed was produced by an Australian artist named “Bosslogic,” renowned on social media for having worked with both Marvel and Disney. The final NFT– yet to be revealed– will be showcased on August 20th- the day the Messiverse will launch.
ERN’s Explosive Rise
The NFT’s have either been received extremely well or are expected to be: ERN token– the native token of Ethernity Chain climbed over 45% in value following Messi’s announcement.
Ethernity Chain is not unfamiliar with such dramatic price surges. The token was worth $74 back in March 2021 and had once even surpassed Bitcoin as the weekly top trending coin in the United States.
Furthermore, the blockchain platform makes its name from its partnerships with other superstars. Others such as pro hockey player Alex Ovechkin and former UFC champion Anderson Silva have launched their own respective collections with Ethernity.
According to their website, Ethernity Chain “aims to build the most exclusive NFT library and reward its creators and the community.”
Featured image by Marca.
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This “Crypto City” guide looks at Melbourne’s crypto culture, the city’s most notable projects and people, its financial infrastructure, which retailers accept crypto and where you can find blockchain education courses — and there’s even a short history with all the juicy details of famous controversies and collapses.
Australia’s second-largest city may lack Sydney’s amazing harbor views, but it makes up for it with a focus on art, sports and culture. There are more live music venues here per capita than any other city in the world, and the city has produced heaps of notable acts, including Nick Cave, Men at Work, The Avalanches and Kylie Minogue.
Located on the southern coast of Australia, Melbourne wasn’t founded until almost 50 years after Sydney, but it quickly became the wealthiest place in the world during the Gold Rush, from the 1850s to 1880s. It’s a very multicultural city, with the 10th-largest immigrant population globally. The city also ranks at number 27 on the Global Financial Centers Index and is home to the Australian Rules football code, the Australian Grand Prix and the Australian Open. It was the filming location for the first Mad Max film alongside Chopper and Animal Kingdom. Politically, Melbourne is more left-wing than any other city in the country and is home to the union movement.
Melbourne embraced cryptocurrencies early on, and a thriving community was built up through regular meetups including Blockchain Melbourne, Women in Blockchain, Web3 Melbourne and futureAUS. Karen Cohen, deputy chairperson of Blockchain Australia, recalls there being a huge influx of newcomers during the ICO boom in 2017.
“The meetup culture was really exciting. We couldn’t get enough space, so people were watching our meetups on Facebook Live because they couldn’t get into the room because it was so busy.”
Talk & Trade meetups were held every Wednesday from 2015 to 2019 at the Blockchain Centre. Located at the Victorian Innovation Hub in the docklands, the Blockchain Centre was the heart of the community in real life, at least until the coronavirus pandemic struck.
Melbourne has been home to numerous crypto exchanges since 2013, and a plethora of ICOs were also founded in the city in 2017 and 2018, including CanYa, which operates freelancer platform CanWork, and blockchain voting company Horizon State.
While the pandemic has moved most things online for the past 18 months, Blockchain Australia hosted a series of events at YBF Ventures in the Melbourne central business district (CBD) for the national Blockchain Week earlier this year, and Talk & Trade is now held at RMIT, in between lockdowns.
With live events beginning to reemerge as vaccine rates slowly grind up, YBF Ventures will relaunch its blockchain community meetups, supported by Cohen as the expert in residence for blockchain. “2020, sadly, has been hard with COVID, so it’s had to move online,” she says. “But I think if we were able to meet in real life, it would still have very much a meetup culture.”
Projects and companies
Melbournites appear very interested in solving the problem of interblockchain communication, with at least three major cross-chain projects having strong ties to the city. CanYa founder JP Thor helped found the cross-chain decentralized liquidity protocol THORChain, and some of the anonymous local devs from THORChain went on to work on a similar project called Sifchain. Melbourne’s Simon Harman founded another cross-chain automated market maker, Chainflip, along with the privacy project Loki, which is now known as Oxen.
Web 3.0 developer studios Flex Dapps and TypeHuman are located here, as is the white-label blockchain services provider Pellar, whose infrastructure processes 10 million requests a day from around the world. Researchers from the government-run Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and Monash University invented the MatRiCT technology (licensed to Hcash), which protects crypto from being cracked by quantum computers. NFT digital racehorse game Zed Run just raised $20 million from investors including TCG and Andreessen Horowitz. Algorand also has a noticeable presence in Melbourne, including through the Meld gold platform and Algomint.
Chris Hemsworth, @THORChain CEO, 2021 pic.twitter.com/4MDli8anpW
— Fede ⚡️ (@ledgermex) May 14, 2021
Crypto exchanges headquartered in Melbourne include BTC Markets, Cointree, CoinSpot, CoinJar, noncustodial exchange Elbaite and OTC service Caleb and Brown. Major global fiat-to-crypto on-ramp Banxa is also based in the city.
Up-and-coming projects include insurance platform Day By Day, onboarding and fraud protection platform FrankieOne and accounting software AEM. DeFi-focused crypto fund Apollo Capital — which is a big investor in Synthetix and Internet Computer, among others — is also based in Melbourne. Apollo’s chief investment officer, Henrik Andersson, co-founded the decentralized pool trading platform dHEDGE and yield platform mStable (and helped out with a few ideas for this guide).
The first Bitcoin ATM was installed at the Emporium in 2014, but there are only 13 Bitcoin ATMs dotted around Melbourne, mostly in big shopping centers. Australian banks have a slightly wary approach to crypto — while many banks are happy to allow users to send funds to exchanges, plenty of users have reported being suddenly debanked, especially those running crypto-related businesses. “They close accounts at will based on crypto use, and we’ve seen that happen, so they’re still not supportive as an industry,” says Cohen.
The New Payments Platform in Australia is something of a competitor to crypto (at least in terms of payments), allowing instant, 24/7 bank transfers using a phone number or email address. Often referred to as PayID, it was cited by the Reserve Bank of Australia as a reason that a central bank digital currency is not needed in Australia just yet. There are hundreds of retailers here in the Blueshyft network (Synthetix founder Kain Warwick’s other project) that accept cash payments over the counter for crypto exchanges.
Where can I spend crypto?
According to Coinmap, you’ll struggle to spend cryptocurrency directly in Melbourne at present, with fewer than 40 retail outlets accepting Bitcoin. (By way of comparison, Ljubljana in Slovenia has half the population but 554 crypto-accepting merchants.) It wasn’t always like this, with swathes of Melbourne cafes and businesses accepting crypto a few years ago, but then removing the option after it failed to take off.
Many retailers used the crypto payment service from TravelbyBit; however, it was dropped after the company merged with Travala in mid-2020. Australia’s oldest, biggest board game retailer in the CBD, Mind Games, gladly accepts Bitcoin via the Lightning Network. You can also learn rock climbing at Melbourne Climbing School, get fit at the women’s-only Fernwood Gym in Bulleen, get your computer fixed at Another World Computer Centre in Coburg or grab some raver gear from Ministry of Style in Collingwood.
If you’re relying on Coinmap’s data, note that some retailers featured have since gone out of business (most likely due to the pandemic), including cult book store Polyester Books, gift shop Vera Chan and various cafes.
Approximately 20 small businesses accept Bitcoin Cash, according to Bitcoin.com, including Japanese wellness clinic Sensu Spa and ties and cufflinks merchant Jay Kirby Ties in the CBD.
Despite the lack of merchants accepting direct crypto payments, you can pay for pretty much everything in Melbourne using crypto via intermediary services that transform it into cash. Living Room of Satoshi lets you pay any Bpay biller or bank account using 18 different cryptocurrencies.
RMIT University’s Blockchain Innovation Hub studies the social and business implications of blockchain, while Monash University’s Blockchain Technology Centre provides training and conducts research. There’s a Blockchain Innovation Lab at Swinburne University and Deakin University, both of which conduct research.
Controversies and collapses
Auscoin was perhaps the most controversial project to emerge from the city. Founded by Lambo-driving souvlaki chain-store owner Sam Karagiozis, the token was created to fund the rollout of 1,200 Bitcoin ATMs. The Aussie version of 60 Minutes dubbed it an “$80 million scam” that was built on nothing more than “grandiose promises,” although the ICO only raised $2 million. Auscoin was ordered by AUSTRAC to cease operations after Karagiozis was charged with trafficking 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of drugs via the dark web.
Elsewhere, up to 200 investors lost about $10 million between them when Melbourne-based crypto exchange ACX mysteriously collapsed at the end of 2019. It was operated by Blockchain Global, whose founder Sam Lee was instrumental in setting up the Blockchain Centre.
Another local exchange that mysteriously folded was MyCryptoWallet. Founded in 2017, National Australia Bank froze its accounts in early 2019. The exchange found alternate banking services and recovered temporarily, but later that year, users found they had lost access to their funds. As of April, they had yet to recover their funds, and Australia’s corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, was said to be looking into it. Huobi Australia launched in Melbourne in 2018 but quickly shuttered due to a lack of business during crypto winter. Horizon State, a promising blockchain-based voting platform, launched in Melbourne and then moved to New Zealand where it was on the verge of doing great things when a mysterious court case back in Melbourne scuppered the entire project. In a happy ending, the community is resurrecting it from the ashes with a crowd equity raise.
BREAKING: Auscoin founder, Sam Karagiozis, faces charges of trafficking cocaine, ice and other drugs, but he has now been granted bail to attend his brother’s wedding. https://t.co/aGuzMRcYcR
— The Greek Herald (@greek_herald) January 5, 2021
Ethereum influencer Anthony Sassano; BTC Markets CEO Caroline Bowler; Apollo Capital chief investment officer Henrik Andersson; A. J. Milne of Meld Ventures and Algomint; Blockchain Australia CEO Steve Vallas; Tom Nash and Alex Ramsey of Flex Dapps; Women in Blockchain International manager Akasha Indream; Algorand Foundation chief operating officer Jason Lee; CanYa and THORChain founder JP Thor; “Satoshi’s sister” Lisa Edwards; Blockchain Centre founder Sam Lee (also of the now-defunct ACX); RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub professor Jason Potts; Joseph Liu, director of the Monash Blockchain Technology Centre and inventor of the tech behind Monero; Oxen chief technology officer Kee Jefferys; Emerging Tech Talent founder Karen Cohen; Ethitech head of education Anouk Pinchetti; TypeHuman director Nick Byrne; Auscoin founder Sam Karagiozis; and blockchain law specialists Joni Pirovich of Mills Oakley and John Bassilios of Hall & Wilcox. Cointelegraph team members and contributors based in Melbourne: Andrew Fenton, Brian Quarmby, Kelsie Nabben.
Suggestions for additions to this guide are welcome. Please email: email@example.com
Crypto Analyst Nicholas Merten recently said in a video analysis session on YouTube that Ethereum’s price is poised to explode. Merten pointed out that price analysis really isn’t the reason that the number 2 cryptocurrency is set to explode, but what the market dominance shows that actually shows this. This shows through when the cryptocurrency market dominance is measured.
Merten believes that current market trends are very similar to what was done in the market back in 2017. Going back to when the last bull market had started in 2017. Before fizzling out and turning into a full-blown bear market by the time the middle of the year 2018 rolled around. The current trends of higher lows that have been seen so far in the market continue to mirror the cycle of 2015 when Ethereum had started to show momentum in the market.
Related Reading | How Much Is Your Love Worth? Polish Influencer Sells “Love” As NFT
This momentum had continued on for Ethereum straight through 2016 and all the way into 2017, leading up to the bull cycle that had begun in November 2017. Ethereum has so far maintained momentum despite a variety of competition in the market. It continues to hold market dominance around the 19% to 20% range.
“This showcases that this is a critical metric we need to watch for because we’re testing around that 20% range. One-fifth of the market share going towards Ethereum,” Merten said.
The Key To Another Shoot-Up
Market dominance continues to be a good way to gauge how the price of a coin is going to do in the crypto market. Number 1 cryptocurrency Bitcoin, continues to maintain the majority market share, and as such, continues to be the most valuable coin in the market.
But with Ethereum picking up more market share, there is no doubt that ETH is becoming more of a valuable asset. At one point, Etheruem had garnered as much as 32% market share. Showing how fast the cryptocurrency is gaining value ahead of other coins in the market.
Related Reading | Why Another Wave Up For Altcoins Is Probable According To BTC Dominance
Also relevant is the fact that Ethereum is much younger crypto than Bitcoin. Recently celebrating its fifth year anniversary, Ethereum has continued outperformed number 1 crypto Bitcoin. Despite the latter being twice as old in the market.
Continuing further, Merten said, “This showcases that this is a really critical metric we need to watch for. And that is a huge psychological level because once we broke through that range, we climbed all the way up here to 32% market dominance. An over 50% increase of previous ownership of market share.”
Ethereum Breaking From Bitcoin
Ethereum continues to see uptrends in the price following the close of last weekend. The coin so far seems to be dissociating from the price of bitcoin and charting its own course upwards. Continuing to rally while the price of bitcoin experienced dips following the latest rally.
ETH price continued to rally while BTC slowed down entering the new week | Source: ETHUSD on TradingView.com
As ETH continues to gain more market dominance, the asset is more likely to rally at its own pace as opposed to following the market trends of bitcoin. This would put Ethereum on love ground with the pioneer cryptocurrency if the value of ETH stops being reliant on the value of BTC.
The price of ETH is currently up 7.45% in the last 24 hours, to be trading at $2,678.06 according to CoinDesk.
Featured image from Forex Academy, chart from TradingView.com
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has opened up about the electric car company’s total Bitcoin (BTC) holdings.
Musk says on Twitter that the technology giant owns “close to” 42,000 Bitcoin, which is worth more than $1.60 billion at time of writing, according to CoinGecko.
We don’t have that many Bitcoin, but it’s close
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 28, 2021
Musk personally owns Bitcoin, and his other famous company, aerospace firm SpaceX, holds BTC on its balance sheet as well.
Tesla has endured a $23 million impairment loss related to its Bitcoin holdings, according to the company’s Q2 2021 financial update. The document indicates Tesla spent a total of $1.5 billion on digital asset purchases and has earned $272 million in proceeds from sales of crypto.
Musk’s varying public opinions on Bitcoin are widely believed to have contributed to some of the digital asset’s dramatic price swings in 2021.
The outspoken CEO has said that Tesla will likely start accepting Bitcoin payments again once the mining process becomes more environmentally friendly. He says a verifiable shift away from coal and toward renewable energy may be underway.
“I want to do a little more due diligence to confirm that the percentage of renewable energy usage is most likely at or above 50% and that there is a trend toward increasing that number. If so, Tesla will resume accepting Bitcoin.”
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Featured Image: Shutterstock/Amanita Silvicora
Long-dated Bitcoin options and bulls still make waves with their ultra bullish bets, but even they must admit that the possibility of (BTC) trading above $60,000 in the next couple of months is dim.
Many traders have added leveraged-long positions via futures contracts to chase after the elusive all-time high, but this seems like an unrealistic outcome.
According to Willy Woo, a popular on-chain analyst, exchange outflows and accumulation from BTC miners and whales suggest that Bitcoin price will reach the $50,000 to $65,000 range in the coming sessions.
Even Gary Gensler, the Chair of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, believes that cryptocurrencies won’t go away and will likely play a big role in the future of finance. Therefore, being moderately bullish for the next couple of months will likely yield positive results.
For bullish traders who think Bitcoin price will break to the upside but are unwilling to face the liquidation risks imposed by futures contracts, the “long condor with call options” strategy might yield more optimal results.
Options are a safer bet for avoiding liquidations
Options markets provide more flexibility to develop custom strategies and there are two instruments available. The call option gives the buyer upside price protection, and the protective put option does the opposite. Traders can also sell the derivatives to create unlimited negative exposure, similar to a futures contract.
This long condor strategy has been set for the Sep. 21 expiry and uses a slightly bullish range. The same basic structure can also be applied for bearish expectations, but we’ll assume most traders are looking for upside.
Bitcoin was trading at $37,830 when the pricing took place, but a similar result can be achieved starting from any price level.
The first trade requires buying 1.20 BTC worth of $42,000 call options to create a positive exposure above this price level. Then, to limit gains above $46,000, the trader needs to sell 1.1 BTC contracts of the $46,000 call.
To complete the strategy, the trader needs to sell 1.3 BTC contracts of the $56,000 call, limiting the gains above this price level. Then a $60,000 upside protection call for 1.22 BTC is needed to limit the losses if Bitcoin unexpectedly skyrockets.
Related: Bitcoin price dips below $38K, with bullish traders eyeing a new higher low next
In this situation, the gain far outweighs the loss
The strategy might sound complicated to execute, but the margin required is only 0.0265 BTC, which is also the max loss. The potential net profit happens if Bitcoin trades between $42,950 (up 13.5%) and $59,450 (up 57%).
Traders should remember that it is also possible to close the position ahead of the Sep. 21 expiry if there’s enough liquidity. The max gain occurs between $46,000 and $56,000 at 0.0775BTC, almost three times higher than the potential loss.
With over 50 days until the expiry date, this strategy gives the holder peace of mind because there is no liquidation risk like futures trading.
Another positive is that most derivatives exchanges accept orders as low as 0.10 BTC contracts, meaning a trader could build the same strategy using a much smaller amount.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.
- Previously unseen photos of the late Chris Cornell are up for auction.
- Cryptograph, the company behind the tokens, is giving a portion of the proceeds to charity.
Previously unseen photographs of late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell are being auctioned as .
The photos come courtesy of a company called Cryptograph, which uses and bills itself as a philanthropy-oriented marketplace for crypto collectibles, and are among the last taken of Cornell during his lifetime.
Collectively titled “The Last Session,” they were shot in 2017—the year of Cornell’s death—by the photographer Randall Slavin.
NFTs are non-fungible tokens: a kind of cryptocurrency that can be bought and sold as proof of ownership for files on the internet (in this case, the tokens are attached to the photos themselves).
Cryptograph co-founder Tommy Alastra told Decrypt that it was Slavin who approached him about a potential auction.
“I’m friends with the family and Randall,” he said. “They saw what I was doing, and this space of NFTs that I’ve been in now for a few years. I think that this is the right way to immortalize that legacy and showcase this—and they all felt that it was in good taste.”
Rolling Stone snagged the following statement from Cornell’s widow, Vicky: “I’m so grateful that Chris’s last photoshoot was captured by not only an amazing photographer but a true friend.”
A portion of the proceeds from the auction will go to Phoenix House, a non-profit offering rehabilitation programs for addiction. Alastra said the smart contracts behind Cryptograph’s NFTs are written in such a way as to funnel money to charities in perpetuity: if the Cornell NFTs are resold on the secondary market, some of that money is kicked back to Phoenix House.
“There’s a new model that I believe blockchain technology allows for, and it’s not about constantly asking for a handout,” he explained. “I think that we can really change the way corporations look at this sustainable, perpetual model that I think many are starting to adopt.”
The auction starts tomorrow, August 5, on Cryptograph’s website.
- NFT artwork from Micah Johnson featuring a young Black astronaut character, orbited the Earth via the International Space Station. It will be auctioned for charity.
- Owners of Johnson’s NFTs can help develop the property, including an upcoming feature film based around the character.
Artist Micah Johnson, a former Major League Baseball player, created the character Aku as a response to hearing his four-year-nephew ask his mother: “Can astronauts be Black?”
The character has resonated with fans and collectors since first appearing in artwork in February.“It’s a form of representation that I think is palatable for kids to be able to see what’s possible in space, science, and beyond that,” Johnson told Decrypt in an interview.
Recently, Aku has explored a new frontier: artwork of the character traveled to a server on the International Space Station (ISS), orbited the Earth, and then was returned back home.
It’s billed as the first piece of NFT artwork to travel to space, and the single-edition piece will go on sale next Tuesday, August 11, via NFT marketplace Notables. The process was completed in collaboration with Artemis Music and Nanorocks, the latter of which operates the Bishop Airlock, the first privately-owned commercial infrastructure installed on the International Space Station.
According to Artemis Music, the video source file behind the new Aku NFT was beamed from Nanoracks mission control in Houston, Texas, to the server on the ISS on July 28. The file remained on the server as the station orbited the Earth and then was returned back to the planet just under two hours later. Telemetry and transmission data was maintained to authenticate the process, and is included in the NFT’s smart contract on the blockchain.
“Aku became the first NFT artwork to be flown to the International Space Station and orbit the Earth on July 28th, 2021,” said Artemis Music Entertainment co-founder Bob Richards in a statement. “Our Artemis Space Network test conducted in collaboration with Nanoracks was a world first providing commercial space access supporting a new era of music and entertainment industry connectivity to outer space.”
An NFT is like a deed of ownership to nearly any kind of digital item, be it a video file, still artwork, video game item, or music recording. Alongside the upcoming Aku NFT, a tokenized recording of composer Claude Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” was sent to the ISS, marking it as the first music NFT to travel to space and back. That NFT may be auctioned at a later date.
Richards told Space.com that this transmission test was designed to “prove out communications protocols and the process of minting the digital work into an NFT that would be meaningful, valid, and authentic.” In other words, these could be the first of many digital creations to make the trip to space before being minted as NFTs.
All net proceeds from the Aku NFT sale will benefit Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS), with 50% of the donation to be specifically applied to Historically Black Colleges Universities (HBCUs) and the organization’s minority outreach efforts.
“Anything is possible”
Johnson’s first Aku NFT drops in February found a large audience of collectors, generating a total of $2 million in sales on Nifty Gateway between an open NFT artwork drop and NFTs paired with physical sculptures. A duo of further Aku NFT drops added another $1.27 million in total sales to the pile—and the next piece in the set has now traveled to space ahead of its auction.
“It’s pretty incredible, the process that’s involved with it. You had [Jeff] Bezos and [Richard] Branson going to outer space, and then on the heels of that, we’re sending a Black space character to the space station. I think that’s really powerful,” Johnson told Decrypt. “It really does speak to what I’m trying to convey with Aku: that anything is possible.”
There’s more on the horizon for Aku too. In April, the character was optioned for film and TV projects by Anonymous Content and Permanent Content, the latter the new production company formed by musician Shawn Mendes and manager Andrew Gertler. Aku is billed as the first NFT creation to be optioned for other entertainment projects.
Johnson is using the NFT-centric community that’s building around his crypto-native artwork to allow collectors and fans the opportunity to help develop the Aku intellectual property ahead of the film launch. Recently, he sold a programmable piece of NFT artwork via Christie’s auction called “Hi, my name is,” which enables the buyer to decide the name of Aku’s friend that will be part of the film world.
He told Decrypt that he’s working through other potential methods for bringing in the community even further, including the possibility of using a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) to govern intellectual property decisions. It could include a leadership council of select NFT owners, which would decide on content proposals and ensure consistency despite potential participation from a large group of fans.
“What’s more powerful than allowing fans to directly have participation in the growth and expansion of that IP? I never thought of anything [like this] when I released Aku: I just felt like this character needed to be put out into the world,” Johnson explained. “How can we build out the audience and the Aku brand and message large enough to have an audience that we can potentially directly distribute a film to? That’s the really cool part.”
The co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz – Marc Andreessen – highlighted cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology as a financial revolution. He also praised bitcoin, saying it is not only a digital asset but a network providing numerous options to investors.
Cryptocurrencies Can Build Trusty Relationships
During an interview for Bloomberg, the American entrepreneur Marc Andreessen revealed his reasons what makes digital assets an enduring investment option. He stated that one of their main qualities is that they can “form trusty relationships in an untrusty environment.” He went further, opining that virtual currencies represent a “fundamental technological transformation:”
“We view it as a fundamental technological transformation. So there’s a fundamental breakthrough that has actually happened. So it’s the ability for a lot of people and software on the Internet to be able to form trusty relationships in an untrusty environment.”
Andreessen Horowitz’s co-founder said that the asset class could be kind of confusing for investors. To him, it is like “the parable of the blind man and the elephant,” and that is one reason why some people get distracted and carried away. Still, he outlined that cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology are superior to fiat money.
“Many of the smartest people in computer science are going into this field and they are pushing it forward in a really rapid rate, ” he added.
Andreessen spoke about bitcoin, too, describing it as “an internet computer that’s spread out across hundreds and thousands of physical computers all over the world.” It is a decentralized transaction processing system that can employ various financial operations besides just exchanging money.
Subsequently, he opined that keeping the identity of Bitcoin’s creator as a secret is “one of the most amazing things.” The top executive pointed out that the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto knew from the very beginning how important this move would be and called it “double amazing” how he/she or they could maintain it undisclosed all this time.
Andreessen Horowitz to Launch a $2.2B Cryptocurrency Fund
The Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) recently showed its support towards the digital asset industry and announced its intentions to launch a $2.2 billion fund. The company plans to distribute the amount across blockchain and cryptocurrency start-ups. Katie Haun and Chris Dixon – the leaders of the organization’s virtual assets arm commented:
“The size of this fund speaks to the size of the opportunity before us: crypto is not only the future of finance but, as with the internet in the early days, is poised to transform all aspects of our lives.”
In addition, a16z had hired numerous new personnel for the initiative, including former Securities and Exchange Director Bill Hinman.
Featured Image Courtesy of Stanford.Edu
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Uruguay is joining the recent wave of political initiatives to regulate the and cryptocurrency industry in Latin America, just as Colombia makes moves of its own to update its existing crypto framework.
Yesterday, Uruguayan businessman and Senator Juan Sartori introduced a formal draft of a bill to regulate crypto. The proposed law seeks to fill in legal loopholes related to the crypto industry with the aim of preventing crimes associated with the use of digital assets.
What’s in the Uruguay Bitcoin bill
The bill is relatively broad, which could improve its chances of moving forward, since it does not change any previously defined concepts or create the need to modify the country’s current legal or administrative framework.
The proposed law essentially seeks to regulate the issuance, custody, and trading of crypto assets, leaving crypto mining, such as Bitcoin mining, in a different class of economic activity. It defines crypto assets as “digital products that use cryptographic encryption to guarantee their ownership and ensure the integrity of transactions.” By spelling it out in law, the bill aims to provide clarity to regulatory agencies when establishing rules, avoiding conflicting interpretations.
What’s more, the bill proposes three mandatory licenses for those interested in participating in the cryptocurrency industry.
The first is a license granted to those who act as intermediaries in the markets. In this case, both centralized and peer-to-peer exchanges operating in the country must be registered as such.
The second is a crypto asset custody license—that is to say, any business that safeguards the assets of its clients must have this registration. This category includes wallet providers, cryptocurrency exchanges, and banks and financial entities that would offer services to cryptocurrency users such as savings accounts, custody, and loans.
The third is a license to issue crypto-assets or tokens with financial characteristics. In this sense, ICOs and companies interested in issuing stablecoins or proprietary tokens (not unlike JP Morgan’s JPM Coin in the U.S., for example) must have a proper license before launching their token.
According to the bill, crypto mining will not require these types of special licenses, but it will require a permit granted by the Ministry of Industry. According to the Industrial Registry of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, mining will be considered an “industrial activity”—meaning that it falls under the purview of the Ministry, and the process for obtaining a permit would remain relatively straightforward.
Colombia’s crypto bill moves forward
Meanwhile, in Colombia, Senator Mauricio Toro yesterday announced new advances to his own bill that seeks to enact crypto-friendly regulations in the country.
According to the Colombian senator, the law is fundamentally aimed at controlling the black market, guaranteeing safer transactions, and promoting alternatives to the traditional banking system.
To accomplish this, the bill establishes a series of requirements for national and foreign exchanges seeking to operate in the country, requiring them to register with Colombian authorities. In addition, companies must clearly state their corporate purpose as crypto-asset exchange services to consumers and provide risk disclosures regarding the irreversibility of crypto transactions, should the bill become law.