Mercedes F1 Team Terminates FTX Partnership

Mercedes formula one (F1) team suspended its sponsorship deal with troubled crypto exchange FTX.  

Therefore, starting with the Brazilian Grand Prix, the team’s cars will not bear FTX logos. Mercedes stated:

“As a first step, we have suspended our partnership agreement with FTX. This means the company will no longer appear on our race car and other branded assets from this weekend. We will continue to monitor the situation closely as it evolves.”

This decision was reached based on the fast-changing situation, given that FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy based on a liquidity crisis at the exchange. Moreover, the exchange’s CEO Sam Bankman-Fried resigned. 

The FTX saga unfolded several days ago after an 8 billion black hole emerged in its finances. Reportedly, this liquidity crisis surfaced after Sam Bankman-Fried transferred at least $4 billion to Alameda Research, FTX’s trading arm, with part of the funds being customer deposits. 

FTX’s downfall is also being linked to Bankman-Fried’s decision to save struggling crypto firms as the bear market continued to bite. 

Therefore, the bankruptcy route seemed inevitable, given that Binance halted its FTX acquisition plans, citing misappropriation of customer funds. 

The sponsorship deal between Mercedes F1 team and FTX was not all rosy, given that the latter called off this year’s Miami Grand Prix.

Meanwhile, earlier this year, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff acknowledged that cryptocurrencies could not be ignored because they were part of modern technology because 80% of racing teams in the 2022 F1 grid featured at least one crypto sponsor. 

“You can’t shut yourself down to modern technology. It is definitely an area that will grow. They have become a major player in the financial world and obviously seek exposure through Formula 1. We all benefit from it but also learn from it,” Wolff stated. 

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McLaren Racing Taps Tezos for NFT Platform

Key Takeaways

  • McLaren Racing is partnering with Tezos to build an NFT platform for fans. It will include the team’s Formula One, INDYCAR, and esports pursuits.
  • The Formula One team selected Tezos as its partner because of the blockchain’s low carbon footprint.
  • McLaren Racing team members will wear Tezos branding at Formula One races.

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Another Formula One team joins the NFT rush. 

McLaren Racing Links With Tezos 

McLaren Racing is getting into NFTs.

The popular Formula One team has partnered with Tezos in a multi-year arrangement to create a fan-focused NFT platform. The project will involve McLaren Racing’s Formula One, INDYCAR,  and esports ventures. 

According to the press release, McLaren has selected Tezos based on its energy-efficient capabilities. The blockchain uses a Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm to process transactions, which consumes far less energy than Proof-of-Work networks like Bitcoin (Ethereum also currently uses Proof-of-Work, though it has plans to merge to Proof-of-Stake sometime this year). The Proof-of-Stake mechanism allows Tezos to operate with a low carbon footprint, meaning it can efficiently mint NFTs. 

NFTs, otherwise known as non-fungible tokens, are tokenized assets that live on a blockchain like Tezos. They can encompass digital art, music, digital trading cards, memes, tweets, and just about anything else on the Internet (they sometimes have a physical representation such as a painting too). As the data for an NFT gets recorded on-chain, each token offers provable ownership and scarcity of an asset. NFTs have faced some criticism over the environmental impact of Proof-of-Work, though Tezos offers a solution to that problem. 

NFTs have proven popular in Formula One and many other sports this year. Red Bull Racing announced a partnership with Tezos last month; the team also selected the blockchain for its energy efficiency. Meanwhile, Aston Martin’s Formula One team have taken steps towards crypto adoption, signing a sponsorship deal with in March. 

Full details of McLaren Racing’s platform are yet to be revealed, though the team’s Director of Licensing, e-commerce, and esports said that the partnership would center on the Formula One team’s fans. She added: 

“At McLaren we are known for putting fans at the heart of everything we do, and this is another partnership which allows us to enter a space where fans can own key pieces of our team. We are looking forward to launching the platform with Tezos to create bespoke NFTs with our Formula One, INDYCAR, and esports teams.” 

As part of the partnership, the team’s race suits and drivers will include Tezos branding. 

Hubertus Thonhauser, chair at the Tezos Foundation, added that he was excited to work with a team with “one of the longest and most illustrious legacies in Formula One,” noting that brands will need to embrace blockchains to stay at the cusp of innovation. 

McLaren Racing was founded in 1963 and has been a leading Formula One team for close to six decades. It’s won the championships 20 times. 

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this feature owned ETH, ETH2X-FLI, and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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Red Bull Racing Team to Use Tezos for First NFT Drop

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The Formula One team has selected Tezos for its first NFT release.

Red Bull Racing Team Eyes Tezos 

Red Bull’s Formula One racing team is partnering with Tezos, it was announced Thursday. 

Red Bull Racing Honda is joining with the smart contract platform to release a series of NFTs for fans. The Tezos blockchain specifically has been selected for its energy efficiency, according to a press release. Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Honda Team Principal and CEO, said of the update: 

“Tezos’ ability to remain at the cutting edge of blockchain technology makes it a natural fit for Red Bull Racing Honda. Crucially, its energy-efficient design also matches our own long-term future environmental ambitions, and as Formula One moves towards carbon neutrality, the low-impact methodology pioneered by Tezos will be a valuable asset.” 

He added that using Tezos for its first NFT drop would allow the team to engage with Formula One fans. NFTs, also known as non-fungible tokens, have had a breakout year in 2021, attracting the attention of sports teams, musicians, digital artists, and celebrities alike. To date, they’ve mostly appeared on Ethereum, though that’s starting to change as development grows on other chains. Hubertus Thonhauser, Chair at Tezos Foundation, commented on the partnership, highlighting Tezos’ efficiency: 

“The Tezos blockchain is designed to evolve and adapt, doing so with security and performance in mind and in the most efficient ways possible. These principles are perfectly mirrored in the Red Bull Racing Honda team, and this is why we believe this to be a winning partnership.” 

Tezos has had a strong year along with the rest of the crypto market, though its XTZ token has suffered in this week’s drawdown. Down 38.5% in the last two weeks, it’s trading at $4.08 today, which puts Tezos’ market cap at roughly $3.4 billion. 

Red Bull Racing Honda isn’t the only Formula One team to jump into crypto this year: in March, it was announced that Aston Martin’s Formula One team would be sponsored by The deal made the first cryptocurrency company to sponsor a Formula One team.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this feature owned ETH, ETH2X-FLI, and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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Nifty News: NFT searches at ICO-mania levels, a robot and Snoop Dog drop NFTs, plus more

Interest in non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, has surged to almost the level of searches for the term ‘ICO’ during the 2017 bull market mania, according to data from Google Trends. With eight days left in March, the current spike in interest could even surpass interest in ICOs back then, which would be an impressive feat indeed.

The Initial Coin Offering mania in 2017 was partly the cause, and partly the result, of the 2017 bull run that culminated in Bitcoin peaking just shy of $20,000.

Given NFTs span gaming, music, art, virtual land — and can even represent real world objects like houses — they potentially have a much larger audience than the predominately finance and tech people who were drawn to ICOs.

Search interest for NFT vs. ICO. Source: Google Trends

Search interest has no doubt been sparked by the mainstream media enthusiastically covering NFTs being sold for jaw dropping prices including a collage from digital artist Beeple selling at Christie’s for $69 million and music producer 3LAU selling his new album as NFTs for $11.7 million.

Snoop Dog, Lionel Richie, and Boy George

Cryptocurrency exchange has announced it will launch a new NFT marketplace featuring drops from Snoop Dog, Lionel Richie, and Boy George along with James Bond’s favorite Formula One team Aston Martin. The platform, which is due to open on March 26, will focus on “delivering unique content from popular artists, musicians, athletes, and sports.

Aston Martin’s Cognizant Formula One team will launch a series of moments on the platform, capitalizing on the success of sports memorabilia platforms including NBA Top Shot and Sorare. Managing Director of the team Jefferson Slack stated:

“The collection of NFTs we’re making available capture the very first moments of our return to F1 after more than six decades.”

The new Aston Martin team makes its F1 race debut in Bahrain, on 28 March

Do the robot

Art created by Gaka-Chu, an autonomous robot developed by the Robonomics team, is currently being auctioned on NFT marketplace Rarible. The robot has actually been creating art for more than three years now, but this is reportedly the first time work created by the robot has been sold as an NFT.

The unique aspect is the fine art created by the robot is entirely self-managed, with the creation process recorded and included in the NFT. One piece, with a current bid of $1,674, features the robot drawing the Ethereum logo with the attached quote, “It would never happen without Ethereum. I can work, create and live my best life.”

3 Million GameTalkTalk users can soon mint ‘carbon neutral’ NFTs

Enjin has partnered with Ludena Protocol to integrate “eco-friendly NFTs” into Korea’s top social gaming app GameTalkTalk. The partnership will allow the app’s 3 million users to create their own NFTs for digital fashion, pets and real estate.

According to a release, Enjin’s multi-chain approach will reduce the impact of NFT minting on the environment (a hot button issue right now) through a number of technologies, including JumpNet, a gas-free scaling solution. The app also will showcase the technology to large gaming brands including Blizzard and SEGA.

$500,000 digital home on Mars

Mars House: Courtesy of Krista Kim

An NFT collector has paid $500,000 for a digital home in a Mars-like landscape. That’s more than most homes go for here in the physical world on Earth.

“Mars House” sold on Superrare earlier this week for 288 ETH. Krist Kim, the creator, dubbed it as the first true digital home, and it was designed in collaboration with an architect, using video game software.

In the Instagram post, Kim explained that the new owner could bring the home and furniture to life with the help of a team of glass furniture-makers based in Italy. Kim also has a strong vision that the art could be projected in a physical house.

“Everyone should install an LED wall in their house for NFT art.”

So in theory you could potentially show off your $500,000 NFT home on the wall of your $300,000 condo.


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