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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Crypto Supports Formula 1 Racing in Modern Technology , Says Mercedes Lead

With 80% of racing teams in the 2022 Formula 1 (F1) grid featuring at least one crypto sponsor, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes that cryptocurrencies are part of modern technology that cannot be ignored.

Wolff pointed out:

“I think when we are looking back in 10 years’ time having made payments that take two days and can’t be done outside of week hours, it is something that is going to be a relic of the past and this is where cryptocurrency has come in.”

The partnership between Formula 1 and crypto companies was inevitable based on the growth experienced in the cryptocurrency market, according to Wolff.

He added:

“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.”

F1 is the highest international racing class for open-wheel single-seater formula racing cars, and the Mercedes team faced fierce competition from Red Bull last year. It was a battle of titans between Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes and Max Verstappen of Red Bull.

Wolff also noted that caution should be taken regarding the energy sustainability issue linked to cryptocurrencies. He stated:

“The sustainability argument is extremely important, but it is not only about mining and the energy it consumes but also where the energy comes from.”

The presence of crypto companies in the sporting arena continues to be felt based on the whopping amounts being invested.

For instance, to get more limelight during the annual playoff championship game of the National Football League (NFL) called the Super Bowl, crypto exchange spent $6.5 million on a 30-second ad that featured LeBron James, NBA’s four-time most valuable player (MVP).

Coinbase, a US-based crypto exchange, spent more than double this amount at $14 million for its Super Bowl advertisement. 

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Mercedes partners with NFT artists to celebrate G-Class series

Mercedes has teamed up with Art2People to create an exclusive Mercedes-Benz NFT collection based on its G-Class vehicle line, according to a tweet by the luxury automobile manufacturer.

Five artists were commissioned to create various G-Class-inspired works in a range of media, resulting in unique designs for each artwork.

For this project, five artists from the NFT industry were selected to interpret the G-Class in their own style. The artists involved come from diverse areas, such as music, fashion, graphic design, architecture, creative marketing, luxury design and real estate. The artists include Charlotte Taylor, Anthony Authie, Roger Kilimanjaro, Baugasm and Germany-based Antoni Tudisco. Nifty Gateway and Mercedes will launch the NFTs on Sunday.

Related: Korean Bithumb exchange to launch NFT marketplace

Mercedes is not the first major brand to be involved with NFTs. In June 2021, McLaren unveiled its intention to utilize NFTs to create virtual versions of its legendary F1 automobiles. In July 2021, Coca-Cola launched a unique NFT initiative to raise money for Special Olympics International.

This isn’t the first time Mercedes-Benz has been involved with blockchain technology. The car manufacturer teamed up with blockchain startup Circulor to launch a trial to ensure that cobalt emissions are tracked throughout the supply chain.