The World Wrestling Entertainment announced today it will create the corporation’s first-ever non-fungible tokens (NFTs) representing legendary moments from the career of one of the most iconic fighters – The Undertaker. The four-tier drop will be launched ahead of the company’s biggest event this Saturday, April 10th – WrestleMania.
The Deadman as an NFT
WWE announced it will release non-fungible tokens featuring Mark William Calaway, better know by his ring name, The Undertaker. The legendary ex-superstar NFTs, who retired from professional wrestling last year, will be one of the spotlights of this year’s Wrestlemania.
The auction will open this Saturday at 10:30 AM ET. The drop is supposed to be met with significant interest and will last for 37 hours. The end will be on Sunday, April 11th, at 11:30 PM ET.
The Undertaker NFTs will be offered in four tiers – Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. The Platinum and Gold will have minimum open bids of respectively $10,000 and $5,000, while the other two will have fixed prices – $1,000 for the Silver and $100 for the Bronze.
The top option would also provide VIP access, hotel accommodations, a personalized video message from the superstar, as well as a unique WWE Championship Title Belt.
The Gold one – would get the winner two front-row-seat tickets at a Monday Night Raw or Friday Night SmackDown of their choice in 2021 or 2022, a personalized video message, and a signed Title Belt.
The Silver and Bronze tiers would provide more limited benefits to the winners.
World Wrestling Entertainment has partnered with Bitski for the project. With this being announced, it means participants will need to have a Bitski account, and winners will receive NFTs in their wallets.
The Expansion of NFT
Non-fungible tokens have been a hot topic recently as they have enjoyed mass acceptance and adoption from various celebrities and industries.
As CryptoPotato recently reported, the US Major League Baseball team Toronto Blue Jays explored options to take advantage of non-fungible tokens. The team’s President and CEO confirmed the move by indicating that it should enhance fan interest in the sport.
Another fresh example of the increased popularity of NFT is Lindsay Lohan’s plan to release an exclusive NFT collection. The famous American actress reaffirmed her support for non-fungible tokens by partnering with TRON to launch personalized digital art products.
In his turn, the founder of TRON and the CEO of BitTorrent, Justin Sun, went even further. Recently, he bought a painting by Picasso for $20 million, and he intended to tokenize it through the JUST NFT Fund.
Featured Image Courtesy of Wrestling Edge
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Jack Dorsey’s NFT tweet will help the poor in East Africa through an upcoming bitcoin donation. To learn more about this developing story and other news, keep reading.
Jack Dorsey’s NFT Tweet to Help the Poor in East Africa
As the non-fungible token (NFT) craze continues, Jack Dorsey is auctioning his first tweet on Twitter as an NFT. Dorsey posted this tweet on May 6, 2006. The auction is taking place on Valuables and will end on March 21, 2021.
Dorsey has tweeted he will convert the proceeds of this auction to bitcoin and donate them to GiveDirectly. This is a non-profit organization that seeks to end extreme poverty in East Africa. Donations sent to GiveDirectly benefit people in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.
Currently, the highest bidder of this NFT tweet was a Twitter user with the handle @sinaEstavi. He outbid Tron CEO Justin Sun, who had bid $1 million. Estavi bid $2.5 million.
Valuables wrote: “The tweet itself will continue to live on Twitter. What you are purchasing is a digital certificate of the tweet, unique because it has been signed and verified by the creator. Owning any digital content can be a financial investment, hold sentimental value, and create a relationship between collector and creator. Like an autograph on a baseball card, the NFT itself is the creator’s autograph on the content, making it scarce, unique, and valuable.”
Uncertain Regulatory Environment Pushes Crypto Firms Out of South Africa
The uncertain regulatory environment is pushing crypto firms out of South Africa. According to an article on Business Tech, the MTI scam gave regulators in South Africa a jolt and some firms will not wait to see how the matter pans out from a regulatory standpoint.
These crypto firms are planning on moving to Singapore and the UK. That is because Singapore is redrawing legislation to attract crypto firms while the UK is getting requests to embrace cryptocurrencies.
Revix, a crypto investment platform that allows customers to invest in a bundle of cryptocurrencies, is moving its headquarters from Cape Town to the UK. The company is also considering setting up in Germany to scale its operations.
Luno is another crypto company with headquarters in the UK despite being owned by South Africans. The exchange also operates in Singapore.
South African regulators “have been incredibly slow in terms of regulation in the industry and that leads to businesses looking internationally. In an unregulated environment, a customer arrives at our platform with skepticism, and rightfully so,” said Revix CEO Sean Sanders in an interview.
According to Sanders, the uncertainty regarding potential regulation is also making it difficult for crypto firms to market their services on social media platforms thereby limiting growth.
Binance CEO CZ Among the Top Blockchain Billionaires in 2021
Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), is among the top blockchain billionaires in 2021 according to the latest Hurun global list. CZ and 16 other billionaires have cumulative wealth of US$ 77 billion. These billionaires have generated their wealth from running crypto exchanges, investing in cryptocurrencies, and mining crypto.
After facing a price correction in 2018, crypto billionaires are enjoying a boost in their wealth thanks to the recent bull run.
The top five billionaires are Brian Armstrong of Coinbase, Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX, Changpeng Zhao, Chris Larsen, and Jed McCaleb of Ripple. Their net worth is $11.5 billion, $10 billion, $8 billion, $5.1 billion, and $3.2 billion, in that order.
Oracles are commonly thought of as blockchain middleware that enable smart contracts to access external data—yet oracle networks, as they exist within Chainlink’s model, are much more than data delivery mechanisms. Through a wide-range of off-chain computational abilities, Chainlink’s decentralized oracle networks are providing blockchains with decentralized services that go far beyond securely fetching external data.
From Chainlink’s widely adopted Data Feeds, an extensive collection of on-chain price oracles for DeFi smart contracts, to Chainlink VRF, which generates a verifiable source of randomness for dynamic NFTs, to Chainlink’s highly customizable external adapters, the Chainlink Network is supporting a rapidly-expanding array of key oracle functions that are enhancing the capabilities of smart contracts across numerous blockchains and layer-2 networks.
In his recent presentation at the 2021 ETHDenver Hackathon, Chainlink Co-founder Sergey Nazarov emphasized the expansive functionality of decentralized oracle networks and how Chainlink-powered off-chain computations service a wide variety of smart contract use cases, from DeFi to parametric insurance to blockchain-based gaming. The following is an excerpt of Sergey’s talk highlighting a key takeaway that the Chainlink Network goes far beyond data delivery to power new features and applications for the fast-growing blockchain economy.
Chainlink is not just about data—it is about an oracle network—and oracle networks are responsible for everything that blockchains are not responsible for. An oracle network is not just about delivering data. It is about providing all the tools and services needed by a contract. Smart contracts run on blockchain platforms are hyper-secure and hyper-reliable, but they are low on feature-richness for security reasons. Oracles extend the capabilities of blockchains by offering decentralized services like off-chain computation.
Centralized systems have completely lost people’s trust in many cases and will continue to lose people’s trust in almost all cases. Centralized services from social media to communications to the financial system are being viewed even by the average person as unreliable. People no longer want to create long-term relationships with these institutions.
I think the middle ground between highly centralized, feature-rich systems and highly trust-minimized but low-feature blockchain systems is an oracle network. An oracle network sits between every use case and all of the blockchains that those use cases run on, providing blockchains with all the other services they need. All of the other services a blockchain needs are a huge universe of inputs that may start at providing different types of data but quickly moves on to trust-minimized computations that, generally speaking, blockchains usually don’t do and probably won’t do at scale. Oracle networks will expand to do trust-minimized computation, in addition to providing data, and the combination of these will enable a much wider realm of products to be built.
The middle ground between highly centralized, feature-rich systems and highly trust-minimized but low-feature blockchain systems is an oracle network.
The first thing that is becoming very popular in the blockchain gaming community is Chainlink’s Verifiable Random Function (VRF). VRF is working for many different blockchain games that already use it in production, and it’s going live on multiple blockchains. Anyone can easily use it on Ethereum to provide random inputs to games. Beyond that, we are finalizing some of our plans around Chainlink Keepers and the ability to maintain a smart contract’s proper operation through a Chainlink Network. This is important, once again, because even DevOps and maintenance of contracts are responsibilities of oracle networks, as these operations need to be trust-minimized. Even beyond that, I think developers can think about, “How do I use the expanded computational capabilities of Chainlink’s adapters to compute more and more advanced things in a trust minimized-way that doesn’t require me to disclose things to blockchains?”
The realm of services the Chainlink Network offers will continue to grow, so if you’re a developer and you want to build cutting-edge, truly world-changing applications, Chainlink is fundamentally here to help you. The Chainlink Network is here to help the world’s developers make trust-minimized decentralized applications that will be the new way that society interacts around various information. To me, it’s apparent that is where society is headed because of the systemic and continued failure of trust relationships with centralized institutions like social media, other communication systems, and financial systems. Fundamentally, our goal is to accelerate the transition to a truly decentralized and fair economic system.
PayPal CEO Peter Thiel loves Bitcoin but hates it when China mines or uses it.
In a virtual event organized by the Richard Nixon Foundation, Peter Thiel explained that Bitcoin could be used by China as a weapon in the non-conventional war against the United States, taking advantage of its characteristics to counteract the hegemonic power of the dollar.
“Even though I’m sort of a pro-crypto, pro-Bitcoin maximalist person, I do wonder whether at this point Bitcoin should also be thought in part of as a Chinese financial weapon against the U.S.”
The World vs. The United States
Peter Thiel explained that Bitcoin threatens the very idea of fiat money but is especially dangerous to the U.S. dollar and called on U.S. strategists to take Bitcoin-related developments more seriously when studying the international geopolitical landscape.
However, Bitcoin hodlers are not the only ones who might take offense at being called a weapon of the Chinese communist party. According to the CEO of PayPal, the existence of the Euro itseld¿f is also a weapon of China in its conspiracy to destroy the power of the United States to control some critical aspects of the world economy:
“From China’s point of view, they don’t like the U.S. having this reserve currency, because it gives us a lot of leverage over things like the oil supply chain and things like that. They don’t want the Renminbi to become a reserve currency because then you have to open your capital account and do all sorts of things they really don’t want to do. I think the Euro you could think it is in part a Chinese weapon against the dollar”.
Regarding DECP, the digital currency that China is developing, Peter Thiel believes it cannot be compared to a cryptocurrency and called it a “totalitarian measuring device.”
The Global Tech Race According to The CEO of Paypal
Thiel’s words do not seem very harmonious with the patriotism he so proudly showed when attacking China. Several countries are developing their own digital currencies. Even the United States is beginning to advance the idea of creating a digital dollar with very similar characteristics to those of the Chinese money.
The CEO of PayPal is not concerned about China’s potential to innovate and create but rather about its power to copy things. In response to Michael Pompeo, he explained that China had not made many advances concerning blockchain technology. Still, if China reaches a position of parity with the United States from a technological point of view, the West would lose its advantage as a world geopolitical dominator.
Thiel regretted that Silicon Valley did not see China as an adversary. He pointed to Apple as a company that is a real structural problem for having “real synergies with China.” Google and Facebook were also mentioned by Thiel, who noted that they were friendly to the dreaded Chinese adversary.
Paypal has played a key role in the recent bullish trend of Bitcoin and the increase in cryptocurrency adoption.
As reported by Cryptopotato, PayPal recently enabled service to purchase, store and process cryptocurrency payments for US customers, with prospects to release their support to other countries later in the year.
Hopefully, this massive boost to Bitcoin adoption will not be seen by regulators as a support for China’s crypto plans in the years ahead.
Sweden’s plans to create a central bank digital currency might be more complicated than initially thought according to a new study published by the nation’s central bank. It estimated that the Scandinavian country could delay the release of the e-krona until 2026.
How Does a Cashless Future Look Like?
The Riksbank published the results of the first phase of a pilot project exploring an eventual post-cash era and its consequences. The simulation showed that the rapid speed at which cash is disappearing presents ”potential problems.” However, a digital currency under the control of a central bank has the ability to address them.
The project is colossal, and Sweden’s central bank, which is the oldest one in the world, keeps delaying the timeframe for completing it. Initially, the institution announced it will be ready with the task and move ahead with the e-krona by 2018.
The Riksbank now indicated the current pilot project won’t see the light of day before next year. Some more pessimistic projections, though, stretched the timeframe until the end of 2026.
Mithra Sundberg, who leads the Riksbank project in Stockholm, said that it’s vital to avoid settling on the technology before realizing precisely what the digital currency needs to do. The bank indicated it’s not replacing cash and moving forward with the task will most likely require a new legal framework before releasing it.
In the meantime, the largest economy on the Scandinavian peninsula is proud to be one of the smallest users of cash in the world. During the pandemic, cash usage in the country was at its lowest level ever. According to Riksbank’s research, less than one-tenth of all payments in the county are made in cash.
The Controversy From Other Countries
Norway, Sweden’s neighboring country and another mainly cashless nation, also weighed in on the CBDC topic. However, its central bank said there’s ”no acute need” to introduce digital currency yet.
Other countries also spoke about being a first-mover in the field of digital currency. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently opined that there is no need to force the process. He noted that the US would ”rather be right than first”.
Sundberg noted that Sweden’s e-krona project still needs to explore the monetary policy consequence of such a transformation. But her team had ”looked at the technical possibilities of being able to charge interest.”
Meanwhile, the Riksbank has focused on a so-called two-tier model. This system will be responsible for the circulation and redemption of CBDC. Michael Lindgren, the technical project manager at the entity, mentioned that this model will allow direct contact between the so-called participants, such as banks or payment firms, and the end-users.
Valuations of UK offices have drifted lower over the past year, to a point where they now trail many other European countries despite the universal impact of the pandemic.
Fuelled by the relative speed and ease with which office workers adopted home working, uncertainty continues to cast a shadow over the sector.
For investors attempting to understand the lasting impact of Covid on office use in the UK, they must learn to decipher how a combination of structural changes brought about by the pandemic, together with the effects from Brexit and advances in technology, are going to change our behaviour and working practices.
Owning office assets is all about having the right assets that occupiers want to work in. This means being able to correctly predict what a post-Covid workplace looks like in terms of location and specification, including sustainability credentials. Getting this right will differentiate the winners from the losers.
Will we return to the office post-pandemic?
It is unlikely that the benefits brought by working from home – improved work-life balance, increased flexibility and a massive reduction in time spent travelling – will be surrendered entirely.
A reasonable assumption to make is that most companies which had not already, will introduce hybrid models of home and office-based working, depending on job roles and other factors.
Surveys of office workers carried out at different times during the pandemic support this hypothesis. It has been interesting to see the rhetoric change during the year from “we are loving working from home” to “I need to get out of the house”.
CBRE polled a group of office occupiers periodically during lockdown and found that 67% of occupiers anticipate that all employees will have access to an office by mid-2021.
They also found that 81% of those surveyed expect at least half of their workforce to be ‘office-based’ in the future and 73% will support previously office-based employees to balance their time between office, home and other locations.
How we use the office is going to change
While much of the evidence currently suggests the office is here to stay, we are likely to see significant changes in how we use office space.
Increased balance between home working and office-based working will reduce seating density, creating an opportunity for companies to make their offices more appealing through a number of measures.
Proptech and smart building technology is allowing landlords and occupiers to manage their space much better. With improved insight into how their existing space is being used, they will be able to cope with fluctuations in capacity more efficiently and predict how many workers might be in the office on any given day.
For some, lower density will allow them to increase the amount of collaborative space with more meeting rooms and breakout areas.
There will be much greater emphasis placed on developing a building’s wellness characteristics with a view to making them more attractive workplaces where employees will want to work and collaborate with colleagues.
The world is undergoing rapid change amid the degradation of the natural environment and the looming breakdown of the global climate system. There is therefore a worldwide pan-industrial effort to use resources with much greater efficiency. To exploit this secular theme, we identify companies that either deliver or benefit from the efficient use of resources. We have strict criteria covering both quality and value.
We like to own firms with enduring assets that generate predictable long-term cash flows. They must benefit from high barriers to entry (so it is difficult for potential rivals to gain a foothold in the market) and trade at a reasonable valuation. This approach has served us well: the Menhaden investment trust’s net asset value (NAV) has risen by an annual 11% in the past five years.
Helping technology go green
Google’s parent company Alphabet, (Nasdaq: GOOGL) is helping the entire technology industry transition to a more sustainable footing. The company is one of the largest corporate buyers of renewable-power worldwide and aims to run only on carbon-free energy by 2030. The firm occupies a dominant position in search engines and has the ability to monetise an unparalleled level of user interaction, which should underpin revenue growth for many years. Furthermore, there should be significant potential to expand margins as YouTube, Cloud and other business lines mature and investments in start-ups mature.
Sophisticated internet infrastructure
Telecoms and media group Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR), a key broadband provider to over 20 million households, is set to play an important role in enabling significant improvements in resource and energy-efficiency with the development of the internet of things (IoT). Its hybrid fibre-coax network (comprising a mix of fibre-optic cables and coaxial cables, the type used to deliver cable television), is critical for infrastructure. Traditional telecom providers still partly rely on copper telephone wires, while high upfront costs serve to limit fibre build-outs by incumbents and new entrants.
Charter offers a superior bundled connectivity product (including mobile) at a lower price than competitors. We believe it can continue to deliver robust growth in free cash flow per share based upon a combination of revenue growth, falling capital intensity, share buybacks and lower customer turnover.
On track for industry-leading profits
Canadian Pacific Railway (Toronto: CP) owns infrastructure that can’t be replicated. Prohibitive start-up costs and building regulations ensure that no one is building railways today. Economies of scale mean that transporting freight by rail is up to four times more fuel-efficient than by road, which helps provide rail operators with a significant cost advantage over their main competitor, trucks, on longer-haul routes.
We believe these scale benefits will persist even as we shift to electric and autonomous vehicles because rail should be able to harness the same technologies. The proposed merger with Kansas City Southern will create a unique footprint linking Canada, the US and Mexico. The ensuing opportunities should help the company deliver industry-leading earnings growth in the years ahead.
In the past decade, we have become increasingly dependent on the internet and the recent pandemic has solidified our dependence on the virtual ecosystem. Though this dependence has served us in a number of ways, it has also created the concepts of identity theft, arbitrary censorship, undue rent extraction (in the form of privacy cost), or sudden cessation of accounts. Thus, few conglomerates or authorities can control our behavior and conduct by controlling our virtual world.
Further, more time spent online has lead to the creation and consumption of more value digitally. To maximize this value, our society needs to allocate serious time and capital for virtual environments, and for this, the environment needs to be durable, secure, and robust. Blockchain has proved to be one such solution.
Blockchain has arrived in our lives as ‘the light at the end of the tunnel’ as it can save us from the control and censorship of the conglomerates and higher authorities while providing an ecosystem that is secure and durable. Blockchain has changed our mindset of security from “secure is Private” to “secure is Public”.
And thus with the power of blockchain and the internet, our virtual world is ready to take a new leap and converge with our real-world (augmented reality) in ways that were never thought of before. This in short can be termed as Metaverse.
Metaverse For Beginners:
Metaverse is a digital world in which anything we can imagine, can exist. The term ‘meta’ means ‘beyond’ and ‘verse’ means ‘universe’, and so the metaverse is the extension of the universe of physical and virtual reality.
The metaverse is that collective, shared virtual space that is created when the physical realm converges with the virtual realm, which includes virtual reality, augmented reality, and the internet. Metaverse has the potential to become a separate individual economy in the coming decade.
The concept of Metaverse can be better understood from Steven Spielberg’s 2018 adaptation of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One (2011).
Though everyone is still contemplating how the metaverse ecosystem would look like, an author named Matthew Ball has tried to crystalize the idea of this ecosystem as follows:
Live and synchronous
A bridge between worlds
To read more on Matthew’s views about metaverse, click here.
It is important to understand that metaverse need not incorporate blockchain to exist, but to make the ecosystem fairer and securer to all the participants, blockchain will play a pivotal role in its development. With metaverse, humans will evolve as a fully grown digital species.
Now, let us discuss more on the integration of metaverse with blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Crypto meets Metaverse
Digital assets and crypto seem to be the most imperative vertical in driving the emergence of a true Metaverse. Hence, we hear and see NFT everywhere.
Non Fungible Tokens are the first step to integrating individual ownership with digital assets. A Non-Fungible Token (NFT) is a digital item that can be created (minted), sold, or purchased on an open market, and owned and controlled by any individual user, without the permission or support of any centralized company.
In order for digital items to have real, lasting value, they must exist independent of an entity who might decide at any moment to remove or disable the item. What NFTs enable for the first time is a decentralized, universal digital representation and ownership layer through which scarcity, uniqueness, and authenticity can be transparently managed.
Therefore, crypto can be the foundation stone needed for the metaverse.
Why do you need to know about Metaverse?
Now let us address the elephant in the room, why am I dumping so much technical stuff on you. Simply, because I have identified an opportunity and would want you to see it as well.
Today, the 10 biggest companies in the world are the ones who adopted the internet when either no one knew about it or if knew, was very skeptical about it. We can be the early identifiers of the potential new-age internet.
There are a number of crypto projects which are trying to develop a full-fledge blockchain-based digital ecosystem. And because it is based on the blockchain, we can participate in the projects by owning their tokens. One such project that I am admiring these days is Decentraland.
Decentraland is a 3D space where you can build virtual worlds, play games, explore museums packed with NFT art, attend live concerts, etc. It works in a standard web browser to give you access to the cryptocurrency and NFT features. You can buy and sell properties, create and sell virtual art for the art galleries, or build worlds. Several companies have invested in land in Decentraland, and some of them may be willing to pay skilled builders to develop it.
There are no limits to what all can be done in this space. Therefore, I am very intrigued with the idea of this new generation of tech which can change the world and our portfolios for good in the near future. I will keep you updated on such projects and will let you know about all the substantial changes.
Please note that I am not a financial advisor and nothing said above is a financial advice. Please DYOR before investing.
A pair of publicly traded bitcoin mining corporations introduced plans final week to create what they name the first-ever mining pool powered solely by clear vitality sources.
The partnership between the UK-based cryptocurrency mining agency Argo Blockchain and Canada-based DMG Blockchain Options will outcome within the launch Terra Pool.
Terra Pool’s hash price will initially come from Argo’s and DMG’s mining sources. Argo stated in an announcement that the 2 corporations’ mining energy is “principally generated by hydroelectric sources.”
“Terra Pool represents the primary ever alternative for the creation of ‘inexperienced bitcoin’. The initiative goals to expedite the shift from standard energy to scrub vitality and scale back the impression of Bitcoin mining on the setting. The mining pool will present a platform for cryptocurrency miners to provide Bitcoin and different cryptocurrencies in a sustainable approach,” the agency stated in an announcement.
“Addressing local weather change is a precedence for Argo and partnering with DMG to create the primary ‘inexperienced’ Bitcoin mining pool is a crucial step in direction of defending our planet now and for generations to return,” Argo Blockchain CEO Peter Wall was quoted as saying.
The information comes greater than a month after Argo bought 320 acres of land in West Texas to open a 200-megawatt mining facility and practically three months after the agency sought to extend its mining capability by 75%.