‘NFT in Peace’ WWE Presents The Undertaker NFTs Ahead Of WrestleMania

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.

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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 Undertaker. Source: BBC
The Undertaker. Source: BBC

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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CEX.IO Launches Crypto Savings Account Service With up to 20% APY

CEX.IO, a leading international cryptocurrency exchange, launches its Savings service as the newest solution in the fast-growing Earn ecosystem. Available in 171 countries, CEX.IO Savings offers users up to 20% Annual Percentage Yield (APY) on 19 different digital assets with the flexibility to move funds in and out of their accounts without any restrictions.

Similarly to savings accounts in the traditional finance industry, CEX.IO Savings offers users a way to generate a passive return on the digital assets they hold. However, unlike a savings account, the international exchange’s Savings product allows customers to add capital or withdraw their funds at any time without fees, expiration dates, or the requirement to lock their holdings for extended periods.

Currently, CEX.IO Savings users can earn interest between 2% and 20% APY on 19 different cryptocurrencies, including multiple stablecoins and DeFi tokens. However, the company is soon expanding its list of supported digital assets.

Users can earn interest in their cryptocurrencies in two ways within CEX.IO Savings. While Flexible Savings provides customers access to their funds any time they need, Locked Savings is for those who are planning to hold their digital assets for a longer time period. While users have to lock their assets until the expiration date, they can utilize this savings type to achieve higher returns with fixed interest rates. On the other hand, the APY for Flexible Savings is fixed on a daily basis. It is reviewed every 24 hours and will respond to the market conditions based on supply and demand.

CEX.IO launched its Savings service as part of the greater Earn ecosystem, which is centered around crypto users seeking to generate an extra income on their digital asset holdings. As the first solution in the Earn suite, CEX.IO launched Staking in 2020, a service that allows customers to earn rewards for locking up their tokens and maintaining the blockchain networks of cryptocurrency projects utilizing the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. One of the USPs of CEX.IO Staking is that CEX.IO takes on all the complexities of staking node management and technical integrations.

This allows CEX.IO Staking to guarantee fast capital withdrawals for our users to the extent that users can even place limit orders on our exchange with the assets they staked. This unique feature allows our users to keep generating a passive return on their staked asset while waiting for the price to increase up to the level when they would like to exit from their position.

Founded in 2013, CEX.IO is an international cryptocurrency exchange that offers a wide range of digital asset solutions to over 4 million customers. With a fast-growing ecosystem of innovative products, the London-based company serves all participants of the cryptocurrency market – from retail traders to institutional investors. With a robust, enterprise-grade service, CEX.IO’s multi-functional digital asset solutions feature cutting-edge security while being regulated in multiple jurisdictions, including the United States, Gibraltar, and Cyprus.

In July 2020 and February 2021, CryptoCompare ranked CEX.IO among the top 10 cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide in its Exchange Benchmark Rating. In both reports, the London-based company secured an A grade as well as the third spot in terms of security.

“The way the crypto market was developing in 2020 and 2021 provided digital asset holders a good deal of new options to earn. Staking, lending, and yield farming – to name a few. During the times we have spent in the DeFi sector, we noticed a demand among our users to earn passive income while holding crypto assets. For that reason, we decided to launch CEX.IO Earn, a new service within CEX.IO ecosystem allowing crypto owners to profit by contributing to the blockchain industry. After rolling out Staking and seeing the hugely positive market response, we are now launching Savings. With our new product, customers can earn interest after the coins they contributed on the platform while having the flexibility to withdraw their funds or increase their holdings to achieve better returns at any time,” Konstantin Anissimov, Executive Director at CEX.IO, stated.

Calm After the Strom: Bitcoin Reclaims $57K and Ethereum Above $2K (Market Watch)

Bitcoin dipped to its lowest point in over a week beneath $56,000 but has recovered some of the losses and currently stands above $57,000. Most altcoins have retraced even harder, including a double-digit price drop for the high-flying Ripple (XRP) and Ethereum briefly dropping beneath $2,000.

BTC’s Dominance Increases Despite the Drop

The past several days didn’t go all that well for the primary cryptocurrency. After failing to overcome $60,000 on numerous occasions, the asset reversed its trajectory and headed south.

Bitcoin reached $59,400 on Thursday, but its inability to sustain the upward momentum gave the bears an opportunity to push it down, which led to a $4,000 price drop in less than 48 hours.

Yesterday was an especially harmful trading day for BTC as it slumped to a low of about $55,500. This was the lowest price line since late March.

It’s worth noting that this retracement came as the South Korean kimchi premium normalized following a yearly high. As CryptoPotatoreported, such developments typically lead to a price drop.

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Nevertheless, the cryptocurrency bounced off and has regained more than $1,500 since its low. As of writing these lines, BTC stands just above $57,000.

On the positive side, the altcoin market has retraced even harder. Consequently, bitcoin’s market capitalization has recovered a little less than 1% and stands around 55% after dipping below that level yesterday.

Altcoins Deep in Red

The alternative coins were on a roll in the past week or so, registering new records. Ripple was among the best performers by adding 100% of value in that timeframe, reaching a 3-year high at over $1,10, and becoming the 4th largest cryptocurrency by market cap.

However, XRP has retraced with about 11% since yesterday, despite the company’s CEO claiming that the court hearing against the SEC went well for the payment processor.

Ethereum dropped below $2,000 but has jumped slightly and currently stands at $2,020. Binance Coin (-2%), Polkadot (-4%), Cardano (-6%), Uniswap (-2%), Litecoin (-5%), and Chainlink (-5%) are also in the red.

The situation with the lower- and mid-cap altcoins is significantly more volatile, as one could expect. Helium (-15%), Ontology (-14%), Qtum (-14%), NEM (-12%), EOS (-12%), Waves (-11%), and Bitcoin SV (-10%) have also retraced with double-digits.

On the other hand, WazurX (37%), 1inch (23%), Enjin Coin (23%), Harmony (21%), PancakeSwap (12%), Yearn.Finance (12%) and Conflux Network (10%) have gained the most since yesterday.

Bitcoin Miners Hit Jackpot as Hash Rate Peaks Again

Data from on-chain analytics provider Glassnode has reported that Bitcoin’s average hash rate hit a new all-time high this week, crossing a daily average of 178 exahashes per second for the first time in history.

Bitinfocharts confirms the record high, reporting the current hash rate at 176 EH/s. It topped 150 EH/s twice in February and has remained at these high levels for the past two months, steadily increasing.

Hashrate is often considered as computing ‘horsepower’ for the Bitcoin network and a strong sign of its security. The higher the hashrate, the harder it is to attack the network.

The bullish on-chain metrics were observed by data scientist Rafael Schultze-Kraft [@n3ocortex], who added that mining difficulty has also hit a new all-time high.

1/ A thread on #Bitcoin miner metrics.

First, some fundamentals.

Bitcoin’s average hash rate hit a new ATH yesterday – crossing a daily average of 178 exahash / sec for the first time in history.

Miners keep spinning up machines – hash rate is up only.https://t.co/SEdtQGNsT7pic.twitter.com/vIjVGyH8QC

— Rafael Schultze-Kraft (@n3ocortex) April 6, 2021

Mining Never More Profitable

The analyst noted that Bitcoin miners have been making more than $50 million per day for the past month. He put this into perspective by pointing out that a year ago, this number was around $12 million – so current earnings are a fourfold increase despite the block subsidy being cut in half in May 2020’s halving.

Miners are also now holding on to the new coins they’re minting as the net position has flipped back to green, according to Glassnode. In the run-up to the $40K price level, miners were aggressively selling off to cover their costs, but they’ve now switched back into accumulation mode.

“In fact, the Bitcoin unspent supply (BTC that has never left the original mining addresses), has started to increase again after a quick and sharp drop of around 15k BTC at the beginning of the year. More hodling than spending.”

He added that direct BTC transfers from miner to exchange wallets have been going back down significantly, and even USD-dominated miner to exchange volume has decreased despite a stable price. However, miner activity represents a tiny fraction of BTC trading volumes as a whole.

The analyst concluded that these metrics are very bullish, and miners have little incentive to cash out now or capitulate as many predicted after the halving.

Bitcoin Price Update

At the time of press, Bitcoin was trading down 1% on the day at $56,700, according to Coingecko. It is down at the same time last week by 3.4% but remains within the month-long range bound channel it has formed.

Bitcoin has not dropped below $50K for over a month, which is also a bullish sign that support is holding strong.

PayPal CEO Says Bitcoin Could Be a Chinese Financial Weapon Against the U.S.

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.

Bitcoin price before and after Paypal supported it. Image: Tradingview

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.

The Central Bank of Sweden Released First Study of Digital Currency

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.

Spain Seeks Public Comments on Potential Cryptocurrency Regulations

Cryptocurrency regulations across different countries continue to be a hot topic, and Spain is the latest to join in. The nation’s watchdog has asked industry participants, investors, and consumers for their opinion, and they have until April 16th to respond.

Spain’s Regulator Looks for Crypto Legislation

According to a report from La Informacion, The National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), Spain’s watchdog overseeing the securities markets, has initiated the first steps of nationwide crypto regulations.

The process has started by sending emails to representatives of the cryptocurrency industry, investors, and customers. They have less than two weeks to prepare statements with their comments on the proposals and send them back to the agency.

The coverage outlined that the potential regulations could affect almost all areas of the cryptocurrency industry. However, the legislation could exempt some professional activities, assets that are exclusively used as means of payment, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Interestingly, the US also hinted at new rules regarding NFTs recently, but they seemed significantly more strict. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may implement taxes on NFT purchases made with profits of digital assets, as CryptoPotatoreported recently.

Apart from the aforementioned potential regulations on crypto assets, Spain has also explored developing a central bank digital currency. The country’s central bank said in late 2020 that releasing a CBDC is among the priorities in the next three years.

Regulations in Other Countries

The exponential growth of the entire crypto space in the past year or so has caught the attention of global regulators. Consequently, numerous countries have started looking into inserting legislative frameworks.

Spain’s northern neighbor, France, called for a new and robust approach towards crypto regulations in February this year. The chairman of the nation’s financial regulatory body (AMF) believes that the current legal structures are insufficient when it comes down to new asset classes such as digital currencies.

Continuing north on the map and Britain’s Finance Minister, John Glen, urged the country to firstly focus on regulating stablecoins rather than the entire market, while the FCA has repeatedly issued warnings.

In some countries, such as South Korea, the implemented regulations have caused troubles for some of the firms operating within their borders. The East Asian nation introduced new AML legislation last month, and several cryptocurrency exchanges announced closing doors for their respective South Korean branches in response.

Coinbase Reports Record-Breaking Q1 With $1.8 Billion in Revenue Ahead of IPO

A week prior to its direct listing on NASDAQ, Coinbase has posted preliminary Q1 data indicating a massive increase in its userbase and revenue. The trading volume has increased by nearly 300%, the revenue is about $1.8 billion, and more than 11% of all crypto assets are stored on the platform.

Coinbase’s Record-Breaking Q1

The largest US-based cryptocurrency exchange published its Q1 results yesterday, showing a substantial growth in every area compared to previous quarters.

Starting with the monthly transacting users (MTUs) – the increase is roughly 117% since the last three months of 2020. At the time, the number of the company’s user base was about 2.8 million, and it has expanded to 6.1 million in Q1 2021.

Naturally, this has also impacted the revenue, which has reached $1.8 billion. For comparison, this means a near 10x surge from the Q1 last year when it was around $190 million.

According to the preliminary estimations for this year’s first quarter, the net profit should be between $730 million and $800 million.

The company attributed a large part of its quarterly increase to the ongoing bull cycle in the cryptocurrency market. As bitcoin and numerous altcoins have exploded multi-fold in value since October 2020, it has garnered the attention of retail investors.

11.3% of Crypto Assets Held on Coinbase

Perhaps what’s even more notable for the entire cryptocurrency industry is the billions of dollars worth of digital assets held on the exchange. The report highlighted that as of March 31st, there were $223 billion stored on Coinbase.

With the entire market capitalization worth just shy of $2 billion at the time, this means that 11.3% of all cryptocurrency assets had a home on the US-based trading venue.

The firm’s estimations showed that roughly half – $122 billion – were “assets on the platform from institutions.” Coinbase is among the most preferred venues for accredited and institutional investors to receive exposure to bitcoin and other crypto assets. Consequently, the company projects a significant advancement on that front by the end of the year.

“We expect meaningful growth in 2021 driven by transaction and custody revenue given the increased institutional interest in the crypto asset class.” – reads the statement.

Coinbase’s record-breaking quarterly results come just a week before the company concludes its direct listing. As CryptoPotatoreported before, the giant exchange plans to go public on NASDAQ on April 14th.

Raze Network Announces Partnership with UNION

Today, we are excited to let you know Raze Network partners with UNION, a technology platform that combines bundled protection and a liquid secondary market with a multi-token model.

Under the UNION system, DeFi participants are able to manage their multi-layer risks across smart contracts and protocols in one scalable system. UNION also aims to decrease the entry barriers for retail users and lays the foundation for institutional investors.

Privacy and protection, while often used together as a term, require the cooperation of different players to address the nuanced layers. For us, there are just too many synergies between UNION and Raze Network to pass up this chance to team up. UNION is known for its full-stack DeFi protection, open access for all, and creating peace of mind for DeFi users, all of which coincide with what we believe.

UNION’s approach is a natural fit for protecting value locked in Raze vaults and sent in payment channels. Beyond protection, we will explore extending our Secret DeFi Bridge to support their collateral optimization protection (C-OP) and lending platform (ULend) so DeFi participants can optimize their capital in a private fashion.

With UNION, we can help each other explore different ways of offering protection to users, be it in trading or via information and data exchange.

Raze Network, as a privacy protocol aiming to protect the user identity and confidentiality for the entire DeFi stack of the Polkadot ecosystem, can work to help UNION and UNION users acting as second-layer protection.

Additionally, with the Efficient Σ-Bullets algorithm, a self-developed algorithm based on the Σ-Bullets encryption proof mechanism of the open-source project Zether, we can help UNION encrypt user account balances and transactions, and eventually propel us toward finance sovereignty.

“We’re excited to bring our work at the UNION Protocol Foundation to the Raze Network. Privacy preservation is a necessary tool for ensuring self-sovereign data rights and maintaining transaction confidentiality in a complicated, composable DeFi environment. Privacy rights and data control architectures have had a foundational role in my own interests in distributed ledger technology; Raze has developed a leading-edge approach that is set for success. We’re looking forward to working with the Raze team and engaging their input as we address privacy considerations in our own work, going forward,”

said Michael Beck, UNION’s Project Lead.

About UNION

UNION is a technology platform that combines bundled protection and a liquid secondary market with a multi-token model. DeFi participants manage their multi-layer risks across smart contracts and protocols in one scalable system. UNION decreases the entry barriers for retail users and lays the foundation for institutional investors. UNION’s full-stack DeFi protection is inclusive, composable, and brings battle-tested capital and pricing models from TradFi to the DeFi ecosystem.

About Raze Network

Raze Network is a Substrate-based cross-chain privacy protocol for the Polkadot ecosystem. It is built as a native privacy layer that can provide end-to-end anonymity for the entire DeFi stack. The Raze Network applies zkSNARKs to the Zether framework to build a second-layer decentralized anonymous module. It will then be imported as a substrate-based smart contract. The objective of Raze Network is to enable cross-chain privacy-preserving payment and trading systems while protecting the transparency of your assets and behaviors from surveillance.