‘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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This Spanish AR NFT Campaign Will Give You Pokémon Go Flashbacks
This Spanish AR NFT Campaign Will Give You Pokémon Go Flashbacks 101
Source: Adobe/Savvapanf Photo ©

If you thought you’d read all there was to possibly read about non-fungible tokens (NFTs), think again, because a Spanish platform giving out hundreds of USD worth of crypto to Pokémon Go-style augmented reality (AR) hunters – as part of a plan to sell NFTs.

Per La Voz de Galicia, residents of Viga, a city on the northwest coast of Spain, the project is part of a promotional campaign from a firm named OVR, which calls itself an “open-source, decentralized augmented reality platform.”

To drum up interest in the token, the media outlet reports, the firm has placed NFT “treasure chests” containing varying amounts of its Ethereum blockchain-based OVR tokens at strategic points of the city. Would-be participants are obliged to make use of a designated app, and must also connect via their social media profiles.

And just as was the case with Pokémon Go around a decade ago, “treasure hunters” armed with the OVR app on their smartphones can roam around the city in pursuit of the chests.

A local blockchain business leader named Antonino Comesaña was quoted as stating,

“I went hunting with my six-year-old son. We found chests full of 100 tokens and we made two or three dollars a day. But the price has risen and we managed to get up to […] USD 475 euros one morning. I have given them to my son so he can save them.”

“Veteran” hunters, however “only get one award per day” as “they want to encourage new people to play to promote the use of their cryptocurrency,” Comesaña added.

But it appears that gaining attention for the token is not OVR’s only goal. The media outlet added that the app divides the city up into 22 quadrants, and offers advertisers the chance to place AR ads at points around the city, in a further bid to catch treasure hunters’ eyes. This, it said, can be done by buying OVR-issued NFTs.

One advertiser paid “between and USD 1,783 and USD 4,753 for 22 AR NFT “billboards” at and around the 29,000-capacity Balaídos Stadium, the home of Celta Vigo, the city’s La Liga football club. Other popular spots for treasure hunters include the Alameda de Bouzas park, the Príncipe commercial district and the Vigo Maritime Station.

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.

Atari Ventures Into NFTs, Blockchain To Boost Its Revenues
Atari Ventures Into NFTs, Blockchain To Boost Its Revenues 101
Source: A screenshot, Instagram/atari

Legendary video game maker Atari has announced it is launching a blockchain division and exploring new opportunities in non-fungible tokens (NFTs), among others. The company plans to use blockchain technology to develop games and a cryptocurrency that players could spend on virtual items.

Most recently, Atari made ETH 47.582 (USD 95,000) through an auction of NFTs that are 3D models of the Centipede game cartridge once offered for the company’s Atari 2600 console. The Atari Capsule Collection was created in partnership with blockchain gaming business Animoca Brands and its digital collectibles offshoot Quidd.

Atari said in a statement it has seen “a tremendous amount of success in licensing the Atari-related brands for the use in NFTs” and it anticipates the trend will play an increasing role in its licensing strategy in the upcoming years.

With this in mind, all Atari products and services related to the blockchain business will be grouped into the division “to focus on the immense possibilities of crypto and blockchain-enabled games,” the company said. The company is also opening a second division, Atari Gaming.

Atari rose to prominence on the turn of the 1970s and 1980s, securing popularity among gamers with titles such as Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Asteroids, and Missile Command, among others. The so-called video game crash of 1983 triggered the sale of the company’s home console and computer divisions. However, after years of financial woes, the last years have allowed Atari to benefit from the video game nostalgia which brought some of its retro properties back into the spotlight.

“The Atari brand is alive, more than ever, and this organization in two divisions will help us adapt to the changes in our business line,” said Frédéric Chesnais, CEO and a major shareholder in Atari.

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.

Swedish Central Bank Wants ‘Market Actors’ to Join Next Stage of CBDC Pilot
Swedish Central Bank Wants ‘Market Actors’ to Join Next Stage of CBDC Pilot 101
Source: Adobe/romaset

Sweden’s central Riksbank is forging ahead with its e-krona pilot project, and has outlined the next steps it wants to take – putting it on track to become the first European nation to roll out a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The Riksbank has been bullish about issuance, but will still have to convince politicians in the country to grant it the legal powers to proceed with its plans. However, in a new “phase one” report from the bank, described by Bloomberg as “essentially the most advanced exploration of a post-cash era to be undertaken by a major, western economy,” the Riksbank spoke of how it was making use of R3’s Corda blockchain platform and distributed ledger technology innovations.

Now the Riksbank says it will spend at least another year exploring technical solutions after extending its existing contract with Accenture.

During that time, it will seek to do the following:

  • Involve “market actors” – presumably private sector firms and commercial banks – which will be invited to take part to see if their internal systems can be successfully integrated with the prototype CBDC
  • Develop offline functionality, a feature already being built into the Chinese digital yuan, and a key point for accessibility
  • Develop more storage solutions, which could involve third-party CBDC wallet providers, such as commercial banks
  • Develop a more efficient payments infrastructure and integrate with existing point of sale (PoS) terminals
  • Boost performance and scalability
  • Evaluate and analyze its CBDC’s performance and network infrastructure progress, a step that will involve the “division of responsibility among participants”

Bloomberg quoted Mithra Sundberg, the head of the Riksbank unit charged with conducting the pilot, as stating that the bank has “looked at the technical possibilities of being able to charge interest,” although possible “monetary policy ramifications” have not yet been examined.

The Riksbank CBDC model is a two-tier approach whereby it would issue, redeem and destroy tokens as it sees fit, with intermediaries (namely commercial banks and payments providers) distributing the CBDC to both businesses and individuals.

The report’s authors appeared to be aware of the potentially thorny user data-related issues likely to lie ahead. Critics of CBDCs in other countries say they are worried too much of their spending anonymity will be compromised by such projects.

The authors wrote,

“The Riksbank is currently analyzing to what extent the information stored in the transaction history can be regarded as information covered by banking secrecy and whether it comprises personal data.”

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