‘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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[OKEx] BTC futures data shows lackluster market sentiment as alts outperform market leader

Bitcoin is unable to get back above the $60,000 mark, but the market remains optimistic about mid-term price — Futures Friday Bitcoin has continued to oscillate over the past week, not showing any decisive bullish moves even though the total cryptocurrency market cap is back around $2 trillion. Since altcoins have outperformed it in recent […]

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Hong Kong-based app-maker Meitu bought another 175 BTC to reach the $100 million in its Cryptocurrency Investment Plan
hong-kong-based-app-maker-meitu-bought-another-100-million-in-btc-and-eth-to-its-treasury

According to the announcement today, the beauty application Meitu purchased another 175 BTC to reach the $100 million mark it set for itself in its Cryptocurrency Investment Plan.

Meitu buys another $10 million in Bitcoin

Therefore, the goal to invest $100 million in the cryptocurrency of Meitu has been achieved. The plan called for Meitu to add $100 million in BTC and ETH to its treasury, both as an investment and preparation for future initiatives. Meitu intends to use some of the ETH to launch decentralized apps in the future.

The publicly traded firm first acquired $40 million in BTC and ETH in early March of this year, when it unveiled its intention to make further purchases. A week later, it purchased another $49 million. Today’s announcement is the final $10 million of the acquisition.

In total, Meitu holds 31,000 ETH (valued at $50.5 million) and 940 BTC (valued at $49.5 million).

Coinbase disclosed in late March that its institutional business facilitated the past purchases, a service it has provided for other public companies such as Tesla. It’s unclear if the latest purchases were also handled by Coinbase.

Meitu is one of the first China-based publicly listed companies to add crypto to their treasury. Other tech firms like Square, Tesla, and MicroStrategy made headlines in the past year for making similar acquisitions.

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.

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.

BP looks set to return more money to shareholders as it beats expectations

Oil major BP has said that it expects to start buying back its own shares again, after hitting its targets for reducing its debt load earlier than anticipated.

“We are pleased to announce that we now expect to have reached our $35bn net debt target during the first quarter 2021,” said BP’s chief executive, Bernard Looney. “This is a result of earlier than anticipated delivery of disposal proceeds combined with very strong business performance.”

Net debt at the end of 2020 was $38.9bn, meaning that BP has sliced nearly $4bn off its debt pile in the past three months.

The group will update with more detail when it reports on its first quarter results at the end of this month (27 April). For now, BP noted that it is committed to “returning at least 60% of surplus cash flow to shareholders by way of share buybacks, subject to maintaining a strong investment grade credit rating.”

So why has net debt declined so rapidly? BP made more money from selling assets than it had expected. Deals included the sale of a petrochemicals business to global chemical giant Ineos, the sale of a stake in software group Palantir, and the raising of more than $2.4bn from the sale of an Omani gas development. As a result, the group now expects sales proceeds to hit the upper range of its earlier $4bn to$6bn estimate.

The group also benefited from the strong rebound in the oil price earlier this year.

What does this mean for your portfolio?

BP’s share price cheered the unexpectedly positive announcement, gaining around 3% to trade at around 300p a share.

As Mark Nelson of Killik notes, the shares still look reasonably priced “on a price to December 2021 earnings ratio of 11.3 times” plus “a prospective dividend yield of 5.3%”. Meanwhile AJ Bell analyst Danni Hewson reckons that the share buybacks raise the “prospect of more generous returns to shareholders”.

Long story short, if you hold BP already – and we’ve been pretty positive on oil stocks so a lot of you probably do – this is another reason to hang on. And even if BP isn’t your preferred play, we’d suggest having some exposure to the sector – fossil fuels will be around for a while longer and the market still doesn’t look to have priced in all of the rebound potential from the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Mark Cuban, Snoop Dogg, Metakovan & More to Judge NFT Funding Contest
Mark Cuban, Snoop Dogg, Metakovan & More to Judge NFT Funding Contest 101
Source: A screenshot, soundventures.com

The increasingly crypto-keen Dallas Mavericks chief Mark Cuban is set to return to the investment pitching arena – in a non-fungible token (NFT)-themed Shark Tank-style contest, along with a galaxy of fellow star judges.

Joining Cuban in the judging panel will be rap star Snoop Dogg (also an NFT-keen artist) and Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher. The Tinseltown star is the co-founder of Sound Ventures, the firm that is organizing the contest. His fellow co-founder Guy Oseary will be a fellow judge.

Also joining will be the EDM producer 3LAU, famous in the crypto for his own pioneering NFT-related activities, and Metakovan, or Vignesh Sundaresan of Portkeys Technology, the USD 69m buyer of Beeple’s record-breaking NFT work Everydays: The First 5000 Days. Fellow crypto art buyer Whale Shark is also on board, as is the co-founder of Scalar Capital, Linda Xie.

Oseary, a former record executive at Madonna’s Maverick Records label, has worked with some of the biggest names in pop, including Madonna herself, The Prodigy, U2, and Paul Oakenfold. He has also helped produce a number of mainstream movie releases and co-founded Sound Ventures with Kutcher in 2015.

The new competition will be named NFT: The Pitch, and appears set to take a distinctly Shark Tank / Dragons’ Den-like feel, with the judges set to pass verdict on a range of NFT-related pitches sent in by the general public. The deadline for applications is April 12, with the pitch session itself to be held on April 21.

In the spirit of Shark Tank and Dragons’ Den, Sound Ventures stated, on an official webpage for the contest, that “those applying should be interested in building a company over the long-term.”

The winning applicant will be given a USD 1m investment budget.

Tantalizingly, however, the firm added that its all-star cast would not be aiming to dazzle viewers around the world, writing:

“Unfortunately this is a closed event and we will not be able to provide a live stream.”

On Twitter, Xie wrote that she was keen to see what “creative uses” of NFTs applicants would come up with and was “super excited to be judging.” Kutcher, meanwhile, asked for applicants to “pitch” their ideas to him, calls that were echoed (almost verbatim) by Cuban and MetaKovan.

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Learn more:

Oversupplied NFT Market Sees Interest and Sales Plunge

NFTs Are Selling for Millions, But How Do You Tell a Diamond From a Dud?

How NFTs Go MIA: Marketplace Suppressions & Unreadable Token Standards

Consider These Legal Questions Before Spending Millions on NFTs

Money Laundering Might Taint NFTs Too, Prepare For Tighter Controls

Why Would Anyone Buy NFT – A Link To A JPEG File?

Check These 4 Make-Your-Own-NFT Platforms

Non-Fungible 2021: Prepare Your NFTs For DeFi, Staking, and Sharing

The great global semiconductor squeeze

Delays in the Suez Canal will do nothing to ease the global “supply-chain crisis”, says George Stahl in The Wall Street Journal. The semiconductor industry is looking particularly stressed. Computer-chip shortages have been driven by the demand side of the market, says Mark Sweney in The Guardian.

Lockdowns have brought soaring sales of games consoles, televisions and home computers. Meanwhile, modern cars need more chips than ever before (40% of the manufacturing cost of a new car goes on electronics).

“Nearly every” big carmaker has been forced to cut back on production or even temporarily close plants for want of chips, says Stahl. Toyota says that it is not just semiconductors that are in short supply: it has also been hit by a dearth of plastics after freak weather hit the Texan petrochemical industry in February. Carmakers will pay a steep price for underestimating vehicle demand, says Bloomberg. Globally they could lose a combined $61bn in sales this year.

The semiconductor market is cyclical and had been on a downswing before the pandemic triggered a sudden spike in demand. Politicians in Washington, Brussels and Beijing are concerned about the security of semiconductor supply, which is dominated by companies from Taiwan and South Korea. Industry behemoth Apple was forced to delay last year’s launch of the iPhone 12 while it scrambled to source enough chips, says Sweney.

And Samsung, itself the world’s second-biggest semiconductor maker, is struggling to find enough of the widgets for its own smartphones. The shortages have triggered a price spike but new supplies won’t arrive soon: “It can take up to two years to get complex semiconductor production factories up and running.”