NFL’s OBJ Joins Growing List of Players to Be Paid in Bitcoin

NFL wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who is widely known as OBJ, is joining a growing list of professional athletes who want to be paid in bitcoin. OBJ has partnered with Square’s Cash App to take his new salary in bitcoin. The star athlete recently signed a one-year deal to play for the LA Rams after he was released from the Cleveland Browns.

To commemorate the Cash App deal, and do his part to accelerate wide-scale adoption, OBJ has pledged to give out $1 million in bitcoin to his followers on Twitter. His announcement has received thousands of retweets, likes and comments, including those from the cryptocurrency community welcoming him to the team.

 

Bitcoin Pay

OBJ is the latest NFL player to flock to bitcoin, but chances are he won’t be the last. The trend is catching on like wildfire. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers recently partnered with Cash App to be paid in bitcoin. Rodgers said he would take “a portion” of his pay in bitcoin. OBJ’s announcement cuts right to the crypto chase and makes no mention of partial payment, suggesting that 100% of his compensation will be paid in BTC.

NFL free agent Russell Okung was a first-mover for bitcoin pay. He took 50% of his $13 million salary in bitcoin from the Carolina Panthers last year. The repeat pro-bowler was pushing for it even longer.

Mainstream Adoption

Not to be outdone, MLB players are also jumping into the crypto fray. Baseball sensation Shohei Ohtani, who pitches and hits for the Los Angeles Angels, inked a sponsorship deal with crypto exchange FTX as the global ambassador. Shotime, as he’s known, has agreed to be paid for the contract in equity and crypto. He was recently named the MVP of the MLB’s American League in a unanimous vote.

In yet another sign of the times, Crypto.com’s name will appear on the LA sports and entertainment venue that has been known as Staples Center for the past two decades plus.

Loosely Regulated DeFi Market Suffers Mounting Scam-Related Losses

DeFi has risen into one of the hottest segments in the cryptocurrency industry, with more than $260 billion in total value locked (TVL) currently. The DeFi market is still largely unregulated and has gained the reputation as the Wild West of crypto. A new research report by crypto risk management firm Elliptic illustrates some of the pitfalls associated with the market.

Losses stemming from DeFi-related fraud and theft total $10.5 billion year-to-date. This amount is up an eye-popping 600% vs. 2020 levels of $1.5 billion. Last year, DeFi ended the year with $21.1 billion in TVL, according to DeFi Llama.

In a more top level view, DeFi market participants lost slightly more than $12 billion so far this year overall due to “the malicious exploitation of flaws” across Dapps including “decentralized exchanges (DEXs), lending protocols and asset management offerings,” according to the announcement.

Elliptic Chief Scientist Tom Robinson stated,

“The DeFi ecosystem is an incredibly exciting and fast-moving space, with financial services innovation happening at light speed. This is attracting large amounts of capital to projects that are not always robust or well-tested. Criminal actors have seen the opportunity to exploit this.”

DeFi Culprits

According to the report, the culprits have been flaws in Dapps, giving nefarious actors the opportunity to exploit bugs. While decentralized apps are designed to be trustless and not require the intervention of any centralized third party, this does little good when the code has vulnerabilities.

Flawed Dapps represented $10.8 billion of the loss tally. In addition, rug pulls, or exit scams, have also been on the rise in DeFi and have tacked on another $1 billion to this year’s losses.

Burgeoning Market

Despite the risks, DeFi continues to attract top-tier developers and high-net-worth investors. DeFi has already disrupted the traditional financial system, giving market participants the opportunity to generate returns from activities such as lending and borrowing, staking and yield farming.

The Bitwise management team forecasts that DeFi has only scratched the surface. They say DeFi could balloon into a $15 trillion segment in the next five-15 years if it follows in the footsteps of other disruptive technologies in which the Teslas and Amazons of the world operate.

Ethereum, which is the most popular platform for DeFi projects, currently boasts $172.5 billion in TVL and rising. The Ethereum price has been on a tear in 2021 alongside the rise of DeFi.

The Ethereum blockchain is home to popular DeFi projects such as MakerDAO for crypto lending and borrowing, exchange liquidity pool Curve Finance, and Compound, to name a few.

Square’s Bitcoin DEX a Bright Spot With Market in Doldrums

The bitcoin price might be hovering below the psychologically sensitive $60,000 level, but developers have their noses down and are building. Square is a good example. The payments company is making good on its plans to launch a bitcoin decentralized exchange (DEX) in an attempt to bolster crypto adoption.

Bitcoin Bull

Bitcoin bull and Square CEO Jack Dorsey previously tipped his hand to a new bitcoin DEX that at the time was only a twinkle in his eye. Now Square has shared more details by publishing a whitepaper on the open-source project, which it calls tbDEX.

tbDEX is a protocol that will serve as an on-ramp and off-ramp to bitcoin. They want to simplify the process to fund a non-custodial wallet with bitcoin. Mike Brock, GM of Square’s tbDEX, calls the new endeavor a “decentralized exchange for fiat.”

tbDEX will have no governance token. Instead, it “allows participants to negotiate trust directly with each other — or mutually and voluntarily rely on trusted third parties to vouch for the counterparty,” according to the announcement.  The team lays out a price discovery model for fees that will be “driven by risk.” The more anonymity a user requires, the higher the cost of the transaction. By the same token, a less private transaction should be cheaper.

Square is building its tbDEX from the premise that “bitcoin will be the native currency of the internet,” according to Brock.

 

Square and Bitcoin

Dorsey has been quick to integrate bitcoin into Square’s model, though he has been slower about this when it comes to his other company, Twitter. Bitcoin revenue for Square’s Cash App has been growing hand over fist for the past couple of years but experienced a slowdown in Q3 vs. Q2 levels to $1.82 billion. Square’s Q3 bitcoin gross profit was a lesser $42 million, representing a small slice of the company’s total bitcoin revenue.

Square recently announced support for Taproot, which is a bitcoin upgrade that was activated earlier this month. Square says the Cash App users will benefit from Taproot amid features like better privacy, slashed transaction fees and improved smart contracts.

Bitcoin has shaved about 10% off its value in the past week despite sky-high inflation and its role as a store-of-value asset. The BTC price is currently trading slightly below $59,000.

The BTC price recently hit a peak of more than $68,000.

El Salvador Touts Bitcoin City Financed by BTC Bonds

El Salvador has already proven to be a first mover by making bitcoin legal tender in the country. Not only that but the country has been accessing geothermal power from a volcano to power bitcoin mining, sending a signal to the rest of the world that securing transactions on the blockchain and creating new coins can be an environmentally friendly endeavor.

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele has set a model for other Latin American nations to emulate as the country has been buying the bitcoin dip and touting digital wallets. Now he is taking it a step further with the creation of a Bitcoin City that is not only crypto friendly but tax and environmentally friendly as well.

The city will be located in La Union, where it will harness the geothermal energy from a volcano. With the exception of a value added tax, the digital city will boast 0% taxes across income, capital gains, property, payroll, municipal and CO2 emissions. The digital city will comprise an airport, residences and businesses in addition to a bitcoin-centered plaza.

 

Bitcoin Bonds

Financing for the city will come from bitcoin-backed bonds that the country plans to introduce in 2022, the first of which will be a 10-year $1 billion bitcoin-backed volcano bond with a 6.5% coupon attached, according to Samson Mow, chief strategy officer of blockchain tech company Blockstream. Mow announced the details at a bitcoin event.

El Salvador will direct 50% of the proceeds from this bond toward buying more bitcoin. With the bitcoin price currently hovering below the $60,000 threshold, they could do so at a bargain, except the bonds are expected to be issued for another 60 days or so.

Financial Center

In addition, there will be a five-year lockup after which time the country will unload some of the bitcoin to distribute yet another coupon to investors. Samson Mow predicts,

“This is going to make El Salvador the financial center of the world.”

At the same event, a casual looking President Bukele urged people to “invest here and make all the money you want.” He further stated,

“This is a fully ecological city that works and is energized by a volcano.”

El Salvador is not the only Latin American nation focused on bitcoin. Cuba recently announced plans to regulate the leading cryptocurrency, paving the way for BTC payments in the country. Argentina has announced a new 0.6% tax on on exchanges for crypto transactions. And Brazil is entertaining legislation that would see bitcoin used to pay employee wages.

Pro Baseball Club Down Under Moves to Bitcoin Standard

NFL players were early movers to be paid in bitcoin. From Carolina’s Russell Okung to Kansas City’s Sean Culkin, players are flocking to bitcoin. Now a similar trend is starting to unfold down under. Aussie baseball club Perth Heat is diving into bitcoin, and they going all-in with a view to make history.

The Western Australian baseball team is offering to pay its players in bitcoin. In addition, the team’s CEO, Steven Nelkovski, will also receive his wages in bitcoin. Perth Heat is using the Lightning Network with payment processor OpenNode for speedy payments. Fans can pay in bitcoin for tickets and products. Plus the team is taking sponsorship deals in bitcoin and holding that BTC on the balance sheet with no plans to move it.

 

‘Hodl’ Bitcoin

On the Stephan Livera podcast, Nelkovski and the team’s chief bitcoin officer (CBO), Patrick O’Sullivan, discussed how the players are “all in” and have been extremely supportive of moving to a bitcoin standard. One unnamed player has even put in a request to receive five years worth of his salary paid upfront and in bitcoin sooner than later.

Nelkovski encourages teams in other leagues such as Major League Baseball to similarly bring on a chief bitcoin officer to serve as a resource for players. Patrick gave a nod to MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor for writing the playbook on how to handle bitcoin at the corporate level. And like Saylor, the Perth Heat’s strategy is to “hodl” its bitcoin for dear life.

Financial Future

Professional athletes have been some of the early adopters not only of bitcoin but also crypto market niches like NFTs. It is not unusual for highly paid professional athletes to lose it all in the years after their careers have ended. The latest generation of players is seemingly turning to crypto to avoid that same fate.

In the NFL, Aaron Rodgers, quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, recently revealed that he would be taking part of his salary in bitcoin. He is doing so through Square’s Cash App. Also, Tom Brady, quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is behind an NFT platform called Autograph. Tennis star Naomi Osaka is on the board of Autograph and has created an NFT collection.

Michael Saylor: Bitcoin to Replace Gold This Decade

With bitcoin hovering below $60,000, the cryptocurrency community has shifted its attention toward building once again instead of price. Bitcoin bull Michael Saylor is an exception. The MicroStrategy CEO whose company holds more than 114,000 bitcoins on its balance sheet and is not done buying is looking through a long-term lens and is bullish as ever on the BTC price.

Saylor talked to CNBC about bitcoin as a store-of-value asset and his long-term view on the BTC price. He gave a scenario in which the bitcoin price doubles on an annual basis until it flips gold at the end of the current decade.

From there, he expects that it will “flip monetary indexes” as well as some bonds, real estate and equity before emerging as a $100 trillion asset class. At that point, bitcoin would comprise 5-7% of the U.S. economy, Saylor explains, suggesting that there will only be a handful of fiat currencies left standing, including the U.S. dollar, euro and the CNY.

 

Saylor also believes that as the bitcoin price increases, volatility will decrease.

 

Bitcoin vs. Gold

With inflation at a 30-year high and not expected to abate anytime soon, store-of-value assets like bitcoin and gold are out front. Gold has done what it is designed to do and has been inching higher, with the price currently hovering at about $1,860. Bitcoin recently touched on a fresh all-time high but is currently experiencing a downdraft.

Saylor said there’s a war going on for the “non-sovereign bearer instrument store-of-value” title, with bitcoin one side vs. gold and silver on the other. Even though gold’s market cap trounces that of bitcoin at $10 trillion vs. $1 trillion, bitcoin is winning and will continue doing so, according to the MicroStrategy chief. He pointed to the nimble nature of digital gold as well as the speed in which it can be transacted vs. bars of gold, not to mention the lower costs associated with the digital asset.  Saylor predicted,

“It’s pretty clear, digital gold is going to replace gold this decade.”

The bitcoin price is up more than 120% since about mid-July.

Sotheby’s Auction Thrusts Ethereum Into the Mainstream

Ethereum has played a major role in the rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Beeple’s famous Everydays non-fungible token plus fees were paid for in Ethereum on the Christie’s auction platform. Not to be outdone, competing auction house Sotheby’s has ratcheted up its cryptocurrency services and thrust Ethereum into the mainstream in the process.

Sotheby’s already accepts crypto as a payment for physical works of art, but now it is taking it to the next level. The auction house kicked off its Ethereum push with an announcement that it would field real-time bids denominated in Ethereum for two Banksy pieces of artwork as part of what was called the “The Now Evening Auction.”

The artwork, “Trolley Hunters” and “Love Is In The Air,” sold for more than $12 million, or roughly 3 ETH. This gave some extremely high-net-worth art collectors exposure to crypto if they had not had it already. According to the Sotheby’s,

“The paradigm-shifting move marks the first time that a cryptocurrency will be used as the standard currency for bidding on physical artworks in real-time during a live auction.”

 

Constitution Drama

Sotheby’s was also the platform on which a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution was auctioned off. The document was ultimately sold for a cool $43 million, making it the priciest historic document to be auctioned off ever.

If the cryptocurrency community had their way, they would have been part of this piece of history. A recently launched DAO called ConstitutionDAO was created with the mission to score this item at the Sotheby’s auction. They had $45 million in their arsenal but were not the last bidder standing. The crypto community initially thought that the DAO had prevailed, which set off a wave of premature excitement on social media until ConstitutionDAO cleared things up.

 

The ConstitutionDAO team revealed that their bid was not the winning offer to obtain the historic copy of the U.S. Constitution but they patted themselves on the back for making history nonetheless.

NFL Turns to Polygon Network for Ticket Collectible NFTs

NFTs are catching on like wildfire in professional sports. Most recently, the NFL has caught NFT fever. Through a partnership with Ticketmaster, the NFL has launched Virtual Commemorative Tickets that it will distribute to fans attending select games on a complimentary basis. NFL NFTs are being created by Ticketmaster on the Polygon network, which is an Ethereum-based scaling solution that is backed by billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban.

Source: Twitter

The NFL ticket promotion kicks off on Thanksgiving day, when the Chicago Bears take on the Detroit Lions, and it will continue until the end of the 2021 season. The NFL appears to be testing the digital collectible waters with its fanbase. It has also tipped its hand to potential player NFTs, starting with Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL fans who do not attend live games will also be able to purchase NFTs of their favorite team in a marketplace, which they can proceed to hold, trade or sell. The Arizona Cardinals is already displaying its NFT on social media, as are other teams.

If the NFL collectible tickets are a hit, it could raise Polygon’s profile for NFTs even more. As it stands, Google Trend searches for NFTs have already reached record levels, particularly in Asia. With sports leagues like the NFL validating the already white-hot market, there is no telling how high it can go.

NBA Model

The NFL appears to be taking a page out of the book of another professional sports league, the NBA. Pro basketball is already on the NFT bandwagon and has launched Top Shot, giving fans the opportunity to collect and trade moments in the form of non-fungible tokens.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has provided a model that the NFL appears to be emulating. The team is providing free NFTs to fans who attend Dallas Mavericks games, similar to the NFL’s digital ticket approach.

Source: Twitter

The next wave of NFTs could come from sports brands. So far, Adidas has made its metaverse debut with an NFT launch.

North Dakota Oil Town Goes Crypto at Airport

Now that the cryptocurrency markets are taking a breather, investors who are looking to buy the bitcoin dip can increasingly do so at a bitcoin ATM.

The number of crypto ATMs is on the rise, with the U.S. representing the biggest piece of the pie, at 87.2%, or 27,266 machines, according to Coin ATM Radar. These kiosks give users the opportunity to buy bitcoin with cash and a mobile phone instead of having to link a bank account or card. In some cases, users can also cash out of their crypto holdings.

Coin Cloud’s Travel Expansion

Most recently, Coin Cloud machines have made their way to the city of Williston, N.D., which is also known as an oil town. Williston announced it will host what it described as a “Digital Currency Machine (DCM)” at the Williston Basin International Airport (XWA).

While there are plenty of bitcoin ATMs around, this one represents a notable milestone. It marks the first time that Coin Cloud has installed one of its machines at an airport, paving the way for them to expand into the travel industry. It is conveniently positioned before passengers go through security and near the baggage carousel. Williston finance chief Hercules Cummings stated in the announcement,

“A main objective behind this DCM is to bridge public curiosity to acceptance and portfolio adoption of a growing asset class.”

The city of Williston is crypto friendly and already has a partnership in place with BitPay that allows city utility bills to be paid in digital currencies. In addition to bitcoin, Coin Cloud’s machines support Ethereum, Dogecoin, Shiba Inu and other coins.

Coin Cloud’s Footprint

Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano, host of “The Best Business Show” on YouTube, recently discussed what he described as an “exploding” number of bitcoin ATMs that are popping up with Coin Cloud CEO Chris McAlary.

 

The Las Vegas-based company is doing its part to bring cryptocurrencies mainstream. They currently have kiosks installed at 4,500 locations across retailers, convenience stores, and other places.

Coin Cloud’s total sales are in the hundreds of millions and at the current rate, they are anticipating making it into the billion range by the end of the year. Coin Cloud lets users buy crypto but also cash out, which McAlary says drives a lot of traffic to their kiosks.

Nvidia’s Crypto Mining Processor Falls Flat Amid Heightened Competition

Cryptocurrency prices might be off their peak, but the market has still achieved new heights this year. One company that is poised to benefit from the market is chipmaker Nvidia. Its hardware has been in high demand in crypto mining circles, leaving the company unable to satisfy its core market, gamers.

Earlier this year, Nvidia tailored a GPU specifically for professional crypto mining with a focus on Ethereum. It’s called the Cryptocurrency Mining Processor, or CMP, but things haven’t worked out exactly as planned.

Nvidia revealed in its Q3 earnings report that its CMP revenue plummeted 60% vs. Q2 levels to $105 million. In Q2, Nvidia generated sales of $266 million from the CMP graphic cards. Worse, the bleeding isn’t over and the company forecasts that CMP sales will dwindle even further in Q4.

The weaker demand comes amid a disastrous supply chain situation in which chips are hard to come by on retailers’ shelves. In addition, the competitive landscape is also heating up, and crypto miners have other options.

Competitive Landscape

When it comes to cryptocurrency mining, there is competition coming from all angles. Gamers compete with cryptocurrency miners, while chipmakers compete amongst themselves.

Most recently, the tech community is watching a trend in which CPUs made by Nvidia rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), specifically the Ryzen 9 and Threadripper, are also in high demand among crypto miners due to dwindling GPU supply.

Instead of bitcoin or Ethereum miners, however, the culprit appears to be a lesser known cryptocurrency called Raptoreum. The mining process for Raptoreum involves CPUs, not ASIC machines or GPUs. Raptoreum relies on what’s known as the GhostRider algorithm, which was designed specifically for this project. According to the Raptoreum website,

“It was built to discourage specialty hardware such as ASIC & FPGA enabling anybody to competitively mine it and increase overall decentralization.”

Ethereum Mining

Ethereum currently relies on a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm, like Bitcoin. With Ethereum moving away from PoW to a proof-of-stake (PoS) model, however, Nvidia is at risk of experiencing even weaker demand for its GPUs, at least from the crypto industry. Nonetheless, the transition to PoS won’t happen overnight. With the Ethereum price hovering above $4,000, miners are incentivized and profitable.

Nvidia’s other graphics cards also have the capability mine crypto. So while CMP sales might not be going over as hoped, it’s possible that crypto miners are just preferring Nvidia’s other hardware. Nvidia CFO Colette Kress stated,

“Our GPUs are capable of digital currency mining, though we do not have visibility into how much this impacts our overall GPU demand.”

Shiba Inu Jockeys for Top Spot in ERC-20 Holding Leaderboard

The broader cryptocurrency market might be stuck in the doldrums, but that’s not stopping one meme coin from reaching new milestones. According to WhaleStats, Shiba Inu has muscled its way into the top ERC-20 holdings among the leading 1,000 ETH wallets with the exception of Ethereum.

To do so, Shiba Inu has flipped a few other coins, including Bitpanda Ecosystem Token, OKB and Crypto.com coin. At last check, Shiba Inu holds over 21% of the pie, following by Crypto.com coin in a distant second with 6%, though the rankings are fluid.

 

Shiba Whales

Investors have flocked to Shiba Inu lately, some for the very first time, including whales who are buying the dip. In recent days, a crypto whale plunked down more than $8 million to buy 170 billion Shiba Inu tokens, as pointed out by Watcher News. This particular investor converted their Ethereum to score the SHIB at a price they believe is trading at a discount.

In fact, crypto whales have a growing presence in the Shiba Inu community, having swallowed more than 20 billion SHIB tokens apiece during the pullback in recent weeks. This could send investors to other meme coins for more of an emerging opportunity.

Many are holding on as they wait for the meme coin to recover from recent declines and potentially repeat its October run, with targets of one cent and beyond. The Shiba Inu price is currently hovering at $0.0000459.

Inflation Outlook

U.S. economists are starting to admit that inflation is in the forecast at least until late 2022. Officials have also been calling the increase in consumer prices transitory. They may have tried to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes about it, but the public is not buying it. In the U.K., the inflation rate has soared to 4.2%, its highest level in a decade.

Not surprisingly, Google Trends data reveals that global interest in the term hyperinflation is revisiting levels not seen since the 2008 global financial crisis, as pointed out by on-chain analyst Willy Woo.

Shiba Inu boasts a deflationary token model in which tokens are burned, or taken out of circulation, frequently. The largest Shiba Inu wallet, which comprises slightly more than 41% of the supply, is a Black Hole address in which tokens are burned and removed from circulation.

VC Fund Attracts $2.5 Billion for Crypto Startups and Web 3.0

Venture capital is more bullish than ever on the cryptocurrency space. Crypto investment firm Paradigm has a history of backing high profile companies, such as Chainalysis, BlockFi and Coinbase, as well as decentralized trading protocol Uniswap, among others. Now the firm is gearing up to back the next generation of crypto and Web 3.0 startups and protocols.

Paradigm founders Fred Ehrsam and Matt Huang have raised $2.5 billion for their maiden VC fund, Paradigm One. It is the largest investment vehicle of its kind dedicated to the crypto and Web 3.0 space, according to the Financial Times. The fund ended up being twice as large as Paradigm expected. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who runs VC firm 776, cheered the massive haul.

New Frontier

Huang, a former Sequoia partner, called crypto and Web 3.0 “the most exciting frontier in technology,” while Ehrsam, who co-founded Coinbase, said that it’s “just getting started.” They have made themselves approachable to what Huang described as “builders on the frontier” looking for backers.

 

While Paradigm only launched in 2018, it has racked up an impressive portfolio. They are active in backing DeFi protocols, Bitcoin mining, stablecoin protocols, and Layer 2 scaling solutions on Ethereum.

Their first fund amassed $400 million, which generated an IRR of over 200% in the first six months of 2021, according to the Financial Times. A couple of Paradigm’s successful exits include Coinbase and DeFi protocol Compound, as per Crunchbase.

The gigantic size of Paradigm’s new fund is a testament both to the burgeoning pace of innovation in the crypto and Web 3.0 spaces as well as the demand among venture capital and LPs to be a part of it. The next largest VC fund focused on crypto is run by Andreessen Horowitz, at $2.2 billion.

Crypto Adoption

While cryptocurrency has come a long way, it still remains early innings in many ways. According to Paradigm, less than 10% of the world’s population owns some crypto. And while the DeFi market has more than $250 billion in total value locked,  it still pales in comparison to the size of the “traditional financial system,” Huang argues. Web 3.0 similarly has a long way to go before it reaches wide-scale adoption.

Shiba Inu Scores Listing on Winklevii-Founded Crypto Exchange

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are riding the meme coin wave. Gemini, the crypto exchange founded by the bitcoin billionaires, has has listed Shiba Inu, the meme coin inspired by Dogecoin. The Shiba Inu price has staged an impressive run this year, commanding the attention of exchanges and investors alike.

Shiba Inu is now live for custody and trading in the USD pair on Gemini’s API/FIX and ActiveTrader apps. On the mobile app and website, the following trading pairs are supported: USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD, HKD, and SGD. In addition to Shiba Inu, Gemini also listed the following coins:

  • Audius (AUDIO)
  • Mask Network (MASK)
  • Wrapped Centrifuge (wCFG)
  • Quant (QNT)
  • Radicle (RAD)
  • Fetch AI (FET)
  • Numeraire (NMR)
  • API3 (API3)

 

Shiba Inu has been getting a great deal of attention as its price climbed some 800% in the month of October to a fresh all-time high. It is currently the No. 11 cryptocurrency based on market cap. Investors have been looking for the next Shiba Inu in hopes of getting in on another altcoin at the ground floor.

According to Etherscan, Shiba Inu boasts more than 972,000 wallet addresses. The number of SHIB holders has largely been on the rise alongside the increase in the cryptocurrency’s price.

Shiba Inu Push

In addition to Gemini, fellow U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken expressed an interest in listing Shiba Inu. If social media sentiment is any indication, Kraken is seemingly on the fence about the decision. Perhaps the Gemini listing will serve as a nudge to move forward with a listing.

So far this year, Shiba Inu  has also scored listings on Coinbase, eToro and Public.com. Shiba Inu  has also captured the attention of corporate America more widely, including the likes of movie chain AMC Entertainment, which is in the process of adding the meme coin as a payment method.

The Shiba Army, as the community is known, has also been trying to get on the radar of online broker Robinhood. So far, however, things have not gone their way. Shiba Inu investors have also been targeting Tesla for payments. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has inspired the creation of a number of meme coins but has made it clear that the only cryptos in his portfolio are bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin, much to the chagrin of the Shiba army.

Crypto.com Replaces Staples in Historic LA Venue Name Change

There is a new sheriff in town in Los Angeles. Crypto.com, a crypto trading platform, has secured the naming rights on the famous LA sports arena where the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers call home. Since before the turn of the century, the arena has been known as the Staples Center. In a sign of the times, effective Dec. 25, the arena will be called Crypto.com Arena.

Crypto.com inked a 20-year naming agreement with venue owner AEG. The new arena logo will go up on Christmas, though it will be another six months before all of the outside signage is complete. According to reports, the deal represents the “largest U.S. venue naming rights deal” in history.

Crypto.com the token, which trades under the symbol CRO, is rallying on the development and is up 15% on the day.

The deal is a major coup not only for Crypto.com but the broader cryptocurrency market, for which the market cap currently hovers at $2.6 trillion. Bitcoin alone has a market cap of $1.1 trillion. It is also a signal to critics that crypto is here to stay.

The LA center that’s soon to be called Crypto.com Arena has a capacity to hold 20,000 fans for a single game across hundreds of events each year. In addition to the Lakers and the Clippers, the venue is also home to the LA Kings and the Los Angeles Sparks of the NHL and WNBA, respectively. Crypto.com becomes the official partner of the Lakers and the Kings.

 

Notch in Crypto.com’s Belt

This is not Crypto.com’s first rodeo. The crypto powerhouse recently signed famous celebrities like Matt Damon for a new ad campaign, and its profile has undeniably been on the rise across professional sports leagues.

Earlier this year, the company announced a partnership with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). That deal just expanded to also include a line of digital collectibles known as NFTs tied to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). The NFT set will showcase items ranging from championship belts to athlete profiles to artwork from individual fights.

In addition, Crypto.com also recently partnered with the Lega Serie A and is the official crypto and NFT sponsor of the 2021 Coppa Italia football league.

Not Surprised

For some athletes, the name change from Staples to the Crypto.com Arena will take some getting used to. LA Clippers player Paul George revealed at a press conference that he is into crypto and NFTs. He said it’s a growing market, one that he is learning about from people around him, adding,

“It’s no surprise that crypto found a way to get their hands on our arena.”

The Staples Center holds some nostalgia for George. He suggests the name change is “stripping history” but acknowledges that there is “new history to be written.” He is looking forward to when the Clippers makes the Inglewood Intuit Dome its home in 2024.

Houston Rockets Catch Bitcoin Fever, Ink Partnership With NYDIG

Mark Cuban is not the NBA’s only bitcoin bull. Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta is also on the bitcoin bandwagon. Fertitta, another billionaire, is at the helm of Fertitta Entertainment, which in addition to the Rockets owns the bitcoin-friendly restaurant Landry’s.

Now the NBA’s Houston Rockets team has partnered with bitcoin platform NYDIG to help bring BTC to the masses. NYDIG has a mission of “bringing bitcoin to Main Street,” which it does through technology and financial products. Fertitta recently tweeted about NYDIG and bitcoin, saying, “Don’t be a dinosaur.”

 

The NBA is no stranger to crypto. Mark Cuban’s team, the Dallas Mavericks, was an early mover to accept payments in bitcoin and Dogecoin. The league is behind packs of digital collectibles known as Top Shot, which places the NBA in the white hot NFT market.

Holding Bitcoin

The Rockets will be paid for the sponsorship deal in bitcoin, the proceeds of which will be held on the NYDIG platform. By holding onto the bitcoin, the team is setting the example for the league and beyond that it is not necessary to convert crypto to fiat money. Rockets President of Business Operations Gretchen Sheirr stated,

“Partnering with NYDIG allows us to leverage the growth of Bitcoin to provide creative rewards and payment options to our fanbase and associates.”

The collaboration will catapult bitcoin to the forefront in the city of Houston, where Rockets fans will be given an opportunity to be educated about and use bitcoin. The Houston Rockets Twitter account has more than 3 million followers, and the team’s arena has been known to hold over 18,000 ticketholders at a time.

 

Bitcoin Catalysts

If the team’s name is any indication, the Houston Rockets should be able to handle bitcoin’s volatility just fine. After recently touching on a fresh all-time high of over $68,000, the bitcoin price dipped below $60,000 today. Market leaders expect it will be only a matter of time before it resumes its bullish trajectory.

While the price might be taking a breather, crypto analysts believe it is the calm before the storm. And there are numerous catalysts. For example, bitcoin futures ETFs have finally hit the market. And bitcoin recently underwent a major upgrade called Taproot that is expected to result in lower fees, greater security and more privacy on the network.

Price targets for the bitcoin price from high-profile traders and influencers are in the range of $100,000 by year end.

Mark Cuban Thrusts Carbon Economy Crypto Project Into Spotlight

Sustainability has been thrust into the spotlight once again in the cryptocurrency market by another billionaire. This time, Mark Cuban sparked the debate on Twitter in response to an Cointelegraph article on Klima DAO that caught his attention.

Klima has amassed some 9.9  million tons of carbon offsets in its treasury, each of which the project says is tokenized, removed from the market and “absorbed into the system” via a “bonding mechanism.” Bonding is how the carbon credit makes its way into the treasury, thereby creating new KLIMA tokens.

Cuban took notice of the progress. The Dallas Mavericks owner ultimately revealed that he has been scooping up tens of thousands of dollars worth of carbon offsets at a time to support renewable energy. Fellow billionaire Elon Musk recently brought attention to the carbon footprint that Bitcoin mining leaves behind, in response to which the industry has taken steps toward greater sustainability.

 

Source: Twitter

KlimaDAO is on the Polygon network, the native token for which is MATIC. Cuban is a backer of Polygon, which was formerly known as the Matic Network.

Cuban’s Strategy

Cuban’s tweet received hundreds of replies, chief among which came from venture investor Chris Sacca. He cheered the “intentions and progress” of carbon offsets but wants to see a paradigm shift “into permanent carbon removal.” Otherwise, he warns, the planet will be doomed.

Sacca’s concern is that offsets will become just a smokescreen for actual carbon removal, kind of like the greenwashing that can taint ESG investments for funds. He wants to see carbon removal, and Cuban agrees with him.

The Mavericks owner also points out that Klima is an emerging project, one that is a DAO, making its direction contingent on the community. He says “the opportunity is there for all of us to set the direction.”

On that note, Cuban revealed that he has been purchasing “$50k in offsets every 10 days or so.” He has been “verifying them and putting them on chain as Base Carbon Tonnes (BCT)” on the blockchain, seemingly with Klima. Cuban added that he would be willing to replicate this formula and even add to it “with removal within KLIMA.”

 

Source: Twitter

After rising as high as $1,717 on Nov. 12, the Klima price has fallen to just below $1,250.

Klima Chart | Source: CoinMarketCap 

KLIMA has been volatile and has traded close to $4,000 in its short history since launching in mid-October.

Solana Raises Stakes for Institutions With Spot on Bloomberg Terminal

There are a number of so-called Ethereum killers that have emerged on the blockchain and smart contract scene. And while none of them have knocked the second-biggest cryptocurrency off its perch, a select few have trailblazed their own paths and are doing just fine.

Solana is one such project, and now it has received another layer of validation. Solana has made its way onto the coveted Bloomberg terminal, becoming only the third cryptocurrency to achieve this milestone and coming on the heels of bitcoin and Ethereum.

Solana’s Milestone

Tim Grant, Galaxy Digital’s head of Europe, made the announcement, revealing a collaboration between Mike Novogratz’s firm and Bloomberg. Grant explained that the partnership has yielded the Bloomberg Galaxy Solana Index, which is now live and accessible to close to 400,000 users.

The Solana index has “added significance,” he explained, considering it’s the maiden “institutional grade pricing source for Solana.” The Solana index, which uses the same ticker symbol as the token, SOL, joins similar indices for bitcoin, Ethereum, the broader crypto market and DeFi.

Source: LinkedIn

According to CoinShares research, Solana saw investment product inflows of $8.5 million in the first week of November. This compares to $9.6 million for Polkadot and $5 million into Cardano. Institutions could potentially get the compliance clearance required to dabble in Solana with the Bloomberg nod.

Solana Price

The addition of Solana on the Bloomberg terminal is sure to drum up more interest in the No. 5 cryptocurrency among institutions. While the Solana price is down nearly 6% today, it has been on a roll otherwise. SOL has soared 12,000% year-to-date, based on CoinMarketCap data.

Similar to Ethereum, Solana is a play on the DeFi and NFT market segments. Solana offers an alternative to market participants who are looking for speedy transactions and to avoid Ethereum’s lofty fees.

Solana’s blockchain boasts 2,159 transactions per second (TPS) at an average cost of transaction at $0.00025 of last check. The platform hosts several hundred projects including those specializing in DeFi and NFTs.

The total value locked (TVL) for all DeFi projects across blockchains is $257 billion, according to DeFi Llama. Solana’s piece of the DeFi pie is $13.5 billion. Solana has momentum on its side, and as more projects flock to its platform, the bulls could take Solana to new heights.

When Shiba Inu Will Be Added to AMC’s Crypto Payment Lineup

Shiba Inu fans have a lot of sway in the cryptocurrency market. They have made it onto the radar of AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron and won him over. Not only will the movie chain be adding the meme coin to its payment lineup but Aron has prompted blockchain tech company BitPay to add support support Shiba Inu too.

Thanks to BitPay’s tech for sending and receiving crypto payments, moviegoers will be able to pay with SHIB to pay for movie tickets and concessions. The milestones continue, as Aron says that AMC will be the maiden BitPay client to accept SHIB payments.

Shiba Inu holders who want to know when they can begin using their SHIB at AMC won’t have to wait too long. Aron revealed the timing of the integration too, saying it would be in 60-120 days and exclaiming,

“This is a Wow!”

 

AMC’s Crypto Push

AMC first caught crypto fever when it announced on its second-quarter earnings call in August that it would be adding bitcoin payments. The company expanded its list to include a handful of other coins before the overwhelming response from the meme coin community convinced Aron to move in that direction.

AMC has made good on its crypto promises and is now accepting bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin payments. They are focused on adding Dogecoin next, which Aron has reportedly said will happen in the next 90 days. Now now Shiba Inu has muscled its way into the pipeline, while AMC has provided a model for other companies to potentially emulate.

Shiba Inu Price

The Shiba Inu price may be off about 40% from its peak, but it has been a rock star token this year, having muscled its way into the No. 11 spot in the market cap rankings. As the payments use case for SHIB grows stronger, thanks to companies like AMC, the token could be more in demand among users.

In addition, AMC might not be a direct crypto play, but it is certainly has shown a willingness to go down the cryptocurrency rabbit hole. In fact, there also is a movement on Twitter to move AMC toward issuing tokenized NFTs in an attempt to shake out the shorts.

Gaming and NFT Token MaticVerse Takes Investors on Wild Ride

Gaming is expected to be one of the biggest use cases for cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, while NFTs are a burgeoning market segment. MaticVerse is positioned right at the intersection of both of these trends, and its “NFT play-to-earn gamefi token” is starting to reflect that demand.

Some recently achieved milestones have emboldened the MVERSE community, sending the token soaring through the roof. The rally has since lost steam and the token has shaved approximately 40% off its value in the last 24 hours to $0.0001906. Investors are not complaining, however, as over the past week the price has more than tripled. In the past 30 day stretch, MaticVerse is up more than 800% as the token has muscled its way higher on the leaderboard.

MaticVerse Chart | Source: CoinMarketCap

What Is MaticVerse?

The MaticVerse ecosystem comprises the MVERSE token, an NFT marketplace and a game.  In early November, the project launched its BabyVengers game, which the MaticVerse website describes as “a player VS environment battle card game.”

BabyVengers are akin to heroes that are spread across half a dozen classes based on their respective superpowers. The game has an NFT component, and to obtain a group of Baby Vengers gamers must first mint NFTs on the MaticVerse marketplace. The game lets users “play to earn” the MVERSE token.

Source: Twitter

Recent Developments

MaticVerse recently “integrated the Chainlink Verifiable Random Function (VRF) on Binance Smart Chain (BSC) mainnet” for its NFT-powered superhero game. The way that Chainlink describes it, “MaticVerse needs a fair source of randomness that any player can verify.” That’s where Chainklink comes in, and its role is to “help secure MaticVerse’s BSC-based battle system.”

 

MaticVerse the token trades on Binance Smart Chain and the Polygon Network. Polygon is a platform for Ethereum scaling and infrastructure building that was previously known as the Matic Network. It counts Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban among its backers.

Cuban is bullish on NFTs and is looking for ways to integrate these digital collectibles into his NBA team. He wants to issue digital ticket collectibles as NFTs to fans attending Mavs games. Fans who buy a smart ticket and attend the game can receive these NFTs.

The MaticVerse token boasts more than 7,000 holders at last check.

StarLink Token Enjoys the Limelight in Musk-Related Bump

There is no denying Elon Musk’s ability to influence the cryptocurrency markets. If there were any doubts, an emerging cryptocurrency called StarLink has erased them.

StarLink is a play on the metaverse, or Web 3.0, and does not mention the tech billionaire or his company SpaceX in the whitepaper. Instead they are focused on building “a virtual world that will exist as a space to host data and ideas within the blockchain,” one that has had its sights set on astronaut NFTs and virtual reality even before Facebook changed its name to Meta.

The StarLink (STARL) token, which is ranked No. 236 on CoinMarketCap, has enough in common with Musk’s rocket company SpaceX for investors to flock to it during times of heightened activity. StarLink the token shares a name with a SpaceX division and satellites called Starlink. Musk’s company has been busy lately launching these satellites into space. Whether or not StarLink the token intended to ride on Musk’s coattails, it is benefiting from the attention.

Starlink Mission

SpaceX launched more than 50 satellites “with laser inter-satellite links” into space on Saturday in a Starlink mission launch. The satellite mission was supposed to launch on Nov. 12 but due to weather was postponed until the following day. All of the Starlink mentions boded well for the metaverse-themed crypto.

 

The StarLink price is up 8% in the last 24 hours to $0.00006737 on trading volume of $201 million, far outpacing volume on Nov. 12 of below $20 million. On Nov. 15, StarLink’s volume even outpaced that of the UniSwap DeFi token. Since Friday, STARL has seen its market cap expand by more than 70% to $672 million. The StarLink price surged to a high of $0.00007278 on Nov. 14 and has since retreated from that lofty level.

 

 

Meme Coin Rush

Musk is known for his support of Dogecoin, the original meme coin. He also inspired the creation of another meme coin called Floki Inu, which was created after Musk announced on Twitter that his Shiba Inu would be named Floki. Shiba Inu is the name of a Japanese breed of dogs and it is the Dogecoin mascot, not to mention the name of yet another meme coin.

2021 will likely be remembered as the year of the meme coin, not least because of Musk.