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Are we just scratching the surface when it comes to what NFTs are capable of?

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UquidSince bursting into mainstream consciousness in 2021 — and even being the subject of a parody on Saturday Night Live — nonfungible tokens have become best known for serving as a vehicle for digital art.

Although this application is revolutionary in itself, many crypto enthusiasts believe the industry is only scratching the surface when it comes to developing compelling use cases for NFTs.

One of the biggest challenges when buying and selling goods in an online era concerns authenticity — and in recent years, several luxury brands have been exploring whether blockchain technology could help clamp down on counterfeiting. As the journalist Tim Phillips wrote in his book Knockoff: The Deadly Trade in Counterfeit Goods, copycat versions of practically anything can be manufactured… including prescription drugs and car parts.

This isn’t a problem that’s restricted to physical products, as digital items have their own host of issues to contend with. Given how easily information can be disseminated online, creators are facing an uphill struggle when it comes to protecting their copyright. Photographs that can be worth thousands of dollars to license can be copied, pasted and redistributed by anyone in a few clicks — depriving the creator of revenue — with little consequence.

And even though the advent of streaming services has helped tackle some lingering concerns about piracy, it isn’t an issue that’s gone away entirely. Estimates from the Global Innovation Policy Center suggest that, in 2019, illegal views of movies and TV shows resulted in the loss of $29.2 billion in revenue, and that was just in the U.S.

Software piracy also remains a lingering issue, with free versions of flagship software from the likes of Microsoft and Adobe doing the rounds in the darkest corners of the internet. Not only can this deprive businesses of the revenue they need to innovate, but there can also be a cost to users considering these files can often be addled with malware.

Meanwhile, influencers and artists can face another big problem: Their work being ripped off by social media users who then pass it off as their own.

Taking back control

Piracy and counterfeiting may very well be issues that take generations to solve. But as our world becomes increasingly digital, NFTs can serve as a valuable weapon in the quest for authenticity. Many law-abiding consumers end up coming into contact with fake items and bootlegged content without even knowing it — and that’s because many online shopping systems fail to provide customers with clear proof of ownership. This can have a knock-on effect should that person want to sell an item to someone else in the future.

Uquid has developed a new protocol known as NFTD — a smart supermarket system for digital products that’s powered by nonfungible tokens. Every seller in this marketplace, as well as the items they have to offer, are identified through the use of unique token IDs, with buyers receiving verification of their ownership as soon as a transaction is completed.

A vast array of items can be sold through this marketplace, including poetry, novels, movies, videos, photographs and sound recordings. Other digital products, including computer software, anti-virus protection, games, top-up subscriptions and gift cards are also available. An array of cryptocurrencies can be used to make a purchase, along with the DeFi payment methods that are already supported by the Uquid system.

Uquid’s approach could also inject certainty into the process of buying gift cards online — an experience that can otherwise be fraught with risk.

Simplifying the process

One of the platform’s top priorities is also ensuring that NFTs are easy to use for consumers. The world of cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens can sometimes be exceedingly difficult for newcomers to get their heads around, as evidenced by how Kings of Leon had to extend the sales window for their new tokenized album.

To make a purchase, a buyer simply needs to ensure that they have a Uquid account — and from here, the process will be exceedingly familiar for anyone who has used an online e-commerce platform before. No fees are attached to these initial purchases.

From here, users have the freedom to resell these digital assets whenever they like, and list them for sale at their desired price. Subsequent transactions will attract a sales fee.

The NFTD protocol is fueled by Uquid, a utility token on the Binance Smart Chain. Those working on the project say this blockchain delivers low transaction fees and high performance thanks to how the network is capable of producing a block every three seconds.

With a fully functional platform now live, the crypto-powered brand now has its sights set on bringing NFTs closer to everyday life.

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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/are-we-just-scratching-the-surface-when-it-comes-to-what-nfts-are-capable-of

Blockchain

Pele NFTs to Drop on Ethernity Chain from May 2

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NFTs is about capturing value of precious moments compliantly. Ethernity Chain does this brilliantly, this time by dropping a new collection of NFTs honoring the legacy of the iconic Brazilian soccer player, a world cup winner, and a legend in soccer halls, Pele.

Pele is coming to Ethernity Chain

An announcement from Ethernity Chain—a differentiated platform introducing authenticated NFTs, on Apr 16, said Pele’s collections would be available in two weeks from May 2.

These valuable collections are created by Kingsletter and Visual Lab–leading Australian Concept artists. It is the first time the legend’s trading cards have been released digitally.

The second batch will be Pele NFTs will be released later this year.

It is easy to see why the physical vintage cards of Pele are worth millions and considered the most valuable in the world.

Pele’s Golden Records make his NFTs Valuable

Pele is award-winning and honored severally in the last 60 years or so.

Together with Diego Maradona, they are joint winners of the FIFA’s Player of the Century award.

He was also instrumental in three World Cup-winning teams of 1958, 1962, and 1970.

Besides, he was unplayable during his playing years. Thus far, he remains the highest goal scorer in Brazilian national team history, scoring 77 goals in just 92 appearances.

Before retiring in 1977, Pele scored 500 goals for Santos—a professional football club in Brazil.

For this, Pele is adored and endeared by football fans and bodies globally for his contribution to Soccer and tireless efforts in eradicating poverty. Through the Pele Foundation, the mega football star is empowering Children battling poverty.

For this reason, 90 percent of Ethernity Chain’s sales will directly benefit the charity.

Jason Heuser’s NFT Collections Sold out for Big Dollars

This collection will be the second following Ethernity Chain’s partnership with Jason Heuser, which saw the drop of the “Welcome to the Internet” collection.

It was an immense success since the “Legendary Edition NFT” eventually sold for $162k from 22 bids. The NFT hard a reserve price of $35k.

Other NFTs—the “Limited Super Edition” sold for $173,824 while the “2012 Original” was scooped for a whopping $224,800.

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Source: https://btcmanager.com/pele-nft-drop-ethernity-chain-may-2/

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Mergers and acquisitions are rising, leaving crypto assessments in question

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Fintech, cryptocurrency and mergers and acquisitions are poised to intersect significantly in the coming year. M&A activity is expected to rebound quickly — more than 60% of decision-makers at large companies who were surveyed by FTI Consulting for a February report agree that their company has recently been a target of aggressive M&A, and 39% say their companies are looking at M&A as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, the cryptocurrency market is making strides toward mainstream acceptance.

As a result, there’s likely to be an uplift in deals involving cryptocurrency assets and valuations throughout 2021. While this trend is likely to spur some exciting developments in the financial sector, it is also starting to raise unprecedented questions about whether cryptocurrency and these complex business models can be accurately assessed and verified in the context of dealmaking.

Digitizing the world of finances

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have driven significant shifts from physical to digital services across a wide range of industries — none more dramatically than in the financial services industry, in which S&P Global has reported that an estimated 420 billion transactions, worth $7 trillion, will switch to cards and digital payments by 2023, reaching $48 trillion by 2030.

Related: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the crypto space? Experts answer

PayPal further legitimized cryptocurrency when it began accepting it in November 2020 and announced its acquisition of Israeli crypto startup Curv in March. Visa has also been active in the fintech arena, most recently with its $5.3 billion acquisition of Plaid in January. Investors are also keeping a close eye on the developments that will follow Coinbase’s recent debut on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Naturally, all of this activity is generating a lot of interest in fintech and cryptocurrency companies among traditional financial services institutions and big tech corporations. Even amid market lows during the first half of 2020, cryptocurrency-related M&A hit $600 million, more than the total for all of 2019. All signs point to an even larger year in 2021.

Related: Will PayPal’s crypto integration bring crypto to the masses? Experts answer

The need for due diligence

Of course with M&A, IPOs and capital raises also comes the need to conduct due diligence, market assessments and valuations. But when cryptocurrency is involved as the primary asset or a key asset, there are additional, complex layers to standard due diligence processes.

Buyers and target companies need to consider conducting a technical assessment of the digital assets at play. Potential buyers will want to know how to verify the cryptocurrency assets and ensure that the target company’s reported assets are accurate. Because cryptocurrency companies often operate under unconventional business models, and due to the very nature of distributed ledger systems, it’s not always clear what’s what. The crux of the issue is to find out about any problems, risks or inaccuracies in a target company’s cryptocurrency assets, framework and business model and whether they have the correct procedures in place to support their crypto-based business activities.

Likewise, cryptocurrency companies that are looking to raise money or sell their business to a larger technology or financial services corporation (or file for an IPO) can help position their business by conducting in-depth assessments that will demonstrate their differentiators and value to potential buyers, and support subsequent valuation and due diligence activities.

The nuances of the crypto space

Many may not understand the importance of conducting a technical assessment and cryptocurrency evaluation as part of their larger financial due diligence, or that it’s even possible. However, experts in this space are beginning to develop complex methodologies to conduct, fast, in-depth and cost-effective technical assessments of cryptocurrency assets and leverage digital forensic investigation techniques to sample and verify digital wallet ownership, digital asset ownership, as well as verify assets under custody, and the value and validity of assets.

Additional areas that buyers should examine in a crypto-focused technical assessment include:

  • The full scope of digital asset holdings, including hot wallet services, cold wallet storage, business wallet services, portfolio management and other services.
  • Size, locations, duties and other key details relating to technical and sales support, and development teams.
  • Risks within cryptocurrency-related contracts, privacy, security, Know Your Customer, Anti-Money Laundering, signatures and other policy controls.
  • Code audits across wallets, user interface and application programming interfaces.
  • Governance implications (such as regulatory requirements and standards including the United States government’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation).
  • Technical structure and stability.
  • Third-party partnerships, data use and obligations.
  • Research and development projects and developmental coin/token support.

In addition to traditional financial due diligence and valuations that accompany fundraising and M&A transactions, buyers in this space will also need to validate and assess the technical elements of the target company’s cryptocurrency assets and structures. Doing this right will require the support of a domain expert in blockchain and cryptocurrency who understands the technical complexities and knows what questions to ask. Cryptocurrency remains an enigma to many people, but a thorough, expert-driven technical audit can reveal risks and eliminate guesswork to support the execution of high-value, disruptive deals.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Steven S. McNew is a senior managing director within the technology practice of FTI Consulting. In his role, Steven helps clients evaluate and implement blockchain solutions and builds cost-effective, defensible strategies to manage data for complex legal and regulatory matters. Steven is an expert in blockchain, information and data security, complex discovery and digital forensics. He completed studies in blockchain and cryptocurrency at MIT and has led engagements involving blockchain assessments, pilot projects and software selection and implementation. He has also led disputes involving issues related to blockchain and various forms of cryptocurrency.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/mergers-and-acquisitions-are-rising-leaving-crypto-assessments-in-question

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AgeUSD to Launch as First Stablecoin on Cardano Network

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Multinational blockchain technology company Emurgo initially announced the AgeUSD stablecoin in January 2021. The firm has since announced a partnership between the Ergo Foundation, Emurgo, and Charles Hoskinson’s Input-Output Global, the parent company of IOHK.

The AgeUSD stablecoin will be available on Cardano as soon as smart contract capabilities are launched on the blockchain, it revealed.

Do We Need Another Stablecoin?

Emurgo is aiming to prevent events like MakerDAO’s Black Thursday which emerged through vulnerabilities in its Dai collateralization mechanism. A mass liquidation of the vast majority of Maker vaults resulted in around $4 million in Dai being under-collateralized at the time in March 2020.

AgeUSD’s so-called “Staticoin” protocol-inspired design does not rely on collateralized debt positions (CDPs).

“Thanks to its design, the scenario that happened on Black Thursday is not possible for the AgeUSD protocol. Without CDPs, we do not have liquidation events nor the requirement for users to perform transactions to ensure that the liquidations actually work properly,”

The stablecoin runs on the Ergo blockchain aiming to automate as much as possible within the mathematics of the protocol itself. Reserve providers pay Ergo’s native currency (ERG) to mint reserve coins which represent the underlying collateral. Users of the stablecoin can also deposit ERG into the reserves in order to mint AgeUSD, it explained. This is only allowed by the protocol if there are enough reserves above its reserve ratio. Banks use a similar method to loan out funds.


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The Cardano partnership will also enable its native token, ADA, to be used as collateral to mint reserves. However, the potential downside is that the stablecoin is only backed by these two assets whereas Dai is backed by multiple cryptocurrencies.

AgeUSD will launch on Cardano when it rolls out the Alonzo update that ushers in Plutus powered smart contracts. This is expected in the latter half of this year according to the roadmap.

Cardano ADA Price Update

As the long-awaited update nears, ADA prices have been cranking to new highs, the most recent ATH being $1.55 on April 14. At the time of writing, ADA was trading up 2% on the day at $1.45 according to Coingecko.

It is the sixth largest cryptocurrency by market cap which currently stands at $46 billion and there are 32 billion tokens in circulation. The token was briefly flipped by Dogecoin but has regained its position in the charts, just below Tether.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/ageusd-to-launch-as-first-stablecoin-on-cardano-network/

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