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Blockchain Game Alliance Will Host NFT Open Forum to Boost Adoption

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The Blockchain Game Alliance was formed by a group of companies looking to boost the adoption of blockchain technology in the gaming industry, and it is sponsored by companies like Ubisoft, AMD, ARK.io, Maker, and Algorand.

The organization will be running an online open forum discussion on January 15th about the status of the NTF space and its future in 2021.

The gamification of cryptocurrency investment strategies like yield farming represented a step forward for NFT’s, which promise to be a big player in the crypto ecosystem in 2021.

The Blockchain Game Alliance is Discussing the Latest Trends

The alliance believes that NFTs will play an important role in the game industry in the future and has invited 4 experts to talk about it by using a central question: “Which applications will generate interest and bring innovation in 2021?”.

The guest speakers will be Twobadour Paanar, Joël Hubert, Patrick Barile, Patrick Barile, Patrick Barile, and Alex Gausman, all of them with deep knowledge of the blockchain ecosystem.

Those interested in participating in the open forum will b able to do so via the Livestream on Friday 15th at 4 pm CET on the Alliance’s YouTube channel.

Gaming as the Gate to Blockchain’s Mass Adoption

One of the most important requirements for the mass adoption of any new technology is users not realizing they are using it while benefiting from everything it has to offer.

This level of integration and ease of use is what has made technologies like the internet, streaming, telecommunications, and computing such an essential part of daily life.

Videogame trends like the growing F2P business model incentive users to acquire in-game assets such as skins, weapons, loot boxes, characters, etc, by playing the game to earn them or by buying them.

However, these assets are limited to the developer’s ecosystem and can be taken from the player or modified at any time, making them feel more like borrowed assets.

This has made Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) one of the most popular applications of blockchain technology in the gaming industry, for games entirely built using blockchain and platforms looking to create gaming ecosystems alike.

NFTs are Becoming More Popular

The use of NFTs brings clear advantages for players not only by providing them with ownership over their assets but by allowing developers to create more complex universes in which games can interact with each other.

Most importantly, this happens without the player having to know what an NFT or blockchain is or is required to jump through hoops.

The reason why the gaming industry has such a potential to drive blockchain and crypto mass adoption over other industries is its sheer size, being bigger than all other entertainment industries combined, and the tech-savvy nature of most of its users.

2020: A Great Year for NFTs and Crypto

2020 will be a year to remember for decades to come as a year full of events that affected people on a global scale.

It will also be a year for crypto and blockchain enthusiasts to remember due to the bull run that took place by the end of the year, the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and NFT boom, and innovation in multiple niches.

In the words of Ilya Abugov, DappRadar’s project manager: “There is more hype around NFTs right now. To some extent, it’s an extension of the DeFi excitement.”

Projects like MEME and Aavegotchi showed the world the potential of NFTs to do more than just work as collectibles by merging them with DeFi yield farming, while markets like Rarible and Opensea attracted thousands of users and investors around the world.

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Source: https://blockonomi.com/blockchain-game-alliance-will-host-nft-open-forum-to-boost-adoption/

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Nonfungible tokens from a legal perspective

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A nonfungible token (NFT) can be both a representation of a physical or digital asset that only exists on the internet — a programmable piece of art. It provides ownership of an underlying asset, like a painting, and it can also represent a digital asset in the form of a software code. Therefore, I like to conceptualize NFTs in a more technical view:

“An NFT is a pattern of smart contracts that provides a standardized way of verifying who owns an NFT, and a standardized way of ‘moving’ nonfungible digital assets.”

Before discussing the legality of an NFT, it is necessary to check what nonfungible tokens mean digitally. In its most general sense, an NFT is the digital representation of a nonfungible asset in the form of a serial number. Take a look at the image below.

In this article, I will try to point out numerous legal and judicial issues related to how a serial number can represent an asset on digital media and what is included in that code. It is important to keep in mind that, in addition to showing the property of a nonfungible asset, an NFT also indicates where the content of that asset has been located since its inception.

Related: How the NFT market leveraged blockchain tech for explosive growth

Owning an NFT

Is owning an NFT different from owning the rights of the underlying asset that compounds it?

In our current society, we are used to a piece of paper indicating or representing property rights and some work. We all have had contact with such kinds of papers in our daily lives: a deed to a property, a certificate of vehicular ownership, or a lease to a house. We already understand the value of these legal pieces of paper. That could be a good way of looking at NFTs as well, although there are some differences regarding the rights linked to them.

Related: Hybrid smart contracts will replace the legal system

There is a generalized perception that an NFT is an original asset itself. But is that perception correct? Wouldn’t an NFT be a receipt of owning a determined asset? As with everything else in the world of law, the correct answer is: it depends. It depends on what kind of underlying asset the NFT represents. An NFT can either be the original asset or an asset that only exists in the digital virtual world, like CryptoKitties or CryptoPunks. At the same time, an NFT can be the receipt confirming that you own a determined asset in the real world, such as real estate, or a physical piece of art exhibited at the Louvre Museum in Paris.

With that in mind, let’s go forward and discuss the problems that exist for internet-era creators that could be solved by registered NFTs via blockchain technology.

How does blockchain help the creators of content represented by NFTs?

Since the advent of the internet and peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, the content creators and the industry of intellectual property have been looking for a way of turning an asset, copyright protecting it and proving its scarcity and property in a digital realm. It was necessary to have a registering system that could provide immutability and precedence, while proving scarcity on the internet. But that became only possible after the double-spending problem which was solved by the invention of blockchain technology.

Related: How NFTs, DeFi and Web 3.0 are intertwined

An NFT registered via blockchain turns the content marketed on the internet immutable and unique, allowing artists to protect their creations from falsification and duplicity in the digital realm. Thus, blockchain-registered NFTs solve the problems of digital piracy and high costs of financial intermediation, among others, making a new type of economy feasible. One that is governed not by the traditional trust validators, but by those who produce and create value.

What rights are necessary for a person to create or coin an NFT?

That is a very up-to-date question. This spring, DC Comics sent a notice for artists involved in the creation of their superheroes comics prohibiting the commercialization of the art with their characters, including the digital production of NFTs. Probably, the news about the former DC comic artist, José Delbo, making $1.85 million for auctioning NFTs depicting the popular fictional heroine Wonder Woman got the company’s attention, leading to such a reaction.

The reason for the question raised in this section is simple: Not all artists and creators own the copyrights to their work. Usually, artists don’t need to worry about the rights of property or copyrights of their works, as they are the creators. Initially, they already hold everything we know in the world of intellectual property and the whole idea of rights. However, the general practice of the creator economy is that the rights to a work of art, music, etc., are allocated to several different parts: One part may hold the rights of distribution, another part has the exhibition rights, one other controls the performance rights, and another one owns the marketing rights.

What if you create an NFT of the work — with copyrights allocated to everyone involved — the reasonable question will be: Which of these rights holders would have the appropriate legal status to do so? Can each of the parties involved do this unilaterally, without the other right holders? That will take a lot of time to solve, both judicially and legally. Meanwhile, as the hype of NFTs is very recent and is still in development in many different sectors — such as music, games, physical art industries and the recently created programmable art — those legal issues are yet to be solved.

Related: Beyond the hype: NFTs’ actual value is still to be determined

Who has the right to coin NFTs? What exactly does that mean? While blockchain technology and decentralized marketplaces evolve in parallel, those questions will probably be the object of judicial demands and will be decided case by case. For now, it seems impossible to create universal legislation that encompasses situations in constant change.

There is still too much confusion in the NFT space, not only about which rights the creators are assigning, but also what the buyers are purchasing with the NFTs. The judicial analysis gets even more complex, especially when we talk about the property of NFTs, which includes several authors and their copyrights.

Another point to consider is how platforms have issued the terms of content and how content-intermediate companies deal with NFTs. The majority of those intermediate companies between the content creator and the NFT buyers need to do their judicial work by applying reasonable diligence when they build those platforms.

This gets more complicated when there is co-authorship in a determined creation, especially when the owners of the copyrights for those creations are companies. Will the NFTs be translated to protect intellectual property portfolios owned by those companies, and if yes, then how exactly?

What rights does the purchase of an NFT give to the buyer?

When an NFT is purchased, there are three parties that must be considered: the author of the original work, the creator of the NFT and the buyer of the purchased NFT. First, I need to underline that owning an NFT doesn’t mean obtaining the property of the underlying asset, but rather only getting the property of the NFT.

Nevertheless, as NFTs exist in digital media with no borders and in several jurisdictions simultaneously, or even where legislation is practically nonexistent, it is imperative for the platforms listing NFTs to specify the terms. And, with the terms, I mean that I hope they are included in their smart contracts to define which rights the NFT buyers are receiving from the creators.

Here, it is interesting to know that you are not obtaining ownership of the asset itself, nor even getting the intellectual property rights of that work. And, in this sense, the reasoning is no different from the acquisition of a physical piece of art in the traditional market. If a traditional painting in an auction is bought, the buyer does not receive the intellectual property rights of the asset itself. The buyer has the right to hang the new painting on their wall, but not the intellectual property of that painting, unless it has been commissioned. Therefore, it is not allowed to make posters of that painting on the wall. No one can’t create nor change it.

That’s why the terms of use and whom you are buying from are so important, and the silence about the transmission of intellectual property rights means that they are not able to be held. It is important to note that most platforms and markets are not very explicit about this. So, to eliminate any doubt of ambiguity, buyers protect themselves by clarifying that information.

To sum it up, by purchasing an NFT, one is only receiving the rights to the bought NFT, the ownership rights to brag about having some connection to that work. But one does not have the intellectual property rights to use that work — no one has the right to copy, distribute or execute it, unless of course, such rights have been designated. Thus, the legal analysis of an NFT is very similar to what it would be with traditional intellectual property rights as if there were no NFTs at all.

How to determine the jurisdiction of an NFT?

Hypothetically speaking, imagine that copyright in France is perpetual (meaning that it lasts forever), it expires with the author’s death in the United States and that Canada protects copyright for 50 years after the author’s death. When the NFTs are registered in decentralized blockchain networks, what will the jurisdictional approach be? Which laws will be applied? For a completely decentralized platform that is distributed all over the internet, which rights should be applicable?

Will the jurisdiction be based on where the original artist lives, or could the jurisdiction be applied between the platform and the creator of the NFT? In any event, we will probably see many jurisdictional issues coming up, especially when dealing with something at early development and in progress.

Closing remarks

We are still in the Wild West of regulating the emerging technologies, and the current difficulty with identifying how the NFT market will go through the paths of legal protection explains what is currently going on.

How can one identify the parts’ intention when dealing with those new rights if they are different? Will NFTs be considered a new base on what already existed and was contracted? Or will they be considered something that the previous agreements did not contemplate, which has the potential to generate more income?

Can someone take ownership of something that already exists to create something that will be designated as an NFT? Can someone take ownership of the NFT without the consent of the owner of the copyrighted work?

This article aimed not to deplete the subject, but only to bring some considerations and ideas regarding the legal aspects of nonfungible tokens. NFTs under the juridical and legal perspectives are still evolving, and the ways to solve the legal issues and judicial disputes that will arise have yet to be considered.

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.

Tatiana Revoredo is a founding member of the Oxford Blockchain Foundation and is a strategist in blockchain at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. Additionally, she is an expert in blockchain business applications at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is the chief strategy officer of The Global Strategy. Tatiana has been invited by the European Parliament to the Intercontinental Blockchain Conference and was invited by the Brazilian parliament to the public hearing on Bill 2303/2015. She is the author of two books: Blockchain: Tudo O Que Você Precisa Saber and Cryptocurrencies in the International Scenario: What Is the Position of Central Banks, Governments and Authorities About Cryptocurrencies?


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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/nonfungible-tokens-from-a-legal-perspective

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Illusion or reality? Crypto demand either faltering or poised to charge

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BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager, so when its CEO, Larry Fink, remarked recently that he was seeing “very little in terms of investor demand” with regard to crypto and Bitcoin (BTC) based on “my last two weeks of business travel,” it set off some alarm bells.

A lively Twitter discussion followed one commentator’s remarks of how BlackRock was simply protecting its legacy bond business, given that “Goldman Sachs, BNY Mellon, State Street, Morgan Stanley, all entered the space in response to demand.” Furthermore, BlackRock is the second-largest owner of MicroStrategy (MSTR) stock, regarded by many as a pure Bitcoin play.

As has been recounted, Bitcoin reached its all-time high of $64,000 on April 14 but soon thereafter plunged, and it has now been trading at roughly half its April high for weeks, as have many other cryptocurrencies. Some users are understandably nervous.

Moving beyond market cycles

Perhaps it is better to adopt a longer-term view regarding recent events. “Two months is a very short time period in crypto,” Bitwise chief investment officer Matt Hougan explained to Cointelegraph, adding, “I’m not sure what to make of Fink’s comments, except that they don’t align with our day-to-day experience.”

“Institutional investors take 12–36 months to do due diligence,” Jeff Dorman, chief investment officer of digital asset management firm Arca, told Cointelegraph, adding further, “They aren’t timing market cycles. They are trying to get comfortable with the asset class to make a 10-year-plus commitment.”

“It’s important to remember that the market is up more than 200% in the past 12 months, making it the best-performing asset class in the world over the last year,” added Hougan, who claims to see continuous inflows into Bitwise.

Moreover, crypto and blockchain technology is a global phenomenon, and one has to be careful about drawing worldwide conclusions from American or European events. BlackRock, for the record, is based in New York City. “It doesn’t feel like a crypto winter here in Asia,” Justin d’Anethan, head of exchange sales at Singapore-based EQONEX, told Cointelegraph, adding:

“While prices falling have definitely dampened some of the enthusiasm, we’re still seeing a clear interest for crypto and crypto- and blockchain-based ventures. If anything, the stagnation in the lower 30,000’s was/is seen by many as an opportunity to get in.”

Elsewhere, Emin Gün Sirer, Cornell University professor and creator of the Avalanche blockchain protocol, told Cointelegraph China recently that hedge funds aren’t the only institutional players probing the crypto waters these days: “I have been getting contacts from retirement funds, […] far more slower-moving but with maybe 10 times more dollars under their control, and they are slowly coming into crypto.”

Also, Fidelity Digital, an institutional pioneer in the crypto space, has been aggressively expanding lately — boosting staff by 70% due to “strong crypto demand,” including 100 new workers in Dublin, Boston and Utah, as Fidelity Digital president Tom Jessop told Bloomberg. The firm sees more demand from retirement advisors as well as companies, and it is broadening its product offerings accordingly. “We’ve seen more interest in Ether, so we want to be ahead of that demand,” said Jessop. Megan Griffin, a Fidelity Digital spokesperson, told Cointelegraph:

“We haven’t seen a material change in [crypto] demand during the [post-April 14] drawdown, given institutions tend to hold a long-term view and are experienced in managing through cycles.”

Dorman was even more emphatic. “The interest in digital assets from new investors has accelerated — not slowed down,” he said. “Any slow down with allocations is more a function of summer than it is price.”

A boom-and-bust dynamic?

Still, there are valid reasons why the demand for crypto could be seen as faltering. “There is little doubt that the boom and bust dynamics of the past weeks represent a setback to the institutional adoption of crypto markets and in particular of Bitcoin and Ethereum,” a JPMorgan strategist said in a report in June.

“Of course, the crypto markets have indeed been going sideways,” Lex Sokolin, head economist at ConsenSys, told Cointelegraph, adding, “The drivers are some combination of pushback to mining, global macro risk-off trends and momentum slowing on sentiment/meme trading.” But the underlying fundamentals are solid, Sokolin continued:

“We see immense demand from institutional investors for both crypto assets, as well as the equity of crypto companies. We can point to the $18-billion valuation of FTX and $9-billion valuation of Bullish as recent evidence, both funded by some of the world’s largest hedge funds.”

The events that have unfolded since the start of the summer have caused some investors to slow down and conduct a bit more research, acknowledged Hougan. China’s banning Bitcoin mining at around the same time that United States authorities seemed to be ramping up efforts to regulate crypto forced investors “to pause and reflect. The good news is that both of these developments are long-term positives for the market even if they introduce short-term volatility.”

Still, the roller coaster ride of recent months is a reminder that BTC and crypto, generally, have still not solved their volatility problem. “Volatility scares everyone,” observed Dorman, adding, “Volatility is more accepted when you trust the value of the underlying asset — that’s the biggest hurdle with institutional investors in terms of their education.”

Related: On the fence: If this is a crypto bear market, how long can it last?

The only notable shift Dorman has seen in recent months “is that new investors are way more interested in DeFi, gaming and other cash-flow producing assets than they are in Bitcoin or Ethereum — or ETH competitors.”

“Decentralized finance continues to mature and process transactions and loans,” said Sokolin, adding: “NFT-based platforms are seeing major studios and creators shift to new tokenized business models. Computational chains like Ethereum are clearly having a moment. It is also possible that we will see more DeFi-type activity anchored to Bitcoin, Solana or other chains, and that will grow the entire pie.”

Playing the “long game”

Crypto continues to face challenges, though. “We expect to see significant new activity on the U.S. regulatory front, for instance, and if regulators over-reach, that could have a material negative impact on crypto,” Hougan explained, while going on to add, “Of course, the flip side is true, too: If regulators put forth balanced regulation, that would lay the groundwork for the next great crypto bull market.”

D’Anethan believes that many of crypto’s technological challenges, such as scalability and transaction speed, have “already been looked at and somewhat resolved,” but there is still a need to find the right balance between “network effect” and efficiency, noting:

“BTC is a well-accepted crypto but, technologically speaking, is not the best user experience. A new cryptocurrency might be great, but if nobody uses it, it doesn’t do much good. This is a self-balancing act that still needs to play out.”

Overall, long-term trends remain positive, suggested Dorman, “We are in a multi-decade secular uptrend. […] Every single near-term challenge is a long-term positive — regulation, China dispersion, etc.,” while Sokolin, for his part, called attention to a “deep investment in the digital asset long game by sophisticated participants that is happening now.”


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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/illusion-or-reality-crypto-demand-either-faltering-or-poised-to-charge

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Karura launches decentralized exchange on Polkadot and Kusama

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Karura, the Polkadot implementation of the Acala protocol, has launched its decentralized exchange (DEX) platform, Karura Swap.

According to the announcement issued on Friday, the DEX platform is now live, with KSM/KAR being the first trading pair on the exchange.

Per details provided by the announcement, Karura Swap has gone live with an initial total value locked north of $3.4 million, with more than 1,000 unique liquidity providers (LP).

The team revealed that the DEX launch highlighted the benefits of its “Bootstrap feature” that provides a liquidity sandbox for trading pairs with the walled environment, reportedly preventing front-running and market manipulation during the initial launch of a trading pair.

“With Bootstrap, Karura aims to empower trustless trading at fair market rate to reflect the tenets of equitable and open finance for all,” the blog post added.

Indeed, the inaugural KSM/KAR pair passed through the bootstrap phase and has only gone live after satisfying the mandated liquidity goal. With the launch of the DEX, Karura Swap becomes the first decentralized exchange on Polkadot and Kusama and the first avenue for trustless trading of Kusama tokens on a DEX.

Other trading pairs that will be launched on Karura Swap can also make use of the Bootstrap feature. LPs can elect to supply one or both tokens in the pool during the process, while trading remains suspended until the set liquidity target is achieved.

Related: DeFi hub Karura emerges as first Kusama parachain slot auction winner

With Karura envisioned as a decentralized finance hub on Kusama, the team said other features such as kUSD stablecoin loans, staking and liquidity mining programs are in the works. These added protocols are part of the plans to build up the network within the 48-week network lease secured by winning a parachain auction slot.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Karura became the first Kusama parachain slot auction winner back on June 22, with over 501,000 KSM staked in the crowd-loan process. These slot auctions determine the parachains that will be added to the Kusama relay chain, which serves as a companion network for Polkadot.


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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/karura-launches-decentralized-exchange-on-polkadot-and-kusama

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