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Anonymous Buyer of $69 Million Beeple NFT Has Been Unmasked

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  • Vignesh Sundaresan has unmasked himself as pseudonymous NFT collector ‘Metakovan,’ who purchased a Beeple artwork for $69 million.
  • The purchase was part of the NFT fund Metapurse, which is now launching a grant for content creators in the crypto space.
You may not know Vignesh Sundaresan by name, but he’s made it into the crypto history books. In a Substack post yesterday, Sundaresan was revealed as the man behind ‘Metakovan,’ the anonymous purchaser of a non-fungible token (NFT) artwork by Beeple that sold for over $69 million last week—making it the most expensive piece of digital art ever.

The artwork, titled EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS, went under the hammer at auction house Christie’s last week. Sundaresan narrowly won the bidding in the closing seconds of the auction, beating out Tron founder Justin Sun by just $250,000.

The winning was initially rumored to be won by Tron’s founder Justin Sun, who later said he had lost out to ‘Metakovan’ in the closing seconds of bidding.

Sundaresan, as ‘Metakovan,’ has been on an NFT buying spree in recent months, showing up to auctions with aggressive bids and a big purse. He famously bid $777,777 in the last second of one such auction—again, for a collection of NFTs by Beeple.

Speaking to Decrypt in the wake of one such auction, Metakovan said, “I don’t believe there is really an upper limit to how much one would pay […] I would not pay too much for a story I don’t find interesting, for an NFT that is not very unique. But I believe there will be someone who creates a very unique NFT, something that captures imagination. I’ll be there for that auction.”

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But while the purchases were anonymous and the identity of Metakovan was initially linked to one “Scott Alexander,” Sundaresan said revealing his real identity was a tribute to his ancestral roots.

“The point was to show Indians and people of color that they, too, could be patrons, that crypto was an equalizing power between the West and the Rest, and that the global south was rising,” he said.

From Bitcoin to Ethereum to NFTs

In his brief post, Sundaresan described himself as a crypto-loving Indian immigrant who resides in Singapore and fell down the crypto rabbit hole in 2013. He is currently the CEO of IT consulting firm Portkey Technologies and previously founded Bitcoin ATM provider Bitaccess.

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He also claimed to have sold the firm’s first Bitcoin ATM to Anthony Di Iorio, one of the co-founders of Ethereum, before participating in the cryptocurrency’s crowdsale in 2015.

However, the Ethereum crowdsale played a big part in Sundaresan’s evolving view of crypto. “[It] allowed me, an unknown, to invest in it,” he noted, adding the investment ballooned into a large sum over time and later found its way into newer projects like Avalanche and Polkadot.

The gains over the years finally rolled into Metapurse, a dedicated NFT fund that invests in crypto art, virtual lands, and in-game assets. The fund is run by Sundaresan and Anand Venkateswaran, who goes by the moniker “Twobadour.”

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So what’s next for Sundaresan and Metapurse? More NFT investments, for the most part. He’s also putting his funds towards a $500,000 Fellowship grant that will offer $100,000 each to five “storytellers”  in the crypto space who have personally minted at least one NFT.

The grant is meant to recognize and reward content creators working with crypto and NFTs. Unsurprisingly, no “anti-coiners” are allowed.

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NFT Craze Explodes: Visa Launches NFT Program

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The NFT crazy continues, and the popularity that this section of the industry has seen is on the growth. The latest important player in the game who is making these moves is Visa.

Visa launches NFT support program

It’s been just revealed that Visa is launching a NFT support program to help artists join the digital art space.

Accoridng to the latest reports, the financial services giant teams up with former Major League Baseball player turned NFT artist Micah Johnson.

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The plan is to build a program that will support artists who want to use NFTs to sell their work, Visa said in a press release.

It’s been also revealed that Visa will select a small group of creators via an app process and then help them learn about the crypto and blockchain industry.

“We believe that we are at the beginning of a digital renaissance in the world of art and content creation.”

This is what Visa’s Head of Crypto Cuy Sheffield wrote on Twitter as reported by Coindesk. Check out what they said next:

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“New technologies emerging in the crypto ecosystem, like NFTs, have the potential to lower the barrier to entry for digital creators across the world to build their own small businesses.”

This move made by Visa comes at a time when a large number of NFT marketplaces have launched in recent months.

Just in case you dod not know, this Tuesday, crypto exchange Coinbase became the latest organization to join the trend.

DappRadar recently noted that the NFT market passed $10 billion in sales volume in the third quarter.

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Johnson joined the digital art space in 2020 and is the creator of Aku – this is an animated black astronaut character, and has become the first NFT to be optioned for a feature film.

“Working together [with Visa], we want to arm creators with the resources they need to stay at the forefront of this revolution,” Johnson said in a statement.

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Yup Raises $3.5 Million in Seed Funding to Empower Social Creators and Curators

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Through the new funding, the platform said it will “develop a new web3-native social media experience, expand the Yup community, and empower curators across the web”.

Yup, a social network for rewarding content curators has raised the sum of $3.5 million in seed funding which was led by Distributed Global, an early investor in crypto unicorns Dapper Labs, Audius, and Solana. The funding round was co-led by other key investors in the digital currency ecosystem ranging from  Dapper Labs to LD Capital, as well as angel investors including Danny Zuckerman (3box), Patrick Rivera (Mirror), Alex Gausman (NFTX), and Bill Block (Miramax) amongst others.

Yup approaches social network rewarding in a completely different way. While many related outfits are known to focus their reward system on content creators alone, Yup believes curators are part of an ecosystem that makes the entire social network rewarding. Through the platform, valuable opinions across the web are rewarded.

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Users can rate anything, earn rewards for accuracy, and gain status in special topics of interest. Yup can be integrated with most social media platforms and helps in providing a basic universal influence metric. It does this by interacting with the Yup Protocol, which is a decentralized semi-autonomous social consensus protocol that determines the rewards and social value of all content based on users’ interactions with it.

Through the new funding, the platform said it will “develop a new web3-native social media experience, expand the Yup community, and empower curators across the web.” The funding will also be used to complement the platform’s growth which has paid a total of $1.6 million in curator rewards. The startup also noted that it has inked a strategic relationship with the Non-Fungible Token (NFT) community, and has paid out a total of $300,000 to NFT curators, with some individuals earning thousands of dollars in YUP tokens.

Yup Seed Funding: Rebranding the Opportunities in Web3

The Yup seed funding stems from investors’ recognition of the potential opportunities inherent in Web3 for both content creators and curators.

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“Web3 offers an opportunity to curate with clear financial incentives and social status. Curation will go beyond blogs and newsletters, where you can tip creators, earn money via curation, and create massive economic graphs. For example, Yup is a curation protocol that provides an opportunity for users to curate and build their influence accordingly,” said Kinjal, Blockchain Capital.

The broad backing for Yup was also dependent on the recognition of the platform’s superior business models, which draws from data-driven open and composable social applications design.

“Traditional social networks thrive on privileged and minimally accessible user data silos. Their business models depend on them. Yup, as a fully open and composable Web3 social network has the opportunity to empower builders and visionaries of the next great social applications,” says Alex Price, who pre-seeded Yup and is currently a Special Advisor at A16z Crypto. “I’m excited to see what kind of feeds, interfaces, and more are built on top of Yup’s fully open social graph.”

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Yup is powered by the YUP tokens and the digital currency forms a central part of the platform’s operations.

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Polygon (MATIC)

Polygon to offer passive income generating NFTs, boosting MATIC utility

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  • Ethereum-based whitelisted NFT collections receive 50% to 250% APR through yield farming rewards. 
  • Protocols that add a utility layer to NFTs have become increasingly popular with the high floor price of BAYC, CryptoPunks and so on.
  • Unreasonably high gas fees pose a challenge on the Ethereum network.
  • Analysts expect MATIC, Polygon’s native token, to break out based on recent price trends and utility boost. 

The latest trend in cryptocurrencies is earning passive income from NFTs. The floor price of top NFT collections on the Ethereum network, such as Bored Ape Yacht Club and CyberKongz, remains relatively high, making it inaccessible to retail traders. 

NFTs become accessible for retail traders through sharding and yield farming incentives

The Ethereum ecosystem is plagued by high gas fees, making it inaccessible for retail traders looking to turn a quick profit by flipping ETH-based NFTs. Several projects solve this problem by offering yield farming incentives on NFTs or enabling fractionalized NFT ownership. 

A collective of DeFi influencers, PleasrDAO, popularized the concept of fractional ownership of NFTs. PleasrDAO split the DOGE meme into 17 billion pieces of ERC-20 tokens (DOGE tokens), and an initial 20% of the supply was auctioned. 

Projects like Shoefy that add a utility layer on top of NFTs make them ideal for earning passive income through the DeFi toolset of staking, farming and income generation through liquidity pools. 

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Polygon Studios, the gaming and development arm of Polygon, has partnered with Unicly (UNIC), a protocol that combines, fractionalizes and facilitates NFT trading. The Unicly partnership is focused on helping traders create a revenue stream with their digital art and collectibles. 

Currently, Ethereum-based NFT collections offer nearly 50%-250% APR through yield farming rewards. Through Unicly, NFT projects built on Polygon will also be eligible for whitelisting and will receive incentives through UNIC rewards.

The Polygon blockchain powers Unicly’s platform. Iit provides solutions to Ethereum’s gas fee problem and further pushes NFTs on the path of decentralization. This is likely to boost the utility of the network, driving on-chain activity higher.

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Analysts at Crypto Maximalist, a YouTube channel that shares cryptocurrency price prediction and analysis, believe that after three recent fakeouts, MATIC is underperforming. The altcoin is likely to roll over like other cryptocurrencies with large market capitalizations such as Polkadot, Chainlink, VeChain and Cardano. 

The analyst states that 

Once Bitcoin starts to level off, money is going to start to rotate back into altcoins, and Polygon is really gearing up for a big move considering how much it has just been consolidating.

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