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NFT Insider Trading On OpenSea Highlights Benefits of Decentralization

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Accusations of insider trading on the popular OpenSea marketplace prompted talks about the need for a decentralized non-fungible tokens (NFT) trading platform.

It all started with an anonymous thread on Twitter that alleged that the Head of Product at OpenSea, Nate Chastain, appears to have several secret wallets that buy the marketplace’s drops before they are listed, “then sells them shortly after the front-page-hype spike for profits, and then tumbles them back to his main wallet with his [Crypto]punk on it.”

OpenSea confirmed that yesterday they learned that one their employees purchased items that they knew were set to display on the front page before they appeared there publicly.

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“We are taking this very seriously and are conducting an immediate and thorough review of this incident so that we have a full understanding of the facts and additional steps we need to take,” the NFT unicorn said.

OpenSea added that they have also implemented several policies that forbid its team members from trading collections that are featured or promoted by the company, among other restrictions. 

In either case, as soon as this caught the Cryptoverse’s eye, the discussions started on whether this is illegal or just unethical in the physical art world, but also on how useful NFTs are to insiders – with some saying quite a lot, comparing them to fiat.

And a major debate popped up again – that of decentralization within the space.

“Whether or not there is truth to the accusations of insider trading—OpenSea needs to use this as a catalyst to build a more decentralized platform,” opined Compound Finance co-founder Robert Leshner. “Centralized systems and their users are vulnerable to bad decisions by humans.”

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As for whether such platforms exist, Alex Gausman, Founder of NFTXtweeted that this is a decentralized marketplace, and that it’s the direction NFTX will be moving as they complete features for automated liquidity. “Our [decentalized autonomous organization] treasury also has [USD] 71m net worth. All managed 100% onchain through Aragon. All votes requiring > 80% consensus to pass,” Gausman said.

Matthew Graham of Sino Global Capital chimed in, saying that if the rumors are true, Chastain should be fired, and law enforcement should be involved, while Maya Zehavi, a Founding Board Member of the Israeli Blockchain Industry Forum, argued that this is something the US Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) should be dealing with.

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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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