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NFT

VeeFriends Launches Flex’n Fox Collectible Figurines— Everything You Need to Know

VeeFriends will be hosting an event with CoolKicks in Los Angeles to announce the release of their limited edition VeeFriends Metallic Gold Flex’n Fox Figurine. This is the first-ever release of a limited edition VeeFriends figurine.

Why Flex’n Fox?

Flex’n Fox is known to exude confidence at times, strutting his stuff to leave a strong impression on others. However, underneath the flexing and showing off, he has a golden heart. Because of this, there could not be a better character to be the first official VeeFriends collectible than the metallic gold fox.

The figurine features a gold electroplate coat, which looks similar to the original hand-sculpted model. It is also wearing its signature FOX chain, which takes up a majority of the character’s chest. Its large glasses and belt are also physical attributes that stand out.

VeeFriends
The exclusive Flex’n Fox Gold Figurine

With only 500 figurines being made, the gold Flex’n Fox release will be very exclusive. The collectibles were crafted one by one with extreme care and precision, ensuring high quality. Pristine condition and a high level of rarity make the event extremely exciting for VeeFriends, CoolKicks, and anyone who attends.

Event Details

The in-person launch will be open to the public at CoolKicks in Los Angeles – located at 7565 Melrose Avenue – from 11 am – 1 pm PDT. You can RSVP to the event and add it to your calendar here.

Those who attend will have the first opportunity to purchase a limited edition gold Flex’n Fox for $333 before it is available to the general public. GaryVee will also be there to spend time with attendees and celebrate the Flex’n Fox Gold Figurine. If you are a Series 1 or Series 2 Flex’n Fox VeeFriends holder, don’t forget to RSVP to hang out with Gary and have early access into the store.

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NFT

VeeFriends x MaryRuth Gummies – Partnership Announced with MaryRuth Organics

VeeFriends has announced their partnership with MaryRuth Organics to launch MaryRuth’s Accountable Anteater Multivitamins Gummies.

MaryRuth Organics announced last week that Gary Vaynerchuk had joined the company as a member of its board of directors. As a board member, Gary will advise on digital marketing, brand building, and Web3 as the company continues its robust growth trajectory. You can find more about this announcement here

VeeFriends x MaryRuth

VeeFriends and Gary Vaynerchuk continue to focus on value creation by developing real-life value for VeeFriends IP and the VeeFriends NFT holders; through exciting brand collaborations, access experiences, and innovative mini-drops.

The Accountable Anteater Multivitamin Gummies will be priced at $29.95, available only in the U.S., and there will be a limited supply of 100,000 bottles:

  • To commemorate the launch of the multivitamin gummies, purchasing 10+ bottles grants access to MaryRuth and GaryVee Fireside Chat that will take place virtually later this year.
  • Buyers should also keep an eye out as there will be ten special “founders signed” bottles signed by both MaryRuth & Gary that will be distributed randomly from the warehouse. 
  • Win a VeeFriends Series 2 Accountable Anteater NFT: each bottle holds ten entries into the VeeFriends Series 2 Accountable Anteater Giveaway. Those who purchase will automatically enter into the giveaway.
VeeFriends x MaryRuth

You can find more details on the above on MaryRuth’s purchase site starting today.

Advantages to VeeFriends Holders of Accountable Anteater character: 

  • Holders of Series 1 will get six bottles of Accountable Anteater Gummies free of charge.
  • Holders of Series 2 will get one bottle of Accountable Anteater Gummies for free.
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NFT

Goblintown NFT: How it REKT the Bear Market

The current bear market in the NFT space has many pondering the future of NFTs. As if current market conditions weren’t enough, a new NFT project called Goblintown appeared out of thin air. They have experienced more than $41 million in secondary sales since its release. But what is Goblintown and why is everyone talking about it?

Goblintown is a CC0 NFT collection consisting of 10,000 unique Goblin characters. Released on May 19, 2022, the project has no roadmap, Discord, or utility. The NFTs were free. Ever since they have rocketed in price.

Since the launch of Goblintown NFTs, the project has been all the hype in the NFT space. Some people think the extraordinary price tag associated with the project is undeserving. Many believe the price is the result of genius marketing. Though much is still unknown about Goblintown, this article aims to explain everything known up to this point.

Goblintown NFT

What Is Goblintown NFT?

The Goblintown NFT project released on May 19, 2022, as a free mint. Those who wanted to mint only had to pay gas fees. The collection consists of 10,000 unique NFTs and boasts 193 different traits, all with varying rarities.

A quick look at the official website reveals that the project has “No roadmap. No Discord. No Utility. CC0.” Furthermore, the team is undoxxed—meaning no one knows who is behind the creation of the Goblintown NFTs. Normally, this is considered a huge red flag in the NFT space. However, it seems that the mysterious nature of this project has people even more bullish.

Upon visiting the website, you will also notice a kindergarten-like literacy with misspelled words, a unique text, and pottymouth language—literally. This intentional speech, we’ll just call it Goblin speech, has ignited a level of curiosity and excitement within the NFT community, which up until this project, has recently vanished from the space.

Before you read any of the Goblin text you have to de-code it, and even then, it’s really just a bunch of gibberish. Here is an example of their unique Goblin code I got from one of their Twitter posts: 

“ₕₑaₕ wₐₜ dₒ dₐ ₛₑᵣᵢᵤₛ ₑₙᵥₑₛₜᵤᵣₛ dₒ fᵤᵣ wᵤᵣₖ?”

Translation: Hey what do the serious investors do for work?

As if the text isn’t difficult enough to understand, the Goblintown Twitter account held a three-hour-long Spaces where over 80,000 listeners tuned in to hear the anonymous team behind Goblintown speak. Throughout the entire three-hour session, the Goblins didn’t speak one coherent sentence.

Rather, they spoke in a Goblin voice chanting “monkey burgers” and “rat degens”, along with other random expressions. Speakers from the audience attempted to harness information from the Goblins but failed. 

Still, the Spaces was a huge success in helping the Goblintown Twitter page foster over 50,000 followers and drove an insane amount of engagement all across Twitter. Moreover, within 12 days since the launch of the Goblintown NFTs, the entry price on the NFT marketplace OpenSea has gone from $0 to more than $11,500 (about 6 ETH).

So you’re telling me that a new NFT project with no future plans, no value, and an undoxxed team that speaks in a Goblin voice is selling for thousands of dollars in a bear market? That’s exactly right! The real question is, why?

So What Is All the Hype With Goblintown NFT?

At the time of publication, the floor price of Goblintown is holding steady at around 6.69 ETH and has transacted more than $41 million in secondary sales. As a result, the project has quickly jumped to the number one Ranking spot on Opensea, where it has remained there for over a week.

Considering there is a 7.5 percent royalty fee on all secondary sales of Goblin NFTs, the creators have already collected an astonishing $3.1 million worth of fees in less than a month. Cha-ching!

Along with this incredible sales volume comes a lot of talk about the project amongst the NFT community. Netflix’s director of product design, Kristy Tillman, even posted a tweet about the project saying:

Her tweet is in reference to what many believe to be a marketing genesis behind the Goblintown NFT. However, no one knows the intent of the project at this point.

The NFT space is full of curious individuals. And of course, there has been a lot of chat about who’s behind this mysterious project. Many believe that the Bored Ape Yacht Club creators, Yuga Labs, are behind the project.

This speculation is due to a leaked Yuga Labs pitch deck from March 2022. The image depicts a pie chart breaking down the company’s Revenue Channel. Allegedly, 1% of their estimated revenue for 2022 comes from “Goblins (S)”.

Yuga Labs

Obviously, there’s no way to know for sure if Goblintown falls under the umbrella of Yuga Labs without them coming right out and saying it themselves. But, many people in the NFT community believe this to be the case.

Notable Figures Talking About the Goblintown NFT Project

Other subtle signs that Goblintown is something much greater than just another NFT project is that reputable individuals in the NFT space have commented on the project.

Serial entrepreneur and the creator of the VeeFriends NFT brand, Gary Vaynerchuk, even commented on a Twitter post saying:

Gary’s involvement with the Goblintown NFT project is still unconfirmed. The fact that he took time to write that comment might be an indicator that he knows something we don’t. Knowing Gary though, he’s more than likely just being nice. He’d rather see others win and build them up rather than tear them down and spew negativity.

To be fair, other respected figures in the space have made comments questioning the legitimacy of the project. One example comes from NFT artist Michael “Beeple” Winkelmann, who was rumored to be part of the Goblintown team. He denied any association with the project saying:

He followed his tweet up with a comment stating, “already lying about team sure seems like top signal to me.”

It’s difficult to say for sure who’s behind Goblintown NFT or if the project is even legit. With no roadmap, no Discord channel, and no utility, there’s definitely a concern for being a potential rug pull. On the flip side, the innovative marketing behind the project and the free mint price leaves a lot of room, not only for speculation but for growth.

After all, Goblintown never promised anything to anyone. Members of the community are the ones who are bullish on the future of this project. And with the CC0, holders of Goblin NFTs have the ability to create something of their own using their Goblin. Perhaps that’s the beauty of this project?

Goblintown has brought a lot of excitement into the space along with a splash of some much-needed color on a slate of gray, known as today’s NFT market. 

What do you think? Is Goblintown the next Bored Ape Yacht Club? Or is it just another Mekaverse? Only time will tell.

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NFT

Instagram to Integrate NFT Verification

Instagram NFT verification is now on the horizon.

Instagram, the social media giant owned by Meta, will be allowing users to verify ownership of NFTs as soon as Monday. Users will be able to verify their NFT assets that live on blockchains such as Ethereum, Polygon, Solana, and Flow

In January 2022, Twitter dropped its NFT verification feature. This was available to users with a Twitter Blue subscription service which cost $2.99 monthly. Instagram plans on rolling out this feature for free as of now.

Another key difference between the Twitter and Instagram NFT verification is the increased accessibility. Twitter only allows for verification of NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. Instagram is allowing users to verify assets from four different blockchains. 

This move comes as Meta (formerly Facebook) attempts to position itself as a bridge from Web2 to Web3. The company saw its biggest fall in stock price in February. This came after the announcement to change its name from Facebook to Meta.

According to Coindesk, the feature would be open to a select number of NFT collectors based in the U.S. It is rumored that this release will include seven NFT aficionados based in the U.S, including visual-artist Sophia Wilson.

She started her career at the age of 14 after noticing a lack of other Black women in the mainstream media.  As a result, her work aims to diversify the art and commercial worlds by representing happy and calming Black feminine figures.  Sophia has been one of the youngest contributors for Vogue, VICE, Elle, etc., and regularly creates campaigns for brands like Nike and Converse.  Over the years, she has worked extensively with Instagram and is excited to have her photos be the first-ever NFTs on the app.

Meta has been on the cutting edge as a platform since its launch in 2004. From adding features like Facebook Marketplace for users to buy and sell physical goods in 2015, to attempting to create its own currency under the name ‘Libra’ in 2019, Meta has always looked for ways to evolve as a platform. With over 500 million active daily users, adding verifiable NFTs to the platform would make Instagram one of, if not the biggest marketplace for digital goods.

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NFT

Johnnie Walker Enters Web3 Through VeeFriends Partnership

Johnnie Walker, one of the most popular Scotch Whisky brands in the world, is stepping into Web3 through an elevated partnership with Gary Vaynerchuk’s NFT project, VeeFriends.

Walker and parent company DIAGEO revealed this collaboration on May 3.

“Anybody that knows me knows that I grew up in the liquor industry,” Vaynerchuk said.

Gary Vaynerchuk

…if somebody told 22-year-old Gary that his NFT project would be collaborating with the iconic Johnnie Walker Blue Bottle, he would’ve fallen off his chair.

Vaynerchuk is not a stranger to the liquor industry — his first job was selling wine at his dad’s liquor store in New Jersey in the 1980s and ’90s. He then went on to launch Wine Library TV, a Youtube wine review series that launched his career in social media and marketing.  

What will Johnnie Walker Offer to VeeFriends Holders?

The Johnnie Walker collaboration includes a luxury gifting experience for VeeFriends ‘Gift Goat’ token holders. All Gift Goat holders will receiving a Johnnie Walker Blue whisky kit that includes a custom designed, limited edition Blue Label bottle and drinking accessories.

In addition, the partnership will include a special activation at VeeCon, the world’s first NFT-ticketed conference. 

While VeeFriends NFT offers different benefits for holders, including admission to VeeCon, the 555 unique ‘Gift Goat’ tokens unlock 18 luxury gifting experiences over the course of three years.

Each of the 18 experiences will include a physical gift along with a unique NFT from a notable artist in the NFT space. 

How did the Johnnie Walker and VeeFriends Collab Happen?

The Johnnie Walker and VeeFriends partnership came to fruition in collaboration with VaynerNFT.  

“This collaboration is an authentic example of how one of the world’s biggest brands can step into Web3 to celebrate community and culture while staying core to its values,” Akkineni said. “This is an outstanding example of the power of collaborations that can be brought to life by NFTs by the world’s leading brands and creators.”

It is one of many ventures Johnnie Walker’s parent company, DIAGEO, is taking to reinforce forward-thinking values of progress and innovation. 

“Our partnership with VeeFriends is a key opportunity for Johnnie Walker and DIAGEO to reinforce our desire to drive innovation and unique experiences that showcase our luxury portfolio,” said Sophie Kelly, Senior Vice President of Whiskies at DIAGEO North America. Our customers can expect to see more from us on this front as we look to Web 3 to release the most luxurious and sought-after spirits we have to offer. Stay tuned.”

“This is one of the most monumental days in my journey with VeeFriends, given where I started my career,” Vaynerchuk said. “I’m so excited for the individuals that hold the gift goat NFT and for Johnnie Walker, the brand, to be embarking strategically and thoughtfully into the Web3 space.

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NFT

What Is Bored Ape Yacht Club’s Otherside Metaverse?

Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) creator, Yuga Labs, has been making major moves in the Web3 space. From their purchase of CryptoPunks and Meebits to the ApeCoin drop, BAYC is setting a high bar for other brands in the NFT space. Most recently, Yuga Labs announced their newest initiative, the Otherside metaverse.

Otherside is Bored Ape Yacht Club’s open metaverse RPG that is compatible with other popular NFTs, created by Yuga Labs. This metaverse world is rumored to contain virtual plots of land that include unique artifacts, natural resources, and rare characters.

There are still many unknowns when it comes to BAYC’s Otherside metaverse. That being said, this article will walk you through everything that is known as of now.

What is BAYC’s Otherside?

Although not much is known about the Otherside metaverse yet, the team did announce that it is an open metaverse RPG world that will be compatible with other blue-chip NFT projects. Projects include CryptoPunks, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, Cool Cats, and World of Women to name a few.

The Otherside metaverse teaser video that was released in March reveals an Ape fishing on the dock outside of the club, waiting to catch something good. What he caught was even better than he had expected; a drink that would spiral him into a completely new world known as ‘Otherside’.

Several big-name NFT IPs were also teased in the clip, revealing that Otherside isn’t simply a world created for the BAYC community, but for others as well.

When is the mint?

Minting for the Otherside NFTs begins on April 30, at 9 PM ET, only on the official Otherside website. The price to mint is a flat rate of 305 ApeCoin, as that is the only currency that will be accepted as a payment method. However, you will also need some ETH to pay for any associated gas fees.

Additionally, to participate in the mint you need to KYC your wallet on somethingisbrewing.xyz. Only those who KYCed can participate in the auction. As well, BAYC and MAYC holders can claim an NFT for 21 days after the auction. Holders don’t need to be KYC-approved to claim, but they do need to be KYC-approved to mint in the auction.

On April 30, you will be able to pre-approve your KYCed wallet on the Otherside website. This simply allows the smart contract to use your ApeCoin to mint during the auction. Again, BAYC and MAYC holders do not need to approve their wallets to claim, but they do need to if they want to mint during the auction.

Will there be a metaverse land sale for Otherside?
Yuga Labs

There has been no official confirmation of a metaverse land sale for the Otherside metaverse. However, an apparent outdated leaked pitch deck reveals that a total of 200,000 plots of virtual land are expected to launch in partnership with Animoca Brands. Each Otherside metaverse plot is said to be listed at a price of 1 ETH each.

Additionally, whatever ApeCoin is earned from the mint will be locked up for one year. That means there will be no voting with it in the ApeCoin DAO.

Rumor says these plots of land are essential parts of the Otherside metaverse RPG. Each plot is said to come with unique attributes including artifacts, natural resources, and rare characters. These rumors were quickly put to rest once Yuga Lab’s co-founder, Gargamel, stated in Discord that the pitch deck is out of date. 

That’s an old outdated pitch deck and hilariously a version that neither Gordon nor I ever saw. There are a lot of things in there that have already been changed, and plenty more things that will change because f**k doing expected things,” said Gargamel.

Now, you could either be offended by this statement, or you could be ecstatic! Personally, I think this is even more exciting. The fact that Gargamel is beyond doing “expected things”, means that we are all in for a pleasant surprise.

Safety Tips

Of course, there have already been numerous scams and fake accounts leading up to the official Otherside drop. On April 20, BAYC announced that its Instagram account has been hacked. After seizing control of the Instagram account, hackers sent a phishing post that fooled followers into clicking on the link. The link required people to connect their wallets to the hacker’s smart contract, resulting in four stolen Bored Apes and an additional $3 million worth of various NFTs.

“Yuga Labs and Instagram are currently investigating how the hacker was able to gain access to the account. Two-factor authentication was enabled and the security practices surrounding the IG account were tight,” said BAYC creators in a statement.

As a result of the hack, the price of ApeCoin dropped nearly 11 percent to $17.41 but quickly bounced back to its current price of $22.23, leading up to the highly anticipated drop on Saturday.

Otherside’s official Twitter account has since emphasized numerous times that only certain accounts are trustworthy sources for information pertaining to updates about Otherside, including:

The official Discord servers of Otherside and BAYC will keep updating the project’s latest status. Otherside also made it clear that nothing will be announced or cross-posted anywhere else. Absolutely no one involved in Otherside will be posting on Instagram. There are no contests or giveaways and no surprises or early drops. Everything will happen on April 30, only on Otherside’s official website.

The Otherside drop is easily one of the most anticipated drops of the year. With Yuga Labs leading the way in the NFT space, they are sure to deliver an amazing product and an even better experience. Make sure to follow ONE37pm on Twitter to stay up to date with all the latest announcements.

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NFT

Do you want to live forever? 

Going all the way back to alchemy, before physics was even around, humans have been passionate about the idea of living forever. Alchemists have spent countless hours trying to formulate “the elixir of life” or “philosopher’s stone,” which would’ve granted them immortality. We are painfully aware of the short time of our existence on this planet we call home, and one way or another, we want to make sure our name lives on after we die. We strive for excellence, work hard to be the first, cure diseases, write books or want to be written in the books, or pay millions to put our names on museums. All for what? To be remembered. Even the simple biological urge of having kids comes from our inherent need to leave a piece of us behind. If not my legacy, at least my genes. 

When we think of living forever, one of the more optimistic episodes of Black Mirror, “San Junipero”, comes to mind. Your fragile body could die, but your mind would live forever in the servers. Recently the TV show “Upload” did a version of this, where you could upload your consciousness to the commercialized afterlife. However, you had to be super-rich to live well. You had to pay real-life money for your digital afterlife clothes and experiences. Neither of these painted a good picture, but not to worry, this is not what we’re talking about here. 

Five years ago, the CEO of Somnium Space, Artur Sychov, learned that his father got diagnosed with terminal cancer. It was around that time that he was working on Somnium as well. The fact that his young kids wouldn’t be able to get to know their grandfather pained him, and he wanted to find a way for his children to get to know him. He started wondering what he could do. 

Fast forward to this week, Sychov announced the “Live Forever” feature on Somnium Space. It essentially works by saving all your movements and conversations as data and creates an AI version of you that can digitally live forever. To be clear, this is not uploading your consciousness (we are so not there yet), and this won’t actually be you. It will be an avatar who acts and speaks like you. Sychov’s goal is, if you come across an AI in Somnium, you wouldn’t be able to realize that it’s not an actual human being behind the VR headset for the first 10 minutes of your conversation. 

Somnium Space is currently the leading metaverse platform fully integrated with VR. You can buy parcels to build houses and purchase in-game assets like clothing. It’s available for anyone to join for free, and you can either log in with VR headsets or simply with your computer. 

So, how will Somnium Space get all your mannerisms to understand the true you? They are partnering with Teslasuit, the company that makes full-body haptic suits for virtual reality. The suit will be able to record a person’s electrical signals, sensory input, and biometric information such as cardio and stress levels to create an extensive database. (Darn it! Does my AI avatar has to suffer from my stress too?) After there’s a good chunk of data available, Somnium will be able to create an avatar that speaks, walks, and moves like you. It is more like the “Be Right Back” episode on Black Mirror, where a mourning girlfriend finds a technology that allows her to communicate with an AI imitating his boyfriend, using all the available data online. Live Forever will be more accurate as it’s from data collected beforehand and not by using data from Twitter or Instagram, where the content we share doesn’t necessarily reflect us. 

Some might be terrified of a company collecting such private information about you. It’s a bit worrying if a centralized company holds your data. However, Somnium Space is a decentralized and web3 company; they won’t be associating your data with your name or selling your data. You can approve what data you allow to be collected and delete or restart the process at any time. If anybody is doing this, I’m glad it’s a decentralized company. If you want to be one of the first people in this venture, you can start this year for around $50 per year (which probably goes to storing your data.) 

Live Forever won’t get everyone’s approval in a world where most people are skeptical of the metaverse. Not everyone wants to live forever, but the strive for immortality itched humans for thousands of years, and it won’t stop now. Whether you like it or not, as technology improves, it’s inescapable to have such possibilities evolve and come to fruition. Many ethical questions will arise that Sychov will need to address. 

I can imagine a world where it would be incredible if we could save the knowledge of wise leaders, such as the Dalai Lama, and we could put our headsets to visit and seek knowledge on the high mountains of Somnium Space.

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NFT

5 Emerging DeFi Trends Defining Crypto in 2022

With markets open 24/7 and top talent switching to web3 every day, web3 and DeFi are moving quickly.

We’ve seen the rise of L2s (plus L1s like Terra), an institutional response to investment fraud, and heated debates around the perks and pitfalls of decentralized governance.

It can be exhausting to try and keep up with everything going on. Let’s walk you through some of the biggest DeFi Trends of 2022.

L2s Take Off

In recent months, layer 2 solutions have seen massive adoption within the Ethereum community as users flee L1 gas costs, and more feasible protocols emerge.

There are three major L2s you should know about:

1.) Optimism

Optimism

It made headlines last year as the first Ethereum rollup to announce a mainnet release. This is huge news for DeFi.

They are dedicated to fast and cheap transactions. This L2 boasts over $1 billion saved on user fees since its mainnet launch.

Their main tagline is “by the community for the community.” In the spirit of web3, the protocol is also open-source code. This attracts some of the biggest dApps in DeFi.

2.) Arbitrum

https://www.one37pm.com/stories/what-is-arbitrum/
Arbitrum

It is Offchain Labs’ forked iteration of Optimism’s open-source code. 

It relies on the security provided by Ethereum. Although, they enact an independent multi-round fraud-proof. By limiting the required L1 execution, they can achieve a higher transaction capacity. Great for DeFi applications.

3.) Polygon

Polygon

It works as a sidechain to Ethereum. It’s comprised of multiple blockchains which are highly interoperable. They benefit from Ethereum’s network effects, security, and power.

Several other blockchains have taken similar multi-chain approaches, including Avalanche and Polkadot, though only Polygon benefits from the Ethereum infrastructure.

Ascension of Terra Network
Terraform Labs

Terraform Labs received a lot of press over the past months for their decentralized blockchain, Terra. The network operates as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. This is done by deploying a system of stable coins, including UST, powered by the native token, Luna.

Adoption of the UST stablecoin, which is now one of the top stablecoins, drives the price action of Luna, jumping from .66 to $89 in 2021.

Ethereum has struggled to change from a proof of work system. The Terra network emerged as a worthwhile adversary. This blockchain operates on a proof of stake system. As a result, this gives unique utility to its native token.

I know the most brilliant DeFi devs are bullish on Terra (not financial advice ;)).

Institutional Response to Fraudulent Activity

We all know fraud is too common in burgeoning industries, sparking pressure from inside and outside the community to hold bad actors accountable and prevent future fraudulent behavior.

Despite institutional claims of danger within web3, blockchain technology makes it increasingly difficult to commit fraud. All transactions are on-chain and verifiable. 

Amateur Twitter sleuths are exposing the sketchy pasts of prominent project leaders. They are slowly bringing to light many fraudsters, like Wonderland’s 0xsifu. But peer pressure might not be enough to stop bad actors from taking advantage.


U.S. President Biden proposed executive order on the responsible development of digital assets. The community responded well to the legislation, as it signaled Washington’s growing interest and legitimization of on-chain tech rather than stringent regulation.

(De)Centralization
Getty Images

Decentralization refers to the dispersion of power or governance among participants. It is often a remedy for corrupt centralized control. It demonstrates unparalleled security against outside forces.

Decentralized networks are challenging to compromise because there is no central database. They are also permissionless. A small circle of valuable stakeholders cannot add or remove participants.

The downside of decentralized blockchains? Reliance upon consensus and lack of support.

Fully decentralized technology experience a lag in governance and decision-making compared to its centralized counterpart. You pay Coinbase fees for the convenience of its customer support (lol) and some guarantee of protection over your money (though tenuous).

Centralization allows products and marketplaces to make faster decision-making.

That’s great for innovation. But humans are more fallible and fickle than code. As a limit to vulnerability, most web3 tools and protocols operate somewhere within the (de)centralization spectrum.

The debate between centralized and decentralized systems will only intensify as mainstream users enter the crypto arena with a craving for convenience.

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NFT

Epik High Teams up with Azuki NFT for Visual Art Collab at Coachella

After stunning crowds with its stage visuals featuring Azuki NFTs during Weekend 1, Epik High will be back on April 22 for another performance at Coachella Weekend 2.

The Korean hip-hop trio—made up of members Tablo, Mithra Jin, and DJ Tukutz—is best known for its willingness to push boundaries for Asian artists.

Epik High was the first Korean act to play at Coachella in 2016, opening the doors for future Korean acts at mainstream festivals.

Now the group’s return this year marks another historic moment, as the first Korean act to return to Coachella for the second time.

How did this collab come to be?

Tablo, rapper and leader of Epik High, says he saw this moment as an opportunity to do something original.

He wanted to showcase Asian and Asian American artists in a mainstream platform while bridging web3 and the real world; that’s why he decided to partner with NFT collection, Azuki.

Azuki NFT’s Success

Azuki has seen a meteoric rise this year, currently topping OpenSea charts as one of the most popular NFT collections with the highest trading volume.

The entire collection has seen an unprecedented surge in price in the recent month. A rare Azuki NFT recently sold for over 420.7 ETH, equivalent to approximately $1.4 million USD, on OpenSea.

Azuki artist and co-creator Arnold Tsang, also known as “Steamboy,” was already a well-established artist before starting the NFT project. He is best known for his work as former character art director for Overwatch.

However, Tablo says he had planned this collaboration with Azuki long before the project exploded in popularity.

“I’ve been a fan of ‘Steamboy’ since he was doing comics,” Tablo said.

Tablo

I’ve just always appreciated his art and the vision behind it.

This isn’t the first time Epik High has worked to uplift Asian artists. The trio most recently collaborated with digital artist Ardhira Putra, on the visuals for their song “Super Rare.”

“We always love working with new people,” Tablo said. “It worked out so that we could create something new together.”

Tablo says it’s important to continue to have representation for Asians in all industries, web3 being one of them.

“Everyone on the Azuki team is Asian American,” Tablo said, adding: “Together they’re creating a new brand and a presence in a space people don’t know much about yet.”

As a group that has been around for over two decades, Epik High has managed to dodge obscurity through their open-mindedness and willingness to constantly innovate.

“I’m always wanting to be in touch with my fans,” Tablo said. “New technologies, new ways of communication, that’s my way of connecting with them.”

Fans were blown away by the execution, saying that they knew how to put their product in front of an audience in an “artistic and engaging way.”

“It was exceptionally done,” Tablo said. “Our characters blend very well with anime art.”

“Rosario,” which also features artists CL and ZICO, was named one of the “Best Songs of 2021” by Rolling Stone, The Ringer, and Teen Vogue.

“Coachella is not just a music festival. It’s also art, and we wanted to show that through visual art,” Tablo said.

While Coachella served as a platform this year for many artists, celebrities, and influencers to release their own NFTs, Tablo says Epik High chose to showcase the NFT space in a different way.

“One distinction is we’re not releasing an NFT,” he said. “We’re not trying to cash grab, we just want to share and appreciate the art.”

Azuki