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Grind Money

10 Altcoins to Think About in 2021

Note: This article is not intended to be formal financial advice. Always do your own research before investing.

Even the most boring, old-world corporations are adopting Bitcoin (BTC). That means Bitcoin ain’t what the cool kids are doing. Sure, it’s worth almost $50K a pop; it’s uber-valuable and super useful; it’s just not that cool anymore.

The early adopters of new crypto trends are typing away as we speak, far away from the corporate-media-supported blockchain. Altcoins are where it’s at.

What’s an altcoin?

An ‘altcoin’ is any coin other than Bitcoin. Why is BTC the crypto-standard? Because it was the first cryptocurrency ever created. So, every coin made after BTC can be dubbed an altcoin.

That seems weird, but when you consider the market cap of Bitcoin versus other coins, it makes sense why it is an outlier. Ethereum, for example, has the second-largest market cap, and it’s about ⅕ of Bitcoin. Why the need for altcoins? Well, Bitcoin is really powerful, but it has its restrictions. A valuable blockchain is created when it can offer something new to the market, just like anything else. A coin needs real world applications in order to succeed.

Here are ten altcoins to check out in 2021:
1. Ethereum (ETH)

Let’s start with the natural first-choice for altcoin enthusiasts: Ethereum.

Ethereum is a decentralized software platform that enables Smart Contracts and Decentralized apps (DApps). Their technology allows for the creation of fresh, innovative financial instruments without the need for a middle man. Plus, it’s safe and compliant.

The goal of Ethereum is to make financial products more accessible for everyone. In areas without reliable banking services, users can run Ethereum products to access loans, mortgages, payment platforms, etc.

2. Litecoin (LTC)

A top-10 crypto in market cap, Litecoin launched back in 2011 as one of Bitcoin’s first alternatives. The coin was created by Charlie Lee, an MIT graduate and former Google engineer.

Technically, Litecoin is very similar to Bitcoin, with a few minor tweaks. Because of their similarity, the two coins move closely at price.

The main difference between BTC and LTC? 1) Litecoin confirms payments faster and 2) Litecoin uses a different cryptographic algorithm.

3. Cardano (ADA)

Similar to Ethereum, Cardano is popular because it enables financial applications and decentralized apps (dapps). ADA’s value exploded last year, starting as a fraction of a penny then jumping to nearly ten cents a pop.

Cardano is currently the fourth largest crypto in market cap. As another part of its value add, Cardano validates transactions with low-energy costs.

4. Ripple (XRP)

The sixth-largest crypto, Ripple, is based on the XRP Ledger.

XRP is not based on blockchain, but rather an open-source distributed ledger database. The coin had obvious market appeal before facing serious regulatory issues. According to Financial News Herald, the token price is down more than 60% since Dec. 22 last year when the SEC filed its complaint against Ripple.

The coin is still worth mentioning. If Ripple is somehow able to Lamar Jackson-scramble out of this ‘you are a security not a currency’ blitz from the SEC, the coin has a promising future.

5. Stellar (XLM)

Stellar is only a few years old but already lands near the top of the list. This coin is pretty similar to Ripple (it was created by Ripple’s co-founder) and has a similar goal of creating a decentralized protocol for digital to fiat transfers internationally.

Stellar effectively connects financial institutions through the blockchain and provides cheap alternatives to foreign exchange platforms.

6. Tron (TRX)

Tron is an entertainment and content-sharing platform that pays when you post. Try to think of it like the anti-Facebook.

Facebook derives its value from selling your data to third parties. Tron derives its value from paying you currency (that you have full control over). The more valuable that medium of exchange becomes, the more valuable Tron becomes.

Things can get kind of confusing when you break into the deep dapp space, but put simply… Tron is at the center of the Web 3.0 movement. Web 3.0 = building an internet as it was originally intended… decentralized and open.

TRX has grown a lot over the last few years and is currently marked at about a nickel/coin.

7. Chainlink (LINK)

LINK is an Ethereum spin-off. The technology was built on the ETH network and when you purchase LINK, you also support Ethereum.

LINK is the first of its kind… a decentralized oracle network that connects smart contracts with data from the real world. Purchasers seek out specific data and bidders can provide data securely to purchasers.

8. Tether

Tether is a stable coin. Haven’t mentioned those yet, have we?

Each tether is pegged to the US dollar, so it is considered a stable-value cryptocurrency (it doesn’t fluctuate nearly as bad). This coin is controversial though. In 2019, it one day included ‘loans to affiliate companies’ as part of its backing.

How is this controversial? Folks purchase Tether to access coins tied to a stable currency like the US dollar but still reap the benefits of blockchain tech. When Tether revealed their coin was also backed by loans to affiliate companies, people felt it was misleading.

Still, Tether is the largest stable coin and an important player in the space.Here’s one common use for fiat-collateralized stable coins: I own 1 BTC. But I think the price of BTC is about to drop by $5,000 USD tomorrow. I am going to transfer my 1 BTC to its equivalent in Tether because I know it is more stable there. When BTC returns to my desired price next week, I can easily transfer my Tether back to BTC.

9. Dash

As its name suggests, Dash is known for its speedy transaction rate. Once called Dark Money, this financial tool is built for cheap, quick transactions. As their website suggests, you can transact for under a cent in less than a second.

Dash is built on Bitcoin tech, but has more privacy—Dash keeps public addresses hidden. That means senders can remain anonymous. For Bitcoin, it may be difficult to trace a public address to an individual, but the entire world can see every public address. 

10. Monero

Last but not least, Monero is an altcoin built with privacy as first priority. What makes it unique?

Monero transactions are completely anonymous.

Some argue that’s a bad thing (it is a breeding ground for financial crime), while others consider privacy a rare gem in the modern world. My current browser won’t even let me go on Monero’s website, to show how under-the-radar this crypto is, despite its popularity.

Keep in mind, there are thousands of different alt-coins, these are just ten I thought of as a good place to start.

Every day more coins are entering the market. Some are worthless, others can change the world. Which altcoin is your favorite?

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Grind Money

5 NFT Projects You Need to Know About

As the conversation about NFT’s continues its meteoric rise, there is a lot of talk about the digital collectible. For those newcomers who are choosing to delve a little deeper than NBA Top Shot, they’re quickly learning that the NFT space is already relatively crowded with a lot of interesting projects. As all of you start to delve deeper into the scene and discover a myriad of experiences that put on display the creative way NFT technology can be approached, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and identify the ones that you should truly be paying attention to. 

Thankfully, you’ve got me. As a digital collector for the past 6 years, I’ve seen the industry evolve in a lot of interesting ways, and being able to identify a project’s trajectory is never a sure thing. However, there are some key attributes that I look for when I’m choosing where I am going to invest next.

What do I look for?

It’s important to note that when I say invest, I don’t mean just financially; I also mean emotionally. (To be clear, this isn’t financial advice) Those two main ways in which I connect with a project, whether that’s a game, digital collectible, or art, are key pillars in choosing the next community I jump into. 

Community, in fact, is another metric that I pay close attention to. A project with a strong community presence is typically a good sign. When a project lead and their team are active on social, quick to respond to inquiries, clear in their intent and goal, it brings a dynamic that is severely lacking in AAA experiences and exactly why it means so much in the decentralized space.

Where should we start?

Now that you know a little bit of the how and why, what is it about these five projects that stand out the most? In all cases, I see longevity, strong community, and a strong ‘IP.’ For specifics, let’s break them down!

Note; this list is intended for those relatively new to the space. There is an abundance of excellent NFT experiences, but honestly speaking, the barrier of entry to most is a bit clunky and difficult at this time. I intend to shed light on easily accessible projects that I think apply to a wide audience, specifically those with a low barrier of entry. If you’re already comfortable with what you’re doing, check out my BONUS mention at the end for advanced collectors.

5. Ben Mauro’s EVOLUTION – A Collectible Card Game on FLOW

Ben Mauro is a legendary concept design artist. Working on massive IPs like Call of Duty and The Hobbit Trilogy, it’s exciting to imagine just what such a creative mind will bring to NFTs. With little information available, I’m sure you’re asking why EVOLUTION made my list. 

While it’s not an existing property like many of the other offerings coming to FLOW, EVOLUTION has all the makings of an exciting IP. The teaser images show an extremely high-quality character design. Combine top-tier art in a digital space with the gamification that collectible cards can provide, and I think that EVOLUTION positions itself well to hit the ground running with a launch on a blockchain that has little friction in purchasing and no transaction/gas fees for buying/selling/trading.

EVOLUTION is the only project on the list that has yet to launch, but it’s definitely one that I would sign up for now, so you know exactly when the project launches. If there’s one thing you’ll learn quickly about this space, it’s that being early is VERY important.

4. Decentraland – A Metaverse

While it does require an Ethereum wallet to take full advantage of Decentraland, anyone can hop in and explore the Metaverse right inside their web browser as a guest. With an aesthetic that is sure to bring mass appeal, one of the coolest features of the experience is DCL’s Wearables. When you first see an Avatar inside of this world, there’s no telling what they may be wearing. And in this way, we are seeing just the beginnings of an existence where we can express our true selves in a digital way that feels very natural. 

Cool hats, dope sneakers, and outfits that span genres are just the beginning of what we will see as the integration of fashion and NFTs become deeper. While I don’t believe we’ve seen wearables by big-name brands just yet, I’m sure they’ll show up soon. In the meantime, we are seeing digital fashion designers emerge who are doing excellent work and cementing themselves into the foundation of this movement. 

I think DCL is an excellent first experience and introduction to the concept of a Metaverse. But it’s not the ONLY one. There are other Metaverse experiences that should be explored as well; Cryptovoxels, Somnium Space, and The Sandbox. Each of these has its own unique aspects that make them worth digging into; CryptoVoxels is a familiar voxel-based experience and easy to use. Somnium Space is visually stunning while also technologically advanced, and The Sandbox has some major IP partnerships coming to their experience, just to name a few. 

3. Bitcoin Origins – The history of Bitcoin told through a collecting experience on WAX

The first thing you’ll notice about BTC is its rabid community. For those who follow the project closely, the story being told through these collectibles is one they return to daily. Why? Story. Hiding inside the cards are hints and clues that have led collectors down a rabbit hole that some compare to ARGs’ niche ‘game’ experience. Alternate reality games are, at their basics, experiences that take place both digitally and in the physical world. For example, you get emails from game characters to meet somewhere in the real world at a specific time. When you get there, it’s a group of other players, and you’re all given a scavenger hunt mission to engage in. 

With Bitcoin Origins, players have received messages and private DMs from a mysterious source that provides breadcrumbs they follow because at the end of this trail is a prize. And what’s that prize, you ask? One. Bitcoin.

When people ask me why NFTs matter, my answer is always the same. Because they allow us to dream big and then bring those crazy dreams into reality, this technology connects its users in a way I’ve never seen before. The only thing even remotely close is gaming. It’s the use of high-quality collectibles, leverage of community, and connection to the experience through storytelling that allow the Bitcoin Origins experience to transcend the ‘card’ and take it to another level. 

The @BitcoinOrigins Story can be followed on Twitter, and their collectibles can be found here.

2. KOGS on WAX

A digital recreation of the 90s ‘milk cap’ craze, otherwise known as POGS, hit the WAX blockchain in August of last year and has been one of the most consistent properties on that chain ever since. 

Leaning on experienced game dev Arclegger, real name Adam Clegg, the team at RedFOX Games set out to create one of the first fully on-chain experiences in gaming. With a very well-thought-out drop structure, the First Edition of KOGs was crafted specifically for collectors. Rarities, Sets, and different ‘classes’ of collectibles, KOGs and Slammers, mean there are plenty of ways for a collector to get in and get engaged. 

Implementing a staking mechanism where you lock in different sets to gain rewards, combined with a mobile game currently in beta, as well as other aspects like using these tokens in other game experiences in the future, sets KOGs up to be a long-standing brand in the space. 

Collect KOGS on WAX.

1. Nifty Gateway

With the lowest barrier of entry next to NBA TopShot on Flow, Nifty Gateway is easily the number one pick for this list. Seeing an amazing increase in revenue over the past six months has solidified them as the space’s top platform. Just last night Mad Dog Jones, a digital artist of many years who has never made much money off of his work, broke records and sold over four million dollars worth of digital assets… in nine minutes. 

At an astonishing rate, Nifty is constantly pushing the industry forward in new and exciting ways. I’d suggest two reasons, on top of ease of use, to why they’re seeing such a meteoric rise. Implementing unique drops that combine digital with physical, such as the recent release from EDM artist 3LAU, which included a piece of wood etched with the soundwave of the NFTs track and implementing open editions, which are sales that have no set print limit only a time limit. The latter specifically allows for the market to decide what the demand is like for an artist, which is proving to be pretty damn high. For all of them. Almost daily.

I imagine we will see many exciting announcements from Nifty Gateway in the coming months that will include big names and brands that are sure to excite and surprise many.

Get signed up and purchasing NFTs within minutes.

BONUS: B20 – Own a piece of Beeple’s epic first drop

And then see what happens when his auction goes to the moon with Christie’s next week. NOT INVESTMENT ADVICE! But if you’re an advanced collector and didn’t get to buy into his initial drop, this is a great way to get involved by owning a piece via the B20 token. 

Through that token, holders have voting powers should someone attempt to buy out all 100% of the supply. With a smart contract in place set to accept a beginning bid between 12 and 15 million dollars should someone want to try to own it all, there is no telling when this could take place. At that time, a timer of 14 days begins. If no other bids are accepted, and the token holders don’t vote to veto a purchase via a 25% vote, the ownership of the complete Beeple collection as well as the virtual museums where they are on display transfers to the new owner.

You’ll want to head over to B20.MetaPurse.Fund to get all the details and find out how to snag the token. (You’ll need an Ethereum wallet and ETH in it, then you’ll head over to UniSwap. If you have no idea what that means, skip this last suggestion!)

Hopefully, these examples have shown you just a glimpse of how NFT technology can extend beyond simply replacing cardboard collectibles or backing virtual Fortnite skins, and create an experience that allows a creator to engage and reward collectors in a way that has never been possible at another time in history.

Categories
Art NFT

5 NFT Projects You Need to Know About

As the conversation about NFT’s continues its meteoric rise, there is a lot of talk about the digital collectible. For those newcomers who are choosing to delve a little deeper than NBA Top Shot, they’re quickly learning that the NFT space is already relatively crowded with a lot of interesting projects. As all of you start to delve deeper into the scene and discover a myriad of experiences that put on display the creative way NFT technology can be approached, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and identify the ones that you should truly be paying attention to. 

Thankfully, you’ve got me. As a digital collector for the past 6 years, I’ve seen the industry evolve in a lot of interesting ways, and being able to identify a project’s trajectory is never a sure thing. However, there are some key attributes that I look for when I’m choosing where I am going to invest next.

What do I look for?

It’s important to note that when I say invest, I don’t mean just financially; I also mean emotionally. (To be clear, this isn’t financial advice) Those two main ways in which I connect with a project, whether that’s a game, digital collectible, or art, are key pillars in choosing the next community I jump into. 

Community, in fact, is another metric that I pay close attention to. A project with a strong community presence is typically a good sign. When a project lead and their team are active on social, quick to respond to inquiries, clear in their intent and goal, it brings a dynamic that is severely lacking in AAA experiences and exactly why it means so much in the decentralized space.

Where should we start?

Now that you know a little bit of the how and why, what is it about these five projects that stand out the most? In all cases, I see longevity, strong community, and a strong ‘IP.’ For specifics, let’s break them down!

Note; this list is intended for those relatively new to the space. There is an abundance of excellent NFT experiences, but honestly speaking, the barrier of entry to most is a bit clunky and difficult at this time. I intend to shed light on easily accessible projects that I think apply to a wide audience, specifically those with a low barrier of entry. If you’re already comfortable with what you’re doing, check out my BONUS mention at the end for advanced collectors.

5. Ben Mauro’s EVOLUTION – A Collectible Card Game on FLOW

Ben Mauro is a legendary concept design artist. Working on massive IPs like Call of Duty and The Hobbit Trilogy, it’s exciting to imagine just what such a creative mind will bring to NFTs. With little information available, I’m sure you’re asking why EVOLUTION made my list. 

While it’s not an existing property like many of the other offerings coming to FLOW, EVOLUTION has all the makings of an exciting IP. The teaser images show an extremely high-quality character design. Combine top-tier art in a digital space with the gamification that collectible cards can provide, and I think that EVOLUTION positions itself well to hit the ground running with a launch on a blockchain that has little friction in purchasing and no transaction/gas fees for buying/selling/trading.

EVOLUTION is the only project on the list that has yet to launch, but it’s definitely one that I would sign up for now, so you know exactly when the project launches. If there’s one thing you’ll learn quickly about this space, it’s that being early is VERY important.

4. Decentraland – A Metaverse

While it does require an Ethereum wallet to take full advantage of Decentraland, anyone can hop in and explore the Metaverse right inside their web browser as a guest. With an aesthetic that is sure to bring mass appeal, one of the coolest features of the experience is DCL’s Wearables. When you first see an Avatar inside of this world, there’s no telling what they may be wearing. And in this way, we are seeing just the beginnings of an existence where we can express our true selves in a digital way that feels very natural. 

Cool hats, dope sneakers, and outfits that span genres are just the beginning of what we will see as the integration of fashion and NFTs become deeper. While I don’t believe we’ve seen wearables by big-name brands just yet, I’m sure they’ll show up soon. In the meantime, we are seeing digital fashion designers emerge who are doing excellent work and cementing themselves into the foundation of this movement. 

I think DCL is an excellent first experience and introduction to the concept of a Metaverse. But it’s not the ONLY one. There are other Metaverse experiences that should be explored as well; Cryptovoxels, Somnium Space, and The Sandbox. Each of these has its own unique aspects that make them worth digging into; CryptoVoxels is a familiar voxel-based experience and easy to use. Somnium Space is visually stunning while also technologically advanced, and The Sandbox has some major IP partnerships coming to their experience, just to name a few. 

3. Bitcoin Origins – The history of Bitcoin told through a collecting experience on WAX

The first thing you’ll notice about BTC is its rabid community. For those who follow the project closely, the story being told through these collectibles is one they return to daily. Why? Story. Hiding inside the cards are hints and clues that have led collectors down a rabbit hole that some compare to ARGs’ niche ‘game’ experience. Alternate reality games are, at their basics, experiences that take place both digitally and in the physical world. For example, you get emails from game characters to meet somewhere in the real world at a specific time. When you get there, it’s a group of other players, and you’re all given a scavenger hunt mission to engage in. 

With Bitcoin Origins, players have received messages and private DMs from a mysterious source that provides breadcrumbs they follow because at the end of this trail is a prize. And what’s that prize, you ask? One. Bitcoin.

When people ask me why NFTs matter, my answer is always the same. Because they allow us to dream big and then bring those crazy dreams into reality, this technology connects its users in a way I’ve never seen before. The only thing even remotely close is gaming. It’s the use of high-quality collectibles, leverage of community, and connection to the experience through storytelling that allow the Bitcoin Origins experience to transcend the ‘card’ and take it to another level. 

The @BitcoinOrigins Story can be followed on Twitter, and their collectibles can be found here.

2. KOGS on WAX

A digital recreation of the 90s ‘milk cap’ craze, otherwise known as POGS, hit the WAX blockchain in August of last year and has been one of the most consistent properties on that chain ever since. 

Leaning on experienced game dev Arclegger, real name Adam Clegg, the team at RedFOX Games set out to create one of the first fully on-chain experiences in gaming. With a very well-thought-out drop structure, the First Edition of KOGs was crafted specifically for collectors. Rarities, Sets, and different ‘classes’ of collectibles, KOGs and Slammers, mean there are plenty of ways for a collector to get in and get engaged. 

Implementing a staking mechanism where you lock in different sets to gain rewards, combined with a mobile game currently in beta, as well as other aspects like using these tokens in other game experiences in the future, sets KOGs up to be a long-standing brand in the space. 

Collect KOGS on WAX.

1. Nifty Gateway

With the lowest barrier of entry next to NBA TopShot on Flow, Nifty Gateway is easily the number one pick for this list. Seeing an amazing increase in revenue over the past six months has solidified them as the space’s top platform. Just last night Mad Dog Jones, a digital artist of many years who has never made much money off of his work, broke records and sold over four million dollars worth of digital assets… in nine minutes. 

At an astonishing rate, Nifty is constantly pushing the industry forward in new and exciting ways. I’d suggest two reasons, on top of ease of use, to why they’re seeing such a meteoric rise. Implementing unique drops that combine digital with physical, such as the recent release from EDM artist 3LAU, which included a piece of wood etched with the soundwave of the NFTs track and implementing open editions, which are sales that have no set print limit only a time limit. The latter specifically allows for the market to decide what the demand is like for an artist, which is proving to be pretty damn high. For all of them. Almost daily.

I imagine we will see many exciting announcements from Nifty Gateway in the coming months that will include big names and brands that are sure to excite and surprise many.

Get signed up and purchasing NFTs within minutes.

BONUS: B20 – Own a piece of Beeple’s epic first drop

And then see what happens when his auction goes to the moon with Christie’s next week. NOT INVESTMENT ADVICE! But if you’re an advanced collector and didn’t get to buy into his initial drop, this is a great way to get involved by owning a piece via the B20 token. 

Through that token, holders have voting powers should someone attempt to buy out all 100% of the supply. With a smart contract in place set to accept a beginning bid between 12 and 15 million dollars should someone want to try to own it all, there is no telling when this could take place. At that time, a timer of 14 days begins. If no other bids are accepted, and the token holders don’t vote to veto a purchase via a 25% vote, the ownership of the complete Beeple collection as well as the virtual museums where they are on display transfers to the new owner.

You’ll want to head over to B20.MetaPurse.Fund to get all the details and find out how to snag the token. (You’ll need an Ethereum wallet and ETH in it, then you’ll head over to UniSwap. If you have no idea what that means, skip this last suggestion!)

Hopefully, these examples have shown you just a glimpse of how NFT technology can extend beyond simply replacing cardboard collectibles or backing virtual Fortnite skins, and create an experience that allows a creator to engage and reward collectors in a way that has never been possible at another time in history.

Categories
Grind Money

Meet Art Blocks: One of the Most Unique Platforms in NFTs Right Now

Art Blocks is a generative art platform that allows collectors to mint tokens without knowing what they will get ahead of time. The artist writes a code that is plugged into the platform, which will generate different combinations of the variables at random. The creator, Snowfro, came up with the idea when he was claiming CryptoPunks back in 2017, and he thought it was unfair that he got to claim a bunch of zombies. Over the next few years, he sold over 20 zombies to fund the development of Art Blocks.

Much like sneaker drops, project releases on the platform happen at different times featuring different artists. Collectors will then go to the project page and mint the tokens from there, not knowing exactly what they are minting until it is minted.  To date, there have been 13 curated projects and six uncurated projects released on the platform.

Snowfro ultimately sees Art Blocks as a platform where artists can do a drop that would be affordable for collectors that might otherwise be priced out of the artists’ work.

Chromie Squiggle by Snowfro

Chromie Squiggle is the project by Snowfro, the creator of the Art Blocks platform. For the purposes of this article today, I will focus on Squiggles. By far the largest project currently on the platform, the 10,000 mints was a number he felt would be good for a long-term project’s health and community.  When discussing why he chose the shapes and colors he did, Snowfro said that he was fascinated with color in general and loved that the squiggles could capture multiple cycles of a spectrum or a very limited segment of the spectrum. The shape of the squiggle itself was created to provide enough randomness so that no two pieces could be the same.

Minting ended to the public in early January at around 9,000 mints, with the rest of the mints to be used as a reserve fund for marketing in the future.  Currently, the only way to buy them is through Opensea.

Below is a table of the different Chromie Squiggle traits so that you understand what each one looks like when you are looking at them.  The cool thing about Chromies is that when you are in the gallery view on the Art Blocks website, and you click the Live view, you can see the colors moving throughout the Chromie.

Art Blocks Discord

Now that we know the different traits, we can look at how rare each one of those is. In the tables below, we can see the rarities of each trait. Hyper rainbows(121) are the rarest trait, but digging into those, you can see that hyper rainbow combo’s with other traits are even rarer, with the hyper-pipe(4) being the hardest Chromies to find.

Art Blocks Discord

The numbers so far are not absolute, as there are still 911 Chromie Squiggles left to be minted.  So while the rarity numbers will change, this serves as a pretty good estimate of the distribution of each trait.

How to Trade Them

The best place to browse, buy, and sell them is by going to the Art Blocks section on OpenSea. From there, you can scroll down, and you can select the specific drop you want from the left-hand menu so that it filters to that project’s specific pieces.  Once you select Chromie Squiggle, you can then filter further based on the traits you wish to search for.

Pricing

Chromie Squiggle floors are currently at around .12 eth, almost 3 times the original mint price (($235 at time of this writing). Considering how much other NFT projects have been appreciating over the last few months, it seems that this project may be undervalued. It is the first project on the Art Blocks platform (project ID 0), which is the leading platform for generative art in the blockchain space. 

Besides focusing on traits, collectors have also focused on the color spectrum, as well as low mint numbers or important years.

As collectors have initially gravitated towards the initial top-tier NFT’s, many have glossed over Chromie Squiggles because of a lack of understanding. This is giving keen investors an opportunity to get in at great prices.

Categories
Art NFT

Meet Art Blocks: One of the Most Unique Platforms in NFTs Right Now

Art Blocks is a generative art platform that allows collectors to mint tokens without knowing what they will get ahead of time. The artist writes a code that is plugged into the platform, which will generate different combinations of the variables at random. The creator, Snowfro, came up with the idea when he was claiming CryptoPunks back in 2017, and he thought it was unfair that he got to claim a bunch of zombies. Over the next few years, he sold over 20 zombies to fund the development of Art Blocks.

Much like sneaker drops, project releases on the platform happen at different times featuring different artists. Collectors will then go to the project page and mint the tokens from there, not knowing exactly what they are minting until it is minted.  To date, there have been 13 curated projects and six uncurated projects released on the platform.

Snowfro ultimately sees Art Blocks as a platform where artists can do a drop that would be affordable for collectors that might otherwise be priced out of the artists’ work.

Chromie Squiggle by Snowfro

Chromie Squiggle is the project by Snowfro, the creator of the Art Blocks platform. For the purposes of this article today, I will focus on Squiggles. By far the largest project currently on the platform, the 10,000 mints was a number he felt would be good for a long-term project’s health and community.  When discussing why he chose the shapes and colors he did, Snowfro said that he was fascinated with color in general and loved that the squiggles could capture multiple cycles of a spectrum or a very limited segment of the spectrum. The shape of the squiggle itself was created to provide enough randomness so that no two pieces could be the same.

Minting ended to the public in early January at around 9,000 mints, with the rest of the mints to be used as a reserve fund for marketing in the future.  Currently, the only way to buy them is through Opensea.

Below is a table of the different Chromie Squiggle traits so that you understand what each one looks like when you are looking at them.  The cool thing about Chromies is that when you are in the gallery view on the Art Blocks website, and you click the Live view, you can see the colors moving throughout the Chromie.

Art Blocks Discord

Now that we know the different traits, we can look at how rare each one of those is. In the tables below, we can see the rarities of each trait. Hyper rainbows(121) are the rarest trait, but digging into those, you can see that hyper rainbow combo’s with other traits are even rarer, with the hyper-pipe(4) being the hardest Chromies to find.

Art Blocks Discord

The numbers so far are not absolute, as there are still 911 Chromie Squiggles left to be minted.  So while the rarity numbers will change, this serves as a pretty good estimate of the distribution of each trait.

How to Trade Them

The best place to browse, buy, and sell them is by going to the Art Blocks section on OpenSea. From there, you can scroll down, and you can select the specific drop you want from the left-hand menu so that it filters to that project’s specific pieces.  Once you select Chromie Squiggle, you can then filter further based on the traits you wish to search for.

Pricing

Chromie Squiggle floors are currently at around .12 eth, almost 3 times the original mint price (($235 at time of this writing). Considering how much other NFT projects have been appreciating over the last few months, it seems that this project may be undervalued. It is the first project on the Art Blocks platform (project ID 0), which is the leading platform for generative art in the blockchain space. 

Besides focusing on traits, collectors have also focused on the color spectrum, as well as low mint numbers or important years.

As collectors have initially gravitated towards the initial top-tier NFT’s, many have glossed over Chromie Squiggles because of a lack of understanding. This is giving keen investors an opportunity to get in at great prices.

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Grind Money

The 21 Highest-Paid Baseball Players of 2021 (And All-Time)

We are slowly creeping our way to the start of Spring, which means…baseball is coming back! Now, this isn’t your standard ‘predictions’ article where we go into power rankings and potential playoff standings—we are looking at the highest-paid MLB players heading into the 2021 season and revisiting the top ten highest-paid players of all-time. 

Now in a world where we see NBA players securing absolutely massive contracts, we tend to forget that MLB players are ‘silent killers’ as well. Professional baseball players have proven over time that they can land some of the biggest contracts in sports history. For example, All-Star pitcher Trevor Bauer recently inked a deal worth $102 million with the Los Angeles Dodgers making him the top earner for both the 2021 and 2022 seasons, and Alex Rodriguez remains the highest-paid MLB player ever with $450 million in earnings. There are no restrictions on MLB contracts—players can make as much money as what their teams are willing to pay them, and teams, in general, seem to be pretty lax when it comes to the luxury tax component of baseball salaries. Another key factor in the overall net worth of baseball players is the longevity element—a baseball career can last much longer than other major league sports because of its limited contact. Baseball players aren’t getting banged and bruised up as much as their counterparts, making the injury rates relatively low. In theory, an MLB career could end up lasting anywhere from fifteen to twenty years, whereas in the NBA or NFL, those career lengths could span much less due to serious injuries, roster limitations, and other factors

Nerdy sports facts aside, baseball players can land some monumental deals. Here is a list of the highest-paid active players, as well as the highest-paid MLB players in the history of the league.

Let’s start with the present. 

1. Trevor Bauer, Los Angeles Dodgers
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Contract: 3 Years (2021-2023), $102 Million 

Trevor Bauer entered the free-agency period as the most coveted player on the market. The 2020 National League Cy Young Award posted his best season to date with the Cincinnati Reds, ending the year 5-4 with a 1.73 ERA in 11 games. Bauer was later selected as the starting pitcher for the Reds wildcard matchup against the Atlanta Braves, and the competition for the rising superstar was huge, ending with the Dodgers offering him a record-setting contract. Bauer ended the 2020 campaign making the All-MLB First Team and will presumably add another All-Star appearance this year if everything continues to go well in terms of Covid precautions. The RHP will make roughly $40 million this season.

2. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
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Contract: 12 Years (2018-2030), $430 Million

At some point in the decade, the current all-time salary ranking will have to be completely revamped. When that happens, Mike Trout will join that list as his current extension is only $20 million less than Alex Rodriguez’s total career earnings. The Los Angeles Angels didn’t give Trout a promise ring; they locked him down with a long-term commitment—and for a good reason. Trout has displayed consistent dominance over the past few years with three MVPs and eight All-Star appearances under his belt. The All-Star’s ten-year $400 million contract was the largest contract extension in professional sports history before being eclipsed by Patrick Mahomes in 2020. Trout will pull in a little over $37 million this year.

3. Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees
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Contract: 9 Years (2020-2028), $324 Million

This three-time All-Star and 2019 MLB Strikeout Leader had a lot to be happy about in 2019 when the New York Yankees offered him a nine-year $324 million contract to lure him away from the Houston Astros. That deal was the largest ever given to a pitcher at that time and came on the heels of an incredible season from Cole where he led the league with 326 strikeouts, finishing the year 20-5 with a 2.5 ERA. Cole’s debut with the Yankees last season was equally impressive but cut short due to the pandemic. The right-hand pitcher will net $36 million for the 2021 campaign as he looks to have a second successful season with The Bronx Bombers.

4. Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
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Contract: 5 Years (2019-2023), $137.5 Million

Considered to be one of the best pitchers in the MLB, deGrom is a three-time All-Star with two First-Team appearances and two National League Cy Young Awards. deGrom has spent his entire career with the Mets, and the two agreed to a five-year $137.5 million contract in 2019. Despite battling injuries, the Mets star has continued to make a valid case for being the best pitcher in the league-leading the NL in strikeouts last season. deGrom fell just short of winning his third-consecutive Cy Young proving that at 32-years-old, he keeps getting better. The pitcher will make $33.5 million this season.

5. Zack Greinke, Houston Astros
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Contract: 6 Years (2016-2021), $206.5 Million

Acquired by the Houston Astros in 2019, Greinke remains one of the league’s top veterans and still pulls in excellent numbers proving that he is very much worth the money. The six-time All-Star was fourth in home runs allowed last season, finishing 3-3 with a 4.03 ERA in 12 starts. Greinke’s performance helped the Astros make a deep playoff run last year, and the team will need a similar performance this year as Justin Verlander is likely to miss the 2021 season. Greinke is expected to take home $32.9 million for the 2021 campaign.

6. Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals
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Contract: 7 Years (2020-2026), $245 Million 

Pulling in $35 million this season, Stephen Strasburg put together a 2019 playoff performance worthy of being in the baseball hall of fame, leading the Nationals to a World Series win over the Houston Astros. The MVP was rewarded for his showing with a seven-year $245 million contract. The deal will keep the three-time All-Star with the Nationals until 2026, and barring a major turn of events, Strasburg will likely finish his career with the team that drafted him.

7. Nolan Arenado, St. Louis Cardinals
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Contract: 8 Years (2019-2026), $260 Million, 1 Year (2027),  $15 Million

Since his 2013 debut with the Colorado Rockies, Arenado has made five All-Star appearances, while also having multiple Gold Glove Awards and numerous other accomplishments on his resume. A three-time NL Home Run Leader, Arenado agreed to an eight-year contract extension worth $255 million in 2019. Arenado was traded to the Cardinals on February 1st in a blockbuster deal, and St. Louis added an extra $15 million to his contract for good measure. The Cards will pay Arenado $35 million for the upcoming season.

8. Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
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Contract: 7 Years (2015-2021), $210 Million

Arguably one of the best deals in MLB history, Scherzer heads into the final season of his contract with a 3.74 ERA and 92 strikeouts. While not as prolific as his 2019 World Series campaign, the seven-time All-Star and three-time Cy Young Award winner is still remarkably efficient. Scherzer will make $34.5 million in his last year with the Nationals, and at the moment Scherzer’s immediate future is still unclear. Scherzer has made it clear that he would like to continue playing, but as of this writing, a contract extension has not been reached.

9. Justin Verlander
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Contract: 2 Years (2020-2021), $66 Million

As mentioned earlier, Verlander is expected to sit out this season as he recovers from an injury that also kept him out pretty much all of the 2020 campaign. While Verlander won’t see the field in 2021, he still remains one of baseball’s top earners as he is still expected to earn $33 million this year. With Verlander turning 38 this month, his future in baseball remains uncertain. Whatever the case may be, the eight-time All-Star and World Series champion deserves his flowers (and coins).

10. Manny Machado, San Diego Padres
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Contract: 10 Years (2019-2028), $300 Million

The San Diego Padres are in it for the long haul with Manny Machado and made it official in 2019 when they offered him a 10-year, $300 million contract which was then the biggest free-agent contract in the history of American sports. The four-time All-Star’s contract was eclipsed two weeks later by Bryce Harper’s $330 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, but the heavy hitter remains top ten in earnings. Machado finished third last season in the National League with 16 home runs and 47 RBIs. Machado is expected to take home $34 million this year.

11. Bryce Harper
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Contract: 13 Years (2019-2032), $330 Million

One of baseball’s best talents, Bryce Harper began his career with the Washington Nationals before eventually signing with their divisional rival, the Philadelphia Phillies.

Since signing with Philadelphia, he has maintained much of the same success that he had in Washington, hitting 35 home runs in 2019. In 2020, he batted .268 with just 13 homers in the shortened campaign, but he is poised for a true return to form in the 2021 year.

Now that we have covered the highest-paid players for the 2021 season, let’s get into the highest-earning MLB players of all-time.

1. Alex Rodriguez
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Total Seasons: 22

Total Earnings: $450 Million

A-Rod earned an estimated $450 million during the course of his 22-year career. Rodriguez’s two highest-earning seasons came during the 2009 and 2010 seasons which coincided with the Yankees 2009 World Series championship. The fourteen-time All-Star also received a slew of endorsements deals which included partnerships with Nike, Giorgio Armani, and Radio Shack bringing him an additional $35 million on top of his MLB salary. Rodriguez retired from baseball in 2016, and currently works as an analyst for ESPN and Fox Sports.

2. Albert Pujols
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Total Seasons: 20

Total Earnings: $309.2 Million

In a nineteen-year career that featured ten all-star appearances, two World Series championships and plenty more, Pujols spent the first half of his career in St. Louis with the Cardinals where he experienced the majority of his professional success, and has since spent the second half of his career with the Los Angeles Angels. Pujols has collected $309 million to date, and this season will mark his highest single-season salary with a base rate of $30 million. The 2021 campaign also marks the final year of Pujols’ contract with the Angels, so we’ll have to see what move he makes next.

3. Miguel Cabrera
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Total Seasons: 19

Total Earnings: $291 Million

Another veteran still going strong, Cabrera is currently on a ten-year contract with the Detroit Tigers as part of an eight-year contract extension signed back in 2014. At the time the contract qualified for the largest in baseball history, and was considered a major power move making it clear that the Tigers were ‘all in’ on Cabrera. The eleven-time All-Star will earn a base salary of $30 million this year, and $32 million during the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

4. Derek Jeter
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Total Seasons: 20

Total Earnings: $266 Million

One of the greatest baseball players the world has ever seen, Derek Jeter grossed $266 million during his two decade career. Similar to his Yankees teammate A-Rod, Jeter’s highest earning season came during the 2010 campaign, where the fourteen-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion earned the coveted AL Hank Aaron Award. Jeter also had brand partnerships with Nike and Gatorade which brought him an estimated $10 million on top of his annual baseball salary. Jeter spent his entire career with the Yankees retiring in 2014, and is now the Chief Executive Officer and part owner of the Miami Marlins.

5. CC Sabathia
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Total Seasons: 19

Total Earnings: $264.8 Million

Since we’re on the subject of top-earning Yankees, CC Sabathia banked $264 million in his nineteen-year career, which also included tenures with the Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Brewers. Sabathia signed a seven-year $161 million deal with the Yankees, which at the time was the biggest contract ever for a starting pitcher. The LHP earned $25 million during the 2017 season, making it his highest single-season salary. Sabathia retired a world champion and six-time All-Star in 2019.

6. Carlos Beltrán
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Total Seasons: 20

Total Earnings: $248.9 Million

While Beltrán has experienced some controversy recently, that doesn’t take away from his professional accomplishments as a player. Beltrán collected $248.9 million in a career that spanned 20 years, playing for eight different teams during the course of his 20 seasons. Beltran earned $18.5 million during his 2009 and 2010 seasons with the New York Mets, making those the highest-earning of his career. The outfielder made nine All-Star appearances and retired in 2017 after winning a title with the Houston Astros.

7. Justin Verlander
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Total Seasons: 16

Total Earnings: $241 Million

Earlier in this article we mentioned how future all-time lists will have to eventually be revamped to include the current top-earners due to their massive contracts. Since we have already covered Verlander, we won’t go over all of his earnings again. However, as a reminder, Verlander has made over $241 million in his career, and will make $33 million this upcoming season despite being on the injured list thanks to the MLB’s guaranteed contracts. Verlander currently sits at number seven on the all-time list.

8. Manny Ramirez
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Total Seasons: 19

Total Earnings: 232.1 Million

One of the most beloved players in the history of Major League Baseball, Manny Ramirez brought in $232 Million in a career that included twelve All-Star appearances, and two championships with the Boston Red Sox, where Ramirez experienced his highest yearly salaries. The hall of famer retired from the MLB in 2011, and coached in the Australian Baseball League for a brief period in 2020.

9. Zack Greinke, Houston Astros
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Total Seasons: 17

Total Earnings: $227 Million

Similar to Verlander, we won’t go over all of Greinke’s earnings again. Just as a reminder, Greinke is ranked fifth in earnings for this upcoming season, and will take home $32.9 million this year.

10. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
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Total Seasons: 14

Total Earnings: $228 Million

Riding high on the Dodgers World Series victory against the Tampa Bay Rays, the eight-time All-Star will enjoy a $23 million salary as a part of the $93 million contract extension he signed with the Dodgers back in 2018. Kershaw has earned $228 million to date, making him one of the highest paid players in the league. With this season being the last in Kershaw’s deal, things are sure to get interesting in Los Angeles. Whether Kershaw remains in the City of Angels or not, he’ll be sure to command a hefty payday.

So as you can see, MLB players are among some of the highest-paid figures in sports. With more stars on the rise, we expect to see more groundbreaking contracts in the future.

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Culture News

How R/WallStreetBets and Reddit Broke the Internet

Elon Musk. Meme stocks. Flows before pros. College kids out-trading hedge funds. Who is r/wallstreetbets? Why are people using GameStop and popular in the same sentence?

It’s time to make some sense of this r/wallstreetbets hysteria.

A tale of teen traders

Here’s the back story.

Investing apps like Robinhood gained serious popularity among the youth in 2020. WE WERE BORED. Now, any iPhone with a few hundred bucks can access capital markets with the press of a button.

In comes r/wallstreetbets – the hero-we-never-asked-for Reddit forum that’s doing finance and having damn fun doing it.

Throw together the pandemic, an idle workforce, civil unrest, unprecedented mass communication and democratized access to fintech….and what did you expect? Tech-induced populism has hit the markets, baby.

The result? Market manipulation (nothing new to see here), gamified stocks, social media bans, armies of amateur traders, and spooked-out institutional investors with billions of dollars in the toilet.

Re-defining capital markets

Traditionally, capital markets were set out to achieve one goal: A more efficient means of allocating capital.

A traditional investor buys a stock because it is perceived to be cheap, relative to its potential profitability or valuation.

When you throw in a mob of r/wallstreetbets stans, a dead-end company like Gamestop can suddenly break the boys’ club. The problem, you asked?

Well, retail investors (fancy term for plebeians) with a beer can, a laptop and an Econ 215 test later tonight may not treat stocks the same way a typical securities analyst would.

It’s like the 2008 financial crisis in reverse, but the result is inevitably the same—every bubble’s gotta pop.

Here’s how the strategy works

Two words to remember: short squeeze.

You convince a bunch of people to buy stock options (an option is a contract that allows the holder to buy or sell the stock at a predetermined price) from a company identified as ‘short-friendly.’

Short-friendly companies are dying companies that Wall Street whales like to short for quick gains. Shorting a stock is basically betting on it to go down in price. When tons of people start call-buying a trade, it forces the short-sellers to hedge their risk and buy the stock. That pushes the price of the stock up again in a feedback loop.

This strategy has created some pretty comical and cringe-worthy reactions from the financial elite:

How are they pulling this off?

What’s that old saying? Any way the wind blows…

If a large enough mass of humans throws shit at a wall, some of it is bound to stick. A stock price can go up whether or not the fundamentals suggest that the price is reasonable.

If you watched CNBC on a boring Wednesday in 2015, everyone would be talking about the fundamentals: cashflow, balance sheet, intrinsic value. This is how boring people determine a stock’s value. Not us!

No one ever considered retail flows as an indication to follow pitchforks.

Where do we go from here?

This was the question asked by moderators of r/wallstreetbets this week.

Given it’s not some well-run organization, but rather a bunch of finance bros who sparked a national movement, I don’t think anyone can answer that question right now.

Even regulators themselves have yet to catch up with the impact of mass media on trading.

One thing’s for sure—whether it’s Brad from Barstool or Kip the Portfolio Manager—someone’s going to lose a lot of money. As the stock goes up and up, each trader is hoping the next guy will be the one holding the bag when shit hits the fan and the price plummets.

Or maybe GameStop will just keep going up forever.

Bottom line: Beneath the hype and fanfare, there are five or six real-human-run companies that are trending but really struggling to stay profitable. Long-term, even an amateur army cannot solve their problems.

Categories
Careers Grind

9 Great Tips for Small Business Owners (from Actual Small Business Owners)

ONE37pm and Squarespace have teamed up to create an editorial series that offers resource support and expert advice for entrepreneurs and small business owners in our community who want to start or grow their own business. You can try Squarespace for free to create your own website, then use code “ONE37pm” to get 10% off when you’re ready to go live.

It’s tricky trying to figure out the right moment (or even the right plan) to launch your own business—and finally realize a life-long dream. But as you weigh your options, it’s helpful to get the real scoop from small business owners who have been there, done that…and come out successful on the other side. Of course, success means different things for each business and founder, but it could mean picking the right website platform or simply creating and sticking to deadlines. We chatted with a handful of successful startup founders to get their best tips on the must-do’s for getting your small business off the ground.

1. Make Sure There’s a Need for What You’re Selling

“Before you do anything else, be sure you’re solving a real problem. Test your value proposition with real people before spending a lot on your business. Don’t start at the solution and move backward.” —Kevin Gindi, cofounder of Cheeky

2. Have Your Elevator Pitch Down Pat

“Make sure you can say what your business is in one clear sentence. You’d be surprised how much work it takes to narrow it down to one that’s actually concise.” —Alison Cayne, founder and CEO of Haven’s Kitchen

3. As Soon as Possible, Create a Website

“We can’t emphasize enough how crucial a website is. It was the single most important piece for our business. During COVID-19, it was honestly the main thing that kept us afloat—it shifted so much demand online, we saw tenfold growth year-to-year on our site. We have Squarespace to thank for getting us up and running. They made the process of starting and launching a website so much easier than we imagined. For us, the two most important things were the ease of setup and analytics. Building our site by customizing a template and using their SEO tools made setting up extremely easy. Once we got going, we also realized the analytic tools were unmatched. Being able to tell where our traffic was coming from and how it was happening was really useful for growing our business.” —Craig Deahl and David Roa, founders of Superlost Coffee

4. Become an All-Weather-Delegator

“As a business owner, ultimately your job is to inspire a team to build your vision. It’s best to get started hiring earlier than when it feels comfortable. That way you can get that critical practice on managing the workflows of your team rather than doing every task yourself.” —Gareth Everard, co-founder of Rockwell Razors

5. Use Your Core Values as a North Star

“Any and all decisions for the business (product, hiring, vendors, partnerships, campaigns) should boil down to one question: Do these activities or identities fully align with your company’s core focus and values? If it is not a resounding ‘yes,’ don’t do it no matter how tempting it is. With this ideology, you begin to have much more clarity in your decision making process. The earlier you take on this way of thinking, the better.” —Mark Mastrandrea, co-founder & CEO of IKONICK Canvas Art

6. Turn Your Best Customers Into Superfans

“Don’t be afraid to hop on a call with them to get real critical feedback, show them that you genuinely care, and make them feel special.” —Reid Moncada, co-founder and CEO of Fitted

7. Remind Yourself Why You Started (Sometimes Daily)

“Every relationship takes work, and being an entrepreneur means being in a 24/7 committed relationship with yourself and your business. The highs are high, and the lows can be lonely. Most people, even friends and family, won’t always see your behind-the-scenes or the grind it takes to build a company, but don’t let that discourage you. Wake up every day and remind yourself why you started, the problem you are figuring out a solution to and the impact you want to make for others.” —Rachel Perkins, founder of Perks Lifestyle Management

8. Show Respect from Top to Bottom

The advice I would give small business owners is to be convinced in your vision and do not be deterred from that. Listen and take advice from everyone but do not let that distract you from your mission. Additionally, treat every one of your employees with equal respect and value, whether it’s your CMO or the janitor, each person of your team is essential to accomplishing the company’s long term goal and you need everyone pulling the same way. —Justin J. Giangrande, founder of Queens Gaming Collective and The Network Advisory

9. As the Saying Goes, Always Under Promise and Over Deliver

“This old adage actually holds a lot of water. Short-term, people will like hearing that their project is going to be quick, easy and inexpensive. Long-term, they remember how it felt when you delivered quality product ahead of schedule. I think it’s especially important for beginners to be careful about the expectations they set, because it takes experience to learn how supplier shortages, hidden costs, shipping delays and other issues can throw a wrench into your plans. Build time into your schedule for those contingencies. You’ll look like a hero if you don’t use it, and you won’t look bad if you do.” —Dan Gordon, owner and operator of Dan Gordon Printing

Head to Squarespace.com to get started on a free trial and when you’re ready to launch your website, use the offer code ONE37pm to get 10% off your first purchase.

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Grind Money

Dana White’s Net Worth Has Skyrocketed In Recent Years

Whether you know a bunch about MMA or not, there’s a good chance you know who Dana White is. He’s the UFC President and has been since January of 2001. Back then, considering the sport’s perception in the mainstream and how popular it was, people might have turned their nose up at that title. But in 2020, when Dana White is worth an estimated $500 million, the tune has changed dramatically.

So how exactly did he make his fortune of half a billion dollars? Let’s find out.

Buying The UFC

Dana White has always been involved in combat sports in some form or fashion. He used to host boxercise classes in his younger days but more notably, he was the manager of legends Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz a couple of decades ago before things went way left with the latter. Back then, Bob Meyrowitz was the owner of Semaphore Entertainment Group, the UFC’s parent company. Dana met Bob, and the former learned that Bob was looking to sell the UFC. White jumped at the opportunity, contacting his old friend Lorenzo Fertitta who owned casinos in Vegas with his brother Frank. The two brothers and Dana ended up buying the company for just $2 million. However, that seems like daylight robbery now; back in the day, that price tag was looked at far too high. Attorneys were telling Lorenzo that he was spending seven figures on nothing. The trio had the foresight, though, and it paid off in the long term.

Selling The UFC

About fifteen years after White and the Fertitta’s acquisition of the UFC, they sold it. In July of 2016, it was announced that the UFC was being sold to WME-IMG for a whopping $4.02 billion. That’s more than 2,010 times what it was bought for, and it made the owners look like they had a crystal ball. When it sold, Dana White owned 9 percent of the company. That means that he took home nearly $363 million from the deal, a small fortune that makes up the biggest part of his net worth. When talking to Jimmy Kimmel about life after the deal, Dana said that he locked himself in a hotel room for a few days. “When this deal closed, it bugged me out a little bit… I have new partners now… I didn’t sleep or eat. It kinda freaked me out a bit,” he told Jimmy, joking that he didn’t answer family calls anymore.

Of course, that’s not even to mention the fact that unlike Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, Dana White kept his position at the company and remained the President. He was also given a new stake in the business as it continues to gross hundreds of millions annually.

Unlike the fighters, who are treated as independent contractors, Dana White does receive a salary. Although it hasn’t been confirmed, it is reported that the UFC President makes a colossal $20 million a year for running things. It’s a controversial topic because $20 million is more than 99.9% of fighters make, and I don’t think that anyone would argue that they have, by far, the hardest job in the organization. In Dana’s defense, whatever you think about him and the issue of fighter pay, he has had an integral part in making the UFC the household name that it is today and has earned every penny of his.

Gambling

Although it’s not something you should rely on to feed your family, winning in Vegas has earned Dana millions of dollars. He has been banned from the Palm, Hard Rock Casino, and more for winning millions at blackjack. Again, this isn’t the part of Dana’s story you should apply to your own life.

Future ventures

With the UFC being on ESPN now and The Ultimate Fighter on its way back, things are only looking up for Dana. He has also made a point of expanding with the UFC APEX, the UFC Performance Institute, and hotels that will soon be built.

In terms of things outside of the UFC, Dana has been talking about kicking off Zuffa Boxing for a while now. It was supposed to debut just over a year ago in October of 2019, but there was a delay, and the global pandemic can’t have helped. But every time Dana is asked about it, it seems he has high hopes for how it could impact the sport of boxing, and Floyd Mayweather’s name often comes up. If there were to be a Mayweather vs. McGregor rematch under the Zuffa banner, Dana would make millions on millions from it, even more than he did the first time. Either way, it’s going to be a venture that is fruitful for his pockets.

All in all, the UFC has been a gold mine for Dana that he is going to be making money from for the next few years, at least, after he signed a new deal just a few years back.

Categories
Grind Money

15 Black-Owned Banks That You Can Show Support For

Banking is a massive part of our daily lives. This year has seen a rising interest in support of Black-Owned businesses, and you may be wondering how best to showcase your support as well. While you can purchase from a Black-Owned business, you can consider banking with a company that is Black-Owned as well. Here is a list of 15 different Black-Owned banks that you can sign up with.

1. Alamerica Bank

Officially launching in January 2000, Alamerica Bank has become one of the leading banking organizations in Birmingham, Alabama, under the leadership of investor Donald Watkins and Alamerica president Lawrence Tate. The bank reached record profits in just six months, and prides itself on being a bank ‘committed to continued growth, sound banking principles, and unparalleled personalized banking services.’ Alamerica remains a leading bank in Birmingham nearly two decades later.

2. OneUnited Bank
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While OneUnited Bank only has three branch locations in California, Massachusetts, and Florida, there are over 30,000 ATM locations across the United States and the ability to bank entirely online. OneUnited Bank is owned and operated by Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Kevin Cohee and President & Chief Operating Officer Teri Williams. The majority of the company’s board of directors and management are also African-American. OneUnited prides itself on being a bank that’s run solely on technology, making it the first Black-Owned internet bank and the largest Black-Owned bank in the country.

3. Broadway Federal Bank/City First
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Originally founded in 1946 and based in Los Angeles, The bank went through many different iterations before eventually being managed by President & Chief Operating officer Wayne-Kent A. Bradshaw. Broadway Federal eventually grew to become the second-largest Black-Owned bank in the United States and remained the only Black-Owned bank in California for many years. In August 2020,  Broadway Federal announced a merger with City First Bank to create the largest Black-Owned bank in the U.S.

4. Industrial Bank

Founded by Jesse H. Mitchell in 1934, Industrial Bank has since grown into a company boasting over 150 employees and $432 million in assets. With ten banking centers spread across the D.C., New Jersey, New York, and Maryland areas, the company offers all the standard banking services, including checking, savings, investments, and more. To date, Industrial Bank remains one of the largest owned and operated commercial banks in the U.S., with a mission to ‘promote the financial and economic empowerment of the African-American Community.’

5. FAMU Credit Union
FAMU Credit

While this is a credit union, FAMU Credit has been one of the most prominent African-American owned financial institutions in Tallahassee. The union was established in May 1935, after the persuasive efforts of Dr. J.R.E. Lee encouraged six different individuals to deposit $50 for a federal credit union. For nearly fifty years, the credit union was located on the FAMU campus. It was eventually moved to its present location after spending nearly thirty years on the street directly across from the university. For many years, the credit union has served as an essential place for banking functions for many college students and adults across Tallahassee and became the first statewide administrator for the Black Business Loan Program in 2018.

6. Carver State Bank

Originally founded in February 1927, Carver State Bank was led under the company’s president Louis B. Toomer until his passing in May 1961. From there, the bank was run under president Lawrence D. Perry until his retirement in 1971. Since then, Carver has been led by current president Robert E. James and has been a staple location for banking in the Savannah, Georgia area for over 35 years, priding itself on customer awareness and a strong community.

7. GN Bank

Like some of the other banks on this list, GN Bank was originally founded in 1934, and operated under the name ISF Bank until the year 2018. Over the years, the bank has since grown with over $133 million in assets, serving over 14,000 customers. The main mission of GN Bank is to ‘provide banking products suiting the customers’ needs,’ as well as excellent customer service. GN Bank is located in Chicago, Illinois.

8. First Independence Bank

Since 1970, First Independence Bank has been serving the banking needs of those in the Detroit Metropolitan area for fifty years. Not only is First Independence the only African-American owned bank headquartered in Michigan, but it’s also one of the only two banks headquartered in the city of Detroit. First Independence provides a wide variety of banking services, and its vision is to be a ‘well-managed financial institution respected by customers, regulators, and financial peers.’

9. Citizens Trust Bank
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Whether you are looking to buy a home, manage your money, or handle your business’s financial elements, Citizens Trust Bank has proven effective in helping customers bank for nearly a century. Founded by businessman Heman Perry, Citizens Trust’s objective is to ‘be a business that customers can bank on.’ The bank has various branches and ATMs across Alabama and Georgia, and provides online support. 

9. Citizens Trust Bank
10. Commonwealth National Bank

Opening its doors in 1976, Commonwealth Bank remains the only African-American owned bank headquartered in Mobile, Alabama. Additionally, they are only one of the 15 remaining Black-owned banks in the country. The company prides itself on the ‘consumer’ experience and remains a good financial resource for those located in Mobile.

11. Columbia Savings & Loan
Columbia Savings and Loan

Serving Milwaukee’s inner city since 1924, Columbia Savings & Loan prides itself on being a place dedicated to ‘the task of ensuring a better quality of life for the inner city citizens of Milwaukee, and in particular, the growing minority population. Columbia Savings & Loan offers mortgages, church loans, and CD/IRAS, in addition to the standard banking services. 

12. Tri-State Bank of Memphis

Founded in 1946 by Dr. J.E. Walker and his son A. Maceo Walker, the objective of Tri-State Bank was to develop a resource that would help change community conditions and increase financial literacy. TSB also helped to provide multiple loans to African-Americans, while also being a huge part of the Civil Rights Movement. Many decades later, TSB remains a go-to source for banking, making it a point to adapt as time changes.

13. United Bank of Philadelphia

The only African-American owned bank in the city of Philadelphia; Emma C. Chappell founded United Bank after raising $6 million to start the venture. In the nearly 30 years since, United Bank has gone on to become a full-service community bank that also provides multiple services to small businesses (becoming an official Small Business Administration lender in 2013). Their primary mission is to deliver excellent customer service while also making United Bank a ‘hometown bank of choice.’

14. Mechanic and Farmers Banks
Mechanic and Farmers Bank

Considered to be one of the most influential Black-Owned businesses in the state of North Carolina, Mechanic and Farmers Bank has been in business since 1907. For over a century, the bank has been a place North Carolina residents can go to for all banking needs. M&F bank offers a wide assortment of banking services and has consistently received high ratings from the FDIC.

15. The Harbor Bank of Maryland

With $254 million in assets as of December 2016, The Harbor Bank of Maryland continues to be the largest African-American-owned bank in Maryland since opening its doors in Sep 1982. Harbor bank offers checking, savings, automobile loans, and more (including help with commercial real estate as well). The bank currently has six different branch locations and online services.

While this list features 15 Black-Owned banks, it should be noted that there are approximately only 20 Black-Owned banks in America (which is down from the 48 that were reported in 2001). Giving your support to these banks not only helps them stay in business, but it also continues to financially help the African-American community as a whole. When combined with credit unions, there are a total of 42 African-American owned financial institutions. If you are considering starting a bank account or switching banks, it would definitely be a great chance to showcase your support for these businesses.