On May 13, 2022, Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. (“BZX”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) [1]

and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2]

a proposed rule change to list and trade shares of the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF under BZX Rule 14.11(e)(4), Commodity-Based Trust Shares. The proposed rule change was published for comment in the
Federal Register
on June 1, 2022.[3]

On July 12, 2022, pursuant to section 19(b)(2) of the Act,[4]

the Commission designated a longer period within which to approve the proposed rule change, disapprove the proposed rule change, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove the proposed rule change.[5]

On August 29, 2022, the Commission instituted proceedings under section 19(b)(2)(B) of the Act [6]

to determine whether to approve or disapprove the proposed rule change.[7]

The Commission has received no comments on the proposed rule change.

Section 19(b)(2) of the Act [8]

provides that, after initiating proceedings, the Commission shall issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change not later than 180 days after the date of publication of notice of filing of the proposed rule change. The Commission may extend the period for issuing an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change, however, by not more than 60 days if the Commission determines that a longer period is appropriate and publishes the reasons for such determination. The proposed rule change was published for comment in the
Federal Register
on June 1, 2022.[9]

The 180th day after publication of the proposed rule change is November 28, 2022. The Commission is extending the time period for approving or disapproving the proposed rule change for an additional 60 days.

The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change and the issues raised therein. Accordingly, the Commission, pursuant to section 19(b)(2) of the Act,[10]

designates January 27, 2023, as the date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove the proposed rule change (File No. SR-CboeBZX-2022-031).

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[11]

Sherry R. Haywood,

Assistant Secretary.

3.


See
Securities Exchange Act Release No. 94982 (May 25, 2022), 87 FR 33250.

5.


See
Securities Exchange Act Release No. 95257, 87 FR 42530 (July 15, 2022). The Commission designated August 30, 2022, as the date by which it should approve, disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove the proposed rule change.

[FR Doc. 2022-25233 Filed 11-18-22; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P

This content was originally published here.

Conservative Party leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre has a personal financial interest in cryptocurrencies that he has promoted during his campaign as a hedge against inflation.

The Ottawa-area MP’s assets include units of Purpose Bitcoin, a Canadian-based, exchange-traded fund that holds cryptocurrencies, according to his May 4 disclosure to the federal ethics commissioner.

Poilievre’s campaign denied encouraging investment in crypto puts him in a conflict of interest.

“Mr. Poilievre spoke with the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner prior to publicly commenting on Bitcoin and Bitcoin related policies,” his spokesperson Anthony Koch said in an email.

“The Office cleared him to do so without issue.”

The campaign provided an email from the Office of the Ethics Commissioner from November that said the interest in Bitcoin “does not prevent you from commenting on cryptocurrencies in general, participating in debates and vote on public policies related to the regulation of cryptocurrencies.”

The commissioner’s office also said Poilievre was free to host conversations with other MPs “on this subject matter as any policies or regulations would apply to you as one of a broad class.”

Poilievre has proposed barring the Bank of Canada from developing its own digital currency and said Canadians should be free to use alternative currencies for payments.

“We need sound money again—and also the freedom for buyers and sellers to choose #bitcoin and other technology,” he tweeted on April 1.

In March, he held an event at a London, Ont., restaurant and paid for a shawarma using Bitcoin. And at an event in April in BC, he made a Bitcoin donation to the BC SPCA, accompanied by a dog wearing a Bitcoin logo.

“A Poilievre government would welcome this new, decentralized, bottom-up economy and allow people to take control of their money from bankers and politicians,” his campaign said in a press release.

Since then, the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has plunged, exposing Poilievre to criticism from opponents who say encouraging Canadians to invest in something so volatile is reckless.

The value of the Purpose Bitcoin ETF has fallen nearly 40 per cent over the past six months.

The Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons requires MPs to report assets and liabilities in excess of $10,000. But it does not require them to reveal the value of their assets or when they were acquired.

Poilievre’s campaign said his holdings in Bitcoin were right around the disclosure threshold.

In his disclosure, Poilievre also reported holding exchange-traded funds based on the stock indexes of Singapore and Switzerland. His campaign said he was required under the conflict-of-interest Code to publicly disclose these ETFs, but not his holdings in a Canadian stock index fund.

“Mr. Poilievre’s largest investment by far is in Canadian Index Fund that tracks the TSX,” the campaign said.

The co-founder of ethics advocacy group Democracy Watch said MPs should be prevented from holding assets like Bitcoin.

“It’s clearly unethical for MPs or party leadership candidates to advocate for changes that will help businesses they are invested in, and the best way to stop this is to prohibit MPs from having investments,” Duff Conacher, said in an email.

During last week’s leadership debate in Edmonton, Poilievre was challenged over his past comments on Bitcoin. He should not be encouraging investment in “magic internet money,” said Brampton, Ont., mayor and leadership candidate Patrick Brown.

“People can make their own investment decisions,” Poilievre said in response to a question from Leslyn Lewis, an Ontario Conservative MP and leadership candidate.

“I simply said they should be free to decide whether they want to use Bitcoin. I don’t want to be like communist China and ban Bitcoin or other technologies.”

Canadian investors are already free to invest in cryptocurrencies. Indeed, Poilievre is not the only MP with investments in crypto. At least seven others declared Bitcoin or other digital currency assets in their disclosures, including:

Ben Lobb (Conservative, Ontario): Bitcoin.

Chandra Arya (Liberal, Ontario): Stock options of Coinbase Global Inc.

Taleeb Noormohamed (Liberal, BC): Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stacks and Coinbase Global Inc.

Joël Lightbound (Liberal, Quebec): Purpose Bitcoin ETF, Purpose Ether ETF, Bitcoin and Solana.

Scot Davidson (Conservative, Ontario): Evolve Cryptocurrencies ETF, held by spouse.

Tony Van Bynen (Liberal, Ontario): Ethereum.

Terry Beech (Liberal, BC): Ethereum. 

This content was originally published here.

The head of Russia’s central bank recently discussed that using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for international settlement is a possibility.

  • The Central Bank of Russian Federation recently discussed using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for international settlement.
  • Currently, the central bank holds that Russia should only use the assets for international settlement, not within Russia.
  • The comments were made by the head of the central bank and oppose previous positions held by the monetary authority.

Elvira Nabiullina, head of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, recently attended the St. Petersburg Economic Forum (SPIEF) where she commented on Russia’s use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for international trade, per a report from state-media outlet Kommersant.

“Our position is that cryptocurrency should not be used as a means of calculation within the country… As for use in international settlements, if it does not penetrate the Russian financial system, it is possible,” Nabiullina told reporters during the event.

Earlier in the event, before the remarks made by Nabiullina, First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Ksenia Yudaeva also stated that Russia did not object to the use of payments like bitcoin “in international transactions and international financial infrastructure.”

Previously, the central bank proposed a ban on the mining and trading of cryptocurrencies this past January. Following this announcement, Russian President Vladimir Putin openly challenged the central bank’s opinion stating the country had a “competitive advantage” in the mining sector and asked them to reconsider.

In response to Putin’s request for reconsideration, a bill was submitted to regulate bitcoin and the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem by the Russian government. Within the same month, the Ministry of Finance released its amended version of the bill seeking to properly regulate the ecosystem.

Consequently, as the Russian government and monetary authorities have been divided on the matter, so too have individuals stationed within those authoritative positions. In fact, Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation recently stated “The question is when it will happen, how it will happen and how it will be regulated [cryptocurrencies]. Now both the Central Bank and the government are actively engaged in this.”

This content was originally published here.

Robert Kiyosaki.

The Rich Dad Channel/YouTube

  • Robert Kiyosaki has warned a massive market crash, hyperinflation, and a depression may lie ahead.
  • The “Rich Dad Poor Dad” author has advised buying gold, silver, bitcoin, and even toilet paper.
  • Here are 10 of Kiyosaki’s best tweets so far this year.

Robert Kiyosaki has rung the alarm on multiple asset bubbles, and raised the prospect of an epic market crash, hyperinflation, and even an economic depression, in a barrage of tweets this year.

The “Rich Dad Poor Dad” author and personal-finance guru has framed the next downturn as a chance to scoop up bargains, and recommended buying , , bitcoin, and even household products.

Here are 10 of his best tweets this year, lightly edited for clarity:

1. “WOW:Words of Wisdom. ‘Your profits are made when you buy, not when you sell.’ Price of bitcoin crashing. Great news. I bought bitcoin at $6,000 and $9,000. I will buy more if and when bitcoin tests $20,000. Time to get richer is coming. Silver best bargain today. Silver still 50% below high.” (January 24)

2. “WORLD WAR III? Just bought 2,500 US Silver Eagles in 5 Green Boxes. Why silver? Gold already moved up. Bitcoin still too high. Silver 50% below all time high. Silver an industrial metal as well as money. I buy silver because it is liquid & can be spent without government tracking.” (March 7)

3. “DO YOU HAVE a PLAN ‘B’? We are in BIGGEST BUBBLE in world history. Bubbles in stocks, real estate, commodities & oil. FUTURE? Possible DEPRESSION with HYPERINFLATION. My PLAN B: be an entrepreneur, stay out of stock market, create own assets, use debt as money, save gold, silver, bitcoin, guns.” (March 8)

4. “BIDEN & FED want INFLATION to pay off trillions in debt. BEST INVESTMENT may be stocking products you will always use such as toilet paper, trash bags, canned goods, frozen foods, gold, silver, bitcoin.” (March 14)

5. “Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at Oscars. Biden slaps Putin on world stage. Toxic masculinity. World in trouble. National debt to go through the roof. Biden causing inflation & blaming Putin. Dollar about to implode. Buy more gold, silver, bitcoin, ethereum, & solana before World War III.” (March 29)

6. “Wiley COYOTE moment coming. Biggest Bubble Bust coming. Baby Boomers’ retirements to be stolen. $10 trillion in fake money spending ending. Government, Wall Street & Fed are thieves. Hyperinflation Depression here. Buy gold, silver, bitcoin before the coyote wakes up. Take care.” (April 16)

7. “Q: What is RISKIEST INVESTMENT in GLOBAL meltdown? Stocks or bonds? A: Bonds. Tragically rookie investors follow rookie advice of 60 (stocks) 40 (bonds) mix. BUY gold, silver, bitcoin as insurance against morons running the world. REMEMBER: A college degree is not a cure for STUPIDITY.” (April 18)

8. “EVERYTHING BUBBLE turning into EVERYTHING BUST. Could this be start of biggest depression ever? I am concerned. WORLD of DEBT & WAR led by lying LEADERS. Great news is TWITTER may accept ELON’s offer. FREEDOM of SPEECH & TRUTH in MEDIA is road back to honest global PROSPERITY.” (April 25)

9. “BITCOIN CRASHING. Great news. As stated in previous tweets I am waiting for bitcoin to crash to $20,000. Will then wait for test of bottom which might be $17,000. Once I know bottom is in I back up the truck. Crashes are best times to get rich. Take care.” (May 12)

10. “RICH DAD said ‘Bull Markets make stupid investors look smart. Bear Markets turn the stupid investors into losers and smart investors into winners.’ Markets are crashing. Time for smart investors to become very rich winners. Take care.” (May 21)

Read the original article on Business Insider

This content was originally published here.

OpenSea, the largest nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace, this week announced that an employee of one of its email vendors, Customer.io, accessed and downloaded the company’s email list. It added that anyone who has ever shared their email address with the platform in the past should assume they are impacted. 

OpenSea currently has nearly 2 million users

“Please be aware that malicious actors may try to contact you using an email address that looks visually similar to our official email domain, ‘opensea.io’ (such as ‘opensea.org’ or some other variation),” the company told its users in a statement about the data leak

Paul Laudanski, head of threat intelligence at email security company Tessian, notes that insider abuse is inherently difficult to discover and even more so when the individual is an authorized user. He advises all organizations to examine third-party risk management protocols and have a clear understanding of how and where data is stored.

“The data breach disclosed today is a stark reminder of the dangers of insider threats,” he says. “In this case, an authorized user misused their employee access to download and share email addresses of OpenSea’s users and newsletter subscribers with an unauthorized external party.”

The company is working with law enforcement to investigate the incident, according to the OpenSea statement.

Lucrative Dataset for Cybercrooks

Stephen Banda, a senior manager at Lookout, says the breach was most likely financially motivated, given that the OpenSea email list is a potentially lucrative dataset for cybercriminals.

“There is a lucrative market for stolen information and credentials.,” he notes. “In this case, 2 million email addresses of customers of the world’s biggest marketplace for NFTs will be highly attractive to bad actors looking to launch broad phishing attacks.”

It’s also likely that attackers will use the email list to steal NFTs from unsuspecting OpenSea users, predicts Karl Steinkamp, director at Coalfire. 

“The disclosure of the email list certainly gives the attacker a solid base of active individuals from which to attempt to steal their NFTs and, likely, distribute malware,” Steinkamp warns. “Individuals and companies who receive emails from OpenSea about new and ongoing activities should instead conduct these manually through the opensea.io website.” 

As more businesses turn to NFTs for marketing and brand-awareness purposes, Laudanski says they should keep in mind that the OpenSea incident is part of a larger phenomenon of cybercriminals taking notice of the segment.

“Generally, we are seeing a trend emerge with attacks on crypto startups with hackers attempting to get transactions signed by wallet owners through fraudulent means,” he notes. “Today’s announcement should serve as a wake-up call for all crypto startups to take audit of their security measures and practices and those of their third-party partners and outside vendors.”

This content was originally published here.

It’s 5:30 a.m. in Nashville. I’m here to meet NFL quarterback DeShone Kizer. As a rookie, he played for the Cleveland Browns. He starred at Notre Dame. He’s now 26 and in his prime. He’s healthy, but he’s mysteriously absent from the National Football League (NFL). I’m here to find out why.

I braced myself for a high-intensity workout of burpees, push-ups, wind sprints and getting embarrassed by an elite athlete. Maybe I’d run some routes and he’d fling me the football as part of his comeback training?

Kizer gets up at 4:45 a.m. because he has a packed day of meetings. He gets up at 4:45 because he’s now the CEO of One of None, a blockchain-based startup that’s trying to bridge the worlds of non-fungible tokens (NFT) and physical collectibles. He gets up at 4:45 a.m. to make time for a long walk around a golf course, clearing his head and listening to venture capital podcasts.

He knows he can still play. But he found something that excites him more than football. He’s launching what might be the most ambitious project I’ve seen in the crypto space: A way to bring the many perks of NFTs – such as letting creators profit from secondary sales – to the physical world of art and watches and cars and really anything else you can imagine.

Kizer studied finance at Notre Dame and spent late nights with his roommate, Pat Darché, scarfing down Cheetos while brainstorming business ideas. DK was a freshman quarterback – technically a redshirt – but the NFL wasn’t on his radar. He thought he’d be an entrepreneur. He toyed with the idea of investment banking or a Big 4 accounting firm, but Darché gave him some solid advice: You’re an f’ing quarterback at Notre Dame. You don’t need to take the traditional path. There’s a more creative way.

So on the weekends, as a hobby, Kizer and Darché looked up every Fortune 500 company and identified which CEOs had attended Notre Dame. Then they did the same thing for all the chief operating officers and vice presidents. Kizer sent them cold emails, and he always led with the fact that he played quarterback at Notre Dame and he was looking for advice in business. Not a bad intro. Half the time they didn’t have the email address so they tried every combination of first name and initial and last name. About 80% of those emails bounced back, but a 20% success rate is more than enough. This eventually brought Kizer in touch with the CEO of GE Capital, who helped him create a custom three-week internship that would accommodate his football schedule.

And football seemed like a long shot. Kizer began his sophomore year as a backup to Heisman hopeful Malik Zaire; he wasn’t expected to sniff the field. But when Zaire broke his ankle in the second game, Kizer’s number was called. He kept the team in the game. With 18 seconds left, Notre Dame trailed by one and had the ball near midfield. Too long for a field goal.

Kizer led the Irish to a 10-2 season – briefly ranked #4 in the nation, and celebrated in a Showtime documentary – even as his mind and heart were tugged in other directions. Kizer’s girlfriend at the time had been diagnosed with a tumor in her neck. To remove 95% of the tumor, she needed a 17-hour operation, surgery that left her partially paralyzed. Kizer and his girlfriend shared updates on a joint blog. “The tumor has been growing in her skull for 8-15 years and in doing so has engulfed nerves 9-12. The only way to remove the tumor included removing the nerves as well,” Kizer wrote. In the same post, he shared that “the doctors noticed that Elli was not able to move her left leg from the knee down. My heart dropped hearing this news.”

Somehow Kizer bounced back and forth between caring for his girlfriend and showing up for the team – he’s good at multitasking. And he played well enough to keep his starting job the following season, even after Zaire returned. The NFL scouts noticed. Kizer declared for the NFL draft, getting picked by the Cleveland Browns in the second round. (The three quarterbacks selected before Kizer were Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson and someone named Patrick Mahomes. “Unbelievable draft pick,” Kizer says now. “They saw what nobody else saw.”)

The Browns had gone 1-15 the prior year. Normally, as a rookie quarterback, you’re the backup and you have time to learn the ropes. But that’s not what happened. Kizer had such a successful preseason that his coaches named him as the starter, making him one of the youngest starting quarterbacks in the history of the league. In the first quarter of Week 1, he rushed for a touchdown and tied the game at 7-7. The crowd howled in excitement. The Browns are in this thing! This Kizer kid is good! Maybe the Browns – those historic lovable losers – were finally turning things around.

Thanks to that rookie QB contract, Kizer found himself with real money for the first time. He started dabbling in the luxury and collectible space – high-end streetwear like Off-White and Fear of God. He began making friends with artists and designers and creators. The concept of “limited edition” collectibles made immediate sense to him. “Products can drive demand from scarcity,” he says now. “My dad liked classic cars. I understood it.”

And as he dived deeper into the luxury and collectible world, he noticed an unmistakable trend: Whenever collectibles increased in value, the creators themselves rarely benefited. Maybe a limited-edition sneaker costs $200. Then a year later, it sells for $1,000 on a secondary market. The artist sees exactly 0 cents of that $800 in profit. Kizer keeps notebooks where he scribbles down ideas, and he noted this as something to revisit in the future.

As Kizer struggled to pick up his first W, he cocooned himself in the world of football. “I dropped everything,” he says as we stroll through the Nashville park. No thoughts about entrepreneurship. No ideas about collectibles. “I didn’t really talk to anyone. I didn’t really have any friends.” Some days he showed up at 5 a.m. – hours before the rest of the team – to practice throwing every single pass in the playbook.

During the NFL regular season, Tuesdays are the players’ only true off day. Many spend it playing Call of Duty or Madden, or maybe hopping on a flight to Vegas for some less PG fun. Kizer spent his Tuesdays visiting University Hospitals, where he met with its pediatric cancer team and said hello to the children. “That was like my reset,” he says.

Still the losses mounted. By Week 8, it started to feel like “the same old Browns,” and in Week 10, he was benched for Kevin Hogan. The Browns lost that game so Kizer was reinstalled as the starter. Then they lost again. And again. And again.  When the dust settled, the Browns finished 0-16, one of the worst teams in NFL history.

It’s hard to pin that on Kizer, as they went 1-15 the year before and struggled at virtually every position. But still he was traded to Green Bay to back up Aaron Rodgers as quarterback, and maybe that’s how he should have started his career all along – a chance to learn the system without the immediate pressure of carrying a team.

Kizer watched Aaron Rodgers carefully. He picked up on the small things. “He throws the ball better than anyone I’ve ever seen in my life, but on top of that, he maintains his intellectual integrity,” says Kizer, who was impressed that Rodgers could fluently speak about business and history and Jeopardy “and then get out there on the field and just spin it.” Prior to this, Kizer thought he had to separate the two worlds. He couldn’t be both “the Notre Dame intellect and also a good football player.”

For the next few years, Kizer thought more about entrepreneurship as he bounced around the league as a backup, first for the Raiders. Then came COVID-19. In the spring of 2020, Kizer had just been cut by the Las Vegas Raiders and the NFL was on lockdown. “I couldn’t go on a workout. I couldn’t go on a visit,” he says. “There was no movement in free agency.” His agent told him to hang tight, as at the time, they didn’t even know if the NFL would be playing a 2020 football season.

So to pass the time he cracked open his business journal and reviewed his old notes. He came back to an idea that was double-circled: helping creators gain access to the resale royalties of their products. This seemed to have legs. He did more brainstorming and banged out some PowerPoint slides and then he called up his old college roommate, Pat Darché, and pitched him an idea: What if you could connect the retail and the resale of limited edition items?

Darché was intrigued. They fleshed out the concept over a series of long phone calls. The idea was to create a platform and marketplace for both creators and collectors. Maybe the product could launch on the same platform that would host the secondary sales? This way, the creator could still get a cut. And it would somehow track the provenance (authentic identity) of a collectible over time. They would do this, in part, by aggregating bits of social media evidence.

For example, let’s say you’re tracking a high-end Supreme watch. Maybe the owner is actor George Clooney. Then Clooney wears it courtside to a Lakers game and it’s tagged on Instagram. This would all be part of the watch’s provenance, which would of course be linked to the resale value. “It was very ambitious and kind of crazy,” says Kizer. “I loved it.”

Kizer and Darché (who’s now One of None’s co-founder and chief operating officer) knew they had a dizzying number of logistics to solve – just how do you track the provenance, exactly? How do you link the digital identity to a physical watch? Should they be getting into the business of actually storing and securing high-end collectibles? It wasn’t a simple idea.

When football returned in 2020, Kizer kept working on One of None. He was re-signed by the Raiders and served as their “Quarantine Quarterback,” meaning he would Zoom into meetings from a hotel, keeping himself socially distanced from the team in case Derek Carr or Marcus Mariota caught COVID-19.

So while the rest of the Raiders practiced on the field, Kizer had some extra time to call Darché and keep developing One of None. And this I find truly inspirational and even relatable. During the pandemic, much of the nation took advantage of remote working – and the extra time it afforded – to expand a side hustle. Kizer also used remote work to explore a side hustle; he just happened to do it as an NFL quarterback.

By this time, Kizer and Darché had moved past the early brainstorming phase. By now,they had identified the missing ingredient that could connect the dots and make all of this possible: blockchain. Years ago, Kizer had been skeptical of blockchain and crypto, but now he realized it was the exact solution for his problem. After doing more research, he realized that “blockchain was a no brainer.” They brought onboard a third co-founder, Mike Darché (Pat’s older brother), to lead the tech and blockchain side of the equation.

The 2021 season approached. Now Kizer was competing for a backup spot with the Tennessee Titans. During the off-season, before the OTAs (organized team activities), Kizer and Pat Darché again became roommates and went into “bunker season” – sometimes staying up till 4 a.m. – to get as much done as possible before the grind of training camp.

The football suffered. “I’ll be the first to say it,” he says now. “The bunker session didn’t really have much football in it.” He spent the first week of the Titans training camp just knocking off the rust. He gave it his best effort – he always does – but his heart was elsewhere. “I just fell back in love with business,” he says, adding that if you look at the last six pages of his Titans player notebook, “all you’re seeing is One of None notes.”

He would later receive more calls and offers to join an NFL team. At the time, he was only 25. It’s true he hadn’t started a game in years, but it’s also true that he’s still part of an extraordinarily small group of elite athletes who are in the top 0.0000001% of what they do, and he could keep doing it for years and keep collecting NFL paychecks.

When Kizer began researching the art market, the first thing he learned is that “the number one driver of value is provenance.” If you can track the provenance of art from its initial sale to the next person to the next person, it can retain value. As soon as there’s a gap in the provenance, the value plummets.

With NFTs, the solution is simple. Blockchain tracks its identity from inception. But how to apply that same concept to physical goods? This is what Kizer and his team have spent the last two years trying to crack – this is why he gets up at 4:45 a.m. and goes to bed by 9 p.m. and has only touched alcohol six times since 2020. This is why he has no hobbies except work.

As Kizer explains to me using examples in the office – like the Kobe skateboard – One of None creates a “hybrid NFT” that links the physical to the digital. The real skateboard would have a skateboard NFT. The concept of “digital twins” is not new. But Kizer’s trick is to work with creators at inception to wed the Real Skateboard to the Skateboard NFT using a vault – an actual vault in the real world.

Let’s say you buy the Kobe Skateboard for $100. On the One of None platform you’ll receive both the skateboard and the NFT. You can choose whether to keep the skateboard in the vault or to redeem it – sort of like checking a book out of a library. When your skateboard is locked in the vault, you’re free to sell the Skateboard NFT. But when you’ve “redeemed” the skateboard and proudly display it in your living room, you’re not permitted to sell the NFT. This ensures that the NFT and the underlying asset stay connected, avoiding any gaps in provenance. Or as Pat Darché describes it, “We’re bridging the gap between the physical and the digital in a way that no one has done before.”

The vault is a big part of this equation. And it raises a question: Would people actually want to keep their stuff in some random vault? Don’t people want to keep the sneakers, and skateboards, and watches in their own homes? Maybe not. After analyzing the collectible market, Kizer had a hunch that when people buy luxury sneakers or even artwork, many of them simply hope it appreciates in value – they don’t need it in their closet.

As an early experiment, Kizer gave away 115 T-shirts – with designs from the artist Blake Jamieson – that were valued at around $30. He gave people the choice. Did they want to take the t-shirts home or keep it in the One of None vault?

“Forty percent,” says Kizer. “Forty percent of our collectors decided that they’re going to value the t-shirt and treat it like it was going to be an asset.” And when they tried the same experiment for skate decks, 60% chose to keep them in the vaults. Kizer knew he was onto something. It’s one of the reasons he left the NFL. He couldn’t get those stats out of his head when practicing with the Titans: 40% chose the vault! “That was our validation,” says Kizer. “This is real. People know what NFTs are. They understand the concept of vaulting. And they’re taking this t-shirt and they’re thinking of it as the same way of an NFT, as an asset.”

But the physical world can be a beast. One of the selling points of NFTs, after all, is that they’re infinitely easier to store and track and transfer than t-shirts or skateboards. So Kizer threw himself into the arcana of logistics – shipping, tracking, security, storage. The nuts and bolts are almost hilariously daunting. If you redeem your Kobe Skateboard from the vault, what prevents you from swapping it with a cheap knockoff, and then vaulting the fake and selling the real one?

One of None installs RFID chips (radio-frequency identification) into the actual physical objects, then those RFID chips interact with the blockchain and the sensors at their storage vaults. (Much of this technology already exists from the high-end art storage and security world, and they’re working with a third party to handle the logistics.)

Kizer knows this is tricky and that he could have done something simpler. Something with a cushy payout. “Imagine my athlete network that I had during early 2021,” he says, knowing that the NFT market was on fire. They could have dropped NFTs and made a quick buck. Or they could have launched One of None sooner. Instead he wanted to embrace the complexity. “I know it’s a lot,” he says. “That’s why we’ve been building for two years. This isn’t some garage startup.”

After Kizer’s morning walks, much of his days are spent on the phone with artists and creators, explaining the concept and floating ways they could work together. He always viewed this as a tool for creators. Part of their pitch is a platform that has tools for creators to collaborate and invent new types of physical or digital merch – they even have step-by-step tutorials on ways to structure limited edition drops. And maybe more importantly, Kizer knows that if there’s nothing cool on the site, no one will use it.

So he’s collaborating with artists like The Ghost, Fuzi, and Art Mobb. (Just as Kizer felt emboldened to email CEOs as a Notre Dame freshman, now he has the cachet to open social doors.) Take the example of Hoop Dream Studio. They somehow turn the backboards of basketball hoops into works of art. They’re cool but they’re bulky. Physical. Very difficult to “put on the blockchain.” But One of None is working with Hoop Dream Studio to create hybrid NFTs for the backboards, install RFID chips, and then store the backboards in their vault.

That’s an example of One of None working with a “legacy” (i.e., physical) artist and bringing them into Web 3. They’re also doing the reverse. For purely NFT and digital artists, One of None is helping to create physical merchandise. Take Knights of Degen, a sports-themed metaverse project. Kizer brokered a collaboration between Knights of Degen and Ice Games, which makes arcade games. Ice Games is building a custom-made Knights of Degen arcade game (a “pop-a-shot” hoops game) that will also exist as an NFT, and it can either be stored in the One of None vault or redeemed for playing.

This arcade game sort of epitomizes Kizer’s style: embracing whatever is the most challenging. It’s a stress test of the One of None model. If they can solve the shipping and storage logistics of an arcade game NFT, then t-shirts and watches are a snap. “They’re heavy. They’re big. And they’re challenging on the infrastructure side,” says Kizer. But they’ve figured out a way to do it. “If a pop-a-shot can sit in our vault in Virginia, and change hands 10 times over six months without ever leaving our vault. Why can’t you do that with a car?”

And this gets to the endgame. There’s a reason that Kizer is courting all the complexity of the physical world – it leads to a bigger pie. If there are 1 million people who care about digital art and NFTs, there are 100 million who care about actual things like watches and sneakers and cars. The reality is that most people still care about reality. And the way Kizer sees it, “I’m more interested in the 100 million than the 1 million.”

If everything breaks right? Collaborations with artists could snowball into collabs with Rolex. “That is the vision,” says Kizer. “The Porches. The Rolexes. The Ferraris. The Louis Vuittons. The Diors. Those are the businesses that have taken luxury and limited edition and have turned it into an experience unlike any other.”

“I’m going to wrap this up by saying that this has been two years of my life,” says Kizer, and left unspoken is that he has essentially sacrificed an NFL career for this. The stakes are real. And at NFT.NYC, those two years of work will be suddenly on display. “It’s a soft launch event,” he says, his voice calm and clear and steady. “It’s not the end all be all. If this thing fails, we don’t fail. We can definitely survive past what happens at NFT.NYC.”

“That being said,” Kizer continues, “There’s a lot of freaking hours that are going into this week. I would just ask that if you have any sort of loyalty towards One of None. Whatever that extra piece is, whatever that extra idea is, whatever that extra time or effort or energy you can put into these next four weeks – please join me in it.  Know that I’m here working just as hard.”

This content was originally published here.

Localcryptos P2P Market Adds Support for Bitcoin Cash

Localcryptos, the noncustodial P2P cryptocurrency market, has added bitcoin cash to its platform. This is the fifth cryptocurrency the platform has taken on for P2P transactions after having rebranded from Localethereum. The market will leverage the OP_CHECKDATASIG opcode, which presents some advantages. Also, users from Bitcoin.com Local will be able to migrate their reputation to the Localcryptos platform.

Localcryptos Adds Bitcoin Cash

Localcryptos, one of the leading noncustodial cryptocurrency P2P markets, has added support for bitcoin cash transactions on its platform. Now users can deposit, trade, and withdraw bitcoin cash from the Localcryptos platform. This is the fifth cryptocurrency added to the service after its rebrand from Localethereum. Before, the company added litecoin and dash, after bitcoin and ethereum.

Localcryptos declared that to construct the noncustodial experience for bitcoin cash, it used the OP_CHECKDATASIG opcode, which presents a series of advantages and is only available on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. Localcryptos stated that while the experience is the same for the end-user:

From a programmer’s perspective, the non-custodial Bitcoin Cash P2SH script is more simplistic and intuitive, and it comes with some advantages.

The escrow contracts in the platform make it impossible for Localcryptos to spend the funds, and they can only retrieve the escrowed funds to the buyer or to the seller in the case of a dispute. Bitcoin Cash is especially useful for noncustodial P2P transactions due to its low tx fees, which rarely cross the one-cent barrier.

Bitcoin.com Local Closes Its Doors

Bitcoin.com Local, a bitcoin cash P2P market, will allow users to migrate their trading history and reputation to Localcryptos before closing its doors. The platform announced it is “passing the torch” to Localcryptos, and will allow the transfer of reputation and trading history, so users of the platform won’t have to start from scratch. Bitcoin.com Local didn’t announce the exact date of its closing, but invited users to withdraw their funds from their wallets.

According to the platform, the users will enjoy a better service due to the more diverse and liquid pool of assets that Localcryptos can offer its users. The announcement stressed:

On Localcryptos, you’ll have 40+ ways to pay, all messages are end-to-end encrypted, and trades are facilitated by the same blockchain-powered escrow service.

What do you think about the inclusion of bitcoin cash in the Localcryptos platform? Tell us in the comments section below.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Blackrock, Fidelity to Invest in Crypto Firm Circle’s $400 Million Funding Round

Blackrock, Fidelity, Marshall Wace, and Fin Capital are investing in crypto firm Circle. In addition, Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, has entered into a broader strategic partnership with the crypto firm.

Blackrock, Fidelity, Marshall Wace, Fin Capital to Invest in Circle

Circle Internet Financial announced Tuesday that it has entered into an agreement for a $400 million funding round with investments from Blackrock Inc., Fidelity Management and Research, Marshall Wace LLP, and Fin Capital.

Circle is the issuer of USD Coin (USDC). The stablecoin USDC has a market cap of about $51 billion and market dominance of about 2.58% at the time of writing, based on data from Bitcoin.com Markets.

Expanding on its partnership with Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, Circle detailed:

In addition to its corporate strategic investment and role as a primary asset manager of USDC cash reserves, Blackrock has entered into a broader strategic partnership with Circle, which includes exploring capital market applications for USDC.

Jeremy Allaire, co-founder and CEO of Circle, commented: “Dollar digital currencies like USDC are fueling a global economic transformation, and Circle’s technology infrastructure sits at the center of that change.” The funding round is expected to close in the second quarter.

Allaire further explained the significance of the partnership with Blackrock and investments from other major companies in a series of tweets Tuesday.

“With the Blackrock partnership, we are expanding on our existing relationship with Blackrock for managing significant assets for the reserves that back USDC to explore new ways that USDC can be adopted in tradfi capital markets applications,” he described.

The Circle CEO concluded, “As the U.S. seeks out a leadership role in digital currency, we firmly believe that the strength of private sector innovation, building on an open financial system on public blockchains, can cement America’s leadership role in the internet economy,” elaborating:

This is a huge milestone on the road towards mainstream adoption of digital currency.

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What do you think about Blackrock, Fidelity, and other financial corporations investing in Circle? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.




Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Nigerians Optimistic CBDC Will Improve Payments and Help Promote Cryptocurrencies

Nigerians are hopeful the planned central bank digital currency (CBDC), also known as the e-naira, is going to enhance cross-border payments and make it “easier for the naira to be widely used and accepted.”

E-Naira Launch a Boon for Cryptos

In fact, according to a VOA report, some Nigerian blockchain experts like Janet Kaatyo believe the e-naira launch will work in favor of cryptocurrencies. Prior to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s February directive, cryptocurrency usage and trading in Nigeria had surged due in part to pandemic-related movement restrictions.

However, this growing popularity as well as the depreciation of the naira eventually forced the CBN to act. Soon after ordering banks to squeeze out crypto players, the CBN began promoting the e-naira which it claimed would “ease monetary transactions and improve the long-term value of Nigeria’s currency.”

CBDC Role in Fighting Corruption

While the CBN has yet to announce the new launch date for the e-naira, some Nigerians like Daniel Yerimah, a digital strategist, are still hopeful this central bank digital currency (when rolled out) will help authorities curb corruption and money laundering.

“Everything built on blockchain is very safe and secure. Another thing again is it’s universal, parts of the benefits they intend to achieve with the eNaira is it will be used for both international and local trade and also it’s going to be to fight corruption,” the report quotes Yerimah explaining.

Despite the optimism exhibited by both the CBN and blockchain experts, there are ongoing concerns “the emergence of CBDCs will cut off roles played by intermediary banks and give the central bank more control over citizens’ financial rights,” the report notes. Still, another Nigerian blockchain expert, Jadel Chidi, says he disagrees.

Instead, Chidi says he foresees the CBN eventually creating “a portal where each e-naira user will be able to access their e-wallet through the database they already have with their bank.”

Do you agree that the emergence of the e-naira will help curb corruption and money laundering? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Elon Musk Reveals Dogecoin Will Be Accepted at Tesla’s New Futuristic Diner, Drive-in Theater

Elon Musk has revealed that Tesla’s upcoming futuristic diner and drive-in theater, planned for the Hollywood area, will accept the meme cryptocurrency dogecoin. The electric car company currently accepts DOGE for some merchandise on its website.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk: ‘You Can Pay in Doge’

Tesla and Spacex CEO Elon Musk tweeted about future dogecoin payment acceptance Friday in reply to a tweet by developer Ryan Zohoury, who said a new Tesla supercharger station in Santa Monica, California, is almost full 10 minutes after it opened.

The Tesla boss tweeted, “And futuristic diner / drive-in theater planned for Hollywood area.” He added in a follow-up tweet:

And, of course, you can pay in Doge.

At press time, the Tesla CEO has not clarified what exactly customers can pay for with the meme cryptocurrency. Some people assume that Tesla supercharger stations will accept dogecoin while others interpreted Musk’s tweet as applicable to only the upcoming diner and drive-in theater in the Hollywood area.

Nonetheless, Dogecoin’s supporters welcome Musk’s plan to further the adoption of the meme cryptocurrency.

The price of dogecoin, however, is fairly unaffected by this news. At the time of Musk’s tweet, DOGE was trading at $0.1417 based on data from Bitcoin.com Markets. While the price did subsequently rise slightly to $0.1450, it fell to $0.1411 at the time of writing.

In January, Tesla began accepting dogecoin for some merchandise. Musk then tried to get McDonald’s to accept DOGE by offering to eat a Happy Meal on television. However, the famous fast-food chain replied, “only if Tesla accepts grimacecoin.”

Musk, a longtime dogecoin supporter, is sometimes known in the crypto community as the Dogefather. The Tesla boss believes that DOGE is the people’s crypto and previously revealed that many people he talked to at Tesla and Spacex owned dogecoin. He said that dogecoin is the best crypto for transactions while bitcoin is more suitable as a store of value.

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Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.




Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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