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After the Virtual HQ in Decentraland Failed to Open, Alex Saunders was Under the Spotlight Once Again

Alex Saunders, the controversial crypto influencer, is again in the news, with followers alleging that he gathered $57,000 in NFT from them to build a virtual community headquarters that never materialized.

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Alex Saunders, the creator of Nuggets News and a crypto celebrity in Australia, is facing controversy for his NFT sale since late last year.

Saunders established Nuggets News in 2017 as a subscription service that provides users with technical analysis and crypto advice. Nuggets News had 146,000 YouTube followers as of August 17.

In November 2020, Saunders issued 100 NFTs, which he said would provide holders access to an exclusive Nuggets News community headquarters built in Decentraland, a crypto-powered virtual metaverse.

The NFTs were valued at 1 ETH each, which was roughly $570 at the time. Saunders apparently sold all NFTs within weeks of their release, amassing a total of $57,000 from his followers. Thus, 100 ETH is currently worth around $315,000 at today’s values.

In a post to his subscription-based Facebook group, Saunders described the virtual headquarters as “an instructional, collaborative workspace in virtual reality,” complete with “professional offices” and even a function center.

According to a report published in the Australian Financial Review (AFR) on August 16, Saunders has yet to pay Polygonal Mind, a blockchain development company, to create the virtual headquarters.

Despite receiving $57,000 from his backers, Polygonal Mind has quoted Saunders for the job at less than 10,000 Australian dollars ($7,300).

Despite the virtual headquarters being fully created, Polygonal Mind CEO Daniel Garcia claimed that Saunders repeatedly pushed back the project’s launch date. Garcia told AFR that after learning about Saunders’ alleged financial misdeeds, he decided to abandon the project:

“When we found out about all of Alex’s other issues, we decided to put a stop to this one and move on. We don’t want to be linked to this type of behavior.”

“I believe he could have made a lot of money with this respectable business, so why all the dirty behavior?” Garcia continued.

According to AFR, an unnamed investor is mulling legal action against Saunders over the metaverse idea. They also expressed their displeasure with the NFT’s design, ensuring that Saunders keeps 50% of secondary sales.

“So Alex Saunders not only got my money when I bought this NFT, but he also gets 50% of the price if I resell it,” they explained.

Saunders’ friends, fans, and acquaintances went public about enormous quantities of money owed to them by Saunders on July 28.

Saunders is said to have borrowed 5 BTC and 30 ETH from YouTuber Bitboy Crypto and backer Ziv Himmelfarb. In addition, he allegedly asked Richard Heart, the notorious founder of HEX, for a loan of 50 BTC, and Heart went public with images of private communications purporting to show Saunders requesting the loan.

Saunders also marketed his “Decentral Bank” stable coin initiative to his fans, claiming to have raised $11 million from them since April. On the other hand, investors say that transaction records for Saunders’ wallets show that the influencer moved around $1.2 million of the cash raised for Decentral Bank to his own accounts, with part of the funds then sent to crypto derivatives market FTX.

NFT

Could this trademark application indicate that PayPal is developing an NFT market? 

A trademark application for blockchain and cryptocurrency technology has been submitted by PayPal. Some claim that the file has something to do with Web3 and the metaverse, although it may be tied to an NFT marketplace.

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A recent trademark application by PayPal has been found, and it suggests the development of a service pertaining to several facets of blockchain technology. The file, which was made on October 18, makes a notable allusion to the potential introduction of a non-fungible token (NFT) market.

For its logo, PayPal submitted two trademark applications. The first one concerns “downloadable software” for cryptocurrency trading and storage. The second discusses cryptocurrency-related payment processing services.

Although users may currently buy cryptocurrencies on PayPal’s platform, this filing suggests that there may be more to come. The concept of assets is substantially broader in the filing’s terminology. Mike Kondoudis, a trademark lawyer licensed by the USPTO, claimed on Twitter that this filing relates to NFTs and the metaverse.

Although there is no proof to support this, it would not be shocking if it were true. The finance business would be adding its name to a lengthy list of businesses that are starting to make inroads into the Web3 and metaverse spaces.

PayPal is investing more in cryptocurrency.
Over the past two years, PayPal has intensified its focus on cryptocurrencies. First, the company made a huge announcement for the industry by saying that consumers would be able to purchase cryptocurrency on its platform.

However, it didn’t start enabling users to move those funds into wallets outside of the network until recently. It indicated that it would roll out additional crypto-related features in the latter part of last year. One of those additions might be an NFT marketplace.

It teamed up with Coinbase’s TRUST network more recently. This was viewed by many as an endorsement of the sector. The TRUST network upholds consumer security and privacy while adhering to the banking industry’s Travel Rule.

Increased Criticism of Payment Giant
Additionally, PayPal has been in the spotlight for all the incorrect reasons. The business has recently come under fire for a contentious policy that penalized users for disseminating false information. Later, it claimed that false information was released with the amended policy. Crypto aficionados, however, were eager to point to this as evidence of the value of decentralization.

PayPal established a blockchain and cryptocurrency advisory committee earlier this year. According to the company’s management, working with governments is essential to overcoming obstacles and seizing possibilities.

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NFT

Seba Bank, a cryptocurrency company, aims to store valuable NFTs

Seba Bank, a cryptocurrency company, has launched its first NFT service, a blue-chip NFT-specific institutional-grade, certified, and independently audited hot and cold storage custody product.

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The launch comes in response to requests from customers to keep their NFTs with the bank alongside other crypto assets, such as the already-approved Bored Ape Yacht Club, Cryptopunk, and Clone X NFTs. The bank stated that new collections would be added based on customer demand.

With its newest offering, Seba Bank seeks to entice investors who view NFTs as an asset class and crypto natives. Not your keys, not your bitcoin is a well-known phrase in the crypto sphere, and adherents of this maxim could object to having their Apes or Punks stored with a third-party custodian.

Urs Bernegger, co-head of markets and investment solutions at Seba Bank, however, highlights a growing group of NFT holders who are more at ease handing up their NFTs and private keys to a company.

They don’t want the key because they aren’t even aware of how to handle and store it. He claimed that they’re more concerned with damaging the key than giving it to a bank.

It’s a significant issue. Between 2.3 million and 3.7 million bitcoins, according to Chainalysis, are trapped in inaccessible wallets. Numerous accounts of people have lost millions owing to losing private keys, including Russian officials, students, and engineers. Families have also been prevented from accessing substantial quantities of money following sudden deaths in which wallet owners had not disclosed their private keys.

Bernegger asserts institutional custody can be advantageous for native crypto users as well. There has been an increase in businesses providing services that employ NFTs as collateral for conventional banking services like loans.

Seba Bank is thinking about implementing these features in the future. Based in the crypto-friendly Swiss town of Zug, the four-year-old bank already backs several investing, credit, lending, and staking options for cryptocurrencies and might extend them to NFTs.

“Instead of traveling to the market, for instance, we could create a club for collectors and assist them in finding other collectors. There are a few things we have in mind, but we laid the groundwork by storing NFTs securely at first, “explained he.

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The NFT album maker for Kings of Leon now includes a metaverse music venue

YellowHeart, a Web3 ticketing startup, is opening a metaverse music venue in an effort to transform how performers, teams, and event organizers distribute tickets and interact with fans.

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The facility, constructed on Spatial, will feature Grammy-nominated blues musician G.Love as its opening act later this year. Fans can communicate with one another, participate in meet-and-greets before and after performances, and use several screens to view what is happening in various areas of the stadium simultaneously.

They will soon be able to order meals and drinks before the event, which will also be available as digital things.

The idea of an online concert has so far primarily been popularized by big gaming companies. The most well-liked virtual competitions have occurred on sites like Fortnite and Roblox. Ariana Grande’s Fortnite concert in August 2021 received 78 million viewers. Next month, Decentraland will host its second Metaverse Music Festival. Over 100 musicians are on the lineup, including well-known performers like Ozzy Osbourne and Soulja Boy.

In addition to throwing an event, YellowHeart, which assisted Kings of Leon in releasing an NFT version of their most recent album, stated that it hoped to accomplish more. It was established in 2017 with the lofty goal of revolutionizing the music ticketing sector as a whole, which has historically been dominated by powerful reselling organizations and exclusive ticketing relationships. These alliances frequently impose limitations on what purchasers can and cannot do with their tickets. Trying to resell a ticket for a concert you can’t go to might be a headache.

YellowHeart believes these issues can be resolved by returning control to artists and fans via web3 technology. Additionally, it may provide advantages that cannot be programmed into conventional tickets.

“These range from complete albums to personalized vinyl records, exclusive merchandise, and immersive visual art. Web3 tickets also allow performers to update fans on new tour dates, music releases, giveaway possibilities, and much more, according to the business.

It has already collaborated with well-known figures, including Julian Lennon, Maroon 5, and MGM Resorts. Contrary to the non-NFT versions offered on Spotify, iTunes, and other platforms, those obtained through YellowHeart entailed particular customer benefits.

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