Kraken, a cryptocurrency exchange, does not want to fall behind in the battle to control the global cryptocurrency industry. Therefore it is working hard to expand outside of the United States.
Europe is the first and also the most difficult destination. However, Jesse Powell, CEO of Kraken, revealed in an interview with the German news site Handelsblatt that the exchange is in the process of obtaining a license to operate lawfully on the continent.
Powell anticipates that everything will be completed by the end of 2021. He wouldn’t say how far along the talks are, but he did say that the company is particularly interested in Malta, Luxembourg, and Ireland, all of which the Kraken team is now in talks with.
Kraken vs. Coinbase
Obtaining this license is critical for Kraken’s development into international markets. The company had received regulatory permission in the United Kingdom, but the license lost its validity after Brexit because it could only be used in the United Kingdom.
Another noteworthy aspect of this strategic decision is that Kraken will compete with Coinbase in North America. This exchange recently became public and has a German license to operate.
Kraken, unlike Coinbase, is now uninterested in engaging with German regulations. Powell added that the corporation had spoken with Germany’s BaFin but that the country’s regulations were too complicated, restrictive, and expensive for the company to consider.
On the other hand, Kraken has one edge over Coinbase: The Wyoming Banking Board approved its application for a special purpose depository institution (SPDI) charter in mid-September 2020. Kraken was the first exchange in Wyoming to be granted SPDI bank status and the state’s first freshly established (de novo) bank since 2006.
DeFi Booster + Bank + NFT Marketplace
Kraken is focusing on other tactics to expand its impact inside the crypto sector in addition to its expansion into Europe.
The exchange is planning to go public, following in the footsteps of Coinbase. Powell noted that they are working through all of the complicated regulatory procedures, but that Coinbase’s direct listing has made things easier for them.
“We have a massive checklist with 1000 activities to complete. Coinbase was the first to go public, which is wonderful for us.”
Kraken is also considering entering the NFTs and Decentralized Finance markets. According to Powell, Kraken follows the scene of games like Axie Infinity and phenomena like Crypto Punks and offers its players access to the governance powers of DeFi token staking.
“We’d like to establish a marketplace where people may trade NFTs. In the future years, I believe we will see a variety of uses for NFTs.”
Why Afrofuturism will be the Driving Force of NFTs
A particular group in the world is more excited about the NFT space than most other groups. So, no, it’s not who you think it is. Unless you’re thinking of Black creatives. If so, then you’re right. But why is this group of people so excited? Amongst the many reasons, one of them is because many Black creatives see this as an opportunity to be reimbursed for the works they’ve been doing finally.
Along with the growing numbers of African and African diaspora NFT creatives, another term has been popping up alongside them: Afrofuturism. So it seems a given that Afrofuturism, a concept that merges technology and African culture, is gaining traction in the African NFT creative community. But is that all there is to it?
In 1993, author Mark Dery first coined the word Afrofuturism. Since then, the term has been embraced by many Africans and African diasporas. But even though the term was invented in 1993, the core concept of Afrofuturism has existed for centuries. While some people see Afrofuturism as a mere aesthetic that combines shiny chromes with rustic textiles, others see it more profound. To these people, the essence of Afrofuturism is hope. And it’s this hope that continues to exist in the Black community.
When Africans were forcibly taken and sold to slavery centuries ago, those who survived the brutal process dared to hope for a better future. When African-Americans were segregated and treated as less than a person, they also hoped for a better future. Even in more recent times, when police brutality and institutionalized racism continue to make the lives of Africans and the African diaspora difficult, they continue to hope for a better future.
It’s easy to categorize Afrofuturism as a science fiction genre. Dery himself coined the term while discussing why there weren’t more sci-fi works by African American authors. But ask any African creatives, and they will tell you that aesthetics is at the bottom of the list of why Afrofuturism is essential to them. Afrofuturism is not about excellent aesthetics and strong aesthetics. Afrofuturism is about imagining a better future where they or their descendants can live as fully realized beings that no longer have to suffer from the worries of the current world. The aesthetics are just a side effect.
And this brings us back to NFTs.
The decentralized blockchain and NFTs bring a lot of freedom to Africans that may not have had access to that freedom before. As a result, it is easier than ever before to make a living out of making art. They no longer had to deal with government restrictions, unavailable resources, or the difficulty of traveling to sell their creations. As a result, making art is now more lucrative than ever. That’s why Afrofuturism is heavily linked to the NFT movement.
NFTs offer a glimpse of different and better reality to these Black creatives. This glimpse gives them hope, and this hope drives them to create. It’s a self-fulfilling cycle that will continue for several generations. In a world that feels like everything is against them, NFTs, the blockchain, and the digital future is the silver lining they’ve always longed for. This hope, wrapped up in a blanket called Afrofuturism, will be one of, if not the most significant driving force of Black creatives finally receiving their due in the NFT markets.
Whitney Houston’s Unreleased Song Demo NFT Sells for Over $1 Million
Whitney Houston’s unreleased track was sold as a non-fungible token for $999,999. OneOf, a music-focused marketplace, was utilized to sell the NFT.
An NFT based on a previously unreleased Whitney Houston track was sold for $999,999. After first confirming in November 2021 that some Whitney Houston NFTs will be offered, with artwork by artist Diana Sinclair, NFT marketplace OneOf confirmed the sale on December 15. Houston recorded the song when he was 17 years old, but it was never released.
These NFTs have been available for purchase since the opening of Miami Art Week on December 1. Additionally, several NFTs relating to Houston’s career have been launched, and customers can choose which ones they want based on their platform tier.
For example, gold and platinum grade members have access to rare, archive images of the singer. In addition, diamond tier members can get Diana Sinclair’s artwork based on some of Houston’s most well-known tunes.
OneOf is an “eco-conscious NFT platform created exclusively for the music vertical,” according to the company. Quincy Jones, a well-known producer, has lent his support. The platform seeks to list NFTs at fixed costs that are affordable to the general public, and it plans to have thousands of NFTs on its platform.
There has been a lot of talk about how NFTs could change the music industry by raising the amount of money going to artists. This appears to be the reaction of the crypto community to the announcement of the NFT sale in Houston. Indeed, a growing number of musicians and artists in different fields are seriously contemplating collaborating with NFTs.
The NFT format is gaining popularity among artists
Eminem, Grimes, Snoop Dogg, and The Weeknd are just a few artists who have recently released NFTs. The earnings from the purchase of NFTs inspired by musicians are often donated to charitable organizations, such as the Freddie Mercury-themed NFTs launched to aid an AIDS research charity.
It’s easy to see why NFTs would be so popular. Artists are not only paid more, but they are also able to interact directly with their audience. Although NFT adoption is still in its early stages, the music business appears to be on board.
The Golden State Warriors Basketball Team has Signed an NFT Deal with FTX US
FTX US, a cryptocurrency exchange operating in the United States, said today that it had signed an agreement with the Golden State Warriors professional basketball team. The Warriors will generate and issue non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as part of the partnership, with FTX US serving as the team’s primary digital asset launch hub.
According to a press release, the Warriors based in San Francisco want to launch NFTs FTX US’s NFT marketplace in early 2022. Digital artifacts of the Warriors’ six NBA Championship rings and ten commemorative ticket stubs will be included.
In addition, FTX US will donate one bitcoin to each of three Bay Area charities working to increase diversity in STEM and tech.
In a statement, FTX US President Brett Harrison said, “The FTX US NFT Platform will give a premier, safe, and secure forum for the Warriors international fan base to access rare items from the brand.”
Through its NFT platform, FTX US has made a concerted attempt to grow into sports and entertainment. For example, in November, it inked a contract with the University of Kentucky basketball team to allow players to design and sell their own NFTs.
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