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NFTmania backed up with millions pumping in from VCs

By now, everybody that has an internet connection has heard about NFTs…



Photo: Google Images

By now, everybody that has an internet connection has heard about NFTs, this new digital craze that seems to be going viral faster than this fu****g virus that’s been canceling my trip to Bora Bora for the last year or so. Now that I got that out of my system, let’s get back on track to NFTs. 

So when it first started a couple of months ago, there were many skeptical opinions that it’s just a new one-hit wonder and it won’t be here for the long haul. Well, they just might be wrong. There have been fat checks coming into the NFT space from venture capitalists. In fact, the sum of all those oversized checks is $90 million in this year so far. The number is actually not surprising if we take a look at some other amounts that contain a lot of zeros.

Last year, the total value of NFT transactions was $250 million, just the past month that number was $220 million.

Obviously, there are still going to be haters and say “it’s just because of Bitcoin and Ethereum going up!” Sure, daddy Bitcoin and his prodigal son Ether might be the “culprit” for a lot of the buzz in the crypto world but we can’t deny that NFTs are an exciting idea that can make it on its own and change how the creative industry works.

Okay, let’s crunch some numbers and look at the TOP NFT VC deals in 2021 so far:

  1. Sorare $48.40M
  2. OpenSea $23.00M
  3. Boson Protocol $9.57M
  4. Colektia $4.20M
  5. Rarible $1.75M
  6. NFTFI $0.89M

If you think these numbers are impressive, then hold on to your hats cowboys, because this next one might just knock you off your horse. Dapper Labs, one of the NFT giants, is supposedly seeking $250 million cash injection. Let me rephrase that; they are seeking (allegedly) a quarter of a billion dollars, so they can sell JPEGs, MP3s and MP4s! Yup, that’s right…what a time to be alive eh? 

You might ask why I used words supposedly and allegedly…well, because Dapper Labs called it a baseless rumor and the potential investor Coatue, hedge fund from New York, opted to not comment the alleged move. But you know what they say, where there’s smoke, there’s fire and there is definitely a lot of smoke going on in the NFT world, so my bet is that there will a lot of fire until the end of 2021 and we will definitely be here to bring you the heat. 

To sum it all up, it is easy to see why investors are tempted by the NFT world. Its rapidly growing market and digital collectibles being sold for millions of dollars speak for themselves. Of course, there will always be some skepticism present from the critics and other negative Nancies that claim it is just another crypto fad that will gradually fade out into oblivion. Some of them worry about market manipulation, which, to be honest, are also found in the traditional art world, and there is no denying that it might happen, but let’s not kid ourselves and pretend that the world is a perfect place. Then there are also environmentalists who are alarmed on the account of the energy amount that is required to fuel the NFT market. 

But, as long as Elon Musk is selling a song about NFTs as an NFT, and Mark Cuban is thinking about using NFTs as tickets for Dallas Mavericks games, then I guess we better get used to it, because it looks like it’s here to stay and if you want to watch Luka Magic and Co. live, then you better buy some NFTs. We will touch on that another day, right now I’m out to look for an NFT with an image of Bora Bora on it.

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The NFT Sale of the ‘Kia Sedona’ Goes Sour as the Contractor Allegedly Steals $3 Million

A sale of tokens that could be swapped for “Kia Sedona” NFTs raised $3.1 million. But a contractor for the token sale platform Miso allegedly disappeared with all of the funds.



In the fast-growing market for NFTs, there have been several swindles, frauds, and rug pulls. However, this one strikes out as a little odd.

To begin with, the NFT sale itself was unusual. The entire concept was inspired by a recent meme on crypto Twitter about the Kia Sedona automobile brand (the joke being that the Kia Sedona is a type of hard money). As a result, ten unknown persons built a funky website called “Jay Pegs Auto Mart.” (It was unrelated to the automobile maker in any way.)

DONA reservation tokens were available for purchase. These could be acquired on SushiSwap’s Miso token sale platform, which is run by a decentralized exchange. Out of 10,000 DONA tokens available, each could be exchanged for one 2007 Kia Sedona NFT.

And the token sale went off without a hitch. It raised $3.1 million in ether (ETH), worth 864.8. When the mysterious team of shadowy super coders (another joke) decided to use Miso, they didn’t expect all of their finances to be taken away.

An unidentified contractor placed malicious code into the Miso platform, according to SushiSwap CTO Joseph Delong, changing the destination address for all incoming monies in the token sale to their address. According to Delong, the Jay Pegs Auto Mart sale was the only one affected, and all of the cash raised was stolen.

SushiSwap has urged Binance and FTX to identify the hacker by revealing their KYC information, but they have not done so, according to Delong. He added the platform had directed Stephen Palley, a partner at law firm Anderson Kill, to file a complaint with the FBI if the funds aren’t recovered by 8 a.m. ET.

On the good side, the Jay Pegs Auto Mart Twitter account promised consumers that the Kia Sedona NFTs would still be distributed despite the lack of funds.

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SLAM, a Basketball Brand, Joins the NFT Platform Autograph



Autograph has taken over the world of sports NFTs. Autograph, co-founded by future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady, has signed deals with renowned athletes from various sports. In addition, the platform is teaming up with SLAM this week on the hardwood.

SLAM has streamlined its company into a new digital era and is known for its classic vintage magazine covers dating to 1994. Basketball enthusiasts may get news, unique features, digital material, and apparel through the portal. Without dipping into NFTs, it wouldn’t be complete.

Autograph and Its High-End Partners

Autograph has signed deals with Naomi Osaka, Derek Jeter, Simone Biles, and Tony Hawk in a short period. Top-tier athletes from many sports verticals make up the increasing advisory board. Additionally, autograph just partnered with DraftKings to give the sports betting platform access to NFTs.

According to a press statement issued this week, autograph will be a launch partner for SLAM’s NFT collection of classic magazine covers. Additionally, this will be Autograph’s first foray into basketball, with SLAM serving as a cornerstone for the platform’s introduction into the sport.

SLAM archives of the 300-plus covers that graced the front of SLAM for decades will be featured at NFTs. In addition, the NFTs will be available for purchase on the DraftKings Marketplace, which Autograph powers.

Blockchain Technology Meets Sports Media

Sports and technology are becoming increasingly entwined.

“We’ve been building a portfolio of companies focused on the convergence of sports media and blockchain technology, and this deal sits firmly at that crossroads,” said Matt Aronson, President of SLAM parent company JDS Sports. SLAM’s digital presence has grown to include over twenty social media channels with over 16 million followers. JDS Sports was also an early supporter of Autograph.

Through established partners, Autograph continues to push the fold on sports NFTs. The two have already issued NFTs for Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky, Simone Biles, and others through DraftKings Marketplace. Autograph, on the other hand, isn’t content to stop at sports. The platform also announced a relationship with Lionsgate in July. In addition, Autograph will develop digital collectibles for the new flagship movie series later this year due to the agreement.

It appears that SLAM isn’t starting or stopping here, either. In April, SLAM teamed up with rising basketball phenom Zion Williamson. This collaboration resulted in four limited-edition NFTs based on two of Zion’s SLAM cover appearances.

As brands, companies, teams, leagues, and individuals from practically every sport imaginable get involved, the convergence of sports and crypto continues to increase.

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Following Allegations of NFT Insider Trading, OpenSea’s Head of Product has Resigned

After being accused of NFT flipping using insider knowledge, Nate Chastain, Head of Product at prominent NFT marketplace OpenSea, appears to have left the company.



The Product Manager has resigned

Chastain’s Twitter profile has been altered to add the term “Past: @opensea” since he was called out two days ago, implying that the marketplace no longer employs him.

Though there isn’t proof that he was fired from OpenSea because of the allegations, it’s a strong possibility.

OpenSea CEO Devin Finzer has already updated his previous blog post about the event with the news that one of their employees “asked and accepted” his resignation just yesterday for violating their “duty to the community.”

According to the CEO’s update, OpenSea promptly commissioned a third-party investigation after learning of the event and is aggressively adopting its recommendations while the inquiry is ongoing.

Despite growing evidence against him, Nate Chastain has yet to issue a public statement. Meanwhile, the general belief on Twitter seems to be that he is guilty, with some even ‘celebrating his death’ with a fresh CryptoPhunk giveaway. However, despite Chastain’s misconduct, others express gratitude for his work for the NFT community and wish him the best in the future.

The Allegations and the Proof

Nate Chastain was accused of buying OpenSea NFTs with insider information before they were released on the platform’s site, then selling them for a much higher profit.

Chastain purchased the NFTs using burner accounts to conceal his identity; nevertheless, he was detected utilizing blockchain data, which proved that all of his winnings were being transmitted to his public address. Later, OpenSea published a blog post indicating that this “insider trade” had occurred.

Chastain made a profit of 19 ETH, which is worth more than $65k at press time.

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