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Presenting CryptoLeague: Pokemon Cards of the Crypto World

Tadej Gašparič and his team created CryptoLeague which gives the common crypto term a new dimension in the form of trading cards.

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If you have ever been involved in the world of cryptocurrencies, you must have heard of terms such as Bitcoin whale or trader. But have you heard about bag holders or tribalists? These guys are well known to the crypto veterans, and they play a key role in the world of cryptocurrencies.

Project Crypto League personalizes different crypto terms into 41 exciting and fun characters that you can trade and collect in the form of a digital trading card.

Tadej Gašparič started creating at an early age: first Legos, then drawings, later music production, and stage design. He used to keep a sketchbook in school in which he drew logos from famous brands and bands. The sketchbook was passed between his schoolmates many times, and quite a few found it fascinating.

After school, he forgot about drawing and focused more on music and setting up an adult life. You know, get a real job, buy a car, move out of your parent’s house, etc. But he says he is grateful that the child in him did not die, and it was not long after he picked up a pencil again. This time it was the digital one, the one in Photoshop to be exact. In early 2015, Tadej started working on poster design and quickly expanded his work in logo design and branding. Since then, he has helped more than hundreds of people and businesses with his design creations. You can find his portfolio here: www.studio-naboo.com.

“Around 2017, I came across cryptocurrencies but got more heavily involved in November 2020, when I found out about the crazy world of NFTs and the endless possibilities that it offers. During the next few months, I learned many different crypto terms, such as Bitcoin whale or crypto miner. I found these terms interesting that I came up with the Crypto League project, which personalizes different crypto terms into 41 interesting and fun characters. For example, bag holder, hodler, panic seller, trader, miner etc.”

When starting the project, he asked himself a few crucial questions. “What do I wish this art to tell, who or what I want to address, what is the story of the project?” Tadej always believed the more compelling the story, the more immersive the art can be. “In Crypto League, the story is the world of cryptocurrencies itself, so basically what I am doing is just gathering all the facts and putting them together in a unique characterized way.”

Tadej knew what he wanted the characters to feel like but was also aware that he does not possess the technical or artistic skill to produce them. That is why he asked Mark to help out. Mark is a professional Illustrator and has been in business for many years. He worked for companies like Mercedes, Milka, Peugeot, and Gorenje. You can see his art here: www.markjordanstudio.com. He had sent him rough sketches and backstory, and after few sketches, they had the concept outlined.

The characters themselves tell many stories, and there are some hidden clues in each card. Still, the artwork would not be complete without an appealing story explaining all the facts about a specific character. Here is where Tadej reached out to Inga. She is a story writer and helped out to put all the points into a fun read story. This way, collecting the cards is not just fun but also educational.

“When starting this project 4 months ago, I had zero clues on how NFTs work, how the minting process happens, and what marketplace is the best. All I knew is that you can collect NFTs like you would collect Pokémon cards. My initial idea was to design and send it to Nifty Gateway to get some help with the minting and promotion process. But since I got no reply, I decided to learn it myself.”

Tadej reached out to a YouTuber called Earth Bound, and he was helpful with the process. In the end, he also made a video about CryptoLeague project, which you can see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLe8grj_M94.

Crypto League characters come to blockchain in trading cards, fully digitalized and with underlying software that proves their authenticity. They can be bought, sold, traded, or function as financial instruments to investors. 3 out of 41 characters are already available for purchase on Opensea

(https://opensea.io/collection/collectcryptoleague). There are 25 Miner cards, 25 Whale cards, and 7 gold Satoshi Nakamoto cards available. You can also expect 3 to 5 new characters approximately every 45 days, and CryptoLeague aims to drop the last card on 23th of June of 2022, one year after the first card was minted. The last character will be the gold “Founders” card and will be limited to 7 cards. This card will not be for sale but rather distributed among the lucky 7 people who already own all the other 40 characters.

“I believe this project sums up all the knowledge I gathered over the past 10 years. Drawing, designing, illustrating, branding, marketing, project management, web design, and writing. It is like I have been collecting puzzles for all my life and I can now finally put all the pieces together.“

To learn more about the project you can visit cryptoleague.cards.

Projects

‘It’s Time’: NBA Top Shot Maker Dapper Labs to Launch NFT Platform for UFC

Following the UFC 270 pay-per-view event, NFTs from the Ultimate Fighting Championship will debut on Flow this weekend.

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#nft #nfthours #dapperlabs #ufc #collection

Dapper Labs announced today that it would launch an NFT platform for the popular mixed martial arts organization Ultimate Fighting Championship later this week, following its success with NBA Top Shot and subsequent arrangements with the NFL and LaLiga.

UFC Strike will premiere on Sunday, January 23, immediately following the UFC 270 live pay-per-view event on Saturday. UFC Strike’s digital collectibles, like Top Shot’s, will be based on video footage from previous events and will be minted on Dapper’s Flow blockchain. However, unlike Top Shot, the UFC collectible moments will include the original soundtrack to match the video clip.

Furthermore, rather than having different tier levels, all packs—which contain a random selection of moments—will be sold at the same price (as with NBA Top Shot). NFT moments from fighters like Francis Ngannou, Amanda Nunes, Kamaru Usman, Rose Namajunas, Derrick Lewis, and Justin Gaethje will be featured in the first pack.

Dapper’s contract with the UFC was signed before NBA Top Shot was out, which is interesting. According to statistics from DappRadar, the partnership was announced in February 2020, when the NFT sector was still small and niche—well before it grew to $23 billion in trading volume in 2021.

Dapper Labs’ head of partnerships, Caty Tedman, said that the company wanted to debut NBA Top Shot first and learn from the experience—which includes serious scaling issues early last year—before launching the UFC memorabilia.

She stated, “We’ve come to the stage where we feel ready to [launch].” “We’re ecstatic to provide UFC fans with a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as well as the utility that comes with this type of product. We’re finally ready to launch this as the industry, and we grow together.”

Tedman stated that the UFC Strike platform would be heavily promoted during this weekend’s pay-per-view event, including appearances by UFC President Dana White and fighters.

Because the UFC’s timetable is mainly based on pay-per-view fights every few weeks, UFC Strike will plan its releases to coincide with those significant events. As a result, the portal will first focus on fights from the previous year but ultimately include highlights from older UFC fights. The first fight in the promotion took place in 1993.

Despite the roughly two-year gap between the original announcement and this week’s launch, Tedman said the UFC—which already has a crypto fan token through the Socios.com platform—was keen to make a big statement in the NFT industry.

“Every company has its personality, and the UFC’s approach is to test with us and try new things with us,” she explained. “It’s fantastic to have a partner that doesn’t say, ‘Well, let’s try it little and see how it goes,’ when you’re talking about how to launch a product. It’s like, ‘Let’s make it as huge as we can.’ ‘Let’s do it in a UFC-style fight.'”

Unlike Top Shot and the impending NFL All Day platform, UFC Strike will be released without a closed beta period to the general public. According to Tedman, Dapper is investigating live activations at future UFC events, as it has done with the NBA, and added value for UFC NFTs, such as potential community or gaming features.

Top Shot in 2022

The UFC announcement comes on the heels of NBA Top Shot’s first major commercial campaign, including Kevin Durant, the Brooklyn Nets player and two-time NBA champion debuting yesterday.

In October, Durant and his Boardroom media group signed a deal with Dapper Labs to give him “a starring position across NBA Top Shot,” according to the company. According to Tedman, Durant, an early investor in Coinbase who has invested in other crypto firms, is familiar with the Top Shot concept.

“He’s a world-class athlete. He’s a top-tier human. He’s a tech entrepreneur,” she explained. “It’s been a long time since he’s been with us. He’s been interested in the crypto world for quite some time. Therefore, he ticks all the boxes. But isn’t he also swaggering? There’s nothing about him that wouldn’t make him a fantastic candidate for this type of campaign.”

ACCORDING TO TEDMAN, the NBA Top Shot team is “very focused on raising participation in the product and increasing accessibility” for 2022. Following the early 2021 boom in demand and Dapper’s time spent improving platform reliability and customer service, the business feels Top Shot still has substantial growth potential ahead of it.

“This sector is still in its infancy,” she explained. “There’s no such thing as ‘tried and true,'” says the author. “We’re going to attempt a lot of things, but we’re going to do a lot of things to make sure that current collectors feel valued—so they don’t feel like we’re creating an experience where they don’t feel valued.”

And NFL All Day, which Dapper promised would debut by the end of the current NFL season, is still on track to do so—for reference, Super Bowl LVI is on February 13. The NFT platform is now in closed beta testing, and given the recent nature of Dapper’s NFL partnership, Tedman said they’re concentrating on polishing it before going public.

“We’re much newer to the NFL,” she added, “in the same way that every organization has a different personality and every partnership has a different pace. So as a result, we’re taking our time with it.”

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Meta’s Instagram Experimentation With NFT Marketplace

Meta, formerly Facebook, is said to be working on a feature that will allow users to display their NFT collections on Instagram.

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#nft #nfthours #meta #facebook #instagram #marketplace

According to the Financial Times, Meta, formerly Facebook, has new intentions to enter the fast-growing non-fungible token (NFT) market.

The Financial Times stated, citing unnamed sources, that the social media company is working on a tool that will allow users to mint and trade NFTs and display their collections on their Meta and Instagram profiles. In April 2012, Meta, formerly Facebook, paid $1 billion for Instagram.

The blockchain network on which these capabilities would be developed is still unknown. However, NFTs are currently available on several blockchains, including Solana, Tezos, Ethereum, Flow, and WAX.

According to two sources, an NFT marketplace similar to OpenSea is also in the works.

OpenSea has been a cornerstone of the burgeoning NFT industry. Despite a more significant market decline, the platform set a new monthly volume high of $3.5 billion two weeks before the end of January. According to a report by analytics firm Chainalysis, the total market for digital collectibles will reach $41 billion in 2021.

The $69 million auctions by digital artist Beeple at Christie’s, monthly million-dollar sales of CryptoPunks, and a slew of celebrities endorsing the craze in one way or another capped off a spectacular year.

This publicity has piqued the curiosity of non-crypto companies as well.

Instagram, Meta and NFTs

In December, Adam Mosseri, the CEO of Instagram, said that the company is “actively studying NFTs and how we can make them more accessible to a wider audience.”

The company organized a session for NFT makers earlier this year to raise awareness about how to use the technology. However, artists said they “need more information on how to [use NFTs], not just from us, but from other creators,” according to Instagram’s VP of global partnerships, Charles Porch.

NFTs are also expected to play a significant role in the metaverse, a persistent digital world where individuals interact through virtual avatars. Therefore, establish non-fungible ownership of objects inside a wholly digital environment.

With its latest push into NFTs, the tech industry is getting a glimpse into how Meta could implement NFTs on its platform. Facebook’s recent rebranding as Meta signaled CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s intent to move “from being Facebook first as a company to being metaverse first.” With its latest push into NFTs, the tech industry is getting a glimpse into how Meta could implement NFTs on its platform.

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Tom Brady’s Autograph NFC Platform Raises $170 Million in Funding

Autograph raises significant cash and extends its advisory board with the help of celebrities like Brady, The Weeknd, and Simone Biles.

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#nft #nfthours #tombrady #autograph

Autograph, the NFT platform co-founded by NFL quarterback Tom Brady in 2021, has made a significant splash by enlisting the help of sportsmen and entertainers like Tiger Woods, The Weeknd, and Simone Biles. Now, the firm has also raised a substantial sum of money.

Today, Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z fund and Kleiner Perkins led a $170 million Series B fundraising round for Autograph. Lightspeed Venture Partners, 01A, and Katie Haun’s new venture capital business are among the investors in the round.

Together with a16z General Partners Chris Dixon and Arianna Simpson, and Kleiner Perkins’ Ilya Fushman, Haun will join Autograph’s board of advisors as part of the fundraising.

Along with the funding announcement, Autograph did not provide a valuation. However, in July 2021, 01A and Velvet Sea Ventures co-led a Series A fundraising round.

The platform was revealed in April 2021, during the first NFT boom, and launched in August in collaboration with DraftKings Marketplace. Autograph has also released NFTs from Tony Hawk, Naomi Osaka, Wayne Gretzky, Derek Jeter, Usain Bolt, Rob Gronkowski, and the aforementioned names.

According to the firm, the cash came from “many recently finalized” collaborations that will be publicized soon. Autograph began with sports but has since broadened its focus, first with Lionsgate’s “Saw” film franchise and later with the addition of musician Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye as the platform’s music vertical’s head.

Autograph is “pumped to add some incredibly skilled experts in the Web3 sector to our team,” Brady tweeted today about the financing round. Autograph is “beginning with celebrities, but wants to encourage innovators at every step of growth,” according to a16z’s Dixon.

Images, video files, and interactive video game items can all be represented by an NFT, which works as a blockchain-backed deed of ownership for digital property. According to DappRadar, the market grew to $23 billion in transaction volume in 2021. Autograph issues NFTs using Polygon, a sidechain scaling solution for Ethereum, the primary NFT platform.

With Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot bringing NFTs to widespread audiences early last year, sports memorabilia have become a vital component of the NFT industry. Dapper has also formed partnerships with the NFL, UFC, and LaLiga. In addition, in October, Fanatics raised $100 million at a $1.5 billion value for its Candy Digital platform, which holds the official Major League Baseball license.

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