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The First “Living Eco-NFT” by Star Trek’s Creator

The NFT industry is evolving at a rapid pace and every day the ecosystem sees new experiments that keep the industry both exciting and rewarding for the users. In exciting news, the signature of Star Trek producer Gene Roddenberry has done something extraordinary by boldly going where no NFT has gone before – into the code of life itself. 

The signature in discussion is iconic in itself as it is the signature by Roddenberry to sign the contract with Lucielle Ball’s Desilu Productions for financing Star Trek, back in 1965. The signature was turned into an NFT on November 30 and implanted in the DNA code of a living bacteria cell, 30 years after the Sci-Fi icon’s death. 

The World’s First Living NFT

The implantation of the NFT into the DNA code of a bacteria is an ideal representation of how far science has come along and is nothing short of a Sci-Fi movie in itself. Roddenberry Entertainment describes this amazing feat as the first-ever “Living Eco-NFT” and “a true intersection of science and science fiction.” 

One of the amazing prospects of this mind-boggling achievement is that the NFT piece will automatically replicate and grow with the growth of the organism’s cells. 

“As long as the bacteria remains living, the cell can double at a rate that will create over a billion copies of the Eco-NFT overnight.”

The amazing artwork and Sci-Fic piece are exhibited as an art piece called “El Primero” a Spanish phrase for “The First” in Miami during the Art Basel 2021. The NFT piece was born out of the collaboration with the CEO of Rational Vaccines and Emmy-winning director Agustin Fernandez. He said, 

“Storing information in DNA represents a whole new category of possibility when it comes to data archiving.” He added, “It provides sustainable, environmentally-friendly storage with exponentially larger capacities than anything the market currently has to offer.”

The NFTs is built on the Solana Blockchain and is supported by Metaplex Studios, “The Solana blockchain provides an extremely energy-efficient platform for NFT creators to build on,” told Stephen Hess, the CEO. 

This fast-paced adoption of NFT and integration with science and technology opens up the doors to unexplored opportunities. While Star Trek is no stranger to NFTs, several other production houses, such as Disney are also joining the NFT space. 

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#StraTrek creator, Gene Roddenberry’s signature becomes the first #NFT or ”El Primero” to be implanted into the DNA of an organism! 

The El Primero NFT is truly an amazing feat! ?

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Square Announced its Name change to Block a few weeks after Facebook changed to Meta

Square, Inc. has confirmed a series of changes that would see it renamed as Block. The name of the company as a legal entity will be Block. The company has become reputed for providing top services that cut across commerce, financial solutions, and software services to its clients. The name change would represent Square’s ambition to spread its influence in the system.

The name change to Block reflects the company’s expansion. Since its inception in 2009, the company has grown to include Cash App, TIDAL, and TBD54566975 as subsidiaries, and the name change allows for even more expansion. Individuals, artists, fans, developers, and sellers are all served by Block, which is an encompassing ecosystem comprising various enterprises unified by the goal of economic empowerment.

Reacting to the development, Jack Dorsey, co-founder, and CEO of Block, said, “We built the Square brand for our Seller business, which is where it belongs. Block is a new name, but our purpose of economic empowerment remains the same. No matter how we grow or change, we will continue to build tools to help increase access to the economy.”

Changes to be Made

The sudden change of name to Block separates the company from its companies or structural components.  Despite the name change, there will be no organizational changes, and the brands Square, Cash App, TIDAL, and TBD54566975 will remain the same. 

At the corporate level, a core team, which comprises departments like Counsel, People, and Finance, will continue to govern the ecosystem. Square Crypto, a distinct effort of the corporation focused on promoting Bitcoin, will now be known as Spiral as a result of the name change.

Symbolism 

The name change is symbolic for many reasons. It represents a relatable title to the community as it gives a picture of a united community. Block is also an allusion to the company’s expanding interest in blockchain and cryptocurrency. 

“Block references the neighborhood blocks where we find our sellers, a blockchain, block parties full of music, obstacles to overcome, a section of code, building blocks, and of course, tungsten cubes,” the company wrote in a Tweet.

Square Follows the Trend

The company’s New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol will remain “SQ” for the time being, it added; however, its legal name will change from “Square, Inc.” to “Block, Inc.” around December 10. Cash App and music streaming service Tidal, which are now under the Square umbrella, will keep their own names and organizational structures. 

Square’s renaming mirrors that of other significant internet companies, such as Google, which merged with parent company Alphabet in 2015. In late October of this year, social media behemoth Facebook changed its name to Meta along with a new logo.

The move came as the company faced growing criticism in the press and in Congress. However, like Square, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg believed that the Facebook brand didn’t adequately represent the company’s expansion to include products such as Instagram, WhatsApp, Horizon, and Quest.

Other Changes

In other changes made by Square, Afterpay and Square decided to merge earlier this year. Tidal’s Cash App recently expanded to allow minors aged 13 to 17 to establish accounts with parental supervision, and the firm is gearing up for a shift toward direct artist royalty payments in the coming year.

Grayscale Investments Launches a Trust With Solana, An Ethereum Rival

In recent news, Grayscale, a leading digital asset investment firm, is launching a new product that provides exposure to Solana, one of the most popular digital assets globally. The Solana Trust will be the 16th option in Grayscale’s growing product range for institutional and high-net-worth investors.

The Solana network, like the Ethereum network, is one of several initiatives aimed at expanding blockchain’s utility beyond that of a peer-to-peer payment system. As an alternative to pure Proof-of-Stake (PoS) and Proof-of-Work (PoW) blockchains, the Solana protocol proposed the Proof-of-History (PoH) consensus mechanism.

Why Solana?

It’s simple to see why Grayscale would want to expose Solana to its community. Though its growth was reduced this month due to overall market turmoil, the blockchain’s native token SOL is still one of the finest assets in 2021, particularly among large cryptocurrencies, with a year-to-date gain of 687 percent. These returns surpass those of several of its main competitors, including Ethereum, Algorand, Cardano, and Polkadot, which are all seeking to be the leading platform for decentralized finance applications, non-traditional transactions, and cryptocurrency games. Avalanche, Solana’s only other big competitor, has increased 680 percent in 2020 but only has a fraction of Solana’s market valuation.

Solana is also the favored platform of Sam Bankman-Fried, the 29-year-old founder of crypto exchange FTX and the industry’s richest person with a personal fortune of $26.5 billion. His outspoken support for the network has been essential in raising its public profile among companies and builders.

Reaction to the New

Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein reacted to the latest addition and pointed out that Grayscale is thrilled to extend its offerings and foster crypto adoption. He said, “For the last eight years, Grayscale has been at the forefront of offering investors efficient exposure to the ever-evolving digital currency ecosystem.“We have had a front-row seat to the mainstream acceptance and adoption of crypto and increasingly find that investors are diversifying their exposure beyond digital assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Our family of Grayscale products will continue to expand alongside this exciting asset class, as we remain committed to offering investors opportunities to access the digital economy.”

Speaking on why he chose Solana, Sonnenshein noted that Solana’s near and long-term potential in spotting new use cases for blockchain technology was a strong bait aside from its performance. He said, “What’s been interesting about Solana is that it gives users the ability to learn, experiment, and build. They generally have more budget to experiment on the protocol than some other more established blockchains like Ethereum, because of lower transaction fees.” 

Bitcoin (BTC), Basic Attention Token (BAT), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Chainlink (LINK), Decentraland (MANA), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Filecoin (FIL), Litecoin (LTC), Livepeer (LPT), Stellar Lumens (XLM), Zcash (ZEC), and Horizen (HOR) (ZEN) are Grayscale’s other product of which Solana will be joining.

 Grayscale also provides thematic exposure to digital assets through its diversified products, Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund, which covers the top 70% of the digital currency market by market capitalization, and Grayscale DeFi Fund, which tracks the CoinDesk DeFi Index through a market-capitalization-weighted portfolio.

Grayscale’s investment products are available through periodic private placements to institutional and individual authorized investors.

Merit Circle Partners with Bright Minds to Create an Alternative Universe

Merit Circle has established itself as one of the key players in the play-to-earn industry, which has greatly benefited from the booming NFT sector since the year began. In a recent blog post, Merit Circle announced that it is creating an alternate universe with limitless potential in partnership with the most outstanding persons to honor NFTs and actively explore the space.

Merit Circle revolves around NFTs.

Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs, are at the heart of Merit Circle. The firm began its quest by purchasing a variety of Axies, the in-game creatures in Axie Infinity. As its Axies collection increased, Merit Circle began to lend them out to other players, all thanks to the great innovation of NFTs in the crypto space. Thousands of gamers across the world are now using these NFTs to play Axie Infinity and acquire several rewards.

For every game added to Circle’s rooster, the platform purchases NFTs to use within these games, and thus, NFs have been a crucial part of the system. In their post, they wrote, “ It’s, therefore, no great surprise that our treasury is made up of more than stablecoins, BTC and ETH; NFTs play a giant part in not only our daily operations but our investment thesis and long-term vision. We believe that this novel piece of technology has the potential to disrupt entire industries, with the gaming industry being a major player.

Merit Circle Launches its NFTs

The future of NFTs excites Merit Circle and its team of experts, which constantly make moves to increase the platform’s collection. However, Circle recently realized that a collection of Merit Circle NFTs was the missing puzzle.

 

NFTs are revolving and changing the game in a big way, and Merit Circle intends to stay ahead of the curve and be part of the change while recognizing the input of those who made NFTs possible and valuable.

The Alternative Universe

Merit Circle announced that it has been working with some of the best thinkers in the world for the past few months to construct a brand new world from scratch. The platform has assembled a star-studded team that includes an Emmy-winning illustrator and a character designer who are constructing imaginary characters that are navigating a cosmos created by a published novelist.

This freshly developed environment will be the first iteration of a project that will feature visually distinct personas, with maybe more to come. According to Merit Circle, “ We overstress the fact that our community is of utmost importance to our success. The first step was taken with the creation of a leaderboard where we rewarded the largest supporters in our Balancer Liquidity Bootstrapping Pool. The next steps remain unknown for now but we are trying to find a way to involve our community as much as possible in this project.”

About Merit Circle

Merit Circle is a decentralized autonomous organization dedicated to the advancement of the “play-to-earn” economy. The project aspires to be at the forefront of innovation in the play-to-earn industry, with activities spanning many industries and niches, resulting in a continually adapting and evolving organization.

To learn more about the project, users can read this medium blog.

Crypto Exchange Firm Coinbase Purchases BRD for an Undisclosed Fee

In a recent report, Breadwinner AG, also known as BRD, a cryptocurrency wallet firm, has been bought by Coinbase Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

The company’s cryptocurrency wallet, formerly known as Breadwallet and Bread, was founded in 2015 and is a mobile-first wallet with over 10 million customers and $20 billion in assets under management. 

The company also offers crypto purchases, commercial registration, credit rating information, management tools, news, and merchant services in addition to the wallet.

The BRD app is accessible in over 170 countries for iOS and Android and contains features like iCloud key backup, configurable widgets, direct blockchain access, and 14 language compatibility. The app’s code is open source, and users receive BRD incentives based on usage, which are a type of transferable cryptocurrency.

Reaction to the Purchase

Reacting to the news of the purchase, BRD’s co-founders Adam Traidman and Aaron Voisine released a letter to their customers informing them of the recent development. They also assured their client base of the safety and security of their funds. 

They wrote, “Today, we would like to share the news that members of our team will be continuing our mission at Coinbase, where we will work together to bring the power of decentralization to even more users around the globe. At this time, nothing will change in the BRD wallet app, and as always, your funds are safe and secure.”

They continued, “You may continue to transact normally. In the future, BRD wallet users will have an optional migration path to self custody with Coinbase Wallet, which will include a special gift. Stay tuned for more details to come in 2022.”

Coinbase announced on Twitter that it is boosting its investment in self-custody and Web3 to increase global financial freedom. It wrote,” the BRD team will be joining @CoinbaseWallet to help accelerate web3 adoption. The team brings deep expertise in self-custody for crypto wallets, which will help Wallet enable more people to safely and securely access the decentralized world of crypto.”

According to Crunchbase, BRD had raised $54.8 million in venture capital funding before its acquisition. Xpring, SBI Crypto, East Ventures, Das Capital, and OKWave were among the investors.

The purchase was disclosed just one day after the Senate Banking Committee wrote letters to Coinbase and other companies inquiring about regulatory frameworks and stablecoins.

Coinbase is Aiding Crypto Adoption

In the United States, Coinbase is the most popular consumer-facing crypto-asset exchange. The company, which has been in business since 2012, offers customers to purchase, sell, and store crypto-assets such as bitcoin and ethereum.

Though Coinbase is renowned for its crypto-asset exchange, the company has broader ambitions than simply facilitating the purchase and sale of cryptocurrency. The company’s declared purpose matches the main ambition of crypto asset enthusiasts: to create a new, “open financial system.”

The main aim of Coinbase, according to CEO Brian Armstrong, is to enhance economic freedom around the world.