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OpenSea Becomes Crypto Unicorn after Raising $100M in Its Series B Funding Round

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One of the key changes that OpenSea will work towards is to enable cross-blockchain operations on its platform.

NFT marketplace OpenSea is now valued at a total of $1.5 billion post its Series B Funding round where it raised $100 million. Crypto is still a developing industry however some entrepreneurs have already made a place for themselves in the future crypto world. OpenSea is one such entity that allows traders, owners, and developers to create, trade, and develop non-fungible tokens on its wide digital market platform. NFTs hit the popular culture early this year and became a part of the regular conversation since the artist Beeple made headlines post selling his NFT, a digital art for $69.3 million.

OpenSea has only benefitted from this explosion though it had carved a niche place for itself in the industry before that. It was in March 2021 that the company had raised $23 million as part of its Series A funding. Now months later, in their Series B funding, OpenSea has raised an impressive sum of $100 million. Both the rounds were led by Silicon Valley-based Venture Capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz. Some of the other players in the recent funding comprise Coatue, Michael Ovitz, CAA, Kevin Durant, Kevin Hartz, and famous actor Ashton Kutcher. It is now officially a crypto unicorn and one of the largest NFT marketplaces in the world.

OpenSea and Its Plan of Action amid Successful Funding

The new funds will target the infrastructure issues concerning the Ethereum blockchain. Besides, some of it would be used to attract new and competent engineers, in the international expansion to capture new developing markets and in the overall development of the marketplace, platform to make the NFT transactions seamless and secure.

As mentioned earlier, one of the key changes that OpenSea will work towards is to enable cross-blockchain operations on its platform. The company’s large carbon footprint is a result of the high amounts of computing power and energy used in the NFT creation. The high gas fee due to minting NFTs on the blockchain has been a constant roadblock for OpenSea. To make the transactions more energy-efficient for long-term stability and feasible for customers, OpenSea has already moved transactions on the Polygon platform, which is a popular Layer 2 Ethereum blockchain.

Apart from Polygon, the marketplace will also integrate its platform with Dapper Labs’ Flow and Tezos in the future. These scalable blockchains would ensure the company stays relevant and ahead of its competitors while at the same time opening up to a diverse customer pool and not just the high-value artwork market ruled by the ultra-rich.

About the Company

This Ethereum blockchain-based platform for trading NFTs i.e. non-fungible tokens was born in 2017. They brand themselves as the world’s first and largest digital marketplace for crypto collectibles and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) where users can buy, sell, and discover exclusive digital assets. It allows users to conduct transactions through any crypto wallet they have.

OpenSea wishes to lower transaction costs across platforms while also enabling people to choose from a plethora of payment methods available. They want to become NFT educators in the market and be known as the brand synonymous with NFTs. Digital art ranging from art, music, domain names to virtual worlds, sports, and trading cards, OpenSea displays a large set of NFTs on its platform. Its recent revenue numbers are a key witness to its unstoppable growth. June 2021 saw OpenSea selling digital assets worth $160 million. This translates to a 45 times increase in growth since its $8 million sales in the first month of 2021.

“We’re excited about NFT’s representing a paradigm shift in technology where most of the consumer tech has been dominated by a few large companies,” Finzer said. “We think NFTs are bringing back a Renaissance, where creators, collectors, developers, and all sorts of projects will emerge, very analogous to the paradigm shift where the birth of the internet brought thousands of new early applications and ultimately, billions of people, changing their lives in a big way,” said CEO Devin Finzer.

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Content specialist with interest across sectors like Finance, Politics, Environment, Technology & Education. Loves Fiction! A reader, dreamer & blogger. When not writing, you will find her enjoying solitude like her cats



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Elon Musk, Tim Cook Deny Meeting to Discuss Tesla Acquisition

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Besides Musk, Cook has also owned up to not having met with Musk on no occasion when he appeared on the New York Times Sway Podcast.

Elon Musk, Tim Cook Deny Meeting to Discuss Tesla Acquisition

The claims published in Tim Higgins new book ‘Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century,’ that the Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO and Tim Cook, the Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) had a meeting to discuss the possible acquisition of the electric automaker has been refuted by both parties.

According to Insideevs, the conversation in which Tim Cook said ‘f*** you’ to Musk via a phone call has been adjudged as false. According to the book from Higgins, a New York Times reporter, the Apple boss called Musk to discuss a possible acquisition deal as far back as 2016. Higgins claims that both CEOs’ discussions fell apart when Musk demanded to continue being the CEO of Apple following the acquisition. The proposition was not well received by Cook who said ‘f*** you’ and hung up the phone.

While there has been a consideration to give up Tesla to Apple as Musk agreed to, that was when the former’s valuation is just about 6% of what it is today. Moreover, Musk said despite requesting to meet with Cook for the takeover consideration, the meeting never actually happened.

“Cook & I have never spoken or written to each other ever. There was a point where I requested to meet with Cook to talk about Apple buying Tesla. There were no conditions of acquisition proposed whatsoever. He refused to meet. Tesla was worth about 6% of today’s value,” Musk revealed via his official Twitter account.

Besides Musk, Cook has also owned up to not having met with Musk on no occasion when he appeared on the New York Times Sway Podcast according to an earlier Bloomberg report.

Elon Musk Says He Had No Interest Running Apple and Tim Cook

As the most valuable automaker in the world by market capitalization, there appear to be no signs that Tesla is up for sale as Musk once intended close a decade ago. Moreso, Elon Musk has said via his Twitter account that he never at any time expressed interest in taking over Apple. Per his words:

“Indeed. Both Cook & I have been clear publicly that we have never spoken or otherwise communicated. I tried to speak to him & he declined. Nor have I ever expressed any interest in running Apple to anyone. Cook is, all things considered, obviously doing an incredible job.”

The doubled-checked claim from both Cook and Musk leaves Higgins’s assertions to be questionable. Despite the book being reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, Musk duly noted that the author has “managed to make his book both false *and* boring.”

 

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Benjamin Godfrey

Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalists who relish writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desires to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain based media and sites. Benjamin Godfrey is a lover of sports and agriculture.



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Li Auto Set for Secondary Listing in Hong Kong to Raise $1.93 Billion

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Chinese carmaker Li Auto set to offer secondary listing in Hong Kong as a hedge against geopolitical risks between America and China.

Automobile manufacturer Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI), is going ahead with a secondary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) despite regulatory crackdowns in the country. The Chinese electric vehicle startup, which is already listed on the NASDAQ, is looking to raise $1.93 billion. It plans to do this by offering 100 million Class A ordinary shares to investors at 150 Hong Kong dollars or $19.29. Li Auto plans to funnel the proceeds from its share offering into research and development of technology and future models. The automobile company is also looking to scale production and increase retail activities around its products. 

Li Auto will announce a final price on August 6th amid the crackdown on Chinese listings. The recent regulatory actions have sparked a huge recent sell-off in Chinese technology stocks. The sell-off has affected everything from food delivery to ride-hailing.

The Chinese government looks to tighten its grip over Chinese technology companies in a bid to avoid a tech-led bubble bursting. This comes on the back of the US SEC imposing stricter listing requirements for Chinese-based companies in America. Amid the excitement and uncertainty of the crackdown, Chinese electric vehicle makers are also looking to capitalize.

Li Auto Is One of Many Chinese Tech Companies with Secondary Listings in Hong Kong

Several Chinese companies already listed on Wall Street have secondary listings in Hong Kong to hedge against Chinese-American tensions. In July, Xpeng (NYSE: XPEV) generated $1.8 billion in a Hong Kong listing. The Li Auto rival issued 85 million Class A ordinary shares and is also already listed in the US. Other Wall Street Chinese technology companies with secondary listings back home are Alibaba, NetEase, and JD.com. 

Owing to the increasing growth of Chinese electric vehicles, the competition has become very intense in recent times, especially among startups. Li Auto, Xpeng, and Nio are all jockeying for dominance in the playing field. In addition to this, all three companies are also directly competing with established companies such as Tesla and BYD. Even the more traditional automakers are always looking to take a sizable market share in the automobile industry. As far as the electrical startups go, Xpeng has already proven to be a force in coming years and is already being dubbed ‘The Chinese Tesla Rival’.

In July 2021, Li Auto recorded a record number of monthly vehicle sales. The company said it delivered 8,589 of its Li One vehicles, the only model in its current model lineup. The Li One is a hybrid vehicle with a fuel tank for charging the battery, giving the car an increased mile range.

Li Auto sold the highest number of vehicles among the trio of Chinese electric vehicle startups listed in the US. Xpeng delivered 8,040 vehicles which was also a company record. In comparison, Nico sold 7,931 cars in the same period.

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Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge.
When he’s not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.



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Wealthfront Says Clients Can Now Invest in Grayscale BTC and ETH Funds

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With the uncertainty in the current investment ecosystem, Wealthfront says it is set to offer its customers an expert-backed recommended portfolio.

Robo-adviser Wealthfront has made a bold move to offer its clients a means to gain exposure to Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) through Grayscale investment funds. Per a blog post published by the firm, its expanded product offerings include the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (OTCMKTS: GBTC) and Grayscale Ethereum Trust (OTCMKTS: ETHE). The firm noted that its clients can invest as much as 10% of their total portfolio in the trusts, citing risk and volatility as the reasons for the restrictions.

“You can add GBTC and/or ETHE to your portfolio by following the instructions here and selecting a combined allocation of up to 10% of your total portfolio. We limit your allocation to GBTC and ETHE because, as a fiduciary, we act in your best interests at all times, and these investments can be riskier and more volatile than most ETFs,” Wealthfront said in the blog post.

The maturity of the cryptocurrency ecosystem has seen a growing clamor for exposure or investments in assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum by both retail and institutional investors. Several economic fundamentals have contributed to this rising embrace of nascent assets including the pangs of inflation which has continued to contribute to the devaluation of fiat currencies like the US Dollar. More than ever, the investment community is seeing a more flexible and promising means of hedging against inflation through digital assets.

The move by Wealthfront to integrate the GBTC and ETHE is geared toward enhancing the quality of investment options by its clients. While there is no obligation on customers to invest in these offerings, their availability implies the Robo adviser is moving in line with the trends in the growing digital world.

Wealthfront Grayscale Funds: Value Added Services to Owing Crypto

The Wealthfront system uses advanced automation to take “chore out of managing your portfolio and works to maximize your after-tax returns at no extra cost.” Just like the investment manager is offering GBTC and ETHE investment options, it also gives its clients the way to acquire other investment products including ARK ETFs as well as other vehicles that represent innovative tech and social advancements.

The firm said the newly added products are complementary to the existing products as customers “can now choose from a bigger selection of ARK ETFs, pick ETFs that are specific to industries like cannabis or self-driving cars, or choose from a larger pool of socially responsible investments, adding that “the choice is yours.”

With the uncertainty in the current investment ecosystem, Wealthfront says it is set to offer its customers an expert-backed recommended portfolio. As a value-added service, the firm said its clients can bring over investments from another firm and they will handle the details that is billed to drive productivity. 

Wealthfront is arguably one of the largest Robo advisors in the world with about $25 billion in assets under management. Grayscale also holds as much as $25.5 billion in the GBTC trust and $7.47 billion in its ETHE trust.

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Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalists who relish writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desires to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain based media and sites. Benjamin Godfrey is a lover of sports and agriculture.



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