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Nifty News: Old Navy’s BAYC shirts, expensive whisky NFTs, Sandbox publishing

A bottle of 52-year-old whisky made at Japan’s famous defunct Karuizawa distillery is being auctioned off as an NFT. The starting price for the nonfungible token (NFT) and bottle of whisky is a dizzying $75,000, or about 62 Ether (ETH). Direct-to-Customer NFT wine and spirits marketplace BlockBar is handling the auction. To whisky collectors, the ultra-rare bottle of whisky from “The Last Masterpiece” cask made in 1970 is attractive as there are now only 211 bottles of it left, according to a July 12 report by Finbold. Now an NFT collector can bolster their collection with a token that verifies authentic ownership of a bottle. NFT authenticating a bottle of “The Last Masterpiece” from Kurizawa.The auction began on July 12 and will continue until July 18. The artwork for the NFT and the bottle was made especially for the BlackBar auction by calligrapher Sounn Takeda. There has been one bid made on the item so far. Old Navy gets boredAmerican clothing brand Old Navy has issued a new $19..

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Indian blockchain firm 5ire secures $100M to fund sustainability-focused project

An ambitious sustainability-based blockchain project has secured $100 million in a Series A funding round to drive its development. Indian entrepreneurs Pratik Gauri and Prateek Dwivedi have spearheaded the foundation of a fifth-generation blockchain network known as 5ire, which looks to incentivize the implementation of United Nations' sustainable development goals (SDGs) for users of its system. The project has now attracted a total of $121 million in investment. A seed round secured $21 million from notable tech investors, including Alphabit, Marshland Capital, Launchpool Labs and Moonrock Capital. A subsequent series A fundraising round secured a $100 million investment from UK-based conglomerate SRAM & MRAM. 5ire intends to expand its business into Asia, North America and Europe in addition to its operations center in India. 5ire presents a novel use case for blockchain technology that looks to promote practices that are aligned with United Nations SDGs. Its 5ireChain network..

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BTC mining costs reach 10-month lows as miners use more efficient rigs

The cost of mining one Bitcoin (BTC) has fallen to ten-month lows as mining hardware becomes more efficient, and difficulty has dropped 6.7% since its May peak. On Wednesday, strategists from JPMorgan led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou told investors that Bitcoin production costs have fallen to around $13,000 from $24,000 at the beginning of June. This is the lowest it has been since September 2021, according to the analysts citing a chart from Bitinfocharts, and comes as mining difficulty has fallen from its May highs of 31.25T to 29.15T. Lower Bitcoin production costs can potentially ease miner selling pressure and improve profitability. However, the strategists were still bearish, stating “the decline in the production cost might be perceived as negative for the Bitcoin price outlook going forward,” according to Bloomberg. They added that the production cost is perceived by some analysts as the lower bound for the BTC price range in a bear market. Several analysts have predicted BTC p..

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34% of gamers want to use crypto in the Metaverse, despite the backlash

Despite a backlash from a vocal part of the gaming community, a new survey has revealed one-third of gamers have expressed interest in using crypto in the Metaverse. And, more gamers than not believe that the Metaverse will have a positive impact on gaming. The survey was published on Wednesday by institutional software developer Globant. It was conducted by YouGov and polled 1,000 adult PC, console and/or mobile gamers last month, with 34% of respondents indicating an interest in conducting crypto transactions in Metaverse. The concept of play-to-earn (P2E) in the Metaverse is also relatively well received by gamers, with 40% of respondents stating that they are “interested in pursuing a mix of both the ‘playing’ and ‘earning’ aspects of the Metaverse.” While 11% indicated they are more interested in earning, and 49% stated they are only interested in playing. More than half (53%) of respondents also stated that they would happily work in virtual game worlds if they were able to ea..

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Celsius bankruptcy filings show a company in deep trouble

Celsius’ bankruptcy filing has revealed some unpleasant surprises about the state of the crypto lending platform, including a $1.2 billion deficit formed largely as a result of user deposits. A chapter 11 bankruptcy document signed off by Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky on July 14 has revealed that the company holds around $4.3 billion in assets against $5.5 billion in liabilities, representing a $1.2 billion deficit. User deposits made up the majority of liabilities at $4.72 billion, while Celsius' assets include CEL tokens as assets valued at $600 million, mining assets worth $720 million, and $1.75 billion in crypto assets. The value of the CEL tokens has drawn suspicion from some in the crypto community however, as the entire market cap for CEL tokes is only $321 million, according to CoinGecko data. The financial roundup for Celsius reveals a $1.2 billion deficit.Among the crypto assets are 410,421 Lido Staked ETH (stETH) tokens worth about $479 million which are generating 5% A..

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Celo network back online after almost 24-hour outage

Proof-of-stake- (PoS)-based blockchain Celo has been suffering from an on-and-off network outage lasting 24 hours, though the blockchain appears to be up and running again. Celo is an open-source blockchain that enables users with phone numbers to make payments with crypto by using their phone numbers as a proxy for public keys. Celo updated its Twitter followers after the network came back online, noting it was the network’s first outage since the mainnet launch on April 22, 2020, and that it has begun a “thorough and expedited technical analysis” to get to the bottom of the issue. The protocol made the initial announcement that the network had stalled on Thursday at 12:04 am UTC at block 14,035,019, assuring that “all funds are safe.” It resumed around nine hours later for several minutes before pausing again at block 14,035,045. At the time of writing, the network appears to be up and running again following an upgrade of its validator nodes to version 1.5.8, according to a Cel..

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UNI, MATIC and AAVE surge after Bitcoin price bounces back above $20K

Crypto investors found cause for celebration on July 14 as the market experienced a positive trading session just one day after the Consumer Price Index (CPI) posted a June print of 9.1%, its highest level since 1981. Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360The move higher in the market wasn’t entirely unexpected for seasoned traders who have become familiar with a one to two-day bounce in asset prices following the most recent CPI prints. These traders also know there’s nothing to get too excited about, as the bounces have typically been followed by more downside once people realize that the high inflation print is a negative development. Nevertheless, the green in the market is a welcome sight after the rough start to 2022. Top 5 coins with the highest 24-hour price change. Source: CoinMarketCapAccording to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView, the biggest gainers over the past 24 hours were Uniswap (UNI), Polygon (MATIC) and Aave (AAVE). Robinhood ..

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Ankr Network’s 2.0 upgrade aims to improve Web3 decentralization

Decentralized Web3 infrastructure provider Ankr Network (ANKR) has introduced its Ankr Network 2.0 upgrade aimed at transitioning blockchains into more resilient node networks. The upgrade is detailed in the Ankr 2.0 Whitepaper which was obtained by Cointelegraph ahead of its release later today. The upgrade centers around making Web3 more decentralized through several new features, such as an option to run an independent node, the ability to stake ANKR tokens on a full node, and the Ankr DAO. A spokesperson explained to Cointelegraph: “The upgrade is aimed at transitioning more blockchains, and the DApps built on them, to more distributed and resilient node networks supported by independent node providers.”Ankr is one of the largest remote procedure call (RPC) endpoint providers in the crypto space. RPCs are essential tools blockchain developers use to build decentralized apps and projects. Every time Ankr handles an RPC request, a node is required to fulfill it. By expanding access..

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Crypto markets need to hit ‘total panic’ before revival: Kevin O’Leary

Millionaire investor from the Shark Tank TV show Kevin O’Leary says there’s going to be “total panic” and “massive volatility” in the crypto markets ahead before the industry swings back toward stronger firms and clearer regulations. Despite the recent fall of crypto finance firms including Voyager Digital and Celsius, O’Leary told Cointelegraph on July 13 that we’re still missing a “real big event” seen in previous market cycles before we go back to accelerated growth in the space, stating: “This passion play gets played out over and over again.”Some investors have pointed to the current market conditions as a result of over-leveraged centralized finance firms such as Voyager and Celsius. O’Leary said the problems with firms like those come from “idiot managers” who needed to be weeded out to make the industry more viable. “It’s unfortunate that these companies have gone to zero but you end up with much stronger species.”Ben Samaroo, CEO of crypto investment support firm WonderFi Te..

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OpenSea lays off 20% of its staff, citing ‘crypto winter’

Nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea announced mass layoffs on Thursday, joining other crypto companies in reducing headcount during one of the most volatile periods in the industry’s history. Co-founder and CEO Devin Finzer took to Twitter Thursday afternoon to disclose that his company was laying off up to 20% of its staff. In a long message conveyed to employees, Finzer blamed “an unprecedented combination of crypto winter and broad macroeconomic instability” for the layoffs. “[W]e need to prepare the company for the possibility of a prolonged downturn,” he said, adding: “The changes we’re making today put us in a position to maintain multiple years of runway under various crypto winter scenarios (5 years at the current volume), and give us high confidence that we will only have to go through this process once.”The layoffs reflect the dire state of the crypto market, whose combined value has declined by more than two-thirds compared to last year’s peak. That OpenSea, the l..

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