Nifty: M&M’s jump into BAYC mania, a Pudgy Penguin sells for 400 ETH and more
KINGSHIP is a group made up of three BAYC NFT hodlers and one MAYC owner. As part of the deal, the avatars depicted in the NFT art will be printed on the chocolate candies.

Global confectionery giant Mars has teamed up with virtual metaverse band KINGSHIP to create limited edition boxes of M&M’s featuring content from the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC).

KINGSHIP is a group made up of three BAYC NFT hodlers and one Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) owner. As part of the deal, the avatars depicted in the nonfungible token (NFT) art will be printed on the chocolate candies in a select number of boxes.

There has been a total of 4,000 boxes created in total, split between two tiers of rarity. The regular tier comes in 3,900 brown celebratory gift boxes, while the 100 gold edition boxes are wrapped in gold and white foil, number 1 to 100 and have the Kingship member’s apes printed on the M&M’s.

Additionally, 6,000 candy gift jars have been put up for sale from today via the M&M’s website. Hodlers of the KINGSHIP Key Card NFTs were given early access to this promotion, suggesting the gold edition boxes may already be gone.

“We’re excited to continue our Mars foray into the metaverse through this partnership with 10:22PM and KINGSHIP, as a way to engage our fans in a new and exciting space,” said Jane Hwang, global vice president at Mars Wrigley.

The deal marks another interesting utilization of the IP behind Yuga Labs’ NFT projects, with other BAYC hodlers using the content for TV shows and restaurants in the past.

400 ETH Pudgy Penguin

Despite the NFT sector going through a lengthy bear market, one Pudgy Penguin NFT has recently sold for a whopping 400 Ether (ETH) on Monday, worth roughly $670,000 at current prices.

There are 8888 Pudgy Penguin NFTs in circulation and the project is one of the most popular NFT collections on the market.

The NFT sold was Pudgy Penguin #6873, one of the rarest in the collection as nearly all of the penguin avatar’s traits are shared by just 0.01% of the other NFTs in the project.

According to the transaction history on OpenSea, the seller CoinUnited previously bought the NFT for 225 ETH on Sept. 8 last year, worth roughly $788,000 at the time. As such, they banked a major ETH profit, though it would be counted as a $118,000 fiat loss.

Over the past 30 days, Pudgy Penguin NFTs have generated $7.5 million worth of sales, marking a 314% increase within that time frame, according to data from CryptoSlam.

NFT Rolex meets DeFi loan

The 4K Protocol, a Web3 project that bridges real-world assets to NFTs, has partnered with decentralized finance (DeFi) lending platform Arcade to launch decentralized finance loans against physically backed luxury watch NFTs.

The 4K protocol enables users to mint NFTs tied to their assets and guarantees a 1-to-1 ownership via storage providers and asset authenticators.

Related: NFTs are a 'natural place' for digital artists — Gal Yosef

As part of the partnership, an NFT minted on 4K linked to a top-of-the-line Rolex Cosmograph Daytona was used to secure a loan from Arcade, marking an interesting, albeit risky, use case for tokenizing real-world assets.

Party in the virtual USA

Former Disney star and widely popular musician Miley Cryus is gearing up for Web3 after filing two metaverse and NFT trademarks relating to the words “Miley” and “Miley Cryus” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

According to a Monday tweet from trademark attorney Mike Kondoudis, Cyrus is planning to launch digital goods such as virtual clothing, footwear, sports gear and also entertainment services.


Vitalik: People still ‘underrate’ the superiority of crypto payments
Increasing adoption from retail giants, the prevalence of stablecoins and the convenience of crypto cards mean that cryptocurrencies may be a better form of payment than one may think.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin suggests the superiority of cryptocurrency for payments is often “underrated” compared to fiat, pointing to the convenience of international payments and payments to charities as key examples.

Buterin made the comments in a Twitter thread on Wednesday, explaining that it’s not just resistance to censorship but also convenience that makes cryptocurrencies “superior” when it comes to international business, charity and even payments within countries.

Cryptocurrency adoption in payments has been growing globally. A report from data platform PYMNTS titled “Paying With Cryptocurrency” in July found that among businesses surveyed with annual income exceeding $1 billion, 85% said they are adopting crypto payments to find and gain new customers.

The availability of crypto debit cards has also been growing quickly, with Binance recently partnering with Mastercard to announce a prepaid card for Argentinians. Many of these cards, such as Wirex’s, even reward users with crypto cashback for paying through the card and facilitate spending of several major cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies, as well as the withdrawal of cash from ATMs.

As pointed out by Vitalik, cryptocurrencies are also particularly useful when transferring money internationally and for charitable donations. Traditionally when done using fiat currency, international payments can take a long time to process and results in large fees. The war in Ukraine is one great example of its usefulness in this regard, with Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov having tweeted on Aug. 18 that $54 million has been raised by nonprofit and activist group Aid For Ukraine alone.

However, not everyone has been as bullish about crypto’s use as means of payment, with common objections including price volatility, ease of use, and regulatory risk, as well as high-transaction fees and long processing times for certain cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).

While it can vary, the Bitcoin blockchain handles approximately five transactions per second (TPS), and averages fees of $0.819 as of Wednesday, while Ether is currently handling around 29.3 TPS with average fees of $1.57. Visa, on the other hand, claims to be able to handle 24,000 transactions per second and charges between 1.4 and 2.5% per transaction.

The development of the lightning network, a layer-2 solution built on top of Bitcoin’s blockchain, could be a solution for Bitcoin’s lagging TPS, while the Ethereum Network has been looking to layer-2 roll-up technology, such as zk-Rollups to vastly reduce fees and processing times.

Stablecoins, cryptocurrencies designed to be pegged to another asset (such as the United States dollar), have also become a popular medium of exchange, particularly in emerging economies.


US court gives Voyager green light to pay bonuses to key employees
A U.S. Court has allowed Voyager Digital to pay $1.9 million in retention bonuses to employees “critical” to its continued operation through bankruptcy proceedings.

A New York bankruptcy court has given embattled cryptocurrency brokerage Voyager Digital the green light to pay retention bonuses to key staff members.

The firm filed a motion with the United States Bankruptcy Court on Aug. 2 seeking approval for its Key Employee Retention Plan (KERP) which entailed $1.9 million worth of payments to 38 key employees that have been identified as crucial to the exchange’s ongoing operation.

Creditors of the firm, which filed for bankruptcy in July 2022, had initially opposed Voyager’s KERP payments in a court filing on Aug. 19 claiming that payments to investors should be prioritized ahead of “well-compensated” employees.

According to court filings, an agreement was reached between Voyager and the committee of creditors to drop the opposition to the proposed KERP on certain conditions. Chief among these is the implementation of operational cost-cutting measures to save $4.6 million. The KERP payments are worth 22.5% of the eligible employees’ annual salaries.

Voyager maintains that the 38 employees are critical to business operations, performing “essential accounting, cash and digital asset management, IT infrastructure, legal, and other critical functions for the Debtors.”

The court filing also addressed concerns raised by the U.S. Trustee's Office, which oversees administration of bankruptcy cases and private trustees as a component of the Department of Justice.

The U.S. Trustees objected to the KERP proposal claiming that the list of employees set for retention pay-outs may have included “insiders” and that Voyager had not provided ample evidence to justify the proposed bonuses.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Wiles ultimately approved the motion for the KERP payouts, agreeing with Voyagers’ legal team’s assertion that none of the beneficiaries of the bonuses were appointed, sit or report to the board of directors and do not have managerial control of the company.


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