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NFT project accepted $3M to move its collection to Polygon

The team had previously announced the move, but had not revealed the cash deal.

The team behind y00ts and DeGods were paid $3m to move their collections off Solana and onto Polygon, according to a January 6 announcement from the company. The statement was made on Discord and copied to Twitter by Frank III, founder of the two projects.

Here is a screenshot of our latest @y00tsNFT Discord announcement. pic.twitter.com/qWxjBsexv6

— Frank III (@frankdegods) January 6, 2023

The developers had previously announced on Dec. 27 that the projects would be moving to Polygon. This was widely seen as a possible death blow to the Solana network, as the network was already under pressure due to fallout from the collapsed FTX exchange. However, there was no evidence at the time that the y00ts team had received money in exchange for making the move

Let’s check the temperature on #solana now that the top 2 NFT projects are leaving $SOL.

Is Solana dead?

— Ben Armstrong (@Bitboy_Crypto) December 26, 2022

Vitalik Buterin has since argued that claims of the death of Solana may be exaggerated.

Related: Polygon partners with Warner Music, LGND to create Web3 music platform

In this new statement from Frank III, the y00ts and DeGods founder claimed the team was offered even larger sums than it got from the Polygon deal, but decided to partner with Polygon anyway because it would be the best platform for the projects. Frank also attempted to preemptively respond to criticism that would arise from revealing the compensation received, stating:

“We didn’t take this deal for the money. That’s just a nice bonus and we will use it effectively. We did this because it’s the most exciting direction for y00ts as a project. Also, if you are really upset — all I ask is to just channel that energy into genuine questions before just automatically assuming the worst.”

Frank III also stated that he will “not be purchasing any lambo” with the money. In other words, the team will not be using the money for their own consumption. Instead, the funds will allegedly go into hiring new employees for “business development, graphic design, content creation, and events coordination,” which he said will allow the projects to gain more mainstream acceptance.

Meanwhile, Solana may have recovered from the exodus of y00ts and DeGods, at least for now, as meme coins like Bonk are attracting trading activity back onto the platform.

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Mastercard partners with Polygon to launch Web3 musician accelerator program

The program will help five emerging artists set up and manage their brands in the Web3 space, and is also aimed at educating people in the music scene on what avenues Web3 tech can offer them.

Global payments giant Mastercard is ramping up its exposure blockchain tech yet again, after announcing a Polygon-based accelerator program to help musicians build their careers via Web3.

The firm announced the “Mastercard Artist Accelerator” program via a Jan. 7 blog post, outlining that from this spring, it will connect five emerging musicians from across the globe with mentors that will  help them set up their brand in the Web3 music space.

“The artists will gain exclusive access to special events, music releases and more. A first-of-its-kind curriculum will teach the artists how to build (and own) their brand through Web3 experiences like minting NFTs, representing themselves in virtual worlds and establishing an engaged community,” the post reads.

The program will culminate with a live-streamed artist showcase later in the year.

We’re excited to grow our music footprint with the launch of the #Web3-based Mastercard Artist Accelerator, announced today at #CES! The new platform will help emerging artists pursue their passion and accelerate their music careers. https://t.co/ckwiqCV3Ob

— Mastercard News (@MastercardNews) January 6, 2023

Mastercard is also launching a non-fungible token (NFT) collection called the “Mastercard Music Pass” for those that aren’t selected for the program. The aim is to provide hodlers with educational materials and “unique resources” through brand collaborations to help budding musicians learn about the Web3 integrations with the music sector.

Commenting as part of the announcement, Polygon Studios CEO Ryan Watt noted that “Web3 has the potential to empower a new type of artist that can grow a fanbase, make a living, and introduce novel mediums for self-expression and connection on their own terms.”

Polygon looks primed to become a hub for music related Web3 projects. On Dec. 6, Cointelegraph reported that global entertainment giant Warner Music Group had partnered with Polygon Studios and e-commerce and interactive platform builder LGN.io, to build a Web3 music platform called LGND Music.

The platform is slated to launch later this month and will allow users stream music and collect and trade music NFTs.

Related: Mastercard adds 7 blockchain startups to its crypto accelerator

Mastercard has been actively furthering its involvement in the blockchain and crypto sectors. In January 2022, Mastercard joined forces with Coinbase to enable the use of Mastercard cards for purchasing NFTs on Coinbase’s marketplace.

In mid-October 2022, Mastercard partnered with Paxos to allow banks to offer cryptocurrency trading and related services to their customers. 

While in that same month, Cointelegraph also reported that Mastercard had launched a crypto fraud protection tool enabling  banks to find and prevent fraud on crypto merchant platforms within its network.

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SuperRare cuts 30% of staff as growth slows during crypto winter

Despite only being a week into the new year, SuperRare adds to a number of firms announcing staff cuts such as Huobi and Genesis.

Non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace SuperRare has announced a 30% staff-member cut as CEO John Crain explained that the firm mistakenly over-hired during the last bull market.

In a Jan. 7 tweet, Crain shared a screenshot of his message to SuperRare’s Slack channel announcing the 30% cut, stating that he had “some tough news to share.”

“Startups are a balancing act of managing rapid growth while doing everything possible to conserve limited resources. During the recent bull run, we grew in tandem with the market” he noted, adding that:

“In recent months it’s become clear that this aggressive growth was unsustainable: we over-hired, and I take full ownership of this mistake.”

I have some tough news to share: pic.twitter.com/iLDKqgyhQa

— SuperRare John (@SuperRareJohn) January 6, 2023

Crain didn’t outline specifically what sort of redundancy packages the terminated employees will receive, but noted that the firm will “do everything we can to help them transition to new opportunities and support them in future endeavours.”

SuperRare is one of the biggest names in the space, but notably sees significantly less trading volume than competing NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea and Magic Eden.

According to data from DappRadar, SuperRare oversaw $663,000 worth of trading volume over the past 30 days, compared to OpenSea’s 30-day trading volume of $307 million and Magic Eden’s $80.1 million.

This is due in part to SuperRare’s model which is more focused on art, the artist community and single-edition NFT artworks as opposed to the computer-generated avatar model bearing thousands of tokens in a single collection, which is popular on OpenSea and Magic Eden.

Related: Industry seeks solutions for NFT image-hosting disasters

Moving forward, Crain outlined that despite a slowing of growth during the crypto bear market, SuperRare is still focused on pushing on with its initial vision of opening up greater access and exposure to digital artists.

“We are facing headwinds, yes — but there remains an incredible uncaptured opportunity as we continue building something totally new: a global digital art renaissance that is transparent, fair and that anyone can access from anywhere in the world,” he concluded.

The hefty staff cut from SuperRare adds to a wave of blockchain and crypto firms that have shed staff during crypto winter, with Cointelegraph reporting on at least six companies doing so since early December 2022 alone.

In terms of the most recent companies to decrease head counts, it was reported on Jan. 5 that crypto lender Genesis laid off 30% of its staff, while the reportedly troubled crypto exchange Huobi also announced a 20% cut on Jan. 6.

A report from The Wall Street Journal this week also indicated that U.S. bank Silvergate cut 40% of its staff as a result of an $8.1 billion bank run that was triggered in response to the FTX collapse in November.

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Bluechip NFT project Moonbirds signs with Hollywood talent agents UTA

PROOF Co-founder Kevin Rose announced the deal via Twitter on Jan. 6, noting that the aim is to get the Moonbirds brand recognized on a global scale and not just in the Web3 space.

The NFT-focused company was founded by early-stage Facebook and Twitter investor Kevin Rose, and designer Justin Mezzell in February 2022. The company also has the Proof Collective and Oddities NFT collections in its catalog.

Announcing the move via Twitter on Jan. 6, Rose suggested that the goal of the deal is to get the Moonbirds brand known on a “global” mainstream scale, as opposed to just being recognized as a big hitter in the Web3 space.

“What does UTA bring to the table? They are 1,400 people strong, with divisions in film, television, music, video games, sports, books, branding and licensing, speaking, marketing, fine arts, broadcast, and more,” he said.

PROOF, the company behind the top-tier NFT project Moonbirds, has signed a representation deal with major Hollywood talent agents United Talent Agency (UTA).

🙂

— Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) January 6, 2023

Explaining the move a bit further, Rose noted that UTA will work on PROOF’s behalf to help “vet, broker, and execute partnerships and expansion opportunities across a variety of fields.”

The Ethereum-based Moonbirds project launched in April 2022 and consists of 10,000 8-bit owl-themed avatar NFTs. To date, it has generated roughly $619.5 million worth of secondary sales according to data from CryptoSlam.

That figure makes Moonbirds the eleventh highest-selling collection on the NFT market, with its nearest competitors being twelfth-placed Doodles at $553 million and tenth-placed CloneX at $794.9 million.

Top 12 selling NFT projects of all time: CryptoSlam

Despite the supposedly bullish UTA announcement, Moonbirds’ 24-hour sales volume has dropped a hefty 57.86%, with $442,747 worth of Moonbirds NFT changing hands during that time frame. Over a seven-day time frame however, trading volumes are still up by 63.74%.

The move from Moonbirds follows other big names in the NFT space to seek out Hollywood deals.

Related: Logan Paul threatens to sue Coffeezilla over CryptoZoo ‘scam’ allegations

CryptoPunks founders Larva Labs were the first ones to pave the way back in September 2021, signing a deal with UTA to represent the firm’s IP across TV, film, video games, licensing and publishing.

The next month Yuga Labs — which now owns CryptoPunks — followed suit by signing up with UTA to push the Bored Ape Yacht Club IP into movies, TV, music and gaming. While the most recent occurrence before PROOF was the deal between UTA competitors WME and NFT start-up Boss Beauties.

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The JFK-UFO Controversy Surfaces Again: Assassins and Aliens?

Now and again, the claims that President John F. Kennedy was killed because he knew too much about UFOs surface. And it’s happened again – while I was doing radio last night. So, I figured that, today, I would share with you some of the issues that have made many people think there is a JFK-UFO link. Let’s have a look. It’s a rarely discussed fact that Guy Banister was one of the very first of the FBI’s Special- Agents to investigate UFOs in 1947 – the year in which the term “Flying Saucer” was created. Altogether, Banister investigated eleven UFO cases in that period. Certainly, the most controversial case that Banister looked into was highlighted in the pages of the Tacoma News Tribune of July 12, 1947. It reads: “FBI agent W. G. Banister said an object which appeared to be a ‘flying disk’ was found early today at Twin Falls, [Idaho] and turned over to federal authorities there. Banister, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Montana and Idaho, said the bureau had reported the discovery to the army at Fort Douglas, Utah.

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Nazi Treasure Map Revealed and It Points to a Tiny Dutch Village

Did you miss out on finding the Fenn treasure? Did your bitcoin and NFTs leave you with nothing but digital dust in your digital wallet? Have your lottery tickets for the billion-dollar jackpots been worth less than the paper they were printed on? Did Grandma decide you’re too old to be getting a $10 check for Christmas? If you’ve failed to cash in on these big payoffs, there is one more you may want to try … a new contest announced this week might be your ticket to easy street. There’s just one little catch – the people who provided the prize weren’t exactly the most honest or trustworthy of folks. In fact … they were Nazis. That’s right  – the National Archives of the Netherlands has made available to the public a treasure map which allegedly shows where Nazi soldiers buried plundered loot that was worth millions of dollars during World War II and could be worth billions today. There’s just one more little hitch … OK, maybe two. The map has been in the hands of professional treasure hunters for some time and none ever found it. And you’re up against the millions of people reading this and other stories about the map which claims Nazi treasures are located near the Dutch village of Ommeren. Should you keep reading or start booking your trip?

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A Bizarre Incident of a Sasquatch Conversing with a Native American: Do Sasquatch Have a Language?

The epicenter of Sasquatch sightings is the Harrison River Valley in south-western British Columbia, roughly 130 km east of Vancouver. The hilly region is blanketed by dense, unexplored forests which stretch all the way to the snow-capped Mountains on the Pacific shore. Innumerable Sasquatch sightings have been reported near the town of Harrison Hot Springs over the past century. Roughly 6 kms to the north of the town is the Sasquatch National Park – the proverbial home of the Bigfoot.

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Two Recent Reports with Videos of “Giants” on Mountains in Mexico

When people say “Giants walk among us,” they are usually referring to “giants” figuratively – leaders in their fields, heroes of battles, creators of great new things, and the like. That is not the case in two cities in Mexico where witnesses recently recorded what appear to be giant humanoids walking among them … or at least near them across the tops of mountains or hills in their neighborhoods. Both witnesses posted their videos on social media where it was picked up by the local mass media and the debates began – including warnings about a young man in Alberta, Canada, who also recorded and posted a video of an alleged giant … and died unexpectedly just a few months later after claiming he was being stalked. Are these hoaxes or are real giants walking among us? Should the witnesses be worried? Should we?

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UFOs, Aliens and the Soviet Union in the Cold War: E.T. Intrigue

My previous article was on the possibility that the notorious Majestic 12 documents – that surfaced way back in 1987 – were the work of the Soviet Union. With that in light, I thought, today, I would share with you some other examples that suggest a deep UFO-Russian connection. Let’s begin with the most controversial of all the “Contactees” in the 1950s: George Adamski. it’s now time to address the matter of why, exactly, the FBI came to suspect that Adamski was not only a closet communist, but possibly even someone who was being used by the Russians in a strange psychological warfare-based operation. Just maybe, Adamski was an unwitting player in this strange and sinister game. In a worst-case scenario, though, Adamski was a knowing and entirely complicit figure. Certainly, the FBI wanted answers and, as a result, they dug very deeply into the man’s life. As evidence of this, close to 400-pages of FBI documentation on Adamski have now been declassified. An FBI document of May 28, 1952 reveals that Bureau agents had a credible source who, back in 1950 – no less than three years before Flying Saucers Have Landed was published – had shared with them certain disturbing data on Adamski. The FBI took – and to this day continues to take – careful steps to ensure that its source’s name would not be compromised. 

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UFO and Alien Strangeness at England’s Valley of Lights

There are places in this world to which strange forces and things beyond our understanding seem to gravitate towards. These are thos locations long steeped in stories of the bizarre, for whatever reasons pulling mysteries close to them. Such places have had all manner of legend and lore build up around them, and they remain lodged within the world of the weird. One such place lurks in the United Kingdom, which has drawn to it all manner of tales of UFOs and alien encounters. 

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