CryptoKitties Maker Attracts Warner Music; Ripple Rival Stellar’s $124 Million Airdrop

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Cardi B Warner Music blockchain

Cardi B’s label Warner Music is partnering with Dapper Labs to offer fans assets on a new blockchain.

KEVIN MAZUR/GETTY IMAGES FOR ROC NATION

BLOCKCHAIN IS MUSIC TO WARNER’S EARS

Warner Music, the entertainment powerhouse behind major stars like Cardi B, Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars, has joined an $11.2 million investment in Dapper Labs, the company best known for creating the viral blockchain game CryptoKitties.

Warner’s blockchain team will work with Dapper Labs to create new digital assets—think unique, tradable, digital merchandise—featuring a roster of superstar talent. The companies will use a new public blockchain called Flow, which is capable of handling much larger transaction volumes than the Ethereum blockchain.

At stake? The success of Dapper Labs itself, and the dominant position in a rapidly escalating competition to build economies that blur the line between digital assets and the real world.

CRYPTO MARKETS

Bitcoin had a quiet August, despite a 20% bump at the beginning of the month after President Trump tweeted his plans to impose additional tariffs on China and the Chinese yuan reached a 10-year low against the U.S. dollar. The most popular digital currency surrendered these gains as the month wore on, falling to as little as $9,326.

“It is not uncommon for crypto markets to react to global developments and news, but such moves are usually short-lived and loosely correlated,” said Joe DiPasquale, CEO of BitBull Capital.

Bitcoin also saw its lowest levels of volatility in four months this week, shedding more light on just how calm the market has become.

crypto price chart

SOURCE: MESSARI. PRICES AS OF 4:00 P.M. ON SEPTEMBER 13, 2019.

STELLAR’S $124 MILLION AIRDROP

As chatter circulates regarding the status of many crypto assets, like Stellar’s XLM and Ripple’s XRP, as potentially unregulated securities, Stellar has decided to give away roughly $124 million in XLM in a partnership with Keybase, a group messaging and file transfer hub. Ripple, on the other hand, has been selling off its XRP holdings.

INSIDE MILLER LITE’S BLOCKCHAIN BEER TRIVIA

Miller Lite jumped on the blockchain train last month, using the technology for its mobile trivia game that rewards of-age customers at certain bars and restaurants with a $5 prize that can be applied to a Miller Lite purchase. While the effort reads like a marketing play, the game uses blockchain and a crypto token to help verify participants and pay out winners of the game.

UPCOMING EVENT

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ELSEWHERE

France Vows to Block Facebook’s Libra Currency in Europe, Suggests ‘Public Digital Currency’ Instead. [Gizmodo]

Kakao’s Klay Cryptocurrency to Make First Exchange Listing. [CoinDesk]

An exclusive bitcoin ETF-like product just hit the market—here’s how it works. [CNBC]

Tiny Pacific Nation Makes a Go of Its Own Digital Currency. [Bloomberg]

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Tether Pulls a ‘CryptoKitties’, Clogs Ethereum Network

For instance, sending ETH from one place to another (a simple transaction) is far less costly than conducting a smart contract transaction (a token …

Network congestion from Tether trading is grinding the Ethereum network to a halt with an estimated 100,000 transactions stuck in limbo.

The Ethereum network is experiencing intense network congestion, creating long wait times for users attempting to conduct transactions.

Tether trading volume (now at $18 billion) appears to be responsible, as it now constitutes at least half of the network’s capacity.

Moreover, the number of Tether token contracts have more than tripled in the past month (from 50K to 150K).

Tether token contracts on the Ethereum network

According to Etherscan.io, Ether’s network utilization has moved past the 90% level.

Consequently, it’s not surprising to note that more than 100,000 on-chain transactions were stuck recently, taking hours – in some cases days – to complete.

Redditor ‘OogieFrenchieBoogie’ complained that several of his transactions were still pending after 10 hours.

I’ve 3 pending transactions, pending for more than 10 hours, I’ve selected the “slow” mode on metamask, but 10 hours is really slow, right?

Transaction fees are likely to rise substantially as a result, potentially making Ethereum less attractive to corporate users.

ERC20 Tokens

While the reason for this increase remains far from clear, the continuing popularity of ERC20 tokens may be playing a role.

For instance, Binance began limited USDT deposits to (ethereum-based) ERC20 tokens in July.

As a result, loyal Binance users began trading in their Omni (bitcoin-layer) Tether for ERC20 Tether, eventually putting a strain on the ethereum network.

At present, more than 40% of all Tether is transacted on the ethereum network.

In late 2017, ERC20 gaming tokens severely congested the ethereum network as well. Then, users of the CryptoKitties gaming app constituted 20% of network traffic.

As it was impossible to increase network capacity at the time, CryptoKitties was compelled to raise transaction fees.

Raising The Blocksize Limit

Thus, as with bitcoin earlier, cries that ethereum must increase its blocksize are mounting.

Although the ethereum blocksize is a mere 20,000 bytes, it retains a soft limit dependent upon whether a simple or token transaction is conducted.

For instance, sending ETH from one place to another (a simple transaction) is far less costly than conducting a smart contract transaction (a token transaction).

And being a token, a tether transaction requires more gas than a simple transaction.

Currently, ethereum is handling roughly half as many transactions as it did when it was last congested (January 2018). Even as the gas limit has remains the same.

However, as half of these transactions are token transactions, they require much more gas.

Fortunately, miners have it within their control to increase the gas limit (by majority vote) for any given block

Otherwise, raising the block size limit in order to increase network capacity will become a rallying cry.

Network Efficiencies

Those reluctant to see the blocksize increase point to greater network efficiencies as an alternative solution.

This includes quickly getting rid of orphaned blocks, a proposal that has been implemented with some success.

In addition, the upcoming Istanbul hard fork will impactdata storage, the mining protocol, and code execution.

However, it’s unclear to what extent this will relieve the current network congestion.


Images courtesy of Etherscan.io, Pixabay

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Company behind CryptoKitties raises $11 million to create new blockchain

The company secured $11 million in funding from Warner, Andreessen Horowitz, and Venrock to create a developer-friendly blockchain.

DapperLabs, the company that created the popular CryptoKitties Ethereum collectibles game, announced the launch of its new blockchain platform—Flow. The company secured $11 million in funding from Warner, Andreessen Horowitz, and Venrock to create a developer-friendly blockchain.

DapperLabs raises $11 million for new blockchain platform aimed at games

The creators of one of the most successful blockchain games in the world, DapperLabs, announced that they will be launching their own native blockchain platform. The company behind CryptoKitties shared the news in Sep. 12 Medium post, saying they were searching for a solution to other blockchains’ problem of scalability since 2017.

“After almost two years of research, we’re excited to share Flow with the world,” Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs, said in a statement.

The company’s blockchain, called Flow, was designed to be a developer-friendly platform and be able to support “entire ecosystems of apps, games, and digital assets that power them.”

DapperLabs was able to create Flow thanks to the $11 million it raised in its latest round of financing. According to the official announcement, the company was backed by the leading players in both crypto and entertainment industries. Backers included Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z crypto fund, Accomplice, Warner Music Group, Venrock, CoinFund, and others.

Angel investors William William Mougayar, James and Glenn Hutchins, Don Mattrick, and Nanon de Gaspe Beaubien-Mattrick also participated in the funding round.

Flow’s attempt to connect entertainment and blockchain brings Warner Group on board

DapperLabs said that Flow was designed to meet mainstream developer and consumer expectations. It managed to reduce “redundant effort” and increase the network’s efficiency by shirking proof-of-work, a protocol used by many cryptocurrency networks, including Bitcoin.

Instead, Flow is a proof-of-stake blockchain, which allows for better energy usage and easier scalability.

Gharegozlou said that Flow was designed with the entertainment industry in mind, explaining that it can be used by artists to issue their own crypto tokens or games to reward users.

5/ Flow is designed as a world entertainment network, bringing the first billion people to decentralized ecosystems through apps, games, and digital assets that power them.

— Flow Network (@withflow_) September 12, 2019

This is the premise that attracted some of the biggest players in the entertainment industry—Warner Music Group and Ubisoft.

While Forbesreported that Warner contributed less than $1 million to the round, the sheer size of Warner’s audience makes this one of the most important crossovers between traditional media companies and blockchain. Flow is the first blockchain investment the entertainment giant made but could prove to be monumental. Warner is reportedly looking into how cryptocurrencies could be used to tip artists.

7/ The journey to bridge the gap between the mainstream and the rest of the decentralized ecosystem starts now. We’re really excited for you to be part of it! 💦https://t.co/nFbTO4di9m

— Flow Network (@withflow_) September 12, 2019

Ubisoft, the company behind the globally popular Assassin’s Creed game series, is developing a racing game that enables users to buy, sell, trade, and race unique cars.

However, Flow could come across serious regulatory setbacks if not careful with the way they structure their tokens. For now, DapperLabs hasn’t released any information on whether their tokens would be viewed as securities or as cryptocurrencies.

Gharehozlou toldForbes that the only people informed of these details are accredited investors under securities law exemptions.

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Filed Under: U.S., Technology, Venture Capital

Priyeshu GargPriyeshu Garg

Priyeshu is a software engineer who is passionate about machine learning and blockchain technology. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science Engineering and is a passionate economist. He built his first digital marketing startup when he was a teenager, and worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies along with smaller firms. When he is not solving the transportation problems at his company, he can be found writing about the blockchain or roller skating with his friends.

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Warner Music Group and Dapper Labs Collaborate to Develop a New Blockchain

The investors who took part in the funding series include Digital Currency Group, Warner Music Group, and Andreessen Horowitz, etc. Till date …

The organization behind CryptoKitties, Dapper Labs have collected $11 million in latest financing series. The fund is built to create a new blockchain, Flow. The investors who took part in the funding series include Digital Currency Group, Warner Music Group, and Andreessen Horowitz, etc. Till date, Dapper Labs has raised almost forty million dollars through rounds of financing.

All the investors will receive an equity stake in the company until Flow gets permitted. It is expected that once Flow gets permitted by SEC, the scenario may change. The investors can exchange their stakes for the native token of Flow.

David Pakman of Venrock has said Flow is focused at the explicit use case of the business. He further added Ethereum and other layers 1 platform focuses on building scalable transaction platform. While decentralized gaming and crypto-collectibles have changed scaling necessities on the blockchain, which sharding basically cannot provide solution. That is why Dapper is creating Flow to allow millions of users for decentralized gaming.

He also said the collectible industry needs to build a blockchain for a purpose and if the company like NBA and Warner joins then their fan base will follow.

Reportedly, Flow is collaborating with other companies for use cases for developing the blockchain. The music company Warner and gaming firm NBA are amongst them.

As per the spokesperson of Dapper, their blockchain Flow is developed as a developer-friendly that can support next-generation digital asset, games, and apps.

Roham Gharegozlou, chief executive of Dapper Labs, said the platform could support millions of sports fans to trade digital assets which are limited edition, verified and authentic that can be sent anywhere around the world. He further said once the token becomes available, it will not become tinted. He also added they want to build a token that will have usage than speculations.

The senior Vice chief of Warner Jeff Bronikowski has said they are searching for exceptional tradeable products that will feature their artist. He added their fanbase would find a new way to convey themselves through the blockchain technology. It will also provide them an opportunity to work with their artist in a new and different way. It is the first blockchain investment of the music company.

Dapper Labs has announced they are developing a racing game with Ubisoft. The unique cars from the game can be traded between the participants.

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Warner Music Group Joins Other Investors at Dapper Labs

Apart from Warner Music, other investors include Venrock from Union Square Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz from Digital Currency Group.

Dapper Labs the firm behind CryptoKitties took the crypto sector with a bang in 2017 with its breed digital tokens whose transactions exploded Ethereumpubic blockchain platform overnight. With its success, Dapper Labs set out to create a new platform and now has put forth Flow. Flow is Dapper Lab’s blockchain network. However, instead of walking alone in the development of Flow, Dapper Labs had friends in the form of investors. It is this lifetime opportunity that led to Warner Music joining Dapper as an investor.

Per the online report, Warner Music contributed less than $1 million in Flow but, its contribution led to Dapper Labs having $11.2 million worth of funds. Apart from Warner Music, other investors include Venrock from Union Square Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz from Digital Currency Group. With funds in order, Dapper Labs has set out to complete development of Flow blockchain platform. Similarly, part of the $11.2 million will go into the development of apps on the Flow platform.

Warner Music Hopes to Leverage Flow and Create Unique Products

While the end game here is to increase the connection between artists on Warner portfolio and their fans, the latter depends on the increase of transactional volume.

Unlike in CryptoKitties case, at Flow, Dapper Labs claims the platform will have the capability of handling all the millions of transactions. With an increase in transactional volumes, the creation of tradable celebrity merchandise would be easy, giving fans a direct connection to their superstars.

The primary goal here is to create new ways for fans to engage with their favorite artists differently.

Jeff Bronikowski, Warner Music Senior Vice President of Business Development.

As the final touches get initiated on the development of Flow blockchain platform, for investors, their funds will guarantee them a share of the firm’s stocks. However, that’s not all. By being part of the investment team, investors will be at liberty to convert their stocks into tokens. Once converted into tokens, the latter will be available for spending on the network.

Apart from signing up as investors on Dapper Labs, Warner Music is also toying with the idea of how crypto can be used as tips for its musicians. For the latter, Warner is already working with two different blockchain platforms to test its concept.

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