NFL star’s massive tax bill highlights problems with BTC salaries

NFL Star Odell Beckham Jr’s (OBJ) decision to take his $750,000 salary in Bitcoin appears to have cost him dearly due to the market crash after he signed the deal. Owing to the vagaries of cryptocurrency tax laws and current prices, OBJ is estimated by some to have made 61% less than if he’d taken his salary in fiat.

The loss has highlighted the tax complications from receiving a salary or yield in cryptocurrency as crypto investors have to pay tax on the amount it’s worth when it was received, not what it’s worth when they lodge their tax return.

On Nov. 12 last year, OBJ signed a one-year- deal with the Los Angeles Rams worth $750,000. In a promotional Twitter post partnered with CashApp, OBJ announced that he would be receiving 100% of his $750,000 yearly salary in Bitcoin (BTC).

At the time, Bitcoin had been breaking new all time highs and just two days before OBJ signed the Rams deal, it reached its highest price ever of $69,044. Unfortunately for OBJ, Bitcoin is now down 46% from that high, currently worth $36,972.

According to sports business analyst and senior executive producer for The Action Network Darren Rovell, OBJ’s decision to take his full salary in Bitcoin may not have been the brightest idea.

Rovell stated that OBJ’s entire salary is now worth only $413,000 compared to the original $750,000.

Once both Federal and State taxes are accounted for, at a cumulative rate of 50.3% Odell will only have earned $35,000 over the past two and a half months, which equates to just one Bitcoin. This is a far cry from the $90,000 he would have received if he’d taken his salary in fiat.

Bitcoin enthusiast Joe Pompilano (brother of influencer Anthony) argued that there were some major discrepancies between Rovells’ take and actual fact including that he was paid weekly and not annually.

However, Rovell said the weekly payments were irrelevant to the tax treatment: “The aggregate payment has been completed. It doesn’t matter when he got paid.”

Tax troubles

This isn’t the first time that crypto assets have caused major taxation discrepancies, and as crypto adoption continues to grow internationally, it certainly won’t be the last. During “crypto winter” there were many stories of users who faced huge tax bills due to the price of assets when they received them, and not the rock bottom price they fell to by tax time.

Although rules vary, it is common for taxation organizations to require the value of crypto assets be declared the moment they are received. This leaves investors open to a huge tax bill if the value of their crypto assets fall in value between the time of purchase and the eventual lodging of their tax return.

In 2019 Adrian Forza, director of Crypto Tax Australia, told local publication Micky the story of an Australian crypto investor who was forced to pay nearly five times the value of his coins in tax.

“It was a disaster… It was a really unfair outcome because he’s basically received cryptocurrency and the value has dropped significantly and now he has to pay tax on money he doesn’t have.”

Related: TaxBit to offer free crypto tax forms with new network

Forza continued to say that the biggest issue with cryptocurrency taxation wasn’t necessarily due to the laws themselves, with most issues arising from the lack of understanding of tax laws among crypto enthusiasts themselves:

“The demographic is 25-to-40-year-old males and a lot of them probably haven’t invested in shares or even seen an accountant before,” he said.

That may also be the case with blockchain-based play-to-earn games such as Axie Infinity. In one famous story a 22-year-old in the Philippines purchased two houses with the profits he earned from playing the game.

Hopefully he spoke to a tax agent because now, both Philippine and international regulators are coming for those profits, warning the 2 million active players of Axie Infinity that any in-game transfer of crypto assets are legally classified as taxable events.

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Etherescan adds new messaging feature for anons: ‘Blockscan Chat’

The team behind the popular blockchain explorer and analytics platform Etherscan has launched an Ethereum-based wallet-to-wallet instant messaging service dubbed “Blockscan Chat.”

Blockscan is currently in beta testing mode, and it currently enables users to engage in an instant wallet-to-wallet chat, access chats from multiple devices, block spammy or unwanted addresses and get notified on the block explorer when a message has been received.

While the new feature is a great way to talk to other anons — say to negotiate an anonymous purchase — it might come in particularly handy for dealing with whitehat hackers, who have often left messages embedded in Ethereum transactions to communicate with individuals and exploited crypto platforms.

Last week’s Multichain hack, which saw a supposed whitehat hacker return 322 Ether (but keep a hefty finder’s fee) and the $610 million PolyNetwork from last year both involved anon discussion via Ethereum transactions as part of negotiations between the culprit and victims.

Etherescan subtly unveiled the new feature via a Jan. 26 tweet that read “wonder what this is for…?” with a screenshot depicting messenger notifications on the platform.

Apart from pleading with hackers to return funds for a bounty, such as the service could be helpful in the NFT market.

Twitter user “bdmartino” argued that the feature could be utilized for the negotiations of NFTs purchases between buyers and sellers, adding that if the transaction was conducted by a decentralized exchange both parties could reduce the fees associated with NFT platforms such as OpenSea.

In terms of user privacy and data storage, Blockscan notes that its information is stored via “global hosting providers” with servers across multiple regions, with inactive data deleted after 24 months.

It also states that the information will not be traded to third parties, but will be disclosed or transferred to partnered parties such as data warehouses, IT service providers and data analytics agencies.

According to its terms of service any user who violates its acceptable use policies such as providing false, inaccurate or misleading information may be barred from a portion of, or all of Blockscan and Etherscan’s related services.

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Grayscale considers VeChain and Iota as Coinbase lists 4 low-cap coins

Grayscale, the world’s largest crypto asset manager, has added 25 coins to the list of assets it is considering adding to its investment products including VeChain, Iota, Monero and Axie Infinity.

Other assets are consideration are: Algorand (ALGO), Arweave (AR), Bancor (BNT), BitTorrent (BTT), BORA (BORA), Convex (CVX), Cosmos (ATOM), Decred (DCR), Elrond (EGLD), Enjin (ENJ), Fantom (FTM), Gala (GALA), Gelato (GEL), Helium (HNT), Holo (HOT), Oasis Network (ROSE), Secret (SCRT), Spell (SPELL), Stacks (STX), The Sandbox (SAND), Universal Market Access (UMA), and Yield Guild Games (YGG).

In addition to the 25 coins added to its assets under consideration, Grayscale also said in a Jan. 24 update on its website that it had added Amp (AMP) to its Grayscale DeFi Fund.

Grayscale’s current lineup of 15 crypto investment products has $55 billion in assets under management (AUM). The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust and Grayscale Ethereum Trust account for $31.2 billion of the AUM.

The Grayscale DeFi Fund currently has $7 million AUM and is down 35.8% since its inception in July 2021, according to data from Grayscale’s website.

Many of the coins now being considered are among the top 100 coins by market cap according to CoinGecko.

VeChain (VET) was originally launched as an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum network in 2015, but has since become the native token on the VeChainThor blockchain network. The token and the network is used by real-world industries for supply chain tracking and management.

Iota (IOTA) is the native token for the Iota distributed ledger which helps devices connect to the Internet of Things (IoT). The project was founded in late 2015.

Axie Infinity (AXS) is the governance token for the play-to-earn Axie Infinity game that has seen huge success in the past year. It traded for $0.97 with a $48 million market cap on Jan. 26 2021, and is now trading at $51.90 with a market cap of $3.6 billion.

While these three tokens are well known and have amassed large followings the same is not necessarily true for the tokens Coinbase has just added.

Coinbase is the third largest crypto exchange in the world with nearly $4 billion in daily trading volume and it listed four relatively unknown tokens today. The four coins are Cryptex (CTX), DIA (DIA), Maple (MPL), and Unifi Procol DAO (UNFI). None of these tokens currently crack the top 500 by market capitalization but by listing them Coinbase is staying true to its word to “make a lot more coins and tokens available in 2022” according to a Jan. 25 tweet.

The Cryptex team spoke with Cointelegraph today about their goals moving forward from the Coinbase listing. When asked how a small crypto project can benefit from such a listing, co-founder and CEO Joe Sticco said:

“It allows us to remain nimble and community driven, (at) the same time we can now reach all corners of the globe.”

Cryptex is a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that manages the TCAP Index, which tracks the total crypto market capitalization. CTX is up 10.7% in the past 24 hours trading at $10.79.

Related: New research expects a gloomy year for Bitcoin as DeFi and DAOs rise

Sticco also addressed what it would take for a small project to rise to the point where it would be considered by Grayscale for an investment product. He said,

“I think at the end of the day it’s not so much about where we all start… It’s about starting small and working to solve problems that are incredibly hard to make the future of finance the best it can be for all participants.”

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Ex-Goldman Sachs banker launches crypto app after $33M raise

The former Head of Product for “Marcus by Goldman Sachs” has launched a crypto investing app, “Domain Ventures,” raising $33 million from investors on Jan 25.

Adam Dell, brother of Dell computers tycoon Michael, assembled a team of 25 former staff members from Goldman Sachs. Other staffers are leaving their roles at Bridgewater Associates, Morgan Stanley, Coinbase Global Inc. and BlockFi. Former Goldman Sachs CTO Elisha Wiesel, and Christopher Giancarlo, thformer Chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission have also been tapped to join the project.

The app is targeted at retail users, who will be charged an annual management fee of 1% for actively managed and curated investment plans. The app features real-time market intelligence, live customer agents as well as social sentiment analysis.

Gemini will facilitate the app’s crypto trading feature, and Apex Clearing will provide securities trading and custody.

Related: Goldman Sachs to offer Bitcoin futures trading in partnership with Galaxy Digital

Investors in the project include venture capital firm Bessemer Ventures and Marc Benioff, who is the co-founder of Inc. Also Maveron, RRE Ventures, SV Angel and Joe Lonsdale

“Investors are looking for access to diverse asset classes, along with security, transparency, and the power to be in control of their finances,” said Dell in a Jan 25 announcement, adding that his mission is to grow his customers’ wealth.

“We developed Domain Money to provide investors a sophisticated, intuitive, and holistic platform to invest in crypto, not as a novelty, but as a core component of their portfolios.”

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Eth2 is no more after Ethereum Foundation ditches name in rebrand

The Ethereum Foundation has removed all references to Eth1 and Eth2 in favor of calling the original blockchain the “execution layer” and the upgraded Proof of Stake chain the “consensus layer.”

Ethereum’s long-awaited transition from a Proof-of-work mining model to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism is expected to go live around in the second or third quarter of this year.

Announcing the change the foundation cited a number of rationales including a “broken mental model for new users,” scam prevention, inclusivity and staking clarity.

In a Jan.24 blog post, the Ethereum Foundation noted that the branding of Eth2 failed to concisely capture what was happening to the network via its series of upgrades:

“One major problem with the Eth2 branding is that it creates a broken mental model for new users of Ethereum. They intuitively think that Eth1 comes first and Eth2 comes after. Or that Eth1 ceases to exist once Eth2 exists.”

“Neither of these is true. By removing Eth2 terminology, we save all future users from navigating this confusing mental model,” the blog post added.

Under the new terminology, the combination of the execution layer (Eth1) and the consensus layer (Eth2) will be labeled as Ethereum, while individual features such as the beacon chain, merge and shared chains are now referred to as “upgrades.”

Eth2 rebrand: The Ethereum Foundation

The foundation also stated that its re-branding of Eth2 would help “bring clarity to eliminate” scams in which malicious actors dupe victims — unaware that their Ether (ETH) will automatically switch to Eth2 following the merge — into swapping Ether (ETH) for fake ETH2 tokens.

“Unfortunately, malicious actors have attempted to use the Eth2 misnomer to scam users by telling them to swap their ETH for ‘ETH2’ tokens or that they must somehow migrate their ETH before the Eth2 upgrade,” the post read.

The news saw a relatively apathetic response in the r/Ethereum subreddit, with most users joking about the change, or complaining about the length of time the merge was taking.

“Don’t care what you call it, just fucking ship it soon plsss” said Redditor ghfsgiwaa.

User Kristkind stated that the attempted rebrand has come “too late”, noting that the term Eth2 has already been widely adopted by the media and users:

“Everybody in the media, even the crypto-related one, runs with the term 2.0 or simply Eth2. And honestly, I think it is better that way, because [it’s] way easier to get for the (semi-)layperson, than ‘consensus layer’, which needs you to understand the architecture of the network.”

Relat Ethereum white paper predicted DeFi but missed NFTs: Vitalik Buterin

Following the merge and transition to PoS scheduled for later this year — for real this time — the remaining milestone of Ethereum’s current roadmap is the shard chains upgrade that is set to into effect in late 2022/early 2023.

The introduction of shard chains will see Ethereum’s network load spread across 64 new chains in order to enhance its scalability and capacity.

Despite 2022 gearing up to be a bullish year for Ethereum fundamentally, the price of Ether has taken a hefty hit amid the current downturn across stock and crypto markets, dropping 40% over the past 30 days to sit at around $2,437 at the time of writing.

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Engineer hacks Trezor wallet, recovers $2M in ‘lost’ crypto

A computer engineer and hardware hacker has revealed how he managed to crack a Trezor One hardware wallet containing more than $2 million in funds.

Joe Grand — who is based in Portland also known by his hacker alias “Kingpin” — uploaded a Youtube video explaining how he pulled off the ingenious hack.

After deciding to cash out an original investment of roughly $50,000 in Theta in 2018, Dan Reich, a NYC based entrepreneur, and his friend, realized that they had lost the security PIN to the Trezor One the tokens were stored on. After unsuccessfully trying to guess the security PIN 12 times, they decided to quit before the wallet automatically wiped itself after 16 incorrect guesses.

But with their investment growing to $2 million this year, they redoubled their efforts to access the funds. Without their wallet’s seed phrase or PIN the only way to retrieve the tokens was through hacking.

They reached out to Grand who spent 12 weeks of trial and error but eventually found a way to recover the lost PIN.

The key to this hack was that during a firmware update the Trezor One wallets temporarily move the PIN and key to RAM, only to later move them back to flash once the firmware is installed. Grand found that in the version of firmware installed on Reich’s wallet this information was not moved but copied to the RAM, which means that if the hack fails and RAM is erased the information about the PIN and key would still be stored in flash.

After using a fault injection attack — a technique that alters the voltage going to the chip — Grand was able to surpass the security the microcontrollers have to prevent hackers from reading RAM, and obtained the PIN needed to access the wallet and the funds. Grand explained:

“We are basically causing misbehavior on the silicon chip inside the device in order to defeat security. And what ended up happening is that I was sitting here watching the computer screen and saw that I was able to defeat the security, the private information, the recovery seed, and the pin that I was going after popped up on the screen.”

According to a recent tweet from Trezor this vulnerability that allows it to read from the wallet’s RAM is an older one that has already been fixed for newer devices. But unless changes are made to the microcontroller fault injection attacks still can pose a risk.

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Zuckerberg’s Diem reportedly weighing sale after stablecoin plans falter

Meta-backed crypto initiative “Diem” is reportedly trying to sell its assets, seemingly calling time on Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s grand ambitions for a stablecoin to act as the internet’s currency.

Diem — which was previously known as Libra — is Meta Platform’s cryptocurrency initiative. According to insider sources speaking with Bloomberg, it is considering selling assets to return capital to its investors.

The sources said that Diem is in discussions with investment bankers to determine the best way to sell its intellectual property and cash out on whatever value the project has maintained.

It’s unclear how the company will be valued, and there is no guarantee that they will be able to find a buyer. According to the source, about a third of the venture is owned by Meta. The remainder is owned by members of the association and partners, which include Coinbase Global, Uber and Shopify.

Diem has sparked no shortage of controversies in its short time of existence since launching on June 18, 2019. Libra, as it was known at the time, intended to be maintained by a Switzerland-based consortium of companies called the “Libra Association.”

However, news of the project’s launch triggered immediate pushback from the U.S. government and regulators around the world, who cited concerns regarding privacy and monetary sovereignty. Both Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and former Libra head David Marcus testified before the House Financial Services Committee.

Related: New name, old problems? Libra’s rebrand to Diem still faces challenges

At one July hearing in 2019, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio asked Marcus, “do you really think people should trust Facebook with their hard-earned money?”

“If our country fails to act, we could soon see a digital currency controlled by others whose values differ radically from ours,” Marcus responded.

Deterred by regulatory scrutiny, many partners began to abandon the project altogether, eventually including Marcus himself. It was at this point it rebranded to Diem, hoping to shake off the mass regulatory panic that drowned out Libra’s initial announcement.

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Fading power? Weak DOGE spike after Elon Musk makes McDonald’s offer

Erratic billionaire and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has offered to eat a kids meal from McDonald’s live on television if the fast food giant adds Dogecoin (DOGE) as an official payment method.

“I will eat a Happy Meal on TV if McDonald’s accepts Dogecoin” said the SpaceX CEO in a tweet on Tuesday morning. In the minutes following Musk’s tweet, the price of DOGE immediately jumped 7% from $0.135 to $0.145 where it remains at the time of writing

Previous tweets from Musk have seen markets move far more substantially, with a recent announcement about using it for Tesla merchandise payments causing DOGE to surge over 25%. The current downturn may have something to do with it, but the smaller spike suggests Musk’s power to move markets is beginning to fade.

Around ten hours later, McDonald’s responded by stating, “Only if Tesla accepts Grimacecoin” making reference to a fake coin depicting a fuzzy purple McDonaldland mascot from the ‘80s called “Grimace”. Crypto opportunists were quick to respond, with Grimace Coin (Grimace) already minted on Binance Smart Chain. (Disclaimer: buying a memecoin created in the last few hours is not widely considered to be a wise financial move).

As always, mainstream media outlets have been quick to cover the billionaire’s erratic online behavior, with the Wall Street Journal and The Independent further amplifying Musk’s crypto tweets.

The billionaire is jumping on the bandwagon of McDonald’s crypto memes that have grown in popularity on Twitter recently. The fast food giant has become intrinsically linked to crypto markets during times of crisis, as influencers and investors post memes about needing to get a job at the fast food chain following th significant losses on crypto markets.

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele — whose government recently bought the BTC dip, snapping up an extra 410 Bitcoin at $36,000 each— joined the trend on Jan. 23rd, uploading a poorly edited photo of him sporting a McDonald’s-branded hat and nametag.

While crypto memes seem light-hearted, Musk has frequently used his enormous 71.5 million following on Twitter to cause upheaval in the crypto markets. Earlier this month, Musk announced that Dogecoin could be officially be used as payment for merch on the Tesla website, causing wild swings in its price, and his announcement about suspending Bitcoin’s use for Tesla payments in mid-2021 caused markets to tank.

Musk’s erratic Twitter behavior has been the subject of intense criticism in the past, with the  CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao (CZ) declaring: “Tweets that hurt other people’s finances are not funny, and irresponsible.”

Despite Tesla famously owning more than 42,000 Bitcoin at an average cost of $31,700 per coin, Musk seems more comfortable pumping Dogecoin, recently declaring to Time Magazine:

“Fundamentally, Bitcoin is not a good substitute for transactional currency. Even though it was created as a silly joke, Dogecoin is better suited for transactions.”

The billionaire went even further, stressing that Bitcoin’s cost per transaction is high while its transactional volume is low compared to DOGE. As a result, Musk argued that Bitcoin would be better used as a store-of-value asset, and that DOGE is superior for spending and transactions.

Related: McDonald’s jumps on Bitcoin memewagon, Crypto Twitter responds

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Madonna, Beanie, Rug Radio and CryptoSkulls: 5 NFT events trending on Twitter

There is no denying that pop culture has entered the NFT space in full force. The World of Women collection created by Yam Karkai has followed in the footsteps of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) by signing with a big-time Hollywood agent, and Madonna was propositioned to buy a blue chip NFT and she might be giving the offer serious consideration.

Many new entrants are influenced by celebrity endorsements, yet the community proclaimed “OGs” are bullish on “historical NFTs” and are allegedly not swayed by hype. However, when entrepreneur Gary “Vee” Vaynerchuk purchased “CrytptoSkulls,” a resurfaced 2019 “historical NFT” for 100 ETH, the market for pixelated skulls surged.

The current rise in attention around historical NFTs, begs the question: Is the historical relevance of the NFT/artifact where it derives its value or, is it just the hype around the narrative? 

Some projects and entities make history, others go down with it.

The hype around history lures investors

On January 10, 2022, CryptoSkulls re-surfaced into the ether and quickly became relevant as several investors and influencers ran to the collection to take part in holding a piece of history.

Self-proclaimed NFT archeologists Adam McBride and Leonidas.eth are known for their extensive knowledge and advocacy of “historical” NFTs. These particular collectors are not keen on the notion of short-term flips, but instead see the long-term value in holding a historical NFT.

CryptoSkulls had been at the top of OpenSea in total volume for the last week but has lost its spot within the top 5 on the ranking charts. Nonetheless, the project closed out a total volume of $41.79 million on OpenSea alone.

All-time avg. price and volume. Source: OpenSea CryptoSkulls.

Leonidas.eth sold the “historical blue-chip”, CryptoPunks, for CryptoSkulls, leaving other collectors wondering if this was some alpha they should get in on. According to, the CryptoSkulls advocate has generated approximately 137 Ether ($444,500) from sales. 

Gary Vee, notably stole the show stating the importance of long-term plays with historical NFTs, suggesting they could be “the next CryptoPunks.”

The niche group of artifact-like NFT collectors warned against “hype,” yet there seems to be an influx of investors into the newly trending “historical NFTs,” especially after notable influencers reiterated their importance.

The question is, will historical NFTs last through the test of time? Or will they only periodically have their time in the spotlight for influencers to profit?

The World of Women effect

There seems to be growing popularity in showcasing female-led projects, especially after the World of Women (WoW) collection signed with Guy Oseary, the manager of Madonna and BAYC. 

WoW entered the mainstream with renewed IP rights and captured the attention and support of celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Gary Vee and Shonda Rimes. 

Investors seem to be drawn by the celebrity line-up and WoW’s mission, as its largest sales occurred within days of each other. Notable sales were a 210 Ether and 260 Ether transaction.

Currently the NFT floor fluctuates between 8.6 Ether to 16.8 Ether and WoW has steadily cemented itself as a “blue chip” contender for NFT collectors.

Last 7-day avg. price and volume. Source: OpenSea World of Women.

World of Women has opened up space for other female-led projects such as Boss Beauties, Fame Lady Squad and Women Rise to share its spotlight and band in support. Each mentioned collection has seen a rise in both its unique holders and price. The average number of holders among these projects whose collections range from 8,888 to 10,000 pfps, is 4,800. 

As more owners and co-owners of these women-led projects publicly support the successes of each other, some skeptics believe it’s merely a trend in time. However, with each passing milestone, these female projects seem to cement their place for being more than just “alpha” that will prove to be a profitable long-term investment.

Rug Radio aims to pave the way for media in Web3

Social media connoisseur and Rug Radio founder “Farokh” aims to build the first fully decentralized Web3 media company. In launching an NFT collection, Rug Radio whitelisted its members for a membership pass that granted them pre-sale access to the token bearing, RugNFT. 

Rug Radio states it’s the “first fully decentralized Web3 media company,” however, BanklessDAO was announced May 4, 2021, and it functions as a “media and culture DAO for crypto.” Integrating “guilds” that represent different areas for individuals to contribute, BanklessDAO has established a structure to properly reward contributors. 

There’s a lack of clarity on the logistics of how Rug Radio will operate, but it has captured the liking of holders in each crowd’s favorite collections, including Doodles, CoolCats, DeadFellaz, CyberKongz, and yes, CryptoDickButts.

Pulling in collectors and investors from various projects suggests that RugRadio not only has strong support but could also have many potential perks up its sleeve.

Could the “Queen of Pop” be the next to come “a bored?”

What do Gary Vee, Guy Oseary and Madonna have in common? A shared interest in the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Recently, Bored Ape member Lindsey Byrnes casually tweeted at Madonna regarding her Bored Ape that is very reminiscent of the Pop icon’s “Justify my love” album cover. 

Exactly two weeks after the tweet was sent, Madonna complimented Byrnes’s taste and left the ball in her court saying “’…Ape well chosen. Now what?” suggesting a possible sale.

Despite falling from the top spot several times this week on OpenSea, BAYC’s daily average sale price has a 7-day average price being 94.5 Ether closing out over 11.8 Ether in volume roughly $28,626.68 at the current value of Ether. 

Last 7-day avg. price and volume. Source: OpenSea Bored Ape Yacht Club.

It seems propositioning the Queen of Pop and her written consideration was enough to drive the collection up by 8.7% within the 24 hours of her sending out the tweet. Imagine the influence of Madonna rocking an ape, or could it possibly be a top signal?

Beanie was revealed and then canceled 

It would not be crypto Twitter without a bit of controversy. Last week, Twitter account NFT Ethics (@NFTethcs) brought forth a lengthy dossier that sparked awareness of the supposed unscrupulous business practices of a popular Web3 investor and NFT trader known as Beanie. Infamously, known for his contentious attitude, Beanie notably has ruffled a few feathers and apparently scammed others. 

Given the nature of the blockchain and maintaining true to the spirit of Web3, NFT Ethics dug through Beanie’s past and the projects he has allegedly invested in. Specifically looking into Monkey Bet DAO by “invariant Labs,” Beanie’s affiliation and investment behavior went from questionable to heightened suspicion as to whether this was the truth. 

Without missing a beat, DAO members noticed Royal Technologies Gaming (RGT) in various Monkey Bet DAO sites leaving members confused since they believed they were working for Invariant Labs.

Raising critical questions and concerns regarding Beanie’s association with RGT, ultimately led to him swinging an iron hammer of “Fudder bans”— a tactic used to manipulate the information shared, and according to him, preserve the “vibe.”

Upon further inspection, Owlman, the person whose project Beanie decided to invest a “small amount” in, was found to be the general manager of RGT, and not the developer Beanie had proclaimed them to be. 

Further damning details arose when an ENS domain revealed more shady activity, specifically that the address deployed a scam token called CBET. CBET has been associated with various scam projects including TokenPay.

As more information was revealed, a convoluted picture of deceit and potentially criminal acts was painted. Given Beanie’s infamous track record and history, some investors are rejoicing on what they intuitively suspected, while others are showing remorse

Only time will tell what will come of these allegations, but the controversy has shed some light on how much investors have to lose when blindly listening to anonymous influencers. While not all will use their influence to con others, history can teach us that this particular tiger might not change its stripes.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Stop the steal? Trump family threatens legal action against TrumpCoin

A low cap cryptocurrency named TrumpCoin (TRUMP) has finally drawn the ire of the Trump dynasty six years after it entered the market.

On Jan. 25, Donald Trump’s second son Eric threatened legal action against the TRUMP cryptocurrency for allegedly using his family’s name fraudulently.

TRUMP is a cryptocurrency that launched in Q1 2016 as the campaign season to elect the 45th President of the United States began. It claims to be “A Cryptocurrency created by Patriots for Patriots around the World.”

The TrumpCoin team apparently anticipated litigation at some point from the Trump family. About 24 hours after Eric’s threat, the TrumpCoin Twitter account fired back by highlighting a disclaimer on its website acknowledging that TrumpCoin is in no way affiliated with the Trump family or any of its related properties.

TRUMP is currently trading at $0.28 with a 24-hour trading volume of $13,313 according to CoinGecko.

The Trump family is no stranger to the crypto industry. Melania Trump recently auctioned off a hat she wore while she was the First Lady. Payment was made in Solana (SOL). She also congratulated Bitcoin (BTC) on its 13th birthday at the start of this year.

Donald Trump, however, does not hold cryptocurrency in as high regard as his wife. Last October, he said that cryptocurrency is a threat to US Dollar hegemony in the world. He also said that he hopes digital currencies like China’s Digital Yuan do not create insurmountable competition for the dollar.

TRUMP joins a short but growing list of crypto pro that have come under fire over naming and branding rights. 

Related: Kanye West wants royalties from Paparazzi photos, with the help of NFTs

The estate of Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkein took aim at the crypto named JRR Token for using the author’s name. On Nov. 23 of last year, the crypto was forced to shut down and delete any content that infringed on the estate’s copyrighted intellectual property.

Popular fast food restaurant Jack in the Box also sued FTX over copyright infringement. The chain alleged FTX’s “Moon Man” mascot copied its “Jack” mascot. The case was settled out of court on Jan. 21.

Ripple Labs was sued in Australian court last August for copying the name of a preexisting nationwide payments service named PayID.

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