$50M NFT platform shutters, OpenSea’s ‘HUGE mistake’ and more



NFT platform Recur shuts down despite $50M funding round

Nonfungible token (NFT) platform Recur is winding down operations despite a highly-anticipated launch less than two years ago.

The firm explained on Aug. 18 that the decision to shutter wasn’t easy, but ultimately a challenging business environment served too big a barrier:

“Unforeseen challenges and shifts in the business landscape have made it increasingly difficult for us to continue providing the level of service and dedication that we have always strived to maintain,” it said.

NFT trading volumes have mostly plummeted across the board in 2023, according to data from Dune Analytics.

Recur said all transactions on primary and secondary markets will be disabled on Aug. 31. All remaining website functionality, such as NFT withdrawals and USD Coin (USDC) cash outs will then close on Nov. 16.

To continue accessing NFTs, Recur explained that users will need to transfer them over to a self-custodied wallet before Nov. 16.

Recur was founded in the middle of NFT summer in 2021 and managed to raise $50 million in a Series A funding round in Sept. 2021. The firm was valued at $333 million at the time.

Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin and U.S. entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and Gary Vaynerchuk were other notable investors in the platform.

Mark Cuban slams OpenSea over creator royalty fee decision

U.S. billionaire and Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban has called out OpenSea over its recent decision to stop enforcing creator royalty fees across other platforms.

On Aug. 17, OpenSea announced it will turn off its Operator Filter feature which enables creators to blacklist NFT marketplaces that don’t enforce royalties fees, and transition to an “optional” model on Aug. 31.

In an Aug. 18 post, Cuban, an OpenSea investor, said the decision was a “HUGE mistake” and will have a two-fold impact on both OpenSea and the broader industry:

In response to claims that OpenSea’s decision was necessary to retain its market share, Cuban rebutted that an optional royalty approach will kill future NFT applications that go beyond collectibles.

OpenSea’s CEO Devin Finzer stated that the on-chain royalty enforcement tool hasn’t had the success they would have hoped because competitor platforms such as Blur, Dew and LooksRare began to circumvent the Operator Filter by integrating the Seaport Protocol to bypass OpenSea’s blacklist and therefore avoid creator fees.

Several members of the NFT community consider the move to be a potential blow for NFT artists looking to make passive income.

Bitcoin miner turns off Kazakhstan facility, stock slides 12%

Bitcoin mining firm Canaan has confirmed that it temporarily shut down two exahashes (EH/ s) of computing power in Kazakhstan in order to comply with the country’s changing regulatory landscape.

Stricter rules came into effect in April by Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Digital Development, Innovations and Aerospace Industry, which prompted Canaan to start turning off mining rigs in the third quarter, according to an Aug. 18 report by Cision.

Prospective miners must now obtain a specialized license in accordance with the country’s Digital Assets in the Republic of Kazakhstan. It is understood Canaan is working toward obtaining a Type II license.

The Chinese-based Bitcoin miner acknowledged the decision will likely impact its (BTC) production and revenue, primarily due to reduced uptime.

Canaan’s share price fell over 12.3% on Aug. 18 to $2.06, according to Google Finance.

Late last month, Canaan offloaded 2,000 new A1346 Bitcoin miners to fellow mining firm Stronghold for approximately $3 million.

Fake friend.tech token creator drains $226K via phishing scam

The emergence of friend.tech, a new decentralized social media platform, has attracted a scammer who managed to create a fake friend.tech token and scam investors for about $226,000 or 135 Ether (ETH).

Information on the exploit was shared by blockchain security firm CertiK on Aug. 19, citing a large liquidity removal as the exit scam method.

Like CertiK, several industry pundits warned their audiences not to fall for the scam that poses to be a legitimate project.

The real friend tech protocol launched on Aug. 11. By Aug. 19, the platform managed to cash in over $1 million in fees — more than the Bitcoin network and Uniswap over the same timeframe.

However, some cryptocurrency commentators believe the protocol will have six to eight more weeks of hype before it starts dying down.

Built on Coinbase’s layer-2 network Base, friend tech is a platform that allows users to purchase shares of their friends and influencers, which in turn grants them access to a private chat with that user.

Also making news

The United States securities regulator is likely to approve multiple applications for Ether futures Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) at the same time, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. There are currently 16 finance firms in line for the regulator’s approval amid news that it will start accepting applications soon.

Cheems Balltze, one of the internet’s most famous dogs, tragically passed away on Aug. 18 after losing a tough battle with cancer, according to an Aug. 18 post on Cheem’s Instagram account. While the Shiba Inu isn’t the official mascot of the Shiba Inu (SHIB) or Dogecoin (DOGE) cryptocurrencies, messages of condolences have come from cryptocurrency communities and meme-lovers alike, including the Dogecoin Foundation.


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