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When NFT mania took over the crypto-verse, the Internet was flooded with NFT references, success stories, and of course, a lot of hype. Over the last year, the crypto-community has seen the phenomenal rise of non-fungible tokens. In fact, the NFT market space grew by nearly 300% in 2023 while NFT sales volume rose to $2.5 billion in the first half of 2023. Needless to say, this was a huge hike from figures of $13.7 million in the first half of 2023.
Following the emergence of Cryptopunks and Apes, NFTs emerged as a major trend and 8 September saw one of the largest NFT events in history as more than 18K+ addresses competed to mint 7000 NFTs from a collection called The Sevens.
This contributed to the highest recorded mean gas price, touching more than 5k Gwei in merely 10 minutes. Apart from heightened retail interest, an influx of institutional investors also powered the rise of NFTs.NFTs pumping altcoins?
High retail and institutional interest have been key to the rise of the crypto-verse, but NFTs have had their own impact on the market. Here, an interesting trend to note was that while most of the networks wanted to jump on the NFT bandwagon, only some could reap the true benefits of the same.
Notably, low capped altcoins gained momentum while the NFT fever peaked but it was short-lived. On the other hand, larger cap altcoins like MATIC and Litecoin saw price-driven growth. In fact, it seemed like NFTs were playing a major role in pumping certain alts.
For instance, recently, the Litecoin Foundation announced the launch of OmniLite, a decentralized token creation platform that makes it possible to produce decentralized tokens and smart contracts along with crypto-assets such as tokens and NFTs. In reaction to this, LTC’s price held well in the market even as the market drowned.
Additionally, Origin partnered with Polygon to offer mainstream Layer 2 NFTs and the news of the same aided MATIC’s recovery after the pump. In fact, MATIC saw a 3% hike in just 24 hours.
Notably, however, this NFT magic wand didn’t work for all altcoins. In the case of Axie Infinity, for instance, at press time, a huge number of old coins were moved. Now, while this could have been an attempt to shoot the price up, it went in vain. Axie is an NFT-based platform, but the alt’s price seemed to struggle even during the NFT boom.Peaked institutional interest
At the time of writing, Alibaba’s Tmall sold out mooncake NFTs, while Chinese Internet giant Tencent also made a foray into the world of NFTs, launching an NFT trading platform named Huanhe.
Despite this pouring institutional interest, the broader NFT market has seen a pullback lately. In fact, daily volumes came down to around $56 million on 12 September – An almost 50% fall in volumes from 9 September.
Finally, it is important to note that NFTs are still illiquid. Their value depends on the hype and as long as that hype stays, NFTs will have solid value.
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The Bitgert chain has addressed the cost of the gas and the scalability issue, which are big blockchain problems.
Bitgert’s fast development and growth are already causing shockwaves across the crypto industry. The team has delivered so much in just seven months, which makes Bitgert the fastest-growing crypto project of 2023. The delivery of the projects has made Bitgert stand out from the rest, but it is the recently launched BRISE BRC20 blockchain that has made the biggest impact so far. The launch of the Bitgert blockchain has made it better than Terra (LUNA) and Polygon (Matic), according to the crypto community. But why? Well, here is more about Bitgert and why it is better than these crypto projects:Bitgert
The fast delivery of theCentcex
Though still getting competition from Bitgert,Terra (LUNA)
The Terra (LUNA) project has been doing very well in the crypto industry. The coin is providing the market with stable prices as well as offering faster and affordable payment settlements. Therefore, the Terra team has been working on a faster chain as well as cheaper transactions by reducing gas and so on. But Bitgert is proving a better payment platform by outperforming Terra (LUNA) speed and cost of the transaction. The Bitgert chain is offering users the fastest chain in the history of blockchain at 100k TPS. The gas fee at Bitgert is also free, which makes the platform cheaper than Terra.Polygon (MATIC)
The Polygon (MATIC) has been one of the cryptocurrencies that have experienced one of the highest adoptions. This is because the smart contract is solving some of the biggest problems on the Ethereum chain- scaling and the high gas fee. The Ethereum blockchain has one of the most expensive gas fees and is also very slow.
Bitgert’s fast development and growth are already causing shockwaves across the crypto industry. The team has delivered so much in just seven months, which makes Bitgert the fastest-growing crypto project of 2023. The delivery of the projects has made Bitgert stand out from the rest, but it is the recently launched BRISE BRC20 blockchain that has made the biggest impact so far. The launch of the Bitgert blockchain has made it better than Terra (LUNA) and Polygon (Matic), according to the crypto community. But why? Well, here is more about Bitgert and why it is better than these crypto projects:The fast delivery of the Bitgert project is one of the reasons the crypto community loves this project. The team has delivered a lot on products than any other project of its age. But it is the launch of the now popular BRISE BRC20 blockchain that has put Bitgert far ahead of the competition. The Bitgert chain has addressed the cost of the gas and the scalability issue, which are big blockchain problems. The Bitgert blockchain has zero gas fee, making it the first gasless chain in the industry at $0.0000000000001 per transaction. This is one of the biggest reasons Bitgert is increasingly growing popular in the market. The Bitgert blockchain is right now the fastest chain with a 100k TPS. These are the reason why the Bitgert project is said to be better than most cryptocurrencies.Though still getting competition from Bitgert, Centcex has a lot of developments and growth that has already been achieved so far. The development of the products has already started with the Centcex crypto exchange already in the development stage. The Centcex team plans to have the staking program started soon, and this means the staking process might start soon. The most exciting thing about Centcex is an unlimited number of products and the 100% APY staking revenue. These are two factors making this project stand out. The start of the launch of the product is expected to explode Centcex chúng tôi Terra (LUNA) project has been doing very well in the crypto industry. The coin is providing the market with stable prices as well as offering faster and affordable payment settlements. Therefore, the Terra team has been working on a faster chain as well as cheaper transactions by reducing gas and so on. But Bitgert is proving a better payment platform by outperforming Terra (LUNA) speed and cost of the transaction. The Bitgert chain is offering users the fastest chain in the history of blockchain at 100k TPS. The gas fee at Bitgert is also free, which makes the platform cheaper than chúng tôi Polygon (MATIC) has been one of the cryptocurrencies that have experienced one of the highest adoptions. This is because the smart contract is solving some of the biggest problems on the Ethereum chain- scaling and the high gas fee. The Ethereum blockchain has one of the most expensive gas fees and is also very slow. Polygon improved these two problems, and that’s why its adoption has been growing fast. But Bitgert is proving more powerful than Polygon (MATIC). It is faster and cheaper than Polygon, which makes it a better chain for developers.
This week’s edition of our Apps of the Week roundup features a fun augmented reality app, a deck of cards that will help you mix up your fitness routine, and a two-way radio client. And as usual, we’ve got two great new games for you to check out.Holo
This app isn’t new but with all of the augmented reality talk lately, I felt it was pertinent. Holo lets you add holograms of real people and animals into your world and take photos & videos to share with friends. Choose from a variety of holograms including movie characters, celebrities, athletes, musicians and comedians, as well as fun original characters and animals. New content added weekly. Now there are a few negative reviews complaining about performance, and this seems like something that could really benefit from Apple’s new ARKit. But it’s still worth checking out. Holo is available for free.Sweat Deck
Sweat Deck is a deck of cards-style workout that will help you mix up your fitness routine with an endless combination of simple and effective workouts! The concept is simple: assign an exercise to each suit and perform them as cards are drawn from the deck—do you have what it takes to make it through an entire deck of cards? Features include a built-in list of common exercises to choose from, joker cards for adding an extra challenge, deck and rep multipliers for higher intensity workouts, and more. Sweat Deck is available for free (with one IAP).Radio Callbox
Have an instant 2-way, push-to-talk audio connection with friends, family, or colleagues, without the burden of creating an account, logging in, or joining another social network. Now I know that there are other apps that do this, but the no-account needed really stood out to me. And some of you might be thinking if you have the cell service to download and use this app, why not just call the person? But I do think there are times and situations that are more conducive to 2-way radio-style conversations. Maybe a family uses this while camping, or at a theme park. Radio Callbox is available for free.Touchdowners
Touchdowners is a simple, yet crazy physics-based sports game where you need to grab the ball and touch it down in your opponents end zone. You control a team of three highly trained Touchdowners who must pass, wrestle and jump their way to the end zone then slam the ball to the ground. Features include an arcade mode with global rankings, and a head-to-head 2 player mode. Touchdowners is available for free (with a single IAP).Age of Rivals
Age of Rivals was inspired by strategy boardgames and designed to be ideal for 1 or 2 players to play in 10 minutes with plenty of depth and replayability. It’s the “anti-deckbuilding” CCG, where having only minimal control over your deck encourages endless variety in each game and puts the focus on in-the-moment tactical decision-making. Unfortunately, there is no way to play this game offline at the moment (developers say they are working on that), but there are also no in-app purchases. All game content unlocks at a constant pace just by playing the game. Age of Rivals is available for $0.99.More apps to check out
In the fall of 2012, in Vilnius, Lithuania, Robert Kalinkin Fashion House released an ad campaign that featured a man and a woman posing as Jesus and the Virgin Mary wearing jeans and a dress from the company’s then-upcoming clothing line. “Jesus, what trousers!” one of the taglines read, along with “Dear Mary, what a dress!” and “Jesus, Mary, what are you wearing?”
The campaign ran on the company’s website and on prominent billboards in the Lithuanian capital ahead of a fashion show that brand co-founders Robert Kalinkin and Indre Viltrakyte were organizing at the time. “It was a play of words,” Indre Viltrakyte, Robert Kalinkin co-founder and CEO said of the campaign while speaking to nft now. “We had the models, and those images were in very serene surroundings. They were a very aesthetic representation of our clothing. Everybody loved it.”
A few days before the fashion show, however, Viltrakyte and Kalinkin received a complaint from a church in a nearby city claiming they had violated public morals by insulting the image of Jesus, God, and Mary. Lithuania is one of the most devoutly Abrahamic countries on Earth, with more than 90 percent of its inhabitants identifying as Christians and three-quarters of its adults identifying as Catholic.
The complaint went to Lithuania’s State Consumer Rights Protection Authority (SCRPA), and on to the Lithuanian Advertising Agency (LAA), both of which ruled that the pair had offended the feelings of religious people, a principle enshrined in the country’s Code of Advertising Ethics.
via Robert Kalinkin Fashion House
The choice to resist the ruling incurred years of litigation. In the course of fighting the SCRPA’s decision, the fashion house lost three separate court cases, with the final blow coming from the Supreme Court of Lithuania. “But we still felt right in what we did,” said Viltrakyte. “It was a creative expression. Advertising is a form of creative expression.”
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) agreed. Lawyers took on the pair’s case pro bono, believing that the fines and rulings the Lithuanian courts dealt out had violated their right to freedom of expression as described in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. On January 30, 2023, after years of proceedings and paperwork, the ECHR declared the Lithuanian courts’ ruling unlawful, setting a precedent for the entire European Union.
“If you feel that something you’ve created has a right to live, nobody should take that from you.”
“I read every line of that final [court judgment] with a sweet taste of justice for creatives,” Viltrakyte said. “If you feel that something you’ve created has a right to live, nobody should take that from you.”The birth of the Rebels NFT project
In the spring and summer of 2023, Viltrakyte decided to take the same principles of creative expression and instill them in an NFT project. She began buying and trading NFTs, becoming “absolutely hooked” on Web3. “It came to me that we could immortalize our story on the blockchain,” Viltrakyte explained.
In September, Viltrakyte brought the idea to Kalinkin, and the two decided to base the project on the very ad campaign they had fought so hard for over the years. By November, The Rebels NFT community launched on Discord and Twitter, and in January 2023, the collection was minted into existence.
The Rebels team wanted the 10,101 NFTs in the collection to reflect Viltrakyte and Kalinkin’s journey. Ernesta Vala, the project’s art director (who also led the pair’s 2012 ad campaign), based the NFTs in the collection on the campaign’s portrayal of Mary.
“When we created the project, we wanted to create this character, this mother of mothers — proud and independent,” Viltrakyte explained. “When we saw those features were in the characters, we just let the Ernesta and the team do the rest.”
(Left) Mary from the 2012 ad campaign and (Right) Rebel #529, via The RebelsGetting into NFT fashion
The Rebel’s website states that the brand aims to become the first fashion house to transform into a blockchain brand fully. Viltrakyte makes no attempt to hide her traditional fashion roots, though, and believes her perspective and experience serve her well in exploring ways to bridge the physical and the digital in the realm of Web3.
“We are searching for ways to be the bridge between the physical and digital,” Viltrakyte said. “We know how to make clothes, we know the business side of that — we’re not digital natives and we don’t pretend to be.”
What is the interoperability problem? In short, it comes from the way self-contained metaverse spaces are siloed off from one another. For example, you may own a metaverse-compatible digital asset in one project’s digital environment, but you can’t take that asset to another metaverse. This lack of interoperability keeps projects and communities from interacting and Web3 from developing cohesively on a larger scale.
“Until this is solved, we cannot have a fully functional [Web3] fashion house,” Viltrakyte lamented. “It’s probably not coming anytime soon. If you do a fashion line for Decentraland, it’s only for Decentraland. And if you do one for Sandbox, it’s only for them. We’ll need to get around that. I have a deep conviction about VR technologies, where you can use wearables. And we’re working on something like that as well.”
“There are no boundaries there. Nobody to tell us we can’t create what we want to create.”
The bigger picture, Viltrakyte believes, is to enable creators in the Web3 community to build, design, and create clothing of their own. “We’re working on building a platform that allows people with minimal design knowledge to choose the design elements in a way that the final garment looks unique and custom made,” Viltrakyte explained. “Then, we can open that to be transformed into whatever platform you desire, Decentraland, some other metaverse, or an AR filter.”The success and future of the NFT fashion industry
Fashion brands like Gucci, Tiffany, Prada, and Nike have become fast friends with Web3. The success of these brands’ flirtations with NFTs is a good sign for the fashion industry, though Viltrakyte said she hopes these companies follow through with their Web3 commitments.
“It’s important these brands continue to [experiment] with NFTs,” Viltrakyte remarked. “If it’s just one or two drops, that’s bad for the space because then there’s no consistency, and you can just write it off as a cash grab. I generally think that fashion is just more visible than other industries because it’s a luxury thing, and everyone wants a piece of that. Things like DeFi just aren’t so sexy.”
Viltrakyte believes that fashion is well-suited for Web3 because what people decide to wear has always been the most basic form of self-expression. If the identity-crafting focus of NFTs and blockchain technology has a parallel in anything, it’s fashion. Whichever brands best recognize and capitalize on that will carry the torch forward.
“There will be heritage luxury brands who nail that,” Viltrakyte said, speaking on her predictions for the future of Web3 fashion. “Tiffany has a good shot at it. I’m betting they’re going to be consistent with [Web3]. Then, there will be brands like us who come from a small background. Small, boutique, quite high-end brands from a small country nobody knows about, going into this huge Web3 world. There are no boundaries there. Nobody to tell us we can’t create what we want to create.”
The Google I/O 2023 developer conference saw the release of Android Q Beta 3, a new developer preview for users eager to test out new features coming to the next flavor of Android. Well, these beta builds were previously restricted to Pixel phones, however, we have seen Google expand the same to more and more third-party devices from its OEM partners, of recent.Stock Android FTW!
Let me start off by saying that installing the Android Q Beta 3 on the Realme 3 Pro was certainly a smooth ride. You don’t need to unlock the bootloader and could go about the installation simply by reading our aforementioned guide. We found the setup process an equally hassle-free ride, but let’s talk about the software experience itself.
Realme 3 Pro with Android Q Beta 3 onboard sure looks like what we’ve constantly been dreaming of or requesting the company for – a completely stock Android experience. However, since this is the first beta build for third-party devices, it isn’t the most stable and you’ll encounter bugs littered all around the OS. It does give you a brief idea of how your beloved stock Android might look or feel on this device.
The Android Q Beta for Realme 3 Pro brings most of the new features that were shown off at Google I/O 2023 earlier this week. This includes the much-awaited Dark Theme, which we’ve found to be quite inconsistent across the board. While the notification shade can be seen painted in the true AMOLED black, the ‘Settings’ page has sort-of a gray night mode applied to it and I don’t like the inconsistency.
Even though Realme 3 Pro doesn’t have an AMOLED display and blacks won’t be as deep, I would still love an official dark theme onboard. Maybe we’ll see the same fixed with an upcoming beta build.
If you’ve not been a fan of the pill-based gesture navigation that was introduced with the previous version of Android, i.e Android 9 Pie and adopted in ColorOS 6 as well, then the new ‘fully gestural navigation‘ is live in this build. There’s also better location permissions model, smart replies, and more.Buggy AF!
Though we installed the Android Q Beta on our Realme 3 Pro, we don’t recommend you instantly do the same as the current build is really buggy. I mean, we’ve come across several inconsistencies in the UI that may spoil the experience, but the Chinese giant has itself put forth a list of known issues.
Using this build in its current form means you will lose fingerprint authentication, file transfer via USB, screen lock options, inconsistent notch support and a lot more. I’ve even noticed many apps such as the dialer and camera (which is in-fact the Snapdragon camera app) crashing on me quite often.
If this Android Q Beta was even close to stable, I would’ve stuck to Android Q instead of rolling back to ColorOS. It’s my opinion and choice though. There’s a possibility that you prefer ColorOS over stock Android and well, that’s great. ColorOS 6 is pretty polished and offers a fun user experience.
Brendan Leeds’ passion led him to create a tech platform that aims to improve a highly fragmented sector.
Clipboard Hospitality co-founders Brendan Leeds and Tipu Sultan (Image credit: Belinda Vitacca Photography)
Growing up in a high-profile family of media executives, Brendan Leeds remembers dinner time conversations about rate cards and big clients. It wasn’t something he was interested in, and he certainly felt like the odd one out, with his father and two older brothers both in the industry.
“For 10 years of my life I was told ‘when are you going to get a real job’? Leeds says. “I’ve always needed the acceptance of others and be a people pleaser…so it was thing. But I always thought: why isn’t it viewed as a legitimate industry with career prospects? We want to change the perception of the industry as a fragmented, transitional industry.”
Clipboard – a global jobs, training and career platform across all areas of hospitality – has already attracted around 50,000 users and 8,000 businesses and has secured around $1 million in investment from some big names in business, such as Jayco owner and multi-millionaire businessman, Gerry Ryan, and technology entrepreneur and VRC chairman Neil Wilson. Leeds and Wilson are also members of Clipboard’s board. The company’s projected revenue over the next three years is upwards $5 million.
“My father was the CEO of StarCom – a worldwide media agency – and my brothers went on the same career path. So growing up, we would sit around the table, and all I heard was things about the industry… and that perhaps pushed me away from it.”
“But one thing I did learn from my father was that I always wanted to have something for myself… something made from my own sweat and tears that I could call my own. Just to see what he did, and he’s a massive influence in my life, not only as my father, but as a business leader.”
Pitching the business to investors was difficult, but Leeds says his toughest investor audience was his father, Paul Leeds.
“I have pitched in front of multi-millionaires; I have pitched in front of Janine Ellis. The hardest person to pitch to was my father. He was our first investor.
“I was lucky to have that support…but it made me think, how many people in this industry don’t have that?”
– Brendan Leeds
“One thing I would say about the Australian capital raising economy is that it isn’t like overseas. It’s very conservative. I’d stand in front of these big investors and I’d just talk about my passion, the industry I’ve worked in for 20 years. I would be real and talk about the real challenges and the real opportunities in hospitality.”
“The other aspect I look for is data. How do they maximise content and data. The other thing is specialisation. So, if you look at Clipboard, it ticks all those boxes,” Wilson says.
“What I particularly like is the specialisation in the hospitality industry, because I think the business issue around fragmentation focuses on individuals but also organises them to know where they fit in that environment, but also what opportunities exist for them career wise.”
Leeds began working in the industry as an 18-year-old while studying marketing at university. The job was meant to be temporary, however he says it wasn’t long before he “fell in love” with the people and the culture of the industry and the numerous career choices within the sector. By the age of 20 he was managing venues and he travelled to London, where he worked his way up to manage fine dining establishments.
Leeds eventually returned to Australia, where he established a venue at the historic Melbourne property, Ripponlea. One evening in 2023 over a glass of wine with friend and now Clipboard co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Tipu Sultan, Leeds vented about his staffing issues and other challenges of the hospitality industry. Sultan – who has a background in technology – and Leeds began discussing how these issues might be fixed.
“We started a conversation around: ‘how could we evolve this industry, not so much from a B to C, or customer facing or internal operations [perspective], but why can’t we do a LinkedIn for hospitality?’” he said. “We thought: why can’t we target a niche market and allow a creative, talented and ambitious sector to showcase their brand and grow a network globally? What can hospitality be an identifiable and legitimate career choice?”Hospitality, technology and wellbeing
After over a year of planning, capital raising, research and data collection, Clipboard was due to launch its commercial platform in 2023, however the global pandemic derailed its plans. All Clipboard partners and sponsors said: “we’re not spending a dime right now”. “It didn’t stop us – but it made us think about what the platform should look like,” he says.
Clipboard’s main three focuses are hospitality, technology and wellbeing. The wellbeing focus, including offering training and support to hospitality staff and organisations, was a priority from the beginning, however the pandemic highlighted the need for better support of the hospitality sector when it comes to mental health.
“The wellbeing pillar of the business really came about because of an experience that I had.
“In 2008 before my son was born, a lot of things happened – from toxic relationships to business – and I was in a pretty bad space. The first thing I did is I broke down and I looked at myself in the mirror, and I knew I had to tell someone. I was lucky to have that support…but it made me think, how many people in this industry don’t have that? I lost friends and associates during COVID from this – I knew it had to be an important part of what we did.”
Mental health challenges are common among employees in the hospitality industry. Many people Leeds says are not as lucky as he is, and don’t come through the other side. A whitepaper by Skills For Life (sponsored by Clipboard): Mental Health in Hospitality – the need for industry specific solutions – reported that 61.8% of hospitality workers experienced mental health conditions. 91% of hospitality workers said they
“The hospitality industry is fragmented and transitional and the romantic story is: ‘well why can’t you have a successful career in hospitality?’”
“It’s not only the bar tender or the chef. It’s the PR company, it’s the interior designers, it’s the marketers, it’s the tech entrepreneurs who might build the next Mr Yum.”
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