South Korean Tech Behemoth Kakao Takes charge of Japanese Crypto Exchange in M&A Deal

A Japan-based unit of the South Korean internet and tech giant Kakao has snapped up a controlling stake in a Japanese crypto exchange – which could see it seek to combine its web-based cartoon output with its crypto services.

Kakao Piccoma has become the biggest shareholder of the trading platform. The Kakao subsidiary operates Piccoma, the biggest web-based cartoon services provider in Japan. 

The size of the deal was not revealed, but Sakura wrote that it had received a ‘‘capital expand through third-party allotment’’ of shares. Its CEO Hitomi Yamamoto will remain in charge of the company, but new directors have been appointed. 

Kakao’s existing crypto links are not insubstantial. The commercial enterprise became an early investor withinside the South Korean market-main trade Upbit and stays a minority shareholder withinside the platform. The company also utilizes a dedicated crypto and blockchain assistant named Ground X, which pioneered the Klaytn blockchain network.

What do you mean by Blockchain Technology?

Blockchain technology eliminates the requirement for a trusted group to facilitate digital relationships and is the backbone of cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain is a type of ledger technology that holds and records data.

Blockchain is the buzzword that seems to dominate any discussion about the future of technology, from the capacity of cryptocurrencies to new forms of cybersecurity. While the applications for the technology seem unlimited, not multiple people are entirely sure what the Blockchain is.

In the old days, transactions were tracked in written ledgers and reserved in financial institutions. Conventional ledgers could be audited, but only by those with privileged access. Blockchain took these ideas and democratized them by removing the secrecy around how information– namely transaction data – was handled.

What does a blockchain look like?

A Blockchain can be cracked down into components: The block and the chain.

A block is a collection of data that is connected to other blocks chronologically in a virtual chain. You can think of a Blockchain as a train consisting of multiple carriages linked in a line, where each carriage contains an amount of data. Just like in a real-life train carriage, blocks can fit a fixed amount of data before they are full.

Each block also contains a timestamp, and so it’s clear when the data was stored recorded – something that’s vital for things like transaction or supply chain data where knowing exactly when a price or package was processed is important.

How many copies are there?

There is not even one master copy of a Blockchain Rather, every person who operates a computer that contributes to the network – also known as a “node” – maintains their own copy of the blockchain, and regularly checks with other nodes to make sure everyone has the same record of data. By having each individual contributor store their own copy, it means there is no single point of loss. 

How is data added to a blockchain?

Beyond being transparent with data, the blockchain is also a safe way to reserve it. Let’s use Bitcoin as an example, here’s how a transaction is added to a new block:

When a Bitcoin user transmits a transaction, a message is created with both the sender’s and the receiver’s public addresses and the amount being transacted. The sender takes these details, adds their private key to the mix and then creates a hash of it (turns it into a fixed-length code.) This makes a digital signature to confirm the person who owns the amount of Bitcoin(BTC)intends to send it to the receiver.

Other blockchain technology use cases

The Blockchain removes the requirement for intermediaries like banks. The peer-to-peer (p2p)network cuts out the middleman and allows transactions to be protected, cutting down on prices, and can be checked by anyone.

Beyond being utilized for finances, Blockchain technology has multiple other functions. Hospitals are integrating the blockchain to help track medical record data and improve their precision. Agricultural firms use it logistically to follow the supply chain of food.

Smart contracts trust it to keep a record of all agreements and state changes. Once more, it has become a means to sell, trade, and authenticate original digital pieces of art.

Associated Press to launch Polygon-based photography NFT platform

The Associated Press (AP) is introducing a nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace where collectors may buy tokenized photos from the worldwide news organisation.

Photographs from AP photojournalists will be included in the first collection of NFTs, which will cover topics such as space, climate, and war. According to the marketplace’s website, they will be released over multiple weeks beginning on January 31 for varied costs.

On the Ethereum layer-two scaling network Polygon, the images will be minted as NFTs. Secondary transactions using debit or credit cards, as well as Ethereum payments, will be supported on the platform.

Xooa, a blockchain infrastructure firm that specialises in creating “white-label NFT markets for brands and IP owners,” is establishing the marketplace.

The relationship will act as a “strong bridge between the virtual world and the real world,” according to Xooa’s head of marketplaces, Zach Danker-Feldman.

Metamask, a cryptocurrency wallet, is also supported, and potential integrations with Fortmatic, Binance, and Coinbase are in the works. “Withdrawals to other marketplaces,” “social media capabilities,” “new content concepts,” and “off-chain benefits” for NFT holders are also on the way.

There will be a “Pulitzer Drop” every two weeks, featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning images. Each NFT will include extensive metadata about the shot, such as the time, date, location, equipment, and technical settings used.

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According to an announcement by the Associated Press, proceeds from the sale of the NFT will be used to support AP journalism. The Associated Press is a non-profit news cooperative established in New York City that has been around for 175 years. Although the site would allow secondary market sales, a hefty 10% fee will be charged.

This isn’t the news organization’s first dive into blockchain. The Associated Press teamed up with Chainlink Labs in October 2021 to ensure that any data from its U.S. newspaper and broadcaster members was cryptographically authenticated.

The Associated Press used the Ethereum and EOS blockchains to announce the presidential election results in 2020. It also teamed with Civil, a blockchain-based journalism startup, in 2018 to help it manage content usage and protect intellectual property rights.

The Associated Press isn’t the only news outfit interested in blockchain’s possible applications in journalism. CNN’s NFT initiative “Vault by CNN: Moments That Changed Us” debuted in June 2021. The compilation commemorated a number of key “news moments” in the news organization’s 41-year history.

Samsung announces NFT platform for smart TVs

Samsung has unveiled a new smart TV series that has an integrated nonfungible token (NFT) platform. According to a press release issued on Monday, Samsung’s 2022 smart TVs, including the Micro LED, Neo QLED, and The Frame, will include an NFT Platform software that can be used “for discovering, purchasing, and trading digital artwork.”

“With the growing popularity of NFTs, the need for a solution to today’s fragmented watching and purchase landscape has never been higher,” according to the business.

The business intends to launch the first smart TV NFT explorer and marketplace aggregator in 2022. Viewers will be able to browse and trade NFTs without ever leaving their couch thanks to the future site. While it’s unknown whether NFT platforms or markets will be included in the aggregation, Samsung has stated that its smart TVs would maintain the image quality set by the NFT developer.

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Apart from incorporating NFTs into its products, Samsung Next, the South Korean multinational conglomerate’s venture capital arm, has been aggressively investing in NFT and metaverse initiatives. The firm took part in an investment round for a metaverse gaming platform on Wednesday.

Aside from Samsung, several major corporations have jumped onto the NFT bandwagon. Coca-Cola entered the NFT market for charity purposes in July 2021. Visa paid $150,000 for a “CryptoPunk” NFT a month later.

Digital art collections and digital collectible NFT sales, on the other hand, dominated last year, accounting for 91% of total NFT sales. As revenues increase, a growing number of NFT and metaverse-based businesses are soliciting considerable sums of money to fund their projects. Last year, blockchain gaming businesses raised over a billion dollars in funding.

Dolce & Gabbana set a $6 million record for fashion NFTs

The cancellation of Dolce & Gabbana by the digital world following a series of offensive statements about race, sexuality, and size, which reached a pinnacle in 2018 when the fashion house released a video in China featuring a Chinese model clumsily eating spaghetti with chopsticks, appears to have reached a multimillion-dollar end level.

How else to explain the brand’s announcement on Sept. 30 that a nine-piece collection of digital NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, as well as some genuine couture, had sold at auction for a total of 1,885.719 Ether (Ethereum cryptocurrency), or over $5.7 million.

Collezione Genesi, developed in collaboration with UNXD, a curated marketplace for digital luxury and culture, and auctioned by UNXD, was described as the most sophisticated fashion NFT has ever designed and presented.

Because the payment to Dolce & Gabbana would be made at market rates rather than prices at the auction’s closing, the cryptocurrency’s value has risen since the announcement — up 10% as of Friday — bringing the collection’s value to $6.1 million. Pranksy and Seed, two of the most well-known NFT collectors; Boson Protocol, a startup developing a crypto-commerce protocol; and Red DAO, a decentralized autonomous organization created in the crypto community to invest in digital fashion, were among the buyers.

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“These charges are not surprising,” said Nick Jushchyshyn, Drexel University’s program director for Virtual Reality and Immersive Media. “You have world-renowned designers producing something truly one-of-a-kind, with extraordinary attention to detail — well beyond what you would expect to see in a standard computer representation — and it’s a one-of-a-kind piece. It’s only natural that there would be an NFT collector out there who would appreciate it.”

Merav Ozair, a prominent blockchain specialist and Rutgers Business School FinTech professor, agreed. “In fact, I expected it to arrive sooner,” Ozair explained. “We are going toward a virtual-reality world, and luxury products will be part of that world when we get there – sooner than we think, in a couple of years.”

Shashi Menon, the Dubai-based publisher of Vogue Arabia and the founder and CEO of UNXD, contacted Dolce & Gabbana with the concept in April. Even though the brand is known for its over-the-top luxury events rather than its pioneering technological spirit (see Jennifer Hudson belting out Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma” during the women’s fashion show and Helen Mirren dancing to Ciara performing “1, 2 Ste” during the semiannual couture Alta Moda weekend, most recently held in Venice in August, during which Jennifer Hudson belted out Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma” during the women’s fashion.

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They collaborated to develop the Genesis Collection, or Collezione Genesi (there are said to be more coming). A request for comment from Dolce & Gabbana was not returned.

Five of the pieces were physical creations by Dolce & Gabbana, with virtual iterations by UNXD for the metaverse: two versions of The Dress from a Dream, in gold and silver, both with shimmering beads and crystal accents; The Glass Suit, an emerald-green men’s suit, similarly embellished; and two gold-plated and gem-studded silver crowns, The Lion Crown and The Dog Crown.

More NFTs are planned by Dolce & Gabbana and UNXD. They aim to launch DGFamily at the end of the month, a crypto community with four tiers of membership, the highest of which is gold, and which will be made up, at least initially, of Collezione Genesi purchasers. The NFT series of digitally created jewel boxes will be released next, providing access to more digital and physical drops and experiences.