Mick Jagger and Dave Grohl join the crypto frenzy and collaborate with 3D artist Extraweg on NFT charity auction

Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters performs with Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones during The Rolling Stones' "50 & Counting" worldwide tour
Dave Grohl performs with Mick Jagger during The Rolling Stones’ “50 & Counting” worldwide tour

Mick Jagger and Dave Grohl have joined the crypto frenzy, collaborating with 3D artist Extraweg on a non-fungible token (NFT) that is being auctioned in aid of music and environmental charities.

Jagger and Extraweg collaborated on the audio-visual NFT, which includes a custom loop from Jagger’s lockdown-inspired song “Easy Sleazy”, featuring Foo Fighters frontman Grohl. Extraweg contributed the visual element, which shows a human figure running through human heads as they shatter.

The NFT is being sold at a 24-hour auction, which started on Thursday evening, through digital token trading site Nifty Gateway. At 07:45 ET, around 5 hours before the auction will end, the highest bid was $10,200.

The auction will benefit various charities, selected by Jagger and Grohl, including Back Up, the UK’s Music Venue Trust and the American National Independent Venue Association. Back Up supports “industry technical professionals, crew/production personnel and people working in the technical supply chain” in the UK financially, whereas the other charities aid independent music venues and their workers.

Further charities in the music and environmental sectors will also be supported, but they remain unnamed so far.

NFTs are visual and audio data units that are built on blockchain technology. They are unique and cannot be interchanged. NFTs are often treated as collector items and can usually be seen by anyone online – although just one person can own them.

Jagger and Grohl have become the latest celebrities to join the NFT craze.

“NFTs as elite art-forms are definitely here to stay: this is the beginning of a huge new trend” Viktor Prokopenya, founder of cryptocurrency trading platform capital.com, commented on Jagger getting involved in the NFT market.

DJ Steve Aoki sold an NFT through Nifty Gateway in early March which brought in almost $900,000. Also in March, the band Kings of Leon sold an album as an NFT for the first time. Shawn Mendes has sold digital versions of his signature accessories. And Snoop Dogg and Lionel Richie have committed to producing NFTs for the crypto exchange Crypto.com’s NFT marketplace.

After buying a Beeple artwork for a record-breaking $69 million early in March, the buyer said investing in the digital tokens was a “huge risk”. Beeple himself also told Coindesk TV that he believed NFTs were in a bubble.

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Crypto network Ripple gets a foothold in Asia with its 40% stake in cross-border payment firm Tranglo

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Bitcoin’s meteoric rise has boosted crypto hedge funds

  • Ripple is set to take 40% stakes of Tranglo, a global cross-border payment hub focused on APAC markets.
  • This will support rising customer demand in Asia and RippleNet’s On-Demand Liquidity service according to Ripple’s statement.
  • Initially, new payment corridors will be set up in Southeast Asia and On-Demand Liquidity will become available in the Philippines.
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Crypto network Ripple Labs said on Tuesday it will acquire a 40% stake in cross-border payment hub Tranglo in an effort to strengthen its market presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

Tranglo’s infrastructure will support existing payment corridors, as well as enable RippleNet customers in additional countries to use the firm’s On-Demand Liquidity service. “RippleNet customers using ODL will also be able to leverage Ripple’s Line of Credit to free up working capital and scale cross-border payments into more markets than ever before” the company said in a statement.

Cross-border payment processing firm Tranglo will support the expansion of the offer in Southeast Asia, starting with the Philippines and then rolling out to other countries, the company said, adding it also offers credit lines to users.

RippleNet uses blockchain technology to make cross-border transactions easier. The XRP token, which runs on Ripple’s network, is one of the most widely traded, alongside bitcoin and Ethereum’s ether.

The digital asset market has been gaining momentum in Asia, despite India’s recent ban on bitcoin. Over 30% of cryptocurrency transactions between mid 2019 and mid 2020 took place in Asia, according to a Chainalysis report.

“Tranglo’s robust payments infrastructure coupled with their unparalleled customer service and quality makes them an ideal partner to support our expansion of On-Demand Liquidity starting with the Southeast Asia region.” Asheesh Birla, general manager of RippleNet, said.

Ripple is currently dealing with legal issues in the US due to its use of the XRP token. The Securities and Exchange Commission said the company had raised $1.3 billion worth of unregistered securities in the form of XRP, which the regulator believes is a security and not a cryptocurrency. Ripple has repeatedly disagreed.

This story has been corrected to reflect that Ripple does not operate or control XRP.

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The SEC’s ‘Crypto Mom’ Hester Peirce says selling fractionalized NFTs could be illegal

Commissioner Peirce participates in a U.S Securities and Exchange Commission open meeting
  • SEC commissioner Hester Peirce reminded issuers not to accidentally create investment products.
  • Selling fractionalized NFTs, or NFT baskets could turn them into securities, which are tightly regulated.
  • ‘Crypto mom’ Peirce also thinks the Howey test is not a good way to see if digital assets are securities.
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The Securities and Exchange Commission ‘crypto mom’ Hester Peirce said issuers of non-fungible tokens must be careful they do not accidentally create investment products when selling fractions, or derivatives, of these digital collectors items.

“People are being very creative in the types of NFTs they’re putting out there,” Peirce, who is an SEC commissioner and cryptocurrency supporter, said at Draper Goren Holm’s Security Token Summit on Thursday.

NFTs are designed to be unique and non-fungible, so they are less likely to be securities, Peirce said. However, considering the creative approaches some issuers have been developing, people should be asking questions and being careful, she said.

When selling fractions of individual NFTs, or NFT baskets, “you better be careful that you’re not creating something that’s an investment product, that’s a security”, the so-called “Crypto Mom” said. “The definition of security can be pretty broad,” she said.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have soared in popularity recently and are selling for large sums of money. NFTs are data units, often digital content like a tweet, a meme, a piece of art, or music. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s first ever tweet, for example, sold for $2.9 million as an NFT and digital artist Beeple sold a work for almost $70 million, a record high for digital art.

Peirce said the Howey test, which is used to determine whether or not an asset is a security, does not work well for digital assets, as its basic logic does not apply in the same way as it does to physical assets.

Peirce stated the SEC is considering how, and whether, to refine her proposed safe-harbor policy and a revised plan would likely be presented soon. She said she hopes to collaborate with incoming SEC chairman Gary Gensler on this topic and is engaging with the approaches followed by other countries and regulators to help devise a potential regulatory framework.

Peirce’s safe-harbor policy would allow issuers of crypto assets and funds to claim exemption from SEC regulations for three years to protect them from token distribution being classed as securitization immediately. Digital asset investors and creators have shared concerns that SEC regulation would prevent them from being able to set up a broad, decentralized financial system.

“I don’t know how it will all play out, and again, I have a lot to learn from what’s going on in Europe, also what’s happening in Asia, what’s happening in the Caribbean. You know, there are a lot of places that are taking much more forward-looking approaches than we and by ‘forward-looking’, I mean really trying to provide some clarity.”

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