Metakovan metapurse 69m nfttarmybloomberg

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metakovan metapurse 69m nfttarmybloomberg

Winkelmann’s popularity online and his prolific output surely contributed to the sky-high price, but a key driver was also the growing hype around NFTs.

MetaKovan previously spent more than $2.2 million to acquire 20 single-edition Beeple works in December. Though the works were purchased under an assortment of names, there was apparently just this single entity behind the acquisitions. The organization, MetaPurse, describes itself as a “crypto-exclusive” fund. Its first project involved building those 20 original Beeple works into a digital museum, then effectively selling shares of that museum as digital tokens so that a multitude of buyers can have a stake in these works.

NFTs are digital files that live on a blockchain and validate ownership of a related good — in this case, the collage.


GIFs, songs, or items in video games. An NFT can either be one of a kind, like a real-life painting, or one copy of many, like trading cards, but the blockchain keeps track of who has ownership of the file.

NFTs have been making headlines lately, some selling for millions of dollars, with high-profile memes like Nyan Cat and the “deal with it” sunglasses being put up for auction. There’s also a lot of discussion about the massive electricity use and environmental impacts of NFTs. If you (understandably) still have questions, you can read through our NFT FAQ.

The $69 million NFT represented a collage containing 5,000 mostly digital illustrations from Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple, that were created for his Everydays series, in which he creates a new artwork every day.


Reuters couldn’t determine why.

Sundaresan moved on to a new project. He agreed with three other crypto enthusiasts that same year to establish a start-up, BitAccess, that would make “Bitcoin ATMs.” These would enable users to deposit physical cash and receive crypto. To keep costs low, the founders took a modest wage. Sundaresan drove a clapped-out Nissan Sentra that kept breaking down.

“You’d think he was a starving student,” said Ryan Wallace, a BitAccess co-founder.

Their first customer was a local entrepreneur in Toronto named Anthony Di Iorio.
Speaking to Reuters, Di Iorio recalled telling the BitAccess partners about a blockchain network called Ethereum he was co-founding. The partners decided to contribute to a capital-raising tool called an “initial coin offering” for Ethereum.


The police said they had not received any reports regarding Sundaresan or Lendroid.

The lure of digital art

Now splitting his time between Chennai and Singapore, Sundaresan went on a virtual spending spree in the emerging NFT market. In 2019, he paid $112,000 for a digital representation of a diamond-encrusted Formula One car from an online racing game, the most expensive NFT that year. He snapped up hundreds of acres of digital land in online worlds to build a virtual property empire.

In early 2020, Sundaresan assumed a new online identity: MetaKovan.
He would later describe this alter ego as an “exosuit” created for the task of “building the metaverse.” MetaKovan was only unmasked as Sundaresan after the Christie’s auction in March, by U.S.


It’s not about the money,” he said, wearing a jacket with “$CARTEL” emblazoned on its lapel.

The winning bid for Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” was paid with 42,329 ether through the crypto exchange Gemini. A few days later, U.S. journalist Castor revealed MetaKovan’s true identity. Crypto influencers celebrated Sundaresan as a “crypto billionaire.” And in a statement issued by Christie’s, Sundaresan called the artwork his portfolio’s “crown jewel.”

For six months, Sundaresan held the work quietly in his crypto wallet.
Then in early September, Metapurse unveiled the work’s “first physical event.” Fans were invited to view the Beeple piece on a giant screen at a Nov. 4 exhibition in New York. “NFTs come alive,” the announcement said.

Notably, Beeple has stood out by creating one insane piece of cryptoart every single day for the last 13+ years, having never missed a single day.

Before entering the NFT space, he worked with top companies and artists, such as Louis Vuitton, SpaceX, Apple, Justin Beiber, Katy Perry, Marshmello, and more. Many have recognized him as building a bridge between the mainstream art world and the burgeoning cryptoart realm.

In the recent Beeple Everydays: The 2020 Collection auction, Beeple sold roughly $3.5 million (in primary sales) worth of art: an unprecedented number that trumped the previous NFT art drop records that stood at less than $1 million.

This record-breaking moment signifies a pivotal point in the entire NFT ecosystem being recognized as exceptionally high-value and on par with, if not exceeding, the traditional art space.

This was up more than eightfold from the previous quarter.

On the biggest NFT marketplace, OpenSea, there were $2.6 billion of sales in October this year, a massive increase from the $4.8 million in October 2020.

WHY HAVE NFTS SURGED?

Some attribute the frenzy to lockdowns forcing people to spend more time at home on the internet.

NFTs are seen as a way to have possessions in online and virtual environments, which can communicate social status and personal taste – for some people, it is the digital equivalent of buying an expensive pair of sneakers.

For others, the lure lies in rapidly rising prices and the prospect of big returns.

Sundaresan told Reuters difficulties in getting Singapore work permits for staff were partly to blame.

“Crypto is like walking in a street in Somalia with cash in your pockets”

Vignesh Sundaresan

A Reuters review of Lendroid’s corporate records in Singapore, its software on code-hosting platform GitHub, and its blockchain data shows that development largely halted after 2019. Most of the ether from the ICO was sold or transferred by Lendroid to unspecified entities, the review found. By the end of 2019, Lendroid had just $85,431 in crypto left on its books, equivalent to just over 650 ether at the time.

Sundaresan told Reuters that Lendroid sold the ether on various cryptocurrency exchanges at the end of 2018 to pay for expenses and kept cash proceeds of $5 million.
He said Lendroid is a “serious company” whose “mission still stays.

  • Has been into crypto since early 2013, most of his early returns came from Ethereum.
  • Co-founded BitAccess, a Y-Combinator-backed project (S14), and took over as its CTO to program and install Bitcoin ATMs
  • Within a year, they installed 100 ATMs in 18 countries.
  • As of today, there are over 1605 Bitcoin ATMs deployed by BitAccess all over the globe
  • How Metakovan accrued capital

    • In 2017 MetaKovan used his Ethereum gains to start buying up “Virtual Land,” then started adding NFTs.
    • MetaKovan prefers to invest in tokens, rather than the underlying company (for example he would rather invest in Flow tokens than Dapper Labs).
    • He lives in Singapore which doesn’t have capital gains tax, allowing him to compound his investments.

    Over deviled eggs and croque monsieur, he told them about his idea for Lendroid, a platform he said would “reimagine trading.” It was an early version of the so-called DeFi, or decentralized finance, products now surging in popularity. Traditionally, borrowers have looked to banks or brokers. By contrast, Lendroid envisioned a “lending pool” of deposited crypto that would facilitate peer-to-peer loans, by allowing users to lend and borrow crypto funds directly, without an intermediary.

    With Sundaresan was Paul Martens, a San Francisco-based digital strategist he hired partly to drum up investor support. Sundaresan told the two dozen attendees that Lendroid hoped to raise about $3 million in an ICO.

    Top Takeaways

    • MetaKovan is a crypto investor, who now operates Metapurse, a fund dedicated to collecting & promoting crypto art.
    • He bought Beeple’s “Everydays” for $69M because he believed it captured this moment in the evolution of NFTs and will be known as one of the most important early NFT works.
    • Metakovan currently doesn’t hold Bitcoin because his appetite for risk is higher. He wants to be in assets he thinks can 10x (Polkadot and Flow).
    • “Crypto is like walking down a street in Somalia with cash in your pockets.” It’s easy to lose your money.
    • “If America is an idea, crypto is the new America.

    Cost of admission: up to $2,500 a person.

    What are NFTs?

    By ELIZABETH HOWCROFT

    Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a type of digital asset, have exploded in popularity this year, with NFT artworks selling for millions of dollars.

    The trend is perplexing those who might wonder why so much money is being spent on items that only exist in digital form and can be viewed by anyone for free. Supporters view NFTs as the next phase in art collection.

    WHAT IS AN NFT?

    An NFT is a digital asset that exists on a blockchain, a record of transactions kept on networked computers.

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