Autor Cointelegraph By Zhiyuan Sun

Cardano became the most developed crypto on Github in 2021 — Santiment

According to data compiled by CryptoRank and Santiment, Cardano (ADA) was the most developed crypto on Github in 2021, with over 140,000 events. Rounding out the top three were Kusama (KSM) and Polkadot (DOT) at second and third places, respectively, with roughly the same number of events over the year. Cardano beat Ethereum’s development activity by a wide margin, with the latter coming in fourth place. Santiment defines a Github event as either creating an issue, creating a pull request, commenting on an issue or pull request, and forking/starring/watching a code repository, among others. The Most Developed Cryptos on @Github in 2021 According to @Santimentfeed, @Cardano, has become the most developed project in the industry, followed by @Kusamanetwork, and @Polkadot. https://t.co/gjKPmOazyB pic.twitter.com/JHXmWSe0YS— CryptoRank Platform (@CryptoRank_io) January 3, 2022In a live Youtube session last week, Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson revealed that there are approximately 127 projects under development on the Cardano blockchain. In addition, Hoskinson expects the number of ADA users to grow ten-fold from the existing 2 million, thanks to the growing popularity of non-fungible tokens.Cardano’s technological advancement is also gaining traction post-Alonzo. One of the blockchain’s notable works in progress is the layer-two Hydra upgrade, which channels transactions off-chain to staking pools without partitioning the ledger itself. Theoretically, it could enable advanced linear scaling of the network with hundreds of “hydra nodes” each processing hundreds of transactions.Related: VCs don’t understand that Cardano has a community: Charles HoskinsonAnother notable mention is a novel fintech funding mechanism, known as the initial stake pool offering (ISPO), that’s unique to the Cardano blockchain. In this setup, blockchain enthusiasts delegate their cryptos in a protocol and receive tokens of the new project they fund as rewards. In contrast, the ADA staking rewards go to the developers. Funds do not leave the delegator’s wallet, making the process rather secure. One such project, Genius Yield, saw its ISPO pools surpass $118 million within 24 hours.

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From art to gaming: The biggest NFT trends of 2021

According to a recent report by Cointelegraph Research, the volume of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) sold this year could eclipse $18 billion. From artwork, music and in-game characters to videos and photographs, these minted certificates of ownership for digital assets on blockchains are well sought after by collectors, investors and philanthropists alike. They can also be freely traded across decentralized NFT platforms such as OpenSea. Without further ado, let’s look at the biggest trends developing in the NFTs space.1. Celebrity and contemporary NFTsOf course, at the number one place this year, as there was no shortage of NFT drops and collaborations in the entertainment industry. Highlights include Mila Kunis’ Stone Cats NFTs drops, which sold out in about 35 minutes and caused soaring gas prices on the Ethereum blockchain to process the transactions.In November, rapper and songwriter Snoop Dogg auctioned off a 3D collage consisting of 10 different portraits of himself at various stages in his professional career, with the winning bid amounting to 188 ETH (around $700,000). In mid-December, NBA star Kevin Durant announced a partnership between his firm Thirty Five Ventures and Coinbase to collaborate on NFT drops.Then, there was director Quentin Tarantino announcing the auction of seven uncut scenes from Pulp Fiction as NFTs built on the privacy-oriented Secret Network. However, Tarantino may have had too much of an appetite in joining the hype, as productions company Miramax filed a lawsuit against Tarantino over alleged copyright infringement stemming from his NFT sale. However, as directly rated by crypto enthusiasts, the most popular NFTs are those featuring “pixelated punks” created by artist Crypto Punks. The group currently holds the top sales volume on OpenSea.io with 750,300 Ether (ETH) worth of digital art (about $3 billion in today’s price) traded since its inception in 2017. Their success has also attracted partnerships and deals with top Hollywood agents.Two Hitmen. An Iconic Director. An Academy Award Winning Script. You.This is a rare opportunity to own a piece of film history. This #NFT offering can not easily replicated. pic.twitter.com/9RNu35NEVf— Tarantino NFTs (@TarantinoNFTs) December 1, 20212. Play-to-earn NFT gamesNFTs are not only meant to be displayed. One blockchain game, Axie Infinity, involves players dueling one another or nonplayable characters and completing daily quests with in-game creatures known as Axies. Each Axie is a unique NFT that can be bought and sold on the Ethereum blockchain. The minting of Axie NFTs is known as breeding in the game, with rarer Axies having better stats and subsequently costing far more. According to its official marketplace, the total volume of Axies bought and sold in the past 30 days amount to over 125,000 ETH, or around $500 million.In addition, players can purchase virtual land NFTs in the game. Such digital real estate represents locations where monsters and bosses spawn, in addition to hosting an abundance of resources. The most expensive Axie Infinity land ever sold took place last month for 550 ETH ($2.3 million at the time).✨A Genesis Land Plot just sold for 550 ETH!That’s over 2.3 M USD!Our player-owned Digital nation continues to shock the world pic.twitter.com/SVvAtFNYUF— Axie Infinity (@AxieInfinity) November 24, 2021

Another popular choice is NFT fantasy soccer game Sorare. Through Sorare, players can manage their own soccer teams via digital player NFT cards. According to its CEO, Nicholas Julia, over half a million players joined the platform organically without marketing efforts.3. Metaverse NFTsDevelopments in the Metaverse, a digital realm comprising a 3D augmented reality, have been gaining traction ever since Facebook rebranded itself as Meta back in October. NFTs play a pivotal role in the Metaverse to guarantee the uniqueness of virtual assets such as player avatars. Meta’s head of Metaverse products, Vishal Shah, said in an announcement that the new platform “will make it easier for people to sell limited education digital objects like NFTs, display them in their digital spaces and even resell them to the next person securely.”Right now, there is a massive 21-level skyscraper being built in the Metaverse by Bloktopia to pay homage to the maximum 21 million Bitcoin (BTC) that can ever be created. Notable consumer brands like Adidas and Nike are also entering the Metaverse, partnering with contributors to develop NFT artwork for their namesake brands. Above all, developers at virtual metaverse game Sandbox wish to defend the realm against the threat of monopoly from big tech.Bloktopia in-game screenshot. Source: Bloktopia 4. NFT philanthropyThere has been significant growth in the number of charities accepting crypto donations in 2021. One platform facilitating such transactions, the Giving Block, saw donations surge to over $100 million this year, compared with $4 million for all of 2020. The firm is partnering with NFT platforms so a portion of auction proceeds can go directly into crypto non-profits, with direct NFT donations being a possible future development route. In the United States, investors can deduct their charitable donations directly against their ordinary income, usually over a few years, resulting in a win-win situation for all.But, philanthropic ventures in the NFT realm go far beyond. Thus far, NFT auctions have helped raise enough funds to build a school in Uganda and support frontline healthcare workers. In 2022, an up-and-coming NFT auction will help raise awareness for contemporary artists with developmental disabilities. Meanwhile, the proceeds from another will go to a charity of choice by the former Italian royal family.Crypto Giving Tuesday Recap. Source: The Giving Block 5. NFT world art With traditional art, artists have to travel around the world to participate in exhibits and auctions to make their work known — a privilege only reserved to those with sufficient capital. But, with the rise of decentralized NFTs marketplaces, anyone around the world can mint, showcase and sell their art with little startup capital, thereby connecting cultures worldwide.Two notable mentions are the Melanated NFT Gallery and Mongol NFTs. Melanated NFT Gallery features contemporary African and Latinx artwork such as landscapes, photographs of jazz icon Miles Davis, DJ music, guitar audio, trading cards and other music. Meanwhile, the Mongol NFTs platform contains NFT images of pastoral nomadic steppes of the namesake country and its history, traditions and customs as told by Mongol artists. It has surpassed 100,000 registered users and 1.5 billion Mongolian Tugrik ($550,000) in sales.NFT Arts by Mongolian Artists. Source: Mongol NFT

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Here's how Polygon is challenging the limitations of Ethereum, as told by co-founder Sandeep Nailwal

Polygon (MATIC), a layer-two network designed for scaling and application infrastructure development on Ethereum (ETH), has been making the rounds among blockchain enthusiasts as of late. From its $1 billion investment into zero-knowledge technology to co-launching a $200 million Web 3.0 social media initiative up to integrating with Opera’s web browser to make its decentralized apps accessible to 80 million Android mobile users, the network’s momentum is going strong. But partnerships and business aside, the technological capacities of the network, especially when compared to Ethereum, are also attracting the attention of many blockchain developers. In an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal talked about the extent of the network’s adoption.Cointelegraph: What are the current gas prices and transaction speeds for Polygon? And how does that compare to Ethereum?Sandeep Nailwal (SN): From the Polygon Scan Explorer, you can see that the average block time is around 2.3 seconds. As for Ethereum, that is 15 seconds. And then the gas fees, you can see 0.001 MATIC tokens; this is a point fraction of a penny.CT: Have there been any notable nonfungible token (NFT) drops on the Polygon network recently?SN: None of them have become like CryptoPunks or anything, but I think Polygon’s biggest kind of support is from the gaming companies […] They all added to NFT. If you go to market, talk to any random 10 different gaming teams, they will tell you six to seven are building on Polygon.But the notable drops on NFT, the biggest, have been Dolce and Gabbana, the brand. They made a $7 million sale recently. There are other big luxury premium watch brands, and these guys are coming in. Apart from that […] Elon Musk minted an NFT. Jack Dorsey minted NFT of his first-ever tweet, and […] Mark Cuban — all those were on Polygon networks only.#NFT sales have seen astronomical growth since 2020.2020 total sales: $340 million2021 total sales: $9 billion (so far)Let’s see what happens in 2022, with NFTs in sports, gaming, and #metaverses now gaining traction. https://t.co/VDD8v2YwVo via @cointelegraph— Waz (@DaveWaslen) November 30, 2021CT: What are some popular decentralized apps built on the Polygon blockchain? And what does their total value locked (TVL) look like?SN: Polygon is now used by all the decentralized finance applications in Ethereum. The only one remaining was Uniswap. And the community signaled a week back that they are also launching on Polygon now. So as for the popular DApps, I would say Uniswap, Aave, Decentraland, etc. I think the TVL across the bridges is around $5 billion or $6 billion.CT: What is your objective for investing in zero-knowledge technology?SN: We had committed $1 billion for zero-knowledge technology, which we believe is the holy grail of blockchain scaling. And privacy is the second element — that’s one thing where everybody gets confused. So you use ZK to verify computations back on Ethereum without sending back the entire data. Instead, you simply provide proof that everything was correctly computed on layer two and put a […] succinct proof back to Ethereum.CT: In your opinion, would further Ethereum upgrades empower the network’s capacity to match that of layer-two solutions?SN: Even if 2.0 comes in here, that will not provide enough scalability. Next year, the proof-of-stake [PoS] upgrade will keep everything the same; like Ethereum has 13 transactions per second [TPS] right now, maybe it will go to 20 TPS [after PoS], but not more than that. So that does not add anything to scalability. And let’s say in three to five years, even if the sharding comes, we’ll have a projection of 64 shards. And with each acting at 20 transactions per second, but that’s still 1,280 transactions per second overall, right? That’s still not enough for the entire world.Related: Uniswap v3 contracts deployment on Polygon approved with 99.3% consensusCT: What does Polygon’s adoption currently look like?SN: There are 3,000 plus active development teams on it. This was posted by Alchemy some time back. It should actually be up to 5,000. The daily active users on Polygon have become 50% more than Ethereum, and with gaming NFTs, we are seeing so much happening on Polygon. 

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3 embroidery artists weave NFT charity drop to help victims of human trafficking

Three embroidery artists — Russia’s Katerina Marchenko, Brazil’s Aline Brant and Ninni Luhtasaari of Finland — announced Thursday that they will be auctioning their nonfungible token (NFT) art pieces to support Hope for the Future (HFTF), a registered charity based in Austria. Proceeds from the auction will help victims of human trafficking find entry-level work positions after their harrowing experiences.Katerina Marchenko embroidering. Source: Katerina MarchenkoThe NFT sale will take place on Orica between Dec. 27–30, with each piece having a floor price of $500. The auction’s goal is to raise $10,000 for the employment program. “Even when one offers survivors the possibility to get out, they are mostly very traumatized by their experiences, they have little knowledge of the local language, and they must first become integrated step-by-step into normal life,” said Hope For the Future founder Andrea Staudenherz, adding:”Incredibly, these renowned embroidery artists can now support our charity’s work via Orica at different sides of the world. These NFTs are giving us the hope that we could fund five days a week of training in 2022. Our current budget only stretches to four.”Marchenko, who has over 400,000 followers on Instagram, added: “I’d followed this year’s excitement about NFTs but needed a reason bigger than being in it for the money. When Orica told me about Hope for the Future’s campaign, it became that bigger reason for me. I’m excited to auction my artwork for such an important cause.””Obra 6.” Source: Aline Brant Related: Moon Landing initiative brings neurodiversity to NFTs and supports art nonprofitsThe intersection between philanthropic ventures and NFTs has been developing rapidly this year. In one example, Orica partnered with registered Austrian charity Bbanga Project and German digital artist Mellowmann to host an NFT drop, with proceeds going to the construction of a school in Uganda. In the United States, the Internal Revenue Service permits good Samaritans to write off their crypto or NFT proceed donations against their ordinary income, thereby saving ample tax dollars while simultaneously donating to good causes.”Hold me tight.” Source: Ninni Luhtasaari 

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Global search interest for 'NFT' surpasses 'crypto' for the first time ever

For the week ending on Christmas, global searches for the term “NFT,” which refers to nonfungible tokens, have surpassed “crypto,” according to Google Trends. The sharp increase in search traffic for NFTs offers a clear indication that digital collectibles have entered mainstream consciousness, with transactions on OpenSea, the most popular decentralized platform for NFT auctions and drops, surpassing $10 billion.”NFT” versus “crypto” search trends. Source: Google TrendsThe huge increase in the demand for NFTs is evident across nearly all aspects of society. First, consumer brands such as Nike and Adidas are making their own entry into the realm of metaverse NFTs. Then, celebrities such as Snoop Dog, Grimes, Steve Aoki, Mila Kunis and Melania Trump are promoting their own NFT collections to the public. Thirdly, NFT games such as Axie Infinity and Sorare make it possible for players to learn about crypto and NFTs, as well as earn a small amount of money as a side hustle while playing video games.Related: Biggest NFT drops and sales in 2021Moreover, the proceeds from NFT auctions could also go to nonprofits or charities, such as building a school for children in Uganda. Not only can crypto holders obtain fine pieces of art but in the United States, they can also deduct their donations against their ordinary income to save on taxes, resulting in a win-win for all. Lastly, NFTs make it possible for artists worldwide to broadcast their talents without the need for physical exhibits. One such example is Mongol NFT, which brings tales of nomadic horse riders and the history of the steppes to the blockchain.

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