John Cena calls his own NFT sales a ‘catastrophic failure’

World Wrestling Entertainment offered 500 gold tier packages with Cena’s NFT for $1,000, but only a fraction of them sold.

Professional wrestler and actor John Cena said fans only purchased 7.4% of his World Wrestling Entertainment, or WWE, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) that he made available last month.

Speaking at Florida Supercon 2021 on Sept. 12, Cena said it was a mistake to market his WWE NFTs as part of a package with physical collectibles — a hat, shirt, wristbands, belt, towel, autographed picture, and the digital collectible. The organization offered 500 gold tier packages with the NFT for $1,000, but only a fraction of them sold.

“I talk a lot about failure — this idea failed,” said Cena. “Myself and the folks in the WWE thought $1,000 was a fair price point. We were wrong. We were absolutely wrong.”

He added:

“We sold 37 of them. It was a catastrophic failure.”

Cena and WWE released two tiers of NFTs for the wrestling star: a 24-hour auction of a “John Cena Platinum NFT” and the 500 limited edition NFTs as part of the aforementioned package of physical collectibles the following day. The platinum NFT reportedly sold for $21,000, with the highest bidder receiving VIP tickets — with accommodations — to WrestleMania 38 in Dallas or WrestleMania 39 in Los Angeles.

The WWE veteran promoted the crypto space on social media long before the surge in popularity over NFTs. Before the 2017 Bitcoin (BTC) bull run — when the price was in the $4,000s — he tweeted a picture of the physical token. Retired professional wrestler The Undertaker, part of the WWE until 2020, has also been featured in NFT collections.

Related: YouTuber trades Tesla Roadster for NFT

It’s unclear if wrestling fans were deterred by the price of the NFT — Cena, himself, estimated the digital artwork to be worth roughly $500 — or just the physical collectibles. In July, an entrepreneur launched simultaneous auctions for a job application from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and an NFT of the same. The physical paper ended up selling for $343,000, while the final bid for the NFT was 12 Ether (ETH), or roughly $27,460 at the time.

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Avalanche (AVAX) just hit a new ATH, but what’s really behind the price surge?

AVAX price soared to a record high as heavy inflows enter the protocol through its cross-chain bridge and institutional investors pledge $230 million in funding for the rapidly expanding Avalanche ecosystem.

On Sept.16 Avalanche (AVAX) price hit a new all-time high at $68.89 and over the last few months the project has risen to challenge the Ethereum (ETH) network’s dominance among smart contract platforms. According to the project’s website, the layer-one protocol capable of surpassing 4,500 transactions per second (TPS) with a time to finality of less than 2 seconds.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that since hitting a low of $32.10 on Sept. 7, the price of AVAX has rallied 111% to establish a new all-time high on Sept. 16 as its 24-hour trading volume spiked 200% to $2.8 billion.

AVAX/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Three reasons for the surging price of AVAX include the recent completion of a $230 investment round by large capital funds, the continued migration of liquidity to the Avalanche network and new integrations and protocol upgrades that help improve the user experience.

Big funds back Avalanche

The jump in momentum seen in AVAX price on Sept. 16 came following the announcement that a handful of large funds including Polychain Capital, Three Arrows Capital and Dragonfly capital took part in a $230 million funding round for the project.

This marks the largest investment into the Avalanche ecosystem to date and indicates that larger institutional players are starting to take a keen interest in the Ethereum competitor.

The Avalanche network is cross-chain compatible with Ethereum meaning any tokens or projects that operate on Ethereum can fully migrate to the Avalanche ecosystem and take advantage of its higher throughput capabilities and lower transaction costs.

With no definitive date on when Eth2.0 will be fully operational or what its final capabilities will be, networks like Avalanche now have an opportunity to make the case for why they are a better choice, which could lead to an increase in their market share.

Liquidity migration and rising TVL

A second reason for the building strength seen in AVAX has been the continual migration of assets from networks like Ethereum to Avalanche to participate in its growing decentralized finance ecosystem.

Evidence of the asset migration can be found in the total value locked (TVL) data provided by Defi Llama, which shows that the TVL on Avalanche has been climbing rapidly since Aug. 19 and reached a new record high of $2.17 billion on Sept. 16.

Total value locked on Avalanche. Source: Defi Llama

The rise in TVL is largely due to the launch and growth of several successful decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols on Avalanche including Benqi (QI), Trader Joe (JOE) and Pangolin (PNG).

Related: Bull flag breakout pushes Avalanche toward $80 as AVAX price hits another record high

Partnerships and crypto-related integrations

A third factor that has helped boost the value of AVAX has been a series of partnership and integration announcements that have excited investors and put the spotlight on the project.

The Avalanche NFT ecosystem has seen an influx of interest thanks to a partnership with the sports card and memorabilia company Topps, which launched its “Inception” NFT digital collectibles series on the network.

There is also a vote underway in the Aave community, one of the top DeFi protocols in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, to see if investors want to see AAVE launch on the Avalanche network. A vote of approval could lead to a further increase in TVL on Avalanche as assets held in AAVE on Ethereum have the potential to be migrated to AAVE on Avalanche.

According to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, market conditions for AVAX have been favorable for some time.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. AVAX price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for AVAX spiked into the green and reached a high of 86 on Sept. 13, around 24 hours before the price increased 40% over the next two days.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Hedera Hashgraph rallies 150% in a week as its ecosystem expands

New partnerships, NFT integration and a market-wide surge in altcoin prices back HBAR’s recent 150% rally.

Real-world adoption and blockchain integration is the ultimate goal of any serious fintech protocol looking to offer workable solutions to some of the biggest challenges in finance and data transmission.

Hedera Hashgraph, a public network that uses a distributed ledger technology known as Hashgraph to increase scalability and lower transaction costs.

HBAR/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Two of the main reasons for the recent rise in HBAR include a growing list of ecosystem partners and the introduction of NFT minting capabilities to the network.

Hedera partnerships expand HBAR’s availability

The Hedera partnership program is an offshoot of the Hedera community that aims to roll more integrators, technology partners and enterprise applications to Hedera’s blockchain.

A scroll through the project’s Twitter feed shows that the partnership program lured new partners like the London School of Economics and Political Science and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras to the Hedera governing council.

Other recent partnership announcements include collaborations with Fobi, Dropp, and Filecoin, which has launched a $200,000 developer grant project in conjunction with Hedera designed to help advance Web3 interoperability.

Related: Indian university joins Hedera decentralized governance council

NFTs come to the Hedera network

The second source of excitement for the Hedera protocol has been the introduction of nonfungible token (NFT) minting capabilities on the network.

The NFT sector has been one of the hottest trends in 2021 and while the price action and trading activity for NFTs have declined significantly from their August highs, the sector is likely to expand in the near future.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for HBAR on Sept. 4, prior to the recent price rise.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. HBAR price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for HBAR climbed into the green zone on Sept. 4 and reached a high of 72 around 72 hours before its price increased 147% over the next seven days.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Record network activity and a second NFT boom send WAX price higher

WAXP price appears to be gaining strength after the NFT-focused project introduced staking, yield farming and partnerships with companies that offer pop culture collectibles.

Just a few days before Bitcoin (BTC) price plunged below $30,000, the NFT sector was dominating headlines for the second time in 2021, led by a month-long 972% surge in the price of Axie Infinity

Another NFT-focused protocol that has been gaining fundamental strength in recent months is Worldwide Asset eXchange, also known as WAX — a protocol that claims to “deliver the safest and most convenient way to create, buy, sell, and trade virtual items to anyone, anywhere in the world.”

WAX/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that between June 27 and July 9, the price of WAX’s WAXP token climbed 70% to a high of $0.151 before the Bitcoin-led sell-off pulled the price to its current value of $0.11.

Three reasons for the rally in WAXP include the growing list of well-known brands launching collectibles on the project’s blockchain, an active network with fast transaction times and its integration to decentralized finance via cross-chain compatibility with the Ethereum (ETH) network.

Popular brands launch NFT projects on WAX

Nostalgia can be a potent source for attracting an audience willing to engage with a product and WAX has managed to capitalize on this by partnering with somewell-known brands in the United States.

Current partners include Atari, Topps, William Shatner and Capcom and a scroll through the project’s Twitter feed shows recent campaigns for Street Fighter V Series 2 cards and special edition Bratz collectibles.

Popular collectibles like baseball cards and Garbage Pail Kids, along with more modern games like Alien Worlds (TLM) offer users a variety of options that help attract a wide audience to the WAX network and this has resulted in an increase in on-chain activity.

WAX boasts the highest activity of any network

A second sign of the growing strength of the WAX network can be found by looking at the 24-hour activity of the top-ranked blockchains, which WAX leads by a wide margin.

Top 6 most active blockchain networks. Source: Blocktivity

Data from Blocktivity shows that the 24-hour activity on WAX is now higher than 17 million operations and more than double that of Stellar (XLM), which is its closest competitor. WAX  more than six times the amount of activity on EOS, the creator of the EOSIO software which is utilized by the WAX network.

Yield opportunities arrive through DeFi and staking

The recent introduction of a cross-chain bridge to the Ethereum network allowed WAX to of yield farming and staking on the protocol, which has been enhanced through the introduction of a cross-chain bridge to the Ethereum network.

The WAX blockchain operates with a delegated proof-of-stake consensus model, meaning the simplest way that token holders can earn a yield on their holdings is by staking WAXP on the network to earn an annualized reward rate of 4.42% according to data from Staking Rewards.

Related: Altcoin Roundup: Data shows social metrics surge ahead of DeFi and NFT price rallies

Token holders can also convert their WAXP into WAXE, a version of the token that can operate on Ethereum and be used to participate in decentralized finance (DeFi) by providing liquidity on decentralized exchanges and yield farms.

Through offering opportunities related to NFTs and DeFi, two of the hottest sectors in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, the WAX network is well-positioned to continue to attract new users and maintain a high level of on-chain activity.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Pandora Finance’s $2.4M raise helps spearhead open finance protocol

“Adoption has never been affected and never been stopped. The right product always gets adopted irrespective of market conditions,” said Pushkar Vohra, CEO of Pandora Finance.

Pandora Finance, a decentralized platform for NFT-backed real-world assets, recently completed a multi-million dollar seed round backed by some of the biggest venture capital firms in the blockchain space. In an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, CEO Pushkar Vohra outlined his company’s vision — namely, how Pandora Finance aims to create a bridge between the illiquid world of real-world assets and the blockchain.

Vohra believes the gap between these two domains represents one of the biggest adoption challenges for decentralized technologies. “We are uniquely positioned to solve the biggest problem,” he said, adding:

“There are around $300 trillion of real-world assets which are illiquid. Pandora’s vision is to bridge those off-chain assets to the on-chain ecosystem with an effective business model.”

Pandora’s business model revolves around the tokenization of illiquid assets, which would allow them to be traded and owned in a secure, decentralized manner. This process is accomplished through a middleware solution based around nonfungible tokens, or NFTs. Instead of competing with other NFT marketplaces for liquidity, Pandora’s vision is to help those marketplaces grow by providing more liquidity.

Related: NFT market projected to double by October as trading volume surges

There’s still a lot of work to be done before traditional finance — and the trillions of dollars siloed there — can embrace decentralization’s promise of open finance. A lack of innovation and decades-old legacy systems may prevent traditional financial markets from making the transition.

Vohra touted his firm’s piNFT tool as a way to bring liquidity to real-world assets, something he considers to be essential for open finance to flourish:

“We at Pandora are working on fueling open finance adoption more and more with our latest innovation.”

He continued:

“There are many assets that our traditional financial institutions do not recognize. There is centralization around decisions when it comes to classifying the assets and trading them. Pandora will help end-users to expand the horizon of recognizing real-world assets and inducing liquidity in them via piNFT.”

Pandora’s $2.4 million seed raise, which was completed in May, had participation from at least 15 organizations and several other angel investors. Genesis Block, AU21 Capital, Spark Digital and Protocol Ventures were among the participants.

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