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Sneaky Vampire Syndicate Launches Non-Fungible Tokens Collection



Deanna Ritchie

The artist behind one of the biggest sales in this landmark year for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has done it again. Migwashere and partners made another seismic ripple in the NFTs universe on September 12, 2021, when they launched the Sneaky Vampire Syndicate (SVS).

Sneaky Vampire Syndicate Launches Non-Fungible Tokens Collection

SVS features a collection of Migwashere’s hand-drawn cartoons. These will be released and sold as NFTs. Each artwork is a generative portrait of a vampire with distinct features and appearances. SVS artwork is tokenized to the ERC-721 standard. SVS will allow public minting of its 8,888 NFTs over the next few weeks. The initial cost for each vampire is 0.08Ξ, approximately $313 USD.

However, the vision for SVS takes the NFTs idea a step further. Its formation follows on the heels of the sale of 107 NFTs from Bored Ape Yacht Club. That sale earned $24.4 million at an online auction at Sotheby’s in early September.

Migwashere is an artist with Bored Ape Yacht Club, too!

Migwashere was one of the artists behind Bored Ape Yacht Club. He started SVS with the ambition of duplicating its NFTs club concept. Each owner of a Syndicate NFT gets their own space in an exclusive online community. The launch of the new community will take place in the near future.

2D Survival Game Exclusives Coming Soon

SVS is also planning to launch a 2D survival game exclusively for owners of Syndicate-generated NFTs. The game is currently in development in the studios at Static City Games.

Thanks to the success of the launch, SVS announced it will be donating 45 ETH — approximately $150,000 — to three charities. NFT holders will help make the decision as to the recipient charities.

4,600 New NFT Holders

SVS started with a significant tailwind of support and buzz. This was due largely to Migwashere’s involvement with Bored Ape Yacht Club. After the project team revealed their partnership with Migwashere, the new Syndicate attracted 12,000 Discord pre-launch followers. Non-fungible token community support snowballed.

In the days before it officially started, SVS selected 400 of the new NFTs for a special pre-sale. The sale was targeted to users who interacted with SVS on Discord and Twitter. Users minted up to two of the vampire NFTs before the Syndicate drop.

Even distribution among the New NFT holder base

The weekend of the SVS launch saw 4,600 new NFT holders get on board with the project. Migwashere and his tech team achieved a distribution rate of 52% — an uncommonly high percentage. This was due to their efforts to distribute the vampire tokens as equally as possible among the new NFT holder base.

Buyers reserved their new NFT buys at launch. They had a four-hour time window to finish their acquisitions. The SVS believes this mechanism saved Ethereum users hundreds of dollars in transaction or “gas” fees.

Working to lead — using NFTs as profiles on social

SVS hopes their project will get a boost from wealthier owners using the NFTs as profile pictures on social media. They also hope that a hypothetical resale of the NFT at a higher price down the road will increase the value of all other vampire NFTs in the Syndicate.

Exclusive Online Game Access

The SVS ambitions extend even further into the world of gaming. Migwashere and his team say they want to develop more real-use cases for the blockchain-housed tokens.

A vampire-fighting game represents the first conduit for the SVS’s utilization ideas.

The vampire-fighting game is currently in development — and well sought after in the NFT space and gaming community. The as-yet-untitled browser-based game will be offered only to verified SVS non-fungible token holders who will use their tokens in the game. Players will use a variety of weapons and tactics to battle ill-mannered groups of zombies, werewolves, skeletons, and vampire hunters.

An in-game bite mechanic will allow players to abscond with lives from enemy characters at the price of their character being “rooted in place,” according to lead developer Woof. The game will feature infinitely increasing difficulty levels. A leaderboard will display the players that have survived the longest.

Future Steps on the Syndicate Roadmap

Hey NFT holders, just like dogs and mutant apes — you can now receive your free companion bat!

The SVS website reveals the release schedule for upcoming bonus items only available to non-fungible token holders. All vampires received a special giveaway item during the first week of the Syndicate. NFT holders will get a free companion bat. These are similar to the dogs and mutant apes distributed in the Bored Ape Yacht Club. The plan is to offer additional merchandise within the next few weeks.

The Lair represents the heart of the SVS project. The exclusive online club will let vampires interact with each other in the Syndicate Metaverse. The Syndicate has more milestones in the works.

A New Twist in the Steamrolling NFTs Business

The SVS offering reinforces the dynamics of the NFTs craze, which is starting to look more like a confirmed enterprise than a fad.

The idea for SVS emerged from conversations between Migwashere and friends shortly after the artist left the Bored Ape Yacht Club. The team looked to inject new life into the character-based NFTs sphere with a project that responded more meaningfully to pop culture.

The team also wanted to take the utilization aspect of NFTs to a new level. The first few weeks of the NFTs buying spree, they believed, simply reflected the tokens’ value as investments in “profile picture projects.”

The NFTs binge has proven to be one of the most disruptive forces in the art world in generations.

NFT collections have upended staid auction house and art gallery traditions with high-profile, high-value purchases regularly happening at venerable outlets like Sotheby’s and the Uffizi Gallery.

Finally realized — a new revenue stream for deserving artists

Perhaps more importantly, the popularity of NFTs has provided artists with an entirely new revenue stream that has eluded many of them in the 21st century. For Migwashere’s part, the SVS has endowed him with a new sense of freedom and ownership that he was looking for upon leaving Bored Ape Yacht Club.

The New Era for Digital Art — NFTs Collections

“NFTs hold some incredible potential with what they can bring to our future,” he said in an interview with Grit Daily. “It is evident and clear that this is just the beginning of a great era of digital art. We could not be more proud to be able to participate and engage in such a promising time.”

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Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.


Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending



Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play

London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs



Deanna Ritchie

As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations



Deanna Ritchie

As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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