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Crypto Whale Behind $69 Million NFT Sees 'Huge Risk' for Traders – BNN

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The cryptocurrency entrepreneur who spent more than US$69 million for a piece of digital art has a message for speculative buyers of non-fungible tokens: be prepared to lose your money.

Vignesh Sundaresan, also known by the online moniker MetaKovan, vaulted into the spotlight last month after paying a record-breaking sum for the NFT of Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days.” As Sundaresan tells it, his motivation wasn’t to make money but to support the artist and showcase the technology.

Anyone trying to profit from NFTs is “taking a huge risk,” he said in a video interview. “It’s even crazier than investing in crypto.”

The comments may raise eyebrows coming from someone who made his fortune in cryptocurrencies and has done more than perhaps anyone else to fuel the mania surrounding NFTs with big-ticket purchases of digital art. But it’s also hard to argue with Sundaresan’s warning: Average prices for NFTs tracked by Nonfungible.com tumbled almost 70 per cent from a peak in February through early April.

B.20, a token created by Sundaresan to enable “shared ownership of an open art project” that includes some of Beeple’s works, has dropped to about US$7 from US$23 since he won the Christie’s auction for Everydays on March 11. It was trading below 50 cents in January, according to CoinGecko.com.

The extraordinary boom and bust has fueled a debate over whether NFTs — essentially digital certificates of authenticity — will have a lasting impact on markets for art, collectibles and beyond, or turn into the latest example of an investment bubble that enriches a select few while saddling latecomers with losses.

Some skeptics have questioned whether Sundaresan’s Everydays purchase was partly an attempt to drive up the value of his existing NFT positions. He denies having profited from the transaction and said he hasn’t sold his personal holdings of B.20 tokens.

On the long-term outlook for NFTs, Sundaresan agrees with aspects of both the bull and the bear case. He describes the technology as an enduring innovation that will enable a “new patronage movement” for artists and other content creators, many of whom now rely on ad-supported revenue models via internet platforms like Instagram. But Sundaresan also said the fervor around many of the highest-priced NFTs will likely fade.

“I don’t think NFTs will hold the same kind of hype forever around high-value items,” he said. “The market will get divided. There will be very few high-value items and an infinite number of very low-valued items.”

He said the best way to participate is by purchasing NFTs from artists you want to support. “It’s not primarily an investment,” said Sundaresan, who grew up collecting stamps and WWE playing cards.

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When asked about the people he admires, Sundaresan pointed to retired Indian cricket star Sachin Tendulkar and Hal Finney, the Bitcoin pioneer who died of ALS in 2014: “The good part is he’s cryogenically frozen, so maybe someday he’ll be back.”

Sundaresan said he has never spoken with Justin Sun, the crypto entrepreneur he outbid at the last minute for Everydays. Still, the two share an affinity for Warren Buffett: Sun spent a record US$4.6 million at an annual charity auction in 2019 to have a meal with the famed investor, who has likened Bitcoin to “rat poison squared.”

“Even though he hates crypto, I love him,” Sundaresan said. Buffett looks “at money more from a third-person point of view,” he said. “Like he looks at it more as a game than actually being into the world of making money and showing off.”

As for his own fortune, Sundaresan said he’s not ready to talk about it yet.

“I’ve not disclosed my net worth,” he said. “I’ve been telling people most of my money is not in NFTs.”

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Canadian Business During the Pandemic

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In 2019 the world was hit by the covid 19 pandemic and ever since then people have been suffering in different ways. Usually, economies and businesses have changed the way they work and do business. Most of which are going towards online and automation.

The people most effected by this are the laymen that used to work hard labors to make money for there families. But other then them it has been hard for most business to make such switch. Those of whom got on the online/ e commerce band wagon quickly were out of trouble and into the safe zone but not everyone is mace for the high-speed online world and are thus suffering.

More than 200,000 Canadian businesses could close permanently during the COVID-19 crisis, throwing millions of people out of work as the resurgence of the virus worsens across much of the country, according to new research. You can only imagine how many families these businesses were feeding, not to mention the impact the economy and the GDP is going to bear.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said one in six, or about 181,000, Canadian small business owners are now seriously contemplating shutting down. The latest figures, based on a survey of its members done between Jan. 12 and 16, come on top of 58,000 businesses that became inactive in 2020.

An estimate by the CFIB last summer said one in seven or 158,000 businesses were at risk of going under as a result of the pandemic. Based on the organization’s updated forecast, more than 2.4 million people could be out of work. A staggering 20 per cent of private sector jobs.

Simon Gaudreault, CFIB’s senior director of national research, said it was an alarming increase in the number of businesses that are considering closing.

We are not headed in the right direction, and each week that passes without improvement on the business front pushes more owners to make that final decision,”

He said in a statement.

The more businesses that disappear, the more jobs we will lose, and the harder it will be for the economy to recover.

In total, one in five businesses are at risk of permanent closure by the end of the pandemic, the organization said.

The new sad research shows that this year has been horrible for the Canadian businesses.

 

The beginning of 2021 feels more like the fifth quarter of 2020 than a new year,” said Laura Jones, executive vice-president of the CFIB, in a statement.

She called on governments to help small businesses “replace subsidies with sales” by introducing safe pathways to reopen to businesses.

There’s a lot at stake now from jobs, to tax revenue to support for local soccer teams,”

Jones said.

Let’s make 2021 the year we help small business survive and then get back to thriving.”

The whole world has suffered a lot from the pandemic and the Canadian economy has been no stranger to it. We can only pray that the world gets rid of this pandemic quickly and everything become as it used to be. Although I think it is about time, we start setting new norms.

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Shopify shares edge up after falling on executive departures

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By Chavi Mehta

(Reuters) -Shopify Inc shares edged higher on Thursday, recovering partially from the previous day’s fall, with analysts saying the news of planned senior executive departures may have limited impact due to the company’s deep talent pool.

Chief Executive Officer Tobi Lutke said in a blog post on Wednesday the company’s chief talent officer, chief legal officer and chief technology officer will all leave their roles.

“We remain confident it (Shopify) can continue to execute at a high level, despite the departures,” Tom Forte, analyst at D.A. Davidson & Co said, pointing to the company’s “deep bench of talented executives.”

Shopify, which provides infrastructure for online stores, has seen its valuation soar in the past year as many businesses went virtual during the COVID-19 lockdowns, turning it into Canada‘s most valuable company.

Shopify declined to comment further on Lutke’s statement suggesting current company leaders would step in to fill the three roles. After chief product officer Craig Miller left in September, Lutke took on the role in addition to CEO.

The Ottawa-based company is Canada‘s biggest homegrown tech success story, founded in 2006 and supporting over 1 million businesses globally, according to the company.

Jonathan Kees, analyst at Summit Insights Group, called the timing of the departures “a little alarming” but said the specific roles make it less concerning, given that the executives leaving are “more back-office roles.”

Lutke said each one of them had their individual reasons to leave, without giving details.

“I am willing to give Tobi’s explanation the benefit of the doubt,” Kees added.

Toronto-listed shares of Shopify were up 3.5% at C$1526.41 on Thursday, giving it a market value of C$188 billion ($150 billion). It ended down 5.1% on Wednesday.

“While we would refer to the departure of three high-level executives as ‘significant,’ we would not refer to it as a ‘brain drain,'” Forte added.

($1 = 1.2541 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Dan Grebler)

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Almost half of Shopify’s top execs to depart company: CEO

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By Moira Warburton

(Reuters) – Three of e-commerce platform Shopify’s seven top executives will be leaving the company in the coming months, chief executive officer and founder of Canada‘s most valuable company Tobi Lutke said in a blog post on Wednesday.

The company’s chief talent officer, chief legal officer and chief technology officer will all transition out of their roles, Lutke said, adding that they have been “spectacular and deserve to take a bow.”

“Each one of them has their individual reasons but what was unanimous with all three was that this was the best for them and the best for Shopify,” he said.

The trio follow the departure of Craig Miller, chief product officer, in September. Lutke took on the role in addition to CEO.

Shopify, which provides infrastructure for online stores, has seen its valuation soar in the last year as many businesses went virtual during COVID-19 lockdowns. It has a market cap valuation of C$182.7 billion ($146 billion), above Canada‘s top lender Royal Bank of Canada.

It is Canada‘s biggest homegrown tech success story, founded in 2006 and supporting over 1 million businesses globally, according to the company.

“We have a phenomenally strong bench of leaders who will now step up into larger roles,” Lutke said, but did not name replacements.

Shopify said in February revenue growth would slow this year as vaccine rollouts encourage people to return to stores and warned it does not expect 2020’s near doubling of gross merchandise volume, an industry metric to measure transaction volumes, to repeat this year.

Chief talent officer, Brittany Forsyth, was the 22nd employee hired at Shopify and has been with the company for 11 years. She said on Twitter that post-Shopify she would be focusing on Backbone Angels, an all-female collective of angel investors she co-founded in March.

Shopify shares fell 5.1% while the benchmark Canadian share index ended marginally down.

($1 = 1.2515 Canadian dollars)

 

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

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