Stephanie Tower for The CoinGeek Pulse

The CoinGeek Pulse Episode 39: Celebrity investors eye next NFT, Tokenized releases API, and Japan takes first step to future with digital yen

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A list of celebrity tech investors is looking into the latest buzzword in the blockchain industry—non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Ashton Kutcher, Mark Cuban and Snoop Dog join the judging panel of the “NFTs The Pitch” to find the “most innovative ideas in NFTs.”

Kutcher’s venture capital fund Sound Ventures is offering at least $1 million plus support to the chosen NFT ideas or projects. Anyone from around the world can pitch their NFT project to a panel of eight judges before April 12. The pitches don’t necessarily have to be a fully-fledged product already on the market—they could be an idea. Interested applicants can simply enter the contest by applying on their website. Some 30 finalists will then qualify and join the private live pitch with the judges on April 21.

This is the perfect opportunity for developers looking and working into NFTs on the Bitcoin SV protocol. This alone will set a precedent that NFTs can live on chain unlike other NFTs on the market today that were created on other blockchain protocols. Winning participant/s are not required to accept the investment from Sound Ventures.

In other news, Tokenized has announced the release of Tokenized API, a smart contracting platform that aims to build a smart contract-based global financial system. Tokenized is a comprehensive platform-as-a-service (PasS), which features a set of tools that will make it easier for businesses, organizations and even individuals to integrate Bitcoin into their projects. Tokenized key features include API, a smart contracting engine, tokens, Ricardian Smart Contracts, Tokenized Protocol, Treasury and more.

The platform provides 24/7 B2B support for users, and is ready to support potential users with advice and guidance on how to integrate Bitcoin to suit their specific needs.

Tokenized CEO James Belding describes the platform’s features as “a serious competitor to cutting-edge Banking as a Service (BaaS) solutions” that would create completely new markets.

Meanwhile, more countries are now considering their own central bank backed digital currency (CBDC). In Japan, the central bank has begun its yearlong study of its own digital currency—the digital yen.

Bank of Japan Executive Director Shinichi Uchida said in a statement, “While there is no change in the Bank’s stance that it ‘currently has no plan to issue CBDC,’ we believe that initiating experiments at this stage is a necessary step.” 

The bank plans to run the proof of concept or PoC phase for a year. If, after a year, the bank finds that the PoC phase was a success, it will move on to a pilot program.

In Europe, European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde said in a recent interview with Bloomberg that a digital euro could be as much as four years away from a rollout.

The bank will announce their decision by the middle of the year on whether to continue CBDC trials by mid-year, before holding another six months to one-year practical trial of the technology.

To learn more about central bank digital currencies and some of the design decisions that need to be considered when creating and launching it, read nChain’s CBDC playbook.

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