Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology firms continue to feature in the world of Formula 1, with a nonfungible token (NFT) making its mark on Red Bull Racing’s vehicles to close out the 2022 calendar.
Red Bull Racing dominated the F1 season, topping the constructors’ standings, while Max Verstappen closed out the drivers’ standings for a second consecutive season. With the curtain closing on 2022’s race schedule in Abu Dhabi on Nov. 20, the team’s cars will feature an NFT on their livery in what is being called a first in F1.
Red Bull Racing struck a deal with cryptocurrency exchange ByBit as a Principal Team Partner in February 2022, one of a handful of cryptocurrency firms sponsoring teams in Formula 1. The exchange’s logo will feature alongside Lei the Lightning Azuki, an NFT artwork and character from the anime-inspired Azuki collection.
The original Lei Azuki NFT is one of 10,000 NFTs from the collection. The #8494 is currently listed on OpenSea and is valued at around 9 Wrapped Ether (wETH), or $11,100 at the time of writing.
Red Bull Racing’s Lei the Lightning Azuki will be a limited edition version of #8494 and is set to be minted on the Tezos blockchain and available through ByBit’s NFT marketplace.
A statement from Red Bulls Racing’s team principal, Christian Horner, highlighted the ongoing exploration of Web3 use cases through the partnership in the sporting world
“In many ways, it’s been an eye opener for us to the vast opportunities Web3 has to offer. This unique project is the perfect combination of creativity, innovation, and passion which matches our ethos on the track.”
The sport of Formula 1 has been a big proponent of the cryptocurrency space. Crypto.com signed a major sponsorship deal in June 2021 as its official cryptocurrency and NFT partner. Fan token blockchain platform Chiliz has also partnered with a handful of F1 teams over the past two years.
McLaren became the first team to carry out a ‘livery takeover’ with their main sponsor OKX in 2022. Cointelegraph had an exclusive interview with Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo about the partnership at Token2049 in Singapore in October 2022.
Formula 1 also filed a number of trademark applications in October 2022 that suggest that the organization is looking to take full control of the intellectual property in the wider cryptocurrency space.
Former FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried and a number of celebrities who endorsed FTX have been named in a class-action lawsuit filed on Nov. 15 in Miami.
Implicated in the class-action lawsuit are celebrities, athletes and teams, including Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen, Steph Curry, the Golden State Warriors, Shaquille O’Neal, Udonis Haslem, Larry David and all other parties who either “controlled, promoted, assisted in, and actively participated in” FTX Trading LTD and West Realm Shires Services Inc.
According to the filed court documents, Edwin Garrison, the plaintiff, purchased and funded his account with a sufficient amount of crypto assets to earn interest on his holdings but “sustained damages” in the wake of FTX’s collapse.
The lawsuit alleged that FTX attempted to destroy incriminating emails, texts and evidence of its criminal activities. However, the recovered evidence suggests that “FTX’s fraudulent scheme was designed to take advantage of unsophisticated investors from across the country, who utilize mobile apps to make their investments.”
The lawsuit alleges that “American consumers collectively sustained over $11 billion dollars in damages.”
Since the collapse of FTX, many have called for the former CEO to face legal ramifications. As Cointelegraph reported, authorities in the United States have reportedly begun working with law enforcement in the Bahamas to potentially extradite SBF to the U.S. for questioning.
FTX is already under investigation in the Bahamas where its FTX Digital Markets arm, as well as many company executives — including SBF — are located. Financial authorities in Turkey have also launched an investigation into the exchange.
Following the collapse of FTX and the bank run on crypto exchanges in general, self-custody Trust Wallet is gaining momentum. In one week, the company launched the long-anticipated browser extension and collaborated with Binance, whose users can now transfer their funds directly to a Trust Wallet account.
On Nov. 14, Trust Wallet launched its browser extension, now available in Google Chrome and Opera browsers. The extension lets users store, send and receive crypto across all EVM chains and Solana. A network auto-detect function provides users with a seamless dApp experience without the need to manually add networks.
The extension also includes multi-wallet support, NFT support, fiat on-ramp providers, and non-EVM blockchain integrations, as well as hardware wallet support.
On Nov. 16, the world’s biggest crypto exchange, Binance, reported the launch of Binance Pay’s Trust Wallet integration. Now, Binance users won’t have to scan or input a wallet address, having their Trust Wallet among the direct withdrawal options. And it won’t cost anything above the blockchain gas fees. By press time, the function is supported solely on Trust Wallet App’s Android version, but Binance announces the iOS version “soon.”
Earlier, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao publicly endorsed Trust Wallet, stating that “self-custody is a fundamental human right.” The move comes as no surprise, given that Binance owns the U.S.-founded wallet provider since 2018.
By Nov. 15, Trust Wallet Token (TWT) has surged by nearly 150% in six days, bucking the downturn in the cryptocurrency market, whose net capitalization has crashed by almost $100 billion in the same period. Meanwhile, the token’s trading volume has soared from 279 million TWT to 593.25 TWT in the same period, showcasing the market’s conviction in its uptrend.
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