Welcome back to 3 And Out! Last week, we wrote about the then-upcoming earnings call for DraftKings on Friday, Feb 18 and boy oh boy was that a doozy. For those that think the stock is a steal at these prices, there was an even bigger heist over at OpenSea via a phishing scam. All of this feeding into the volatility frenzy that followed Russia invading Ukraine last week. Our sincerest prayers go out to the Ukrainian people and we hope for a swift and peaceful resolution. Let’s jump in.
#1 NFT Marketplace OpenSea Confirms $1.7 Million Heist
In the wee hours on Saturday Feb 19, 2022, hackers running a phishing scam stole 254 NFT tokens with a value of nearly $1.7 million. All of the transactions appear to have valid signatures, as CEO Devin Finzer alludes to the scammers’ scheme of essentially sending a blank check to the victims and filling in the rest of the details unbeknownst to them. OpenSea, considered the market leader in NFTs thanks to blue chip names like Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks, recently received a $13 billion valuation. Details continue to be made to light but with security issues being a persistent thorn in the side of the crypto industry, this may be the first busted rivet in the hull of the SS NF-Titanic.
#2 Ukraine Requests Crypto Exchanges to Freeze Russian & Belarussian Accounts
Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov has issued a blanket request for all major cryptocurrency exchanges to block addresses of Russian and Belarussian users. While Ukraine is facing a dire situation, with Russian soldiers devastating large parts of the country and threatening to encircle Kyiv, several major exchanges have already responded in the negative to his request. Binance and Kraken have both said that they will not comply with the request, with Binance stating (via Retuers) that “crypto is meant to provide greater financial freedom for people across the globe. To unilaterally decide to ban people’s access to their crypto would fly in the face of the reason why crypto exists.” Kraken’s founder Jesse Powell took to Twitter to explain his company’s stance as well”
1/6 I understand the rationale for this request but, despite my deep respect for the Ukrainian people, @krakenfx cannot freeze the accounts of our Russian clients without a legal requirement to do so.
— Jesse Powell (@jespow) February 28, 2022
While freezing accounts on exchanges would prevent fiat conversions to cryptocurrency, the ability to transfer digital assets between wallets would largely be unimpacted by any such freezes. Major coins are up on the day (BTC +3.58%, ETH +0.30%, SOL +4.45%).
#3 MLB Lockout Drags On
As MLB players and owners continue to negotiate changes to the collective bargaining agreement (CBA), Major League Baseball will enter into it’s first major labor delay since the 1994 and 1995 seasons. Today, Feb 28, 2022, is the last day of the month for the players’ union to agree on a deal for the CBA and follows over 6 hours of negotiations on Sunday. From what we can tell, very little if any progress has been made, leading to some of spring training to be canceled. Additionally, all regular season games through March 7 will now be canceled because of the negotiating delays, meaning we’ll see a shortened MLB season no matter what. There are many, many issues to hammer out in the course of these negottionas but here’s a few major talking points:
- Draft lottery: Players have proposed a new lottery system designed to disincetivize tanking for the top spots. There has been several counter-propostals and counter-counter-proposals so the status of these changes seem murky but optimistic
- Revenue sharing: owners want nothing to do with sharing the clubs’ revenue but the plyers’ union has made several proposals to share those funds with players. There also have been proposals to address small vs large market teams and to incentive growth in revenue for small market teams based on proportional increases.
- Luxury tax: I’m no accountant, but there has been a lot of back and forth about making changes to tax thresholds and caps. Here’s a link if you want to read more
If you want more coverage on any of the above situations, make sure you follow us on Twitter @spreadoption_ where we’re always talking gambling, crypto, sports, and entertainment.