Mr. Frank Holmes reports
HIVE BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGIES ANNOUNCES STRATEGIC INVESTMENT IN NFT BUSINESS
Hive Blockchain Technologies Ltd. has agreed to make a $450,000 investment in Network Entertainment Inc., an award-winning media production company, as a means to gain exposure to Network's emerging non-fungible-token (NFT) business.
Trading as Network Media Group Inc., Network Entertainment has created, financed and produced dozens of feature documentaries, documentary series and related premium content that have garnered major awards, generated record ratings and achieved unparalleled media coverage around the world. Network's projects include the Academy Award-shortlisted documentary on Muhammad Ali, Facing Ali; The Age of A.I. series, in partnership with and starring Robert Downey Jr.; the Punk series, executive produced by Iggy Pop and John Varvatos; the feature documentary Johnny Cash: American Rebel; and Network's popular I Am slate of feature documentaries for Paramount, which has spotlighted some of the biggest names in entertainment, sports and activism from the 20th century among its 14 current titles, including Bruce Lee, Evel Knievel, Steve McQueen, Chris Farley, Heath Ledger, Patrick Swayze, Paul Walker, Richard Pryor and JFK Jr. Network's lineup of current productions includes the recently announced partnership with MRC Non-Fiction to produce a feature documentary on groundbreaking artist Sly Stone, which will be directed by four-time Grammy and Sundance Film Festival winner Ahmir (Questlove) Thompson, and executive produced by Oscar and Emmy award winner Common.
Capitalizing on Network's global reputation as creator and producer of premium content, and the company's relationship with talent and intellectual property holders, Network has recently announced that it intends to create and distribute NFTs, utilizing content and relationships built from its library of premium films and series, as well as from coming projects, valued global partnerships and third party intellectual property. In September, Network appointed blockchain and digital asset investment expert Tom Lombardi to the role of strategic adviser for NFT research and development.
NFTs generated a record $2.5-billion in first half of 2021
NFTs are crypto assets that represent ownership of a unique digital item such as an image, song, meme, tweet or video clip. Ownership is recorded on an open blockchain, often the ethereum network, allowing owners to buy and sell an NFT on a specialized marketplace in place of the property it represents.
Like cryptos in general, NFTs are a booming new market, having seen $2.5-billion in trading in the first half of 2021, up from just $13.7-million a year earlier. Many celebrities and content creators, including Snoop Dogg, Paris Hilton, Tony Hawk and Martha Stewart, have participated in the space. Coinbase, one of the world's largest crypto exchanges, recently announced plans to launch Coinbase NFT, a "peer-to-peer marketplace that will make minting, purchasing, showcasing and discovering NFTs easier than ever," according to the company's website. Within 24 hours of its Oct. 12 announcement, Coinbase NFT had acquired more than one million names to its wait-list.
Hive getting early exposure to the NFT craze
A crypto mining firm with facilities in Sweden, Iceland and Canada, Hive is keen to explore the NFT space, and it sees great potential in what Network Entertainment has planned for its intellectual property (IP). Toward that end, the company is investing $450,000 in Network, the equivalent of three million shares at 15 cents. Other investors in Network include U.S. Global Investors Inc. (Nasdaq: GROW), which owns unsecured convertible Hive debentures, as well as common share purchase warrants.
Hive executive chairman Frank Holmes endorses the Network Entertainment team, stating: "We're backing a strong team at Network Entertainment. I've known board member Tim Gamble for years, who's a true visionary, having co-founded and been a former [chief executive officer] of Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. (TSX Venture Exchange: TBRD). Network has a rich portfolio of intellectual property, and I'm excited to see how it can be monetized using NFTs. Most NFTs operate on the ethereum network, as does its native currency ether, which Hive mines, along with bitcoin, using only 100-per-cent-green renewable energy. As NFTs increase in demand, so too should the demand for ether. Hive is well positioned to benefit from the increased need for ether, making its investment in Network a potential win-win for both companies."
Hive's investment in Network Entertainment will mark the company's second equity investment of the year. The first was a share swap with Defi Technologies Inc., completed in April, 2021, in which Hive acquired 5 per cent of the company and Defi received approximately 1 per cent of Hive shares in return. Defi Technologies' chief strategy officer, Diana Biggs, was named to the Hive Blockchain Switzerland AG board of directors in October, joining recently appointed Hive Sweden president and board member Johanna Thornblad.
About Hive Blockchain Technologies Ltd.
Hive Blockchain went public in 2017 as the first cryptocurrency mining company with a green energy and ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) strategy.
Hive is a growth-oriented technology stock in the emergent blockchain industry. As a company whose shares trade on a major stock exchange, it is building a bridge between the digital currency and blockchain sector and traditional capital markets. Hive owns state-of-the-art, green-energy-powered data centre facilities in Canada, Sweden and Iceland, where it sources only green energy to mine on the cloud and hodl both ethereum and bitcoin. Since the beginning of 2021, Hive has held in secure storage the majority of its ETH and BTC coin mining rewards. Its shares provide investors with exposure to the operating margins of digital currency mining, as well as a portfolio of cryptocurrencies such as ETH and BTC. Because Hive also owns hard assets such as data centres and advanced multiuse servers, it believes its shares offer investors an attractive way to gain exposure to the cryptocurrency space. Hive traded over two billion shares in 2020.
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