It’s time for the NFT industry and digital economy to grow up, said Randy Wasinger, announcing the merger of CryptoSlam and Forkast.News — a move meant to help tame a “Wild West” ecosystem “full of promise, glory and painful outcomes for many” via on-chain data analytics and journalism.
“[The NFT industry] shouldn’t lose its fearless edge. But rather, it should function like a maturing economy, giving newcomers (who wouldn’t set foot in the Wild West) the peace that this is somewhere they want to be,” said Wasinger, founder and CEO of CryptoSlam, in a LinkedIn post commenting on the merger news.
The deal was first announced Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Terms were not disclosed.
Overland Park-based CryptoSlam — one of Startland News’ Kansas City Startups to Watch in 2023 — is the leading aggregator of non-fungible token (NFT) data from a growing list of popular blockchains, including Ethereum, Ronin, Solana, Flow, Polygon, WAX and many others.
Its merger with Forkast.News is expected to create a first-of-its-kind Web3-focused data intelligence and media platform called Forkast Labs. The new company — focused on data transparency in the face of headlines about downward NFT trends — will be based in Delaware.
Click here to check out NFT, blockchain, and industry regulatory news from Forkast.News.
“Joining forces with Forkast.News is an exciting milestone,” said Wasinger. “CryptoSlam has established itself as the leader in multi-chain NFT data aggregation, and we now have the opportunity to parlay our infrastructure to serve an even wider audience. Just as Google organized the world’s information to make it useful for everyone, we at Forkast Labs are doing the same for the digital economy.”
Wasinger and Angie Lau, founder of Forkast.News and a former Bloomberg TV anchor, will serve as co-CEOs of Forkast Labs. Sarah Chang, co-founder of Forkast.News, will be COO of the combined entity.
Forkast Labs was established from a lack of standard methodology to determine the true value of digital assets, which are largely measured against crypto prices, creating sentiment-driven volatility, company officials said. By merging on-chain data intelligence and the media, Forkast Labs hopes to establish a new standard for measuring the true value of Web3 and the digital economy.
“This merger comes at a pivotal moment for the crypto industry,” said Lau. “The entire industry has been valued against volatile price movements, which has created a high degree of speculation. Trust in crypto has been eroded as a result, but we have the power to change that with this merger.”
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First launched in 2018 by Wasinger, lifelong baseball card collector, as a way to track the early Ethereum NFT collectible game MLB Champions, CryptoSlam has supported the NFT industry from its infancy by being the first to track and organize NFT data across multiple blockchains.
CryptoSlam has the investment backing of billionaire Mark Cuban, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, the co-founders of Rotten Tomatoes and regional venture capital firm KCRise Fund — as well as Animoca Brands, which also is an investor in Forkast.News.
Yat Siu, founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands, is said to have helped engineer the merger of the two Animoca portfolio companies.
“A media intelligence platform backed by industry-leading data analytics is what the blockchain industry needs right now,” said Siu. “CryptoSlam and Forkast.News have excellent track records in their own right, and as a combined entity can bring trust and transparency to the Web3 ecosystem.”
The new company will start by launching data indices, APIs, and business intelligence products to measure the digital economy based on real-time on-chain data, creating a universal methodology for the evaluation of blockchain projects for investors.
“I can’t wait to share what we’ve got coming up,” said Wasinger. “At CryptoSlam, we’ve literally got most (some day all) of Web3 indexed, increasingly organized and at our fingertips. With Forkast, we now have the independent, trusted storytellers to share our organized data with the world.”
Editor’s note: CryptoSlam is among 10 companies set to be recognized Jan. 24 at MADE MOBB During Startland News’ Kansas City Startups to Watch reception. Click here for tickets to the Jan. 24 afternoon showcase and networking event.
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