• Despite crypto’s tumble, these VCs are piling in…
  • Tom Brady’s NFT startup just became a unicorn…
  • Amazon’s grab-and-go tech is expanding to clothes shopping…

Dear Reader,

Last night, I gave my first-ever deep dive presentation on the booming non-fungible token (NFT) space… And what a night it was. Thank you to those who attended.

NFTs are producing some of the fastest gains in the history of the financial markets right now. And we’re getting a glimpse of the future. As I explained last night, this won’t just be a fad.

Instead, NFTs are becoming a key part of the blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem. That’s giving them the chance to make early investors millions.

And while I know it can be all too easy for the recent market volatility to distract us, I don’t want my readers to miss the opportunity before them. Just gaining exposure to a few NFT “coins” can allow you to profit as this trend takes off… even without buying any kind of digital art or collectible.

I gave away one name for free to viewers last night. So, if you weren’t able to tune in then, please go here now to catch the replay.

The NFT trend is only getting bigger from here. In fact, I’ve predicted that the NFT market will exceed $100 billion this year alone… and we’re going to make sure we’re ready for it.

The smart money is betting big on crypto…

Just last month, crypto-focused venture capital (VC) firm Paradigm raised $2.5 billion to invest in blockchain/crypto projects. That made it the largest crypto fund to date. It even topped Andreessen Horowitz’s $2.2 billion fund last June.

Well, it seems Andreessen isn’t one to be outdone.

The VC powerhouse just announced that it intends to raise a new $4.5 billion fund to focus on crypto. This comes on the back of news that Andreessen has already allocated almost all of the $2.2 billion from the previous fund raised less than a year ago.

What’s more, an Andreessen partner named Katie Haun has split with the firm to raise her own crypto fund. She expects to raise about $900 million.

Combined, that’s another $5.4 billion set to flow into crypto projects this year. Not only is this an incredible sum, but the timing is also notable.

The crypto markets have gone through a major correction since November. The drop has cut the total cryptocurrency market cap in half. It went from nearly $3 trillion on November 11, 2021, to just over $1.5 trillion at the start of this week.

Yet despite the vicious pullback in the crypto markets, the VCs are still raising billions of dollars to pour into the space. That’s a sign of things to come.

This kind of volatility is normal in the industry, and the rebounds tend to come quickly. Pullbacks have always been good buying opportunities.

Simply put, there’s no way the VCs could raise this kind of investment capital if they could not make a strong case for future growth in the industry. They see the same buying and investing opportunity that I do.

And they understand that when the next generation of the internet and financial services is being built in a compressed timeframe, there will be some fits and throws along the way.

To me, this is incredibly exciting. And it’s very bullish for the crypto markets this year.

Tom Brady is investing heavily in NFTs…

Tom Brady and the Buccaneers won’t appear in the Super Bowl this year, but the famed quarterback is still making headlines…

Brady is becoming a major player in the non-fungible token (NFT) arena. He co-founded an interesting NFT platform called Autograph, and the start-up just became a unicorn.

Autograph’s first VC funding round was in June of last year. It raised a respectable $35 million. That valued the company at $735 million.

And just last week, Autograph completed its Series B round, raising $170 million. The post-money valuation was not disclosed, but it’s likely well over $1 billion. This means Autograph went from zero to unicorn status in about seven months.

As for the platform itself, Autograph helps famous athletes and entertainers develop their own NFT brands. The firm specializes in designing, minting, selling, and distributing NFTs on behalf of its clients. We can see an example of an NFT based on Tom Brady below.

A Tom Brady NFT

Source: Autograph

And this isn’t just about digital trading cards. What’s so unique about NFTs are the other attributes they can feature.

For example, famous athletes could pair a signed jersey with certain NFTs. Whoever buys those NFTs would receive the physical jersey in the mail as well.

In just the same way, musicians could pair concert tickets with a certain class of NFT. Buy the NFT and you get to go to the next concert as well.

And these are just two obvious examples. We can attach virtually any perk to NFTs. Private parties, meet and greets, Zoom calls, memorabilia – you name it.

That’s what makes Autograph so interesting. The firm is setting itself up to be something very similar to an agent for athletes and celebrities. It will help famous clients leverage their brands.

So this is an exciting company that we’ll keep a close eye on this year. And bigger picture, this is one more sign that it’s still very early days for NFTs. Mainstream adoption is ahead.

And like I mentioned at the top of today’s Bleeding Edge, that’s why I hosted my first-ever NFT event yesterday evening. At The NFT Moment, we talked about why so much investment capital is pouring into this space.

There are some powerful forces behind the NFT movement. And that means that there are major investment implications for savvy tech investors. That’s why the time to build our stake is now.

So I highly encourage those who missed the live event to check out our replay. You can find it
right here.

Amazon is launching a brick-and-mortar clothing store…

Amazon just announced that it will open its first retail clothing store, Amazon Style, in Glendale, CA, later this year. This is certainly an interesting development. And it has major unseen investment implications…

I don’t think this is widely known, but Amazon is now the largest clothing retailer in the United States. It surpassed Walmart for the No. 1 spot last year.

So Amazon is using that success to test out a brick-and-mortar clothing store. This makes perfect sense, as many of us still prefer to try on clothes before purchasing them.

Inside Amazon Style

Source: Amazon

And as we have come to expect, Amazon is employing a unique model with its first clothing store. It will feature Amazon’s palm-scanning technology, as well as a few unique tweaks to the shopping experience.

Here’s how it works…

Consumers will scan their palms to enter this store. This will link them to their Amazon account.

From there, consumers will find touchscreens posted throughout the store. When they see a piece of clothing they would like to try on, they scan the QR code to display more details. They can also choose to have the item sent to a fitting room for them to try on.

Remember, consumers are already linked to their Amazon account. So when they scan an item, Amazon’s artificial intelligence (AI) goes to work. It already knows their buying preferences and what clothes they have bought online or in-store in the past.

This means the AI already knows their size, style, and color preferences as well. It will even have the ability to predict which items a consumer might need given what they have purchased in the past.

Using this knowledge, the AI considers the items the shopper is interested in and recommends complementary items that would match. Then staff back in the inventory room pick these items out in the proper size and deliver them to the fitting room.

At that point, consumers are free to try everything on and take what they like. To pay, they simply scan their palm once again and walk out of the store. It’s very much a grab-and-go model for retail clothing.

Of course, this is a brand-new model for the retail industry. We don’t know how consumers will respond to it yet. That’s why Amazon is testing it out with just one store to start.

If it works, Amazon will certainly expand. That might mean rolling out its own chain of retail stores. I doubt that’s the move, however. Amazon is much more likely to apply its Whole Foods strategy to retail.

Instead of acquiring storefronts and launching its own stores, Amazon would likely acquire an existing retail chain. That would give Amazon a large footprint right from the start. Then it could deploy this grab-and-go retail model at the existing stores, just like it’s doing with Whole Foods.

And this is where the unseen investment implications come into the picture.

Any retail acquisition Amazon makes would have to be relatively large. So, the top potential buyout targets in the retail space could make great short- to mid-term investments – especially given the market pullback we have seen so far this year.

This is something I’ve asked my team to look into. If we can identify the most likely acquisition candidates, they may become new recommendations in my premium research service The Near Future Report.

Stay tuned for that…


Jeff Brown
Editor, The Bleeding Edge

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