Liverpool FC have become the first Premier League club to launch virtual merchandise on the Meta Avatars Store.

Reds fans can now customise their own digital avatars in official club colours on Meta’s platforms, which include Facebook and Instagram.

The collection includes the current home and away kits as well as the club’s own-label lifestyle collection.

The digital apparel can be purchased in the Meta Avatars Store on Facebook and Instagram in the UK – where the Meta Avatars Store recently launched – Spain, Italy, USA, Canada, Mexico and Thailand.

“We’re incredibly excited to be the first Premier League club with our own Meta Avatars,” said Drew Crisp, SVP for digital at Liverpool FC. 

“This is another fantastic opportunity for our global fanbase to digitally engage with Liverpool Football Club and create their own individual club-coloured avatars.

“Having a digital connection to the club that our fans adore – whether they’re here, near or far – is so important and helps to bring our global family closer together when physical connections aren’t always possible.

“We have more than 70 million global supporters following our Facebook and Instagram channels, and we’re really looking forward to seeing many of those avatars change and don our iconic kit or lifestyle apparel.”

Sir Anthony Hopkins NFTs ‘break internet’ & OpenSea record

Sir Anthony Hopkins broke an OpenSea record when his Eternal NFT collection went on sale last week.

1,000 NFTs of the Welsh Oscar-winning actor were snapped up within just seven minutes, the fastest primary drop on OpenSea to date.

The Eternal collection is inspired by the wide array of characters that Hopkins played over the course of his film career and was launched on the marketplace.

The drop was delayed by around 45 minutes due to technical issues caused by “huge demand”, according to Orange Comet, which collaborated with Hopkins on the project.

Sir Anthony tweeted: “Looks like I have the capacity to crash the internet in one single leap. Thank you, everyone. I couldn’t have imagined this outcome.”

In Crypto: Nigel Farage likens Bitcoin ‘insurgency’ to his Brexit success

Orange Comet has Star Trek’s William Shatner on its board of advisors , while among its co-founders Grammy-award winning singer Gloria Estefan.

The NFTs – which have not been revealed yet – were minted for 0.25 ETH ($325) apiece. Holders have a chance to win personalised NFTs from Hopkins, an autographed art book, and a Zoom call with the man himself.

“We see massive growth happening in the NFT space in the United Kingdom,” said Dave Broome, CEO of Orange Comet. “The NFT space is positively booming.”

Trading volume for NFTs across all sectors has plunged about 90% since this time last year, according to data from The Block and CryptoSlam.

Cryptocurrency shorts

Avraham Eisenberg was behind the recent $114 million exploit of decentralised crypto exchange Mango Markets. The hacker returned $67m of the funds, with the Mango DAO set to vote on how to divvy up the funds next week. “I believe all of our actions were legal,” he tweeted.

Solana NFT platform Magic Eden is the latest to move to an optional royalty model – risking the ire of creators – while it is also waiving its 2% platform fee. “It’s very sad, it’s also very tragic. We did not want to be in this position, but the market has already spoken in regards to optional market royalties… it was effectively a race to the bottom,” said a spokesperson.

MetaStreet has raised $10m to launch PowerSweep, an NFT leverage trading platform. The round featured existing investors Dragonfly Capital, Nascent and Ethereal Ventures, as well as new investors Fintech Collective, DCG, TheLAO, Focus Labs, Mirana Ventures, Metaversal, Opensea Ventures, Ledgerprime, Meta4, and Flying Falcon.

Binance Pool, the crypto mining services arm of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, is offering a $500m loan to support Bitcoin miners amid the crypto bear market.

Digital receipts startup with 1m+ customers closes down

Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the more than 21,300 coins is at $923 billion at the time of writing (7am UK), down from $942bn on Friday morning.

For round-ups of recent cryptocurrency news developments, click here.

For valuations of the top 100 coins by market cap in US dollars, plus 24-hour price change, see below.