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🗽 Here's what went down at NFT.NYC
+ Magic Eden fundraise | Shopify goes crypto | Yuga Lawsuit | Doodles 2 | GTA rumors | and more
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Hey everyone! Here’s what we got for you this week:
GTA 6 P2E rumors
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Thousands traveled up to the Big Apple last week for NFT.NYC. Despite the market, the vibes were still super positive and people were as exuberant as ever.
While there is too much to cover everything, here were the main themes:
The NFT.NYC conference
NFT.NYC has become less focused on the actual conference and more on a slew of side events, parties, and happy hours occurring concurrently around the city throughout the week.
We, like many, were in New York last weekend but did not attend the conference. Of those that did, many expressed disappointment.
Blue chips go all out
Basically, every blue-chip threw a massive party for its holders. Obviously, there was Ape Fest; a three-day extravaganza clad with A-list performers and celebrities.
Also, people are reselling just about everything from it.
The Doodles event was reminiscent of a big tech product launch. CEO Julian Holguin delivered what most likely was the first-ever NFT keynote. While all of these collections are using these large-scale events to amplify their brand, Doodles’ approach of appearing a little more polished was interesting. But they also still threw a party and an immersion as well.
Cool Cats put on a highly interactive gamified quest for merch called Cooltopia.
The Azuki Alley party was apparently one of the best parties of the entire week.
Goblintown threw a grungy party where they gave out cheeseburgers and Beeble wanted posters. They seemed to have benefitted the most with their floor growing 43% post-party.
There was still a lot of cringe + fake Snoop Dogg?
Magic Eden becomes the newest crypto unicorn
The Solana-based NFT exchange, Magic Eden, raised $130M at a $1.6B valuation. The company is only 9 months old and completely dominates the Solana NFT market.
Even after OpenSea launched support for Solana, Magic Eden still routinely does equivalent or better sales volume. They also have over double the number of active users and still crush everyone in daily transactions on Solana.
One of the company’s founders also shared an inspiring story of how he went from being broke and living on a sailboat to starting Magic Eden.
eBay acquires KnownOrigin
eBay has been looking to expand into NFTs for quite some time and the acquisition of KnownOrigin and their team will certainly accelerate those efforts. KnownOrigin has been around since 2018 but has flown a little under the radar focusing on 1/1 art from prominent artists instead of PFPS.
Shopify adds new crypto features
Shopify is implementing NFTs into its platform through a new initiative called Tokengated Experiences.
It will essentially give brands the ability to make a store that requires an NFT to enter. Projects like Cool Cats and Doodles are already using it to offer exclusive access to merch and events. It will also allow brands to mint custom NFTs to list and sell right from their stores.
This is really cool because it won’t just be siloed off to large projects like Doodles and Cool Cats. Soon this technology will be available to thousands of small businesses using Shopify, hopefully accelerating the industry’s adoption.
Not Boring’s Packy McCormick interviewed Shopify’s Alex Danco about some of their plans for tokengated commerce and it’s worth a read.
The state of the NFT and crypto gaming market through June 2022
The NFT market is down awfully bad since January. Daily trading volumes sit at $20M, off 98% from their peak of $1B.
Looks Rare’s share of the NFT exchange market has dropped to 20% - from 70% in January. There is also a big Looks token unlock slated for July.
ETH gaming weekly active users have dropped from 12k in November to 2k now. Decentraland and Sandbox still hold the lion’s share of users. Most games have watched their user base drop 30-40% in the last 6-10 months, except Sandbox which is only down around 3%. Gaming tokens are all down 60% at least.
More takeaways from the NFT market in 2022:
ETH and NFT floors have been tightly correlated
NFTs are momentum assets, meaning that floor prices are more likely to go up today if they went up yesterday but will go down most days
Floors of most airdrops have been down or flat
The idea that lower ETH is good for NFT floors has been a myth
Yuga Labs sues Ryder Ripps
Yuga alleged that Ryder Ripps has infringed on their unregistered word and design marks by essentially selling a knock-off Bored Ape collection. He created a “re-contextualized” version of BAYC called RR/BAYC by re-minting Apes and listing them on Foundation. The RR/BAYC collection looks identical to the original and racked up $3.5M in sales volume on OpenSea before it was removed from the platform following "a claim of intellectual property infringement."
So Yuga has enlisted the help of famed SF law firm Fenwick & West to bring Ryder Ripps to justice. The key allegation is that Ryder Ripps is using Yuga’s word and design marks to sell NFTs - which he is.
Brian L. Frye wrote a great thread further breaking down the case as well as Ryder Ripps’ possible defense.
“This is no mere monkey business”
- Yuga Labs actually wrote this in a legal document
More Yuga News
The company’s founders released a blog post rebuking claims that they are secretly Nazis.
Big Doodles announcements
Doodles took the stage at NFT.NYC to announce the project’s next phase:
Reddit co-founder (and Serena Williams’ husband 🎾) Alexis Ohanian’s VC firm Seven Six Ventures will lead Doodle’s first round of outside funding.
Music legend Pharrell Williams is joining as Doodle’s Chief Brand Officer and a board member. He is also the executive producer for Doodles Records: Volume 1.
Doodles are launching a second collection
The project’s second collection is aimed to scale and lower the barrier to entry for the Doodles ecosystem. The NYC announcement focused on the key differences between Doodles 2 and the Genesis collection.
Scarce —> Accessible
Thousands —> Millions
JPEG —> Audio/Visual
ETH —> Not ETH??
There will be millions of mass-market, identity-focused Doodles 2 NFTs able to be customized using wearables, animated characters, fully-licensed music, and more without gas fees.
The announcement also shed light on the Doodles Dooplicator. CEO Julian Holguin said that the Dooplicator will provide “perpetual utility” and that duplicating traits from the original collection [over to Doodles 2] is “not the only, but the first use case.”
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GTA 6 P2E
Many are speculating that GTA will implement a cryptocurrency ecosystem within GTA 6. Much of the speculation stems from an article published by Screen Rant that includes this quote:
Other popular rumors surrounding Grand Theft Auto 6 include the game featuring multiple playable characters (including the first playable female protagonist in the history of the GTA franchise), the introduction of a Bitcoin-like cryptocurrency system, and intercontinental travel across multiple time periods.
This is certainly big-if-true but at this time it’s just a rumor.
Cases for and against crypto gaming
Messari researcher Kel Eleje did a write-up examining the cases for and against crypto gaming.
Cases against crypto gaming
Real gamers hate crypto
GameFi economics are largely unsustainable
High risk of capital flight
Inflationary secondary tokens
Crypto games are projected to have a high failure rate vs. traditional games
Cases for crypto gaming
Crypto games have so far been one of the best drivers of growth for blockchain ecosystems
Many of the cases against crypto gaming can be removed or mitigated with an improvement to mechanism design
🎙 Zima Red Podcast
Charles & Zunk are the co-founders of the web3-powered, open, social game world Nifty Island.
In this episode we chat:
Their progress since the last time they were on the podcast 1 year ago
Why gaming is essential for virtual worlds
Remixing NFTs and other assets
Importance of User-generated content
What role does curation and building play in Nifty Island
Why giving users objectives is key for virtual world adoption