Are you a fan of NFTs, or you've just started your NFT journey? Then you need to stay up-to-date with the latest news from the industry. From new projects, events, ideas, and legal news, this article covers everything that happened last week.
Let's start below.
📈 Macro - State of NFTs;
🗞️ Last week's news - Binance, Jump.Trade, Ordinals, Stamps, CryptoPunks, a16z, Reddit, Solana Labs;
💰 Investments/Financing - Aptos, Razer, Hug;
📣 Projects news/Updates - LooksRare, Manifold, Truth Labs, Azuki, Pussy Riot, Cool Cats, MNTGE, Shiba Inu;
⚖️ Legal - Metaverse Lawyer writes about the European Commission & Metaverse;
⚒️Tools - Gabi writes about Immutable X;
🐈 Veefriends - by FreeFly issues a challenge;
⚙️ NFTility, by Mtk - Romanian Post;
📚 Dictionary - stamps, cc0;
💸 Sale of the week - $700k Azuki;
NFTs aren't what they used to be, there's not much volume, pictures of monkeys are not selling anymore, and people aren't interested. That seems to be the general vibe. At least at first glance. Still, "monkey" pictures are still selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars, more and more news with brands doing something in this area, and a lot of industry-related news. We tell you this because we write about them every week and the newsletter has become considerably thicker in recent months.
But what do the latest reports say?
Above is a picture from the NFT Tech report, released a week ago. In a nutshell?
- 315 brands launched a total of 526 Web3 projects in 2022 and Q1 of 2023
- 118 brands chose Ethereum, 79 Polygon and 90% of them chose EVM compatible Blockchains
- On the bench (we don't know if they'll ever get in) are other brands that have registered in total (2022 and Q1 2023 alone) 8625 trademarks for NFTs and 6685 for Metaverse. By comparison, in all of 2020, there were only 27 trademark applications registered for the ecosystem.
Another recent report from a16z shows that after a period of speculation and the subsequent handbrake being pulled, in recent months more frens appear to be buying NFTs.
In short, we are on the right track. And this leads us to a first stop at NFT Cluj on 12 May! The warm-up in Bucharest showed us a full hall. Time to see if it was by chance or not!
🗞️ News from last week
- Strămoși launched the Romania Pass platform. So far a soft launch with approx. 30 raffles and Direct Claims.
Basically, holders of Strămoși NFTs can participate in raffles for accommodation offered by Strămoși partners in exchange for the NFTs they hold. 1 NFT = 1 chance in the raffle. There are also some Direct Claims. If you are not a raffle winner, your NFT is returned to your wallet. The official launch is scheduled for this week! Keep your eyes open!
Binance and NBA basketball player Jimmy Butler have been sued for unauthorized promotion of cryptocurrencies and manipulation of the crypto market. Moskowitz Law Firm and Boies Schiller Flexner seek $1 billion in damages.
Jump.trade becomes the most popular NFT platform on the Polygon network, surpassing OpenSea and Decentraland.
The number of Ordinals registrations exceeds 1 million, and the trend of Bitcoin NFTs continues.
BUT...A new wave of NFTs called Bitcoin "Stamps" is taking the Bitcoin blockchain by storm, offering an alternative to the inscription technology used by Ordinals.
A rare CryptoPunk sold for a six-figure sum! NFT collector and trader 'Punks OTC' bought CryptoPunk #2202, the 19th rarest in the collection, for 190 ETH ($353,000).
The publication a16z has released the "State of Crypto 2023" report and introduced the new "State of Crypto" Index. Here is the link to the report.
Reddit has launched its third generation of avatars. They sold out quickly and with positive reviews, featuring work from over 100 artists, with a "future realities" theme. You can read more about it here.
Solana Labs has announced that the Saga crypto smartphone will be available for sale on May 8, with pre-ordered devices shipping as we speak. You can watch the launch event here.
A recent article brings up the subject of taxes (in the US) for NFTs, and this can be a challenge for those who have made a profit from selling them.
Shira Lazar and Deepak Chopra launch an NFT collection with a focus on mental health.
💰 Investments / Financing
- The Aptos Foundation has announced the launch of a $20M Artist Grant Program (AGP) to support artists and creators willing to bring their projects and passion to the Aptos blockchain.
Razer, a well-known company in the gaming industry, has launched a Web3 incubator together with zVentures. Here is the link to the announcement.
Hug, a New York-based social platform that connects digital art creators and NFTs with collectors, has raised $5M in seed funding. You can read more about it here.
📣 Projects news / Updates
LooksRare V2 is live. The update includes reduced protocol fees (by 75%), significant savings on gas fees (about 50%), and the ability to buy multiple NFTs and list them with a single transaction.
Manifold, an NFT platform, has announced the introduction of a new feature called Multiburn, which allows multiple NFTs to be burned to create a new unique token.
Truth Labs is updating its metadata and migrating its NFT contracts to ensure a 5% royalty rate and future protection. The update will include a message taunting creators and support fees.
Chiru Labs, creators of Azuki, have announced a collaboration with IPX, the IP platform behind the popular LINE FRIENDS characters. You can read more about it here.
Nadya Tolokonnikova, a member of Pussy Riot, has unveiled "Utopia": a feminist paradise in the Metaverse. She uses the IMVU platform to promote inclusion and create a safe virtual place for women.
Cool Cats and Futureverse have joined forces to create an advanced merger in the Metaverse. The goal of the partnership is to make Cool Cats NFTs a top entertainment brand in Web3. Here is the link to the announcement.
MNTGE, the digital apparel brand, will launch its first physical collection, Fruits & Veggies, on April 26, consisting of a limited collection of vintage jeans and graphic t-shirts.
Mason Rothschild, a Web3 artist, partners with Moonpay to encourage creativity. His art studio, Gasoline, will have access to Moonpay resources to support project developers.
According to the developers, the Shiba Inu metaverse will be partially open by the end of 2023, and users will be able to explore part of it and start #buidl.
Moonbirds announces a new reward token called $TALONS for holders who will receive it automatically every day through a process called "nesting". It's like getting credit card points for your Moonbirds account. You can use $TALONS tokens to bid for allowlist on future drops, products, IRL events or exclusive collaborations that others can't access within the PROOF ecosystem. At this time, only Moonbirds holders can join the beta version of the platform. Sounds pretty cool, right?
Remember when we told you about digital rights in the metaverse? When I was asking you if you think human rights are valid in the metaverse, or if they would be in the form they are intended for the real world? And I was also saying that a Charter of Fundamental Human Rights in Virtual Environments should be thought of because the current form certainly does not cover the situations that occur in the metaverse.
Well, it looks like the European Commission agrees with me, as it will develop a vision for emerging virtual worlds (e.g. for metaverses) based on respect for digital rights and EU law and values.
Title of the initiative: Virtual worlds (metaverses) - a vision for openness, safety and respect
The aim is to ensure that these virtual worlds are open, interoperable and innovative and that citizens can use them safely and with confidence. The initiative has its origins in contributions received from a European citizens' discussion group. It would describe this vision, address societal opportunities and challenges, and announce the implementation measures that would be needed.
The Commission also wants to hear your views, so you have the opportunity to comment between 05 April 2023 and 03 May 2023 (midnight, Belgian time). Your contribution will be taken into account when the initiative is further developed and refined and the comments received will be published on the website.
Thanks to ostănescu fren for the tip 🫂
⚒️ Tools: Immutable X
Immutable X is a Layer 2 Blockchain built on top of Ethereum, which aims to eliminate scalability limitations and high transaction costs. By using rollups technology, Immutable X can process a large number of transactions in a single transaction on the main Ethereum blockchain, leading to increased efficiency and reduced costs.
One of the biggest advantages of Immutable X is that it provides a real-time trading environment without fees and without the loss of security offered by blockchain, and developers can build scalable blockchain applications without compromising the security and integrity of their data. Immutable X can be particularly useful for the gaming industry, where speed and low transaction costs are crucial.
Immutable X has a developer and user-centric approach. This is reflected by the APIs and SDKs offered to its developers and partners, making building NFT applications much easier.
The Immutable X Marketplace gives users a place to trade NFTs on the IMX protocol, so users and developers always have at least one place to trade.
If you're interested in learning more about Immutable X, we invite you to read more about the protocol and the technology behind it!
A hot week ahead on Burn Island! The Cynical Cat thought to put out a CryptoPunk, specifically #9585! Let's show her that we humans can overcome our fears and negativity and change her mind! Eruption #5 is active until April 24, by which time you can enter the competition by posting a 20-second maximum video response convincing Cynical Cat! The condition of entry is to burn a Series 2 NFT. I'm coming up with a challenge for the Metaventis Community, let's show everyone how creative we are and answer it together in a unique way! The VF2 token is up for grabs if the initiative catches traction.
In October I wrote about VeeFriends' collaboration with Macy's. Owners of characters brought to life as a result of this collaboration are invited on 25 April to an online meet-up with Gary. The meetup will take place on the VeeFriends platform, and access is only allowed to owners of any of the 10 characters (Series 1 or 2). The Metaventis community will be present at the talk, through a few eligible members, we hope to come up with alpha from there.
⚙️ NFTility - Romanian Post
If you've been keeping an eye on the Romanian business & digital scene, you may have noticed that a new character has appeared on the landscape. One who attends events where he can talk passionately about Romanian Post's digitization plans and the possibility of turning it into one of the most profitable Romanian companies. It's the general manager Valentin Ștefan; the man who came to NFT Bucharest with this cool stuff that made a lot of people happy.
The company has already taken several steps towards digitization, and in August 2022 it issued the Poșta Română 160 years collection Unique collection of NFTs. _This was launched on the occasion of the 160th anniversary, and contains 160 tokens, the cost of one is €160 and can be purchased on the Oveit partner platform directly with a card or crypto. In addition, it comes with a certificate of authenticity and digital uniqueness.
The collection is entirely charitable, the entire amount received from direct sales and royalties will be donated to the HOSPICE Casa Speranței Foundation.
At the time of writing, only 103 NFTs have been sold. What if by the next newsletter, the collection is sold out with the help of It's NFTime readers? All it takes is 57 of us to mint.
That would mean another €9,120 for the cause, and in ETH, it would mean 0.077/unit. I'm sure each of us has at least one NFT that we paid more for, and that we keep in our digital waste chest.
Bonus: If you want to give a physical NFT to someone you love, you can do it simply for the price of a coffee. Try it here; I'm sure you'll love it.
I am sure we will hear more about the journey towards digitization of the Romanian Post in the coming years, and on its way, I hope we can join them at least with an ounce of admiration and not focus on the inefficient things of the past.
Until next time, I encourage you to look to the future.
- stamps- Secure Tradeable Art Maintained Securely. If last week we talked about Ordinals and Inscriptions, now it's stamps' turn. Users can use Stamps to embed image data on the Bitcoin blockchain. Since their creation in March, users have created over 10,000 new NFTs using Bitcoin Stamps. By comparison, Bitcoin Ordinals barely managed to jump 2,000 in its first month of existence. The concept launched on March 7, a month and a bit ago. A word appears in the DEX after 10 to 20 years of use. How can you not like Web3 when a word, a phrase, or a meme appears here almost every day?
- cc0- Creative Commons Zero. In short, we're talking about waiving all copyright and similar rights for the public domain. Meaning even if you own an NFT, you don't have IP on it. It's public and anyone can use it for free. Without even giving you credit. That means anyone can reproduce a cc0 NFT. Even non-owners can create commercial goods from cc0 NFTs without legal repercussions. You don't even need to mention the original creator.
💸 Sale of the week
We've had 2 consecutive weeks (even more) of Bored Apes or Punks. But so far we've never had 2 consecutive weeks of Azuki on 'sale of the week'. Today's is on fire! At 329 ETH (almost $700k), that’s big!