Game Over Before it Began
Creator League Folds. An Art Renaissance. And Football NFTs are Back.
👋🏽 Hello everyone, gm gm, WELCOME BACK to another edition of the Overpriced JPEGs newsletter, where we’re catching you up on web3, NFTs, and the greater world of emerging tech.
🏈 Pigskins and Pixels
That’s right, in case you’re living under a rock, the 104th season of the NFL kicks off today and this time around, project founders seem to have learned a few things. In this roundup, we’ll preview what some of the biggest football-themed projects have up their sleeves.
First off, Dapper Labs’ NFL All Day has finally introduced something fans have been begging for - Dynamic Moments. These extremely limited set of cards (30 legendary + 300 rare) evolve based on players’ actual performance, increasing value and rarity.
Mythical Labs’ mobile game NFL Rivals, which has already been downloaded 1M+ times, is taking a similar approach. The power rating on ‘Rookie’ cards will improve based on players achievements throughout the season, giving game players an extra mid-season advantage.
In non-US ‘football’ news, Sorare launched AR-equipped 3D collectible cards alongside a global scavenger hunt with a “once-in-a-lifetime” prize attached
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🎨 Art Reigns Supreme
Crypto’s still in its holding pattern and PFPs are definitely in a slump. But doesn’t it feel like digital art is having a mini-moment? I mean sure, prices are down from all-time highs, but there is still a lot to like in the depths of this bear. Just check out this terrific recap of digital art activity from earlier this week. Whew.
With everyone at Blockchain Korea and it being a *relatively* quiet week in NFTs, we thought we’d take the time to celebrate some recent art wins
Let’s kick it off with Refik Anadol, who’s having a helluva September. He’s bringing generative AI art to Sin City with the launch of ‘Machine Hallucinations: Sphere,’ the first art installation on Vegas’ futuristic-looking ‘Exosphere’ and his Winds of Yawanawa collection is on an absolute tear
Every 30 Days is a rotating ‘month-long exhibition of a single, culturally significant digital artwork’ curated by the team from Glitch gallery. Each piece is viewable IRL at the gallery in Marfa, TX, and simultaneously via livestream.
The team just released the 5th piece in the E30D collection, which has so far flown largely under the radar. That all changed with the latest drop, which not only honors Snowfro leading up to the Art Blocks Marfa event later this month, but also gives holders a 1/1000 chance at winning this bold squiggle.
Ripcache continues to push the envelope on digital and physical art with his latest release. Available via random draw, Security gives each of the 32 holders the option to physically deface their artwork to reveal a private key containing an accompanying NFT
Artist collective HUG just announced a collab with Cozomo de’ Medici to display art at Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing and they’re also partnering with the United Nations to curate an exhibit in Switzerland featuring artwork and stories about migration
In partnership with Transient Labs, holders of Snoop Dogg’s Passport were airdropped free pieces from Coldie, Alien Queen, and Terrell Jones. Not a bad haul, especially considering the passports minted at .025E.
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🕹 A Beastly Blunder
NFTs got what should have been the biggest and best endorsement possible when Mr. Beast himself promoted Creator League to his 181 million YouTube subscribers
Billed as an interactive gaming competition featuring several heavy-hitting content creators, the league’s Community Passes offered gamers the chance to compete on a creator team, participate in decisions, attend AMAs, and enter giveaways - all for $20. Plus, Mr. Beast was throwing in a box of feastables. The path toward mass adoption couldn’t have been any clearer.
Except, it turns out, the folks behind Creator League (who we now know is eFuse), didn’t do their homework and actually enlisted at least one - but likely a few - gamers who are not only opposed to NFTs, but have actually dedicated entire YouTube vids to expressing their deep and palpable vitriol
So yeah - as to be expected when you blindside someone who hates NFTs with news that they’d be actively involved in a program with NFTs - creators took issue and CDawg (pictured above) backed out of the league and others lined up to follow suit
Although ironically, Brinkman pointed out,CDawg plays Apex, which has ‘digital collectible’ loot boxes … so it does kinda feel like selective disdain
Bigtime gamer Brycent ( a staunch advocate for NFTs who actually did the voiceover for the Creator League promo vid), defended the tech, likening use of the blockchain to a modernized AWS or Google Cloud
A big missed opportunity for a potential W here … Or maybe Gabe Leydon’s right and gamers may never come around to NFTs
London Stock Exchange reveals plans to launch a new blockchain-powered digital markets business for trading traditional financial assets
Former SEC chair Jay Clayton says the eventual approval of a spot BTC ETF is inevitable
Australia’s senate rejected a crypto regulation bill that would provide a framework for digital asset oversight, citing lack of detail and potential conflicts with the government’s existing approach
China’s central bank is requiring that its CBDC (digital uan) be available in all retail payment scenarios; begins by standardizing QR codes for payment systems
Stake, a popular crypto gambling platform backed by Drake, was hacked to the tune of $40M; team downplayed the attack and says user funds are ‘safe’
Vitalik sells his remaining stake of tokens on Ethereum-based MakerDAO after the project’s CEO proposed a native blockchain for Maker based on Solana’s codebase
🌐 web3 + NFTs
Deadfellaz announced details for an upcoming trading card game code-named RIP TCG; Alpha testing is scheduled for 2024 and Beta goes live in 2025
Story Protocol, offering ‘IP infrastructure for the internet era,’ launches with $54M in funding led by a16z
Club CPG’s Fall 2023 Accelerator kicks off on Sept. 14; participants will meet with top brands and experts to explore how AI + web3 are transforming consumer products
Congrats to the DeGods holder who won themselves a Tesla in Points Parlor (although we don’t wanna think about the tax implications of winning a car from staking an NFT 🥴)
Akutars partners with Pixel Zoo Animation to expand the Akuverse
Friend Tech goes after the normies, enables credit card sign ups on its platform
Chinese crypto game MetaCene sees positive reception after successful demo
The founders of Gala Games are in a legal battle over theft of company assets; future of the company is up in the air
Hollywood magazine Variety makes the case that NFTs are an intriguing solution allowing creators greater autonomy and earnings over the content they create
Yuga Labs kicked off a 13-week puzzle for its TwelveFold Ordinals ecosystem with BTC rewards
📈 Brands + Biz
Casio is launching 15,000 free NFTs on Polygon for its popular G-SHOCK watch collection
Another Block is selling 2,000 NFTs giving holders a percentage of royalties for Justin Bieber’s hit ‘Company'. Buyers beware: The math doesn’t really math if you’re in it for the $$ and AB’s Rihanna NFTs were halted from trading on OpenSea earlier this year.
Another big loan was made backed by physical goods, this time $1.1M was lent out using 1k+ lbs of Supreme T-shirts as collateral
Visa expands its stablecoin settlement capabilities utilizing Solana blockchain; adds pilot programs with Worldpay and Nuvei
Luxury houses like Louis Vuitton are using blockchain tech to authenticate and track luxury goods
Elon says video and audio calls are coming to X, with no phone number required, making it ‘the effective global address book’
Mercedez-Benz NXT saw its first minor hiccup, experiencing some technical difficulties during its Icons Dutch auction
🤖 AI + Metaverse
From check-in kiosks to bartending, AI and robots are quickly displacing workers in Vegas
ARK’s Cathie Wood says the convergence of Bitcoin and AI could cause ‘a collapse in cost and explosion in productivity’ for companies
Film studio Pigeon Shrine develops ‘synth-assisted production,’ which uses AI tools to streamline workflow in the film industry
Founders, venture capitalists, and content creators flocked from crypto to AI this year and skeptic are calling it a big ‘Grift Shift’
UK-based sartup Oxa is bringing a fleet of AI-powered autonomous and electric shuttles to the US
Jon Rogers is back for another episode of Blockbuster! They’re switching things up this week and covering the hottest news in web3 and entertainment. Jon and Carly are talking: The Cool Cats shakeup, RECUR shutting down after raising $55 million, and what Disney’s doing (and not doing) in web3. Plus, they share thoughts on a Bain & Co. study about the New Era of Immersive Entertainment.
Carly’s enjoying her honeymoon, but fear not - your faves Gavin and Zeneca are holding down the fort. In this weekly recap, they’re covering all the latest SEC news, the BitBoy Crypto and $PEPE scandals, and where they think PFPs go from here. Zeneca also shares the latest on his PFP launch and they wax philosophical about our artificial intelligence future. Catch it all here!
Got something to share with our readers? Leave a comment below or connect with me @hawaiianft on Twitter or @sparkitysparkz on Threads 🤙🏾
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