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DeGods Season 3. Onchain Summer. And Pixel Vault Makes Moves.
👋🏽 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.
It’s a subtle reminder that not only is Frank unafraid to FAFO, but in fact: trying, learning, iterating, and trying again - is a critical component in the DeGods playbook. And I’m not gonna lie - in this market, it’s refreshing to see and fun as hell to watch.
We’re covering Frank’s big announcements, along with some other big PFP moves and everything else blockchain & crypto in this week’s recap. But first …
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🪦 Crypto is Dead
For as much as the mainstream media likes to shout from the rooftops that ‘Crypto is Dead,’ it sure doesn’t feel that way. This week alone we saw a number of big moves in the TradFi and regulatory space that prove crypto is very alive and thriving:
PayPal announced $PYUSD, an Ethereum stablecoin issued by Paxos and backed 1:1 by actual dollars in the bank
PayPal has 431 million users globally, so all eyes are on the tech giant … including the government. Immediately after PayPal’s announcement, Rep. McHenry renewed calls for stablecoin regulation and the Fed rushed to further clarify its previous announcement of a new program to oversee banks’ crypto activity
Prefer your Coinbase shares onchain? DeFi project Backed Finance is attempting to tokenize a bunch of traditional investment assets - like stocks and bonds - and bring them onto a variety of blockchain networks, including BNB, Polygon, Gnosis, and Arbitrum
Major asset management firms are piling in to apply for ETH ETFs, with as many as 7 applications received by the SEC in the past week. Bloomberg analysts say there’s a whopping 75% chance these ETFs launch this year
We’re also keeping tabs on Cathie Wood’s ARK Bitcoin Spot ETF application, which the SEC has to respond to by 8/13, although legal loopholes would allow another extention, which Cathie is fully expecting will happen
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☠️ NFTs are Dead Too
If NFTs are dead, someone forgot to let the founders know. We got some big news this week from several large-cap PFP ecosystems and I’ve got you covered with the TLDR:
Frank sent shockwaves through NFT X yesterday when he kicked off the hotly anticipated Season 3 with the announcement that y00ts would be migrating from Polygon to Ethereum. Just about everyone was bullish on the news … except for maybe Polygon, which just coughed up $3M six months ago to lure y00ts over
They followed that announcement up with two others:
Starting Sunday August 13th, DeGods holders can pay 333 DUST 0.00%↑ (~$750) to upgrade their DeGod to a Season III DeGod
Updated DeGods will be eligible to participate in the Points Parlor to “play and win prizes”
There are still some key details yet to be revealed and it seems most of the community is waiting for more before making any big pronouncements on SeasonIII
Pixel Vault also shook things up with several major announcements: 1) The acquisition of Wolf Game; 2) $GG: A new utility & governance token that’ll replace previous tokens in the ecosystem; 3) A stacked team of advisors helping with their Reboot protocol
Doodles just keeps stacking the wins. On the heels of its bougie CAMP activation, they just announced a 2G x Doodles pop up event at Japan’s bougie Shibuya PARCO, where cultural trends for urban consumers are born along with a Crocs collab
Also, NFTs are not dead and in fact, big-name artists, founders, and collectors have been scooping up some flames in this market. Beeple, as we all know, bought a punk. Bored Opepen bought a pudgy. And KRO may be the biggest winner of the bunch, picking up the absolute stunner of a Beeple Piece - Heaven + Hell. Well done, gang.
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🌐 Elsewhere in Web3
Coinbase kicked off Onchain Summer with the launch of its Base mainnet yesterday. They’re swinging out the gates with a series of new mints - including a 24-hour OE collab ftg. none other than DeeKay Motion x Cozomo de’ Medici - that should draw some attention. Not that degens needed an actual reason to play around on a new chain 😆
Elvis Presley Avatars just landed in The Sandbox, which in and of itself is kind of a yawn (and a head scratcher, if we’re being honest). The interesting thing though, is holders get governance and voting rights in the Elvis Legacy Council DAO, which has full control over how Elvis’ musical legacy will be incorporated in future web3 projects
Big tech is changing the content creation game with competitive efforts to woo the most users to ther platforms.
Reddit’s community tokens BRICK and MOON (earned by engaging in the /fortnite and /cryptocurrency subreddits) are skyrocketing after being listed on Kraken and Crypto.com this week and users are racing to ‘down vote’ one another on the leaderboard
And X upped the ante with a new rev share plan. Users are posting their payouts and some folks are making serious money - i.e. Frank DeGods ($12,978), Brian Krassenstein ($12,632), and Sahil Bloom ($9,238)
Not everyone is amused though, as the payouts have led to a blatant jump in repetitive and lazy engagement farming. Case in point: Franklin went from Beloved to Blocked after intentionally flooding the timeline with his gold ape to farm views, a move that ZachXBT felt like ‘AI-generated SPAM.’ And countless others took a page out of Mr. Beast’s ‘free money’ playbook:
I recently went down a rabbit hole watching vids of The Kia Boys terrorizing owners of Hyundai and Kia cars, so it was nice to see some positive news come out the Korea-based auto makers. Turns out, both companies are using AI- and blockchain-based systems to manage its carbon emissions, which should shave monitoring costs. Here’s hoping they can divert those cost-savings into making better cars.
97 out of the 700+ crypto funds worldwide have shut down since the beginning of the year
A Minnesota man got taken for $9M+ in a romantic crypto scam
Polygon accuses Ethereum L2 competitor zkSync of copy-pasting its code without credit
SEC brings action against Theorum, a crypto fund administrator, for failing to detect fraud involving investor funds. Really, someone should bring charges against SEC chief Gensler for tweets like these:
Crypto trading ‘neobank’ Revolute wraps up its US-based business, representing 1% of its global user base
Global X has re-filed it’s app for a spot Bitcoin ETF, joining Fidelity & BlackRock in naming Coinbase as its surveillance-sharing partner
MakerDAO excludes Americans and VPN users (aka also Americans) from its lucrative 8% yield savings rate
Hong Kong securities regulators issued a warning to unlicensed crypto exchanges engaging in improper practices
Miami Mayor / Presidential Candidate Francis Suarez says he’ll take campaign donations in Bitcoin
Circle launches new programmable wallets designed to help businesses offer digital-asset payments to customers
Japan-based Soramitsu is developing a system that uses stablecoins to provide cross-border payments to Asian countries
🌐 web3 + NFTs
ApeCoin released the ApeCoin DAO Handbook, a go-to resource for navigating the DAO’s ecosystem
Nifty Kit’s new ‘Generative Collections’ feature allows users to upload layer files and automatically generate infinite amounts of variations straight from the app
LinksDAO is now offering tiered memberships to new members, with varying level of access, including entry into its Scotland-based Golf CLub
Noble Gallery launches a marketplace to aggregate listings of its collections; any listings that skip royalties will have them appended to the Buy Now price
Frank Chaparro shares his thoughts on how to turn around the ‘brutal’ NFT market
Ledger is now offering hardware wallet support for Ordinals via the Xverse extension
A portion of Zora’s mint fees will now automatically be split onchain as protocol rewards for creators and devs
Etherscan introduces wallet-to-wallet messaging in the Blockscan Chat Mobile App
Animoca’s Yat Siu confirms Wrech League mech mint will be held exclusively in $APE
Cryptoys releases a special edition Yoda NFT that can only be collected by those with full Star Wars sets
Gen art platform fxhash closed an oversubscribed $5M seed round led by 1kx; announces updated roadmap
Popular 2021 project Little Lemon Friends announced an impending acquisition
📈 Brands + Biz
Ralph Lauren unveils ‘Race to Greatness,’ an immersive gaming experience within Fortnight
Comedian Adam DeVine kicked off an ad campaign with crypto exchange Bitget
CryptoJobs site has featured listings that’ll trick users into downloading malware
VeeFriends is dropping VeeFriends x Reebok Aspiring Alpaca Classic Nylons
GameStop is citing ‘regulatory uncertainty of hte crypto space’ as the reason for killing its NFT wallet effective Nov. 1
Degens ride superconductor trend, spawning several LK-99-themed meme tokens
🤖 AI + Metaverse
Developers of ChatBTC say it’s an AI chatbot that’s designed to give ‘reliable’ answers to questions about Bitcoin
SettleMint introduced an AI Engineering Assistant that’ll help devs accelerate blockchain adoption
Google released NotebookLM, a free, AI note-taking tool
Nordic brands are taking part in Copenhagen’s Fashion Week by letting users of luxury mobile game Drest try on ‘fits in the metaverse
OKX VEntures led a $1M investment in Hong Kong-based AI x Web3 startup Moonbox
Amazon refuses to remove books falsely attributed to authors that are actually written by AI
AI is said to be able to eavesdrop on your keyboard sounds as you type. Yikes.
Don’t look now, the Overpriced Happy Hour Tour is nearing its end! On our second-to-last stop, Carly talked with Cool Cats artist Clon and CEO Stephen Teglas. In this must-see interview, Stephen and Clon get candid about what went wrong with the Cats, where their priorities now lie, and why we should all be excited about the Macy’s Day Parade.
Carly and Zeneca cover a lot of ground in this week’s recap. They’re talking Yuga’s recent acquisition, Beeple’s new Punk, the Nifty shut down, and Etihad Airlines’ new onchain loyalty program. Later in the show, Carly’s joined by Casey Reas who shares the inspiration behind his generative art. Catch up here!
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