The PROOF is in the Pudding
Moonbirds are Ruffled. Bullish on YouTube. And the Marketplace Saga Rages on.
👋🏽 Hello everyone, gm gm, WELCOME BACK to another edition of the Overpriced JPEGs newsletter, where we’re catching you up on the world of web3, NFTs, and the metaverse.
🌊 Drowning in the OpenSea
Yes, we covered the marketplace wars in last week’s newsletter and went deep on the pod with Blur Foundation director Zeneca - but a lot has happened since then:
OpenSea came out swinging by temporarily eliminating marketplace fees + setting the majority of creator royalties to an optional minimum of 0.5%
Blur hit back with the one-two combo of the Max Loyalty score for traders who list exclusively on its platform; and the doxxing of pseudonymous founder Pacman that drew out all the simps. No, seriously.
The sad reality is
collectorsflippers want high volume trades with low fees (or an $OS token) and the marketplaces are pandering. How’s that working out?
OpenSea’s still seeing a higher # of users, but Blur is doing significantly more volume off a handful of traders. They’re also the new #1 ETH gas guzzler, and the # of wallets flipping on Blur has 7x’d
Another thorny side effect? Zero royalty trading opens the door to new attack vectors and wash trading’s holding up insanely artificial floor prices
It’s a big setback for the space as a whole, with most prominent creators demanding better. At least two big trends are likely to result from these shenanigans:
Bespoke and creator-supported marketplaces (recommend giving Gmoney’s thread a read on why these matter); and
New loyalty systems with incentivized rewards for those who opt to pay them
Or if nothing else works, there’s always shaming folks into paying royalties like this or this 💩
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🦉 PROOF Ruffles some Feathers
In a divisive move, PROOF canceled its spring conference, citing lackluster ticket sales, sponsor feedback, and overall market conditions
It might be a sound biz decision, but it comes amidst a slew of recent choices that have largely left holders disappointed
The aftermath was swift:
The # of nested birds cliffed; massive losses were incurred, but Blur farming kept the floor steady
Kevin hopped on a number of spaces and Discord chats this week. Sounds like an announcement (perhaps new roadmap?) is forthcoming in early March; will the PROOF be in the pudding?
🎥 Are NFTs coming to YouTube?
YouTube just appointed Neal Mohan as its new CEO: He’s an exceptional talent who Google paid a $100 million stock bonus to turn down a competing offer from Twitter, and he’s bullish AF on web3
An eternity ago (in NFT world at least), Mohan was already envisioning a web3 product suite in his then-role as YouTube Chief Product Officer, saying:
NFTs foster deeper creator-fan relationships and offer innovative ways for both parties to make money
Metaverse integration opens the door to virtual events and immersive experiences
Cryptocurrencies enable secure, transparent digital payments on the platform
YouTube’s parent company, Alphabet, is among the largest publicly traded firms invested in web3, with positions in hundreds of startups, from Dapper Labs to Digital Currency
In denying a Motion to Dismiss in a securities lawsuit against Dapper Labs, a lower court judge suggested Top Shot Moments may be securities; allowing the case to move forward
🚨 This one’s a biggie, so keep your eyes on this space as we continue to monitor this suit
Euro-backed stablecoin EUROC (paired against the euro and US dollar) will go live on Coinbase on Feb. 22
EU begins European Blockchain Regulatory Sandbox; matching 20 projects with regulators for assessments and consultation
China Telecom and Conflux Network are piloting ‘blockchain-enabled’ SIM cards in Hong Kong
Immersve partners with Mastercard to enable crypto payments online wherever MC is accepted in Australia and New Zealand
🌐 web3 + NFTs
Yuga Labs was accused of stealing the Kennel Club art from a how-to-draw book; Garga acknowledged it and said they’ll be changing the logo
Raoul Pal breaks down his entire thesis on web3 + NFTs and where he thinks we may be headed; calls the video “one of the best things I’ve ever done”
Punk 6529 used a taxi cab analogy to make a point about democracy and the open metaverse
Moonbirds DAO (aka The Lunar Society) to begin proposal submissions on Feb. 28; Ideas that elevate and promote MBs or experiences & products that directly benefit holders will be granted up to $50k each
Pudgy Penguins partners with Retail Monster for upcoming Pudgy Toyline and IP licensing opportunities
Super hyped project Friendsies that made $5 mil via dutch auction and was promoted by several influencers last year deleted its twitter after announcing a project ‘pause’ (subsequently came back on twitter to say they are not rugging)
Fully on-chain art is trending up, here’s a list of some incredible collections, from Cyber Brokers to Infinite Scribbles
VeeCon announced an impressive list of speakers for its May event, which will be headlined by rap legend Busta Rhymes
Dapper’s launched its NBA Top Shot app and its pretty sleek according to sports guru LG Ducet
Collab.Land’s $COLLAB token claim is commencing; allowlist is for token holders, verified community members, and the services’ Top 100 Discord communities
📈 Brands + Biz
Amazon invests $20 mil in Superplastic to develop shows and stream their ‘synthetic celebrities’ exclusively on Amazon Prime
Sony Network Communications partners with Astar to launch a web3 incubation program to foster cutting-edge use cases for blockchain
Online program runs from March to June, applications open through March 6
Napster buys music NFT marketplace Mint Songs; says natural next step is fan collectibles and rewards
Meta’s FB & IG take Elon’s lead; start selling blue checks for $12/mth ($15 for iPhone users)
Former Starbucks & Amazon exec launches Thred, a Yelp-ish site to search, read, and contribute to NFT reviews
Recent study shows massive funding gap in women-led web3 startups v. those with male founder teams
🤖 AI + Metaverse
AI and ChatGPT go mainstream with a Time Magazine cover story
Bing Chatbot went off the rails with some unhinged responses; some experts say the bot’s just mimicking human behavior
7th largest law firm in the world announces 3,500-lawyer deal w/Harvey, an OpenA-backed lawyer startup
Ailice (get it?) is a fully AI-generated model; community members upvote pics to be shared on Instagram
New York Times declares the next hot housing market is in the metaverse; growth projected at $5.37 billion by 2026
We’re joined by Dapper Labs’ Dete Shirley and Adam Barrick who unpack everything in the Flow and Dapper ecosystems. They clarify the relationship between the two companies, give details on their partnership with Ticketmaster, and respond to criticism they’ve over-saturated the supply of their mainstay collection, Top Shot.
Zeneca and Carly catch you up on another wild week in web3. They go deep on the Blur v. OpenSea marketplace battle, give hot takes on Digidaigaku’s Super Bowl ad, and introduce our new segment, Overpriced / Underpriced.
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