Ticket to the Future
Disney's Meta(re)verse. Nakamigos. And Ticketmaster's Big News.
👋🏽 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.
👜 How are our Bags Doing?
No, it’s not just you. Flipping JPEGs has felt like a slog this week, with trading volume down, discords gone silent, and project founders in sink or swim mode
There was even a collective groan across Twitter when Blur announced it would be extending farming season another month
Still … degens ‘gonna degen, and nowhere is the desperation to feel something more evident than the week-old project Nakamigos, which in four days overtook BAYC’s lifetime trade count, despite no one actually knowing who’s behind the project or why it’s running so hard
Yuga, though, isn’t going down with the ship. The team delivered hit after hit this week:
7k+ players joined the 2nd Trip to the Otherside, with members of Jimmy Wong’s winning Team Glacia scoring airdropped Winged Helmets
Almost as if preempting any potential post-trip FUD, the team immediately introduced Legends of the Mara, a 2D standalone game for Otherdeed holders and finally answered the burning question on every Koda HODLer’s mind: What are they and what do they do?!
Oh yeah, Yuga also announced a multi-year partnership with Gucci this week that’ll span its various collections, including Otherside and 10ktf
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🎸 Ticketmaster Gives the People what we Want
We’ve been banging the drum on token-gated ticket sales and they’ve finally arrived on the big stage with Ticketmaster’s NFT-enabled presales
Token-gated tickets all but ensure the earliest seats will be filled by a performer’s most dedicated fans rather than scalpers and bots … oh, and no lines either 🕺🏽
Shout out to Avenged Sevenfold (A7X), who requested the feature from Ticketmaster to reward their band’s 10k Deathbats Club holders with priority access and exclusive rewards + merch
The band took a calculated risk here (37% of 12k Twitter users polled by the group voted ‘Fuck the blockchain’), but it paid off in spades as 1k token-gated tickets were purchased for concerts in NY and LA with holders widely reporting a seamless and stress-free experience
Carly interviewed A7X frontman M. Shadows last year about his vision for how the blockchain will revolutionize the music industry and fan experience, so we’re stoked to see this coming to life
Ticketmaster and its parent co. Live Nation Entertainment control an estimated 70% of the ticketing and live events market, so it’s got a vested interest in staying relevant in a decentralized world where the middle man simply isn’t necessary
To that end, they’re dabbling hard in web3 and have already minted ~15 mil NFTs across Flow, Polygon, and Ethereum
On the heels of the successful A7X launch, Ticketmaster says its token-gated service is now available to any artist with an NFT collection or community. Yeah, we’re looking at you, T-Swift 😉
🚀 Polygon has Liftoff
The highly touted y00ts migration from Solana to Polygon happened on Monday and it appears the heavy incentives for holders did its job with +85% of supply migrated. I mean, who wants to pay a 33.3% Paper Handed Bridge Tax?!
Morgan Stone’s Roo Troop is also planning a migration to Polygon, although it’s TBD whether a community moving from ETH to Polygon will be as supportive as one jumping over from Solana
You’ll be reading a lot more about zkEVM this year - an innovation that boosts speed and scalability on Ethereum without sacrificing security
Polygon launched its long-awaited zkEVM mainnet this week, and while it wasn’t the first to do so (that distinction goes to Matter Labs’ zkSYnc), they can still humble brag that Vitalik the GOAT sent the 1st network Tx with a degen-approved gas limit of 69,042
CFTC is suing Binance over some big allegations, including: Secretly encouraging US customers to use VPNs, turning a blind eye to criminal use, and using ~300 ‘house accounts’ to trade on its own platform
CZ disputed the CFTC’s “incomplete recitation of facts” but last time we checked, incomplete ≠ inaccurate
Nasdaq takes first step toward opening crypto trading with debut of a crypto custody service
Similarly, Fidelity Digital Assets opened up to retail traders last week
US Judge says DAO governance token members may be plausibly liable for the DAO’s obligations
NVIDIA CTO slams crypto, says they’d rather see their products used for AI than crypto mining
SEC charged Tron founder Justin Sun and a slew of celebs w/fraud and security violations
Majority whip Tom Emmer introduced ‘Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act,’ which says devs and service providers that don’t custody funds aren’t money transmitters
🌐 web3 + NFTs
Magic Eden is launching its ETH marketplace beta next week with 10 partner collections; will respect royalties on all native listings
Pudgy Penguins says Rogs will be a multiplier for select on-chain drops, licensing deals, or future claims
AI project Botto (which we covered in last week’s newsletter) is among the 15 creators chosen for the pilot
RIP to CryptoPunk 685, which was accidentally burned when its owner unsuccessfully attempted to wrap the punk after buying it just weeks earlier
Revolving Games + Overlord collab on Creepz-inspired ‘interplanetary domination’ NFT game
gmoney and 9dcc are launching ITERATION-03, a luxury baseball cap, at NFT NYC
Ledger Market launches “Inspired by Ledger,” commissioning 5 artists to create free pieces for Infinity NFT holders
End of Sartoshi holders are eligible for free art from Pixelord
PROOF introduces Evolving Pixels, featuring artwork exhibitions curated by 10 artists beginning with Emily Xie
📈 Brands + Biz
Scaled down Metaverse Fashion Week launches with a variety of luxury brands, including Dolce & Gabbana, Coach, Tommy Hilfiger, and Balmain
86-year old Guggenheim Museum hires ‘LG Electronics Associate Curator’ to develop and support engagement with technology-based art and other emerging tech
Levi’s partnering with Lalaland.ai to create hyper-realistic models of various body types, age, sizes, and skin tones to increase diversity
Amazon inadvertently reveals NFT plans after CoinDesk editor received a receipt for a digital token despite not having purchased any NFTs
Formula 1 team signs crypto exchange Kraken as a sponsor; deal includes logos on race cars and an NFT experience
🤖 AI + Metaverse
Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang are among 1k+ tech leaders calling for a pause on further development of Artificial Intelligence
Zoom’s new AI ‘smart companion’ will summarize chat threads, create meeting agendas, and draft content for chats, emails, and whiteboard sessions
From architecture to the runway, AI is leaving its mark in our real world experiences
AI influencer Roberto Nickson goes viral by substituting Kanye West’s AI-generated voice over his own with impressively realistic results
Engineer develops AI tool to called Warren Buffet to streamline analysis of large and complex documents
Chinese state media introduced an AI journalist who can interact with the public and answer questions
Former Disney exec and Hollywood media veteran Jon Rogers is back for our second episode of Blockbuster, where Entertainment meets the Blockchain. Jon gives great insight into Disney’s web3 strategy, where he thinks they should dedicate resources (spoiler alert: On-Chain Theme Parks), and which Bob is more bullish on blockchain. We taped this pod just prior to reports that Disney is eliminating its next-gen storytelling division, so be sure to tune in to the next episode of Blockbuster for all the juicy scoops!
Carly’s joined by HUG Co-Founders Randi Zuckerburg and Debbie Soon for our weekly recap. Debbie’s got takes on Doodles’
NFT Projectand how to properly value NFTs, while Randi sees a lot of similarities between the early days of web2 and web3. They’re also talking AI Art, NFT gaming, and Balaji’s big Bitcoin bet.
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