Blur Overtakes OpenSea, Saudi Aramco Enters Web3, Anti-Trump NFTs

Jethro Sandico

Feb. 21, 2023

Today’s Web3 digest will put the spotlight on various fields including art, gaming, energy, entertainment, politics, and many more. 

Here are the stories that shape Web3. 

Top Stories

  • Blur: Emerging NFT marketplace Blur has overtaken top digital collectible platform OpenSea as the trading volume of Ethereum NFTs saw a 361% surge in the past seven days. Reports reveal that Blur has raked in $460 million worth of Ethereum-based NFT trades. Meanwhile, OpenSea trailed behind with $107 million, with a 12% improvement in volume over the weekly time frame (DC).

  • Saudi Aramco: State-owned Saudi Arabian oil giant Saudi Aramco has entered an agreement with Web3 technology company droppGroup. The alliance aims to develop various Web3 technologies for Aramco’s employees. Basically, the energy corporation can leverage droppGroup’s offerings such as artificial intelligence (AI), metaverse, extended reality (XR), and many more (CD).

  • Bad Seed Book/Donald Trump: Anti-Donald Trump illustrated online satire Bad Seed Book has launched its “Non-Fungible Trump” NFT trading card collection. Essentially, the project is composed of 100,000 digital collectibles featuring 10 illustrations by artist Ivan Cuadros. The works are also included in the Bad Seed Book project, which will drop on June 14 (in time for the former president’s birthday) (PRN).

  • Paul Pierce: Ex-NBA champion Paul Pierce was fined $1.4 million by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for promoting cryptocurrency EthereumMax ($EMAX). Aside from the “false and misleading” statements about the token, the Boston Celtics all-star also failed to disclose the $224,000 worth of $EMAX that he received in exchange for “shilling” the coin (TV).

  • OneOf/Stephen Cooper: Web3 technology company OneOf has appointed Stephen Cooper as its board member. Cooper is best-known for his executive roles in companies such as entertainment conglomerates Warner Music Group and Metro-Goldyn-Mayer (MGM). “I am excited about how technology can reshape the future of music, entertainment and business models for many industries,” Cooper stated (BW).

Web3 Games

  • Heroes Chained: Avalanche-powered Web3 role-playing game (RPG) Heroes Chained has launched version 2.0 of its idle mini-game Fortunes of Ventuna. “Get ready to launch sieges, explore lands and earn glorious rewards” the team tweeted. In addition, Heroes Chained also released some guidelines detailing how to play the game. The blog entry covered topics starting from connecting wallets to equipping heroes with gemstones (TW).

  • Axie Infinity: Play-to-earn (P2E) game Axie Infinity has announced its ‘Streamer Rewards,’ which is part of the Axie Creator Program. The trial phase will give away a 300 $AXS bounty to the top 50 creators. Basically, participants can stream on either Twitch or Facebook. Deadlines for both platforms are on February 25 (Twitch) and March 4/5 (Facebook) (TW).

  • Crabada: Autobattler NFT game Crabada is holding the 34th installment of its weekly Arena Challenge from February 20-26. This week’s tournament introduces a Level Cap of 15, along with several updates such as Legendary Transformation features, among others. In addition, winning participants will receive various rewards in USDC, Rubies, Material Chests, and many more (TW).

  • Yield Guild Games: DWF Labs, a digital asset market maker and Web3 investment firm, has led a US$13.8 million token purchase from P2E gaming guild Yield Guild Games (YGG). Other participants include Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Galaxy Interactive, Sangha Capital and Sanctor Capital. The organization plans to utilize the capital to further develop YGG’s decentralized network (MS).

  • MetaOps: First-person shooter game MetaOps is holding a tournament on the 4th of March on the Avalanche blockchain. The competition will reward winning participants with a $2,000 prize pool. To enter, players must own either a Founders Pass or a Scarlet Summit Set, which is slated to drop on February 25 (TW).

NFT News

  • OpenMeta: NFT marketplace OpenMeta has launched on the Arbitrum network. The multi-chain platform is also available on blockchains BNB Chain, Ethereum, Polygon, and zkSynce. Meanwhile, Arbitrum is also host to other digital collectible marketplaces including OpenSea, tofuNFT, Gumball Protocol, and Trove, among others (BSCN).

  • Proof of Conference: Moonbirds NFT collection and Proof Collective co-founder Kevin Rose has announced the cancellation of the ‘Proof of Conference’ event. The conference was slated to take place in Los Angeles from May 11-13. According to Rose, “right now isn’t the right time for the PROOF of Conference,” citing the lack of public interest (CT).

  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has launched a new NFT collection with digital artwork company laCollection. The project features 19th century impressionist pastels by artists such as Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Jean-François Millet. Holders of the free mint of Degas’ painting ‘Racehorses at Longchamp’ that went live in January, will get a chance to win tickets to the museum (NFTC).

Into the Metaverse

  • PlanetVA: Mixed reality eyewear retail technology company PlanetVA has invested in virtual world eyewear platform The Optical Metaverse. The partnership aims to leverage 3D and metaverse technology to provide customers better online shopping experiences. Moreover, the team-up will also focus on creating solutions that will allow optical retailers to manage their product inventory and customer data more conveniently (INM).

  • Decentraland: News agency Reuters highlighted a new metaverse that allows users to explore Saudi Arabia’s UNESCO World Heritage Site Hegra. Launched on virtual world platform Decentraland, the project will also enable tourists to “enter ancient tombs not accessible to their real-world counterparts (TW).

  • Decentral Games: Ethereum-based metaverse project Decentral Games revealed a list of the prizes for its Ice Poker tournament. So far, winning participants this month have claimed iPhones, AirPods Max, and $DG dad hats, among others. However, metaverse poker players have yet to win the most coveted MacBook prize (TW).

Around the Blockchain

  • Gateway: Blockchain infrastructure node provider has secured $4.6 million in a seed funding round led by Web3-focused investment firm Lemniscap. Other entities that supported the fundraise include Fantom Foundation and Unstoppable Domains Ventures, among others. The company aims to use the capital to provide tools that will allow developers to build on a scalable Web3 ecosystem (SA).

  • Venom/Hub71: Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)-licensed layer-1 (L1) blockchain Venom has partnered with tech ecosystem Hub71. The alliance aims to build solutions for startup companies as well as simplify Web3 integration for enterprises. Basically, the initiative will focus on boosting blockchain’s growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region (BTC).

  • Phi: Web3 social gaming platform Phi has raised $2 million in a seed funding round led by Chapter One, Delphi Digital, and Polygon Ventures. Other investors include Lens Protocol and AAVE Founder Stani Kulechov and Bankless co-founder Ryan Sean Adams, among others. Essentially, the company will utilize the funds to further develop its platform and continue innovating in the space (CTV).

Web3 Content Creators

  • Brycent: Web3 gaming influencer Brycent recently emphasized the need for Web3 games to “show more of the behind the scenes process.” The content creator cited AAA shooter game Shrapnel’s latest video updates. In essence, the Avalanche-based FPS project highlighted the team’s efforts in putting together the game’s important ingredients.

  • Cagy: One of the latest games that Web3 gamer Cagy highlighted is Elrond Mafia, an FPS game on the MultiversX blockchain (formerly known as Elrond). Claiming that the project is “the best FPS in Web3, hands down,” Cagy also praised the title for being “super smooth.” 

  • Hustle: In the latest edition of Crypto Banter’s “In the Game,” host Hustle invited Seedify CEO Levent Cem Aydan to provide more “clarity” on the project. Basically, Seedify is an incubator and launchpad that focuses on Web games. The session touched on various facets including NFTs, the metaverse, upcoming gaming titles, 2023 roadmap, and many more.

  • Spike: Gaming content creator Spike has announced that his Web3-dedicated influencer marketing agency Waypoint Gaming has teamed up with collectible RPG title Stella Fantasy. The partnership will give away $1,000 USDC in celebration of the game’s upcoming launch. 20 winning participants will receive $50 USDC each.

  • Stache: Web3 gaming influencer Stache put the spotlight on virtual world platform The Sandbox and the “massive updates” on the project. Among the offerings that Stache highlighted is the Voxel Madness LAND sale, as well as the partnership with Toei Animation, to name a few. Furthermore, Stache also revealed a secret agent-themed game that his team is developing with builder platform Sandstorm. Apparently, the project will feature content creators Brycent and Spike as bosses.