Starbucks NFT Prices Soar, GQ Magazine NFTs, Rumble Kong Giveaways

Jethro Sandico

Feb. 17, 2023

The week certainly ends with a bang in Web3 as various industries, projects and brands continue to enter the nascent space. 

Here are the stories that shape Web3.

Top Stories

  • Starbucks: In December 2022, coffee chain Starbucks launched its NFT-powered rewards program Starbucks Odyssey. Since then, the floor prices of the platform’s digital collectible stamps have soared to over $2,000 each. One example is the 5,000-piece “Holiday Cheer Edition 1” giveaway, which owners are now selling for as much as $1,900 (DC).

  • eBay/KnownOrigin: E-commerce giant eBay’s NFT marketplace KnownOrigin has unveiled its dedicated Web3 smart contract for artists. The Creator Contract will be available starting on February 24. Apparently, the company has been testing the platform’s beta release for the past few weeks. Essentially, the new feature will allow approved users to mint and deploy their own contracts without any coding knowledge required (CT).

  • FedEx: Transport company FedEx has teamed up with the independent think tank Blockchain Research Institute and non-profit business school INSEAD. The partnership aims to launch a series of courses on online course provider Coursera. Basically, the curriculum will focus on building Web3 and blockchain for global commerce (GNW).

  • GQ Magazine: Men’s fashion and lifestyle magazine GQ has announced plans to launch its NFT project called “GQ3 Issue 001: Change Is Good.” The collection is composed of 1,661 digital collectibles that grant holders exclusive benefits. Some of the perks of owning a GQ NFT include merch rewards and monthly subscriptions, as well as access to live events (CD).

  • Rumble Kong League: To celebrate the NBA All-Star Weekend, Web3 basketball game Rumble Kong League (RKL) is holding a 15-prize giveaway campaign. RKL fans are tasked to join “Rumble-Royale” battles on Discord for a shot at the rewards. Participants can win an Xbox S, a Paul George sneaker, various RKL merchandise, and many more (TW).

Web3 Games

  • Unagi: Binance-backed Web3 gaming studio Unagi has raised 4.7 million euros (around $5 million) in a funding round led by Sisu Game Ventures. Other investors include 2B Ventures, Signum Capital, Sandeep Nailwal, and Sebastien Borget, among others. The Paris-based company plans to utilize the funds to expand the workforce, as well as bolster its research and development initiatives (TEU).

  • Alien Worlds: Space-themed Web3 card game Alien Worlds has announced the launch of NFT Season 9. Along with the new season is the kick-off of a “tool bonanza” that will run from February 1-28. For this edition, the team has brought back several “miner’s favorites.” Lastly, players can purchase the tools using their accumulated reward points (TW).

  • Meta Apes:  Massively multiplayer online (MMO) game Meta Apes recently revamped its win-to-earn rewards system. Starting in February, winning gangs will receive a total of 250,000 $PEEL tokens monthly. Additionally, the project will also reward winning participants with in-game items and resources (TW).

  • MCVerse: Avalanche-powered Web3 gaming platform MCVerse has released its Pixel Racers profile picture (PFP) NFT project. Users were allowed to mint the digital collectibles using $GVILLE tokens. In addition, holders can also stake the assets “ to earn some upcoming reflections” (TW).

  • Champions: Ascension: Turn-based role-playing game (RPG) Champions: Ascension has shared its latest “Pre-Alpha Release Notes.” The new improvements cover the open world and combat segments of the project. Updates include changes to friend codes, drunk racing, combat sounds, and Beadol utility, to name a few (TW).

  • Nefta: UK-based Web3 gaming and entertainment platform Nefta has secured $5 million in a seed funding round. Venture capital firm Play Ventures supported the project through its ‘Future Fund.’ Basically, Nefta’s gaming-dedicated offerings have also drawn in companies from various industries including music, beauty, and many more (TFN).

NFT News

  • Art Blocks/Bright Moments: Generative digital art collective Art Blocks and NFT gallery Bright Moments have partnered for a project that links digital collectibles with real-life experiences. For this undertaking, the entities commissioned media artist and software developer Michael Kozlowski (also known as ‘Mpkoz’). Dubbed ‘Metropolis,’ the NFT collection features generative art that draws inspiration from architectural designs found in various cities around the world (CD).

  • Rarible/Tezos: NFT marketplace Rarible’s is expanding its aggregation tool to the Tezos blockchain. The integration will allow collectors to obtain Tezos-based digital collectible marketplaces such as fxhash, Objkt, Teia and Versum. In addition, the added support will allow Rarible to connect with the ecosystem’s following (CD). 

  • Thred: NFT startup Thred has launched its platform, giving users a way to discover new NFT projects in the space. In an interview, Thred founder and CEO Ben Straley said that the company views the Web3-based platform similarly to “Yelp, Tripadvisor or Zillow.” Straley boasts 25 years of experience as an executive at Amazon and Starbucks (TC).

Into the Metaverse

  • X World Games: Web3-based 3D gaming platform X World Games is hosting a live “Dream Idols” metaverse concert in March. The event will premier on X World’s “SHOW” app, as well as select Web2 streaming platforms. In essence, the presentation will feature Dream Idol trainees showcasing their singing and dancing skills in a competition in the virtual world (BSCN).

  • South Korea ICT: South Korea’s Ministry of Science and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) recently announced plans to invest over 223 billion won ($171.8 million) to develop the country’s metaverse industry. The agency plans to dedicate the funds to establish academies, graduate schools, and metaverse labs (INV). 

  • PacSun: American teen clothing brand PacSun has launched its “Pacsun Los Angeles Tycoon” metaverse experience on game creation system Roblox. In a bid to pay homage to the company’s SoCal origins, the project allows users to create a map of Southern California. Moreover, the virtual experience will also feature PacSun apparel-inspired digital items and wearable accessories (PRN).

Around the Blockchain

  • Oasys: Web3 gaming-focused blockchain Oasys has formed a partnership with Japanese investment management firm SoftBank. As part of the team-up, the Tokyo-headquartered conglomerate has joined as an official validator for the protocol. In return, Oasys will oversee SoftBank’s plans to utilize blockchain technology for various purposes (INV). 

  • Core/Coinbase Pay: Blockchain company Ava Labs’ all-in-one Web3 command center Core has announced support for Coinbase Pay. The Avalanche browser will allow crypto exchange Coinbase’ 108 million users to buy cryptocurrencies with their credit cards. Additionally, the latest feature will allow customers to convert digital assets using Coinbase Pay and MoonPay (TW).

  • Ronin/Axie Infinity: Norwegian authorities have recovered 60 million Norwegian kroner ($5.85 million) in cryptocurrencies. The seized digital assets are linked to last year’s Ronin network hack which pilfered $625 million in USDC and Ether ($ETH). Ronin is best-known as an Ethereum-sidechain wallet built specifically for breeding and PvP NFT game Axie Infinity (CT). 

Web3 Content Creators

Brycent: Web3 gamer and hoop fan Brycent announced that he is attending the upcoming NBA All-Star Weekend. Apparently, the Twitch streamer has teamed-up with NFT fantasy basketball game Sorare NBA to produce Web3 gaming-focused content. NFT market analyst and crypto influencer JPark, commented on the announcement saying “what a legend, well-deserved!”

Cagy: In one of his latest Twitter posts, Web3 gaming YouTuber Cagy stated that “games have changed forever.” The outspoken content creator highlighted the importance of in-game assets, especially in Web3. “Anything from resources, skins, vehicles, weapons, characters & anything you can think of will be traded,” Cagy said. In addition, he also cited titles Star Atlas and Mirandus as examples of projects that “have it all” in terms of tradable and collectible items.

Spike: One of the Web3 games that caught content creator Spike’s attention is Fractal RED, a project he calls the “ultimate monster hunter game.” The project features the rift-filled world of Vherda where crystals and monsters fell from the skies. Fractal’s gameplay modes include hunting, crafting, trading, and accomplishing quests.

Stache: In another edition of “Top Secret Thursday,” Web3 gaming expert Stache put the spotlight on Uldor, an MMORPG project on the Ethereum blockchain. Sporting a top hat and wig ala-guitar icon Slash, Stache explored various facets of the game including battling monsters. Also present during the stream were members of the team and Agent Riz.