Today’s Web3 digest highlights big brands and funds entering blockchain gaming, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and the metaverse.
Here are the stories that shape Web3.
- NBA/Ant Group: The National Basketball Association’s (NBA) China arm has teamed up with Ant Group, the financial services affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. The partnership aims to launch NBA-themed NFTs along with other content. Additionally, the NBA has also released a mini-app on Ant Group’s mobile payment platform Alipay. Basically, the new offering will allow hoop fans to watch NBA videos and access other services (YF).
- Makersplace/Tupac Shakur: Rare digital art market MakersPlace has launched an exclusive NFT collection of rap icon Tupac Shakur. Titled “2Pacalypse92: 17 Shots,” the project features six never-before-seen photos of the late emcee’s 1992 performance at pop music producer Prince’s nightclub Glam Slam. The phygital images were taken by Kronick Magazine former managing editor Lawrence “Loupy D” Dotson (PRN).
- Roblox: Metaverse and game platform Roblox has unveiled plans to develop generative artificial intelligence (AI) for its creative toolkit. According to Roblox CTO Daniel Sturman, the company is “building a platform that will enable every user to be a creator.” This will allow users to produce material without possessing advanced knowledge about Roblox Studio and other 3D content creation tools (VB).
- Spotify: Audio streaming platform Spotify is testing a new feature that allows NFT holders to connect their crypto wallets and access a curated playlist. Owners of digital collectible Fluff, Kingship, Moonbirds, and Overlord can avail of the service. In addition, Universal Music Group’s ‘NFT band’ Kingship also announced its own token-gated playlist, which includes music from Missy Elliot, Queen, and Snoop Dogg (CD).
- Zeblocks/Marilyn Monroe: Generative art duo Zeblocks recently partnered with megastar actress Marilyn Monroe’s estate to launch an NFT collection. Dubbed the “Modern Muse” NFT collection, the project will consist of 3,333 digital collectibles. Each piece is a celebration of the late sex symbol’s extraordinary life and career (PRN).
- Magic Eden Ventures: NFT marketplace Magic Eden’s venture arm Magic Eden Ventures has invested in 11 Web3 gaming studios. The partnership will allow the cross-chain platform to aid Web3 games in launching their NFT projects. Moreover, Magic Eden will also provide titles with a suite of creator products and services to help them in monetizing and boosting user engagement (PRN).
- Kratos Studios: India-based Web3 gaming startup Kratos Studios has raised $20 million in a seed funding round led by venture capital firm Accel. The latest fundraise brings the entity’s valuation to $150 million. Furthermore, the company has also acquired IndiGG, a sub-DAO of Web3 gaming guild Yield Guild Games. The acquisition was made possible through the transfer of $INDI tokens (NFTG).
- Idexo: Loyalty and revenue infrastructure builder Idexo has launched its ‘Web3 Player Management System’ to help gaming projects increase their user engagement. In essence, the system offers benefits such as uniting in-game and out-of-game experiences, NFT integrations, revenue streams, and many more (INN).
- Iskra: Iskra, a Web3 gaming platform for gamers and developers, has formed an alliance with blockchain tech firm HD Labs. In addition, Iskra also invested 100,000,000 KRW (around $77,000) in the company to boost its Web3 gaming projects. This includes the release of Iskra’s first title, a turn-based role-playing game (RPG) called 3 Kingdoms Multiverse (GNW).
- Worldwide Webb: Metaverse role-playing game (RPG) Worldwide Webb recently secured $10 million in a Series A funding round led by venture capital firm Pantera Capital. Founded by artist and game designer Thomas Webb, the title allows users to utilize NFT avatars from various collections. Digital collectible projects integrated into the game include Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, and Doodles, to name a few (DC).
- Mobox: GameFi platform Mobox has recorded a total volume of $700 million in traded NFTs on the BNB Chain ecosystem. To date, the game’s Momo NFTs boasts over a million sales. Trailing behind is decentralized exchange (DEX) Pancake Swap’s digital collectible project Pancake Bunnies, with 130,000 sales (BSCN).
- BlockBar: Luxury wines and spirits NFT platform BlockBar is hosting the “Midleton Very Rare The Pinnacle Vintage” phygital launch. The project features the release of Irish whiskey brand Midleton Very Rare’s whiskey bottle that also comes with a linked NFT. The rare item will be on sale on February 28 for $130,000 (NFTE).
- Ladder Protocol/Monopoly: Blockchain protocol Ladder is hosting an NFT version of classic board game Monopoly. The competition will allow participants to trade digital assets. Ladder Protocol will reward winners with prizes such as Gritti and Metaboom NFTs, as well as whitelists to Isekai Meta, Furion, and Starry Nift, among others (AC).
Into the Metaverse
- Sotheby’s/Snow Crash: Fine arts company Sotheby’s will be auctioning off the original manuscript of speculative fiction writer Neal Stephenson’s book “Snow Crash.” Published in 1992, the sci-fi novel is credited for coining the term “metaverse.” Additionally, Sotheby’s will also release a digital art collection commemorating the 30th anniversary of Stephenson’s book (CT).
- Amazon University Esports: Amazon-backed collegiate esports partnership University Esports has launched a metaverse project called ‘University World.’ The virtual world will provide gaming and educational experiences to students from 16 countries and four continents. Essentially, the hub will enable participants around the world to communicate, play games, and win prizes, among others (BL).
- Styngr: Styngr, a Warner Music Group-backed music platform for gaming and the metaverse, has announced a deal with licensing hub ICE. The partnership will allow ICE’s 330,000 rights holders to receive publishing royalties from Styngr’s clients. “The multi-year deal covers a wide range of territories and supports accurate, usage-based writer payments,” ICE stated (MA).
Around the Blockchain
- Coinbase: Crypto exchange platform Coinbase has launched an Ethereum-focused layer-2 (L2) blockchain called Base. The new protocol will allow developers to build dApps more conveniently. Moreover, Base will also utilize Coinbase products to bring the decentralized applications to users. Companies that have committed to building on the platform include Aave, Animoca Brands, Blockdaemon, Chainlink, Dune, Magic Eden, and Nansen, among others (TC).
- Blocto: Cross-chain smart contract wallet Blocto has secured $80 million in a Series A funding round. The company’s valuation went up by 700% following the successful fundraise. Notable figures who invested in the project include billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban and Dapper Labs co-founder/CEO Roham Gharegozlou, among others. Currently, Blocto supports blockchain ecosystems such as BNB Chain, Ethereum, Polygon, and Solana, among others (CTV).
- Beldex/DWF Labs: Digital asset market maker and Web3 investment firm, DWF Labs has invested $25 million in private Web3 ecosystem Beldex. The company will utilize the capital to boost research and development for the Beldex ecosystem. Along with the funding, DWF will also provide guidance as well as contribute to marketing efforts (CD).
Web3 Content Creator
- Brycent: Content creator Brycent applauded Coinbase’ decision to launch its layer-2 blockchain Base. “Great move by them, I’m bullish,” he stated. In addition, the influencer cited a few factors that made him root for Coinbase. This includes the platform’s “heavily regulated exchange and proven track record.” Lastly, Brycent also commended the company for not releasing their own token “to flood the market.”
- Cagy: One of the latest Web3 gaming projects that YouTuber Cagy recently showcased is an adventure RPG title called Aurory. The content creator praised the game for its “virtual socializing” aspect. Additionally, Cagy also compared Aurory’s native token $AURY with $AXS (Axie Infinity), $ILV (illuvium), and $SAND (The Sandbox). “When you compare these three IP tokens to @AuroryProject $AURY you can easily see that a 10x is inevitable,” Cagy stated.
- Spike: Web3 gaming content creator Spike put the spotlight on a Binance Smart Chain-based game called Magic Craft. The fantasy-themed multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game allows players to battle opponents and strengthen alliances. Recently, Magic Craft also formed a partnership with renowned esports team EZ Reborn Esports.
- Stache: On Stache’s latest edition of “Top Secret Thursdays,” the Web3 gaming expert put the spotlight on a non-blockchain first-person shooter (FPS) title called “Atomic Heart.” The project is built by Cyprus-headquartered video game development studio Mundfish. Entities that support the company include Gaijin Entertainment, Nvidia, and Tencent, among others.