Welcome back to Sfermion’s Collider - where we highlight the latest & greatest news in the world of web3 and gaming. Missed a week, but we are back in action and now on Paragraph (💰)!
Weekly, we aim to drop a curated list of the most exciting stories & updates that we believe are enabling the emergence of the metaverse. Hope you enjoy this one :)
Kraken & SEC | Settlement & US Staking Halted : Kraken agrees to settle the charges and will pay a $30m fine for failing to register the offer and sale of its “crypto asset staking-as-a-service program”. All US clients staking offerings are halted, aside from staked ETH. Non-US clients will not be impacted. SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, a longtime crypto advocate, said she disagreed with the action and issued a bold statement, arguing that using enforcement actions to set law in an emerging industry is not "efficient or fair."
WeTransfer & Minima | NFT DRM : WeTransfer, the world’s leading file transfer service company, has joined forces with Minima to empower creators worldwide with Digital Rights Management for their intellectual property. This will occur through NFTs that users can generate directly from any device, including their phones.
Visa & Starkware | Payment Settlements : Visa testing how to “accept settlement payments from issuers in USDC starting on Ethereum and paying out in USDC on ETH”. Visa is seeking to build “muscle memory” around settlements, with plans to allow customers to convert digital assets to fiat currencies on its platform, according to a presentation from the company’s crypto division head at StarkWare Sessions 2023.
Hermès | Wins Trademark Infringement Case : MetaBirkins creator Mason Rothschild lost a potentially landmark trademark infringement case over the luxury Birkin handbags produced by French brand Hermès. A substantial part of Hermès’ lawsuit centered around the notion that Rothschild had damaged the Birkin brand. Web3 professionals find that a federal jury’s decision that Rothschild violated Hermès’ trademark rights is full of implications for the future regulation of digital assets and how NFT creators will be treated.
Saudi Arabia & Sandbox | MOU for a Partnership : The Sandbox and Saudi Arabia signed a memorandum of understanding but without revealing details explaining the scope of the agreement. Plans are to work around activations of the metaverse.
eBay & Notable Live | Sports NFTs : E-commerce giant eBay announced a strategic partnership with tech-enabled engagement platform Notable Live to bring multiple Web3 experiences and a way to connect fans with sports stars around the world using NFTs.
Optimism | Airdrop #2 : Optimism announces airdrop #2, 11.7M OP distributed to over 300k unique addresses to reward positive-sum governance participation and power users of Optimism Mainnet.
Prysm (💰) | Public Beta News : Prysm, the NFT co-ownership platform, highlights key product features ahead of their beta access. Select communities are able to mint access passes to use the platform now. Visit the website for more info!
Franklin (💰) & Plaid | Payroll Integration : Franklin and Plaid integrate to now supports more than 300 wallet clients! Employers and workers across wallets like Ledger, Rainbow, and Trust Wallet can now benefit from non-custodial payroll. Instant settlement.
Manchester City & OKX | Metaverse Experience : Manchester is set to welcome digital twins of its favorite footballers in a major sports metaverse campaign with OKX. The Collective will offer fans sports metaverse environments for first-hand Web3 experiences complete with bespoke content, rewards, and others. Each player will feature content based on playing style and interests such as training, music, and NFTs.
Disney Star | India’s Starverse Metaverse Platform : Disney subsidiary Disney Star is rolling out its metaverse platform called Starverse, the first iteration of which is an immersive 3D ecosystem for sports fans that’s bound to be an always-on experience for users.
Islamabad United | Pakistan Cricket Tam Metaverse Presence : Islamabad United will be the first cricket team to enter the metaverse with a world-first built-to-scale virtual stadium built on Decentraland, running alongside a twin stadium that will be available on Android. Players will not only be able to interact with their favorite players’ avatars, but also explore and interact with the areas within the stadium including the locker room, player’s lounge and fans conference room.
Sleepagotchi (💰) | App Launch : Sleep-to-earn mobile app, Sleepagotchi, is now available on the App Store! Be sure to download right away to begin earning cool collectibles for your virtual space and enter leaderboards just by maintaining a healthy sleeping schedule.
Immutable X (💰) | Immutable Passport : Immutable introduces Immutable Passport, the instant non-custodial wallet onboarding solution for web3 games. Set to roll-out in a few months, the product will lowering the barrier to entry, improving asset distribution, and ensure gamers are ready to play.
EtherOrcs | Development Halted : Ether Orcs, the first 100% on-chain game, has halted developments due to inability to receive sufficient funding. The assets remain on-chain so the team expresses that anyone can continue development around the assets for alternative experiences. Unfortunate to see a pioneering project in the space sunset efforts. Read more here.
Webaverse | Theft Statement : Webaverse loses $4m in funds from an advanced social engineering scam. Really unfortunate to see happen. Read the linked statement for deeper insight.
Illuvium | Beyond PFP NFTs : Decentralized gaming studio Illuvium has announced its latest ecosystem expansion, Illuvium: Beyond. Illuvium: Beyond will feature a customizable NFT collection called Illuvitars, scheduled for launch in early March with help from Binance, ImmutableX, and Chainlink.
NFL & Roblox | Super Bowl Metaverse Concert : The NFL has partnered with Roblox to launch a free virtual Super Bowl concert in the metaverse. The concert will take place within Rhythm City, Warner Music Group’s virtual experience in Roblox metaverse.
Sandbox VR & Netflix | VR Game : Sandbox VR, which operates location-based virtual reality experiences, is collaborating with Netflix to create a fully immersive Squid Game virtual reality experience.
WBD Sports | W2E Trivia Game : Warner Bros Discovery Sports (WBD Sports) will launch an ‘industry first’ Web 3.0-based trivia quiz and fan loyalty program during weekly broadcasts of its ‘Inside the NBA’ magazine show. Starting this week, viewers will be able to scan a QR code to enter the Bleacher Report Watch to Earn (B/R W2E) quiz, which rewards players with digital tokens if they correctly answer questions about basketball and recent episodes of the show.
Mini Royale | Public Alpha : Mini-Royale, a Solana-based, play-in-your-browser FPS, recently opened up a public alpha for Faraway Land, a town building, product making game where players will be able to craft Gear NFTs for use in the Mini-Royale game.
Research & Interesting Reads
Shima Capital | Account Abstraction for Web3 Gaming : Check out this awesome read from Jack @ Shima on how account abstraction works and why it’s useful for web3 games.
Derek Edws | Storing Value in Digital Objects
a16z | The Generative AI Revolution in Games
Pantera | The Seventh Bull Cycle
Delphi Digital | NFT and Web3 Gaming Reports for 2023
Foobar | Liquid Delegates : Learn more about Liquid delegates (LDs) here! LDs wrap delegation rights into a tradeable NFT, giving you a trustless way to trade airdrop claims and more. It grants no-liquidation, no-risk NFT rentals automatically compatible with all standard ERC721s.
Bankless | State of Optimism : Get a solid pulse check on all things Optimism.
Deconstructor of Fun | The Mobile Games Industry in the Year 2023
Sealaunch | Profiling BAYC Holders Part 1 : Take a deep-dive into BAYC holders’ on-chain behavior.
Decentralised | The Creator Economy in Gaming
NFT Drops & Updates
The Fabricant (💰) | Sevdaliza “XXories” Mint on 2/16 : Pioneering digital-only fashion house The Fabricant has partnered with renowned musician Sevdaliza for a provocative collection of digital wearables, called XXories. The XXories (pronounced accessories) are a range of digital facewear that includes virtual earrings, facial piercings, and nose chains, which can be worn via AR. The XXories digital wearables collection will be available to purchase exclusively on The Fabricant's website, minting starts February 16th. Be sure to follow along on twitter here to remain updated!
Pak | Turkey OE Charity Mint : Pak drops a non-transferrable NFT open edition mint “Cause #1” with a mint price of 0.001eth, with all proceeds going to charity for the recent earthquake victims.
Reddit & Super Bowl | Free Avatars : the social media platform dropped the Super Bowl LVII x Reddit Collectible Avatar collection. The NFTs are free and, like Reddit’s previous drops, provide owners with unique benefits on the platform. So far, more than 1.2m of the avatars have been minted.
BAYC | Dookey Dash Over : Yuga Labs’s Dookey Dash play period ended on 2/8 meaning the leaderboard for “The Key” is locked in (pending game reviews). They also highlighted what holders can expect in the coming months in this tweet here. Check out pro-gamer and popular streamer Mongraal getting first place here, it’s insane!
NFT Stat of The Week: There was a 38% increase in NFT sales volume from December to January, according to crypto analytics firm DappRadar. January’s NFT sales totaled $946.7 million — up from $683.9 million in December — the largest total since June 2022. (via Decrypt)
CUB3 (💰) | $6.5m raise : Bitkraft and Fabric Ventures led a $6.5m round into web3 customer loyalty program Cub3, alongside participation from Sfermion, CMT Digital, and Red Beard Ventures. The funding will be funneled into launching its Proof of Behavior protocol. Currently, in beta, the company says this system uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify and evaluate behaviors both real-world and on social media platforms. Behaviors and their subsequent rewards are then stored on-chain so that brands can access analytics to measure their return on investment.
Gemba | $18m raise : The virtual reality platform for workplace training has announced a $18m funding round led by Parkway Venture Capital.
Mino Games | $15m raise : Mino Games has raised a $15m round, led by Standard Crypto, to create its Dimensionals collectible character game with Web3 features.
SPACE ID | $10m raise : SPACE ID closes a $10m strategic round led by Polychain Capital and dao5, aiming to build a universal name service network that connects decentralized identities.
Elementus | $10m raise : Elementus, a blockchain data intelligence platform announced a $10M Series A-2 funding round led by ParaFi Capital. The platform enables investigation of on-chain activities, identifying risk and discovering valuable market intelligence, and provides the most complete data set and sophisticated tagging/attribution capabilities on the market.
Addressable | $7.5m raise : Addressable raises $7.5m to make web3 marketing easier. The seed round was co-led by Fabric Ventures and Viola Ventures.
Cenoa | $7m raise : Cenoa, a borderless super wallet improving access to dollar-based products in emerging markets, has raised $7 million in a seed funding round led by Quiet Capital and Underscore.
Mawari | $6.5m raise : Mawari has raised a $6.5m round, led by Blockchange Ventures and Decasonic, to enable faster 3D content delivery for digital assets for the metaverse.
Fungify | $6m raise : Fungify raises a $6m round, led by CitizenX, to build new NFT lending primitives. Utilizing Chainlink’s NFT floor pricing feeds, Fungify offers instant NFT sales, NFT collateralized loans and a yield-bearing blue chip NFT index.
Sesame Labs | $4.5m raise : Sesame Labs comes out of stealth with a $4.5m seed round led by Wing VC and patron.xyz, with a mission to enable people and dApps to engage with trust in a decentralized world.
Vault | $4m raise : Vault, a music platform built with web3 technology, raised a $4m Series A led by Placeholder VC. Vault uses NFT technology to enable artists to offer extra content and experiences for a fee.
Port3 Network | $3m raise : Port3 Network has raised a $3m seed round, led by KuCoin Ventures, to build a web3 social data portal.
Overworld | $2.5m raise : Blockchain gaming publisher Xterio has invested $2.5m in Overworld, a new partner game studio that will make multiplayer role-playing games with digital collectibles.
Latent Technology | $2.1m raise : London-based startup Latent Technology has raised $2.1m to build the next-generation animation technology for virtual worlds and game characters. Spark Capital and Root Ventures led the investment round, and game venture capital fund Bitkraft Ventures also participated.
Chingari | Aptos Labs Investment : Aptos Labs made an equity investment in popular Indian social media app Chingari. Chingari, a short video app with five million daily active users, will make Aptos its preferred Layer 1 blockchain
Collector Crypt | Unknown raise : Collector Crypt, a startup bringing the $402b physical collectibles market to the Web3 space, has successfully closed its seed round, securing investments from GSR, Big Brain Holdings, FunFair Ventures, and more.
Andrew & Mo’s Curated
Metaverse Live Ep. 6 with David @WeAreHume (💰) :
Metaverse Live Ep. 7 with Kerry Murphy @TheFabricant (💰) :
💰 = Sfermion Portfolio Company
Curated by @mopat1214 + @AndrewSteinwold
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