Welcome to the 25th edition of Sfermion’s Collider where we highlight the latest & greatest news in the world of web3 and gaming!
Weekly, we aim to drop a curated list of the most exciting stories & updates that we believe are enabling the emergence of the metaverse.
If you're looking forward to reading this edition of Sfermion’s Collider, please don't forget to subscribe below, share within your network, and follow Sfermion on Twitter to get the latest! Check out our Seam (💰) bio here :)
Mastercard | Teaming with Solana, Polygon, and more on New Crypto Standards : Mastercard partners with Aptos Labs, Ava Labs, Polygon and The Solana Foundation to instill trust in the blockchain ecosystem and developing new standards, called Crypto Credential. The standards will provide infrastructure for trusted, compliant and verifiable interactions to take place on public blockchains. Wallets providers like Bit2Me, Lirium, Mercado Bitcoin, and Uphold will use the standards to enable cross border transfers amongst the U.S, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Coinbase | International Exchange Launch : Coinbase launches international exchange with Bitcoin and Ethereum perpetual futures. The new exchange follows regulatory approval from the Bermuda Monetary Authority. Coinbase is committed to the US, but observes that countries worldwide are increasingly moving forward with responsible, crypto-forward regulatory frameworks. Last week, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong took to Twitter to rally crypto community support for a campaign demanding clearer industry regulations.
Nate Chastain | Ex-OpenSea HoP Convicted for Insider Trading : Nathaniel Chastain, a former head of product for NFT marketplace OpenSea, was convicted Wednesday of wire fraud and money laundering charges. Chastain was accused of using secret crypto wallets to buy up NFTs before being prominently featured on OpenSea's front page. Previous efforts by Chastain's legal team to dismiss the lawsuit or drop the wire fraud charges were unsuccessful. The jury began deliberating Monday.
Sports Illustrated | Polygon-based NFT Ticketing Platform : The U.S. sports publication’s ticketing marketplace SI Tickets has developed Box Office in partnership with Consensys. Box Office aims to allow event owners, organizers, and promoters to build further engagement opportunities into tickets, such as highlights, collectibles and offers through a feature called Super Ticket.
Adidas & TokenProof | Confirmed App Token-Gating Feature : Adidas partnership with Tokenproof creates a token-based access point for its world-renowned sports brand. This access point allows "ALT by Adidas" NFT holders access to exclusive collaborations and designer merchandise. The Tokenproof authentication technology has seamlessly integrated into the app, allowing "ALTS by Adidas" NFT holders access to exclusive benefits.
Google Cloud & Flare Network | Integration Partnership : The integration of blockchain APIs to Google Cloud Marketplace provides developers with a high-integrity data source for their blockchain-based applications. This will allow developers to experiment with different blockchain applications without having to run their own nodes.
Samsung & Crypto.com | Strategic Partnership : The update to the Crypto.com app is the first of its kind, and it is optimized for Samsung Galaxy Z Fold devices, and update provides a more efficient and user-friendly experience for traders and investors who use cryptocurrencies.
Blur | Launch of Blend - Lending & BNPL for NFTs : Blur and Paradigm team up to launch Blend - “a flexible and permissionless floating-rate lending protocol that can support arbitrary collateral with no oracle dependencies, and allows whatever interest rates and loan-to-value ratios the market will bear.” Read more here.
Lens Protocol | “Momoka” New Scaling Solution : Lens Protocol rebranded its newly launched scaling solution from Bonsai to Momoka after discovering another blockchain project was already using the Bonsai name. Momoka is designed to optimize cost and scalability by storing transactions off-chain in such a way as they remain accessible and verifiable, avoiding the limitations of block space on Ethereum and other blockchains.
Sotheby’s | Secondary Marketplace Launch : Sotheby's launches an on-chain secondary market for digital art. The market is open to a carefully selected group of artists. The integrated sales system will be fully on-chain via Ethereum and Polygon, and users can pay in either native token.
Consensys | NFT Loyalty Program for Early Users : ConsenSys-built Layer 2 network Linea is introducing a loyalty NFT campaign to boost activity on its testnet. Layer 2 loyalty campaigns have resulted in large increases in activity on networks sometimes causing congestion on the network.
Bernard Arnault | World’s Richet Man Owns NFTs : Bernard Arnault, the world's richest man and owner of countless luxury brands, boasts a personal collection of NFTs. Ian Rogers, CDO @ LVMH, recently confirmed his participation in the NFT space by seeing Bernard share his OpenSea page. Both his sons are also involved and fans of the technology.
Peacock | Metaverse Streaming Now Live : NBCUniversal has partnered with Meta to make Peacock available on the Meta Quest lineup of virtual reality headsets. This move is part of a larger trend in the entertainment industry, as more companies are exploring the potential of the metaverse. This partnership will offer users more opportunities to experience Peacock's content in an immersive VR and streaming experience.
Palm NFT Studio (💰) | Gen AI Creator Tool : Palm NFT Studio rolls out a generative art tool to make it easier for creators to create code-based artwork. The tool simplifies the process of creating bulk artwork, trait and rarity systems, and generating assets. Users can also create motion and static 3D assets, as well generate the text and metadata for their works.
Pixelynx (💰) & Beatport | Korus AI Music Project : The KORUS project is designed to "revolutionize the way music is created," and will offer creators the ability to play, create, and remix music from a global network of artists and labels, as well as using officially licensed IP. The project is integrated in Pixelynx's mobile gaming platform, Elynxir, which allows players to discover, collect and trade music. Additionally, Artist DNA, which feature music tracks and digital items that can be incorporated into the AI companions to generate new content, has been released.
MoonPay | New Retail App : Crypto payments platform, MoonPay, has launched a retail-facing app. The app is now widely available on Apple and Google app stores. It will give users a way to manage multiple crypto wallets and hundreds of different tokens. MoonPay has also been aggressively expanding into the NFT market.
Fortnite Creative | More Influencer-driven UGC : Five of gaming's most recognizable streamers are teaming up to develop a creator-led, community-driven Fortnite experience. This project is a professional turning point for the five creators, who are maturing into creative executives. Project V is accessible inside the game that brought the five creators and their audiences together. The customizability and interconnected ecosystem UEFN unlocks gives Epic more direct competition against Roblox.
Immutable (💰) | Passport V1 Live : Immutable goes live with their Passport beta for users to interact with the UX flow and MVP features, devs to become familiar with integrations, with plans to expand features and support greatly very soon. See it in-action from Robbie here.
Immutable (💰) & Baobab Studios (Momoguro) | Strategic Partnership : 9x Emmy-winning interactive animation studio, Baobab Studio, partners with Immutable to bring their storytelling RPG game, Momoguro: Legends of Uno to web3, alongside the IP itself. The Momoguro Games team has led some of the most influential games of the past 20 years, including: Magic the Gathering, Minecraft, Pokemon, The Sims, League of Legends - and will bring their expertise to web3. With over 10K+ ETH total volume already, should be an exciting one to monitor!
Ascenders | Arbitrum Launch & NFT Mint : Ascenders announces building on Arbitrum, upcoming NFT mint, and details around the experience “Ascenders : Simulation”. The land sale begins 5/18 and will happen on Metadrop.
Anima & Atari | OnlyBots AI/AR NFT Drop : Gaming companies Atari and Anima have joined forces to bring iconic Atari characters into Anima’s Onlybots AI and augmented reality universe. Onlybots are AI companions, experienced in augmented reality, and described by Anima as next-generation Tamagotchis. This limited drop set for June brings IP/characters from Atari games for collectors to interact with.
P2Earn | EA Co-Founder Joins as Chairman of Board : Electronic Arts co-founder and video game industry veteran Jeff Burton joins Canadian company P2Earn as Chairman of its Board of Advisors. The company plans to offer gamers an online platform, equipment, and access to NFTs in exchange for a percentage of their winnings. Burton believes in the potential of such “guild” models, which are similar to traditional gaming and esports industry organizations. P2Earn is betting that it will have a second life ahead of it and is currently adding industry veterans to its board.
Runiverse | ESL Launch : Runiverse is a leading metaverse gaming platform that offers players the unique opportunity to race against each other using real-time token market data. The activation will bring more excitement to the world of esports, promising to announce their first initiatives in the coming month.
Research & Interesting Reads
a16z crypto | 7 Sanity Checks Before Designing a Token
DappRadar | State of Blockchain Gaming in Q1 2023
Paradigm | Money in the Digital Age
Blockchain Capital | A Brief History of Web3 Gaming: What We’ve Learned So Far
1kx | Autonomous Worlds: The Case for Fully On-chain Games
Naavik | Digging into Creator Revenue Attribution
Naavik | Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Deal: A Complete Timeline
Bankless | Eigenlayer Restaking Meta
NFT Drops & Updates
StoryCo (💰) | The Disco Ball Research & Investigation Society : StoryCo launched an interactive prologue experience leading up to the release of Chapter 1 of THE DISCO BALL. Join the discord, claim the DBRIS role, and “earn perks and rewards by solving puzzles, finding clues, and helping to unfold the mysteries of the multiverse”.
Yuga Labs | Twelve Fold Physical & High-Res Versions : Yuga’s update to TwelveFold include high-res formats - Originals were 1,000 x 1,000 pixels, and have since been updated to a 12,000 x 12,000 pixel format and 144K resolution. Holders will also get access to a 1.2m x 1.2m physical framed copy with white glove delivery service. Nice early utility!
Yuga Labs | Epic Games Legend as New CTO : Yuga Labs Appoints Epic Games Legend, Mike Seavers, as CTO. He previously held roles include Executive VP of Development at Epic Games & CTO at Riot Games. Seavers' new job role begins May 22. The gaming legend will lead the development of all Yuga Labs' upcoming, innovative NFT projects.
Meebits | 2nd Birthday & Meebits 1.2 Launch : Meebits turn 2y old, get updated metadata and visuals, new bring-to-life features, website embedding, and more. Meebits 1.2 allows for richer story-telling, deeper asset connection, and even greater metaverse avatar functionality/reach. Yuga has been firing on all cylinders recently, we love to see it!
Doodles | Pharrell & Adidas Pack Drop : As part of the Stoodio launch last week, Pharrell drops an Adidas-themed pack of 300 boxes for holders. The boxes have been sent and are awaiting next steps for what’s inside. This kicks off the Doodles 2 experiences, and expect more collabs and activations in the short-term.
Puma & 10ktf | Exclusive NFT Sneaker Collection : Starting last week, Puma Nitro NFT holders and 10KTF community members can access the Grailed PUMA Slipstream NFT collection. Holders will be able to dictate the NFT version of the shoes through their virtual avatars in the 10KTF world. Puma Nitro NFT holders and 10KTF community members can also receive a customized physical edition of Slipstream sneakers. Yet another big name pushing boundaries in the intersection of fashion and blockchain technology.
Polygon | Community Customizable PFP Project : Paulygon, the first ever fully customizable NFT on Polygon, offers a customizable trait system with traits unlocked via ecosystem quests. With a 0.02 ETH mint price, users can personalize their NFTs through three accessory types: Basic, Commission, and Quest. The art is looking quite awesome and very meme-friendly. Follow along for more here.
Limit Break (💰) | Digidaigaku Free 2,022 BTC Ordinals : Limit Break announces their first Ordinals-based collection of 2,022 free NFTs, available via their freeNFT platform. Chibi BTC Ordinal NFT is FREE for those who own a DigiDaigaku Genesis NFT.
Truth Labs (Goblintown) | Big Inc Teasers : Truth Labs is gearing up to introduce its second season of the Goblintown NFT collection, which will prioritize "the worst traders in NFT land." The collection is based on the fictional Goblintown and features artwork featuring PFPs of animals with varying expressions. Traders that choose to pay for the collection in $PEPE will receive a 50% discount. Follow on twitter here for the latest.
Creature World | Chapter 2 - CROWD : Creature World is following up on their successful Crowd open edition launched in February with Chapter 2 starting this week. Crowd holders can burn one NFT to “evolve” another, creating a new trait. It’s unclear whether this will be a new NFT, or if it’s just a metadata update on the existing one - each phase is separate and have slightly different requirements and (likely) outcomes.
Michelin | Web3 NFT-based Community Launch : Another company entering the NFT scene - this time the popular tire company known as Michelin. The roadmap begins in May with raffles, Junes for a WL/public mint, and July and on for community activations, drops, events, etc. This one seems a bit thought-out and so I’m interested in seeing the roll-out. Follow them here for more info.
Cryptoys & Disney | Star Wars NFTs : Cryptoys, backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Mattel and Dapper Labs, said it will release 15 limited-edition Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Darth Vader collectible digital toys. The NFTs are powered by Dapper Labs' Flow blockchain and can be purchased using Apple Pay and Google Pay. The digital toys will cost $39.99.
Reddit | Free Claim for Select Gen 3 Users : Reddit has announced a small collection of avatars that will be claimable for free by users who experienced platform issues on the day of the Gen 3 launch, regardless of whether they were able to purchase an avatar. Eligible users will be notified of the mint via Reddit DM on May 15th (can’t say I really approve of this method), with 4 avatar designs up for grabs. One claim per account.
Diagram Ventures | $100m Fund : Diagram has raised over $100M for its latest fund, exceeding its target. The fund will focus on partnering with entrepreneurs to quickly validate, launch and scale technology companies in the fintech and web3 sectors.
Neowiz | $10m Polygon Game Accelerator : The accelerator and grant program was launched through its crypto subsidiary Intella X, which currently features a crypto wallet, DEX, and NFT marketplace within its ecosystem. The program will provide game developers much-needed opportunities and means for great games to be built in the Polygon ecosystem, to bolster Web3 gaming adoption and solidify Polygon's position as the home of Web3 gaming
Aki Protocol | $10m raise : Aki Protocol, a Data-driven influencer network in Web3, today announced seed round funding led by Akatsuki's Web3 Fund Emoote and Mask Network. Aki Protocol's nearly 150,000 social followers earn rewards, such as token airdrops and free-mint NFTs, by joining project campaigns on Aki Protocol.
FARE Protocol | $8.2m raise : Fare Protocol has raised $6.2M in a pre-ICO (led by Goat Capital & C^2 Ventures) ahead of its main token sale later this year. Fare Protocol's goal is to create a decentralized protocol for the transportation industry that allows users to book transportation using cryptocurrencies.
Tangem AM | $8m raise : Tangem AG, a leading provider of secure hardware wallet solutions, successfully closed its latest investment round at $8M, led by Web3 venture capital firm Shima Capital. The funding will enable Tangem to expand its product offerings, further solidifying its position as a leader in the hardware wallet space.
Vibe.xyz | $4m raise : Vibe.xyz announces $4M fundraise with participation from Aglaé Ventures (LVMH), Alchemy Ventures, Soma Capital, among others. Vibe enables NFTs to have upgradable interactions, functional robust applications, custom NFT plugins, omnichain-native infrastructure, even containing other NFTs, EOAs, smart contracts or applications.
Entendre Finance | $4m raise : Entendre Finance has raised $4M to launch a fully automated end-to-end accounting and bookkeeping solution for Web3 businesses. The platform provides an automated double-entry accounting solution powered by AI for any blockchain transaction, and integrates with leading accounting platforms and different Web3 applications.
Nomiks | $1m raise : Nomiks, a token economics & risk monitoring platform, has closed a €1M pre-seed round from Outlier Venture, Cygny Capital, and angels. The funds will go towards product development and research efforts.
Mo & Andrew's Curated
Based AF (💰) | "Everybody's wrong about the Metaverse. Including you" :
💰 = Sfermion Portfolio Company
Curated by @mopat1214 + @AndrewSteinwold
If you enjoyed reading this edition of Sfermion’s Collider, please subscribe below, share within your network, and follow Sfermion on Twitter to get the latest! Check out our Seam (💰) bio here :)
Note: All information in this Newsletter regarding any company or investment is the sole responsibility of the company providing the information. Sfermion, and its affiliates, makes no representation or guarantee to the accuracy or completeness of the information presented. Sfermion is not responsible for any information contained in any links outside our websites and official social accounts.
Sfermion does not offer investment advice/analysis and makes no recommendations on how to act. Information regarding any company or investment in this Newsletter, including any links to information on our website, should not be viewed as an endorsement or recommendation of that company or investment for any purpose whatsoever. Any person receiving this Newsletter is encouraged to consult with their own financial advisor, or relevant personnel, before making any investment decision.