Azuki’s golden skateboards, NFT-erized fantasy flicks, and Reddit ruling the roost (Issue #44)
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Right, let’s get straight into it!
What the heck is a PBT? 📱
Azuki this week unveiled a new open-source token standard. A new what now? It’s calling it a PBT (Physical Backed Token), and it’s designed to link a physical item with a digital token on the Ethereum blockchain.
Azuki’s first implementation of PBT relies on another new creation, the “BEAN chip,” which it describes as “a physical cryptographic chip that self-generates an asymmetric key pair.” Think of it as an NFC chip that can also trigger blockchain activities when scanned. Fancy.
To show off the possibilities of PBT, Azuki dropped nine 24-carat-gold-plated skateboards this week, each of which includes a BEAN chip. The successful purchasers will be able to scan the chip with their smartphones, which will create an NFT proving they own the glimmering board. Azuki calls this process “scan-to-own” and says it also allows for the transfer of the NFT if a physical item changes hands.
“If the physical item gets sold or gifted to a new owner, the subsequent owner can then scan-to-own the same physical item, which transfers the PBT from the previous owner to the new owner in a decentralized manner.”
Azuki envisions three key use cases for PBT to start with. “Decentralized authentication of goods,” that is, scanning an item with your phone to prove its authenticity. “Tracking ownership lineage of physical goods,” which it expects brands will use to build new product experiences for consumers. And, “[u]sing physical products to create digital experiences,” where “[o]wning a digital token can unlock physical drops, and now owning a physical product can unlock digital experiences.”
The news saw Azuki’s floor price climb, so the market is evidently impressed. What’s even more pleasing is Azuki making PBT open-source, something that feels very in keeping with the web3 ethos, and the sort of move that’s just the latest in its ongoing redemption story. You may remember a back in May, Azuki founder Zagabond found himself in hot water after revealing he’d been behind two previous failed projects, but sought to position them as crucial learning experiences that made Azuki possible rather than rug pulls.
Zagabond’s definitely learned a few new tricks on his journey through web3, and Azuki holders are reaping the rewards. While we won’t be buying any golden skateboards ourselves, we’re looking forward to our first experience of PBT IRL, and we’re excited to see not only what Azuki does with the technology, but what other projects build with it, too.
📢 The crypto art difference 🎨
Drop alert 🚨
Minted but pre-reveal | Degenheim
Recently minted, but still pre-reveal, Degenheim is a play-to-earn project that promises “the fun of playing Diablo, Hades, Path of Exile, Lost Ark, World of Warcraft etc. within a world where virtually anything in-game can become an NFT.” Find the project on OpenSea over here.
Minting Oct 27 | @kooksbyterry
Pioneer of the #StreetArtNFT movement, skater, and DJ, Terry Urban, is launching his first digital collection. Entitled “@kooksbyterry,” the collection is comprised of 2,222 1/1 pieces, and the drop takes place on Streetlab.io. You’ll need to ollie through some hoops to get on the mint list. Check out the thread below for details:
Looks rare 🖼
And the (Lumen) award goes to… gen art 🏆
We’re delighted to announce that Metaversal will be sponsoring The Lumen Prize in 2023 and helping introduce a new award celebrating excellence in generative art. We believe in supporting the next generation of digital artists using blockchain technology in innovative and authentic ways. And we’re especially partial to artists using code to create art, so we’re excited to be able to recognize, elevate, and reward those doing it with particular panache.
The Lumen Prize is an annual celebration of the best art created with technology. Now in its 11th year, it has awarded more than $100,000 in prize money to artists since its inception and has helped turn some of them into household names. It’s exactly the sort of initiative we’re proud and honored to support.
Probably nothing 🤔
Blur wants to show it cares 💆
There’s a new NFT marketplace and aggregator in town called Blur that’s aimed at professional traders, and that’s promising unprecedented speed… something that matters to high-volume traders and which can make the difference between sniping a rare NFT and seeing someone else grab it first. Blur’s been operating in private beta for four months, and its zero-fee marketplace went live for the public this week.
To incentivize traders to use its platform, Blur is airdropping them “care packages” that can be opened to claim its $BLUR token, which goes live in early 2023. Twitter user OxQuit has a great breakdown of how the airdrop works.
There are big names attached to Blur, including Punk6529, Zeneca, Deeze, and Cozomo de’ Medici, and while there’s no knowing how $BLUR will perform when January rolls around, or whether Blur will be able to unseat rival Gem or steal significant volume from OpenSea, LooksRare, SudoSwap, X2Y2, and others. But one thing is clear: There’s plenty of innovation — and competition — still to be had in the NFT marketplace space.
Reddit: The great onboarder? 🤔
Back in July, Reddit, the self-proclaimed “front page of the internet,” announced it was partnering with artists to create NFT avatars for its platform that users could buy. The 40,000 avatars were priced between $10 and $100 and sold out in short order. But a far more interesting metric emerged this week: Redditors created 2.5 million digital wallets on the platform… which is more than the 2.3 million active wallets on the largest NFT marketplace, OpenSea, and significantly more than the ~360,000 active traders on the platform last month.
While Reddit so far only sells its own NFTs, OpenSea has thousands of projects, 1/1 NFTs, access passes, and other digital trinkets on its platform, and we don’t think Reddit is going to become the new de facto place trades happen or anything outlandish like that. But the moral of the story is that legacy or web2 platforms with enormous, engaged, and tech-savvy users may well onboard more new users to web3 more easily and rapidly than web3-native platforms can themselves.
WB creates precious NFTs 🛡
Variety reports that Warner Bros. is launching a marketplace called the “WB Movieverse” and that its first wares will be “multimedia NFTs” of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, the first film of the epic fantasy trilogy based on the books by J.R.R. Tolkien. Warner partnered with Eluvio for the drop, which consists of 999 “Epic Edition” NFTs priced at $100 each, and 10,000 “Mystery Edition” ones priced at $30.
Both versions of the NFT give buyers access to a 4K version of the extended version of the film and access to over eight hours of additional content, image galleries, and augmented reality items. The Epic edition adds additional images and other unique content.
Now look, this is a movie that came out 20 years ago, at which point plenty of degens were still in diapers, and all of the behind-the-scenes videos are out there already, so we’re thinking of this as more of an experiment from WB than a massive value-add for fans. If there proves to be sufficient appetite for the drop, though, expect to see more NFT-erized movies and series soon.
To the moon 🌛
A house in South Carolina dubbed the “NFT house” (because it can be traded on OpenSea) sold for more than $175,000 (~133 ETH).
After losing market share to royalties-optional rivals, NFT marketplace Magic Eden has stopped enforcing royalties on its platform.
Meanwhile, a new report from Galaxy Digital says NFT creators have made over $1.8 billion in royalties to date.
Venture capital fund a16z is launching a Crypto Startup School that includes funding, mentorship, and, of course, significant bragging rights for those who get accepted to it.
Web3 automation platform Taco has added Tezos NFTs to its loyalty program for Shopify users.
Doodles celebrated its first birthday. 🎉
Nouns DAO spent six figures to name a species of frog.
OpenSea is rethinking how it displays rarity on NFT collections after pushback from communities and creators alike.
Spatial Labs has launched what it calls the LNQ Marketplace along with LNQ sweatshirts and clogs that include a chip that owners can scan to prove provenance (Azuki’s not the only one with this idea, clearly) and to which digital collectibles can be linked.
🪡 Thread of the week 🧵
Bedtime reading 📚
Read Max / Max Read has a comprehensive timeline of Meta’s metaverse journey from its acquisition of Oculus right up to last week’s announcement of the Meta Quest Pro and avatars getting legs. It’s thorough, and hilarious, and demonstrates how Meta’s desire to dominate the metaverse continues to trounce its ability to create one anyone actually wants to spend significant time in.
Goats only 🐐
Whether you ride a 24-carat-gold-plated skateboard to work or you work from home, you should be watching or listening to Goats and the Metaverse.
This week, they unpack Azuki’s new “scan-to-own” PBT (Physical Backed Token):
If you enjoyed Goats and the Metaverse, why not share it with a friend? When the show hits 5,000 subs, one lucky subscriber will win the contents of the “Goat Vault,” a collection of NFTs worth over 10 ETH (~$13,000)!
The Metaversal Interview 📝
Bryan Brinkman is an animator, visual effect artist, reformed/recovering late-night TV graphic artist, pop culture gallery artist, and advisor. He’s also one of the most recognizable and friendliest faces in the NFT scene… and he knows a thing or three about what it takes to make it as a digital artist in NFT Land.
In Part II of our interview with him, he gives us his top tips for new artists, explains how he came to rescue an adorable profile picture project, tells us what he thinks about the controversial artist and collector Pak, and shares his tried-and-tested way to navigate any NFT party like a pro.
It’s gonna be a fun Thanksgiving 🦃
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Congrats on making it all the way down here, fren!
Until next time, see you in the Metaverse!