This week in NFTs (Week 3)
Current trends in NFTs, PFP verification, Instagram NFT marketplace, SimpDAOs, Microsoft, Walmart & More!
This is a bumper week for all things crypto, metaverse, and NFTs!
Though pretty much all of the good news were overshadowed by the huge drops plaguing crypto and stock markets in the later half of the week :/
Much of the NFT growth happened in 2021 and most of the new entrants into crypto are not used to the rollercoaster ride. I wish everyone well during this period and if things become too much to bear, turn off the computer and the notifications on the phone and head out for a walk!
We will get through this, as we did on the previous dips.
For now, there’s so much to cover so let’s get right into it!
Trends in the Metaverse
This week, I have been thinking a lot about the trending topics (and up-and-coming trends) and I’ll probably dedicate this space in future to talk about them so we don’t miss out on catching whatever wave may come. This space evolves so fast, it will be good to talk about the micro trends above all the news that go on.
Of course, if you want the latest, do follow me on my Twitter.
Current trends we’re in:
#WomenInNFT and the empowerment of women in this space. Projects such as “World of Women”, “8sians”, & “WomenRise” have seen major support from those in the space. I expect this positive trend to continue, as it is healthy movement to promote inclusivity to onboard as many into the metaverse.
“3D animation” pfp project launches - Invisible Friends, WGMInterfaces & Imaginary Ones are a few of the examples. These projects have been explosive growth on their Twitter despite only launching for a couple of weeks. Seems like people are starting to demand more than just PFPs. We’ll monitor this closely.
Overheard in the Metaverse
An NFT is not a digital object, they're computers. You can program them as much as your imagination allows. I say that because where we're headed has nothing to do with images.
- William E. Quigdiley, Co-founder WAX.io
This Week in the Metaverse
Twitter PFP Verification
Let’s face it, you’ve probably already gone into Twitter before reading this and you might have realised that the hex has taken over many pfps! This was a feature teased back in Oct 2021 when Twitter’s product team showcased what such verification might look like.
For those in this space, the introduction of this feature will act as a filter to right-click-savers. More importantly, however, it shows how identities/objects can be verified on the blockchain! This is only the first iteration of blockchain verification, and I believe we will see more in 2022.
This iteration of the verification is not perfect, however, as some have mentioned that right-click-savers can still mint copied NFTs onto their wallets and have them verified on Twitter. Nonetheless, I believe these speed bumps will eventually be smoothened out (as all good tech will) as we learn how to navigate around the technology.
For now, cue all the folks who dropped $10,000 on an NFT but complain about the $3 Twitter Blue subscription!
Facebook and Instagram PFP Integration?!
Yes, now that we’re done with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were reported by The Financial Times that they are exploring plans to let users create, showcase, and sell NFTs on its platforms.
It feels like a natural progression for Meta to take ever since coming forth to announce their step into the Metaverse. If this holds, it would be the biggest show of mainstream support for NFTs as FB and Instagram have more than 2 billion users collectively.
However, it was also mentioned that the plans are still ‘early stage’ and a lot of things are still subject to change. Despite this, it seems unlikely that they will backtrack on the decision as FB and Instagram already have robust marketplaces and NFT integration would be a step towards further domination in the tech industry.
SimpDAOs (ft IreneDAO)
The idea of how tokenizing oneself is not new. There have been projects in the past based upon this idea however they never really took off the way it was intended.
Then came IreneDAO. It came like a storm and started a wave of other similar ‘projects’ such as EllaDao. The DAO even managed to gain the attention of Mike Novogratz and Logan Paul (who bought the tokens at its top), and to all that, you might be wondering how did it happen.
The story began when a crypto influencer by the name of Irene Zhao (@irenezhao_) and her business partner came up with an idea for So-Col (Social Collectibles) to help creators monetize their content and build communities with their fans - a decentralised OnlyFans, Twitter, Discord of sorts.
In their Telegram community, Irene launched a sticker pack with superimposed photos of herself with crypto slangs like “gm,” “wen Binance” and “yes ser.”
The sticker pack immediately gained a lot of traction, and Irene was then contacted by a fan called “libevm” who suggested to her to turn the sticker pack into NFTs. Irene agreed and in 2 days, the sticker pack was tokenized into 1,106 NFTs which acts as an access pass to the DAO.
When asked about the importance of this new movement, she mentions that the Web2 economy does not provide the necessary incentives to creators even when they are providing the best content. Web3 fixes that by allowing the creator to take ownership of their content and allowing users to take part in the growth of the creators.
You can read more about the motivations of So-Col and IreneDAO on this Twitter thread she posted.
CoinbaseNFT x Mastercard
If you’ve ever purchased any crypto on the Coinbase app, you’d realise that it takes you no more than 3 steps. This is the Coinbase ethos - to make their platform intuitive, simple, and clean to use.
Hence, it is no surprise that it is also the approach that CoinbaseNFT is taking when it comes to allowing users to purchase NFTs. The idea is to allow for NFTs to be more accessible and inclusive for anyone that is looking to participate in them.
The partnership with Mastercard will allow anyone to “just make your purchase, get the digital goods you want and get on with your day”.
With Coinbase as one of the largest exchanges presently available, this ease of use would hopefully onboard the next wave of people onto crypto as people start to understand about the utility of crypto.
Will We See a Walmart in the Metaverse?
Late in December 2021, Walmart filed several trademarks that signaled their plans to make and sell virtual goods in the metaverse. Based on one of the filings, it appears that Walmart would also offer a virtual currency for use, as well as NFTs.
It seems like dominating the retail sector in the real world isn’t enough with them expressing interest in getting into the metaverse. Walmart would not be the last of these businesses entering the metaverse seeing how businesses have been rushing to figure out how they will fit into a virtual world in the future.
Read more here.
Microsoft Acquires Activision Blizzard
Another company headed for the metaverse is Microsoft.
Activision Blizzard are the folks behind Call of Duty, Overwatch, Warcraft, Candy Crush, and more. With this acquisition, Microsoft will be the third-largest gaming company by revenue! So, in other words, THIS IS HUGE.
In the article linked in the tweet by Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, it speaks of how the acquisition “will accelerate the growth in Microsoft’s gaming business… and will provide building blocks for the metaverse.”
In my What to Expect in 2022 for NFTs article I wrote at the beginning of the year, I discussed the importance of triple-A studios coming in to build metaverses due to its complex nature of having to handle economies & gameplay - of which most successful games already have, less the integration to the blockchain.
Late last year, we had Square Enix jumping into the thick of things, and this week we had Microsoft joining in the ball pit of fun.
Podcast of the Week
On this episode of the nftnow podcast, Coinbase’s NFT Product VP, Sanchan Saxena, discusses building more social experiences around NFTs, the potential of Coinbase NFT to disrupt the current market, and more.
This podcast is insightful in providing Coinbase’s motivation for providing access to NFTs and how they will juggle between centralisation/decentralisation on their platform.