Most innovative (author's pick)
An exciting new product with major implications for NFT utility and safety was announced this week: the first NFT Rights Management Wallet. This is a collaboration between NFTfi, the leading liquidity protocol for NFTs, Web3 development company Bootnode, and wallet platform Safe. It addresses a major issue for NFT holders: that they currently have to move NFTs out of their wallets to access certain Web3 applications, such as loans or rentals. With this new wallet, holders can delegate rights to other addresses, which can only execute specific smart contract function, e.g. receiving airdrops, online exhibition features or borrowing against that asset.
- Commenting on the importance of this breakthrough, NFTfi Co-founder and CEO Stephen Young said: “Secure rights delegation is a critical capability missing from the current NFT technology landscape. This project will provide a secure and flexible solution compatible with existing NFT standards. We hope this will enable new use cases that add value not only to NFTfi and Safe users, but also to the overall NFT community.”
- As part of the partnership, Safe announced a strategic investment in NFTfi.
Creator royalties are a hot topic of debate this week, with discussion focused on the fact that decentralised NFT marketplace Sudoswap has established 0% royalties and just 0.5% trading fees. In spite of significant outcry among artists and some collectors, uptake of their recently launched product, the sudoAMM, has unsurprisingly spiked as traders take advantage of lower fees and new arbitrage opportunities.
- Major NFT artist Beeple entered the conversation this week and placed the onus on collectors to honour royalties.
- While many people in the NFT community had pointed out how the integration of royalties is fairer than the traditional art market system, the role of NFT platforms and individual buyers and sellers in opting in is suddenly in the spotlight.
As promised, Yuga Labs released a long-awaited IP rights agreement for CryptoPunks holders on August 15th. CryptoPunks' original creators Larva Labs previously held the collection's IP rights and the community has been waiting to see how new owners, Yuga Labs, would proceed. The new terms state that holders have exclusive and sub-licensable rights for their Punks, which transfer to the new holder if they sell.
- Yuga Labs does, however, reserve the right to make future changes. In the hope of calming fears over this, they stated: “Don’t panic. This is there only because we are breaking new ground and need to be flexible in order to best serve the community."
- Rights and licensing have been a hot topic in the NFT community this month, off the back of Moonbirds suddenly moving to a copyright-free Creative C0mmons Zero licences (CC0) and the artist XCOPY following suit.
- When Noah Davis, the ex-Christie's NFT chief and now brand lead for CryptoPunks was asked about CC0, he commented “Not all projects were meant to be CC0 projects. It’s not a one size fits all thing.”
This week, Mark Zuckerberg posted a sneak-peak of himself as a digital avatar from within Meta's major metaverse project: Horizon Worlds. The response has not been positive, inviting headlines such as: "Does Mark Zuckerberg Not Understand How Bad His Metaverse Looks?" (Forbes); "Mark Zuckerberg spent $10B on the metaverse and all he got was this stupid selfie" (PC Gamer) and "Mark Zuckerberg's Soulless Metaverse Avatar Has Me Worried About Our Digital Future" (Kotaku) - to list a few!
- The post was meant to promote the official release of Horizon Worlds in France and Spain.
- The announcement did, however, lead to the early 2000s game "Second Life" trending on Twitter, after many comparisons between the two were drawn.
MTV has created a VMAs (Video Music Awards) Experience in the Roblox metaverse. The first game launched on August 12th and more will be released up until the main VMA show on August 28th. Users can also vote for their favourite Metaverse performances, a new category in the awards, using a custom token. Competitors for the title include Charli XCX, Justin Bieber and BLACKPINK.
- MTV is hoping to reach younger audiences, as their viewing numbers for last year's VMA's shrunk by 17% in the crucial 18-49 demographic.
- The experience will be advertised throughout other Roblox games with virtual billboards in an attempt to capture potential new viewers.
- As such an established brand, MTV's Metaverse move may well inspire more new entries from the entertainment and music industries.
The widely celebrated American artist Frank Stella is jumping into NFTs at age 86 and is releasing a collection of 3D designs to help launch Arsnl: a new Web3 platform from the Artists Rights Society (ARS). Stella is a major advocate for artists rights, particularly resale royalties, and is a longterm member of the ARS. His first NFT collection will come with a notable perk: the instructions and rights for holders to 3D print physical sculptures of their NFT in any size.
- Commenting on his NFT collection, Stella said "It will be wonderful if technology can give us what the government never would.”
- 22 designs will be released in editions of 100. Each NFT will cost $1000. As Katarina Feder, the VP of ARS and founder of Arnsl, put it: “It’s an affordable and flexible way to own a Stella.”
A keen trademark-researcher revealed on Twitter that US food giant Taco Bell has filed an application to host weddings in the Metaverse. This is a significant expansion to a previous filing Taco Bell made in March related to simply operating a virtual restaurant.
New products and ideas
The Solana-based wallet Phantom has added a 'Burn Token' feature. Now, wallet-users can respond to a free airdrop (a favoured technique by scammers for gaining access to others' assets and sending malicious links) by opting to burn it. For every NFT burned, a small deposit of SOL (Solana's currency) will also be received by the destroyer.
- In July, Solana hosted the second-most NFT sales after Ethereum, with a monthly total of $56.1M compared to ETH's $535.6M. However, due to its low transaction fees, Solana is also a top choice for scammers.
- In a blog post this week, the Phantom team wrote: “We’re still in the Wild West days of Web3. As the crypto ecosystem grows, so have the number of bad actors looking for ways to steal user’s funds. The rapid growth in popularity of NFTs has led to an increasingly prevalent method of attack for scammers – Spam NFTs.”
Fractional, a platform that enables collectors to own fractions of high-worth, or 'blue chip' NFTs has rebranded to Tessera. The rebrand comes alongside a $20M Series A funding round led by Paradigm and an upcoming V2 protocol launch. One major change will be that instead of receiving a stash of fungible ERC-20 tokens as proof of fractional ownership, buyers will get representative NFTs.
- Commenting on these changes, co-founder and CEO Andy Chorlian explained that the original name, 'Fractional', was often confused with other similar words including the unrelated gaming platform Fractal.
- The platform has already been used for high-profile projects including PleasrDAO purchasing the original Doge meme photo that inspired Dogecoin and for fundraising by UkraineDAO.
A new platform launched this week: PlayNFT. It enables gamers to create, mint and sell their own branded NFTs with in-game utility. While currently targeting Twitch and YouTube streamers, it will also add support for TikTok content creators in the next few months.
- It is a cross-chain platform that aims to integrate many blockchains, including Ethereum, Polygon and Solana.
- According to CEO Xavier Moore, “PlayNFT will empower creators to meaningfully engage their audiences and infuse their NFTs with utility and value in a collaborative, accessible way.”
- NFT Adoption in Africa: What is the Current Reality? In this insightful piece written by Abdulrasaq Ariwoola for NFT Plazas, we get to know the state of NFT affairs on the African continent, including the rise of digital artist communities and the impact of recent regulations;
- What Are Play-to-Earn Games? In this new guide for NFT NOW, Jex Exmundo and Rupendra Brahambhatt fill us in on the essentials of the current space and speculate on the future of P2E.
New podcasts and shows
- Podcast 1: In this episode of Web3 with a16z, experts help us get to the bottom of recent high-profile hacks and offer some advice for builders;
- Podcast 2: Carly Reilly, host of the popular Overpriced JPEGs podcast, has a new show! Check out the first episode of Between 2 Layers co-hosted by Immutable X co-founder Robbie Ferguson.
Save the date
- 17 - 18 September 2022: NFT Show Europe takes place in Valencia, Spain
- 3-4 November 2022: NFT.LONDON (brought to you by NFT.NYC) takes place in London, UK
NFT space in numbers
The values below are from 13 - 19 August. Source: DappRadar.