Innovation of the Week
A new decentralized lending platform launched this week: Aada Finance. It is notable for several reasons: it is the first lending and borrowing protocol launched on the Cardano blockchain, and it has developed an innovative NFT bond mechanism which tokenizes loans in the form of NFTs. This enables lenders and borrowers to transfer and sell their loans and become liquidators.
Co-founder Mantas Andriuska stated this week: “Peer-to-peer is the right way to build on the blockchain, and we plan to take full advantage of the eUTxO model. Ultimately, our main objective is to provide efficient lending and borrowing - a solution the Cardano community has eagerly anticipated.”
Aada Finance is also currently offering a bug bounty competition as part of its launch, with $25,000 worth of AADA tokens up for grabs!
New Products and Ideas
The debate about creator royalties and whether they should be enforced is heating up. This week, NFT marketplace Magic Eden joined the conversation with a new tool: MetaShield. This is designed to enable creators to flag and blur NFTs if their royalties are bypassed. The idea is for this blurring to be temporarily applied by the creator until the royalty-debt is paid, at which point it will revert back to its original form.
The community’s response has been mixed, with some praising creator-support coming from a marketplace (particularly in light of SudoSwap’s recent controversial no-royalties move) but others accused ME of increasing centralization and unfairly targeting buyers. ME took to Twitter to defend its move saying “Like collectors, creators should have freedom to defend their biz. Re: decentralization most NFTs are mutable & collectors have purchased them by their choice. We're not centralizing NFTs any more than the original technology.”
The Solana-based NFT project Outcast Academy has introduced $DRAMA tokens, which will reward the best shitposters on Twitter in a move it is calling “the first shitpost-to-earn ecosystem” and more broadly, an “entertainment experiment”. You can now nominate people on Twitter to receive free airdropped DRAMA tokens by tagging @DramaReward. An upcoming NFT collection will form part of this ecosystem, and is built around 5 high school archetypes: artist, rebel, nerd, prep and jock.
Inspired by Ethereum’s Merge and wanting to document this historic moment, Michael Blau and Mason Hall of Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) developed free-to-mint “Proof of Merge” NFTs earlier this week which underwent three phases of transformation as the Merge developed, and could only be minted pre-Merge-completion. The NFTs are an animation of the Merge itself, presented as two individual circles combining to form a complete circle - referencing the Dragon Ball Z-inspired merging pandas meme. The project’s front-end was designed by Zach Meyer. 42k+ were minted!
The Museum of Modern Art in New York is holding an auction of works valued at $70M from its own collection in order to fund digital initiatives, and has stated an interest in NFT-collecting as part of this. 29 works will be sold via Sotheby’s, including paintings by Picasso, Renoir, Bacon and Rodin - all from the collection of CBS founder William S. Paley.
MoMA Director Glenn Lowry explained that with decreasing IRL audiences, digital reach is a priority and claimed a team at the museum was “keeping tabs” on the digital art market. He also said “We’re conscious of the fact that we lend an imprimatur when we acquire pieces, but that doesn’t mean we should avoid the domain [of NFTs].” For more on this story, check out CoinDesk's report.
Starbucks is launching a new loyalty program, Starbucks Odyssey, in which users can earn and purchase NFTs that unlock benefits. Participants can play interactive games and go through challenges that test knowledge of both coffee and Starbucks. Potential experiences that can be unlocked include a trip to Starbucks’ coffee farm in Costa Rica. For those who do not want to get involved in activities, NFTs they are calling “collectible stamps” can also be purchased directly using a credit card and then traded. Each will have different points values based on rarity. Currently, there is a waitlist for access after many early sign-ups.
There’s a new yacht club in town! BAYC holder and IRL-yacht-owner Jad Comair is launching a decentralized, NFT-gated yachting platform that will enable members to rent real yachts around the world. Comair is calling it Bored Yachts Club, commenting that in the BAYC community “there were some yachts missing”. However, there will be no official tie to BAYC, and participants won’t need to own one to take part in this new community. According to Comair, his intention to form a decentralized platform for yacht rentals has been long-standing but the synergies and marketing possibilities with his Ape were undeniable!
This was a truly historic week as Ethereum completed its long-anticipated Merge on September 15th. The final Proof-of-Work (PoW) block before the move to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) was entirely filled by an NFT mint from Vanity Blocks at a cost of 31 ETH, nearly $50,000. The NFT is listed on OpenSea under the name “The Last POW Block” and the highest current bid is 10 ETH.
Doodles, the popular NFT project that has been criticised by some in the community for being very quiet this summer (not posting on Twitter for the whole of August, for example) announced this week that it has raised $54M at a $704 million valuation, with investors including Seven Seven Six, 10T Holdings, Acrew Capital and FTX Ventures.
Secondary market sales have increased dramatically since this week’s Twitter update, in which Doodles explained: “We are using the funding to rapidly acquire a world-class team of engineers, creatives, marketers and business executives. As well as to fund product development, acquisitions, proprietary technology, media, and collector experiences.” $2.1 million worth of Doodles sales took place in 24 hours, 1,224% higher than the previous 24-hour span.
- William M. Peaster breaks down creating editioned NFTs using Zora’s Editions system in this handy guide for Metaversal!
- Upgrade your NFT toolkit with the tips in this article by Langston Thomas for NFT NOW: 7 Powerful Tools for Tracking NFT Collectors & Trades.
Podcast 1: Explain the Ethereum Merge to Me Like I'm 5 Years Old. In this episode of Welcome to the Metaverse, blockchain developer George Fatlion talks us through The Merge;
Podcast 2: In this episode of the FTX Podcast, FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried shares his expert insights into leadership, building regulatory frameworks, his favourite games, and more!
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
The NFT Space in Numbers
The values below are from 10 - 16 September. Source: DappRadar.
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