Innovation of the Week
Air travel is about to be transformed with the launch of TravelX, a new platform for tokenized travel products built on the Algorand blockchain. It went live on September 21st and the initial inventory of airline tickets available for purchase are all from low-cost Argentine airline Flybondi. They aim to add 60 more airlines within the next year, mainly focusing on Latin American and European operators.
After acquiring an NFTicket, the holder can auction, sell, transfer, gift or exchange them through a peer-to-peer system. TravelX and the airlines each retain 2% of P2P secondary market transactions.
Founders Facundo Martin Diaz and Juan Pablo Lafosse (who previously founded tourism marketplace Almundo) closed an $11M seed round last November and have plans for a Series A round in early 2023. Sources: CoinDesk, TravelX.
New Products and Ideas
Truth Labs (the creators of NFT collections such as goblintown and Illuminati) have collaborated with Snag Solutions to build a marketplace for their own collections. The Truth Labs Marketplace sets out to challenge OpenSea's status quo, and claims it will "introduce more stringent processes for reporting stolen NFTs to better align with the ethos of Web3 and decentralized technologies" and reduce fees by having a single 5% royalty fee for transactions.
Snag Solutions, founded by Zach Heerwagen and Jason Jong has already created several bespoke marketplaces for NFT collections and their proposal to the ApeCoin DAO to build one for BAYC was approved on September 22nd in a landslide vote. They are clearly playing a significant role in the acceleration of self-management by NFT communities which may well challenge the current dominance of the major marketplaces. Sources: NFT NOW, ApeCoin.
Dating platform dating.com is embracing the Metaverse and launched a new virtual dating experience this week in Decentraland. To celebrate the launch, three couples who previously met on the website will get married in VR in a “blockchain matrimony” with NFT-marriage-certificates. Outside of marriages, users will also be able to gift each other NFTs while hanging out in the space, a fun and novel twist on traditional courtship.
Chief Strategy Officer KJ Dhaliwal said: “It's the perfect time to launch meta-dating products because after years of COVID people are more open to using technology to meet each other and AR/VR hardware and software are improving at record speed.” Source: The Drum.
Top Solana NFT marketplace Magic Eden is rolling out support for Ethereum NFTs. As of September 21st, ME now hosts major collections such as BAYC, Pudgy Penguins and Otherside, and many more will be added in a matter of days. Rather than develop their own native tech, listings from other platforms are being aggregated and integrated.
ME’s CEO Jack Lu was interviewed on Decrypt’s GM podcast this week and admitted that the team had been “worried” about potentially negative reactions from their Solana-loving community but that so far, he has seen high degrees of user overlap between the communities and the move has been broadly welcomed.
Meanwhile, OpenSea are ramping up their offerings to the Solana community, announcing via Twitter on September 22nd “We’ll now be auto indexing the majority of Solana collections so they appear automatically on OpenSea. Yup, no need to go through a form or any other procedure to show up on our marketplace!” Sources: OpenSea, Blockster, Decrypt, BeInCrypto.
NFTs and the fashion world continue to intertwine, with a standout show by designer Vivienne Tam at New York Fashion Week in which NFTs but took centre stage in the designs themselves, incorporating many Blue Chip collections from BAYC and CryptoPunks to CyberKongz. One notable shirt was covered in “GM”s and Punk6529s.
The entire concept of Tam’s collection was based around the metaverse and her belief that we need both physical and virtual worlds to complete ourselves, hoping to create a bridge between them with her designs. Meanwhile, responding to potential criticism or confusion she said “NFT, cryptocurrency, DAO,’ it’s like jazz music; either you get it, or you don’t.” Sources: Fast Company, SCMP, NFT Evening.
NFT & Web3 software company Chain, who previously notably collaborated with Tiffany & Co to make NFTiffs happen, have just signed a four-year deal with Kraft Sports + Entertainment (part of Kraft Group). Chain is now the “official blockchain and Web3 sponsor” for Massachusetts-based sports teams and stadiums the New England Patriots, New England Revolution, Gillette Stadium and Patriot Place.
Chainalysis released a report this week on crypto adoption in Asia that reveals the huge role NFTs are playing in onboarding. In almost every country in Central and Southern Asia, NFT-related websites account for a majority share of web traffic in the crypto sphere - an average of 58% in Q2 of 2022, for example.
In these countries, a further 21% on average was linked to play-to-earn (P2E) games like Axie Infinity. At one point, 40% of Axie’s players were based in the Philippines, while an estimated 25% of Filipinos and 23% of Vietnamese citizens have played a P2E game. Sources: Decrypt, Chainalysis.
There’s a new danger to your NFT collection: divorce! As reported by NFT Evening, an increasing number of NFT collectors are sharing their experiences on Twitter of proceedings in the 17 “no fault” divorce states in the US.
MAYC collector @hodlland had to surrender 50% of his NFTs, while BAYC holder @StonedBrody reported having to transfer assets to his wife after a court order and said that liquidation will be forced on him if they do not come to an agreement. Based on these initial tales, it looks like we may start to see NFTs foregrounded in prenups soon. Source: NFT Evening.
The Solana-based NFT collection Okay Bears has just signed a major deal with top-level talent management agency IMG. IMG will exclusively represent and manage the brand for global licensing, with the explicit aim of securing partnerships and delivering new, branded consumer products.
Okay Bears is a collection of 10,000 bears that notably made over $18M within 24 hours of launching and its messaging centres around positivity - with the mantra “We’re all gonna be okay” and describing itself more broadly as “a culture shift.” Prior to this deal, Okay Bears had already collaborated with NBA athlete Lonzo Ball and official NBA supplier Wilson. Sources: IMG, NFT Plazas, CoinDesk.
- Crypto Adoption Steadies in South Asia, Soars in the Southeast. The latest report from Chainalysis is a well-written deep dive into the state of crypto affairs in Asia and how NFTs fit into the picture, alongside the rise gaming of fascinating country-by-country analyses. It forms part of their upcoming 2022 Geography of Cryptocurrency Report.
- Magic Eden 101. This new guide from NFT NOW talks you through using Magic Eden both as a creator and as a collector, as well as the marketplace's key features, most popular collections and why we need it.
- Episode 21 of The Noochie Show: The 1.75 Million Dollar NFT Heist with Keith Schmidt. In this excellent episode, Keith shares the full lowdown on how his NFTs were scammed, and how he managed to recover half of them!
- The Defiant Podcast Season 10 Episode 9: Cami Russo and Robert Lauko, founder of Liquity (an overcollateralized DeFi lending protocol and issuer of the LUSD stablecoin) have an important conversation about how DeFi projects can deal with censorship.
Save the Date
- 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 17 - 23 September. Source: DappRadar.