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NFT Innovation Digest #54

New reversible token standards cause controversy / Christie’s goes on-chain / A fresh start for Pixelmon? / You can now print your favourite NFT on your debit card / Apple welcomes NFTs (for a 30% cut)
NFT Innovation Digest #54

Featured artwork: 438 by Meg Thorpe

Innovation of the Week

Researchers at Stanford have proposed two new token standards, ERC-20R and ERC-721R, that would enable reversible transactions with the intention of tackling theft: “Billions in crypto stolen. If we can’t stop the thefts, can we reduce the harmful effects?”. The authors, Kaili Wang, Qinchen Wang and Dan Boneh, propose that reversals would only be allowed if approved by a decentralized panel of judges, who would vote on whether a victim’s request to freeze stolen funds should be approved. If accepted, the freeze would be executed, and after a trial, the funds would either be reverted or unfrozen - with the opportunity for both sides to give evidence.

This proposal has been divisive, with many in the community responding that it attacks the core of permissionless DeFi and the ideals of decentralization. However, the researchers emphasise that this is an early-stage project and one that does not seek to make Ethereum reversible, but actually responds to a call to action from Vitalik Buterin in 2018 when he wrote “Someone should come along and issue an ERC20 called Reversible Ether that is 1:1 backed by ether but has a DAO that can revert transfers within N days.” The full published paper can be read here.

Sources: NFT Plazas, Twitter, CoinDesk

New Products & Ideas

There’s a new feed in town, as Coinbase Cloud and Chainlink Labs partner to launch pricing feeds that track the floor price of Blue Chip NFTs. The main use case is thought to be for developers and DeFi applications, such as NFT lending markets and indexes, who would benefit from access to real-time prices.

This new feature makes use of Coinbase Cloud’s NFT pricing algorithm to scan every NFT transaction in a collection across major marketplaces, estimating the current floor price and updating it as new transactions are recorded on-chain. The pricing feeds will track popular Blue Chip collections such as BAYC, CryptoPunks, CloneX and World of Women.

Sources: Decrypt, CoinSpeaker, BSC News

Global auction house Christie’s, who noisily entered the NFT space with the $69M auction of Beeple’s “The First 5,000 Days” artwork, has now collaborated with Manifold, Chainalysis and Spatial to launch their own marketplace. The new marketplace, which they’re calling Christie’s 3.0, will see all transactions conducted on-chain, on Ethereum.

The inaugural sale sees 9 new NFTs by 18 year old NFT star Diana Sinclair, who first started making art as a child on the digital doodle app Draw Something. In an interview with Artnet this week, she described this move from Christie’s as “a huge message to the rest of the centuries-old art market that digital art and blockchain technology is a legitimate form of expression. As a young artist, and especially one who grew up seeing artists in my family being dismissed over discrimination, I feel so strongly about being part of a moment that indicates a greater shift in the arts.”

Sources: NFT Plazas, AMB Crypto, Decrypt, Artnet

Mastercard and the financial app “hi” have teamed up to create the world’s first debit card that you can customize with NFTs you own (for now only available in the EEA and UK). Only certain collections have made the cut, including BAYC, CryptoPunks, Azuki, Goblintown and Moonbirds, and there will be a process to verify that you own the NFT. Integrations with Samsung, Google and Apple Pay are coming soon.

According to Sean Rach, co-founder of hi: “Not only do the NFT cards look amazing, this is a great way for people to show which online community they belong to, but in the real world. The flexibility to spend fiat, stablecoins or other crypto, combined with attractive financial and lifestyle rewards, makes us confident that our card is a game-changer in the market.”

Sources: Mastercard, NFT Plazas

Mainstream adoption

Warner Music Group, the mega-label who represent the likes of Madonna and Ed Sheeran, are partnering with OpenSea in a move towards greater onboarding. Through this collaboration, Warner’s artists will have early access to new products, dedicated areas for their own launches and support from the OpenSea team to expand their Web3 presence.

The partnership kicks off with the release of NFT Label Passes for Probably A Label, the Web3 record label celebrity chef Jeremy Fall launched last month with Warner. The pass has a range of music-related utilities, enabling holders to license songs, access upcoming drops, and create and own stakes in community-generated, IP-backed virtual artists.

Sources: Decrypt, Coin Telegraph, Cryptoflies

High-profile French fashion house Balmain has partnered with the minting platform MintNFT and XRP Ledger to create an NFT-based membership programme that will entitle holders to access upcoming drops, IRL events and digital experiences.

They have also built a “Web3 hub” they’re calling The Balmain Thread, that debuted this week during Paris Fashion Week to an audience of 10,000 who will all receive automatic access as an extension of their ticket to the event. In addition, attendees can mint their favourite moments from the Balmain show as unique NFTs - a mobile photo experience created by MintNFT to help brands increase fan engagement.

Sources: Vogue, NFT Plazas, Business Wire

Hot Topics

Controversial NFT collection Pixelmon, whose mint in February 2022 was one of the most financially successfully ever, raising $70M in hours, but whose eventual art reveal was widely mocked (and called a rug pull by many), is attempting a new start. VC firm LiquidX has acquired a 60% stake and Pixelmon’s founder Martin van Blerk is now a non-controlling shareholder with an appointed representative on the board of directors.

There is a new leadership team in place, made up of ex-employees from Riot Games, Ubisoft, Blizzard Entertainment and Garena. There is also a new road map, a new website and a lot of the original designs have been upgraded. The team has promised an alpha version of its game (the MMORPG) is coming in Q1 2023 with a first release for holders, as well as a token and LAND launch.

Sources: Tech in Asia, NFT NOW

Apple has finally enabled the purchase of NFTs through apps in its marketplace but, to much outrage from the broader NFT and crypto communities, plans to take a 30% cut from app developers who make over $1 million through the ‌App Store‌ on an annual basis, and 15% making less than that - and won’t allow crypto payments.

Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic Games, summed up many people’s thoughts on the matter when he tweeted “Now apple is killing all NFT app business it can’t tax, crushing another nascent technology that could rival its grotesquely overpriced in-app payment service.” Others, however, have offered less negative feedback and highlighted, for example, the benefit for mobile games of selling NFTs, the potential for increased Web3 adoption, and the App Store’s reach of more than 1 billion iPhone users.

Sources: Blockworks, Coin Telegraph, Decrypt

Recommendations of the Week

Must-Read Articles

  • Article 1: Spencer Gordon-Sand, Founder and Fund Manager of Spencer Ventures, gives an exclusive interview to Blockworks about how he raised $5.4M for NFT investing during the bear market, liquidity strategies, and the high level of current NFT-investment-interest among family offices.;
  • Article 2: Another fantastic deep-dive from Bankless, this time into the overlap of DeFi and NFTs. It offers a breakdown of the whole ecosystem and talks readers through how lending, rentals, derivatives, fractionalization and appraisals work.

Must-Listen Podcasts

  • Podcast 1: In ep. 23 of The Noochie Show, we hear a fascinating conversation with Dandelion Wist Mané, the co-founder of QQL, about all things generative art and NFTs;
  • Podcast 2: In ep.92 of the NFT Catcher Podcast, hosts Michael Keen and Jennifer Sutto sit down with Magic Eden founders Jack & Sid to talk about the Magic Eden marketplace, Solana, gaming and if there'll ever be Magic Eden tokens.

Save the Date

  • 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 24 - 30 September. Source: DappRadar.

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