FTX's Gaming & NFT Plays, OpenSea's Royalty Tool, Microsoft's Metaverse Play
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Amidst a dramatic turn of events concerning the world’s largest crypto exchanges, NFTs are still holding their own…for now. 😏 We take a closer look at what this means for FTX’s gaming and NFT moves, while unpacking other major developments in the space!
Read the full issue to find out
Markets

Last week, the total NFT sales volume increased by more than 56% to $170.48 million. Sales stemmed from 18 different blockchain projects and Ethereum captured $139.31 million of the aggregate, as expected.

While ETH-based NFT sales jumped by 95%, the second largest amount of sales stemmed from Panini-based NFT sales which increased by 74.27%. Ethereum and Panini were followed by Immutable X and Solana, respectively, in terms of week-over-week percentage increases.

The bestselling NFT collection this week has been Art Gobblers, as the collection accrued $51.78 million in total sales. Art Gobblers was followed by Bored Ape Yacht Club’s (BAYC) $9.45 million and the Keepers collection’s $8.57 million.

Elsewhere, a new report expects China’s NFT industry to grow by 69.5% on an annual basis to reach US$4882.5 million in 2022. One to look out for! 🇨🇳

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The fate of FTX’s gaming and NFT pursuits

As you’re probably already aware, crypto exchange Binance has agreed to acquire FTX after the latter exchange encountered a liquidity crisis. This leaves questions flying about what it will mean for FTX’s many broader Web3 initiatives—including around NFTs and gaming.

FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried stated that FTX US is not “currently impacted” by the tentative Binance deal. This might give us a clue into how certain scenarios could play out. Let’s have a look at some of the company’s Gaming and NFT plays:

  • The FTX NFT marketplace which included exclusive drops in partnership with NBA star Stephen Curry and music festival Coachella—was established by FTX US, which is a separate company from FTX’s primary global business. It can be assumed that it’ll be unaffected by the Binance deal.
  • When FTX acquired game studio Good Luck Games in March, that deal was handled by FTX US, so that team might not be acquired by Binance.
  • FTX’s staggering 10-year, $210 million deal to sponsor esports club Team SoloMid (TSM) in 2021 was a joint deal between FTX Trading Limited (FTX.com) and FTX US. On the other hand, FTX’s seven-year deal to sponsor the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) was only attributed to FTX in the original announcement, not FTX US. The fate of these deals is unclear.
  • FTX Ventures, the exchange’s $2 billion investment arm, invested in projects such as Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs, the team behind NFT project Doodles, and Mini Royale: Nations developer Faraway. The division was established under FTX’s parent company, so it may go along with the exchange to Binance.
  • The FTX Gaming division, which developed white-label infrastructure for Web3 games, was reportedly established under FTX US.

This is a rapidly developing situation, and plenty of details remain unclear. What is clear is that some of these deals and initiatives will meet irrevocable changes.

In other headlines,

  • Bored Ape Founders Propose NFT Royalties Model. Read More
  • Bank of Korea Tested NFT Trading, Remittances With CBDC. Read More
  • Bank of Russia Suggests NFT, Smart Contract Regulation. Read More
  • LG Electronics seeks Web3 talent for blockchain, NFT efforts. Read More
  • NFT Superstar Beeple Announces Collaboration with Solana. Read More
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Exchanges
OpenSea launches on-chain royalty enforcement tool

OpenSea has chosen creators over traders in the NFT royalty fee saga.

The company is taking a less popular decision by launching an on-chain tool to enforce NFT royalty fees on new collections. The leading NFT marketplace is following a similar decision taken by Immutable.

“It’s clear that many creators want the ability to enforce fees on-chain; and fundamentally, we believe that the choice should be theirs to make – it shouldn’t be a decision made for them by marketplaces. So we’re looking to balance the scales by putting more power in creators’ hands, equipping them with tools to control their business model,” OpenSea wrote.

Although the current version only targets new collections, OpenSea plans to make upgrades in the company months for more on-chain enforcement.

In other news,

  • Line launches NFT marketplace on its platform DOSI. Read More
  • Royalty enforcing NFTs to be a ‘new asset class:’ Magic Eden CEO. Read More
  • OneOf and Get Maine Lobster shipping seafood to NFT buyers. Read More
  • SuperRare NFT Marketplace Launches RarePass for Exclusive Curated Art Drops. Read More
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Gaming
Microsoft backs WeMade in $46m round

Microsoft is one of three entities that have invested $46 million in WeMade, a Korean game developer focusing on Web3 - according to a press release. The other two investors are Shinhan Asset Management and Kiwoon Securities. The three have opted to back WeMade in its Web3 push for supremacy.

According to a regulatory filing, the game developer is raising the amount through convertible bonds. Microsoft invested $14.8 million, Shinhan invested $21.2 million, and Kiwoom invested $10.5 million.

With over 20 years of existence under its belt, WeMade recently launched Wemix 3.0, its blockchain mainnet, a stablecoin, and a DeFi platform. The goal is to transform everyday games with blockchain technology.

In other news,

  • NFT gaming startup Eterlast exits stealth with £3.9m. Read More
  • Web3 AI Company Altered State Machine Teams Up with FIFA to Launch “Smart Football” Game. Read More
  • Square Enix Announces Symbiogenesis, a Story-Driven NFT Interactive Experience. Read More
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Metaverse
Japanese Bank MUFG to offer financial services in metaverse by 2023

The biggest financial institution in Japan, MUFG, is making its move to enter the metaverse. On Nov. 7, the company announced a partnership with ANA Holdings, a consortium of companies dedicated to air travel and transportation services, to be part of ANA’s upcoming digital platform. The platform is expected to begin operations with a user base of 38 million, corresponding to the mileage members of the company.

The metaverse platform, called ANA Granwhale, is projected to be operational in 2023. Customers of the company will be able to roam the 3D world with their avatars and interact with different stores and stands in the virtual world. MUFG, ANA, and Sompo Japan, an insurance company, will explore the possibilities of conducting their specific activities in the metaverse, examining laws and regulations regarding this matter.

MUFG aims to be able to offer its financial services to the users of this metaverse platform.

In other news,

  • Wuhan omits NFTs from metaverse plan amid regulatory uncertainty in China. Read More
  • Trademark filings show Rolex is timing a metaverse play. Read More
  • Facebook owner Meta expected to announce major job losses. Read More
  • Anything World raises $7.5m for its AI animation tool. Read More
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