Honestly I had to edit the life out of the newsblasts this week because the metaverse news would not stop coming. Is this a sign of things changing or an opportunity for me to put the boot in? Either way, I'm passionate in the extreme. I get mad when folks do it wrong and I stan folks who do it right. If you read the outlook from Bain & Co recently you will see that the metaverse ain’t going anywhere. So you can cry and bleat all you want, you whine to each other at Gamescom this week, but you’ll thank all us stalwarts later.
Beat to the Blockchain Drum ⭐️
In news that excited me more than a private dance from Jungkook, Zepeto, the South Korean sensation, is doing a metaverse moonwalk into blockchain and though I would usually say oblivion, I feel like they may be ok compared to their contemporaries. Get this: ZTX just snagged a whopping $13 million in a seed round, with venture capital bigwig Jump Crypto leading the charge. Zepeto's not your average Joe – they're worth a staggering $1 billion and have won over a cool 400 million users since 2018. Now, they're diving into the NFT universe with ZTX, aiming to turbocharge crypto adoption. ZepetoX brings ownership to its 3D universe, starting with Genesis Home Mint – a collection of NFT 3D homes, yes, homes, ready to rock on Ethereum's Arbitrum. Bear in mind that their demographic is mostly under 18, I think they’re gonna nail this one.
🎮 Sandbox Unlocks the NFT Treasure Chest, Will the Game Change?
Early predictions for the metaverse depressed me more than you can possibly imagine. Snoop Dogg or fancy academia aside, I think those who created the vision for what the metaverse could be in the early days or opportunistic years of the pandemic were ill-equipped to deliver. That makes me mad. Moreso because now quite a few operatives in this space are using token drops as some kind of last gasp into a flagging space.
The Sandbox are a metaverse powerhouse, that’s never been up for debate but this crypto winter sure is taking a toll on these once untouchable empires. By unleashing a colossal 332 million SAND tokens – that's a cool $133 million in value, my friends, The Sandbox are rallying around their own products from their own stable and this is the tough bit for me. People just are not using the virtual platforms the way that they were. So facing the weather by doing a token unlock could be a death knell. I hope not. SAND tokens have been dancing in a downward rain for the last 30 days, from around $0.45 to a not-so-hot $0.39. The Sandbox isn't backing down, quite the opposite—they’re doubling down. Watch out.
🐶A Shaggy Dog Story
Who let the dogs out? No, literally, who let the dogs out? This is a story that I ran a little while ago which has come back for an extra bite. 21 million wallets wagging during its testnet phase and now it’s touting some kind of Shiba Inu-themed metaverse playground, complete with virtual residences and digital property galore. Le Sigh. This is about 2 years too late regardless of where they want to be in the food chain. Unless they can make the tail wag the dog, this might decentralise itself out of existence. Someone pass me the poo bag, we’ve got a stinky scoop.
✨Return of DAMAC
Hold onto your VR headsets, because DAMAC’s unleashing D-Labs, a metaverse makeover like no other! With a whopping $100 million ready to roll, they're carving out a space in this digital universe. Ready to trade your IRL for a metaverse mansion? D-Labs' got your back! Virtual digs, digital property, and futuristic platforms are DAMAC's jam. Isn’t that everyone jam though? The last few stories including the ZTX announcement is about virtual penthouses and land grabbing. Doesn’t anyone know how to do games? Fumb does, so does MYSTiC, doesn’t it make more sense to partner with the big guns rather than do this whole if-they-build-it thing? I dunno about you. I’m bored of it.
I wanted to say something about monkey business. There’s no point as it’s all been said before. I also wanted to illustrate when Sun Wukong decided to destroy the heavens starting with the Peach Orchards, but I won’t. People, this is not a drill. This is the end of times. A reality TV showdown in the NFT world between Sotheby's, the classy auction house, and Bored Ape NFT buyers. Investors are throwing shade and calling it a 2021 NFT gold rush gone wrong. Who knew monkey business could get so salty? The low-down is this: Sotheby's, famous for sophisticated auctions, might have put a little too much NFT glitter on those pixelated primates. They skyrocketed after a swanky auction, but guess who was the secret buyer? FTX, the crypto exchange now in the legal hot seat! Lawsuit plaintiffs are pointing fingers, saying they were bamboozled into thinking these NFTs were headed for mainstream fame. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed Hermes vs Maison Rothschild, this is gonna be the first courtroom showdown that we can all attest to since OJ.
🛑 What’s the 411?
VentureBeat has picked up a press release which means nothing much. Gaming meets blockchain in an explosive collision as Gala Games rockets into the metaverse through Elixir Games Launcher. Ok, well, Ultra are doing this. Nefta to a greater extent are doing this. Babe, everyone is doing this. This isn’t a new era of gaming, blockchain gaming is a thing. It’s just that everyone’s CEO dad is getting on the hype train so expect to see a lot of this. What the metaverse needs more than anything is education, solid use cases and PEOPLE.
A real waste of my degenerating retina to see yet another poorly planned, executed and downright cringe NFT collection. Major brand NFTs strutting down the NFT catwalk, only to trip on the secondary market runway? FIX THIS.
Collectors swarmed like flies on the proverbial for these digital Coke bottles. Absolute bilge. Over $450,000 splashed into nearly 60,000 Masterpieces by traders diving headfirst into the NFT ocean. But major brand NFTs have a reputation for fizzling out faster than a shaken soda can. FIX THAT. Remember Budweiser's beer can collection? Prices sank, value evaporated, and traders nursed their losses. As we toast to digital Coke bottles, let’s find as many metaphors for flat things, especially flat things that can be fixed.
Do Something Less Boring
Here are some AI tools I’ve been enjoying this week:
https://magai.co/ it’s like a refined chatgpt (tidiness comes at a cost though)
Unfold your arms - here comes https://aragon.ai/#hero you can turn your selfies into business headshot type things (this thing works miracles on my craggy face)
Be more accessible with https://freesubtitles.ai/ - I will be adding this to my next video prep.
THAT'S ENOUGH METAVERSE FOR THIS WEEK.
That’s enough metaverse for this week. I just stepped up at NAK3D from CTO to be our CEO so that means a whole world of pitching and being ghosted. If you have any tips for the world’s most cynical business leader, don’t keep it to yourself.
In the meantime, check out some of the articles you may have missed via my equally cynical sounding voice over on Spotify. You can listen to a wide range of articles whilst you work. Simple.