Weekly Roundup: What Happened in Play2Earn Games and NFTs This Week? [Feb. 8, 2022]

Weekly Roundup: What Happened in Play2Earn Games and NFTs This Week? [Feb. 8, 2022]

2 years ago

CoinMarketCap takes a look at some of the most prominent play-to-earn and NFT events — from a ban of the @NFT instagram account backed by Mark Cuban, to wash trading flooding the NFT market.

Weekly Roundup: What Happened in Play2Earn Games and NFTs This Week? [Feb. 8, 2022]


Copyright infringement could grow to become one of the gray areas of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Nike is already suing a popular online retailer for selling sneaker NFTs. Will this set a precedent for other top brands?

Here’s a rundown of some top NFT news over the past week.

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DAO Raises $7.8 million to Buy an NFT Supporting the Freedom of WikiLeaks Founder

From trying to purchase the US Constitution to taking a shot at owning an actual golf course, several decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) have sprung up for different reasons. In the case of AssangeDAO, a group of cypherpunks has teamed up to fight for the freedom of Julian Assange, the jailed founder of WikiLeaks.
The goal of the DAO is to purchase a one-of-a-kind NFT produced by renowned digital artist Pak. Set to launch on February 7, the “Censored” collection is a collaboration between Pak and Julian Assange. Proceeds from the sales will go to the Wau Holland Foundation, which has so far raised millions in support of Assange’s legal defense. Pak tweeted:
“Censored is a collaboration with Julian Assange. It's about you. It consists of two parts, a dynamic 1/1 and a dynamic open edition, for you all to participate.”
The AssangeDAO made its debut on December 10, the same day a ruling that barred Assange's extradition to the U.S. was overturned. Some members of Assange’s family are part of the initiative and in just 24 hours after it launched, the DAO raised around $7.8 million via the funding platform Juicebox. As of press time, the funds had grown to over 12,790 ETH or $38.3 million.
According to the DAO’s leadership, those who donate ETH will receive the AssangeDAO JUSTICE governance token. The team wrote on Substack: “It is our belief that DAOs are a powerful coordination mechanism that cypherpunks can wield to free Assange," later tweeting on Thursday that:
"Assange's case has become symbolic for Individual Sovereignty in the 21st Century. We must organize collectively leveraging the power of permissionless, censorship resistant digital currencies."

For some context, Assange is wanted on espionage charges in the US. His company, WikiLeaks was known to have published classified government documents and he is currently in pre-trial detention in the U.K., after being arrested on 11 April 2019. He has been fighting extradition. If extradited and found guilty, he could face up to 175 years in prison.

Instagram Clamps Down on Mark Cuban-backed @NFT Account

It has become common practice for so-called social media influencers to get paid for “shilling” NFT projects, even though they are not personally involved in these projects. For instance, star actor Elijah Wood was forced to sell NFTs from a project he invested in after controversial cartoons from the artist’s past surfaced. Similarly, another celebrity-backed NFT account has come under intense fire for posting sponsored content without full disclosure.

Last Wednesday, the popular @NFT Instagram account was called out on Twitter for repeatedly advertising new NFT collections without disclosing that the posts were ads. The top NFT account had the blue verified check mark and boasted of 1.7 million followers.

Following the call out, Aaron Avruskin, who co-founded Leverage Game Media (backed by Mark Cuban) and owns the @NFT account, vowed to “immediately cease all ads” in a Twitter Spaces on Wednesday night. However, it was too late. By Thursday Instagram had banned the account.

A spokesperson for Meta reportedly told Rolling Stone:
“This account was disabled following repeated violations of our policies, and it won’t be reinstated.”

In his defense, Cuban told news media that although he was an investor at Leverage Game Media, he did not operate the company. He also denied being the co-founder of the company, as earlier stated on the Leverage Game Media website. By Friday, the company had updated its website to remove Cuban from its list of founders.

As for the whole drama, NFT collector TopShotFund created a Twitter thread accusing the @NFT account of “promoting a shadowy cabal of scammy copy pasta NFT projects without proper disclosures, thus taking serious advantage of the less informed.”

There was also a screenshot of a spreadsheet that tracked the ROI for 36 projects that had been promoted by @NFT. Sadly, the floor price of most of the digital collectibles on the list was far lower than the “mint price,” meaning that investors were sitting on heavy losses.

Meanwhile, according to the CEO of marketing agency Urconduit, Eric Spivak, @NFT charged between $25,000 to $100,000 per sponsored post. TopShotFund confirmed the $100,000 price tag in what appears to be a screenshot of a conversation with the @NFT account.

Nike Drags StockX to Court for Selling Sneaker NFTs

The American sportswear company is not ready to lose any of its revenue for the NFT market. The company has filed a lawsuit against an online sneaker reseller called StockX for selling images of Nike sneakers as NFTs.

Over the past week, Nike dragged the Detroit-based online vendor to the New York federal court. Apparently, StockX has been selling sneaker-themed NFTs as part of its “Vault” collection since January and according to Nike, the vendor has so far sold more than 500 NFTs.
The Vault collection NFTs are modeled on real sneakers, with a promise that unapproved NFTs will be redeemable for physical goods “in the near future.” An excerpt from the Nike filing argues that:
“StockX publicly touts the fact that Nike products drive more sales on its e-commerce platform than any other brand, and StockX advertisements and social media accounts are teeming with images of Nike goods. Recognizing firsthand the immense value of Nike’s brands, StockX has chosen to compete in the NFT market not by taking the time to develop its own intellectual property rights, but rather by blatantly freeriding, almost exclusively, on the back of Nike’s famous trademarks and associated goodwill […] Nike did not approve of or authorize StockX’s Nike-branded Vault NFTs. Those unsanctioned products are likely to confuse consumers, create a false association between those products and Nike, and dilute Nike’s famous trademarks.”
Interestingly, Nike is already in the NFT space, having purchased virtual sneakers maker RTFKT in December.

Super Bowl Goes NFTs, Fans to Expect NFT Souvenirs From This Year’s Event

As the NFT wildfire continues to spread, attendees of this year’s Super Bowl LVI should expect an NFT souvenir along with their tickets.

Following a partnership between the NFL and Ticketmaster, one of the highlights of this year’s event will be free NFTs. The NFTs will be marked with the attendee’s unique section, row, and seat.

While this first set of NFTs is more of a “digital keepsake” from the NFL, it is evaluating the sector "for future ticketing and event engagement opportunities," the league's SVP of Club Business Development Bobby Gallo said.

"Collecting ticket stubs has always been something our fans love to do, especially for the season’s biggest game, and offering customized Super Bowl NFTs allows us to enhance the gameday experience."

Along with the souvenir NFTs, the NFT is also releasing a collection of seven historic commemorative NFTs. AN NFT will be released every day from February 6 to February 13.

Meanwhile, NFTs for the participating teams, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams, have been released. The winning team will be adorned with a final NFT after the game.

100 Thieves Doles Out 300k Polygon NFTs

Although the 100 Thieves have refused to call its free tokens NFTs, we all know what “commemorative digital collectibles” are.

Esports organization and lifestyle brand 100 Thieves made its debut into the NFT space last week, issuing out 300,000 free Polygon NFTs within 24 hours. Surprisingly, there was no mention of the word “NFT” in any of the official social media announcements.
A Wednesday announcement of the “LCS Championship Chain” was careful enough to avoid words like “NFT,” “Polygon,” “blockchain,” or any other crypto-related term. The only hint to an NFT was a claim by 100 Thieves that buying a virtual chain had the “same carbon impact as sending 2 emails.”

The 100 Thieves NFTs features a 360-degree animated view of a diamond chain, modeled after a real diamond. Co-founder and CEO Nadeshot actually gave out physical necklaces to his “League of Legends” team for winning the 2021 LCS Championship.

Cameo Rolls Out NFT Passes With Expanded Celebrity Access

Cameo, an American video-sharing app that allows fans to buy personalized video messages of celebrities and online influencers, has jumped on the NFT bandwagon. The firm officially released Cameo Pass last week.

The Ethereum NFT pass will function like a ticket that will allow holders to unlock extra perks and experiences.  Set to launch on leading NFT marketplace OpenSea on February 17, the Cameo Pass is priced at 0.2 ETH or around $530. The NFT will serve as an access card to the app’s new membership club.

As for its design, the passes feature artwork from a number of artists, including Doodles’ Burnt Toast, cartoonist Luke McGarry, and NFT artist Vinnie Hager.

The NFT pass will unlock access to future online and live events such as parties at the Cameo House in Beverly Hills, online Q&A sessions with celebs, as well as meet and greet opportunities. There will also be exclusive merchandise, along with access to a metaverse world.

A representative of the company explained that the proceeds from the NFT sales will be channeled into Web 3 developments.

GameStop Partners With Immutable X on Gaming NFT Marketplace

GameStop, a gaming retailer that captured the spotlight about a year ago after the meteoric rise of its stock prices, is finally making real of its long-teased NFT plans. The video game retailer has inked a deal with Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution Immutable X for its upcoming NFT marketplace. The company has also launched a $100 million token incentive to spearhead NFT gaming efforts.
Commenting on the deal, Immutable co-founder and CEO Robbie Ferguson told crypto news site Decrypt:

“Immutable and GameStop are focused on incentivizing long-term gaming projects, where AAA or high-quality studios are trying to build games that are enjoyable to both play and earn. The future of gaming is one where digital property rights are inherent—but the games still have to be fun.”

The GameStop marketplace will focus on in-game NFT items. The grant is in place to fuel the next wave of NFT-based games. Developers and studios will receive grants of Immutable X’s IMX token.

A Lot of Wash Trading Is Happening in the NFT Market

According to a recent report by blockchain analytics platform, Chainalysis, the NFT market has become a hub for “significant” wash trading and money laundering.

“As is the case with any new technology, NFTs offer potential for abuse. It’s important that as our industry considers all the ways this new asset class can change how we link the blockchain to the physical world, we also build products that make NFT investment as safe and secure as possible.”

For the uninitiated, wash trading is a form of market manipulation where the same person simultaneously buys and sells the same asset to create a false activity in the marketplace. Put differently, an NFT trader can list an item for sale and then purchase it with another wallet he controls.

Chainalysis disclosed that one user had 830 sales between addresses he controlled. Meanwhile, they identified 262 users who had sold an NFT to a self-financed address more than 25 times. Shockingly, 110 of the said users had collectively made almost $8.9 million in profit from the activity.

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