Weekly Roundup: What Happened in Play2Earn Games and NFTs This Week? [Sept. 17, 2021]
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Weekly Roundup: What Happened in Play2Earn Games and NFTs This Week? [Sept. 17, 2021]

Created 7mo ago, last updated 5mo ago

In this weekly roundup, CoinMarketCap takes a look at some of the most prominent Play-to-Earn and NFT events in the just concluded week, from tech behemoth Google's NFT and Web 3 partnership, to an insider-trading scandal at top NFT marketplace OpenSea.

Weekly Roundup: What Happened in Play2Earn Games and NFTs This Week? [Sept. 17, 2021]

Table of Contents

The past week has been quite interesting for the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and play-to-earn (P2E) market. Tech giant Google partners with a popular NFT marketplace, an insider-trading scandal at the world's largest NFT marketplace, multiple projects attracting multi-million dollar venture investments. And of course, a digital artist is exploring the idea of creating NFTs that can get old and morph. Let's dive in!

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Huobi Targets Early-Stage GameFi Projects With $10M Fund

Huobi Ventures, the investment arm of the global cryptocurrency exchange Huobi, has launched a $10 million fund aimed at investing in early-stage projects that integrate blockchain gaming with decentralized finance (GameFi).

GameFi is undoubtedly one of the hottest trends emerging from the crypto industry. It is an amalgam of gaming and decentralized finance that introduces a “play-to-earn” model, which allows users to earn dividends and rewards as they progress through the game.

Selected projects will have access to funding and support from Huobi Group, including its incubator program, Houbi Eco Chain (HECO) and Huobi X Center. Furthermore, investee companies will enjoy PR and technical support, as well as financial and legal advice from Huobi Ventures.

So far, Huobi Ventures has unveiled three separate funds dedicated to blockchain investments, HECO Ecology and NFTs.

Apple Stops Gnosis Safe App From Updating Over NFT In-App Purchase

It appears Apple wants a piece of the NFT action. The American multinational technology company has barred Gnosis Safe from rolling out an App Store update because the firm hosted NFTs that were outside its platform.

According to Lukas Schor, a product developer at Gnosis Safe, his firm met a roadblock when it tried to update its app on the App Store earlier this month. He noted that although the update had no link to NFTs, it was flagged because a sample image displayed an NFT in the app’s description. Surprisingly, the image had been in the description section for “many months.”

Responding to complaints by the Gnosis team, Apple’s support stated that apps were not allowed to grant access to “previously purchased digital content” bought outside of its platform. In reality, apps on the App Store are not allowed to offer NFT-related services that are independent of Apple’s payment options. Apple’s support wrote:

“If you choose not to implement in-app purchase, it would be appropriate to revise your app so that it does not access previously purchased digital content.”

Meanwhile, Gnosis is ready to appeal the decision and may be gearing up for a fight.

“Permissionless access to Web3 is core to our values, so we are willing to go the extra mile to clear this up. Simply removing NFTs from our app is definitely not an option for us.”

Gary Vee to Host Conference for VeeFriends NFT Holders

Imagine having a ticket to a Super Bowl event, only that this time, it is an opportunity to meet social media personality Gary Vaynerchuk and the gate pass is an NFT.

Following the successful sales of his VeeFriends NFT collection, Gary Vee announced on Friday that he would be hosting several conferences for token holders in 2022. The VeeCon 2022 conference is the first of three planned annual events that can only be accessed by VeeFriends NFT holders. Each NFT will function as a pass to the event scheduled for May 19-22, 2022, at the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

There are only 10,255 VeeFriends NFTs. This is the number of people expected to attend the event since it will not be open to the general public.

Gary Vee generated $23 million from the initial sales of the NFTs. However, following his conference announcement, the secondary market for the tokens has seen some increase in activity, with Monday seeing a $4.4 million worth of trading volume. In total, the collection has attracted over $72 million worth of secondary trading value since its inception.

In addition to his series of conferences scheduled for next year, Vaynerchuk will be auctioning five of his original physical drawings of VeeFriends on Christie’s in October.

Coin Center to Receive $4 Million Donation From NFT Sales

Crypto lobbying group, Coin Center, is set to receive a donation from the proceeds of an NFT sale.

After selling 10,000 cartoon lobster NFTs, members of a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) thought it was best to give the $4 million generated to Coin Center. The group unanimously voted to give the funds to the non-profit research and advocacy organization.

The sale took place on Aug. 5, 2021, with the entire NFTs selling out in less than an hour. Each NFT was sold at 0.1 ETH.

Moving forward, OpenSea will get a 2.5% cut if the NFTs are resold on its platform. Another 7.5% will go to other crypto lobbying groups and organizations that will be decided through monthly pools.

Collectors Turn to NFT Vampires as Art Pieces Sell Out in Minutes

NFTs are undoubtedly the latest craze in town and collectors are not slowing down on the frenzy.

Sneaky Vampire Syndicate (SVS), an NFT collection from one of the artists that created the Bored Ape Yacht Club, sold out in just a few minutes after launch. Even more interesting is the fact that the NFTs, which were sold for 0.08 ETH each, are now worth a whopping 0.8 ETH per piece.
The SVS NFT collection features 8,888 generative cartoon portraits of vampires. As expected, some vampires are rarer than others.

Layer 2 NFT Platform Raised $60 Million in Series B Funding Round

Immutable, an Ethereum-based layer 2 NFT protocol, has raised $60 million from several investors in a Series B funding round.

The funding round was championed by gaming investment platform Bitkraft Ventures and King River Capital. It also saw investment from other corporate firms like Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research and Gary Vaynerchuk’s VaynerFund.

The new capital will be channeled towards expanding the company’s industry partnerships, sales and engineering departments, and scaling its native NFT games.

Commenting on the potential of its NFT solution, co-founder Robbie Ferguson said:

“It’s expensive, illiquid, and the only existing scaling solutions compromise on the most important thing — the security and user-base of Ethereum. We want businesses to create their game, marketplace, or NFT application within hours via APIs, with a mainstream user experience. No blockchain programming required.”

Google Collaborates With Dapper Labs to Support NFT and Web 3

Search engine giant Google has joined forces with Dapper Labs to foster developments in the blockchain sector, including the popular NFT marketplace.

CEO of Dapper Labs Roham Gharegozlou confirmed the partnership early Tuesday, welcoming Google to its Flow blockchain.

Speaking of the partnership, Flow blockchain will utilize Google’s Cloud services as its network operator. According to Janet Kennedy, the vice president of Google Cloud North America, the multi-year partnership will help the Canadian blockchain studio expand its operations through “scalable, secure infrastructure.”

Furthermore, Flow developers can now easily integrate with Google Cloud.

OpenSea Employee Exploits Insider Knowledge to Buy NFTs

Popular NFT marketplace OpenSea has come under intense fire after a senior employee was accused of exploiting his insider privileges to buy NFTs.

Earlier this week, the firm’s head of product, Nate Chastain, was accused of using secret Ethereum wallets to gobble front-page NFT drops before they hit the general market. Twitter user Zuwu claimed that the senior exec then sold the NFT pieces “shortly after the front-page-hype spike for profits.”
It turns out the accusations were true as OpenSea has stepped forward to confirm the claims. The NFT marketplace acknowledged the claims in a Wednesday blog post. They wrote:

“Yesterday we learned that one of our employees purchased items that they knew were set to display on our front page before they appeared there publicly. This is incredibly disappointing. We want to be clear that this behavior does not represent our values as a team. We are taking this very seriously and are conducting an immediate and thorough review of this incident so that we have a full understanding of the facts and additional steps we need to take.”

As the drama continues to unfold, one should expect that OpenSea will find a way to compensate the crypto community considering its reputation.

Koii Network Debuts New NFT Standard

Koii Network has partnered with digital artist Darren Kleine to explore the idea of dynamics NFTs — non-fungible tokens that are in a way similar to living entities. During an interview with Cointelegraph, Kleine said:

“I wanted a limited run of digital collectibles that, depending on how their owners care for them, may or may not remain in pristine condition. Bring the scarcity that exists in physical collectibles to NFTs.”

This new standard seeks to introduce NFTs that can grow, morph, degrade, and even regenerate based on some external stimuli. Using a Proof-of-Real-Traffic mechanism, the standard is able to measure the amount of attention a user gives to an NFT and alters the physical properties based on the quantity and quality of viewership.

Top 10 NFT Collections by Trading Volume for the Last 7 Days

Axie Infinity maintained its top spot from the previous week. With total weekly sales of approximately $119 million and total sales of 408,128, Axie is the biggest NFT over the past week.

CryptoPunks, which held on to the third position last week, has climbed to the second position. The NFT collection saw a 7-day trading volume of about $55 million from 137 sales.

Meanwhile, Art Blocks is now occupying the third spot, according to data on CoinMarketCap. The project recorded a weekly trade volume of $49 million from 3,379 trades.

Other NFTs on this week’s top 10 list (in descending order) include CrypToadz, Bored Ape Yacht Club, Cool Cats, CyberKongz, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, VeeFriends and Loot.

Just like last week, Axie Infinity is still leading the pack on the number of trades over the past week. CrypToadz and Art Blocks recorded the second and third-highest sales of 4,861 and 3,379, respectively.

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