CoinMarketCap takes a look at some of the most prominent play-to-earn and NFT events — from record trading volume on OpenSea in January, to Twitter launching verified NFT profile pictures.
OpenSea’s Trading Volume Hits Records $3.5 Billion
In the first two weeks of January, OpenSea’s trading volume soared to a new all-time high of over $3.5 billion.
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Coinbase to Allow Users to Buy NFTs With Mastercard
U.S.-based crypto exchange Coinbase has inked a deal with Mastercard to simplify the process of buying NFTs on its forthcoming NFT marketplace.
"We want to do the same thing for NFTs with Mastercard by solving the pain points—to make it as easy as possible to buy an NFT and make sure it’s the best consumer experience."
Solana-based NFT Platform Metaplex Raises $46 Million
Metaplex, the protocol behind millions of Solana NFTs, has raised $46 million from several big names, including NBA legend Michael Jordan.
The Metaplex Foundation announced the $46 million round on Tuesday, noting that the capital would help it provide tools for “building a people-first metaverse.”
“We'll have an iOS SDK and an Android SDK coming out this year, which are going to allow this next generation of mobile apps to be built quickly. It will solve a lot of the tension and difficulty that the software engineering community at large had working with the blockchain and specifically Solana, which can be tricky.”
The Sandbox’s Parent Company Animoca Now Valued at $5 Billion
The $358,888,888 round was led by Liberty City Venture, with participation from others like 10T Holdings, Sequoia China, billionaire investor George Soros’ Soros Fund Management, Gemini Frontier Fund and Winklevoss Capital.
“The new capital will be used to continue funding strategic acquisitions and investments, product development, and licenses for popular intellectual properties.”
The latest capital injection follows earlier investments throughout 2021. The company raised nearly $139 million from two tranches in May and July. Back then, its valuation was $1 billion, with the round attracting the likes of Coinbase Ventures and Samsung Venture Investment Corporation.
In October, Animoca raised another $65 million at a valuation of $2.2 billion. The relatively smaller round attracted gaming giant Ubisoft.
AMC Rewards Shareholders With Free NFTs
“Emails detailing how to claim your AMC Investor Connect “I Own AMC” NFT will be sent next week on Jan 18, to all in the U.S. and globally who enrolled by 12/31/21. The NFT and a WAX wallet for up to a year are free to you. TY to our passionate shareholders. Own this NFT proudly!”
In addition to being tradeable, the NFTs will also provide additional perks to holders, such as potential discounts and “other benefits.”
This is not the first time that AMC is dabbling into the NFT space. The company had previously used WAX for its recent distribution of 86,000 NFTs to people who purchased tickets to the “Spider-Man: No Way Home” film.
Puppy Bowl Taps on NFT to Support Ariana Grande’s Animal Rescue Charity
Discovery will be adding NFTs to this year’s Puppy Bowl despite a backlash from some members of its audience.
The NFTs will be released from now until the day of this year’s Puppy Bowl event, set to air on February 13 on Animal Planet. NFT marketplace Chronicle will be offering 5,000 free “Puppy Bowl Pass” NFTs to users. These free passes will grant users premier access to future drops.
In total, there will be 23 different Puppy Bowl NFTs and as of press time, the free passes had all been claimed.
A portion of the proceeds from the sales will be given to Orange Twins Rescue, an animal rescue organization founded by Ariana Grande and her former backup dancers, Scott and Brian Nicholson.
In total, 118 Puppy Bowl puppies from 67 different shelters will be competing for Team Ruff or Team Fluff.
“lrt we've been watching the puppy bowl ever since I got Phoenix so I can't believe year 8 is where we stop watching because they got into fucking nft's...”
Discovery, in its part, claims that it is aware of the environmental backlash to NFTs and in its defense claims that "these NFTs are not driven by high-energy Proof of Work systems but rather by solutions that are Proof of Stake-driven, and with a commitment to reduce their carbon footprint."
G2 Esports Team to Launch NFTs as Membership Pass
G2 Esports has joined the growing number of esports teams that are turning to NFTs as a fan engagement tool.
The NFTs will serve as a pass into G2’s exclusive membership initiative. Holders will have access to a social club, early access to future G2 NFT drops, and will be able to interact with the team’s professional esports players. Additional perks include the possibility to compete against esports pro and attendance at future competitions.
"We are creating a gamified social club for sweaty gamers, esports, and NFT fans alike,” G2 Esports founder and CEO Carlos “ocelote” Rogriguez said in a release.
According to the press release, the NFT partnership with Metaplex is only a first step in a “long-term project.” There are plans to expand into other formats, including music, games, and comics.
Tom Brady’s Autograph Platform Raises $170 million
Investors have continued to throw millions at crypto startups, and Tom Brady’s Autograph NFT platform is one of the latest to secure funding.
The platform announced a $170 million Series B funding round on Wednesday. The round was co-led by Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z fund and Kleiner Perkins, with participation from 01A, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and former a16z General Partner Katie Haun’s new VC firm.
Huan will be joining Autograph’s board of advisors as part of the raise. a16z General Partners Chris Dixon and Arianna Simpson, as well as Kleiner Perkins’ Ilya Fushman, will also be coming on board.
Meta to Debut NFT Marketplace as Twitter Enables Verified NFT Profiles
The move does not come as a surprise since Instagram's CEO Adam Mosseri revealed in December that the company was "actively exploring NFTs and how we can make them more accessible to a wider audience."
“There's actually a MAJOR PROBLEM with the new Twitter PFP feature. It appears to work for ANY NFT in your collection. Not just verified collections. That means someone can just right-click-save any NFT, mint it, and then use it as their PFP.”