Weekly Roundup: What Happened in Play2Earn Games and NFTs This Week? [Mar. 10, 2022]
GameFi

Weekly Roundup: What Happened in Play2Earn Games and NFTs This Week? [Mar. 10, 2022]

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CoinMarketCap, along with Nansen, looks at the most exciting happenings in the NFT and P2E space — from BAYC's $1M donation, to The Sandbox and World of Women partnering for women in Web3.

Weekly Roundup: What Happened in Play2Earn Games and NFTs This Week? [Mar. 10, 2022]

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Efforts to support Ukraine are currently in full swing as DAOs and NFT collections rush to donate. This is just one of the possible use cases of NFTs. Also, will making a comeback as an NFT marketplace revive the once-popular music sharing service LimeWire?

Find out some of the most exciting NFT news over the past week.

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NFT Market Cools Down as General Crypto Market Dips

First, a look at the general NFT market. Following a record-breaking month in January, it appears the NFT market is finally cooling down.

According to data from Dune Analytics, the leading NFT marketplace OpenSea saw an approximately 27% dip in its month-over-month trading volume. Although there were days where the NFT trading volume exceeded $200 million worth of Ethereum, the daily volume chart shows a general downward trend in February.

Meanwhile, separate data from CryptoSlam revealed that the number of unique NFT buyers dropped from over 900,000 in January to 796,009 in February. This is the first time that this parameter has dipped below 800,000 since October 2021.

There was a 33% drop in Ethereum trading volume, a 61% drop on Solana, a 55% dip on Tezos, with play-to-earn game Axie Infinity’s Ronin recording a 38% decline.
Despite the widespread dip across the general NFT market, Dapper Labs’ Flow blockchain rose by nearly 83% in February, thanks to the recent launch of UFC Strike. Avalanche NFT marketplace also jumped by 20% last month, fueled by the Crabada NFT game.
Interestingly, daily active smart money addresses tagged by Nansen on OpenSea have not seen as big of a drop. While the numbers have dropped from their peak levels of activity, on a whole it’s been mostly sideways. This is a potential signal that opportunities still exist in the NFT space and it’s something to keep an eye on.
This dashboard is publicly available for all users.

Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) Donates $1 Million to Ukraine

While cryptocurrency may still be years away from mainstream adoption, countries like Ukraine have turned to the tech to raise funds. So far, the war-torn nation has raised over $88 million in cryptocurrency donations alone, according to data collated by Merkle Science.
Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT is one of the latest to lend a helping hand to Ukraine. On Tuesday, the popular NFT collection donated $1 million worth of Ethereum to Ukraine’s official crypto wallet.

Confirming the donation on Twitter, BAYC said:

Taking a look at Nansen’s wallet profiler, we see that the ETH that was donated originated from a wallet that contains ETH that BAYC receives from royalties from sales of BAYC NFTs. The ETH received is transferred to a Blockfolio address which was the address that made the donation.
BAYC is one of the most highly-priced Ethereum NFTs. It was among the first collections to reach a floor price of over 50 ETH and has since grown to become more of a cultural symbol in the NFT space, with the likes of Eminem, Jimmy Fallon and Steph Curry buying pieces.

The Sandbox and World of Women NFT Form Alliance for WoW Foundation

Two prominent players in the NFT space are teaming up on a project to create educational and mentorship opportunities for women.

Decentralized metaverse platform The Sandbox has teamed up with women-focused NFT project, World of Women (WoW), on an initiative to attract more women into the NFT space and fast-rising metaverse through mentorship and education. To this end, The Sandbox will provide $25 million in grant funds to found the WoW Foundation.

The funds will be injected into the foundation over the course of five years, with many of the initiative’s goals tied into The Sandbox’s ecosystem. For instance, the WoW Foundation will create 3D avatars based on all the NFTs in its collection. Holders will be able to use their avatars within The Sandbox. Furthermore, the foundation will also build a WoW Museum in the virtual world, in addition to a university that offers Web3 lessons.

LimeWire Makes a Comeback as an NFT Marketplace

Popular peer-to-peer music sharing platform, LimeWire, is making a comeback as an NFT marketplace for music, art and entertainment.

The long-dormant platform from the early 2000s announced on Wednesday that it would relaunch as an NFT marketplace. Its initial focus will be on music-based NFTs — including pre-release songs, limited editions, unreleased demos, exclusive live versions, backstage content and graphical artwork.

The company explained that it is trying to merge the user experience of Web2 with the benefits of Web3, and later this year, there are plans to debut its own token that will allow access to community voting and exclusive content.

Users can access the new marketplace credit card, bank transfer, or other forms of fiat gateways. Items on the platform will also be priced in US dollars.

It is worth mentioning that the platform, which was served a legal injunction blocking "the searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality, and/or all functionality" in 2010, will be run by a completely new team.

A waiting list has already been opened, with LimeWire hoping to onboard 1 million users within its first year.

Dolphin Entertainment Teams Up With NFT Project on TV Shows, Music and Games

As the NFT frenzy continues to spread like wildfire, children’s film and television company Dolphin Entertainment has sealed a deal with The Flower Girls to produce TV series, games, books, merchandise and other events based on the NFT collection.

Designed by female artist Varvara Alay, The Flower Girls boasts of some notable holders like Eva Longoria, Gwyneth Paltrow and Gary Vaynerchuck. It is a collection of 10,000 female NFTs with a resemblance to a renaissance-style portrait of a young woman.
The NFT project currently has a floor price of around $1,484 and has traded 4,000 ETH (or $10.6 million) in secondary sales to date. On-chain data from Nansen shows that unique addresses have been steadily increasing over time and 51% of the NFTs have been held for at least 90 days. The top wallet currently holds 138 NFTs from the collection, with 130 of them being bought over the course of 3 weeks.

Commenting on the partnership, Alay said in a statement:

“Dolphins’ [sic] storied history of working with children and their ongoing support of children’s charities across the globe align flawlessly with our mission.”

NFT of Ukrainian Flag Sells for $6.75 Million

Amid Russia’s ongoing tussle with Ukraine, several efforts have sprung up in support of the latter. A group of activists has raised 2,258 ETH from an auction to support Ukraine.

An auction of an NFT of the Ukrainian flag ended last Wednesday. Led by Ukraine DAO, a pool of donors raised $6.75 million to purchase a digital collectible depicting the Ukrainian flag.

Launched last month, Ukraine DAO is the brainchild of Ukrainian activist Alona Shevchenko. The plan for the DAO came together after she connected with members from the Russian art collective Pussy Riot and the influential PleasrDAO.

Donations came from over 3,200 people, including the adult website OnlyFans, which sent 500 ETH (around $1.41 million) to the DAO on February 27.

Proceeds from the auction will be used to fund the “Come Back Alive” campaign, which will distribute medical supplies, food, and other necessary aid to civilians and the Ukrainian military.

Meanwhile, donors will receive LOVE tokens equivalent to the amount of ETH they contributed. According to the DAO’s website, the tokens will have “no utility nor value, but are a beautiful testament and reminder of your contribution to a noble cause.”  Currently, OnlyFans is the largest holder of LOVE tokens, holding 500,000 LOVE in their wallet.

As of March 2, over $54.7 million in cryptocurrencies have been donated to the Ukrainian government.

Michael Jordan’s Athlete App HEIR Releases First NFTs

The NFT space has grown to become a hotspot for many athletes and celebrities. NBA legend Michael Jordon is jumping deeper into the space.

Back in December, the legendary basketballer announced the launch of HEIR, a Solana-based app aimed at connecting professional athletes with their fans. Last week, HEIR released its first collection of NFTs dubbed 6 Rings.

The 6 Rings collection is inspired by Jordan’s storied career in the NBA. Jordan won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s.

Although the company initially planned to sell 10,010 NFTs priced at 2.3 SOL ($221) apiece, it was forced to cut the supply to 5,005 following a supply crunch. Soon after, the reduced supply sold out. And as of press time, the floor price of 6 Rings was sitting at around 7.9 SOL.

Speaking of the utility of the tokens, holders will receive a “founding fan” role that grants them access to the upcoming platform. They’ll be able to access exclusive content from athletes, as well as engage in AMA sessions.

For now, the first is yet to reveal the athletes that will be featured on the platform. However, a Twitter Space held last week hints at the possibility of having some NBA legends and current players on the HEIR app. Furthermore, the official HEIR Discord channels noted that players from high school to professional levels would be included.

Michael Jordan is not the brain behind the project. Instead, he has been named as an adviser and strategic partner. The project is, however, co-founded by his son Jeffrey Jordan, alongside Jeron Smith and marketing consultant Daniel George.

HEIR appears to be a huge NFT play, having raised $10 million in a seed funding lead by Thrive Capital, with participation from Solana Ventures, Reddit co-founder and Seven Seven Six founder Alexis Ohanian, and Bulls star Lonzo Ball.

Commenting on their decision to build the platform on Solana, Smith said:

“Ultimately, lower gas fees and transaction costs were super critical to us […] We had a chance to work with their executive team and understand their vision for Solana and ultimately, we had alignment on ethos and shared sensibilities. They believe a lot of the same things we believe when it comes to the Web3 space.”

OpenSea Clampdowns on Iranian Users Amid US Sanctions

Iran-based users of NFT marketplace OpenSea will no longer be able to use the platform.

Citing US sanctions, the NFT trading platform began blocking users based in Iran last week. Several users took to Twitter to air their disappointment, raising questions about the decentralized message of cryptocurrencies and NFTs. One user tweeted:

“Today, I’ve been notified that many accounts for residence of countries under economic sanctions by the US are now terminated. While I understand the obligations of a US entity to adhere to regulations, this raises a more important issue in the space.”
For Iran-based OpenSea user Arman, he woke up to an error 404 message when trying to access the marketplace. Similarly, Arefeh Norouzii reported their verified account had been removed “with no explanation.”

Responding to the issue, OpenSea explained:

“OpenSea blocks users and territories on the U.S. sanctions list from using our services—including buying, selling, or transferring NFTs on OpenSea—and our Terms of Service explicitly prohibit sanctioned users or users in sanctioned territories from using our services. We have a zero tolerance policy for the use of our services by sanctioned individuals or entities and people located in sanctioned countries. If we find individuals to be in violation of our sanctions policy, we take swift action to ban the associated accounts.”

SEC Targets NFT Creators and Marketplace Over Possible Securities Violation

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has started probing NFT marketplaces and creators for securities violations.

According to a Bloomberg report that cites anonymous sources, the agency has already sent subpoenas to suspected persons, and is looking into whether NFTs "are being utilized to raise money like traditional securities." In particular, the SEC is concerned about fractional NFTs, which allow retail investors to hold a share of an asset.
“A focus of the probe is on whether certain non-fungible tokens, digital assets that can be used to denote ownership of things like a painting or sports memorabilia, are being utilized to raise money like traditional securities, said the people.”
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