CoinMarketCap and Nansen looks at some of the most exciting events in the NFT space— from Solana's largest NFT marketplace, Magic Eden raising $27M, to Warner Bros launching DC Comics NFTs.
Here’s some of the hottest NFT stories over the past week.
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NFTs May Be Coming to Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg Reveals
Mark Zuckerberg made the disclosure at the SXSW conference, even though he didn’t reveal any specific details on when the feature would be enabled on Instagram.
“We’re working on bringing NFTs to Instagram in the near term,” Zuckerberg reportedly said during his appearance at the conference. He hopes that users will be able to mint the clothes of their digital avatars as NFTs.
Mila Kunis’ Studio Launches New NFT Animated Series, The Gimmicks
Dubbed “The Gimmicks,” the animated series is about a group of retired professional wrestlers who are trying to reclaim their glory days in the ring. Interestingly, the new series features a “choose your own adventure” mode, which will allow NFT holders to vote on the storyline, plots and characters in each episode.
Speaking to reporters, the CEO of Toonstar John Attanasio described the series as “South Park meets WWE, but interactive and greasier.” Notably, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) stars like Rocky Romero, Karl “Machine Gun,” and Luke “Doc” Gallows voice some of the characters.
According to Attanasio, the idea for the show came about after the WWE fired pro wrestlers Luke and Karl during the heat of the COVID-19 outbreak. He explained:
“They reached out about collaborating on some animated shorts for social media so that they could get their stories out and keep their creative juices flowing, and preserve their sanity.”
It was at this point that Toonstar began working on the concept for the NFT animated series. The script for the show is being written by Dave Ihlenfeld and David Wright, who previously worked on the popular animated hits Family Guy and The Simpsons.
“Each Gimmicks NFT will be a distinct character with unique characteristics and personalities. Gimmicks will come with commercial rights so you can create your own narrative and have it included in The Gimmicks Wiki and perhaps even in the show!”
Commenting on the upcoming series, Kunis said:
“I see the tech and community that comes with NFTs and Web3 allowing for the audience to directly communicate with and inform creators of what they like and what they don't,” Kunis told CoinDesk in a statement […] The Gimmicks allows us to experiment with what it looks like to create in and around a community, taking the tech seriously but keeping the content fun.”
Solana NFT Marketplace Magic Eden Raises $27M
On Monday, Magic Eden announced a $27 million Series A round led by Paradigm. Other participants in the round include Sequoia, Solana Ventures, Electric Capital, Greylock Partners, Kindred Capital and Variant Fund.
The new capital will be used to expand Magic Eden’s workforce, secure future partnerships, as well as channeled towards product development. Co-founder and CEO Jack Lu said:
“Magic Eden will be much more than a place for users to purchase NFTs. Our goal is to make a clear distinction between Web2 and Web3, allowing creators, collectors, and supporters to engage with each other and lead the direction of their online interactions.”
Ukraine to Use NFTs to Tell Russian Invasion Story
Having received over $100 million in crypto donations since Russia began its invasion, the country is looking to tap on NFTs to raise more funds, as well as tell a story of the Russian invasion.
According to the minister of digital transformation Alex Bornyakov, the upcoming NFTs will depict the Russia-Ukraine war, with each token featuring a piece of art representing a story from a trusted source.
Proceeds from the sales will be used to fund media activities and buy military equipment. The minister said:
“We don’t use this fund to buy weapons at this point. We’re buying night vision goggles, optics, helmets, bulletproof vests.”
Warner Bros. Launches DC Comics Trading Cards With Redeemable NFTs
Warner Bros. is set to release 6 million DC Comics-inspired trading cards packaged with redeemable NFTs.
Priced from $5 to $120, this is the world’s first “hybrid” collection of DC cards. Buyers will have to download a mobile app called Hro to redeem the NFT components of their physical cards or to trade other NFTs from the collections. According to Pam Lifford, President, WarnerMedia Global Brands and Experiences, “trading cards have been a favorite of fans for decades. Combining that enthusiasm for collecting with a custom NFT is just brilliant, and this program brings the DC brand to fans in a way that’s never been done before.” He added:
“This platform will provide fans a whole new way to engage with their favorite characters from across the DC Multiverse and even expand their ability to interact with other collectors.”
Each physical trading card will have a unique QR code that can be used to access the digital “twin” on the Hro app.
The collection, which will be available later this month, is being designed by card and board game company Cartamundi. There will be 155 different superheroes, with plans to release a few limited-edition cards based on the latest DC Comics film, “The Batman.”
Marc Andreessen Backs $30M Crypto Fund Exclusively Investing in NFTs
Now, institutional investors are looking to delve deeper into the NFT frenzy. Backed by some of the biggest names in the crypto and Web3 space, a new investment fund has been launched to invest exclusively in NFTs.
Curated plans to invest about 50 percent of the funds in so-called “blue-chip” NFTs like Bored Apes, CryptoPunks and Art Blocks. The other half of the funds will be channeled toward “high potential collections” from creators with smaller markets.
The fund plans to invest about half of the fund in so-called “blue-chip NFTs,” including popular projects like CryptoPunks, Art Blocks and Bored Apes, as well as works from popular artists selling singular NFT works. The other half of the fund is going into what Jiang and Goldberg deem as “high potential collections” from artists with smaller existing markets.
Speaking to reporters, Goldberg said:
“We want to become a very high-signal collector that acquires the top assets and is also helpful to creators and builders […] The market has been frothy, however, we’re kind of entering a bear market, which is actually great for the fund as we are very patient capital. We’ll wait for the best opportunities to enter these positions and then we’ll just hold these things long-term.”
Yuga Labs Buys CryptoPunks IP from Larva Labs
Yuga Labs, the company behind the famed Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), has purchased the intellectual property rights of CryptoPunks and Meebits from Larva Labs. Could this be the breath of fresh air that CryptoPunks needs to thrive?
“Over that time, it became clear to me that there was probably no chance that I would ever own the rights to the thing that I was building,” he said. “It's just kind of an illogical position to continue building your brand around something over which you don't have the strongest claim.”
"With this acquisition Yuga Labs will own the CryptoPunks and Meebit brands and logos, and as they’ve done with their own BAYC collection, Yuga Labs will transfer IP, commercial, and exclusive licensing rights to individual NFT holders."
For some perspective, Yuga Labs granted full license to BAYC NFT holders to use their avatars for whatever commercial activity they choose. This has given birth to several Bored Ape-branded businesses like the Gorillaz-inspired “metaverse band” from Universal Music Group and the Arizona Iced Tea ad campaign.
Yuga Labs was, however, quick to stress that its main focus is still on the Apes, at least for now. The company tweeted:
"To be clear: the BAYC ecosystem will remain the center of our universe. We believe that what's good for Punks is good for Apes and the rest of the space. Likewise, what's good for Apes is good for Punks. We want to grow the pie, not fight over slices."