September 3, 2022
Issue No. 18
EDWIN ONG, JOEL COLON, ASHRAF AHMAD
Welcome to this week's AtherXplorer, covering the latest in gaming, blockchain, and everything in between.
This week’s top picks include:
- Blockchain & Defi: Ticketmaster NFT Ticketing Events; Meta Extends NFT Support to Facebook
- NFTs: Collective Proof Raises $50M in Series A Funding; Interchain NFT Transfer Feature Coming to Cosmos
- Web3 & Metaverse: Hermès Reveals Plans for Metaverse Fashion Shows, Crypto, and NFTs
- Gaming: When I Started Shiny Pokémon Hunting
- Legal Landscape: South Korea Expands its Efforts to Regulate Metaverse
Blockchain & DeFi Developments
Ticketmaster Decides on Flow Blockchain for its NFT Ticketing Events
Concluding its NFT pilot program which saw 5 Million NFT Tickets minted over a 6 month period, Ticketmaster has confirmed that it will be adopting the Flow Blockchain for its NFT Tickets. These NFT tickets served as ‘Proof of Attendance’ to major events, like the Super Bowl - one of the most popular annual events within the United States to determine the winner of the National Football League.
Meta Extends NFT Support to its Facebook Platform
After offering an NFT integration to Instagram in May, Meta is now also extending NFT support to Facebook. The platforms support NFTs on Ethereum, Polygon, and Flow, and users are able to link their crypto wallets to their Facebook App and post about their Digital Assets on the platform.
Collective Proof Raises $50M in Series A Funding
Non-fungible token (NFT) collective proof has raised $50 million in a Series A funding round as it gears up for the launch of its latest NFT collection, the company revealed during a live-streamed community event on Tuesday.
This latest round was led by a16z and included participation from Seven Seven Six, True Ventures, Collab+Currency, Flamingo DAO, SV Angel, and VaynerFund.
Interchain NFT Transfer Feature Coming to Cosmos
The Interchain Standard (ICS-721) is an application layer protocol that allows cross-chain NFT interoperability between IBC-enabled chains (both homogeneous and heterogeneous). The standard designed the packet data structure, state machine handling logic, and encoding details for NFT transfer over IBC channels between two x/nft modules on separate chains. To make this standard more secure, compatible, and universal, its functionality considered smart contracts, metadata mutability, and batch transfers.
Through this standard, the non-fungibility and ownership of the asset can be preserved, the effects of Byzantine faults can be limited, and no additional permissions are required.
Why do we need Interchain NFTs?
Despite the current downturn in NFT trading volume, the floor prices of some top NFT collections have actually climbed, such as the sale of CryptoPunk 4464 for $2.6 million. In addition, a recent report by SkyQuest indicates that by 2028 NFT trading volume is projected to reach a value of $122.43 billion, from $15.7 billion in 2021.
However, similar to fungible tokens, if NFTs are just tied to one blockchain, the number of transactions and size of the NFT market would be restricted. To remedy this and unleash the next level of NFT, high connectivity and interoperability are required. This is where Interchain NFTs come into the picture.
Muse's Will Of The People
Muse has made history with their ninth LP Will Of The People, marking the UK's first number 1 album to incorporate NFT technology. Muse collaborated with Warner Music UK and Serenade, an eco-friendly music web3 marketplace, to produce the limited-edition digital pressing of Will Of The People.
Muse's NFT album was limited to 1,000 copies globally, and along with a different sleeve, came with a downloadable version of the record as high-res FLAC files that the band had digitally signed. Each of the 1,000 buyers also had their names permanently listed on the linked roster of purchasers.
Dream Idols: Fantasia, is Coming to the X World Games Metaverse
Fantasia is the first generation of the Dream Idols entertainment group launched by X World Games. Their unique Japanese ACG art style comes from the existing NFT hero characters from the popular video game series, Dream Card. The idol group characters were voted and chosen by the XWG DAO community, and the NFT characters will now come to life with VR technology to birth the first crypto VR idol group.
Behind the scenes, the Dream Idols will be real! The girls behind the characters will be professionally trained in singing and dancing, and be selected for their talent in performing and personalities. The group will perform original songs and dances in 3D VR environments made just for them. The Dream Idols will not only bring mesmerizing concerts to their fans but be fully dedicated to connecting and sharing through backstage interviews, the girls posting on their social media communities, and much more!
Take a look at what's in store for fans on the new official website for the world premiere! Fans will soon learn how to get involved and win prizes like VR gear! With the community already awaiting its debut, X World Games is excited to launch its one-of-a-kind crypto VR idol group, Dream Idols, to the world.
Hermès Reveals Plans for Metaverse Fashion Shows, Crypto, and NFTs
Luxury brand Hermès is laying the groundwork for its entrance to Web3 after filing a trademark application covering nonfungible tokens (NFTs), cryptocurrencies, and the Metaverse.
According to an Aug. 26 filing to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the trademark covers downloadable software to view, store and manage virtual goods, digital collectibles, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs “for use in online worlds.”
It also filed trademarks for “retail store services featuring virtual goods” as well as fashion and trade shows in “online virtual, augmented or mixed reality environments” and for “providing an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of virtual goods.”
The new trademark application comes months after filing a lawsuit against Metabirkins founder Mason Rothschild in January for allegedly using the brand’s Birkin name to make money from sales and resales for his NFT Metabirkins collection.
Games & Blockchain Gaming
When I Started Shiny Pokémon Hunting
Yes…I made the decision to start hunting for Shiny Pokémon. In all my years of playing all the different versions, I never encountered a single shiny Pokémon (which was extremely frustrating). First of all, the only difference between a shiny Pokémon and any other Pokémon is the color. Yes, the color. Shiny Pokémon do not have boosted stats, they can’t learn special moves, and they aren’t any more powerful than their normally colored counterparts.
But, they are extremely RARE! The chance to encounter or hatch a shiny Pokémon is 0.01%. (1/8192 chance). So I began my research and set out to find the most efficient way to get my shiny Pokémon. After talking to some Shiny hunting veterans and reading up on Shiny Hunting research articles, I decided to start off my journey with the Masuda Method (link)
So finally, after more than a month of trying to get my Shiny Pokémon, I stopped. I did not get my Shiny. I simply could not take it anymore! Having to endure circling my bike around the daycare center for hours drove me to the brink of insanity. I was done!!
I realized I was doing this type of side mission for most games I played but WHY? Why are their groups of people so dedicated to shiny hunt, they spend thousands of hours on it? Why are there content creators who come up with weird challenges like playing the game with ONLY shiny Pokémon (link)?
There are 3 main psychological factors that drive gamers to reach for the rarest and hardest titles in games. Let’s take a look at them!
1) Time and Skill Aristocracy
In a game economy that revolves around the fundamental idea of Time Aristocracy, the player who invests the most amount of time, will acquire the best items and thus a higher social status. Ever wondered why some of the coolest mounts in MMORPGs have the lowest drop rates or are locked behind lengthy time-based achievements? The game drives the player to invest in the game before the player is able to show off or flex his achievement to others (his achievement, which very few players may have attained). Similarly, through Skill Aristocracy, certain rewards and titles are locked behind feats that only the most skilled can perform. There is also the Money Aristocracy where people who spend the most money get the best items and thus have a higher social status.
When there is a Time and Skill Aristocracy built in, the next principle psychological factor kicks in…
2) The Scarcity Principle
By limiting the artificial supply through time and skill-based achievements, the game creates a real-world demand. Regardless of how its created, we seem to greatly value that which is hard to attain.
There is even research that suggests that scarcity heavily tarnishes decision-making. That compulsive NEED to get that extremely rare item can drive an extreme sort of FOMO that can cause people to obsess over something that seems as crazy as shiny hunting
“If everyone cannot have a digital item, the item may gain symbolic value and serve to differentiate collectors”
3) The Endowment Effect
The Endowment effect is the tendency to place a higher value on an item once they own it or once it becomes associated with them. The magic happens when the Endowment Effect interacts with the Scarcity Principle. That rare achievement or object that is not yet attained may mean nothing until the player decides to embark on the journey to attain it. The Achievement attained through skill or time is truly bonded to the owner and represents something unique and personal for the player who set out on that journey.
Did you feel or relate to any of the 3 effects above? If so, then great! It is that very magic that keeps gamers wanting more and seeking out new and exciting things to achieve. Good luck in your hunts!
Gaming Platforms: E-Sports, Blockchain Games, and Cloud Gaming
Metaverse and Gaming company Gamespad reported “Gaming platforms are uniquely positioned to be incredibly influential in metaverse business opportunities; as technology and computer power rise, the gaming world and deeply engrained user base will be at the forefront of new metaverse exploration,”
According to Gary Ongko Putera, CEO and founder of BOOM Esports, an e-sports organization, the metaverse technology could “completely revolutionize the esports industry with immersive digital experiences. The move to an immersive hybrid model would bring esports fan engagement to completely different levels,” Putera said in the report.
NFT Marketplace X2Y2 Makes Royalties Optional
X2Y2 announced an update where royalties to be paid can be decided by Buyers, and no longer determined by the project owners. After intense backlash from project owners, alongside a plausible situation that projects may blacklist their NFTs from interacting with X2Y2’s contracts in the future, X2Y2 elaborated that it was working on the following: 1. Forcing Buyers to pay Creator Royalties on 1/1 Collectibles. 2. Voting System for Collection Holders to decide as a group if mandatory royalties for that specific Collection should be enabled or disabled.
OpenSea Marketplace Won’t Support Forked NFTs Post-Merge
As the date for the Ethereum Merge approaches, nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea has announced that it will focus on supporting only the NFTs that are on the upgraded proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain.
The NFT marketplace also highlighted that its team is preparing the NFT trading platform for any issues that may arise with the upcoming Ethereum Merge so that the transition period will be smooth.
National Policies & Legal Updates
South Korea Expands its Efforts to Regulate Metaverse
South Korea continues its immersion in Web3 and the Metaverse. After investing almost $200 million in the creation of its own metaverse ecosystem and publishing the “Metaverse Ethical Principles,” the country’s government is now preparing the Metaverse Industry Promotion Ac.
As reported by local media on Sept. 1, Heo Eun-ah, a member of the National Assembly with an entrepreneurial past, proposed the enactment of the Metaverse Industry Promotion Act to support the Web3 industry. A number of other National Assembly members supported Eun-ah's proposal.
According to the bill, the Metaverse Policy Review Committee, subordinate to the Prime Minister, would deliberate on the policies promoting Metaverse development in the country, while the Minister of Science and Information and Communication Technologies should define a final plan every three years.
The bill also implicates incentives for companies that would switch their operations to the Metaverse while satisfying excellence criteria such as protecting personal users’ data.
According to the Ministry of Science and Information and Communication Technologies data, the government budget for major projects related to Metaverse will reach 195.4 billion won (around $140 million) in 2023. In February, the Ministry reported that 223.7 billion won ($186.7 million) would be allocated to the virtual world platform under Expanded Virtual World.
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