Reddit is back with a new non-fungible token collection that once again broke the internet, releasing new, colorful recreations of its “Snoo” character. Mastercard dropped its first NFTs, a free-to-mint collection aimed at helping music artists in Web3. Both projects are powered by Polygon, which continues to rack up more mainstream wins.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s financial secretary said that now is the “right time” to push for Web3 adoption and Razer is using its expertise as a multi-billion dollar global gaming tech company to launch a Web3 venture fund aimed at fostering up-and-coming games and developers.
This Week's Alpha
Upvoting NFTs: Reddit has released its Gen 3 NFT collection, involving over 100 artists in creating new avatar tokens. All of Reddit’s NFT releases, which feature the social platform’s logo character “Snoo,” have been met with high demand, with over 7.4 million unique wallets snapping up the collectible avatars to date, according to Dune.
- Crashing the site: The collection was so popular at launch on Reddit’s NFT marketplace that it temporarily crashed the site for a period of time.
Hong Kong is bullish on Web3: The city’s financial secretary, Paul Chan, has signaled a warmness toward embracing Web3 and blockchain technologies, touting its “great development potential.” Despite volatility amongst the greater crypto market, Chan said that now is the “right time” to push for Web3 adoption, and plans to focus on Web3 technology in planning Hong Kong’s budget.
- Blockchain budget: In February, Chan set aside $6.4 million of Hong Kong’s annual budget to be put towards investing in Web3 innovation.
- But China is still cautious: While Hong Kong is warming up to Web3, China remains hesitant to fully embrace blockchain applications. The country has been notoriously strict when regulating cryptocurrencies, banning crypto transactions, mining and trading entirely. But in January it enabled smart contract functionality for its central bank digital currency (CBDC) and recently launched a state-backed “digital asset” marketplace.
Razer sharp: Global gaming tech company Razer has launched a Web3 venture fund to help early-stage projects building blockchain-based gaming infrastructure. With Razer’s $3 billion market cap and decades of gaming experience, the zVentures Web3 Incubator (ZW3I) plans to leverage its expertise to support blockchain games and developers, providing access to Razer’s marketing and partnership resources, as well as zVentures’ Web3 partners including leading gaming investment firms Animoca Brands and Griffin Gaming Partners, and software company Amazon Web Services, among others.
- For gamers, by gamers: While investment firms including a16z have pumped major coin into the Web3 gaming industry, Razer’s approach to Web3 gaming will use its gaming industry know-how to provide guidance and support for up-and-coming projects.
Mastercard Music Pass NFT: Global payments company Mastercard is releasing a free-to-mint NFT to help support emerging Web3 musicians. The Mastercard Music Pass NFT, created in collaboration with Polygon, is the key to unlocking the Mastercard Artist Accelerator program that provides tools and educational materials for music artists. The pass expands Mastercard’s foray into digital collectibles. It began allowing cardholders to purchase NFTs with fiat through a partnership with MoonPay in June 2022.
Projects on the Rise
What: The global sneaker and lifestyle brand has expanded its popular Into The Metaverse NFT ecosystem with the new dynamic NFT collection. ALTS by Adidas is the third phase in its digital collectibles expansion and involves dynamic NFTs with eight different "ALT[er] egos" that correspond to different rarity traits and interactive storylines.
How: Holders of NFTs from the first two phases of the Into The Metaverse NFT collection can now burn their NFTs on the adidas website to receive a new ERC-1155 token from the Ethereum-based ALTS by Adidas collection, paying only for gas fees. At the end of the experience, holders will get a unique profile picture (PFP) featuring their unique trait combination. There are also a number of utilities for holders, including a stake in the ALTS by Adidas ecosystem and some commercial intellectual property (IP) rights to their character.
In Other News
Aptos for artists: Layer 1 blockchain Aptos has launched an artist grant program to support Web3 art, pledging $20 million to help creatives integrate into its ecosystem.
Minor glitch: Auction house Sotheby’s is hosting its “Glitch: Beyond Binary” auction, showcasing diverse artists that encompass the glitch art movement. This auction is a re-do of a sale slated for last month titled “Natively Digital: Glitch-ism,” which was canceled after receiving backlash for its lack of representation of female artists.
Real estate in Web3: Blockchain real estate platform Propy announced it will provide Berkshire Hathaway Home Services network agents access to its blockchain education and Web3 tools.
What Is the Ethereum Shanghai Upgrade and Why Does It Matter?
The much-anticipated Shanghai network upgrade happened on Wednesday, starting a new era for the Ethereum ecosystem. Also called the “Shapella” upgrade, the long-awaited hard fork – essentially upgrading the blockchain by splitting off a new one – has been characterized by members of the Ethereum community as a historic milestone, completing its multi-year transition to a full proof-of-stake network.
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