Web3 Watch: ‘Ghost in the Shell’ and Bill Murray Get New NFT Collections

Users are asking “crucial questions surrounding ownership and decentralization,” says NGRAVE CEO


The Bill Murray NFT project | Source: The Shack


key takeaways

  • “Bill Murray 1000,” a collection of biographical NFTs, depict acrylic-on-canvas paintings of Murray
  • FLUF world and Ripple establish new blockchain The Root Network

Bill Murray’s NFT fan club 

Startup Project Venkman wants to transform how brands use loyalty and rewards points to drive consumer retention — from tokenizing rewards points to conferring NFT (non-fungible token) status, from airlines to fintech companies.

Gavin Gillas, Project Venkman’s CEO, told Blockworks the key to building an NFT brand is to ask potential buyers to “invest in a membership.” Perks, such as exclusive event access and intellectual property rights, should be built in collaboration with the community and founders, he added.

He likened blue chip NFT community Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) to a top-tier members-only social club.

“This is your new alumni association or your new trade association,” he said. 

Project Venkman is launching an NFT collection on Coinbase’s nascent new marketplace featuring actor Bill Murray in collaboration with media company theCHIVE. 

“Bill Murray 1000,” a collection of biographical NFTs, depict acrylic-on-canvas paintings of Murray. Each NFT includes stories Murray personally recorded about his life — from his love for the Cubs baseball team to his meeting former President John F. Kennedy. Holders get access to in-person events with Murray and exclusive merchandise.

FLUF World 

The FLUF World NFT project and its parent company Non-Fungible Labs are hoping to inspire NFT creators through their newly launched Futureverse Foundation, a charitable endeavor partnering with actor Keanu Reeves and artist Alexandra Grant. 

The Futureverse Foundation aims to provide grants to artists around the world and exhibit their work on digital and physical platforms. Grant winners will be selected through a nomination process, and Reeves and Grant will act as advisors. 

Additionally, Ripple (XRP) invested in FLUF World to develop a new decentralized blockchain, The Root Network, through which creators can utilize smart contracts without having to write and implement the contracts themselves.

The Root Network was built alongside the XRP Ledger (XRPL) that Ripple contributes to. XRP will be the default digital asset for transaction activity in the network’s multi-token gas economy, giving the XRP community access FLUF NFTs. Bridges to ETH networks via the Ethereum virtual machine (EVM) can also run on the Root Network. 

The Root Network will provide the infrastructure for The Open Metaverse project that enables other projects to mint, buy, sell, or trade in-network tokens on chain.  

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It’s a MADworld out there

NFT platforms MADworld and Ucollex announced a partnership with Animoca Brands Japan and publishing company Kodansha to bring the popular manga series “Ghost in the Shell” and “Fairy Tail” to Web3 life.

The collaboration, announced at NFT.NYC last week, includes licensing the intellectual property (IP) rights of these series via NFTs to onboard more “culture collectors” and “uninitiated fans” into Web3, according to Robert Tran, CEO of MADworld and Ucollex.

Asked about the challenges of IP licensing when it comes to NFTs, Tran said despite the complex, expensive, and sometimes challenging-to-identify legitimate copyright and IP licenses in NFT projects, the opportunity is enormous, especially for anime creators.

“As the global market demand grows, NFTs provide a means to level the playing field for creators since most anime artists work on project basis and receive less than 10% of revenue brought in. In fact, our market intelligence indicates that a sizable number of Japanese manga artists have an average monthly pay of $1,000 – $1,500 per month,” he said in an email.

Cold security in tumultuous times

Blockworks connected with Ruben Merre, CEO of crypto hardware wallet maker NGRAVE, about the importance of cold security in light of recent crypto market conditions.

Blockworks: How has the market downturn affected NGRAVE’s business? 

Merre: Crypto holders across the board have come to the widespread consensus that ownership of crypto on either a centralized exchange or through a broker is something more relative than we might have initially thought. Accordingly, there has been a pointed increase in both interest and demand for self custody solutions and hardware wallets.

Recent events have served as a serious wake up call and have definitely re-incentivized individuals to ask crucial questions surrounding ownership and decentralization of key players in the industry. All in all, I don’t expect to see people abandoning exchanges and brokers altogether, but going forward, a larger proportion of each individual’s funds will now be kept in cold storage.

Blockworks: What has been the consumer sentiment when it comes to people moving off-exchange to protect their digital assets? 

Merre: We’ve had users tell us that putting their holdings on their hardware wallet has quite literally allowed them to sleep soundly at night in these tumultuous times; safe in the knowledge that their holdings are truly offline. 

When the whole Celsius situation happened, people in Europe and North America were shocked to see their access to funds being blocked, because for quite some time, these regions have, for the most part, enjoyed stable banks and financial institutions.

In some developing economies, however, this news was perhaps not quite as startling. Traditional banks in certain other economies have not necessarily been as consistently stable, so the public seemed to have a better understanding that this possibility existed when dealing with brokers and indeed exchanges too.

Blockworks: What are the current problems with security that would prompt a user to want to safeguard their NFTs? 

Merre: Security issues range from phishing messages in hacked Discord groups, to hacked wallets, to leaks of private keys. We have already seen the number of NFT hacks increase at an alarming rate from last year, with financial losses up to May of this year.

You would not store an invaluable work of art somewhere without first investing in top tier security measures such as safes, cameras, or even security staff, so why should it be any different when it comes to your NFTs?

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