Web3 Watch: Muse To Release NFT Album, Lens Protocol Talks NFTs

NFT Worlds rebrands after Minecraft NFT ban, and exchange KuCoin launches an NFT ETF


Matthew Bellamy, lead singer and guitarist of the rock band Muse | Source: Shutterstock


key takeaways

  • CryptoPunks had the most trading volume on OpenSea in July
  • Otherdeed, the Bored Ape Yacht Club land NFT collection, become the fastest NFT collection to reach $1 billion in sales volume in July

The Web3 world this week saw a collaboration between luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. and the CryptoPunks collection, while Solana-focused NFT marketplace Magic Eden added support for Ethereum tokens hours before a major Solana hot wallet hack.

Blockworks recaps other notable stories that caught the eyes of the Web3 Watch.

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Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin weighs in on Meta’s chances in the metaverse, saying “anything Facebook creates now will misfire.”

Muse music goes on-chain

British rock band Muse’s upcoming new album will be released as a limited-edition NFT (non-fungible token) on the Polygon-powered platform Serenade, as reported by The Guardian. “Will of the People” is Muse’s ninth studio album, scheduled to be released on Aug. 26.

Serenade allows music fans to use their Bitcoin and Ethereum wallets to trade and collect NFTs tied to limited edition digital collectibles and digital pressings. Digital pressings, Serenade founder Max Shand explained, “provide full length audio and unique artwork, paired with unlockable rewards and a list of first owners that publicly tie fans to the artists and releases they love.” 

“It’s premium vinyl for the web,” he tweeted.

Back in 2020, Muse also worked with Dapper Lab’s CryptoKitties project to create digital collectibles.

Muse’s NFT-bundled album is the first new format to be added to the UK’s Official Charts Company (OCC) charts in the UK and Australia. And it’s the first release on the OCC where the vendor, in this case Serenade, is approved as a chart return digital retailer, meaning sales on the platform contribute to official numbers.

NFT Worlds takes the ‘N,’ ‘F,’ ‘T’ out of Minecraft

Microsoft-owned Mojang, the game studio behind the massively popular Minecraft, recently decided to ban blockchain technology and NFTs on the title.

The move disrupted NFT and token integrations built by Web3 based game platforms such as NFT Worlds. The team’s associated token, WRLD, immediately tanked about 65%.

NFT Worlds responded by creating its own game and platform based on many of the core mechanics of Minecraft, and they named it Miecra — having removed the letters that make up “NFT” from the name of its inspiration.

“This is not a rewrite of some open source Minecraft clone, which likely would violate the EULA [end-user license agreement] or still risk legal action, this is entirely from the ground up. This transition will additionally come with a public facing brand identity change that is more player friendly,” tweeted the company, adding, “this is a web2 vs web3 battle.” 

The updated WRLD tokenomics white paper outlines how the startup will incentivize participants to keep playing, while increasing the utility value of their digital assets as they build up reputations as players, creators or builders in the game world.

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KuCoin launches an NFT ETF 

Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin launched an ETF tied to blue-chip NFTs such as Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC).

KuCoin’s new ETF is a tether-dominated product that buys into derivatives of certain digital assets. Its portfolio will first cover fractionalized tokens representing partial ownership of BAYC, CryptoPunks, Koda NFTs, The Sandbox deeds and Ethereum Name Service domains.

The fractionalized tokens are issued by Fracton Protocol’s meta-swap NFT fraction exchange aggregator. KuCoin’s ETF won’t trade on traditional stock exchanges, however — the exchange has instead launched a specialized “Trading Zone” on which its users can trade the fund.

The NFT ETF Trading Zone, according to a statement, aims to “improve the liquidity of NFT assets and lower the investment threshold of blue-chip NFTs for over 20 million users.” It also intends to eliminate concerns associated with crypto wallets, smart contracts and NFT marketplaces.

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Q&A with Web3 social networking platform Lens Protocol

Lens Protocol is an open-source tech stack on Polygon for building decentralized social networking applications

Unlike Web2 social networks such as Facebook and Instagram, developers can build crypto-powered social media apps, marketplaces, recommendation algorithms and more on top of the Lens Protocol. And it’s powered by NFTs.

One contributor, for example: Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist protest and performance art collective, created the “Proof of Protest” NFT collection to raise funds for seven US-based organizations that support women’s reproductive rights.

The collection, powered by UnicornDAO and the public charity foundation Endaoment, raised more than $110,000 in less than 72 hours after its July 7 release. Within that time, the collection minted 13,201 NFTs sent to more than 9,700 unique wallet addresses.

Blockworks reached out to Lens Protocol, operated by Aave, to learn more from Christina Beltramini, head of growth and partnerships at Aave Companies.

Blockworks: How are Lens Protocol users interacting with its applications?

Beltramini: Currently, Lenster, a new decentralized and censorship resistant microblogging and social networking service is one of over 100 applications built on the Lens Protocol leveraging NFT technology, allowing users to fully own their data and unlocking new ways for creators to monetize their digital content and own their relationships with their communities  

With Lens, each user’s followers, community, and content are linked to their NFT profile and can be ported into any new app powered by the protocol, giving creators the ability to be truly multi-platform and go direct-to-community. 

The protocol also provides a user and creator-first foundation for any application to plug into, and gives people full ownership over their profile, content and relationships with their community with no overhead power with regard to how they control their content or their data.

Blockworks: How did Pussy Riot’s “Proof of Protest” NFT collection play out?

Beltramini: The NFTs were available to be collected directly on Lenster, which utilizes Lens’ collect module. As soon as they were collected, the posts became NFTs by being minted as publications on Lens. Specifically for this drop, Lenster ensured that creators, like Pussy Riot, were able to express their views safely without the risk of being suspended or shadow banned. 

Creators are currently experimenting with creator monetization tools on Lens using the “collect module.” The most recent example of this tool being used to generate a profit (or in this case a donation) is Pussy Riot. 

They raised more than 150,000 MATIC ($138,000) across three days through three different drops. Additionally, engagement for the open and limited editions has rivaled blue-chip NFT projects. They were also in the top 20 most active NFT contracts on Polygon — even compared to high-usage NFTs for gaming such as Aavegotchi and Cometh.

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