Web3 Watch: Yuga Labs Adds to Portfolio, Nike Creates NFT Marketplace

Azuki NFT becomes first NFT to adorn a F1 race car during upcoming Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Nike shoes; Source: Shutterstock

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The crypto industry, especially the centralized finance (CeFi) sector, has been spun into chaos following the revelation of FTX’s major market fraud. The bankrupt crypto exchange’s former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is now being sued for $11 billion in damages.

An NFT-related casualty is the collection of Coachella NFTs stuck on the NFT marketplace without the option to withdraw or transfer them. The lifetime passes that generated $1.5 million in sales are now stuck on the custodial platform, currently disabled

Nevertheless, Web3 companies keep on trudging and building through this crypto winter. And a few winners of the week emerge, mainly Yuga Labs, Nike and Azuki.

Here are some notable stories that caught the eyes of the Web3 Watch. 

Yuga Labs has been busy

The parent company behind Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) announced on Monday its acquisition of WENEW Labs, an NFT venture co-founded by Mike “Beeple” Winkelmann. This new addition to the Yuga Labs family included the NFT collection 10KTF — a digital fashion shop in a “New Tokyo” universe. 

Beeple has also joined the Yuga team as an advisor on the project, and Michael Figge, former WENEW CEO, is now Yuga’s chief content officer. 

10KTF joins BAYC, Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC), Bored Ape Kennel Club, Otherdeed for Otherside, CryptoPunks and Meebits collections. 

The 10KTF shop is run by artisan Wagmi-san and offers metaverse-ready accessories and digital wearables from the top Ethereum NFT collections, from BAYC to Moonbirds and Nouns. The store has also collaborated on special merch with brands such as Louis Vuitton, Playboy, Wimbledon, Gucci, Puma and others. 

Yuga’s metaverse, Otherside, hinted at a possible collaboration with 10KTF, tweeting “Welcome to the Otherside, Wagmi-san.” Following the Monday announcements, four Yuga Labs NFTs still top the volume charts on OpenSea at the time of writing — BAYC, MAYC, Otherdeed for Otherside and CryptoPunks.

While BAYC has seen the most trading volume in ETH over the past seven days on OpenSea, its floor price briefly fell by more than 20% this week. After hovering around 60 ETH for the past couple of weeks, the floor price fell to 48 ETH, the lowest it has been since December 2021. 

This allowed CryptoPunks to flip BAYC’s floor price. The current lowest priced punk available is for 66.79 ETH ($79,537), while the cheapest Bored Ape is going for 62.05 ETH ($73,559). CryptoPunks’ floor price has remained neutral to market conditions since early 2022 and seemingly unaffected in the aftermath of FTX.

Bored Ape NFTs, on the other hand, may have been affected by a rush of buyers on peer-to-peer lending platform BenDAO. It allows users to borrow up to 40% of an NFT’s floor price, and if the loan repayment fails, then the NFT will go on sale in a 48-hour auction.

Concerns over buying interest on BenDAO may have “pummeled the floor,” as punk9059 tweeted, and led to higher than average daily trades this week.  

Nike’s new NFT world

Nike, who already owns the popular RTFKT NFT project, launched an NFT marketplace called .Swoosh — yes, with the dot — built on Polygon. The sports apparel company described it as “our own special place on the internet where you can collect and help shape Nike virtual creations.”

Users can trade virtual apparel, sneakers, accessories and other collectibles to dress up an avatar and also unlock access to in-real-life products and events. Benefits could range from preordering a physical item, chatting with the shoe designers or even athletes that Nike sponsors.

The first collection will drop closer to the New Year, and the idea is for the community to be involved in future drops. It will host creator challenges where users can earn a royalty from the virtual products co-created with Nike. 

Users will be able to create their own .Swoosh IDs as free NFTs minted on Polygon, which are necessary in order to access the platform. It’s like Nike’s proprietary version of the open Ethereum Name Service (ENS).

Registrations for .Swoosh ID’s start on Nov. 18, and once a user claims their ID they will be given a BitGo wallet.

Nike’s Web3 plans include an educational aspect. The company plans to go on a tour across the US, starting in Austin, TX, hosting tutorials and workshops on how their products work.

The brand works with some of the top athletes and celebrities in the world, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lebron James, Michael Jordan and Serena Williams to name a few. This means that any potential .Swoosh drop from one of them could likely help to onboard millions of new users into the space — similar to how Reddit’s NFT market onboarded nearly 3 million non-native users in only a few months due to its easy-to-understand language. 

Nike also hinted at the possibility of video games and immersive experiences that may be coming soon. Nike filed a trademark application for “video game integration” of NFTs in June with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Azuki to Race in F1

The Formula 1 season finale is coming up in Abu Dhabi this weekend, and Azuki holders and fans may be in for a big surprise. 

Oracle Red Bull Racing, its main crypto sponsor Bybit and Azuki creator Chiru Labs have emblazoned Lei the Lightning Azuki #8494 on the side of a race car. 

Lei the Lightning Azuki #8494 on Red Bull Racing’s car | Source: ByBit

Racers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez will get to ride in the NFT-adorned car during the Grand Prix. Red Bull Racing and Verstappen dominated the F1 season this year.

Christian Horner, CEO of Oracle Red Bull Racing, stated that being “the first to put a blue-chip NFT on a Formula One car is a tremendous feat.”

F1 fans may get a chance to own a limited-edition version of the Lei the Lightning Azuki #8494 on a first come, first served basis to be minted on Tezos for free. 

Azuki founder Zagabond said that “Lei the Lightning Azuki reflects the passion, precision, and raw power” and that F1 is now part of Lei’s story. 

Along with Tezos as a sponsor, the cryptocurrency exchange Bybit is a principal team partner of Oracle Red Bull Racing since February 2022. The Formula 1 industry has been a big proponent of the cryptocurrency space, however, reputation means everything. 

Another F1 team, Mercedes-AMG Petronas, decided to terminate the sponsorship agreement it had with FTX since September 2021 following the bankruptcy saga.

Web3 gaming awards

A new Web3 gaming awards event hosted by Polkastarter Gaming is set to round out the year next month. The Gam3 Awards, as it’s called, intends to recognize 2022’s best Web3-based games.

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A 30-person jury, along with the crypto gaming community, will judge over 100 games nominated across 16 different categories to vote on the best ones.

Some of the categories include game of the year, best graphics, best mobile game, best shooter game and best multiplayer game. There’s even a category for most anticipated game because video games take a long time to build and creating anticipation for one is important for its success. 

The event plans to broadcast across Polkastarter Gaming’s Twitch, YouTube and Twitter channels. Winners of the first GAM3 Awards can earn a share of $300,000 worth of prizes from sponsors such as Immutable X, Blockchain Game Alliance, Machinations, Naavik and Ultra.


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