Issue #37
Week 21 2021

Games, Toys, ETH

It wasn't too long ago that we wrote about /r WSB and the epic GME pump. Now, the video-game retailer GameStop is in the process of building a team to develop an NFT platform on the Ethereum blockchain. Perhaps even more...

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“We welcome exceptional engineers (solidity, react, python), designers, gamers, marketers, and community leaders.”

The video game and toy retailer has launched a website and smart contract for a new platform running on Ethereum. Further, there might also be a GameStop token launched as the tracker “GME” has been set on the contract. Details are still scarce at this point, but it’s tough not to speculate on possibilities while we wait to hear more. The Wall Street Bets Reddit community arguably played a crucial role in the direction Gamestop has taken forward. It’s hard to imagine the /r WSB crew not taking notice of GME crypto ambitions, and that’s where one’s mind can really run wild! We won’t get carried away projecting Gamestop's next moves or Wall Street Bets interest in them just yet. It’s a little early to gauge, though a path in this new direction has certainly been suggested before!

“Power to the players. Power to the creators. Power to the collectors.”

It’s very exciting to see this obviously fitting merger of real world games, toys, and collectibles companies with the digital realm of crypto and NFTs. This news makes me think of Zed Run and it’s recent commercial partnership success. For those unfamiliar with Zed Run, you should watch a quick live stream race.

In January this year the classic video game company Atari signed a partnership deal with Virtually Human Studio (VHS), the creators of Zed Run, to lend it’s intellectual property for utilization within the Zed Run ecosystem. This is planned to be a long term agreement between VHS and ATARI, indicating plenty more future content and collaboration between the two partners. Some of the in-game content being provided by Atari includes games assets from classic titles like Asteroids, Centipede, Missile Command, Pong, and more.

“Working together with VHS enables us to introduce our loyal ATARI community to an exciting new game such as ZED RUN as we take steps to play our part in shaping the blockchain gaming and technology space.”

Fred Chesnais – CEO, Atari

Of course Atari has taken a broad interest in Ethereum and cryptocurrency over the past year, both launching their own erc20 token, ATRI, as well as partnering with Decentral Games with plans of a virtual casino built in Decentraland, where the gaming platform will showcase classic video games and Atari-themed NFTs as well. Interesting moves for the classic gaming company, and the success of projects like Zed Run just might be proving them right!

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Zed Run has experienced great adoption and reception over the course of it’s beta program. The project and community have both built the strong foundation necessary for a sustainable NFT gaming project. Joining forces with Atari to further focus on the potential of collectible in-game items really takes things to the next level, opening up exciting possibilities for both business partners.

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The open ecosystems which Ethereum allows is essential to the long term ambitions of such a game. It enables these digital assets to be integrated and utilized within various other virtual worlds. VHS recently purchased virtual real estate in Decentraland, where Zed Run users will be able to socialize with each other, watch races, and much much more! 

"We've talked about AR and VR since the day we started this… You could put a headset on and see some horses run up the Las Vegas strip, or pull your phone out and simulate them running through the actual environment in front of you."

-Chris Laurent

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No matter how much you love horses, you probably don’t want a ‘real’ one in your house…

The ZED Augmented Reality (AR) application is a one stop shop for ZED horse owners and delivers a real horse ownership experience.

With ZED AR, you can bring your digital racehorses out of their virtual stables and into the real world.

Using the latest AR technologies, users can place multiple racehorses into their environment and interact with them.

Zed Runs tightly integrated, even cornerstone in-game digital ownership aspect of the owner/player experience provides a crucial element becoming evermore mainstream. Each individual's engagement with the game is unique, in turn, a relationship of sorts forms with the accompanying digital assets. Initiatives like these are taking on bigger and bigger roles shaping the metaverse which is slowly but surely being constructed before our eyes. With this in mind, it’s not hard to imagine why Gamestop might not be the only brick and mortar company interested in the potential of crossing over into the digital world of crypto and NFTs...

“Zeros and ones but still a brick.”

The Lego Group tweeted and quickly deleted a short teaser alluding to crypto and NFTs. Ashnflash’s video doesn’t give us a whole lot to go on, but with all the great crossover news at hand we’re already busy connecting dots, and it’s clear. People want to care about what they spend time interacting with. Great games and toys don’t have to be traditional, or tangible, or come from a brick and mortar store for players to love them. In-turn, traditional toy and game storefronts can bring their users what they’ve always hoped to deliver them, perhaps more effectively than ever before, within this exciting, expansive, and undeniably fitting new-age digital realm.

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Prior Resistance, Future Support

What an amazing ride! There’s been a lot to process over the past couple of weeks in the crypto space. Especially for those experiencing significant bearish market activity for the first time. Though technically overall price activity has been to the downside, there’s as much as ever to be positive about. 

In the wake of recent bearish price action and all the negativity that comes with it, Raoul Pal called focus to a more important, and positive takeaway. Though the crypto markets are volatile, they are functioning as intended.

In another interesting sign of maturation worth calling attention to, it appears stablecoins have begun to take on an evermore critical role as a crypto safe-haven / off-ramp in times of extreme volatility. Rather than goin through the trouble of converting crypto funds back to FIAT, investors exiting BTC or ETH, more and more prefer to keep their funds in crypto by utilizing stable coins such as Tether, USDC, and DAI.

After years of perhaps only regarding the asset as experimental, last year Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones began making a serious case for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency investments upon publishing ‘The Great Monetary Inflation’ thesis. Though not self-described a Bitcoin enthusiast, he’s a major proponent of the future of currencies worldwide digitizing, and the inherent increasing likelihood of Bitcoins accessibility, usability, and desirability in this digital future. Fast forward to this past week…

"The Apple Wallets, Payments, and Commerce (WPC) team is seeking an experienced Business Development Manager to lead Alternative Payments Partnerships. We are looking for a proven professional in global alternative and emerging payment solutions.” Specifically desired qualifications for the position include: “At least five years experience working in or with alternative payment providers, such as digital wallets, BNPL, Fast Payments, cryptocurrency etc."

There are too many possibilities to even begin speculating just what the implications of this hiring might be. The potential is obviously massive and the sentiment is bullish for the crypto industry as a whole. Especially when paired with news of more traditional financial industry giants proclaiming growing interest and support for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Billionaire investor Ray Dalio, founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, has been critical of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in the past. However at the recent 2021 Consensus conference Dalio surprisingly revealed “I have some Bitcoin”. Though he continues to express concerns surrounding regulation, this is very encouraging and positive news.

“One of the great things, I think, as a worry is the government having the capacity to control ... bitcoin, or the digital currencies. They know where they are, and they know what’s going on”

“I suspect that Bitcoin’s biggest risk is being successful, because if it’s successful, the government will try to kill it and they have a lot of power to succeed.”

“The more we create savings in [bitcoin], the more you might say, ‘I’d rather have bitcoin than the bond.’ Personally, I’d rather have bitcoin than a bond. And then the more that happens, then it goes into bitcoin and it doesn’t go into credit, then [governments] lose control of that.” 

Also during this past week, another previously skeptical billionaire investor Carl Icahn declared he is currently exploring committing upwards of $1.5 Billion towards investments in the crypto space. A significant shift for someone who has expressed negative opinions over the years. Though he has not officially announced taking any cryptocurrency positions, he has now openly stated taking an interest in the overall crypto landscape.

“I’m looking at the whole business. I’m not looking at what to buy necessarily at this time. I’m just looking at the whole business, and how I might get involved with it.”

Icahn also states that cryptocurrencies are “here to stay in one form or another” also stating that alternative currencies are becoming popular as a natural progression of economic inflation. A massive shift from his previous opinions. Though it is exciting to see such well regarded and influential financial industry players take interest, they certainly aren’t the only ones with increasing FIAT inflation and dollar weakness concerns..

All of these individual instances of continued crypto interest, adoption, and faith amount to something more important than current bearish market action. Things are much different than they were only a year ago, not to mention how much has changed since the last time the crypto market faced such steep and rapid price declines. There is now another kind of support where there was once resistance. It’s the kind of essential, fundamental, forward looking support that appears evermore likely to result in long term success.

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Snake of All Streets

This week it was discovered that crypto influencer Scott Melker started deleting Twitter posts where he shilled different coins after being paid by the projects to do so. This brings up the moral of crypto influencers shilling coins for personal benefit. 


Who is the wolf of all streets?


Scott Melker is a massive crypto influencer with more than 450k Twitter followers and is considered by many of his followers to be a trustful and nice guy. Before his crypto investing, he was a DJ and mashup artist playing alongside multiple big names.

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The primary thread to come out was done by ZachXBT, where he went through examples of Melker shilling coins to his followers and dumping his shares quickly after the coin peaks. He is accused of creating a scheme where he gets paid by projects to shill a coin resulting in a pump and dumping his assets onto his followers. There are multiple examples of him shilling a coin and dumping on top. Go through the thread to see the examples.

Another concern that people have with Melker’s shillings is that his audiences’ experience in DEFI trading is relatively low; he has many noobs following him and trusting him. This may be the reason why he felt he would be able to do this. He knew his audience would buy and pump the coin he shilled, which would allow him to dump his assets at the top. 

Scott Melker has responded to these accusations saying, “My old tweets and charts have been used against me to create false narratives, like that I am scamming people, which is patently false. I have never and will never.” He has claimed innocence, saying he did not realize the size of his reach towards his audience. 


His reasoning for deleting the tweets where he shilled coins was “to prevent people doing this going forward. Deleting a tweet does not make you a scammer. Every coin is down in this market.”

He also responded to ZachXBT’s Twitter thread going through two of the coins that Zach accused him of dumping. His response can be summed up as he invested his own money into KYL and MINT and did not dump the coins but slowly sold them off. 

One pattern that keeps on popping up is his realization of the size of his Twitter account. He keeps on saying that he doesn’t realize how big his audience is. This excuse has been used by him all month and brings up the question, will he ever realize how to count and figure out how much 456K people are?

On a funnier note, everybody’s favorite crypto rapper, Soulja Boy, got caught being paid to shill a coin. Instead of writing his own tweet, he copied down the email he received from Safe Mars telling him the details of his shill. In doing so, he realized he would be getting a 10% cut from the presale. This doesn’t surprise me; Soulja Boy has to be the laziest “entrepreneur” in the world. Just look at his NFTs that he released or Soulja phone, which was a repackage phone from China.

According to US law, it is illegal to promote investments in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). Back in 2018, The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) already charged DJ Khaled and Floyd Mayweather for doing the same thing Soulja Boy just did. So don’t be surprised when you see a Redlion article about the SEC going after Soulja Boy. 

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Genesis.json

This last Friday, May 28, Pranksy just bought what is probably the most innovative NFT piece to be ever created. Pranksy purchased the artwork entitled “Genesis.json” by grammy trance producer BT for 88.88ETH. 

Pranksy said that after seeing what Genesis.json could do, he had to go after it. 
Why is this piece so unique?


Genesis.json is a fascinating artwork that took over ten months to create. It’s considered a one-of-one “piece of software” that has over 15,000 hand sequence audio and visual events that play within a 24-hour cycle. The amount of work that went into the piece is insane; it has over a hundred thousand lines of code that make it function. It is also said to be the first piece of art that can put itself to sleep and dream. It’s insane.

The video below gives a good look at the pros and cons of Solana.
Special Features:
  • The art piece continuously plays different audio and visual sequences that seamlessly integrate with each other for a 24 hour-cycle.  
  • It is not set to a specific sequence of audio and visuals but instead programmed to play arrangements based on one’s location. This allows for people in different parts of the world to have different experiences. “The piece functions like a grandfather clock. By using web scraped network time, what someone is hearing/seeing in New York will be totally different from someone viewing it in Tokyo.”
  • Visual events include vintage synthesizer performances, beats and rhythmic figures I hand-coded, field recordings, orchestra, guitars, and hundreds of other elements. 
  • The art piece puts itself to sleep and will play visualizers showing it dreaming. It will also be awake from sunrise to sunset. 
  • The piece lives on the blockchain. It is on Arweave and will continue to play for as long as the internet is still alive.
This piece is incredible and pushes the boundaries of what can be done for technology. This is not just an advancement for NFTs and the crypto community but for humans; BT showed us what is possible with a determined mind. If you want to experience the artwork for yourself, click here.
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Artist profiles:

breillas

Brellias

Matías Vivanco is a 3D Artist.

Mostly known in the intercosmos as Brellias, his art tries to tie worlds of fantasy, surrealism, and science fiction together. With a mix of neon purple and pinks, his pieces tend to convey emotional imagery, based on events that impact his life and that he want to share in a relatable way. Brellias' artworks envision a world where everything is either a dream or a nightmare."

Website 
Instagram 
Twitter
Makersplace
Foundation

 

 

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