Alpha Schedule #8 - 😵 Ubisoft Rug Pulls NFT Gamers
It has been a busy week in the NFT space, containing much great - but overlooked - NFT Stories. We didn't want them to stay under the radar, so we're giving them the attention they deserve in this newsletter!
And, as always; please read our newsletter online (because some email clients chop our lengthy emails in half) and don't hesitate to forward our newsletter to your friends (since we're on a mission to crush the 1000 subscriber mark)!
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— 🩸💀 AMERICAN RADASS
😵 UBISOFT RUG PULLS NFT GAMERS
In December 2021, major video game publisher Ubisoft invoked a tsunami of outrage from gamers by adding NFTs ("dubbed Digits”) to Ghost Recon Breakpoint, one of its lowest-rated live service games. To make matters even worse, the company has now inadvertently validated all that scorn.
Just four months after the introduction of NFTs, Breakpoint developers announced that no further content will be produced for the game.
“The last four months marked the release of our final piece of content: the brand new Operation Motherland mode, tons of new items including 20th anniversary and Quartz items [NFTs] for Ghost Recon Breakpoint. We will continue to maintain our game servers for both Ghost Recon Wildlands and Ghost Recon Breakpoint.”
In the meanwhile, an industry insider is claiming that Activision Blizzard is reportedly looking into incorporating NFT elements in all future Call of Duty games.
👾 AXIE INFINITY RAISE $150MN AFTER HACK
Backers of Sky Mavis, the blockchain-gaming company that was hit by one of the biggest-ever crypto hacks last month, have extended it a $150mn lifeline, helping to reimburse Axie Infinity players for their stolen funds.
The news of the hack initially led to the developer temporarily suspending withdrawals for gamers on the platform leading to speculation that this might have affected the number of users on the platform. However, according to data provided by Sky Mavis, the developer behind the play-to-earn project, the number of its daily active users (DAUs) was falling even before the March 23 heist.
In the meantime, the hacker transferred approximately 1,400 ether to Tornado Cash, according to on-chain data linked to the exploit’s addresses.
Additionally, Sky Mavis announced and released the global early access of its free-to-play game Axie Infinity: Origin.
⭐ BEUTREC RUGGED STARCATCHERS AGAIN
It’s been a tough week for the group behind the Starcatchers NFT project: Twitter user MetaMehdee posted a thread exhibiting that the Starcatchers co-founder and foremost artist purchased a number of uncommon NFTs earlier than the Starcatchers NFTs have been revealed.
The artist, Beutrec, then went on to promote these NFTs for main revenue.
Starcatchers NFT co-founder feels “backstabbed and betrayed”, while his current Boki team announced the fact that Beutrec isn't going to be a part of the project going forward.
📰 OTHER NEWS FROM THE PAST WEEK
Alongside co-creators Ryan Bahadori and Amin Nikdel, Logan Paul launched a new platform called Liquid MarketPlace, with the goal of taking physical (and digital) items like trading cards and tokenizing them.
Adidas has announced that it is collaborating with Ready Player Me to develop a personality-based AI-generated avatar creation platform that shall feature Adidas Originals’ Ozworld shoe collection. [Invezz]
Liverpool's NFT range has 'flopped' with just 10,000 sold out of 171,000 available in the first six days. The total sales 'only' reached £1.125m, with over £280,000 going to LFC Foundation. [Daily Mail]
Shopify, the leading eCommerce platform, faces a class-action lawsuit filed by users of the Ledger hardware wallet. The lawsuit stems from a major data breach that happened in 2020. [Invezz]
Metaverse services provider The Sandbox has been named one of the 100 most influential companies by the American news magazine Time.
Global GameFi platform and play-to-earn guild Polemos has closed a US $14 million seed round at a $100 million fully-diluted valuation, establishing it as one of the fastest-growing entrants to the extremely hot global GameFi sector. [News Crypto]
Fractal, the gaming-focused NFT platform founded by Twitch co-founder Justin Kan, has raised $35 million. [The Block Crypto]
Banking Giant Citi considers Metaverse as the next generation of the internet and thinks it has the potential to hit a $13 trillion valuation. [Invezz]
EverdreamSoft, the creators of the acclaimed P2E blockchain game Spells of Genesis, will launch an NFT History Museum on CryptoVoxels to celebrate SoG’s fifth anniversary. [Invezz]
✨ NEW IN THE SPACE
To commemorate the end of an era, Lamborghini will sell the last petrol-powered Aventador by auctioning it off as an NFT.
The Aventador is coming to the end of its production run as Lamborghini electrifies its entire line-up. They intend to go out with a bang, the Italian supercar builder is selling the last ever Aventador LP 780-4 Ultimae Coupé as a 1/1 NFT to be auctioned at Sotheby’s.
OTHER BRANDS ENTERING THE WEB3 SPACE
One of the biggest social networks on a global scale, Reddit, has integrated Ethereum-based NFTs within its platform. Four of their NFTs were sold for as much as $400,000 each to use as an avatar within the Reddit platform.
Starbucks' CEO Howard Schultz has confirmed that Starbucks will be entering the Metaverse in 2022. [CryptoDaily]
Rishi Sunak, a British politician serving as Chancellor, has ordered the Royal Mint to create a UK government-backed NFT that could be traded online. He wants to issue the NFT by the summer as the government examines whether it could borrow money using blockchain technology.
The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) has partnered up with NFL legend Tom Brady to launch an NFT collection on Polygon. [CryptoDaily]
The Tennessee Titans, a professional American football team, will reportedly become the first NFL club to accept bitcoin as a means of payment. Fans will be able to purchase season tickets and sponsorship opportunities via the primary digital asset. [CryptoPatato]
Tweet DAO is selling NFTs with the right to make one tweet daily from the project’s Twitter account. [Block Crypto]
💀 HOW TO RECOGNIZE A RUG PULL
A “rug pull” is a wildly used term within the crypto world and NFT space to describe a scam in which the founders of a project don’t fulfill their promises after receiving funds - essentially, running away with the money.
In order to recognize these rug pulls and to help you improve your research, we’ll be sharing various tips and tricks over the next few newsletters.
This week, we're focussing on a rug pull discovered by 0xQuit, who has discovered how users are playing in the fear of being rug pulled ... to trick users into signing away their valuable assets.
Popular cryptocurrency wallet company Trezor informed its users that a MailChimp “insider” is behind the latest phishing attack to steal funds stored in their wallets after compromising a mailing list. [CryptoPatato]
A Twitter thread alleges that a French e-commerce guru, Soulaymane Mahzoul, is behind the $1.6 million rug pull tied to the Crazy Camels NFT project.
A pseudonymous user, known as “s27,” lost roughly $570,000 worth of NFTs after exchanging his Bored Ape Yacht Club and two Mutant Ape Yacht Club tokens for fraudulent NFTs deceptively disguised as genuine.
📅 UPCOMING MINTS
This chapter of the newsletter functions as the extension of my public NFT mint calendar, which is meant to highlight projects I’m looking forward to.
Below are two of the projects I’m looking forward to the most. However: do your own research into them if they sound interesting because this shouldn’t be considered as financial advice.
Mint date: April 12th
Mint price: 0.3 eth
The original Veefriends collection was launched by internet personality Gary Vaynerchuk in May 2021, and since then owners have been 'rewarded' with various gifts, face time calls, and free attendance to his VeeCon events.
Next to its famous creator and the utilities, VeeFriends currently has a 16 ETH floor price with a 10.000 supply, which makes them an established project in the NFT space.
Additionally, GaryVee is known as an NFT influencer, who's able to pump the price of projects he buys into. Various people are monitoring his NFT wallet on a daily basis, and make their moves depending on what GaryVee buys.
With this second drop, we expect is to make numbers as well. The collection has an interesting supply (55.555), which makes it hard to pinpoint an expected price.
We’re looking forward to the Shinsei Galverse NFT drop because of their claim to become a “Groundbreaking media project,” their experience in building, and finally, their track record.
Their ultimate goal is to make a TV anime series, which this project is the fundraiser for. Their roadmap is aimed at this, with frequent airdrops, music, holders-only manga, and finally, a pilot episode.
The team itself is fully doxed, located in Tokyo, and exists of Ayaka Ohira (artist) and Emi Kusano (TV presenter and frontwoman behind Satellite Young). Especially Emi already has some experience launching NFT projects, as she launched Zombie Zoo with her 9y old son. She managed to get this project featured in Buzzfeed and Business Insider, and additionally: it has already landed its anime series.
Finally, Devin Mansuco - the current head of design strategy at dropbox and previously active at Google, Youtube and Android - joined the team for a design and advisory role.
Date: April 16th
Price: 2.5 ETH
Moonbirds is a 10.000 utility-enabled PFP project, which unlocks a private club membership and “additional benefits” that come to the people who’ll hold them long term.
What makes us interested in Moonbirds, is the fact that it's founded by 3 established names in the tech and NFT space; Kevin Rose, Ryan Carson, and Justin Mezzell. They previously launched Proof collective - a private members-only collective of 1,000 dedicated NFT collectors and artists, currently sitting at a 90 ETH floor price.
Kevin Rose by himself is an internet entrepreneur who co-founded Revision3, Digg, etc. Next to this, he build an audience of investors via his “Modern finance” podcast, and additionally: he was the reason why GaryVee bought a Cryptopunk.
Besides having solid founders, the project has a few refreshing pieces of tech in place: Moonbirds will be able to nest, which essentially means you’ll stack them up to accrue additional benefits that accumulate over time.
🔮 LOOKING FORWARD
We are already looking ahead to the next few weeks, meaning we’re currently doing our due diligence and researching the projects listed below.
It’s no financial advice at all, but you might want to start doing your research and grinding for these allowlists before it’s too late.
PS - Don’t hesitate to tell them you found out about them via this newsletter ;)
📖 LEARN HOW TO DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH
NFT analyst and YouTuber Mystic NFT has recently created a Twitter thread in which he shares his most important lessons in NFT trading: Trade the meta, Battle against infinite regret, Develop your edge, You're 1 mint from making it, you are responsible for your own decisions.
We liked the reasoning behind his lessons, so we decided to share it so you can get inspired.
😂 LAUGH OUT LOUD
😊 ENJOYED THIS WEEK'S ALPHA?
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🤓 DISCLAIMER: NFA & DYOR
This newsletter is a curated overview of the most interesting things I’ve read the past week, the projects I’ve researched, and the NFTs I’ll be trying to buy.
This means I’m - per definition - biased, so don’t consider this as financial advice and keep doing your own research if you see something you like.