#20 JPMorgan opens its virtual lounge in Decentraland. The VEVE trilogy continues.
Disclaimer: Everything we write in "The Crypto Insider Report" is an x-ray of the industry as we see it, through the lens of publicly available information. We are not financial advisors.
Bulge Brackets enter the Metaverse
JPMorgan, the top investment bank by fee revenue in 2021 according to FT.com, has announced that it has entered into the nascent metaverse world by opening a virtual lounge in Decentraland. This is the latest development spearheaded by its blockchain unit, Onyx.
Established in 2020, Onyx focused on analyzing internal use cases in its early days, including moving billions in repo trades using JPM Coin, the representation of USD held in the bank’s own account. The unit has now turned its attention to driving value externally by providing infrastructure solutions, including blockchain, bank-grade products and payments technology to various clients, including game publishers and creators.
Accompanying the move, it has also released a brief report on the metaverse, highlighting the opportunities in the space while also presenting a call to action to businesses to think about their metaverse strategy. For interested clients, JPMorgan can provide an integrated payments hub, with solutions such as ledgering and wallets, according to Adit Gadgil, head of e-commerce and TMT at JPMorgan Payments.
In terms of metrics, the report highlights that the market opportunity is estimated at over $1tn in yearly revenues. One of the biggest segments of the meta-economy would be represented by marketing and advertising. The authors foresee huge potential for branding and immersive ad experiences in virtual worlds due to the mass audiences available. They estimate that in-game ad spending would reach $18.4bn by 2027. For anybody interested, there are multiple activities available; however, this might just be an open-ended list: transact, socialize, create, own and experience.
As for the virtual lounge, it is a two-storey building which has various videos on metaverse and blockchain along with an overview of Onyx. Your digital avatar would be greeted by a tiger and the picture of Jamie Daimon, the bank’s CEO.
Sequoia’s Liquid Tokens Sub-Fund
Sequoia, one of the top venture capital firms (investments include Apple, Google, WhatsApp, Reddit, Instagram, as well as FTX and Polygon, to name a few) just announced a new Crypto sub-fund. In a time where DAOs are talking about sub-DAOs, it seems only fitting for funds to launch sub-funds.
Having already invested in a varied portfolio of Crypto projects through equity and/or tokens, the firm shows that they have listened to the feedback that they should get more actively involved in the ecosystems of the projects they invest in. Through this new 500-600M USD fund, Sequoia aims to get involved in the governance of projects, provide liquidity where needed, as well as put its tokens to use through staking.
Traditionally, funds’ scale of involvement ranges from simply providing capital to advising and making use of their extended network. Through this move, Sequoia is setting a great example by raising the bar in terms of top VC participation.
The VEVE Trilogy (Part3)
Where were we? Oh yes, the Veve NFTs’ rarity. Put a pin on it, we’ll get back on it later. Spoiler alert: you’ll never see this one coming.
Back to the licenses and the new NFT collectibles, the madness continues in the summer of 2021:
DC Superman First Appearance, Harley Quinn
Back to the Future, Ghostbusters
Marvel: Spiderman, Captain America, Fantastic Four, The Eternals
Star Trek: The Next Generation
James Bond 007: No Time To Die
USPS (United States Postal Service) and much more, culminating with the Disney Golden Moments, launched in November 2021.
This one broke the app, literally. The VEVE users' numbers started to skyrocket; it got harder and harder to land a drop to the point when many people just gave up. But why, you ask? Simple. It's Disney first time on the blockchain as NFTs, representing, for real, some golden moments: Bart and Homer Simpson, Elsa, Mickey's Hat, Wall-e, Iron Man, Avengers, Star Wars C-3PO, and R2D2, and the best of them all:
The Statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse.
List Price: $333. Editions: 4,333. Edition Type: First Appearance
They all sold out in the first second, which is common with VEVE. And the reason that fuels the frustration of many people. Because of the huge difference between the listing price (in this case $333) and the secondary market price (at the launch day, it was $4.000, now $40.000), people are using all sorts of gimmicks to try to cheat the system: bots, auto clickers, lots of devices...But in the end, it's all about the numbers.
At the moment of this article writing, VEVE is closing on 2 million monthly active users, and every day more than 200.000 people try to land a drop that has between 10.000 (collectibles) and 30.000 (comic books) editions. That means your odds of success are between 5% and 16% and getting smaller. And that's if you click in the exact first second. Frustrating for many, I know. It builds up character 😁
That's why a new system is put in place for the drops as well, the Queue Drop: you just put yourself in the queue, and the random function will work its mojo. Adrenaline levels are rising again.
Let’s carry on with the licenses:
Marvel Storm, More Marvel Comics, Voltron, Deadpool, Coca-Cola Snow Globes, Frank Kozik - Labbit, Guardians of the Galaxy - Groot, DS Automobiles, and Citroën. In between them, more than 60 Marvel Comic Books. Disney’s Mickey and Friends Collection: Mickey & Minnie Mouse, Donald & Daisy Duck, Pluto, and Goofy.
And just a few days ago, two more golden moments got here, on February 14th:
Donald Duck and Daisy Duck, Lady and the Tramp.
Probably you got a bit bored with all the names, but I was trying to prove a point. Most of the characters you read about, you know well; they're huge brands that have caught our attention for decades or more. And they are here to stay.
They shined back in the days when people were watching them on a black and white TV or reading them from a cheap print magazine; they shined when the Cinema started booming. Still, there was no CGI whatsoever, and the effects were so funny you knew you could do it better (but still you were watching them); they shine now with the Movies and Tv Shows and Streaming platforms.
And for sure, they will shine as well in the NFTs and Metaverse Era. That's a bet.
And to further emphasize this, let’s zoom out to the whole NFTs world.
We all know the OGs projects, the Punks, the Bored Apes, we all know the big Marketplaces led by Opensea, but let’s see some numbers:
The giant is growing under the radar just because it’s launched differently. More than 3 million NFTs have been migrated on Immutable X, getting ready to hit hard on the market.
Suddenly the door opened, and the editor's voice says:
- Wanna bet that the VEVE Trilogy is gonna have four parts?
It’s a shame to end all this abruptly or to bore the people with an entire novel. Do you think the audience would mind one last part in the following Newsletter?
-Hope not. It’s like in the Marvel movies; the best part comes after the End Credits to link the past with the present and future. Till next time. One last time. For real, this time 😁
Big four giants embrace cryptocurrencies making 2022 the year of no return
2021 has been a blockbuster year for crypto and blockchain, with $30 billion in investment worldwide. Globally, there was an incredible increase in the level of recognition for the potential role of crypto and its underlying technologies in modern financial systems. Despite increased scrutiny from regulators, global investment in blockchain and cryptocurrencies soared past $30 billion in 2021 — shattering the previous high of $8.2 billion set in 2018 and rising more than five times compared to the $5.5 billion in investment seen in 2020, based on KPMG’s Pulse of Fintech Report.
Days after publishing this report, KPMG Canada announced its first-ever move into the crypto space, bringing bitcoin and Ethereum assets into its corporate treasury stating that thi investment reflects their belief that institutional adoption of crypto assets and blockchain technology will continue to grow and become a regular part of the asset mix.
KPMG is the second Big Four accounting firm to be vocal about their investments and trust in cryptocurrencies, following EY’s impressive efforts led by Paul Brody, EY Global Blockchain Leader. When two of the biggest accounting firms in the world, that represent the definition of regulatory compliance, show support for an emerging technology you have to believe we have reached the point of no return.
Blockchain solutions are not only part of corporate treasuries of these two accounting giants but also being integrated in ways to combat regulatory uncertainty, interoperability challenges, consensus models and audit challenges. Such examples include EY’s Blockchain Analyzer and KPMG Origins. Additionally, to drive adoption and make use cases more user-friendly, instead of sending the usual annual cards to its employees, EY delivered more than 8,000 New Year NFTs (see Fig. 2) with EY Ops Chain on the Polygon Layer 2 network.
Fig. 2 The EY Blockchain 2022 NFT
Please note that starting from Saturday 19/02/2022 this newsletter will also have an audio version available on all streaming platforms. More to come. Stay tuned.
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