#34 The Music NFTS. Move-to-earn: the next big thing in the gaming sector?
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.
Crypto Covered at the Annual Davos Meeting
The World Economic Forum is an international non-governmental and lobbying organization founded in 1971. It is best known for its annual meeting in Davos, a mountain resort in Switzerland, where key business and government figures, together with journalists, get together to discuss matters such as globalization, the impact of COVID and the future of work. It is invitation only, gathering about 3000 attendees together with hundreds of journalists. In the words of Kevin Hart, it’s a big deal.
This year, the journalists group included the CoinDesk team, who wrote an article about Crypto’s presence at this year’s meeting. First of all, ads and branding were everywhere - Polkadot, Circle and Bitcoin Suisse to name a few. There was even a free pizza stand commemorating Bitcoin’s Pizza Day! Second, Crypto CEOs like Cirlcle’s Jeremy Allaire and Ripple’s Brad Garlinghouse were part of a panel covering digital money and remittances. Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) were also covered. Even broad panels, like the one covering the future of the US economy ended up discussing Crypto.
One quote that struck me was Jeremy Allaire saying that the world is advancing to a state where cross border payments will not be a thing any more that cross border emails (if that makes sense) are one today. Pretty powerful if you ask me.
There is a lot more good stuff covered in CoinDesk’s article and you can also watch the sessions on the WEF website. In case you needed to hear it once more, it’s safe to say that Crypto is becoming more and more mainstream.
NFTs and censorship resistance in China
Amongst other properties, public blockchains are censorship-resistant. This implies a few characteristics, including that anyone can be a user, transactions cannot be reversed, nor addresses blacklisted, and the blockchain architecture hinders anyone from meddling (e.g., rewriting or deleting) with the history of the blockchain.
This property is being relied upon (again) by people in China where internet users are turning to blockchain technology to prevent content like images, videos, and social-media posts from being removed by censors.
On April 22, a six-minute clip called “Voices of April”, documenting the suffering experienced by people in Shanghai, briefly went viral on Chinese social media before censors deleted it. Western media articles subsequently highlighted that what Shanghai was going through was news to many in the rest of China. As a result, internet users minted copies of the video into NFTs. These were listed on OpenSea, with many having no price tag or were priced very low, with people being able to view them without having to buy them.
In another viral incident, students from a Shanghai University found rotting pork inside a meal box delivered several weeks into the city’s Omicron outbreak. Probably also stirred by the indefinite lockdown, one student penned an angry response that quickly spread across social media platforms. Censors deleted reposts of his writing, but the message was preserved into a form of digital art on the blockchain.
For the same reason, content creators have turned to blockchains. One Chinese podcaster is backing up her podcasts on Arweave. At the same time, Arweave users in China are developing a plug-in that archives Weibo posts.
Reliance on a blockchain’s censorship resistance property is not something new, Chinese people using it also in 2019. At this moment in time, limiting information to blockchain users seems to satisfy the information control system goals although the number of users is increasing. More details in the WSJ article.
The Music NFTS
Yesterday we had the pleasure to be invited by Roton at Romanian Creative Week in Iasi to talk a bit about music NFTs, Vlad and I. And we talked for like 100 minutes or so, realizing it’s something that is going to disrupt the music industry in a big way.
Just to get a glimpse of what I’m talking about and with the help of Endi and his article from our Pro Romanian Newsletter #36, let’s dive into it.
Statistics by Citigroup show that only 12% of the total earnings actually go to the artist, and, when we talk about streaming platforms, they get up to 40% or more.
On Spotify, for example, last year only 42.000 artists out of 8 million (0.53%) earned more than $10.000 and only 13.400 (0.17%) more than $50.000. This is mainly because an artist gets $0.003 per stream or $0.01 on Apple Music.
So you can imagine what is happening on Audius Music, a web3 streaming platform that pays the artist up to $0.35 per stream, using their own token called $AUDIO.
Or let’s try another scenario. YOu are an artist and you want to put out your best album. So you start writing and writing, you create like 25 songs, choose 10 out of them and forget about the other 15 who, in most of the cases, never see the publishing light. Or do they? Well, it depends:
YOu can go on Catalog marketplace and sell your music as NFTs, in a 1/1 edition. So far, more than 600 NFTs have been sold on the platform at an average price of $2.300. And this is for the small artist. Imagine when it gets some traction.
And imagine the artist that not only gets paid for the extra tracks that don’t make it to the album, but is good work, great work, but they also get royalties every time that art is sold again.
Just two examples, but the music NFTs ecosystem is getting bigger and bigger:
The other day I was reading that Warner Music partnered with Sandbox to make Music Concerts in the Metaverse
A hybrid musical theme park and concert hall, the virtual venue will host "innovative music experiences”
artists like Bruno Mars, The Black Keys, Cardi B, Blake Shelton, Ed Sheeran, Michael Bublé, Clean Bandit, and Lizzo.
Because some precedents have been created: from Travis Scott’s concert on Fortnite, earning more than $20 million from Nike partnership and in-game wearables to Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, Justin gathering more than 10 million people who logged in :) to watch him.
I know this is a lot of information on short notice, but just keep your eyes and ears open to this emerging part of the NFTs industry.
Move-to-earn: the next big thing in the gaming sector?
The number one struggle the health and fitness industry is experiencing is keeping people motivated to exercise for longer periods of time. According to psychologists, gamification of activity is a great way to provide incentives and motivate people to complete tasks, at least for the short term, which can then lead to building a habit. This has been proven by the fitness app Fitbit which attracted over 31 million active users since launching in 2009.
Building on the play-to-earn (P2E) momentum created by Axie Infinity, move-to-earn (M2E) merges the gamified fitness apps with tokenized blockchain gaming. Whilst P2E rewards users for playing them, M2E games reward users for engaging in physical activity. This is made possible by connecting your smartphone’s GPS, proximity sensor, gyroscope and magnetometer and rewards users through the use of smart contracts.
Incentivizing behavior in the health and fitness space is not a new concept. SweatCoin, a project founded in 2018, was one of the first applications that would pay users in digital currency for exercising. The concept was supported and developed in partnership with the UK’s NHS.
Even though not a pioneer, STEPN, the latest project to join the move-to-earn movement, could be revitalizing this movement. Similar to Axie Infinity, users must first put in initial capital investment to begin earning rewards. There were 99,999 NFT sneakers available for mint, but just like Axie Infinity, users can breed their sneakers during sneaker minting events (SME).
STEPN is not alone in the move-to-earn race. Recently Step App, a decentralized application (DApp) on Avalanche blockchain, emerged as a competitor aiming to tap into the $100 billion fitness industry. Step App has multiple token emissions with FITFI, a governance token, and KCAL, the in-game token being earned. Unlike STEPN and Sweat Coin, Step App will build a software development kit that provides others with tools to build within its metaverse. In this way, it is more Web3 native and can potentially mitigate bottlenecks that impede the product’s overall scalability.
Even though this represents a movement to keep an eye on, there are certain possible pitfalls the M2E space is facing which need addressing in order to make it sustainable in the long run and not just in the initial phases.
For more educational crypto content, check out the links below:
The Stakeborg DAO Talks on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOrFZZifNn4Nx4nSQL3WS52ALPXgrTSVG
Discord channel: https://discord.com/channels/901898461568442458/903006233584341052
StakeborgDAO Quarterly Reports: https://docs.stakeborgdao.com/reports/dao-quarterly-reports
Stakeborg Academy: https://academy.stakeborg.com/