For a little over a year now Web3 has been a huge buzzword that has received a ton of attention from individuals in the crypto space and investors in the traditional markets. What exactly Web3 will look like and how it will function is still somewhat up for debate, but investors across the board are united in seeing this as the next evolution of countless industries and applications we currently have. Because of this expectation investors have been pouring money into the space even with the crypto and traditional market uncertainty. Recently we have had not only the crypto space announce fascinating new projects in Web3 but also traditional companies like Starbucks and Meta.
At the end of July, the polls closed and in a complete landslide, ApeCoin DAO voted in favor of allotting $150,000 to bankroll "The Bored Ape Gazette" for roughly one year. Until this announcement, I had never heard of the newsletter that covered everything going on in the various Ape realms and other projects created and run by Yuga Labs. This funding that was allotted will go to revamping the entire site and allow for the creator and sole writer Kyle Swenson to devote himself to this and help hire additional freelance writers. The new site will transform the current "The Bored Ape Gazette" into a 24-hour news site including having a ticker for ApeCoin along with keeping track of recent BAYC, MAYC, BAKC, and Otherdeed transactions along with a bi-weekly newsletter.
Overall it is exciting to see this sort of development and funding by a community but there will be something that couple becomes an issue over time. The editor is a member of the ApeCoin DAO and the hope is to hire freelance writers who are also from the community. This could result in biased writing even though Kyle Swenson said it would remain neutral and just report the news. The freelance authors that they hope to hire from within the community will only earn $100 a story which I also see as another possible issue since these NFTs are worth so much more than that. Even with these obstacles, this type of development is key and impressive to see.
Hollywood and the movie industry might just be one of the most centralized and ridged industries out there without much change. A lot of the powerbrokers and heads of industry all come up roughly the same way and the only real change has been the addition of streaming and the competition that that has caused. Some filmmakers hope to change this though and to do so have been utilizing NFTs as a way to raise capital to fund their projects while at the same time allowing these filmmakers to keep arguably the most important thing... their intellectual property.
Even with this new funding model, that mirrors DVD movie packs, there is another barrier facing these filmmakers and that is where they will be watched as movie theaters and streaming services often have partnerships and contracts that require a movie/project to be delivered via a certain path. There are a few small Web3 streaming services and distribution sites but they lack widespread acceptance. This is where Beem comes in and has been growing in popularity. Beem does not try to become a destination rather it gives the creators all the tools that they will need to become essentially their own platform returning all the power to the creators and their communities.
The combination of utility NFTs and platforms like Been are poised to give the power back to the filmmakers and their supporters. With over 35% of the industry centralized with just a couple of companies and the biggest movies coming out of them it will be an uphill battle but the film industry is a fantastic industry to target with decentralization. Industry gatekeepers will do whatever they can to prevent this from happening however instances of gains being made have occurred. Reese Witherspoon's production company signed an agreement with the World of Women NFT project and the rights to the movie Zero Contact were sold via an NFT. It isn't the breakthrough that will be needed to really launch the space but it is the first step and a step in the right direction.
Earlier in the year, Starbucks had teased its entrance into NFTs and Web3 but beyond that, not a lot was known. Thanks to Starbucks' Q3 earning call earlier this month we finally have a little more information as well as a date for when we will find out the rest. A key aspect of this is community building for those who partake in the loyalty program that Starbucks currently offers. Coffee-themed NFTs are probably a surefire thing to expect but with it being this whole experience being built upon the loyalty program it would appear that these NFTs might be reward options for coffee drinkers.
Being a pretty vocal progressive company Starbucks has run into some pushback from its employees due to the environmental angle. Even though this has been heavily disputed and Ethereum is moving to a PoS model next month people continue to preach NFTs as a destructive thing. This has not deterred Starbucks though as it has continued to move forward with the project. It will be very interesting to see if a huge aftermarket develops or if it is really focused on individuals collecting and not trading or collection building. Experiences have also been hinted at which will be a new thing for the loyalty program and could become a new and interesting angle for the company to explore.
Meta Adds NFTs
Earlier this summer Meta's social media platform Instagram began to support NFTs from various blockchains like Polygon and Ethereum with more to be added as time went on. At the beginning of the month, Meta announced an enormous expansion of its NFT initiative. After a successful launch in the U.S. Instagram will be adding NFT support to an additional 100 countries. Not only that but they also announced the support for the Flow blockchain. The Flow blockchain is used by several popular sports NFT projects like NBA Top Shot, NFL All Day, and UFC Strike. Instagram's addition quickly sent the price of FLOW the blockchains coin flying resulting in it jumping 44% over the course of the day.
Currently, Meta has a stranglehold on social media in the Web2 space so with the growth in Web3 Meta's core businesses are under threat. In order to survive, we have seen Meta begin to heavily invest in VR technology and the Metaverse to try and remain relevant. While Meta was able to acquire a variety of social media platforms in the previous decade creating a dominant superpower in Web2 the U.S. and European governments have been on edge to prevent this from happening again and have already moved to block at least one Meta purchase to prevent one company controlling the spread of information. This announcement with NFTs is another step by Meta to try and establish itself as a major player in Web3 without running afoul with the law.
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