This week has seen major Web2 players enter the Web3 space, with China’s tech giant, Alibaba, launching a metaverse launchpad for brands called Cloudverse built on the Avalanche blockchain. By utilizing Avalanche’s technology and Alibaba’s Cloud division, Cloudverse aims to be a turnkey system, allowing brands to easily engage with Web3 and enhance their customer experience. With Alibaba Group’s annual active consumers in China exceeding 1 billion, this development could potentially help onboard numerous users and brands into Web3.
In an effort to further integrate Web3 into mainstream experiences, Sports Illustrated has announced the release of an NFT ticketing platform on the Polygon blockchain. SI Tickets will enable event owners, organizers, and promoters to utilize its “Box Office” function to create additional fan engagement opportunities. As NFT ticketing gains momentum, it is shaping up to be a mass-market way to involve users in the Web3 ecosystem.
Sotheby’s, the renowned art auction house, is also venturing into the Web3 scene, launching a peer-to-peer secondary marketplace for digital art. This fully on-chain sales system will facilitate direct transactions between collectors and prioritize creator royalties through smart contracts embedded in the platform. Sotheby’s commitment to honoring artist royalties, amidst a wider discussion within the NFT community, highlights their artist-first ethos as one of the few major NFT marketplaces to champion artist resale royalties.
With the success of Goblintown, an NFT collection by Truth Labs, a sequel called Big Inc is on the horizon. This 15,000-edition collection will prioritize collectors based on their “rekt activity” in the NFT market. Interest in the mint will be gauged by wallet data analysis, with the top 1,000 worst NFT traders being given a 24-hour window to mint their Big Inc acceptance letter for free. Mint participants can also purchase Big Inc NFTs with ether or obtain a 50% discount by paying with the meme coin pepe, although a public release date is yet to be announced.
Several other Web3 developments are underway, such as an agreement between Tokenproof and Adidas for token-gated drops and experiences, and the discovery that LVMH founder Bernard Arnault has been quietly amassing NFTs. A reality competition show for Web3 companies, inspired by “Shark Tank” and produced by CoinMarketCap and Hello Labs, is in the works.
All these advancements signal growing interest and integration of Web3 technology into mainstream experiences. However, as the meme coin craze, with tokens such as pepecoin, continues to lure new investors looking for exponential growth, buyer beware: latecomers to the bandwagon may risk capital and face disappointing returns on their investment.