The NHL Partners With Sweet to Drive Fan Engagement with NFTs

Key Insights:

  • US sports franchise The National Hockey League (NHL) inked a deal with Sweet to drive fan engagement through the NFT market.
  • Following in the footsteps of the NBA and the NFL, Sweet will support the buying, selling, collecting, and trading of NHL moments.
  • The move has coincided with falling NFT sales volumes across major NFT marketplaces.

Activity within the NFT space has continued to decline in recent weeks. However, after a lull stemming from the crypto winter, mainstream names have resumed the exploration of the digital world.

US professional sports leagues have paved the way in transitioning from the real world to the virtual world of Web3.

The National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) were the first of the four major US sports leagues to enter the NFT space.

Looking to drive fan engagement, the NFL and the NBA, in partnership with Dapper Lab (FLOW) launched, NFLALLDAY and NBA Top Shot.

The National Hockey League Signs Multi-Year Deal with Sweet

Last week, the National Hockey League (NHL) announced a new multi-year partnership with NFT marketplace Sweet.

The deal makes Sweet the official partner of the NHL, the National Hockey League Player’s Association (NHLPA), and the NHL Alumni Association (NHLAA).

According to the announcement,

“With a planned launch at the start of the 2022-23 NHL season, the stand-alone NHL platform custom-built for this program by Sweet will showcase current and historic moments as well as iconic elements of the game in the form of non-fungible tokens.”

The announcement went on to say,

“Also on the roadmap are specialty packs, gamified collection experiences, 3D interactive trophy rooms, where users can display their collections, as well as dynamic NFTs designed to change based on current team data, and more.”

Hockey fans can visit NHL.sweet.io to register for updates and releases ahead of the 2022-23 season.

The Crypto Winter Hits Sports NFT Sales and Trading Activity

Professional sports leagues continue to push the Web3 envelope, with fan engagement at the core of the NFT-Professional sports partnership.

However, the crypto winter has affected activity across the NFT space, with trading volumes seeing a marked decline from January through June.

According to CryptoSlam, NBA Top Shot has seen NFT sales tumble in 2022.

In January 2022, NFT sales totaled $59.02 million, up from $38.84 million in December.

Since January, however, total sales fell by 76% to $13.93 million in May. Market conditions in June have also failed to impress, with sales for the current month at $6.63 million.

There is a similar trend on OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace.

According to Dune Analytics, Ethereum (ETH) based NFT trading volumes hit a January all-time high of $4,857 million.

As shown below, monthly volumes have fallen significantly, with the June numbers painting a grim picture. On the current run rate, monthly Ethereum-based trading volumes will be at their lowest since July 2021.

NFT trading activity weak.
OpenSea ETH Trading Vol 270622

With the crypto winter showing no signs of ending, the NFT marketplace will continue to face headwinds. Fan engagement and the transition into Web3 will unlikely falter as more mainstream entities move into the NFT space and the metaverse.

For the NHL, it was more likely to have been a case of when and not if.

Crypto Market Daily Highlights – June 17 – BTC, SOL, and ETH Steady

Key Insights:

  • Bitcoin (BTC) and the broader crypto market steadied after Thursday’s sell-off in just the second bullish session of the week.
  • From the top ten, Dogecoin (DOGE) gained 3.02% to lead the way, while bitcoin rose by just 0.29%.
  • The total market cap increased for the fifth time this month, though the increase was modest.

It was a bullish session for the crypto market on Friday. The gains were modest, however, relative to Thursday’s losses.

Bitcoin (BTC) managed to avoid sub-$20,000, with the NASDAQ 100 delivering support in a bearish week that left the NASDAQ 100 down 4.78%.

After decoupling from the NASDAQ on Thursday, the correlation weakened further on Friday, as shown below. It remains to be seen whether the US equity markets have bottomed out and $20,000 becomes the bottom for BTC.

BTC and NASDAQ decouple further.
BTC-NASDAQ 180622 5 Minute Chart

Crypto Market Cap Rises Modestly to Avoid a New Current Year

From June 12 to June 15, the total market cap fell to new current-year lows daily. The total market cap slid by $185 billion this week, visiting a Wednesday current year low of $833.3 billion on the way.

Crypto market cap steadies.
Total Market Cap 180622 Daily Chart

After another heavy loss on Thursday, market conditions improved ahead of the weekend, with the market cap rising for the second time this week. A $9 billion rise was unconvincing, however.

Apprehension followed by reaction to the Fed monetary policy decision on Wednesday continued to test investor appetite.

Despite Friday’s modest gains, headwinds remain that will leave uncertainty for investors to grapple with. These include economic and regulatory uncertainty.

From the top ten cryptos, DOGE led the recovery, rising by 3.02%, with ADA (+2.10%), BNB (+2.62%), SOL (+2.03%), and XRP (+2.76%) finding strong support.

BTC (+0.29) and ETH (+1.77%) trailed the front runners.

From the CoinMarketCap top 100, Stacks (STX) led the way, surging by 16.16%.

In a mixed session for the broader market. Nexo (NEXO) saw among the largest losses, falling by 3.26%.

On the stablecoin front, USDD movements remained an area of market interest, with TRON DAO Reserve yet to restore the dollar peg.

Steering clear of a current week low of $0.9582 provided some comfort and TRON (TRX) support.

Total Crypto Liquidations Eased Back Following Fed Policy Decision

Market conditions improved significantly from Tuesday, with total liquidations falling back to reasonable levels.

After hitting $1 billion on Tuesday, total liquidations stood at $133 million at the turn of the day. At the turn of the Thursday session, 24-hour liquidations had stood at $210 million.

1-hour liquidations also reflected improving market conditions.

According to Coinglass, 1-hour liquidations stood at $1.34 million.

Crypto liquidations steady.
Total Crypto Liquidations 180622

Crypto Daily News Highlights

  • Bitcoin (BTC) at $20,000 leaves GBTC premiums at an all-time low.
  • The crypto winter claimed more victims, with HK-based Babel Finance forced to suspend crypto redemptions and withdrawals.
  • TRON (TRX) found support as stablecoin USDD recovers from $0.9 levels.
  • Hinman speech-related documents remained the focal point of the ongoing SEC v Ripple case.

Top 10 Cryptocurrencies To Watch in June 2022

Key Insights:

  • After the crash of May 9, most of the cryptocurrencies fell to their lowest in months.
  • Since last week, the crypto market has regained its lost $138 billion.
  • Top cryptos for the month of June include Terra 2.0, ApeCoin, Dogecoin, and more.

The cryptocurrency market, over the course of the last five months, has witnessed a lot of fluctuations and shifts in trends, but the one thing that did not change was the broader market bearishness.

However, the worst of it came to form only this May when the crypto market crashed twice within the same month.

Today all the cryptocurrencies in the market amount to $1.28 trillion after a 12% recovery three days ago, which brought $137.3 billion back into the market.

And even though one may not have found the best opportunity to make profits this month, the month of June certainly presents an opportunity to make gains with these cryptocurrencies that show promise going forward.

1. Bitcoin

Starting off with the king coin, Bitcoin, regardless of the market conditions, is always a good choice since it will find room for growth with minimal fluctuations.

Since BTC holds a 43% domination in the crypto space, a broader market rally will trigger a rise for BTC as well, and those who enter the market at $30k will certainly gain profits by the end of quarter 2.

Trading at $31,583, BTC is set to rise further after the 11.27% rally noted this week.

2. Cardano

With the Vasil hard fork set to arrive by the end of June, Cardano, at the moment, is one of the biggest coins to look forward to as investors expect this to be the turning point for the cryptocurrency.

A similar bullishness was also noted last year when the Alonzo hard fork was set to activate, and hopefully, this time around, investors can actually recover their losses.

ADA recently noted a 37.44% rise which brought the price up to $0.61, inching it closer to the critical support of $1.

3. Terra 2.0

Although Terra’s UST and LUNC (now Terra Classic) was the cause of one of the biggest crash in the history of crypto this month, Terraform Labs is giving it another shot.

Last week they launched a new blockchain with a new set of tokens still named LUNA to retrace their steps back to their peak.

Despite the depegging and subsequent LUNC supply overflow, Terra as a blockchain holds a lot of potential in the DeFi space, and that will be LUNA 2.0’s boon going forward as it trades at $7.19 today.

4. ApeCoin

Although it has been well over two months since its launch, ApeCoin hasn’t exhibited skyrocketing feats.

The reason behind this is the unfortunate timing as the broader market bearishness combined with the crash of May 9 halted its growth, and the altcoin came crashing down by 75.88%

But that doesn’t take away from the fact that APE is one of the most profitable projects in the crypto space, thanks to it being the token of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection.

The biggest NFT project will only grow further when the BAYC NFT-based feature film is released, and consequently, APE will skyrocket.

5. Dogecoin

The meme coin lives! It is a surprise that DOGE continues to be one of the topmost cryptocurrencies globally and that it has endured the recent crashes.

While Dogecoin does not have much to offer as a blockchain and cryptocurrency, its resilience definitely makes it a worthy investment vehicle. 

Besides, the meme coin will always have the backing of the “DOGEfather” Elon Musk, who recently made it a viable payment option for its SpaceX merchandise.

6. Axie Infinity Shards

One of the biggest Gaming tokens in the crypto space, AXS has always held its position as a profitable crypto investment.

Although the token took a hit in January after Axie Infinity’s Ronin bridge was hacked for $625 million, and once again during the recent crash, AXS has bounced back quickly. 

Supported with the launch of Axie Infinity Origins in May, AXS noted the highest single-day rally in more than six months of 35.22%.

As the GameFi protocol continues to expand, AXS will also continue to grow thanks to its utility and value.

7. Flow

If this is a name you haven’t heard before, you’re not alone. Up until a few days ago, Flow wasn’t a big deal, but in the last week of May, the blockchain and token shot up in value owing to the announcement of a prominent Instagram artist’s NFT project on the Flow blockchain.

Consequently, FLOW became the biggest NFT token with a market cap of $2.74 billion, surpassing ApeCoin.

However, this is not what makes FLOW an unmissable opportunity. The blockchain created by Dapper Labs, creators of CryptoKitties, is backed by some major industry players, including Coinbase, Google Ventures, Samsung, Reddit, and Zynga, among others.

This makes the token a highly valuable asset that is poised to witness growth going forward.

8. Uniswap

Uniswap does not warrant an introduction as it is the biggest Decentralized Exchange (DEX) in the world.

Although the entire DeFi space is relatively quiet right now owing to the bearishness in the market, Uniswap still managed to maintain an average transaction volume of $10 billion every week.

As the market recovers, so will the DeFi space, and DEX’s will be in high demand. Naturally, UNI will observe high traction, eventually placing it on the path to a rally, which it might already be on given its recent 17.27% increase.

9. Decentraland

Known to be the pioneer of Metaverse, the Decentraland is definitely a cryptocurrency to look out for this month as Metaverse is becoming a place of choice for not just the crypto niche but also for mainstream industry players who are using it as a means of marketing.

Thus Decentraland is set to observe high demand, which will automatically trigger a rise for MANA.

As it is, the token was the first and the quickest cryptocurrency to recover from the crash of May 9, when it rose by 92.69% in 48 hours.

10. The Sandbox

Last but certainly not least, The Sandbox is also a rising star in the crypto space, being a Metaverse platform.

The Sandbox, although it has been on a downtrend since its all-time high of December, still is a sure-shot investment option, given it recently surpassed the likes of AAVE and Axie Infinity by market cap.

Plus, recently, the platform became the new home of the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, whose NFTs will be launched as avatars in the Metaverse.

As the market comes closer to the end of the second quarter, it will be interesting to see which other altcoins rise the ranks to become the next big investment option.

The Top NFT Trading Strategies for Investors in June

Key Insights:

  • The NFT industry today is a $21 Billion market with over $61.83 Billion traded to date.
  • The popularity of NFTs has also impacted the token market as collections have launched their one token.
  • The recent crash has set NFTs up as an investment hedge for the crypto market’s volatility.

When Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) first came into existence in 2014, they were just another innovation in the still-developing web3 space.

It took another six years for the same NFTs to find value, and by the end of 2021, these NFTs became mainstream and turned themselves into an investment vehicle.

Thus as we approach the end of the second quarter, here are some ways in which you can too become a part of this community.

The NFTs Trading Strategy

Investing in NFTs isn’t the same as investing in cryptocurrencies as, unlike the latter, NFTs cannot be bought and sold per the market movement as each individual NFT have different values.

For example, one can buy a Bitcoin and sell it the next day and repurchase it the day after, and that Bitcoin would be the same as the first purchase.

However, if you buy a CryptoPunk and sell it, you may never be able to buy it back, and any other CryptoPunk won’t be the same as the first one.

Every NFT is different from others even if it has minor differences | Source: CryptoPunks

Thus should you decide to invest your money into these Non-Fungible Tokens, you must be prepared.

Value the Project, Not the NFT

In many cases, investors tend to jump for NFTs that are either suddenly trending or are insanely expensive and ignore the lesser expensive NFTs, thinking they may hold no potential value. That is where one may lose out on a good opportunity. 

Projects that are backed by big names and have been developed by notable artists will hold a much higher value in the long term, and one should aim for them.

Reputation and Community

Since NFTs are a relatively newer breed of crypto, they also remain vulnerable to scams and rug pulls.

In the past, too, projects such as Frosties and Evolved Apes have managed to get away with rug pulling investors up to $3 million in NFT value, even though they were some of the most trending projects.

This is why it’s necessary to ensure that any NFT project has a credible developer team that is transparent with the community.

Buy High, Gain More

Another intelligent trading strategy when it comes to NFTs is to make sure that you are not only the first ones but also the topmost in the community.

Getting in on collections can be done by buying at the lowest price point or by buying at the highest.

If you pick the latter option, you should be prepared to shell out big bucks, as in some cases, rarest and highly valued NFTs can cost as much as $33 million.

However, this also makes you the owner of the rarest and the most in-demand NFT, which can then be held on to or sold for profit in the future.

But Buy Low As Well

This strategy depends on the NFT collection. In the case where you find a project that has growth potential, get in on the floor price. As the value appreciates, the floor price would rise as well, making even the most common NFTs profitable for you.

Do Not Shy Away From Trends

While trending NFT projects may not necessarily be the most valuable investment options, they do serve as a solid opportunity for scalping in the long run. This strategy is an effective trading method in the derivate space but can also be applied to trending NFTs. 

One can buy a most basic NFT as soon as the collection begins rising in popularity and demand and sell for profit once it’s at its peak.

However, a trader needs to be on top of the changing trends as the NFT market is also prone to volatility.

Just recently, one of the top NFT collections, CryptoPunk’s floor price dropped from 61 ETH ($107k) to 47.32 ETH ($83.6k) in the span of a month. Situations as such must be avoided in such a strategy.

NFT collections’ price | Source: The Block

The More, the Merrier!

It doesn’t take a genius to deploy this strategy. Simply combining the factors from the abovementioned strategies, one can expand their portfolios by investing in more than just one NFT project.

With the Metaverse growing as well, many NFT collections are integrating themselves with the virtual world to create deployable avatars of the NFTs. This gives utility to an NFT even if it isn’t valued on the basis of scarcity, resulting in an increase in price. 

Making investments this way also prevents excessive losses as a decline in the value of one NFT can be balanced by the increase in the value of some other NFT in the portfolio.

Invest in NFTs by NOT Investing in NFTs

Lastly, there are ways for an NFT enthusiast to still find exposure to these tokens without risking themselves directly. This can be done by investing in tokens of the NFT projects, marketplaces, or blockchains that they are associated with. 

Examples of the same can be found in ApeCoin (APE), the token of the Bored Ape Yacht Collection, which was launched last year and currently has a market cap of $1.75 billion.

ApeCoin is an option for investing in NFTs without being directly exposed to BAYC

Another such token is FLOW of the Flow Blockchain, which has exploded in demand over the last couple of days.

FLOW crypto exploded socially | Source: Google Trends

Backed by the likes of Coinbase, Dreamworks, Samsung, and Google Ventures, the Flow blockchain was created by Dapper Labs, who are also responsible for creating the NFT collection, Cryptokitties.

In conclusion, there are many ways for one to invest in NFTs, provided they utilize the most optimal strategies to gain profits.

NBA Basketball Legend Magic Johnson Launches NFT Collection

Key Insights:

  • NBA basketball legend Magic Johnson launched an NFT collection on NBA Top Shot.
  • The collection consists of 1,600 NFT packs etching his career highlights into history.
  • US sporting franchises are particularly active in the NFT space, with the NBA leading the way.

This week, Magic Johnson announced a new NFT collection. The world of sport and NFTs continue to test the boundaries, with US franchises leading the way into the virtual world.

Both teams across the US sporting franchises and players have embraced Web3, with several sporting icons becoming ambassadors for leading global exchanges.

In 2020, the NBA and Dapper Labs launched the NBA NFT marketplace Top Shot, built on the Flow (FLOW) blockchain.

Since then, the NBA has embarked on a number of projects to drive fan engagement, including the launch of NBAxNFT, an NBA Discord to engage with NBA fans on everything Web3.

Alongside the NBA, players have also embraced the marriage between sports and Web3.

Magic Johnson Launches NFT Collection to Celebrate NBA Career

On Monday, NBA legend Magic Johnson joined the NFT movement with the launch of ‘The Anthology: Magic Johnson.’

The NBA’s Top Shot announced the launch, saying.

“To celebrate one of the most gifted and beloved players in NBA history – a 5X NBA champion, 3X Finals MVP, 3X NBA MVP, 12X NBA All-Star and member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team – we’re doing things differently.”

The announcement went on to say,

“Our partnership with Magic is a special occasion that calls for an all-new collector experience, including a first-of-its-kind Anthology set reserved for iconic plays from NBA legends. The first NBA Top Shot Anthology, dropping June 7, will contain Rare and Legendary Magic Johnson Moments.”

A total of 1,600 packs will be available, priced at $399 each. Each pack will include 1 Moment NFT from either the Rare or Legendary tier.

Those that meet the Top Shot score requirement of 150,000 + can enter the priority queue giving access to 1,200 packs. The remaining 400 packs go to the general queue.

Magic Johnson took Twitter to announce the launch, saying,

“I’m really excited to partner with @nbatopshot to release my first NFTs and bring some of my favorite Moments from my career to fans everywhere. Fans get to see just a few of my favorite plays from my career!

 

Magic Johnson follows in the footsteps of other sporting greats to etch their iconic sporting moments in digital history.

eBay Jumps on the NFT Bandwagon with Great Wayne Gretsky Collection

On Monday, eBay launched its own NFT drop featuring National Hockey League great Wayne Gretsky.

The Polygon (MATIC) based NFTs come in four different tiers of rarity. Only the green tier NFTs were still available for sale. The Gold, Platinum, and Diamond tiers have already sold out.

eBay partnered with web3 OneOf to launch the Gretksy limited edition NFT collection. The collection features animated Wayne Gretksy moves on the ice.

OneOf and eBay have plans to launch more NFT collections featuring athletes who have appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Taking to Twitter, OneOf announced the launch, tweeting,

“Guess what?! We’re bringing NFTs to your favorite marketplace! Shop @WayneGretzky x @SInow now available on @eBay!”

 

Magic Johnson may also find himself on eBay, having frequently appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated over the years.

NFT Creator Dapper Labs Raises $725M For Web3 Developer Growth

Key Insights:

  • Dapper Labs wants to lure developers away from Ethereum and onto Flow Blockchain.
  • The Web3 startup created CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shots NFT collection.
  • Dapper Labs was valued at $7.6 billion in September 2021.

Venture capital is still flowing into Web3 firms despite a massive slump in the broader digital asset market. On May 10, Dapper Labs announced that it had secured a $725 million funding round to expand its Web3 developer ecosystem.

The latest round of investment for the firm included participation from Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Coatue, CoinFund, Greenfield One, Liberty City Ventures, Digital Currency Group, and Union Square Ventures.

It marks the tenth time the company has sought venture capital investment since it began doing so in early 2018, according to Crunchbase. The startup raised $250 million at a $7.6 billion valuation in September.

Web3 Developers Wanted

According to the company, the fund is the largest joint commitment to any blockchain ecosystem. Dapper Labs manages the Flow Blockchain, which runs many applications and NFT collections. While nowhere near as large as other blockchain ecosystems, Flow has 5.8 million accounts, according to the network explorer.

CEO Roham Gharegozlou claims that more than 7,500 people are building on the platform, and he aims to entice even more to choose Flow over rivals such as Ethereum [ETH], which is the industry standard. The network also claims to have roughly a thousand active projects and 175,000 monthly active users.

CoinFund Managing Partner, David Pakman, commented:

“As [Web3] accelerates and sophisticated app developers search for the best platforms, Flow is perhaps the best decentralized blockchain built for the scale, security, and ease of use most modern startups need to succeed,”

The funding will be used to lure developers to the Flow ecosystem through FLOW token grants and other investments. Its primary focus will be to support Web3 gaming, infrastructure, decentralized finance (DeFi), NFT content and creators, and potential team expansion and acquisitions.

Dapper is probably best known for the NBA Top Shots NFT collection. This allows collectors to buy and trade basketball-themed cards and items on the blockchain. There was a spike in sales in February 2021, but interest has waned since, with around $26 million in sales for April 2022, according to Cryptoslam.

Dapper also created CryptoKitties, one of the first blockchain games released in 2017.

FLOW Price Outlook

The blockchain’s native token, FLOW, has reacted to the news with a gain of 11.3% over the past 24 hours. At the time of writing, the token was trading at $3.96, according to FXEmpire. In February, FLOW got a bit of a lift following a mobile game debut at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

However, FLOW has been hit hard recently in the wider crypto market slump, sliding 24% over the past fortnight. Additionally, it has dumped a whopping 90% since its April 2021 all-time high of $42.40.

Under Amour Goes NFT with NBA 3-Point Record Holder Stephen Curry

Key Insights:

  • Under Armour returns to the NFT space with Stephen Curry 3-pointer NFTs.
  • In December, Under Amour dropped an NFT collection to celebrate Curry’s NBA 3-point record.
  • The latest move underlines the NBA’s strong ties with digital assets and Web3.

This week, Under Armour (UAA) returned to the NFT space, with NBA legend Stephen Curry. The US National Basketball Association (NBA) is an advocate of digital assets and Web3.

In 2020, the NBA and Dapper Labs launched the NBA NFT marketplace Top Shot, built on the Flow (FLOW) blockchain.

Going into this year’s NBA playoffs, the NBA strengthened its ties with web3 to drive fan engagement with the launch of NBAxNFT, an NBA Discord. NBAxNFT provides a platform for the NBA and fans to talk Web3.

Under Armour is also no stranger to NFTs.

Under Armour Goes Digital with Stephen Curry 3-Pointer NFTs

Overnight, Under Armour took to Twitter to announce a new NFT collection, tweeting,

“First you Change the Game for Good, then you mutate it. Every 3 @stephenCurry30 hits during the playoffs is a chance to own a piece of history. Learn more at: https://lab.currybrand.com/currycounter.”

 

According to lab.currybrand.com,

“For every three-pointer Stephen Curry makes in a playoff game, three free digital basketballs are claimable by the most engaged fans. Be fast. Others will be trying as well.”

Fans can purchase the Ethereum-based basketball NFTs on the NF3 Counter (Curry Counter).

The NF3 Counter is a fan engagement platform rewarding Curry fans during his battle through the playoffs. For every Curry three-pointer, fans can claim free digital basketballs.

There is only one claim per wallet per game. After minting, owners can view their NFTs on OpenSea, where fans can buy, sell, and trade the basketball NFTs.

The latest launch is not Under Armour’s first brush with Web3.

In December, Under Armour launched an NFT collection to celebrate Stephen Curry’s three-point record on December 14.

Under Armour announced the drop on Twitter, saying,

“In celebration of the greatest 3-point shooter in the UNIVERSE, we are dropping 2,974 pairs of @stephencurry30’s record-breaking shoe in the Metaverse. The “Genesis Curry Flow” NFT drops at 8pm EST: 2974.Currybrand.com.”

 

By owning 1 Polygon (MATIC) based Genesis Curry Flow, holders are entitled to 1 Decentraland (MANA) shoe, 1 Sandbox (SAND) shoe, 1 Gala Games shoe, and 1 Rumble Kong League shoe.

In November 2021, Under Armour launched Curry Brand to compete with Nike and the Jordan brand.

The NBA to Launch 18,000 Ethereum-Based Playoff NFTs Today

Key Insights:

  • The National Basketball Association (NBA) plans to launch 18,000 Ethereum-based NFTs today.
  • Called The Association, there will be 75 NFTs of each player from the NBA playoffs.
  • Last week, the NBA took a bigger step into web3 with the launch of NBAxNFT, the official NBA Discord.

It’s been a strong year for NFTs and the sports world. Increased player and team interest has driven sponsorship deals and increased player adoption of crypto.

For sports, the digital asset and virtual space are ideal avenues to drive fan engagement.

While interest is across a broad range of sports disciplines, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has been particularly progressive in the digital asset space.

The NBA Is Set to Launch “The Association” NFT Collection

Later today, the NBA will launch its new Ethereum (ETH) based NFT collection, titled The Association.

The collection will consist of 75 NFTs per player for all teams in the 2022 NBA playoffs. That’s a total of 18,000 NFTs.

According to the announcement,

“The Association is a collection of dynamic NFTs that change in appearance over time based on team and player on-court performance.”

The announcement goes on to say,

“The Association NFTs are being issued in a blind-mint, meaning that nobody will know which 2022 NBA playoffs player they will receive prior to the reveal on April 22.

Players will be assigned randomly and transparently using Chainlink (LINK) VRF so everyone will have a fair and equal chance of minting any player of the 16 playoff teams.”

The Association is an innovative project, with the NFTs “connected to live data feeds and computations for each respective team and player via Chainlink Oracle.”

The link supports the automated appearance change of players based on “pre-set achievements that are written into the Galaxis smart contract.”

The NBA Top Shot NFT Marketplace Gets Strong NBA Support

In 2020, the NBA and Dapper Labs launched the NBA NFT marketplace Top Shot, built on the Flow (FLOW) blockchain.

Going into the NBA playoffs, the NBA expanded its Web3 allegiance to drive community engagement.

This week, the NBA launched NBAxNFT, an NBA Discord to engage with NBA fans on everything Web3.

The launch coincided with the playoff team, the Golden State Warriors (GSW), launching a 2022 playoff NFT collection on the FTX NFT marketplace.

The Golden State Warriors 2022 Playoff NFT Collection is a limited collection of 2,000 NFTs, randomly assigned when minted on the Solana (SOL) blockchain via FTX. Each design has a unique level of rarity with its own utility and benefits.

The NBA Takes a Bigger Leap into Web3 with NBAxNFT

Key Insights:

  • The National Basketball Association (NBA) launches NBAxNFT, the official NBA Discord.
  • Taking a bigger step into Web3, NBAxNFT looks to share all things NBA basketball and Web3.
  • The launch comes ahead of the Golden State Warriors playoff match against the Nuggets.

The relationship between the National Basketball Association (NBA) and digital assets has been a lucrative one.

In 2020, the NBA and Dapper Labs launched the NBA NFT marketplace Top Shot, built on the Flow (FLOW) blockchain.

With the 2022 playoffs underway, the NBA aims to expand its Web3 allegiance through fan engagement.

The NBA Launches NBAxNFT to Drive Community Engagement

This week, the NBA launched NBAxNFT, an NBA Discord to engage with NBA fans on everything Web3.

The NBA took to Twitter to announce the launch of NBAxNFT,

“Announcing the official NBA Discord: Join now to discuss all things basketball and web3!”

According to the NBAxNFT Twitter page,

“We’re showcasing all things intersecting basketball and web3, including NFTs, gaming, and the metaverse.”

 

In addition to a Twitter account, the NBA also launched its very own Discord channel. At the time of writing, there were 36,921 members.

On the Discord channel, an introductory message stated,

“Welcome to the official discord server of the NBA, home to an always-on-discussion around NBA games, teams, players, and NFTs. Stay tuned for more as our server topics continue to grow!”

Users need to review the rules before gaining full access to the Discord channel.

Once users have verified their accounts, the NBA offers insights into what is around the corner, including an NFT project to celebrate the NBA playoffs.

NBA Discord Timed with the Golden State Warriors NFT Collection

This week, the Golden State Warriors (GSW) launched a 2022 playoff NFT collection on the FTX NFT marketplace.

According to the GSWNFT announcement,

“The Golden State Warriors 2022 Playoff NFT Collection is a limited collection of 2,999 NFTs made up of 11 unique designs, randomly assigned when minted on the Solana (SOL) blockchain via FTX. Each design has a unique level of rarity with its own utility and benefits.”

The announcement went on further to say,

“Every time the Golden State Warriors win a 2022 playoff series, your NFT will unlock additional utilities and benefits. Based on the rarity of your NFT – you could unlock anything from riding on the Warriors Championship Float, a game-worn Klay Thompson jersey from the 2021-2022 season, autographed team memorabilia, Championship Rings, additional NFTs, exclusive merchandise, and much more.”

For GSW fans,

“The Crown Jewel of the collection is the Warriors 1-of-1 Special Edition Gold Bar All Access Pass. This is the only NFT that can be purchased directly via the auction, the remaining 2,999 NFTs will be available to mint and randomly assigned. The ultimate NFT is paired with priceless utilities and once-in-a-lifetime benefits such as the ability to sign a ‘one day contract’ with the Golden State Warriors, become an ‘honorary caption’ for the day, tour the Warriors practice facility, attend a courtside shootaround and more priceless benefits!”

Later today, the Golden State Warriors take on the Nuggets in their first 2022 playoff game.

Leading Canadian Crypto Firms Join Hands to Form Web3 Council

Key Insights:

  • Industry leaders in the crypto space have founded Canadian Web3 Council, a non-profit trade association.
  • The organization aims to work constructively with policymakers and aid Canada’s growth in the Web3 space. 

Some of Canada’s top cryptocurrency firms have joined forces to create a new industry group aiming to push for a national strategy on cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.

Canada’s Web3 Council

In an open letter, the Canadian Web3 Council was formally launched on March 29. It is a non-profit trade association founded by industry leaders to work alongside policymakers and help Canada prosper in Web3 technology.

The Canadian Web3 Council includes representatives from various organizations that have been active in the Web3 space. Founding members include Wealthsimple, Dapper Labs, Ledn, Ether Capital, WonderFi Technologies Inc., Aquanow, Aciom Zen, Chainsafe Systems, ETHGlobal, Figment, and Informal Systems (Cosmos).

In a statement released, the organization said,

“There is an urgent need to ensure Canada and its citizens are well-positioned to benefit from this emerging asset class. The Canadian Web3 Council is calling for all levels of governments to establish a coordinated approach to convene industry and experts to build a robust, equitable, and sustainable national strategy for cryptocurrency and digital assets.”

The organization’s co-founders are Jelena Djuric of Informal Systems and Connor Spelliscy, who co-founded the American industry group The Blockchain Association. Founders have highlighted in the statement that they hope the council would help establish Canada’s footprint in the Web3 space by allowing the industry to collaborate with all levels of government.

Web3 Growth in Canada

The Council highlights that Canada’s capital markets have better reception to cryptocurrencies and digital asset products than the US markets. 

Notably, many Canadians are active spokespersons in the Web3 and crypto space. For instance, notable blockchains like Ethereum, Cosmos, and Flow have been developed by Canadians. 

Furthermore, the world’s first spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF) have been approved and trading in Toronto for a while. On the contrary, the US Securities and Exchange Commission continues to delay approval of a spot ETF.

UFC and NFL NFT Platforms Drive FLOW Network Activity

Dapper Lab is a leading player in the NFT space. For the NFTs, it has been a particularly busy start to the year. NFT marketplaces saw record high trading volumes in January with OpenSea reportedly leading the way.

While volumes have reportedly fallen back this month, activity in the NFT space has been rampant.

Dapper Lab Synonymous with U.S Sport Franchises

Back in 2020, the NBA and Dapper Labs launched the NBA NFT market place Top Shot. Here, NBA sports fans can collect or trade NBA NFTs that are video clips of NBA scoring moments.

Dapper Lab was back in the news last year. In September 2021, the NFL and Dapper Labs announced a partnership to take pro football to the NFT marketplace. NFL sports fans can collect digital video highlights of the NFL’s biggest plays of the season. The NFLALLDAY NFT marketplace went closed Beta late last year.

Joining the NBA and the NFL is the UFC franchise. Dapper Lab and UFC launched the UFC Strike NFT platform in January. As with the NBA and NFL NFTs, the UFC NFTs are video collectibles that can also be traded on the secondary marketplace.

FLOW Network Activity Spikes

Dapper Lab is also behind the Flow (FLOW) blockchain. Flow is a blockchain “designed to deliver speed and throughput improvements, while ensuring the preservation of a “developer friendly, ACID-compliant environment”. The platform targets games, apps, and the digital assets that power them. The team have also been behind CryptoKitties and Dapper Wallet.

A sharp increase in NFT interest has driven activity across the FLOW blockchain ecosystem. Creators use the Flow ecosystem to launch their own NFTs and Dapps. Notable Flow projects at the turn of the year have included nWay’s Olympic Games Jam: Beijing 2022 and Matrix World, a Metaverse game.

Overnight Flow tweeted news of the network recording an all-time high 739,936 transactions on Friday.

Dapper Lab CEO Roham Gharegozlou attributed the spike in activity to the latest drop on the UFC Strike marketplace. The drop coincided with largest day in new wallet signups.

FLOW Price Action

At the time of writing, FLOW was down by 0.86% to $6.319. Negative sentiment across the broader crypto market, fueled by Russia’s possible invasion of the Ukraine has weighed on FLOW.

Near-term, a move back through a current month high $8.70 would support a run at January’s high $9.45 and a return to $10.00 levels. A break through to $10.00 would then bring December’s high $12.64 into play. FLOW had struck an ATH $44.60 back in April of last year.

With Dapper Lab and FLOW at the forefront of sports NFTs and more, it could be a strong year for FLOW.

Dogecoin Core Developer Steps Down as Director Due to Google Job

The meme coin that blessed life into a myriad of other similar cryptocurrencies has also been the subject of a lot of criticism.

Regardless the altcoin maintained its rise owing to its strong development team, a significant member of which has decided to step away from his position.

Ross Takes a Break

Dogecoin’s Core Developer Ross Nicoll in an announcement yesterday declared his resignation owing to multiple reasons.

Although he clarified that since finding his replacement as a Director will be a difficult and lengthy process, he’ll be continuing in his position for the next 4-8 weeks.

Stating his reasons for the departure from the Foundation, Ross stated:

“Primarily the stress involved is overwhelming and I need to step back to focus on myself for a period. There is a further complication that my employer for my day job is moving into the blockchain space, leading to a risk of conflict of interest if I remain as a Director.”

The ‘day job’ mentioned here is his responsibilities as an SRE – SWE at Google where he has been employed for 9 months now.

Ross became a part of Dogecoin 8 years ago in 2014 where he volunteered to contribute code, handle testing as well as review code and interface with the Dogecoin community.

Before that Ross had been a part of multiple organizations such as Amazon, Dapper Labs, Oracle, as well as New York-based enterprise technology provider R3 where we worked as a developer, software engineer, and distributed systems manager.

Although Ross Nicoll did announce he will be stepping away from his current position, he will continue to remain an advisor to the Dogecoin Foundation.

The Foundation recently also onboarded Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin as an advisor who is currently guiding Dogecoin towards a Proof of Stake consensus from Proof of Work.

In regard to the cause of the Foundation’s formation and its current conditions, Ross said:

“The Foundation is operating in an extremely challenging environment, where every step of the way simple processes are significantly more complex than they should be, but it is moving forward… The alternative is returning to a situation where source contributors are exposed to legal risk with no entity to shield them, and I do not see that ending well.”

Dogecoin Continues On

The memecoin has kept is yet to find a consistent rhythm as right now the price action is losing all the gains made in the first week of February.

In the last 10 days, DOGE has dropped by 12.35%, still keeping itself restricted under the critical resistance of $0.1920. Although the altcoin was down by 2.69%, it certainly was not due to Ross Nicoll’s announcement. 

Dogecoin is still far away from reclaiming $0.1920 – Source: FXEMPIRE

CBDC Trumps Visa for Payment at the Winter Olympics in China

With the Winter Olympics underway in the capital city of China, a relatively unexpected development has come across concerning the use of currency.

Unlike previous years where Visa was the only dominating payment method due to Olympic’s contractual exclusivity, this year a new form of payment is HODLing the line.

E-CNY Takes the Gold!

According to a report from Wall Street Journal, means of transaction around the Olympic games have observed a shift with China’s CBDC taking the lead. The country has been pushing its central bank digital currency towards the citizens of the country in order to expand its reach. 

Up until the beginning of this month, over 261 million individuals had signed up for digital yuan wallets. The wallet was launched earlier in January for Android and Apple app stores has managed to onboard about one-fifth of the entire population of China in less than a month.

The increased use of e-CNY in the Olympics is also credited to the fear of Covid-19. Other than Visa, cash and digital yuan are the only other options for payment within the quarantine bubble.

Plus People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has already set up multiple ATMs which can enable individuals to exchange their fiat currency into e-CNY, which is being preferred to maintain minimal human contact.

As for those outside the bubble, retailers already allow for transactions using the CBDC which is also gaining a lot of traction.

Since Visa has contractual exclusivity of being the only available payment method within the Olympics, the likes of Alipay and other cards are not allowed to be used for transactions. Regardless China’s assertion of CBDCs has led to the latter taking over the former.

China Gears Up

The country is consistently pushing boundaries in order to make its CBDC a successful replacement for the existing fiat in circulation. Recently they even began testing the e-CNY for international individuals who arrived for the Winter Olympics.

But while the country continues to develop and further its use of digital currency, other cryptocurrencies are also picking up some heat thanks to the Olympic hype. A token called FLOW witnessed an over 50% spike in its price after the game received an official license to showcase the games at the Winter Olympics.

FLOW Token Spikes 50% After Beijing Winter Games License

Flow, a decentralized, and developer-friendly blockchain, designed for new generation games, saw a sudden spike in social interest after the launch of their mobile game which got officially licensed to showcase the ongoing Beijing 2022 Olympics Winter Games. 

FLOW Token Spikes

Flow is a layer-one blockchain originally created by a team that has delivered projects like CryptoKitties, Dapper Wallet, and NBA Top Shot.

The ecosystem’s token FLOW surged by close to 15% in the last 24 hours as a new, officially licensed mobile game showcasing the ongoing Beijing 2022 Olympics Winter was launched on the network. 

According to a release shared by the firm, nWayPlay’s Olympic Games Jam, Beijing 2022 is a play-to-earn mobile game created in collaboration with the International Olympic Committee.

The game lets players compete in a series of arcade-styled winter sports to earn Olympic NFT digital pins as they compete for the gold.

In tandem with the announcement, FLOW token surged as high as $9 on February 9 from $6.9 a day ago. A week back the alt’s price sat at $5.9 and the coin noted a strong uptick.

However, at press time the token traded at $7.79 noting 3.97% daily losses. The altcoin faced strong resistance at $8.50 and a move above the same could trigger further price uptick. 

FXempire, Flow, Crypto, Olympics,
Source: FXEmpire

At press time, Bitcoin traded at $44,948 noting a 2.07% daily rise in price, while ETH exchanged hands at $3,224.88 presenting 1.39% daily gains. 

The Olympics Mania

The Winter Olympics 2022 have been surrounded by controversies around air pollution, government snooping, and the environmental impact of Games which rely mostly on man-made snow add to the mix of controversies.

That said, rising Covid-19 cases near areas around Beijing and reports about the government imposing a secret lockdown, as reported in previous articles have further added to the negative commentary around the Winter Olympics.

Furthermore, the much anticipated digital yuan is finally available for foreigners at the Winter Olympics in Beijing but there have been issues around the same. While the Digital Yuan’s performance may have had a shaky start, the FLOW token’s price reacted well to the Olympic tie-up. 

U.S College Football Joins the NFL in the NFT World

U.S College Football is a major draw for sponsors, with play-off games seeing tv audiences of more than 20 million. Similar to the NFL play-off season, the College Football Playoff is a postseason knockout tournament. The winner becomes the national champion of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision.

For the players, moving into the NFL is a tall order. According to one report, only 1.6% of college footballers make it to the NFL. That means that only the very best of the NCAA will make it pro. When considering the fact that there are reportedly more than 1 million high school footballers, the fall to just around 70,000 NCAA players is dramatic. The drop-off from college to pro reflects just how competitive the sport is at the professional level.

NFTs and American Football

Such is the level of interest in the 4 major U.S sports franchises that NFT marketplaces have been established to cater for each individually. In September 2021, the NFL and Dapper Labs (FLOW) announced a partnership to take pro football to the NFT marketplace. NFL sports fans can collect digital video highlights of the NFL’s biggest plays of the season on the NFLALLDAY marketplace. The move followed on from the Dapper Lab-NBA collaboration that led to the creation of the NBA’s Top Shot NFT marketplace.

College Football Mints NFTs for NFL Hopefuls

Following the end of the NCAA play-offs and with college football’s elite eyeing a lucrative future in the NFL, the organizers of the Reese’s Senior Bowl reportedly partnered with Panini to create a single-edition NFT for each player at the game. For college football, the Reese’s Senior Bowl is a showcase of the best players in college football. By invitation only, the all-star game takes place each year and the NFL website highlights the best players from the practice sessions and from the game itself.

In the past, Panini had created personalized physical trading cards for Senior Bowl players. This year, the players had individual NFTs minted on the Panini blockchain, with Panini transferring the NFTs to the players. The value of the NFTs may well depend on the outcome of the 28th April NFL draft. Some may hold onto them for a little longer. A rookie of the year accolade would drive demand for one of the newly minted NFTs…