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Mark Cuban Joins Axie Infinity’s $7.5 Million Ethereum NFT Fundraise

The NFT-driven monster-battling game has seen a recent increase in popularity, and it now has funding and celebrity backers to help it grow even more.

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Sky Mavis, a developer of Ethereum-based Pokémon and Tamagotchi-inspired monster collecting and battling game Axie Infinity, revealed today that it has raised a $7.5 million Series A funding round.

Sky Mavis has not only raised a large sum of money to grow and scale the game, which has seen increased player and trading activity in recent months, but the developer has also courted some big celebrity investors. Mark Cuban, a billionaire investor and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, is at the top of the list, as is Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit and founder of venture capital company Seven Seven Six.

The Series A round was led by Libertus Capital, with the DeFi Alliance and a long list of other investors including crypto investment fund Collab + Currency, crypto game publisher Animoca Brands, BlockTower Capital, Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, and others.

“I believe Axie is a fantastic platform. It’s entertaining and engaging,” said Mark Cuban. “It’s a game you want to play for hours on end. When you combine the Axie economy with it, you have something truly unique. I’m looking forward to being a part of it.”

The “play-to-earn” model of Axie Infinity rewards players for putting time and resources into the game, which involves breeding and fighting cartoonish monsters. According to the studio, the game has over 41,000 regular active users, with over 45,000 people owning Axie monsters, and the game’s monthly NFT trading volume has recently surpassed $15 million.

Although artwork, video clips, and trading cards have been among the most prominent NFTs during the recent boom—which saw a total trading volume of $1.5 billion in Q1 2021 (via DappRadar)—in-game goods have also seen a rise in value and attention.

Axie Infinity has created headline-grabbing, high-value NFT item sales in recent months, alongside blockchain-driven games like Sorare and The Sandbox. In February, for example, a group of nine plots of in-game Axie Infinity land sold for $1.5 million in Ethereum (ETH). Sky Mavis had previously earned $860,000 via the selling of its AXS governance token in November.

As Axie Infinity rises, Sky Mavis aims to use this new Series A funding to lower the barrier to entry, with the game’s newly released Ronin Ethereum sidechain helping to reduce fees. To make Axie Infinity “more interesting,” the studio is expanding its staff and recruiting seasoned developers from the conventional game world, and it hopes to scale the play-to-earn model with the help of advertisers and sponsors.

Ubisoft, which sponsored Sky Mavis through its Entrepreneurs Lab accelerator program and recently acted as a validator for the Ronin sidechain, was already a high-profile sponsor for Axie Infinity. With NFT enthusiast (and Dogecoin supporter) Mark Cuban, as well as Ohanian and a slew of other prominent investors, this leading Ethereum experience could soon reach a far wider audience.

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Enjin is Working on a Digital Version of Egypt’s Pyramids

Collectors will be able to deploy iconic Egyptian monuments, such as the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx, on virtual platforms as part of the NFT’s limited edition.

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According to the press release, Enjin, a leading participant in the virtual artifact and NFT market, it would develop NFT versions of the most iconic Egyptian landmarks, including the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx.

Virtual Worlds, Enjin’s project partner, has more than 20 years of experience digitizing historical objects. This will be the first time major historical monuments have been used as NFT tokens, allowing for new ways to engage with painstakingly authentic replicas of landmarks all across the world. The Unreal Engine will be used in the NFT renditions of the Egyptian monuments, along with photogrammetry scans of 60K resolution, to create the most accurate digital duplicate of the artefacts.

NFT Gaming Industry

Enjin and Virtual Worlds intend to use the knowledge gained from copying Egyptian monuments as NFT to create 3D worlds in which users can search for new NFTs that will be instantly transferred to them via smart contracts, as well as participate in treasure hunts that will reward them with Enjin tokens.

Real-world item models, such as the Picchu Mast, will have its own collection of NFT relics in addition to the typical computer game artifacts like sarcophagi, chariots, scepters, and sculptures. The NFT will then be integrated into Enjin’s VR and AR apps, as well as other 3D games.

They’ll be exchanged on unique NFT marketplaces based on the JumpNet Enjin blockchain, as well as more traditional analogs like Ethereum, Polkadot, and Efinity.

Expanding

They’ll be exchanged on unique NFT marketplaces based on the JumpNet Enjin blockchain, as well as more traditional analogs like Ethereum, Polkadot, and Efinity.

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Marvel NFT Marketplace Binance Smart Chain is the Newest Addition to the Binance Smart Chain Family

The Marvel Non-fungible Token Marketplace Aims to Bring Together Cryptocurrency Dealers and NFT Collectors.

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Fans of Marvel Comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) can now trade and collect on a new NFT marketplace. NFT Marvel is the world’s first and only token designed particularly for Marvel Comics fans who wish to interact with the characters while also earning investments.

The NFT Marvel Marketplace is a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange based on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC). Assets can be converted into NFT tokens by creators. The marketplace’s universe revolves around Marvel fan tokens (MV). Each engagement on the platform earns you MV tokens.

Interactions can include the creation of digital artwork and its dissemination to the general audience. Users can also send the NFT art they’ve developed as a gift. MV tokens are earned for each gift sent. The platform has stated that it will deliver MV token holders bespoke NFT presents at random.

While not hired by Marvel, the NFT Marvel founders anticipate that the Marvel community will help to keep the project going and expand it further. To reflect this, they created the token metric technique.

The transaction is subject to a 6% tax levy, which is divided into three parts, for each trade. MV will allocate 2% to all holders in order to increase the value and ownership of the company. To ensure the long-term viability of MV, 2% will be contributed to the liquidity pool on Pancake Swap. The remaining 2% will be incinerated at the end.

BSC enables the marketplace to provide low-cost, near-instant transactions. This is significant since NFT fees have been identified as a significant barrier to mainstream adoption.

Crypto-comic Books are on the Way

As interest in crypto grows, so does interest from new genres of popular culture. Comics and comic book collections are one of the most recent subgroups to emerge. Artists have a practically limitless number of options thanks to the large variety of comic books and characters available. When you consider that many true Marvel and DC artists are entering the NFT space, things start to look quite interesting for fans.

Despite the widespread interest in comics and nonfiction books, not all of it is favorable. While former Marvel or DC artists releasing new work of their famous topics pleases the fans, the businesses themselves are not thrilled. In reality, both Marvel and DC have gone to considerable lengths to punish artists who profit from their characters.

Jose Delbo, an 87-year-old artist who previously worked on Wonder Woman and Transformers, is the clearest example of this. Delbo built an NFT collection featuring largely Wonder Woman art, which he sold for approximately $2 million.

The artwork was described as a limited-edition, signed digital production, with non-commercial rights granted to the winner. While both Marvel and DC agree that in the past, comic book artists were permitted to earn from pencil and ink drawings as a professional courtesy, selling digital art for millions of dollars may be overstepping the mark.

“The offering for sale of any digital photographs incorporating DC’s intellectual property with or without NFTs, whether rendered for DC’s publications or rendered outside the limits of one’s contractual engagement with DC, is not permitted,” said Jay Kogan, senior VP of legal affairs at DC Comics.

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As New NFT Collection Drops Art Blocks Surges 500%

In the last seven days, sales totaled $1.4 million.

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Art Blocks, an Ethereum-based digital storefront for programmable art projects, has seen a tremendous increase in sales and transaction volume. The introduction of a collection in partnership with Sotheby’s auction house, which contains digital art from the first 19 selected projects on Art Blocks, has sparked the initiative.

The platform’s NFT sales have surged by about 200 percent to 952, resulting in $1.4 million in transaction volume. According to DappRadar, this surge in activity has pushed Art Blocks to 7th place in the overall NFT collection rankings. Surprisingly, the average price of an NFT sale on Art Blocks in the last seven days has been roughly $1,500. Importantly, Art Blocks is coming closer to Rarible, the premier NFT collections platform, as a result of the recent surge in traders and sales.

Natively Digital

Natively Digital is the name of the NFT art auction event, which is one of four high-profile NFT sales by Sotheby’s in 2021. The 19 pieces of art sold for a total of $81,900, with each item selling for roughly $4,300 on average. Looking at the individual component floor prices on Art Blocks, it appears that objects were sold for a low price. On OpenSea, a Ringer art NFT would sell for at least 4.5 ETH or roughly $9,000, while Nimbuds has a floor price of 0.49 ETH or roughly $1200. The winning bidder in the Sotheby’s auction appeared to have gotten a good deal on all 19 pieces.

Drops Run Activity

Each of the 19 artworks in the Sotheby’s collection is unique in its own right because it was one of the first to be created on the Art Blocks platform. The NFT marketplace has certainly benefited from the attention of both the crypto art community and the Sotheby’s art community.

Importantly, sales of digital art at Sotheby’s are not tracked on-chain, therefore the data displayed on DappRadar does not reflect this. What’s happening is that the high-profile collection is causing a domino effect, with another drop driving awareness and usage of the platform.

Another cause for the uptick in traffic could be a drop released in conjunction with Tyler Hobbs on June 7th. The Fidenza collection, created by a visual artist from Texas, is said to be the artist’s most adaptable algorithm to date. “While the program maintains focused on organized curves and blocks, the variety in scale, organization, texture, and color utilization it can employ creates a vast range of creative possibilities,” the creator adds.

As a surge of interest in digital collectibles swept the globe in 2021, we saw both Sotheby’s and Christie’s connect with NFT art collections. Sotheby’s was also engaged in the recent sale of a rare Alien CryptoPunk, which sold for more over $11 million. More intriguing is the fact that, despite the fact that the cryptocurrency market appears to be entering a bear market, NFT sales are still strong. Last week, sales of NBA Top Shot increased by 50% week over week, but digital collectibles on Wax appear to be untouched by the price drop.

What is Art Blocks?

Users choose a style they prefer, pay for the job, and an algorithm creates a randomly generated version of the content that is transferred to their Ethereum account. A static image, 3D model, or interactive experience could be the end product.

Each output is unique, and the sorts of content that may be developed on the platform are virtually limitless. The generative script is written to the blockchain, which distinguishes the Art Blocks platform from others. The NFTs that are minted as a result are not controlled or curated by the artist, and the program’s output is a complete surprise to everyone.

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