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Ubisoft Calls Gaming NFTs a “Major Change That Will Take Time” Following Backlash

In the midst of a cooperation with crypto startup Aleph.im, the publisher is moving forward with its NFT plans and vows to “remain true” to its beliefs.

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With the debut of its Tezos-based Quartz platform, Ubisoft became the first traditional gaming firm to include in-game NFTs, although the publisher received a lot of anger from gamers. Ubisoft acknowledged the fan response today, along with announcing a new partnership with Aleph.im, calling video game NFTs a “big change” for players.

When the limited-edition digital items appeared in Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint earlier this month, many fans dismissed them as worthless or a cynical trend pursuit. Others said that Ubisoft’s idea would harm the environment, even though it uses Tezos. This proof-of-stake blockchain platform is seen as a more energy-efficient alternative to Ethereum, the main NFT platform.

In any event, unlike GSC Game World with S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2’s planned NFTs or gaming-centric messaging platform Discord with its crypto wallet integration, Ubisoft moved ahead with their ambitions. However, following backlash from users and supporters, both corporations abandoned their respective initiatives.

Ubisoft said today that it has partnered with Aleph.im to enable decentralized storage for its NFT assets, which are referred to as “Digits” on the Quartz platform. Ubisoft’s Blockchain Technical Director, Didier Genevois, responded to Decrypt’s queries concerning the inaugural in-game NFT launch earlier this month.

“Since the announcement, we’ve gotten a lot of response, and we’ve heard both the encouragement and the concerns,” he said. “We understand where people’s feelings about technology come from, and we need to keep that in mind every step of the way.”

“This experiment is aimed to explore how our players may receive and embrace the value proposition of decentralization,” Genevois stated. “We recognize that this is a significant adjustment that will take time, but we will stick to our three principles.”

Ubisoft’s guiding principles, according to Genevois, are to “use the technology responsibly” and “build a safe environment” for players to learn about NFTs, “only use energy-efficient proof-of-stake blockchains,” and “focus on meaningful value propositions for players that benefit their gaming experience.”

Embracing Aleph.im

Years of research into the crypto business led to Ubisoft’s creation of the Quartz platform. The studio behind Assassin’s Creed and Just Dance produced its own Minecraft-inspired crypto game prototype called HashCraft in 2018 and showed it off at E3, but it was never released.

Ubisoft produced a Rabbids-themed NFT effort for charity in 2020, and then One Shot League, a spinoff of Ethereum-based NFT fantasy soccer game Sorare, earlier this year. In October, Ubisoft made its first formal investment in a crypto firm, participating in Animoca Brands’ $65 million round to collaborate on NFT-centric games.

The publisher’s Entrepreneurs Lab accelerator program has also helped several crypto companies. Aleph.im, a distributed cloud network, was selected as one of the projects in May, and in July, Ubisoft agreed to manage one of Aleph.im’s core channel nodes. The announcement today formalizes Ubisoft’s developing connection with the project.

“Our main goal with Ubisoft Quartz is to show our players the genuine value of decentralization,” Genevois added. “Aleph.im was important in realizing our vision by allowing us to take it a step further and decentralize the Digits’ video asset and metadata storage.”

Ubisoft would have to save NFT metadata—or essential information about the item and its purpose—on centralized servers or via IPFS, a user-operated file-sharing network, before using Aleph.im’s platform, according to Genevois. Aleph.im’s decentralized network ensures long-term storage and allows Ubisoft to update NFT metadata over time.

On three separate days earlier this month, Ubisoft, a corporate validator for the Tezos network, released exclusive NFT drops for Ghost Recon Breakpoint—all of which were entirely free. Additional NFT drops have been hinted for 2022, but the publisher has yet to reveal NFT incorporation into any of its other popular game properties.

Despite the outcry, Ubisoft is moving forward with its NFT ambitions. At the same time, Square Enix just unveiled its crypto game plans, and Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson stated that NFTs “will be an essential part of our industry’s future on a going-forward basis.”

According to Aleph.im founder Jonathan Schemoul, “most significant publishers will end up offering in-game NFT support,” highlighting potential benefits such as interoperable assets. “That would be a huge breakthrough,” he continued, “making the gaming experience even better.”

NFT

Could this trademark application indicate that PayPal is developing an NFT market? 

A trademark application for blockchain and cryptocurrency technology has been submitted by PayPal. Some claim that the file has something to do with Web3 and the metaverse, although it may be tied to an NFT marketplace.

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A recent trademark application by PayPal has been found, and it suggests the development of a service pertaining to several facets of blockchain technology. The file, which was made on October 18, makes a notable allusion to the potential introduction of a non-fungible token (NFT) market.

For its logo, PayPal submitted two trademark applications. The first one concerns “downloadable software” for cryptocurrency trading and storage. The second discusses cryptocurrency-related payment processing services.

Although users may currently buy cryptocurrencies on PayPal’s platform, this filing suggests that there may be more to come. The concept of assets is substantially broader in the filing’s terminology. Mike Kondoudis, a trademark lawyer licensed by the USPTO, claimed on Twitter that this filing relates to NFTs and the metaverse.

Although there is no proof to support this, it would not be shocking if it were true. The finance business would be adding its name to a lengthy list of businesses that are starting to make inroads into the Web3 and metaverse spaces.

PayPal is investing more in cryptocurrency.
Over the past two years, PayPal has intensified its focus on cryptocurrencies. First, the company made a huge announcement for the industry by saying that consumers would be able to purchase cryptocurrency on its platform.

However, it didn’t start enabling users to move those funds into wallets outside of the network until recently. It indicated that it would roll out additional crypto-related features in the latter part of last year. One of those additions might be an NFT marketplace.

It teamed up with Coinbase’s TRUST network more recently. This was viewed by many as an endorsement of the sector. The TRUST network upholds consumer security and privacy while adhering to the banking industry’s Travel Rule.

Increased Criticism of Payment Giant
Additionally, PayPal has been in the spotlight for all the incorrect reasons. The business has recently come under fire for a contentious policy that penalized users for disseminating false information. Later, it claimed that false information was released with the amended policy. Crypto aficionados, however, were eager to point to this as evidence of the value of decentralization.

PayPal established a blockchain and cryptocurrency advisory committee earlier this year. According to the company’s management, working with governments is essential to overcoming obstacles and seizing possibilities.

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NFT

Seba Bank, a cryptocurrency company, aims to store valuable NFTs

Seba Bank, a cryptocurrency company, has launched its first NFT service, a blue-chip NFT-specific institutional-grade, certified, and independently audited hot and cold storage custody product.

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The launch comes in response to requests from customers to keep their NFTs with the bank alongside other crypto assets, such as the already-approved Bored Ape Yacht Club, Cryptopunk, and Clone X NFTs. The bank stated that new collections would be added based on customer demand.

With its newest offering, Seba Bank seeks to entice investors who view NFTs as an asset class and crypto natives. Not your keys, not your bitcoin is a well-known phrase in the crypto sphere, and adherents of this maxim could object to having their Apes or Punks stored with a third-party custodian.

Urs Bernegger, co-head of markets and investment solutions at Seba Bank, however, highlights a growing group of NFT holders who are more at ease handing up their NFTs and private keys to a company.

They don’t want the key because they aren’t even aware of how to handle and store it. He claimed that they’re more concerned with damaging the key than giving it to a bank.

It’s a significant issue. Between 2.3 million and 3.7 million bitcoins, according to Chainalysis, are trapped in inaccessible wallets. Numerous accounts of people have lost millions owing to losing private keys, including Russian officials, students, and engineers. Families have also been prevented from accessing substantial quantities of money following sudden deaths in which wallet owners had not disclosed their private keys.

Bernegger asserts institutional custody can be advantageous for native crypto users as well. There has been an increase in businesses providing services that employ NFTs as collateral for conventional banking services like loans.

Seba Bank is thinking about implementing these features in the future. Based in the crypto-friendly Swiss town of Zug, the four-year-old bank already backs several investing, credit, lending, and staking options for cryptocurrencies and might extend them to NFTs.

“Instead of traveling to the market, for instance, we could create a club for collectors and assist them in finding other collectors. There are a few things we have in mind, but we laid the groundwork by storing NFTs securely at first, “explained he.

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The NFT album maker for Kings of Leon now includes a metaverse music venue

YellowHeart, a Web3 ticketing startup, is opening a metaverse music venue in an effort to transform how performers, teams, and event organizers distribute tickets and interact with fans.

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The facility, constructed on Spatial, will feature Grammy-nominated blues musician G.Love as its opening act later this year. Fans can communicate with one another, participate in meet-and-greets before and after performances, and use several screens to view what is happening in various areas of the stadium simultaneously.

They will soon be able to order meals and drinks before the event, which will also be available as digital things.

The idea of an online concert has so far primarily been popularized by big gaming companies. The most well-liked virtual competitions have occurred on sites like Fortnite and Roblox. Ariana Grande’s Fortnite concert in August 2021 received 78 million viewers. Next month, Decentraland will host its second Metaverse Music Festival. Over 100 musicians are on the lineup, including well-known performers like Ozzy Osbourne and Soulja Boy.

In addition to throwing an event, YellowHeart, which assisted Kings of Leon in releasing an NFT version of their most recent album, stated that it hoped to accomplish more. It was established in 2017 with the lofty goal of revolutionizing the music ticketing sector as a whole, which has historically been dominated by powerful reselling organizations and exclusive ticketing relationships. These alliances frequently impose limitations on what purchasers can and cannot do with their tickets. Trying to resell a ticket for a concert you can’t go to might be a headache.

YellowHeart believes these issues can be resolved by returning control to artists and fans via web3 technology. Additionally, it may provide advantages that cannot be programmed into conventional tickets.

“These range from complete albums to personalized vinyl records, exclusive merchandise, and immersive visual art. Web3 tickets also allow performers to update fans on new tour dates, music releases, giveaway possibilities, and much more, according to the business.

It has already collaborated with well-known figures, including Julian Lennon, Maroon 5, and MGM Resorts. Contrary to the non-NFT versions offered on Spotify, iTunes, and other platforms, those obtained through YellowHeart entailed particular customer benefits.

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