Google Set to Accept Crypto Payments in 2023

Google 🤝 Coinbase | BAYC vs SEC | Tokenizing Athletes | Russian Sanctions


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GM! It’s the Weekly Rollup.

The only newsletter you need to stay up-to-date with the biggest events in web3. 

It’s going to be a big one, folks. Today, we’re chatting about:

🤝 Google partnering with Coinbase for crypto payments
⚖️ The SEC jumping into the ring with Yuga Labs over unregistered securities
🏈 Web3 tokenizing the world with FANtium planning for athletes to be next
🧑‍⚖️ Russian sanctions and whether centralization belongs in web3
🪄 NFT of the Month. Hint: It’s the greatest comeback of ALL time 

Kyle and Jay also chat about the Binance hack on the podcast. So if you want to hear their take on cross-chain bridges and the possibility of a multi-chain future, make sure you tune in. 

Time to level up, frens🚀


WEB3 MACROS

Google Embraces Crypto Payments

Google becomes a clear fren of web3 through its partnership with Coinbase.

Look, we shouldn’t be surprised. It seems like they’ve been hinting at this move for a while, like when they added the merge countdown to Google Search. 

But it’s great to see one of the biggest companies in the world legitimize the power of cryptocurrency and web3. 

Here’s what they’re doing: 

  • Allowing customers to pay for Google Cloud with crypto starting in early 2023. They haven’t specified what tokens they’ll accept, but it’ll be more than just Bitcoin—sorry maxis. 
  • Exploring the features of Coinbase Prime which offers institutional brokerage services, such as custody and trading. 

And in return, Coinbase will be moving some of its apps into the friendlier waters of Google Cloud. This move quells the fears of Amazon shutting down web services for crypto companies since we now have a tech giant on our side. 

One of the Web3 Academy DAO leads brought up some interesting opinions in Discord when we shared the news. 

He said, “What’s the big unlock for being able to pay with crypto? It’s only really useful if you’ve got a business that’s earning crypto and don’t want to have to exchange back to fiat, right? Am I missing something here?”

It’s easy to miss the gravity of this partnership if you live in a developed country where commerce is truly open. But for many developing countries, Google accepting crypto payments gives them access to services that previously weren’t available.

People in places like Pakistan, Cuba, and dozens of other countries can’t access basic payment services like Paypal or Stripe. And in many cases, they can’t switch their local currency to USD or EUR due to laws or unreasonable exchange fees. 

But once crypto payments become mainstream we can truly unlock open global commerce, giving everyone around the world access to goods and services. 

And for everyone in developed countries, crypto payments offer significantly cheaper transaction costs. Rather than the standard 3% of big payment service providers, crypto transactions are much, much cheaper. 

That’s a win-win situation if ever we saw one. Facebook, Apple, and now Google, who’ll join the cool kids next?

👉 Join our Discord to discuss which tech giant will onboard the most people into web3. 🚀


Reply to this email with your .lens handle. We will follow you over on Lenster. 👀


SEC VS BAYC

SEC Launches Probe Into Yuga Labs

Yuga Labs is the next target in the SEC’s bid to bring regulation to web3 and crypto. Previously the SEC has probed Uniswap and they’re currently in the middle of a lawsuit with Ripple. 

But they haven’t had much success with actually convicting anyone of securities-related breaches. That is besides Kim Kardashian who recently earned herself a $1.26 million fine for shilling Ethereum Max in 2021. 

Gotta pay the bills somehow, eh? 

What’s interesting is that this probe comes on the back of the CFTC seemingly gaining favor as the main regulator of the crypto space. Even Coinbase told the SEC that their rules would be too onerous for digital assets

But whoever gets to regulate crypto gets a bigger slice of the US government’s budget pie and that’s why we think the SEC is making moves. 

Essentially, the more media coverage they can generate about regulating the crypto space, the more money they can put towards it. As a result, they can ask the government for more funding to support their regulation efforts. 

In a nutshell, the SEC probe into Yuga Labs is to determine whether their NFT collections and ApeCoin (APE) are unregistered securities. 

The first one is a simple question of whether NFTs are a security, which will probably take another couple of years for regulators to decide. However, the ApeCoin probe is where it gets more interesting. 

When Yuga Labs launched ApeCoin, they gave ownership over the coin to the ApeCoin DAO. This move crosses a few blurred lines since DAOs don’t have any sort of regulation yet. 

Typically, whoever launches a security needs to register it, but Yuga has skirted this law by handing ownership to the DAO. 

So for this probe to have an outcome, they first have to decide what regulations DAOs fall under. Then they have to decide who they’ll go after over securities regulations, Yuga or the DAO. 

We don’t really know what’ll happen this time around with the SEC. But we hope it enables them to create some solid regulation because that’s how we get corporations to join web3.


POLL OF THE WEEK

Which tech giant will onboard the most people into web3?

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

👉 Reply to this email with your best guess even if it’s not on this list. Then join our Discord to discuss this question. 🔥


TOKENZING ATHLETES WITH NFTS

FANtium Plans to Shake Up Athlete Financing

FANtium recently launched its athlete financing platform where fans can bet on the future success of up-and-coming sports stars. 

But instead of just a bet, it’s in the form of an NFT. This NFT allows fans (holders) to connect with athletes and receive recurring rewards based on their success—for example, receiving a share of salaries, sponsorships, etc. 

Initially, we were a bit confused. How can fans support athletes? It’s a bit different with musicians and artists where fans can help them with promotion and marketing. Plus there’s always been a sense of community around supporting your favorite artists. 

But as an athlete, what can your community do to support your career? They don’t need marketing or promotion. 

The answer is financing

One of the biggest problems junior athletes face is the immense cost (think travel, equipment, training, etc.) required to make it pro. That is unless they have a family with money or have already been drafted into the big leagues. 

But what about star athletes without funding? How are they going to make it as a professional athlete? 

Without funding, athletes can’t afford the necessary services to support their needs—for example, a nutritionist or physical therapist. But if they had this funding at a young age, they could optimize their lives to become an athlete. 

With Fantium, an athlete can launch an NFT collection, enabling their community to support their career while also sharing in the upside. This is HUGE. 🙌

Communities love their local sporting heroes and FANtium’s platform enables them to really support their favorite athletes. Plus, it brings communities and athletes even closer together. 

Imagine the experience of funding a young athlete and them becoming a superstar. Amazing. 

On top of this FANtium’s NFTs also function as a DAO, so they can continue to support athletes throughout their careers. The DAO could be responsible for dealing with sponsorships, negotiating contracts, starting side businesses, and much more. The possibilities are endless. 

And while it’s nice that NFT holders can share in the upside of an athlete’s career, we think most people will invest purely out of support. The potential returns are just a bonus.


CENTRALIZATION STRIKES AGAIN

Dapper Labs is the Next to Buckle Under EU Sanctions

Dapper Labs is the most recent web3 company to submit to the EU’s Russian sanctions. The company recently announced that, since their payment processor and value storage partner is subject to EU sanctions, so is Dapper Labs. 

It’s also a good time to highlight that while Dapper’s blockchain (Flow) is decentralized, most of Dapper’s affiliated NFTs are stored in their own custodial wallet. 

So that’s the reason why they’re able to prevent Russian wallets from: 

  • Buying, gifting, or selling any Moments (the name of their various sports collections).
  • Withdrawing from a Dapper Account.
  • Using their Dapper Balance to buy NFTs.

The NFTs haven’t gone anywhere, though. They’re still in their respective accounts, but they’re basically stuck until these sanctions cease. 

One thing to note is that buyers had the opportunity to move their NFTs to Blocto which offers both custodial and non-custodial wallets. 

Could Russians have avoided this situation with Blocto? We’re not really sure. But if you’ve been able to retain ownership over your Dapper NFTs, let us know by replying to this email

Look, Dapper has been doing an excellent job onboarding corporate brands into web3—for example, the NBA, UFC, and NFL. But this move definitely goes against web3’s ethos of a permissionless, open internet. 

It’s not only Dapper Labs that can censor wallets and accounts, though. Prominent web3 companies, such as OpenSea, Coinbase, and Circle (creator of the USDC stablecoin) can and have done the same. 

We don’t agree with censorship, but service providers should have the freedom to do as they please IF investors can use their NFTs elsewhere. It’s simply not fair to freeze assets like this. 

Unfortunately, we’re in a weird transitional phase where we need centralized applications and chains to onboard corporations and legitimize what we’re doing. But since centralization goes against our ultimate goals, we have this catch-22 where, if we want the space to grow, we have to deal with centralization and its effects. 

Editor’s note: Right before releasing this article Blockchain.com and Crypto.com announced they are restricting Russian-tied accounts.


NFT OF THE MONTH

Pixelmon: The Comeback Story To Beat All Comeback Stories?

Well, well, well. This week’s poll winner surprised us, to say the least. 

We had some killer collections duke it out for the top spot, including DeGods, QQL, and Renga.

In total, there were 360 votes, but the winner by a landslide victory was Pixelmon. So congratulations to Pixelmon and their community! 

Make sure you follow Web3 Academy on Twitter so you can support your favorite collections in the next round.

Chances are you know what happened at the beginning of the year. But if you don’t here’s a quick summary: 

  • Pixelmon launched an NFT collection, promising to build the largest multi-player metaverse game by Q3 of this year. 
  • They had one of the biggest mints of all time, raising $70 million. 
  • Then came the terrible art reveal that had worse pixelation than Minecraft.
  • Investors called it one of the worst rug pulls of all time.

One of the most interesting things to come out of the launch, though, was Kevin. 

People thought Kevin’s art was so bad that it became the official symbol of the Pixelmon fiasco. The resulting memes caused Kevin’s price to moon while everything else associated with the project fell. 

Although the project initially failed, there was a massive community that really believed in the project. And thanks to Kevin reaching cultural relevance, there were tons of derivative projects that kept the community alive. 

That’s the reason why we assume LiquidX recently bought a 60% share in Pixelmon.

They’ve recently begun a PR blitz to promote their reinvention of the project which entails a new team, website and art revamp. And yes, the art is much better than it was before. 

On that note, it’s important to remember that, when you own an NFT, you own the token on the blockchain. The metadata (image, video, etc.) isn’t actually on the blockchain so it can be changed. 

If you want to learn more about this topic, check out our podcast on The NFT Metadata Problem Nobody Is Talking About.

For us, the big takeaway is that community is powerful. There wasn’t much going for the failed project. It had terrible art and gameplay, BUT Pixelmon did (and still does) have a stellar community. 

Will this be the biggest comeback in web3? Or will we end up with a double rug? Fingers crossed it’s the former!


NUMBERS TO KNOW

$165,000,000 

That’s how much Uniswap raised in Series B funding 

68%

That’s how much the Metaplex token plunged after adding Solana NFT collectors to the airdrop. A big mistake. Giving free tokens to random NFT degens means one thing: DUMP. 📉

$718,000,000

That’s the amount that’s been stolen from DeFi protocols across eleven different hacks this month. We’re only halfway through and October is already the worst month ever for hacks. 🤯


AROUND WEB3

Launches

  • America’s oldest bank, BNY Mellon, will start to custody crypto for its customers. Source
  • At a price of $1,499, Meta has unveiled their Meta Quest Pro. Source
  • Microsoft and Meta partner to bring Office 365 applications to the Metaverse. Source
  • Manifold announces 0% fee NFT marketplace for creators. Source
  • OpenSea adds Avalanche NFT support. Source
  • Binance launches a $500M lending pool for Bitcoin miners to help them with soaring energy prices. Source

Fundraising

  • Bond Protocol raises $2.5 million in seed round. Source
  • Waterfall raises $4 million to build NFT trading and pricing protocol. Source
  • Arch raises $5 million to become the “BlackRock of web3.” Source
  • Resy raises $11 million for its web3 hospitality platform. Source

Other Web3 News

  • Formula 1 files trademarks as it plans to set up a web3 marketplace. Source
  • The crypto from the TRON ecosystem becomes legal tender in the Caribbean Island of Dominica. Source
  • Solana DeFi platform Mango hit by $100M exploit. Source
  • Brian Roberts, the CFO of OpenSea steps down and takes the role of an advisor. There’s no specific reason for this switch. Source
  • Portugal imposes a 28% tax on crypto gains starting in 2023. Source

FOR THE DOERS

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DISCLAIMER: None of this is financial advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. Please be careful and do your own research.
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