- Polygon leads $25 million in funding for Web3 venture studio SuperLayer
- Art Blocks collection, Portal – Art Blocks Playground, has seen the biggest increase in floor price in the last 24 hours, from 39 ETH to 300 ETH on OpenSea
In funding news, crypto investment company CoinFund raised $300 million for a venture fund that plans to invest in post-seed stage companies.
Blockworks recaps other notable stories that caught the eye of Web3 Watch.
Storage of cash
Ethereum layer-2 scaling platform Polygon announced a strategic partner role in Web3 venture studio SuperLayer following a $25 million investment.
The venture capital firm backs late-stage projects and is led by game entrepreneurs Kevin Chou and Mahesh Vellanki, the founders of various Web3 companies, including Rally.io, a creative economy protocol on the RLY network, and blockchain game publisher Forte.
The funding will be used to support and scale SuperLayer’s ecosystem of projects, according to the company, which intends to invest in and build new Web3 products for rapid mass adoption.
Launched in October, SuperLayer is backed by several high-profile investors such as Animoca Brands founder Yat Siu, celebrity Paris Hilton and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) partner Chris Dixon.
Unstoppable Domains goes mobile
iPhone users can now download the Unstoppable Domains mobile app to manage all NFT domains owned.
This means users can easily buy and create domains directly from the mobile app, rather than on a web browser. Users can connect the following crypto wallets to the app: MetaMask, Rainbow, Trust Wallet, Ledger Live, AlphaWallet and MathWallet for now.
Domain names can be backed up manually or stored as an encrypted copy on iCloud in case your phone is lost or stolen.
Because decentralized domain names are minted as NFTs (non-fungible tokens), the Unstoppable Domains app allows users to choose a Web3 identity card with a profile picture that can be shared via social media.
Users can also sign in to hundreds of WalletConnect-enabled apps, along with 180+ apps, metaverses and games that have integrated login with the Unstoppable single sign-on service. The advantage is no more passwords to remember.
NFT Art as jewelry
Hot on the heels of Tiffany & Co.’s NFTiff collection of CryptoPunks jewelry, the jewelry NFT market is undeniably growing. Auction house Sotheby’s is the next to jump on this trend of letting collectors use their art.
A physical 18-carat gold and emerald ring and corresponding NFT called Ethereum Expedition will be part of Sotheby’s first auction dedicated to artist-made jewelry, titled “Art as Jewelry as Art.” The shape was inspired by geodesic domes and intercontinental rocket launches.
Metagolden, a digital gallery that sells NFT art tokenized by 18-karat gold jewelry, designed this piece for this upcoming September sale.
The buyer will be able to wear the ring in real life – in the metaverse, avatars can wear the digital wearable, the value of which is independent of the physical item.
The auction will also include jewelry such as a pendant by Picasso, earrings designed by Dalí and a piece by Man Ray.
Speaking of phygitals
Cult & Rain is a phygital. (physical/digital) Web3 fashion brand was co-founded by fashion creative director George Yang. It creates both physical and digital projects such as luxury sneakers and most recently varsity jackets along with NFTs.
The brand recently launched its own metaverse called CULTR WORLD that plans to transform phygital fashion and commerce.
Blockworks spoke to Yang, a luxury fashion veteran who started Cult & Rain because he believed “the fashion system was broken.”
Blockwork: You are known to sell phygital products via NFTs. Tell me more about the phygital market.
Yang: Version 1.0 is actually putting a chip in a shoe and linking this physical shoe to the blockchain for authentication and ownership transfer. But when the NFT market started to heat up, we saw a huge opportunity, which was to create phygital products and sell these 3D animated NFTs that have their physical counterpart and physical twin attached to them.
We are all about luxury. We are all about scarcity and we manufacture all our physical products in Italy. Our sneakers are produced in the same factory that produces for LVMH and Kering.
I knew that digital fashion was the future and I knew that metaverse digital wearables, phygitals and this brand new transformation of Web3 would become the foundation of how different luxury brands would enter the next phase.
Blockwork: Why start your own metaverse?
Yang: We know where the metaverse and avatars are [the industry] on the way. So we know we want to build an environment where you’ll be able to plug your avatar into our metaverse and be able to cross-platform into other metaverses in the future. This is how people will walk around in their alter egos, and they will need digital wearables to flex in. They will also need space to hang out, their own home to invite their friends to. So we try to jump ahead of that.
We also wanted to create a completely new experience based on photorealism, in contrast to the gamification of The Sandbox and Decentraland. A photorealistic view is difficult to distinguish between whether it is a game or it is real life.
Blockwork: Can you talk to me a bit about the pains of the traditional fashion industry?
Yang: There is a huge amount of use and waste – use of time, energy, water. Take denim, for example. Denim is one of the most toxic garment dyeing processes which is very hard on the environment. So there’s a huge amount of environmental impact, and this is why a lot of the professional brands are all talking about sustainability for a long time, because nobody really understands that impact.
So with this model we eliminate the wastage. We go directly to the consumer. This is almost like the ultimate direct-to-consumer model. We allow the consumer to shop on a website or shop in the metaverse.
Your digital asset that we sold you as an NFT becomes the ultimate Soho House membership card. And it’s going to have a bunch of tools attached. The main tool is the matching physical luxury product, so it’s like two for the price of one.
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