📝#74: Biden vs. Crypto Trump

HUGO goes Roblox. Zara x Apple. Pudgy expands to target. Crypto's political showdown. Uniswap x Robinhood. Apple x OpenAI. OpenAI's new real-time conversational chat. Top charts & more.

Hey, it’s Marc. ✌️

This week, we launched our new podcast. Together with business leaders and innovators, we untangle and explore the potential of blockchain, gaming, AI and other emerging technologies to enhance the future of human engagement. Subscribe on Youtube, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts.

In the first episode we’re live with Lufthansa’s Steffen Boller to talk about Lufthansa’s Web3 strategy.

Let’s dive in. 🦈

Be inspired✨

“Natural selection is the only physical process that pushes species’ designs uphill against entropy toward greater order.” – John Tooby

📚 Top 5 Reads

  • The brand guide to success in gaming and virtual worlds. By GEEIQ. Link

  • The importance of decentralized control over AI. By Erik Voorhees. Link

  • The two most important charts in crypto. By Raoul Pal. Link

  • On crypto and elections. By Keith Grossman. Link

  • Comparing memecoins and governance tokens. By Yash Agarwal. Link

Innovate or Die. Explore How Emerging Technologies Help You Stay Ahead.

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Is your brand ready for the next wave of the internet? Explore what is possible with creator economies, immersive worlds, and AI innovations at Consensus 2024. Consensus is the biggest and most established global hub for all things crypto, blockchain and Web3. Save 20% on registration with code MARC20.

✨ Web3 & Consumer

HUGO goes Roblox 🎮

Similar to NFTs two years ago, Roblox is where all consumer brands want to be right now. All of them.

By the numbers:

  • Over 80% of Interbrand’s Top 100 Global Brands have already launched immersive commerce experiences.

  • Roblox has over 70M daily active users as of Q423, a 22% year-over-year increase.

  • An average user spends around 2.6 hours on Roblox – every day!

Now, HUGO created a 360-degree experience for fans, opening:

  1. An IRL creative space celebrating the F1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix (HUGO GARAGE);

  2. and an immersive experience in Roblox.

Why it matters: The 360-degree activation approach lets HUGO engage with its audience across multiple touchpoints IRL and online.

Zooming in: Users can customize their own F1 car, complete scavenger hunts and complete challenges to unlock digital wearables.

By the numbers: Within the first 7 days this experience created 400k+ (now at 1M+) visits and received a 90% approval rating on Roblox.

Zooming out: HUGO joined Roblox last March to promote its new clothing line “Hugo Blue”, targeted at Gen Z. Other fashion brands joined Roblox already years ago.

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Big money machine? Not really. Roblox also brought in $2.8B in revenue last year and has a 70% take rate on in-game items sold.

Be smart: For brands, this is primarily about building up awareness and brand affinity among the next generation of consumers.

Punchline: We’ll see community-led, gamified, immersive commerce took place moving from isolated platforms towards coherent activations across different formats (games, IRL etc.) and platforms (Discord, social, Sandbox, Roblox, Fortnite or owned worlds).

Read our deep dive here or reply for more info on how we help brands doing this.

More on Web3:

  • Zara and Apple Vision team up for an AR virtual shopping promo. Link

  • Pudgy Penguins toys are now available in Target, increasing its reach for ‘non crypto-native consumers’. Link

  • Bitcoin Runes have taken a massive nosedive after a lukewarm start. Link

  • Privy introduces onboarding via Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn. Link

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🌎 Crypto & Macro

House of Cards

Crypto is becoming a core issue of the upcoming US election:

  • Trump brands himself as the "crypto candidate," accepting donations in crypto, while Biden faces backlash for opposing a bill allowing banks crypto custody, potentially alienating voters.

  • Meanwhile, Wisconsin became the first state to disclose Bitcoin holding with a $100M investment in Blackrock’s ETF.

  • Coinbase’s advocacy group Stand With Crypto launched a new PAC to raise funds from its 440k members to support crypto-friendly candidates. MoonPay donated $1M this week.

  • At the same time, The House of Representatives voted in favor of a resolution to oppose the SEC's crypto accounting policy on custody.

A lot going on.

Why it’s important:

Biden's anti-crypto stance could cost his election, as crypto could potentially become a decisive election issue.

A vote for Biden could become a vote against crypto.

And Biden is now under pressure.

By the numbers:

  • In the U.S., estimates from various sources indicate that about 10-20% of adults own cryptocurrencies. Link

  • Among different generations in the U.S., cryptocurrency ownership is highest among millennials at 57%, followed by Gen Z at 13%, Gen X at 20%, and Baby Boomers at 10%. Link

The big picture: Crypto policy in the US is not only impacting the markets, it’s now a critical element in the battleground of U.S. politics.

Plus: A more positive stance of the Biden administration on crypto could be a significant boost for crypto adoption and the U.S. market.

More on Crypto

  • Deutsche Bank tests asset tokenization with Singapore partners. Link

  • S&P Global Rankings urges asset managers to embrace tokenization. Link 

  • Lightning Labs is bringing stablecoins to Bitcoin. Link

  • Uniswap integrates with Robinhood and goes mainstream. Link

🧠Artificial Intelligence

The AI race among big tech continues:

  • Apple is finalizing a deal with OpenAI to use ChatGPT features in iOS 18; talks with Google to license Gemini are still ongoing. Link

  • Apple’s AI strategy in one tweet. Link

  • Google plans to roll out AI Overviews in Search to all US users by next week. They will be available to 1B+ users by the end of 2024. Link

  • OpenAI announced ChatGPT's new real-time conversational chat. Link

  • US Senators urge $32B emergency spending to safeguard AI. Link

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💰 Money Moves

Funding has been hot this week.

  • MOCA Foundation: Concludes MOCA Token Launch with $29.3M committed at 12x oversubscription. Link

  • Polymarket: Prediction market app raises $70M from big VCs, including Peter Thiel & Vitalik

  • Bracebridge: Capital firm invests $363M in Bitcoin ETFs, including ARKB, IBIT, and GBTC as institutions continue to increase BTC ETF investments

  • Humanity Protocol: Decentralized ID system raises $30M seed round at $1B valuation le by Kingsway Capital

  • OPENREC: Live Streaming platform raises $15.5M from Vector, GENDA Capital, and Nomura SPARX

  • Passes: Content creation platform raises $17.5M in funding from undisclosed investors

That’s all for now, folks. Thank you for being part of the journey.
Talk soon,

Marc

PS: Follow me on LinkedIn and X for shorter insights.

📈 Top 2 Charts to Share with Friends

Shrinking volumes for Bitcoin runes. Source

Top Web3 Marketing Jobs This Week

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1  For example: Gucci Town or Lamborghini’s Lanzador Lab in Roblox weren’t connected to other Web3 activations of the brand. Starbuck’s Odyssey community lives largely on a platform on its own.

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