📝#75: Brave New World

Hugo Boss launches Web3 loyalty program. Lamborghini goes Roblox. Reebok launches digital wearables. Dolce & Gabbana sued. SEC approves spot ETH ETF. Metamask integrates Bitcoin & more.

Hey, it’s Marc. ✌️

NFTs are dead (for now). Watch my speech here. Meanwhile, Hugo Boss launched its Web3 loyalty program. Will it fly? We’re going to dive deeper on that next week.

Meanwhile, crypto is more alive than ever. Just yesterday, the SEC approved a spot Ethereum ETF. Also, the US House passed the FIT21 Act, paving the way for US crypto regulations.

Let’s dive in. 🦈

Be inspired✨

"Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly." - Franz Kafka

📚 Top 4 Reads

  • NFTs are dead. By Marc Baumann. Link

  • If You Build it On Roblox, Will They Come? By Matthew Kanterman. Link

  • On memecoins and VCs. By Jimmy Song. Link

  • What Makes ChatGPT-4o Special?. By Ignacio de Gregorio. Link

Boson Protocol – Real Web3 Commerce, with Web2 UX

As the next bull market emerges, so does a new crypto-rich, Web3-savvy demographic, who are demanding authentic Web3 commerce experiences. Uniquely, with Boson, you can sell physical things as NFTs, with a slick Web2 experience while running on a fully decentralized Web3 backend. No more Web3 washing required!

✨ Web3 & Consumer

Lamborghini drives to Roblox 🚗

…and taps into 300,000 plays in just 24 hours:

  • Users can customize their own Lamborghini Urus, race against friends, and explore Lamborghini's rich history.

  • The experience integrates with Driving Empire, a popular open-world driving game on Roblox. Such integrations (core loops) drive much higher engagement & more users.

Zooming out: Lamborghini entered Roblox 5 months ago with its Lanzador Lab experience.

Lamborghini Urus in Roblox

By the numbers:

  • Day 1 alone saw over 300,000 plays.

  • Roblox has over 70M daily active users as of Q4 23, a 22% year-over-year increase.

  • Users spent 16.7B hours on Roblox in the last three months. 

  • Roblox's 2024 revenue is projected to exceed $4.5 billion.

Why this matters: Over 80% of Interbrand’s Top 100 Global Brands have already launched immersive commerce experiences.

For brands, this is about building awareness and affinity with younger consumers.

They closely track metrics like total visits, average playtime, and player engagement to measure the success.

The big picture: Community-led, gamified, immersive experiences are moving from isolated platforms to integrated activations across various formats and platforms like Discord, social media, Sandbox, Roblox, Fortnite, and more.

Punchline: Roblox will become an acquisition channel and drive IRL commerce.

Reebok Impact👟

  • Reebok has recently launched “Reebok Impact” with a partnership with Futureverse and has finally entered into Web3 with digital wearables after Adidas and Nike.

  • The shoe brand is leveraging artificial intelligence to turn users’ original memories to create a customized digital sneaker. 

Zooming in: Reebok is tapping into the web3 world and engaging sneaker lovers through digital collectibles tied to IRL incentives. The Reebok Impact owner can also avail up to 50% discount on sneaker purchases from their website.

Yes, but: The brand has not received much traction yet, with only 16 sneakers crafted by the community.

Punchline: Web3 consumer activations continue to be a challenge for brands. They NFT hype is over.

Are you Social?📱

Decentralized social media (DeSo) is taking off:

  • The decentralized social protocol Farcaster, built on Ethereum L2 Optimism, has raised $150 Million led by Paradigm.

  • This is the second biggest DeSo funding to date.

By the numbers:

  • Since inception (Nov 2023), Farcaster has onboarded over 380K paid users with an average daily cast (post) of 1.2M.

  • The protocol is also generating an average daily revenue of approximately 7K USD through subscriptions, warps, and others. 

Devil’s advocate: Frames are still clumsy. Farcaster is still home to a small community of Web3 enthusiasts. And it's uncertain whether this initial momentum will last.

Why it matters: Farcaster is a decentralized social protocol that enables the creation of various applications on top of it, with the potential to change how brands interact with their audiences.

Read our Farcaster deep dive here.

More on Web3:

  • Hugo Boss launched a Web3 loyalty program (we’ll publish a deep dive in the coming days). Link

  • Pudgy Penguins announce that its Plushies are now available at Big W, one of Australia's largest retail outlets. Link

  • Dolce & Gabbana has been sued by a customer for the delayed delivery of its NFTs. Link

Live event: Bring your brand to 1B music fans globally

Imagine boosting your brand's exposure by collaborating and co-owning music projects with world-renowned artists like Snoop Dogg, Bruno Mars, and Pitbull – as blockchain-based assets. GETREEL33 offers brands and communities an opportunity to amplify and commercialize their brand through co-branding and co-producing hit songs streamed by millions.

Join us and explore how music can be a game-changer for your brand.

When: 🕒 30. May 2024 | 2pm EST | 8pm CET

🌎 Crypto & Macro

  • The SEC approved a spot Ethereum ETF. Read our deep dive here.

  • Metamask plans Bitcoin integration. Link

  • Chris Dixon joined forces with “Stand with Crypto” with other bigger names like Paradigm, MoonPay, DYDX, and Paxos. Link

  • Pyth and Avalanche are to release $1 billion worth of tokens into the open market this week. Link

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🧠AI + Metaverse

  • News Corp and OpenAI Announce $250M Multi-Year Content Partnership. Link

  • OpenAI's entire Superalignment team, which was focused on the existential dangers of AI, has either resigned or been absorbed into other research groups. Link

  • OpenAI and Reddit partner to bring Reddit content to OpenAI tools including ChatGPT via Reddit's Data API and to add AI features to Reddit. Link

  • Nvidia announced its financial results for Q1; profits and revenues skyrocketed by 628% and 268% compared to 2023’s comparable period, respectively.

💰 Money Moves

  • Farcaster: Decentralized social protocol closed Series A lead by Paradigm with $150M. Link

  • Kasikornbank: The bank launches $100m fund to boost AI, and Web3 startups. Link

  • Polymarket: Betting platform closed $70M funding led by Founders Fund with Vitalik Buterin. Link

  • Colendi: Closed Series A with $65M funding from Citi, Re-Pie Asset Management, and Finberg. Link

  • Peaq: Decentralized Layer-1 blockchain secures $20M in funding from CoinList token launch. Link

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 3 Charts to Share with Friends

Flows into BTC ETF. (Source: Dune)

Operationalization of brand stories. Source: Ana Andjelic. 

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