A Bored Ape Lawsuit Won’t Set the NFT Precedent Seth Green Wants

The first thing you should probably do if you find yourself in Seth Green’s position is not tweet about how much you’re “looking forward to precedent setting debates on IP ownership & exploitation.”

Green, an actor best known for his pouty portrayal of archvillain Dr. Evil’s disappointing son in the Austin Powers franchise, has become the butt of crypto’s latest bad joke. Earlier this month, Green lost his prized Bored Ape when he fell for a scam and made himself vulnerable to thieves by interacting with a clone of another NFT project’s website. Clone sites can be virtually indistinguishable from the originals, often with only a letter or two missing from their domain names. Green is not the first to lose an NFT this way, and he won’t be the last. Hacking and good old-fashioned con artistry are endemic in the magical world of Gutter Cats and Happy Hippos.

What makes Green unique is that he had a lot more riding on his Ape than most members [...]  read more

Crypto Is Poised to Reshape Taxes—and Cities

Taxes, CityCoins founder Patrick Stanley says, can stop being a mind-numbing civic ritual and become an exercise in freedom—if we tokenize and calibrate them the right way. Stanley’s crypto-based invention is what he calls “an opt-in tax of opportunity, as opposed to obligation,” wherein boosters tithe a particular city with crypto because they have faith in the municipality and its mission. “They want to see the city working as a capital allocator, and they want to bet on the success of the city,” Stanley said in a podcast interview. Essentially, they can cheer a city government on through computational processing worth millions, if not billions, of dollars—the equivalent of a gilded “like” button.

CityCoins launched its first project with the city of Miami in August 2021, raking in $2.5 million in “pseudo-tax” income in its first 20 days. New York City and Austin now have their own coins. Within the CityCoins matrix, miners receive a city-specific [...]  read more

Not Everyone Wants NFTs to Be the Future of Gaming

It’s hard to walk through your door without tripping over a new blockchain-based platform, and gaming is no exception. Game publisher Ubisoft has pounced on the trend with Quartz, a platform meant to facilitate NFTs in the company’s games, while startups like Forte and Mythical have burst onto the scene with funding in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Numbers like that suggest enthusiasm, but the response from gamers has been mixed, to say the least. To find out why, I spoke with Tim Morten, the CEO and cofounder of Frost Giant Games. Morten was previously production director for Blizzard’s StarCraft II, where he oversaw the game’s transition to free-to-play and the release of Legacy of the Void, the game’s final expansion.

Morten is not entirely dismissive of blockchain’s future in gaming—but he thinks there could be a few problems.

Pay-to-Earn Is Not a Free Ride

The buzz surrounding blockchain games was boosted by [...]  read more

What Are the Rules for Celebrities Promoting NFTs?

This January, actress Mila Kunis videoconferenced with Mark Zuckerberg’s sister Randi Zuckerberg to discuss her NFT project, “Stoner Cats,” as a few thousand viewers watched from home. The conversation was part of an online event held by the new crypto-for-ladies group MyBFF. All evening, speaker after speaker had stressed how savvy women should jump into the world of Web3 quickly, before men snatched up all the riches. But Kunis took a beat to throw in a caveat. “I don’t ever want people going into NFTs thinking it’s an investment,” she said. “Go into it because you love it, because you think it’s beautiful, because it brings you joy.” Then she mentioned, off-handedly, that, also, the Securities and Exchange Commission would “go after” them if they were presenting NFTs like an investment. It was a surprising admission—in the booming world of celebrity NFT shilling, there barely appears to be any regulation at all.

Celebrities  [...]  read more

EC Weekly: Gaming, crypto, shipping and the multiple future strategies of tech

Niantic EC-1 Illustration by Nigel Sussman Greg Kumparak published the first part of his planned four part EC-1 series on Niantic yesterday, focusing on the founding story of the AR/gaming unicorn from Keyhole and Google Earth to a complicated spinout from Alphabet. Lots of great nuggets on how companies get formed and built, but one …

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