Soul Bound NFTs by Vitalik Buterin

NFTs are, by definition, tokens that don’t have any value on their own but are assigned to valuable assets to facilitate trade. However, the founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, has announced the launch of an exciting new use case for the NFTs. 

Buterin recently co-wrote a 40-page paper to explain how Ethereum is going to revolve around a new ecosystem called Decentralized Society with souldbound tokens as one of the main attributes. 

Soulbound tokens are NFTs that a person can earn based in part on their education and job history. Unlike normal NFTs, these NFTs are non-transferable and represent the person’s reputation and accomplishments as a type of extended resume. 

The Real-Life Value of SBTs

Soulbound Tokens or SBTs are shareable as CVs or resumes while being attested to a soul or person. For example, one of the use cases for SBTs would be as a recommendation layer by a company for its employees. Buterin aims to use SBTs as degrees issued by universities, qualification verifications and more, making it difficult for imposters to impersonate anyone. 

The idea is to bolster people’s social identities by customizing them with unique, non-exchangeable badges. In theory, the tokens could help solve some of the problems ravaging decentralized finance, like scams and theft,” Buterin said. 

The SBTs will be stored in Soul wallets and can be easily recovered even if you somehow lose the key. The wallet would require consent from Soul community members, that would verify the user’s identity. These community members are called guardians, and the wallet owner can only select them to ensure security. 

The guardians can be close friends, family members, trusted institutions, etc. and can authenticate the owner of the soul through conversion, a face-to-face meeting and several other methods. 

The SBTs collection is meant to go live by the end of this year and will connect to Buterin’s larger plan to create a decentralized society by 2024. 

Spotify testing NFT galleries for Artists

The craze of NFTs has far surpassed the expected growth curve, with major artists and platforms embracing the era of digital assets. In the past few months, there have been several exciting developments where popular celebrities have launched exciting new NFT collections, and the art platform is incorporating these new demands.

Only recently, The Chainsmokers, a popular pop music creator, launched an NFT collection of 5,000 NFTs, which gives holders access to streaming royalties. In an exciting turn of events, the popular music streaming platform Spotify is also testing the NFT waters. 

Spotify X NFTs

Spotify is testing out a new feature where they will display NFT galleries on the artist’s pages. While this feature is currently limited to a small test with selected artists in the US, Spotify will launch full-fledged NFT integration soon. 

The test is being conducted for Android devices for now, and as a part of this test, users will be able to visit artists’ galleries on their pages. On tapping the NFT menu, the user will be able to see a large preview of the image, which will redirect them to the NFT landing page, where they will be able to purchase the artists’ NFTs. 

According to the publication Music Ally, Spotify will not collect a commission on the sales for now as it is just a test integration. Spotify also confirmed the test and mentioned that this update will “help a small group of artists promote their existing third-party NFT offerings via their artist profiles.”

They further added, “We routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve artist and fan experiences. Some of those tests end up paving the way for a broader experience and others serve only as an important learning,”

However, presently Spotify won’t support a video or GF NFT as the test is limited to thumbnail previews or images. Moreover, users won’t be able to see the NFT unless they click on the menu and visit the official listing platform out of the app.

However, this is great news for all the artists and fans as a major streaming platform is joining the NFT wave. 

Hollywood and NFTs, a Match Made in Heaven?

There have been a lot of controversial opinions related to the emergence of NFTs and digital currencies in Hollywood. While some are more than excited about this unparalleled new opportunity, naysayers believe it is a match made in hell. Regardless of personal opinions, there is no denying the fact that the NFT wave has been massive as it offers a wide range of opportunities for the creators and the fans. 

While proper education and awareness for celebrities and artists are important for them to safely navigate this space, the future looks promising already. There are several popular celebrities global and worldwide that have already entered the NFT space, and more are joining the hype as well.

Artists and NFTs

Several major celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, Matt Damon, and Eva Longoria have already entered the NFT space. While some of these NFT collections have been successful, others have failed to pique fans’ interest. However, the chance of success of an artist’s NFT is the same as the chance of success of their artwork in their preferred medium. 

Shaq, the famous NBA Hall of Famer, also raised a million dollars for his charity, Shaq Gives Back, by purchasing Creature World and Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFTs. While other celebrities, such as Brie Larson, the superhero Captain Marvel in Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, failed to impress her fans with her introduction to the NFT space. 

An important thing to remember in NFT space, like any other trade is to know the tricks before jumping in. Considering Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to integrate NFTs with popular social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, the NFT wave is only going to get bigger in the future. 

Moreover, there are so many opportunities in the NFT space waiting for the artists to bank on. Snoop Dogg recently turned his Death Row Records into an NFT label to offer his fans exclusive opportunity to own his NFT tracks. 

The NFT wave is here to stay and with time Hollywood and NFTs will indeed turn out to be a match made in heaven. 

Reddit testing fresh NFT feature for its platform

Reddit has stated that it will be increasing its features related to the current trend of NFTs, which will be comparable to what Twitter now provides to its paying customers. Users will be able to use any NFT they own as their profile picture, not just Reddit’s Ethereum-based NFTs, known as “CryptoSnoos,” which were distributed in limited amounts last year. Twitter recently announced a similar tool that allows users to put their NFTs as profile photographs, with the photos providing information on the NFT when clicked and appearing as hexagon-shaped images to distinguish them from the regular Twitter profile shot. However, the specifics of Reddit’s support for NFTs have yet to be determined.

The social media discussion platform remarked that this feature is yet to be made open to the public as it is still in its testing phase. Reddit spokesperson Tim Rathschmidt said, “We’re always exploring ways to provide value for users and communities on Reddit. At the moment we’re testing the ability to use NFTs as profile pictures (avatars) and verify ownership.”

He further added, “It’s a small, internal test, and no decisions have been made about expanding or rolling out the capability.” 

Reddit and NFTS

Reddit is no stranger to the world of NFTs. The media platform is a long-time admirer of the potentials locked up in the sector. For a long time, Reddit has been testing various NFT-related efforts, even creating a separate page for NFT-related tasks. However,  the page is mostly focused on Reddit’s digital assets, the CryptoSnoos.

The “Snoo” component of the name refers to Reddit’s alien mascot, dubbed “Snoo,” while the collectibles altogether are modifications to Snoo’s picture. One depicts the logo as a blocky figure, while another displays it like a helium balloon. Only four CryptoSnoos have been released so far.

The announcement was met with mixed reactions from several users. Some Redditors rejected NFTs as stupid, while other users were more concerned about the expensive cost of NFTs, which prevented many individuals from participating in the industry. Some, on the other hand, had expressed neutral enthusiasm or even approval for Reddit’s initiatives. However, NFTs are likely to acquire traction soon on Reddit, a major cryptocurrency discussion forum.

 Reddit released a wallet that supports MOON and BRICKS, which can be used in both the cryptocurrency and Fortnite subreddits. However, it revealed that all crypto-related activities are not final but merely tests.

The booming NFT hustle

NFTs have officially entered the mainstream, with superstars and corporations rushing to establish connected projects in order to boost fan engagement. But it’s becoming evident that social media sites are also ready to embrace the opportunity and include the unique value in some way.

Meta is rumored to be working on a Facebook NFT marketplace that would allow Instagram users to build and show NFTs. Though it has not been confirmed, such a launch would bring a big number of people to NFTs. like 2021, NFTs might continue their reign in 2022.

Will the new NFT marketplace LooksRare challenge OpenSea’s dominance and why?

For over a year, NFTs, non-fungible tokens have been the craze of the crypto world. These are digital artworks with assigned values. Since the inception of the NFT trend, OpenSea, an NFT marketplace where users can buy and purchase NFTs, has almost dominated the market and is the most engaged NFT platform.

Even with the surge of NFTs last year, the industry is saddled with several flaws. The major disadvantage is a significant absence of competitive marketplaces. OpenSea has 90% of the market and does not seem to have any serious contender for its place. Most individuals aren’t interested in looking into other options; however, all that is set to change as a new marketplace has emerged, ready to give OpenSea a run. 

LooksRare to change the market?

 OpenSea has 90% of the market and does not seem to have any serious contender for its place. Most individuals aren’t interested in looking into other options; however, all that is set to change as a new marketplace has emerged, ready to give OpenSea a run.   LooksRare, a new NFT marketplace, seems to be the competitor everyone has been waiting for. Aside from having a catchy name, the project has several features that could bait OpeaSea’s users to its platform.  

With all of the angst surrounding OpenSea, it was only a matter of time until another player entered the mix. LooksRare follows in the footsteps of other token drops by issuing their $LOOKs token, which is based on the amount of money you’ve spent on ETH transactions.

A vampire attack

LooksRare intends to entice OpenSea’s major NFT spenders by providing them with free LOOKS, its native token. The tokens are available to everyone who traded over 3 ETH on OpenSea between June 16 and December 16, 2021.

In the crypto world, this is known as a vampire attack, and LooksRare is not the first project to poach on OpenSea’s corridors. So far, none has been successful, but LookRare seems to be launching a serious attack. 

LooksRare intends to reward users every time they trade an NFT, in addition to encouraging existing OpenSea players. It would also reward people that stake the LOOKS token with a 30,400 percent annual percentage rate (APR). It also hopes to attract more customers with its cheaper regular cost of 2%.

LooksRare sells $100 million NFTs in a few hours

According to pseudonymous co-founder Zodd, the budding non-fungible token marketplace has had $105 million in trading volume in the last 24 hours, producing 613 ETH (almost $2 million) in platform fees that will be distributed to LOOKS token holders in the next hours.

Traders are wagering that LooksRare will last at least a short time. A LOOKS airdrop worth an average of $3,500 has been claimed by over 75,000 Ethereum addresses, and the token is on the verge of breaking into the top 200 cryptocurrencies by market cap.

Why LooksRare is a serious contender

In so many ways, LooksRare emerged when the market had grown weary of OpenSea’s monopoly and policies. This could sway more users to its platform. The figures indicate a scorching-hot start for the brand-new platform that appears to meet a definite market need.

 NFT traders have been clamoring for OpenSea to create a token and decentralize parts of its operations for months. Critics have accused the dominant marketplace of being a selfish intermediary in a decentralized environment because of its policies around IP enforcement and delisting hacked or exploited NFTs. 

Also, OpenSea’s 2.5% charge, which goes to its team rather than users, has been heavily criticized as a form of bullying. The platform is said to operate double standards when it comes to intellectual property claims. The growing discomfort in OpenSea’s users could prove to be a big advantage for the growing LooksRare. It is yet to be seen if artists would later troop back to OpenSea but so far, the numbers look good for LooksRare