JPEX Review of the Last Week of September with Warner Music Group’s Partnership with OpenSea Leading the Headlines

JPEX monitored all the essential events which happened in the last week of September. There were exciting developments in decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Metaverse, and others. Warner Music Group (WMG) led the bulk of exciting news as it partnered with OpenSea, the leading NFT marketplace to help artists extend their fan base in Web3. Recent research conducted by a financial application showed the majority of crypto investors plan on holding onto their digital assets through crypto winter. Within the week, Circle, the issuer of the USDC integrated the stablecoin with five blockchains, and Meta announced an NFT sharing feature for United States-based Facebook and Instagram users. Lastly, hi (crypto and fiat financial application) revealed it has partnered with payment giants Mastercard to launch the world’s first customizable card. 

“hi” Launches World’s First NFT Customizable Card with Mastercard

During the week, “hi” announced that the world’s first debit card featuring non-fungible token avatar customization powered by Mastercard will hit the market soon. Owners of NFT avatars which stretch from Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), CryptoPunks, Azuki, Moonbirds, and others will be able to personalize their cards with digital collectibles they verifiably own. These cards can be spent on more than 90 million stores across the globe where Mastercard is accepted. The cards will be available to hi members in 25 European Economic Area (EEA) countries as well as the United Kingdom. 

“Not only do the NFT cards look amazing, this is a great way for people to show which online community they belong to, but in the real world. The flexibility to spend fiat, stablecoins, or other cryptos, combined with attractive financial and lifestyle rewards, makes us confident that our card is a game-changer in the market,” Sean Rach, co-founder of hi said. “Commenting on the partnership, Senior Vice President, Crypto and Fintech Enablement at Mastercard Christian Rau said “As consumer interest in crypto and NFTs continues to grow, we are committed to making them an accessible payment choice for the communities who wish to use them. We are proud to be working with hi to continue to drive innovation in the market and enable these customizable cards together with the safety and security you would expect from Mastercard.”

Circle Announces Next Wave of USDC Support for Multi-Chain Ecosystem

On Wednesday, September 28, Circle announced that intends to make its stablecoin USDC available on five additional blockchain ecosystems including Polkadot, Optimism, NEAR, Cosmos, and Arbitrum. 

While USDC will be available on Polkadot, Optimism, NEAR, and Arbitrum One, Circle will integrate USDC on Cosmos in early 2023. 

Unlike Bitcoin (BTC), Dogecoin (DOGE), Dash (DASH), and Ethereum Classic (ETC) which continue to rely on the old Proof-of-Work (POW), these blockchains are highly advanced and have the scalability, decentralization, and security attributes of modern protocols. 

Speaking on the latest developments, Joao Reginnato pointed out, “The multi-chain expansion is intended to increase USDC’s native availability from eight ecosystems to thirteen, and enables blockchain developers building on USDC and their users to experience greater liquid and interoperability within the crypto economy. Extending multi-chain support for USDC opens the door for institutions, exchanges, developers, and more to innovate and have easier access to a trusted and stable digital dollar.”

Aside from the upcoming integrations, USDC is supported by TRON, Stellar, Solana, Hedera, Flow, Ethereum, Avalanche, and Algorand. 

Meta Unveils NFT Sharing Feature for US-Based Facebook and Instagram Users

After announcing that it is introducing digital collectibles to showcase NFTs on Instagram in May, Meta announced on Thursday, September 29 that US-based Instagram and Facebook users can now connect their wallets and share their digital collectibles. 

“This includes the ability for people to cross-post digital collectibles that they own across both Facebook and Instagram,” Meta added in an updated post. “Additionally, everyone in the 100 countries where digital collectibles are available on Instagram can now access the feature.” 

As of September 30, all NFTs had generated $39.49 billion, according to data from CryptoSlam, an NFT data aggregator. 

Majority of Crypto Investors Plan to Hold Digital Assets Through Crypto Winter, Survey

A recent survey conducted by M1, a technology-first wealth-building platform revealed that the majority of crypto investors plan to hold onto their digital assets for the next 180 days. Overall, over 1,000 investors were surveyed and more than half responded that they were holding onto their coins and tokens for at least 6 months while 39% said they planned on holding for more than 12 months. 

When pressed for reasons why they intend to hold onto their assets, more than 40% made it known that they consider crypto as part of their long-term investment strategy. 

Due to the numerous hacking, scams, and volatility associated with the space, participants pointed out that they believe widespread acceptance of crypto as a form of payment, widespread adoption by institutional investors, widespread adoption by retail investors, and regulation from the government are the necessary steps for crypto to become a mainstream asset class. M1 as a wealth-building platform has more than $5.5 billion in assets under management. 

Warner Music Group and OpenSea Partnered to Expand Web3 Opportunities for Artists 

Warner Music Group, global music, and entertainment company announced a collaboration with OpenSea, the world’s leading NFT market by all-time volume to provide a platform for select artists from the label to extend their fan base in Web3. 

Fans will be able to engage with artists and music as a whole through dedicated drop pages that will be assigned to WMG artists to host limited-edition projects. 

‘Fundamental to music’s DNA is community – its artists and fans coming together to celebrate the music that they love. Our collaboration with OpenSea helps to facilitate these communities by unlocking Web3 tools and resources to build opportunities for artists to establish deeper engagement, access, and ownership,” said Chief Digital Officer & EVP, Business Development, WMG. 

“As a music fan myself, I’m thrilled to work with a partner who understands the significance of this technology and wants to use it for good to empower artists to own their fan connections directly. We are excited to provide the support and infrastructure to help welcome the Warner family of artists into the exciting NFT ecosystem,” said Shiva Rajaraman, OpenSea’s Vice President of Product.

The crypto industry saw several upgrades in protocols from Ethereum and Cardano. With miners losing one of their main streams of income in Ether (ETH) mining revenue, Ethereum Classic (ETC) looks to have replaced it but how far can it go to sustain miners?

During the last week of September, some of the top gainers included Terra Classic (LUNC), Quant (QNT), Reserve Rights (RSR), Uniswap (UNI), Maker (MKR), and Helium (HNT).

 Top-selling digital collectibles within the period included BAYC, Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC), Sorare, Gods Unchained Immutable, RENGA, NFL