JPEX’s Most Significant Cryptocurrency News Trends (September 5 to 11)

The first full week of September brought about the beginning of the “Merge”, Ethereum’s transition to Proof-of-Stake (PoS). 

One of the biggest financial institutions in the world, DBS Bank acquired a plot of land in The Sandbox as part of their venture into the Metaverse. 

Aside from DBS Bank, sports brand PUMA also launched its first-ever Metaverse experience while the prestigious football award that rewards players for their achievements over the previous year, Ballon d’Or by French news outlet L’Equipe announced that winners will receive non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in addition to a gold plated balls. 

As the global sports industry tests the potential of digital collectibles and the power of NFTs, the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced a partnership with Sorare to improve fans’ experience with the sport. 

It ends with a rise in the number of filed NFT and Metaverse-related trademarks in the United States as automobile company FORD and the music division of Sony, Sony Music joined well-known companies in securing rights to the use of certain logos digitally. 

DBS Acquired Virtual Land in Metaverse

Singapore-based DBS Bank ventured into the Metaverse by acquiring a plot of virtual land within The Sandbox, according to a news report by Finews Asia on Friday, September 9. 

On its verified official handle on Twitter, DBS Bank posted “Hey Sandfam, DBS BetterWorld is coming to town.” Dubbed DBS BetterWorld, the financial institution wants to build a better, more sustainable world in the Metaverse. Through the development of its virtual land, users will learn more about important environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues as it continues to shine a spotlight on communities and partners doing good work to address them. 

The Sandbox was founded in 2012 as a mobile game before it was acquired by Animoca Brands in 2018. 

As one of the most used blockchain-based gaming platforms, The Sandbox is among the top 20 best-selling NFTs of all time behind Axie Infinity, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), CryptoPunks, Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC), Otherdeed, and NBA Top Shot among others. 

The NFT had a combined sales volume of approximately $371 million, as of writing, data from CryptoSlam showed. 

“Over the last decade, the biggest changes in the world of finance have been catalyzed by digital advancements. Metaverse technology, while still evolving, could also fundamentally change the way banks interact with customers and communities. Given the speed of change, experimenting and learning-by-doing enable us to best test the potential of various technologies,” Piyush Gupta, DBS Chief Executive Officer (CEO) commented. 

Prestigious Football Award “Ballon d’Or” Winners to Receive NFTs

L’Equipe Group, organizers of the prestigious global football award Ballon d’Or which is awarded annually to the best players in the world have ventured into Web3 and the NFT space, according to a news report by L’Equipe France on Thursday, September 8. 

“On the occasion of the presentation of the 66th Ballon d’Or, on October 17, the L’Equipe Group is creating the first collection of NFTs specific to the trophy,” as reported by L’Equipe France. 

The non-fungible tokens were designed in partnership with contemporary artist Leo Caillard and blockchain firm Tezos. Tezos was chosen due to its reliance on the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) network which has reduced its carbon footprint by more than 70%.  

Overall, five (5) winners will emerge from the ceremony from the categories Male Golden Ball, Female Golden Ball, Kopa Trophy, Yachine Trophy, and Gerd Muller Trophy. Award winners are in line to receive the digital double of their trophies in NFT.

NBA and NBPA Team Up with Sorare to Launch Free-to-Play Fantasy Basketball Game

The National Basketball Association (NBA), its players, and Sorare, an online sports fandom that gives its community a new way to connect to the clubs and players that they love, announced a multiyear partnership that makes Sorare the Official NFT Fantasy Partner of the NBA, per a news report by NBA Communications on Wednesday, September 7.

“Our partnership with Sorare will give NBA fans an entirely new way to engage with our teams and players. With Sorare’s emerging NFT fantasy platform, we see significant opportunities to broaden our community of fans and grow NBA basketball around the world,” said Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner. 

“Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world and we are excited to bring fans closer to their favorite teams and players through Sorare. The NBA has been at the forefront of digital experiences and collectibles and our game gives basketball fans the ultimate sports entertainment experience, where they can play like a general manager, own their game, and foster real-world connections,” said Nicolas Julia, co-founder, and chief executive officer at Sorare. 

In four years, Sorare has become one of the top 15 highest-selling NFTs of all time with roughly $424 million, according to data from CryptoSlam. 

FORD and Sony Music Filed Trademark Applications Signaling Big Moves in the Metaverse

Michael Kondoudis, an attorney for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced on September 7 via a tweet that automotive company FORD has filed 19 trademark applications for all of its major brands and continues to make plans for virtual cars, trucks, vans, clothing, and online stores for NFTs. 

Filed on Friday, September 2, the brands include F-150 Lightning, Lincoln, Ford, Lightning, Bronco, Explorer, Raptor, Mustang, Ranger, Maverick, Expedition, Escape, Transit, and Mustang Mach-E.

On Tuesday, September 6, the same attorney announced via a tweet that “Sony Music has filed a trademark application for the Columbia Records logo claiming plans to use it for NFT backed media, podcast production, artist management, music distribution services, and more. 

With this, FORD and Sony Music have now joined a growing number of well-known corporations such as Legend Pictures, LLC, Marvel Characters, Inc., Entertainment Weekly Inc., Lions Gate Entertainment Inc., and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. venturing into NFT and the Metaverse space. 

Users should be informed that the global NFT market sales were approximately $39 billion, as of writing. 

PUMA Reveals its First-Ever Metaverse Experience called Black Station

On Wednesday, September 7, PUMA announced that it is unveiling its first-ever Metaverse website experience dubbed Black Station. This features exclusive NFTs with limited edition redeemable physical sneakers, as part of its “FUTROGRADE” show during New York Fashion Week. 

“Twenty years ago, Black Station was PUMA’s home for our most innovative designs in fashion. Given the boundaries we are pushing from a product design and digital standpoint, we found it fitting to bring Black Station back as a new portal for digital exploration across fashion, sports performance, our heritage classics, and innovation,” said Adam Petrick, PUMA’s Chief Brand Officer. 

Next week features the second phase of the Merge as well as making ground for the Vasil Hard Fork of Cardano that is scheduled for September 22.