Sotheby’s Institute announces The Metaversity for Creative Business Leaders to upskill the creative and cultural industries into Web3.
“The accelerating developments in blockchain, cryptocurrencies, NFTs and the metaverse continue to reinvent our understanding of material culture and how cultural objects and consumer goods are produced, consumed and transacted” (Gareth Fletcher, Metaversity program designer)
The Sotheby’s Institute, the educational arm of Sotheby’s, the 278-year-old auction house, has announced an 8-week virtual program to provide business leaders working the creative and cultural industries, such as art, fashion, luxury, sports, design and lifestyle with a Web3 foundation for current and emerging metaverse economies.
“... a new program that invites cultural and creative business professionals to learn the fundamentals of web3 and explore how to innovate with blockchain technology” (Sotheby’s Institute of Art)
Sotheby’s has been a relative first-mover in the traditional art world in transforming their business through NFT and Web3 technologies, and this move is a sign that Sotheby’s aims to remain an influential source of thought leadership in the Web3 art business, as well as a trusted destination for Web3 education.
“The Institute offers educational programs for professionals, pre-college audiences, and graduate students seeking expertise in art business and an understanding of the $60 billion global art economy. Our course offerings cover everything from art history to key business skills … ” (Sotheby’s Institute of Art)
This announcement builds upon Sotheby’s previous Web3 expansion efforts, such as record-breaking NFT auctions that helped ignite interest in NFTs in the traditional art world, collaborations with NFT artists during Metaverse Art Week, and their own metaverse space.
“Being informed and responsive to these developments now forms an essential part of the skillset for creative industry professionals, and our Metaversity will be a hub for those looking to learn, incubate ideas and bring innovation to their workplace or business.” (Gareth Fletcher)
The program will explore Web3 case study insights from pioneering brand leaders such as Nike, Gucci, and Tiffany’s amongst others. Experts in the metaverse, NFT and Web3 space will share their insights from both the creative and cultural perspectives. Once attendees master Web3 fundamentals, they will be able to develop new products, business models and other opportunities in the emerging digital economies.
The global launch of the program will be announced at Art Basel Miami Beach 2022 at The Wall Art Gallery in Wynwood. Interested individuals will be able to register for the program in January 2023. More information at email@example.com.
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Signs of crypto adoption continue at pace. Brazil has legalized crypto payments for goods and services, while Belgium has declared that BTC and ETH are not securities.
Latin America (LATAM) takes another step toward mainstream crypto adoption, as Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies approved a law that legalizes the use of cryptocurrency as a means of payment throughout the country. The final hurdle the law needs to overcome is to be signed off by the government’s executive branch and the country’s president.
While the passing of the regulatory framework does not make crypto legal tender, the development nonetheless is a significant boost to the crypto industry and digital payments ecosystem.
Additionally, the law allows for the creation of licenses required by exchange platforms that offer cryptocurrencies, as well as third-party custody and management. Notably, lessons from FTX’s recent collapse come in the shape of a requirement to delineate between user and company funds. Companies will not be able to co-mingle funds from the two different sources as FTX had done.
While it is not yet decided which executive office will be in charge of administering and supervising the law, it has generally fallen to Brazil’s Central Bank or the CVM, the ‘Brazilian SEC’. A lot will depend on whether certain tokens are categorized as securities.
On the topic of securities, Belgium has made the bold move to declare both Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) as not securities. The Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has explained that cryptocurrencies that do not have an issuer, such as BTC and ETH, cannot be securities or financial instruments. Issuers can be individuals or entities.
“If there is no issuer, as in cases where instruments are created by a computer code and this is not done in execution of an agreement between issuer and investor (for example, Bitcoin or Ether), then in principle the Prospectus Regulation, the Prospectus Law and the MiFID rules of conduct do not apply.” (FSMA)
The document from the FSMA goes further in dividing cryptocurrencies with a centralized issuer as being securities if they are transferable, and financial instruments if they are not. Such cryptocurrencies must provide an accurate prospectus of information for potential investors and avoid conflicts of interest.
The simple and clear Belgian stance contrasts greatly to that of the United States’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that argues that ETH is a security, because of a centralized body, the Ethereum Foundation, that can change the cryptocurrency’s code to issue more tokens, despite the code being open-source. The current SEC chairman also thinks that most stablecoins are securities.
This move by the Belgians could spark other countries to draw their lines in the sand regarding the status of BTC and ETH, and there could be differing levels of regulation between countries.
• • •
Porsche and a metaverse startup founded Richie Hawtin and Deadmau5 announce Web3 activations involving NFTs, AR and community co-creation.
“... help create our industry-first planet scale augmented reality music game packed with one-of-a-kind playable NFTs . Discover our new music-based AR experience by attending concerts and exploring the world to unlock unique playable NFTs created by your favourite artists.” (Pixelynx)
Pixelynx, a virtual world and performance platform founded by Richie Hawtin, Deadmau5 and gaming veterans, aims to simplify for artists the creation of virtual, playable experiences with NFT-integration.
The music metaverse platform has announced Elynxir, their version of Pokemon Go, which will be an NFT-enabled scavenger hunt game utilizing augmented reality (AR). Via the Elynxir app, players will enjoy stunning digital content layed on top of real-world environments. Elynxir will be launched at this year’s annual Art Basel Miami with an initial game environment tailored for Miami Beach.
“We're really excited about exploring this intersection between music, gaming, and Web3, thinking about: How would you grow the music industry? Gaming really presents the rails for music to grow and become something much more than just a static format.” (Inder Phull, co-founder and CEO of Pixelynx)
The aim of the game will be to win one of 20 fractions of a bluechip NFT project. Ownership of the fractionalized NFT will help co-create a virtual musician that will be used on the Elynxir platform. The ultimate goal being the creation of a music supergroup made up of virtual musicians that live in the Pixelynx metaverse.
“What we want is to give a number of winners the promise of voting rights, in a sense, to this virtual act and for the community to then collaborate and make proposals on how this virtual artist will evolve.” (Inder Phull)
“It's super simple in terms of onboarding. The idea is you can get your first NFT for free, in principle. The idea is just to start giving fans a new way to get a digital collectible, and then slowly onboard them into the ecosystem where we've got more products and experiences that we're going to start releasing next year.” (Inder Phull)
The slick teaser video for the Elynxir app can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tl74mdmyJTw
The platform ultimately aims to focus on user-generated content (UGC) and offer fans the chance to collaborate with musicians.
“We are building a global network of artists, visionaries and startups that are passionate about re-imagining how the music industry evolves through Web 3.0 and the metaverse …
technology that will transform the way music is consumed in virtual worlds whilst also building a network of complementary businesses.” (Pixelynx)
Meanwhile Porsche has announced at Art Basel Miami an NFT collection of 7,500 Porsche 911s that can be customized to over 150,000 different combinations, which would make each unique design very rare indeed. These will form part of a new Web3 Porsche metaverse brand experience being built dubbed Road2Dream.
“The NFT artworks enable us to take our understanding of modern luxury and the unique brand positioning of Porsche into the digital world” (Detlev von Platen, Porsche executive board for Sales and Marketing)
The carmaker sees the potential of collaborations with artists to reimagine its cars in ways that could attract new audiences. The digital collectibles launch will be followed by physical (IRL) and online events that aim to bring the Porsche community closer to each other, the brand, and artists chosen to officially customize their designs to “co-create the future of Porsche”.
“For the creators, the believers and the adventurers. An open invitation to co-create. To build a new community. To help design Porsche's future in the virtual world.” (Porsche)
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