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| 9 minutes read

Web3 round-up: best of autumn 2023 (September / October / November)

Authors: Michael Isselin, Nick Breen, Mikaela BelcherCasey Yang, Carsten Dobler, Judith Reboul, Nicky Ghods and Aparna Luthra

Welcome to Reed Smith’s quarterly DigiDigest series on all things metaverse and Web3. These short updates cut through the noise and put the most talked-about news and coolest new initiatives in the metaverse and Web3 at your fingertips. This update combines the best of September, October and November 2023.

Here’s the best of autumn 2023:

Latest legal developments

FTX founder found guilty on seven criminal fraud counts 

On November 2, 2023, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud against FTX’s customers and Alameda Research lenders, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and commodities fraud against FTX investors, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Bankman-Fried is awaiting sentencing and faces a maximum of 115 years imprisonment.

Read more at CNBC and CoinDesk

Yuga Labs win NFT trade mark dispute against artists Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen 

Yuga Labs filed a complaint against Ripps and his partner Cahen in June 2022 after Ripps began selling NFTs identical to the Bored Ape Collection created by Yuga Labs. On October 25, 2023, a Californian court held that Ripps’ and Cahen’s NFTs had infringed the Yuga Labs’ copyright and ordered them to pay Yuga Labs $1.5 million and transfer the smart contracts for their infringing NFT collection to Yuga Labs. 

Read more Reed Smith website and CoinTelegraph

UK DCMS Committee report on NFTs and the blockchain: risks to sport and culture 

On October 11, 2023, the UK Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee published a report on ‘NFTs and the blockchain: the risks to sport and culture’. The report warns that emerging technologies are undermining intellectual property protection for artist’s works and that the promotion of crypto-assets in professional sports is putting supporters at risk of financial harm and potentially damaging the reputations of clubs. 

Read more on UK Parliament.

The UK Financial Conduct Authority takes responsibility for regulation of crypto-asset ads 

From October 8, 2023, the Financial Conduct Authority will be responsible for the regulation of ads in relation to qualifying crypto-assets. The Advertising Standards Authority retains responsibility for regulating crypto-asset ads in broadcast media and those for non-qualifying assets. 

Read more on FCA.

Google allows ads promoting NFTs

Ads which show or promote the staking of NFTs in exchange for real-world value were prohibited on Google i.e., games where players can bet NFTs in return for something monetary such as, cash. However, as of September 15, 2023, Google now allows ads that promote NFT gaming within its suite of internet products.

Read more on NFT Now

Co-founder of OneCoin sentenced to 20 years in prison

On September 12, 2023, Karl Greenwood, co-founder of OneCoin, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the creation of a fraudulent pyramid scheme that collected more than $4 billion from cryptocurrency investors. 

Read more on CNBC.

Financial Stability Board and International Monetary Fund publish paper on crypto-assets

On September 7, 2023, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a joint paper setting out: (i) the findings of the FSB on financial stability risks associated with crypto-assets; and (ii) the IMF’s findings on macroeconomic and monetary issues associated with crypto-assets. The paper includes recommendations and guidance for regulatory authorities. 

Read more on the FSB website.

Crypto-asset businesses to comply with new “Travel Rule”

Since September 1, 2023, crypto-asset exchange providers and custodian wallet providers based in the UK must abide by the “Travel Rule.” The Travel Rule is an anti-money laundering mechanism which requires these crypto-asset businesses to collect, verify and share specific transaction information before permitting crypto-asset transfers. Other jurisdictions that have already introduced the Travel Rule include Singapore and Germany. 

Read more on the FCA website.

Trends to watch

Finance, government and technology 

US crypto legislation delayed until 2024

Due to delays in the selection of a new speaker for the House, the U.S. House of Representatives will not vote on two much anticipated bills on regulation of U.S. stablecoin issuers and regulation of U.S. crypto markets until 2024.

Read more on CoinDesk.

Joana Cotar proposes legislation to make Bitcoin legal tender in Germany 

On November 11, 2023, Joana Cotar, a member of the German Bundestag, proposed legislation to make Bitcoin legal tender in Germany. The proposal includes using Bitcoin for taxes and leveraging Bitcoin mining to stabilise the power grid. 

Read more on Forbes.

European Central Bank confirms digital euro at least two years away

On October 18, 2023, the European Central Bank (ECB) decided to continue its preparations to pilot a digital currency: the digital euro. This preparatory phase is expected to take two years. 

Read more on ECB and CoinDesk.

Mastercard partners with MoonPay for Web3 push

On October 25, 2023, Mastercard announced its partnership with MoonPay, a cryptocurrency and NFT payment app provider, to connect with Web3 consumers. Through this partnership, MoonPay will use Mastercard’s Crypto Credential System to ensure that transactions are safe and compliant. 

Read more on CoinDesk.

University of Glasgow launches £5.6 million “Museums in the Metaverse” digital initiative 

On October 12, 2023, the University of Glasgow launched its “Museums in the Metaverse” project, which seeks to combine education and digital innovation. The project aims to create a new XR platform that will provide virtual access to a wide range of museums, historical sites and artefacts, as well as a new exhibition space for virtual curators. 

Read more on NFT News Today.

Shandong province pushes for 10% metaverse market share by 2025

In September 2023, the Shandong Provincial Development and Reform Commission announced its strategy to secure 10% of the projected global metaverse market share, valued at up to an estimate of RMB 130 billion ($20.5 billion), by 2025. Shandong province is aiming to attract foreign investment and talent to accelerate the growth of its metaverse share across different industries, from education to health care.

Read more on NFT News Today.

PayPal introduces on and off ramps for Web3 Payments

On September 11, 2023, PayPal announced that customers can use their system, On and Off Ramps for Web3 payments. This means PayPal customers can buy and sell supported crypto in the U.S. Those who use crypto wallet in the U.S. can convert their crypto to U.S. Dollars and transfer it into their PayPal balance. 

Read more on PayPal Newsroom.

Trends – gaming, marketing and more 

FUNToken partners with Astra Nova 

On November 23, 2023, FUNToken announced its partnership with Astra Nova, a Web3 RPG developed on UnrealEngine 5, focused on the MENA and SEA regions. The aim of the partnership is to redefine the gaming landscape through innovative technological advancements and improve community engagement through joint marketing campaigns. The collaboration will deliver to users a more immersive gaming experience including unique interactive events, live ‘Ask Me Anything’ sessions and special contests.

Read more on NFT News Today.

Cool Cats showcased at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade 

On November 23, 2023, blue-chip NFT brand, Cool Cats, made its debut at the 97th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade with a balloon featuring the brand’s mascot, Blue Cat, and his friend, Chugs. After winning an online competition held by Macy’s, Cool Cats became the first NFT brand to be featured in the parade. 

Read more on The Crypto Times and NFT Now.

KEYP suspends Game Boy Crypto Wallet

On November 22, 2023, KEYP announced the suspension of its Game Boy crypto wallet project, “Game Wallet”, which would enable users to store their Bitcoin and Ethereum on a retro Game Boy device. The Game Boy cartridge would have used gamification to generate users’ seed phrases through quests and interactions with non-playable characters. The project is now on indefinite hold due to volatile market conditions and changes in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Read more on NFT News Today.

Animoca releases new Web 3 game “Formula E: High Voltage”

On October 19, 2023, Animoca Brands, in collaboration with Ember, released its newest Web3 game – “Formula E: High Voltage.” “Formula E: High Voltage” operates on the Flow blockchain, which is known for its energy efficiency.

Read more on NFT News Today

STEPN announces second collaboration with Apple 

On October 13, 2023, STEPN, a Web3 application developed by Find Satoshi Lab, announced its second collaboration with Apple. STEPN has already integrated Apple Pay into the app. This time, the aim is to integrate Apple Music into STEPN. 

Read more on NFT News Today

Gamefam brings Barbie to the metaverse

Mattel has forged an alliance with Gamefam, a developer in the metaverse space, to bring Barbie to the metaverse. The Barbie metaverse features an in-game experience called “Barbie DreamHouse Tycoon,” which launched on October 6, 2023.

Read more at Game is Hard.

Pokémon NFTs sell out almost immediately 

Pokémon-themed NFTs, released on September 20, 2023, sold out almost immediately on Courtyard. Pokémon (physical) trading cards have been popular ever since their release in 1996 and are widely exchanged. 

Read more on NFT News Today.

NHN Corporation ventures into Web3 with Mysten Labs

On September 21, 2023, NHN Corporation, a Korean-listed games company with approximately 37 million users, launched a partnership with Web3 gaming company Mysten Labs. NHN Corporation aims to launch a Web3 offering in 2024. Earlier this year, Krafton, another Korean games company, announced it will be releasing an NFT-driven metaverse game in the first half of 2024. 

Read more on NFT News Today.


Casio opens G-Shock metaverse store 

On October 6, 2023, Casio launched a Casio G-Shock store through the virtual reality platform VRChat. This store provides individuals with the opportunity to customize G-Shock watches that can be worn by their metaverse avatars. Although the focus is on virtual items, Casio also presents real-world watches that can be purchased elsewhere for users to wear on their wrists in reality.

Read more at Pocket-lint.

Digital Fashion Week across New York, London, and Paris

Digital Fashion Week took place in September 2023, running from September 7 to 10, in New York, September 15 to 16 in London, and September 28 to 29 in Paris. Epic Games hosted this year’s London Digital Fashion Week, displaying digital designs, Epic Games’ MetaHuman creations, 3D-printed facemasks and fashion-forward outfits. 

Read more on Digital Fashion Week and Scene.

SYKY launches luxury fashion platform

On 14 September 2023, SYKY, a luxury fashion incubator, launched a new digital platform that will showcase the work of emerging digital fashion designers. The first SYKY collective member to showcase their work is Sunw, whose collection includes two digital pieces. Those making a purchase will also receive a physical 3D-printed electroplated resin handbag. 

Read more on Forbes.

Diesel creates a digital fashion collection

In September 2023, Diesel created a digital fashion collection for Meta Avatars, the first of Diesel’s new partnership with digital fashion brand DressX. Diesel has also released 300 digital collectables in partnership with Polkadot, an NFT platform. The first of the collection dropped on September 14, 2023. The NFTs give holders access to various benefits, including first access to new products and Diesel’s Web3 platform.

Read more on Glossy.

LG partners with Label Foundation 

On September 25, 2023, LG partnered with Web3 start-up Label Foundation to make Label Foundation’s free music service, “Tracks,” available through LG’s smart televisions. On “Tracks,” users earn $BLB (beyond listening behaviour) and $LBL (label governance) tokens as a reward for streaming music, participating in community polls, or promoting their favourite artists. These tokens can be traded for exclusive content or converted to other cryptocurrencies. 

Read more on Musically.


nft, metaverse, web3, crypto, advertising, fashion, sports, cryptoasset, cryptocurrency, token, entertainment & media, video games, video gaming