This week in the metaverse: Yuga Labs adds to NFT game, The Sandbox opens a virtual Irish pub, and Silicon Valley Bank spooks Web3 traders

March 17, 2023, 3:46 PM UTC
NFT trading collapsed on Saturday after Silicon Valley Bank collapsed.
Photo illustration by Fortune; Original photo by Getty Images

Welcome to This Week in the Metaverse, where Fortune rounds up the most interesting news in the world of NFTs, culture, and the metaverse. Email with tips.

Yuga Labs is continuing to build on the release of NFT-powered game Dookey Dash earlier this year. The NFT powerhouse invited holders of its “sewer passes,” which were minted in January, to burn their pass to mint a new collection called HV-MTL, or heavy metal, that is in part derived from users’ Dookey Dash scores. 

The new collection of 30,000 “mechs” (robot-looking boxy things) already sports a price floor of nearly $4,000 as the company has indicated that the NFTs will give users access to future minigames and other perks. 

In an interesting twist at the intersection of Web2 and Web3, fans of the educational program Sesame Street are complaining about a series of NFTs launched by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind the show. The organization said it would release 5,555 cookie monster non-fungible tokens priced at $60, with more planned for later this year, Variety reported.

Not everyone was amused by Sesame Street dipping its toe into the metaverse. Some online complained that releasing NFTs was straying from the show’s original values. 

Still, others on Twitter pointed out that the NFTs could be a good way for Sesame Street to engage fans.

The Silicon Valley Bank effect

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank last week had a marked effect on the NFT market. According to a report by DappRadar, the day after Silicon Valley Bank was closed by state regulators, the number of active NFT traders recorded (11,440) dropped to the lowest since November 2021.

The floor price for blue chip NFTs was not affected much, the report said, which showed the resilience of collections like CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club. Meanwhile, the floor price of Moonbirds dropped 18%.

In other news

Beginning March 20, Celebrity Cruises, which last year created a metaverse version of its newest ship, is giving away seven seven-day-long cruises over the course of a week. Each day, consumers will have the opportunity to find a hidden clue, or “Easter egg,” on Celebrity’s Instagram to have the chance of winning the prize.

Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, the world’s first metaverse Irish Pub, the Irish Shebeen, is opening its doors in The Sandbox. For 12 days, visitors will get to complete quests, discover local artists, and earn unique collectibles in the pub experience. Players also have the chance to take home a bottle of Irish Whiskey from Kinahan’s.

Courtesy of The Sandbox

NFT marketplace Zora released a new feed it describes as akin to “Tumblr for Ethereum,” which includes aggregated NFTs. The new feed brings together NFTs from Zora, Manifold, and Foundation, and includes video, gifs, and images alike that are sorted by mint volume and popularity to surface content.

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