This Ethereum Competitor Could More Than Double Its Price in Coming Months, According to Coin Bureau

The host of popular crypto channel Coin Bureau is exploring if veteran altcoin Tezos (XTZ) has what it takes to recapture previous all-time highs during the current bull run.

In a new video, the analyst known as Guy tells his 1.84 million YouTube subscribers that the Ethereum (ETH) competitor’s built-in adaptability is key to its long-term prospects.

“Tezos is one of the few cryptocurrencies that has been explicitly designed to evolve so that it may not only survive but thrive…

Tezos is on track to become one of the top cryptocurrencies.”

Tezos was first proposed in 2014 and native token XTZ launched in 2018. According to the project website, Tezos values both design and governance as keys to ensuring success.

“Tezos is an open-source platform that addresses key barriers facing blockchain adoption for assets and applications backed by a global community of validators, researchers, and builders.

By design, Tezos embraces long-term upgradability, open participation, collaboration, and smart contract safety.”

The Coin Bureau host notes that the price of XTZ still remains undervalued after three years, especially in relation to how Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum have done over the same period of time.

“XTZ hasn’t performed all that well compared to most other cryptocurrencies… only up about 10x. If ICO [initial coin offering] participants had held onto [their] BTC and ETH instead, they’d be up almost 20x.

It’s safe to say that the Tezos Foundation is aware of the store-of-value properties of BTC.

Put simply, it’s likely the Tezos Foundation is getting a substantial amount of money from sales of XTZ whether from initial allocation, from staking and delegation rewards, or both.

The supposed selling by these and other entities such as institutional investors is probably why XTZ’s price has been suppressed since the start with few exceptions.”

Guy goes on to mention several significant corporate partnerships which have given XTZ’s price a boost, including with game developer Ubisoft last April and Red Bull’s Formula 1 racing team in May. The music-focused non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OneOf was built on Tezos and raised over $60 million in capital last year.

The YouTube host concludes his XTZ analysis with a price prediction.

“As poor as XTZ’s price action has been, there’s no denying that its institutional partnerships are pretty impressive.

These partnerships, as well as Tezos’s continued upgrades and new DApps [decentralized applications], are starting to create some serious demand for XTZ.

This can clearly be seen in the positive price trend it’s been in since the previous bear market. If this momentum keeps up, I wager we could see XTZ retest its previous all-time high of $10 before the bull market is over.”

At time of writing, Tezos is down 4.76% to $4.26. It began 2022 at around $4.50 and surged to as high as $5.31 before sliding back on Wednesday.

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Tezos Enters Esports With Team Vitality Sponsorship, NFT Plans

In brief

  • Tezos has announced a three-year sponsorship with esports club Team Vitality.
  • Vitality will launch NFTs, wear the Tezos logo on player jerseys, and more.

Just weeks after revealing an NFT deal with major video game publisher Ubisoft, proof-of-stake blockchain network Tezos is now taking steps into the esports industry. Today, the Tezos Foundation announced a sponsorship deal with Team Vitality, a leading European esports organization.

The three-year deal will run through 2024 and see Tezos become Vitality’s “main partner” amid other team sponsorships, including with apparel brand Adidas and PC hardware maker Corsair. An image shared by both parties shows a variety of Vitality players wearing a new jersey with the Tezos logo on the chest.

Beyond the jersey sponsorship, Tezos will also develop technical blockchain-based applications for the esports team, including NFT collectibles, an NFT marketplace, and fan engagement opportunities. Vitality players will also work to educate esports fans about blockchain tech, as other teams have done via their respective crypto sponsorships.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. In a release, Vitality described the alliance as its largest sponsorship deal to date and “one of the biggest European partnerships in esports.”

Team Vitality competes in Riot Games’ prominent League of Legends European Championship (LEC) franchised league, and fields teams in other competitive games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rocket League, and Fortnite.

Vitality’s deal with Tezos is the latest in a recent surge of partnerships between esports teams and leagues and crypto industry companies.

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX has arguably made the biggest headlines in the space so far, sponsoring popular club Team SoloMid (TSM) in a 10-year, $210 million naming rights deal in June 2021. In August, the exchange signed a seven-year deal (value not disclosed) with Riot Games to sponsor League of Legends esports competitions.

Meanwhile, crypto exchange Coinbase signed deals with Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses, and BIG in 2021, alongside a partnership with tournament operator ESL. sponsored the team Fnatic, and decentralized exchange Uniswap sponsored Team Secret through a marketing grant voted on by UNI token holders.

While crypto industry partnerships are flourishing in the esports industry, traditional video game publishers and developers have faced backlash for embracing NFTs. Ubisoft’s recent tie-up with Tezos for in-game NFT items in Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint was met with social media backlash, although the project still went ahead.

On the other hand, GSC Game World canceled plans to implement NFTs into the game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 after fan pushback, and gaming chat app Discord canned crypto wallet integration following a similar response from users. Game publishers like Square Enix and Konami have also seen vocally negative feedback to announcements around NFT plans.


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NFT Venture Firm Metaversal Raises $50M From CoinFund, DCG, Dapper and More

In brief

  • Metaversal, an NFT investment and co-production firm, has raised a $50 million Series A round.
  • Investors include CoinFund, Foxhaven, Dapper Labs, Franklin Templeton, Rarible, and many others.

The NFT market is booming again in recent weeks, and Metaversal—a holding company that invests in and co-produces NFT projects—has just announced new funding to take advantage of the growing interest around tokenized collectibles.

Today, Metaversal revealed a $50 million Series A fund co-led by CoinFund and Foxhaven Asset Management. The oversubscribed round included a number of other participants, including NBA Top Shot and Flow blockchain creator Dapper Labs, Franklin Templeton Investments, Digital Currency Group, Galaxy Vision Hill, NFT marketplace Rarible, and NGC Ventures.

Metaversal was founded in 2021 by CEO Yossi Hasson and President Dan Schmerin and invests in potentially high-value NFT collectibles. The firm has collected NFTs from the artist FEWOCiOUS, a rare founder’s CryptoKitties NFT, and pieces from the Rare Pepes project, as well as a Noun NFT. Metaversal has invested in more than 750 NFTs to date, the firm says.

Besides investing in individual NFTs, however, Metaversal also invests in and co-produces NFT-driven projects. The firm has invested in projects such as Holaplex, an NFT storefront builder on Solana, as well as media outlet NFT Now and cannabis-focused Far Tech Ventures.

Metaversal also says that it was the first institutional investor in ConstitutionDAO, the recently launched decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that raised $45 million worth of cryptocurrency to purchase an original copy of the United States Constitution. The effort fell short at auction.

While many of the notable NFT collectibles purchased by Metaversal are minted on Ethereum, currently the leading blockchain network for NFTs, the firm is focused on supporting an open metaverse across multiple blockchains. Metaversal plans to build on Flow and Tezos, both of which new investor Rarible has recently added support for as well.

An NFT acts like a deed of ownership to a unique digital item, whether it’s a piece of digital artwork, a one-of-a-kind profile picture, or an interactive video game item. The market swelled over the course of 2021, generating an estimated $22 billion in trading volume as of mid-December, per data from DappRadar.

Some individual NFTs have sold for considerable sums, most notably artist Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” which netted over $69 million in a Christie’s auction last March. Dozens of CryptoPunks avatars have sold for over a million dollars, plus pieces from artist XCOPY and the Art Blocks generative artwork collection have netted seven figures apiece.

As the NFT market matured and grew over the course of 2021, other firms and funds emerged to invest in artwork and collectibles in the space.

For example, Three Arrows Capital spun up Starry Night Capital in August in collaboration with pseudonymous collector Vincent Van Dough, with plans to raise up to $100 million to invest in NFTs. Meta4 Capital, meanwhile, announced its own $100 million NFT investment fund in October and spent millions at a Sotheby’s NFT auction.


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After Backlash, Ubisoft Calls Gaming NFTs a ‘Major Change That Will Take Time’

In brief

  • Ubisoft will continue its video game NFT initiative despite pushback from fans.
  • Its partnership with will help with NFT storage.

Ubisoft recently became the first traditional gaming giant to implement in-game NFTs with the launch of its Tezos-based Quartz platform, but the publisher faced significant backlash from gamers. Today, alongside announcing a new alliance with, Ubisoft discussed the fan response with Decrypt, calling video game NFTs a “major change” for players.

When the tokenized collectibles first launched in online shooter Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint earlier this month, many fans called the limited-edition digital items pointless or a cynical trend chase. Others suggested that Ubisoft’s plan would harm the environment, despite its use of Tezos, a proof-of-stake blockchain platform that’s considered to be an energy-efficient alternative to the leading NFT platform, Ethereum.

In any case, Ubisoft went ahead with its plans—unlike GSC Game World with S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2’s planned NFTs, or gaming-centric chat app Discord with its own crypto wallet integration. Both of those companies scrapped their respective initiatives following pushback from users and fans.

Today, Ubisoft announced a partnership with to provide decentralized storage for its NFT assets, which are called “Digits” on the Quartz platform. Didier Genevois, Ubisoft’s Blockchain Technical Director, answered Decrypt’s questions about the response to the initial in-game NFT rollout earlier this month.

“We have received a lot of feedback since the announcement, and we hear both the encouragement and the concerns,” he said. “We understand where the sentiment towards the technology comes from, and we need to keep taking it into consideration every step of the way.” 

Genevois continued: “This experiment is meant to understand how the value proposition of decentralization can be received and embraced by our players. We know it is a major change that will take time, but we will stay true to our three principles.”

According to Genevois, Ubisoft’s principles are to “use the tech responsibly” and “build a safe environment” for players to explore how NFTs work, “only leverage energy-efficient proof-of-stake blockchains,” and “focus on meaningful value propositions for players that benefit their gaming experience.”

An NFT serves as a proof of ownership for a unique digital object—in this case, one-of-a-kind video game items like weapons and gear. Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon NFTs can be resold via Tezos secondary markets. Other video game NFTs can potentially also be interoperable assets, thus enabling their use in multiple games and online platforms.


Ubisoft’s launch of the Quartz platform followed years of exploration in the crypto industry. The publisher behind such franchises as Assassin’s Creed and Just Dance first created its own Minecraft-inspired crypto game prototype called HashCraft and showcased it in 2018, but did not release it.

In 2020, Ubisoft released a Rabbids-themed NFT initiative for charity, and then earlier this year rolled out One Shot League, a spinoff of Ethereum-based NFT fantasy soccer game Sorare. In October, Ubisoft made its first formal investment into a crypto startup, taking part in Animoca Brands’ $65 million round with plans to collaborate on NFT-centric games together.

The publisher has also supported numerous crypto startups via its Entrepreneurs Lab accelerator program. Distributed cloud network was chosen as one of the projects back in May, and then Ubisoft agreed to run one of’s core channel nodes in July. Today’s announcement formalizes the growing relationship between Ubisoft and the project.

“Our main objective with Ubisoft Quartz is to showcase the true value of decentralization to our players,” said Genevois. “ played a key role in the realization of our vision by allowing us to go one step further and decentralize the storage of the Digits’ video asset and metadata.”

Before tapping’s platform, Genevois said that Ubisoft would have to store NFT metadata—or core information about the asset and its purpose—on centralized servers or via IPFS, a user-operated file-sharing network. assures long-term storage via its own decentralized network, and also allows Ubisoft to update NFT metadata over time.

Ubisoft, which is also a corporate validator for the Tezos network, rolled out exclusive NFT drops for Ghost Recon Breakpoint—all completely free items—on three separate days earlier this month. The publisher has teased additional NFT drops in 2022, but has yet to announce NFT integration into any of its other popular game franchises.

Despite the backlash, Ubisoft is continuing on with its NFT plans, while fellow major publisher Square Enix recently announced its own crypto game plans, and Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson suggested that NFTs “will be an important part of the future of our industry on a go-forward basis.” founder Jonathan Schemoul told Decrypt that he believes “most big publishers will end up proposing in-game NFT support,” citing potential benefits like interoperable assets. “That would be a great breakthrough,” he added, “making the gaming experience even more enjoyable.”


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Smart Contract Altcoin Posts Massive Gains Following Announcement of Partnership With Gaming Development Firm

One under-the-radar altcoin is on fire after helping to bring in-game non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to the mainstream gaming industry.

Blockchain network Tezos (XTZ) announced that game designer Ubisoft’s new Quartz feature was built using its native technology to enhance gameplay while remaining energy efficient.

Quartz enables players to both earn and buy in-game items, and Tezos says it’s the first time a major gaming company has incorporated tokenized NFTs for that purpose.

News of the partnership sent the price of XTZ skyrocketing almost instantly from $4.19 to $5.42 on Tuesday, later peaking at $5.81 before seeing some choppy action the rest of the day.

The altcoin is experiencing another power surge at time of writing, up 7.62% on the day to $5.87.

Game industry stalwart Ubisoft is known for some of the most successful titles over the past decade, including installments of the Far Cry, Assassin’s Creed, and Tom Clancy series.

In a tweet to its 8.6 million followers, Ubisoft says that users will be able to test a beta version of Quartz in its Ghost Recon: Breakpoint game.

“We’re bringing the first energy-efficient NFTs playable in a AAA game to Ghost Recon: Breakpoint!

Try it in the beta from December 9 with three free cosmetic drops…”

Triple-A refers to mid-size and major game publishers which have large budgets to develop and promote their releases.

According to the Tezos website, the project sees both design and governance as keys to long-term success.

“Tezos is an open-source platform that addresses key barriers facing blockchain adoption for assets and applications backed by a global community of validators, researchers, and builders.

By design, Tezos embraces long-term upgradability, open participation, collaboration, and smart contract safety.”

The price of XTZ had been steadily creeping down from a high above $9 back in October, bottoming out at $3.73 on Monday before its recent sudden rise.

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These Two Altcoins Have Massive Potential for December, According to Crypto Analyst Aaron Arnold

Cryptocurrency analyst Aaron Arnold is naming two altcoins that he says possess massive potential.

The crypto analyst tells his 1,160,000 YouTube subscribers that the first altcoin with massive potential is Chainlink (LINK), an Ethereum-based crypto project that facilitates the transfer of data to smart contracts from off-chain sources.

Arnold says that Chainlink Labs has bagged a “huge get” after ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt joined the Chainlink developer as a strategic advisor.

“[Eric Schmidt] will join oracle solutions provider Chainlink labs as a strategic advisor.

According to a Tuesday announcement, Chainlink said that Schmidt would guide the firm’s scaling strategy in its use of oracle networks to trigger smart contracts…

This is a huge get, a highly connected guy, a huge get for Chainlink Labs.”

Chainlink is trading at $22.26 at time of writing.

The crypto analyst believes the second altcoin with massive potential is Tezos (XTZ), a layer-one smart contract blockchain.

Tezos was just selected by video game giant Ubisoft as the blockchain platform to launch its new in-game non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Ubisoft is the publisher of games such as Assassin’s Creed, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, Far Cry, Just Dance and Prince of Persia. The company says it’s planning to build a “true metaverse” and chose Tezos to help overcome “blockchain’s early-form limitations for gaming, including scalability and energy consumption.”

According to Arnold,

“Mainstream gaming giant Ubisoft becomes the first major gaming company to launch in-game NFTs. This is a huge milestone for crypto, for NFTs and gaming in general…

Now the gaming giant will actually implement NFTs within one of its major franchises in a new initiative that runs on Tezos. This is huge for adoption and a big win for Tezos.”

Tezos is trading at $5.26 at time of writing.

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Tezos Price Jumps 37% After Ubisoft Reveals NFT Launch on Its Network

Markets are reacting favorably to this morning’s announcement that Ubisoft would become the first major video game publisher to create in-game NFTs.

Shares of the French company are trading 4% higher today. But Tezos, its blockchain partner, is the real winner. The price of Tezos’ natiive XTZ coin spiked on the news, increasing by 37% in the last 24 hours. It traded as high as $5.48 after dipping below $4.00 on Monday, according to CoinGecko.

Ubisoft, maker of the games Assassin’s Creed and Prince of Persia, announced its new Ubisoft Quartz platform would enable players to buy and win in-game items that are minted as Tezos NFTs—the digital tokens representing ownership of an asset. The non-fungible tokens will make their first appearance in Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint.

The integration of NFTs could increase the feeling of investment players have in games while laying the groundwork for interoperability between games and secondary markets to profit off of rare items.

Tezos’ coin price may have been further abetted by an announcement later in the morning contending the blockchain had increased its per-transaction energy efficiency by 70% or more. In short, it costs much less to send and receive XTZ—or make other transactions on the network, such as buying NFTs—than it used to.

That should take some of the sting out of criticisms from gamer circles that NFTs are bad for the environment because they require the unnecessary production of electricity to generate—though the cultural value of video games is equally up for debate.

Tezos and Ubisoft sought to head such arguments off at the pass, peppering the press release with distinctions between the proof-of-stake blockchain and its energy-dependent cousin Bitcoin, arguing that transactions on the former use “more than 2 million times less energy” that those on the latter.


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Rarible Plots Multi-Chain NFT Future With Ethereum, Flow, Tezos and More

In brief

  • Rarible announced plans this week to support Tezos NFTs, joining current platforms Ethereum and Solana.
  • The platform, which also recently launched a messenger service, also plans to add Solana and Polygon support.

NFT marketplace Rarible might appear similar to leading rival OpenSea at a glance, but it has taken a different approach towards serving digital collectors. Rarible’s RARI governance token gives users a say in its future and stake in its success, for example. However, the marketplace is also pushing faster for a multi-chain future beyond the biggest current network for NFTs, Ethereum.

In November, Rarible launched support for Flow, Dapper Labs’ burgeoning blockchain network that plays host to NBA Top Shot. And last week, the marketplace announced plans to add support for Tezos NFTs in mid-December.

Tezos doesn’t have anywhere near the level of NFT trading volume of Ethereum, but it hosts a vibrant crypto art community and has been supported by creators like blue chip NFT artist XCOPY and Linkin Park member Mike Shinoda. Its biggest NFT marketplace, Hic et Nunc, recently shut down, but an identical “mirror” marketplace was recreated within days.

Bringing the Ethereum, Flow, and soon Tezos NFT ecosystems together makes Rarible unique, uniting three layer-1 blockchains under a single umbrella.

FTX US currently supports Ethereum and the rising Solana NFT ecosystem, while OpenSea supports Ethereum, Klaytn (popular in South Korea), and layer-2 Ethereum scaling solution Polygon. OpenSea, for its part, announced plans earlier this year to support both Flow and Tezos, but neither integration has come to fruition yet.

“For now, we’re the only marketplace that supports several layer-1 chains,” Rarible CEO and co-founder Alexei Falin told Decrypt last week at NFT BZL in Miami. “Most other marketplaces just support layer-2 chains such as Polygon, which we will roll out pretty soon, as well.”

Falin also confirmed that support for Solana is “very close” on their roadmap as well. Solana support is being developed internally at Rarible, while Tezos developers have handled their own implementation into the marketplace protocol. By building open-source, he said, it’s easier to pool resources and let blockchain creators develop on top of Rarible’s protocol.

Flow is an interesting piece of the equation. There are many developers building on the blockchain—more than 600, says Dapper Labs—but most of those projects are still out on the horizon. NBA Top Shot has been a big hit and Dapper has an NFL equivalent, NFL All Day, launching soon, but Flow’s wider NFT ecosystem could rapidly accelerate once more projects debut.

Falin described Dapper as being “pretty successful” at wooing intellectual property holders to the Flow ecosystem, and called the blockchain’s future expansion a “really big opportunity” for Rarible. Users can mint their own NFTs on Flow with Rarible, too, giving anyone access to the increasingly decentralized blockchain network, which is less expensive to use than Ethereum.

Rarible also just recently launched a first-of-its-kind built-in marketplace messaging service, letting potential NFT buyers and sellers communicate directly via their Ethereum wallet addresses. That saves the hassle of attempting to get in contact via Twitter or Discord.

Rarible eventually plans to spin the messenger tool out into a standalone product that other Web3 developers can implement, as well. In this case, Falin said that what benefits Rarible initially can ultimately benefit the entire NFT ecosystem, as well. “We’re trying to build products that industry needs, and also the products that Rarible needs,” he explained.

Late last year, before the NFT market really took off, Rarible was generating more monthly Ethereum trading volume than OpenSea. That’s no longer the case: OpenSea has logged multiple $3 billion months of late, per data from Dune Analytics, while Rarible’s best month was just above $21 million in trading volume in August.

Falin believes that it’s still early in the NFT market and that trends and interests are rapidly changing, but he also suggested that Rarible is building in a different way.

Between its token-based community ownership and maintaining a protocol that other apps can tap into and build upon, Rarible is targeting other edges that towering ETH tallies alone can’t quantify. Monday’s news that OpenSea is planning to eventually go public with a traditional IPO, possibly instead of a token airdrop to early users, may only reinforce that view.

“We have a little bit different approach to OpenSea,” said Falin. “We are trying to be a Web3-native company—decentralized as much as we can.”


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Ubisoft Becomes First Major Gaming Company to Launch In-Game NFTs

In brief

  • Major game publisher Ubisoft will implement in-game NFT items into its games, starting with Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint.
  • Ubisoft’s Quartz NFT platform runs on Tezos, a proof-of-stake blockchain platform.

Ubisoft was the first major video game publisher to take an interest in the blockchain space, experimenting with crypto game prototypes and supporting startups over the last few years. But now the gaming giant will actually implement NFTs within one of its major franchises in a new initiative that runs on Tezos.

Today, the publisher behind Assassin’s Creed and Just Dance revealed Ubisoft Quartz, a platform that lets players earn and purchase in-game items that are tokenized as NFTs on the Tezos blockchain. Quartz will launch first in the PC version of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, the latest online game in the long-running tactical shooter series.

Quartz will launch in beta on December 9 in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Brazil, and Australia. Ghost Recon Breakpoint players who have reached XP level 5 in the game can access the NFT drops. Ubisoft’s release says that players must be at least 18 years old to create a Tezos wallet for use with the game.

Ubisoft is referring to its NFT drops as “Digits” and plans to release free NFTs for early adopters on December 9, 12, and 15, with further drops planned for 2022. An infographic shows items such as weapon skins and unique armor and apparel, along with a message that teases future initiatives: “This is just the beginning…”

An infographic provided by Ubisoft.

An NFT effectively serves as a receipt for a provably scarce digital item, and while digital illustrations and profile pictures have been popular, they can also represent video game items. Ethereum-powered monster-battling game Axie Infinity is currently the biggest player in the space, racking up more than $3.6 billion in trading volume to date, per CryptoSlam.

“Ubisoft Quartz is the first building block in our ambitious vision for developing a true metaverse,” said Nicolas Pouard, VP of Ubisoft’s Strategic Innovation Lab, in a release. “And it can’t come to life without overcoming blockchain’s early-form limitations for gaming, including scalability and energy consumption.”

Much of Ubisoft’s announcement today highlights the difference in environmental impact between the proof-of-stake Tezos blockchain and the energy-intensive Bitcoin.

Tezos claims that a single transaction on its network uses “more than 2 million times less energy” than Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency. It also suggests that a single Tezos transaction uses about as much energy as a 30-second streaming video, whereas a Bitcoin transaction is estimated to measure up to the environmental impact of a full, uninterrupted year of streaming video footage.

The perceived environmental impact of blockchain technology has created backlash within the traditional video game market in the past, including recently when horror game Dead by Daylight unveiled plans to launch a new character in the form of an NFT.

Ubisoft first began exploring the crypto and NFT space years back, developing a Minecraft-like game prototype called HashCraft that Decrypt first covered in early 2019. Since then, Ubisoft has worked with numerous crypto startups through its Entrepreneurs Lab accelerator program, and supported projects like Axie Infinity, Nine Chronicles, and NBA Top Shot. It also became a corporate validator on the Tezos network in April of this year.

While HashCraft was never released, Ubisoft did debut a couple of small experiments in the space: charity-focused NFT project Rabbids Token, as well as this year’s One Shot League, a spinoff of popular NFT fantasy soccer game, Sorare. In October, Ubisoft made its first true investment in a crypto startup, participating in Animoca Brands’ $65 million funding round and affirming plans to work with the firm on NFT-driven games.

Other major game publishers are eyeing the space, as well: Square Enix announced plans in November to develop NFT games, while Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson recently described NFTs as “an important part of the future of our industry on a go-forward basis.”


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Roman Coppola’s Decentralized Pictures Is Shaking Up The Film Industry With Crypto

Making a film is an expensive business. Even the short films aspiring directors use as calling cards can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Small wonder, then, that it’s a challenge for those starting in the industry to get a project off the ground—and that the organizations that provide funding for filmmakers are swamped with applications.

“You need to move to Hollywood, you need to get representation, you need to get actors,” Mike Musante, co-founder of crypto-powered filmmaking platform Decentralized Pictures, told Decrypt. “To get actors, you need to know people. Most places don’t take unsolicited submissions, so to get people to just read your project, even if it’s great, is exceedingly difficult—again, unless you know people or you have some special inside information.”

As VP of Production and Acquisitions at American Zoetrope, the production company founded by “The Godfather” director Francis Ford Coppola, Musante is intimately familiar with the obstacles that the industry throws in the path of emerging filmmakers.

The problem, he explained, is that the film industry is insular and decision-making in Hollywood is very centralized. Because studios and production companies have very small development teams, they find themselves “drinking from a firehose” of pitches from prospective filmmakers, and take a risk-averse approach to producing scripts.

Breaking down the doors

That’s where Decentralized Pictures comes in. Co-founded by Musante and producers Roman Coppola and Leo Matchett—with a board that includes directors Sofia and Gia Coppola—it’s aiming to solve the problem of film industry gatekeepers by turning the pitching process over to a community of filmmakers and using cryptocurrency to incentivize participation.

Built on a “slightly tweaked” version of the Tezos blockchain, Decentralized Pictures’ platform invites filmmakers to submit movie pitches, paying a submission fee in the project’s native crypto token, FILMCredits (FILM). The funding for awards will initially be stumped up by the Decentralized Pictures nonprofit itself, but will expand to include awards from other organizations, and even non-financial prizes like writing competitions, mentorship and representation.

Decentralized Pictures screenshot
Members of the site can pitch for film funding by paying a fee in the native token, FILMCredits. Image: Decentralized Pictures

The filmmaker’s FILMCredits entry fee goes into a smart contract, which automatically pays members of the community for reviewing the projects that have been pitched. The top-rated projects become finalists, with Decentralized Pictures doling out the awards to winners. Community members can either buy FILMCredits on the open market, or earn them by participating in the community, performing tasks such as quizzes, reviewing other projects, or offering other forms of assistance.

“Unlike a Kickstarter, where the filmmaker’s asking the community for money to back their project, on Decentralized Pictures the filmmaker is paying other members of the community to give their opinions,” Musante explained. By incentivizing participation through cryptocurrency, he added, “we believe we can get massive amounts of opinion data that we can then analyze and help us to make decisions about which projects to finance.”

Decentralized Pictures screenshot
Users can earn crypto by providing feedback on film pitches and trailers. Image: Decentralized Pictures

It also aims to foster a sense of community among filmmakers, said Musante, who explained that when a project’s submitted to the site, the creator can also spin up a chat room for their project. “We see that as a place where reviewers can have discussions about that project and give their feedback, and it can be a conversation. That’s not just submitting a review. But it’s also a place where the filmmaker could connect with other people in the community, perhaps find somebody to work with.”

Decentralized Pictures screenshot
The community rewards active participation with FILMCredits. Image: Decentralized Pictures

While the initial schedule of awards will come from Decentralized Pictures, the plan is to let other donors create funding awards on the platform. “If you’re the World Wildlife Fund, and you want a documentary about an endangered species to shed light on this critical issue, you can create an award or call for entries,” explained Matchett. “Anyone who’s interested in telling that story from the community can…submit a selfie pitch video to the community about why they’re the best person to tell the story. And then, you know, the community will decide who the most deserving artist is.”

The other crucial component is that Decentralized Pictures isn’t offering grants—except for “very small awards to help out early filmmakers or film students.” Instead, winners of the awards get an option for financing, with Decentralized Pictures taking a share of the profits.

“What we’re trying to create here is an evergreen, self-sustaining film fund.”

Mike Musante

As Decentralized Pictures is a nonprofit, all of the net revenue goes back into the film fund to finance future awards. “What we’re trying to create here is an evergreen, self-sustaining film fund, that can support independent artists and artists from underserved, underserved and underrepresented communities going forward,” Musante said. He pointed to plans for a “significant portion” of awards to be made “exclusively available to filmmakers from BIPOC communities, from indigenous communities, LGBTQ+ communities.”

Building a virtual studio

While Decentralized Pictures will initially focus on film financing, it has grander ambitions of becoming a “virtual studio,” using blockchain to help with every step of the film production process: casting, location scouting, sourcing stock footage and even distribution. “Our vision is that this virtual studio will be a constellation of apps that support independent artists and underserved artists” built on a blockchain dubbed the Talent Network. “Decentralized Pictures is just the first application on that blockchain,” said Musante.

“We’re taking the position that it’s an arts and culture-focused application ecosystem,” said Matchett. The duo is also eyeing some of the features of the Tezos-based blockchain for future applications, such as distribution. “There’s some really interesting use cases for the shielded contracts and shielded transactions within Tezos,” Matchett said. “If we’re getting into distribution or residuals, not all talent or producers necessarily want the world knowing how much money they’re making on something.”

Decentralized Pictures screenshot
Users can earn FILMCredits by performing tasks like film quizzes. Image: Decentralized Pictures

Decentralized Pictures also has one eye on the metaverse—the persistent, shared virtual world that’s attracted the attention of everyone from Facebook to Adidas. “We’ve been thinking about reaching out to companies like Decentraland,” said Matchett. “We actually created a 3D model of the old Zoetrope studio lot. People could have their little virtual offices, have virtual meetups and coffee shops and things like that.”

Ultimately, Decentralized Pictures aims to sit alongside the existing studio system rather than supplant it.

“We’re building another road,” said Matchett. “It ends up at the same place, but we’re not going to be interfering with the status quo.” Instead, he sees Decentralized Pictures’ role as “filtering” quality filmmakers for production companies and studios. “The chances are, when we discover a great filmmaker, they’re gonna probably end up working for them down the road. So you know, that’s a win-win for us and for them.”


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