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The Wombats Launch One-of-a-Kind, Carbon-Negative NFT Fan – GlobeNewswire

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| Source: Kollectiff Kollectiff
Santa Monica, California, UNITED STATES
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Kollectiff, the leading web3 agency taking brands into the Metaverse, announces carbon-negative collaboration with UK indie legends The Wombats, who last week released their fifth studio album Fix Yourself Not The World.
Fifteen years and three UK top 5 albums into their career, The Wombats will be meeting their fans in the Metaverse for the first time with the help of Kollectiff. The initiative will include a Metaverse-ready avatar and concert, exclusive access to AMAs, live acoustic performances, unheard B-Sides, rare memorabilia, VIP tickets, and more. 
The Wombats will be releasing 3,000 unique NFTs that will be ready for the Metaverse. This drop will be particularly unique, as it will be completely carbon-negative, ensuring all carbon emissions from the mint are offset 20 times. The NFTs can be purchased/minted on The Wombats website for 0.07 ETH on Feb. 8. 
This is more than your traditional NFT because fans and holders will have access to a Rubik’s Cube blockchain game that will unlock tons of exclusive utility, unique to the NFT holders. The NFTs will be Metaverse-ready — an avatar that can be used in The Sandbox decentralized gaming virtual world. All of the purchasers will also receive unique blockchain carbon credits from Moss (the world’s largest environmental platform).
“We are looking forward to presenting this unique NFT experience to our fans that will end with a concert at Kollectiff’s stadium in the Metaverse,” says Dan Haggis, drummer of The Wombats. “Kollectiff helped us with creating a carbon-neutral NFT because the environment and combating climate change is important to us. 
Kollectiff will be sending holders of the NFT carbon credits via AirDrop. The Wombats wanted to ensure that this project was good for the Earth since carbon emissions are a big factor with mining. This project not only offsets carbon emissions but also makes it a carbon-negative NFT collection. When someone mints an NFT in this collection, carbon credit will be bought. Each mint generates 45 kilograms of carbon (approximately 135,000 kg overall) so this project will include the purchase of 3,000 tons worth of carbon offsets to make this campaign carbon-negative. 
After purchasing the NFT, fans will have access to a Rubik’s Cube Blockchain Game in Wombat World. The game is like a classic Rubik’s Cube people have to solve in the blockchain to gain access to features and special events so they can engage with the band. There will be live “Ask Me Anything” with the band, live acoustic performances, rare memorabilia, VIP tour tickets, and more for people who own the collectible. Also, B-Sides that didn’t make the latest album will be included as unlockable content within the Rubik’s Cube game. 
“We’ve been fans of The Wombats and have seen their success over the years so we are excited to help them be early adopters of the Metaverse,” says Rupert Runewitsch, COO of Kollectiff. “We are glad we were able to find a carbon-neutral solution to work together to save planet Earth while being innovative.” 
For their last tour stop, The Wombats will be taking their show into the Metaverse. The Wombats will be the first to play a Metaverse Stadium Concert in Kollectiff’s meta-stadium — inspired by the famous Brixton Academy in the UK, a venue The Wombats hold dear. The web3 agency Kollectiff are the meta-landlords and builders.
“The Kollectiff’s team has brought this possibility to life for both fans and newcomers seeking to enjoy an immersive band experience at an iconic location, all while being closer to artists across the globe through The Sandbox virtual gaming world,” said Sebastien Borget, COO and co-founder of The Sandbox. “We’re thrilled to welcome The Wombats to engage and socialize with their fans.”
About The Wombats
Having erupted out of Liverpool in 2007, a global indie mainstay for 15 years, The Wombats are pulling in a bigger audience than ever before. The viral success of Oliver Nelson’s remix of their 2015 hit “Greek Tragedy” on TikTok has enraptured a whole new generation of fans, a feat they’ve managed to continually repeat since their 2007 debut A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation. Used in over 600,000 videos (some of which have over 100 million views), the remix has rocketed to over 30 million streams, propelling the original to 120 million streams and sending it Gold in the U.S. It’s helped the band surpass 1.5 billion worldwide streams, also amassing an extra 2.4 million monthly listeners on Spotify since just January; further illustration if any were needed of The Wombats’ ability to reach new generations of fans through the timeless power of their songwriting and lyrics alone.
With their biggest-ever worldwide headline tour set for 2022, including a landmark show at London’s The O2, and their new album being lauded by fans and critics alike, the most exciting chapter in the story of one of Britain’s most adored bands is well and truly underway. Follow The Wombats here: FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAMWEBSITESPOTIFY
About Kollectiff
Kollectiff is a web3 studio leveraging blockchain technology and NFTs to create engaging and connected brand experiences, with a focus on utility and experiential design. We help IP owners and brands understand and unlock the full potential of Web3, NFTs, and the Metaverse from concept ideation to the creative and technical execution. Kollectiff specializes in taking brands and industry into the Metaverse, with the music industry as a core focus. We are currently developing  Metaverse music venues replicating iconic venues around the world, as well as being approved builders for The Sandbox. Our advisors include Sebastien Borget (COO, The Sandbox) and Rodolfo Echeverria (former Global Head of Creative at The Coca-Cola Company.)
About The Sandbox
The Sandbox, a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, is one of the decentralized virtual worlds that has been fueling the recent growth of virtual real-estate demand, having partnered with major IPs and brands including Adidas, Snoop Dogg, The Walking Dead, Deadmau5, Atari, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Care Bears, The Smurfs, etc. Building on existing The Sandbox IP that has more than 40 million global installs on mobile, The Sandbox Metaverse offers players and creators a decentralized and intuitive platform to create immersive 3D worlds and game experiences and to safely store, trade, and monetize their creations. For more information, please visit www.sandbox.game and follow the regular updates on Twitter, Medium, and Discord.
PR CONTACTS:
Kollectiff
Tiffany Woo and Jennifer Buonantony 
Tiffany@presspassla.com and Jennifer@PressPassLA.com 
The Wombats
Charlie Brun and Julie Clemessy
charlie.brun@dawbell.com and julie.clemessy@dawbell.com
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Starbucks details its blockchain-based loyalty platform and NFT community, Starbucks Odyssey – TechCrunch

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Starbucks is today officially introducing Starbucks Odyssey, launching later this year — the coffee chain’s first foray into building with web3 technology. The new experience combines the company’s successful Starbucks Rewards loyalty program with an NFT platform, allowing its customers to both earn and purchase digital assets that unlock exclusive experiences and rewards.
The company had earlier teased its web3 plans to investors, saying it believed this new experience would build on the current Starbucks Rewards model where customers today earn “stars” which can be exchanged for perks, like free drinks. It envisions Starbucks Odyssey as a way for its most loyal customers to earn a broader set of rewards while also building community.
To develop the project, Starbucks brought in Adam Brotman, the architect of its Mobile Order & Pay system and the Starbucks app, to help serve as a special advisor. Now the co-founder of Forum3, a web3 loyalty startup, Brotman’s team worked on Starbucks Odyssey alongside the Seattle coffee chain’s own marketing, loyalty and technology teams.
While Starbucks had been investigating blockchain technologies for a couple of years, it has only been involved in this particular project for around six months, Starbucks CMO Brady Brewer told TechCrunch. He says the company wanted to invest in this area, but not as a “stunt” side project, as many companies are doing. Rather, it wanted to find a way to use the technology to enhance its business and expand its existing loyalty program.
It opted to make NFTs the passes that allow access to this digital community, but it’s intentionally obscuring the nature of the technology underpinning the experience in order to bring in more consumers — including non-technical people — to the web3 platform.
“It happens to be built on blockchain and web3 technologies, but the customer — to be honest — may very well not even know that what they’re doing is interacting with blockchain technology. It’s just the enabler,” Brewer explains.
To engage with the Starbucks Odyssey experience, Starbucks Rewards members will log in to the web app using their existing loyalty program credentials.
Once there, they’ll be able to engage with various activities, which Starbucks called “journeys” — like playing interactive games or taking on challenges designed to deepen their knowledge of the Starbucks brand or coffee in general. As they complete these journeys, members can collect early digital collectibles in the form of NFTs (non-fungible tokens). Starbucks Odyssey, however, does away with the tech lingo and calls these NFT collectibles “journey stamps” instead.
Additionally, a set of limited-edition NFTs will be available to purchase in the Starbucks Odyessy web app, which also works on mobile devices. Though hosted on the Polygon blockchain, these NFTs will be bought using a credit or debit card — a crypto wallet is not required. The company believes this will make it easier for consumers to engage with the web3 experience by lowering the barrier to entry. It also won’t complicate consumers’ transactions with things like “gas fees,” preferring to offer a bundled price.
The company is not yet ready to share what its NFTs will cost or how many will be available at launch, saying these are decisions that are still being ironed out.
However, the various “stamps” (NFTs) will include a point value based on their rarity and can be bought or sold among Starbucks Odyessy members in the marketplace, with the ownership secured on the blockchain. The artwork on the NFTs is being co-created by Starbucks and outside artists, and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the limited-edition collectibles will be donated to support causes chosen by Starbucks employees and customers.
By collecting the stamps, members will gain points that can unlock exclusive benefits.
These perks go beyond those you can earn with a traditional Starbucks Rewards account and its “stars.” While today, members can earn things like free coffee, free food or select merchandise, the points earned in Starbucks Odyessy will translate into experiences and other benefits.

Starbucks Hacienda Alsacia. Image Credits: Starbucks(opens in a new window)
On the lower end, that could be a virtual espresso martini-making class or access to unique merchandise and artist collaborations. As you gain more points, you may earn invites to special events hosted at Starbucks Reserve Roasteries, or even earn a trip to the Starbucks Hacienda Alsacia coffee farm in Costa Rica. It’s expected the very largest perks will be reserved for those who purchase NFTs, though lesser versions may be offered to those who earn their way up.
For instance, a paid NFT could offer the full travel package and farm tour, while an earned NFT could offer the tour alone with flights and hotels left up to the user. Starbucks hasn’t made any formal decisions on this front, however.
But what the company can say is that it wants to deeply integrate the program with its existing loyalty rewards, beyond simply using the same user account credentials for both programs.
Brewer says Starbucks is already imagining how some of the activities that earn NFTs will be connected to real-world Starbucks purchases, for instance.
In Odyssey, users earn NFTs by doing challenges, which might also include a real-world activity like “try three things on the espresso menu.” This would require the user to show their barcode at checkout — as they would if earning stars — to have their transaction counted toward the Starbuck Odyssey challenge. The company is still determining what mix of games, challenges and quests it will include at launch.
“But we’ll have experiences that do link directly to customers’ behavior in our stores,” Brewer stresses. Most importantly, the company wants to make gaining NFTs something anyone can do — not just those with money to blow on digital collectibles, as is often the case with current NFT communities, which price out the average user.
“There will be a lot of ways for people to earn [rewards] without having to spend a lot of money,” says Brewer. “We want to make this super easy and accessible. There will be plenty of everyday experiences customers can earn like virtual classes or access to limited edition merchandise, for instance. “The range of experiences will be quite vast and very accessible,” he adds.
Starbucks says it explored all the different blockchains for the project but landed on the “proof-of-stake” blockchain technology built by Polygon for this effort because it uses less energy than first-generation “proof-of-work” blockchains, which is more in line with its conversation goals.

Image Credits: Starbucks (opens in a new window)
The idea to enter into the world of web3 makes sense for a company known for taking advantage of emerging technologies and making them more approachable and easy for consumers to access. In years past, Starbucks introduced Wi-Fi in its stores to encourage customers to spend more time during visits. It also pushed the idea of mobile wallets long before Apple Pay became ubiquitous. And it made mobile ordering the norm well ahead of the COVID pandemic, when other restaurant chains picked it up.
But one criticism leveraged against many traditional businesses when they enter the web3 market is that they’re approaching it as a marketing stunt, not a real endeavor. Starbucks, of course, argues that’s not the case here — but only time will tell how serious its interest may be.
“We’re bullish on the future of these technologies enabling experiences that were not possible before,” Brewer claims. The intention is to be flexible and move with the customers as the web3 market changes, he explains. “It’s really important that we’re looking at it for the long-term,” he continues. “But, given that we’re plugging it into our industry-leading, massive scale rewards program — we’re committed,” he says.
The company says its web3 platform will open its waitlist (waitlist.starbucks.com) on September 12 and will launch later in the year. It will remove the waitlist and open the platform more broadly sometime next year.

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Tyler Hobbs' Fidenza NFT Project Gets $1M Pump Over 48 hours – CoinDesk

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DOJ Asks Congress for Tools to Limit NFT Money-Laundering Risk – PYMNTS.com

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Down at the very bottom of the crypto crime report the Justice Department issued last week was a request that could make it a lot harder to buy and sell NFTs.
Citing examples of criminals using the sale of the popular nonfungible tokens that hold art, video, music and collectibles to launder funds, the Justice Department asked Congress to define some of all NFTs as “value that substitutes for currency” under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).
Doing so, it said in “The Role of Law Enforcement in Detecting, Investigating, and Prosecuting Criminal Activity Related to Digital Assets,” would “make clear that its key [anti-money-laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terror (CFT)] provisions — including the obligations to have customer identification programs and report suspicious transactions to regulators — apply to NFT platforms, including online auction houses and digital art galleries.”
See also: DOJ Seeks to Double Jail Time for Money Transmission Crimes
The impetus, the department said, is the “explosive growth in the demand and corresponding markets for NFTs, perhaps most notably in the area of digital art.”
Substantial Risk
This “presents substantial money-laundering risks,” it said, citing a February Treasury Department study on money laundering in the broader art market.
“NFTs can be used to conduct self-laundering, a sequence in which criminals purchase an NFT with illicit funds and then resell to a purchaser who pays for it with clean funds unconnected to a prior crime,” that report noted.
It also found that in most cases, “digital assets that are unique, rather than interchangeable, and that are used in practice as collectibles rather than as payment or investment instruments … are generally not considered to be virtual assets under [international regulations].”
The “nonfungible” part of NFT means that each is unique and cannot substitute for any other, as opposed to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin which all have the same uses and value.
NFT marketplaces “may take the view that this definition [of a ‘value that substitutes for currency’] does not apply to their activities — and that they are thus not subject to the BSA’s anti money-laundering and anti-terrorism laws, the department said.
Justice is asking Congress to amend the BSA “to make clear that its key AML/CFT provisions — including the obligations to have customer identification programs and report suspicious transactions to regulators — apply to NFT platforms, including online auction houses and digital art galleries.”
Already There
Redefining NFTs as “value that substitutes for currency” would allow the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Unit (FinCEN) to “potentially seek to regulate such activity under its money transmission regime,” a trio of lawyers at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom wrote in an April blog post.
That, according to Jamie Boucher, Eytan Fisch and Javier Urbina, would require NFT marketplaces to register as money services businesses (MSB) with FinCEN.
Some types of NFTs — notably those used to fractionalize tangible assets like physical artworks and real estate, but also other valuable art or collectible tokens — are likely securities, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said.
See more: How Did NFTs Become SEC’s Newest Crypto Target?
In FinCEN’s view, the trio noted, those can be repurposed to fit the definition of “value that substitutes for currency” and thus may already require MSB licenses.
 
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