GM, BFF: Black Web3 creators making waves

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Black creators are making history in real-time with their contributions to Web3. If Web3 is the future of the internet, we have the opportunity today to avoid overlooking the talented minds and hearts working to change how we engage with art and technology, hopefully giving more credit (and ownership) to artists while embedding more dignity into our lives. 

History has made the mistake of allowing its “hidden figures” to go unheralded, including the most known example of NASA mathematicians Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson.

“They asked Katherine Johnson for the moon, and she gave it to them,” wrote Margalit Fox in Johnson’s 2020 New York Times obituary. It’s important that all of us in Web3 ask ourselves, who is taking us to the moon, and are their contributions compensated equitably?

At BFF, we’ve spoken with impressive creators, builders and founders representing the African diaspora. In December, we heard from prolific personal finance educator, Dr. Hans Boateng, who shared how his NFT community, The Royals, pulled off a Ghanaian Royal Gala for holders during the bear market. We also spoke with Latashá, a singer, songwriter, rapper, producer and performance artist who rose to stardom in 2021 after minting one of the very first NFT music videos on the blockchain. And, in case you haven’t heard, Stanford University graduate Charlie Jarvis founded Fairchain, a blockchain-based platform for digital contracts and certificates of title, to make fine art distribution and royalty models more equitable.

There are countless Black creators creating value, building communities and sharing their art in Web3. This week, we compiled a non-exhaustive list of artists whose work you can collect and support this month and always.

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Catch Up Quick

SEC sues Terraform Labs. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is charging Terraform Labs and founder Do Kwon with fraud, selling unregistered securities, selling unregistered security-based swaps and other related claims.

OpenSea cuts creator royalties. Amid an ongoing debate over marketplace fees and creator royalties, OpenSea dropped fees to 0% and moved nearly all projects minted before 2023 to optional royalties, causing an uproar among independent artists. 

BTC spikes to a 6-month high. As concerns over U.S. regulation  eased slightly, BTC’s price jumped up to its highest level since August 2022 before retreating.

Siemens issues its first bond on blockchain. The manufacturing corporation is one of the first companies in Germany to issue a digital bond, in accordance with Germany’s Electronic Securities Act.

Microsoft lays off industrial metaverse team. Despite securing clients like Coca-Cola and Mercedes Benz, Microsoft shut down its four-month-old Industrial Metaverse Core initiative.

NFT influencer donates to fine art museum. The pseudonymous NFT collector Cozomo de’ Medici is donating 22 works by 13 artists — including one CryptoPunk, a piece from generative artist Dmitri Cherniak’s Ringers collection and art from AI artist Claire Silver — to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

Birkin lawsuit sets precedent.  A nine-person jury determined that NFT artist Mason Rothschild infringed on the Hermès trademark and awarded the fashion company $133,000 in damages, establishing that NFTs are not artworks shielded by the First Amendment.

Sony starts a Web3 incubator. Sony Network Communications has partnered with the multi-chain smart contract network, Astar Network, to launch an incubation program for projects that focus on NFT and DAO utility.

✨ BFF Updates

💎 Perk alert! Clarins, a globally recognized beauty brand, is preparing for its first Web3 activation, and BFF holders get exclusive access. Get ready — the rollout will happen in two phases:

Phase One: Pre-orders for the 325-item NFT collection designed by leading 3D artists will open on February 20. From 5pm ET, BFF holders will be able to enter a raffle on the Perk Shop for a chance to win 1 of 130 NFTs.

Owning a Clarins Precious - As Rare As You NFT will reward eligible holders with: a 15ml Soft Crème and 30 ml bottle of Lotion, plus first access to the Clarins Precious virtual pop-up and a 1-on-1 Clarins Precious Live Consultation.

Phase Two: Holders unlock a first-of-its kind augmented reality (AR) filter designed by a luxury beauty brand digital artist who has been featured in Allure Magazine. 

Once a day, like the Moonlight Flower from which Clarins Precious ingredients are derived, the filter will "bloom." Those who find it first will be rewarded. 🌸

BFF aligns with Clarins’ entry into Web3 on multiple fronts — from engaging female artists to improving ingredient traceability with blockchain technology. We are thrilled to support this campaign and can’t wait to see our beautiful BFFs enjoying these luxury products!

From Our Founding BFFs

"Queen of Clubhouse" Swan Sit and Vayner3 President Avery Akkineni participated in an nftnow panel on how to succeed in Web3 marketing.

Inspired Capital Founder & Managing Partner Alexa von Tobel wrote a guide to investing in your 30s for Marie Claire.

Journey Chief Metaverse Officer & Founder Cathy Hackl released her new book, Into the Metaverse. Heading to NFT Paris? Follow Cathy on Twitter to keep up with events and book signings!

AI Scientist, Entrepreneur & Smart Eye Deputy CEO Rana el Kaliouby was featured in MarTech’s list of notable AI experts to follow. 

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Thanks for reading! We’d love to hear from you. Feel free to let us know what you think of this newsletter and what you’d like to see from it in the future by emailing

🚨 This newsletter and all the information in it does not constitute financial advice. If you don’t want to invest money or time in Web3, you don’t have to. As always: Do your own research.

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