Snoop Dogg is probably the most famous person in the Web3 zeitgeist, but being an early adopter is nothing new for Snoop.
In 2014, the famous rap artist put $50 million into Reddit. At the time, the company was worth about $500 million. PitchBook says that the platform is worth $15 billion right now. He is also known for his private investments in fintech companies like Robinhood, Klarna, and MoonPay, as well as his investments in the cannabis industry. In 2015, Snoop co-founded Casa Verde Capital in Los Angeles. This is a venture capital fund that has grown by more than twice its size since it was first started.
Of course, anyone who follows him on Twitter these days knows that he is obsessed with anything and everything related to Web3, especially NFTs.
NFTs are unique digital assets like artwork and sports trading cards that are verified and stored using blockchain technology. However, critics say that they are overhyped and could be bad for the environment because cryptocurrencies use a lot of energy. The network that supports ethereum, the second-biggest token, is used to build a lot of NFTs.
Snoop said earlier this year that he was going to change Death Row Records, which he bought from Blackstone’s MNRK Music Group, into a “NFT label.” Soon after that, a token from his “Journey of the Dogg” NFT collection sold at auction for more than $100,000. In September, Snoop said that he used an alias called “anonymous NFT art collector Cozomo de’ Medici,” who had a digital collection worth more than $17 million.
Snoop told CNBC in an exclusive interview at last week’s NFT.NYC conference in New York City, “I know NFTs have a great chance to be big in music because the labels will have to join in sooner or later.” “They’re going to have to go home, sit down at the table, and realize that catalogs and other things they keep are better off on the blockchain than gathering dust in a catalog.”
“And it’s not just labels,” said his son Cordell Broadus, who goes by the name Champ Medici. “Movie studios, tech companies, and drink companies are all rushing to Web3 because they know how important Dogg is in the space.”
Playing in Snoop’s Sandbox
Snoop has also been looking into the metaverse for the past year.
He recently teamed up with the gaming platform The Sandbox to sell “The Snoopverse Early Access Pass.” This pass gives buyers access to experiences in The Snoopverse, his own branded world on The Sandbox. At the time of its launch, blockchain technology was used to make 5,000 passes for early access. Each one costs a little more than $600, and there are 1,114 owners, according to The Sandbox. This means that the sale has brought in nearly $700,000, which is a big drop from the $1.7 million it brought in earlier in the year. Many people have called the recent drop in prices the latest “crypto winter,” which is a time when crypto prices drop and stay low for a long time.
Snoop said, “It seems to me that every great business has a bad side.” “There has been a depression in every industry you can think of, including alcohol, tobacco, clothing, and food.”
Some leaders in the crypto industry think that a time of “creative destruction” will wipe out a lot of players. Mark Cuban, who has become a big investor in blockchain-based technologies, recently tweeted that there are too many copycats out there and compared the crypto crash to “the lull that the internet went through” during the dotcom bubble. Snoop Dogg has a similar view.
“This [crypto winter] got rid of all the people who shouldn’t have been there and who were taking advantage of the opportunities,” he said. “Now it’s going to bring in a lot of good business, and when the market comes back, there will be nothing but good things to choose from,” he said.
Snoop’s latest project is a collaboration with Food Fighters Universe (FFU), which calls itself the world’s first NFT restaurant group. Dr. Bombay’s Sweet Exploration, his ice cream brand, will open in Los Angeles under the FFU brand. The brand was based on an NFT that Snoop owns from the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club collection. Many of the NFTs in this collection skyrocketed in price and became the most well-known online, but their prices have dropped sharply during the recent selloff of digital currencies.
Yuga Labs, the company that made Bored Ape, released a token called ApeCoin. Its value has gone up a lot since Snoop Dogg took the stage at NFT.NYC on Thursday night to debut a new song with Eminem. The music video for the song features the Bored Ape logo.
As is the case with many NFT collections, people who own one of the 10,000 NFTs in the FFU token collection have access to festivals, benefits, and perks that no one else does. Also, all of the physical restaurants that are part of the FFU will accept cryptocurrency as a way to pay.
Kevin Seo, one of the co-founders of FFU, told CNBC that it will launch “within this year” and will be a Snoop Dogg community-based dessert store. Champ Medici’s Bored Taco will still be a food truck and a brand for a ghost kitchen.
Seo said, “We’re excited to keep coming up with ways to use crypto as payment and show how useful it is through our Food Fighters Universe NFTs, which give NFT holders access to events and free food.”
“What is Web3? Champ told CNBC, “This is just the beginning.” “In five years, people will look back on this and see how innovative Food Fighters Universe was and how we were pushing the limits when no one else could see the big picture.”
Even though big investors like Cathie Wood of Ark Invest still believe in the long-term potential of digital assets, there are also a lot of doubters.
Bill Gates said last week at a TechCrunch talk on climate change that crypto and NFT are “100% based on greater fool theory.” This is the idea that overpriced assets will go up in price when enough investors are willing to pay more for them.
The billionaire co-founder of Microsoft joked that “expensive digital images of monkeys” would “improve the world a lot.” He was talking about the much-talked-about Bored Apes.
While this is going on, crypto investors are still dealing with aggressive interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve and a worsening liquidity crunch. This has put some of the biggest NFT skeptics in the spotlight and put major players in financial trouble. The effects of the $60 billion loss of two major tokens last month are still being felt in the wider space.