Avalanche launches $100 million creator fund with Grimes and web3 platform Op3n

Quick Take

  • Ethereum-challenger Avalanche makes cultural play with a $100 million creator fund to launch projects on the network exclusively accessible on social media platform Op3n. 
  • Grimes’ plans for an “intergalactic childrens’ metaverse book” will kick off the fund, with a collaboration on Ava Max’s new music video to follow suit.

The Avalanche Foundation and web3 social media platform Op3n announced a $100 million initiative for creatives to build projects on Avalanche as the blockchain network grows its profile with non-crypto natives.

Named the Culture Catalyst initiative, the first of these funded projects — paid out in the network's native token AVAX — will go towards musician Grimes. The singer, who previously sold $6 million worth of NFTs, plans to create an "intergalactic childrens' metaverse book" which she hopes can follow in the footsteps of the acclaimed Studio Ghibli film My Neighbor Totoro.

She was set to announce this project via videolink at the Avalanche Summit in Barcelona on Friday.

This project and others to come will be exclusively available on the self-described "web3 WeChat" Op3n, founder Jaeson Ma said in an interview. The platform will also collaborate with singer Ava Max on her upcoming music video. 

With a user interface akin to TikTok, Op3n says it's an app that makes it easy for creators to use web3 technology to interact with fans. Users select a creator's profile and connect their wallet to purchase an NFT which gives the fan access to extra content. It recently raised a $10 million seed round led by Galaxy Interactive and BRV Capital Management.

Ma was previously co-founder of 88rising, a music label that helped Asian artists such as Joji, Rich Brian and Keith Ape cross over to the US. He now hopes that he can do the same for mainstream adoption of NFTs.

"I've been in this music, movie, entertainment, media space for 20 years," he said by phone. "So it's leveraging those relationships, and now introducing Hollywood and the music industry to NFTs."

Becoming the cultural force in crypto 

For Ava Labs president John Wu, this initiative represents a chance to increase Avalanche's cultural cache in a world where Ethereum and Bitcoin dominate public perception of crypto. Previously, the Avalanche Foundation unveiled a $290 million incentive to encourage the growth of subnets on the network, the first of which went to gaming project DeFi Kingdoms.   

“The Avalanche Foundation’s Culture Catalyst Initiative with Op3n marks a watershed moment for entertainment and pop culture applications on Avalanche," he said in a statement.

Correction: A previous version of this story said that Ava Max's upcoming music video will be exclusively released on the platform. Op3n and Avalanche, in fact, collaborated with Max on her music video.

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