Blockchain battle brewing in Vancouver’s NFT space?

Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou’s choice words for WAX didn’t stop Vancouver’s LEAF from hopping on the blockchain.

It has been said that when you come at the king, you best not miss. WAX, the self-appointed King of NFTs, recently needed to dodge some shots. WAX was set to host the launch of Topps’ Major League Baseball NFTs on April 20th. But, before the NFTs could even make it to the blockchain for the launch date, critics came out of the woodwork.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B 

Exhibit C

Of course Gharegozlou needed to chime in. Major League Baseball’s foray into NFTs was a direct shot across the bow of NBA Top Shot. We said that you “could liken the meteoric rise of NBA Top Shot to a wide-open layup. Now, a defender has entered the paint.” It appears, according to Gharegozlou, that the defender is more Bugs Bunny than Dikembe Mutumbo. 

In the time since the tweet, Gharegozlou and Dapper Labs have been busy. 

First, Dapper Labs partnered with global tennis superstar Naomi Osaka. Osaka, and her sister Mari, are producing NFT art pieces on the Flow blockchain. Dapper Labs is facilitating the hosting of the art pieces and the company claims it will reduce the carbon emissions, too. The new teammates even took to Clubhouse to chat more about it. 

Gharegozlou must be an extrovert. Earlier that same day he took to the virtual stage at Collision alongside NBA player Spencer Dinwiddie. The pair chatted about crypto and Dinwiddie’s upcoming entrepreneurial plans. Dinwiddie invested in Dapper Labs in August, 2020.

Later in the week, Dapper Labs had some investing of their own to do. Gharegozlou invested in UK-based NFT company SportsIcon who are preparing a series of NFTs that celebrate the careers of various athletes from multiple sports.

This all reinforces the Flow blockchain, an entity tied to the Roham Gharegozlou and Dapper Labs brand. But, in the ongoing Battle of the Blockchains—trademark pending—WAX has reinforced its rations.

Some of the reinforcements are coming from Vancouver. LEAF, the purveyors of video games via a pair of Vancouver studios, have looked to WAX as they enter into the NFT space. LEAF subsidiary LDRLY launched a series of cannabis-themed NFTs on, appropriately, April 20. Eastside Games, a fitting name based upon their East Vancouver location, are also under the LEAF umbrella. 

Twitter avatar for @EastSideGamesEast Side Games @EastSideGames
Happy 420 from ESG! Check this out! 4/20 RELEASE >> BUD FARM NIFTY STASH
budfarm.wdny.io $LEAF.TO #NFTKit #420day #mobilegamenews

Leaf Mobile Inc. @LeafMobileInc

Bud Farm #NiftyStash is the newest launch from the #BudFarm Universe by @LDRLY & the first #NFT-based game for #LDRLY, in partnership with @WAX_io. https://t.co/4DkTz0p7eu 4/20 RELEASE >> BUD FARM NIFTY STASH https://t.co/xGE7Svfc00 $LEAF.TO #NFTKit #420day #mobilegamenews https://t.co/HmFfo7QQqt

This launch by LEAF does appear to be a step towards more interactive NFTs for WAX. As video game manufacturers by trade, they stand to perform well in the NFT market—which Gharegozlou claims—thirsts for dynamism and liveliness. 

With LEAF entering the space combining with Topps Series 1 NFTs—which sold out within two hours—it’s hard to tell if the shots Gharegozlou et al. fired WAX’s way actually landed. With the clout that he and Dapper Labs carry, however, it likely won’t matter if they missed. All things considered, an exciting summer is coming for Vancouver’s NFT space.