#222 - FDA Gives Neuralink the Go Ahead 🧠

Plus, Binance NFT loans & hands-on with Illuvium 🎮

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  1. First Neuralink human study gets approval 🧠

  2. Artists demo new AI Photoshop tool 🎨

  3. Binance loans & Blur partial payments 🏦

  4. A hands-on review of Illuvium 🎮

  5. Gods Unchained coming to mobile 📲

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The CryptoPunks floor regains 50 ETH.

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Our floor price index tracks the biggest, most influential pfp projects, art collections, and gaming assets.

1. FDA gives Elon Musk’s Neuralink the go-ahead to begin study

The government’s medical regulations body, the FDA, has agreed that Neuralink can launch its first clinical study on humans.

Neuralink is an Elon Musk-owned company focused on developing a brain-computer interface – by designing a robot surgeon that can implant tiny microchips chips into brain tissue.

The first use case for Nerualink will be increasing tech accessibility, giving people with quadriplegia “the ability to control devices with their thoughts.”

But Neuralink’s roadmap extends far into a sci-fi-sounding future, where interactions with technology are instant and invisible. 👀

The FDA approval comes after a rejected 2022 application, in the same week as the news that scientists in Switzerland were able to help a paralyzed patient walk again through a “brain–spine interface,” which creates a “digital bridge” between thoughts and nerve stimulation.

Nerualink says recruitment for its human trial is not yet open, but more information for those interested in signing up is coming soon.

2. Digital artists show what’s possible with Photoshop’s new AI tool

The launch of Photoshop’s AI-powered Generative Fill feature has artists and designers experimenting with how to introduce the new tool to their workflows.

For example, here’s content creator Howard Pinksey showing how the tool can be used to auto-edit photos – doing things like deleting unwanted people or objects and restoring the background behind them.

Or how about this blog post from game designer and VFX artist Jussi Kemppainen – which shows you how to make a calming pixel art animation by generating an AI image using Midjourney, then expanding, editing, and animating it with the help of Photoshop.

And here are a dozen more examples collated by @danberridge.

3. Binance launches NFT loans – and Blur lets borrowers make partial repayments

Starting today, you can take out an ETH loan via the Binance NFT marketplace.

Holders of BAYC, MAYC, Azuki, or Doodles NFTs can borrow ETH from a Binance-backed pool by posting their assets as collateral.

With zero gas fees and interest rates of 3.66%, Binance hopes to capture some of the recent interest in NFT DeFi created by the introduction of Blur’s lending protocol, Blend.

More NFT collections and crypto borrowing options will be added to the platform shortly.

Meanwhile, Blur is now letting Blend users pay back their loans in smaller increments over time.

Read more: Here’s the Blend payment announcement thread, plus Binance’s NFT loan landing page.

On the web3 wire

Blend now supports Clone X lending 👽
Blur users can borrow up to 2.6 ETH against a Clone X NFT or finance one for 0.5 ETH.

Shaq faces legal headaches for his web3 endorsements 👨🏻‍⚖️
After signing contracts to promote fraudulent cryptocurrency exchange FTX and NFT collection Astrals, Shaq is now involved in two separate lawsuits for allegedly misleading investors.

Ron De Santis talks crypto regulation with Elon Musk on Twitter Space 👨🏻‍⚖️
The Florida governor said that he would “protect the ability to do things like Bitcoin” if his presidential bid is successful.

4. Decrypt’s GG previews Illuvium's open-world

web3 open-world video game Illuvium has been in quiet development for several years (Decentra Daily is a patient fan!)

Recently, however, the studio has been giving us a bigger look at their blockchain-backed alien world, as they look toward an official launch date.

This week, Decrypt’s web3 gaming team, GG, got access to Illuvium’s private beta for a hands-on demo of the luscious “Overworld.”

That’s the game’s exploration mode, where players search ancient sci-fi ruins and verdant valleys for Illuvials – NFT creatures to be captured and trained to fight in Illuvium’s “Arena.”

According to GG, the Overworld contains many hours worth of adventuring and can support max graphics settings that compete with big-budget video games like Fortnite (they play-tested on an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 GPU).

The process for capturing an Illuvial will be immediately familiar to Pokemon fans – players are required to defeat the creature in a virtual battle arena before adding it to their wallet.

Notable Tweets

5. Gods Unchained is working on a mobile version

Apple’s App Store seems to have softened its stance on web3-connected apps in recent months.

Recently, we’ve seen the launch of Axie Infinity, one of web3’s biggest games, in a mobile app format (albeit in a “web3 lite” mode with no internal support for NFTs).

NFL-licensed web3 fantasy sports game, NFL Rivals, has also been trending in gaming categories on the App Store.

– And in yesterday’s newsletter, we reported on STEPN, the iOS fitness app that includes an in-app NFT marketplace with Apple Pay functionality.

Now, another big web3 game, God’s Unchained, looks set to launch on Apple and Android app stores by the end of the year.

God’s Unchained is a fantasy turn-based card game built on the Immutable X L2 blockchain, which often tops charts for player activity and volume of in-game assets traded.

According to game director Chris Clay, the mobile dev team plans to use the Gods Unchained mobile launch as an opportunity to improve on commonly cited web3 friction points, such as the need to set up a digital wallet to play.

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Tomorrow: web3 threads of the week 👋