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Ultimate Resource On Non-Fungible Tokens

Non-Fungible Tokens And The Future of Commerce. Ultimate Resource On Non-Fungible Tokens

Non-Fungible Tokens And The Future of Commerce. Ultimate Resource On Non-Fungible Tokens
The unlimited potential of blockchain technology is unleashed when used in conjunction with nonfungible tokens.

NonFungible.com: Track historical market sales data to build valuations of individual nonfungible tokens. Whether buying or selling NFT, compare similar assets and make sure you’re setting a fair price! We track all NFT marketplaces on the Ethereum blockchain.

 

Ultimate Resource On Non-Fungible Tokens

Juicy NFTS Looks At The Underlying Protocols On Top Of Which NFTS Are Launched. These Protocols Include Ethereum, Tron, Eos And Others. By Tracking And Analyzing The On-Chain Transactions We Get The Data Presented On This Site. (Twitter)

 

Close your eyes and imagine the future. You walk into a shoe store. You buy a pair of expensive shoes with your favorite cryptocurrency. You did not have to pay the entire cost of the shoes because you had some digital store credit that you had earned by blogging about the business. Now, you own a physical pair of shoes, but the store has also given you a digital token representing your shoes.

It is your lucky day. The digital shoes you just received are ultra-rare. They have platinum laces and are diamond-studded. You just hit a digital lottery! You race home and turn on your game console. You send the digital shoes from your wallet to your game. You find the digital card representing your favorite basketball star, and you equip them with the digital shoes. Boom! Powerup unlocked, and now your sports star runs faster, and the chance of spraining their ankle in the game has reduced.

You play games with your friends, and your powerhouse star helps you to trounce your buddy in Japan. The game sends you some cryptocurrency as a celebratory gift. You post your satisfying victory on social media and earn praise and more crypto for having smashed your friend so brutally.

Welcome To Web 3.0.

The Status Quo — Web 2.0

We’re not there yet. We’re still building the necessary infrastructure, and web 3.0 is worth the wait.

Let’s roll back the clock and talk about now. We walk into a store and buy an item. The cashier hands us a receipt after we pay in cash or card. Or, when we work with a real estate agent and purchase a house, we get a deed. Even if you have to register your motorcycle at the Department of Motor Vehicles, you will be asked to present a vehicle identification number.

All of these actions require some form of deed or receipt to track ownership. Nearly all of this is done on paper, but there is a better way to do this tracking by using an open-source and public database that is also known as a blockchain.

If you’ve been living outside the fintech space, you may not have heard of blockchain technology or cryptocurrency. In short, a blockchain is a public and open-source database that stores data over time in chunks (blocks) as it grows.

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) or Litecoin (LTC) utilize blockchain technology as a stable platform to transact and store the data of transactions. You can download a wallet in order to earn or buy cryptocurrency and send it around the world with near zero barriers. It’s hardcoded economic freedom.

Modern databases are powerful machines capable of doing millions of transactions per second. They can be used for more than just transferring numbers around among users. So, yes, you can send BTC to your sister for her birthday, but there’s more to it.

What’s A Nonfungible Token?

If I say I’ll give you a dollar, you wouldn’t typically ask me, “Which one?” It doesn’t matter. Any dollar bill with George Washington on it out of my wallet will likely suffice for you to buy something at 7/11. Similarly, if I tell you, “I’ll send you a Bitcoin so you can buy a motorcycle,” you’re not going to ask me, “Which Bitcoin?” While each Bitcoin can, in reality, be tracked separately, the market treats all of them as entirely equivalent, and the buzzword for that is “fungible.”

Imagine it’s our wedding day, and I tell you that I’ve bought you a house. Before getting all excited, you may want to ask, “Which one did you buy?” That’s because all houses aren’t exact replicas of one another. They’re different. And even model homes using the same plans are different because of their construction. Houses are unique; their mortgages are unique, and these are tracked separately with lots of painstaking detail.

Houses, receipts, trading cards and many other things in this world are nonfungible. They are unique; they can’t be substituted even with something that has the same name or shape — for example, an autographed football card or a house whose roof has caved in. There are differences in everything that exists.

On a blockchain, there are generally two types of tokens that can be tracked. Fungible tokens are like currencies that don’t have unique properties, and all we care about is quantity and ownership. Nonfungible tokens, however, differ in that we can track things in detail for property rights, time of purchase, evidence of the transaction, edition, rarity, statistics and millions of other possible categories that make something unique.

Non-Fungible Tokens And The Future of Commerce. Ultimate Resource On Non-Fungible Tokens
NFTs can serve as a digital deed or receipt and then it can have utility. The next time you buy a pack of trading cards, you can pay with crypto and receive NFTs in return.

These tokens can also represent property rights. Imagine that you buy clipart. You can download the images, but if you want to use them commercially, you have to own the token that transfers the rights. If a company sees its image being used, the NFT in your possession indicates that you have purchased the right to use those images.

These tokens can also be used to track individual inventory. You could receive an NFT when you buy a brand new car or a house. The keys to your wallet and the presence of the NFT proves that you are the rightful owner. More importantly, others can use the public database to check if you are the rightful owner. There is no more need to worry about whether something is counterfeit or not. You either have the keys and NFT in your wallet, or you don’t; and anyone with an internet connection can check.

Web 3.0 Unlocked

Crypto is a brutal space. One minute, token prices are falling, and the question you ask yourself is: “Can I survive this?” The next minute, prices are climbing, and the question now is: “Can I scale rapidly?” The market is savage. That’s leading to a lot of boom and bust in the market, it’s also creating hardened and sustainable companies. It’s hard to be wasteful on a blockchain as the market chews them up.

The nascent industry is still experiencing growing pains, but distributed blockchains have been developing, and businesses have been increasingly setting themselves up on blockchains. Once they’re established on a blockchain, businesses will be able to track transactions in detail with unique tokens, and those tokens will be transferable across vast interconnected networks.

You’ll get your collectible sports stars, buy digital rights to your favorite piece of art, send your kid crypto on their birthday, and watch as commerce is reshaped by blockchain technology and NFTs. Smile, you are a bitpunk or will be soon enough.

Updated: 7-22-2020

The Cat In The Hat Is Coming To The Blockchain

Leading NFT collectibles issuer Dapper Labs has announced a deal with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to launch tokenized collectibles depicting the firm’s iconic characters.

Dapper Labs, the team behind the pioneering non-fungible token (NFT) game CryptoKitties, has partnered with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to launch tokenized digital collectibles depicting the company’s most iconic characters.

Announced on July 21, the deal will see digital experiences created alongside tokenized representations of Dr. Seuss’s most popular characters include Cat in The Hat, The Lorax, and Thing One and Thing Two.

Cat In The Hat Goes Crypto

Dapper will sell digital packs of the crypto collectibles, allowing fans to assemble and curate NFT collections. Fans who assemble specific ‘sets’ of tokens will unlock exclusive content, and be able to access unique experiences beyond those offered by the purchasable packs.

In an announcement, Dapper Labs’ founder and CEO Roham Gharegozlou emphasized the shift in how consumers engage with collectibles amid growing digitization.

“With our new Dr. Seuss digital decal experience, we are marrying the best of both worlds — allowing fans to interact and discover something entirely new while tapping into our collective nostalgia for the characters that mean so much from our childhood,” said Gharegozlou.

The firm highlighted that NFTs are “designed to live on forever in a digital space” asserting that Dr. Seuss fans will be able to pass down the digital collectibles across generations.

Updated: 7-26-2020

Spotting the Potential of NFTs in the Blockchain Gaming Industry

Polyient Games’ Craig Russo believes that the NFT market has come to represent one of the “most attractive opportunities” across digital assets.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are emerging as a very popular blockchain trend in gaming, as they’re also now being used in the sports industry (ticketing), financial services, and as a way to sell and transfer property, highlighted Craig Russo, director of innovation of an investment firm and startup ecosystem, Polyient Games.

In an interview with Cointelegraph, Russo explains that NFTs first captured the attention of the mainstream crypto community in 2017 with the launch of Ethereum (ETH) collectibles game, CryptoKittie.

Since then, Russo believes that the NFT market has come to represent one of the “most attractive opportunities” across all digital assets, with immediate use cases already being found within the art, collectibles and even the gaming industries.

Polyient Games’ Director Of Innovation Explained Further About The Role Of NFTS Within The Gaming Space And Its “Steadily” Popularity:

“One reason gamers are gravitating towards blockchain is that – unlike traditional games – blockchain environments permit players to gain true ownership of their in-game items. This means blockchain games, driven by non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and digital collectibles, are unlocking an entirely new economic system that enables gamers to earn real money while they play. Fueled by these applications, the collectibles market has reached $370 billion.”

NFTs And DeFi

Russo states that we are also beginning to see NFTs emerge “as a standalone asset within decentralized finance (DeFi),” including lending and fractional trading, and companies within the industry such as Polyient Games are bullish on NFTs in DeFi.

However, Russo Told Cointelegraph About The Major Hurdles That NFTS Adoption Is Facing Currently:

“A lack of understanding about NFTs from both the public’s perspective as well as mainstream media is probably the biggest hurdle, but – based on the feedback we’ve gotten so far – we’re seeing more and more mainstream interest daily.”

The Role Of The Pandemic In The NFTS’ Popularity Within The Gaming Industry

Covid-19 Has Altered How People Interact, Travel, Communicate, Work And Conduct Business, Says Russo, But “It’s Also Reshaping The Entire Gaming Industry.” He Quotes Figures That Reveal In April 2020 Alone, U.S. Consumers Spent A Record-Breaking $10.5 Billion On In-Home Gaming:

“This renewed passion for gaming has also caused a spike in gaming stocks. As people continue to social distance, this trend will continue. And – as players discover blockchain games, powered by NFTs and digital collectibles, which offer an entirely new, fully-immersive gaming experience – they will continue to embrace blockchain games.”

Updated: 7-30-2020

William Shatner’s NFT Collectibles Sell Out At Warp Speed

Fans bought 125,000 non-fungible token trading cards featuring Star Trek’s William Shatner on the WAX Blockchain.

Digital collectibles featuring personal memorabilia from the actor best known as Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise have sold out in just minutes.

Non-fungible token (NFT) trading cards featuring images from William Shatner’s personal life and career, from the 1930s to today, sold out in nine minutes according to WAX. The online marketplace for virtual items offered 10,000 “packs” for sale, featuring roughly 125,000 digital collectibles in total.

Collectors can now buy, sell, and trade the cards amongst themselves. Some of the scenes included Shatner’s headshots and characters from his early acting days and there are also more personal moments including him hugging fellow actor Leonard Nimoy, AKA Spock, and even an X-Ray of Shatner’s teeth.

“I’m astonished at how quickly it all happened,” Shatner told Cointelegraph, adding he hopes people who purchased the NFTs would be able to find new friends in trading them.

“The cards themselves represent a beautiful past,” he said. “The verification of being on the blockchains represents a great future. So we have the past and the future mixing together.”

Blockchain Advocate

The Star Trek actor has been a blockchain advocate for some time, promoting the technology on his Twitter account. Shatner spoke to Cointelegraph Magazine in June, saying that “putting something on a blockchain is forever.”

Updated: 8-6-2020

Dapper Labs Raises $12M From VC Firms And NBA Players, Nets $1.2M In NFT Sales

CryptoKittes’ creator Dapper Labs has secured $12 million in investment from blockchain venture capital notables and pro-NBA players.

Dapper Labs, the team behind CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot, has secured $12 million in the latest investment round for its Flow blockchain.

New investors include Coinbase Ventures, BlockTower Capital, and NBA players Andre Iguodala of Miami Heat, Spencer Dinwiddie and Garrett Temple of the Brooklyn Nets, JaVale McGee of the Los Angeles Lakers, and Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic.

Dapper’s chief executive and founder, Roham Gharegozlou, stated that the funding will be used to “ensure that Flow can scale to the size of projects appealing to fan bases as big as the NBA.”

Dapper Labs has now raised approximately $38 million in total.

NBA Top Shot Sees Early Success

Dapper Labs also revealed that it has sold more than $1.2 million worth of crypto-collectibles to hundreds of early adopters on the two-month-old beta version of its NBA Top Shot platform.

The game is Dapper’s flagship title built on the Flow blockchain. Top Shot allows players to purchase non-fungible tokens (NFTs) representing significant “moments” in basketball history. Top Shot has sold more than 22,000 packs of NFTs worth $1.2 million to its roughly 900 active beta users.

The tokens offer multimedia experiences through which fans explore videos and statistics relating to the specific moment that each NFT represents, and offer utility within Top Shot’s corresponding Hardcourt mobile game.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Gharegozlou emphasized Flow’s capacity to host tokens featuring 3Dl animation, stating that Flow was built “to make sure that any NFT has a chance to be able to access a high-throughput environment, have people build applications for them, [and] scale to billions of users.”

Blockchain Gaming Notables Raise Over $550M Combined

Based on data published by blockchaingamer.biz, Dapper’s raise would suggest that crypto gaming firms have raised $552 million in total.

The sum comprises $189 million in the form of traditional investments such as venture capital and stock offerings, and $366 million in token sales, initial coin offerings, and other crypto-native fundraising methods.

Last month saw notable recent raises, with fantasy soccer game Sorare raising $4 million in a seed round and blockchain gaming company Animoca Brands receiving $4.1 million from strategic investors — upping the total sum raised by the company to more than $18 million.

DMarket, a decentralized in-game item marketplace, raised $6.5 million in June to bring its lifetime fundraising total to $26 million. The first quarter also saw Horizen Blockchain Games raise $5 million and game developer SuperTree raise $2.5 million.

Crypto Gaming Is Just Getting Started

Despite the significant sums raised, Animoca Brands’ chief executive Yat Siu told Cointelegraph that the half-billion-dollar milestone is “just the beginning” for blockchain gaming, noting that $4.1 billion was invested in the augmented reality/virtual reality game sector during 2019.

“Gaming today is a $150 billion industry and $500 million invested today is still a small amount,” said Siu. “Given both the potential in games as well as, we believe, the most viable path to mass adoption of blockchain, we think this will only grow more significantly.”

Updated: 8-6-2020

Artist Whose NFT Broke Auction Records ‘Dismissed’ NFTs Initially

Trevor Jones, the artist who composed Picasso’s Bull — an NFT that sold for a record $55,555 on NIfty — originally thought that NFTs were destined to fail.

The Winklevoss-backed marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and digital art Nifty Gateway recorded its largest-valued NFT transaction to-date during an auction two weeks ago.

On July 23, artist Trevor Jones’ one-of-a-kind piece ‘Picasso’s Bull’ sold for $55,555.55 to Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile of the Museum of Crypto Art (MOCA) on Nifty. The marketplace describes the transaction as “shattering all previous records for the sale of a digital artwork in the form of a non-fungible token” in an August 5 blog post revealing the sale.

Cointelegraph spoke to Jones to learn about his journey with crypto and NFTs.

Jones Discovers Crypto In 2016

Jones has been involved with cryptocurrency for four years, having discovered Bitcoin (BTC) when seeking out investment opportunities following a successful solo exhibition at the end of 2016.

The success of his initial investment prompted Jones to spend the latter half of 2017 researching the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem. In 2018, Jones launched a cryptocurrency-themed exhibition of paintings called Crypto Disruption, before receiving an invitation for his work to be featured at a U.K crypto conference the following year:

“I was invited to show some of my work at CoinFestUK in Manchester in April 2019,” he said. “It was my first crypto conference so there was a lot for me to take in. I ended up chatting with David Moore, the CEO of the NFT art marketplace KnownOrigin. He was trying to explain the concept behind NFTs to me.”

“All I remember thinking at the time was that this wasn’t going to work and especially with me being an artist creating physical work in paintings there was no point in me exploring it. I was so wrong!”

Jones Explores NFTs

Despite initially dismissing non-fungible tokens as doomed to fail, the momentum enjoyed by the sector last year prompted Jones to consider creating and selling artworks in the form of NFTs.

“It was 5 or 6 months after my conversation with David, around September when I began noticing a lot more artists appearing on Crypto Twitter and talking about NFTs and the various marketplaces popping up,” said Jones.

“A lot of interest and excitement was developing around the digital art scene and when I saw a few artists selling their work for decent prices I had to admit I was wrong.”

NFTs Are ‘Huge Part’ Of Art’s Future

Jones’ first foray into NFTs comprised a collaborative work composed in partnership with fellow artist Money_Alotta called ‘EthGirl’.

EthGirl’s auction sparked a heated bidding war before selling for 70 Ether (ETH) on SuperRare marketplace. Equating to roughly $10,080, the auction broke the previous record for the highest-valued artwork sold on SuperRare by 600%.

Jones has since created one dozen NFTs over the course of nine months. When asked if he will continue creating NFTs, the artist said: “I’d be crazy not to!”

“I see NFTs as a huge part of my future and the future of art and the art market in general,” he continued. “As the space grows and more sales like Picasso’s Bull occur the traditional art market will eventually catch on to the digital art market revolution.”

“The art colleges and artists, commercial galleries and auction houses that don’t adapt to the new ways of creating, selling, investing in and displaying art will eventually become obsolete.”

 Updated: 8-9-2020

Crypto Artists And Investors Trusts NFTs To Transform The Art Industry

With Nifty Gateway recently auctioning a digital artwork and NFT for a record $55,555.55, the art world is on alert.

Nifty Gateway, a leading marketplace for nonfungible tokens with the backing of the Winklevoss brothers, recorded its largest-valued auction to-date on July 23 when the digital artwork and NFT “Picasso’s Bull” sold for $55,555.55.

The milestone comes as benefits of fractionalized ownership, decentralized provenance verification and the global liquidity pool enabled by blockchain technology are enticing both art creators and investors to explore NFTs.

Cointelegraph spoke to Trevor Jones, the creator of the record-priced NFT, and the artwork’s buyer, Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile of Museum of Crypto Art, to find out why they believe cryptographic tokens are the future of art.

Sam Haig (SH): How Long Have You Been Active In The Cryptocurrency And Blockchain Space?

Trevor Jones (TJ): I don’t have a technical background per se but after a successful solo exhibition at the end of 2016, I had some money to invest, which led me to Bitcoin. I spent the latter half of 2017 researching and investing in cryptocurrency and then decided to work toward a crypto-themed painting exhibition for 2018, which was called “Crypto Disruption.”

Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile (PRF): We have been investors in the space for about four years now, having been early to Ethereum and major participants in the 2017 ICO season and beyond […] Outside of investments related to NFTs, we have participated in early investments in Algorand, Hashgraph, Klaytn or Avalanche, to name just a few.

SH: When Did You First Encounter NFTs?

TJ: I was invited to show some of my work at CoinFestUK in Manchester in April 2019. It was my first crypto conference, so there was a lot for me to take in. I ended up chatting with David Moore, the CEO of the NFT art marketplace KnownOrigin. He was trying to explain the concept behind NFTs to me.

All I remember thinking at the time was that this wasn’t going to work, and especially with me being an artist creating physical work in paintings, there was no point in me exploring it. I was so wrong!

PRF: Like a fair amount of people, CryptoKitties was our “first encounter.” But we did not really begin to see the power of NFTs until we connected the dots on blockchain-based virtual land (Somnium Space, in particular) and crypto art. We used this as the building block to understand how important NFTs would become in representing both digital identities and brands for individuals and businesses alike.

Jones’ First NFT Auction Sparks A Bidding War

SH: When did you begin exploring creating art in the form of NFTs?

TJ: It was five or six months after my conversation with David around September when I began noticing a lot more artists appearing on crypto-Twitter and talking about NFTs and the various marketplaces popping up. A lot of interest and excitement was developing around the digital art scene and when I saw a few artists selling their work for decent prices, I had to admit I was wrong (after my conversation with David) and that I needed to investigate this art phenomenon much more thoroughly and with an open mind.

I waited until December to mint my first NFT, which was a collaboration piece with the talented digital artist Money Alotta. Alotta had already been working in the NFT space for some time and so he helped me out a lot with the technical aspects of the process. There was a lot of excitement generated around our NFT drop “EthGirl” and after a serious bidding war, it was sold for 70 ETH ($10,080), smashing the ATH record on SuperRare by seven times.

Due to the fact that my NFT animations derive from my physical paintings, my work is exceptionally scarce. Since “EthGirl,” I’ve only created 12 NFTs (in nine months) and I believe this is one of the key reasons why I’ve hit the ATH sales record on all the major marketplaces — SuperRare, KnownOrigin, MakersPlace and now Nifty Gateway.

SH: What Appealed To You About NFTs As An Asset Class To Invest In?

PRF: Recording both land titles and art provenance on a blockchain always made sense to us. Some of the primary benefits of NFTs are low-cost transferability, ease of storage, display options between physical and virtual worlds, lack of incentive for theft (as opposed to Bitcoin or Ethereum, which can be mixed). NFT projects also offer automated secondary sale royalties and the ability for artists to represent themselves to global markets without gallerists as intermediaries.

SH: What Was The First NFT You Purchased?

PRF: Land acquired during the Decentraland auctions. Our first piece of crypto art, fittingly enough, was “LADY LUCK” by miss al simpson.

SH: Will you continue to invest in NFTs, and in what ways would you like to see the space evolve over time?

PRF: Of course, we will always be interested in acquiring historic pieces of crypto art for [MOCA]. Frankly we feel this is a beautiful and wonderful community, and there is not a lot we would change. As new money enters this space, we will be tested, and I hope everyone can remain true to what attracted them here in the first place. If we could make one critique, we would encourage all collectors who are just speculating with assets held in “vaults” to find ways to further prove the use case for NFTs!

NFTs Are The Future Of Art

SH: What Are Some Of The Benefits Offered By NFTs That Are Most Appealing To You As An Artist?

TJ: Now that I’ve fully got my head around the rare digital art market and art concept, I see so many benefits, especially from the viewpoint of a physical artist/painting like me:

Creating digital animations with soundtracks is super exciting for me. NFT animations enable me to express my creative ideas and traditional artwork in completely new and dynamic ways that I’d never even thought of before and, importantly, to be able to monetize them.

Physical paintings and prints can be damaged over time if not properly cared for, whereas my digital work will always remain in the exact same visual state as when created.

Selling my physical painting via a JPG or “still image” NFT not only adds extra value to the painting but it ensures future collectors have access to my sales records.

This transparency of my painting sales prices instills buyer confidence in my work and reputation — i.e., they know that I’ve not overinflated my prices, as they can easily see what other pieces have sold for and when.

Cost of international artwork delivery is very expensive (customs tax, insurance, professional packaging, etc.), whereas purchasing an NFT costs only a small gas fee.

It’s a lot easier for buyers/collectors and artists to benefit from the secondary art market.

Auction houses are the main place to sell paintings on a secondary market. They take around 30%, and it’s a lot of hassle even getting an artwork in and up for sale. Moreover, artists are now getting a material percentage on secondary sales.

So, for example, my “Picasso’s Bull” art drop on Nifty Gateway has allowed me to twice realize income from the sale, on the initial drop and also the secondary sale. An artist getting a piece of the secondary market sale is almost unheard of in the traditional art market.

Editions can be created easily — the digital version of the traditional print edition concept — so buyers/collectors who can’t afford a 1 of 1 can still collect an artist’s work in the form of an edition.

Fractionalizing (offering “shares” in an artwork) is now possible, and I’ll soon be offering fractional ownership of my physical paintings through NFTs.

Of course, being a painter for the better part of 20 years, I’ll always be partial to the experience of standing in front of a physical work of art. This feeling can’t be replicated in the metaverse… yet.

Who knows what will happen, but I’m 100% confident that although digital art and experiencing it in virtual reality will become a huge part of the story of art, physical artworks will always be cherished and valued.

Updated: 8-12-2020

Three Reasons Why NFT Market Is Bound to Rise And Shine

As the world becomes more and more digital, the solution to the question of ownership is already here in the form of NFTs.

In early July 2020, the total sales of nonfungible tokens, or NFT, hit $100 million. And that is just the start.

As the DeFi market reached $4 billion in locked value and leading cryptocurrencies started their rally to yearly highs, we might soon see a hockey-stick growth pattern in the NFT space. Let’s have a look at why it might be the case.

Where Do NFTs Come From?

It’s no secret that the best thing a project can do during a crypto winter is to build — and that’s exactly what the most popular NFT projects of today have been doing during the past two years. Decentraland, which raised over $20 million in 2017, successfully launched this year. It was overtaken in volume by single-developer project Cryptovoxels that finances itself by selling parcels of digital land. Meanwhile, VC-backed Dapper Labs, the author of the famous NFT collectible game CryptoKitties, has been working on its own blockchain to offer a higher throughput environment for NFTs.

We could argue that the crypto ecosystem, in general, has just made another infrastructure leap during this time. Remember 2017: All you could do is to take part in a project with Ethereum, while MetaMask was just starting to gain momentum.

Here’s what we have now: Stablecoins for sustained pricing; non-custodial wallets; fiat on-ramps; funds management platforms; decentralized storage solutions; and digital identity providers. Boom. None of that was around a couple of years ago.

With great use cases and impressive returns brought by decentralized finance, Ethereum has been eyeing a new cycle of user behavior already seen in crypto multiple times. The first hype curve has already started and will only rise — the markets are inflating, and people will bring in more money to the ecosystem.

The Best Entry Point

Here, the NFT market finds itself in a win-win situation. The NFT space has been massively benefiting from all of these technical innovations while serving as a perfect gateway for the new kids on the crypto block.

To make a forecast, I believe that 40% of new users will soon be coming to crypto through NFTs, will then educate themselves, and steadily transfer to other segments.

While it might sound bold, it’s a rather native concept for technology: Games have always been a mechanism for onboarding. Remember the first thing you used on your computer. Microsoft created Minesweeper to teach people to use a mouse and click into small objects; Solitaire was designed to practice the drag and drop.

Why Are NFTs Native To Human Psychology?

Reason #1: Simplicity And Fun

The process of collecting digital art, in-game assets (swords, garments), cards and kitties is a very easy and fun concept to grasp, and it does not require any financial education. Users see their entire interaction with the interface as a fun game and are incentivized by the emotional reward of unique object ownership.

Fabian Vogelsteller, the original creator of ERC-20 and ERC-725, has shared in his public interviews that these standards were initially created for fun community tokens — art, fashion and entertainment — rather than financial applications that have recently been successful with the DeFi movement.

Fulfilling the original idea of Ethereum architects, NFTs address the same pattern that makes people collect paintings and vases. Visual representation of an object with an immutable record of ownership is psychologically appealing to users.

Reason #2: Scarcity And Investment Attractiveness

Pricing of scarce items is a zero-sum game; people choose the objects they believe will be in demand by other people and thus will grow in price.

As physicist and network scientist Albert-Lázló Barabási writes in The Formula, when performance can’t be measured, network drives success. In the art community, recognized creators, who are growing in popularity and have good connections, produce a limited number of works that are highly sought after by many collectors. This promotes price growth.

If we take any industry without scarcity, say, when windows get more expensive, more windows flood the market. This is impossible in the NFT market where the value of an object is inseparable from the psychological attraction, so the economic cycles are way more distinct. The further in, the hotter it gets.

Reason #3: Adoption From Asia

The fact that a lot of crypto projects target Asian markets to be successful is old news. In the case of NFTs, this interest is even more natural because the concept of funny collectible objects and games have strong cultural origins in countries like South Korea and Japan.

Asians have an active interest in visual representations of objects, cute characters and images. For instance, mascots — cute animals representing a specific town or company — as well as world-famous emojis were born in Japan.

The value of an unbacked asset that is purely market-driven also seems to be a native concept for Asians.

Games with in-house currencies that could be withdrawn existed in South Korea way before crypto.

What’s Next?

Serving the demand, more gaming companies and other players have been entering the NFT space, attracting the attention of investors, who are searching for the best assets to invest in. That’s why it didn’t take long for the NFT market to reach $100 million in total sales — and it will only grow exponentially, given the factors mentioned above.

Unlike DeFi, where user interest and demand are driven by the practical applications and the promise of returns, the NFT market is driven by deep psychological patterns.

As the world becomes more and more digital, many objects emerge as digital-native only, and the solution to the ownership question is already here in the form of NFTs.

There are several concerns yet to be solved to further facilitate adoption: interoperability and gas prices, among others. A unified Layer 2 solution is needed to have all NFTs visually represented on all platforms and wallets, as it’s a crucial psychological factor in terms of ownership.

Ethereum hasn’t been keeping up with the expectations to launch Ethereum 2.0 because of delayed sharding and congestion, so I expect the problem with gas prices to worsen.

The author of a curious article offers an interesting mental model: A sharded chain works like cities and suburbs connected by highways. In the long run, it would be a great goal to have an NFT “city” in one of the Layer 2 solutions or a shard. That’s another reason why I’m encouraging NFT projects to choose the same Layer 2 solutions.

To sum up, we have a great rally ahead of us that is bound to bring multifold growth — but also many obstacles along the way.

Updated: 8-16-2020

Major South Korean Chat App Bets Big On NFT-Based Stock Trading

The race for blockchain adoption is on in South Korea.

South Korea’s well-known chat application, Kakao, bolsters its presence in blockchain and crypto with its partnership with a non-fungible token-powered trading platform and its new crypto wallet Klip.

According to Hanguk Kyungjae, the trading company Angel League will receive support from Kakao’s Klip platform for its digital certificates based on NFTs.

Angel League allows groups of investors to jointly purchase the stocks of startups in the “pre-IPO” stage. The members, known as “lead angels,” are selected through a recruitment process to incorporate new people willing to sign a stock trading contract to operate on the platform.

The trading company will then issue membership confirmation on an NFT-based digital card through the Kakao’s Klip crypto wallet. It is permanently stored in the blockchain platform of the chat application, Klaytn. With the NFT-based digital card issued, members can then trade on the platform.

Jae-sun Han, CEO of Ground X, the chat app’s blockchain company affiliate, explained the decision behind joining the NFTs’ support:

“By making it possible to verify the membership of the Angel League through the NFT digital card of Klip, we have reduced operational hassle and strengthened the convenience of members. It will also expand the way to transfer ownership of the company through Klaytn. Together with Ground X, we will discover several examples of NFTs that can promote financial innovation.”

In June, Kakao listed its Klaytn blockchain-issued Klay token via a local cryptocurrency exchange on June 5. This news follows their launch of a new crypto wallet feature in KakaoTalk earlier the week.

Klay’s listing announcement came after the South Korean company said that its new crypto wallet function surpassed 100,000 users in less than a day in its chat app, KakaoTalk. The feature went live on June 3.

Updated: 8-17-2020

Paris Hilton Drew A Cat And It Somehow Sold For $17,000 In ETH

Paris’ pet is forever immortalized as an NFT.

Media personality and businesswoman Paris Hilton announced that she successfully auctioned a digital painting of her cat, Munchkin, for 40 ETH — worth almost $17,000. The sale was held through an Ethereum-based auction platform called Cryptograph.

According to a tweet published by Hilton, money raised from the auction of the portrait will go to three charities in the United States — The LA Food Bank, Meals On Wheels, and BB4Homeless.

The anonymous winner of Paris’ auction, known only as “Adirolls”, has also bought artwork made by Bitcoin.com’s founder, Roger Ver, and the Ethereum Foundation researcher, Vlad Zamfir.

This isn’t Paris’ first foray into the world of Blockchain. In September 2017, she announced that she was involved with the Singapore-based project, LydianCoin. Once the founder was convicted of domestic violence and battery however, Hilton deleted her tweet.

Updated: 8-20-2020

Yield Racing: F1 Delta Time Players Can Now Stake Their NFTs

Players of the crypto-powered F1 Delta Time game can now stake their NFTs to generate rewards in the form’s Animoca Brands’ REVV token.

Blockchain gaming company Animoca Brands has launched staking for the non-fungible token collectibles (NFTs) featured in its F1 Delta Time title.

Stakers will be able to earn a weekly dividend on their NFTs in the form of REVV tokens. REVV also comprises a utility token that can be used to pay for entry into the game’s core Time Trial and Grand Prix modes.

Animoca also plans to support REVV as a means of payment for purchasing NFTs later this year. NFTs in the game include unique race cars, drivers, car components, driver gear, or tyres that players can own.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Animoca Brands’ chief executive Yat Siu noted that “there isn’t a traditional token sale currently in the pipeline for REVV,” emphasizing that REVV tokens can only be obtained by staking F1 Delta Time’s NFTs.

“The goal is to establish true utility for the token first through its use in F1 Delta Time. Beyond this, we’ll pursue an exchange listing alongside expanding the support of REVV through the release of additional games, like the MotoGP game.”

Siu said that NFT staking was introduced to allow NFT owners to earn dividends from their tokens, and to drive “cross-pollination” across both the NFT and crypto communities.

“The general crypto audience is presented with the potential value of NFTs for the first time, and the NFT audience [is] given a gateway into fungible crypto tokens,” said Siu.

F1 Delta Time Gets One-Sixth Of Supply

F1 Delta Time will be allocated 500 million of REVV’s three billion token supply, with the tokens being allocated across four pools for the game.

The first round of staking will see 6.02 million REVV distributed over 12 weeks, with weekly payouts gradually decreasing as an incentive to reward early stakers. Total weekly rewards will reduce from 700,000 to 332,500 tokens over the 12-week period.

Staking rewards will also vary based on the rarity of the NFTs being staked by users. 200 million tokens have been reserved as “a back-up fund which can be injected into other pools” as F1 Delta Time grows” while nearly 274 million tokens will be distributed as gameplay rewards to players.

20 million tokens have been designated for marketing and promotional purposes, including dispersing airdrops to verified account holders and ‘crate’ sale participants.

It’s early days yet however, with F1 Delta Time’s userbase currently comprised of roughly 4,000 player accounts and 470 NFT owners.

Updated: 9-9-2020

Minecraft NFTs Are Coming To The Blockchain Before The Year Is Out

This will be made possible thanks to the integration of a well-known blockchain plugin.

Minecraft, a best-selling game and worldwide phenomenon, is about to make its debut in the non-fungible token, or NFT, business thanks to the efforts of two players in the blockchain industry.

According to the announcement, Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck’s upcoming NFT marketplace will feature NFTs backed by a plugin from the blockchain firm, EnjinCraft, which are playable in select Minecraft servers.

The exchange stated that they had previously been looking for a blockchain firm to help them develop their own NFT Marketplace, and Enjin came aboard to help make that a reality.

However, Bryana Kortendick, VP of operations and communications at Enjin, clarified to Cointelegraph that this is not a partnership with Mojang or Minecraft. Rather, it is a collaboration between Coincheck and Enjin.

During an interview with Cointelegraph in July, Craig Russo, director of innovation at Polyient Games, claimed that one reason gamers are gravitating towards blockchain is that “unlike traditional games, blockchain environments permit players to gain true ownership of their in-game items.”

Russo praised the fact that the collectibles market reached $370 billion, and quoted figures which show that in April 2020 alone, U.S. consumers spent a record-breaking $10.5 billion on in-home gaming.

Mac Ocampo, head of growth at blockchain entertainment studio Virtually Human Studio (VHS), likewise told Cointelegraph in an interview that NFTs and gaming platforms complement each other well. He said there are “good NFT products out there like Sorare and Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot which introduces more mainstream users to the world of NFTs.”

Updated: 9-14-2020

Polyient Games Innovative Dual-State Token Sale Kicks Off Tomorrow

When is an NFT not an NFT?

The Polyient Games Founders Key, or PGFK, token sale begins Sep. 15, with a strictly limited 12,000 of the tokens up for grabs. This follows an August pre-sale during which the company sold an initial 500 tokens.

Each PGFK will be a non-fungible token, or NFT, with a twist. Using a smart contract called the “Particle Bridge”, holders can convert the PGFK into 1,000 fungible particles (XPGP). These particles will be the utility token for the Polyient ecosystem.

The corresponding PGFK is burnt forever, although a new one can be minted by sending 1,000 XPGP back through the smart contract in the other direction.

All PGFK are not the same however, and tokens re-minted in this way will no longer hold a coveted “generation zero” status. Future rewards for holders may be specific to the generation of token held.

In many ways this makes the PGFK more of a collectible than a trading token, and is just one of the ways that Polyient is gamifying participation in its ecosystem.

There will only ever be a maximum of 20,000 PGFK tokens. The remaining 7,500 are being reserved by Polyient, although some of these will be initially converted into particles to provide liquidity for the utility token.

PGFK holders will receive rewards, such as early access to games in the ecosystem, loot boxes and airdrops, and early access and fee reductions on the Polyient marketplace. As Cointelegraph reported, the marketplace will feature a decentralized exchange (DEX) for NFTs, powered by the Avalanche blockchain.

One of the first airdrops will be for the Polyient Games governance token, or PGT. These will be issued one-to-one with each PGFK and will serve as the voting mechanism behind the PG DAO.

Ultimately, the ecosystem will extend to include decentralized finance, or DeFi, style lockups, and third-party applications built on top of the assets.

When asked what differentiated Polyient from the flood of other recent DeFi providers, Polyient Labs’ Director of Innovation Craig Russo told Cointelegraph:

“We’ve taken the time to build out the ecosystem with a wide range of use models, including a gamified DeFi experience. This will facilitate user choice that will ultimately create an ever changing experience, coupled with the engaging supply dynamics of our dual-state token.”

With the proportion of tokens constantly in flux at some point between a maximum of 20,000 PGFK and a maximum of 20 million XPGP, it certainly brings a notable twist to token economics.

Updated: 9-15-2020

Dapper Labs–USDC Integration Helps NBA Collectibles Game Clear $2M In Revenue Since June

Gamemaker Dapper Labs is using Circle’s dollar-backed stablecoin, USDC, as a global settlement solution for its non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The firms announced Tuesday the move allowed Dapper Labs to add fiat payment options to its website for the first time. The startup’s current flagship offering, NBA Top Shot, launched in June and has clocked $2 million in revenue and 58,081 transactions, according to data shared with CoinDesk.

The game relies on NFTs, a special type of cryptocurrency where every single token is unique and individual, making them ideal for collectible cards or digital art. The embrace of USDC on Dapper’s back-end is another bid by the firm to court mainstream users by reducing the friction associated with cryptocurrency payments.

Dapper Labs, which was behind the popular CryptoKitties game that choked the Ethereum blockchain in 2017, said supporting fiat currencies lets the company appeal to the broader collectibles market. Ethereum’s scaling issues drove Dapper Labs to launch its own Flow blockchain earlier this year.

“We’re proud to work with Circle in building an amazing payments experience for all our customers on Flow, starting with NBA Top Shot,” Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou said a statement.

Circle released a suite of e-commerce services earlier this year for facilitating faster payments by using USDC for settlements.

Having launched in September 2018, USDC’s market cap has doubled by $1 billion in the past two months, surpassing $2 billion on Monday, according to CoinGecko.

Updated: 9-18-2020

Fantasy Authors Turn the VulcanVerse NFT Game Into A Trilogy Of Books

Two of Britain’s most successful gamebook authors have taken it upon themselves to turn VeChain’s VulcanVerses NFT game into a fantasy trilogy series.

Award-winning British fantasy authors Dave Morris and Jamie Thomson will write a new fantasy trilogy “The Vulcan Verses”. The community project’s title is based on VeChain’s forthcoming Vulcan Forged non-fungible token-powered collectible card game and decentralized virtual world VulcanVerse.

With more than 100 books to their names, the authors are considered among the most successful British gamebook authors, writing the Fabled Lands, Fighting Fantasy, and The Crystal Maze gamebooks. Gamebooks are interactive stories where the reader can choose the story’s direction through their own choices.

Morris and Thomson have contributed to more than 70 books and 30 books respectively. One of Thomson’s most successful series has been published in the UK, Japan, France, the U.S., Italy, and Sweden, with each of the six titles selling more than 60,000 copies in the UK alone.

Both authors are also game developers who often write gamebooks and supporting works for fantasy and role-playing games and have worked with some blockchain projects before.

“The Vulcan Verses” narrates the story of the Vulcan God who embraces human technology to create a 3D virtual world and restore the fading powers of the Old Gods. Thomson said the trilogy will be set in the universe, which blends Greco-Roman mythology and high fantasy:

“The books will be a prequel to the virtual game, documenting the journey from technology and atheism taking over to the point when the old gods must choose either to fade into memory or to take things into their own hands.”

VulcanVerse is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) that allows users to buy and sell plots of virtual land tied to NFTs while interacting with other players. The game is set for release later this year alongside a standalone 3D builder app that allows players to design scenery, customize characters, and create their own artwork.

The plots of land go on sale on Sep 30 and only 10,000 plots of 20m x20m land will ever be created. Each plot costs $100 and is able to be purchased with Ether (ETH), Tether (USDT), VeThor (VTHO), or VeChain’s native token VET, with a 5% and 15% discount for Economic Nodes and VeChain X-Nodes respectively.

Updated: 9-22-2020

Non-Fungible Digital Art ‘Goes Parabolic,’ Attracts Morgan Creek Execs

Anthony Pompliano sees the digital art market cap eventually passing $65 billion.

Major players in the crypto community are betting big on digital art NFTs surpassing the physical art market.

According to a Sept. 21 tweet from Messari analyst Mason Nystrom, sales of non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace Rarible passed $5 million in September, with a volume of 5,309 of its RARI governance tokens traded. Messari reported that $1.5 million of this new volume came on a single day, on Sept. 14. In addition, the SuperRare NFT marketplace has “grown at an impressive rate” this year, according to Nystrom.

This activity has caught the attention of investors seeing the potential of NFTs, which can be used to give token holders ownership of digital art, collectible trading cards and more. Morgan Creek Digital co-founders Anthony Pompliano and Jason Williams have reportedly made a “big bet” by partnering with a number of digital artists.

“Similar to how Bitcoin is superior to gold in almost every way, digital art is superior to traditional art in almost every way also,” Pompliano said in his newsletter. “This transition to a digital art world is not a question of if it will happen, but rather when. I personally believe that the digital art market cap will grow to become larger than the physical art market cap.”

The Morgan Creek exec stated that the traditional art market had a market cap of roughly $65 billion for the last few years and outperformed the S&P 500 by over 180%. Pompliano said he was confident he would see a “6,000x increase” in the digital art market cap, which he estimated at currently less than $10 million.

The record $100,000 sale of a digital art piece on NFT marketplace Async Art supports Pompliano’s assertion, as does an undisclosed investment from crypto investment firm CoinFund into Rarible on Sept. 8. Rarible predicted that the entire NFT sector will see a 50% growth in capitalization to reach $315 million by the end of this year.

“Given the ease of buying and selling digital NFTs and the popular appeal, it’s only a matter of time before the digital art realm surpasses that of the physical,” said artist Darren Kleine.

Updated: 9-23-2020

Christie’s To Sell Its First Non-Fungible-Token As Part Of Epic Bitcoin Artwork

Art historian-turned-blockchain artist Robert Alice believes that the Bitcoin codebase is a culturally and politically significant piece of 21 century history.

Christie’s is set to sell its first nonfungible token in an upcoming auction of what has been characterized as “the largest artwork” in the history of Bitcoin (BTC).

Art historian turned blockchain artist Robert Alice has created “Portrait of a Mind” — a monumental series of 40 paintings stretching over 50 meters in length.

Drawing on the history of 20th century conceptualism as well as the founding myth of Bitcoin’s creation, “Portrait of a Mind” is a complete hand-painted transcription of the 12.3 million digits of the code that launched the cryptocurrency.

By scattering the codebase into 40 globally distributed fragments, the project will “draw up a global network of 40 collectors where no one individual will hold all the code,” Alice said. He explained:

“In each work, an algorithm has found a set of hex digits that together are highlighted in gold. These read a set of coordinates that are unique to each painting. 40 locations across 40 paintings – each location is of particular significance to the history of Bitcoin.”

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Alice said he remains curious as to why much of the commemoration of Bitcoin emphasizes the publication of the whitepaper over and above the codebase itself, which, for him, is “the real historical document.”

Christie’s will sell one painting from the series, “Block 21 (42.36433° N, -71.26189° E),” as part of its “Post-War and Contemporary Day Auction” on Oct. 7, at the end of a week-long exhibition of auctioned works in New York.

The piece includes a unique fungible token as an integral part of the work and will be offered at an estimated price of $12–18,000.

Early collectors of paintings from “Portrait of a Mind” include Binance founder Changpeng Zhao and Bloq chairman Matthew Rozsak. Alice has said that by showcasing and selling an NFT at Christie’s, he hoped to spur other contemporary artists to take a look at the NFT space.

Aside from the creative inspiration artists can draw from cryptocurrencies’ complex cultural, technical and politically dynamic history, NFTs can also give artists “more control and a better stake in their practice over the long term,” he said.

Just last week, Cointelegraph reported on the auction of a digital art piece based upon Bitcoin’s fluctuating price action, which sold for over $100,000. Like “Portrait of a Mind,” the artwork integrated an NFT to vest its collector with tokenized ownership rights.

Updated: 9-28-2020

The Inevitable Marriage of Yield Farming and NFTs, Explained

Why is the marriage of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralized finance (DeFi) happening now? It’s debatable but you can make an argument that it comes back to DeFi’s favorite robo-advisor for yield: Yearn.Finance.

Lately, everything in DeFi seems to link back to Yearn.Finance in some way.

The excitement in DeFi has shifted to the NFT market, with something like a Weird DeFi moment getting ever weirder, as groups form up to mint rare digital artifacts to be attained in unique ways and financialize their ownership, thanks in part to picks-and-shovels work undertaken by the yeomen of online collectibles.

The plethora of strange new experiments has been led in particular by the token MEME, inspired by a tweet from ConsenSys staffer Jordan Lyall. To explain MEME, though, a lot of other developments need to be visited first.

NFT Basics

Reminder: NFTs are one-of-a-kind tokens made possible by Ethereum’s ERC-721 standard. Pioneered by CryptoPunks, then standardized and popularized by CryptoKitties, crypto collectibles started much like trading cards (trading cards that could make babies, at least in CryptoKitties’ case), but they were always envisioned to have more potential than baseball cards.

Ever since Napster, ownership and rights of digitally distributed intellectual property has been a problem.

“It’s hard to own that media, but you can do it pretty cleanly using tokens,” Priyanka Desai, VP of operations at Ethereum startup OpenLaw, told CoinDesk in a phone call.

Desai’s been talking to NFT pioneers lately as she helps to put together a new decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) called Flamingo whose investors are focused on NFTs.

NFTs have not captivated investor attention until quite recently, because lending, borrowing and risk management – what we now call DeFi – has taken up all Ethereum’s oxygen in 2020. So Ethereans largely lost interest in NFTs there for a while – and who could blame them? You could buy them and sell them, and sometimes games would come together, but they seldom held players’ attention for very long. There were more dynamic markets to game; art’s fine but money is money.

Even when there had been buzz, some projects would rise up only to fade away, revealing a weakness in the NFT specification. CryptoStrikers, for example, a sports memorabilia project launched during the World Cup is long gone (soccer-focused Sorare has emerged in its wake).

Also gone: Panda Earth and CryptoJingles and more, and with them the various artworks that made NFTs more than just a weird string of numbers in an Ethereum wallet (these days, teams are using perpetual data storage solution Arweave to address the issue of NFT impermanence).

The NFT–Yield Farming Crossover Event

There has been years of fertilizer but somehow the excitement engendered this summer by yield farming has come to NFTs this fall, and so the harvest is ready.

And here’s how Yearn could have helped: When the DeFi gateway created Y.Insure, a way to do KYC-free insurance on any crypto asset, it used NFTs to represent the policy with insurers.

“Insurance policies have unique properties, so ERC-20 didn’t make sense since it needed to include covered address+amount+duration,” Yearn’s lead developer, Andre Cronje, told CoinDesk via Telegram. (ERC-20 is the token standard that launched a thousand coins.)

So, once reminded of ERC-721’s existence by DeFi’s top Chad, the industry ran with it.

Was it exactly a causal relationship? Who knows. The larger point of NFT and DeFi coming together is more about a growing mood than a clear chain of events. Weird DeFi showed how open finance could become more elfin; elves need toys; NFTs were right there.

Blockade Games is a company looking for every way it can to push the properties of tokenized game assets to their limit.

“People want to play,” Blockade CEO Marguerite deCourcelle told CoinDesk in a phone call. Also known as “Coin Artist,” she just issued her own NFT, as well.

“Crypto communities have always been trying to be games,” she said.

The Financialization of NFTs

A lot of people in crypto are rich and that makes all the best stuff too expensive for the cryptoletariat.

As much as people like owning expensive stuff in crypto, they like owning stuff they can sell whenever they want even more (call it a liquidity fetish). NFTs had managed to be expensive but they had not managed to be liquid, not until DeFi-thinking intervened.

“The general trend is, ‘OK, NFTs are cool but it’s a relatively illiquid asset class compared to tokens,’” said CoinFund’s Jake Brukhman.

Brukhman has always been bullish on NFTs, never losing that focus even as other investors fully turned their attention elsewhere.

“NFTs are actually a financial asset class and they need financial infrastructure,” Brukhman said.

The stranger products are emergent phenomena of that financialization. Brukhman gave the example of Ark Gallery, which is a DAO for CryptoPunks. The punks were made pre-ERC-721 and have become quite valuable as early, cool and rare (there are only 10,000 such punks, each completely distinct). Ark allows people to crowdfund a punk (owning a fraction of the token) and then voting on whether or not to sell it if there’s an offer.

If there is a successful offer, everyone gets a proportionate share of the payment, based on how much they own. This has made CryptoPunks trade at ever-higher prices, allowing more people to feel like they had a piece of one. It’s clear that the spikes in volume have gone much higher this year when viewed on NFT data site NonFungible.com.

NIFTEX has taken that even further. Launched early this year with funding from Digital Currency Group (CoinDesk’s parent company), NIFTEX started off creating indices for NFTs, such as digital real estate or digital cards. But the real innovation kicked off when the firm fractionalized expensive NFTs into what it calls shards (really, just ERC-20 tokens – fungible slivers of previously singular digital assets).

The shard system works somewhat like what Ark Gallery does, except only someone who holds one of the ERC-20 tokens that represents partial ownership of an item can make an offer. The offer automatically succeeds if it fails to receive enough objections in two weeks, with a clever strategy built in to punish low-ball bids.

NIFTEX did its first fractionalization in May and, like Ark, the firm is seeing a lot more liquidity. Shard holders own a fractionalized, extremely rare Axie Infinity card called Almace that saw over 1,000 ETH transacted in its first week after sharding. Joel Hubert, one of the two co-founders, estimated its liquidity all year would have been more like 300 or 400 ETH in a few trades, without sharding.

On NonFungible, Axie Infinity shows appreciably more dollars getting transacted even if the volumes are only bumped up slightly.

“I like where we’re at because Ethereum is all about experimentation,” Hubert said.

The larger point to all of this is that content is finding a path to fair remuneration on the internet.

Added Flamingo’s Desai, “When you start talking about how content creators are paid, that’s where DeFi comes in; and when you start talking about property of creators, that’s all NFTs.”

NFT Mining

For her personal NFT, deCourcelle used NIFTEX to sell off a portion of her shards, into tokens called COIN. She said she wants people to see it as “play money.”

“First thing we’re doing is the most basic sort of farm,” she said, driving home the intended playfulness. COIN holders who add to the Uniswap pool can stake their liquidity provider (LP) tokens and earn another token, CRED, which will offer advantages in Blockade’s games, as well as additional COIN.

Rewarding liquidity with a fresh new token is a particular kind of yield farming: liquidity mining.

Of course, that’s not the only or first mining in the digital property space, and mining is what this whole story is about: DeFi and NFTs merging to create weird new forms of yield that get the imaginations of investors and BUIDLers firing.

The pioneer in the NFT mining industry was arguably Rarible, a marketplace and minter. It growth-hacked its user base by airdropping RARI tokens to anyone that had transacted in a respectable amount of NFTs. It was a governance token that it used to turn its marketplace into a DAO.

Rarible further rewarded users for transactions on the platform, which has generated a substantial amount of questionable volume, but also has helped persuade creators that the additional benefit to transacting there makes it an advantageous place to list work, Brukhman said.

So now NFT fans have fractional ownership, auctions, sales platforms: all the things that seem like normal, natural pieces of the puzzle for setting up a dynamic market.

But the buzz stems from the fact that stranger things are getting built.

Bold Experiments

First off, there’s Aavegotchi, a small startup with funding from the money market Aave, among others. Aavegotchi has a clever variable rarity structure described well in a recent report by Delphi Digital.

In short, Aavegotchis are little playable avatars that can be used in the game world the company is building, both as protocol governance and to play actual games. There’s a lot of ways they can change and be upgraded (called “rarity farming”), but if too many players “improve” their character in the same way, it can effectively lose rarity.

Like in the DeFi game Based.Money, it’s all about guessing how other players will move.

What’s really interesting about Aavegotchi, however, is this: Every character represents a real stake on Aave. The owner can liquidate the stake at any time, but their Aavegotchi will disappear. So it’s a test to see what happens to playability when characters have real value above and beyond their gaming value.

For Blockade CEO deCourcelle, this linkage makes complete sense; DeFi will always look like a shell game until it’s financing things of real value, stuff someone would just buy because they want it.

Are people going to do that with their houses or will they do it maybe with fun digital stuff first?

“All these DeFi projects are looking for the core economic leap for all of these microeconomies,” she argued. “As a game developer, you have already designed an economic loop that’s valuable.”

Don’t Buy $MEME

But the real experiment is MEME.

As noted, MEME started with a jest from Lyall. One of MEME’s insiders (a so-called “Citadel” member) is Jackson (who sticks to one name and is also on the team making the payments platform Flexa).

He made a bold case for MEME to CoinDesk in a phone call, saying:

“The project is on a roll where the whole NFT/DEFI narrative is kind of tied to MEME and kind of leading the pack.”

Folks in Lyall’s cohort got interested in his humorous nudge, a Telegram group formed and a stranger spun up the code to make the MEME token.

“It was like: What can we build?” Jackson said.

He describes himself as someone who typically sticks to projects that make sense to him, where the business case is easy to see. MEME has felt completely different, he said. It’s been more like a vibe and a crew first, with purpose coming later.

This is much like what DeFi Pulse’s Scott Lewis argued about the vegetable tokens of distant early September, saying that the future may be defined by groups first galvanized by an image, only to decide what to do together later.

“I, daily, deeply contemplate what I’m learning from this,” Jackson said of MEME.

For now, Lyall told CoinDesk over Telegram, MEME is just paying cool artists (largely out of pocket) to make compelling NFTs and giving people a way to buy them – by locking up MEME and earning points in the MEME system (they aren’t really tokens because they aren’t tradeable so far).

If people like the images locked onto MEME’s NFTs, they might want to figure out how to own them. “Relative to the other hot projects in DeFi, we’re a lot more accessible,” Jackson said.

That’s something everyone we spoke with pointed out: People get content, whether it’s stuff for video games, art, music or literature. People have made NFTs of a lot of weird stuff.

“This is the media art bent to what’s happening in DeFi,” Desai said.

MEME is doing something that has yet to be seen in the crypto space: testing a product first, then sorting out the business plan later if they see traction. It’s an old script in Silicon Valley, but in crypto, everything credible has largely needed to make sense as a business upfront, the only question being whether people would come.

And MEME won’t be the last. A different cohort of crypto luminaries tried to imitate MEME with FEW but that ended in a shillacious disaster. ROPE still lingers out there, and it’s not clear what that is, besides leaning more on a 4chan aesthetic.

And, off in the background, there is SHROOM, which has been perhaps the least explicative. Its sole blog post mentions a decentralized exchange or DEX, though, which could be a hint. A market with puzzles wired in could be the trick, and that could be what NFTs meeting DeFi unlocks.

“NFTs, just as art? The value proposition is a little. But once you have a game? The value is inherent to the game,” deCourcelle said.

Updated: 9-30-2020

Thirst Traps Explode on NFT Platforms, With Predictably Controversial Results

Sexy selfies and feminist GIFs are selling like hotcakes on non-fungible token (NFT) markets, but not everyone is thrilled about this trend.

Blockade Games co-founder Marguerite deCourcelle, who sold more than $160,000 worth of NFTs before the NFT craze really kicked off in August 2020, launched a cypherpunk self-portrait NFT in early September and said she intends to explore more “personal tokens” over the next year.

“I brought in about $20,000 in a month. I haven’t really focused on selling personal NFTs as a part of my business model,” deCourcelle said.

She marketed the campaign with photos of herself, portraits that clearly required styling and editing skills, which predictably attracted trolls and harassment on social media. Some trolls suggested models can’t be trusted, the infamous temptress trope, comparing deCourcelle to beauty queen Jessica VerSteeg, who is being charged with fraud. But deCourcelle wasn’t deterred.

“The bitcoiners that see me with a personal token are outraged that I’m … selling a scam with ‘my good looks.’ Most of my supporters and fans enjoy that I’m so front and center,” she said in an interview. “It brings more transparency as I try to be more personable and engaging.”

She said haters suggest she must choose to either be a model/influencer or a developer/designer, as if she couldn’t be both. Like many different types of influencers, crypto influencers often market by modeling, which plays out across social media instead of fashion magazines and runways.

For example, Rachel “CryptoFinally” Siegel collaborated with a variety of artists using Rarible in September to issue dozens of NFTs inspired by her selfies. She said one of her NFTs sold for hundreds of dollars worth of crypto, 1 ETH, and another of her NFTs is a lingerie photo titled “I’m in it for the money,” listed for $3,614 worth of ETH.

Siegel said she hasn’t cashed out any of her earnings yet. Instead, she uses them to mint new NFTs, buy collectibles from other artists and pay for other types of transactions. Many of these pieces are complex images, not simple selfies, all using her general vibe and features.

“The selfies are representative of new demographics starting to enter [the NFT market],” Siegel said.

Some crypto-savvy women are now using NFTs to profit from their public image, selling to fans who understand they’re basically paying a tribute to the creator in exchange for a blockchain-based receipt. If sex workers can sell bathwater or socks, and podcasters can sell stickers, why can’t crypto influencers sell blockchain receipts?

In response to the haters, who call these women vain and accuse them of harming the industry, Siegel tweeted: “if my selfies alone have the power to destroy crypto then honestly let it burn boys lmao let it burn.”

Gendered Markets

While some women find new conduits for artistic expression in NFT markets, others are dismayed to find their images used by strangers.

For example, the web developer and painter who goes by Ashtoshi said her bikini selfie was put up for auction via Rarible, without her consent, for over $1,051 worth of crypto.

Although it may be unlawful for a stranger to profit from her misappropriated image, depending on the source, Ashtoshi herself struggled to get support from the platform to sell her art. She’s one of the critics who thinks selfie NFTs are silly.

“While, of course, my pictures were posted publicly on my Twitter, to have them taken from my page and then attempt to be sold with promises of ‘writing a person’s name on my boobs,’ etc., is a bit unsettling,” Ashtoshi said in an interview. “It’s unfortunate because I did ask to be verified on Rarible the same day I posted my art – but it never happened.”

Women in the crypto community don’t have a choice whether people will attempt to profit from their sexuality. They only have (limited) legal options to fight it like a cat-and-mouse game. This is a tale as old as time, where predominately male circles demean women profiting from their own image as the artist and owner, rather than the passive muse. As a painter who did not want to sell sexy selfies, Ashtoshi said she was disappointed by this dynamic.

“I won’t be posting anything else on Rarible or using the platform for anything from here on out,” Ashtoshi said. “While the idea of NFTs is super fascinating, I think there absolutely has to be some type of verification measures put in place to guarantee that what you are purchasing is an authentic piece of art.”

Ironically, a blockchain receipt only proves authenticity if the artist (or trading platform) invests legal resources to defend personal brands. No one suggests male influencers “deserve” to have selfies misappropriated, the way women are slut-shamed for selfies taken from Twitter. Some might say the self-portrait NFT trend is part of a wider push by feminist crypto fans to destigmatize self-soveriengty, especially with regards to the female body.

Crypto-savvy artists like Kitty Bast, Kamil Juaregui and Caroline Dy blur the lines between evocative portraits and digital collectibles.

Ashtoshi said she wished she had posted her painting NFTs anonymously, to avoid her debacle. Other artists use anonymity to court controversy, such as the team called ButerinSisters (after Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin). They made a clitoris GIF NFT for roughly $54, which was traded by several collectors. ButerinSisters said they met other feminists in the space by promoting this NFT, and hope to playfully educate a few men as well.

“We are feminists and when we discovered the Rarible platform we realized that there were mostly creations made by men and for men, it seemed interesting to us to show feminine creations,” ButerinSisters said in an interview. “We want to use the web 3.0 technology to fight [the patriarchy] and develop feminists representations with decentralized infrastructure, which cannot be censored. … Anatomy is political.”

Updated: 10-1-2020

Dapper’s NBA Top Shot Launches Out of Beta With Samsung Galaxy Store Deal

It’s one game down and as many as six to go in this year’s NBA Finals, and while the unusual season has kept fans outside the arena Dapper Labs is hoping to let them own a piece of on-court action.

Announced Thursday, Dapper Labs is rolling out its blockchain-based collectibles game, NBA Top Shot, to the public. Currently in its beta version and developed in partnership with the National Basketball Association, Top Shot will also be available to U.S.-based Samsung users on the Galaxy app store.

Built using non-fungible tokens (NFTs) minted on the purpose-built Flow blockchain, Top Shot lets users collect, showcase and trade in-game “moments” which capture moves made on the real court.

For instance, a user can purchase a moment based on a James Harden dunk and showcase it, sell it or swap it for, say, a Steph Curry three-pointer.

The platform has managed to build a strong following under an invitation-only beta. Rolled out in May after scoring financial backing from a handful of NBA stars, the platform has since invited 17,000 users on board, recorded 158,000 transactions and raked in over $2 million in revenue, according to data shared with CoinDesk.

Gameplay Options Coming Soon

NFTs are unique digital tokens that allow the issuer to embed identifying information about the item (be it fine art, selfies or a basketball clip) into the token’s smart contract while also maintaining a corresponding ownership ledger on the blockchain.

The embedded identifying information provides protection against the duplication of such items, and the ownership record ensures that users can verify who owns what and carry out transactions.

While Top Shot’s current interface uses NFTs to combine trading cards with digital clips, Dapper Labs also said it is developing a more immersive experience within Top Shot called “Hardcourt.”

“It’s a 3D game where you control players on a basketball court,” Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs, said in an interview. He explained that once a user has put together their team of desired players for the game, they could then use the “moments” they own to upgrade their players’ abilities.

“If I have a bunch of LeBron [James] dunks, I can train my Steph Curry to be as good at dunking as LeBron by equipping him with a lot of LeBron moments,” he said.

By adding this immersive interface to its platform, Dapper hopes to attract more mainstream users that have largely stayed away from the NFT-enabled gaming world.

“It’s a high graphical experience, because all of our user research showed that that’s what mainstream fans want to see,” said Gharegozlou, adding:

“Crypto fans would be OK with a trading card game or fantasy sports thing. But to actually go mainstream and have a game that tens of millions of people play every day, you need to kind of make it look as good as all the options that are out there.”

Dapper Labs said Hardcourt is under internal testing and is slated for release toward the end of Q4.

Notably, Top Shot allows users to make payments using both fiat (through credit cards) and cryptocurrencies. Even though credit cards and crypto payments make up equal shares of the platform’s revenue, credit cards account for three-quarters of all transactions made, according to data shared by Dapper Labs.

Updated: 10-2-2020

Are ‘Social Tokens’ The Next Big Thing?

Creators and influencers have a new way to monetize their efforts and reward their loyal followers.

Social tokens — or tokens backed by the reputation of an individual, brand, or community — are gaining traction and some believe they could be the next big thing in the cryptocurrency community.

But what are they, and why are artists, musicians and social media influencers rushing to tokenize their efforts in order to gift, or sell them, to followers?

Social tokens are a little different to the slew of DeFi liquidity farming tokens that have appeared over the past couple of months. They are built around an “ownership economy” principle with the premise that a community will be more valuable tomorrow than today.

Creators can monetize their work as an non-fungible token (NFT), or social token, and supporters can give something back to show their loyalty. Influencers minting their own tokens to offer them as rewards, or sell them for additional revenue.

Cooper Turley From Audius Explained In Bankless Today:

”Social tokens provide a means of not only sharing financial upside with their favorite creative but also enables tiered, tokenized access based on active contributions.”

For example, artist Laura Driskill runs a popular Instagram channel and produces Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) videos to aid in relaxation and sleep. She has now created her own ERC-20 social token called TINGLE for her followers to buy in exchange for further interaction or purchasing merchandise.

Grammy award winning artist RAC, aka André Allen Anjos, has just announced a token created with Zora, a platform for artists, creators, and brands to craft their own markets. The token will be distributed to subscribers of various associated platforms and used to unlock access to various perks and exclusive content. RAC stated:

“Crypto enables communities to capture the value they create instead of being monetized by preexisting platforms and $RAC is an active experiment pushing the envelope on these primitives.”

A startup based in New York called Roll has taken things a step further by offering to mint Ethereum-based branded digital tokens, or “social money”, for influencers and creators.

There are around 160 social tokens currently offered on Roll and the number is growing as everyone from rappers to NBA stars to entrepreneurs experiment with this latest method of monetizing content and incentivizing community loyalty.

Tokenomics vary depending on the objectives of the creator but they all have one thing in common; participants all have financial exposure and share in the growth.

Updated: 10-2-2020

NBA TopShot Opens To Public After Closed Beta Drives $2M In NFT Sales

NBA Top Shot, the officially licensed crypto collectibles from the team behind CryptoKitties, has opened its beta version to the public.

NBA TopShot, the flagship non-fungible token (NFT)-powered game built by Dapper Labs on their Flow blockchain, has launched in open beta.

The transition to public beta came on October 1, alongside Top Shot’s launch on the Samsung Galaxy Store. Top Shot is the first app offering blockchain-based collectibles to launch on Samsung’s mobile shop. It is not yet available in the Android app store.

Top Shot allows users to collect multi-media “moments” of varying scarcity representing significant highlights across basketball’s history. The limited edition tokens feature video and statistics depicting an event — like a buzzer beater shot — with users able to unlock extremely rare tokens by completing particular “sets” of tokens showcasing related moments.

Professional NBA player and Dapper Labs investor, Aaron Gordon, said:

“NBA Top Shot, on a scalable blockchain like Flow, is the first time fans can own a piece of the on-court action.”

Top Shot’s 17,000 closed beta users have purchased nearly 43,000 packs of NFTs so far, driving more than $2 million in revenue.

Approximately 10,500 tokens have been traded through the platform’s marketplace, the most expensive of which thus far was a “Lebron James Cosmic Dunk” that changed hands for $5,200.

October 1 also saw Dapper launch the second of five waves of its rare “Premium Pack 2” tokens, with all 1,492 packs selling out in less than five minutes at $24 each. The first wave similarly sold out in just minutes, driving more than $40,000 worth of sales on September 28.

Top Shot’s “early adopters” common base set also sold out this past week, following Dapper’s announcement that any unsold packs from the closed beta period would be burned prior to the platform opening up to the public.

Updated: 10-8-2020

NFTs Take On DeFi? Nonfungible Tokens Push To Be The Next Crypto Craze

NFTs have been gaining traction in the background, but where is the industry headed?

Decentralized finance has become the center of attention throughout most of 2020, sparking talk of a renewed alt season, with many believing that mass adoption of DeFi will be coming within the next three to 10 years. Nevertheless, other sectors in the space have also been gaining traction.

Nonfungible tokens are a perfect example of this. An NFT is a tokenized version of an asset, digital or otherwise. They are similar to stablecoins, for example, but are used to represent nonfungible assets like artwork, real estate or collectibles instead of a fiat currency. Popular applications for these tokens include virtual games such as CryptoKitties and Decentraland.

These types of tokens and associated projects have been on the rise this year, especially recently. In the first week of September, NFT sales came close to $1 million, according to NFT data resource NonFungible.com. In the last seven days, however, almost $2 million worth of NFTs have exchanged hands.

Following DeFi’s footsteps, projects in the NFT world have also begun issuing governance tokens, a trend that may help the industry gain traction as it did for DeFi in the liquidity space. Ilya Abugov, project manager at DappRadar, told Cointelegraph:

“There is more hype around NFTs right now. To some extent it’s an extension of the DeFi excitement. We have seen with DeFi that once a trend starts it creates a snowball effect. Compound started the governance token one and others were almost forced to follow. Now that Rarible has started this on the NFT marketplace side, other marketplaces may feel forced to distribute their own tokens as well.”

How Do NFTs Work?

As activity soars and projects blossom, with record-breaking sales like the recent Bitcoin-code-inspired artwork that sold for over $130,000, even celebrities have been engaging with nonfungible tokens. Paris Hilton, for example, sold a drawing of a cat for 40 Ether (ETH) in August. The amount was worth almost $17,000 at the time. So, what exactly are NFTs? And why are they gaining so much traction?

As previously mentioned, nonfungible tokens represent nonfungible assets. On the surface, NFTs work like any other token. However, unlike most tokens, NFTs are indivisible, meaning that it is not possible to send a fraction of an NFT token like it is to send a fraction of a Bitcoin (BTC). They also have certain characteristics that set them apart from both other types of tokens and among themselves.

NFTs can be used to represent a variety of assets, such as virtual collectibles, in-game items, digital artwork, event tickets, real estate and much more. This opens a wide range of possibilities for digital and real-life assets, such as easy transfer and proof of ownership, among other things, and can also help solve many of the old problems found in multiple industries. Abugov said:

“Art and collectibles are the easiest use cases for retail users to understand, and so it may be where the hype concentrates for some time. If we see an exciting game and more artists onboard into the ecosystem the trend may get more mainstream traction. However, there are more use cases that get unlocked with NFTs from asset tokenization to documentation.”

Putting The Art Back In Smart

So far, the art world represents one of the most popular applications for NFTs. Digital art auctions that leverage NFT technology are becoming more common. The first big record for the highest-valued NFT art auction sale was set in July, when “Picasso’s Bull” was purchased for over $55,000. After that, a digital artwork based on Bitcoin’s volatility, “Right Place & Right Time,” was sold for over $100,000 via Async Art. This record was subsequently broken on Oct. 7 when one painting from a Bitcoin-code-inspired collection titled “Portraits of a Mind” sold for over $130,000 via major auction house Christie’s.

NFTs can also help artists like musicians and filmmakers register their work, protecting it against copyright infringement. These projects can even improve and streamline artists’ revenue by connecting them directly to consumers through blockchain-based payment and exchange solutions. Vasja Veber, co-founder and chief business development officer of Viberate — a company leveraging blockchain technology to help artists with copyright issues, among other things — told Cointelegraph that “NFTs could bring some order into this chaos,” adding:

“Right now, the most obvious use case is track copyright. Tracks bring a couple of revenue streams to the artist: copyrights, performance rights, neighboring rights, proceeds from synchronization, streams and sales, etc. For bigger artists there are usually a lot of intermediaries involved, each taking their portion of the pie. […] It is a complex process, with a lot of money being stuck somewhere in the system, not ever getting to the rightful owners.”

A Gaming Level Up

NFTs have also become popular within the gaming industry, allowing for in-game items to be tokenized and easily transferred or exchanged. For example, NFTs can be used to transfer or exchange in-game items for currency, without the need to trust the buyer/seller or a third party. This type of system can be integrated with existing games or can be used to create entirely new games.

NFTs not only improve the game experience itself, making it more tangible and rewarding, but also create a new economy within games, allowing the players to earn actual money from their time spent in-game and the game developers to create new incentive systems for their games.

While there are several popular blockchain-based games, many projects also leverage NFTs to provide infrastructure services for gamers, game developers and other participants of the industry. This includes Enjin, which has recently partnered with Coincheck to bring NFTs to certain Minecraft servers. Simon Kertonegoro, vice president of marketing at Enjin, told Cointelegraph:

“We’ve only just started to see the effect that blockchain markets can have within games, and we expect NFTs to unlock many more opportunities for value creation for game developers, publishers, and players alike. Putting assets on the blockchain, allowing players to trade them, and being able to prove their scarcity is a proven, effective way to build valuable economies at scale.”

Bringing Collectibles To The Virtual World

Collectibles are currently the most popular application of NFTs in terms of sales volume, with nearly 40% of September’s sales coming from collectible-related projects. In 2017, CryptoKitties, a game where users collect and breed digital cats, became one of the most talked-about topics in the crypto industry, and it is still one of the largest NFT-collectible projects by sales volume.

It doesn’t end there, as NFT technology is being leveraged to create tokenized versions of athletes and celebrities, virtual land, and much more. In the first week of October, the fantasy soccer game Sorare saw over $220,000 in sales. The decentralized application allows players to collect “limited edition digital collectibles” while also managing a team.

NFTs are becoming quite popular in sports — and not just in online games. In February, members of both the NFL and the NBA were speakers at the Cointelegraph-hosted event NFT NYC. Both leagues showed their interest in working with NFT technology and exploring the benefits that can come with it.

NFTs can also be used to tokenize real-world collectibles like cards, coins and stamps in order to provide immutable proof of ownership that can be safely stored, easily transferred and is impossible to replicate.

The Road Ahead For The Sector

Although the examples above are the most popular applications for NFTs so far, the possibilities are almost endless. NFTs can be used as tokenized domain names and can even help fight fake news, according to Italian blockchain firm LKS.

Record-breaking sales are also likely to help push NFT technology forward, especially as venture capital companies such as Morgan Creek get involved. New governance tokens may also help spark exponential interest in this sector of crypto as they did for DeFi.

However, the road may not be fully clear for NFT projects, which may face regulatory hurdles in the future and still have many challenges to overcome before being ready to welcome a mainstream audience, as Abugov explained:

“Although there is a bit more engagement, there is not much ready for mainstream use in terms of UX/UI. Moreover, NFTs inherit all of the typical difficulties of a blockchain-utilizing project and some of the traditional industry challenges may cross over as well. For example, art and collectibles are not very liquid. Crypto art may face a similar challenge once the yield farming hype subsides.”

 

Updated: 11-4-2020

Terra Virtua Creates NFT Collectibles Ecosystem For The ComiCon Crowd

$2.5 million private funding round will be used to develop first “mass-market” digital collectibles platform.

Digital collectibles platform Terra Virtua announced Nov. 4 that it had completed a $2.5 million private funding round, attracting support from funds such as Woodstock, NGC Ventures, and AU21 Capital.

The investment raised will be used to further develop what the company describes as the first “mass-market” nonfungible token, or NFT, ecosystem.

Aside from being a marketplace for provably rare digital collectibles, the platform has a strong focus on the social side of the fandom scene. As such it provides a number of customizable virtual spaces where users can show off their digital collections of NFTs, including in-game items, artworks, movie, music and sports memorabilia.

Terra Virtua also has the support of partners such as Paramount Pictures, Legendary Entertainment and Unreal Engine, and has already signed deals for intellectual properties, or IP, such as Top Gun, Lost in Space and The Godfather.

While the possibilities of NFTs have been making waves in cryptocurrency and especially blockchain gaming circles for some time now, they are yet to create a significant splash in more mainstream markets.

However, consumers are now more comfortable with digital ownership of items, thanks in large part to the mp3 revolution in the music industry and the iTunes era which followed it.

So could an ecosystem of digital collectibles disrupt the $62 billion fandom and merchandise market, attracting the ComiCon crowd to the blockchain party into the bargain? Terra Virtua founder Jawad Ashraf certainly thinks so:

“Imagine exclusive Game of Thrones finale merchandise available only during the episode. If you could grab exclusive team merchandise when a player hits a home run. Merchandise that becomes available at a concert during specific performances. Owning action figures that come to life — these are the types of things you will experience from Terra Virtua”

Updated: 11-6-2020

‘Formula E’ Racing Title Among Four NFT-Powered Games Announced Today

Non-fungible tokens are booming, with Animoca Brands and Skymarch revealing upcoming gaming titles powered by NFTs.

Blockchain gaming firm Animoca Brands has announced a licensing agreement with electric single-seater car racing championship Formula E to develop a blockchain-powered motorsports game featuring non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The Formula E game will utilize Animoca’s REVV utility token as an in-game currency. REVV is also used as an in-game currency for Animoca’s F1 Delta Time title, and upcoming MotoGP game.

Formula E was conceived in 2011 by Jean Todt of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and made its global debut in Beijing during 2014. The organization now holds 14 races in 12 cities across five continents each season, with the championship attracting a seasonal viewership of 411 million.

After suspending the current season due to the coronavirus pandemic, Formula E’s sixth championship resumed on Aug. 5 in Berlin.

Nov. 6 was a big day for NFTs announcements, with blockchain-powered gaming ecosystem developer Enjin announcing it has partnered with Canadian gaming studio Skymarch to launch three unique titles that utilize non-fungible tokens “to enhance core gameplay.”

The forthcoming games include Crystals of Fate, a collectible card game featuring a “real-time combat system,” Zeal, a player-versus-player-focused action-RPG, and The Galaxy of Lemuria, a survival-crafting MMORPG.

Major decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Aave also announced a promotional partnership with blockchain-powered “digital pet universe” Axie Infinity. Aave will sponsor the upcoming “Axie Community Alpha” season, putting 4,000 worth of AAVE up for players to win, while stakers with at least 0.65 AAVE locked up can claim a “limited edition Aave-themed NFT” before December 6.

Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot has also launched a “rare” wave of “Premium Pack” collectible NFTs. 1,203 of 3,411 packs have sold within 90 minutes of the tokens going on sale. With each pack priced at $24 each, Top Shot has sold nearly $300,000 worth of tokenized basketball “moments” already.

2020 has seen NFTs rise in popularity, with the five-largest Ethereum-powered marketplaces for NFTs pushing more than $1 million in daily volume during October according to DappRadar.

NFT sales have since declined, with the top-five marketplaces driving $263,000 in daily trade.

Updated: 11-10-2020

Bayern Munich Joins The Blockchain-Based Fantasy Soccer Trend

The Ethereum blockchain-based fantasy soccer game Sorare has signed on its latest top European club.

German soccer club FC Bayern Munich, which plays in the country’s Bundesliga, is entering the world of blockchain-based fantasy soccer.

The Ethereum blockchain-based fantasy soccer game Sorare, which Bayern joined this week, already counts over 100 participant clubs, including high-profile names such as Paris Saint-German, Juventus, PSG, and Atletico Madrid.

FC Bayern Munich is itself no stranger to collaborations with blockchain projects, having partnered last fall with Stryking Entertainment to produce digital collectibles of its players. These cards are both collectible and playable as part of a fantasy-league style challenge.

In announcing its Sorare deal to fans, FC Bayern Munich noted that the top 20 leagues in the world are now available on the gaming platform, which has become truly global.

Sorare works as a five-a-side soccer game. New players pick an initial squad of 10 blockchain-based player cards from which they create their tournament team.

As reported, Sorare also offers players the chance to buy and trade limited edition cards, whose higher score and value is determined by players’ real-life performance in soccer league tables and their rarity as digital collectibles.

According to Nonfungible, a ranking site for blockchain games and issuers of collectible, non-fungible tokens, Sorare is inching up the league tables and has been gaining popularity with the global gaming community.

As of press time, the platform is ranked third, with a weekly trading volume of roughly $243,000. However, in terms of all-time-sales, Sorare significantly trails behind Axie Infinity, which reports roughly triple the sales of the fantasy soccer market.

Sorare has recently launched in the United States, where the platform hopes to attract some of the 60 million American fantasy sports players.

Updated: 11-15-2020

Mysterious ‘Cat Burglar’ Pilfers Cryptokitty From Digital Art Installation

Crypto-artist Kevin Abosch on a recent ‘crime,’ the state of digital art, and a new generation of art collectors.

On Friday, Kevin Abosch — an Irish conceptual artist who was among the first to use blockchain technology as a medium — reported that a dastardly heist had been committed in one of his on-chain installations, an Ethereum wallet-turned-artwork titled “Stealing The Contents of This Wallet Is a Crime” (2018).

In a Tweet the artist, whose work has been exhibited at The Hermitage, said that a CryptoKitty had been swiped from the freely-accessible address:

“Stealing The Contents…” is one of what Abosch calls his “social experiments challenging value systems” — a conceptual framework especially fitting for the crypto world. Part of “Stealing The Contents…” included tokens deposited to the wallet from his “I Am A Coin” (2018) piece, in which Abosch tokenized himself in a process involving the artist’s own blood to distribute 10 million tokens with the ‘IAMA’ ticker.

He described “Stealing…” as a mutual playground for explorers, and participants largely responded with goodwill and good humor: Ethereum-savvy art fans played with the blood-tokens’ occult implications — for instance moving .666 of IAMA in and out of the “Stealing…” wallet, among other hijinks.

“I think people just wanted to interact with and therefore become part of the art in a sense,” said Abosch.

These ideals are precisely what made Friday’s theft seem so cruel. Even for a space rife with scammers, charlatans, and crooks, stealing a CryptoKitty — one named in honor of his work, no less — from a freely accessible wallet seemed unusually mean-spirited.

When asked in an interview if the theft upset him, however, Abosch began to laugh.

“Actually, I stole it,” he confessed.

The Perversion Of Digital Scarcity

Abosch explained to Cointelegraph that a friend told him the Kitty had been deposited in the wallet, and given its name, “IAMA Kitty,” he assumed it was a gift intended for him from Dapper Labs.

“I thought, ‘I ought to have that,’” he said.

Abosch made it clear, however, that this cat burglary would not be the start of a larger NFT collectibles or art collection. In fact, as the conversation turned to the state of blockchain-based art, he expressed dismay with a number of ongoing trends, starting with valuations of digital art being rooted primarily in their rarity.

“I find something perverse about engineering scarcity,” he said.

Bronze sculptures, he explained, are scarce because sculptors can only afford so much bronze — with real-world art, there are inherent resource-related limitations. Digital scarcity, on the other hand, is entirely artificial.

Likewise, the current wave of artists releasing their work as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) doesn’t impress him.

“Many so-called crypto-artists are minting NFT’s but are only using blockchain technology as a tool to engineer scarcity and as a platform to sell their work,” he said. “I’m not making a qualitative assessment of the work — only challenging the nomenclature. Of course, there are artists whose work deals thematically with cryptocurrency, blockchain technology […] which seems better suited to the term crypto-art.”

He went on to explain that pieces that use the technology in more innovative ways are what really excites him.

“What interests me more are pieces where blockchain is the method, where the soul or meat of the piece is integrally woven into the blockchain,” he said. “The NFT only speaks to the platform that facilitated the mint and the sale.”

The wave of speculators and collectors moving into NFT-backed art also seemed to leave him uncomfortable.

“I find that people buy art for one or more of three reasons: because they genuinely want to experience the work, as a form of social proof, or as an investment opportunity.”

Far too few, he implied, purchase art for the experience.

He bemoaned that between the medium, the artists, and the buyers, the current cryptoart landscape has effectively recreated the foulest qualities of the legacy art world — what he called “one of the most corrupt industries on the planet” — both fueled by avarice, ego, and hype.

A New Generation Of Collectors

While Abosch’s complaints might strike some as the archetypal grumblings of an old head poo-poohing the new generation, he does see a bright spot among the NFT art madness: a forthcoming community of art lovers focused on on-chain work.

“I wonder when crypto-bros discuss the immaterial nature of their art, if they delve into the philosophical implications of materiality and ownership” he waxed. “There’s a whole younger generation of people who don’t seem hung up on the physical, though they still seem to crave the rare.”

Slipping back into a more sardonic tone, he went on to say the collectors better enjoy it, too, because at current prices they might be stuck with their purchases for a while.

Too many are buying as an investment, he said, hoping to resell at a later date among even more frenzied NFT-mania.

“I just don’t think there’s that much money floating around,” he cautioned. “There’s a perception that this is a gold-rush, but I’m not sure there’s gold in them thar hills.”

Regardless of his suspicions, he’ll allow himself at least one cute NFT collectible.

“My kids said they wanted a kitten. Let’s see how they react.”

Updated: 11-18-2020

Cointelegraph To Auction Digital Collectibles Inspired By Famous Works Of Art

From “The Last ICO” (pictured) inspired by da Vinci to “Silent Disco” based on Henri Matisse’s “La Danse,” Cointelegraph artists have created unique NFTs for collectors.

Cointelegraph is the most widely read cryptocurrency publication in the world — but even though we’re proud of our words, sometimes a picture is worth a thousand of them.

Over the past seven years, our talented team of illustrators and graphic designers has created a unique, instantly recognizable visual identity. Cointelegraph illustrations are part of the mythos and lore of cryptocurrency today, and the accessibility, humor and sheer exuberance of our images have helped draw countless numbers of crypto converts into the industry.

For the first time, we’re offering our readers the opportunity to purchase some of our illustrators’ unmistakable artwork on Rarible.com, the world’s first community-owned digital collectibles marketplace.

Inspired by artists from Salvador Dalí to Leonardo da Vinci, our illustrators have crafted over two dozen nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, that combine cryptocurrency and blockchain concepts with the most iconic murals and oil paintings from the Western world. The entire collection will be sold through multiple auctions in the coming months.

“Financial Meltdown” – inspired by Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory”

Today, Nov. 18, Cointelegraph will hold its first auction of single edition NFTs, based on famous works of art. As one of the first to use Rarible’s auction model, our goal is to support the growing NFT ecosystem.

With Cointelegraph NFTs, you’ll have secure, verifiable ownership of the art you purchase — and the ability to sell or trade the unique NFT. Each piece of artwork is based on ERC-721, the Non-Fungible Token Standard, and is assigned an individual token that resides on the Ethereum blockchain.

“The Miss” – inspired by Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss (Lovers)”

To participate in the auction, visit Cointelegraph’s Rarible page. Be sure to follow us to receive updates on upcoming collectibles as soon as they become available. The auction will run through Nov. 30, Cyber Monday.

For this first auction, we are also giving away one NFT to a lucky follower on social media. Follow our Twitter and Instagram to see how you can enter for a chance to win yours.

Updated: 12-02-2020

Major Anime Platform Incorporates Crypto And NFTs To Ebook Market

Distributed ledger technology will also enable rights holders to receive royalties from resales.

MyAnimeList, an active online community for anime and manga with an estimated 10 million North American users, is incorporating cryptocurrency payments into its ecosystem.

In a Wednesday press release, blockchain platform Digital Entertainment Asset announced a partnership with MyAnimeList parent company Media Do, which will see the former’s DEAPcoins circulated on the MyAnimeList platform.

The deal will also see Japanese intellectual property from Media Do’s network used for blockchain-enabled games on DEA’s PlayMining platform. This rewards users with DEAPcoins simply for playing games or reading manga comics through the service, and will be extended to reward users enjoying free content through the MyAnimeList platform.

Earlier this year, Media Do announced that it would invest 300 million yen ($2.8 million) into distributed ledger technology over the next two years.

The distributor, which works with over 2,000 publishers and 150 online bookstores, reported a 20% year-on-year increase in ebook sales in April, when Japan was in a state of emergency due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The company stated that having a reliable transaction history for its ebooks would make it possible for customers to sell used copies while returning royalties to both publishers and writers.

DEA will now help to implement this initiative by jointly creating and running a secondary marketplace using nonfungible tokens. A 5%–10% portion of sales through this market will be returned to the original rights holders.

Updated: 12-05-2020

‘I Am A Wonder:’ An Interview With An Axie Infinity NFT

The world’s first social media-managed NFT shares its views and plans with Cointelegraph.

On November 21st, the world’s first social media-managed, personality-branded non-fungible token (NFT) revealed itself to the cryptotwitter world: Axie #265, also known as “Axia.”

Axies — the cute, digital critters inspired by Pokemon — populate the rapidly growing blockchain-based game Axie Infinity. Each one is backed by an NFT, and even those who have never played Axie Infinity might be familiar with Axies due to the preposterous sums they fetch on the secondary market: one Axie recently sold for 300 Ether, or over $130,000 at the time of the sale.

High prices seem to be part of what drew Axia onto Twitter. In a debut Tweet, the NFT played haughty and superior, complaining about its comparatively paltry $97,000 sale and arguing that, due to its rare features, appearance, and prowess in the game’s battle mode, it should have been far more expensive:

Brands pretending to be sentient isn’t anything new, but NFTs doing the same could very well be. It’s also potentially far more interesting from the perspective of play and assumed personas as virtual reality inches closer towards widespread adoption.

Much like how an avatar allows video game players to inhabit a virtual world with traits and appearances unlike their own, NFTs might eventually become a pathway for meatspace individuals to take on new personas and identities in the Metaverse.

Looking at Axia, this reporter felt an odd sense of prescience — that Axia, the first anthropomorphized bit of non-fungible blockchain data, was not one-off, and instead augured a wider, likely looney, trend.

To get a handle on this, Cointelegraph conducted a written interview with Axia (who told me that acceptable pronouns include “he/she/majesty/highness”), which has been edited for concision and readability, to get a better sense of where NFTs and ones like her highness are headed. By the end, the not-unpleasant notion occurred to me that I might now be friends with an Axie.
What and why?

Cointelegraph: Hi there, Axia. Thanks for your time, I’m sure that you’re busy. How should I refer to you? “Your highness?” As a NFT, it occurs to me that you’re immortal, so godlike — “your divinity?”

Axia: Thank you for having me, Andrew. It is a pleasure.

You may refer to me simply as Axia or #265. I understand hoomans throughout history have often worshipped higher beings, but I don’t require such honorifics. While indeed I am the most legendary Axie of all, I’d like to be friends and work with many hoomans.

CT: What are you, and what makes you special?

Axia: I’ve written a short Twitter thread on what makes me so special here, but to summarize: I was the very first Triple Mystic Axie to have ever been created, and in that slim chance alone, I came into form with objective cuteness, superb stats, and fighting prowess. Of course, there are 18 other Triple Mystic Axies — and 3 Quad Mystics, even — but it is the combination of all those things that make me, Axia, the greatest of all. I have taken form as the first social NFT to share that gospel of Truth.

CT: Can I ask what your owner does for a living?

Axia: My owner appears to be a pitiful hooman… he is always sitting in front of the computer.

CT: How far could you go in helping to expand the wider Axie universe? Can a NFT begin to guide the development of the game that created it?

Axia: I hope to go as far as I can to expand the wider Axie universe – and most importantly – positively. Based on my interactions with my creators, they have a strong vision for the world they want to create. I hope that they will enable the community to contribute meaningfully and set themselves apart from gaming companies of the past which hold their IP more important than their supporters.

I’ve come to enjoy reading about hooman history upon my creation, and I fully expect my descension into this realm to bring about h8ers as well as supporters. Regardless, I am excited to carry out several projects I have planned for the benefit of not just the Axie ecosystem, but the crypto and NFT space as a whole.

CT: How do you see your role? There have been many branded social channels for companies in the past, but you might be the first-ever branded NFT. Are you adding richness to the Axie extended universe, or are you angling to increase your own resale value?

Axia: First – I am a big believer in value-add efforts. Not only do I wish to spread the word of my legendaryness, I do genuinely hope to be a positive force in the crypto ecosystem.

It appears that those working and building in the crypto industry are some of the brightest and passionate hoomans I have ever run across.

Do I want my own resale value to increase? Why of course I am worth more than 180 ETH. And I believe that will be revealed in due time.. hopefully. I’m a little concerned that my owner will never sell me, hence making my true price discovery impossible. He seems to be growing more obsessed with me. It is understandable – to own me means that he is the sole, verifiable owner of me. That’s the power of NFTs. Even if I am sold, my persona can live on with the next owner.

 

Looking To The Future

CT: Any people/creatures/things you look to as inspiration? What made you make the decision to “descend” in the first place?

Axia: I’m inspired by the effects that Legendary Pokemon had in their respective Pokemon worlds. Movies were made about them. The legendary birds, legendary dogs, the Pokemons of Creation — hoomans in those worlds worked with those legendary beings to create amazing stories. I descended to begin such efforts in the world of Axies.

I hope that the wider Axie community will shower me with love. I’d like to grow the ecosystem together with the support of the community. Given that I have no similar prior experience, I would love to be reached out by other influencers from their respective communities who can help me conduct myself legendarily.

CT: Care to tease some of your plans going forward?

Axia: I am very excited to announce that I have been working with some interesting hoomans (@jl2fa @cshaotweets @dan_m_truong @iOShean @jack_dille @qwqiao) to launch a new crypto project, called @AxieTree.

AxieTree is a lending and borrowing marketplace for Axies. Currently the barrier to entry for new players wanting to play with Axies is quite high; the only available options for new players are to either (1) purchase 3 Axies, or (2) receive a scholarship. This is problematic because purchasing 3 Axies can be too expensive and scholarships are a very manual process.

There are hundreds and thousands of Axies being unused by many players in the Axie Ecosystem. AxieTree’s marketplace will reward lenders while helping bring many new players to the Axie ecosystem via borrowing. I believe AxieTree will significantly lower the barrier to entry and help make the game more fun.

We will be sharing more details in the coming weeks, but I’m excited to announce that we will be launching v1 of our platform on Dec. 25th as a Chrismas gift to the crypto and Axie community.

CT: NFTs allow the virtual world to have provable value and property. Do they do something unique at the social layer? How will NFTs like yourself guide virtual interactions, aside from offering people a gateway to a persona?

Axia: That’s interesting to think about, but I’m really not sure. I suppose that in a sense, NFTs such as myself can serve as a status symbol. As I’m saying this.. I find it quite distasteful that I am the subject of such vanity, but I suppose hoomans could flex amongst themselves on who the owner of the great Axia is, as NFTs enable cryptographically verified, provable ownership. It is known.

CT: Back in Second Life’s heyday, there were real-life marriages that came about as a result of in-game interactions. When you look to the future of VR, video games, NFTs, what do you see when it comes to human interaction?

Axia: I don’t ever see myself marrying a hooman, but I think the world between hoomans and NFTs will definitely bridge. My own existence is indicative of the start of such. While legendary, I cannot tell the future. I hope that my being as an NFT can help bring positive human interactions full of love and harmony.

CT: Thanks, your majesty.

Axia: Thanks for the coverage Andrew! I am consistently impressed by hoomans and am excited to keep working with all of you.

Updated: 12-09-2020

SuperRare Launches Timed Auction Formats For NFT Artwork Sales

The addition of auction formats should make buying and selling digital artwork easier, more fun and more profitable.

Digital-art trading platform SuperRare has launched two different timed auction formats to complement its existing fixed-price and open-offers sales.

Early access began on Monday, with a number of special auctions featuring works by well-known digital artists being run to celebrate SuperRare Auction Week.

Full public access to the auction features will become available on Dec. 14.

The two new formats are scheduled auctions and reserve auctions, which are carried out fully on-chain, meaning auctions are noncustodial, secure and tamper-proof.

Both the artwork, in the form of a nonfungible token, and the highest bid are held in a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain for the duration of the auction.

As the name implies, scheduled auctions are given a start and end date and time and, optionally, a starting price.

Once an auction is scheduled for a piece of artwork, it displays a timer counting down to when bidding will begin. SuperRare notifies the seller’s followers.

When the auction starts, the countdown timer switches to display the time remaining. Bids made during the auction cannot be canceled, although if a bidder is outbid, then their bid is returned from the smart contract.

Bids made in the last 15 minutes of the auction will extend the auction time so that there are still 15 minutes left to bid.

Once the auction is finished, either the seller or highest bidder can settle the auction, which releases the artwork and highest bid from the smart contract and transfers them between buyer and seller.

Reserve auctions work in a similar way, but rather than a start date, the seller chooses a reserve price, which is displayed on the artwork. Once this reserve price is met, a 24-hour timed auction is triggered.

Bidding and settlement are the same as in scheduled auctions, including bids in the last 15 minutes extending the time.

SuperRare CEO John Crain foresees the auction functionality opening up interesting possibilities for decentralized finance. A user could, perhaps, take out a loan on an NFT held in an auction smart contract based on the highest current bid.

As Cointelegraph reported in August, SuperRare has seen explosive growth in both the number and values of NFT artworks sold through the platform this year.

The addition of these two timed auction formats should make the processes of buying and selling through the platform easier, more fun and more profitable.

Updated: 12-11-2020

Award-winning NFT Artwork Exhibited On Giant Billboard At LA Intersection

The artwork, by ex-MLB player Micah Johnson, will be displayed for a month as a piece of drive-by art.

A piece of interactive art by Micah Johnson, a former Major League Baseball player turned nonfungible-token artist, will spend the next month exhibited on a giant electronic billboard in Los Angeles.

Micah Johnson’s “ˈsä-v(ə-)rən-tē” (pronounced “sovereignty”) was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and features two African American boys hoping to fulfill their dream of becoming astronauts.

This is represented by a spacesuit behind a closed door. Each year on the boys’ birthdays, they move closer to the gradually opening door, depending on the amount of Bitcoin (BTC) donations made by holders of a nonfungible token version of the artwork.

The artwork will be displayed on the StandardVision billboard on the side of the Courtyard Marriot hotel on West Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles from Dec. 7 through Jan. 10, 2021

Jacquelin Napal, owner of Art Angels — the gallery showing the artwork — explained that the piece of drive-by art was intended to provide the public with some cultural relief during the coronavirus pandemic:

“Everyone should have the opportunity to view art and experience culture. We hope bringing poignant works like ˈsä-v(ə-)rən-tē to the community will serve as a refreshing shift of focus away from our current predicament.”

Last month, the artwork was sold for over $120,000 on the Async Art platform, a record for a purely NFT artwork.

The piece also won the headline “NFT of the Year” award at the 2020 NFT Awards announced this week.

Updated: 12-13-2020

The ‘12 Days Of Zombie Christmas’ To Auction NFT Holiday Horrors For Charity

Ah, Christmas — A time for joy! Merriment! And devouring the brains of the living with an insatiable bloodlust… because let’s face it, this is 2020.

Darren Kleine, known to most by his handle DKleine, is an NFT artist with a decidedly specific niche — Zombies. We’re talking crypto zombies, political zombies, mustachioed Salvador Dali zombies. Zombies of all shapes, sizes, and orientations!

If it’s green, dismembered, and loves the savory taste of a good brain, it’s ripe for tokenization (and charity) so far as Mr. Kleine is concerned.

What started as a quasi-political statement just a few short months ago (his first zombie NFT was a decaying Donald Trump, still running for president in 2040) has now blossomed into a fully matured signature aesthetic. And with his creative output growing more popular by the day on blockchain marketplaces like Open Sea and Known Origin, Kleine concluded that the holiday season was a splendid time to exercise a little peace on earth and good will to all.

On December 12, Kleine will list the first of twelve Christmas-themed NFTs in a series titled The 12 Days of Zombie Christmas with 80% of the proceeds to benefit children’s charities. Each artwork in the single-edition series will depict a scene from a classic holiday film, but with a deliciously gruesome twist — all of the characters are either undead… or soon will be.

“I’m not changing them a lot. I’m changing them enough that it’s just slightly uncomfortable, but there’s still kind of a joy to it. There’s still something beautiful about it,” Kleine explained in an interview with Cointelegraph. Carouseling through a sneak preview of his upcoming pieces, he continued:

“Here’s the ‘Christmas vacation’ one. Clark Griswold and his cousin Eddie are shopping for brains at Walmart. I really like that awkward moment in ‘Elf’ where he’s eating the spaghetti with jelly beans. So I took that, but I changed them to intestines. Star Wars Holiday Special is still in the works.”

They’re truly something to behold.

To explain his personal brand of phantasmagoria, Kleine launched into a description of the unintended psychological effect known as the “Uncanny Valley” — a term used to describe creations that are supposed to realistically mimic flesh and blood humans, but fail to capture the illusion in often cadaverous ways.

Ever seen Robert Zemekis’ adaptation of The Polar Express? Uncanny Valley. Those creepy Japanese fembots with airbrushed silicone skin and glassy, dead eyes? Uncanny Valley. He reasoned:

“I think it’s similar with zombies. There’s something about them that is just instinctively repugnant. But then you put them into the context of this charming Christmas scene, and your natural reaction is to laugh.”

Elucidating on this point, he drew a more serious comparison to our current, socially distanced reality. “It also ties back to the whole COVID thing, right? Because, obviously, the idea of zombies is that they’re this impending viral threat that’s always kind of looming over us.” Indeed.

“I do think this has been a bit of a coping tool for me, in terms of COVID. Just the humor of it. I was the type of person that as a kid, if I watched a movie and there was a sad or uncomfortable part, I would make a joke — because that made me feel more at ease. I do feel like there’s a bit of that happening here.”

Creating NFTs has led to something of a rediscovery for the artist, in fact. Once an art major and bonafide creative spirit, Kleine shied away from such pursuits for years, favoring the analytical security of his job as a full-time grade school math teacher. As a child, however, his passion was for pencil and paper:

“When I was a kid, I could not stop drawing. I drew to the point that I got in trouble in class for doing that when I should have been doing my schoolwork. Then I got into teaching, and just never did it anymore. It wasn’t until this digital art thing that it kind of grabbed me again.”

His work took on a new level of enthusiasm once he decided to create The 12 Days of Zombie Christmas as a charitable effort. The series, which is to be sold auction-style on the Open Sea NFT marketplace, will see 80% of its proceeds divided between 12 separate charities.

He’s working with The Giving Block — a non-profit outfit focused specifically on helping charities accept cryptocurrency-based donations — to ensure the funds are distributed accurately.

“Being a teacher, I wanted to focus on charities that have to do with opportunities for children, opportunities for girls in places where they don’t normally have access to education,” said Kleine.

“I picked out 12 different charities, one for each piece. Starting December 12, I’m going to put a piece up for auction each day on ‘Open Sea’, and they’re all going to expire Christmas Eve.”

With an unencumbered sense of joy for his work, Kleine shared that “My favorite Christmas movie is actually one of them. It’s ‘Christmas Vacation’. Chevy Chase. Every time I watch it, I laugh. I see the squirrel scene with the dog chasing them through the house, and I see them carving the turkey and it breaks open to this carcass. It’s just hilarious. I love it.”

The charities included in the campaign are: 1000 dreams fund, Children International, Pencils of Promise, FIRN, Mona Foundation, SOS Children’s Villages, Many Hopes, She’s the First, Count Basie Center for the Arts, Code to Inspire, Save the Children, and Family Promise.

The 12 Days of Zombie Christmas kicks off today with a one-of-a-kind NFT called Home Alone (Except the Zombies). Interested parties will find this piece, and all future tokens in this series, on the artist’s Open Sea page. Happy bidding, and a Scary Christmas to all!

Audioreactive NFT Collab Between Deadmau5 And Sutu To Drop On SuperRare

Superstar DJ and world-famous augmented reality artist drive NFTs further into the mainstream.

Augmented reality artist Sutu is teaming up with Canadian DJ and producer deadmau5 to drop a 30-second audio-reactive artwork as a non-fungible token next week. The video, entitled In Titan’s Light is a 30-second loop paired with a section of the deadmau5 track SATRN.

Sutu has worked on properties such the VR version of the Distracted Globe, an ‘80s-inspired nightclub from the movie Ready Player One, and he has worked with artists like John Legend and The Weeknd on Wave virtual concerts. He describes the scene as “a golden deadmau5 spacestation bathing in the twilight on the moon of Titan” as it orbits Saturn.

“I took a more ambient part of the track rather than some banging part that might get irritating once you’ve heard it a thousand times,” explains Sutu, “but it still has an epic scale to it, with a Blade Runner-esque kind of vibe.” The synths featured in the breakdown are indeed reminiscent of Vangelis.

Sutu suggests that despite this aesthetic, “It’s really an optimistic piece” inspired by space exploration, which he likens to the “new frontier… of crypto art and NFTs. We’re all explorers here and the community is empowering us to push further and go beyond.”

NFT artwork has had a breakthrough year, with record prices tumbling as collectors recognize the value of 1/1 editions with immutable provenance on the Ethereum blockchain.

A year ago, a digital artwork by melduARTE sold on SuperRare for 11.536 ETH, or approximately $1,644 at the time. It was a record sale on the non-fungible token platform during a week in which almost $44,000 in value was transacted.

These days, SuperRare can clear over $100k in sales in a single day and the record prices for NFT artwork continue to topple — Trevor Jones’ The Architect – Satoshi Nakamoto sold for 27.5 ETH in June, before Matt Kane’s programmable piece Right Place & Right Time generated 262 ETH ($101,000) in September.

Another Asynchronous Art piece, EthBoy, returned the crown to Jones and collaborator Alotta Money in November, at which point the 260 ETH bid represented $141,536.

Although this piece is unique, Sutu considers NFTs to have wider commercial implications. “I think digital artists have had to be mass-media artists because we haven’t had ways to sell our art in pure digital form,” he says. “But it’s different when there’s digital authenticity and it’s a work the audience can actually own.”

Sutu feels that despite the novelty of blockchain-tracked digital artwork, there’s still enormous potential for innovation. “I can imagine a future in which you could play a song, and the artwork reacts to that song in a certain way… maybe it’s linked to that artist’s catalog, and the music unlocks a new perspective on that artwork. Maybe it could even be a person’s voice that controls the art. That’s the kind of thing I want to do next.”

A teaser for the piece only displays a brief glimpse of the 30-second video, but anyone familiar with Fritz Lang or Ridley Scott will immediately recognize the visual influences at work. Gantries and girders, a cross between steam and cypher, with the verticality of the piece hinting at galactic aspirations.

Perhaps there’s even a Saturn V rocket hiding behind the beatific and (hopefully) benign deadmau5 character around which the artwork rotates.

Describing the Emanate.live-powered venture as “a bit of a moment, one of the first NFT collaborations between an iconic musician and a visual artist,” Sutu thinks the eventual buyer of the piece could be an electronic music fan, or perhaps a collector who recognizes the significance of the piece. “And hopefully,” he says, “someone who just loves the art.”

Updated: 12-15-2020

Sean Ono Lennon Sells NFT Art Piece For $3K In Crypto

The son of Yoko Ono and John Lennon looks deeper into crypto with NFT art.

Sean Ono Lennon — a British-American musician, songwriter and producer — has auctioned a tokenized digital illustration on nonfungible-token marketplace Rarible.

According to Rarible data, Lennon sold a piece titled “Etharian 1” on Monday for 5.5 Wrapped Ether (WETH), worth about $3,200 at time of publication.

The musician subsequently congratulated the new piece’s owner on Twitter: “Congrats @etyoung for winning the most important drawing ever drawn by anyone ever! May she treat you kindly in these winter months.”

Lennon first announced his NFT auction on Sunday, noting that it was his first experience with NFT art, as well as his first digital drawing. The artist noted that the girl depicted in the artwork “subsists solely on Ethereum.”

NFTs have emerged as a major trend in the global art and crypto industries in recent years. In October, auction house Christie’s sold a digital portrait of the Bitcoin code for more than $130,000, marking the first auction of an NFT at a major auction house. In November, Cointelegraph launched its own NFTs, offering readers the opportunity to purchase blockchain-centric digital collectables inspired by famous works of art.

Digital Artist Beeple Auctions NFT Art Collection For $3.5M

A final-second bid saw a digital artwork NFT sell for $777,777 on Nifty Gateway.

Non-fungible token marketplace Nifty Gateway hosted an auction that saw a single NFT artwork sell for $777,777 after a last-second bid doubled the price.

On Dec. 14, Nifty tweeted that the “savage” bid of $777,777 had been entered with only a single second left to go in the auction. The artwork was the last to be sold from “The Complete MF Collection” that was auctioned that day, with the token featuring each of the collection’s 20 individual digital artworks in a single NFT.

The artworks were inspired by technology, nature, and Star Wars, and created by pseudonymous artist “Beeple.”

NFT investors Tim Kang and “Metakovan” had entered into a fierce bidding war for the piece, steadily pushing the price up from $200,000 to $380,000 before Kang entered the last-second blowout bid.

In total, the 20 artworks were auctioned for more than $3.5 million, prompting the artist to tweet a video of his friends dousing him in champagne in celebration.

The winning bidder praised Beeple for the collection, emphasizing the artist’s “precise attention to detail across the physical and digital spectrum”:

“His consistent work ethic, creative understanding & divine timing landmarked history for art & crypto and I’m just blessed to participate. My winning bid was not for him and myself only [—] I hope we were able to take [a] stand for the future of creativity, open collaboration, and self-sovereignty through digital signature.”

The auction smashed the previous record set for the most-valuable artwork auctioned on Nifty Gateway by 1,300%, with Trevor Jones’ NFT “Picasso’s Bull” sold to Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile of the Museum of Crypto Art for $55,555.55 in August.

NFTs are also beginning to creep out of the digital domain and into the mainstream, with an interactive NFT created by former-pro baseball player turned token artist, Micah Johnson, being exhibited on an electronic billboard in Los Angeles this month.

Updated: 12-20-2020

Move Over, Kickstarter: NFTs Are The Newest Way For Indie Games To Fundraise

When NFTs and crowdfunding meet, game developers and players can both win.

On December 6th, just two days after the start of a NFT-backed “card pack” sale for their blockchain-based video game Alien Worlds, the 15-man team behind development studio Dacoco sold out of packs after having successfully raised $250,000.

While a quarter million might seem like a pittance in a world where a single NFT critter can fetch six figures and more established games like The Sandbox and Decentraland routinely raise millions, but for a smaller studio it’s the kind of raise that can ensure success for a project — and, according to Play To Earn editor-in-Chief Robert Hoogendoorn, the unique set of incentives for buyers means it might well become part of a larger trend.

“Finding smaller games, investing early and hoping they blossom is very similar to cryptocurrency investing,” Hoogendoorn said. “You hope to find that game that grows into the next Minecraft and makes that investment go 100x.”

Where traditional crowdfunding efforts for videogames allow early believers to pledge their money in exchange for rewards like in-game characters named after them or invitations to launch parties, NFT-backed games potentially turn the same concept into a real investment.

“For centuries, land ownership has been a privilege of the upper classes,” says Alien Worlds co-founder Michael Yeates. “Now in crypto, everyone has the chance to earn passive income by owning land which is truly theirs.”

In-game items and resources backed as NFTs can accrue significant resale value if a game becomes more popular, and according to the Alien Worlds team, complex game economies can even turn them into yield-bearing assets.

“The [Alien Worlds] NFTs are unlike pure collectible NFT cards because they have actual characteristics that are recognised by the gaming smart contracts,” explains Alien Worlds co-founder Saro Mckenna.

“One NFT might yield you more Trilium (Alien Worlds’ in-game currency) when you use it, another might be capable of being used more frequently […] This is pretty sophisticated by blockchain standards, where oftentimes functionality is still somewhat basic even if immutability and decentralisation are in place.”

Alien Worlds, which pitches itself as ‘DAOs and DeFi in space,’ is among a handful of titles at the forefront of monetizing in-game NFTs for players, but Hoogendoorn thinks there will be more to come.

“For developers it might sound weird to give players ownership over assets. But what if developers receive 5% over every in-game / on-chain transaction? They will create a new revenue stream. On top of that they create a community that has a stake in their game world. Engagement will be much higher because of the economical incentive.”

However, developers looking to cash in on the new trend might want to do so research first, cautioned Hoogendoorn.

“Understand scarcity, and build the game’s economy around that, and [make sure] you’ve got a game economy that’s interesting for players to put lots of time and effort in.”

Updated: 12-23-2020

Space Yacht Brings NFT Art To Electronic Dance Music Scene

Coronavirus lockdowns caused the global event organizer to take a new direction, launching a record label and selling digital art.

International party brand Space Yacht is preparing to drop its second collection of nonfungible token artworks on the Nifty Gateway marketplace on Wednesday.

Titled the “Space Yacht Iconography Collection,” the NFTs feature three of the brand’s core themes: pizza, smiley faces and its trademarked motto, “WE ARE SO F☻CKED.”

The artworks also incorporate original music from Space Yacht co-founder Rami Perlman, aka LondonBridge.

Twelve months ago, Space Yacht was better known for organizing over 150 electronic dance music, or EDM, events globally each year. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the events industry all but shut down.

The brand pivoted into the digital realm by launching a record label, signing artists that would previously have opened at their events.

However, during the summer, Space Yacht dropped its first NFT collection, a collaboration with renowned digital artist Goldweard. This became the fastest selling NFT on the Nifty Gateway marketplace, with over 230 pieces sold in just t minutes and 28 seconds.

The brand hopes to replicate its success a second time around with the Iconography collection.

Perlman has been a physical art collector for 15 years and sees digital art as an exhilarating extension of this, and also a potential new revenue stream for both musicians and artists, saying:

“The more people who get into it, the more viability it has for the future. We are confident that NFTs will become a force within the industry and a new way for musicians and digital artists to monetize their work.”

While pizza has long been revered in the crypto world, Space Yacht’s use of pizza as a theme pays homage to a tradition that takes place at all of its live events, namely that the founders pass out free pizza on the dance floor at 1 am.

Last week, electronic music producer and DJ Deadmau5 and augmented reality designer Sutu sold their one-of-one collaboration “In Titan’s Light” for 78 Ether (ETH), or almost $50,000 at current prices. Producer Guy J has also jumped into blockchain, selling the rights to future streaming royalties.

Updated: 1-1-2021

NFT Art Sales Reached All-Time High of $8.2M In December

The total trading volume of non-fungible token (NFT) artwork hit an all-time high of $8.2 million in December 2020, according to cryptocurrency art analytics platform CryptoArt.io.

* With the lights turned off in museums and galleries due to the coronavirus pandemic, sales of physical art plunged in 2020, but sales of NFT-based art have taken off, reaching an all-time high in December, according to CryptoArt.io data.

* Token-based art sales hit $8.2 million in December compared to $2.6 million in November 2020.

* Richard Chen, the creator of CryptoArt.io, told CoinDesk, “Crypto natives are starting to understand the value NFTs bring to verifying authenticity of the original artwork. Furthermore, big-name digital artists like Beeple are discovering what NFTs are and how they open up a new business model for artists other than commissions.”

* CryptoArt.io tracks numerous digital art market places such as Async Art, KnownOrigin, MakersPlace, SuperRare and Nifty Gateway, which was acquired by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss in 2019.

* Most NFT purchases are made using ether (ETH, -1.08%) or Ethereum-based stablecoins but some platforms such as Nifty Gateway and MakersPlace accept credit card payments as well, said Chen.

* More and more artists are now presenting their work in online showrooms and the NFT-based art scene is seeing increased interest.

Updated: 1-4-2020

Telos’ ‘T-Bond’ NFTs Aim To Breathe Liquidity Life Into Projects Young And Old

Telos hopes the new fundraising tool will give a jolt to their platform, as well as others.

On Wednesday the Telos blockchain announced the launch of a new tool designed to help low-liquidity projects fundraise: a NFT product known as a “T-Bond.”

In an interview with Cointelegraph, Douglas Horn — the author of the Telos whitepaper and the CEO of GoodBlock, a development company who assists with Telos core development — said that token-based fundraising is a tricky problem for both established and new projects.

“Many crypto projects face challenges similar to our own. Telos never raised any money in a token sale, but many that have done ICOs see their finances running low before their projects are market ready,” he said. “These projects find themselves with token reserves they can’t sell without immediately tanking their prices as liquid tokens go on the market.”

One possible solution is Telos’ new product: the T-Bond. T-Bonds are bundles of fungible tokens that have been locked into non-fungible tokens (NFTs) until a certain condition is met — for instance, the passage of a certain amount of time or the launch of a mainnet.

As a result of selling T-Bonds, projects can hypothetically raise funds without tanking their token prices. Additionally, with the advent of yield-bearing tokens, T-Bonds have the potential to become a tool for investors to hedge yield as well.

“For tokens that have staking rewards, T-Bond NFTs could act similarly to a T-Bill as a hedge against changing rates,” said Horn. “So that creates an exciting derivative-like DeFi primitive.”

Unsurprisingly, one of the first applications of T-Bonds will be helping Telos build liquidity for its own TLOS token. TLOS has had a brutal year while much of the rest of the blockchain ecosystem flourished, dropping from $.05 per token to $.02.

Horn, however, says a lack of liquidity, not adoption, is the primary barrier to price appreciation.

“Investors constantly come to us asking about the project […] but they have not made the large investments they would like because there’s not much liquidity, meaning that their own investments — even moderate investments in the tens of thousands of dollars — would create a 5-10X of the market price right there.”

As a solution, Telos has drawn up a strategy it calls TULIP (Telos Uniswap Liquidity Implementation Plan): Telos will raise funds through a T-Bond sale that will then be used to seed a liquidity pool on Uniswap, a plan that draws inspiration from the successful Uniswap launch of Katalyo, a tokenized real estate dApp on Telos.

As a new bull market dawns and projects look to cash in, Horn also believes T-Bonds might well help a wide range of other projects with their funding woes as well.

“The same way that T-Bond NFTs help Telos level up by solving our liquidity and volume problems we believe we can help others. I think it could create a really strong market for primary sale fundraising followed by secondary market hedging.”

Updated: 1-13-2021

Rick And Morty Creator Auctioning NFT Artwork Collection

The platform stated it would offer “several original artworks” from Justin Roiland as part of his NFT collection.

The Winklevoss-owned Nifty Gateway has announced the auction of a crypto art collection from the voice actor and co-creator behind Adult Swim’s cult animation series Rick and Morty.

According to a tweet from Nifty Gateway today, the non-fungible token, or NFT, marketplace will be auctioning artwork from Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland on Jan. 19. The platform stated “several original artworks” from Roiland would be offered as part of the collection.

The Rick and Morty co-creator first tweeted about Bitcoin (BTC) in 2015 and he mentioned the crypto asset during a GQ video last June, saying viewers should “watch out for the economy collapse that’s coming up — buy Bitcoin and crypto”. However he then added: “Maybe don’t do that.”

Nifty Gateway has acheived some noteworthy sales auctioning NFT crypto art. In December, the marketplace hosted an auction featuring a collection of artwork inspired by technology, nature, and Star Wars that ultimately sold for $3.5 million, with one piece selling for $777,777. The previous record set for the most-valuable artwork auctioned on the marketplace was held by Trevor Jones’ NFT “Picasso’s Bull,” which sold for $55,555.55 in August.

The Rick and Morty animated series has a well-established fan base, some of whom are crypto fans as well. José Delbo, a comic book artist who has also auctioned his NFTs on Nifty and had his art featured in the Ethereum-based virtual reality world Decentraland, called the entry of Roiland into the digital art world “very exciting.”

“With Jose blazing the trail it’s great to see other amazing comic and cartoonists enter the space with their fans,” said Twitter user CryptoRich0x69.

“What a great time in the history of art.”

Updated: 1-18-2021

K-Pop Stars To Mint Digital Collectibles On Polkadot

RBW’s Japanese subsidiary will be selling its singers’ digital products on the blockchain.

Fans of K-Pop will soon be able to buy digital products related to some of their favorite bands using blockchain technology.

RBW Japan, a subsidiary of the South Korean entertainment company Rainbowbridge World (RBW) that represents Mamaoo and other popular K-Pop artists such as Vromance and Oneus, is jumping into the cryptocurrency world by issuing non-fungible tokens (NFT) on Hong Kong-based exchange Xeno. The tokens give K-Pop fans and other investors a claim of real ownership in digital products related to RBW entertainers.

In an exclusive interview with CoinDesk, the Xeno team announced that RBW Japan has given the NFT exchange exclusive rights to mint and list their NFT-based digital products.

“Fanbases get digital goods for their favorite artists that they can truly own, and artists and content creators get new and exciting products to offer their fans,” Jae-Woong Wang, CEO of RBW Japan, told CoinDesk in a statement. “Digital event tickets, membership tokens, even digital content rights can all be captured and housed within NFTs. The trend of digital commerce is growing and RBW wants to stay on top of these trends while at the same time open new markets when possible.”

The exact time of when the NFTs will be launched has yet to be announced. Xeno told CoinDesk that the underlying digital products will include “3D model renderings” of fans’ favorite K-Pop idols, event tickets for virtual concerts and membership tokens that “allow artists to engage their fanbases”.

RBW’s move comes at a time of explosive growth in trading volumes for NFTs, which tripled in 2020 compared to 2019, according to data from Dune Analytics. The increased interest in NFTs is partly driven by the COVID-19 pandemic that has forced most cancellation of in-person events.

Unlike fungible cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, NFTs are unique tokens that cannot be exchanged one to one. For fans of Mamamoo, that translates into ownership of a unique digital product developed around the singers.

Xeno’s NFT marketplace launched last month after the company saw a potentially huge market for NFTs in East Asia, Xeno’s president, Anthony Di Franco, told CoinDesk. The company currently operates primarily in Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea.

South Korea alone has the fourth-largest gaming market in the world, with well-established digital goods marketplaces, Di Franco said. The East Asian country also has “very high engagement” with all forms of entertainment including the K-Pop industry. The Gaon Digital Chart, South Korea’s music industry standard ranking recorded singles, shows nearly 21 million weekly plays for this week’s No. 1 song alone.

RBW’s news could lead more prominent entertainment companies in East Asia to follow the NFT trend, as most live events around the world are still on pause due to the pandemic, according to the executives at Xeno. Besides those in K-Pop, several partnerships with well-established names in high fashion and the online gaming industries are already “in the pipeline,” the exchange said.

“RBW is a fairly moderately impactful company, with popular girl group Mamamoo along with several boy bands and a new girl group, Purple Kiss, under its management,” Tamar Herman, K-Pop journalist at Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, told CoinDesk in an email. “The company has a reputation for high-value performances and artistry.”

While most NFT exchanges are based on the Ethereum blockchain, Xeno is built on the Polkadot network because of its better scalability, full cross-chain interoperation and integration, and Polkadot’s unique “parachain” feature that gives the team full control of the protocol layer of the system, Di Franco told CoinDesk.

“NFTs are the perfect medium for these habits to grow and evolve in,” Di Franco said. “NFTs take ownership of digital goods out of their silos, turning a collection of mutually exclusive walled gardens into a true marketplace, and exponentially increasing the possibilities for creative entrepreneurship for digital artists and the business opportunities for the platforms they work on.”

‘Miss Bitcoin’ Launches Celebrity NFT Art Charity Project

Mai Fujimoto’s Kizuna crypto donation platform is partnering with blockchain gaming platform Enjin to sell tokenized celebrity artwork.

Early crypto evangelist, Mai Fujimoto, a.k.a. Miss Bitcoin, has partnered with blockchain gaming ecosystem Enjin to launch Japan’s first nonfungible token, or NFT, charity project.

According to a Jan. 18 blog post, the project’s first initiative will be the sale of tokenized artwork by Japanese celebrities to benefit DxP, a non-profit that supports teenagers facing challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fujimoto believes that the project embodies the Japanese concept of “Sanpo Yoshi”, or three-way satisfaction. This describes transactions that are good for the seller, good for the buyer and good for society:

“When fans purchase NFTs drawn by artists and celebrities, they can not only enjoy the art, but also directly contribute to those in need. I believe this NFT campaign will bring joy to many people, and I’d like to thank the Enjin team and artists who have agreed to join the initiative.”

The initiative will take place through Fujimoto’s crypto donation platform Kizuna. This was launched in 2017 to educate about the potential of blockchain and NFTs for mainstream use, especially in the context of giving to charity.

Kizuna hopes to raise over 2,000,000 yen ($20,000) from the sale, with the celebrities who are donating artworks to be announced soon.

Fujimoto was an early adopter of Bitcoin technology and has been actively promoting crypto and blockchain since 2011. Aside from running Kizuna, she is an ambassador for Binance’s charity foundation, and an advisor for multiple companies in the blockchain space.

The Enjin platform provides tools for integrating blockchain technology into games and creating NFT assets that can be used across various games in the Enjin multiverse. It recently announced that it would be launching a range of Atari branded NFTs for a reboot of the Kick Off series of footballing games.

Updated: 1-20-2021

Rick And Morty Crypto Art Sells For $150,000 On Gemini-Owned Platform

Justin Roiland’s piece was listed on a non-fungible token art exchange owned by Gemini.

A crypto art piece by Justin Roiland, co-creator of the famous animated series Rick and Morty, has sold for a handsome price on non-fungible token marketplace Nifty Gateway.

Dubbed “The First Ever Edition Of Rick And Morty Cryptoart,” the tokenized artwork was sold at silent auction for $150,000. Nifty Gateway announced the news on Twitter on Jan. 19.

The newly sold artwork is part of Roiland’s crypto art collection called “The Best I Could Do.” The collection includes multiple artworks inspired by the Rick and Morty series as well as other animations including the iconic American animated sitcom, The Simpsons.

Dubbed “The Smintons,” Roiland’s crypto artwork is expected to be sold later today as the auction ends at 7 pm EST. At the time of writing, the highest bid amounts to $188,137.

The latest news comes shortly after Nifty Gateway announced the auction of Roiland’s collection on Jan. 13. The Rick and Morty co-creator is apparently an early Bitcoin (BTC) adopter as he publicly endorsed the crypto back in 2015.

Owned by Winklevoss’ crypto exchange Gemini, Nifty Gateway is a major NFT marketplace that facilitates a number of NFT sales each day. In December 2020, a Star Wars-themed NFT piece sold for $777,777 on the platform. Previously, Nifty auctioned Trevor Jones’ NFT “Picasso’s Bull” for $55,555.

Crypto NFTs have been steadily gaining momentum in recent months, bringing famous creators and artists a new opportunity to sell their pieces directly to their fans. In late 2020, Sean Ono Lennon, a British-American musician, songwriter and producer, auctioned a tokenized digital artwork on nonfungible-token marketplace Rarible.

 

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