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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.”
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.”