[WATCH] NFT News Digest for February 2022

Category: Crypto NTFs

Non-fungible tokens are all the rage and the steam is still not blowing off since their induction. Here’s what is new this month on the NFT front.

Facebook and Instagram Get in on NFT Craze

In a recent report, it was reported that Facebook and Instagram might soon allow users to create, buy, and sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

A report by the Financial Times states that Meta’s social media companies are considering the idea at the moment; however, it is still in its early stages and may change. However, the plans sound rather ambitious: Users will have the option of minting (or creating) new NFTs, buying and selling them on a specialized marketplace, and displaying the NFTs as their profile pictures.

According to the FT’s article, there is no information about how far these plans are or when they might be launched.

NFTs are currently a massive internet craze across the globe. A way of looking at them is that in some ways, they’re somewhat comparable to digital collectible cards, and while the art they’re associated with is easily copied (right-click and save), the ownership of the original NFT is pretty difficult to dispute.

NFTs are being valued at millions of dollars, as has been the case with so many other blockchain-related things.

Therefore, it makes sense for Meta to try to capitalize on the interest in NFTs by integrating them into the properties of its architecture. In addition, Facebook recently announced its intention to invest heavily in the metaverse, best described as a virtual and augmented reality world. As a result, Facebook’s head of metaverse products, Vishal Shah, has said the company’s metaverse would support NFTs. In addition, Instagram’s Adam Mosseri said in December that the company is actively exploring the use of NFTs.

The announcement comes just days after a newspaper story in which it was said that Walmart plans to launch its line of NFT products later this year. In addition, major brands like Nike and Coca-Cola have also gotten involved in the space.

As of the writing of this article, Facebook has approached them for a comment on the Financial Times’ report; however, they have not heard back yet.

AFTERPARTY, World’s First NFT-Gated Music Festival, Slated for March in Las Vegas

Las Vegas will host the world’s first token-gated festival on March 18-19, with The Chainsmokers and The Kid LAROI playing at AREA 15 as part of the world’s first token-gated festival. In a sense, it could be the future of concert-going as we know it.

According to a press release released on Friday, several bands have been announced to perform at the first annual NFT Afterparty, the first of the festival’s music events.

NFT art must be seen and celebrated by a platform as relevant as it is innovative, as aesthetic and functional as it is artistic and functional. That is a festival that captures the energy and enthusiasm of these pieces within a futuristic environment that enhances the impact these pieces have on the viewer,” the festival declaratively states.

The organizers plan to extend the lineup to include more than a dozen world-class NFT artists and 25 more music acts.

Aside from former Life is Beautiful partner Ryan Doherty, the festival is produced with former Kaaboo executive Chris Racan, and former Life is Beautiful partner Ryan Doherty.

According to the announcement, award-winning NFT artists Nate Mohler and Alec Maassen will co-create the NFT art program to transport guests into an immersive, interactive environment. “For the first time, NFTs will serve as the festival centerpiece to celebrate the NFT movement in reality.” Mr. Mohler added.

Would you like to learn more about the event?

There has been an announcement that every NFT holder will be allowed to bring one guest and two passes to either sell to others or invite friends.

On the secondary market, these NFTs can be held in two ways:

  • Mint you’re own Utopian by purchasing a MintPass: https://opensea.io/collection/afterparty-min pass
  • Buy a Utopian NFT here: https://opensea.io/collection/afterparty-utopians

“The party doesn’t stop when Las Vegas ends.”. As planned, Afterparty’s Utopians act as ‘memberships’ that grant access to the community and additional experiences, such as the Afterparty Super Bowl Weekend Event, NFT art exhibitions to be held at the Afterparty House, the Afterparty Pop-Up House at Art Basel 2022, as well as other upcoming unveils, said Afterparty in an announcement.

Neymar and Eminem Buy Bored Ape NFTs

Neymar Jr, a successful PSG player, a goalscorer for the Brazilian national soccer team, and a big fan of the New Frontiers technology, is the newest member of the elite Bored Ape Yacht Club.

The Brazilian footballer shared the news on Twitter with his followers, posting a photo of his new pink ape adorned with futuristic-style sunglasses, along with the hashtag #BoredApeYC.

The Bored Ape 6633 served as Neymar’s avatar until January 20, when he changed it to the Bored Ape 6633. In accordance with OpenSea’s history, the soccer player paid 159.99 ETH for the ape. Taking the current ETH price as a reference point, the price would be roughly $481,6K. The price of the ape had appreciated by an astounding 66% in less than a month when the same ape was selling for 96 ETH.

Despite this, Ape 6633 is not the only NFT owned by Neymar. There is another ape that is even more valuable than Ape 5269, for which the soccer player paid 189.69 ETH, which is more than $570K at the moment.

There is a trend among bitcoiners who claim that the price of Bitcoin may rise as high as $100k in the not too distant future, according to Neymar’s most valuable ape, which has laser eyes.

Several instances have occurred when Neymar’s apes have been transferred from one account under “EneJay” to another under “EneJayVault,” most likely due to security concerns.

Apart from the expensive Apes, Neymar owns some other NFTs, including one from the ACESnikers fashion collection, one from the flipped BayC, one from the flipped CryptoPunks, and one from the flipped Doodles.

It should be noted that Neymar owns the ENS Neymar-loves-rarepepes. eth, just in case anyone wants to send him any NFTs related to the well-known “crypto meme.”

GameStop plans to Launch an NFT Marketplace

The world’s largest video game accessories retailer, GameStop, is set to launch a non-fungible token marketplace for gamers by the end of 2021. Bloomberg has reported that the company plans to build a trading platform that will allow NFTs to be traded for virtual collectibles, and cryptocurrency partnerships will be established.

That is because NFTs utilize blockchain technology to verify ownership of digital items, such as images and videos, and grew in popularity in 2021, leaving many scratching their heads about why so much money was being spent on items that don’t exist physically.

As reported in Per Decrypt, a platform that covers crypto news, a 2021 job post put together by the company indicated that the company was looking for “exceptional engineers, designers, gamers, and marketers” to join a project based on Ethereum-based NFTs.

With the help of the company’s NFT platform, customers will purchase, sell, and trade NFTs for video game items, including clothing, weapons, and characteristics of various player avatars.

Reuters reported that GameStop Corp’s stock jumped on Friday after the videogame retailer revealed its plans to expand its NFTs marketplace, including partnering with crypto firms, in online reports.

This development comes weeks after Ubisoft company announced that it would be introducing a new platform called Ubisoft Quartz, which will allow it to offer non-transitory tokens (NFTs) called Digits. As part of the launch of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint on PC, Ubisoft Quartz will also offer exclusive cosmetic items for NFTs, making it one of the earliest and most exciting Ubisoft releases to date. These digits represent unique, collectible items such as in-game vehicles, weapons, and pieces of equipment.

As a result, the numbers of NFTs continue to rise in the cryptocurrency world. To date, over $9 billion has been spent on NFT sales. In addition, it is interesting to note that some big names in the Bollywood industry have also decided to join the cryptocurrency bandwagon, including Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, and Sunny Leone.

NFTs, which recently included his autographed vintage posters and a recital of his father’s famous poem Madhushala, were sold by Amitabh Bachchan for a price of approximately Rs 7.18 crore ($966,000). In addition, the NFT series of 5 digital sketches by the Bollywood designer Manish Malhotra was sold for approximately Rs 2.8 lakh.

Twitter Begins Verifying NFT Profile Pictures

As long as crypto enthusiasts have been using NFTs (non-fungible tokens) as Twitter profile pictures, doubts about how durable “ownership” over these digital assets will be.

There is no denying that you may own that cartoon monkey in your profile picture in the sense that the token is attached to your Ethereum address on the blockchain, which is an immutable, append-only record. However, what makes you so special that you can’t just right-click on the picture and set it as your profile picture as well?

The official verification mechanism for NFT profile pictures has finally been released by Twitter after months of anticipation.

By linking your Ethereum wallet to your Twitter account, you’ll be able to see a list of the NFTs you have access to (at the moment, verification is only available for Ethereum-based NFTs; however, a representative for the company clarified this is the “first iteration” of a feature that may expand to other blockchains in the future).

By selecting one of the NFT options, your profile picture, typically enclosed within a circle, will get a stylish hexagonal border. Of course, if a pesky right-clicker tries to use your NFT as their profile picture without having purchased the token first, they will still be able to use the image, but you will still have the classic circle frame around it.

However, it is possible for a truly dedicated right-clicker to re-upload the same image to an NFT platform, mint a visually identical NFT, and use that as their profile picture instead, complete with a hexagonal frame signifying ownership on the blockchain. Unfortunately, Twitter has not yet confirmed whether it will offer protection against this sort of thievery, which has become more rampant as the NFT market has exploded over the past year.

Furthermore, since Twitter can fetch users’ NFTs via application programming interfaces (APIs) from the online marketplace OpenSea, it has effectively integrated a third party into its verification process, rather than just interacting directly with the blockchain. As a result, if OpenSea goes down, Twitter may have trouble loading those images. The Cryptographer Moxie Marlinspike has recently published an essay in which he extensively criticizes some of these APIs.

As part of its NFT verification process, Twitter tries to keep crypto enthusiasts on the platform and a clear rejection of Jack Dorsey’s “Bitcoin-only” philosophy.

The chief executive of Twitter is one of the most vocal critics of the so-called Web 3 – in which the internet runs on blockchains rather than on cloud computing infrastructure and private servers – but he’s a big fan of Bitcoin, which he believes could “bring about world peace.”.

In general, NFTs and Bitcoin do not mix well, at least not yet. As a result, in the NFT market, most of the activity has occurred in and around the Ethereum blockchain.

Currently, Twitter’s NFT verification is only available as part of Twitter Blue, the company’s $2.99-per-month subscription service that offers a streamlined user experience and an “undo” button and other mainly cosmetic features.

Hennessey Launches A Digital NFT Cognac Bottle Priced at $226K

The Hennessy brand is making its way into the crypto space. There have been a series of first-of-its-kind NFTs released by LVMH-owned Cognac. The price is $226,450.

It is expected that each of these two subscriptions will represent physical and digital ownership of the first and last bottles (1 and 250, respectively) of Hennessy 8, a limited-edition expression from the Cognac house.

There will be a sale of the bottles and assets on the spirits NFT platform BlockBar on January 12 to a single buyer. There is a price of 70.47 ETH (approximately, or $226k).

The liquid results from 7 generations of master blenders for the house, combining one eau-de-vie from each generation of blenders and presenting it in a limited-edition, ultra-luxury format.

The physical attributes of the gift will include a commemorative sculpture and a Baccarat-blown and engraved carafe, as well as a pipette, cork holder, and chest designed by Arik Levy and created using oak staves from La Sarrazine, Hennessy’s cooperage. In addition, in recognition of this event, four tasting glasses originally designed by George Riedel and Yann Fillioux 30 years ago have been reissued for this occasion. Each glass comes with a personalized authentication plate and numbered certificate as part of the physical package.

You can, of course, drink this Cognac (as long as you have the money for it). This physical bottle is stored for free on BlockBar’s platform. When you purchase it, you’re issued a digital version of the bottle that serves as a confirmation of ownership and authentication of authenticity, as well as the right to receive the physical bottle upon request.

In summary, if you own an NFT, you own the underlying physical asset, which is usually held in custody by a trusted company, says BlockBar co-founder and president Sam Falic.

In exchange for the non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the buyers claim ownership of the bottles themselves, with a cryptographic version of the bottles being held by BlockBar. The buyer can redeem the physical product or trade the digital version of the product on the BlockBar marketplace. “Each token has been verified as being scarce, non-transferable, and authentic,” he explains. The token is burned once the physical asset is retrieved from the vault and redeemed.”

As far as the NFT market is concerned, it is expected to generate over $23 billion by 2021, an enormous jump from the $100 million in trading volume recorded a year earlier.

BlockBar was launched in October 2021, and since then, it has seen much success in selling rare bottles to crypto-savvy collectors. “A launch release of 15 bottles of Glenfiddich was snapped up in less than four seconds, and since then, a few bottles have been resold,” says Dov Falic, co-founder and CEO of BlockBar. In addition, a few flipped bottles of the 21-year-old, Armagnac-aged cask Scotch were commanded prices of as much as $288,000, according to PUNCH.

The Philippines Own the Most NFTs as a Country

Due to the remarkable growth of cryptocurrency over the past two years, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have exploded in popularity among buyers and sellers, who seem aggressively optimistic about how high they will rise shortly.

Recently, it has been revealed that the total sales volume soared to $12 billion due to increasing interest among internet users. Additionally, the company’s revenue increased from just $41 million in 2018 to $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021, representing a 60-fold increase in three and a half years.

Even though many people still do not know what NFTs are or how they work, many countries have already adopted or are showing great signs of adopting NFTs.

Global NFT adoption outlook

Despite some concerns that NFT adoption is slow, a few countries are showing signs of opening up to NFTs, and a smaller number of countries know NFTs. For example, the Republic of San Marino has adopted NFT COVID-19 vaccination passports, which is another interesting development in the adoption of NFT. Through the tokens, the certificates will be authenticated and reduced counterfeiting.

On the other hand, according to the Finder’s survey, across the world, a whopping 66% of people do not even know what an NFT is. Even worse, the lack of awareness of NFT in the United States has risen to 70.6%, while a full 90% of Japanese do not understand digital assets.

Considering that NFTs have flourished despite not finding widespread adoption, let alone gaining recognition, this shows that we are likely to see greater things in the future. In a world where world economies like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan have barely heard of NFTs, much less started buying and trading them, the potential for future growth is immense.

Major drivers of NFT adoption

In October 2017, NFTs made their first appearance in the limelight with the launch of CryptoPunks – the world’s first notable digital art marketplace – and have been making waves ever since.

It isn’t far-fetched to imagine that several reasons will drive NFT adoption. First, an NFT’s rarity is a factor that directly translates into how hard it is to find a specific piece of NFT. A good example of a rarity would be a one-of-its-kind artwork created by a famous digital artist or an NFT created by a well-known celebrity.

Celebrity influence can also drive the adoption of NFTs. Celebs and influencers quickly jumped into the NFT space, and platforms like Ethernity quickly produced limited-edition NFTs that featured celebrities and personalities.

It was announced on February 15 that Hollywood actress Lindsay Lohan had sold her first NFT for a price of $57,290. According to Indian media reports, Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s maiden NFT auction received the highest bid of all time in the country, leading to a possible surge in interest in collecting digital assets.

The fact that NFTs are not limited to artworks is another important factor contributing to increased demand. Video, music, GIFs, sports, and especially gaming have become part of NFT’s scope of services. In addition, gamers can generate revenue from their in-game assets in the form of NFT. Thus, it has become apparent that the play-to-earn blockchain gaming models are a significant opportunity for NFTs to achieve growth.

The five countries with the highest adoption of NFT

The Finder’s NFT Adoption report polled over 28,000 people from 20 countries to compare the level of ownership of NFTs, and the findings are more surprising than expected. The top five countries adopting NFTs are almost all Asian.

In the 20 countries compared, the Philippines has the highest percentage of NFT owners (32%), followed by Thailand (27%), Malaysia (24%), the United Arab Emirates (23%), and Vietnam (17%).

According to the report, the Philippines has 9.5% of its respondents planning to buy NFTs in the near future and a forecast adoption rate of 41.5%, the highest globally. Following Thailand, which ranked second in the poll, 7.9% of its respondents intend to purchase, and 34.5% expect to adopt the technology.

Among its poll participants, Malaysia has 10.5% planning to buy NFTs, and it anticipates a 34.4% adoption rate. Likewise, it is predicted that 11.5% of UAE participants will buy NFTs and that 34.9% will adopt them, while in Vietnam, 11.62% of participants plan to buy NFTs, and it is forecast that 29.1% will adopt them.

Additionally, in 17 of the 20 countries that were surveyed, a higher proportion of men than a higher percentage of women had NFTs. For example, there is a significant gender gap in the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, and Malaysia.

In conclusion, the NFT market is undeniably here to stay as it adapts to the creative preferences of a new generation of digital natives.

A New NFT Platform, Nebula, Promises to be Most Inventive Yet

We live in an ever-changing world, particularly how corporations and creators interact through Web3. With a mission to involve creators in creating a new world by integrating the platform into the metaverse, Nebula, a new NFT platform in development, is at the forefront of innovation in Web3.

With the launch of our first Nebula collection, we will create an entire ecosystem for artists and musicians and blockchain education and utility in future gaming and entertainment applications. A number of the artworks in the NFT collection are influenced by existential conundrums, time, and space.

The Nebula-1 Pioneers Collection

The Web3 mission of Nebula begins with the launch of the Nebula-1 Pioneer NFT project, a storytelling and artistic NFT collection that consists of 10,000 curious pioneers. Even though all Pioneers share a strong lust for exploring the wonders of the universe, each Pioneer has a unique combination of 290+ traits that make them completely distinguishable from one another.

The Pioneers also appear in 11 different types, all of which have their rarities, backstories, and roles within the mission. That ensures a high level of individuality and separateness between each NFT, increasing the collection’s value as a whole. It is expected that each Pioneer type will be released on a different date. Some of the Pioneer roles include Astrologer, Biologist, Defender, Engineer, and more. As a Pioneer, what will your role be aboard the Nebula-1 ship?

The first phase of coin minting is now live, with each Pioneer NFT available for 0.07 ETH each. When the collection is sold out, RaritySniper will be activated, and the ranking listing will be complete. Additionally, all future collections will also be available on RaritySniper.

Utilities for NFT Holders

A major focus of the NFTs is artistic magnificence and the integration of the NFTs into a corporate business and marketing plan that helps facilitate Nebula’s launch into Web3. According to the model, Nebula NFT holders would become shareholders through ownership.

They are granted voting rights over events involving the community, social causes, future investments, and certain decisions regarding NebuLabs concept and the general direction because of their holdings in NFT.

The model is based on a points system in which each holder’s democratic voice’s size will depend on the amount of NFTs they hold, with a maximum amount of 10 NFTs per wallet to avoid bias in favor of big investors.

On the Road to Web3

In addition to Nebula’s multi-faceted approach to becoming a Web3 company also participates in philanthropic activities through its community wallet, NebuCollect. To achieve its mission and goals of contributing to the community & sustainability of the blockchain, the company plans to make reinvestments amounting to a collective amount of 100 ETH back into the ecosystem.

A part of the reinvestments will be the purchase of several community artist NFT artworks, hosting a weekly ETH giveaway, and a marketing initiative that will award free merchandise to community members. Nebula has also set up a YouTube channel where each of its founders is introduced to the community, reinforcing the open-source ethos of the company and its full-time team based in South Africa.

The company also plans to build an in-house auction platform for community artists, to work with talented authors on tokenizing their works, and to expand its team of experienced digital economy builders in the future.