One of the most exciting things to see in 2021 was how the largest companies and institutions in the world are joined the NFT bandwagon. The NFT craze this is so real that only a few people know that non-fungible tokens have existed since 2018 on Ethereum.
What is an NFT?
In case you’re reading our article for the first time (although I really think you should check our other posts), I’d explain what an NFT is. An NFT (non-fungible token) is a distinctive digital asset that symbolises ownership of articles like music, art, video clips, and so on. You can call NFTs modern-day collectibles. NFTs are built using the same technology as cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum.
An NFT is tied to a smart contract that describes how it will interact with the blockchain in the future. So, when you acquire an NFT, you're obtaining irrefutable proof of ownership that can't be tampered with. It cannot be imitated convincingly. You're purchasing an irrefutable guarantee that you own this work. It will never be able to belong to anyone else except you chose to move it. Otherwise, it'll just sit in your wallet and remain yours for eternity.
Christie’s auction house and NFTs
The story that broke the internet in the world of NFT, and in cryptocurrency, in general, was how a certain artist Beeple whose real name is Mark Winkelmann sold his NFT for a sum of 42,239 Ether which equaled $69.3 million. Yes, you saw that right, 69.3 million gracious dollars. Of course, that event would skyrocket him from obscurity into being the third most expensive living artist at auction. He is only behind the legendary Jeff Koons and David Hockney. NFTs did not change Beeple’s trajectory alone, Christie’s auction house has enjoyed an unprecedented change in its bidding system. For instance, the auction house received more than 40 bidders during Beeple’s famous sale, and only 3 of these 40 were known to Christie’s before the event. Apparently, most of the bidders were crypto-natives who had never had anything to do with Christie’s before. Christie’s has since then leveraged this incredible influence of NFTs since Beeple’s sales.
Of a truth, Christie made its first entry into this cutting-edge technology long before 2021. It was in November 2018 when the entire 42-lot Barney A. Ebsworth Collection of 20th-Century American Art was registered on the Artory blockchain. The collection was worth more than $322 million , and it was the first time a digitally recorded art auction in this price range had taken place. In 2020, Christie also offered Robert Alice’s Block 21 as part of its Post War & Contemporary Art Day Sale. This piece was the first NFT embedded work of art to be presented at a traditional auction house. It drew non-traditional buyers as well as crypto enthusiasts and sold for nearly 11 times its low estimate.
The auction house teamed up with the Andy Warhol Foundation in May 2021 to sell 5 art pieces by the 1980s artists as NFTS. Christie’s sold the property for a total sum of 3.37 million dollars. In the same month, Christie’s sold nine Cryptopunks for 16.9 million dollars during an auction in New York City. Indeed, Christie’s auction house remains at the frontline in exploring the overlap between technology and art.
Sotheby's may not be as daring as its counterpart. The auction house, on the other hand, has auctioned a collection of 28 works titled “Natively Digital. CryptoPunk Alien #7523, which sold for 11.8 million dollars, was the most notable. Shalom Meckenzie who is the primary shareholder of the Draftkings Society purchased the NFT. Draftkings specialises in sports betting. Some of the artists who contributed to the Natively Digital Collection are Artists Pak, XCOPY, Autoglyphs, and FVCKRENDER. Sotheby's also put so many 101 BAYCs for auction recently and the transaction was valued to be about $24million. The origin of the operation may be traced back to Yuga Labs, the company that created Bored Ape.
In June, the auction house's made groundbreaking sales. This was after one week of online bidding that began on June 3. In a manner typical of NFT competitions, the final moment saw crazy bids and really hot competition. All these lots started with bids of just $100
Not long after, Sotheby sold a set of 107 non-fungible tokens (NFTs) which featured images of cartoon apes sold for a whopping $24.4 million in an online auction as it capitalized on the frenzied demand for NFTs.
The images were part of Yuga Labs' "Bored Ape Yacht Club" collection of NFTs, which included 10,000 computer-generated cartoon apes.
A number of 101 "Bored Ape Kennel Club" NFTs - a group of canines promoted as ape companions - were also included in the sale. This sold for $1,835,000, while the apes sold for $24,393,000, making a total of $26,228,000.
At the moment, NFTs seem like that cake that everyone is trying to have a slice. The NFT fuss is not in the art industry alone. Corporations such as Visa do not want to be left out and have also started to invest. Visa stated in its whitepaper that “NFTs are a deeper and more creative way to engage fans and a prospective revenue streams for organizations”
According to sources, the NFT business generated over 1.5 billion dollars in transactions within the first quarter of 2021. Visa took the lead in NFT adoption and entered the sector by acquiring its own NFT—Cryptopunk #7610. Meanwhile, the whitepaper was designed to assist Visa's partners in understanding how to integrate tokens into their ecosystems and how Visa can assist them along the way.
Visa has developed a keen interest recently in the digital avatar that is now gaining popularity. Mr. Cuy Sheffield, Visa's head of crypto, considers CryptoPunk to be a "cultural icon for the crypto community" and feels that NFTs are the "future of entertainment, social media, retail, and commerce."
Visa is studying how to assist its partners and clients in engaging in the metaverse by purchasing NFT. NFTs have the potential to boost the creator economy and the barrier entrance for individual creatives looking to make a living from digital commerce. They are ushering in a new era of social commerce in which both makers and collectors are empowered. NFTs are, indeed, an intriguing medium of engagement. Visa is developing innovative ideas and collaborations to help non-traditional customers, sellers, and creators. According to Sheffield, “The NFT is only the beginning of Visa's efforts in that space,”
Visa's program appears to have sparked NFT interest in other businesses. Budweiser has made its first foray into the world of NFT. The well-known beer company purchased an NFT depicting a rocket with the brand's emblem for 8 Ether (ETH), around 28000 USD. Budweiser United States would utilize that image as its Twitter profile picture.
Budweiser confirmed that it purchased a non-fungible token (NFT) depicting a space rocket emblazoned with its insignia to use as its Twitter picture, as well as the domain name beer.eth.
According to records, the beer maker also paid 30 ether (worth about $106,000 at the time of writing) for the domain name 'beer.eth,' under which the rocket and other NFTs are held on crypto platforms.
The Rocket Factory initiative commenced this year, and it allows the public to buy the individual parts of an NFT rocket, which may later be assembled in the real world. The physical rockets are then constructed and launched.
The cryptocurrency world took notice of the Anheuser-Busch subsidiary after it posted a Bud-themed rocket as part of artist Tom Sachs' Rocket Factory NFT project. It also sent out 3 space-rocket emojis, which meme-stock purchasers and crypto enthusiasts use to indicate that a digital asset is 'going to the moon.'
Budweiser is the latest large brand to enter the NFT and crypto arena, joining a long line of companies that have created and sold digital assets.
NBA Top Shots
The NBA has been selling Top Shots to fans since October 2020. Top Shot by the NBA is a blockchain-based collectible card system that allows fans to exchange virtual footage of their favorite players.
These NFTs are linked to basketball highlights, such as a video of LeBron James blocking a shot that sold for nearly $400,000 in April. A Zion Williamson edition was slightly less expensive. Total sales have topped $350 million, a figure attributed to the pandemic's combination of wealth concentration and ennui, and justified by positioning Top Shot hoarding as the digital successor to baseball card collecting. To create its equivalent of a collectible digital item, the NBA collaborated with Canadian-based Dapper Labs, creators of the CryptoKitties game.
The purchase price, like Beeple's Instagram collage (and like LeWitt's wall artworks), doesn't include the goods or copyright. Top Shots, on the other hand, stands out because the ownership proposition is not very useful. Each baseball card is available with an item of ephemera. The Ownership of a LeWitt wall drawing includes the right to execute it. Every day comes with a wash of questionable art-historical patina. The worth of NFTs connected with NBA highlights is entirely fictitious. To suggest that Top Shots are coined is accurate because their value arises in the same way that fiat money does. Nevertheless, they lack the functionality of coins and cash, which serve as transactional placeholders. In a recent Clubhouse discussion, famed venture capitalist Ben Horowitz explained the attractiveness of NFTs by noting, "You're purchasing a sensation." Top Shot is as near to purchasing the feeling of spending money as anything available on the internet.
In August 2021, Veve unveiled Spiderman collectibles as the first series in the Marvel NFT collection. This was done in commemoration of ‘Marvel month’. Veve is an app-based marketplace designed for premium licensed digital collectibles. It gave Marvel fans the platform to buy NFT as well as digital comic books. In addition to this, fans can also interact with 3D Marvel statues via mixed reality. Five digital Spiderman statues are available at different prices and quantities. These statues were sold out in less than 24 hours
Marvel has recorded success in the release of the spiderman NFTs and this has spurred them to release Captain America NFT collectibles. This was done to commemorate Captain’s 80th anniversary since his first appearance in 1941. Now, Marvel fans can purchase Captain America’s statue displaying him in the exact way he first appeared 80 years ago.
WarnerBro’s DC has also followed the footsteps of their archrival. They announced a giveaway of NFTs containing comic book covers for superheroes including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Harley Quinn. The strategic NFT drop is aimed to drive the attendance of fans at the DC FanDome event which is scheduled to take place on October 16. Users who register for this event can receive free NFT which is only shared at random. If they share their first NFT on social media, they stand a chance to unlock another free NFT.
DC is collaborating with Palm NFT studio
which provides artists and right holders trying o create NFTs with creative services. According to DC, Palm was picked because of the environmental sustainability and efficiency of its blockchain technology.
Arizona Iced Tea
Yes, beverage companies want some cake too. The popular beverage producer has also dipped its toes into the beautiful world of NFT assets. The brand collaborated with the Bored Ape Yatch Club by introducing an “Arizona Aped” NFT comic. According to its website, the “users can mint 10,000 copies of the Bored Ape Comic for 0.04 ETH”
There is an image of 2 Bored Apes in the comic. Additionally, there is a Bored Ape billboard that holds an Arizona Iced Tea can that says “NFT”. Some of the other big brands that are entering the blockchain industry include Burger King, Axe, Oscar Mayer, Slim Jim, and Mars Candies.
Read Also: Top Metaverse Stocks to Buy in 2022
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have indeed come to stay. This is because of the limitless applications across several sectors. The biggest brands in the world are beginning to catch the vibe and this is good news for all of us who love NFTs. It is indeed a good time to be alive!