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ART & COLLECTABLES

As the NFT Craze Continues, the Single “EtherRock” Sells for Over $1.3 million

The game of rock, paper, scissors is about to get a lot more expensive.

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Yesterday, a pixelated image of a rock from the EtherRock collection sold for more than $1 million. However, it wasn’t a Hollywood star-studded rock success story but a live-action event taking place on the Ethereum blockchain.

The image above sold for almost 400 ETH, or well over $1.3 million in today’s ETH value. It’s a non-fungible token —blockchain-based representations of real-world or virtual unique objects that indicate their holders are the true owners of whatever underlying asset they represent, which can range from crypto collectibles to in-game assets to real estate.

According to their own website, “These virtual rocks have NO PURPOSE beyond being able to be bought and sold, and giving you a tremendous sense of pride in being an owner of 1 of the only 100 rocks in the game :)” EtherRocks have no intrinsic worth or purpose.

That hasn’t stopped people from paying astronomical amounts to buy a piece of the supply. Justin Sun, the founder of Tron, recently purchased one of these JPEGs for nearly $500,000, which he customized with “laser eyes” for use on Twitter.

What is it about EtherRocks that makes it so expensive?

So, what motivates such a high level of value? EtherRock has been around since 2017 on the Ethereum blockchain, and it’s making a comeback alongside other classics like Curio Cards and CryptoPunks.

The revolving supply of the rock adds to the appeal of having it. But, unfortunately, only 100 of these pebbles exist, making them one of the earliest and most valuable Ethereum assets.

But, despite the punks’ or rockers’ childish appearances, the industry isn’t all hilarity. VISA announced its first-ever NFT purchase yesterday, paying $166,000 to a pseudonymous NFT collector for CryptoPunk #7610, claiming the move was appropriate given the company’s entry into leading alternative assets.

The market for NFTs has become quite hot. It had a market capitalization of a few tens of millions of dollars in 2019.

This grew to more than $25 billion at the start of this year, with marketplaces like OpenSea bringing in more than $1 billion in August 2021 alone. Who’d have guessed pixel art would have its day?

ART & COLLECTABLES

Salvatore Ferragamo, an Italian luxury brand, has an NFT booth in SoHo

Customers can create and mint their own Ethereum-backed non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on OpenSea at a booth set up by Salvatore Ferragamo, an upscale clothing company with its headquarters in Florence, New York.

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The Salvatore Ferragamo concept store in the city’s SoHo neighborhood opened its doors on Friday, and the booth is a part of a bigger debut of the business. All visitors are eligible to receive free NFTs, which are limited to 256 in total. The brand will pay all associated costs up front to mint an NFT.

For the launch, the company is collaborating with artist Shxpir, who has previously created holographic handbags for businesses like Coach. Shxpir has produced 3D digital graphic elements for the NFTs for Salvatore Ferragamo.

Just one day after NFT, there will be a launch.

After a week of discussions about how fashion businesses may tap into the Web3 and NFT arena, NYC, a conference about non-fungible tokens in Times Square, comes to an end. Famous companies have lately debuted their own NFT collections, including Gucci, Prada, Bulgari, and many others.

Salvatore Ferragamo has previously entered the online space.

The company collaborated with Obsess, a virtual and augmented reality software platform that aids businesses in the establishment of interactive online storefronts and virtual experiences, last year. Customers could explore a virtual mansion that featured Ferragamo goods at the online store dubbed “House of Gifts.”

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ART & COLLECTABLES

The crypto decline may be used by Binance to increase its market share in NFT

Football fans will soon have the opportunity to buy “an iconic piece of sports history” thanks to a collaboration between Cristiano Ronaldo and Binance.

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CR7 is starting to participate in NFTs.

The football phenom revealed his exclusive collaboration with Binance today. The multi-year contract, according to Ronaldo, will provide fans the chance to “own an iconic piece of sports history” and take part in his Web3 community.

In a video, Ronaldo stated, “Today we are going to transform the NFT game and move football to the next level.”

The Binance-controlled exchange and the Binance Smart Chain are two of the largest elements of one of cryptocurrency’s largest ecosystems (BSC). With 407 different protocols built atop it and $5.92 billion in value locked, BSC is the second-most used blockchain (after Ethereum).

Binance has had trouble creating a thriving native NFT ecosystem despite these great figures. With only $79 million in total trade volume, PancakeSwap, the decentralized exchange and flagship protocol of Binance, ranks twenty out of the NFT markets (OpenSea and LooksRare, two Ethereum marketplaces, had respective trading volumes of $31.24 billion and $23.23 billion).

Therefore, the alliance with Ronaldo might be interpreted as an effort by Binance to add value to BSC and start growing the NFT market share of the blockchain. On this retweet of the formal announcement, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao “CZ” may have hinted as much: “Now, we start.”

This week saw the announcement of several noteworthy NFT partnerships, such as Pharell Williams’ recent appointment as Chief Brand Officer for the Doodles line.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

NHL Opens Hockey Collectibles NFT Marketplace

The NHL, along with its Alumni Association and Players’ Association, said on Thursday that it has joined with NFT platform Sweet to build a distinctive NFT marketplace and libraries of NFTs—individual blockchain tokens that denote ownership.

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The NHL’s market will fall between a full-fledged NFT trading platform and a website that enables momentary NFT drops, according to David Lehanski, the league’s executive vice president of business development and innovation.

By creating an NFT marketplace with exclusive releases, the NHL hopes to give fans a little bit of both. In preparation for the commencement of the 2022–2023 season, the NHL’s Sweet marketplace is anticipated to launch in October.

The NHL aims to gamify NFTs with “questing and collecting” components so that fans will interact and can be rewarded with benefits like other NFTs, according to Lehanski, who spoke to Decrypt.

Depending on a player’s performance, some of the NFTs will also be dynamic and alter over time. According to a statement, NFTs will also include “cinematic game highlights from past and present NHL seasons” or surprise packs of NFTs that may be seen in “3D interactive trophy rooms.”

Lehanski claimed that the NHL wasn’t yet ready to reveal which blockchain it would be constructing on. Though it might be on Polygon or Tezos if Sweet’s offerings are any indicator.

Lehanski stated, “We’re looking at everything,” and that the NHL’s top priorities in its search for a blockchain include “cheap gas expenses” and “environmental sustainability.”

The NHL is one of the most recent major professional sports leagues to enter the NFT market, following the NBA’s Top Shot NFTs, the NFL’s “play and own” NFT game, and MLB’s impending NFT contest.

Lehanski commented on the NHL’s approach to NFTs, saying, “There was clearly a lot of temptation to potentially moving very rapidly […] but we thought that was a little shortsighted.” He added that, in his opinion, spending the time to investigate indicators like fan behavior was worthwhile. Especially in relation to digital collectibles and gaming, NFTs have a long-term future as relevant and meaningful items for enthusiasts.

But according to Sweet CEO Tom Mizzone, the NHL’s NFTs won’t simply be targeted at hockey fans who are unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies; seasoned NFT collectors will also be able to participate in a way that feels natural to them.

It will undoubtedly appeal to that degen culture, he continued, but not to the extent that it excludes fancier consumer bases.

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