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ART & COLLECTABLES

Jay-Z’s Twitter Profile Photo is Now a CryptoPunk NFT

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As he prepares for his first NFT sale at auction house Sotheby’s, legendary artist and entrepreneur Jay-Z has switched his Twitter profile photo to that of a CryptoPunk.

In 2017, software company Larva Labs launched CryptoPunks, a collection of 10,000 NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. Each Punk has a pixelated human, ape, alien, or zombie face. Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are one-of-a-kind cryptocurrency tokens that can be used to represent an image, video, or piece of music.

This particular CryptoPunk was purchased on April 25 for 55 ETH, which was worth $126,000 at the time (but is now only worth $102,000). The punk is male and wears a gold chain and has wild hair, both of which are uncommon characteristics.

Since Jay-Z recognized the CryptoPunk as possibly his, other cryptocurrency users have been sending NFTs to the CryptoPunk’s Ethereum address. Several Shiba Inu-themed NFTs, as well as one from TheWickedCranium collection, have already been sent to him.

The address, on the other hand, is quite sparse, with only $166 in ether (ETH) and no other ERC-20 tokens save the CryptoPunk. (While most NFTs are based on the ERC-721 standard, CryptoPunks had to make do with — and somewhat tweak — the ERC-20 standard as the first ever NFTs on Ethereum.)

In the crypto world, the collection of pixelated, one-of-a-kind figures has remained popular. A unique CryptoPunk alien sold for $11.8 million in a Sotheby’s auction on June 11, making it the most expensive CryptoPunk transaction to date.

Jay-Z is auctioning off an NFT at Sotheby’s

Jay-Z isn’t just buying NFTs; he’s also planning to sell them.

According to a release, the musician is auctioning an NFT based on his debut album Reasonable Doubt at Sotheby’s. Jay-Z has commissioned digital artist Derrick Adams to create a one-of-a-kind animated digital collectible to “recontextualize” the album cover, which was published 25 years ago today.

The NFT, dubbed Heir to the Throne, is made up of a single dynamic image with vibrant colors, multi-layered textures, and flat surface proportions. The artwork was inspired by both Jay-Z’s and Adams’ experiences with “living in the urban streets,” according to the statement.

The exhibition will be on display at Sotheby’s New York, as well as digitally in Decentraland, a virtual world based on the Ethereum blockchain. The auction will run until July 2nd, with bids starting at $1,000. Buyers can pay in either ether, bitcoin, or fiat currencies. A percentage of the auction revenues will benefit the Shawn Carter Foundation, which assists low-income persons in pursuing post-secondary education.

ART & COLLECTABLES

The Economist Magazine Intends to Offer an NFT of their DeFi Front Cover

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The venerable British journal The Economist has announced that the front cover of its September 18 edition will be auctioned off as a non-fungible token.

On October 25, the cover will be offered, which imitated an Alice in Wonderland scene by placing Alice and the white rabbit on the verge of a rabbit hole filled with tokens. With the support of the platform Foundation, it was turned into an NFT.

The auction will be the first time The Economist has offered an NFT for sale, but it isn’t the first time a big journalistic organization has done so. In March, a New York Times column was purchased for a stunning $560,000. Twitter postings from the past have also been coined and sold as NFTs for astronomically high prices.

According to a press release from The Economist, the goal is to demonstrate the potential of decentralized technology.

The Economist Educational Foundation (TEEF), an independent charity focused on news, will receive the proceeds from the sale, minus fees, transaction costs, and taxes. In addition, the magazine will keep 10% of the royalties produced by future secondary sales of the NFT, with the money going to TEEF.

Justin Metz, a British artist, created the artwork for the DeFi cover, captioned “Down the rabbit hole: The promise and hazards of decentralized banking,” with help from The Economist’s cover designer Graeme James.

“By selling our ‘Down the rabbit hole’ cover as an NFT, we are now, in our tiny way, going down the rabbit hole ourselves, in a fun experiment that will hopefully help earn money for a great cause,” Alice Fulwood, the magazine’s financial correspondent, said.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

A Record-breaking $2.7 Million was Paid for a Crowned Bored Ape with Psychedelic Fur

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Last night, a record-breaking 696.969 ETH ($2.7 million) was paid for Bored Ape #8585. That is the highest price ever paid for a Bored Ape.

This NFT is part of the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection, which includes a variety of apes in various expressions and clothes, some of which are more unusual than others.

This sale follows a series of high-priced Bored Ape sales. In addition, two other sales over $1 million have occurred in the last 20 days, one for a Bored Ape with psychedelic fur and the other for a robot ape with cybernetic eyes.

In addition to Bored Ape #8585, the customer just purchased a few other NFTs. A Fidenza — one of the Art Blocks Curated NFTs — and two CryptoPunks were among the items sold for 200 ETH ($775,000). For 155 ETH ($600,000) and 265 ETH ($1 million), the CryptoPunks were purchased.

The customer spent a total of $5 million on the JPEGs, and they still have $1 million in ETH in their wallet.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

Martha Stewart is now Selling Ethereum NFTs, as well as Carving CryptoPunks into Pumpkins

Another business venture for the lifestyle entrepreneur is festive Ethereum NFT collectibles.

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Television personality and lifestyle entrepreneur Martha Stewart has made a name for herself in various artistic and business endeavors, including books, publications, home furnishings, and packaged foods. Now she’s taking her business to a brand-new medium with a burgeoning market: NFTs.

Stewart today announced the launch of Fresh Mint, an online portal dedicated to NFTs. The Ethereum-based NFTs were developed in collaboration with Tokns Commerce. While they are shown on the Fresh Mint website, sales and auctions are conducted on OpenSea, the premier NFT marketplace.

An NFT is a receipt for a rare digital item, showing ownership of a one-of-a-kind work like a photograph, illustration, video file, or video game object. So far in 2021, the NFT market has exploded, with $10.67 billion in trading activity in just the third quarter.

The majority of Stewart’s first NFTs are Halloween-themed, featuring handcrafted pumpkin-centric crafts or photos of Stewart in custom-made costumes, leveraging her reputation for crafting lifestyle creations and festive moods.

Along with a signed message from Stewart, the drop includes several “Carved Collection” auctions for images of one-of-a-kind pumpkin carving artwork (done by Maniac Pumpkin Carvers).

Collectors can even bid on the chance to have their favorite NFT avatar carved into a real pumpkin from collections like CryptoPunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club, or Pudgy Penguins. The winner of those auctions will not only receive an Ethereum NFT of a photo of the pumpkin, but they will also receive the actual pumpkin.

“Throughout my life, I’ve been so lucky to collaborate with talented artists, creators, and entrepreneurs,” Stewart said in a statement. “I see NFTs as a new canvas for creativity and blockchain as a vehicle to safeguard artists’ intellectual property while also supporting their wonderful work,” says the author.

Snoop Dogg, who recently stated that he has been accumulating rare NFTs under the identity Cozomo de’ Medici, is a friend and frequent collaborator of Stewart’s.

Snoop, who now has a CryptoPunk as his Twitter profile photo, has posted a couple of Cozomo’s recent NFT acquisitions, including a $3.9 million piece from XCOPY and a CrypToadz avatar, since last month’s announcement.

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