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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

Naomi Osaka’s NFT to Raise Awareness About Athlete Mental Health

An auction on Basic.Space will resell a rare NFT produced by tennis champion Naomi Osaka.

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In April, Osaka collaborated with her sister Mari on a six-piece collection. On Basic.Space, the first five were auctioned off. They sold for about $600,000 in total, with one fetching over $200,000. Meanwhile, the sixth Osaka NFT was raffled off to the general public. As a result, the NFT is now available for sale in a global auction by the winner of that raffle. The silent auction will begin on July 26 at 9 a.m. ET.

“Finding What Was Lost” is the title of the digital artwork being auctioned. Naomi’s favorite of the six, according to Osaka’s sister. The NFTs for the Osakas were developed on the Flow blockchain, which is best known for its NBA Top Shots NFTs.

Mental Health Awareness

A part of the net earnings will raise mental health awareness and assist athletes all across the world. Donations to NGOs like Athletes for Hope fall within this category. In addition, the money will go to the organization’s newly announced Whole Being Athlete initiative. The project’s goal is to encourage athletes while also raising mental health awareness.

Jason Belinkie, COO of Athletes for Hope, stated that athletes are battling with their mental health now more than ever. “With one in every five individuals being diagnosed with a mental illness, it’s become the most sought cause for advocacy, connection, and support from our athlete network,” he said. Belinkie expressed his company’s “pleasure” at assisting Osaka in “continuing this critical effort in the mental health space.”

The NFT Influence

According to Shea Newkirk, founder of CryptoStache.com, the sale of the piece has special relevance for sports NFTs. “While professional athletes have sold some huge NFTs in the last six months, Naomi Osaka’s constant and positive presence in the public spotlight will almost certainly propel this auction to a new NFT record,” he said.

Boxer Tyson Fury established the NFT sales record for an athlete last week, selling a single-edition piece for $987,000. Fury has a history of releasing NFTs, dating back to earlier this year. Patrick Mahomes, a football player, sold an NFT for $247,000 in March, which Rob Gronkowski later surpassed with a sale of $430,000.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

Physical and NFT Versions of Steve Jobs’ 1973 Job Application are up for auction.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ 1973 employment application form is up for auction, with both physical and digital versions available.

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Steve Jobs’ 1973 handwritten application for an unknown job is up for sale once more. It’s unclear what position Jobs was applying for, where he applied, or whether he was hired. What is known is that this piece of paper has been sold for a large sum of money several times in recent years. It was sold for $18,750 in March 2017, $174,757 in 2018, and $222,400 in March 2021.

Jobs wrote the three-page application three years before he and Steve Wozniak co-founded Apple. Jobs is skilled with computers and calculators, but not so much with type machines, according to the application.

Physical and Digital Collectibles are Pitted Against Each Other Face-to-Face

The addition of a non-fungible token to this auction sets it apart from prior auctions. Both the original physical copy and a digital counterpart in the form of an NFT will be sold side by side, according to the listing. According to auctioneer Olly Joshi, the purpose is to see which version has the most value in the current market. In a statement, Joshi said, “The Steve Jobs hand-written 1973 job application auction intends to illustrate the modern shift in perceived worth — the physical or the digital.”

The auctions will take place on various platforms, with the digital edition available on Rarible and the physical version available on Joshi’s own website.

The auctions will last seven days and began on July 22 at 9:41 a.m. PT. That time was chosen because it was the time chosen by Jobs to unveil new Apple products at formal events, and it is also the time displayed on Apple product clocks.

The hard copy of the application currently has a price of $14,000, while the digital version has a bid of $635 at the time of writing. The Cancer Research Institute and the One Laptop Per Child organizations will each receive a percentage of the proceeds from the final sale.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

Dolce & Gabbana Will Debut an Exclusive NFT Collection

In collaboration with luxury marketplace UNXD, Dolce & Gabbana unveiled the first in a series of NFTs.

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Dolce & Gabbana has announced the debut of an exclusive NFT collection in conjunction with UNXD, a digital marketplace powered by the Polygon Network that aspires to be the premier destination for digital luxury and culture.

Collezione Genesi, or Genesis Collection, will be the fashion label’s debut NFT collection. The collection will be shown at Dolce & Gabbana’s upcoming Alta Moda, Alta Sartoria, and Alta Goilleria exhibitions in Venice at the end of August. According to the press release, the collection focuses on Venice’s deep-rooted artistic traditions.

L’abito Dei Sogni, or Dress from a Dream, is the first concept in the collection, inspired by a dream by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. In the weeks leading up to the Alta Moda, Alta Sartoria, and Alta Goilleria exhibitions, other NFTs from the Collezione Genesi collection will be shown. All will be auctioned exclusively on UNXD.

Dolce & Gabanna’s NFT isn’t the first high-end brand to venture into the NFT industry. A few NFTs will be available from designers participating in Paris Fashion Week, with Gucci believed to be joining the NFT sector as well.

NFTs have stayed robust even as the prices of various cryptocurrencies have fallen, with more and more entries to the market. For example, LABS Group recently merged real estate with NFTs, allowing individuals to invest in its resort using the popular token technology. In addition, as more corporations, organizations, and foundations join the burgeoning market, artists like Muse have created more NFTs.

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