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ART & COLLECTABLES

Meet the Artist whose Work was Stolen for a $138,000 Cryptocurrency Fraud

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2,000 people went into a presale for a collection of digital figurines last week, only to be disappointed when they received nothing but emoticons in exchange. The anonymous person who sold the NFTs made $138,000 and then vanished, leaving only a deactivated Twitter account in their wake.

The artist who developed the photographs — which were exhibited as collection previews — learned about the sale for the first time only on Sunday.

Ludvig Holmen, a 27-year-old artist, stated, “It was kind of terrible that someone took and used your work like way. However, it was great to see that my effort had been appreciated by someone, even if I wasn’t aware of it.”

Holmen is a London-based architect who is now studying at the Architectural Association. While he used to do a lot of drawing and 3D modeling when he was younger, it was via an architecture that he became more serious about creating art.

Holmen first learned about NFTs in February, when Beeple sold one for $69 million. Shortly after, he decided to make his run of NFTs, selling GolemFactory, a set of rotating 3D NFTs, for 17 ETH ($59,000 at current pricing).

Holmen also designed a set of 25 3D digital figurines for the Kingdoms Of Ether collection, customizing each one. His original plan was to sell them as NFTs, but he didn’t know how to mass-produce enough to form a reasonable collection, given that each one was handcrafted. He also didn’t have much free time as a student.

“We had discussed the possibility of doing something similar. But the complexity of pulling it off while maintaining model quality caused us to decline – it’s a massive undertaking,” he remarked, referring to his friend who handled the coding for his Golem project.

So he was not only startled to see that his artwork had been used for a phony NFT sale but also that there had been strong demand for it, with the presale selling out in minutes.

He commented, “That’s amusing to see it’s exactly what we were talking about doing, and the person pretends to do it.”

Holmen said he was aware that some rug pull victims had banded together to try to develop a solution that would help individuals who had lost money. He said that while he hadn’t been able to contact them yet, he was willing to assist in any way he could.

“I want to reach out to the folks who invested in the initiative in the first place and see what they think about it. It would be a pity if there were enthusiasm for the initiative, and I don’t want them to believe I was the one who conned them,” he remarked.

Something along the lines of free handouts to people who were harmed by the hoax, according to Holmen, could be an option. So, while the NFT mint was a shady rug pull, it’s not the end of the world.

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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ART & COLLECTABLES

The CryptoPunk Sale raises $100,000 in Ethereum to support the war effort in Ukraine

Before the recent crash, the NFT was worth about three times that when it was donated in March.

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The Ukrainian government stated today that their Aid for Ukraine crypto fundraising campaign sold a donated Cryptopunk NFT and raised over $100,000 to support the country’s anti-Russian war efforts.

In March, Cryptopunk #5364 was donated to a Ukrainian crypto fund. The fund sold the NFT to an unidentified buyer for 90 ETH yesterday. NFTs are digital or physical assets that are represented by blockchain-based tokens.

In a tweet today, Alex Bornyakov, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation—the office in charge of supervising the country’s crypto fundraising throughout the war—announced the sale.

In late February, just after Russian troops entered the country, Ukraine began receiving crypto and NFT donations. Since then, the country is said to have raised more than $135 million in cryptocurrencies through cryptocurrency donations and the selling of given NFTs.

A crypto organization collected $6.75 million for Ukraine’s military effort in early March by selling a single NFT of the Ukrainian flag. The Ukrainian rap group Kalush Orchestra, this year’s Eurovision champions, auctioned off their trophy to generate nearly $1 million in ETH for the foundation a few weeks ago.

The cryptocurrency fund assists Ukraine’s military in purchasing non-lethal goods such as protective vests and medical kits. The Ukrainian government does not hold or spend the funds; it just approves and monitors the initiative. The fund’s treasury is run by the Ukrainian crypto exchange Kuna, which is used to assist support volunteer purchases.

Ukraine’s use of cryptocurrency throughout the crisis has acted as a case study for the potential benefits of crypto in geopolitical conflicts where fiat currency (such as US dollars) is difficult to move fast.

It’s also brought up some possible downsides. Although U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen claims the practice hasn’t been widely seen, the International Monetary Fund warned in April that Russia could circumvent economic sanctions by mining cryptocurrency.

Furthermore, the present crypto bear market has completely exposed crypto and NFT donations. The price of Ethereum has dropped about 70% in the previous ten weeks, severely limiting the fundraising possibilities of NFT collections based on Ethereum, such as Cryptopunks.

The Cryptopunk that was sold yesterday raised just over $100,000 for Ukraine’s war effort; the same amount of ETH would have been worth almost $267,000 on the day the NFT was given in March.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

Jay-Legendary Z’s Sneakers Are Worth More Than 1 BTC As an NFT, go to auction

Relevant Customs, a well-known shoe brand in celebrity circles, has launched an auction for a “artist-proven” pair of the iconic Brooklyn Zoo sneakers. On the ClubRare platform, the auction will take place on June 21.

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Only ten pairs of Brooklyn Zoo sneakers were ever made, and thanks to Jay-Z, one pair went viral, selling for more than $24,000, which is now more than the value of a single Bitcoin. Now, the artist has shown the sneaker’s initial prototype, the same pattern that was used to make the other ten shoes. On June 21, the “Brooklyn Zoo” Jordans will be auctioned off as an NFT-supported, Metaverse-compatible item. This is the only pair of Brooklyn Zoo sneakers with web3 functionality.

NFT-commerce
Despite the fact that the cryptocurrency market is currently experiencing a major downturn, NFT assets are the first to be sold by investors, losing the greatest value. As the preceding news shows, NFT aficionados and entrepreneurs are unconcerned about the current state of affairs. On the contrary, based on their activities, they appear to want to give NFT collectibles greater weight and establish them as a whole entity. As a result, Paul Chung, the CEO of ClubRare, planned a Brooklyn Zoo Jordans auction conference on the future of e-commerce on blockchain.

This is an extremely crucial question. NFT assets are no longer associated with anything other than conjecture and pricey photos, thanks to their original high buzz. But it’s crucial to emphasize that, first and foremost, it’s a fantastic tool for registering ownership and e-commerce, and that every digital area of products and services turnover can benefit from these features.

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