ART & COLLECTABLES
Thanksgiving in the Crypto World: NFT Declines and Black Friday Offers Become Mainstream?
This Thanksgiving, holiday-themed NFTs and Black Friday crypto bargains are expected to be popular conversation starters, but how will they be received?
Cryptocurrency mass acceptance is already underway, with the advent of the Metaverse and major businesses announcing nonfungible token (NFT) drops. According to recent findings from the Pew Research Center, nearly a quarter of 10,371 adults in the United States were familiar with bitcoin, while only one-eighth (13 percent) were completely unfamiliar. According to an additional study conducted by online broker BrokerChooser, the United States is the third most interested country in NFTs, trailing only Canada and Australia.
Given the United States’ interest in cryptocurrency, it’s not surprising that the price of Bitcoin (BTC), NFTs, and cryptocurrencies, in general, will be discussed at the Thanksgiving table this year. Black Friday sales on holiday-themed NFTs and bitcoin may be particularly appealing.
The most intriguing mainstream NFTs for Thanksgiving
With this in mind, a fascinating topic for discussion may be the growing number of popular businesses and stores adding holiday-themed NFTs into their product offers. For example, on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, Macy’s, one of America’s top department shops, will debut its “Macy’s Parade NFT” series.
According to Dave Torres, vice president of digital marketing at Macy’s, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has mirrored the finest of pop culture for more than nine decades. In addition, Torres noted that Macy’s had created art in the sky and on the ground with its iconic balloons and floats during the Thanksgiving parade. As a result, Torres stated that one of the goals of the parade NFT project was to understand new trends better while also ensuring that Macy’s is ready to embrace the next frontier of digital brand interactions. “We saw an opportunity to link brand innovation with our charity efforts for the Make-A-Wish Foundation in a way we never believed possible when we engaged ourselves in this project,” he said.
The Macy’s NFTs are powered by Sweet, an enterprise NFT solutions provider, and are developed on the Polygon blockchain. According to Tom Mizzone, CEO of Sweet, a consumer brand NFT platform, the Macy’s Parade NFT series includes parade balloons from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade’s 95-year history:
“Each parade balloon has been carefully selected to represent a specific decade from the 1920s to the present, and each balloon has been captured and grafted into a series of 9,510 generative NFTs designed by the very talented NFT artist REOMETRY.”
The Macy’s Parade NFT series, according to Mizzone, is unique for a variety of reasons, one of which is that just ten of the NFTs are available for purchase. “Those ten are only available through a Sweet auction that is currently running and will expire on November 30. “On Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 2021, the remaining 9,500 NFTs will be accessible for free on a first-come, first-served basis,” he stated on an official website.
All revenues from the 10 NFTs up for sale, according to Mizzone, will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This American non-profit organization supports children with life-threatening illnesses. In terms of the 9,500 free NFTs Macy’s is giving out, Mizzone explained that the retailer is going above and beyond typical charitable giving by demonstrating how to use NFT technology and smart contracts to create a continuous giving initiative:
“Every time an owner of a Macy’s Parade NFT decides to sell their NFT in a compatible aftermarket, 10% of the sale price will be donated to Make-A-Wish. So essentially, you’ll have 9,500 NFT owners when this is all said and done and an open-ended future of donations to, in this case- Make-A-Wish. As more retail brands begin to see the opportunity that exists with NFTs, Macy’s is setting a precedent of what’s possible in the realm of giving back.”
Martha Stewart, an American businesswoman and television personality, has created Thanksgiving-themed nonfungible tokens on her website, MarthaFRESHMint, in addition to Macy’s NFT collection. Following the release of her Halloween-themed NFT collection, Stewart will release a Thanksgiving-themed NFT collection this year, including audio recordings of Stewart’s Thanksgiving recollections.
Tokns Commerce, an NFT solutions provider for legendary brands and creators, collaborated with Stewart to create a licensed “storytelling” Thanksgiving-themed collection. According to Jamie Tedford, CEO of Tokns, a commercial solution for NFTs, the collection includes over 100 NFT collectibles that show a new perspective on iconic pictures from Martha Stewart Living magazine:
“With our featured drop, Martha has invented a new category we’re calling ‘Storytelling NFTs.’ This one-of-one NFT features exclusive audio of Martha recalling family Thanksgiving traditions and recounting the story of her first attempt at hosting Thanksgiving dinner — burnt Turkey and all.”
Stewart, according to Tedford, believes that storytelling has become a lost skill, which has grown more difficult in recent years of social alienation. “We wanted to use NFTs to reintroduce narrative and bring this little-known story of Martha’s terrible first Thanksgiving in her new house back to life.” In addition, Tedford continued, “Her legendary voice recording and accompanying original music set a new standard for generating a rare, wonderfully created one-of-a-kind NFT.”
Black Friday sales and cryptocurrency spending options for the holidays
While Turkey Day NFTs from Macy’s and Martha Stewart highlight cryptocurrency’s growth, retailers, merchants, and major brands have also started to support crypto payments in time for the holidays.
For example, on November 23, Regal, a movie theater chain with over 500 locations and 7,000 screens in 42 states, announced a partnership with digital payment network Flexa to allow consumers to pay for movie tickets, food, and beverages using cryptocurrency. Regal will accept Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Doge (DOGE), USD Coin (USDC), DAI (DAI), Gemini Dollar (GUSD), Chainlink (LINK), Cosmos (ATOM), Basic Attention Token (BAT), and other cryptocurrencies.
The increased desire for digital currency payment choices, along with the fact that Regal is about to enter its busiest season of the year, makes this announcement particularly appropriate, according to Trevor Filter, co-founder of payments platform Flexa.
“We’re ecstatic to announce this relationship just in time for the holidays, and we’re looking forward to offering Regal’s consumers and merchants simple, dependable, and secure digital currency payment choices.”
In addition to Regal, Bitcoin payments provider BitPay has teamed up with a number of its partners to offer Black Friday bargains to bitcoin users. Ace Jewelers, Newegg, precious metal store APMEX, and many more, according to Merrick Theobald, vice president of marketing at BitPay, would offer consumers discounts or rates that contain no further costs. “To take advantage of these offers, customers must pay using cryptocurrency or the BitPay card,” Theobald explained.
App for Bitcoin Reward Lolli is also offering double Bitcoin reward rates for Black Friday purchases. Lolli rewards customers with Bitcoin for purchases made at big businesses such as Sephora, Groupon, Macy’s, Nike, and others. According to Alex Adelman, CEO and co-founder of Lolli, the average BTC incentive rate would quadruple to 14% during Black Friday.
How will customers react to NFTs and cryptocurrency transactions?
Even though Thanksgiving NFTs and crypto payments appear to be more popular than ever this holiday season, it’s still unclear whether consumers will choose to spend their digital currency on purchases or collect holiday-specific NFTs from big firms.
For example, while customers are anticipated to spend cryptocurrency this holiday season, it may not be as much as in prior years:
“Black Friday this year already started happening for many merchants at the beginning of November, so it may not be easy to identify if spending will increase on Black Friday specifically. However, I do think that the rising prices of cryptocurrencies will get people to spend more on luxury items.”
While Bitcoin is the most extensively used crypto for payments, other coins such as Dogecoin and Litecoin and stable coins are gaining appeal with consumers and retailers, according to Theobald. “Stablecoins have a larger ticket value than regular cryptocurrencies.” This could be because retailers want to accept crypto payments. Therefore they’re urging customers to pay with stablecoins because of the many advantages of blockchain payments,” he speculated.
Some worries remain about holiday-themed NFTs, like environmental consequences and simplicity of usage, particularly for individuals unfamiliar with obtaining nonfungible tokens.
With these issues in mind, Tedford noted that Tokns intends to make NFTs more accessible by eliminating the need for a cryptocurrency wallet. “That’s why we built our platform on Shopify and used Shopify Payments to accept credit card payments and Coinbase Commerce to accept cryptocurrency transactions.” He continued, “We walk customers through the process of moving their NFTs to their crypto wallet once they’ve purchased them.” According to Tedford, credit cards were used in over 90% of transactions on MarthaFRESHMint, with most of these purchases coming from first-time NFT customers.
In terms of the environmental impact of NFTs, Mizzone stated that Sweet uses the Polygon blockchain for a variety of reasons, one of which is that Polygon is a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain. As a result, Polygon utilizes a fraction of the energy that other chains do, according to Mizzone. “Removing that possible environmental barrier is huge if our goal is to reduce the barrier to — and it is.”
Given the maturity and relevance of the NFT field for brands, Torres added that Macy’s has been “very focused” on launching its parade NFTs, adding that “it’s unlikely to be Macy’s last entry into NFTs.”
ART & COLLECTABLES
NFT Show Europe was all about innovators of the Future of the Internet: web 3.0, metaverse, blockchain, and digital art￼
Valencia, October 10th 2022: NFT Show Europe, the leading event on Web 3.0, Blockchain, Metaverse and Digital Art took place in the futuristic venue of the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain. From the 17th to the 18th of September 2022, #NFTSE attracted over 2300 visitors from 59 countries.
The show featured a packed conference programme with world-renowned speakers. Topics covered included the use of Blockchain and Web 3.0 oriented technologies in traditional businesses, gaming, sports, fashion, art and collectibles, among others.
First edition beyond expectations
“The event showcased the very best in European talent, demonstrating the unstoppable growth of these technologies and its potential in both business and artistic innovation.” explains Patrick Cyrus, Marketing Manager of #NFTSE22.
“We already count with the support of big players such as Tezos, Polkadot, Zeroframe, Crypto Page, Block Ape Scissors or Wert. All of us were equally impressed with the level of potential collaborations and we are already looking forward to the next edition.”
NFT Show beyond Europe
#NFTSE gathers some of the most influential companies and artists to discuss the latest trends and developments. The event was a major boost for the web 3.0 industry companies, fostering new partnerships and collaborations, which helped to solidify its position as a major meeting point in this world.
With visitors from 59 countries attending, the event showcased the latest in blockchain and web3 technologies and its potential applications in the real world.
The speaker line-up was formed by industry leaders such as Takayaki Suzuki, CEO of Metatokio and Esen Tümer, Founder of Metaverse Hub. Other notable speakers included Hide Uehara, Director of Business Development for Square Enix or Sam Hamilton, the Creative Director of Decentraland Foundation.
Showcasing more than 170 artworks by artists such as Zancan, Solimán López, Pablo Alpe, Ulysses, A.L. Crego or Jenni Pasanen, the art exhibition included exclusive minting by fxhash.com, workshops, interactive installations, panel discussions and XR experiences.
Conclusions & Trends
“Web 3.0 technologies provide a way for users to create and interact with digital assets in a virtual space. These technologies have the potential to revolutionize many industries, including gaming, art and finance. NFT Show Europe provided a platform for leading experts to share their insights on those industries in a futuristic business-art atmosphere.” adds Esen Tümer, Founder of MetaverseHub based in Turkey, Istambul.
NFTs and crypto are transforming the art industry by providing creators with a new way to monetize their work and by giving collectors a new way to invest in art. They can be used to track and prove ownership of everything from digital art to in-game items. One of the barriers is the acquisition of cryptocurrencies which is already approached by companies such as Wert.
“We enable the consumers to purchase NFTs with credit or debit cards just like normal or virtual goods … if you’re in the NFT, Generative Art and Web 3.0 space (NFTSE) is just the perfect spot to do that.” explains George Basiladze, Founder of Wert.io.
There is no doubt that the web 3.0 users have the potential to change the way we live, work and play. By harnessing the power of the internet, these technologies can help us to connect with others in new and innovative ways and help us to access information and services that were previously out of reach. With the right support and investment, web 3.0 content will help us to create a more inclusive and connected world.
The producers of NFT Show Europe are already planning the next stages for 2023.
ART & COLLECTABLES
Logan Paul’s unsuccessful NFT Investment: Over $620K to $10
Logan Paul, a well-known YouTuber, has lost millions of dollars as a result of the current crypto winter.
Logan Paul, an American YouTuber, actor, and social media star, holds a $623,000 unrealized loss as a result of his investment in an NFT from the Azuki line.
Also unsuccessful is his involvement with cryptocurrency. The market collapse has reduced the value of his possessions by more than $500,000.
Losses in Logan Paul’s Critical Papers
The well-known YouTuber joined the cryptocurrency bandwagon last spring when the values of most assets were surging, just like many other people. A few months later, he spent almost $2.5 million on NFTs, joining the trend. The most expensive thing he bought was a piece from the Azuki collection, which cost him $623,000.
However, the YouTube celebrity has suffered significant financial losses as a result of the unstable state of the bitcoin market and the NFT niche, at least on paper. The Azuki NFT currently trades around $10, as Paul recently made known, a drastic decline that sparked debate in the cryptocurrency world.
Many Twitter users made fun of the celebrity for using non-fungible tokens to transact at a time when there was obviously excitement in the industry. Others asserted that digital collectibles are frauds and should not be purchased. Some, however, contend that the price decline is a result of the current bad market and that once the next bull run begins, the valuation will rise.
It’s important to note that the NFT transactions were booming at the time he purchased the things. OpenSea’s trade volume spiked to almost $500 million for a single day at one time last summer, but in recent months, it has struggled to reach $10 million.
Paul has added bitcoin and other alternative currency to his portfolio in addition to NFTs. He recently acknowledged that he had lost almost $500,000 on such investments when he first entered the ecosystem at its peak last year.
Unfortunately for others that followed suit, this year has seen a significant decline in the value of the cryptocurrency market, which now has a total valuation of less than $1 billion (down from $3 billion a year ago).
Millions are Lost by KSI
The British rapper JJ Olatunji, a.k.a. KSI, was another prominent YouTuber who was severely hurt by the crypto market decline.
When Terra’s native token, LUNA, began to fall in price in May, he took the chance to predict that the price will eventually rise again. When the asset was going for about $25, KSI invested $2.8 million of his wealth in it.
He had no idea that the token would keep declining and eventually fall to almost nothing, wiping away the rapper’s multi-million dollar investment.
KSI is a strong supporter of the cryptocurrency market, especially bitcoin. He claimed that BTC will be crucial to the monetary system of the future last year. The rapper continued, claiming that he would have given each UK citizen £100 worth of bitcoin if he were the Prime Minister.
BTC is the ideal investment vehicle in KSI’s opinion. He believes that after ten years, individuals who have some exposure to the asset will “be laughing”:
“I feel like a lot of people are trying to search for quick money like, ‘Oh, I want to get in and out,’ but they’re not really seeing that. I’m prepared to travel a considerable distance for this.
ART & COLLECTABLES
Ford is getting ready to enter the Metaverse with digital cars and NFTs
A month after the company announced significant personnel reductions, it has filed a trademark application covering its future initiatives in the Metaverse and NFT space.
Ford Motor Company, an American automaker, has filed 19 trademark applications across its key automobile brands as it prepares to enter the realm of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and the Metaverse.
Mike Kondoudis, a trademark attorney licensed by the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO), disclosed in a tweet on Wednesday that the business had submitted a total of 19 trademark applications covering its car brands, including Mustang, Bronco, Lincoln, Explorer, and F-150 Lightning, among others.
The trademark applications include a projected online marketplace for NFTs and virtual versions of its businesses’ automobiles, trucks, vans, SUVs, and clothes.
Ford intends to produce digital images of its vehicles, SUVs, trucks, and vans that will be verified by NFTs, according to USPTO filings submitted by the automaker on September 2.
The business also disclosed plans for “downloadable virtual commodities,” or “computer programs,” that would include apparel, accessories, and parts for vehicles for usage in “online virtual environments,” such as virtual and augmented reality trade exhibitions.
Additionally, there are plans to develop an online marketplace for “others’ digital artwork” as well as “online retail shop services featuring non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and digital collectibles.”
Less than a month after Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford and CEO Jim Farley announced significant personnel reductions from its global workforce to decrease corporate expenses; Ford has decided to enter the Web3 area.
Ford isn’t the first automaker to enter the Metaverse market.
While premium automakers like Bentley and Lamborghini have already launched NFT collections, automakers including Nissan, Toyota, and Hyundai have indicated ambitions to enter the fast-expanding Metaverse market.
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