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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?

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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

In June, the volume of Ethereum NFT trading decreased by 70%, although sales remained stable

Although there is less money in NFTs, sales haven’t really slowed down.

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Despite the negative market, there is some good news regarding NFTs.

According to Nansen data, the overall amount of Ethereum NFT trades has decreased by 55% over the past month, falling from 1.3 million ETH to roughly 584,000 ETH. In terms of US dollars, that represents a decline of about 70% from just under $2.6 billion to about $672 million.

Over the past month, Ethereum’s price has decreased by around 43%. But because “blue chip” NFT prices haven’t increased to make up for it, fewer transactions are taking place.

Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT prices are still circling about 100 ETH among the top five listed NFT collections on OpenSea, with average ETH prices having essentially remained unchanged. The exception is CryptoPunks, whose buy-in floor pricing increased by 48 percent in part as a result of Christie’s head of digital sales taking over as the Punks’ new brand lead this month.

The unique blockchain tokens that represent ownership over digital art are still being bought and sold by NFT traders; they’re just purchasing less expensive tokens and “aping” into free mints like Goblintown, which launched a wave of free-to-mint NFT collections centered around bodily waste, nihilism, and memes.

According to data from CryptoSlam, the typical sale price for an Ethereum NFT dropped from $2,463 in May to barely $703, a 71% reduction. While a result, NFTs are often more expensive to buy as the crypto bear market persists.

OpenSea reported 1.478 million NFTs were sold on its platform in May. As of Wednesday, 1.476 million NFTs have been sold in June, thus it’s entirely probable that this month will see an increase in NFT sales over May. The Otherside NFTs from Yuga Labs, which saw $561 million traded in just one day, also significantly helped May’s results.

According to Dune data, the total number of registered users who have completed at least one transaction on OpenSea’s marketplace increased by a modest 6.5 percent. With a 16 percent drop from roughly 422,000 to 354,000, the number of active traders for Ethereum NFTs has only marginally decreased.

Nansen data show that there hasn’t been much of a reduction in the number of weekly active NFT projects that are seeing revenues. Three NFT collections—the same number as last month—have seen more than 10,000 sales. Only 30% fewer collections this month—from 109 to 76—saw more than a thousand sales in a given period. Therefore, NFT designers are still making sales, especially in collections with the biggest market caps.

Consequently, traders are still making trades even though overall volume may be down 55 to 70 percent in ETH and USD, respectively. Despite the fact that they are currently buying and selling for less, it appears that NFT aficionados still have hope.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

GIVENCHY PARFUMS, AMAR STUDIO, REWIND COLLECTIVE & VEVE REUNITE FOR THE CREATION OF AN NFT IN SUPPORT OF THE LGBTQIA+ CAUSE FOR PRIDE 2022

Fashion House, Artists and NFT Platform Team Up Once Again for Pride Month

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PARIS, June 23, 2022 – To mark Pride Month this year, Givenchy Parfums states its support for the LGBTQIA+ cause by reuniting with LGBTQIA activist Amar Singh, artists Rewind Collective & NFT platform VeVe, the largest mobile-first digital collectibles platform, for the release of a new digital collectible to be sold for charity releasing on Wednesday, June 29 at 12 p.m. PT. The release of the digital artwork, Pride II by Rewind Collective, will be sold for the benefit of the Le MAG Jeunes association, on VeVe’s digital collectible platform, available to download on the App Store and Google Play.

Drawing inspiration from the House’s Prisme Libre, combining four shades of colors, as well as the Rewind Collective’s Pixelated Heroes series, this original virtual artwork is being sold on VeVe in a limited series of 1952 editions. After the sale, the proceeds will be entirely donated to the Le MAG Jeunes association.

Titled “Pride II”, the artwork created by Rewind Collective for Givenchy Parfums is a series of animated portraits symbolizing diversity, the assertion of identity, and the fight for equal rights. Innovative photos, which the collective reinterpreted digitally in the colors of the Rainbow Flag, expres Givenchy’s commitment to a more diverse, more inclusive, more universal kind of beauty.

Through this initiative, Givenchy Parfums, Amar Studio & VeVe are proud to support Le MAG Jeunes (Movement for the Assertion of Young Gay, Lesbian, Bi & Trans people), a French association founded in Paris in 1985. Amar Singh continues to lead India’s national effort at the supreme court to abolish LGBT+ conversion therapy.  Aimed at the LGBTQIA+ young population (15 to 30), Le MAG Jeunes focuses on support and accompanying: it carries out awareness-raising missions in schools, offers cultural and educational activities, and provides psychological support to all those who need it. It also lobbies international institutions, so as to promote the implementation of more inclusive public policies, for today and tomorrow.

“Art remains one of the most powerful forms of self-expression, we’re honored to further the LGBTQIA+ cause so that everyone can present their authentic self,” said David Yu, Co-Founder of VeVe. “We are proud to support the LGBTQIA+ community and help fund the fight against LGBT phobias and sexism through the sales of this unique digital collectible.”

Last year the companies came together to sell the digital artwork, “Pride”, as a sign of support for the LGBTQIA+ cause and MAG. The $128,000 raised led to the organization:

  • Moving to a bigger space in Paris and opening of two new local centers for LGBT+ youth inclusion, to overcome isolation and that offers support and multiple activities. The Paris local group is now in the heart of the capital Quincampoix Street, Paris 4th, with a great space to welcome LGBT+ youth. And the two new branches are in Lyon and Clermont Ferrand. 
  • An increase of LGBT+ youth supported by the organization to 529. The foundation aims to support 1,600 youths thanks to the new spaces and new members of staff. 
  • Building and recruitment a team of professionals to accompany youth and fight LGBT phobias and sexism.
  • An increase of interventions in school from 3,000 students in 2021 to 11,360 in 2022, to prevent LGBT phobia and sexism in the education sector.

About VeVe:
Founded in 2018, VeVe was created by collectors, for collectors to bring premium licensed NFT digital collectibles to the mass market. With millions of active users and over 6      million NFTs sold, VeVe is the largest mobile-first digital collectibles platform and one of the top-grossing Entertainment Apps in the Google Play and Apple stores.

Utilizing both blockchain and augmented reality technologies, VeVe offers premium licensed collectibles from leading brands including DC Comics and Warner Bros, Cartoon Network, tokidoki, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, and more. For the first time, these brands can provide customization to collectibles after their initial sale, creating endless revenue possibilities for products both new and previously offered. In addition, VeVe’s 3D augmented reality photo mode allows collectors to interact with every digital collectible, as well as share their collectibles through VeVe’s in-app social feed, or on external social platforms including Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and more.

In March 2021, VeVe committed to 100% carbon neutral NFTs and provided $7+ million in grants to environmental nonprofits to raise money for causes through NFT promotions. In addition, VeVe uses Ethereum’s layer 2 scaling protocol, Immutable X, which provides instant trade confirmation, scalability (over 9,000 trades per second), zero gas fees, and a 99.9% reduction in environmental footprint.

The VeVe Digital Collectible app is available on both iOS and Android.

Learn more: VeVe.me | Twitter | Discord | Facebook | Instagram | Medium

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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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