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The Biggest NFT Trends for 2021, from Art to Gaming

The year’s main topics are pop culture NFTs, blockchain art games, Metaverse NFTs, charity auctions, and global NFT art.

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#nft #nfthours #2021 #trends

The total value of NFTs sold this year may exceed $18 billion. Collectors, investors, and philanthropists are interested in these minted certificates of ownership for digital goods on blockchains, ranging from artwork, music, and in-game characters to films and images. They’re also freely tradeable on decentralized NFT platforms like OpenSea. So without further ado, let’s look at the most critical trends in the NFTs field.

1. Celebrities and current NFTs

Of course, at number one this year, the entertainment sector had no shortage of NFT drops and partnerships. Mila Kunis’ Stone Cats NFTs sold out in just 35 minutes, causing gas costs on the Ethereum network to skyrocket to process the transactions.

Snoop Dogg, the musician, and songwriter auctioned off a 3D collage of ten different photographs of himself at various times in his professional career in November, with the winning price totaling 188 ETH (about $700,000). NBA player Kevin Durant announced a collaboration between his company Thirty-Five Ventures and Coinbase on NFT drops in mid-December.

Then there was Quentin Tarantino, who announced that seven uncut sequences from Pulp Fiction would be auctioned as NFTs on the privacy-focused Secret Network. On the other hand, Tarantino may have gone a little too far in embracing the frenzy, as his production firm, Miramax, has launched a lawsuit against him for alleged copyright infringement coming from his NFT sale.

The most popular NFTs, according to crypto fans, are those with “pixelated punks” produced by artist Crypto Punks. The group now has the highest sales volume on OpenSea.io, having transacted 750,300 Ether (ETH) worth of digital art (about $3 billion at today’s price) since the platform’s creation in 2017. Their success has led to collaborations and agreements with renowned Hollywood agents.

2. Play-to-earn NFT games

NFTs aren’t just designed to be looked at. For example, Axie Infinity, a blockchain game, has users battle nonplayable characters and completing daily objectives with in-game creatures known as Axies. Each Axie is a one-of-a-kind NFT that can be purchased and sold on the Ethereum network. Breeding is minting Axie NFTs in the game, with rarer Axies having better stats and costing more. According to its official marketplace, the total volume of Axies acquired and traded in the last 30 days is over 125,000 ETH, or over $500 million.

In addition, in the game, players can buy virtual land NFTs. Such digital real estate serves as a breeding ground for monsters and bosses and a repository for a wealth of materials. Last month, the most expensive Axie Infinity land ever sold for 550 ETH ($2.3 million at the time).

Sorare, an NFT fantasy soccer game, is another popular option. Players can control their soccer teams using Sorare’s digital player NFT cards. According to Nicholas Julia, the platform’s CEO, nearly half a million players joined naturally, without any marketing efforts.

3. Metaverse NFTs

Since Facebook relaunched itself as Meta in October, developments in the Metaverse, a digital environment that includes 3D augmented reality, have gained traction. NFTs are important in the Metaverse because they ensure the uniqueness of virtual assets like player avatars. The new platform “will make it easier for people to sell limited education digital artifacts like NFTs, display them in their digital spaces, and even resale them to the next person securely,” according to Meta’s head of Metaverse products, Vishal Shah.

Bloktopia is now constructing a gigantic 21-story tower in the Metaverse to honor the maximum 21 million Bitcoin (BTC) that can ever be created. Consumer brands like as Adidas and Nike have entered the Metaverse as well, collaborating with contributors to create NFT artwork for their own brands. Above all, the creators of the virtual metaverse game Sandbox want to protect the realm from large tech domination.

4. NFT philanthropy

In 2021, the number of nonprofits accepting crypto donations has increased significantly. The Giving Block, a platform that facilitates such transactions, saw donations rise to over $100 million this year, up from $4 million in 2020. The company is collaborating with NFT platforms so that a portion of auction earnings can be directed to crypto non-profits, with direct NFT donations as a future development path. In the United States, investors can deduct charitable contributions from their regular income over a period of time, usually a few years, resulting in a win-win situation for everyone.

However, humanitarian endeavors in the NFT sector go much beyond that. NFT auctions have raised enough money to help build a school in Uganda and support frontline healthcare workers so far. An upcoming NFT auction in 2022 will provide funds for contemporary artists with developmental challenges. Meanwhile, the revenues from another will be donated to the previous Italian royal family’s favorite charity.

5. NFT world art 

Traditional painters must travel throughout the world to participate in exhibits and auctions in order to make their work known – a privilege granted only to those with sufficient financial resources. However, with the rise of decentralized NFTs markets, anyone from anywhere in the globe may mint, promote, and sell their work with little to no start-up money, bridging cultures around the world.

Melanated NFT Gallery and Mongol NFTs are two famous examples. Landscapes, images of jazz legend Miles Davis, DJ music, guitar audio, trading cards, and other sounds are among the works on display at Melanated NFT Gallery. Meanwhile, the Mongol NFTs site features NFT visuals of the namesake country’s pastoral nomadic steppes, as well as its history, traditions, and customs as told by Mongol artists. It already has over 100,000 registered users and sales of 1.5 billion Mongolian Tugrik ($550,000).

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‘It’s Time’: NBA Top Shot Maker Dapper Labs to Launch NFT Platform for UFC

Following the UFC 270 pay-per-view event, NFTs from the Ultimate Fighting Championship will debut on Flow this weekend.

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Dapper Labs announced today that it would launch an NFT platform for the popular mixed martial arts organization Ultimate Fighting Championship later this week, following its success with NBA Top Shot and subsequent arrangements with the NFL and LaLiga.

UFC Strike will premiere on Sunday, January 23, immediately following the UFC 270 live pay-per-view event on Saturday. UFC Strike’s digital collectibles, like Top Shot’s, will be based on video footage from previous events and will be minted on Dapper’s Flow blockchain. However, unlike Top Shot, the UFC collectible moments will include the original soundtrack to match the video clip.

Furthermore, rather than having different tier levels, all packs—which contain a random selection of moments—will be sold at the same price (as with NBA Top Shot). NFT moments from fighters like Francis Ngannou, Amanda Nunes, Kamaru Usman, Rose Namajunas, Derrick Lewis, and Justin Gaethje will be featured in the first pack.

Dapper’s contract with the UFC was signed before NBA Top Shot was out, which is interesting. According to statistics from DappRadar, the partnership was announced in February 2020, when the NFT sector was still small and niche—well before it grew to $23 billion in trading volume in 2021.

Dapper Labs’ head of partnerships, Caty Tedman, said that the company wanted to debut NBA Top Shot first and learn from the experience—which includes serious scaling issues early last year—before launching the UFC memorabilia.

She stated, “We’ve come to the stage where we feel ready to [launch].” “We’re ecstatic to provide UFC fans with a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as well as the utility that comes with this type of product. We’re finally ready to launch this as the industry, and we grow together.”

Tedman stated that the UFC Strike platform would be heavily promoted during this weekend’s pay-per-view event, including appearances by UFC President Dana White and fighters.

Because the UFC’s timetable is mainly based on pay-per-view fights every few weeks, UFC Strike will plan its releases to coincide with those significant events. As a result, the portal will first focus on fights from the previous year but ultimately include highlights from older UFC fights. The first fight in the promotion took place in 1993.

Despite the roughly two-year gap between the original announcement and this week’s launch, Tedman said the UFC—which already has a crypto fan token through the Socios.com platform—was keen to make a big statement in the NFT industry.

“Every company has its personality, and the UFC’s approach is to test with us and try new things with us,” she explained. “It’s fantastic to have a partner that doesn’t say, ‘Well, let’s try it little and see how it goes,’ when you’re talking about how to launch a product. It’s like, ‘Let’s make it as huge as we can.’ ‘Let’s do it in a UFC-style fight.'”

Unlike Top Shot and the impending NFL All Day platform, UFC Strike will be released without a closed beta period to the general public. According to Tedman, Dapper is investigating live activations at future UFC events, as it has done with the NBA, and added value for UFC NFTs, such as potential community or gaming features.

Top Shot in 2022

The UFC announcement comes on the heels of NBA Top Shot’s first major commercial campaign, including Kevin Durant, the Brooklyn Nets player and two-time NBA champion debuting yesterday.

In October, Durant and his Boardroom media group signed a deal with Dapper Labs to give him “a starring position across NBA Top Shot,” according to the company. According to Tedman, Durant, an early investor in Coinbase who has invested in other crypto firms, is familiar with the Top Shot concept.

“He’s a world-class athlete. He’s a top-tier human. He’s a tech entrepreneur,” she explained. “It’s been a long time since he’s been with us. He’s been interested in the crypto world for quite some time. Therefore, he ticks all the boxes. But isn’t he also swaggering? There’s nothing about him that wouldn’t make him a fantastic candidate for this type of campaign.”

ACCORDING TO TEDMAN, the NBA Top Shot team is “very focused on raising participation in the product and increasing accessibility” for 2022. Following the early 2021 boom in demand and Dapper’s time spent improving platform reliability and customer service, the business feels Top Shot still has substantial growth potential ahead of it.

“This sector is still in its infancy,” she explained. “There’s no such thing as ‘tried and true,'” says the author. “We’re going to attempt a lot of things, but we’re going to do a lot of things to make sure that current collectors feel valued—so they don’t feel like we’re creating an experience where they don’t feel valued.”

And NFL All Day, which Dapper promised would debut by the end of the current NFL season, is still on track to do so—for reference, Super Bowl LVI is on February 13. The NFT platform is now in closed beta testing, and given the recent nature of Dapper’s NFL partnership, Tedman said they’re concentrating on polishing it before going public.

“We’re much newer to the NFL,” she added, “in the same way that every organization has a different personality and every partnership has a different pace. So as a result, we’re taking our time with it.”

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Meta’s Instagram Experimentation With NFT Marketplace

Meta, formerly Facebook, is said to be working on a feature that will allow users to display their NFT collections on Instagram.

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According to the Financial Times, Meta, formerly Facebook, has new intentions to enter the fast-growing non-fungible token (NFT) market.

The Financial Times stated, citing unnamed sources, that the social media company is working on a tool that will allow users to mint and trade NFTs and display their collections on their Meta and Instagram profiles. In April 2012, Meta, formerly Facebook, paid $1 billion for Instagram.

The blockchain network on which these capabilities would be developed is still unknown. However, NFTs are currently available on several blockchains, including Solana, Tezos, Ethereum, Flow, and WAX.

According to two sources, an NFT marketplace similar to OpenSea is also in the works.

OpenSea has been a cornerstone of the burgeoning NFT industry. Despite a more significant market decline, the platform set a new monthly volume high of $3.5 billion two weeks before the end of January. According to a report by analytics firm Chainalysis, the total market for digital collectibles will reach $41 billion in 2021.

The $69 million auctions by digital artist Beeple at Christie’s, monthly million-dollar sales of CryptoPunks, and a slew of celebrities endorsing the craze in one way or another capped off a spectacular year.

This publicity has piqued the curiosity of non-crypto companies as well.

Instagram, Meta and NFTs

In December, Adam Mosseri, the CEO of Instagram, said that the company is “actively studying NFTs and how we can make them more accessible to a wider audience.”

The company organized a session for NFT makers earlier this year to raise awareness about how to use the technology. However, artists said they “need more information on how to [use NFTs], not just from us, but from other creators,” according to Instagram’s VP of global partnerships, Charles Porch.

NFTs are also expected to play a significant role in the metaverse, a persistent digital world where individuals interact through virtual avatars. Therefore, establish non-fungible ownership of objects inside a wholly digital environment.

With its latest push into NFTs, the tech industry is getting a glimpse into how Meta could implement NFTs on its platform. Facebook’s recent rebranding as Meta signaled CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s intent to move “from being Facebook first as a company to being metaverse first.” With its latest push into NFTs, the tech industry is getting a glimpse into how Meta could implement NFTs on its platform.

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Tom Brady’s Autograph NFC Platform Raises $170 Million in Funding

Autograph raises significant cash and extends its advisory board with the help of celebrities like Brady, The Weeknd, and Simone Biles.

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Autograph, the NFT platform co-founded by NFL quarterback Tom Brady in 2021, has made a significant splash by enlisting the help of sportsmen and entertainers like Tiger Woods, The Weeknd, and Simone Biles. Now, the firm has also raised a substantial sum of money.

Today, Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z fund and Kleiner Perkins led a $170 million Series B fundraising round for Autograph. Lightspeed Venture Partners, 01A, and Katie Haun’s new venture capital business are among the investors in the round.

Together with a16z General Partners Chris Dixon and Arianna Simpson, and Kleiner Perkins’ Ilya Fushman, Haun will join Autograph’s board of advisors as part of the fundraising.

Along with the funding announcement, Autograph did not provide a valuation. However, in July 2021, 01A and Velvet Sea Ventures co-led a Series A fundraising round.

The platform was revealed in April 2021, during the first NFT boom, and launched in August in collaboration with DraftKings Marketplace. Autograph has also released NFTs from Tony Hawk, Naomi Osaka, Wayne Gretzky, Derek Jeter, Usain Bolt, Rob Gronkowski, and the aforementioned names.

According to the firm, the cash came from “many recently finalized” collaborations that will be publicized soon. Autograph began with sports but has since broadened its focus, first with Lionsgate’s “Saw” film franchise and later with the addition of musician Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye as the platform’s music vertical’s head.

Autograph is “pumped to add some incredibly skilled experts in the Web3 sector to our team,” Brady tweeted today about the financing round. Autograph is “beginning with celebrities, but wants to encourage innovators at every step of growth,” according to a16z’s Dixon.

Images, video files, and interactive video game items can all be represented by an NFT, which works as a blockchain-backed deed of ownership for digital property. According to DappRadar, the market grew to $23 billion in transaction volume in 2021. Autograph issues NFTs using Polygon, a sidechain scaling solution for Ethereum, the primary NFT platform.

With Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot bringing NFTs to widespread audiences early last year, sports memorabilia have become a vital component of the NFT industry. Dapper has also formed partnerships with the NFL, UFC, and LaLiga. In addition, in October, Fanatics raised $100 million at a $1.5 billion value for its Candy Digital platform, which holds the official Major League Baseball license.

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