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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Digital collectibles have more value than their physical counterparts, according to the CEO of NFT Marketplace
Collectors who want to get their hands on trade cards, comic books, coins, and stamps are turning to NFTs.
With a total USD trading volume of around $6.1 billion in the first quarter of 2022, collectibles are the leading segment in the NFT (non-fungible token) industry, up 29.7% from the previous quarter. According to data from Nonfungible.com, its market share is substantially bigger than the art or metaverse parts of the market in terms of volume transacted.
According to Evan Vandenberg, CEO of Dibbs, a blockchain-enabled fractional trading card marketplace, North America has the greatest market share for collectibles.
Dibbs users can purchase and sell fractions of collectible goods that have been authenticated, vaulted, insured, tokenized, and minted into the spot exchange-like marketplace, such as NFL trading cards or Hulk comic books.
Dibbs, which previously only accepted fiat, is now expanding its payment choices for its physically-backed NFTs using Circle’s stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) integration in order to reach more customers, the business stated Wednesday.
“If you want to be a global market, crypto is fundamentally the best deposit mechanism. It doesn’t care where you live,” Vandenberg told Blockworks.
Dibbs will be supported on all blockchains that presently include USDC, including as Algorand, Avalanche, Ethereum, Flow, Hedera, Solana, Stellar, TRON, and the Polygon network via bridging USDC, thanks to Circle’s partnership with Coinbase in the Centre Consortium, which governs USDC.
“As global e-commerce expands, consumers are searching for a more efficient and low-friction form of payment that can complement their digital retail experiences,” Circle told Blockworks.
Buyers will gain “a more streamlined, cost-effective, and secure transaction process,” while sellers will gain “more efficient settlements at the point of sale to enable them monetize and develop their collectibles business with both fiat and dollar digital currencies,” according to Circle.
From the physical to the virtual
Vandenberg, a lifelong card collector who specializes in first-edition Pokemon cards, argues that “there is more consumptive value in these items being digital than in being physically held.”
It’s not about eradicating the physical, but merely “shifting it from your palm” into vaults, he explained. These assets play a growing part in people’s digital identities as collectible and wearable NFTs become increasingly desirable to users who spend more time in digital environments.
According to him, the expansion of the collectibles market would be dependent on a marketplace’s assurance of access to rare goods, transaction speed and liquidity, and reliability.
Furthermore, being a part of and dealing with a community “that cares about what you care about” is required to share a personal collection in a more meaningful and scalable way, according to Vandenberg.
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