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Why Did a CryptoPunk Owner Refuse to Accept $9.5 Million in Ethereum for His NFT?

Is it possible to place a price on a rapidly expanding NFT brand? Maybe, but not for the Punk avatar’s owner.

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With a beginning price of approximately $400,000 worth of ETH on the secondary market and dozens of sales over $1 million to date, CryptoPunks is the most valuable NFT avatar collection. When a $9.5 million offer for his CryptoPunk came through, one owner could have cashed in big, but he swiftly declined.

Richerd Chen is the co-founder of Manifold, an NFT smart contract developer, but to his 59,000 Twitter followers, he’s the Punk with 3D glasses, black “frumpy hair,” and a cigarette dangling from his mouth. “My punk is not for sale,” Chen tweeted last week in a conversation. “I’m not interested in anything someone has to give.”

It’s a big statement, and someone decided to put it to the test. Chen was offered 2,500 ETH ($9.5 million) on Friday via the CryptoPunks secondary market, which developer Larva Labs administer. Chen could have accepted the offer and promptly swapped his ownership of CryptoPunk #6046 for the ETH stash because of how the site operates.

Patricio Worthalter, the author of the Proof of Attendance Protocol (POAP), an increasingly popular mechanism to reward communities with NFT badges for attending events, submitted the bid. “Come on Richerd,” Worthalter tweeted from the POAP Twitter account, challenging Chen to make a move. Don’t you want to be remembered as the #1 CryptoPunk sale of all time?”

In terms of dollars, it would be the largest on-chain CryptoPunk sale to date, with the current record sitting at $7.58 million (4,200 ETH at the time). In June, a CryptoPunk sold for $11.8 million at a Sotheby’s auction; however, the transaction did not occur on the Ethereum blockchain via Larva’s platform and thus did not appear on the site’s leaderboard.

In any event, $9.5 million in ETH for a JPEG avatar is a lot of money. Chen, on the other hand, rejected.

Late Friday, he explained his reasoning on Twitter, explaining that he has “built up a significant brand around” his CryptoPunk, including the connection to Manifold, a studio behind some of the most inventive NFT projects around—including work by Mad Dog Jones and Pplpleasr—that recently raised funds from Andreessen Horowitz and Initialized Capital.

“My identity, as well as the identities of other great Punks and Apes, has worth outside of the NFT.” He tweeted, “We have our brands, just like any other brand, and they have worth. This was an easy refusal for me because I respect my brand and personality.”

That’s why NFT avatars exist: they represent people on social media and in communities, and CryptoPunks and other high-end collections (like the Bored Ape Yacht Club he mentioned) are also status symbols. On Twitter, even rapper Snoop Dogg uses a CryptoPunk, and his NFT-collecting persona Cozomo de’ Medici also uses a CryptoPunk that he owns.

Some NFT collectors and producers even go by the name of their Punk. Punk 6529, for example, is well-known for his lengthy Twitter threads describing his vision for the future of NFTs and the metaverse. Meanwhile, Punk 4156 is a co-creator of the innovative Nouns NFT initiative, in which purchasers contribute to the creation of intellectual property based on the characters. Finally, Artchick, a well-known NFT developer, has changed her identity to 2476 after her CryptoPunk alter ego.

An NFT functions as a deed of ownership for valuable digital property, such as an avatar, an image, a video game item, or something else entirely. CryptoPunks was created in 2017, long before the NFT market explosion this year, and even before Ethereum established an NFT standard. There are 10,000 CryptoPunks in all, with the majority of them being given away for free when the game first launched. Since then, they’ve generated roughly $1.5 billion in trading volume between them.

Even though $9.5 million in ETH is significantly more than the average recent CryptoPunk selling price, Chen sees more value in keeping his NFT and retaining his brand. In addition, many in the NFT community have lauded him for having “diamond hands,” a term used to describe someone who is steadfast in the face of intense pressure to sell.

“In the NFT space and Punks, I have a lot of faith. I think quite a long term when it comes to [the] NFTs space,” he tweeted. “In the long run, I believe my brand, identity, and what I’m doing in the NFT area will be far more important.”

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.

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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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ART & COLLECTABLES

Crypto-Vultures Profit from the Death of Queen Elizabeth

Only a few hours after the Queen’s passing, more than 40 meme tokens bearing her name have been released.

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Yesterday, according to Buckingham Palace, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II passed away. Although her loss triggered a global outpouring of sympathy and grief, it has also been exploited as a money-grab.

Elizabeth II, monarch
Grift endures eternally, but the Queen is gone.

There are over 40 meme coins on Ethereum and the Binance Smart Chain thanks to Queen Elizabeth’s passing (and at least one exploitative NFT collection).

While the news of the British monarch’s demise saddened people worldwide, cryptocurrency scammers took advantage of the occasion to launch dozens of meme coins with Queen themes on Ethereum and Binance’s BNB Chain.

Among the new crypto coins that were introduced are “Queen Elizabeth Inu,” “Queen Doge,” “God Save The Queen,” “London Bridge Is Down,” “Queen Grow,” “Rip Queen Elizabeth,” “Elizabeth II,” and “Queen Inu II.” Other tokens with the name of the next king, King Charles III, have also appeared. According to DexScreener, at least 40 separate meme coins appear to have been produced in the previous six hours.

The most liquid tokens, Save The Queen and Queen Elizabeth Inu, have already processed trade volumes of around $700,000 and $200,000 since their debut. At the time of writing, the price of Queen Elizabeth Inu is up 1,517%, while it has increased by 23,271% on Binance Smart Chain and 3,708% on Uniswap. Prices are incredibly unstable and exceedingly unlikely to persist.

The “Queen Elizabeth 69 Years NFT” NFT set has reportedly been produced. One image is said to represent each year of the Queen’s reign in the collection. The project’s aims should be questioned because Elizabeth II reigned for 70 years, not 69.

The crypto community, typically known for its gallows humor, mainly reacted negatively to the initiatives. When told about the NFT collection, NFT aficionado ThreadGuy said, “You’re going to hell.” Trader Byzantine General declared, “We’ve got to stop this crypto stuff.”

In 1926, Queen Elizabeth was born. She was the longest-reigning British monarch in history and passed away in Balmoral Castle at 96.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

One crypto sector, according to billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya, is experiencing a classic bubble cycle

One crypto sector may be going through a typical hype cycle, according to billionaire investor and software entrepreneur Chamath Palihapitiya.

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In a new episode of the All-In podcast, the CEO of Social Capital discusses the sharp decline in trading volume in the non-fungible token (NFT) market.

Palihapitiya offers Coachella and Burning Man as examples of major music festivals that strive to be distinctive but may wind up being mostly the same.

The billionaire contrasts NFTs and the overall art market with the two music events.

“I do believe that there is something going on; the simplest way to explain this is with the Burning Man/Coachella scenario. Many of these things are similar, but when some people approach anything new, they are too insecure to accept that it is similar to another item, so they spend a lot of time attempting to convince you that it is different. When someone says that a time is different, it’s probably not that different, as stated in the Warren Buffett quote, is an example. Or consider the other famous historical adage, “Things don’t always repeat in history, but they rhyme.”

All of this is meant to imply that, aside from major advances in science, not much new has been discovered recently. We keep repeating the same patterns, and one of them is the social capital that comes from making certain decisions and then having those decisions validated by others in order to feel valuable. And this occurred in NFTs, as well as, I’m sure, in the initial stages of several artistic movements. These events are more comparable than dissimilar because they have presumably occurred in a number of other markets as well.

Burning man and Coachella are same. The art market and NFTs are both the same. It doesn’t need to be unusual; you can simply appreciate it because you think it’s cool. I would just take it with a grain of salt and tell anyone who comes to you asking why it’s so different.

DappRadar reports that earlier last week, trading volume on popular NFT marketplace OpenSea reached a one-year low.

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