SAN JOSE, Calif., April 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — MORF Gallery, a Silicon Valley and Hollywood-based creator, enabler and purveyor of fine art, is getting the attention of collectors and investors across the globe as initial sales of the world’s first NeoMaster™ have now been completed. MORF Gallery partnered with Oxia Palus, a London-based new age technology company dedicated to using artificial intelligence to resurrect the world’s most important lost artwork, to co-develop two patent-pending processes that enable the recreation of masterpieces hidden under other paintings. The recreated masterpieces are produced on canvas and on a proprietary NFT ArtStick™ for digital display. The April 8, 2021 press release entitled, ‘AI Enables First Hidden Masterpiece on Canvas – Long Lost Behind a Pablo Picasso’, can be found here.
MORF Gallery and Oxia Palus are presenting the reconstruction of a lost masterpiece; Santiago Rusiñol’s ‘Parc del Laberint d’Horta’ – the world’s first NeoMaster™. Beneath Pablo Picasso’s ‘The Crouching Beggar’ lies a historically significant work of art believed to be of Parc del Laberint d’Horta near Barcelona, a place long recognized as a foundational influence for Rusiñol and Picasso. These 100 limited editions will never be available again.
“Just like art history was made when Beeple’s ‘EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS‘ became the first purely digital artwork (NFT) offered at Christie’s, and sold for $69,346,250, the ability to bring back the first lost painting on canvas that has not been seen in generations may be even more profound for the art world”, said Scott Birnbaum, CEO, Co-founder of MORF Gallery. “Together with our partner Oxia Palus and a growing collective of leading fine artists who combine their creativity with state-of-the-art technologies like AI, machine learning, robotics and neuroscience, MORF Gallery is ushering in a new era where lost masters, and new future masters, can be appreciated by fine art lovers, investors and museums.”
The backstory is that beneath Pablo Picasso’s ‘The Crouching Beggar’ lies a lost masterpiece. This hidden work of art is believed to be of Parc del Laberint d’Horta near Barcelona, a place long recognized as a foundational influence for Santiago Rusiñol and Pablo Picasso. Using processed X-Ray fluorescence images of ‘The Crouching Beggar’ and paintings from Rusiñol, Oxia Palus reconstructed the lost masterpiece – Parc del Laberint d’Horta – to now become the world’s first NeoMaster. Informed fine art collectors and investors now have the rare opportunity to collect one of the numbered limited edition NeoMaster, exclusively at MORF Gallery, currently priced at $11,111.11, before they reach the secondary market. This first NeoMaster measures 101.3 x 66.0 cm, precisely the size of Picasso’s ‘The Crouching Beggar’. Only 100 editions will ever be created. This work will never be produced again. Each canvas is protected by patent-pending anti-fraud technology and is accompanied by an NFT ArtStick.
Among the initial buyers of the world’s first NeoMaster was Guy King, a Melbourne, Australia-based, self-taught, self-proclaimed tech nerd and founder of the first crowdsourced online coupon site, RetailMeNot, which hit a peak market cap of $1.5B. King is now an angel investor and mentor who seeds Australian tech start-ups and likes helping others. King shared this about his NeoMaster acquisition, “With a background in creative technology, acquiring the NeoMaster was an obvious fit for my personal collection. The work is a really fascinating intersection between art and technology.”
The media and interested parties can access assets, images and videos of works from all MORF Gallery artists here.
MORF Gallery, a Silicon Valley and Hollywood-based creator, is an enabler and purveyor of fine art from award-winning artists that produce one-of-a-kind and limited-edition pieces using breakthrough technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and neuroscience. MORF Gallery adds a new experiential dimension with an industry-first NFT ArtStick™ that transforms any TV into a mind-expanding art gallery that takes premium collecting to a new level for art lovers, collectors and NFT art investors. ArtStick™ is a trademark of MORF Gallery. Artists who are interested in learning more about how to potentially become part of the MORF Gallery collective can contact email@example.com.
Oxia Palus is a London-based artificial intelligence startup founded by two technology Ph.D. candidates with the mission of resurrecting the world’s lost art. Oxia Palus has engineered a proprietary approach combining artistic creation and technologically. NeoMaster™ is a trademark of Oxia Palus.
In the Largest-ever NFT Drop, WAX will Distribute Ten Million Free NFTs
WAX will give out free NFTs to commemorate its success with a variety of companies on board and rising play-to-earn games.
Despite the recent NFT market surge, WAX has received little attention. Solana and Flow have both had considerable accomplishments in the field, but Ethereum has high-dollar, headline-grabbing sales and most of the overall trading volume.
Despite the lack of publicity, WAX has quietly racked up impressive numbers. It now has the greatest smart contract transaction volume of any network, with DappRadar having recently reported about 18 million daily transactions. In addition, major brands such as Funko, Mattel, AMC, and Sony Pictures have used it for NFT drops.
WAX—short for Worldwide Asset eXchange—has also recently passed the 10-million-to-11-million-total-wallet-accounts-on-the-platform-mark and will celebrate by airdropping a total of 10 million free NFT collectibles to those wallets. It’s the most significant single NFT drop to date, and the first 10 million WAX wallet holders will get it for free.
The free NFTs are distributed across ten different digital pins, commemorating a different period in WAX’s history. The 10 million NFTs jointly mark the platform’s success up to this moment, from its mainnet launch in 2019 to its carbon-neutral accreditation, and even its recent cooperation with AMC and Sony Pictures for “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
WAX CEO and co-founder William Quigley told Decrypt that the company planned to commemorate the wallet’s one-year anniversary with a large-scale drop that would be unfeasible on other major platforms. While the airdrop represents WAX’s history, he also wants it to demonstrate to companies that they can use its platform to execute initiatives involving millions of NFTs.
“Most individuals familiar with NFTs recognize that minting Ethereum NFTs is slow and expensive,” he explained. “So we reasoned: Well, no one has ever attempted to make 10 million NFTs. We’ve only done about 2.5 million Topps MLB baseball cards, but even that much outnumber anything done by other chains.”
According to Quigley, WAX had roughly 500,000 registered members at the end of 2020, so the current 10 million record implies a 20-fold growth in users in just over a year. Furthermore, according to data from DappRadar, the larger NFT market surged considerably in 2021, going from over $100 million in trade volume in 2020 to $23 billion last year.
He said that minting 10 million NFTs on Ethereum’s mainnet would be too expensive and that the “chain would have collapsed” due to the network’s low transaction throughput. He also chastised competitor chains: Solana experienced extended downtime in September. In addition, Ethereum sidechain scaling solution Polygon recently suffered rising costs due to a now-defunct play-to-earn game called Sunflower Farmers.
On DappRadar’s list of the most popular decentralized applications (dapps) by user count, WAX offers several play-to-earn games and other applications. While increased demand can put WAX to the test, Quigley says the blockchain platform has stayed online and functional.
“We’ve made it through, although it’s been quite difficult at times. WAX is still standing, “he stated. “You’ve got chains like Solana and Polygon whose entire raison d’être is their ability to scale. And [Polygon] couldn’t even handle one of the most popular learn-to-play games. There isn’t one. And there are many of them.”
WAX plans ahead
According to Quigley, WAX’s growing reputation as a destination for brands—which includes Reebok, Mattel, Capcom, and Atari—is partly due to the platform’s scalability and inexpensive pricing. But it’s also because of his team’s experience working with brands, including his previous role as Chief Financial Officer of Disney’s licensing division.
“When we communicate to brands about intellectual property management, we speak their language,” Quigley said. “We can safeguard their brands, and a lot of it boils down to trust.”
He expects interest in WAX’s “vIRL” NFT format, which stands for “Virtual in Real Life,” to rise in the future. It’s essentially an NFT digital twin that can be redeemed for a physical version of the product, and companies like Funko and Mattel have already used it in projects.
It’s excellent for high-demand products like shoes and streetwear, according to Quigley, because it eliminates some of the expenses and environmental effects of shipping things through many parties before they reach the end-user.
He also anticipates increased crypto gaming activity on WAX, especially as the nascent play-to-earn genre matures and expands into more affluent, more appealing game experiences. He understands why AAA game companies have been chastised for launching in-game NFT products and believes that such items have yet to add value to games.
“A lot of gamers dislike NFTs because they see them as money grabs,” he stated. “When it comes to AAA titles, I’d say that’s not far off.”
In the end, he believes that conventional, big video game publishers will lose out in the play-to-earn market. Instead, indie developers will create games with NFTs at their core, considering how the technology benefits users and experiences.
He anticipates rapid and significant evolution, much as he did with mobile and browser-based games.
“Indie game creators who embrace this technology will start building games that progress from primitive–almost like DeFi mechanics rather than games—to full-fledged video games,” Quigley added. “It’s very much a work-to-earn situation right now—there isn’t a lot of playing. Finally, however, we will be able to play-to-earn.”
Mercedes-Benz Collaborates with NFT Artists to Commemorate the G-Class Series
Mercedes-Benz has enlisted the help of five NFT artists to create their unique interpretations of the G-Class.
According to a tweet from Mercedes, the luxury automaker has teamed up with Art2People to produce a unique Mercedes-Benz NFT collection based on its G-Class car line.
Five NFT artists were commissioned to create G-Class-inspired works in various media, each unique design.
Music, fashion, graphic design, architecture, creative marketing, luxury design, and real estate are participating artists. Charlotte Taylor, Anthony Authie, Roger Kilimanjaro, Baugasm, and Antoni Tudisco from Germany are among the artists. The NFTs will be launched on Sunday by Nifty Gateway and Mercedes.
Mercedes isn’t the first major manufacturer to experiment with NFTs. McLaren announced its aim to use NFTs to produce virtual copies of its renowned F1 cars in June 2021. In addition, Coca-Cola created a one-of-a-kind NFT campaign to collect money for Special Olympics International in July 2021.
Mercedes-Benz isn’t the first company to experiment with blockchain technology. The automaker has launched a trial with blockchain company Circulor to ensure that cobalt emissions are traced throughout the supply chain.
Participants in the NFT Market in the United States may Face Harsh Tax Penalties
As the NFT market grew in 2021, so did the tax questions for the next tax season.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) wants a piece of the NFT loot. There is uncertainty over how NFT holders should be taxed, although tax experts estimate that taxes could be as high as 37%. According to James Creech, a tax attorney in San Francisco, “you don’t get to report earnings or losses because the IRS has failed to provide guidance that satisfies your expectations.”
According to Chainalysis, the NFT business would see $44 billion in transactions in 2021. Some artists made large profits, with one American artist selling an NFT for $69 million-plus royalties. This raises some concerns about how they ought to be taxed. Although the taxation of NFTs is not apparent at the moment, that does not mean they should not be declared on your tax return.
Those who failed to declare quarterly earnings from NFTs may be in for a rude awakening when penalties are imposed the next tax season. NFT owners can sell their NFTs on NFT marketplaces like Opensea or Rarible, and they may be liable to income tax of up to 37 percent when they do so. In addition, if NFTs use another cryptocurrency to purchase the NFT, they will owe capital gains taxes to the IRS.
Experts on taxation weigh in
NFT taxes are estimated to be worth billions of dollars, according to Arthur Teller, CEO of TokenTax. However, aside from the 37 percent income tax, the tax requirements are murky. For example, should they be taxed at the same rate as capital gains on art collectibles, currently 28 percent? Moreover, in light of Joe Biden’s proposed tax infrastructure package, the Treasury Department provides no detailed guidance on how NFTs will be taxed. According to Jarod Koopman, a director of the criminal investigation at the IRS, as a result, tax evasion may become a distinct possibility.
The IRS has issued general crypto tax guidelines
Notice 2014-21, 2014-16IRB938, Rev. Rul 2019-24, 2019-44 IRB1004, and ILM 20214020; the IRS explains how bitcoins are taxed. It should be noted that none of these include any mention of NFT. Section 61 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) may necessitate the inclusion of creator income on the revenues of NFT sales and royalties. In contrast, Section 197 may allow amortization to buyers who use the NFT for business purposes. Buyers from other countries will be subject to local taxes. At the same time, if the copyright owners are citizens of the United States, they may be required to pay state and federal taxes on any royalties received.
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