It feels like only yesterday that celebrities from Stephen Curry to Jimmy Fallon were clamoring to purchase Bored Apes. The average sale price for BAYC NFTs reached an eyewatering $200,000, with some individual pieces commanding over $1,000,000. But that was so 2021.
The buzz surrounding NFTs has cooled off lately, in line with the wider crypto market. Yet that doesn't mean the space has stopped growing. NFTs are still very much alive, and these latest five developments show the best is yet to come.
We've already seen an influx of high-fashion brands in the NFT market, with prominent names from Gucci to Balenciaga releasing their digital collectibles.
This week, the news broke that Prada would be the next to leap on the NFT bandwagon with the launch of 100 NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain to accompany its Timecapsule apparel release.
Each NFT will signify the ownership of a real-world fashion item and will be distributed free of charge to buyers of physical merchandise from its latest collection.
Prada's foray into NFTs is a little different from its peers. Rather than asking buyers to purchase a physical item or a digital representation, they will get both. This could signal a new strategy that opens up NFTs to a wider audience beyond the technically savvy or digitally native. Prada is gently bringing traditional buyers into the digital world, opening the door to growing its presence in the metaverse.
While many people still lament the lack of regulation in the crypto space, recent developments at the world's largest NFT marketplace, OpenSea, could signal that these lawless practices will change. Prosecutors in the U.S. this week charged a former employee with insider trading, in the first case of its kind, and it involves digital assets.
Causing a stir last year before he resigned, Nathaniel Chastain allegedly bought NFTs on 11 separate occasions based on privileged, confidential information that would soon be listed for sale on OpenSea. Prosecutors state that Chastain's job was to decide which NFTs to feature on the marketplace's homepage, and he would then sell them shortly after being featured for up to five times more than the amount he paid.
"NFTs might be new, but this type of criminal scheme is not," stated U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. "Today's charges demonstrate the commitment of this office to stamping out insider trading - whether it occurs on the stock market or the blockchain."
Even when crypto prices continue to sink as the bear market takes hold, Ethereum registered more than $27.50 billion of total NFT sales as of 31 May. Despite its scaling issues and infamously high gas fees, Ethereum remains the most popular blockchain for buying, holding, and selling NFTs.
Other growing ecosystems like Solana, Flow, Binance Smart Chain, or Polygon are also experiencing rising volumes in NFT sales but lag behind Ethereum. This development is significant at a time when Ethereum's native ether token (ETH) is down more than 52% YTD and highlights NFTs' popularity despite the crypto slump.
Johnny Depp's NFT collection on OpenSea saw a surge in prices after he won his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard this week. The collection of almost 4,000 NFTs, perhaps aptly named "Never Fear Truth," had failed to see much traction since its launch in March but is now selling for more than 0.53 ETH a piece at entry price.
Minted once again on the Ethereum blockchain, Depps's collection is the work of the actor himself and features images of "Friends and Heroes" from the actor's past, including River Phoenix, Heath Ledger, Elizabeth Taylor, and Al Pacino.
The diva of pop Mariah Carey joins her many celebrity friends this week in entering the crypto space with the launch of her very first NFT. Carey fans can enter a competition to win the NFT, which will give them access to a full-on immersive experience. The lucky winner and one guest will join the megastar flying on her private jet and dining at the Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony next month in New York.
As for the design of the NFT, it will be glam and glitzy (of course), taking the shape of a pink and purple boarding pass sprinkled with glitter and accompanied by a personalized audio recording from the star.
As uncertainty continues to flood the market, from equities and forex to commodities and cryptocurrency, it's encouraging to see the NFT sector going strong. From increased adoption of major fashion brands to landmark regulatory cases and record sales, NFTs continue to bring crypto closer to the mainstream. As the second half of 2022 comes to a close, it will be interesting to watch what happens next.
Just as many investors were getting comfortable with the concept of stablecoins and their place in the crypto market, the TerraUSD (UST) scandal caused them to stop in their tracks.
Bringing digital assets to the world.
EQONEX is a digital assets financial services company focused on delivering a full, digital asset ecosystem that offers innovative, trusted, and transparent products and services.
© 2022 EQONEX Capital Pte Ltd
All rights reserved.