This Week in NFTs, Vol. 4

A roundup of NFT news from July 19 to July 25. Delivered every Sunday.

Welcome to This Week in NFTs, a curated digest of NFT-related news from around the web. These roundups are always 3 minutes or less ⏰ and delivered on Sunday.

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⏰ Reading Time: 3 minutes

💎 This week: White Male Artist sells his $HT NFTs, NFTs IRL with Vellum LA at LA Art Show, a tough choice to get a Steve Jobs NFT, the first NFT unicorn, a $1M sale in less than a minute, Peanut Butter Jelly Time, William Blake, DraftKings, and much more.

White Male Artist Wants To Know If You’ll Buy His $HT NFTs.

$HT Coin’s merit, as with other artworks using emerging technologies, depends on how the mechanism is wielded. For all the promise NFTs offer to artists, they have become the currency of ostentatious speculation fueled by greed. They also have an environmental cost. Museums and collectors are (allegedly) interrogating the contents of their collections and bringing gender and racial inequality into focus within the greater arts and crypto community. $HT Coin, as a durational performance, in time, will address these issues. Follow along.

WMA believes that NFTs hyper-perform a culture of consumption. When does the ravenous appetite for greed go too far? We have mined the gold from our soil. We have poisoned our oceans. A collection of plastic bags floating forever in the Pacific Ocean makes up more land mass than the state of Texas. Rather than re-evaluate our relation to the planet or choosing to proceed with moderation, or respect, or care, instead we invent digital scarcity. Our sociopathic lust to absorb continues to run rampant. 

See more at Forbes.

At the LA Art Show, Women and Technology Take Center Stage

Part of the fair’s marquee programming includes a special section dedicated to Vellum LA, the first physical gallery for NFT-backed digital art in Los Angeles ahead of its formal launch in September. The gallery will present “Sea Change,” a physical NFT exhibition in partnership with the online crypto marketplace SuperRare. The works of 12 new media artists—Claudia Hart, Krista Kim, and Marjan Moghaddam, among others—will explore the language, materiality, and logic of the met averse while embracing our inevitable technological immersion. Such themes define Nicole Ruggiero’s Touch Me, which pictures a candy-colored hand reaching through the deconstructed layers of an iPhone. Other works, such as Stream Alleyway by Blake Kathryn, feel more optimistic, rendering a shimmering indoor pool in a technicolor, ‘80s-glam dreamscape. 

See more at Surface Magazine.

Steve Jobs’ 1973 job application is up for auction as an NFT

A 1973 handwritten job application from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is once again up for auction. But this time, you can bid to buy either the original document or an NFT version.

The one-page-long application was created by Jobs after he dropped out of Reed College and three years before he founded Apple. It doesn’t list a position or the company but says he was interested in electronics tech or design engineer positions. His skills included computer and calculator experience. Jobs co-founded Apple with Steve Wozniak in 1976.

See more at CNBC.

OpenSea raises $100M at $1.5B valuation for NFT marketplace

OpenSea raised $100 million at a $1.5 billion value from A16z to scale its open nonfungible tokens (NFTs) marketplace.

The New York-based OpenSea said it has become the largest digital marketplace for crypto collectibles and NFTs. It sells NFTs, which are uniquely identifiable digital items that can be authenticated through blockchain (the transparent and secure digital ledger behind cryptocurrencies).

Andreessen Horowitz, also called A16z, led the second institutional funding round, with participation from angel investors Michael Ovitz (CAA cofounder) and actor-investor Ashton Kutcher. The funding amount means that the OpenSea is a unicorn, or startup with a $1 billion valuation. It is one of 900 unicorns valued at a cumulative $3 trillion.

See more at VentureBeat.

NFT Art Marketplace Sets New Records

A non-fungible token (NFT) artwork sold for nearly $1 million in just under a minute, setting a new record for the fastest selling NFT. Meanwhile another artwork set a record for the largest amount raised for charity by a NFT.

'On the Wings of an Angel' by Sacha Jafri was made into an open edition NFT and auctioned at amfAR's annual Cannes Gala on Friday 16 July.

In 45 seconds, 1,500 open editions of the painting were bought for €750,000 ($884,760) by U.K. tech entrepreneur Scott Fletcher with the entire amount destined for amfAR's AIDS research programs.

See more at Forbes.

DraftKings shares plans for launch of NFT collectibles marketplace

DraftKings is entering a market that is both crowded and sparse — with plenty of NFT marketplace options for today’s niche group of collectors, though offerings are still light when considering the billions that have flowed through the space in the first several months of the year. This week, investors gave NFT marketplace OpenSea a $1.5 billion valuation. Dapper Labs, which makes NBA Top Shot, recently raised at a reported $7.5 billion valuation.

DraftKings’ foothold in the space will come from an exclusive partnership with Autograph, a newly launched NFT startup co-founded by quarterback Tom Brady. The company has inked exclusive NFT deals with some top athletes, including Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky, Derek Jeter, Naomi Osaka and Tony Hawk, hoping to build out its platform as the hub for sports personality collectibles.

See more at TechCrunch.

The Whitworth gallery in Manchester mints a William Blake NFT in aid of community causes

The Whitworth gallery in Manchester is minting and selling an NFT of a famous William Blake image with proceeds going towards a fund for community-based “socially beneficial projects”.

In partnership with the online art platform Vastari Labs, the Whitworth is launching on 28 July the first “UK museum-accredited NFT” on the Tezos-supported platform Hic et Nunc in an edition of 50. Two editions will be retained by the Whitworth with 20% creator royalties written into each NFT's smart contract.

See more at The Art Newspaper.

Rolexes in DeFi? NFT Marketplace 4K Raises $3M to Combine NFTs and Luxury Goods

4K, a novel marketplace that issues non-fungible tokens (NFTs) paired with luxury items held in storage, has raised $3 million in a seed round of funding that was led by Electric Capital, Crosscut Ventures, Collab+Currency, ConsenSys and IDEO CoLab Ventures. 

Testing of the 4K platform also kicks off Tuesday, as the company aims to issue digital deeds to luxury items such as Rolex watches and rare sneakers. Those deeds can be used to earn yield within the burgeoning decentralized finance (DeFi) realm, the startup said.

Bringing real-world assets into DeFi is viewed as a highly lucrative addition to the world of crypto lending. DeFi refers to finance that is based on blockchain technology and that doesn’t rely on a central intermediary such as a bank.

See more at CoinDesk.

It’s ‘Peanut Butter Jelly Time’: Dancing Banana Becomes Latest Meme To Be Auctioned Off In NFT Craze

The “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” meme—an animation of a banana dancing to a song of the same name—is the latest piece of internet history to be auctioned off as a non-fungible token as the lucrative NFT market continues to grow in popularity. 

See more at Forbes.

This New NFT Service Allows You To Create and Bid on Any NFT You Can Think Of

Real Nifty has launched an NFT minting service that allows anyone to create an NFT for the things they want to buy. Dedicated to innovating NFTs to be used for real-life experiences, the new service, titled “Real Nifty Wish,” takes NFTs beyond the realm of digital assets and content and facilitates interactions with celebrities and artists.

The way Real Nifty Wish works is fairly simple: prospective NFT consumers can fill out a form detailing their wish, who they want it from, name their bid price (in Ether) and mint the NFT either off chain or on the Ethereum blockchain, which typically ranges in cost from $30 USD to $100 USD. From there, the Real Nifty team will reach out to the celebrity or artist to tell them they have an outstanding wish from a fan. The celebrity has a 30-day window to get back to the team. If the wish is denied, they’ll return the bid, but if the celebrity accepts, Real Nifty will also help to coordinate fulfillment of the request.

See more at HYPEBEAST.

Onetool, a Y Combinator-backed Startup, Sold as The First Ever Startup NFT

onetool, a Y Combinator-backed startup to consolidate all 30k+ SaaS apps into a single app-store for business software so organizations could manage all of their Software in one place, has stated that they will become an NFT.

onetool Founder and CEO Gordi Braun stated that they are the first startup to turn a failing business into collectible art because business is half art and half science. He added that they didn’t make it, but they discovered that along the way that they had built a beautiful work of art: a product that isn’t working but has persuaded many investors to join the quest. We are now embarking on onetool’s final voyage to immortality by transforming this startup disaster into a work of art.”

See more at The Media Bulletin.

Some other bites:

  • A Painting or an NFT of It: Which Will Be More Valuable? (New York Times)

  • Bulls hope to engage fans with new NFT initiative (NBC Sports)

  • Chinese artist duo TaMen uses NFT to authenticate US$23,000 dogecoin painting, in new frontier for blockchain ledger technology (South China Morning Post)

  • ‘Crank’ Director Brian Taylor and Christopher Meloni Take On the NFT Marketplace With Short Film ‘Out!!!’ (Variety)

  • Can I Turn My Banksy Print Into an NFT Without Getting Into Trouble? + Other Artists’-Rights Questions, Answered (artnet news)

  • Continuing to take advantage of NIL freedom, UC quarterback Desmond Ridder inks NFT deal (Cincinnati Enquirer)

  • Big Time Studios reveals alpha gameplay for NFT game (VentureBeat)

  • Jamie Chua officially cooperated with RARA to release the world's first customized IP NFT (Yahoo! Finance)

  • Over 100 Creators Under the Name ‘NFT 256’ Present Their Artwork 'NFT256 WORLDS' for Auction on NFT STARS (Accesswire)

  • Raptors Announce New NFT Collection (Sports Illustrated)

  • 5 NFT Projects That Will Change Your View On The Industry (Benzinga)

  • KLKTN (Kollektion) Raises USD4 Million to Launch New NFT Platform for K-POP, Anime and J-CULTURE (Cision)

  • Polygon Studio will offer $100M to fund gaming NFT projects (VentureBeat)

  • Naomi Osaka NFT Being Sold for Athlete Mental Health Awareness (BeInCrypto)

  • AirWire Launches First-Ever NFT Camera on the AirWire DeFi Wallet App (Intrado)

  • Jerry Garcia’s Digital Art Launched as NFT Collection (Bloomberg)

  • Animoca Brands and Brinc launch NFT accelerator Launchpad Luna (VentureBeat)

  • Social NFT Platform DeFine Raises $5M Funding Round Led by Huobi Ventures and Major Korean Gaming & Entertainment Companies (Cision)

  • First NFT Company Accepted Into UN Global Compact (CoinDesk)

  • Artists Kennedy Yanko and Masego Collaborate for Sound-Scored NFT (Barron’s)

  • Record network activity and a second NFT boom send WAX price higher (CoinTelegraph)

  • APENFT Has Burned $2.52M Worth of $NFT (Accesswire)

  • How This Sad Barbecue Tray Became a Meme, Then an Artwork, Then a Cash Cow (Texas Monthly)

  • Original Hail Mary play gets NFT treatment (NBC Sports)

  • Mark Cuban has a gallery where you can show your NFTs. So how do you even make one? (WFAA)

  • New World Hosts First Private NFT Augmented Reality Experience in Miami (Newsfile)

  • Latin American NFT CryptoArtist FrankyNines Debuts New Sup Duck NFT Art Collection, Sells Out in 48 Hours (Cision)

  • NFT-Based Protocol BlockArt Raises $1 Million Seed Round Led by CoinFund (BusinessWire)

  • Sotheby’s ‘Olympic Collection’—Including a Muhammad Ali NFT—Opens for Bidding (Barron’s)

  • KFC Korea and TriumphX marketplace sign deal to develop NFT content (CoinTelegraph)

  • Social NFT Platform DeFine Raises $5Million Funding Round Led By Huobi Ventures And Major Korean Gaming & Entertainment Companies (AiThority)

  • Ghost Drops launches NFT marketplace: "the digital future of cannabis" (Cision)

  • Nick Graham Taking NFTs to Space (WWD)

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