NFT Journal: Chapter Fifteen
It is with great delight that we welcome you to the NFT Journal’s fourteenth edition.
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The State of NFTs Across The World 🌍
There were rumours last week that the Chinese government would ban NFTs just like it did with crypto. There was also a US SEC news piece speculating that certain NFTs sales could constitute as a security. Then, there was a report that 17% of Ethereum addresses hold the majority of NFTs. Of course, we can safely say that these whale addresses belong to individuals in the US and Asia. Consequently,these news stories make it easier to sustain the myth that crypto and, by extension, NFTs activities are heavily concentrated in only two countries: China and the U.S. While this might be largely true, here’s our attempt to showcase the diverse ways NFTs are being used having across all continents.
Home to the United States of America, the continent boasts some of the biggest NFT adoption rates in the world. Over the past couple of months, we’ve covered several exciting tales about US-based art, music, and sports celebrities joining the NFT revolution in droves, either by selling their exclusive works or buying rare NFT arts. Snoop Dog and Paris Hilton are prominent members of this group.
Some of the most prominent NFT startups are also in North America. Larva Labs, the company behind CryptoPunks and Autoglyhps, is situated the US, while Dapper Labs, the startup behind CrypoKitties, NBA Top Shot, is based in Vancouver, Canada. Prominent sports bodies like NFL, WWE, and NBA have also secured exclusive NFT partnerships with these startups. Numerous NFT records are also set across the continent. Last week, a New York-based NFT collector club, PleasrDAO, bought the Wu-Tang Clan album for $4m.
Traditional companies have also been investing and utilizing the NFT revolution to better connect with their customers. Companies like McDonald’s, ViacomCBS, and Fox News have all been in the news recently. This past week, there was news that American-owned social platform Reddit might also be launching its own NFT platform, joining the likes of Twitter, Google, and Facebook in their MetaVerse adoption.
Other countries in the continent like El Salvador and Jamaica have also made headlines recently for their NFT-related activities.
Asian countries have traditionally been the most active users of crypto products, whether DeFI or NFT. Despite China’s recent problems with NFT, major Chinese corporations and celebrities have been at the forefront of the NFT trend. South Korea and Singapore are also big admirers of crypto and NFTs. Things may change for Korean-based traders now that the Korean government has indicated that it would begin implementing a crypto tax on its residents. Fortunately for NFT startups and collections, NFTs are exempt from this tax.
Other countries like the Philippines, India, Vietnam and even the Arab countries have also recorded modest adoption of NFTs. Despite the unfavorable crypto rumors emanating from India, the country’s celebrities, artists, sports teams, and movie industry (Bollywood) released novel NFT projects last week.
Finally, Axie Infinity, the Southeast Asian NFT startup, has championed the emergence of Play-to-Earn NFT games players not just in Asia, but globally..
Over the past month, we’ve covered some of the biggest NFT startups coming out of Europe.
Last month, French-based fantasy NFT game, Sorare raised a $680m funding round at a $4.3 billion valuation. That was a big triumph for the French NFT community, which has been brimming with NFT startups of late. Europe is also home to the biggest soccer teams in the world, therefore it’s not surprising that European soccer organisations have been in the forefront of Europe’s NFT adoption in order to better engage with fans. The Italian Serie A and Spanish La Liga soccer federations have signed significant NFT partnerships with key NFT startups like Socios. Crypto-baring jerseys are also a common sight in the English premier league and other major European soccer leagues.
Because the European Union is a huge market for many global organizations, many recent NFT investments by multinational companies have been focused on the region. Last week, Facebook announced they would be creating 10,000 new jobs to help them build their recently announced Metaverse vision.
According to a recent Finder poll, Australia has the third-highest rate of crypto adoption in the world. Until now, the continent comprising mainland Australia, Tasmania, and the island of New Guinea have been decent adopters of NFTs. Tasmanian NFT collection, Slick Devils, Australia NFT, and Australian Big Aussie Crocs have been at the forefront of Australian-based NFT community efforts.
The Australian government has also taken note of the swelling wave and plans to issue new crypto legislation to legalize the industry in 2022. This was announced during last month’s NFT Fest, which was well-attended. Australian startups have also been leading key developments in the NFT space. Just recently, TikTok announced a partnership with an Australian startup, Immutable, which allows the social platform to trade online viral videos as NFTs. The startup was also recently in the news for the $60m Series B funding it raised to build the first Layer-2 NFT platform on Ethereum, Immutable X. It was a massive win for the Australian ecosystem.
Home to Nigeria, the country with the highest crypto adoption in the world, Africa’s NFT adoption has been widely covered by mainstream media sites like CNN and QZ. African Artists are flocking to NFTs in the hopes of increasing their income and gaining international fame.
Last week, Nigerian artist, Osinachi became the first African to auction by NFT. The record-breaking online auction was hosted by Christie’s. South African artist Chris Fallows also recently showcased his wildlife NFTs at an art fair in London.
We’re incredibly proud of our partnership with AFEN Blockchain in championing NFT adoption across Africa. A cause we believe can lead to economic liberation for thousands of young African artists.
Similar to the situation in Asia, NFTs via Play to Earn games have seen astounding adoption rates from South Americans searching for opportunities to supplement their declining personal income. Interestingly, like Europe, South America is home to some of the world’s most successful soccer national teams. The recently concluded regional soccer competition awarded the winner of the finals an NFT to commemorate the historic event. Other club soccer teams like Boca Juniors are also exploring using NFTs to better connect with their fans, just like their European counterparts.
Market RoundUp 🚀
With Bitcoin soaring to new highs, the crypto and NFT markets enjoyed renewed surges across the board. The most expensive sales list has the Bored Ape Yacht Club #8585 sold for $2.68M, claiming the top spot. The sale made the valued piece the most expensive BAYC art of all time. Others on the list are CryptoPunk #4992, CRYPTOART MONETIZATION GENERATION, Digital Zone of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility Edition 13, and Saint Nakamoto, which sold for $1.04m.
The top 5 most traded NFTs as of October 25 are shown above.
Some other significant market events occurred over the past week. Binance’s NFT platform has launched cross-platform integration with the Ethereum blockchain. The Boonji project reportedly had the largest initial NFT sale in history. A 12-year-old who has sold almost $4m in NFTs joined Time Magazine’s TimePieces Collection as their first artist-in-residence. Lastly, the artist behind Fidenza sold tokens worth $7m that represent soon-to-be-generated NFTs.
On the investment front, legendary tech investor a16z announced they’ve invested in an NFT fund whose mission is acquiring ultra-rare NFTs. Traditional auction house Sotheby’s also announced they’d invested $20m in an NFT studio called Mojito. Lastly, Animoca Brands, a global blockchain company,announced a $65m funding round last week. The latest raise put them at a $2.2bn valuation.
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About NFTY Labs
NFTY Labs is a foundation focusing on the growth of NFT ecosystems by building open-sourced, community-based tools that will unlock inherent utility and value within NFTs. NFTY Lab’s goal is to create new applications that offer new utilities for NFTs, and we aim to do this by utilizing a core feature of all NFTs: ownership.