After last week’s Meebits and Loot surprise dominance, they have fallen to the wayside by the classics. Bored Ape Yacht Club and Crypto Punks have made a killing in sales during the week, at $58.6 million and $54.6 million, respectively. However, they are second fiddle to this week’s surprise — Azuki.
Literally translated from Japanese, Azuki stands for “rejoice.” The LA team in charge of these manga-inspired avatars certainly rejoiced at $76.4 million in sales. The 10,000 NFT characters are built for the metaverse, while also granting people access to Azuki Garden’s Web3-centered community, similar to BAYC’s VIP pass.
However, accounting for January’s total sales, BAYC did finish first at $256.1 million, followed by Mutant Ape Yacht Club at $213 million. Azuki finished third above Axie Infinity, at $188.5 million. Could this be a signal that people expect more of their NFTs than the look of blobby fantasy creatures? Only time will tell. In the meantime, there was no shortage of NFT happenings this week.
NIO: NFTs Enter Corporate Commemoration
NIO, the Chinese version of Tesla that altogether sold 167k electric vehicles, issued an NFT collection. But wait, aren’t NFTs banned in China? Technically, people can buy and own NFTs, but they are not allowed to be sold for profits. Moreover, NIO NFT collection will be exclusive to its employees only. In previous years, NIO has been gifting its employees brooches to mark the company’s growth.
To commemorate 2021, you guessed it; brooches will be mirrored with their digital NFT counterparts centered around Hello Norway. The Scandinavian country became Nio’s big expansion project in September 2021. The start of 2022 began with the launch of Nio ES8, with the ET7 EV model to follow in the second half.
For the creation of the Hello Norway NFT, Nio spared no expense. The Chinese EV giant hired none other than Thomas.V, a Parisian designer who handcrafts jewelry for picky clientele. The NFT collection consists of 15,500 units, covering seven regular designs, three tiers, and one mystery surprise. The lowest tier consists of 3,999 NFTs, distributed to employees through a lottery system.
The mystery design will be limited to only seven, so that gives employees a 0.05% chance to win one. Overall, not a bad innovation. At the very least, employees can use these NFTs to boast about their company’s accomplishments, if they decide to switch paths later on.
Moreover, it is easy to see employee-issued NFTs becoming integrated into CVs in the future. After all, it is the nature of NFTs that they inherently provide authenticity. Are we looking at the beginning of real-life badges and trophies?
Blockbuster Goes Full Crypto?
There seems to be a resurgence of Blockbuster nostalgia. The failed video-rental chain had once been a backdrop of American culture, featured in countless movies and TV shows. At its peak, Blockbuster had a network of 9,000 outfits and revenue of $5.9 billion in 2004. However, digital distribution was becoming the name of the game with the expansion of broadband internet, leaving Blockbuster in the dust.
Absorbed by Dish Network, an American satellite TV service with a 15% market share, Blockbuster has now applied a trademark for a triple crypto engagement: its own cryptocurrency, its own NFT marketplace, and a metaverse space.
Interestingly, this follows a month after BlockbusterDAO launched a public campaign to raise funds in order to buy Blockbuster from Dish Network. The nostalgia-driven campaign is trying to raise $5 million for the Blockbuster IP (intellectual property) by selling NFTs priced at 0.13 ETH.
Their plans are ambitious, making Blockbuster into a decentralized movie studio and a digital distribution platform. However, it looks like BlockbusterDAO’s only accomplishment so far is to alert Dish Network about the value of the Blockbuster brand. With Starlink deployment at its heels, could this be a bigger move in the making?
Johnny Depp’s “Never Fear Truth”
The iconic movie star has officially joined the NFT trend, following in the footsteps of Ozzy Osbourne and Lindsay Lohan. In recent years, his brutal divorce took center stage. However, to most people, Depp will always be the addled adventurer pirate of the Caribbean.
Depp’s NFT collection consists of 11,111 NFTs. Titled “Never Fear Truth,” it includes self-portraits and his daughter’s artworks. Lily-Rose Depp has followed her father’s footsteps to become a movie star, so far, featured in five movies with a gross total box office of $6.7 million.
Interestingly, the tragically deceased Heath Ledger will also appear in Depp’s collection, among Marlon Brando, Tim Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, and Hunter S. Thompson.
Because of expected high demand, Johnny Depp took a unique approach to launching the “Never Fear Truth” collection. They will be dished out through a raffle to randomize the access, which will be run up to three times. After that, public sale will commence and hidden completely revealed following the final sale.
You can find out how to connect your MetaMask wallet here to participate.
Steve Aoki’s the A0K1VERSE
Steve Aoki, the 44-year-old DJ and music producer, is not new to NFTs. His Dream Catcher Collection made $4 million last March. Not that he needs money, with an estimated net worth at $95 million. However, the great launch of his first NFT collection did make him step up the tokenized game with a full-blown metaverse.
Those who have bought and will buy his NFTs will gain access to Aoki’s new metaverse platform, A0K1VERSE. The official description paints it as a meeting place of Web3 pioneers and artists.
“a new ecosystem bridging real-world experiences with web2 and web3 by rewarding NFT collectors and creating new experiences for members”
Effectively, an exclusive club, just like BAYC, means that A0K1VERSE members will gain access to NFT pre-sales, minting free of charge, and other drops from Aoki’s future partnerships. More so, the platform will offer physical merch as wearables and apparel. It goes without saying that Aoki’s events and performances will also be exclusively featured.
The metaverse will be governed by A0K1 credits, powered by the latest hybrid ERC-1155 token standard. Unlike the ERC-721 standard, it can facilitate both regular tokens and NFTs. The metaverse’s token supply is limited to 50,000 A0K1, of which half will be publicly distributed while the rest will be earnable rewards. The first mint-presale is to take place on February 12th, so you better sign up with your wallet here.
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