What was once an entirety of NFT traffic in 2020, at a total of $100 million, was just a fraction of NFT trading volume in 2021. Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis reported that last year accounted for nearly $41 billion worth of cryptos across all NFT marketplaces. Most importantly, the NFT adoption accelerated at such a rapid pace that it dwarfs cryptocurrency adoption in the first eight years since Bitcoin launched in 2009.
Case in point, even though former President Trump described Bitcoin as a scam in June 2021, this didn’t stop his wife, Melania Trump, from launching an NFT lineup. Her first NFT launched at the end of 2021, titled Melania’s Vision, sold for one SOL on Solana blockchain, known for its speed and an exceedingly low fee of $0.00025 per transaction.
Pushing the NFT potential further, her latest NFT offering, Head of State Collection, starts at $250,000. Melania Trump joining so many artists and musicians just goes to show that NFT tangibility goes a long way in spurring adoption rather than more abstract DeFi protocols and altcoins. Will 2022 be even greater for the NFT markets?
Based on these projects, a case could be made it will be so.
Samsung TV’s Will Let You Buy NFTs
Of all the devices you would think of handling your NFT collections, who would have thought it would be a living room TV? At Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022, Samsung Electronics premiered its three TV lineups:
- Neo QLED
- MICRO LED
- Lifestyle TVs (The Frame, The Serif, The Sero)
Thanks to Samsung’s proprietary Smart Hub, these next-gen TVs have become competent computer platforms, allowing users to switch between three main modes of entertainment — gaming, media, and ambient.
This includes integrated NFT management, from trading to displaying digital artworks. Samsung’s The Frame TV seems to be the perfect choice for NFT display, as it has a stylish, thin bezel and Art Mode for turning the screen into an artwork display.
In 2021, Samsung sold one million The Frame TVs, blurring the boundary between a house appliance and an artwork installation. This also means that artists will have to up their game thanks to the quality of the latest Samsung TV lineup. MICRO LED alone comes with 20-bit grayscale support and 100% DCI and Adobe RGB color gamut, something that was previously reserved for highly expensive professional monitors.
Moreover, Neo QLED TVs come with dynamic picture quality algorithms that automatically adjust screen settings based on the lighting conditions of the TV’s environment, up to 8k resolution. If this is to be the new TV standard for the future, it is easy to see how high-quality NFTs will be more in demand. Most importantly, such advanced features effectively physicalize digital art.
Australian Open Feeds Live Matches’ Data to NFTs
Filled with the controversy surrounding the world’s top tennis player, Novak Djokovic, the Australian Open moved on without him.
COVID-19-related incidents overshadowed the first-ever NFT collection for such a prestigious sports event. The collection will feature the winners of the tennis tournament, consisting of 6,776 Art Balls.
The novelty with these NFTs will be their integration to live match metadata. This will work by dividing the tennis court into plots. Once the winning shot is achieved, the NFTs will automatically be updated in real-time with the metadata.
Moreover, the AO tournament will be live-streamed within the rising metaverse star, the Decentraland (MANA) platform, starting January 17.
Interestingly, if one of the 11 championship points hits a land plot on the tennis court, the owner who claimed the plot via Art Balls can claim the physical tennis ball that made the championship point.
Furthermore, Art Balls owners will receive an airdrop of real footage of the winning shots alongside virtual wearables.
GameStop Forges Ahead With Its Own NFT Marketplace
Saved by retail investors during the short squeeze trading extravaganza, GameStop is continuing to invest in digital tech beyond its thousands of brick & mortar retail gaming stores. Last year, GameStop already posted job ads to hire blockchain specialists.
There was also speculation surrounding Loopring, a Layer 2 scalability solution to deal with Ethereum’s high gas fees. Now, it is clear that the world’s largest video game chain is forming a crypto division, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal. The initial team will consist of 20 members, presumably integrating both crypto payments and the creation of the NFT marketplace.
As a result, GameStop (GME) stock surged by 24% on Friday. This is more good news on top of GameStop’s increased net sales, $1.297 billion in Q3 2021, compared to $1.005 billion in Q3 2020. Overall, much is expected from the launch of the GameStop NFT marketplace.
After all, this would mark one of the largest influxes of potential traders, based on 55 million members in GameStop’s PowerUp Rewards loyalty program.
Barbie Goes Digital Chic
Mattel, the world’s premiere toymaker with a market cap of $7.8 billion, was one of the first major corporations to enter the world of NFTs with the Hot Wheels NFT collection on the Wax blockchain.
This year, Mattel partnered with French luxury fashion brand, Balmain, to adorn Mattel’s iconic doll Barbie. The main thrust of the collaboration is the launch of ready-to-wear accessories for the Barbie brand. However, the launch will also be accompanied by an auction for three NFTs.
BALMAIN x BARBIE: A HIGH-FASHION AUCTION will commence on January 11, 2022, at 9 am PT, at Mattel Creations NFT marketplace. Bidders will have a chance to receive NFT avatars for two Barbie variants and one Ken variant, alongside the actual physical version with brand-new Balmain outfits.