This week was particularly significant for the NFT space. The stars of the show were Meebits and Loot. They took everyone by surprise by generating $1.5 billion in sales, of which Loot made only 22% of the share. Yet, that was enough for Loot to rank at second place.
Meebits is another creation of Larva Labs, the creators of famed CryptoPunks, largely responsible for pushing the NFT train forward. This time, 9,000 Meebits NFTs are a more ambitious project as they are minted, voxelized 3D object files. This makes them widely applicable as imported objects in animation software and upcoming games.
The Loot project shares this common thread by providing 8,000 bags NFTs as textual attributes, which can be transformed into a variety of objects common in role-playing games. Altogether, Meebits and Loot massively boosted the NFT market at the beginning of the new year.
Interestingly, although this chart shows Meebits and Loot as “art and collectibles,” they are actually hybrid assets, as many derivatives of the projects will be included in gaming. In other news, more big NFT inroads are incoming!
Associated Press (AP) Launching NFT Photo Marketplace
The most powerful aspect of the tokenization process, from a digital file to an NFT, is that any type of file can become a traceable asset. This time, Associated Press, the global news network headquartered in New York, is set to reward photojournalists with a specialized NFT marketplace.
The first NFT collection will appear on the AP marketplace at the end of the month, on January 31. As you might suspect, it will feature notable photo moments that mark important historical events. One of such moments is the image of an ash-covered home on the island of La Palma, Spain, on November 1, 2021.
The new AP marketplace was built by a blockchain startup, Xooa, founded in 2017 in Denver by Jonathan Garini. Given the breadth of AP’s journalism, one should expect to see iconic NFT photos covering wars, climate, space, war, coups, trials, and other events. The marketplace is pluggable via MetaMask into Polygon, a layer 2 scalability solution for Ethereum featuring much lower gas fees.
Gap Digitizes Its Clothing Lineup
Gap, the American clothing retailer operating over 3,000 stores, is the latest corporation to join Big Business onto the NFT train. Holding a $6.8 billion market cap, Gap is partnering with artist Brandon Sines to launch a limited edition NFT drop. Sines is the creator of Frank Ape, so his art style comes through.
Tezos, the same PoS blockchain that runs Ubisoft’s Quartz marketplace, hosts the Gap NFT collection, starting with Common on January 12 at gap.com. However, more drops will be arriving in the next two weeks, starting with Rare on January 15, Epic on January 19, and One of a Kind on Auction on January 24.
Those who have bought either Common or Rare NFTs will unlock access to the Epic tier, including the physical Gap x Frank Ape by Sines hoodie. MMORPG players are familiar with this tiered loot approach. However, Gap has not yet made any metaverse land stakes for their NFT drops to be displayed or used in games.
China’s Crypto Hostility Doesn’t Extend to NFTs
China is known to be the most tech-oriented nation in the world. This ranges from its Great Firewall and social credit score to being the first country to test digital money (CBDC — central bank digital currency) across hundreds of millions of people. For this reason, there was no more room for cryptocurrencies, so China effectively evicted Bitcoin miners. Predictably, this continuous selling pressure had a suppressive effect on BTC price.
Yet, NFTs are a different kind of blockchain assets, not a threat to digital yuan. While most nations don’t even have a ministry in charge of digital technologies, China has its Blockchain Services Network (BSN). The agency announced a plan to deploy the infrastructure for NFTs, but without them being traded for cryptocurrencies.
You guessed it, only digital yuan (e-CNY) will be allowed for trading these NFTS. Under the BSN-Distributed Digital Certificate (BSN-DDC) framework, developers will be able to build apps, portals, and marketplaces to access and manage Chinese NFTs. This tells us that China places great value on NFT’s traceability and programmability, but it doesn’t want the market to grow by boosting cryptocurrencies.
Keith Richards Gives Away His Guitar
Iconic rockstar, 78-year-old Keith Richards of Rolling Stones band, announced a special, guitar-based NFT launch. Serving as the second vocalist and songwriter, Richards intends to use all proceeds to fill the needy pockets of MusiCares charity. Befitting the one-off NFT drop, the company responsible for minting the guitar is OneOf.https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?type=text%2Fhtml&key=a19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07&schema=twitter&url=https%3A//twitter.com/oneofnft/status/1481762823667691524&image=https%3A//i.embed.ly/1/image%3Furl%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fabs.twimg.com%252Ferrors%252Flogo46x38.png%26key%3Da19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07
Presently, the highest bid for the signed Gibson electric acoustic guitar and video NFT is $17,500, available at Julien’s Auctions. The bidding will end by the end of January. Interestingly, this is the LA-based auction house’s first NFT venture.
Tennis Star Stan Wawrinka Launches NFT Collection
Currently ranked at 103, the 36-year-old Stan Wawrinka is even older than recently dejected Novak Djokovic. However, in his prime years, Stan did win three Grand Slam championships. Unlike Richards with his single NFT offering, Stan is launching an extensive 5,555-strong collection titled the Ballman project.
The project took a clue from NBA Top Shots, by making tennis players both unique and upgradeable. Moreover, buyers will be able to use them in the metaverse as playable characters, courtesy of Ballman Meta Stadium.https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?type=text%2Fhtml&key=a19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07&schema=twitter&url=https%3A//twitter.com/ballmanproject/status/1480595626563887104&image=https%3A//i.embed.ly/1/image%3Furl%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fabs.twimg.com%252Ferrors%252Flogo46x38.png%26key%3Da19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07
Because players will then be able to earn ETH rewards if they win matches, this makes Stan’s NFT collection into a play-to-earn (P2E) experience. However, it comes with a gambling aspect as well. To increase the chance of winning, the players can boost the NFT player’s stats, which may end up costing more than the reward in the long run.