Everyone is loving NFTs, and celebrities are enjoying a good chunk of the fun as well. From mainstream rappers to TV personalities to sports players, high-profile names are all rushing to buy into NFTs.
One celebrity, however, legendary movie director Quentin Tarantino to be specific, might just get into it with the Pulp Fiction production company Miramax over the movie's NFTs. Find out more about this and other exciting NFT news below.
NFT ownership remains constricted even with growing sales
NFT sales inQ3 2021 jumped to a record $10.7 billion from a $1.4 billion and a $1.2 billion figure in Q2 and Q1, respectively, according to Reuters. Collectables were the most lucrative of the NFTs, and 58.55% of NFT sales went for less than $1000 within that period.
Data from Dune Analytics shows that OpenSea had a $3.4 billion volume in August, ten times the volume seen in July. The NFT sale platform had $3 billion in sales in September, with the marketplace maintaining billions in sales in the following months. Earlier this month, DappRadar reported that Open Sea had crossed $10 billion worth of trades since its December 2017 launch.
Even with these vast numbers, an investigation into the tiny bits shows that ownership of NFTs remains highly concentrated. On 7 May this year, Hungarian network scientist Albert-Laszlo Barabasi wrote in the New York Times of his finding that a massive chunk of the high-end NFT art sales went to just a tiny group of owners. Barabasi explained that this was the case as most buyers were limited to one group, say, a specific artist, genre, or style. A report by Moonstream for the period between April and September this year ascertained the disparity claims as it found that the upper 16.7% of NFT owners have in their possession 81% 0f NFTs.
A review of the Hiscox Online Art Trade Report shows that it is possible that in the future, traditional galleries and NFT marketplaces could merge to create a hybrid artistic existence. Were this to happen, it is likely we could see digital art displayed in art galleries while contemporary art could be digitized into pieces that could be put up for sale. The report's assessment is not any far from the truth as two among major art auction companies in Christie's and Sotheby's are already accepting crypto payments. Embracing crypto as a form of payment opens these companies up to affluent crypto investors.
What's up with celebrities and the NFT hype?
Bored Ape Yacht Club's more than $1 billion worth of trading volume is swelling even further with increasing celebrity foray into the space.
The excitement around NFTs is not dying down any time soon, and Yuga Labs' BAYC is making a killing out of it even as more and more influential celebrities carve themselves a space in this lucrative market space. Ranging from Hollywood stars including TV show host Jimmy Fallon, rappers Lil Baby and Lil Yachty, basketball personalities Shaquille O'Neal and Stephen Curry, and electronic music DJs Marshmello and Steve Aoki, NFTs are becoming increasingly lucrative.
Post Malone became one of the more recent celebrities to join the NFT craze as he purchased two NFTs for a combined value of 160 ETH. The purchase was confirmed via a TikTok clip by MoonPay, a platform allowing users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. The announcement of the partnership with Post Malone shows the American rapper sitting on his phone checking out on payment for buying two BAYC NFTs on OpenSea.
One of the most significant and influential factors in all this is the amount of control the artist gains over their NFT. Given that NFTs cannot be split, artists can retain their exclusivity and manage their art as a commodity.
Even with the boom, a discussion at the GeckoCon conference that ran between 17 November and 19 November involving NFT artist Pplpleasr, Social Tokens creator Alex Masmej, and crypto investor Cooper Turley found that celebrity hype does not necessarily translate into NFT success when a drop occurs. Speaking on the issue, Pplpleasr told Decrypt last month that Web3 technology is at a breaking point – only just surviving, adding that it still had a long way to go in the decentralization evolution.
Pulp Fiction NFTs land movie director Quentin Tarantino in trouble
American entertainment company Miramax is taking issue with widely-acclaimed movie director Quentin Tarantino over the release of Pulp Fiction NFTs. A classic film, Pulp Fiction is a love to many. When the film director announced his intent to release NFTs based on the movie, the resulting buzz was quite something.
However, not just the fans heard about the NFTs as Miramax, the company that distributed the film back in 1994, said last Tuesday it plans to take legal action against Tarantino for his planned launch. Miramax alleges that the award-winning movie creator was “eager to cash in on the [NFT] boom” in a suit that alleges Tarantino has violated copyright and trademark agreements in addition to causing unfair competition.
The company says it had not been informed of the intent to create the NFTs before Tarantino announced the initiative on 2 November. The 58-year old plans to auction 7 Pulp Fiction NFTs via the ‘Tarantino NFT Collection' on the OpenSea marketplace. The project was created in collaboration with SCRT Labs and the Secret Network with plans to feature uncut script sections, commentary from Quentin, and other details about the director and movie.
The NFTs would have public aspects, while some would be private to the users. On his part, Tarantino's lawyer Bryan Freedman retained that Miramax was wrong to sue. Freedman added that Tarantino reserved the ability to sell NFTs of his handwritten script and that his client aimed to fight back against any legal tussles.
NFT platform Mintable to ‘organize' millions of Ethereum NFTs
NFT minting platform Mintable has scheduled a major upgrade as it seeks to expand its position in the NFT space. The marketplace intends to catalog the millions of NFTs on Ethereum into manageable subcategories. Ratings for the NFTs will range between common, uncommon, rare, ultra-rare, insanely rare, and “holy grail,” depending on their attributes and features.
Mintable CEO Zach Burks told Forkast.News that via this initiative, his company hopes to bring NFT creators much closer to the buyers. He added that the progressive features set to come with the upgrade would help push the NFT space ahead. Upon adoption of the revolutionary update, buyers and sellers will be able to find out details about NFTs before they invest their money in them. Burks added that this info would help users make much more conversant decisions.
In addition, the social NFT network DeFine is also trying to break the existing barriers between creators and collectors. Via a strategic partnership with Polygon, DeFine said on Thursday that it wants to lower entry barriers into the NFT space for non-crypto consumers and facilitate social interaction between creators and collectors. The platform already supports the Ethereum, Tron Network, and Binance Smart Chain ecosystems.
Elsewhere, on Friday, department store Macy's launched an NFT collection for its 95th-anniversary celebrations of the Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Thanksgiving Day Parade offerings will feature commemorative NFT pieces modeled from the parade's balloons over the decades. Fans will receive a total of 9,510 units to be auctioned between 19 November and 30 November.
Pirate Bay, but for NFTs
On Thursday, Australian developer George Huntley unveiled a web platform that will purportedly allow users to right-click their way into all NFTs on Ethereum and Solana blockchains. The NFT Bay was modeled as a mockup of the popular torrent piracy site, The Pirate Bay.
The creator Geoffrey Huntley says that it will allow users to access up to 17.96 terabytes of archived NFT images. As an NFT skeptic, the Australian programmer said in a now-ended Twitter Space that he felt digital art is lacked value beyond the token of ownership. He explained that this was the case as any single person could download NFT images.
However, his view could be contested given that the image's clout and the digital tokens proving its ownership influence the actual value of the NFT. Huntley argued that most NFTs are currently only “instructions on how to download images” stored on Web 2.0 platforms and not on a blockchain. The NFT Bay comes into play here as Huntley theorizes that were the Web 2.0 storages holding the images to go offline, the Bay will be important in keeping all current NFTs so that future generations get to see them.
Huntley also said that he does not see blockchain as a necessity in the development of NFTs, adding that the real influencing factor is social media platforms such as Twitter or TikTok. The programmer explained that high utility and value would result when users flaunt NFTs on their social media profiles.
Xbox head uncertain over NFTs in gaming
Xbox head Phil Spencer said at an interview that he feels NFTs in gaming are more exploitative and less about entertainment. In an interview published on Thursday, he told Axios that the current NFT space involves a lot of speculation, a spectacle which he felt showed the industry was still in the process of understanding how exactly to use NFTs.
He added that though not all NFT games are manipulative, Microsoft will ensure that no Xbox games integrate the digital offerings.
Gaming portfolios are taking somewhat of contrasting opinions on the NFT conversation. EA Games has mooted NFTs and blockchain games to become an essential part of the gaming industry in the coming days. The American video company already collects billions from its FIFA Ultimate Team collectibles which it could very well turn into NFTs.
In addition, Ubisoft also took a positive approach to the offerings as the gaming company announced plans to develop blockchain games and NFTs earlier in the month. Valve probably took the most abrasive approach of all, as mid last month, it outright banned all blockchain games from its Steam store.