CoinMarketCap and Nansen look at some of the most exciting events in the NFT space — from NASA astronaut launching NFTs to support Ukraine to scammers promoting fake NFT airdrops.
Away from NFT scams, the Bored Ape Yacht Club ecosystem has continued to expand. While one owner launched a BAYC-themed restaurant on Saturday, Coinbase is set to produce an animated series featuring Bored Apes.
Here’s a rundown of some top NFT news over the past week.
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RAF Camora Taps on NFTs to Give Fans Exclusive Access to His “ZUKUNFT Gold Records”
Following the success of his ZUKUNFT album in 2021, Austrian rapper RAF Camora is back to thrill fans with a whole new experience. Dubbed “Planet,” the artist will be releasing 5555 unique NFTs to celebrate the gold status of his album.
On July 16, 2021, Raphael Ragucci, known professionally as RAF Camora, released his seventh solo album titled “ZUKUNFT” (translated as “future” in English). The album became an instant hit, with some labeling it the biggest comeback in the history of German rap. In no time, RAF landed at the top spot on the album charts in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, with several single releases from the collection bagging gold and platinum statuses.
Interestingly, in just a few months, the entire album of 14 songs has now officially reached an all-gold status. Commenting on the new development, RAF told fans:
“Going gold is an honor! Time and time again, no matter how many times you've experienced it.A gold record is something you can't buy, neither as an artist nor as a fan. But I want my fans toshare in this success and I've planned a project with my guys to give every fan a piece of ‘gold’to take home.”
RAF was obviously making reference to his new NFT project when he talked about giving every fan a “piece of gold to take home.” The rapper is adding some musical framework to the collection, dedicating a song to the project meant to celebrate the gold status of “ZUKUNFT.” The song, along with the “Planet” NFT collection, is scheduled to drop on April 22.
As per announcements, the NFT features the official ZUKUNFT Gold Record in a digital form, in addition to a certificate of authenticity. Apart from being able to download the “Mein Planet” song, some holders will be able to get physical gold plaques. Other perks include a badge that will function as a certificate of authenticity that gives holders access to closed community meetings with the artist.
NASA Astronaut Launches NFTs to Support Ukraine
Retired NASA astronaut and crypto enthusiast, Scott Kelly, has become the latest public figure to jump on the NFT bandwagon. Kelly, who spent nearly a year at the International Space Station from 2015 to 2016, has released a series of NFTs to support relief efforts in war-torn Ukraine.
“I'm a big believer in technology. I was really interested in cryptocurrencies and the blockchain—not early enough, but at least the last few years […] I just look at this form of technology as another way to explore. In this case, it's exploring the metaverse and virtual worlds.”
Describing his NFT collection, Kelly said that “they’re digital representations of the dreams and the thoughts I've had when I was in space.” Meanwhile, all net proceeds from the sale will go to the Global Empowerment Mission, a nonprofit that is currently providing aid in Ukraine amid its ongoing crisis with Russia.
There are over 1,600 unique addresses holding the NFTs where 68% of them are only holding 1 NFT. While it’s still too early to form any conclusive statements, these are interesting metrics to keep an eye on to get a sense of how optimistic/pessimistic the holders are in time to come.
Swoops Raises $3.5 Million for Its NFT Basketball Game
Swoops, an NFT basketball game backed by Gary Vaynerchuk, has raised $3.5 million in a funding round led by Courtside Ventures and Alpaca VC. Other participants in the round include DraftKings CEO Jason Robins, Red Beard Ventures, Slow Ventures, and of course entrepreneur Gary Vee.
Alpaca VC General Partner David Goldberg said in a statement:
“This is truly a game of skill with multiple user profiles and journeys, whether that be owner, investor, or manager. The goal here is not just to be a simple game, but rather a full ecosystem for others to build upon.”
Token holders will have full commercial ownership over the IP of their characters. Interestingly, the characters will age over time, meaning that a player’s stats, attributes, and appearance will also change with time.
The primary sale and reveal are scheduled to happen in May. This will be followed by the launch of a free-to-play version of the game in July. And in September, Swoops is planning to host play-and-earn tournaments.
Coinbase Teams up With Bored Ape Yacht Club on Animated Short Films
"As the old system crumbles, whole new realms spring forth from the ashes. [...] Enter the Degens. A new class of social adept, versed in the constantly re-invented tools of an ever-accelerating economy."
“We’ve been inspired by the Bored Ape Yacht Club community and excited to invite them to co-create this film with us,” said Coinbase’s Entertainment & Culture Marketing Director, William Swann, in a release.
It is worth mentioning that although the creators of BAYC (Yuga Labs) will have a say on the film’s approval, it is not directly involved in the production. Consequently, the films will be “wallet-gated” on the Coinbase website and potential viewers will need to create a Coinbase wallet before they can watch the movie.
Bored Ape Yacht Club-themed Burger Joint Launches in California
Nguyen is known for creating exciting food concepts, being the co-founder of Matte Black Coffee, After Ice Cream, Portside Fish Co, Pig Pen Delicacy, Dough & Arrow, and several others. So far, he has purchased four NFTs from the BAYC collection, with the main Bored Ape on the company’s logo being Bored Ape #6184, which was purchased for $267,000 back in March.
"We've had people on the grand opening day fly in from Brazil. A guy came in from Miami and he came here, ate his burger, [and said] 'I got to fly out in 2 hours.' If you came here on grand opening day, you literally saw lines two blocks down into the neighborhood."
According to Nguyen, the original plan was to stay open for 90 days, but given the massive support their concept has received, they are now planning to stick around for much longer. He hopes that their little concept can help change the stigma around NFTs being just jpegs.
“The goal is to give back to the growing Web 3.0 community and open the doors to those who want to learn more about this new Web 3/NFT world […] Our job is to educate the public about this new future world. And show people that you can create a brand/business out of this IP. Taking away the stigma of, ‘It’s just a jpeg.’”
CryptoPunks Owner Borrows $8.3 million With NFT
0x650d collected a loan of $8.32 million in DAI stablecoin using his set of CryptoPunks as collateral, the largest of such loans to date. The new figure topples one backed by a separate bundle of 101 CryptoPunks from another holder, who took $8 million in March.
Scammers Hijack Verified Twitter Accounts to Promote Fake Azuki Airdrop
Remember the saying that “nothing is free even in Freetown?” Scammers have continually tried to exploit the ignorance of potential victims through fake NFT scams. You are better off not clicking any link promoting a free giveaway of a top NFT.
Last week, scammers hijacked the account of several verified Twitter users, including media professionals and journalists. They then tweaked the compromised accounts to suggest that they belong to one of the co-creators of the popular Azuki project before proceeding to drop the link of a “secret airdrop” of Beanz, the NFT drop that was given to existing Azuki holders for free.
The tweeted link asked unsuspecting victims to click the link to “claim a bean.” When clicked users are prompted to connect their Ethereum wallets. Sadly, people who did so had their NFTs stolen from their wallets.
One of the affected journalists who spoke to reporters said that their account had sent out more than 6,000 tweets.
NFT-500 Index Down 3% Over the Last 7 Days
The top 500 NFTs on Ethereum are seemingly tracking the broader crypto markets in recent weeks. The two markets had nice moves upwards in March but have since slowed down and lost momentum. Most collections in the top 10 are down the last 7 days, with two outliers (MAYC and CloneX) seeing a 4% increase in their floor price.
Despite the cool off, one trend is clear: Social NFTs are by far the largest segment and have made the strongest moves during the past month.