CoinMarketCap takes a look at some of the most prominent play-to-earn and NFT events, from soaring NFT trading volume in the initial days of 2022, to legendary rapper Eminem joining BAYC.
Is centralization truly bad for crypto space? What happens if your funds or highly-prized NFTs are stolen? An NFT collector was forced to swallow the hard pill after losing over $2 million worth of NFTs in a phishing attack. Meanwhile, tech companies like Samsung are already integrating NFTs into their devices, spelling the beginning of mainstream adoption. Here’s a summary of some of the most interesting NFT news over the past week.
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OpenSea Freezes Account of the NFT Thief
The idea of centralization in the crypto space is a widely debated topic. However, it has its pros and cons and could come in quite handy if you were in the same situation as Todd Kramer.
Kramer is an NFT collector who runs the Ross+Kramer art gallery in New York. In a now deleted-tweet last week, he alleged that he had been hacked, adding that all his apes had been stolen. According to him, he clicked on the fake link of an NFT decentralized application (dApp), which turned out to be a phishing attack. As a result, his collection of the highly-priced Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs was stolen.
Sixteen NFTs were stolen from his wallet, including eight Bored Apes, seven Mutant Apes, and one Clonex NFT. DappRadar’s NFT Value Estimator placed the value of his Bored Ape portfolio at around $1.9 million.
“The reason was a hacked access to cloud storage via a malicious link. The amount of damage is estimated at $2.2 million. This is the first case of theft of NFTs from a large collection,” CoinsPaid Media tweeted.
In a later (also deleted) tweet, Kramer revealed that top NFT marketplace OpenSea had stepped into the matter in a bid to help him recover the stolen assets.
“Update. All Apes are frozen. Waiting for OpenSea team to get in. lessons learned.”
Despite Kramer’s ordeal, some members of the crypto community have argued against the idea of calling on a third party to freeze the stolen NFTs, and this may have prompted the NFT collector to delete his tweets. Twitter user Forculus said:
“Feels pretty anti-crypto to be asking third parties to do this and ideally they shouldn’t be able to. True decentralized ownership no one should be able to step in.”
Some others have stated that it is impossible to freeze an NFT since it stays in a decentralized wallet. What OpenSea may have done is prevent the malicious actor from selling on its platform.
“Nobody was able to freeze the NFTs. OpenSea disabled buttons on their site but everyone can still interact w/ & buy them thru OpenSea’s smart contract, & on every other NFT website.”
K-Pop Band BTS Ignore Public Backlash, Intends to Proceed With NFT Plans
The management agency of the South Korean band, BTS, has stated that it will move forward with its plans to release some NFTs, despite a backlash from millions of supporters.
Last year, the band’s management agency, Hybe, voiced its intention to launch a range of digital collectibles based on its roster of artists. Apparently, fans of BTS were not pleased with the decision, with many taking to Twitter to protest against the environmental impact of NFTs.
Hybe, however, confirmed in a statement that the public backlash will not stop it from proceeding with its NFT plans. John Kim, project lead, HybeAmerica, told the Wall Street Journal that “we believe NFTs have the potential for expansion and hope they will provide fans with more varied experiences and opportunities to express themselves,” adding that an initial launch of NFTs for BTS will happen in less than six months.
For some context, the images of BTS band members are in high demand, typically generating thousands of dollars online. In 2021, Hybe raked in over $200 million in merchandise and licensing sales, such as BTS prints and figurines.
One Twitter user voiced his displeasure over the decision, stating that:
“This is so contradictory, they got BTC promoting the ods, green hydrogen and a lot of environmental issues with Hyundai, and now selling NFT? that doesn't make any sense, they can't let that happen, this is the worst decision HYBE has ever done and I can't support this.”
In its defense, Kim Min-jung, Dunamu’s NFT business development and strategy manager, told the Wall Street Journal that the NFTs “carbon footprint is almost negligible.”
Eminem Joins the Bored Ape Yacht Club
Joining the Bored Ape Yacht Club appears to be the latest endorsement of the status of a celebrity. With the likes of NBA star, Stephen Curry, and talk show host, Jimmy Fallon, already on board, the legendary Detroit rapper, Eminem, is the latest to join the train.
Interestingly, the Grammy award-winning rapper now owns an ape that looks a lot like him. He splashed a whopping 123.45 ETH or $452,000 on the NFT. BAYC member GeeGazza sold the blonde ape to Eminem, expressing his total disbelief that the rapper would eventually pick up the piece.
“I’m living in a simulation. Thank you Eminem for buying my ape and joining the club!”
Back in November, GeeGazza said he wanted to sell the piece to the rapper.
Meanwhile, the purchase was facilitated by the digital agency Six. The firm announced on Twitter that it helped Eminem secure the ape, which they dubbed the “EminApe."
Samsung Integrates NFT Support Into Its 2022 TV Lineup
Imagine being able to purchase an NFT directly from your TV set. Well, Samsung’s 2022 MICRO LED, Neo QLED and Lifestyle TVs will support NFTs, including adding an on-screen explorer and digital marketplace aggregator.
A press release from the South Korean electronics giant confirmed that:
"In 2022, Samsung is introducing the world's first TV screen-based NFT explorer and marketplace aggregator, a groundbreaking platform that lets you browse, purchase, and display your favorite art — all in one place."
Samsung is jumping on the already booming NFT market, which closed last year at over $13 billion. "With demand for NFTs on the rise, the need for a solution to today's fragmented viewing and purchasing landscape has never been greater," Samsung wrote in its announcement.
In addition to featuring "an intuitive, integrated platform for discovering, purchasing and trading digital artwork," the TVs will support smart calibration that will allow NFT creators to create preset values for display settings. The smart TVs will automatically adjust to display the preset settings, "so you can have peace of mind that your work looks impeccable, with true-to-the-original image quality."
NFT Market Begins the New Year With a Bang as Trading Volume Soars in the Initial Days of 2022
The NFT market is on track to break its 2021 record. Barely a week into 2022, and the market is off to a great start. On January 2, the Ethereum NFT trading volume on OpenSea was more than $243 million, according to data from Dune Analytics. This represents an increase of $73 million from January 1 and $119 million from December 31, 2021. As reported by BTC PEERS, OpenSea’s trading volume was already closing in on the $1 billion mark just three days into the new year.
Most of the market’s growth has been from the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection. As of press time, the Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFTs had generated over $93 million worth of trading volume in the past seven days. Similarly, as per data from CryptoSlam, the original Bored Ape collection saw over $85 million in volume.
Yuga Labs’ Bored Ape Yacht Club series has garnered the interest of several celebrities, including Eminem and Snoop Dogg.
Netgear Integrates MetaMask for NFT Display
Consumer electronics manufacturer, Netgear, will be enabling support for NFTs in its Meural smart picture frame following a deal with decentralized crypto wallet MetaMask.
Netgear announced the new feature at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Moving forwards Meural owners will be able to connect their MetaMask wallets to their devices and display their digital collectibles. According to The Verge, the feature is still being beta tested.
The Meural has been touted as having access to the world’s largest streaming library of art and photography. The items in the library range from the works of contemporary artists to classical collections, and even a variety of branded content. The service is available as a monthly or annual subscription of $8.95 and $69.95, respectively.
As for the Meural Frames, they are available in a plethora of sizes, from the desk-sized 15.6-inch photo frame (priced at $299.95) to the much larger 21-inch and 27-inch wall-mounted canvas frames (costing $399.95 and $599.95, respectively).
This is not the first time the company will be displaying NFTs in its Meural frames. Back in July 2021, Netgear inked a deal with NFT platform Async Art to upload its art pieces to the Meural art library. However, this was quite limited as users did not own the NFTs.
Metaversal Closes $50M Series A Round
NFT-focused Metaversal has raised $50 million in a Series A funding round led by CoinFund and Foxhaven Asset Management. The oversubscribed round attracted a number of other participants, including Dapper Labs, the creators of Flow blockchain and NBA Top Shot, NGC Ventures, NFT marketplace Rarible, Digital Currency Group, Galaxy Vision Hill and Franklin Templeton Investments.
Founded in 2021 by Yossi Hasson and Dan Schmerin, Metaversal is a holding company that invests in potentially high-value NFTs. The firm has so far invested in more than 750 NFTs to date, including grabbing pieces from artist FEWOCiOUS, a rare founder’s CryptoKitties NFT, the Rare Pepes project.
In addition to investing in individual NFTs, Metaversal has also dabbled into co-producing NFT projects. Holaplex, an NFT storefront builder on the Solana blockchain is one of such ventures. Other projects on its portfolio include NFT Now and cannabis-focused Far Tech Ventures.
OpenSea Valued at $13.3 Billion Following $300M Funding Round
NFT marketplace OpenSea has continued to maintain its spot as the largest platform for digital collectibles. In yet another stride of victory, the company announced on Tuesday that it had raised $300 million in a Series C round and is now valued at over $13 billion. The round was led by Paradigm and Coatue.
OpenSea co-founder and CEO Devin Finzer said in a blog post that the capital will be used to boost product development and hire more staff. A portion will also be channeled towards customer support and growing the larger NFT community. Finzer said in an email statement.
“Our vision is to be the destination for these new open digital economies to thrive. We’ll start this year by lowering the barriers to entry to the NFT space on OpenSea and investing in the ecosystem and the community that powers it.”
In retrospect, the NFT platform was valued at a mere $1.5 billion after a Series B round six months ago. The new valuation figure demonstrates the growing appeal for NFTs, which has attracted many celebrities and corporate behemoths