Chevrolet is the latest automaker to jump on the non-fungible token bandwagon, but it’s taking a slightly different approach. Chevy announced plans to auction off a Corvette-themed NFT, but the winner bidder won’t just get recorded on the blockchain, they’ll also get the actual sports car inspired by the artwork.
The NFT, which depicts a lime green Corvette Z06 blasting through a cyberpunk landscape, was created by artist Nick Sullo, who goes by xsullo online. The upcoming auction pairs Sullo’s NFT with a custom-painted 2023 Corvette Z06 color-matched to the art.
In case you need a refresher, the new Z06 is Chevy’s shot-across-the-bow for all the other supercar manufacturers out there with Italian names. Its the first ‘Vette to feature a naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V-8 mid-engine, located directly behind the driver. And it’s a more hardcore, tack-focused sports car than its predecessors. The Z06 is expected to go into production summer 2022, and will be on sale as a 2023 model.
The winning bidder will not only get xsullo’s NFT but also the “Minted Green” Corvette (get it?), which will be the only car painted in that color — Chevy vows to not apply the Minted Green color to any other production Z06. Not only that, but the car will carry the option code RFN, which will “forever associate” the car with the NFT auction. And the Corvette’s VIN number will be in binary because NFTs are digital and computers use binary and you get it.
The auction, which is being overseen by NFT marketplace SuperRare, will be held June 20–24, and bids will only be accepted in Ethereum. (Most NFTs are purchased with Ethereum.) Chevy says all the proceeds will go to DonorsChoose, an education charity.
The NFT auction comes at a time of extreme volatility in cryptocurrency. Prices are plummeting, along with NFT values. Ethereum has dropped 64 percent since April 1st, while the most lauded NFTs have seen their floor price — price for the lowest one on the market — drop more than 70 percent. In response, some cryptocurrency firms are scaling back; Coinbase announced it was laying off 18 percent of its workforce.
There has also been a rise in scams, with some buyers falling for phishing attempts to rip off their NFTs. And thanks to the decentralized nature of the blockchain and Web3, victims are left with little recourse in such situations.
But Chevy doesn’t seem dissuaded by the market fluctuations. In a statement, Steve Majoros, vice president of marketing at the automaker, called the “Own the Color” NFT an “important stepping stone for Chevrolet into future digital initiatives for our customers.”
For his part, xsullo says he was drawn to the project by the Z06. “The Corvette Z06 is an ambitious car that I totally vibe with,” he said. “I’m drawn to how technology can make us feel, and I can tell the designers of Corvette Z06 draw from similar inspiration.”
Chevy isn’t the only automaker currently testing the Web3 waters. Lamborghini and Hyundai are two other companies that have recently dabbled in NFTs. And car auction service Barrett-Jackson auctioned off four NFTs last year based on cars it sold to raise money for charity.