For believers, non-fungible tokens (or NFTs) are an exciting new kind of blockchain tech, building a distributed log of ownership for a Web3 world. For haters, they're the worst kind of cryptocurrency excess, an environmentally damaging scam that functions mostly to display extreme wealth. Whichever side you take, it's impossible to ignore the torrent of ambition and money currently pouring into the space. This page is where you can find all The Verge's NFT coverage — from the brilliant to the ridiculous.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club has concluded its investigation into what caused at least 15 convention attendees to suffer eye pain, vision problems, and sunburnt skin during ApeFest 2023, determining that UV-A emitting lights were likely behind the injuries.
A similar situation was reported in 2017 after specialist lights used for disinfection were incorrectly installed during a Hypebeast event.
CEO Devin Finzer says OpenSea is “shifting to a smaller team with a direct connection to users.” Decrypt reports about 50 percent of employees are impacted. When it laid off 20 percent of its employees last year, around 230 people remained.
This chart shows OpenSea activity peaked with over 50,000 active wallets (around the time it was valued at $13 billion) and $140 million in daily volume, which has dropped to fewer than 8,000 active wallets and $2.3 million in volume.
Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs has been awarded over $1.5 million in damages, plus lawyer’s fees, for the trademark infringement lawsuit it won in April against Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen, who had launched a copycat version of the NFT collection.
Defendants intentionally infringed Yuga’s BAYC Marks with a bad faith intent to profit from their use of those Marks. Indeed, even after Yuga filed this action and after the Court issued its April 21, 2023 Order, Defendants continued to market and promote their infringing RR/BAYC NFT collection and their Ape Market.
The majority of FBI agent Richard Busik’s testimony seemed geared toward establishing jurisdiction — he was explaining cell phone pings that occurred in New York City — so I left it out of my recap.
Yuga Labs, the $4 billion outfit behind the Bored Apes and other NFT projects, announced recently “that a number of roles have been eliminated across the company,” with restructuring cutting jobs in the US and leaving international roles under evaluation.
Now Yuga’s going “all-in on our Otherside strategy,” referring to its metaverse gaming land grab.
Meanwhile, someone continues to trade the tokens at prices of more than $40,000, and despite the NFT market’s ongoing slide, projects like Starbucks Odyssey and Nike’s .SWOOSH keep trying to make it catch on.
[Yuga Labs News]
The only problem? Even people who sell NFTs have long said almost all of them will be worthless (usually, the person who says this implies their own NFTs are in the special 5 percent), and the article still includes NFT promoters' claims the tokens might be useful for concert tickets or games.
It’s removing the GameStop Wallet from the App Store and Chrome Web Store on November 1st, according to a notice posted on its NFT website. GameStop is blaming the “regulatory uncertainty of the crypto space.”
When the company laid off staff in December, Axios reported that the crypto wallet team was “heavily impacted.”
The company announced its fourth series of Collectible Avatars on Wednesday. Reddit is putting some limits on who can buy them for the first day of launch as part of an “initial access” period.
This Threads post about the NFT for Jack Dorsey's first tweet isn't quite right. There is a $3~ bid, but another one is nearly $2,000, and the owner, Sina Estavi, has claimed he might never sell anyway.
On the other hand... that was after Estavi was imprisoned for a bit under crypto scam allegations, he's currently shilling a new crypto x AI token scheme, and he said he'd never sell the Dorsey NFT after attempting to do so and drawing a high bid of only $280.
The Block cites a source who claims to know the people behind recent phishing attacks with “NFT drainers” targeting high-value accounts. According to OpenSea employee “Plum,” it’s high school kids who “all play Roblox for the most part. So they’ll buy the coolest gear for their Roblox avatar, video games, skins and things like that.”
And they’re not even old enough to check out everything Roblox has to offer!
Now the volume for its crypto on-ramp business has fallen by about 70 percent, its chief operating officer has left, and the chief technology officer left, too. The bagholders include Tiger Global Management and Coatue. Unclear what this all means for the celebs who bought in because of the NFT concierge service!
The US government’s criminal case against the former product leader of OpenSea, Nate Chastain, kicks off this week. Chastain is accused of buying up NFTs that he knew would be featured on OpenSea’s homepage, then selling them shortly thereafter as their value spiked.
The question isn’t so much whether Chastain did this, it’s whether doing this is illegal. As a former SEC enforcement lawyer told Reuters, “Is it insider trading of anything?”
Fans don’t seem interested, but that isn’t stopping some notable brands.
That’s right, you can use them to serve complaints now. Congratulations to the lawyers!
French luxury designer Hermès International SA is suing Mason Rothschild, the creator of “MetaBirkin” NFTs that are based on its iconic handbags. While Hermès views the collection as a ripoff, Rothschild says they’re art, and everyone else is wondering how NFTs are still a thing.
As Reddit points out, today is the one-year anniversary of “Line Goes Up,” Dan Olson’s long investigation/treatise on what NFTs really are... and why there’s really not much value in them at all. Twelve months later it’s amazing how much the video gets right, and how little has changed since. Still a fun watch, too!
Each room of this Hollywood-based “Crypto House” contains questionable crypto- or NFT-inspired decor, including Bored Ape, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and Tweet-themed wallpaper.
It’s not the updated version of the label’s iconic prisoner logo (Pen & Pixel could do it so much better).
And it’s definitely not the plan for the brand — purchased by Snoop earlier this year — to have a “multi-category cultural platform across music, fashion, entertainment, and cannabis, all united by the blockchain for a new generation.”
Daniel Alegre will be CEO of Yuga Labs starting sometime in the first half of 2023. Alegre isn’t a huge name in the gaming space — he’s only been at Activision Blizzard since 2020; before that he was at Google for over a decade.
But Yuga is certainly hiring him for his gaming credentials: the NFT group is trying to rapidly morph itself into a metaverse gaming company. Now, it’s Alegre’s job to make it happen.
Current FTX implosion notwithstanding, how seriously should you take crypto, NFTs, and everything else blockchain? Molly White, who runs Web3 is Going Just Great, gave a 15-minute presentation at Web Summit 2022 on exactly that topic — you should watch it (or read the transcript).
Here’s a small snippet:
There will be a web3. The web has been evolving ever since its inception, and there is no doubt in my mind that we are overdue for a fundamental shift. Will it be blockchains and crypto? Venture capitalists and blockchain startup founders really hope that you think so.
I hope that the rest of us will continue working towards utopian goals like the ones I mentioned earlier—the ones that many people who are working in web3 and on web3 projects share—without necessarily being shackled to a technology that holds little promise for the web.
After launching in the US and roughly 100 other countries, Meta is starting to roll out Instagram’s NFT integration in around 40 European countries, including the UK. There’s no support for minting or selling as yet.
Instead, Europeans can link a wallet to display NFTs that they’ve created or bought elsewhere. But with the NFT market flatlining, has Instagram missed the bandwagon?
[Meta for Creators]