NYC celebrates NFTs with a massive event
NFT.NYC, the “leading annual non-fungible token event,” is taking over Times Square this week with panels, guest speakers, and plenty of digital art. [Bloomberg via Getty Images]
There’s never a dull moment on the blockchain. Here’s what you need to know this week:
New York City is hosting a massive NFT conference. We’re sharing an update from NFT.NYC.
Ethereum hit all-time highs, as SHIB outpaced DOGE. After an “Uptober” boom, can crypto markets maintain momentum?
Paypal co-founder warns of an inflation “crisis” and other takes from this week’s crypto news.
Earth’s biggest NFT party celebrates a record-breaking year
This week, NFT creators, protocol developers, VC investors, influencers, and fans from around the world are on New York for NFT.NYC, the annual NFT conference. After a year in which NFTs rose from obscurity to front page news, NFT Twitter has been buzzing for weeks about the chance to finally gather and meet the faces behind the pricey avatars at events ranging from a Bored Ape Yacht Club Party to a with the artist himself in attendance. Let’s dig in.
The NFT art world has plenty to celebrate right now. Top NFT marketplace OpenSea broke with more than 293,000 users buying and selling digital art and collectibles via the platform in October. In other blockbuster news, a single Bored Ape at Sotheby’s for more than $3.4 million (as the entire project surpassed $1 billion in sales), while artist Tyler Hobbs sold in “golden tokens” redeemable for works no one has seen yet.
As part of Facebook’s “Meta” rebranding, the company that NFT support will be coming to its metaverse. Meanwhile, Reddit seeking an engineer to help build a platform to “create, buy, sell and use NFT-backed digital goods,” and GameStop related to a Web3 gaming platform and an NFT marketplace.
Software giant Adobe that Photoshop will soon allow artists to link their crypto wallets and include tools to help ensure that buyers on major marketplaces know the work is authentic. Ubisoft, developer of popular games such as Assassin’s Creed, invested in blockchain gaming company Animoca, a backer of the . Ubisoft’s CEO said: "[Blockchain] will enable more play-to-earn that will enable more players to actually earn content, own content, and we think it's going to grow the industry quite a lot.”
At NFT.NYC, speakers from Quentin Tarantino (who is from Pulp Fiction as NFTs) to are discussing the future of the space. Across the city, dozens of satellite events have brought together an entire music festival’s worth of top DJs and performers — from Steve Aoki (who headlined Adam Bomb Squad’s bash) to Quavo of Migos (who played an event sponsored by NBA TopShot).
Why it matters… The scale of NFT.NYC and the steady drumbeat of headlines from industries including , , and all point to the ambitions of the NFT community — even those who don’t consider themselves tech-savvy. Digital artist , who was in Times Square to see her work displayed on a massive digital billboard told us, “I’m not even that into technology, but now that I’ve learned about how to immerse my work in a digital realm, it's transformed how I see how I can market my work, and it's pretty amazing.”
Ethereum hits new all-time high as SHIB overtakes DOGE
Ethereum hit a new all-time high north of $4,600 on Tuesday — propelled by the rise of digital art, decentralized finance, stablecoins, and increasingly … the dog-themed coin. In the latest Gamestop-style, meme-powered craze, SHIB saw in October as its market cap reached roughly on the last day of the month, overtaking the $35 billion total value of the OG meme token, . All of these popular crypto categories drive traffic on the Ethereum blockchain, and as a result of a recent protocol upgrade, all that traffic is having an outsized impact on the supply and demand of ETH. Here’s how it works.
ETH’s ascent began near the end of July, just before a critical software upgrade called went live. As a result of the upgrade, a small amount of ETH is “burned” — permanently removed from circulation — with every transaction, reducing the total supply. Assuming demand is constant, basic economics tells us reducing supply should cause prices to rise. The upgrade’s goal was to make transaction fees more predictable, although not necessarily more affordable.
Since the upgrade went live, over has been removed from the supply. The leading source of ETH burning? Transactions on NFT marketplace OpenSea have removed more than 92,000 ETH — worth around $400 million.
The Shiba Inu token (SHIB) also became a leading ETH burner this week. Unlike DOGE, which operates on its own blockchain, SHIB is an Ethereum token, which means it’s compatible with the . Popular applications include , a created by SHIB’s developers that is now trading around $100 million in value per day.
Another ETH upgrade called Altair quietly , laying the groundwork for Ethereum’s highly anticipated shift to Ethereum 2.0 (or ETH2) — which will replace the system currently used to verify transactions with a method called “.” Proof of stake is theoretically faster and less energy-intensive than mining, and should increase transaction speeds while lowering fees. It could also of ETH even more.
ETH isn’t the only major crypto to break records recently. Last week, Bitcoin hit a new all-time high above $66,000 after the first-ever U.S. listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Many analysts believe similar Ethereum ETFs could in the coming months. Open interest for ETH futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange hit record highs above , potentially indicating heightened demand from institutional investors.
Why it matters… ETH’s popularity is a double-edged sword — as demand surges, are often so high that they can dwarf the value of smaller transactions. ETH2, which is currently slated for 2022, aims to solve the network’s scaling challenges. In the meantime, rival technologies that offer faster and cheaper transactions via alternative blockchains are booming: more than $20 billion in ETH has been “bridged” to sidechains and “layer 2” solutions like and Arbitrum.
El Salvador buys the dip, PayPal co-founder regrets waiting to buy bitcoin
Stable condition… A highly anticipated on stablecoins from U.S. financial agencies recommended that Congress enact new legislation to regulate them. The report proposes a new term, “payment stablecoins,” and acknowledges that if well designed and appropriately regulated, they could “support faster, more efficient, and more inclusive payments options.”
Raising coin… Digital Currency Group, the firm behind crypto asset manager Grayscale, $700 million in a SoftBank-led investment round, the second-largest in the crypto space after FTX’s $900 million fundraise. David Lawee, a general partner at CapitalG, one of the round’s investors, explained his firm’s timing: “This is finally getting to the point where crypto is a broader thing than just Bitcoin.”
Back to school… The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School will accept crypto tuition payments from students interested in a new . “It’s a program about blockchain and digital assets, we felt that we should talk the talk and walk the walk,” Guido Molinari, managing partner at the crypto consultancy Prysm Group, which is developing the course with Wharton.
Thiel talk... PayPal co-founder and tech billionaire Peter Thiel says he regrets not buying bitcoin earlier. He took the stage at a conference Sunday to that the crypto’s all-time highs could signal that the economy is facing real (and not transitory) inflation. “You know, $60,000 Bitcoin, I’m not sure that one should aggressively buy,” he said. “But surely what it is telling us is that we are having a crisis moment.”
What is the Lightning Network?
A symphonic rock group from the 1970s
A “layer 2” technology that’s making bitcoin payments faster and cheaper
Facebook’s digital wallet for sending and receiving money internationally
A global, decentralized network of computers
Find the answer below.
A “layer 2” technology that’s making bitcoin payments faster and cheaper