The NFT space always moves at a mile-a-minute pace, but the past week was eventful even by the usual light-speed standard. From groundbreaking auctions to close encounters of the feline kind, we’ve recapped some of the most notable news from a wild week in the Metaverse.
Beeple Makes History
Following a landmark Christie’s auction that enthralled the NFT community and broke down barriers to the traditional art world, the first fully digital artwork to be sold at a major auction house closed at more than $69M.
Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5000 Days collage compiles the daily images he posted between May 1, 2007 and January 5, 2021. The buyer has been revealed as Metakovan, the founder of Singapore-based crypto investment firm Metapurse, which already owns a number of Beeple works on display in three virtual art museums and available for public investment through its B20 token offering.
“When you think of high-valued NFTs, this one is going to be pretty hard to beat,” he said in a press release issued by Christie’s. “And here’s why – it represents 13 years of everyday work. Techniques are replicable and skill is surpassable, but the only thing you can’t hack digitally is time. This is the crown jewel, the most valuable piece of art for this generation. It is worth $1 billion.”
While a ten-figure valuation may seem lofty to some, the artwork’s historical legacy already seems secure. More than 22 million viewers tuned in to witness the final moments of the seminal auction. Beeple may have been the first crypto artist to be welcomed by the traditional art world, but he will certainly not be the last. Everydays: The First 5000 Days will always be remembered as the breakthrough piece.
MoonCats, CryptoCats and More, Oh My!
NFT meow! Cats were the talk of the town this past week as two historic projects were unearthed with unclaimed kitties.
The mayhem began on March 11 as members of the CryptoPunks Discord group shared an old project called CryptoCats that appears to predate CryptoKitties on the Ethereum blockchain with a contract origin of November 20, 2017. Word quickly spread on Crypto Twitter that approximately one-third of the 620 cats remained unclaimed and could be purchased for just 0.8 ETH. All were swiftly snapped up… save for one obstinate kitten who became the cause for much consternation and Ethereum gas drainage from would-be rescuers.
The following day, Twitter user @ETHoard posted about another forgotten project called MoonCat Rescue that actually predates both CryptoCats and CryptoKitties. With a contract origin of August 9, 2017, MoonCat Rescue appears to be the second-oldest NFT project on Ethereum after CryptoPunks.
Once again, buzz quickly built on Twitter as users scrambled to rescue the remaining cats manually using Etherscan. MoonCats accounted for over $600,000 in gas fees alone, skyrocketing to second place on that day’s list of highest Ethereum network transaction fees. In the span of a couple hours, all 25,600 MoonCats had found new homes and a community Discord sprung up for owners to discuss their relative rarities amid plans for a new marketplace platform. In a fitting final surprise, long-dormant developers Ponderware returned with their first update since October 2017.
Elon Musk’s NFT Has Arrived
Tesla chief Elon Musk has been the crypto community’s favorite troll as of late, moving markets with Tesla’s $1.5 billion Bitcoin purchase and his tongue-in-cheek posts about Dogecoin. After his partner Grimes sold $6 million of NFTs, it was only a matter of time before he publicly acknowledged the craze. That moment arrived today.