Weekly NFT news roundup - Bitcoinist
As NFTs cool off this week, there’s still plenty of activity in the market. New music properties are making a splash, the SEC is investigating some areas of the NFT market, and there’s an abundance of discussion in the NFT community around OpenSea’s centralized decision-making around some geo-restricted access for users.
Every weekday evening, we provide The Nightly Mint to recap each day’s NFT activity – and we wrap that up each week with.
This Week’s Non-Fungible Token News
SEC Scopes Out NFT Market
The SEC is setting their sights on the NFT market, according to reports released earlier this week. The US’ governing agency around securities and exchanges is probing NFT marketplaces and creators, and is looking to investigate whether NFT developers and marketplaces are breaching securities regulations. As our team covered in recent days, “the regulator’s main goal is to investigate if particular NFT tokens are being used to raise money in the same way as traditional securities are.”
The NFT has cooled off in recent months, but there’s been an abundance of criticism around increasing NFT scams and rugpulls, including celebrity involvement – that is likely making the SEC’s radar and driving this week’s latest story. While it’s easy to argue that some regulation in the space is likely a necessity, an outcome similar to what we saw with ICO’s in 2017/2018 would be a heavy weight for the NFT market to bear in the short term.
Billboard And Universal Music Group For New NFTs
Music powerhouse properties Billboard and Universal Music Group (UMG) are teaming up to form ChartStars, a Flow blockchain based NFT project that will take artist-focused digital art to honor Billboard’s triumphs and milestones through decades of charting hot new hits.
ChartStars NFTs will feature “officially licensed art and creative, including short visual clips from music videos and album photography,” according to Billboard. The project is expected to include gamification aspects, as well as challenges, leaderboards, and unique access to Billboard live events – all through the ownership of ChartStars NFTs.
OpenSea Users In Venezuela, Iran Blocked
One of the hot topics in this week’s NFT chatter was centered around OpenSea’s latest move to restrict access to users with IP addresses based in Iran and Venezuela.
An OpenSea representative said in a statement to CoinDesk that the platform “prohibits individuals and areas on the United States’ sanctions list from accessing our services – including purchasing, selling, or transferring NFTs on OpenSea.”
OpenSea’s criticism from crypto-native users since day one has been the platform’s degree of centralization, and while the leading NFT marketplace hasn’t implemented KYC for its users, it has shown a higher degree of centralization – exhibited by this most recent maneuver – relative to many other NFT marketplaces out today. It’s another example of OpenSea being placed squarely between a rock and a hard place, given the magnitude of the marketplace in the big picture of all things NFTs, as well as the aforementioned regulatory pressure from bodies like the SEC – which could be very well be putting OpenSea on their heels in an effort to work with U.S. regulators as much as possible.
Pixelmon Serves As The ‘Meme Of The Week’
If the NFT community had a ‘meme of the week’ award winner, we can firmly select this week’s leader. Pixelmon was a gamified NFT project that raised a hefty $70M for its open world RPG concept. That sort of fundraising put Pixelmon squarely in line with financial allocation that could be compared to some of the top video game development teams today – but the initial reveal has been hilariously disappointing, host to many ‘Kevin’ memes (which have already spun off to their own NFT derivatives), and plenty of warnings around the potential rug or scam that could evolve from the project.
Shiba Inu Looks At Fashion-First NFTs
Shiba Inu isn’t interested in being the most known meme token, pump-machine, etc. This week, Shiba teamed up with Italian-based fashion designer John Richmond for a physical fashion collaboration as well as a 10K mint NFT release. The duo announced their partnership on the final day of Italy’s fashion week.
Unique partnerships and unexpected collaborations continue to hit the newswire for the unorthodox cryptocurrency. In recent weeks, the crypto’s partnership with Italian restaurant Welly’s, dubbed the first and only SHIB-themed restaurant, left Shiba fans a bit disappointed. SHIB also launched a gaming division in late 2021.
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