During this month of October 2022, the non-fungible token space has seen an astounding amount of new projects. Indeed, it seems like this month has been a shift in the way that big companies are entering the space and the way innovation is taking place. New projects are being developed and established while companies are taking note of the potential for NFTs despite the volume traded still being low (232'985 ETH (approx. 320 million $) traded in October vs 235'230 (approx. 350 million $) in September).
Here are the most notable news of this month:
Probably a label:
The month started with the mint of the new collection “Probably A Label”, a partnership between Probably Nothing and Warner Records, a new type of record label aimed at redefining IP ownership in the music industry, utilizing Web3 technology. The label believes web3 allows artists to create with more freedom and connect with fans on a deeper level.
This is the first time, a major label partners with a Web3 company to create a hybrid of the traditional label and today's way of interacting with music.
The exclusive passes, with which the label launched, debuted on Opensea with the first associated music drop coming from Grammy Award-winner Diddy and Jason Martin. These will be claimable exclusively by pass holders.
The Ballon d'Or ceremony:
This year's Ballon d'Or ceremony, arguably the most important sports ceremony in the world, was particularly special for the crypto/Web3 industry.
Indeed, the prestigious football award from the French group, L’Équipe, has set its grand Web3 entry. Created by France Football in 1956, the 66th edition of the award has released its Ballon d’Or NFT collection. Naturally, the NFT owners get access to one of the most exclusive football circles in the world.
The contemporary artist Léo Caillard has been commissioned by the Doors Sport agency to create the NFT Ballon d'Or. The project is essentially based on pyrite, a rare mineral present on the base of the trophy, and is carried by Tezos, a blockchain designed to be energy efficient. Part of the profits from the sales of the collection will be donated to the Fondation L'Équipe.
Here are the four drops of the NFT Ballon d'Or collection:
- NFT Ballon d'Or (12 September) - Three non-fungible tokens that gave access to the Ballon d'Or 2022 award ceremony.
- NFT Ballon d'Or "True Pyrite" (15 September) - Three non-fungible 3D tokens that also gave access to the Ballon d'Or 2022 award ceremony, but in VIP.
- NFT Ballon d'Or "Fragments of Pyrite" (October 23/October 24) - 2,022 non-fungible tokens giving access to several benefits such as attending the Ballon d'Or award ceremony for 20 years or obtaining exclusive Ballon d'Or Sorare cards (Sorare is a fantasy soccer game that allows players to purchase, sell, trade, and manage a virtual team through NFT player cards).
- NFT Ballon d'Or with Millon Auction House (8 November) - Two unique artistic non-fungible tokens giving access to the Ballon d'Or 2023 award ceremony.
Note that the five winners of the men's Ballon d'Or, women's Ballon d'Or, Kopa Trophy, Yachin Trophy, Gerd Müller Trophy have received the double digital token of their trophy in NFT in a hardware wallet.
As the ballon d'or ceremony has been watched by millions, the attention it could bring to the crypto space is for the less exciting.
The Azuki golden skateboard auction:
Azuki dropped a series of a nine 24-karat gold skateboards to showcase its new open-source, decentralized ownership tracking chip technology, through an auction on October 21st. The Auction ended up being amazingly successful as the 8 solid golden skateboards were sold through its new innovative Physical Backed Token (#PBT) technology, netting the project a total of over 1900 ETH (approx 2.5 million $). The project has broken the record for the most expensive skateboard ever sold.
This also means that there are eth reserves that collectors and investors are holding on to. Anything that sparks innovation or novelty then has a great chance of being in the limelight.
RTFKT collaboration with RIMOWA and their new drop announcement:
The Nike-owned digital fashion startup RTFKT has teamed up with an LVMH-owned house for the first time. They hope it will set a new benchmark for brand interactions with the Web3 community. Knowing that Rimowa's last collaboration with hip streetwear brand Supreme sold out in minutes, the LVMH-owned German luggage brand aimed to receive the same kind of success by teaming up with the Supreme of digital fashion: RTFKT.
They did aim well as the minting experience was smooth and sold out quickly
Alongside the digital and physical iterations of the suitcase, 2,222 NFTs of a robot collectible has also been released as part of the collaboration, priced at the equivalent of $100 in Ethereum (selling at 0.3ETH (450$) right now on opensea).
The RTFKT collective also made an announcement for their upcoming project, “Project Animus”.
The project shared a 30-second video on the 7th of October showing a CloneX avatar walking alongside a large creature similar to an Alpha Shark character. From what we know so far, Clone X holders will be airdropped “Animus eggs” in the next month. The new collection is set to fully go live in 2023 though.
Reddit launched the 2nd generation of Collectible Avatars with 40,000 NFTs. All sold out within 24 hours, selling each for $10 to $100 USD. The Gen1 was released in July and sold out in weeks.
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman made the process so much easier for newbies who aren’t familiar with crypto or NFT by not using any "crypto words" in any of the announcements that were made. Most of the buyers didn’t even know they were using crypto. The crypto jargons were changed, such as the crypto wallet was called the Vault, and NFTs were called Avatars or Digital collectibles.
On top of all of this, the real reason why Reddit NFTs work is because they are more like stickers on messaging apps like WhatsApp and Line: native to the platform, introduce social value (read: they're fun!) and with free versions everyone can use to start.
And they're big business: messaging stickers generated $200 million in revenue for Line in 2020.
It's not hard to understand why someone would spend $20 on one. The ones sold are amazingly drawn, deeply creative and limited edition. Way better than the free ones. Way cooler.
$20 is a small price to pay for the status of having a standout avatar on the "homepage of the Internet". And that is the same underlying driver for buying stickers on Line.
There is now a brand-new audience of NFT holders at around 3 million people (entirely new wallets created just for this collection). Reddit is one of the largest social media platforms (400 million monthly users) to onboard people directly through the purchase of their NFTs.
This number surpasses opensea total wallets since launching in 2017 with over 31 billion dollars in secondary royalties generated. Other companies are watching. And we will likely see other platforms do something similar soon.
Reddit is perhaps conducting the first at-scale test of the blockchain gaming thesis: that users will want to own and trade their in-game items. It's too early to tell if it's working (user-to-user trading volume is quite low so far), but it's an important throughline that's worth pointing out.
Starbucks is now doing NFT integration to their rewards platform:
Starbucks' President and CEO Kevin Johnson announced in October 2021, the upcoming change to Starbucks’ loyalty program linking the coffeehouse’s loyalty program to other brands’ rewards.
Starbucks will allow members of the Starbucks Rewards program to join Starbucks Odyssey, where they will play interactive games or take on challenges to “deepen their knowledge of coffee and Starbucks.”
Customers who complete those “journeys” will then be rewarded with a digital collectible “journey stamp,” which will be an NFT.
Each stamp will have a point value based on its rarity. Stamps can be bought or sold among members within the marketplace, with ownership secured on a blockchain, or a digital database.
The benefits customers will be able to get can range from a virtual espresso martini-making class to access to unique merchandise or invitations to events at Starbucks Reserve Roasteries. Customers can even win trips to a coffee farm in Costa Rica.
This is just the start of companies jumping into the space as the stigma against NFTs fades.
In conclusion, during this month of October 2022, the NFT space has seen a lot of activity with new projects, innovation, and big companies entering the space. It shows that there is still a growing interest for NFTs from both traditional businesses and investors. This is an exciting time for the NFT space, and it will be interesting to see what direction is taken in the upcoming months.