As NFTs cool off this week, there is still plenty of activity in the market. New music offerings are making waves, the SEC is investigating some areas of the NFT market, and there is a wealth of discussion in the NFT community about OpenSea’s centralized decision-making over geo-restricted user access.
Each weekday evening we provide The Nightly Mint to summarize each day’s NFT activity – and we wrap that up each week.
This week’s Non-Fungible Token News
SEC examines the NFT market
According to reports released earlier this week, the SEC has its sights set on the NFT market. The U.S. Department of Securities and Exchanges is investigating NFT marketplaces and creators and plans to investigate whether NFT developers and marketplaces are violating securities regulations. As our team reported over the past few days, “the regulator’s main goal is to investigate whether certain NFT tokens are being used to raise money in the same way as traditional securities.”
The NFT has cooled in recent months, but there has been a plethora of criticism of the increasing NFT scams and rugpuls, including celebrity involvement — likely to catch the SEC’s radar and propel this week’s latest story. While it’s easy to argue that some regulation in this area is likely a necessity, a similar outcome to ICOs in 2017/2018 would weigh heavily on the NFT market in the near term.
Billboard and Universal Music Group for new NFTs
Billboard and Universal Music Group (UMG) are teaming up to create ChartStars, a flow blockchain-based NFT project that will use artist-focused digital art to honor Billboard’s triumphs and milestones through decades of hot new hits.
ChartStars NFTs will feature “officially licensed art and creativity, 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 owning ChartStars NFTs.
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Flow will be the blockchain of choice for new NFTs from Billboard and Universal Music Group. | Source: FLOW-USD on TradingView.com
OpenSea users blocked in Venezuela, Iran
One of the hot topics in this week’s NFT talk revolved around OpenSea’s recent move to restrict access to users with IP addresses from Iran and Venezuela.
An OpenSea representative said in a statement to CoinDesk that the platform “prohibits persons and territories on the United States sanctions list from accessing our services — including buying, selling, or transferring NFTs on OpenSea.”
OpenSea’s criticism from crypto-native users since day one has been the platform’s level of centralization, and while the leading NFT marketplace has not implemented KYC for its users, it has demonstrated a higher level of centralization – demonstrated by this recent maneuver – relative to many other NFTs -Marketplaces available today. It’s another example of OpenSea being placed squarely between a rock and a hard place given the size of the market in the bigger picture of all NFTs, as well as the aforementioned regulatory pressure from bodies like the SEC – which could very well be OpenSea on its heels to cooperate with US regulators as much as possible.
Pixelmon serves as “Meme of the Week”
If the NFT community has had a Meme of the Week award winner, we can pick that week’s leader. Pixelmon was a gamified NFT project that raised a whopping $70 million for its open-world RPG concept. This type of fundraising put Pixelmon squarely in line with a financial allocation that could be compared to some of today’s best video game development teams – but the first reveal was hilariously disappointing as it hosts a lot of ‘Kevin’ memes (which are already turning to filmed their own NFT derivatives) and plenty of warnings surrounding the potential carpet or scam that could develop from the project.
Shiba Inu considers fashion-first NFTs
Shiba Inu is not interested in being the most famous meme token, the most famous pump machine, etc. This week, Shiba has teamed up with Italy-based fashion designer John Richmond for a physical fashion collaboration as well as an NFT release in 10,000 mint. The duo announced their partnership on the final day of Italian Fashion Week.
Unique partnerships and unexpected collaborations continue to make the news for the unorthodox cryptocurrency. In recent weeks, the crypto’s partnership with Italian restaurant Welly’s, billed as the first and only SHIB themed restaurant, has left Shiba fans somewhat disappointed. SHIB also launched a gaming division in late 2021.
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Featured image from Pexels, Charts from TradingView.com
The writer of this content is not associated or affiliated with any of the parties mentioned in this article. This is not financial advice.