THE SCOOP #7 – August 15th, 2022

In our 7th edition of The Scoop, we cover the stabilizing markets, Blackrock partnering with Coinbase, airdrops, and the conclusion to Damien Hirst’s The Currency experiment.

CRYPTO MARKETS

Bitcoin

Source: Google Finance

Ethereum

Source: Google Finance

CRYPTO COMMENTARY

With the bounceback in traditional equity markets over the last couple of weeks, Bitcoin and the broader crypto markets have seen some stability while the crowd seems split as to whether the worst is behind us. The flow of bad news and lender defaults has slowed to a trickle, but many seem to have a bad taste in their mouth from the recent market washout.  

There is some good news though, as Blackrock and Coinbase have agreed to a partnership that would allow crossover for Blackrock clients to trade and manage crypto in-house. The agreement combines Blackrock’s Aladdin service with Coinbase Prime so institutions will have full control of their holdings in one place. The scale that Blackrock brings to this partnership sent Coinbase shares up 44% intraday but closing the day only 10% up.  

Amid rising interest rates, geopolitical tension, recession fears and a broader market selloff, this news is a breath of fresh air for a market that was slipping underwater. What this does on a larger scale is show that Wall Street’s appetite for crypto adoption is growing. More institutional adoption may be just what crypto needs to grow in price, maturity, and stability. Now that the biggest fund manager in the world is on board, who will be next? 

WHAT’S THE BUZZ?

Imagine looking in your wallet one day and finding a new piece of art from one of your favorite creators. How did it get there? An airdrop.  

AIRDROP

  • Airdrops are distributions of NFTs, tokens or cryptocurrency to a Web3 wallet address 
  • Use cases include marketing, additional perks for collectors, or showing proof of attendance 
  • They are often viewed as “dividends” for owning certain NFTs 
  • In many scenarios, creators use this tool to connect with their collectors. For example, devoted collectors of Daniel Arsham’s Eroding and Reforming collection on Nifty Gateway will be airdropped an exclusive 11th NFT if they collect all 10 that were released 

NFT BLUE-CHIP COLLECTIONS

Top 5 Collectible Collections 

Top 5 Photography Collections

NFT COMMENTARY

The recent rise in the value of Ethereum has led to a stabilization in floor prices, but we’re still seeing slower volume on OpenSea and other major marketplaces. In the next month or so we’ll be able to see if this was just everyone on summer break or if this is the new normal. 

Source: Tokenterminal 

While volumes and values have been treading water not all the metrics have done the same and we are still seeing growth in adoption. The total number of active users was up 2.2% over the last 90 days in a promising sign that this platform is still onboarding new collectors.  

In the bigger picture, there have been some conspicuous entries to the NFT market. In the social media world, Meta is working its way towards integrating NFTs into its popular Instagram platform so collectors can show off their pieces and creators can market their work. Major League Baseball is now giving away digital collectibles at their games; ticketholders can claim their NFTs with creative group Candy, introducing a vast audience to Web3. And last but not least, high fashion has jumped into NFT trends with Tiffany’s releasing NFTiffs, which are NFTs valued at $50,000 but paired with custom CryptoPunk avatar pendants. There are some differing opinions which Tiffany’s will have to contend with, but it doesn’t seem like they’re planning on backpedaling. Brands will have to watch how they manage their image in a whole new way moving forward.  

Alexandre Arnault tweeted his Tiffany & Co. CryptoPunks pendant in April 2022. Image: Courtesy of Vogue.sg and Tiffany & Co.

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT

Damien Hirst

I was born into the curse by Damien Hirst

He is no stranger to the art world, but he was an early adopter in the NFT world. Damien’s experiment has literally caught fire. About a year ago when he released his collection, The Currency, he gave collectors an ultimatum about how they would ultimately get to keep their art. Each NFT was matched to a physical piece and at the end of the first year they had to decide which they would keep: the physical piece or the NFT. The one not chosen would be burned.  

Image is of a twitter tweet by contemporary artist Damian Hirst, describing the results of his recent art release The Currency, which gave buyers the choice between an NFT or physical art piece. The tweet describes that more buyers chose physical pieces than digital, but by a slim margin.
Source: Twitter 

It was not a surprise to the art world that the physical pieces were preferred, but what did raise an eyebrow was how slim the margin was. It wasn’t as lopsided as many expected — 51% chose the physical pieces and 49% picked the NFTs. Perhaps the most difficult decision was for the artist himself. He had to make a choice on his 1,000 pieces and opted for the NFTs on all of them. He churned on the decision for quite some time but laid it all out in a Twitter thread on how keeping them as NFTs would be the next logical step, saying he has “no idea what the future holds, whether the NFTs or physicals are going to be more valuable or less. But that is art! the fun, part of the journey and maybe the point of the whole project. Even after one year, I feel the journey is just beginning.” We’re with you Damien.

Source: OpenSea

IN THE NEWS

GREG ADAMS

DIGITAL ASSET SPECIALIST & ADVISOR

Phone: +1 (610) 908 2740
Email: gregadams@fineartgroup.com

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