The art world's spectacular NFT hangover + All the Web3 news you missed this week
This week, Vanity Fair published a detailed writeup on the rise and fall of NFT interest in the art world: SBF, Bored Ape Yacht Club, and the Spectacular Hangover After the Art World’s NFT Gold Rush - Auction houses and talent agencies thought the Web3 works were a fast track to billions. If it weren’t for a global crypto meltdown, they might have pulled it off.
“the art world’s deal-with-the-devil approach to the NFT market, a golden goose cut open and killed by those seeking the source of the bullion.”
In 2021, Christies had sold $150 million in NFTs, in 2022 sales were just $5.9 million - a 96% downturn. Overall NFT sales in 2021 have are an estimated $2.6 billion. For the time being, auction houses such as Sotheby's and Christie's continue to forge on with NFT sales, although the future remains uncertain.
Here’s the rest of the Web3 news you missed this week.
Here’s the Web3 news from the past week
The GDC's annual State of the Industry survey revealed some interesting insights into the industry. 75% of developers had cooled on Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and Web3 technology, while 45% were skeptical that metaverse platforms like Fortnite would ever deliver on its promise. Over 50% supported unionization in the industry and Microsoft's acquisition efforts were met with skepticism from 44%. This shows that there is a great deal of uncertainty about the future direction of game development.
Landowners are making passive income by renting virtual property. This was initially intended to democratize access to virtual property. But the rental system is also subtly changing the social fabric of the virtual world, dividing people into those who have and those who have not.
Central bank digital currencies have the potential to revolutionize global financial systems, a report from the bank said.
“CBDCs do not change the definition of money, but will likely change how and when value is transferred over the next 15 years,” analysts led by Alkesh Shah wrote, adding that central bank digital currencies have “the potential to revolutionize global financial systems and may be the most significant technological advancement in the history of money.”
The US Justice Department and Treasury Department have taken a significant action in their crackdown against crypto criminal networks with the arrest of Anatoly Legkodymov, founder of Bitzlato Ltd., a Hong Kong-based platform. In coordination with French authorities and the FBI, FinCEN formally labeled Bitzlato as a “primary money-laundering concern” which will effectively cut off the company from accessing global financial systems. It is estimated that $700 million worth of direct or indirect transfers were made through this exchange over several years for illegal activities such as buying/selling illegal goods via peer-to-peer services and hosting wallets connected to Russia government ransomware actors. This is considered one of the most significant actions by US against crypto criminal networks till date.
Caroline Pham, the CFTC commissioner, has been actively pushing for clearer crypto asset regulation. She has held numerous meetings to discuss topics related to crypto and is engaging in talks about global industry standards outside of the U.S. Furthermore, she has called for existing authorities to provide clarity now by identifying a financial instrument and holding it to same standards as other instruments while exploring frameworks that apply non-financial activities related to blockchain technology use cases.
The SEC's move last week to charge two digital asset giants with selling unregistered products to individual investors was a stark warning to crypto exchanges, lenders and other platforms.
The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Samuel Bankman-Fried with orchestrating a scheme to defraud equity investors in FTX Trading Ltd. (FTX), the crypto trading platform of which he was the CEO and co-founder. Investigations as to other securities law violations and into other entities and persons relating to the alleged misconduct are ongoing.
Off topic stories I found interesting
Twitter’s staff spent years trying to protect the social media site against impulsive billionaires who wanted to use the reach of its platform for their own ends, and then one made himself the CEO.
In case you missed it - this was the most opened article from last week’s news roundup
Microsoft is making a big bet on artificial intelligence by investing $10 billion in OpenAI, which would value the company at $29 billion. Microsoft will receive a majority share of profits until its investment is paid back, after which it will assume a 49% stake in the company. This move could help Microsoft gain ground in web search, a market currently dominated by Google.
Hi, I’m Andrew Chang - I created the Web3 Roundup to share what I’m learning in this space. I’ve spent my career at the forefront of the technology industry in areas such as crypto/blockchain (Former COO @ Paxos, co-founding partner of Liberty City Ventures), video and adtech. I learn by meeting with founders, investors and other thought leaders and approach Web3 with the same enthusiasm – and skepticism – I had about crypto/blockchain technologies 10 years ago.
You can connect with me on LinkedIn
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