When it comes to the world of Crypto x Music, it really is the wild, wild west out here.
I haven’t seen something so exciting, so explosive, so disruptive, and so dangerous since the early days of Napster.
NFT mania is dominating culture. It’s a perfect storm of timing, technology, and circumstance, leading to rapid, industry-wide change. Soon, NFT will lose its buzzword status and become a household term.
This week alone there was Christie’s release with JPG artist, Beeple, which yielded $63.9 Million at auction; Rob Gronkowski, with the help of event promotions company Medium Rare, dropped a set of NFT trading cards earning $1.5 Million on the marketplace, OpenSea; and EDM DJ and savvy investor, 3LAU, the ringleader of this space right now, has a major drop with visual artist Slimesunday coming via Nifty Gateway. The album he dropped two weeks ago earned him over $11.5 million and cemented his crypto art legacy.
Brands, naturally, are getting in the game. TacoBell did a drop this week that sold out in 30 minutes. It’s reselling on the secondary market for $187,000 (100 Ethereum). There are so many opportunities for brands to get in at this moment. It’s exciting to see the collectibles space evolving to combine art, music, technology, brands, and culture.
Unfortunately, some outrageous blindspots are revealing themselves. A company called BitClout orchestrated the sale of celebrity-backed NFTs without obtaining permission. That’s right, with a White Paper dropping on Friday, the company released coins of about 15,000 Twitter influencers and celebrities without their consent. Immediately, “Creator Coins” started soaring in price and the site crashed. I don’t think this stunt was legal and I’m sure it pissed off a lot of artists whose coins were trading on their names without their knowledge, but it got everyone’s attention and put new possibilities on display. Read their white paper here.
BitClout sent a jolt of uncertainty (and wild spending) through the system. It was really reckless. We’re already dealing with misinformation, disinformation, and deep fakes online. There are apps and videos that can simulate stars. Everywhere I look, from TikTok (with Tom Cruise) to Clubhouse impersonators where people are being faked into mass virality within hours, there needs to be better security. How safe and secure is the Blockchain if NFTs are being stolen right from people’s digital wallets, to the tune of $5.4 million? There is only so much a marketplace like Nifty Gateway can do. The crypto world has always posed a risk of theft and fraud. Since blockchain transactions are anonymous and irreversible, a compromised password is a significant risk for people who have invested thousands in digital assets.
But I truly love the action, the wildness, the transformation, and the opportunities. Growing pains, people! I’m watching the space closely and devising ways to build a bridge for artists and brands into the market. When the Craps table is hot, you want to have the dice. Nue can help guide you as things stabilize in NFT world. Our bet is that digital collectibles mixed with real-world experiences and culture will be the future!
Don’t hesitate to holler with your Blockchain & NFT questions and ideas.
Also published on Medium.