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Cryptocurrency’s blockchain-based non-fungible tokens (NFTs) might have sparked criticism initially, but it’s undeniable that the industry has received a wave of attention too significant to ignore.
In March, Christie’s auction house sold an art piece of crypto-artist Beeple (Mike Winklemann) for a whopping $69.3 million USD. It put Winklemann’s nickname on the map but also shed light on the NFT industry and what it could be worth – both from a financial point of view as well as a new innovative way of generating artistic expression. As NFT collections become more prominent across art houses, fashion brands, iconic retail corporations, and art scenes, more artists have taken note, and made moves to mint their own NFTs. We’ve seen celebrities start joining the ranks of those who are working with NFTs, have created an NFT, either with a company or in collaboration with an artist. Here are some of the big names that have entered the market.
Just recently, the world renown American tennis champion joined the board of Sorare, a prominent blockchain collectibles startup that offers NFT sports tokens. Williams will be working alongside the Sorare team to offer deeper insight into the sports industry from an athlete’s perspective. Williams has expressed excitement at the prospect of entering the NFT market with the sport’s-focused tech startup, noting that she sees how Sorare understands the relationship between athletes and fans like no other in the industry.
The CEO of Sorare commented:
“Serena is one of the most important figures in sport and culture, who has redefined the figure of the athlete and the modern entrepreneur, also thanks to the unprecedented success of her investments in several new realities. The strategic advice Serena will bring in building one of the most iconic sports entertainment brands is invaluable. I am thrilled to have her on the team.”
Paris Hilton collaborated with designer Blake Kathryn to create a series of three NFT pieces. The artworks sold out in April 2021, going for just over a million dollars. At the same time, she announced that she had named her two new pets as an “ode to her NFT obsession”.
She also has stated that she sees the NFT industry as the next step in the future of artistic expression:
“I see NFTs as a way to innovate, empower others and push the boundaries of how artists interact with their fans. I see NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, as the future of the creator economy. And blockchain technology will allow artists to get paid on secondary sales as well. That’s never happened before and it is mindblowing how much that can change things for artists.”
Grimes, the experimental musician who innovates sound and aesthetics, has whole-heartedly embraced the world of NFTs selling $6 million USD worth of digital art early last year. She sold a series on ten pieces on Nifty Gateway and the highest-selling piece, a one-of-a-kind video went for $389,000 USD. Further to the artworks value, Nifty Gateway has also stated that a portion of her collection’s sales will go to Carbon180, an organisation working to remove carbon from the atmosphere.
Snoop Dogg is not a new name in the world of blockchain. Along with Elon Musk, Snoop is one of the Doge Army – proponents of meme token Dogecoin. Snoop announced last year that he was releasing a NFT collection which would represent a journey of the rapper’s life from early memories and throughout his career. The drop of the eight pieces in the collection, titled “A Journey with the Dogg,” lasted only 48 hours and just one of the eight pieces earned the rapper $100,000 USD.
Arguably the world’s most famous skateboarder Tony Hawk entered the world of NFTs by minting a video of himself performing a trick. He performed a 540-degree ollie on the Eternity Chain. Since then, Hawk has performed tricks ‘for the last time’ as videos to be recorded for eternity on the blockchain. The tricks have been minted into 16,600 digital collectibles with various tiers of rarity. With his entrance into the industry, Hawk said:
“It’s humbling to see how these tricks are taking on new life in the digital era even after I’ve performed my last ones. It allows fans the opportunity to experience them once again in a new way.”