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CryptoPunk’s NFT Sells for Half a Billion Dollars, Causes Uproar

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  • CryptoPunk 9998 sells for 124,457.07 ETH ($530 million).
  • A sale that might be the largest NFT purchase in history.
  • Some feel it is a publicity stunt.

Digital art is as valuable as the physical arts. Interestingly, it has become a form of a social symbol that has gone beyond the ordinary. Recently, Crypto Twitter was sent into a frenzy as a CryptoPunk non-fungible token (NFT) ‘9998’ was purchased for 124,457.07 ETH.

When converted to fiat currency it amounts to a whopping half-billion dollars ($530 million). A sale that might be the largest involving a crypto token in history. Meanwhile, many of the comments that follow the tweet say they were in doubt of the sale.

However, some NFT collectors were quick to point out that the sale could be a ‘fat finger,’ a term that refers to an irreversible click on a product by mistake, most common in the world of trading.

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More so, a notable crypto analyst Lark Davis referred to the purchase as money laundering. Another hilariously said that ‘the most expensive property in the United States costs less than $530 million’. Others noted that it is just a publicity stunt, with some alleging that the NFT was probably transferred back to the original owner after the announcement. 

Moreover, CryptoPunks have a floor price of 100 ETH, and the punk in question, #9998, lacks the attributes to prompt such high sales. Hence, the numerous suspicions surrounding the purchase.

The transaction was first noticed by a Twitter bot that watches CryptoPunks sales. He observes that the purchase was made by a flash loan contract. A similar flash loan transaction was used to purchase a HashMask NFT for 139,000 ETH, making it the highest NFT sale ever — albeit on a technicality.

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If truly a purchase of such nature was made, then, the $530 million auction of 124,457.07 ETH would by far surpass the 4,200 ETH sale of an ultra-rare extraterrestrial punk in March.

Distinctively, CryptoPunks was one of the first non-fungible tokens (NFT) published on the Ethereum blockchain in June of 2017. The project was created by Larva Labs, an American studio composed of two Canadian software developers, Matt Hall and John Watkinson.

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Ethereum (ETH) Receives First NFT from Cosmos-Based Blockchain: Details

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In an unmatched experiment, non-fungible tokens were activated on four blockchains before landing on Ethereum’s OpenSea.

IRISnet has facilitated the transfer of a non-fungible token from permissioned distributed network WenChang Chain that was built using the Cosmos software development kit on Ethereum’s largest NFT marketplace.

NFT bridge is established between Cosmos-based WenChang Chain and Ethereum

According to the official announcement shared in Cosmos’ main blog, its software development kit was utilized for the first-ever NFT travel between four blockchain networks.

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Transferred tokens were minted as digital avatars to fine art Chinese paintings. They represent famous traditional Chinese artwork by Rongbaozhai (Studio of Glorious Treasures), well-known since the 17th century.

First, the NFTs were minted at WenChang Chain, one of the decentralized platforms that belong to BSN Open Permissioned Blockchains, an ecosystem of hybrid distributed networks. The tokens were registered through IP.PUB, which is a Digital Artwork Registration Platform supported by China Promoting Minority Culture & Art Association.

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Then, the tokens were sent to IRITA Hub and IRIS Hub, two networks operated by IRISNet, Cosmos-based cross-platform interoperability protocol.

Why is this transfer crucial for IBC instruments?

The transfer became possible thanks to the Terse Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol (TIBC). IRIS Hub seamlessly connects TIBC to Ethereum.

Right now, all NFTs from the experiment are available for sale on OpenSea, the largest Ethereum-based marketplace for non-fungible tokens.

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This experiment is unique due to various features. First of all, it demonstrates Cosmos’ role in connecting permissioned and permissionless blockchains, e.g., Ethereum and BSN. Then, it shows that Chinese state-backed bodies are still interested in blockchain usage despite a severe crack-down on crypto.

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NFT and Crypto Communities Facing Malware Campaign on Discord

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Threat actors are targeting crypto and NFT Discord communities

A malware campaign that specifically focuses on cryptocurrency- and NFT-related Discord communities has been uncovered, according to a report by Bleeping Computer.

Malicious actors are abusing the popular chart service with the help of a crypter called Babadeda, which means “Grandma-Grandpa” in the Russian language.

Cybersecurity firm Morphisec was the first to discover the new malware distribution campaign earlier this week.

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Criminals typically attempt to cajole users into downloading fake software, copying popular blockchain games such as “Mines of Dalarna.”

Mines of Dalarnia
Image by blog.morphisec.co

Based on an HTML object of one of the decoy sites, Morphisec determined that the malware campaign is operated by people from a Russian-speaking country.

Threat actors are impersonating the websites of some of the most prominent companies within the NFT industry, including OpenSea and Larva Labs.

Those who started installing the malware typically see a fake error, which is used as a deception technique, while the installer does its job in the background.

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Cybercriminals are likely to go after victims’ crypto wallets and NFTs.

Discord’s malware problem

It is not surprising that Discord has become the target of threat actors since it has become home to plenty of cryptocurrency users where they can communicate via publicly accessible channels or private messages.

It is not just crypto: Sophos revealed that Discord accounted for 4% of all malware downloads as of July.

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Earlier this month, Discord shelved its plan to integrate the Ethereum network after facing severe backlash from the anti-crypto segment of its customer base.

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Christie’s Partners With OpenSea to Hold Curated NFT Auctions

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The legendary auction house is entering into a partnership with non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea to hold a series of curated auctions.

Christie’s is continuing its push into the digital art scene with the announcement that it plans to hold on-chain NFT auctions on the world’s most popular marketplace.

The auction house made the announcement on Nov. 24, stating that the first “Christie’s X OpenSea” auction will kick off on Dec. 1. It will be open for browsing until Dec. 3, and bidding will commence on the fourth and run until the seventh.

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Big Step for NFTs

The collaboration will enable bidding and payments to be made using the Ethereum network. The first collection features a “cutting-edge selection of collectibles” pulled together by Christie’s Head of Digital and Online Sales Noah Davis and curator Ronnie Pirovino. It will also be supported by NFT news and analytics platform, NFT Now.

Featured artists include Andre Oshea, Alpha Centauri Kid, Ash Thorp, Baeige, Blake Kathryn, DotPigeon, EtherRock, FriendsWithYou, Fvckrender, GMUNK, Joshua Davis, KESH, Krista Kim, Maciej Kuciara, Mad Dog Jones, Olive Allen, Oseanworld, Recur, Tom Sachs, Victor Mosquera, and WhIsBe.

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Selected works from the sale will be on exhibition during Art Basel Miami Beach at “The Gateway” – a sensory experience in downtown Miami featuring music and art in the celebration of a new era of NFT innovation.

In a press release, Noah Davis commented:

“With this collaboration, we are bringing the Christie’s brand boldly onto the blockchain. Our collaboration with OpenSea allows us to combine our expert curation and prestigious provenance with the convenience of decentralization.”

He added that his hope is that this will be the beginning of a new era for NFT sales at Christie’s.

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In March, Christie’s concluded the sale of its first NFT, the record-breaking “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” by Beeple, which fetched $69 million.

Also, in March, OpenSea secured $23 million in venture capital backing from participants, which included Andreessen Horowitz and billionaire investor Mark Cuban.

OpenSea Dominates Markets

OpenSea is the dominant NFT marketplace for the industry. According to DappRadar, more than $1.67 billion in volume has been processed on the platform over the past 30 days. Its current daily volume is around $70 million.

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Cryptoslam reports that Axie Infinity is still the most popular NFT collection by sales, with $171 million shifted over the past week.

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