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Welcome to This Week in the Metaverse, where Fortune rounds up the most interesting news in the world of NFTs, culture, and the metaverse. Email with tips.
The failed Binance and FTX deal and the continued unraveling of the latter sent crypto prices tumbling, but its effect on NFTs has been something of a mixed bag.
Early on Thursday, less than a day after the FTX and Binance deal fell through, blue-chip NFT collections were down about 15%, according to DappRadar Head of Research Pedro Herrera. Some collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club fell by double digit percentage points.
By early Friday, though, those collections had rebounded in a major way, with CryptoPunks emerging as the biggest winner. The Yuga Labs collection surpassed Yuga’s other flagship collection Bored Ape Yacht Club as the most valuable on the market, with a 24% increase in its price floor to about $85,100 over 24 hours. Meanwhile, the lowest price for a Bored Ape jumped 12% to about $77,700 over the same period, according to DappRadar.
While CryptoPunks were once the most expensive NFT collection, Bored Ape Yacht Club took over that distinction in December. Now, CryptoPunks has recovered its crown—at least for the moment.
Compared to top cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ether, NFTs have better resisted the headwinds of the FTX debacle. As of Friday morning, the price of one Bitcoin was about $17,300, up about 5% but still trading at a level not seen since 2020. Ether was up about 7% to $1,300.
Still, the NFT world is facing its own controversy. More and more marketplaces have eliminated required royalty payments, which give the original creators of an NFT a portion of every sale, and some digital artists are not happy.
Just this week, FEWOCiOUS, XCOPY, and Seneca, the artist behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club art, spoke out in favor of royalties.
FEWOCiOUS, whose real name is Victor Langlois, put it clearly in a tweet: “Royalties were the reason the art community flocked to NFTs in the first place.”
The protests from creators have already made some headway with the most popular NFT marketplace, OpenSea, which said it would continue to enforce royalties on its collections after previously saying it was reconsidering its policy.
Capital One filed eight trademark applications for NFTs and NFT-backed media as well as debit and credit card services in the metaverse, according to a tweet by trademark attorney Mike Kondoudis. The company also could provide financial services and other events in the metaverse in the future, according to its filing.
In partnership with the NFT collection Deadfellaz, apparel and jeans maker Wrangler on Friday released a dark denim Wrangler jacket covered in Deadfellaz graffiti and a black T-shirt celebrating The Horde, the tight-knit Deadfellaz community. The Deadfellaz NFT collection features 10,000 undead NFTs owned by celebrities like NFL player Odell Beckham Jr. and Reese Witherspoon.
SuperRare Labs announced RarePass, a set of 250 passes to be auctioned off on Nov. 15 that will give buyers airdropped NFTs and special perks on the SuperRare NFT marketplace. For one year, the RarePass holders will get one airdrop per month from 12 artists who will create a series of 250 unique works, one for each pass holder. The artists include XCOPY, Pindar Van Arman, Coldie, Matt Kane, Krista Kim, Carlos Marcial, Other World, OSF, Robness, Helena Sarin, Anne Spalter, and Sarah Zucker. Six passes will be given away randomly, with two going to existing collectors, two to existing artists, and a final two to existing $RARE token holders.
DRESSX, an app that serves as a “Metacloset” of digital-only clothes, relaunched its app this week to give users the ability to connect a MetaMask wallet and try on NFT digital clothing purchased from its marketplace for free by using augmented reality.
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