Hello friends, and welcome to Week in Review! Last week we dived into Bezos’ Blue Origin suing NASA. This week, I write about the unlikely and triumphant resurgence of the NFT market.
If you are reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get it in your inbox from the newsletter page, and follow my tweets @lucasmtny.
The big thing
If I could, I would probably write about NFT in this newsletter every week. I usually refrain from doing this because I’m doing my best to make this newsletter an overview of what’s important to the entire consumer tech industry, not just my niche interests. That said, I am giving myself carte blanche this week.
The NFT market is so bizarre and hilarious and the culture around the NFT world is so native to the web that I can’t read enough about it. But in recent days, the digital art market on the blockchain has completely defied reason.
In April, I wrote on a platform called CryptoPunks which – by that time – had racked up over $ 200 million in lifetime sales since 2017. Little pop art pixel portraits have taken on a life of their own ever since. during. It was pretty much unthinkable at the time, but in the last 24 hours alone, the platform achieved $ 141 million in sales, a new record. By the time you read this, the NFT platform will likely have surpassed a mind-blowing transaction volume of $ 1.1 billion according to crypto tracker CryptoSlam. With 10,000 of these numeric characters, buying just one will cost you at least $ 450,000 worth of Ethereum cryptocurrency. (When I sent out this newsletter yesterday, that number was $ 300,000)
It’s not just CryptoPunks either; NFT’s entire world has exploded over the past week, with billions of dollars invested in projects featuring designs of monkeys, penguins, dinosaurs, and generative art this month alone. After the NFT rally earlier this year – culminating with the $ 69 million sale of Christie’s by Beeple – started to slow down, many called the NFT explosion a bizarre accident. What sparked this recent frenzy?
Part of the reason is a resurgence in cryptocurrency prices to historic highs and a desire among the crypto rich to diversify their stratospheric assets without converting their wealth into fiat currencies. Depositing hundreds of millions of dollars into an NFT project with fewer stakeholders than the currencies behind them can make a lot of sense to those whose wealth is already overindexed in crypto. But a big chunk of that money is probably FOMO dollars from investors dumping real money into NFTs, bolstered by moves like Visa’s purchase this week of their own CryptoPunk.
I think it is fair enough to say that this growth is not sustainable, but it is not clear how far the market growth will go until the pace of investment slows down or collapses. There are no signs of slowing down just yet, something that can be terribly exciting – and dangerous – for investors looking for something wild to put their money in… and this market really is.
Here’s some advice from Figma CEO Dylan Field, who sold his alien CryptoPunk earlier this year for 4,200 Eth (worth $ 13.6 million today).
Here is the TechCrunch news that particularly caught my attention this week:
OnlyFans suspends its ban on pornography
In an astonishing about-face, OnlyFans said this week that they will not ultimately ban “sexually explicit content” from their platform, saying in a statement that they have “obtained the assurances necessary to support our diverse community. creators and suspended the policy change scheduled for Oct. 1.
Kanye embarks on the hardware business
Ahead of the release of his next album, which is sure to be released at some point, rapper Kanye West introduced a mobile music device called Stem Player. The $ 200 handheld device allows users to mix and edit the music that has been loaded on the device. It was developed in partnership with hardware manufacturer Kano.
Apple settles developer lawsuit
Apple has taken a few public relations hits in recent years after developers large and small complained about take-it-or-leave-it from the company’s app store. This week, Apple shared a settlement proposal (still awaiting judge approval) that begins with a $ 100 million payment and gets more interesting with adjustments to App Store signatures, including the possibility for developers to advertise by paying for subscriptions directly rather than through the app only.
Twitter begins to roll out paid spaces
Twitter made a convincing sale for its competitor Clubhouse Spaces, but they’ve also managed to build on the model in recent months, turning its copying function into a product that succeeds on its own merits. Its latest push to allow creators to sell tickets to events is just starting to unfold, the company shared this week.
California judge overturns controversial concert economics proposal
Companies like Uber and DoorDash poured tens of millions of dollars into Prop 22, a law that grabbed a California law that pushed gig economy startups to classify workers as full employees. This week, a judge ruled the proposal unconstitutional, and although the decision was stayed on appeal, any adjustment would have major ramifications for the companies’ operations in California.
Some of my favorite reads from our Extra Crunch subscription service this week:
Future tech releases have a lot to do
“Inflation may or may not be transient when it comes to consumer prices, but startup valuations are definitely up – and noticeably – in recent quarters. This is the obvious conclusion of a recent one. PitchBook report which analyzes evaluation data from a multitude of startup fundraising events in the United States… ”
OpenSea UX teardown
“… is the experience of creating and selling an NFT on OpenSea really good?” This is what UX analyst Peter Ramsey has been trying to answer by creating and selling NFTs on OpenSea for the past few weeks. And the short answer is: It could be a lot better...“
Are B2B SaaS Marketers Wrong?
” Solutions’, ‘cutting edge’, ‘scalable’ and ‘innovative’ are just a sample of the overused jargon lurking around every corner of the tech universe, with SaaS marketers around the world seemingly chanting the same hymn book. Unfortunately for them, new research has proven that such jargon-heavy copy – with unclear features and benefits – deters customers and reduces conversions … “
Thanks for reading! And again, if you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get it in your inbox from the newsletter page, and follow my tweets @lucasmtny.