Two big non-crypto-native institutions – Apple and auction house Christie’s – are turning heads in NFT-focused circles this week. And for very different reasons.

Let’s start with the famous fruit-themed tech titan.

Long seen by those hoping for greater mainstream adoption as a significant domino, Apple is not quite there yet with any significant announced foray into the space. (Although CEO Tim Cook has expressed personal interest in the past.)

However, the tech giant is now reportedly allowing purchases of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in its App Store. So that’s definitely something.

And it sounds great… until you realise the commission fee it’s charging – a whopping 30%. Compared with the crypto industry’s most prominent NFT marketplace OpenSea, which charges about a 2.5% sales commission, Apple’s fee structure is, like, so totally Web2.

Interestingly, here’s what the CEO of Epic Games (of Fortnite fame) Tim Sweeney had to say about it:

Sweeney was responding to a report and tweet from The Information’s Aidan Ryan, who revealed that many NFT startups are limiting functionality within their apps to avoid the 30% Apple fee.

Ryan’s report noted, for instance, that Magic Eden – the Solana blockchain’s leading NFT marketplace – has now pulled its service from the App Store.

Still, flipping back to the positive side of the coin for a second, the silver lining here is most certainly more eyes on NFTs, more eyes on crypto – as Decrypt noted in its article on the subject this week, and as Web3 game developer Gabriel Leydon points out below.

Incidentally, after both Microsoft’s Mojang Studios and the Steam gaming platform announced NFT bans, the Epic Games’ CEO tweeted in July that he believes “stores and operating system makers shouldn’t interfere by forcing their views onto others. We definitely won’t.”


Christie’s launches ‘3.0’ NFT platform

But speaking of NFT adoption, one of the world’s oldest and biggest auction houses, Christie’s, has now launched an in-house NFT “on-chain auction platform,” allowing auctions to be carried out directly on the Ethereum network.

The new platform is called Christie’s 3.0 and has been “built from the ground up” with help from NFT smart contract development startup Manifold, metaverse development firm Spatial and blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis.

“Christie’s 3.0 allows for auctions to be carried out on the Ethereum blockchain network from start to finish,” tweeted the auction house. “All transactions, including post-sale, will be automatically recorded on the blockchain.”

This isn’t the first foray by the British auction house into the wide and wacky world of NFTs, far from it. It’s conducted several prominent NFT auctions, most notably minting Beeple’s “Everydays – The First 5000 Days”, which sold for a still scarcely believable record US$69.3 million in March 2021. Back when bulls were running and bears were hibernating.

The first project launch to be featured through the new platform will be from 18-year-old New York-based NFT artist Diana Sinclair.