NFT fever takes hold as crypto exchange valuations surge higher
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NFT markets are officially going off, after a fairly epic art auction on Christie’s overnight.
In the latest example of crypto’s crossover with traditional markets, the 254-year old auction house sold a piece of digital art for $US69,346,250.
“The First 5,000 Days”, by Beeple (real name: Mike Winkelmann), is a .jpg file made up of 5,000 digital images — one shot per day for around 13 years.
Here’s an alternative name:
The Moona Lisa
— Joe Weisenthal (@TheStalwart) March 11, 2021
Or better yet, here’s how Beeple himself reacted:
— beeple (@beeple) March 11, 2021
The Christie’s auction follows a $US6.6m sale last month by the same artist — a 10-second video clip of Donald Trump.
The concept of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) has been around for a while, but it’s only recently that the market has gone off.
Separately, the US National Basketball Association (NBA) this year launched an NFT TopShot market, where a video clip of Lebron James dunking sold for $US200,000.
From leading auction houses to national sports leagues to enterprising Twitter trolls, there’s a bit of something for everyone:
— NFT witch (NGMI) (@WitchNft) March 3, 2021
The world’s biggest cryptocurrency briefly pushed above $US58,000 on Friday, accompanying another round of bullish price action in US stocks overnight.
The race is still on for $US60k in Asian trade, as BTC has another crack at new all-time highs.
Ethereum has also been on a big March rally, climbing from around $US1,300 on March 1 to push back above $US1,800 in morning trade today, as it traces back towards all-time highs above $US2,000 reached in late February.
Elsewhere on crypto markets, the biggest mover over the last 24 hours was Polygon (formerly known as Matic Network), which operates on the Ethereum blockchain.
Polygon says its aim is to address the problem of rising gas fees on the Ethereum network, by introducing additional “sidechain” layers to increase speed.
The Polygon coin jumped more than 40 per cent overnight to above 40c, following news that it was about to be added onto the network of crypto exchange Coinbase.
Speaking of exchanges, market activity isn’t slowing down there either.
After all, the world’s largest exchanges provide the key mechanism for cryptos to be bought and sold, and therefore for people to make money.
Overnight, news broke on The Block that FalconX — a crypto trading firm with backing from American Express — has raised another $50m at a valuation of $US670m.
While we’re at it, here’s a quick summary of the valuations of some of the world’s largest crypto exchanges:
Coinbase this week hit a valuation of $US90 billion on the Nasdaq Private Market.
Binance is privately owned and headquartered in Malta, which makes it harder to ascribe a valuation. But BNB coin, the in-house digital token used by global exchange Binance, is now the third biggest cryptocurrency in the world behind BTC and ETC, with a valuation of over $40bn.
And the Kraken exchange recently sought a valuation of $US10bn in its latest funding around, as cryptocurrency trading volume continues to surge.
So while crypto and NFT traders are making bank to start the year, large (if not larger) amounts are being raked in by the exchanges making the market.
Until next week, hodl your way to the moon.