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👩🎤 NFTs About to Crack Royalties as 3LAU Sells $11.7M in Tokens
Hello Defiers, here’s what we’re covering today:
Op-ed: Can NFTs crack royalties?
3LAU’s record $11.7M NFT sale
Beeple and Grimes also selling NFT
“Tanks of Tiananmen” contract on BSC
Yearn raises DAI vault ceiling as Alchemix surges
and more :)
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NFTs are all the rage, making more headway in attracting creators to crypto than ICOs or yield farming ever could. Non-fungible tokens, the Etheruem token standard that enables digital ownership, has taken off as a way for artists to monetize their work. By selling unique tokens linked to creators in auctions that are over in hours, creators have been able to make more than what they make from streaming platforms in years. But the token standard will be able to truly reward artists throughout the entire life of their products if they’re able to earn a percentage of sales in secondary markets too. The concept isn’t so far-fetched. James Beck of ConsenSys writes in today’s op-ed, and outlines the efforts underway to make it happen.
James Beck is Director of Communications and Content at ConsenSys. He has ghost-written commentary and articles for ConsenSys executives that have appeared in Wired, Quartz, and other industry publications. James is passionate about the increasing crossover between non-fungible tokens and art, as well as Web3 models for collectives savings accounts like susus. Get in touch with James.
TLDR 3LAU smashed the single NFT auction record on Saturday night after selling $11.7M of NFTs by tokenizing his debut album Ultraviolet in partnership with Origin Protocol.
TOP TIERS The bespoke auction portal - nft.3lau.com - allowed the top 33 bidders to earn exclusive Ultraviolet album NFTs of varying rarities. These tiers ranged from “Platinum” for the top bidder to “Gold” for bidders 2-6 and “Siver” for bidders 7-33.
The minimum bid for the Silver Tier ended at $65,001 while the top bid for Platinum Tier from the anonymous Bidder65 clocked in at a cool $3,666,666.
“I’m excited to help give power back to artists,” 3LAU told The Defiant. “This is the first step in a longer mission to connect artists directly to their fans, and allow artists to capture the value they create in the world.”
SO WHAT 3LAU’s record sale is another sign that artists leaning into the crypto community will be met by dozens of eager collectors like Illestrator, Whaleshark, 888, 0xb1 and SeedPhrase, who ended in the top 10 bidders in 3LAU’s auction.
Success from artists like 3LAU, Grimes, and OGs in the intersection of music and crypto like RAC, is paving the way for a new wave of artists who may want to capitalize on the buzz.
HEATING UP Outside of bespoke auctions, platforms like Catalog are gearing up to serve a music-specific vertical of NFTs later this month. Zora partnered with IAMSOUND to curate a gallery of NFTs from popular artists like Mura Masa and 88 Rising. OpenSea showcased their first drop with Shawn Mendes and Foundation is rumored to add support for audioNFTs after Jacques Greene sold the publishing rights to his next single using an NFT last week. Mike Shinoda even dropped 10 NFTs for his single “Happy Endings” - sending collectors signed prints as a way to promote the release.
TLDR Just two days into March, and it’s clear this is going to be another record-setting month with major NFT auctions already making waves: Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” and Grimes’ WarNymph Collection Vol. 1.
BEEPLE Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” NFT which is up for auction on Christie’s until March 11, and is currently bidding for $3M with ten days to go. Speculators anticipate the auction to beat last week’s $6.6M re-sale for Beeple’s “Crossroads,” a then record which has since been surpassed by 3lau’s $11.6M sale.
CHRISTIE’S Beeple’s auction is an especially important benchmark for NFTs, as it marks the first time that a major, mainstream auction house like Christie’s has listed a purely digital work of art.
GRIMES Grimes’ WarNymph Collection Vol. 1 includes 8 pieces of original artwork of varying rarities attached to exclusive, unreleased soundtracks. The collection dropped on Nifty Gateway at the end of February with a 48-hour bidding period for a 1/1 piece titled “Death of the Old.” Overall, Grimes’ NFT sales totaled over $5M, with “Death of the Old” bidding up to $388k alone.
ROLLING STONE At least as interesting as Grimes’ drop in and of itself is the mainstream coverage from outlets like Rolling Stone, which notes that other major celebrity musicians including Portugal the Man and Sean Mendes have also gotten into crypto and NFTs recently.
TLDR An unknown developer has deployed a smart contract called “Tinenanmen_Square” (mis-spelling Tiananmen Square), a censored topic in China, on Binance Smart Chain (BSC), with the implied intention of testing just how decentralized the chain really is.
JUST A GAME The smart contract is a game where users can mint TANK tokens starting at 1,000 TANKs, and going down linearly at every mint to a cap of 1M TANKs. Players can then send TANKs to other accounts, or “to the Tiennanmen Square.” There is a 50:50 chance that the send will be successful or that the sender will lose half their TANKs “to the pro democracy movement lead by the great CZ.” Lost TANKS accumulate and once in every 20 transfers, TANKs are randomly sent to one sender, “so with every send you are playing a 1/20 dice to get a TANK load of TANKs.”
CHINESE LINK Binance founder and CEO CZ’s connections to China remain murky. After his father had been exiled from China for being a “pro-bourgeois intellect” according to Wikipedia, CZ spent his teenage and college years in Canada. Binance too has only tenuous connections to China. The company is registered in the Cayman Islands, and, according to Wikipedia, relocated its headquarters from Shanghai to Japan in 2017 based on rumors of a China crypto crackdown.
CONTEXT The contract’s posting comes amid rising popularity of yield farming applications built on BSC, prompting Ethereum enthusiasts to highlight that applications built on a centralized chain aren’t actually DeFi.
TANKS DEPLOYED Still, while the creators of “Tanks of Tienanmen,” may have hoped to put CZ in a difficult position, the contract is live and TANKS continue being deployed.
TLDR ArmorFi CTO Robert Forster has awarded the Dedaub Team $250k $ARMOR tokens following the successful disclosure of a critical vulnerability in Primitive Finance to Immunefi. The award is part of the R Bounty program, now renamed the Founders Bounty, where Foster, working together with Immunefi, pledged that amount to anyone who discovered a flaw in any Ethereum dapp.
TLDR An anonymous hacker has exploited transaction-batching protocol Furucombo and walked away with $15M in stolen crypto over the weekend. The team is pledging to compensate victims.
PATCHED VULNERABILITY The Furucombo team said in a post Monday that they are “committed to compensating all users who were affected,” and that they’ve patched the security vulnerability that allowed this hack to occur. They still urge users to remove any token approvals towards their contract for the time being.
TLDR Deposits in Yearn Finance’s DAI vault are rising after synthetic assets protocol Alchemix started using Yearn for its backend last week. Alchemic deposits quintupled to almost $130M from less than $25M on Feb. 27, when Alchemiz launched. The surge pushed Yearn to raise its Dai vault limit to 300M from 100M.
DEFI BACKEND The move shows Yearn Finance is becoming an effective building block for other DeFi protocols. “It’s really cool to see protocol’s use Yearn as a backend,” Yearn core developer, Banteg said on Twitter.
🔗 Bitcoin is at a Tipping Point and Could Become ‘Currency of Choice’ for Global Trade, Citi Says: CNBC
“Citi thinks bitcoin is at a ‘tipping point’ and could one day ‘become the currency of choice for international trade’ as companies like Tesla and PayPal warm to it and central banks explore issuing their own digital currencies,” CNBC reports, citing the report. Citi also gives an overview of Ethereum and DeFi, read it here.
“PayPal is said to be in the process of buying Curv, a technology firm that powers the secure storage of cryptocurrency, according to three sources familiar with the situation,” CoinDesk reported. “Israeli news outlet Calcalist reported Tuesday that Curv was being sold for between $200 million and $300 million, without naming the buyer.”
✊ Head to THEDEFIANT.IO for more DeFi news 📰
🧑💻 ✍️ Stories in this newsletter were written by Owen Fernau, Dan Kahan, and Cooper Turley and edited by Camila Russo. Videos were produced by Robin Schmidt and Alp Gasimov.
The Defiant is a daily newsletter focusing on decentralized finance, a new financial system that’s being built on top of open blockchains. The space is evolving at breakneck speed and revolutionizing tech and money. Sign up to learn more and keep up on the latest, most interesting developments. Subscribers get full access, while free signups get only part of the content. Click here to pay with DAI (for $100/yr) or sub with fiat by clicking on the button above ($10/mo, $100/yr).