Non-fungible tokens are changing the dynamics of the web. The blue check mark used to be the benchmark of authority and status on social media however, the emergence of the NFT profile pic is starting to eclipse it. You might have noticed the influx of celebrities changing their Twitter profile pics to their favourite digital assets or maybe you noticed lots of celebrities releasing their own NFTs. With that said, we thought we’d take a look at the ways in which celebrities are using NFTs.
If you're interested in NFTs, blockchain, or all things crypto, make sure you join The Sole Supplier's Crypto Discussion Facebook group!
Timbaland is a huge supporter of blockchain technology. The legendary hip-hop producer has even launched his own music on the blockchain, so it’s no surprise that he invested big, buying Bored Ape Yacht Clubs #590 Ape. In fact, he loves the project so much that he just launched ‘Ape-In Productions’ an organisation aiming to develop virtual music and animation featuring the infamous Apes.
With such a hefty price tag, you might find it hard to believe that someone would pay so much for an expensive JPEG. But owners are also granted entry to one of the most exclusive communities in the world. Most interaction within the community is conducted through the private discord server. The club has been relatively underground this year but we got a glimpse of the BAYC recently during Ape fest. The Festival designed exclusively for Ape owners, was one of the most exclusive events in the world. Starting at the end of October and spreading out over a week, the festival had live music, dinners, and of course, a yacht party.
We all know Jay-Z as one of the most successful musicians of all time, but nowadays he’s mostly an entrepreneur and investor. His first NFT purchase was fittingly from one of the most expensive collections in the world: the CryptoPunk. Started by LarvaLabs in 2017, each punk features a pixelated human, ape or alien and Jay-Z bought CryptoPunk #6095 for $126,000 dollars.
With only 10,000 being released, CryptoPunk is one of the most desired NFTs in the world. Newcomers may balk at the simpleness of the design, but this taps into the very essence of the craze. As the one true recorded owner of this image, setting it as your profile pic on social media allows you to make a bold statement about your status and wealth. As we move to a different social media environment credentials are important to navigate through different communities.
LeBron James has lots of lucrative commercial endorsements, so it’s no surprise that a LeBron James featured NFT fetches a high price. One of the biggest NFT projects: NBA top shots, boasts daily sales of $1.8 million dollars and this year, LeBron’s signature iconic “Kobe Byrant Tribute Dunk” sold for nearly $400,000 dollars.
NBA TopShots allows fans to collect and trade officially licensed NBA and WNBA NFTs and in this case a video of James commemorating the death of his friend and former Lakers star Kobe Bryant, by copying one of Bryant's most memorable dunks.
Every sportsman has to end their careers at some point, but none have done as much for streetwear culture as Tony Hawk. Recently the godfather of skating and pop culture icon delivered his final performance of the 540-degree “Ollie” and a video of it was minted as an NFT on the blockchain. Describing his last trick, Hawk said on instagram “This one meant a lot to me.” We probably won’t see Tony Hawk skate again but the NFT of his last trick will live on as it continues to be traded as a digital asset on the internet.
Belarusian entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck has become somewhat of a spokesperson for digital assets. The businessman who created the restaurant reservation software Resy has gained a cult following for his NFT project VeeFriends. VeeFriends introduces some interesting concepts, for example each token is redeemable for various perks.
The “FaceTime Frog” gives the owner a virtual access pass to meet Vaynerchuck and the “Tennis Elbow” token allows you to play tennis against him. Gary is giving up his time for people that are willing to participate in the VeeFriends ecosystem. The more people it attracts the more the users benefit from the rising of the assets.
For many, the tokenisation of online culture is a welcome break from the legacy practices of the current internet. Many artists and creators will want to tokenise their work, allowing them to kickstart projects and seek capital in a way that instantly gives fractional ownership to their followers.
Investors are incentivised to promote the creator's work and contribute to its community so that the asset grows in value. Artists usually earn automatic commission from future resales as the resale structure is embedded into the tokens contract. This means that as the popularity of a project grows, and it continues to be resold, the artist can still profit from its success.
Celebrities are experimenting with this new technology in different ways, some celebrities are using it to offer a different type of experience to their customers and some are indulging in the space themselves by making big investments. By far the most noticeable use case for NFTs is the profile pic, and now that Twitter is releasing inbuilt verification on their platform, more users will start to invest in their favourite projects.
As mentioned before, if you're interested in NFTs, blockchain, or all things crypto, feel free to join The Sole Supplier's Crypto Discussion Facebook group!