The United Kingdom's reportedly richest living artist, Damien Hirst is set to burn thousands of his paintings as part of a year-long nonfungible token (NFT) project called “The Currency.”
Starting in September, visitors to Hirst’s private London museum will be able to view some of his 10,000 oil paintings depicting unique dots he created in 2016 and linked to NFTs in 2021.
Buyers of the $2,000 floor-priced NFTs were given the option to keep the token or trade it for the physical painting. The original artwork will be burnt for those who chose to keep the NFT version.
The deadline for the decision was July 27, with nearly half of the collectors, 4,851 wanting their paintings burned for digital edition NFTs, while 5,149 collectors opted to trade their NFTs for physical versions.
The art will be torched daily during the run of the event beginning on September 9, culminating in its closure during the London Frieze Week event in mid-October, when the remaining paintings will go up in smoke. Commenting on the outcome on Wednesday, the 57-year-old artist said:
“I believe in art and art in all its forms but in the end I thought f**k it! this zone is so f**king exciting and the one I know least about and I love this NFT community it blows my mind.”
Hirst previously told The Art Newspaper that the project “touches on the idea of art as a currency and a store of wealth.”
The initial sale and subsequent secondhand resales have been handled by NFT marketplace Heni. According to Heni, sales surged in August and September 2021 when the project launched. The Currency became the top collection in OpenSea NFT rankings on August 15. However, volumes have slumped in recent months with the broader crypto market crash.
The maximum price for a piece was $176,779, with the average buyer spending $21,078. The most recent sale was on July 28 for $8,708 USDC, bringing the total sold for the collection to $89.3 million.
Hirst commented that “I still don’t know what I’m doing, and I have no idea what the future holds, whether the NFTs or physicals are going to be more valuable or less,” adding that even after one year, he felt “the journey was just beginning.”
Damien Hirst was declared the UK’s richest artist in 2020, with a net worth of more than $380 million.
A recent report from Absolute Reports projects massive growth for the GameFi industry within the next six years.
The research has the play-to-earn nonfungible token (NFT) game industry with an estimated value of $2.8 billion within the time span from 2022–2028. Moreover, the compound annual growth rate of the industry is 20.4% in the same six-year period.
This forecast comes in the midst of a raging crypto bear market, which leaves little room for projects and industries with no substance. The report highlights the leaders in this field of play-to-earn game development which include Sky Mavis, Dapper Labs, Decentraland, Immutable and The Sandbox.
Furthermore, it breaks down GameFi by type, console and market region.
Though it’s not only the report which points to a favorable future for the Web3 gaming industry. Research from Cointelegraph also highlights interest from venture capitalist investors during the down season. For example, Animoca Brands recently acquired three companies within the GameFi space.
Another analysis shows an uptick in users of blockchain-based games despite market conditions. Both WAX and Binance Smart Chain saw steady community numbers with 2.94 million and 2.49 million users.
During market downturns, projects that remain carry with them a level of apparent utility. Blockchain-based games are a simple, accessible, and engaging way for this to be seen. It is for this reason that gaming has always acted as a gateway for new users to interact with the crypto space.
However as Web3 continues its development, experts highlight that GameFi will need to adapt as well. In a recent conversation with the founders of Crypto Raiders, they urged developers to prioritize fun over “financialization” when continuing to develop platforms.
On-chain metrics firm Santiment says it is still investigating the cause of a sudden surge of ETH active addresses, which have eclipsed the previous ATH by a whopping 48%
On July 27, the analytics firm tweeted that the number of daily active addresses on Ethereum had suddenly spiked to 1.06 million, shattering the previous high of 718,000 set back in 2018.
An active address is one that has made a transaction in the past 24 hours. The number of active addresses can indicate the level of on-chain activity from developers and projects inputting updates to their work or platforms, and traders performing simple token transfers.
However, Santiment says its team is still investigating the cause of the spike. Cointelegraph also reached out to Ethereum core developer Tim Beiko to explain the unusual activity but did not get an immediate response.
Head of strategy at Coinbase Conor Grogan posted in a Twitter thread that the increase in activity comes from a high number of token transfers per unit of gas rather than from greater adoption.
He explained that the spike in active addresses is due to an increase "mundane" send/receive activity, such as "Binance doing a maintenance sweep," as opposed to more “productive” activity from decentralized finance (DeFi) and nonfungible token (NFT).
Active addresses had been increasing since their two-year low point of 364,400 on June 26 with a notable smaller spike on July 16 up to 583,000 according to Santiment data.
The daily active addresses metric for Tether (USDT) has also seen a significant spike in active addresses over the past two days from July 26 to 27, possibly corroborating Grogan’s observations about greater activity coming from simple token transfers.
he Goerli and Prater testnets for Ethereum are expected to merge together into a single Goerli testnet between August 6 and 12 according to a July 27 blog post from the Ethereum team. The Ethereum mainnet is expected to transition into its own merge on September 19.
This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.