The hype surrounding nonfungible tokens (NFTs) has allowed some of the world’s most iconic brands to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue, underscoring the mass consumer appeal of digital collectibles.
Leading brands including Nike, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Adidas and Tiffany have amassed a combined $260 million worth of sales from NFTs, according to data from Dune Analytics that was first reported by NFTGators. Nike’s NFT drops have amassed $185.3 million in revenue, with volumes in secondary markets approaching $1.3 billion.
Dolce & Gabbana has generated $25.6 million worth of NFT revenue. Tiffany, which only recently launched its NFTiff token allowing CryptoPunk holders to mint customized pendants, has amassed $12.6 million in NFT-related sales. Total NFT revenue for Gucci and Adidas was $11.6 million and $10.9 million, respectively.
NFTs burst onto the mainstream in 2021, with collections such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks generating billions in lifetime sales. The hype surrounding digital collectibles eventually garnered the attention of major brands, which began experimenting with the technology to better connect with their customers. Although the NFT craze has died off in recent months, the impact of the new technology is expected to leave a lasting mark. Companies like Nike and Addidas plan to take their NFT ambitions into the Metaverse — moves designed to extend the ubiquity of their brands into the virtual worlds.
While estimates vary, investors and technologists believe the NFT market has a very bright future. According to a recent survey by market aggregator CoinGecko, respondents believe the NFT market could be worth more than $800 billion over the next two years. More conventional research put the value of the global NFT market at around $230 billion by the end of the decade.
According to multiple sources, on Tuesday, China officially began rolling out the next round of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot test program. In the city of Guanzhou, it is now possible to pay for public bus rides with the digital yuan (e-CNY) CBDC on 10 transit routes, which is a first for the country. To do so, passengers simply need to download the e-CNY app, deposit funds and scan the QR code located in the bus payment section to pay for their ride.
Similarly, the day before, the city of Ningbo said that passengers can now pay for subway rides at 125 stations with e-CNY. Ningbo is the ninth city in China to roll out the e-CNY pilot test in its subway lines, where passengers can simply scan and pay for the journey.
The Chinese government has rapidly expanded the utility of the e-CNY this year. Just last week, it became possible to pay for employee housing fund contributions in the city of Guangzhou with the CBDC. To revitalize consumer spending in the face of strict coronavirus lockdowns, the government partnered with food-delivery giant Meituan and e-commerce platform JD.com to create e-CNY air-drops that can be spent at listed venues.
In its last data update dated June 20, over 6 million unique users had ordered services with e-CNY funds on Meituan. Meanwhile, as of July, JD.com said that it had processed more than 4 million e-commerce transactions worth an estimated 900 million CNY ($131.6 million) since it began accepting the e-CNY as tender. Approximately 830 billion ($121.4 billion) worth of e-CNY transactions were recorded in the first five months of 2022.
Australia’s financial regulator, Australia's Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has pledged to put crypto assets and decentralized finance (DeFi) firmly in its sights over the next four years.
According to ASIC’s newly released “Corporate Plan” released on Tuesday, the financial regulator said it will be focusing on “digitally enabled misconducts” as “emerging technologies and products change our financial ecosystem” as part of its four-year strategic plan that stretches to 2026.
Joe Longo, chair of ASIC said the regulator would be focusing in particular on scams and crypto-assets.
“Our regulatory environment is changing and evolving — climate risk, our aging population, emerging data and digital technologies, and significant volatility in the crypto-assets market are all having a transformational impact.”
He noted that Scamwatch, a website that provides information to consumers and businesses about recognizing, avoiding, and reporting scams, received 4,783 reports of crypto investment scams and $99 million in reported losses in 2021.
ASIC said the actions will “protect investors from harms posed by crypto-assets” and include supporting the development of an effective regulatory framework, implementing and monitoring the regulatory model for exchange-related products, and raising public awareness of the risks inherent in crypto-assets and DeFi, among other actions.
In a Wednesday Sydney Morning Herald report, Longo again warned against investing in crypto, describing it as “a highly risky and highly volatile activity,” and consumers “should be really careful before you do it.”
“ASIC is not against innovation, and will do whatever it can to look for lawful ways of using the underlying technology, the distributed ledger, and blockchain technology, but that’s not to be conflated or confused with investing, inverted commas, in crypto assets.”
ASIC’s announcement came only days after Australia’s new ruling government announced plans to move forward with regulation of the crypto sector by conducting a “token mapping” exercise by the end of the year.
Regulation could be a step closer
Cryptocurrencies and digital exchanges are only loosely regulated at the moment, with exchange operators only required to abide by Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre’s (AUSTRAC) Anti-Money Laundering laws and the general provisions of the Corporations Act.
The industry has been calling for government legislation to reduce the risk for investors and transform cryptocurrencies into an established and safer asset class.
However, there are thousands of crypto assets or currencies and Longo admits “regulation is coming” but “we will have to design a framework that suits us, that works within our existing legal and regulatory arrangements.”
This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.