Welcome to the first Web3 Weekly Wrap, a new column detailing our favorite NFTs, artists, and DeFi and Dapp projects in the Web3 space.
This column will drop at the start of each week and will feature a handful of bite-sized pieces for you to peruse and explore further. This week features Damien Hirst’s first NFT project, music streaming service Audius, an NFT game by Louis Vuitton, NFT comics by Method Man, and more.
Damien Hirst’s The Currency
The Currency is Damien Hirst’s first foray into the world of NFTs and is an intriguing project that explores the relationship between digital and physical art by one of the world’s biggest artists.
Five years in the making, The Currency was launched with the help of Heni, an international art services business, last month with 10,000 NFTs minted from professionally scanned original Damien Hirst dot paintings. The NFTs had a price of $2000 and were offered up and sold to randomly selected users that signed up during the application process, with close to 40,000 users applying. And this is where the project gets really interesting: each buyer who purchased an NFT would have one year to decide whether to keep the NFT (the digital artwork) or its original, physical doppelganger (the physical artwork painted by Damien Hirst and his assistants). If an NFT owner decided to keep the original, then Hirst would burn the NFT; if the owner decided to keep the NFT, then Hirst would burn (literally, with fire) the original painting.
The NFTs can be viewed and purchased on Heni.
Audius Has Over Five Million Active Monthly Users
Web3 streaming service Audius last week announced it now has over five million active monthly users, which, for a community-owned decentralized music protocol that launched late in 2018, is quite some feat and provides a positive roadmap for the possibilities that blockchain technology provides for music and streaming.
Audius is a decentralized protocol, meaning every one of those five million users is also essentially an owner, with its utility token ($AUDIO) offering its owners clear ways to influence and change the service to fit their needs. “Because our community decides what features they want and need, they come up with initiatives and build the things they want,” Roneil Rumburg, co-founder and CEO of Audius explains. “They are invested in the community, because in the end, they own it.”
Louis Vuitton Launches NFT Video Game
In celebration of what would be luxury product designer Louis Vuitton’s 200th birthday, the Paris-based company is releasing a mobile game dubbed Louis The Game. The game, as described by CEO Michael Burke, unlocks stories about the founder’s origins, detailing a familiar ‘rags to riches’ tale told through the lens of a monogrammed wooden figure named Vivienne. What’s more, LV is putting 30 collectible NFTs inside of the game, 10 of which were designed by American artist Beeple.
As players traverse the digital environment, banners for NFTs will occasionally pop up and gamers will have a chance to collect them to a digital wallet. The contents, however, will be locked until 2022, and it doesn’t look like there will be a way to sell the NFTs after collection. “We’re not making any money from this”, Burke is quick to point out. Instead, the aim seems to be to create a learning experience for customers and get them introduced to the concept of NFTs and web3 interactions.
Louis The Game is releasing on iOS, Android, and is launching alongside a documentary, novel, and triptych by artist Alex Katz.
Method Man to Launch NFT Comic Series Tical World
Rapper-gone-actor Method Man is making his debut into the NFT world by releasing an original comic book series in collaboration with New York-based artist Alex Smetsky. The comic, titled Tical World, is based on unpublished recordings and will feature music by the rapper as well. The first edition (dubbed “The Origin”) will feature unreleased music, a 3D animation, and character art, and, interestingly enough, will even dip into the physical realm; creative pieces from the comic world will be available to VIP gold cardholders and sold through the rapper’s athleisure clothing line, Tical Athletics. Tical World will also be the first “community-owned crypto-characters” on Dapper Labs’ Flow Blockchain.
A release date is yet to be set.
Bauhaus Partner With Crpto Art Pioneer Coldie for NFT Collection
Post-punk pioneers Bauhaus this week announced their debut NFT collection, which landed via Nifty Gateway in collaboration with crypto-art original Coldie. The series features three 3D NFTs, all of which include cuts from and are directly inspired by the band’s “Bella Luiguisi’s Dead” track.
Launched yesterday, all three editions are, unsurprisingly, sold out, with the lead piece going for $30,000. That piece features a 3D animated collage of the band members and handwritten lyrics of “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” as well as a clip from the song.
You can check out the drop here.
Elsewhere in Web3 Land
US Senate voted on game-changing cryptocurrency regulations; new rules could stifle the fledgling industry before it really takes off.
Coca-Cola joins the cryptocurrency landscape by offering NFTs in Decentraland.
Ethereum founder Vitalik Butterin joins Mila Kunis on animated NFT show Stoner Cats.
Def Jam Records founder Russel Simmons will launch a series of hip-hop NFTs titled Masterminds of Hip Hop, which will feature unreleased music from Snoop Dogg, Chuck D., Busy Bee, and more. The NFT collection is set to drop this Friday on Tokau.
Forbes released their latest magazine cover as an NFT on the OpenSea marketplace. The piece was a collaboration between the company and digital artist Pplpleasr, known for her colorful 3D works.
The Tezos network underwent its sixth forkless upgrade last week, enhancing the consensus algorithm and reducing block verification time from 60 to 30 seconds.