Hermitage and Rammstein at Odds over NFT
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are a new type of crypto asset that has simplified buying and selling, exchanging and working with digital artworks' copyrights. This market continues to grow exponentially despite all the difficulties cryptocurrencies have been facing.
In March, we saw a spike in the interest in NFTs caused by the success of Mike Winkleman's picture, Everydays: The First 5,000 Days. It turned out to be the most expensive JPEG file in history, selling for $69 million at a Christie's auction. There was also a rally on the cryptocurrency market, and Ethereum, the platform for most NFTs, rose from $1,400 to $4,400 in May.
Increasing interest in cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens has caused a record growth of network fees on the Ethereum network. Sceptics were prophesying a downfall of the NFT market, but that didn't happen. Now, fundraising is at March levels again, and the daily NFT turnover at OpenSea has grown eight-fold.
The daily volume has reached 60,000 NFTs, and the trading volume in the last month grew by 933% to hit $1.2 billion. And that is just the data for a single platform. The entire market is now projected to grow from $1 billion to $15 billion next year. The growing interest in NFTs is leading some to monetise their activities, from football clubs to giants like NASA.
Occasionally, unpleasant copyright-related things happen. For example, DC Comics asked artists in March not to use their characters to make NFTs as the company was planning to enter the new market. Furthermore, last week, a scandal broke out between the group Rammstein's lead vocalist and the Hermitage Museum. Till Lindemann recorded a video for the song Lubimiy Gorod (Beloved City) for the museum. However, according to his agreement with the Hermitage, he could only use the recorded materials in the video. The singer nevertheless launched an NFT collection based on the visuals recorded.
Five tokens have been put up for auction, advertised as 'Hermitage Edition'. The most expensive of them has been priced at $100,000, and there are 10 copies. Buyers will also have the opportunity to dine with Lindemann in Moscow.
The Russian state-owned Hermitage has sent a letter of claim to both the Rammstein frontman and NFT Frame Art, the platform that listed the tokens. However, the museum has not disclosed its proposal for resolving the conflict. Currently, nothing is known about any responses.
Like DC Comics, Hermitage also has plans to monetise art objects. In autumn 2021, an exhibition will take place, where the museum will put its own NFTs up for sale. The Hermitage's director, Mikhail Piotrovsky, has said that "NFT is a route that creates democracy, makes luxury more accessible, but at the same time exceptional and exclusive".
Despite the lack of a clear legal framework, the number of NFT proponents is growing. This will make cryptocurrencies more attractive and speed up their integration in the near future.
The StormGain Analytical Group