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An NFT for every human on Earth? The crypto art world's most ambitious projects

11 Mar, 2022

A Dutch artist has created a collection of 7.9 billion NFTs as part of an intriguing social experiment. The twist? In contrast to the collectable-friendly variations on a theme that characterise popular NFT sets such as Cryptopunks or Bored Apes, each of these NFTs is completely identical.

The artist, known as Dadara, has teamed up with RAIRtech, a digital rights management platform, to create this collection of non-fungible tokens called "CryptoGreymen" on the Polygon Ethereum scaling network.

The 'Greyman' is a character created by Dadara back in the 1990s. It depicts a suited, balding man carrying a briefcase with a world-weary expression. Although the artwork for each NFT is identical, they all carry a serial number from 1 to 7.9 billion, corresponding to the number of humans estimated to be living on Earth today.


Dadara's original 'Greyman' character. / Source: Dadara

Dadara's aims for the project are lofty. The artist hopes that the NFT collection "can rattle the cage of consensual reality and elevate conversation". In an official announcement, he explained the concept behind the social experiment as such:

"No one specific NFT is better than another, and because the minting price is widely accessible, it will be interesting to see what value each individual CryptoGreyman holder brings".

Given how these identical art pieces go completely against the trend of collectable NFTs, it will indeed be intriguing to see what their activity in the market will be like. In addition to serving the function of a social experiment, the CryptoGreymen are also tied to a humanitarian cause. Movement on the Ground, a non-profit organisation that helps refugees learn how to set up a crypto wallet, will lock away 2,222 CryptoGreymen as educational devices. Movement on the Ground seeks to provide a ''dignified, innovative and sustainable response'' to the global refugee crisis and uses cryptocurrency and blockchain technology as a means of empowering refugees.

Future art sold as the highest-value NFT collection in history

The idea of buying futures should not be alien to experienced traders, but one of the latest developments in the NFT art world demands a leap of faith from investors. SuperWorld Artist Gabriel Dean Roberts has listed an NFT collection of 120 original works of art for sale, the catch being that the art has not yet been created. Instead, buyers purchase the art in advance.

The collection is dubbed 'Omega', or simply 'Ω', and is on sale for 50,000 Ethereum (ETH) $150 million on SuperWorld, a metaverse that also serves as an NFT marketplace. This includes Roberts' future work over the next decade and a custom Rolls Royce Ghost designed by Roberts. This project also includes a humanitarian element, as part of the purchase also goes towards 1 million trees planted and a $1 million donation to Doctors Without Borders.

In an announcement to the press, Roberts explained that he designed the collection to be "the highest-value NFT ever sold or resold," which would "disrupt the art world and change the way people see smart contracts as a tool".

Pixelmon art reveal enrages investors, boosts value of 'ugly' NFTs

Not all the news in the NFT art world has been positive lately. A wave of buyer's remorse hit the early minters of the Pixelmon NFT collection when the much-hyped metaverse platform revealed the finalised art for the project over the weekend.

As you might tell from the name, Pixelmon was a Pokémon-inspired platform, an open-world multiplayer game in which players could catch, breed,\ and trade NFT-based Pixelmons. Each Pixelmon NFT was minted for 3 Ether (ETH), equivalent to almost $9,000 today. The project raised about $70 million in the time running up to its launch when it succeeded in becoming a laughing stock.

Promotion art for the Pixelmon project had displayed competent, attractive models for the game characters and environments. However, after the launch, the artistic quality of the models was so far below what had been previously advertised that buyers were enraged and accused the developers of a 'rug pull'.

Although investors are understandably enraged at the varying quality of the Pixelmon graphics, others in the crypto community are having fun with the Pixelmon characters, some of which have achieved meme status among NFT fans for their sheer awfulness. One particularly ugly one, a turtle called 'Kevin', has increased in value by 4.75 ETH ($13,900) and inspired further NFT collections featuring the character's likeness.

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