Ellen’s NFT auction flops, Oscars controversy, Kayne’s $1.8M sneakers, and more

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The much-hyped NFT sale by popular talk show host Ellen Degeneres has fallen flat, with the comedian selling just five out of ten available Gold editions of her “Woman With Stick Cat” NFT for $2,500 on the Bitski platform. Sixty-four other people paid $100 each for an open Silver edition of the same NFT.

The drawing appears to have been created with minimal effort in a bid to satirize the notion that any old celebrity-peddled junk will sell as an NFT.

A Platinum video monologue about NFTs by Ellen fetched the highest price — $14,555. In total, the sale has raised just $30,955 for the World Central Kitchen food relief charity — even after being promoted on her nationwide talk show and to her 79M followers on Twitter. But perhaps it was just the wrong audience.

While there was a backlash in some quarters of the crypto community against the sale, any mainstream publicity for NFTs is good publicity right?

Charity crypto founder wanted

Lending further weight to the idea that NFT investors are getting a little more choosy, the “world’s first founding charity NFT,” Covid:aid, remains without a bid one week after opening the bidding.

Covid:aid aims to support those affected by the pandemic, and whoever buys the NFT — an image of the new charity’s logo — will also received the coveted title of “Covid:aid Founding Crypto Philanthropist.” Originally listed at a reserve price of 1 ETH on April 21, the reserve was dropped to 0.1 ETH the following day, but is yet to attract a bid.

Basketball warriors

The Golden State Warriors has become the first professional sports team to release its own NFT collection on OpenSea. Up for auction this week, the Legacy Collection includes tokenized championship rings and ticket stubs from iconic games dating back to 1947, as well as NFTs including some IRL experiences. The team’s interest in the space was reportedly sparked by the success of NBA Top Shot, which has made half a billion in sales since launching.

World’s most expensive sneakers fractionalized

Rare sneaker platform Rares.io snapped up Kanye West’s 2008 Nike Air Yeezy 1 sneakers at a Sotheby’s auction on Monday for a cool $1.8M, making them the most expensive sneakers in history. It announced plans to fractionalize them and sell the shares to the “the sneaker community.”

However, it does not appear as if the sneakers will be tokenized as NFTs — Rares’ terms and conditions do not mention digital assets, and the company’s Crunchbase profile talks about selling shares in sneakers through an app via an Initial Public Offering, or IPO. Various non-crypto fractionalized asset sites have sprung up in recent years, showing the concept is not unique to NFTs. It would arguably be easier to do using NFTs, but that’s another story.

Oscars NFT controversy

The artist behind a surprisingly controversial Oscars NFT of late-actor Chadwick Boseman has apologized and vowed to make changes. Andre Oshea was commissioned by the Academy to create the artwork, which many viewers apparently took as a sure sign Boseman was going to win Best Actor… but, of course, he was beaten by Anthony Hopkins.

The NFT was criticized for its environmental impact, the fact only 50% of the proceeds were going to charity, and for “trying to capitalize both on the tragedy of Boseman’s death and the current speculative interest in NFTs,” according to Gizmodo Australia. Some took the artist to task for listing the NFT for $1.2 million, when Oshea had only spent $50 purchasing the 3D model of Boseman’s head the NFT was based on. The artist released a statement on April 27 apologizing for “any upset caused”:

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“I now recognize that Chadwick’s face is a triggering reminder of his death rather than his life, and I will be redesigning the artwork to be auctioned off later this week.”

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