The Luxury sector is one of the most resilient and is the first to recover from financial crises. Luxury products make timeless emotional connections in people’s minds. As many shoppers will be reverting to less conspicuous forms of luxury, the more intimate values of luxury, like trust and provenance may prove to be more relevant for the industry in these unprecedented times. It is expected that the use of blockchain technology may become standard industry practice because the blockchain allows minting of Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) to track provenance and prove legitimate ownership of products.
There have been many interesting developments lately in the use of NFTs in the luxury sector:
Arianee raised €8 million in seed funding this week
Arianee, developer of NFT digital passport for luxury goods, including Breitling and Vacheron Constantin, aims to develop its technology for members to create what it calls “digital passports” for any object, guaranteeing the authenticity and securing resale.
This round brings together leading financial technology investors in the technology and blockchain industries, including Bpifrance, ISAI Fund, Cygni Labs and Noia Capital, and includes a number of other investors such as Thibaud Elziere, Jonathan Cherki, Jonathan Benhamou and Clément Buyse.
“Arianee is reinventing the customer relationship with fashion and luxury goods players through a unique value proposition based on the digital identity of an item. The company has proven the market-fit of its product, and has all the assets to become the reference solution for brands wishing to address tomorrow’s major issues of second-hand goods, authentication, and traceability.” – Guillaume Simonaire
Atari partners with RTFKT Studio on limited-edition NFT Fashion Series
Atari, one of the world’s most iconic pioneers of the gaming and entertainment industry – announced recently a partnership with RTFKT to create a limited NFT Atari-themed fashion series. They are collaborating on a one-of-a-kind valuable collectible Atari Sneaker that can be used in multiplayer blockchain games like Decentraland, The Sandbox, and the upcoming Atari Metaverse.
RTFKT Studios, a virtual sneaker brand, raised $3.1 Million in NFT sneaker sales in seven minutes thanks to their collaboration with the crypto-artist known as FEWOCiOUS, an 18-year old digital designer who helped them create their ‘Drip’ and ‘Charm’ edition of the virtual sneaker product line.
The most expensive NFT to ever be sold
Before entering the NFT scene, artist Mike Winkelmann, a.k.a. Beeple was selling his artworks for less than $100 each, but now an NFT of his work, that he made over 13 and a half years, sold for $69 million at Christie’s auction. “Everydays – The First 5000 Days,” is the JPG collage by the artist that placed him “among the top three most valuable living artists,” according to the art auction house. Only two other living artists, Jeff Koons and David Hockney, have sold art pieces that were more expensive.
Beeple’s collaged JPG was made, or “minted,” in February as a “nonfungible token,” or NFT. Everydays” was the first purely digital NFT sold by Christie’s.
Banksy art burned, destroyed and sold as token
On Sunday, an anonymous group of self-proclaimed ‘’tech and art enthusiasts’’, sold an NFT of a digital copy of a 2006 Banksy limited-edition print called “Morons.” Burnt Banksy, as the group calls itself, claimed to have destroyed the valuable original print. The “art burning ceremony,” was streamed on YouTube and now the blockchain-certified “Morons” NFT is all that remains of the artwork.
Offered on Open Sea, this digital copy of the Banksy sold for about $382,000, more than three times the price that any of the original “Morons” prints have made at auction. The print Morons is itself a critique of the art market, depicting an auctioneer at Christies.
On the Flipside
- Scalability problem of Ethereum still needs to be resolved as smart contracts need to be settled in ether. Current transaction times are not fast enough to keep pace with demand.
- Ether gas, that powers up smart contracts has become ridiculously expensive
- Proof-of-work mining is consuming an ever-increasing amount of electricity and contributing heavily to carbon-pollution
- Critics do not believe of holding a digital copy authenticated by the blockchain is any better than a regular digital copy of the file