Avalanche Launches Avaissance to Boost NFT Ecosystem

The Avalanche Foundation has launched Avaissance, an initiative aimed at supporting digital artists and boosting the growth of the Avalanche NFT ecosystem. Avaissance includes two main components: the Artist in Resident program (AIR) for over 50 artists and the Mona Lisa Initiative (MLI) to curate digital art and expand the collections of art-focused DAOs. The AIR program will provide funding, mentorship, and virtual workshops for six months to artists of any skill level. Meanwhile, the MLI will collaborate with DAOs’ curatorial teams to promote emerging Avalanche NFT artists and establish an “Avalanche Permanent Collection.”

In other NFT news, Ticketmaster has announced a new feature called token-gated ticket sales, which allows artists to reward NFT holders with exclusive benefits such as special presales, prime seats, custom travel packages, and access to unique concert experiences. This functionality was developed after American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold (A7X) approached Ticketmaster and its Web3 team, Bitflips, for help implementing a service that would allow holders of its NFTs – Deathbats Club, a collection of 10,000 unique Deathbat NFTs – to unlock perks and access to events. The feature works with tokens minted on Ethereum and stored in decentralized application (DApp) wallets like MetaMask or Coinbase.

Patrick Amadon, a popular NFT artist, recently withdrew his work from a major auction house, Sotheby’s upcoming “Natively Digital: Glitch-ism” art sale, to protest a lack of female representation. He shared his decision with his 142,400 Twitter followers, and Sotheby’s responded the next day by announcing that it would pause the sale to “redress the imbalance in representation within the sale” and relaunch later with a “more equitable and diverse group of artists.”

Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple, recently shared a video with his Twitter followers, revealing his new 50,000-square-foot studio in South Carolina. According to Beeple’s website, he will use the space to create his artwork and host events to “showcase the very best art and communities.” The website stated that they are looking to partner with the most cutting-edge artists and communities to put on events that are not possible at any other venue.

On March 25, an NFT from the popular CryptoPunks collection valued at approximately $135,000 was accidentally burned by an investor attempting the process of NFT wrapping to potentially borrow liquidity from it. While the loss was unfortunate, it highlights the importance of proper education and caution when dealing with NFTs.


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Azuki NFTs Sells the 8th Most Expensive Skateboard

Azuki is making history, the Web3.0 brand renowned for its Non-Fungible Token (NFT) innovations, as it sold out the 8th most expensive skateboard in the world.


The brand announced the successful completion of its Golden Skateboard auction on Sunday as it announced 8 winners of the extremely rare work that embodies a mix of art and technology.

According to the startup, the cheapest bid it received for the golden skateboards was 200 ETH, worth approximately $266,518, based on the price of Ethereum pegged at $1,332.59 at the time of writing.

“The Golden Skateboard is a marvel of art & technology showcasing our first implementation of PBT, which paves the way for a new era of storytelling,” Azuki said in its Twitter announcement, adding that it “broke the record for the most expensive skateboard ever sold (in fact, the 8 most expensive skateboards ever sold).”

As revealed by the NFT startup, the highest bid received for the Golden Skateboard NFT was 303 ETH (approximately $403,774.77) and was snapped up by a Twitter user with the username, @Johnf696969.

Some iconic NFTs are known to go on sale for expensive amounts, and this sort of mega collection is commonplace in the space. While the sales of the Azuki skateboards are impressive, there are collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), World of Women (WoW) and the Moonbirds NFTs amongst others have also recorded massive sales prices over time. 

Azuki as an NFT brand has inked a unique spot for itself amongst the most elite of collections, now ranked as the 4 most valuable collection. The Azuki NFT is currently trading at a floor price of 11.5 ETH with a market capitalization of 140,538.45 ETH per data from CoinMarketCap

In all, Mike Winkelmann, the digital artist known as Beeple holds the title for selling the most valuable NFT to date. His Everydays: The First 5000 Days collage was auctioned for $69.3 million back in March 2020 and was later revealed to be snapped up by Metakovan.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Christie’s Launches Venture Capital Arm to Support LayerZero for Art Trading

London-based British auction house Christie’s has announced its undisclosed investment in LayerZero, the first ever commitment it will be made through its new investment arm- Christie’s Ventures.


As revealed by the company, Christie’s Ventures will deploy funds to back emerging tech startups and financial innovations that are relevant to the art market.

“As a global leader in the art market, Christie’s has both an incentive and a responsibility to further innovation and deepen experiences for our clients,” said Ben Gore, Christie’s Chief Operating Officer, adding that “the intersections of technology and financial products are increasingly relevant and prevalent, and we believe strongly in the opportunities ahead. For the companies we select to work with, as well as for our clients, the Christie’s Ventures value proposition combines the power of our brand and capital together with our network and expertise; it is another example of the formidable Christie’s Advantage.” 

The new Christie’s Ventures offshoot will be led by Devang Thakkar, who said the investment arm will “focus on products and services which can solve real business challenges, improve client experiences, and expand growth opportunities, both across the art market directly and for interactions with it.”

Christie’s has always been setting the pace when it comes to embracing digital innovations. The company signalled its full backing for the digital currency ecosystem and Non-Fungible Token (NFT) offshoot when it helped auction Mike Winkelmann’s record-breaking NFT collage dubbed Everydays: The First 5000 Days.

The NFT was later revealed to be acquired for $69.3 million by Metakovan. Per the ultimate goal of Christie’s Ventures, any startup with the promise of advancing arts reach will be getting financial and professional support.

More major industry players across both Web2.0 and Web3.0 are floating funds through which they plan to invest heavily in Web3 initiatives. With the investment into LayerZero, Christie’s has revealed how willing it is to deepen its ties in the nascent blockchain world.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Opinion: Why Won’t Wikipedia Classify NFTs as Art?

Key Takeaways

  • Wikipedia editors have removed NFT art by Pak from the site’s list of most expensive artworks by living artists.
  • Editors state that they made the change because the work was sold fractionally and because of a lack of secondary sources.
  • The decision has caused uproar in the NFT community with many prominent figures arguing against the move.

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Wikipedia doesn’t want to acknowledge NFTs as art. Join Crypto Briefing as we dive into the reasons behind the controversial decision and the reactions and counterarguments from the NFT community. 

Wikipedia Fades NFT Art

A fierce debate is raging in the depths of Wikipedia’s countless articles and stubs. 

Editors of the world’s premier online encyclopaedia have weighed in on whether NFT artworks such as Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5,000 Days and Pak’s Merge should be included on the site’s list of most expensive auctioned artworks by living artists. 

Beeple, the pseudonym of digital artist Mike Winkelmann, put NFTs on the mainstream map in March 2021 after his collagic Everydays: The First 5,000 Days sold for $69.34 million in a Christie’s auction. More recently, Pak, another digital artist credited for having given Beeple his first primer on selling NFTs, broke his pupil’s record when he sold an NFT artwork called Merge for a combined $91.8 million through digital art auction platform Nifty Gateway. 

“Merge” by Pak (Source: Nifty Gateway)

Although both Beeple and Pak are widely recognized as digital artists, there is much debate over whether their NFTs should be viewed as art. “I think they should not. NFTs have their own list,” said one editor who goes by the name jonas. Several more editors agreed, citing a lack of secondary sources and the fact that not all NFTs that exist are being sold as art. 

Others have pushed back. One user posting under the pseudonym Hocus00 highlighted that several major publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Forbes have all referenced Beeple’s NFT sale as the third most expensive work from a living artist ever sold at auction. As editors have frequently pointed out during the discussion, Wikipedia’s entries should aim to be based on multiple corroborating sources, not the personal opinions of its contributors. 

Some users approached the issue from a more fundamental perspective. “If we agree Beeple and Pak are artists, why would their sales not count on this list?” wrote an editor who identifies as Pmmccurdy. “I don’t understand the logic here.”

However, as the conversation progressed, the posts became more and more opinionated. Newer contributions to the discussion resembled heavily charged tirades. One user called FibrielSolaer wrote: 

“Purchasing via NFT is not in any way purchasing art; purchasing NFT is pretending to purchase art. NFT is a trendy new scam that targets people who are unable to tell reality from ideals, such as young children.”

The crux of the argument against NFT artworks looks to come down to how the underlying technology functions. Several editors have taken issue with the fact that lines of code on a blockchain that represent digital ownership are not the same as the artwork they represent. Additionally, many NFT artworks are solely digital, without a corresponding physical copy. This also seems a point of contention that some contributors think rules NFTs out from being “true” artworks.  

After weeks of posting, five out of six editors discussing the issue reached a consensus; Beeple’s Everydays would stay on Wikipedia’s list of most expensive artworks by living artists but with a caveat. Editors have attached a note describing the sale as “a promotion to increase the value of Ethereum.” However, Pak’s Merge would be axed, mainly because the only source currently citing the sale as NFT artwork was Nifty Gateway, and because it achieved such a high value by being sold in fractions to multiple buyers. Buyers could purchase tokens starting at a unit price of $575, which increased by $25 every six hours. It is worth noting that the visuals for Merge are generated on-chain, making the technology behind the piece integral to it. 

To the NFT community’s biggest enthusiasts, the decisions surrounding Beeple’s and Pak’s work seem arbitrary. While editors continue to dispute the minute details surrounding NFTs, one message has cropped up repeatedly: Wikipedia should not be deciding what counts as art or not—it’s up to the public to decide. 

Public Reactions to Wikipedia’s Call

Believe it or not, refusing to accept new forms of artistic expression as “true” art is not a new phenomenon. The pseudonymous Twitter user @punk6529, who’s become something of a thought leader in the NFT space, pointed out that NFTs could be the next in a long line of emerging art forms to be disregarded by existing artists. They said: 

“If you have read even the slightest bit of art history, there is a standard pattern that every new artistic movement is declared “not art” by the incumbents.”

In the 19th Century, Impressionist artists the world lauds over today, such as Renoir and Manet, were frequently seen as amateurs by both art critics and the public. This refractory attitude to new forms of artistic expression didn’t end with Impressionism; over the next two centuries, nearly every major art movement, from Kandinsky’s surrealism to Pollock’s abstract expressionism, was initially written off and separated from pre-existing conceptions of art. 

Another NFT collector who goes by the name @nfttank compared the work of prominent NFT artist XCOPY to contemporary modern artists whose work is currently classed as art by Wikipedia.

Among the line-up is Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain, an inverted white urinal first created in 1917. Ironically, while Fountain is now widely recognized as a major landmark in 20th Century art, it was somewhat predictably snubbed at the time of its creation. 

When comparing the attitudes toward Duchamp’s art over 100 years ago and NFTs today, there are striking similarities. Both occupy a new medium that was not traditionally considered art. Duchamp used everyday items, while NFT artists use blockchains.

Additionally, Duchamp’s art was initially only understood by those with a deep appreciation of the contemporary art world of the time. Likewise, the most ardent supporters of NFTs often possess extensive knowledge of blockchain technology that the average person is not familiar with. 

While many have pointed out the hypocrisy of Wikipedia’s rulings, others have highlighted the potential negative effects of separating NFTs from art. Nifty Gateway co-founder Duncan Cock Foster took to Twitter following the Wikipedia editors’ decision to express his thoughts, stating:

“Wikipedia works off of precedent. If NFTs are classified as ‘not art’ on this page, then they will be classified as ‘not art’ on the rest of Wikipedia. Wikipedia is the global source of truth for many around the world. The stakes couldn’t be higher!”

In the past, while critics often snubbed emerging art forms, the evaluation of any one person was not definitive. This allowed others in the art world to change minds with sound arguments. Over time, the attitudes toward these art forms became less conservative, resulting in their eventual acceptance.

However, in the case of Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia prides itself on being a source of authoritative knowledge. If editors are willing to set a precedent on such a subjective matter, it could do years worth of damage to artists exploring NFTs as a new medium for art. 

Fortunately, it appears that the uproar from the NFT community has not gone unheard. Wikipedia editors have agreed to revisit the conversation over whether NFTs should be classed as art later, leaving the door open to further discussion. 

Disclosure: At the time of writing this feature, the author owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.

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‘Art emergency’: Wikipedia editors vote against classifying NFTs as art

A group of editors on Wikipedia, the free user generated encyclopedia, have voted against classifying NFTs as a form of art and have come to a consensus to shelve the issue until a later date.

A survey and debate started on the platform at the end of December revolving around the most expensive art sales by living artists and whether NFT art sales should be deemed as “art sales” or “NFT sales.”

“Wikipedia really can’t be in the business of deciding what counts as art or not, which is why putting NFTs, art or not, in their own list makes things a lot simpler,” editor “jonas” wrote.

Much of the discussion centered on whether an NFT represented the art or if it was simply a token that was separate to the underlying art. The editors were torn on the definitions and some felt that there was a lack of reliable information to conclude from.

A call for votes found five editors opposed to including NFTs in art sales and just one in support. A consensus was made on Jan. 12 to remove sales such as Pak’s NFT collection that fetched $91 million and Beeple’s $69 million NFT from the top art sales list, and re-open the discussion at a later date.

The decision seems contentious when looking at Beeple’s NFT “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” in particular, which depicts a collage of original artworks from a renowned digital artist that sold at the prestigious Christie’s art auction house last year in March. The New York Times also described Beeple as the “third highest selling artist” alive at the time.

According to Wikipedia’s guidelines, neither unaminty or a vote is required to form a consensus. To reach a decision, the consensus must factor in all participating editor’s legitimate concerns that fall within the platform’s policies.

What do Wikipedia editors know anyway?

However, the consensus position didn’t go down well with the sole NFT supporting editor “Pmmccurdy” who argued:

“How can we have a consensus when, from the start, I have argued in support of including NFTs on this list. The overwhelming evidence from secondary sources places NFT art as art and thus worthy of inclusion on this list.”

“If we agree Beeple and Pak are artists, why would their sales not count on this list? I don’t understand the logic here,” they added.

Editor “SiliconRed” responded that the consensus they were reading was that: “NFTs should be removed from this list for now with the intention to re-open discussion at a later date. To my understanding, this incorporates all concerns, including yours.”

Related: Wiki contributors want to drop crypto donations over environmental concerns

NFT proponents such as Nifty Gateway co-founder Griffin Cock Foster were irked by the issue, noting on Twitter earlier today that:

“This is pretty messed up to see – Wikipedia mods are trying to say that *no* NFT can be art — as in, if it’s an NFT, it can’t be classified as art.”

Foster’s twin brother Duncan also chimed in, labeling it an “Art Emergency” as he called the community into action via a post that was re-tweeted by Gemini co-founder Tyler Winklevoss.

“Wikipedia works off of precedent. If NFTs are classified as ‘not art’ on this page, then they will be classified as ‘not art’ on the rest of Wikipedia. Wikipedia is the global source of truth for many around the world. The stakes couldn’t be higher!” he said

Everipedia, a decentralized Web3 equivalent of Wikipedia, responded to the platform by comparing its approach to NFTs and art:

“Everipedia editors have created over 100 pages on

#NFT collections while Wikipedia is moving to mark NFTs as “not art” across their platform. It’s time for NFT projects to move to Everipedia $IQ, a Web 3.0 encyclopedia which supports art and innovation.”

This isn’t the first time Wikipedia has had issues with reporting crypto-related information. Cointelegraph reported in September 2020 that anti-crypto activist and senior Wikipedia editor David Gerard helped remove an entry relating to Australian blockchain software firm Power Ledger.

Gerard stated the post was deleted on the “basis of being a pile of press-release churnalism, and the only genuine press coverage was about how Power Ledger was a scam,” despite the entry being sourced from reputable publications such as TechCrunch and The Economic Times.