The piece is a unique portrait shot by photographer Platon of Edward Snowden. The NFT is made entirely out of the pages of a US Court of Appeals decision that the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance violated the Patriot Act and did not allow the agency to surveil American’s phones.
The NFT was sold for 2,224 ETH, this sets a new record for the Foundation platform and is one of the top five NFT auction sales. It was bought by a decentralized autonomous organization called, PleasrDAO. The DAO is a group of NFT collectors that came to be when they purchased the pplpleasr’s collab piece with Uniswap “x*y=k.”
All proceeds will go to the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a non-profit that strives for a free press and provides journalists with tools to develop open and secure communications with their contacts. Snowden is the president of the board of directors for this non-profit.
Edward Snowden: American government contractor turned most wanted man in the world.
Edward Snowden is an American whistleblower known for his leaks about the NSA’s surveillance program on the public. He was a former US contractor working in various jobs within the US Intelligence community. In 2013 he released documents to the press showing the NSA was spying on regular civilians. His leak showed the US government was operating without any public oversight and outside the limits of the US Constitution.
Some parallels can be seen between Snowden’s work and decentralized markets. Like how Snowden fights for transparency and freedom, the decentralized market’s whole purpose is for no one person or entity to take control of the Defi space. The blockchain allows for anyone to track any transaction and transparency in a financial space.
A reminder that the symbolism of @Snowden minting his first NFT goes far beyond the price tag.— kayvon🪐 (@saturnial) April 16, 2021
The decentralized technologies powering this auction will fundamentally reshape our world — precisely to curb the abuse of power @Snowden spoke out against.https://t.co/ofNi1nSwzZ
It’s only been about a month since Christies held their high-end, record setting Beeple NFT auction. Now rival auction house Sotheby’s, established in 1744, has completed its first major NFT event as well this week!
‘The Fungible Collection’ event, featuring an assortment of artworks created by pseudonymous artist Pak was hosted by Sotheby’s between April 12-14 on the Nifty Gateway platform. Sotheby’s CEO Charles Stewart said Pak’s ‘The Fungible Collection’ would “challenge us to rethink what we know about digital art and ownership,” and “scrutinizes our understanding of value,”. Stewart has also stated his belief in the past that NFTs have “staying power”, and the prestige auction house selected Pak as their first NFT artist because they wanted to work with “one of the most established artists in the space”.
Pak is an especially well known, long time, highly experienced digital artist who has a massive social media following. The mysterious artist is perhaps best known as the creator of Archillect, an AI bot built with the purpose of discovering and sharing visual media art. The AI combs the internet for content that it ‘thinks’ is most likely to trend on the platforms it posts on, Twitter and Instagram. Pretty cool! In this most recent event, for better or worse, the multiple new Pak releases took on an assortment of forms.
Digging deeper, ‘The Fungible Open Edition’ consists of digital cubes. They were available for purchase at between $500 and $1500 each. The number of cube units purchased determine the tier of ‘Fungible’, and in turn, the number of tiny cubes found within the resulting wireframe cube NFT rendered for the purchaser of the units.
Over the course of three days, NiftyGateway and Sotheby’s allowed the purchasing of ‘The Fungible Open Edition’ at set prices for periods of 15 minutes. On day 1: $500 per cube unit, day 2: $1,000 per unit, day 3: $1,500 per unit. Overall the three day open edition sale resulted in 3,080 unique buyers purchasing 23,598 cube units worth approximately $14 million. Wow!
Hmmm.. Which of these Non-Fungible ‘Fungibles’ should I buy? That 5.5 ETH one looks especially nice!
Personally, I most enjoy the variety found in high-supply non-fungibles. Digital generative art series lend to variety so readily it might seem implied the most exceptional and interesting projects composed of thousands of pieces of art, distributed to thousands of purchasers would include it. With that in mind, it seems to me the primary purpose in participating in this open edition auction was to take part in a somewhat novel digital performance. A chance to be part of a Pak auction. Certainly not a cheap experience, but you were there! Ticket stubs can make great keepsakes. Lets see what else you could have taken home.
As you can see ‘The Switch’ and ‘The Pixel’ auctions went quite well for Pak! I’m intrigued by just what secret change ‘The Switch’ might undergo upon changing hands once more. I’m even more intrigued by ‘The Pixel’. A piece some might say I shoulda / woulda / coulda minted and auctioned off myself. Makes you wonder, would anyone be interested in the very same ‘The Pixel’ if it was a piece created by Dr. Terminus? Also worth noting, technically it was not the artist Pak who minted these artworks, but rather the Nifty Gateway address.
There were a few other surprises left unspoken by many regarding the recent Pak auction. One of which in particular stood out to crypto enthusiasts, especially considering just how much the artist embraces personal anonymity...
Hey @Sothebys, @niftygateway, @muratpak,— Ξnjoi 💰👻💰 (@enjoicrypto) April 15, 2021
It would have been nice to know KYC was required for this drop prior... to the drop...
It would also be nice to know what this is for. I'm not a fan of doxing myself with reason, as most crypto natives would agree...
Please do better. pic.twitter.com/wXTOXqG4Kz
Though this Sotheby’s NFT auction can certainly be considered a boon to the overall NFT space, we’re left with a few questions worth asking. What was most particularly special, new, or enduring about this Pak drop? Who was this auction really for? What is the intended purpose of the KYC information collected? Was this Sotheby's Pak drop so impressive that attendees happily paid a pseudonymous artist to dox themselves?
News came Friday, April 16th that Turkey’s central bank has now banned the use of cryptocurrencies and crypto assets for all purchases.
This latest ban reasons that the use of virtual money “may cause non-recoverable losses” and “undermine the confidence in methods and instruments used currently in payments” Additionally, that crypto assets are “neither subject to any regulation and supervision mechanisms nor a central regulatory authority”.
Thank goodness they are looking out for us
It is worth clarifying that Turkey’s most recent ban doesn’t prevent Turkish citizens from trading cryptocurrencies, for now. Put simply, the new legislation published by the central bank states that cryptocurrencies and other such digital assets based on distributed ledger technology cannot be used, directly or indirectly, to pay for any goods or services.
This news comes after months of economic uncertainty for Turkish citizens, who have begun to exchange their local currency, the Lira, for Bitcoin in greater and greater numbers. Suddenly, cryptocurrencies are simply reduced to being “excessively volatile and can be used for illegal activities”. As if the Lira could not be described in exactly the same way!
Crypto assets entail significant risks to the relevant parties due to the following reasons:
Is there anyone investing in Bitcoin who isn’t completely aware of and comfortable accepting these risks?
“It is considered that their use [crypto assets] in payments may cause non-recoverable losses for the parties to the transactions due to the above-listed factors, and they include elements that may undermine the confidence in methods and instruments used currently in payments” the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey said in a press release titled the “Regulation on the Disuse of Crypto Assets in Payments.”
Turkey isn’t the only country looking to take tough measures on digital assets. Morocco has already put a similar ban in place, and now India is also poised to potentially enact laws banning cryptocurrencies, potentially making any trading or even holding of crypto assets a punishable offense. Earlier this year word came of the potential for an official digital currency issued by the Reserve Bank of India. The bill aims to outlaw all private cryptocurrencies in India, allowing for only certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses. This sets a bad precedent for other countries dealing with economic issues of their own. Though in the past similar regulatory moves made in Nigeria had little to no effect on crypto prices, it's a slippery slope...
“Every country treasures its monopoly on controlling the supply and demand. They don’t want other monies to be operating or competing, because things can get out of control”
The new head of your central bank can pound sand. Dump all fiat, buy and use #crypto. The end of central banking is nigh.— Aaron “#ravencoin is #bitcoin 3.0” Day @7421 (@AaronDayAtlas) April 16, 2021
Laser eyes all the way. #bankrun #shortthebanks#Endthefed#ravencoin is #bitcoin 3.0 pic.twitter.com/TJND6X3bjY
In its truest form, Dogecoin is just a meme coin that is a great introduction coin for the DEFI beginners. It has a strong community based around it and it has to be one of the most fascinating coins DEFI has to offer.
The coin started as a joke in 2013 between two software engineers, Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus. Jackson saw the two most popular things in 2013, the Shiba Inu meme and Bitcoin, and decided to combine them. Through Reddit and Twitter, it was able to pump by more than 300% in the first two weeks.
The first significant pump came in late January and lasted until early February of this year. This pump was mainly fueled by the tweets of Elon Musk and Redditors coming off of their battle with the GME stock. Many people were looking for new investments after GME and turned to the meme coin.
No highs, no lows, only Doge— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 4, 2021
The Doge Army is probably one of the world’s strongest armies. In 2014 they came together to crowdfund a sponsorship to get Nascar driver Josh Wise to advertise the coin on his car. And just last month it was announced a new car will be sponsored by Doge. This love and community from so many people are what sets it apart from other shitcoins.
The growth of Dogecoin has been insane. It has caught the attention of Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, and Slim Jim all tweet or mentioning it this week. Since the beginning of the year, it has gone from $0.005 to an ATH of $0.41. It is now the 6th biggest coin based on market cap.
One interesting note is Google trend data shows that Doge is mainly an American phenomenon. While the rest world keeps its focus on Bitcoin, American investors are distracted by the meme.