Newsletter #161: Cautious Optimism

This week’s featured collector is PersonMan

PersonMan collects NFTs ranging from abstract designs to everyday objects like an ice cream cone and characters from pop culture. Check it out at is the easiest way to create a gallery of your NFT collection. Show some love for NFTs by sharing this newsletter with your friends!


The results of last week’s poll: What’s the lesson you take from the Pudgy Penguins’ plush toy success?

Last week’s poll results reveal that NFT collectors on largely view the lesson of Pudgy Penguins’ successful venture into physical merchandise to be “bring NFT culture to the mainstream” (43%). This suggests that expanding beyond the digital realm could be a powerful strategy for NFT projects looking to broaden their reach and appeal. However, opinions are split on the long-term implications, with equal numbers believing that physical merchandise is key to an NFT project’s longevity (14%) and expecting copycats to saturate the market (14%).

Notably, a significant portion of respondents (29%) selected “Something else,” highlighting that as the NFT space continues to evolve and mature, staying attuned to the diverse perspectives and emerging trends within the community will be essential for navigating this complex and dynamic landscape.

NFT Collectors Briefing: Cautious Optimism Amid Market Uncertainty

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Shroomtoshi, Inscription 21. The first lot in the “Natively Digital: A Curated Ordinals Sale” at Sotheby’s.

As Bitcoin prices hit all-time highs and auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s achieve impressive sales figures for NFT artworks, the question on everyone’s mind in the NFT world is whether we’re witnessing the start of a new NFT boom. However, according a recent analysis by ArtNet, those in the arts ecosystem remain cautious, focusing on the art itself rather than the digital mechanics of its sale.

Key players in the digital art space, such as Pace Verso and Art Blocks, are distancing themselves from the term “NFT” due to its connotations and misunderstandings. Instead, they are choosing to lead with the art, recognizing that the interest in NFTs is highly market-dependent and can fluctuate rapidly.

Despite the recent uptick in cryptocurrency prices, Web3 natives who drove the previous NFT boom are now more focused on meme coins and new platforms like Farcaster. This shift in attention suggests that the intersection between the art world and the crypto community may not be as strong as it once was.

However, the emergence of Bitcoin-minted art, known as Ordinals, has the potential to bring different factions together again. Sotheby’s has embraced this new development, with their “Natively Digital: An Ordinals Curated Sale” bringing in over $1 million.

Institutions like the Centre Pompidou are also playing a crucial role in preserving and collecting digital art, with the museum acquiring 14 digital artworks in February alone. Artists like Anne Spalter emphasize the importance of centralization and institutional support in the art world, especially given the technological complexities and security risks associated with Web3.

As the market continues to evolve, NFT collectors should remain cautiously optimistic while focusing on the artistic merit and long-term value of the works they acquire. Collaborating with established institutions and ensuring proper preservation measures are in place will be key to navigating the uncertain landscape of digital art collecting.

Read the full analysis at ArtNet.

U.S. House Passes Crypto Regulation Bill with Global Implications

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act (FIT 21), which aims to provide a clearer regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. The bill, which passed with bipartisan support, seeks to classify digital assets as either commodities or securities based on the functionality and decentralization of their underlying blockchain.

Under FIT 21, digital assets running on a “functional and decentralized” blockchain would be considered commodities and fall under the regulatory purview of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Conversely, assets on a “functional but not decentralized” blockchain would be classified as securities, regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The legislation has faced opposition from SEC Chair Gary Gensler, who argues that it would create regulatory gaps and undermine established precedents. Gensler contends that the crypto industry’s challenges stem from a lack of compliance with existing rules rather than unclear regulations.

For NFT collectors worldwide, the passage of FIT 21 in the U.S. House has several potential implications. If the bill becomes law, it could provide a clearer framework for determining whether an NFT is considered a commodity or a security in the U.S. This clarity may influence how other countries approach NFT regulation. Moreover, as the U.S. is a significant player in the crypto and NFT markets, any regulatory changes there could have ripple effects on global market sentiment and investor confidence.

While the passage of FIT 21 in the House is a significant development, it is important to note that the bill still needs to pass the U.S. Senate and be signed by the President before becoming law.

This week’s poll: Will the U.S. crypto regulation bill impact the global NFT market if passed?

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