Amazon Bets on Collectibles 🤠
Meanwhile, NFTs take Miami by storm
Cultured is a newsletter by Otis that gets readers up to speed on the most interesting things going on at the intersection of finance, art, collectibles, NFTs, and more.
🗞 STORIES OF THE DAY
Art Basel Miami wrapped up last week and the biggest news was the proliferation of NFTs at the fair. Tezos, the blockchain network, was a sponsor and major galleries like Pace and Nagel Draxler had NFTs on offer.
Just like art fairs are becoming hotspots for NFT sales, Miami is quickly becoming the NFT capital. The city has situated itself as a hub for crypto — it recently minted its own digital currency and its mayor took his last paycheck in bitcoin.
The focus on NFTs is also part of the art world’s attempts to appeal to tech investors, who have proven an elusive target for many galleries.
Our Take: Art fairs are hype fests, but galleries are making real investments in NFTs.
From funky alternative events to the downright weird, fairs like Art Basel Miami attract a crowd of characters looking for the newest thing to buy. NFTs had a banner year, so it makes sense that they’re the center of the hype. But major moves from well-known galleries like Pace and König suggest that the focus on web 3.0 is here to stay.
Amazon invested an undisclosed amount in Dibbs, a sports-card marketplace with $16 million in funding.
It's no surprise Amazon is looking to get into the collectibles industry. Earlier in the year eBay reported over $2 billion in trading card sales in the first 6 months of 2021 alone.
This latest investment is yet another sign of faith in the booming collectibles market, with numerous high profile acquisition and investment deals (such as the Card Ladder deal we covered last issue) occurring in the past year.
Our Take: Amazon’s entrance into the collectibles market could be seen as a direct challenge to eBay, a major e-commerce rival and market leader for collectibles.
eBay has been investing heavily in its collectibles segment, with a particular emphasis on trading cards. Amazon probably knows it can’t directly compete with eBay. But Dibbs, which focuses on fractional shares, is far enough from eBay’s main focus to make it a good point of entry.
✨ AROUND THE INTERNET
An NFT project sold for almost $92 million, a new record for a living artist. Or maybe it isn’t a record. Nobody actually knows.
Ubisoft is the first major game publisher to allow NFTs into its games.
The first edit ever made on Wikipedia is being auctioned off as an NFT. Please don’t vandalize it.
This year’s distracted driver award goes to…Tesla. The automaker now lets drivers play video games while they drive.