DAO Valuation Dilemmas & Protest Art NFTs
ApeDAO may have to sell off its BAYC holdings, "China's Banksy" protests Beijing Olympics with NFT collection
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.
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🗞 STORIES OF THE DAY
Valuation issues may force a DAO to sell off its BAYC collection
ApeDAO, a crypto collective that has acquired 81 Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, may be forced to sell all of its assets. The DAO recently announced a proposal to liquidate its assets and pay out the revenue to its members.
The DAO’s $APED tokens based its value on the price of its BAYC collection. But as the price of Apes rose, the token didn’t keep up. Now there’s a huge gap between what the DAO’s token is currently worth and the value of its holdings.
The proposal is almost definitely moving forward, but it’s unclear how much of a return token holders will see. The DAO is confident that the liquidation will generate “substantial returns,” but nobody knows exactly how much it’ll make off the sale.
Our Take: ApeDAO’s decision is financially sound, but it’s unclear what will happen to the BAYC market.
The valuation problem plaguing ApeDAO is common in other financial markets. When a commodity is undervalued and right-sizing attempts don’t work, selling off assets is sometimes the right path. But collectibles like NFTs get their value in part from their scarcity. If ApeDAO decides to sell all 81 Apes at once, it could risk flooding the market, which would ultimately push down the price and leave members with less than they expected.
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“China’s Banksy” launches NFT collection to protest the Beijing Winter Olympics
Badiucao, known as China’s Banksy, has launched a new NFT collection that parodies Olympics posters to draw awareness to China’s human rights abuses.
Made during the Art in Protest residency and exhibited across the globe, the works in the collection protest China’s treatment of the Uyghurs, its actions in Hong Kong, and the country’s surveillance system.
As part of the minting process, collectors who buy the works will have an opportunity to write their own protest statements. These will be shared on the blockchain “as a public decentralized record of protest.”
Our Take: Protest art has made it to the blockchain.
From the Guerrilla Girls to Banksy, artists have long used their practice as a form of protest. It’s a hit with collectors, too, who see owning these works as a way to be part of the political conversation. But for a technology primarily concerned with disruption, there have been fairly few protest-related NFT projects. Badiucao’s project is changing that, and bringing with it a new way to conceive of NFT art.
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✨ AROUND THE INTERNET
Sotheby’s is auctioning off 200 pairs of the LV x Nike Air Force 1’s designed by the late Virgil Abloh. All of the pairs have exceeded the estimate, with the highest bid for a pair at $80,000.
A New Zealand auction house sold two glass plate photographic negatives with accompanying NFTs and told buyers to “smash” their purchases. That way, collectors could ensure they had the only copy in existence.
A gorgeous 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL with gullwing doors just sold for almost $7 million. It’s one of just 28 Benzes built with an aluminum frame and it’s absolutely stunning.
Maybe we should have seen this coming: metaverse-related injuries are skyrocketing. Gamers using VR headsets are breaking legs, arms, and furniture after getting lost in the virtual world.
Contemporary African art is one of this year’s hottest collecting trends, and Ghana is at the center of the excitement. Auction houses are getting on board, with Phillips hosting a show dedicated to Ghanian artists.
Ye is absolutely not on the NFT bandwagon. The artist took to Instagram to tell fans that he is more focused on “real products in the real world.” But, he said he might be open to them in the future.