Louis Vuitton’s Luxury NFTs and Apple’s Vision.

This week, Louis Vuitton announced a new collection of NFTs, which are physical-backed tokens linked to exclusive products and experiences. These tokens are expensive and once purchased, cannot be resold.

Meanwhile, Apple has announced its new Vision Pro headset, which has a high price tag and interestingly does not use the word “metaverse”. Additionally, NFT lending platforms are becoming more popular, but it’s unclear who benefits from this practice.

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This Week’s Alpha

C’est bon, Louis Vuitton: The French luxury fashion house will soon release a new collection of physical-backed NFTs called Via Treasure Trunks, which will be linked to exclusive experiences and products. Consumers in the U.S., Canada, France, the U.K., Germany, Japan, and Australia can register to obtain the treasure trunks, which will be made available to select customers on June 16th. Each NFT will be priced at €39,000 including tax or $39,000 without tax in the U.S.

  • Lifelong luxury: The trunks will be sold as soulbound tokens, meaning they are non-transferable once purchased. However, the brand plans to release limited products and experiences at regular intervals throughout the year, which holders can sell for a profit.
  • Blocked by the chain: Louis Vuitton previously embraced blockchain technology to track luxury goods and crack down on counterfeit products.

Blink different: This week, Apple announced its new Vision Pro mixed reality headset, finally entering the growing arena of immersive digital technology. The new device, which it is calling a “spatial computer,” instead of an augmented reality headset, will be released next year for $3,500. The device will introduce VisionOS, a spatial operating system that offers a three-dimensional interface, releasing applications from the boundaries of traditional screens and bringing them into real-world spaces.

  • Metaverse blueprint: While Apple avoided the term metaverse, it’s likely that Apple has been influenced by competitors like Microsoft and Meta. “It builds upon theories built by the metaverse industry over the past few years,” Mytaverse co-founder and CTO Jaime Lopez told blockchain.

NFT lending is trending: Despite lackluster market conditions, the NFT lending space has taken off thanks to major players joining the space. In May, leading NFT marketplace Blur launched Blend – a peer-to-peer lending platform that allows users to borrow against their NFTs as collateral. The platform quickly seized 82% of the entire NFT lending market share within its first three weeks. Other platforms – including Binance NFT Loan, which allows holders to secure ETH loans by using their NFTs as collateral, and Astaria, which utilizes a third party to facilitate its lending market – have popularized the concept of NFTfi in recent weeks.

  • Predatory behavior: While NFTfi tools expand the liquidity of the NFT market, critics urge new traders to understand the consequences before engaging in risky behavior. “[Blend is] pitched as a ‘buy now, pay later’ that uses perpetual lending on the back end, which is super predatory to the borrower,” Karan Karia, vice president of business development at Wasabi protocol, told blockchain.

Projects on the Rise

Stand with Crypto

Who: Coinbase

What: In March, crypto marketplace Coinbase released an open edition, commemorative NFT it called “Stand with Crypto” as a symbol of support for the crypto community during times of hardship like the current SEC crackdown. The blue shield includes a QR code that Coinbase says will be periodically updated, providing the community with more advocacy opportunities over time. The NFT has recently seen new adoption after news of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suit against Coinbase emerged. Shortly after the news broke, Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong tweeted the link to mint the NFT. The suit came a day after the SEC sued Binance.

How: The free-to-mint NFT can be created using Zora. Any fees associated with the process of creating the NFT will be donated to verified organizations through a crypto advocacy round via Gitcoin. The NFT does not have any intended utility or value.

In Other News

Non-fungible superhero: Warner Bros. is releasing the Superman Web3 Movie Experience, a multimedia NFT collection built around the 1978 film “Superman: The Movie.”

Playing the long game: Despite shaky market conditions, investments in blockchain games and metaverse projects reached $476 million in May, the highest amount this year.

Metaverse money: ​​Animoca Brands, a metaverse giant, released its FY2020 annual report and noted a deferred revenue increase in 2020 from $6.947 million to $27.890 million.

Non-Fungible Toolkit

Binance Exchange: Your Questions Answered

The biggest story in the cryptocurrency world this week was the SEC’s actions against Binance and Coinbase. The lawsuit against Coinbase is relatively simple (read about it here), while the 13 charges against Binance.US and its CEO and founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao are more complex and have led people to wonder about the differences between the U.S. version of Binance and its larger international exchange. We delve into CZ’s background, the two Binance exchanges, and the timeline of events that have brought us to this moment in our Binance FAQ.

Edited by Toby Leah Bochan.

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