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Individuals are paying hundreds of thousands of {dollars} for digital photos of rocks

Clip artwork of a rock simply offered for 400 ether, or about $1.three million, late Monday afternoon. The transaction marks the newest sale of EtherRock, a model of crypto collectible that is been round since 2017 – making it one of many oldest non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the block.

EtherRock is, because the identify implies, a JPEG of a cartoon rock, constructed and offered on the ethereum blockchain. There are solely 100 on the market, and that shortage is a part of what’s driving up its worth.

So, what are these rock pics good for? In response to the EtherRock web site, “These digital rocks serve NO PURPOSE past having the ability to be introduced and offered, and supplying you with a robust sense of satisfaction in being an proprietor of 1 of the one 100 rocks within the sport :)”

Following this newest sale, the brand new value ground for an EtherRock NFT has been raised to $1.02 million. Two days in the past, the most affordable rock went for $305,294. Two weeks in the past, it was $97,716.

The run-up in gross sales value coincides with a wider surge in NFTs, that are blockchain-based tokens signifying possession of a digital asset. For instance, some individuals are shopping for digital photos of apes and altering their Twitter photos to indicate membership within the Bored Ape Membership.

Following a dip in demand this spring, the general NFT market staged a large comeback, beginning on the finish of June.

As an example, NFT market OpenSea surpassed $1 billion in month-to-month buying and selling quantity in August, in line with knowledge compiled by The Block, up 286% from July.

Even Visa has jumped into the NFT craze. The funds processor introduced Monday that it had spent $150,000 in ether on a “CryptoPunk” – certainly one of hundreds of NFT-based digital avatars.

“Visa’s CryptoPunk buy is one other instance of a Fortune 500 racing to include NFTs into their advertising and marketing technique,” mentioned Scott Spiegel, co-founder at BitBasel, a Miami-based blockchain start-up. “Manufacturers equivalent to Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Pringles have launched NFTs of their very own, however Visa’s buy marks the biggest funding within the area up to now.”

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