Crypto receives yet another stamp of approval as major corporations WeWork and TIME Magazine both announce plans to integrate the technology into their respective offerings. Stateside, more adults are showing a growing appetite for digital assets, and the late Chadwick Boseman is immortalised in a somewhat controversial NFT.
Keep reading to catch up on all the latest.
TIME Magazine announces plans to integrate NFTs for subscriptions
Thought non-fungible tokens (NFT) were just for artists, blockchain-based cats and the odd tweet? Think again. TIME Magazine is set to be the first major publisher to accept crypto as a form of payment, as it explores potential NFT projects around subscriptions and memberships.
TIME president Keith Grossman let the news slip during a Decrypt Daily podcast with TIME CTO Bharat Krish and Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek. The magazine also recently partnered with Crypto.com to begin accepting crypto for purchases.
In March this year, TIME auctioned three NFTs inspired by one of its most iconic covers from 1966, pictured on the far left.
Grossman explained, “We're playing in the NFT space for collectibles today. We're gonna play in the NFT space for subscriptions, memberships and access to unique experiences tomorrow. Overarchingly, we're seeing that partnerships with the likes of Crypto.com and others just make sense for us.
“We want to be the first ones adopting [crypto] within that space, from a media industry perspective, so we can be leading in this pack. It's here to stay. Even in a bear market.”
WeWork to accept bitcoin and other cryptos for payment
WeWork has joined a growing list of companies integrating crypto payment options via payments provider BitPay. According to a press release, it will now allow its customers to pay for co-working spaces or fixed offices in crypto.
Crypto exchange Coinbase, which recently just went public on the Nasdaq, is set to be the first customer to pay for its WeWork membership.
WeWork will accept bitcoin, Ethereum, USDC, Paxos and a few other cryptocurrencies. Similar to Tesla, which recently announced it would accept bitcoin as payment for its products, WeWork is choosing to hold the crypto on its balance sheet rather than converting it to fiat at the point of sale.
“When we think about the workplace of the future and business, we have to consider cryptocurrency a central part of that conversation,” said WeWork chairman Marcelo Claure. The company also mentioned it would pay its landlord and third party partners using crypto, through Coinbase.
Gemini survey: “63% of adults in the US are crypto curious”
In a recent survey commissioned by crypto exchange Gemini, 63% of adults in the US have described themselves as “crypto curious”. Excitingly, over half of those interested are women.
According to the survey featuring 3,000 US adults, the “average” crypto investor who already has some digital assets is a 38-year-old male with an annual income of around $111,000. But the findings suggest this profile of a “typical” crypto investor could be changing pretty soon.
Out of all those labelled “crypto curious” (people who don’t hold crypto but are interested in it), 53% are women and 25% of them are “older women nearing retirement.” Noah Perlman, Gemini’s COO said, “This new research signals a valuable and welcome diversification of crypto’s investor base. A broader set of participants establishes a positive long-term evolution of the market.”
When it comes to the established holders, around 14% said they already own crypto, and around 13% said they plan to buy in the next 12 months. Only 23% of US adults said they have no interest in crypto at all, while 77% of respondents said they are interested in learning more about them.
Perlman ended by saying, “Trading platforms that prioritize security and smart regulation, while making it simple for anyone to use, make cryptocurrencies accessible and attractive. We believe digital assets are a strategic part of a well-rounded portfolio and providing crypto education will help remove barriers to entry.”
Turkey’s central bank foreshadows crypto regulations, denying a total ban
The head of Turkey’s central bank has announced that a wide range of crypto regulations would be coming in the next two weeks and dismissed the idea of a total ban.
On a state-run channel, governor Şahap Kavacıoğlu said, “You cannot fix anything by banning crypto and we do not intend to do this.” His comments came less than a week before a planned ban on the use of cryptocurrencies for payments was set to begin.”
The rapid depreciation of the Turkish lira has caused the use of crypto in the country to skyrocket in recent months. The announcement of the proposed ban drew much ire from the government’s political opponents, which may have had a hand in the government’s decision to rethink their approach.
Without giving much detail about the coming regulations, Kavacıoğlu said they would clarify the legal definition of cryptocurrencies and regulate how they should be stored by institutions. Trade Moneta reported that the central bank chief indicated regulations are needed to address the “alarming” amount of funds leaving the country via crypto.
Controversy over Chadwick Boseman NFT
It’s hard to remember a year in which the Oscars didn’t sew some type of controversy and this year was no different. This year, it seems to have focused around Chadwick Boseman, famed for his role in Marvel’s Black Panther and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, who tragically passed away last year after a four-year battle with colon cancer.
The Oscars immortalised Boseman in a digital artwork forming part of the lavish gift bags Oscars nominees receive at the event. Each nominee’s gift bag contained an NFT that authenticates a 3D digital tribute to the late actor created by artist Andre Oshea. The NFT itself will then be auctioned off at a price of $1.2 million, with 50% of the proceeds going to The Colon Cancer Foundation. At this stage, it’s unclear where the other 50% is set to go.
Oshea commented, “The way to immortalize an artist is to honor them with art. I was tasked to create a tribute NFT for Chadwick Boseman for the Oscars! Bringing this piece to life has been one of my most challenging & rewarding experiences as an artist."
The way to immortalize an artist, is to honor them with art.
I was tasked to create a tribute NFT for Chadwick Boseman for the Oscars! Bringing this piece to life has been one of my most challenging & rewarding experiences as an artist.
— ●●● (@andreoshea) April 24, 2021
While the sentiment may have come from the right place, many took to the comments section about the “literal tokenisation” and “exploitation over an artist’s death for commercial gain.” What do you think? Let us know on Twitter.