• Crypto.com is launching its NFT platform on March 26 and has invited prominent celebrities.
  • The platform will be invite-only, as celebrities have increasingly flocked to NFTs as a new way of promoting digital art.
  • The popularity of NFTs has reached the 2017 ICO boom, according to Google data, and could potentially be here to stay. 

Cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com has announced that it will be launching the world’s largest non-fungible token (NFT) platform on March 26, featuring collaborations between mainstream artists including Snoop Dogg, Boy George, and Lionel Richie. 

Invite-only celebrity and digital artist NFT platform

Launching on March 26, Crypto.com curated a group of celebrities and digital artists to develop content for its NFT platform. The platform will be invite-only, with artist BossLogic — with an Instagram following of over 2 million — featuring as the first NFT drop. His aquatic theme collection, named “Higher Ground,” follows another NFT collection of his, recently released on Ethernity Chain. 

NFTs are digital work, including art and collectibles, that live on the Ethereum network. These tokens are unique and can be verified on-chain.

The Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One team will also launch an NFT collection of the team’s historical moments of returning to F1 after 60 years. According to the crypto exchange, further athletes and teams are to be expected to offer content on its platform.

American singer-songwriter Lionel Richie will collaborate with digital artist Klarens Malluta to create a digital piece for the NFT platform. Richie said: 

As a fan and collector of art, I have always looked for unique pieces, and Klarens Malluta’s work is truly amazing. Looking forward to collaborating with him on a digital piece and with a little ‘All Night Long’ in this new medium.

Collectors will be able to acquire, trade, and resell NFTs through Crypto.com’s platform, using the pay feature of its app, or with over 20 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum.

NFT popularity rises to reach 2017 ICO boom levels

The Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange’s move into NFTs has come after the dramatic increase in popularity of the unique tokens. 

While NFTs saw a volume of $200 million for the year 2020, the top three NFT marketplaces saw a combined trading volume of a staggering $342 million in February 2021 alone.

According to Google Trends data, interest in NFTs has risen to the levels of the initial coin offering (ICO) boom in 2017.

Google trends ICO vs NFT

Google trends ICO vs NFT

Interest in ICOs witnessed a gigantic leap in mid to late 2017, hand-in-hand with Bitcoin’s massive bull run before its collapse in early 2018. As reflected by the search engine’s volume, interest in ICOs also fell in tandem with the Bitcoin price. 

Steadily gathering steam in 2020, NFTs have become mainstream after digital art started going for sale for millions of dollars. Digital artist Beeple recently sold a record-breaking sale of his NFT, which went for $69 million on an online auction by Christie’s on March 11. His digital art, “Everydays: The First 500 Days” became the third most expensive artwork by a living artist. 

Celebrities were not slow to join the NFT craze, as Shawn Mendes has decided to make virtual versions of his guitar and sell them as NFTs. Rapper Ja Rule auctioned an oil painting that belonged in Fyre Media’s office as an NFT on the platform Flipkick.

Billionaire and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban has also sold an NFT of a motivation quote and is also building a new online gallery to display NFTs in any form. According to Cuban, the platform — Lazy.com — is an online gallery for artwork that enables creators to showcase NFTs. The entrepreneur believes that people need a lazy way to show off their NFTs and added:

Will be interesting to see what comes next in terms of competition for mindshare and dollars.

Alex Atallah, the co-founder of one of the biggest NFT platforms, OpenSea, said he expects to see even more celebrities joining the space. 

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