Miami Beach, Florida, saw art enthusiasts of all types flocking in for one of the premier global art events this week, but this year’s crowd also included crypto enthusiasts, investors, and venture capitalists, reports CNBC.
Art Basel this year included a host of blockchain events around the city and also a number of NFT exhibits as art admirers and crypto investors mingled. NFTs are one of the hottest trends in crypto right now, where ownership rights are sold for either real world or virtual items. Artists, musicians, and celebrities have all gotten in on the craze, and the space sees about $2 billion in investments monthly, according to JPMorgan estimates.
It’s widely regarded as an unsustainable level of inflows, but the underlying blockchain technologies enabling the NFT marketplaces may have longevity that could outlast this recent fad.
“Certainly there’s a lot of hype,” said Mike Shinoda, musician and co-founder of the band Linkin Park, who launched a new NFT mixtape this week. “Most people believe there’s some version of a bubble happening. But most of us who are in the space think that whether it goes up or down, it’s a new thing that’s here to stay in some version of itself.”
Blockchain technology might be difficult and confusing to understand for a lot of people, but art is something that they can appreciate easily. Tristan Yver, the head of strategy for FTX U.S. believes digital art can be an easier way to introduce people to the concept of crypto.
“We all have some basic understanding of art. We don’t all have a basic understanding of cryptocurrencies and blockchain — it’s the next step towards mass adoption,” Yver told CNBC. “NFTs are the first time a lot of people create a connection with cryptocurrency and blockchain.”
NFTs might be the stepping-off point for people who otherwise wouldn’t have reason to interact with or learn about the crypto space. Blockchain technology and the DeFi revolution continue to garner increasing attention, both from the public and increasingly from regulators. For now, the space remains unregulated, and the options seem limitless.
“Once people get into NFTs, they want to learn about everything else going on in blockchain — it’s impossible not to go down the rabbit hole,” said Packy McCormick, founder of Not Boring Capital. “There’s going to be a ton of people coming in to speculate. But the important projects will have staying power and over time, quality will win.”
Investing in the NFT Fundamentals With BITQ
For investors wanting to gain exposure to the potentials within the NFT space and the underlying blockchains driving this most recent evolution within the crypto space, the Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (BITQ) offers both.
BITQ tracks the Bitwise Crypto Innovators 30 Index, an index with at least 85% allocation into companies that are cryptocurrency exchanges carrying bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, crypto miners, mining equipment companies, and service providers. The remaining 15% is allocated to large-cap support companies, with at least one major part of their businesses dedicated to crypto.
BITQ carries crypto companies such as Coinbase Global Inc (COIN) at 10.11%; Coinbase is working to build an NFT marketplace and is currently offering a waitlist on their website. BITQ also carries crypto miners such as Hut 8 Mining (HUT CN) at 4.36%, and other crypto investment companies that are working within NFT spaces, such as Galaxy Digital Holdings (GLXY:TSE) at 10.26%.
The fund has an expense ratio of 0.85% and net assets of nearly $130 million.
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