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NFT for support protests in China, staff cut by Candy Digital, and more

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Written by

Charles Beamon
Published on

November 29, 2022


Key points: 

  • An NFT representing China’s ongoing protest against the country’s strict zero-tolerance policy on COVID-19 has entered the NFT marketplace OpenSea. Two collections are called Silent Speech and Blank Paper Movement. 
  • NFT company Candy Digital has reportedly laid off roughly 100 employees amid turmoil in the cryptocurrency market and a sharp drop in NFT trading volumes. 
  • NFT-themed burger restaurant Bored & Hungry has launched a pop-up store during Philippine Blockchain Week. The brand also opened a pop-up fries stand at NFT.London in early November.
  • XRP Ledger blockchain NFT sales set a new record, with an XPUNK NFT selling for 108,900 XRP or roughly $44,000.

China's COVID-19 Protests Cement Itself as an NFT

A non-fungible token (NFT) representing China’s ongoing protest against the country’s strict zero-tolerance policy on COVID-19 has entered the NFT marketplace OpenSea.

At least two series were created in November. The first is a Polygon-based collection called Silent Speech, which contains 135 NFTs featuring images of protesters, signs, graffiti, and even social media screenshots related to ongoing protests, starting at 0.01 Ether, auctioned at just under $11.50.

A Silent Speech NFT titled “Beihang University” (translated) shows an image of multiple tealight candles within surgical masks. Candles are an often used symbol of remembrance.

A Silent Speech NFT titled “Beihang University” (translated) shows an image of multiple tealight candles within surgical masks. Candles are an often used symbol of remembrance.

Another series titled Blank Paper Movement of 36 Ethereum-based NFTs with a reserve price of 10 ETH, or almost $11,800 showcased a more artistic approach, as images of protests appeared to be drawn.

Holding a blank sheet of paper has become a symbol of the suppression of speech in the rare and widespread protests that have erupted across China since Nov. Measures related to COVID-19.

Sabaocean Tweet

The protests intensified on Nov. 24, when a fire broke out in a high-rise building in the northeastern city of Urumqi, killing 10 people.

Some Chinese netizens believe residents cannot escape due to extreme lockdown measures including wiring or welding doors.

Candy Digital cuts 100 jobs

NFT company Candy Digital has reportedly laid off a significant portion of its staff amid turmoil in the cryptocurrency market and a sharp drop in NFT trading volumes this year.

More than a third of the company's roughly 100 employees have been laid off, according to a Nov. 28 report from sports industry Sportico.

The reason for the layoffs and whether specific departments were affected is unclear, as Candy Digital has not publicly addressed the layoffs. Candy Digital’s former community content manager Matthew Muntner publicly acknowledged his involvement in the layoffs in a November 28 Twitter post:

Muntnerdesigns Tweet

Launching in June 2021, Candy Digital is backed by sports e-commerce store Fanatics, crypto-friendly entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk and Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz.

The company quickly forged partnerships with sports leagues, including Major League Baseball, NASCAR's league of collaborative racing teams, and several college athletes. It was valued at $1.5 billion in October 2021 following a $100 million funding round.

Candy Digital’s layoffs follow layoffs at other tech companies, such as the firing of “several members” of NFT protocol Metaplex’s team on Nov. 17, Meta laying off 11,000 employees on Nov. 9, and Flow on Nov. 2. Blockchain developer Dapper Labs has about 130 employees.

Bored & Hungry Restaurant Opens Pop-Up During Philippine Blockchain Week

The Long Beach-based NFT-themed burger restaurant Bored & Hungry has launched a pop-up store during Philippine Blockchain Week, which began on November 28 local time.

This is the first time the restaurant has operated in Southeast Asia. The brand also opened a pop-up fries stand at NFT.London in early November.

Philblokchain Tweet

The restaurants, which first opened in April, feature the intellectual property of their own NFT owners, the Bored Ape Yacht Club and the Mutant Ape Yacht Club, and accept ETH and ApeCoin as payment methods.

About two months after opening, in June, the store inexplicably stopped accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment, likely due to the cryptocurrency’s falling price.

Ripple's XRP Ledger Sets New NFT Sales Record

Ripple’s XRP Ledger blockchain NFT sales set a new record, with an XPUNK NFT — a clone of the popular Ethereum-native CryptoPunk NFT — selling for 108,900 XRP, or roughly $44,000 at auction on Nov. 25.

On XRP dotcom Tweet

According to the official XPUNKS Twitter account, the auction was the result of a public auction with more than 20 participants in the Discord voice chat. It declined to name the buyer, but said "the community knows who he is".

XRP Ledger introduced NFTs on October 31 and introduced the XLS-20 standard, which was first proposed on May 25, 2021. NFTs provide creators with "automatic royalties."


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