NFT News Roundup – 30/07/22

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It’s Saturday, which means it’s time to unwrap the week’s NFT news, lay it all out on the picnic blanket and fight over the sausage rolls. Did anyone bring a knife?

City of Miami to Launch NFT Collection

The city of Miami isn’t letting the crypto winter dampen its love for NFTs – the city has partnered with TIME magazine publisher Time USA, Mastercard, and Salesforce to release 5,000 NFTs later this year.

The NFTs in question are being designed by 56 different Miami artists “representing the city’s 56 square mile area” and will be minted on Salesforce’s new NFT Cloud platform. Time USA will execute the project, while Mastercard will offer Miami NFT holders exclusive benefits like special event access at restaurants and private cultural tours in the city.

The collection plans to launch in December this year.

$2.5 Million Bottle of Champers Includes Five NFTs

Italian brothers Giovanni and Pierro Buono this week acquired a unique bottle of champagne for a world record $2.5 million this week. Not only did the pair take home the magnum of Château Avenue Foch 2017, they also took home five NFTs with it, including from some of the most sought after collections in the world.

The champagne, which included NFTs from Bored Ape Yacht Club, Mutant Apes, Sneaky Vampires, is apparently a long-term investment for these volatile market times, with Giovanni Buono saying that. “Wealthy people will look for places to store their wealth for a while—and that could be a champagne with an NFT attached to it.”

Latvian NFT Artist Accused of Money Laundering

Latvian artist and developer Ilya Borisov was this week accused by authorities in the country of using digital collectibles to launder a whopping €8.7 million ($8.8 million) through the sale of 3,557 NFTs, which he says is a misunderstanding.

Borisov says he earned the money through creating and selling the NFTs, and even wrote to the taxation office to ask how he could be correctly taxed on the windfall. However, he claims the authorities don’t believe him and have accused him instead of accruing the money by illegal means and using the NFTs as cover.

Russian-born Borisov faces up to 12 years in prison, and used a new website, Art is Crime, to opine how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine might influence the judges’ decision in his case.

Network of Hackers Targeting NFT Discord Groups

A network of hackers is targeting NFT holders in Discord groups, with the victim count steadily rising. According to recent analysis by TRM Labs, attacks against NFT collections have increased in 2022, with $22 million worth of NFT crime taking place in May alone. Cyberattacks linked to NFT minting scams deployed through compromised Discord accounts subsequently increased by 55% the following month.

Discord has been a specific target for hackers, with TRM Labs collating over 100 reports of Discord channel hacks in the past two months through its Chainabuse reporting platform. ERC-721 tokens are the most common type of NFT targeted, such as the Bored Ape collection, which was targeted in June with 200 ETH worth of NFTs stolen.