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Student Starts Selling Selfies as NFTs as a Joke and Becomes an Overnight Millionaire – My Modern Met

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Ever since digital artist Beeple broke records with a $69 million sale in 2021, NFT has been a buzzword. More and more artists have placed their work on platforms like OpenSea to be bought and sold with cryptocurrency. If you doubted the power of NFTs, the story of Sultan Gustaf Al Ghozali might change your mind. The 22-year-old Indonesian computer science student became a millionaire overnight after selling his selfies as NFTs.
Since 2017, Ghozali has been taking daily selfies. While he missed a few days, he still has almost 1,000 selfies. He originally took them to put together a time-lapse video, but he recently decided to see what would happen if he sold his images as NFTs.
“I was thinking it might be funny if one of the collectors collected my face,” Ghozali shared. “I never thought anybody would want to buy the selfies, which is why I only priced them at $3 [0.00001 ETH].”
What started out as a joke quickly turned into something serious when Ghozali began to see how quickly his images were selling. His collection, which is sold on OpenSea, is called Ghozali Everyday. After going on sale in late December 2021, the collection went viral when an Indonesian celebrity chef bought one and began promoting it online. Now, prices have spiked to a high of 0.9 ETH ($3,000) and he’s sold 387 NFTs. Over the past seven days, the daily average price for one of Ghozali’s selfies has been 0.249 ETH ($586).
when I try to focus on doing my homework at home while listening to your playlist
Saturday, September 18, 2021, 4:51:57 PM https://t.co/PRWCycI9q0
— Ghozali_Ghozalu (@Ghozali_Ghozalu) January 11, 2022
At this point, his earnings total over $1 million. This also includes what he’s earned in royalties after sold NFTs are traded. In addition to his millionaire status, he’s become an overnight NFT celebrity, which has left the student feeling a bit confused by the attention.
He often shares updates about sales with his Twitter followers and recently mused, “Today (I) sold more than 230+ (selfies) and until now I don’t understand why you want to buy #NFT photos of me !!! but i thank you guys for 5 years of effort paid off.”
When he’s not being interviewed by journalists or being invited to participate in forums about NFTs, he’s thinking about how he’s going to explain his new wealth to his family. As of 10 days ago, he still hadn’t shared what had been happening with his parents. “To be honest I still haven’t got the courage to tell my parents, they would be wondering where I got the money from,” he said.
this is my first tax payment in my life https://t.co/VDa8KYYPGs
— Ghozali_Ghozalu (@Ghozali_Ghozalu) January 14, 2022
What he will be sure to do is pay his taxes. His newfound wealth has already caught the eye of local tax authorities, who kindly gave him advice on how to pay his taxes. Ghozali’s response? “This is my first tax payment in my life,” Ghozali responded. “Of course I will pay for it because I am a good Indonesian citizen.”
As for what he’s planning on doing with the money? In the future, he hopes to open an animation studio and, for now, will invest the money. In the meantime, he’ll keep taking selfies so that he can make his time-lapse video when he graduates. In regards to his photos, he’s just asked that people not abuse his images and has already started posting some of the things that people are doing with his selfies, like turning them into shirts.
Uploading my photo into nft lolhttps://t.co/E3Q4sBmN26#NFT #opensea pic.twitter.com/rD51rdcpzp
— Ghozali_Ghozalu (@Ghozali_Ghozalu) January 10, 2022
today sold more than 230+
and until now I don’t understand why you want to buy #NFT photos of me !!!
but i thank you guys for 5 years of effort paid off pic.twitter.com/nHZJnowCMC
— Ghozali_Ghozalu (@Ghozali_Ghozalu) January 11, 2022
It’s been 3 days and left 331 NFT
sold out now because for the next few years I won’t be listing
You can do anything like flipping or whatever but please don’t abuse my photos or my parents will very disappointed to me
I believe in you guys so please take care of my photos. pic.twitter.com/oyGGR2Aben
— Ghozali_Ghozalu (@Ghozali_Ghozalu) January 12, 2022
I didn’t expect there to be a merch lol, but it looks cool@brandonsalim https://t.co/WbAQfZntMZ
— Ghozali_Ghozalu (@Ghozali_Ghozalu) January 20, 2022

h/t: [PetaPixel, France24]
Photographer Makes Her Widely Stolen Image Free to Use After Selling It as an NFT for $300K
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Tyler Hobbs' Fidenza NFT Project Gets $1M Pump Over 48 hours – CoinDesk

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DOJ Asks Congress for Tools to Limit NFT Money-Laundering Risk – PYMNTS.com

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Down at the very bottom of the crypto crime report the Justice Department issued last week was a request that could make it a lot harder to buy and sell NFTs.
Citing examples of criminals using the sale of the popular nonfungible tokens that hold art, video, music and collectibles to launder funds, the Justice Department asked Congress to define some of all NFTs as “value that substitutes for currency” under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).
Doing so, it said in “The Role of Law Enforcement in Detecting, Investigating, and Prosecuting Criminal Activity Related to Digital Assets,” would “make clear that its key [anti-money-laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terror (CFT)] provisions — including the obligations to have customer identification programs and report suspicious transactions to regulators — apply to NFT platforms, including online auction houses and digital art galleries.”
See also: DOJ Seeks to Double Jail Time for Money Transmission Crimes
The impetus, the department said, is the “explosive growth in the demand and corresponding markets for NFTs, perhaps most notably in the area of digital art.”
Substantial Risk
This “presents substantial money-laundering risks,” it said, citing a February Treasury Department study on money laundering in the broader art market.
“NFTs can be used to conduct self-laundering, a sequence in which criminals purchase an NFT with illicit funds and then resell to a purchaser who pays for it with clean funds unconnected to a prior crime,” that report noted.
It also found that in most cases, “digital assets that are unique, rather than interchangeable, and that are used in practice as collectibles rather than as payment or investment instruments … are generally not considered to be virtual assets under [international regulations].”
The “nonfungible” part of NFT means that each is unique and cannot substitute for any other, as opposed to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin which all have the same uses and value.
NFT marketplaces “may take the view that this definition [of a ‘value that substitutes for currency’] does not apply to their activities — and that they are thus not subject to the BSA’s anti money-laundering and anti-terrorism laws, the department said.
Justice is asking Congress to amend the BSA “to make clear that its key AML/CFT provisions — including the obligations to have customer identification programs and report suspicious transactions to regulators — apply to NFT platforms, including online auction houses and digital art galleries.”
Already There
Redefining NFTs as “value that substitutes for currency” would allow the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Unit (FinCEN) to “potentially seek to regulate such activity under its money transmission regime,” a trio of lawyers at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom wrote in an April blog post.
That, according to Jamie Boucher, Eytan Fisch and Javier Urbina, would require NFT marketplaces to register as money services businesses (MSB) with FinCEN.
Some types of NFTs — notably those used to fractionalize tangible assets like physical artworks and real estate, but also other valuable art or collectible tokens — are likely securities, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said.
See more: How Did NFTs Become SEC’s Newest Crypto Target?
In FinCEN’s view, the trio noted, those can be repurposed to fit the definition of “value that substitutes for currency” and thus may already require MSB licenses.
 
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FTX Talking With Investors for $1B Fundraising at $32 Billion Valuation – NFTgators

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Quick take:
Although Binance maintains its number one spot in terms of crypto transaction volume, FTX is catching up quick after rising to third, behind Coinbase. This could change soon given the steps FTX is taking in web3.
According to reports, Sam Bankman-Fried’s company is seeking $1 billion in a new round of funding at a valuation of about $32 billion. That values FTX twice the value of Coinbase— whose market cap stands at just over $14 billion, and at least 7-fold Binance’s most recent valuation of $4.5 billion.
And there is a good reason for the disparity in market share (volume-wise) and overall valuation. FTX is more than just a crypto exchange platform. 
The company has expanded its ecosystem to include stock trading, NFTs, crypto lending services and more, all forming significant operational synergies for the rapidly growing web3 company.
It explains why investors are placing such value on FTX. According to sources close to the $1 billion fundraising talks, the figure could change by the time the round is closed, CNBC reported, citing people who did not want to be named.
FTX has been one of the most active investors in the web3 space during the crypto winter. The company is in the process of acquiring the crypto lending platform Blockfi for a reported amount of $240 million.
Last year, it acquired crypto derivatives platform LedgerX allowing it to offer derivatives trading alongside traditional crypto exchange services.
Earlier this year, the company purchased Good Luck Games, the developer of the card battle game Storybook Brawl for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition added another perspective to FTX’s business pouncing on the rapidly growing web3 gaming sector.
The company also recently announced a partnership with online game retailer Gamestop to onboard the gaming community to web3.
In July, Bankman-Fried refuted claims that FTX was planning to buy retail stock brokerage platform Robinhood after Bloomberg published a report suggesting discussions were underway.
News about the new fundraising come hot on the heels of the company’s $900 million raise announced in July. FTX also raised $420 million in October 2021.
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