Our lead story this week is the NFT sneakers Nike is selling, which are going for $6,000 or more right now.
We also cover an NFT theft, after the Bored Ape Yacht Club Instagram account was hacked; the city of Fort Worth voting to mine bitcoin; the Central African Republic adopting bitcoin as legal tender; and Fidelity’s decision to include bitcoin in 401(k) plans.
Nike’s NFT sneakers are selling for thousands of dollars
Nike released a collection of 20,000 digital sneakers as NFTs last weekend. The NFT sneakers, which aren’t physical shoes, are selling for about $6,000 to $9,000 in ether. A company called RTFKT (“artifact”), which Nike bought last year, designs the virtual sneakers. RTFKT previously made the popular Clone X NFT collection, which now sells for about $50,000 per NFT. Nike hasn’t announced any plans for physical versions of the NFT sneakers. However, there’s a Snapchat filter that uses AR to make the shoes appear on your feet through the lens of a smart device.
Read CNET’s full story on Nike’s NFT sneakers here.
Hacker takes over Bored Ape Yacht Club Instagram account, steals NFTs worth millions
Bored Ape Yacht Club, one of the better-known and pricier NFT collections, is among the latest to be targeted in an NFT phishing scam. On Monday, a hacker posted a link to the Bored Ape Yacht Club Instagram account, promising a free gift. When people followed the link and connected their crypto wallets, their NFTs were taken. The stolen NFTs were then transferred to a wallet owned by the hacker.
The hacker made off with a couple million dollars in NFTs. (Keep in mind, NFTs are often valued at their last selling price, which doesn’t always hold up.) The Verge asked Yuga Labs, the company behind Bored Ape Yacht Club, if victims of the hack would be compensated, but Yuga Labs didn’t respond.
Read CNET’s full story on the Bored Ape Yacht Club Instagram hack here.
The City of Fort Worth decides to mine bitcoin
City officials in Fort Worth, Texas, voted Tuesday to accept three bitcoin mining machines donated from the Texas Blockchain Association, and to launch a bitcoin mining pilot program. The pilot will last six months, and then the city will reevaluate.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has spoken favorably about the cryptocurrency industry in the past, and in February, Abbott said on Twitter that H-E-B stores, a popular Texas supermarket chain, would begin to install in-store cryptocurrency kiosks.
Texas’s attitude toward bitcoin mining is in sharp contrast to the fight over bitcoin mining in New York, where the state assembly passed a bill on Tuesday that would put a 2-year moratorium on bitcoin mining in the state, pending an environmental review. The bill will now go to the state senate for consideration.
For reference on bitcoin’s energy use, Digiconomist’s Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index estimates that the bitcoin network has a carbon footprint comparable to that of the entire Czech Republic.
Read CNET’s full story on Fort Worth mining bitcoin here.
Central African Republic votes to make bitcoin legal tender
The Central African Republic passed a bill Tuesday to make bitcoin legal tender in the country, becoming the second nation to do so after El Salvador did last year. The International Monetary Fund wasn’t supportive of the move. It had also urged El Salvador against the decision in 2021.
Read CNET’s full story on the Central African Republic passing a bill to make bitcoin legal tender.
Fidelity to offer bitcoin option in 401(k) plans by middle of year
Fidelity on Tuesday said it’ll allow cryptocurrency into retirement plans starting midyear, making it the first major provider to do so. Employers will decide if they want to offer crypto in their retirement plans, and if so, they’ll determine the maximum contribution employees can allocate toward bitcoin, according to The New York Times.
The US Department of Labor has been critical of Fidelity’s decision to include bitcoin in retirement plans. “We have grave concerns with what Fidelity has done,” Ali Khawar, acting assistant secretary of the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, told The Wall Street Journal, this week. In response, Fidelity told the Journal that it sees digital assets as “a large part of the financial industry’s future.”
Read CNET’s full story on Fidelity including bitcoin in 401(k) plans here.
Thanks for reading. We’ll be back with plenty more next week. In the meantime check out this story by Stephen Shankland on how the metaverse will be a multi-platform mess.