Elon Musk changes Twitter profile picture to ‘troll’ seen by NFT community as sales drop 92%

Elon Musk briefly replaced his Twitter profile picture with a $24.4 million NFT on Wednesday, before being asked by the co-director of Sotheby’s digital art division to remove the image.

Musk, 50, appears to have taken a screenshot of a collage of an image titled “Bored Ape Yacht Club”, which sold at auction in September.

The NFT contains 107 images of cartoon monkeys and was purchased by an unknown bidder.

NFTs are bitcoin-like digital tokens that act as a certificate of ownership and live on a blockchain.

Musk’s use of the image was noticed by Michael Bouhanna, the co-head of digital art at Sotheby’s.

‘@elonmusk, as much as I admire your work, I would like you to delete your pfp that I created for our Sotheby’s sale,’ Bouhanna tweeted.

“Or you credit me.

“Happy to send you the original stamped file with buyer’s approval.”

Michael Bouhanna, the co-head of digital art at Sotheby’s, noticed on Wednesday morning that Musk had captured his work

Half an hour later, Musk appeared to respond to Bouhanna, mocking the NFT community

Half an hour later, Musk appeared to respond to Bouhanna, mocking the NFT community

The image used by Musk was auctioned by Sotheby's in September for $24.4 million

The image used by Musk was auctioned by Sotheby’s in September for $24.4 million

Musk didn’t respond directly, instead tweeting half an hour later, “I dunno…seems a bit expendable.”

Several hours later, the image of the monkey was gone, replaced by a photo of a child playing with a rocket.

Some thought Musk was mocking the NFT industry, a day after the Wall Street Journal reported the digital art market had ‘collapsed’, with sales down 92% from their peak of September.

On Wednesday afternoon, Musk had changed his profile picture and, instead of the NFT, a child playing with a rocket

On Wednesday afternoon, Musk had changed his profile picture and, instead of the NFT, a child playing with a rocket

The newspaper cites data from the NonFungible website, which reports that sales fell to a daily average of around 19,000 this week – from around 225,000 in September.

The number of active wallets in the NFT market fell 88% to around 14,000 last week, from a high of 119,000 in November.

There have been significant signs of a decline in interest.

An NFT of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet was sold in March 2021 for $2.9 million to Sina Estavi, the chief executive of Malaysia-based blockchain company Bridge Oracle.

Estavi put the NFT up for auction earlier this year, but received no bids over $14,000, so canceled the sale.

In April, an NFT hosted by Snoop Dog titled “Doggy #4292” was sold for $32,000 worth of cryptocurrency ether.

The NFT, an image of a green astronaut standing on what looks like a Hollywood Walk of Fame star, is now up for auction, with an asking price of $25.5 million, but the highest current bid is $210.

The rapper – a proud owner of a Bored Ape NFT, which he has as a Twitter profile picture and has worn on a sweatshirt on TV – tweeted his support for Musk’s interest in trades .

‘Ay @elonmusk! Let’s take our Apes 2 the moon. Upper n upper. LFG!!!’ he tweeted.

Are NFTs over? Bored Ape owners hope not

NFTs – Non-fungible Tokens – are digital downloads that are traded; often art, but can be musical works or any unique creation.

Most NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum is a cryptocurrency, like bitcoin or dogecoin, but its blockchain also supports these NFTs, which store additional information that makes them work.

Buyers typically get limited rights to view the digital artwork they represent, but many view the purchase as bragging rights and an asset to be traded.

In February 2021, Christie’s sold an NFT of Beeple, announcing the sale as the first purely digital work of art ever offered by a major auction house.

The NFT, “Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” cost $69 million, making Beeple one of the top three most valuable living artists.

By the end of 2021, $25 billion had been spent on NFT.

In February 2022, Julian Assange and Pak’s Clock NFT became the second most expensive NFT single ever sold when it cost $58 million.

The NFT represents a timer that counts the number of days Assange has spent in prison.

Bored Ape launched in April 2021, with their designs costing around $190.

Now they’re a status symbol: Snoop Dogg, Timbaland, Eminem and footballer Neyman Jr. all use theirs as a photo on Twitter, and other famous owners include Jimmy Fallon, Paris Hilton and Justin Bieber.

The company behind Bored Ape, Yuga Labs, marks ownership of one of their NFTs as club membership, and hosts parties and meetups for those who can prove ownership — some online events, and some at glitzy in-person gatherings.

On May 1, the company launched a new spin-off called Otherside – selling 55,000 digital plots of land for the total equivalent of $320 million, making it probably the biggest mint of an NFT project to date. day.

Otherside is a metaverse gaming platform in which users’ NFTs could be playable characters.

Elon Musk is pictured at the Met Gala on Monday, with his mother Maye

Elon Musk is pictured at the Met Gala on Monday, with his mother Maye

Earlier on Wednesday, a UK parliamentary committee examining an online safety bill invited Musk to discuss his plan to buy Twitter and the changes he proposes for the social media platform.

Parliament’s digital committee on Wednesday asked Tesla’s CEO to testify “in more depth” about his proposals.

Musk thanked the committee for the invitation but declined, saying it was too early to give an answer.

“I am honored and thank the Parliament for its invitation, but it would be premature at this time to accept, given that there has not yet been a shareholder vote” to approve the agreement, he said. he said in an email to The Associated Press.

The committee expressed interest in Musk’s plans, particularly his intention to roll out verification to all users, which echoes his own recommendations to the UK government.

Musk said he wanted Twitter to “authenticate all humans,” an ambiguous proposition that may have to do with his desire to rid the website of automated spam accounts.

The UK Government’s Online Safety Bill, which is currently before lawmakers in Parliament, would give regulators sweeping powers to crack down on digital and social media companies.

Among the bill’s measures to tackle online abuse is a requirement for the biggest platforms to give users the ability to verify their identity and the choice not to interact with unverified users.

This isn’t the first time the committee has invited a tech boss to testify.

In 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg declined an invitation to answer questions as part of his fake news investigation.

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