Reddit is auctioning 3 ethereum NFTs featuring its alien mascot Snoo

KIEV, UKRAINE - 2018/08/14: In this photo illustration, the Reddit social networking website seen displayed on a smartphone.
Snoo, the alien mascot of Reddit.

  • Reddit is selling three “CryptoSnoo NFTs” that feature its famous alien mascot.
  • “Take advantage of this rare opportunity to own a piece of Reddit history-snag a CryptoSnoo NFT,” the website said.
  • Once purchased, buyers will get access to a URL that will take them to a webpage dedicated to their NFT.
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Reddit is auctioning three non-fungible tokens powered by the ethereum blockchain, with the social media site taking bid from now until July 1.

The tokens are called “CryptoSnoos NFTs” and feature the famous alien mascot of the social media site. The Block was first to report.

“Take advantage of this rare opportunity to own a piece of Reddit history-snag a CryptoSnoo NFT,” the website said.

The three CryptoSnoos NFTs are named Original Block, Helium, and Snooprematic.

All were minted on June 17 and are on sale on NFT platform OpenSea.

According to Reddit, Original Block is inspired by Reddit’s characteristic Snoo caricature. Helium, meanwhile, is associated with the “contemporary art movement” and “everyday objects that are blue and sparkle.” Snooprematic is influenced by a “geometric vocabulary.”

A screenshot of Reddit's NFT called CryptoSnoos taken from its official website.
Reddit’s NFT called CryptoSnoos.

The current highest bid for Original Block is $3,959.82, for Helium it’s $1,979.91, and for Snooprematic, it’s $1,394.07.

Once purchased, buyers will get access to a URL that will take them to a webpage dedicated to their NFTs.

NFTs are unique digital assets secured on a blockchain. Each NFT has its own signature, which can be verified in the public ledger and cannot be duplicated.

NFTs have soared in popularity in 2021. Artwork, tweets, and news columns turned into digital art have fetched millions of dollars at auction.

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Luxury auction house Sotheby’s is accepting cryptocurrencies as payment for a $15 million diamond

Sotheby's luxury auction house
Sothebys auctioneers in the prestigious New Bond Street

Sotheby’s, one of the biggest luxury auction houses in the world, has said it will accept bitcoin and ether in payment for a rare 101-carat diamond with an estimated value of $10 million to $15 million when it is auctioned next month.

The pear-shaped diamond, named “The Key 10138”, weighs 101.38 carats, has been classified as flawless and highly chemically pure, making it extremely rare, Sotheby’s said. It is set to be sold in Hong Kong on July 9, and is expected to bring in between 78 million and 118 million Hong Kong dollars.

The auction house said it will accept bids in bitcoin and ether for the diamond, and it will take offers at the live sale or ahead of it.

“The Key 10138 is the first important diamond in the world to be auctioned with cryptocurrency as an accepted method of payment. It was named to symbolize the unlocking of a new era in commerce and technology, and thus is a key to history,” Sotheby’s said in auction details posted online.

The company has previously been open to cryptocurrency as payment, in the sale of a Banksy artwork in May and in the auction of a “CryptoPunk” non-fungible token, or NFT, earlier in June. One of a series of CryptoPunk characters, the “Covid Alien” sold for $11.8 million.

Cryptocurrencies have emerged as a factor in auction sales this year after crypto-hype exploded in the last 18 months. Items so far have mostly been limited to artwork or digital collectibles like NFTs, and the auction of a diamond marks a milestone for acceptance of digital currencies. Sotheby’s itself described the sale as “a significant moment in the evolution of the market” in a tweet on Monday.

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The bidding to blast into space with Jeff Bezos on a Blue Origin rocket will start at $4.8 million

Jeff Bezos is seen speaking beside a photo of Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket lifting off.
Jeff Bezos (left) is set to launch aboard the New Shepard rocket (right) on July 20.

  • Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is auctioning a seat on its New Shepard space flight on July 20.
  • The live auction will take place on Saturday, and pre-auction bidding has closed at $4.8 million.
  • Bezos will be on the flight alongside the auction winner.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Bidding for a seat alongside Jeff Bezos onboard New Shepard, the Blue Origin rocket due to blast off on July 20, has officially closed ahead of a live auction on Saturday.

The highest bid at the closing of registration on Thursday was $4.8 million, according to Blue Origin’s website. The live auction will take place on Saturday, June 12, at 12:45 p.m. EDT.

Jeff Bezos, who owns Blue Origin, announced on Monday he would be on the first human flight of New Shepard along with his brother. Pre-auction bidding has been open since May, and before Bezos’ announcement the highest bid was $2.8 million.

Read more: An ex-engineer from Jeff Bezos’ space company has raised $650 million for his rocket-printing startup above a $4 billion valuation

The flight will last just 11 minutes, taking the passengers to the edge of space. Bezos and the other passengers will be weightless and able to float about the cabin for roughly three minutes, as reported by Insider’s Morgan McFall-Johnsen.

New Shepard can carry six people, but so far only Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, and the auction winner have been confirmed as passengers.

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A collection of rare wines up to 100 years old is expected to sell at auction for $10 million

champagne
877 bottles of vintage champagne dating back from 1911 to 1943 are being auctioned off by Acker wine auction house CNBC reported.

  • 877 bottles of wine dating back from 1911 to 1943 are being auctioned off this week.
  • CNBC reported that the collection of vintage wines are expected to sell for $10 million
  • In 2020, champagne sales declined 18% due to restrictions on indoor dining at bars and restaurants.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

If you have a taste for 100-year-old champagne – and a bit of cash to spare – you may be in luck.

877 bottles of champagne and burgundy wine with vintages dating between 1911 and 1943 are being auctioned by Acker, the largest wine auction house in the world, on Wednesday and Thursday, CNBC first reported.

There are more than 900 separate lots of the rare bubbly being sold, which is expected to sell for a whopping $10 million. The variations of champagne include “323 magnums, 10 Jeroboams, two Methuselahs and 30 half-bottles,” CNBC reported.

In total, the collection could go for over $10 million.

With there being strict lockdowns and less opportunity for indoor dining at restaurants and bars during the pandemic, champagne sales declined nearly 18% in 2020, Insider previously reported.

“The bottles offered in this sale are truly the cream of this collection,” Acker Chairman, John Kapon, told CNBC. “To offer such depth and breadth of Salon, Krug, Bollinger, Louis Roederer, Pol Roger and Pommery back to the 1920s, and Moet & Chandon back to the 1910s, is truly a rare privilege for myself as an auctioneer.”

The auctioneer told CNBC that there was “a significant effort” put into the vetting of the 100-year-old collection of wines. Kapon said, “any bottles deemed to have suboptimal color or conditions were removed.”

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A rare NASA camera lens created by Zeiss is going up for auction in Austria, while a Leica prototype by Apple’s Jony Ive has been pulled from the sale

Close up Carl Zeiss Planer 50mm 07 aperature lens
Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm lens with an aperture of f/0.7.

  • A rare Ziess lens designed for NASA’s Apollo moon missions will go up for auction in Vienna.
  • Germany lens maker Ziess produced 10 of the Zeiss Planar 50mm f/0.7 lenses, selling most to NASA.
  • The lens is expected to sell for between €100,000 and €120,000 in next weekend’s auction.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

When one of the rarest photo lenses in the world goes up for auction next weekend in Vienna, Austria, it’s expected to fetch between €100,000 and €120,000.

The lens, a Zeiss Planar 50mm f/0.7, was designed by the German lens-maker in 1966 for NASA. The agency needed a lens capable of capturing light in the darkest circumstances, perfect for pictures of the moon during its Apollo Missions. Only 10 of the lenses were manufactured. NASA bought six of them.

“This is one of these ten lenses that Zeiss made at that time,” said Andreas Schweiger, of Leitz Photographica Auction, which is running the auction. “Most probably, this is one of the lenses delivered to NASA.”

Schweiger spoke to Insider last week via Zoom from his office in Vienna, where his team’s readying for a live auction at the city’s Hotel Bristol, scheduled for June 12.

For the last few weeks, boxes containing historic and rare camera equipment have been arriving at the auction company’s doorstep. Most came from private collectors.

“They get their camera as a gift from their grandparents, for example, or they find maybe a camera in the attic,” Schweiger said. “When they don’t know what to do, they look up on the internet and hopefully they find us.”

Rolleiflex Cameras owned by US Photographer Walker Evans
Rolleiflex cameras owned by Walker Evans.

Among the rarities that will go on the auction block are a “Luxus” model gold-plated Leica that’s wrapped in lizard skin (starting bid €100,000), a Leica MP2 with Electric Motor (starting bid €150,000), and a 1924 Leica owned by Ernst Leitz II, who manufactured the first Leica cameras (starting bid €40,000).

There will be a trio of Rolleiflex cameras owned by American photographer Walker Evans (starting bid €20,000), and a pair of Leicas (starting bid €6,000) owned by Felice Quinto, an early Italian paporazzo.

A Jony Ive Leica Prototype

There will, however, be one missing item.

A prototype of a Leica camera designed by Apple’s Jony Ive and British designer Marc Newson was expected to be among the most-watched items on sale. The camera was on the auction catalog’s cover. It was one of a kind.

Leica Jony Ive Prototype Austria Auction
A Leica prototype designed by Jony Ive and Marc Newson.

Schweiger said the seller decided at the last minute to pull the camera. It would have had a starting bid of €150,000, with a final sale expected from €200,000 to €250,000.

It was a test model for the only completed Leica camera by the designers, which went up for sale in a 2013 charity auction. It sold for $1.8 million.

Schweiger wouldn’t say more about the prototype’s owner, or why the item had been pulled from the sale. Michal Kosakowski, Leitz Photographica Auction’s product specialist, who was also on the Zoom call, said that the owner was in the US.

Ahead of the auction

Most of the difficult work of putting together the catalog and auction was done by the time Schweiger and Kosakowski spoke with Insider.

They’d unpacked all the boxes. Kosakowski’s team had checked that the cameras and lenses were mostly in working order. Sometimes they’d run a roll of film through the camera, but most of their work was done using machines. Then they’d photographed each item for their website.

The rare Zeiss lens was designed by a team led by Dr. Erhard Glatzel, who would later be given the Apollo Achievement Award, said Silke Schmid, head of the Zeiss Museum of Optics in Germany.

Zeiss Planar 0.7/50 on a Nikon Camera Body.
The Zeiss Planar 50mm f/0.7 on a modified Nikon F body.

“In the 1960s, he was one of the leading scientists and managers in the lens design department at Zeiss in Oberkochen, Germany,” Schmid told Insider last week. “His creations were world-renowned, including the Zeiss Hologon and the Zeiss Planar 0.7/50.”

The lenses were so effective at gathering light that NASA had planned to use them to photograph the far side of the moon. (Insider reached out to NASA for confirmation.) Of the 10 produced, three went to director Stanley Kubrick, who needed them to shoot candlelit scenes for “Barry Lyndon,” Schmid said.

“Kubrick located three 50mm f/0.7 Ziess still-camera lenses, which were left over from a batch made for NASA,” said cinematographer John Alcott, who worked with Kubrick, according to “The Stanley Kubrick Archives.”

That marked “the first time in film history that it was possible to shoot without using artificial light,” Schmid said.

Schweiger said he was eager to watch the bidding begin. As the auctioneers spoke to Insider, some of the early online bidding ahead of the live auction had already begun. The Zeiss Planar had two bids, raising the price to €55,000, but that was still only half its expected selling price.

“So we see bids coming in and so on, and we get a little bit of the feeling how the lots are treated, how interesting are the lots for our customers,” Schweiger said. “So, it’s both stressful and exciting.”

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Christie’s auctioned a set of 9 CryptoPunk NFTs for almost $17 million – almost double their expected value

Agents at a Christie's auction
Agents at a Christie’s auction

Christie’s auctioned a set of nine CryptoPunk NTFs for almost $17 million late on Tuesday at their 21st Century sale held in New York. When the auction house announced the sale, it expected the CryptoPunks to sell for between $7 million and $9 million.

The realized price of the CryptoPunk NFT set was $16,962,500, the second highest sale of the night. They exceeded artworks by more traditionally popular artists like Banksy, Gerhard Richter and Damien Hirst.

CryptoPunks, which were created by the software company Larva Labs in 2017, are a series of 10,000 virtual characters in 8-bit 24×24 pixel format that were inspired by London’s punk scene. Larva Labs launched them in 2017, making them some of the first NFTs and leaders of the crypto art scene.

The CryptoPunks were offered to the public for free at the time, but creators Matt Hall and John Watkinson kept 1,000 NFTs for themselves. The set of characters auctioned by Christie’s was part of their private collection.

“Taken together, the set represents both the rarest possible CryptoPunks and highlights from the variety of attributes that are the signature of the project.”, Hall and Watkinson said when the Christie’s auction was announced.

Rare CryptoPunks have sold for over $7.5 million per character. Based on CoinMarketCap data, the full set of 10,000 CryptoPunk NFTs is worth almost $325 million. 9,250 sales have been made over the past year at an average price of $80,259.09.

Alongside the sale, Christie’s and Larva Labs collaborated with non-profit organisation SaveArtSpace, which creates art exhibitions in urban spaces. 193 CryptoPunks will be shown on New York’s bus shelters, phone booths and billboards over the next month.

“By bringing these pixelated versions of our online lives to the real world, we hope to show to the world the very human side of this technological revolution.”, SaveArtSpace said in the announcement.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique digital items such as images, audio or videos that are based on blockchain technology, which also registers ownership. As is the case with CryptoPunks, NFTs can often be viewed by anyone online – but only one person can own them.

The sale comes at a time where the NFT and especially art NFT markets appeared to be cooling off. In April, the sales volume and prices for art NFTs had dropped by over 40% and talks about NFTs being in a bubble have been rife.

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A pair of shoes Kanye West wore at the Grammys in 2008 just broke the record for the most valuable sneaker sale ever

Yeezy prototype
  • Sneakers worn by Kanye West shattered the record for the most expensive shoes ever sold.
  • The Yeezy prototypes West wore at the 2008 Grammys were sold to RARES, a sneaker-investment platform.
  • The shoes went for $1.8 million, more than triple the previous record for a recorded shoe sale.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In 2008, Kanye West wore high-top black Nike Air Yeezy 1 prototypes on stage at the Grammy Awards, where he performed “Stronger” and “Hey Mama.” Now, those same sneakers have sold for $1.8 million to RARES, a sneaker-investing platform. The shoes are the prototype of West’s Yeezy line, and they’re the most expensive sneaker sale ever recorded.

The pair of Yeezy sneakers was the first recorded shoe sale to top $1 million, according to New York-based auction house Sotheby’s. The sneakers were the first-ever shoe in West’s Yeezy line, which, in the years since, has contributed to West’s becoming a billionaire and a major player in sneaker and streetwear culture.

Ryan Chang, who listed the shoes at Sotheby’s and collects and curates streetwear under the handle of @applied.arts.nyc, worked with Sotheby’s on the sale to RARES.

RARES will launch sales of shares of the sneakers on June 16, according to the platform’s website, which entreats users to “own a piece of the world’s most valuable shoe.”

RARES said that users can “reserve a spot” to buy shares of the valuable sneakers. Users create an account and are notified when shares of the shoe open up for sale. RARES sells these and other sneakers as SEC-approved investments and allows for collective ownership of the shoes.

Shares of shoes sold on the platform usually run between $15 and $25, according to the company. Gerome Sapp, the CEO of RARES, said in a press release that acquiring the Yeezys worn by West would allow “millions of individuals the ability to now invest in the culture.”

The Yeezy prototypes dethroned another Nike Air model for the title of most expensive sneakers sold at auction – the Nike Air Jordan 1s signed and worn during a game by basketball star Michael Jordan. They sold in May of 2020 at Sotheby’s for $560,000.

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