NFTs in SA

NFTs have come a long way since the unprecedented hype-machine that was 2021. This was the year we saw the mainstream turn its full attention to tokens. For many of us, 2021 was also the first time we ever encountered NFTs. Needless to say, those three letters have come to typify much of our interactions in the digital world, whether we would like to admit or not. 

However, there seems to be a discrepancy in NFT news in general. Most of it is skewed towards developments in the USA and other global superpowers — which arguably might be the hub of the cryptoverse, or at least the loudest minority. It makes one wonder if there is in fact anything happening in the NFT space outside of the US sphere. The answer, of course, is that over these last few years there have been interesting things happening, especially locally in South Africa.

While South Africa is not exactly making major waves in the global NFT space, there have been some attention-worthy developments since the initial boom. A first of its kind, the WorldArt Gallery in Cape Town held South Africa’s first NFT auction on 16 April 2021. The drop featured the work of Cape Town artist Norman O’Flynn. Aside from owning the NFT, the highest bidder also received the original painting. Currently the NFT sits on the OpenSea marketplace and is worth an estimated 1.5 Ether (roughly $1981 or R36044 at the time of writing).

NFTs are used for more than just art, something Strauss & Co. demonstrated with their NFT fine wine auction in April 2022. Partnering with South Africa’s finest wine producers, Strauss & Co. took vintage wine to the blockchain. Each bottle in the auction was minted as an NFT, allowing for trading on the secondary market. The digital contract contained information pointing to each bottle’s aging, maturity and provenance. Interestingly, the NFT can be burned when the stock is withdrawn. Strauss & Co. represent the first South African example of luxury items represented on the blockchain. 

SA’s first digital marketplace, Momint, went live mid-2021. Momint combines the functionality of an NFT marketplace with the mechanics of a social media platform. Momint encourages users to share native “Momints” which can be sold and resold to other users on the platform, as well as on other NFT marketplaces. Momint accepts payment in fiat currency as well as in crypto such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. A notable recent sale was the auction of a Bryan Habana NFT artwork that sold for an estimated R150,000.

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NFTs have come a long way since the unprecedented hype-machine that was 2021. This was the year we saw the mainstream turn its full attention to tokens. For many of us, 2021 was also the first time we ever encountered NFTs. Needless to say, those three letters have come to typify much of our interactions in the digital world, whether we would like to admit or not. 

However, there seems to be a discrepancy in NFT news in general. Most of it is skewed towards developments in the USA and other global superpowers — which arguably might be the hub of the cryptoverse, or at least the loudest minority. It makes one wonder if there is in fact anything happening in the NFT space outside of the US sphere. The answer, of course, is that over these last few years there have been interesting things happening, especially locally in South Africa.

While South Africa is not exactly making major waves in the global NFT space, there have been some attention-worthy developments since the initial boom. A first of its kind, the WorldArt Gallery in Cape Town held South Africa’s first NFT auction on 16 April 2021. The drop featured the work of Cape Town artist Norman O’Flynn. Aside from owning the NFT, the highest bidder also received the original painting. Currently the NFT sits on the OpenSea marketplace and is worth an estimated 1.5 Ether (roughly $1981 or R36044 at the time of writing).

NFTs are used for more than just art, something Strauss & Co. demonstrated with their NFT fine wine auction in April 2022. Partnering with South Africa’s finest wine producers, Strauss & Co. took vintage wine to the blockchain. Each bottle in the auction was minted as an NFT, allowing for trading on the secondary market. The digital contract contained information pointing to each bottle’s aging, maturity and provenance. Interestingly, the NFT can be burned when the stock is withdrawn. Strauss & Co. represent the first South African example of luxury items represented on the blockchain. 

SA’s first digital marketplace, Momint, went live mid-2021. Momint combines the functionality of an NFT marketplace with the mechanics of a social media platform. Momint encourages users to share native “Momints” which can be sold and resold to other users on the platform, as well as on other NFT marketplaces. Momint accepts payment in fiat currency as well as in crypto such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. A notable recent sale was the auction of a Bryan Habana NFT artwork that sold for an estimated R150,000.

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