Crypto Is Alive & Well At Art Basel

Art and technology were on display at Miami’s Art Basel, now in its 20th year. Over 76,000 attendees from 86 countries made their way to the city to enjoy galleries, music, parties, and people.

While many crypto and Web3 fans remained steadfast in pushing the industry forward, there was also acknowledgement of the FTX fiasco, where the exchange collapsed. Oodles of memorabilia and gear bearing its name was shredded and discarded, as reported by Bloomberg.

That said, looks like Goldman Sachs is planning to fork out tens of millions of dollars to support cryptocurrency companies in the wake of things.

FTX is an example of why many critics groan about the industry, which is that it is based on misleading information and intent in order to churn “get rich” schemes that end up being heavy on the scam and light on the legit.

Nonetheless, the Web3 circles continued to buzz at Art Basel, with activations and collaborations popping up all week. Many of the happenings were tokenized, meaning your NFT holder access permitted you in.

Here’s what went down.

On December 1, RTFKT introduced its first luxury brand collaboration with RIMOWA. Housed at the RIMOWA District Store, the event also saw the first-ever panel between RTFKT co-founders Chris Le and Steven Valisev, as well as Mathieu Plenier, the global head of collaborations at RIMOWA.

A DJ set by Gonnie Garko came with signature cocktails from BODY, Ten to One, and Rosaluna. Plus, artist Santiago Rubino, originally from Argentina, partnered with RIMOWA to create a special custom art piece to reflect the RTFKT x RIMOWA collab’. The party then went oceanside at the SoHo Beach House tent and featured performers Berrakka, Helado Negro, and Ape Drums.

The Gateway, a Web3 Metropolis, stood tall with its activations with Christie’s, Porsche, Meta, FazeClan, and Clone X prominently shown. The fun was had across 12 buildings in the downtown core and featured events with Gary Vaynerchuk and Rug Radio.

The Center for Visual Communication in Wynwood played host to Argentina-based collective Sublimart and its Sublime Machine. The Web3 company is co-founded by Sebastian R. Wain, Ariel Futoransky, and Natamia R. Janna. The group presented their device, which takes physical artwork and uses 5D scanning to create a digital map of it. After this pattern has been determined, the original artwork is replaced with a traced NFT “minted” on the blockchain, and guests got to see this happen in real-time while wearing VR headsets.

The founders claim this NFT-based technology will “allow artists and collectors to preserve works of art indefinitely in digital form, simply and without loss of information.” The big play is the tracing back to the original work, which they say is done down “to every brushstroke and minutiae detail.”

Porsche announced its first set of non-fungible tokens as part of its efforts within the metaverse and supply chain, with “vehicle and sustainability issues” also being considered, according to a press release.

The German car manufacturer announced the upcoming NFT collection will launch in January 2023 and include 7500 custom art pieces focused on Porsche’s white 911 car model. Hamburg-based 3D artist Patrick Vogel has been tapped to create the magic. Buyers will also have an opportunity to customize.
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To date, Porsche has partnered with UP.Labs and nftnow; auctioned an NFT through the SuperRare marketplace; launched FanZone for peeps wishing to trade digital cards, and Porsche Digital continues to expand its offerings through Forward31.

Oakland-based Model No. joined forces with up-and-coming designers Lauryn Menard and Baillie Mishler (PROWL Studio), artist Mike Han, and motion designer Natalie Liu for a nature-inspired collection made from salvaged ash tree and sawdust. The process was captured during milling and fabrication, directing more attention to raw materials, the environment, and the innovative technology weaving it together. Pieces will be on sale at the Solana Embassy in the Wynwood District until December 13.

There was even a wedding that incorporated some NFT nuptials. The Scope Art Show welcomed the happy couple who had their wedding minted; their vows, marriage license, and wedding photos were all placed on the Flow blockchain with Dapper Labs support.

TIMEX partnered with Bored Ape Yacht Club to give out custom physical watches ($2,500) with accompanying NFTs.

Prada hosted the “Prada Extends” event with Richie Hawtin (aka Plastikman) at the Faena Forum. This is the third installment of the invite-only music binding and tech event.

TIME president Keith Grossman announced he is leaving his post to assume the president role at Moonpay, a crypto payments startup.

While the crypto winter and general skepticism continues, Web3 creators made sure to stay positive and unite over their initiatives — and seemingly partied just fine.