Vitalik Buterin becomes NFT, Neopets transitions into non-crypto game and more

Vitalik Buterin portrait from 2014 auctioned as NFT

An image of the Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin taken back in 2014 is being auctioned off as a nonfungible token (NFT). The portrait was taken by Canadian photographer Andrew Miller and was taken before the popular developer became famous for the blockchain network.

The NFT sale also celebrates the 10th year since Ethereum was created by sharing a portrait of the Ethereum founder that has not been sold before.

Within the image, Buterin is notably wearing formal wear — a look that the Ethereum founder does not wear regularly. The NFT listing shared the story behind the portrait and how it came to be. 

According to the listing, Miller met Buterin in Toronto before he became famous because of Ethereum. Because the photographer believed in the young founder’s vision, he wanted to do something to contribute to giving the young inventor “a stronger public image and marketability.”

However, during the photo shoot for the portrait, Buterin came with his usual get up which the listing described as “distressed casual clothing,” noting that the Ethereum founder had “no instinct for any formal photos.” Because Miller was unsatisfied with the look, he took off his own striped shirt for Buterin to wear.

Related: Vitalik Buterin shares account abstraction challenges in Ethereum: EthCC

Neopets transitions into a non-crypto game

The creators of the NFT-powered game Neopets Metaverse have recently announced some changes to their project, following a shift in leadership. According to the announcement, the team will now focus on a fresh concept dubbed “World of Neopets.” 

However, the team clarified that the game is not a crypto-based game like Neopets Metaverse. In a blog post, the team wrote:

“The decision has been made to transition away from the Neopets Metaverse game and redistribute those resources to the development of a game that we feel can better reflect our values and vision.”

According to the team, the Neopets — Genesis Collection, Neopets — Pizzaroo Collection and Neopets — Masterpiece will all still be available on the open market. The team highlighted that they will continue to support the community that embraced the collections. In addition, the team noted that the Neopets Metaverse Discord channel will remain functional. 

Despite the assurances, many community members were unhappy with the changes, with some raising questions about Neopets potentially performing a “legal form of rug pull.”

<em>Community members commenting on the changes. Source: Twitter</em>

Meanwhile, other members of the community were asking for refunds of the minting fee while some brought up the investments raised by the team that came from crypto projects. 

OpenSea delists NFT collection backed by staked ETH

NFT marketplace OpenSea has delisted a collection that consisted of NFTs that represented staked Ether (ETH) from its marketplace. According to an open letter written by Mike Silagadze, the CEO of Ethereum staking protocol, OpenSea has hit their project with a “gut punch” as NFT listings of their recently-launched NFTs disappeared from the marketplace. 

Silagadze wrote in the letter that all listings were deleted without any notice or warnings from the marketplace. New listings were also disabled and showed vague error messages. The CEO said that this went on for days before OpenSea responded that they do not allow collections that “carry out any financial activities subject to registration or licensing.”

The NFTs minted at represents the ETH that they’ve staked within the platform. According to the project, the NFTs can be used as a profile picture, and it also showcases support for Ethereum decentralization because they are backed by staked ETH.

Silagadze also highlighted in the letter that they’ve talked with OpenSea to make sure that the project was compatible with their market before they launched the project. The CEO noted that the NFT platform did not indicate any potential issues with their NFT collection.

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