2021 was an exciting year for cryptocurrency, with many well-known – and some unexpected – brands entering the crypto sector. Here’s looking at you, Charmin, and the Non-Fungible Toilet Paper Tokens (NFTs). The year saw its fair share of moments when crypto enthusiasts were on the edge of their seats.
While many people have continued to generally talk about the revolutionary power of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, it appears that 2021 was the year when ideas underlying these technologies captured mainstream consciousness. From NFTs to Web3, there has never been more interest expressed by traditional players regarding this rapidly expanding ecosystem.
Here are some of the biggest moves that major consumer brands have taken to tackle and adopt the many crypto-focused technologies – whether it’s just buying Bitcoin (BTC) or launching an NFT pool.
Tesla is making waves by buying Bitcoin
No list of this kind would be complete without mentioning the news that has probably captured most of today’s younger – and perhaps even older – crypto investors interested in the space. In February, Elon Musk’s Tesla made a surprising announcement, revealing that it had invested a whopping $1.5 billion in Bitcoin. This was roughly 8% of Tesla’s $19 billion cash and cash equivalent reserves, the amount it holds according to a 2020 Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Once Musk began his foray into the cryptocurrency world, the value of Bitcoin skyrocketed – from $38,000 to over $57,000 in about two weeks. Not only that, but over the course of the year, Musk revealed to the world that he also made major acquisitions of other assets such as Ether (ETH) and Dogecoin (DOGE), although he did not reveal the exact amounts.
Dallas Mavericks begins accepting Dogecoin
Another decision that intrigued crypto investors around the world was Mark Cuban’s move in March to allow fans of his NBA franchise, the Dallas Mavericks, to purchase tickets and other licensed merchandise using Dogecoin, the popular cryptocurrency. And while the move came as a surprise to some, for those who follow the crypto market closely, the decision was entirely in line with Cuba’s overall vision for the emerging altcoin sector.
Throughout 2021, Cuban repeatedly referred to himself as the “Ethereum maxi,” claiming that the rapidly expanding blockchain ecosystem could easily be one of the biggest tech revolutions of the 21st century. He also publicly praised Dogecoin as a better medium of trading than Bitcoin.
Nike Enters Metaverse
In December, sportswear maker Nike made its cryptocurrency debut by revealing its acquisition of virtual sneakers and collectibles brand RTFKT. As a result of the partnership, Nike officially became the largest manufacturer of sporting goods within the United States and one of the first big-name apparel brands to enter the burgeoning Metaverse ecosystem.
Nike CEO John Donahoe said the company will be able to “serve athletes and innovators at the intersection of sports, creativity, gaming and culture” and “expand Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities.”
Adidas refuses to be left behind
Around the same time as the aforementioned Nike movement, Adidas announced it was entering the Metaverse in collaboration with a number of high-profile NFT projects, including Bored Ape Yacht Club, Gmoney and Punks Comic.
The first project featured pieces from the Bored Ape NFT family that were reimagined to feature the iconic adidas tracksuit. Meanwhile, Gmoney’s tokens are designed to capitalize on the influence of a prominent NFT supporter, which was recently featured in the Fortune NFTy 50.
Adidas’ Punks Comic NFTs sought to bring together the realm of immovable tokens and physical comic books to create a new offering of so-called crypto comics.
Clinique launches NFT-based customer loyalty program
Estée Lauder Clinique-owned cosmetics brand released a selection of NFTs last year to help increase the effectiveness of its existing customer loyalty system as well as add more marketing weight to its existing line of products.
The iconic beauty brand has allowed customers to sign up for its rewards program to get these collectibles simply by sharing “optimistic stories” via Instagram, TikTok and Twitter after a big purchase.
Coca-Cola’s New NFT Program
Last year, Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most famous brands, launched a special NFT program to raise funds for the International Special Olympics.
As part of the philanthropic effort, the OpenSea digital collectible marketplace hosted Coca-Cola’s NFTs auction over three days from July 30 to August 1. NFT sets are co-designed with famous digital artist and designer Tafi.
Sotheby’s luxury auction house accepts cryptocurrency
Sotheby’s, one of the world’s most popular auction houses, announced on May 4 that it will bid on Bitcoin and Ether (in addition to traditional bids) for Banksy’s famous “Love Is In The Air” as part of its “Contemporary Art Sale.” ‘, making it the first major auction house to accept digital currencies for physical art pieces.
Earlier, in April, Sotheby’s released an NFT collection called “The Fungible” created by digital artist Buck. Both collectibles were sold via the NFT Nifty Gateway platform.
Asics capitalizes on the global NFT obsession
July saw the leading sportswear brand Asics release its first collection of NFT, “Sunrise Red” to the masses. A total of 189 collectibles covering a total of nine different Asics digital footwear products – including some of the company’s most popular styles, such as Gel-Lyte III, Gel-Quantum 360 and Metaracer – have been made available to interested customers.
The company revealed that auction proceeds will be injected directly into the Metaverse through the Digital Goods Artist-in-Residence Program, which has helped facilitate various collaborations between the company and a number of established and emerging digital artists to design the next wave. from NFTs.