Times Square NYE party in Decentraland

Decentralized Metaverse project Decentraland will unveil the virtual reality version of the iconic Times Square via a New Years Eve party that coincides with the timing of the real life celebration in New York city.

The event is called the “MetaFest 2022 NYE Party” and will run until 8:00 am UTC on Jan. 1 in Decentraland’s Estate 4 district. It will feature live music, rooftop VIP lounges, a new tokenized collectibles and wearables drop, live feeds of real world NYE events across the globe, CryptoArt galleries and games.

The virtual reality equivalent of the famous spot at the heart of New York is called “One Times Square,”, with the “one time” pun suggesting that the structure may be dissolved after the party concludes.

“Let’s party like it’s 2022: for Meta or for Worse” Decentraland punned in the event invite. Only around 150 people have registered their attendance so far, but you know how it is with parties — first you worry no one’s coming and then everybody shows up at once..

Surging interest for Mutant Apes

Yuga Labs’ Bored Ape Yacht Club spinoff project the Mutant Ape Yacht Club has risen to the top of the secondary sales volume charts.

According to data from CryptoSlam, interest in the Mutant Ape Yacht club NFTs have surged 355.29% over the past 30 days, generating $76.8 million worth of sales on secondary markets.

The NFTs depict Mutant versions of the widely popular Bored Ape avatars, and it is currently the top ranked project in terms of 24 hour and 7 day volume.

The recent trend appears to be part of a larger demand of Yuga Lab’s NFTs, as the seven-day secondary volume for its other projects such as the Bored Ape Kennel Club and the Bored Ape Chemistry Club have also increased by 915% and 345% respectively.

While Yuga Lab’s NFT projects all sit in the top 10 of seven day sales volume, the biggest surge in demand appears to be for the Solana-based Crypto Astronauts NFTs, with secondary sales volume increasing by a whopping 172,235% within that time frame.

Taking NFTs to the bank?

Crypto-friendly Swedish bank Mecro Bank has outlined plans to enter the NFT and Metaverse sector.

The bank offers services across Europe and is currently working on a pilot project to launch a digital asset custody service in the future.

According to a Dec. 29 announcement, Mecro Bank aims to launch its own NFT collectibles as a new way to “make money,” and it is currently working on strategies to roll out a virtual banking experience across Metaverse-based virtual worlds.

The firm cited the importance of integrating its services with emerging technologies and trends to meet the growing demand of users.

“[The] Metaverse has been tipped to grow in importance as a digital financial platform for banking and financial transactions, as well as personal and business interactions. In order to make this new environment as immersive and realistic as possible, managing finances and transactions effectively will be critical,” the announcement read.

Related: Leading toymakers launch NFTs on carbon-neutral blockchain

Cipher Punks NFT drop causes a stir

An unlicensed NFT project dubbed “Cipher Punks” depicting key figures from the Cypherpunk movement has been shut down after pushback from people featured in the tokenized artworks.

The team behind the project, ItsBlockchain revealed in a Dec. 29 blog post that it was shutting down the collection of 500 NFTs just three days after launch, citing feedback from Cypherpunks who “didn’t like the idea of their images being used as NFTs and digital drawings.”

Figures such as Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) speech activist and director Jillian York, noted on Twitter on Dec. 27 that they “don’t approve of this whatsoever” and asked the team to remove the NFT and digital artwork depicting them.

The ItsBlockchain team said that it will be refunding every “single penny” anyone spent on the project, including gas fees and it has completely wiped the project off the internet, with its social media pages and OpenSea accounts no longer accessible.

“We were not aware of the likeness laws in NFTs as the market is not regulated. It’s our mistake. We have to own up to it,” the blog post read.

Other Nifty News

Kraken co-founder and CEO Jesse Powell revealed last week that the crypto exchange will launch a nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace that will enable users to borrow funds against their NFTs.

Italian luxury sports car manufacturer Ferrari is making moves in the blockchain industry after it penned a partnership with Swiss blockchain startup Velas Network. The deal will potentially see the with rollout of licensed Ferrari NFTs, as the start up firm has a specific focus on the sector.