This week in the metaverse: Vitalik Buterin endorses NFT collection, Starbucks builds on its Web3 ambitions, and Aéropostale is giving away Teslas

March 10, 2023, 3:08 PM UTC
Vitalik Buterin gave his stamp of approval to a line of NFTs this week that skyrocketed in value.
Chet Strange—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Welcome to This Week in the Metaverse, where Fortune rounds up the most interesting news in the world of NFTs, culture, and the metaverse. Email with tips.

The shy but brilliant founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, came out of his shell this week to release a new line of NFTs, which boosted a surge in sales over the past week. The NFTs, approved by Buterin, launched on March 1, but most of the crypto world didn’t seem to notice until this week, when secondary sales took off—and the collection secured the top spot on OpenSea.

Each of the NFTs includes a digital version of a 2018 white paper in the form of an album cover signed by its co-authors, which include Buterin, a Harvard economist, and an economist and researcher from Microsoft. Buterin hand-signed 12 physical copies of the white paper that accompanied a signature edition of the NFTs.

As of Friday, the project had recorded about $13.7 million in trading volume, according to OpenSea.

Buterin wasn’t the only one bringing excitement to the NFT market this week Starbucks also created a buzz by selling out its collection of 2,000 NFT “Stamps” in less than 20 minutes, according to CoinDesk.

The coffee giant first launched a Web3 program in December, and customers were eager to get in on their first launch this week. Each $100 NFT in the collection features the iconic Siren from the Starbucks logo.

The NFT frenzy is feeding off of Starbucks’ release of its first NFT drop, the “Holiday Cheer Edition 1 Stamp” in December. The NFTs were given away for free to Starbucks customers who completed certain tasks, but were reselling as of Friday for nearly $2,000.

The price floor for the newest Starbucks Siren collection had jumped to just under $400 as of Friday.

In other news:

Clothing brand Aéropostale is entering the metaverse with a line of 30,000 NFTs called AeroPax that are set to drop on March 23. The collection, which was announced this week, will build community and give members exclusive perks, including access to limited-edition apparel and VIP promotions. In addition, 10 people will be rewarded with a Tesla for either buying one of the first 29,700 NFTs or by sending a mailed entry to the company. Aéropostale’s NFT launch is the first of four phases it’s implementing to increase its metaverse presence with the help of partner MetaversePlus. In phase two, the public will get a sneak peak of its upcoming metaverse platform AeroWorld.

Clothing company Aéropostale announced a collection of 3,000 NFTs this week as part of its efforts to enter the metaverse.
Courtesy of Aéropostale

Arianee, a Web3 consumer platform that helps authenticate products, and Sourcemap, a supply chain transparency and traceability software company, have partnered to make Breitling’s Super Chronomat Automatic 38 Origins watch end-to-end traceable by using NFTs. Arianee’s NFTs provide consumers with a digital passport of their product, which they can use to prove ownership and access services like repairs or to authenticate it before resale. Customers are also informed of the origins of the watch’s precious materials, with a provenance record on the blockchain.

Arianee teamed up with Sourcemap to make a traceable Breitling watch with the use of NFTs.
Courtesy of Arianee and Sourcemap

In celebration of Women’s History Month, NFT exchange SuperRare has teamed up with notable collection World of Women to highlight emerging female digital artists through a curated showcase called Mind the Gap: An Artistic Exploration of the Gender Gap Across Industries. The showcase will highlight the work of five women who are “addressing the complexities of gender within the art market and beyond,” according to a statement. SuperRare and World of Women will promote work from the artists online and display their pieces in IRL exhibitions in London and New York.

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