It always causes a buzz when a celebrity decides to buy some crypto assets. But this might be the understatement of the year, judging by the explosion of emotions after singer Justin Bieber was reported to have bought a particularly notorious NFT.
Ape, Ape, Hurray?
It all started when several large crypto social media accounts definitively claimed that Bieber had bought a Bored Ape NFT [#3001, to be specific] for a jaw-dropping 500 ETH, or well over $1 million at press time. It’s worth noting that the ape in question was a tearful brown primate in a black shirt, set against a blue-gray background.
— Watcher.Guru (@WatcherGuru) January 29, 2022
Soon, large news companies began to follow with similar reports. Bieber’s global audience expressed everything from admiration to disgust. However, the musician himself didn’t comment on the alleged purchase – or change his Twitter profile picture to make the official announcement.
Next came doubt and skepticism. A self-styled crypto investigator on Twitter who went by the name ‘$NOCOIN enthusiast’ raised questions about the validity of Bieber’s purchase, and even his crypto wallet.
The only thing linking Justin Bieber to this address is its name, his avatar, and a post he made about the NFT. He’s never posted the wallet address for verification.
Given the wallet was created when the “Inbetweeners” NFT project launched, could it perhaps be managed by them? pic.twitter.com/CALDoYydVx
— $?????? ?????????? (@interlunations) January 31, 2022
Simon says, DYOR
‘$NOCOIN enthusiast’ pointed out that the wallet [Address: 0xe21dc18513e3e68a52f9fcdacfd56948d43a11c6] was thought to belong to Bieber. However, the musician has not posted the wallet address on his Twitter bio to verify that it was indeed his own.
What’s more, the evidence connecting the musician to the wallet in question – and the OpenSea collection titled ‘JustinBieberNFTS’ – was a Twitter post by Bieber where he promoted another NFT. Note that his profile picture using the same NFT was a circle, meaning it was not verified.
Naturally, this led to users wondering whether Bieber truly controlled his own wallet, or if another entity had made the Bored Ape purchase to inflate prices.
All said and done until Bieber personally confirms owning Bored Ape #3001 and verifies his wallet, news companies cannot report in full confidence that it was he who bought the NFT.
More than monkey money
The reports of Bieber’s purchase came at the end of what was an exhilarating month for OpenSea. The NFT marketplace giant ended January 2022 with a record-shattering monthly volume of close to $5 billion, looking at Ethereum alone. For comparison, December 2021 saw about $2.5 billion.
On the flip side, OpenSea has been facing complaints of art theft, plagiarism, and spam, which has significantly dented the platform’s public image, if not its balance sheet.
However, we’ve recently seen misuse of this feature increase exponentially.
Over 80% of the items created with this tool were plagiarized works, fake collections, and spam.
— OpenSea (@opensea) January 27, 2022