The $11M NFT Auction and Snoop Dogg’s Evolving Collection

Rapper Snoop Dogg's new NFTs will change as he tours this summer, while Sotheby’s concluded a successful second 3AC NFT auction.

AccessTimeIconJun 16, 2023 at 4:06 p.m. UTC
Updated Jun 16, 2023 at 4:35 p.m. UTC

This week, Sotheby’s held a live auction of NFTs from its “Grails” collection, made up of high-value NFTs seized from bankrupt crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital. The sale featured hotly-anticipated works like Dmitri Cherniak’s “The Goose” and brought in almost $11 million.

Meanwhile, Snoop Dogg released a dynamic NFT collection tied to his upcoming music tour while the ApeCoin community debated whether it made sense to pay each of its Special Council members $20,833 a month.

You’re reading The Airdrop, our weekly newsletter where we discuss the biggest stories across Web3. Sign up here to get it in your inbox every Friday.

This Week's Alpha

Wild Goose chase: Auction house Sotheby's concluded a spirited live auction of NFT artwork seized from bankrupt crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC), this time bringing in over $10.9 million in sales. Dozens attended the live auction that took place in New York and included pieces from the "Grails" collection. In total, there were 37 works from generative artists like Dmitri Cherniak, Tyler Hobbs, Snowfro and more.

  • High stakes: Several high-value NFTs were up for auction, leading to lively bidding wars that often far outpaced Sotheby’s estimates. For example, Dmitri Cherniak's Ringers #879 (often referred to as "The Goose" for its resemblance to the bird), was estimated to sell for $2-3 million, ultimately sold for $6.2 million. Tyler Hobbs' Fidenza #479, which was estimated to sell for $120,000-$180,000 sold for $622,300.
  • High spirits: The auction comes at a time of slower movement in the NFT market and smaller-figured sales of blue-chip NFTs compared to the height of the NFT boom. The impressive sales figures suggest that collectors still have an appetite for high-end digital collectibles.

Dogg days of summer: Rapper Snoop Dogg has launched a new NFT collectible series that will evolve in utility as he goes on tour this summer. The Snoop Dogg Passport Series will grant NFT holders access to behind-the-scenes content, exclusive merch, art and experiences from the music icon. Each NFT is available for purchase for about $42 or 0.025 ETH.

  • Evolution revolution: Dynamic NFTs have exploded in popularity in recent months, allowing digital assets to change over time and providing continuous and novel use cases for holders. Adidas, Jack Butcher, Mason Rothschild and others have all recently released dynamic NFT projects. We did a deep dive into these “living NFTs,” which you can read up on here.

Going bananas: Holders of ApeCoin – the native currency of the Bored Ape Yacht Club ecosystem that launched in March 2022 – were locked in a debate on Twitter this week over the six-figure salaries awarded to members of the ApeCoin DAO Special Council. The Ape Foundation facilitates the governance process of the ApeCoin DAO, which pay each member of its Special Council a monthly salary of $20,833.

  • "Complete joke": One user tweeted called the pay a “joke” and questioned the value of the Special Council. Another tweeted that it was a “slap in the face” to holders of ApeCoin.
  • "Good work ain’t cheap": Special Council member Yat Siu responded to the backlash, saying that “you get what you pay for.” Another agreed that they were receiving fair compensation.
  • Future plans: Voting is open for ApeCoin holders to nominate new members of the Special Council and Steward positions, beginning in July. Members are simultaneously discussing a re-evaluation of the salary structures.

Artist Spotlight

Dmitri Cherniak's Ringers #879 "The Goose" (Sotheby's)
Dmitri Cherniak's Ringers #879 "The Goose" (Sotheby's)

What: Generative artist Dmitri Cherniak has been experimenting with crypto since 2014, but he gained widespread popularity in 2021 with the release of his breakthrough NFT project “Ringers” through the Art Blocks platform. Born in Canada and living in New York, Cherniak was trained in computer science and uses custom software to create visual art with high-quality prints to accompany his NFTs. According to Sotheby’s, his work “has had an enormous impact on the field and its acceptance by the larger art world.”

Why: If you’ve been on crypto Twitter recently, you’ve probably seen Cherniak’s Ringers #879 splattered on your homepage and turned into memes - even Beeple got in on the action. Why though? Well, the NFT has been cemented into the NFT culture as an example of the limitless creative boundaries of NFT artwork. The NFT, created at random using code created by Cherniak, bears an uncanny resemblance to a goose, lending to its nickname and mass appeal. As collector 6529, who purchased the NFT on Thursday for $6.2 million explained: "On-chain long form generative art is an act of faith by the artist and the minter. Once the algorithm is committed to the blockchain, nobody knows what outputs it will produce … The Goose has had a historic journey so far through key moments in NFT history and I suspect its journey has just begun."

In Other News

On par: American Express teamed up with fashion site Hypebeast and golf brand Metalwood Studio to offer co-branded merchandise that can be accessed through POAP (Proof of Attendance Protocol) NFTs.

Time for Trump prizes: Despite becoming the first U.S. president to be charged with federal crimes, Trump Digital Trading Cards sent an email blast letting sweepstakes winners know it was time to burn their NFTs for prizes… like meeting the former president.

PROOF of concept: NFT collective PROOF is launching an IRL art gallery in Downtown Los Angeles.

Behind the lens: Lens Protocol, a decentralized social media platform from decentralized finance (DeFi) lending giant Aave, has introduced a new open governance mode.

Non-Fungible Toolkit

There’s no doubt that AI music tools can place new forms of expression at an artist’s fingertips. Using AI can also enhance and speed up music production, bringing ambitious concepts to life in a matter of clicks. A number of crypto-native musicians and platforms have already found creative ways to integrate AI tools into their practice. Here are some of the ways AI is transforming music creation in Web3.

Edited by Toby Leah Bochan.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Rosie Perper

Rosie Perper was the Deputy Managing Editor for Web3 and Learn, focusing on the metaverse, NFTs, DAOs and emerging technology like VR/AR. She has previously worked across breaking news, global finance, tech, culture and business. She holds a small amount of BTC and ETH and several NFTs. Subscribe to her weekly newsletter, The Airdrop.