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Each tungsten cube NFT is said to be supported by a physical tungsten cube.
A week ago, as Crypto Twitter awaited the arrival of Bitcoin futures ETFs and the breaking of price records, Bitcoiners focused on cubes of tungsten, the dense metal used for light bulb filaments and paper weights, prompting suppliers of the metal to sell out.
Tungsten isn’t the only metal in short supply these days; tungsten NFTs are selling like hotcakes. Coin Center has been the primary beneficiary, aside from tungsten enthusiasts. Tungsten Cube NFT, which has earned 484 SOL (now worth $96,000) from the sale of moving digital images of the cube, announced that the royalties from its first trading day would be donated to the crypto think tank.
The crypto think tank’s head of communications, Neeraj Agrawal, confirmed the donation to Decrypt. He claims it is the strangest donation Coin Center has ever received: “Now I have to explain how we made tungsten cubes a crypto meme, then there was an NFT backed by tungsten cubes that became hotly traded,” he said. “It makes no sense to anyone who doesn’t pay attention to this stuff.”
For those who haven’t logged on to Twitter of late, the cubes became a meme after an idle tweet by Nic Carter of Coin Metrics, who was amused by the existence of tungsten cubes.
“All the reviews are just like ‘yep, it’s heavy. does what it says on the tin,'” he tweeted.
That observation led to several crypto luminaries buying the item from Amazon, and causing supplier Midwest Tungsten to sell out within hours. As more crypto holders started joking about the utility of the cubes, it morphed into a meme and, quickly thereafter, actual NFT depictions.
In the ensuing days, Midwest Tungsten got in on the joke by accepting Bitcoin sales. Since October 19, when that payment option went live, a full 20% of all tungsten cube sales have been in BTC.
What’s more, Midwest Tungsten created its own NFT—backed by a physical cube—which it is auctioning off on OpenSea. The highest bidder will receive the digital asset and be allowed “one visit to see/photograph/touch the cube per calendar year.” Midwest Tungsten will ship the physical cube to the owner if the NFT is destroyed. As of this writing, the highest bid is 5 Wrapped ETH (nearly $20,000).
Tungsten Cube NFT is hoping to cash in on the trend, at least on behalf of crypto advocacy groups, which it claims will receive all royalties from secondary NFT resales.
It is not a supplier, but it promises that the NFTs will be redeemable for physical cubes (with free shipping in the United States) by the beginning of November. 399 1-inch cubes, eighty 2-inch cubes, twenty 4-inchers, and one massive 7-inch cube were up for grabs at Solana’s Magic Eden marketplace and FTX exchange.
“We like tungsten,” it says on its website. “It’s a fantastic metal. Supporting crypto policy efforts using Tungsten cubes makes sense.”