In commemorating its 135th anniversary, National Geographic partnered with Polygon on Wednesday to release a super rare photograph NFT collection titled “Good morning: Daybreak around the world” or ‘GM’ for short. The collection, which comprises 1888 NFTs, is a compilation of 16 early-morning photograph images taken by renowned photographers from locations around the world and remodelled into 118 editions each.
Pegged at a selling price of 215 MATIC (~ $200) per piece, Nat Geo aims to bring storytelling to Web3 with the public sale. Only 18% of the collection has been sold so far on the self-acclaimed premium NFT platform, Snowcrash, drawing scepticism on the timing of release and the general market sentiments to NFTs currently.
Nat Geo x Polygon
Nat Geo tips Polygon as its preferred blockchain owing to its multichain feature, fast transaction capability and enormous commitment to environmental sustainability. Polygon currently boasts a transaction speed of 65,000 TPS and has remained carbon neutral for nearly two years. In the periods before the Merge, Ethereum suffered huge setbacks because of the rising costs of minting NFTs.
For Polygon, its partnership with Nat Geo is the latest in a series of efforts to promote the value of L2 Ethereum scaling solutions. In 2022, it partnered with various mainstream companies like Starbucks, Adidas, Reddit, Stripe, Meta, Adobe, The NFL, and Walt Disney, to name a few.
The Big Backlash
On social media, Nat Geo had struggled to contain the barrage of criticisms that rocked its pages following the announcement. Its attempt to adopt an image of a BAYC NFT for promotional purposes angered many followers, with one NFT artist describing the BAYC as “the corniest and most tasteless example” of an NFT.
For a few others, the whole idea of releasing an NFT felt like a scam — one unbefitting of a centenary brand like Nat Geo.
The NFT market has suffered an irrecoverable blow since the beginning of crypto winter. Retail losses peaked at $450 million during the last quarter, and total market value dipped by ~70%. The once-prestigious Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT–originally valued at $1.3 million—now traded for a little over $70k, signifying a 97% value erosion. Many critics have based their scepticism on these statistics.
Some of the top artists in the collection are Kris Grave, Reuben Wu, Cath Simard, Delphine Diallo, Yagazie Emezi, Michael Yamashita, and Justin Aversano, among others. Despite the negative sentiments, Nat Geo hopes to raise ~ $370,000 from the primary sale and give users a chance to profit from their collection on the secondary market.