Forget Lambos, NFTs are the new crypto status symbol

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Not so many years ago, Lamborghinis were the main “flex” for crypto “moon-boys” as token prices reached astronomic valuations. Several high-profile cryptocurrency proponents made it a habit of arriving at conferences behind the wheels of exotic supercars and “when Lambo” was a popular refrain in the industry.

These days, nonfungible tokens (NFT) are arguably the main topic of conversation in the crypto space, and ownership of expensive PNGs to be displayed on social media profile pictures is the new status symbol for the “cryptorati.”

Tweeting on Thursday, Chinese crypto journalist Colin Wu reported that internet bigwigs in the country are among some of the latest to join the NFT hype. Cai Wensheng, founder of smartphone maker and photo touch-up app Meitu, has reportedly purchased CryptoPunk #8236 for 125 Ether (ETH) — about $387,000.

Indeed, CryptoPunks, perhaps the most popular NFT collection in the market, has been gaining even greater popularity even outside the crypto space. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, card payments giant Visa recently purchased CryptoPunk #7610 for about $150,000.

Related: Facebook ‘definitely looking’ at NFTs, says exec

Budweiser also recently purchased a $120,000 fan art as well as the Beer.eth domain in what appears to be a growing appeal for NFTs. Social media giant Facebook has also said that is “definitely looking” at NFTs as part of the development of its crypto wallet product, Novi.

As of mid-August, popular NFT marketplace OpenSea recorded an over 76,000% year-to-date increase in trading volume amid the current NFT hype. Play-to-earn NFT games like Axie Infinity are on a tear in terms of metrics such as internet traffic and governance token price.

Warnings of a possible bubble for NFTs are also beginning to make the rounds, with critics saying the current hype is unsustainable. On the other side of the argument, proponents say NFTs could be to Web 3.0 what social media and e-commerce have been for Web 2.0.