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Still haven't learned what NFTs are? Well, this one just sold for $69M – CBC.ca

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A digital artwork sold for nearly $70 million US at Christie’s on Thursday, in the first sale by a major auction house of a piece of art that does not exist in physical form.

Everydays – The First 5000 Days is a digital work by American artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple. It is a collage of 5,000 individual images, which were made one-per-day over more than thirteen years.

The sale of the work for $69,346,250 put Beeple in the top three most valuable living artists, Christie’s said in a tweet.

Beeple responded to the sale result with an expletive on Twitter.

The work is in the form of a new type of digital asset — a non-fungible token (NFT) — meaning it is authenticated by a digital ledger known as blockchain, which certifies its originality and ownership.

The tokens, which have swept the online collecting world recently, are used to prove that the item is one of a kind, allowing buyers to claim ownership.

NFTs are aimed at solving a problem central to digital collectibles: how to claim ownership of something that can be easily and endlessly duplicated.

Fallen Trump fetched $6.6M

The market for NFTs has soared in recent months as enthusiasts and investors use spare savings to buy up items that exist online. Last month, a 10-second video clip featuring an image of a fallen Donald Trump, also by Beeple, sold for $6.6 million on an NFT marketplace called Nifty Gateway.

“Without the NFTs, there just legitimately was no way to collect digital art,” said Beeple, who makes irreverent digital art on themes such as technology, wealth and American politics.

Christie’s said Beeple’s collage fetched the highest price in an online-only auction and the highest price for any winning bid placed online.

Some 22 million people tuned in on the Christie’s website for the final moments of bidding, with bidders from 11 countries taking part.

Front Burner22:50The multimillion dollar NFT crypto market explained

Between Grimes, Kings of Leon and even NBA Top Shot, all of a sudden it seems like NFTs are everywhere. But what are non-fungible tokens, really? And why are they blowing up right now? CBC Business reporter Pete Evans explains. Find the links we talk about in this episode here: cbc.ca/1.5943429 22:50

Asked what he thought of the multi-million dollar bids on his work, the 39-year-old graphic designer, who has created concert visuals for the likes of Justin Bieber, One Direction and Katy Perry, said he was lost for words.

“I don’t know. … Maybe you can put an emoji into the story,” he said. “It’s so crazy.”

For NFTs, the artist’s royalties are locked in to the contract: Beeple receives 10 per cent each time the NFT changes hands after the initial sale.

“I do really think that this is going to be seen as the next chapter of art history,” Beeple said.

NFT frenzy

Various digital objects can be minted as NFTs and traded as assets, including art, sports collectibles, patches of land in virtual worlds, cryptocurrency wallet names and even tweets. Twitter Inc boss Jack Dorsey is conducting a digital auction of his first ever tweet, in NFT form.

Art NFTs make up around a quarter of the all-time NFT sales volume ($415 million) according to NonFungibles.com, which aggregates sales history data for the Ethereum blockchain, the most commonly used ledger for recording these types of assets.

A detail shot from the collage. Beeple believes non-fungible tokens could represent the future of ownership. (Beeple/Christie’s Images/Reuters)

Musicians are also getting in on the hype, with American rock band Kings of Leon having launched an album as an NFT.

Beeple says the explosion in NFTs is due in part to the increased amount of time people are spending online during the pandemic. Like many enthusiasts, he also believes they could represent the future of ownership.

“Equities have been the predominant asset class for the last hundred years, or whatever. I don’t think it’s guaranteed that that’s always going to stay like that. I think kids today hate corporations,” he said. “So the idea that they’re just going to automatically blindly give them their money to invest, I don’t know about that.”

Risk of losses when hype dies down

But, like many new niche investment areas, there is a risk of losses if the hype dies down. Many NFTs will eventually become worthless, Beeple said.

Although NFTs can function as a legally enforceable contract, they also raise issues relating to insurance, tax and intellectual property, said Max Dilendorf, a cryptocurrency lawyer and partner at Dilendorf Law Firm in New York.

“If you are a buyer of an expensive piece of NFT, you have to know what features and terms you are subject to,” he said.

“From my experience, participants in NFT markets are not really thinking it through carefully.”

Dilendorf said that he expects the entire physical art market to be digitized in NFT form in the next five years.

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FDA vote expected on Johnson & Johnson vaccine booster shots – CNN

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13 more die of COVID-19 in B.C. as 667 new cases confirmed – CBC.ca

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British Columbia announced 667 new cases of COVID-19 and 13 more deaths on Friday, the most deaths in one day since Feb. 3.

In a written statement, the provincial government said there are currently 5,128 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A total of 367 people are in hospital, with 152 in intensive care.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are up by 1.9 per cent from last Friday, when 360 people were in hospital with the disease and about 27 per cent from a month ago when 288 people were in hospital.

The number of patients in intensive care is up by about 11 per cent from 137 a week ago and by the same percentage from a month ago when 137 people were also in the ICU.

The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 2,055 lives lost out of 196,433 confirmed cases to date.

As of Friday, 89 per cent of those 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 83 per cent a second dose.

So far, eight million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 3.8 million second doses.

There are a total of 19 active outbreaks in assisted living, long-term and acute care. There has been one new outbreak at GR Baker Memorial Hospital in Quesnel. The outbreak at Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre has been declared over.

The acute care hospitals currently affected by COVID outbreaks are Mission Memorial Hospital, University Hospital of Northern B.C., GR Baker Memorial Hospital, and Tofino General Hospital. 

More than 90 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and three people have died as a result of an outbreak at a care home in Burnaby, and officials say the death toll is expected to grow. 

The majority of cases at the Willingdon Care Centre are among residents, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. Health Minister Adrian Dix said Thursday he expects the number of deaths will rise to 10 over the next several days due to a delay in data reporting.

New northern restrictions

More restrictions for the northern part of the province came into effect Thursday at midnight and will last until at least Nov. 19 in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the region.

Restrictions in the region now include limiting indoor and outdoor gatherings to fully vaccinated people only, capping the number of people who can gather in any setting, moving worship services online, cutting off alcohol sales earlier at night and mandating masks and safety plans at organized events.

Health officials are strongly recommending people stay in their community unless it is essential for work or medical reasons. 

Restrictions are also in place in the Interior Health region and communities in the eastern Fraser Valley.

Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry continues to reiterate the importance of immunization to reduce the risk of illness and death due to COVID-19.

From Oct. 7 to 13, people who were not fully vaccinated accounted for 68.3 per cent of cases and from Sept. 30 to Oct. 13, they accounted for 76.3 per cent of hospitalizations, according to the province. 

Anyone who has not yet received a shot is encouraged to do so immediately. Appointments can be made online through the Get Vaccinated portal, by calling 1-833-838-2323, or in-person at any Service B.C. location. 

People can also be immunized at walk-in clinics throughout the province.

B.C. health officials are awaiting a federal review of COVID-19 vaccines for five- to 11-year-olds and are encouraging families to register their children now as they anticipate doses being available for this group by early November.

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U.S. border town welcomes back fully vaccinated B.C. visitors, but travel hurdles remain – CBC.ca

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Businesses in northern Washington state are welcoming back Canadian customers once the United States reopens its land borders, but a B.C. mayor says travellers may face hurdles.

The U.S. is allowing fully vaccinated travellers from Canada to enter the United States by air, land and ferry for non-essential travel starting Nov. 8.

Those entering the U.S. at a land border will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or attest to their vaccination status upon request by a border agent. Land travellers do not need to show a negative COVID-19 test, a requirement for air travellers. 

Karen Frisbie, Chamber of Commerce president in Oroville, Wash. — a town of more than 19,000 residents bordering Osoyoos in B.C.’s South Okanagan — says her community has been quiet without Canadians travelling south to shop during the pandemic.

“We definitely miss our Canadian neighbours and look forward to having them back,” Frisbie said Friday to host Chris Walker on CBC’s Daybreak South.

Many border towns in Washington state struggled due to COVID-19 restrictions preventing Canadians from travelling across the border. The city of Blaine, for instance, said last August their finances were hit hard after several months without Canadian visitors.

Osoyoos Mayor Sue McKortoff says she can feel the happiness of Canadians who know they’ll be able to visit Oroville.

“A lot of the people in Osoyoos love to go to Oroville — they have their special places [and] restaurants [in Oroville], and they love to go down there for American milk and cheese and beer, and gas sometimes,” McKortoff said on Daybreak South.

But the mayor also strikes a cautious note.

“You still need a PCR test to come back to Canada,” she said, referring to a type of molecular testing. Molecular COVID-19 tests involve methods such a nose swab, or providing a saliva sample.

“You’re not going to go down there for a day, and [you] have to worry about having a PCR test in order to get back through the border.”

Canada still requires arriving travellers to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their entry to Canada, regardless of their point of entry — but labs could take more than 72 hours to issue a test result.

“We need to wait until all of those things have been solved a little bit better before people will even take the chance to go across,” McKortoff said.

LISTEN |  Karen Frisbie and Sue McKortoff share their hopes and concerns about U.S. border reopening to Canadians:

Daybreak South5:24What will opening the U.S. border to Canadians mean to border communities? We go to Oroville, Washington and Osoyoos to hear more about the impacts on those cities.

What will opening the U.S. border to Canadians mean to border communities? We go to Oroville, Washington and Osoyoos to hear more about the impacts on those cities. 5:24

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