1,784 Pound Tungsten Cube NFT ‘Blurring the Line Between Digital and Physical’

With dog-themed meme coins and rug-pulled TV show tokens, cryptocurrencies want to attach themselves to cultural phenomena. More rare, however, is the link between physical items and cryptocurrency. This article dives into the latest tungsten cube craze.

Are you interested in owning a cube made of tungsten? The rare-earth metal has been the object of much hype in the crypto space in recent months. Illinois-based Midwest Tungsten Service is the beneficiary of this new craze. Sean Murray, the Director of e-commerce at the company, says there has been a surge in sales. It $190, 1.5 cubic inch cube has been flying off the shelves. Buyers of the cube are fascinated by the object’s weight in relation to its physical dimensions.

The company accepts bitcoin as a payment option at checkout and according to Murray, Midwest Tungsten Service is well-poised to ensure a reliable supply.

As with many rare physical and digital items, it was only a matter of time before NFTs came into the picture. The OpenSea marketplace is hosting an NFT auction for a one-of-a-kind tungsten cube that is 14″ and weighs 1,784 pounds.

The NFT represents a physical cube that Midwest will store in a unique room at its headquarters on behalf of the NFT owner. The owner will be allowed one visit to see, photograph, or touch the cube per year, via an appointment with a Midwest Tungsten Service representative. Burning the NFT will result in the cube being shipped to the current owner by freight truck. Secondary owners will not be able to visit the cube in a year in which the cube has already been visited.

According to Rarible co-founder Alex Salnikov, this ownership model gives us a glimpse into the metaverse which will “blur the line between the digital and the physical.”

Online communities key to cube popularity

The surge in demand for the tungsten cubes was mostly fuelled by buzz on Twitter. Nic Carter of Castle Island Ventures was an early enthusiast in this cube-collecting craze and refers to himself as a “dispenser of tungsten” in his Twitter bio.

According to Alex DiNunzio, CEO and co-founder of Jambb, a digital-comedy collectibles startup, which gives comedians a channel to generate revenue through content via NFTs, platforms like Discord and Twitter can magnify interest in meme-related tokens, so why not physical objects that have non-fungible tokens in the digital world?

Community gives power and meaning to seemingly bizarre connections between the highly intangible cryptocurrency market and the tangible world. This intersection of NFTs and physical objects has the ability to redefine what is called art, and what ownership means to a new generation of art collectors.


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