The world was sent into shock on September 8, 2022, when Queen Elizabeth the second of the U.K passed away. As one of the longest reigning monarchs in the world, she was universally recognizable and her death sparked a range of reactions from public figures and everyday people alike.
But one reaction that we aren’t exactly used to when a world leader dies is the one seen in web3 spaces. Just days after Queen Elizabeth’s death, NFTs and crypto assets related to her began popping up on popular marketplaces.
Royal NFTs Make a Splash
While the idea of Queen Elizabeth-themed NFTs and cryptos is fascinating in itself, perhaps what is even more remarkable is the speed with which they were listed on marketplaces. On OpenSea, various collections were released by artists that depict the late monarch in a variety of art styles and themes.
This is not unusual per se as many NFT collections by artists often include images of public figures. But the quickness with which these pieces were added shortly after the death announcement meant that they were clearly meant to capitalize on the buzz.
Then there are the different cryptos that have popped up to mark the occasion. From QueenDoge to RIP Queen Elizabeth, all sorts of tokens have dropped. Typically, commemorative coins are released by the Royal Mint to mark major events in the royal family, including the death of a monarch. But thanks to NFTs, private citizens are cashing out as well, with the Queen Elizabeth Inu token, in particular, seeing a surge in value.
From those who bought the cryptos purely for sentimental value to those who were looking to sell once the price spiked high enough, many people were getting into these assets. And just like with the monarch herself, the NFTs and crypto sparked mixed reactions from the public.
Some saw it as yet another example of the innovation of blockchain-based assets in that anyone could make and release a commemorative token, even if unofficial. After all, the average souvenir merchant has likely already rolled out Queen Elizabeth-themed memorabilia. What should stop NFT artists and crypto entrepreneurs from doing the same?
But then there were others who saw the releases as either disrespectful towards the late queen or as nothing more than a digital cash grab. Regardless of opinion, the assets dominated both marketplaces and blockchain-centred discussions.
NFTs and Memorabilia
While it’s not every day that the Queen of England passes away, NFTs and similar crypto assets are released into the market every day. This incident has shown us, first, that the ability to create memorabilia has been democratized and given to the masses via blockchain technology.
Second, it signals that historic moments will be immortalized on the blockchain on an even larger scale. This event alone has seen dozens of projects spring up, with everything from artwork to video content involved. While they do not happen every day, we can be confident that they will be captured on the blockchain.