This week, Tishman Speyer, the owner of Rockefeller Center, attempted to join in the frenzied new world of NFTs, perhaps in a bid to stay relevant as its competitors started selling virtual luxury real estate, land, and even digital yachts. But instead of all that, the developer tiptoed in with an animated GIF of a cartoon tree topped with a banner that proclaims its height of 79 feet — a bit more clip art than dazzling digital artifact.
Shockingly, it hasn’t gone well. After a minor press rollout, and as of press time two days after its launch, it has received only 63 views on OpenSea, an NFT marketplace — a number that’s surely inflated by Curbed editors and reporters sending the link back and forth. Just one anonymous person has put in the minimum bid for it of around $500, although this bidder doesn’t appear to hold any other crypto assets. It’s understandable that, after the giant NFT events this fall in New York and Miami, Tishman Speyer would want to get in on the craze — it’s obvious that there is a lot of money behind this, bubble be damned — but the Rockefeller Christmas clip-art tree is a real miss. There’s something of a defined aesthetic in the tokens sold by Bored Apes and the CryptoPunks, two of the most popular, and valuable, collections of NFTs — of knowing street art combined with blasé digital doodles. Hallmark stock art just won’t cut it. Still, the bidding is open until January 1, and proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity, according to the Real Deal. Then you’d just have to figure out what to do with an NFT of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.