John Lennon’s eldest son Julian is selling several pieces of music history from his personal collection.

However, he will keep the physical items as each piece of memorabilia will be sold as a non-fungible token (NFT). Items being auctioned include a black cape worn by his father in the film Help! and handwritten notes for The Beatles song Hey Jude.

NFTs have been touted as the digital answer to collectables, but critics have warned about risks in the market.

  • The sale also includes NFTs of the Afghan coat worn by John Lennon in the made-for-television film the Magical Mystery Tour and three Gibson guitars given to Julian Lennon by his father.

What are NFTs and why are some worth millions?

Each NFT will be offered as an audio-visual collectible, with narration by Julian Lennon alongside imagery of the item. The NFT of notes hand-written by Paul McCartney for Hey Jude is expected to fetch the most at auction. It has a starting price of $ 30,000 (£ 22,260), with expectations that bids could reach more than double that figure. Part of the proceeds from the NFT sale will go to Julian Lennon’s White Feather Foundation. The online auction will be held on 7 February.

New laws to tackle misleading crypto-asset adverts

  • New laws will be passed to deal with misleading crypto-asset promotions, the Treasury has announced. Although 2.3 million people in the UK own a crypto-asset, the government is worried some consumers may not understand what they are buying. Crypto-assets such as Bitcoin are largely unregulated and investors lack many protections.

The same is true of non-fungible tokens – but these will not be covered by the new rules.

Overstate benefits
The government plans to legislate so “qualifying crypto-assets” will be subject to Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules in the same way as other financial promotions, such as for stocks, shares, and insurance products. A 2018 report by the Crypto-assets Taskforce – which includes the Treasury, Bank of England and FCA – found crypto advertising could often overstate benefits and rarely warned of the risk consumers could lose their investment. Later work by the FCA suggested public understanding of crypto-assets was declining even as more people invested. Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the new rules would ensure consumers are protected, “while also supporting innovation of the crypto-asset market”.

“Crypto-assets can provide exciting new opportunities, offering people new ways to transact and invest – but it’s important that consumers are not being sold products with misleading claims,” ​​he said.

Financial speculation The government says it is still drafting a definition of the crypto-assets that will fall under the new rules.

  • But it will not include non-fungible tokens.
  • NFT’s are often used as a form of digital receipt as well as a way of trading digital art or “collectibles”.
  • Some of the most valuable trade for millions of pounds.
  • And the government acknowledged many were traded as a type of financial speculation.
  • But it said: “New types of non-fungible tokens have emerged which blur the boundary between financial-services products and digital collector items.”
  • And it was “not the government’s intention to apply financial-promotions regulation to non-financial products”.

However, the Treasury said it would closely monitor the situation.

‘Red-alert priority’
The FCA is not the only watchdog concerned about crypto advertisements. The Advertising Standards Authority says monitoring crypto-assets such as Bitcoin is a “red-alert priority”, following concerns many ads fail to fully convey the risks of investing. It has banned numerous promotions for crypto-assets, including from a pizza chain and a football club, and is working towards new guidelines for advertisers.

Internationally, regulators are also taking action.

  • The Spanish National Securities Market Commission has announced new rules for advertising crypto-assets, including promotions by social-media influencers, Reuters reports.

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