After a sluggish start to the week, NFT rebounded in a major way into the week's close – thanks to massive consolidation between several of the biggest projects in the space. In addition, major players in the NFT market received new rounds of funding, Chinese tech giant Baidu is releasing NFT, and the old faces of P2P file sharing are making a volume comeback.

This is our weekly roundup of all the big stories in the NFT space. Let's open this week's brief.

This week's irreplaceable tokens news

Yuga Labs acquires CryptoPunks, Meebits

The biggest news of the week was easily made in the last 48 hours or so as Yuga Labs, creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, and Larva Labs made a joint announcement that Yuga would be acquiring two of the biggest projects in the NFT space, CryptoPunks and Meebits, from Larva.

While terms were not disclosed, it's safe to assume that Yuga is willing to write a huge check to secure these projects, and Yuga's team has indicated that they intend to allow individual Punk and Meebit holders the right to monetize them to own NFT. The full story we recently posted outlines all the details of the deal we know so far, and what it could mean.

Baidu's New NFT Program

Chinese internet and tech giant Baidu has been distributing 20,000 NFTs over the past few days, with thousands more avatar NFTs expected to be released in the coming days. NFTs are being released on Baidu's own "Superchain" exclusive blockchain network. Baidu was the first company in China to release its own blockchain public beta, and the company has been particularly active in the NFT space.

Immutable X secures latest round of funding

Australia-based NFT startup Immutable X has raised its latest round of funding, securing $200 million in a Series C round led by Singapore's state-owned investment firm Temasek. The funding allocates a valuation of more than $1 billion to the company, making it a "unicorn" – Immutable has partnered with companies like GameStop as it gains a foothold in the gaming NFT space.

Related Reading | How Cryptocurrencies Could Become a Major Source of Stored and Transferred Value by 2030

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Tezos (XTZ) is the blockchain of choice for music NFT platform OneOf, which has partnered with the likes of John Legend and Grammy – and will now host a Biggie Smalls NFT commemoration to mark the 25th anniversary of his death. | Source: XTZ-USD on TradingView.com

New Study: NFT Transactions Exceeded $18B Last Year

According to a recent report by analysts at NonFungible.com, which we cite, the total volume of NFT transactions exceeds $18 billion in 2021. This compares to just $82 million in 2020, with spring 2021 being a landmark moment of growth for the sector.

While trend data shows poor performance in early 2022 relative to Q4 2021 – especially this month – participation in the NFT space remains high from a purely financial perspective – especially in the secondary sales market.

Celebrating the life of the infamous BIG through NFT

Biggie Smalls, Notorious BIG is a hip-hop legend. Biggie's estate has partnered with the growing music-first NFT platform OneOf (backed by Quincy Jones) to participate in NFT for the first time. OneOf runs on Tezos and the announcement comes on the 25th anniversary of Biggie's death.

According to the announcement, a portion of the proceeds from NFT will benefit the community-focused Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation. The NFT series is inspired by the platinum-selling artist's career and final album, "Life After Death.

LimeWire Deal Volume Comeback?

A staple of early 2000s culture, LimeWire was a groundbreaking P2P file-sharing software that was bound to lead you to mistake music tags, too many Rick Astley clips, and possibly the occasional virus or spyware. This was all part of the early file sharing experience. LimeWire was shut down around 2010 after a failed battle against copyright infringement.

Now, LimeWire is apparently making a comeback in volume – now as an NFT marketplace with native LMWR tokens. NFTs on the platform will be labeled as "artifacts" and the marketplace is expected to start rolling out sometime between May and the end of the year.

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Featured image by Pexels, K-line chart by TradingView.com The author of this content is not affiliated or associated with any party mentioned in this article. This is not financial advice.