Crypto

NFTs have the potential to become media companies, Rarible co-founder says

Comment

Digital generated image of NFT letters behind golden frame with digital art visualizing blockchain technology and non-fungible token.
Image Credits: Andriy Onufriyenko (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

As NFTs work to retain mainstream attention, one founder predicts the digital asset sector will pivot in a new direction.

“I think NFT collections will evolve as media companies [into something] like Disney,” Alex Salnikov, co-founder and head of product at NFT marketplace Rarible, said to TechCrunch.

In recent months, major “blue-chip” NFT projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and Doodles propelled their collections beyond just images and into different sectors.

In May, the Doodles NFT project announced on Twitter that the CEO and founders plan to expand its intellectual property into music, gaming and entertainment, “while deeply integrating culture into the product.”

Separately, a year after launching, BAYC shared in April that it was getting a three-part film series, produced by the third-largest crypto exchange, Coinbase, called “The Degen Trilogy.”

Even though BAYC was first minted over a year ago, people are still buying into the hype for the second-largest NFT collection by sales volume. In the week ended July 15, 99 buyers bought BAYC NFTs for a total of $13.74 million, according to NFT data aggregator CryptoSlam.

These developments are just the beginning of what’s in store for NFT expansion into becoming a mainstream brand, Salnikov said. “NFTs are IP and they will pour over games, films and various forms of entertainment that they do online. That’s the framework I use when I predict what will grow.

“I expect NFTs to appear in video chats or games or on headphones, hats, Gucci bags and Rolexes, for sure,” Salnikov said. “We’ve already seen NFTs on shows and Doodles is creating a game, Bored Ape is creating a movie. So I think we’ll see NFTs pop up in other movies and areas, too.”

Not all of the hundreds of thousands of NFT collections out there will see this development, though. Salnikov predicts it will happen for a handful of collections, mainly those that feature “strong communities.”

The idea of IP surrounding NFTs is a growing topic of conversation. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and U.S. Copyright Office are launching a joint study to investigate the digital assets’ impact on intellectual property rights. This is the first move to get NFTs on Congress’ agenda and potentially provide clarity regarding IP challenges, licensing rights and infringement, among other legal elements surrounding the digital asset class.

The NFT market’s overall sales volume has been wavering, but a number of players recently said there’s strength in the market and “great momentum.”

For example, BAYC NFTs are owned by a number of celebrities like Justin Bieber, Jimmy Fallon and Snoop Dogg (who put representations of BAYC in a recent music video with Eminem) to name a few.

“We’ve seen the Bored Apes have an extremely strong community. The owners of Bored Apes are influential in the movie and music industry; that’s why they bring this IP with them to those areas, too,” Salnikov noted.

The strength of a community gives these NFTs the potential to become media businesses, Salnikov said. “It’s all about attention.”

More TechCrunch

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

A new crop of early-stage startups — along with some recent VC investments — illustrates a niche emerging in the autonomous vehicle technology sector. Unlike the companies bringing robotaxis to…

VCs and the military are fueling self-driving startups that don’t need roads

When the founders of Sagetap, Sahil Khanna and Kevin Hughes, started working at early-stage enterprise software startups, they were surprised to find that the companies they worked at were trying…

Deal Dive: Sagetap looks to bring enterprise software sales into the 21st century

Keeping up with an industry as fast-moving as AI is a tall order. So until an AI can do it for you, here’s a handy roundup of recent stories in the world…

This Week in AI: OpenAI moves away from safety

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

2 days ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

2 days ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities

For Mark Zuckerberg’s 40th birthday, his wife got him a photoshoot. Zuckerberg gives the camera a sly smile as he sits amid a carefully crafted re-creation of his childhood bedroom.…

Mark Zuckerberg’s makeover: Midlife crisis or carefully crafted rebrand?

Strava announced a slew of features, including AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, a new ‘family’ subscription plan, dark mode and more.

Strava taps AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, unveils ‘family’ plan, dark mode and more

We all fall down sometimes. Astronauts are no exception. You need to be in peak physical condition for space travel, but bulky space suits and lower gravity levels can be…

Astronauts fall over. Robotic limbs can help them back up.

Microsoft will launch its custom Cobalt 100 chips to customers as a public preview at its Build conference next week, TechCrunch has learned. In an analyst briefing ahead of Build,…

Microsoft’s custom Cobalt chips will come to Azure next week

What a wild week for transportation news! It was a smorgasbord of news that seemed to touch every sector and theme in transportation.

Tesla keeps cutting jobs and the feds probe Waymo