Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), the latest and greatest buzzworthy term on the cryptocurrency channel, are making unforeseen connections in the economy, albeit the virtual one.
By harnessing the power of blockchain, NFTs are making it so digital creations can have proof of ownership. Providing a digital ledger and giving the NFT the capacity to remain unique, this technology essentially constructs a timeline of ownership to translate the data that certifies the value of a piece—stamping the digital file with the author’s details and the authenticity of the art.
With the ability to verify authenticity, digital pieces of art can have a market all of their own, and even major retailers are jumping in on this new and shiny bandwagon. Nike recently purchased a virtual shoe company that makes NFTs and sneakers for the metaverse and Adidas joined forces with the Bored Ape Yacht Club, PUNKS Comic, and gmoney to sell original merchandise and apparel in the metaverse—showing that even E-commerce giants are taking their bets.
At the end of the day, this has resulted in an exponential acceleration in collaborations seen across tech, retail, and creative industries. Venly, a major blockchain technology provider from Belgium, recently announced its collaboration with Catawiki, an online auction marketplace in lieu of this, to help create and distribute NFTs that represent the work of Jeroom Snelders, a Flemish cartoonist.
Let’s take a closer look at all three of these entities, and why the collaboration between technology companies, E-commerce, and creatives is an inevitable evolution for the future of retail.
Integrating Blockchain Into Retail
Venly is a blockchain technology provider creating tools and products to help companies benefit from blockchain technology. Their global vision is to build both developer-friendly products and an intuitive interface for end-users, with simplicity, prime UX, and top-level security at the center of everything.
Their company has already been recognized as a digital pioneer, delivering groundbreaking innovation to companies such as Atari, Ubisoft, Bondly, Shopify, and other industry leaders. With this peer-to-peer blockchain-agnostic marketplace, artists can promote their collections and retain royalty fees on all secondary sales. Every time an artist’s NFT is resold, the artist will automatically earn royalty fees up to 10%.
“NFTs are a great tool for digital artists because they allow them to continue to earn as their artwork becomes more successful,” said Venly’s CMO Yan Ketelers. “With Venly, artists have access to incredibly user-friendly tools to engage with their audience.”
New streams of NFTs are disrupting existing online transactions, and opening up doors for individual artists that might not be able to afford a retail platform otherwise. Regardless, finding new ways to allow customers to pay digitally will not only play into the consumer-facing market but also help platforms to play into an increasingly digital and diverse online economy.
Retailing Platforms Are Also on Board
Working with new payment options will be a way for E-commerce platforms to not only join the inevitable digital interface, a way to cut down costs as crypto has much lower fees.
Leading online buyers and sellers marketplace Catawiki, has recognized this by partnering up with Venly to sell the work of Jeroom Snelders, one of Flanders’ most well-known cartoonists. Offering over 75,000 special and unique objects for auction each week, Catawiki forges an auction-style marketplace with in-house experts in the fields of art, design, jewelry, classic cars, collectibles, and much more who curate their platform’s selection—making it a perfect conduit to selling NFTs.
Well-known artist Snelders auctioned off 40 pieces of artwork on the retail platform Catawiki from the 31st of May to the 12th of June, including some of his best work for the Belgian weekly, Humo, and Reddit. Besides the physical print, buyers received an NFT of the cartoon in a Venly wallet, where they were able to store their digital assets securely.
“We are very excited to work with Belgian icon Jeroom and Catawiki in hopes of bringing NFTs a little closer to people through this auction, ” continued Venly’s CMO Yan Ketelers.
Venly was able to accomplish this mission of helping NFTs become more approachable by simplifying the process of setting up a blockchain wallet. Accessing NFTs through Venly is as easy as clicking a link in an email and choosing a pin code, making storing and trading NFTs seamless for its users. With top-level security at the heart of everything, NFT holders were able to safely store Jeroom’s one-of-a-kind tokens in their Venly wallet—turning their very own piece of digital art into a unique and verifiable collector’s item.
Blockchain technology enables the creation of a new global, open, and digital financial system that will empower people across industries. In 2022, we are seeing more and more that NFT commerce will become just another branch of E-commerce. Thanks to collaborations across technology, retail, and the arts and culture sectors—brand new opportunities are quickly opening up to artists in the retail world.
Disclosure: This article mentions a client of an Espacio portfolio company.