Non-fungible tokens or NFTs are the newest craze around the world recently, and their popularity has skyrocketed over the past few months. Many brands, celebrities and organisations have signed up for this form of digital-only tokens to buy and sell digital art, collectibles and much more. The latest addition to this list is K-Pop boy band Bangtan Boys, popularly known as BTS. According to a Bloomberg report, Hybe Co., the agency which manages the K-Pop sensation, is set to team up with South Korea’s largest crypto exchange operator to sell NFTs related to the boy band, which has already taken over the world by a storm.
The deal means good news to millions of fans of BTS across the globe. Through this, the agency will sell photos of the boy band via NFT now. This is, however, not new. Photos of BTS members are regularly sold to fans but Hybe’s latest move is aimed at keeping up with the latest trend of selling digital collectibles through non-fungible token or NFT.
According to the report by Bloomberg, Hybe will buy a 2.5 per cent stake in Dubamu. This is the company that runs the Upbit crypto exchange, the largest of its kind in South Korea. The stake will be bought at a cost of 500 billion won, which is equivalent to $423 million. In a separate matter, BTS’ managing agency Hybe will also issue 700 billion won of new shares to Dunamu, as per a disclosure in the company’s regulatory file on Thursday.
The photo cards of the BTS members will be put up on Upbit as digital collectibles, and thereby sold to fans through NFTs on virtual spaces.
“We are working with Dunamu to create a way to expand the fan experience,” said Hybe founder Bang Si-hyuk in an online briefing, as per the report by Bloomberg. He said that the company’s main ambition is creating a secure card ownership and “allowing them to be collected, exchanged, and displayed in a global fan community where instead of a single photo, it can be turned into a digital photo card with moving images and sound,” the news agency said in its report.
As soon as the news spread, Hybe shares went up by 7.5 per cent on Thursday as BTS will be one of the biggest brands to enter the NFT trading business, which is still at a nascent stage. As per Bloomberg, “Upbit is one of the four Korean exchanges that are allowed to offer won-based trading as well as crypto-to-crypto trading services after a regulatory clampdown in September."
An NFT is a one-of-a-kind digital asset that represents real world objects such as music, art, in-game articles, videos or even social media posts. Being non-fungible, NFTs can not be interchanged with anything else as it is unique and irreplaceable. In recent times, NFTs have become a popular way to sell and buy digital artwork. However, these digital tokens have been around since 2014.
Recently, fast-food chain McDonald’s announced the launch of its limited edition NFT to mark the 40th anniversary of its McRib sandwich. “Our McRib NFTs are digital versions of the fan favorite sandwich – almost as saucy as the McRib itself– and we’re giving them away to a few lucky fans on Twitter beginning Nov. 1," McDonald’s said in a statement. Ten NFTs of the McRib sandwich, a popular item on the menu, have been launched in the United States.