At first OpenSea, Rarible and other marketplaces have been running the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) trading arena, with almost no one able to touch their monthly volume. Today, a new report by The Financial Times (paywalled) suggests that Meta is working on plans to allow users to create and sell NFTs.
This news might not shock many: a couple of months ago, Mark Zuckerberg changed Facebook’s name to Meta, then he said that: “NFTs could one day be wielded to support a market for digital goods in its planned metaverse.” The CEO’s intention is pretty clear, as he said the company plans on: “investing 10 billion USD annually in building its metaverse effort over the coming decade”
In 2021, the NFT market reached over $40B USD amid growing interest for PFP collections such as Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, Hashmasks, Cool Cats among others. Also, famous entrepreneurs have been buying NFTs and talking heavily on their social media about their investments: one example is Gary Vaynerchuck creating the NFT collection VeeFriends which quickly sold $170+ million.
We cannot discount the impact that many popular musicians have had on the NFT sales volume. Snoop Dogg created a partnership with the popular metaverse game The Sandbox, launching an NFT collection that will allow owners to participate in private activities on its virtual LANDs, while Steve Aoki has been showing its Doodle NFT collections while playing during his concerts.
Also, sports athletes have been flexing NFTs on their social media: an example is legendary basket player Shaquille O’Neal flexing a Creature’s NFT on his Twitter profile.
It doesn’t come as a surprise Zuckerberg is interested in the creation of an NFT Marketplace; Meta and its apps – Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram – have over 3.6 billion active monthly users. Imagining the opportunity to turn many of the content that is created daily on these platforms into NFTs is something that could increase the total sale volume of the NFT space by a long shot.
How are the other NFT Marketplace reacting to today’s news? Currently, OpenSea is the current market leader – they recently announced the acquisition of Dharma, with their founder Nadav Hollander becoming the new CTO – and they hope to decentralize their platform to appeal to their user base.
LooksRare is a newcomer to the arena, however as data from Dune Analytics shows, the trend is clear and many users are choosing to use LooksRare instead of OpenSea, as currently there are more advantages in terms of taking advantage of the $LOOKS token fees.
If Meta wants to be successful with its new NFT Marketplace it’ll need to create a true Web3 concept, following the example of what LooksRare is doing: building a decentralized protocol where the community is the centrepiece for success, not only something to use to make money. Is Zuckerberg ready to embrace a more decentralized business model? Only time will tell.
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