Who will be the ‘Shopify of Non-Fiction Titles’? It turns out that it might just be… well, Shopify. The company’s president recently disclosed certain details that demonstrate the company’s intention to promote NFTs on a greater scale.
What about the Bears? Alternatively… Bulls of Chicago
Shopify president Harley Finkelstein announced the company’s first integrated NFT support with the NBA’s Chicago Bulls NFT release in a tweet to kick off this week. Only 600 Bulls’ NFTs will be released, with the first batch arriving today and the rest arriving over the rest of the week. According to Bulls Senior Product Manager Matt Moreno, the inaugural batch today sold out in 90 seconds.
Despite the fact that the Shopify team has yet to issue a formal press release, Finkelstein has revealed that “a select few” Shopify clients have been given the option to add technologies to help with NFT sales. “Before Shopify introduced this functionality, merchants would have to sell through a 3rd party marketplace, resulting in less control over the sale and customer relationship,” Finkelstein wrote in a tweet. We’re putting the power back in the hands of merchants, allowing them to meet customers where and how they want to buy.”
The Gathering of Markets
NFT infrastructure initiatives are rapidly expanding on a large scale in the mainstream. DraftKings, a sports betting site, announced a deal with Tom Brady’s Autograph.io only last week. DraftKings will launch a new ‘DraftKings Marketplace’ where consumers can buy, sell, and trade sports NFTs as part of the arrangement. Last week, OpenSea raised $100 million in Series B funding, valuing the company at roughly $1.5 billion, and Polygon launched a $100 million gaming NFT dedicated fund. The infrastructure investment cycle for NFT is well underway.
In the case of Shopify, it’s difficult to predict which blockchains will be supported or used. The NFTs are being published via the Flow Blockchain, like with the aforementioned Chicago Bulls release. Given the NBA’s affiliation with Dapper Labs, this is almost to be anticipated; the Flow chain is a Dapper Labs initiative, and Dapper also manages NBA Top Shot, the league’s licensed NFT product. It’s unclear which other chains Shopify will support if any. Meanwhile, today’s announcement is a significant victory for Dapper Labs and the Flow Blockchain team.
Regardless of when widespread NFTs begin to appear on consumer markets, the information from Finkelstein’s tweets shows that streamlined support for NFT sales is obviously top-of-mind for Shopify.