Cryptocurrency startup MoonPay in NFT made a deal with Universal, Fox

MoonPay co-founder and CEO Ivan Soto-Wright at the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami.


Cryptocurrency startup MoonPay said on Tuesday that it is partnering with Universal Pictures, Fox Corporation and Snoop Dogg’s Death Row Records, among other brands, to launch a new NFT platform called HyperMint.

The new platform allows major brands, agencies and businesses to mint hundreds of millions of NFTs per day, expanding an operation that used to take months using blockchain technology. This will be officially announced later Tuesday during MoonPay CEO Ivan Soto-Wright’s speech at the Radio City Music Hall as part of this week’s NFT.NYC conference in New York.

The platform and the technology behind it offer great opportunities for legacy brands such as Universal and Fox, which have enjoyed decades of intellectual property.

NFTs are digital assets that represent real world objects such as art, music, and real estate and cannot be replicated. Over the past few months, major brands from all industries including Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Nike, Gucci, and the National Football League have adopted NFTs into their marketing initiatives.

“The potential of NFTs goes beyond collection; it’s utility. You can eventually program anything into these NFTs, which is why we decided to focus on this new product offering,” Soto-Wright told CNBC. “It really makes this shift possible; To go beyond collectibility and programmatic utility into these NFTs, enterprise-grade tools are needed.”

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Founded in 2018, MoonPay software allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using common payment methods such as credit cards, bank transfers, or mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. It also sells its technology to other businesses, including cryptocurrency website and non-fungible token marketplace OpenSea, a model Soto-Wright calls “crypto-as-a-service.”

Soto-Wright has previously stated that the firm aims to make crypto accessible to the masses in the same way that video conferencing tools like Zoom have made it easier to make calls over the Internet.

MoonPay’s presentation to investors is that it offers a “gateway” to digital assets. For now, this includes bitcoin, ether, and other digital tokens such as NFTs. Recent market volatility and a risk-free investor environment are not favorable for cryptocurrency trading, but Soto-Wright’s vision is to expand the platform to include everything from digital fashion to tokenized stocks.

The launch of the company’s latest product comes amid a prolonged selloff in cryptocurrencies as investors continue to grapple with aggressive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and a deteriorating liquidity situation that has left major players in financial difficulty. The crypto space is still reeling from the aftermath of the $60 billion collapse of two major tokens last month.

“It has been a tough few months for crypto,” Soto-Wright said. “I have seen many such different cycles before. I saw this movie. There will always be periods of volatility. This is a completely new asset class, and we have a completely new subset of this asset class, which is NFTs. “

MoonPay states that it has been profitable since launching its platform in 2019. Now its services are used by more than 10 million customers in 160 countries. Last month, MoonPay added over 60 famous investors to its balance sheet, including Justin Bieber, Gwyneth Paltrow, Snoop Dogg and Ashton Kutcher. Collectively, its new investors pumped $87 million into a previously announced $555 million funding round led by Tiger Global and Coatue, valuing the company at $3.4 billion.

Bitcoin bounced back on Monday after the cryptocurrency fell below its 2017 high over the weekend when it traded at $17,601.58. Bitcoin is still 70% below its all-time high reached in November and has fallen 57% since the start of the year. Ether was also higher in trading on Monday.

“I think it makes sense that we’re going to go through periods of price discovery and irrational exuberance… people end up questioning the value of things, and I think that’s why the shift from looking at NFTs as a collectible but an opportunity programming utility into them is going to be very, very important,” Soto-Wright said. “We need to take this toolbox and equip the biggest brands and biggest creators to work with the use cases that really matter.”

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.

MoonPay ranked 44th on this year’s CNBC Disruptor 50 list. Sign up for our weekly original newsletter that goes beyond the annual Disruptor 50 list and offers more insight into the listing companies and their groundbreaking founders.

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