Japan’s ANA is building an NFT marketplace and envisioning metaverse opportunities – Cryptopolitan
All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest airline holding company, has established a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace on the Ethereum blockchain, where users can buy and sell airplane photos, digital collectibles and more. At its debut, the market will accept crypto and fiat currency payments through the MetaMask wallet and credit card.
ANA launches NFT Marketplace
The company’s subsidiary ANA NEO, which focuses on developing immersive digital experiences throughout the All Nippon Airways ecosystem, launched the marketplace under the name ANA GranWhale NFT Marketplace. Aviation photographer Luke Ozawa, who has been documenting aircraft for fifty years, will have work featured in the first NFT collection on the website.
NFTs for two digital 3D aircraft, including a modified Boeing 787 that the airline debuted in 2011, and a series of generative art called Airbits, which includes pixelated airline pilots, are included in other collections.
Other collections include NFTs of two digital 3D aircraft, one of which is a modified Boeing 787 that the airline debuted in 2011, and a generative art collection called Airbits depicting pixelated airline pilots.
In a press release, the company stated that it intends to “apply NFT to the aviation industry and advance the business to develop new connections with customers.”
All Nippon Airways Holdings was founded in 2013 and claims to be Japan’s largest airline holding company. The portfolio of 69 companies includes both ANA and Peach Aviation, among others. ANA NEO is also working on a metaverse travel experience named ANA Gran Whale. This experience will merge the travel history of passengers into their digital avatars.
Centralized and traditional entities are venturing into DeFi
All Nippon Airways is the latest airline to join a growing group of companies exploring ways to incorporate crypto-related ideas into their commercial products. The Argentinian low-cost airline expanded its partnership with NFT ticketing startup TravelX in March to allow it to offer all e-tickets as NFTs on the Algorand blockchain.
ANA announced in a separate statement on May 30 that the first NFT items featuring the works of aviation photographer Luke Ozawa were made available for bidding on Tuesday, and that other collections, including those depicting Boeing 787 aircraft, will be available starting June 7.
According to the new marketplace’s website, artists and producers can sell their works on the marketplace in the form of NFTs, and select NFTs will be available for trading.
Through this initiative, we aim to unlock the potential of NFTs in the aviation industry […] By bringing together the digital and physical worlds to create experiences that are unique and unforgettable.
Mitsuo Tomita, President of ANA NEO
In November, ANA NEO partnered with the government of Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands, to “digitally engineer” specific parts of Hokkaido to showcase the island’s nature, food and culture via the company’s metaverse platform known as ANA GranWhale.
ANA NEO stated in October 2022 that it had completed a second round of funding, bringing the total amount raised to ¥5.8 billion ($9.4 million) since the company was established.
As a key component of Japan’s economy for years to come, the Japanese government is showing an increasing willingness to support the development of technologies related to the metaverse. A government-linked whitepaper published in April provided extensive insight into the nation’s ambitions to adopt Web3 technologies.