NFTs will create the next Marvel or Disney, says Solana founder

NFTs will create the next Marvel or Disney, says Solana founder
NFTs will create the next Marvel or Disney, says Solana founder

In short

  • Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko tells Decrypt that he believes a large, long-running franchise IP could emerge from the current NFT space.
  • He sees a potential development like that of online message boards in the 1990s, which eventually led to the rise of social media.

Could the next big entertainment series come out of NFT market? That’s what Solana co-founder and CEO of Solana Labs, Anatoly Yakovenko, believes, tells Decrypt at this week’s Mainnet conference that NFT projects could lead to significant IP for decades to come.

“I think if you’re dreaming of starting the next Marvel or Disney in the next 20 years,” Yakovenko said, “it’s probably happening right now out of these NFT sets.”

He described NFTs as the “dominant, breakout use case” right now for Web3 technology, saying that tokenized assets can be used as the backbone for all kinds of creations.

“The possibilities are endless,” he added, “and this is, I think, the best place to zero-in on a brand, or a new story, or new story for anything – games, movies, IP, franchises , whatever you want. It’s early days, but very, very exciting.”

Popular NFT projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunksand Axie Infinity have each generated billions of dollars in NFT trading volume to date – and some of the most sought-after collectibles in the first two of these collections have sold for millions of dollars apiece.

An NFT is a blockchain token which represents ownership of a unique item, including things like profile pictures, sports and entertainment collectibles, and video game merchandise. The market generated $25 billion worth of trading volume in 2021 and continued its growing pace into 2022, although May’s the crash in the crypto market has affected NFT’s sales and values ​​in recent months.

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While NFT projects spanning hundreds or even thousands of unique profile pictures may be similar on the surface, some offer different types commercial rights assignments which may affect how holders can use their own images.

The Bored Ape Yacht Club, for example, allows each NFT holder to create and sell derivative works of art and projects based on their own images. These rights have been used to create Ape-branded clothing, alcohol and cannabis packaging, themed restaurantsEven virtual bands.

Meanwhile, a project that Doodles retain their commercial rights with the original creators – so they build a brand in a more traditional way. On the other hand, a project that Noun uses a “no rights reserved” or open source approach where anyone – even people who don’t own the expensive NFTs – can use, modify and sell images.

If Yakovenko’s prediction turns out to be correct, it will be interesting to see which approach wins out: one where holders (or the public) can do whatever they want to spread the IP, or one where the original creators remain responsible for the project.

As co-founder of Solana, Yakovenko has a front row seat to the expanding NFT market: Solana is the second largest platform for NFTs after Ethereumin terms of trading volume, and it has given birth to valuable projects such as DeGods, Okay Bearsand Solana Monkey Business.

He likened the rise of NFTs to the rise of online forum communities in the 1990s, which spawned the social media platforms of the aughts – and today’s behemoths. Could an early NFT project similarly scale to become a massive franchise over the next couple of decades? Yakovenko thinks so.

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“I don’t know which way it’s going to go, but it really feels like you’re looking at message boards in the ’90s,” he said. “Like, OK — some of these are going to be Friendster, MySpace or Facebook, but it’s very, very hard to predict.”

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