Date:Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Author:Christian Ward

In this episode, Christian Ward, head of Brand Engagement & Multimedia Strategy at Stylus is joined by Robby Yung, chief executive of Animoca and Stephen Graves, UK managing editor of Decrypt Media, to discuss NFTs, or non-fungible tokens: what are they, why are they taking off right now, and what can brands do with them?

Guests on this Episode

Robby Yung is chief executive of Animoca, a Hong Kong-based digital entertainment company specialising in branded blockchain games in partnership with brands including Marvel, Formula 1 and WWE.

Stephen Graves is a crypto expert and frequent contributor to Stylus, who works as UK managing editor of Decrypt, a platform that aims to demystify the world of decentralised technologies.

Episode Discussion Points

  • What is Animoca and how does it work with brands? [1:12]
  • What are NFTs? [3:29]
  • What are you actually buying when you purchase an NFT? [5:45]
  • How does Animoca integrate NFTs into its games? [8:20]
  • How do NFTs create digital scarcity? [12:36]
  • How can NFTs become more accessible to the general public? [15:29]
  • How can brands get involved with NFTs? [20:03]
  • On the environmental impact of NFTs [26:21]

Key Quotes

"According to Nonfungible.com, one of the firms that tracks market statistics, February's sales of NFTs in 2020 were $11m, and February sales of NFTs this year were a billion dollars." [4:34]
Robby Yung

"It's a space that could expand beyond art. At the moment you're just seeing it used for JPEGs because they're the most simple form of art – and in the same way, the very first stuff that we shared on things like BitTorrent were simple files. Down the line, you can see the space evolving, such that NFTs aren't just applied to collectibles, they can be applied to stock photos or films or even blog posts, tweets and movies." [6:51]
Stephen Graves

"You've got to remember that Amazon didn't really take off until One Click became a thing, and I think we really need to see a One Click way of buying NFTs that abstracts away a lot of the steps in [the] process [of buying]." [16:47]
Stephen Graves

"As we make it easier for people to onboard with entertainment products like [Animoca game] F1 Delta Time, or NBA Top Shot – where people, who are in these cases sports fans, see an opportunity to buy cool sports collectibles – the action of doing that will onboard them to blockchain. So that's why the bigger thesis that we have in mind is that really this is how we're onboarding the next billion users to blockchain, because entertainment is typically how you reach mass adoption of most new technologies." [18:46]
Robby Yung

"You're starting to see brands missing out on opportunities because of copyright. The guy from that Fleetwood Mac clip that went viral announced that he's turning the clip into an NFT, but because of copyright restrictions he can't use the Fleetwood Mac song, and he can't use the Ocean Spray brand. That is a gigantic missed opportunity for Ocean Spray, because apart from anything else, when NFTs become more sophisticated, you could code in things like Ocean Spray getting a cut every time it's distributed or every time it's sold on." [23:29]
Stephen Graves

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