Shopify merchants will be able to use non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for something more than trading pictures with the launch of what it calls “tokengated commerce,” a way for its merchants to use them to build loyalty.
Announced on Wednesday (June 22) as part of Shopify Editions, a massive product launch, the eCommerce platform rolled out the feature because it believes “the most exciting experience isn’t selling NFTs, but activating them.”
The tool will let merchants create NFTs that act as keys that unlock a wide variety of perks and rewards, such as limited-edition merchandise (both tokenized and real-world), early or exclusive shopping, or experiences when they connect a crypto-capable digital wallet to the merchant’s site.
Shopify started moving aggressively into crypto payments this spring, launching bitcoin payments with payments network Strike in April and Crypto.com in May.
“Our growing blockchain ecosystem demonstrates our commitment to supporting merchants with alternative payment methods on their storefronts, helping to further expand what’s possible in commerce,” John Lee, lead of blockchain ecosystem at Shopify, said in May.
Forty-six percent of merchants said they have integrated crypto into their mix of accepted payments, according to “Paying With Cryptocurrency: What Consumers And Merchants Expect From Digital Currencies,” a new report from PYMNTS in collaboration with BitPay. However, most of that comes through third parties like PayPal and Venmo, with just 23% of retailers accepting crypto payments directly to cryptocurrency wallets.
It also found that 95% of the merchants that accept crypto “are planning to innovate or further innovate their crypto acceptance capabilities” — something that Shopify’s tokengated commerce will provide.
PYMNTS’ April report on U.S. Crypto Consumers found that one-quarter of consumers prefer merchants that accept cryptocurrencies, and nearly one-third of high-income consumers would switch to crypto-friendly merchants. Additionally, 23% of consumers said they held crypto in the previous 12 months.
Bill Murray’s NFTs
Speaking of doing more creative things with NFTs than just selling cartoon collectables, the ever-creative Bill Murray has teamed up with comedy website The Chive and blockchain loyalty provider Project Venkman — Murray’s iconic character from “Ghostbusters,” if anyone needs reminding — according to his son Jackson Murray, Decrypt reported.
Along with the requisite pictures of Murray — all different but taken from a painting of him — the 1,000 NFTs come with one of 100 of Murray’s stories. Which are, it is claimed, true — or at least truly told by Murray, who has not written an autobiography to collect his tales.
In addition, they’ll receive engraved silver coins that provide access to a separate event, The Chive’s annual Silver, Gold and Black dinner in Austin, Texas. They can be kept or sold separately from the NFT. The Chive will host a minimum of two events per year for NFT holders where Murray will meet and interact, and they will also gain access to a private Discord community.
eBay’s Latest NFT Deal
The global eCommerce giant eBay’s newest NFT acquisition is KnownOrigin, an artist-focused site to mint, buy and resell NFTs.
Coming on the heels of its May NFT debut with hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, eBay called it “an important step in eBay’s tech-led reimagination, ushering in a new era of digital collecting to the world’s top destination for collectibles.”
The Gretzky NFT came as part of its partnership with NFT producer OneOf to make and sell animated versions of Sports Illustrated magazines.
“eBay is the first stop for people across the globe who are searching for that perfect, hard-to-find, or unique addition to their collection,” said eBay CEO Jamie Iannone. “With this acquisition, we will remain a leading site as our community is increasingly adding digital collectibles.”
In the Net
Speaking of hockey, the National Hockey League Gretzky once dominated has launched an official NFT line with NFT marketplace Sweet.
The collection will launch on nhl.sweet.io at the beginning of the 2022-23 NHL season.
The site “will showcase current and historic moments as well as iconic elements of the game in the form of non-fungible tokens,” the NHL and Sweet said in an announcement Thursday (June 23). “Also on the roadmap are specialty packs, gamified collection experiences, 3D interactive trophy rooms where users can display their collections, as well as dynamic NFTs designed to change based on current team data, and more.”
The NFTs will feature “current and archival video moments and collectibles from across the League featuring past and present NHL stars and top plays,” the NHL said, with Dave Lehanski, league executive vice president of business development and innovation, promising a “fan-first” experience.
Along with the NHL, the National Hockey League Players’ Association and NHL Alumni Association are also onboard.
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