Tuesday, August 16

Are NFT drops and Black Friday deals going mainstream?


From the rise of the Metaverse to major brands announcing non-fungible token (NFT) drops, mass adoption of cryptocurrencies is underway. Americans, in particular, have become increasingly interested in cryptocurrencies, as recently recommendations The Pew Research Center found that nearly a quarter of 10,371 adults in the United States were familiar with cryptocurrency, while only an eighth (13%) were not fully familiar with the concept. Additional research from online brokerage firm, BrokerChooser, discovered that the US is the third most interested country in NFTs, behind Canada and Australia.

Given America’s curiosity about cryptocurrencies, it should come as no surprise that the price of Bitcoin (BTC), NFTs, and cryptocurrencies in general are topics likely to be discussed at the Thanksgiving table this year. In particular, Christmas-themed NFTs and cryptocurrency deals for Black Friday may be of particular interest.

The most interesting Thanksgiving NFTs

With this in mind, a compelling conversation starter can be about the number of brands and retailers that have started incorporating Christmas-themed NFTs into their product offerings. For example, Macy’s, one of the largest department stores in the United States, launching his “Macy’s Parade NFT” series on November 25, or Thanksgiving.

Dave Torres, Macy’s vice president of digital marketing, told Cointelegraph that for more than nine decades, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has reflected the best of pop culture. Torres explained that through the Thanksgiving parade, Macy’s has created art in the sky and on the ground with unique balloons and floats. In light of this, Torres mentioned that part of the goal behind the show’s NFT project was to better understand emerging trends while ensuring Macy’s is prepared to embrace the next frontier of digital brand experiences. “As we immersed ourselves in this project, we saw an opportunity to align the brand’s innovation with our charitable work for the Make-A-Wish Foundation in a way we never imagined possible,” he said.

Macy’s NFTs are based on the Polygon blockchain and powered by Sweet, an enterprise NFT solution provider. Tom Mizzone, CEO of Sweet, a consumer brand NFT platform, told Cointelegraph that the Macy’s Parade NFT series features parade balloons from the 95-year history of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade:

“Each parade balloon has been carefully selected to represent a specific decade from the 1920s to the present, and each balloon has been captured and grafted into a series of 9,510 generative NFTs designed by the talented NFT artist REOMETRY.”

Macy’s Parade 1970’s Star Ballon, Source: Sweet

According to Mizzone, the Macy’s Parade NFT series is unique for a number of reasons, one of which is that only ten of the NFTs can be purchased. “Those ten are only available through an auction that is available at Sweet now and ends in November. 30. The other 9,500 NFTs will be available for free on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 2021, on a first-come, first-served basis, ”he stated from an official website.

Macy’s Parade 1930’s Dachshund Ballon, Source: Sweet

Mizzone further commented that all proceeds generated by the ten NFTs available for auction will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an American non-profit organization that helps critically ill children. In terms of the 9,500 free NFTs Macy’s is giving away, Mizzone shared that Macy’s is moving beyond traditional charitable giving methods by setting an example in terms of leveraging NFT technology and smart contracts to implement a perpetual giving initiative. :

“Every time a Macy’s Parade NFT owner decides to sell their NFT on a compatible secondary market, 10% of the sale price will be donated to Make-A-Wish. You will basically have 9,500 NFT owners, when all this is said and done, and an open future of donations for, in this case, Make-A-Wish. As more retail brands begin to see the opportunity that exists with NFTs, Macy’s is setting a precedent for what is possible in the realm of rewards. “

In addition to the Macy’s NFT collection, American businesswoman and television personality Martha Stewart has also released Thanksgiving-themed non-fungible tokens on her website, MarthaFRESHMint. Following the launch of their Halloween-inspired NFT collection, the Thanksgiving-themed collection will be Stewart’s second NFT installment this year and will feature audio recordings of Stewart’s Thanksgiving memories.

Macy’s Parade 2020 Tiptoe Ballon, Source: Sweet

Stewart’s licensed “storytelling” Thanksgiving themed collection has been produced in collaboration with Tokns Commerce, a provider of NFT solutions for iconic brands and creators. Jamie Tedford, CEO of Tokns, a business solution for NFT, told Cointelegraph that the collection features more than 100 NFT collectibles that demonstrate a remake of iconic photos from Martha Stewart Living magazine:

“With our featured launch, Martha has invented a new category that we call ‘Storytelling NFT.’ This one-of-one NFT features exclusive audio of Martha remembering Thanksgiving family traditions and telling the story of her first attempt at making Thanksgiving dinner – burnt turkey and all. “

“Horn of Plenty” an iconic image from the pages of Martha Stewart Living’s Thanksgiving issues, Source: Tokns

According to Tedford, Stewart believes storytelling has become a lost art, one that has become especially challenging in recent years of social distancing. “We set out to establish NFTs as a means of reintroducing storytelling and resurfacing this little-known story of Martha’s disastrous first Thanksgiving in her new home. His iconic voice track and accompanying original music set a new standard for creating a rare, beautifully composed, one-of-one NFT, ”added Tedford.

Black Friday deals and ways to spend crypto this holiday

While Macy’s and Martha Stewart’s Turkey Day NFTs highlight the growth of cryptocurrencies, retailers, merchants and major brands have also started to support crypto payments in time for the holidays.

For example, on November 23, Regal, a movie operator with more than 500 locations and 7,000 screens in 42 US states. Announced which would partner with the Flexa digital payment network to allow customers to use crypto to buy movie tickets, food and drinks. It has been observed that Regal will accept a wide variety of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Doge (DOGE), USD Coin (USDC), DAI (DAI), Gemini Dollar (GUSD), Chainlink (LINK), Cosmos (ATOM), Basic Attention Token (BAT) and more.

Trevor Filter, co-founder of payments platform Flexa, told Cointelegraph that the growing demand for digital currency payment options, coupled with the fact that Regal is about to experience its busiest time of the year, makes this announcement is extremely timely:

“We couldn’t be more excited to launch this partnership before the holidays and we look forward to providing Regal customers and merchants with easy, reliable and secure digital currency payment options.”

In addition to Regal, Bitcoin payment provider BitPay has partnered with several of its providers to offer Black Friday deals to consumers paying with crypto. Merrick Theobald, Vice President of Marketing at BitPay, told Cointelegraph that Ace Jewelers, Newegg, precious metals retailer APMEX and many others will offer consumers discounts or prices that do not include additional fees. “Consumers must pay with crypto or the BitPay card to enjoy these offers,” Theobald noted.

The Bitcoin Lolli rewards app also offers users double Bitcoin reward rates for shopping on Black Friday. Lolli returns buyers Bitcoin on purchases made at stores like Sephora, Groupon, Macy’s, Nike, and other major retailers. Alex Adelman, CEO and co-founder of Lolli, told Cointelegraph that the average BTC reward rate will double to 14% on Black Friday.

How will consumers react to NFTs and crypto offerings?

Although Thanksgiving NFTs and crypto payments seem to be more popular than ever this holiday season, it is still questionable whether or not consumers will want to spend their digital currencies on purchases or collect holiday-specific NFTs from major brands.

For example, Theobald pointed out that while consumers are likely to spend cryptocurrencies this holiday season, it may not be more than in previous years:

“This year’s Black Friday has already started to occur for many merchants in early November, so it may not be easy to identify whether spending will increase specifically on Black Friday. However, I think that rising crypto prices will make people spend more on luxury items. “

Theobald added that while BitPay found Since Bitcoin is its most widely used crypto for payments, other currencies such as Dogecoin and Litecoin, along with stablecoins, are gaining ground among consumers and merchants. “The value of the ticket in stablecoins is actually higher than in traditional cryptocurrencies. This could be because merchants want to accept payments with crypto, so they are asking customers to buy with stablecoins because of all the benefits of blockchain payments, ”he commented.

Regarding holiday-themed NFTs, some concerns remain, such as environmental impacts and ease of use, especially for those who are not as familiar with obtaining non-fungible tokens.

Related: Beyond the NFT Hype: Creating Lasting Business Models for Artists

With these challenges in mind, Tedford explained that Tokns aims to make NFTs more accessible by eliminating dependency on a crypto wallet. “This is why we chose to build our platform on top of Shopify and leverage Shopify Payments to enable credit card transactions, and Coinbase Commerce to welcome crypto transactions.” He added: “Once consumers purchase their NFTs, we guide them through the process of transferring it to their crypto wallet.” Tedford says that more than 90% of the transactions on MarthaFRESHMint were with credit cards, with the majority of these purchases coming from first-time buyers of NFT.

In terms of the impact that NFTs can have on the environment, Mizzone commented that Sweet leverages the Polygon blockchain for a number of reasons, one of which is that Polygon is a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain. As such, Mizzone noted that the power Polygon consumes is several orders of magnitude below that of other chains. “If our goal is to remove the barrier, and it is, then removing that potential environmental barrier is huge.”