Venture capital is flowing into non-fungible token (NFT) platforms at an unprecedented rate. The latest to secure a big chunk of funding is Showtime.
The funding round was led by crypto investment firm Paradigm with contributions from DJ 3LAU (Justin David Blau), DeFiRate’s Cooper Turley, K2 Global founder Minal Hasan, chief strategy officer at CoinShares Meltem Demirors, and a number of other prominent industry figures.
Showtime aims to give content creators a better way of distributing and monetizing their work. In the announcement tweet on May 5, it said that digital art is just the first step, elaborating:
“Our goal is to build a social media protocol that billions of people will use every day across the entire internet. Creators will finally own their content, and soon their online identity.”
Facebook for non-fungibles?
On the surface, the protocol appears to be aiming to become the Facebook of non-fungibles. However, the difference is that users would own and monetize their content rather than the platform controlling and profiting from it. The platform aggregates NFTs to offer an Instagram-type experience.
It was co-founded by Alex Masmej and Alex Kilkka who stated “We’re turning the world of social media on its head by putting users beyond platforms.”
Masmej became well-known for tokenizing himself in April 2020, raising $20,000 and allowing holders of his ALEX token to vote on his life choices, such as exercise and diet.
He now wants to give that opportunity to all creators on the Showtime platform, stating that it will be owned and governed by its users, and free of Web2 advertising.
In a statement, Paradigm’s Arjun Balaji said:
“Paradigm is inspired by Alex’s vision of building a user-owned NFT social network, and we’re excited to support the Showtime team as they create the premier NFT consumer platform and revolutionize creator monetization.”
NFT mania continues
There appears to be no letup in the NFT craze that 2021 will be remembered for. It’s not just limited to crypto art either. People from all fields including DJs, boxers, singers, authors, and football players are jumping on the tokenization bandwagon.
The news this week from the cryptosphere has been dominated by NFTs. On May 5, internet personality and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk announced that he would be launching a collection of NFTs.
Also on May 5, IoT firm WISeKey announced the launch of an NFT ecosystem aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in June 2021. May 4 was even celebrated by Star Wars fans with an NFT collection just for them.