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Salesforce Introduces NFT Cloud Marketplace for Customers

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Customer relations management software company Salesforce introduces a new NFT marketplace for brand engagement.
  • The company will manage security and smart contracts on behalf of customers.
  • Salesforce's links with NFTs began when TIME magazine, owned by co-CEO Marc Benioff, ventured into the NFT space last year.
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The customer relations management software behemoth Salesforce introduces an NFT marketplace to drive user engagement on customer platforms.

You could find the ticket for your next major conference on Salesforce’s new NFT marketplace, launching to the general public in October 2021. But, unlike the famous market, OpenSea, you won’t find cartoon pictures of bored primates or pixelated 8-bit characters here.

“The art should look great. But that’s not really the point,” says Adam Caplan, head of emerging technology at the CRM firm. Caplan said that the new NFTs would have utility more than artistic merit or trading value.

Non-fungible tokens are records of ownership on the blockchain that have netted marketplaces like OpenSea significant trading volume. However, some say that the boom is over, with crypto exchange Coinbase recently launching its NFT marketplace to a tepid reception. Veebits creator Gary Vaynerchuk believes that the crash happened naturally in accordance with other hyped products but that the long-term future for NFTs still holds promise.

Heightened security on NFT Cloud

Salesforce hopes that its new marketplace will address issues from phishing attacks to insider trading plaguing marketplaces like OpenSea. There will be a more secure environment to create and sell NFTs. Customers of Salesforce, which are usually enterprises, can list their NFTs on their own website, with Salesforce handling back-end security, the writing of smart contracts, and authentication. The service will be available to a few customers in a testing phase, followed by an official launch in October.

According to Caplan, customers using the NFT marketplace seek engagement from NFT buyers rather than an appreciation of the value of the NFT.

To address employee concerns that the new marketplace would fly in the face of Salesforce’s sustainability goals, Caplan said that clients would use more environmentally-friendly blockchains and be able to buy carbon offsets. NFT marketplace Rarible offers the option to mint (create new) NFTs on Tezos, an environmentally-friendly blockchain.

Regarding the proliferation of scams totaling over $1B since the beginning of 2021, Caplan said there would be an ability to pause assets and wallets suspected of being involved in fraud.

Salesforce CEO’s purchase of TIME an early exploration into NFTs

Reports heralding Salesforce’s new cloud-based NFT marketplace surfaced in February 2022. Since Co-CEO Marc Benioff bought TIME magazine in 2018, the legacy publisher engaged with NFTs extensively in 2021 and 2022. In 2021, it launched the TIMEPieces NFT collection with artwork from 40 artists. In March 2022, it issued an NFT of a complete magazine edition featuring Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin on the cover.

Benioff mentioned at the time that TIME was using OpenSea’s Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to help manage their NFT collection.

This new marketplace isn’t the company’s first foray into Web 3.0. In 2019, Salesforce launched Salesforce Blockchain using Hyperledger Sawtooth.

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David Thomas
David Thomas graduated from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, with an Honors degree in electronic engineering. He worked as an engineer for eight years, developing software for industrial processes at South African automation specialist Autotronix (Pty) Ltd., mining control systems for AngloGold Ashanti, and consumer products at Inhep Digital Security, a domestic security company wholly owned by Swedish conglomerate Assa Abloy. He has experience writing software in C,...