Crypto trading platform eToro launches a $20 million NFT fund as NFT gold rush heats up
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are no longer a fad. In the last year alone, the digital art market exploded after the report of a single piece of non-fungible token (NFT) art sold at Christie’s Auction for a record-setting $69.3 million, making it the most expensive digital art ever sold.
No one really knows for sure if the artwork is really worth the price. But investors are convinced that the underlying technology behind NFTs is worth billions. Since then, venture capitalists, fintech companies, and other investors have poured billions of dollars into the space as the NFT gold rush heats up.
Yesterday, crypto trading platform eToro joined the NFT craze with the launch of a $20 million fund to purchase NFTs and bolster creators. The startup made the announcement during the launch at The Bass, a contemporary art museum in Miami, Thursday.
Dubbed eToro.art, the new initiative aims to support NFT creators and brands. eToro’s U.S. managing director Guy Hirsch said the new fund marked the beginning of a greater NFT strategy for the company. The goal is to eventually offer a multitude of services to allow investors to participate in the emerging economy.
eToro is the latest in a series of tech companies embracing NFTs. Just last week, Visa launched an NFT-focused program to help creators build their business with NFTs. According to Visa, the one-year immersion program will bring together a global cohort of creators interested in building their business with NFTs.
NFT (non-fungible token) is a type of cryptographic token on a blockchain that represents a unique digital asset. They are digital assets that represent real-world objects — such as art, music, real estate, and beyond — and can’t be replicated.
These assets can either be entirely digital assets or tokenized versions of real-world assets. Because NFTs are not interchangeable with each other, they may function as proof of authenticity and ownership within the digital realm, for example as proof of the authenticity of rare art. NFT is a special type of token that lives on the Ethereum blockchain and proves digital ownership of its associated media.
“Before, with bitcoin and ether, you had only the likes of Goldman Sachs or similar traditional financial players participating or looking at expanding into crypto,” Hirsch told CNBC. “NFTs are essentially making any and every potential brand a participant in this market.”
As part of its new initiative, eToro showcased its digital art collection, which includes well-known projects, including the Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, and World of Women. Further, eToro plans to commit $10 million to support emerging creators and brands in bringing their new NFT projects to market this year.
Digital art is just one use case for NFTs. Hirsch said eToro plans to add capabilities that will give customers exposure to use cases beyond digital art. eToro now joins a list of other big companies including Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Nike, Gucci, the National Football League, and more, which have brought NFTs.
Founded in 2007 by brothers Yoni Assia and Ronen Assia together with David Ring, eToro has 20 million registered users who can manually invest in cryptocurrencies, stocks, commodities, and more, while those who lack time or experience can automatically copy the trades of others on the platform. eToro currently boasts over 20 million traders on its platform.