The Associated Press (AP) is introducing a nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace for tokenized photos, built by blockchain infrastructure firm Xooa, the platform will support the Metamask wallet with also withdrawal features.
Photographs from AP photojournalists will be included in the first collection of NFTs, which will cover topics such as space, climate, and war. According to the marketplace’s website, they will be released over multiple weeks beginning on January 31 for varied costs.
On the Ethereum layer-two scaling network Polygon, the images will be minted as NFTs. Secondary transactions using debit or credit cards, as well as Ethereum payments, will be supported on the platform.
Xooa, a blockchain infrastructure firm that specializes in creating “white-label NFT markets for brands and IP owners,” is establishing the marketplace. The relationship will act as a “strong bridge between the virtual world and the real world,” according to Xooa’s head of marketplaces, Zach Danker-Feldman.
Metamask, a cryptocurrency wallet, is also supported, and potential integrations with Fortmatic, Binance, and Coinbase are in the works. “Withdrawals to other marketplaces,” “social media capabilities,” “new content concepts,” and “off-chain benefits” for NFT holders are also on the way.
There will be a “Pulitzer Drop” every two weeks, featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning images. Each NFT will include extensive metadata about the shot, such as the time, date, location, equipment, and technical settings used.
According to an announcement by the Associated Press, proceeds from the sale of the NFT will be used to support AP journalism. The Associated Press is a non-profit news cooperative established in New York City that has been around for 175 years. Although the site would allow secondary market sales, a hefty 10% fee will be charged.
Blockchain and News platform relationship
This isn’t the news organization’s first dive into blockchain. The Associated Press teamed up with Chainlink Labs in October 2021 to ensure that any data from its U.S. newspaper and broadcaster members was cryptographically authenticated.
The Associated Press used the Ethereum and EOS blockchains to announce the presidential election results in 2020. It also teamed with Civil, a blockchain-based journalism startup, in 2018 to help it manage content usage and protect intellectual property rights.
The Associated Press isn’t the only news outfit interested in blockchain’s possible applications in journalism. CNN’s NFT initiative “Vault by CNN: Moments That Changed Us” debuted in June 2021. The compilation commemorated a number of key “news moments” in the news organization’s 41-year history.