In the end, do NFTs even matter? Linkin Park rapper joins celebrity NFT mania

Mike Shinoda, the musician and co-founder of the rap rock band Linkin Park, started an auction on Rarible last night for “Zora,” an NFT (Nonfungible Token) music clip from an upcoming song. In doing so, Shinoda is joining an ever-growing crowd of celebrities and influencers who are getting their toes dipped in NFT technology – and bringing their sizeable fan base for the ride.

Late last night, Shinoda revealed the drop with a brief tweet:

I did something: #NFTs #Cryptoart @ourZORA

– Mike Shinoda (@mikeshinoda) February 6, 2021

In a follow-up thread, Shinoda described the auction as an “experiment” and appeared to be impressed by the value proposition of demonstrable scarcity and ownership:

“Here’s the crazy thing. Even if I uploaded the full version of the included song to DSPs worldwide (which I can still do), I would never get anywhere near $ 10,000 after fees from DSPs, labels, marketing, etc., ”he wrote.

He ended the thread with a link to a “beginner’s guide” on NFTs and invited his followers to learn more.

More celebrities than a gossip magazine

Shinoda isn’t the only celebrity who has played with NFTs.

Yesterday, YouTuber Logan Paul released a set of 44 NFTs designed as Pokemon cards to promote his upcoming celebrity boxing match. Likewise, billionaire Mark Cuban posted some half-hearted animations on Rarible and is releasing another set today where shoppers can request personalized videos from the Shark Tank host.

Craig Russo, co-founder of Polyient Games, says celebrity activity is an inevitable by-product of a bull market that is overtaking the NFT space, but also a natural product market that better connects celebrities with their communities:

“After a relatively slow period in recent months, the NFT market is heating up again,” said Russo. “Given that the current use cases for NFTs are approachable and very social, we are gradually seeing an influx of mainstream interest. This ultimately led to some notable celebrities entering the room. “

Notable celebrities … and a few less than notable ones. Rounding out the big names trying to pawn a few tokens are one-hit marvel Soulja Boy, which has been selling collectibles on Rarible for the past week. 30 ETH worth of animations are currently for sale and he’s experimenting with other non-blockchain content platforms after recently setting up an OnlyFans account.

Directly to the consumer

While some efforts have been more of an obvious cash robbery than others, there are plenty of examples of projects and people who seem genuinely interested in using the technology to better connect with their fans. Aaron Wright, co-founder of Openlaw and a member of the NFT investment group Flamingo DAO, says this is a natural fit and perfect use case for blockchain.

“One of Ethereum’s visions has always been Web3 and the creation of an ownership economy. As the NFTs grow, we see that working, ”Wright said. “Celebrities are realizing that instead of relying on ad-based models, they can interact directly with their community and tribe online by selling their creative work.”

Pranksy, the collector whale who recently made NFTs on the nightly news for the masses, also believes celebrities who use NFTs to monetize their content and connect with fans could stay here.

“Mark Cuban is not the first or the last celebrity to monetize NFTs. More eyes for the space can only be a good thing, and the hope is that they will continue to embrace and support the community without making any quick buck, ”said the collector.

It’s a notion that Shinoda seems to have gotten used to himself. After critics who were not privy to the tenets of NFTs criticized him for selling content that users can watch for free, Shinoda gave his followers a quick lesson on value and NFTs:

The thing that puts everyone off is the idea that “something I would post on Instagram has no value”.

This is wrong.

It’s very valuable to IG. User activity = they make money. Here exactly the same element (the post) has real public value – for * you * # nft

– Mike Shinoda (@mikeshinoda) February 6, 2021