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A major stamp of approval emerged this week with the launch of the VanEck Community NFT from US fund manager VanEck. Already a big player in digital assets trading, VanEck said the new Community NFT will be distributed to 1000 holders who want early access to research, be in the know on specific investment opportunities, and who also want to take part in real and virtual events and experiences that the company will sponsor in the future.

VanEck said that while NFTs are most widely associated with the art world, they are now being used to tokenise a wide range of assets, including play-to-earn assets, real estate and collectibles. The pre-reveal NFT dropped to participants’ crypto wallets on Monday and include a story line that is tied to VanEck’s Hammy character, a fictitious representation of Alexander Hamilton.

“If NFTs are digital property rights, then the VanEck Community NFT is essentially a digital membership card offering exclusive access to an inclusive community of like-minded Investors and crypto enthusiasts,” explained Matthew Bartlett, Head of Internal Sales at VanEck.

The launch of the VanEck Community NFT is built around a series of promotional video releases. “These videos will tell the fictional story of “Hammy” as he explores the past, present and future of monetary policy and is met by new friends that help him in his missions,” said Bartlett. “The first NFT release will be in the form of airdropped still images from Hammy’s saga with a future, unique 3D avatar reveal. VanEck Community NFTs will live on the Ethereum blockchain.”

Towards the end of May, each NFT will transform into its final version, the fund manager said. These will be high quality avatars built with Unreal Engine 5, currently the highest quality rendering tool on the market. Each avatar will have traits that may be rare and qualify its holder for exclusive access to events and opportunities.

First NFT to be offered by a global asset manager

“This is the first NFT offered by a global asset manager, and I think it is a great step towards educating the mainstream about the real-world utility inherent in the NFT structure,” said Marcus Sotiriou, an analyst at GlobalBlock, the digital asset broker.

An executive at WisdomTree, an asset management firm with $78 billion under management, added that “cryptocurrencies have firmly established themselves as a new asset class and it truly is something that people can’t ignore.” The fact that major financial institutions like WisdomTree are also recommending risk-assessed allocations to the crypto space is a very bullish sign for the industry.

This is a very significant move for VanEck; other fund managers will be paying close attention to this launch, as it has provided VanEck with first mover advantage into the NFT space. The firm is obviously hoping that it will help it to build a following in the emerging market of NFT buyers. The sums involved in this market already look significant enough to attract the attention of asset managers with multiple tens of billions in assets under management.

There will be 1,000 total VanEck NFTs broken down into three rarities: common (750), rare (230), and legendary (small amount). The legendary rarity NFTs will feature important historical figures. The rarity of the NFT will determine the types of benefits associated with it. Examples of NFT benefits include early access to VanEck thought leadership, lunch with Jan Van Eck or exclusive VanEck party access in trendy locations.

“During the reveal of the final PFP and third promotional video, we will be communicating with our NFT holders through periodic email communication, a web2 interface they can check for updates, a specific VanEck Community NFT Twitter account and YouTube channel,” said Bartlett. “These mediums will be used to share announcements and alpha tied to utility and any potential future drops, and may include educational content and a way to capture community feedback for preferences around upcoming events.”

More information is available from VanEck’s dedicated NFT page.

Related

Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Stuart Fieldhouse

Stuart Fieldhouse

Stuart Fieldhouse has spent 25 years in journalism and marketing, including as a wealth management editor for the Financial Times group, covering capital markets and international private banking, and as an investment banking correspondent for Euromoney in Hong Kong. He was the founder editor of The Hedge Fund Journal.

Stuart has worked at CMC Markets, supporting the re-launch of its global financial spread betting and CFD trading platforms. He is also the author of two books on trading, published by Financial Times Pearson. Based in The Armchair Trader’s London office, Stuart continues to advise fund managers, private banks, family offices and other financial institutions.

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