Ripple CTO David Schwartz predicted earlier this year that the second wave of tokenized assets would shift to utility-based NFTs. In fact, every Ripple executive that weighed in on 2023 crypto trends predicted that 2023 will be the year of real-world utility.
It appears as though those digital token predictions are already coming true. One of the top trends in Web3 that has emerged over the past year is the bridging of physical products, services, and experiences with the digital world—also known as ‘phygital NFTs’. From bringing IRL concerts to the metaverse; to digital token gating with utility; brands, musicians and creators can offer exclusive products and content to their followers—powered by blockchain technology. It’s no surprise some of the biggest household names in the fashion and food and beverage industries including Starbucks, Nike, Adidas, and Balmain have adopted a tokenization strategy as a way to cultivate digital experiences and relationships directly with their audiences and offer new content distribution channels.
Last October, Ripple brought a wave of NFT creators transforming the entertainment and media industry—specifically music—through its Creator Fund. Today, Ripple is unlocking new tokenization use cases on the XRP Ledger with creators focused on blending physical and digital experiences with real-world utility.
Introducing Wave 3 Winners of Ripple’s Creator Fund
Since XLS-20 hit Mainnet, the XRP Ledger saw hundreds of projects benefit from the XRP Ledger’s low-cost, carbon-neutral, instant settlement, and built in royalty structures—maximizing value for NFT creators and their communities to consume content.
Ripple has continued to invest in functional NFT projects through its Creator Fund, a $250 million commitment to foster innovation in tokenization. The Creator Fund provides financial, creative and technical support to help creators bring their phygital NFT projects to life on the XRPL, stretch the bounds of what’s possible and explore new use cases for NFTs.
Through the Creator Fund, Ripple hopes to continue to accelerate the future of tokenization and digital experiences led by seven independent creators, including:
- Hot Import Nights:
- Hot Import Nights is looking to leverage NFTs as tickets to access IRL events and exclusive merchandise only available to NFT holders. NFT holders will also be able to access a VIP area/lounge at all events using the NFT as “a badge for entry.” Michael Munar, President and CEO, comments, “Over the past two decades, the HOT IMPORT NIGHTS® brand has always been about the future and innovation. What’s more fitting than integrating blockchain technology for automotive enthusiasts to gain access to large scale events, exclusive merchandise drops, secret car meets, and obtain unique collectable NFT artwork? With the XRP Ledger’s reliable and sustainable technology, we can now accomplish this to power real life experiences for HIN’s global community.”
- Adrian Balastegui:
- Adrian Balastegui is an artist that wants to blend the physical and digital art world through his canvas paintings. Offering his audience the ability to hold NFTs as digital assets in their wallets while printing and signing a one-of-a-kind physical canvas print, holders can also display the physical artwork.
- Emporio Records:
- Emporio Records is an independent record label looking to use NFTs as a way to engage with artists’ fans and community by offering exclusive access to never-before-heard music, exclusive merchandise drops, and pre-purchases for concert tickets. NFT holders can also use the NFTs as a “badge” to meet their favorite artist in real life at concerts—one NFT gets you first access to purchase tickets, exclusive merchandise from the show, and the ability to meet the artist in person. Sebastian Jácome, CEO of Emporio Records adds, “Thanks to the Creator Fund, we are now empowered to collaborate with talented individuals in Latin America to bring forth many collections of imaginative and original NFTs. We are thrilled to join forces with the Ripple team to create a dynamic portfolio of NFTs that resonate with fans of Emporio Records artists. By doing so, we aim to strengthen our bond with our dedicated fanbase and establish a long-lasting connection with them.”
- Mike Sotirakos:
- Mike Sotirakos is a creative mind that wants to help artists enter the digital world of NFTs while still offering the element of “real life” art pieces. Working with artists like Lorenzo Quinn, Mike is helping accelerate the transitions from physical to digital art while simultaneously offering the art piece to collectors. Creating physical artwork pieces and launching a digital NFT brings traditional art collectors into the digital space. Sotirakos adds that he “sees the XRPL as the perfect ecosystem to transact high-value art and collections efficiently and safely through NFTs. The XRPL has always been focused on facilitating transactionality and value representation and is widely adopted around the world, making it the ideal partner for XRPStudio and our renowned artists.”
- Natacha Einat:
- Natacha is an artist that wants to extend her NFT offerings into physical prints. Her fans and collectors are mostly NFT savvy and now want the best of both worlds—a digital NFT and a physical print. She is offering her collectors physical prints of her art on metal printed canvas that reflect her hard work and creativity. NFT collectors are able to use the NFT to gain first access to her Masterclasses where she teaches digital illustration creation. “The potential of NFTs is limitless,” comments Einat, “and I’m excited to have the opportunity to bring my creativity to life and share it with the world, in a new and innovative way on the XRPL.”
- Robert Chew:
- Robert wants to bring his digital comic books to life. His fans are avid comic book readers and collectors, and now want a physical copy of his digital comic series for their own personal comics collections.
- TraumAmnesia is an NFT, crypto savvy artist looking to bring more of his digital work to real life. His NFTs will come with access to events for his brand like a virtual get together of his NFT collectors to play video games together on an Oculus—a first step into understanding and participating in the metaverse.
It’s exciting to hear firsthand from these visionary creators how they plan to leverage NFTs on the XRPL. As Romain Lohezic of TraumAmnesia says, “The arrival of NFTs is a total game changer for creators. The speed of transfer, carbon neutrality and simplicity of the XRPL are major pluses. As an artist, I’m very happy to participate in the development of this use case at scale.”
Spurring the Next Generation of Creators
The Creator Fund today has attracted over 5,000+ applications to-date to realize the value and benefits of the XRP Ledger for tokenized assets. Throughout the remainder of 2023, Ripple will double down on this year’s previously announced winners to bring their phygital NFT projects to life.
Check out the developer reflections spotlight series to see what Creator Fund winners and other community members are building on the XRP Ledger.
To learn more about Ripple’s Creator Fund, visit https://ripple.com/creatorfund/.