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NFTs appeal to Generation Z investors looking for alter...

Business Maverick


Non-fungible tokens appeal to Generation Z investors looking for alternative opportunities – Momint co-founder

An art piece by Turkish-American new media digital artist Refik Anadol titled 'Machine Hallucination Space: Metaverse Lot 1' at the Digital Art Fair Asia in Hong Kong, China, on 5 October 2021. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Jerome Favre)

Momint is one of a growing number of NFT-based marketplaces, the best known of which is OpenSea. These are digital platforms designed for buying and selling NFTs.

Cryptic, _cryptic_visuals on Instagram, is a 19-year-old South African visual artist who converts his art into non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and sells each piece online for up to $200. He has more than 2,000 followers on Instagram and 7,500 on the NFT platform Momint. He has no tertiary education, yet his trade has brought him financial security.

If you were born between the mid-1990s and 2010 — a member of Generation Z — chances are good that you will, at the very least, consider an investment in Cryptic’s art. Or else you may consider buying one of 1,000 NFTs related to an upcoming song from the Nigerian singer and songwriter Chukwuka Ekweani, better known by his stage name CKay, and one of the biggest stars in Nigeria’s music scene. Ownership of the song will give you rights to a portion of the streaming revenue generated by that song in the future.

You may even consider buying a Bored Ape, for an astronomical price.

“This age demographic is looking for alternative investment opportunities,” says Ahren Posthumous, co-founder of Momint. He describes Momint as a platform for creators to release their best work, build a following and earn royalties.

Momint is one of a growing number of NFT-based marketplaces, the best known of which is OpenSea. These are digital platforms designed for buying and selling NFTs. They allow people to store and display their NFTs and sell them to others for cryptocurrency or money. Some NFT marketplaces, like Momint, also allow content creators, whether musicians or visual artists, to mint their NFTs on the platform itself.

“Gen Z investors have all heard about traditional stocks, bonds, ETFs, and they don’t really get it — they are not interested. But if you talk about creators, influencers and NFTs, they are digital natives who are ingrained into this ecosystem — they get it,” he says.

The company is working with The Scoin Shop to tokenise a complete set of 1892 Krugerrands, which, he says, are the original Krugerrands. 

“Fractionalising these coins means that a new generation of collectors can get their hands on this iconic coin set.” 

It was Momint that created the non-fungible token from Nelson Mandela’s original arrest warrant, the sale of which raised R1.9-million to help fund the heavily indebted Liliesleaf Farm and Museum, one of South Africa’s foremost national heritage sites.

The company is active in Nigeria, SA, Kenya, the UAE, the Philippines, Dubai and Indonesia. Europe and the US are on the map, but these markets are more competitive, Posthumous says. 

Many think NFTs are gimmicks and predict their demise, along with the rest of the crypto industry, which is in the throes of a “crypto winter”. This is the season during which crypto prices fall and stay low for an extended period of time. Take bitcoin, which has dropped by about 55% year-to-date and is sitting at about $21,000 per coin.

This is missing the point, says Posthumous. “NFTs are not about crypto. The underlying benefit of the NFT is the smart contract — which also underpins cryptocurrencies.” 

NFTs are minted through smart contracts that assign ownership and manage the transferability of the NFTs. When someone creates or mints an NFT, they execute code stored in smart contracts that conform to different standards. This information is added to the blockchain where the NFT is being managed. 

“So, for instance, CKay can release his next song as 1,000 NFTs. The owners of those tokens will get all of the streaming revenue from that song — a process that is managed by the blockchain and tracked using artificial intelligence,” he says. 

While NFTs initially gained popularity in the art world, their use case goes far beyond this. That was just the first industry that NFTs disrupted and, to some extent, it was a bubble. Posthumous sees more tangible use cases. For instance, supply chain logistics will move on to the blockchain. 

“If a company says their cocoa beans are ethically sourced, you will be able to authenticate this using NFTs and the blockchain.” 

Momint was a recent finalist and regional winner of The Extreme Tech Challenge competition. This global competition aims to empower start-ups creating tech innovations that address global challenges. Posthumous and the team are heading to the US to take advantage of the doors that the competition has opened, and to raise $2-million in funding. BM


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