US news agency launches NFT platform for photography

The Associated Press (AP) news agency is launching an NFT marketplace where collectors can purchase tokenized photos from the global news platform.

NFT photo marketplace

The first photos will be released in a few weeks from January 31 at various prices, according to the marketplace’s website.

The photos will be minted as NFTs on the Ethereum layer-two scale network called Polygon. The platform supports secondary transactions with debit or credit cards and payments in Ethereum.

The marketplace is being built by Xooa, a blockchain infrastructure platform that specializes in building “white-label NFT marketplaces for brands and IP owners.” Head of marketplaces at Xooa, Zach Danker-Feldman, said the partnership will serve as a “powerful connection between the virtual world and the real world.”

Crypto wallet provider Metamask is also supported. Future collaborations with Fortmatic, Binance and Coinbase are also on the cards. Additional features include “withdrawals to other marketplaces”, “social media opportunities”, “new content concepts” and “off-chain benefits” for NFT holders.

Once every two weeks there is a “Pulitzer Drop”. This is a drop of photos that won the Pulitzer Prize. Each NFT contains the detailed metadata of the photo, such as the time, date, location, equipment and technical settings used for the photo.

According to an AP announcement, proceeds from the NFT sales will go back to funding AP journalism. The Associated Press is a 175-year-old non-profit news cooperative based in New York City. While the platform allows for secondary market sales, it charges a hefty 10% fee.

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The news agency and blockchain technology

This is not the news agency’s first foray into blockchain technology. In October 2021, it entered into a partnership with Chainlink Labs. The company wanted all data from its US newspaper and broadcasters to be cryptographically verified.

In 2020, the AP used the Ethereum and EOS blockchains to publish the results of the presidential election. In addition, in 2018 it partnered with blockchain-based journalism startup Civil.

The AP is not the only news organization showing interest in the possible use of blockchain in the journalism industry. In June 2021, CNN launched its NFT project “Vault by CNN: Moments That Changed Us.” The collection symbolized a series of historic “news moments” from the news company’s 41-year history.

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