Watch out, Shutterstock—Getty Images is getting into NFTs.
The NFTs—unique blockchain tokens that signify ownership—will be minted on the Palm blockchain, an Ethereum-compatible sidechain. Getty Images will draw from its collection of over 465 million images, including 135 analog photographs, with a focus on turning never-before-seen archival works into NFTs.
According to a statement, Getty Images CEO Craig Peters sees NFTs as a way to tap into a new market and customer base, while Candy Digital CEO Scott Lawin sees the partnership as a way for Candy to offer new NFTs that touch upon culture and history, beyond the world of sports.
Photography NFTs have already carved out a niche separate from the world of Bored Apes, CryptoPunks, and Okay Bears. Photographers like Cath Simard, Elise Swopes, Randall Slavin, Aimos Vasquez, and Anna McNaught have sold photos for thousands of Ethereum (ETH) each, and OpenSea has a “trending photography” category.
In the world of photography, NFTs also have been a controversial topic, with some concerned about the energy consumption of various blockchains. But the ConsenSys-backed Palm blockchain claims it uses 99% less energy than the Ethereum Mainnet. Since launching last year, Palm also is compatible with the decentralized exchange Uniswap and the crypto wallet MetaMask.
The NFT community at large, however, appears less interested in photography and more interested in trading the metaverse or profile picture project of the week. Notably, the top 100 collections on OpenSea—whose marketplace still makes up the vast majority of all NFT sales—does not include a single photography collection.