NewsBusiness

NFTs Are the ‘Gateway to Crypto’: Binance Executive

In a Clubhouse session earlier today, a Binance executive described the booming NFT market as a new way for crypto to go mainstream.

2 min read
NFTs are becoming big business in the art world. Image: Shutterstock

In brief

  • A Binance executive suggested that NFTs are the new gateway into crypto.
  • The comment came one day after Beeple, a renowned digital artist, sold an NFT collection for $69.3 million.

NFTs have been called a lot of things lately, and we can add “gateway to crypto” to that growing list of superlatives, according to a Binance executive.

Teck Chia of Binance X made the comment during a live session on audio social media platform Clubhouse on Friday, suggesting that the mainstream attention being directed towards NFTs right now should lead more people into the wider cryptocurrency market.

“I’m seeing people who don’t know anything about crypto adopt or try to buy an NFT first,” Chia said, adding, “So it’s kind of like a gateway to crypto.” 

NFTs or non-fungible tokens are unique digital tokens based on blockchain, most often on the Ethereum blockchain. These tokens can represent just about anything on the internet, but they’ve become increasingly popular in the art and music world. 

The NFT industry has exploded recently, with a variety of artistic collections like Hashmasks selling for millions of dollars. Acclaimed musician 3LAU recently sold his album as a collection of NFTs. And earlier this week, renowned digital artist Beeple made history when he sold an NFT collection for almost $70 million. 

The collection, titled EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS, is a collection of Beeple’s digital artwork that he has now been doing everyday for 13 years. Selling for $69.3 million, it is the third-most expensive artwork to be sold by a living artist.

Tron Founder Justin Sun just missed out on taking home the collection during the bidding war. Earlier today, it was revealed that the pseudonymous NFT investors Metakovan, who’s been known to drop extravagant amounts of money on NFT collectibles in the past, was the winning bidder.

So if NFTs are the gateway drug into crypto, when will we see crypto exchanges like Binance start offering functionality for those kinds of products? 

“I won’t comment on Binance specifically, but I think in general, for sure,” Chia said in response to a question from Decrypt Editor in Chief Dan Roberts about whether crypto exchanges like Binance would soon try to list NFTs. Chia added, “I totally expect an exchange to get skin in the game.”

Another Binance executive on the Clubhouse call, David Princay, also declined to comment directly about Binance but said the area of NFTs was “of interest" for exchanges.

Want to be a crypto expert? Get the best of Decrypt straight to your inbox.

Get the biggest crypto news stories + weekly roundups and more!