Are influencer collectibles the next big NFT trend? A Pontem Network perspective

Pontem Network
6 min readMay 18, 2021

Digital art NFTs fetch thousands of dollars, so it’s not surprising that influencers and bloggers are looking for ways to join the NFT trend and turn their own work into crypto collectibles. But what would be the best platform for influencer NFTs?

It’s natural to think of Diem by Facebook first, because KOLs’ audiences are based on Facebook and Instagram. However, Pontem Network might be a better option, allowing bloggers to sell NFTs to the same 2.7 billion-strong audience but without the regulatory hurdles of Diem.

How can influencers earn money selling NFTs?

An NFT is a blockchain representation of a unique asset — an artwork, song, virtual plot of land, domain name, a CryptoKittie, and so forth. Some NFTs fetch millions of dollars, such as this collage by Beeple, which was sold for $69m in March 2021, making it the most expensive non-fungible token in history:

Image: The Verge

But what if you are not an artist but a blogger? What is it that you could tokenize and sell on an NFT marketplace? And would people buy it?

The answer is yes: influencers who cover travel, fashion, cooking, gaming, parenting, etc. can definitely make money with NFTs if they get creative and pick the most NFT-able (if there is such a word) of their content, for example:

  • A YouTube video or snippets from it. For example, NBA Top Shots releases packs of its best game moments as NFTs and sells them on the official marketplace. And travel video creator David Hoffman (Davidsbeenhere) is now preparing to turn a clip about his travels in India into an NFT;
  • A Tweet or Instagram post: an NFT of Jack Dorsey’s first tweet was sold for $2.9m, so why not? Of course, bloggers would do well to choose their most popular and liked posts for NFTs to maximize the selling price;
  • Whole blog posts;
  • Signed images: for example, the blog image that get pinned most on Pinterest, with the influencer’s digital autograph on it
  • Custom-created content: how about a best recipes eBook or a detailed travel guide that is published together with an NFT, and the NFT buyer gets it first?
  • Simple signed NFTs: anyone who has an account on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube etc. can issue NFTs with their autographs or tokens that will grant privileges to holders, such as access to hidden content or special giveaways — the possibilities are endless.

For example, in March popular model Kara Del Toro released her first NFT on OpenSea. It gives access to a folder with 10 never-before-seen images of the model. Kara sold it for 1.9 ETH, which is now equivalent to almost $6,500 — not bad!

Source: OpenSea

Forecasting the prices for influencer NFTs

How much one can earn this way will depend on how large and loyal the blogger’s audience is. Users will buy influencer NFTs for two reasons:

  1. The buyer is a fan and wants to ‘own’ a piece of the blogger’s creative production. If an influencer has lots of followers, the competition for each NFT will be higher, as the final auction price.
  2. The buyer is an investor and expects the token’s price to grow in the future. It makes more sense to buy the NFTs of the most popular bloggers, since they will appreciate most in the secondary market.

An NBA Top Shots NFT costs between $9 and $999 when bought directly from the issuer. Popular bloggers will probably fetch prices in the same range. Granted, it’s less than what bloggers earn with sponsored integrations, but it’s more than the income from banner ads.

There’s one very important point to consider, though: the costs of minting an NFT.

Why minting NFTs on Ethereum is a bad idea for bloggers

An influencer’s revenue from selling NFTs needs to cover the issuance costs, which is comprised of two parts:

  1. Blockchain fees. Most NFTs are issued on the Ethereum blockchain, where you have to pay for gas. NFT minting involves a complex smart contract and thus requires a lot more gas than simply sending crypto. Plus, the gas has been very expensive in the past few months, so you can expect to pay at least $50–100 in gas fees per NFT collection.
  2. Marketplace fees. While you can issue an NFT on your own, it will be hard to promote it and find buyers. That’s why most creators work with NFT marketplaces like OpenSea and Rarible. And while minting NFTs on OpenSea is technically gasless and free, there is a gas fee to initialize a seller account and accept a bid from a buyer — expect to pay around $150 in total. On Rarible, the costs can exceed $600.
In 12 months, ETH transaction fees surged from $0.15 to $30. Image: Bitinfocharts

Diem by Facebook can potentially be used as an NFT platform — but there are major challenges

Influencers need to find an alternative to Ethereum if they expect to sell NFTs for $10–100, and Diem by Facebook looks a good candidate — at least on the surface. The former Libra project is aimed at the 2.7 billion of Facebook and Instagram users, it has very low fees, and its elaborate blockchain architecture is capable of doing all sorts of things, including NFT minting. However, there are several serious issues:

  • Regulatory complications. Diem will be a heavily regulated platform under constant scrutiny by the authorities. This means advanced KYC and severe limitations on who you can sell NFTs to.
  • No clear timeline. For now, Diem only works in testnet. The company is working on getting a Swiss payment license and expects to launch a stablecoin on the mainnet sometime in 2021. However, it can take much longer than that to implement Diem-based NFTs.
  • AML checks and personal data concerns. You’ll need to provide a lot of personal information to be able to issue NFTs on Diem. How Facebook will treat that information is an issue in its own right: for instance, in April 2021 the data of 500M users was leaked because of a simple bug.

Meet Pontem Network — an attractive solution for influencer-issued NFTs

Pontem Network is the connecting link between the regulated world of Diem and the free realm of traditional crypto markets. Thanks to Pontem, all Diem users — potentially up to 2 billion of them — will get access to all those dApps and services that Diem cannot provide due to its controlled and centralized nature.

For influencers and NFT issuers, this means a lot of advantages:

  • Get a headstart: NFT minting will become possible on Pontem much earlier (possibly years earlier) than on Diem. While Diem is still struggling with its regulatory and licensing hurdles, Pontem will already be fully operational.
  • Sell NFTs to anyone: users from any country and jurisdiction will be able to buy NFTs in Pontem Network. And thanks to Polkadot’s interoperability features, you’ll also be able to accept payment in assets issued on different blockchains (ether, for example);
  • Migrate to Diem any time: Pontem uses virtually the same codebase as Diem, and our Polkadot parachain will interact with Diem through a handy bridge;
  • Stay private: you don’t have to provide your personal information to use Pontem, so there’s no risk that it will be leaked or sold;
  • Save on fees: using a Polkadot parachain means that we don’t have to deal with Ethereum gas fees. Transactions in Pontem will cost just a few cents, allowing influencers to extract more revenues from their NFTs.

In essence, you could think of Pontem as an experimental network that gives you the same opportunities as Diem and lets you access the same audience, but without all the regulatory problems and restrictions. This makes Pontem a very attractive platform for influencers, NFT marketplaces and digital creators alike.

Are you curious to learn more about NFTs on Pontem Network? Then join our official Telegram chat and ask all your questions. And of course, keep following us on Medium — in the next couple of weeks we’ll have some exciting updates to share!

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