ConsenSys has acquired Treum’s team and NFT platform from Web3 incubator Mesh in a move that will allow the Ethereum software company to advance its NFT technology offering for creators, brands, rights owners, game publishers, sports teams and leagues.
The purchase of Treum — a blockchain and supply chain company — follows the creation of the Palm NFT Studio, an ecosystem that ConsenSys launched with HENI Group and Heyday Films in March.
Johnna Powell, executive director of ConsenSys’s strategic initiatives, said during a webinar on Tuesday that NFTs go beyond redefining collectibles to a broader vision of rebuilding the world in a digital format.
“Investors are bullish, brands, artists and celebrities continue creating, sales continue to increase and even where we see that there have been cycles of NFT popularity and less popularity, there are so many indicators in the market that point to continued growth,” she said. “We feel very strongly that we’re just at the beginning.”
Powell said in a statement that ConsenSys is focused on making Web 3 easy to use, access, and build on, noting that it was “an obvious decision” to accelerate the development of its NFT platform for end-users and builders.
She wrote to Blockworks in a message during the webinar that the company believes art, sports and brand or loyalty programs in particular could be “very meaningful opportunities” in the NFT space.
Treum will be able to leverage ConsenSys’s massive pipeline of customers and products, Treum co-founder Tyler Mulvihill wrote to Blockworks during the webinar’s Q&A session. Among those products is MetaMask, which passed 10 million monthly active users in August. The offering is a mobile app and browser extension that functions as a cryptocurrency wallet for interacting with the Ethereum blockchain.
“We bring that expertise, capability, team and platform ready to go under the ConsenSys umbrella,” Mulvihill said. “With the ConsenSys scale, we think our exponential journey is really just starting.”
Treum earlier this year introduced EulerBeats, an Ethereum-based NFT music and art project that features algorithmically-generated art and audio tracks. Its second collection of tracks sold for $3 million in March following the successful launch of “Genesis” earlier this year, and the platform has distributed millions in royalties and staking rewards to its user base.
The legality of NFT-based royalty distribution is an open question. Crypto exchange FTX recently said it would not list collections that distribute the royalties from sales to NFT holders, as it looks to ensure compliance of US securities laws.
Mulvihill noted in a statement that Treum will continue to serve its major intellectual property customers, deepen its development of the metaverse, launch bleeding-edge NFT drops, and onboard the next 100 million users to the Web3 community.
The acquisition comes after ConsenSys is reportedly raising money in a funding round that would value the company at $3 billion. It had closed a $65 million “formation round” in April to accelerate the convergence of DeFi and Web3 applications on Ethereum with enterprise blockchain infrastructure.
An evolving space
NFT sales volumes hit $10.7 billion in the third quarter, according to data from market tracker DappRadar, which was up from $1.3 billion in the prior quarter. Sales volumes on NFT marketplace OpenSea reached more than $3 billion in August alone.
Jack O’Holleran, co-founder and CEO of SKALE Labs, said during the webinar that he has witnessed NFTs move from collectibles to what he called “engagement continuums” for users and communities.
“I think there’s a definite trend of thinking of NFTs now as a means for access and experience,” he explained. “Eighty percent of the value actually comes from the engagement and community growth, while 20% is revenue-oriented.”
In terms of offering NFT buyers access and experience, the “Gold Edition” of Major League Baseball’s latest stadium series, for example, included a ceremonial first pitch, two tickets, a stadium tour and a meet-and-greet.
Mulvihill said he believes that NFTs will be used in the future to get into concerts or reserve a table at a new restaurant. That utility, he added, is going to drive transactions and ultimately the success of NFTs.
O’Holleran added that while it can be easy for some to dismiss Bored Ape Yacht Club or CryptoPunks NFTs as speculative art, they also represent communities of people. Collab.Land, a tokenized community-management system, can authenticate that you own a specific NFT and get you access to certain groups.
“I really do think community is everything,” Powell said. “It’s all about utility and community, and it’s just been set to fire. It’s like NFTs are rocket fuel for it.”
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