One of the most remarkable growth opportunities to get in gear over the past year is the non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace. However, contrary to popular confusion, this is not a pile of disjointed collectibles strung together in a common “hobbyist” instinct. This is the birth of digital real estate. It represents the dawn of true property rights for digital goods.
Jesse Walden’s (Variant Fund) eloquent exploration of the coming NFT boom says it best in his “NFTs Make the Internet Ownable”.
The amount of real-world property value is limited by physics. The value proposition for digital goods is theoretically unlimited. Cyberspace is infinite. Physical space is finite. It’s just that simple. And, right now, NFTs represent the only solution to the puzzle of unleashing that infinite value.
The NFT space was on fire earlier in 2021 after a JPEG file by the digital artist Beeple sold for $69 million at Christie’s. That momentum resurfaced in August and picked up further in September as monthly sales on OpenSea, the top platform for buying and selling NFTs, reached new heights.
We could see that momentum resurface again soon, and it may become stickier as the concept becomes increasingly tied to the Metaverse theme.
With that in mind, we take a look below at some of the hottest and most interesting players in the equities market with strong NFT exposure.
PLBY Group Inc. (Nasdaq:PLBY) is a well-known company with a rich history as a cultural icon. But it’s also becoming a major NFT player. According to its materials, PLBY views blockchain as a new technology layer to expand the ways consumers can interact with the Playboy lifestyle and as a key tool for building Playboy’s new membership offerings.
Playboy entered the world of NFTs and blockchain technology in the Spring of 2021 with its genesis NFT drop called Liquid Summer: a collection of digital artworks created in collaboration with the artist Slimesunday. The first drop was distributed on Nifty Gateway and sold out in under 3 minutes. Since then, Playboy has continued expanding in the world of NFTs, blockchain and Web3 through collaborations with artists such as Shantell Martin, art drops on SuperRare, Metaverse events in Decentraland and with an NFT artist grant program in partnership with the Sevens Foundation.
PLBY Group Inc. (Nasdaq:PLBY) recently unveiled its newest collection of NFTs: Playboy Rabbitars. Paying homage to its founding year 1953, Playboy will release 11,953 unique Rabbitars, 3D rabbit characters, in NFT form.
Inspired by Playboy’s iconography, heritage, and lore, each Rabbitar will possess unique traits – some more rare than others – and will serve as keys to a reimagined Playboy Club, giving owners access to benefits like special members-only events, merchandise, artwork, and exclusive artist collaborations.
Jamal Dauda, VP, Blockchain Innovation, noted, “Distributed ledger technology is revolutionizing how fans and consumers interact with brands today. At Playboy, we’re committed to moving out of the era of merely acquiring followers and into an era of building thoughtful communities where each member has a voice. Our goal is to deliver meaningful opportunities for ownership and unique value. The Rabbitars mark the beginning of true blockchain-based membership for Playboy. Just as Playboy Club keys gave millions of members a chance to step into the sophisticated lifestyle that the Playboy brand represents, NFTs today can do the same and so much more.”
The context for this announcement is a bit of a bid, with shares acting well over the past five days, up about 22% in that timeframe.
PLBY Group Inc. (Nasdaq:PLBY) also boasts a strong balance sheet, with cash levels exceeding current liabilities ($255.5M against $49.9M).
Active Health Foods Inc. (OTC US:AHFD), aka “CoinChamp”, recently acquired CoinChamp, Inc., and, according to materials from the company, the operations of CoinChamp now represent the operations of the entire Company.
CoinChamp looks to be developing a platform for the plug-and-play creation of non-fungible tokens with a focus on ease of use. The company is headed by Glen Bonilla, an experienced serial entrepreneur with an extensive banking background, years of managerial experience, and a fresh vision as a tech savvy millennial CEO. It’s an interesting story in the making and the stock has found some big bids since hinting at its transition into the NFT space.
Active Health Foods Inc. (OTC US:AHFD) is a developing story in the market. The company just announced this morning the launch of measures to fund the development of the Company’s market-leading plug-and-play universal function NFT platform vision.
According to its release, proceeds will be primarily deployed for the rapid development of a market-leading plug-and-play universal function NFT platform targeting ease of use and the democratization of the NFT marketplace. As announced in its release dated November 16, the Company recently signed a Statement of Work with MEV, LLC, a leading software development firm, to undertake the initial stages of the development of the platform.
“We have an aggressive timeframe for development and deployment of core technology underpinning our NFT platform vision,” noted Glen Bonilla, President and CEO of CoinChamp. “As recently discussed, we have already established our development team and vision. This round will ensure we are able to move fast and maintain a high standard of functionality in creating the most user-friendly universal plug-and-play tool in the NFT space. By the time we launch, we want anyone and everyone to be able to participate in the NFT marketplace without prior experience, expertise, or training with just a few clicks.”
Active Health Foods Inc. (OTC US:AHFD) is now CoinChamp. That’s the most important point. And the company appears to be headed toward positioning as a potentially leading name as a universal plug-and-play NFT platform concept. AHFD has already nailed down its vision, strategy, and development team. And it is now putting its funding strategy in place, with an eye on launching something game-changing in 2022, possibly as the NFT space takes further strides toward explosive mainstream commercial viability as the Metaverse takes shape.
Oriental Culture Holding Ltd. (Nasdaq:OCG) Oriental Culture Holding Ltd. operates as a holding company which through its subsidiaries engages in providing collectibles and artwork e-commerce services. It facilitates trading by individual customers of all kinds of collectibles, artworks and commodities through its online platforms. The company was founded on November 29, 2018 and is headquartered in Nanjing, China.
Oriental Culture Holding Ltd. (Nasdaq:OCG) recently announced its unaudited financial results for the six months ended June 30, 2021, including news that total revenues were approximately $24.5 million for the six months ended June 30, 2021, representing an increase of 891.1 % compared with the total revenues of approximately $2.5 million for the six months ended June 30, 2020. It also noted that gross profit was approximately $23.1 million for the six months ended June 30, 2021, representing an increase of 1,011.2% compared with approximately gross profit of $2.1 million for the six months ended June 30, 2020.
Mr. Yi Shao, Chief Executive Officer of the Company, commented “We are very excited to report that our revenues in the first half of 2021 increased by 891.1% year over year to $24.5 million and our net income in the first half of 2021 increased by 2,601.8% year over year to $10.1 million. We have seen a strong first half of this year comparing to the same period of last year as the art and collectible market has bounced back and our business operation has returned to normal as COVID-19 pandemic has mostly been under control in China. During the first half of 2020, our business and operation suffered material negative impact by the outbreak of COVID-19 with the closure of our offices, especially the closure of our warehouse which prevented us from taking in new collectibles and artwork products as well as the traffic control and logistics restrictions in China during the outbreak which delayed delivery of collectibles and artwork from clients for appraisal and listing on our platform.”
If you’re long this stock, then you’re liking how the stock has responded to the announcement. OCG shares have been moving higher over the past week overall, pushing about 8% to the upside on above average trading volume.
Oriental Culture Holding Ltd. (Nasdaq:OCG) had no reported sales in its last quarterly financial data. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($0 against $0, respectively).
Other core NFT plays include Creatd Inc. (Nasdaq:CRTD), Takung Art Co. Ltd. (NYSE American:TKAT), ZK International Group Co. Ltd. (Nasdaq:ZKIN), WISeKey International Holding Ltd. ADR (Nasdaq:WKEY), and eBay Inc. (Nasdaq:EBAY).