Trading platform eToro is getting into the non-fungible token (NFT) game, launching a $20 million fund to purchase blue-chip NFTs and support emerging projects in the space.
The fund will be deployed through eToro’s new “eToro.art” platform, aiming to bring the “fun and community” of the NFT industry to its 27 million users, according to a press release Thursday.
EToro says it will be “one of the leading NFT collectors in the world” after its funds are fully deployed, with a collection that already includes NFTs from projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks and World of Women, among others.
“We want to participate and show we are part of the NFT community,” Guy Hirsch, eToro’s managing director of NFTs, told CoinDesk in an interview. “We also hold the view that [blue-chips] will hold long-term value.”
Hirsch said eToro has seen a particular interest in Bored Apes as a larger brand, and was excited to be a launch partner for its ApeCoin (APE) token last month.
Big brands rush in
EToro isn't the first company to show interest in holding high-end NFTs, nor will it be the last.
Since Visa’s (V) purchase of CryptoPunk #7610 all the way back in August 2021, several high-profile names have followed its lead with varied degrees of creativity, from KPMG Canada buying a World of Women NFT in February to Universal Music Group (UMG) constructing an NFT band around a Bored Ape figurehead.
EToro plans to dedicate $10 million of the fund to emerging projects through a quasi-incubator program to which up-and-coming NFT artists are encouraged to apply.
"As a company with one eye constantly on ‘what’s next,’ eToro sees huge potential in the metaverse and a range of new digital assets,” eToro CEO Yoni Assia said in a statement. “It is only natural for eToro to serve as the bridge to bring new users into NFTs and the metaverse.”
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