Nifty’s Inc., a fledgling social media platform focused on the burgeoning non-fungible token (NFT) market, has hired a lawyer conversant in both financial technology and intellectual property law.
Olta Andoni has joined the Miami-based startup as chief legal officer, the company announced Tuesday. She is employee No. 5 at Nifty’s, which last month said it had raised pre-seed funding from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, ConsenSys founder Joseph Lubin and a pseudonymous NFT investor known as 0xb1, along with a host of venture capital firms. (The size of the round was not disclosed.)
In her new role, Andoni will be navigating uncharted waters, given the novel and complex legal questions posed by NFTs in areas such as consumer protection, sanctions, money laundering, copyright and IP, securities, tax and counterfeiting law.
Roughly the digital equivalent of an autographed baseball card – valued for its uniqueness despite an abundance of similar items – these blockchain collectibles have been selling at auctions for as much as eight figures in dollar terms this year, propelled by the star power of artists and celebrities.
Andoni practiced IP law in the U.S. for six years, according to her LinkedIn bio. She then headed the blockchain practice at the Ziliak Law firm in the Chicago area for a year and for the last year worked as a fintech and IP attorney at Zlatkin Wong LLP.
“Olta has been a visible advocate for developing the NFT and broader blockchain universe in a responsible and durable way,” said Jeff Marsilio, CEO and co-founder of Nifty’s, in a statement.
The company said it aims to launch its platform, a sort of hub for NFT collectors and their communities, this spring.