The non-fungible token (NFT) craze continued to make inroads among pop culture brands this week with Canadian singer Shawn Mendes agreeing to issue digital wearables in partnership with avatar company Genies.

  • Mendes' collection of concert-style collectibles is set to debut on the NFT marketplace OpenSea midday Friday, becoming the digital auction house's first "digital goods drop."
  • The new OpenSea product puts the platform in competition with the Winklevoss-owned Nifty Gateway, which has cornered the celeb market with a series of high-profile releases.
  • The collectibles issued by avatar-maker Genies allow fans to deck their own digital alter-egos out with limited edition and licensed swag in a twist to the NFT sales reshaping card collection and art at breakneck speed.
  • For his part, Mendes said proceeds of the sale will benefit a grants program for aspiring digital artists that his charity is backing. Mendes plans to incrementally release more NFTs as his career develops, Genies CEO Akash Nigam told CoinDesk.
  • "We really do believe in the long-term longevity of all this," Nigam said. He argued avatars are among "the best vehicle[s] to get people to comprehend" NFTs.

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