It is designed to listen to K-POP. But it is also made to be seen. When a group releases a song, it’s usually part of a package that includes a visually appealing music video and some live performances of complex dance choreography combined with creative costumes and hairstyles. I’m sorry. The best looking members of the group are literally known in the industry as “visual”.
Here in the United States, BTS is the most famous K-pop group, but it’s just one of dozens of artists and groups, each with their own unique sound and look, including emo rock, city pop, and hip-mixed tracks. Hop with traditional Korean elements. All the different types of groups were able to maintain relatively high physical album sales in the era of digital streaming by focusing on what the buyer can see. The album is now a collectible, available in multiple editions, and packaged with posters, books, and various “photocards” (shiny, near-business card-sized images of performers that many fans collect and exchange). It has been.
So it’s no wonder that almost all of South Korea’s major music labels have announced plans to sell “non-fungible tokens” or NFTs in the last few months. If fans spend $ 3,213 on one photo card of BTS Jungkook (an image that can be easily seen online), why are they bombarding to own a digital image of an idol on the blockchain? Isn’t it?
Still, when the K-pop label released the NFT launch earlier this year, the reaction from many fans was cruel. They opposed the plan because of the climate impact of NFTs. Many labels are looking for ways to shift their focus to more environmentally friendly NFTs, but is that enough to get K-pop fans involved? NFTs already have a market among true believers in cryptography, and labels may not be able to convince fans that these works are also for them.
The technology behind NFTs has been around for some time, but this year there is an explosive increase in interest in NFTs. In October, a cartoon ape NFT wearing a propeller hat sold for $ 3.4 million. But what do NFT buyers really get? Since they are digital images, the owner cannot touch them. And they are not the only ones who can see them. NFTs are likely to be distributed on the web like any other image, and there is nothing to prevent the download of copies. The purchaser does not even hold the copyright of the image. This allows you to manage image duplication and make money from viewing and reprinting. Instead, what makes an NFT an NFT is how its “ownership” is recorded. An immutable blockchain ledger, the same ledger that forms the basis of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. When a buyer resells an NFT (ideally much more than the amount paid), the transaction is also recorded in the same ledger.
The question is how these ledgers protect themselves from potential malicious individuals. The process used in most blockchains consumes an incredible amount of energy because a warehouse full of computers needs to handle so many numbers.A single Ethereum transaction uses as much energy as an American home Within a week.. Ethereum, a platform with more than one million transactions per day, has network-wide carbon dioxide emissions comparable to Norway. Ethereum hopes to move to a completely new way to validate transactions that reduce energy requirements sometime next year, but that hasn’t happened yet.
This high environmental cost has made NFTs a villain of the international K-pop stun with a history of turning progressive political views into creative digital activities. In April, when the management company representing Group ACE announced the release plan of NFT, the fandom of the group called Choice immediately and aggressively retreated. Fans sent a tweet after hitting the NFT with a hammer. “In essence, NFTs are huge environmentally damaging rat lectures,” said one fan account, @ ChoicewithACE. Tweet As part of a thread with over 1,000 retweets. Fans then emailed the ACE label directly asking them to abolish the NFT program.
The options were put together within 24 hours to move from knowing little about NFTs to having enough knowledge to get up. @seolarloveA 24-year-old ACE fan from Australia, I asked her to be identified by her Twitter username because she is openly transgender only online.
Similar anger continued in early November when music label Hybe announced plans to partner with fintech company Dunamu to sell NFTs to fans of groups such as BTS, Seventeen and Tomorrow X Together. Many BTS fans, collectively known as ARMY, threatened to boycott the company and soon created hashtags such as #ARMYsAgainstNFT, and BTS members made climate change a “significant issue” in a speech at the UN General Assembly in September. I pointed out that I called it.
The label is listening. After fan backlash, ACENFT’s plans were abandoned. Hybe is responding differently, migrating NFTs to newer and more sustainable blockchain networks. “We recognize that we are concerned about the impact on the environment, which is definitely at the top of the list,” Dunamu spokesman Helen Mo said in an email. NFTs run on their blockchain, Luniverse. Nicole Kim, Luniverse’s green NFT lead, claims that transactions on the network use only “negligible” amounts of energy and are one million times more efficient than current Ethereum transactions.
It’s not just Hibe. All major K-pop labels seem to be choosing a “climate-friendly” platform for their NFTs. JYP, home of the Twice and Stray Kids group, is reportedly working with Dunamu, as is YG Entertainment. Meanwhile, SM Entertainment, which represents some of K-pop’s most popular acts, including my own personal favorite SHINee, is considering NFTs on the relatively eco-friendly Solana blockchain. It has been reported.
But is that enough for the community to accept NFTs? Of course, not all K-pop fans are against NFTs. With benefits such as concert tickets and autograph sessions, a great many fans can be terribly tempted. Fans may also give up if NFT sales are integrated into an artist’s measure of success, such as chart rankings or year-end awards. “The K-POP industry has made fans believe that it is their responsibility to push and promote their idol’s new albums and activities,” he says. Aleum John, Sichuan University-Professor of Humanities at the Pittsburgh Institute and an expert on K-pop fandom. Stan may buy to support the career of his favorite idol, not to invest or collect.
But labels have more than just environmental issues to overcome in order to get their fans involved. When I talked to @seolarlove, they called the NFT “totally flawed” and quoted a scammer who stole the art of others and sold it as an NFT. Currently, NFTs are mainly bought and sold by investors looking for something to use cryptocurrencies. In that world, they are cool and fun. But outsiders, whether K-pop fans or not, they can look like signs of unregulated digital capitalism, the expensive boring things of cryptocurrencies, or just the ugly ones.
Technician Laurie Voss likens NFTs to the rare Beanie Babies. This is worth it just because it is artificially rare and sold to collectors. “NFTs do that, but you don’t have to pack the beans in a bag or print a photo on a card,” he says. “We just say’go pay’. Voss adds that the practice of “wash trading”, that is, selling NFTs between different accounts owned by the same individual and giving the impression of increasing value, is ubiquitous in the industry.
When fans wrote an email protesting plans to sell ACENFT in the spring, one template in circulation online pointed out the risk of investing in intangible art. “Choosing to encourage fan activity through crypto exchange platforms sold as a way to connect with ACE may involve many young teenage fans without understanding the market or risk. I read it.
If NFTs become more environmentally friendly and are sold as collectibles rather than investments, he says there is no big difference between buying NFTs and paying for online profile game items and new avatars. Anil Dash, CEO of software company Glitch, who was involved in creating some of the early implementations of NFT-style technology. But at this point, the bigger obstacle facing NFTs is the link between libertarian politics and fellow culture of many crypto enthusiasts. I hate NFTs really about “social collaboration,” Dash told me. “Culture war is happening here.” Even carbon-neutral NFTs can’t fix it.
“Do you think the fans didn’t intend to buy them in the first place about kpopnfts?” One fan Tweet last month. “We feel this isn’t their target, but instead, it’s those crypto creeps that’s already included in such things.” “Kpopnfts This is the story of the origin of my villain. is” Post another.
K-POP Twitter recently exploded with contempt and disappointment when Qian Kun, a member of the group WayV (a group that sings primarily in Mandarin but is managed by Seoul-based SM Entertainment), purchased an NFT. Most of the disapproved tweets cite the impact on the climate, but many have focused on fan dislike that the idol has revealed that it is a “nft cryptocurrency companion.” rice field. “Kibou-kun shares a photo of his current nft art, so you can save it for free and use it as your profile photo. [wasted] Enough power to power the house for two weeks ” Tweet..Another fan I have written, “I’m sick of people enjoying NFT.”
When tackling NFT environmental issues, skepticism about technology seems ready to stay alive. And that’s not a good sign for the NFT as a whole. In a market where the goods bought and sold have an almost pure atmosphere, it is very important that the general public likes that atmosphere.