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OpenSea Executive Says “More Retail Deals” Entering The NFT Space

Despite a decline in non-fungible token (NFT) sales last month, the NFT sector remains robust, as noted by Kelly DiGregorio, Vice President of Business Development at OpenSea.

According to NFT data tracker CryptoSlam, global NFT sales volume reached $624 million last month. This marks a significant decrease from the over $1 billion volume recorded in April, indicating a 54% drop in overall NFT sales volume.

Major Retailers Show Interest in NFTs

Despite the recent decline in NFT sales, DiGregorio highlighted during Consensus 2024 that the NFT sector is garnering increased retail interest.

“What you’re witnessing in the space is a rise in retail engagements,” DiGregorio noted.

“For instance, take Pudgy Penguins as an example, and their collaborations with retail giants like Walmart and Target.”

The Ethereum-based NFT project known as “Pudgy Penguins” recently made headlines by announcing the availability of its line of “Pudgy Toys” at major retailers such as Target, Walmart, and Amazon. Since their introduction, the company has successfully sold over one million units of these toys.

Moreover, the project has generated mainstream attention owing to its innovative utility. Each Pudgy Penguin toy comes equipped with a QR code that grants access to unique traits and collectibles within the Web3 game “Pudgy World.”

Powered by the Ethereum scaling solution zkSync, Pudgy World enables players to personalize their penguin characters and embark on narrative-driven Web3 quests.

“There exists this intriguing fluidity from physical to digital for phygital NFTs, as opposed to solely digital to physical, where physical redemptions for tickets, merchandise, and similar items are commonplace,” DiGregorio commented.

Retailers Offering NFTs Creates Multiple Opportunities

Indeed, the potential surrounding phygital NFTs seems abundant. In addition to the success of physical toy sales, Pudgy Penguins recently unveiled a partnership with Mythical Games to develop a blockchain-enabled AAA mobile game slated for release in 2025.

“Often, individuals are collecting NFTs without even realizing it,” DiGregorio remarked.

“They’re immersing themselves in experiences, playing games, amassing points, winning rewards, and connecting with communities. I believe NFTs continue to explore diverse avenues to engage consumers.”

This trend is evident with luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, which have integrated NFT collectibles into their product strategies. Vogue Business recently highlighted that a leather varsity jacket showcased on the Autumn/Winter 2024 men’s runway in January became accessible to 200 holders of Louis Vuitton’s Via NFTs.

According to Vogue Business, Louis Vuitton’s NFT initiative is targeting an existing, high-net-worth audience intrigued by additional benefits offered through Web3 technology.

NFTs Help Retailers Understand Consumers

DiGregorio also asserts that retailers providing NFTs will enhance their understanding of their customers.

“When you possess NFT wallets and users who have registered for wallets, where they’ve accumulated specific items with unique traits, you gain insights into that consumer and how to interact with them in subsequent engagements,” she explained.

OpenSea 2.0 Coming Soon

DiGregorio also hinted at the imminent launch of OpenSea 2.0, highlighting the ongoing innovation within the NFT sector.

“We’ve been deeply focused on the development of OpenSea 2.0,” she revealed. “Currently, we’re on track to overhaul the architecture of OpenSea, making it simpler to integrate new chains and roll out fresh features.”

DiGregorio disclosed that OpenSea now accommodates NFTs on the Sei network, in addition to assets on the BLAST blockchain.

“We aim to expedite the deployment of new features for users, creators, and even Web2 companies utilizing the platform,” DiGregorio added. “OpenSea 2.0 is something we’re incredibly enthusiastic about, and it’s set to launch in just a few months.”

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Cryptocurrency is essentially virtual money that operates in a decentralized manner, not through a bank but directly on multiple independent computers.

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