NFTs are a Game Changer and We Intend to Play
You can barely scan a news site or business magazine these days without reading about nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and the intense interest surrounding them. A term few people were familiar with only a year ago has rocketed into public awareness fueled by stories about artists, musicians and sports stars selling digital works and memorabilia for staggering sums of money.
Hype aside, we believe NFTs represent much more than a passing fad. Our innovation team has studied the roots of this new technology, interviewed leading subject matter experts and concluded that NFTs have game-changing potential, especially in the art, entertainment and media spheres. While we believe adoption will certainly not be linear, this new technology has the potential to be a significant disruptive force, impacting how buyers and sellers engage, transact and monetize important assets, much as personal computers and smartphones did in previous eras.
An NFT is a digital asset that is cryptographically saved on a blockchain, which is a distributed database that facilitates secure and verified transactions between two or more parties. When blockchain technologies are combined with smart contracts and NFTs, the result is a powerful set of technologies that are already driving the next evolution of the internet, which is commonly referred to as Web 3.0.
The underlying technology of Web 3.0 is complex, but what’s most important is to understand what it enables. Web 3.0 platforms - with NFTs at their center - allows for radically new business model designs, unique ways to engage customers and communities and ultimately the safe and secure transfer of digital assets without the need for an intermediary such as a bank or broker. At Iron Mountain, we think this is an incredibly exciting opportunity. As a custodian of critical information and cultural assets, we believe Iron Mountain can play a critical role in helping our clients extract more value from their archives, leveraging capabilities and scenarios enabled by NFTs.
Innovation at Iron Mountain
Iron Mountain’s innovation practice sits at the intersection of customer-centered design and business strategy, with responsibilities for developing new innovative customer-centered products and transformative solutions. Over the past year, we have been exploring new NFT-centric business opportunities and are actively designing, prototyping and testing new offerings designed for the entertainment and fine art industries.
Top: Original Stolen Scream by Noam Galai.
Bottom: Stolen Scream Interpretations
Amy Karle artwork.
Top: The Incorruptible Body 3D Skull.
Bottom: The Skull Collection
Running fast with Keevo
We believe that partnering with others to quickly test and explore the potential for NFTs via market-focused experiments is a valuable way to learn what works and what doesn’t while building experience and expertise that can inform our broader strategic initiatives. That’s why we partnered with early-stage startup Keevo to run initial NFT trials that include auctioning both physical and digital NFTs from multiple artists. This exciting partnership allows us to see how our existing products and services can be adapted to support the unique needs of an NFT business.
In addition to offering a five-factor digital identity authentication service called NgraphT for verifying creators and NFT artists, Keevo manufactures a next-generation cryptocurrency and NFT hardware wallet. Keevo suite of offerings provides confidence to both buyers and sellers that the assets they trade are authentic and trustworthy.
Iron Mountain's Iron Cloud solution will provide secure, dependable storage of the NFT "digital originals" so buyers can be assured that they will always have access to the artworks they’ve purchased. When owners decide to auction off a physical fine art piece as an NFT, Iron Mountain's Crozier Fine Arts business will support the sale by providing industry-leading fine art handling and logistic services.
Keevo’s first NFT auctions are currently taking place and include works by world-renowned digital artists Amy Karle and Noam Galai. Karle is an award-winning artist who is one of the BBC’s “100 most inspiring women in the world”. Her work fuses ultra-contemporary fine art with biotech and digital culture. The Skull Collection is Karle’s first NFT collection drop and includes a series of digital artworks created from 3D scans of a human skull that examine the digital imprint that we leave after we die and ways of living in the digital realm after death. Learn more about the collection and Amy by following her on Twitter.
Noam Galai is a photographer and celebrity portrait artist. His subjects have included Taylor Swift, Beyonce and Leonardo DiCaprio. He’s best known for “The Stolen Scream,” a global saga in which his self-portrait became one of the most stolen images ever and which was used in protests, products and advertising around the world without his knowledge, permission or reward. Galai is now reclaiming his likeness and taking back control of his work via a collection of NFTs. The Reclaimed Stolen Scream collection will include his digital originals, several reclaimed “stolen screams” from the past 16 years and new interpretations of his art by other partner co-creators. Follow him on Twitter to learn how you can buy a mint pass and participate in this unique and innovative NFT Collection.
As more industries break into the NFT game, we will continue to study and test new applications for use, while supporting clients who choose to play with dependable, secure storage options.