Associated Press to launch Polygon-based photography NFT platform

The Associated Press (AP) is launching a nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace where collectors will be able to purchase tokenized photographs from the global news platform.

The initial collection of NFTs will include photographs of subjects like space, climate, and war from AP photojournalists. They will be released over several weeks starting on Jan. 31 for varying prices, according to the marketplace’s website.

The photographs will be minted as NFTs on the Ethereum layer-two scaling network, Polygon. The platform will support secondary transactions using debit or credit cards, and payments in Ethereum.

The marketplace is being built by Xooa, a blockchain infrastructure platform specializing in building “white-label NFT marketplaces for brands and IP owners.”

Head of marketplaces at Xooa, Zach Danker-Feldman, said the partnership will serve as a “powerful connection between the virtual world and the real world.”

Crypto wallet provider Metamask is also supported, with future collaborations with Fortmatic, Binance, and Coinbase on the cards. Additional upcoming features will include “withdrawals to other marketplaces,” “social media capabilities,” “new content concepts,” and “off-chain benefits” for NFT holders.

Once every two weeks, there will be a “Pulitzer Drop,” which will include Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs. Each NFT will include the photograph’s detailed metadata such as the time, date, location, equipment, and technical settings used for the photograph.

According to an announcement from the AP, funds from the NFT sales will go back into funding AP journalism. The Associated Press is a 175-year-old non-profit news cooperative based in New York City. Although the platform will allow secondary market sales, it will charge a hefty 10% fee.

Related: CNN selling historic news ‘moments’ as NFTs

This is not the news agency’s first foray into blockchain technology. In October 2021, The AP partnered with Chainlink Labs to ensure any data from its U.S. newspaper and broadcaster members would be cryptographically verified.

In 2020, the AP used the Ethereum and EOS blockchains to publish the results of the presidential election. Furthermore, in 2018 it partnered with blockchain-based journalism startup Civil to facilitate its plans to track content usage and secure intellectual property rights.

The AP is not the only news organization showing interest in the potential uses of blockchain in the journalism industry. In June 2021, CNN launched its NFT project “Vault by CNN: Moments That Changed Us.” The collection tokenized a series of historic “news moments” from the news company’s 41-year history.

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