Cryptocurrencies

Wall Street NFTs? New York Stock Exchange Apparently Has an NFT Strategy

A trader on the NYSE floor

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) minted its first set of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Monday with six homages to hot tech stocks that debuted on the world’s largest bourse.

The NFTs memorialize first trade metadata for Unity, Coupang, Snowflake, Spotify, Roblox and DoorDash, according to a blog post by NYSE President Stacey Cunningham. They appear to live atop Crypto.com’s native blockchain.

Crypto.com Chief Marketing Officer Steve Kalifowitz told CoinDesk the crypto app was not paying NYSE to mint NFTs on its weeks-old platform. “They reached out to us,” he said in a Twitter DM.

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With its minting, NYSE eases into a wild world of artists, musicians and tongue-in-cheek opportunists all chasing massive payouts in exchange for their digital collectibles. But NYSE is refusing to capitalize on that market; its NFTs are not for sale.

A representative of NYSE parent company ICE was quick to inform CoinDesk the exchange was “minting” NFTs, not selling them. 

A source familiar with the project told CoinDesk the NFTs were gifted to their respective companies. The source explained NYSE has no plans to sell NFTs – not now, not ever – though Cunningham has announced that more are on the way.

NYSE is owned by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), which also owns bitcoin brokerage Bakkt.

NYSE NFTs

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It was not clear at press time why NYSE would mint NFTs if not for the usual reason of material gain.

Crypto.com’s marketing team certainly has exhibited a creative streak in publicizing the new wing. They unveiled a bevy of eye-catching NFT collaborators last month – Snoop Dogg, Mr. Brainwash and Boy George – in a bid to spark interest. Adding the world’s largest stock exchange to the invite-only platform could be a coup among a very specific audience of investors.

That audience might show an interest in the nerdy side of NYSE’s NFTs. They feature first trade data from their respective company’s NYSE debut – an indecipherable quote code that seldom sees much light. 

“Each message is recorded in our trading platform’s digital ledger,” Cunningham said in the blog post. 

Issuing an NFT atop a decentralized digital ledger for the purposes of boosting the prominence of NYSE’s uber-centralized digital ledger is, at the very least, a sign of the times.

For its part, NYSE claims it is issuing NFTs just for kicks: a “fun, new way” to honor companies’ public debuts, said Cunningham in the post.

UPDATE (April 12, 23:07 UTC): Adds comment from Crypto.com.

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