ANN/THE KOREAN HERALD – Hybe, the K-pop powerhouse behind BTS, said it has teamed up with South Korea’s top cryptocurrency exchange operator to establish a joint venture to branch out into the nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace.
The music agency is poised to acquire a 2.48-per-cent stake in Dunamu for KRW500 billion (USD423.7 million), as the operator of cryptocurrency exchange Upbit plans to issue 861,004 ordinary shares for third-party rights, offering to invite Hybe as a new shareholder.
Dunamu also looks to buy some 2.3 million ordinary shares of the K-pop agency for about KRW700 billion, which would make it a minority shareholder of Hybe with 5.57 per cent ownership. The payment is set to be completed on November 24, officials said.
The move will see plans to jointly push ahead with a new business using NFT, a unit of blockchain data that represents ownership of a unique digital item, as part of efforts to roll out the music agency artistes’ unique goods for fans around the world.
During an online corporate briefing, Hybe founder and Chairman Bang Si-hyuk demonstrated how NFT-based products can be made by using artistes’ photo cards as an example. The NFT would enable the company to create digital photo cards with various contents, including moving images and using the voices of the artistes, Bang explained.
The agency also said it will feature its artistes in creating original content for web-based comics, novels and gaming.
Under the plan, Hybe will have its artistes as main characters in web comics, animated content and novels in collaboration with other pop artistes of various fields.
The list of Hybe’s idol groups also includes Enhypen, Seventeen and Tomorrow X Together.
BTS will be featured in a computer game set to be released in the first half of next year, the company said, adding that the boy band will participate in the production of the project.