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Boy band BTS says it will move forward with NFT offerings despite sharp online backlash, report says

BTS during the 2019 Billboard Music Awards on May 1, 2019 in Las Vegas.

Bridget Bennett/AFP via Getty Images

  • BTS is moving forward with plans to produce NFTs, despite the immense public backlash, according to The Wall Street Journal.
  • Most of the criticism was related to the environmental impact of energy-intensive NFTs. 
  • The initial launch, which will involve NFT photocards of the band members, will take place in the first half of 2022.
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South Korean boy band BTS is moving forward with plans to produce non-fungible tokens despite the immense public backlash, which mainly consisted of environmental concerns that typically accompany digital assets.

Hybe, the management agency of the seven-member K-pop group, confirmed the plan to The Wall Street Journal Thursday, marking its first public comment since the criticism emerged.

“We believe NFTs have the potential for expansion and hope they will provide fans with more varied experiences and opportunities to express themselves,” John Kim, project lead of HybeAmerica that oversees the NFT business, told the WSJ.

Kim also revealed the initial launch, which will involve NFT photocards of the band members, will take place by the first half of 2022.

The plan was first unveiled in November, when the band’s management signed a deal with top South Korea crypto exchange Dunamu. 

But the backlash was swift, even among the band’s biggest fans. Negative reaction focused on the environmental impact of all the energy needed to mint and trade NFTs, which run on a blockchain and are bought with digital assets.

Despite the environmental concerns, NFTs — digital representations of artwork, sports cards, or other collectibles — have surged in popularity this year and have caught the attention of investors from Hollywood to Wall Street.

BTS, heralded as among the most successful bands in the world, regularly releases physical photocards that fans clamor to collect. And by launching NFTs, it seeks to enter a hot market that has seen total sales volume surge to $14 billion in 2021.

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