You might say the past and the future are colliding in Pass It Down’s latest investment.
VentureSouth, Cultivation Capital, Techstars, Red Stick Angels, and Acadian Capital Ventures joined in on a nearly $2 million seed round to launch Iconic Moments, an NFT (non-fungible token) marketplace created by the team behind Southeast-based Pass It Down. The marketplace is designed specifically to provide museums and cultural institutions with a new digital preservation method.
The goal, CEO and founder Chris Cummings told Hypepotamus, is to ”preserve the world’s history permanently on the blockchain” and provide much-needed revenue to museums and archives.
“We started to explore NFTs after we saw the impact of COVID-19 on museums and cultural institutions. COVID-19 exposed how the model behind cultural heritage was broken and dependent on in-person tickets, event rentals, and once-a-year galas. If the economic model behind the entire industry is broken, now is the time to create a new and sustainable model,” he added.
Some in the NFT space herald the tokens as the future of digital ownership. But Cummings believes they can play an important role in remembering our history. “The permanence of the blockchain and its ability to decentralize knowledge perfectly aligns with our industry’s dedication to preservation. The idea of applying the world’s newest emerging technology to one of the world’s oldest industries is exciting.”
A New Way To Preserve The Past
Iconic Moments is a natural extension of Pass It Down’s work, which provides mobile and web-friendly ways to share and preserve memories.
A new NFT will drop each week on the Iconic Moments’ marketplace for those looking to purchase a part of history.
“Every generation has their collectibles, from vinyl to sports cards, to beanie babies, to pokemon.” NFTs, Cummings adds, provide additional benefits to museums and the general public alike.
While consumers can “own” part of history, the blockchain technology behind the tokens can help prevent fraud, provide a better understanding of a collection’s value, and create additional income for museums, archives, or cultural institutions.
One institution signed on to Iconic Moments is the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, with more places to be announced soon.
While Cummings’ team is focused on the role of NFTs on history, they aren’t ignoring the present and future Blockchain realities. NFTs and the CryptoArt world have come under fire for the carbon footprint they create.
“While NFTs offer a host of benefits, the way that the blockchain is set up today does cause potential environmental concerns. Thankfully, some of the world’s brightest minds are working to refine the way the blockchain works to make it more energy-efficient.”
That energy-efficient goal is largely pegged to the upcoming release of Ethereum 2.0, which developers say will reduce the energy consumption of the specific blockchain by 99%.
Prior to that release, Iconic Moments is looking to carbon offsets and an integration with Polygon, a scalable and sustainable blockchain framework, which offers a “low-energy, low-fee environment” for building an Ethereum network.
While working to address the sustainability side of the NFT space, Cummings remains optimistic about its future. “There is an entire generation of collectors who would rather own digital collectibles than physical collectibles. Simply put, NFTs are going to change every industry in the world.”