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By Khristopher J. Brooks
/ MoneyWatch
Non-fungible tokens have been this year’s trendy digital collectible, with artists and athletes selling them for upwards of $1 million or more. NFTs will continue to make an impact in 2022 — this time on the job market, experts predict.
Job searchers can expect to see major employers spend the first few months of next year hiring teams of people to create NFTs, experts on blockchain told CBS MoneyWatch. The same employers will also be looking for people who can market those NFTs to potential buyers, experts predict. 
The new focus on NFTs and branding is expected given the phenomenon observed by companies in 2021, that consumers will buy the digital assets as long as there are artists around who can create them. 
“This capability never existed before and brands are figuring out the best way to staff these teams,” said Jon Parise, co-founder of Georgia-based NFT creation platform GigLabs. “NFT strategy, developers, community management — all are going to be crucial roles for brands and their NFT strategies in the future.” 
Also in early 2022, companies will be hiring for a brand new C-suite position: Chief Community Officer. This will be a position for “somebody who sets the strategy around how fans or an audience interacts with a NFT,” Vladislav Ginzburg, CEO of NFT creator Blockparty said.
Jobs sites like Indeed and LinkedIn have already started advertising for the types of positions mentioned by Parise and Ginzburg. Coinbase is hiring for a director of NFT business development, DraftKings needs a senior community associate for its NFT marketplace and VaynerMedia is hiring NFT artists. StockX sneaker reseller in New York City has an opening for a senior manager of NFT partnerships, and the “person will be responsible for bringing our NFT drops to life,” the job ad reads. 
GameStop has already hired 20 more staff members to its newly created NFT unit, the Wall Street Journal reported. Those workers are building a new online marketplace where customers can buy, sell and trade NFTs.
An NFT gives someone proof of ownership over a unique code linked to piece of digital art, a digital coupon or maybe a video clip, something that a buyer can’t actually hold in their hand. NFTs can be transferred or sold but not copied or divided into smaller parts. 

When someone buys an NFT, that transaction is recorded on an online ledger called a blockchain that anyone can view. 
Some individuals buy an NFT in the hope that its value will soar, while others buy them strictly for bragging rights.
For much of their existence, NFTs have been created by independent musicians, artists, podcasters, or other types of creatives. But that setup won’t last much longer, Ginzburg and others said. 
NFTs have actually been around since 2014, but their popularity exploded this year. Artist Mike Winkelmann, who goes by Beeple, sold an NFT for $69 million in June. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden sold an NFT sold for roughly $5.4 million in April. UK-based consulting firm Deloitte predicts sports-related NFTs will generate $2 billion in sales globally in 2022, nearly doubling the figure this year. 
Khristopher J. Brooks is a reporter for CBS MoneyWatch covering business, consumer and financial stories that range from economic inequality and housing issues to bankruptcies and the business of sports.
First published on December 29, 2021 / 4:01 PM
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