The one thing I hold dearest since becoming “a writer” is the tremendous feedback I receive from my readers. Some negative of course, but overwhelmingly supportive and uplifting. However, I have noticed a bit of a trend on the negative responses, often questioning my passion for digital collectibles and whether this is all going to crap. So, I thought I would outline a handful of the key reasons I am so passionate about this new trend.
This will be Part I of a 3-part overview, starting with the direct reasons I really, really like the VeVe app (and now what Topps NFT & DC are doing), following with some background on ME, and how my career led me here.
Please know this is from the viewpoint of a marketing executive, having worked roughly 25 years in digital media and not a financial analyst by any stretch (please DYOR), so here goes!
1) THE ‘BRAND-PARTNERS’ REASONS
IMHO, brands with the historic potency of Coca-Cola, Marvel, DC, Universal, Disney (extends to Pixar, Star Wars, etc.) and others would NOT WILLINGLY give their approvals to licensing their products if they felt those brand names would be jeopardized in any way.
There must be a mountain of legal work that happened before the 1st NFT sold on VeVe. Imagine the public relations nightmare if VeVe NFTs came out as a scam or rug pull. That would equate to Marvel rug-pulling its fans, or Disney. This in itself provides me a level of buying security, if not stability in the VeVe app few will rival. It’s also a compelling reason to investigate, if not participate with the platform.
I still struggle a bit with the valuations of non-IP based assets like 2D dogs & monkeys, albeit I do get the ‘newness + scarcity factors (again, personal opinion), but I sure see the value of holding a Coke Snow Globe with its incredibly iconic polar bear, or the 1st Coke can the company actually launched into space. Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Steamboat Willie, Iron Man, Spider-Man Fantastic Four#1? You bet!
This is further supported by the fact the VeVe app is available on the Apple & Google Ap Stores. You don’t just “list an app” there easily – Apple & Google VET / review every app they receive, whilst you also need to be enrolled in the Apple/ Google Play Developer Programs, ensuring transactional functionality, security and reputation. Moreover, VeVe continues to rank high in terms of overall app revenue generated against a myriad of options.
2) THE ‘ETHEREUM’ REASONS
The move from Go20 to Ethereum blockchain was a key signal for me. Although I am by no means a blockchain developer or deep-level expert, I felt this set the app towards being a recognized player in the space, and although a little bit ‘later to the party’ than other NFT offerings, it certainly made its grand entrance. Ethereum to me equates to technical stability – with 4,000+ software developers (4X the next largest, Solana), Ecomi elected to work with the most dominant transaction blockchain to better protect its users while allowing more robust offerings. Again, clearly demonstrating to its licensors and partners the decision they made to join the team was rock solid, and VeVe is serious about where they are headed.
As VeVe NFTs are now minted on Ethereum, the potential ‘sell-ability’ can scale. The world’s acceptance of NFTs is right around the corner, and major brands seeking transactional security are choosing Ethereum. Further, utilizing the Immutable-X second layer technology vastly improves minting energy efficiency, removing gas fees that can be passed along as savings for VeVe users.
The OMI token also has deeper potential utility compared to many other cryptos, interoperability, in-app benefit & use rewards that are well thought out. Being an ERC20 play now means access to more major exchanges that didn’t previously support Go20 that well. This likely means further exposure to crypto & NFT enthusiasts can be achieved, where previously, investors may have held off for fear of using foreign exchanges or had difficulty moving funds to them, and damn, it was just plain SCARY moving OMI tokens off GoChain back in the day.
Think of the stock market – when a company trades on the pink sheets, few buy in, the prices are usually very low, or the buyers are VERY prepared to accept the high risks on very speculative plays. When that same company later ends up on the NYSE or NASDAQ, big dollars FLOOD in. Yes, timing right now SUX thanks to FTX for everything, but this too will hopefully pass soon, and amid new regulations, checks & balances will make the system stronger. Look at Canada & its crypto exchange regulations– it is compelling how things are about to change for the better. Which leads to my next point…
3) THE ‘DID I STUMBLE ACROSS A GOOD COMPANY EARLY?’ REASONS
If investors knew of a ‘fiat’ company that just over a year-and-a-half ago was earning $1M, and 6 months later 10X’d that, with an audience growth of 50,000 to over 300,000 in the same time frame, selling over half-a-million NFTs with plans to 10X that growth within the following year, dollars would FLOOD in. As would customers, brand partners, vendors and salespeople call volumes.
This is a picture of VeVe’s rather quick successes, having aligned with heavy-hitting brands right out of the gate – WHAT A COMPELLING STORY already! I won’t get into the argument about marketplace or transaction fees, though. VeVe is a business – fees (and yes, taxes) are expected and simply need to be planned for. Licensors and staff must be compensated, while platform and software / partner fees, and of course, lawyers, must be paid to administer the fun. You cannot have your cake and eat it too, sadly!
I will, however, argue all day long as a marketer that it is not easy growing an audience or user base, particularly one where transactional dollars are involved, even with A LOT of marketing dollars at hand. Yet, VeVe achieved major milestones with the limited marketing focus they have thus invested. I am titillated to see what happens when that engine is fired up…
4) THE ‘I THINK I SEE WHAT’S GOING ON’ REASONS
Rather critical, but NFTs have been challenging to buy for the average person or non-crypto enthusiast, and just a plain scary thought for many others. However, look back to the early 2000’s…NO ONE wanted to hand a website like Amazon their credit card. Many stores at the time still used physical swipe / imprint credit card processors.
Today, we now have Amazon-branded Visa cards and go to the site for pretty much everything. VeVe removed the payment barrier, making high value IP as easy to buy as clicking a button to connect your Apple wallet, or now (web-app) using your preferred Visa, with Crypto pay-in possibly soon.
This means those with more disposable incomes have easier access to buying ownership pieces of the brands, products & comics they enjoyed growing up. Per the comic collectors-turned VeVe enthusiasts I’ve spoken with, owning a physical comic without its NFT counterpart can be like only owning half of a set. Or, they buy the digital NFT version first, then chase down its real-world partner after. It’s not only exciting to hold both, it’s becoming a passion made easier by the fact it’s, well…easier to grab the digital version first.
And this makes sense for those that are future-focused. We have a chance to look back in time, see where certain books ended up after 20, 40, 60+ years of holding time, and enter ownership early (from an NFT perspective). A Tales of Suspense #57 FA Hawkeye digital collectible comic on the VeVe app for $5 today? Sure, when you know its physical counterpart recently sold for $102,000.
I love this quote from the CEO of HubSpot, a well-known marketing CRM & advertising software management platform: “We’re moving to a market-based society where everything is going to be ownable, priceable, traceable — everything — and NFTs are just a fancy way to do that and create the marketplace around it,” — Kipp Bodnar, CMO, HubSpot
Of VeVe’s current 300K+ users, I don’t know the breakdown between those who are crypto & NFT enthusiasts and those, who like me, are older and simply happy to hold incredibly valuable, enjoyable IP, easily, in my iPhone. Sure the VeVeVerse sounds fun, and I know I’ll enjoy it with my kids, but for me today, I relish in the fact I am here so early…collecting key pieces of fandom most of the planet have no clue are even ‘collectible’ at this point. And looking at the breakdowns of market listings by item, it’s pretty clear most buyers are holding onto these assets dearly. 1% to 2% of a total run’s listings being for sale in the secondary market is really not that much, meaning to me the collector mentality is alive and well.
4.5) ‘THE TEAM’ REASONS
One could easily argue many VeVe fans are here based on the Team behind the scene, and much has been written about this so I’ll keep it brief – a group of seasoned business people who are collectors at heart, saw an opportunity to improve upon a trusted, age-old industry and developed a way to do it. However, this caught the eye of Alfred Khan (of Pokemon & Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fame), who also joined the team to assist in connecting key IP brand partners. That hit me like a 70’s Batman TV show KA-POW!
I lived through the dot-com bubble, watched countless businesses skyrocket then vanish into thin air. I saw thousands lose everything & experienced rampant, transformative business operation changes resulting from the Internet showing up in EVERY company I have worked for. I also watched Lou Ferrigno be painted green for his 1970’s Incredible Hulk series, instead of deep fakes & CGI. So maybe I see digital collectibles differently than most. Maybe I’m far more patient with a brand new company trying to find its stride, and maybe I’m far more tolerant of delays and setbacks than many. Or maybe, it’s because my skin and tolerances for risk are thicker for a new, big market change ahead I hope not to miss again.
It is also why as a Marketer, I am A-OK with the Ecomi Team taking their time before mass-marketing. Conversing in multiple languages, enabling localisation, transacting across multiple payment options, filtering out technical issues, setting up global customer service support and so forth are worth doing well. The team is looking to multiple millions of users, not 100’s of 1000’s and that simply takes time to get right. In the meantime, a powerful group of content creators have sprung up to keep the existing & new user base excited, informed, critical and growing. KUDOS TO THEM ALL!
Could I be wrong? I have after all, lost on just as many stocks & equities that I have won. So, absolutely! Yet, I adore this brand and what it has offered from an experiential perspective alone. I love using it. I love the time shared with my son in it. I love my family and friends reading these crazy articles and encouraging me to continue. Those things hold value to me, beyond just monetary.
If I am looking long-term (at least 5-10 years from now), when adding the psychological and brand legacy aspects to that equation, moving away from focusing just on missed deadlines or a botched airdrop (which is a free gift, btw), Ecomi suddenly has a very compelling reason for me to consider its VeVe app assets for long term hodling.
People pay small fortunes for one-week vacations, fancy cars, running shoes, carpets or club memberships to ‘enhance their experiences,’ so why should this be any different? It’s just a new way of distributing entertainment and collecting value.
But of course, this is all just one guy’s most humblest of opinions.