- The Sun is considering a move to NFTs
- Historical headlines and exclusive media images could become digital art assets
- Bank of England issues warning about companies’ approach to crypto
Sun newspaper eyeing NFTs
The Sun, one of Rupert Murdoch’s many publishing outlets, has expressed interest in joining the NFT boom. If we think back to what The Sun is known for, it’s had its fair share of famous cover pages, headlines and images – as well as its controversies, of course. The idea is to turn these exclusive images and front pages into digital assets.
The NFT market has exploded in 2021, frequently making headlines. The market is estimated to be around $22 billion, and given that their exclusive images and titles already exist, it can be hard to see why they shouldn’t try and grab a piece of the pie.
This interest in NFTs is said to come from chief executive Rebekah Brooks as well as chief operating officer David Dinsmore. It’s not just The Sun that could be used as a source of these assets either, as The Times is also part of Murdoch’s media empire.
There are some unique challenges to overcome, however, such as recreating these famous titles in NFT with a unique element – because after all, they already exist and are readily available online. Also, the population of those interested in NFTs is usually too young to even remember the headlines “The Sun Wot Won It”. In that sense, it’s a bit of an aging that loses relevance in search of ways to stay relevant.
Bank of England warns against crypto
Cryptocurrency is more than just NFTs, and NFTs are more than digital art copyrights. However, the Bank of England recently came out warning businesses to be cautious in their approach to cryptocurrency and crypto-assets.
“Increasingly, it appears that interest in unbacked cryptocurrencies that have no intrinsic value is approaching the traditional financial system. Financial firms should be particularly careful when addressing these issues, with serious thought the risks they may entail,” said Sarah Breeden, executive director for financial stability at the BoE.
Sarah specifically warns businesses to be aware of the use of cryptography as a means to launder money and fund terrorism.
The BoE has a history of warning against the crypto, suggesting that its volatility could have a profound impact on the broader financial system in the future. Of course, as the centralized governing body of money in England, it makes sense that they would take this position, as the rise of cryptocurrency would be a somewhat zero-sum game, in which their own control over the British monetary system decreases proportionally.
However, it has to be said that the BoE is more concerned with warning banks than the media getting into NFTs. With the banking crisis creating existential doubt only 14 years ago, it is understandable that major financial institutions do not create too much dependence on a currency and technology that is not yet fully established.
Bad banking solutions feed this appetite
Most people group banks with this hesitation towards crypto – as being “the other” – like the Bank of England. In truth, it is actually the failings of the current banking system that are driving the demand for cryptocurrency. Banking solutions for expats in the UK are virtually non-existent.
While it’s often altcoins and NFTs that grab the headlines, there are some very real uses that surpass what banks have to offer. An example of this is the movement towards remote working – and the globalization that comes with it.
With more and more expats working overseas, and with an expected increase as border restrictions become more lax, big banks are failing to keep up with this new way of life. The inability to cash foreign checks, long processing times for overseas transactions, and exorbitant foreign exchange fees are some of the many reasons customers seek alternatives to banks.
Although crypto is not the only answer to this problem, the lackluster service offered by banks is amplified in such circumstances. The %3-%5 FX spread, in particular, is a key driving force moving away from traditional banking infrastructure that is too entrenched in its legacy systems.
Furthermore, the case for a digital pound is also growing stronger for this very reason. A digital pound could increase the efficiency of the monetary system, especially in securities trading and settlement, but could also bring some benefits to ordinary citizens. After all, it’s not the decentralization that most people (people who aren’t involved in crypto) want, it’s simply driven by the failings of current infrastructure and financial institutions.
David is a crypto enthusiast and personal finance expert. He has created numerous publications for different platforms. He loves exploring new things, and that’s how he discovered blockchain in the first place.