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Associated Press Launches NFT Marketplace for Photography

Looking for exclusive rights to some of the world’s most emotionally stirring photography?

The Associated Press has announced that it will sell individual rights to its critically acclaimed photography — modern and historic — as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on a platform built by blockchain technology provider Xooa.

The Associated Press Television News Building in London.
The Associated Press Television News Building in London. Wikipedia/Metroskop/Benjamin Holler

The NFTs will be cast on the Polygon blockchain — an environmentally friendly, Ethereum-compatible ‘Layer 2’ solution. (Layer 2 solutions allow for scalable platforms that hold Ethereum blockchain integrity, which allows for decentralization, transparency, and security while also reducing the platform’s carbon footprint, i.e. less gas and less energy used.)

Xooa works with brands to enable NFTs and metaverse marketplaces to ensure the inherent scarcity and collecting utility of electronic digital items as well as to encourage a powerful connection between the virtual and real worlds.

“Xooa is proud to work with The Associated Press to launch AP’s NFT marketplace,” Zach Danker-Feldman, Xooa’s head of marketplaces, said to the AP. “In this marketplace deployment, emphasis has been placed on accessibility for all types of collectors to empower them to join a community that shares their interest in stunning photography.”

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Photo enthusiasts and investors will be able to seamlessly buy, sell, and trade official AP digital collectibles through the new marketplace. AP’s first NFT collection will include photography from present and former photojournalists at the media company and feature a selection of Pulitzer Prize-winning images. NFTs will range from space to Earth’s geography and from the bucolic to battles, with spotlights on the work of specific AP photographers.

“For 175 years AP’s photographers have recorded the world’s biggest stories through gripping and poignant images that continue to resonate today,” Dwayne Desaulniers, AP director of blockchain and data licensing, said in a statement. “With Xooa’s technology, we are proud to offer these tokenized pieces to a fast-growing global audience of photography NFT collectors.”

Each NFT will also include a rich set of original metadata that will provide purchasers with information such as the time, date, location, equipment, and technical settings used for the shot.

NFT price points will vary by demand and popularity. As a non-profit news cooperative, NFT proceeds will return to the AP to fund fact-based, unbiased journalism.

The initial collection will be released over a period of weeks beginning Monday, January 31. Surf over to AP’s website to sign up for updates ahead of the NFT’s launch at apmarket.xooa.com.

The Polygon blockchain-powered Xooa platform will support secondary market transactions and credit card purchases, including MetaMask. AP plans to add Fortmatic, Binance, and Coinbase accessibility in the future.

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