Warner Bros’ subsidiary DC Comics (DC) has launched its own non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace with NFT development partner Palm Studio. For now, the transfer of NFTs between different accounts is only enabled through sales in the secondary marketplace, which is currently in Beta. And users cannot yet hold the NFTs in a personal wallet like MetaMask. However, this functionality is likely to be added in the future.
Some might view these restrictions as contrary to the web3 ethos. In contrast, the majority of NFT secondary sales happen through OpenSea, with a few major exceptions. Only those using NFTs within games or that have a large community can afford to go it alone with their own marketplace.
One of those is Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot which runs its own marketplace creating a similar walled garden experience. However, it is possible to transfer Top Shot NFTs via other sites such as Gameflip. Instead, Top Shot achieves stickiness within its app through challenges that engage fans.
Likewise, DC Comics is creating a destination with plans to use some NFTs, such as the Batman Bat Cowl NFTs, to vote on storylines and characters in future comics. It will also offer rewards and access to future DC NFT collections.
At the same time, some DC fans might not be aware of this transfer restriction. In order to protect its brand and, more importantly, its fans, there’s a need to police other marketplaces for scams. One account on OpenSea is currently selling 20 allegedly Official DC Bat Cowls, although we don’t think so, given the tokens are minted on the wrong network.
Meanwhile, the DC NFT marketplace is showing an unusually wide range of prices. For example, DC minted 200,000 Bat Cowl NFTs in April for $300 (we don’t know if they were all sold). Currently, the cheapest Bat Cowl NFT on the marketplace is $430, but there are several with unrealistic prices, including almost 50 in the millions and two that are asking for $1 billion or more. However, in fairness, OpenSea has a few Bored Ape NFTs with similar prices.
Before DC Comics got involved in NFTs, a former DC digital artist made millions selling digital assets based on the producer’s intellectual property. DC was not too pleased with the development and took action to prevent other people from doing the same.
The Comics firm initially did a licensing deal with VeVe for NFTs before launching an NFT collection to promote a virtual event, also in collaboration with Palm Studio. Palm runs a blockchain network that is a sidechain to Ethereum. Another Palm partner is Fanatics-owned Candy Digital which specializes in sports NFTs.