‘Green’ NFT Platform Raises $63 Million to Launch Music Collectibles on Tezos

By Andrew Hayward

A new musician-centric marketplace for non-fungible token (NFT) crypto collectibles is coming to the Tezos blockchain, and it’s packing projects form an array of well-known artists—including John Legend, Quincy Jones, Doja Cat, and the late Whitney Houston.

Announced today, the OneOf NFT marketplace was founded in partnership with Jones and his Quincy Jones Productions firm, and will launch in June with support for credit and debit cards across more than 135 fiat currencies, along with unspecified cryptocurrencies and stablecoins.

The platform will also feature NFTs from artists including TLC, H.E.R, Charlie Puth, G-Eazy, Jacob Collier, The Kid Laroi, Aurora, and Alesso, with further musicians to come.

OneOf has raised a $63 million seed round for the effort, and will be based on the Tezos proof-of-stake blockchain. Using Tezos is billed as a “green” alternative to minting NFTs on Ethereum, which currently uses an energy-intensive proof-of-work consensus model that has estimated network-wide power consumption comparable to the country of Singapore (via Digiconomist).

The environmental impact of Ethereum has been a common criticism amidst the rise of NFTs, which are like deeds of ownership to digital items, such as still images, video clips, tweets, and interactive video game items. Bitcoin’s own power-hungry proof-of-work model has similarly received increased scrutiny of late, with Tesla announcing this month that it will no longer accept the cryptocurrency as payment for its electric cars due to the ecological impact of mining.

@OfficialTLC NFT coming soon! Sign up at https://t.co/j0iaM5JRZT to be the first to know 💞#tlc #oneofnft pic.twitter.com/R1AWFpqzsI

— OneOf (@OneOfNFT) May 25, 2021

Tezos relies on a proof-of-stake model that requires no mining, which means the overall network requires significantly less power than Ethereum or Bitcoin. OneOf claims that Tezos uses “over 2 million times less energy” than proof-of-work networks like Ethereum, and the numbers match what Tezos itself has claimed as recently as March.

Amidst criticism over the environmental impact of certain blockchain platforms, the green tag has shown up in more and more announcements for NFT marketplaces. For example, legacy magazine brand SPIN has touted the eco-friendly nature of its NFT drops. OneOf’s announcement today includes a quote from rapper Doja Cat about “[wanting] to be mindful of environmental concerns” as part of the reason she’s launching NFTs through this new platform.

Musician M.I.A. Is Getting In on NFTs: ‘Visually, It’s a Mind F*ck’

OneOf will charge artists $0 for minting fees, and allow them to release low-priced NFTs—even free collectibles, if they please. However, the platform will specialize in limited edition “OneOf One” NFT drops. OneOf will donate a share of revenue to either a charity chosen by each artist or an “environmental cause partner.” The platform will also operate an Emerging Artist Spotlight Program to help introduce lesser-known musicians to potential new fans.

The $63 million seed round was led by veteran venture capitalist Bill Tai along with Suna Said of Nima Capital, with participation by the Tezos Foundation, Sangha Capital, East West Ventures founder Jaeson Ma, and tech investor Jack Herrick.

Many well-known musicians have launched their own NFT collectibles and artwork amidst 2021’s surge in value and interest around the digital items, including The Weekend, Kings of Leon, Grimes, Weezer, Snoop Dogg, M.I.A, and the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger.