Salesforce has finally made its first, limping foray into the non-fungible token space, advertising a new product that will supposedly make minting and selling NFTs easier for the uninitiated. Whether those uninitiated take the company up on the deal during the current crypto lull is another matter.
Adam Caplan, the senior VP for Emerging Technology at Salesforce, told TechCrunch the new NFT Cloud, which is currently in a closed pilot for select customers, that the platform helps customers mint, manage, and sell NFTs. The product is “all no code… abstracting all the complicated technology” for the layperson.
Bloomberg reported NFT Cloud is designed for brands that want to use NFTs for event admission or other special access, rather than for being bought and sold on marketplaces. Otherwise, users could receive “certain benefits” from companies they hold an NFT from, whether that’s physical products or digital goods.
Reuters reported back in February that employees weren’t particularly chuffed at the idea their company was dipping more of its toes in the crypto space. Over 400 employees signed a letter to executives calling NFTs “unregulated, highly speculative financial assets” and further complaining about the environmental impact of crypto. At least one employee who signed the letter threatened to quit over the move, according to reports. Company employees of San Francisco’s largest single employer are not shy about commenting on the direction Salesforce is heading.
But new developments in the NFT space have put even more of a heavy load on Salesforce’s new product. OpenSea, the largest NFT minting platform and marketplace in the token space, has been inundated with scandals, including a recent phishing attack that cost users millions. Reports showed that nearly all NFTs created with the platform’s free minting tool are effectively fraudulent, which forced the platform to create new algorithms and good ol’ human eyes to scan for fakes. Just last week, a former product manager on the platform was arrested for allegedly using insider knowledge to make money on NFT trades.
Caplan told reporters that it’s trying to offer users more security than other platforms. The NFT Cloud will supposedly handle contract-writing and authentication for users.
What’s more interesting with this new product’s belated timing is the general outlook for NFT trades. Sales of non-fungible tokens have declined around 90% from their peak in September last year. NFTs like an image of the first-ever Tweet, which was bought for several million dollars a year ago, didn’t even peak above $300 this past April.
Salesforce has been probing the the possibilities of crypto for several years. In 2020, Caplan told FintechTV they want to rollout blockchain networks that will be “super easy to adopt” for other companies not up-to-date on the crypto rollercoaster. At that time, Caplan evangelized getting company’s consumers engaged with blockchain tech.
Major tech companies have tried to tie NFTs to user profiles on platforms like Instagram and Twitter, with the latter’s users having to pay an additional price to promote their NFT as their avatar. Other companies that normally have little to do with crypto are also looking to get in on the action. GameStop, trying to capture a little bit of that lost memestock magic, recently announced its own wallet that will allow users to store ether coins and NFTs.
And if you’re still set on crafting NFTs on Salesforce’s platform, you’ll have to wait until October for a full wide release, according to Bloomberg.