The News: Asset manager VanEck launched community NFTs to showcase the real-world utility inherent in the NFT structure. The NFTs, launched on Ethereum, will act as a digital membership card to VanEck research, events, and more. Read the full announcement from VanEck.
Asset Manager VanEck Launches Community NFTs
Analyst Take: Asset manager VanEck continues to be at the vanguard of digital asset adoption, and the launch of VanEck NFTs marks another major first for the firm.
With over $85 billion under management, VanEck is already a global presence in asset management. The firm is particularly well known for its deep expertise in gold – the VanEck Gold Miners ETF alone manages $14.5 billion in the US.
In recent years, VanEck has positioned itself to become a leader in cryptocurrencies. In 2019, the firm clearly stated its vision for the future: “We believe bitcoin is on the path to becoming digital gold.” Since then, the company launched the VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF, which invests in bitcoins futures, alongside other similar products that give investors exposure to cryptocurrencies.
The VanEck NFTs are yet another way to engage its community of investors.
VanEck NFTs Combine Crypto and Community in a First for the Asset Management Industry
The VanEck NFTs combine crypto and community in a first for the asset management industry. The firm is leading by example for how innovative companies can use NFTs to engage their customers.
NFTs can act as digital passports for gated content – only those holders with NFTs can access it. That sense of brand association and exclusivity can be a powerful marketing tool. VanEck, as the first asset manager to launch NFTs, is poised to engage its investors in a whole new way.
New investors who may not have known of VanEck but are NFT enthusiasts may now be engaging with the firm for the first time. Existing investors who already appreciate VanEck’s research and product offerings can get a leg up on their peers with early or exclusive access to new VanEck services — and the NFT acts as the key to unlock access.
This is a bold marketing strategy, and one that’s likely to pay off for the firm in a multitude of ways. While the NFTs themselves are permanently inscribed on the blockchain, VanEck can continually enhance the benefits they unlock. It’s an opportunity for the firm to engage in an ongoing dialogue with investors who already opted-in to a deeper relationship when they obtained the NFTs. Active feedback from a group of self-identified enthusiasts is both valuable and hard to obtain for any company.
I expect other asset managers will be closely watching how the VanEck NFT community evolves over time. In recent years, we’ve seen investor communications expand from the occasional confidential letter to regular, public blog posts and portfolio manager calls expand from quarterly call-ins to public podcasts. VanEck’s NFTs may well be the next evolution in how asset managers engage their investors.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.
Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of Futurum Research as a whole.
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Image Credit: VanEck
Jared is an Analyst in Residence at Futurum Research, where he helps guide our practice in all things Web3, the Metaverse, and cryptocurrencies so as to help business leaders understand how they work, why they matter, and how they can not only get involved, but become market leaders along the way.
Jared previously co-founded and served as President and Board Member of Triple Point Liquidity, a blockchain-based fintech startup serving alternative asset managers, their investors, and fund administrators. Prior to Triple Point, he held multiple roles at IBM including leading Digital Assets at IBM Blockchain, leading corporate development for Industry Platforms, and founding Watson Risk & Compliance.
Jared is author and podcast co-host at Fat Tailed Thoughts and serves as a trustee for The Williams School.
Jared holds an AB from Dartmouth College.