At least one significant media publication is diving head-first into Web3. On April 13th, and in partnership with FTX, Forbes will release a collection of 100 NFTs titled Virtual Billionaires. Each Virtual Billionaire will come complete with a theoretical portfolio, a profile page on Forbes’ website, and hobbies.
In a twist that ties Web3 to stocks, each Virtual Billionaire’s theoretical portfolio will be connected to real-world assets like Exchange Traded Funds. The data for the portfolios will update in real-time, and Forbes will create a leaderboard for the 100 NFTs based on who has the highest-grossing net worth.
Tristan Yver, the Head of Strategy at FTX, said that the company is seeing an “established and reputable” media company enter the Web3 space with this collection. FTX is “excited” to partner with Forbes and will continue to encourage innovation for companies joining the “digital asset community.”
Vadim Supitskiy, the CTO at Forbes, said the Virtual Billionaires NFT collection is not just another step for the publication to embrace Web3 but a chance for its audience to explore it as well. In Supitskiy’s view, Forbes is cementing its place in the metaverse with this collection.
Illustrators Goodog and ItsACat, based in Barcelona, designed the art for each of the 100 Virtual Billionaire NFTs.
Forbes has been busy in the Web3 space since last year. The company turned a magazine cover into an NFT, donating the sales proceeds to two different journalism organizations. It also held a Digital Assets and Web3 Summit to talk about crucial issues in the field, including the future of Bitcoin and the NFT market.
Big Media Another Industry Wading into Web3
Forbes is not the first media company to launch an NFT collection. In 2021, TIME Magazine released one, and the New York Times has minted a column as an NFT. It sold for a high amount, much to the writer’s surprise.
And media is just one of many, many industries that are testing the waters in Web3. In cosmetics, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty has registered trademarks for Web3 use. Wendy’s in the fast-food industry has opened up a location in Meta’s Horizon Worlds. And in the financial sector, American Express has registered trademarks related to its logos and programs.
Still, some media is mixed on Web3, with some running articles that NFTs are either a fad or pose dangers for collectors, and others questioning the need for NFTs in video games or the need for them at all.
Time will tell if Forbes’ collection of Virtual Billionaires is successful. Still, it seems like an interesting approach to tie real-world data to the NFTs, even if the Virtual Billionaire portfolios are theoretical.