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What just happened? Despite public interest in NFTs waning and OpenSea transactions down 99% since May, LG is bringing non-fungible tokens to its smart televisions. Owners of LG TVs running webOS 5.0 or later will be able to access the LG Art Lab platform, allowing them to discover, buy, sell and trade the "high-quality artwork" directly from the televisions.
If you own a compatible LG TV, live in the US, and would like to access the marketplace, the app can be downloaded from the television's home screen. There aren't any NFTs available just yet; the first drops, a set from sculptor Barry X Ball, land on September 22. LG says more will be added on a monthly basis.
The LG Art Lab platform is built in collaboration with the Hedera network. It uses a blockchain alternative called hashgraph, and describes itself as the "most used, sustainable, enterprise public ledger for the decentralized economy."
NFTs are purchasable using Wallypto, LG's crypto wallet for smartphones that launched in beta last month. The process of buying one involves scanning a QR code that appears on the TV screen and then completing the purchase using Wallypto on a phone. You'll need to own some USD Coin (USDC) first, though.
Owned NFTs, which can be traded, will be viewable in the My Collection section. You can also display them on the TV when the set isn't in use.
"To help users gain a deeper understanding of their favorite NFTs and the creative minds behind them, the platform also presents informative artwork descriptions and short films that illuminate the artists' creative processes," LG says. "Users can follow and learn more about each artist in the app's profile feature, and will even have the opportunity to meet some of them at upcoming, LG-sponsored art events."
LG Electronics announced LG Art Lab back in January. At the time, OpenSea, the world's largest NFT marketplace, had around 58,780 active users. That figure had fallen to 23,620 on August 27. Trading volume figures have crashed even further, from a peak of $400 million on May 1 to $5 million on August 28—a 99% decline. We also heard in July that OpenSea was cutting 20% of its workforce due to the turbulent economy and crypto winter.
LG is joining local tech rival Samsung in offering NFTs through its TVs. The Galaxy maker in January said it would be adding NFT features to its latest sets, including Micro LED and Neo QLED models.