What just happened? Even though public interest in NFTs is waning and OpenSea transactions are down 99% since May, LG is adding non-fungible tokens to its smart TVs. 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 “high-quality artwork” directly from their TVs.
If you own a compatible LG TV, live in the US and want to access the market, you can download the app from the TV’s home screen. There are no NFTs available yet; the first drops, a set by sculptor Barry X Ball, land on September 22. LG says more will be added monthly.
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 widely used and sustainable enterprise public ledger for the decentralized economy.”
NFTs can be purchased with Wallypto, LG’s crypto wallet for smartphones that launched in beta last month. The checkout process involves scanning a QR code that appears on the TV screen and then completing the purchase using Wallypto on a phone. However, you will need to own some USD currency (USDC) first.
Own NFTs, which can be traded, can be viewed in the My Collection section. You can also display them on the TV when the computer is not in use.
“To help users gain a deeper understanding of their favorite NFTs and the creative minds behind them, the platform also features informative artwork descriptions and short films that illuminate the creative processes of artists,” says LG. “Users can follow and learn more about each artist in the app’s profile feature, and will even have the chance to meet some of them at upcoming LG-sponsored art events.”
LG Electronics announced LG Art Lab in January. At the time, OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT marketplace, had around 58,780 active users. That number had fallen to 23,620 on August 27. Trading volume figures have plummeted further, from a high 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 joins local tech rival Samsung in offering NFT through its TVs. The Galaxy maker said in January that it would add NFT features to its latest sets, including Micro LED and Neo QLED models.