NFT-based marketplace Momint targets artists, athletes

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 03 May 2021
Over R150 000 was raised on Momint for the Bryan Habana Foundation.
Over R150 000 was raised on Momint for the Bryan Habana Foundation.

Momint, a South African online marketplace which allows artists to auction, sell, trade and display their art as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) made its debut on Friday.

Backed by NFT technology, the new Web-based social media platform enables South African creators – filmmakers, artists, musicians and sports people – to showcase and monetise their work and sell it directly to fans using either normal currency or crypto-currency.

An NFT is a secure digital file which validates ownership, and is stored on the blockchain system, where each NFT can represent a unique digital item, and thus is not interchangeable.

NFTs can represent digital files such as art, audio, videos, items in video games and other forms of assets in the physical world. While the item itself can be copied, the NFT that includes certification of ownership cannot be duplicated.

Former rugby union player Bryan Habana, cricketer AB de Villiers, musicians Goldfish and The Kiffness, influencer Diipa Khosla, and filmmaker Dan Mace are some of the first celebrity users that have listed their work on the platform.

NFTs have in recent months made headlines the world over as artists, businesses and other content creators use them to sell digital works.

Momint CEO and co-founder Ahren Posthumus notes that unlike other similar platforms, buyers on the Momint app don’t have to buy NFTs using crypto-currency only, but can also use rands (fiat currency) to buy unique items from listed creators.

“In the past, it was impossible to prove ownership of digital works, which can be easily copied, pasted, altered and shared online,” says Posthumus.

“Using NFTs, if a work is altered, even by a fraction, the fingerprint of that work changes, and it’s quite easy to see it’s not the same digital work. This makes ownership indisputable and guarantees the value of the work as it is unquestionably original.”

Co-founded in Cape Town by Joshua Minsk, Posthumus, Adam Romyn and investor Rob Hersov, Momint says it raised pre-seed funding from a mix of foreign and local investors that values the company at over R30 million.

It is in discussions with a number of local celebrities to launch further NFTs in the near future. In the longer term, it plans to take the platform global.

Momint beta-tested the app two weeks ago with an auction of a 3D turntable of rugby superstar Habana racing a cheetah, making him the first South African sports star to sell an NFT. The beta phase included 800 people from 25 countries and raised over R150 000 for the Bryan Habana Foundation.

Cumulative sales during Momint’s closed beta release reached over R300 000 across two days.

Momint COO and co-founder Minsk explains: “NFTs offer a means for creators to sell their works and support themselves without needing to litter their work with sponsor shout-outs or advertisements.

“On Momint, NFTs can be sold via auction or directly to a fan for a fixed price. The only cost to the creator is a 12% auction fee or a 0.5% direct sales fee that Momint charges once it is sold.”

Fans can collect and display moments on the Momint app, adding a social element to the offering alongside standard features such as likes, comments and follows.

In order to encourage creativity and quality content, Momint restricts the number of posts a content creator can post per week, to help ensure creators don’t all post the same types of content, as seen on many social media platforms.

Says Habana: “It was wonderful to be part of the Momint beta and be the first South African athlete to sell an NFT. We’ve seen NFTs really taking off for athletes, particularly in the US, and they present an exciting avenue for sports people, musicians and so on to commercialise and monetise their work. I’m grateful to the Momint team for the opportunity and look forward to seeing the offering go from strength to strength.”

Fans can sign up for Momint here.