HYBE chairman Bang Si-hyuk announced the company's plans to enter the non-fungible token business.
In the 2021 HYBE Briefing with Community virtual event, Bang said the company will set up a joint venture with Korean crypto exchange Upbit to create NFT photocards. The photocards will feature moving images, voices of its artists, and BTS-related content. These digital collectibles will be traded via the fan-to-artist communication app Weverse.
Bang also revealed that the company plans to get rid of “existing photocards” and introduce digital photocards which will have their own unique registration numbers. This method will also be “introduced” to the agency's music.
Aside from entering the NFT market, HYBE announced that BTS, TXT, and Enhypen will be featured on fantasy web novels that will be published on WebToon and Wattpad.
Following HYBE's virtual event, K-pop fans expressed their disappointment over the entertainment agency's future plans. The hashtags #BoycottHybeNFT and #ARMYsAgainstNFT also trended on social media.
Twitter user @aha_jk_unless claimed HYBE is “using us” and “they just see us as drones who will bend to the will of anyone.”
no bc this whole part about them having confidence in their success because of the fandom's "unique culture" ?? they're literally using us and admitting that they just see us as drones who will bend to the will of anyone who plasters the boys' faces on a product.#BoycottHYBENFT pic.twitter.com/zKChpzCcUZ— nina⁷ (@aha_jk_unless) November 4, 2021
Meanwhile, @hobihobiiiii, @army_bangtastic, @thksunshine called out the entertainment agency for its recent business venture, saying they “only want music.”
We don't want NFT. We don't want a game. We don't want a webtoon. We only want music from our boys. 이제 정신 차리세요. Listen to us. @HYBEOFFICIALtwt @BIGHIT_MUSIC#하이브굿즈_불매 #BoycottHybeNFT pic.twitter.com/y8Vw7ilWST— 1365244⁷💜 (@hobihobiiiii) November 4, 2021
We only want new music!!! #BoycottHybeNFT— bangtastic_Army (@army_bangtastic) November 4, 2021
the artists always show the fans the passsion in music but the company always show the passion on money 🤡#BoycottHybeNFT— sunshy☀️ (@thksunshine) November 4, 2021
On the other hand, @inlovewbright_ and @xcx1997 expressed their concern about HYBE’s business plans. They also lamented over the entertainment agency losing its passion for music.
I find it really concerning that HYBE does this shit and thinks we're gonna be okay with it. BigHit has always put out a positive image for themselves and their artists and now they do this. disappointed but not surprised to say the least🙃#BoycottHybeNFT pic.twitter.com/Ummd7ua83D— iko | @bbillkin (@inlovewbright_) November 5, 2021
hybe's recent activities are concerning me a lot. It looks like the aim we were connected to is lost that was power of music and believing in music. Now the only thing they are interested in is making money. I miss bighit #BTS #BoycottHybeNFT #ARMYsAgainstNFT https://t.co/Y3SmzscSGl— xcx1997 (@xcx1997) November 4, 2021
Twitter user @solovely_eunmi voiced out their frustration over HYBE’s entry into the NFT market, saying it’s “destroying the future of the youth.”
bts has always advocated for the youth. so why is their company now undermining this message by destroying the future of the youth through reckless energy consumption?#BoycottHybeNFT pic.twitter.com/7IxOWkW5Qh— mimi (@solovely_eunmi) November 4, 2021