(Reuters) – Social media platform Parler said on Monday it will expand its business into non-fungible tokens (NFT), in a move that underpins the rapid growth of the digital asset in recent months.
An NFT, which is a digital asset usually bought with cryptocurrencies or in dollars, encompasses everything from images, videos to text. The ownership record is tracked on the blockchain, which serves as a public ledger allowing anyone to verify the NFT’s authenticity.
Traded since around 2017, NFTs initially gained popularity in early 2021 and then around August.
Last week, former U.S. first lady Melania Trump launched an NFT and blockchain technology venture, which was spearheaded by Parler.
“Parler will continue building its digital offering with an NFT pipeline that builds communities and fosters creativity while furthering its commitment to free speech and security,” the company said in a statement on Monday.
The app was launched in 2018 as a social-media site, styling itself as a free-speech space for those seeking an alternative to major platforms such as Facebook Inc and Twitter. It quickly gained traction from supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump.
Parler, however, went dark for about a month after being cut off by major technology platforms Apple Inc, Google parent Alphabet Inc and Amazon.com Inc that accused the app of failing to police violent content related to the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters.
(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)