On Sunday, LG Electronics announced the launch of LG Art Lab, an NFT marketplace that is planned to host “a highly curated selection of world-class artists from around the globe.” The move comes almost half a year after LG competitor, Samsung, partnered with an NFT auction platform Nifty Gateway to enable users to display digital art on the brand’s smart TVs.
The new LG feature is currently available only in the US on the company’s TVs running webOS 5.0 or later. Users who happened to own compatible models can now browse available NFTs in the app that can be accessed directly from the home screen. The first NFT collection is set to launch on September 22 and will feature 3D metallic shapes by Barry X Ball, a prolific American sculptor whose work has been widely exhibited internationally over the last 30 years. Although there’s not much going on in the app yet, LG promises to add more NFTs on a monthly basis.
“A convenient, one-stop solution for viewing and trading NFTs at home, the platform includes the LG Art Lab Drops feature, which profiles artists and previews new works coming soon to the platform. Meanwhile, the real-time Live Drops countdown ensures users never miss an opportunity to acquire a ‘just dropped’ NFT,” the company’s press release reads.
Currently, the platform has only one NFT available for sale which can be bought by scanning the QR code and proceeding with payment through Wallypto, LG’s crypto wallet built for smartphones. To complete the transaction, your wallet needs to hold enough USDC, a USD-pegged stablecoin that recently saw a $1 billion bank run after its issuer Circle froze $75k in accounts linked to Tornado Cash.
LG Art Lab is based on the lesser-known Hedera blockchain, which bills itself as “the most used, sustainable, enterprise-grade public network for the decentralized economy.” Despite the quite unimpressive on-chain activity – Hedera’s NFT marketplace Hash Axis recorded just below $36k in trading volume over the last 30 days – the choice becomes more understandable considering the fact that LG has been part of Hedera’s Governing Council since 2020.
Meanwhile, LG isn’t the only company to experiment with web3 features in its products – it seems that other consumer electronics companies are willing to hop on whatever trend is hot in a bid to win over younger crypto-savvy consumers. HTC, for instance, has rolled out a metaverse-centered midrange smartphone just a couple of days after Solana announced the launch of its flagship Saga. And Huawei added support for China's central bank digital currency (CBDC) back in 2020, shipping its Huawei Mate 40 series with a built-in digital renminbi hardware wallet and hardware-level security.