Mastercard launches music pass NFTs with exclusive benefits for holders

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Mastercard announced the Music Pass NFT giveaway at this week’s NFT NYC conference as part of the Mastercard Artist Accelerator initiative launched in January to promote artists.

By holding these NFTs, collectors can enjoy several advantages. For instance, they will have early access to features like an AI-based music generator app, educational resources and the opportunity to attend a virtual showcase event in June, which will feature artists in Mastercard’s accelerator program.

Mastercard chief marketing and communications officer Raja Rajamannar said using Web3 technology to unlock a Web3-focused initiative “only makes sense.” He explained that the accelerator program was created to enhance the experience of Web3 and music enthusiasts.

“This is the first NFT we’ve dropped as part of the accelerator, but there is certainly the potential for others as the participating artists learn how to create their own NFTs as part of the program,” Rajamannar told Decrypt. “As a brand, this isn’t our first NFT, but it is a very exciting one. We love the combination of form and function.”

The Music Pass NFT collection is the accelerator’s first NFT release, but Rajamannar said that there is a possibility for additional releases as participating artists learn to generate their NFTs through the program.

Until the end of April, users can mint the Mastercard Music Pass NFT for free. The NFT is being distributed on Polygon, an Ethereum scaling network that companies like Nike, Starbucks and Reddit use for various Web3 projects.

The participants in the accelerator program include Grammy Award-winning artist Cocoa Sarai, R&B vocalist Young Athena, Nigerian recording artist LeriQ, musician Emily Vu and Latin Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Manu Manzu.

The accelerator program involves several mentors, such as the head of business development at Polygon, Brian Trunzo; rapper and director of programming at Zora, Latashá; chief experience officer at Ledger, Ian Rodger; producer and songwriter Tushar Apte; and content creator and dancer Nife.

Other Mastercard’s NFT projects

Mastercard has previously been involved in various NFT projects, having collaborated with soccer coach José Mourinho to launch one piece when he was a global ambassador for the company.

The one-of-a-kind NFT was an animated digital soccer ball that featured Mourinho’s signature on a panel. The NFT was awarded to one randomly selected Mastercard cardholder in the United Kingdom.

The firm has also collaborated with Polygon and Web3 startup Hi to create customizable debit cards with a corresponding NFT collectible.

Per the announcement, holders with the NFT Debit Mastercard could purchase items using cryptocurrency or fiat money at 90 million worldwide vendors. Holders were encouraged to download the hi app to receive an exclusive offer.

Afterward, the holders could design personalized cards using NFTs based on Polygon. Customers of this service were eligible for saving on up to 20 digital subscriptions, travel perks and up to 10 percent in Spend Rewards.

Mastercard’s entry into the world of Web3 and NFTs has not been without challenges. In February, Satvik Sethi, Mastercard’s NFT lead, left the company to focus entirely on Web3. He made his resignation letter an NFT.

Sethi wrote on Twitter that he resigned from Mastercard due to harassment and emotional distress that came from a series of mismanaged processes, miscommunication and internal inefficiencies at the company.

He mentioned that there were instances when he had to plead for his salary for months and face several other problems.


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