On Saturday the 10th of December, NFT Crypto Merchandise brand Virtirl Wear released their first collection of digital merch NFTs, purchasable directly from their Shopify store with fiat currency.
The store hosts collections of shirts, tank tops and hoodies, sporting blockchain imagery. There are even crypto collections featuring art from Mad Meerkat, Boomer Squad and fan art of the Graycraft web3 project.
And now there is a limited series of NFTs for sale, too.
Would you like an NFT with that?
The technology behind this NFT-to-Shopify fiat on-ramp is delivered by Venly. We allow seamless integration of web3 features into traditional web2 architecture. Last week, we sat down with Virtirl Wear’s Founder Phil Watkins to discuss his experience bringing an NFT-Shopify store to life.
“I discovered cryptocurrencies back in 2016,” he recounts. “I used to work in a business improvement role. I was looking at underlying data structures and making them meaningful and impactful.”
“If you can understand data systems, you can understand blockchain. And then to see what certain teams are looking to bring to fruition… that’s where I invested my money, which transitioned me into starting my own project now.”
“The whole premise of web3 is to work together. I want to carry on those old principles in crypto - how I discovered it.”
Watkins points to the ever-expanding use cases of NFT membership and rewards cards.
“It’s not just about a digital piece of merchandise,” he explains. “These [NFTs] could represent subscriptions or access to benefits. It could be a new form of season ticket. There are all these types of applications in real life.”
“Within the Metaverse, there are teams who are building virtual experiences- concerts, football games… even just computer game characters. So that’s where we’re heading and that’s the whole premise behind VirtirlWear.”
The idea of an exclusive NFT rewards card is not only being tested by VirtirlWear. Global entertainment company Studio 100 - also in partnership with Venly - recently announced their Magic Circle fan rewards program, which will launch a limited sale of exclusive NFT access passes to events.
As with VirtirlWear, Studio 100 prioritized accessibility - they wanted the experience of acquiring an NFT to be indistinguishable from buying a regular concert ticket online. Watkins explains the importance of this feature.
“If you take it to the point of sale where people are buying a football jersey with an NFT to go with it - they’re not going to have the crypto skill-set.”
“From an integration point of view, Venly has been awesome. It ticked all the boxes for us in terms of accessibility. They’ve been very responsive.”
“We tested six different systems in total. Venly offers the extended package of wallet integrations and API systems into the marketplace.”
Onwards and upwards
For VirtirlWear, this is just the first of many planned NFT launches.
“We’ve got three collections lined up so far with another four in the pipeline.”
Phil foresees great potential in the rapidly expanding market. He muses further agreements with international sports teams and ticketing ventures for live entertainment.
“We can not only supply their whole physical merchandise - jerseys from the team - we also supply the digital merchandise, which they could literally wear on their characters in games they're playing.”
Ultimately, though, it’s about more than simply business success for Phil.
“[It’s about] driving the ecosystem forward, for sure. Engaging with new people. I like building relationships. That’s how you build successful businesses. Relationships come first.”
Find @VirtirlWear on Twitter.
Check out VirtirlWear NFTs on their store.