Let’s get ‘phygital’ — how NFTs are changing the retail game according to MoonPay’s CEO

Episode 59 of Season 4 of The Scoop was recorded live at NFT.NYC with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Ivan Soto-Wright, co-founder and CEO of MoonPay.

Listen below, and subscribe to The Scoop on AppleSpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts. Email feedback and revision requests to [email protected].

Web3 can be daunting for new users and brands looking to enter the space.

But MoonPay — the crypto payment infrastructure company that raised $555 million at a valuation of
$3.4 billion just last year — has spent the last few months building out a suite of NFT related products in an attempt to simplify the process of introducing new users to web3.

So far this year, MoonPay has enabled NFT purchases via credit cards, built out its white-glove NFT concierge service for celebrities, and launched an NFT minting service aimed at brands and content creators.

In this episode of The Scoop recorded live at the NFT.NYC conference, MoonPay co-founder and CEO Ivan Soto-Wright sits down with host Frank Chaparro to discuss the inroads MoonPay has made into the burgeoning NFT industry, and to explain some of the ways he envisions the space evolving over the coming months.

One potential use case for NFTs that Soto-Wright is excited about is their potential to act as redeemable tokens for real-world items. According to Soto-Wright:

“‘Phygital’ — or ‘digital twinning’ — is the idea that you can take something that exists physically and create a digital pair of that as an NFT, and then you can hold on to that and redeem it for the physical…”

In addition to helping brands combat counterfeiting, Soto-Wright explains how brands could use ‘phygital’ items to pitch products directly to consumers:


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“Let's say Gucci has a special line of shoes that they want to sell on their website, and maybe the shoes haven't actually been released yet — they could release them digitally and they could actually start to engage with the audience and see whether there's actually demand for that asset before it actually is created.”

Big brands are part of the audience MoonPay hopes to attract with its new HyperMint NFT utility service, announced at the start of NFT.NYC last week, which allows brands and creators to mint millions of NFTs at a time.

During this episode, Chaparro and Soto-Wright discuss:

  • The importance of MoonPay's focus on retail ‘conversion’
  • The relationship between NFTs and intellectual property
  • Digital property and identity on web3

This episode is brought to you by our sponsors FireblocksCoinbase Prime & Cross River
Fireblocks is an enterprise-grade platform delivering a secure infrastructure for moving, storing, and issuing digital assets. Fireblocks enables exchanges, lending desks, custodians, banks, trading desks, and hedge funds to securely scale digital asset operations through the Fireblocks Network and MPC-based Wallet Infrastructure. Fireblocks serves over 725 financial institutions, has secured the transfer of over $1.5 trillion in digital assets, and has a unique insurance policy that covers assets in storage & transit. For more information, please visit www.fireblocks.com.

About Coinbase Prime
Coinbase Prime is an integrated solution that provides institutional investors with an advanced trading platform, secure custody, and prime services to manage all their crypto assets in one place. Coinbase Prime fully integrates crypto trading and custody on a single platform, and gives clients the best all-in pricing in their network using their proprietary Smart Order Router and algorithmic execution. For more information, visit www.coinbase.com/prime.

About Cross River
Cross River is powering today’s most innovative crypto companies, with banking and payments solutions you can rely on, including fiat on/off ramp solutions. Whether you are a crypto exchange, NFT marketplace, or wallet, Cross River’s API-based, all-in-one platform enables banking as a service, ACH & wire transfers, push-to-card disbursements, real-time payments, and virtual accounts and subledgers. Request your fiat on/off ramp solution now at crossriver.com/crypto.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Authors

Davis Quinton is the Director of Podcasts at The Block and runs our flagship podcast called The Scoop, hosted by Frank Chaparro. Since joining The Block as an 'intern' in early 2022, he has worked closely with leaders across departments to translate The Block's written content into engaging multimedia formats. He holds a degree in Social Research & Public Policy from New York University in Abu Dhabi and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Frank Chaparro is the Editor At Large at The Block. Chaparro started his career at Business Insider, where he specialized in the intersection of digital assets and Wall Street, market structure, and financial technology. Soon after joining Business Insider out of Fordham University, Chaparro was interviewing top finance and tech executives, including billionaire Mark Cuban, “Flash Boys” star Brad Katsuyama, Cboe Global Markets CEO Ed Tilly, and New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley. In 2018, he become a sought after reporter in the crypto world, interviewing luminaries such as Tyler Winklevoss, the cofounder of Gemini, Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, and Fundstrat head Tom Lee. He runs his own podcast The Scoop and writes a biweekly eponymous newsletter. He leads special projects, including The Block's flagship podcast, The Scoop. Prior to The Block, he held roles at Business Insider, NPR, and Nasdaq. For inquiries or tips, email [email protected].