What if investing in a jellyfish NFT was the future? The Paris Aquarium made the daring bet of developing in collaboration with the company Metaseum, specialized in Web3 support for cultural institutions, its first collection of NFTs and opted for jellyfish. The choice was made quickly, the Paris Aquarium has, outside of Japan, the largest collection of jellyfish in the world. “The jellyfish is the image, the symbol of the Paris Aquarium”, assures Martijn van Schaik, CEO of Metaseum.
Named the Jellyfish Collection, the 1,234 NFTs have been on sale since December 16. “We wanted this collection to be scientifically sound, so our jellyfish team worked hand in hand with the Metaseum artists so that all the biological characteristics of each species were brought together,” explains Etienne Bourgouin, marine biologist at the Paris Aquarium.
Pioneer of jellyfish and pioneer of the metaverse, the Aquarium de Paris aims to provide NFT buyers not only with unlimited and free access to the institution, in-store discounts, invitations to VIP events (meetings with biologists, guided visits to the basins, invitation upon the arrival of the polyps of the species purchased) and at the disco of the plant, but also a substantial didactic support on the life of these various unknown species.
There are around 60 different jellyfish in Paris, which have been 3D modeled by Metaseum and combined with 24 seabeds, to create unique NFTs. Far from the cliché of the ugly jellyfish rotting the fifteen days of annual vacation in Arcachon (no, urine is not a good idea), Martijn van Schaik sees in it a certain rehabilitation of these maligned specimens: “It’s also a way to see jellyfish in a positive and poetic way. They are older than dinosaurs and allow for the development of many treatments. »
A first step towards the cultural metaverse
Between 45 and 50 NFTs were sold in three weeks. “That doesn’t sound like much, but we really don’t have to sell as fast as some purely artistic NFTs,” puts Martijn van Schaik into perspective. It’s like an admission ticket to the Aquarium, not all of which have to be sold in one day. “Some buy it for the art, some for access to the aquarium, still others to get all the scientific information about jellyfish, which makes it a new product. “Since its origins in 1867, the Paris Aquarium has been at the heart of innovation. The first modern aquarium built in the heart of the industrial revolution, it made a deep impression and even inspired Jules Vernes Twenty thousand leagues under the seasays Alexis Powilewicz, CEO of the Paris Aquarium. Science and art find a new fertile ground for exchange, to embody the magic of the ocean in the virtual world. »
Metaseum works mainly with three biologists from the Aquarium de Paris, which has made it possible to encode and integrate all the scientific and educational information around jellyfish into the blockchain. The company, born just a year ago, aims to build a metaverse of culture “We have to imagine a digital world with all the museums, all the monuments and the Paris Aquarium is one of our first projects,” explains Martijn van Schaik. He’s betting that this NFT collaboration will be the first step toward a cultural metaverse, a way to start building a community around these topics. “So imagine that these 3D jellyfish can be integrated into the metaverse and roam freely in the virtual world. We shudder in anticipation.