Salesforce takes crypto plunge with new NFT cloud
Who knows whether it’s FOMO or actual customer demand for such a thing, but Salesforce announced today that it’s launching a pilot of NFT Cloud, a new platform for buying and selling these crypto assets.
It’s a turn to the future, according to the company, one it insists comes from customer curiosity. “Salesforce is seeing interest from CMOs and CDOs who are asking for help entering web3, and we are enthusiastic about bringing new innovations, products and offerings to our customers in a way that allows them to build and maintain meaningful relationships with their customers,” Adam Caplan, SVP of Emerging Technology at Salesforce, told TechCrunch.
The company’s goal with this product is to make NFT selling more accessible. “NFT Cloud is all about helping our customers mint, manage and sell NFTs, and of course it's all no code. So it’s super easy on our platform, abstracting all the complicated technology in this [new] web3 world,” he said.
He says he’s seeing interest across a variety of verticals including retail, media, fashion and consumer goods, among others. “It's really about driving engagement and communities, and we're seeing super passionate communities in the NFT space.” Caplan explained.
He sees it as a way to market to customers with something of potential value to them. “It's really about utility. And what we mean by utility is as an NFT holder, I receive certain benefits. It could be something in a digital world, or it could be something in the physical world,” he said.
That could include receiving a new type of clothing every quarter in exchange for owning the NFT, or in a game environment, you might get special powers that non-NFT owners can’t access.
While some may question the ethical and ecological impact of selling these assets, including a group of 400 employees, who reportedly sent a protest letter to co-CEOs Marc Benioff and Bret Taylor in February, Caplan insisted they were doing it in a way that is consistent with Salesforce values.
“We want to help our customers assess whether there is a viable path forward with NFT technology in a sustainable and ethical manner,” he said.
In 2018, the company announced it was working on a blockchain product. In 2019, it introduced a blockchain development tool. It is not something that you hear a ton about anymore, but there is a training program on Salesforce blockchain on the company’s Trailhead training site.
If you want to try NFT Cloud, you may have to wait. It’s currently in closed pilot, and as of now, Salesforce has not indicated when it will be generally available.