Despite the outrage that followed Hybe’s announcement in November 2021 on its plan to launch digital photo cards of members of BTS through a collaboration with Dunamu, a financial technology company, the band, through its management company, Hybe, has announced again that it will be proceeding with the initial plan.
Bang Si-hyuk, Chairman of Hybe, mentioned in a statement released in November 2021 that the company will be partnering:
“with Dunamu to create a way to expand the fan experience more diversely and securely, such as digitally authenticating the uniqueness of these photo cards and making them permanent, but also allowing them to be collected, exchanged, and displayed in a global fan community platform like Weverse.”
Although investment experts may consider this a forward-thinking idea, the band’s plan to launch an NFT has not been well received previously by its fans, popularly known as BTS Army. The latter is concerned about the environmental impacts of the plan. According to the fans of the popular music band, NFT requires energy which is a major source of climate change. Thus, the band should not be associated with a social problem like that, given that the band has made a stance on environmental sustainability in the past. The fans went further by revolting online by creating and trending Twitter hashtags such as BoycottHybeNFT” and “#ARMYsAgainstNFT” when the news about creating NFT for the music band emerged. Also, fans of the K- Pop band threatened to boycott Hybe if their demands were not met.
However, Hybe, which is the management company of the K- Pop band, has stated that it will proceed with its plan to create NFTs modeled after the K- Popstars. According to John Kim, head of NFT business at HybeAmerica, the company’s plan to create “digital photo cards” for the band members is hinged on the prospects of NFT. He stated that
“We believe NFTs have the potential for expansion and hope they will provide fans with more varied experiences and opportunities to express themselves.”