Speaking in an interview with New York Times journalist Kara Swisher, Iger predicted there would be an “explosion” in the NFT space as the world continues its transition to the digital realm. Iger compared NFTs to other forms of physical collectibles, such as baseball cards, which were popular in his youth.
As reported by Decrypt, Iger said,
We forget, in our generation, that things don’t have to be physical. They can be digital, and they have meaning to people. And as long as that meaning can be essentially substantiated in a blockchain, I think you’re going to see an explosion of things being created, traded, collected in NFTs.
Iger, who helmed Disney for 15 years, noted that the company had begun dabbling in NFTs by licensing some of its intellectual properties. Disney has also partnered with digital collectibles platform Veve to launch NFTs based on characters from its popular Marvel universe.
When you think about all the copyright and trademarks, characters Disney has, and the NFT possibilities, they’re extraordinary.
Despite being open to the possibilities of NFTs, Iger called out the lack of copyright regulation and enforcement in the space. In particular, he singled out NFT platform OpenSea for being allegedly implicit in the lack of copyright enforcement. Iger said he was “amazed at all the Disney stuff” present on OpenSea, noting that most of it was pirated and not created by the people who had the rights to the IPs.
Iger also hinted at Disney’s future ambitions in the metaverse space, saying the company would have to engage in “moderating and monitoring behavior” in order to avoid the “toxic” atmosphere created by Internet 2.0 platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.