Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC's “The Tonight Show,” returned to performing in front of an in-studio audience almost a year ago after the pandemic-fueled lockdowns eased. At the time, he expressed his excitement for doing so, even if it was only in front of an audience of fewer than 60 then.
These days, the seats in Studio 6B at the 30 Rockefeller address in New York are filling up more quickly, and as a result, there are no excuses if a segment falls flat. From the looks of things, that's precisely what seems to have happened on the Jan. 25 show in a conversation between Fallon and Paris Hilton about the latest blockchain fad, non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
It's no secret that Fallon is a fan of NFTs, unique digital collectibles built on the blockchain and containing a code to prove the digital identity of the asset. The comedian already introduced the world to his NFT last year and even polled his social media followers to help name the digital avatar, which he calls Captain Breezy and which he uses as his profile picture on Twitter. Fallon paid about $220,000 for the Bored Ape.
— jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) November 23, 2021
Paris Hilton is no stranger to the blockchain or NFTs. She owns one from the same set as Fallon — the Bored Ape Yacht Club, of which there are 10,000 in the group, the minimum price for which is now 93 ETH ($239,475). Hilton paid 119 Ethereum (ETH) for her ape or almost $312,000 at the current crypto price.
— Jawwn 🔥,🔥 (@r_n_flow) January 25, 2022
If that sounds a little steep for a digital avatar that is primarily a status symbol, there is a little more to it. Owners of these tokens also gain access to a coveted online swamp club for apes to interact with other members virtually. It's part of the metaverse movement that has taken the internet by storm, with companies like Microsoft and entire countries like Turkey reportedly looking into this virtual world.
Fallon and Hilton, the latter of whom Forbes has included among the top 50 influencers in the NFT space, took a little over a minute to discuss their shared appreciation for all things blockchain. Hilton previously explained NFTs to Fallon, leading him to join the growing community.
Based on the primarily subdued applause, the audience seemed a little unsure. Either they don't quite get the hype, or they were merely bored like the apes in the collection. The reality might be somewhere in between, but that didn't stop Hilton and Fallon from sharing what it was that drew them to their particular apes.
Hilton, who sparkled in a green mini dress, said her new ape reminded her of herself, especially since her team could doctor it to add blonde tresses that resemble her own. Fallon also found similarities between himself and Captain Breezy, including the ape's red heart sunglasses that the host has worn to make his daughter laugh. Social media mostly roasted the two stars for the awkward and seemingly forced NFT exchange.
god SPEED. If anyone can kill NFT culture, it's Jimmy Fallon and Paris Hilton https://t.co/VV3ei9zLTn
— Quinton Reviews🎬 (@Q_Review) January 25, 2022
If Fallon and Hilton can't make NFTs mainstream, maybe YouTube can. The Google subsidiary's CEO, Susan Wojcicki, has tipped her hand to the company's interest, saying these tokens offer a “previously unimaginable opportunity to grow the connection between creators and their fans.”
The YouTube chief commented on the heels of the departure of gaming boss Ryan Wyatt, who is leaving YouTube for blockchain startup Polygon. According to his announcement, as head of Polygon Studios, Wyatt will focus on “gaming, entertainment, fashion, news, sports and more.”
It is bittersweet news to share that I am leaving @YouTube.
I have loved every minute of my time here, but it is time for my next endeavor.
I am elated to announce that I will be joining @0xPolygon ($MATIC) as their CEO of Polygon Studios.
Thank you for the memories! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/VhQxpqDbFO
— Ryan Wyatt (fwiz.eth) (@Fwiz) January 25, 2022
The role of NFTs in gaming is expected to gain even more traction this year, thanks to popular titles like Ethereum-based video game Axie Infinity, which is based on NFT creatures and lets users earn AXS tokens as a reward. Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian predicts that play-to-earn crypto games are the future and will capture a 90% slice of the market in the next half-decade.
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