VNT Vention is a global market site focusing on artists and their creations. It lets anyone create, buy, sell or even collect digital merchandise with minimal platform fees. It’s the first of its kind in the Philippines and the site’s main proponent seeks to attract more local artists such as actors, musicians, painters, authors and the like to this unique marketing platform.

Julius Santillan, Vention App marketplace founder, discussed with The Manila Times why the Vention App will not just be a welcome addition to the plethora of marketing platforms for local arts but more importantly, how it would eventually lead the way to a boom, perhaps even an explosion of interest in Philippine arts in all its varied forms across the globe. (The Q&A, in Filipino and English, was translated to English. – Ed)

The Manila Times (TMT): Please share your experience with NFT that led you to put up Vention? Expound on Vention being the first in the Philippines.

Julius Santillan (JuS): Years ago, I became interested in cryptocurrency. We have a group who explored how the cryptocurrency system works. That’s where we discovered NFT — non-fungible token — where you could sell your work of arts or unique items digitally. There are many NFT marketplaces worldwide, but there were no Filipinos engaging in it. So, that’s when we decided to start in blockchain technology.

TMT: What’s so special about NFT? Why should artists in the Philippines sell their work via NFT? Are there prominent artists and showbiz personalities who are now into NFTs?

JuS: The stuff best for NFT are paintings and collectibles or unique items. Non-fungible assets are not interchangeable. Important to NTF is an item’s identity — its story, history or owner that makes it unique. For example, the NFT of Stephen Curry, a digital replica of the sneakers he wore when he broke the three-point record in one of his games. There are many sneakers, but the identity of those particular sneakers of Stephen Curry makes them unique, so their value is not the same as other sneakers.

We have many Filipino artists, well-known men or silent artists. In support of them, we created the Vention App [marketplace] to serve as a platform to showcase their talents all over the world.

Filipinos will not allow themselves to be left behind when it comes to that. Thus, when we launched Vention App as the Philippines’ first NFT marketplace, admirable Filipino art came out in droves, and we are expecting more to follow now that the Vention community is growing. In other countries, international celebrities like Paris Hilton, Ellen Degeneres, Snoop Dog, Stephen Curry and more are doing NFTs. Here in the Philippines, we know that Heart Evangelista and recently, Bea Binene, posted on their social media account that they are into NFTs as well.

TMT: What is the status of NFT in the Philippines? How did the pandemic make an impact on its existence and viability?

JuS: The status of NFT here in the Philippines, I could say nothing but full of positivity. Though we have just started, unlike in other countries where they’re very aware, we are going that way and if we are able to master how NFTs work, many will benefit. NFT is actually a blessing for us, especially during this pandemic. Since the pandemic, almost everything has been done online, and that’s how NFT works in cryptoworld.

TMT: What is the future for NFT in the years ahead? Let’s look at the pandemic period when it is officially declared endemic.

JuS: I think NFT is the future regardless of if the pandemic would officially declare as endemic. Even now, from our further research, you could say that cryptocurrency would be the most powerful currency in the coming years. In fact, in other countries, if you will watch international news, first world economies have started using cryptocurrency. So, in Vention App, we are increasing the awareness of our fellow Filipinos so that we can be of help.

I remember, YouTube started in 2005 and it wasn’t as well known because the majority of viewers still preferred broadcast media (TV and radio). In 2010, I read a post saying there was business to be had on YouTube; there were no famous Filipino vloggers yet, but there were a few foreigners vlogging on YouTube. And usually, it was just music videos by YouTubers.

I was told that in less than 10 years, a large percentage of Filipinos would transfer from broadcast media to social media because we liked using our cell phones. And that was what happened; so many influencers became famous using YouTube. And because the numbers got crowded, they extended to Spotify. It was just a music platform before, now it has podcasts where you can listen to exclusive stories from artists and content creators, and I heard that they would start featuring videos like YouTube for influencers or vloggers.

I am telling you this because we anticipate that as the vloggers level up in their profession, their next platform will be the NFT marketplace. That’s why it is good to always be first. Start putting up your space in the NFT marketplace now by Vention App. That will be our job for you, we will help you get started.