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Salesforce announces NFT Cloud platform amid crypto concerns

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Salesforce is rolling out a closed pilot program for a new service called NFT Cloud, allowing users to mint and manage NFTs for brand engagement and marketing purposes, even as the wider crypto market continues to spiral.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are best understood as a method of fingerprinting a particular piece of art, code or almost anything else stored digitally, using the same fundamental blockchain technology as cryptocurrency to create a unique copy of that item. The idea is, since that item is uniquely identifiable, it becomes “non-fungible” and can hold a particular value in the marketplace, in the same way that a famous work of art has value that a reproduction does not.

Salesforce emphasized in its announcement that the NFT Cloud platform doesn’t support proof-of-work blockchains — the creation of many cryptocurrencies are based on the use of huge amounts of computing power, with commensurately large energy costs and carbon footprints, and Salesforce is likely looking to avoid the criticism that many have leveled at the cryptocurrency sector.

The company says that it will instead use proof-of-stake blockchain technology, which nearly eliminates energy consumption from blockchain use, and that the NFT Cloud will automatically calculate carbon emissions for blockchain options, thus allowing users to track their carbon footprint directly from the platform.

Salesforce also announced plans to address another common bugaboo of the crypto world — security. By using smart contract templates to ensure honest transactions and branded purchasing technology to protect against fraud, the company hopes to obviate the rash of hacking and fraud that has plagued NFTs and cryptocurrency over the past several years.

The crypto market has seen a lot of enterprise interest of late, but businesses looking to jump into the technology face a number of hurdles.

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