Is Disney About to Make its Big Crypto Move into NFT, Metaverse and DeFi?
Though it wouldn’t be its first step in this direction, there is yet another suggestion that the media giant the Walt Disney Company may be gearing up for a major move into the realms of the metaverse, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and decentralized finance (DeFi).
Disney is looking to hire a transaction lawyer to explore emerging technology opportunities, including NFTs, blockchain, metaverse, and DeFi, according to a job ad on LinkedIn posted over the weekend.
This would be "an experienced corporate attorney" who'd work for the company's Corporate Transactions Group, within the Legal Department.
The hire would
“Partner with business teams as they plan new global emerging technology projects, typically on an accelerated and aggressive timeline."
Furthermore, they'd be required to provide legal advice and support for global NFT products, and closely collaborate with other Disney attorneys and business stakeholders, including Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution and Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, the ad said.
They would need to ensure NFT product compliance with the applicable US and international laws and regulations, as well as,
"Assist in performing due diligence for NFT, blockchain, third party marketplace and cloud provider projects, and negotiating and drafting complex agreements for those projects."
The hire would further be required to give day-to-day legal advice on crypto-related matters, including reviewing marketing and advertising disclosures, as well as evaluating securities law issues related to the promotion and sale of NFTs.
The ad also states that the lawyer would
"Provide thought leadership and strategic direction on products involving digital currency and blockchain technology, while providing advice on related legal and regulatory issues."
This person needs to have a minimum of 5-8 years of experience in managing and running complex corporate transactions, while experience in the NFT, cryptocurrency, and web3 space is preferred, including having knowledge of legal considerations and issues related to this space.
Corporate lawyers typically structure transactions, draft documents, negotiate deals, and work to ensure that the provisions of an agreement are clear, unambiguous, and would not cause problems for their clients in the future.
Meanwhile, earlier this month, at the D23 Expo fan convention, as reported by Deadline, Disney CEO Bob Chapek talked about the company's plans when it comes to Disney’s metaverse, saying:
"We call it next-gen storytelling. We tend not to use the M word too often, because it has a lot of hair on it. But yes, Disney+ will not just be a movie-service platform, but it’s going to become an experiential lifestyle platform. A platform for the whole company to embody both the physical things that you might be able to experience in a theme park, but also the digital experiences that you can get through media."
The CEO went on to shortly discuss the company's plans to enable everybody, including those unable to visit Disney properties and events, to virtually experience "something that’s akin to a physical experience", mentioning a potential existence of "an experiential platform."
Back in February this year, the company created a specialized unit of senior employees and executives to oversee its move into the metaverse. It was decided that Mike White, an executive who has been with Disney for over a decade, would oversee the team that included senior leaders. White was also appointed Senior Vice President of Next Generation Storytelling and Consumer Experiences, per an internal memo at the time.
Disney also launched its own Valentine’s Day-themed NFT offerings this year, and moved to hire an NFT “expert” manager.
Before that, in November 2021, Chapek told attendees at a quarterly earnings call that “in our own Disney Metaverse,” the firm would “be able to connect the physical and digital worlds even more closely, allowing for storytelling without boundaries.”
Around a month later, it was granted a patent in the United States for a “virtual-world simulator in a real-world venue.”