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Associated Press to launch NFT photography marketplace

The initial collection of NFTs will be available on Jan. 31 -- Pulitzer Prize-winning images included.

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The initial collection of NFT photographs will be released over a period of weeks starting on Jan. 31.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Associated Press is set to launch an NFT marketplace for collectors to purchase AP photojournalists' images, according to an AP news release on Monday. Beginning on Jan. 31, the initial collection of photographs, including Pulitzer Prize-winning images, will start being released over a period of weeks.

With each NFT purchase, collectors will have access to the metadata associated with each photograph, including the time, date, location, equipment and technical settings used, according to the release. The marketplace will be built by blockchain technology company Xooa.

"For 175 years AP's photographers have recorded the world's biggest stories through gripping and poignant images that continue to resonate today," said Dwayne Desaulniers, AP director of blockchain and data licensing, in the release. "With Xooa's technology, we are proud to offer these tokenized pieces to a fast-growing global audience of photography NFT collectors."

The marketplace will reportedly offer collectors the ability to buy, sell and trade the AP NFTs, which will range in theme from space to climate to war and will highlight the work of individual AP photojournalists. No specific prices were made available for the NFTs, but the press release indicated that prices will vary and that the proceeds will "go back into funding factual, unbiased AP journalism." 

Collectors will be able to purchase the NFTs using a credit card or via a crypto wallet, according to the press release.

An NFT, or nonfungible token, is a unique digital token linked to a blockchain that provides its owner with a certificate of ownership. Commonly, NFTs come in the form of an image, gif or video, and they're being bought and sold at times for millions of dollars, much like in the world of art collection. Celebrities from Snoop Dogg to Jimmy Fallon are scooping up individual NFTs belonging to popular collections like CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club.