Paris Hilton on investing in NFT platform Origin Protocol

February 3, 2022, 3:15 PM UTC

2022 could be the year that NFTs go mainstream as many more celebrities and non–tech industry personalities are getting into the game.

As an investor in NFT provider Origin Protocol, reality-TV star, DJ, and socialite Paris Hilton is ready to drop a limited-edition set of NFTs. The series is described as a way of reclaiming power, turning pain into purpose, and starting the next chapter of her life.

Hilton’s second NFT collection, New Beginnings, Past Lives, comprises three components that unlock and auction off experiences like a shopping spree as well as memorabilia from her wedding. Pricing ranges from $11.11 per NFT (fixed price) for a collage (handmade by Hilton) showcasing her whirlwind romance to husband Carter Reum (with an entry to win her bachelorette robe and sunglasses from a carnival party) to $11,111 (fixed price) for limited edition NFTs (11 editions each) with the physical perk of a VIP pass to Resorts World in Las Vegas.

With this release, Hilton aims to continue empowering creators and help shine a light on those who have undergone abuse. The drop utilizes Origin Protocol’s soon-to-launch platform Origin Story, which lowers the barrier of entry to creators and offers a streamlined way to mint their own NFTs and sell them on the site’s customizable storefront. Origin Protocol says the Story platform will further catapult Web3 into the mainstream.

Hilton recently shared more with Fortune about her interest in NFTs and investment in Origin Protocol.

Paris Hilton attends the 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards in Los Angeles, on May 17, 2021.
Matt Winkelmeyer—2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards/Getty Images
  • Startup: Origin Protocol
  • Location: San Francisco
  • Year founded: 2017
  • Valuation: Declined to disclose
  • Investment level: $38 million
  • Number of employees: 24
  • Other major investors: Pantera Capital, Spartan Group, Sora Ventures, Blocktower Capital, Foundation Capital
One of the NFT formats dropping as part of Paris Hilton’s second NFT collection, “Past Lives, New Beginnings.”
Courtesy of Origin Protocol

Why she invested, in her own words

We’re currently living in the golden age of the creator economy that has played out primarily on social media platforms and is now crossing over into the metaverse via NFTs and cryptocurrency. These new mediums empower creators unlike ever before to not only interact more intimately with their fan base, but also offer the opportunity for artists to benefit from secondary sales—something which has never been possible or a feasible reality for many until now. 

The pandemic accentuated the importance of digital worlds with millions of people around the world relying on it as their primary source of connection to friends, coworkers, teachers, and family. I wanted to find a way to connect with my friends, family, and community since I couldn’t travel in person. This is around the time I met Matthew Liu and Josh Fraser [cofounders] of Origin Protocol. Delving further into this, digital art, fashion, and branding can be displayed on someone’s avatar or even traded. The entire metaverse holds microcosms of every niche interest a person might have, like virtual real estate, cars, and even pets. These are then expanded into full-fledged universes that let citizens of Web3 express themselves unlike ever before. 

As an undercover nerd and someone who enjoys learning about innovative tech, I’ve always prided myself on predicting the next big trend. I started investing in crypto in 2016, and in 2019 I became involved in NFTs for a charity benefiting [those affected by] the Australian wildfires. Since then I immediately knew this was a space with boundless potential that opens up so many doors for creators, by bringing their work to a larger stage, and allows artists to get paid on secondary sales, a first and absolute game-changing element for creators. 

For the past two decades, a large part of my personal brand has focused on innovating, empowering others, and pushing the boundaries of how I interact with my fans. When I met Josh and Matt of Origin Protocol, we immediately connected in our shared vision on the power of NFTs and how it can shape the upcoming Web3 by bringing on a new era of possibilities by democratizing NFT creation and eliminating gatekeepers. The grounding ethos of Origin Protocol is to bring blockchain and crypto to the masses by working with creators directly to bring their work and content to life. Just this week, they launched a revolutionary platform that powered my second NFT drop, Past Lives, New Beginnings: Origin Story. The time has come for creators to scale and sell NFTs on their own terms, and this platform will power thousands of NFT sales further democratizing access to digital goods and mainstreaming all things crypto. 

Past Lives, New Beginnings is my most personal, intimate project to date. Created in collaboration with two innovative female digital artists, the drop is symbolic of closing one chapter of my life and going on to the next as a newlywed eager to start a family and as an entrepreneur who will continue to elevate and empower those who have undergone abuse. The drops also touch on reclaiming power, turning pain into purpose, and even touch on my love story with Carter. Each NFT in the drop will also have exclusive experiences tied to each where holders can come to a DJ show I host in the metaverse or even go on a shopping spree with me on Rodeo Drive. 

This is an installment of Why I Invested, a series featuring famous investors from all different backgrounds and industries, revealing what inspired them to invest their own money in a new business.