KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — South Korean boy band BTS opted to produce non-fungible tokens (NFT) despite the widespread public outrage over environmental concerns.

According to the Insider, BTS’s management agency, Hybe.Co confirmed its plan to break into the NFT market on Thursday, the company’s first public response since the criticism arose.

HybeAmerica Project Lead John Kim said that NFTs have room for potential growth and the firm aims to provide varied experiences to the fans. 

“We believe NFTs have the potential for expansion and hope they will provide fans with more varied experiences and opportunities to express themselves.”

Kim confirmed that the official rollout, which will include NFT photocards of the band members, will happen in the first half of 2022.

BTS, which is one of the world’s most popular bands, hopes to engage a booming industry whose total sales volume is expected to reach US$14 billion (RM 58.43 billion) by 2021.

BTS initially announced its NFT plans last month after the band’s management signed an agreement with leading South Korean crypto exchange, Dunamu.

Many however have reacted negatively to the announcement, including the loyal fans of the band, claiming that producing NFT will cause environmental hazards as all the energy required to produce and trade NFTs, operate on a blockchain and often purchased using digital assets.

Despite environmental concerns, digital versions of artwork, sports cards, and other valuables have soared in popularity this year, capturing the interest of investors from Hollywood to Wall Street.