Crypto juggernaut Binance has signed its biggest sponsorship deal yet — music’s biggest night, in a possible sign that crypto partnerships are evolving past sporting events and arenas.

The world’s largest crypto exchange will be the Recording Academy’s first-ever official cryptocurrency partner for the 64th annual Grammy Awards, which begin at 10am AEST this Monday.

The awards are taking place this year at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, rather than its usual location in Los Angeles or New York. The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah is hosting and nominees Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, BTS and Lil Nas X are among those performing.

The partnership encompasses other events during “Grammy Week,” including the inaugural Recording Academy Honors celebration the night before the awards show, where John Legend is to be given a global impact award.

Binance will also work with the Recording Academy throughout the year to bring Web3 technology solutions and experiences to the organisation’s members, events and initiatives.

The exchange said it would release additional details on the partnership at a later date.

Binance music NFTs?

One possible area of collaboration would of course be NFTs. That term wasn’t mentioned in the announcement, but Binance’s NFT marketplace is one of the biggest — and many in the crypto space believe music NFTs may be the next big thing.

Also, the academy’s co-president pointedly mentioned the idea of “new monetisation avenues for our members” in the announcement.

 “As we continue to evolve the Recording Academy for a rapidly changing music industry and for the next generation of creators, we feel that it’s important to work with innovative partners to explore new monetisation avenues for our members and create new experiences for music fans,” Recording Academy co-president Panos A. Panay was quoted as saying.

“As the leading player in the crypto and blockchain space and with its community-focused approach, Binance is the perfect partner for the Grammys and for our mission to empower music people around the world.”

Binance co-founder Yi He said in the announcement that the crypto exchange was “impressed by the Recording Academy’s ability to meet changing demands by its community — this is something we mutually share as a company that puts users and people first”.

“Starting with the Grammys, we are excited to work together with the Recording Academy to bring fresh new experiences powered by blockchain and all the great things Web3 technology can bring to entertainment.”