The South China Morning Post, which was founded in Hong Kong in 1903, has become Asia’s first news organization to support a new blockchain standard for connecting, discovering, and collecting historical and archive items.
South China Morning Post Forays Into NFTs
According to a press release, the newspaper will use non-fungible token (NFT) technology to allow anybody to own and exchange historical moments covered by generations of journalists with the newspaper, such as the handover of Hong Kong to China on July 1, 1997. The newspaper introduced “ARTIFACT,” a standardized model for recording accounts of history and historical assets on the blockchain as NFTs.
“Blockchain offers immense potential to immutably preserve journalism that witnesses and explains history,” said Gary Liu, chief executive of the Post. “The ARTIFACT project is an opportunity to discover, collect, showcase, trade, and reanimate meaningful moments and objects from our collective human experience, and we are excited to introduce this standard to the world.
The publication, which was purchased by Alibaba in 2016, will begin with a collection of NFTs minted from historical moments from its 118-year archive. it aims to create a “standard for recording accounts of history and historical assets on the blockchain,” as noted in the project’s litepaper.
“With history tokenized as ARTIFACTs, everyone will have the opportunity to discover, collect, showcase, trade, and reanimate meaningful moments and objects from our collective human experience.”
The news company will produce a “standardized metadata structure” that individuals may use to generate history, or “tokenized history,” in this case. NFTs ARTIFACTs are NFTs constructed with the intention of preserving history and later being discovered, connected, and shown.
It intends to be chain-agnostic, unlike other projects, in order to reach a larger audience. It will, however, use unnamed blockchains at first. To begin with, it will tokenize its media archive in order to show the standard’s use.
“In order to showcase the practical use of this metadata structure, we are also announcing ARTIFACTs by SCMP, which are collectible NFTs created from SCMP’s historical news assets”
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The NFT will also safeguard the immutability and dispersed ownership of SCMP’s “first drafts of history,” according to the statement. Primary NFT sales, royalties on secondary transactions, and fees for secondary transactions will all produce revenue for the media company.
The South China Morning Post isn’t the first news organization to consider tokenizing history. TIME Maganize created and auctioned three NFT covers before South Chin Morning Post, and CNN sold its historic new moments as NFTs last month.
In addition to the ARTIFACT project, the Post is also in a partnership with The Sandbox, a blockchain-based game-making platform owned by Hong Kong digital entertainment and blockchain company Animoca Brands. Through this partnership, Liu said the Post is working on building educational video games where users can interact with various ARTIFACTs, much like walking through a virtual museum or theme park.
“It’s a partnership to create interactive educational experiences in the metaverse using the Post’s 118 years of journalism,” Liu said. “So our hope is that over time, we will create metaverse environments for people to experience historical Hong Kong, historical China and to learn about the beauty and the complexity of this part of the world.”
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