NFTs popularity explodes while the crypto markets bleed

  • The market for NFTs has surged to hit $2.5 billion in sales by June 2021.
  • Alibaba-owned South China Morning Post announced its "ARTIFACT', a metadata structure to tokenize record accounts of history and historical assets as NFTs.
  • Nifty's Inc. has partnered with Warne Bros. to create a social NFT platform for artists and potential buyers.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have become increasingly popular, and sales volumes on NFT marketplaces have soared higher in the first half of 2021. More brands are jumping in on the NFT craze, and in China, tech giant Alibaba is leading the adoption of this trend. 

E-commerce giant Alibaba drives NFT adoption in China

Earlier today, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) announced its 'ARTIFACT' Litepaper. The Alibaba-owned firm believes that factual accounts of history and authentic historical assets should be made immutable by using blockchain technology. 

In an effort to make history discoverable and allow individuals to connect with it in a meaningful way, SCMP has tokenized its 118-year-old collection of media assets as NFTs. The litepaper is a shortened version of the team's plan to launch ARTIFACTS. SCMP plans to create a Decentralized Autonomous Organisation (DAO) to decentralize the governance of this project in the long term. 

The ARTIFACT project is not the first time the owner of Alibaba, Ant Group, is dabbling in NFTs. When Italy scored a win in the 2020 European Cup, the team took home the first NFT trophy in the history of the world. Simultaneously, Alipay, an affiliate of Alibaba and the tournament's official partner, distributed the same digital trophy to 1600 users who won their European Cup Quiz. 

Chinese social media has raised concerns regarding the increasing popularity of NFTs when cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin mining are under scrutiny from authorities. However, Antchain, another subsidiary of the Ant Group, specified how NFTs differ from cryptocurrencies. Since NFTs are supported by the actual value of digital goods, music, art, or video and do not have currency attributes such as payment functions. There are no guidelines for their exchange or development as digital commodities in China. 

Ant Group subsidiaries are not alone in the NFT craze. Warner Bros. has joined the list with its latest partnership with Nifty's Inc. The two companies are looking forward to developing their own social NFT platform. 

Nifty's Inc. and Warner Bros. join forces

Nifty's Inc. is a Miami-based NFT-focused social media platform, the first of its kind, and it has announced its partnership with Warner Bros. to launch Space Jam characters. 

“Space Jam: A New Legacy” is a 2021 American live-action/animated sports comedy film sequel to the 1996 movie Space Jam. The movie stars Looney Tunes characters now available for sale as collectible non-fungible tokens on Nifty's Inc. 

The partnership with Nifty's Inc. makes it a memorable release with several characters available as collectibles on the platform. The two companies plan to create a new social NFT platform for potential buyers, and there is a potential investment of $10 million from industry giants. 

With prominent use cases like NFTs of Space Jam characters and the 2020 European Cup trophy, NFTs' popularity tests the limit of its mainstream adoption. Companies in the entertainment, gaming, media, and sports industry are in on the trend; it is likely that with more centralization in NFTs, traditional financial institutions and tech giants may follow suit. 

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