South China Morning Post, a veteran Hong Kong newspaper, is creating NFTs using a new token called "ARTIFACT" that preserves historical assets on the Blockchain.
SCMP provides an overview of the project in its ARTIFACT Litepaper. This is a standardized metadata structure which can be used to preserve key moments from SCMP’s 118-year-old media assets archive through distributed ownership and distribution.
Gary Liu, the CEO of SCMP, stated that blockchain has "immeasurable potential to immutably conserve journalism that witnesses or explains history." The ARTIFACT project offers a chance to collect, showcase, trade and reanimate important moments and objects from our collective human experience.
SCMP's NFTs are influenced by the newspaper’s archive of visual illustrations, documentary photography, data visualizations, and infographics. These are journalistic "first drafts" of history, which include text, photos, and cartoons, collected by SCMP over more that a century.
The token standard will not be blockchain-agnostic over the long-term, but SCMP has selected a few blockchains for its initial project to explore its potential. It has partnered with The Sandbox, an Ethereum-based metaverse, to help it reanimate its past and engage a broad audience. The Sandbox is a subsidiary of blockchain startup Animoca Brands.
The Sandbox, in collaboration with local game studios as well as digital artists, will create a series 3D voxel-based interactive games and cultural experiences that are based on historic landmarks and artifacts from Hong Kong and China.
The blockchain-based metaverse will include landmarks such as the Star Ferry and the Kowloon WALLED CITY. Liu indicated that players would be able to experience scenes of Hong Kong in 1950s through the blockchain-based metaverse and learn more about its history through SCMP's reporting.
The Sandbox announced today that players will be able, starting July 22, to buy plots in the vicinity of the SCMP project using the metaverse's native land tokens. Liu spoke to the SCMP today about the partnership and said that it was "our hope that over the course of time, we'll create metaverse environments that allow people to experience historical Hong Kong and historical China, and to learn more about the beauty, the complexity, and the wonder of this region of the world."
The Sandbox's metaverse allows LAND tokens to be grouped together and assembled into virtual estates by different partners or users. Atari, a game developer, has used these digital spaces for hosting 3D voxelized copies of its classic games.
Individual players can also purchase LAND and use it as a location for constructing or launching their own gaming content.
The Sandbox has received over 40 million global mobile installs and more than 1,300 Ether (ETH). It also brought in more than 1,300 Ether with its first and second LAND presales. This summer, the metaverse will be launched publicly with an Alpha public launch.