South China Morning Post (SCMP), a major, well-known newspaper based in Hong Kong, has recently announced plans to issue a series of NFTs. These won’t be regular NFTs based on tweets or artwork, however. Instead, the SCMP plans to use a new token standard known as ARTIFACT, which was specifically designed to preserve historical assets using blockchain technology.
Essentially, the newspaper aims to tokenize famous Hong Kong landmarks, such as the Kowloon Walled City, and put them on the Sandbox Ethereum-based metaverse, according to new reports.
What is ARTIFACT, and How Does it Work?
SCMP presented the idea in the ARTIFACT Litepaper, showing the standardized metadata structure that could actually work, and ensuring that some of its 118-year-old archive of media assets might be preserved through NFTs and the technology behind them.
The company’s CEO, Gary Liu, stated that blockchain technology offers ‘immense potential,’ and that can preserve journalism immutably. It can be the new way that history is witnessed and explained, with no way to manipulate it and turn around events that have already taken place, which is what both history and modern-day journalism have a tendency to do.
In essence, ARTIFACT is a project that seeks to discover, collect, show, trade, and even reanimate some of the most meaningful objects and moments from the collective human experience, as Gary Liu put it.
The SCMP will create NFTs that will mostly be inspired by the newspaper company’s century-old archive of documents, photography, infographics, data visualizations, and visual illustrations. It will even include cartoons; all of this, including the texts, photos, and the like, represents “the first drafts of history.”
SCMP partners with The Sandbox
The idea is for the token standard to be blockchain-agnostic when it comes to the long-term. However, for the initial period, the SCMP will focus on a select few chains to start and explore all possibilities that might unfold in time. Furthermore, it needs time to engage a wider audience, which is why it opted to join with the Ethereum-based metaverse called The Sandbox.
The Sandbox is a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, a rising blockchain startup. It will also collaborate with partners of its own, such as digital artists and local game studios, that will help create a series of 3D voxel-based interactive gaming and cultural experiences that will be based on historic and modern landmarks and artifacts alike, focusing primarily on Hong Kong itself, but also mainland China.
One of the landmarks is the previously mentioned Kowloon Walled City, which will be integrated into the blockchain metaverse. In addition to that, it is also known that Star Ferry will be added too, with many more to come. Liu even hinted at the possibility for the player to virtually experience numerous scenes from Hong Kong’s recent history, such as the 1950s, and learn about what that period was like directly from SCMP’s reports.
How will it work?
According to The Sandbox, players will be able to buy plots adjacent to the SCMP project starting July 22nd. These plots will come in the form of the metaverse’s native LAND tokens. The SCMP CEO also spoke about the partnership with the Sandbox, noting that the SCMP hopes to create metaverse environments for people to experience a true, historical Hong Kong in time.
This, of course, also extends to historical China, and to learn about how beautiful and complex this part of the world has been over the years and even decades of the 20th century.
As for the mentioned LAND tokens, they can be put in groups, and even assembled into the virtual estate in the Sandbox’s metaverse. Many different partners and users of The Sandbox’s system will be able to do this, such as a well-known game developer that works with the Sandbox — Atari.
Of course, players will be able to buy LAND on an individual level and use the plots they obtained as locations for creating and launching their gaming content.