Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post (SCMP) will release archived news articles from the past 118 years as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Flow, the blockchain used by NBA Top Shot. The initial collection, titled ARTIFACTS by SCMP, also plans to mint versions of historical items from museums, universities, publishers, and other institutions.
During the initial boom in NFTs at the beginning of the year, there was a trend to turn everything and anything into an NFT, from Twitter’s first tweet to Time’s magazine covers. New York Times columnist Kevin Roose highlighted this point by writing an article on the topic and auctioning it as an NFT.
Over the past couple of months, many NFT initiatives have shifted away from this trend and are more centered around promoting digital artists, minting collectibles of content specifically created for the NFT. And going beyond transforming existing physical and online material into an immutable commercial asset.
South China Morning Posts’ project is reverting to the concept of turning existing assets into NFTs. While these initiatives can be extremely successful, they highlight the abstract ownership of NFTs. It is hard to pinpoint what exactly is owned by the auction winners, especially when there is a physical (and original) version of the item where the NFT holder has no ownership.
Minting historical articles and auctioning them on Dapper’s Flow blockchain, which has a global reach, has the potential to promote, honor, and preserve Hong Kong’s history.
“SCMP’s innovative approach to transform its ledgers of historical journalism with blockchain technology has all the markings of being a game-changer,” said Mickey Maher, Head of Partnerships at Dapper Labs, which built the Flow blockchain.