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Alibaba-Owned SCMP Is Launching Its Own NFTs

The largest English-language newspaper in Hong Kong, the 118-year-old South China Morning Post, announced that it will issue its own NFTs. The oldest running Hong Kong newspapers published a whitepaper detailing the upcoming NFTs and explaining, in detail, what the NTFs will represent.

According to the company’s whitepaper, the NFTs will be called ARTIFACTs and will represent a standard for recording accounts of history and historical assets on the blockchain. The metadata structure established by the company will be used to issue collectible NFTs created from South China Morning Post’s historical news assets.

“We believe ARTIFACTs by SCMP will be a strong example of the applicability and value of this metadata structure, as news organizations are by nature ‘centralized’ ledgers of history that can create even greater value through decentralization. By tokenizing media assets from our archive of 118 years, we will be taking the first steps towards ensuring the immutability and distributed ownership of SCMP’s “first drafts of history,” the company explained in the whitepaper.

While the whitepaper noted that ARTIFACTs will be created using a “leading non-fungible token standard,” no further information about the mechanics of the tokens was revealed. Initially, the tokens will be distributed through the SCMP platform, but partnering with a third-party marketplace will remain a high priority for the company. Collectors will have the ability to mint and withdraw their ARTIFACTs from SCMP’s platforms and partner marketplaces to any compatible wallet or marketplace.

The project will launch on a “few select blockchains,” the company said, adding that they intend to remain chain-agnostic in the long run to ensure the tokens reach the largest group of potential collectors. Once the service is fully launched, users will be able to discover ARTIFACTs through “Finds”—bundles of NFTs released to the public periodically for purchase. Each bundle will be assembled around a common theme, but every ARTIFACT within a specific bundle will be randomly selected, SCMP explained in the whitepaper. The most engaged collectors will be presented with opportunities to acquire rare ARTIFACTs that aren’t available through “Finds” and are instead released in exclusive drops to celebrate certain significant historical moments.

Alibaba-owned South China Morning Post will have three different revenue streams from the upcoming ARTIFACTs. Firstly, the company will earn money from the primary sale of ARTIFACTs through “Finds” and “Collection Challenges.” Secondly, the company will gather royalties from secondary transactions of ARTIFACTs when they’re traded on partner marketplaces. And finally, SCMP will also earn transaction fees for all secondary transactions if ARTIFACTs are traded on a marketplace that’s managed by SCMP or SCMP’s partners. All of the above-mentioned revenue channels will not only support the expansion of SCMP’s NFT ecosystem, but also be used to fund SCMP’s reporting.

The entire project is set to launch in four phases, with phase 1 successfully ending with the publication of the ARTIFACT whitepaper. Phase 2 will see the full launch of ARTIFACTs, while phase 3 will include enabling multi-chain capability. In the coming months, phase 4 will see the creation of a DAO to manage the authentication of ARTIFACTs, as well as developing the ARTIFACTs marketplace platform.

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