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Alipay Releases Limited Edition NFTs Issued on AntChain

One of China’s largest digital payment service providers has entered the NFT game. According to local reports, Alipay, a major payment service provider operated by the Alibaba Group in China, has launched a proprietary NFT sales platform, offering its hundreds of millions of users the ability to purchase and store non-fungible tokens. This marks a significant step for the company, which has previously participated in digital yuan trials across China.

Reports from local sources, which include journalist Colin Wu and Matthew Graham, the CEO of Sino Global Capital, showed that Alipay’s proprietary platform is fully operational. The platform is based on AntChain, an enterprise blockchain developed by Ant Group for the issuance of NFT tokens and certificates. 

What makes Alipay’s NFT platform different from the other market offerings is the fact that all purchases on the app can only be conducted using fiat currency. This is in line with China’s wider effort to develop blockchain technology but curb the use of digital currencies. 

A report from Chain News revealed that a series of illustrations done in the Dunhuang art style will be offered on the platform in the form of NFTs. Each NFT will be limited to 8,000 copies and priced at 10 Alipay points and 9.9 RMB. A company called Hangzhou Fresh Everything Brand Management is said to have issued the NFTs on the platform.  The first two NFTs to launch are reportedly close to being sold out, Chain News reported.

A tweet posted by Graham showed what the application’s interface looks like. According to Graham, the entire purchase was worth just over $1 U.S. dollar and the app showed clear proof of ownership over the NFT.

The move was largely celebrated by the crypto community both in China and overseas. The sold NFTs quickly saw their value increase, with some sources on Twitter claiming they were worth around $77 at press time. However, with AntChain being a mostly closed-off network, it’s not immediately obvious how users would be able to transfer the NFTs they purchased to other users abroad. It’s also still unclear whether users of the platform are able to exchange the NFTs between themselves. 

Many saw Alipay’s move into NFTs as a clear sign of rising blockchain adoption in China. With blockchain usage happening on the enterprise level, any application that brings individual consumers to the blockchain space is seen as a huge step forward for the country. 

Alipay has recently scored a five-year partnership with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and will be sponsoring the UEFA EURO 2020 Cup. The winner’s scoring records will be uploaded to AntChain’s network and many believe the company will use the opportunity to introduce more NFTs and capitalize on their popularity. 

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