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On a Private Blockchain, Tencent mints NFTs to Digitize a World Heritage

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Chinese tech titans have entered the non-fungible token arena, but only in a limited way, removing crypto-native features.

Tencent said on Wednesday that it has teamed with the Dunhuang Academy to digitize the Mogao Caves’ iconic wall paintings, which are a UNESCO world heritage site in Gansu province, China.

Tencent’s entry into the NFT market is the first step in its effort to employ blockchain technology in a charitable cause to safeguard and promote cultural heritage.

On its permissioned blockchain Zxinchain, Tencent plans to issue 9,999 NFTs, each of which digitalizes a unique painting from the Mogao Caves. In addition, users on Tencent’s WeChat messaging app can earn one NFT by taking a brief quiz on the site starting on Wednesday. They can utilize the digital card as a social status within the WeChat ecosystem.

Tencent’s charity arm will donate to the Dunhuang Academy for each issue. The corporation revealed that the total donation is over 4 million yuan or over half a million dollars.

Tencent’s Dunhuang project manager, Fino Feng, claimed that roughly 380,000 people had taken the quiz as of Friday, and all of the NFTs had been distributed.

“We aim to use blockchain technology to break down barriers and raise awareness about cultural heritage protection. NFTs can serve as a digital carrier for our traditional culture, bridging the gap between it and the people. “Feng expressed his thoughts.

Tencent isn’t the only one benefiting from the latest NFT boom.

AliPay, Alibaba’s payment arm, tested the waters in June by selling NFTs of original arts developed by the Dunhuang Fine Art Academy on AliPay’s mobile app via its permissioned Antchain.

Crypto-free

However, unlike a typical NFT issuance on public blockchains, Tencent has adapted to the Chinese legal context by removing the main crypto functionalities.

On public networks like Ethereum, issuing NFTs requires the use of ether by whoever mints the NFT and whoever wishes to buy and sell it. The Dunhuang Academy found it not regulatory viable to debut the project on a public network because the fiat on- and off-ramp for crypto assets in China has become increasingly restricted in recent years.

Furthermore, Qin Qing, Tencent Blockchain’s product director, informed The Block that the issuance is now limited to the primary market, meaning that users will not be able to trade the NFT as they do with digital arts on Opensea.

However, Qin said they are open to the concept of opening up the system in the future — when China’s regulations on NFTs are clearer — to allow third-party partners to develop a marketplace where users can trade NFTs.

“We can’t start a secondary market since Tencent issues it on the primary market,” Qin explained. “However, even if a secondary marketplace is established, it will only deal in fiat cash… and we will definitely discourage flipping and speculative actions.”

Another significant distinction between Tencent’s NFT and crypto-native ones, according to Qin, is that every WeChat user who wins the fortunate draw for the Dunhuang NFT must be real-name validated to receive the digital card.

“This is extremely different from anonymous NFTs on public blockchains,” Qin explained.

Similarly, AliPay prohibits the trading of NFTs purchased or auctioned using their Antchain.

According to AliPay’s user terms and services website, NFT owners on Antchain can only give an NFT away after holding it for 180 days to a receiver over the age of 14, has completed AliPay’s real-name verification, and is a friend of the donor on AliPay.

However, it appears that AliPay did not fully enforce the 180-day time limit at first, and customers were able to sell the NFTs manufactured by the Dunhuang Fine Art Academy in June on Alibaba’s Xianyu app, a second-hand goods marketplace.

Quotes on Xianyuan for one of the NFTs originally soared to 1.5 million yuan, or more than $200,000 in value. However, Xianyu quickly deleted such ads, and a search for “NFT” on Xianyuan currently returns no results.

NFT

Could this trademark application indicate that PayPal is developing an NFT market? 

A trademark application for blockchain and cryptocurrency technology has been submitted by PayPal. Some claim that the file has something to do with Web3 and the metaverse, although it may be tied to an NFT marketplace.

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A recent trademark application by PayPal has been found, and it suggests the development of a service pertaining to several facets of blockchain technology. The file, which was made on October 18, makes a notable allusion to the potential introduction of a non-fungible token (NFT) market.

For its logo, PayPal submitted two trademark applications. The first one concerns “downloadable software” for cryptocurrency trading and storage. The second discusses cryptocurrency-related payment processing services.

Although users may currently buy cryptocurrencies on PayPal’s platform, this filing suggests that there may be more to come. The concept of assets is substantially broader in the filing’s terminology. Mike Kondoudis, a trademark lawyer licensed by the USPTO, claimed on Twitter that this filing relates to NFTs and the metaverse.

Although there is no proof to support this, it would not be shocking if it were true. The finance business would be adding its name to a lengthy list of businesses that are starting to make inroads into the Web3 and metaverse spaces.

PayPal is investing more in cryptocurrency.
Over the past two years, PayPal has intensified its focus on cryptocurrencies. First, the company made a huge announcement for the industry by saying that consumers would be able to purchase cryptocurrency on its platform.

However, it didn’t start enabling users to move those funds into wallets outside of the network until recently. It indicated that it would roll out additional crypto-related features in the latter part of last year. One of those additions might be an NFT marketplace.

It teamed up with Coinbase’s TRUST network more recently. This was viewed by many as an endorsement of the sector. The TRUST network upholds consumer security and privacy while adhering to the banking industry’s Travel Rule.

Increased Criticism of Payment Giant
Additionally, PayPal has been in the spotlight for all the incorrect reasons. The business has recently come under fire for a contentious policy that penalized users for disseminating false information. Later, it claimed that false information was released with the amended policy. Crypto aficionados, however, were eager to point to this as evidence of the value of decentralization.

PayPal established a blockchain and cryptocurrency advisory committee earlier this year. According to the company’s management, working with governments is essential to overcoming obstacles and seizing possibilities.

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NFT

Seba Bank, a cryptocurrency company, aims to store valuable NFTs

Seba Bank, a cryptocurrency company, has launched its first NFT service, a blue-chip NFT-specific institutional-grade, certified, and independently audited hot and cold storage custody product.

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The launch comes in response to requests from customers to keep their NFTs with the bank alongside other crypto assets, such as the already-approved Bored Ape Yacht Club, Cryptopunk, and Clone X NFTs. The bank stated that new collections would be added based on customer demand.

With its newest offering, Seba Bank seeks to entice investors who view NFTs as an asset class and crypto natives. Not your keys, not your bitcoin is a well-known phrase in the crypto sphere, and adherents of this maxim could object to having their Apes or Punks stored with a third-party custodian.

Urs Bernegger, co-head of markets and investment solutions at Seba Bank, however, highlights a growing group of NFT holders who are more at ease handing up their NFTs and private keys to a company.

They don’t want the key because they aren’t even aware of how to handle and store it. He claimed that they’re more concerned with damaging the key than giving it to a bank.

It’s a significant issue. Between 2.3 million and 3.7 million bitcoins, according to Chainalysis, are trapped in inaccessible wallets. Numerous accounts of people have lost millions owing to losing private keys, including Russian officials, students, and engineers. Families have also been prevented from accessing substantial quantities of money following sudden deaths in which wallet owners had not disclosed their private keys.

Bernegger asserts institutional custody can be advantageous for native crypto users as well. There has been an increase in businesses providing services that employ NFTs as collateral for conventional banking services like loans.

Seba Bank is thinking about implementing these features in the future. Based in the crypto-friendly Swiss town of Zug, the four-year-old bank already backs several investing, credit, lending, and staking options for cryptocurrencies and might extend them to NFTs.

“Instead of traveling to the market, for instance, we could create a club for collectors and assist them in finding other collectors. There are a few things we have in mind, but we laid the groundwork by storing NFTs securely at first, “explained he.

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The NFT album maker for Kings of Leon now includes a metaverse music venue

YellowHeart, a Web3 ticketing startup, is opening a metaverse music venue in an effort to transform how performers, teams, and event organizers distribute tickets and interact with fans.

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The facility, constructed on Spatial, will feature Grammy-nominated blues musician G.Love as its opening act later this year. Fans can communicate with one another, participate in meet-and-greets before and after performances, and use several screens to view what is happening in various areas of the stadium simultaneously.

They will soon be able to order meals and drinks before the event, which will also be available as digital things.

The idea of an online concert has so far primarily been popularized by big gaming companies. The most well-liked virtual competitions have occurred on sites like Fortnite and Roblox. Ariana Grande’s Fortnite concert in August 2021 received 78 million viewers. Next month, Decentraland will host its second Metaverse Music Festival. Over 100 musicians are on the lineup, including well-known performers like Ozzy Osbourne and Soulja Boy.

In addition to throwing an event, YellowHeart, which assisted Kings of Leon in releasing an NFT version of their most recent album, stated that it hoped to accomplish more. It was established in 2017 with the lofty goal of revolutionizing the music ticketing sector as a whole, which has historically been dominated by powerful reselling organizations and exclusive ticketing relationships. These alliances frequently impose limitations on what purchasers can and cannot do with their tickets. Trying to resell a ticket for a concert you can’t go to might be a headache.

YellowHeart believes these issues can be resolved by returning control to artists and fans via web3 technology. Additionally, it may provide advantages that cannot be programmed into conventional tickets.

“These range from complete albums to personalized vinyl records, exclusive merchandise, and immersive visual art. Web3 tickets also allow performers to update fans on new tour dates, music releases, giveaway possibilities, and much more, according to the business.

It has already collaborated with well-known figures, including Julian Lennon, Maroon 5, and MGM Resorts. Contrary to the non-NFT versions offered on Spotify, iTunes, and other platforms, those obtained through YellowHeart entailed particular customer benefits.

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