The first non-fungible token (NFT) issued by the 2022 Asian Games was sold out seconds after its launch at Alipay’s platform on September 16. After its 12 PM release, there are no more available 3D digital torch tokens that were specifically designed for the upcoming games in Hangzhou.
Named as the ‘Eternal Flame’, the torch was launched to signify the one-year countdown for the 19th Asian Games. Each token was sold at US$6.05 each through Alipay, the largest digital payment platform in China.
According to Alipay’s sales page, the 20 thousand limited NFT torches can neither be duplicated nor edited. All of these tokens are permanently stored on a self-developed blockchain by Ant Group, affiliated with Alipay through the Chinese Alibaba Group.
The token is considered a first-of-its-kind NFT product that was issued by an official Chinese organisation. This then reflects a great significance towards a shift in attitude from regulators in the crypto sphere, according to an undisclosed insider source by the Global Times.
‘It could be seen as testing the waters, and the attitude of Chinese regulators depends on how companies address compliance issues,’ said the source.
Additionally, if the NFTs are developed in a well-regulated environment, similarly to how Asian Games developed the Eternal Flame token, this could fuel the crypto industry’s growth.
‘China has started relatively late in terms of NFT development, and the NFT issued by 2022 Asian Games represents a major move as it shows how the blockchain application could reshape sports and entertainment industries,’ concluded the source.
Earlier in 2021, both Alibaba Group and Tencent launched their respective NFT trading platforms. These platforms, however, only feature collections issued by artists rather than official partners.
Unlike NFTs sold outside China, the Eternal Torch and other various NFT products in the Chinese market are not tradable. These can only be purchased using the Chinese Yuan instead of digital coins like Bitcoin and Ether.
In a press release issued by the official organisers of the 2022 Asian Games, the design was inspired by the Liangzhou Culture. It is a testament to the 5000-year-old Chinese civilization as stated on the website.
The original physical torch is 730 millimetres tall with a net weight of 1,200 grams. These dimensions were then digitally mapped to the blockchain to ensure the token’s authenticity. At press time, there are no apparent plans of continuing the collection by adding tokens to the blockchain.
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