Hong Kong-based veteran newspaper South China Morning Post (SCMP) is creating a series of NFTs using a new token standard called “ARTIFACT,” which is designed to preserve historical assets on the blockchain.
In its ARTIFACT litepaper, SCMP presents an overview of the project, a standardized metadata structure that can be used to ensure that key moments from the 118 year old SCMP archive of media objects can be preserved through distributed ownership and dissemination.
Gary Liu, CEO of SCMP, said that “Blockchain has immense potential for immutably preserving journalism that testifies and explains history. The ‘ARTIFACT’ project is an opportunity to discover, collect, present, exchange and revive meaningful moments and objects from our collective human experience. “
SCMP’s NFTs are largely inspired by the newspaper’s archive of documentary photography, visual illustrations, data visualizations, and infographics. These represent journalistic “first drafts of history” and include texts, photographs, cartoons and illustrations that SCMP has compiled over more than a century.
While the token standard will be blockchain-agnostic in the long term, SCMP has selected a few blockchains to start its project and develop its possibilities. To help revive its history and appeal to a wide audience, it has partnered with Ethereum-based Metaverse The Sandbox, a subsidiary of blockchain startup Animoca Brands.
Working with local game studios and digital artists, The Sandbox will create a range of interactive 3D voxel-based gaming and cultural experiences based on modern and historical landmarks and artifacts in Hong Kong and mainland China.
Landmarks such as the Kowloon Walled City and the Star Ferry will be integrated into the blockchain-based metaverse. Liu has indicated that, for example, players can virtually experience scenes from Hong Kong in the 1950s and learn something about its historical complexity through the coverage of SCMP at the time.
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The Sandbox has announced that on July 22nd, players will be able to purchase land alongside the SCMP project in the form of the metaverse’s native LAND tokens. Speaking of the partnership, Liu told SCMP today, “Our hope is that over time we will create metaverse environments where people can experience historic Hong Kong and historic China, and learn about the beauty and complexity of this part of the world. ”
Within the metaverse of The Sandbox, LAND tokens from different partners or users of The Sandbox can be grouped and combined into virtual properties. For example, game developer Atari has used these tight, digital spaces to host 3D voxelized versions of its classic games.
Individual players can also purchase LAND themselves and use them as places to create and launch their own independent game content.
To date, The Sandbox has had over 40 million worldwide installations on mobile devices and brought in over 1,300 ethers (ETH) with the first and second of its LAND pre-sales. The Metaverse is slated for a public alpha launch this summer.