Digestible news about the latest developments across the fields of NFT, blockchain and metaverse in China, delivered to you every Thursday.
This week: Alibaba launches metaverse for Chinese Black Friday, Red Date to launch NFT infrastructure in China, Huobi trials NFT platform to expand metaverse ecosystem, and more.
Alibaba Launches Its Own Metaverse for Chinese Black Friday
Alibaba’s Metaverse Art Exhibition debuted on the shopping app Taobao last week, just in time for the 11.11 Single’s Day shopping festival, or ‘Chinese Black Friday’.
- The launch of Alibaba’s “Metaverse Art Exhibition” is the latest in a series of moves by the company to stay up to date with technological developments that are gaining speed in China and across the world.
- Brands that are participating in Alibaba’s exhibition include Burberry, Alienware, Xpeng and others. While there can be multiple “prints” of the artworks, each has its own identification number accessible only by the owner.
- There have been mixed reactions among Chinese netizens to the unveiling of Alibaba’s metaverse. While some are excited about its potential to reduce consumption of resources in the real world, others dismiss the concept as gimmicky and elitist. (Radii)
Blockchain Services Network Architect Red Date to Launch NFT Infrastructure in China
Red Date Technology, the firm behind state-sanctioned Blockchain Services Network (BSN), announced last week that it will launch a new infrastructure to support the deployment of non-fungible tokens (NFT) in China.
- The new project is dubbed the BSN-Distributed Digital Certificate (DDC) – avoiding direct reference to “NFTs,” as all crypto transactions have been banned in China since September.
- Some of the country’s biggest tech companies including Ant Group and Tencent have also recently renamed the NFTs on their respective platforms as “digital collectibles.”
- On the BSN-DDC, developers will be able to build their own platforms on top of ten “open permissioned” chains, referring to hybrid blockchains that are not fully decentralized (or “permissionless”) but controlled by a few authorized nodes. (Coindesk)
Huobi Trials NFT Marketplace to Further GameFi and Metaverse Strategy
Huobi Group, the company operating one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, has rolled out a trial for Huobi NFT, a platform that allows users to buy and trade digital collectibles spanning the fields of music, games and art.
- The launch also marks a milestone in the extension of the company’s metaverse strategy, which includes a $10 million investment by Huobi Venture (Huobi’s investing arm) into GameFi, a mix of gaming-focused NFTs and decentralized finance.
- Huobi’s NFT platform is being trialed on the Heco Chain, Huobi’s decentralized public chain, and has not been integrated with the exchange’s native cryptocurrency, Huobi token.
- Heco is compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine and could potentially be integrated with other NFT platforms that run on the Ethereum blockchain. (Cointelegraph)
Blockchain and Mobile-Gaming Unicorn Animoca Brands Seeks More Funding to Build Metaverse
- Hong Kong-based startup Animoca Brands needs more funds to remain competitive in the metaverse landscape, according to its President, Evan Auyang.
- Animoca raised $65 million in a second round of funding in October, causing its valuation to double to more than $2 billion. The startup had raised $138.88 million in a previous round this year, when it was valued at $1 billion, making it Hong Kong’s ninth unicorn. (SCMP)
Chinese Tech Giants Sign “Self-Regulation” Convention on NFTs
Last week, Ant Group, Tecent and JD.com signed a “self-regulation” convention on NFTs in accordance with state organizations to appease growing concern over the digital asset’s connection to crypto trading, which was banned in the country earlier this year.
- NFTs have so far been exempted from the Chinese government’s sweeping crackdown on crypto up to this point, but the tech giants nonetheless vowed to boycott speculative activities surrounding NFTs, or “digital collectibles,” as they call them, in an attempt to distance their products from the crypto market.
- Along with the tech companies, the China Academy of Fine Arts and state broadcaster CCTV’s animation studio also signed the convention. (CoinDesk)
Justin Bieber’s Debut Performance in the Metaverse
Justin Bieber has announced that he is partnering with virtual entertainment company Wave to produce “Justin Bieber – An Interactive Virtual Experience.” Wave’s technology will allow Bieber to transform into a digital avatar and perform a full live show. Fans can sign up on Wave’s website and see the event for free in November 2022. (Variety)
Unofficial Squid Game Token Crashes 99% as Developers Dump for $12 Million
The popular South Korean Netflix series-inspired cryptocurrency saw its price drop to near zero as developers behind the project sold their tokens on the market for 22,328 BNB ($11.9 million). The developers have made off with an estimated $3.38 million. (BBC)
Skeuomorph /ˈskjuːəˌmɔːrf, ˈskjuːoʊ-/ an object that retains features of the original structures from which it derives.
“NFTs are some of the first crypto-native experiments that have taken off [as skeuomorphic copies of older technologies]: we’ve seen the widespread coordination of airdrops, capital, and communities, all facilitated by ‘just a JPEG.’”
American investor and entrepreneur