What is NFT

  NFT, the full name of Non-Fungibl e Tokens, is generally translated in Chinese as "non-fungible tokens" or "non-fungible tokens", which refers to digital assets that record ownership through a certain blockchain (such as Ethereum).

Unlike homogenized tokens such as Bitcoin, NFT has the characteristics of indivisibility and irreplaceability.

Simply put, artists in the traditional physical world use signatures to show the authenticity.

Artwork in the physical world may be forged, but in the field of NFT, it cannot be tampered with.

In this way, as long as the digital work of any artist exists in the form of NFT, it is unique, and even the creator himself cannot tamper with or copy it. It has the unique scarcity.

NFT can represent any unique thing in the world, such as virtual collectibles, in-game assets, virtual assets, digital art, virtual real estate, etc. Therefore, NFT is regarded by enthusiasts as "encrypted digital collectibles" and has collection value.

  The collage of digital visual artist Beeple was sold at Christie’s for a sky-high price of US$69.3 million, the artwork of musician Grimes created a revenue of US$5.8 million in 20 minutes, and the price of a gif dynamic emoji package called Rainbow Cat. $600,000, a crypto-punk avatar sold for more than 10 million U.S. dollars... The hot NFT market is so eye-catching that this concept that should have been popular in the geek circle quickly "out of the circle".

  What exactly is NFT?

Based on the application of blockchain technology, it is considered to be a reliable proof of the authenticity and ownership of digital assets. It is unique, indivisible, tradable, and has the attributes of scarcity.

The NFT, which became popular overnight, revealed a "bubble breath" all over the body. Some people dismissed it or even sneered at it, while others were skeptical.

But no matter how many doubts there are, this innovative technology based on the blockchain has reached this point today.

Technology is a double-edged sword. It can be an "angel" or a "devil". How to control it "for my use" is the core of the discussion.

  -Our reporter Xu Jinghui and Zhang Tianchi

  To solve copyright issues

  Provide new ideas

  With the changes in consumer groups and consumption scenarios, generation Z people have gradually become the main target consumer groups, and more and more emerging cooperation models have emerged in the IP licensing industry.

NFT digital collections issued by blockchain technology are not restricted by the preservation environment and geographic location, and can effectively protect IP intellectual property rights.

"More importantly, it largely solves the problem of the proliferation of physical hand-made copycats but is difficult to trace, and has unique value for IP development and conversion." An industry insider said

  How hot is the global NFT market?

A set of data may explain the problem.

According to data from DappRader, as of October 7, the total transaction volume of OpenSea, the world's largest NFT trading platform, has exceeded US$8 billion, setting a record high.

In contrast, the transaction volume of this platform last year was less than US$20 million.

  The popularity of NFT has made all walks of life and giants at home and abroad feel the wind.

In the sports world, NBA Top Shot has become popular all the way. Relying on the official cooperation of the NBA, the price and volume of digital card packs of players on this platform have been rising. Even star O’Neal has replaced his avatar with NFT works; in the luxury industry, Louis Vuitton has launched an NFT-based game application. The prize is 30 pieces of NFT digital artwork, Burberry has launched an NFT virtual figure, and Gucci has launched a 4-minute NFT short film with a starting price of US$20,000; in the catering industry Fast food industry giant McDonald’s China took advantage of the opportunity of the relocation of its new headquarters to show off its fashion, and took the lead in releasing its first NFT creative work "Big Mac Rubik’s Cube"; in the art world, even a new art form called "Encryption Art"...

  NFT in the eyes of different people has different meanings for carrying, but from the attempts of pioneers, one direction is very clear-to realize the protection and development of IP through NFT technology.

  "When a work is cast into NFT and put on the chain, it is given a unique code to ensure its uniqueness and authenticity. No matter how many times the work is copied or disseminated, the original author is always the sole owner. "A person in the legal profession believes that NFT provides new ideas for solving copyright issues.

  Taking the luxury goods industry as an example, according to a report released by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) earlier this year, the value of counterfeit and inferior products in 2019 was as high as US$464 billion, accounting for 2.5% of the total world trade, with the most imitations Its products are luggage and tanning products, which accounted for nearly 15% of seizures.

For luxury brands, this is a huge loss.

"The high value and scarcity characteristics of luxury goods are precisely the direction that NFT is best at determining rights." The above-mentioned legal professionals believe that the entry of the luxury goods industry into the NFT field shows that the industry is looking for an IP protection method that can effectively identify authenticity. , While preserving brand value, establish a unique emotional bond between product creators and product owners.

  The development of NFT in the domestic market is a little late, but Internet giants are still cautiously entering the game.

In June of this year, Alipay and Dunhuang Fine Arts Research Institute jointly launched a payment code skin NFT based on two AntChain, each limited to 8,000 copies, all were "seckilled"; later, the author of "Three Body" Liu Cixin signed the card on the chain , Priced at 19.9 yuan, limited to 2000 copies, is also a "second kill."

Compared with the sky-high auctions in the international market, the domestic market’s "small test" prices are very low, and the second transaction is not possible. It is obvious that they are heading for the direction of IP exploration.

  On September 22, three digital figures of "Soul Street" were launched on AntChain, namely Cao Yanbing, Cao Xuanliang and Xu Chu, which means that more domestic original IPs have also entered the NFT era.

Speaking of the attempt to get on the chain, Zhang Qiyan, general manager of Aofei Entertainment’s licensing division, first talked about the value of IP.

In the past 10 years, Zhenhun Street has accumulated more than 5.171 billion popularity on the "Youqi" platform, with more than 4.59 million collections, and has continued to release live-action dramas and cartoons. It is a domestic leading original IP.

"We are cooperating with AntChain to try to use AntChain technology to put IP copyright on the chain and generate unique digital certificates to ensure that every user purchases and collections are authentic and unique, and realizes collection appreciation through its 3D rendering technology. New experience."

  In Zhang Qiyan's view, with the changes in consumer groups and consumption scenarios, generation Z people have gradually become the main target consumer groups, and more and more emerging cooperation models have emerged in the IP licensing industry.

NFT digital collections issued by blockchain technology are not restricted by the preservation environment and geographic location, and can effectively protect IP intellectual property rights.

"More importantly, it largely solves the problem of the proliferation of physical hand-made copycats but is difficult to trace, and has unique value for IP development and transformation." Zhang Qiyan told reporters.

  In the past year, the state has frequently issued favorable policies for licensing related industries, emphasizing the comprehensive strengthening of intellectual property protection work, stimulating innovation vitality, and promoting the construction of a new development pattern.

Xi Ting, the person in charge of AntChain's fan granule, believes that NFT, as a blockchain-based technology, can well solve the problem of "copy and paste" in the traditional Internet era that cannot effectively protect intellectual property rights. It can help clarify rights owners and The relationship between users is of positive significance for respecting digital content innovation and protecting intellectual property rights.

  Provide digital space for the secondary development of IP

  The application of NFT will bring more enlightenment to the development and innovation of digital IP, especially for new digital assets such as animated gifs, three-dimensional images, and short videos. It means that the value of IP can be tapped to a higher level.

For example, it allows consumers to have the opportunity to interact with creators after obtaining the right to use digital IP

  The key to NFT's success in "breaking the circle" is inseparable from the empowerment of traditional IP.

Then the question comes again: In NFT, which type of IP is easier to "out of the circle"?

  NFTSTAR CEO Shen Guoding has studied many successful examples at home and abroad. In his opinion, traditional artworks are not the best IP carriers. On the contrary, digital IP including videos, animated gifs, and 3D content are more popular.

Just like the sky-high auction artwork of Beeple, it has changed the way people appreciate future artworks to some extent.

  The NFTSTAR platform is an NFT trading and community platform launched by a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ninth City. The main content of the transaction is NFT collectibles developed and minted by IP authorized by global stars.

Shen Guoding believes that in the past, IP derivative products were relatively single. Taking sports IP as an example, most of them were based on physical peripherals, including some signature limited editions, peripheral joint names, and authorized products.

However, the digitization and affirmation characteristics of NFT have suddenly given IP derivatives a broader space-they have changed from physical peripheral products to digital products, which means a precious video, clip, etc. It can become the secondary development direction of IP, and it has been effectively protected by intellectual property right from the beginning.

  In fact, Gen Z is no stranger to digital IP: spending money to buy game props, VIP video members...These have now become the daily lives of this group of people, and consumer education is relatively mature.

"Imagine if in the future in a virtual Louvre museum, everyone can see the work "Mona Lisa", it is not uncommon, but if there is a line of small words floating under this work indicating ' Isn't it a cool thing that XX owns?" Shen Guoding used this image metaphor to describe the relationship between digital IP and NFT.

The combination of the two is well adapted to the needs of the times.

  If you think about it from this perspective, the application of NFT will bring more enlightenment to the development and innovation of digital IP, especially for new digital assets such as gif animations, three-dimensional images, and short videos, which means the mining of IP value. Able to take it to the next level.

For example, it allows consumers to have the opportunity to interact with creators after obtaining the right to use digital IP.

  Some areas of artistic creation have begun to test the waters.

In August of this year, singer Hu Yanbin's "Monk" was released on the 20th anniversary vinyl NFT, and 2001 limited digital vinyl was quickly sold out. This is also Tencent Music's first batch of "TME Digital Collection".

Qin Qing, product director of Tencent Cloud Blockchain, believes that it will be a very important choice in the history of distribution, giving musicians the possibility of direct contact with users.

"Therefore, when we use NFT technology to distribute a cultural and creative work in the future, the original author can obtain the perpetual royalties for the circulation or distribution process, which is likely to change the traditional way of distribution of cultural and creative content."

  The launch of AntChain Fandian has a similar purpose.

"We apply NFT to the cultural field, so that users can choose their favorite works for collection, research, appreciation, and display to acquaintances." Xi Ting said, cooperating with the author of "Three Body" Liu Cixin, "Shen Soul Street" and other IPs , Is to work with partners to use digital technology to promote the digital innovation and development of cultural and creative industries, and to fully release the digital vitality of traditional culture.

  The popularity of the NFT market reflects that the digital assets represented by digital peripheral products are recognized by more and more consumers.

However, the domestic market appears to be more cautious regarding the trading attributes of NFTs.

The reporter combed and found that on mainstream overseas platforms such as OpenSea and Top Shot, most transactions are conducted in digital currency. Although it helps to improve transaction efficiency, it is also more likely to cause speculation risks.

In China, many platforms have stipulated to purchase through RMB from the beginning.

At the beginning of its launch, AntChain fan tablets set rules and only support digital collection holders to transfer them to qualified Alipay real-name friends free of charge after 180 days... These "tightening curses" are all to prevent the occurrence of hype.

  NFT will be

  Is it the entrance to the meta universe?

  The current NFT is still in the early stage of development, and the concept is relatively advanced. Whether the future evolution can reach the long-term goal is closely related to factors such as the maturity of technology development and global policy risks.

  The overnight popularity of NFT has caused all walks of life to think about its future: Is NFT short-lived or will it exist for a long time?

Optimistic people generally believe that NFT can not only effectively protect digital assets and greatly stimulate the potential value of IP, but from a longer-term perspective, it may be entering the "meta universe" (with blockchain, cloud computing, The advancement of digital technologies such as extended reality has created a new entrance to a virtual world that can be mapped and is independent of the real world.

  Shen Guoding is a supporter of this view.

In his view, the cultural identity of Generation Z is gradually condensed on digital carriers, and more and more people recognize that the importance of assets in the virtual world is no less important than the real world, and digital civilization is bound to be the general trend.

"If NFT can provide support for the generation, confirmation, pricing, circulation, and traceability of digital assets in Metaverse, it will have the opportunity to become an important infrastructure of Metaverse, allowing people to carry out sufficient economic activities in the virtual space. And cultural events."

  Some people in the industry believe that technical limitations are still the biggest bottleneck for the current development of Metaverse, including XR (extended reality), blockchain, artificial intelligence and other corresponding underlying technologies that are still far from our expectations for Metaverse.

However, linking NFT with meta-universe has a huge space for imagination in the future.

For example, people can build a digital museum in the virtual world, take NFT to communicate, and buy the right to use one of the digital antiques; for example, in a virtual concert, you can talk to "Hatsune Miku" ( A virtual singer born in Japan in the 2000s) The advanced version of dialogue exchanges, resulting in more personalized interaction; or, you have a robot companion that maps to the real world through NFT...In short, between the real and the virtual , Will surely generate more creativity and communication.

  CITIC Securities analysts believe that the non-homogeneous nature of NFT may further promote the mutual mapping of the meta-universe from real to virtual and from virtual to real, and accelerate the implementation of the meta-universe economic system.

However, the current NFT is still in the early stage of development, and the concept is relatively advanced.

Whether the future evolution can reach the long-term goal is closely related to factors such as the maturity of technology development and global policy risks.

To allow the development of NFT to maximize its strengths and avoid its weaknesses, it is also necessary to calm the overheated market and explore a sustainable development path.

Keywords: