China’s Xinhua News Agency to Issue NFTs Despite Crackdown on Crypto

Xinhua, the official news agency of China, is going to issue an NFT collection with photographs depicting historic moments of the passing year. The initiative, which comes amid an ongoing crypto crackdown, is seen as a boost for blockchain, the technology that also underpins cryptocurrencies.

Xinhua to Create Digital Collectibles Based on Photo Reports

The state-owned Chinese news agency Xinhua is preparing to issue a digital collection representing photographic news reports from 2021. The selection of 11 photos, each limited to 10,000 copies, will be released on Dec. 24. They will be issued free of charge via Xinhua’s news app, using non-fungible token (NFT) technology, the agency announced, quoted by Bloomberg and Reuters.

The collection, which also features a photo commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, will “imprint digital memories into the metaverse,” Xinhua noted. Euronews remarks that Beijing-controlled media has in the past described the virtual reality space as “an illusionary concept.”

Stocks of Chinese firms operating in the field such as Goertek and Perfect World rose on Wednesday. Companies like the social media giant Tencent Holdings and Ant Group have previously issued NFTs on their blockchain platforms. According to a statement by Tencent in November, Beijing is expected to allow the metaverse to operate under domestic rules.

While NFTs in particular have not been targeted yet, this year the Chinese government reiterated wide-ranging restrictions on cryptocurrencies initially imposed in 2017. А number of related activities such as trading, exchange, and fundraising through coin offerings were banned.

Bitcoin mining, which was left alone until this spring, was hit in a crackdown which began following a decision by the State Council in May. A few days ago, a state-controlled industry organization blacklisted crypto-themed short videos shared online in the People’s Republic.

The digital collection, which Xinhua described as “a unique year-end review,” will be issued on a blockchain from Tencent Cloud. The NFTs will feature unique identification and ownership information, the agency noted, while highlighting their “special commemorative significance and collection value.”

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Do you think other Chinese organizations will issue NFTs? Share your expectations in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.




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