25/06/2021 Chinese Payment Giant Alipay Launches NFT Sales

Key Takeaways

Alipay launched two limited-edition NFTs on its private blockchain project called AntChain.
The NFTs were did not involve any cryptocurrency, and were sold using fiat money.
Using private blockchains to issue NFTs raises concerns over their value and long-term provenance.
China’s largest digital payment platform, Alipay, sold non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its own permissioned blockchain service network called AntChain.

NFTs Issued on AntChain

According to reports, Alipay, an affiliate of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba, launched 8000 limited-edition NFTs based on two pieces of artwork to commemorate the ancient artwork of Dunhuang Caves.

The artwork featured flying “apsaras” or spirits along with sacred deer from the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas, or Mogao Cave, in the Chinese city of Dunhuang.

Each NFT is limited to 8,000 copies and was issued on AntChain, a private blockchain started by Alipay’s parent company Ant Group.

Valued at $200 billion, Ant Group is one of the largest financial companies in the world. The firm is also a leader when it comes to research work in the blockchain space. According to available data, Ant Group has filed the highest number of blockchain-based patents between 2017 and 2020.

Now the company has entered the fast-growing NFT market. Over the last year, NFTs have exploded in popularity. Many digital artists, celebrities, musicians and athletes have launched digital collectibles in the form of NFTs celebrate their work with fans.

Explosive Growth in Non-Fungible Tokens

NFTs represent ownership of unique digital collectibles by recording them on a public blockchain like Ethereum. Since most NFTs today are minted on Ethereum, they are traded with ETH, the native cryptocurrency of the blockchain.

This puts Ethereum-backed NFTs in direct contradiction with Chinese restrictions on cryptocurrency trading and crypto-based fundraising. Unlike blockchains like Bitcoin or Ethereum, private blockchains grant a single entity authority over the entire network.

Because of their highly centralized nature, private blockchains do not involve the use of any cryptocurrency. For instance, Alipay sold each of its NFT for 9.9 Renminbi (RMB), plus 10 Alipay credits.

At the same time, using private blockchains to issue NFTs may raise concerns over their provenance and real value. However, these concerns didn’t stop Alipay’s Dunhuang-based NFTs from selling out within 24 hours of release.

The team behind AntChain also recently signed a five-year partnership with The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to use the blockchain in football. For instance, the Top Scorer trophy for EURO 2020 uses AntChain to permanently honor the player’s stats.

AntChain says its blockchain service has been deployed across over 50 businesses, in areas like supply chain management, finance, banking, and cross-border payments.


Interesting NFTs
The Complete MF Collection
Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
"Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?" is dedicated to the mysterious creation of Bitcoin, and acts as the showcase artwork within Javier Arrés’ exploratory series "Bitcoin, The Origin". "Who is the creator of Bitcoin?" The artist, Arrés, explores this question, and the feelings of doubt and mystery that accompany it, through his unique artistic language. An unknown, an enigma. It should be remembered that the name Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym of Bitcoin's author or authors and gives us little insight into its true creator. For this Visual Toy, Arrés uses the signature claw machine, his famous half-operation, to symbolize our collective ignorance and unconfirmed belief: As soon as it has the stuffed animal within its grasp and appears to have solved the puzzle, the animal escapes again, and again. At present, there are three more public and studied possibilities who are either believed to be the creators of the currency or who directly claim the creation of it. It may be all or none of them, yet these three personalities leave us clues which are an important part of this interesting enigma. For this moment, it will remain unknown... In this artwork, Arrés elevates the claw machine from the apparatus, to an iconic pop art object serving as an important element to the Bitcoin creation narrative. Action is everywhere, with each movement serving an iconographical or metaphorical purpose related directly to cryptocurrency: Various ups and downs, roller coasters, mining points, robot, coins and more speak to a sense of hope, risk, mystery, randomness and possibility of pay out. Hundreds of manically thought out details make this creation one of the artist’s most complex Visual Toys to date. ------- "Bitcoin, The Origin" is a set of two Visual Toys, titled "Who is Satoshi Nakamoto" and "It’s Alive!" which reflect and explore the mystery and enigmas behind the creation of Bitcoin. Arrés presents these proposals to us in his signature style, full of iconography, fantasy, maniacal animations and a panoply of details (both subtle and overt) which simultaneously fascinate, hypnotize, and narrate this historical milestone through the singular vision of the artist. Through this series, Arrés freezes a crucial moment of cryptocurrency history, taking a still photo under his vision and turning it into two unique crypto artworks. ---- More info about Javier Arrés: https://javierarres.com/about.html
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The [email protected] series is a project around creating unique [email protected] designs. Originally it started as a daily project so each design was created on a daily basis. The concept and idea is based on the subcultural phenomenon of collectibles and designer toys. Raw Cut [email protected] is made of several hundreds of diamonds and is only availabe as a 1/1 limited edition collectible. Format : 3D Render. File: JPG * size: 5120 × 2880px After purchase a hand signed Glichē print will be sent to the address of your choosing. Limited to: 1/1 digital pieces.
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