This is a guest post from the The South China Morning Post (SCMP), a leading news media company that has reported on Hong Kong, China and the world for more than a century. Founded in 1903, SCMP is headquartered in Hong Kong, where it is the city’s newspaper of record.
As a news organization with 118 years of history, The South China Morning Post believes that factual accounts of history and authentic historical assets, such as our own archive, should be immutable, and that ownership of these digitized and tokenized assets (which are part of our collective human experience) should be decentralized. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) make it possible to achieve both objectives.
We aspire to build a community and ecosystem that share our belief, and want to play a role in preserving our shared history on the blockchain as NFTs. To that end, we launched ARTIFACT.
ARTIFACTs are NFTs of accounts of history or historical assets that capture their context and significance with the ARTIFACT metadata standard and smart contract. The ARTIFACT metadata standard is developed by the South China Morning Post (SCMP) and a council of cross-discipline experts representing leading institutions in art, culture, media, research, and technology (Note: To see the list of our esteemed council of experts, take a look at our whitepaper). ARTIFACTs can be of many types of assets, such as a single news story, a newspaper cover page, an infographic, a photo, a video clip, or an audio clip, to name just a few.
Our vision is that all "guardians of history" will digitize and tokenize their assets as ARTIFACTs. This includes media publishers, museums, academic institutions, think tanks, cultural organizations, art galleries, auction houses, archivists, governments, and others. The shared metadata structure of ARTIFACTs will:
1) Imbue the historical context and provenance needed to establish historical significance and value of the NFTs, and
2) Facilitate the discovery and utilities development across all collections of ARTIFACTs by different issuers, connecting these NFTs via time, people, places, entities, and more.
ARTIFACTs by SCMP is the first use case of the ARTIFACT metadata standard. Launching this month, our first drop, the 1997 Premium Series, will feature the front page of every issue published by SCMP in that year. Each of the 362 covers will be available to own, including our July 1st handover issue. Together with the animation and scanned image of our cover, the rich metadata captures the comprehensive context of all the stories on our front pages. As the original paper pages fade with time, the tokenized editions will forever preserve the stories that they tell, allowing history to be collected, discovered, and revisited.
We believe that Flow is the best launch protocol for this project because it is built for scalability, speed, and high quality user experience, which are all important factors for ARTIFACT to become a global NFT standard and ecosystem. Flow has also introduced globally valuable intellectual property to the blockchain focused on delivering consumer-grade dApps for both the Web3 initiated and non-blockchain native audience.
Flow has built a strong ecosystem of communities (e.g., Flowverse) and infrastructure players (e.g., Blocto). We’re very excited to be engaging with these communities and partners to bring ARTIFACTs into the hands of as many collectors as possible, and bring in new issuers to the ecosystem.
Join our Discord to take part in exclusive challenges to earn whitelist access to our 1997 Premium Series drop, interact with the team behind the project, and meet with other ARTIFACT collectors. You can also follow us on Twitter, and sign up to our email list for more updates.
Stay tuned to our Discord - the 1997 Premium Drop for ARTIFACTs by SCMP will be available later in March on artifact.scmp.com.