A non-fungible token (NFT) image of a green-faced pixel avatar by the name of ‘Cryptopunk 9997’ was sold for about US$4.3 million at Christie’s auction house. All kinds of NFTs, whether a simple pixel avatar or a delicately constructed digital work of art, enjoy wide popularity among investors and collectors right now. 

NFTs are being used in a variety of fields such as gaming, entertainment and real estate and are proving to be profitable digital assets. On the flip side, some are creating NFTS to give back to the causes such as the environment and local communities.

A new NFT exhibition in Hong Kong aims to pioneer that positive spirit by showcasing NFTs for good. The ImpactNFT Exhibition, opening this Friday, will invite collectors and NFT enthusiasts to experience and purchase digital artworks with themes constructed around the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations — including action against climate change, equal access to education and gender equality.

“We really wanted to bring this concept of creating impact through NFTs alongside the UN’s 17 SDGs together and thought, why not show this to Hong Kong and the world that we really can showcase the physical with the digital, and bring everyone that is involved from art collectors to investors closer to see that there’s more that you can do with NFTs,” said Roy Weissbach, business development advisor at Project Ark, in an interview with Forkast.News.

Genesis Drop is one series of NFT artworks from Project Ark that will be presented at the exhibition, inspired by the hand-painted eggs of Romanian culture. The carbon neutral NFT marketplace Project Ark gives 50% of all proceeds from Genesis Drop to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Romania to support its efforts to reintroduce the endangered European Bison back into the wild.

Other works to be shown include NFTs from Earth.Org and charitable art organization Sovereign Art Foundation, as well as artwork by VintageMozart in support of the Nashulai Maasai Conservancy in East Africa, and NFTs by eight Mexican artists minted for charity.

The Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post (SCMP) will also showcase its upcoming NFT auction in aid of Operation Santa Claus (OSC), including new works by Hong Kong’s legendary visual and performance artist, Frog King. Operation Santa Claus is an annual fundraising campaign by SCMP and Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) to help local charities.

Aside from showcasing NFT artworks, anti-wildlife trafficking group Break The Chain will provide augmented reality (AR) experiences onsite with a metaverse demonstration curated by gaming and entertainment metaverse platform The Nemesis.

“I think NFTs are very misunderstood, I think it’s one of the visual aspects of blockchain technology that people are starting to see and starting to engage with. And I think it’s got huge engagement potential to actually connect people with big social issues like conservation issues, but in an engaging way,” said ESG specialist Candice Burin.

The exhibition will be curated by ImpactNFT Alliance in partnership with Project Ark and Sovereign Art Foundation and will be held for 10 days from Oct. 15 to 24 at the Soho House Hong Kong. The show is also accessible for viewing online at OpenSea.io, Project-Ark.co and ImpactNFT.org.

Weissbach told Forkast.News that this ImpactNFT exhibition is hopefully first of many. “The idea is to really show everyone who is interested in NFTs, not just individuals, but also brands, about what you can do with NFTs and actually allowing them to fully utilize the power of NFTs in creating impact for their shareholders, engaging their customers and just creating impact through NFTs alongside their CSR strategy.”