The 118-year-old Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post released a white paper today on its non-fungible-token (NFT) project called ARTIFACT, as well as announcing the launch of the first series of collections of historical events called ARTIFACTs by SCMP.

Fast facts

  • ARTIFACT is a project that the SCMP designed to tokenize their reports of Hong Kong history, with various assets of a single news story, a picture, a newspaper cover page, a video or audio clip.
  • The first collection is based on significant reports from 1997 — the historical year of Hong Kong’s handover from the UK to China. According to a mockup poster of ARTIFACT, historical events in the NFT series may include: the handover day on July 1, 1997; Hong Kong’s first chief executive Tung Chee-hwa assembling the new leadership team for post-handover government; the slaughter of 1.2 million birds when the H5N1 virus broke out in that year; and Hong Kong’s anti-corruption efforts in 1997.
  • Gary Liu, the CEO of SCMP, said at Forkast.News’ event Bitcoin & Beyond: “Our goal is not to necessarily catch the current wave and inevitable depreciation of NFTs, but it is actually to set a standard that long term will allow traditional organizations that are guardians of history of some kind of history, physical.”
  • The white paper also outlines the technical part of NFTs, including governance structure and the development of dedicated markets.
  • ARTIFACT’s data structure will be jointly developed by a global committee composed of interdisciplinary experts. Moreover, the NFT project will be managed by a non-profit foundation and involve museums, archives, universities, publishers, art galleries, and other institutions. ARTIFACT will have a dedicated market to forge, sell and trade collectibles for the global community of historical NFT issuers and collectors.
  • ARTIFACT will be based on the Flow blockchain created by Dapper Labs, the same company behind the hot-selling NBA Top Shot video collection.
  • Liu also shared in Forkast.News’ video program Word on the Block that in addition to NFTs, SCMP is developing a virtual-reality world based on Sandbox, a metaverse game platform and a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, to tell the story of Hong Kong in an immersive way.