Chinese singer-backed NFT surges, as sector set to boom in 2022

Bitcoin, a type of cryptocurrency Illustration: VCG

Bitcoin, a type of cryptocurrency Illustration: VCG

The floor price of “Phanta Bear,” a non-fungible token (NFT) project recently launched by a firm backed by Chinese singer Jay Chou, surged to 0.69 cryptocurrency ethereum ($2,606.41) on Tuesday morning, according to an official Tweet from Ezek, which hosted the sale. 

With the iconic singer joining the NFT craze, industry insiders said that the global NFT market will continue to boom in 2022, with more celebrities and industry giants entering the field. Trading volume and the market size may expand tenfold in 2022, as the focus shifts to the consumption level. 

China’s NFT industry will find a suitable development model that complies with regulations amid the country’s crackdown against cryptocurrency, insiders noted.

An NFT is a digital asset that’s developed based on blockchain. Each NFT is a uniquely identifiable digital item that can be authenticated through blockchain, unlike most digital items, which can be endlessly reproduced.

The Phanta Bear NFT collections have a total of 10,000 bear-themed NFTs launched by the entertainment platform, Ezek, and designed by Chou’s fashion brand PHANTACi. The collection was sold out just within 40 minutes of the launch, said Ezek. 

An industry insider, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Global Times on Tuesday that Chou’s entrance will create a “celebrity effect” that draws in more big IPs, celebrities and brands to launch NFTs, propelling a market that is already on the fast track.” 

The insider added that “this year, the NFT market will move to the consumer level, rather than being a niche market for the crypto world.” 

This year, the tech extravaganza Consumer Electronic Show (CES), which will be open in Las Vegas from Wednesday to Friday, also include an exhibition category for NFT start-ups for the first time. Leading industry players such as Atomic Form, Blockparty and FTX will participate, according to a statement on the CES’ website.

Major domestic industry giants from different fields, including Tencent and Alibaba, have been eyeing opportunities and implementing strategic plans to leverage the rapidly expanding sector, especially with the trending and heated discussion of the metaverse and the market’s potential to unlock NFT-related business opportunities. 

Local authorities in Shanghai aim to develop the core technology of the metaverse and explore its industrial application scenarios in the city’s 14th Five-Year Plan, targeting the development of the local electronic information industry, financial media outlet reported on Tuesday. 

“Last year, most NFTs featured arts and images. This year, blockchain-based games will experience explosive growth, as will NFTs that feature games. Music NFTs will also become another hotspot for investment,” the insider noted.

Industry observers said that market regulation is set to catch up, with more defined rules and standards in 2022 under the nation’s crackdown on cryptocurrency.

An industry observer based in East China’s Zhejiang Province told the Global Times on Tuesday that the domestic NFT industry will explore a unique development path in accordance with laws, while market regulations gradually catch up with the industry’s evolution. 

Global Times