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RIYADH: Who would have thought that a day would come when a girl from the neighborhood of Riyadh could be part owner of the Miss Universe crown? Or can a person in Dubai own part of one of the most beautiful voices that recite the religious text of the Quran?
The dream will soon become a reality, as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, provide access to everything we can think of today.
Dubai-based luxury jewelry house Mouawad is offering ‘split’ ownership of the Miss Universe crown via NFTs.
For the first time ever, fans of the Miss Universe Power of Unity crown will have the chance to be a part of beauty pageant history. They could own the digital content associated with the candidates and the crown.
And if the crown ever falls under the hammer, the owner could vote to sell the pageant, put it in a museum, or better yet, swap the tokens with another beauty enthusiast. However, the million dollar question now is how this is even possible. The short answer is NFTs.
To understand the term, one must take a close look at the key word, fungible. The word means mutually exchangeable things such as dollar bills, stocks, and commodities. Non-fungible implies something that cannot be exchanged. NFTs are digital assets that are stamped, sealed and recorded on an online transaction ledger, called blockchain. These digital objects cannot be duplicated.
NFTs are a new asset class. It can be anything from a painting to an audio clip or any hard-coded digital data on the blockchain. An individual must sign a “smart contract” to own the digital asset. These properties are inviolable and cannot be stolen.
“People invest in NFTs hoping that they will increase in value over time. They are looking for monetary gain to sell these assets later for a higher value,” said Musfir Khawaja, co-founder of nftOne, a NFT platform that focuses on art, culture and creativity in the Middle East.
“It’s like investing in real estate, gold or even cryptocurrencies,” he said.
Although digital art has been around for a long time, the ability to own and trade them at will makes it an exciting proposition. It is also to democratize the art market.
“NFTs open up a new demographic of people who might not necessarily be interested in traditional art collecting or producing,” said Suzy Sikorski, junior specialist at Christie’s Dubai, the renowned art gallery and auction house. .
Sirkosi further added that these platforms empower digital artists and give voice to women and marginalized sections of society.
“In many cases, it has given a voice to gender minorities. The voiceless are now finding a clear path through the NFT market, which is very exciting,” she said.
While the NFT market is still nascent, it is all the rage among millennials and Gen Z, who see tokens as part of their daily lives. The network now bridges the generation gap by including traditional Orthodox communities who until now were unaware of the commercial potential of their arts and crafts.
A prime example is the work of Quran reciters who had no say in the commercial use of their religious prayer. Technically, it’s hacking. Companies such as nftOne are now coming forward to protect their intellectual property rights by offering them the ability to mint their performance online as NFTs.
“We are in talks with several reciters who are willing to create NFTs of their recitations and protect their IPRs, thereby preventing people from misusing their audio for commercial purposes,” Khawaja said.
With new opportunities and inclusive growth, the NFT market will soon be one of the busiest places on the information highway. And this time the writing will be done on the blockchain.