The Straits Times has raised $21,564 in its first-ever non-fungible token (NFT) auction held from Dec 22 to Tuesday on the digital platform Blockchain For Good, a corporate social responsibility initiative of the Blockchain Association Singapore, in partnership with Drew & Napier.
The amount, before deducting any transaction costs, will be donated to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund to help children and young people with their school-related expenses.
Bidders were given from Dec 13 until Dec 22 to set up their wallets, complete the know-your-customer (KYC) process, and receive their digital tokens. Fifty-nine potential bidders registered.
The auction got off to a quiet start and stayed that way for the next few days. As we watched the bids inch upwards, we wondered: Was everyone busy with Christmas preparations? Would there be a late surge in activity, just like how Singaporeans do last-minute shopping?
Indeed, more bids were placed towards the end. Close to half of the total number of 28 bids, which were made by nine serious bidders, were placed on Tuesday, the last day of the auction.
There was a nail-biting flurry of bids in the closing hour before midnight. We ended up with four different winning bidders, one for each of the three artworks and one Opinion column put up for sale.
Mr Zack Yang, the co-founder of Singapore fintech company FOMO Pay, said the infographic A Guide To Cryptocurrencies, which he successfully bidded for, can help the firm's clients and partners better understand crypto and Web 3.0.
“It could significantly help in market education and wider adoption of digital currencies and digital assets. It also aligns with our goal as the gateway connecting fiat and crypto,” he said.
“This auction is for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, and we want to contribute our efforts to support more children and young people who are born in the digital era. We hope that they will also benefit more from the upcoming Web 3.0 trend.”
On the user experience, Mr Yang said he liked how this is one of the first local NFT auction platforms to require KYC: “It helps people who are new to crypto, to build more trust to use digital currencies and digital assets in future.”
Mr Andrew Fang, who works in the healthcare industry and put in the winning bid for the illustration Bullish Bitcoin, said the entire process was simple and transparent, and “a great showcase of the use of blockchain technology for a good cause”.
Another bidder, Mr Lim Peng Hun, who is currently in the United States and was visiting his son here when he read about the auction, said his family felt it was an educational and meaningful initiative to take part in.
“This was a timely project as we had been discussing various topics on blockchain technology, cryptocurrency and how we can give back to the community as a family.”
Mr Lim, who made the winning bid for the illustration The Permanence Of Cats, added that with his son's help, his family was able to navigate the process of setting up the wallet and participating in the auction. “It was particularly exciting in the last hour of bidding, as we had to wake up in time and put in the final bid during breakfast (US time)!”
Overseas media companies have joined the NFT fray, releasing thousands of news photos and articles as digital collectibles backed by NFTs. Will NFTs by media companies in Singapore expand beyond charity auctions into the realm of large-scale digital archival and finance? How will the cryptocurrency and blockchain scene evolve?
We will have more to say on the pros and cons of this new technology and its real-life applications. Meanwhile, do continue with us on our journey into the metaverse.
The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permissionBack