Hong Kong's largest English media to turn its archives into NFTs

South China Morning Post, the largest English media in Hong Kong and one of the oldest publications in Asia, is moving into the non-fungible token (NFT) and metaverse space.

The firm said in an announcement on Monday that it is partnering with The Sandbox to recreate the media assets of its 118 years of journalism on the decentralized virtual space platform owned by the NFT digital property firm Animoca Brands.

The project, called Artifacts, aims to present an NFT collection of the SCMP's archives that has captured historical events in the city since the publication was founded in 1903, according to its whitepaper.

"The South China Morning Post is committed to engaging and educating a global audience with information and technology," said Gary Liu, SCMP's CEO, in a statement. "The ‘ARTIFACT’ project is an opportunity to discover, collect, showcase, trade, and reanimate meaningful moments and objects from our collective human experience and we are excited to introduce this standard to the world.”

The publication said it will start the project on a few selected blockchains but did not specify names. It has "the intention to be chain-agnostic in the long-run."

"At launch, the ability to issue authenticated ‘ARTIFACTs’ will be available to a group of trusted partners who are globally recognized owners and guardians of authentic historical assets," it said in the announcement.

The move comes just after Animoca Brands raised nearly $140 million in its latest founding round announced earlier this month.

One notable participating investor in the round was Blue Pool Capital, a family office that was reported to hold a portion of Alibaba founder Jack Ma's $40 billion fortune as well as the $10 billion wealth of Ma's right-hand man Joe Tsai. Alibaba, as you may know, is the owner of the SCMP.