Considering how much the tech industry has gained a foothold in Asia in the last three decades or so, is it any surprise that they are now known as the frontrunner in the global NFT craze?
If you want more evidence of this, simply look at the fact that Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s first-ever tweet was sold as a Non-Fungible-Token for nearly $3 million to a businessman based in Malaysia. The world definitely took notice, and Asia continues to get their attention because they now have emerged as one of the leaders in this new technology.
This is due in part to the fact that Central and Southeast Asia accounted for at least 35% of the $22 billion in the global trade of NFTs last year, according to research firm Chainalysis Inc
Indeed, there are plenty of platforms that list the prices for these NFTs in such Southeast Asian countries as Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. There was also plenty of data that found that search queries for NFTs came frequently from the Philippines, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, and China.
A Potent Economy Based on NFTs
Couple this with the cryptocurrency exchange OKX, which is South Asia’s first marketplace completely devoted to NFT, and you have a potent economy based on NFTs. This is even better when you consider that these NFT creators pay a minimal amount of fuel costs.
Of course, if you are new to the world of NFT (Non-Fungible-Tokens) and want to give it a whirl, a good definition is probably in order. An NFT is a tradeable, secure version of a digital asset, including videos and jpegs, that consists in many different forms.
An NFT can be a song, a cartoon, a digital avatar for a game, or even something very bizarre as nothing more than a photo of someone’s potato from your local farm. Simply put, any unique creation can become a nun-fungible (non-interchangeable) token with financial value.
A famous NFT that became extremely viral in the last few years is the Bored Ape Yacht Club, a weird collection of NFTs launched by Yuga Labs back in 2021. Each NFT in their collection relates to a cartoon ape dressed up in funny colorful clothing and with hilarious facial expressions.
Asian NFTs Are Thriving on Twitter and Discord
The industry continues to see a steady rise in both south and central Asian artists on social media channels including Twitter and Discord. NFT Asia is a community for Asian NFT artists, and presently it has nearly 3,000 followers on Discord and almost 10,000 followers on Twitter.
The space is also growing due to those that want to play NFT play-to-earn games. There was one NFT game that saw some rapid growth in Asia and it was called the Play-to-Earn “Axie Infinity” game from the Vietnamese company Sky Mavis.
After the pandemic hit the Philippines, there were over 4.5 million Filipinos that were displaced from their jobs and that is when Axle Infinity became an extra source of income for many Filipinos.
One of the requirements of the game is that players will need to own a Pokemon-like avatar called “Axies”, which is an NFT that has been minted in the game. Players can buy or exchange Axies, and these can cost around $350 to $600 depending on the type. They can do so through cryptocurrencies such as Smooth Love Potions (SLP) and Axlie Infinity Shards (AXS).
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Danella Yaptinchay is the managing director of Full Suite, a service company providing back end support to small businesses. She is a cofounder of Co.lab, a coworking space, and of the media company Homegrown.ph. In constant pursuit of balance and self-development, she tries to apply the practices of yoga to her daily life.