China's state-run news agency will issue NFTs as the government cracks down on crypto

China's state-run news agency will issue NFTs as the government cracks down on crypto
  • Chinese state-run media agency Xinhua will issue news-oriented NFTs, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
  • The move comes even as Beijing has been persistent in cracking down on crypto-related activity.
  • Xinhua's 'digital news collectibles' will be issued for free on its app Friday.
  • China's state-run Xinhua News Agency will issue news-oriented collectibles based on technology used in non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, according to a Bloomberg report, with the move to take place as the government has largely banned crypto-related transactions.

    The NFTs holding what Xinhua called special commemorative significance will be issued for free and minted from select news photography reports from 2021, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, citing an announcement from Xinhua. The NFTs which are being called "digital news collectibles" will be distributed on Xinhua's app late Friday

    NFTs, or digital representations of art, music, photography and other items, are stored on blockchains such as ethereum and purchased using cryptocurrency. China rocked the cryptocurrency market during 2021 with a number of announcements aimed at cracking down on activity in the space. In September, Beijing said virtual currencies are not legal and cannot be used as currency in the market.

    The Bloomberg report said while Chinese authorities haven't labeled NFTs illegal, they represent a grey area where participants must tread carefully to avoid unwanted scrutiny. Xinhua's digital news collectibles will have unique identification and ownership information on a blockchain from Tencent Cloud.

    Chinese business heavyweights Tencent Holdings and Ant Group have issued NFTs on their blockchain platforms which are tightly controlled. Tencent and Ant previously changed the name for NFTs on their platforms to "digital collectibles," Bloomberg reported.

    Beijing has of the digital asset sector since 2013 following a surge in interest among Chinese citizens in bitcoin during a bull run.

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