Author: Hu Yi, Director of Wuxi Big Data Administration
Original title: Should we continue to buy digital collections
In fact, half a year ago, I wanted to write an article about digital collections. At that time, in my folder, the title of the article was "What should I do if I can't buy digital collections?".
Indeed, at the beginning of this year, I could not buy the Digital Collections published on Alipay whale probe or Tencent magic core. Even if I set the alarm clock, my hand speed was still not fast enough. Fortunately, it was not long before the digital collections on Phantom Core were easy to buy, especially the more expensive ones.
The first collection I bought on the Phantom Core was the Yichang Dragon Boat Series Digital Dragon Boat, which was released on June 2, 2022. The most expensive one was the Dunhuang cultural creation Digital Mural "Singing without Drum", which was worth 128 yuan. Later, I received an in app announcement from Fantasy: "Based on the company's focus on core strategy, business will be adjusted. From August 16, 2022, Fantasy will stop distributing digital collections, and all users who have purchased digital collections through its platform can choose to continue to hold or launch a refund application".
A head digital collection platform, which was launched in August 2021, was also backed by Tencent. Fantasy Core announced that it would stop business just one year after its launch. When most people do not know what the digital collection is, how to buy it, and what the use of buying it is, they find that one of the head platforms has left the scene. You may ask the same question as me: should I buy digital collections?
Before explaining what digital collections are, let me first explain what NFT is. The past 2021 is called the first year of NFT. Driven by blockchain and meta universe craze, NFT is popular in the global investment field, and this word has also become the annual word of Collins Dictionary.
NFT is essentially an encrypted digital proof of rights and interests that relies on blockchain technology and cannot be copied, tampered with and split. It can not only map physical assets such as physical collections, but also virtual assets such as images, music and game props. In short, any form of item can use the blockchain technology to obtain an exclusive digital voucher, which can become NFT. It is also associated with its owner in the blockchain network, and can trace the subsequent flow.
On March 11, 2021, the digital artist Mike Winkelman's work Everydays:. How was this work created? Beeple has published a new art work on the Internet every day since May 2007. Finally, he spliced 5000 pieces of artwork into a 316MB JPG file, which lasted for 14 years.
The third party data agency Nonfungible divides NFT into meta universe, games, utility tools and digital artworks. Metacosmic NFT, such as the plot NFT in Decentraland, a virtual reality platform, allows users to build and transform the corresponding virtual land and profit from it. This kind of NFT refers to territories, digital goods, services, etc. that can be auctioned in the virtual world. The game asset NFT emphasizes more on its use. For example, the card NFT of the blockchain card game Gods Unchained can be used in the actual battle of the game. If the game is not played or the service is terminated, the NFT in your wallet will become encrypted garbage and on chain waste. Digital artworks, such as NBA Top Shot, are short video NFTs of "high light moments" of NBA stars. This kind of NFT often contains specific cultural imprints or multimedia content full of artistic beauty. According to statistics, the scale of NFT transactions in 2021 will reach 14 billion US dollars, 1.3 times the total amount of global art auctions in 2019 before the epidemic. Among them, digital art accounted for the highest proportion, reaching 76.4%.
With the popularity of NFT all over the world, the domestic market is also moving. Digital collections are the name of NFT in China. However, NFT is defined as a non homogenous token, while the domestic digital collection is not a token and has no transaction and investment attributes, which has essential differences.
Screenshot of My Collection from Jingtan App Personal Center. Provided by the author
On June 23, 2021, Alipay and Dunhuang Art Research Institute jointly sold 16000 pieces of two payment code skins named "Dunhuang Flying sky" and "nine colored deer" in a limited amount on "ant chain vermicelli" (now known as whale probe). On August 2, Tencent followed suit and launched the "Magic Core App", with the first limited release of 300 digital collections of the "Thirteen Invitations" vinyl records. The release of these three works announced that the domestic Internet giant companies officially began to layout the digital collection track.
Presumably, many people will have such a question when they see this: Why should I have a digital picture, music, video, electronic ticket or digital souvenir that can only be enjoyed on a specific mobile app?
I once gathered more than ten friends and asked them this question one by one. Most of them have only heard of it, but have not bought digital collections. But there are also some people who have noticed this new thing and want to buy in large quantities. One even wants to dabble in this industry to build a distribution platform. Their answers can be summarized as follows.
Digital collections are of commercial value and must be introduced early. Since NFT is so popular abroad, it shows that digital collections are virtual products with collection value. Then I must buy it. This kind of thing must be bought early and made rich early. In case I buy it, it's just the best money. Friends who hold this view cite Bing Dwen Dwen, the "National League pet", as an example. At the beginning of 2022, Bing Dwen Dwen, the mascot of the Winter Olympic Games, has become a popular item for the whole people, and it is difficult to get one. The popularity of "Bing Dwen Dwen" also appears in the digital field. The Bing Dwen Dwen digital collection officially issued by the International Olympic Committee has been online for only half a month, and the price has increased dozens of times in a row, resulting in the phenomenon of "one trick breaking 10000 yuan".
Digital collections are of artistic value. It's beautiful to collect them. As a common people, I certainly do not have the opportunity or capital to collect those antiques, calligraphy and paintings. But now there are digital collections. I can buy a museum's digital works for a small amount of money, and I do not have to worry about the two major problems of counterfeit and unknown pricing in the collection of physical works of art. For this reason, the digital collection of Qi Baishi's paintings issued by Huanhe and Rongbaozhai were swept away as soon as they went online. This series of digital collections includes five works, namely, the Painting of Prawns, the Painting of Three Surplus, the Painting of Snow after Plum Blossoms, the Painting of Chinese Cabbage Frogs and the Painting of Luffa Bees and Insects. The limited number of single works is 2500.
The phantom core app has its own screenshot of the collection. Provided by the author
Digital collections have social value. The avant-garde labels attached to them will have a social premium, and identity will form a unique circle. Just like the previous car friend forum, the popular blind box circle and the value believers and owners of digital collections in the future will also have a "Show off" platform. Such a community ecosystem is very effective in building consensus on the value of digital collections and attracting the public's attention.
After people get digital collections, they can give them to their friends to meet their social needs; You can also show off by sending a circle of friends to meet your psychological needs. The friend who expressed this opinion emphasized that if any product has a social attribute, it can introduce more business models and do more business liquidation. Indeed, recently Starbucks officially launched the Web3 customer loyalty program Starbucks Odyssey. This program combines Starbucks' reward loyalty program with NFT platform, allowing customers to earn and purchase digital assets, thus unlocking exclusive experiences and rewards, such as benefits or free drinks. Starbucks envisions Starbucks Odyssey as a platform to enable its most loyal customers to receive more extensive rewards, while also building communities and increasing customer interaction.
Digital collections have emotional value, although in terms of economic value, there is no channel for realization of digital collections. But for very few people, digital life has surpassed physical existence. For this reason, the spiritual significance of digital collections is greater than the commercial value, which, like the cigarette boxes, match boxes, comic books, etc. collected by the previous generation when they were children, can bring collectors a different sense of pleasure. This reminds me of the comments made by Mark Cuban, the owner of the NBA Dallas Lone Rangers, on NFT. He said, "People must overcome the perception that I must actually be able to touch art, and at the same time, realize that the fun of ownership is really important."
Digital collections have the value of science popularization, which can improve the public's cognition and realize scientific and technological innovation. As of June 2022, the number of Internet users in China has reached 1051 million, while the number of short video users has reached 962 million. This set of data shows that the current science popularization needs to pay more attention to the content supply of network and social media. On April 24, 2022, China's lunar exploration project released the world's first lunar soil digital collection. The Moon Soil is based on the real moon soil brought back by Chang'e 5. After being put 250 times by the microscope, the technicians extracted local scanning to generate digital images, and issued 1731 copies in limited quantities in Baidu App and Xiaodu App respectively, to pay tribute to the 1731 grams of real moon soil brought back by Chang'e 5. In the sense of science popularization, this event is indeed commendable. It is not only the popularization of scientific knowledge, but also the promotion of scientific spirit. I have purchased similar digital image collections of Xinhua News Agency on Phantom Core, which are respectively Success in Planting Hybrid Rice in a Large Area, Shenwei Taihu Light Supercomputer and The Last Dive of China Ocean 38 Voyages.
After discussing with my friends, I suddenly thought of another collection in the physical world, which was also my childhood memory, namely stamps. Stamps, like coins, are issued by specific national institutions and are internationally known as "the name card of a country". They feature a wide range of topics and anti-counterfeit printing. Stamps also have dual attributes, one is postage voucher attribute, the other is collection value attribute. Liechtenstein, a small country, once made a fortune by selling stamps. The highest income of stamps reached 12 million US dollars in that year, accounting for 20% of the national income. Someone once joked that if you could call yourself or your family in 1980, one thing you should never forget is to tell them to buy monkey tickets for the Chinese zodiac, and the more the better. At that time, only 8 cents a monkey ticket has now risen to about 12000.
Digital collections, like some stamps in the virtual digital world, require a certain degree of authority from the issuer. By purchasing a single digital copy of a specific artwork behind each digital collection, collectors can not only watch the collection and enjoy the collection experience anytime and anywhere, but also share their collection opinions and happiness with friends. The storage space of digital collections is not restricted by the site, and the product quality is permanently maintained, avoiding the impact of natural factors on the collection. The boundary of art collection can be extended to the digital world, no longer limited to the physical world.
However, unlike stamps, digital collections are not yet open to the second-hand market. The Alipay Jingtan platform implements a strict screening and control mechanism for the issued content, adopts user real name authentication, and only supports free transfer to qualified Alipay real name friends after 180 days. In order to prevent speculation, the recipient can send the transfer again after receiving the digital collection for two years. The state also firmly opposes all forms of digital collection speculation, and firmly resists all forms of illegal activities related to virtual currency in the name of digital collections.
Back to the original question, the reason why digital collections are named after "collections" must have its unique value. So, will you continue to purchase this kind of online virtual property? Or, if your friend has a birthday, will you give him a customized, unique and unique digital artwork?