Ever since the news of Beeple’s $69 million NFT artwork broke, many have been intrigued by the idea of making money with NFTs or nonfungible tokens. There are opposing views on the rise of NFTs. On one hand, skeptics regard these blockchain-based digital assets as another fad that is set to descend into infamy eventually. On the other, proponents and adopters believe that it has the potential to change the world of finance.

Southeast Asians are not one to be left behind as they are reportedly jumping on the NFT bandwagon for extra income. They are not only selling digital art. There are also those who play NFT-based games like Axie Infinity, which allows players to collect game items that can then be sold for bitcoins or other digital currency.

A Taiwanese company, Numbers Protocol, is trying to help bring NFTs even closer to potential adopters across Asia through an NFT camera app called Capture and a new NFT marketplace called CaptureClub.

From data integrity to personal NFTs

Numbers Protocol is an active contributor to the Starling Framework for Data Integrity, an academe-driven initiative aimed at fighting misinformation and deepfakes through cryptographic methods and decentralized web protocols. The company has been helping in the effort to address the problem of false and misleading information online.

Numbers Protocol’s Capture camera app was not developed to become an official part of the Starling Framework for Data Integrity. However, the company says that the app takes inspiration from the framework’s goal of data integrity protection.

The Capture app certifies and seals on the blockchain all the data generated when photos are taken by the app. This ensures that all photos a user snaps are original and indisputable. Users, however, may modify the amount or kind of information being entered on the blockchain. Photo location details, for example, may be withheld by changing the corresponding options under the privacy settings

There are plans to add a video-taking feature to the Capture app eventually. Also, users may soon get the ability to create a channel for publishing their content through the app.

The Capture app empowers just about anyone to create their own NFTs easily and conveniently. It ensures the protection of original photos and videos, so they can only be attributed to their real owners. If there are attempts to use these photos and videos with some modifications, the changes will be reflected on the blockchain.

What makes it different

Services that use the blockchain to secure the authenticity of data and content are not new. Many others have done it before. What makes the Capture App different, though, is that it focuses on the certification of content at its point of origin.

“We focus very much on the camera itself, so at the time the photo is taken, the integrity is already preserved,” said Numbers Protocols co-founder Tammy Yang in an interview with TechCrunch. “If content is captured on a camera app and then copied to a content platform, it’s already very difficult to verify its origin. If I take a photo from Facebook and register it on the blockchain, it means nothing. It’s very different if I take a photo with the Capture App and immediately create a registration on the blockchain,” Yang explained.

In other words, using the Capture App camera app guarantees that whatever photo or video is taken, it will already be an NFT from the get-go. It will be unique content that is ready to be sold or used for whatever purpose the creator has in mind.

There is no need to register digital creations or assets in any NFT creation service or website. The app takes away the middleman in the transaction, allowing creators to get everything they can get from their works.

Given how Southeast Asians are drawn to NFTs mainly because of the pecuniary benefits, this setup bodes well in the goal of attracting more users in the region. It does not only make it easy to generate NFTs; it also optimizes monetization.

NFT marketplace

To make the sale of NFTs even faster and simpler, Numbers Protocols also established an NFTs trading site called CaptureClub, which it dubs as a “creator-first marketplace.” This marketplace already features dozens of works including simple sketches priced at $5 and more sophisticated digital paintings that fetch higher prices.

In line with the idea of making NFTs easier to create and offer for sale, all NFT photos and (soon) videos taken through the Capture camera app can be easily uploaded to the CaptureClub marketplace.

Creators no longer have to worry about where to post or how to advertise their works to reach out to potential buyers. Since CaptureClub is part of the ecosystem Numbers Protocol runs, the experience is expectedly seamless. There is no need to go through multiple apps or web services to create NFTs, find buyers, and get paid.

Outlook for NFTs in Asia

How do Southeast Asians view NFTs? So far, there have been no scientific studies conducted to determine Southeast Asia’s general sentiment towards NFTs. However, there has been multiple encouraging media coverage about the subject.

The South China Morning Post, for example, interviewed a number of relevant personalities to share their insights. One of them was Bowie Lau, founder of the MaGEHold angel investment firm, who said that NFTs enabled the “new liberalization of art.” “NFTs have become a more convenient asset for people to invest in and be able to sell conveniently at prices discovered transparently in marketplaces,” Lau said.

The Ken Southeast Asia also has a positive reporting about NFTs, calling it a “leap for art, a lifeline for artists.” The report notes that crypto and digital art have combined to create a massive effect that benefits artists as well as art investors in Southeast Asia.

It is also inspiriting to know that celebrities are supportive of NFTs. Taiwanese singer-actor of the F4 fame Van Ness Wu, for instance, decided to partner with CaptureClub to re-establish connection with his fans while raising funds for charity and promoting awareness about NFTs.

Wu revealed to his Instagram followers that he is set to offer collages of selfies of himself with fans to be sold as NFTs. The proceeds of the sale of these NFT collages will go to the Family of Joy Foundation, an NGO based in Taiwan that seeks to improve the lives of children with special needs. There are already three of these collages on the CaptureClub website.

Nobody can say that NFTs are without risks and that the skepticism about them is not rational. However, the risks are not reason enough to shut down the opportunity to give them a try. Southeast Asia’s relatively welcoming attitude towards this new kind of asset is a good sign.

Image: Pixabay