The Winter Olympics’ embrace of NFTs is a sign that they have truly become mainstream. If we were to go back in time and try to explain the concept of a non-fungible token to athletes at the first Winter Olympics in 1924, they would probably think that we were insane. Today, these digital tokens have become so commonplace that we barely even notice when new NFTs hit the market.
NFTs Will be Awarded Each Time South Korea Wins Medals
As if an Olympic medal wasn’t glorious enough, Korean crypto exchange Bithumb has promised to distribute an NFT to one lucky trader every time South Korea wins a medal – as long as that trader has made transactions with the exchange’s partner, 300FIT.
Here’s a fun fact: Most NFTs are worth more than Olympic medals. Gold medals are actually made up of silver, with only a small coating of gold on the outside. Bronze medals are even more worthless, as they are made up of copper, zinc, and tin.
Many of South Korea’s top brands, retailers, and entertainment companies have jumped into the NFT field as of late. Global crypto exchange Binance recently announced that it was partnering with YG Entertainment to launch NFTs. YG Entertainment is known for being the record label behind Big Bang and Blackpink.
NFTs of All Kinds Are Piggybacking Off the Olympics
All kinds of companies, activists, and individuals are using the Beijing Olympics to promote various NFTs. The International Olympics Committee has launched a new mobile game that rewards players with NFTs. Alibaba has created four tokens based around speed skating, freestyle skiing, downhill skiing, and figure skating. Even athletes are getting in on the action, as legends like Simone Biles have started to launch their own NFTs.
But Wait a Second… Didn’t China Ban Cryptocurrencies?
The fact that the Beijing Olympics is embracing NFTs is a positive sign for crypto traders worldwide.
Why? Not too long ago, China banned crypto trading, but the fate of NFTs was left hanging in the air. Then, Chinese internet giants such as Alibaba and Tencent started to roll out NFTs of their own, built on permission-based blockchains operating under the oversight of the Chinese government. This indicated that there was, in fact, room for NFTs to thrive in the China market, and that Beijing is not rejecting blockchain technology altogether.
As long as NFTs are not connected to Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, China seems to have no issue with them. Many believe that China will become one of the world’s biggest NFT markets; those who were previously trading crypto could switch to NFTs. That being said, companies are still barred from taking profits on NFT sales in China, and reselling is prohibited, meaning that marketplaces like OpenSea do not exist in the country.
This, however, could very well change down the line.