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Blockchain firm X-widget tests art NFT service with gallery

NFT platform leaves pricing of art to collective intelligence


Blockchain company X-widget said it began a pilot service of a platform for non-fungible tokens that it developed with a major local art gallery to use NFTs as proof of ownership of digital assets such as artworks.

The NFT Contest Market Your Own Pick, or NCOP, is a Web 3.0 platform that allows users to discover and assess the value of artworks using NFTs. It is a blockchain-based decentralized application that will be officially launched at the end of this year.

Based on a strong community of artists and collectors plus blockchain technology, X-widget and Pyo Gallery sought to develop a NFT platform that can be both commercial and popular at the same time, and launched the NCOP project so that the value of a work of art can be evaluated via contest, and NFTs can be minted, sold and traded on a single platform.

As the art market is divided into a small number of transactions for high-priced pieces by famous artists and countless transactions for other works of art, their prices are usually determined at auction or by the artists themselves. The contest is aimed at obtaining a certain level of objectivity in pricing art through collective intelligence, and to help talented up-and-coming artists enter the market.

Anyone who owns an electronic wallet on the platform can exercise the right to vote to start a “contest,” where the best works are selected via two rounds of voting -- the first by general users and the second by art experts.

NFTs are minted after a sale is settled. Multiple NFTs for the same piece of art can be minted for sale to multiple buyers. An NFT staking product will also be launched.

“The platform is structured to provide a community for artists, fans and collectors, and allow art aficionados and users to take part in a blockchain-based NFT contest to discover artworks and assess their value,” said X-widget Chief Executive Kim Sung-uoen, who leads the NCOP project.

“It is different from other NFT platforms as the pieces are selected through a contest, and their value is evaluated by collective intelligence, while fandoms can be built for creators and the creators can be systematically rewarded.”

The NCOP, which will be launched as an art NFT platform service, will evolve into a Web 3.0 decentralized application platform running on its own MainNet by the end of this year, according to Kim.

A decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, of users will be formed on the NCOP to offer users an opportunity to discover and assess the value of artworks to secure a certain level of objectivity, operational transparency and a profit-sharing system, he said.

Starting with the art NFT market, NCOP will expand its platform for music, games and real estate, and integrate the NCOP’s NFT and DAO on the metaverse by 2024.

Kim said his goal is to make it grow into the world’s largest global NFT platform.

Early this month, X-widget said its blockchain-based discount coupon system that allows users to collect 10 percent of their purchases and gives them a 10 percent discount drew more than 800,000 users with over 1,000 stores signing up for the service in South Korea and Vietnam.

The blockchain-based payment and business development company said it hopes to attract more shops and users in Southeast Asia and expand to other parts of Asia to reach 100 million users worldwide, including 10 million users in Korea, by 2024.

By Kim So-hyun (