Alibaba have launched limited non-fungible tokens (NFT) for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, preserving competition highlights as ink-painted digital badges.
The NFTs cover four winter sports, short-track speed skating, figure skating, freestyle skiing and snowboard slopestyle, and incorporate traditional cultural elements ranging from Yin-yang to seal carving.
Each collection is limited to 8,888 pieces and is available to members of Alibaba’s paid customer-loyalty program, 88VIP.
Collecting and trading pins and badges is a long-standing Olympic tradition. Starting with cardboard badges used to identify athletes, judges and officials, they have evolved into colorful enamel pins.
The latest iterations are adapting to the digital age. Alibaba unveiled cloud-powered digital pins for the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 last year. The virtual tokens enabled media professionals to interact in a contactless way during the coronavirus pandemic.
While there has been growing interest in NFTs among young people in China, Alibaba said it hopes that the digital collectibles can cultivate curiosity about the virtual world.
Each collectible is a uniquely identifiable item that can be authenticated and permanently preserved, according to the company.
The launch of the four collections coincides with the Olympics schedule of events at Beijing 2022. 88VIP members can log into Taobao, Alibaba’s online marketplace, to redeem their digital collectibles with their loyalty points at 10 pm Beijing time on Feb. 5, 10, 14 and 19 during finals for the four sports events.