Beijing’s beloved Olympics panda mascot has its own NFTs, but they are unavailable in China

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The Beijing Winter Olympics has an official collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) featuring Bing Dwen Dwen, the event’s panda mascot that is massively popular in China , but people in the country will not be able to get their hands on one.

nWay, maker of a mobile game officially sanctioned by Beijing 2022, said it would release a series of Winter Games-themed digital collectibles on Friday US time, with some featuring the beloved panda. A total of 500 virtual “boxes”, each containing three NFTs of different levels of rarity, would be open for purchase on the company’s website.

Olympic Games Jam: Beijing 2022 lets users play to earn NFTs that can be sold outside the video game for actual money. Players who hold nWay’s NFTs can also enter in-game competitions and earn other digital assets.

While NFTs – digital files whose ownership and uniqueness are verified by blockchain technology – exploded into the global mainstream last year, the Chinese government remains hostile towards cryptocurrencies, with state media outlets repeatedly warning against what they see as a hype and investment bubble around NFTs.

Still, authorities have largely tolerated NFT activities in the country. Projects launched by smaller groups have attracted vibrant communities of enthusiasts, while Big Tech companies have been selling what they call “digital collectibles” – NFT-like creations that cannot be resold.

Some Chinese social media users have expressed disappointment that the official Bing Dwen Dwen NFTs – featuring the chubby panda performing a range of winter sports including skiing, skeleton, and snowboarding – cannot be bought in China.

The panda, wearing a suit of ice, is so popular in the country that official plastic figurines have sold out across e-commerce platforms. Eager shoppers have spent hours queuing up outside stores in freezing temperatures for the chance to buy the toys.

Animoca Brands, the Hong Kong-based parent company of nWay, did not respond to a request for comment on the Bing Dwen Dwen NFTs on Friday. nWay explained on its website that it was unable to sell its NFT boxes in some regions because of licensing restrictions, without elaborating.

Source: https://www.asiaone.com

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