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    K-pop NFTs are here, but I’m not convinced they’re worth it | Digital Trends

    I’ve actually tried exhausting to disregard non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Reading dialogue of them on-line makes me cringe. And curiosity in disagreeable photographs of apes, robots, and blobs makes me query individuals’s sanity, as do the astronomical costs paid for this sort of nonsense, and the group’s common dismissal of the adverse impression NFTs have on the surroundings.
    Then considered one of my favourite Okay-pop singers launched a sequence of NFTs by means of fandom-focused website KLKTN, thrusting the tokens into my on a regular basis dialog. It was positive when NFTs had been left to crypto fans and lovers of ugly JPEGs, all playing like they had been in Vegas, however this wasn’t the identical. I had been compelled into paying consideration, so I made a decision to search out out if there’s any actual worth in proudly owning an NFT focused at a specific section of fandom.
    Heavily engaged
    There’s one thing fairly disagreeable about NFTs being pushed towards closely engaged fandoms, on this case Okay-pop idols, the place shopping for unique items is taken into account a part of the deal. To me, and I believe many others, the dialog round NFTs appears to middle on cash. How a lot they’re bought for, how a lot are supposedly “worth,” and the revenue made upon resale. Idol NFTs simply appear to be a get-rich-quick money seize from cynical firms with no actual curiosity within the artist.
    Kang Hyewon NFT from KLKTN.Idol followers spend some huge cash on merchandise and extra. From live performance tickets, albums, and photograph books, to on-line or in-person meet-and-greets. Supporting your favourite artist is an expensive endeavor. The introduction of an NFT may push savvy followers into eager to know extra, however this might additionally cause them to wade by means of the customarily impenetrable language used within the dialogue of NFTs on-line, the place separating the cringe-making bluster from precise information is nigh-on inconceivable.
    I needed to get previous this, so I bought some collectible NFTs launched by singer Kang Hyewon from KLKTN to see what the fuss was all about, and spoke to the crew about what makes these collectibles totally different from different NFTs. Their solutions had been enlightening, however did they persuade me NFTs have a spot in any fandom?
    Connecting followers to artists
    KLKTN began out in mid-2021 and particularly targets Okay-pop, anime, and Japanese tradition fandoms. In an e-mail change, Digital Trends spoke to Chief Technology Officer and co-founder Fabiano Soriani, Chief Business Officer Hannah Cho, and artwork and authorized adviser Yayoi Shionoiri about its method to NFTs.
    “We think that fandom platforms are far from achieving the full potential of engagement with the technologies out there. We are interested in how the technology of NFTs can change that landscape,” the crew wrote in response to my query about how KLKTN is totally different from the world of normal NFTs. “Every artist we’ve worked with and his or her fan base has been completely unique. We work with the artists to create something we think will speak to their fans. We have been quite experimental.”

    KLKTN is worked up to announce our subsequent artist, #KangHyeWon! To have fun her new album, Kang HyeWon is partnering with #KLKTN to create distinctive digital experiences and #nfts to provide again to her followers.Be the primary to know when it drops! https://t.co/KVaGPWpIGl#강혜원 #hyewon pic.twitter.com/XHmg1CpOZC
    — KLKTNofficial (@KLKTNofficial) December 21, 2021
    What did I purchase, and did it appear experimental? I bought a “Moment,” which is a group of three video recordsdata restricted to 2,500 editions. The essential movies present Hyewon delivering a message to the digicam, and the third is an animation of her signature. It price $2. The NFT lives on KLKTN’s web site, the place it may be considered or downloaded on to my laptop.
    Unfortunately, viewing the three recordsdata is unsatisfying. The first video is a brief preview of the primary video, subsequently pointless, and as cute as Hyewon’s signature is, I don’t have to see it greater than a couple of times. It doesn’t really feel experimental, except you’re taking experimental to imply beta.
    Why would you wish to purchase one?
    If proudly owning considered one of KLKTN’s Moments is a bit disappointing, and you haven’t any curiosity in apes or wildly overpriced digital artwork, why would anybody wish to embrace NFTs in any respect? I requested the crew, and Sobriani answered first.
    “I have lived in four countries, plus moved within cities a couple of times, and every time I move, there are things that don’t fit the bag or don’t make the move and get lost,” he mentioned “I’ve had a collection of keychains, stones, trading cards, LEGO, all gone by now. Also, I’m not a materialistic person, my most valued possessions are photos and videos, certificates, NFTs, and social accounts. All those live on the cloud and I never lose them. Digital items are perfect for me.”
    Cho was extra philosophical in her response.
    “Is something physical more real or valuable than something that’s held in a digital format? To me, they’re simply different media,” Cho mentioned. “Like watercolor versus photography. One form of media is not necessarily more valuable than the other. The value comes from the content, context, and personal preference. A physical photo might be dear to one, but a 15-second video might be more valuable to another. We are used to the idea of buying an officially released photocard of Kang HyeWon when we could just as easily print the photo ourselves. If we want to buy an officially released video of Kang HyeWon instead of screen-grabbing it, we can buy it as an NFT. That’s the power of NFT. It authenticates digital files.”
    Viewing an NFT as simply one other collectible, and one which doesn’t occupy any bodily house, is an attention-grabbing level. As talked about earlier, an engaged fan will doubtless purchase various merchandise, so not including but extra precise stuff to the pile whereas nonetheless supporting your favourite celeb is sort of engaging.
    However, as a result of lackluster expertise of viewing the KLKTN recordsdata on the desktop (it’s a bit of higher on cell) at present being far much less attractive than flicking by means of a real-world photograph assortment, it’s one I’d be unlikely to repeat. However, the crew does say it’s redesigning the web site in the intervening time, so this will change sooner or later.
    What concerning the future?
    The query then turns into, what occurs to an NFT sooner or later? This is the nice unknown, as a result of whereas the destiny of my actual photograph card is nearly solely in my arms, the NFT’s future is extra depending on different forces. What occurs if KLKTN shuts down?
    An NFT assortment display screen in KLKTN.“We are taking steps to try and ensure that our NFTs and platform are future-proof,” the crew advised Digital Trends. “We have placed the assets on the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), and we also hope to partner with existing marketplaces that operate on [the Flow blockchain] to assure interoperability so that our NFTs will always hold their value.”
    Does this imply I really personal the NFT? After all, it seems to the uninitiated to easily be a file saved on the web, which I “own” in the identical means I personal the picture I downloaded from Kang Hyewon’s account on social messaging app Bubble. The crew at KLKTN known as the query of possession “fundamental to the understanding of NFTs” and defined it this manner:
    “From a conceptual perspective, an NFT is the digital ledger entry that points to a specific digital object and its current owner.  Now, the NFT will generally include a unique resource indicator that points to the digital object, and the combination of the NFT with the associated digital object seems to be what people think of when they refer to a NFT.  What makes owning a NFT so special is that your NFT is uniquely connected to you and your wallet – even though it may be minted and issued in a larger edition (with other copies owned by other people), and you may not necessarily have the exclusive copyright to the associated digital object, the token you have is specifically and uniquely yours and, in that way, a one-of-one.”
    Owning a particular merchandise is at all times going to be engaging to all devoted followers, so there’s actually enchantment to this. Except not like a bodily particular merchandise, maybe with a signature, you actually should go on the lookout for what makes your NFT uniquely yours. And when it’s a must to clarify what makes the NFT particular, it’s fairly underwhelming, in comparison with the apparent uniqueness of a signed photograph, for instance. KLKTN registers its NFT’s on the Flow blockchain, which it claims is 99.9% extra environment friendly than different blockchains ,to assist alleviate a number of the environmental considerations over NFTs.
    Will I earn cash?
    Search social media for NFT speak and also you’re virtually sure to search out somebody who has flipped a hideous NFT for 1000’s, possibly even tons of of 1000’s, of {dollars}. Who doesn’t wish to make simple cash? The temptation shall be there to purchase a collectible NFT with the hope, and even expectation, that you’ll rapidly promote it on to another person for greater than you paid. Apart from this not being the purpose of shopping for idol merchandise, what does KLKTN say about its NFT’s presumably rising in worth?
    In a tweet to me, Sobriani mentioned: “At KLKTN we’re trying out all different ways that the fans can get something as directly from their artists as possible versus speculation we see on other markets,” suggesting it’s extra closely centered on pleasing the fandom than partaking with speculators.
    In my e-mail dialog, the crew mentioned: “KLKTN NFTs are designed as a direct-as-possible connection between the artist and the fan. Maybe you watch a Moment and would like to keep it, while another one you wouldn’t mind sharing with someone who joins after the sale concluded. Ownership and provenance are really the coolest property of NFTs on blockchain, and we’ll fully support fans being able to trade moments, special editions, or anything they want to.”
    The KLKTN web site has a Marketplace hyperlink, however it’s at present not operational, and regardless of Sobriani’s preliminary message indicating it wasn’t closely centered on buying and selling, this and the wording within the crew’s e-mail response counsel in any other case. Yes, individuals (not simply speculators) earn cash from NFTs, however it’s not simple or frequent, so don’t count on to turn into rich out of your Hyewon NFT.
    Am I an NFT convert?
    I got down to see if I may discover worth in NFTs as a fandom-orientated collectible. There positively is, and KLKTN makes a very good case for them. I respect it’s working intently with the artists to generate precisely the type of collectible followers wish to see, and my Kang Hyewon Moments are polished and, as a lot because it pains me to confess it, fairly particular to see.

    This is what @hyemu_official's 'new yr' message NFT from @KLKTNofficial appears like.
    (Story and interview on Okay-pop fandom NFTs coming from me this weekend)#HYEWON #KANGHYEWON #강혜원 #NFT pic.twitter.com/cKB4Gp6KtV
    — Andy Boxall (@AndyBoxall) January 13, 2022
    However, it’s no kind of particular than every other collectible, which don’t include any further worries over possession and the future-proofing of your assortment. Then there’s the clunky viewing system, which doesn’t encourage you to view your NFTs fairly often or to purchase extra. Then there’s nonetheless the whiff of shameless cash-in about all of it. There is potential for all this to vary sooner or later, however in the intervening time, there’s a particularly restricted enchantment for followers in NFTs.
    I’m additionally happy I didn’t spend any greater than $2 on one, which, contemplating the laughable costs on OpenSea — an NFT market the place you would spend $4,200 on an image of a automobile or $3,360 on an image of a cartoon canine — really makes KLKTN’s video-based NFTs appear to be astonishing worth. They’re not, although. I spent cash on one thing I’ve checked out a handful of occasions, and will conceivably neglect I even personal. If you’re anticipating your Okay-pop NFT to supply something apart from the information that on-line someplace, your identify is connected to a receipt marking you out because the proprietor of a video, then you definately’ll be disenchanted.
    If you’re a hardcore purchaser of Okay-pop merchandise, and surprise if NFTs will provide you with the identical degree of satisfaction as a photobook or limited-edition album, take into account this: I observed that if I bought all three special-edition Kang Hyewon NFTs from KLKTN, I’d have an opportunity of profitable considered one of 10 signed Polaroid photographs. I virtually clicked the Buy Now button solely due to this chance, which I feel tells you every thing you could find out about whether or not Okay-pop NFTs captured my curiosity in the identical means as a bodily piece of merchandise.

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