• While some companies hope to facilitate market transactions with the new technology, academics are concerned that it will be difficult to become a large industry

  • Hong Kong has a thriving art market and is one of the top three art auction markets in the world. Last year, Hong Kong accounted for 23.2% of the global art auction market, second only to New York, and the total value of Hong Kong’s art collection and antiques imports and exports reached HK$33.6 billion last year.

    A local Hong Kong company combines NFT with physical artwork

    Coinllectibles, an innovative company based in Hong Kong, is linking NFT technology with physical artworks, with smart contracts on the blockchain setting out information about the artwork, including a valuation certificate issued by an independent third party, and legal documents to protect the owner. The company’s executive advisor, Mr. Herman So, believes that if used properly, the new technology will enable faster and smoother art transactions and facilitate the development of the local art market.” Hong Kong is a trading hub for physical artworks such as wine bottles and porcelain, and having a large platform for trading these artworks in the form of NFT, so that buyers can trade smoothly and with confidence, will certainly help the industry in Hong Kong.

    Mr So said the company also provides exhibition and storage services for artworks, and believes that the combination with NFT technology can facilitate the trading of high-value collectibles.” In addition to selling NFT to customers, we will also provide custodial and exhibition services for the artworks so that more people can appreciate them and anyone interested can bid for them immediately.

    Academics: digital NFTs are inevitably copied Investors should be aware

    Art trading is relatively niche in Hong Kong and relatively difficult to become a huge industry, said Mak Chui-choi, an associate professor in the Department of Finance and Decision Sciences at HKBU. Currently in the NFT market is still dominated by purely digital artworks, Mak Chui-choi said, the biggest difference between NFT artworks and physical objects is the separation of ownership and use, which cannot avoid the copying and use of others, which may affect the value of artworks.” If the product purchased is a physical object, such as a painting, I put it in my living room to enjoy it, I have exclusive rights, the ownership and use belong to the same person, but digital artwork is different, it needs a carrier to display, such as a TV or screen, but behind it is just a software, it is difficult to prevent others from copying the work to display and enjoy it elsewhere. ”

    McSweet said pointed out that while legal action can be taken in cases of infringement, it can be more expensive than the NFT artwork itself.” Even if someone is copying and displaying NFT art without ownership, the owner must know about the infringement in order to take legal action, and if he or she doesn’t know who copied the work online, there is no way to sue. The situation is even more complicated if the person involved is out of state, and the cost of any lawsuit would be high.”

    McStuffins cautions that NFT art is, after all, an alternative investment to stocks and bonds, and that to participate requires familiarity with the product and the seller.

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