Singapore – Media Publishares, a media company encompassing brands such as Vogue Singapore, Buro and Esquire, has announced a new partnership with VIDY, a blockchain-powered digital advertising start-up, in creating a non-fungible token (NFT) platform dedicated to catering to the fashion, music and arts industry.

A non-fungible token (NFT) is generally defined as a digital ledger in a blockchain, where it can represent a unique digital item, be it in the form of digital files of art, audio, or videos, and is not interchangeable. For instance, while the NFT can be reproduced in copies digitally, access to the original file will still show the ownership of said ‘token’ to whoever bought the NFT.

Through the partnership, the upcoming platform aims to celebrate arts and culture within a 360-degree navigable virtual environment showcasing digital fashion, art, music, and design. Key features of the platform include minting, trading, and auctioning of NFTs through a tokenized system along with the ability to host social interaction.

Furthermore, the NFT platform will donate a percentage of NFT sales towards organizations tackling real-world problems to ensure a positive connection between the virtual and physical worlds.

According to Matthew Lim, co-founder at VIDY, the platform envisions a metaverse where people will be able to live in a parallel virtual world where they can own a digital identity and purchase items not just in a digital file, but as any unique asset in their virtual land, similar to their physical world.

He also stated that although the NFT market has grown over 229% since 2020 to reach over US$500M, it is still in its early stages and has a long way to go with regards to infrastructure development.

“For this new NFT platform, VIDY will lead the technology and blockchain development given our unique experience in dealing with traditional businesses and crypto. We are confident we will create the finest platform that will boost the NFT world by allowing seamless participation from the traditional fashion, art and music communities,” Lim stated.

Slated for release by the third quarter of 2021, the NFT platform will target a digitally savvy audience looking for luxury items with low environmental impact while also engaging creators exploring a virtual identity for their designs and new revenue streams for their craft.

“Media Publishares has always been ahead of the curve with its innovative approach to storytelling as led by our anchor titles Vogue, Esquire, Robb Report and Buro Singapore”, said Michael von Schlippe, president of Media Publishares.

He added, “What we see is a new creative renaissance where creativity and technology are driving change together. By creating an NFT platform, which essentially acts as a virtual marketplace between creatives and users, it allows us to provide a unique shoppable platform coupled with content for the community in the form of education, interaction and entertainment.”

NFTs have seen popularity in 2017 when they were first traded using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to buy certain NFTs, mostly by digital artists

This year alone has seen a rise in NFT auctions and purchases, with the most notable one the recent auction last 11 March of the digital NFT art ‘Everydays: The First 5000 Days’ by digital artist Mike Winkelmann, known by his artist name as Beeple. The auction was held at auction house Christie’s and was sold for US$69.3M to Vignesh Sundaresan, a programmer based in Singapore and founder of Metapurse, a cryptocurrency-exclusive fund.

The same month, founder of Twitter Jack Dorsey also sold his first-ever post on Twitter for US$2.5M as an NFT.