Will blockchain-powered digital collectibles revolutionize the art world, or are they just another bubble waiting to burst? Collectors have dropped millions of dollars on crypto keepsakes, known as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), in the last two weeks, and Chinese social media is buzzing.

As the novel assets start to sell for millions in the West in forms ranging from fine art to trading cards, Chinese tech and art influencers have been asking whether they’re a real investment, and what they mean for the art industry. So far, art and blockchain outlets have been mostly positive, while social media users have been more mixed.

As far as we can tell, China is not a big consumer of tokenized art yet, although there is no hard data on the regional spread of NFT transactions. A Chinese-developed chain Binance Smart Chain, is powering some NFTs, although most use Ethereum.

Many in the art world have rushed to welcome NFTs as a breath of fresh air in what they see as a dinosaur industry with a strict hierarchy.

Crypto collectibles could bring tech-savvy, or tech-hungry, millennials into auction houses.

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Eliza Gkritsi

Eliza was TechNode's blockchain and fintech reporter until July 2021, when she moved to CoinDesk to cover crypto in Asia. Get in touch with her via email or Twitter.

Shi Jiayi

Shi Jiayi is the Shanghai-based visual reporter helping provide multimedia elements about China’s fast-changing technology and culture. She holds a B.A. in Convergence Journalism from the University...