Dozens of pictures taken during the COVID lockdown protest in China are flooding the NFT marketplace, OpenSea. The images are now selling on the popular digital collectible marketplace as NFTs depict the opposition to the government’s pandemic-related lockdown measures.
Furthermore, the collection, which captures the protest against China’s COVID lockdown, has a bidding price of 0.01 ETH, approximately $11.74. In addition, the auction is scheduled to be a seven-day event.
The protest began following a deadly fire outbreak last Thursday in the Urumqi district, the capital of China’s northwest Xinjiang province. As a result, the Chinese citizens took to the street to express their anger and displeasure about the country’s zero-COVID measures.
Commenting on the protest, the municipal government blamed the fire victims for their inability to save themselves, worsening the already tense protest. Protests also broke out over the weekend in some of China’s cities, including Shanghai, Wuhan, Beijing, Urumqi, and Guangzhou.
According to local media outlets, students from at least 79 Chinese universities in 15 provinces also participated in the public protests on Sunday evening.
Similarly, another NFT collection, titled “Blank Paper Movement,” consisting of 24 styled pictures featuring protesters on the street, also flooded the popular NFT marketplace. The images depict protesters holding symbols of oppression and blank papers to send a message.
China’s Declining NFT Space
A Chinese media outlet, Caijing, reported that several small and medium-sized NFT platforms are closing up shop in China following a steady decrease in funds and interest in the industry.
However, the recent action is due to the country’s strict regulations regarding cryptocurrency and other digital assets. According to Liu Yang of the Deheng Law offices, NFT’s nature primarily determines how its profit system operates with liquidity.
Yang added that the absence of fund inflow into the Chinese NFT ecosystem is responsible for the industry’s rapid decline. As a result, the current profits for the NFT industry are not enough to cover customers’ losses, and a looming collapse is unavoidable.
With the regulators yet to take a stance on the NFT industry, its trading is currently not outlawed. However, since April, at the peak of NFT popularity, the banking association has issued warnings to traditional banks to inform investors of the risks associated with NFT trading.
Even high-flying firms like Tencent have pulled off most of their NFT projects. The new trend highlights the gradual slowdown of the hype about digital collections and the challenges of investments and regulatory uncertainty.
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