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HTC is opening a non-fungible token (NFT) store soon that its says will host all forms of digital art, including AR, VR, and XR pieces.
The store, which will open on December 17th, is set to first offer NFTs featuring the works of Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha (1860–1939), which is being offered as a part of a collaboration with the Mucha Foundation.
The NFT sale will coincide with the opening of the ‘Mucha to Manga – The Magic of the Line’ exhibition in Taipei.
Here’s a video in Chinese about the show, displaying some of Mucha’s iconic art.
The store is said to offer complete control over the number of NFT editions and the format of the sale, with both fiat and crypto currencies accepted as payment.
HTC says a new NFT series will come to the store each month until April 2022, which will conclude with what it describes as “a special auction.”
For those of us in the VR space, all of this may seem a bit out of left field for the company, which over the years has built itself a significant niche in creating enterprise VR hardware. HTC is no stranger to jumping on the crypto bandwagon though. In 2019 the company released Exodus 1, a blockchain-focused smartphone that acts as a hardware wallet for storing cryptocurrency among other things.
How NFTs fit into all of that, well, there’s no telling how deep of a commitment the store actually represents. The company’s VIVE Arts initiative has been involved in bringing art-themed content to Viveport, but moreover it bringing VR to cultural institutions in limited-time exhibitions at the Tate Modern, London’s Royal Academy of Arts, Taipei’s National Palace Museum, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle in Paris, Washington D.C.’s Newseum, and St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum since its founding in 2017.
Granted, NFT auctions are a far cry from bringing art to the masses—they primarily function as crypto-investment vehicles—although the earning potential for both the creators and buyers can’t be overstated.
The storied Christie’s auction house oversaw the sale of one NFT for $69 million back in March, something many NFT creators have hoped to replicate. Whether HTC makes those sort of headlines isn’t certain. At least Alphonse Mucha didn’t exclusively paint bored apes.
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