Chinese giant Tencent mints 1,000-year-old Buddhist art as NFT
Chinese giant Tencent mints 1,000-year-old Buddhist art as NFT By Hannah Perez

Tencent will convert art pieces from the UNESCO World Heritage Mogao Caves into NFT on a private Blockchain



Chinese tech giant Tencent

is making its first foray into the world of non fungible tokens (NFT) with the tokenization of ancient Buddhist artworks.

As reviewed by The Block, the multinational tech company has partnered with the Dunhuang Academy to digitize the wall paintings of the Mogao Caves, a site in China’s Gansu province recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site


Consisting of a collection of 492 temples, the Mogao Caves are known to house sculptures, wall paintings and other Buddhist art forms more than 1,000 years old. It has been ranked as the world’s largest and richest Buddhist art treasure trove. Now, in its first NFT project, Tencent

plans to protect and promote this cultural heritage. Chinese giant Tencent mints 1,000-year-old Buddhist art as NFTChinese giant Tencent mints 1,000-year-old Buddhist art as NFTMogao Caves – image from official UNESCO

World Heritage site on NFT


to the information, the Chinese company will issue a total of 9,999 pieces of NFT on its Zxinchain permissioned blockchain, each of which represents a unique painting of the Mogao Caves. For each issuance, Tencent’ s charitable arm will make a donation to Dunhuang Academy


In an exclusive interview with The Block

, a company representative assured that the total donation is approximately 4 million yuan, or more than half a million U.S. dollars.

In addition, users of Tencent’s WeChat messaging app will be able to win a chance to get an NFT. According to the company, those who answer a short quiz on the site can enter to receive an NFT starting Wednesday. Then, the lucky ones will be able to display the digital card as a social status within the WeChat


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We want to use Blockchaintechnology to break down silos and generate more awareness about protecting cultural heritage.NFTs can be that digital carrier for our traditional culture and connect it with people,” highlighted Fino Feng, who leads the Dunhuan project

g at Tencent, about this initiative.

However, Tencent’ s NFT project has some features that differentiate it from other initiatives in this space. By minting asset collections on a permissioned network, the company essentially eliminates core cryptographic features.

Private blockchain to comply with Chinese regulations.

As cited by The Block, Dunhuang Academy felt that it was not feasible from a regulatory standpoint to launch the project on a public blockchain. This would have involved the use of cryptocurrencies as an on- and off-ramp for NFT traders, an activity that China has restricted particularly tightly this year.

On the other hand, the use of a permissioned blockchain will also require NFT winners to verify their identity as a function of being able to receive the asset. Unlike popular NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea, Chinese collectors will not enjoy the anonymity characteristic of this space. Likewise, they will also not be able to trade NFTs on online marketplaces as is normally the case.

Qin Qing, product director of Tencent Blockchainexplained to The Block that this is currently the case because issuance occurs only at the primary market level. “Since Tencent issues it on the primary market, we can’t launch a secondary market ourselves,” he said in this regard.

But even with a secondary market, it will only deal with fiat currency … and obviously we will not encourage investment and speculation activities.

However, the director did advance that they are open to the idea of opening up the system for external partners to create a marketplace where users can trade NFTs. Of course, this would be in the future, when there is clearer regulation on NFTs in China, he clarified.

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Other giant Chinese companies have also made similar moves into the growing NFT space. Alibaba’s Blockchain of Alibaba, Ant Group unveiled its own NFT platform a few weeks ago, also making use of a private Blockchain protocol.

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Sources: The Block, CryptoNews,

Version of Hannah Estefania Perez / DiarioBitcoin

Image by Unsplash