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5 other NFT use cases with the potential to take off in M’sia, based on global examples

Jacob Scott

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Most people would know the basics of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) by now, especially in the context of the art-collecting scene.

In Malaysia, individual artists like Red Hong Yi, Katun, Munirah Hamzah, and more, have been making thousands to millions of Ringgit by selling NFTs. To buy them, there are global NFT marketplaces like Opensea, or local ones such as Pentas and TRART

The worth of an NFT is defined primarily by the perceived value of it, and how much one would want to stake ownership of the asset. In the digital sphere, while anyone can download or save an image of art, we can’t prove we own the original unless we have a digital certificate of ownership in the form of an NFT.

This aspect is what makes crypto art one of the most popular NFT use cases in the market today. But NFTs can be used in more ways other than just art collecting. 

Here, we’ve chosen 5 use cases of NFTs which we think have the most potential to be widely adopted in Malaysia. They were selected based on what’s currently being leveraged by local entrepreneurs and how they could benefit Malaysians if these applications takeoff.

1. Collectibles

NFTs can be used to represent physical objects like trading cards, which are popular amongst sports and comic fans.

Examples of sports digital collectibles include “Moments,” sold on the NBA Top Shot platform. Moments might include a video clip of a player making a move or the NBA’s Top Shot, a blockchain-based trading card system that offers game highlights.

Another example of an NFT collectible is Jack Dorsey’s first tweet. He sold the NFT using a platform that tokenises tweets called Valuables, where anyone can place an offer on any listed tweet, and others can place a counter-offer to outbid you. 

The NFT of Jack Dorsey’s first tweet / Image Credit: Binance Academy

In Malaysia, we’ve seen large companies jump on the trend, like Kadokawa Gempak Starz with its NFT card pack sales.

Local comic artist and toy designer, Michael Chuah, turned his character toy figurines into collectibles, such as his Yuurei Neko Sama Collection 1 on Rarible. Anyone who collects all 5 of these virtual figures will unlock a hidden 6th variant.

Michael Chuah’s Yuurei Neko Sama Collection 1 / Image Credit: Rarible

There’s certainly potential for anyone to create collectible items to be sold as NFTs, but whether or not they will take off depends on whether there is demand for the assets, giving them value.

2. Tickets

Some NFTs can be used as tickets or memberships to exclusive events, benefits, etc. One example of this use is shown by the Bored Ape Yacht Club which sells merchandise, organises social events, and hosts yacht parties for members.

Another use case has been done by MinNature Malaysia, whose team creates miniature versions of real-life Malaysian landmarks at its art exhibition. Using crypto to sell entrance tickets (the NFTs) for their art gallery is the team’s way of moving into the digital space and expanding their reach.

Enter the world of miniature Malaysia by buying NFT tickets / Image Credit: MinNature Malaysia

With the pandemic shifting Malaysian attitudes into adopting digital solutions (like replacing cash payments with e-wallets), it would make sense for tickets to move into the NFT space as well. As NFTs are on the blockchain, the trail of tickets will become more traceable as each transaction will be recorded. 

This would negate frauds and online touts, who purchase tickets in bulk and sell them on secondary markets at higher prices to profit.

3. Gaming

On the topic of collectibles, NFTs are also applicable in the gaming industry. In games, their use is immediate, such as providing characters with power-ups, upgrades, and the like. 

In a game called Zombies, Run!, runners must hit certain milestones in their fitness journey within the app to earn tokens and medals. These play-to-earn collectibles can be used as in-game currency to buy certain items and showcase your achievements. 

Meanwhile, Axie Infinity and Battle Pets are Pokémon-style games with tradable pets and items. Though the NFTs here have a cosmetic function, each pet has a set of unique abilities for battling too, which affect the pet’s value when traded.

Battle Pets lets you buy NFT pets with crypto

While there’s yet to be a known Malaysian-made game to incorporate NFTs, GameFi is predicted to see huge growth in the upcoming years. Thus, there are plenty of opportunities for local game companies to explore this space as well.

Dictionary time: GameFi is a fusion of the words “game” and “finance”, and it refers to the financialisation of video gaming. This concept involves giving players financial incentives to play and progress through games.

Okex / Coin Desk

4. Finance

Not every NFT derives value from being attached to art or collectible items. In decentralised finance (DeFi), NFTs also provide financial benefits, which is where its utility factor comes into play.

For example, NFTs and crypto can be a form of foreign exchange. Filipinos who work as domestic workers in Hong Kong, Malaysia, or Singapore can be paid via these methods, presumably with higher value, as we’ve learnt in a Wild Digital SEA 2021 panel.

Residents in the Philippines can even use crypto for down payments on a house and car. All this is possible because the Philippines’ Central Bank has approved several crypto exchanges to operate as “remittance and transfer companies” in the country. 

Image Credit: Pexels

Thus, more people in the Philippines actually own a crypto wallet than a credit card, as it’s claimed that the former is more accessible and has the potential to bring higher returns than their day jobs. 

If this trend is adopted in Malaysia as well, it could pose significant benefits to those in underserved populations. They include those in B40 households who don’t have enough funds or the necessary paperwork to start a bank account or gain access to investment opportunities.

5. Logistics

NFTs can be used in supply chains to authenticate products, ensure their quality, and verify their origins. While still in its nascent stages, NFTs on the blockchain are suitable for logistics because of their immutability (inability to be changed over time) and transparency, which keeps supply chain data traceable and reliable. 

Image Credit: Pexels

Luxury brands Gucci, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, Richemont, and Prada have already collaborated to launch a blockchain platform known as Aura Blockchain Consortium (Aura).

Aura’s blockchain acts as a database for luxury products where each item will be assigned a unique digital identity (the NFT). 

This would verify the quality and source of the products through tracking materials in the supply chain from start to finish. 

In the food and other agriculture industries, knowing where goods have been and for how long is crucial as well. It would be most beneficial to Malaysian startups in the agritech line especially since the country is a global agricultural hub.

-//-

These are just 5 known use cases for NFTs which still have plenty more applications. They can range from the ownership of digital real estate, royalties for music and domain names, to verifying documentations in reducing identity theft and fraud.

As NFTs grow in popularity, there’s a good chance we’ll see even more ideas and use cases in the future. Though, it’s worth noting that not every application for NFTs has had enough time to go beyond an idea or a small project. Some may turn out to not be practical or popular.

What we’ve outlined above are simply use cases that have taken off globally, and that we think have the potential to grow in Malaysia too, based on our current behaviours.

It will be up to Malaysian entrepreneurs and businesses to leverage NFTs as they see fit, and with the metaverse becoming more realised, it’s likely we’ll see many more NFT projects arise locally.

However, for these projects to be received well, consumers will need to be properly educated on how they work, and be made aware of any risks beforehand.

Read more of what we’ve written on NFTs, blockchain, and crypto here.

Featured Image Credit: Declan Lim in Axie Infinity Malaysia / 123rf.com / Unsplash

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‘Moon Knight’ Took Marvel in a Different Orbit, but It Didn’t Rise to the Occasion

Jacob Scott

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Before anyone writes that off as an anomaly, “Eternals” tackled a similar introduction of a dense mythology on the bigger screen, with equally mixed results. It’s a reminder that while film-goers have had more than a decade to get to know characters like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, introducing some of these lesser-known heroes can pose a more formidable challenge beyond catering to the most ardent fans.
For Marvel, there are warning signs in that, since “Moon Knight” will be followed by several series based on second-tier characters, although the next two on the horizon, “Ms. Marvel” (which is due in June) and “She-Hulk,” at least have the benefit of sharing franchises and name recognition with existing Avengers.
Ultimately, “Moon Knight’s” murky storytelling appeared to squander its principal assets, which included the cool look of the character — a costume that was too seldom used — and the presence of Isaac, who possesses additional genre credentials via the “Star Wars” sequels.

Taking its time in peeling back the layers of the character’s complicated backstory, “Moon Knight” took a weird plunge into the Egyptian mythology behind it, in ways that became increasingly confounding and surreal.

By the time the protagonist’s two halves, Steven Grant and Marc Spector, wound up in a psychiatric hospital talking to an anthropomorphic hippo in the penultimate chapter, the question wasn’t so much being able to keep up with the story as whether bothering to do so was worth the effort.

The sixth and final episode brought the plot to a messy close, seeking to stop the goddess Ammit from proceeding to “purify the souls of Cairo, and then the world.” In the customary credit sequence, the producers capped that off by introducing a third personality, Jake Lockley, also rooted in the comics. While that seemingly spelled the end for the show’s villain (Ethan Hawke), the finish — giving the god Khonshu the protégé he sought — paved the way for further adventures should Marvel so choose.

That last twist might be cause for celebration in narrower confines of the Marvel fan universe, but “Moon Knight” too often felt like it was one long Easter-egg sequence, conspicuously preaching to that choir.

Granted, Marvel has made clear that Disney+ offers the chance to explore different kinds of stories, but “Moon Knight” feels at best like a quirky showcase for Isaac and at worst a failed experiment in terms of execution and tone.

That doesn’t mean this “Moon” won’t somehow rise again, if the closely held streaming data justifies it. But the promise that surrounded this property has faded, providing further evidence that even Marvel isn’t immune from setbacks as it moves into its next phase.

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Start-up Pony.ai says it’s the first self-driving company to get a taxi license in China

Jacob Scott

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Autonomous driving start-up Pony.ai can collect fares for robotaxi rides in parts of two major Chinese cities as of Sunday.

Pony.ai handout

BEIJING — Self-driving start-up Pony.ai announced Sunday it received a taxi license, the first of its kind in China.

The license allows Pony.ai to operate 100 self-driving cars as traditional taxis in the Nansha district of the southern city of Guangzhou, the company said.

The Chinese start-up, which is backed by Toyota, received approval from Beijing city late last year to charge fees to operate a commercial robotaxi business in a suburban district of the city. It is not the same as a taxi licence.

Baidu’s Apollo Go also received approval in the same Beijing district last year.

Pony.ai was valued at $8.5 billion in early March. The company said its Nansha taxi license required 24 months of autonomous driving testing in China and/or other countries, and no involvement in any active liability traffic accidents, among other factors.

The start-up said it plans to launch commercial robotaxi businesses in two other large Chinese cities next year. The company is already testing self-driving cars in those cities and in California. 

Robotaxis in China currently have a human driver present for safety.

— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.

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How to watch Timberwolves vs. Grizzlies: TV channel, NBA live stream info, start time

Jacob Scott

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Who’s Playing

Memphis @ Minnesota

Current Records: Memphis 2-1; Minnesota 1-2

What to Know

The Memphis Grizzlies’ road trip will continue as they head to Target Center at 10 p.m. ET this past Saturday to face off against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Memphis will be strutting in after a win while Minnesota will be stumbling in from a loss.

The Grizzlies are hoping for another victory. They beat the Timberwolves 104-95 this past Thursday. The victory came about thanks to a strong surge after the first quarter to overcome a 39-21 deficit. Memphis’ success was spearheaded by the efforts of power forward Brandon Clarke, who had 20 points in addition to eight rebounds, and shooting guard Desmond Bane, who shot 7-for-15 from beyond the arc and finished with 26 points and six boards.

Barring any buzzer beaters, Memphis is expected to win a tight contest. They might be worth taking a chance on against the spread as they are currently on a two-game streak of ATS wins.

Memphis’ win brought them up to 2-1 while the Timberwolves’ defeat pulled them down to a reciprocal 1-2. A couple offensive stats to keep in the back of your head while watching: The Grizzlies come into the game boasting the second most points per game in the league at 115.6. But Minnesota is even better: they rank first in the league when it comes to points per game, with 115.9 on average. Tune in for what’s sure to be a high-scoring contest.

How To Watch

When: Saturday at 10 p.m. ET Where: Target Center — Minneapolis, Minnesota TV: ESPN Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.) Follow: CBS Sports App Ticket Cost: $76.96

Odds

The Grizzlies are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Timberwolves, according to the latest NBA odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Grizzlies as a 3-point favorite.

Over/Under: -110

See NBA picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Memphis have won 19 out of their last 28 games against Minnesota.

Apr 21, 2022 – Memphis 104 vs. Minnesota 95 Apr 19, 2022 – Memphis 124 vs. Minnesota 96 Apr 16, 2022 – Minnesota 130 vs. Memphis 117 Feb 24, 2022 – Minnesota 119 vs. Memphis 114 Jan 13, 2022 – Memphis 116 vs. Minnesota 108 Nov 20, 2021 – Minnesota 138 vs. Memphis 95 Nov 08, 2021 – Memphis 125 vs. Minnesota 118 May 05, 2021 – Memphis 139 vs. Minnesota 135 Apr 02, 2021 – Memphis 120 vs. Minnesota 108 Jan 13, 2021 – Memphis 118 vs. Minnesota 107 Jan 07, 2020 – Memphis 119 vs. Minnesota 112 Dec 01, 2019 – Memphis 115 vs. Minnesota 107 Nov 06, 2019 – Memphis 137 vs. Minnesota 121 Mar 23, 2019 – Minnesota 112 vs. Memphis 99 Feb 05, 2019 – Memphis 108 vs. Minnesota 106 Jan 30, 2019 – Minnesota 99 vs. Memphis 97 Nov 18, 2018 – Memphis 100 vs. Minnesota 87 Apr 09, 2018 – Minnesota 113 vs. Memphis 94 Mar 26, 2018 – Memphis 101 vs. Minnesota 93 Dec 04, 2017 – Memphis 95 vs. Minnesota 92 Feb 04, 2017 – Memphis 107 vs. Minnesota 99 Nov 19, 2016 – Memphis 93 vs. Minnesota 71 Nov 01, 2016 – Minnesota 116 vs. Memphis 80 Oct 26, 2016 – Memphis 102 vs. Minnesota 98 Mar 16, 2016 – Minnesota 114 vs. Memphis 108 Feb 19, 2016 – Memphis 109 vs. Minnesota 104 Jan 23, 2016 – Minnesota 106 vs. Memphis 101 Nov 15, 2015 – Memphis 114 vs. Minnesota 106

Injury Report for Minnesota

No Injury Information

Injury Report for Memphis

Dillon Brooks: Game-Time Decision (Foot) Santi Aldama: Out (Knee) Killian Tillie: Out (Knee)

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