According to a Reuters article published today, citizens of Shanghai are using NFTs to memorialize their month-long Covid lockdown pain, despite the fact that cryptocurrency is illegal in China.
They are preserving memories on the blockchain by minting NFTs to ensure that films, photographs, and artworks may be shared and avoided deletion.
Many of Shanghai’s 25 million residents, unable to leave their homes for weeks, have expressed their dissatisfaction online, citing the tight restrictions and difficulties getting basic necessities like as food. Locals also shared their stories of difficulty, such as those who were unable to get medical treatment.
According to a Reuters report, all of this has heightened the cat-and-mouse game between Chinese censors and the government, which has pledged to beef up internet and group chat enforcement to avoid what it refers to as “rumours.”
While some people have continued to publish such material, others have resorted to non-financial transaction sites like OpenSea, the largest in the world. Users may use cryptocurrencies to produce content and buy or sell it, attracted in part by the idea that data saved on the blockchain is irreversible.
Shanghai’s shutdown began on April 22, when netizens battled censors overnight to release a six-minute film called “The Voice of April,” a collection of voices collected during the Shanghai outbreak.
On Monday, May 2nd, 2022, the NFT marketplace OpenSea has 786 distinct commodities related with the video, along with hundreds of additional NFTs associated with the Shanghai closure.
A Shanghai-based programmer was among others in the city who considered their attempts to preserve the film as part of a “people’s resistance,” according to Reuters.
He created an NFT based on a screenshot of Shanghai’s COVID shutdown map, which shows how the city has been cut off from the rest of the world.
Simon Fong, a 49-year-old Malaysian freelance designer who has lived in Shanghai for nine years, began painting witty depictions of life under martial law. His picture includes scenes of PCR testing as well as civilian pleas for government meals.
According to the Reuters, although China has banned cryptocurrency trading, it sees blockchain as a promising technology, and NFTs have gained traction in the country, receiving acclaim from state-run media sources and even internet heavyweights such as Ant Group and Tencent Holdings.