"Can classic front pages and deluxe images have a profitable second life?" Sun publisher analyzes.
The publishing arm of Rupert Murdoch ponders on diving into the bubbling market of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) by changing the substantial loads of pictures, comics, and unique front pages of the Times and the Sun into extraordinary digital assets.
News UK is in its initial stages of examining the crown jewels among other authentic images, such as unique pictures of the Queen, front pages like "It's The Sun Wot Won It!", to "Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster." It moves to give a second life as an extraordinary digital asset marketable to the public.
This interest in NFTs emerges as the market for the debatable trading of NFTs grew to a value worth £16bn ($22bn) last year.
The likely move into the world of NFTs, a market that News UK's titles have discussed, is driven from the higher rank, the chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, and the chief operating officer David Dinsmore.
The Times unintentionally contributed significantly to the emergence of crypto assets. Satoshi Nakamoto, the alleged pseudonym for the person or group of persons who invented bitcoin, embedded and quoted the January 3rd, 2009 front page, which began with "Chancellor on the brink of Second Bank Bailout," in the very first bitcoin blockchain transaction, referred to as the Genesis Block.
As a nod to Nakamoto's belief that cryptocurrencies would improve the global financial system, the edition was tagged "the most uncommon and precious crypto-collectible in existence" in the newspaper industry.
One of the topics News UK is investigating is how to exploit the edition of crypto-fame and commercial possibilities that it released on January 3rd, 2009.
However, the issue of making this move to be successful is worrisome. For instance, a holder of an NFT with his digital "token" can verify he owns the "original" work, which could get him multimillion-pound. In contrast, it may not be easy to reproduce an element of a photograph or front page that people would pay for when the image is freely available on the internet.
News UK, which refused to comment on its crypto project, is speculated to likely retain the rights to continue using the originals in its publications.
This act is similar to Julian Lennon, who sold several pieces of Beatles memorabilia as NFTs last month, including garments were worn by his father, John, and Paul McCartney's handwritten notes, but secured the physical items.
The financial appeal is obvious: products such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club's 10,000 NFTs, now valued at about $300,000 by celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Jimmy Fallon, and Paris Hilton, have generated over $1 billion in sales since its introduction.
However, similar to cryptocurrencies, the NFT market is drawing regulatory bodies' scrutiny due to concerns that it is a bubble that may damage investors.
IN DECEMBER, the UK advertising watchdog banned Arsenal football club from advertising digital "fan tokens." It
claimed the promotion took advantage of its supporters' inexperience and little knowledge about investment in crypto assets, deluded the prospects about the danger of investment, and failed to make it evident that the 'token' was a crypto asset.
This week, HM Revenue and Customs stated that it had confiscated three NFTs as part of an investigation into an alleged VAT fraud scheme involving 250 fictitious entities.
Cautions about crypto assets, which are not regulated in the UK, came from institutions like the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority.
There have also been calls for Transport for London, which administers the UK capital’s bus, subway, and train network, to ban the growing cryptocurrency adverts that aim to entice inexperienced prospects with the guarantee of high returns.