‘I’m the king of the… metaverse’: Titanic artifacts to become NFTs
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Titanic NFTs, eh? Nope, not 10,000 similar-but-slightly-different JPEGs of Kate Winslet posing in the nude for an etching. Not GIFs of DiCaprio bobbing up and down in the sea in an ice block. We’re talking real, tangible artifacts from the actual 1912 catastrophe, tokenised.
So, is this something for all you NFT “degens” out there to SINK more of your hard-earned (or not) into? Could this be just the TIP OF THE ICEBERG for your foray into non-fungible tokens? Or are you already too far UNDER WATER after a pretty ICY and TREACHEROUS crypto winter last year?
[Ed: Just… STOP.]
We delved deeper into a press release about it all and here’s what we surfaced…
Notably, for those who’ve been following the Hong Kong crypto-hub push just lately, it turns out that there’s some HK-based backing behind this eye-catching physical/metaversal mash-up.
Venture Smart Financial Holdings (VSFG) is the first virtual asset manager in the Asian region to be approved by the Hong Kong regulator – the SFC (Securities and Futures Commission).
The financial services firm has partnered with Titanic artifact-recovery outfit RMS Titanic, Inc (RMST) and another HK firm – Artifact Labs, which is a Web3 company on a mission to “preserve and connect history on the blockchain”.
The trio will collaborate on a project to bring physical artifacts from the Titanic into the Web3 world via immutable NFTs – with an aim to “unlock the intrinsic value of the associated intellectual property by tokenising the assets”.
VSFG will lead in structuring the tokenisation of RMST’s artifacts and develop tokenised benefits for “accredited investors”. The real aim for this collaboration seems to be to enable “compliant capital raising” for the ongoing research, recovery, preservation, exhibition, and licensing of the Titanic relics.
From what we can glean, RMST has exclusively recovered about 5,500 artifacts from the famed ocean liner’s wreckage. RMST’s affiliate, Experiential Media, operates Titanic exhibitions of the artifacts worldwide, and also displays comprehensive maps of the wreckage and detailed, full-scale room modelling.
So you can think of the official Titanic NFTs as a little bit like holding a non-profit stake in the recovery and preservation of museum-displayed Titanic relics, such as watches, furniture, instruments and so forth.
We say non-profit, although there’s, of course, the potential to make some sort of a buck from the NFTs on secondary markets. There are distinct real-world benefits for holders, though. And these will reportedly include VIP events at exhibitions, seminars with historians, and access to various one-of-a-kind experiences.
Additionally, per the release, Titanic NFTs will provide an opportunity for Titanic enthusiasts to digitally interact with RMST’s content outside of its physical exhibitions.
The debut collection will feature “ultra-limited edition” NFTs and its buyers will form the first of the Titanic’s Web3 community.
There’s always a funds-managing DAO (decentralised autonomous organisation) attached to this sort of venture, right? Yep.
Artifact Labs will be launching the Titanic DAO, whose members will participate in select RMST initiatives, including proposals on future dive expeditions to the Titanic site, development of education programming, digital content and documentaries, research initiatives, partnerships, hosted events, and the strategic direction for the preservation and exhibition of recovered artifacts.
The DAO treasury will be managed by members through governance tokens and will be funded by proceeds from Titanic NFT sales.
… which is not necessarily where the treasure lies, but it is where some carefully scripted quotes find their natural resting place.
Commenting on the partnership, then, the President of RMS Titanic, Inc., Jessica Sanders said, “We remain dedicated to sharing the legacy of the Titanic, her passengers and crew, with people around the world. We believe that moving into the digital space allows us to reach a broader audience with quality programming that educates and inspires.”
Lawrence Chu, Founder and Chairman of VSFG, meanwhile noted: “The Titanic’s artifacts have been highly sought after for over a century because of what they represent. Many people in the international community care deeply about preserving the integrity of the original artifacts. We believe this partnership with RMST and Artifact Labs can further this purpose by bringing in Web3 and virtual assets solutions.”
Gary Liu, Founder of Artifact Labs, said: “The Titanic is one of the most treasured pieces of history in the world, and we are privileged to be part of its story.”