HTC launches NFT art transaction platform as part of Metaverse efforts

Taiwan-based smartphone brand HTC Corp. has launched a global transaction platform for non-fungible token (NFT) art collections as part of its efforts to explore the "Metaverse" concept, the company announced on Wednesday.

In a statement, HTC said HTC VIVE Arts, under the smartphone vendor's corporate umbrella, has unveiled the NFT art transaction platform in a bid to provide support to artists with a new venue to create and demonstrate their products, and put up their works for sale.

HTC VIVE Arts, a multi-million dollar global virtual reality program that intends to change the way the world creates art and engages with the arts, offers content that supports creators and institutions who want to use VR technology to bring people closer to art.

In recent years, HTC has intensified its efforts to enter the VR business by launching its first VR headset -- the HTC Vive -- in 2015 and introducing follow-up models afterwards.

Working with the Mucha Foundation, HTC said, the newly unveiled global NFT arts transaction platform will hold its first-ever auction on Dec. 17 for limited collections of NFT versions of art by Alphonse Mucha, a Czech painter, illustrator and graphic artist who died at 78 in 1939.

An NFT is a unique cryptographic token that cannot be replicated, while the token, a non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a digital ledger, can be associated with reproducible digital files such as photos, videos, and audio.

HTC said HTC VIVE Arts has been keen to build a transparent art transaction platform by leveraging its internal technology resources to provide tailored services for art creators and collectors.

HTC added that the global NFT transaction platform will provide Blockchain technologies, which are used in cryptocurrency transactions, to enhance the privacy of artwork contents and ensure transaction security.

According to HTC, transactions in the form of NFTs on the new platform will be protected by the Proof-of-work (PoW) technology, a consensus algorithm for Blockchain networks which is the underlying consensus model of cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

Shares of HTC have been attracting buying interest on the local equity market in recent sessions. The company has been perceived as a "Metaverse concept" stock after having diversified its business to the VR market to offset the impact from strong competition in the global smartphone market.

After the latest VR gadget from HTC -- the Vive Flow -- went on sale in November, HTC posted NT$463 million (US$23.12 million) in consolidated sales for the month, up 32.42 percent from a month earlier. However, the November figure was down 16.63 percent from a year earlier.

Analysts have perceived the portable Vive Flow as HTC's attempt to embrace the so-called "Metaverse" concept that has been talked up by Meta (Facebook) CEO Mark Zuckerberg since July.

The metaverse, a term coined in Neal Stephenson's 1992 science fiction novel "Snow Crash," refers to a collective virtual shared space where humans, as avatars, interact with each other and software agents, in a three-dimensional virtual space that uses the metaphor of the real world.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel