SCMP introduces ‘ARTIFACT’ non-fungible token standard for recording accounts of history and historical assets on the blockchain

HONG KONG, 19 July 2021 — The South China Morning Post announced today its  ‘ARTIFACT’ Litepaper, advocating a standardised metadata structure for recording accounts of history and historical assets on the blockchain as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). 

The Post believes that factual accounts of history and authentic historical assets should be immutable, and that ownership of these digitised and tokenised assets, which are part of our collective human experience, should be decentralised. 

NFTs make it possible to achieve both objectives, and SCMP aims to create a standardised metadata structure that anyone can use to tokenise history as NFTs, which will be called ‘ARTIFACTs’. This provides the foundation on which history can be discovered, connected, and collected in a meaningful way. 

The Post plans to showcase the use of this standard with an NFT collection drawn from the organisation’s historical archives under the name ‘ARTIFACTs by SCMP’. By tokenising key moments from SCMP’s 118-year-old collection of media assets, it aims to take the first steps towards creating greater value from the news organisation’s “first drafts of history.” 

“The South China Morning Post is committed to engaging and educating a global audience with information and technology,” said Gary Liu, SCMP CEO. “Blockchain offers immense potential to immutably preserve journalism that witnesses and explains history. The ‘ARTIFACT’ project is an opportunity to discover, collect, showcase, trade, and reanimate meaningful moments and objects from our collective human experience and we are excited to introduce this standard to the world.”

The ‘ARTIFACT’ project will begin with a few selected blockchains, with the intention to be chain-agnostic in the long-run. At launch, the ability to issue authenticated ‘ARTIFACTs’ will be available to a group of trusted partners who are globally recognised owners and guardians of authentic historical assets. The project roadmap includes plans for a decentralised authentication process that will eventually allow for anyone to tokenise assets using the ‘ARTIFACT’ standard.

The Post has recently announced a strategic partnership with The Sandbox, a leading decentralised gaming virtual world, to bring to life its 118 years of journalism about Hong Kong and China in the metaverse. This partnership is also a testament to how the Post is continuing to advocate for information accessibility through new technologies, innovation and creativity. 

The ‘ARTIFACT’ Litepaper is the Post’s first step on the ARTIFACTs journey. In the coming months, SCMP will work towards achieving its vision by launching ‘ARTIFACTs by SCMP’ and inviting other partners to tokenise accounts of history and historical assets as ‘ARTIFACTs’. SCMP will also explore how best to serve a community of collectors via an ‘ARTIFACTs’ platform and marketplace, along with the creation of a Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO) to decentralise long term project governance.

Visit to download a copy of SCMP’s ‘ARTIFACT’ Litepaper. 


The South China Morning Post is a leading global news company that has reported on China and Asia for more than a century. Founded in 1903, SCMP is headquartered in Hong Kong, where it is the city’s newspaper of record, with a growing correspondent staff across Asia and the United States. SCMP’s vision is to “Elevate Thought” and our mission is to “Lead the global conversation about China”. It is the recipient of hundreds of awards for its journalistic excellence, from such prestigious organisations as the World Association of News Publishers and the Online News Association. A digital-first media organisation, SCMP is also home to Goldthread, a content platform with a focus on food, travel and culture in China, and publishes a portfolio of premium lifestyle and fashion titles in Hong Kong including Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Esquire and Harper’s BAZAAR. In 2020, SCMP became the first news organisation in Asia to join the Trust Project, a consortium of top news companies developing global transparency standards for credible journalism.

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