Japan Mints NFTs to Thank 7 Mayors

Japan Mints NFTs to Thank 7 Mayors

Japan has minted non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and used them to award seven mayors for their efforts to revitalize local communities using digital technology.

The government awarded the mayors with NFT rewards that are supposed to act as a “supplementary prize.” The one-of-its-kind move demonstrates a unique use case for digital collectibles — one that could find increasing popularity in the future. 

The NFTs were Ethereum-based Proof of Attendance Protocol (POAP) NFTs issued from the Hazama base, a platform that has found prior usage amongst Japanese political parties. The NFTs cannot be resold on the secondary market, making them of a non-transferrable kind.

The Cabinet Secretariat issued the awards at the “Summer Digi Denkoshien 2022” event under the supervision of Hirokazu Matsuno, Chief Cabinet Secretary. The event drew attendees from the highest echelons of the Japanese government, with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in attendance.

The mayor of Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture, was awarded for his government’s role in proposing the use of electric cars for local deliveries, while the mayor of Maebashi of Gunma Prefecture received recognition for suggesting the use of cameras to monitor the changes in traffic conditions in urban areas.

Japan Pushes for NFTs and Web3

Over the past year, several tech players in the country have started to warm up to the idea of NFTs and Web 3. One of the first Japanese banks to enter the NFT space was MUFG. SBI Group also launched a dedicated subsidiary called – SBINFTs.

The country’s top social media, Line, also established an NFT marketplace called Line NFT. Thanks to the much-needed push from the Prime Minister itself, the NFT market in the “land of the rising sun” has been soaring.

Kishida stated earlier that the government is looking to bring about institutional reforms to create an environment that “accommodates the creation of Web 3-related infrastructure.” He also affirmed that NFTs and metaverse-related innovations will fuel Web 3-powered growth for the country.

The remark follows the creation of the Digital Japan 2022 white paper, presented by the Digital Society Promotion unit of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party earlier this year that touted the NFT sector as a growth engine of the Web 3 movement.

Japan is known as a pro-technology and innovative country where crypto has been regulated by the government as a trading asset. The country’s prime minister has also shared interest in the use of NFTs on a number of occasions in the past. Thus, the recent initiative from the government could become a tradition to carry forward.

NFTs gained a lot of traction during the peak of the bull run, however, with the downturn in the crypto market, the NFT market has seen a steep decline in interest as well. With many pundits quick to dismiss NFTs as a bull run-fueled mania, initiatives taken by the Japanese government highlight the adoption of the nascent tech beyond the market.

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