Economic Daily: Don’t take digital collections as “money-making” products

Recently, the digital collection platform Guangyi Shuzang has been quietly “resurrected” after being attacked by hackers, which has attracted the attention of the industry. After the comeback, the digital collections on the platform continued to skyrocket, most of which increased by more than 100 times, and a few collections even exceeded 1,000 times. When things go wrong, there must be demons. This wave of gains inevitably raises doubts about whether there is speculation in it, which in turn leads to greater financial risks. It seems that restricting the hype of digital collections urgently needs to become the core consensus of the high-quality development of the industry.

First of all, it needs to be clear that digital collections cannot be equivalent to foreign NFTs. The concept of digital collections has been popular for a while. In terms of technical means, it is very similar to NFT, but it is not the domestic version of NFT. The full name of NFT is Non-Fungible Token, which is a non-fungible token issued based on the blockchain. Token means token in English. The domestic digital collection market has always emphasized de-“T”ization, that is, weakening the financial transaction and investment attributes of digital collections, and more emphasis on the combination with the real economy.

Second, the value of digital collections should be correctly recognized. Digital collections can be understood as a kind of cultural and creative products based on new technologies. The collections reflect art, aesthetics and creativity, and have certain cultural value. For example, the “Thousand Palaces” series of digital collections released by Daming Palace National Heritage Park, you can enjoy the look of the collection from all angles by swiping the screen with your finger, which is vivid and interesting. Using information technology to display the value of works of art or cultural relics gives new life to traditional culture and cultural relics, enhances young people’s sense of identity and belonging to traditional culture, and contributes to the development and activation of traditional cultural resources.

Digital collections are also a new marketing tool. With the popularity of the concept of digital collections, this heat has also spread to the consumer market. Not only McDonald’s, Xiaopeng, Lancome and many other commercial brands want to get on the express train of digital collections, but also “national brand” companies such as China Post and China Telecom. From the perspective of amplifying brand IP and delivering brand culture, digital collections can endow brands with new value and establish positive interactions with consumers. For example, the “National Treasure Panda Postbox” series of digital collections launched by China Post not long ago has brought more exposure and attention to enterprises. From this point of view, the development of domestic digital collections should be fully integrated with the real economy and take the path of helping the real. Platform companies should better exert their positive value, so that digital collections can truly empower the real economy.

For ordinary consumers, digital collections are a novel cultural experience that can satisfy both social and aesthetic needs. However, the collection should be based on a love for the artwork and identification with the brand. Compared with traditional collections, digital collections have only changed in the form of media, and whether they have collection value still depends on their essence, that is, the value of beauty, social value and the value of the times. In the long run, only those digital collections with profound cultural connotations and creative content will have more lasting vitality.

For those who want to use digital collections as a way to “make money”, hyping digital collections is not a good business. On the one hand, digital collections are still in their early stages of development, with mixed quality and relatively vague value. Take Xu Beihong’s digital collections that have recently aroused heated discussions in the industry. Xu Beihong Art Museum has publicly questioned that some digital collections are counterfeit works, and some cannot provide complete traceability evidence. If it is difficult for digital collectibles platforms to guarantee the uniqueness and scarcity of digital collections, its value will be greatly reduced.

On the other hand, digital collections are a new thing, and market regulators have not yet made clear regulations on their development, which are prone to abuse of technology, copyright misappropriation, fictitious values, and irregular transactions. The “Digital Collection Industry Self-discipline Development Initiative” recently launched by the industry has a certain role in risk prevention and control, but it has no legal effect. Market development will inevitably go through the process of big waves and sand, and some platforms and collections will also face the survival of the fittest. Similar to the previous logic of frying shoes and frying blind boxes, once the game of drumming and passing flowers is over, consumers will only be left with chicken feathers.

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