NFTs are non-fungible tokens that have taken over the world for a year now. They can be in the form of a digital art piece, a video, a song, or even your high school certificate!
They are a non-interchangeable unit recorded on a blockchain that gives the buyer or NFT holder its entire ownership.
In a first-of-its-kind move, The Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea is the first to award NFT certifications. The Universit is funded by one of the world’s largest corporations, Samsung.
How the certificate distribution will work.
Sungkyunkwan University announced on Monday, 14th Feb 2022, that three students who won the intramural tournament would get NFT certificates. On Wednesday, the certificates will be presented during an online graduation ceremony. These are the first legitimate university certificates to be offered in crypto-asset format.
The certificates will not be provided to everyone who graduates, only three meritorious students who have won the intramural competition will be awarded.
The university reasoned that non-fungible tokens are resistant to forgery and loss and will provide security to the award winners. Their NFT certificates are based on the Klaytn public blockchain.
Sungkyunkwan has chosen to “keep up with developing digital technologies” by providing a one-of-a-kind experience for students getting NFTs. According to local media, the university also stated that it would use blockchain technology to offer other degrees and diplomas.
Development behind the varsity’s innovation:
After defining NFTs as virtual assets, Korean authorities announced last year that they will be taxed. Starting January 1, 2022, the country’s Financial Services Commission would levy a 20% tax on revenue from virtual assets over 2.5 million won ($2,102). This legalizes the status of NFTs in the country. It also ensures that the students receiving their tokenized certificates will be recognized in companies or institutions of higher studies.
However, the move goes against the regulator’s position on NFTs, which is that they are not virtual assets and hence cannot be regulated. Either predicting or commenting on the overall perception and status of NFTs would be pre-mature at this moment.
The University’s decision coincided with Samsung, the country’s largest corporate giant, which is also preparing to enter the NFT market. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Sungkyunkwan University had a cooperation with Samsung, which was extended in 1996. The collaboration has benefited the institution in the development of academic programmes in medical, engineering, business, and law.
In an explanatory statement, the officialls mentioned that, “Sungkyunkwan University wants to grant honours and prizes to victors” by adding a special touch to the certificates “in the form of NFTs that have distinct values and meanings.”
Moon Kyung-won, a pharmacy major, is one of three students who have received NFT accreditation for mentoring activities for children from multicultural and North Korean defector homes.
The tokenized certificates may be one-of their kinds, but they have opened the gates for many other Universities to take a similar path in the future. This will help the issue of certificate forgery among big institutions and will resolve any problem related to security, misplacement or ownership.
Recently, other South Korean firms also announced their plans on NFT developments. KRAFTON, the company known for its iconic video game PUBG is set to invest 6.5 million US dollars for NFTs. Entertainment media giants like HYBE, known for popular boy-band group BT; SM Entertainment and JYP Entertainment are also shelling out funds for NFTs.