Nifty News: Olympic Games Beijing 2022 edition


The International Olympics Committee sells NFT pins, Team Great Britain offers NFT-based fan engagement and the “Chinese Banksy” protests.

Today’s Nifty News rounds up nonfungible token (NFT) projects centered around the Winter Olympics, which began Friday in Beijing, China. The following are initiatives taken by the International Olympic Committee, or IOC, The British Olympic Association, and an independent artist leading up the 2022 games.

IOC celebrates Olympic history 

Since June 2021, the IOC has collaborated with nWayPlay, an NFT marketplace and blockchain game studio that is a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, to launch the Olympic Heritage Collection of Olympic NFT Pins. Essentially digital versions of the physical collectible and tradeable Olympic pins, these NFTs celebrate the past Olympic Games by depicting posters, emblems, pictograms and mascots from the last 125 years. Monthly drops of assorted boxes were available for fans to purchase, leading up to February 2022. 

Timo Lumme, managing director of IOC television and marketing ervices, said in a statement that the committee’s hope is for fans to “connect with the excitement of the Games in a whole new way and own a piece of Olympic history.”

The week of the Opening Ceremony, the IOC officially released a play-to-earn multiplayer mobile video game developed by nWay, that they had been teasing since last year. Available on Android and iOS, the app called Olympic Games Jam: Beijing 2022, will let players compete in a series of winter sports to earn Olympic NFT digital pins that can be traded on the nWayPlay marketplace. The in-game utility of the Olympic NFT digital pins will extend to character power-ups, special avatar skins and sporting equipment exclusive to specific NFTs.

It is important to note that the app is not available in China where the government is strictly regulating the games and has moved to ban all crypto-related activities, despite being the host city.

Related: COVID restrictions stymie digital yuan rollout at Beijing Winter Olympics: Report

Team GB enters the Metaverse

Team GB, the brand name used by the British Olympic Association that represents Great Britain and Northern Ireland, created the Gold Lion Club NFT community. The collaboration with commerce provider Tokns to developed a fan engagement program first started in the run-up to the Tokyo Games last summer. Now, Team GB fans can purchase Gold Lion Tokns to gain access to signed merchandise, athlete experiences and eventually an immersive clubhouse in the Metaverse. 

Own a piece of history, support #TeamGB, show your pride.

Purchase a unique digital NFT Collectable from our shop or bid on an Original Olympic-Inspired artwork.

A portion of all proceeds go directly to the British Olympic Association.

— Team GB (@TeamGB) August 4, 2021

There is one collection of animated NFTs celebrating the athletes’ successes and another featuring a limited number of digital collectible pins. The third collection is an NFT drop by Team GB uniform supplier, Ben Sherman, showcasing the Opening Ceremony uniforms as wearables for the Metaverse. Ben Sherman partnered with the Humanz NFT project to create exclusive Humanz character NFTs for Team GB fans.

Protest NFT collection criticizes Chinese government

Badiucao is an exiled Chinese dissident artist, now based in Australia, who developed an NFT poster campaign that brings attention to China’s human rights violations. According to the NFT site, the five artworks “depict the Chinese government’s oppression of the Tibetan people, the Uyghur genocide, the dismantling of democracy in Hong Kong, the regime’s omnipresent surveillance systems and lack of transparency surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Beijing 2022 Collection was first on physical display at the December 2021 Oslo Freedom Forum in Miami and is currently on exhibition at the Museo di Santa Giulia in Italy. Now released as a digital collection this week, Badiucao states on the NFT site: 

“NFTs and blockchain technologies not only provide a safe way to offer critical financial support to dissident artists, but serve as an important immutable public record outside of authoritarian tampering and control.”

1/ I am launching my first #NFT collection 《Beijing2022》 on Feb 1 to call for a boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics in opposition to the Chinese government’s human rights abuses!

2月1日春节,奥运开幕前,我将发布首组NFT人权抗争作品 《北京2022》!https://t.co/hIu2sBHAGQ

— 巴丢草 Badiucao (@badiucao) December 26, 2021

Collectors can write their own messages onto the blockchain as part of the minting process. Ten percent of the proceeds will go towards the Art in Residency Program, in which Badiucao takes part in collaboration with the San Francisco-based Gray Area Foundation for the Arts and the Human Rights Foundation in New York.


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