The Japanese government has become one of the first to issue nonfungible tokens (NFTs) as a form of supplementary rewards to recognize the work of local authorities who have excelled at using digital technology to solve local challenges.
The awards were handed out by the cabinet secretariat, a government agency that is headed by the nation’s chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno during the “Summer Digi Denkoshien 2022” ceremony. The event was also attended by the country’s prime minister Fumio Kishida, reported Coinpost.
Seven mayors received recognition for their cities’ ideas centered on the digital economy. Among them was the mayor of Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture, whose administration suggested using electric vehicles for local deliveries. An NFT prize was also given to Maebashi in the Gunma Prefecture for their idea for a platform that uses cameras on mobile devices to track changes in traffic conditions in real time.
The NFTs were issued on the Ethereum blockchain using the proof of attendance protocol (POAP). The issued NFTs are non-transferable and have been developed in a way to make them suitable for commemoration. Being non-transferable, these NFTs cannot be traded on the secondary market.
The NFTs were issued using Indiesquare’s low-cost blockchain platform, the Hazama Base. The same platform was used earlier to issue and distribute NFTs at an event held by the Liberal Democratic Party Youth Bureau.
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Japan is known as a pro-technology and innovation 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 market